Dear BurdaStyle magazine

Dear BurdaStyle magazine,

I received my April issue today and your accompanying letter informing me that I had only two issues remaining. Thank you for the heads up, I knew our time together was coming to an end. “It’s not too late, but soon it will be” you said, to re-subscribe for a special price of 86.06€.

Your offer is generous, at the current exchange rate that is $177.74 AUD or approximately $9.81 per issue. Since you are $18.00 at the newsagent you tempt me and I have thought long and hard about it.

I hate to tell you that recently, when your issue has arrived, I take a quick look though, then put you straight into my bookcase and I never feel like looking at you again. I admit I have hocked off several of you on eBay, breaking my neat collection which I never imagined I would do.

My pattern love has shifted, now I long for the next issues of Patrones and Manequim, even with their non-English instructions, they excite me, they get me sewing, they show me trendy future fashion and I crave it. I flick through them over and over and they sit out on my cutting table for weeks on end.

You had your chance to win me back but you failed. BurdaStyle magazine, I am sorry, but I must make a stand, our love affair is over. Goodbye my friend.

Melissa xx

 

There are a couple of items I like in this issue but apart from the dress (which I’m 50/50 for) and the neat idea for a “craft bag” there is nothing I don’t already have a pattern in my stash for and they are not so amazing as to replace those patterns. Here they are:

Patrones 300 & 302 (January & March 2011)

Yay, my Patrones issue #300 finally arrived filled with some great items.

First up this sweet little dress. It’s a wrap with curved skirt and nice pleats below the waist band. The fabric almost looks like a linen and it’s nice to see a wrap dress in something other than jersey.

I like this (pea?) coat but I know it wouldn’t look good on me, still the dark blue and white trim is cute, a bit nautical.

Another nice jacket, slightly military but softened by the fabric choice, great top stitching details. I like this girly dress, really sweet and summery.

.

.

.

.

The white blouse/shirt has nice pleating on the front and every girl needs a crisp white shirt but I’m not sure about the skirt, it seems to stick out a bit at the tummy.

The dress is my absolute favourite in the whole magazine. I just love it even though the fit on the mannequin is pretty average. It’s a bit safari and a bit trench-coat looking and so many buttons!

.

This month also features some maternity patterns. They are mostly just big flowing tops, I think I like the more fitted look of these two but then I guess I’ll never really know what I “like”  until I actually am pregnant. The boarder print on the green top is beautiful and the patterns are provided for the pants as well.

.

And then of course, once baby arrives, you’ll need some cute little outfits for him or her. The little blue dress is so incredibly cute! I have a friend who just had a baby girl and is learning to sew so I’m going to help her to make this.

.

.

I also received issue 302 earlier in the month but I wasn’t hugely excited about it , hence my only just posting it now, I think because I was so overwhelmed at the awesomeness of the Manequim magazine that arrived just after it – as in it’s pattern sheets are being put through the large copier as we speak for at least 4 future items.

I loved this top as soon as I saw it, kind of similar to this one. I had a few reservations about this style, how it would look on me, I seem to be getting is all wrong lately but then I saw Melissa’s version of the Manquim top she made in silk for her birthday. She looks beautiful and she achieved a great fit so I am sold. I have some nice silk in my stash, I bet I could whip up one of each really quickly for some instant sewing gratification and two quick wardrobe additions.

 

 

It’s been a while since Patrones has given us a ‘wtf?’ moment.

So, uhh, here it is…there are no words really…

.

.

Aaand moving right along…

.

I’m not really into this dress but I’m putting this up here because I love the belt!

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

The next section is nighties/slips, there are several iterations and all really pretty.

The last of my picks is this jacket, I really like the back length and curves. I like how the stand-up collar comes down the front as panels, it gives the illusion of lapels but keeps the bulk down making this jacket quite sleek.

.

.

.

.

Next issue is Summer, excellent. The Google translation is all a bit weird but the gist I got was pants in different lengths and skirts plus some original design XXL items.

I’m not receiving the extra issue, I didn’t expect to but I’m not too disappointed since I’ve been told they are just a kind of “best of the best” repeated patterns issue.

A gripe and a revelation

Today I went proper clothes shopping, it’s been a while since I did that. I said “proper” clothes shopping because usually clothes shopping for me means fabric shopping ;)

I had a specific target in mind: trousers. In particular the appropriate-for-work kind. Even though we are heading into another heat wave here in WA, Summer is sure to run out of puff sometime or other and site-safe steel-capped boots don’t look all that good under a pencil skirt either.

My need is far greater than the speed at which I could make them, mainly because they are far down a list of things I want to sew now. Summer things, dresses, mostly. I’m not lacking in pant patterns and it’s also not that I am scared to sew them. I am half-way through a pair of jeans that appear to be a win, and I made a work-appropriate pair several years ago (taking a pattern from my favourite Shanton’s pants that I wore to death and then couldn’t find again) and I did a good job of those too.

No, today was rtw purchase day. So I took myself off to the local mall where I intended to first try Target and then my fall back, Portmans. I started at Target because recently they have upped their image and have a lot of really good quality items, on-trend and at reasonable prices.  I’m not sure if Target here in Australia is like Target in America but for you Kiwi’s it’s kind of like Farmers. I love Portmans’ pants, I’ve owned them before but I really didn’t want to spend $90 – $120 or a single pair today, but they were there if all else failed.

In Target I started in the “younger” section, they had a wide selection or styles. I chose two and because I swing between a size 12 or 14, depending on brand, I grabbed one in each size. Cut to the dressing room where the size 14 was way too tight I was back out again, smiling to the counter girl, handing back my tag. There weren’t any size 16’s in the “young” section…So I figured there must be more pants in this huge store and wandered around a bit until I came across the “City Women’s” area, more business style pants. I selected four styles, and thinking I had learn’t from the “young” section I meekly grabbed each in a size 16. Smiling at the counter girl, I entered the curtained cubical and tried on my first pair…you want a lesson in non-standard industry sizing? You got it sister. These pants swam on me, I could actually put both my legs into one pant leg and almost pull it off over my head. So after stripping me of my self esteem at the front of the store, now I am just utterly confused. I didn’t bother trying on the other three pairs, another smile at the counter girl, back to the hangers, back to my first plan, one of each in a size 12 and 14. Sigh, back in the change room, I felt I should introduce myself to the counter girl. Oh great, now the size 14 is a tiny bit big and the 12 is, again, inappropriately tight.

No need to tell you this is the point at which I gave up and left the store.

Cue Portmans, where they had a couple of sale racks and I was sure I’d find a perfectly fitting pair, I’ve never had any problems there before right?

Wrong.

I found 2 pairs in the sale rack and one other pair. I confidently grabbed two of them in size 14, and one size 12 just in case. The 14’s were too big (ok, so I’m a Portman’s size 12, good), thank goodness the 12 fitted me perfectly…in the leg…Oh but the crotch was a whole other story, you know what Camel Toe is? Yeah…

That’ll go down nicely on the construction site, exit stage left.

This time I gave up for completely, home for lunch went this little ruffled kiwi.

Really, should I have expected anything better?.

So now it looks like the only solution was the one I pushed aside earlier on. I will have to fall back to making my own pants.

Lucky my good friend Jacquie gave me an amazing book: Making Trousers for Men & Women by David Page Coffin. I had a good flick through it when I first received it and it is full of beautiful photographs and is extremely well written. It comes with a 2-hour DVD as well which I am about to put on while I eat my lunch.

.

Jacquie, thank you so much, you’re timing couldn’t be better  xx

I’ll be thoroughly reading your wonderful present to me cover-to-cover tonight.

Ladies tell me I am not alone, please…