Sunday, June 28, 2015

Last Week in Patterns (28-June-2015)

It's Sunday, and we have a LOT of patterns to look through, including early Autumn releases from Simplicity and McCall's, both of which had some nice patterns. Grab a cup of coffee and a nice breakfast pastry because we're going to be here for a while.

Here's the list of the releases that we'll be covering today:
  • Cake Pattern: Tidepool Collection
  • Closet Case Files: Sallie Jumpsuit and Maxi-dress
  • McCall's: Early Autumn 2015 release
  • Peek-a-boo Patterns: Friday Harbor blouse and dress
  • Simplicity: Early Autumn 2015 release
Cake Patterns: Tide Pool Collection, Wave 1

After a long hiatus of about a year and a half, StephC from Cake Patterns has released a new pattern collection for summer called "Tidepool". She'll be releasing this collection in two waves, and it will consist of three top patterns that can be paired with two bottom patterns, all with multiple views. She's just released the Wave 1, which consists of two shell patterns and a pattern for pants or shorts.

I'll admit that while I was turned off a bit from Cake after Steph's social media meltdown a while back, I do like a few of the patterns in the collection. Granted, I'm not sure that anyone needs three different knit shell patterns that, at first glance, all appear to be pretty similar but with different details.

Pipi Shell

Like all Cake Patterns, you'll draft/trace the Pipi Shell to your own measurements. This is a simple pattern, but I like it. Cut out backs and back details are all the rage these days, but unlike a lot of patterns I've seen along that line, this one is actually bra-friendly. I'd consider this one.

Cake - Pipi Shell
Janthina Shell

Whereas I kinda liked the Pipi shell, I'm pretty meh on the Janthina. It just reminds me too much of those tops with flounces that everyone was sewing a few years ago. Both Simplicity and HotPatterns had variations on this, and I'm just not ready for flounces to come back yet.

Cake - Jathina shell
Endeavor Trousers

These are easily my favorite pattern out of this bunch. The seaming and pocket details, while not totally original, are also something that you don't see in a lot of sewing patterns. The trouser legs are a bit wide for 5'2" me, but I suspect that's something that you can customize with this pattern, at least somewhat. And I just think that the shorts are really cute and wearable.

One thing that I'll point out is that the shorts and pant samples fit Steph very well--no weird crotch wrinkles or butt drag lines or anything. Granted, this is easier to accomplish with a wide legged trouser than, say, a pair of skinny jeans, but we've also seen plenty of pant patterns from other indies that have had insane crotches or other fitting red flags. Outside of the fact that I feel like these look too long on Steph (or that she should have been wearing different shoes), I think that many of us would be really happy to have trousers that fit like these.

Cake - Endeavor Trousers and Shorts

Closet Case Files: Sallie Jumpsuit and Maxi-Dress

I don't have a whole lot to say about this one. I think it's cute, but I've been hoarding jumpsuit and maxi-dress patterns for a while and have options that are fairly similar to most of the views here that I'd wear.

If you're not like me and don't hoard jumpsuit and maxi-dress patterns; however, this one does provide you with quite a few options. I do really like that Heather included both bra-friendly and non-bra-friendly views in this pattern, so that those of us who do not have the option of wearing a strapless bra aren't left out in the cold. I'll be putting this one in my "like it, but probably don't need it" pile.

Closet Case Files - Sallie Jumpsuit and Maxi-dress
McCalls: Early Fall Release 2015

Much like their early spring release about six months ago, there are quite a few patterns that really like in McCall's Early Fall release. What's interesting to me about this collection is that I've been seeing many of these looks popping up in RTW around Seattle. A valid criticism of the Big 4 is that their patterns are sometimes a step behind RTW trends, but you could walk into a department store today and buy pieces that are similar to a lot of the patterns in this collection.

Also, remember that cute brunette model with the short hair that we all liked so much from the Early Spring release? She's back, and she's still damn cute.

If you haven't already refilled your cup of coffee, now is the time to do so.

M7187: Misses' Dress with panel inset and drop-waist skirt options

I think that this dress is really cute. I like the princess seam inset/panel, and the skirt options on the drop-waist are interesting.

M7188: Misses Dress (with cup sizes)

Princess seams, a short midriff band, and a quarter circle skirt? I'm there. The styling in the sample photo is really unfortunate, but look beyond that and see what a cute, potentially flattering dress there is in the line drawings.

M7199: Knit jacket with asymmetrical zipper

I've been seeing this style of jacket all over Seattle. They're really cute on a lot of women. I was actually figuring that I'd buy the StyleArc Marie, which is relatively inexpensive in PDF form, to knock off this style, but now McCall's has put out a nearly identical version of this look. The "No provisions provided for above waist adjustment" is a little concerning, though, given that I know I'd need to FBA this.


M7192: Misses' Tops with sheer overlay

I've been seeing these blouses with the asymmetrical sheer overlays around town a lot so far this summer. I've stayed away from these patterns with the overlays on the front before because I was afraid that the fabric would hang unattractively off of my boobs, but I'm less concerned about that with this version, since the overlay fabric would be a lightweight, drapey sheer.

M7195: Misses' Woven Sweatshirts

Woven t-shirts have been huge for the past couple of summers, so it makes sense that the next step in this trend evolution would be a woven sweatshirt, right? I live in the sweatshirt capital of the world, so of course, I'm going to give this one a try.

M7203: Misses' Romper and Jumpsuit

Because I hoard but don't make romper and jumpsuit patterns. Well, to be honest, part of that is that I've been searching for a romper/jumpsuit pattern that had the following elements that previously had been difficult to find all in one pattern: button front, elastic waist, easy to FBA. This pattern checks all of those boxes. Have I finally found the pattern that I'll use to test drive this trend?

M7214: Kids' and Adults TMNT and Minion costumes

Minions! And Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles! All part of the same pattern! Eva is really into minions right now, so this pattern will be a likely contender for this year's Halloween costume.

M7211: Frozen Costumes for Dogs

Frozen costumes for dogs. I have nothing else to say about this.


Simplicity: Early Fall Release 2015

Simplicity released a small batch of patterns earlier this week (although these patterns had been appearing around JoAnns' stores for at least a week before this). As is typical with their early fall releases, this batch contained a few costume patterns that I suspect Simplicity expects to sell well for Halloween. There are also some nice basics for fall, including a jacket that I absolutely love.

Simplicity 1066: MimiG Lined Jacket

Generally, MimiG's style and my own style don't have a whole lot of overlap, but OMG, I LOVE THIS JACKET pattern! First off, it's actually a lined jacket pattern (as opposed to draft your own lining and figure things out), it includes multiple cup sizes--up to a DD in the larger range, which is what I use, it has shoulder princess seams (yay!), and I really like the optional details--you could either go with a bit of a military look or incorporate some faux leather piecing.

We know what jacket pattern I'll be making this fall, right?

Simplicity 1066 - MimiG jacket
Simplicity 1063: Misses' Knit Tops

Based on my experience with a similar HotPatterns knit top that I ended up not wearing much, I don't think that Simplicity 1063 is the best look for me, but it's an interesting pattern that incorporates some draping and a crossover in a kind of cool way. (There was also a similar BurdaStyle pattern about a year and a half ago.)

Simplicity 1063 - Misses Knit Tops
Simplicity 1061: Sew Chic lined dress and jacket

This dress is cute as heck (especially in the fabric that they chose), although it's probably not something that I would sew/wear. I suspect that we'll see lots of cute versions of this one out and around the SBC in coming months.

Simplicity 1061: Sew Chic dress
Simplicity 1095: Misses' (Dr. Who) Costumes

I don't watch Dr. Who myself, but I know plenty of people who are really into it. One of the most Seattle cars I've seen since moving here was a Fiat with a "My Other Ride is a Tardis" sticker on it. This costume is for the driver of that car.

Simplicity 1095: Misses' (Dr. Who) Costumes
Simplicity 1094 & Simplicity 1097: Girls' and Misses' Frozen Fever costumes

Were you a child in the early 80's? Did you play with Star Wars action figures? Do you also happen to remember how George Lucas would license and Kenner would sell action figures who appeared in all of ONE SHOT of the original trilogy? Like this guy--Hammerhead? (He was featured in exactly one shot of the Cantina Scene in Episode IV.)

Star Wars Hammerhead action figure
Disney/Simplicity appear to be heading down a similar route with the movie Frozen and its characters. With a true sequel somewhere on the distant horizon, Disney ran a 10-minute animated short called "Frozen Fever" before the live-action version of Cinderella a few months ago. We now have a set of women's, children's, and 18" doll costumes from Simplicity, based on the dresses that Anna and Elsa wore in that short. Has Frozen jumped the shark? And is this worse than Anna and Elsa costumes for a dog? (FWIW, my 3-year-old is currently more into Thomas the Train and minions than she is into Frozen.)

Simplicity 1094

Simplicity 1097

Final Thoughts

So when is the next McCall's sale at JoAnn's?

Scrolling through this post, I feel like a cat in a room full of laser pointers. This one! No,  I'm getting this one!

My picks for the week are the Endeavor (I actually have a voucher for a free pattern from Cake from my "house" winning a long-ago sewalong), the MimiG jacket from Simplicity, and a whole lot of the new McCall's patterns. Which are your favorites out of this bunch?

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Finished (Unselfish) Project: Blank Slate Patterns - Pocket PJs

A couple of months ago, when our local Hancock had its big "Going Out of Business" sale (*sigh*), I stopped by with my daughter Eva to pick at the corpse like vultures see what sort of deals there were to be had. Most of the remaining fabric wasn't anything that I was interested in, even at sale prices, and they had already shipped their stock of muslin to another local store (darn!), but I did manage to stock up on quite a few notions. I also let Eva pick out a couple of cuts of fabric for future unselfish sewing projects.

Between sewing for Eva and a few unsuccessful projects for myself, I went most of last autumn and into early winter without many wearable additions to my wardrobe, so for the past few months, I've been concentrating on sewing clothes for myself. In recent weeks, however, Eva has been showing more and more interest in watching me sew, and I felt that it was time to finally make her something from one of the cuts of fabric that she picked out. Given that she's (almost) 3 years old, everything that she picked out was a quilting cotton with a licensed character on it, so my pattern choices would be limited to pajamas. Given that our temperatures have rocketed into summer, I needed a woven PJ pattern, preferably without a collar. Enter the Blank Slate Pocket PJ pattern, which I purchased to fill out a bundle a while back, but hadn't made up yet.

This pattern not only has a collarless placket-style opening, it includes two front patch pockets, which are the perfect size for carrying around a couple of Fisher Price Little People:

Blank Slate - Pocket PJs
Blank Slate Pocket PJs on my sewing table
It's not shown in the line drawing or in any of the sample photos, but the pattern does include an option for short sleeves, which I used. I also cropped the pants at knee-length make them more appropriate for summer. I did not use a contrast fabric as was shown in the samples. Other than my changes, though, you can see that my version is pretty close to the sample photo and line drawing:

Blank Slate Pocket PJs - sample photo and line drawing

Fabric and Notions Used


  • Fabric: Minnie Mouse quilting cotton purchased from Hancock
  • Buttons: Basic shirt buttons from stash


Pattern Sizing, Drafting, and Alterations


This pattern is available in Blank Slate kids' sizes 18M - 8.

As with every Blank Slate pattern I've sewn, this one runs close to RTW sizing, maybe a touch larger. I sewed a size 3T, which is Eva's current RTW size, and it fits nicely with just enough extra room that I'm confident that she'll be able to wear it through the summer without growing out of it.

You do not get the huge amounts of excess ease with Blank Slate patterns that you do with some Big 4 kids' patterns, which is why I will happily pay a few extra dollars for these patterns rather than trying to hunt down a Big 4 version. It's nice to just be able to sew my child's RTW size rather than play sizing guessing games.

The only pattern alteration that I made this time was to shorten the pants to shorts. The short-sleeve option is included in the pattern, although not pictured anywhere on the Blank Slate website.

I ran into one issue with the drafting of the pattern, and it's one that I've encountered before with Blank Slate, so I'm guessing that this might be a drafting block issue--the sleeve cap did not have enough ease to need to be eased onto the armscye--in fact it was the other way around where I had to ease the armscye onto the sleeve. It's an easy fix to add ease to a sleeve cap, though, so I'm noting it and will adjust for the future.

Note that unlike some children's patterns, this pattern does include separate front and back pieces (clearly marked) and the curve of the sleeve cap is appropriately longer on the back side than on the front.

PDF Assembly

I didn't run into any issues assembling the PDF for this pattern. I've consistently found Blank Slate's PDF patterns to be clearly formatted and to not have any issues with the pattern lines lining up correctly.

Pattern Instructions

I found the pattern instructions and accompanying photos to be very clear. I had never sewn this type of placket before, and not only did I not need to get out the seam ripper, I think I ended up with a pretty nice-looking placket on my first try.

Not bad for a first attempt at this type of placket, right?

I only skimmed through the rest of the instructions but I found them to all look pretty reasonably easy to follow.


Final Thoughts


Eva asked  to wear her new Minnie jammies two nights in a row, so I know that I have a hit here. These pajamas are a fun twist on traditional pajamas, and what kid doesn't love pockets? I forsee this pattern getting quite a bit of use in the coming years.

They made Eva so happy that she felt like dancing!

The Minnie Jammies Dance

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Last Week in Patterns (21-June-2015)

We had more pattern release activity this week than we've had in a while, with a new BurdaStyle collection and Jalie announcing their 2015 patterns. This week's releases:
  • BurdaStyle (Plus)
  • Jalie
  • StyleArc

BurdaStyle (Plus): July 2015 collection

BurdaStyle posted their Plus collection for their July 2015 issue earlier this week. There was one piece I loved, one piece I kinda liked (in one sample) and a lot of meh.

07-2015 #134: Short sleeved maxi dress

First up is a peasant-style maxi-dress. It's okay, but it doesn't really thrill me. I can't tell if those are raglan sleeves, or if they're some sort of weird flutter sleeve that's just attached at the neckline.

BurdaStyle July 2015 #134
07-2015 #131 & 07-2015 #133: Peplum blouse and scarf print dress

So these are clearly the same pattern, although with Burda giving them separate pattern numbers, I'm not sure if you'd get both views as part of the same download. Both are pretty "meh" to me, but I actually really like the eyelet version of the blouse that they paired with the flared jeans (below).

BurdaStyle July 2015 #131

BurdaStyle July 2015 #133

07-2015 #130A: Denim pants

I love this outfit. The flared pants/jeans are fun, and they actually have seaming on the legs--a feature that I can't recall having seen recently in a plus sized pattern, which is funny to me, because the seams can help with fitting. And the blouse is the same as pattern #131. I like it MUCH better in the eyelet shown here than in the fabrics that they chose for the actual pattern photos.

BurdaStyle July 2015 #130A (paired with #131)
07-2015 #129A: Midi Flutter Dress & 07-2015 #129B: Gown

Patterns #129A & B are a perfectly serviceable dress and gown. Neither is really my own style, but they're inoffensive in that they aren't horribly shapeless or anything.

BurdaStyle July 2015 #129A

BurdaStyle July 2015 #129A
07-2015 #128: Crochet Tunic

A BurdaStyle release wouldn't be complete without a shapeless rectangle, so here's this month's shapeless rectangle, which really is a rectangle with a neck hole cut out:

BurdaStyle July 2015 #129A
Jalie: 2015 Release

Long-time indie pattern fav Jalie announced their 2015 patterns for release this week. Disappointingly, to some of us, there weren't many "everyday" patterns in this release, but there definitely were some very useful patterns for a lot of us. If you're unfamiliar with Jalie, they tend to release a lot of well-drafted everyday basics, activewear, and niche sports (e.g. skating) patterns with all sizes from 18M all the way up to plus sizes with a 53" hip.

In the niche pattern category, we had the following:
In the patterns with a bit wider audience, we have the following options:

Anne-marie tank and dress

Anne-marie is a racerback tennis dress or tank top, with a useful pocket in the back. I don't play tennis or cycle (the two intended uses for the dress view), but I could see this just being a cute summer dress for Eva or a useful exercise top for myself.

Jalie - Anne-Marie tennis top or dress

Cora Running tights and shorts

The Cora running tights and shorts are an inseamless exercise tight. If I still jogged like I did in my younger, slimmer days, I'd be all over this pattern. I'd be curious to hear from others how these compare to Melissa Fehr's inseamless running pants.

Jalie - Cora running tights
Elenore pull-on jeans

Yup, pull-on jeans. And they will be perfect for my daughter, who currently sticks with leggings, as far as pants go. I'll probably sew up a pair or two for myself as well. This is one of those patterns where the utilitarian aspect makes it a total no-brainer that I'd purchase this one.

Jalie - Eleonore pull-on pants
Bella Dress

The Bella dress is designed for twirling. Really. It started off life as a ballroom dancing pattern (see the built-in leotard option) but Jalie decided to add options for making it an everyday dress. Given that I sew for a little girl who loves to twirl, this one is also a no-brainer for me to purchase. And yeah, I could definitely find a use for a fit-and-flare princess seamed knit dress for myself, too. ;)

Jalie - Bella dress
ETA: Someone on PatternReview just pointed out that this dress only goes up to an adult size AA--a 42" bust instead of Jalie's usual 50" bust. WTH? That's kind of lame, given that one of the usually great things about Jalie is the size range. I could still use this dress for Eva, but I guess I won't be making one for myself, then.

StyleArc: June 2015 designer release

*sigh* As much as I've loved StyleArc in the past, based on recent releases, I really feel like their aesthetic is starting to move away from my own.  We got another "designer" release for our mid-June release earlier this week, and this time around it's a boxy top and a gaucho-esque pair of pull-on pants. These aren't bad or boring patterns--they're just not my own style.

Ethel Designer Pant

The Ethel pants are a pull-on cropped-leg pant with a tucked elastic waist and a full leg that narrows at the hem. Basically, to me, these seem kind of like this season's culottes, but without the typical volume that we've been seeing at the hem. But I kinda like that volume--in my fantasy of my yet-to-be-sewn culottes, the legs are flowy and swishy. I do think that the the Ethels could be a very comfortable pant for summer, though.

StyleArc - Ethel pants
Ethel Designer Top

I was completely "meh" on this, until I scrolled down past the line drawing and saw the sewn up sample. It's another boxy, woven t-shirt style top.

StyleArc - Ethel top
I still don't think that this shape will work on my uber busty figure, but I will admit that it looks awfully nice on the model, especially in that crisp white fabric that shows off the seamlines:

StyleArc Ethel sample
Ricki Top

The email announcing the Ricki top went out a few days after the two Ethel pieces. The Ricki top is interesting to me for two reasons:
  • StyleArc says that the back wrap gives full coverage, while retaining the look of the current crossover trend.
  • The top is designed for scuba fabric.
StyleArc - Ricki top

I'm not going to rush out and buy this one right away, but I'm intrigued. This is a simple enough style that I could see myself seeing a made up version that I like on someone's blog, buying the PDF, and having a finished top a few days later.

Final Thoughts

Well, it looks like I'll be adding a few Jalies and those Burda plus pants to my pattern collection. And I'll want to find an appropriate blouse pattern (I'm sure I have one somewhere in my stash) to make in a white eyelet to duplicate the styling of that Burda picture. And I'll be keeping my eye out to see how the StyleArc Ricki looks when made up. That's about all that excited me this week, though. How about you? Are you planning to purchase any of the new Jalies? Also, does anyone know the scoop on the Bella dress only going up to size AA (42" bust)?

Coming soon, there should be a new Simplicity release (some of the patterns have been showing up in JoAnns), but those patterns aren't available on the Simplicity website yet.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Finished Project: HotPatterns 1169 - Classix Nouveau Refined Peasant Blouse

So you may have noticed that I was wearing a matching blouse to go with my new pair of Burda 6951 pants. The blouse in question is my new HotPatterns Refined Peasant Blouse, and not to brag, but I feel like I completely nailed the pattern/fabric pairing here:

HotPatterns Refined Peasant Blouse
I used a double gauze for this top, which was my first time working with this fabric, and OMG, I think I'm in fabric love. It's super soft, but lightweight and floaty, but not sheer. I think I want to sew all summer blouses in double gauze from now on.

This is a pretty easy pattern to sew, and I do think that it looks quite similar to the drawing on the envelope. The toughest part of this pattern is getting all of that gathering (and there is lots of gathering) even and looking nice before you stitch on the neckband. (I used pieces of Wash-Away Wonder Tape to baste my gathers into place and to stick them to the neckband before stitching.)

HotPatterns - Refined Peasant Blouse

Fabric and Notions Used


I used the following fabric and notions for this version of this pattern:
  • Double gauze cotton purchased from Miss Matatabi. She no longer appears to have the colorway that I used in stock, but mine was the Kobayashi double gauze that she lists for $5.50 per half metre.
  • Pro-weft light fusible interfacing purchased from Fashion Sewing Supply


Pattern Sizing and Alterations


This pattern is available in HotPatterns sizes 6-26 (32"-52" bust).

This particular pattern is very generously sized. Most women will be able to get away without an FBA on this pattern, and I suspect that most will also be happier with their fit if they go down a size or two than what their measurements would indicate on the size chart.

I sewed a size 18 with the following alterations:
  • 1" FBA with the dart rotated into the neck gathers
  • Shortened the sleeves by 2" (I'm 5'2".)
Note that I have small hands and wrists (they're the only part of me that are small), and I found the cuffs to be a little snug to get over my hands. I would definitely check the circumference of the paper pattern piece and adjust before you cut your fabric for these.

I did end up omitting the optional hem facing. I pinned the (interfaced) facing to my top but just felt like it weighed the look of the top down too much. Instead of the hem facing, I just did a typical hem where I pressed up the hem allowance and top-stitched. If you're using a fairly lightweight fabric, though (e.g. a georgette or a voile), I think that the hem facing could probably help things drape and hang better.

HP Refined Peasant Blouse - back

Pattern Instructions


HotPatterns don't have super detailed instructions, but this is a pretty easy pattern. Trudy also has posted a tutorial for this pattern on YouTube, so there's extra help there if you need it:

Pattern page with YouTube tutorial


Final Thoughts


I really love how my blouse turned out, and when I can find the right fabric for it (preferably a printed double gauze), I would definitely make it again.

I also think that this is a great pattern for apple or rectangle figures--in a drapey fabric, the blouse skims over your curves but doesn't have a defined waist. It's not tentlike to where you have to worry about a maternity effect, but it also doesn't highlight the lack of a waist, if you don't really have one.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Last Week in Patterns (14-June-2015)

We had a moderately interesting week of releases and pattern news this week, with various types of announcements coming from the following pattern designers:
  • Closet Case Files
  • HotPatterns
  • Jalie
  • Maria Denmark
  • Pauline Alice

Closet Case Files: Extended Size Range and Pattern Refinements

Heather Lou from Closet Case Files did something this week that I can't remember any other pattern designer doing: She published a set of revamped patterns (available to anyone who previously published one of her patterns) with a number of fitting issues addressed. Additionally, all of her patterns except for the Nettie bodysuit all go up to a size 20 (46" bust, 48" hip) now. So, if you bought a Bombshell swimsuit pattern a while back but had been hesitating making it up because you were just outside of the size range, you can now re-download your pattern with the size 20 included and not worry about grading up.

I think that this is awesome. While you could argue that some of the fitting adjustments should have been caught in the pattern testing stage, it's not uncommon to see a number of people have the same fitting issue in a pattern, regardless of whether that's a Big 4 or an indie pattern. I think that it's great that she both recognized these issues and made the fixes available to all of her customers. And she's also the first pattern maker that I can think of (other than BlueGingerDoll) who retroactively went back and added an extended size range to her older patterns. To celebrate the relaunch, all CCF file patterns are currently on sale for 20% off.

Now, if only Sewaholic would go back and extend the size range on the Minoru...

HotPatterns 1190: Fast & Fabulous Pull-on Palazzo Pants

HotPatterns has released their take on the palazzo pant trend that's been popping up this summer. I've been seeing a lot of this style around town--usually made up in some sort of rayon with a tribal or Native American style print. According to Trudy, these aren't a super wide palazzo, but are light and flowy. These pants have a yoga pant-style waistband and an option for pockets. This pattern is currently on sale for 20% off through the end of this weekend.

HotPatterns Palazzo Pant
Jalie pattern sneak peaks

I'll cover these patterns more when they're officially released, but Jalie has been giving sneak peaks of their upcoming collection for 2015 on their blog:

Jalie Blog

So far, they've all been activewear patterns of some kind: running tights, a leotard, a tennis/cycling dress, a one-piece cheerleader outfit, and a skating dress. There are rumors that one upcoming pattern will be a pair of pull-on skinny pants.

I can see the usefulness of these patterns if these are the types of garments that you sew, but I won't lie and say that I'm really hoping for a useful knit top or cardigan to be included somewhere in this batch.

Maria Denmark: Rachel Wrap Dress

Yes, it's another wrap dress pattern, but this one is Maria Denmark's take on it and addresses many of the wrap dress issues that many of us complain about:
  • Uses bands instead of facings. 
  • Bands are cut shorter than the neckline to prevent gaping.
  • Gives the option of wrapping the ties around the waist to act as a waist seam or tying without wrapping around the waist.
  • Offered in European sizes 34-54
I haven't made a Maria Denmark pattern yet, but I know that many people who have made them really love them. They're supposed to be true-to-size and well-drafted, and it sounds like this pattern solves many of the issues that can be irritating about wearing a wrap dress.

Maria Denmark - Rachel Wrap Dress

Pauline Alice: New pant and dress patterns

Xerea Dress

When I initially saw the blog post for this pattern with its seam-obscuring busy print, I thought, "Oh god, not another boring shift dress pattern for beginners."

But wait, there's more! Underneath that busy pattern, there are actually some interesting seamlines and pockets:

Pauline Alice - Xerea dress
The panel seams will help add shaping to this design, and those pockets are similar to the ones in the highly coveted OOP Simplicity 2245 Lisette Portfolio dress. Now that I see the line drawings, I really like this dress. The version with the front pleat will be hard to pull off on anyone who isn't tall and small-busted, IMO, but the more traditional shift should be fairly wearable for a lot of women. I'm not really a shift dress wearing person, but I do love creative pockets, and if I were a shift dress wearer, I'd be awfully tempted by this.

I also noticed that Pauline Alice has upped their size range recently to add a size 48 (42 1/2" or 108cm bust), which won't help me much, but it's a step in the right direction for sewists who were previously outside of the Pauline Alice size range.

Sorell Trousers

I'm also not a high-waisted, pleated trousers-wearing sort of person, but if I were, this pattern has some fun details.

Pauline Alice - Sorell Trousers
Now, the samples appear to have some fit issues, especially from the front where there appears to be some pulling at the waist and the crotch looks a bit long. However, yay because at least this isn't a track pant pattern?


Final Thoughts

So, to me, the biggest bits of news are from Closet Case Files and Jalie. With the size range expansion and sale going on right now, I finally pulled the trigger on the Bombshell swimsuit, and I re-downloaded my yet-to-be-made Ginger jeans pattern.

At the other side of the spectrum, so far I've been kind of disappointed that all of the patterns in the new Jalie release have been activewear patterns. If I was a runner, I'd be all over the running tights. The tennis/cycling dress is really cute, but I don't play tennis or cycle. Eva isn't old enough yet for gymnastics/cheerleading/skating yet, although I suspect that if she were into those sports, I'd be all over that new batch of patterns. I wonder if we'll see anything like the releases of a few years ago where we got knit tops, jeans, or outerwear. 

Is anyone else disappointed by the Jalie previews? I know that people love their patterns, and I'm guessing that these niche patterns must be their best selling types of patterns, but I'd kind of been hoping for something that would actually make sense for me to buy.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Finished Project: Burda 6951, Take 2 (Plus size slender pants)

Remember my wearable muslin jeans from a few weeks ago?

Burda 6915 jeans

Well, it turns out that if you actually use the correct size for your hip measurement, you get a pair of pants that looks like the ones on the pattern envelope. Behold my pant holy grail, a pair of stretch cigarette pants with pockets and a front fly:

Burda (Plus) 6951 - "slim fitting pants"
 I won't write up a full review for this pair since I already reviews this pattern fairly extensively in my original Burda 6915 jeans post, but I will use this post to show you pictures of my new pants and to talk about the changes that I made from my wearable muslin.

As a refresher, here's the back view on my original wearable muslin:

Burda 6951 (wearable muslin)
And here's the back view on the pair that I just sewed up:

Burda 6951 - back view
While I've still got some wrinkles on the back legs (at least partially due to needing a full calf adjustment, I suspect), things sure look a lot "perkier" in the new pair, don't they? Here are the changes that I made from Pair 1 to Pair 2:
  • I went down a size (from a Burda 54 to a Burda 52). The Burda 52 matches my 50" hip measurement, but I was originally scared off from this size because the finished garment measurements included negative ease. (This is a pattern designed for stretch wovens.) Clearly, these run true to size because the 52 is pretty much perfect for me, I think.
  • I added a 1" horizontal wedge at CB on the lengthen-shorten line, tapering to nothing at the side seam. This alteration gives me a bit more vertical length over my rather sizable booty.
  • I took in the legs very slightly--1/4" at both the inseam and outseam, tapering to nothing at the low hip.


 Fabric and Notions Used


I used the following fabric and notions for this version:
Burda 6951 "guts"

Construction Notes

I constructed these pants as if I were constructing a pair of jeans, minus the flat-felled seams and contrast top-stitching. (I simply used black thread for all top-stitching. I finished all of my seam allowances on my serger and top-stitched the ones that normally would be flat-felled.

For Next Time


After wearing these a bit, I could use just a touch more vertical room at the CB seam, so I will probably increase the size of the wedge that I added there by about 1/2".  Upon looking through my pictures, it looks like I (not surprisingly) could use a bit of a large calf adjustment, as well--although I'll be conservative with that because I do want these to fit closely through the legs.

For what it's worth, I'll likely be wearing these rolled up "boyfriend style" when the weather is warm, so here's what they look like when styled like that:

Burda 6951 - boyfriend-style

Final Thoughts


I couldn't be happier with how these turned out--I feel like I made a lot of positive progress with my fit, and they're super comfortable to wear.  I want to make this pattern up now in, like, a million prints and colors. Of course, I'll do a pair or two of "traditional" jeans, as well.