When Susan at Sewbox asked me to review a Hot Patterns pattern, I was spoilt for choice, Sewbox stocks 97 Hot Patterns patterns and they all look fantastic.
In the end I went for a shirt pattern because it reminded very much of one of my favourites I’d bought earlier in the year from a high street store .
The fabric I chose was Ruby, a Liberty Cord, available at Sewbox for £13.50 per meter. I thought it would be great for the colder weather and when it arrived I was delighted, super soft and just what I was after.
So what do you get. Well my first surprise was the size of the pattern envelope, a large A4 sealed envelope, quite different to the usual size. The shirt isillustrated with hand drawn images, common to the Hot Patterns. There’s a great description of the shirt and fabric suggestions. The pattern is for advanced beginners.
On the back of the envelope there is a great body measurements size chart. Most patterns only guide you as to bust, waist and hip measurements but this is fantastic with 17 different measurements covering every eventuality ensuring that you truly can get the pattern to fit. There is a guide line on how much fabric to buy, unusual, given every other pattern you buy is very specific about fabric requirements.
Unfortunately my overall impression of the pattern envelope was a bit disappointing because of the quality of the print. It has all this great information on and fantastic illustrations but it looked like the ink on the photocopier was running out. Its just attention to detail – when you pay £14 for a pattern you expect quality all the way.
Once inside the envelope I found 2 sheets of proper white paper, not thin tissue, with the multi size pattern pieces printed on and the instructions. My preference would be to have the instructions ready on a separate sheet; you need to cut them off before cutting out your pattern pieces. Again the printing quality let Hot Patterns down. The instructions were hard to read and the lines on the multi size pieces were quite faint in places.
So to cutting out and making up. The layout was easy enough. There was lots to interface so I recommend you do all the pieces as soon as you’ve cut them out. There is also a rather complex series of pattern markings for the front of the shirt which is how the placket is created. It does say it in the instructions, and I will repeat it here now – you must transfer those markings, if you don’t it will all go horribly wrong!
I found that overall the instructions were not that great in comparison to many other patterns I have used. There is an awful lot that goes unstated, I would suggest that only a reasonable confident stitcher would be happy with this pattern, someone who has been used to reading pattern instructions. It may well be that other pattern companies spoon feed us too much but I think there was some detail lacking in this pattern. I also felt that the making up process was quite disjointed. Not that this had an adverse effect on the garment but I thought there was a more logical way to go about it. It will be interesting to find out if other Hot Patterns do the same thing. Unlike the previous patterns I have reviewed here, there was no glossary with the pattern and nothing about finishing detail.
In advance of writing the review I had a quick look on the Hot Patterns web site I there is lots of information on there to support the patterns. There are sections with hints and tips on fitting and sewing and some more information about the patterns themselves. Its definitely worth a look, even if you’re not making a Hot Patterns (although you will want to when you’ve looked at the choice)
I feel I’ve been negative about the pattern but in actual fact, it’s a great shirt. It’s a good pattern for those who want to move on to sleeves, cuffs and collars and the interesting challenge of plackets. It really is a superfantastic shirt and in the lovely Ruby cord its my favouite comfy winter shirt. It came in a little longer and wider than I would have liked but I can always alter that later.
Apologise for the lack of photos in this post – I’ve strugled to get them uploaded – anyone have any advice, I’d appreciate it.