Sunday, August 9, 2015

Last (Two) Weeks in Patterns (9-Aug-2015)

Apologies for the skipped pattern roundup last week. I was finishing up the FINAL class in the project management program that I've been chipping away at over the past three year, and dealing with a Project From Hell at work that has entered crunch mode in its weeks prior to release. Frankly, I haven't had time to blog. Gah. I'm sure that many of you hate "I'm so busy" posts, but in my case, it's really been true. I have three finished unblogged projects (one photographed, two not...although one is a test pattern, so I won't be able to blog it for a bit), which is very unlike me--I typically blog a project within a week of finishing. So, I should hopefully have posts about the HotPatterns Trilogy Top and True Bias Mini-Southport dress (for my daughter) coming when the dust settles a bit.

To make up for my lack of blogging, I'll be covering two weeks' worth of releases in this week's post:
  • Colette's Seamwork Magazine
  • HotPatterns
  • Itch to Stitch
  • Sew Independent Pattern Bundle
  • StyleArc
With the Perfect Pattern Parcel apparently dead for 2015, we also saw the announcement of a new pattern parcel/bundling of indie patterns:

Colette Seamwork: August 2015 Issue

August's issue theme is "vintage", and the issue's new patterns are a two-piece vintage-inspired swimsuit and a summer dress or beach coverup.

Reno swim top and Dakota swim bottoms

I guess these are okay. I appreciate the fact that the top looks like it might have some more support than other swimwear patterns, but on the other hand, I think it's probably pretty telling that the model used for these shots is fairly small-busted. I mean, it looks like you could add an underwire into that top pretty easily, on the other hand, halternecks suck when you're large busted.

The bottoms are fine--they're your pretty standard retro swim bottoms, as far as sewing patterns go.

Colette Seamwork: Reno top and Dakota bottoms
 Mojave Dress/Coverup

I like this as a swim coverup or as a wear-around-the-house dress on a hot day (and trust me, with the summer we've been having, I have a definite need for those). The prints that they used in all of the samples sort of obscure the design lines on this one, so you have to look at the line drawing. It's got princess seams and doesn't rely entirely on ties for shaping, the way a lot of coverups do. I wouldn't feel weird wearing this if I had to pop into a convenience store to pick something up on the way home from the pool. 
Seamwork - Mojave dress
HotPatterns: Metropolitan Chimera Cardigan-Jacket-Vest

Years ago, I made and loved HotPatterns Riveria Cardigan-Jacket--a knit jacket pattern that was pretty groundbreaking in its day. Its trendy cropped/shrunken design felt pretty dated to me after a couple of years, though, and I've been holding out hope since then that Trudy would release a similar pattern in a more updated style.

Enter the Chimera Cardigan-Jacket, which is a boyfriend-style jacket designed for stable knits like ponte. Given my general excitement at the boyfriend-style jacket and cardigan looks that appear to be roaring back into style for fall, I was super stoked to see this pattern released. Yeah, I hit "order" on this one as soon as I saw it. Expect to see several of these along with several Muse Jenna and Sophie cardigans this fall. I'm envisioning my first version of this jacket in a black ponte with black faux-leather trim.

HotPatterns - Chimera Jacket-Cardigan
Itch to Stitch: Carey Top

The Itch to Stitch Carey top is a loose-fitting doman sleeve top designed for knits or wovens. It has a ruching/drawstring detail on the sleeve.

Pullover woven tops like these, made up in a drapey or sheer fabric, have been all over RTW for the past few years, and most of the sample versions by the pattern testers look pretty cute on the testers. The drawstring is also a nice touch. This top reminds me of the sort of Big 4 pattern that I'll sometimes make up when I don't want to deal with fitting and just want an instant gratification project. If it were to turn up in a bundle that I purchased, I might consider making it, but I have enough patterns along this line that I'm not particularly tempted to purchase this one.

Itch to Stitch: Carey top

Sew Independent Pattern Bundle

So, this entry isn't so much a specific new pattern release, but it is a pattern-related announcement.  Remember those Perfect Pattern Parcels that grouped together a bundle of indie patterns for a discount price that were all over the SBC last year? That particular bundle series appears to have died, with the website not having been updated since 2014. Now, we appear to have a new indie bundle, being lead by Mari from Seamster patterns.

To me, this bundle is quite a bit more tempting than any of the Perfect Pattern Parcels were, although that could be because I only own the Muse Melissa dress out of this bunch and have been teetering on the fence of a few of the others. In this bunch, you've got two fairly-established-as-popular patterns in the True Bias Sutton Blouse and the Sew Over It trousers, and then after that, a mix of older and newer patterns.

Sew Independent Bundle
Like the Perfect Pattern Parcel bundles, you can choose how much you pay for your bundle, with the option of "unlocking" certain additional patterns at different price points. The most expensive price point is $38 (USD) and includes 11 patterns, so it's a quite a nice deal if you think you'd make a lot of these.

This bundle includes the following patterns (clockwise from top left):
  • Sew Over It: Ultimate Trousers
  • Sew House Seven: Mississipi Ave Dress & Top
  • Lolita Patterns: Sugar Plum Dress
  • True Bias: Sutton Blouse
  • Jennifer Lauren Vintage: Cressida Skirt
  • Waffle Patterns: Blouson
  • Dixie DIY: Bonnel Dress
  • Muse Patterns: Melissa Dress & Blouse
  • Seamster Patterns: Sorrel Dress & Top (New)
  • Blueprints for Sewing: Saltbox Top (New)
StyleArc: August 2015 release

StyleArc went very casual with its August 2015 batch of new releases. On one hand, these are largely "fine", on the other, none of them particularly excite me--or for the ones that might, I already own a similar pattern.

Courtney top

The Courtney is the same sort of boxy pullover top that it feels like we've seen a ton of from StyleArc in recent months. It's fine--the seaming at least adds some interest--but I feel like we've seen some version of this top six times in the last six months.

StyleArc - Courtney top

And on a side note, if you're going to name a pattern the "Courtney", shouldn't it be a babydoll dress of some sort?

Joni Knit Track Pant

The Joni is a perfectly functional-looking knit trackpant. It does have the current style of the knit cuffs and the wrap-around side seam that I've been seeing lately. But it's a trackpant. I don't really have anything else to say about it.

StyleArc - Joni Knit Trackpant

Sabel Boyfriend Cardi

We've been seeing a lot of boyfriend cardigans popping up in recent pattern releases. I suspect that this style will be big in the fall, and I, personally, look at it as a welcome change from the waterfall-style cardigan that's been so ubiquitous for the past 5+ years. I'd possibly be tempted by this one if I didn't already own the SBCC version of a boyfriend cardi.

StyleArc - Sabel Boyfriend Cardi
Mary Shift Dress (August freebie)

The freebie this month is the Mary Shift Dress--a raglan-sleeved woven shift dress. I'll admit that from the line drawing, I'd assumed that this was a shift dress for stable knits until I read the recommended fabrics--which makes sense, given that StyleArc has correctly drafted a shoulder dart into its raglan sleeve for this. This dress could be a cute basic, but there isn't enough shaping in it for me to be tempted.

StyleArc - Mary shift dress

Final Thoughts

So, I already ordered the HotPatterns jacket, and I keep going back and forth on the pattern bundle. Ironically, I'd probably be more tempted to pull the trigger on that one if I didn't already own the Muse Melissa dress, even though that's the only pattern out of this group that I already own.

I also like the StyleArc boyfriend cardigan, but between the SBCC Cabernet and new HotPatterns jacket, I think I'm covered for boyfriend-style toppers. I actually like the Colette Mojave a lot as a coverup, too, although I've got so many plans for other projects that a swim coverup is way down on my priority list.

How about you? What do you think about the new bundle? Were you previously a fan of the Perfect Pattern Parcel bundles, and how do you think this one compares?


  1. I've never been tempted by the big pattern bundles.. I usually alreay own the patterns I want, and particularly in this bundle, there isn't anything else that really grabs me! That's probably why Seamwork doesn't appeal to me either... feels a bit like paying for patterns I don't want, instead of limiting myself to really winners! That said... if they made a knits-only bundle, I'd be all over it! :P

    1. That's a really good point. With the previous (PPP) bundles, I typically already owned the 1 pattern that I already really liked and was pretty "meh" on the rest of them. I think I'm tempted with this one because it contains a few that I either wasn't familiar with, are "exclusive" to the bundle (for now), or ones that I've been on the fence about for a while (the True Bias Sutton blouse).

      I'm going to guess that the next bundle will have at least a few knit patterns--the participants have been stating that this was a "wovens only" bundle released before September so that people would be able to have time to make muslins before Sew Indie month started. That tells me that the next bundle will have at least some knits.

  2. I did get the first pattern parcel since it had a couple of things that would look great on my adult daughter in addition to 2 that would work for me. I passed on the rest.
    I'm actually looking forward to the next issue of Ottobre more than these. They had some plus size models that helped me see how the same design worked out for someone who's not size 6.

    1. I really like the Ottobre preview. I had a subscription for a couple of years and let it lapse because I hated tracing so much. However, now that I have a cutting table and don't have to trace on the floor, it's not so bad and I'm thinking of re-subscribing.

  3. Thanks again for a great round up! I always like hearing your opinions on patterns. I wanted to let you know that I've made up the mojave dress and its great for all the things you indicated- I'd like to make a few more for around the house. The neckline on my first version came up huge (like not even wearable for around the house) and it was VERY baggy though the back (as was to be expected from the photos). I wanted something that could pass more for daywear so I ended up putting in a shaped center back seam that took in 4 inches at the center back neckline and tapered to nothing at the hip. I am very pear shaped, but I had originally cut an XL at the bust and a 3X at the hips, so I would have thought I would have already accounted for that! Obviously YMMV, but I definitely think its a super wearable pattern for those days you don't want a restrictive waistline (which is everyday for me, haha).

    1. Thanks for the advice on the pattern for pear-shapes....I have this one in my cross hairs.... did you review on

  4. I really enjoy the weekly roundups. Today I purchased the pattern bundle based on Thread Theory blog post AND the fact that a portion of the sales go to a charity. I've been looking for a nightgown/house dress pattern and the Mississippi dress is perfect and I can use up several stash lengths of voile and double gauze. I only purchased the first level and I gained the Sutton blouse and Ultimate Trousers patterns which were on my maybe list.

  5. I'm on the fence with the bundle... I'm waiting for a flash of decision on the 12th... the true bias blouse is my only previous "want"... I'm not motivated by charity in this case....

    I think you are right about the seamwork swim top, the model is unlike my body, but that is per usual, I guess... I hope to see some me made photos of other bloggers with larger cup sizes in the coming weeks.

    Congrats on finishing your PM designation! Thanks for catching up with the reviews!

  6. I ordered the bundle, as I didn't previously own any of them, and had been waffling on three (the Lolita Sugarplum, the Ultimate Trousers and the Sutton top). I've already printed out and traced the Sugarplum and I'm so pleased with the sizing! Apparently they use a different block for sizes 16-24, and I can already tell that's made a difference. I really can't wait to put it together.

    I'm glad you're back--I missed your pattern round up last week!

    1. People seem to have gotten really good results from Lolita--I think her two blocks work well. I like the Sugarplum on others but have been hesitant to try it myself because I'm so short-waisted (and I'd definitely need to make the view without all of the ruffles).

  7. I haven't ordered any bundles. They usually make up the bulk of the offering with half being things that would never interest me with only one or two that would look good on my petite full figure. Ottobre, for the price, is a much better deal for me. Their models are more real life too.

  8. I've never ordered any pattern bundles, but that one does intrigue as there are a few patterns in it that I've been considering. Its a great deal for basically a whole wardrobe of patterns.

  9. I succumbed and bought the first tier of the pattern bundle. I'd been so keen to try the Sutton after seeing all the fantastic version in the sewing competition. The Sugar Plum was on my wishlist and the Mississippi dress looks like just the thing for our upcoming summer. I'm not 100% sold on the trousers as I've never worn anything that style but I'll give them a whirl :) and the Cressida is a style I wear (and Jennifer's a fellow Kiwi!) so for me it was a great deal!

  10. Great photos! I’ve been following this clothing manufacturer since it came around! It has been such an inspiration to watch the company grow.

  11. I am tempted by this bundle. I own none of these patterns, but just wish there were a few more separates and not so many dresses.

  12. I am tempted by this bundle. I own none of these patterns, but just wish there were a few more separates and not so many dresses.

  13. Glad to see the Cabernet Cardigan is a staple in your pattern collection!

  14. I'm grateful for your pattern roundups, but hope they're not a burden to you. I'm certain none of your readers ever begrudge them taking a little longer sometimes.

    I'm totally with you on the excitement for the Chimera Cardigan / jacket. I like the style a lot more than, say, the Grainline Morris. Do you think you'll add any shaping at all? I know that it's meant to be unstructured and boxy, but I'm pretty busty and short-waisted so sometimes I think I like the boxy stuff on other people, but it's hard to know if it will suit me. I guess I could snoop some RTW first, but I'm keen to see how yours works out!