I finished the jacket about three weeks ago, and my frustrations and irritations have faded. I have found it to be a great little jacket to toss on and go. Sometimes it helps to simply distance yourself from the details, especially if you tend to be a perfectionist. After all, how closely do you examine a bought garment? How perfectly does it fit you? You don't know all of its intimate details as you do with a garment you've made, so you tend to be less critical, at least that's my thought.
HotPatterns pattern I sewn, and I'm not ready to rush out and buy another one, although they certainly seem to be have garnered a following, judging from all the reviews on Pattern Review. A comment by Sew 4 Fun about how "...Hot Patterns seem to draft for a tall, plus-size woman so when the patterns are graded down to the smaller sizes the proportions aren't always 'right'." reminded me of a session I attended at a sewing show on independent pattern designs. In it Bobbie Bullard talked about how independent patterns are often created by the designer with herself and her proportions in mind. Thus you'll find the flowing styles that complement tall, willowy women designed by Linda Lee for The Sewing Workshop. While The Cutting Line patterns designed by Louise Cutting help to camouflage a thicker torso and improve the shoulder line. By that criteria, it seems that HotPatterns are made to flatter the generous form of designer Trudy Hanson. While this doesn't mean you should eschew patterns by designers who have a very different body type from your own, I think it should alert you to certain aspects of fit and styling to take into consideration when you sew one.
I'm amazed by all the independent pattern companies that are out there now, such as Collette Patterns, Style Arc and Christine Jonson Patterns, to mention just three. I've only dabbled a bit in independent patterns: Loes Hines Designs, Silhouettes by Peggy Sagers and The Cutting Line Designs. Usually I find just about anything I want from Vogue, as well as from McCall's and Simplicity, but I have a few interesting independent patterns that I'm hoping to get around to one of these days..