Spring 2019 Simplicity Patterns

In pattern release land it’s either nothing or way too much all at once. Last month the only new pattern release was the monthly Burda magazine, but March has barely started and we’ve already got new patterns from Butterick, Simplicity, BurdaStyle Magazine, and My Image. Clearly, there are a lot of posts coming to the blog soon. Today I’ll be looking at the new Simplicity Spring release. I had hoped there would be some exciting things since Butterick left us feeling so underwhelmed, but, sad to say, I’m really not feeling super excited by this release, at least for myself. I could see how this might be a very good release for someone who has a really different aesthetic from me. Either way, there’s a lot to look at, so let’s get started:

, BurdaStyle Magazine, and My Image. Clearly, there are a lot of posts coming to the blog soon. Today I’ll be looking at the new Simplicity Spring release. I had hoped there would be some exciting things since Butterick left us feeling so underwhelmed, but, sad to say, I’m really not feeling super excited by this release, at least for myself. I could see how this might be a very good release for someone who has a really different aesthetic from me. Either way, there’s a lot to look at, so let’s get started:

S8868 – I feel like crop tops really had a moment a few years ago, but I’m not really that excited to see them make a comeback to be honest. Plus the fabrication here isn’t doing much to help sell me on this look. I assume this is meant to be a sort of prom look, but, honestly, what high school allows bare midriffs at a school dance? I do think the skirt variations could be very pretty, but, at this point I need more than a full, puffy skirt to interest me in a pattern.

S8869 – This top pattern is interesting. I have the same thoughts with the length proportions as with the previous pattern (longer please!) but I actually think this could be a great pattern to get if you like to frankenpattern or do mash ups. There are a lot of bodice styles here, and with a few different skirt patterns it would be really easy to make a bunch of different dress styles pretty quickly.

S8870 – Love this! I’m obsessed with views A and D, and I’m trying to figure out which would be more useful in my far too large evening gown collection. There’s got to be some reason I’d need both, right?

S8871 – Ok, so this dress feels pretty basic and boring, but I do love the way contrast fabric was used for the belt tie. I also think this looks really easy to wear and to sew. I don’t think I need to add it to the stash, but I find myself liking this pattern the more I look at it.

S8872 – This is one of those dresses that I think people will either really like because of the styling, or really dislike because of the styling. For me it feels too cute, but I can see how it could be a really versatile pattern for others. The style feels more fall than spring, but it might just be the color scheme of the packaging.

S8873 – We were informed in the comments of the Spring Butterick post that Gertie was being moved over to Simplicity, and here is the proof. Compared to Gertie’s other patterns for the Big4, this one feels a bit lackluster. It looks cute in the print, but, at the end of the day it is a pretty basic dress with 2 strap options. Not enough to get me really excited, even though I think the dress is cute.

S8874 – This dress is really basic but I think it could be a really fantastic wardrobe basic for that reason. And we get to see it on a Plus model, which is great. While Simplicity hasn’t completely shifted their line to have envelopes in both regular and plus sizing, I did notice that there were significantly more patterns that came in a wider range of sizing options this time around. It’s still not everything, but it is an improvement, and I think that should be recognized.

S8875 – This dress feels very cute and very “spring.” I actually really like the ruffled hem here, perhaps because it is such a fine gather to create the effect? The sleeve options are great too.

S8876 – 1940s Vintage re-release. I really want to like this one. I think if the draped shawl were a more permanent part of the dress I would be more excited; I do love the way the bodice looks with the shawl draped as sleeves. The exaggerated hip pockets are a detail I could easily leave off the design, but, without them the whole dress would be very boring, so, that’s debatable. Might be passable. Maybe.

S8877 – This also looks to be a vintage re-release, though the original date is not indicated on this pattern. Regardless, I don’t think we really need to bring the muumuu back. Pass.

S8878 – “The Simple Shift.” Looks like Simplicity is trying a new line where it names things? Perhaps to appeal more to the indie crowd? Does it feel like a lot of these designs are geared towards appealing to the indie crowd? Discuss. (Also, yes, I’ve realized the line drawing is NOT the correct one for this pattern, but it is what Simplicity had posted, which is why it is here.)

S8879 – “The Origami Dress.” Not sure what makes this dress “origami” – does it fold into the different views?

S8880 – This is one of those tops styles that I think is cute, but really don’t need in my collection. I do like view A, but I’m less excited by the more blouse-y views, and I’m sure I’ve already got something that is quite similar in the stash.

S8882 – Another Gertie pattern. This top is cute, but I find the neckline to be very open and wide, possibly a bit too much for me? And I like open necklines. Another one that fits into the cute, but I don’t need it category.

S8883 – This could be a great pattern for people who really like woven t-shirts. Personally, I’m much more a fan of wearing knits, but I can understand the appeal of sewing a top that is in a more stable fabric. I do like the subtle differences that various options provide; lots of bang for the buck here.

S8884 – Another “cute, but don’t need it” pattern for me. I am pretty sure I’ve got similar tops in the Burda stash, but I do like the options here, and the darts for fit. Plus, the sleeved top has gussets! Great for added movement. Bonus points for having one of the plus sized models showcasing this top.

S8885 – I’ve managed to convince myself that I don’t need this pattern either; I’m positive I’ve got maxi skirts and wide legged trouser patterns that can do the job in the stash. But I do really like the simplicity and clean lines here, and the two waist band options as well.

S8886 – “The Pocket Skirt.” Yeah, I’m… gonna pass. If I need epic pockets I’ll refer back to the May 2011 Burda, thanks.

S8887 – Pattern Hacking cardigan. I do like the elongated version of this cardigan, but perhaps not enough to get the pattern. Again, I know I have similar things in the stash, and this isn’t really better or that different from what I already have.

S8888 – Pattern Hacking. Somehow, to me, the hem length and slight adjustments to the neckline isn’t really a pattern “hack” but, you know, whatever. I will admit I find this dress far more striking on the model than I do based on the line drawings. Maybe it is the blue color catching my eye? Or the perfect way the breeze has caught the skirt? Regardless, I’m more intrigued by this pattern that I thought I would be.

S8889 – I do often like the Mimi G pattern; I find their aesthetic very modern and fun, however, I have to admit I’d probably never really make this pattern. I’m not a fan of a button fly (I know I could change that, but still). I do really like the pocket details and the shape of the trousers though. I’d likely want to lengthen them, but again, easy fix. The cropped shirt isn’t really my thing, though I must admit I think it looks really cute in the context of the outfit here. It’s another pattern that I really like, but don’t really need. If I wanted to create a modified version of this style, my Burda stash has still got me pretty well covered.

S8890 – To continue on with the theme of today’s post – I like it, but I really don’t need it. The dress looks great on Mimi G. but at the end of the day it is a fairly unshaped shift dress. The jacket is cute, but I’ve already got so many trench inspired jacket patterns I really don’t need another unless it is the ultimate trench jacket (which, if you don’t already have a good trench pattern this might be – the details on it are quite nice).

S8891 – This pattern could be nice if you are looking for some shorts or some tapered trousers. The dress and top are a bit bland, but I think the bottoms in this pattern have some nice design features; I love a nice slanted pocket.

S8892 – Pretty simple designs in this pattern; nothing too exciting here unless you really love a button front fly or are looking for a loose fitting collection of tops. Which can be very nice and comfortable, just, not that exciting from a design perspective.

S8893 – And thus we begin the roundup of baby clothes. There are a lot of baby clothes. And I never have much to say about baby clothes. This one is like ruffles for baby.

S8894 – And potato sack for baby.

S8895 – And slightly more detailed dress for child slightly older than baby.

S8896 – This is actually pretty nice. I do like the little bolero jackets.

S8897 – Pretty simple dresses for the old enough to talk back to you stage. The sleeve options can be fun here.

S8999 – Love this! I am all about a shawl collar – so much easier to sew! And they look really sharp. I’m also loving the fabric mixing going on here, and the slight tapering of the trouser leg.

S8900 – Crafty kitchen stuff. I’m a bit surprised that this isn’t a vintage reprint.

S8901 – Baby floor mats. Cute? Practical? Not worth the effort? Jury’s out on this one.

S8902 – Intro to quilting pattern. I feel like if I wanted to quilt I’d start somewhere else, but I can appreciate the attempt here at bringing garment sewers into a different market.

S8903 – Doll clothes. I actually think these are super cute. The dolls are ready for spring! Why aren’t the adult clothes styled in such a cute way?

S8904 – Aprons. Have to admit that the cross over style is actually pretty practical in terms of apron coverage, and it looks pretty easy to sew. Not sure how easy it would be to put on or take off, but that’s a who separate issue. I’d definitely choose different fabrications, but, overall, I like it.

And that’s it! While I think this release is slightly more interesting than the Butterick release from last week, on the whole, I’m feeling very indifferent towards these designs. I do love the formal gown, but otherwise, I feel like I’ve already go so many similar styles in the stash that I really don’t need to add much to my collection from this release. Definitely a common theme of “I like it, but I don’t need to buy it” going on here. On the one hand I’m a bit disappointed because I feel like I’m so bored with so many of the latest releases, but, on the other hand, I’m really appreciating the pattern companies cooperating with my goal of buying fewer patterns! My bank account appreciates it!

On another note, it feels very much like Simplicity is trying to produce patterns that should appeal to the indie loving crowd. Maybe it is just me, but I find the naming of the designs, the muted color choices, and the slight focus on designs for wovens to really read as an indie grab. Especially with more of the patterns coming in extended sizing. Also interesting: the shifting of the sewing bloggers to Simplicity and the lack of costume patterns. It feels like the Big4 becoming the Big1 has started to show its effects in the latest releases. I’m assuming all costume licenses will start getting filtered through the Cosplay by McCall’s label, and it looks like the sewing bloggers are getting shuffled to the Simplicity label, as are the designs that feel geared towards those who like indie brands. What do you all think? Are you finding more to like here, or are we all still bored with the spring releases? Am I jumping to conclusions about how designs and styles are getting rejiggered in the company since the merge? Does this release feel like it was created to appeal to the indie pattern lovers out there? So much to discuss – feel free to ponder it all in the comments!


26 thoughts on “Spring 2019 Simplicity Patterns

  1. Not much for me here, but the pattern-hacking-cardigan thingie I absolutely love! That pattern I do want when they come on sale. I also like the 8869 short tops very much, great for super-hot weather – but as the owner of a muffin top, I’m not sure I have the skills to make any of them long enough.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Adding length to a pattern is actually pretty easy; getting it *just* right to get the cropped look without it being *too* cropped feels like some sort of wizardry. The cardigan thing looks great; I just feel like I already have so many options to make something similar! If my stash wasn’t already so big I’d probably be getting it though.

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  2. The things I like most are things I truly don’t need – the gown and men’s jacket.

    I like the MimiG pattern and can see it on a lot of people but it just isn’t my aesthetic. The jacket is cute but I have the (similar?) casual trench inspired Lisette pattern from a couple years back that keeps getting pushed.

    It was such a blah release for me.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The gown and the men’s suit are the only two I picked out as wanting to add to my pattern wish list. I can maybe sort of justify them because I know a lot of engaged people at the moment. Maybe. But I already have so many pretty dress patterns…

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  3. “And potato sack for baby.” I LOL-d 😀
    Not much for me here. There is something different about the men’s pants in the suit pattern. They look really high-waisted. Not sure how many men would like that. A very thin man? Is this the newest thing? Cross-over back apron – not fun to put on and off. Especially if it is messy. :-p

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  4. My first thought on the two pattern releases were “major frumpy stuff”. I also thought that as a soft classic, these styles were better suited for others. Have you considered adding to each critique what Kibbe style(s) it works best for?

    I’m also curious what the plan is for the pattern monopoly. So far I don’t see much innovation. I hope Vogue doesn’t let me down this season.

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  5. I agree with most everything you said. The only thing worth looking at is the mens pattern but I don’t need it. Very basic clothing that I’ve seen many times over, or styles that aren’t my thing. The baby mat thingies might also appeal to pet owners? And you’re right, how come the dolls look so fresh and ready for spring? LOL. Definitely lacking any oomph, but then again, I don’t really buy Simplicity patterns, they are super expensive here and the shipping charges to Canada directly from the company are outrageous. Let’s hope we get some more exciting fashions coming down the pipeline.

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  6. I’m feeling pretty underwhelmed. I can see some of those fitted waist tops being ones I would have loved to make in my 20s, but that waistline is never coming back. The woven tee with variations and that giant pocket skirt actually remind me very much of indie patterns I’ve seen before- I used to have that tee but from Sewaholic, and the giant pocket skirt reminds me of a Sew Liberated pattern that came out a year or so ago. The girl’s dress with the bolero is cute, but useless to me unless I find out that this third baby is not the third boy I’m fully expecting. Also, it probably doesn’t matter if I liked any of them enough to buy anyway, considering that my recent Joann’s trip revealed that they still don’t have the previous Simplicity release that I actually wanted some things from!

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  7. All a bit plain for me, nothing that jumps out (except that evening dress which is sublime and the mens suit which is also pretty darn awesome and which neither me or hubby would never ever ever have an occasion to wear – oh well that’s what living in the tropics does for your evening gown requirements)

    Your comments on the kids wear made me laugh out loud though !

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  8. If you’ve been buying patterns for a few years, you get to the point where you have all the basic silhouettes so you’re looking for original details. But it feels like the pattern companies are expecting there is a constant fresh batch of new sewers, so they’re focusing on another round of basics like an A-line maxi skirt or a simple t-shirt for that audience. The “pattern hacking” drives me bonkers though! Combining details from different views is just sewing! And I always wonder who is buying enough of the esoteric craft offerings to make them financially worth producing. But so fun to see this pattern review, as usual!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Agree! I feel like there was a renaissance of new sewers a few years ago, but as far as crafting goes, the hot thing has definitely moved on. I’m not saying new people aren’t coming to sewing, but the influx feels less lately, so we’ve all been seeing the same styles for a while.

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  9. I kind of like some of the tops and pants but it’s difficult to get around Simplicity’s stiff fabrics and awkward styling. I think if you put Simplicity’s designs in a Burda layout (most of them probably have been), they would be made in exciting fabrics, styled and photographed well, and look much more wearable.

    Interesting thought about trying to appeal to the indie market. If you take those patterns separately, they do have a pleasing aesthetic. That combined with the low price (compared to indies) might be enough to inspire people to collect these.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ah interesting! I agree that Burda’s styling and fashion magazine aesthetic definitely convince me of things I’d never appreciate from the Big4/1. I try to imagine these in different fabrications, but for some it’s a bit hard to unsee the flaws.

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  10. I totally agree with you about Simplicity trying to attract Indie lovers, the Pattern Hacking line in particular, mind you I think all of SimKwikMcButtVogue is/are? trying to do the same.

    I also see some patterns that are eerily similar to well known Indies in this release. The apron (S8904) is similar to Helen’s Closet York Pinafore apron add on, but it is almost exactly the same as an OOP Simplicity Daisy Kingdom 5201. Considering the number of this style of apron pins on Pinterest, I’m surprised it took this long. Mimi G’s top from S8889 is IMO very similar to Closet Case Files Kalle Blouse, but at least the Simplicity goes up to size 24 unlike the Kalle which only goes up to size 20. But then again Simplicity also copied one of their own patterns, S8883 is basically the same as S1316, which is still in print. WTF?

    What I like/love/want. I really like Mimi G’s jacket in S8890, which is noteworthy because Mimi’s style usually leaves me cold. I also find the Origami dress S8879 interesting and can’t explain why. I love S8887 Jacket/Kimono, I may have to put out the money for that one.

    What I don’t like. So many, but the worst for me is S8872 Urban Prairie Girl style AKA FLDS. Yeah no.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Found it – apparently I’ve been hit by a wave of spam comments in the past day or so (somehow my spam folder went from 0 to 2.3k overnight?) and it was buried in there. Probably wouldn’t have been a problem if some CBD company wasn’t trying to post it’s link to LITERALLY EVERY POST ON THE BLOG. Sigh. The spam catchers are really good at NOT letting that stuff through, but look to be a bit overzealous in terms of what they are keeping because because of the onslaught. Anyway, sorry about that, should be fixed now I hope.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. I love the evening gown – unlikely that I’ll ever have an occasion for it though. Also love the dinner jacket for men, I have always loved the shawl collar too.

    The rest is interesting but not my cup of tea, or my daughters’.

    Loved the Urban Prairie Girl comment!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Yeah, not a lot in here for me. Seconding the comment about the Mimi G shirt being eerily similar to the Kalle. Some of it seemed quite 1990s too and I’m not ready to return to that decade. At least low rise trousers haven’t returned (yet) to go with the crop tops we’re seeing everywhere.

    The baby patterns seemed impractical this time around. Babies don’t need ruffled aprons and the romper doesn’t look like it would be easy to remove for changing nappies! The baby mat things are useful when they’re at the unable to move stage though.

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  13. I actually really like the first two, the crop top dress & the top variations thing. The wedding industry has been really big on creating wedding separates, which I think is what they’re chasing here? The packet styling is a little wacky, but I could see some really nice versions coming out of that pattern in better fabrics.

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  14. If the Big 1 wants to go after the Indy market with Simplicity the first step should have been to fix the website. The tech savvy indy market at least needs a website that you can search by categories. They/We aren’t going to put up with a site where you have to look at aprons and baby clothes to find a pants pattern even if it has a name,

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