Friday, November 21, 2014

This week in patterns (21-Nov-2014)

Greetings and salutations! Things have been pretty quiet around here this past week because I've been traveling for work, spending the past two days down at my company's Irvine office. Let me tell you, nothing will make you miss your kid more than being on a plane full of families going to Disneyland and hearing the words "Elsa!" and "Haunted Mansion!" every three minutes, and I'd only been away from her for a few hours at that point. 

In any case, I haven't gotten any sewing in during the past few days, although I did finish that test pattern the day before I left. She's hoping to release the pattern in December, so if all goes well, I'll be able to post about it then. I didn't encounter anything major with the pattern, so I'd expect the release to stay on track, unless there's an issue with the smaller sizes. As a tester, I'm supposed to be receiving a copy of the final pattern, which I'm looking forward to making up and comparing to the test version. When I return home, I've got a partially finished pair of StyleArc Elle pants and a cut-out HotPatterns Sakura bomber jacket that I'll be working on, and then after that, it'll be Coat Adventure 2014 for me.

So, that's what I've been up to. We had a few new patterns released this week, too:

StyleArc - PDF Downloads!

If you've been wanting to try StyleArc patterns but have hesitated because of the shipping costs from Australia or are wary of single size patterns, I have good news! This week, StyleArc made a small selection of their patterns available as PDF downloads in their new Etsy shop. Each pattern has three size options, as well, so you'll have more options there, as well. Based on what I've seen on PatternReview and around the blogosphere, StyleArc chose some of their most popular patterns for this experiment. The following patterns are now available in StyleArc's Etsy shop. Note that this list seems to grow every day, so just check out the Etsy shop for the most up-to-date list:
  • Lola pant
  • Nina cardigan
  • Laura knit dress
  • Laura knit cardigan
  • Tamara top
  • Phillipa peplum top
  • Sandra narrow leg jean
  • Zoe pencil skirt
  • Franki dress and top
  • Sunny top
  • Ziggi Jacket
  • Jacinta knit dress
  • Ursula ponte skirt
  • Gorgeous gore skirt
  • Ollie tunic
  • Fay skirt
  • Mindi skirt
StyleArc - Laura knit dress
The prices are quite reasonable, as well. The current selection of patterns run $8-$12 USD. While I can't say that every single StyleArc pattern I've made has been flattering on my figure, due to style choice/wishful thinking, I can say that I've never run into any drafting issues with their patterns. Additionally, their patterns usually run pretty close to their size chart. Basically, these patterns are a much lower "risk" than some other "indie" patterns.

Butterick - Holiday Collection 2014

The last of the Big 4 finally released their Holiday collection this week--Butterick. Like the Simplicity collection, the Butterick collection had both some high points and some head-scratchers. I love head-scratches, though--it's so much more interesting to see a few "What were they thinking?" patterns than a bunch of cocktail dresses and re-hashes of last year's designs like the Vogue Holiday collection had. Let's take a look at a few of the Buttericks:

B6127

I LOVE this dress. I have nowhere to wear it, but I love the lapel and the it's-not-actually-a-jacket overlay. If I recall, this is a knock-off of something that Kate Middleton wore somewhat recently, but I can't recall the designer's name. The skirt wouldn't work on me, but that's an easy enough fix. Might have to buy and stash this one at a Hancock/JoAnn sale. (Seriously, my company's holiday party is an informal event held at a football stadium, so I don't even have the company party excuse to make this.)

B6127
B6131

In B6131, Butterick combined a bridesmaid dress with an infinity dress and came out with this...

B6131

Yeah, I'm not a fan. This is the kind of dress that a really passive-aggressive bride asks her bridesmaids to wear. "Oh, but it's so versatile with the wrap! And you don't all have to wear it the same way; you can personalize it!" Which, really, is just a variation on, "You can cut it off and wear it again!"

B6130

If Colette's Chantilly dress had a child with the new Dahlia dress, it would look like B6130:
B6130
I actually like this quite a bit, if I had a reason to make/wear it. Including a jumpsuit view is a nice variation from your typical holiday dress, and I like that the dress views have princess seamed skirts.

B6143

Hands-down, my favorite pattern in this collection is this new coat pattern with shoulder princess seams, cup sizes, and an interesting lapel:

B6143
I don't know how many coats a person needs--I already have two in my sewing queue--but I really, really want to sew and wear this one, too.

B6151

And finally, there's this... a strappy corset from the Wavery line of all things:

B6151
Without all of the straps, I see a corset pattern that could be useful if you like making corsets. But with the way that it's styled here, I'm thinking that you'd accessorize this one with a riding crop made from fat quarters?

BlueGingerDoll - Violet Dress

I feel like Abby from BlueGingerDoll has been releasing new patterns left and right lately; this is her third new pattern since I started compiling these posts earlier this fall.

The BlueGingerDoll Violet dress is BGD's second knit pattern offering, this time offering a pieced bodice with a v-neck/bust ruching detail and several sleeve and skirt options:

BlueGingerDoll Violet dress
One thing I like about BGD's patterns is that she always offers a lot of options with each pattern, so that you can make them several times without feeling like you've made the same dress/top again, but just with different fabric. I know that this neckline type is a good one on me, and I'm intrigued by the options with piecing. I also know that personally, I'd stick to the fuller/A-line skirt on this one. On the other hand, I feel like I could just frankenpattern a different skirt onto my HotPatterns Cote d' Azur pattern or StyleArc Alice top; however, then you'd lose the seaming details and would have to draft those. At that point, I wonder if it's just more worth it to shell out $14 for the pattern.

I really like Tanya's version, which is both very cute and immensely flattering.

Final Thoughts

The must-buy for me here is that Butterick coat. I'm tempted by the B6127 dress with the interesting lapel/faux jacket, but I just don't see where I'd wear it. I do like the new BGD Violet but will probably pass on it for now, both for seasonal reasons and to contemplate whether my time or money is worth more when it comes to frankenpatterning.

I love that StyleArc is dipping their toe into the PDF waters. In the past, I've tried to bundle/plan my orders from them around the freebie-of-the-month, but this provides a much more affordable and instant gratification way of obtaining their patterns. I can still see myself ordering their paper patterns in months when I like the freebie, but I'm no longer limited to that purchasing model.

Friday, November 14, 2014

This week in patterns (14-Nov-2014)

We're heading into a lull of pattern releases as most of the Big 4 have released their holiday collections by now. We did get a handful of intriguing new patterns from StyleArc and a perfect-for-fall weather dress from HotPatterns, though.

Tilly and the Buttons - Francoise Dress

Tilly and the Buttons of Tilly and the Buttons fame released a raglan-sleeved shift dress on Wednesday named the Francoise Dress:

Tilly and the Buttons - Francoise Dress

Beyond the French darts and designer's personality, I'm not sure what sets this pattern apart from the dozens of other shift dress patterns out there, like the Colette Laurel, or just about anything from Simplicity's Jiffy/retro line. This one is a pass for me, but if you're a brand new, beginning sewist or just a big Tilly fan, I guess I can see the appeal.

StyleArc - mid-month release

StyleArc released their first set of bag patterns on Thursday, and they're quite a stylish trio of tote bags. I really like all three of them, to be honest.

Paris Tote Bag

The Paris tote bag reminds me a bit of the HotPatterns Mommy tote that I made up last year, although the Paris has a number of different details. I still use that Mommy tote all the time (it's my go-to bag for toddler outings), so I don't see myself purchasing this particular pattern just for the extra details, but if I didn't already have the Mommy tote, I'd be all over this one.

StyleArc Paris Tote

London Tote Bag

The London tote is the smallest of the three, and also has a buckle closure for added security. This one seems like it's a bit of a hybrid between a tote and a more traditional purse. It's a pretty unique pattern in that I can't recall any similar bag patterns off the top of my head.

StyleArc London Tote

New York Tote

Look at all of the pockets on the New York Tote! If this pattern had been around with Eva was a baby, I never would have bought a separate diaper bag. I like the options for mixing media and colors with this one, too.

StyleArc New York Tote

HotPatterns - Chameleon Dress

On Friday, HotPatterns did something rarely seen in sewing patterns: they released a dress clearly designed to be worn in cooler weather (even styled with boots on the pattern envelope). Outside fo the Big 4, it seems like most pattern companies think that we can perpetually live in summer dresses all the time. The Chameleon dress is designed for chambray, washed linen, and other woven fabrics with some body and good drape.
HotPatterns Weekender Chameleon dress
 This one ticks all of the boxes of things l like in a pattern:
  • Open neckline
  • Raised waist seam, which is more flattering on me than lower waist seams
  • Skirt with ease
  • Pockets
  • Bust shaping
  • Interesting top-stitching options
So, now I guess I have a pattern for all of that chambray that I've been buying and hoarding with the intention of making shirt dresses that I never get around to making!  Seeing the lines on this one also has me tempted to channel my inner Angela Chase and make it up in a plaid. Or my inner Elaine Benes and make it up in a drapey floral.

I'd put a personal moratorium on sewing dresses for the next few months while the weather is cold because I just don't wear dresses that often when temps are in the 40's. That's beyond pairing-with-leggings-and-boots weather to me. I think I'm going to make an exception for this one, though.

Final Thoughts

This week was quite slow, as far as new releases go. If I'm remember correctly, Butterick is the only Big 4 company who has yet to release their holiday collection, so I'd think we'll bee seeing those soon.

The StyleArc bags are tempting, but not so much that I'd place a separate order for them right now. I could definitely see myself buying either the London or New York bag in a future order with another pattern or two. I ordered some of that faux red leather from Girl Charlee recently with the intention of making a non-mommy bag, so I'm very much on the lookout for stylish bag patterns right now.

I like the HotPatterns dress, and I'll be ordering that while it's on sale through the weekend.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Whatever happened to....[Pattern Company]?

Lately, it seems like every time you sneeze, a new indie pattern company pops up somewhere. I've been realizing just how many of these are popping up since I started writing my This Week in Patterns posts a couple of months ago. Especially with so many of these companies offering basic, similar designs, I'm really wondering if and when the bubble is going to burst for some of these newcomers. I just don't see this being sustainable from a market perspective. I mean, how many kimono-sleeve tops and A-line skirts does a person need?

I've been thinking a bit lately about the indie pattern companies that were around when I first started sewing in 2007, and a few immediately spring to mind that are no longer around or actively releasing patterns. 

Gone or MIA

  • Betsy Ross Patterns: Before Colette and other hold-your-hand-while-sewing vintage-inspired indies arose, there were Betsy Ross Patterns. (I think I learned about them via Bust Magazine.)
    At the time, they were the only indie that I could recall that was targeting younger sewists. Most indies at that time seemed geared more towards art-to-wear or a much more mature aesthetic than mine, so Betsy Ross intrigued me.

    I never sewed any of their patterns, however. Even though I was much thinner back then, their largest size still topped out at a 41" bust and a 45" hip. My bust was slightly larger and hips were smaller than that, and I just figured that I was out of luck with their patterns. They closed up shop a few years ago, and now you can't even find a link to their website via google.

    Betsy Ross - cropped jacket
  • Go Patterns: Not to be confused with current kids' pattern company Go To Patterns, Go Patterns was an indie that produced sewing patterns focusing on couture techniques. The had a Little Black Dress sheath dress pattern that was all the rage on Pattern Review for a while. Then they released a second pattern (a cape), and then...nothing.

    Go Patterns sleeveless dress

    Their patterns were above my skill level, but I liked their sophisticated designs and liked that they targeted more advanced sewists (for when I was ready for that).

Lower Profiles

  • Jalie Patterns: While still definitely an active pattern company, Jalie released its last batch of patterns in May of this past year. However, their last two releases before that were in March 2013 and October 2011. I love the large size ranges of their patterns (covering both my two-year-old daughter and my plus sized self), but wow, they go a long time between releases. Their solid drafting and instructions has earned them a loyal following, so I doubt they're in any danger of disappearing.
  • Knipmode Magazine: In my early days of sewing, the big pattern magazines for women were Burda Fashion (before being rebranded as BurdaStyle), Ottobre Woman, and Knipmode, a Dutch magazine whose garments often had interesting draping and seaming details. They had several online distributors where you could easily order single issues in the US, and a steady stream of reviews on Pattern Review. A few years ago, though, they had a few management changes and their magazines became difficult to obtain in the US. On top of that, their designs got a lot more basic and a lot less original. You just don't see them mentioned much any more, although I guess you can buy a lot of their patterns as PDF downloads now.

The Current Crop of Indies

Of the current crop of indies, I wonder if we're already starting to see some yellow flags. Cake Patterns had a very public (and very unprofessional) social media meltdown last year and has barely been heard from since. By Hand London stopped all sales of PDF patterns, possibly because those PDF sales were cutting into the sales of their overstock of print patterns. I've read posts from other bloggers where a designer got snippy with them on their blog because of a less-than-glowing review. I have to wonder what the business plans are for these companies, given some of this head-scratching behavior.

The other thing that really stands out to me now that I've been paying a lot closer attention to pattern releases is that beyond slight differences in online personalities, I can't really differentiate between a lot of the newer indies. In a crowded market space, smaller companies have to find a strong niche to thrive, and I really wonder what the niche is for some of these designers. What makes you different from one hundred or so other indie designers out there, and why should I buy your pattern? Especially when so many of your patterns look like other patterns out there? And why does it seem like so many indie designers are targeting a beginner sewing market? With a few exceptions, where are my indie patterns for fly-front trousers, jeans, jackets, and coats?

Final Thoughts

On a contrasting note, I threw my hat in the ring and was selected to test a new pattern by a new designer. I volunteered to do so because she posted a pic of an earlier version of the design, and I loved it. It's very "me", and when I do eventually post photos, you'll know in a heartbeat why I was interested in this pattern for myself. There are also some very unique things about the construction and seaming of this pattern, and I'm really excited about it. There's a new type of welt pocket involved that I've never seen before. I'll actually *gasp* learn a new technique from this project! To me, that's the sort of thing that makes an indie pattern worth the extra cost.

Friday, November 7, 2014

This week in patterns (7-Nov-2014)

After several weeks where it seemed like collection after collection of holiday patterns were released, this week was relatively quiet in pattern news and releases.

True Bias - Sutton Blouse

This first pattern was actually released last week, but I became aware of it after I'd already published that week's post, so here it is now. True Bias, the designer behind the Hudson track pant, has released her second pattern, the Sutton blouse:


I don't really have a need for a woven kimono sleeve blouse pattern, and it seems like there are a lot of similar patterns already out there. This one is a pass for me.

StyleArc - November release

A new month always means new StyleArc patterns! This month, there's a dress pattern, a jacket pattern, and a choice between two freebie tops.

Patti Woven Dress

First up is a woven dress with interesting seaming:
StyleArc - Patti dress
Sienna Woven Jacket

Next is a woven unlined jacket that StyleArc says can be completed in an afternoon. I like the idea of this jacket, but I'm pretty over the waterfall/lapel thing at this point.

StyleArc - Sienna Woven Jacket


Freebie: Lotti Knit Top

The first freebie option is the Lotti knit top. I think that this is a really cute top....for someone else. I cant see how that bust level gathering could possibly be flattering on someone large-busted, but I'm sure that someone out there on Pattern Review or in the blogosphere will prove me wrong.

StyleArc - Lotti top


Freebie: Elsie Woven Overshirt

Oddly enough, my favorite new pattern out of this batch is this overshirt with a notched lapel collar. I like the neckline on this one a lot. It doesn't appear to have much shaping and is probably quite boxy when worn (read: not the most flattering shape on me), but it looks like it would be so comfortable for shlumping around on the weekend.

StyleArc - Elsie Overshirt

Colette Patterns - Seamwork magazine

Not really a release, but Sarai from Colette announced earlier this week that they would be releasing a digital sewing and pattern magazine in December named Seamwork. Each issue will contain two download PDF patterns and various articles on sewing-related things. The articles will be available free online, but the PDF patterns will be part of a paid subscription. The promise is that the PDF patterns will be simple things like loungewear and tote bags and will be projects that can be completed in under 3 hours. Pricing will be announced in December. If you sign up for a sneak peak, you'll be entered to win a possible free subscription. If you're interested in signing up, here's my own "sneak peak" link (i.e., I get extra entries if you sign up through my link):

https://www.seamworkmag.com/?ref=michelle2926

I think that this is an interesting idea. Honestly, though, the thing that appealed to me the most about this announcement was Sarai saying that by pairing their more basic patterns with the magazine, they plan to release more complicated patterns as part of their regular pattern line. I really like Colette's hand-holding style of instructions, but I'm way past needing those for beginner patterns. I'd love to have my hand-held through more complex garments, like their earlier patterns were.

Perfect Pattern Parcel #7

Perfect Pattern Parcel #6 just ended, but the PPP team has already released PPP #7. This time, the PPP is a group of handbag patterns:

Perfect Pattern Parcel #7
There are some cute bags here, although I'm not familiar with any of the designers this time around. I don't sew a lot of handbags myself; I typically only sew one when one either dies or when I find I need one for a specific purpose. Not needing to add to my (small) handbag pattern stash, I'll be taking a pass on this one.

Final Thoughts

This was a pretty quiet week in pattern release land, as I think that most designers/companies have released their fall or holiday patterns. We'll probably see a bit of a lull in releases until the new year starts.

I don't see any "must buy" patterns for myself this week, outside of possibly that StyleArc overshirt. The Colette announcement intrigues me, if only because I'm hoping that they'll release some more intermediate and advanced patterns in their regular releases next year.


Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Finished project: Simplicity 1233 - Elsa dress from Frozen

Do you want to build a snowman?

I did finish Eva's Elsa costume several days before Halloween. Unfortunately, I never did get "good" pictures of her in her dress. I did, however, get a few cellphone pictures of her trick-or-treating at my office on Halloween:

Eva as Elsa
I talked a bit about the construction of this dress in a previous post, back when the dress lacked a yoke, sleeves, and a zipper. Seeing Eva's reaction to the glitter organza of the cape, I opted to use it for the yoke and sleeves, as well. The neckline appears to gape a bit, I think, due to the stiffness of the organza and the fact that the dress is slightly too large on her (as intended so that she could use it as a play dress in the coming months). I'd considered using a chiffon for the sleeves and yoke for comfort, but with my OCD toddler daughter, I decided instead to sacrifice slightly stiff and less comfortable chiffon for a more Elsa-like look with the organza.

Pattern drafting notes

I found the pattern to be well-drafted in that everything lined up as expected, and I didn't encounter any weird fit issues.

Fabric

  • Cape: Glitter/snowflake organza from HelenEnoxFabrics on Etsy
  • Bodice: Sequined fabric from JoAnn's.
  • Skirt underlayer: Costume satin from JoAnn's. I also lined the bodice with this same fabric.
  • Skirt overlayer: Iridescent organza from JoAnn's.

Pattern sizing and alterations

Height-wise, my daughter is on the cusp of size 2T/3 on the Big 4 size charts. I sewed a size 3 in this dress, knowing that it would be slightly big, but figuring that she'd be able to wear it to play dress-up for at least a few months after Halloween. Outside of the skirt/cape running very long, the dress fits true-to-size.

In the reviews of the equivalent McCall's pattern, I've seen people mentioning that there is a (fairly typical with the Big 4) large amount of excess ease. I did not find that to be the case with this pattern.

I also tapered the cape so that it didn't drag on the floor in front, but was left long in back, just like the "real" dress.

cape shot

Pattern instructions

I complain about the instructions for Big 4 patterns a lot, but these were actually quite good and suggest appropriate construction methods for the garment. For example, the instructions actually have you use French seams for Elsa's cape, which is intended to be made from a sheer fabric. I think that this is the first time that I've ever seen French seams mentioned in Big 4 pattern instructions, regardless of the recommended fabrics. The order of construction is logical, as well.

Another complaint that a lot of us have about Simplicity patterns is that the instructions jump around a lot when a pattern has more than one view. That's not the case with this pattern--the instructions for Elsa's dress and Anna's dress are kept completely separate.

Final thoughts

I enjoyed making this dress a lot more than I thought I would, and I'm ecstatic about how excited it's made Eva. She'd probably wear this dress every day if we let her. I was so impressed with the pattern and its results that I'll probably snap up the other Frozen patterns from Simplicity. I think that an "Anna" dress for dress-up might make a good Christmas present. ;)

Friday, October 31, 2014

This week in patterns (31-Oct-2014)

Happy Halloween!

This post is a bit late in the day because I've been crazy busy at work this past week and haven't been able to have my usual lunchtime writing sessions. And, uh, there's been more interesting happenings in the sewing blog world this week than my little pattern recap posts. ;)

Onto the new patterns...

Simplicity - more Frozen costumes

Someone at Simplicity must have missed a big deadline because four days before Halloween, a new set of Frozen costumes appeared on the Simplicity website. These were not part of the set that showed up early in the app or on PatternReview. When Simplicity released the initial set, I was really surprised that they didn't include a pattern or views for Anna and Elsa's coronation dresses or adult versions of the costumes. Now I know why--they were simply still on their way. There's also a pattern for 18" doll (e.g. American Girl) costumes in this bunch, too. Still missing from this collection are costumes for Olaf and Kristoff, and in my mine, there should be a dog costume for Sven, too.

S0747 - Frozen Costumes for 18" dolls

Eva doesn't have any American Girl dolls yet but, I'm going to buy this pattern and stash it for when one or both of her grandmothers inevitably buy her an American Girl doll.
S0747
S0748 - Frozen costumes for girls - Coronation Day

I'm buying and stashing this one, too because I've always liked Anna's coronation dress. Plus, you never now when your daughter might want another dress from Frozen, right?

S0748
S0746 - Frozen costumes for women - Elsa's Snow Queen and Anna's Coronation dresses

So these are my two favorite dresses from the movie. I should own this pattern for that reason, right? Because I wear costumes so often, too.

S0746
S0745 - Frozen costumes for women - Anna's day dress and Elsa's coronation dress

At this point, I might as well buy this one to complete the set, right?

S0745

McCall's - Holiday collection 2014

M7058 - Misses' jackets and coats

This is a great-looking basic jacket pattern with the option of a hood! And you know that I'm all over anything with a hood.
M7058

M7057 - Misses' Vests, Jacket and Belt

Annnnnd here's a shall-collar coat that looks promising from the line drawing, but ugh, the styling for the photo shoot! This looks like a bathrobe in this fabric.

M7057

M7055 - Learn to Sew for Fun Misses' Vest and Cardigan

M7055 is a kinda cute easy cardigan pattern. I'm only pointing it out here because the illustration for View C (pictured below) reminds me an awful lot of Anna's cape from Frozen. Sure, it's not an exact copy, but I could see it as an "interpretation". Or maybe I just have Frozen on the brain.

M7055

M7045 - Misses' skirts

I predict that we'll see View D (the maxi skirt view) in Pattern Review's fabric stash contest next year at least once. Why? Because if you're using 45" wide fabric, this skirt will eat nearly freakin' 10 yards!

M7045

M7070 - Handmade Appliques, Trims & Instructions For Purchased Sweatshirts

 Ugh. And here's a pattern to re-fashion a couple of your old sweatshirts into a coat that Dr. Evil would wear, and then applique flowers all over it. This is why home sewing has an unfashionable reputation to many outsiders:
M7070

M7065 - Frozen costumes for 18" dolls

If you don't have access to Simplicity patterns but still want to make a Frozen costume for the American Girl doll in your life, McCall's can help you out:

M7065

By Hand London - Kim dress

So By Hand London pre-released another party dress, the Kim dress:

BHL - Kim dress
As I've mentioned before, I have zero need for party dresses these days, but in my younger, single life, I could see the appeal of this. I do have to wonder, though, should BHL maybe bite the bullet and just re-brand themselves as the "party dress indie"? Outside of the jumpsuit and the blazer, haven't all of the rest of their patterns been party dresses? I'm not trying to be bitchy, I'm just wondering why they don't just go ahead and embrace the niche that they're clearly leaning towards being.

Final Thoughts

My own picks out of this group are the new batch of Frozen patterns and McCall's 7058 (the hooded jacket/coat).

BTW, feel free to snark or gush over any of the patterns discussed in these posts in the comment section. And just because I happen to like or dislike a particular pattern doesn't mean that I expect everyone else to feel the same way. ;)

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Tuesday drive-by (28-Oct-2014)


Just a few quick things today...

I finished Eva's Elsa dress for Halloween, but don't have any pictures yet. What I do have is a crappily lit video of her performing "Let it Go", right down to Elsa's gestures as she performs the song in Frozen:


It's not in this part of the video, but she even stomps her foot down right as Elsa does when she light up her newly-created ice palace. In any case, we're supposed to get a break in the rain tomorrow, so I'm hoping that my husband will be able to take a few good pictures then, and I'll likely do my "finished project" blog post a few days after that.

With Eva's Halloween costume finished, I'm moving on to some selfish sewing. Outside of my Slip-on Suzie, which is currently aging in the "magic dresser", I've barely done any sewing for myself this fall.  On top of that Trudy from HotPatterns has been on a major roll with her pattern releases in recent months, and I have about a half dozen of her recent patterns that I really want to sew, like, NOW. With that in mind, I started working on paper pattern alterations for the new-ish Wong Singh Jones Sakura Bomber Jacket this morning.


HP WSJ Sakura Bomber jacket
I'm going the wearable muslin route for my first version, as I don't anticipate a ton of fitting issues here. From flat-comparing the pattern pieces, I'll be doing some petite adjustments and an FBA. For fabric, I'm using a mini-houndstooth doubleknit that's been in my stash for ages and black ribknit from stash.

In future sewing news, I swung by Hancock on my way home last night to hit the Simplicity sale. I was hoping to snag some of the just-released new Frozen patterns (to be discussed in more detail in my Friday post), but they didn't have them in yet. Hancock did, however, have all of the other patterns from this most recent Simplicity release in stock. In what seems to be a fairly new thing, they had ALL of the new patterns from the current release in a cardboard display on top of the pattern cabinet. I did come home with the following new patterns:

The Leanne Marshall coat:

Simplicity 1254

The new New Look coat:

New Look 6325
And a new Simplicity/Threads blouse that I hadn't seen previously (it's not on Pattern Review) but that apparently is part of this release. It is available on the Simplicity website:

Simplicity 1279


Simplicity 1279
Shoulder shirring (aka "a way to avoid the Big Honkin Dart" for the large-busted), different cup sizes, and different collar options? That's a big "Yes" for me.

That's it for me for now. What is everyone working on this week?