Inspiration behind my new patterns - the Camden Pinafore and the Richmond Blazer!

With the launch of the printed versions of Camden and Richmond yesterday it feels like these patterns are finally, fully out there in the world! And with the number of copies that have been winging their way to you guys, they quite literally are! So to celebrate and get your sew-jo juices flowing I thought I'd share some of the inspiration behind the two designs... The Camden Pinafore was the first of the two to enter my brain. It had been buzzing about there since last summer; I originally had ideas for a strappier, button-down pinafore but then Closet Case Patterns released the Fiona and I realised my concept was too close to that for comfort. It was my first visit to the Sewing Quarter early autumn that revitalised my ideas - I had a two-hour wait for a train so spent the time wandering around the Bullring shopping centre checking out the new season styles. Shifts and pinafores were everywhere!
Top left and bottom right: Oasis; centre and top right: Joanie Clothing; bottom left: Topshop
The skirt option came about because a) I love a mini skirt, b) I love a pattern with multiple options and c) blogger Sophia Rosemary wears similar skirts with BLAZERS all the time and I basically want her entire wardrobe (and her d0g). I'm really thrilled with the kind of 'cute', preppy but practical vibes of the Camden. I've allowed myself over the past few years to drift thoughtlessly further and further from 'my' style, swayed by transient fashions and dulled by too much solitary working from home. Now I'm getting out more it's fabulous to have easy-to-put-on clothes that feel very 'me'. Ditto with the Richmond blazer. I was a huge fan of the boxy blazer trend that appeared a few summers' ago and had a string of neutral grey and pink versions that I threw over every strappy cotton dress and paired endlessly with capris and camis. Now blazers are back and bigger than before - they've been pervasive this winter in gorgeously strokeable velvet, wool and corduroy. Zeena Shah is another woman whose Instagram wardrobe I daily covet and a pic of her on Instagram with two other pastel-corduroy-blazer-clad ladies basically sealed the fate of the Richmond Blazer pattern in my mind - it HAD to be a thing. Especially when reinforced by And Other Stories, which is one of those inspiring shops I'm always wandering around thinking 'I should make this!'. I'm not going to lie; I had some sleepless nights over these two. The Richmond was a huge learning curve; I'd never even made a blazer before, let alone drafted one. I endlessly fiddled with my partner's suit jackets and spent the best part of an hour in a John Lewis changing room analysing the fit and finishes of a dozen high street blazers! The Camden should've been the easier of the two but in fact it proved during testing to be the one that presented more problems, leaving me occasionally scratching my head as different testers returned contradictory feedback! But we got there in the end and I'm really proud of both patterns. I'm writing this wearing my pink corduroy Richmond/Camden skirt suit and I've already got ideas for so many more, and hacks to boot! Have you any plans to sew Richmond or Camden? x
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