Don’t Bore Nina! (aka – Newsflash: New Simplicity and New McCall’s Patterns Announced!)

Two pattern releases in the same day!  Can we handle it?


After driving me batty for a whole day due to a broken link on the main page, I have finally been able to look at the new Simplicity collection.  Overall… I am not too impressed.  There are a lot of pajamas, crafts, and kids clothes, which don’t interest me at all.  Of the remaining patterns… well they are just kinda there.  Basically the only patterns I feel are worth showing are the Project Runway patterns, some knit tops, and the costumes.  There are a few other bland items available (like a skirt) but not too much of interest.  Let’s take a look:

Project Runway Patterns:

Simplicity 1718
Simplicity 1726

Can I just say – what the heck happened?  That top pattern is ok-ish (well, I think the designs are rather boring, but they did at least style it well enough to make it look ok on the envelope), but they bottom pattern?  If you sent that down the runway, you know Nina would be sending your ass home.  I can hear Nina now – “Where’s the design?” and Michael Kors would throw in for good measure, “It looks a little cheap” (wrinkling his nose on the cheap in that way that he does).  Usually I like the Project Runway patterns somewhat, or I find them interesting or at least attempting to be on trend.  These just seem so generic.  If we have only learned one thing over the years, it is this – DON’T BORE NINA!

Knit Tops

Simplicity 1716
Simplicity 1733

Ok, on these I am totally torn.  The first pattern could be ok maybe – I do like the line drawing of the white top.  Make me think of Tanit-Isis and her quest for the perfect cowl.  On the other hand, the photo image of the draped cowl top isn’t all that impressive.  Of course, it doesn’t look like they used a particularly flexible knit either.  I am not a fan of the other top in the pattern – to me the gathers hit in a very unflattering place.  So, I am on the fence with that one.

As far as the Khaliah Ali pattern goes, doesn’t it look a might bit similar to this New Look pattern?


I mean, sure.  With one pattern you get pants, and the other one you get a skirt.  But the tops and dresses are pretty identical, and the cardigan could be with a very minor adjustment.  I haven’t got the New Look pattern yet, and I don’t think I need to get both of these patterns, so I will just have to sort out which one I am actually going to buy.

Trendy Items

Simplicity 1715
Simplicity 1727

The dress pattern is ok – looks pretty cute, but I don’t know if it is something I would necessarily want to make up.  (For some reason this pattern also reminds me of Tanit-Isis.)  Anyway, I think the pattern is cute, but not for me, so I am going to give it a pass.

As for the collars, well, I am sure the Puritans would be proud.  Though somewhat horrified at the leopard print.  Apparently collars are all the rage right now?  As far as this trend goes…  I think I will pass.  I mean, unless the pattern has a collar already there.  But… no.  I guess I will just have to walk around with my neck all uncovered like a floozy.


Simplicity 1728
Simplicity 1732
Simplicity 1737

Overall I have to say that the costumes might be my favorite part of this release, and I don’t even find them all that impressive!  I mean, I like the first Snow White gown, but I didn’t actually get to see either of the Snow White movies that came out earlier this year.  But if you did, Simplicity has got you covered. As long as you want to be Snow White.  If you want to be the Evil Queen…  well, then you have to turn to McCall’s.  I will still probably get this pattern, as having a pattern for giant poofy sleeves could be very (very very) handy for some theoretical costumes I have planned for the future.

Love the coat!  My favorite pattern from the entire release.  Of course, knowing how rabid those Steam-Punk lovers can be at pattern sales, I expect I won’t be able to find this anytime soon.  Which is ok as long as I get it eventually.

Finally, the Girl on Fire dress.  This is obviously Simplicity’s attempt to re-create the Girl on Fire dress from The Hunger Games movie:

Overall I think they did a pretty good job… but I don’t know if I would get this pattern.  I can’t see myself using it.  I mean, I feel like so many people were disappointed with this costume from the film specifically, and there are been a lot of other imaginings of this dress on the internets.  If I wanted to re-create it I would probably use a Burda pattern I already own, but honestly I would probably try and make a dress more in line with the description in the books (which I haven’t read yet – shame on me).  I predict this pattern will be popular with the mom crowd who sew for their almost teenage daughters though.  Either for Halloween or prom.

So, overall this Simplicity release is kind of a yawn.  Not that much excitement, unless you are into Puritan collars or extra puffy sleeves.

However, if you head over to the Simplicity website you can find this really cool poster:

For only $15!  It sounds like there is going to be a set of 7, spanning the decades that they have been in business.  Just imagine a wall of these.  Could look really fun in a sewing room…


The McCall’s release had a better chance to impress me because their introduction was bit more on the “fashion” side of things, though they certainly have done their part to increase the number of strange crafty patterns into the world.  However, I must admit, I am rather underwhelmed.  I know it is fall/winter and we are all about layering… but, seriously, you guys, these are all potato sacks!  There is a serious lack of structure going on, and the few patterns that have a shape to them are, well, boring.  I have to admit too, that, while I usually try to overlook the styling in favor of line drawings and diagrams, McCall’s made that really really hard this time around.  It is almost like they wanted to sabotage the decent patterns so people will buy the boring ones? 

M6659 – I have been blinded!
M6648 – Boring.
M6652 – Boring-er.
M6653 – Boring-est.
(No, your not-included-in-the-pattern sequined leggings do NOT distract me
from the fact that her top has roughly the shape of a used diaper.)
M6650 – This patten is ok, but nothing I haven’t seen before.
M6650 – The alternative view is also cute, but expected.
M6649 – This top is actually fairly fitted, pretty cute, and comes with cup sizes.
M6649 – Though since this is the version shown on the main page,
makes me wonder how many they actually want to sell.
M6658 – This slouchy pattern seems sort of whatever…
Until you look at the line drawing.  Nice tank top and v-neck shirt pattern!
M6644 – Quilt re-fashion?
M6657 – This is styled well, but the pattern is pretty basic.
M6655 – This Palmer/Pletsch Jacket is probably the best jacket pattern in the release.
The draped collar is ok, but again I think overall it is sort of basic and not that interesting.
M6645 – The color blocking trend apparently is still totally a thing.
M6647 – This dress seems fairly cute (if a bit short)…
…but for some reason I find the back to be a bit… vulgar?

[Pause for rant on this dress:  I don’t know why I dislike it so much.  We all know I love open backs, so the cut-outs in theory don’t bother me.  We all know I love lace, so the fabric shouldn’t bother me.  And yet… The combination makes this woman look like she is naked and totally covered in tattoos.  Which also shouldn’t bother me (since I don’t really have anything against people with tattoos).  Maybe my big problem is that this woman looks like she should be dressing as a mature adult, but she is wearing a dress styled for a young teen?  I really don’t know.  All I know is that some combination of the the length, style, fabric, and model have given me a very strong distate for this pattern.]

M6646 – A sickly pink puffy dress wasn’t exactly the palette cleanser I wanted…
Though this would have been AWESOME if I had had time to go to Promaballoona…
Dang it, now I have to get this pattern.
M6669 – Sad when the dolls get better clothes than you do…
M6670 – So cute!  I think I need to get this pattern…
The hat!  I have to make the hat!
So… yeah.  Not too much of interest in the McCall’s patterns either.  I think it bears repeating: DON’T BORE NINA!!!

So, we know what my (rather strong) opinions are about this collection – what do you all think?  Did you find anything you like?  Am I being too harsh?  Is it silly if the only things I want to buy are costumes and doll’s clothes?  Feel free to discuss in the comments!

4 thoughts on “Don’t Bore Nina! (aka – Newsflash: New Simplicity and New McCall’s Patterns Announced!)

  1. The dolls totally got better clothes! I'm kinda put off by that blond model in those too-young-for-her dresses. I think the bleached hair and tan age her and make her look like she's wearing her daughter's clothes. One cut out on the back is enough.

    I honestly twitch every time I see a peter pan collar. It takes me back to my catholic grammar school days (shudder). Whoever is behind that trend should be poked in the eye.


  2. I am underwhelmed. There are two that I may purchase one day, absolutely none that I must possess immediately. I agree with you about the cut out dress, and the pink fluffy thing is silly too.

    I agree with Clio about Peter Pan collars. They shouldn't be worn by anyone over the age of eight, IMHO.


  3. To be fair, the other views on the fluffy pink dress aren't as bad. Very 1980s teen high school prom movie though.

    The hilarious thing about the collars – that is the pattern Simplicity decided to use for the cover of their new catalog. Really? If that doesn't say, wow our new patterns are boring, I don't know what does.


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