All of this year-end wrap-up stuff also gives me something to write about while project-wise, I'm still in coat purgatory. I'm going through the tedious process of underlining my lining pieces with my interlining right now, which doesn't really give me anything to show you.
To kick things off, I'm posting my Top 9 observations as to what big events and trends impacted the online sewing community and our sewing, in general, the most this year. Why 9? Because I couldn't think of a 10th one that didn't feel like filler.
9. BMV embraces social mediaVogue-McCall's-Butterick finally hired someone (former blogger LindsayT, also known as "Meg") to blog and handle social media full-time as a way to interact with their customer base. I think that this was a great call; I've particularly loved Meg's posts showing the "guts" of some of the designer garments in the BMV offices. Now, we'll see if the comments that we repeatedly see with regards to the Big 4 manifest themselves in any way over the coming months (more cup size patterns, please!), but it's nice to feel like we have a direct, accessible contact to BMV. I don't know if the recent, awesome McCall's release is a possible reflection of feedback, but it's nice to imagine that it might possibly be the case.
8. Interesting shorts patternsI know that last summer seems like a lifetime ago to some of us, but this past summer saw quite an interesting array of shorts patterns released. If you wear shorts at all, there probably was a length and a style that suited you, from the wrap-over shorts patterns released by BurdaStyle and Simplicity to the City Short pattern released by StyleArc to the pleated tap shorts released by Katy and Laney:
|BurdaStyle 06-2014 #124|
|StyleArc Jennifer City Short|
|Katy and Laney Tap Shorts|
7. Everyone is sewing bras (but me)Do you read your blogs via a blog reader (such as Bloglovin' or Feedly), like I do? If so, in the past month or so, on any given day you probably have at least one or two posts from sewing bloggers showing off their new bras and other lingerie. It seems like there's been a decent number of new bra patterns released lately, and these are the new bright and shiney objects in the blogosphere. Of course, much like in RTW, if you wear a larger bra size, you're mostly out of luck with these new patterns.
|Cloth Habit - Watson Bra and Bikini|
6. Elsa dressesIf you have a little girl in your life, you probably sewed an Elsa dress for her this year. I know that I did. Maybe it's just an awareness issue, since I have a daughter who's at that age, but I can't remember the last time that a movie dress became as iconic as Elsa's blue "Snow Queen" dress so quickly. Kate Winslet's "jump dress" from Titanic? Maybe Keira Knightley's green dress from Atonement? In any case, McCall's and Simplicity both offered patterns for this dress for little girls, and by now, both have misses' versions of these dresses, too. (Note that the Simplicity versions are the officially licensed versions and, especially in the case of the misses' versions, are more accurate versions of what Anna and Elsa wore in the movie).
|Simplicity's Frozen costumes for girls|
5. Neoprene/scuba fabricRemember how Ponte di Roma seemed like the fabric that was all the rage last year? This year, it seemed like everyone everywhere was sewing with a different type of double knit fabric--neoprene or "scuba" fabric as it's sometimes called. The name is a bit of a misnomer in that this isn't exactly the same neoprene used in wetsuits or in laptop sleeves. Instead, it's a beefy, drapey doubleknit that's often available in bright and crazy prints. Because of its body, it can really make the fullness of a full skirt stand out and camouflage lumps and bumps in closer-fitting garments.
|Galaxy Eye neoprene from Gorgeous Fabrics|
4. Galaxy Print FabricFor a few months this past summer, it seemed like Galaxy print fabric was everywhere--knit dresses, leggings, and t-shirts, to name a few places. I'm not sure if it was the revival of the Cosmos series (with Neil deGrasse Tyson on PBS), or if people just thought that the prints looked cool, but these prints were all over the SBC for a while.
|Galaxy print fabric by Timeless Treasures from fabric.com|
3. Skater DressesOne of several fashion staples of the 90's returned in a big way this year--the skater dress, which is a (typically knit) dress with a fitted bodice, a waist seam, and some form of circle or gathered skirt. Between the super-popular Lady Skater and Colette Moneta patterns, we saw tons and tons of skater dresses this year in the online sewing community. Reflecting the previous trend, we also saw a lot of skater dresses made up in galaxy print fabric.
|My first Moneta|
2. Expanded pattern size rangesThe indie pattern making world seems to finally be acknowledging that they might, in fact, have customers with busts larger than 40" and hips larger than 42". This past year saw numerous indie pattern companies expand their size range to the lower plus sizes, and a handful expanded their size ranges well into plus sizes. In most cases, the designers didn't "retrofit" old patterns with the new size ranges, but have been offering their newest patterns in the new ranges. Just off the top of my head, the following pattern companies expanded their size ranges to at least a 44" bust this past year:
- Colette Patterns
- Papercut Patterns (previously one of the worst offenders of having a small size range)
- Liesl & Co.
- Blank Slate (the women's range)
1. Indie pattern explosionThis year, sometimes it felt like every time I sneezed, some new indie pattern designer was releasing her first pattern. The explosion of new indie pattern companies really became apparent to me when I started writing my weekly pattern recaps a few months back. Some weeks, it was difficult for me to keep up with all of the new releases. As with anything any time there's a "bubble", the new pattern companies seem to be a mixed bag; some are released by professional pattern makers who want their "own" thing, others are released by popular sewing bloggers who may or may not outsource the actual pattern making and grading to others. Some designers released their patterns quietly, while others released theirs accompanied by never-ending blog tours and other promotions.
On PatternReview alone, the following screen shot shows the number of companies selling digital patterns, which doesn't even include popular newcomers, like Muse. This is simply what could fit on my laptop screen without scrolling:
|Some of the digital pattern companies available on PatternReview|