Friday, November 14, 2014

This week in patterns (14-Nov-2014)

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

Tilly and the Buttons - Francoise Dress

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

Tilly and the Buttons - Francoise Dress

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

StyleArc - mid-month release

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

Paris Tote Bag

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

StyleArc Paris Tote

London Tote Bag

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

StyleArc London Tote

New York Tote

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

StyleArc New York Tote

HotPatterns - Chameleon Dress

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

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

Final Thoughts

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

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

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


  1. First I've heard of the Hot Patterns dress and I'm so glad you shared it!! Do you know what bra cup they draft for or if the pattern has options for a fuller bust? Thanks again for sharing this one!

    1. I can't remember the exact breakdown, but HP sizing used to have three variations, each with different envelopes--Slinky girl (sizes 6-14-ish), Glamour Girl (sizes 12-20-ish), and Curvy Girl (sizes 18-26-ish). Bust cup size increased with each size range, and Curvy Girl had a D/DD cup size. Based on my own experience with fitting their patterns, I'd be shocked if Trudy didn't carry the cup sizes over to her current all-sizes-in-one-envelope system. I can actually get away with a "normal" sized or "cheater" FBA in most HotPatterns.

    2. That's good to know - thank you!

    3. Trudy drafts a C cup in the current all one size envelope.

  2. Oooh, I love that Hot Patterns dress. I might have to get that one. I'm all for channeling your inner Angela Chase. I think I might need to buy some plaid flannel now.... Hmmm.....

    1. I also want to tell you that I really look forward to your "this week in patterns" post every week. :) I am always interested in what you have to say and find that your opinions really match up with mine. :) And where we disagree, I totally see your points. :)

    2. Thank you! I have a confession to make: I have a very soft spot for 90's fashion that tends to influence my opinions a lot. There, I said it. ;)

  3. I am impatiently waiting to see what Butterick does. Their last release didn't do much for me but the 2 before that, I liked several patterns.

    And - YES! It is, for the most part, no longer dress/skirt weather. 40 degrees and uhmm, nope. I cannot.

    Did you wash up your red Fabric Mart chambray? I am wondering if it is a bit stiff for a shirt dress??

    1. I initially thought the same thing about the last Butterick collection. Upon going back through it again recently, I did find a few that I liked, but I think I missed them around because the pattern's lines were obscured by busy prints, and I hadn't clicked the tech drawing.

      I have not pre-washed my red chambray yet, but yeah, it was a lot stiffer than I was expecting. My daughter has been grabbing it and asking for a shirt, so I'm hoping that it washes up to be a lot softer than it currently is. Otherwise, I think I'm relegating it to muslin or overshirt status, since it was only $3/yard.

  4. Oh the HP dress is so cute! Will have to look into that one for next autumn.

  5. I also really like you pattern previews! I am not a fan of the Tilly dress, enough with the shift dresses styled with the pigeon toed gamine stance and the doe eyed look. Please. Like you, I love the new HP. The chambray sounds like a good match. This is a great Thanksgiving dress.

  6. I love these posts! Thanks for all your work!

    I'm one of those people who both doesn't get (as in buy) or "get" Tillie's patterns. They are SO expensive, and outside of the wrap skirt, I swear they seem like patterns I've seen again and again.

    Ordered the HP, of course!

    Also, which company do you think has better instructions in general-- Blank Slateor Peek-a-Bo? Thanks!

    1. Blank Slate are better all around than Peek-a-Boo, in my opinion. Melissa's instructions are actually REALLY good, I think, and I'm surprised that we don't hear more about them. I've found her sizing to be very consistent, as well.

    2. I wonder if the lack of attention to Blank Slate is due in part to fewer patterns. Peek--Boo has a much larger selection. Also, she seems to sell on fewer platforms. For example, Peek-a-Boo is on, so when I order there I get points for free patterns down the road. Its a nice incentive.

  7. I am so excited to do this new HP pattern. Unfortunately, I spent so long deciding on Fabric Mart that the deal of the day fabric sold out from under me! However I am very pleased with the fabrics and this style dress seems like something I could wear on colder days with leggings and boots. The Hi-Lo does not seem as exaggerated as some similar patterns and I may even decrease that slope to just a midi dress length all round to keep my knees warm.... or conversely, make up a warm under skirt to peek out but then my tastes run to more of a laganlook anyway.

    1. Was the FotD that French Terry? I bought some before it was FotD. When it arrives, I can let you know if you really missed out on anything. ;)