La Mia Boutique

I had an optician’s appointment which brought me into the center of town last evening, so I took the opportunity to see if Borders or Oxford News had the April issue of Burda World Of Fashion magazine yet. It turned out I was a bit too early, but Oxford News did have one copy of the Italian pattern magazine La Mia Boutique left, and since it’s one of the few pattern magazines I haven’t tried yet, I couldn’t say no!

I’ve already compared Burda WOF vs KnipMode vs Patrones magazines so I thought I’d give you a peek of La Mia Boutique, since there’s not much information online about it, and I can’t even find an official site anywhere!

Here’s the cover of the April 2008 issue. The cover price is about the same in euros as KnipMode or BWOF, though the pound markup makes it a bit dearer for me!

You can see from the April 08 technical drawings (part one) and April 08 technical drawings (part two) that this contains about 40 patterns, and about ten of those are plus patterns. For some reason their plus size numbers are lower than the regular size numbers, which confused me into thinking they were petites at first, as BWOF uses low numbers to size their petites.

Here’s the La Mia Boutique’s size chart so you can have a look and see where you fall. When compared against KnipMode and Burda WOF’s measurements, you can see that (at least for regular women’s sizes) the bust measurements (“Seno”) are similar for the same sizes in the other magazines, but the waist (“Vita”) and hip (“Bacino”) are several centimeters smaller. So even though I’m a very standard size 42 in BWOF and KnipMode, I’ll be sewing up a 46 or 48 in La Mia Boutique!

La Mia Boutique seems to be geared toward beginners (at least if you speak Italian!), and they have a full three pages of beginner’s sewing techniques laid out with diagrams, so if you come across a tricky part in a particular pattern’s instructions, you can refer back to the beginning. I found it interesting that what we call a “French seam”, they call an “English seam”! And they actually give instructions for a hand-picked zipper, which I consider to be more couture than beginner!

Like in BWOF and KnipMode, all the pattern instructions are in a central, newsprint section with the pattern sheets folded at the very center. The pattern sheets themselves seem to be of a slightly heavier weight than BWOF, KnipMode, or Patrones, and come on bleached paper rather than newsprint, with little line drawings of the matching patterns around the edges.

Not knowing Italian, I can’t vouch for how well written the instructions are, but they seem to cover about the same page amount as KnipMode or BWOF, and also contain the layout diagrams and yardage information, as you’d expect.

Truth be told, there was really only one pattern in this issue that really grabbed me – the dress on the left below. I like the opening, that the portion above the waist is buttoned normally, but below the waist it’s just pleated, with a few buttons below the divide carrying on with the appearance of a placket. I’m seeing this made up in two different linens (as I’ve got a lot of colours in my stash!) as a nice casual summer dress.

Bosco approved of my photoshoot, but decided he wasn’t in it enough and so made quick work of that. Either that or he was trying to tell me which one to make, I’m not sure!

The other thing that sets La Mia Boutique apart is that they contain a few general women’s articles, with a makeup section, recipe and nutritional section, and even a horoscope at the back, which I believe BWOF used to do until a few years ago. I really wish I knew enough Italian to see if the horoscopes were sewing-related!!

In other news, I’d like to send a big thank you to Stacy Sews for sending me CraftStylish’s Quick Stuff to Sew magazine. It was the only one of the *Stylish range I didn’t have, and without being able to flip through it pre-purchase, I was afraid it’d be a disappointment like the Gifts and Embellishment issues. I’m very happy to say I was wrong, and that there’s actually some really great projects in it, so hurrah!

I also had a peek through the current issue of Prima magazine (a UK women’s magazine that happens to have one pattern in each issue that you can ring up and be sent for free) while at Border’s, and this month’s pattern is actually really nice. I find their patterns to be quite hit & miss – sometimes really stylish and great, but other times quite dowdy and horrible. Anyway, this month’s is a cute shift dress pattern with a back gathered yoke and an interesting drapey neckline. I was tempted to just write down the phone number in store, but I felt kinda bad doing that, so I’ll probably go pick it up later in the week.

The only sewing I got up to this weekend was attaching two shower curtains together (and this time not as a dress!), and doing general prep work on James’s shirt. I now know I’ll need to delay that a little bit, but more on that later…

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