You Know I Will Anyway

by Erin on September 30, 2006


Hotpatterns Cosmo Dress

I really shouldn't buy this Hot Patterns "Deco Vibe Cosmopolitan Dress" pattern. First of all, I had trouble with their Duroesque pattern — not so much in the sewing, as in the comprehension of the instructions, which were written with a Waring blender. (The pattern itself was beautifully drafted.) Also, it's nearly $20. And I have a gazillion patterns already lined up to sew. In addition, I am neither Deco nor Cosmopolitan, and I have no discernible "vibe"; that leaves only "dress" as a word applicable to me.

However, I love the scoop-neck version (although I might put the other sleeves on it) and would like to do the waistband/sash and bias binding on the sleeves and neck in a contrasting fabric. (Yes, I'm still obsessed with contrasting fabric.)

Luckily for me, the pattern isn't shipping for "up to 28 days". So I have some time to decide … or give in, as the case may be.

{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

jenny September 30, 2006 at 11:39 am

“Gloriously flattering”? I don’t know that I’ve ever worn anything I’d label with such high praise. I love the dress; but it’d better make me look like head-to-toe Audrey Hepburn if it costs $20 AND has instructions that are so confusing that reading them makes you feel as though you’re on heavy pain medication.

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Anonymous September 30, 2006 at 12:14 pm

I am sure there is a similar dress on the Vogue Patterns site! I was looking for a wrap dress and came across it.

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oracle September 30, 2006 at 3:29 pm

But I love Hot Patterns! There’s a magic to them. I’d say, they have their place.

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Gigi September 30, 2006 at 3:35 pm

I LOVE Hot Patterns! This one is most definitely on my must-have list for fall – I have a gorgeous piece of charcoal wool jersey that would be perfect. As to the directions, I almost never read them anyway so the fact that they are very basic doesn’t bother me. Mind you, I have about ten HPs sitting on my cutting table right now so I really have no business looking…….

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vespabelle September 30, 2006 at 7:45 pm

It’s nice looking but I bet you could find a simlar bodice and similar skirt in your pattern collection.

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Anonymous October 1, 2006 at 2:01 am

In their newsletter, Hot Patterns was bragging how they were shipping patterns in 4 days time. IMHO if you are going to sell printed matter then it should be printed in advance and ready for immediate shipment. In a month’s time another pattern that you like just as well (or better) will come along and catch your eye and won’t cost 20 bucks!

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sheri October 1, 2006 at 9:14 am

I agree – Hot Patterns have their place. Personally, I think there’s also a place for a couple of clear, precise drawings too – and I’m not adverse to a few (correct) written directions either.But HP are a testiment to the power of good illustrations and copy, (I’ve got three of them on my shelf)! Which has made me realize how much I enjoy the illustrations on vintage patterns – a big part of conjuring the vision of the dress. And every vintage pattern I’ve used has been very well drafted and super-clear instructions – and has cost 1/10 of an HP . . . hmmmm!S.

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oracle October 1, 2006 at 10:04 am

I come from a small-business family, and have many friends involved in small business projects. I believe that it’s important not to blame independent businesses (like Hot Patterns and many others) for charging more for what they offer than major corporations, such as the big U.S. pattern companies, charge for theirs. Small businesses (not only pattern companies, but any kind) also can’t be expected to have the smooth and slick way of doing things that major corporations put millions or billions of dollars into funding for themselves. At least, not when they’re young! Concerning pricing, major corporations have international economic and political clout that enables them to drive their own costs down, and one of their business maneouvres is often to “pass” some of these “savings” on to the final customer in the form of prices that are lower than what local or community businesses could afford to charge, as a way of keeping their competitive advantage over potential young upstarts. Yet, these “lower” prices can have hidden costs to the environment and elsewhere, such as when they are subsidized by child labour and other unethical arrangements made in distant and desperate lands. (I’m not linking the horror of child labour to the big pattern companies I don’t know much about their particular background politics. It’s the phenomenon itself I’m referring to.) It’s also important to realize that, in general, big companies’ prices may include a much *higher* profit margin than do the prices of small independents! Their whole picture and set-up can’t be compared to what small businesses have to deal with. Yet small businesses provide us with diversity and real choice, and many times, with items of superior quality. Encouragement and *constructive* criticism is what will help small businesses to improve.When we can’t afford to pay the prices a small business asks for, that’s fair and that’s our business, but I strongly feel that it shouldn’t be blamed on theirs.I think that Hot Patterns is one of the most exciting new pattern companies around, and I will continue to buy their patterns whenever I can.

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Gigi October 1, 2006 at 12:37 pm

As a small business owner myself, I enjoyed reading your post, oracle. I’d also like to add that often small businesses don’t lower their prices because that would increase sales to the point that they would be unable to keep up with demand. Speaking only for myself, not everyone wants to grow a small business into a large one.

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Mina W October 1, 2006 at 1:58 pm

Erin, If you do make this up, please let us know how it goes. “The pattern itself was beautifully drafted” sounds good to me. Since I’m used to drawing my own patterns, instructions aren’t so important to me* (depends on the pattern).I’m looking for a good pattern for a false-wrap dress, which is harder to draft than the real wrap, I think, because of gathers/elastic as well as the slope of the bodice coming across the front. I want to recreate “the little black dress out of the trunk” with the elastic waist, which was in my grandfather’s house, only in another fabric, and longer. My first attempt came out pouchy above the waist.”a testiment to the power of good illustrations and copy” they sure are. Very tempting. Also, I’ve got a few old dresses of this style – they sure were flattering.*Do we know a good sewing/technical writer we could refer to them?

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Anonymous October 1, 2006 at 3:36 pm

Hot Patterns and beautifully drafted in the same sentence – not in my experience!

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Anonymous October 1, 2006 at 4:13 pm

As a small business, HP has the right to charge whatever they want. But as consumers, we have the right to expect quality equal to the price. Too many complaints about HP’s drafting errors, instructions and shipping issues. I look for similar patterns elsewhere because they do exist.–Linda (sorry, I can never remember my password to login)

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Julia Graham Mesnikoff October 2, 2006 at 1:22 pm

I feel SO validated! My review of the Hippy Chick Dress at patternreview.com (which you in fact called “great” — I’m honored!) voiced a similar level of disgust with those instructions. Written with a Waring blender, indeed. You are so good with words, Erin. I and all your other literate readers really love the dresses + verbal elegance combination! Thanks for the time you put into this blog.

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fawn lust October 2, 2006 at 8:50 pm

does anyone know of a similar pattern to the scoop-neck, balloon-sleeve style? those kimono-y sleeves don’t particularly flatter my figure, but i love a good balloon sleeve, especially when it’s accompanied by a waist tie!

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DivineMsN October 3, 2006 at 7:49 am

I recently bought this pattern because I enjoy hp patterns more than some of the other commericial ones. I use the directions as a guideline more than anything. I would rather support a small business that a large commercial one (that doesn’t have great choices for us plus-size girls-hp always does).

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404momi December 7, 2006 at 11:24 pm

Anyone have a pic of this dress finshed up? I want to try it – but would love to see someone elses end result first :-)

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