Monday, September 30, 2013

La Mia Boutique 10/2013

Yes, yes, yes! Another very good issue of La Mia Boutique!
As usual, you can find it half here and half on Silvia's blog, with comments by both of us in every post.

Let's get started!
The first patterns of this issue (and my favorites) are by Italian designer Makola, whose gorgeous 50's- and 60's-inspired creations were the main attraction of the beautiful May issue.

Anna: First of all: I get that having an Audrey Hepburn-inspired photoshoot makes completely sense and it actually goes great with the clothes. But when you bring such an humongous icon into play, you need to do it right. I mean, DAT HAIR is hideous. Together with the model's perpetual duckface, and the LMB stylist inexplicable preference for heavy jewellery, it kinda bombs these photos. 

Anyway, at least the dress is very, very cute. A basic shift dress that looks great on almost anyone and a perfect beginner project. Because it doesn't have darts in the back, it could also be a cute jumper.

SilviaNot a new pattern if you have been seeing the latest issues but I wonder if you can have an issue on Audrey without a shift-dress pattern.

Anna: Lovely outfit! Perfect for a formal occasion, chic and put together with that touch of retro that I love. The coat pattern is almost identical to one included in the May issue, but that's ok.

SilviaTo die for! I love the color and the design. Would make it immediately. 

Anna: Ah, this dress! Silvia challenged me to make it, and it's about time I sew something from LMB. I've already studied the pattern and it looks quite interesting and doable.
I LOVE those in-seam pockets (similar to those of the Chloe dress by Victory patterns, but without a tab). The pattern is meant for knit fabrics, but I think it shouldn't be too much of a problem to make it in a woven (I'll add a side zipper). I just need to think it over a little bit and find the right fabric for it.

SilviaThis pattern screams Anna make me! Black and white combo is so cute. And I want the shoes too. BTW did you notice the tattoo on the model’s foot? ;)

There are four more Makola patterns in this issue, and you can see them in Silvia's post.

Anna: I like the idea behind this dress, but you need to have a shop/laboratory/whatever that pleats fabric nearby. That's just unthinkable in my area, so bye bye dress.

Anna: Bad-ass jacket. I love it, but it looks like a pain to construct; the horizontal lines are a leather trim. I also like the buttoned variation, although a jacket without pockets is blasphemy to me.

SilviaI love the style on this jacket. I never had a leather jacket in my life but I could certainly make the variation in a Ponte Knit or wool.

Anna: This pattern really picked my interest. It's different and stylish, I really like it. I think that shortened, it would also make a nice maxi cardigan.
Sorry if you can't tell too much from the photo... I can't either. I mean, black gloves? Really, LMB stylist?

SilviaWhen I read this issue included an Aspesi pattern I immediately flicked the pages to see it. The design is very interesting but it’s not something I would wear.

Anna: And here's the winner for worst product photo in a sewing magazine. Would you ever match the technical drawing to this photo if you didn't have the little numbers? I know I didn't when I was making these collages. So, it's an interesting pattern with lovely tucks on the front. I'm not completely sold on it, especially because of the fullness in the back, so it would have been nice to see how it looks on the model. I know, I'm asking too much.

SilviaWell, you don’t see much from the picture, but I like the fabric. The pattern is not for me though.

Anna: A nice button-up shirt/tunic, maybe a little boring. Why you would tuck it in those pants and make it look like a completely different garment is beyond me, but at this point it's clear that I'm not on the same wavelength as the photographer and the stylist (and the model too... is she stoned?).

SilviaI would chop off some of the length from this pattern or lengthen it for a shirt dress look and add a belt.

Anna: I really like the pants, although they're too low-waisted for me. The jacket... eeh, it's cute, but I wonder how functional it can be, with those short sleeves...

SilviaI don’t know how I would wear a short-sleeved blazer, but I really like the pattern.
Cool fabric [for the pants]! Give me those legs and I will wear the pattern too.

Anna: Very cute dress (although the waist looks quite different on the technical drawing, am I right?) with gorgeous embellishments. These are all adhesive studs; it would have been nice for LMB to give us a pattern for the embellishments or to at least give us an estimate of how many studs are needed. Without any of those two things, it's just a pattern for a very standard dress.

SilviaIt’s a cute dress pattern but it seems too wide and short for me. If I were to make it I would need to make some adjustments.

Anna: This skirt was clearly stolen from Burda, as it's two (slightly tapered at the waist) rectangles of stretch lace laid on two rectangles of jersey with a ribbon at the waist and a zipper at the side. Why would you complicate your life with a ribbon and zipper, I don't know. A 5-year-old can figure out this pattern without having to trace it off and add a seam allowance.
The cape is extremely cute, but once again we're faced with the wise decision of black on black, so we have no idea how it looks like.

SilviaVery cute capelet! I am really considering making it. Would you, Anna? Any suggestion on how to style it?
Oh a lace skirt! I have some lace stashed away and have been meaning to make a skirt for ages. The only think I’d need to check is the stretch factor.

Anna: Nice basic tunic, at this point I'm maxed out on clever and/or bitchy comments, so I hope Silvia has something to add.

SilviaCute shirt, though I prefer stand-up collars.

Anna: The first time I saw this, I thought "ooh, interesting!", but the more I look at it, the more I ask myself "how would you wear this?", unless of course you add some sleeves. Then it would make a very cute coat.

SilviaPity there are no sleeves on this pattern. I would muslin the collar to check the look on me.

So, all in all, despite my moaning and bitching, a very good issue. I even added a pattern to my to-sew list, so I can't complain.
As always, there's more on Silvia's blog, so go ahead and check it out. She also started a survey, if you want to let her know which patterns you liked the most, you can find it here.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Last of my summer sewing : Denim Miette skirt

Pattern: Miette skirt by Tilly and the Buttons

Size: size 4

Alterations: shortened by about 5 cm

Fabric: a cheap lightweight denim I purchased locally. And when I say "cheap", I mean "cheap", not just inexpensive. Not my best fabric buy.

I touched the topic of the perfect pattern for beginners in my last post, and this one is another great contender!
The only long part in constructing this skirt are the waistband ties: sewing, trimming the seam allowances and handstitch or stitch in the ditch is the longest part, but other than that, it's another instant gratification project. And it doesn't require fitting! Also, the instructions are very well written, Tilly did a superb job.

This is an extremely "easy" skirt, because the style and the color allow me to pair it with basically everything in my wardrobe. And this skirt is not retiring anytime soon, I'll just add tights and a half slip and I can wear this all Autumn.
And there's also another Miette coming soonish to the blog...

I must admit I wore my Miette backwards most of the times, with the bow on the back and the panels overlapping in the front. This way, it's easier to avoid wrinkling the fabric when you sit down and you can wear tops with interest in the front (collars, bow ties, etc.) without redundancy.

Before I leave, can I ask you a favor? My Mae blouse (which I have yet to blog about) is competing on the Bluegingerdoll blog and if you could cast a vote for me, that would make me very happy.

See you soon with my last summer project!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Last of my summer sewing : Yellow Chardon skirt

Size: size 40 at the waist, graded up to a 44 at the hips to have the most flare possible.

Alterations: hemmed to my preferred length.

Fabric: a mustard linen-look cotton, purchased locally

There are a few projects I made and wore extensively this summer that somehow didn't make it to the blog. I've been lazy and I've been on holiday, so even though I took photos, I didn't blog them.
I usually prefer to leave some time between posts of completed projects, but because it's almost October and I still want to show them off, I decided to cram them all up in a week. I hope you won't mind and that you'll still appreciate them even if Autumn has arrived where you live. We're actually having an Indian summer here, so I could still wear these for a few days.

This is the first of the aforementioned garments: the Chardon skirt by Deer and Doe. Rachel started a conversation on Instagram a few days ago on the perfect skirt for beginners, and this is it for me. It's universally flattering, very easy and fast to sew, and it's very easy to fit (thanks to the ribbon or belt loops options). For someone a little more experienced, it's instant gratification.
What is the perfect beginner skirt pattern, in your opinion?

I've worn it a lot this summer, especially with sleeveless button-ups, another obsession of mine, and I find the effect very effortless chic.
What else can I say? This skirt is going to be retired soon until next spring, but the more I look at these photos, the more I want to make a version in wool for winter... We'll see.

See you in a couple of days with another skirt!

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Burdastyle Magazine 10/2013

I haven't made my mind on this issue yet. There are many likable patterns and not too much fugliness, but I'm not smitten. Although I must admit, I realized I feel about Burda just like someone that commented on one of my last reviews: I feel very critical and negative the first time I look at a new issue, but when I go back and look at it a few months later, I like it a lot more. Does that happen to you too?

I decided to focus on the positive for this review. The best patterns for me in this issue are for outerwear, which, as I wrote in another post, is probably Burda's strongest suit.
I love hooded coats and this one is no exception. I'm not crazy about the detachable belt, it looks inconvenient. Belt loops needed.

These military jackets appear quite often on Burda, so if you're a regular buyer like me this is nothing new. Still, it's a very cute pattern.

Beautiful! I don't like the fabric choice at all, but this is a killer jacket and it looks so professionally made in the photo! Depending on the fabric you choose, this could also be very versatile. Love it.

Ok, wait before you judge me for including this.
First of all, let's all agree that those faux fur panels are batshit crazy. Seriously ugly.
But the rest of the coat is quite lovely! The silhouette is very 60's and it reminds me of a coat from Burda Young F/W 2008 that was actually one of my first sewing projects. It turned out very cute, but unfortunately too big for me.

Then, we have a couple dresses I'm not fully convinced about.
I like the idea of this dress and the neckline is beautiful, but all those pleats around the waist scream "danger" to me. Obviously, you can't tell a thing from the photo, and besides, the model hardly needs to hide some belly.

Again, I like the lines and the idea of this dress, but I would be afraid of adding volume around this area. Moreover, you have a fold on the crotch area and a triangular panel pointing at your butt, all in one dress... That might be too much.

I haven't decided if I like these two garments or not, but I'm leaning towards the yes. Honestly, I don't have a proper comment for this outfit, but I didn't want to leave out this photo. Sorry about that XD

This bustier is a piece I would probably never make for myself, but it looks striking on the model! The ballon-shaped (how would you call it?) bottom really makes it special.
The pants are basic, but there's nothing wrong with them.

I was surprised at how much I liked this outfit, made of simple pieces that are very beginner-friendly and hack-friendly (you guessed it, I would immediately add a collar to the blouse). I'm impressed.

Finally, some of the plus size patterns are quite beautiful:
 I love this asymmetrical top, it looks very sophisticated, no?

Super cute outfit, I especially like the skirt. The jacket looks like it's pretty easy to make, but it looks great, which is always a good thing.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

ON SALE : Sewing and Crafting Classes

Today I want to share about a couple sales that are currently going on and you might be interested in.

First of all, Creativebug is offering 1-month membership at 9.99$ for the month of September (usually 24.99$). This means you'll have unlimited access to all the workshops of the site, which are really A LOT.
I particularly enjoyed Gertie's workshops (see my Sailor Collar Blouse here), but I also enjoyed Cal Patch's classes and I tried a couple knitting workshops.
I think it's a very good deal, the workshops are almost all quite short, so you can take a lot of them in a month's time.

Craftsy is also having a huge sale to celebrate reaching 2 million members. This is a perfect chance to try one of their classes, starting at $9.99.

I would seriously enroll in all of the sewing classes available if I could, but I am especially tempted by "40 Techniques Every Sewer Should Know" with Gail Yellen, "Sew Better, Sew Faster - Garment Industry Secrets" with Janet Pray and "Fast-Track Fitting" with Joi Mahon (can you tell I want to learn to sew faster?). Here is a link to all Sewing Classes on sale.
Oh, and there are also some new photography classes that I'd love to try out...

The sale ends on Saturday, September 21st, so hurry!
***This post contains affiliate links***

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Purple Aubépine

Did you see the new pattern release by Deer and Doe yesterday? It's the Aubépine dress!
Aubépine is and empire waist dress with horizontal tucks on the bodice and sleeves. Variations include elbow-length and short sleeves.

I was a tester for this pattern and the first time I saw the technical drawing I was a little bit worried because empire waist + boobs give the "pregnancy effect" very easily. But hey, Eléonore has designed for women with C/D cups since day one, so I was sure there must have been a lot of thought behind this dress. And of course there was!

Not only it doesn't make me look pregnant, but it's extremely flattering! The neckline is beautiful, the tucks are adorable, the pleated skirt is simple but dreamy and it has pockets!
This was my test version and even though I didn't make a muslin before cutting my fashion fabric, it's perfectly wearable. I cut my usual size 38 (shoulders and bust) - 40 (waist) - 44 (hips), and the only alteration I needed was to shorten the bust darts (which I haven't done yet because it was too hot to wear this dress until last week). I used a weird fabric, it's like a very drapey gabardine, which I was attracted to because of the vibrant jewel color, but it wasn't the easiest to sew and press.

Constructing this dress is pretty easy, you just need to take your time marking and sewing the tucks, and the rest is easy peasy. The pattern calls for a drawstring at the waist, but I preferred inserting elastic. Because I had already sewn the buttonholes for the string in the center front, I concealed them with a bow, and I really love how that turned out. I also did a rolled hem with my serger (new favorite hemming technique, btw) because I knew a regular hem would look awful with this fabric.

I'm seriously in love with this dress and I'm planning an everyday version in Liberty with short sleeves and slightly raised neckline.

What do you say? Did you like this new release?
If you're not completely sold on it yet, I urge you to go look at Magali's, Julie's and Clotilde's renditions, they're absolutely gorgeous!

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Minerva Blogger Network : Pinafore and blouse

This month's project for the Minerva Blogger Network is one I'm particularly proud of.

After salivating for months over the pinafores sold at Dahlia, I decided to recreate one for me, the Tripoli pinafore. It looks edgy and cool, a bit different from the cutesy, vintage inspired clothes I tend to make and wear most of the time.


Here's my inspiration.
Because I'm more short waisted and bustier than the model, the pinafore obviously looks a bit different on me, but I'm fine with that. It looks like a cage around my boobs, but what can I say? I still like that.

The patterns I used are the Pendrell blouse by Sewaholic for the blouse (view B without the seam ruffle) and the Chardon skirt by Deer and Doe for the pinafore. More details on the construction are in my post.

If you want to make this outfit for yourself (or something similar), the kit is for sale here. It contains 2m of cherry print fabric, 1,50m of cotton poplin fabric, a black 14" (35cm) silver metal zip and 4m of elastic. Otherwise, you can find the cherry print fabric here and the cotton poplin here.

While taking photos for my post, I also decided to have fun and show these two garments styled in a very different way, which is how I plan to wear day in my everyday life.
I think they're both very versatile and that they'll blend perfectly in my wardrobe, although I'm particularly excited about the pinafore. I can't wait to wear it with all kinds of different tops and colored tights!