Thursday, August 30, 2007

Pattern Acquisiton: Guilt free?

The decision of the Simplicity Pattern Co. to close their old plant in Michigan and relocate their facility to another state to cut their cost is pretty old news by now and I'm sure everyone here has read various discussions on it on the boards. There basically seem to be two schools of is that the pattern companies are being run into the ground by the deep discounts offered on their products by the big chain stores; the other is that pattern sales are good because they result in more patterns being sold (my view). However, I'm sure there are complex economic interactions going on about which this little sewing blogger is clueless, so my conscience twinges a bit, wondering if my reasoning is valid or if it is merely rationalization.

Case in point: Hobby Lobby has Simplicity patterns on sale for $.99 this week. I had another craft-related purchase to make (two large bags of pony beads for a teen girls craft project), so I bought the (not on sale) beads from Hobby Lobby, since I also wanted to go there and get some patterns. On the way out, I spotted the current issue of Sew Stylish magazine, which has been getting rave reviews all over the sewing corner of the 'net, so I picked it up, too...also at full price.

The pickin's were pretty slim; about a third of the patterns on my list were either not in the drawer or not in the drawer in my size range...but I ended up with five patterns:
3640, for that great princess-seamed lined hoodie...view C, without the frou-frou embroidery and the animal print weirdness, thankyouverymuch;
3690, for the tunic blouse...although I think I'll modify the neckline a looks a little gape-ish on the photo. Loops and buttons, maybe? The D view vest has good lines, but I don't like it swinging open from one button. Definitely needs about 3 more;
3747. This is probably one of those "I was seduced by the photo" patterns...that pink-and-white dress just looks so trim and neat. Maybe if I lose 30 pounds I could consider it. Maybe I'll make it for DD. Maybe she'd wear it.
3882. I *know* DD would wear that bubble dress...she purchased the Free People version from Dillard's...or maybe it was Parisian...last year, then complained because it was not cut straight. I think view C would make a fair-to-middlin' night gown, too. The stylists did a disservice to the bubble top by showing it with low-rise jeans. Ick.
And finally, 4886, just for that split cowl collar. I want to morph it onto my TNT Loes Hinse Cowl Top and maybe lengthen it into a dress. I figured I could spend a dollar for a collar. However, that pattern may be better than it looks; the longer sleeves and a funky belt would help that photo somewhat.

So...five patterns at a dollar apiece. If there were no such things as pattern sales, and I had to purchase them at their regular price, how many would I have bought?

Probably only the hoodie pattern. Maybe. But not till the sewing queue was seriously reduced. So, in all honesty, had there been no pattern sale I would have bought my beads on the next trip to Wal-Mart, stopped at Books a Million sooner or later for the magazine and not stepped foot into Hobby Lobby or purchased any patterns.

Did I help or hurt the home sewing cause? Who knows....


  1. I don't know. I'm sure I'm not helping the home sewing cause by using my BWOF subscription pretty much exclusively! I haven't bought a big 4 pattern since I went to Martin's last, and they were discontinued and 4/$1.00. Beyond that it was sometime last winter/spring?

  2. I'm more of the same mindset you are Lisa. I think they do way more actual patterns sold (several I wanted were also sold out) versus never having a sale. I'm not sure if their losing money or not, I wonder how much it costs to print 1 pattern? But I too wouldn't have stepped foot into HL and bought the other notions and things while there shopping for the sale patterns.