Best New Discoveries:
Thread Theory – Behold, a Canadian menswear pattern company. Yes, you read that right, MENSWEAR! They currently have three designs (Jedediah pants, Strathcona Henley, and Newcastle Cardigan) ready for purchase and the next pattern is a Pea coat! One of the unique things about them is that they send their patterns out to a professional pattern drafter, which is just plain smart.
Named - From Finland, sisters Saara and Laura just released their first set of patterns. These stand out because the launch is very ready-to-wear with a full seasonal collection of classic, clean looks, with no gimmicks. I am loving so many of these pieces but I must say those Jamie jeans are mighty impressive.
Fine Motor Skills - These patterns look very promising (I already downloaded the Jimmy shorts!) and very well designed. Formerly from a corporate clothing design background, this Vancouver-based artisan baker/pastry chef is for the time being offering her patterns for FREE! However, do not visit her blog hungry, her mouth-watering creations look amazing!
Just Starting Up
Paprika Patterns - Coming all the way from the Netherlands, Lisa's (Small Things) first pattern, Jade, is a really cool asymmetrically folded skirt and is currently in the hands of pattern testers. Coming soon!
April Rhodes - Many seem to be sewing up this Ohioan's first offerings, the Staple and Date Night dresses, two simple beginner dress patterns.
Soma Patterns - San Francisco designer Sylvie P. creates her patterns using the sustainable practice of zero waste so there are no unused scraps leftover from any project. The concept of zero waste intrigues me, but it was the Rik Owens-lookalike Twisty Top/Tunic that made me check out the rest of the line. Other favorites are the Brunelle and Cendrene tops.
Ones you may have already heard about:
By Hand London - British creators of the popular Charlotte skirt, the vintage-tinged Elisalex dress, the casual Victoria blazer, and their latest, the romantic Anna dress.
Merchant and Mills - I love the aesthetic of this British company founded in 2010, they have a very turn of the century, industrial age look. Their patterns are produced on card stock meant to be traced and are shipped in cardboard mailing tubes. I am a fan of the No.64 Top and the Trapeze dress patterns, that dress is amazing. I have not read any patterns reviews so I hope their drafting and grading can back up the graphic design. Their web store offers up a selection of fine Irish and European fabrics, as well as sewing notions, tools, and hardware.
Style Arc - Out of Australia, they caught my attention when they were the company to get out the first AND most accurate rendition of the McQueen maid-of-honor dress (Pippa's Dress) worn by Pippa Middleton in the British royal wedding. Great reviews have followed that launch about the fit and accuracy of their patterns. Also each purchase comes with the free pattern offered that month.
Victory Patterns - Some truly unique and trendy patterns from Canada. These are fabulously creative looks and I am eagerly awaiting new designs from Kristiann and her company. Note that one of their ten patterns, Roxanne, offers a triple pleated collar similar to one by designer Orla Kiely that I have admired for a while.
Salme Patterns - Proving herself a very prolific designer, London-based Elisa has created a large variety of top and dress patterns in a pretty short time. My favorites are the sleek Peplum Skirt and the angled collar Cropped Jacket. Recently, she has added some children's patterns to her line.
In-House Patterns - This Canadian pattern company specifically designs for women with hourglass shapes and a larger bust (a D-cup) than typically offered by the Big Four (drafted for a B-cup). Therefore, I believe they are more comparable to Colette Patterns, who design for a C-cup. Alexandra's blog offers great information on achieving good fit overall and offers helpful tutorials on adapting her patterns for a smaller cup size.
Wow, do you notice a trend here? Except for one company from the U.S and one from the Netherlands, most of these offerings are from either Britain or Canada. Just imagine, before the Internet this kind of international commerce would have been almost impossible. We would never have heard of most of these companies, at least not before they were more established. In addition, these companies would have reached only a fraction of the people they can be exposed to now. Even though, despite being a blogger, I still consider myself a Luddite, this Internet thing might not be so bad, after all.
There are a lot of others that I didn't include because these were the newest ones I've seen but there are many others out there. For more check out these more comprehensive lists from Threads magazine and A Good Wardrobe.
One more thing, if you make an item from these companies please add your reviews to PatternReview.com for the rest of us. If the company is not already in their database you can request that they be added. I sent an email requesting they add Grainline Studio and within days you could pull up their information on the site. That simple.
So which "new-to-you" companies have you heard about? Let us know in the comments.