Thursday, May 01, 2008

Summer Patterns

irst McCall released their summer line. And I yawned. Then Simplicity and I wasn't sure what to say. Now Butterick has shown their line and once again I'm underwhelmed by far. It'd be one thing if, like the Vogue line, they were all so crazy, so out there that I could find some enjoyment commenting on them. Or if they were horrendously terrible. After all, I'm not above laughing at travesties, provided no blood is involved. Or, best, if each pattern were inspiring, beautiful, and new jewels for the pattern boxes.

Unfortunately the 3 lines managed to miss all possible targets. There were one or two crazy items, but no theme like Vogue had. Just the odd crazy, like Uncle Ben at a funeral. Yeah, there were a few bad calls - but very little that was so mind-shatteringly wretched that I HAD to drop everything and comment. And there were the occasional nice items, but again, nothing worth writing about. However once the total count has reached three lines and 99 total patterns I figure I have to say SOMETHING. So I present the best and worst from the three lines.

The Worst

#5 - McCall's 5652

 Let's start at the top, shall we?  Spaghetti straps forbearing any bra wearage?  Check.  Tiny little bodice designed to best minimize and pull down the most endowed woman?  Check.  Gathered empire waist to completely obsure any hint of a figure?  Check.

So in basic we've got a 4-year-old's dress in misses' sizing.  Gack.  And the fabrics and colors picked for the sample couldn't be worse.  Seriously, who decided this was a good idea?  Maybe done in lace and frills with a cute undershirt covering up all that skin for a western take on sweet lolita ... no, not even that would work.   Maybe just adverting the eyes until McCall quietly discontinues this odd pattern.

#4 - McCall's 5666

This shirt really rather deserves the triple six in the pattern number.  Really, what team of evil comes up with something like this?  It's like some twisted designer, saturated with images of anorexic teens, decided that any woman with a healthy or slightly more than healthy BMI must be horrendously ashamed of herself and unwilling to go out the door in anything less than a full on duvet cover.  Really.  And then, when someone complained about the lack of shaping, the designer said "FINE!" and cinched it in at one of the worst possible places.  Look at that poor model.  She's either drugged into staying there as the camera snaps or dreaming up various ways to torture the designer.  Preferably the latter.  Good grief, pay a ten minute visit to Simplicity and LOOK at their Woman's stuff!  There's a number of designs that help women rock their bodies of all sizes.  This - this is not rock.  This is karaoke.  Karaoke at a country western bar in Portland at 3 am during a beer shortage.  Except worse.

#3 - Butterick 5227

This is one of GFY's scroll down disasters.  That is, it starts out innocently enough.  Yes, that white top's too wide and unfitted and the fabric looks like it came from a long picked over dollar bin but it could be nice.  And the brown version is rather cute on top with that scoop neck and nice little cap sleeves.  And then you scroll down.  No waist definition, flare at hips and then - wow.  Extra volume right at the thighs.  Every woman's worst nightmare and you went there, Butterick, you went there.  Really, a little shorter and it might work.  Longer (as shown in the yellow dress) and it's quite nice.  But right there?  Oh no.  Oh no no no no no.  And it's just made all the worse by the fabric and fitting.  I get it, this is a fast and easy (and super-tacky) pattern.  But if it doesn't look good in a fast and easy fabric then why by all that's good are you selling it???  Ick.

#2 - McCall's 5656

I actually debated on this one.  After all, the two line drawings aren't bad at all.  A lot more volume than any woman I've met likes in her jumper but beyond that they're inoffensive.  But that white one.  Oh my.  We see here that someone clearly failed their proportions class.  Badly.  Those sleeves are just too big, those shoulders too small, the neckline too oddly smallish big, and the dress too wide for any of it to work.  It really makes you wonder - why did no one step back and LOOK at the dress and say, "hey, the sleeves are really messing it all up - how long would it take to rip 'em out and make this baby sleeveless?"  It's not like they don't have other garments to shoot.  Then just sketch sleeves on the yellow drawing and, while it's probably still not great, there's at least a chance someone will buy the pattern.  Maybe. 

#5 - 5229

I'll admit, Butterick's Fast and Easy line has never been exactly cutting edge.  Actually it's almost exactly what my favorite thrift store back in Virginia regularly has in their pattern rack.  For 10c a piece.  Half off on some days.

But for all my low expectations ... this one still stunned me.  Stop for a moment and look, really look, at E and D.  That's right.  You're not hallucinating.  Those are, in face, drop-waist, wide necked, dowdy-sleeved jumpsuits.  

If this isn't a sign of the end times I don't know what is.

I'm looking and a sadistic side of me is trying to imagine how they could look worse.  Maybe if you turned them into high waders, those pants that make a model look stubby - oh wait, D is already doing just that.  I know, pockets at the thighs so that the woman looks even wider ... oh, they beat me to it.  Ok, I'm stumped.  Apparently these can't get any worse.  And my eyes are watering.  This is, without a doubt, the WORST pattern released this year.  Yay butterick, you lose!

And this post is getting long ... ok, then, top five tomorrow!


Keely said...

Lol, You are too funny! M5652 would be good for any woman expecting quadruplets who wants to wear a tent.... in fact hook those spaghetti straps onto the top of a tripod and you've got a perfect children's cubby house. B5227 could maybe have possibilities....But I agree B5229 definitely is the worst!

Anonymous said...

YOu are hilarious!!! I have to say, I thought that B5229 was just a poor excuse to let someone wear pajamas outside and dropped the bombshell. I wasn't prepared for that.

But I must say....I am currently sewing...*gasp* 5652. Maybe it'll be cute?

Will I redeem myself if I say that I m completely in love with 5658, hve lready boguht it, nd plan o sew it soon?