‘Of a certain age’

We’ve all heard the term ‘of a certain’ age used to refer to women. If I really think about it, this whole topic and attitude is a bit gendered and mildly sexist, but have to admit that there is a point in most women’s lives when you start thinking ‘is this too young for me?’.

And I have finally reached it.

People often assume I am younger than I am and I think it comes from the fact that I aspire to act much less than my age (every day, all day), so tend get away with more than most people would, I suspect. šŸ˜‰

But now that I might be able to sew anything I want – in any fabric I want – I think I need to be a bit more selective in the things I choose to make in certain prints.

For example, I keep finding myself drawn to fabrics like this fab print by Sarah Watts –Ā Timber and Leaf called Fox Portrait:

Or how about this one fromĀ Mo Willems’Ā Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the BusĀ fabric collection (what a great name!):

Super fun, but see where I am going with this one?

I am thinking either tank tops, like the Wiksten or Sorbetto, or skirts/cropped trousers, though the pattern above might only work as a little accent piece like a belt.

Now don’t get me wrong, I have plenty of plain linens and Nani Iro prints in my queue as well, like this subtle-y gorgeous Odilon Redon-looking one:

Thing is, I get really excited when I see certain prints, but unlike with the wonders of Ravelry, sewing doesn’t seem to have as big of an online presence for researching how certain prints/fabrics look in real lifeĀ (and a good number of these fabrics seem to show up on Google images in children’s clothing…which I think might be telling me something I blatantly choose to ignore. So there.)

And London being, well London, the chance of finding any of these fabrics in an actual store to check out before buying is a pipe dream.

Since nice fabrics are so expensive what do all you UK seamstresses out there do? Order gazillions of samples?

Help me out here, folks. Is there something other than Burda Style that I am missing?


6 thoughts on “‘Of a certain age’

  1. I’m feeling the same way since I started sewing last summer! I’ve been using Burda Style and Kollabora as a resource but I agree that it’s tough to find fabrics and patterns as easily as on Ravelry.

    Check Spoonflower for fabrics. They have everything.

    And, really, I just came to say that I love Don’t Let the Pidgeon Drive the Bus and I back a Wikestein/Pidgeon top 100%.

    • Ohhh thank you!! A treasure trove of things to check out. I haven’t heard of Kollabora!

      I have trolled the Spoonflower site in past but always wondered at the quality of the fabrics. I actually designed a fabric pattern that I wanted to get printed up – ages ago- for a shower curtain and had been checking them out when they first started up. (The pattern is pigeon based, oddly! Guess i have a bit of a thing with those lovely little rodents of the sky!)

      Have you ordered any fabric from them before?

      Donā€™t Let the Pidgeon Drive the Bus tank would be the cutest, wouldn’t it? I just wonder how big the print is, as there is no indication on the listing. Or a Tova made of the little feather print…

      Perfect! ;-D

  2. Unfortunately, I think you might be right. Aside from Burda (and I assume you’ve also been to their “Burda style” site) there isn’t much out there. Pattern Review has some stuff but a lot of times I don’t see images in the prints you’re referring to or there aren’t pictures at all. (I have found a fair number of their reviews very helpful)
    I will say, in my experience, which is considerable, these prints are usually on high quality quilting cotton which, as beautiful as it can be, doesn’t have much drape and, therefor, tends to look boxy no matter what you make it into.
    I love prints like these and have a stash full of them but every time I’ve made them into a garment I end up not wearing it because it “feels” juvenile and unsophisticated. I’ve seen other people make garments out of them and they look adorable (usually in Japanese magazines) but it’s never worked for me.
    I’m 48, so it may be the “woman of a certain age” thing you’re referring to.
    I’m anxious to see how yours turn out. The “pigeon” fabric is SOOOOOO cute!

    • That is what I was thinking – medium weight fabric that would only look good in ‘stiff’ things, like maybe a 50s full or a-line skirt. I think I really need to paw this stuff before committing.

      This was the only image I could find for either pattern:

      Looks pretty boxy. (cute as hell for a 6 year old…but…)

      It is a shame there is nowhere in London where you can actually FEEL some of these fabrics. It is absurd how hard it is to track anything down in this huge city! Everything is always sold out. (gripe, gripe)

      Guess I am just going to have to suck up the sample costs and build a library.

      Pattern Review! That was the one someone had mentioned a few weeks ago and I couldn’t find again! Thank you. Phew.

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