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I am a mother, a new grandmother, and a teacher. But whatever happens in my life, I keep sewing. I have worked as a political communicator and now as a teacher in my formal life. I have also written extensively on sewing. I have been a frequent contributor and contributing editor of Threads magazine and the Australian magazine Dressmaking with Stitches. My first book Sew.. the garment-making book of knowledge will be published in May 2018 and is available for pre-order from Amazon


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Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Well, well Simplicity

Yes I know I have often been less than impressed by some of the Big Four releases, but this morning I decided to take a look at Simplicity.

I was surprised by the usefulness and interest of some of the new patterns I saw.

Too bad that Simplicity seems to have written off Canada as a place where they sell their patterns. You can get them but have to order them in and at a premium. 

How can a country where I sew get written off?

Makes no sense.

Too bad because there are some intriguing patterns this season.

One introductory comment.

You know all those vintage/retro patterns that you never see anyone actually making or wearing in the other big pattern lines? All those 50s wiggle dresses and those big skirt numbers that really require a girdle or modern equivalent to get the waist they require?

Well Simplicity seems to have gone retro but skipped to the the 60s or 70s, with an emphasis on comfortable.

Maybe that's why some of these are more interesting to me, and maybe because they reflect a time of housewife wear, backyard wear, doing the real work wear. Some of them are cleverly made patterns that might be interesting to sew.

Know what I mean?

OK, back to the patterns that I noticed this morning and why:

Really nice skirts here, and another way to look at dressing up. A fancy skirt and a nice top (maybe not this one if you are not into boxy) if you are dressing up this summer.

Old school and ingenious. A maxi dress with a flattering neckline made just by a wrap.

How smart is this, a nice gathered front that is modest and easy to wear, and cross over back high enough to hide the strapless bra? Love it.

Contemporary patterns, very much like ready to wear, pleated back one is interesting.

Good basic wearable shell, get a lot of mileage out of this one if you happen to have one of those real lives.

Nothing exciting maybe but tell me if you had one of these in your closet would you put it on when it got cool after supper?  Rest my case.

Modern short skirt. This is in the stores and would be easy to move in.

Not sure I am running off to make a pantsuit, but the separates are useful when you just want to whip up something cool.

I am delighted to see this pattern, a swimsuit on a real body. Good for Mimi G and good for Simplicity.

More than a little nutty but just might be fun to wear. Clever is OK with me.

Does Joann's ship to Canada at sale prices?


Sew Savory said...

I ship to Canada (for my job) all the time. I've also got a JoAnn's about 5 miles away. I'd be happy to pick patterns up and drop them in the mail for you!

Patty said...

Thanks for posting this group of Simplicity patterns! I've added the flowy tanks to my list, along with that crossed at the neck halter dress! I'd be happy to snag what you need at the next JoAnn sale here in Michigan and send them along to you, my treat. An appropriate thank-you for enjoying your blog posts over the years :-)!

Patty said...

Oh yeah...ppozolo@gmail.com.....

Andrea said...

Some good picks, however, that last one does remind me of the aprons the nuns wear to protect their white habits.

twotoast said...

I'm in Canada too - first Wal Mart then Fabricland. Such a shame we can't get Simplicity. I ordered a pattern from Etsy last week, still costs about twice the price I would have paid in the shops, but still cheaper than ordering from Simplicity. I was going to download the pdf but Simplicity add an additional charge if you are outside the U.S. Such a rip off.

Lynn said...

I have always loved and looked at Simplicity. Their sizing is better for me than McCalls, Vogue, Butterick.

Louise Perry said...

May have to have a look on their website. Thank for the review.

mari.hafenstein@att.net said...

Oh my goodness, I had a wrap dress like that top when I was in the 6th grade. It was a tropical print. I am 60 yrs old. I haven't been sewing of late, but love some of these and may have to make that maxi.

birdmommy said...

I've given up even looking at Simplicity because otherwise I get all excited, then forget that I can't get them here. And I refuse to pay an 'international' premium for a pdf. What? The electrons cost more to send to Canada?

Anonymous said...

getting "cooler after super" - what a lovely if foreign concept here in the summer tropics, but I can imagine the shrug thing as a good idea for keeping at the over-air conditioned office in some neutral fabric...... Never think to look at Simplicity, but there are some good ideas here!


Catie said...

Great post!! I am loving the new patterns this season and the focus on being comfortable. Everyone knows you look your best when you feel your best :) I'm a big fan of the maxi dress - it's simple and looks fabulous in seconds, truly an effortless and fabulous look. Thanks for sharing!

Mary said...

I like both Simplicity and New Look. You are right that Simplicity skipped the 50s and does the 60-70s really well. I am off to check out the catalog.

Judi Pinkham said...

Like I don't have enough patterns already, now I do HAVE to add 1108 to the mix! Easy to make and like you said...great for a cool summer evening. Thanks for bringing these to our attention!

Louisa said...

I'm in Canada too - the opposite coast! I haven't sewn a Simplicity in decades because I just can't be bothered to jump through all the expensive hoops to get their patterns. Instead I've been working on my own drafting/adjusting/frankenpatterning skills which, along with some basic patterns, is really all you need. Doesn't entirely stop me from buying some new Vogues & Buttericks though!

Jan said...

I too live in Canada and want Simplicity Patterns back. I attended SewExpo in Pyllaup this year and I spoke to the Vice President. She assured me that it was not their decision to not sell in Canada and that they are working to solve this issue. In the meantime, I cross border shop in Buffalo( 1 1/2 hrs away) I am planning a trip next week as there are other things I need that I cannot get in Canada. If you want a pattern or two I can mail them to you from Canada. Let me know.

/anne... said...

They ship to Australia when they're on sale, but I usually buy them from sewingpatterns.com - their postage works out cheaper (certainly than Vogue). The only problem is that their website is dreadful, so I figure out what patterns I want on, say, the Simplicity site, and just type the number in :-)

BTW - I checked their URL so I got the right one for this post, and found out they've got Simplicity on sale. What a pity it's two weeks to payday :-(

Lydia Marc said...

I live all the way over in Hawaii. We have a few places we can get patterns at but not at great prices. We also don't have a Joann's. But my sister, who lives in another state has a few of them near her. She watches for sales and gives me a heads up on upcoming sales. Earlier this month they had a sale for Simplicity patterns at 5 for $5. In fact, I just got my patterns today as my sister is here for a visit. And so great that these gals offered to pick you up some and send it to you.

Melwyk said...

I know, I like Simplicity too -- I've found that ordering them via PatternReview.com works for me. Their service is far superior to the Simplicity site. If you can wait for a sale, it works out to not be TOO expensive.