New season patterns, January 2011

It’s the time for looking at the runway shows, and being reminded how little relevance they have for those of us who live happily without media attention or vast wealth. Exciting, fun, creative, beautiful – yes. But not much guidance about what to wear to do the shopping or in the office.

So it’s good that there are stylish current patterns.

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Special occasions

I feel the same distance from the new dress patterns at Vogue and McCall’s. I’d be unlikely to wear these styles even as a wedding guest or for a special summer party, which I rarely go to. Vogue has a stunning group of designer dresses. And McCall’s dress patterns have edgy trendy details. As I don’t wear them, I’m not the best person to comment on short barely-covered dresses.

For people who don’t wear dresses but want to look ‘dressy’ : high waisted wide legged pants and boleros are ‘current’, as in Vogue 8717.


If you need to cheer up the little black dress that someone talked you into, there are good shrugs from Elizabeth Gillett NYC Vogue 8721


In your most flattering colours. Unless of course you’re one of the lucky people who really do look your best in black 😀

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Casual tops and bottoms

Well, what if we just want to feel good when shopping ?

Vogue 8710 has a couple of tees with added interest from Katherine Tilton.


Vogue 8707 is a hook sided top.


Many recent flared top patterns have this hook shaped side seam. The extra fabric swirls attractively as you move. But this draws attention to your hips. So I think this for people who want to look as if they’ve got more hips, not for those who’ve already got too much. . .

If you’d prefer something fitted and for woven fabric, there’s this raglan shirt blouse, McCall’s 6286


Or for a fitted sleeve there’s McCall’s 6285. Though who on earth decided a yoke, top-stitched princess seams, band collar and curved hem are Easy ! What an effective way to distress beginners.


Vogue 8712 (left) is a pant pattern from Marcy Tilton. A wide legged style that tapers rapidly at the ankle just makes me look dumpy, though I know many people love it.


Also many people like this Vogue 8711 draped skirt (right). Sadly it’s only for people can show off less bulgy hips, a flatter stomach and prettier knees than mine !

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Casual layers

It’s a good season for people who like shirt jackets.

Vogue 8716 (left) has a high collar, fitted sleeves, and yokes with gathers. All flattering style elements for me.

Vogue 8708 (right) is another big shirt, but the flat collar and cut on sleeves aren’t best for me. I expect there are many people with different bodies from mine who will prefer this one.


Marcy Tilton has a flared designer version in Vogue 8709. Perhaps that loose lower strip is not a good idea for the large of hip 😀


Shirt and pants in the same fabric (or print) is current.

For another way of adding a layer, there are some interesting vests in Vogue 8713.


And for trendy knit layers there’’s McCall’s 6288 by Rebecca Turbow.


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More serious and responsible

Two summary points about jackets in the collections. One is there are many collarless jackets, perhaps worn with collared tops. Nearly all the current wardrobe patterns have collared jackets over collarless tops. That doesn’t work well for me. With my long head and neck, I like a raised neckline whether or not I have a jacket on. So I’m pleased to see collarless over collared coming back.

Vogue has a couple of ‘peplum’ jackets in their Custom Fit range. Good opportunities for fitting the top.

Vogue 8714 has front princess seams and pattern pieces for 4 cup sizes. A waist level seam makes it easier to fit my bigger lower half with high hips. Though I need darts in a peplum, or it would just stick straight out from my waist.
And this pattern has back shoulder darts and a CB seam. So the first steps have been done if you need back shaping alterations.


Vogue 8715 is a peplum jacket wardrobe with similar fitting help. This time with above waist seam.
And those are the best style of pants for me !


Although some high seams look good on me, I would need several fish-eye darts to get the lower front portion of this jacket to fit well over my indented waist moving out rapidly to high hips. The previous jacket looks easier to fit for my particular shape.

The second key point about jackets this season is that most are blazers. Many patterns already available.

If you prefer something more structured and closely fitted, there’s a trendy slim shape by Melissa Watson for Palmer-Pletsch, McCall’s 6294.


And I’m a sucker for pieced jackets. There’s a new one from Nancy Zieman, McCall’s 6293.


You have a choice between narrow or wide lapels on your blazer.

Double breasted nearly shoulder-wide lapel ‘trench’ style is current in dresses, jackets and coats. There’s a jacket in Simplicity 2256. High waist seam again, but this time with fitting seams below, so usable by a wider range of body types.


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So there are plenty of arty/ classic/ relaxed/ soft/ trendy options for looking good this season. There are more patterns I want to comment on but this got too long.

Colours : McCall’s go for strong pink, denim blue, slightly yellowed green, and rust-tan neutrals. Pantone also mention silvered palest pink and mid grey as neutrals. Does that cater for Winter, Summer, Spring, Autumn colourings, and the grey haired ?

Whatever your choice, enjoy what you wear this Spring 😀

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Patterns and links available January 2011

Explore posts in the same categories: my choices

5 Comments on “New season patterns, January 2011”

  1. Alison Says:

    Great post! As usual, you’ve drawn my attention to patterns with good potential that I failed to notice on the pattern company websites.


    • sewingplums Says:

      Thanks Alison – I find the line diagrams much more use than the fashion illustrations.

  2. Vildy Says:

    I so enjoy your observations and how your writing
    style is so full of personality.

  3. Debbie Says:

    Love your blog, Miss Sewingplum. I am making the stole in Vogue 8721 tomorrow in green gold, gold green and a pale coral wide stripe Dupioni. I can’t wait!

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