Earlier this week, I took delivery of some new patterns from McCall's, Vogue and Burda, and I put them on the website on Friday. Some of you are probably wondering how I select the sewing patterns I sell - as I don't sell every pattern produced by the different brands I stock - so I thought it might be worth writing a blog post in which I explain my buying strategy.
As most of you will know, there are literally thousands of womenswear patterns that are available to home sewers today. Vogue, alone, has 213 dress patterns on its website! 213 dresses! I started sewing in the early 1990s. Even then - without all the independent pattern companies that we have nowadays - I sometimes found the amount of choice overwhelming. What should I sew? What's currently in style? What will suit me? I would pour over the pattern catalogues in my local fabric store, plagued by indecision. The advent of the internet in some ways made it easier to choose my sewing projects: I was now able to browse the patterns at home at my leisure, look up reviews, draw inspiration from blogs, etc. However, all of that research takes time. And, in my previous career, I did not have an abundance of free time.
I had all of these considerations in mind when I started The Splendid Stitch. My aim is to provide you with a carefully-curated selection of patterns that are either (a) recent releases from the independent pattern companies we stock; or (b) patterns that are in tune with current fashion trends. I also aim to buy patterns that are well-reviewed (unless they are new and/or don't have many reviews). Essentially, I want you to be able to visit the pattern pages of The Splendid Stitch and know that what you're seeing is generally on-trend and well-reviewed.
So, we're never going to carry every single pattern produced by Vogue, McCall's or Burda. However, we do carry a small selection of their on-trend patterns. How do I do my buying? Every few weeks, I evaluate the trends that I'm seeing in the fashion blogs and magazines that I read versus what I'm selling. I then trawl through the catalogues of the pattern companies that I stock, on the hunt for patterns that will help you to sew the latest trends. I did this last week and the result is the patterns that I added this week!
What's been added? You can see all of the new patterns here. Here are some highlights!
Off-the-shoulder dresses and tops are really popular at the moment.
Let's look first at dresses:
For this trend, I've added Vogue's 1379 dress, which is designed by Tracy Reese! Okay - it's not 100% off-the-shoulder. However, it's the best-reviewed, closest-to-the-trend dress I could find. And it's pretty close! It can be made in both jersey and woven fabrics (including crepe), and we've got lots of jerseys and crepes that would work well! (Also, just to note: I was initially a little surprised by the armholes of this dress - they seem very low - but it turns out that the dress has an integrated camisole, so you won't have any worries about flashing your bra!)
Now, let's look at the off-the-shoulder tops:
For this trend, I've added McCall's 7163. The recommended fabrics for this pattern are light- to medium-weight wovens, including voile, crepe and challis. I'm sure that this pattern could also easily be lengthened to make a dress. :-)
On to the next trend... I've been trying to find a pattern for a button-up-the-front denim skirt - to no avail. These are really popular at the moment!
Do any of you know of a pattern company that sells a similar pattern?
We do stock a few patterns for making regular denim skirts. First, there's Grainline Studio's Moss skirt. Burda also has a denim skirt (6769), which is one of our new patterns. Tilly and the Buttons also has a skirt (Arielle) that has buttons running up side.
We've got some really nice denims that would work well for making these skirts.
Unfitted, flowy dresses have also been popping up a lot on fashion blogs recently.
For this trend, I've added Burda's 7200 dress, which can be made in jersey and lightweight woven fabrics (like cotton and crepe). I think this would look fabulous in some of our jerseys, crepes and cotton voiles!
Last - but not least! - there's this week's 'Outfit of the Week'. It's McCall's 6744 - another new pattern!
This is a quick-and-easy knit dress pattern. It's very popular, with 49 reviews on PatternReview.com. It's also extremely well-reviewed: 96% of those who rated the pattern gave it a positive rating! Finally, McCall's has rated it as an 'easy' pattern. So, if you're looking for an easy-to-sew, comfy, stylish knit dress, you should definitely have a look at this pattern!
In the images above, it's shown in some of our jerseys. To find out more about this week's 'Outfit of the Week' - and to see the pattern and all of the recommended fabrics - click here.