Thank you all so much for your lovely comments on my asymmetric Drape Drape teeshirt! A girl could get used to that level of flattery…
It also marks the start of my sewing short sleeves, which means it must finally be Spring, and hence, time to start thinking about marrying up the patterns and fabrics I’d like to sew for the next few months. I really do these only for my own benefit, and so they’re not a “SWAP” in the sense that everything must coordinate against each other (lord knows I have enough clothes that I don’t have problems putting combinations together!).
This is more just a set of ideas towards which I’d like to work, so when I get to the end of a project, I can quickly refer to this image and go “oh yeah, I want to sew that next!”
For the first time I’m also including running/exercise gear in my plans, since I’m wearing lycra as a significant portion of my weekly wardrobe, and I want to contain all of my sewing ideas together. So you’ll find all the running stuff on the bottom row, and the rest of life’s wear on the upper two rows!
- Style Arc Ivy tee in mustard & charcoal viscose jersey (I’m currently sewing this now!)
- Burda March 2013 #107 cardigan, in brown merino wool jersey (LOL English summer AM I RITE?)
- One dart lace bra (copied from RTW/self-drafted from Shin) using an aqua lace I bought from Danglez.
- Burda Jan 2012 #122 trousers in leftover hot pink cotton sateen (so it’s a merging of my pink party dress and my grey trousers!)
In my opinion, the Dutch pattern magazine KnipMode went way downhill with the appointment of the new(ish) editor and I stopped my subscription shortly after. But I couldn’t resist buying an issue at Schiphoil Airport when I found my flight home cancelled recently. I remember the subscription was more expensive than either Burda or Manequim, but I nearly choked when this rang up as €8 at the till!!
So let’s see if it’s worth it…
I’m a sucker for a designer collaboration, even if I haven’t heard of the design (who is Mart Visser, anyway?). The dress’s design lines are certainly interesting, and the coat isn’t bad, but I was definitely more excited by Burda’s recently Matthew Williamson pattern that’s for sure.
Some great skirts here! I particularly like the ruffled one, and the pencil skirt with the wrap-around back yoke. I’d forgotten how good KnipMode are at those sort of subtle seaming touches.read more >>
A lot of sewers like to “Sew with a Plan” (SWAP), but I prefer to call this a “Shortlist” rather than a “Plan”, so I’m free to still change my mind and add/remove items as I go along! My main goal here isn’t so much to create a capsule wardrobe that can be worn together, but more to use up fabrics and/or that have been in my stash for a while that I’d really like to just wear.
From the top down, in no particular order:
- KnipMode 12-2005 #10 – I’ve got some non-stretch denim aging in my stash from a few years ago, and I love KnipMode’s style lines for these. My wardrobe is in desperate need of more jeans, hence why there are two pairs in this Shortlist!
- Altered Burda 06-2012 #129 – Now that my stretch satin from Gorgeous Fabrics is in hand, I can finally make the final version of this dress after completing the drafting and muslins back in July. read more >>
- The trench jacket – Burda magazine 02-2009-119 – finished!
- The transitional jacket – My Image Winter 2011 #M1165
- A silk blouse – Burda magazine 09-2010-110 – finished!
- The “I mean business” skirt suit – Burda magazine 09-2011-126 and Burda magazine 09-2011-127 – both already traced!
- A basic cowl tee – My Image Winter 2011 #M1152
- A silk blouse – Manequim 08-2011-356 – already traced!
- A basic cowl tee – Lekala 4039
- “Off duty” jeans – KnipMode 12-2005-10
- A silk blouse – Manequim 08-2011-360 – already traced!
- Silver silk jersey leftover from the Lekala cowl top, Gez’s bridesmaid dress or from my sister-in-law’s LMB tunic
- Pink viscose knit leftover from the summer Burda September cover dress
- Black rib knit leftover from the LMB turtleneck
- My wedding gown!
- Silver tweed jacket
- Navy riding trousers
- Nude sheath dress
- Patrones cowl top
- KnipMode draped dress
(and I switched to a larger thumbnail size when I revamped the site, too!
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.read more >>
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.read more >>
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…read more >>
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…
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…read more >>
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)…read more >>
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.read more >>
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.read more >>
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.read more >>
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!read more >>
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.
The latest issue of KnipMode arrived last week, and included inside was a letter to the subscribers from the new editor. I could really only make out something about Marion magazine from my (admitted) inability to read Dutch, so I actually transcribed the whole letter through Google Translate to find out not much of anything beyond that she loved sewing from an early age, trained at fashion school, worked at Marion, and is excited to be joining the great team at KnipMode. Yawn. So no real news there at all…
I’m kinda nervous that she may try to make big changes and ruin a good thing, because 2010 was an awesome year for Knip, and these last two issues under her control have been largely mediocre.
But let’s take a look at my own favourites this month anyway…
The first pattern to greet me is for some great trousers with kneepad detail- hey! wait a minute – didn’t we just have these in the last issue??? I’ve put August’s on the right here for comparison:
This jacket with its cute peplum ruffles might be my favourite in this issue, but I don’t really wear blazer-type jackets all that often so I’m not terribly likely to make this if I’m being honest.read more >>
As a subscriber, my KnipMode issues usually arrive in the first week of the month, like clockwork. But this month, I’d heard rumours that the August issue was delayed because of a printing error, so it wouldn’t be on Dutch news-stands until 15 July, meaning I probably wouldn’t get mine until a few days later. In hindsight, a few days here nor there really wasn’t going to improve this issue, as it’s a pretty mediocre one in my opinion. Lillian mentioned there’s a new woman in charge at Knipmode, so I certainly hope this is just a one-off boring issue instead of a worrying trend…
This issue starts off with a few lively Plus patterns, the star of which are these awesome jeans! They’ve got some great seaming on the leg, and the pocket edge is bias-bound, which I think is a nice feature, too.
I know Manequim do “celebrity” fashion a lot with their Brazilian soap stars, but it’s not really anything I go for in a magazine. If it’s a good pattern, it could be on a mannequin for all I care, and well, if it’s a bad pattern, putting it on a tango-orange glamour model isn’t going to make it any better. This was the best dress of the footballer’s wives collection of Z-list Dutch “celebrity” dresses…read more >>
Once again I’ve been a bit slow in reviewing this month’s KnipMode and Manequim magazines, but I’m only just now emerging from beneath the pile of pattern magazines. I got a bit overwhelmed there with my haul from France and my friend’s haul from Brazil, and I think I’m going to keep my pattern buying to the bare minimum for a few months so I can process through what I’ve got. So you’ll continue to see my monthly KnipModes and Manequims since I subscribe to those (I also still subscribe to Burda, but they’re less exciting and already heavily posted about online anyway) but I’m going to try not to buy anything more until the Fall Patrones issues emerge in a few months.
But KnipMode are still very much in the height of summer, and this is the vacation issue…
Ooh a swimsuit! It’s a bit more basic than the designer one featured last summer, but it’s still very wearable, and with the separate cups, it’d be very adjustable for larger busts.read more >>
I’m a big fan of the occasional “quick knit top”, but this time around, I wanted a knit top with a more challenging design to give my brain more of a 3-D spatial workout.
I was really intrigued by the pieces for KnipMode June 2011 #15 when I first saw the magazine, and even after tracing it out and laying the paper pieces together, I still wasn’t 100% sure how they were going to fit together.
I thought it best to make this up using scrap fabrics (just in case!), so I pulled out a couple of those awkward, less than 1m offcut fabrics from my stash:
To be honest, while I enjoyed the challenge of constructing the design, I wasn’t so sure about how the design would look on me throughout the entire construction. But as soon as I tried it on for the first time, I was struck by how well my colourblocking worked, and how nicely Jonathan Saunders the look is!
I get to tick three separate SS11 trends here – colourblocking, muted hues, AND volume! All in one top!read more >>
I am very pleased to finally be able to show you this dress, which has been quite a while in the making!
I first bought the motif at Mode et Travaux in Paris when we visiting there last summer, but then a few months ago I decided that I really wanted to do something with it, so I started laying out my first pattern ideas. Then I finally decided on a a pattern and started basting the motif onto my linen in preparation for our French road trip, where I painstakingly sewed the motif onto the dress using silver thread and an embroidery hoop.
The finished dress is a variation on dress #102 from the March 2010 KnipMode supplement, but I modified the neckline heavily so that it’d match the motif’s curves. In actuality, I cut the curve of the neckline after I’d completely sewed the motif into place!
Since I changed the front neckline, I also had the widen the back at the neck edge to match the front, too. It means my big head can only just fit through, as it’s much narrower than the original pattern.read more >>
I’m a bit slow on reviewing this latest issue of the Dutch pattern magazine, KnipMode, but it’s not a reflection on the content this month! Usually I tend to not find as much to like in summer issues in general, but there’s a lot to love in this one that will work with our English summers. I think it was FehrTrade reader Marie-Christine who once said “You can tell it’s summer in England when the girls switch to wearing white cardigans”! So true!
Mix & match dresses! Like the cocktail ones in November’s issue, you get to choose which bodice, waist, skirt, and sleeves you want and put it together yourself. I really like this idea, but for me, the choices on offer don’t really do much for me, whereas I was really excited about the cocktail dress options…
This plus knit surplice dress really reminds me of the lilac dress I made for my mom. I think these sorts of patterns can be so flattering, too, especially when the skirts are fixed in place to prevent wardrobe malfunctions!
There’s a few great Plus patterns in this issue, actually – I especially like the trousers and cowl top in this wardrobe.read more >>
KnipMode’s gone royal! Well, err, not those royals… Think of this more as an education on Dutch royalty you’ve never heard of (plus a mandatory Grace Kelley mention for good measure).read more >>
Thank you all SO much for all the feedback on my pattern shortlist earlier this week. It’s so incredibly helpful to hear from others which have worked and which haven’t, and to get me thinking on what I most like to wear (and what I don’t!).
Since I tend to email commenters personally but not put my responses in the comments themselves, I thought it might be helpful to answer a few general questions from the comments. I’m not really seeing this as an overly dressy/posh/fussy dress – for me, the linen dress on its own would be something I’d wear to the office, out to lunch with friends, or out in town, and the motif I bought in Paris is just a sort of permanent necklace. I always overdress anyway, and I’m not envisioning this as anything “left for best” in the slightest! Believe me, there’s very little I keep aside and out of my daily rotation!
Nancy K suggested a tunic might be more wearable than a dress, but I had to admit to her that I really, really don’t feel comfortable wearing tunics. There’s just something about the awkward “too long for a top but too short for a dress” length plus too many layers that just makes me feel self conscious. Whereas I wear dresses and skirts almost continuously in summer (compounded by the fact that I don’t wear shorts)!
Finally, I decided against a bunch of lovely sheath dress patterns purely for linen/wrinkle reasons, and my thinking that these would probably have more horizontal wrinkles from sitting than full-skirted numbers. I’m debating whether I’ll underline this dress or not for that same reason, but I suppose it all depends on if I can find suitable cotton or silk lightweight fabric for a good price while we’re in France.
Enough with the commentary – I finally decided on dress #102 from the KnipMode 03/2010 supplement (one I didn’t even scan in my initial review! gasp!).read more >>
(hmm, why are they covering the waistband in their only magazine photo?)
I also thought I was due a “quick knit top” so I pulled out Jalie 2806 (a gift from LynnRowe on PR!) so I could try out those fantastic tulip sleeves, with the thought of maybe using them on the spring/summer version of my Burda September cover dress…
I had just enough of Ditto‘s wonderfully soft and supple plum bamboo/lycra jersey leftover from my plum and green lace top for this, so it was clearly meant to be! For the trousers I used the same Fabric.com stretch twill as in my navy riding trousers, though in different lights this goes from looking pale grey (nice!) to baby blue (not so nice!). But the combo of pale trousers and dark top feels very Spring-like to me.read more >>
Last week I had the great pleasure to be able to put my friend Cindy up at ours while she visited from LA. Cindy and I met while studying at Penn State, when we initially bonded over Fly Nap huffing jokes in honours biology lab (yet neither of us use our Biology degrees, hmmm), but we’ve stayed in contact ever since, despite a transatlantic move for me, and three different big city moves for her. With good friendships like this, within five minutes of being in the same room again, it’s like the years apart were never there.
In any case, while she was over I said I’d make her something (though I did say something easy would have much more of a chance of actually being made!), and she chose this pattern from KnipMode Dec 2005 out of a lineup. If you remember, this is the same pattern I used for my rose and lace tee last fall.
Then we went through my knits stash looking for something that wasn’t already earmarked for a specific project and came up with this striped navy and white knit (which you may remember from my Breton tee, and the one I made for my niece). It was the perfect amount of fabric for this tee, and it was great to use it up since I couldn’t really justify another stripey top for myself…
After we decided on the main body fabric, we went through my fabrics again looking for something to use in the contrast shoulder panel, but the laces didn’t look right, and solid fabrics seemed strange, and so Cindy decided she’d just like a regular Breton shirt.read more >>
Hurrah, my latest issue of my KnipMode subscription has arrived, and Plus-sized ladies, you have got to seek this one out because there’s an expanded Plus section with 12(!) patterns! OMG! And KnipMode actually understand Plus bodies and what flatters them. And they use actual Plus-sized models!
I think these Plus jeans are just fantastic, with that great seaming I’ve come to love from Knip’s trousers patterns. The knit top with the drape is also making me pretty jealous, and the dress variation of the same pattern just looks so flattering and easy to wear:
I’ve finished my post-coat winter sewing plans apart from the La Mia Boutique draped skirt which I’m feeling now is better suited for spring or summer, so I thought I’d dip my toes into the Pattern Review Mini Wardrobe contest that’s running throughout the month of March.
This is a pared-down version of their usual, sprawling wardrobe/SWAP contest, so this time around you need to create a five piece wardrobe in four weeks, using one item you already own (sewn or RTW) and be able to create at least six different outfits from this. I’m actually going one better and aiming to sew five pieces rather than four, but that may fall by the wayside depending on how the month goes.
Here’s what I’ve got in mind:read more >>
I actually received this March issue of KnipMode over a week ago, but I wasn’t as excited about this one as I was the new MyImage magazine or the patterns I traced from Susannah’s stash, so it got waylaid a bit. But there’s still some good stuff in here, so it’s worth taking a look inside…
This is KnipMode’s Spring Trends issue, and so here is their take on the “military” trend. I like the green jacket and the trousers are quite nice, too, but apart from the colour, I don’t think either are particularly military-influenced!
I normally get quite a lot of sewing done on the weekends, but this weekend was particularly fun because Susannah of Cargo Cult Craft came over to the boat on Saturday afternoon for a big, fat geeked-out sewing session!
She brought her stash of ALL the 2010 Patrones issues, plus her assorted stash of Manequims, and I lugged my KnipModes, other Patroneses, and Manequims out of my sewing batcave. You should’ve seen the amount of pattern magazines on our saloon table! It was downright decadent, I tell you…
I ended up tracing two Patrones patterns then and there:
Susannah fell in love with two Knips (a gathered knit dress – April 10 #14 and a long sleeved knit cowl top – Feb 10 #19) and traced those on our saloon floor, too. Poor James could barely find a scrap of carpet to walk on between my brown kraft paper and her Swedish tracing paper!read more >>
Let me start by saying that I hate drop-crotch trousers! Hate.
These are not drop-crotch trousers.
I chose these because the crotch is where it should be – they are in no way “Hammer pants”, let’s be clear about that! But there’s a large pleat that runs from the right knee up to the mid-left waistband that creates the drapey folded roominess instead.
I was instantly drawn to KnipMode 01/2011 #5 when I saw it, but since I made these I realise that the idea must’ve been stewing in my subconscious for quite some time, as carottesauvage made an awesome similar pair last year, Burda magazine actually had something similar in the Plus section back in August, and KnipMode had a less severe draped version all the way back in September 2009(!) that I found going back through my archives.
So even though these feel absolutely bleedin’ cutting edge, the idea has been floating around for a while now. I made these with a gorgeously soft made in 80% wool / 20% acrylic flannel (bought from Fabric.com in Dec 2008 for $14/yard) that tends to look either pale green, slate blue, or even brownish depending on the light. In order to shield my skin from the wool and prevent the knees from bagging out, I entirely underlined these in black silk/cotton voile. I had to hand baste these two layers together to keep them nicely aligned and not bubbling, and this took a couple of evenings.read more >>
I had a bit of a photoshoot backlog, but I think you’ll be pleased to hear that I’ve got lots to show off this week, and you’ll only have to forgive the GALE FORCE WINDS whipping everything around while I tried to pose and smile sweetly (hence the headband keeping my hair out of my eyes!).
First up are my pleated corduroys! You’ll remember seeing these in their “in progress” state, hanging on my sewing room clothesline, and also that this steel grey corduroy wasn’t my first fabric choice, but was the only suitable fabric in my stash. I’d bought this stuff back in May 2009 on Goldhawk Road for a total of £5, so if it didn’t work with the deep pleating on these trousers, well, then I wasn’t too fussed.
The pattern for these is KnipMode 08/2010 #13, modelled by a mother/daughter pair and looking fabulous on both of them!
And here they are on me!read more >>
The next garments in my post-coat sewing plans are two pairs of KnipMode trousers to fill a quite serious hole in my wardrobe as a bunch of my trousers and jeans all seem to be wearing out at once!
One pair is KnipMode 01/2011 #5 made in wool/acrylic flannel (bought from Fabric.com ages ago) and entirely underlined in black silk/cotton voile with a sort of satin weave to it.
The other is KnipMode 08/2010 #13 made in steel corduroy which I bought at Goldhawk Road yonks ago!read more >>
While this draped cardie isn’t really my style, I’m seeing this draping side hem all over London right now. My sister-in-law was wearing something very similar to this at Christmas actually…
This is kinda creepy. I just got done choosing two pairs of KnipMode trousers in my post-coat patterns selection, and now Knip have gone and mated the two together! Seriously, go have a look at the other two and compare against this!read more >>
Now that I’ve got my big winter coat sewing out of the way, I can turn my attentions to filling in a few gaps in my winter wardrobe. Sewing these things now means I can get another good 3-4 months of wear out of them before moving on to short sleeves and lighter jackets (no really, for the past few years we’ve had flurries and hard frosts in April or May).
So I’ve gathered together the patterns I’d most like to sew along with fabrics I’ve got in my stash that would help fill my wardrobe voids…
Starting at the top of this collage, we’ve got:read more >>
My favourites of 2010:
Standout moments in sewing land:read more >>
My January KnipMode actually arrived a few weeks ago while I was ill, and boy is it a good one. Trouserpalooza!! OMG! Seriously, I think I counted 18 pairs of trousers in here, and 90% of them I’d wear in a heartbeat… There’s tapered leg, wide leg, jeans, leggings, treggings, wide waistband, no waistband, knits, wovens, and stretch! You name it, they’ve got a pattern for it here – they really have got the full trouser rainbow covered here!
How fresh and modern are these cargoes? I love the styling, but the tapered leg really updates these here beyond the stereotypical 90s grunge ex-Army fatigues.
I love these trousers with the foldover front! Seriously, these are on my list of my next tracing batch – I love that these are cutting edge but (crucially) without a drop crotch! They’ve even got big illustrations to do the foldover bit, too.read more >>
I always look forward to Pattern Review’s Best Patterns of the year, but this year the nominations don’t have a single pattern magazine included. This is really disappointing as I do 99% of my sewing from them, and I feel the shortlist really doesn’t reflect my own personal sewing in the slightest. (And don’t even get me started about the inclusion of some patterns that were just Big 4’s stumbling, mediocre versions of great patterns previously printed in pattern mags!)
So I thought it might be fun to have our own nominations for the Best Pattern Magazines of 2010!
I think it’ll be easier to vote for whole issues rather than specific patterns inside, and also give people a better idea of which back issues to hunt for. If there’s enough nominations, I’ll set up a proper vote in a bit so we can see what’s crowned the winner when I do my own personal roundup of the year on New Year’s Day.read more >>
It’s absolutely freezing in London and I really need more long-sleeved knits, so I thought it was the perfect opportunity to use this pattern from KnipMode Dec 2005 with a yard of rose jersey from Fabric.com and some of my gorgeous cream stretch lace that I bought in Paris. Et voila! A raglan-look lacey long sleeved teeshirt (Lace but without the Brrrrrr!).
This is a really basic long-sleeved teeshirt pattern, but with lines drawn in from the neckline to the side seams on the front and back. I left off the weird cuffs (in fact, I just reused the sleeve from my drape-front dress because I’m lazy like that and don’t see the point in tracing an identical sleeve again!), and decided to create my own neck binding which I serged on and then coverstitched down.read more >>
You can read my roundup of Part One of the haul of older KnipModes from Hilde here, but now it’s time for the exciting conclusion to my newly-acquired stash of KnipModes from 2005 through 2007.
KnipMode May 2006
Wow Knip have gone full-on wedding crazy here! The bridal feature takes up a good third of the magazine! Ok so the wedding gown is not really to my taste, but I still think it’s a shame that the pattern is a special-offer to post away for and isn’t included…
…but the patterns for the rest of the bridal party are!! Everyone from the baby to mother of the bride to wow! those are the first maternity patterns I’ve ever seen in Knip! I wonder why they stopped printing them, especially since Burda and Patrones seem to publish maternity patterns with some regularity.
I really liked the khaki and white colour scheme of this feature, especially with this model’s colouring, but my favourite pattern of the lot was these nice pleated trousers:read more >>
Continuing on my quest for more long sleeved tops and dresses as the weather turns decidedly chilly here in London, I’ve pulled out KnipMode 09/2010 #11 from my stash for a quick and versatile knit dress.
The dress is a pretty basic shape – a rectangular skirt (same for the front and back) at a gathered waistline with a basic V-neck bodice and long sleeves. But the twist is that there are two triangular waistband pieces in front to help cover that waist seam, visually cinch in the waist, and create interest in an otherwise basic dress.
And I had the perfect fabric – when we met up with Karen for drinks when we were in Philly a few months ago, she brought me this lovely and soft poly/viscose/lycra(?) jersey for me as a gift! How nice! So I thought it’d make the perfect winter dress.read more >>
As you read last week, I was so inspired by the December KnipMode issue that the day after I received it, I traced out dress #11, the following night bought the navy blue cotton lycra jersey and cut out the fabric, and then sewed this dress last Saturday!
This dress has got some really unique construction – the two front skirt pieces meet at the centre front to form a collar, which then goes up and around your head and comes back down to join the centre front again. Everything is sewed together, though, so there’s no chance of gaping!
The other great thing about this dress is that they’ve chosen this pattern to have the big, illustrated instructions for this issue! So you really only need to sew the shoulder seams and centre back (if you didn’t cut it on the fold like me), follow their illustrations for that really unique scarf collar, waist, neckline, and centre front, and then after the illustrations attach the sleeves, sew the side seams, and do the hems! So what could’ve been a really complicated pattern is actually made fairly straightforward. Yay! Thanks, Knip! (You can download those big illustration in colour pdfs on Knip’s site, too!)
The bad weather and early nights may have kept me from taking photos of me in the dress earlier, but we had a mammoth photoshoot session yesterday so there’s lots to show!read more >>
If you thought November was a great issue, wait til you see what KnipMode have in store for us this month! In my opinion, this is one of their best issues in months, and it’s resulted in me sewing a dress from it before the month has even started! That’s a new record, even for me!
So let’s take a look inside…
Right from the first page, I knew this would be a good issue, as I turned the page and gasped with joy when I saw this asymmetrical cocktail dress for stretch wovens. I absolutely love the three curved bands that come up and over the hip and are released into full pleats at the skirt. These bands also carry on around the back at the waist level, so you don’t get a plain “coffin back”, either.
You’ve already seen this one since I sewed this over the weekend, but I love love love this shawl collar dress!! The skirt pieces meet in the centre front then come up and around the neck and back down again to form the collar. This is so nice in person, too, just you wait til I can get a photoshoot up!read more >>
Dateline – last week…
Wednesday: The new December KnipMode magazine arrived. OMG!! Best issue in a long time, holy crap! (It’s scanned and a preview is coming up very soon!)
Thursday: I traced out dress #11, where the centre front portion of the skirt comes up and around to form the collar, joining back on itself. The pattern pieces were massive and several needed joining together and extending, so it took me much longer than usual.
Friday: Pip convinced me that this absolutely must be in a solid, and since my longest solid knit was only 2m, I either had to run into the West End on Saturday (ugh), wait a week for an internet fabric order, or hope against hope that the lady at Bhopal Textiles on Brick Lane (just about the only non-wholesaler there) had any suitable jerseys, and was actually still open when I walked past.
And score! She was in the midst of closing up (she said she normally closes around 6 or 6:15, which explains why sometimes she’s open and sometimes she’s shut when I walk home) and had a fantastic navy blue cotton-lycra jersey for £3.50/m. So the 3m length cost me £10.50. At first I felt guilty for buying new fabric when I have such an overflowing stash from NYC, but then it occurred to me that I’m sure James spent more than that at the pub on the same night…
So I came home and laid out the fabric and cut out all the pieces, needing almost the entire 3m, even with Knip’s single layer layout! I went to bed with all my pieces ready to go on Saturday…read more >>
About 8 months ago, I got an awesome email from FehrTrade reader Hilde asking if I’d like her mom’s stash of KnipMode magazines from 2005-2007 as she wasn’t really using them much any more and they both thought I’d give them a good home.
Would I??? Omg.
So therein started the logistical planning to transport a rather heavy stack of magazines from The Netherlands over to London… Around this time we thought we’d be driving navigation equipment over to northern Holland in preparation for a neighbour’s North Sea crossing, so we’d make a detour to Hilde’s, but logistics didn’t work out and we weren’t needed for the neighbour’s barge anyway. And then, in a fantastic twist, a few weeks ago Hilde told me her sister lives in London and brought the stash over in her suitcase for me! So I only had to make a 10 minute walk from my office to her sister’s flat (seriously, what luck that she lives so close!) to pick up the magazines and thank her profusely for lugging them in her suitcase.
And for the past fortnight or so I’ve been absolutely pouring over them, picking out my Must Sews, investigating tiny design details, and noticing what changes Knip have made in the past 5 years.
There were too many for me to scan in one session, so here’s my picks from the early half of the stash, with Part Two to follow next week!
OMG Lingerie!! I have already got the most perfect fabrics in my stash to make the camisole with the bra cups – the olive green stretch lace I bought in Paris coordinates perfectly with a teeshirt I got free with a magazine but was comically tiny (what percentage of the UK female population has a bust smaller than 27 inches? Seriously.). I think there might be enough to do the cami with a bit of the teeshirt’s sleeves left for a thong gusset. And you know how much I liked the KnipMode lingerie pattern I already had…read more >>
From the rugged outdoor feature, I really loved this pair of jeans. Mid-leg seams are always so slimming, the ankle zips look great on a tapered leg, and I just love Knip’s trouser details. The only thing I’m not so sure about are those vertical front pockets…
The tech drawing makes this jacket look quite ordinary, but I love it in the pique they’ve used here – it looks simultaneously 60s and current! And the skirt pattern it’s paired with would be a great basic in any fabric.read more >>
Did you guess which knit top was my first off the starting block? Well, it’s not an obvious choice, but I already had KnipMode July 2010 #4 (upper left corner, in purple) traced out so it was easy to just grab it and go.
The dotty cotton/lycra knit fabric was an add-on from Chawla’s to get the minimum order value while I was buying the flannel underlining for my wedding gown. I bought one metre of it for £3.85 so this was a ridiculously cheap blouse, even for high street standards!
There’s a slight change from the tech drawing though – there’s a CF (centre front) seam on the band that’s not noted. It means the band and facing are cut on the fold so there’s no understitching, but the trade-off is that you get that seam.read more >>
Hot on the heels of the a-freaking-mazing Burda September issue (in which I have no less than eleven Must Sews!) comes the KnipMode October edition. It’s a bit unfair on Knip to have to follow an act like that, so I’m naturally less enthusiastic about these styles that are just good rather than incredible. Maybe I’ve been buying Knips for too long, but I’m seeing a lot of repeats in this issue that appeared a few months or years ago…
But anyway, on to my highlights!
The cover feature is all about three garments in leather – a leather blazer, an A-line dress, and this skirt. I rather like the skirt but I think the gathers would be really difficult to achieve nicely since you can’t do two lines of gathering stitches (as the lower one would leave permanent holes). And this section gave me massive deja vu from the October 2009 issue where they also had a leather jacket, skirt, and A-line dress…
Next there was a section showing lots of winter knitwear that could either be sewn, or knitted (giving me massive deja vu yet again to the January 2010 issue where they also did the same thing!). Most were either long, baggy, or both, but I rather liked this batwing tunic which could look really nice in a thin, drapey sweater knit:read more >>
Still no August Burda or La Mia Boutique in my postbox (though I just found out my 6 month resubscription to Burda, made in a moment of weakness, won’t start until September now, argh.*), but KnipMode’s September issue arrived already, just like clockwork!
The first, colour-blocking feature has a bunch of great patterns in it, though I’m not quite sure about the styilng…
This knit dress appears no less than six times in this issue, but I thought you could see the lines best in this version. Though I think if I make this, I’d add a gathered waistband to the back, too, to make it all even.read more >>
I’m taken a brief moment to poke my head up from under my enormous pile of BurdaStyle Book sewing, wedding gown dismantling and bodice muslining, running, gardening, wedding planning, and some seriously busy office day-jobbing to bring you an overview of the summer KnipMode magazines… I’ll show off what I’m actually sewing if and when I can, I promise!
This dress and skirt are ok, nothing to really grab me, but they’re nice enough basics. I mostly just liked that the model has wrinkles!read more >>
An international subscription, that is! All of you lucky Dutch readers can just subscribe online to one of their many cut-price deals with great freebies (a nice Toyota sewing machine with a year’s subscription, nice!).
I’ve been buying individual copies of the Dutch pattern magazine KnipMode for several years now, and I finally got the funds together to get a subscription for myself, just as the euro/pound exchange rate was at its lowest for ages. I started the process at the very end of May, and look what arrived in my postbox on Saturday (3 July)… the August issue! Yayyy!
There have been quite a few people asking how they can subscribe (I think after getting a taste of the magazine during Naaipatronen‘s 3-for-2 sale! Seriously, way to go, guys, we totally cleared out their back issues!), so I thought I’d sum up the process here for anyone outside the Netherlands that would like to subscribe. Please note that the prices vary with time and postal rates, so always get your own quote!
Subscribing to KnipMode outside The Netherlands
As far as I know, there are no resellers or international distributors for KnipMode (or Knippie, their bi-monthly childrens pattern magazine), so you have to subscribe directly with the publishers.
Email ServiceTeam@sanoma-uitgevers.nl and say you’d like to subscribe to KnipMode with [your country] delivery. They’ll email you back (it may take a few days, they can be a bit slow to respond to emails) with a list of conditions:read more >>
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! read more >>
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.read more >>
The flowers are out, the sun is shining, the geese have started nesting on our barges, and I’ve gone and bought the last few months of KnipMode magazines to see me through…
KnipMode often do celebrity style features, but this time it’s (squeal with me now—) Michelle Obama style!!
The first jacket/dress combo is a bit matronly for me, but I love the shirtwaister with the pleated hemline, as well as the layered skirt. Though, as NancyK learned with the Oprah celebrity-style dress, when Knip don’t sew up a sample themselves for the magazine, it’s always a good idea to make yourself a muslin first!
Ooh, look at this cute Plus jacket and jeans (yes, Burda, this is what Plus sized women look like. No, we are not afraid nor are we turned off the pattern because of it.)
In fact, this outfit totally reminds me of the jacket + jeans combo I liked in the November 09 issue:read more >>
(Dutch readers – who is Odette Simons, anyway? Dutch celebrity? Fashion designer? Stylist? She’s appearing in most issues these days and it’s bugging me…)
I just loved the shape of the yoke and pockets on skirt #7 from the January 2010 KnipMode. Essentially they’ve just drawn a bunch of lines onto an A-line skirt pattern which you then cut apart to be the wide yoke, the main skirt body, the pocket backing, and the pocket facing. All that pattern piece reusing means you actually only end up tracing 3 pattern pieces (front, back, and pocket) because you cut up the pieces as you go along. So the top of the skirt back pattern gets cut off for the facing, the skirt front gets cut apart for the yoke, the pocket back, and the facing, etc.read more >>
Last week I finished the first half of my second Planned Partnership, so I think that makes me exactly one half finished (right, Sharon, resident maths professor?). Though I suppose if you’re counting individual garments, I’d be slightly over halfway finished…
But I digress. You remember the silver tweed fabric and my plans to make a cropped jacket that I could wear with either a matching skirt or with a nude sheath dress (yet to come)?
Well, I’m so delighted with the way both the jacket and skirt turned out that I couldn’t wait to show you! So in the tradition of that other tweed suit, you get a sneak preview!read more >>
When fellow blogger Sigrid visited me last May, she brought along a birthday gift for me – a fantastic lingerie kit from Kantje Boord (a big lingerie notions shop in Amsterdam), full of really cool goodies you only ever see on high-end RTW underwear. In fact, it was all so nice that I was hesitant to cut into it as my bra-making skills are not quite as polished as the rest of my sewing yet.
But Pattern Review are having their first-ever Lingerie sewing contest, so that gave me the impetus to cut into the kit!
I planned on making the same partial-band, underwired bra I’d sewn once before (twice if you count the muslin) with a few improvements, plus my TNT thong panty from KnipMode, and, as it turns out, I was able to squeeze a camisole out of the yardage included in the kit, too!
We’ll start with the largest item first, even though I made it last… This one was really easy – I started with a RTW knit vest (tank top if you’re American) that I really liked, laid it on my fabric and traced the front, then did the same with the back. read more >>
With the first Planned Partnership done & dusted in the form of my techno skirt and sequin top, it’s been time to start concentrating on another pairing – the pale silver tweed to go with the nude stretch suiting…
I decided to go with the bottom jacket seen above, so I traced all the pieces of it and the skirt pattern, playing it very carefully and was able to fit BOTH the cropped jacket and the skirt out of the 1.5m of tweed I’d bought! Woohoo! It was by no means certain, but my powers of fabric Tetris prevailed and I’m rather proud.read more >>
In light of NancyK’s conclusion that KnipMode designer knockoffs aren’t as thoroughly tested as the rest of their patterns, I decided to make a muslin of the KnipMode August 09 Marni catwalk blouse before cutting into my nice teal silk satin (charmeuse).
Only now that I’ve got my bedsheet muslin done, I’m unsure about whether I like it or not. Now, you do have to use a bit of imagination here to block out the busy bedsheet prints (in reality, it’ll all be one solid teal colour, plus collar and cuffs):read more >>
I really really liked this fleece jacket, KnipMode 12/2008 #21, ever since the issue came out, and I’ve been waiting for the right time to grab some bright fleece and make it ever since.
It uses lycra edging tape (which Pennine Outdoor thoughtfully stock in addition to all the right high quality fleeces and chunky zips!) to bind the sleeve and neck edges as well as act like a sort of piping-without-the-pipe along the princess seams and that top yoke edge.read more >>
I’ve got the October through January KnipModes to show off now, but the special thing here is that two of the four issues were hand delivered to me by neighbours that had recently been in Benelux (well, really just Bene)! One might be going back soon so I might get another few hand delivered as well if I play my cards right…
Oct 09 + supplement – with special bonus Plus sized section that’s twice as many patterns as usual in each issue
I love love love this leather jacket! They make this same design in some nice wools later in the issue, too so I wouldn’t have to do it in leather if I wanted to make my life a bit easier.
I’m not sure if I’m totally sold on any of these selection of different trouser shapes, but I like the idea of them…
I really like these Make 4 dresses (this style was also made in the leather section, too), especially the colour blocked one. What a great way to use up short ends of fabrics!
In an attempt to get myself to focus on pairing up the lovely (and overflowing) fabrics I’ve got on hand with the lovely (and overflowing) patterns I’ve got on hand, I did a bit of mental and virtual pairing using my scanned catalogues of fabric and patterns and a bit a Photoshop wizardry. I don’t particularly like doing SWAP wardrobes as they’re so rigid they end up feeling like a chore by about the third garment, so instead I wanted to focus on partnerships of fabrics and garments that could go with each other.
The first is the most straightforward: a skirt and blouse combo.
The skirt is one from last October’s KnipMode and features two big chunky zippers on the wide waistband. I just took the plunge and bought two fantastic brass teethed ones with big ring pulls from Zipperstop’s eBay store, only to find out that the brown colour in their photo was actually bright purple. They’ll now definitely be a “feature”!. The blouse is from my beloved August issue and is the Marni catwalk clone – I’ll be sewing that in some pewter silk charmeuse from Goldhawk Road that really brings out the blue in the skirt’s wool flannel.read more >>
Step One: Find yourself a pattern with tons of interesting details. In my case, I’ve used pattern #7a from the December 2008 issue of KnipMode magazine.
Don’t get me wrong, I love Burda, but when’s the last time you saw one of their trouser patterns with anywhere near this much detail?? KnipMode are by far my best source for interesting trouser patterns in the last year or so!
Step Two: Find some ex-designer denim like this black stretch denim from Ditto Fabrics in Brighton (50% Cotton 45% Polyester 5% Elastane) from “one of the Italian designers”. It’s listed as black, but when it’s held up to black, it looks blue, and when held up to navy it looks black. Whatever the colour, it’s seriously the nicest stretch denim I’ve ever come across, and it’s really similar to the weave you find in RTW jeans.
Step Three: Sew!read more >>
I traced out the pattern pieces for this summery surplice knit top from the July 09 issue of KnipMode magazine a few months back, and it’s been hanging on my pattern rack tempting me at every turn. I know it’s silly to be sewing short sleeved, summery tops this late in the season, but that’s what cardigans are for, amiright?
I bought just one metre of this soft lycra jersey from Fabric World on Goldhawk Road for a whopping £3 as I just loved all the different sweeping stripes curving in and over each other. It’s a good fit for a wrap top like this as it creates a bit of an optical illusion, with curves going every which way!read more >>
I think this bag might be my longest-running project, having cut out the bag pieces back in August, so it feels good to finally finish it, even if I’m not 100% sold on the end result. If you recall, it’s from the Aug 09 KnipMode:
Instead of tracing pattern pieces from the sheets as usual, this bag pattern was printed in the instruction section as a drawing on a grid, which you then replicated on your own paper, making every square something like 4cm each. It was a different experience, but not necessarily bad if you’re decent at freehanding curves. I think in the end it took me a bit longer to do it this way than to just trace it, as I had to first draw out the grid onto my paper since I don’t own any patternmaking dot & cross sheets.
The fabric is a black, white, and pale blue “Inger” heavyweight canvas from IKEA, bought for £3.51/m. The outside was then coated with the laminate plastic Lamifil to make it waterproof and (hopefully) more wear-resistent.read more >>
Remember this Weekend bag from the August 09 KnipMode?
Well, I cut out all the pieces back in August, but I’m only just now getting around to making actual progress on it. Though as you can see from my sketch, I’m making some changes:
Mostly, I’m adding a thin magazine pocket to one large side, adding a waterbottle pocket to each end, creating a lining with some more pockets, and using storebought vinyl handles to make carrying the weight a bit more comfortable on the hands.read more >>
We always set out to make two dresses for my mom this summer – one knit and one woven, and for the woven one she ended up also picking a KnipMode pattern from my archives, this time #6a from the special June 2009 “40 Years, 40 Dresses” issue.
It may look like a shirtwaister at first glance, but the buttons in front are purely decorative – there’s an invisible zipper in the left side seam and it all just goes over the head for a really easy to wear, casual style.
She bought the bright red twill in America and prewashed it before she came over, and then picked out the buttons on a shopping excursion to MacCulloch and Wallis here in London.read more >>
OK it seems I’ve got a brief respite from my fever right now (although not the headache) so I’m going to take advantage of it to finally show you the lavender knit dress I made my mom while she was staying with us this summer.
She bought the lavender interlock when she was still in America, and then had a leisurely stroll through my huge archive of pattern magazines for a style she liked and I thought would flatter her nicely. So together we decided on KnipMode Aug 2009 #20, which has a surplice top with shawl collar and pleated skirt in both back and front. We were originally going to shorten the sleeves to elbow length, but after trying on the dress, she decided she liked them long and could easily push them up if she needed to.
Once or twice a year, KnipMode produce a few patterns that come in Petite, Average, and Tall patterns, with a few of the pattern pieces changing shape, though as Arielle pointed out, Knip don’t publish their Petite or Tall body measurement charts anywhere! Any Dutch speakers care to volunteer to sort out this mystery for us? They don’t seem to understand it when we email… In any case, I just made the average height for my mom here, as she’s about 5 foot 6 with fairly normal length proportions.read more >>
Apologies for the short intermission this week – I intended to tell you all about the lovely knit dress I made for my mom and show off our great photoshoot, but I’ve been snatched away for the weekend to sunny Camberwell. I can now say I’ve had a headache that’s tougher than paracetemol (Tylenol), codeine, AND morphine, as well as all three combined together!! Don’t worry, it’s sorted now- the drs were pretty sure it was caused by one of my many medicines making my blood pressure spike, but they had to keep me in to dis-count any other nastier options to be absolutely sure.read more >>
I made the KnipMode puzzle trousers back in hospital (#12 from the May 09 KnipMode), but I wanted to add a quick and easy knit top to it so a few weeks ago, I also made a BurdaStyle Lydia top in navy and white jersey to realise the Breton shirt I’ve been wanting for a while now.
These photos were also taken a few weeks back, but it means you get to see my red wig, and the rather photogenic crane barge that’s now two boats over from ours…read more >>
Even though I prepared this to sew in hospital, I was in and out so fast I ended up sewing #20b from the May 09 KnipMode as my first project back in my own sewing room since it was all cut, interfaced, and ready to go!
I chose to make the 20b variation since I liked the full (rather than band) collar, the roll-up sleeves, and the breast pocket, which made it look a bit more like a camp shirt than an Asian-styled top. It also means I’ve finally used the last of the enourmous stash of fabric I bought in America in August 2007, as this cotton/lycra poplin was originally intended for that Hot Patterns blouse disaster…read more >>
It’s about that time again, so here’s my highlights of the June, July and August issues of my favourite Dutch sewing pattern magazine, KnipMode!
KnipMode turns 40 this year, and to celebrate, June’s issue is a special “40 years, 40 dresses” issue! Now, that doesn’t actually mean there’s 40 dress patterns, since some of the dresses are restyles or variations on the same pattern elsewhere in the magazine, but there are still a TON of dresses here, and only a very few garments.
My personal favourites of this issue are the Bottega Veneta & Martin Grant runway homages. Ooh, that BV wide neckline and the pockets(!), and the MG gathering is just spectacular, especially in the tartan that really emphasizes it!read more >>
Believe it or not, I’ve been doing an awful lot of resting and napping, but as long as I don’t spend too much time standing at the ironing board, I can usually get a fair bit of sewing done before I get too tired (though on the days I have to go into outpatients I just come home and collapse!).
Since I already had this KnipMode wrap blouse prepared as an activity pack, it seemed the ideal candidate to ease myself into my sewing room again. I’m waiting for my wigs to arrive from Hong Kong before I do the photoshoot, but here’s a teaser on Susan…
I realise I’m posting out of order here since I haven’t shown you all the fantastic August issue of KnipMode magzine yet, but let’s just say it’s so fan-tas-tic (terrible Dutch pun, uggggh) that I’ve already drafted this weekend bag pattern and have online shopping lists together to get all the haberdashery bits to complete it. I’m SO excited to try that vilene stuff that turns regular fabric into oilcloth, as my RTW bags just get so filthy so quickly!
And starting the long line of baby gifts (I have something like 5 or 6 friends due in August & September!!) is this baby blanket for our friend’s little baby, Grace. I did the embroidery (from Urban Threads) while I was in hospital, then used a large amount of the turquiose basketweave fabric (which was just screaming to be made into a blanket even before I made my duffle coat!), and finished it off with some red and white bias tape. How is it that no matter how much bias tape you make, you’ll always end up a little short? Or maybe it’s just me?read more >>
I’ve been doing more sewing “on the inside” – this time I’ve made these curvy-seamed trousers (#12) from the May 09 KnipMode which should come as no surprise since you already know that I prepared them in advance as an activity pack.
I sewed most of these last Sunday, but took my time handsewing the invisible zipper, waistband, and hems, which I’ll explain later… Once again, apologies for the iPhone photos, but I’m planning on doing a nice & crisp DSLR photoshoot again once they and I!) am finished. But for now…read more >>
I adore my pink flowered day dress so much that I just had to make another version!
If you recall, I blended two similar dresses from the Feb 09 issue of KnipMode together into one! I took the top half of #15 (on the left) and the bottom of #18 (on the right) and joined them together at the waist seam to make a really comfortable, casual dress for lounging around the moorings.read more >>
I posted a few in progress photos of this bolero last week, but I’m happy to announce now that the embellishment is complete, and so is the bolero!
The pattern is from the March 09 KnipMode, the same issue which bore the recent faux-wrap jeanskirt, and it’s just a simple cropped jacket for knits, with 3 pattern pieces (not counting the few facings I drafted).
…a silver sailing aak emerges!read more >>
Ok this is finally the last of the green sweatshirting from Pennine Outdoor! Seen previously in my Patrones haute hoodie and my nephew’s birthday sweatshirt, if you recall… And this bolero (though really it’s a cropped jacket since it closes in the centre) pattern is from the March 09 KnipMode, the same issue which bore the recent faux-wrap jeanskirt.
So here it is on my dressform, Susan, looking pretty darned complete. What’s missing, I hear you ask? Well, it’s not got the FehrTrade label yet, for one, but the only other thing that’s missing is the painted silver design I’m planning on adding to the back! I know,, I know – me in “decorative” shock!read more >>
Last Tuesday I had the extreme pleasure of meeting fellow sewer Sigrid as she was visiting London with her family and had a short break in their sightseeing to come and stop by the moorings! It’s so funny, within minutes it was like we’d known each other for years, even though we’d never met in real life before, only observing each other from our respective sewing blogs…
Besides the great opportunity to blather on about sewing with someone whose eyes don’t glaze over within 5 minutes, she also brought me some really nice gifts! Oh Sigrid, you can definitely come visit again, you didn’t have to bribe me!!
First up was a gorgeous silver and black Kantje Boord lingerie kit for my birthday!read more >>
Thinking ahead towards summertime, I really like to wear casual day dresses around the moorings at weekends (and this year, during the week, too, I suppose). A few years ago my friend Jess bought me a really simple 70s day dress at a vintage shop, and I’ve worn that so much I realised I’d like a few more to fulfil the same function.
So for this day dress, I blended two similar dresses from the Feb 09 issue of KnipMode together into one! I took the top half of #15 (on the left) and the bottom of #18 (on the right) and joined them together at the waist seam to make a really comfortable, casual dress for lounging around the moorings.
The fabric is a really super soft cotton-lycra jersey from Totally Fabrics, but which has now, understandably, sold out (I looked a few days ago to see if I could buy more – it’s that good!). The neck and arm bands are just a bit of black lycra to give a bit of contrast to such a busy print.read more >>
I didn’t get much sewing done this weekend, but I did catch up on photoshoots for my finished garments from last week, at least. First up is an A-ine, faux-wrap jeanskirt from KnipMode March 09 issue, #12:
It features the very last of my super heavyweight Levis denim that also bore the Thames jeans and the recent KnipMode boyfriend jeans. And stylistically, it’s also got a similar idea, if not construction, to the KnipMode kilt-styled jeanskirt I made a few years ago.read more >>
These both just need photoshoots this weekend! (Actually, I’m wearing the former for the second time today…)
In some vague order…
- The Colette Patterns “Eclair” dress in gold silk crepe (with aubergine silk ties), being sewn for Iain & Steve’s wedding in early May:
I beta-tested this pattern back around Christmas so I know my muslin fits perfectly, but the silk arrived too late to sew it for holiday parties!
read more >>
It seems like everyone’s caught the jeans sewing bug recently! Maybe it’s the warmer weather or just the slow realisation that I could really do with more casual trews in my wardrobe, but KnipMode Jan 09 #11a really took my fancy and wouldn’t let go.
Annoyingly, it’s hard to get a good look at these jeans in the magazine photos – they’re either covered up by her jacket, or partially shown in the detail shots, or just not photographed at all.
But between these and the technical drawing, I was able to piece together how these should go together, in what order, and with what topstitching (I posted some essential topstitching tips a few years ago, fyi). What really drew me to the pattern was also to be the most difficult sewing aspect – the front pattern piece has “arms” at the top that wrap around completely to meet at the centre back, and the back piece of the trousers has a curved seam around the bum, and wraps round slightly so the “side seam” on the legs is actually on the front:
So this means there’s no traditional side seam to tweak the fit, and there’s no centre back seam in the waistband to tweak there, either. So if you’re unsure of the fit, I’d fully recommend sewing a muslin first, though I actually just threw all caution to the wind here and used my super heavyweight Levis denim from the outset (since I’ve made so much KnipMode in the past and knew I was a consistent size).read more >>
Last week I went on a bit of a spree and bought the November through March issues of KnipMode in one go. I usually get a couple at a time to save on shipping, but in this case I hadn’t bought since October so I was playing a bit of catchup (I should really just bite the bullet and subscribe already!). While I was on Naaipatronen.nl anyway, I figured I’d try another sewing magazine I’d never seen before and also bought FIMI magazine, too (more on that later).
I’ve spent the last few evenings thumbing through these and picking out my favourites, so I’ll let you in on a few gems here now in case you want to grab them before they go out of stock (it seems like the issues I write about tend to sell out directly after, ha!). So, working on chronological order, here’s my picks.
First up is KnipMode 11/08 #8b, a really gorgeous silk and gorgette dress that’s in the running for my birthday dress.read more >>
Wow, I’m really falling behind with my photos, it feels like so long ago that I finished all these lacy bits! But then again, I bought the brown and turquoise bra kit from eLingeria.de way back in January 2008 so I suppose a week or so isn’t much in the lifespan of this fabric!
The kits from eLingeria.de give you all the bits you need to make one bra and two panties – really soft, stretchy microfibre, stretch lace, elastic, bra straps, underwire channeling, hooks, and the strap loops and findings. The only thing I needed to buy extra were the underwires, since they’re so size-specific. I really enjoyed sewing these, and having the kit meant I didn’t have to gather all the materials in matching colours on my own, so I’m definitely going this route again. €20 for a matching lingerie set is a steal, even with the current exchange rate!read more >>
I was planning on sending my mom some flowers since she’s so full of worry for me right now. I even went as far as getting the number for their local florist and looking at bouquets online, but they just seemed so impersonal… But then, when I was on Goldhawk Road, I saw this dusty rose wool sweater knit in a shop and I instantly thought of my mom. For years, whenever anyone asked what her favourite colour was, she’d always reply with “dusty rose”.
So I had a look through my pattern archives and saw this fantastic cowl neck sweater in the very first KnipMode I ever bought (actually in a supermarket in Steenwijk, on one of the trips when we were buying our boat)!
I think I must’ve got my love of interesting necklines from my mom, so I knew this was the pattern for her! And it just so happened to be plus sized, so I could combine a few sizes easily to get a cowl-necked sweater that was perfectly her!
It was a complete surprise and my dad helped to keep it that way until it arrived, and she said it made her day. So mission accomplished. :) And here’s some more shots of it on my dressform, so you can see the neck shape and how it drapes nicely into place…read more >>
In continuation of my quest for comfortable pyjamas and tops that can work as pyjamas or casualwear, I’ve made BWOF 12/08 #113 pleated neck tee and KnipMode 03/2007 #11 leggings, which I made once before as pyjama bottoms in the pink retro guitars waffle knit.
The heathered and super soft grey jersey is from my first trip to Goldhawk Road, which I bought for £4 a metre, and it was enough to make both the top and leggings, with enough spare for another top someday, I reckon.read more >>
Twas the day before Christmas and all through the boat, all the creatures were stirring, especially Melissa at her sewing machine and Bosco with his catnip mouse!
We were invited to breakfast on Christmas morning at a neighbour’s and she kept saying how we should all just come in our pyjamas for some bucks fizz, scrambled eggs and smoked salmon, so I thought it’d be fun to whip up some brand new pyjamas to wear! Christmas has always meant new pyjamas to my mom in particular – growing up, she and her brother and sister would always wake to find a new pair at the top of the stairs which they’d then be expected to change into so they were wearing new PJs in the christmas photos! I didn’t take it that far (I changed into the blue silk cocktail dress in time for dinner!), but it was awfully nice to wake up and put on new, comfortable clothes!read more >>
If this top looks familiar, then it’s because this is the fourth time I’ve sewn this pattern!
First, I made it in blue ribbed knit over the summer, then again in the same fabric for my mom. Then I transformed it into a dress. And this time, well, it looks an awful lot like the Plus size version that was reprinted in the October edition! Combine those with Trena’s recent version and you’ve got a strong contender for my Pattern of The Year 2008!
And here it is, in purple cotton interlock from Pennine Outdoor!read more >>
It is an enigma that, while the overwhelming majority of 10k race participants are slim and svelte, race shirts given away to participants are always enormous!
I had two race shirts made out of the nice wicking polyester that were way too big to wear (hanging down to my mid-thigh! And I’m not exactly Tinkerbelle…) but too nice to let rot in my wardrobe, so I cut them up!
I used the same KnipMode pattern as before, but got lazy and just serged all the edges with my white woolly nylon thread and didn’t bother with the elastic. The armpits were a tad too high before, so I lowered those, but otherwise just approached this as a no-nonsense reconstruction to get some wear out of garments I previously wouldn’t touch.read more >>
Plus-sized ladies, you need to stop right now and go buy a lotto ticket, because today is your lucky day!
You may remember earlier in the summer I made a blue twist top from the April 2008 KnipMode magazine, and then my mom fell in love with mine so much I tweaked the sizing and made her one, too. This is probably my favourite pattern of the entire year – I have to restrain myself from wearing it more than once a week, and I even turned it into a dress to get more wear from the pattern.
Well, everywhere that I can see is sold out of April’s issue (it’s proved VERY popular!), so imagine my surprise when I opened up the October issue and saw that they’ve reprinted the same exact top, but in Plus size!!read more >>
The culmination of July’s Knit Month was sewing my own swimsuit, but due to motivational difficulties in the photoshoot and photo editing post-production, I’m afraid the photos are a few weeks late!
You might remember when I sewed my muslin suit that I used KnipMode 06/2008 #1 and lengthened the bodice pieces by one inch.
I haven’t worn one piece suits for a few years, but I remember RTW suits from high school always being a bit short in the torso, so I’m not surprised this would be the same, despite my never having to do long-torso alterations for anything else.
I do wish, however, that I’d taken some photos of myself in the muslin suit because you see things in photos that just don’t appear in a full length mirror sometimes.read more >>
My unofficial knit month continues, this time with an incredibly comfortable “frankendress”! The top half is KnipMode April 2008 #13 (still available to buy from Naaipatronen, fyi), which you should remember from when I made it before in blue for myself and then again for my mom:
I absolutely love my top, and I often find myself in my wardrobe late at night picking out clothes for the next day, holding that shirt and asking myself “wait – did I already wear it this week?”. I just knew I had to turn this pattern into a dress to get even more wear out of it, so I searched my back issues of Burda WOF magazines and found a great knit dress to use for the bottom half: Burda WOF 05/05 #125.
I sat down with the two patterns and sketched out a combined technical drawing and then started thinking about my plan of attack to serge this all together, keeping in mind that it’s a lot easier to construct flat seams than in the round… I didn’t follow my plan exactly, but I did stick to the basic idea, and I’d definitely do it this way again.read more >>
Looking at this week’s London weather forecast, it seems for once, rather than being really late to the summer swimsuit party, I’ve actually timed this all rather well. We may actually get some nice summer temperatures in the high 70s/low 80s F (upper 20s C), which will actually feel really hot after the summer we’ve had again!
So I’ve finally been given some impetus from the weather on top of my recent confidence-boosting forway into sports gear to finally tackle one of sewing’s ultimate challenges – swimwear! I’ve been wearing two piece suits since I lost so much weight a few years ago, but I was so smitten with the one piece suit in KnipMode 06/2008 that I just had to try this as my first bathing suit:read more >>
On Sunday I decided to step up my “July is Knit Month!” activities and finally break into the world of high-performance sports gear. I started running to lose weight a few years ago and, along with sewing, it’s now become my favourite way to both unwind and start the day. I really do get cranky and irritable if I don’t get my regular runs in!! Over the years I’ve amassed a good collection of wicking tops and trousers I wear in rotation until they fall apart, but recently I’ve been having a hard time finding good wicking sports gear under £30 a pop, and especially in the trouser style I prefer – long length and slightly boot cut. Everywhere I look it’s always either skin-tight leggings, capri length, or both! UGH!
So I was very happy to discover that Pennine Outdoor stock wicking sports fabrics, both polyester teeshirting AND Meryl cycling lycra! So in one shop I got supplies for both my tops and my trousers! Now, you may be excused for cringing at the mention of polyester, but in running circles it is well known that polyester is the preferred fabric as it doesn’t hold sweat or chafe like cotton does. If you ever get blisters from a run or long hike, switch to 100% polyester socks and you’ll never get them again. So while I shun polyester in regular sewing, I positively seek it out in running gear, especially when I find the exact same two-sided, slightly waffled weave that is used in all the official race shirts! Bamboo is even better than polyester, though, as it doesn’t hold the stink or microbial nasties either and is softer by a factor of ten, but that’s another discussion entirely…
Anyway, on to the sewing!read more >>
You may remember that a few weeks ago I gave in to my mother’s pleas and made her a her-sized version of my blue KnipMode shirt, in the same fabric as mine, but with shorter sleeves for the hotter Pennsylvania weather…
Well, it arrived and she did me proud with a photoshoot!read more >>
Phew! It’s been a very busy week, both in my sewing room and elsewhere on the boat. Parties, film nights, more deck grinding, music selection for a friend’s wedding, gardening, broken water pumps, gifts, muslins, and BIG shopping, but to name a few!
The deadline for the finished instructions and my bio for the “Pillowcase Challenge” book were also due this week, so I devoted a big chunk of Sunday to getting that perfect, and then the rest of the weekend was spent making a twin blue KnipMode shirt for my mom:read more >>
I had a busy weekend of sewing, but it was mostly alterations and some beginning work on James’s linen shirt, and not terribly exciting. I’m finding recently that sewing is a useful bartering tool – in the span of two days last week I managed to trade some alteration work for several technical CAD drawings of our bedroom and lounge renovations, and also for the installation of new tongue & groove wall boards in our captain’s cabin bedroom! But amongst all the DIY work over the long, Bank Holiday weekend, I managed to sneak in a quick knit top I’ve been coveting from the April KnipMode magazine.
I had my eye on this ever since I saw it on the cover of the magazine, but I was recently asked questions about its construction over email, and thinking about it and dissecting the pieces got me REALLY excited to make it and I felt I needed a break (and a boost) from all the technical work on the linen shirt, so I just had to sew it up right away! So thank you, Linda, for inspiring me to make this even sooner!read more >>
First was a top I saw as a user-submitted pattern on BurdaStyle, but it was only uploaded as size 36 and would’ve required lots of grading on my part to get up to a 42. Luckily though, she also submitted How To showing exactly how to draft her design from a standard knit sloper! Hurrah!read more >>
My copy of the latest Patrones Magazine (#264) arrived last night! As I explained last week, it’s incredibly difficult (and expensive) to get your hands on, but this issue has fulfilled all my expectations and more. It’s kinda sad, but I actually had trouble sleeping last night because my mind kept wandering over all the details of about ten of the designs while I was trying to sleep!
The Jean Paul Gaultier skirt (#69) is absolutely first on my list. It’s hard to see from the photo, but there are curved seams running through the front and back that are begging for contrast fabric – I’m thinking black wool crepe with black satin or leather curves (I also really like the blouse in that set, too).read more >>
Things were a bit hectic in the leadup to Christmas this year, seeing as how we were starting from scratch in our own place this year. Sewing ornaments and other decorations took up most of my time, but I was able to fit in two sewn gifts in the few minutes I had before work in the mornings, sewing with very numb fingers in my heater-less sewing room.read more >>
I started this kilt-inspired jeanskirt from the February 2007 issue of KnipMode magazine not really knowing how long it would take me to power through…read more >>
The April 2007 issue of KnipMode magazine had a section where they took a bunch of catwalk looks and replicated them with one of their patterns. I loved the easy lines of the John Galliano dress, but so much of my wardrobe is already black and white and I thought I’d prefer a colourful dress for the summer.read more >>
Yesterday was my 28th birthday and I received quite possibly the best birthday gift possible, especially since I thought it would be impossible to deliver in time…
Yes, our new floating home is now in her new home, delivered actually on my birthday itself by my boyfriend and our hired crew. We’ve got a bunch of hard work to do this week before we can move in at the weekend, but it means I’ll be able to eventually have a dedicated sewing room for all things Fehrtrade and have a wide choice of cutting tables (since it used to be a hotel, we’ve got a breakfast room crammed full of tables and chairs!).read more >>
Once upon a time in London there were two girls suffering from sewing distress. The first girl loved to create and dreamt all day about creating beautiful garments. But alas, she was imprisoned in her true love’s family’s home and her sewing tools were all locked away in a dungeon of cardboard boxes. The other girl had all the tools imaginable, but lacked the experience to turn pieces of cloth into wearable gowns and the language to understand the foreign tongue of patterns. So one fair day the girls hatched a plan to combine forces and each create a dress using the resources of the other.read more >>
I bought a ton of sewing magazines! I managed to pick up the February and March issues of Knipmode magazine (March was a special double issue with a full supplement of sailing-inspired clothes! Perfect!), plus the Dutch language version of the March issue of Burda World of Fashion magazine. I figure I never read the instructions in the English versions of Burda anyway, so it didn’t matter much if it was written in Dutch as long as I could see from the photos what sort of fabric to use…
target=“out”>February and March issues of Knipmode magazine (March was a special double issue with a full supplement of sailing-inspired clothes! Perfect!), plus the Dutch language version of the March issue of Burda World of Fashion magazine. I figure I never read the instructions in the English versions of Burda anyway, so it didn’t matter much if it was written in Dutch as long as I could see from the photos what sort of fabric to use…
I’d only just vaguely heard of Knipmode before, but I had a chance to thumb through a copy in the supermarket before I bought it and I was delighted to discover it’s very similar to Burda WOF – about 40 patterns, all very fashion forward with glossy model photoshoots showing the finished products, plus one pattern where they go in-depth with lots of step-by-step diagrams, a plus section, and a few fashion mag-esque pages on how to accessorize what you’ve sewn. One thing I really liked is that Knipmode show a technical drawing next to the glossy photoshoots so you can see what it’s like right there without having to flip to the center section. And Knipmode’s step-by-step pattern has the largest diagrams ever!
If you’re not familiar with Knipmode (as I wasn’t until the weekend), here’s a few of my favourites from the February and March issues to give you a feel for their style… a hooded, zippered sweatshirt with kangaroo pockets, a denim skirt with a kilt-inspired styling, a perfect wrapdress for woven fabrics and a button-down shirt and khaki cargos for men, a knit long-sleeved top with an assymetric neckline, a v-necked, half-surplice top with a collar, a pair of sailor trousers with the button-up flap in front, and a woven shirtdress with a belt and band collar.
And in other non-English language news – my arse is famous! I was approached by a nice woman from IKEA’s head office in Sweden asking if I wouldn’t mind if they used the skirt I made from an IKEA pillowcase in their in-staff magazine. I was delighted and sent them some hi-res photos and answered their questions about why I hate IKEA (answer: I love their goods, I just detest everything about their store experience), and I got a copy of the newsletter today. Not only am I featured inside, but my arse is on the cover!read more >>