Sunday, June 16, 2013

Dontcha feel like...

...so many patterns, so little time!

Since I'm not sewing, I've been visiting blog land HARD!  I mean I've been reading blogs that I skimmed before or had never visited...gotta do something to fill up all that non-sewing time! *LOL*  So I noticed that there are some pattern gems out there that I've never considered before that are being sewn up into some amazing garments.

Also in that extra time, I've visited quite a few pattern sites...referred there by the same sewists, that have made those amazing garments and I have two observations.

One ~ I will never sew all of the patterns that I like. 
I have an amazing collection of patterns that I just keep adding to.  With each cycle of patterns distributed by the big four, I add another round of patterns to my collection.  I also own a dozen years of Burda World of Fashion magazines, which are finally coming out of storage in the new and improved sewing room (Did y'all notice how positive I'm being here! *LOL*) from which I need to sew more of. There is just so much pattern goodness out there now!

Two ~ Why don't the new indie pattern makers size up past a 16/18?
I know Style Arc now has plus size patterns, though I haven't bought any yet because nothing thrills me.  If I'm going to pay for shipping from across the world, I don't really want to buy a pattern that's similar to something from the Big 4. 

Lolita Patterns is working on a plus size, as well as, average size line and I will be trying them out.  I have two Cake Patterns on my list to try, too.  But I want to get in on The Archer Shirt craze too, however, the pattern only goes up to a size 18.  

So let me run down a list of several new indie pattern designers whose patterns only go up to a size 16 or 18 that I noticed in my blogland travels: Colette Patterns, Victory Patterns, Sewaholic, Megan Nielsen, Sew Chic and Jamie Christina Patterns are all graded no larger than an 18.  I have two choices here - purchase one and grade up or forego the pattern and purchase only the Big 4 and the couple of indies who do make plus size patterns mentioned above.

I'll admit that I've been loathe to blog about the lack of upsizing in the new indie patterns because I truly understand if they have an audience they want to reach and I'm not part of it.  It just really hit me this weekend while blog grazing that there are some very cool & funky styles out there that I would like to make for my daughter (age 25, same size/little bigger than me) or even a version of Megan Nielsen's Tania Culottes for myself.  Hey lengthen those culottes and they'd be part of an amazing Friday work outfit or weekend/vacation piece. (As an aside I know I don't generally sew weekend for myself but I'm thinking maybe if I did I might leave the sewing cave more...)

Anyway, I'm in awe of what some of the younger (as in younger than me) sewists are making.  I'm feeling encouraged that another generation will carry sewing on and that our artform will continue to thrive and grow.

Now I'm off to watch the second half of the NBA Finals - Heat vs. Spurs - cause who knows who's going to win this!

...as always more later!


22 comments:

  1. What great thoughts. I do wonder if grading out to bigger sizes is all that hard. I think it would be worth it. g

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  2. I've been reading your blog for at least 2 years, but this is a first time I've commemnted . . . and it's to say HELLS YEAH! to those indie pattern designers! I am that target demographic (young and hopefully hip) but I can see myself bothering to grade up the 4 sizes needed to fit.

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  3. Amen! It's hard enough to make all the adjustments needed to get a proper fit without having to grade up as well. I'd do more sewing for myself if it wasn't so much work - Well, and I have to learn to make the adjustments so the resulting garment will fit well. Until then, t-shirts and jeans are my wardrobe of choice. Reading your blog and seeing the great pieces you create is inspiring me to consider sewing for myself!

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  4. Ugh, grading up is the bane of my sewing life. I'm in love with the Sewaholic range but I keep putting off buying and sewing because of the extra effort involved. In saying that, Colettes sizing is different from the Big 4: their 18 is B46 W38 H48, very close to a Simplicity 24W, but also designed for a C cup. I will still have to grade up but at least the starting point is closer to my numbers. I suspect other indie designers also have different sizing.

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  5. I'm only just dipping my toes into the world of sewing. I've done a class & have two more lined up...and then I hope to be able to sew some stuff at home by myself. My problem is I think I'm bigger than most patterns...and most patterns seem to be in USA sizes (these "indie patterns" I guess I'm talking about). I have no idea what my Aussie sizse converts to in a US size AND if I am too big I'm clueless on how to adjust anything. I'm totally stressed and all I've sewn so far is a few straight lines on muslin. Oh dear!

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  6. Have you ever thought about starting a plus size pattern company? It would be hugely successful!

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  7. Yes, Yes, Yes to indie designers having a broader size range. It's just so depressing to see such awesome designers coming up with lovely patterns which I can't use.

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  8. I second what Blacey said. You have to compare the sizing chart of the independent with the sizing chart of the Big 4. Some indies are closer to modern RTW sizes, not the ones developed 70 years ago.

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  9. I know how you feel. I'm always wishing they would take their sizes up to plus sizes.

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  10. I was very bummed about Sewaholic patterns not being available in my size, then I actually looked at the measurements. My 20 in Vogue is quite close to Sewaholics 16. As a matter of fact I made the Renfrew without alterations and it fits perfectly. Also as Sewaholics patterns are designed for a "pear shape" they would very likely be easy to grade up, for someone who has some junque in the trunque.

    I remember Tasia writing about the plus size issue, and she said she just doesn't have the knowledge to do it properly. I am sorry, I have tried to find the post where this was written so I could include a link, but alas, I couldn't find it.

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  11. Thanks to those who pointed out that the indie pattern companies sizes differ from the big 4. I'll check them out a bit closer, although I shudder to think about paying those prices. Especially when I have a feeling that I'll still need to make massive adjustments. I admit, I'm badly spoiled by pattern sales at Joann & Hancock Fabrics.

    In the last year or 2, there have been some (occasionally heated) discussions on grading up to plus sizes. After reading them, and doing a lot more people watching, I'm leaning toward the side of "it's not that easy". As in, you can't simply take sizes 16-18 and extend the grading lines. But I still would love more plus size pattern options.

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  12. Thoughtful post, Carolyn. I keep meaning to try more indie patterns, but with the high cost and shipping, I just seem to never quite click "purchase". It's hard when I've got loads of Burda magazines. There's never enough time.

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  13. I'm so sorry for what you've been going through, Carolyn. I truly hope you never have a recurrence of the water problem. We had to do five excavations around our property to finally solve all our water problems so I know how you are feeling. Apparently, our house sits on top of an underground stream!!

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  14. Oh Carolyn! I've just been reading back - what a horrible experience with the water! Well on the bright side, your sewing room is getting an overhaul.

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  15. Hi! Have you heard of Hot Patterns? They size up to a 26 (with all sizes in teh envelope. I have several of their patterns but alas I haven't gotten around to sewing any yet.
    www.hotpatterns.com

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  16. Thanks Carolyn

    Great info I wasn't aware of any of these pattern makers.

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  17. I agree with Sarah-- if you ever wanted to draft and sell your own patterns, I bet you'd be really successful. You've got style for miles, gal!

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  18. Now I have more pattern ideas! I have to figure a new way to store all the great pattern ideas I've already purchased. Isn't it fun to think about new ideas? Yea, I know you'd rather be sewing than internet surfing, but a "dream" break is nice occasionally.

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  19. Just discovered your blog and want to thank you for the great list of other blogs to check out and to offer my sincere sympathy for the water disaster in your basement.

    Andrea

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  20. I agree with you on the sizing. I find that most indie patterns run small, even at the size 16 end of the range, which is where I am.
    Well, we need to encourage a plus sized indie designer! There has to be someone out there that would love to do it!

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  21. I have accepted that I will never sew all my patterns. They are a collection, right?

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  22. I agree that it's OK to think of your patterns as a collection. Though, I DO worry about the longevity of pdf patterns....how exactly do we pass those on?

    I have a lot of love for indie designers, and I hate to admit that this issue was only driven home to me after Steph of Cake Patterns posted about her pattern testing for all of her sizes.

    I think designing with everyone in mind is/should be the ultimate goal. I hope when you revisit some of the patterns you learn that the measurements work for you. I'd love to see you sew up something from Colette!!

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