Who are you?
Liza Mae.

What are you doing here?
Trying all these old patterns, deciding whether to sew them or throw them. Sort of not working though, I have more old patterns now than when I started this project.

I heard you make costumes for movies and stuff. Making costumes for movies sounds cool, how do I get that job?
Well, you could start by completing a BFA in Costume Tech. I mean, that worked for me.

Met anyone famous? In their underwear???

omg WHO?!?!?!!!!!
So not telling.

Fine then, be that way!
I will be that way. 

Do professional costume shops use these old sewing patterns for movies and tv and stuff?
Commercial patterns are designed to fit most people pretty ok, whereas movie costumes must fit only one person, but fit them perfectly. It’s faster to make a new pattern from scratch. Fast is important.

Huh. But if you can make your own patterns, why do you even have all these old home sewing patterns?
Because old patterns are neat. Sometimes I learn stuff about vintage sewing techniques and finishing methods. Plus, when I’m just messing around at home, it’s nice to skip the patterning and get right into the cutting and sewing.

Are you giving yourself a deadline to go through all your patterns?
Hell no.

What exactly do you mean by the “Throw It” part of Sew It Or Throw It?
I don’t actually throw them away, I’m not a monster. I throw them at the thrift shop.

Are you ruining these old, unused patterns?
You’re adorable. No. Not really.
Thing 1: a pattern is not a sacred artifact.
Commercial patterns are under copyright, so I’m sure (I hope) they exist in some archival format at their respective pattern company’s headquarters. So even if I do ruin my specific copy of a pattern, no bigs.
Incidentally, no pattern I have ever made on the job has received that kind of protection or archiving. Mine and all my co-workers’ get thrown away once the movie is released or the tv series ends. Thrown away, like, in the trash can. And that’s fine.
Besides, Thing The Second: when I make changes to the design of these old patterns I usually leave the pieces intact, in case I want to come back later and change it some other way.
A lot of these patterns are in pretty bad shape already though, like, time itself is doing a great job of destroying them before I even get near them. Many of them were used by the original owner, so they’ve been cut, pieces are missing…pretty sure anything I do to these old things is a better use than leaving them to fall apart.


What’s your oldest pattern?
That one above, Simplicity 1956, children’s nightgown, which is copyright 1947.

Oh. That’s not very old.
Your FACE isn’t very old!
Oh, I mean, yes, ok, true. I’m not a real collector, I’m more like an acquire-er.

Where do you get your patterns?
Yard sales, estate sales, thrift shops, on clearance at fabric stores, friends give them to me, what evs. 

Can I give you one?
Yes times a million!

Email me and we’ll figure it out.

What’s your email?
sew.or.throw [at] gmail [dot] com

Ok. Hey, how about bobbins: wind one color over another? Or empty the bobbin before filling it with a new color?
Ha! Wow, I remember that one. At school they trained us to be Team Empty, but as per usual real life is more flexible.


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