Arlington Sweater by Love Notions

For pattern reviews it is very helpful to have a person’s measurements! So before we begin, I am 5 foot 9 with a 32 inch bust, 29 inch waist, and 36 inch hips. I am pretty evenly proportioned but do find that my arms are longer than average! Happy to answer any fitting questions in reference to this pattern and my body should you have them- just leave me a comment!

Due to unforeseen circumstances, my deep dive into turtle neck patterns has been very delayed, but today starts a week of turtlenecks and I’m excited to compare a few different patterns for you! I was worried that by the time I finally got these up we would all be over wearing turtlenecks, but as it is -6 degrees outside today, I think some of us will still have a need for them for a little while longer.

I decided to deep dive turtlenecks because I’ve really found that they are a great layering piece for Colorado. On warmer days they are good on their own and when it’s colder like today I use them as a base layer purely to stay warm. When I realized the ones I owned were at least 15 years old (I didn’t wear them much in Dallas!), I decided to try some different patterns and see what made my perfect turtleneck. Much like my quest for the perfect tshirt, I was pleasantly surprised about what I learned and hope that comparing 4 different patterns will help you decide which pattern would be best for your style. Friday I will have a post with all the patterns side by side, but first let’s start with a deep dive shall we?

I already have a review up for the Nikko top and dress that you can find here. This has been my tried and true for awhile and I highly recommend. Today I am going to be reviewing the Arlington Sweater by Love Notions.

I have made this pattern fairly recently with some Destashify fabric, you can find that post here, but I really wanted to try the more plain sleeves and compare it to some other patterns just to look at the style lines and fit a bit more.

Love Notions is a company I reviewed in 2020 and have since fallen in love with. I appreciate how versatile their patterns are as well as their size range and cup size options. I always have good luck sewing their patterns and the Classic Tee was pretty much my favorite t-shirt from T-shirt Month.

Love Notions has a very active Facebook group that’s free to join where you can find a lot of inspiration as well as tips and advice on all their patterns. I’m not on Facebook very much and I get a lot out of the group. Just seeing what people are making, how patterns look on different bodies and in different fabrics is really helpful and inspiring. I also think it helps you get the most out of your patterns, they are not sold to be one off pieces. Love Notions creates patterns to make and wear again and again.

The website describes the Arlington as “a great transitional piece for your fall and winter wardrobe. Choose from three body styles: hip length, banded shirt length and above knee dress. Neckline options are turtleneck, mock turtleneck and cowl. Mix it up with five different sleeve options: long, bishop, elbow, puff short and puff long.”

The Arlington is meant for knit fabrics and there are 3 length options, including a dress, 3 different necklines, and 5 different sleeve options. If you like this pattern you could basically never have to buy another turtleneck pattern again!

The sizing in Love Notions patterns goes from XS-5X with a full bust option. That is a 33″ full bust to a 57.5″ full bust. You can see their full sizing chart here.

This is described as being a pattern for a ‘confident beginner’ and I agree with that completely. Love Notions’ instructions are very thorough and when you add in the Facebook group for help, I think any issues you had could be easily resolved. The hardest part may be adding on the neckline and, if you use the bishop sleeves, gathering them into the cuff. But this would be a great pattern to try if those were new skills for you.

The fabric recommended for the Arlington is light to medium weight knits with 40% stretch. There are also plenty of tips on what fabric to use depending on what neckline you go with, a drapier fabric for the cowl for example.

What I initially liked most about the Arlington were the bishop sleeve options and the dress options. I like that it is a basic pattern with so many variations! There are quite a few versions on the website as well as on Pattern Review. Browsing through you can see how many different looks you can get just depending on what fabric you use and what version you make. I love the versatility!

For all my turtle necks this week I’ve used the Premium Merino Jersey from The Fabric Store. Today’s version is in the navy. I bought this fabric in there New Years Sale and it is gorgeous, absolutely gorgeous, both to work with and to wear. It is soft and has a great drape but also warm and holds up well for the hems and neckbands. I will be making this a staple fabric to stock up on in future sales to come!

This was my first time ordering from The Fabric Store and I will be using them again. I was always intimidated by their prices as well as the fact they’re shipping from New Zealand. I think they’re sales are great and I got free shipping pretty easily. I think this will be a store I watch for sales and buy from every so often, but the quality is really great. It did take forever to get here but I actually think it was the trip from Denver up to my house that took the most time and not getting to the States!

For this version of the Arlington I wanted a more classic turtleneck so I did the straight long sleeves and the mock neck version. I did end up having to add the band, simply because I did not have quite enough fabric to get the shirt version out of my yardage. I bought one meter, and while that was just enough for all my other patterns, for whatever reason this one needed just a bit more.

I made a straight size medium with no adjustments and I think the fit is great. It feels like I’m wearing a comfortable t-shirt. I do like where the band hits me, I think it will be cute with high waisted bottoms, it’s just not my preferred style.

There are so many versions of this pattern online, but the review that made me go ahead and buy this was from the Youtube channel Sew Natural Dane. I love her version and it got me thinking how many options this one pattern had!

I couldn’t find any negatives on any reviews from this pattern. I think it’s pretty straight forward and if you like Love Notions patterns you’ll like this one!

Stay tuned for tomorrow’s turtleneck, we’ll be looking at the Freya from Tilly and the Buttons.

Cozy Capsule/// Fenix Sweatshirt by Style Arc

For pattern reviews it is very helpful to have a person’s measurements! So before we begin, I am 5 foot 9 with a 32 inch bust, 29 inch waist, and 36 inch hips. I am pretty evenly proportioned but do find that my arms are longer than average! Happy to answer any fitting questions in reference to this pattern and my body should you have them- just leave me a comment!

I have the second piece of my cozy capsule to show you today! I’ve been wearing it pretty regularly because it is so warm and we have had some very cold temps up here in the mountains. I’m actually looking out the window at a winter wonderland as I type.

This top is the Fenix Sweatshirt by Style Arc Patterns. It’s described as a crew neck sweatshirt with side panels with inseam pockets. It has an extended shoulder line and a deep arm hole. There’s a slightly hi-low hemline and slouchy long sleeve. The band, panels, cuff, and hem band can all be made in a rib knit or contrasting fabric.

The Fenix comes in sizes 4-30 which is a finished bust measurement of 30″-67 3/4″. I made a straight size 8 with no adjustments. I sized up from my Style Arc make last week in hopes that it would result in an even more oversized look. I think it worked pretty well!

Style Arc patterns can confuse people when it comes to what size you need to buy as they sell their patterns a little differently than other companies. You can buy individual sizes of patterns (know that you get the size above and below as well, just not all in one file so it is a little harder to grade). For their newer patterns you can usually buy multiple sizes at once, which is what I did with the AO file. I did this for ease of printing just as much as I did to have the multiple size range!

The fabric recommended is Fleece, rugby knit and a knit rib for the trims. I used this lavender gray eco- fleece from Needle Sharp. It’s incredibly cozy and, like I said before, so so warm. Maybe the warmest sweatshirt I own. I had fun playing with both sides of this fabric and used the fleece side for a contrast on the collar, cuffs, hem band, and side panels. I like how that makes the fabric read more purple than just gray and how it adds interest to this simple design.

Style Arc describes this pattern as Medium and the trickiest bits are the pockets and panels. Everything else is the same as any sweatshirt and this came together very quickly. I do love Style Arc drafting. The sleeves are the perfect amount of slouchy and the collar lays so nicely. I think this company does a great job in making outstanding patterns, even if they are simple.

There is an option for topstitching on this pattern that they suggest doing with a twin needle. I think this would add a really nice, ready to wear finish if you made this in one color or wanted to jazz it up a bit. I opted out of the topstitching, just because I thought enough was going on with the contrast detailing.

My only complaint with this pattern is that it’s not quite perfect for me. I can’t decide if it should be longer (it looks longer in than style pictures?) or if it should be a touch shorter and hit at my waist. This fabric is very thick and I do think those pockets could get bulky, so watch out for that. I just didn’t want to sacrifice giving up the warmth of that fleece!

All in all, this is a basic sweatshirt with a twist that will get worn plenty this winter. While I’m not absolutely in love with it, I keep reaching for it again and again so that has to say something about its place in my closet! I would like to try it again and play around with the proportions just a bit.

I hope this review was helpful to you! Let me know if you need any more information in the comments.

Nikko Top and Dress by True Bias

For pattern reviews it is very helpful to have a person’s measurements! So before we begin, I am 5 foot 9 with a 32 inch bust, 29 inch waist, and 36 inch hips. I am pretty evenly proportioned but do find that my arms are longer than average! Happy to answer any fitting questions in reference to this pattern and my body should you have them- just leave me a comment!

I have my second review for the year for you today and it’s going to be the start of a turtle neck trend. I’ll be sewing up a few patterns that seem to be very popular among sewists and then comparing them all. If you have a tried and true turtleneck pattern, let me know and I will consider adding it to the list!

Today I’m going to talk about a pattern that I have sewn many times, the Nikko Top and Dress by True Bias Patterns.

True Bias is run by Kelli who turned her sewing blog from a hobby to a career when she went to the Fashion Institute of Technology to learn pattern making. She began creating and selling “modern, urban patterns for women, and then added age appropriate children’s versions of the same patterns.”

True Bias patterns are very popular among sewists and I think it’s because they are incredibly wearable. Kelli has a great eye and will release a pattern that then becomes a huge trend. I think her Hudson joggers were out in the world right before joggers took over, and now it is a staple in most people’s wardrobe.

I have made quite a few True Bias patterns and her men’s and children’s Hudson pants are ones I make again and again for my husband and kids. The Nikko is probably one of most made patterns and I have sewn 4 versions that get pretty constant wear.

It is also worth mentioning that True Bias has a very active blog and Instagram with a lot of helpful hints, hacks, and tutorials. Should you have any issues with your make, I would feel fairly confident in saying that you could get assistance from Kelli or her team very easily.

The website describes the pattern as such, “The Nikko pattern includes four views, all with a simple and stylish mock turtleneck. Views A and B are tops with a fitted silhouette that is perfect to pair with a high waisted bottom like the Lander pattern. Views C and D are straighter through the waist and hip, extending to the ankle, with knee-length side slits to complete the dress. Views A and C are both sleeveless, cut to resemble a racerback, but with enough coverage to wear a regular bra. Views B and D have long fitted sleeves that reach the wrist.”

I would like to note that all the versions are separate pattern pieces, which I think is important when considering a version of a top is a dress. There is intentional shaping in the separate patterns that give them each a great fit and the lines on the sleeveless version are a bit different making it truly a separate pattern than the one with sleeves.

The sizing on the Nikko has recently been extended and runs from a 0-18 which is a 32-44.5″ bust and 35-46.5″ hip drafted for a C cup and a 14-30 range which is a 41.5-57.5″ bust and 43.5-59.5″ hip drafted for a D cup.

It is described as being advanced beginner level and a lot of the reviews I found mentioned that it was a first time sewing with knits for many people. The instructions are clear with illustrations for just about every step. It seemed that all those beginner reviews were very happy with their finished make. I appreciated that you use clear elastic in the shoulder seam and I like the finishes for the sleeveless and the split hems of the dress.

The fabric required for the Nikko is “Medium weight knit fabric with an approximate 75% stretch such as rib knit, sweater knit, bamboo knit, or stretch velvet.” My favorite and most used fabric is bamboo rib knit. It is soft and drapey and I love how it looks sewn up as this pattern!

What I like most about the Nikko Top and Dress is that it is truly a staple of my wardrobe. I use turtlenecks for laying throughout the winter and love the dress version. Kelli has turned what could be very boring make into something I enjoy and reach for again and again.

I have 4 versions that I wear on heavy rotation! In fact, putting this post together I realized I would like more colors of this pattern and definitely want to try a sleeveless top in the spring. I have made a straight size 6 in all of these versions with no adjustments.

First I have the sleeveless dress version in a bamboo rib knit that I made near the beginning of 2020. I love this dress, I wasn’t sure when I first made it how wearable it would be, but I reach for it all the time. Great with boots and a chunky sweater on top for every day wear.

After I made the dress, I used what I had left to sew a long sleeve top. This top takes me just under a yard of fabric to make and I love being able to use every last bit of gorgeous fabric.

Same top, but it blue! I bought this fabric in a remnant sale and had just enough for another long sleeve version.

Finally I have one of my most recent makes, the hack of the Nikko dress that I made for Christmas. In a thicker rib knit, this dress is incredibly comfortable. I just eye balled a neckline and added sleeves with a band, really because this is all the fabric I had, and I love how this one turned out.

I did try to whip up a new version before this post using a modal with a fleecy wrong side but I was not careful about the stretch and I can’t get this neckband over my head. I didn’t have time this weekend to fix this, but I’m going to do something about the neck. I think this will be such a warm and cozy top to have for the rest of the winter. I loved the color and the idea of not having a boring turtle neck when I got skiing.

This is a really popular pattern and you can find hashtags all over the place for it! I found the top, the dress, and the hacks hashtags really great places to see this pattern made up in all kinds of fabrics on a lot of different bodies. One perk of an older pattern is that you can really find great inspiration because so many people have already made it!

There were also a few great blog posts, here, here, here, here, and here. And here are all the blog posts on the True Bias site that have to do with the Nikko!

The only issues people seemed to have with this pattern was the fact that it is very close fitting, so be sure and check your measurements against the finished garment measurements to understand the negative ease. A few people had issues with wavy hems. In the instructions there are a few tips for how to deal with this! Otherwise it seemed like a simple make for most people and a great first time sewing with knits.

I hope this review is helpful and please let me know if you would like any more information. Would love to hear if you’ve made the Toaster Sweater and what you thought of your finished make!

Cozy Capsule/// The Verity Knit Top by Style Arc

For pattern reviews it is very helpful to have a person’s measurements! So before we begin, I am 5 foot 9 with a 32 inch bust, 29 inch waist, and 36 inch hips. I am pretty evenly proportioned but do find that my arms are longer than average! Happy to answer any fitting questions in reference to this pattern and my body should you have them- just leave me a comment!

I have the first piece of my cozy capsule to show you today! This was the last thing I made in 2021 and I’ve been wearing it pretty regularly these past couple of weeks, it definitely captures the ‘cozy’ spirit I was after.

This top is the Verity Knit Top by Style Arc Patterns. It is described as jumper style with an extended shoulder line and a square shape. It has a funnel neck with a channel for ribbon, slim line sleeves and a slightly scooped hemline with facing. It features top stitching, which I omitted due to the texture of the fabric I used.

The Verity comes in sizes 4-30 which is a finished bust measurement of 30″-67 3/4″. I made a straight size 6 with no adjustments. The only change I made to the pattern was to eliminate the channel in the neck and instead treat it as a more basic turtleneck. I did this partly because I didn’t have a cord to use that I liked, but also because I leaned into the less sporty appeal of this pattern and chose to have it look more like a traditional sweater.

Style Arc patterns can confuse people when it comes to what size you need to buy as they sell their patterns a little differently than other companies. You can buy individual sizes of patterns (know that you get the size above and below as well, just not all in one file so it is a little harder to grade). For their newer patterns you can usually buy multiple sizes at once, which is what I did with the AO file. I did this for ease of printing just as much as I did to have the multiple size range!

The fabric recommended is double knit, fine rib, sweater knit, rugby, and fleece . I used a sweater knit that I picked up at Joann when I was shopping for Halloween costume materials. It’s no longer available (actually! I saw it in store but cannot find it online), but this one is similar. It’s soft and light weight but still cozy and I love texture it has. Kind of a faux cable look. I also liked that it was a more cream color. I don’t wear a lot of white and I thought this was a nice warm color to have up by my face.

Style Arc describes this pattern as Easy/Medium and I agree. It is a basic sweater pattern, only 4 pieces, and I think the only tricky part would be adding the channel for the neck piece. Style Arc is known for having fairly sparse instructions but honestly I find them straightforward and just fine! There are illustrations for some trickier parts and the drafting is so well done that just going step by step I think a beginner would be able to work through the simpler patterns just fine.

There is a facing for this hem, which I thought was a nice finishing detail. This fabric could have easily been turned under and hemmed, but sometimes with knits and a slight curve, hems can look a little wonky or just look less professional. I think the facing makes sure it lays nicely and elevates the finishes a bit.

The thing I liked most about this design is how it plays with the sporty, athleisure trend and how it is oversized but still well proportioned. You are not swimming in fabric on this one! I like that you could make it look much more sporty or more like a sweater depending on the fabric you use. I always appreciate a pattern that is a classic shape but that you can make again and again and have it look like a different pattern.

I’m really happy with how my Verity turned out because it’s exactly what I wanted- a slightly oversized, cozy sweater! I plan to wear it with leggings around the house and it looks great with jeans and boots. The length makes it a little trickier to pair with my other pants, but I think it would look great with a straight leg ponte pant in the future.

There is a hashtag on Instagram for inspiration and I found two great reviews of the pattern here and here. I didn’t see any big issues with this pattern and didn’t notice any trends in the reviews I read!

I hope you found this review helpful, please let me know if you need any other information about this pattern.

Toaster Sweater by Sew House Seven Review

For pattern reviews it is very helpful to have a person’s measurements! So before we begin, I am 5 foot 9 with a 32 inch bust, 29 inch waist, and 36 inch hips. I am pretty evenly proportioned but do find that my arms are longer than average! Happy to answer any fitting questions in reference to this pattern and my body should you have them- just leave me a comment!

I’m starting my year of reviews with a pattern that I have made many times and is pretty beloved in the sewing community. Today I’m talking about the Toaster Sweater by Sew House Seven.

Sew House Seven describes their company as “an independent pattern company grown in the Pacific Northwest. Our focus is on creating beautiful sewing patterns that can be made up rather quickly and easily yet, appeal to sewists of all levels. The pattern instructions are very detailed and provide an opportunity to learn while sewing.  Most styles have a special design feature that make them unique.” Looking at their patterns on their website I think their design point of view is clear and I can attest to their detailed instructions having made the Toaster many times as well as a pair of Burnside Bibs (which I love!)

The Toaster sweater is a simple design with 2 different versions that are classic and chic. You could make either of these at any age and any time and they will current and cute. I should also say that they are both practical in the sense that (depending on your fabric!) they are warm! Finding warm tops that don’t swallow you or look like sweatshirts can be tough and I think this pattern walks the line of being fashionable and also practical.

There are two versions of this pattern and both come in the paper version and in a digital format, but if you would just prefer to buy one of them, they are also available as separate PDFs.

Version 1: “Is a closer fitting, semi-cropped sweatshirt/sweater. It works best when sewn in thick, stiff knits with some body to keep the neck standing upright. It features raglan sleeves, a wide waistband, a loose turtleneck, long cuffs and falls between the high and low hip. It’s great in a standard sweatshirt fleece (with stretch) however, it’s also extremely handsome in a sweater knit to dress it up a bit.”

Version 2:” Is an easy top/sweater that can be dressed up or down. It is somewhat fitted through the shoulders and sleeves and then swings out a bit at the underarms and hem. It features a semi-high-neck that takes its inspiration from funnel and boat necks. It also has mitered side vents with a hi-low hem that is 1” shorter in the front than the back. The front hem falls just below the high hip. Sew it in a boiled wool knit, a wool jersey or ponte for a more dressed up look. Sew it in a sweatshirt fleece (with stretch) or jersey knit for a more casual look.”

The sizing on the Toaster Sweater runs from a size XS-XXL which is a 31-47″ bust. For some of their newer patterns they now have a curvy size range but I don’t think it yet applies to this pattern. For all sizing info you can check out this helpful page on their website here! Their standard sizes are based on a size 8 that is 5’6″ to 5’7″ tall with a B/C cup size.

It is described as being beginner level and was one of the first patterns I ever made, maybe one of my first knit garments ever! The instructions are very clear and as there are only a few pattern pieces (3 for version 2, version one has added cuffs and a neck band but that’s it!) it is a very simple make. The pattern calls for knit fabric with at least 20% stretch.

What I like most about the Toaster Sweater is how wearable it is and how you can get totally different looks depending on the fabric you use. You can lean into the sweatshirt vibe or go for a chic sweater. I don’t remake a lot of patterns and this one I’ve made numerous times because each sweater is very different. And like I mentioned early, it’s also just very practical. It is warm and comfortable and in the winter those two things are really important to me!

I have made 5 versions, four to share with you today. The fifth was in a very drab fabric that I never wore so it recently got donated. All of these are size small with no modifications (save for the last one) and get worn regularly around here.

Here is my very first Toast Sweater #2 sewn up in a navy double knit that I have no idea where it’s from. I was so very proud of this make and still wear it all the time. It’s a simple top that can be worn with so many things, I reach for this all the time in the cooler months.

Toaster Sweater #1 is actually probably my favorite design of the two and this one is in a luxe rib knit from Stylemaker Fabric. I made this one last year for my fall capsule. Very cozy and I love that it’s a turtle neck but loose and not restricting (sometimes by the end of the day I get sick of having something around my neck!). I wear this one quite a bit and it’s made me fall in love with wearing the color green.

My third Toast Sweater is one I recently made for my fall capsule and made me fall back in love with this pattern. Sewn up in a striped ponte, I feel like this is such a classic top and goes with so many pieces in my wardrobe. It is thinner weight than the other two so I haven’t been reaching for it lately but I know it will be great in the spring.

Sew House Seven mentions that they want their designs to be a jumping off point and I can really see that with the Toaster. I have only done one hack, and it’s pretty simple, but there’s actually an entire hashtag devoted to it on Instagram!

My fourth Toaster Sweater is #2 and all I did was lengthen it. This is a sweater knit but the wrong side is fleecey, meaning this is the coziest dress I own. I made this years ago and still pull it out all the time when the weather gets colder. It’s great with tights and boots!

The Toaster Sweater has been around for a few years now so you can find a lot of great posts about it. There are hashtags for version #1 and version #2 on Instagram and I found some helpful blog posts from Beck at I sew Therefore I am, Erin at She Makes, Dani at Sewing and Cocktails , Chuleenan at C Sews , and Michelle at Stichin Camaro.

The biggest issue I’ve seen people have with this pattern is with the facing on version 2. With my two thicker knit versions I really have never noticed any curling up or been annoyed by the facing (essentially it’s just an elongated neckline pattern piece that you fold over and sew into the shoulder seams). However, for my version in the ponte I admit that it does bother me some. I’ve read that some people blind stitch the facing down, others just topstitch it, and some have even using a fusing. I haven’t made any adjustments to mine, but may go back and topstitch if I find it keeps me from wearing it this spring.

Also, be aware that this is a more cropped sweater and some people preferred to add length to their versions. I find the arms plenty long enough for me, but there were some notes that people needed length there too!

I hope this review is helpful and please let me know if you would like any more information. Would love to hear if you’ve made the Toaster Sweater and what you thought of your finished make!

Whit Reviews/// In a Haystack

Today I have a cool company to share with you and a discount code if it’s something you want to check out and try yourself! Kate from In A Haystack reached out to me about receiving a free monthly pack and talking about it here if I thought it was worth sharing. I’m not being compensated in any way and just generally think this is a unique business that some of my followers might be interested in!

What is In a Haystack?

In a Haystack is a digital sewing subscription created by researcher and sewing enthusiast, Kate. It’s a monthly collection of sewing curiosities and surprises sent straight to your inbox.

The packs are designed to inspire your makes, spark your curiosity, and introduce you to independent sewing businesses, wherever you are in the world.

There’s also an audio version of the pack for people who want or need to experience the pack in a different way.

What’s in the pack?

Every month, subscribers get a Haystack Pack straight to their email inbox. Packs are based on an intriguing theme and include a PDF sewing pattern (usually swappable), discount codes for independent fabric shops in Europe and North America, discounts for printing the pattern, interviews, stories, tips and tricks, plus more sewing knowledge and treats. There’s also a lovely online community of stitchers who are members of the pack.

This is really like subscribing to a magazine, it just happens to come in your email with clickable links and instant gratification. I enjoyed the interviews and tutorial in August’s subscription as well as the compilation of Instagram challenges. It seems kind of silly, but having the list of challenges with a link to all the hashtags was very cool and I had fun exploring new to me challenges and accounts.

I like that In a Haystack is a business that is really just connecting makers to smaller businesses and with other people that like sewing. It is an interesting concept and one that I think is worth being a part of.

If you want to learn more about In a Haystack, I will put all their links below. If you would like to try them out and receive 20% off your first month, use my code HAYSTACKWHIT

I would love to hear if you already subscribe to this service or if hearing about it made you try it out! Let me know your experience! And thank you Kate for thinking of me and letting me try out this very fun service.

Whit Reviews/// Just Patterns

I’m here today with my monthly pattern review! Every month I send an indie sewing pattern company a list of questions my readers helped me come up with and if they agree to answer, I buy a pattern and sew it up to share the whole process with you! Check out past reviews here!

This month I’m looking at Just Patterns. This French company makes chic but wearable clothes and I first learned about them when their newest pattern, the Claudia tank, was released fairly recently. Delphine is the owner of the company and she was delightful to interact with! Here are her answers to our questions!

What is your design background? When and why did you start making your own patterns?

I started sewing when I was in my teens. I was obsessed with the idea of recreating the garments that I couldn’t afford. However, unfortunately, at the time, I didn’t have the skills or access to the resources that would have allowed me to make my dream wardrobe come true. I realized that the resources that would enable me to create the garments I was dreaming of, were not commonly available to home sewers. For the next 20 years, in parallel to studying and working at my day job, I read books, took pattern making and draping classes at fashion schools in New York and Paris, participated in the online sewing community and sewed a lot.

In 2013, I started a sewing blog (sewing tidbits) and I launched Just Patterns in 2017 during my maternity leave. It was initially launched with a friend working in the fashion industry but we split and I now continue on my own. The reason I sew and release patterns (to create my dream wardrobe) never changed, although the actual clothes have changed a lot since I was 14!

Who do you design for? Who is your Target Audience?

My sewing patterns are meant for dressmakers who are passionate about fashion, luxury ready-to-wear, and love detail-oriented sewing projects.

What level of sewer do you design for?

I design patterns for sewists who already know the basics of sewing. While it was not the case initially (and I’m still in the process of updating 2 older patterns), I now provide detailed and illustrated step-by-step instructions.

I do believe in empowering makers to up their skills and that each project is an opportunity to improve one’s skills. All patterns have a Resource Page, where I curate a list of tutorials and resources from the online sewing community. I also add specific tutorials and blog posts for inspiration and complex steps.

What is your price point and why?
My price point has evolved a lot since I launched in 2017. My initial idea was releasing patterns with minimal instructions at a cheaper price than most indie patterns (between 3$ and 7$ US). But, I quickly realized that not that many people had time or interest to sew with minimal instructions and that they didn’t mind higher prices if it meant detailed instructions. My new patterns (and the older ones I updated) are translated in French and in English, they have step-by-step instructions, an improved size range, pattern testers and editors are compensated. They are currently priced between 10$ and 14$ depending on the complexity.

I write an annual report of my sales and the expenditures since year 1, so the evolution in my thinking and strategy are well documented. You can read the  2020 report here.

What is your size range? Why did you pick this range? What is the size, cupsize, and height that you design your block on?

My current size range is French 34 to 56 (bust 31 1/2 to 52 3/4 – 80cm to 134cm). The range is broken up into 2: size range 34-46 drafted for B/C cup and size range 46-56 for a DD cup. Both are drafted for a height of 5’5/1m65.

I’m French and I initially did not pay enough attention to the size range so I established 34-46 as it was the “standard”. That was a mistake and I started improving the size range in 2019. All my new patterns (3 in 2020) are published in the new size range. An older one was already updated (the Stephanie Skirt), one is completing its second round of testing (the Linda Wrap Dress) and my objective is to update the last one also in 2021.

Ideally I would like to go up to a size 60 (bust 57 1/2/ 146cm). But my development/fit size is a 50 and I do not have access to a fit model in the higher sizes, so I’m afraid I wouldn’t be able to guarantee the quality of the drafting. I do grade up at the request of customers.

Do you support Black Lives Matter? What are some ways that you are anti racist and inclusive in your company on a day to day basis?

I do support Black Lives Matter. I published a diversity commitment in June 2020 and I updated it recently to include elements on racism towards Asian people and cultural appropriation. It’s visible on my website and social media. This commitment includes ongoing and future actions in issues like representation, marketing, cultural appropriation and transparency. I report on it annually as part of my income report.

Is there anything else you would like people just discovering your company to know?

I love sewing and can talk about it for hours. I actually just launched a sewing column where people can submit their questions and I have a lot of fun answering them! 

But I’m also managing Just Patterns alone, doing everything from drafting, grading, photography, to updating the website and doing the accounting. In addition, I still freelance in my day job field and I raise a 4 year old. Sometimes I get overwhelmed and might not be able to respond to customers on time. Sorry!

I appreciate Delphine’s thoughts and all the time she took in letting us get to know her. I purchased two patterns from her and sewed them up as part of my Spring Capsule!

First, I wanted to try the Claudia Tank. Now I knew going in that this pattern might not be for me, I wasn’t sure about this shoulder pad trend! I made the straight size 38 out of this cotton jersey knit and the fit is great. I appreciate the finishings and details that are in such a simple pattern but I quickly learned, shoulder pads are not my thing. I already have broad shoulders and this silhouette draws a lot of attention to them! I removed them and am wearing it as a tank, but I don’t know that I would make this pattern again. I am glad I tried something a little trendier though and appreciate that it was an affordable pattern that made the risk really low and worth taking!

The second pattern I made was the Tyra Tank and I was confident that no matter what, I liked this style of oversized t-shirt. I used the same cotton jersey but in a different color and again made a straight size 38. Both of these patterns suggest ribbing for the neck band but I just used self fabric and they turned out great. I did change up the neck of the Tyra because after sewing it I wished it was a little lower. Not a big deal and I would absolutely make this again. I’ve even seen people on Instagram talking about turning it into a dress and I think that would be an easy and fantastic hack!

I really enjoyed working with these patterns. There are detailed instructions for every step, the prices are incredibly reasonable considering all the extra resources provided, and I love clothes that are simple and beautiful with wonderful extra details added in!

Whit’s Reviews/// Style Sew Me Patterns

I’m here with this month’s Pattern Company Review, Style Sew Me Patterns!

I want to start by saying that even with a crazy month, Style Sew Me is a sponsor for the #BHMPatternDesigners challenge and Eryn the designer got hit by the horrible storm in Texas last week, Eryn delivered these answers to me right when she said she would. I’m actually the one that’s a few days late! I mention this because I have no doubts in saying that the customer service at this company will be top notch and if you reach out with any questions, Eryn is going to get them answered for you!

I had Style Sew Me on my long list of companies to review and when I saw her latest release with the Giselle Dress they got bumped right to the top. I love this dress! It is flirty and feminine and unlike anything I’ve seen out there. I wanted to make a Valentine’s dress and I told my husband the moment it is safe to go out for a date night, this is what I’m wearing.

I ordered a Crepe Leopard print from Melanated Fabrics (it’s out of stock but they have a lot of great prints!) and I liked the pink and orange together and that it kind of looked like lipstick kisses all over, fitting with my romantic theme. It was a pain and a half to sew with, but I think the end result is worth it!

I made a size medium after looking at the finished garment measurements and think the fit is pretty perfect. I didn’t make any alterations and the instructions are clear and easy to follow. I signed up for their newsletter as well and it seems like they offer a lot of great support. Techniques and tips, workshops, and a lot of inspiration to help you get a great finish with your makes.

After sewing a lot of more every day, meant to go with everything pieces, I am absolutely in love with this dress. It’s a statement and I feel fantastic in it! While I was prepping for this review I also picked up the Nikki Blazer and the Erin Oversized Dress. Check out all their patterns. I love the fun details and thought that go into these designs.

Here are the questions you guys helped me come up with and Eryn’s answers!

What is your design background? I am a self-taught designer. I draw inspiration from trends, body silhouettes, and the lifestyle around my ideal customer. 


When and why did you start making your own patterns? I began designing my own patterns in 2016 after a failed attempt at opening a clothing boutique. After the online boutique I partnered with went out of business and did not tell me, I was left with designs that I decided to convert into sewing patterns. 


Who do you design for? Who is your target audience? I design for the fashionable woman on the go who loves a touch of flair with her contemporary pieces. She is extroverted and her calendar is usually booked with family, friends, and organizational events. She enjoys being femine and carving out time in her day to take care of herself – even in the smallest way. 


What level of sewer do you design for? I design for the intermediate sewer, but provide supporting content that empowers a confident beginner to sew my patterns. 


What is your size range? My size range is XS-3XL, which is approximately a 0-26 in US sizing. Our size chart is available on every pattern’s product page of our website.


Why did you pick this range? I chose those size range to cover most standard and plus sizes. 


What is the size, cupsize, and height that you design your block on? Our patterns are drafted for 5’7″ height, C cup, and a 8 inch hip to waist difference. In combination with size, we draft for curvier bodies with a bigger bust-waist-hip ratio.


Do you support Black Lives Matter? As a black woman owned company, Style Sew Me fully supports the pursuit of equal and fair treatment of black people. 


What are some ways that you are anti racist and inclusive in your company on a day to day basis? 
I am blessed to have a community of men and women all over the world and I use my platform to educate and empower without alienating. I use my platform to share content supporting inclusivity and diversity in many forms of conversations, including BLM, racial injustices, and simply sharing and uplifting the content from makers of all shades and sizes throughout the creative community. In our small Team Style Sew Me, we are made up of a variety of ethnicities and are located in different parts of the world. Any team member that comes on board with me, especially those who interact with our customers, are educated on conversations, terms, and events that shape the way we speak to our customers. 

I love it! Have you ever sewn a Style Sew Me pattern? I hope you’ll go check them out and have a look around if not because I think this is a fantastic company and one to have on your radar.

If you like these reviews I’ve started a Krofi account where you can leave a small tip that will go towards future reviews. I know it is a difficult time for a lot of people right now and am happy to do these reviews, but appreciate any support, whether through that account or just by sharing my reviews with anyone else you might think would like them!

I also have a Youtube video with this review if you would like to check it out!

Whit’s Reviews/// 5 out of 4 Patterns

I have my first pattern company review of the year and it’s a good one! A few people recommended I look at 5 out of 4 patterns, and I’m so glad I did. At first glance I thought, ok, lots of basic knit patterns for the whole family. But upon closer inspection I realized that each pattern is full of options and that these basics are fantastic building blocks for your or your kids’ or your partners’ wardrobe.

I decided to sew the Candy leggings (these also can be made into yoga pants) out of this loud tie dye knit I picked up from Fabric.com. I made the size small and the fit is pretty perfect. I decided to make the Taylor Racerback tank to go with the leggings so I could have a little lime green party outfit. This is also the size small and I’m debating on where I want to hem it. At first I thought it was too long, but after wearing it I kind of like it. I’m going to actually work out in it before I make a decision.

What impressed me with making these patterns was the amount of options for each pattern. The leggings have multiple waistband options, options for a gusset or half gusset, as well as two different options for color blocking or not. The tank can have a gathered back piece, can be an aline dress or a swingy dress. The instructions are fantastic and really clear to navigate with all the options (sometimes I think this isn’t done well with companies and all the options can get confusing). They have an active Youtube channel with sew alongs, a Facebook group, and a membership to help support you. All of that to say I think there is a lot of value in these patterns and I loved that I could get bundles of both of these patterns and will be making my daughter both of these patterns soon.

Ok, so I loved so much about my experience sewing these patterns, but what is the company like? I’m so happy to share Jessica’s answers to our community questions and I think you will love her answers as much as I do. Please enjoy!

What is your design background? When and why did you start making your own patterns?

I am self-taught. I started designing patterns in 2015.  At the time, I was breastfeeding twins and there were very few breastfeeding-friendly patterns on the market. So, my first pattern was the Knot Your Average Shirt and Dress.  I also have a few personal fit issues and loathe shopping, so designing my own clothes was a win-win.  I got to design patterns I wanted to see in the world, but the act of sewing helped calm my anxiety. 

Who do you design for? Who is your Target Audience?

I am very much the girl next door and I design for the practical family.  We may not be flashy, but I love being able to make my children comfortable clothes that fit them.  For myself, I really like the sporty-relaxed look, so I aim for crossover pieces that can be anything from a sports bra to swimsuit to a summer dress.  (Those are my favorite!)

What level of sewer do you design for?

5oo4 has patterns for every level of sewist. I am passionate about helping sewists improve their sewing and encouraging them to sew outside of their comfort zone.  We try and create an experience where they are comfortable pushing their skills to the next level.  We do this through a combination of a Basics line that focuses on new sewists and then encouraging them to try new things through sew-alongs, video tutorials, and our membership, the 5oo4 Family, is the ultimate place for growth. 

What is your price point and why?

For the first time in 6 years, we raised our prices this January to $12 per pattern (and $10 for our Basics line).  All of our patterns include projector files and layers, plus TONS of options.  Most of our women’s patterns include FBA bodices (and we’re updating the ones that don’t) and we have a lot of patterns with both maternity and nursing options included.  We do not offer add-on packs, we pack our patterns with tons of options instead!

What is your size range? Why did you pick this range? What is the size, cupsize, and height that you design your block on? Do you have plans on expanding or changing this range anytime soon?

Our women’s size range is XXS – 5XL. Our main block is a size medium and our plus size block is a size 3XL. We use a B-cup for our regular bodices and a D-cup across all sizes for our FBA bodices. As for height- the easy answer is to say 5’7″, but we really push our sewists to understand that one person’s 5’7″ is NOT the same as another person’s, so please don’t focus on height. We have an excellent resource on our blog about why we educate sewists in this area.  Our men’s size range is XS – 6XL.  Our kids’ size range is 0-3months – 14. We aim to be as inclusive as possible and are working to update our older patterns (that stop at 3XL). 

Do you support Black Lives Matter? What are some ways that you are anti-racist and inclusive in your company on a day to day basis?

Yes, I support Black Lives Matter. I am vocal in my support. As a company, we monitor and deal with hate speech and/or racist comments. We have an open dialogue in our groups and encourage education.

Is there anything else you would like people just discovering your company to know?

We are also supportive of the LGBTQ+ community and welcome testers to test any product they would like to wear. We do not aim to exclude any portion of the community. 

We are hoping to diversify our testing pool this year. If you or a loved one would like to be a part of our tester pool, we welcome inquiries at info@5outof4.com.  

Pretty great right? Go check out 5 out of 4 patterns. There are pictures of all their patterns on all types of people, sizes, ages, I just love it. And after sewing two of their patterns, I can honestly say I love this company too! If you are wanting to add some great knits to you or your kids’ or your partners’ closet, start with them. 5 out of 4 patterns gets the Whit Makes seal of approval!

Whit’s Reviews///The Ilford Jacket

I am back with another Pattern Company review (check out my past one’s here!) and I am so excited to share this company.

Friday Pattern Company is a fairly popular indie sewing company, you’ve most likely at least heard of their patterns like the Wilder Gown and maybe you’ve sewn up a few of their patterns.

I really wanted to highlight this company after listening to Chelsea, the owner, talk about it on this episode of Love to Sew. I highly recommend giving it a listen! I found Chelsea to be so inspiring, on so many levels, but particularly on how she set up her business. From the get go she decided to make sure she had giving back built in to her business plan. Instead of saying, ‘when I make x amount of sales’ she immediately just took 5% off of the profits from each pattern and gave them to charity. I LOVE this. From the word go she decided to make her work about something bigger than herself. It makes me want to support this company, but it also makes me look at my life and see where I can build in giving back.

I also love how diverse her marketing is. From gender nuetral patterns, to showing different sizes, abilities, and races in all their marketing, Friday Pattern Company makes it clear that their designs are for everyone. I love that and I love that they are actively trying to make their sizing even more inclusive.

Here are the questions my readers helped me come up with and Chelsea’s answers to them. To see my thoughts on the specific pattern the Ilford Jacket, check out my youtube video here!

What is your design background? When and why did you start making your own patterns?I have been sewing since I was a child and went to school for fashion design. I always knew that the fashion industry wasn’t really for me and  in 2017 I started Friday Pattern Company. 


Who do you design for? Who is your Target Audience?I don’t really have a target audience as I hope that anyone who feels inspired by my designs feels welcome to sew them! I love that I have a very diverse customer base. 


What level of sewer do you design for? I always keep the beginner sewist in mind when I design. I love designing things that are accessible for someone who is just getting started. A lot of my designs are also somewhat modular and hackable so that more experienced sewists can use them as a jumping off point.

 
What is your price point and why?My PDF patterns range from $12-16 and my printed patterns range from $18-20. This is in line with the industry standard and the price that I need to charge to support myself and my business along with the charities that the patterns benefit.


What is your size range? Why did you pick this range? What is the size, cupsize, and height that you design your block on?I am in the process of updating my size range. When I first started Friday, my sizing was XS-XXL (up to 46” bust). Once the company grew I added more sizes up to 4X (up to 54” bust). And then I felt that that wasn’t a large enough size range so I am now bringing all of my patterns up to 7X (up to 60” bust). Different patterns have different additional sizing options. Some have multiple lengths, some have multiple cup sizes. The height that my block is built on is 5’6”.


Do you support Black Lives Matter? What are some ways that you are anti racist and inclusive in your company on a day to day basis?I do support Black Lives Matter. 5% of the proceeds from all of my patterns go to charity with each pattern benefitting a different charity. Most benefit charities that support marginalized communities like the ACLU, the Trevor Project, the Loveland Foundation, RAICES, and more. Beyond that I make sure that all of my marketing and social media reflects the inclusivity and diversity that is at the heart of Friday Pattern Company. 


Is there anything else you would like people just discovering your company to know?Friday Patterns are designed to be fun. I believe strongly in the transformative power of the joy that comes with learning to sew your own clothing. If you’re sewing with a Friday pattern I want you to have fun and feel inspired to express yourself! 

Thank you Chelsea for taking part in this series! I knew going in that Friday Pattern Company patterns were worth spending your time and money on, but I hope this post proved it. I can’t wait to see what this company does in the years to come!

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