A big grey Fail of a dress

How excited was I to discover that the Spanish-language pattern magazine, Patrones, had launched an app complete with digital issues and downloadable pdf patterns!? You know, the thing we’d all wished Burda had done years ago rather than the abomination of a website they made instead!

I literally was on my iPad in seconds (there’s a version for Android, too) and was browsing the previews of a few issues when I came across a dress I just had to have!

The Sewing Weekender Number 3

No sooner were we back home from Iceland than I was on my way up to Cambridge for my third Sewing Weekender! The first year I was lucky enough to buy a ticket, then last year I gave my “Sewing for Movement” talk as a speaker, but this year I was determined to attend again and set my alarm in order to buy my ticket as soon as they went on sale.

No joke, these tickets were hotter than Glastonbury – we crashed The Fold Line’s site and tickets sold out in like ten minutes despite having doubled capacity this year to 100 places!

Patrones 56 magazine

It’s been a while since I had a Patrones magazine to share, but I kept an eye out for them while we were in Malaga last month. Eventually I found one on a newsstand in the centre of Malaga, but they certainly weren’t as easy to find there was they were in Argentina, which is more than a little odd considering it’s a Spanish magazine. It comes sealed so the pattern sheets don’t get separated or lost (as they’re not stapled in place like Burda), but it also means you can’t peek at the styles before you buy.

Anyway, if you’ve been following along with my reviews over the years, you might recall that they used to do knockoff patterns of seriously high fashion designers, then there was a fallout and they stopped being able to name any non-Spanish designers (so no more Gucci, Prada, Paul Smith, etc), and around the same time they also started to produce compilation magazines made up of a bunch of old patterns and photos lumped together. The only way you could tell the difference between the latest styles and the “latest” compilation was to look at the issue number, as the “new new” were in the 4-500s and the “not really new” had very low issue numbers.

Patrones magazine 354

My inlaws were visiting Spain last month, and I’ve got them so well trained that I don’t even need to ask anymore – they just keep an eye out for Patrones magazine and buy it for me if they see it! They weren’t even phased by the redesigned logo on this one (that’s literally the only change I can see, so that’s kinda odd), and I’m so pleased they grabbed it, because it’s this year’s Coats Special!

If I’m being honest, this Coats Special didn’t grab me quite as much as last year’s, but I did find a lot of interesting details in coats that didn’t otherwise excite me, like the coat from the magazine cover which has an interesting tie/slide closure.

I’m not sure how many parts of Spain warrant a full length, long coat like this, but I know many places in Northern Europe where a coat like this would make wearing dresses bearable in winter!

Out of the way, fur gilet! You’re covering up all the interesting seam lines in the shirt!

My favourite for this entire issue is definitely this asymmetric draped shirt (though the tech drawing is wrong at shoulders when you compare it to the pattern pieces). The hip pleating would require some really precise pattern marking, but I think this would be just stunning in a silk satin for a different Christmas party look…

Patrones magazine 342

While we were in Argentina in August, I kept my eyes peeled for Patrones issues whenever we passed a newsagent. It didn’t take long before I found this one on a newstand in Mar del Plata (and 343, which I already own), likely from last winter but who cares? Patrones do the best coat patterns, and this is a Coats Special!! I’ve made so many of theirs in in the past, most notably my winter coat (still my main winter coat several years later!), the silver tweed jacket I throw on in summers, and my duffle coat, which I wore until it was literally in tatters. I’ve got some wool coating burning a hole in my stash right now, so it’s likely I’ll look to Patrones for this coat, too.

I was mostly drawn to the top, but the Armani blazer is also worth a note for its razor-sharp lapels! On first glance, the top has a shape very similar to a lot of other patterns (like that Lekala top I made a few years back) but a closer look reveals it’s actually got two layers – a satin layer underneath and a gauze layer on top.

This menswear-inspired sheath dress would be a great alternative to the clichéd skirt suit for business meetings! Apart from the curved waist seaming, I love the waist-lapel – it feels more like a blazer than a peplum (which we’re all so over by now, right?). This also reminded me of Charity Shop Chic’s recent spectacular Dior-inspired refashion, too.

Ok, now on to the coats feature, and, ignoring the bubblegum pink colour, I just love this dolman sleeved cocoon coat! It fastens with a hidden zipper placket and only uses 2m of wool, which is conveniently the exact amount of my navy wool coating… This is now top of my list to muslin!

Patrones 343

What a nice surprise! I wasn’t expecting this magazine at all, but my in-laws were visiting Spain recently, saw it on a newsstand, and grabbed it for me. I’m so glad they did, too, as not only is it a great issue with a bunch of wearable separates (much better than dozens of holiday dresses), but it also sees the return of the designer names!

Granted, it’s been a while since I’ve had a Patrones magazine (18 months by the look of things??), and to be honest, I’d gone off them a little bit. But this one has me excited again that they might be turning things around and getting back to their heydey of a few years ago… But let’s not get ahead of ourselves – let’s take a peek inside, shall we?

There are a ton of button-down shirt patterns in this issue – some traditional, some more blouse-like for flowing fabrics, and some more unusual, like this one with the attractive yoke panelling, dolman sleeves, and unusual centre front invisible zipper. I’d need to do a muslin first, of course, but I’m keeping this one in mind for the unusual Liberty lawn I bought earlier this year, especially since this shirt needs less than the 1.5m I bought.

To run the risk of sounding entirely predictable – ooh! A short coat! Yes, I know I’m consumed with short coat/jacket patterns right now, but this one is a good example of a design I rarely see outside Patrones (and the seamlines are really similar to the grey tweed jacket I made a few years ago that I’ve worn to death!).

There’s a fantastic feature in this issue which contains a ton of designer dresses and jackets, but ones that would be not only quick to sew, but could easily work for office attire. First up is this Joseph sheath dress – quite plain in the front with only two horizontal seams, but the back features a flounce from shoulder to knee. Also shown here is a Zadig & Voltaire jacket, which has a pretty traditional tech drawing, but made more interesting for leaving some of the edges unfinished to fray.

Patrones 324 & 26

I haven’t bought Patrones magazine in a while because I’ve been busy sewing other things, but the lovely Tg33 picked these two up when she was visiting Spain recently and sent them to me as gifts! How nice is that!?

So I can show you my picks from both, while I’m currently away on business in (not so sunny) Miami. Let’s feel the hot, summer, ocean vibes!

Patrones 324

How nice would that tiered top from the cover be really nice in a lightweight silk? Because the tiers all start at the shoulder (rather than being connected to a base at intervals), you could even use a semi-sheer fabric and get lessening coverage as you go down…

There’s an entire feature solely on jumpsuits and playsuits (how many does one girl need?!), and regular readers will know I’m not particular a fan, but I couldn’t help but love the seaming on this one!

Patrones 22

Remember back before Christmas, when the in-laws travelled to Spain and brought me back Patrones 320? Well, at the time I was too flu-ridden to scan the second issue they bought at the same time, so I’m sharing it with you now.

This second magazine is labelled “Casual” but is more the size of a typical Patrones “Extra” issue. These lower numbered Patrones issues started a few years ago and are reprints of previously-published patterns. In this case, I haven’t seen any of these before so it’s fine by me!

It’s a terrible magazine photo (why cover up the pattern dress with a massive cardigan?) but I absolutely love the tech drawing for this curved seam dress. Funny, but it really reminds me of a Patrones designer skirt I made in 2008 and then never really documented on the site (which I tend to not do anymore, you see everything!)

There are tons of amaaaazing coats in this issue (remember that I swear by Patrones’ coat patterns!!), and I especially like this one with a zipper opening, and three separate zippered welt pockets, too:

The short, naval pea coat is such an iconic piece of clothing, but strangely, not one you see patterns for very often. For me, this would make a fantastic transitional coat I could wear 9 months of the year…

Patrones 320

Yay! The in-laws were holidaying in Spain recently and were kind enough to pick up two issues of Patrones for me! I was planning on showing you both at the same time (the other is a reprints issue, No.22), but in my limited evenings this week, I’ve been using my available time prepping fabric and tracing out patterns to sew over my Christmas break, and scanning isn’t nearly as much fun in comparison.

In the meantime, here’s the first issue, full of new winter patterns!

Patrones 320

Here are the patterns shown on the cover – a nice button-down shirt with pintucks, an amaaaaazing biker jacket, and some nice slim trousers/jeans. I really like the deep green velvet they used here, too.

Another slim trousers + shirt + jacket combo, this time in a more equestrian style. I’m not keen on the massive bow on the top, but I really like the jodhpur detail on the trousers.

Patrones 309 & 9

Happily, I got a chance to catch up on my magazine scanning over the holidays (expect to see a boat-load of Manequims and a rather boring KnipMode as well), so I can finally show you some highlights from the two Patrones issues my inlaws very kindly picked up for me while they were holidaying in Spain at the end of last year.

First up is a new(ish) issue, full of fall and winter fashions!

Patrones 309

I think this Cos coat is really interesting, though with it open on the model and a vague tech drawing, I’m not really sure how the finished coat would look. I mean, I like asymmetry, but does this mean one thigh would always be cold?

I love the cut of this motorcycle jacket and mixing the leather and tweed together like this, but omg did they have to use just a cheap and nasty pleather here? I can practically smell the petrochemicals from here, and the sleeves just make me want to cry! Still, how nice would this be in good leather?