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.

KnipMode and Burda June 2012

KnipMode June 2012

Let’s start off with the best from across both issues – this asymmetric, flounced top is just fantastic! I really like it paired with skinny jeans like they have here, too. It’s really important when you’re wearing volume up top to balance it with something slim below, or vice-versa!

In my mind, this A-line midi skirt was almost identical to one in last month’s Burda magazine that I really liked (and already traced, but when I’ll sew it is another matter!), but when I place the tech drawings side-by-side, they’re actually not as close as I remembered…

None of this combo of jacket, shell, or trousers is particularly earth-shattering, but I really like the look of pairing a cropped jacket (my forte) with a longer layer underneath. And beautiful, shimmering jewel tone solids are always a good choice!

This is a bumper issue for Plus sized patterns, with something like 15 on offer this month, but the one that really caught my eye is that they’ve released a favourite of mine from last summer in larger sizes now!! This is one of my favourite casual tops, despite the tunic-length, and I’m really chuffed to see it made more widely available now.

KnipMode May 2012

My KnipMode subscription lumbers on, though I’ve yet to be really excited by any issue in the past six months. But as I find myself with some time on my hands while our boat is in drydock, I might as well share the latest issue with you now…

This yoked top looks like it’s be a great use for cotton lawns or well-washed quilting cottons, if you have any that don’t go all oddly stiff…

On first glance, this sheath dress looks pretty basic, but the dart placement makes this a bit more interesting than usual, and you could do some great colourblocking if you extend the darts a little further into seams…

KnipMode March & April 2012

The past few months of KnipMode have been so lacklustre that I’ve decided they no longer deserve their own post each month. Yeah, take that, Knip! So I’ve joined the last two months together here in an attempt to find a few diamonds amongst the turds…

March 2012

I really like the seaming on this suede jacket. It’s a different take on the general “waterfall cardigan” design that’s been ubiquitous in the past few years.

Oh dear. Those are some serious “Mom jeans” and they’re not helped by the awful styling and piercing blue denim shade…

KnipMode February 2012

The February issue arrived a week or so ago, and thankfully it’s a lot better than January’s lackluster offering!

The first feature in the magazine teams blue with a bunch of other colours. I especially liked this blue & orange combination since orange is just SO hot right now. I quite like a lot of these separates but I love the seamed jeans!

Ooh, four basic trousers – I really like the first three (the last, not so much)…

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.

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 November 2011

I currently subscribe to three different sewing pattern magazines: Burda, Manequim, and KnipMode. I don’t post reviews of Burda because so many other blogs do already, and also because Burda are great about publishing all the line drawings in advance, so you probably already know whether you like an issue or not without me harping on at you. All three have reliable delivery schedules, with Manequim appearing in the first week of the month, then KnipMode around the middle, and Burda bringing up the rear at the end of the month, or the beginning of the next. This month I ended up getting KnipMode only a few days before Burda, but I think it was just a combination of Knip being a bit late and Burda being a bit early. What it’s meant for me is that I’ve been a bit overwhelmed with breakfast reading so I’ve only just now been able to properly digest each issue along with my porridge, let alone get out the scanner!

As a total aside, I find it interesting that Manequim is the cheapest year subscription at about £65, then Burda at £70, followed by KnipMode at about £90. All I’m saying is, KnipMode has been alright since their new editor took over, but they better step up to awesome territory again soon if they want to stay in the sewing budget…

The first ten or so pages of this issue are taken up by the wide array of styles you can create with their mix & match coat patterns. They’ve done this in the past with dresses and cocktail dresses but essentially you choose the various sleeves, bodice, collar, etc, and build your custom coat pattern that way.

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!

Upcoming Fall 2011 sewing – the patterns

It’ll be no surprise to you that I’ve already started on my Fall sewing, since you’ve just heard all about my upcoming trench jacket, but I’ve been thinking about the rest of my Fall sewing ambitions over the last few weeks. Having August temperatures mostly in the 50sF (16-20C) meant that I was mentally ready for cooler weather a long time ago!

I’ve got the fabric for all (but two) of these already, too, so I’m sure to get through a lot of my stash this way, too… Though I did just buy some new fabric in order to make four of these, oops. More on the matching fabric later.