Monday, October 2, 2017

Embracing the Shape - Thunder Road Bolero

Thunder Road Bolero

So much of what originally appealed to me about making my own clothes was really controlling both the style and fit of my clothing. As a teenager growing up in the Midwest, I was obsessed with vintage styles, but unable to find anything in stores that approximated the look I dreamed about (think Natalie Wood as Maria in West Side Story or Grace Kelly as Tracey in High Society). No capri pants, no fitted sweater or cute flats.

So I started sewing for myself, and later knitting for myself, attempting vintage styles and collecting vintage sewing patterns from thrift stores. Most of these sewing patterns have never seen the light of day, but I love knitting modern, vintage-inspired patterns. For one thing, they work better on my ample-bosomed, 5'8" frame, and modern patterns are very clearly written, easy to follow and fairly fool-proof. And flattering. Let's all just knit things that are flattering, and make us feel good, right?

A few months ago, I stumbled upon this design, the Thunder Road Bolero, from Amy Appel aka PoisonGrrls. Amy's patterns are a delight to knit, and produce very wearable, vintage-inspired knits. This was the first of her patterns that I queued, and a quick, little, 2-week-long knit in navy Paton's Grace Cotton. It's just the thing to make dresses and sleeveless tops work-appropriate. (Not that the look above would be one I'd wear to work...)

Thunder Road Bolero


  1. It’s such a flattering look! You’ve always got cute dresses and skirts on your Instagram. My summer plan to learn to sew got sidetracked by family stuff and now I’m avoiding again. I don’t really want to do it because I don’t have much Knitting time right now, but after watching The True Cost, I didn’t want to shop at mall stores anymore either. So far I’ve avoided the issue by making do with what I have, but eventually, I will need some things that fit better and I’m going to have to take up sewing. I’m sure I’ll enjoy it more when it is less about reading and planning and more doing.

    1. Yeah! It will get to a place where, like knitting, it's more meditative and less a learning process. I haven't sewn much at all this year, due to weight fluctuations, but I have quite a few things that I want to sew up this fall.


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