Fitting The Pattern

Fitting the Pattern by Christine Wilks

“Fitting the Pattern, or being a dressmakers daughter, a memoir in pieces”, Wilks titles her (highly) interactive fiction. You pick up the tools: scissors, a sewing machine, pins and a thread cutter. A hand points you in the direction in which to drag your tool, red lettering similar to stanzas of a poem appear across the page. Her work is about her as a child, and her mother, the dressmaker and their relationship revolving around the clothing that her mother made for her and her sister.


“the picture on the pattern envelope

am I supposed to be that shape?

 She often tells us when she married

she had a 20 inch waist.”


I think that this page, shown after being cut with scissors, is a replication of the words Wilks wishes she had spoken to say to her mother. However, she wore the clothing and took up dressmaking to make her mother proud. Overtime, with each tool being used multiple times, a pattern emerges creating into a fuller piece at the bottom right hand corner.

Wilks compares her interactive media to her mothers craft pieces; Clicking and dragging a cursor across the page to the sewing and stitching of a new article of clothing.

A splash of Wilks life, after moving out of her home with her mother, she describes on one of the pieces of the ‘pattern.’ These lines seem to portray a distraught teenager needing to rebel.


“The model daughter, coming apart at the seams

Stylishly turned out in a semi-tailored suit

Or co-ordinated separates

Chain-smoking, reeling drunk and getting drunker

She would’ve been horrified… no…

Stupefied, if she’d seen me

How could a daughter of hers turn out like that? 

But we lived in separate cities

She never saw me out on the town… being disgraceful”

I enjoyed this piece of fiction very much. I became engaged in reading some of Wilks other ‘interactive fictions.’ Others to look at are We Drank (which had particularly effective sound effects), Social Disease and  Heights (although it made me dizzy). I am interested in fashion, and felt engaged because of the interactive-ness of Fitting the Pattern. After reading another “poem” like piece through interactive fiction, I want to possibly create a piece of digital poetry for my creative project. Does anybody know of a website in which I can do this, or a tutorial that can help me? Something as simple as one word flashing on each page would be good, with background music I can include as well.

  5 comments for “Fitting The Pattern

  1. aspangle
    February 20, 2012 at 4:08 pm


    This seems like a very interesting piece. I really like how you are actually producing something when you move the tools over the area that it tells you to do. I’m not sure if this is the case, but it would be really awesome if each person could produce a slightly different piece. Maybe everyone’s lines aren’t the same? I’m sure that this isn’t the case but it would be really cool if you would be able to do that. I liked that you picked out something that you were able to really get into and become involved with and I think that you provided a very nice description of Fitting the Pattern.

    It seems very…detailed with the amount of things that you have to do based on the first picture. I’m not sure if my brain is up for that kind of challenge right now! Great job though!

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