Saturday, April 22, 2017

Summer Simplicity

The Simplicity Summer catalog has been released, and they even managed to get their website updated in time!  That has not happened since the website revamp, so perhaps things are going to improve as far as that goes . . .  

With no new vintage to gush over, my favorite design by far is the American Duchess version of that famous red Outlander gown (Simplicity has recolored the dress to be a greenish teal for the website, so not sure what that is about?).  With the panniers, this dress is very unsuitable for my daily life, but it is really gorgeous.  Swanning about in over 8 yards of fabric sounds pretty darn fabulous, actually.  Just not sure that I would be able to squeeze into my car - otherwise it would certainly be fun to show up wearing something like this to work!  I haven't dressed up for Halloween for a few years now . . . maybe that will have to change . . .

The Cynthia Rowley top/dress is cute, but I already have a ton of her patterns, and rarely make them up.  And I am not so sure that skinny off-the-shoulder elasticized piece looks especially comfortable, so I am going to have to think about this one.

While I have not seen the new Beauty and the Beast movie, I was very disappointed by stills of the yellow gown, especially the bodice treatment.  But looking at the line drawing for Simplicity’s version, I actually like the flounces on the skirt back very much.

They also have the cartoon version of the yellow gown, made up in a particularly horrible polyester satin.  My skin is getting itchy just looking at that thing.  The model does not look terribly pleased, either.  Someone please destroy all of the Casa Collection satin and embellished organza - the world would be a much better place for it!

Simplicity is also jumping on the pattern hacking bandwagon.  Is this not what everyone already does with a pattern?  I suppose it could be helpful to a beginner who might not otherwise understand just how easy it is to add a ruffle or shorten a hem or scoop out a neckline.  Do you think they include instructions on how to properly draft those changes?  I may take a peek at the insert on this pattern next time I stop by the big box fabric store.  (I have to admit that when I first started using dress patterns, I thought that the instructions should be followed verbatim, so they may be onto something!)

I guess that means there is only one pattern that will definitely be coming home with me this season, but it's a good one!  Now if only 8 yards of glorious silk would suddenly appear in my apartment I could get started . . .


  1. Laura Mae,

    You live in a world that scarcely gets in your way.

    Take the doors off of your car, show up at work in the desired attire, and inspire another office "gripe" (it's been nearly 4 years since the last one: "Love in Idleness", 4/28/2013; and don't tell me they haven't quoted any of that from time to time. Chagrin is such a terrible thing to waste.).

    The man fan you didn't draw, but were deftly dealt

  2. I think they changed the dress because apparently the costume designer from "Outlander" was unhappy that this is an unlicensed rip of her design. So they're maybe trying to make it less obvious that it's a copy.

  3. I think the pattern hacking releases could be great for beginners, if they include good directions anyway, especially for someone who is learning from a relative who has only ever used envelope patterns and doesn't know of anything else. I'm thinking of my mom here, who is a fantastic quilter but has only done a little garment sewing. She's SO impressed with my terribly insignificant pattern alterations and thinks I'm brave! Had I learned from her, rather than by trial and error by myself, these patterns could have helped us both!

    Anyway, this release is rather disappointing. The reproduction gown is lovely to look at, but other than that it's pretty boring.

  4. Not sure if you are aware but American Duchess has a blog.
    Good reading

  5. In regards to the Simplicity pattern hack, my mum, who has been sewing forever, can't quite comprehend pattern hacking, even though I've been doing it for years. She's a perfectionist and her garments come out lovely, but she once said she's "afraid" of pattern hacking because she doesn't want to get it wrong, which I can kind of get. Maybe a pattern company sanctioned hack would help her see she can do it. :)

  6. I'm a little late here, but I do know people who are deathly afraid of altering tissue paper patterns (I made someone shriek once doing it). I know there is a certain misunderstanding of geometry (how do these flat things go around this human?) that confuses folks. Messing with that spatial relationship between pieces gets confusing.

    The shrieking gal was my sister. She's a better cook, though.