Sunday, July 5, 2015

Last Week in Patterns (5-July-2015)

I hope that those of us in the US are enjoying our weekend, and I hope that your dog has emerged from his or her hiding place where it was cowering during last night's fireworks.

This past week, the following designers released new patterns:
  • By Hand London
  • Cake Patterns: Tidepool Collection, Wave 2
  • Colette Seamwork: July 2015
  • Seamstress Erin
  • StyleArc: July 2015 Release

By Hand London: Zeena Dress

By Hand London released their first pattern release since announcing that they'd be closing their studio and getting out of the paper pattern business (for now). Not surprisingly, it's a party dress, although this one looks like it could be dressed down with a more casual fabric.

Their patterns really don't fit my style or lifestyle, and this one is no exception. However I know that they're popular among other sewists.

BHL - Zeena
Cake Patterns: Tidepool Collection (Wave 2)

I can't talk about the second batch of patterns from Cake's Tidepool collection without mentioning the elephant in the room--Steph's recent blog post: http://3hourspast.com/2015/06/29/coming-out/

I don't really feel comfortable commenting on it more than to say that I hope she's getting the help that she needs and starts to see some improvement, for the sake of her mental health and of her family.

Anyway, I'd misunderstood the initial announcement of the Tidepool collection, thinking that it would consist of 3 shells, the Endeavor pants/skirt, and a skirt with undershorts. There are actually four shells, in total, in the collection along with the aforementioned pants/shorts and skirt.

Urchin skirt

The Urchin skirt is an elastic waist skirt with a pleated waistband and pockets. The pattern includes a knit undershort pattern for modesty and chub rub prevention.

I don't ever wear my shirts untucked, so while kinda cool-looking, the pleated waistband holds no appeal to me. The knit undershorts are a nice extra, but not enough to get me to invest in a basic pattern like this.

Cake - Urchin skirt
Scallop Shell

The Scallop Shell is one of the four Tidepool shells and includes options for a sweetheart or boatneck neckline, and an option to add a pretty cool-looking sailor's knot detail in back. I like the options included with this pattern, although I think that the price is pretty steep for a shell pattern of any kind.

Cake - Scallop shell
Miter Shell

The final shell--the Miter shell--is probably my favorite. It features a square neckline and a miter weave detail on the back.

Cake - Miter shell
Overall, I quite like the three shells that clearly share the same pattern base--the Scallop, Miter, and Pipi (discussed last week). As a consumer, however, I really wish that she had released these all as part of the same pattern, even if that meant raising the price slightly from the "Riff" price that these currently have. I'd guess that most interested people would probably look at buying one shell and then look for tutorials on how to hack the other necklines and back details onto their basic shell.

Colette Seamwork: July 2015 Issue

The July issue of Seamwork has an "outdoors" theme. In line with this, the two patterns being released this month are a pair of drawstring shorts and a drawstring backpack.

Nantucket shorts

As someone who hasn't really been taken with most of the Seamwork patterns, I think that these are really cute, actually. I'm a little dubious of the fact that the pattern doesn't appear to include any elastic--I could see these coming untied and sliding off pretty easily--but outside of the somewhat similar Made with Moxy Prefontaine shorts, these shorts are a fairly unique design.

Colette Seamwork - Nantucket shorts
Seabrook bag

I think that the Seabrook bag is pretty cute, too, although you can find drawstring bag/backpack patterns like this one all over the place these days. I made up the HotPatterns version a few years ago, myself.

Colette Seamwork - Seabrook bag

Seamstress Erin: Nautilus Swimsuit

I hadn't really followed Seamstress Erin, but she recently released a swimsuit pattern that caught my attention. And why did it grab my attention? It includes cup sizes up to DD+ (I'm not sure what a "DD+" is, but typically that means that it's sized for a generous DD cup) and includes strap options beyond halter straps. And I think that the twist detail is pretty cute, too.

We've already had an early review on the Curly Sewing Collective, and it's quite positive, which is very encouraging, I think.

Seamstress Erin - Nautilus swimsuit
StyleArc: July 2015 Release

Candice Skirt

The Candice skirt is StyleArc's take on the full skirt trend. It has a pocket and stitched-down inverted pleats. It's a cute skirt, although I'm not sure what this particular pattern offers over a lot of the similar Big 4 patterns that are already out there. I do like that the pleats are stitched down, which would help minimize bulk over the hips and tummy.

StyleArc - Candice skirt

Skye Top

The Skye top is designed to be paired with the Candice skirt. Skye is drafted for stable knits or lightweight wovens. It's a pretty simple top--I find it difficult to have much of an opinion about it. I'm kind of surprised that this wasn't the freebie for the month.

StyleArc - Skye top

Livia Jacket

Easily my favorite pattern offering out of this batch, the Livia Jacket also happens to be the freebie pattern for July. It's basically an easy Chanel-look style jacket with a boxy cut and optionally trimmed pockets. This jacket is unlined and has a hook-and-eye closure.

StyleArc - Livia Jacket

Final Thoughts

So...my picks for the week...I don't really have any "must haves", but I do have a few that interest me and that I'll be watching for reviews.

I've been really encouraged by what I've seen from the Nautilus swimsuit so far, so that one is definitely on my radar. I actually really like some of the tank/shells from Cake, although I wish that she had packaged them all together as separate view and just charged the price of a full pattern for them. Finally, I like the Seamwork shorts, but as a non-subscriber, I'll have some time to see how they look when made up before making any decisions on whether I'd want to actually buy them.

What are your favorites out of this batch?

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Mid-year checkpoint: Sewing goals for 2015

Like many other sewing bloggers, I set a list of goals for myself for 2015 at the beginning of the year.  By some sewing blogging standards, my goals for this year weren't particularly ambitious, but they did all relate to areas where I wanted to progress. Now that it's the end of June, and we're already halfway through 2015, I think it's about time to check in on those goals and see how I'm doing.

Finish that damn winter coat.

Done! Yaaaaaaaaaay!

Simplicity 1254 - Leanne Marshall coat

Pattern stash goal: none

I didn't want to set a pattern stash goal for myself this year because I felt that I should stop fighting my "Ooh shiney!" tendencies and embrace them instead. Interestingly, I do feel like I've been a little more thoughtful in my pattern/project selection this year by concentrating on wardrobe holes and very wearable garments, rather than purchasing and leaping into The Next Big Thing, pattern-wise. I do feel like writing my weekly pattern roundups has helped me evaluate new pattern releases a little more objectively than I had been, and as a result, has curtailed some of my impulse pattern purchases.

 

 Fabric stash goal: Shop my stash first, shop local for wovens, and quality over quantity

This one has been a bit of a mixed bag.  I think that about half of the projects that I've made so far this year have been sewn from stash fabric, as opposed to fabric purchased in the past couple of months. I am realizing that I really do need to go through my stash and do another cull--there are fabrics in there that made the cut at the last cull because I liked them, but I am now realizing that I am unlikely to wear a garment actually made from those fabrics. I also did have a few pretty bad online buying binges while my father's health was failing, but that was retail therapy in the truest sense of the phrase. I don't need to beat myself up over this, even if my credit card statement is a somewhat nasty reminder.

On the other hand, I've definitely been doing the quality over quantity thing--making fewer purchases if not spending less money. I can't count how many times I've filled a cart on FabricMart's website and then had the willpower to close my browser tab.

Sew a water-resistant jacket with a hood.

Can't say that I've made much progress here. Granted, we've been having a ridiculously warm and dry year here in the PNW, and that's killed my motivation for this goal, somewhat. The other thing killing my motivation has been the lack of pattern options that fit my idea of "the perfect rain jacket". If the Sewaholic Minoru wouldn't require major re-drafting to fit me, I'd probably sew that and be done with this goal. If a jacket with the details that I want doesn't get released in the coming months, I'm toying between either trying to feminize the fit of a men's pattern or converting the Jalie City Coat to a zippered opening.


Jalie City Coat

Jeans! Jeans! Jeans!

I'm almost there on this one! Technically, I guess, I did make a pair of jeans when I made my wearable muslin pair of Burda 6951. However, now that I've made this pattern again and have the fit much closer to what I wanted, I'm not counting this goal as "accomplished" until I make up my "real" pair of jeans. I do consider this goal to easily be "on track" to be done by the end of the year.

Burda 6591 - wearable muslin

Burda 6951 - back pocket and rivets

Fit and sew a button-down blouse.

I haven't tackled a button-down blouse yet, but I do currently have a couple of shirtdress patterns sitting on my cutting table as candidates for my next project. Does that count? In any case, I'm pretty confident that I'll accomplish this by the end of the year. Note that by "fit", I mean "wearable in public", not "get rid of all wrinkles and draglines".

Watch and complete the relevant projects for at least two of my Craftsy classes.

I've started watching Suzy Furrer's skirt sloper class. I want to learn more about drafting my own patterns and figured this was probably the easiest place to start. I'm also hoping to get through one or both of Suzy's bodice sloper class and/or Beverly Johnson's basic bra-making class.

 

Final Thoughts

So, I feel like I'm doing "not bad, but could be better".  On the other hand, I feel like I'm on track to accomplish most of what I set out to do in 2015. As a list maker, I know that it will feel awfully good to tick a few of these boxes when I do accomplish a few of these goals. I guess we'll just see?

Did you make any sewing goals for 2015? How are you progressing on your own goals?

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Last Week in Patterns (28-June-2015)

It's Sunday, and we have a LOT of patterns to look through, including early Autumn releases from Simplicity and McCall's, both of which had some nice patterns. Grab a cup of coffee and a nice breakfast pastry because we're going to be here for a while.

Here's the list of the releases that we'll be covering today:
  • Cake Pattern: Tidepool Collection
  • Closet Case Files: Sallie Jumpsuit and Maxi-dress
  • McCall's: Early Autumn 2015 release
  • Peek-a-boo Patterns: Friday Harbor blouse and dress
  • Simplicity: Early Autumn 2015 release
Cake Patterns: Tide Pool Collection, Wave 1

After a long hiatus of about a year and a half, StephC from Cake Patterns has released a new pattern collection for summer called "Tidepool". She'll be releasing this collection in two waves, and it will consist of three top patterns that can be paired with two bottom patterns, all with multiple views. She's just released the Wave 1, which consists of two shell patterns and a pattern for pants or shorts.

I'll admit that while I was turned off a bit from Cake after Steph's social media meltdown a while back, I do like a few of the patterns in the collection. Granted, I'm not sure that anyone needs three different knit shell patterns that, at first glance, all appear to be pretty similar but with different details.

Pipi Shell

Like all Cake Patterns, you'll draft/trace the Pipi Shell to your own measurements. This is a simple pattern, but I like it. Cut out backs and back details are all the rage these days, but unlike a lot of patterns I've seen along that line, this one is actually bra-friendly. I'd consider this one.

Cake - Pipi Shell
Janthina Shell

Whereas I kinda liked the Pipi shell, I'm pretty meh on the Janthina. It just reminds me too much of those tops with flounces that everyone was sewing a few years ago. Both Simplicity and HotPatterns had variations on this, and I'm just not ready for flounces to come back yet.

Cake - Jathina shell
Endeavor Trousers

These are easily my favorite pattern out of this bunch. The seaming and pocket details, while not totally original, are also something that you don't see in a lot of sewing patterns. The trouser legs are a bit wide for 5'2" me, but I suspect that's something that you can customize with this pattern, at least somewhat. And I just think that the shorts are really cute and wearable.

One thing that I'll point out is that the shorts and pant samples fit Steph very well--no weird crotch wrinkles or butt drag lines or anything. Granted, this is easier to accomplish with a wide legged trouser than, say, a pair of skinny jeans, but we've also seen plenty of pant patterns from other indies that have had insane crotches or other fitting red flags. Outside of the fact that I feel like these look too long on Steph (or that she should have been wearing different shoes), I think that many of us would be really happy to have trousers that fit like these.

Cake - Endeavor Trousers and Shorts

Closet Case Files: Sallie Jumpsuit and Maxi-Dress

I don't have a whole lot to say about this one. I think it's cute, but I've been hoarding jumpsuit and maxi-dress patterns for a while and have options that are fairly similar to most of the views here that I'd wear.

If you're not like me and don't hoard jumpsuit and maxi-dress patterns; however, this one does provide you with quite a few options. I do really like that Heather included both bra-friendly and non-bra-friendly views in this pattern, so that those of us who do not have the option of wearing a strapless bra aren't left out in the cold. I'll be putting this one in my "like it, but probably don't need it" pile.

Closet Case Files - Sallie Jumpsuit and Maxi-dress
McCalls: Early Fall Release 2015

Much like their early spring release about six months ago, there are quite a few patterns that really like in McCall's Early Fall release. What's interesting to me about this collection is that I've been seeing many of these looks popping up in RTW around Seattle. A valid criticism of the Big 4 is that their patterns are sometimes a step behind RTW trends, but you could walk into a department store today and buy pieces that are similar to a lot of the patterns in this collection.

Also, remember that cute brunette model with the short hair that we all liked so much from the Early Spring release? She's back, and she's still damn cute.

If you haven't already refilled your cup of coffee, now is the time to do so.

M7187: Misses' Dress with panel inset and drop-waist skirt options

I think that this dress is really cute. I like the princess seam inset/panel, and the skirt options on the drop-waist are interesting.

M7187
M7188: Misses Dress (with cup sizes)

Princess seams, a short midriff band, and a quarter circle skirt? I'm there. The styling in the sample photo is really unfortunate, but look beyond that and see what a cute, potentially flattering dress there is in the line drawings.

M7188
M7199: Knit jacket with asymmetrical zipper

I've been seeing this style of jacket all over Seattle. They're really cute on a lot of women. I was actually figuring that I'd buy the StyleArc Marie, which is relatively inexpensive in PDF form, to knock off this style, but now McCall's has put out a nearly identical version of this look. The "No provisions provided for above waist adjustment" is a little concerning, though, given that I know I'd need to FBA this.

M7199

M7192: Misses' Tops with sheer overlay

I've been seeing these blouses with the asymmetrical sheer overlays around town a lot so far this summer. I've stayed away from these patterns with the overlays on the front before because I was afraid that the fabric would hang unattractively off of my boobs, but I'm less concerned about that with this version, since the overlay fabric would be a lightweight, drapey sheer.

M7192
M7195: Misses' Woven Sweatshirts

Woven t-shirts have been huge for the past couple of summers, so it makes sense that the next step in this trend evolution would be a woven sweatshirt, right? I live in the sweatshirt capital of the world, so of course, I'm going to give this one a try.

M7195
M7203: Misses' Romper and Jumpsuit

Because I hoard but don't make romper and jumpsuit patterns. Well, to be honest, part of that is that I've been searching for a romper/jumpsuit pattern that had the following elements that previously had been difficult to find all in one pattern: button front, elastic waist, easy to FBA. This pattern checks all of those boxes. Have I finally found the pattern that I'll use to test drive this trend?

M7203
M7214: Kids' and Adults TMNT and Minion costumes

Minions! And Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles! All part of the same pattern! Eva is really into minions right now, so this pattern will be a likely contender for this year's Halloween costume.


M7211: Frozen Costumes for Dogs

Frozen costumes for dogs. I have nothing else to say about this.

M7211

Simplicity: Early Fall Release 2015

Simplicity released a small batch of patterns earlier this week (although these patterns had been appearing around JoAnns' stores for at least a week before this). As is typical with their early fall releases, this batch contained a few costume patterns that I suspect Simplicity expects to sell well for Halloween. There are also some nice basics for fall, including a jacket that I absolutely love.

Simplicity 1066: MimiG Lined Jacket

Generally, MimiG's style and my own style don't have a whole lot of overlap, but OMG, I LOVE THIS JACKET pattern! First off, it's actually a lined jacket pattern (as opposed to draft your own lining and figure things out), it includes multiple cup sizes--up to a DD in the larger range, which is what I use, it has shoulder princess seams (yay!), and I really like the optional details--you could either go with a bit of a military look or incorporate some faux leather piecing.

We know what jacket pattern I'll be making this fall, right?

Simplicity 1066 - MimiG jacket
Simplicity 1063: Misses' Knit Tops

Based on my experience with a similar HotPatterns knit top that I ended up not wearing much, I don't think that Simplicity 1063 is the best look for me, but it's an interesting pattern that incorporates some draping and a crossover in a kind of cool way. (There was also a similar BurdaStyle pattern about a year and a half ago.)

Simplicity 1063 - Misses Knit Tops
Simplicity 1061: Sew Chic lined dress and jacket

This dress is cute as heck (especially in the fabric that they chose), although it's probably not something that I would sew/wear. I suspect that we'll see lots of cute versions of this one out and around the SBC in coming months.

Simplicity 1061: Sew Chic dress
Simplicity 1095: Misses' (Dr. Who) Costumes

I don't watch Dr. Who myself, but I know plenty of people who are really into it. One of the most Seattle cars I've seen since moving here was a Fiat with a "My Other Ride is a Tardis" sticker on it. This costume is for the driver of that car.

Simplicity 1095: Misses' (Dr. Who) Costumes
Simplicity 1094 & Simplicity 1097: Girls' and Misses' Frozen Fever costumes

Were you a child in the early 80's? Did you play with Star Wars action figures? Do you also happen to remember how George Lucas would license and Kenner would sell action figures who appeared in all of ONE SHOT of the original trilogy? Like this guy--Hammerhead? (He was featured in exactly one shot of the Cantina Scene in Episode IV.)

Star Wars Hammerhead action figure
Disney/Simplicity appear to be heading down a similar route with the movie Frozen and its characters. With a true sequel somewhere on the distant horizon, Disney ran a 10-minute animated short called "Frozen Fever" before the live-action version of Cinderella a few months ago. We now have a set of women's, children's, and 18" doll costumes from Simplicity, based on the dresses that Anna and Elsa wore in that short. Has Frozen jumped the shark? And is this worse than Anna and Elsa costumes for a dog? (FWIW, my 3-year-old is currently more into Thomas the Train and minions than she is into Frozen.)

Simplicity 1094

Simplicity 1097

Final Thoughts

So when is the next McCall's sale at JoAnn's?

Scrolling through this post, I feel like a cat in a room full of laser pointers. This one! No,  I'm getting this one!

My picks for the week are the Endeavor (I actually have a voucher for a free pattern from Cake from my "house" winning a long-ago sewalong), the MimiG jacket from Simplicity, and a whole lot of the new McCall's patterns. Which are your favorites out of this bunch?

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Finished (Unselfish) Project: Blank Slate Patterns - Pocket PJs

A couple of months ago, when our local Hancock had its big "Going Out of Business" sale (*sigh*), I stopped by with my daughter Eva to pick at the corpse like vultures see what sort of deals there were to be had. Most of the remaining fabric wasn't anything that I was interested in, even at sale prices, and they had already shipped their stock of muslin to another local store (darn!), but I did manage to stock up on quite a few notions. I also let Eva pick out a couple of cuts of fabric for future unselfish sewing projects.

Between sewing for Eva and a few unsuccessful projects for myself, I went most of last autumn and into early winter without many wearable additions to my wardrobe, so for the past few months, I've been concentrating on sewing clothes for myself. In recent weeks, however, Eva has been showing more and more interest in watching me sew, and I felt that it was time to finally make her something from one of the cuts of fabric that she picked out. Given that she's (almost) 3 years old, everything that she picked out was a quilting cotton with a licensed character on it, so my pattern choices would be limited to pajamas. Given that our temperatures have rocketed into summer, I needed a woven PJ pattern, preferably without a collar. Enter the Blank Slate Pocket PJ pattern, which I purchased to fill out a bundle a while back, but hadn't made up yet.

This pattern not only has a collarless placket-style opening, it includes two front patch pockets, which are the perfect size for carrying around a couple of Fisher Price Little People:

Blank Slate - Pocket PJs
Blank Slate Pocket PJs on my sewing table
It's not shown in the line drawing or in any of the sample photos, but the pattern does include an option for short sleeves, which I used. I also cropped the pants at knee-length make them more appropriate for summer. I did not use a contrast fabric as was shown in the samples. Other than my changes, though, you can see that my version is pretty close to the sample photo and line drawing:

Blank Slate Pocket PJs - sample photo and line drawing

Fabric and Notions Used

 

  • Fabric: Minnie Mouse quilting cotton purchased from Hancock
  • Buttons: Basic shirt buttons from stash

 

Pattern Sizing, Drafting, and Alterations

 

This pattern is available in Blank Slate kids' sizes 18M - 8.

As with every Blank Slate pattern I've sewn, this one runs close to RTW sizing, maybe a touch larger. I sewed a size 3T, which is Eva's current RTW size, and it fits nicely with just enough extra room that I'm confident that she'll be able to wear it through the summer without growing out of it.

You do not get the huge amounts of excess ease with Blank Slate patterns that you do with some Big 4 kids' patterns, which is why I will happily pay a few extra dollars for these patterns rather than trying to hunt down a Big 4 version. It's nice to just be able to sew my child's RTW size rather than play sizing guessing games.

The only pattern alteration that I made this time was to shorten the pants to shorts. The short-sleeve option is included in the pattern, although not pictured anywhere on the Blank Slate website.

I ran into one issue with the drafting of the pattern, and it's one that I've encountered before with Blank Slate, so I'm guessing that this might be a drafting block issue--the sleeve cap did not have enough ease to need to be eased onto the armscye--in fact it was the other way around where I had to ease the armscye onto the sleeve. It's an easy fix to add ease to a sleeve cap, though, so I'm noting it and will adjust for the future.

Note that unlike some children's patterns, this pattern does include separate front and back pieces (clearly marked) and the curve of the sleeve cap is appropriately longer on the back side than on the front.

PDF Assembly

I didn't run into any issues assembling the PDF for this pattern. I've consistently found Blank Slate's PDF patterns to be clearly formatted and to not have any issues with the pattern lines lining up correctly.

Pattern Instructions

I found the pattern instructions and accompanying photos to be very clear. I had never sewn this type of placket before, and not only did I not need to get out the seam ripper, I think I ended up with a pretty nice-looking placket on my first try.

Not bad for a first attempt at this type of placket, right?


I only skimmed through the rest of the instructions but I found them to all look pretty reasonably easy to follow.

 

Final Thoughts

 

Eva asked  to wear her new Minnie jammies two nights in a row, so I know that I have a hit here. These pajamas are a fun twist on traditional pajamas, and what kid doesn't love pockets? I forsee this pattern getting quite a bit of use in the coming years.

They made Eva so happy that she felt like dancing!

The Minnie Jammies Dance



Sunday, June 21, 2015

Last Week in Patterns (21-June-2015)

We had more pattern release activity this week than we've had in a while, with a new BurdaStyle collection and Jalie announcing their 2015 patterns. This week's releases:
  • BurdaStyle (Plus)
  • Jalie
  • StyleArc

BurdaStyle (Plus): July 2015 collection

BurdaStyle posted their Plus collection for their July 2015 issue earlier this week. There was one piece I loved, one piece I kinda liked (in one sample) and a lot of meh.

07-2015 #134: Short sleeved maxi dress

First up is a peasant-style maxi-dress. It's okay, but it doesn't really thrill me. I can't tell if those are raglan sleeves, or if they're some sort of weird flutter sleeve that's just attached at the neckline.

BurdaStyle July 2015 #134
07-2015 #131 & 07-2015 #133: Peplum blouse and scarf print dress

So these are clearly the same pattern, although with Burda giving them separate pattern numbers, I'm not sure if you'd get both views as part of the same download. Both are pretty "meh" to me, but I actually really like the eyelet version of the blouse that they paired with the flared jeans (below).

BurdaStyle July 2015 #131

BurdaStyle July 2015 #133


07-2015 #130A: Denim pants

I love this outfit. The flared pants/jeans are fun, and they actually have seaming on the legs--a feature that I can't recall having seen recently in a plus sized pattern, which is funny to me, because the seams can help with fitting. And the blouse is the same as pattern #131. I like it MUCH better in the eyelet shown here than in the fabrics that they chose for the actual pattern photos.

BurdaStyle July 2015 #130A (paired with #131)
07-2015 #129A: Midi Flutter Dress & 07-2015 #129B: Gown

Patterns #129A & B are a perfectly serviceable dress and gown. Neither is really my own style, but they're inoffensive in that they aren't horribly shapeless or anything.

BurdaStyle July 2015 #129A

BurdaStyle July 2015 #129A
07-2015 #128: Crochet Tunic

A BurdaStyle release wouldn't be complete without a shapeless rectangle, so here's this month's shapeless rectangle, which really is a rectangle with a neck hole cut out:

BurdaStyle July 2015 #129A
Jalie: 2015 Release

Long-time indie pattern fav Jalie announced their 2015 patterns for release this week. Disappointingly, to some of us, there weren't many "everyday" patterns in this release, but there definitely were some very useful patterns for a lot of us. If you're unfamiliar with Jalie, they tend to release a lot of well-drafted everyday basics, activewear, and niche sports (e.g. skating) patterns with all sizes from 18M all the way up to plus sizes with a 53" hip.

In the niche pattern category, we had the following:
In the patterns with a bit wider audience, we have the following options:

Anne-marie tank and dress

Anne-marie is a racerback tennis dress or tank top, with a useful pocket in the back. I don't play tennis or cycle (the two intended uses for the dress view), but I could see this just being a cute summer dress for Eva or a useful exercise top for myself.

Jalie - Anne-Marie tennis top or dress

Cora Running tights and shorts

The Cora running tights and shorts are an inseamless exercise tight. If I still jogged like I did in my younger, slimmer days, I'd be all over this pattern. I'd be curious to hear from others how these compare to Melissa Fehr's inseamless running pants.

Jalie - Cora running tights
Elenore pull-on jeans

Yup, pull-on jeans. And they will be perfect for my daughter, who currently sticks with leggings, as far as pants go. I'll probably sew up a pair or two for myself as well. This is one of those patterns where the utilitarian aspect makes it a total no-brainer that I'd purchase this one.

Jalie - Eleonore pull-on pants
Bella Dress

The Bella dress is designed for twirling. Really. It started off life as a ballroom dancing pattern (see the built-in leotard option) but Jalie decided to add options for making it an everyday dress. Given that I sew for a little girl who loves to twirl, this one is also a no-brainer for me to purchase. And yeah, I could definitely find a use for a fit-and-flare princess seamed knit dress for myself, too. ;)

Jalie - Bella dress
ETA: Someone on PatternReview just pointed out that this dress only goes up to an adult size AA--a 42" bust instead of Jalie's usual 50" bust. WTH? That's kind of lame, given that one of the usually great things about Jalie is the size range. I could still use this dress for Eva, but I guess I won't be making one for myself, then.

StyleArc: June 2015 designer release

*sigh* As much as I've loved StyleArc in the past, based on recent releases, I really feel like their aesthetic is starting to move away from my own.  We got another "designer" release for our mid-June release earlier this week, and this time around it's a boxy top and a gaucho-esque pair of pull-on pants. These aren't bad or boring patterns--they're just not my own style.

Ethel Designer Pant

The Ethel pants are a pull-on cropped-leg pant with a tucked elastic waist and a full leg that narrows at the hem. Basically, to me, these seem kind of like this season's culottes, but without the typical volume that we've been seeing at the hem. But I kinda like that volume--in my fantasy of my yet-to-be-sewn culottes, the legs are flowy and swishy. I do think that the the Ethels could be a very comfortable pant for summer, though.

StyleArc - Ethel pants
Ethel Designer Top

I was completely "meh" on this, until I scrolled down past the line drawing and saw the sewn up sample. It's another boxy, woven t-shirt style top.

StyleArc - Ethel top
I still don't think that this shape will work on my uber busty figure, but I will admit that it looks awfully nice on the model, especially in that crisp white fabric that shows off the seamlines:

StyleArc Ethel sample
Ricki Top

The email announcing the Ricki top went out a few days after the two Ethel pieces. The Ricki top is interesting to me for two reasons:
  • StyleArc says that the back wrap gives full coverage, while retaining the look of the current crossover trend.
  • The top is designed for scuba fabric.
StyleArc - Ricki top

I'm not going to rush out and buy this one right away, but I'm intrigued. This is a simple enough style that I could see myself seeing a made up version that I like on someone's blog, buying the PDF, and having a finished top a few days later.

Final Thoughts

Well, it looks like I'll be adding a few Jalies and those Burda plus pants to my pattern collection. And I'll want to find an appropriate blouse pattern (I'm sure I have one somewhere in my stash) to make in a white eyelet to duplicate the styling of that Burda picture. And I'll be keeping my eye out to see how the StyleArc Ricki looks when made up. That's about all that excited me this week, though. How about you? Are you planning to purchase any of the new Jalies? Also, does anyone know the scoop on the Bella dress only going up to size AA (42" bust)?

Coming soon, there should be a new Simplicity release (some of the patterns have been showing up in JoAnns), but those patterns aren't available on the Simplicity website yet.