Manequim April & May 2010

Are you ready for some exquisite eye candy? Remember when I showed you my one and only Manequim magazine last year, and I raved about how amazing the designs were? Well, Susannah from Cargo Cult Craft came over for Crafternoon and brought not one but two issues of Manequim with her that a friend recently brought back from Brazil!

And she is WAY nicer than I am, because she actually let me borrow them! I can’t believe she let these pretties out of her sight for a week while I scanned and traced like a mad woman… I actually only ended up tracing three patterns, but I scanned a lot more so I could go back and draft others in my size when the inspiration strikes. Manequim may have an amazingly talented design team, but the sizes offered are really limited – usually only one size per each design, with a few patterns being offered in three sizes. Not to mention that the roadmap pattern sheets are crazy to trace from. They make the new Burda sheets look like child’s play…

So thanks to Susannah, we can all have a few minutes of total escapism, as we marvel at the inventiveness in these designs (no really, some of the pattern shapes are mental!).

Manequim April 2010

I actually rather liked the dress shown on the cover, until I saw in the tech drawing that the ruffles extend from the shoulder down to mid-thigh, and are only being held in by the belt. As far as I’m concerned, belts should never be required for a dress to look good!

Here’s one of the patterns I traced out (and boy were there a lot of pieces!) – a 1940s inspired ruffled jacket! The piecing on this is just incredible, and even moreso when you see that tons of the seams have satin piping inserted in, too. Drool…

I really liked this ruffled silk blouse, mostly because it’d be SO easy to do without the pattern. Take any woven, sleeveless shell, cut off one shoulder, and create a long strip of fabric (Piece 31 as seen in the layout), and ruffle it up and tack it in places. Doesn’t it look great?

The dress is a bit Yawn here, but omfg those sleeves are utterly amazing! Seriously, there’s more creativity and invention in just those sleeves than we’ve seen in the last six months of Burda magazine combined!

Now, I’m normally not one for jumpsuits, but the flowy fabric + wide legs plus the interesting slashed neckline really caught my eye…

Here’s another easy one to make up without a pattern – a great knit tulip skirt (notice the hem is along the selvedge and puled up rather than being cut with a curve).

And just in case you thought the 1940s jacket might be a fluke, here they go with a sweet military jacket!

And omg, because it’s April, we get another Oscar special!! squeal There’s about 5-6 gowns here (including Sandra Bullock’s and the Hurt Locker director), but I most liked Cameron Diaz and Queen Latifah’s gowns:

And finally, I really like how Manequim mix-and-match their sewn patterns alongside high street bought fashion. It also means you can get a better view of some patterns if they were obscured in the fashion photoshoot. So here’s one of the fashion lineup pages – check out the white origami dress in particular – those are just simple, double sided strips of fabric folded really cleverly (seriously, I think my head hurts trying to work it out)!

Manequim May 2010

Moving swiftly on to May, the cover dress is really cute, and with an airy criss-cross back, too.

I quite liked this sequin dress, but what got me much more interested was the bias slip dress underneath. Even though it’s so simple, I traced this one out because it’s in my size, and is exactly right for some lingerie I’ve got in mind…

If I were 18 again, I would so wear this yellow strapless cocktail dress to Prom.

There were actually a ton of great cocktail dresses in this issue. I mean, check out the seaming on this one! I love the central V portion and that colour-blocking.

Here’s the third pattern I traced out – an elegant surplice crepe dress (The model’s sweater covers up most of it, so thankfully there’s a better view of it in the fashion lineup). The sleeves look deceptively simple, but believe me, the pattern piece was crazy to trace off, something like ten different pleat lines and a really odd shape for a raglan sleeve…

This issues also contained a massive Plus special with tons of designer knockoffs (there’s even more pages I didn’t scan!)

And that concludes my Brazilian fashion escapism portion of our tour, I’m afraid. Before you ask, no, I don’t know how to buy individual issues, I wish I did (I can’t even figure out how to get their pay-for downloads without a Brazilian-formatted address, which is really frustrating)! Though I’ve heard that getting a subscription direct through Abril (the publisher) is quite straightforward if you’ve got the cash to buy a year up front…

(Oh, and UK peeps, if you missed the Valentino documentary earlier this week, it’s up on iPlayer until Monday night…)

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