Summer vs. Summer

Vogue released their summer patterns a few weeks ago, and then McCall’s just released theirs a few days ago. While we wait for Butterick to catch up, why not look these two new collections over?

First up, Vogue. Changes on the inside have been itching to make their way out, as evidenced by the patterns I gravitated toward. Individually, they’re pretty spunky; as a capsule collection, they represent rebelliousness, energy, movement, and freedom.

V1450, Misses' Top and Skirt

V1450 by Guy Laroche caught my eye first, with that funky skirt. Yoke skirt ideas have been percolating in my brain all year, but my designs for the skirt portion were always dowdy. Not this one!

V1449, Misses'/Misses' Petite Dress

A mini dress, you say? Yes, please! This year will be my third consecutive warm season (ever) in which I’ll regularly wear skirts and dresses. I feel comfortable enough in them that I want to raise the bar by dressing without my training wheels — bike shorts. What better way to celebrate completely bare legs than by wearing an itty bitty dress by Rebecca Taylor? The other advantage to V1449 is that if it is too short, one can always raise the waistline and lengthen the skirt without disturbing the design lines too much.

V1448, Misses' Dress and Belt

I am 100% a DKNY/Donna Karan fangirl — even her misses are usually pretty decent garments. V1448, though is a softer look from her and it is perfect for my emerging softer side. After all, nobody is wildly rebellious 24/7! This dress has everything — ruffles, flounces, *pockets*, and lots of little ways to get a perfect fit without working hard for it: gathers at the small of the back, a roomy bust taken up by tucks at the waist, lots of seams, and even a back peplum to break up the terrain in back, if you’re so inclined. This is probably my favorite look from the new collection. :)

V1454, Misses' Top and Skirt

The other DKNY offering to catch my eye is the double layer skirt of V1454. It’s so punk rock to me, but also on trend with those thigh-high slits. I’m not going to lie, I’ll probably make the fitted portion of the skirt a mite longer, but otherwise it is perfect as is: edgy, youthful, and easy to fit (I hope). Good, clean, DKNY fun.

V9107, Misses' Tunic, Dress and Pants

Lastly but not leastly is V9107, which is hard to describe and kind of hard to picture on me — but that’s the attraction. It’s so different from anything I’ve ever bought/worn that I want to try it! The two lengths are a bit too long/too short for me, so I’ll have to tweak that, but if it works — what a cool dress, non? Best part is I’ve got the perfect polka dot fabric to use for the wearable muslin version of this dress.

And then … we come to McCall’s. It’s not a good sign when the only patterns that jump out at me are the children’s patterns, which I generally completely ignore. I like to end on a positive note, so those will come at the end.

Question: why is there so much fabric in the new designs??? It’s summer! Less is more. I get the whole wide leg trend (which I think I’m over already … a whole bunch of wide leg pant purchases has me loathing them), but wow:

M7163, Misses' Tops
M7163 takes almost 3 yards of fabric.

There are some designs with summer-ready top halves:

M7167, Misses Romper and Jumpsuits
M7167: replace the humongous pants with a cute pleated skirt or even pleated culottes.
M7153, Misses' Dress and Belt
M7153: easy and breezy on top! Lower half…meh. Maybe a slim-fit pencil skirt? Or make it in a softer, drapier fabric with a circle-ish skirt?

Some questionable designs:

M7162, Misses' Tops
M7162 could give broad-shouldered ladies a nice waspy waist, but for others? Dunno. Really not feeling the peplum.

Remember how I mentioned above I’ve been thinking yoke skirt, but couldn’t come up with a cool bottom? My idea looked like the skirt in this rather juvenile pair:

M7166, Misses' Tops and Skirts
Maybe M7166 would work better in a different fabric??? Something softer and drapier?

So, what did work for me? This soft and floaty number:

M7155, Misses' Tops
I like all the versions of M7155 (except the look they sewed up and photographed, ha).


In M7155 I see breezy or slinky summer tops for day and night, depending on fabric/color choice. I actually bought something like this last summer from Fashion to Figure and loooooooved it.

M7157, Misses' Dresses
Love M7157’s open back!

M7157 views B and D do it for me — the length and lace-free-ness of D with the ruched front band of B. Cute! Perfetto! I like that the ties can be adjusted in height to ensure all back fat is covered. I’m pretty accepting of my body, but I simply cannot learn to love my back fat. I must hide it at all times! :-

As for the kids patterns? I pretty much loved them all. This NEVER happens. NEVER.

M7150, Children's/Girls' Top, Tunic, Dress, Shorts, Leggings and Headband
The M7150 ensemble is perfect. Perfect!
M7151, Girls' Top, Dress, Jumpsuit and Shorts
M7151 is a nice, simple jumpsuit with racerback straps.
M7149, Children's/Girls' Tops, Tunics, Shorts and Capris
M7149 is totes adorbs for little girls.
M7147, Children's/Girls' Dresses and Belt
M7147: I can haz cute, easy sundress?
M7145, Children's/Girls' Dresses
M7145 is another winner, and the collar and the buttons down the back are the ultimate creative playspace.

If I knew anything about children’s patterns, I would totally buy these and grade them up for me! :) Maybe it’s a good thing I don’t. Mama needs to save money for a week of vacation that is fast approaching! More about that soon…

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  1. Mc calls feels a little dated next to Vogue- I hope Simplicity is the bridge between them for my style!
    I will never give up my bike shorts- they keep my thighs from starting a fire when I walk!

    1. Simplicity does have some gems — for me, I love Cynthia Rowley and their Burda line, which is definitely more lively than McCall’s.

      Bicycle shorts are the best for preventing my fire, too ;) it’s just that sometimes I get so hot … there’s a few weeks every summer where I complain about not being able to go around naked — I’d really like to go bare legged then. I may try Bandalettes this year, if my thighs demand intervention between them. :-p

  2. Yeah the kids’ patterns were pretty much the best thing! I did not see the back of 7157 but I do like it!!! And thank you for pointing out the possibility of changing the skirt on 7153. I am in love with that bodice!

    1. They were! I guess it’s fair that the little ones get some love. :) And you know I’m all about that pattern hacking! One of the best things to come out of being a very plus sized sewer is being comfortable mucking around with patterns.

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