If you haven't already figured it out, I'm completely obsessed with sewing patterns, and I miss the days when a new pattern release would spark its own thread and discussion on Pattern Review. (These days, it seems like whenever someone starts a thread for a new indie pattern release, it either sits there silently with very few responses or re-launches the whole indie vs. Big 4 debate again.) I want to be able to talk about pattern releases and other pattern news, and I hope you do, too, so I'm starting a new weekly post on this blog where I recap the new releases and any interesting news in the pattern world.
I'm under no illusion that with all of the new indie pattern companies out there that this will be a comprehensive recap of ALL of the new releases for the week; I'll be focusing on the companies who I'm familiar with and who have a decent size range. However, if I do leave off an exciting new release, please post about it in the comments!
By Hand LondonLet's start off with a company that had a LOT going on this past week: By Hand London.
Saying goodbye to (most) PDF patterns
If you are a fan of PDF patterns and of By Hand London patterns, you probably already know and are disappointed to hear that they announced this week that they will no longer sell PDF versions of most of their paper patterns. Coinciding with this announcement, they pulled all of the PDF versions of their paper patterns from their site.
I'm disappointed both in the announcement itself and that BHL gave no warning that this was going to happen. I like PDF patterns because I like to forgo shipping costs when I can, and the fact that I can just print off another copy if I need another size. I have to trace patterns on the floor of my sewing room, which is much more cumbersome than just taping pages together. Not surprisingly, I wasn't alone in expressing my disappointment, if you read through the comments responding to the announcement. In response, BHL posted that they want to focus mostly on their printed paper patterns and basically, that PDFs were cutting into this business:
|Response from the BHL blog|
To be blunt, the logic here doesn't make a lot of sense to me. Now, I'm not a pattern maker, so I could be way off base, but I'd think that after the initial cost of digitizing a pattern, the maintenance cost of offering a PDF for sale would amount largely to download bandwidth, digital storage, and possibly some web maintenance. I'm obviously not privy to BHL's sales numbers, but I'd think that they sold a number of PDF patterns that they flat-out wouldn't have sold, period, in paper format, especially to their international customers. I'm really surprised that the profit margin is apparently higher on printed paper patterns than PDFs; I would have bet money that it would have been the other way around.
I respect their decision, but truly feel that they should have given at least a few days warning for PDF fans before yanking this option.
Sabrina dress release
In less controversial news, By Hand London released a new beginner dress pattern last week. The Sabrina dress has princess seams and an A-line shape. Ironically, this particular pattern is available ONLY as a PDF download right now. The Sabrina has two views, one with a bateau neckline, and the other with spaghetti straps and a button-up front:
|By Hand London - Sabrina dress, view 1|
|By Hand London - Sabrina dress, view 2|
StyleArc - New October patterns and freebiesOne thing that I look forward to at the beginning of every month is seeing what new patterns StyleArc releases. Not only do we find out what new patterns are available, we also find out what the monthly "freebie" pattern options are for the month. (Every month, StyleArc offers a new free pattern with any pattern purchase.)
First up is what I consider to be the "star" piece of October's group, the Jett Biker Jacket:
|StyleArc Jett Biker Jacket|
Also new this month is the Eddie Vest:
|StyleArc Eddie Vest|
As they've done several times in recent months, StyleArc is offering a choice between two different freebie patterns with a purchase during the month of October.
One choice is the Fleur Tunic, a woven tunic with an inset detail:
|StyleArc Fleur Tunic|
The other free pattern this month is the Ginger Top:
|StyleArc Ginger Top|
Colette PatternsIf you follow Colette Patterns blog, you know that the Colette team focused on hems for the month of September, culminating with the release of a free e-book on hems at the end of the month. In one of her posts discussing the new book, Sarai teased that she'd include a special treat for those who signed up for the e-book. All I'll say about that is that if you've had your eye on a Colette pattern or two, it would be well worth your time to sign up for the free e-book. Here's where you can sign up for the book:
Colette Guide to Sewing Hems
Liesl + CoFor fans of Liesl + Co, the line of women's patterns created by the founder of Oliver + S patterns, I'm sure you've been loving that Liesl Gibson has been releasing a new women's pattern every Thursday for the past four weeks, not to mention that these releases include an expanded size range. This week's new release was the Digital Bistro Dress pattern:
|Liesl + Co Bistro dress|
Closing thoughts and questionsSo that's my take on this past week in pattern land. I figure that these days, there are enough new patterns being released to easily give me enough to talk about in a weekly post. Plus, if you're a pattern junkie like me, hopefully between my posts and the gems that you discover, as my readers, we can all learn about a few new pattern companies this way.
What's your take on the BHL PDF announcement? Did it leave you scratching your head, too, or was that just me? Or do you just not care? How about the new StyleArc patterns? Are you tempted to make a purchase this month, and if so, which freebie do you prefer?