Friday, November 21, 2014

This week in patterns (21-Nov-2014)

Greetings and salutations! Things have been pretty quiet around here this past week because I've been traveling for work, spending the past two days down at my company's Irvine office. Let me tell you, nothing will make you miss your kid more than being on a plane full of families going to Disneyland and hearing the words "Elsa!" and "Haunted Mansion!" every three minutes, and I'd only been away from her for a few hours at that point. 

In any case, I haven't gotten any sewing in during the past few days, although I did finish that test pattern the day before I left. She's hoping to release the pattern in December, so if all goes well, I'll be able to post about it then. I didn't encounter anything major with the pattern, so I'd expect the release to stay on track, unless there's an issue with the smaller sizes. As a tester, I'm supposed to be receiving a copy of the final pattern, which I'm looking forward to making up and comparing to the test version. When I return home, I've got a partially finished pair of StyleArc Elle pants and a cut-out HotPatterns Sakura bomber jacket that I'll be working on, and then after that, it'll be Coat Adventure 2014 for me.

So, that's what I've been up to. We had a few new patterns released this week, too:

StyleArc - PDF Downloads!

If you've been wanting to try StyleArc patterns but have hesitated because of the shipping costs from Australia or are wary of single size patterns, I have good news! This week, StyleArc made a small selection of their patterns available as PDF downloads in their new Etsy shop. Each pattern has three size options, as well, so you'll have more options there, as well. Based on what I've seen on PatternReview and around the blogosphere, StyleArc chose some of their most popular patterns for this experiment. The following patterns are now available in StyleArc's Etsy shop. Note that this list seems to grow every day, so just check out the Etsy shop for the most up-to-date list:
  • Lola pant
  • Nina cardigan
  • Laura knit dress
  • Laura knit cardigan
  • Tamara top
  • Phillipa peplum top
  • Sandra narrow leg jean
  • Zoe pencil skirt
  • Franki dress and top
  • Sunny top
  • Ziggi Jacket
  • Jacinta knit dress
  • Ursula ponte skirt
  • Gorgeous gore skirt
  • Ollie tunic
  • Fay skirt
  • Mindi skirt
StyleArc - Laura knit dress
The prices are quite reasonable, as well. The current selection of patterns run $8-$12 USD. While I can't say that every single StyleArc pattern I've made has been flattering on my figure, due to style choice/wishful thinking, I can say that I've never run into any drafting issues with their patterns. Additionally, their patterns usually run pretty close to their size chart. Basically, these patterns are a much lower "risk" than some other "indie" patterns.

Butterick - Holiday Collection 2014

The last of the Big 4 finally released their Holiday collection this week--Butterick. Like the Simplicity collection, the Butterick collection had both some high points and some head-scratchers. I love head-scratches, though--it's so much more interesting to see a few "What were they thinking?" patterns than a bunch of cocktail dresses and re-hashes of last year's designs like the Vogue Holiday collection had. Let's take a look at a few of the Buttericks:


I LOVE this dress. I have nowhere to wear it, but I love the lapel and the it's-not-actually-a-jacket overlay. If I recall, this is a knock-off of something that Kate Middleton wore somewhat recently, but I can't recall the designer's name. The skirt wouldn't work on me, but that's an easy enough fix. Might have to buy and stash this one at a Hancock/JoAnn sale. (Seriously, my company's holiday party is an informal event held at a football stadium, so I don't even have the company party excuse to make this.)


In B6131, Butterick combined a bridesmaid dress with an infinity dress and came out with this...


Yeah, I'm not a fan. This is the kind of dress that a really passive-aggressive bride asks her bridesmaids to wear. "Oh, but it's so versatile with the wrap! And you don't all have to wear it the same way; you can personalize it!" Which, really, is just a variation on, "You can cut it off and wear it again!"


If Colette's Chantilly dress had a child with the new Dahlia dress, it would look like B6130:
I actually like this quite a bit, if I had a reason to make/wear it. Including a jumpsuit view is a nice variation from your typical holiday dress, and I like that the dress views have princess seamed skirts.


Hands-down, my favorite pattern in this collection is this new coat pattern with shoulder princess seams, cup sizes, and an interesting lapel:

I don't know how many coats a person needs--I already have two in my sewing queue--but I really, really want to sew and wear this one, too.


And finally, there's this... a strappy corset from the Wavery line of all things:

Without all of the straps, I see a corset pattern that could be useful if you like making corsets. But with the way that it's styled here, I'm thinking that you'd accessorize this one with a riding crop made from fat quarters?

BlueGingerDoll - Violet Dress

I feel like Abby from BlueGingerDoll has been releasing new patterns left and right lately; this is her third new pattern since I started compiling these posts earlier this fall.

The BlueGingerDoll Violet dress is BGD's second knit pattern offering, this time offering a pieced bodice with a v-neck/bust ruching detail and several sleeve and skirt options:

BlueGingerDoll Violet dress
One thing I like about BGD's patterns is that she always offers a lot of options with each pattern, so that you can make them several times without feeling like you've made the same dress/top again, but just with different fabric. I know that this neckline type is a good one on me, and I'm intrigued by the options with piecing. I also know that personally, I'd stick to the fuller/A-line skirt on this one. On the other hand, I feel like I could just frankenpattern a different skirt onto my HotPatterns Cote d' Azur pattern or StyleArc Alice top; however, then you'd lose the seaming details and would have to draft those. At that point, I wonder if it's just more worth it to shell out $14 for the pattern.

I really like Tanya's version, which is both very cute and immensely flattering.

Final Thoughts

The must-buy for me here is that Butterick coat. I'm tempted by the B6127 dress with the interesting lapel/faux jacket, but I just don't see where I'd wear it. I do like the new BGD Violet but will probably pass on it for now, both for seasonal reasons and to contemplate whether my time or money is worth more when it comes to frankenpatterning.

I love that StyleArc is dipping their toe into the PDF waters. In the past, I've tried to bundle/plan my orders from them around the freebie-of-the-month, but this provides a much more affordable and instant gratification way of obtaining their patterns. I can still see myself ordering their paper patterns in months when I like the freebie, but I'm no longer limited to that purchasing model.


  1. Michelle,
    I love these posts! I'm not sure how I missed the Style Arc announcement. I have to say of all the PDF patterns I have tried, the one Style Arc PDF I put together was BY FAR the easiest to assemble. I had no bubbles or markings that were off.
    Thanks for the heads up!

  2. Thanks, Michelle! Hopping over to the Style Arc shop immediately!

  3. I've been checking every day to see new Style Arc patterns go up! At first i thought it would be just those four or five, but now that they've released more, i'm seriously tempted! :)

    1. It seems like they're putting up a few more each day. None of the ones that have gone up so far have been my "wishlist" patterns, but I'm going to keep looking.

  4. Style Arc coupon code! 20% off: SOMANYTILES

    1. Ooh, thanks for sharing that! I think that came out after I'd already written this post.

  5. Love these posts! I always look forward to them! I'm happy to see that style arc has pdf's. Definitely going to try one now! I was pretty disappointed by the buttericks. Guess we'll have to wait for a late winter or early spring collection (whatever is the next release) from the big 4 to see if they have anything new and different that looks like I'd want to make it. Thanks for sharing my violet! I'm looking forward to making another one!

    1. I really like your Violet dress. Very flattering on you! I don't usually like animal prints either, but I think with the non-realistic purple it looks a bit more abstract and less animal. I thought the whole look was great.

    2. It seems crazy that the next bunch of releases will be the "early spring" releases. Those usually seem to be pretty good batches, though.

  6. I love these posts! Thanks!

    That bride's maid dress is horrible, especially with the option to wear as front drape, aka crotch curtain. The coat is very nice though. That corset... really complicated.

    I like that BGD dress and think its very flattering.

  7. Oh, I just went to the Butterick site and looked at the corset view A. WTH? Some kind of odd breast flanges? A fat quarter cat-o'-nine tails sounds fabulous, though.

  8. Thanks heaps for this post. I don't really keep up with new offerings except for Style Arc and Burda, so I love it when you write about them. Agree about the not-quite-a-jacket dress, it is gorgeous.

  9. The only pattern from Butterick I like is 6143 (multi-cup coat pattern). This definitely a must-make!

    I don't know what to say about the Waverly corset thing. First Waverly. Second Waverly. I like using home dec fabrics in garments. But this does not compute. LOL

    1. I think "does not compute" pretty much sums it up.