Sunday, July 12, 2015

Last Week in Patterns (12-July-2015)

This past week was a good week for pear-shaped sewists; however, I didn't feel that it was such a good week for my own figure or own personal style. We had releases this past week from the following companies:
  • HotPatterns
  • Itch to Stitch
  • Sewaholic
  • Vogue
HotPatterns: Fast & Fabulous Trilogy Shift Dress, Tunic, & Top

The Trilogy dress, tunic, and top appears to basically be HotPatterns take on the RTW trend that I'm sure inspired the True Bias Sutton blouse. I've been seeing similar blouses all over Seattle for the past few months, so it makes sense that multiple pattern companies would offer a take on this style. I already purchased the PDF for this (it's 20% off right now). I've nearly bought the Sutton several times, and since I'm familiar with and trust HotPatterns drafting, I figured this was a sign to finally pull the trigger on this one. I'm currently working on the mini-Southport for my daughter, but I've already prewashed fabric and will be making up the Trilogy top after that.

HotPatterns Trilogy Top, Tunic, and Dress

Itch to Stitch: Angelia Shorts

I don't follow Itch to Stitch all that closely. A few people have brought her patterns to my attention, but I'll be honest that I didn't really pay attention because I was a little turned off by the way she was putting calls out for pattern testers--they're done on a super tight deadline, which makes me question the thoroughness of the testing. Not to re-open the debate on pattern testing again, but I'm of a firm belief that pattern testing is something that you do to check the fit/grading on your patterns and/or the clarity of your instructions.  Outside of that, you're probably looking for someone to sew up your samples for you for free or for free marketing.

Anyway, I'm posting this because frankly, I really like these shorts. I love all of the details on the pockets, and I've been seeing some of these military-esque details on RTW shorts a lot lately. And as a fan of fly fronts, it's really nice to see a new-ish pattern designer offer a pattern with a fly front and not automatically fall back on a drawstring or elastic waist because it's easy.

I don't know if I'd buy these until I see some more reviews on women of larger sizes, but I definitely can see myself morphing some of these details onto a pattern that I already own.

Itch to Stitch: Angelia shorts
Itch to Stitch: Kathryn Top & Dress

Released at the same time as the Angelia shorts was the Kathryn knit top and dress. This top is so wrong for my figure, it's not even funny. Those pleats would open up and look horribly sloppy on my G-cups, not to even get into the bulk that they'd add. It looks okay on the slender, small-busted testers, though. Obviously, this one is a "hell no" from me.

Itch to Stich: Kathryn top and dress
Sewaholic: Harwood dress

The Harwood is one of those dresses that I like the idea of, but I think you need to be Sewaholic's target pear-shaped figure for it to look good. That closed-up neckline is the opposite of what I need for my upper body to avoid looking like one giant boob. The placement of this particular yoke and gathers could also potentially be problematic on a large bust.

On the other hand, if you're small-busted, I think that this dress could nicely balance out your figure, if that's something that you're looking for.

Basically, I like the design of this dress, but this one's not for me.

Sewaholic: Harwood dress

Sewaholic: Nicola dress

I had to laugh (in a good way) when I saw the blog post announcing the Nicola dress. Why did I laugh? I laughed because, as you'll see when I get a chance to blog it, I was just finishing up the very similar Blank Slate Marigold dress and was super happy with how that dress was turning out. A few of the details are a little different, but the basic idea is the same--a shirtdress with a shoulder yoke, shoulder shirring, elastic waist, and flared skirt.

So yeah, I like this a lot, but I have no need for it since I already own and have figured out the fit on the Marigold. I will say that although Tasia from Sewaholic drafts for a pear figure, I think that this dress is going to be a pretty flattering shape on a lot of women, pear figure or not. Those shoulder gathers are a convenient place to rotate a dart from an FBA. (I'll talk about my FBA in more detail in my Marigold post, but everything that I did FBA-wise for the Marigold will apply to the Nicola.)

Sewaholic: Nicola dress
Vogue: Fall 2015 Release

*sigh*  I must be one of the very few people in the SBC who didn't care a whole lot for this Vogue collection. There are very few patterns here that suit both my lifestyle and my figure. It figures--I loved the McCall's Fall Release (and have already bought 3 patterns from the collection), so I probably wasn't going to like any of the other Fall collections from the Big 4 nearly as much.

V1465: Donna Karan Jacket, Skirt, and Top

I like the jacket here, and the top and the skirt are okay, although I wouldn't wear a turtleneck. StyleArc has a few similar jackets, though, and I tend to trust StyleArc's drafting a bit more than most Big 4 drafting.

V1461: DKNY dress

The early 90's fashion revival, influenced by grunge and riot grrrl influences has been around for a few years at this point. It would figure that we'd start to see fashion influences from the mid-90's starting to show up in collections. This dress just screams "Clueless" to me.

"Sometimes you have to show a little skin. This reminds boys of being naked, and then they think of sex." --Cher Horowitz

V9124: Misses' Dress

If V1461 screamed Cher Horowitz, then V9124 screams Elaine Benes. Get out!


V9125: Misses' Dress

Nipple darts!


V9122: Very Easy Vogue Misses' Jumper

I wonder if these jumpers with the bias insets are expected to be a big thing for fall. McCall's had a variation on this in their fall catalogue.


Final Thoughts

First of all, I want to mention that a few of us Seattle-area sewing bloggers had a lovely meetup at Drygoods Designs here on Saturday. I even got a chance to meet my fellow CSC editor Jenny/Cashmerette in person! I'll try to pull a few pictures off of Instragram when I get a chance.

The only must-have for me here this week is the new HotPatterns top/tunic/dress, which I'll be sewing up soon. There are a few wait-and-see's, but that's just about it. I know that a lot of people really loved the new Vogues, but I felt that they were mostly kind of "meh". I guess I'm just more of a McCall's woman, when it comes to BMV. Were there any released this week that are on your must-have list?


  1. Yeah, this is totally a good week for a pear like me! The Sewaholic and Itch to Stitch top/dress are all a bit too... formal (?!) for me though - nothing I have to buy, although they'd probably look good!

    I'm rather intrigued that Sewaholic is once again releasing two quite similar patterns at once, like with the two button up shirts before. That must be working out well for them financially, to do it again... similar to the Cake Riffs being released seperately. If a third company does it, I'm declaring it a trend! I know it does cost a lot of time/money to develop a pattern, so I can definitely understand the appeal of breaking apart variations and selling them seperately. I'm a big fan of the add-on packs that some designers have been releasing - I like the idea that I could pay a small amount and have someone "hack" the pattern for me, so that I'm not tempted to start fitting fresh with a new pattern!

    K, I'm done rambling now... :)

    1. Yeah, I found it odd that she released two similar patterns together, like she did with the blouses. It must have worked out well for her in that case.

  2. I did like Betzina's tunic pattern, and pants pattern with the back seams.

    1. I've been intrigued by the idea of back seams on pants before, but haven't tried them yet.

  3. I'm a bit disappointed that Sewaholic's patterns are released as two different patterns again (although could be hacked to the other design), but as Tasia's patterns are basically bulletproof and, if you're a pear or rectangle with a small bust, very flattering, so I'll buy one as it's worth it to save on fitting headaches from the big-four patterns!

    1. The niche body type thing is one area where I really appreciate it when a pattern designer offers some nice basics. It can really be a nice time saver (and worth paying a few extra $$$) to not spend hours on alterations.

  4. I'm looking forward to your Marigold review. I'd not heard of that dress, or pattern company. I liked the look of the Nicola, but it is quite a fabric hog compared to the Marigold. I'm still looking for the perfect shirtdress pattern. I like the look of the neckline on the Nicola more than the Marigold. Perhaps its frankenpattern time....

    1. The Marigold turned out to be a fabric hog after I made my alterations, so that would be something to keep in mind. I ended up needing the bulk of my 4-yard cut of 45" wide rayon for my dress. It's something that I'll note in my review. That said, I don't mind so much because I know that I'll wear the finished dress a ton.

  5. I look forward to your reviews of the Marigold and the new HP! I think the 2 Sewaholics are very similar to each other. Reminds me of the 3 too-similar Cake shell patterns in that we end up paying full price for "patterns" that feel more like 1 pattern with multiple views.

    And I like some of the details on those shorts! But the long version reminds me of the knickers fad when I was in 6th grade.

    1. Ugh, yeah, I really dislike the longer view of the shorts. It would have been nice if she had gotten anyone who was curvy in the slightest to sew the shorter views to see how they look on someone above a size 4.

  6. Please forgive a rant, but I need to unload.
    I'm so tired of shapeless dresses and tops that, IMHO, look dowdy and, at the very least, unflattering on any body that has curves. I recognize and appreciate comfort, but all I can think of when I see these patterns is what my mother would have called housedresses. Drop shoulders, with or without sleeves, make every body that doesn't have broad square shoulders (look at the shoulders on that sketch on the front of the Trilogy pattern) look slumpy, which doesn't become anybody. Again, IMHO. Thanks for letting me unload--I try hard not to do that, but the Trilogy pattern just got to me.

    1. Unload away!

      FWIW, I think that a lot of the pattern trends that are bugging you are just reflections of current trends in RTW. I can't tell you how many drop-shoulders/cut-on or dolman sleeves I see around the office.

    2. I have to second you Michelle - I thought Burda was losing it with the shapeless tents, but then when I look at what's in the stores, it's the same stuff. Thankfully we sewers can just use old patterns and not worry about current trends, but I hope those trends change to something more my style soon.

  7. My jaw dropped at the the nipple darts. Who thought this was a good idea! And it was so bad no one could bring themselves to actually make a live sample.

  8. I like a lot of the new releases, but none enough to buy them. Maybe I'll be swayed by the new Sewaholic patterns if I see a curvier gal modeling them.

  9. phew, good think i read your blog, Michelle, the new HP slipped by me (tho i am on their e-mail list)! That is a cute take on this ubiquitous RTW trend. i like the hem treatment esp., tho i doubt i'll make this one up - between my shoulders, bust and hips i'll look like the side of a barn comin' atcha ;)

    Gotta defend the nipple dart. Ladies, that's a design for a cocktail/party dress and the whole point is to show your assets to their best advantage. Shaping which highlights the underbust is very flattering to the figure, not to mention sexy. As all of you are expert in the ways of the seam, i am sure you will know that the dart ends a couple of inches away from the *actual* nipple, and you will sew it expertly enough that the seam will barely be visible. Your audience will wonder how is it you look so hot in such a tasteful frock.

    I like the cuff/placket detail on V1463 view B - the type of touch which can take a blouse from 'meh' to something special. And speaking of the 1970's that peasant dress is calling my name! It would be an easy and cozy look in winter, all i need are some lace up granny boots and i'd be set! Would be pretty luxe in a denim-hued silk crepe de chine, switch out the elastic neckline for HP's boho deluxe peasant blouse and now we're talking!