Posted on May 10 2023
As most of you know we are located in Warwickshire, just outside Stratford upon Avon, home to William Shakespeare. In fact our first shop was in the centre of Stratford, and that is where we have taken inspiration for all the names for our patterns.
Shakespearean heroines have been our source of names over the years. Although I was aware at the time we started that there were only so many female characters in Shakespeare's plays, so we were probably going to run out at some point.
Which is why we are looked elsewhere for inspiration...
We have decided to find women of note to be the names behind our new patterns. Women who have been significant in their own fields, who have made a contribution to humanity or who just rock!
For the Spring Drop we have three new patterns - Beth, Winnie, and Marie.
This is a nod to our late monarch, Queen Elizabeth II. She was an iconic figure representing steadfast loyalty and dignity across the globe. An instantly recognisable figure in bright and colourful outfits as she knew she was the person people had come to see.
We try to instil particular character traits from our inspiring women into our patterns. Our Beth blouse is a classic style that will suit lots of different body shapes and one that will not let you down. Over the coming months we will be showing you how to add to and adapt your Beth pattern, to accommodate changes in your style and to increase your pattern cutting and sewing skills.
This is a pattern that will be a constant in your wardrobe but easy to adapt to suit different occasions.
If you fancy making The Beth Blouse, then why not become a Sewing Studio member.
For those of you who have ever studied pattern cutting, there is a particular book that is a bit of a pattern cutting bible. Metric Pattern Cutting for Womenswear by Winifred Aldrich.
Now in its 6th edition, this book has been with me for the last 35 years in one form or another. I first encountered Winnie, as she is fondly known by pattern cutters across the land, when I studied dressmaking A level at school. Then, at art college studying for my degree and now I use her as a teaching resource for the people I introduce to pattern cutting.
Although she is not really a beginners textbook, the basic concepts she delivers are spot on. The fit of the basic blocks is a bit basic too, but it is a really good place to start.
As this book has been my constant companion over the years, the Winnie Culottes will be yours. This pattern is such a lovely shape, and we will be showing you how to adapt this pattern over the next few months too. So much use will be made of your own Winnie pattern.
Shop our Winnie Culottes pattern here.
Both the previous pattern heroines have been personal favourites and it is the same for this Marie too. Marie Curie was the first woman to win a Nobel Prize, and not only that, she was the first woman to win two Nobel prizes and in different fields of science.
She is most famous for her discovery of, and research into, radium and polonium, working alongside her husband Pierre Curie. Sadly her husband was killed in an accident but through her work into radioactivity she developed portable X-ray machines. Marie and her daughter took these out to the front line during the First World War where they were used to help injured soldiers locating shrapnel pieces and broken bones.
Her later work helped in the treatment of cancer, and she lent her name to a hospital in London which was founded in 1930, and is staffed entirely by women to treat female cancer patients with radiology. When the hospital was bombed in World War II, a charity was set up to help with the rebuilding of the hospital. This later became the Marie Curie charity we know today.
So by any standards Marie Curie was an epic woman. I don't think our Marie pattern will win any Nobel prizes, but it is certainly a workhorse of a garment and can be made in umpteen different combinations and fabrics.
Check out the Marie Top pdf pattern.
I hope you enjoy the new patterns we have in the Sewing Studio for you this time around. Winnie is now available as a printed paper pattern and Marie is available as a PDF pattern on general release.
Will you be making any of the new patterns? If you do, share your pics with us by tagging us on Instagram @sewmesomething and using the hashtags #smsbethblouse #smswinnieculottes #smsmarietop #smspatterns