Friday, December 11, 2015

This Week (and Last) in Patterns (aka Sweatshirtpalooza!) (11-Dec-2015)

If by any chance you were wondering about my absence last week, I had been knocked on my butt by the respiratory virus that's been going around. I could barely get out of bed, so writing any sort of blog post was out of the question. No post last week means that we've got twice as much ground to cover this week, and we have had quite a few new releases these past two weeks.

Late Breaking News:  Yes, I did see that the Early Spring (!) McCall's were published last night, but given that we didn't have a roundup post last week, I don't want to delay today's post to get them in. There's a bunch of re-hash-y prom dresses in this batch, but I did see a few cute everyday items from the one pass that I've made through the collection so far. We'll cover those next week.

Do you like interesting sweatshirts? I do. And if you do like sweatshirts, you should be pretty thrilled with these past two weeks because we've had FOUR different unique sweatshirt patterns released. We also had a lot of other things released, too. Here's the list of companies with new releases in the past two weeks:
  • Baste + Gather
  • Cashmerette
  • Colette Patterns
  • Colette Seamwork Magazine
  • HotPatterns
  • Itch to Stitch
  • Paprika Patterns
  • SBCC Patterns
  • StyleArc Patterns
Baste + Gather: Birkin Flares

After seeing many teaser pics on Instagram and a few related blog posts even, Lauren of Baste + Gather has finally released her flared jean pattern. Lauren's jeans are a high-waisted retro-style flare and have been getting a lot of positive comments from testers.

I like them, but I'd have to grade up a few sizes for these, plus, I somewhat recently bought flared jeans patterns from Burda and HotPatterns. (Although if StyleArc put out a flared jeans pattern, I'd snap it up in a heartbeat.)

Baste + Gather: Birkin Flares
Cashmerette Patterns: Washington Dress

My fellow Curvy Sewing Collective Editor Jenny from Cashmerette released her second pattern last week!  Like her first pattern, the Appleton dress, the Washington Dress is designed for curvy figures--up to a size 28 and with three sets of cup sizes: C/D, E/F, G/H. The Washington dress combines a knit top, stable knit hip yoke, and woven skirt to give lots of design and color-blocking possibilities.

I pattern tested this dress and have seen some of the tester photos. I won't show my tester version because I should have sized up (use your judgment as far as how comfortable you are with negative ease, when choosing a size), but I'll say that proportions and color-blocking choices are the key to getting a killer version of this dress. If you're looking to get a slimming hourglass shape out of this dress, you'll want to choose a hip yoke fabric that's darker in color--like a black or a navy. I made my tester version using a neoprene remnant for the skirt, and I really liked how the skirt portion came out, so if you're wondering about that, I say go for it!
Cashmerette - Washington dress

Colette Patterns: Phoebe Sheath Dress

Relatively soon after releasing the Wren knit surplice dress, Colette has released another pattern--this time a sheath dress with an A-line skirt.

My reaction? Meh. I appreciate the diversity of the models used for the photo shoot, but I don't feel like the dress fits or flatters the larger model all that well. In fact, if you click through to the product page, you can see that the gray sample has a bust dart (not shown in the line drawing) in addition to the princess seams. Why not just do a princess seam FBA to get a better fit? Also, for both models, why not extend that front panel all the way over to the princess seam? It just looks odd where it ends.

Colette - Phoebe dress
Colette Seamwork: December 2015 Issue

The theme for the December issue of Seamwork magazine is "Appreciation". I'm not entirely sure what that means, but it does include a mixed bag of two new patterns.

Seamwork: Brooklyn Skirt

Ok, THIS is the type of pattern that I had originally hoped would be included in Seamwork. It's a basic pattern but with an interesting attention getting detail: a half-circle skirt with a DEEP front pleat. I know that I've seen similar skirts pop up on Burda from time to time (and StyleArc also has a deep-pleat skirt in their catalog), but having the Colette version available saves you from having to hunt through Burda's dense online catalog or hunt down back issues of their magazine. So yeah, I like this skirt.
Colette Seamwork - Brooklyn skirt
Seamwork: York Blouse

The York is an unremarkable and inoffensive woven t-shirt-style blouse. It's got a boatneck and 3/4-length sleeves.

Most notable...I didn't get a screen shot in time, but the initial photos that were up for this blouse were BAD. The sample was badly sewn and the fit on the model was terrible--with bust darts that ended several inches below the actual bust of the model. I have giant droopy boobs, though, so maybe that would be a good sign for trying to fit myself?

Colette Seamwork - York Blouse

HotPatterns 1182: Athleisure Pretzel Sweatshirt

We've now reached the first (and probably my favorite) of the four new sweatshirt patterns that debuted in the past week. The Pretzel Sweatshirt features a twist hem in front and looks like the perfect cozy top to throw on over jeans. I can't wait to have this made up and hopefully join my Paprika Jasper (unblogged) and Blank Slate Denver comfy tops in near-constant wardrobe rotation.

HotPatterns - Pretzel sweatshirt
HotPatterns 1199: Fast & Fabulous Halcyon Sweatshirt

HotPatterns released a second sweatshirt pattern last week--the Halcyon sweatshirt. I like the deep v-neck and cross-over detail on this one. I'm not sure how I feel about the super dropped shoulder here, but again, this looks like a great layering piece on a cold, rainy day (like we've been having constantly for the past few weeks here in the PNW--I take back all of my complaints about a lack of rain)!

HotPatterns - Halcyon Sweatshirt
Itch to Stitch: Liana Stretch Jeans

Lost in some of the bigger name releases of the past two weeks, the relatively new but very prolific patternmaker Itch-to-Stitch released three new patterns for basics. The first of these is the Liana stretch jean, which have options for a straight, skinny, or flared leg. I think that these jeans are a fantastic idea--fit your crotch/butt area once, then swap in whatever leg you want to use. Honestly, I'm surprised that we're not hearing more buzz about these--the tester versions look good for the most part, and the size range for the pattern is fairly inclusive (better than the Birkin Flares).

Itch to Stitch - Liana stretch jeans
Itch to Stitch: Mila Shirt

The Mila shirt is one of those placket-style shirts that's been everywhere in RTW for the past few years. There are a few similar patterns out there (New Look 6474 comes to mind), but the Mila has classic shirt details and is geared more towards flannels and shirting, whereas the New Look and other similar patterns seem like they're more geared towards lightweight and/or sheer fabric. The Mila also has cup sizes up to DD, so that's a nice feature, too.

Itch to Stitch - Mila Shirt
Itch to Stitch: Irena Top

The third and final pattern in this batch is the Irena top: a knit pullover top meant for layering. I like the design of this one, but I'm not sure how well it would work on someone with a large bust. None of the tester photos that went out with the newsletter showed the top on anyone particularly busty, if I recall. So, this is a wait-and-see for me.

Itch to Stitch: Irena top
Paprika Patterns: Zircon Sweater/Dress

Following up last year's popular Jasper sweater/dress, Lisa from Paprika patterns has released another sweater/dress--this time without pockets but with an interesting inset yoke and hem detail. I think it's a pretty cool-looking sweatshirt; I love that yoke detail. My local JoAnn's (of all places) has a bunch of quilted knits and double-sided knits right now, which I think would be perfect for this.

Paprika Patterns - Zircon Sweater/Dress

SBCC Patterns: Brooklyn Hoodie

So, this is an interesting pattern. Betsy from SBCC wanted to take the oversized look that's currently in style, but draft this hoodie so that it would be proportionate with a petite woman's figure. It's got dropped shoulders and roomy at the chest, but more fitted through the sleeves and torso. I've had success with SBCC patterns, and I like the idea of this hoodie.
SBCC - Brooklyn hoodie
StyleArc: December 2015 Release

With the flood of other new patterns this month, StyleArc's December releases would be pretty easy to overlook. They're not bad, by any means, but we saw more interesting releases from some other companies, IMO. As they've been doing the past few months, if you order a paper pattern from StyleArc, you get a choice of a new pattern (the Maris top) or an older pattern (the Peta pant) as your freebie pattern for the month.

StyleArc: Kaye Tunic

It's a drapey tunic with drapey side pockets. It's fine, but there isn't much to say about it. Or maybe I'm just fatigued from going through so many patterns at this point.

StyleArc - Kaye Tunic

StyleArc: Maris Top (Freebie option)

It's a drapey top with design and color-blocking options.

StyleArc - Maris top

Final Thoughts

After barely having bought any patterns in the past few months, I went on a pattern buying binge these past two weeks.  Far too many patterns screamed "Layer up with me! I'm cozy and comfortable" while we've been mired in a really rainy stretch here in Seattle. (Hint: Most of the ones that I bought were sweatshirt patterns.)

Was there anything that you particularly loved or hated these past two weeks?


  1. Haha I love your final thoughts. I've totally bought ALL the patterns recently!!

    I have comments darn it! :)

    Birkin Flares - well DUH, I love mine and like I2S, Lauren is working on leg options. I can't wait to make the skinny version. I have denim just waiting. Because contrary to GOMI's belief that NO ONE looks good in them, I love mine! ;-)

    Washington - Meh. I think it can look great and liked Meg's with that gorgeous green and floral, I'm otherwise not affected by this one.

    Phoebe - No. Just, no.

    Brooklyn - SO cute! I really love that skirt though it reminds me of the Butterick Lisette so I probably won't get it. It does make me consider sewing the Butterick in something more suiting-like.

    York - Meh. Yeah the gold version was a mess. Shame for the gorgeous model!

    Pretzel - I've never bought a HP but I LOVE THIS!!!!!!!!!!!!! Looks like something Burda would do but more relaxed. Love. love. love.

    Halycon - cute but reminds me of V9111 which is on my list for this month.

    Irena - soooo cute but, Boobs.

    Zircon - meh. I have the Jasper and really want to make one before winter is over. But I'm in MN so I've got MONTHS, but this one didn't get me.

    SBCC hoodie - great basic. I think this is one of those things that seems like you can "get it anywhere" but if someone knows the SBCC patterns work for them, go for it.

    Kaye and Maris look like Tilton offerings to me. Which isn't a bad thing...just saying.


    I hope you're on the mend!!!

    1. Thanks! I've been finally starting to feel human again in the past few days.

      Definitely make a Jasper! I tested it over a year ago and still wear the test version all the time (I never blogged it because it has some fit issues that were worked out for the final pattern, but that doesn't stop me from wearing it).

      That's a good call on the two StyleArcs looking Tilton-y. StyleArc has been doing more and more of that lately.

  2. Thanks for all your efforts in the pattern updates. I really like seeing what is out there even though I tend to sew my old patterns and pattern magazines - burda and knipmode. The new colette dress is just plain ugly and poor design features as you say which us a pity because I was looking forward to the release.

  3. I'm so glad that you mentioned Itch to Stitch patterns. I always forget about them. Those three patterns look great, even the tester versions - which is not something you can say about every pattern release. I plan to buy the two shirts and I will try the jeans if the Birkin Flares don't work out.

    I would be so happy if StyleArc released a flare jeans pattern.

    1. Yeah, Itch to Stitch doesn't seem to get the buzz that some other indies do, but from the ones that I've seen on blogs, etc, her patterns sew up nicely and are the types of clothes that I wear a lot.

      Flared jeans have GOT to be on StyleArc's radar, right?

  4. What about they Hey June Cheyenne, that's the same as the Itch to Stitch Mila (and yeah, I bought both)? I'm interested because it's also a full button-down.

    1. Good call on that. I'll admit that I haven't really been following Hey June. There are so many indies these days that it's hard to keep track of them all!

  5. Sorry to hear that you have had a lurgy. They really are doing the rounds again here too. I do like the Birkin flares. I used to wear flares all the time and I love this style. I am a bit on the fence with the other patterns although the idea of cozy, layering prices sound irresistible.. I have just found out that Style Arc are selling patterns through Amazon here in the UK so I am stoked as I have been dying to try them. Xx

    1. Try them! And the ones on Amazon have the multi-size nesting that most other pattern companies do.

  6. Thanks as always for sharing, michelle! I somehow always miss the itch to stitch releases, so I'm glad to see them here. Those jeans sound pretty great but I am just out of the size range so i'm on the fence... I guess grading up a couple of sizes probably wouldn't be too hard. after making the misty's, I'm kind of itching to make some real jeans for some crazy reason. i was considering the Ginger's but they require grading too and this pattern seems to have more options.

    1. Yeah, I'm just outside of that size range and the Gingers, but I'm also finding from the two CCF patterns that I've made/have in progress, that it's not a lot of work to get them to fit me.

  7. I am on a shirt kick, big time. The Itch to stitch is grabbing my attention.

    I am loving my Washingtons! I am working on some hacks and just posted my first one on CSC flicker as well as cashmerettes flicker account!

    1. I did buy the Mila shirt--I have the similar New Look, but I've been wanting a shirt like that that I could make up in shirting or flannel fabric.

      Your Washingtons have been looking great!

  8. I'm not getting the love the Washington dress is getting. There is something about it that screams homemade. I agree that the Phoebe isn't doing the models any favors. I am pleasantly surprised by the Brooklyn Skirt, and am definitely interested in the Itch to Stitch jeans pattern, and maybe the Mila shirt, I do love me some cup sizing. Style Arcs were indeed a yawn. I had the pleasure of seeing the link for the York top (discussed in this blog post here: in all its low dart glory. Its was indeed BAD. And apparently Colette was desperately updating pictures and deleting any comment that referenced how bad it was.

    1. I've seen a few of the Washington tester versions that haven't been posted. It's a design that lives or dies by the yoke fabric and the proportions. I love Meg's version, and I've generally loved other versions with a solid top, dark yoke, and print skirt that coordinated with the bodice. I think they look best when the top of the yoke hits around or just above the natural waist.

  9. Phoebe is hideous. I appreciate and love the diversity in models, but that grey dress is ugly and the styling is terrible. Colette's latest releases question my collection of OFG (original fan girl) proof. There is so much wrong with the design that I fail to see how this is flattering on any full-busted figure, mine included. Big no. If she's going around and deleting comments, that's just pathetic.

    Everything else is meh for me. The Colette pleated skirt reminds me of a long-OOP Butterick Lifestyle pattern, 4295. Again, meh.

    1. Agreed. The Colette dress looks like a blocky version of a late 60s homemade style, and the double-breast is terribly unflattering to the full-busted. This pattern brand seems to have lost its way.

    2. Yup. I agree with both of your comments. It makes me sad because I feel like that brand had soooo much potential, but I don't agree with the direction that they've gone. But, I guess if they're raking in the bucks as much as has been reported/hinted at, they're making the right business decision for them.

  10. Nothing is really grabbing me. I am kind of disappointed in Style Arc, they always seemed to have beautiful patterns when I was a less experienced seamstress, but now? I really want to love the Washington, but do you think that it works best for an apple shape?

    1. Yeah, they've really been trending towards that minimalist lagenlook-lite style for a while now. But they do still occasionally put out more mainstream patterns--the Misty jeans were a fairly recent release, and I loved that peacoat they released a month or two ago.

      Re: the of the tester versions that I really liked (I haven't seen it blogged or IG'ed yet) was on someone who considers herself an apple. The caveat there is that she's quite tall, so yes, I do think it can work on an apple if you get the proportions right for each of the three sections.

  11. The hotpatterns sweatshirts are kind of nice, but I don't really need any more sweatshirts in my wardrobe right now.

    It's kind of funny how "Brooklyn" is the new buzz-name for pattern styles and virtually everything else. Back when I lived there it was not so cool -- asking a Manhattanite out to party at my Bklyn apt was like asking them to travel out to the far tundra on horseback or something. Things change : )

    1. Isn't Brooklyn considered pretty much the hipster capital of the US now (if not the entire city of Portland)?

      But yeah, I'm probably dating myself with this reference, but I remember what a huge deal Carrie, et al, made about Miranda moving All the Way Out to Brooklyn(!) near the end of the SATC run.

  12. Just want to say I really enjoy your pattern roundup posts and appreciate the work you put into them. Hope you are feeling much better!

    1. Thanks, and yes, I am feeling considerably better now.

  13. I am enjoying your comments about the new releases.
    Down in Oregon - more sideways rain coming. Get well soon.

    1. This has been a crazy winter so far, hasn't it? It's been relatively warm up in Seattle, but wow, has the rain (and wind) been near-constant these past few weeks.

  14. Another excellent round up as always. Hope you are on the mend this week.

    Hot Patterns Sweatshirts - loving both, in fact I have the Halcyon cut out already!
    Itch to Stitch - bought all of them, as Kennis' patterns seem to work really well for me.
    Cashmerette Washington - I was kind of meh on this until I saw an actual real life version on someone yesterday. I now own this too, even if I only use it for the t-shirt portion of it.
    I like the SBCC Hoodie, but am not in desperate need of this heading into Summer, so will hold off on this for now.
    All of the rest was a big MEH? to outright ICK!for me.

    1. OOh, I'm looking forward to seeing your Halcyon! I just bought some nice French Terry from District Fabrics (a local indie fabric shop) that will become probably the Pretzel but possibly the Halcyon soon. I'm really hoping that my patterns arrive soon! (I opted for the paper patterns for those.)

  15. Nice to see the pattern roundup. I have to say there are some really, truly butt-ugly patterns there. It's like the designers are just trying too hard, and really don't have a whole lot of talent. "hey, I could put a seam here!...or there! Or a hood! Color blocking! Twisted fabric!" etc. And Seamwork, much as I want to like them, has consistently bad samples sewn up and posted, as you note. The sagging bust darts were just one of many offences. I subscribed but I'm about to cancel. Just not worth the $ and I am offended that they don't put more time and effort into their demos. If that's the best they can do when this is their business and they are marketing a product, then why should I think their patterns are worth MY time and effort? /end rant

    1. IMO, I actually like it when designers get creative. It's a lot more fun and gives us more options than, say, everyone putting out the same patterns or a woven t-shirt or raglan sweatshirt.

      I will say that I can't understand the consistently bad samples, though. My understanding is that they used a "guest" model for this shoot who was considerably smaller than the sewn samples, but I think then you either need to sew a new set of samples or use the model differently.

  16. "My understanding is that they used a "guest" model for this shoot who was considerably smaller than the sewn samples, but I think then you either need to sew a new set of samples or use the model differently."

    And since the patterns are supposed to sew up in ... what? ... 20 minutes (exaggerating!), they could've just whipped up some new samples. KiddingNotKidding. I think I'm just so over Colette. Their whole schtick just feels so very pretentious to me now and the exact opposite of what they first projected to customers.

    Loving the I2S patterns but trying not to jump over and look so I save some money. Who am I kidding. I'll be looking in 20 minutes of less. Hahaha!!

    The HP sweats are sort of on my radar. Hate the drop shoulders but like the rest. So ... decisions, decisions.

    Thanks again for the round-up and stay feeling better!

  17. I missed the Itch to Stitch release--that's why I love these pattern round-ups so much! I like the look of the Mila and the Irena. I'll probably buy the Mila and wait a bit to see some other versions of the Irena made up. I already bought the Brooklyn Hoodie and it's on my sewing short list. Beyond that, nothing else in the group grabs me. I like the look of the Birkin flares, but I'm also out of her size range and, like you, have my eye on the similar Burda and HP patterns that have been released recently.

  18. Thanks so much for your wonderful pattern round up posts - I always look forward to reading them and I know that many of the new pattern releases would pass me by otherwise. Hope you are feeling better now. Debbie

  19. Thanks so much for your wonderful pattern round up posts - I always look forward to reading them and I know that many of the new pattern releases would pass me by otherwise. Hope you are feeling better now. Debbie

  20. I have never bought from Stylearch . . .what does your comment "freebie option" mean?

    1. When you buy patterns from the Style Arc website, you get a choice between 2 patterns for free included in your order. The free patterns options change monthly.

  21. Thanks for the roundup...I can't keep track these days of all the new indies. That's all I seem to sew anymore. I'd never heard of Itch to Stitch before and ordered the Mila top. I've been wanting a comfy flannel shirt pattern and have high hopes for this one.