Fait Main magazine October 2012

First of all, apologies for the delay in getting this (and about four other posts you haven’t seen yet) live. Immediately after we returned from our week’s holiday in France, I caught an awful cold/flu and was off work for a week and then re-entered the office to an unholy stress-storm. So all the wonderful planning and progress and goodies which I meant to share right after we came home are still only now dribbling out of my brain and into the site.

(whisper it) And I’m running a marathon this Sunday. THIS SUNDAY!*

Moving on…

While we were in France, I had a browse through the sewing magazines in a few supermarkets. The bigger ones tend to stock Burda (regular, Plus, and Easy), Fait Main, and Elena Couture. I wasn’t planning on buying either of the latter two, but I had a flick through this one and decided it was worth it for the workout gear (read on!), but the Elena got left on the shelf. And then, of course, I found the new Burda Classics at Calais, too. I also grabbed the latest Burda Easy (which you’ll see soon), as it too was surprisingly better than usual.

If you’re not familiar with Fait Main, it’s a translation of the Danish magazine Sy but printed in France by Hubert Burda Media. As far as I know, it’s not available in English, or any other languages, and is a monthly publication, featuring not just sewing patterns, but also knitting and embroidery patterns, too.

I bought this once before last Spring during our French road trip, but I think I prefer this issue!

First up is a cosy faux-wrap sweater and skirt – the sweater reminds me of the one I sewed for my UK Citizenship ceremony back in 2009, and like that one, this sweater also appears to wrap but is actually attached at the side seams, which I prefer.

Burda magazine October 2012

The last two issues of Burda have been so spectacular that it was always going to be a hard act for poor October to follow, and it’s gotten a bit of a kicking online for so many lazy, square, and shapeless designs. Indeed, I couldn’t find anything to like in two entire features (the Pastels one and the Hippie-Outdoorsy Crappe one), but there was enough in the “New Sophistication” feature alone (photographed with the dressmakers dummies, see below) to justify this issue’s existence to me!

So let’s skip right to the afore-mentioned “New Sophistication” feature, shall we?

I’m not entirely sure why, as it’s wholly impractical, but I really like this long, wool waistcoat (which reminds me of the Sept 2010 jacket that was way too big and boxy). There’s another version in this magazine that’s longer and has integrated long, ponte knit sleeves, too. I know my arms get chilly before the rest of me, so a body warmer really isn’t very practical for me, but the addition of sleeves, well, that changes everything!

This surplice top is nice but nothing new (I’ve seen this design at least 3-4 times in Burdas over the years), and I even quite like the quirky “hip wrap”, which is somewhere between a kimono-belt and a waist pack. It’s definitely a good use for those odd-sized scraps of coatings and leather I’ve got lying around!

I like this cowl top but I hate how Burda flattens these to one side though, ugh! let the cowl free! These high-waisted, slim legged trousers would also be a great wardrobe staple.

Burda and KnipMode July 2012

I’m never usually a big fan of summer issues or summer clothing, so I’ve again decided to share my picks from the Burda and KnipMode July issues together. I’ve already decided to not renew my KnipMode subscription, after the new editor turned it from the best pattern magazine out there (in 2010, and IMHO) to the worst one out there in little less than a year. It’s also the most expensive, which makes the decision a bit easier! So I think this is probably the last of my subscription to arrive, and as I’m pleasantly surprised by this month’s Burda, I’ll start with it….

Burda Style (formerly “World of Fashion”) July 2012

Most of the flapper-style dresses were misguided, ugly, and unflattering, but I think is bias-cut, cowl neck number could actually the the opposite of all those things if made in a flowing, lightweight fabric.

I can’t even remember the last time I sewed (or wore!) a button-down shirt, but something about this pattern really grabs me. It could be that waist-seam, which mimics a peplum without being too trendy, or maybe it’s just that I’m happy to see long sleeves in a July issue (hello English summer!).

There’s another variation of this gathered, raglan shell in the magazine which adds short sleeves and is worn with the slit in front instead of the back, but for some reason, in their lightweight cotton, all I could see was “hospital gown”. But here, in a soft, solid silk, I can suddenly see a lot of layering possibilities – both for multiple layers of silk (how about a blue charmeuse with a purple voile or chiffon on top??), and for wearing under jackets or cardigans for officewear.

Sequin running vest and purple leggings

I’m going to break from tradition here and actually post my next two outfits out of sequence from when I made them, mostly because I just shared my elastic waistband tutorial with you, but also because I’m really freaking excited about sewing exercise gear right now. Honestly, it’s starting to become nearly lingerie-levels of hysteria with me – super quick to make, easy to fit, and lots of wild colours and patterns in small doses! But you’ll get to see my “civilian” top and trousers later this week, so no worries if you’re starting to glaze over at all the lycra…

For this set of running gear, I’ve paired up the Papercut “Ooh La Leggings” pattern (UK stockist here) with my self drafted knit block (from Metric Pattern Cutting). And in the case of the top, I altered the seam lines and armhole shape to suit!

You may remember the ex-Prada sequin trompe l’oeil fabric from a few years ago when I used it to make a cowl top. I wear that all the time, but I only had a small piece leftover in my stash, and it was far too lovely to throw away. But with a bit of creative thinking, it was enough for this! Though I think I’ll lower the curve a bit for my next running vest so the peak is just at my underbust…

As you can see with the leggings (or maybe not, the purple fabric is quite dark!), there are no side seams here! The shaped front and back yokes give some really cool, curved seams, and they merge nicely into front- and back-leg seams instead.

KnipMode October 2011

I haven’t really been terribly excited about KnipMode magazine for the past few months, since the new editor took over, but things are starting to look up this month, thankfully…

I love the lines of this jacket (and the retro styling!) but for me, this is kinda ruined by the poor fit on the model and that awful plastic zipper!

For me, the best design in this issue is this new take on the twist top (no, hear me out!). This interesting neckline plus long sleeves in an easy knit, this is a pretty likely addition to my winter wardrobe, I’m guessing, especially since there’s photo instructions in the magazine for that twist!

Patrones 299, 300, 301, and Costura Facil

I ordered these from a new-to-me Spanish magazine shop, No Pares de Leer. The prices (and shipping) were about the same as Hos Hanne, but the shipping was tracked by default so I could see exactly how slowly it was making its way to me…

Patrones 299

This is the last of the winter issues (sob!), but at least it’s full of what Patrones do best – coats!! I even like the coat on the cover, though I like it better without the enormous bow.

In the first coats feature (on that “Patrones beach” we’ve seen in pretty much every issue), I rather like this big, asymmetrical collar coat, but it does remind me of the Vogue Armani-knockoff pattern so many people have made (and I’ve loved, too).

This topstitched, seamed jacket just oozes cool. The detailing is just fantastic on this, too – they even added a little pouch to the belt!

Paris fabric shopping

Ahhhhh, Paris! We had a simply wonderful time in the City of Lights this weekend, cramming an entire holiday into a few short hours. We’ve both already been to Paris a few times, so we didn’t feel the need to do the touristy stuff all over again. This left us with an entire weekend to devote to eating and shopping, and socialising with our friends Sat and Sarah (who I’d not met before this weekend, but I now feel like we’ve been friends for years!). As is my habit when I go away, I went fabric shopping so I can now share those shops with you…

As Isabelle says in her guide to Paris fabric shops, the bulk of the fabric and notions shops are in Montmatre, so if you’re pressed for time, head directly to the Abbesses metro and head east (which, conveniently passes right by a branch of my favourite-ever perfume shop, too!). There are a few other fabric shops in the same area that I didn’t pop into, plus a giant notions shop with more buttons than you could possibly imagine, so Montmartre really is your one-stop-shop for fabric, lining, interfacing, zippers, trim – the lot! Everything in Paris shuts down on Sundays, but happily, nearly all of the fabric shops are open on Saturdays which is convenient if you’re only in town for a weekend like us!

KnipMode sale alert

I recently (after years of saying I would!) finally sorted out a subscription to KnipMode magazine, but since they said it won’t start until the August issue, I took a whirl round my favourite online KnipMode source, Naaipatronen.nl to get the June and July issues, plus one for a friend. I’ve used them for years to get my KnipMode issues and they’ve always given me great service.

Imagine my surprise when yesterday they sent me a partial refund, because they just started a 3 for 2 sale on all their magazines (they also stock Ottobre, Knippie, Burda, and Burda Easy)! How nice is that, the sale wasn’t even running yet when I ordered! The sale’s not mentioned on the English version of the site, but it’s a news story on the Dutch side, and runs until Tuesday (22 June).

Summer sewing shortlist

Last week you got to see the newest Patrones that Aisling sent over, but you all have been far too good to me, because last week I also got a surprise parcel from Daisy!

She did some awesome detective work and worked out my size and style and picked out Simplicity 2754 and Butterick 5317 for me! And she did a great job, because I really like them both! I always have a hard time seeing the potential with the Project Runway patterns because the pattern covers are so horribly done that you can’t see any details at all, and Simplicity’s site makes it really awkward to browse by technical drawing (what I do as a general rule with Burda magazine previews). Anyway, as it turns out, I really like the details of this one, and doing some research myself, I remembered that Trena made it a few months back and I absolutely loved it! And she’s so got the right idea with those back view enhancements! And the Butterick Maggy London dress is just screaming out for a border print, as far as I’m concerned – the skirt is just a rectangle with pleating, so anything with a border or lace at the edge would go perfectly as you don’t have any cut, curved hem or side seams. So it actually is as easy as it’s labelled, seeing as how you’re really just making the bodice…

These patterns all came at the perfect time, because not only did I finish the second bridesmaid dress this weekend (photos coming later this week), but London has stumbled into a mini-heatwave which always gets me raring to sew! After spending the last two months solid on these dresses for my girls, I’m more than ready to sew for myself now, and I’m not scheduled to start on my wedding dress muslin until July.

Sooooo, how much can I cram into the next month, eh? Granted, I’ll still want to make a few things here or there while I’m working on my gown, but I thought it’d be a good idea to get all the things I want to sew together in one place. I’m not calling it a wardrobe or SWAP since they don’t all go together, and I don’t want to commit myself to ALL of these since I tend to get bored easily, so let’s just call this a shortlist so I can choose from these at will…

The FehrTrade Summer 2010 Sewing Shortlist!

From the top:

Patrones 292

Now, I know I said in the last Patrones post that it’d probably be my last for a few months since the Spanish summer styles really don’t suit English summers, but then I got a big ol’ offer I couldn’t refuse from tg33, who was holidaying in Spain and offered to pick one up for me!! Hooray! So thanks to her, you all get to see some gorgeous spring fashions!

This is Patrones issue #292, their “Spring Special”. It’s not quite as big as their “Extra” editions, but there’s still a surprising amount of very wearable clothes in here for a time of year I usually write off. I may have to reconsider my earlier Patrones-buying schedule…

Now I’m a bit safari-ed out of late, but Neighbour Helen was over (dropping off some pomegranate molasses, no less!) and she just squealed when she saw this safari dress:

The denim feature had its Ups… like this trenchcoat! And awesome pencil skirt (though on closer inspection, it disappointingly has side seams, rather than wrapping around into the pockets, boo)! And ruffled blouse! And stretch jeans!!