May 20, 2012

Random Thoughts on Pattern Gathers

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This might be a subject of disinterest and possibly even ridiculousness for some. Maybe. Maybe not. But I've been thinking about gathers alot lately. You see, I love gathers. Small gathered details on clothing makes me go a little weak in the knees. I personally prefer understated gathering and its had me contemplating the amount of gathering in sewing patterns vs. RTW clothing. Have you ever thought about this?

Have you noticed that when a sewing pattern calls for gathering, it seems that the maximum amount of gather has been added to a pattern? So much so that the gathers look poofy and overdone. Now I realize that some of this has alot to do with the type of fabric you select, but what about when you've selected the perfect fabric for a sewing pattern and the gathers still look exaggerated? Let's look at some exhibits, shall we?

I'm a big fan of Jcrew. I am. I don't actually shop there because nothing in the shop ever fits me very well, but this does not mean that I can't appreciate and incorporate that preppy style into my sewing and style. I'm particularly smitten with many of their blouses as of late. I've got my eye on this silk blouse, imagining myself making one soon. See those lovely gathers at the shoulder? They look just right. Not overdone and not too little either.

OK, now I realize this is not the same shirt like blouse, but I would like to point out a pattern that has an excess amount of gathering (I feel) and one that I've sewn. The more I've worn this top, the more I've come to realize that it has alot of gathering at the bust and shoulder - much more than I need or feel is flattering really. And its not that the gathers in this top are ill placed either, because I like both the bust and shoulder gathers. Its that there's just too much poof going on.

Just so you know, I'm not trying to criticize sewing patterns either - because I have a deep respect for how much work goes into pattern drafting. I'm just wondering if anyone else has noticed this or even cares about it. This is also not to say that every single pattern out there has too much gathering when there is a gather. I'm just curious about it, that's all. Do you personally do anything for it? What do you think about gathers? Have you ever felt that there was a garment you made that just had too much gathering and if say, the amount of the gather was lessened, you would like the finished result better? Let's discuss!

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