Friday, February 5, 2016

This Week in Patterns (5-Feb-2016)

Sorry about not posting for a few weeks, but the pattern releases have been trickling in this winter. I'm seriously considering scaling back this post series to an every-other-week (or even once-monthly) frequency while things are somewhat slow in terms of new patterns.

Since the last post in this series, we've had new releases from the following companies:
  • Butterick
  • Colette/Seamwork Magazine
  • Kwik Sew
  • Sew Over It
  • StyleArc
Butterick: Spring 2016 collection

First up, we have the Butterick 2016 spring patterns, which were released yesterday. Overall, I think that this is a pretty solid collection, with something for everyone. However, nearly ever garment is made up in a print, so you really have to drill down into the individual web pages for the technical drawings to see what's going on with most of these. Here are a few that caught my eye:

B6333: Misses' shirtdress

Hey, it's a shirtdress that's really similar to the ever-popular McCalls M6696, but without the back poof of the McCall's and WITH shoulder princess seams instead of darts. Yes, I will be picking this up at the next Butterick sale.

B6333
B6322: Misses' Ruched Corset-style Dress (Patterns by Gertie)

Gertie clearly took her recent dirndl obsession a step further by designing this dirndl-inspired dress for Butterick's spring collection. I actually think that this is super cute, but this dress would never work on my boobtastic figure. Design-wise, though, it's youthful, and should be flattering on non-busty figures, and it's a fun, unique design.

B6322
B6323: Misses' One-Shoulder Dress (Patterns by Gertie)

Further evidence that Gertie has something against boobs.

B6323
B6321: Misses' Square Neck Dresses (Lisette)

If you get rid of the boob flaps, B6321 is a cute dress.

B6321

B6320: Misses' Sweetheart Neckline Dress and Jumpsuit

The jumpsuit view of this is similar to a romper that I've seen pop up on Modcloth. It's a cute design, although with those defined "cups", I can't see this being particularly large-bust friendly, if you're over a D-cup. Yes, you could FBA/enlarge the cups, but that will throw off the proportions of the look.

B6320

B6331: Misses' Trench Jacket and Pants

I LOVE this trench jacket from Lisette. I have plenty of basic pant patterns and have generally found the Big 4 crotch curve to not be a good fit for me, but these would probably work well for others.

B6331

Colette/Seamwork Magazine: February 2016 Issue

The theme for February is "The Intimate Issue", which isn't surprising given that many organizations/companies/whatever go with a lingerie theme for February. (Heck, over at the Curvy Sewing Collective, we chose February for our lingerie-themed month.)

Seamwork: Almada Robe

First up is a robe with an interesting, if possibly not particularly practical sleeve design:

Seamwork - Almada robe
Seamwork: Lisbon Slip/Nightie

The Lisbon is a princess seamed (!) bias slip or nightie with an optional modesty panel. With my giant boobs, traditional slips or nighties without an underbust seam tend to hang off of me like a tent, so I'm intrigued by this one.

Seamwork - Lisbon slip/nightie
Kwik Sew: Spring 2016 Release

We had a small release for spring from Kwik Sew this past week. Of the 20 patterns included in the release, only 10 of them are for adult women (the rest are crafts or children's patterns). Of those 10, most look either somewhat dated by a few years or like patterns that you could easily find in other catalogs.

K4155

The one pattern that did jump out at me was K4155, a princess seamed shirtdress with a gored 1/4-circle skirt:
K4155
Sew Over It: Tulip Skirt

On-the-rise British pattern company Sew Over It released a new skirt PDF pattern recently. This one is for a tulip-style skirt and is appropriately named "Tulip Skirt":

Sew Over It - Tulip Skirt
StyleArc: Februrary 2016 Release

It's a new month, so we have new StyleArc patterns available.

StyleArc: Alegra Coat/Jacket

The Alegra is a cocoon-style jacket or coat with raglan sleeves.  Put this one in the category of "I think that the design is interesting, but I'm not sure that I could wear it."

StyleArc - Alegra jacket/coat

StyleArc: Talia woven pant (freebie option)

The Talia is a straight-legged woven pull-on pant with optional welt pockets and elastic in the back part of the waistband. This looks like it could be a really useful pattern, and it's one of the freebie choices for the month of February if you purchase at least one other StyleArc paper pattern.

StyleArc - Talia pant
StyleArc: Allison Skirt

The Allison is an elastic waist skirt with inverted pleats at its gores. I really like this skirt--it's cute and looks like it would be swishy and comfortable. If I were to place an order this month, it'd be a tough decision for me between the Talia pant and the Allison.

StyleArc - Allison skirt

Final Thoughts

So those are the big releases of the past few weeks, as they've come trickling in. Would anyone be heartbroken if I scaled back the frequency of this roundup series, given that we're not being inundated with the flood of new patterns that we were a year or two ago?  Also, what are your picks from this batch?

Friday, January 15, 2016

Friday Housekeeping from 2015, etc. (15-Jan-2016)

I don't have a pattern roundup post this week because we only saw one major new pattern release and an expansion pack (that I'm aware of). So, instead of a pattern roundup, I'm writing a housekeeping post. I've got a handful of projects from 2015 that I never actually blogged here. I had every intention of blogging them here, but at this point, they just feel like a lead weight around my neck. Consider this post mostly just a logging post for my own purposes.

Decades of Style: Decades Everyday - Three's a Charm Jacket

Before I get into the project log, I just want to give a heads up about the one new pattern that I saw released this week. If you follow them on social media, Decades of Style has been teasing their new unlined jacket pattern for a while, and this past week, it was finally released. It's also 20% off (use code JANUARY20) until the end of the month.

I love this and snapped it up. Decades of Style (and particularly the Decades Everyday line) get such great reviews from curvy sewists, and this simple jacket looks both like it should be easy to make and super versatile. You get the structure of a jacket, a nice open neckline, but none of the fussy jacket details.

Decades Everyday - Three's a Charm Jacket
Muse Patterns: Jenna Expansion Pack

Kat from Muse just released an expansion pack for her popular Jenna cardigan. The expansion pack gives an open neckline option (yay!) or the option of a Peter Pan collar. The open neckline option is actually a cardigan that I had in my head (with the shoulder ruching), so it's nice to see that Kat has drafted this for me now without having to try to hack it myself.

Muse Patterns - Jenna Expansion pack

Finished Project (from months ago): Blank Slate Denver Tunic

If you follow me on the Curvy Sewing Collective, I wrote this up back in October (ugh), with plans to do a more comprehensive post about my alterations, etc, over here. Clearly, I never got around to that follow-up post. After having this tunic in my wardrobe for a few months now, I can easily say that I love it. That cotton-lycra jersey is SO soft, and it hasn't been pilling at all yet.

Blank Slate Denver Tunic
Closet Case Files - Carolyn Pajamas

I made a set of Closet Case Files Carolyn Pajamas as my December project for FabricMart. I try to keep my posts over there fairly light and non-technical and didn't go much into my alterations for the pattern, which I had intended to do over here. Given that I finished these PJs nearly a month ago, trying to reconstruct my construction process just seems like a monumental task at this point, so I'm going to just let this one go.

I love these pajamas a ton and have been wearing them several times a week. I absolutely expect to make this pattern a few more times, and I'll try to share my alterations, etc, with you on the next pass when the info is more fresh in my brain. In a nutshell, this was a really fun pattern, and I found the fit to be expected per the sizing chart.

Closet Case Files - Carolyn Pajamas

Blank Slate - Pocket PJs

The Pocket PJs were Eva's Christmas pajamas this year. She's been hugely into Thomas the Tank Engine for the past year or so, so I made these from jammies from two different prints of Thomas-themed quilting cotton. I've used Blank Slate's Pocket PJ pattern for Eva before and really liked it, so it was a no-brainer for me to pull out this PDF again. She's grown out of the Pocket PJs that I made her last summer, so I made the new pair in a 4T rather than the 3T that I used last time. Yay for PDF patterns and just printing off a new size as your child grows!

Because she's Eva, and she never stops moving for photos, I don't have any decent modeled shots, so here are a couple of tormenting-the-cat modeled shots and a couple of flat shots.
Blank Slate Pocket PJs

Blank Slate Pocket PJs + petting the cat with a thing of dental floss

Detail shot

Full set - flat

Final Thoughts

It feels good to get caught up and to not have those posts hanging over my head. Things just got so busy around here at the end of the year that my personal blog was one thing that I had to let slip a bit.

On top of that, after going through a big year-end-push, my sewjo has been seriously AWOL. To try to not let it slide too much, I'm currently working on the SBCC Pinot Pants (a yoga-style pant) and one of the new HotPatterns sweatshirts. Cozy is a good thing in January.

Friday, January 8, 2016

This Week in Patterns (8-Jan-2016)

First pattern roundup of the new year!  Not surprisingly, we've got several batches of new patterns to go through.

  • Colette/Seamwork
  • Simplicity
  • StyleArc
  • Vogue
Colette/Seamwork: January 2016 Issue ("The Body Issue")

Colette's Seamwork magazine this month has an "activewear" theme. For the two Seamwork patterns this month, we get an exercise top and exercise pants.

Seamwork: Aires Exercise Tights

The Aires Exercise tights are notable less for design and more for the fact that they include a crotch gusset for easier movement and are available in a 3XL (56" or 142cm hip size). Off the top of my head, this is the largest size range for a commercial pattern for actual exercise tights. (If you're a plus sized sewist, you might have found that it's nearly as difficult to find plus sized activewear sewing patterns as it is to find plus sized activewear in RTW.) I'm really glad to see that there's finally a pattern to fill this niche. Sure, there's some gratuitous piecing/color-blocking here, but I could see this being quite a useful pattern for many of us.

Seamwork - Aires exercise tights

Seamwork: Rio Tee

The Rio is a hi-low tee that can be used in activewear.  I don't have much to say about this one way or another--it doesn't really fill a niche the way that the Aires does, but I guess Seamwork needed to release a second pattern this month.

Seamwork - Rio tee
Simplicity: Spring 2016 release

I'm linking to Pattern Review's version of this batch of patterns because the Simplicity website is nearly completely unusable right now. As far as I can tell, these patterns aren't even up there yet, even though they're available through PR and in some big box stores. I do like some of the patterns in this batch and will probably buy them at a future JoAnn's sale.

Simplicity 8047: Amazing Fit Dress

It's Simplicity's take on the over-crop-top trend that we're starting to see for Spring. We'll see it again in the new StyleArc patterns. I like this option--it's a way to do the crop top trend (if you're a trend person) without showing skin, if that's something that you tend to avoid (like I do).

Simplicity 8047
Simplicity 8053: Misses' shirts

Hey, it's a Grainline Archer shirt, but with shoulder princess seams AND cup sizes up to a DD! There's even an open v-neck option, similar to Colette's Aster shirt. This one looks like a great wardrobe basic pattern to me.

Simplicity 8053

Simplicity 8050: 40's dress reissue

I haven't watched Agent Carter, but I'm seeing a lot of people online saying that this pattern is a call to that character's costuming. I'm going to assume that's the case with Simplicity, but having not even seen the show, I still love this dress as a standalone pattern.

Simplicity 8050

Simplicity 8074: Misses' Costumes

So, here we've got a couple of different takes on Sand Snakes costumes (interesting, considering how poorly those characters translated from the Song of Ice and Fire books to HBO's Game of Thrones), and what's that hidden in the back over on the right?  Is that an unlicensed (and probably rushed into production after the trailer was released) Rey costume from The Force Awakens? On a related note, if my daughter wants to be BB-8 for Halloween next year, does that give me an excuse to dress my husband up as Kylo Ren?

Simplicity 8074
StyleArc: January 2016 release

With StyleArc drifting towards a minimalist, boxy aesthetic for many of their recent releases, it's nice to see this new group of patterns for January. Most of these patterns capitalize on current trends, and when combined, could even be used to make a capsule wardrobe. Additionally, for January, in addition to the monthly freebie that StyleArc always offers (this month, it's the Kendall knit top), if you buy two of the new patterns, you can select a third for free. So, doing the math, that's four patterns for the price of two.

StyleArc: Crystal Over-shirt

The assymmetrical hem on this one is starting to feel a little dated, but other than that (which could easily be altered), this is both a really unique and wearable design. The back detail is unexpected and fun.

StyleArc - Crystal over-shirt
StyleArc: Kendall Knit Top (January Freebie)

The Kendall is a nice basic knit top with a draped shawl collar. It's also the "official" freebie for the month of January, if you buy any other paper patterns this month. It's not the world's most exciting design, but it's definitely one that you could get a lot of mileage and wear out of with different fabrics. Not bad for a freebie.

StyleArc - Kendall knit top

Madison Top

The Madison is a trapeze-shaped raglan-sleeved top that be made up either in a knit or a stable woven.  This is probably my least favorite pattern out of the January bunch in that it's the least interesting (to me). Again, like the other patterns this month, it's certainly a fine basic, though.

StyleArc - Madison top

Taylor Knit Skirt

The Taylor is a pull-on knit skirt with a split hem. From the line drawings, it almost gives the effect of a faux wrap skirt. I like this one--it's a fun design and looks like it would be comfortable and easy to make and wear.

StyleArc - Taylor knit skirt
StyleArc: Kylie Knit Top

The Kylie knit top has an overlay to mimic the appearance of the crop tops that were everywhere last year, but with its underlayer, will show less skin than a traditional crop.  I love the design of this one, although with the boxy overlayer, I'm doubtful as to how it would look on my own busty figure.

StyleArc - Kylie Knit Top
Vogue Patterns: Spring 2015 release

I know that I've made this confession before, but I'll make it again. It's hard for me to do Vogue recaps because Vogue patterns, while often having interesting details, are so far outside of my own personal style aesthetic. I know that I've seen a lot of positive comments about this collection in other online sewing communities, but I largely reacted to it with a shrug--there are a LOT of boxy and/or artsy-type designs in this batch that aren't anywhere close to the clothing that I wear.  That said, here are the picks that I found most interesting:

V1488: DKNY Shirtdress

This wrap-tie is an interesting way to bring some shape to this shirtdress. This could be cute and fun to wear in the summer. Realistically, it's probably the only pattern in this collection that I could realistically see myself buying.

V1488
V9168: Misses Flutter Sleeve Dress, Belt, and Slip

In its maxi-length (as shown), this dress is a bit too Laura Ashley for me. But imagine it shortened to, say, knee-length, and I think it could be really cute. I'm intrigued by the sheer-dress-over-slip concept, too.

V9168
V1494: Sandra Betzina Coat and Vest

I'm not normally a big fan of Sandra Betzina's designs (again, they're fine; they're just not my style at all), but I do really like the interesting seaming on this coat and vest pattern.

V1494

Final Thoughts

So that's this weeks' patterns. I'm tempted to order a few of those StyleArcs--particularly with the 4-for-the-price-of-2 deal that they have going for the January patterns. Beyond that, I can see myself picking up the shoulder-princess-seamed button-up from Simplicity and that 40's dress (just to have...because it's awesome). I think I'm at the point where I'd probably collect Star Wars costume patterns just for the sake of having them, but I'd be shocked if we don't see some actual officially licensed ones in the coming months--especially with Simplicity having the license for Disney's other costume patterns. Your thoughts/favorites?

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Top 5 Reflections and Goals from 2015

Boy, I really am dragging this Top 5 thing out, aren't I?  To be fair, though, I think I've done a "goals" post every year that I've been regularly blogging. This one is a little late this year due to a particularly busy end-of-year run of posting over at the Curvy Sewing Collective and life getting in the way.

 

Top 5 (6?) Reflections from 2015's goals

 

I didn't use the "Top 5" format to set my sewing goals last year, and from going through my post, it looks like I set six actual sewing goals for myself last year. Here's my post from last year, where I reflected back on 2014 and set my goals for 2015.

How did I do?

6. Finish that damn winter coat.

The "damn winter coat" in question was my Simplicity Leanne Marshall coat (ultimately categorized as a "miss" by me). I may not have worn the finished coat much, but I did finish it, at least. I did end up pattern testing the CCF Clare Coat, which I'm much happier with and which has been getting worn a fair amount on non-rainy days.

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

I didn't track things to quantify this, but I feel like I generally did this.  Discovering Japanese cottons this past year was a huge factor in my progress towards quality-over-quantity. Shopping local more was certainly helped by an office move to a location right off the bus line that stops very close to two of my favorite local indie stores.

4. Sew a water-resistant jacket with a hood.

Yeah, no. This was a carry-over goal from 2014, and it didn't happen in 2015, either. Without making too many excuses, there are a few reasons why this hasn't happened yet:
  1. Up until December, we were having a really warm, dry year. Not having much need for said jacket certainly didn't help my motivation to actually sew the jacket.
  2. Lack of commercial pattern options. Have you looked for a jacket like this? Then narrow the available options down to one that's available in a plus size range.  There just aren't a whole lot of choices out there. Yes, I know that everyone loves the Sewaholic Minoru; I like it, too, but I am the exact opposite of the shape that Tasia drafts for AND outside of her size range. I can't imagine what a headache it would be to alter that pattern to fit.
  3. Related to #2, I sort of have an idea in my head as far as what I want in a jacket, and of the few options out there, they're all missing some key feature. The closest is this BurdaStyle jacket from a few years ago, but A) I'm hesitant to tackle a garment type that I don't have a ton of experience in with Burda's notably sparse instructions and B) it has cut-on sleeves, and I don't know how I'd feel about that. I do have the pattern--I should get off my butt and at least muslin it.
3. Jeans! Jeans! Jeans!

I'm not sure how to score myself on this one. I made two pairs of StyleArc Misty jeans, which I love and wear all the time, AND they fit pretty decently. However, they're pull-on jeans, and not "real" jeans. In the "real" jeans department, I made a lot of progress with a Burda Plus pattern, but I'm still tweaking the fit a little bit. Partial credit?

2. Fit and sew a button-down blouse.

Done, thanks to the Blank Slate Marigold pattern. I've also muslined the Blank Slate Novelista and had a successful pattern test of another button-down shirt, which you'll be seeing when the pattern is released. I'm comfortable marking this one as "accomplished", but you'll be seeing more shirtmaking from me in 2016, as well.

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

Partial credit on this one. I watched Kathleen Cheetham's plus size pant fitting class the whole way through and have been incorporating some of the adjustments that I learned from the class into my pant-fitting. I started watching numerous other classes but then got "Ooh Shiney!-ed" away from them. When I set this goal, I specifically had completion of Beverly Johnson's bra-making class and one or more of Suzy Furrer's sloper classes in mind, and while I started each of them (and found them interesting and engaging), in both cases I got distracted by other projects and didn't complete them.


Top 5 Goals for 2016



I'm a list-checker. Goals help motivate me. Here are the top 5 sewing goals that I want to accomplish in 2016:

5. Finally sew that rain jacket.


I'm carrying this one over again because it's a gaping hole in my closet. I need just get on with it and make something from an existing pattern and stop waiting for my "perfect pattern" to be released. If that pattern ever is released, there's no rule that says I can't make a second jacket.

4. Sew Eva's Halloween costume.

This was a goal in 2014 and should have been a goal in 2015, but I forgot to put it on the list. My mom used to sew my Halloween costume every year, and I want to carry on that tradition with my own daughter. However, for the past two years, the costumes that she's chosen (Elsa from Frozen and "a blue robot") have been major undertakings. As of right now, she says that for next Halloween, she either wants to be Elsa again (of course, 2014's dress no longer fits) or wants to be BB-8 from Star Wars--I can only imagine what a huge project turning a 4-year-old into a ball-shaped droid will be.

3. Finish Beverly Johnson's two bra-making classes from Craftsy and start sewing my own bras.

I am SO OVER paying $70+ each for RTW bras, and my current batch of RTW bras have seen better days. I would have hopped on the bra-making bandwagon of the past year or so sooner, but there aren't a ton of pattern options out there for large band and large cup sizes (I'll be writing more about this over at the CSC next month). I dropped a bunch of Christmas money on bra-making supplies, and I'm really hoping to develop a TNT bra pattern for myself this year that I can use to adapt to whatever style I want to make.

2. Start sewing my own underwear.

For years, I've worn Lane Bryant's underwear, usually purchased online. With my last few batches, though, I've noticed a lot of inconsistency in fit (even in the same size) and in the quality/type of elastic used. Everyone says that sewing your own underwear is fast (once you have a TNT pattern) and is a great use of scraps. I'm tired of paying $30 for a set of 5 new panties and finding out that only 2 of the pairs are actually comfortable to wear.

1. Develop skirt and bodice slopers for myself.

Like many others, I have Suzy Furrer's Craftsy skirt and bodice sloper classes sitting in my Craftsy queue. I would really like to start developing sloper patterns for myself. Now, I have read various places that while her skirt sloper drafting method work for most women, the bodice sloper is a lot trickier, especially if your measurements are outside of the industry standard norm. (My upper body measurements are light years away from the industry standard norm.) I'm going to give Suzy's classes a try first, since they are generally well-reviewed, but I'm looking at other options if her methods don't work for my uber-busty figure.

So that's it for my goals for this year. I think they're doable (I hope). How about you--are you setting sewing goals for yourself for 2016?

Thursday, December 31, 2015

Top 5 Misses and Hits of 2015

Yeah, I'm a little late to the party here, but I was busy with a lot of recent writing over at the CSC, plus there was a health crisis with a close family member that killed my sewing and writing time. Late to the party or not, though, I wanted to write this post both for myself and for anyone who might be interested--I know that I love reading year-end roundups on others' blogs.

Also, in case you've been looking for pattern roundups the past few weeks, I haven't written any--only because things have been very quiet on the pattern release front.

 

Top 5 Misses

 

Let's start with the "misses". Truth be told, I didn't have many outright misses this year--I've gotten a lot better about muslining, and that definitely prevented a few disasters. I'm also not going to call anything that's any sort of a muslin a "miss", so that eliminates several experiments that didn't work out. Most of my "misses" therefore fall into that category because for one reason or another, the garment just didn't get worn much.

5. Simplicity 1317: Raglan-sleeved top

I hesitated to put this one on my list because it was the first thing that I sewed after my dad died last spring. But, if we're going to be objective, I didn't wear this a whole lot. The sleeve proportions are weird, and let's face it--a short-sleeved sweatshirt is only going to get worn in transitional weather.

Simplicity 1317
4. HotPatterns Peasant Blouse - silk version

This one is up here strictly for fabric choice. I love the double gauze version that I made...the silk version? Not so much. Or maybe I'm just still not over the trauma of working with that georgette yet. In any case, it hasn't been worn much.

HP - Peasant Blouse (silk version)

3.  Simplicity 1254: Leanne Marshall coat

*sigh*  After all of the work that I put into this, I really hate that it ended up on this list. But the truth of the matter is that by the time I finished it, the weather wasn't really cold enough to wear it, and then I sewed up the Closet Case Files Clare Coat as a pattern tester back in August/September, and the Clare is the coat that I reach for. The Clare is just a better-made coat; the Leanne Marshall coat was a learning experience.

Simplicity 1254: Leanne Marshall coat
2. BurdaStyle Plus "Vintage Chic" dress

File this one under "I should have made a muslin". I think that this pattern has a lot of potential for me, but because I didn't muslin it first, there are just enough things off with the fit that this dress was only worn a few times before ending up in the back of my closet as the weather got cold. Maybe it would get worn more in the winter if I had made one of the coordinating cardigans that I had planned to make, but that hasn't happened yet.
BurdaStyle "Vintage Chic" dress
1. HotPatterns Trilogy Top

Oof. File this one under "Hubris, lots of hubris" AND "You really, really should have made a muslin." I wasted two yards of good double gauze fabric thinking that I could outdesign the pattern designer, and I lost.  The comedy of errors that was this top is detailed in my blog post about it. The best thing about this top is that the worst parts of it are easily hidden under a jacket, so I've been able to at least get some wear out of it that way.

HP Trilogy top

Top 5 Hits

 

In happier news, I had a REALLY hard time narrowing this list down to 5. It turns out that I made a lot of garments this past year that I wear a lot, so I'm really happy about that. My purple Appleton dress, Burda pants, and CCF Clare Coat barely missed the cut on this list, so I want to call those out as honorable mentions.

5. Closet Case Files: Carolyn Pajamas

Yeah, I know, I haven't actually even blogged these yet, outside of my project post for FabricMart, but I LOVE them. I loved this pattern--these were so much fun to make! You can read a little about them over on the FabricMart blog, and when I get the chance, I'll write up a more detailed post here and go more into depth on my pattern alterations.

CCF - Carolyn Pajamas
4. Blank Slate Denver Tunic

Yeah, I know, I haven't blogged this one here yet, either. I did blog it over at the CSC. I was on the fence about this one when I first made it, but it's turned out to be a wear-every-wash-cycle garment, and I get a lot of compliments on it. Everyone seems to love the fabric--especially the contrasting cowl. I know that I love wearing the fabric--it's really soft and has held up well to machine washing.

Blank Slate Patterns - Denver tunic
3. Blank Slate Marigold Dress

I love this dress. I wore it a ton this past summer, and I'm sure that I'll wear it a ton when the weather warms. I'm happy with the fit, and the fabric (a rayon poplin) was a perfect match for the pattern. Love the no-gape pockets, too!

Blank Slate - Marigold Dress
2. HotPatterns Refined Peasant Blouse (Double gauze version)

A hit in one fabric and a miss in another. I'll be making this fabric again, but sticking to double gauze for it from here on out.

HotPatterns Refined Peasant Blouse (double gauze)
1. StyleArc Misty Jeans

I've made two pairs of these and wear them Every. Wash. Cycle. The fit is a little better on the second pair (with the white topstitching), but I love both pairs of jeans that I've made from this pattern. They're so comfortable that it's ridiculous. Expect to continue to see more of these on this blog in 2016.

StyleArc Misty jeans

In my next post, I'll talk about how I did on the goals that I set for myself last year and set some new goals for 2016. If the post isn't too long at that point, I'll also talk about my non-sewing highlights for 2015.

Friday, December 18, 2015

This Week in Patterns (18-Dec-2015)

We had a fairly quiet week in pattern releases this past week, as many people start to wind things down for the holiday season. Here's who released patterns this past week (okay, the McCall's release was really last week):
  • McCall's
  • StyleArc
McCall's: Early Spring 2016 Collection

If you click the link to this collection on McCall's website, you'll find a whole lot of boring prom dress patterns at the top. Or, at least, I find prom dress patterns boring since I'm not sewing for a 16-year-old girl. Beyond that, the rest of the collection is mostly inoffensive--there's nothing as bad as the laughable ruffled leggings from their previous release, but also not much to get excited about. The patterns that I'm listing here are the few that caught my eye for one reason or another.

M7314: Misses' Shirtdresses

It looks like McCall's is following up their perennially popular M6696 shirtdress with cup sizes with another shirtdress pattern with cup sizes. The new version has a curved waist and the button placket stops at the waist seam. It also only has waist darts instead of bust-and-waist darts, which should actually make for an easier FBA, if you're like me and still need one even on a D-cup pattern piece.

M7314
M7319: Misses' Gathered Waist Dresses

This dress is really cute, fairly unique, and should look good on most figure types. This one will be on my "must have" list.

M7319
M7330: Misses' Button-up Jumpsuits and Rompers

This collection has a button-up romper/jumpsuit pattern that's a little more sporty-looking than the drapier jumpsuit patterns that we've largely been seeing. I think that this could be cute in the right fabric, but in the wrong fabric, you'll risk looking like a zookeeper or an auto mechanic.
M7330
M7341: Yaya Han Zippered Bodysuit

I'm not a cosplay person, but I do appreciate the fact that this collection includes a true plus size bodysuit pattern. You could use this pattern as the basis for a lot of different costumes, AND it's available in a truly expansive size range. With the popularity of cosplay, I can imagine that McCall's will sell quite a few of these.
M7341
StyleArc: Cameron Dress

The Cameron dress is the sort of throw-on and go dress that usually makes a great instant gratification project. I could see where someone might think of this dress as a sack with an elastic waist, but I have more faith in StyleArc's drafting than that. I made a similar dress (the HotPatterns Uptown Downtown dress) and got a lot of wear out of that for a few years. I like the wrap option on the skirt of the StyleArc, too, which is something that sets it apart from similar patterns.

StyleArc - Cameron Dress

Final Thoughts

So, I'll probably pick up that McCall's crossover dress on sale, and I could see myself getting the StyleArc dress at some point, but that's probably about it for now.  Thoughts?