We’ve reached the end of another year, and another year of my monthly Burda magazine roundups. I started writing these regular reviews back in 2012 as a way of reminding myself of patterns that I’d otherwise just forget after a few months. Back before I had my own pattern business, I even had time to sew some of them (*sobs quietly to self about lack of time*)!
As I know many of you have said how much you enjoy my monthly review posts (and the stats on my website prove as much), I thought I’d refresh all our memories with a completely biased rundown of my favourites from the past year. In some cases, ones I wasn’t so sure on have become much more attractive, and others that I liked at the time have faded. And in the case of a few months, none of them have really stood the test of time (or I was just choosing them because they were the best of a mediocre bunch), so I haven’t included them at all here.
Some of you may remember that last year I took a course at Morley College on Pattern Magic 2 (my first actual sewing class, believe it or not!) and it was so interesting, useful, and inspiring that I just had to take the course on the third book, Pattern Magic Stretch Fabrics. I booked this something like 9 months in advance, I was that excited to take it!
The first two books are based on woven slopers, but since this third one is all for knits, I used my own knit sloper instead of the book’s – I’m rather proud of this bit of forward-thinking! I also got to show off my pattern drafting gadgets plus it was great to see so many familiar faces and meet new ones, too (hi Clover & Ingrid!!). For the second class though, Claire had taken the initiative to digitally grade up the book’s blocks to larger, more standard Western sizes! She says she’s going to share these on her site very soon, so keep an eye over there if you want a short-cut to a bigger knit block.
Over the course of two consecutive Saturdays, we drafted three designs from the book (chosen by our amazing tutor, Moni), and a fourth of our choice, plus a bit of time at the end to sew up a sample so we got to see the range in real life.
Here you can see me & Claire from the first Saturday! (I’m totally brown-nosing by wearing a design from the second Pattern Magic book!)
The first design we all drafted was “Crescent Moon“, essentially a giant donut that you wear. It’s so avant-garde that it doesn’t even use a knit sloper, just circles!
This did look a bit better once we got out a smaller, female mannequin, but it’s still not something I’m finding particularly wearable.
The second design we all drafted was “Sharp & Snappy“, which I dubbed “the stegosaurus”. The gist here is that you shift the side seams forward and add triangular points in the seam line.
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!
I don’t buy sewing books very often these days, usually preferring to get my information and inspiration from the internet and sewing pattern magazines, but I’ve found so much inspiration from the Japanese design schools lately that I just can’t say no when these are translated into English.
If you recall, I reviewed the first two Pattern Magic books here, and then, just recently the first Drape Drape book was also released in English (with the second coming out later this year).
Drape Drape uses included patterns which you trace off and sew, but the Pattern Magic books all rely on instructions for altering your existing sloper, so they can work for pretty much any size or shape person.
The big difference in this third book is that all the patterns here are designed for stretch fabrics, which adds a whole new level of fun! But of course, this doesn’t mean you can’t use stretch fabrics for the designs in the first two books – I’ve already made the flip-turned top twice as teeshirts, though I did have a great boost in understanding the Pattern Magic instructions on the Morley College “Pattern Magic” course I took earlier this year (I’m eagerly awaiting the new course guide so I can sign up for the rumoured class on this new book next year!).
So enough intro, let’s have a look at some of the wonderful (and weird!) designs in this instalment!
The first book in the popular Japanese sewing series has just been published in English! It’s been out in Japanese for a few years now, but, like the Pattern Magic books, I bided my time until they were released in English before I added them to my collection. I can muddle my way through Portuguese, Italian, French, and Dutch patterns, but I’d be totally lost in kanji, with no means to type it into a translator!
A word about the sizing of these patterns, though – their “XL” size is still 10cm smaller (and 4cm shorter!) than me at the point of least difference.
(Note for the Americans – that XL size is 5’6”, B35 W27 H38 in inches.)
So going by their sizing, that’d make me a… 4XL. omg. Nothing like tiny Japanese sizing to make you feel enormous! Good thing most of the designs are really large and flowing, so hopefully I can get away with the largest size and not have it matter too much. Fingers crossed.
This is my favourite design in the book – it’s a dress with a gathered, dropped waist, and the only vertical seam is in the centre back. The construction of this is really cool – this dress is cut out in all one piece of fabric!
Not so cool is that Kristin made this a few years ago and it did NOT work for her, so I shall be muslinning and treading very carefully here. But this one’s the top of my list in this book, in any case.
This Grecian, V-neck dress is just beautiful! But keeping in mind the size chart, I’d probably need to grade up their bodice and waist band since they appear to be close-fitting.
My first gift is a very special one, because it’s from all of you!
I recently received a Google Adsense payment, and I always try to spend these exclusively on sewing supplies to feed back into this site. The last payment bought me four Patrones issues and some Spoonflower knits, for example! But I’m trying to pare down my fabric to fit in my tiny sewing room, and I already have more patterns than I can sew, so I thought I’d spend the windfall on some really nice interfacings from Fashion Sewing Supply!
You bought me:
- 2 yards Pro-Weft fusible interfacing, Natural
- 2 yards Pro-Weft fusible interfacing, Black
- 2 yards Pro-Tailor Deluxe fusible Interfacing, Dark Grey
- 2 yards Pro-Woven Fusible Interfacing, White
- 2 yards Pro-Woven Fusible Interfacing, Black
This should be enough to keep me in interfacing for a year years, and this stuff just feels incredible – the Pro-Tailor stuff especially feels so silky soft! I can’t wait to try this stuff out…
For my birthday, I received some sewing books that I requested!