#Triedit: Sprout Patterns

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Watch my review of Sprout Patterns, or read my review below

Note: this post is not sponsored. Sprout Patterns did send me a test pattern to try out their service, but the opinions are all mine.

I love to sew. That doesn’t mean I’m very good at it, but when the house is a disaster and I’m exhausted, sewing somehow gives me a bit of peace. It’s orderly, it forces me to focus, and I can accomplish something pretty quickly.

I’d call myself a confident beginner. I haven’t taken lessons since home ec class in junior high, though my mother and next door neighbour have been kind enough to show me the ropes (I’m pretty sure I called my mom every few years for a while there with a “how do I thread the bobbin again??” Calling mom is even quicker than YouTube)

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Success and failure. A summer romper I made for my sun this past summer, and a creepy doll I made for my nephew last year

Sprout Patterns

I started sewing more often when I had my children. Maybe it’s the additional chaos in my life, or maybe it’s just because I love making something for them. Either way, I’ve sewn Halloween costumes and even tried my first real piece of clothing this past summer. After that, I joined a ‘sew-and-tell’ group on Facebook and through that, I discovered Sprout Patterns.

Sprout Patterns is a product from the people at Spoonflower. Essentially they have started curating patterns that can be printed right on your custom material! Sewists (seamstresses?) go on the website, pick a pattern they want to tackle, pick a material and then choose the designs they want on their material.

That last step is where the fun begins. Spoonflower has thousands of incredible designs to choose from. I literally spent hours trying to decide which designs I wanted for the hoodie project I had picked. Would it be outdoorsy with some cute woodland creatures and contrasting arrows? Maybe cookies and milk would be cute. Cars! Yes, three different patterns with cars. No! Cars and roads! You get the idea, right? In the end, I picked a cute construction vehicle design for the body, a blue ‘screw heads’ design for the sleeves and a simple red for the hood and cuffs that coordinated with the body design.

Once you make your decision, put it in the cart, checkout and pretty soon a package will arrive in the mail!

2016-7997When my material arrived, I was first struck by how soft the fleece was. It is so cozy. I won’t lie; I used it as a blanket one night while sitting in the living room chatting with my parents. I had pulled it out to show my mom, and it was so warm!

I was also very excited about having everything printed on that one panel for a few reasons:

  • I didn’t have to buy three different pieces of material to get the look I wanted (I’ve done this, but I never remember to write down what I need so I end up guessing at the fabric store)
  • Each piece is printed on the material in the right direction (another possible error avoided!)
  • I didn’t have to cut the pattern pieces and pin them before cutting out my fabric

That last point saves so much time!I do not find much joy in cutting pattern pieces, taping them together, pinning them to my fabric and then cutting everything out. I was reading comments in some sewing forums and apparently some people enjoy that part of the process. With my Sprout Pattern I just cut the pieces out and started sewing. Nothing shifted in the process, and my lines were clean and straight.

When you purchase a pattern from Sprout, you receive a PDF file with instructions, and also a PDF with the original pattern if you want to make more with other fabric.

The instructions were very easy to follow. I had never sewn a sleeve before (at least, not properly) so I was a bit nervous but I managed it!

The hoodie was almost complete in one nap (2 hours). I just had to sew on the hood.

I should also point out – I don’t have a serger so I just used my own machine. With the fleece it really isn’t a problem. With knits you just want to finish your seams with a zig zag stitch.

It took me a few minutes to sew the hood on later that day and voila! I was done. I love the finished piece!!

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To compare, I sewed another hoodie and it took a lot longer. In one nap, I was only able to cut the pattern pieces out, tape them together, pin them to my fabric and cut all
the fabric pieces in the same amount of time. Also, I didn’t have enough of the contrasting colour to cut my hood pieces in the right direction so I turned one and cut it in the same direction of the grainline instead of perpendicular and that affects the stretch. Once I started sewing, it obviously went just as quickly as the first, however, I found my pieces were a little bit off sometimes (likely from the paper shifting as I cut).

In conclusion, I love the service Sprout Patterns provides. I read some criticisms about the fact that you cannot alter the pattern because of the way the pieces are printed on the material. That might be a concern for the advanced sewist, but I don’t veer off the plan!

The baby hoodie in the fleece is $33, but you also receive the original pattern from Brindille & Twigg with is regularly $7.50. A yard of fleece from Spoonflower is $26 and that is with only one design printed on it. So, if you are a Spoonflower user I think the price is pretty good. You don’t have to buy three separate pieces of material for your project.

That said, for my daughter’s hoodie I found fleece at my local store on sale for $7/yard. I had to buy two different kinds (and I did make that mistake so a proper seamstress probably would have gone back to the store to buy more) and I would have had to buy the pattern. But the choice of material at my local fabric store is very limited – especially compared with Spoonflower.

When I told friends what the hoodie cost, they looked at me like I was crazy and pointed out they could buy something at Old Navy for much cheaper. I don’t think you can compare a homemade hoodie with something from Old Navy.

It’s definitely a bit of a luxury, but I would honestly use Sprout for all my sewing projects if I could!

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