Learning from Laura Nash

A large group of our members were treated to a morning trunk show of garments made from Laura Nash’s line of retro style patterns, Sew Chic. She began by defining garment features that create the look of a well-proportioned hourglass figure: a flat front over the tummy, shoulder pads or other shoulder details that widen the look of the shoulders and flared hems or design details that widen the hips. She illustrated these principals with the sample garments she shared, beginning with slips and petticoats then moving on to skirts, pants, tops and her very elegant dresses. Each pattern includes the kind of detailing lacking in most garments and sewing patterns today; things like pleated trim around hems, godets, gored skirts with ribbon or ruffled trim, blouses with tucks, bows and peek-a-boo sleeves. Her dress patterns have elegant asymmetrical seams or openings, defined waistlines, ruching detail, dramatic necklines and sashes. Above all, they are feminine and pretty!

For those who stayed for the afternoon workshop, we were fortunate to receive a fashion history overview, color and proportion advice, as well as learn how to make and work with a croquis to determine the best looks for our bodies. It was interesting to see how wealth, wars and women’s fight for independence influenced fashion from the 1500’s to modern day styles.

Laura explained the 4 basic figure types, then helped each us determine where we fit into those types. She also gave us guidelines for selecting colors most flattering to our hair and skin tones. For anyone in doubt, the group chimed in to assist! Armed with this information, we could then study silhouettes and garment details that would flatter and help create an hourglass silhouette. She gave us a valuable tool to assist in this process—the croquis. A croquis is a rough sketch of the body used for fashion illustration. In this case, those of us who wanted, were photographed in body hugging attire. The photos were printed and then overlaid with tracing paper. We could then use examples from Laura’s pattern line to sketch the garment on the tracing paper. We could easily see whether the sketched garment was suited to our body type and, if not, make adjustments to length or move design details to create a garment more flattering to our body. This was a great tool and one many of us will use often to sew garments we love.

Laura’s love for vintage style, eye for design and passion for making women feel their best in the garments they sew made this workshop a winner!

Karen Griffin
Newsletter Editor


Before the meeting – socializing and shopping freecycle


The meeting, presentation and workshop