Friday, February 22, 2019

Literary Sewing Circle: Pattern Inspiration

This week let's look at inspiration drawn from the story and the characters.

An obvious theme here is ballet! If you want to go that route, there are many choices.

You could use one of Jalie's many athletic patterns, say their collection of ballet skirts

Which you'd have to pair with a ballet leotard of course!

Or, you might want to try the Nettie bodysuit from Closet Case Patterns, and add a tutu from this new McCalls pattern.

I Am patterns has a cute warm up top, the Apollon, that would go perfectly with leggings like, say, the Virginia leggings from Megan Neilsen. 

Or you might want to think about the characters a little more closely.

Degas' painting might be the direction you'll go in - if you like to do messy creative work like that you might want to try out an artist's smock like this vintage pattern, Simplicity 5201

Or if you want more pockets and storage options, try out this Artist's Apron from So Sew Easy

Meanwhile Marie's mother, and eventually Antoinette, end working in the laundry. The key to their work is wearing clothes that are loose, cool, and adaptable. Roll up their sleeves, loosen their necklines, and off they go. If you're stuck with hot weather you could start with something similarly useful.

A drawstring blouse seems just the trick here, and here's one you can play around with to change up the looks, from The Maker's Atelier.

Or a nice cotton peasant blouse for those hot days: one from Style Arc, or a refined version from Hot Patterns, perhaps. You can find these nearly anywhere -- from True Bias, Rebecca Page, or even Butterick, Burda or McCalls.

Style Arc's Anita peasant top

You could also just pick up a sewing pattern or something ready made by Shelli Segal & her "Laundry" line! Here is one I've made:

Mine, shortened and with added patch pockets 
Perhaps you'll find your inspiration in some of the colours in the book, like Antoinette's fancy mauve silk that she enters and leaves her prison sentence in; or Colette's dress "velvet, orange red, like the breast of a robin, and edged with black lace". Maybe your imagination is sparked by the rich purpley-red of cassis or the green of absinthe; maybe by Marie's noticing on her walk up Montmarte at the end of the book, when she's restored to herself, the "colors -- oil had leaked from the battered old lantern lying there -- floating on the pavement... those colors, how they were shining and drifting."

Whatever you choose, I hope you are getting closer to your project and are also enjoying your reading. Feel free to weigh in with any other ideas for others, or share your own plans! Remember that you can leave your thoughts on any post in the series, and if you've missed our dedicated book talk post or the interview with author Cathy Marie Buchanan, be sure to go back and catch up when you're ready. I think it adds to your reading experience. Next week we'll be posting our final roundup -- already! -- and making our project linkup live for you to add your creations. It'll be live until the end of March so you still have lots of time to ponder.

Happy Sewing!


  1. I'm so dizzy I forgot to order the book, even though I've been following your posts! After the fiasco with 'the New Moon's Arms', I intend to get this one completed on time...perhaps lol Good job I have an idea brewing already.

    1. Oh I hope you will get a chance to read and sew this round. No biblical commentaries this time around I do hope! Glad you have some ideas already though; I find that this book is quite thematically inspiring so should do the trick for some ideas.

  2. I'm going for a tenuous link with something I wanted to make for quite another reason: World Book Day [so that's OK then].
    I've just made and worn a grey silk costume inspired by Daenerys in the TV version of Game of Thrones.
    How have I managed to link it in? Well, the grey silk dress which Marie wears with the high modest neckline, which she then cuts down for her attempt at prostitution. This is made in a vintage grey silk moiré faille [ooh there's some more French lol] and the high neck on the capelet transforms the lower wider neck of the dress quite nicely.
    Will it do?
    Grab any pics appropriate from the blog please, I can't do Instagram!

    1. So true -- a grey silk dress plays a big part in Marie's days of grief and dislocation from herself. Great to knock off two literary projects in one!

  3. I am so excited about this book club. I just heard about it from the foldline vlog last week and have been glued to the book ever since. Can't wait to post my make! Love these inspo posts! ❤

    1. I'm so happy to hear that you started reading after hearing about it on the Foldline -- they were so kind to mention it!! Hope you are enjoying the read :)


Share your comments, ideas or suggestions here -- I am always interested in hearing from readers. It's nice to have a conversation!