Friday, March 13, 2020

Literary Sewing Circle: Inspiration!

It's the first week of our Literary Sewing Circle Bellewether reading! Have you found a copy yet? Have you started reading? 

This week we'll be looking at some of the characters to inspire a project. This story has a wide cast of characters to draw from, and luckily for us, some of their names even match right up with patterns -- even some right from our sponsors! 

Let's start with the modern day main character, Charley (Charlotte).

Inspired by her you might want to make up the Charlie Caftan by Closet Case Patterns

You might even go for something a little more elaborate, and make up the Simple Sew Charlotte Dress -- it might be something Charley could wear when she's meeting donors, or speaking somewhere!

Charley's niece Rachel could be represented by the Rachel Top or Dress from Jalie -- the casual yet youthful feel of this pattern fits her university student lifestyle well. 

Sam is a hunky contractor. So, inspired by his daily wardrobe, you could sew for someone in your life using any of these Thread Theory manly designs

Thread Theory Jutland pants
Or you could even try the Sammie Work Apron by IThinkSew on Etsy! Looks handy for a handyman.

Charley's cousin Wendy is a sophisticated art dealer in the city. What might you make that is inspired by her? Perhaps this Wendy Dress by DG Patterns. Its sleek shoulder cut-outs and full skirt look chic and elegant, especially in a rich solid colour & photographed on a city sidewalk ;)

Or you might go with more of an Art Teacher Aesthetic, with this no-pattern dress by Wendy Ward!

And then there are the characters from the past. Lydia Wilde is our main character in 1759. Both the name and the era instantly suggest the Wilder Gown by Friday Pattern Company!

And mixing and matching the sweet Lydia Blouse by Salme with the full length view of the Lydia Skirt in the book Boundless Style by Kristiann Boos of Victory Patterns would also give a vintage modern feel.

Thinking of some of Lydia's housemates, there is also a Violet blouse at Colette, or a great casual Violet Dress at FibreMood.

There are many more characters to base your project on, both historical and contemporary. Are you thinking of something in this vein? Our next inspiration post will look at the book from another angle, so if these ideas don't resonate with you, just wait!


  1. Whew - I did finish the book last night and loved it. I had some theories, but they were all wrong. I don't mind a good plot twist, though!
    I've had something in mind from the beginning, but I hadn't connected pattern names with characters ... that Violet top is looking mighty tempting, and the Lydia blouse!!. Also, doesn't Seamwork have a Rachel top?
    I'm going to wait until your next post to decide for sure, though, but I think I know where I'm going with it.

    1. Excellent! So glad you've enjoyed it so much. I love her twists. Can't wait to find out what your project is.

  2. Just received the book. Up to page 20 and already there are more than 20 family members mentioned. I am trying to sketch a sort of family tree but so far it is not easy. Think I would like to find a fabric with rows and rows of paper dolls on them, to represent all the characters whose lives are so intertwined.
    Of course this is often a characteristic of historical novels. I admire the author who must keep track of them all!

    1. Lots of characters here for sure! Paper dolls would be so cool. I found that the characters were memorable once you started getting to know them.

  3. From the outset I have to say, I have not finished the book yet. Still one third to go, so my comments will reflect this.
    Once again, this isn’t a book I would normally pick off the shelf. Romance is not a genre I am drawn to, but in all fairness, once I read the author’s bio I was a little impressed, and realised there is more to it than I give it credit for. So really, I was only drawn to this book because it was the selection for the Literary Sewing Circle, and I love the LSC!!
    The setting has little impact on me, as I am from Australia, and up until last year I have never travelled, and even now, not to Canada and surrounds (unfortunately).

    I don’t always see authors do the past/present style well, but I am quite enjoying this book. I find I am always relieved to get to a ‘Charley’ chapter, for some reason, and yet Lydia is such a strong character. I wonder how women use to cope in those times, so much was expected from them, and with so little. Today we probably have no idea how they coped.

    At first I struggled to work out the family tree, so tried to write it down and work it out. It is a shame there isn’t an appendix in the book that describes it. Would make life so much easier!
    I agree the romance factor is a slow build, I would have thought it was so obvious that I would probably have not got to much into it, except that apparently the outcome I expect has a twist, so I ‘just have to keep reading’.
    So far Lydia is my favourite character because I admire how she copes with so much. Not only the physical aspect, but she has a keen mind and is so dependant on others for news. And yet she wants to know what is going on in the world. And yet there are so many gaps in her understanding.
    I like the mixing of cultures, the issues that cause the misunderstandings. I also like the way the characters are so different and well built up, each with a history.
    As for a project, I am not totally decided yet. I sometimes struggle to think of the abstract links between a book ‘s content and a sewing idea. But my mind is not idle ….

  4. I'm a little late in joining the discussion, but I finally have a copy of the book and will try to catch up! Being sequestered, I'll need to look through my home fabric and pattern stash for inspiration, but I have some ideas.

    Thanks for the wonderful book selection. It is a great reading for the quarantined!

    ... Joan

    1. So glad you got a copy! Feel free to jump in anywhere with comments or ideas. Good luck finishing and coming up with a project idea!


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