introducing victory patterns

We’re happy to announce that we are now carrying the complete Victory Patterns line of digital patterns for women in the Oliver + S shop. To launch the collection, we asked Kristiann Boos, creator of the brand, to write a short guest post introducing herself and her work.

Hey there, I’m Kristiann and I design sewing patterns for Victory Patterns. I feel mighty privileged to be here with Oliver + S and among other independent pattern designers that I look up to. I’m so thrilled to share a space together. I wanted to introduce myself and chat a bit about why my heart beats for this little pattern line.

Kristiann Boos of Victory Patterns

I studied fashion design in my current home of Toronto. After University, I worked in a few different areas in fashion, from design to styling, production coordination, and building mascots, always trying to find my passion in what I did. Through all of these things, I taught sewing classes on the side. Little did I know that it would turn out to be the most inspiring job for me.

I took such pleasure in seeing how delighted people were when they learned this new skill and I became fascinated with how and why the sewing and DIY culture was evolving, gaining and gaining in popularity. It honestly delights me, because I think creativity and the ability to make something with your hands is really important to help people feel empowered. It’s a pretty great feeling, right?

Teaching made me realize that I felt passionate about the craft of sewing, and it made me aware of the need for great sewing projects and patterns. After all that time teaching, I felt like I helped to build an army or seamstresses, but there wasn’t a lot of ammunition for their new skills and creativity. This inspired me and I started to explore the idea of sewing patterns as a way to create a clothing line. This would allow me to get around the obstacles that were preventing me from creating a conventional clothing line such as the finances required, the disposability of trend based clothing, concerns around manufacturing, the environmental impact fabric and production can have, the waste involved, etc. These are things that I’d potentially like to one day tackle and conquer, but what I love about designing sewing patterns is not only designing clothing, but creating tools to aid in others’ creativity.

I launched Victory Patterns in 2012 and it has been an amazing adventure so far! I’m in love with the supportive, passionate, ultra creative sewing community and am so happy to be a part of it! As for my patterns, I want to create stylish designs that feel special and unique. I want them to tempt you to dress up just a little bit each day. The styles are slightly reminiscent of classic styles from the past, but with an updated edge to them.

My hope is that they give you a sense of pride to wear, because you look great and because you made it!  I wanted to write instructions that are clear and thorough, that answered as many questions as possible that might come up as you sew the project. I want people to learn something from them, so that their skills are challenged bit by bit so that you get better and more confident in time with sewing. I call it Victory because when I do something I’m happy with or proud of, I feel a little victorious, like crossing a little finish line.

Etsy Canada recently asked If I’d like to be a part of this film series that celebrates business owners’ success stories. The film asks: How do you make your living? It acts as a call to arms to those who may be on the fence when it comes to business ownership. The process of shooting this film was so amazing! Ten hours of filming reduced to a minute. The team at Etsy and Brought To You By, who shot the film, were so incredible! Hopefully this will inspire you if you have been looking for a push to do the thing you love for a living!

Now that you know a little about me, let me introduce you to some of my favorite patterns.

Simone

Simone is designed for an intermediate level seamstress and comes in blouse and dress variations. It has a bias cut flared back with a fishtail hem. It can can easily be dressed up or down depending on the fabrics used. With a back race yoke and a front placket, this pattern allows you to mix fabric, colors and textures and get a bit playful.

Simone Pattern

Roxanne

Roxanne is my dream, easy-breezy blouse, not only to sew, but also to wear. It’s so comfy and looks good with a fitted skirt or skinny jeans. I’ve made the tie neck version without sleeves in a lightweight fabric as a top for the beach. I also really like the idea of using a contrast fabric for the back yoke and collar.

I’ve also seen versions lengthened into a dress and it looks great.  That’s the next project on my sewing list!

Roxanne Pattern

Anouk

I love the Anouk pattern for its easy fit and for the chevron front detailing. I really love designs that consider the grainline and cut of fabric as part of the design, and this style touches on that. By using a bias grainline on a stripe, you completely change the graphics of the fabric. I’ve seen so many lovely versions made up of this style and I love that it inspires people to play around and get creative.

Anouk Pattern

I hope you like the collection and find your own favorites among it. Thanks for having me here and for taking a look!

31 Comments

  1. I really love the Simone. Unfortunately I won’t be buying it. I can see that it doesn’t fit your model, so I can only imagine that there are other problems with the pattern that I can’t see, that go beyond fit.

    It’s too bad, because I really love it.

  2. jennifer

    To Alison,
    I don’t understand when you said the garment doesn’t fit the model … Which part is it? The gaping in the neckline? That’s part of the design, maybe check out the line drawing?
    I’m asking because I’m confused …

    To Kristiann, congrats!!!! So happy for you …

  3. Alison, I’ve evaluated a LOT of sewing patterns over the years, and I think Victory patterns are top notch! If you look at those photos again, you’ll notice how well the pattern fits through the armholes and chest, which is really wonderful in my opinion.

  4. Jennifer,

    You see those bubbles on either side of the slit in the front? In *both* photos? That is because the bodice is too tight across the front and is riding up so that the breasts can fit in lower down where the dress or shirt starts to flare. The model does not appear to be particularly busty.

    This *might* simply be because the sample the model is wearing is too small, but it might be a problem with the design. Maybe in the right size the dress looks like a tent and the designer thought it would be better to risk a too-tight bodice? It also shows me that if the fit isn’t perfect the issues are going to be really obvious. It’s an unforgiving style. And if the designer can’t get the fit perfect for a photo shoot, how can I hope to?

    If the dress looks perfectly good in the right size, it’s just that the designer only had small samples and the model was bigger — that suggests the designer was disorganized, or hoped we wouldn’t notice, or she didn’t notice. None of those possibilities inspires confidence in her product.

    The photo is the best information I have to work with. It’s likely the pattern is fine — Liesl seems to think so, and I like the patterns she makes — but the photo is telling me to worry about problems.

    Jennifer, if you like it you should go ahead and buy it. My feedback was more for Kristiann and Liesl, pointing out how important photos can be for customers. I wish Kristiann success and I would buy the Simone if I were more confident. I *want* her to be able to inspire me with confidence!

  5. Jen

    I have made the anouk and looooove it!!! As soon as the four or so feet of snow starts melting it will be a regular wear for me! I have the ava pattern too and look forward to making it. Your instructions are so un intimidating I just found it such an easy sew, even while learning a new technique or two 🙂

  6. Sarvi

    LOL! That’s a lot of anxiety over supposed imperfection in two photos. Maybe take a deep breath and trust the design professional, Liesl, who has personally evaluated the patterns. What an incredibly weird pattern it would be if it never moved on a living human body. It’s not a suit of armor, after all! Haha!

  7. mel

    The patterns looks great, and I’ll put my faith behind Liesl. Congrats and best wishes to you, Kristiann.

  8. Sarvi, I’m not anxious. I’m a consumer. I am explaining my rationale for my choices as a consumer, to a potential supplier who I want to do well. Anyone in business is interested in feedback from consumers. If I didn’t buy it and didn’t say anything, Kristiann wouldn’t know what was going on in my tiny, nitpicky mind and wouldn’t have the option of making changes in future photo shoots or design choices to win me over as a customer. With feedback, she has the option and can make choices, which certainly include ignoring me. But she can’t choose to ignore me if she doesn’t know I exist.

  9. Sarvi

    Having watched the video, now, what strikes me (and what seemed so interesting just from the design of the patterns themselves but also of the associated packaging) is a whole ethic that, in my family at least, seems to have skipped a generation and is now coming back strong — not only sewing, but also gardening (Victory gardens!), canning, and a general sense of the importance not only of self-reliance but also of the *pleasure* of making things yourself. Pleasure and pride, perhaps, in feeling reconnected to your labor.

    Great video, and I’m super excited to try out these patterns (thanks, mom, for getting these for my birthday)!

  10. wendy

    Thanks for the introduction! I’m so excited about these patterns, particularly the Chloe. I also think it’s great that Oliver + S is helping to support other independent pattern designers. There really is such a fantastic on-line sewing community and I for one would never have learned to sew without it. Not just for the instructional aspect of it but also the collective creative energy.
    Personally, I think the Simone looks great. I can see it gaping if it were any less fitted around the bust. Love that hemline!

  11. I love that you are finding all of these great patterns/designers for us Liesl! All of them look great, and so on trend. I love the hem lines of both the Simone and Roxanne dresses, and that neck opening of the Anouk is super cute! You are convincing me it is time to sew for myself!

  12. Jenny

    These aren’t my style. I am a bit less fashion forward. LOL. But that is ok. I wish you the best of luck, Kristiann.

    I see where Alison is coming from though. As a consumer, I would also think, this won’t fit me because I am busty and there appears to be stress/riding up of the dress at the bust on a relatively uncurvy model. This dress can’t contain me is what I am thinking when I look at the picture. Much of my clothing is motivated by that very question- can it contain the endowment I was given later in life? 😉

    Perhaps it is meant to be blousey and relaxed, and that is a stylistic choice, which is one of the reasons it isn’t me. Blousey at the bust with a gap showing cleavage at all really for petite and busty is a dangerous combo! My cleavage tends to come up very high. 🙂

    But if it is a style choice, it doesn’t mean it is ill-fitting or poorly drafted. It means that they style may not be working for the viewer.

    🙂

  13. Sarvi

    Well said, Wendy! There’s so much energy, and indeed passion! I wouldn’t say tiny, Allison. I wouldn’t say that at all! Passion for great design is all part of what makes it so exciting to run your own business, I’m sure. Knock wood, if they didn’t hear you the first two times you said it, they’ve heard you now.

    Loving this vibrant community we have going here! Inspired to go sew something new, now. One of my new year’s resolutions was to take more time for ‘selfish sewing’ and give myself a bit of the extensive wardrobe my kiddo has. 2013 is the year it happens!

  14. I would like to support Alison. I have seen a number of independent patterns where curious fit or some other imperfection visible in the pictures made me leery of buying the pattern. “If that’s the best the patternmaker can do, do I really want to try to make it work for me?” I think. It doesn’t put me off a company as a whole, but I don’t generally buy those specific patterns.

  15. I have been looking t the Victory website for a while, but haven’t tried one yet. It’s so hard to know how the independent patterns will fit and I’ve been burned before. others take a lot of fitting to get right. Still, I find myself much more inclined to try these now if Liesl says they’re well done.

  16. jennifer

    Alison,

    I’ve bought all Kristiann’s patterns when they were first released and I thought they were great. That’s why I was asking which part you were refering too …

    As for my comment when I said “gaping” I meant the slit/keyhole thing, sorry english isn’t my first language, and sewing terms are a bit “new” too me …
    I think the “bubbles” you mention was because the top part is similar to Roxanne at the top that the neckline can be “opened” just that on this pic it was closed, that’s what cause the “bubbles” because human moves, and clothing/fabric can’t stay flat on our bodies unless we’re manequins.

    However, to each his/her own, the above is just my own opinion … To buy or not to buy is the customer’s decision …
    And I do agree sometimes people tend to “hide” or shy away from giving honest review from indie pattern designers, but from my experience, victory patterns are well-drafted and well-designed.
    And I think, we all can trust Liesl has done a lot of research and evaluating before adding any patterns to Oliver+S stores …

  17. Sandi

    Such gorgeous designs. They look great on the models, too!

  18. Sandi

    I especially like the Anouk dress. I’d love to sew the Anouk for myself if I do a proper FBA and fit well. I need to work my fitting skills. The design is so cute. Maybe I’ll give it a try at some point. So excited for you to have the chance work with Liesl, Kristiann. 🙂

  19. Sandi

    HAVE it fit well, I mean! Perhaps I need to work on my typing skills as well as my FBA skills. Ha!

  20. Yay, I’m so glad you guys are carrying these patterns! I love Kristiann’s patterns– they’re really fashionable and unique. I want to make them all! I’ve made the Simone top and I love it! I’m planning to add a few more versions this summer. 🙂

    Re: the fit thing… I never have an expectation that something will fit me without any alterations. That’s just not a realistic expectation. And just because a design won’t be as flattering on some figures doesn’t mean that a designers skills are suspect. There are plenty of gorgeous designs that I bypass (or alter extensively) because they won’t be so flattering on me. And I’ve experienced more serious fit issues and drafting errors in big 4 patterns than I ever have with indie patterns. 🙂

  21. Well said, Ginger. I’m sure that, professional photography and modelling costs being what they are, these garments weren’t specifically made for and fitted to the model. When you sew for yourself, you make small adjustments in order to customize the pattern for your own body and to get a great fit. That’s one of the greatest aspects of sewing!

    Thank you all for your comments and feedback today. I’m glad we can talk about these things while staying friendly and kind to each other, and I appreciate hearing from everyone. It’s nice to see a little conversation happening on the blog; that way I know you’re here and reading/looking.

    Have a great weekend!

  22. I think they are so cute!
    My 13 year old Twins gave them the thumbs up and they know everything doncha know?

  23. Tamara

    Congratulations Kristiann! These patterns look wonderful! I want to get them all! Perfect for the teenage, young adult market and beyond! They look really beautiful on the models too!

  24. Brenda

    what clever creative patterns. I like that they would work for Nicole’s 13 yr olds as well as this old lady, thinking Roxanne would be nice fit for me. I have to agree with Alison though. When I see gaps in garments that to me indicates a poor fit, but then there are women who are comfortable with gaps in their clothes in the chest area. I looked at Simone and immediately was mentally trying to correct the fit, before I read any comments. It will be interesting to see what seamstresses (oops, showing my age with that term) do with these patterns. To those who use them, please post in flickr!

  25. Agnes

    I don’t usually comment, but I wanted to say to Alison that she is brave for speaking her mind. It is nice to read real reactions. I don’t see her comments as negative, in fact she took her time to offer invaluable advice, saying out loud what most of us are thinking. This type of feedback is priceless and paves the way for growth. I think the patterns are beautiful, look foward to seeing more examples of finished garments. As with most purchases I make, I look forward to the reviews before purchasing.

  26. Hannah

    Viva viva viva Victory Patterns and you all for sewing!

    Oh I just wanted to say, that I did have a problem with the bust for the Simone dress same as can be seen in the model. However, I took out the darts and voila problem solved the dress now fits perfectly!

    KEEP SEWING

  27. Susan

    I’m disappointed that people would use the comment section of a woman’s INTRODUCTORY post to speculate on the quality of her designs. Talk about bursting bubbles. How about “Hi” “Good for you” or “Holy moly can you imagine how fantastic that would be to be picked and featured by O+S for your work”
    At the top of the page there are four links, Shop, Play, Discuss, Blog. I would suggest “Discuss”
    would be a much more appropriate place for these kinds of things. I would even guess the designer
    would expect to hear some negative feedback there. Not on a welcome post.

  28. Susan, I agree and I realized that early on. I was going to write to Leisl and ask her to take down my comment, but by then two other people had already referenced my comment and it was too late.

  29. Francesca

    I’ve bought a few of these patterns and they come together brilliantly. none of the ones featured above, actually. Hazel, chloe, eva, madeleine and nicola – by which you can see I like more fitted things than the above! Excellent drafting and I must say the tie neck on Hazel was the best drafted I’ve ever used. I had read good reviews about them on patternreview and was very happy with all of them. insturctions are first rate too.

  30. Sandra Clark

    I can’t believe the knitpicking over the pattern…..or maybe my eyesight is faulty as I’m not seeing much of a problem

    S.

  31. Jasha

    A lovely introduction to Victory patterns! Such an inspiring collection of designs. Regarding the Simone discussion, the ripple across the front does seem very common in examples of this garment….after looking fairly hard I have found one Simone that fits beautifully in the top section….http://rennous-oh-glennus.tumblr.com/post/69346510296/party-like-its-december-2013. When it works, it works!

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