KnipMode February 2011

Sigrid gave us all a sneak preview of the February issue a few weeks ago, but now my subscription copy has arrived I can show you my picks!

While this draped cardie isn’t really my style, I’m seeing this draping side hem all over London right now. My sister-in-law was wearing something very similar to this at Christmas actually…

This is kinda creepy. I just got done choosing two pairs of KnipMode trousers in my post-coat patterns selection, and now Knip have gone and mated the two together! Seriously, go have a look at the other two and compare against this!

Burda magazine February 2014

I don’t know what happened this month, but I appear to be the last person on earth to receive their February issue! Some people were already posting reviews of their sewn garments a full week before mine arrived in the postbox, not fair! But better late than never, here are my picks…

First up – this dress isn’t particularly earth-shattering, but it’s a nice classic shape, with short- or long-sleeve options, and a clever little central hidden kangaroo pocket in the skirt, too. I’m definitely eyeing this one up as a possible birthday dress for March, especially since I’ve got all that luscious silk twill that Dilly gifted me when she came to visit!

I know there are a lot of sewing ladies online that go ker-ay-zee for anything with buttons in the back but… I seriously don’t get it! So, you have to have someone help you get dressed whenever you want to take it on and off? How is that a good thing?! I’m not convinced by the central pleating on this dress, either, which might end up looking less than flattering…

I’m not entirely sure what it is about this wide, cropped blouse, but I absolutely love it! Maybe it’s the cocoon-shaped sleeves, or the back yoke, or the nice V neck, but I really could see myself wearing this a lot with leggings. I don’t think it’s quite as successful with the full skirt Burda’s paired it with, however.

KnipMode January 2012

I’m totally bored with this issue, so I apologise for going through the motions here. KnipMode have really taken a turn for the dull over the past few months, as far as I’m concerned, and this issue really just highlights what’s wrong with the new leadership at the magazine.

This issue is almost entirely comprised of “mix & match” garments – if you’re familiar with the Simplicity Project Runway patterns, then it’s the same concept here: choose a bodice, choose a collar, choose a sleeve, etc, and put together the garment you prefer. In principle, this is a great thing, and I’ve been enthusiastic when they’ve done this with cocktail dresses and blouses in the past.

The problem here is that every single one of these garments is b-o-r-i-n-g to start with, so choosing between several boring customisation options just doesn’t make it any better. It’s like someone at the top heard the concept was popular with readers, but didn’t actually go so far as to make sure the underlying patterns were desirable before running away with the concept…

Case in point – the jackets. I’m not particularly a jacket person anyway, but I swear KnipMode have already published princess seamed jacket patterns for every single one of these variations in the past six months anyway. And the sleeves – changing the length is NOT a variation, as far as I’m concerned. I mean, why aren’t they changing the sleeve cap to gathered, or making one a wide cape sleeve, or a cap sleeve on one or something?? There’s so much you could be changing here but they’ve just missed the opportunity.

Manequim February 2011

Much to my surprise, the latest issue of Manequim magazine actually arrived a few days before the new KnipMode (more on that next week)! When I subscribed, I assumed the shipping from Brazil to the UK would be quite slow, but I’ve been pleasantly surprised. And since the southern hemisphere is moving towards Autumn now, we’re finally getting some garments that can easily work for English spring weather in a few months!

The first feature is a bunch of looks from various cast members of the Brazilian soap opera, Ti-Ti-Ti, (yeah, me neither!) but importantly, this silver cropped biker jacket is utterly fantastic, perfect for spring/summer, and in my size, too!

I’m not a big jumpsuit fan and have yet to be even remotely tempted by one until now. Manequim have certainly ticket my boxes – Cowl neck, check. Drapey jersey, check. My recent forays into braver fashion have encouraged me to step outside my comfort zone a bit more. But this risk does involve an awful lot of fabric…

Manequim January 2011

This was a total surprise when it appeared in my postbox last week, as I’d only received the December issue a scant week or so before that (I believe December was just delayed from the holidays and my subscription starting later in their publishing cycle). I must say, I always let loose a little squeal and do the happy dance when I see one of my magazines in our postbox!

Brazil are still in the middle of summer, so there are a lot of shorts in this issue, but it’s an awful lot more wearable than the bulk of December to my eyes!

This pleated, banded sheath dress is exactly what Manequim do best! To me this looks like it was taken straight out of Victoria Beckham’s closet, I swear!

This might be my favourite dress of this issue. On first glance, it just looks like a basic shape, but if you look further you can see a huge amount of crazy diagonal seaming, and if you look closer again, you can see that some of the seams have exposed zippers that you can open for little flashes of skin! It’s only one size larger than me, too, so it’d be simple to size down a smidge.

KnipMode January 2011

My January KnipMode actually arrived a few weeks ago while I was ill, and boy is it a good one. Trouserpalooza!! OMG! Seriously, I think I counted 18 pairs of trousers in here, and 90% of them I’d wear in a heartbeat… There’s tapered leg, wide leg, jeans, leggings, treggings, wide waistband, no waistband, knits, wovens, and stretch! You name it, they’ve got a pattern for it here – they really have got the full trouser rainbow covered here!

How fresh and modern are these cargoes? I love the styling, but the tapered leg really updates these here beyond the stereotypical 90s grunge ex-Army fatigues.

I love these trousers with the foldover front! Seriously, these are on my list of my next tracing batch – I love that these are cutting edge but (crucially) without a drop crotch! They’ve even got big illustrations to do the foldover bit, too.

Happy 2014! (My Sewing Year in review)

As I do every year, I like to spend the first of a new year to take the opportunity to look back on what I’ve sewn in the previous year. So without further ado, here’s a visual reminder of 2013!

Click the image to see it better, or right-click here to see it in a new tab to get a better look!

Tip: If you’d like to skim back through the posts for the above projects, you can click Gallery in the upper left menu, which will only show you finished projects, without all the magazine reviews and in-progress reports getting in the way!

The Year in Stats

In terms of pattern companies used this year, I made: 15 Self-drafted (including Pattern Magic), 11 Burda Magazine (aka Burda Style), 8 FehrTrade, 4 Style Arc, 4 Cake Patterns, 3 Christine Jonson, 3 MyImage, 2 Pattern-Scissors-Cloth, 2 Jalie, and 1 each from Elan, KnipMode, Papercut Patterns, Drape Drape, Lolita Patterns, Kwik Sew and Simplicity.

So that’s precisely one garment made from any of the Big Four, but a whopping 23 items I either drafted myself or drafted and then released as a pattern! It’s no surprise Burda is otherwise up in the 2nd place position, and I’m pleased to see Style Arc and Cake ranking highly this year, since I discovered both companies this year. It is a bit disappointing that I failed to make a single Manequim pattern this year, despite reviewing my monthly copies! I must try harder next year to justify the subscription cost.

By my count, I made: 22 tops, 13 trousers (including leggings), 9 dresses, 9 pieces of lingerie (bras, panties, slips, etc), 3 skirts, 3 jackets or cardigans, and 3 bags.

Spring 2013 Sewing Ideas

Thank you all so much for your lovely comments on my asymmetric Drape Drape teeshirt! A girl could get used to that level of flattery…

It also marks the start of my sewing short sleeves, which means it must finally be Spring, and hence, time to start thinking about marrying up the patterns and fabrics I’d like to sew for the next few months. I really do these only for my own benefit, and so they’re not a “SWAP” in the sense that everything must coordinate against each other (lord knows I have enough clothes that I don’t have problems putting combinations together!).

This is more just a set of ideas towards which I’d like to work, so when I get to the end of a project, I can quickly refer to this image and go “oh yeah, I want to sew that next!”

For the first time I’m also including running/exercise gear in my plans, since I’m wearing lycra as a significant portion of my weekly wardrobe, and I want to contain all of my sewing ideas together. So you’ll find all the running stuff on the bottom row, and the rest of life’s wear on the upper two rows!

Top row:

Happy 2013!

As is traditional, I like to take the first of a new year to take the opportunity to look back on what I’ve sewn in the previous year. So without further ado, here’s a visual reminder of 2012!

Click the image to see it better, or right-click here to see it in a new tab to get a better look!

Tip: If you’d like to skim back through the posts for the above projects, you can click Gallery in the upper left menu, which will only show you finished projects, without all the magazine reviews and in-progress reports getting in the way!

By a mere glance at the collage, it looks like I’ve sewn less this year than in past years, but really I just became more efficient with my photoshoots and so most of the photos contain more than one garment! That, and there were a few that weren’t properly documented, oops.

The Year in Stats

In terms of pattern companies used this year, I made: 11 Burda magazine (more on that in January as I finish up my Year of Burda), 6 Papercut Patterns, 5 Jalie, 4 Pattern Magic, around 4 self-drafted, 2 Manequim magazine, 2 Young Image/My Image magazine, 2 Pattern ~ Scissors ~ Cloth, and one each from: Lekala, Simplicity, Vogue, So… Zoe, Christine Jonson, Wiksten, and KnipMode (oh how the once-mighty have fallen!).

By my count, I made: 19 Tops, 15 pairs of Trousers, 4 Dresses, 4 Skirts, 3 Coats/Jackets, plus two slips and a handful of pairs of panties, an iPad cover, some running armbands, and a boat skylight cover!

But the biggest number of them all – 21 of the above were for running! omg.

Manequim draped collar sweater

There came a point about midway through the construction of this where it suddenly dawned on me that I was creating my second draped collar sweater with pieced sleeves of the month. Clearly the sweater knits in my stash were calling out to me, and I’m naturally drawn to drapey styles. Though I really must remember when I’m in fabric stores that 2m really isn’t enough for long sleeves and a big collar!

This the Michael Kors-inspired, collared sweater from the June 2011 Manequim magazine. Last week I showed you details on the construction of the various pieces and altering the size “Small” pattern to my basic knit tee pattern.

The only problem was, when I was laying out the pattern pieces onto my awesome, ex-Versace sweater knit from Ditto in Brighton I realised that yet again, I didn’t have enough fabric to lay out the sleeves without piecing them, argh! I didn’t want to back down since I’d tried to use this fabric for something else last winter, but 2m of a really narrow fabric really limits your possibilities. So I carried on, introducing two seams in the lower arms. Frankly, sleeves tend to bunch up so much around the sleeves that I find the seams kinda get lost visually around that area anyway.

In the end, I was forced to cut the collar on the bias simply because the fabric was too narrow to place it on the cross grain!