Category Archives: favorite patterns

top 20 new sewing patterns: July 2018 (part two)

I’m back with part two of my top twenty fave patterns released in July 2018! (Here’s part one.) Putting this post together took a little longer than I expected because I went to my studio in the morning & banged out a couple of curtains for our living room, & by the time I was done, it was super-hot & I was super-tired & then Ramona commandeered my computer so she could watch “Harry Potter & the Sorceror’s Stone”.

But the curtains are nice, Y/Y?

I feel like I need to issue a warning. Some of these patterns look horrifically ugly at first glance because they are sewn up in some truly hideous fabric. The styling is extraordinarily questionable. It’s almost like people don’t want to sell patterns! But I have trained myself to look past samples that have clearly been sewn up in the cheapest available polyester at the fabric store & see the decent bones underneath. This is why it’s always so important to include technical drawings/line drawings with your pattern information. Some people have a really hard time seeing past the sample styling, & samples are often sewn up in colors or prints that obscure the style lines.

I’m DEFINITELY including fabric pairings with these bad boys, because some of them are in desperate need of re-imagining.

& again, my primary caveat: I don’t own & have not sewn all (or any) of these patterns. I’m not necessarily recommending them. I can’t speak to the drafting, the size range, the PDF options, or anything else. They are just new releases that caught my eye. On to the skirts!

McCall’s 7813


It’s wrap skirt. Not like we’ve never seen one of those before. But I like the high waist, I like the wrap-around waist tie, & I REALLY like that this pattern has a cool asymmetrical view that I’d be willing to splash out on during a JoAnn 99-cent sale. I might just be feeling the back-to-school vibes, but I’m seeing this in a plaid flannel, rather like this lovely fabric that I in fact already own! Though it’s earmarked for a shirtdress that I’m still hoping to make once the weather cools down.

Burda 7/2018 #127


This is really cute, & I wish it wasn’t styled here with that stupid “I just rode the Hamptons jitney for the first time” belt because the awesome thing about this skirt is that all that fullness is created by about a gazillion darts stitched down to create the waist shaping. Burda of course simply recommends “fabric with some body,” & I know this is kind of crazy, but I fell in love with the idea of this gorgeous upholstery jacquard. The finished skirt would weigh about forty pounds, & you’d have to snip out each dart to reduce the bulk, but it would be BEAUTIFUL.

Ready to Sew Justine skirt


Okay, this is one of those styling fails I warned you about at the top of the post. This fabric. THIS FABRIC. It literally hurts my eyes with its sheer ugliness. I know there are people out there who like this kind of thing, & if you are one of them, I’m sorry…I’m sorry that you have such atrocious taste. Kidding! You do you! Leaves more actual pretty fabric for the rest of us. If you can get past the fabric, the skirt isn’t bad. It’s also not remotely original, but it IS free, so there’s that. I personally am still here for the button-down skirt trend, I like the big pockets, & this skirt would actually be a nice showcase for a border print, which I always love. I think this is really pretty–especially for the coming spring weather in the Southern Hemisphere! But you could also make it from a solid, lightweight twill & have yourself a perfectly serviceable work-a-day skirt.

Daughters of Style Mulligan skirt


I love stuff like this. Before I learned how to sew, I would pounce on anything with ribbon ruching I could find at H&M or Anthropologie or whatever. There was some episode of “Project Runway,” or maybe it was “Under the Gunn”? Sorry, I am a “Project Runway” obsessive & have even watched the spin-offs with kids. But a contestant made a skirt that you could alter using a mechanism that changed the length & drape. It was obviously ridiculous & unnecessarily cumbersome, but I loved it, because I love all this goofy stuff, even though I know I’ll adjust it to a length I like & never touch it again. One of the recommended textiles is raw silk. How insanely beautiful would this be?!

Moving on to…miscellaneous?

Burda 7/2018 #115 swimsuit

burda 115

How cute is this? I love it. I draft all my own swimsuits, so I’m not going to buy this pattern…but I might knock it off. I just love that little peekaboo of skin at the bust, & the way the bust mimics the waistline on the bottoms. I think Burda made a good choice with the gingham here, & I recommend this gingham swimwear fabric. I have it in yellow & it’s great–opaque even when stretched to the limit, really nice quality…I am almost sad I didn’t buy the mint colorway as well.

Studio Costura Mia panties

mia panties

I draft all my own panties as well. (Content warning: I’ve decided to start saying “panties” instead of “undies”. I know a lot of people are really grossed out by the word “panties,” but I think it’s sexy. Sorry not sorry.) So I won’t be buying this pattern. But it’s VERY cute, & I always love looking at the samples for lingerie patterns because they give me tons of ideas for my own makes. This pattern is obviously a real showcase for some gorgeous scalloped stretch lace, & it doesn’t have to be terribly wide. I think this 6″ pink lace is so pretty.

Tessuti Melbourne Trench Coat

tessuti melbourne trench

Before I saw the photos for this pattern, I was like, “Another trench coat, BORRRRR-ING!” I’m just not a trench coat person. But this isn’t your usual flasher-in-a-dark-alley trench coat. The thing that really grabbed me about it is its design simplicity. It seems like a perfect blank canvas for a special textile, & my mind of course went straight to RAINCOAT. I’ve been on the hunt for the perfect raincoat pattern for years. I basically want to look like a cross between the Gorton’s fisherman & the Morton’s Salt girl, which I guess means I want a really simple, utilitarian, straightforward raincoat with a slightly more feminine silhouette, & it must have a hood. This is checking my boxes! I wonder if it would work in this waterproof outdoor canvas…In a shocking twist, I am REALLY feeling that pink color.

& we’ll close out with a surprising quantity of jumpsuits.

Seamwork Lucy jumpsuit

seamwork lucy

Here’s another truly lamentable styling catastrophe. What is wrong with the folks over at Seamwork? They truly have the WORST taste in colors & textiles. They are based here in Portland, & let me tell you, this town has SO MANY fantastic local fabric shops. This poop-colored knit trimmed with a white drawstring is inexcusable. & I refuse to even acknowledge the existence of those shoes. BUT! A sleeveless knit jumpsuit with a drawstring waist? That’s almost stepping out of “secret pajamas” territory & jumping right into “actual straight-up pajamas”. I’ve never sewn a Seamwork pattern & am very skeptical of their drafting, but I like the idea of this pattern. It’s downright heroic. You could even do the top & bottom in different fabrics to make it look more like real clothes. I’m thinking a really pretty print for the top & a coordinating solid for the bottom.

Mood Fabrics Ursi ensemble

ursi ensemble

This is one of the free patterns from Mood Fabrics. It includes both the top & the pants. They bill it as an “ensemble”. Not only does this look really relaxed & easy to wear, perfect for all of your laying-around-on-the-edges-of-fountains needs (I actually do do that whenever there’s a fountain around), but the sleeves are detachable. The armscye is finished & attached to the bodice with belt loop braid & buttons. I really like this effect! I don’t love the braid also being used as piping on the pants cuff. It makes the pants suddenly look like very glamorous pajamas. You’d want a fabric that can hold its shape, for the collar, but isn’t so crisp that it won’t knot well. Honestly, I would love to see someone (…me?) make it up in this fabric. Beetlejuice Beetlejuice Beetlejuice!

DP Studio 3001 playsuit

dpstudio playsuit

Our final pattern of the month, & another brutal crime against eyeballs everywhere. How many Urban Outfitters dressing room curtains had to die so this sample garment could live?! BUT this is a really cute pattern! & if sewn in the right fabric, you don’t have to look like a tragic hitchhiker killed on her way to Coachella. This is actually a playsuit–the bottom half of the garment is culottes! The legs are so voluminous, it looks like a skirt, but you don’t have to worry about flashing anyone when you get tangled in the nearest beaded curtain & fall over. As has become my refrain, this just looks really cool & easy to wear. I’d use a nice voile or lawn. Or, here’s a clever idea: double gauze! That links to an amazing double gauze that is woven to resemble chambray, so you will look like you’re all business, but you’re actually wearing the most luscious, baby soft secret pajamas!

Wow! Getting deep into these patterns & doing these fabric pairings was almost as much fun as actual sewing! I will definitely be doing this series again. What do you think? Do you see yourself sewing any of these patterns? Are there any I skipped over that really grabbed your attention in July?

top 20 new sewing patterns: July 2018 (part one)

Hello & welcome to a new series I hope to share with you all on a monthly basis! It’s pretty straightforward: I’m going to dish on my top twenty new sewing patterns of the month. I always enjoy new pattern round-ups, but I don’t love it when they are only links & no images, or when they are limited only to indie releases, as I am a seamstress of omnivorous tastes. So I’m going to share photos as well as links, & I’m going to share a mix of indies & Big 4. However, I do not have the wherewithal to comb every corner of the internet to round up every single new pattern under the sun, so I’m limiting it to my personal top twenty. Mostly just because I had a list of 31 patterns I liked that came out in July, which felt like way too many, but culling a list of 31 down to, say, ten, seemed impossible.

A few caveats: I haven’t sewn, nor do I even own, all (or any) of these patterns. I’m not unilaterally recommending them. I can’t speak to the quality of drafting, the breadth of size ranges, or the specifics of the PDF versions that people get so opinionated about (I don’t even know how to use layers). These are just patterns that caught my eye. I’m also including a fabric pairing for each, just for fun. It’s all incredibly subjective, & if you think I have terrible personal style, you’re probably going to hate it!

Let’s start with dresses!

McCall’s 7802


This dress isn’t exactly setting the world on fire, but I like it. I like the blousy sleeve (this whole statement sleeves trend has been AWESOME for me), I like the gathering at the bust, I like the wide, defined waistband. It includes a scoop neckline if this plunging V is a bit too much for you, & a simple short sleeve or no sleeves if you’re not feeling this boho jam. It also has a maxi skirt variation with a slit. A gorgeous lawn like this would be great for the drape of the sleeves.

McCall’s 7812


I haven’t bought this yet, but I think I will for sure the next time McCall’s patterns are on sale at JoAnn. This pattern is for knits, & I love the front ruching with the ribbon, the neckline shape, & the flared skirt. The sleeves are a nice length for transitional fall weather. I’m imagining it in something like this.

Cali Faye Dress 47


I love this! It looks like a cute crop top tied at the waist with a matching skirt, but it’s actually a dress, which seems really clever to me. I’m not sure how bra-friendly it is–that V is mighty deep. But it’s adorable & it looks really comfortable & easy for hot days. This might end up on my to-sew list for next summer. I’m feeling the stripes here & thinking maybe something like this?

Republique du Chiffon Florence Pinafore


I’m still waiting for a pattern company to come up with my dream pinafore dress. There have been several contenders, but no one has managed to check all my boxes yet. But this one comes close! I like the waistband, the nice big pockets, the wide crossover straps, & the button attachment for the straps in the back is really cute. I question if the shape of this bib would work that well on a person as busty as myself, & I think the neckline is a little high. But the styling here is great, & I want to keep encouraging pattern companies to develop their pinafore visions. I’d love to see this in a gorgeous metallic linen!

Jennifer Lauren Handmade Raine dress


This another dress that isn’t exactly breaking any new ground…but it’s cute! This version is my fave, with the gathered skirt & Queen Anne-adjacent neckline, but there are also scoop neckline & pleated skirt options. The print here obscures the wide, curved waistband, which is one of the best things about the design, but picture it in a fabric like this? (The only reason I haven’t bought that yet is because I’ve already made two strawberry print dresses this summer.) The style lines would shine & you’d have a near-perfect spring/summer dress (shout-out to the Southern Hemisphere!).

Moving on to woven tops.

Republique du Chiffon Paula top


Yet another pattern that is pretty simple & straightforward on the face of it. But it’s also just so elegant, & it looks cool & easy to wear. I’m seeing it in some kind of voile or lawn? I love it in a print, but it would also be just gorgeous in a solid color. I’m on a big yellow kick right now, so of course I am gravitating toward something like this.

SBBC Flora blouse


When it’s hot outside, I need my woven tops to be breezy & light. This top is figure-skimming & doesn’t bind anywhere, & looks like an amazing potential canvas for a statement color or print. Personally, I instantly imagined an eyelet fabric, & maybe keeping the scalloped selvage for the hem.

I am really feeling these patterns for knit tops!

Indiesew Kila tank


I know. It’s a tank top. But I love it! When you sew all your own clothes, like I do, a decent pattern for a basic like this is worth its weight in gold. I am really choosy about my tank tops. I like a lot of back coverage, & this one nails it. It has a nice scoop & is long for layering purposes. The neck & arms are finished with a narrow binding. This seriously rings all my bells. I’ll probably buy it. My favorite part is that the recommended fabric is rib knit, which is my #1 preferred fabric for tanks. I want one in every color, starting with banana.

Burda 7/2018 #107 wrap shirt


I’ve never sewn a Burda pattern before. I know! It’s because I didn’t start sewing until after the Burda boom calmed itself. & they have a weird size range, & there’s the notoriously sparse instructions & complicated tracing…But maybe this will be my first? I really like this top. I’ve been wanting to make a ballet-style wrap top & have been comparing different patterns. I like that this one looks like it has decent chest coverage & is a good length for both tucking & not-tucking. I don’t love the squared-off ends on the ties. I think they’d look better cut on an angle. I’m also grappling with the fact that even the cutest wrap tops still kind of make a person’s boobs look asymmetrical. It’s just the nature of the beast. This would obviously be great as a print or in a solid. I, of course, would start with a solid in my preferred color of Pepto-Bismol pink.

Itch to Stitch Plitvice top


I read Itch to Stitch Patterns for filth a few months ago when I reviewed the Liana jeans for the Curvy Sewing Collective. But I could tell just by looking at the pattern that adjustments were going to be needed, & I’ve heard good things about Itch to Stitch tops (I’m actually wearing a Lago tank right this second!). So I will permit my intrigue regarding this top. Love the princess seams, love the banded finishes, love that it’s not just another everyday tee. I feel like this is the obvious choice for a print, Y/Y?

Check back tomorrow for part two!