Friday, September 19, 2014

New plus-sized indie pattern company: Tenterhook Patterns

By way of a post on Pattern Review, I learned about a new indie pattern company that just launched its first pattern this morning: Tenterhook Patterns. Now, as I mentioned, I only learned about them this morning and have no affiliation with them, nor have I tried their first (and only, so far) pattern. However I know that many of you are interested in indie patterns for curvy and plus sized sewists, so I wanted to share this info with you so that you can keep an eye on them, if you'd like.

I found the Tenderhook website to be a little difficult to navigate (I figure that just goes along with them just getting started), so here are the highlights that I gleaned from poking around a bit:

About Tenterhook

Tenterhook is a one-woman shop run by a lovely Australian woman named Amanda. She's working with Bestsy (of SBCC and who grades for Seamster Patterns) for her pattern grading. As an SBCC fan, I'm happy to read this, and I know that other plus sized sewists have commented on the great fit they've gotten from Seamster Patterns. I love what Amanda says on her company's About page:

Tenterhook Patterns is all for rejecting the fashion “rules” often applied to plus-sized women: this is not the place to find exclusively loose fitting, tent like patterns. Some patterns will be fitted. Some will be sleeveless. Some will fall above the knee. There may eventually be a playsuit. That’s not to say that no patterns will be loose fitting, sleeved, or long, as each of those things can be fun to sew and wear, and they can also have a place in a well-balanced, stylish wardrobe. However, Tenterhook Patterns encourage you to try sewing the types of clothes you’ve been told don’t “suit” you or your body type – it’s amazing what a well-fitted pencil skirt can do for your body image.


Tenterhook uses an A-G sizing scheme and designs for an hourglass figure. The initial pattern (the Snapdragon pencil skirt) fits hip sizes from 42"-56 1/2" (109cm - 143cm). By link surfing through blog posts, it appears that Amanda put out a call for pattern testers a while back for women with bust measurements ranging from 41 5/8" - 55 1/4" (104cm - 138 cm), so while the first pattern is a skirt, that should give us an idea of what her overall size range will look like. I'll be curious to hear what bust cup size she drafts for. I know that Betsy, who does Amanda's grading, uses a DD cup size as the starting point for SBCC's patterns. Why is bust cup size so important? The larger the bust size that these patterns are drafted for, the more likely that many of us will be able to avoid doing an FBA or will be able to get away with a smaller FBA.

The Patterns

So far, Tenterhook has just released one pattern--a basic pencil skirt with some cute variations. Here's the line drawing, which I screen grabbed off of their Etsy shop page:
Snapdragon skirt from Tenterhook Patterns

Amazingly, they don't have a tap linking to their Etsy shop on their main web site, but I was able to get their via link surfing. Here's the direct link, if you'd like to check it out:

Snapdragon skirt on Etsy

The pattern is available as a PDF download and sells for $11 (US).

I did see on her pattern testing post that she had two patterns that are nearly finished, so I'll be curious to see what the second one is and if it's available soon.

Final thoughts

I wasn't planning to post anything on this blog today, but I was really excited to read this news and thought that others might be, as well. (Full disclosure: I have not even proofread this post because I threw it together so quickly.) I absolutely LOVE Tenterhook's motto: "Plus size sewing patterns, without the rules." That's right up my alley, and I know that it's right up the alley of a lot of other curvy sewists, like the women over at the Curvy Sewing Collective. I'm looking forward to seeing what this company does going forward.

What are your thoughts? Are you happy to see a company that's specifically focusing on curvy and plus sized sewists? Or is this just another indie pattern company in the recent indie pattern company explosion?


  1. Sounds interesting - and I hadn't heard of Seamster patterns either - thanks.

  2. I have been following Amanda on IG and I was so happy to see she released this skirt! I've already bought it. Couldn't help myself!

    1. I bought it, too. I certainly have plenty of standard pencil skirt patterns, but I'd love to try out her fit, and the alternate views are really cute.

    2. I love the asymmetric wrap. That's the one that sold it for me.

    3. Me too, me too! I want that skirt. Wasn't especially fond of the stumpy line drawings, BTW, so I'm glad I got over them and went and looked at the photos. (I think, on reflection, the drawings look stumpy because there's no body reference with them.)

      I'm giving you a reprieve on the Hawthorn if you'll make this asymmetrical skirt asap. :-)

    4. I agree--the photos on the Etsy page look better than the line drawings. I'm normally not a big fan of skirts with tulip-style opens in front, either (think: crotch curtains), but the cross-over on this one occurs pretty low, and I like how it looks on the model.

  3. Ahh - come back to say that I had heard of Seamsters after checking their website. Just forgot about them as they are not my size.

    1. I recall doing the same thing at first, but they expanded their size range at some point in the past few months, which was nice to see.

  4. I"m glad you blogged about it! I'm curious to see how the reviews are! :)

    1. Me too. I know that she had pattern testers--I'll be curious to see if they do any sort of blog tour for the launch.

  5. More patterns good. More new ideas gooder.

    Need more coffee. And indie patterners