I really should complain about my magazines not arriving more often – right after I mentioned that it hadn’t arrived yet, the (first) November Manequim turned up in my postbox! Let’s see if the second November issues makes its way to me soon… (Yes, Manequim has two issues in November. No, I don’t know why that is.)
In any case, it must be hoiday party season, because there’s a SEQUIN JUMPSUIT on the cover! Hooray everyone, let’s all dance in sequin jumpsuits!! (or, you know, chase after a toddler or do the laundry or sit in a cubicle…)
You wouldn’t know it unless you flipped to the back to check out the line drawing, but omg this jacket has incredible seam lines! I also love that it’s got the tuxedo-style notches, but no collar so therefore no roll to worry about either. Even the back looks amazing, with the extra seams around the sides. I reckon I could fit into a size 42 now….
On the very next page they’ve got another pattern with great seaming details – this time a corselette! Something like this would probably require a lot of muslins to get it fitting precisely to your own curves, but the payoff would be worth it.
The Plus size offerings this month all fit on one page, and are similarly party-themed – a lace surplice dress, sleeveless jumpsuit (I don’t know many Plus-sized ladies who’d be into this, let’s be fair!), and the best of the bunch – a nice blouse with piping on the raglan seams and keyhole feature in back.
Here’s another one that you’d be likely to skip past if you didn’t refer to the tech drawing – but look how unique the front seaming is – those shoulder cuffs integrate into the bust seaming, and there’s a modesty panel built in to that low cut neckline. Though in the photographed version, it’s more of an “immodesty panel” since it’s made in sheer fabric!
The designer inspiration this month comes from Bottega Veneta, and, while nothing earth-shattering, I liked this pleated surplice shell. It’d be a really nice separate to wear with jeans, but one that could work equally well under a suit jacket. I even like the bright yellow!
This is a really simple, dolman sleeved blouse with the addition of a bow, but one that I think you could make a real staple in fancy silks, especially since it’s offered in several sizes.
You’d be forgiven for thinking that I might be excited about these sporty shorts (nah – the split seam ones from a few months ago are better!), but really it’s the jacket I’m into here! Yet again in this issue, you’d not know it without looking at the tech drawing, but the seaming is fantastic! The slim lapels are a nice touch, but they totally missed the opportunity to colourblock those sleeves and the side panel!
Which are your favourites from this issue? Have you seen anything here you’d be keen to sew up?tags: magazine, manequim
Last week I had the unusual pleasure of meeting not one but two fellow sewists who were visiting London, separately, and on consecutive days!
First the amazing Dilly came to the boat, bring not only cake but this incredibly luscious silk twill!
Silk twill is something that is really difficult to find in London (unless you want it white and/or £50+/m!), and the monochrome nature print is so me, too. This definitely falls into the “too good for linings” category, so I think I’ll need to narrow down some of the amazing blouse patterns Manequim’s been printing and sew this up.
After hours of chatting and showing her around the moorings, I think I left her with a desire to live on a boat, and she left me with a renewed fire to go visit CERN! I’m also very impressed that she’s been keeping up with her own Burda Challenge this year, too!
Then, on Thanksgiving Day I met up with lingerie sewing guru Norma for a visit through the new Isabella Blow exhibit at Somerset House. I always find it’s best to see this sort of thing with someone who can share in your total geekery for seam lines and fine details, and there was plenty to geek out over, too! Really, this was an early Alexander McQueen and Philip Treacy exhibit, as those were the majority of the designs. They even opened up the back room upstairs for this, so it was much bigger than the recent Valentino exhibit there.
Afterwards we gorged on Mexican food and exchanged gifts (and, err, had a quick “tell me how I can improve this bra I’m wearing” reveal in the women’s loo)! Norma brought me a treasure trove of lingerie sewing goodies:
There’s some gorgeous, black dotted tulle for layering over pretty much any fabric, quality metal rings and sliders, white rigid cup liners, and enough butter yellow and baby pink stretch lace to make a full set!
This week has been no less busy, mind – I had a fabric-filled lunch with Claire yesterday, and then for James’s birthday today I gave him the gift of a To-Be-Sewn version of the famous Sherlock coat! So as if I wasn’t busy enough with a massive project (to be revealed next week), I’ve added a fully lined wool frock coat to my holiday sewing plate. Only for my wonderful man…tags: shopping
I had high hopes for this issue after the stellar November issue and the sneak peek at the back of that, but when I saw the line drawings it became apparent this could’ve just been entitled “The Dolman Issue” for the number of dolman sleeved garments in it! I’m not sure if someone at Burda HQ gave down the commandment that set-in or raglan sleeves weren’t beginner friendly or what, but there sure are an awful lot of fabric-guzzling designs in here, but it’s not all bad…
First up, no surprises for guessing – it’s a dolman sleeve tee! Actually this design isn’t so bad, it’s a nice twist on a casual, long sleeved tee, and the narrow sleeve cuffs help control some of the volume in the underarm/side seam area.
Since this is the holiday issue, the crafts are spread throughout the magazine and are way better than Burda’s usual “stick some glitter on twigs and call it interior design” school of crafts. For instance, these box bags are actually really nice little gifts, and a great way to use up scraps of nice, hefty home dec or other fabrics. There’s also a pattern for little moccasin slippers that uses wool and thick fleece that might be worth making as gifts too.
Now you’d think that, because this is a cowl dress, I’d be all over it, but I’m actually lukewarm. There’s something about that long pleat running into the cowl that just looks messy and haphazard, and from the cutting diagram I can see that the front is cut entirely as one (including the kimono sleeves, which have a gusset thrown in so you can actually lower your arms!), and then the pleat is just folded over. I know fabric is cheap these days, but the layout just makes me wince at the amount wasted to make a dress that way!
There are a few good trench coat patterns in this issue, but I particularly like this one because it shows that you can make a nice boucle coat without it being the same, ugly, tired, Chanel-alike design.
Again with the cowl neck and (nearly) dolman sleeves! This one looks like it’s just asking for a wardrobe mishap, along with showing off every little lump and bump in that fabric, but the top version of this doesn’t seem much better.
I don’t know why Burda chose to bury this classic little sheath cocktail dress under acres of ugly shiny organza for the front cover (ill fitting shoulders and all!) when it’s so nice on its own. I like it so much that I don’t even mind the rectangle of faux fur they wrapped around her and called a stole.
Avert your eyes from the migraine-including background and try to concentrate on the tie neck blouse (again with the dolman sleeves) and the adorable little skirt with the pleated zipper detail.
I guess this fulfills Burda’s commitment to menswear patterns or something, but they’ve included a pattern for a necktie, along with illustrated instructions. This might prove useful to anyone going somewhere formal in the next few months (wedding, prom, etc) where they might want his tie made in the same fabric as her dress.
The designer pattern this month is from a duo I’ve never heard of, and while it may not look to be the most flattering of lines, this pleated column dress is very on trend. The skirt reminds me a lot of By Hand London’s Elisalex dress, and it’s interesting that the skirt hangs from an interior bodice, and the outer bodice isn’t connected at the waist. Those kind of details actually make me intrigued to see it made up!
And finally, the highlight for me from this entire issue is in the Plus section – I utterly love this red suit with its 3/4 length sleeves, asymmetric front closure, and little bow detail. Burda have produced so many boring blazer-type jackets over the years that it’s really nice to see an alternative design. I’ll even forgive the exact same kimono-with-gusset sleeves I just mocked on the cowl dress, okay? Make this pattern for smaller sizes soon, please, Burda?
I’d love to tell you my review of Manequim magazine is coming up soon, but neither November issue has arrived yet, though they usually come at the same time as Burda… I hope there’s not been a postal whoopsie.tags: bwof, magazine
I kept it kinda quiet since I wasn’t able to meetup at all, but I was in Virginia last week for some quality family time. I got a good amount of running and working in alongside all the familying, and I also took a trip to the local Hancocks while I was there, too.
The sign outside did not instill much confidence.
I knew I had both limited suitcase space and funds, so I really tried to stick to my list and only buy fabrics I knew I’d use. Thanks to Stacy, I also had the new Vogue Donna Karan leggings pattern waiting for me on my arrival, so I was keen to get some ponte for those, but alas, the pontes in stock were very poor quality!
In terms of fabrics, I picked up two really nice viscose lycra jerseys which had a nice, soft hand and great recovery – one in turquoise blue, and the other with a black, mustard, and orange splatter print. Both ended up being on sale (the blue for about $5/yd and the print for about $7/yd) at the counter, too!
Despite the fleece signs out front, did they have a single sweatshirting (aka “sweatshirt fleece”) in stock? Umm, no. No they did not. When we asked, the clerks sounded equally annoyed and exasperated that whomever does the ordering didn’t think to buy any in amoungst the tacky petroleum-based mountains of regular fleece…
Otherwise, I just stuck to the haberdashery on my Sewing Shopping List (always on hand in my phone!). I go through a ridiculous amount of 3/4” (2cm) waistband elastic in all my leggings as I prefer it to 1” (2.5cm), but the latter is usually all I can find. Hancocks had 3yd lengths of the 3/4” for $2.50 though, so I rifled through the elastic bin and bought all they had! I also needed some machine needles, orange overlocking thread, and zippers (dear god, zippers are so freaking cheap in America!!), so those rounded out my purchases.
The fabrics were great padding for glass bottles and jars in my checked luggage, and the other stuff was small and lightweight, so I think I did alright!tags: fleece, shopping
Woo! I knew if I waded through enough mediocre issues we’d get to a good one again! This November issue is the Fall fashion spectacular I’ve been waiting for, and it’s so good I’m even lusting over half the Plus pattern…
First to catch my eye was these foldover trousers, sized for Tall ladies. They really remind me of my KnipMode foldover trousers, which I still wear every winter and still get compliments on!
I love this biker jacket with its off-centre zipper and dramatic collar! It simultaneously reminds me of both my purple MyImage coat and that designer Manequim leather jacket (which I still want to make!), though this is designed for ponte knits in the body, and stretch leather in the sleeves. On closer inspection of the instructions, I noticed it’s unlined (apart from the sleeves) so that big collar is only just one layer of jersey. Also, I think the collar looks way more wearable in the catwalk comparison photo than on the model!
Here’s an example where it pays to really have line drawings and photos of a pattern – I initially loved the tech drawing, but when I saw it on a live model, I realised those pleats right over the hips would probably not be the most flattering…
From the Little Black Dress feature, I really like this sheath dress for stretch wovens – the slim, zippered sleeves are a particularly nice detail, and a great way to show off some short, posh zippers (hello Riri!). The vertical skirt seams might be a touch overkill though, but they don’t appear to be for shaping anyway so could be eliminated I imagine.
Tall ladies are in luck, because they also get this lovely shirt dress, with a centre front placket and double darts. The sleeves are another real designer-a-like feature, with the dropped shoulder seam, inset corner, and subtle shaping. It’s almost enough to make me want to de-Tall-ify it!
The designer pattern this month is from Jo No Fui, and surprisingly, I’m really into the blouse in particular, even though it’s not my usual style. I think the sleeves are dramatic without being overly “poet” (that extra tuck does wonders for keeping it modern) and I think it looks spectacular paired with a slim skirt like they’ve shown here. I was hoping those hip seams on the skirt would imply an interesting back, but alas, the back view is pretty standard. I’ve noticed this outfit is from her current PreFall13-14 collection, too!
This pattern shares the same bodice as the black sheath dress above (and so also has the slim, zippered sleeves), but this instead uses a rectangular, dirndl skirt and calls for lightweight, non-stretch wovens. This in particular would be great for layering over merino tights and a jacket or cardigan on top for winter, I think!
Burda have been providing a good number of slim trouser options recently, but this one stands out as it’s for non-stretch wovens!
I love this pencil skirt, and that it’s cut on the bias, with the side seams pushed to the back, and with that gorgeous little kick at the back just makes it all the better. I even have the perfect flannel in my stash for this, so this is really looking like the Most Likely To Be Sewn from this issue! This is a good issue for bias in general, because the wrap jacket on the left here (and its longer-length sister pattern) are also cut on the bias!
On to the Plus patterns, and I swear this is the best Plus collection for ages! I often hear complaints that Burda’s Plus offerings are too often shapeless, unfashionable sacks, but this egg coat silhouette is so fashionable right now, and the sleeve gusset, seaming, and pockets on this are so nicely designed, too.
I totally agree with Burda’s description that this teeshirt needs to fit snugly at the sleeves and hips to really work – part of the reason I think the dress version of this is the only failure of this collection because it’s just too big all over. Here, however, I can totally see this along the same lines as my Drape Drape mustard tee, which I wear all the time. Also, you may have overlooked it, but the trouser pattern here is for ponte knits. Ponte knits!! In other words, the most comfortable and flattering trousers ever!!
There’s a nice jersey wrap dress in this Plus collection, too, but I saw this knit sheath dress and I didn’t have eyes for anything else! I totally love the X darts at the center, and I’d totally make this if it was offered in the regular size range! (Maybe Burda will pull an inverse of recent reprints and this will appear for regular sizes in an upcoming issue?)
And finally, your “Burda WTF” moment for this issue comes courtesy of the crafts section. I know the crafts are terrible and usually not even worth mocking, but this has got to be the most remedial craft yet (yes, even moreso than hanging a twig from your ceiling!). This craft is a bow. Yes, just a bow. The instructions give you a length of ribbon, and then just say to tie a bow and place it on a tree. Because we needed instructions for that…
What did you think of this issue, dear readers? Anyone start any of these patterns yet? December’s issue looks like it might be promising, judging from the previews in the English & German versions I have…tags: bwof, designer, magazine
Can you handle two Brazilian pattern magazines in one week? After my earlier Moda Moldes review, you might be already crying uncle and pining for caipirinhas on Copcabana, but hold on, because there’s much more in store from Manequim below…
Strangely, the first patterns in the magazine this month aren’t for humans, but for Barbie dolls! I’ve never seen doll patterns in any of my pattern magazines before, let alone designer-inspired dresses and coat (really, I’d prefer if they’d just given us the full-size versions!). Really, though, I shouldn’t complain, as these patterns are free to download, so you might be able to make a little girl very happy in time for Christmas…
There are only three Plus patterns this month (even though Barbie got four!!), but they’re all really nice – a yoked tunic top that would be a perfect silk tee, a dress with fantastic contrast raglan seaming, and a sleeveless top with a blazer-like shawl collar that I’m considering knocking off for myself…
I just think this maxidress is so elegant! I tend to like pale, solid colours anyway, but the surplice neckline with the folded-over lapels is just a lovely touch, and one I’ve not seen in any other pattern. I must file this one away in the memory bank for future franken-patterning. (But seriously, how lovely would this be for a bridesmaid’s gown??)
You know how I feel about shorts, but I can’t help admire this vintage-inspired set with the lovely tie-collar blouse, even though I probably wouldn’t wear it myself.
Again, this top has a neckline that’s completely new to me, so bravo for the ingenuity in Manequim’s design team! However, I still can’t decide whether I actually like it or not – all I could see were two smaller tank-tops dancing towards each other, and now I’ve seen it, I can’t un-see it…
This is why I will never be a fan of prints – why take two patterns with amazing & novel seamlines and sew them up in wild prints that obscure everything unique about the pattern?! Seriously, let’s take the dress first – asymmetric, yes! Edgy zipper placements, yes! Sheath dress, yes! Of course I love it. And that blazer, which looks so pedestrian in the photo, is just awesome in the tech drawing, I mean, look at the sleeve seams, or that back box-pleat/peplum, how good is that??
And finally, the designer inspiration this month is Cacharel, and we get a (admittedly kinda weird) dress, a (rather boring) button-down shirt, and a great little dolman tee – very easy to sew. Again, this would make a great little silk tee like I’m so fond of!magazine, manequim
Most of you are familiar with Manequim magazine from my monthly reviews, but you may not be aware that it is just one of several sewing pattern magazines in Brazil!
Friends of ours brought me back some magazines after they holidayed there a few years ago, and you may recall that I reviewed Moda Moldes, Molde & Cia, and Figurino Moldes at the time. You can get the former two on eBay from Brazilian sellers, but they’re all pretty similar in their styles, drafting, size selection, and price. So if you’re having problems subscribing to Manequim, it may be worth your while to try one of the other magazines instead.
Anyway, I was thrilled when Rachel at House of Pinheiro was back home in Brasilia recently and very kindly offered to buy this one for me, and I thought you all deserved a peek! This is apparently a special issue of the magazine, though I can’t see what makes it different, to be perfectly honest!
This tunic may look like it’s just an oversized, belted teeshirt in the photo, but have a peek at the tech drawing and you can see there are two giant darts that provide shaping and visual interest.
There’s nothing particularly groundbreaking about this sheath dress, but it’s just a nice, well-balanced design that I’d totally wear!
Look beyond the “mullet” hemline of this skirt – I would’ve missed all the great details if it wasn’t for the tech drawing! Shame they used such a crazy print, because with all those seams and pintucks, it’s not like it really needs it…
I love this sheath dress with pleated overlays! Again, this is something I’d totally wear, and since it’s not in my size, I’d probably just go and make it myself without a pattern. Sometimes it’s far easier to adapt your own sloper (or well-fitting plain dress) and draft your own copycat details than it is to fiddle with grading all the pieces of a design.
And finally, here’s a selection of three pairs of trousers – a very plain stretch woven pair with a side invisible zipper and no waistband, a wide-legged pleated pair, and a classic, slim-leg trouser. It’s a nice touch that the pairs on either side are available in multiple sizes, too.
I hope this only whet your appetite for Brazilian patterns, because I’ve got a review of the latest Manequim issue coming up later this week…tags: magazine
Wow, what an adventure! We’ve been back home for a few days now and I still haven’t quite processed all the sights, sounds, smells, and tastes (oh, the tastes!) we experienced during our nearly 3 week long journey through Mexico. I’m pleased to report that both my travel wardrobe and my last minute travel bag were completely up to the task and all my abuse, and I’m glad I brought my leggings and long sleeves, too, because it was rather chilly in Mexico City and San Cristobal in particular! Detailing the entire trip would take far too long (let’s just say that in my first day there I ate 3 new fruits and vegetables previously unknown to me, and I’d need both hands to count all the amazing places I swam!), so this is just a rundown of the sewing-related highlights of the trip. (For the fitness-related highlights, pop over to RiverRunner!)
I knew at some point I wanted to buy an embroidered blouse, but I really wanted one I could wear in real life that didn’t scream “Mexican holiday”, either. We found a lovely artistanal boutique shop in Oaxaca that had a ton of blouses and dresses that were both modern and contained elements of traditional Mexican embroidery, too. This blouse was in the window, and when I tried it on and it fit, I knew I had to have it. I utterly adore it.
It’s exactly the same in the front and back, and the embroidery is all black, stitched by hand, and with a lot of open cut-work. The fabric of the blouse itself feels like rayon, and it unrolled from my backpack wrinkle-free like it was born to travel!
In San Cristobal de las Casas, we at at a fabulous cafe run by the Zapatistas (now no longer in active combat mode) run as a co-op. Around the edges there were a bunch of little handicraft shops selling goods made by villagers and political prisoners, and I couldn’t resist this little pouch that has “Rebel Women” and a fierce Zapatisa lady (aka “Mexican ninjas”!) embroidered onto it.
When we were at Teotihuacan outside Mexico City, we visited a shop where we learned about all the ways the Mexican people have used the maguey cactus for thousands of years. It’s the crucial for making mezcal, yes, but it can also be used for paper, shampoo, and – if you break off the tip of the very central spine, you have a spiky “needle” and attached, incredibly strong, fibrous “thread”. The “thread” was then dyed in about two seconds by smearing rose petals onto it, then that was turned blue with a bit of calcium!
I was so thrilled with this that they packaged it up for me to bring home!
When we were in San Cristobal de las Casas we stumbled across a fabric shop completely by chance (On General M Utrilla, one street off the pedestrianised 20 de Noviembre right downtown). The Dia de los Muertos fabric outside drew me in, but they felt really stiff, cheap, and nasty so I looked a bit further and found this striped fabric that I’d like to use as accents on a black dress or jacket. Again, something that works with my style without looking costumey! I bought 2m of this, but it was pretty narrow (think loom width), and my receipt tells me I paid 50 pesos for it (about £2.50 – so cheap for me, but certainly not for Mexico prices).
And I saved the best for last, because I found this wonderful little Dia de los Muertos seamstress figurine in the same shop I bought my blouse in Oaxaca. It cost me about £2 and I just love it!!
Does anyone else buy fabric when they’re on holiday? What’s the best sewing-related souvenir you’ve ever brought home?tags: mexico13, shopping
Burda’s had a bit of an ugly and disappointing streak for the past few issues, but this one is a definite improvement, with only a few Total Uglies, and quite a few Ooh That’s Nices!
I love the wide neckline on this top – I think it’s a really flattering shape, and it’s a bonus that it’s designed for knits. The pleated waistline gives nice shaping at the waist, too, without being overly peplum-y.
Usually when a pattern is shown in two different styles, it’s easy for me to choose one of them over the other to scan and highlight, but with this dress I love the pastel version and the military version equally! This dress is totally on my To Sew list for Fall & Winter – I love wearing long sleeved knit dresses, and the neckline, raglan shoulders, and waist pleats are just fantastic!
This duffle coat really reminds me of the turquoise one I made a few years ago and literally wore to death! It’s such a wonderful casual style, and the contrast panels really offer a good opportunity for playing with texture or colour, too.
This is the dress version of the pale pink top above, and I think the lengthened version is just as nice as the top! Shame we can’t really see many details here in the small photos and busy print fabric…
I’m always on the lookout for more slim trouser patterns since I wear them so frequently, and these look rather nice. The boxy top is a Tall pattern, and didn’t appeal to me at all in the stiff, shiny fabrics earlier in the magazine, but I totally see its appeal made up in a boucle or sweatshirting here.
And finally, the “Burda WTF” award for this issue goes to this tissue paper dinosaur. Because, seriously, what the hell is St Martin’s Procession and why would this be the highlight of it?? Again, Burda totally fail to understand their global audience…
(I thought maybe it was a Catholic thing but no, James hadn’t heard of it either!)
I’m currently away in Mexico – this post was written and scheduled before I left. Please leave comments – I’ll read them as I have internet but will probably not be able to reply!tags: bwof, magazine
Twice a year we end up overlapping a little between the Fall fashions here in the UK and the Spring fashions over in Brazil, and when that happens, it’s just magic! I know it’s warming up there but I can’t help but be inspired for Fall by this issue!
First up are a bunch of Plus-sized patterns – here there’s a nice jacket, a really interesting blouse, and a basic shirtdress, but there’s also a surplice dress, a lace dress, and another blouse included in the Plus range this month. Often there’s only one pattern!
I absolutely love the seaming and neckline of this crop top, but even I’m not brave enough to wear this out with my stomach exposed, so I’d definitely lengthen it myself!
The designer inspiration feature this month is Proenza Shouler and I utterly adore this piped sheath dress, and the blouse with tulip sleeves (in a variety of sizes) isn’t bad, either!
I nearly squealed with delight when I turned the page and saw these shorts! Regular readers will know I am not a shorts fan but I started running in them this summer and am completely won over (for running anyway!). I’ve been looking for a pattern to mimic my Nike split-side seam shorts for ages and found nothing – until now! These are pretty much exactly what I was looking for, and it’s offered in multiple sizes, too! Attach a lining panty at the waistband and you’re ready. Thank you, Manequim!!
And finally, it’s a bit difficult to tell exactly what the feature is on this dress since it’s covered up in the photo (are those pleats? seams? piping?) but I love the shape and idea anyway.
I’m currently away in Mexico – this post was written and scheduled before I left. Please leave comments – I’ll read them as I have internet but will probably not be able to reply!tags: magazine, manequim