Discussion Topic: Pushing the (Pattern) Envelope. How Complex is Too Complex?

Talking about pattern complexity on the McCall Pattern blog.

Readers, you responded so well to our last discussion topic (Pattern Sizing vs RTW Sizing) that we’re eager to have another discussion with you. This time let’s talk about how much complexity you’re willing to take on with a pattern.

If you follow us on Instagram you’ll recall that we recently posted this top by Zimmermann, asking if you’d be up for patterns that require a lot of detail work like this top, or would you pass because it’s too time-consuming. (For the sake of argument, let’s pretend that the lace/trims/etc. needed are readily available so that’s not the issue.)

Zimmermann Empire Virtue Blouse   SHOPBOP
source

Would you buy a pattern like this if it existed? If you did, what’s the likelihood you’d actually make it?

Or, take a look at the designer dress/tunic below. If we had a pattern that required you to quilt some of it, would you put it in your shopping cart?

akris tunic 2[3]
source
What if a pattern wasn’t particularly hard, but it had a lot of pieces, like 30 to 40? Even if the end result was a really cool, chic garment, would you pass on a pattern like that?

Now we’re not talking about the extra work and details involved with sewing a tailored garment, like a coat or a jacket. We know you’re up for that. But what about taking on detail work that isn’t tailoring—like quilting, cutwork or other things that would result in a “wow, you made that?!” kind of garment. How far are you willing to push the pattern envelope when it comes to your time and enthusiasm? Leave us a comment here and let us know!

178 comments
  1. Oh yes! I already complicate the very easy sewing patterns- my mom and I have a joke that there are never truly very easy sewing patterns unless you make it that way.
    I don’t sew because it’s not time consuming… Haha

    1. I love the blouse and would buy and try it. Am not sure how well it would turn out but is so lovely it is worth an attempt.

      1. If you have an embroidery machine like a Singer Futura or other similar machine that might work, since it can sometimes be hard to find the lace you want for purchase. That’s probably how I would do it since there are tons of lace designs available. My problem is finding the right fabric. I guess I would have to look online. It looks like its a nice drapey medium weight rayon or similar and I have not see anything like that in the local stores where I live. I have a couple of patterns that I can hack to do it if the pattern is not yet available.

    2. WOW! There’s a lot of dedicated, die-hard sewists out there willing & able to take on challenges! I like to create something that can be done in a few days. I usually have a goal – like I want a new skirt by Saturday night. I teach beginning & intermediate sewing, & successfully finishing projects in 2 or 3 classes is an important part of the learning curve. P.S. it’s also the reason I don’t quilt!

      1. I like to participate in Sew alongs for some of the PDF pattern groups I belong to, like Create Kids Couture, and Violette Field Threads which have adult patterns too, by the way. We have a week and an assigned pattern. The sew alongs have deadlines within the project and at the end, and they often give out prizes such as free patterns. Sometimes it will be a design challenge where we can get crazy creative and other times it will be a technique challenge that is more aimed at beginners but anyone can participate.

  2. I would definitely purchase a pattern with lots of pieces and/or quilt and cutwork. I find most RTW clothing and many patterns to be uninspiring. These are the days of disposable OTR clothes. I’d love to step it up and make truly unique textile art pieces.

  3. If it is really unique, but not faddish , a classic like the tunic..I love special touches

    1. I’ll second that. I would love a pattern for the tunic, because it is fairly ageless, but I’d pass on the dress, not because of the quilting, but because it looks too trendy.

  4. No, I would not quilt, do applique or any other unusual fabrication….I’d look for the fabric to mimic what I’m looking for. I just finished a knit top, using a TT (tried and true pattern) using an Armani knit fabric, for the front and back…..I used another similar knit in a solid for sleeves….I get so many compliments on it….but the fabric did the work……Life is short….However, I might do some of this on a handbag, because I use it several seasons and take my handbag with me everywhere. I consider accessories as art to wear.

  5. I’d jump on the chance to sew with a pattern that creates an interesting garment. The challenge of a complex design is good brain exercise!

    1. Absolutely! Great exercise for the brain….

    2. I agree wholeheartedly.

  6. I would absolutely love to see patterns with more intricate details and techniques! For me, it’s all about enjoying the creative process and not just seeing how fast I can get something done.

    1. i totally agree with Anna. I sew to make something beautiful that fits me and the time it takes doesn’t matter.

  7. If there was a pattern for that lace blouse I would buy it in a heartbeat and yes I would make it, just for the fun of it, sometimes it is nice to have to slow down and consider what you are doing in order to get the best results.

  8. Yes I would definitely have a go at the first. I love the idea of having instructions to make a complex designer garment and stretch my skills. No to quilting though – just not my thang

  9. I can see this in your Vogue lineup of patterns. Yes, I would like to see piecework patterns. Not sure about the quilting (unless on a jacket because your sample would not look as flattering on a heavier person). There is a class on Craftsy, taught by Linda McGeehee “Machine Savvy – Tips for Creative Sewing”) where she shows how to take pieced fabric (like quilting), add piping and create material with decorative stitches and using decorative threads using a cording foot while “sewing crooked”. I would like to see something like this – how to incorporate specialty pieces into a garment and have it look right.

  10. Yes I would love to patterns with design details like those. I would buy them and make them! Thanks for asking.

  11. Woohoo! The more advanced the pattern…the better! These are beautiful!!!! Yes Please!!!!

  12. I would definetly consider these types of patterns. I often find that patterns lack of umph. For me sewing is a hobby and is all about creating a wonderfunl garment that has its own caracter. It’s not a question of wanting to finishing before you start. Just looking at older patterns, one will find more design detailms and complexity.
    I hope the McCalls group will add a few of these for every season.

  13. If it is a style I really like, l would be willing to take it on. I like the quilted dress you show as an example.

  14. I would love to see more detailed top patterns, like the Zimmermann one shown. I think tops with interesting details are missing from the pattern market. I would take the extra time to make detailed garments.

    I would balk at 30 to 4o pieces though. I also have stopped buying dress patterns that require 5 and 6 metres of fabric. I never buy that much at a time, and mostly I buy fabric when I see it and make clothes from my fabric stash rather than try to find the perfect fabric when you want it for a particular fabric.

  15. I love the “Wow! You made that?!” look and would certainly be willing to put in the time and effort for that result. Some patterns are too bland, making the garment look home made.

  16. I have a special place in my heart for garments that require detail work. I love the entire process that goes into making pieces like this. I hope more pattern companies start designing and producing styles like this tunic.

  17. Yes yes yes, I would absolutely buy and make a pattern that involved quilting or lots of pieces. I love trying new things when I sew and I love a challenge.

  18. If there were intricate/quilted details included with a simpler version, I’d be interested. Otherwise, I’d stick with more classic lines. Sometimes those details add stiffness or bulk.

  19. Yes and Yes! I would embrace anything unusual that involved lots of pieces or decorative work. I’m always learning and that would add to it.

  20. I’m fairly inexperienced, having sewn over a fair number of years but very very sparodically, so I’d consider myself a competent beginner.
    I’d love to sew patterns like this, ones with time consuming elements within a classic designs, rather than far quicker and easier (but funkier, shorter lived, trend following and often uglier IMO) drafted pattern pieces.
    I’d much rather sew something a bit more time consuming and classic than something quicker that will barely last a few seasons..

  21. Yes! Oh my goodness a thousand times yes! Aside from building my wardrobe, I want to sew something that is more challenging. Now, not any challenging project will do for me. It has to be something that I like and can fit into my wardrobe of course. I think a lot of patterns cater to beginners these days. That’s fine, but every now and then I want to be challenged!

    I just bought vogue v1446 by Rebecca Taylor. I love it, but the pleats are going to give me a problem because I need to do a FBA. It will be one of the most challenging projects I take on.

  22. Yes, yes, yes!!! That is why I sew. After sewing for 50 years, it’s the challenge I enjoy most. I love being creative and pushing my skills to a new level.

  23. Yes and yes! Bring on the complicated 40+ piece patterns. I only purchase designer patterns from Vogue, and I have learned so much more from sewing up Lagerfeld, Dior, Donna Karan, Ralph Rucci, Montana…. I could list more…. over the years. As Laura said, I don’t sew because it’s fast. I sew to get a garment that is one-of-a-kind, and painstakingly made with joy.

  24. I would love to be able to get those types of patterns.

  25. Yes, more complex patterns are fine; you do a good job I think of differentiating the easier patterns, so I can pick one of those if I don’t have time. The techniques used or the number of pieces involved do not determine whether I like a pattern.

    For example, I bought V1381 so I could do the quilting, V1387 just for the shoulder tucks; I’m not afraid to do more complex patterns.

    I am always adding to my patterns anyway – quilting, piping, applique, machine embroidery, lace insertion, pintucks – I love doing heirloom and couture sewing even when it’s not in the pattern.

  26. When I discovered Vogue designer patterns (in the late 1960s!) I loved their complexity, and I used to say that they really weren’t much harder than other patterns, they just took longer because of the extra pieces. But for me the styles of complex patterns I use have to be classic enough to be wearable over several years. I’d love to be able to find casual (for today’s lifestyle), wearable, and complicated patterns now. I’d buy them in a heartbeat.

  27. Both of these design ideas have a lot of interest going for them with their silhouettes. That already has my interest. Then the detailing you’ve added would have me in 7th heaven to sew them.
    I’ve been thinking of adding lace inserts to something edgy and now that quilting has come up, this has been on my mind as well but I would want something with great shape and it looks like that’s how these designs are headed. I’ll keep an eye out on what you release next.

  28. YES! I would buy that quilted dress in a heartbeat! I love Miyake and miss those old patterns. I love the challenge of interesting designs.

  29. For the last few years, the pattern selections have been drearily similar (how many tee shirt based patterns can the market support?). I would pay extra for interesting design elements. I have a Vogue Nina Ricci gown pattern from 1980 that has intricate construction. I’m going to make that up for a concert. I also still wear Karl Lagerfeld designs that Vogue published in the 90s, and I remember the Individualist line that had some really cool designs and designers. I miss the challenges they presented and the great and unique results.

    Oh man – next thing you know I’ll start yelling at kids to stay off my lawn!

  30. If a pattern offers me a chance (read: gives very detailed instructions) to learn a new technique I like the look of, I’ll buy. I will not make it as soon as I buy it, but I like to think I would eventually. In fact, I have V1381 and I will make it someday. 🙂

    1. I agree with this post. I LOOOOOVE that quilted dress. I would definitely BUY it. Would I make it? Depends on the number of pieces. 30 pieces no, normal number yes. But sometimes I don’t have any solid intention of making the patterns I buy. A pattern can simply be good bedtime reading – you study it, think about it, dream it, and maybe make it. The making is not always a necessary step to me. Maybe I just keep it for inspiration or for a technique or simply to collect a work of art!

      1. Yes! I carry patterns in my handbags like other would carry books, and I do unfold them in the subway while commuting, to have a look at the instructions.

  31. I would definitely buy more complex patterns if I like the look of it. That’s not a barrier for me at all, In fact, garments with more interesting lines are a big draw to me. With simpler patterns, I’m more likely to find one I already own that is similar enough and pass on it.

  32. Yes! I’m so tired of the “quick and easy” patterns. Bring back the true artistry of sewing. I live the challenge of intricate patterns. There are a million tutorials online for making a fast tshirt or elastic waist skirt. I’m tired of shapeless, boxy, one size fits all garments. I want to make beautiful, interesting things that I can’t buy for $5 at old navy or traget.

  33. To get a truly unique item – yes ….bring it on

  34. While there is always a place for easy to sew patterns, the thing I like about Vogue patterns is they already offer more complexity. I did heirloom sewing for my children, but now that they are grown I would like to do some heirloom level sewing for myself while I wait for grandchildren.

  35. Absolutely! A quilting challenge would be a Great learning experience. When is that pattern set scheduled for release?! #futuristic

  36. Yes, I love the intellectual challenge of complex patterns or patterns with many pieces, especially for the opportunity to create something especially unique and beautiful. That is, indeed, my primary purpose in sewing, although I know going in that this type of pattern will require more time. Once these garments are complete, the sense of pride and accomplishment makes the complicated/many piece patterns worthwhile. I can buy clothes, but I love creating a wearable masterpiecework!

  37. Yes!! I would purchase all three patterns…for me the mark of superior hand sewn garments are in the details….professional options produce professional results and originality. Please, lets “push the envelope”

    Sincerely,
    Jeanna Hanna

  38. If the silhouette really catches my eye, yes. I’ve definitely been known to sew intricate or complicated patterns. Right now, I’m trying to keep my sewing simple, so I can restock my closet with basics that fit my new mom lifestyle/body. But when I have more sewing time again, if I’d have a place to wear it, bring it on!

  39. Yes, I would. I enjoy sewing unique garments. Let’s face it, you only need so many easy patterns with minimum pieces. Something challenging would be fun.

  40. Yes yes YES! I’ve watched the sewing room video where she added quilted sleeves to a garment and did the design down the front of the sweatshirt and thought “Omg how kewl is that!” I would love to see designs like when simplicity Carried project runway. You got a croquis with the pattern and ideas to modify yourself. I sew to be creative! I love the “you made that! ” reaction. The more pieces = more creative. Bring it on!

  41. Yes, yes and again yes! I think most sewists reach a point in our journeys where we crave the intricate and challenging designs to sew…at least I do…and I don’t want it to always be a tailored jacket/coat which just doesn’t fit into my lifestyle at this point. However, both of the pieces featured in this post would work so well in my new wardrobe and would be a joy to work on!

  42. The extra work doesn’t bother me. The weirdness of the designs does bother me. Where on earth would an ordinary gal wear the one with the quilted hem???

  43. I think that the majority of patterns and most affordable RTW is just plain BORING. Boring to make, boring to wear.

    However, a pattern of 30+ pieces can be just as, or more, boring to both make and wear as one of 3 pieces. Complexity for the sake of complexity is wasting everyone’s time, but comp!exity in order to use the inherent qualities of fabrics, to engineer a design, to display sculptural effects, to drape in unexpected ways – in other words, to produce a garment that as well as being wearable is also interesting and attractive to look at and to make – well, let’s just say that even if I never intend to make that pattern up, I’d buy it just to read. Like good maps.

    I have to say, though, I do wonder at some pattern companies’ mediocre opiniosn of and doubts about the abilities and aspirations of their customers. I am afraid that I think it is us sewers who should have doubts about the ability of some pattern companies to correctly and consistently produce and grade all their run-of-the-mill patterns without errors. I shudder to think what their more complex patterns would be like!

  44. I commented on IG but…

    I am definitely more ‘instant gratification’ with my sewing. But I have A LOT of clothes now and I do look for more interesting designs. I don’t particularly enjoy quilting but I do enjoy collecting patterns and I’d probably totally buy it whether I intended to sew it or not (like M7154!).

    I do believe that at the moment, the sewing pattern market is sort of saturated with easy to sew patterns. Lately in looking for my next project I’m looking at my Burda mags more and more vs. my envelope patterns because DETAILS!

    So the overall consensus is yes, yes, yes! More intricate details, interesting features, new techniques, etc. Most beginners don’t stay beginners for very long so help them expand their horizons!

    1. Chiming in; beginners don’t stay beginners. And so on up the chain. If you want an indication of how a complex pattern is desired, admire the asking prices of Miyake and MacQueen patterns. I want a striking, unique piece of clothing and I will put the time into it. Sell to me, too!

      1. Exactly!!

        And the people who do want to stay at the beginner level will find plenty of simple bodices with gathered skirts to buy 😉

  45. Yes I’d pass!! I don’t have the time for any pattern more than 7 pieces. Or the patience!!!

  46. I would love to see more detailed patterns. There are too many basic patterns, and with so much inspiration out there and so many great designers there is plenty design available.

  47. Yes, I would make a detailed garment, but I’m much older and experienced (62). I don’t expect to make a garment in one afternoon, and I don’t mind the delayed gratification. We have a generation of young women who want to sew, but most weren’t trained in childhood, so their inexperience has to be taken into account. We don’t want to scare them off. Designers and pattern makers, it’s up to you. Sharpen your drawing pencils and figure out how you can make easier to sew, detailed garments, with logical construction methods and easy-to-understand directions. I’ve sewn lots of garments from many pattern companies. For well-written directions, I like Janet Pray’s Islander patterns. What I’m saying is that you need to re-think how your directions read (including line drawings) for the beginning and intermediate sewer if you expect those folks to sew a more detailed garment.

  48. Yes, I would love to see patterns that offer the option to customize. I love to sew unique garments. However, it should be a option. A simple version should be available on the same pattern, so you offer something for the beginner sewer or a more advanced sewer who wants a quick and simple project.

  49. Oh yes, I love the details and if I have to look at another fit ‘n’ flarer dress I’ll just have to throw myself under a 2.0 stitich length lightning bolt.
    Patterns have become too simple to cater for beginners I think, but at the moment I’m in Singapore and I was only wondering this evening why would anyone sew a dress when you can buy one for $10. Well we all know about fit and fabrication but if the garment is standard issue boring, it doesn’t set itself apart. I think sewers need to be encouraged to experiment. I could easily be accused of playing it safe. When I was a kid I sewed much more interesting garments. Great question thanks for asking.

  50. Absolutely I would purchase a detailed pattern if the design was current with what the designers in the garment industry are issuing. I love doing complicated because it hons my skills. Nothing will improve skills like a challenge. That white blouse is so cute, I would sew that one for sure. One can only sew up so many easy patterns before being bored to death. Thanks and keep up the great work.

  51. YES PLEASE! Challenges make us better. Keep the looks classic, not trendy, and then people will buy (it’s not always easy to get to all the patterns in one season).

  52. More please!! Some sewists are driven by fabric – they love prints and pattern placement and that sort of thing. But I’m a pattern-oriented sewist. I’m fatally attracted to complicated patterns and I love great details. I generally don’t make decisions based on how many pattern pieces a pattern has. I would totally make and wear that awesome quilted number! Or other interesting and unique patterns.

  53. Well, I am up into the not particularly hard type, chic, cool garment regardless of the number of pieces. I love the idea of making a complex one with a lot of details, it’s just that I am not sure I have the time or skill to do it.

  54. Yes, I’d do a bit of quilting if I liked the style of the garment. Lots of pieces? Yes! Just be sure we can clearly see how they go together. Very intrigued by the idea of 30-40 pieces. Cutwork–cool.

  55. Yes if I liked the pattern I would absolutely buy a complex pattern. Part of the reason to sew is to get the wardrobe you want, but the craft of sewing is a big part of it. Would I buy those routinely? No, but about once a season I like to take on a significant challenge — a Claire Shaeffer couture pattern for example, or something else complex to me, like a technique or fabric I’ve never tried before. So bring them on,

  56. YES to both! I, too, enjoy the process and am willing to spend time adding extra designer touches to a design to make it unique. There are always plenty of basic patterns, but so many fewer with a wow factor. Some of my favorite Vogue Pattern Magazine features are the articles where you take one of your patterns and rework them and add designer techniques. Bring them on!

  57. I say bring on the complications! If the style is enhanced by it, I’ll jump in with both feet! I already modify patterns to make them more ‘difficult’ to copy designer makes that I see, or embellishments that I love so I’m up for just about anything. Besides, you can always dumb down a complicated style if you want to and will do so if the fit and cut is unique.

  58. YES, please. I agree with the people who have commented that there are too many too similar patterns out there. Lots of us want something that is more interesting even if it is more time consuming.

  59. If the lace and trim was easy to find I would soooo buy the blouse pattern. I love lace and lace details!

    As in the dress/tunic I would make it at least once because it’s such a unique garment and then to be able to customize it even more…I would love that!
    I recently sewed a bag where you used the “quilt as you go” technique and I did enjoy sewing it but it also showed me that I don’t want to quilt! lol

    But for more difficult techniques I would want really easy to understand instructions.
    I am having to tell a friend of mine that I can’t sew the dress she chose because I am at a loss of how to do the technique. It’s not for a lack of trying or researching, either. It said it was an “average” sewing pattern so I didn’t think it was over my level of sewing. The worse part is I was so lost, stressed and overwhelmed that I didn’t even want to sew anymore.

    I guess what I’m saying, is yes…I would buy harder patterns as long as I’m not making it for someone else and I know that the instructions will be easy to understand.

  60. Yes! Absolutely! It doesn’t really make much sense to me to make a dress I could buy cheaper at Wal Mart. The goodness lies in creating something that’s intricate, and beautiful and individual to itself–the kind of piece you fall in love with and keep forever. Vogue used to make the most fashion forward patterns on the planet. I’d like to see those glory days come back again!

  61. I buy complex patterns like those above when they are on sale — with no intention of ever sewing them. They are interesting reading.

  62. Yes to lots of pieces, I am a Donna Karan/Issey Miyake fan and love the challenges of getting the fit right and putting the puzzle together. No fan of lace inserts in general, not my style, but open to quilting if I like the pattern.

  63. Yes, complexity please! While the two examples you show don’t interest me, I have sewn plenty of Vogue designer patterns with complex details and always look for them. Particularly in tailored items, jackets or dresses with a lot of pattern pieces can be so interesting to sew. I notice that a lot of 40’s clothing have interesting details, insets, pleating etc. and I think some of those details can be incorporated into modern silhouettes. In fact it is such a letdown to look at a new seasonal pattern release and see the same things, a basic T, a fit and flare dress, a waterfall cardigan….enough of those and bring on more interesting patterns.

  64. I am definitely in the minority here, but for what it’s worth:

    Probably not. I already have a couple of patterns that call for quilting and I have never gotten around to making them. And I quilt.

    I like the idea of a pattern to make something truly unique; but in reality, time and money make this sort of thing prohibitive.

    Also, I have a several books that explain many of the techniques designer’s use in detail. So I can get very creative and alter the living daylights out of a basic pattern and incorporate all the necessary fitting requirements specific to my figure.

    I think my main reason for not buying a pattern for something like this is that is it highly conspicuous. I really have nowhere to wear a “statement” piece of clothing. And how many times can anyone wear something that stands out so much without it being overkill?

  65. I have mixed feelings. I certainly would like to make the blouse, but would I wear it, probably not as it is not my style. The quilted dress is beautiful, but again, at age 60 again it is not my style. ,I would, and do alter patterns to include more challenging features, quilting, embroidery, piecing, etc
    I find current patterns “samey” which is why I alter them, but agree with other comments that a vast amount of pattern pieces would not appeal, neither would a garment taking more than 4 or 5 metres of fabric, and whilst us older ones would enjoy the challenge, I like my followers, mostly beginers, to be able to complete a garment which is professional looking even if easy.

  66. YES to more complex, YES to some quilting. If it is gorgeous, we will find a way to make it! Can always ask someone for help. Or your sewing machine dealer. That Akris tunic is a Killer/ love it/would buy it immediately! Yes, I am a very advanced sewer but I make 3 piece patterns too if they are right. Advanced sewers need some patterns. There is a lot for beginner and intermediate. The FASHION ones may lure them to work to be able to sew at that level.

  67. There was a time when I never thought twice about taking on a complex/complicated pattern no matter how long it might have taken. Now that I’m retired and have plenty of time and desire to do such work I find that my age and/or memory has complicated the process to the point that I no longer am so gung ho. I might buy the pattern but have someone else make it!

  68. Totally yes! There are so many basic patterns out there already. I’d love to have the opportunity to sew something more taxing. I really enjoyed making V1362 and got lots of compliments on the crazy neckline. Personally I’d prefer patterns that don’t rely on special trimmings like the lace blouse because it’s tricky to track that stuff down – but cut outs and quilting: bring it on!

  69. I don’t mind the details–but if complex patterns don’t fit right out of the envelope, it’s far more work to adjust them and ensure all the pieces still match up. I may not have the knowledge or the energy to do so, which stops me from ever sewing the pattern. I’d rather play with my sloper and be confident that the work of assembling many pieces won’t be wasted.

  70. I would happily make a complicated garment if the pattern takes into consideration the need for alterations/fitting, both within the pattern pieces and in the instructions. Making changes to fit the garment can alter the original design intentions, if not thoughtfully done.

    1. Yes to all of this!!
      I used to buy many of the more interesting designer Vogues, only to find that it was next to impossible to do an FBA. How I dread seeing “no provision for above waist adjustments” on a pattern! Please help us that are over a B cup out. I’m an H for goodness sake!

  71. Complex is such a subjective term. Everyone sews on different levels and have different time commitments to invest in a single project. Maybe the description should say something like “Advanced/Expert Level”. I don’t think as a pattern company, McCall should start basing their offerings on the level of beginners. Some of us like the challenge of “complicated”.

  72. Bring it on!!! I doubt there is much you can put on a pattern as far as the “ART OF SEWING” (quilting, embroidery, peicing) is concerned, that would discourage a true artist. We live for it!!!

  73. Yes, yes, yes to your question about complex patterns. I sew for the pleasure and satisfaction of creating something fun, flattering and unique. I scour Pinterest for ideas to incorporate to existing patterns. I frequently use silk screens, stencils, fabric manipulation, etc. to enhance the creative joy of sewing. It doesn’t always work, but hey, what does? I like challenging my brain cells.

    I’ve been sewing all my life and now have the luxury of time to work on a project that takes a while. For me, patterns must be age-appropriate, have flattering lines and fit correctly. (Thank you Sandra Betzina.)

  74. I really like both of the photos above and would wear the tunic with jeans like the model is, and I think the dress would be great for a party. In more general terms, yes, I would be up for a challenge! I do love making basics, and am only an advanced beginner or perhaps intermediate, but I would like to start adding a more complex thing per season or so, like someone else said above. I would just ask that the instructions be really really good…and maybe a video tutorial on this website would be helpful for whatever the challenging techniques are.

  75. I really enjoy making complex and interesting garments. Using other techniques such as quilting, appliqué.

  76. Yes, I would be interested in more complex patterns, for all the reasons that have been stated by the other commenters.

  77. Yes & Yes, I would make both patterns. I would love to see more complex patterns! Something to take clothing design to another level.

  78. I tend to prefer more simple patterns and then alter and over complicate them myself… I was a quilter first, so quilting, applique and smocking are in my repertoire. ..I like to create my own surface designs… but, I would probably buy if it was a pattern that was classic or interesting that allowed for a significant degree of personalization.

  79. As someone who’s ‘schooled’ in heirloom sewing techniques, I would absolutely make the lace trimmed blouse shown – in fact, I’d love to own that pattern NOW, :-D. Although, there’s a perfect example of how I would ‘complicate’ a pattern (ala Laura) by taking one that is fairly basic in it’s overall lines, and adding heirloom embellishments. But, I might welcome having some of the design work done for me, and I would certainly be drawn to a pattern with that image on the envelope!

    I might not get into a garment with a great deal of quilt stitching as I am not a quilter – but many are and I would think they’d be attracted to garment patterns with quilted details as much I am to those with heirloom details.

    Lots of pieces? No objections here. A unique garment is a large part of why I sew. Detailed and complex patterns are welcome … as long as the instructions and illustrations are detailed enough to make them understandable – and that’s a huge consideration – there are a couple of pattern lines that I no longer purchase due to lack of same.

    From someone with more than 50 years sewing experience, I have to say I very much appreciate the opening of these discussions.

  80. Of course I would buy the pattern if it was complex. It would be nice if it is clearly stated on the pattern envelope regarding certain procedures involved, such as doing your own quilting or application of certain trims, laces, etc. My beef is with certain pattern companies who don’t supply directions on how they recommend the pattern to be assembled. While I don’t always follow the pattern instructions, it is helpful to have directions and high quality illustrations for some of the difficult assembling.

  81. Yes, I would love complex, extra detail work to make outfits that were “me”. Please include these type of patterns in your collection. I would be the first to buy them.

  82. Adding quilting, embroidery, etc depends more on the fabric for me, so I wouldn’t necessarily buy a pattern that uses a specific embellishment technique. As for number of pieces in a pattern my experience is that multiple pieces make a pattern difficult to alter. I am short and busty so I check the line drawings very carefully to make sure I can adapt the pattern to my body. I have sewn for people who can wear a pattern right from the envelope but that is not me. The difficulty of sewing the pattern is not the issue. I feel I could tackle anything but fit must be part of the equation.

  83. I absolutely would purchase both items if featured as patterns. I’m always looking to stretch my skills and best of all, I want the clothes I make to be individual and have unique details. For me, that is one of the true joys of making my own clothes. Lately I’ve reduced the number of patterns I purchase since so many appear to repeats or repeats on a theme. If I wanted to look like everyone else I’d shop at the mall and wouldn’t take the time and effort to sew. Bring it on, I’m waiting!

  84. I’d like to try more complex patterns, but like others have said, I think they should be packaged with a ‘bare bones’ version as well. If there’s no way I’m going to be able to get the pattern to fit or flatter me, I’d like to know that as early in the process as possible.

  85. Im surprised youre asking…with the popularity of Issey Miyake patterns. As long as the pattern is interesting,it will get made. I will always have my qick to make tops and pants but the extra work goes into a jacket or vest to make those pieces complete.

  86. Oh my, it looks like the only women commenting would LOVE to take on this kind of detail work. While I believe I could do this kind of detail work, life is too short for me to spend hours and hours on one project that may or may not become something I am happy with and would like to wear in public! So for what it is worth, I would appreciate patterns that become unique, well sewn, well fitting clothing that I really want to wear. Museum pieces belong in museums and most designer clothing is modified before the public is ready to wear it. Please keep these offerings to a minimum to most of your research and development time may be spent on patterns that I would be interested in. Thank you.

  87. I tend to pass over patterns labelled “easy”. Iwould definitely buy the whte blouse pattern; it doesn’t look difficult to me but reminds me of heirloom sewing.

  88. Yes please! I am bored to tears by all 1,001 patterns for a princess seam bodice with a gathered waist skirt. Not only do I enjoy making something that has unique, intricate details, but I also love learning new techniques! In general, I would love to see more pattern companies catering to advanced sewers as much as they seem to be focusing on beginners.

  89. Extra work or time would never be a deterrent to me. I can usually ferret out “ingredients” online and I enjoy a challenge and the time it takes to do things right. My personal taste runs to uncomplicated lines and classic looks so I am not sure that I would have the desire to make some of these patterns. What I would like to see more of is updated, simple, classic designs. I find very few mainstream patterns that interest me anymore and somI have been looking for vintage patterns with the lines I want.

  90. There is definitely a place for both quick and easy and for ‘slow sewing’. I love hand sewing and sometimes hand sew by choice where a machine would be fine. I have also been known to make something just because it looked really interesting to make, even if I don’t think I’ll wear it (it goes to a charity shop). Both the garments shown look very interesting. Many years ago (don’t ask how many) I made a reversible quilted jacket for my wedding ‘going away’ outfit (don’t think they have those anymore) and the photo here has inspired me to think about doing something like that again. However! you say don’t think about whether materials are available or not but that is a big problem if you live outside of London.

  91. For me it depends. i do prefer stylish fairly complex patterns especially when I am making suits, coats or special occasion outfits. I also like patterns that challenge me. Sometimes I can take a simple pattern and turn it into more complexity due to a special look I want or fabric I choose. I’m not sure I would quilt anything as I am not a quilter.

  92. In general, yes. I love the old McCall’s patterns from the 20s-50s that had embroidery, appliqué, trapunto, smocking, etc., and it would be great to see that tradition brought back in new designs. Quilting, maybe not so much as it adds bulk, but it could be okay on a yoke or maybe a fitted jacket.

    The main problem for me is, you guessed it, finding good quality matching lace and other trims for those of us who (a) don’t sew stark black or white and (b) don’t live in a major garment industry city such as New York. I know that’s meant to be ignored for the sake of this discussion, but to be honest, that above all is what might stop me from sewing a top like the one shown.

    I also don’t mind huge numbers of pattern pieces if it’s what makes sense for the design. For example, in a coat I’d much rather have proper facing, interfacing, and lining pieces, ease pleats and all, rather than an edge-to-edge lining.

  93. How about 2 versions for sewists who are not as advanced. A plain one without all the extras so we could first sew it and make sure it fits and that we understand the pattern. The second version with all the custom add-ons. I would love to try something complicated but I’d want to make sure I can sew it.

  94. I’m not the target audience for either pattern – anything but simple, classic styles leaves me looking like I’m playing dress up – but I’d love something more ‘me’ that incorporated more techniques, so long as the directions are excellent and the fabric/lace/trim needed was at least moderately sourceable for those of us who don’t live in LA or NYC.

    I’d especially love it if the pattern came with an ‘easy’ version to check for fit before putting a ton of work into the more complicated version – I sew because I like things to fit and they rarely do straight out of the package. It might also help convince those who are intimidated by the more complicated version to give the pattern a chance.

  95. I would buy the patterns with many pieces, and also the ones requiring varied techniques. Its not that I am such an advanced sewist, but I love making things that have the added spark of being unusual, and conversely feel a little bored with the more routine patterns.

  96. If it is unique and wear-able, the complexity does not intimidate me. I do however, find that the detail of pattern pieces and the quality of instructions that accompany packaged patterns has diminished. I guess my problem is that I have been sewing for so long that I remember patterns having more details and certainly more line drawings to demonstrate steps.

  97. Thank you for welcoming comments. I would invest the time into a detailed pattern IF the instructions were clear and/or were also available online. I do not think I would quilt a dress for myself as I am overweight and that would add to my bulk. Also, I live in Florida, so a light blouse would appeal to me much more than a heavy look.
    .
    However, I do sew for children/toddlers and would consider a quilted look for the children.

  98. Yes, please! I am always looking for ways to add detail, and love the embellishments found on 40s clothing. I don’t wear vintage but do admire the style. I enjoy designer patterns, and some indy patterns for their attention to style elements. Many established indy designers also put much effort into instructions, which the big4 fail at so often.

  99. Yes I would definitely purchase a complex pattern, but only if I loved the design, which of course differs from person to person. I am working on a quilted pattern right now and am really enjoying it! Personally I enjoy patterns that push me a little bit as I love learning new things about sewing.

  100. I would invest the time because you are expanding your sewing and techniques knowledge. I have been sewing for over 40 years and love the challenge that it can bring.

  101. I’d love to see more design in sewing patterns . Too many patterns are geared for beginners, thus they are quite plain to be easy for those sewists. I’d love to see more detail in patterns as it pertains to what’s in fashion. Another gripe i have as so many patterns that are more advanced are just plain matronly, unflattering, or not at all fashionable. Or they get released way too late after the look has already become passe. Think the high low hem trend. So yes, more detai,l but more fashion, too.

  102. I love that blouse & would definitely make it if there were a pattern available. I too would make more complex patterns to get a distinct fashion look.

  103. Depends. I don’t like quilting in garments so I would not buy a pattern that required it. I have bought some old vintage designer Vogues that did have 20+ pieces, so the time involved would not deter me if I wanted the garment.

  104. Yes,yes,and yes. I already will take a pattern and hack it, sometimes to spectacular failures! I would make that blouse now, if the pattern was available. The dress not so much, but only because I don’t think quilting my fabric would be fun, but I have taken a pattern and appliqued to make my own bordrer fabric. And for lots of pattern pieces, yes. How fun would that be? So yes, please bring it on.

  105. I want fast and easy and really cool pattern But there is no way I would do a pattern with 30 or 40 pcs………………………………………………………..UNLESS I was doing it for work and getting paid

  106. I’m in the camp where, complex is intriguing, but fit and style is what prevents me from investing in it. I’m a middle age petite plus (5′ with no waist), so although I love the white top, I’d probably look pregnant in it. < : )
    I like the idea some are mentioning of a 'fit' garment version. If I were in my 20-30's I might go for something like this if the instructions and markings are clear.

  107. The thing that might make me hesitate is not that the pattern is complicates to sew, but that it might be more difficult to fit. Cutting 30 pieces of fabric is one thing, but 30 pieces of muslin and then fabric become more of a challenge than I’m usually willing to tackle. That said, a good design, like the Vogue Individualist patterns from years ago, are worth the extra effort. I still have a gigantic stash of Vogue patterns I’ll never part with.

  108. I love the idea of more complex patterns. While I would probably balk at 30 pattern pieces, items like the quilted dress you showed you be wonderful. At the moment the only patterns offering me something to get my teeth into are tailored garments – and I don’t wear tailored garments, so tend to stick with the simpler designs that are on offer. More detail and complexity would be a wonderful option for those of us who have been sewing for decades and want fashionable clothes.

  109. Yes please! Love the challenge of more complex patterns!

  110. Please don’t forget that your patterns sell internationally – and are a significant financial investment for those of us not in the US. Clever cuts and interesting designs are the sort of complexity which translates into all languages; fancy trim and branded notions, not so much.

  111. I’ve been working on a Vogue coat pattern from the 1970s. No it isn’t simple, but I’ve been sewing all my life so why would I need simple? Patterns these days seem to be dumbed down. There used to be patterns and easy patterns. How can people learn if they aren’t challenged?
    This pattern I am using has ease measurements at waist, hip and bust- be still my heart!! How nice it used to be!!!!
    Go ahead and bring back interesting patterns. Most of us already know how to, the rest of us will learn. We aren’t doing all this for easy. We are doing it for interesting, for unique, for handmade.

  112. Every so often life calls for a more complex garment… My DD’s first winter snowsuit was my own design and I quilted a cotton twill and brushed flannel to use. My baby wasn’t yet walking and our winters are cold. Fast forward 30+ years and over time I’ve completed several Vogue patterns with a myriad of pieces. Worth the time and a great challenge. But, such complex patterns have been part of my sewing since the mid-60s when I was in high school.

    It’s more interesting to mix it up.

  113. The opportunity to push skills and come out with something beautiful on the other side is a big YES. Absolutely. The garment examples are wildly different, but I’d make both and wear them. I find myself making a lot of more complicated things on the regular now, but there are only so many perfectly tailored peacoats one can make for the husband, or another vintage couturier jacket or dress for yourself. We want challenging sews that fit.

  114. I like challenging patterns and interesting details in classic lines. If I am going to spend a lot of time sewing something, I don’t want it to be too trendy and thus, out of style quickly. I think both of these patterns fall into the trendy category.
    I would not buy a pattern for either of the above garments as they are not my style. The quilted dress would add bulk where I don’t need it. And where would I wear it? The lace top would make me look like a fifty-something trying to dress as if I am 30 years younger.

  115. Yes, yes, yes! It’s always gratifying to make a garment that is complicated and unique. The challenge of making a complicated garment always makes me feel like I am pushing myself and growing in my skill.

  116. The Lace blouse I would do. Even if I couldn’t get lace for purchase I could get files to do it on my embroidery machine. The quilted one not so much, just because it is not my style. As far as a lot of pattern pieces, it really depends. If I get something really unique out if it, that is one thing, but if it is just complicated to be complicated and really is not anything special than no.

  117. I’m definitely interested in challenges. I have plenty of well curated home sewn garments in my wardrobe to the extent that I don’t need any more clothes unless they are extra special. Having a handful of really special RTW fit patterns available each year to work on slowly and carefully while expanding my scope of work and talent would thrill me.

  118. I would LOVE to see more complicated patterns. I only purchase patterns now where I cannot figure out from the line drawing how to draft it myself. I get a better fit when I draft for myself. So now I pretty much only purchase Marci Tilton or Issey Miyake.

    I once drafted a pattern that had 47 pieces, so the number of pieces does not bother me at all. Bring it on!

    PLUS. When a pattern calls for a lining, please, please print the separately drafted lining! A dress lining is NOT the same as the dress pattern! Especially when a vent or slit is involved.

  119. When I sew, I am looking for the opportunity to do something special. I do not want to put all that effort into something that is indistinguishable from standard ready to wear clothes. I look for challenging patterns, unique embellishments, opportunities for quilting, tucks, pleats, matching plaids or patterns, lace insertion that result in a really special garment. So yes yes yes to these patterns.

  120. Absolutely love the challenge of an unusual or unique style. The current catalogs seem to have lots of dresses with some unique style, but not much else. Seriously lacking choices in interesting casual clothing that is not basic, boxy or trendy.

    That said, some complex designs are difficult to figure out how to make a FBA (which so many sewers need) without a lot of trial and error. I would be thrilled if a complex style that presented a particular alteration challenge included a few common fitting tips unique to that style.

  121. I love a challenge!! I pull out half my hair, I say almost ever bad word I can think, but when is finish… l step back and I feel like I’m in top of the world! “Bien chingona” lol

  122. Yes I’d buy the quilted dress in a heartbeat. If I like the style then complexity doesn’t put me off, and it’s very satisfying to complete a complicated garment.

  123. I sometimes wish that the patterns had more details and therefore resemble more to RTW. I would be ready to put more effort in top stitching, additional number of pattern pieces etc. if that would result in something that does not scream home-made basic garment. Without those things the only way how to make my sewn pieces look really good is by finding a great fabric and hope I married it well with the pattern. Apologies for my English.

  124. Yes, please.
    I don’t have to think twice about buying both.
    They are very trending and wearable, most of the patterns are boring these days
    You can buy a dress under $10 to last one season and to look like everybody else.
    That’s not why I sew, I want to make peaces that stand out.
    Isn’t that the reason why refashioning and altering clothes is so popular all over the world these days.
    I love to see the creative ideas from all around the web and to adapt some them in my patterns or create my own details.
    I don’t think I ever followed the instuctions by the book, resulting sometimes in a mistake , but also a in a lot of unexpected detailing, but most off all a lot of fun during the process and a unique result.
    By the way I’m from the Netherlands ,60 and I love to try and learn new things.

  125. The quilted top is great! Really like it. Would I make it? Probably not. Would I buy it to have in my collection? Possibly. I get patterns to sew, but I also get patterns that feature interesting techniques, especially elaborate or complicated techniques. So I would certainly buy something like this, for my own personal reference, but unless I had lots of time on my hands, probably would not make it.

  126. I would love to see more interesting and complex designs. However I have not attempted more complicated patterns because I can’t figure out how to make the alterations that I need for a good fit. For example I love the Ralph Ricci designs .but he uses a lot circular shapes. How on earth can you do a FBA on one of his designs without distorting it? If you offered that sort of guidance I would snap them up!

  127. More intricate designs are right up my alley. I think that is why I love the Issey Miyake and Marcy Tilton patterns. I love the challenge. I would buy patterns with more design details but for years I have been taking available patterns and “making them my own” with additional embellishment and stitch details not shown in the pattern. Perhaps patterns that aren’t necessarily that unique in line but that would have additional instruction in the pattern to individualize them with various techniques could work. At the least, links to where you could study techniques to enhance a specific pattern would promote a great creative response. I love to see how people take a pattern and change it up to reflect their vision. Not everyone has or wants that capability so a pattern with designer details and the instruction for any sewist to make the look sounds great to me. I am always up for raising the bar.

  128. Yes! In reality I only make time for more complex projects occasionally – say a couple of times a year – but would definitely be interested.

  129. Yes! I have been sad for years because there is so much fast and simple stuff. Not everybody wants a fast no-brainer. I would love to see more challenging creative patterns. The only thing I would ask is that there is some guidance so it is not impossible to find everything we need like you mentiined about the lace.

  130. I am an absolute beginner (I’ve made ten garments) and I have already quilted some fabric to make a Lululemon-inspired puffy vest from a sewing pattern, so the answer is YES!

  131. I like complicated patterns and learning new things. I would probably make a complicated pattern a couple of times per year, as my time is limited, so in order to put together a wardrobe, I need to use easier patterns to complete more projects. The white blouse I would probably make, and the black outfit I would probably buy the pattern to see how it is constructed before making a final decision. Quilted garments are surprisingly warm, so I might not make it for that reason, not because of the complexity.

  132. I’d make the tunic…. but I wouldn’t quilt it

  133. I would not buy either of the examples you showed, because I don’t actually like them. The first one is too romantic for my taste and the second one is only for tall model types. I would not buy a pattern with quilting, applique, or otherwise fussy garments. I would buy something that had interesting seaming and was more complicated to sew especially if it was modern and edgy. I never buy the easy patterns. The biggest issue is that the more complicated things you do offer tend to be dressy or they just don’t fit my lifestyle. If you do offer more complicated patterns it would be great if you changed how you mark the patterns. Numbered notches would be a big help on putting something like that together.

  134. I pretty much ONLY buy your complicated designer patterns. With the premium prices we pay for Big 4 patterns here in the UK, anything easy just isn’t worth the money or the time spent tracing out the massive tissue sheets when I can likely find a similar design in my pattern magazine archive (or just draft it myself).

    I’ve a massive fan of the Donna Karan & DKNY designer patterns as they’re always a delicious challenge to sew!

  135. I would LOVE a pattern with more complexity in terms of details, just as long as the instructions and diagrams are clear!

  136. I would like to see some more complicated patterns. Most of what is in the books these days seems to be the same bland thing done in a different fabric. I want to open the book and see something that fires my imagination.

  137. This is a no-brainer for me as I learned with complicated patterns, Vogue, back in the 60’s when Vogue patterns were really a challenge unlike what I’ve seen over time. Complex patterns would not bother me and would be the time I might buy a pattern to see how the garment pattern pieces were drafted – I would see it as a learning experience.

  138. Bring them on; I will definitely buy and sew garments from more elaborate patterns or patterns involving time consuming finishing techniques, as long they appeal to my aesthetics.

  139. I would absolutely love to see some more patterns that were a bit more time consuming or detailed to construct! I’m always looking for patterns to try which will be interesting to put together or different to what I’ve made before; things which have a real design to them

  140. Yes! I would buy and make both the dress and the top. Love them both! I love remixing my skills, as the dress would require.

  141. I have to be honest, I would avoid patterns that require too much of extra effort. I’m not opposed to quilting a fabric, but not quite the entire pattern (as an accent, yes!)

    I also love patterns that don’t have too many pieces and are easy to construct, for a quick project.

    If given the right about of time and ability to focus on more intense patterns, I’d be willing, but not immediately drawn to those projects….

  142. I love the blouse. It seems to be a fairly simple style with details that give it the edge. So, I would make this pattern. I won’t work on a pattern with too many pieces for one reason — fitting. In the plus size range, you need to be an expert on fitting. It’s challenging enough for simple patterns. For those patterns with many pieces, you really need to understand how the pieces connect to each other and know where and how to make the adjustments so the garment will fit your body instead of the hangar.

  143. I would love to have the option of either or both of these patterns along with additional patterns with this type of detailing. As an experienced seamstress I like to have patterns which sets my clothing apart.

  144. The white one yes, the quilted one I would not bother because I don’t like quilts. But I like the shape of that tunic without the quilt.

  145. The pieces are amazing. I would make them for my nieces or sisters. I would like to see a more creative bend on men’s patterns. I knit, I quilt, I sew, and often design my own patterns because i want character and style. Creative patterns needn’t be 30-40 pieces, and those with 30+ pieces should be adapted to a more sleek (less complicated piecing) versions, as well.
    Art wear and slow stitching movement are remnant in the world right now. Might as well remind us why we love sewing, because it sure isn’t for budget concerns.

  146. I’ve been sewing for some 50 years now, (more if you count the doll coat I sewed by hand when I was 5). Although I often design my own patterns, when I see an unique advanced pattern, I go for it. (I love the asymmetrical draped styles in particular, and fitted ones with complicated details.) I especially like the dress and would purchase that one. The blouse I would probably use a pattern I already have and apply those techniques to it. I mix up my sewing with simple quick patterns and advanced ones, and I often complicate the simple ones – either with details or improving the construction.

  147. I would be very happy to see more complicated patterns with more detail and more steps and pieces. That is if the pattern is well drafted, well fit (not an over excess of ease to remove from 30 or 40 pattern pieces), and the directions are really well written step by step. I would also like to see a breakdown of any special skills needed to complete the pattern (you want to be my go-to company post me a great tutorial of how to do that special skill I may not have).

  148. I would buy the first pattern but not the second, just personal taste. But the bigger question of complex patterns is so timely. I am well past beginner and would call myself advanced intermediate in my skills. I am looking for more sophisticated design lines in patterns so I don’t have to redraw style lines and create my own versions of something I see in high end RTW. When I hear the quilted fabric I do worry about the quilt as coat trend I have seen but on the other hand my latest sewing project was a tailored jacket with stitch and flip quilting as its foundation.

  149. Yes to all three if the instructions is there to help guide you.

    I’ve been experimenting with quilting for apparel and using lace insertion in home decor things. So I’ll be interested in buying patterns that pushes the usual fast and easy item into something special, especially since I have enough of those fast and easy for a decade. I’ve seen people doing quilted skirts and they look pretty interesting to try and wear.

    For a complex 30-piece pattern… yes to that as well. I love challenges and taking it slow. It helps to have a slow project in between a fast and easy sewing project just to have something going on that’s long term.

    I think we’re coming up with a wave of people who are interested in more advance and complex skills. Especially considering the wave of people like who did cosplay during their younger years and transitioned into apparel sewing.

  150. I used to love the Vogue Designer patterns in the early 70’s and enjoyed making them. In fact I learnt to sew with many of them – so many detailed techniques. I also enjoyed the New York collection that McCalls once had. So I like a complex designer garment – with classic lines preferably, but that’s my taste and you have to cater to all sorts of tastes. But because I need to make all my clothes, I also like the simple garments you have – life is a juggling act, and there is limited time for complex sewing, much as I like it. So if you could include a few of these complex garments, I’m sure many of us would appreciate it.

  151. No, no and no again! For me, sewing is a therapy that I love with a passion, but I’m also a little bit lazy and have very little time for myself. I’ll happily sew a variety of different garments and styles; tops, shirts, blouses, skirts, jackets and coats, but I want a fairly quick result. So whilst I will spend time making a good quality garment, making complex items just don’t do it for me. When I look at my wardrobe, the vast majority are simple constructs; pencil skirts, sheath dresses, A-line skirts, cocoon coats. I don’t beat myself up about learning new techniques either.

  152. Yes! I would love a pattern like this! I have grown a bit bored with the simple cookie cutter type patterns and would relish the chance to push my skills on a project that requires them to do a bit of work! : ) I’ve been sewing for 41 years and would enjoy the next level of sewing. recently, I started tackling the thought of designing for myself. also, I am in love with the idea of digital patterns that I can print at will and use. is this something that you are considering too?

  153. Yes & yes. I think there should be something out there for everyone & at the moment I feel like there is far too much simple. While there is time & place for everything, detail & intricate work is still appreciated & I personally would love to see much more variety. It challenges skill & mind. Look forward to it.

  154. I would jump the chance to dig into a beautiful project with special details!

    My worry about patterns with a large number of pieces or unusual construction is that I find that your patterns typically (and inexplicably) have so much excessive ease that I’m never confident about which size to buy or cut. (Finished garment measurements on the envelope would help!)

    My measurements are 36-31-38, which would suggest a 14 with a little extra room at the waist. But a 14 is almost always WAY too big. I usual end up making anything from an 8 to a 12. Or sometimes, to cope with excessive sleeve cap ease, or generally jumbo sleeves, I’ll use something like the size 8 sleeve with the 12 bodice.

    So with extra puzzley styles, where making a muslin with the garment’s many pieces would be less straightforward or too complex, perhaps you could include a simple fitting pattern?

  155. I would definitely take on the challenge! http://sewsincity.com

  156. Yes, I would absolutely buy patterns that were more complex, either watch lots of pieces or special techniques. When I’m putting the time and effort into making myself something im looking for it to be unique. I frequently find patterns to plain and they don’t have the wow factor I’m looking for.

  157. I would love to try either of those patterns. The extra pieces would make them really interesting, I feel a lot of patterns are too overly simplified and too much the same. Would love more variety and a good challenge. Maybe not difficult but at least more pieces.

  158. I love to make complicated designs, but I usually draft my own as the Big4 sizing and fit is usually so poor.

  159. I would love to take on the challange. I do feel that so many patterns are repeats of patterns past. I like the unique ones and love taking on new skills like cut work, quilting , embroidery. Love all textile work!! I agree that sourcing fine fabric is very difficult and could pose a problem. Maybe if fine fabric sources were listed with the directions it could help!!!

  160. I particularly love the tunic above.
    Suggest you offer alternative ways of finishing the garment.
    Perhaps the tunic could be done without the quilting.
    The lace embellished shirt finished without the lace,
    Etc.

  161. Yes, yes and yes! Intricate details and new techniques, I’m definitely in for more complex patterns!

  162. Many of us collect patterns, just like we stash fabrics. I have some Claire Shaeffer that I may never make. But I certainly learned a lot by reading her directions. And I have applied what I learned to other garments. I also have a couple Koos patterns that are just too big for my short self. But I will use those techniques on a more suitable garment. So yes, I would buy complex patterns. If the directions included up to the minute techniques on new ways to manipulate or work with fabric, I would definitely buy them. I like people to be surprised when they discover I made my clothes- they assume I purchased it and that is the look I am going for. I like the “how could you possibly have made that?” comment rather than the condescending comments on loving hands at home makes.

  163. Yes, yes, yes please to more complicated patterns!! Even if it doesn’t fit my relatively simple style, I sometimes buy more complicated patterns just to admire and study how it all goes together.

  164. Some of my most gratifying projects have been ‘complex’ but not necessarily difficult – which I define as having a lot of detail or pattern pieces. In some cases that might involve tailoring techniques; often it just means lots of steps. I would think twice about purchasing a pattern with a lot of quilting or embellishment (more because it’s not necessarily my style) There are a lot of easy & quick patterns out there; Vogue seems to be the last bastion of the detailed designer patterns. I really appreciated them!

  165. Thanks everyone for these insightful comments! I’m going to close the discussion on this topic for now so our merchandising team can review your comments. Stay tuned for more discussion topics!

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