Are you ready for spring yet? We still have the occasional snow flurry in our long-term forecast here in Seattle, even though temperatures have pretty steadily been in the high 40’s/low 50’s lately. I’m generally a huge fan of the fairly mild weather that we have in the Pacific Northwest, but I’ll admit that I’m starting to get a little jealous of the spring temperatures that I’m seeing posted from other people around the US. In any case, we have a LOT of new spring pattern releases to look at this month!
As some of you know, Blank Slate patterns has been in the process of revising and re-issuing some of their older women’s patterns with an updated size range (up to size 3X–53″/135 cm full bust). The versatile Shoreline boatneck is the recent reissue, and this time, the pattern purchase includes a “hack pack” with four additional views. The original set of views includes a top, tunic, or dress pattern and three different sleeve lengths, and the pattern can be made up in either a woven or a knit.
Note: I was a tester for the extended sizing, and I was extremely pleased with the fit through the neck and shoulders on this. So often, boatnecks don’t offer bra strap coverage or gape in the chest; this pattern had neither of those issues. (I did add a dart via an FBA, which I kept and sewed in.)
This is one of those collections where nothing really grabbed me as being particularly good or particularly bad–it’s largely a group of inoffensive spring dresses and blouses, many of are just slight variations on other patterns/designs that are already out there.
You can’t really see the details in the sample photos, but as you can see from the line drawings, B6461 is a pair of seamed pull-on pants. I’m including these as an “interesting” pattern for this write-up because the additional leg seaming will help with fitting, and we all know how frustrating pant fitting can be sometimes!
The word “flattering” is a loaded word for many of us–often placing a value judgment that clothes that make your figure look a certain way are preferable to what’s comfortable or what we enjoy wearing. HOWEVER, this simple knit dress really jumped out at me as one that should be “flattering” on most figure types.
It checks a lot of the boxes for the types of dresses that many of us like to wear:
- It’s drafted for knit fabrics (secret pajamas!)
- The princess seamed bodice makes for easy bust adjustments.
- The midriff band is waist-enhancing/minimizing.
- The princess seamed fit-and-flare skirt should both aid in easier fitting and skim over curves.
I have been a fan of HotPatterns for quite a while; however, one area where they particularly stand out to their fans is with their comfortable and stylish tee designs, such as their ever-popular Shirt-tail Tee. They’ve got a new tee pattern out, and this one incorporates the currently popular boat-style neckline and princess seams for shaping. I’ve been seeing similar tops to this one on my coworkers for the past few months–it should be a nice transitional top as the weather starts to warm up for spring.
In terms of patterns that appeal to my own personal taste, McCall’s usually the most reliable of the Big 4 for me (with Simplicity being a close second). However, much like the Butterick release, I didn’t find a whole lot that grabbed me in this collection. It’s not bad by any stretch, but it’s more of the same peasant blouses and off-the-shoulder looks that we’ve been inundated with for the past year or so.
Pardon my snark, but the styling on the sample here is awful–I honestly thought that the pattern was for a chemise/robe sort of thing until I hovered over the picture and saw the other views.
The other views aren’t exactly an improvement. Also included is a frill-sleeved jumpsuit that looks like it was left over from a production of Mamma Mia:
Okay, I know that I normally devote this roundup post to patterns for adult women, but I had to give McCall’s a shoutout for being the first out of the gate with a Moana costume pattern for girls. My daughter loved this movie and has already stated that she wants to be Moana for Halloween this year, so it’s nice to see a costume that’s clearly in the spirit of the character but offers a little more coverage for young girls. As an added bonus, there’s a dog costume pattern that will enable me to humiliate our Boston terrier mix by dressing him up as a spider.
In the Curvy Sewing Collective Facebook group, we get questions about lagenlook patterns fairly regularly. For those who enjoy this artsy, easy-to-wear style, Pearl Red Moon has released the new Two Pegs dress pattern, which has some interesting seaming details that should provide for a lot of design creativity:
Confession: Even though I always list the patterns in my roundup alphabetically by pattern company name, I really wanted to list Simplicity higher on the list this month because, IMO, this new Simplicity collection is the absolute highlight of the month.
Finally, someone at a Big 4 company is listening. The spring collection from Simplicity contains about a half dozen new patterns specifically in the plus size range, including two new patterns from Project Runway winner Ashley Nell Tipton. Are these shapeless sacks or boring basics? They are absolutely not. The new plus patterns include bodycon styles, a rockabilly-style outfit, and even athletic wear. Even better, the samples are modeled by actual, plus size models!
I normally only pull 2-4 new patterns per Big 4 collection for this post, but I think that all of these new offerings deserve to be highlighted.
Simplicity’s new leggings pattern for extended sizes includes both basic leggings in different lengths, it also includes views with insets that can be used for faux leather or lace (as is popular in RTW) or color blocking (for exercise gear).
If you have anything resembling a large bustline, you probably know that it’s nearly impossible to find a sports bra pattern that won’t involve some serious pattern grading. Unlike most sports bra patterns, this new offering from Simplicity contains sizes up to a 44G and allows you to mix-and-match band and cup sizes!
The new rockabilly offering is available in both misses’ and womens’ sizes (up to a size 28W), and I love that both size ranges are modeled. It’s a fun pattern, and I like that there’s a more bra-friendly option for the halter top–an important detail for those of us who don’t have many bra-style options available at our sizes.
Ashley Nell Tipton has two new patterns in the collection–the first offerings in her new collaboration with Simplicity. First up is a bodysuit. Now, personally, this is one of those trends that I did in the 90’s that I don’t have any desire to re-visit. That’s partially due to convenience and partially due to the fact that I always wear my tops tucked out. But that’s me. I know that many of you love to wear your tops tucked into skirts and jeans (particularly for high-waisted styles) and a body suit lets you do that without having to constantly re-tuck throughout the day. My one complaint with this pattern is that none of the views are particularly bra-friendly, which seems like a bit of a glaring omission, given that many plus size women are large-busted.
As wedding and prom season approach, Ashley Nell Tipton’s other pattern in this collection gives options for a princess seamed sheath dress or two-piece dress (crop top and skirt). I like that the princess seaming extends to the skirt–making for easier fitting if you have a bit of tummy or a large booty. There are two options for strap thickness included, if you’re like me, and always need to wear a conventional bra.
The Giselle dress incorporates the current ruffle trend in a pretty wrap dress that’s designed to be made up in drapey woven fabrics, such as rayon or crepe. In a sign of good drafting, the pattern includes two different bodice pieces–one for a sleeveless view and the other for a 7/8-length sleeve.
One of the freebie options for February (with purchase of at least one paper pattern from the StyleArc website), the Scarlett Top provides a lot of options for color-blocking and print-mixing with its interesting seaming.
The other freebie option for February, the Natasha is a wide-legged trouser with a side zipper that was drafted to be made from drapey, non-stretch woven fabrics. Options include three different pant lengths and back welt pockets.
If you enjoy playing around with color-blocking and love to have pockets in your dresses, the new Zadie dress from Tilly and the Buttons could be right up your alley. Designed for knit fabrics, the Zadie features two raglan sleeve options, a princess seamed bodice, and a full skirt with pockets.
What were your favorite new offerings for this month? More specifically, what did you think of the new patterns from Simplicity? It seems like such a simple thing, but I can’t get over how nice it was to see the samples modeled by actual plus size women for the new patterns in that range. Even if some of the individual patterns weren’t to my own style, it’s great to see a wider range of body types represented on pattern envelopes.