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.


  1. OK-- I like the HP pants but will wait a bit. I'm on the fence if I like LIKE them.

    I applaud what CCF is doing.

    The wrap dress looks good and is the one pattern I might jump on.

    As far as Jalie goes, there sports (especially skating) wear is their unique niche they occupy. It does make some sense they'd focus on releasing patterns in their specialty. It is disappointing, though, because they do casual pieces so well. If you think your daughter will ever be interested in sports like skating or gymnastics (or dance), you could always pick up a few of their basics to have a leotard, skirt, tank and short on hand.

    1. I have no idea what Eva will be into in a few years. Her main interests change every few months. She does seem to enjoy dancing a lot, so we'll probably enroll her in one of those preschooler dance classes in the next year or so, but beyond that, I have no idea.

  2. I'm super excited about 2 of the Jalie patterns the tights and tennis dress but I'm a runner and I hate shopping at athleta for these things bc I always end up in the dressing room beside some girl loudly complaining that the small is too small and she needs an xs. Not that I don't love my body but I'm often hoping the largest size in the store will fit while trying them on with a too small running bra bc I never remember that they don't keep my size in stock. That may be a niche problem though. The top is very much like my favorite exercise tops with a pocket that will hold a phone. I do love some of their regular patterns though and hope they have a few of those as well.

    I don't like the yoga waist pants one only bc I made a big 3 pair of shorts like that and they looked like maternity shorts on me.

    I already had the ginger jeans printed out on good paper so I'm trying to decide if I should redownload or go with my print out first. Opinion?

    Love these posts by the way and your blog.

    1. God yes, when I used to go to the gym and wear real athletic clothes (being on the border of misses' and plus sizes at the time), I hated shopping for athletic clothes for the reasons that you described.

      Now, if someone could come up with a pattern for a functional sports bra for a large cup size, they'd have my money in a heartbeat. I loathe having to stalk ebay to get enell seconds at a reasonable price just to keep the "bounce" under control.

    2. There is the Allison bra pattern on the website, but I've never seen a review of it. I agree about Enell, so expensive! I last bought a ShockAbsorber, which is "okay," but it started to fall apart almost immediately - wires pocking out, hooks falling off, etc. With all the repairs, it now looks like Frankenbra.

    3. That should have been, sorry.

  3. Another great round up. I am also super impressed by Closet Case Files being a perfectionist and cleaning up her patterns. In fact, although I've never bought any of her patterns, and wasn't going to buy the Ginger Jeans, I think that this has persuaded me. Yep, super disappointed about the Jalie thing. I don't have kids, I sew only for me, a grown up who doesn't sew any athletic clothing (t-shirts and shorts work just fine for zumba). The wrap dress is cute, but there are no lack of wrap dresses in my stash, including Silhouette, Style Arc, Christine Jonson, and multiple vogues. Palazzo pant looks cute, but I'm afraid all that fabric at the waist will not be flattering. And although I can't say enough good things about the Carme blouse by Pauline Alice, that shift dress/pants are not calling my name. I'm just not tall and lean enough to pull off those pants.

    1. The Jalie disappointment (for me) also comes from knowing that they only do one big release per year, usually with ~6 patterns. And we've already seen, what 5 of them? So unless they release more patterns than usual this year, I just don't see many release "slots" left for the casual basics that they're so good at.

    2. While I love new Jalies and am slightly disappointed by this release, we need to remember that even the "old" Jalies are still pretty great. I have a few that I just make and make.

      Another great round-up Michelle!!

  4. I am actually kinda shocked that the trouser picture shows a bit of a mess in the front. If she is trying to sell this pattern and that is the best she can do to present them I wouldn't feel encouraged to sew these up myself.

    1. Yeah, the front crotchal region is a hot mess. It is possible those pants can snorch the crotch.

    2. From a sewing standpoint, they look like the projects that I sewed when I had been sewing for a couple of years and was starting to venture beyond basics/easy patterns but didn't quite have my skills built up yet.

  5. Don't worry! I asked Jalie is there would be clothing patterns coming, and they said they were saving them for last. 'Cause yeah, I'm not about to sew a leotard!
    I'm pleased about the CCF updates - seems like a smart and consciencious business move, and I admire that. I've mae so many gingers that I'm loath to change my pattern though... but then who doesn't want a new and improved pattern??

    1. If I already had my pattern/alterations squared away, I probably wouldn't bother with the new version, but I do really like that she listened to feedback and responded. AND she's giving people who already bought the patterns access to the new-and-improved versions.

  6. I'm actually fairly excited about some of the new Jalie patterns, particularly the running shorts and tennis dress. I'll definitely be buying them. It is impossible to find RTW tennis clothes that are reasonable & I've been really happy with the other Jalie shorts/tights patterns. I've found that I'm a lot more enthusiastic about exercising when I have something new and fun to wear, so I consider it an investment in my health!

    1. The running shorts and dress/tank at least are practical for exercise-wear. I'm actually somewhat tempted by the tank version of the dress, even though my current exercise regimen only consists of a daily walk.

    2. The pockets in the tank/dress appeal to me, though I'll have to modify the back. Both patterns are practical and motivational for me, but I don't expect to be making a skating dress any time soon either : )

  7. I love these release round ups you do! I like the full palazzo pants - but that's not really a style I wear, so pass. I think the Pauline Alice dress is cute - nice design lines. The Rachel Wrap has me very, very interested - but I can't see if there is any shaping in the back - without darts - it's not gonna look good on me. Darn - I'm picky! g

    1. short reply from my phone. But you can add darts you know lol

    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

    3. Ha Ha Miss Debbie! I know I can add darts, and I even have a pattern where the darts are already in the right spot to use as a guide - but I'm lazy and want someone else to do the work for me!! g

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  9. Can't wait to see your Gingers! I'm tempted to buy the pattern myself while it's on special :D