Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Pattern Mag Subscriptions

My Patrones and Burda subscriptions are just about to run out.  

As mentioned in an earlier post, I have been subscribing to Patrones through ModeInfo but on the renewal invoice their price had gone up E100 to 231 Euros.  Pricey!  

My thanks to the reader who let me know the direct subscription email address   I contacted them, got a response in English and now hopefully am directly subscribed.  And for a much more reasonable 100 Euros, and I believe they arrive more quickly.   You can pay by direct bank transfer too which always seems safer.
My Burda subscription is currently via Isubscribe - but they are 3 months behind and cost AU$190.  I was endeavouring to get them directly via the old Burda subscription email and getting no response but I just noticed a very helpful message from a PR member on the Pattern Review Board confirming that German Burda no longer publishes the English language magazine  and the new email is  The cost is 86 Euros (AU $122).  
A subscription to Manequim magazine costs US$135 and can be obtained by emailing       
I did briefly check out Look Magazine from Argentina as they have an online subscription for $24, however the online version does not include the pattern pages so that was a no go.  I wasn't that keen on the styles and the cost for 6 print mags was US $289, or $48 per magazine.  No way!
One thing I notice from some sites is the level of personal information required.   Patrones require an ID number - or, in the case of Australian subscribers your passport number.    The Manequim site also has great downloadable patterns for purchase and I was trying to figure out how to buy one but they require a Brazilian ID number.   Wow - that is a lot of info just for a pattern!  

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Summer capsule wardrobe

I'm due to return to work after Christmas.  The idea fills me with utter dread.   I went into town and saw Christmas stuff everywhere, and started to panic about this lovely holiday life coming to an end.   It has been so good!   

Now, I am not moaning!  I know I have a very fortunate life in that I have employment, and that employment involves long service leave.  I am very lucky.  But I've enjoyed my leave so much it is going to be very difficult returning to corporate culture, office politics and only seeing daylight at the weekend.  I can totally understand why people have a mid-career sea change!

So, it is time to start making work clothes (unenthusiastically).  Perth is very, very hot and dry and summer work clothes have to be office appropriate, allow for walking to and from work in 40 degree C heat, breathe but not show sweat, and also cope in an airconditioned office.    That is quite a lot to expect of a garment!

My inspiration is this Netaporter Magazine which has lots of easy to wear, non fussy clothes.   I'm relying on TNT and easy patterns so I'm hoping they may be quick to make. 

The basics - a couple of pairs of stretch cotton pants.   This TNT pattern from June Burda, but full length rather than capri. 
And these, from March Burda which I haven't tried but look promising.
And a simple skirt from July Burda.
For tops, this Alexander Wang top is nice and I wonder if it could be recreated with this Vogue TNT pattern. I made a few of these in the past, with the back filled in.
Both of the tops in this Hot Patterns pattern will be great for easy summer workwear. 
A fine white cotton tuxedo blouse from Burda's October mag.
And another Vogue 1170. I made a version in black silk charmeuse and it was lovely, and then it accidentally got scooped up with other washing and now looks like a tea towel. 

And, a couple of easy dresses in black viscose knit - the same 2 patterns I have just made in colours.
Hopefully that should see me through the return to work for a while.   Now I have to actually make them.

Monday, October 18, 2010

DKNY Dress Fest

I've been away from home for a bit so no blogging has been going on, and even less sewing.   But I did have a DKNY dress making spree a couple of weeks ago.   You can always rely on Vogue's DKNY patterns for some nice, wearable things.

For some reason I rarely wear dresses.  I went to a dinner recently and every woman there was wearing a dress except for me and they all looked colourful, fabulous and comfortable.  I decided that it was time to get outside the comfort zone and make some easy knit dresses for summer.  

I made some silk jersey dresses a year or so ago and spent most of the time trying to unwrap them from my legs due to static electricity.   Anyone have any recommendations on how to deal with static?  I have bought some anti-static spray and am going to try that for these ones. 

Vogue 1179 is the easiest and quickest pattern ever.  
The original is sleeveless but I have bunged on short sleeves from another pattern.   After seeing the photo I'm going to tweak the sleeves a bit and make them more of a capped sleeve shape.   
The fabric is silk jersey.  I ordered it online a couple of years ago but when it arrived thought - eek - what am I going to make out of this!?  It always makes me think of the Arnold Schwarzenneger movie 'Predator'.  But the simplicity of the pattern makes it good for this kind of large scale print.  

I'm going to make another of these in a black viscose jersey.   It is a great LBD pattern.

The second and third dresses are both Vogue 1194.   Another super easy and comfy DKNY dress. 
This was my first effort, in a size 14 and a grass green poly Vera Wang Lavender jersey.    This is also going to get some finessing, namely taking in the sides and repositioning the waistband.  That upward curving band isn't very flattering.     
The twist is a straight band which is twisted 3 times and tacked down.    
The second version is a lovely silk jersey from Manhattan fabrics.   This was made a size smaller than the green and the band isn't twisted as the effect got lost in the print. 
One thing about this pattern - there is an almost identical one McCalls 6032, although the back is a bit different.   

I'm watching Project Runway now and trying to get some inspiration for summer clothes.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Manequim September 2010

The first Manequim mag has arrived.  And I love it!  I think I'm going to be very happy I subscribed.

I hope that Australia Post is gentle with these though - the first thing I noticed was that the pattern sheets are not an insert as is the case with Burda, Patrones etc. The mag comes in thin plastic with some adverts and the loose pattern sheets.
There are 32 patterns, most of which are for one size between 38 to 46 although 4 (mercifully the ones I like) are multisized.
It  has all the nice fashiony aspirational attributes of a glossy mag, but many of the clothes are shown on non models.  It seems to be celebrating women of all shapes and ages and in a very normal, non statement making way.  How refreshing!
The first section is inspired by the style of an actress from a TV series (I think - after a quick internet search).   Manequim reminds me a bit of InStyle magazine, with lots of ideas for putting things together.
Next, some very cute dresses.   My favourite - which I can see as a summer tshirt.
And this is gorgeous. 
Next up is a section inspired by Donna Karan, which has the nice touch of an equivalent of the Vogue figure flattery guide - Manequim has 5 categories.
 I can see myself making this multisize cowl neck top.
 And there is a cute short summer jacket.
A Current Trends section includes this lovely blouse and another nice dress.
There is also a maternity section and this dress is so simple but stylish. 
To top it off, the magazine ends with a section where they put the alternatives together.  
All in all - Manequim is terrific!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Footy and Fabric Shopping

Every time I go to Melbourne I want to go and live there.  When my family first migrated to Australia we lived in Melbourne, and whenever I go there now I wonder what I would be doing / where I would be living / what would be different if we had stayed there rather than relocated to Perth.   It is such a great city and we had a fabulous week.

I normally have a complete lack of interest in anything football but it was Grand Final week for Aussie Rules football.  My cohort being a lifelong Collingwood fan, most of our activities were footy related.  And I got really swept up in it and had a fantastic time!

There was the Footy Show, which was a huge laugh.
There was the Grand Final Parade through Melbourne.
And there was the gripping Grand Final (where I, with no interest in footy was screaming at the top of my lungs) with the bizarre draw which now requires the teams to replay the match a week later.  Huh??  I don't know if I can bear to watch it as the first was too much of a heart stopper!   We did consider staying on in Melbourne for it but that may have been footy overkill!

In between there was lots of enjoying the laneway eateries.
And the Titanic Artefacts exhibition at the Melbourne Museum - and finally, as the Museum was just round the corner from the Fabric Store some fabric shopping.  OH YESSS!!!
If we had this shop in Perth I would be in fabric heaven.  Loads of great fabrics.  They seem to have lots of stuff from Aussie designers like Scanlan & Theodore, Bettina Liano and Lisa Ho, plus some overseas fabrics from Marc Jacobs and Donna Karan.  And the prices are really reasonable.  They even have a loyalty card where you get $50 credit when you have racked up 10 stamps.  Actually, if we had this store in Perth I would be bankrupt!

In a 1/2 hour shopping frenzy I acquired:
The brown fabric is an amazing plasticised lace, I'm thinking for a jacket.   The others are knits: the blue is a Marc Jacobs cotton lycra, the pink is a lovely silky Scanlan & Theodore viscose, and the black is a fine Bettina Liano tshirting.   I also got some Lisa Ho trims. 

There were lots of nice silks and wintery fabrics, particularly a sizeable range of merino knits in various colours and weights, but I had to remind myself that summer is coming.

Finally, in my last hours in Melbourne a trip to Tessuti. I hadn't been to the Melbourne store before but it is a lovely, airy space, of course full of gorgeous fabrics.
The photo doesn't do justice to the fabric on the right.  It is a sort of laminated distressed brown denim - perfect for a leathery looking jacket.

And, my final purchase - from MagNation - a La Mia Boutique.   Also spotted Patrones. 
Time to go and stroke my fabric and watch the Grand Final (again).

Go the Pies!