Pattern Reviews

I thought it was about time I listed most of my pattern reviews in one place so that you can find them more easily. I’ve included virtually everything that isn’t self-drafted or hacked significantly, the most recent will be at the top and there’s a brief description here of each pattern.

The last pattern I’ve written up in 2022 is the Homer and Howells Ingrid dress which I made as Backstitch Ambassador, I love it’s sunny colour in the depths of a miserable English winter.

In autumn 2022 I got on a bit of a roll with writing up my reviews so there are two new ones for you. They are the Portobello trousers by Nina Lee and trying out a Simplicity pdf, the Robe Jacket

I also got round to publishing my thoughts on the Asymmetric Gather Dress by The Maker’s Atelier which I actually sewed in summer 2021 as a guest reviewer in Simply Sewing magazine.

Before that I made the Vogue 8499 trousers-they weren’t without a few fitting issues!

In January 2022 I wrote a comprehensive review of the Ellsworth shirt from Merchant and Mills, concentrating specifically on the placket opening. You can read it here, there are lots of photos which I hope will make it clearer.

I finally sewed my first jumpsuit using the Sew Me Something Cressida pattern and I explain why it took me so long (nearly 40 years long!) to get around to it in this blog post.

Autumn 2021 saw me make a Merchant and Mills Fielder top for the first time. The review is here and includes how I finished the neck using wide elastic.

I did a spot of recycling using a summer dress that I rarely wore to sew up a Sewing Revival Kingfisher top.

I made a couple of The Sewing Revival Fantail tops in the early summer, one to try out the pattern in stash fabric and then another variation using the jersey hem finish.

In early March Trend patterns invited me to try one of their new shirt patterns which are also available as a kit which includes the fabric and buttons.

The Trend Box pleat shirt TPCSH2, I’m wearing the Ash jeans by Megan Nielsen

My first blogged make of 2021 was the Thread Theory Carmanah sweatshirt for men as part of my Lamazi fabric review, you can read the review here.

The Carmanah sweatshirt by Thread Theory

My last make of 2020 was the Trend Patterns Utility Trousers TPC12, I made one pair during the autumn where the fit wasn’t quite right but still perfectly wearable, and then a second pair between Christmas and New Year where I made a few alterations.

TPC12 Trend utility trousers

I reused the Maven Somerset Top pattern for this Lamazi blogger make in the lead up to Christmas.

I had a lot of fun making myself a showerproof jacket during the autumn, partly self-drafted and partly using a vintage pattern.

This beautiful fabric was from Selvedge and Bolts

This is a review of McCalls 7470 which I used for my Prada-inspired shirt dress.

Recently I wrote about the Made My Wardrobe Amaya shirt here.

The most recent are two Trend patterns, the Bias T-dress TPC26 and the Square dress

The Sidewinder Pants are by New Zealand-based The Sewing Revival who I discovered as a result of the first SewOver50 challenge last year. I’ve made two pairs so far.

I tested the Alice & Co Regatta dress last summer, it’s a feminine button-back dress with tie shoulders. It has a slightly retro vibe.

Another Trend pattern, the Frilled Hem Top came before that, the first version was in cotton lawn I picked up at a swap and then I made a slightly more glam version for our cruise in January 2020.

The Bellbird Top by The Sewing Revival is a very simple T shape with elasticated cuffs, I’ve made a version in some black and chiffon chiffon and another in an almost-seersucker cotton.

I’ve made three versions of the Maven French Dart Shift, it’s such a lovely shape with several sleeve variations-although I’ve made the bell-shaped long sleeve on all of mine so far. I particularly like the roll collar but it looks equally good without a collar at all. I wrote a separate review using fabric provided for me by Sew Me Sunshine.

I helped test the Tilly and the Buttons Eden coat which was released in early 2019. I made mine in a felted wool and it’s been a really useful addition to my winter wardrobe as I’ve had a lot of use from it.

I love the Heron dress by The Sewing Revival, in fact I’ve made four variations of it! The first two are ‘unaltered’ dresses, the third is a blouse in Italian cotton lawn which is one of my favourites, and for the most recent I shortened the length of the bodice to about hip level then added a longer gathered skirt to the bottom.

The Kinetic Tee is a long-sleeved top by Fehrtrade and features some unusual slashed seams and ‘twisted’ sleeves. It’s a sporty top, although I used a wool jersey for mine.

The first Trend pattern I ever made is the Asymmetric dress and I’ve made two versions of it. It’s a sleeveless dress but I’ve added sleeves both times to mine. The first version was in a very cheap crepe from a local market which worked beautifully, and the second was a bit posher in a brocade.

Tilly and the Buttons Nora top has gone on to be one of my go-to tops on colder days. I made the first one in a nice loop-back jersey from Guthrie Ghani I misjudged the length of the front and cut it off too short but I get around that by wearing my Maker’s Atelier Holiday shirt underneath. My absolute favourite is the one I made in Liberty sweatshirting from Fabrics Galore. I gave it a funnel neck and roll back cuffs, it’s so cosy when it’s chilly. The third version I hacked the sleeves to gather them into a long cuff.

The Burda 6914 is a useful pattern for dress or top with a simple pleat front. I’ve used it a number of times with my own variations each time.

The Isca dress by Marilla Walker is two patterns in one which are quite different to each other. I’ve made the asymmetric ‘wrap’ front one in soft chambray and it’s still one of my favourite dresses, it’s so comfortable but slightly unusual.

I needed a dress for a wedding in the summer of 2018 so, after a lot of deliberation, I settled on Vogue 9251. I made an initial version in a cheap viscose to check the fit etc before I made the ‘real’ thing. It was only an inexpensive polyester crepe de chine from the Goldhawk Road but I was very happy with the finished result. (it was a scorcher that summer, look at the state of my grass!)

The Camber Set by Merchant and Mills has become a wardrobe staple for many because it is so versatile. I’ve used the top pattern at least 6 times (including a Christmas novelty one!) it’s a woven T-shirt really. The clever binding and yoke finish is so neat, and it’s great as a stashbuster too with plenty of scope to put your own mark on it.

I tested the Ash jeans for Megan Nielsen patterns and since making them over two years ago I have worn and worn them, they have definitely been my favourites! They fitted me perfectly and the only adjustments I made was to the leg width and length. I’m wearing them in the photo above with the Christmas Camber top.

As well as several variations of the Holiday Shirt from The Maker’s Atelier I’ve also made the hooded top version. It’s been a useful wardrobe staple in a navy blue ‘pique-type’ knit.

Over two years ago I was invited to try a Germany-based pattern brand called Zierstoff who specialised in PDFs, they later rebranded as Brilliant patterns but I see that they are no longer in business which is a great shame. I’ve tried their Amy and Gina tops, plus a Sophie Bolero and the Gina skirt so if you still have any of those patterns you might find the reviews helpful.

I sewed a couple of Tilly and the Buttons Cleo dungarees, one was from a kit my daughter bought me as a gift and I made a second adding a flap to the front pocket.

Going further back still I made a coat Butterick 6423 I was really delighted with the result, taking my time with lots of extra details-I love the colour too!

I reviewed the Jennifer Lauren Handmade Mayberry dress and was really happy with the result but for some reason I haven’t made another yet, perhaps I should revisit it…

I was very excited to be asked to be a guest reviewer for Love Sewing magazine in which I reviewed not one but two patterns, McCalls 7322 and Butterick 6461

The Imogen blouse by Sew Me Something has become a real winner with me, I’ve made 4 so far and I cut another one recently. It’s a deceptively simple shape with a pretty scooped neckline with its V-shaped notch. The raglan sleeves are quick to construct, I’ve made 3 with gathered cuffs and there’s a short option too. The pattern has now been updated to include a dress version.

The Farrow dress by Grainline is a lovely shape, it’s a trapeze shape that swings out from fitted shoulders and has diagonal horizontal seams which contain the pockets, very natty. It’s simple to construct but it is a bit fabric-hungry. I made the first one as a pattern review for defunct Sew Now magazine.

I made my first Moneta dress to take part in one of the first sewing challenges I joined in with. The idea was to put your own spin on the style, which already had a few variations anyway. I made long sleeves and created a roll collar and fake zip down the back. It’s been a really useful winter-weight dress and. because it’s a stretch fabrics pattern, it’s lovely and comfy to wear.

Unlike many others I was never particularly a fan of Sew Over It patterns, I’m not an especially keen on their earlier vintage-style patterns and then I felt there was a period when they somewhat flooded the market with slightly dull and mediocre PDF patterns. I did make two Heather dresses though which I wore quite a bit but I found the fit around the chest and sleeves was a bit snug. In fairness to SOI, since first writing this they have come on leaps and bounds with their variety of patterns and have thoroughly embraced using older models too.

I’ve made a several shirts for my husband over the last 3-4 years and they are amongst his favourites to wear, including two versions of Burda 6874.

There are even older reviews if you trawl further back but they no longer have photographs. They might still be useful to you though.