It’s no secret that I’m a big fan of pattern magazines, and I’d heard whispers recently that there’s a new Belgian pattern magazine on the market, so I kept my eyes peeled while we were in Brussels for the weekend in December… and couldn’t find it. But then, just as we were apart to take the Eurotunnel back to the UK, I found a copy of La Maison Victor in the WH Smiths in the Calais terminal! Hurrah!
So I can share details of the newest pattern magazine to you, and it’s good. Like, really, really good! It’s a quarterly magazine printed in Dutch, French, and German, and contains patterns for both sewing and knitting for both sexes through from babies to adults!
First up, I know you want to see the patterns that are included in this issue, and La Maison Victor make it easy – the pattern sheets are included in a special booklet in the centre of the magazine with the tech drawings printed on either side. You can tell they really did their research on this, as a lot of sewists prefer to keep their pattern sheets separate from the fashion magazines.
This magazine has got fantastic art direction and styling. It really feels like a boutique fashion magazine, and the garments are shown in a variety of poses and detail shots, and some, like this, are just to lay out what’s coming up in a feature.
One of the included patterns is for a basic wrap dress, but again, styled and presented very nicely, and with the tech drawing, layout, and instructions appearing immediately after it in the magazine. This is great as it means you don’t have to keep flipping to the instruction section while holding your place in the regular magazine (like I do with Burda, Manequim, KnipMode, La Mia Boutique, Patrones, etc etc).
If you sew for any boys, you know that good, versatile boys’ patterns are very thin on the ground – like one for every 50 for little girls. Well, LMV have at least one boys’ pattern in every issue, and in this one it’s a long sleeved polo shirt. Not only that, but it goes all the way up to teen sizes, too (height 176cm, 80cm chest)!
Omg, this dress is so similar to a RTW dress I wore to a wedding over the summer! I’ve not seen any patterns with the same cut-out back detail anywhere, either, so I do have to wonder if they were actually influenced by the same dress! It’s a great little look for a fancy party, IMHO – my tendency is to wear warm dresses in winter, but then I end up overheated in a crowded room. Having a dress with a little cutout like this is super practical on the dancefloor!
Here’s an example of the tech drawing and layout that comprises the first page of the instructions for each pattern (and as I mentioned, these are within the main portion of the magazine, not relegated to the end or a black & white section)
Here’s an example of the instructions, which have illustrations for each and every step. Having drawn out hundreds of technical illustrations for both my own patterns and the ‘Bee, I can tell you that these are really good. Way better than the Big Four’s illustrations, and better than most indie patterns I’ve seen, too. Whomever they’ve got doing these really knows what they’re doing. In fact, these illustrations are so good that honestly, I think these patterns would be suitable for most sewists, regardless of whether you can read French or Dutch.
Here’s the men’s sewing pattern for this issue (they also get a knitted cardigan). This polo shirt is very wearable and modern-styled. A seriously big win here – it’s difficult to create interesting patterns for men that can appeal to a wide range of tastes, and this polo shirt is really very good!
Finally, my last pick from this issue is this dress with rectangular seaming and hidden pockets. It’s made up in a chunky wool and there’s an exposed zipper in the back, but I could easily see this sewn up in a stable ponte knit, too.
Since you’re probably wondering, here’s the size chart (click to enbiggen!).
And here’s what the pattern sheets look like (well, the portion that could fit on my scanner, anyway). The sheets are a lot less dense than Burda, and they do something I’ve not seen anywhere else – each pattern sheet includes a mini layout showing you where the pieces are located on the sheet for each pattern, so you can more easily pick out the shapes!
Sprinkled throughout the magazine there are little notes that you can buy the fabric (or yarn) used in the patterns, too. When I looked online, most were sold out already, but the ones that were left were definitely on the pricier side of things (€30-50 for most), but you get a cute little La Maison Victor label to sew in, too.
I also really like that you can buy patterns from past issues as printed patterns with video instructions, too. In fact, I’m really tempted just to subscribe off the back of this one issue, if I can work out which of their third-party subscription companies can deliver to the UK… (anyone know?)
UPDATE: Since writing this post, they’ve released a new issue already! Can anyone with a better understanding of French or Dutch find a rundown of the included patterns in the Jan/Feb issue either please?