Sunday, May 24, 2015

Last Week in Patterns (24-May-2015)

Happy Memorial Day weekend to everyone in the US! I hope most of us are enjoying the long weekend so far.

We only had a few new pattern releases this past week:
  • Colette Patterns
  • Paprika Patterns
  • StyleArc

Colette Patterns: Aster blouse

The online has been very split it its opinion of the latest offering from Colette Patterns--the Aster blouse:
Colette Aster blouse
I'm pretty split on it myself.

On one hand, it looks like one of those easy, sew-in-an-afternoon projects that makes for a nice summer blouse. I would totally wear this style, and the pattern doesn't take much fabric. That said, I really liked the Sewaholic Oakridge blouse, but have shied way from it because it's totally not drafted for my figure type.

On the other hand, it took Colette over SIX MONTHS to release this pattern after releasing the Dahlia last fall. A six month wait for a very basic blouse pattern??? So I'm a little underwhelmed there. I think that my disappointment largely stems from Sarai saying that they were publishing Seamwork and its accompanying PDF patterns so that they could concentrate on more complex patterns from the main Colette line. But then the first pattern that they release after launching Seamwork looks like a Seamwork pattern?

I'm torn. For a $6 PDF, I'd jump at buying this pattern, but for full-price pattern, I'm a little more hesitant. To be honest, I felt a little burned by getting sucked into the pretty photos and line drawings for the Dahlia and was unpleasantly surprised by all of the drafting issues that popped up when people actually started sewing that pattern. I know that there are some concerns about the neckline with the Aster, but I have somewhat substantial, square-ish shoulders, and know that I could pretty easily tweak the neckline on this as needed (should be quite easy to do with a bias tape neckline finish), so I'm less concerned about that aspect than others.

Paprika Patterns: Onyx Shirt

On Thursday, Paprika Patterns released their take on the woven t-shirt with the Onyx shirt. This pattern has two views--a cropped and regular-length version, both with hi-lo hems. The regular length version has a cuff/epaulet detail on the sleeve. The cropped version has a more exaggerated hi-lo hem and also has waist darts for shaping. I couldn't find any line drawings for these, but here are photos showing both views:

Paprika Onyx top
I really love my never-blogged-because-it-was-the-test-version-of-the-pattern Paprika Jasper sweatshirt, and the Jade skirt is perpetually on my to-sew list, but I'll be passing on this one. Sure, it's cute, but I've already got a woven tee pattern that I'm happy with (the HotPatterns woven tee), I'd never use the cropped view of the Onyx, and like the Grainline Scout, the Onyx lacks much in the way of shaping (although I've certainly been known to add a bust dart to a woven pattern via FBA on more than one occasion).

StyleArc: Mid-May 2015 release

StyleArc's mid-month releases lately tend to either be designer patterns that aren't typical of StyleArc's aesthetic or are fairly basic patterns that Chloe & co. aren't going to showcase as a given month's main release. The mid-May release falls into the latter category in that StyleArc released a couple of beach/pool coverup patterns. 

Summer Cover Up

The Summer Cover Up is a cute cover up, but it also looks like a mashup of the two free HotPatterns cover ups available on

Peachy Beach Cover Up
Medina Mini Caftan

StyleArc Summer Cover Up

Holiday Maxi Cover Up

The Holiday Maxi is pretty enough, and you could probably wear it as a day dress, if you're able to go braless or wear a strapless bra.

StyleArc Holiday Maxi Cover Up


Final Thoughts

The only one of these that I'm at all tempted by is the Aster. I was really hoping that we'd have seen a few of these pop up before the end of the launch discount for this pattern had ended. As disappointed as I was that Colette released another basic design, I do actually like the design myself, but I also want to see what it looks like made up on a (preferably curvy) body before pulling the trigger.

I figure that most of the discussion in the comments this week will be about the Aster, so what do you think about it? Any thoughts on any of the other new patterns this week?

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Finished Project: Burda 6951 (Plus size slender pants)

Curvy Sewing Collective Announcement

Hello! As you may have seen yesterday, I have joined the Curvy Sewing Collective as an editor!  I am really looking forward to being involved with this group of talented women and to do what I can to promote curvy sewing and body self-acceptance and positivity no matter what your shape or size. And I'd also like to welcome all of my new readers who have started following my blog since the announcement!

Burda 6951

Let's start this post by checking off all of the SBC cliches related to the type of project that I just finished:
  • "Jeans y'all!"
  • "OMG, you guys, I made jeans!"
  • "I sewed jeans. *drops mic*"
Wearing my new Burda 6951 jeans
This pattern isn't a true jeans pattern, and really, this is more of a wearable muslin given that I've still got a few fit issues that I'm working through with this pattern. But hey, it is wearable in that I've worn them twice already, and I did mostly go through the process of constructing these jeans as if this were a "real" jeans pattern. The big differences between this pattern and a "real" jeans pattern are that this pattern does not include a coin pocket; therefore, these are not a 5-pocket jean, and the instructions don't have you flat-fell your seams, do double topstitching, etc. Where you see double rows of top-stitching along my seams, I stitched, serged to finish the seam, and then top stitched twice with Gutermann poly jeans top-stitching thread (I didn't want to mess with flat felling on a potential muslin).

Back pocket

I stole the back pocket design from Nakisha at SewCraftyChemist; I wanted to do something with the back pockets, but don't own an embroidery machine and didn't want to spend a lot of time on decorative stitching, given that I didn't know how the jeans would turn out. I purchased the rivets and jeans button from CastBullet and used Melissa's tutorial to install them.

Burda 6951 envelope

Here's the line drawing, where you can see the details a bit better:

Burda 6951 line drawing

You can see that my version isn't as close-fitting as the envelope photo, especially through the legs. I can think of two possible reasons for this:
  • The pattern is drafted for stretch, bottom weight fabrics and that draft includes negative ease at the hip in the finished garment measurements. Even though my denim had lycra and plenty of stretch, I kind of freaked out over that and went up a size from the size chart. I realized that I clearly didn't need to do this after wearing them for a bit.
  • I do think that the legs are drafted to not fit as closely shown as they do on the model. If you're a longtime reader of my blog, you've seen my legs plenty of times in dresses and skirts. I do not have disproportionately skinny legs to the rest of my body, but I'm finding that I often (not always) need to take in or grade down the size of legs in pant styles that are meant to be slim-fitting through the legs. I don't have this issue at all in RTW pants and jeans, so I suspect that it's a common issue with plus size and/or larger sized pant patterns.
Another jeans pic

Fabric and Notions Used

I used the following fabric and notions for this version of this pattern:
  • Stretch denim from stash. I'm going to guess that this denim has at least 2% lycra. It was very stretchy and has good recovery (so far). I don't know the weight, but I'd categorize it as a lighter medium weight denim. Maybe about 8 oz? I'm going to guess that I either purchased this at a Yardage Town (from when I was living in San Diego) or from a flat fold table at Michael Levine's during a years-ago shopping trip to the LA fashion district. In any case, it had been in my stash so long that I felt no anxiety about possibly sacrificing this fabric to a muslin if the jeans didn't work out.
  • Facing fabric was leftover cotton shirting from my HP Woven tee.
  • 5" YKK jeans zipper.
  • Jeans button and rivets from CastBullet.
  • Poly Gutermann jeans top-stitching thread.
Please ignore the wonkiness at the edge of the waistband underlap.

Pattern Sizing and Alterations

This is a Burda Plus envelope pattern available in sizes 42-54 (hip sizes 40 1/4"-52 3/4" or 102 cm - 134 cm). My hip measurement (50") should put me in a Burda size 52, but as I mentioned previously, I freaked out over the negative ease in the finished garment measurements and sewed a size 54. I made no other alterations other than shortening the pants inseam by 3" (to 28" hemmed) because I had no idea how these would fit out of the envelope.

One thing that I liked about this pattern is that the front pockets incorporate a tummy panel--one of the pocket pieces extends to the fly facing to help prevent pocket gape and provide tummy support.

For my next version, I'll go down a size to a 52 and add a horizontal wedge to the CB seam to give me better vertical coverage over my bum. I also used the pattern for pocket placement and will be raising the placement of my back pockets in my next version.

Jeans back

Pattern Instructions

The pattern instructions are adequate. If you've never sewn a Burda envelope pattern before, the instructions are far more detailed than the BurdaStyle magazine or download patterns. The envelope patterns also include seam and hem allowances (or at least they do in the US).

I used HotPatterns instructions from another pattern to install the fly zipper, though, because Trudy's method is the only one I've tried where I don't get a weird little pucker where the fold for the fly starts. (Her method is very similar to Sandra Betzina's , but Trudy's incorporates the fly shield at the start of construction.)

Similar Patterns

I'm not sure how many similar patterns there are to this pattern, particularly in a plus size range. The leg profile on the StyleArc Sandra jean should be similar, but that pattern is designed for non-stretch denim. There's also the much-beloved Closet Case Files Ginger jeans, but those appear to be either a true skinny jean or a slightly flared jeans leg. (Fun fact: I chose these Burda jeans to establish a baseline fit for myself when sewing other jeans patterns, such as my plan to tackle the Gingers in coming months.)

Final Thoughts

The fit on these jeans isn't perfect, but I'm pretty happy with it for an out-of-the-envelope first version. I've already made one set of alterations (including going down a size) and have started work on another pair--this time in a bottomweight stretch cotton twill in a fun print.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Last Week in No Patterns (17-May-2015)

I didn't write a pattern roundup post this week because we didn't have any new pattern releases, outside of a couple of StyleArc beach coverups that were released late on Saturday. I'll include those in next week's roundup.

I am hoping to get pictures taken of a new project that I finished, so I should have a post with some actual content in the next few days!

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Finished Project: HotPatterns 1186 - Plain & Simple Woven Tee & Dress

I feel like I've barely sewn anything in recent months, although I know that I can chalk part of that to concentrating more on fit and sewing more muslins. Not having new projects to wear definitely does make me do more ogling of the shiney new patterns that get released every week. It's not terribly exciting, but I did manage to complete a real, non-muslin, top a few weeks ago. On top of that, it's even a woven and not a knit! We finally were able to photograph it over this past weekend.

The pattern that I used is HotPatterns Plain & Simple Woven Tee & Dress, which is HotPatterns entry in the woven t-shirt category:

HotPatterns Woven Tee
I think that the envelope drawing is a pretty accurate representation. The pattern includes options for a v-neck or boatneck and options for a t-shirt or a simple shift dress with pockets. I sewed the plain, boatneck-style t-shirt and did not do the removable hem embellishment:

HotPatterns Plain & Simple Woven Tee & Dress


Fabric and Notions Used

Note that I made a muslin of this pattern first, to check dart placement, bust fit, etc, so I felt comfortable using a more-expensive-than-normal-for-me fabric for this top.
This fabric might be slightly on the crisp side for this pattern, but this cotton had such a soft, pleasant feel to it that I really enjoy wearing this top. I purchased three different blouse-length cuts of various prints from this lot, and I'm happy that I still have two more cuts remaining to be made into more blouses.

Pattern Sizing and Alterations

This pattern is available in HotPatterns sizes 6-26 (32"-52" bust).

I used a size 18 for the neck and shoulders and graded to a size 20 at the armscye. Additionally, I made the following pattern alterations:
  • 1" Full Bust Adjustment (FBA) using the Palmer-Pletsch slash-and-spread method. The resulting dart size was manageable, so I left the dart as-is without rotating parts of it anywhere or making other modifications.
  • Lowered the bust dart by 1".
  • Backed the bust dart off of my apex by 2". The darts still feel a little pointy (although my busy print helps hide this). I'll back them off of my apex a bit more the next time that I make this.
  • 1" Full bicep adjustment using the Palmer-Pletsch slash-and-spread method.
  • Shortened the top by 2". This was an accident; I meant to shorten it by 1" but was clipping fabric while talking to my toddler and accidentally clipped too much. I'll go back to shortening by 1" for the next version.
None of these alterations were unusual for me. Note that while I don't feel that the sleeves on this run particularly small, if you have larger arms, you probably want to check the fit there before cutting into your good fabric.

Let me call out the fact that the bust point is actually marked on this pattern! It's been several years since I've actually seen the bust point marked, so I want to give kudos for that. It made assessing my FBA MUCH easier.


Pattern Instructions

HotPatterns don't have super detailed instructions, but this is a pretty easy pattern. This pattern does have basic illustrations for most steps, and Trudy does remind you when you need to do things like understitch, press your seam allowances, etc. The construction of this top is pretty straightforward, but I don't recall running into anything confusing or weird in the instructions.


Similar Patterns


It seems like just about every pattern company has a variation on the woven t-shirt. I think that the HotPatterns version has a bit more bust shaping than some of the other options (good, if you're large busted, like I am), but here are a few similar options:


Final Thoughts


This is a good little pattern to have in my arsenal. It's good for showing off a print, and along the same lines, provides an unbroken canvas if you don't feel like dealing with print matching. The finished top isn't terribly exciting, but it fits me well, is comfortable, and will certainly get worn plenty of times this summer. I'm sure that I'll be making this again before too long.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Last Week in Patterns (10-May-2015)

Happy Mother's Day to all of the Mothers out there. And Happy Avoid Going Out to Brunch Day to everyone who isn't a mother! And if you're a mother-to-be, shield your eyes from the last entry out of this bunch of Buttericks.

We had a lot of new patterns released this week, most of which were actually pretty nice, aside from one collection that I thought was particularly awful. So, grab a cup of coffee, and let's get started!

Butterick: Summer 2015 Release

I was initially really "meh" about this release, but the more that I looked through it, the more that it grew on me. One thing that I missed on my first pass through is that there are actually several women's "plus" patterns in this batch that are so "normal" looking (as opposed to being oversized or shapeless sacks) that I initially overlooked them until I clicked the detail links and noticed the size range. I know that a lot of people love Coni Crawford's patterns, but the style of her patterns skews towards an older age group than the one that I'm in, so I was ecstatic to see these plus offerings from Butterick. I love that someone at BMV appears to finally be listening to the requests of larger sewists and is offering us some normal patterns in an extended size range. While there are a number of boring, seen-it-before patterns in this release, there are also some cute, unique designs, too. And, like just about any release from the Big 4, there's a winner if a "WTF?" pattern in here, too.

B6208: Misses' Tunic and Dress

This is one of those "cute for someone else" designs. I suck at sewing pintucks, and the only shaping comes from that tiny teeny little tie. But the sample in that swiss dot type fabric sure is pretty!

B6211: Retro Butterick Dress and Belt

I hate the fabric choices in the photographed version of this, but love the details and the line drawing. For a pattern with a similar vibe but a less costumey look, you could go for the BlueGingerDoll Odette dress.


B6210: Women's and Women's Petite Dresses

If you're plus sized and looking for a cheaper alternative (in the US, at least) to the True Bias Southport dress or Colette Adelaide dress, just add a button placket to B6210, which goes up to a size 32W:


B6224: Women's Kimono and Jumpsuit

Here's the other women's plus pattern--a jumpsuit/romper pattern with a kimono topper. I like this plus jumpsuit offering better than the Khaliah Ali one that was in a recent McCall's release. Including the kimono topper is a nice touch, too.

B6217: Patterns by Gertie: Misses' Blouse

I haven't been a huge fan of most of Gertie's patterns for Butterick, but I think that this one would make a really cute summer blouse (minus the boob bow, for most of us). For me, personally, I'd probably convert those darts to princess seams, but I love the neckline on this.

Butterick 6226

We can't have all sunshine and rainbows with a major Big 4 release, though, can we? So here's your WTF-ery from the Butterick Summer 2015 release. Two words: Maternity jumpsuit.

Really, Butterick?  When I was in my third trimester and peeing every five minutes, I can think of nothing that I'd rather wear less than a jumpsuit where I'd have to mess with taking half of my clothes off while trying to ignore the small being inside of me who was sitting on my bladder. And this jumpsuit has a back zipper, on top of just being, well, a jumpsuit. To be fair, the pattern does include a dress and a tunic view, and those both look okay, but still...maternity jumpsuit.

HotPatterns: Fast & Fabulous Shirt-Tail T's

If you're looking for a quick and easy knit top project, Trudy from HotPatterns released a new t-shirt pattern on Friday. This one has options for piecing, small ruffles, or a solid front. As someone who's always drawn to striped fabric, I'm a sucker for designs that can use stripes in interesting ways. I'm also a sucker for a shirt-tail hem (if you can't tell from various other pattern picks of mine). The pattern itself isn't earth-shattering, but it's very much my style, and I can see myself making this up on a whim when in need of an instant gratification project.

BTW--If you're on HotPatterns' mailing list or a member of the Facebook group, someone has already sewn this up, and it looks really cute on her! 

HotPatterns Shirt-tail T's

Liesl & Co: Spring 2015 Collection

Liesl was clearly going for casual basics with this collection. These designs are cute, classic, and mostly wearable, although not earth-shattering, from a design perspective.

Maritime Top

The Martitime top is a Breton-style knit top.  Breton tops have been pretty popular for the past few years, so I could see this being a useful, basic pattern if you don't already have something similar in your stash.

Liesl & Co. Maritime top
City Stroll Wrap Skirt

The City Stroll Wrap Skirt is a tulp-hemmed wrap skirt. Liesl says that given its shape, you don't have to worry about this wrap skirt blowing open in the wind; however, I wonder what happens to that tulip opening when you sit down in this. Regardless, it's a cute skirt with a lot of flexibility in fabric choices.

If I didn't already own the very-similar Snapdragon pencil skirt (which I still need to make!), I'd consider buying this one. (The Snapdragon actually includes two additional views, unlike the Liesl & Co. version.)

Liesl & Co. City Stroll Skirt

Gallery Tunic and Dress

The third and final style is the Gallery Tunic and dress, a pop-over style tunic or dress with classic shirt detailing. I like this a lot, but I don't think that the pleating would work on my own figure, although it would probably be fine for just about anyone who isn't uber busty. I do actually have a similar HotPattern (the Superfantastic shirt--OOP, so no link) that would probably work better for me, if I did want a blouse in this style.

Liesl & Co Gallery tunic and dress

Papercut Patterns: Chameleon Collection

For the premium prices charged by Papercut, I'd expect more interesting shapes, seaming, and general details than what we're seeing in this collection.

Waver jacket

Papercut Waver Jacket

Sway Dress

Sack with optional belt.

Papercut Sway dress
Flutter top & tunic


Papercut Flutter top & tunic
Yoyo dress & skirt

Crotch arrow.

Papercut Yoyo dress & skirt

Final Thoughts and a note about My Sewing Circle

I'm not sure exactly what I'll be buying out of this batch, but I did like a few of the Buttericks. I'd already ordered the HotPattern, but seeing it made up really sold me on the pattern. The Liesl & Co.s were cute, but I already own similar patterns to all three. And finally, the Papercut collection felt like a mailed-in collection in many ways.

On another note, a few of us who are/were looking for an alternate choice in online sewing community to Pattern Review have registered accounts and started posting on My Sewing Circle. There hasn't been a lot of recent activity over there (except for those of us who recently started posting), but I'm hoping that if the activity level increases, there will be an online place to talk about sewing outside of the PR forums. Check out the site, if you're interested.

Monday, May 4, 2015

Last Week in Patterns (4-May-2015)

Lots of patterns to go through this week, but sadly, I didn't find many of them exciting. Hopefully, you find them more interesting than I did!

BurdaStyle - May 2015 Plus Collection (Sea Breeze Collection)

After what has felt like months of fat-shaming shapeless sacks being marketed as "Plus" collections by Burda, BurdaStyle has finally released a Plus collection with some cute, non-sack patterns.

05-2015 #132 - Sundress with Pockets

I really love this. It's cute, should be flattering on a lot of figures, and is functional with those pockets. I can totally see me running around town in this on a Saturday.

BurdaStyle 05-2015 #132
05-2015 #129 - Raglan(?) sleeved tunic

“Men always say that as the defining compliment, don’t they? She’s a cool girl. Being the Cool Girl means I am a hot, brilliant, funny woman who adores football, poker, dirty jokes, and burping, who plays video games, drinks cheap beer, loves threesomes and anal sex, and jams hot dogs and hamburgers into her mouth like she’s hosting the world’s biggest culinary gang bang while somehow maintaining a size 2, because Cool Girls are above all hot. Hot and understanding. Cool Girls never get angry; they only smile in a chagrined, loving manner and let their men do whatever they want. Go ahead, shit on me, I don’t mind, I’m the Cool Girl." -- Amy Dunne in Gillian Flynn's "Gone Girl"

Really, the only reason why I clipped this one is that I think that the model bears a resemblance to Rosamund Pike.

BurdaStyle 05-2015 #129

05-2015 #128A & 128B: V-neck dresses

This pair of V-neck dresses are a nice way to show of a striped fabric. I love that they have shoulder princess seams and a modesty panel (no needing to wear a cami!). The hidden pockets are a nice touch, too. I think that between these two dresses and the sundress with pockets, Burda may have earned some of my money this month.

BurdaStyle 02-2015 #128A

BurdaStyle 02-2015 #128B

Colette Seamwork - May issue

This month's Seamwork offered us a dress and a shrug.


I've been pretty "meh" on most of the Seamwork patterns so far, but I think this dress is kind of cute. I have similar patterns in my stash (and made up a similar Vogue pattern a few years ago). It has less shaping than the True Bias Southport, but is also a few dollars cheaper if you're buying the Seamwork patterns a la carte.
Colette Seamwork Adelaide

This, on the other hand? Not my style. And I just don't see this working well on anyone who isn't tall,  slim-figured, and flat-chested.
Colette Seamwork Sydney

New Look - Summer 2015 Release

The New Look and Simplicity summer collections were released at the same time. Neither collection was particularly exciting, but they did each have a couple of patterns that caught my eye.

New Look 6373 - Misses jumpsuit, romper, and dresses

This isn't particularly bra-friendly, and that ruffle wouldn't work on my own bust, but I do think that this is a cute pattern for summer. Nakisha at Sew Crafty Chemist has already sewn up a really cute version of this.

New Look 6373

New Look 6374

New Look 6374 isn't a particularly exciting pattern, but I've seen those shirred-shoulder, tab-collar tunics all over my office for the past year or so. This would be a great pattern to replicate a current RTW trend. Also, is that the same model from this month's Burda plus spread?

New Look 6374

New Look 6389

Noting this pattern because it's a rare tween pattern. I like this because it's cute, current, and age-appropriate for its target audience.
New Look 6389
Simplicity - Summer 2015 Release

I thought that this year's summer release from Simplicity was pretty boring. There were a few patterns, I guess, that could be kind of cute if you didn't need to wear a bra or could get away with a strapless or inserting a shelf bra into the pattern, but none of that applies to me. And since this is my pattern recap, I ignore non-bra-friendly patterns.

Oddly, the two patterns that caught my eye from this collection were both swimsuit patterns.

Simplicity 1116 - MimiG Swimsuits

MimiG's and my own personal style usually couldn't be further apart, but I did think that this was a nice-looking swimsuit pattern AND it goes well into plus sizes (size 28W is the highest offered). If I do tackle a swimsuit this summer, it will likely be using the retro-style two piece pattern that was in the most recent McCall's release (and that I just picked up on sale a few days ago). But if I wanted a non-retro style suit, I'd pick up this pattern.

Simplicity 1116
Simplicity 1120 - Child's rash guard and tankini set

How cute and current are these girls' swimsuits? I'll be picking up this pattern and making it for my daughter this summer. Eva is really into tutus and twirly skirts these days, and these swimsuits look like something that she'd pick out herself.

Simplicity 1120
StyleArc - May 2015 release

Hazel Combo

The Hazel is another cocoon silhouette from StyleArc. This one has a top or dress option. They seem to be offering this style a lot lately. It's not really my style, so none of these variations has grabbed me.
StyleArc Hazel Combo
Faith Woven top

The Faith woven top is May's freebie. I like it, but I hate sewing pintucks (they're optional with this pattern), and I already own the somewhat similar previous freebie Stephanie blouse, so I'll take a pass on this month.

StyleArc Faith Woven top


Final Thoughts and a word on Me Made May


So, lots of new patterns were released this week, but none really grabbed me outside a couple of those Burda dresses. If you're still building your pattern stash, I could see a few of these appealing, though.

I won't be participating in Me Made May (drink!) this month, largely because I wear something "me-made" nearly every day, anyways. It's not really a challenge for me. But good luck to those who are participating (both in the challenge and in the drinking game)!

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Last Week in Patterns (26-April-2015)

So, um, hi? In no way did I anticipate the response that my last post received. I didn't have time over the weekend to respond to everyone's comments, but I did read all of them. That was easily the greatest number of comments for any of my posts on this blog.  A few things to take away from that post and the response:
  • We all have different experiences with PatternReview, but I noticed that the trend from the posted comments was that the people who felt most positively about it were the people who'd made a comment to the effect that they didn't go into the forums much. Take away message for me: Stay out of the PatternReview forums. I have enough things on my plate and don't need to add to them by going places with what I feel is negative energy.
  • For those of us thinking we'd like to see a little more diversity in guest posters and content on CSC, please send them your articles and reviews! 
  • I've been guilty of saying that I would write something for the CSC and then flaking, and from reading other comments, I'm not the only one. (I had been totally on board with the "season of separates" idea, but for "pants month", my pant muslin needed a lot more work than I anticipated, and I wasn't able to get a "real" pair done by the end of that month. And then my dad's health plummeted, I traveled back and forth to San Diego a bunch, and I barely sewed anything for two months.) 
Back to the purpose of this post: I want to get the pattern roundup post series going again, although I'll be posting these on Sunday (rather than Friday) to give myself the weekend to finish writing them. We had a somewhat interesting week of releases this past week.

This week, we have new patterns from the following companies:
  • Grainline Studios
  • McCall's
  • Muse
  • StyleArc
  • TrueBias


This Week's Pattern Round-up


Grainline Studios: Morris Blazer

I am so flippin' sick of waterfall cardigans. They were fine for a while, but now I'm done with them (like peplums). It makes me really happy that we're starting to see some new cardigan/casual jacket shapes emerging from the pattern world, like the just-released Grainline Morris Blazer (The SBCC Cabernet cardigan, in a boyfriend shape, is another.)

Grainline Morris Blazer
I'm not sure that this boxy silhouette is the best choice for my figure, but I really like the shape and design. Jen drafted this blazer to be made from either a ponte/doubleknit or a stretch woven, so you have quite a few fabric options for this pattern, and the resulting jacket should be pretty comfortable.

I'm somewhat tempted, but it does look pretty similar to the HotPatterns Sweet Jacket, which I already own. I like the collar of the Morris better, but the back of the HP is a lot more interesting.

McCall's Patterns: Summer 2015 release

I thought that overall, the summer release from McCall's was pretty boring, but of the patterns that I liked, I *really* liked them a lot. There's also a really good "WTF" pattern in here, too, for those of us who are amused by that sort of thing.

M7167: Misses' romper and jumpsuits

So that Vogue 9075 culotte jumpsuit pattern that I've been planning to make for the past couple of months? I like this McCall's pattern better. And the McCall's has cup sizes, too. On top of that, the sleeves are a more youthful shape, and I think that this will be a more flattering look on me.

McCall's 7167
If I could go braless, I'd be all over the view with the cutout/strappy back, but McCall's at least provided a covered back view, too.

M7156: Misses' dresses, rompers, and jumpsuits

I am going to buy make up View A of this pattern, and rock it over a babydoll tee with a pair of Doc Marten 8-eyes, grab a wine cooler, and chant, "Donna Martin graduates! Donna Martin graduates!"

McCall's 7156 - View A
Seriously, though, I will be buying this pattern. It's a classic shape with princess seams, I can easily increase the width of the straps to make it more bra-friendly, and since I now hoard romper and jumpsuit patterns, it'll be good for that, too. (This pattern is also a less expensive version of the By Hand London Sabrina dress.)

McCall's 7156 - View C

M7168: Misses' two-piece swimsuits

How refreshing to have a retro-style swimsuit pattern where the straps aren't halter straps!  I think that there are a lot of cute options in this pattern, and I think that by mixing and matching different elements, just about any woman could put together a swimsuit that flatters her figure and that she feels comfortable in. The under-bust band on the tops of these also lend themselves more to adding additional bust support more easily than some retro styles. Love the skirt/tankini option, too.

I recently bit the bullet and bought a Modcloth swimsuit, and I'm really happy with it, but I've added this pattern to my list for the next JoAnn's sale.

McCall's 7154: Archive collection gown

I have neither the figure type nor the event schedule to wear a gown like this, but I do love the design:

McCall's 7154
McCall's 7176: Leather accessories

And then there's M7176, the perfect accessory pack if you're planning to head to a steampunk leather bar. Thankfully, one of the included patterns provides a nice starting point for a pair of assless chaps, should you ever need them:

McCall's 71716

Muse Patterns: Knit sleeve add-on pack

Muse Patterns (of Jenna cardigan and Gilian wrap dress fame) did something interesting this week: They released an add-on pack of four knit sleeve variations that should work with all of Muse's knit patterns.  The knit sleeve add-on pack is available for the very reasonable price of $3 USD (can you tell that I've already purchased this?)

The add-on pack includes the following four sleeve variations:
  • Short tulip sleeve.
  • Gently gathered sleeve cap, and options for short, 3/4 or long sleeve length with a classic narrow sleeve. 
  • Short flutter sleeve.
  • Classic narrow sleeve with options for short, 3/4 or long sleeve length.
Muse Patterns - Knit tulip sleeve
One thing that I've really liked about Muse Patterns, from what I've seen so far, is how much emphasis places on providing a lot of value from her patterns. Most of her patterns contain at least three views, and she truly seems to want to provide sewists with patterns that they'll be able to make multiple times with different looks.

StyleArc: Cleo Knit Dress and Tabard

For their mid-month release, StyleArc released a pair of "designer" patterns, which is something that they've done several times in recent months.  I could see how these pieces could look chic on the right person, but they're really not my style.

Cleo Knit Dress

The Cleo has sleeveless and long sleeved options and includes optional dart shaping.

StyleArc Cleo Knit Dress

Cleo Long Tabard

To be honest, before I received the StyleArc newsletter this week, I didn't even know what a "tabard" was. I turned to Google for writing this post:

Tabard definition via Google
I'm guessing that Cleo (or someone else on the StyleArc team, although the garments are named "Cleo") saw something like this on a runway show or something like that. It seems like too random of an offering from StyleArc to not have a clear inspiration piece behind it.

StyleArc Cleo Long Tabard
The StyleArc tabard is designed to be made out of sheer fabrics and worn as an outer layer over the Cleo knit dress.

Honestly, I don't know what to even think of these, so I'm reserving judgment until I see them worn together on a real person.

True Bias: Southport Dress

I've been pretty "meh" on the first two patterns released by True Bias, but I actually think that the new Southport dress is pretty cute:

True Bias Southport Dress
I'm sure that we'll be seeing tons of these popping up all over the sewing blogosphere over the next few months. I think I'd be tempted to buy it, but I do already own the very similar Blank Slate Catalina dress pattern, which I bought last summer.


Final Thoughts

We had a fair number of new releases this week, of which, I suspect the Morris blazer and Southport dress are the ones that we'll be seeing the most of in the coming months. (Now, who will be the first blogger to post a photoshoot of a Morris blazer paired with a Southport dress?)

Of all of these, I think I'm actually the most excited about a handful of the new McCall's, since I don't already have pattern doppelgangers for the ones that I like in my pattern stash.

And what do you think about Muse offering the sleeve add-on pack for a few bucks? I'm kind of surprised that more designers don't do things like this--it's a good way to extend the use of your already-purchased (and altered) patterns without having to buy and figure out alterations for a whole new pattern.