Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Courage to go on...

I can't seem to get my last style, which I call Fantasia, off the draft table. I wanted to get it published in time for Christmas- even just before Christmas would have been okay. When I sent it to the grader several months ago, it came back with a lot of errors. The grader fixed them, but when making the last sample ( I make the pattern up again and again to make sure it's right), the pattern just didn't fit right and I couldn't figure out why. After checking it once more, I discovered that the seam allowance was omitted from the back shoulder. Any error, and that's never the end of it. In this case, the sleeve fit is also affected. I finally had to leave it until the holidays were done. Often I get bored of a project before I see the end of it, and this one is stretching my ability to persevere. The packaging has been ready, and now it's time for the home stretch. The tree is down and Christmas is packed away. It's time to start thinking about projects, styles, and plans for 2010 and I'm itching to get designing again. I have an idea in my head that will not go away, and that's a good sign.
Next week I begin teaching my 10 week class about clothing fit, so that's taking up a bit time. Details, details. I've just got to get back to my mannequin!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Don't get Nostalgic yet...Here's a Pattern Giveaway

Yesterday the Nostalgic website went to the webworld trash barrel.

The last bit of business to finish up is to find a home for the last few patterns with the Nostalgic name, and I've decided to do a pattern giveaway. I have 5 sets of the Myrtlewood pattern left, as shown to the right.

All you have to do to enter is become a facebook fan or a blog follower through Google Friend Connect. The contest ends at midnight, January 1, 2010.

From this list, five lucky winners will get this pattern completely free. I'll pay shipping, even internationally. I'll notify you of your winnings and need to ask you for an address of course. You could have a new dress for the new year!

Thursday, December 10, 2009


Have you found out about Burdastyle yet? So many American sewists have complained about Burda patterns because they weren't in inches and at one point in time didn't add seam allowances for you (I'm told that now they do). I can see how some might not want to try it, because I also avoided those patterns in my younger years. But now, I'm okay with it, in fact I see the wisdom in it. Metric IS easier, and changing design lines or seam lines, and measuring the pattern for fit are so much easier when you don't have a seam allowance to contend with. And European style is so much more interesting to me now. Since I don't sew much but my own patterns these days, I can't really comment on Burda patterns themselves, but I do like their pattern styles, and they have a great website:

It's like one big sewing party where everyone is invited to comment, add their own patterns (many are free), write sewing tutorials, or have a discussion about anything at all. Of course, use good judgement when gleaning information because not all is worth your trouble, but I've found some good instructions on constructing your own basic block pattern, and I link to it from my website on the tips and techniques page. All in all, Burda has done a great great job with their website giving creative people a place to get together and share. I'd be willing to bet their patterns are of the same quality.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Pattern Close Out Sale

The first thing to do once the decision is made to start a business is to think of a name. Right? Well, I brainstormed and asked my family for suggestions of course. I love vintage, so Nostalgic seemed like a good choice, but apparently I was wrong. After about a year of heavy use, it was clear to me that the name was just not going to work out. No one understood the word, or seemed to know how to spell it. For others, it had a negative vibe to it, even if vintage style has become popular.

Now the problem is, I have a few patterns printed that have the Nostalgic logo on them that I need to get rid of. My solution is to sell them at 40% off, which is only $6. There are only a few left, and time is limited. Everyone has until December 8, 2009, at which time the site will go offline and I'll say goodbye to Nostalgic forever.

Please, give these orphan patterns a good home!

Friday, October 16, 2009

A dress design for Mom

I am embarrassed to say that it has taken me some 3 years to finish sewing up this dress for my mother. She will be very pleased to know that she finally has a new dress to wear!

Being near to 70 years old, it's very difficult for her to find styles that fit, flatter, and that she really likes wearing. Every now and again I try to get a dress made for her that she can really love, but this time there were so many bumps in the road that I set it aside for long periods of time to wait for inspiration.

On the left was the original concept. I found that with this contrast fabric, the original collar just didn't look right as it was too much contrast for an asymmetrical style. There wasn't enough fabric extra to accommodate much in the way of style changes. Then mom lost weight, about 25 lbs, which meant altering everything from side seams to darts. I'm glad to have it finally finished, and simple as it is, mom will love it.

Congratulation mom! You finally have a new dress to go with your new figure!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Photo's in the 40's style

I've had this dress designed for a while now. I had it published, packaged, and ready for market, but it wasn't selling very well. Every time I wear mine, people compliment me, so I really thought it would do okay on the market. My sister came to visit early this month, so I had her model this dress for me, thinking if I could get some better pictures that might do the trick. They turned out fabulous, in my opinion. Now I'll see if others think so too.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Sewing Support

Once again, I'll be teaching at Linn Benton Community College. This time it will be a sewing lab/support group. You work on your own project in a group environment. Not only is it a really fun way to get your project done, but you get help with fittings and sewing techniques. If you come upon a problem, you have a whole classroom full of people (besides me!) to help you get through it. It's a great way to meet friends who also are learning or love to sew. The class starts September 29th, that's a Tuesday, from 6:30-8:50pm. The class will be held at CHS. Check it out when the catalog comes in the mail!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Food for Fashion

Jessi models #9
Last Saturday was the finale to months of planning and fitting models for a benefit fashion show in Keizer, Oregon called Food for Fashion. The producer of the show, Sylvia Ions did a fabulous job putting a show together that had all the trimmings. In an all volunteer show, she made sure that there was something for everyone. Everyone got some kind of publicity, but the best part was that the proceeds went to the Keizer food bank. A couple of model mom's suggested we do this again, perhaps for the Philomath Food Bank, which is always hurting for supplies and money.

Doing a fashion show really is fun, though it is a lot of work. I had several models drop out on me right before the show, and even had a model not show up the day of the show, but someone was ready to fill in where they could. A hair dresser didn't show up, so Kimberly Morris, one of the models took over as hair dresser too. This is the best in humanity.

I like helping women look their best, and so for me, this is like playing barbie dolls with real women. I give them a new look every time I dress them!
Kim models 5th Avenue in Gold

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

What's a Fit Model?

I put an ad craigslist to find a new fit model, and luckily it worked! The first time I tried it some years ago, I got one reply - And she wasn't even close to the right size. It's unfortunate, but the economy probably has something to do with my success. All kinds of women, and even men, applied for the job. Some were desperate for work, others were looking for the kind of fame that people associate with modeling, some just wanted an easy dollar and figured it would be quick and painless. Some who applied had experience, but most did not. Some were older, most were younger. Most were too thin, and all were pretty. Being a fit model isn't that glamorous. It's simply a person that has the measurements and body type that I want my clothing to fit. Many said that they were exactly the measurements I wanted. I set appointments and measured a steady stream all week long, and into the next. At the end, there were three that came within a 1/2". One had the right body type. Wow, that was scraping by!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

A New Name


Elise Rodemack writing here. I guess I've become a bit of a spokeswoman. :) Laura has decided to change her name to SEW CHIC PATTERNS. This change has come about in the past few weeks, when discussions were made about the name Nostalgic Patterns. Laura has had the name Nostalgic for her pattern company for the past year and it has not been as successful as she hoped. So, since that name didn't catch people's attention, she's decided to move in a new direction. She has big hopes for the future and hopes you'll like the new name and theme she's chosen. She wants to thank you all for your support of her and her business and hopes you'll stay on board. Let's see what she'll come up with next!

Elise Rodemack