Category Archives: Sewing Projects

Copy Cat…or Creative?

I have a book by “Great Copy Patterns”, in it Ruthann Spiegelhoff drafted a set of patterns from things she saw in stores. The book is great and full of terrific ideas. The best one of all is that you can make what you like, for example, if you see a style you like but the colors are icky or they don’t have your size.

When do you switch from being a “Copycat” to being creative? I frequently start into a sewing project because I saw something I liked either on someone or in a catalog. The projects usually  start morphing immediately. I tend to draft my own patterns (not usually from scratch, I have numerous multi-size patterns I can trace, accumulated over the years including basic ones for most, if not all, garment types).

For the trip from which I recently returned I wanted a vest for carrying my valuables on my body…you have probably seen them; one popular one is called the “ScotteVest“. So I started with the concept. However, I don’t really go for the fishing vest look. I wanted something I could wear and not shriek “American backpack tourist” quite so loudly. Also most of their products are for those of smaller stature.

They didn’t invent the travel vest idea: Many years ago, I am thinking it may be twenty, but I could be off five one way or the other, my mother gave me a pattern called “Safety Pockets Shopper’s Vest”, it was much closer to what I wanted. I also had a vest pattern/booklet that I picked up somewhere on sale that had a general style I liked better than either of them, without the large number of pockets. I played and fussed about with the concept and the two patterns and finally came up with this:

It didn’t start out to be reversible. But I had to piece together a lining from what I had on hand You might recognize the fabrics from the quilt in the header.

It has six pockets that I sized using my own cell phone and wallet. The circumference was also fitted with those items in the pockets so it doesn’t bind (that is why it hangs funny in the picture). It goes with many of my clothes and I made it long enough to cover the shirts I wear with it and the elastic waistbands I like to wear when traveling.

I liked it so well I made a matching one for my computer:

Am I a copy cat or creative?…or crazy?