Saturday, April 18, 2009

Patterns, Prom dresses, and Pleater Boards

A few days ago I wrote that post on my concerns with patterns/companies. Geek Sewing responded with a comment:

"Do you think it would have been considered more appropriate if she had actually submitted a pattern review, say, if she had links to an obscene amount of pictures of the condition of the pattern when she had opened it, of the faint, narrow pattern lines, and of the 2-inch dark grey strip right down the middle of all the pattern sheets?"

So it got me to thinking about this. Yes, I do think that would have been appropriate AFTER she had contacted the company. I'm sure Company X would have sent her a new one and the reviewer could have commented on that. This would serve two purposes:

  1. Let the public know there could be an issue with the recent printing of this pattern and,
  2. Give Company X some good PR about how they're willing to solve the issue (assuming the outcome was a positive one).

It's not about slamming a company. Quite the contrary. It's about preventing disappointment with a highly anticipated pattern, and how the company is willing to solve a problem to keep their customers happy. I guess I wasn't the only one thinking about pattern issues. Ann's post here generated a lot of comments about pattern instructions, and we all have lots of opinions on the subject :) .

I will admit that Company X is not my favorite independent, and that I HAVE purchased a pattern from them. I've very "middle of the road" in my opinion of their patterns. I do feel pricey patterns should spoon-feed me. Not that I need it, but expect it. When you open a Christine Jonson pattern, you'll know what I mean. I ordered one from her (the princess-seamed wrap top) that I have yet to make up and I was really impressed with all the info. Ditto with Textile Studio Patterns. I own several TS patterns, and you can be darned sure I'll order more CJ patterns in the future.

On to other things. I went prom dress shopping with DD#1. What an experience! We went to a small boutique-like store in the Allentown area. The store was all special-occasion dresses only. Believe me, there were some beauties. DD#1 has a figure to die for, so she was trying on all these slinky, form fitted numbers--the kind that I really like too. It came down to two--a green-toned heavily sequined form-fitted dress or a blue form-fitted dress with an empire line and embellished band. She chose the blue. I probably would have chosen the sequin oned. But it's not my $350! I told her I would contribute $50, and she is reponsible for the rest. Consider herself lucky--my mother contributed nothing. I'l probably make her a matching purse along with a shawl or some type of cover up in case it is chilly.

I'll pay for the pre-prom hairdresser appt. so she can experiment with hairstyles, but she is responsible for her prom-day appt., shoes, nails and everything else. She can borrow my wedding jewelry. That will go nicely with her dress. That is if she is interested in the set, but I think she is. She seems to be fretting a bit over the cost. That is good. She has to understand the value (or lack thereof) of a dollar.

One thing I've noticed about prom dresses this year. Lots of pleated skirt portions, pleated bodices, and I HATE that look! It's the tiny pleats that remind me of skirts my mother used to wear back in the '70's. IMO, it looks quite old fashioned and matronly. Both DD#1 and her friend that tagged along felt the same way. Well, not for the same reasons, but they didn't like that pleated look.

Actually, I should rephrase what I just said. I hate the pleated look on prom dresses. The pleats themselves are fine with certain styles of clothing. However, I don't care to wear them because I simply don't like them (it goes back to my mid '70's memories). Does anyone want to dress like their mother? Maybe if my mother dressed like Victoria Beckham LOL. But you know...never say never!

With that in mind, I saw a fantastic post by FBeenz! Check out this post on making a Pleater Board. Isn't that awesome?!?! These are great, detailed instructions. Who knows. Next year if pleats are the must-have, in style look, I'll be wearing them LOL. And using her instructions to make a pleater board. I had to give this a shout-out because she shows in detail how to make such a useful sewing tool.

On the sewing front, DD#2's semi-formal dress is almost all cut out. I hope to get it stitched up tonight after I finish creating DH's website for him. Tomorrow, DD#2 and I are going to JoAnn's to look at material. In addition, today I'm creating a pattern for my friend to make her a dress. I'll see her this afternoon.

Gotta get busy now with my Pick of the Week post. I'm sure you'll agree it's a hot number!


~ Kimberlee B ~ said...

I am sooooo with you. I have made my daughter pay for most of her own expenses as well. I did however, purchase the fabric and I'm making her what will hopefully be a gorgeous prom dress, because I think it's ridiculous for these kids to go out and pay upwards of $500 that they will never wear again. I also found a pair of great heels on clearance at Rack Room for $10, which I know she will never wear again. I offered my jewelry, but my daughter has passed. Make sure you share the photos from the red carpet at home before she leaves. Can't wait to see!

Tony said...

Mr. Pleater makes pleater boards in all sizes.