Wednesday, 2 January 2013

PDF Patterns

In my end of year review post, I purposely missed out one dress (you'll already have seen it if you follow me on Instagram) with the intention to talk about it more detail in this post.  My last make of 2012 was Victory Pattern's Simone dress.  I'd seen this dress made up on Kazz's blog (fyi, she's totally becoming one of my favourite dressmakers!  Everything she posts I adore, and I admire her completion of a garment a week for a whole year!) and fell in love with it, downloaded the pattern, but was lacking the right fabric.  Then going back to work after being off for a few days at Christmas, I found my fabric, reduced in the sale!  I'd already liked it but wasn't sure however the £2.50/m price was right and I went for it.

I know there is a lot of debate about the pro's and cons of PDF patterns.  I love that they're a little cheaper (although cost has never hindered  me in buying a pattern if I like the design) and easily accessible.  I love that I can buy indie and support these pattern designers and connect with them even if they're based in other parts of the world.  I love how fashion focused they are compared to some of the patterns you'll find from the big 4.  I don't mind that I have to use a ton of ink and paper to print them out and I actually don't mind sitting for an hour or two in front of the TV putting all the pages together before cutting them apart again.  What I do dislike is that some people don't use them because of how much effort goes in before the sewing begins.  I can sort of understand if you've tried and not enjoyed it, but if you haven't given it a go then I believe that you should try it before you decide.  There are many free PDF patterns available online, such as Colette's Sorbetto and a quick browse of Burda or Craftsy will reveal others.

The first paid-for PDF pattern I made was Victory Pattern's Roxanne tunic dress because I really like the collar.  I used fabric from my stash and couldn't have been happier with the end result.
The instructions were super clear with pictures to guide you through the steps and easy to follow along.  I've worn this top many times since I made it and it's always complimented for the unusual collar and lovely drape.  I could never have imagined anything like this coming from any of the pattern books and felt that it was well worth the effort in putting it together.  That's why I was more than happy to get started on the Simone dress.

I was also fortunate to win a Sinbad & Sailor pattern in a giveaway over on ZoSews.  I can't thank Zoe and Hannah enough for choosing me as the winner of the giveaway.  I'd been planning on buying the Dove Fitted T pattern at the beginning of the year anyway so winning it was a proper bonus!  When I found out I'd won I spent the day at work picking out fabric for it and settled on this polyester/elastane mix satin print that was also in the sale at £2.99/m.  
I worked on pattern placement on this, as I wanted to make the most of the large print and it fills the front perfectly and mixes well on the back.  I kept the sleeves mostly red for a bit of contrast and I'm really happy with the result.  The pattern itself was a dream to work with, easy to follow instructions and clear diagrams, especially for the hems on the back.  I was also happy that it fit me perfectly first time!  Usually I have to take patterns in under the arm but with this pattern it wasn't necessary! I can't wait to make it up in a lighter fabric to see how it will change the shape at the back.

I'm already thinking about what other PDF patterns I can buy as I've been really uninspired by the big 4 lately.  The three I've already made have been such successes that I'm itching to make them up again in different fabrics (I already have an idea for the Simone dress and I'm gonna nosey at cotton lawns tomorrow for the Dove T).  I'd really encourage those of you who aren't sure about PDF patterns to give them a go before deciding whether or not they're for you cause you never know, you could be pleasantly surprised with the result!


  1. Really love your fabric choices, the print for the Dove T works so well! Although I am trying to be good with fabric buying I just have to ask.. does your shop sell online? Anyway on another non fabric related note it's great to hear you've been converted to pdf patterns - obviously I think there are lots of bonus' to them but it's nice to hear other people love them too!

    1. Thanks Hannah! I'm glad you like my version, it was such a joy to make! The shop I work in doesn't do online as we have far too many fabrics but we can do telesales and post stuff out. We post our new fabrics on our Facebook page (Mandors) so people tend to order based on that, definitely go have a look!


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