Friday, January 8, 2016

This Week in Patterns (8-Jan-2016)

First pattern roundup of the new year!  Not surprisingly, we've got several batches of new patterns to go through.

  • Colette/Seamwork
  • Simplicity
  • StyleArc
  • Vogue
Colette/Seamwork: January 2016 Issue ("The Body Issue")

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
Simplicity: Spring 2016 release

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).

Simplicity 8047
Simplicity 8053: Misses' shirts

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 8053

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 8050

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?

Simplicity 8074
StyleArc: January 2016 release

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
StyleArc: Kendall Knit Top (January Freebie)

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

Madison 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
StyleArc: Kylie Knit Top

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
Vogue Patterns: Spring 2015 release

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.

V9168: Misses Flutter Sleeve Dress, Belt, and Slip

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.

V1494: Sandra Betzina Coat and Vest

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.


Final Thoughts

So that's this weeks' patterns. I'm tempted to order a few of those StyleArcs--particularly with the 4-for-the-price-of-2 deal that they have going for the January patterns. Beyond that, I can see myself picking up the shoulder-princess-seamed button-up from Simplicity and that 40's dress (just to have...because it's awesome). I think I'm at the point where I'd probably collect Star Wars costume patterns just for the sake of having them, but I'd be shocked if we don't see some actual officially licensed ones in the coming months--especially with Simplicity having the license for Disney's other costume patterns. Your thoughts/favorites?


  1. I swear I don't stalk your new patterns posts! :-p

    I like the new SA patterns enough to jump at the deal. Okay I kind of love the skirt -- but the other ones are 'nice enough', but getting 4 for the price of 2 may just tempt me into sending my January sewing budget their way! :)

    I liked several of the Vogue's well enough and Simplicity is just okay too. I do love the dress with overlay and hope to make it soon.

    Way to go Colette on the gusset. I think that's an important enough feature to send some buyers her way.

  2. I was pretty pleased to see the Aires Tights pattern. It's the first Seamwork pattern I've seriously considered buying. I like the idea of the stretch-mesh insert, but it also seems like it would be very easy to eliminate it and/or extend the length of the leg--easier than grading up a different active wear pattern.

    I also like the hemline on the Rio, but think of it as inspiration for something to do with an existing t-shirt pattern and not a reason to buy an entirely new pattern.

    I am also interested in the Amazing Fit Trouser pattern (8056) that was part of this new release. I like the style but I was also excited to see that it goes up to a 28W (52" hip) so I might give that one a go.

  3. The dkny vogue shirt dress was my favourite out of their collection. I bought the lisette for butterick workout pattern recently but these Colette leggings do look better....hmmm

  4. Thans for posting these up. I had a look at the Vogue patterns and actually quite linked some of them. The Koos van den Aker jacket had lovely details on the sleeves. I am on the fence about anything cropped or crop-like. I think that it should just accentuate my huge bobble even more. :) Xx

    1. I have no idea how the predictive text got "bobble" from 'boobage". :)

  5. I love that simplicity 'tea dress' - slip and overdress. I've found that a vee-with-panel/slip is one of my more flattering 'semiformal' outfits. I'd do it at on-the-knee in something luxe for, say, a work benefit/gala thing.
    Well, I WON'T - because it's in feb and I'll never be doing anything in time for that, but I might another year. That and the Agent Carter dress are the only ones that speak to me right now. I am definitely making up a Rey outfit for NY ComicCon this year (along with everyone else in the world) but I'm going to wait it out before I buy a pattern. I think you're right, there will definitely be more.

  6. I can't find the hidden Rey costume in simplicity 8074. And yes you could dress your DH up as Kylo Ren or Poe? Poe is cool too. I subscribe to Seamwork. I was happy to see both patterns this month. That doesn't usually happen.

    1. The Rey costume is the one on the right-- off white toga like thing.

  7. I can't find the hidden Rey costume in simplicity 8074. And yes you could dress your DH up as Kylo Ren or Poe? Poe is cool too. I subscribe to Seamwork. I was happy to see both patterns this month. That doesn't usually happen.

  8. Sorry it took me so long to post, but here goes.

    Seamwork-- ah well. This is the second pair of tights they've unleashed on readers. The first had cuff options. This one has truly oddly placed piecing. Oh. And another T shirt type pattern. These are fine on their own, but I don't think they're well differentiated enough from some of the earlier offerings.

    I kinda like the back on the Kylie top. I don't mind the crop top over top thing on kids. But, is it just me? It looks a bit silly and juvenile on adult women.

    I like the DKNY shirtdress. But I can't believe no one here hasn't brought up the pants on V1491. Red in the front, black in the back. I'm not sure if this is a fashion salute to Stendahl or some kind of clothes interpretation of the Kids in the Hall sketch "a good attitude toward menstruation."

    Oh yeah. And Kay Unger has released the same dress she always does in 1481. Oh wait! There's a back cut out! How fresh! Totally different dress now!

  9. All these are wonderful patterns. Love these mesh workout leggings. I am definitely going to try out this pattern for my yoga classes. I know sewing very well and quite sure about making exact leggings as shown in these images.