Sunday, July 5, 2015

Last Week in Patterns (5-July-2015)

I hope that those of us in the US are enjoying our weekend, and I hope that your dog has emerged from his or her hiding place where it was cowering during last night's fireworks.

This past week, the following designers released new patterns:
  • By Hand London
  • Cake Patterns: Tidepool Collection, Wave 2
  • Colette Seamwork: July 2015
  • Seamstress Erin
  • StyleArc: July 2015 Release

By Hand London: Zeena Dress

By Hand London released their first pattern release since announcing that they'd be closing their studio and getting out of the paper pattern business (for now). Not surprisingly, it's a party dress, although this one looks like it could be dressed down with a more casual fabric.

Their patterns really don't fit my style or lifestyle, and this one is no exception. However I know that they're popular among other sewists.

BHL - Zeena
Cake Patterns: Tidepool Collection (Wave 2)

I can't talk about the second batch of patterns from Cake's Tidepool collection without mentioning the elephant in the room--Steph's recent blog post:

I don't really feel comfortable commenting on it more than to say that I hope she's getting the help that she needs and starts to see some improvement, for the sake of her mental health and of her family.

Anyway, I'd misunderstood the initial announcement of the Tidepool collection, thinking that it would consist of 3 shells, the Endeavor pants/skirt, and a skirt with undershorts. There are actually four shells, in total, in the collection along with the aforementioned pants/shorts and skirt.

Urchin skirt

The Urchin skirt is an elastic waist skirt with a pleated waistband and pockets. The pattern includes a knit undershort pattern for modesty and chub rub prevention.

I don't ever wear my shirts untucked, so while kinda cool-looking, the pleated waistband holds no appeal to me. The knit undershorts are a nice extra, but not enough to get me to invest in a basic pattern like this.

Cake - Urchin skirt
Scallop Shell

The Scallop Shell is one of the four Tidepool shells and includes options for a sweetheart or boatneck neckline, and an option to add a pretty cool-looking sailor's knot detail in back. I like the options included with this pattern, although I think that the price is pretty steep for a shell pattern of any kind.

Cake - Scallop shell
Miter Shell

The final shell--the Miter shell--is probably my favorite. It features a square neckline and a miter weave detail on the back.

Cake - Miter shell
Overall, I quite like the three shells that clearly share the same pattern base--the Scallop, Miter, and Pipi (discussed last week). As a consumer, however, I really wish that she had released these all as part of the same pattern, even if that meant raising the price slightly from the "Riff" price that these currently have. I'd guess that most interested people would probably look at buying one shell and then look for tutorials on how to hack the other necklines and back details onto their basic shell.

Colette Seamwork: July 2015 Issue

The July issue of Seamwork has an "outdoors" theme. In line with this, the two patterns being released this month are a pair of drawstring shorts and a drawstring backpack.

Nantucket shorts

As someone who hasn't really been taken with most of the Seamwork patterns, I think that these are really cute, actually. I'm a little dubious of the fact that the pattern doesn't appear to include any elastic--I could see these coming untied and sliding off pretty easily--but outside of the somewhat similar Made with Moxy Prefontaine shorts, these shorts are a fairly unique design.

Colette Seamwork - Nantucket shorts
Seabrook bag

I think that the Seabrook bag is pretty cute, too, although you can find drawstring bag/backpack patterns like this one all over the place these days. I made up the HotPatterns version a few years ago, myself.

Colette Seamwork - Seabrook bag

Seamstress Erin: Nautilus Swimsuit

I hadn't really followed Seamstress Erin, but she recently released a swimsuit pattern that caught my attention. And why did it grab my attention? It includes cup sizes up to DD+ (I'm not sure what a "DD+" is, but typically that means that it's sized for a generous DD cup) and includes strap options beyond halter straps. And I think that the twist detail is pretty cute, too.

We've already had an early review on the Curly Sewing Collective, and it's quite positive, which is very encouraging, I think.

Seamstress Erin - Nautilus swimsuit
StyleArc: July 2015 Release

Candice Skirt

The Candice skirt is StyleArc's take on the full skirt trend. It has a pocket and stitched-down inverted pleats. It's a cute skirt, although I'm not sure what this particular pattern offers over a lot of the similar Big 4 patterns that are already out there. I do like that the pleats are stitched down, which would help minimize bulk over the hips and tummy.

StyleArc - Candice skirt

Skye Top

The Skye top is designed to be paired with the Candice skirt. Skye is drafted for stable knits or lightweight wovens. It's a pretty simple top--I find it difficult to have much of an opinion about it. I'm kind of surprised that this wasn't the freebie for the month.

StyleArc - Skye top

Livia Jacket

Easily my favorite pattern offering out of this batch, the Livia Jacket also happens to be the freebie pattern for July. It's basically an easy Chanel-look style jacket with a boxy cut and optionally trimmed pockets. This jacket is unlined and has a hook-and-eye closure.

StyleArc - Livia Jacket

Final Thoughts picks for the week...I don't really have any "must haves", but I do have a few that interest me and that I'll be watching for reviews.

I've been really encouraged by what I've seen from the Nautilus swimsuit so far, so that one is definitely on my radar. I actually really like some of the tank/shells from Cake, although I wish that she had packaged them all together as separate view and just charged the price of a full pattern for them. Finally, I like the Seamwork shorts, but as a non-subscriber, I'll have some time to see how they look when made up before making any decisions on whether I'd want to actually buy them.

What are your favorites out of this batch?


  1. I am definitely interested in learning more/ seeing more reviews of the swimsuit! The review on the CSC was very well done and extremely helpful!

    Other than that, I would absolutely buy the shells at a standard Cake price (like that on the Tiramisu or Endeavors). The thing that distinguishes the 3 you like (which are the 3 I like) is the back accent work, which are cute features, but I can imagine many women really need so many tops in their closet with such details, especially when so many of us would be covering it up in many situations. Not touching the rest of her post...

    I like the Seamwork patterns this month!

  2. The swimsuit looks like a ton of work. But I may just make the leap. Fabulous design, sizing and sew-along. What could go wrong? ;)

  3. I have plenty of sewing projects on the go already, so haven't been grabbed by anything this time, but just wanted to say, thank-you so much for doing this round- up of patterns on a regular basis. It is really interesting to read your comments on these patterns and saves me a lot of time trawling them myself. So many thanks for this great effort!

  4. I find myself nodding at everything you have to say consistently. I also am baffled at the idea of pricing these shells separately and think she would probably do a brisk business if she packaged the shells as different views the miter being my favourite. Though I have some concerns about the customer service levels at Cake. I bought Red Velvet and was very underwhelmed with the result. That post, while very transparent and real, does not necessarily encourage a business relationship. Don't need a swimsuit, but I did like CSC review of the swimsuit. Livia was my pick too. I found the Seamwork stuff completely boring. Love your round ups. Keep them coming.

  5. I only liked the Style Arc patterns. I own similar patterns, however, I decided to give the Style Arc versions a try.

    I don't like BHL at all even though I had good luck last summer with the Anna dress. I found an OOP Vogue pattern with the same bodice so I will use it from now on.

    I like the new Cake patterns but won't buy them 'cause they're not really my style.

    Seamwork, as always for me = meh.

  6. I like the idea of the Nantucket Shorts. I have some chambray that I think would be perfect for them. However, I don't have a subscription, so they will just have to wait.

    I seem to like Cake patterns til I make them, so I would probably skip on the shells (though they would be more tempting if one pattern with multiple options).

    The rest are just meh.

    I keep meaning to tell you, I really love this segment of your blog! I am never in the know about patterns, and seem to always be the last person to sew something up. So, I feel like you are keeping me current now. Thanks!!

  7. Nothing rocks my world this week. That BHL dress, while my style, looks like many a big 4 pattern. I'd rather buy a well drafted big 4 than a poorly drafted BHL.... those cake tops seem interesting and I agree that they should be in a set. I don't need those tops, so I'll pass, even though I like the back details. I love the new HP, but have similar patterns already. So I guess that means that I'm not excited!