Sunday, August 23, 2015

Last (Two) Weeks in Patterns (23-Aug-2015)

While we only had a single pattern released last week, we had much more pattern company activity this week.

In this post, we'll talk/pontificate about the following pattern companies:
  • BlueGingerDoll
  • McCall's
  • New Look
  • Simplicity
  • StyleArc

Not a new fact, just the opposite...  Does anyone know what's going on with BlueGingerDoll?  Abby's online pattern store has been down for several weeks, and her Instagram account is now private.

There's been no related announcement; hopefully, she's just taking a temporary break. Even if I didn't like every design, I did find that Abby has had a pretty distinct voice and some unique designs compared to other patternmakers. I hope that there isn't a serious issue causing the blackout.
McCall's Fall 2015 release

It's funny--most people were "meh" about the early Autumn release from McCall's, while I ran out and bought 3 patterns from it as soon as they were on sale. On the other hand, the online sewing community seems pretty in love with this release, and while I like a few of the patterns, I already have equivalents of many of the ones that I like in my pattern collection.

M7256: Misses' Coats

This coat is stunning. I already have a statement coat in my Leanne Marshall coat from last year, but I definitely see the appeal of this one. And on the other hand, it's a pretty close design sibling to the princess seamed Spearmint Coat from the seemingly dormant Lolita Patterns.

M7242: Misses' Laura Ashley Dress

When I think of Laura Ashley dresses, I think of dowdy elementary school teacher clothing. You know, like the dress in the line drawing below. But with the right fabric, you can see that this pattern actually had a lot of potential. So, this pattern is clearly all about fabric choice:


I really like these cardigans. It's a nice, fresh shape, and there are a lot of different view options. I'll be picking up this one on sale.

M7251: Misses' Plenty by Tracy Reese blouse

I kind of like this Tracy Reese blouse and appreciate the fact that there are two fairly different views:

New Look: Fall 2015 non-release

Instead of a release of new patterns for fall, New Look re-issued a small set of popular patterns from past years. Most of the patterns are only available in New Look's old, limited size range of 8-18 (most newer New Look patterns go up to at least a size 20). I'm not sure if this is a bad sign for the New Look line, or if they just didn't have a fall collection ready for some reason.

Simplicity: Fall 2015 release

The general consensus online has been pretty "meh" about this release. I agree, as far as the women's patterns go, although there are two patterns on my list. As is usually the case this time of year, though, there are a couple of fun kids' costumes in this release.

Simplicity 1012: Misses' 1960's Vintage Dresses

Love this design; no idea how I'd FBA this. I think this is a pattern where I'll admire the versions that everyone else churns out.

Simplicity 1012

Simplicity 1018: Misses' Knit Dress

It's a knit, princess-seamed fit-and-flare style dress. I predict that we see a lot of these made up on Pattern Review and around the SBC in coming months. This pattern is on my to-buy list, too.

Simplicity 1018
Simplicity 1016: Misses' Coat by Mimi G Style

Mimi G's aesthetic is not my aesthetic, but I like some of the patterns that she's released with her Simplicity line. The internet seems pretty split on this coat, but I really like it.

Simplicity 1016
This coat reminds me a bit of the coat that Suzy Bishop wore in Moonrise Kingdom, which I've always coveted:

Suzy Bishop in Moonrise Kingdom
Simplicity 1035: Girls' DC Comics Costumes

Having a superhero-loving 3-year-old makes purchasing this pattern a no-brainer. Eva particularly loves Wonder Woman and Batgirl. Even if she opts for a different costume for Halloween, I'll probably be making up those for her to play dress-up.

Simplicity 1035
Simplicity 1096: Childs' Minion Costume

I have a 3-year-old. Of course, I'm buying a pattern for a child's Minion costume. My only concern here is that the cover illustration shows actual Minions and not the made up costume, or even an illustration of the costume.

Simplicity 1096
Simplicity 1031: Dog Costume Coats and Hats

And last, but not least, there's a steampunk costume for dogs:

Simplicity 1031

StyleArc mid-month release (August): Agnes Designer Dress

This month's "designer" release from StyleArc (since this seems to be what they're doing with the mid-month releases now, rather than releasing really basic patterns like they used to at mid-month) is a panel-seamed dress with external Dior darts and square armholes. It's nice, and it's interesting, and it's a lot more wearable than some of their other recent "designer" patterns recently. I don't have a particular need for this dress, but I've got nothing to snark about here, either.

StyleArc - Agnes Designer Dress

Final Thoughts

What patterns grabbed you from this past week's releases? I think I'm about the only person in the SBC not buying half of that McCall's collection.

Also, has anyone heard anything about BlueGingerDoll?  Given that we've been starting to see a bit of a slowdown in some indie pattern releases, I'm starting to wonder if we're starting to see the indie pattern bubble begin to leak a bit.


  1. I'm guessing that Simplicity did not anticipate the Minions movie craze early enough for the fall release, so they had to slap the pattern together and get it printed before they could sew a proper sample and find a tiny model for the cover?
    I do already follow Blue Ginger Doll on Instagram. She posts infrequently; her last post was a photo of her dog about two weeks ago. She's been silent about sewing or patternmaking for many months though. Such a mystery.

    1. I hadn't followed her on Instagram before but went to check when I saw that her store was taken down, and it looks like it's now "private" and blocking new followers. I really hope that it's nothing serious and that she's just taking a just seems strange to go "dark" without any communication.

    2. I've been curious about BGD too, especially since this seems so sudden. She just realized 4 patterns in, what, April or May? That seems like a decent sign of the business going well or at least well enough to continue to produce and be optimistic. And there was little overhead as these were pdfs. I was about to order a skirt and dress pattern from her shop when I realized the site was down. like, down. At first, I thought it was just a server glitch or such.

      I hate to engage in random speculation but this level of shutdown reminds me of something I did a few years back when I had an online stalker. I really hope that's not what is happening, but seriously, I tried to erase almost everything-- posts in public forums, images on facebook and flikr, blogposts, everything. I was lucky enough to not have to worry about a business that could provide my stalker access. So I'm really hoping she's just takinga break and wanting a new server or business platform.

  2. Thanks for your review. I'm absolutely in love with McCalls 7254 - great style lines!

  3. There were a couple of patterns from the McCall's release that I will probably get (7254, 7251, and 7261) but those girls' DC comic costumes--so freaking cute!!

  4. I don't have a kid, but those little girl superhero costumes are adorable.

  5. I'm keen on Simplicity 1018, too: a simple, almost 70s outline with princess seams - yes please!
    I also anticipate making and wearing a lot of McCalls 7254. Probably with the 1018s, at work!

  6. I've already ordered 7251 and 7242, we are going into summer and I think that dress will be a perfect summer dress.

  7. I think you are probably right about the Indie Pattern bubble. It's not surprising that more Indie pattern designers would fold than big businesses, as Vogue just employ another designer if someone resigns, whereas if you are an Indie pattern designer and need to change jobs for family reasons (for example), that's end of the business. I've noticed that the return to active internet presence of Cake Patterns seems to have been short lived. I have, though, made two successful pairs of Endeavour trousers and thus love the pattern.I'm not keen on anything much in this week's releases. The S1018 might be worth it if I hadn't already bought the Kitschy Coo Lady Skater pattern recently. I'm always interested in cardigan/soft jacket options, but M7254 has narrow sleeves and a droopy bit under the sleeve and offers very little actual warmth due to the deep plunge in the front, so not keen on that.

    1. Yeah, I noticed and was wondering about Steph/Cake. Although in her case, I suspect that her health issues might be at play.

  8. I'm with MKG on this lot - I can see both Simplicity 1018 and McCalls 7254 slotting nicely into my wardrobe.And I really like the Style Arc offering too.

  9. Does McCall's have a closet of ugly ass fabrics? The choices for the Laura Ashley dress scream Aztec wanna-be and Laura Ingalls, and the one choice on the Plenty top is aesthetically not pleasing (to say the least). And who can forget the pajamas of doom a few releases ago?

    1. Right? I can't tell you how many times I've completely ignored a pattern because of the fabric/styling, then later seen it made up on a blog or PR and gone, "What? How did I miss that pattern?"

  10. I was wondering about BGD the other day too..... I was on the fence whether to buy the Violet dress pattern and finally decided that yes I would and now I can't! Ah well, will strike while the iron is hot next time! I love the McCalls coat and the Plenty blouse would be something I'd wear constantly but OMG..... the fabrics?? Looks like a technicolour vomit! Good thing I go by line drawings more often than not :)

    1. I think the Violet is still available at PR and maybe some other stores online as well. Craftsy has some BGDs too, but I don't remember if that pattern is one they have.

    2. Thanks for that..... I'll do a search. Fingers crossed they ship to NZ!

    3. Try Stitch56 in Australia, they still have a lot of their patterns.

    4. Sew squirrel is in Australia, she has BGD patterns and ships free. And fast! Every time I've ordered from her they've been there the next day!

  11. Is it wrong that I want that steampunk dog pattern simply as it has Boston Terriers on it? :) I really love the 20's patterns that McCall's put out in this collection. Not sure if I will ever make them, but I do like to collect them. I'll also add the recent GoT costume to my list. The superhero costumes are bad ass but nothing I really need as I wouldn't wear the womens' versions and my husband wouldn't wear the mens'. That kids costume is so awesome. I'm sure that Eva will absolutely love wearing that!

    Not sure yet about BGD, but hoping things are okay. I had pattern tested her most recent pattern (not released yet) several months ago and hadn't heard anything since.

  12. It finally might be time for me to make a Wonder Woman Costume (though I'd rather be She-Ra). I would do it much more modest, like the kid's version.

  13. Michelle, I'm surprised you like the McCall's coat; that much extra heavy fabric on my boobs would not be a good look for me.

    1. Just because I like the jacket, doesn't mean I think it would look good on me. ;)

  14. It's weird about BGD as her site is working for me, but I am in Australia, so maybe that makes a difference?

    1. I just checked, and the site appears to be back up now. Huh.

    2. It was definitely down for me, in Australia. The other day Abby posted on instagram so I went to check and the site was back up! No announcements of anything. Momentary glitch??