30 October 2013

Purple Spongey - Burda Style #102 (8/2012)

When you see a dress you love you buy the entire magazine. I desperately wanted Burda Style Magazine's 8/2012 Issue. Oh how I wish they would keep and sell old versions. I ordered mine off Ebay for $12, which isn't bad at all, except one problem: It is in German. I just really wanted the patterns. I wouldn't let a little German get in my way. Besides I took a German class once.....10 years ago.... It's in this lil brain of mine SOMEWHERE.

Next we have this FABULOUS purple fabric. My first dress - the lime green LMB dress? - is made of this spongey neoprene-like fabric. Although the colour is a bit Bright. I adored the fabric though. I went into Fabricland, 2 months later, and what do I find? The exact same fabric but in this phenomenal purple shade! I'm in fabric heaven! I hoping they'll keep bringing in this same fabric in all colours of the rainbow. I love it THAT much. It is my PERFECT fabric.

This is ALSO my first Burda Style pattern! This is dress #102 from the 8/2012 issue. It it drafted to have a fitted skirt, but it looked a tad too office-secretary to me (nothing wrong with that if I worked in an office!) but I wanted it to be day-to-day wear, so I used the skirt pattern but created an A-line skirt instead.

Now, thus far, each pattern I have sewn has always required me to shorten the bodice. I have a tiny tiny torso. Like have to shorten 1.5 inches tiny torso. But, I always adjust it AFTER I cut out the pattern pieces just to make sure I don't make it too short. Well, this Burda pattern didn't require any shortening! Not sure if this would be tiny on other people or what but it worked for me perfectly.

I adored the patterns front vertical darts and square waistband. But, without instructions, I wasn't sure how to sew it properly. So I just guessed. It isn't perfect. Or perfectly straight. But I think it is a great start to sewing 90 degree angle panels.

From the time I cut the fabric to the time I finished it, it only took me 5 hours. I'm getting pretty great at this dress-in-a-day thing. It's a thing to me. But, I do admit that this fabric doesn't require any hems or edges. If you cut it straight it doesn't fray. Beautiful. Knits are wonderful that way.

The shoulders a bit fiercer than I would like, but without removing them and drafting another style, I'm not sure how to fix it. In a drapier fabric the shoulders would fall into softer pleats, but this hearty spongey knit holds it shape and sticks STRAIGHT up. But, I like the dichotomy it creates between the sweet A-Line and the Sharp shoulders. Also makes my waist look significantly thinner. YAY thin waist!

Also, the darts. Not my finest. They are really pointy. But the fabric just WON'T make pretty darts. Nothing to be done about it.

Pattern: Burda Style Dress #102 from 8/2012
Size: 44
Fabric: Purple Spongey 100% mixed fibers
Cost: 3m for $12 from Fabricland
  • Shorted the skirt by 2 inches
  • Sewed the centre pieces together at 1/2 Inch to raise the point of the V for more modesty

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23 October 2013

Review: OTTOBRE Design S/S 2012

Seriously? This magazine is incredible. I truly love their patterns. They are the perfect blend of functional and detailed. Now lets see if YOU feel the same.

This is OTTOBRE Design S/S 2012. It has plenty of designs that are now added to my to-make list. Does anybody else have a mile long to make list? That's ok - I like the endless possibilities!

There are two sections in this magazine: Never Without a Dress and Bon Voyage.

All Pattern Technical Drawings

Patterns I Love

Look at that first dress! It is stunning. It reminds me of The Naked Dress from Sex and the City that Carrie wore for her bus photo? Anybody? No? Just me? Well alright, it's stunning. I wouldn't personally wear it in beige unless I was wearing it as an impressive nightie, but in black or maroon. Perfecto.

This gingham dress and the bird pattern dress on the last pattern have the same design with different sleeves. Both are easy to wear, functional dresses. I like both sleeve options a lot but there is just something to easy about this gimgham dress with its pointy sleeves that makes me want to make an exact replica of it! Note to self: find 1 inch black/white gingham fabric.

This dress is absolutely adorable. I am a sucker for anything similar to a babydoll or little girls dress - but for grown-ups! Those adorable flower accents are a beautiful eye catching feature. I also love the shape of the bodice with the nice strap curves. The magazine doesn't explain how to make the flower pieces but it would be easy to find out - OR I could buy the beautiful black lifted flowered fabric I saw at the store today and save myself the tedious work of making 50 flower attachments.....

Bubblehem! I like the yoke feature but as it stands the dress would just be a paper bag on me, but if I took out some of the ease around the middle this dress could be a great addition to my day-to-day dresses. Can't get enough to those. And that sweater is an easy make with nice front pieces.

I'm thinking that OTTOBRE Designs will be my go-to for jackets because this jacket is yet another one that I love. I even love it in this beige colour (I don't typically wear beige/light grey). The design is clean and sleek with a nice thick collar. The bottoms they used are great. Where to buy them now. I might make the capri pants sans front starched line but they aren't anything special. 

Now both of these are cute. I want to make them both. In similar fabrics. But green. My favourite is the cross front shirt as I really like the double point on the bottom hem that the fabric makes. And the skirt would also be a great addition to my daily wears - maybe in a dark brown or wool for a winter mini? (oxymoron eh?)

Patterns That Don't Catch My Fancy

two baggy shirts and two basics. Neither the pink flower shirt nor the beige bag are my style. I don't understand the beige one - who needs extra material just hanging at their hips? Not this pear-shaped human that is for sure. I like the idea behind it but the result just would not be flattering. Maybe for a really fat day to make myself look the way I feel?

Again, the loose, baggy hems of the shirt and the sweater just don't look flattering. There is nothing wrong with the dress, it is a simple sheath dress, it just isn't my style. I need something to define my waistline more. add a belt maybe. Nah, I'll just pass.

So another wonderful magazine by OTTOBRE Designs! What are your feelings about this issue? Would you make any of these designs? Do you disagree with any of my opinions? Lets hear it!
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21 October 2013

Saltspring in Spades

My first indie pattern is the Sewaholic Saltspring dress. And it is a definite success. I adore everything about the pattern and the outcome of it!

I cut the size 16 originally and the bodice was too large (I forgot to account for ease) so I downsized to the size 14 and removed a 1/2 inch from the middle of the front and back bodice (along the fold here line). The shoulder straps sat too wide across my chest so I needed narrow the bodice. Apparently I have a narrow chest and back because all patterns are too wide for me and the shoulders often fall down. I add the removed centre width to the side width and this works well for my body shape - I'm a perfect circle it seems.

I found this polyester cream & black fabric that has great weight but still nice drape. It is a little stiff so the back of the bodice around the zipper sticks out a little rigidly. But I'm not one to fuss too much.

The pattern itself is well drafted and the instructions are incredibly easy to follow with spectacular technical drawings to follow. I preferred the written instructions to the visual one as I understand better through reading than comprehending visuals, but together they made this dress an easy sew for a newbie!

This was my first lined dress I sewed so all my seams are hidden nicely - so mess!

I struggled to thread the elastic through the waist as I had pressed the side seams in the wrong direction before sewing the encasement so as I was threading it through it became entangled and I did some forceful shoving to get it through. But I prevailed and that elastic waist is now complete.

The bodice is an ingenious design. By shortening the lining and having a longer bodice, when you sew them together at the bottom, it automatically provides a beautiful blousing effect; sans belt; sans hassle! LOVE it. Genius I tell you Genius!

And finally I used wider straps and removed the tie option of them. This was more difficult than I had anticipated. Making them 1 inch wide was easy enough, but determining the proper length for them was not. I basted them 5 times before finding the perfect length for them to fit me perfectly so the bodice front and back sat at the levels I wanted for them. Phew, I need more practice for straps.

Pattern: Sewaholic's Saltspring
Size: 14
Fabric:  100% Polyester crepe in creme&black striped oblong dots? (best description I can give)
Price: $2/metre

  • As I mentioned above, made the bodice narrower by cutting a 1/2 inch off the bodice front and back piece along the Cut On Fold line and added that 1/2 inch to the side seams. 
  • Cut the short skirt length and hemmed at 1 inch
  • Used 1 inch wide straps and removed the tie aspect of them. Making them was easy, finding the perfect length....not so much. 5th times the charm right?
  • Used lace hem tape for some extra pretty!
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20 October 2013

Review: Burda Style Mag Winter 2014

I bee-lined it straight for the craft section of the magazines to see if Barnes&Nobles in the USA had a wider selection than my small Canadian city bookstore store. The USA always has such variety - I love visiting! I get there and notice Burda Style had a different cover. Hmm? Is this new? It's quite thick and says Winter 2014. Hmm a seasonal Burda Style; not a monthly one? What Is This?

Turns out it is the very first issue of the new Burda Style USA! This issue has 40 repeat patterns from previous magazines within - 20 on the two paper insets and 20 available as free print-at-home downloads online. The paper patterns are printed on a thicker pattern than the monthly translated BurdaStyle which is incredible. AND the instructions are more indepth and and AND in PROPER ENGLISH! Written by an English speaker instead of translated? THANK YOU BURDA. I will no longer be left stumped and bubbling with laughter at the terrible translations and clothing descriptions.

In this issue they give you patterns from:
Plus Size - March 03/2013 (The Art of Great Style)
Woman's - December 2012 (Show Stopper & Vintage Dress
Woman's - October 2012 (Modern Sophisticate & Legends of the Fall)
Woman's - August 2012 (Candy Coated)
Woman's - June 2012 (Draped Dress Step-by-Step)

If you have a yearly subscription this issue would be a bust, but since my subscription started in Sept - this magazine more or less has every pattern I wanted out of previous issues. I've even searched eBay for a few of these back issues so I could have the patterns! But now I have them ALL from one $20 magazine. Totally Worth It!

So I'm wondering if Each season will be the same - repeat patterns from past magazines? Or if there will be new products? Hmmmmm. To subscribe or not to subscribe?

Great Job Burda Style USA!

Ps. My favourite patterns are the photos you see here! But More or less ALL of these patterns are GREAT.
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18 October 2013

Review: Ottobre Design A/W 2011

When I ordered my last OTTOBRE Design magazine I ordered it in a bundle of 3. This is my second magazine review for you.

This magazine is my favourite. There are three pattern categories in the Autumn/Winter 2011: Fresh Autumn Breeze, Dress Up for a Special Occasion, and Lazy Weekend.

The Dress Up Category has an amazing base dress with multiple modifications to make 5 different dresses. Now that is my type of pattern!

Patterns I Love

Little black dress anybody? Great for work and then look at that bow? Who can't love that?

Both are these are dresses that I love too. The bottoms are great on the second view and the first view has a nice neck line that would work really pretty in a border pattern fabric.

Cutest Coat EVER? Look at that bubble hem with those leggings! This is my favourite style right here. Perfect styling and thus perfect patterns for me. I think I'll make this in a beautiful olive green wool! Yummy! I also really like the large pocketed dress.

Another lovely jacket? Yes indeed. I love the wide A-live shape, the giant pockets, and the hood. I appreciate a good hood in a coat.

This coat is cute. Great fabric choice and those toggles are fancy. Perfect for the Canadian winters I suffer through! The other three patterns; shirt, pants, and jacket, are bleh. I just don't really like lounge wear clothing.

Patterns I Don't Like As Much

So there is nothing wrong with this pajama set. There just isn't anything special with them. At least not to me. Meh.

Again, this set isn't unfortunate. It just isn't great. But again, it is because I don't like wrap shirts or dresses. Everybody says its universally flattering, I say it makes my chest look smaller and my waist look wider - not what I like in my clothing. The pants are nice though. The sweater is just generic.

And finally we have the plain-jane clothing. The tshirt makes her look so junior, although I am sure the pattern is fine; a nice basic. The shorts don't look like they are supposed to be high-waisted so instead they just look like they would emphasize my tummy. Nobody needs to see that.

So Overall this magazine is my favourite. All those dress modifications are beautiful and the two coats are ADORABLE.  

What are your favourite patterns out of this OTTOBRE Design magazine?
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