With fast-fashion retailers like H&M, Zara, and Forever21 popping up on nearly every block and ‘interpreting’ designer trends so inexpensively, making your own clothes is mostly a thing of the past for anyone who isn’t a Project Runway hopeful. These days, we refer to an off-the-rack item altered by a run-of-the-mill tailor as ‘custom,’ so why invest the time and expense in creating your own garments?

Designer patterns is why.

They’ve been around for ages, coutesy of companies like Butterick and McCall’s. In fact, I can remember seeing patterns from Oscar de la Renta and Issey Miyake as a child. But recently, companies like Vogue Patterns and Simplicity have been updating the catalogs with a crop of contemporary designers and fresh, current designs. Vena Cava, Alice + Olivia, Cynthia Steffe, Michael Kors, American couturier Chado Ralph Rucci, the list goes on. And you’ll be happy to know they’re not just for mother-of-the-bride dresses anymore.

So when can I meet you at the fabric store?

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