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!