KnipMode September 2010

Still no August Burda or La Mia Boutique in my postbox (though I just found out my 6 month resubscription to Burda, made in a moment of weakness, won’t start until September now, argh.*), but KnipMode’s September issue arrived already, just like clockwork!

The first, colour-blocking feature has a bunch of great patterns in it, though I’m not quite sure about the styilng…

Case in point: fantastic coat! But purple Uggs? Really?

This knit dress appears no less than six times in this issue, but I thought you could see the lines best in this version. Though I think if I make this, I’d add a gathered waistband to the back, too, to make it all even.

Burda magazine September 2012

Thank you so much for all your compliments on my Fuchsia party dress (and marathon legs, ha)! Apologies if any of you had trouble with the link – I’d originally categorised it wrong and had to correct it, which changed the URL.

Also, big thanks to everyone who entered my competition for the MyImage magazine – I was blown away by the number and wonderful variety of pattern request ideas in your comments! Now, if I ever had a chunk of time spare to draft them all, I’d be a rich woman… Anyway, the random number generator drew 32, which means Silvia is the lucky recipient!

The calendar might still say August for another day, but at least in London, there’s a definite crispness in the air that signals the return of Fall, and Burda’s already got this covered with another fantastic issue!

We had a similar (but A-line) dress in the May issue, but I actually prefer the lines on this petite dress instead, and that it can be worn with a bolero to give it sleeves is just a bonus!

Both garment here are really simple, but as you can see from the photos that you can really create a lot of interest just with fabrics. The top is really just a long sleeved teeshirt with inserted seams at the shoulders (like my Knipmode rose and lace teeshirt!) and the skirt is just a basic pencil skirt, but together, they really work, and are within reach of most beginner sewists.

KnipMode – December 2011

Oh KnipMode. What happened? You were so awesome in 2010, but then these last six months or so have just been so… blah.

If it carries on like this, there’s no way I’m renewing next year, especially as this is by far the most pricey of my three pattern magazine subscriptions (thanks to the exchange rate, it’s almost twice the price of Manequim or Burda).

There was a feature on winter white that had nothing to inspire me, so let’s move on to the pretty party dress feature. Surely there will be something there for me… and yes! This dress with criss-crossed chiffon is lovely, especially in these colours.

This dress, however, is a whole heap of hot mess. The fabric is terrible for this pattern, the princess seams are lumpy, and the colour just looks cheap and nasty on this model’s colouring. Eugh.

You know how much I love lace, right? Well it should tell you something that, in an entire feature on lace, the only thing I liked was this totally non-lace asymmetrical pleated skirt.

KnipMode September 2011

The latest issue of KnipMode arrived last week, and included inside was a letter to the subscribers from the new editor. I could really only make out something about Marion magazine from my (admitted) inability to read Dutch, so I actually transcribed the whole letter through Google Translate to find out not much of anything beyond that she loved sewing from an early age, trained at fashion school, worked at Marion, and is excited to be joining the great team at KnipMode. Yawn. So no real news there at all…

I’m kinda nervous that she may try to make big changes and ruin a good thing, because 2010 was an awesome year for Knip, and these last two issues under her control have been largely mediocre.

But let’s take a look at my own favourites this month anyway…

The first pattern to greet me is for some great trousers with kneepad detail- hey! wait a minute – didn’t we just have these in the last issue??? I’ve put August’s on the right here for comparison:

This jacket with its cute peplum ruffles might be my favourite in this issue, but I don’t really wear blazer-type jackets all that often so I’m not terribly likely to make this if I’m being honest.

The Burda September cover dress (winter version)

I made no secret of my total love and adoration of Burda’s September issue last year. In my opinion (and many of you!) this was the standout, stellar issue in an otherwise mediocre year for the magazine. I’m slowly working my way through everything I wanted to sew from that issue (some good and some bad!) but now it was the time for the cover dress, #122.

I showed you the pattern alterations I made to “un-petite” this pattern, though I reckon I could have even added a bit more to the middle of piece 2 as my pointiroma has less lengthwise stretch as my muslin knit, making the underbust seam just barely under my bust. The horizontal seam between pieces 3 and 4 hits me right at my natural waist on the sides, which I think is just great. I also took 6 inches off the hem of pieces 7 and 8 so that this is above the knee rather than below.

The Best Pattern Magazines of 2010 – Nominations

I always look forward to Pattern Review’s Best Patterns of the year, but this year the nominations don’t have a single pattern magazine included. This is really disappointing as I do 99% of my sewing from them, and I feel the shortlist really doesn’t reflect my own personal sewing in the slightest. (And don’t even get me started about the inclusion of some patterns that were just Big 4’s stumbling, mediocre versions of great patterns previously printed in pattern mags!)

So I thought it might be fun to have our own nominations for the Best Pattern Magazines of 2010!

I think it’ll be easier to vote for whole issues rather than specific patterns inside, and also give people a better idea of which back issues to hunt for. If there’s enough nominations, I’ll set up a proper vote in a bit so we can see what’s crowned the winner when I do my own personal roundup of the year on New Year’s Day.

KnipMode October 2010

Hot on the heels of the a-freaking-mazing Burda September issue (in which I have no less than eleven Must Sews!) comes the KnipMode October edition. It’s a bit unfair on Knip to have to follow an act like that, so I’m naturally less enthusiastic about these styles that are just good rather than incredible. Maybe I’ve been buying Knips for too long, but I’m seeing a lot of repeats in this issue that appeared a few months or years ago…

But anyway, on to my highlights!

The cover feature is all about three garments in leather – a leather blazer, an A-line dress, and this skirt. I rather like the skirt but I think the gathers would be really difficult to achieve nicely since you can’t do two lines of gathering stitches (as the lower one would leave permanent holes). And this section gave me massive deja vu from the October 2009 issue where they also had a leather jacket, skirt, and A-line dress…

Next there was a section showing lots of winter knitwear that could either be sewn, or knitted (giving me massive deja vu yet again to the January 2010 issue where they also did the same thing!). Most were either long, baggy, or both, but I rather liked this batwing tunic which could look really nice in a thin, drapey sweater knit:

Happy 2018! (My Year in Review)

Happy fresh and new baby year, everyone! I always like to celebrate the first of the year with a look back at the year that’s just completed – this gives me a chance to reflect at the things I’ve accomplished, the garments I’ve made, and challenges conquered. As is traditional, I find myself starting 2018 with lots of great stuff on the horizon but unable to talk about it (this time last year my two big secrets were my Threads article and my book deal, so you’d better believe 2018’s secret project is a good’un!) so you’ll just have to trust me that the outlook for 2018 is rosy indeed!

Honing in on a jeans pattern

Even though I finally finished my pink trousers and lace teeshirt I mentioned last week, it’s been so hot and sweaty that I haven’t quite managed to do a photoshoot for them yet. Everything’s written so as soon as I do, you’ll get to see how great they are, honest!

I also managed to cut out a Kwik Sew exercise top, but not start sewing it yet, but what I really wanted to talk about today is the ongoing process in deciding which jeans pattern to use as a match for some heavyweight, non-stretch denim in my stash. So when I say that I’m “always thinking two projects ahead”, you now know it’s the truth!

If you remember back to my Spring Sewing Ideas, I had two different KnipMode jeans patterns that I thought I might use:

However, I found out soon after that the 2012 KnipMode one was for stretch wovens, which dis-counted it for this particular bout of jeans sewing.

The 2005 one looked very promising, but when I made a muslin of it the look was not good – ill-fitting in the waist and hips and way too wide in the legs. I’m sure I could fix it with plenty of time and patience, but with such an enormous pattern stash it just wasn’t worth pursuing further!

So I went back to the drawing board, otherwise known as my online pattern catalogue, and had a look through all the magazine issues I’d tagged “jeans”. This was a lot! So as I flipped through, I took screenshot segments of the ones I liked the look of, and renamed these files with the brand and pattern number, and shoved them in a special folder.

Burda magazine August 2012

I’ve been buying Burda magazine (formerly “Burda World Of Fashion”, now “Burda Style”) since 2005, and I’ve seen its greatness come and go (and then come back again) in waves. It’s been getting steadily better over the course of 2012, but this August issue is the best one in a LONG time! Definitely the best this year (along with May 2012), but possibly it ranks up there with September 2010 and August 2006 even in my own personal Burda Issue Hall Of Fame!

I pretty much love everything in this feature with the white background, but let’s take these one step at a time.

First up is this blue tuxedo with slim trousers and a great jacket with interesting, non-standard lapels. How could I not love this, when I’ve already made a blue tuxedo with slim trousers and a jacket with interesting lapels back in 2008 (and also from Burda patterns)??! LOVE.

I really love the shape of this dirndl-inspired dress, with its cap sleeves and interesting bodice seams, but part of me is also concerned by the sharp seaming – they look awfully similar to the seams on a Burda slip pattern I tried that really didn’t work for me (ahem, pointy boobs) so I’d want to definitely muslin this bodice before going further.