Friday, October 2, 2015

This Week in Patterns (2-Oct-2015)

Things have been fairly quiet on the release front this past week after a huge week of new patterns last week. I thought about holding off on a post this week and combining this week's updates with next week's, but I have a strong suspicion that many of you might be interested in one of the new StyleArc offerings, so I wanted to get that out there for those of you not on their mailing list.

This week, we have new releases from two pattern designers:
  • Colette - Seamwork Magazine
  • StyleArc

Colette Seamwork - October 2015 Issue

Before we get into the patterns for this month, let's talk about the subscription change that Sarai announced on Thursday. Whereas previously, your $6 per month subscription got you whatever two patterns were included in that month's Seamwork release. Now, however, you'll be getting $6 in pattern credit, meaning that you can either choose one or both of that month's patterns or choose something from Seamwork's pattern archive. If nothing appeals to you, then your credits roll over to the next month.

To me, this is an extremely customer-friendly move. I do like the occasional Seamwork pattern, but there are also a number of them, such as the Florence bra or the recent bikini top, that I'd never even bother with.

Paxson Sweatshirt

This month, we're seeing the first Seamwork men's pattern released--a raglan-sleeved sweatshirt. There's such a dearth of men's patterns out there, that I can't think of a currently in-print equivalent pattern, although there might be one escaping me.  I've got no complaints about this one--it's a nice basic and something that a lot of men would probably wear. It's got a nice size range, too.

Seamwork - Paxson Sweatshirt
Denali Vest

The Denali vest is a unisex quilted, fully-lined vest. Yeah, I don't see how anyone is going to make this in under three hours, but it could be a pretty useful layering piece. Some of the samples are a bit dodgy-looking, but I really like the idea of this vest, and like the Paxson sweatshirt, it fills a pattern niche that isn't already overpopulated with similar patterns.

Between the subscription announcement and this month's patterns, I have to say "Well done, Seamwork", now keep up the good work in the coming months. (Granted, I still wish that Colette would spend some energy focusing on interesting, regular pattern releases, but that ship seems to have sailed.)

Seamwork - Denali

StyleArc: October 2015 Releases

Beatrice Pea Coat

StyleArc released a classic pea coat! StyleArc released a classic pea coat!

One of the biggest grumblings that I've observed in the online sewing community in recent years is the lack of decent, classic pea coat patterns. Vogue has that new Anne Klein pattern, but my understanding is that it's more of a jacket and not fully lined. The StyleArc version, on the other hand, does have a full lining and it's designed for wool coatings. What's not to love here? This is a classic style that you'll be able to wear for years to come.

This is fantastic. I think I'd opt for a paper pattern here because there's no way that I'd want to piece together the PDF for this.

My only "hmmmm" comment here is that the technical drawing shows a welt that's on the side panel, whereas the fashion drawing shows a welt on the center panel. Welts can be done either way, but on the center panel, you're construction is going to be more like a single welt pocket, as opposed to if it's on the side panel, where it'll be more like doing a fancy inseam pocket.

StyleArc - Beatrice coat
StyleArc's newsletter also revisited the Grace Trans-seasonal Coat, for those who prefer an unlined coat.

Mavis Knit Tunic

This was actually released at some point in the past week or so, but I missed it.  I can't wear a turtleneck (boobs), but if I could, I'd love this tunic with its interesting inset details.

StyleArc - Mavis knit tunic

Pearl Knit top (October freebie - new)

As has been the case in one other recent month, in October, if you place an order for paper patterns on StyleArc's website, you'll get to choose between one new and one older pattern as your freebie pattern. The new pattern is an on-trend if not particularly exciting knit top with an asymmetric hem and drape pocket.

StyleArc - Pearl knit top
Tiffany Blouse (October freebie - archive)

Your other choice for a freebie this month is the Tiffany blouse--a princess seamed pussybow blouse that's been in StyleArc's archives for several years. I've had this pattern in and out of my shopping cart a number of times over the years (I have other pussybow blouse patterns, but none with princess seams). Since the Pearl top doesn't have a ton of shaping, I love that they're also offering the Tiffany blouse as an alternative freebie.

StyleArc - Tiffany blouse

Final Thoughts

OMG, I love that peacoat. Did you get that impression from my post? The thing is, I've already made my "new coat" for the year, and I'm not sure that I want to invest the time in doing another coat...but that coat is such a classic! And, I could finally add the Tiffany blouse to my pattern stash...  Hmmm...  Anyone else love that peacoat, or is it just me?

And how do you feel about the Seamwork changes? Whereas I had no interest in subscribing before, I will say that I'm mildly intrigued now. Probably not right away, but if they could put together a few consecutive months of patterns that I liked, I might bite.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Finished Project: Blank Slate - Marigold Blouse

I officially kicked off my fall sewing (not counting the pattern test coat that I made) with revisiting a pattern that I made earlier this summer and loved: Blank Slate's Marigold. Even as our weather has cooled, I still wear the shirtdress version that I made in July, although now I'm layering it with boots and a jacket. (Here's a recap of my fall sewing plans.) This time around, I opted to make a long-sleeved blouse.

Blank Slate - Marigold blouse

I won't write up a full review of this pattern, since my very positive opinion of this pattern hasn't changed since the first time that I made it. I also used the same fit alterations as last time--tracing a new copy of the bodice front and back from my previously altered pattern to make my alterations to turn the dress bodice into a blouse.

I used A Happy Stitch's post as a loose guideline for my dress-to-blouse conversion. Here's how I modified the pattern:
  • Raised the sleeve cap height by 1/2" due to the cap feeling too flat in my shirtdress version. 
  • Added 6" in length to the side seams.
  • Added 8" in length to the CB and CF.

    I'm on the fence as to whether I need to add more length next time. The length looks good standing in photos, but it's a little short when I raise my arms. I'm leaning a bit towards adding 1" inch length to both the sides and CB/CF in my next go-around.
  • Added a 2" ease pleat at the top of the CB. I had hoped that this would be enough ease for the blouse to skim over my large bum, but you can see some pooling in the rear view, so that still needs some tweaking:
Marigold blouse - rear view
  •  I did NOT alter the neckline like A Happy Stitch did. I didn't feel like the dress version I made needed that alteration. However, the cotton lawn that I used for my blouse version doesn't sit open quite as nicely. I think that for next time, I will go ahead and open up the neckline a bit. I never button the top button on anything (hello uniboob), so I might as well make this alteration.
  • The blouse pretty much fits straight up and down in this version. I toyed with the idea of adding some shaping, but wanted to see how it fit unaltered first. I do think I could use a little more width through the hips, and I'll probably nip in the waist a touch for next time.
Check out my new shoes!
I'm including the above shot because it shows off my new shoes that I got for my birthday. Is there a more wonderfully 90's pair of shoes than floral print Doc Martens? And no, I don't care if they clash with my floral print blouse.


Fabric Used


The fabric for this blouse is a Robert Kaufman cotton lawn that I bought on sale from Craftsy last summer. It's nice and lightweight but not sheer. As usual, my interfacing is a lightweight fusible interfacing from Fashion Sewing Supply, and the buttons were picked up at JoAnn's.

Final Thoughts


Because of the frustrations that I have with fitting my bust, I hadn't made a button-down blouse for myself in 4 or 5 years. Is the fit on this particular blouse perfect? No, but it doesn't gape or pull at the bust, either, which is a huge accomplishment when you're dealing with G-cups. I'll be perfectly happy to wear this and also to continue to fine-tune this particular pattern until I get all of the fitting kinks worked out.
And here's an outtake pic from my photo shoot. No idea what I was doing here--I think I was trying to twirl or something.


Friday, September 25, 2015

This Week (and Last) in Patterns (25-Sept-2015)

So, no pattern roundup post last week because the only patterns released that I was aware of were the ones from the new Pattern Anthology collection. So, this week, we'll be covering those, the new Sewaholic collection, and the holiday Vogues:
  • Pattern Anthology
  • Sewaholic 
  • Vogue
Pattern Anthology: Unbiased Collection

Ok, I'll admit that I bought this collection back when it was available for a super ridiculous pre-order price, even though there isn't a bloody chance in hell that I'll make two of the patterns. And why would I do this? Do I really have that much of an excess of disposable income? Well no, of course not, but for the time being, the patterns also come bundled with a bunch of significant coupon codes to some of my favorite online vendors and also a few that I've been wanting to try (like Spoonflower). So, out of the four patterns in the bundle, there's one that I'll definitely make, one that I really like and will probably make, and two that I can't see myself ever making. But between the two patterns that I like and all of the coupons, I figured it was a good deal, cost-wise. Anyway, here are the patterns.

Note that the designers in this collective have all recently expanded their size ranges up to 3X--well into the plus sizes. So, regardless of whether you like the designs or not, I feel like more designs for us plus size women is ALWAYS a good thing.

Also note that until the end of the year, these patterns are only available as part of the collection and not available individually. So, that's another reason why I didn't just hold off and buy the 1 or 2 patterns that I really wanted.

Blank Slate: Denver Tunic & Dress

Let's start off with the one that I'm definitely making. In the Blank Slate Facebook group, Melly had actually put out a call for plus size testers for this one a while back, but I passed on it based on the description. Of course, when I saw the line drawing, I ended up kicking myself because with the princess seams and various options, this is right up my alley. I have immediate plans to sew the tunic view, but I also like the fit-and-flare dress (not pictured), too. I'll also admit that I'm biased in that I've had a lot of success with Blank Slate's patterns in the past and am now at the point where I look forward to Melly's new releases.

(And yes, I do notice that one of the models appears to be wearing a garment that's too small in the shoulders. And yes, it's driving me nuts.)
Blank Slate Denver Tunic and Dress

Go To Patterns: Adora Dress and Top

The other one that I like out of this collection is the Adora Dress and Top by Go To Patterns. I like this, frankly, because I think it'll be easy to fit over my giant bum and because I think that it gives some fun options for mixing knits and wovens. I do like the top view of this better than the dress view.
Go To Patterns Adora dress and top
Shwin Designs: Diamond Dress and Top

This is just way too boobtastic for me. Maybe on someone pear-shaped, but not me.

Shwin Designs - Diamond Dress and Top

See Kate Sew: Gwen Dress and Top

This one is just way too Tilly for my personal preferences.

See Kate Sew - Gwen Dress and Top

Sewaholic: Vancouver Collection

After lots of teasers and buzz on Instagram, Tasia from Sewaholic released the Vancouver collection: a collection of active- and outdoors-wear inspired patterns. I'm not Tasia's target customer, so I'm not likely to buy any of these. I do appreciate that she's branching out from beginner patterns and basic skirts and dresses, though.

Fraser Sweatshirt

The Fraser Sweatshirt is a slim-fitting sweatshirt with inset options. I feel the same way about this that I do about the Grainline Lark tee. I can understand why Tasia added this to Sewaholic's portfolio (especially with the success of the Renfrew top), but I won't be buying it.

Sewaholic - Fraser Sweatshirt

Dunbar Top

The Dunbar top is an exercise top with a built-in shelf bra. Given that Sewaholic drafts for a B-cup, there's no way I'd touch this one with a 10-foot pole, even for light exercise like dog walking. This would be too much work for me to re-draft when I already own the Jalie Anne-Marie anyway. The Fehr Trade VNA top is also similar and reportedly tested up to a D-/DD-cup size. But, if you're a pear shape, the Sewaholic is cute.

Pacific Leggings

The Pacific Leggings join the Jalie Cora leggings and Fehr Trade PB Jam Leggings and Steeplechase Leggings as running tights patterns. I can see the appeal of these if you're pear-shaped, but I feel like the piecing/colorblocking potential is more interesting in both the Jalie and Fehr Trade patterns.

Sewaholic - Pacific Leggings

Cypress Cape

The Cypress Cape is probably the most tempting pattern to me, out of this bunch. A) My giant boobs are less likely to interfere with this one and B) it would be practical to own and/or just keep stashed in my desk at work for unexpectedly rainy days.

Sewaholic - Cypress Cape

Seymour Jacket

One of the more interesting pieces in this collection is the short-sleeved hooded Seymour Jacket. If we ever still got rain in Seattle, particularly in the summer, I could see the appeal of this. I also just think it's kind of cute and definitely unique.

Sewaholic - Seymour Jacket

Vogue: Winter/Holiday Collection 2015

Lots of formal and cocktail dresses in this bunch that I have no need for, but a few patterns did stand out to me.


Let's get this one out of the way first. It's the pit/period-stain dress that has the entire online sewing community giggling. C'mon Vogue, you couldn't do better than this? The dress isn't bad based on the line drawing, but it's not interesting enough to justify that questionable flower placement.


Lace romper, anyone?


LOVE this jacket/coat. It even has cup sizes!


Unappealing styling aside, this is a nice take on an 80's style dress without it actually screaming 80's, IMO. The lack of giant shoulder pads is a huge plus here.


Final Thoughts

Love it or hate it, the new Sewaholic collection is the most interesting out of the bunch.  As previously mentioned, I do own the Denver tunic and will be making it up and reviewing it soon.  What grabs you out of this bunch? Any must-haves? Or must-avoids?

Friday, September 11, 2015

This Week in Patterns (13-Sept-2015)

Okay, both my work and non-work life have calmed down a little bit since I initially moved these posts to Sundays a few months ago. I'm going to try moving them back to Fridays, at least for the time being. By running these on Friday, I always used to feel like the discussions that followed in the comments were a fun way to kick off my weekend, and I'd like to try to get back to that.

This past week wasn't quite as crazy as the previous week, but we did have a fair amount of activity in pattern-land:
  • BurdaStyle
  • Colette/Seamwork
  • Grainline Studios
  • StyleArc
  • Victory Patterns
BurdaStyle: Fall/Winter 2015 (Envelope patterns)

The new batch of BurdaStyle envelope patterns was released this week. Unlike the magazine and download patterns, BurdaStyle envelope patterns include seam allowances (at least in North America) and comprehensive instructions. If you're curious about trying Burda but are intimated by having to trace, add seam allowances, or wanting decent instructions, I recommend trying a BurdaStyle envelope pattern. In any case, there were a few interesting offerings in this batch, and it might just be my perception, but it seems like they're relying less on re-issuing magazine patterns as envelope patterns with this release.

Burda 6744

Sized for petites, this multi-princess-seamed fit-and-flare dress offers a lot of options for fitting. The godets give an impression that this is a pleated skirt at first glance, but it's not. So, you get the look of pleats, but without the bulk over the tummy or bum area.

Burda 6744
Burda Young Plus - various

For the first time that I can remember, Burda is offering a few Plus patterns as part of its junior's line, Burda Young. I think that this is fantastic, given that at the Curvy Sewing Collective, we're frequently asked for recommendations for youthful, Plus patterns. I think that these would be a great place to start for many plus sized young women who are new to sewing or who have loved ones sewing for them.

Burda 6717

Burda 6717
Burda 6716

Burda 6716

Burda 6748

In the misses' Plus offerings, there's an interesting-looking coat/dress pattern with a front zip. Of course, if my husband saw this, he'd make an "easy access" joke.

Burda 6748
Burda 6713

Finally, my favorite pattern out of this batch, and one that I'll definitely buy when it's on sale, is this blouse and shirtdress pattern. I love the neckline on this, and those darts will provide plenty of shaping.

Burda 6713
Colette/Seamwork: Announcement of Seamwork Podcast

Thursday, Sarai announced on the Colette Blog that she's gotten in touch with her inner Marc Maron (beyond both being cat people) and has a podcast in the works. The podcast will be focused on various topics related to garment sewing.

On one hand, I enjoy listening to podcasts on my headphones at work, and love the idea of one focused on garment sewing. (I don't know of any other podcasts with that focus off the top of my head, but maybe I'm missing something?)

On the other hand, I'm hoping that this doesn't continue to stretch Sarai/Colette any more than they already appear to be with their monthly Seamwork releases. They've only released two "regular" patterns in the past 12 months at this point.  I know that I sound like a broken record here, but I miss the old Colette.

I will say, though, if Sarai is diverting her attention away from patterns at this point, a podcast, which I can passively listen to while at work, is much more appealing to me than reading Seamwork magazine, which I generally haven't been reading very much.

Grainline Studios: Lark Tee

So...the new Grainline pattern turns out to be a tee pattern. This isn't a huge surprise, since this is what Jen was hinting at in social media.

Personally, I don't have a need for another t-shirt pattern--the SBCC Tonic Tee is my go-to t-shirt pattern, and when I make a t-shirt, I use that pattern as the base and alter from there. But, Grainline has a reputation for good drafting and good instructions, so if you don't have a TNT t-shirt pattern already, the Lark is possibly worth a shot. I can't fault Jen for filling out a hole in her pattern offerings, either, when nearly every other indie offers a basic t-shirt. The Lark also offers pretty much every possible neckline and sleeve option that you could want.

Lauren of Baste + Gather wrote a really interesting and thoughtful post about the mixed social media reaction to the release of the Lark tee and on "fangirls". It's worth a read:

Do we really need another t-shirt pattern?

Anyway, here's the Lark tee:

Grainline Studios - Lark Tee

StyleArc: September Designer Release

StyleArc continues to release patterns at a fast pace. Just after releasing two new patterns on the first of the month, they've released two more this past week.

Daisy Designer Pant

The Daisy Designer Pant is a woven pull-on pant that celebrates the return of wider-legged pants. It has feature pockets and wide hem bands. These look stylish and comfortable, and if I didn't already have similar patterns, I might be tempted.

StyleArc - Daisy Pant
Daisy Designer Tunic

The Daisy Designer Tunic has optional inseam pockets and an on-trend double hem. This tunic isn't really my style, but I do like it. It looks really stylish in the sample photos, where it appears to be made up in a white linen.

StyleArc - Daisy Tunic
Victory Patterns: Boundless Style Lookbook

Seemingly dormant indie pattern designer Victory patterns resurfaced recently with a book announcement and and a promise of upcoming patterns (along with a request for pattern testers). Earlier this week, Victory posted a link to the online lookbook for their new book, which is called Boundless Style:

Boundless Style Lookbook

The book's format will be similar to Tanya Wheelan's recent Sew Many Dress book, where a sewist will be able to design her dress patterns by mixing-and-matching different bodice, skirt, and sleeve elements. However, Victory's aesthetic is very different from Tanya Wheelan's, so I don't see much overlap between the two books.

There's also a lookbook online app, that lets you play around with mixing and matching the different design elements yourself:

Boundless Style Lookbook App

I love the idea of the app and had some fun playing around with it a few days ago.  Most of the designs aren't really my style (I gravitate much more towards Tanya Wheelan's style), so I probably won't buy the book unless I see some dresses made up in the SBC that compel me to purchase it. I do really love the mix-and-match concept of these two recent books, and I wouldn't exactly cry if this is a trend that we start seeing from other pattern designers with book deals.


Final Thoughts

So...Lark tee, yay or nay? Any favorites among the new Burdas? And did you get a chance to play around with the Victory lookbook at all? If so, what did you think of the patterns/combinations?

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Last Week in Patterns (6-Sept-2015)

I think that just about every indie pattern maker (and their hamsters) released a pattern this week, including two different collective groups that released new bundled collections.

Grab a mug of your favorite warm and caffeinated beverage because you'll be scrolling through this week's list for a while:
  • Colette's Seamwork Magazine
  • Deer & Doe
  • HotPatterns
  • Itch to Stitch
  • Named
  • Sew Independent
  • StyleArc
Colette Seamwork: September 2015 issue

Whereas I'd thought that the last couple of issues of Colette's Seamwork magazine were starting to show some promise for releasing some simple but somewhat interesting patterns, I find the two new September patterns to be fairly boring.

Akita top

The Akita top is a loose-fitting pullover blouse that only has one pattern piece (and no shoulder seams).  This is probably one of the few Seamwork patterns that lives up to its advertisement of being able to be made the time stated (in this case, one hour). It does have bust darts for shaping, but there's just not much more to say about this top.

Colette Seamwork - Akita
Moji pants

The Moji pants pattern is essentially the same woven track pants that we've seen offered by nearly every other indie pattern maker at this point. I'm sure that they're perfectly comfortable for lounging, but I only see these appealing to Seamwork subscribers who don't already own one of the many other comparable patterns out there.

Colette Seamwork - Moji pants

Deer & Doe: Fall/Winter 2015 patterns

Earlier this week, Deer & Doe announced a rebranding and the release of three new patterns for Fall/Winter 2015.

Deer & Doe: Arum Dress

In response to people requesting a "true beginner" pattern from Deer & Doe, Eléonore developed the Arum dress. It's a pull-on shift dress with cut-on sleeves and no closures. For shaping, the pattern has shoulder princess seams in back, rather than the ubiquitous bust dart/back fisheye dart combination that we've typically been seeing in this type of pattern.

It's not my cup of tea, but if you're a beginner who fits into Deer & Doe's somewhat limited size range, you could probably do far worse for your first shift dress.

Deer & Doe - Arum dress
Deer & Doe: Cardamome Dress

The Cardamome dress would probably just look silly on someone with my gigantiboobs, but I kind of like the idea behind it:  Inset shirt collar/bib on a simple elastic waist dress. I bet that we see some cute versions of this dress on a few sewing bloggers whose style aesthetic matches the dress's.

Deer & Doe - Cardamome Dress
Deer & Doe: Fumeterre Skirt

Probably my favorite pattern out of this bunch is the Femeterre maxi-skirt. Finally, a designer has acknowledged that maxi skirts can pair really nicely with tights and boots! I like that this multi-paneled skirt has the option of going either with a trouser fly-style opening or a button-up style. I was looking for a woven maxi-skirt pattern earlier this summer with some interesting details, and if this pattern had been available, I probably would have bought it and bit the bullet on grading it up a few sizes.

Deer & Doe - Fumeterre skirt
HotPatterns: 10th Anniversary releases

HotPatterns celebrated their 10th anniversary as an indie pattern company by releasing three new patterns on Friday.

HotPatterns: 1193 Classix Nouveau Everybody Loves the Sunshine Tops

First up is HotPatterns' updated version of their long-time best seller Sunshine Top. Trudy had solicited pre-orders for this a while back to test whether people were interested enough in an updated version of this now-OOP pattern to see if it would be worth updating and releasing. The pattern received enough pre-orders and is now available for sale.

HotPatterns - Everbody Loves the Sunshine Tops

HotPatterns: 1194 Fast & Fabulous Pull-on A-line Skirt

Another entry in HotPatterns popular Fast & Fabulous line, this skirt is exactly what the title describes: a pull-on A-line skirt. This one hits on a lot of current trends: midi-length, patch pockets, and a wide elastic waistband with a drawstring. Basically, this skirt is those popular track pants that are everywhere, but in a form where you're not embarrassed to leave the house wearing it.

HotPatterns - Pull-on A-line skirt
HotPatterns: 1195 Plain & Simple Scooter Jacket and Car Coat

This is a great little jacket and easy coat. The collar darts add bust shaping (per Trudy), and it's unlined (although for many of us, that means finishing our seam allowances with a binding, which isn't really any faster than adding a lining). The welt pockets are a nice detail, too.

HotPatterns Scooter Jacket & Car Coat

Itch to Stitch: Davina Dress

As far as I can tell, the Davina Dress is essentially the same dress as the BlueGingerDoll Violet dress without the Violet's pieced/colorblock detail and with a different skirt. The Davina also has a separate waistband piece and has pockets integrated into the skirt. (BTW--BlueGingerDoll's website appears to be back up and running again.)

I like this dress--these particular details and the shape of the dress tend to be flattering on me. Somewhere in the blog post announcement, Itch to Stitch also mentioned that the larger sizes are drafted for a D-cup bust (yay!), so there's that, too. (Yes, BGD also drafts for a D-cup bust.)

Itch to Stitch - Davina Dress
Named Clothing: Fall/Winter 2015 - New Black

On Tuesday, Named Clothing released their Fall/Winter collection for 2015, named "New Black". The collection contains 11 new patterns. Some of them are boring; some of them are interesting. I won't go over all 11 patterns in this post, which is already long enough as it is. Here are the more interesting patterns, in my opinion.

Isla Trench Coat

Sewing trenchcoats was all the rage in the online sewing community a few years ago, and while a trench coat is a classic style of garment, we haven't seen many new trench coat patterns in the past couple of years. The Isla has classic trench details but has a long, lower-calf length.

Named - Isla Trenchcoat
Esme Maxi-Cardigan

Remember the big cardigan-coat trend of the early 2000's? I'm seeing signs that it might be cycling back. I had a cardgian-coat like the Esme back around that time and wore the heck out of it. I have an OOP HotPattern that's similar to this one, so I'll probably stick with that, but I do like this.

Named - Esme Cardigan Coat
Mimosa Culottes

The Mimosas are one of the more wearable takes on the culotte trend that I've seen. The legs are voluminous and skirt-like, but the pleating at the waist/hips is kept to a minimum. These have pockets and a fly-front, too. If they came in a larger size range, I'd be tempted by these.

Named - Mimosa Culottes

Harriet Lumberjacket

The Harriet is a cross between a moto and a bomber jacket. It has some interesting details, including a sherpa/faux fur collar in the sample.

Named - Harriet Lumberjacket

Sew Independent: Bundle 2

Last month, Mari of Seamster Patterns and now Sew Independent helped release the inaugural bundle of Sew Independent sewing patterns--a bundle of women's sewing patterns from a variety of indie pattern makers. On Tuesday, Sew Independent released the second bundle in the series as part of the kick-off of "Sew Indie" month. Like the first bundle, the second bundle has tiered pricing, allowing you to choose how much you pay and to "unlock" additional patterns at different price points. As with last time, 20% of the proceeds will go to a women's charity.

Sew Independent - Bundle 2
Bundle 2 contains the following patterns:
  • Fehr Trade: VNA top
  • Maison Fleur: 6101- Fit and Flare skirt
  • Imagine Gnats: Bess Top, Tunic, and Dress
  • Closet Case Files: Nettie Dress and Bodysuit
  • SBCC: Pinot Pants
  • MIY Collection: Walkley Vest and Dress
  • Paprika Patterns: Jasper Sweater/Dress
  • Seamstress Erin: Nautilus Swimsuit
  • Kate & Rose: Kinga Skirt (New/Exclusive to bundle)
  • Soma Patterns: April 1962 Coat (New/Exclusive to bundle)
I was pretty tempted by the last bundle. This bundle...not so much. I already own the SBCC Pinot Pants and Paprika Jasper Sweater (both of which figure in my Autumn sewing plans), but nothing else really grabs me here. I like the swimsuit, but I'm not buying a swimsuit pattern in the waning days of summer here in the Northern Hemisphere. 

StyleArc: September 2015 release

StyleArc seems to finally have thrown a bone to us who aren't into the boxy styles that they've been releasing as of late! This month, if you order at least one paper pattern from StyleArc, you also get a choice between two freebie pattern options.

Tulip Dress and Skirt

First up is the Tulip Dress and Skirt. I love this! StyleArc (rightfully, IMO) gets knocked sometimes for releasing two views of what appears to be the same pattern as separate patterns, for example, releasing a top and dress version of similar garments separately, rather than including the top as a second view of the dress pattern. That criticism does not apply at all to the Tulip pattern, though, which includes two skirt and two dress views, all of which have shaping elements and are really cute, I think.  I like this pattern better than anything StyleArc has released in months.

StyleArc - Tulip Dress and Skirt

Edith Top (Freebie Option 1)

The Edith top is a variation on the pullover tops with plackets that we've seen so much of in the past few years. This pattern combines the layered look trend that we've been seeing, too. It's boxy, but I like the details on this one. If I were to place an order this month, the Edith is the freebie that I'd choose.

StyleArc - Edith top
Alexi Top (Freebie Option 2)

The other freebie option is a re-run of the Alexi turtleneck top that's been around for a while. I can't blame StyleArc for maybe wanting to get a bit more mileage out of an older pattern, especially one that's probably a nice basic for many women. Personally, with my short neck and giant boobs, I don't wear turtlenecks, but they work perfectly fine for others.

StyleArc - Alexi top

Final Thoughts

In a huge week of releases, the two standouts to me were the StyleArc Tulip Dress and the new HotPatterns jacket. In a less-busy week, I could see myself being tempted by the Itch-to-Stitch Davina dress, if only because I know that that particular style has a good chance of being flattering on me.

Next week should have some activity, as well, although I can't imagine that we'll have this scrolling list of new patterns. Grainline Studios is set to release a new pattern on the 7th--I know that many of us are always interested in seeing Jen's latest patterns.

Of this week's patterns, which interested you the most? Also, is it just me, or is this Indie Bundle a lot less tempting than the last bundle?

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Fall Sewing Plans (2015)

I know that people either tend to love or tend to hate planning posts. I'm one of the people who loves them, but if you fall into the latter category, feel free to skip this post--I won't be offended. (I mean, how would I even know?)

In any case, this post is partially to talk about my "picks" for the coming Fall season and partially to document my plans for myself. I have a LOT of plans, as usual, and I know that I won't get to everything on this list. It will be fun trying, though, right?

I'm sure that I'll be distracted by a few "Oooh, shiney!" new patterns, but as of right now, these are the ones that I've got pulled and sitting at the top of my sewing queue.

You'll note that my plans fall very heavily on separates and layering pieces. I'm trying to accomplish two things with this:
  1. Extend the use of some of my warmer-weather clothing into colder weather.
  2. Replace the three pairs of RTW jeans that my thighs' chub rub wore through in the past nine months.

I need jeans and comfortable pants for the weekend. That pretty much sums up these picks.
  • BurdaStyle 6951: These are the slim-legged pants that I've sewn twice before. I'll be making a few minor fit adjustments and making at least one "jeans" version of these this fall.
  • BurdaStyle 07-2015 #130A: These are the flared, seamed jeans that appeared in the July issue of BurdaStyle.
  • SBCC Pinot Pants: I'll be making these from a black ponte to start and using the pocket add-on that Betsy published a few months ago. I desperately need some weekend mom-on-the-go pants, and these will be those pants.
  • StyleArc Misty Pull-on Jeans:  I've had this pattern for a while but still haven't made it up. I plan to finally make it up when I participate in Alicia's Misty sew-along over at Pandora Sews, starting in October.
I have plans for lots of blouses in the coming months. I'm getting more comfortable with fitting my gigantic bust, and woven blouses give me lots of practice for that. You'll note that these are all fairly basic blouses, which is what I need in my closet right now.
  • HotPatterns Refined Peasant Blouse: I made a version of this a few months ago, and I wear it all the time. I want at least one more.
  • New Look 6374: This style of blouse has been pretty ubiquitous in RTW the past few years. The gathers will handle an FBA well, and this pattern will give me a nice, casual top for layering.
  • Grainline Archer: I've owned this pattern for over a year at this point. I think I'm about the last person on the planet who hasn't made it yet. I'd really like a TNT shirt pattern that I can use for anything from a flannel shirt to a nice chambray shirting. I'm hoping that the Archer (with an added FBA/bust dart) will be that shirt.
  • Muse Melissa: This has been in my queue since it was released a while back. Maybe I'll even get to make one up as part of Indie Sewing Month this month!
  • Blank Slate Marigold: I'll ditch the peplum, but I'd like to get at least one blouse out of this pattern. I love the shirtdress version that I made earlier this summer.
  • BurdaStyle 09-2015 #133: I've got a copy of the September BurdaStyle magazine on the way, and this pattern is probably the first thing that I'll make from it. I love the white blouse version in the magazine.

 I need cardigans. I currently have, like, two that fit me.
  • SBCC Cabernet Cardigan: There's both a long, boyfriend-style view of this pattern and a shorter, cropped view. Ideally, I'll be making at least one of each in various pontes.
  • Muse Sophie Cardigan: I like the collar-less, zippered view of this one.
  • Muse Jenna Cardigan: A nice, basic cardigan.
  • Paprika Jasper: Not a cardigan, but I wasn't sure where else to put this. I pattern tested this last winter, but life got in the way and prevented me from sewing up a version from the final pattern. I wore the test version a lot, anyway, but I'd like to sew up a "real" version or two that incorporates the fitting refinements from the final pattern.

Finally, I'd like to add some more jackets to my closet. Here are my plans as far as those go:
  • Secret Pattern Test: I'm testing a coat pattern from a popular indie designer that you may have seen put out a testing call a little while back. I'm quite impressed with the pattern so far and am hoping that the final coat turns out as nice as I am expecting it to.
  • Grainline Cascade (as a raincoat): I've whined a lot about not being able to find a pattern suitable for the rain jacket that I had in my head. I think I'm going to just go with the Grainline Cascade. I've ordered a water resistant cotton twill from FabricMart that should work well for this, I hope.
  • Simplicity 1066: This is the MimiG jacket. It's got shoulder princess seams and cup sizes up to DD. I want to do a military-style version of this pattern, and then maybe one mixing wool and faux leather.
  • HotPatterns Chimera Jacket: This is the new ponte jacket pattern from HotPatterns.  I think it will be a nice, versatile wardrobe staple.
  • HotPatterns Sakura Bomber Jacket: I've had this one sitting in my UFO pile since last year. I started on it, using a very fall-like fabric, and then got distracted by the Leanne Marshall coat and never picked up the bomber jacket again. I will finish it this fall.


Final Thoughts


So those are my current sewing plans for this fall. Have you made any sewing plans for the coming season yet? What patterns are high on your list?