Monday, 20 March 2017

Simplicity - New Batch of Alt Patterns

Rockabilly, Boho Goth and Steampunk

I haven't been paying too much attention to Simplicity's new releases and unfortunately it allowed a few new alternative fashion patterns to slip past my radar! It appears they've added a few new Steampunk accessory patterns, a Rockabilly pattern and a Boho Goth ensemble. Let's check them out!


Misses' Knit Tops, Cropped Pants, Skirts

This is a really neat pattern. Although I feel like the Rockabilly scene isn't as strong as it once was, this is a nice attempt at recreating some of the classic pieces. I don't think it's something I'd ever use considering I have a vintage stash of over fifty items! (I purged a lot too) >.<  But I feel that this pattern would be beneficial for those who don't want to pay the hefty price tag for authentic vintage patterns. I should note that not all vintage patterns are too expensive, I bought a classic rockabilly summer dress pattern for only $10 CAD. It all depends on preference and luck I suppose. If you don't want to have to wait and search for that ideal wiggle skirt or halter pattern it is easier to buy it new. 

What I appreciate most about this pattern is what it offers for plus size girls. I sell vintage patterns in my shop and plus size patterns fly off my virtual shelves like hot cakes! They are hard to find. This pattern makes up for that scarcity and allows fans of vintage to get the style and the fit they've always wanted. I like these designs but they're far from accurate. These are "vintage style" because they lack the classic construction lines of the era. Case in point, there are no waist or bust darts to give the tops the iconic cone boob look, and they rarely used knit during the 50's (yet they did in the 40's - I think cotton allowed for a more constructed appearance in the 50's). All in all, it's probably a more comfortable and accessible pattern than it's vintage style counterparts.

On a random side note, I hope I get reincarnated as a plus size girl with an arse like that!


Misses' Lace Blouse and Skirt in Two Styles

Another one from Karen Fleisch of Arkivestry. It's weird that some of the Simplicity patterns are designed by Karen while others are labelled Arkivestry. It makes me wonder who has their hands in the design process when the Arkivestry brand is used and if Karen has dropped the label and it's been picked up by another designer?? I really wish I could tell Simplicity to buy some more versatile shoes for their promo shoots. I cannot count how many times I've looked at the pictures and thought "what were they thinking?!" Those heels with that dress? C'mon, put that bitch in sandals! 

I admit I like this better than her previous designs. I got what I asked for - more lace and a chance at chiffon. However, these designs suffer from what typifies all of Karen's work: they're terribly dated. The gored skirts sit too closely to the body and come across as matronly to me. The longer skirt is not floor length and that shit drives me bonkers. I get that that style was popular in the 70's, like bell bottoms, but in these days they need to hit the ground otherwise they look like you're preparing for a flood. I'm also not a fan of how high the top is cut, my eye wants it to drape down past the hips, like a tunic. The biggest hit against these designs is that you should not, under any circumstances, create a garment in chiffon or lace that has TOO MANY SEAMS. This is couture 101. They've tried to mask them by stitching lace trim over every seam but it comes across as clumsy and poorly made. You want sheer and lace materials to speak for themselves, seams should be subtle and not detract from the delicacy of the fabric.

I like the shape of the bell sleeves and the concept as a whole, I just wish it had been kicked up a notch, to meet contemporary design standards, because these silhouettes are far too matronly. I wish it looked like this.



Misses' Hats in Three Sizes

Look! View C is pretty much the hat that I requested in Simplicity 0666! With the exception of that icky looking bow, make that in some black felt and you've got your wide brimmed fedora. This is another Arkivestry design adding to Simplicity's ever growing appendage of Steampunk patterns. They mimic hats that I've seen on Pinterest, and while the construction of the crown leaves a little to be desired, these hats could be ramped up with the right amount of embellishment. I would like to see someone craft a fedora using this pattern but I admit that around here the thick felt required for such a project is quite costly and I'm better off buying one ready made.


Conclusion

Although I'm not blown away by much of this it is encouraging to see them continue to try navigating the world of alternative fashion. The most successful piece here is the rockabilly pattern. I'd like to see some vintage repro swimsuits come up, I know they released a vintage play-suit and bustier patterns but people felt they were too difficult to sew. Alt and goth fashion are still so unfamiliar to Simplicity. I don't think they understand the aesthetic and it's going to take some time and experimentation before they get a solid grasp of the style. Let's just hope they can see it through and not just give up entirely!

If you look through their new catalogue you can see many items that can be adapted for alt fashion uses, but things that are explicitly alt in style (like bondage clothing and body harnesses) have yet to make an appearance. What will the future hold?

As usual your thoughts are encouraged and welcomed in the comments below.

Best,

4 comments:

  1. Your commentary is spot on and sometimes hilarious. Lol those shoes. At least someone stopped the stylist and was like "make the other one barefoot." For real that one is dated and yeah, too many seams. Plus the fact that the top isn't fitted drives me crazy. Those hat patterns are pretty awesome looking. Never considered making a hat

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    1. Yeah the top is strangely unfitted, like some weird camisole wannabe. Simplicity has the worst photoshoots! A few years ago they had women in the catalog posing with bicycles in front of back drops of tropical landscapes, it made no sense. A girl would not ride her bike in her prom dress but why fake a backdrop? So weird. I made my own pirate hat and I enjoyed the experience, I'd love to do more hat making. I once found a book from the library on 17th century hat making but it's long gone. Someone must've found it equally as interesting! It sucks because I've tried finding it and never seen it online anywhere.

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  2. I think it's fantastic to have the plus sizes in the patterns! I was laughing my head off with your comment! But, I have to agree! I don't have an arse! LOL! I really love the hats!!

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    1. I'm very pleased to see more plus size patterns from Simplicity. I didn't feature the rest of them here because they're more generic in style, but there's plenty to choose from! That wasn't the case ten years ago. I really like the Victorian tricorn bridal hat, I could see that at a wedding. :)

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