I’m often inspired by styles in Manequim magazine, even if I don’t actually sew that many, and I particularly love the Fall and Spring issues which tend to overlap a bit more with the seasons we have in the UK. Brazil is entering Fall now but the same styles are super wearable for English Spring, too.
The celebrity style section (which is usually occupied by Brazilian soap stars I’ve never heard of) is this month all featuring stylish women in their 50s, 60s, and 70s. I really like the flowy faux-wrap dress Meryl Streep is wearing on the left, and it just happens to be in my size, too.
The Plus patterns this month are all blouses, and I think the pale yellow one is a particularly interesting design since it uses a twist in an outer layer, almost creating a twinset effect with the inner layer.
The designer style section is based on Alberta Ferretti’s designs, and these slim trousers and silk blouse are both provided in several sizes and would both make really great wardrobe basics. They also look especially good for testing out the fit if you’re new to Manequim, too.read more >>
Happy birthday to meeeeee! I hinted about it last week, but I decided to celebrate the occasion this year by sewing up something special to wear, using a fabric that I’ve lusted over for months even before I broke down and ordered it. My feeling is that if you adore the fabric or pattern (or both!) then the resulting garment is pretty much guaranteed to be a hit.
For this dress I used the Derek Lam-inspired knit sheath from the January 2014 Manequim magazine combined with the most amazing galaxy print ponte jersey which is even nicer in real life, I swear! It’s a digital print on a smooth, white ponte jersey base, and it’s both stable and stretchy, making it the bestest fabric ever (and I have just over a metre leftover! woo!).
It’s been a while since I sewed a Manequim pattern and I’ve dropped in size over the past few months of marathon training to a 42 (Burda 40), so I decided to sew up a muslin of this first to test the fit. The resulting turquoise ponte muslin was very close fitting, and I wasn’t entirely certain at first whether it was too tight, or utterly perfect. So I lounged around in it for a day, decided it was comfortable enough, then cracked on with the final version without any pattern changes.
The final version is definitely tighter than the muslin, though, and I’m fairly certain it’s down to adding the lining layer, even though it’s stretchy! You can definitely see some horizontal pulls in the dress showing it’s a tad too tight, and it’s a struggle to get that waist seam on and off over my boobs, but one it’s on, it’s not uncomfortable, thankfully!
The pattern is really simple – a front bodice with both vertical and horizontal bust darts, back bodice with long vertical darts, raglan cap sleeves, and a skirt pattern with vertical waist darts (the same skirt pattern is used for both front and back). The pattern calls for a long invisible zipper, but as I could easily get the muslin dress on and off without it, I was going to leave it off the finished version, too…
…until I discovered the most perfect purple, metal teeth zipper in my stash! So then I decided I had to use it and make it an exposed zipper feature instead. It was a bit shorter than I’d have liked, but it reached exactly to the waist seam, which worked out nicely visually (though for ease of getting in and out of it, a longer zipper would’ve been much better!).read more >>
Two big and exciting things are happening next week, and I wanted to give you a tiny peek at both of them so that you’re as excited as I am!
First – it’s my birthday on Tuesday, and I’m sewing myself something special, like I do every year. This year it’s going to be in the form of that Derek Lam-inspired knit sheath from the January 2014 Manequim magazine combined with the most amazing galaxy print ponte jersey which is pretty much the only selfish Me Fabric I’ve bought in six months.
Oh, and I happened to find this perfect zipper in my stash, so it’s going to be exposed in the back!
The second exciting thing is that my next pattern is ready for a launch next week!!
Please welcome the Duathlon shorts into your life! They come in three lengths: Booty Shorts, Biker Shorts, or Capris, and feature contrast side panels with integrated pockets (perfect for your phone, gels, or keys). There’s also optional crotch padding to make cycling more comfortable, and they’re perfect for cycle commuters who prefer to wear skirts but still want some padding (and modesty!), but also for runners, dancers, lifters, and yoga-heads, too.read more >>
Wow, everyone in Brazil must’ve been partying their bums off at carnival because my February issue was really late – I’d normally be expecting to see March any day now! But I’m just glad it arrived at all, because it’s a really good one, and features one must sew for me in particular!
First up are the Plus offerings for this issue. They may not seem like much, but all three look to be very wearable and versatile, and those bermuda shorts are offered in multiple sizes, too.
The designer style section this month is Victoria Beckham, and, all Spice Girl and WAG celebrity-BS aside, I actually really love a lot of her designs and find they intersect with my own personal style an awful lot. Here we get patterns for a really nicely shaped sheath dress, narrow trousers, and – the one that made me bolt upright when I turned the page – a draped, crossover blouse.
OH. MY. GOD. I adore… freaking adore… this blouse! That I can’t quite immediately work out the construction of that drape from the pattern pieces makes me want to make it even more. And, umm, it’s also in my new size, too. LOVE!read more >>
The latest issue of the Brazilian pattern magazine, Manequim, has arrived in my postbox and hurrah – it’s a special dress issue!
Omg, what a super cute asymmetric skort! I’m not the biggest shorts fan, but I would totally wear this! I love how the front panels are sewn into the front seams of the legs, too. Very cool.
I’m not a fan of the cropped jacket with a million fabrics, but the hem on the skirt is quite novel and a shape I’ve not seen before… (As is the one on the front cover, actually)
The designer inspiration this month is Derek Lam, and I totally love this knit sheath dress, even though it’s quite a basic design. I reckon I’m probably a size 42 now anyway, and I would totally wear this in a bright canary yellow ponte!read more >>
Brazil may be on opposite seasons for those of us in the Northern hemisphere, but there’s a lot to love in this issue, and importantly, lots of separates that can be layered and thus worn nearly all year round! Let’s take a look at my highlights, shall we?
First up is a group of Plus-sized patterns, all made up in white. The dress and shorts are alright, and the trousers have some interesting pleated godets at the hems, but ooh, look! It’s that jacket I loved from the first November issue (seen here on the right), but graded up to size 48!
The designer style this month is Emanuel Ungaro, and when I first looked at these two, I thought the one on the left was a skirt pattern, and the one on the right was a dress, but they’re actually the other way around!read more >>
Manequim always have two issues in November, apparently because there’s “too much summer to contain in one issue!” or something to that effect! There were quite a few things I like in the first issue but this one was mostly shorts, swimsuits, and Plus-sized patterns (all being things I don’t really wear) but there were a handful of highlights…
First up is my very favourite garment of this issue – a silk tank with chiffon inserts and contrast bands! It’s paired with some tie-waist trousers and also a casual jersey skirt, too (despite the styling, this was not in the style of a particular designer – just a bumper summer clothing feature).
You’d be forgiven for not seeing anything special in these trousers, but omg look at the tech drawing! Those curved seams, that topstitching (or is it pintucks? Or pleating?)! If only these were in my size…read more >>
I really should complain about my magazines not arriving more often – right after I mentioned that it hadn’t arrived yet, the (first) November Manequim turned up in my postbox! Let’s see if the second November issues makes its way to me soon… (Yes, Manequim has two issues in November. No, I don’t know why that is.)
In any case, it must be hoiday party season, because there’s a SEQUIN JUMPSUIT on the cover! Hooray everyone, let’s all dance in sequin jumpsuits!! (or, you know, chase after a toddler or do the laundry or sit in a cubicle…)
You wouldn’t know it unless you flipped to the back to check out the line drawing, but omg this jacket has incredible seam lines! I also love that it’s got the tuxedo-style notches, but no collar so therefore no roll to worry about either. Even the back looks amazing, with the extra seams around the sides. I reckon I could fit into a size 42 now….
On the very next page they’ve got another pattern with great seaming details – this time a corselette! Something like this would probably require a lot of muslins to get it fitting precisely to your own curves, but the payoff would be worth it.read more >>
Can you handle two Brazilian pattern magazines in one week? After my earlier Moda Moldes review, you might be already crying uncle and pining for caipirinhas on Copcabana, but hold on, because there’s much more in store from Manequim below…
Strangely, the first patterns in the magazine this month aren’t for humans, but for Barbie dolls! I’ve never seen doll patterns in any of my pattern magazines before, let alone designer-inspired dresses and coat (really, I’d prefer if they’d just given us the full-size versions!). Really, though, I shouldn’t complain, as these patterns are free to download, so you might be able to make a little girl very happy in time for Christmas…
There are only three Plus patterns this month (even though Barbie got four!!), but they’re all really nice – a yoked tunic top that would be a perfect silk tee, a dress with fantastic contrast raglan seaming, and a sleeveless top with a blazer-like shawl collar that I’m considering knocking off for myself…
I just think this maxidress is so elegant! I tend to like pale, solid colours anyway, but the surplice neckline with the folded-over lapels is just a lovely touch, and one I’ve not seen in any other pattern. I must file this one away in the memory bank for future franken-patterning. (But seriously, how lovely would this be for a bridesmaid’s gown??)read more >>
Twice a year we end up overlapping a little between the Fall fashions here in the UK and the Spring fashions over in Brazil, and when that happens, it’s just magic! I know it’s warming up there but I can’t help but be inspired for Fall by this issue!
First up are a bunch of Plus-sized patterns – here there’s a nice jacket, a really interesting blouse, and a basic shirtdress, but there’s also a surplice dress, a lace dress, and another blouse included in the Plus range this month. Often there’s only one pattern!
I absolutely love the seaming and neckline of this crop top, but even I’m not brave enough to wear this out with my stomach exposed, so I’d definitely lengthen it myself!
The designer inspiration feature this month is Proenza Shouler and I utterly adore this piped sheath dress, and the blouse with tulip sleeves (in a variety of sizes) isn’t bad, either!
I nearly squealed with delight when I turned the page and saw these shorts! Regular readers will know I am not a shorts fan but I started running in them this summer and am completely won over (for running anyway!). I’ve been looking for a pattern to mimic my Nike split-side seam shorts for ages and found nothing – until now! These are pretty much exactly what I was looking for, and it’s offered in multiple sizes, too! Attach a lining panty at the waistband and you’re ready. Thank you, Manequim!!read more >>
I’ve got so much going on right now to show you all in good time, like some new tutorials, site features, and more, but in the meantime let’s have a look at the latest Manequim magazine.
The downside is that they removed the little tech drawings next to the fashion photoshoots so not only do I now have to keep flipping back and forth to the instructions at the back to see the pattern lines (extra annoying since they’re not in numerical order in the magazine) but I’ve also got to do extra image editing work to show you the tech drawings, dear readers!
But the upside is that at least there’s a lot of great patterns this month, cough unlike Burda cough…
In the soap star style section, this little black dress and chiffon blouse both caught my eye. The dress in particular looks like something I’d totally wear!
This men’s yoked & lined jacket looks really nice! They say the pattern is online, though but I don’t see it in the list of free patterns (totally worth checking out though anyway!)? Can anyone find it on the site?
This issue apparently apparently celebrates Manequim’s 54 years as “the best fashion magazine in Brazil”. Seems an arbitrary number of years for a celebration, but no matter. I like seeing the original first issue cover, but I’d have liked it more had they given us some vintage reprint patterns!read more >>
It may be the heat of summer here in London, but in Brazil they’re in the depths of winter and oh my have they got some great patterns in store for us this month!
First up, in the Plus section, there’s a fantastic knit crossover top and a knit dress that looks like it’d be super flattering for both large busts and curvy shapes.
I couldn’t help but laugh when I saw this doggy jacket (complete with fur-trimmed collar) and jumpsuit – how did they know I’d just made my first dog clothing for a friend’s Boston Terrier puppy?!
From the cover photoshoot, I really like this boxy blouse (though it seems awfully familiar) and panelled skirt paired with it looks really wearable, too. Bonus points for spotting the dog model in her bag!
The designer style this month is Alexander Wang, and I love this dress with the stand-out pockets, which also happens to be in my size!read more >>
As I mentioned last week, I had a great week for post while I was ill, including the latest Manequim magazine! Since Brazil is in the southern hemisphere, we get some wintery clothes, though there are still a fair amount of sleeveless options that would work for British summers, too!
oh. my. god. Plus sized lingerie!!! And they’re fantastic, wearable, and sexy designs, too – a bodysuit, bra, and panties in size 50 (B110cm W94 H116, just fyi). I’m terribly jealous that these aren’t in my size!
The designer pattern section this month is Jil Sander, whom I totally love! We get patterns for slim trousers (in multiple sizes!), the red batwing jersey top, and the blue dress with double-layer draped bodice. On top of the great designs, I actually really love the styling here, too – solids in vibrant colours, minimalist aesthetic, and letting the clean lines speak.read more >>
Leading on from the amazing April issue, you’d be forgiven for expecting May’s to be a bit sub-par. But oh no no! Manequim have produced another really good issue with at least one “absolutely WILL make” for me, and if you’re Plus-sized, just drop everything and go buy this issue on eBay now.
The first pattern that stood out to me is this amazing Plus-sized biker jacket with gathered sleeves and diagonal zipper! (Also the dress is rather nice, too)
The cover star’s pleated dress has definite potential, but I prefer this sheath dress with piped, angular seams that she wears later in the same feature, even though it’s got an extremely short hem! (which is easy enough to fix, thankfully.)
I adore this blouse!! It’s made with panels of silk chiffon and silk satin, but I personally would instead make it all from silk satin and just alternate the shiny vs matte sides to create texture instead. This means it’s both easier and cheaper to source fabric, and you don’t unintentionally reveal anything in the chiffon sections!read more >>
I’ve been subscribed to Manequim (direct with their publishers) for going on three years now, and I’ve only had 3 issues go missing in that time, which isn’t too shabby considering the distance. But I’ve never opened up my envelope before to find, uhh, some other random Brazilian magazine!
As it turns out, loads of other people also got the same “Mundo Estranho” (“Strange World”) magazine instead of Manequim, and the publisher said ours would be sent out, but then May arrived with no hint of April. So I have to thank Isidore for alerting me to this review on a Brazilian site showing that April’s issue was not only the annual Oscar special (which I must own!) but it also contained a ton of fantastic blouses! So I grudgingly went and bought it on eBay just so I wouldn’t miss it (that “luma1985” eBay seller was fantastic, btw, and I’d definitely recommend her if you want any one-off issues)!
And you know what? I’m totally glad I did, because IMHO it’s one of the best issues for ages, which you can tell just by the number of scans I took from it here!
Nevermind the photos are of a Kardashian – the top and the curved yoke skirt here are fabulous and Plus-sized!
I really like the idea of using a necklace as an integral part of this top design. It’s a backless bodysuit (therefore, not for everyone!) but I really like the ingenuity and glamour of it here.
The embroidery around the neckline of this sheath dress is just stunning! It’s almost like a motif, but the pattern has you do the design yourself from some chiffon yardage. It’d be a lot of work, but in my experience, things like this are great for long car journeys!read more >>
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!)
Greetings readers! I’m still away on holiday, meeting cool people, (hopefully) photoshooting my new Easter makes, and eating my bodyweight in crab cakes, but here’s something to tide you over til I’m back… the latest issue of the Brazilian pattern magazine Manequim!
I think this sleeveless blouse with neck tie looks like a really classy blouse for the office, and it’d be great paired with a skirt and nice jacket, though it’d be a shame to hide that back yoke. I only wish this one was in my size!
Here’s another look at that lace dress from the cover – it’s almost a skater style with that short, full skirt, and a nice surprise V neck in the back.
oh my god, you guys – this cropped trench coat is so me! And it’s in my size!read more >>
I don’t know about you, but it’s a drizzly, dreary day in London today (hello there, stereotypes!) and I’m going to use this latest issue of Manequim magazine to transport me down to the Brazilian sunshine. Are you with me??
These two patterns are the only Plus-sized offerings this month, but they’re great! Here we’ve got basic trousers (showing the current print trend) in a bunch of sizes plus a fantastic blouse with an offset bow at the neckline.
I really like this nice silk blouse with surplice front on the right (and a dress with a “mullet” hem I’m not into!), though I kinda made something similar years ago that I don’t wear much…
I really like how they used mesh fabric on this dolman sleeved top with that yoke running across the entire front! Usually I’m used to only seeing mesh on the upper chest, not down the sleeves as well. I’d never wear this long skirt but I like the idea of the side buckle harnessing the fullness of the godet underneath.read more >>
The latest edition of the Brazilian pattern magazine Manequim arrived in my postbox and I was rather pleased to see the publisher switched to a staple-binding (like Burda magazine) instead of the more awkward-to-scan and leave open on the table glue binding they’d previously been using. The pattern sheets are still loose in the magazine shrink wrapping (and not stapled in place like Burda, KnipMode, Patrones, etc), but this is a nice improvement as far as I’m concerned!
Straight from the start and we’re in a Brazilian summer with this amazing Plus swimsuit with gathered front, and gorgeous twisted ties in back. I totally love that a) they’re making Plus-sized swimwear patterns (AFAIK only KnipMode has also done this) and b) the design is so flattering!
And on the next page, we see some evening gowns, including one on the left with a top not dissimilar to that last swimsuit!
I love Manequim’s little silk blouses, and I think this one has the opportunity to become the most perfect silk tee! Though I had a look at the pattern layout to see what’s going on with those sleeves, and each sleeve is four pattern pieces! Very cool.read more >>
While we freeze in the northern hemisphere, let’s take a mental trip down south, where in Brazil they’re in the middle of summer. If you need a bit of a boost to make the imaginary leap, just crank up the heating! Or if you’re suffering in the Aussie heatwave, grab a Caipirinha and sip along as we go through my picks from the December Manequim magazine…
First up we’ve got a cowl top with a difference – this one has a portion that comes together to form a centre front seam, keeping the drapes in front and you protected (also a nice yoke in the back there, too!)
From the “inspired by Fendi” feature, I like the idea of this top with radiating seams with little cutouts in the upper chest. I’m not sure I like exactly how they’ve done it here, but it’s a great starting point of an idea to make your own version.
This chiffon dress is just gorgeous, even though I’d never make it myself due to the professionally pleated bits at the sides! Nice of Manequim to include a pattern for a slip dress for underneath, too.read more >>
I have no idea why, but Manequim magazine always produce two November issues. In all the other months, it’s just the usual one issue per month, so I have no idea why November is any different. Does anyone know why this is? Is it a cultural thing in Brazil perhaps?
In any case, here’s the second November issue – my review of the first November issue is here if you’d like to compare the two.
Regular readers will already know that I don’t “do” shorts, but it doesn’t stop me admiring the design of these elegant petal shorts.
This multisize, long sleeved blouse could easily work for colder weather by just using a different fabric, and it’s paired with yet another pair of cute shorts, this time with a retro curved hem.
The summer jacket is nice, but I’m more interested in the oh-so-versatile tank/vest underneath, since it’s in my size, and always a good thing for summer, but also for lingerie and layering.read more >>
I wasn’t overly impressed with last month’s issue of this Brazilian pattern magazine (Remember there are other Brazilian pattern magazines too!), but this one’s got enough fancy party dresses in it to keep me happy, even if it’s overly summery for my personal use right now!
Now here’s some pattern versatility we can all use: a detachable peplum to wear with any skirt, trousers, or dress. This lets you be totally on-trend without any commitment, because when peplums go out of fashion again, your skirt/trousers/dress can still be worn without it!
Manequim are so good at the short cocktail dresses, and this little sheath dress has a really intersting crossover neckline and some cool pleats at the hips to add interest.
The designer inspiration feature revolves around Kate Spade this month, and I really like this dress in particular, because it doesn’t have a waist seam, which seems to be fairly unusual for this silhouette. The jacket is covering the neckline in this particular shot, but the square neckline is really flattering, too.read more >>
You can always tell when I’m lukewarm about a particular magazine issue – it’ll not appear on the site for ages after it arrives! All I’m going to say is that the November issue arrived in my postbox last night and that’s given me a kick to actually share October’s with you, which didn’t really contain much for me….
Don’t get me wrong, if you have lots of kids to sew for, then this issue’s for you! But that plus the dearth of summer fashions just means I’m not all that excited by it.
I actually LOLed when I saw them describe the High-Low hem as “mullet” hemlines!! That’s fantastic! (No pattern’s here – it’s just the street style section)
Some of the kids’ patterns are fabulous, but then we have… this. Weird sweatsuit trousers with a pouch over the crotch. Of course!
Here’s a nice top with an illusion neckline and sleeve bands. I’m not fully on board with Camp Sleeveband, but I can see the advantage of keeping the sun off your shoulders without going to a sleeve. I remember in 2010 when Burda had them they seemed strange and shocking, but now I think they’re a lot more mainstream.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!
- 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!
Hot on the heels of August’s issue, it’s another Manequim magazine, this time celebrating the first of the Spring fashions down in sunny Brazil!
The model’s pose on the cover of this issue totally cracks me up. I thought it was the most corny, awful pose I’d ever seen until I saw the rest of her photoshoot inside, and I have a feeling now that she must be a real ham, and she’s doing the dorky poses to be funny, which I quite like now!
In the celebrity section there are four patterns for maternity dresses, including these two gowns. I’m not sure if they’re just regular gowns which are maternity-friendly, or whether they’ve actually drafted them to account for extra belly. The tech drawing would suggest they’re altered, but the pattern pieces in the layout don’t (the straight hems are a giveaway!).
You know me and shorts (ie: I don’t wear them, full stop), but how cute are these, with their retro hems, piped front seams, and integrated pockets?! So cute I almost overlooked the biker jacket in my size, that’s what!read more >>
August is a funny transitional month in the fashion world – for Burda magazine, August is traditionally the first issue full of Fall fashions, but for Manequim in the Southern hemisphere, this August issue is the last of the Winter fashions!
I’ve had this issue scanned and ready to share for a while, but it was receiving the (very Spring-y) September issue in the post this week that really gave me a kick to post about August. Sorry for the delay – the magazine review posts get slotted in around my other sewing escapades, since I assume you’re all more interested in what I’m actually making!
There’s only one Plus-sized pattern in this issue (with the inspiration dress modelled by the amazing Brazilian comedienne, Fluvia Lacerda!), and it’s a lovely shirt dress with pleated details around the neckline & sleeves.
I see a lot of classic button-down shirt patterns, but this one’s got an interesting twist – diagonal pleated inserts on both sides. It’d be an easy feature to add onto an existing shirt pattern you already have, too!
From the same feature, I totally love this sheath dress with square neckline where the bust pleats extend down from the neckline. It’s a really subtle bit of shaping, but I think this would translate nicely into a top, too.read more >>
I’ve had a few weeks to mull over this issue, and in my opinion, it’s another really great one, full of garments for “their winter” that could easily be worn in “our summer”!
In the section showing dresses inspired by Brazilian soap stars, I really like this dress with an integrated side-tie – it’d be really easy to just draft this as a separate piece, but the tie itself is cleverly integrated into the shaped seams, like something out of Pattern Magic!
I totally squealed when this issue first arrived, because the cover dress with curved black knit side panels is just too fabulous (and clearly inspired by the famous Stella McCartney “Octavia” dress) but it’s also only available in my size!! Yess!
Doesn’t this silk dress with draped skirt overlay and yoke look like something a certain Duchess would wear?read more >>
I’ve had this issue for a while now, I’m not entirely certain why I’ve been dragging my feet to review it. I mean, I should be all over this – they’re are some great designs, and our “wettest, coldest summer in 16654687423 years” means I can wear Brazilian winter fashions right now anyway, but I think maybe I’m just in pattern overload shellshock or something. It’s a genuine malady, I’m sure of it.
I think this convertible coat is a great idea – you can remove the bottom of it to change it between a short winter coat or a longer one. It’s the kind of catwalk fashion that can really translate into people’s reduced income and wardrobe space and be really wearable at the same time…
The soap opera cover star is showing a side gather dress with a leather tab here – the dress itself is nothing special, but I really like the leather accent idea!
The designer this month is Ferragamo, and I really like this dress with a peephole neckline, especially since I’ve not seen any similar patterns around (yet?).read more >>
Hooray! It’s a new issue of our favourite soap opera-obsessed, Brazilian sewing pattern magazine, Manequim!
Oh look – it’s a shopper tote bag that folds up into it’s own zippered pouch! This is something I’ve seen a bunch in shops, but not in pattern form before.
I really like the square neckline and offset zipper opening to this shirtdress. On first glance, it looks quite standard, but the more I stare at the tech drawing, the more cool details I see in this!read more >>
From a total loser of a silk blouse to a triumph of a silk blouse, all in one afternoon! After the Burda FAIL, I turned around, cut into my gorgeous butter yellow floral silk charmeuse I bought at Ditto in Brighton last weekend, and sewed up this blouse in about two hours flat!
The layout of this blouse is really cool, and the entire blouse is just one piece, with only one side seam (and two shoulder seams). I took a photo of my fabric when it was laid out on the floor, and I added some annotations in pink (below) to help show where the drapey side comes into play. I hadn’t realised it from the diagram, but the CF neckline is on the straight grain, and the CB neckline is on the cross-grain, with the only side seam on the bias. Very cool, and the design feels quite Bunka.
I used the leftover silk in the bottom left corner to make several bias strips about 4cm wide, as I prefer a narrow bias edge on my silk blouses instead of finicky facings. I also left off the shoulder bow, as I felt there’s enough going on in this blouse already!
We were very lucky to catch the “golden hour” on Monday evening, which just makes this silk come alive in these photos! I’ve paired it here with my grey leather skirt to try and give an edgier look to the twee floral of the silk.read more >>
We had a long weekend here in the UK this weekend, and I’m pleased to report that I made the most of it! On Saturday, James and I made an impromptu trip down to Brighton, and we stopped off at Lewes on the way down. Our main objective in Lewes is always the Harveys Brewery shop, but I also discovered The Stitchery just across the road upstairs in the Riverside Centre, which stocks a wide variety of fabrics, embroidery floss, yarn, and haberdashery. I checked my handy “sewing shopping list” on my phone, and bought black waistband elastic and trouser hooks, both of which I needed. Very sensible of me, I know.
But the real temptation was walking right past Ditto in the North Laines in Brighton, and I told myself I was only allowed to buy ONE fabric there, so it’d better be a good one! In the end, this gorgeous butter yellow floral silk charmeuse won out over a similar yellow coloured, textured, ex-Blumarine crepe.
Florals really aren’t my usual fabric choice (and I would’ve never bought it from the terrible photo on Ditto’s site), but in real life, I was just captivated by it, and I’m thinking I’ll need to pair it with some edgier like jeans or my leather skirt to diffuse the twee-ness.
After our big day on Saturday, on Sunday we didn’t leave the boat at all! I spent most of the day doing sewing stuff, starting off with fusing all the interfacing onto James’s reversible smoking jacket pieces. I find fusing interfacing to be really boring at the best of times, but it’s beyond teeeeedious with a mini ironing board and mini iron! Once that was all fused, I then moved on to hand basting all the pocket placements (it’s a fantasy jacket, so there are five pockets!) and then basted the bound buttonhole placements, too.read more >>
This time of year is my favourite for Manequim issues, as the Brazilians begin Fall, overlapping with our decidedly cool and wet English springs, it means for a brief period I can actually wear the patterns when they’re printed! So let’s have a look inside the latest issue…
Manequim usually contain one or two easy accessory patterns, and this month it’s patterns for two cute collars, plus some instructions for beading them.
The white skirt is a design I’ve seen done over and over before, but I love the white dress, with the pleated interest on the shoulders!
I absolutely love the asymmetric blouse, as seen on the cover, as well as its cool, one side seam layout! I’m not too sure about the shoulder bow, though – I’d probably leave that off, but this one is definitely on my To Sew list now!read more >>
Wow, the seam allowance guide tool giveaway has been SO popular! Go over and enter if you haven’t already, because the makers have just given me two more to give away, so you’ve just tripled your chances!
If you’re looking for justifications for using said tool, then I put before you Exhibit A, the newest edition of the Brazilian pattern magazine, Manequim:
The lovely comedienne Fluvia is showcasing the Plus selection this month, which is just a nice, slim pair of trousers paired with a blouse. But look closer and you can see this is a new variation on the cowl-neck theme, as it’s a drapey collar morphed into a traditional shirt rather than a shell top!
This sort of “sheath dress with cool sleeves” is exactly what Manequim do best, and it’s what I think of as their signature House Style. I totally love the pleated sleeves here, though I hate how the skirt pockets don’t match up with the bodice seams! It’s easy enough to change, but it just seems like a sloppy design oversight to me.read more >>
Brazil (and the rest of the Southern hemisphere) are starting to move into Fall fashions now, which is perfect for those of us thinking of Spring! Transitional clothing is so much more flexible for London’s climate than either heaviest winter or barest summer fashions, that’s for sure!
I’m certainly liking this issue a lot more than the most recent summery issues…
In the atelier section, this month there’s a pattern for a dress made entirely from silk scarves! Love that drapey peplum…
It was inevitable with the sheer quantity of jumpsuit patterns Manequim produce that I was eventually going to like one of them… Halter-neck AND cowl? Yes! I’m even willing to succumb to ridiculous bra solutions in order to wear something as chic as this.
How awesome is this Plus-sized sheath dress? There isn’t much more in the way of Plus patterns in this issue, but I think this dress is a knockout.
The “inspired by a designer” feature this week is on Nina Ricci, and I really like this lace dress (which is happily multi-sized!), and also the silk blouse with its open, flutter sleeves that are integrated into the back piece.read more >>
There came a point about midway through the construction of this where it suddenly dawned on me that I was creating my second draped collar sweater with pieced sleeves of the month. Clearly the sweater knits in my stash were calling out to me, and I’m naturally drawn to drapey styles. Though I really must remember when I’m in fabric stores that 2m really isn’t enough for long sleeves and a big collar!
This the Michael Kors-inspired, collared sweater from the June 2011 Manequim magazine. Last week I showed you details on the construction of the various pieces and altering the size “Small” pattern to my basic knit tee pattern.
The only problem was, when I was laying out the pattern pieces onto my awesome, ex-Versace sweater knit from Ditto in Brighton I realised that yet again, I didn’t have enough fabric to lay out the sleeves without piecing them, argh! I didn’t want to back down since I’d tried to use this fabric for something else last winter, but 2m of a really narrow fabric really limits your possibilities. So I carried on, introducing two seams in the lower arms. Frankly, sleeves tend to bunch up so much around the sleeves that I find the seams kinda get lost visually around that area anyway.
In the end, I was forced to cut the collar on the bias simply because the fabric was too narrow to place it on the cross grain!read more >>
If you remember from earlier in the week, my next project is to make this collared sweater from the June 2011 Manequim magazine:
Since the pattern is only in one size, “Small”, my strategy was to take an existing long sleeved teeshirt pattern that I know fits me well, trace that, then trace the neckline area from the Manequim pattern overlaid onto it and morph the two together. For simplicity’s sake, I wanted to keep the collar piece as unaltered as possible.
While overlaying the Manequim pattern onto mine, I wasn’t quite sure what I should use as the “frame of reference” to align the two patterns together – should I use the Centre Front & Centre Back? Or the shoulder seam/armscye corner?
In the end, it turned out that sorting out the Back first was the key to making the bigger changes on the Front piece work, since the Back of my teeshirt and the Back of this pattern were much more similar.
I’ve shaded my final pattern shapes in blue here to try to make it clearer. The original teeshirt pattern is (mostly) at the cut edge of the paper. Ignore the red lines – they were misaligned tracings!
I’ve finally emerged from the craptacular flu (which then turned into bronchitis) that I’ve been under since Dec 28 – thank you for all your well wishes! For me, it really feels like the new year, 16 days late!
The Ruby Slip was my first garment of 2012, but my second and third aren’t far away…
Grey flannel trousers
Just before Christmas, I met up with Claire for lunch and she gifted me a massive length of wonderful dark grey flannel. It’s so soft and lovely that initially I thought a dress, but then realised I’m likely to get much more wear out of a really chic, comfortable pair of dress trousers. So on Friday night I traced and cut Burda Jan 12 #122, mostly because the issue was handy, but also because they looked to be a great basic. These have the illustrated instructions for this issue, but I could sew trousers blindfolded by this point, so the instructions didn’t make much difference to me.
I sewed this on and off over the weekend and nearly completed these despite hardly being at home. As a nice tie-in to my previous garment, the pockets, fly underlap, and waistband lining are all done in the pale green silk leftover from my Ruby Slip.read more >>
I’ve got a bumper stack of Manequim magazines to show you! A few turned around the same time in December due to the holiday post office disruption, and then the summer styles didn’t really inspire me to review these right away, and then the flu struck me down for a full fortnight… but it means you get to see a bunch of Brazilian summer fashions all at once!
There actually should’ve been a fourth issue here, too, but the other November issue (629) never turned up, and was presumably lost in the post. Bummer. I don’t really understand why Manequim always do two issues in November, but it seems that this one was lost for a lot of people – when I requested a replacement, they didn’t have any more in stock, so my subscription was extended instead. I’ve since seen that Melissa‘s copy of this issue was also lost but turned up months later, so I still live in hope! In any case, if you want to see photos, you’ll have to check out her review…
November 2011 (630)
I quite like this teeshirt with the draped hem, though I have no idea why they decided to hide its defining aspect by tucking it in…
I really like the cut of this relaxed tee, especially the shoulder seaming, but I’d love to see this in an unexpected fabric, like a silk crepe or linen instead of the usual jersey.read more >>
I was SO surprised when this issue turned up last week! This is the first time I’ve had a copy of Manequim in my hands before the month printed on the cover! Usually I receive it in the first week of the month, then Burda and Knip arrive somewhere around the middle of the month (though KnipMode publishes a month ahead of the others).
I’ve seen lots of variations on this horizontal-seamed shirtdress out and about in London! Just the other day I saw a lady wearing one with a navy and white stripe on the bottom and solid turquoise across the shoulders… It looked so good I made a mental note! Or I can see this as a great way to wear that difficult burnt orange colour that’s so popular right now – put it on the bottom half so a different colour is next to your face.
I’m not fond of the jacket on the right (way too much like a fussy Chanel jacket!), but I really like the vest on the left with the lace trim. It’s also a multi-sized pattern, which is useful.
For the last two issues, Manequim have been overloading me with totally amazing silk blouse patterns. I’m relieved to say this is the only one in this issue, but the tucks and twists here are so unique! I also really like skirt pattern and the colours they’ve chosen here – perfect for a Southern hemisphere Spring.read more >>
After August’s silk blouse bonanza, I was expecting September’s issue of the Brazilian pattern magazine Manequim to be a disappointment in comparison, but hoo boy, was I wrong! This is a fantastic issue, as evidenced by my enthusiasm with the scanner…
First off there’s a pattern for a simple leather envelope clutch. My friend Cindy recently sent me a tutorial for a similar leather clutch bag, so the need for a pattern is really up for debate!
What a great jacket with such interesting seaming! I’m not so convinced about the dropped waist sheath dress though…
No, not deja vu just yet – I wanted to show you the tech drawings for the cover look, as the skirt is just lovely!
I know there are instructions for a similar twist dress in one of the Pattern Magic books, but I really like that Manequim took an extra step in the instructions for this dress and gave a secondary drawing showing how the pieces fit together. It’s almost like they saw what I did for the Vogue DKNY top and thought they’d do the same!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.
I’m not sure what I did to deserve this, but this latest issue of Manequim is chock-full of lovely silk blouses! Over the past few months I’ve been wearing my silk blouses all the time – with jeans as often as with skirts! I wear them out to casual weekend outings as much as to the office or dressy dinners, and the blouse I made from the February Manequim (twice!) is my favourite of the lot.
So I foresee quite a few of these making their way into my Fall wardrobe in and around work on some other, bigger projects…
But let’s look at all my picks from this issue!
I really like this lavender sheath dress, especially the little sleeves, but I’d alter the back so it’s not quite so low. I don’t normally wear this colour, but I think it looks really light and fresh on this model, especially considering it’s coming into Spring in Brazil.
This yellow cocktail dress with its angled, pleated bodice and skirt is possibly my favourite dress of this issue. It’s a size too small from me, but there have been enough similar styles in the past that I should be able to mix and match to make it work anyway.read more >>
I chose the title “big shirt” as an homage to Burda’s strange predilection for calling any oversized top a “big shirt”. Looking at the size of this top, I think it definitely applies here!
This Manequim top was printed twice, as July 2010 #307 and again as May 2011 #259. I liked it enough the first time around to trace it off Susannah’s copy, but then when I saw it the second time, I knew it must be a keeper to be repeated and be in my size, so I gave this a go in some drapey, viscose grey marl jersey I’d bought from Totally Fabrics a while back.
You can see it’s a roomy fit from both magazine photos, but you can’t really tell exactly how large this runs – I measured the hem circumference at over 150cm!! I always make Manequim size 44, but this is over 50cm of ease! OMG! I’d say that if you are usually a Manequim 46, 48, or even a 50 or 52, you’d be absolutely fine in sewing this up, even though it’s marked as size 44.
Manequim say to pull the hem in with elastic in a casing, but I chose to apply inch-wide waistband elastic instead. I measured the elastic to my hips and then stretched it as much as humanly possible and it only just stretched to the fabric hem.
But the adventure doesn’t stop there – I had to introduce gathers in several places not indicated on the pattern in order to get pieces to line up. Namely, the bottom edge of the sleeve where it meets to sleeve band, and also around the neck edge. So in reality, I gathered all four edges of that sleeve piece. With all the gathers plus the bubbled hem, it’s vital that you have a lightweight, drapey knit for this top.read more >>
I’ve been hard at work on my slow-moving self-drafted shirtdress, creating bound buttonholes for the spaces the collar passes through before tying, making french seams everywhere, double checking all the darts so they all line up, and finally I tried it on last night to check the hem and button placement.
And it’s horrible. Dumpy, unflattering, and just bad.
All I could think of was Trena’s “prison matron” dress, and like hers, mine’s got pockets, but that’s about it. I don’t even know if I can bring myself to finish it, but it’s sitting on my dressform for a while so I can mull over whether any of it is even salvageable. I just know there’s no way in hell I’m ripping out a million french seams! It’s got nothing to do with the Pattern Magic directions, as the collar is okay, it’s all down to the fit of the rest of the dress…
And the shirting is Prada, too! *whinge* And I made three muslins! *whinge* I did everything right, and the dress is just so very wrong. Which mostly discourages me from pattern drafting altogether. I mean, what’s the point in pattern drafting if the fit is worse than what I get straight off a pattern sheet? Because, really, Burda, Knip, and even Manequim fit me straight off the sheet, no alterations needed. Do I really need the extra hassle in my life to end up with a sub-par result even with all my designer finishing techniques? Am I happy to never be a pattern designer? These are the sort of questions I’m asking myself right now anyway.read more >>
Hooray, the latest issue of the Brazilian pattern magazine, Manequim, has arrived! Even though our seasons are reversed, I’m finding plenty of styles in this issue that work well for English summers, even moreso than Burda magazine, which is aligned with our seasons (though is anyone else excited to see the return of Burda’s designer patterns? There were actually TWO patterns in the July issue that I’m tempted to make. Please oh please let this be the end of Burda’s slump!).
Manequim have started doing a little section at the front where they get a seamstress to help a poor damsel in distress to alter a Manequim pattern from a few months ago to suit their needs. I let out an audible squeal when I saw that this damsel loves my blouse so much she wanted help grading it down to a size 38! The skirt is apparently from an earlier issue, too, but it clearly didn’t make much of an opinion as I can’t recall it.
First off, I really like this blouse and the trousers here – it’s hard to see, but the trousers have a high-waisted band with piping that really reminds me of the waistband on my tuxedo trousers (which are stored safely in a garment bag now while we build our new bedroom and wardrobe). Both are offered in multiple sizes, too.read more >>
As I discussed in my post on “pedestal fabrics” last week, I’ve had a ridiculously gorgeous silver and black chrysanthemum print silk in my stash ever since AllisonC gifted it to me two years ago when I was about to go into hospital.
But I’d brought it out again recently and thought about how I’d best like to wear it and I decided that I love and wear my silk blouses so much (and my birthday blouse in particular!) that I should sew this into a blouse to get the most wear and love out of this “pedestal fabric”!
In this case I chose to use the same pattern as my birthday blouse, Manequim Feb 2011 #158, because it fits great, I love the style, and I knew it worked well with a drapey silk.
You know what? I am so happy I took the plunge and cut into this fabric, because I just adore this blouse!read more >>
If you’re reading this and sweating, then you may wish to imagine yourself instead in chilly Rio de Janeiro for the latest instalment of Manequim magazine. Brrrr along with me now…
First up is a rather useful two-page spread on how to customise your accessories with fur. I quite like the idea of adding fur to existing gloves, though the way they’ve added it to a dress here seems strange. Surely it’s better to create a detachable fur collar, a’la this coat tutorial?
I really like the dress on the left, with its cool peplum side panels and the wide, cross back straps:read more >>
I must admit, I’m feeling a bit of pattern magazine fatigue at the moment, but I’m only halfway through my pile, with a bunch more Brazilian ones to go. Having a glut of patterns come in all at once means I’m feeling like I want to sew loads of things all at once, which is great for inspiration, but not necessarily production when you’ve got a full time job!
This white sheath dress is such a simple idea, but one that results in a very elegant shape. I know it’s winter in Brazil, but this is a totally beautiful summer dress. And as my friend Holly pointed out, this neckline shape is great for broad shoulders!
This red dress has a pretty basic princes-line bodice, but it’s paired with a great cross-pleated skirt.read more >>
For the past two years (and perhaps further back), the April issue of Manequim magazine has always included patterns which knocked off that year’s big Oscar dresses. I’ve been looking forward to the Oscar issue for months now, and April finally arrived and… there’s no Oscar dresses in it. Waaaahhmp-wahhhh.
But if you’re a plus-sized lady, you’re probably going to like this issue better anyway.
I really like the look of this taffeta dress, though I think I’d prefer to flex my puny drafting muscles and try my hand at it myself. I really need to stop being so lazy with readymade patterns and just rotate some darts like they did here…
While it’s not meant to be, this lace top really reminded me of Cate Blanchett’s Givenchy Oscar dress this year, with that same circular front.
It doesn’t seem that long ago that I was first laying out my initial plans for this mini wardrobe, but now I’ve had some time to step back and have a look over what I managed to accomplish last month. I made this wardrobe mostly for myself, to use some luscious fabrics from my stash in combination with patterns that really appealed to me, but I also kept one eye on the contest requirements running over at PaternReview.com to make sure I remained within their rules, too. Here’s my entry into their contest, or you can just read on below…
I started with a blue viscose, draped knit top that I’d bought from ASOS and really liked, but I wanted to wear with both casual and dressy bottoms.
To coordinate, I sewed:
1. Jalie jeans – I’d made a muslin but the waistband was horrible so I had my work cut out for me on this pair using great quality stretch denim from Mood in NYC, plus some London streetsign fabric for the waistband facings and pockets. I used my vintage hand crank Singer machine for all the topstitching, plus I got to use my vintage buttonholer attachment and high quality rivets for the first time! I fixed all the waistband issues in this pair and these are now my favourite jeans. Read more…read more >>
I love this blouse!
It all started in Paris last June when I saw this amazingly gorgeous silk satin (charmeuse) in Tissues Dreyfus that I just had to have. But it was €22/m (zoot alors!) so I only bought 1 metre. But even now I still love it love it love it love it so it was worth it worth it worth it!
Ever since, I kept my eyes open for a good blouse pattern that only needed 1 metre of fabric, and along came Manequim Feb 2011 #158, which called for exactly the amount I had – 1 metre long and 150cm wide!
These two were clearly meant to be together! I don’t often do prints, but this one is just so gorgeous with the psuedo-floral/paint splatters of silver, black, orange, and fuschia that I wanted it to form both the centrepiece of my March Mini Wardrobe as well as be my special birthday garment this year!read more >>
There are quite a few nice surplice, pleated jersey dresses in this issue, and I quite like this one, though it’s not really close enough to my size to bother with grading it up (especially when there are others that are in my size!)
I’ve seen a lot of designs for tie shirts (I’ve even made one!) but I’ve not seen one where the tie is this low, and I really like the curve it gives to the hemline:
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 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 >>
Much to my surprise, the latest issue of Manequim magazine actually arrived a few days before the new KnipMode (more on that next week)! When I subscribed, I assumed the shipping from Brazil to the UK would be quite slow, but I’ve been pleasantly surprised. And since the southern hemisphere is moving towards Autumn now, we’re finally getting some garments that can easily work for English spring weather in a few months!
The first feature is a bunch of looks from various cast members of the Brazilian soap opera, Ti-Ti-Ti, (yeah, me neither!) but importantly, this silver cropped biker jacket is utterly fantastic, perfect for spring/summer, and in my size, too!
I’m not a big jumpsuit fan and have yet to be even remotely tempted by one until now. Manequim have certainly ticket my boxes – Cowl neck, check. Drapey jersey, check. My recent forays into braver fashion have encouraged me to step outside my comfort zone a bit more. But this risk does involve an awful lot of fabric…
This was a total surprise when it appeared in my postbox last week, as I’d only received the December issue a scant week or so before that (I believe December was just delayed from the holidays and my subscription starting later in their publishing cycle). I must say, I always let loose a little squeal and do the happy dance when I see one of my magazines in our postbox!
Brazil are still in the middle of summer, so there are a lot of shorts in this issue, but it’s an awful lot more wearable than the bulk of December to my eyes!
This pleated, banded sheath dress is exactly what Manequim do best! To me this looks like it was taken straight out of Victoria Beckham’s closet, I swear!
This might be my favourite dress of this issue. On first glance, it just looks like a basic shape, but if you look further you can see a huge amount of crazy diagonal seaming, and if you look closer again, you can see that some of the seams have exposed zippers that you can open for little flashes of skin! It’s only one size larger than me, too, so it’d be simple to size down a smidge.read more >>
What a wonderful surprise to find this in my postbox just after Christmas – I’d subscribed at the beginning of November, but I wasn’t expecting my first issue until January. This arrived in a strong paper envelope with the magazine inside wrapped again in a clear plastic film, so it was well prepared to stand up with anything the international postal service could throw at it!
With Brazil in the Southern hemisphere, they’re in the height of summer now, so just let your mind wander on this cold, rainy, and dreary winter day and think of summer sunshine in Rio… ahhhhh….
First up is a very versatile bathrobe / dressing gown pattern. I’ve seen the perfect towelling fabric on Goldhawk Road, and my robe is starting to wearing out after a good long life, so I’m keeping this firmly in mind.
Most Manequim patterns are only offered in one size (go up one size from your Burda size), but this black cocktail dress is one of the few that are offered in multiple sizes!read more >>
My favourites of 2010:
Standout moments in sewing land:read more >>
After my first muslin of a potential honeymoon nightgown knocked that pattern out of the running, I turned to the slip dress pattern (#219) from the May 2010 issue of Manequim magazine as my next candidate.
This is a simple bias dress with bust darts and bias edge on the neckline. The pattern calls for you to have two lengths of bias edging – the longer one finishes the neckline from the front bust peak, under the arms, around the back and up to the other bust peak. The shorter length of bias finishes the neckline in the centre front portion and continues up to form the straps. Since I didn’t have any suitable lightweight muslin in my stash, I sacrificed this bamboo-printed Robert Kauffman cotton I’d bought on a binge at equilter.com about 6-7 years ago. I hadn’t decided what to do with it between then and now so I figured it’d be good for a wearable muslin.read more >>
When you last heard about my wedding gown, it was two years ago(!!) and I was leaning towards turning my Granny’s gown from 1949 into something with a cowl neck, deep back, and sleek lines, using Vogue 2965 as my starting point.
But recently I’ve been looking more closely at the fabric I’ve got to work with in my grandmother’s gown, and my recent cowl sewing adventure has reminded me that cowl necks need pretty huge amounts of fabric, can’t easily be pieced together, and on top of that, the silk satin in her gown is more of the heavyweight duchesse variety than something very drapey that would cowl nicely. And while I love a low back, it does make things awkward for bras and any sort of shapewear, too.
So I had a bit of a wake up call and told one of my bridesmaids to keep reminding me that “This is just one dress. It is not all dresses.” (thanks, Stacy!). Yes, I like cowls. But I also like other things, too. And I do not need to put everything I like into one dress!read more >>
Are you ready for some exquisite eye candy? Remember when I showed you my one and only Manequim magazine last year, and I raved about how amazing the designs were? Well, Susannah from Cargo Cult Craft came over for Crafternoon and brought not one but two issues of Manequim with her that a friend recently brought back from Brazil!
And she is WAY nicer than I am, because she actually let me borrow them! I can’t believe she let these pretties out of her sight for a week while I scanned and traced like a mad woman… I actually only ended up tracing three patterns, but I scanned a lot more so I could go back and draft others in my size when the inspiration strikes. Manequim may have an amazingly talented design team, but the sizes offered are really limited – usually only one size per each design, with a few patterns being offered in three sizes. Not to mention that the roadmap pattern sheets are crazy to trace from. They make the new Burda sheets look like child’s play…
So thanks to Susannah, we can all have a few minutes of total escapism, as we marvel at the inventiveness in these designs (no really, some of the pattern shapes are mental!).
Manequim April 2010
I actually rather liked the dress shown on the cover, until I saw in the tech drawing that the ruffles extend from the shoulder down to mid-thigh, and are only being held in by the belt. As far as I’m concerned, belts should never be required for a dress to look good!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 >>
Now that all the 2009 projects are out f the way, here is the first of my sewing partnerships I dreamed up around the end of the year! This skirt & top partnership consists of an “egg skirt” from the April 2009 Manequim magazine…
…and a cowl-neck sleeveless blouse from Simplicity 2580 (which is a dress pattern that I modified before to become a very versatile top).
I always pictured these two fabrics together, and I am loving the resulting outfit! I really think I got it right in matching both the fabrics and the patterns! I originally saw it as club/party wear, and it turned out that I finished it just in time for a big party on Saturday night!read more >>
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 >>
If you were building your dream pattern magazine, what would be in it? Maybe some swoon-worthy evening gowns? Designer fashion homages? Patterns from exotic locations? An upmarket twist on casual fabric? Or maybe just some really sharp Fall/Winter fashions?
Well, someone clearly saw my wishlist, because all of this is in the April 2009 issue of the Brazilian pattern magazine Manequim!
The first feature in the magazine is Oscar fashion! I don’t know how they did such a short turnaround, but they took six designer dresses that big celebrities wore to the 2009 Oscars in late March, and made patterns to replicate them! Included are the dresses that Angelina Jolie, Anne Hathaway, Kate Winslet, Natalie Portman, Jessica Biel, and Meryl Streep wore (I wasn’t as keen on Ms Hathaway and Biel’s dresses)!read more >>