Monday, July 9, 2012

Design Inspiration from 1969

So I recently finally sat down to look through this little book I have. It's about a magazine size and I think my mom sent it to me a while ago. I originally thought it was just a sewing how-to manual (which it kind of is) but it has some awesome full-color photos! The publishing date is 1969 and is right around the time period of much of my design inspiration. My favorite decade range encompasses about 1965 to 1975 and 1969 is almost smack-dab in the middle! 

This magazine is perfect for a beginning sewer as it shows you how to measure yourself, body types/shapes, fit & fabric, helpful hints/tricks and illustrated step-by-steps. I'm not sure of it's availability anymore, but I am always on the hunt at thrift stores for how-to sewing books, craft books, interiors from 1965-75. There are many to find!
In this post, I thought I would share some pages from this for design and sewing inspiration!

 This book actually shows you how to MAKE YOUR OWN FROGS which I had no idea was possible! For now there are plenty you can buy in stores.

 I think it's really funny now that colorblocking is such a huge trend. I know it comes and goes in fashion, but I have projects from my 2nd year of college in 2006 with severe colorblocking. I don't remember it being super-trendy at that time. I loved a pattern for a the first top I sewed in high school which was a mod color block knit top with 4 panels, the fabric opposite sides from each other.

If only my sewing room actually looked like this! Well... actually, it kind of does. I have a colorblock rug in there with early 70s colors in it and many things I have up there are from around this era only mine is full of blue hues.

 So Simplicity apparently had this "unit system" of sewing. This is how I have always sewn, but I guess for some people this process isn't innate. The system is designed to help you sew as few seams as quickly as possible as well as providing you with stopping points as you sew. It's made to give you flexibility with your sewing and time management. This system is probably not unlike production sewing where it's to the sewer's advantage to sew as few seams as possible and as quickly as you can.

 I am also absolutely in LOVE with this simple shirt dress! This is on my list of projects to make. It seems like this book either once came with sewing patterns or had corresponding patterns you could pick up at a store but they are no longer with this book. No matter, I make my own patterns and these are simple enough to make over the course of a couple hours with my pattern blocks.

 Same shirtdress, different fabric pattern.

This book also has cute collages of fabric on a figure to help you with ideas of what to use. I think my favorite might be the skirt one because it's so quirky.

I love that this book encourages versatility and multi-use of a very similar pattern and allows you to make adjustments, add/take away cuffs, and basically says to you, "Of course you can make that!" I'm someone who is all about simplicity coupled with form and function. A design doesn't need to be complex to be well-loved. It just needs to be fun enough to be one of your favorite items in your closet!

Updates: Very close to finishing my fall jacket with upholstery fabric!
Next up to sew: a garment-dyed watercolor dress. (I made the sewing patterns in about 3 hours last Thursday. I should have been sewing my jacket, but I made patterns instead!)
I also have decided that I need to learn how to effectively increase and decrease with knitting... and take on an all-knit project by January 2013!

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