Colette's Seamwork magazine this month has an "activewear" theme. For the two Seamwork patterns this month, we get an exercise top and exercise pants.
Seamwork: Aires Exercise Tights
The Aires Exercise tights are notable less for design and more for the fact that they include a crotch gusset for easier movement and are available in a 3XL (56" or 142cm hip size). Off the top of my head, this is the largest size range for a commercial pattern for actual exercise tights. (If you're a plus sized sewist, you might have found that it's nearly as difficult to find plus sized activewear sewing patterns as it is to find plus sized activewear in RTW.) I'm really glad to see that there's finally a pattern to fill this niche. Sure, there's some gratuitous piecing/color-blocking here, but I could see this being quite a useful pattern for many of us.
|Seamwork - Aires exercise tights|
Seamwork: Rio Tee
The Rio is a hi-low tee that can be used in activewear. I don't have much to say about this one way or another--it doesn't really fill a niche the way that the Aires does, but I guess Seamwork needed to release a second pattern this month.
|Seamwork - Rio tee|
I'm linking to Pattern Review's version of this batch of patterns because the Simplicity website is nearly completely unusable right now. As far as I can tell, these patterns aren't even up there yet, even though they're available through PR and in some big box stores. I do like some of the patterns in this batch and will probably buy them at a future JoAnn's sale.
Simplicity 8047: Amazing Fit Dress
It's Simplicity's take on the over-crop-top trend that we're starting to see for Spring. We'll see it again in the new StyleArc patterns. I like this option--it's a way to do the crop top trend (if you're a trend person) without showing skin, if that's something that you tend to avoid (like I do).
Hey, it's a Grainline Archer shirt, but with shoulder princess seams AND cup sizes up to a DD! There's even an open v-neck option, similar to Colette's Aster shirt. This one looks like a great wardrobe basic pattern to me.
Simplicity 8050: 40's dress reissue
I haven't watched Agent Carter, but I'm seeing a lot of people online saying that this pattern is a call to that character's costuming. I'm going to assume that's the case with Simplicity, but having not even seen the show, I still love this dress as a standalone pattern.
Simplicity 8074: Misses' Costumes
So, here we've got a couple of different takes on Sand Snakes costumes (interesting, considering how poorly those characters translated from the Song of Ice and Fire books to HBO's Game of Thrones), and what's that hidden in the back over on the right? Is that an unlicensed (and probably rushed into production after the trailer was released) Rey costume from The Force Awakens? On a related note, if my daughter wants to be BB-8 for Halloween next year, does that give me an excuse to dress my husband up as Kylo Ren?
With StyleArc drifting towards a minimalist, boxy aesthetic for many of their recent releases, it's nice to see this new group of patterns for January. Most of these patterns capitalize on current trends, and when combined, could even be used to make a capsule wardrobe. Additionally, for January, in addition to the monthly freebie that StyleArc always offers (this month, it's the Kendall knit top), if you buy two of the new patterns, you can select a third for free. So, doing the math, that's four patterns for the price of two.
StyleArc: Crystal Over-shirt
The assymmetrical hem on this one is starting to feel a little dated, but other than that (which could easily be altered), this is both a really unique and wearable design. The back detail is unexpected and fun.
|StyleArc - Crystal over-shirt|
The Kendall is a nice basic knit top with a draped shawl collar. It's also the "official" freebie for the month of January, if you buy any other paper patterns this month. It's not the world's most exciting design, but it's definitely one that you could get a lot of mileage and wear out of with different fabrics. Not bad for a freebie.
|StyleArc - Kendall knit top|
The Madison is a trapeze-shaped raglan-sleeved top that be made up either in a knit or a stable woven. This is probably my least favorite pattern out of the January bunch in that it's the least interesting (to me). Again, like the other patterns this month, it's certainly a fine basic, though.
|StyleArc - Madison top|
Taylor Knit Skirt
The Taylor is a pull-on knit skirt with a split hem. From the line drawings, it almost gives the effect of a faux wrap skirt. I like this one--it's a fun design and looks like it would be comfortable and easy to make and wear.
|StyleArc - Taylor knit skirt|
The Kylie knit top has an overlay to mimic the appearance of the crop tops that were everywhere last year, but with its underlayer, will show less skin than a traditional crop. I love the design of this one, although with the boxy overlayer, I'm doubtful as to how it would look on my own busty figure.
|StyleArc - Kylie Knit Top|
I know that I've made this confession before, but I'll make it again. It's hard for me to do Vogue recaps because Vogue patterns, while often having interesting details, are so far outside of my own personal style aesthetic. I know that I've seen a lot of positive comments about this collection in other online sewing communities, but I largely reacted to it with a shrug--there are a LOT of boxy and/or artsy-type designs in this batch that aren't anywhere close to the clothing that I wear. That said, here are the picks that I found most interesting:
V1488: DKNY Shirtdress
This wrap-tie is an interesting way to bring some shape to this shirtdress. This could be cute and fun to wear in the summer. Realistically, it's probably the only pattern in this collection that I could realistically see myself buying.
In its maxi-length (as shown), this dress is a bit too Laura Ashley for me. But imagine it shortened to, say, knee-length, and I think it could be really cute. I'm intrigued by the sheer-dress-over-slip concept, too.
I'm not normally a big fan of Sandra Betzina's designs (again, they're fine; they're just not my style at all), but I do really like the interesting seaming on this coat and vest pattern.