Thinking about new patterns and their reception

We in the sewing forum/blogosphere can be real magpies at times. Whenever there’s a new pattern line coming out, we flock to it. Then it seems like someone always gets disappointed and there’s a backlash. I always feel badly for indie lines, in particular, when this happens. Not every figure type can be served by every pattern, and not everyone’s preference in ease, style, and instructional method can be satisfied either.

That’s not to say that accurate criticism isn’t valuable – take Debbie Cook’s issues that she’s been blogging about with the new Cake Red Velvet pattern. The only Cake pattern I’ve tried yet was the Hummingbird and although it seemed well-drafted I got totally confused by the bust sizing and haven’t finished my muslin.

This is the dilemma – Steph (who seems like a lovely lady online, and I wish her all the success in the world) has a cool idea about how to remove ‘sizes’ altogether and replace it with something based on measurements, but for some of us that just makes things more confusing. Or StyleArc – everyone on PR fawns over their drafting but they only come in one size, not a range. Every few weeks I have a little internal fight with myself about StyleArc: “Oh, but everyone says they’re so great! Why don’t I buy one?” And my practical side comes back with “but they’re only one size, and you’re a range of three sizes on their chart, and the darn things cost over twenty bucks each with shipping. You’re going to spend that much and still need to alter a lot? Makes no sense, save your money.”

I could go on – how there’s always someone that says Colette patterns are too simple and a waste of money, how people on PR always recommend Silhouette patterns but their policy of sizing based on finished measurements drives me batty… All of this is very reminiscent of the battles over Hot Patterns that were happening nearly a decade ago when I first got back into sewing. First everyone loved them, and then everyone hated them, and it was a whole big thing. The more things change…

It’s such a personal choice, what to spend money on and what you won’t – after all, it’s not like all my purchases of Knipmode patterns are entirely rational. I don’t even speak Dutch! Speaking of which, when I was trolling Knipmode reviews on PR, I came across this great blog of a German gal written both in German and English. she’s got great style and obviously great sewing skills: Sewionista.

And now I’m going to actually go into my sewing room and do some sewing. Have a great weekend, and Happy Thanksgiving, Canadians!


3 thoughts on “Thinking about new patterns and their reception

  1. Interesting post! I guess it reflects how different we all are and so what suits us is different. For example, i am three sizes, but I find Style Arc worthwhile for me because the sizing is true to stated measurements, so if my hips are (ahem) 10cm bigger than my shoulder size, I know I can add10cm at the hips and the item will fit. Before that, I chose my size in the big 4 based on the given measurements, graded out to other sizes in other body parts,then had to take in random amounts all over the place till I got something wearable. So I find the single sizing an ok price to pay, but, of course it’s not such a good tradeoff for other people. I do also like how Burda gives such a comprehensive list of measurements, not just bust-waist-hip, so that makes their patterns easier to alter.

    So, it’s great that with the internet we can get hold of all these different things to try. I like reading other sewers’ feedback on patterns but I’m always aware that what works for a highly skilled, tall,thin, broadshouldered person might not work for me!

    • Thanks for commenting – I’m glad that Style Arc works for you, and it might for me, I just am so used to tracing between sizes that altering without being able to do that is intimidating! I think you’re right; when someone else gets a great result it’s so tempting to think that we can do the same thing, but with different figure types and heights etc. no one’s going to have the exact same experience with a pattern.

  2. Thank you so much for your kind words about my blog! I’m deeply honoured and blushing over here in Germany.

    Very interesting post! I’m also more a fan of multisize patterns, I’m lucky enough to fit into one size but when I sew for others it is always helpful to grade out to other sizes if needed. Altogether I find that Knipmode patterns are very close to their measurement chart while Burda patterns are always too big when you follow their measurement chart.

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