Manequim December 2010

What a wonderful surprise to find this in my postbox just after Christmas – I’d subscribed at the beginning of November, but I wasn’t expecting my first issue until January. This arrived in a strong paper envelope with the magazine inside wrapped again in a clear plastic film, so it was well prepared to stand up with anything the international postal service could throw at it!

With Brazil in the Southern hemisphere, they’re in the height of summer now, so just let your mind wander on this cold, rainy, and dreary winter day and think of summer sunshine in Rio… ahhhhh….

First up is a very versatile bathrobe / dressing gown pattern. I’ve seen the perfect towelling fabric on Goldhawk Road, and my robe is starting to wearing out after a good long life, so I’m keeping this firmly in mind.

Most Manequim patterns are only offered in one size (go up one size from your Burda size), but this black cocktail dress is one of the few that are offered in multiple sizes!

There was a huge feature of floaty, chiffon-weight dresses and silky caftans, but this ruffled beach dress stood out for me by being relatively slim fitting and full of visual interest.

This batwing tee has got to be my favourite of this issue – I like the casual but interesting shape anyway, but then I saw in the instructions that the central portion is made from neoprene! How cool is that? (Shame neoprene is so expensive!)

For me, the blue dress is the quintessential Manequim pattern – a short, tight dress with tons of interesting, asymmetrical details. It’s what I fell in love with them for! And the dress on the right is a relatively simple princess-lined bodice with a dirndl skirt, but here it just screams Peggy from Mad Men for some reason! You could really wear this to work with a cardigan and then switch to heels and chunky jewellery for a night out, too.

Manequim always seem to have a feature where they show a mix of patterns and RTW clothes in the style of one designer, and in this issue it was Carolina Herrera. I most liked these pleated trousers and the great Jackie O-inspired dress next to it.

I could easily see myself wearing this casual top with the gathered neck and sleeve bands. I don’t normally go for the 70s style, but I’d wear this just as presented, with jeans and heels!

Now, if you’re getting all excited about Manequim, just a word of warning, as there are drawbacks – as I mentioned, most patterns are only offered in one size (I’m very lucky that 44 seems to be a popular size for their patterns), and the pattern sheets are NOT for the feint of heart (or far-sighted!), as you can see here:

I did a pretty comprehensive review when I got gifted my first issue back in 2009, and then again last summer when I borrowed two issues to trace. These might give you a better idea overall of what Manequim’s patterns are all about, or you could also look at the handful of free download patterns on their website, which is where I got the pattern I used as a starting point for my wedding gown, too! Jacquie has also been reviewing her issues from 2010 if you want a more comprehensive look throughout the seasons.

If you’re looking to subscribe to Manequim yourself, international subscriptions can only be bought through the publisher (a bit like subscribing to KnipMode!), by emailing and then sending your credit card details after you get a quote back from them. Now, being knowledgeable in IT, I know how very insecure email is so I would never email my card details to anyone, but I made an exception here only because I used a card which I very rarely use and is NOT my main account, so if it was intercepted, I’d see the errant charges right away, and it wouldn’t affect my rent money. A year subscription (which is all they offer) was about US$140 with UK shipping (I’ve heard it’s about US$115 for US shipping). I do not know of a single reliable source for buying individual issues, apart from friends visiting Brazil itself and buying them on the newsstand. But if you do, please speak up in the comments!

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