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Saturday, October 10, 2009

Hippie inspired embroidery patterns and book review

Thank you IzoraLee for the rec of The Illustrated Hassle-Free Make Your Own Clothes Book by Joan Wiener Bordow and Sharon Rosenberg. It's been re-released and was available in Kindle format, so I went ahead and got it that way because it sounded so good from your description.

Love it so much. I added it to my Amazon wishlist so I can have the dead tree version in my collection.
It's a sewing guide for creating your patterns for making clothes, it was first published back in 1971 and written very much from a hippie point of view. The clothes are mostly dart free, free fitting things. Comfortable clothes for people who want to express themselves and don't wear bras. The language is fantastic. I can't stop smiling because it's almost like talking to my mom and her friends to read it. The clothes are great, and the authors make it clear it can all be done by hand if you don't have a sewing machine. It almost inspires me to sew some skirts for myself by hand. Almost. Machines do make everything quicker.
Instructions for pants, dresses, skirts all illustrated by hand. If you like zine type illustrations, you'll love these. If you like sewing and you are more ThreadBanger than Vogue, you'll love this book.
One of my favorite things about this book is the emphasis on mending, repairing and modifying existing clothes. We do a lot of shopping at thrift stores, and I try to keep my clothes going as long as possible with patches and mending. They recommend doing bits of embroidery to patch large rips and tears, and that idea is just great.
I'm absolutely charmed and inspired, and it really is book I want to have a hard copy of to use a reference for myself and my daughter who is absolutely anti-pattern in her projects.
So.. I drew up some embroidery patterns for my readers. I hope you like them. Click on the image for the full page printable version.

The two rows of daisies at the bottom are spaced to be able to use as repeat borders, the top daisy is something that just amused me. Daisies are Fibonacci sequence flowers, which means the number of their petals is equal to a Fibonacci number. Shasta daisies which are the most common up here in Alaska have 21 petals. Regular field daisies have 34 (so try to find a Shasta to do He loves me, he loves me not!). So the daisy on top, I used a bunch of Fibonacci numbers on. Fibonacci sequences are adding the two previous numbers to make the next, so 1-1-2-3-5-8-13-21-34-55-89. So the center French knots are Fibonacci sequence numbers. You don't have to the knots that way, you can scatter them. I just drew it that way because it amused me.


  1. These are awesome! I love embroidery patterns, I'll be linking.

  2. I have a hard copy of that book. I found it in a dusty old bookstore several years ago. It's great.
    Love the patterns. I wish I were better at embroidery.


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