(unpopular opinion alert…)
With Lilly Pulitzer’s recent passing, and all of the hubbub around the release of Colette’s Laurel pattern, I’ve found myself thinking a lot about shifts.
I’ll admit I was a bit consternated when Laurel, a shift dress, was released. Colette built up so much anticipation in the days prior to the release, and it turned out to be the simplest design imaginable. A step up from a sloper. I thought to myself, uh, not buying it for $18 and moved along.
Someone else (on pattern review) said it looks like a night shirt.
The comments both on Colette’s site, and around the blogosphere brought me back in. I read a lot of them as enthusiastic to the point of hyperbole. How many times did I read ‘this is the pattern I’ve been waiting for?’ (I’m not keen to negatively draw attention to anyone’s particular comment… read the comments on Colette’s blog posts on Laurel to see what I mean).
I wish I could say I was introspective a la Carrie Bradshaw (what a now fabulously old reference…), and not help but wonder, how come I just don’t see it? But no, I indignantly thought, what do you mean, the pattern you’ve been waiting for? Have you not seen New Look’s entire catalogue!?
Let’s get to the nitty gritty – by which I mean the line drawings. Here’s Colette’s:
I do really appreciate that they use line drawings as the cover image.
Here’s a small selection from New Look. I don’t recall much enthusiasm around these releases – though it would seem shifts sell for them, given that they release so many!
Compare View A with Laurel body; View B’s sleeves look pretty identical – however, it has more shaping through the front.
New Look 6095. And surprisingly similar to 6049!
This one has front pockets like Laurel does – but its darts are longer and come up from the side waist. More intake = more shaping.
So the silhouette is changing a little – this one and the next are considerably wider through the hips to the hem
A neckline variation
Simplicity’s also releasing shifts – though not as many as NL.
S 1726 – Amazingly close to Laurel.
Simplicity 1609 is a retro re-issue of a 1960s Jiffy pattern. Note the darts – there is ample intake for shaping.
I expect that much of 1665′s shaping comes from the yoke piece.
Burda (patterns – not magazine) also has a few similar patterns…
B 2943 – Veering further away from Laurel’s silhouette, but still a very simple shift.
I like the welt pockets on this one
Burda 7154 – another shift, but with the darts coming up from the waist.
Of course, much of the reason for the overwhelming excitement around Colette is that it’s Colette. Newbies find her patterns exceptionally easy to follow; yes, the technical writing is as awesome as Big4′s is terrible.
That I totally get. If a beginner wanted to make a shift dress, and asked me for advice, I’d probably steer them to Laurel (and, if i’m being honest, advise them to throw a belt on it).
From looking at the pattern reviews of Colette patterns, it seems that total beginners make up a huge part of her core audience. Her last two releases – Juniper and Anise, both more difficult patterns – haven’t been reviewed nearly as many times as her “beginner” releases (peony, hazel). That I get too.
But the “omg this pattern is amazeballs” stuff? That, I feel, is uncritical indielove – in this case, love of a particular indie brand – and I find it as irksome as I find any brandlove.
A word on my hiatus…
I’ve been away for several months, and haven’t intended to be away for any. I’m thinking hard about what’s preventing me from blogging my progress and finished objects…
1) My camera’s crappy (and lost…) and I have sporadic access to my boyfriend’s.
2) My apartment’s usually too messy for decent looking pics. Plus, my sewing table is beige. It’s arborite, which I love, and my late grandma’s, which I also love, but it’s not a photogenic backdrop for works in progress.
3) I don’t like my blog theme. I’m learning to code so that i can design/create my own theme, and hopefully my design will be up and running sooner than later. It’s not fun to write content for a site you don’t like the look of. (I’m not super keen on other WP (free) themes either. And I’m so not paying for a theme when I’m so close to coding my own).
I’m looking towards resolving these things, because I do like sharing my work with others and contributing to the global dialogue. Plus, I gain so much from others’ blogs, and it’s nice to pay it forward.