Sunday, April 26, 2015

Last Week in Patterns (26-April-2015)

So, um, hi? In no way did I anticipate the response that my last post received. I didn't have time over the weekend to respond to everyone's comments, but I did read all of them. That was easily the greatest number of comments for any of my posts on this blog.  A few things to take away from that post and the response:
  • We all have different experiences with PatternReview, but I noticed that the trend from the posted comments was that the people who felt most positively about it were the people who'd made a comment to the effect that they didn't go into the forums much. Take away message for me: Stay out of the PatternReview forums. I have enough things on my plate and don't need to add to them by going places with what I feel is negative energy.
  • For those of us thinking we'd like to see a little more diversity in guest posters and content on CSC, please send them your articles and reviews! 
  • I've been guilty of saying that I would write something for the CSC and then flaking, and from reading other comments, I'm not the only one. (I had been totally on board with the "season of separates" idea, but for "pants month", my pant muslin needed a lot more work than I anticipated, and I wasn't able to get a "real" pair done by the end of that month. And then my dad's health plummeted, I traveled back and forth to San Diego a bunch, and I barely sewed anything for two months.) 
Back to the purpose of this post: I want to get the pattern roundup post series going again, although I'll be posting these on Sunday (rather than Friday) to give myself the weekend to finish writing them. We had a somewhat interesting week of releases this past week.

This week, we have new patterns from the following companies:
  • Grainline Studios
  • McCall's
  • Muse
  • StyleArc
  • TrueBias


This Week's Pattern Round-up


Grainline Studios: Morris Blazer

I am so flippin' sick of waterfall cardigans. They were fine for a while, but now I'm done with them (like peplums). It makes me really happy that we're starting to see some new cardigan/casual jacket shapes emerging from the pattern world, like the just-released Grainline Morris Blazer (The SBCC Cabernet cardigan, in a boyfriend shape, is another.)

Grainline Morris Blazer
I'm not sure that this boxy silhouette is the best choice for my figure, but I really like the shape and design. Jen drafted this blazer to be made from either a ponte/doubleknit or a stretch woven, so you have quite a few fabric options for this pattern, and the resulting jacket should be pretty comfortable.

I'm somewhat tempted, but it does look pretty similar to the HotPatterns Sweet Jacket, which I already own. I like the collar of the Morris better, but the back of the HP is a lot more interesting.

McCall's Patterns: Summer 2015 release

I thought that overall, the summer release from McCall's was pretty boring, but of the patterns that I liked, I *really* liked them a lot. There's also a really good "WTF" pattern in here, too, for those of us who are amused by that sort of thing.

M7167: Misses' romper and jumpsuits

So that Vogue 9075 culotte jumpsuit pattern that I've been planning to make for the past couple of months? I like this McCall's pattern better. And the McCall's has cup sizes, too. On top of that, the sleeves are a more youthful shape, and I think that this will be a more flattering look on me.

McCall's 7167
If I could go braless, I'd be all over the view with the cutout/strappy back, but McCall's at least provided a covered back view, too.

M7156: Misses' dresses, rompers, and jumpsuits

I am going to buy make up View A of this pattern, and rock it over a babydoll tee with a pair of Doc Marten 8-eyes, grab a wine cooler, and chant, "Donna Martin graduates! Donna Martin graduates!"

McCall's 7156 - View A
Seriously, though, I will be buying this pattern. It's a classic shape with princess seams, I can easily increase the width of the straps to make it more bra-friendly, and since I now hoard romper and jumpsuit patterns, it'll be good for that, too. (This pattern is also a less expensive version of the By Hand London Sabrina dress.)

McCall's 7156 - View C

M7168: Misses' two-piece swimsuits

How refreshing to have a retro-style swimsuit pattern where the straps aren't halter straps!  I think that there are a lot of cute options in this pattern, and I think that by mixing and matching different elements, just about any woman could put together a swimsuit that flatters her figure and that she feels comfortable in. The under-bust band on the tops of these also lend themselves more to adding additional bust support more easily than some retro styles. Love the skirt/tankini option, too.

I recently bit the bullet and bought a Modcloth swimsuit, and I'm really happy with it, but I've added this pattern to my list for the next JoAnn's sale.

McCall's 7154: Archive collection gown

I have neither the figure type nor the event schedule to wear a gown like this, but I do love the design:

McCall's 7154
McCall's 7176: Leather accessories

And then there's M7176, the perfect accessory pack if you're planning to head to a steampunk leather bar. Thankfully, one of the included patterns provides a nice starting point for a pair of assless chaps, should you ever need them:

McCall's 71716

Muse Patterns: Knit sleeve add-on pack

Muse Patterns (of Jenna cardigan and Gilian wrap dress fame) did something interesting this week: They released an add-on pack of four knit sleeve variations that should work with all of Muse's knit patterns.  The knit sleeve add-on pack is available for the very reasonable price of $3 USD (can you tell that I've already purchased this?)

The add-on pack includes the following four sleeve variations:
  • Short tulip sleeve.
  • Gently gathered sleeve cap, and options for short, 3/4 or long sleeve length with a classic narrow sleeve. 
  • Short flutter sleeve.
  • Classic narrow sleeve with options for short, 3/4 or long sleeve length.
Muse Patterns - Knit tulip sleeve
One thing that I've really liked about Muse Patterns, from what I've seen so far, is how much emphasis places on providing a lot of value from her patterns. Most of her patterns contain at least three views, and she truly seems to want to provide sewists with patterns that they'll be able to make multiple times with different looks.

StyleArc: Cleo Knit Dress and Tabard

For their mid-month release, StyleArc released a pair of "designer" patterns, which is something that they've done several times in recent months.  I could see how these pieces could look chic on the right person, but they're really not my style.

Cleo Knit Dress

The Cleo has sleeveless and long sleeved options and includes optional dart shaping.

StyleArc Cleo Knit Dress

Cleo Long Tabard

To be honest, before I received the StyleArc newsletter this week, I didn't even know what a "tabard" was. I turned to Google for writing this post:

Tabard definition via Google
I'm guessing that Cleo (or someone else on the StyleArc team, although the garments are named "Cleo") saw something like this on a runway show or something like that. It seems like too random of an offering from StyleArc to not have a clear inspiration piece behind it.

StyleArc Cleo Long Tabard
The StyleArc tabard is designed to be made out of sheer fabrics and worn as an outer layer over the Cleo knit dress.

Honestly, I don't know what to even think of these, so I'm reserving judgment until I see them worn together on a real person.

True Bias: Southport Dress

I've been pretty "meh" on the first two patterns released by True Bias, but I actually think that the new Southport dress is pretty cute:

True Bias Southport Dress
I'm sure that we'll be seeing tons of these popping up all over the sewing blogosphere over the next few months. I think I'd be tempted to buy it, but I do already own the very similar Blank Slate Catalina dress pattern, which I bought last summer.


Final Thoughts

We had a fair number of new releases this week, of which, I suspect the Morris blazer and Southport dress are the ones that we'll be seeing the most of in the coming months. (Now, who will be the first blogger to post a photoshoot of a Morris blazer paired with a Southport dress?)

Of all of these, I think I'm actually the most excited about a handful of the new McCall's, since I don't already have pattern doppelgangers for the ones that I like in my pattern stash.

And what do you think about Muse offering the sleeve add-on pack for a few bucks? I'm kind of surprised that more designers don't do things like this--it's a good way to extend the use of your already-purchased (and altered) patterns without having to buy and figure out alterations for a whole new pattern.


  1. I'm so glad you are back to roundups! :) I think we are in for a week full of morris blog posts (including mine) because it's such a fast and easy sew. I'm surprised we haven't seen more Southports already, but I'm sure they are coming!

    1. Yours is really cute! It's actually the first one that's popped up in my blog reader so far.

  2. I hadn't heard about the Muse sleeve pack until now but it seems like a really smart idea. It's a great way for people to be able to make lots of variations from a couple of basic patterns without having to "hack" it on their own. It seems like a small thing that would go far in terms of creating customer loyalty.

    I'm also a big fan of the Morris Blazer and am glad we're seeing some different jacket shapes. I have similar concerns about whether the boxy shape of the Morris will work for me but I'm eager to try it anyway.

    1. I agree. And I know that plenty of people are happy to hack/frankenpattern away, but my sewing time is limited, so it's worth a few bucks (and that's all the pack costs) to have someone else do it for me.

    2. I forgot to say thanks for the update on Muse. I get the emails from them, but this message went to spam. Otherwise, I'd have not found out! And I really think the sleeve pack is a great idea. Getting mine today!

  3. That sleeve pack is a great idea! I don't own any of their patterns but I like that idea a lot.

    I like the Morris blazer but I don't think I like it enough to buy it. I also like the McCall's jumpsuit much more than the Vogue. Dang it.

    The southport is cute but it is so similar in silhouette to a Sew Simple pattern that I made and loved last year that I think if I just added a button placket (or faux placket) it would be near exact.

    The Morris though...maybe after I see it on some curvy and/or big busted ladies.

    1. I really wish that I could wear the back cutout view of the McCall's jumpsuit...but there's just no way. Even so, I think that the frump risk with the McCall's is far less than the Vogue. The waistband on the McCall's should be flattering on most of us, and I like the sleeves on the McCall's as-is a lot better than the Vogues. I know that a lot of busty women really prefer a shoulder princess (like the Vogue) to the armscye, and I have a slight preference that way, but it's in no way a deal-breaker when the McCall's has everything else going for it.

  4. I'm probably buying the Morris with my next paycheck and direct copying the stripes version. But I'm not over the waterfalls since it's a good silhouette on me. I don't want them to ever go out. Yay for another round-up!! I'll prob have more to say when I'm not in my phone.

    1. Are you going to add a bust dart to the Morris? I want to see what others do to add shaping on this before I seriously consider pulling the trigger.

    2. I'm back to being really on the fence on this. What's attracting me is the shape of the front (shawl) collar, which I could copy if so inclined. But I'm really kind of turned OFF by the poor stripe matching on the back of the stripey version (and on the front points) and the puckers in the solid version at the sleeve head and front facing areas, an area which I've already read is possibly giving trouble. I really am turned off when product photos show flaws. Drafting error? Sewing error? Oh, can I pay $12-16 to find out.< /facetious off>

      I'm also not very keen on the limited size range. Or the overall boxy-ness.

      I'm thinking this may be a bandwagon pattern and questioning if I really want to hop on.

      To answer your question ... If I added a bust dart and turned it into a princess seam (like Suzy mentioned), there goes the striped version I like ... well, without a lot of headache. I could never match stripes perfectly across a hill. So I would probably just add a horizontal bust dart and either sew it as is or rotate it out at the side seam.

    3. So I hopped on that bandwagon. It was payday, what can I say. :-)

      Also, are you on Instagram? Even if not, email me please ... I want to share something with you ... not related to IG, just killing 2 birds with one post. dcook100 at gmail dot com

  5. I already a bag of don'tcare about the Morris-- this spring's Moneta. I'm bored already.

    1. Hey, I like my Monetas! But yeah, it gets boring, as a reader, to see the same patterns come up over and over in your blog reader.

    2. And you should! You make a great Moneta! And honestly, if I (we? I hope so badly I'm not alone) hadn't been so inundated by it, I'd get it. It is a fairly basic, generic pattern, but everyone has made it look good. I just can't. On principle. It's like why I refuse to see Top Gun.

    3. On the surface, the Moneta looks fairly generic, but there's something magic about the drafting where I only did a cheater FBA and still don't get an armpit wrinkle.

    4. Magic = high and scooped (at the front) armhole. :-)

    5. I bet the Southport will Moneta even faster than the Morris.

      Why oh why won't the chaps Moneta for me??? WHY????? (Nancy Kerrigan style)

  6. Interesting observation. I only really go on pattern review to look at reviews. Haven't even posted since they changed the way you add pictures. Perhaps that has lead to a better experience. Not sure about any of the new patterns but I have way to many as it stands.

    1. The picture upload thing is really convoluted, isn't it? At least people can add three pictures now, instead of one.

  7. I have never heard of a tabard before, either, but I am irrepressibly curious about this design. Let's be honest, wearing one would probably make me look like an office-bound wood nymph, but it just looks so cool! So oddly tempted...

    1. I don't know if you really want to hold off on the tabard or not. If you don't want to buy, then here you go. The tabard and the chaps just seem made to go to a cheap faux-Medieval leather bar with Eyes Wide Shut pretensions.
      And no. You can't separate them.

    2. It wasn't up originally (or if it was, I missed it), but they now have a "real life" picture up on the tabard pattern page:

      Paired with the pants, it looks a little too extra-from-Game-of-Thrones for me, but it looks chic with the dress.

    3. We don't get GoT, but when I see a tabard, I think Jan and Peter Brady as the "Hark! Who goes there?" team when their school did Romeo and Juliet in The Brady Bunch.

  8. I'm with you on waterfall cardis. Enough already! I also don't find them flattering at all on my large chest. I've owned a couple, but they never sit correctly. :/ I like the idea of the Morris Blazer, but I think the boxy design is definitely not for me.

    I'm with you on those hits in the McCall's release. I've put M7156 and M7168 on my list of must haves for sale time. :) M7167 is the first time I've been tempted to buy a jumpsuit pattern.

    I think Muse's sleeve pack is smart and I love that it works for all the knit patterns. :)

    1. I made one ages ago (the Simplicity pattern that was the knock off of the Donna Karan piece), but I didn't wear it much because of the reasons that you cited. That, and that trend has been around for what, 6 or 7 years? I'm bored with it and ready to move on.

  9. Did you watch Mad Men? I think Chasidic Trudy may be eclipsing Di as my Halloween costume.

    1. That was great, wasn't it?

    2. After some of her subtle antisemitic jabs from past seasons, I snorted.

      I was just thinking about the Muse sleeve pack. Do you or any one else in the klatch remember Breslan patterns? They did a series of top patterns had interchangeable pieces and variations. They seem to be lost at sea, so much so that I'm not sure I spelled the name correctly.

      At any rate, this seems like a better way to do it. Breslan extras were pretty expensive-- almost full price I think.

  10. I'm so happy that you decided to start writing these pattern roundups again! I love your comments on the various releases. I realize that this takes a lot of work to piece together and am thankful for it! :)

    I do so love the new McCall's swimsuit. It's on my list to purchase when it's in stock and on sale at Joann's. I also recently bought a suit -- an animal print Esther Williams. I love it, but would like to make another suit and this one looks comfy, cute and retro all at the same time.

    The McCall's 1930's reissue is my favorite Big 4 reissue of the year. I have many vintage dress patterns in similar silhouettes, but there is probably no way I would ever wear one. I do have events in which to wear a gown like that to, but I cannot envision wearing a slim-fitting bias cut gown without wearing an arsenal of spanx underneath. However, I apparently love collecting pretty pictures, so in my stash it will go.

    Muse's sleeve options? Genius! I recall vintage sleeve option patterns like these. I'm not sure why the Big 4 stopped releasing those. It seems like a great way to alter your garments without redrafting.

    I am starting to really like the Southport Dress. I've only seen one version so far and it looks like it would be a great beach/pool coverup and an easy, casual everyday summer dress. Exactly what I'm looking for!

    I've never heard of a tabard either.... Thanks to you and Style Arc I am enlightened!

  11. I love your round-ups! I need to do some stash sewing so I can justify some new pattern treats (I am feelin' the Southport love!).

  12. I normally like Style Arc's style but this is a bit ... meh.
    I know tabards in the present day as a sleeveless, sideless, over-the-head apron-thingy worn by UK school dinner ladies, usually in blue-and-white, green-and-white or pink-and-white checked nylon, with contrasting gravy and custard stains down the front. I was thinking of buying one to protect my clothes when I dye fabric and wool, but they are so hideous that I decided against it.
    Harking back to an earlier post (and the beginning of this one), I'm conflicted about PR. I've had some genuine, generous help from forum participants, but have to say that the overall tone of the forums is cliquey, insular, conservative in the worst sense of the word and US-centric to an astonishing degree.
    I've almost finished the transcription of the Trainwreck Thread onto my blog - one more episode to go! Then I think I'll blog my latest makes and make a start on the saga of the French indie pattern company ...

  13. On PR: I am a moderator and pretty much just read the forums to which I am assigned. I am semi-active on a couple of threads (Burda challenge, Fabric Fast), but I don't post much anymore.

    On this week's pattern releases: I am meh about the McCall's releases; there's just nothing there that is a must-have.

    I'm so happy to see that you're back. *hugs*