Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Stretch & Sew Patterns

In the early 1960's Ann Person had been teaching sewing classes, coordinating fashion shows, and more when she was given a carton of knit remnants as a thank-you for teaching one of her sewing classes.  But when Ann tried to turn those remnants into clothing for her daughters, it wasn't as easy as she first thought.  There were no patterns or guidelines for knit fabrics in the home.  So Ann started experimenting - first by taking apart knit ready-to-wear garments.  From there she developed easy sewing techniques and teaching them all over the area.

Her first patterns were on butcher paper - her students traced the sizes they needed and then got to work.  From there, commercial patterns, and eventually stores evolved. I had the privilege of meeting Ann in 1977 when I completed my first Teacher Training Course.  In my opinion Stretch & Sew Patterns are still the best on the market.  I can make size adjustments on the patterns, and they always run true.

What is different about Stretch & Sew Patterns?  They are multi-sized master patterns.  Most patterns have up to nine sizes in one envelope.  They are met to be traced, not cut.  This gives you the advantage of being able to combine sizes for a perfect fit - for example, in a dress pattern a size 12 bodice and 14 skirt.  Also, patterns can be used for more than one person and you don't need a new one if your size fluctuates.  This is really great for kids patterns - we all know how quickly they can grow!

The basic, classic styles of these patterns make it easy to be creative.  Many times you can easily take parts of different patterns and put them together in a new way to create your own design.

Originally designed just for knit fabrics,  in the mid-eighties Stretch & Sew started making a few patterns for woven fabrics.  They also did extensive research on their knit patterns and found with a few adjustments like tracing up a size, many could be used for woven patterns.  I do have that information available for anyone who may need it.  Just ask about a specific pattern by leaving a comment here.

You can find the Stretch & Sew Patterns I have for sale at Addoway @ http://www.addoway.com/donnasstuffmore/storefront/
 or in my Etsy store @ http://www.etsy.com/shop/DonnasStuffMore.  I will be adding more as I sort through the ones I am willing to give up!  I will also be listing fabrics in my Etsy store in the near future, so check back often.