It feels a little strange to be writing up a post full of spring and summer patterns when we still have some (rare) snow on the ground in the Seattle area. After a relatively mild December and January, winter came a bit late this year, giving us several weeks of freezing temperatures after Valentine’s Day. As a result, mentally, I’m still in a place where I’m eyeing cozy, warm patterns, even though spring blouse and dress patterns are popping up everywhere.
On a somewhat different note, I’m doing something a little different with this month’s roundup–including highlights from two curve-friendly/size inclusive pattern magazines–Ottobre Woman and MyImage. I know that I’ve occasionally included notable BurdaStyle Plus collections in this column, but this is my first time covering Ottobre and MyImage. If you’re not familiar with these magazines already, read on to learn more about them.
Butterick’s new Spring/Summer collection arrived recently. As far as the Big 4 goes, I’m not as big of a fan of Butterick as I am of McCall’s and Simplicity, but there were a few cute patterns in this batch.
Okay, so here’s an example where the fabric choice for a pattern’s sample is abysmal (seriously, who would sew a dress out of a toile-print fabric in 2018???), but the dress lines are actually pretty interesting and could make for a pretty cute dress. The hidden/inseam pockets look pretty great, and the princess-esque seams in front should make for a relatively painless FBA for those of us who always need them.
You haven’t been able to swing a dead cat for the past couple of springs/summers without hitting an off-the-shoulder blouse pattern. Unfortunately, for those of us who are full-busted, most of those patterns haven’t exactly been bra-friendly. B6562, however, has nice thick straps that could be used with supportive bra straps. So this pattern might be an option for those of us who don’t have the option of wearing a strapless bra.
Colette released their first non-Seamwork PDF-only pattern this month–the Myrna dress. The Myrna is a 40’s-inspired dress designed for wovens, and it comes with both knee- and maxi-length skirt options. I’ve had dresses with similar ruching/waistband details before; if you can get the fit down on a dress like this, it can define your waist nicely, even if (like me) you don’t have much of a waist. Colette has gained a reputation for inconsistent drafting in recent years, so if you do like the design of this one, make a muslin first.
Skinny jeans and pants have been around for years and years in RTW, it feels like. Sewing patterns have been a little slower to catch up, on the other hand. For those of us who like a slimmer leg on our pants, we have been seeing more and more skinny jean patterns, and we are finally starting to see more skinny legs in other types of patterns. A few months ago, we got the Sasha trousers from Closet Case Patterns, and now Hey June is offering the Bryce Cargo pant, which look very similar to the cargo pants that I’ve been seeing around Seattle for the past few years. I’ve been looking for a pattern like this for a while; this was a no-brainer for me to buy.
I like t-shirt dresses…on other people. On my short, big-boobed, apple-ish body, I’m generally not happy with the lack of waist definition that comes with the style. However, I think I might want to give HotPatterns’ new t-shirt dress a try, as it appears to combine the best features of a t-shirt dress and a wrap dress with its tie detail. In theory, this dress should give the waist-definition of a wrap dress but without fear of your skirt blowing open in the wind (a real problem in the PNW, if you don’t want to flash your leggings or undies to everyone on the street).
Note that the photos in the image below are inspiration pics, not sewn samples.
Princess shoulder seams for fitting and a wrap style dress, tunic, or blouse? Sign me up. I d0n’t really wear full wrap dresses because of the wind here in Seattle, but I’m all over that tunic or blouse, particularly because they’ll make great layering options. I particularly love the style example below in black with the white piping. This would be a great use of the floral rayon challis cuts that I’ve been hoarding in my fabric stash.
Note that the photos in the image below are inspiration pics, not sewn samples.
Like many of you, I’m sure, I have a raglan tee pattern that I like (for me, it’s Blank Slate’s Rivage Raglan), so it might be easy to initially dismiss the new Itch to Stitch Visby Henley as just another raglan…except that the Visby comes with a few more options than most raglan tee patterns, including a henley placket and an optional hood. The 90’s lover in me is, frankly, a sucker for a henley with a hood. I think I might need to add another raglan pattern to my pattern stash…
My Image magazine has been around for a few years, and they’ve long offered a small number of plus sized patterns per issue. However, Issue #16 is the first issue that they’ve had where they’ve offered MOST of their patterns in their full range of sizes (European sizes 32-52, up to a 49″/125 cm bust). There’s some cute stuff in this issue, including the very-easy split-neck tee and the princess-steamed fit-and-flare dress:
Ottobre Woman magazine will always have a soft spot in my heart for being the first pattern magazine to offer nearly all of their patterns in their full size range (EU 34-52). They also have the easiest-to-follow instructions of the European pattern magazines, by far. (I say this as someone who has used most of the major Euro mags at least once.) Their Spring/Summer 2018 issue recently came out, and it’s got lots of cute stuff in it. My favorites from this issue include the button-down blouse with the shoulder shirring, the chevron tee, and the knit shirtdress.
Among indie pattern companies, there are a lot of options for woven shells/t-shirts with sleeves…if you have a 44″ bust or smaller. This is a basic style that can be surprisingly difficult to find in a plus size range. The Claire Tunic, by Schnittchen Patterns, on the other hand, goes up to a European size 56 (a 53.5″/136cm bust), giving us busty women an option for this type of pattern. The Claire has a faced boatneck neckline, dropped shoulders, and bust darts. It also includes pattern pieces/instructions for a tie belt, if you’d like to add shaping that way.
If you’ve ever thought that finding a woven tee with sleeves in plus sizes was difficult, you’ve probably never searched for a hooded anorak or parka-style jacket. As few options as there are for those patterns in misses’ sizes, the pickins’ get even slimmer once you go above a 44-46″ bust. I’m very happy to add another pattern to the short list of plus size options with Schnittchen’s Amy Parka. The Amy has a front zip placket, hood, bust darts, and front pockets–pretty much the perfect pattern for wet spring weather.
There’s a lot of understandable frustration among curvy sewists about the lack of pattern options once you go above a certain size. The Big 4 pattern companies all have a handful of “plus” patterns, but outside of Butterick’s Connie Crawford line and Simplicity’s youthful Ashley Nell Tipton line, even most of these “plus” pattern size ranges tend to top out around a RTW size 2X or 3X. Simplicity seems to have taken these complaints to heart with their most recent collection, though, and is offering a couple of nice basic patterns in a much more inclusive size range. I’ll be highlighting those patterns in this month’s post.
Easy t-shirt dresses are sewing staples for many of us in warmer months. This new women’s fit-and-flare knit dress pattern goes up a size 5XL (62″/157.5 cm) bust and includes short-sleeved, sleeveless, and off-the-shoulder options, and both knee-length and maxi-length skirts. I expect that we’ll be seeing a lot of versions of this dress showing up in our Facebook group in the coming months.
One of the biggest hurdles to learning to sew when you wear plus sized clothing is the lack of beginner patterns with inclusive size ranges. You’re not only having to learn the basics of sewing, but you’re probably also having to learn how to grade up right from the start–it’s like getting thrown into the deep end of the pool to learn how to swim. Ashley Nell Tipton’s new “easy-to-sew” wrap skirt pattern looks like a great newbie sewing pattern, and it goes up to a 58″ (147 cm) hip.
StyleArc has a couple of cute new patterns for February. I’m picking my two favorites to highlight in this post.
I think the twist detail on this dress is really cute, and it’s not the sort of detail that you see all that commonly in a pattern for a woven. You’ll probably want to keep your fabric choice for this dress light and drapey so as not to end up with too bulky of a tie/twist.
If you don’t mind a boxy silhouette, the Teddy is a unique-looking pullover top with a collar that can be worn up or down. You’ll want to make this in a drapey fabric to avoid a tent effect, but swingy tops have been in style for a while now, so I wouldn’t stress too much over the shape (or lack thereof).
So that was a long list of patterns for this month. I omitted a few well-known indies with less-size-inclusive sizing this month, given that we had so many other patterns to choose from. What were your favorites from this month? Did you like the inclusion of the magazine patterns? (IMO, Ottobre Woman has been on a roll with recent issues, so I thought they were very worth highlighting.)