|Creative Dressing / Kaori O'Connor|
Boston, MA: Routledge & Kegan Paul, c1981.
It's made up of about half sewing and half knitting patterns -- I'm only commenting on the sewing ones, as I have no knowledge of knitting so can't judge those ones other than by appearance. The sewing patterns include items like a basic mock-kimono, poncho top and skirt, Balinese trousers, Indochinese jacket, Ottoman Kusak Dressing Gown, Indian shirt dress, fabric shoulder bag, Singapore Pyjamas, Tartar Khalat Coat, Chinese jacket and side slit skirt and Translyvanian Peasant Shirt.
These are all presented on graphs ready for scaling up - that tells you how straightforward most of the pattern pieces are. Alongside these are copies of 70s chic designer outfits like a sundress, t-shirt dress, or bodysuit (among others) as well as the insertion of a few nightgowns & historical outfits. This book covers it all.
The styling of these are so 70s and mostly really out of date; the traditional designs are of course timeless but in lovely 70s fabric and photography so you really have to look past that to the style lines. There are a bunch of designs offered by a variety of other designers in addition to the traditional items I was most interested in. But, the sizing is TINY. I think the biggest waist size for skirts & trousers was 28" as far as I could tell. And most of the items are one size, for a bust between 34-38" if they are voluminous at the waist.
If you take this as a visit to the past, it can show you a lot. And the basic outlines of classic patterns were interesting to examine. I was particularly interested in the Peasant Shirt, as the basic shape is similar to a Ukrainian vyshyvanka, which I'd like to make for myself this year. However, other than as a 70s redux I'm not sure that this book is actually all that practical for modern sewists. Also, the wholesale use of designs across multiple cultures is a bit cringe-worthy these days. Still, I found it weirdly compelling - all that 70s glamour... Rather eye dazzling. This is one to flip through for its retro interest, but not to truly recommend.
Oh heavens, I have that book; found at the used bookstore of course. I pull it out on occasion to glance through the patterns for some ideas. I have a 70's Simplicity shirt pattern similar to the Indian shirt dress which gave me the idea to lengthen it for a dress. Some of the other patterns look like they could be from "Folkwear Patterns".ReplyDelete
Theresa in Tucson
I thrifted this one too, of course ;) There are some interesting bits in it, and I agree, many do look straight out of Folkwear's catalogue :)Delete
I just don't understand the "cultural appropriation" thing. If I wear something that appears to come from a certain culture, it is an expression of cultural appreciation, not appropriation. If I wore something from my own heritage, it would be dirndls and embroidery, things that do not express me at all.ReplyDelete
I guess it's the difference between using a design without placing it into cultural context, and acknowledging and appreciating the culture that is the source for a traditional garment. She does mention origins in this book, but doesn't really place them into a larger context and sometimes the write-ups about them exoticize them with out of date descriptive phrases (very 70s) and make the cultures sound like they are long gone. So there is a balance there.Delete
But there is definitely a place for appreciating and using traditional styles though! I love many styles, and as mentioned above, Folkwear produces copious numbers of traditional patterns. Their packages usually also contain some cultural background and context, which is really useful, and also they don't just take sacred imagery and use it willy nilly, which I think can be an issue with fast fashion sometimes.
This book is truly a trip down Memory Lane!ReplyDelete
I used to have a pattern for a Ukrainian Vyshyvanka, but it was (apparently) tasty and was eaten by a mouse many moons ago. (Eeeek!) Let us know if you see a sew-along. It's still on my to-sew list!
I only have one real "pattern" for a Vyshyvanka, which is in the back of an embroidery book -- it's a simple top made with measurements and rectangles, very traditional and simple (similar to the one in this book). But I would *love* to make one. If there was a sewalong going with someone who knew what they were doing, I would definitely join in!Delete
I hope that a Vyshyvanka sew-along may happen somewhere in support of Ukraine!Delete
And... CONGRATULATIONS on making it to round two of the PatternReview Bee !