THE SEWING DIVAS sewing, design, fashion

August 8, 2006

Divas’ Top 3 Patterns for Fall 06

Filed under: Pattern Reviews — thesewingdivas @ 2:19 pm

The Divas have all been looking forward to escaping the heat, and what better way to think cool thoughts than to start planning a fall wardrobe. Toward that end, we have all been laboring to find our “Top 3”. Read on, and see what each Diva is using for inspiration!

Georgene says:
Hard to narrow down my picks to three. There are a lot of great patterns out there this season. The pattern company gods must have deigned to listen to the sewing supplicants looking for fashion, and fast!
I know this Threads’ trenchcoat from Simplicity is going to be at the top of quite a few lists. I love the fact that you get both single and double breasted versions in the envelope. And I know right where to go to get my leather buttons and leather covered buckle to match if I want to do a classic Burberry style version. Since its 110 in the shade right now, I’m thinking of the yards and yards of waterproofed black crinkle tulle from Japan in my stash, but I’m sure there are plenty of other candidates for this classic pattern. Even my DD who never indicates any desire to sew has decided that she wants to make a cropped black taffeta trench!

Simplicity 4044 is a home run for me – a reprint of a vintage pattern that had THE Hepburn pant I have been lusting after for years. I have the Folkwear Hollywood pant, but somehow it doesnt quite make it. Will this be the one? And the gently flared skirt in this wardrobe pattern looks like it could be used either bias or straight grain. The jacket is a gem as well,I have at least 3 fabrics in the stash that would work for this immediately. I look forward to studying the instructions, and checking out the pattern pieces. I just hope that Simplicity hasn’t ‘improved’ the pattern when they re-issued it.

Vogue 8280 is the fast track to making your version of the Roland Mouret dress that knocked everyone’s socks off recently. I’d go back and revisit some of the original photos of his dress and probably re-draft the sleeves. Or maybe not. I do know that I have been looking for a killer sheath dress pattern for quite some time now. I wonder if the skirt is really pegged like that? Well, that’s easy enough to fix if its not. I have the perfect mini Glen plaid in the stash with an embroidered flower meandering over it. I was going to make a jacket out of it, but this pattern opportunity has convinced me to give it up. And I know who to call to get my covered belt and buckle made! This could be so hot in black lace over a nude lining as well – I think I would make the long sleeve sweetheart neckline view with the pleated hem for that, maybe change the pleats to a circular flare. Change to a button front with covered buttons, add a grosgrain belt? There are lots of ways to go with this. One could even convert to a camisole top fairly easily – just ditch the pattern piece at the front armhole, cut the back straight across and add straps.

I love the Simplicity Retro pattern 4044 with a great Katherine Hepburn pant. The skirt looks like it could be either straight grain or cut on the bias, and I have at least 3 fabrics in the stash that will work for the jacket. I’m looking forward to studying the instructions and looking over the pattern pieces. I just hope that Simplicity didn’t ‘improve’ the pattern when they re-issued it.

I’m torn, however, since I can only choose the top 3 patterns for Fall, if I shouldn’t just go for Vogue 2922, the Guy Laroche trench jacket with the wide legged pant, and sort of kill 2 birds with 1 stone. I think I’ll stick with the 2 Simplicities, though, as the greater number of options for the trench and the hope of a real vintage fit seems a better choice.

Phyllis says:
This Fall I’m into the updated retro look as well, and my picks are in a similar vein as Georgene’s. Vogue 2912 is a trio of Anna Sui tops, and they really have a nice updated retro feel. View A, the sleeveless tank that buttons up the back, is already on my list – it will be in beige silk charumeuase with the neck tie and armsyce in black silk charmeuse.

Another winner for me is Simplicity 4045, an emsemble with a good variety of garments. The gathered round neck top/dress is a style I’ve been seeing in stores.

McCall’s 5189 is a funky jacket with shirring at the shoulders – there are lots of fun embellishment possibilities with this one. You could do the shirring as smocking, or you could add beads to the smocking or shirring – it’s a great jumping off point. Go to the McCall’s web site for finished-version photo on their rotisserie – the drawing doesn’t really showcase the style.

Gigi says:
There are so many interesting new fall patterns that it was really difficult for me to narrow it down to three! I too feel that the Simplicity Threads’ trenchcoat is a must-have this season. I especially like the single-breasted version as a jacket substitute over pants and a top. Since I live in south Florida and haven’t much need for a coat, I intend to make an unlined version out of a beautiful red 4-ply silk that I recently purchased from Metro Textiles in NYC. I will bind all of the seams with a Hong Kong finish in a contrasting color for a little surprise inside. With a quick change of buttons, this could work as an evening coat as well.

I have also fallen in love with Vogue 2920, the Donna Karan suit worn by Meryl Streep in The Devil Wears Prada. It is unusual and elegant at the same time and would be suitable for many occasions. I will allow the style to do all of the speaking and choose a quiet fabric like black wool crepe. Being short, I am on the fence about the dramatic fabric flower corsage – I may have to scale it down or eliminate it altogether.

My final choice is Hot Patterns’ Weekender Sunshine Tops. I do a lot of 2-piece dressing so I’m always on the lookout for nice top patterns to add to my collection. I can see making several with short sleeves or sleeveless, both with and without the hip band. I have a nice stash of rayon/lycra jerseys that have the perfect drape for this style. For evening, I envision a sleeveless version in black matte jersey with a jeweled neckband and faux waist tie a la Hot Patterns’ It’s A Wrap.

MaryBeth says:
Versatility! I’m heartset on extending the existing wardrobe into fall and Simplicity 4070 looks to be a quick and easy way to turn shirts and pants into business casual. This pattern is rated “easy” and has no pockets (I’ll add those) so it should sew up quickly. You can make it “fem” in an elegant brocade. Make sure there is enough ease though out and that the seams are well finished so no stress will result in fraying and early demise of your new vest. Fancy weaves such as brocade are known for fraying. A tiny zigzag stitched right next to the stitching line will help to deter slippage.

I am focused (sorry, can’t bring myself to use the au courant “I’m all about…”) on the Menswear trend and will use this pattern with a worsted pinstripe, denim and at least one cotton print so that there will be many options for mixing and matching with existing pieces. Made up in different fabrics and with different neckline versions your summer blouses and shirts will take have a new life in the Fall section of your closet.

Versatility is abundant in Vogue 2925. This pattern has 4 fabulous pieces not immediately dazzling from the pattern photos and line drawings. I had to go visit this pattern in the store to truly appreciate it. There is a close fitting peplum jacket with french darts. You can use checks or houndstooth and the french darts will make a playful but subtle change in direction that doesn’t scream “Look at my bust!” the way a side bust dart will often do. The pattern envelope helpfully gives the lower edge width dimension for the peplum so you can make your size selection more easily.

The capped sleeved top for moderate stetch knits has extensions from the back that form the shoulder and attach to the front bodice in lovely gathers. Silk jersey is one of the recommended fabrics (yay!). Silk is so versatile. It is able to conform to ambiant tempertures and comfortable in many environments. The pattern continues the “soft gathers” theme at the side rather than utilizing bust darts. To subvert an election year phrase: “I approve this pattern” for the more busty figure that requires but doesn’t want a side dart. I can hardly wait to make this top.

And the skirt: ah, the skirt! It has 3 pieces but 7 seams so there is plenty of opportunity for fitting that lovely curve that extends from the side hip to the center front and back panels. Each pattern piece is flared for a great shape that falls from the lower hip.

The pants are straight legged with directions for finishing the waist with a grosgrain ribbon (although the directions call it a “grossgrain” ribbon. Don’t be fooled!) The leg style on this pant can be modified to fit your current taste.

My final “versatile” pick is Vogue 8301. Again I’ve picked a pattern with a waist-length-extending, high-hip-covering peplum. This pattern envelope gives only the waist width measurement, excluding the peplum, but I love the variety of styles available: from western-style shield vest to a military uniform with a pointed vee at the front closure. I think this would be so fun in a red wool with gold buttons. Unfortunately the sizing range for the pattern only goes up to Vogue 18 and I will have to make alterations to the peplum but the style lines draw the eye up towards the face and shoulders. It is an unlined jacket or vest with great possibilities for upping the “authority quotient” in your transition wardrobe.

It’s going to be a fun fall! I could go on and on but I’ve got some sewing to do.

Ann says:
Oy! So many to choose. I feel like saying “me too” to all the choices my fellow Divas have made. But I can’t do that, so…
First up on my list for a fall skirt is Butterick 4859. I love the fluid lines of this skirt, and the contrast insets give great options for fabric combinations. I think I would make this in wool crepe with contrast slotted seams, maybe a black wool crepe/pink silk seams for a YSL inspired look. Kashi at Metro has some great silk crepes that would make a beautiful version. I also have matte jersey that would work up spectacularly. Ah, the possibilities are endess with this skirt.

While I adore the trench coat from Threads (in fact, I already own the pattern thanks to a well-timed sale at JoAnn), I think I may first make up a car coat from Vogue 8307. This is the knockoff of an Armani design that was all over the fashion press two seasons back. I love the asymmetrical collar. I have a beautiful camel hair fabric that would look quite spectacular made up into this. And I think Vogue patterns will be on sale at JoAnn next weekend.

Last but not least, I have a whole lot of fabric in my stash that is waiting to be made up into pants. As you all know, I really like the way HotPatterns’ pants fit me. They have come out with some new patterns, the Weekender collection. I think I’ll make these up using some great stretch cotton stripe, as well as some lovely wools. I like the fact that they are cut to just below the waist. And while I probably won’t take advantage of the shorts pattern for fall (gets too chilly here in Boston to wear shorts after about September), the long pants and the cropped pants look like they would make good fall-into-winter wear.

Ah, so many other patterns that would work well too, and I haven’t even begun to think about tops. Well, back to the sewing room!


  1. Great pattern choices fellow Divas. Since I am not yet in the mood for planning a fall and winter wardrobe I skipped . I am looking forward to see what you all accomplish with those patterns and fabric suggestions, which all sounds divine.

    Comment by Els — August 7, 2006 @ 1:12 pm

  2. mmh, I love nearly all of your patterns…. sigh… sew many patterns sew little time 🙂
    Lets see, what I can make out of my stash 🙂

    Comment by Tini — August 7, 2006 @ 1:22 pm

  3. This is great! Y’all want to do this quarterly? A lot of us would sure appreciate it. Muchisimas gracias!!

    Comment by Nina — August 7, 2006 @ 2:38 pm

  4. Thanks for all of the great reviews! Most of these are already on my To-Sew list! I had kind of perused over Simplicity 4045, I saw it in the Hancock Fabrics Fall Sale advertisement. I was wondering what would be the most flattering way to wear the little dress. I was thinking of accessorizing it with a wide belt.

    Comment by Erica B. — August 7, 2006 @ 4:58 pm

  5. Sigh. More pattern numbers on sticky notes adorn my monitor. Soon it will look like the picture is framed by post-its…

    Seriously, thanks for looking through everything to pick your faves! (I know it’s a tough job… 😉 ) You pointed out some that I’d missed.

    Comment by Lisa Laree — August 8, 2006 @ 7:34 am

  6. Thanks for the fun list! There are some that I hadn’t really noticed. There seems to be more cute patterns than usual this season. Lucky for us, I guess!

    Comment by jemgirlca — August 8, 2006 @ 8:27 am

  7. Ah ladies, what wonderful selections! Thanks for the research and fabric suggestions. I’m off to the store for several of these patterns.

    Comment by Cindy — August 8, 2006 @ 8:48 am

  8. How fun! Thanks for sharing your pattern favorites.

    Comment by Kelly — August 8, 2006 @ 1:30 pm

  9. Yeah! I’ve had some of these on my list, too! I’m picking up Vogues 8301 and 2925 on Friday when they go on sale at Joann’s!

    Comment by SBanks — August 8, 2006 @ 2:04 pm

  10. Georgene – you mentioned you’ve got someone in mind to make the belt. Who would that be? One inquiring mind wants to know.

    Comment by the_sewist — August 10, 2006 @ 5:31 am

  11. Georgene –

    I was wondering who you would get to make the covered belt and buckle – so I can look for a similar service here in Austin TX. Thanks!

    Comment by Julia — August 23, 2006 @ 9:01 am

  12. Hi there,

    Great site! I am new to sewing and created many cute and funky things for my partner and son but when it comes to sewing for me, it is tough! I was hoping you could post something on your site about making frills (not sure if that’s what they are called).

    I am making a jacket and would like a ra ra style frill starting at the back waist and going down to under my bottom. It’s not really a frill as such but layers of 3 inch or so wide wavy strips. I have looked in many pattern books but can’t find anything similar to what I’m looking for!

    I have a skirt with this extra section at the back also but unless I pull it apart, I can’t figure out how the material is cut to achieve it… maybe I should unpick it!

    Well anyway, I am grateful I have found this site at the start of my sewing journery… Thank YOU!


    Comment by Cassandra — September 27, 2008 @ 7:53 am

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