Friday, December 5, 2014

This week in patterns (5-Dec-2014)

Wow, so we had a TON of new releases this past week, many of which look like they have a lot of potential for being fun, wearable garments.

StyleArc - December Release

As you all know by now, a new month means a new release from StyleArc! One thing to note about this month is that StyleArc's member discount has been increased from the usual 10% to 30% for the month. If you've been thinking about buying a membership (price includes the discount, one free pattern of your choice, and a length of StyleArc's stretch bengaline), December would be a good month to sign up.

Cindy Jean Jacket

Okay, so I love this. I'm not sure about the "optional neck ruffle", but I love everything else about it, and the ruffle is easily enough left off. My StyleArc Stacy jean jacket that I made two years ago is still in regular rotation in my closet in non-freezing weather, and I still love it. I'm totally on-board with making another, more femininely-shaped StyleArc jean jacket.

StyleArc Cindy Jean Jacket
Roxy Shirt

Next up is the Roxy shirt, an overshirt with a cross-over detail over the bum. This is okay. I don't really wear shirts tucked in, and while I think that the back detail is interesting, the first thought that sprang to mind was "butt curtains".

StyleArc Roxy Shirt

Misty Stretch Pull-on Jean

I should hate these, shouldn't I? I should be making jokes about "pajama jeans" and "giving up" and stuff with regards to these, right? I don't. I'm intrigued. They're somewhere between a jegging and a jean, and in theory, no one would know about the elastic waistband except for me, right? And with the 30% discount, they're $7.50 USD, which isn't really more than a Burda envelope pattern or an on-sale Kwik Sew.

StyleArc Misty Pull-on Jean
Tammy Knit Dress Combo

Of course, in a month where there's a 30% discount and two new release patterns that I really like, of course, the freebie pattern-of-the-month is something that I'm totally "meh" about.

The Tammy Knit Dress Combo is a 4-in-1 pattern with options for a short-sleeved top, sleeveless top, short-sleeved dress, and sleeveless dress, all with an optional overlay piece.

With my huge bust and short waist, I suspect that overlay would look hideous on me and just make me look like on giant block of boob. Without the overlay, though, there are worse things than a free t-shirt pattern from a company whose drafting you like.
StyleArc Tammy Knit Dress Combo

Jennifer Lauren Vintage - Enid Sweater

Jennifer Lauren of Jennifer Lauren Vintage, which brought you that Bronte sweater that was ubiquitous in the SBC for a while has released a new pattern. The Enid Sweater is a retro-inspired cropped sweater designed for sweatshirt knits and ribbing:

Jennifer Lauren Vintage - Enid Sweater
Honestly, this one reminds me an awful lot of the recently released Bonnie pattern by BlueGingerDoll, although the two patterns sport different necklines, and the Bonnie is drafted for a D-cup bust. Neither pattern is really my style, but these cropped sweaters do really seem to be on-trend right now. The Enid also differentiates itself be being designed to be cut on the bias, which seems a little odd to me for a sweatshirt with a band at the bottom that doesn't really seem to use drape much. I guess it's for the stretch factor?

Colette Patterns - Seamwork magazine (December 2014)

Colette Patterns launched its new electronic magazine earlier this week. The magazine content itself is free and available to read on the Seamwork website:

If you subscribe for $6/issue, you'll have access to three PDF download patterns, all of which Colette say can be made in 2 hours or less. For this first issue, the patterns are an open cardigan, a tote bag, and a clutch.

Colette Seamwork Cardigan

Colette Seamwork Tote
Colette Seamwork Clutch
So far, I've read two of the articles from the issue--the one on draping and the one on Pendleton wool --and they had pretty pictures and were interesting. The patterns don't really tempt me. The cardigan is nice, but I know that I have similar patterns in my stash. I do like, however, that clothing patterns from this magazine will include Colette's expanded size range (up to a size 3X).

BurdaStyle Plus - December 2014

The fabric choices and styling in this collection are really horrific, which unfortunately, doesn't seem to be unusual for Burda, especially with their Plus collections. Going off the line drawings, however, there definitely are some interesting and wearable offerings here.

Satin Jacket 12/2014 #137A

You know how we've seen a trend in recent years of jackets being made out of ponte knits and such? This jacket is sort of the opposite of that--a cardigan style made out of a drapey woven. I'd never wear this in satin, as pictured, but I really like the idea of this jacket--easy to sew and can be worn like a cardigan, but made out of a woven.

BurdaStyle Plus 12/2014 #137A
Contrast Panel Blouse 12/2014 #142

If you've liked the interesting seamwork in patterns like the Stepalica Nougat dress or Deer and Doe Centauree Dress, but like me, are beyond the size range of their patterns and have no desire to grade up that many pieces, the contrast panel blouse might be an option.

BurdaStyle Plus 12/2014 #142
Granted, there's another view of this as a two-piece dress where the model looks about 6 months pregnant with the shape of the waist seam/peplum, so that might be something to watch here. I'm still intrigued by this one, though.

Contrast Pencil Skirt 12/2014 #138B

Yeah, so let's take the second most prominent part of my anatomy (after my giant boobs) and put a giant satin panel across it. Yeah, no.

BurdaStyle Plus 12/2014 #138B
In a different fabric choice, though, this one might be okay and offer decent fitting opportunities for those of us with particularly large or small backsides.

Kimono Sleeve Dress 12/2014 #140

While we don't get a seamed sheath dress in this Burda collection, we do get the other staple of Burda collections: a kimono-sleeved empire waist tunic/dress. Here's the dress view, which we've seen variations on in other Burda Plus collections many, many times before:

BurdaStyle Plus 12/2014 #140
Ruffle Hem Tunic 12/2014 #141

Meh. That's all I have to say here.

BurdaStyle Plus 12/2014 #141

HotPatterns - Althleisure (mini) collection

Today (Friday), HotPatterns released two new patterns from a new collection of loungewear that they're starting and calling it the "Athleisure" collection. (If you haven't noticed, HotPatterns has a number of "collections", which group patterns with similar aesthetics and styles.) The first two patterns from this collection are a pair of seamed lounge pants and a new hoodie pattern.

HotPatterns 1180 - Athleisure Sunday Morning Sweatpants

The Sunday Morning Sweatpants are a slim-fitting pair of loungepants with a forward side seam, pieced legs, and front patch pockets. I'll admit that when I first saw these, I asked myself, "Do those have a dropped crotch? After Burda tried to (unsuccessfully) force that on us for how many of the past years?" No, it's not a dropped crotch--it's just an optical illusion of the line drawing caused by the piecing of the inner leg. With that in mind, I like these a lot for a running-around-town on the weekend pant.

I think that you could have a lot of fun with contrast topstitching and/or doing a coverstitch finish on these. Trudy also is going to be hosting a sewalong for these starting January 8th.
HP Sunday Morning Sweatpants
HotPatterns 1179 - Athleisure Big & Beautiful Oversized Hoodies

As you know if you following this blog, I will buy and make just about any pattern with a hood and pockets. This pattern will be no exception. I can't decide which view I like better--the longer one (with pockets) or the shorter one with the gathered "skirt" (but no pockets *sad face*).

HotPatterns Oversized Hoodie

I will point out, as someone who has made a lot of HotPatterns over the years, that when Trudy describes something as "oversized", she means it. I'll check by flat-measuring the pattern, but I expect to go down at least a size, probably two, from the size chart, as a starting point. You'll also want to stick with really drapey fabrics on this one to get the look of the pattern envelope.

Simplicity 1254 - Leanne Marshall Coat Update

In unrelated news, I finished my muslin of the Leanne Marshall coat. As expected from my preliminary fitting, I need a tad more room in the upper arm, and I want to take the hips in a bit on my muslin and see how that looks. Outside of that, I think it looks pretty good. I muslined the collar/hood, and I think that's going to look pretty good on the final coat. I'll get some muslin pictures this weekend when I actually have access to daylight, if you're curious.

I'm not going to make a second muslin for those relatively minor tweaks, so *deep breath*, this weekend I'm going to pre-treat my fabric (didn't want to jinx the coat by doing that before I muslined) and get started on it! For those who plan to make this coat but haven't started yet, I recommend going with your expected adjustments for Big 4 patterns, and when you make your muslin, you'll probably be in the ballpark of where you want to be fit-wise. The one exception would be that if you typically grade up one or more sizes in the hips, you will likely either be able to skip that with this coat or grade up fewer sizes.

One thing that amused me, now that I've read all the way through the instructions, is that whoever wrote the instructions for this coat clearly hates hand-stitching as much as I do. The entire lining is bagged except for a small section of the neckline that you slipstitch up at the end. The zipper instructions are a bit odd, so I'll take photos and try to help with that as I sew up my actual coat.

Final Thoughts

I really like the new StyleArc jean jacket, possibly the pull-on jeans (I know, I know) and the new HotPatterns lounge pants and hoodie. I also like that cardigan-style jacket from the Burda Plus release. Now that I read back over the first sentence here, all I can think are, "Wow, those are some turkey eatin' clothes!" Of course, we'll have another round of turkey eating at my house in a few weeks, and I feel like you can never have too many comfortable clothing options.


  1. It is a great pleasure to read your news of new pattern offerings and your perspective on them. You provide a valuable service and I appreciate it.

  2. The SA jacket is fantastic. It has such beautiful seaming and shaping. Ahhhh. That tempted me but the free pattern is also a snooze fest for me :/

    Can't wait to see the muslin!! Today it's "warm" and I wish I had it!

    1. Agreed. And I'm more tempted by those pull-on jeans than I should be. I'd really love a pair of jeans that I could tuck into boots when it's rainy but without dealing with actually having to fit/wear skinny jeans.

      I bought a membership the last time they had a big 30% off sale, so I'm weighing whether the pull of the discount is enough to offset the lack of interest I have in this month's freebie.

  3. I too am intrigued by the pull on jeans. I just bought Ginger though so not getting that one yet.

    1. I've really been liking the Gingers that I've been seeing on Pattern Review and on various blogs. I was a bit skeptical, but it's looking like a really promising pattern.

  4. Ok, I have to say it: Pull on jeans are the best! They are all I've worn for years (maybe it's Canadian thing, but pull on jeans have been all the women in my family wear for at least 5 years!) Here's why they are great: They go up high so no one ever knows they are pull on... and because the waistband is flexible and stretchy, there is no muffin top business. I find they stay in place really well if they go high enough. I'm a big fan!!!

    1. I don't think I'd ever seen them outside of the "pajama jean" infomericals that have been airing here for the past few years. And that was my argument to myself--that no one would know that they were pull-on jeans except for me, since I always wear my shirts tucked out. ;)

    2. Just got back from shopping for jeans. Man, I wish I had put making some into my short queue but since I NEED something to wear tomorrow on a boat outing, I had no choice. I tried on a few pull-on jeans and remembered quickly why I make my own. The waists on RTW do NOT hit me where I need to so I end up with droopy crotch and/or plumber's butt because they slide around. I think making your own is the way to go. Pull-on jeans have great potential but as Gillian noted, they have to fit right at the waist and the best way to accomplish that is to custom make them. I ended up buying a pair with a partly elasticated waist (at the sides) and I think this may be the best of both worlds for me and my "mature" tummy.

  5. Funny you mention turkey ... I made pull-on jeans a few years back at Thanksgiving time and dubbed them my Turkey Pants. I think you could use the Ginger pattern and an elastic waist to get both looks from one pattern, esp. with the "mom jeans" waist height of the one Ginger view.

    I like the Cindy acket but still haven't jumped onto the SA wagon yet. I want to, but it's just so much $$ (haven't seen a download offering that tempts me yet). And for this one ... I have other patterns that could very easily become this jacket. A few Burdas in back issues of WOF come to mind. And a KS I've made before but would have to size down now.

    The HP track pants are OK, but I'd have to leave off the front pockets because the line drawing looks to me like they're being worn backwards. All I can see is butt in front when I look at it. lol Maybe I should pair them with the butt curtains SA top and people won't know whether I'm coming or going.

    I also say No to the oversized hoodie unless you want to visually gain 30 lbs. It looks comfy but not especially flattering. On the up side, there'd be virtually no fitting to do with it.

    The Burdas leave me cold. Meh to each and every one and the wackadoo fabric choices they rode in on.

    As does the cropped sweater. The 1970s called, offered up some acid, and now wants its sweater back. That will NEVER look good on me since I will never be 20 again.

    1. I can't think of anything in my pattern arsenal that's close to that SA jacket. Come to think of it, I don't think I even have any other jean jacket patterns outside of the SA Stacie, which I made a couple of years ago.

  6. In this season of giving thanks, I want to express my appreciation for your blog, especially your pattern review postings. I enjoy reading your thoughts and experiences, as a sewist who not only shares my body type but also knows the challenges of sewing garments appropriate for our Puget Sound climate. (BTW, even with that little bit of snow we had, did you make it to the Jennifer Stern trunk show?) Thanks again!

    1. I had to make a go/no-go call on the trunk show because Drygood Designs required a 72-hour cancellation notice (which they fudged a bit for me). At that point, they were predicting up to 3" of accumulated snow in the northern suburbs (where I live), so at that point I called, cancelled, and gave up my spot to someone on the waitlist. I did have fun playing in the snow with my daughter and dog, though!

  7. "Pajama jean" makes my eye twitch. =) Your pattern recaps are the best! I really want that SA jacket, but oy the shipping! I need to find a few more patterns before I bite.

    1. The key on the SA shipping is to wait until there's a freebie that you like, and then bundle 2-3 other patterns together with the freebie. That gives you the biggest bang for your buck, and at that point, the SA patterns aren't any more than a mid-priced indie, even with the shipping. (You can play around with your shopping cart to see at what point the price jumps.)

      My conundrum this month is that I can get 30% off of my whole purchase, but I don't care for the freebie.