Friday, October 30, 2015

This Week in Patterns (30-Oct-2015)

Happy almost Halloween! I am so far behind on my project blogging, it's not even funny. Over at the CSC, I've been busy working on a few things that I hope you'll all like, or at least find entertaining, and that's been eating up a lot of my blogging time.

In the meantime, we have a LOT of new patterns! This week, we had releases from the following pattern companies:
  • Blank Slate Patterns
  • Butterick
  • Muse Patterns
  • New Look
  • Simplicity
Blank Slate Patterns: Novelista Shirt

Disclaimer:  I tested this pattern and received a free copy of it, so my opinions (which are my own) are based off of my testing experience with this pattern.

A lot of people love the Grainline Archer shirt, but I also know that a lot of people feel that it's too boxy and would prefer a shirt with the same details but more shaping. Here's the shirt pattern that you've been looking for--the Blank Slate Novelista:

Blank Slate - Novelista shirt

Blank Slate- Novelista (line drawings)
You can't necessarily tell from the line drawings and sample photos, but the Novelista has the classic shirt details that a lot of blouse patterns lack: sleeve plackets (long sleeved version), a yoke, and a collar-with-stand. I'm really excited about this pattern, and you'll be seeing my version of it once I've had a chance to sew up a non-muslin/non-test version.

Butterick: Holiday/Winter 2015

Butterick was the last of the Big 4 to release its winter collection. This collection is heavy on sleep- and loungewear, so if that's your thing to sew, you'll probably find a few patterns in this batch to add to your shopping list.

B6285: Gertie Top and Skirt

I'm only calling out this Gertie pattern, which to me is otherwise uninteresting, because it strongly resembles the Cake Pavlova pattern from a few years ago. Gertie's skirt is pleated, and the Pavlova is a circle skirt, but those are the biggest differences that I'm seeing.

B6282: Retro Dress and Belt

This retro shirtdress is cute:

B6288: Misses' Shirt

This blouse has an interesting back detail, which is nearly entirely obscured by the fabric choice of the sample, although you can see it in the line drawing.


B6031: Maternity Vest, Coat, and Belt

I had to pick this pattern just because it's the first pattern that I've seen for a babywearing jacket, period. I see RTW versions of these all over the MLS Sounders games that my family attends. These weren't a thing, really, even three years ago when my daughter was a baby, but I love the idea of it and would have wanted one of these if they had been around. There's a maternity view for the pre-baby mom, too.

B6292: Lisette Pajamas

This is Liesl's (of Oliver & S and Lisette patterns) take on classic pajamas. They're quite similar to the Closet Case Files Carolyn Pajamas in that both patterns have similar details: piping, pockets, and both long and short views.


Muse: Tahi Skirt and Shrug

Along with the Blank Slate Novelista, we have another entry in the category of Patterns That Fill a Glaring Hole in Current Pattern Catalogs--this time from Muse Patterns. Kat's new pattern includes a shrug and a skirt with four different views of various fullnesses and lengths. The maxi- view is exactly what I had in mind this past summer when I was trying to find a pattern for an interesting maxi-skirt that wasn't the Sewaholic Gabriola. I really like all four views of the skirt, although I think I prefer the flared versions slightly. I'd never personally sew the shrug (shrugs and large busts don't mix, in my experience), but it's a nice pattern extra to include for most women.

Muse - Tahi skirt and shrug
New Look: Winter 2015

Whereas the previous release from New Look appeared to be made up entirely of refreshed and reissued patterns, the Winter release includes entirely new patterns, as far as I can tell. (Please correct me on this in the comments, if I'm wrong.)  Not a whole lot of it excites me, but there are a few decent basics in the group. Here are the two patterns that stood out the most to me:

New Look 6417

This cardigan/jacket/coat is similar to the popular StyleArc Harper jacket. I've been seeing this style around town for the past year or so, and it's surprisingly wearable on a lot of different body types. If I didn't already own the StyleArc, I'd probably pick up the New Look version.

New Look 6417
New Look 6421

I think that the color used in the sample is hideous, but this pattern includes a nice princess seamed shift-style tunic and cigarette pants. There's also a basic pencil skirt pattern, if for some reason, you need one and don't already have one.

New Look 6421

Simplicity: Winter/Holiday 2015

The online reaction to Simplicity's Winter/Holiday collection this year has been mostly "meh", but I feel like there are a few gems in here. Overall, this collection certainly grabs me more than McCall's and Vogue's Winter/Holiday releases.  There are definitely a few in this bunch that I'll be picking up at a future JoAnn's sale. The Vintage offerings are particularly strong this time around, IMO, but that could be my own bias because I'm one of those odd people who actually likes some 70's fashions.

Simplicity 8019: 1970's Vintage Skirts

First up is this A-line gored button-down skirt. I had a rayon challis skirt from Express like this in college--another time that the 70's were a big fashion influence. I loved that skirt. And I got really excited when I saw Bowfinger because Heather Graham was wearing the same skirt that I owned. In any case, this seems like a no-brainer to pick up when it's on sale.
Simplicity 8019

Simplicity 8013: 1970's Vintage Dresses

This woven wrap dress pattern is unbelievably 70's-tastic in a very awesome way.  It kind of makes me want to curl up on the couch with a glass of Riunite and watch Love Story.

I have no idea where I'd wear this, but I think I need to buy this pattern just for the sake of owning it.

Simplicity 8013
Simplicity 8014: Misses' Shirt Dresses

Can a person own too many shirt dress patterns?  I don't think so. This one is kind of similar to the famous McCall's 6696 (aka "Mary's shirtdress"), but the Simplicity has an option for a partial circle skirt and an option for a shirdress without a waist seam. Like the McCall's the Simplicity has some cup size options, too.

Simplicity 8014

Simplicity 8034: Animal Stuffies

I am so not usually a craft person, but the stuffed unicorn here is way too cute.

Simplicity 8034
Simplicity 8027: Girls' Sportswear pattern

OMG, a girls' moto jacket pattern! And my daughter is big enough for it!  I am so making this. In addition to the adorable moto jacket, there are some really useful everyday coordinates in this envelope, too. There isn't a piece in this bunch that I wouldn't sew or dress my daughter in.
Simplicity 8027

Final Thoughts

There was a lot to like this week, IMO. If you're looking for an Archer with more shaping, the Blank Slate Novelista is your pattern. I also really like Muse's new skirt pattern--enough that I ordered it right away while it was still on sale. There aren't any must-haves for me out of the Butterick or New Look collections, but from Simplicity, I want the girls' moto jacket, 70's wrap dress, and the shirtdress.

What were your favorites this week?


  1. I always enjoy your pattern reviews and I don't know that I have ever let you know that. So, let me thank you for taking your time out to present these posts.

  2. Yay! My favorite post!

    Love the Simplicity girls jacket and liked the vintage dress but I almost never buy patterns that are fabric hogs like that one.

    Liked a few of the Buttericks and loved a lot of the New Look patterns. I was pleasantly surprised by NL this time around! YES!

    The Tahi is really cute. But I'm a hard no on the shrug.

    "You can't necessarily tell from the line drawings and sample photos, but the Novelista has the classic shirt details that a lot of blouse patterns lack"

    THIS! WHY aren't those details shown I wonder?? They're really important! And many sewers bypass photos and go straight for the tech drawing.

    When I saw the line drawing earlier in the week and had zero interest. But the white version is awesome!

    1. I seriously came back to say that the Blank Slate shirt is *REALLY* cute! I am in one of my anti-pdf moods (they pass eventually) but I am adding it to my wish list!!!! I want one in plaid too!

  3. I love all the ladies simplicity patterns although I have no need for the 70s dress. I also like that new look jacket. And I am shocked that I like the gertie wrap top...

  4. The Simplicity wrap dress is gorgeous... so I checked it out on their website.... Fabric Monster but you are right - it's lovely! I also like the 70s skirt and would buy it if I hadn't already purchased (and made) the Deer & Doe Fumeterre skirt.
    I love the McCalls denim shirtdress. I've been wanting one for ages - and bought several patterns which never felt quite right - this looks exactly like what I've had in my head. Thanks!

  5. Simplicity shirtdress... oops.... so many shirtdresses!

  6. If you have the Riunite, make sure it's on ice. 'Cause that's so nice.

    I bought the Tahi at release. I really like the new Blank Slate.

    There's something *off* about the shape and placing of the pockets on that retro Butterick shirtdress. And the only thing I thought at the Gertie was "Pavlova!"

    Oh, New Look. Trying to bring back the avocado green of so many '70s appliances.

    Love these posts! Thanks!

    1. Just an FYI on the Tahi shrug-- it works with the sleeve pack that Muse rolled out a little bit ago, so like the other tops/dresses that work with it, there's a lot of versatility there.

      And the "Pavlova!" in my head was exclaimed like "Costanza!" I felt like stealing a clock.

  7. I love these posts. This week they're all pretty "meh" for me. I'm curious to see your review of the Novelista shirt. I would love a nice button down pattern with shape, but I'm usually too lazy to do the needed FBA.

  8. Friday night, a glass of wine and your pattern post popping up in my reader.... Weekend! Sewing time! And awww, that 70s Simplicity dress made me hold my breath. On the wishlist, pronto!

  9. I love your pattern round-ups and thought it was about time I say so! I love how honest, but also informative, they are. Thank you for helping us all keep up with new releases. Emily

  10. I got caught up in the Archer thing, but have never made it up because on consideration the lack of shaping isn't a great thing for me. So the Blank Slate patten is very interesting.
    I like 70s vintage patterns more than any other era, so I might just shell out for that one, even though for the life of me I can't think where I'd wear it! And I've been looking for a shirtdress pattern with shaping that doesn't have a waist seam, so the Simplicity shirtdress pattern will get some consideration. Again thanks for doing these posts.

  11. Thank you for your weekly posts, I always enjoy them. This week is a SCORE! My daughter and I had given up looking for a baby-wearing coat pattern and now Butterick has come through! Here, in Canada, our Inuit people make some amazing baby-wearing parkas but their patterns are protected as "cultural copyright". Keep up your great pattern reviews.

  12. great post as always. I am a sucker for denim so that Simplicity shirtdress will make it into my shopping bag sometime when they have a $1 sale. (although has everyone noticed that the 99 cent sales for Big 4 patterns are getting fewer, mostly they have $ 1.99 sales. and that little change makes me buy fewer patterns. Which I guess demonstrates perceived value)

  13. Another thank you for your review posts -- always enjoyable.

  14. Love the no-waist shirt dress and the Lisette Pajamas. They are both similar to indie patterns that don't come in my size.

  15. Are you sure about the Simplicity shirtdress having cup sizing options? I couldn't find anything that said that, am I missing it? It also wasn't in the cup size category on the Simplicity website. I'm all over those 70's vintage skirts, I wanted the Deer & Doe pattern, and now I have an alternative, thanks!

  16. I love b6292, the asymmetrical coat. I hadn't seen that blank slate pattern before your post. .. i'll have to g check it out further.

  17. That simplicity skirt!! I have been looking for one exactly like that. I had a denim one in my teen/young adult years. It was my mothers from the 70s. I lived in it, it was the perfect skirt. I wore it until I grew out of it (horizontally) and then I wore it with the top button undone. My sister has it now and I've asked her to bring it next time she visits so I can copy the details. The simplicity skirt is exactly the same except mine has pockets - easy enough to add. I've been looking for a pattern for something similar but nothing is quite right. The fumeterre skirt fro Deer & Doe is close but doesn't have the side panels.

    Whew! I'm excited, I guess.

  18. I also saw Gertie's skirt and top efforts and immediately thought "Pavlova!"

  19. I also saw Gertie's skirt and top efforts and immediately thought "Pavlova!"