Costume,  My Blog,  Patterns,  Sewing

Simplicity’s Print on Demand Review

It’s been a while since I made a post about patterns I bought. Ok, it’s been over a year. And a half. *sigh* I thought about making a favorite patterns for 2016 in December, but I decided not to because life was so crazy for me that I didn’t keep track about what patterns came out last year. I don’t think I’ll be doing a favorite pattern post this year either, but I wanted to talk about Simplicity’s print on demand service.

I had my eye on several patterns available on Simplicity’s print on demand service for many months, but earlier this year bought one. This pattern eventually became available in stores a few months later. Since I had the print on demand pattern, I bought the store version and wanted to do a review of the print on demand pattern and the differences between the print on demand pattern and store pattern.

Disclaimer: I did not receive any compensation for this review nor was I sponsored in any way. I just really wanted these patterns so I purchased them with my own money. I also know there are other blog posts reviewing the print on demand service, but wanted to write a review myself because I wanted to talk about the patterns I ordered. If all goes as planned, I’ll be making a costume using at least one of the patterns I ordered.

The information in this post is current as of August 2017.

First, let me explain what Simplicity’s print on demand patterns is.

Basically, it is what the name says. Once an order for the pattern is placed, the pattern is then printed on paper and shipped. The actual patterns that are available are normally different than the other patterns available on Simplicity’s website and in stores because they are either out of print or band new patterns that have yet to be released in stores. Sometimes, patterns that are new are available in store and print on demand at the same time, as is the case with Simplicity’s Deadpool costume. Print on demand patterns are also different than Simplicity’s printable patterns because print on demand gives you a hard copy of the actual pattern instead of needing to print the pattern from the computer.

Although it does not mention where print on demand patterns can and cannot be shipped on Simplicity’s international shipping section of their website, it does say on the actual listings for the patterns that they ship within the United States only. Also, they only ship to street addresses, not post office boxes.

Ok, so onto the patterns!

I ordered my first pattern during the month of April 2017. The pattern was EA840401, Belle’s yellow gown from the live action version of Beauty and the Beast. Although I’m not a huge fan of Belle’s ballgown, I found some variations of the dress online that I fell in love with. Since these dresses are based off the live action ballgown, I wanted to buy the pattern for the ballgown to use as a base for other dresses I wanted to make in the future.

As of this post, the pattern is also available for purchase in non print on demand form. When I ordered the pattern it was not available anywhere except in print on demand form. I’ll talk about the difference between the print on demand pattern and the ones available in the store latter in the post.

The ordering process was simple, and I received the email for my order. I received the pattern about a week later. (It takes about eight days for the pattern to be processed and shipped)

When it arrived, it looked like this…

And this is what it looks like when the box is open…

When the pattern is removed and unfolded from the box, it’s very large. The pattern pieces, instructions, and information on the envelope is printed on one large piece of paper. The paper is thicker than the normal tissue paper, but it is not so thin it cannot be seen through.

Although I love the print on demand patterns, after cutting out the pattern, I have two complaints…

First, the patterns are only shipped within the United States. I know have readers from outside the United States, so I need to mention this because I’m sure there could be costumers and sewers outside the United States that want the out of print patterns, but cannot order them because they cannot be shipped to their country.

The final complaint is one that really frustrates me and is the main frustration when it comes to working with the pattern: The printing of instructions’ words are tinny.

To show the difference between the print on demand pattern and version found in the store, I took photos of the two patterns’ instructions paper to show the size difference. The print on demand instructions are on the left while the store’s instructions are on the right.

It appears the pattern instructions for the print on demand patterns are shrunk to save paper space. The store pattern’s instructions are front and back and are multiple pages long, and are easier to read. This could cause some problems with anyone who has trouble reading up close. I do not have a problem reading up close, but I still had problems reading this pattern and other print on demand patterns I recently purchased because the instructions are so shrunk that the words can get jumbled and I cannot read them clearly. The pattern pieces are not shrunk. Just the instructions.

Although the instructions annoy me, I’m very happy with my pattern, customer service, and how fast it shipped. I believe print on demand patterns are a great option for anyone who wants to make a Simplicity costume pattern that is out of print. Out of print patterns can be very expensive (Some more that the price of a print on demand pattern) and the larger sizes (Size 12 and up) cannot always be found. The ability to order an out of print pattern whenever it is needed is a great idea. Simplicity offers mostly out of print costume patterns in their print on demand service, but not very many normal clothes. I’m not sure if they will expand their catalogue to other popular or highly requested non costume patterns in the future, but it is something I’m interested in seeing.

That’s all for now and thank you for reading!

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