A Pattern Review Shopping Day

For those of you who don't know, Pattern Review is a website put together for people who sew. The owner of the site comes from the world of computers where review sites that let you know if a piece of software or hardware matches up to the hype or not. As she began to sew, she was surprised that there was no equivalent in the world of sewing. She started the site to the to address that lack. Pattern Review is a huge site with more than 100,000 subscribers.

The site has reviews of  sewing patterns, stores, sewing machines and the like. My favorite part of the site is the discussion boards which has created something of a world wide community of people that sew.
Yesterday, several of us met to shop the garment district.

Pattern Review has held several New York weekends over the past few years, but shopping the fabric district on the weekends is less than satisfying, because so many of the stores are closed on the weekends. Several of us decided to get together on a Monday Holiday to shop together. Yesterday, President's day was the day we chose to get together to play in the fabric district. One of the pleasures of the day  for me, is that my friend Ann, from my home town of Quincy, stayed with us.

Another pleasure of shopping with other people that love to sew is how the generous nature of people emerges duiring the process of shopping. There is always much more fabric out there than one can possibly buy. Each of us is sewing for a differently shaped body. Most of us have coloring that varies, and different colors that suit us. As we each ooh and ahh over fabrics, we listen to one another. It becomes clear that Ann looks terrific is bright, strong colors. As we wander through the forsts of bolts we will start pulling reds that will look terrifc on her, or those rusty brown that looks so good on Elizabeth or those funky retro shirtings for Peter or preppy pastels for Emory.

Looking at fabrics with other people helps me to look at colors, and at fabrics with new eyes. My sense of what is lovely is expanded beyond my own taste, beyond my own needs, my own coloring. Seeing what looks beautiful on a range of different people with a range of different looks and needs is fascinating in it's own right. It is also hugely important for me as someone who designs not just for herself but for other people.

If you want to see a slightly different perspectives on our day, you can visit http://www.malepatternboldness.blogspot.com/  or you can visit http://www.patternreview.com/.


  1. The generosity of people who sew is extraordinary -- and no one is more generous than you, Sarah. I am sure everyone who knows you and who is reading this post will understand that it was Sarah who was quickest to pull out fabrics for others and suggest what could be done with them!

  2. Elizabeth, it's just vicarious shopping. I have old lady feet so I buy my daughter silly shoes that I love but can't wear.


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