La Mia Boutique Sept 2010

I’m still away on my honeymoon for a few more days, but in the meantime please enjoy my pre-prepared rundown of the latest La Mia Boutique magazine!

I love this casual, raglan sleeved minidress:

There are quite a few nice trench coats in this issue, but single-breasted ones like these are quite difficult to find:

While this reminds me of a knit tunic Burda did a few years ago, I like that this A line dress is for silks and lightweight crepes, and doesn’t require any zippers.

La Mia Boutique August 2010

After quite a few great issues of La Mia Boutique, it pains me to admit that this issue seems to be a throwback of the weird, not wonderful, old days of LMB. In fact, there’s not really any “Must Sews” for me in here at all, though a few of the designs have interesting pattern shapes when you take a closer look.


First up, an oddly-shaped maxi dress for those of us with really uneven hips… Even that ruffle shape is strange.

Here’s a rather nice tunic top with a large patch pocket, paired with a knit cardigan.

Seriously, WTF is this? An enormous maxi jumpsuit with windows for your navel and a neckline down past your waist? Really, who would wear this besides this model getting paid to wear it?

La Mia Boutique July 2010

No, you didn’t miss it – the June issue never arrived and is presumed missing in the post by now (so Magazine Cafe extended my subscription by a month to compensate). But that’s okay because June didn’t look that great in the online preview, and July is a fantastic issue!

I utterly love this bolero – mostly for its sleeves! You can see more easily in the layout diagram, but there’s a strip of fabric down the centre of the sleeve, with gathering on either side. I’d so take these sleeves and try them out on a shirt or other style of jacket, too.

This is actually a dress that just looks like a skirt and top – it’d be great for short lengths of stash fabrics with a nice belt…

Quick & easy tie-front teeshirt

I was so excited when I saw this tie-front teeshirt (#2) in the May 2010 La Mia Boutique!

It just ticks so many boxes – flattering neckline (check!), coordinating knits (check!), cute Daisy Duke-style tie (check!), and most importantly, it uses up those awkward leftover lengths of fabrics that are too big to chuck away but at less than 1m, are really too small to make much of anything from.

The other great thing is that this teeshirt was seriously quick to sew – I cut out the fabric when I got home from work on Friday evening, and in amongst making dinner and doing some reading, I had finished this before I went to bed, and without particularly rushing or staying up late, either. In fact, I liked it so much I wore it out to lunch and the cinema (to see Four Lions) the next day, and then again at Crafternoon!

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:

Double take!

Fashion has always been cyclical – we reinvent ideas from decades past and give them a new twist. But with everyone playing off similar influences, sometimes two designers independently come up with very similar ideas. So it’s really not a surprise that you can sometimes find very similar pattern designs across companies, too.

As I found out, once you start looking for “pattern twins”, suddenly you start seeing them everywhere!

Patrones vs Knip tops

It all started when reader Hilde pointed out in my Patrones 289 review that this Plus top looks an awful lot like an older KnipMode design, so I decided to investigate further by comparing the shapes of the pattern pieces side-by-side:

(This KnipMode top was previously neglected because it was in the same issue as the fabulous swimsuit pattern…)

While the tech drawings look different, when you look at the pattern pieces you can see that most of that is just down to artistic interpretation and the pieces are very similar indeed!

Knip vs Burda blouses

Then I noticed in my review of the March 2010 KnipMode that their ruffle-collared blouse was incredibly similar to one Burda released last year!

La Mia Boutique May 2010

Hooray! The first issue from my 6 month gift subscription from Magazine Cafe has arrived!!

The first feature of the magazine is nautical-themed (and not terribly subtly at that!). I absolutely love this tie-front teeshirt – I’ve got a ton of annoying “too short for a shirt yet too small for scraps” knit yardages so I’m quite keen to mix those up like they did here. That gajillion-gored skirt just scares me, though (yeah, those are all individually pieced!!).

I fell in love with this navy blue top from its tech drawing, but I’m actually less keen on it in real life. I think it’d look better without the central pleating, as it seems a bit over-designed. One thing to note, though, is that there are no shoulder seams – the top portion of the front actually wraps over from the back.

Which Sewing Pattern Magazine?

There have been quite a lot of people wondering about the various sewing pattern magazines out there and which they should buy or subscribe to. Since I’ve been primarily sewing with pattern magazines over the last few years, I thought some of you might appreciate my opinions on the major pattern magazines (and no, I’m not getting any kickbacks or referral money from any of these links, if it wasn’t obvious!).

For all of these magazines, you receive a glossy magazine with lots of nice photos of models wearing the various designs, and there will be a section containing the technical drawings, instructions, and fabric layout for each design. Patterns are included in a special folded bunch of papers (usually stapled in the centre so you can pull them out easily without damaging the rest of the magazine). The patterns come in a variety of sizes, but none of these contain seam allowances and you need to trace them off the sheets provided.

I trace my patterns using a serrated tracing wheel and brown kraft paper, but many others prefer to use tracing paper and pencils. I add my seam allowances when I cut out my fabric by simply cutting 5/8”/1.5cm away from the edge of my paper pattern, but there are double tracing wheels available to do this for you.

The LMB draped dress – muslin

As good as my word, I sewed up a muslin for my birthday dress (next week, birthday fans!), which will be the draped jersey dress from the Feb 2010 La Mia Boutique magazine, #6:

I sewed up the muslin in a viscose jersey, chosen for its very similar draping to silk jersey (with the bridesmaids’ dresses also in silk jersey, I bought TONS of this!), but it is pretty thin and see-through so it’s really only ever going to be good for muslins. After sewing a size 44 in the turtleneck and finding it quite roomy, I decided to go with a 44 here, too, even though I should be a 46 according to their size charts. This is sewn up exactly as per their paper pattern, with no alterations.

Here’s the front, side, and back views of the muslin: