I thought I'd try something different for this post -- I'm going to share one of my biggest sewing realisations with you! It may be staying the obvious, but it sure took me a while to get to such a conclusion, and I still do struggle with it on some level.
So here it is -- over time, I realised that it is not the best idea selecting patterns by looking at the envelope. Indeed, the cover could be very misleading! Yes, I do try and check out PR for, well, pattern reviews, but this really only makes me steer away from bad patterns with lovely covers. On the other hand, potentially great pattens with bad photos/illustrations don't make way to my shortlist, and slip under the radar.
Here are three patterns in this category that immediately came to mind:
I mean, McCalls's, seriously?! I would go as far as saying that the envelope is hideous! OK, view D isn't that bad, but the other views really aren't great, are they? If you manage to look past the terrible cover though, you will see a decent pattern, which could be turned into a wardrobe staple. If you need some more convincing, check out these beautiful versions - from four square walls, and yes i like that.
The second one is Simplicity 2959 - yep, the one I used to make my wedding dress! But I couldn't bear looking at that pattern the whole time (10 months!) that I was making it! Yes, I did change it a fair bit, but let me tell you that every single version that I have seen made-up is much, much better than that terrible blue dress up there! I even feel a bit sorry for that poor model who, not only had to wear that dress, but smile for the photo.Then there's Simplicity 2444. I would like to thank the wonderful blogsphere for bringing this fantastic pattern to my attention! I have seen great versions here, here, here and everywhere, and have made this pattern twice myself (see my cherry version here and fresh as a daisy version here). But judging by those two photos on the envelope - I would never have bought this pattern in a million years, despite my soft spot for Project Runway patterns.
I must admit that I tend to "discover" these patterns by following lots of wonderful blogs (trusting that someone out there is much more able to look past the exterior), and looking on sites like Burdastyle and PR. But how about you? Do you know any ugly ducklings in the sewing patterns world that you would like to share with us? and how to you spot these hidden gems?