Manequim 617 (November 2010)

Right, let’s finish up with these manequims shall we? I received a second issue entitled November which is awesome. I didn’t receive December however and January is already here so I may have to send an email to find out what’s happened.

Something great that I have noticed about these magazines is that they seem to align more with the Australian seasons. So while we swelter here in close to 40 degrees I am looking at beautiful summer outfits instead of winter coats for a change, which is nice.

We start with another celebrity themed spread, ‘romantic Marcela’ and I really love these two dresses, very romantic indeed. The pink shoes are cute as well :)

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The next section seems to be all about the ‘mini’ as in short skits and dresses. I’m not so good with the super short stuff but this top is cute. I would make it in a softer fabric, this one looks a little stiff, and I’d drop the neckline a tad. There is a lot of detail in the sleeve head. If you choose to make this in a transparent fabric as it is shown you also get a pattern for the shift underneath which I think is good.

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It took me a while to work out if these were shorts or a skirt, turns out it’s a skirt but I really like the front detail, an inverted pleat and bow, kind of a faux skort, no?

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I’m just throwing this one out there to see the reactions. I’m not a harem pants girl, I probably never will be (although I said I’d never be a high-waist kind of girl either and I’ve since made 4 high-waisted skirts) and now Manequim is having a crazy La Mia Boutique moment and trying to give us harem shorts perhaps? Not for me but I’ll salute anyone else brave enough to give them a go and wear them in public.

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This section is “Summer Hits” and they are several perfect pieces for our WA summer right now, like this beautiful breezy looking linen number. The top detail is really nice with a crossover design in the v-neck.

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Another beautiful number. This is another top to help break me of my “blouse” habit ;)

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Last up in this section is another jumpsuit…someones trying to tell me something I am sure…

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There was an entire section on swim wear with patterns for different body shapes. Nothing really grabbed me to be honest and the “busty” section was really just bikinis that were far too small for the “busty” girls. I did like this beach cover up though and the fabric is a cute choice.

Manequim 616 (November 2010)

On to the next Manequim issue:.

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The first section was all about the ‘elegance of Lorena and Stela’  and I’m not really sure who they are but I did like this cute blouse number. With it being so hot here it’s an elegant version of the basic singlet and looks good under a blazer if I have to go to a big-wig meeting. The buttons give it a sort of tuxedo look and the ruffles keep it feminine.

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The middle section is styled on Dolce & Gabbana (I at least know who they are!) and these two are my favourite. I’m just loving the batwing style at the moment. I always feel like I get stuck in blouse mode when summer comes around, I never seem to have enough tops to go with anything so I’d love to add one of these to my wardrobe pretty quickly and I already have one of the beautiful silks in my stash in mind (Ohh, mentally stash busting already, niiice!)

The dress is a cute shape too but as I write this I just noticed the centre front seam. It’s pretty obvious in the print interruption now that I’ve spotted it. The rest of the panelling looks ok, quite flattering. I’m wondering now if it could be drafted out…or perhaps make it part of the pattern with colour blocking…still love the silhouette.

You know I’ve been to-ing and fro-ing with the idea of making a playsuit/romper/jumpsuit for a while. It’s not high on the priority but this is pretty cute…not too sure about the pleats so I’d definitely be making a muslin version first.

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I really like this top too. It’s currently 37 degrees outside so right now I am seeing light and airy and cool with less skin to get sunburned. Also I bought some beautiful broderie anglaise lace a little while a go and I’d love to use it sometime.

Manequim 615 (October 2010) – Newest Magazine Obsession

Welcome to my newest magazine obsession: Manequim. This magazine is from Brazil (available only in Portuguese) and has been around for a while. I was first introduced to it through their website which used to offer some of their patterns for free (they still have a few up, check out this link). I have since found a subscription option that suits me and my current worldly location so since I have dropped La Mia Boutique I thought I’d give these guys a go for a year and see what I think.

To see how I subscribe to my various magazines check out the information on my magazine page.

Due to my recent holiday I already had four of these babies waiting for me when I returned. For this first review I will go into a bit more depth than usual to give you a good feel for the magazine and it’s layout since it is quite different to Burda and Patrones.

Index

Manequim is a sort of hybrid fashion/shopping magazine as well as a sewing pattern magazine. They explore the current trends and mix into these their version (with a pattern) of that particular item and others of similar style. This can sometimes make it quite difficult to spot the patterns amongst the ready-to-wear although…

Spot the Patterns

…I do like the section where they mix and match several outfits (This month is Emilio Pucci) using mostly pattern items with a few RTWs. The patterns are generally a really good mimic of the RTWs.

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You’ll notice that patterns are provided for items 5 (#385), 6 (#382), 7 (#383) & 8 (#384). I particularly like item #385 and it combines really well with so many other items I wouldn’t have considered so this section rates highly for me.

They also have hair and make-up tips and even a recipe section.

Yummy!

Near the back they put together more looks from the whole magazine, each one incorporates 1 or 2 pattern items and while this gives you some good fashion ideas all it really does is make me spot items I wished they’d have given me a pattern for.

"Ohh I wish they had the pattern for that blouse at the top left!"

I really like that many of the patterns and outfits also show a suggested body type that it would suit best and they give a small run-down of these in the front along with a project difficulty rating.

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……. Discover your body type to find the best model for you:

  • Pear: The waist and shoulders are narrower than the hips.
  • Hourglass: The measure of the shoulders and hips is the same, the waist is narrow.
  • Rectangle: Hips, waist and shoulders are virtually the same measurement.
  • Inverted Tria ngle: Shoulders measure larger than the waist and hips.
  • Oval: The waist size is much larger than the shoulders and hips.

…….Models - Know the degree of difficulty of each piece:

  • One Star: Very easy
  • Two Stars: Easy
  • Three Stars: Requires practise
  • Four Stars: Requires lots of practise

Their instructions are typically short, like Patrones or Burda, and colour coded (like LMB) to the pattern sheet. I find it a little difficult with such an image filled magazine to find the patterns I am interested in and since there is no true index (just a general feel for each section and their theme) I often refer to the line drawings in these instructions but I have yet to find the page reference associated with them.

I don’t even want to think about trying to decipher the pattern sheet right now but I am sure it is still no where near as bad as the new Burda sheets.

Typical pattern sheet

Patterns generally come in either 1 or 3 size options so it looks like I will be doing a bit of drafting up/down this year. There is also a plus section and they are quite fashion forward in my opinion. There is no preview of the following month’s magazine.

Pattern sizing, as per usual, is all over the show when compared to Burda or Patrones, here is a chart I prepared to show the differences. Geez, the Patrones waist measurements are tiny!!

Burda v Patrones v Manequim (click to enlarge)

Manequim sizing

Right, onto some more of the patterns that I love from this issue:

I really like this whole section themed “Modern & Feminine” (I am guessing it is based on the style of  Leandra Leal who is a Brazilian actress)

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The colours are great and all the items have princess cut seams and look really flattering.

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Love this short-sleeved blazer too and in general I’m really glad I subscribed to Manequim. I have 3 other issues to share with you but I’ll space them out over the next few days.

Hello 2011!

Ok, so I’m a little late but who’s counting? I’ve actually, truly, 100% no lie been completely unplugged from the Internet for 18 days while on honeymoon in the South Island of New Zealand, but more on that soon enough. To be honest, being disconnected for so long was quite liberating. But now I’m back and I did miss my blog, my sewing machines and my sewing girlfriends. I’m really looking forward to blogging more this year and I have so many things I can’t wait to write about: I know there are several sewing magazines awaiting pick-up my at the post office which is exciting, there’s my most epic sewing project so far – my wedding dress to share, continuing the Trans-Tasman Battle of the Fabric Stores in Perth, a heap of projects I haven’t yet posted about plus all my 2011 sewing projects (hopefully including some for this little lady) and much more ‘Sewing a Foreign Language’, as promised.

But first up I thought I should have a quick reflect on my 2010 sewing year and think about some goals (ok, New Years Resolutions) for 2011.

Farewell 2010:

My favourite Blog Post – I really enjoyed writing Sewing a Foreign Language and properly blogging the making of that dress. When I started this blog I said I didn’t intend to fully document each of my sewing projects like some bloggers do but a lot of readers said they really liked the post and that more would help them feel they can tackle patterns sans-instructions. So I’d really like to try and help you out in 2011 and expand on my blog topics (I’ve already added it as  a category)

Most popular blog post – Small wonder that it’s Patrones 296 (September 2010). All the Patrones magazine posts are really popular but this issue was particularly great.

Favourite project - This is pretty hard, I’ve made some great things this year but based on what I wear the most often and get the most compliments for it has to be my Strawberry JJ. I LOVE this blouse, the pattern (which is FREE btw, go get it!) is a great fit and just a great blouse base pattern in general and I also love the fabric, an amazing quality Japanese cotton I got from Tessuti Fabrics in Sydney (I never have to iron it, bonus!).

Most Popular Project (based on BurdaStyle views) – My Strawberry Shopping Bag has 7163 views and counting but the BSC Perth Reversible Apron wins the pattern download vote with a current tally of 5258. Its a basic pattern and I used it for our first BSC meet. I posted this project and then the pattern for it for 2 reasons: Firstly (and obviously) to share with other sewers, encourage beginners and see if I could produce a pattern that others could download and follow and secondly (and shamelessly) to promote and gain more members for our Perth based BSC. And I’m proud to say it worked. Sandra and I have worked hard to build up our little sewing group and we’ve also had help from many of our equally passionate members. We currently have a member count of 55, recently celebrated our 1st birthday and we are one of the largest and most active groups internationally. The best part of being a member of BSC Perth? All the amazing new sewing friends, learning s0 much off each other and generally having a great time.

Current UFO Count - This will be fun to look at again at the end of 2011! It’s currently at 6 and that’s the biggest I’d like to see it. I’m quite proud of keeping my UFO pile under control and I’d like to keep it that way…hehe, we’ll see aye? I do have grand intentions of hitting this hard this half of the year, keep an eye out for the completed items and feel free to jab at me in early 2012 if I fail at this task :)

Biggest Sewing Fail – I LOVED this Burda blouse 117 when I saw it in the 08/2009 magazine, it went straight to the top of my list.  If you aren’t convinced just look at how many amazing versions of this top are on BurdaStyle and what happens when I have a go? Big. Fat. Fail. It looks awful on me which is terrible since I was so excited about using the rolled edge finish on my overlocker for the first time and I spent ages finding the perfect coloured thread for it too. But a fail isn’t truly a fail if you can learn something from it right? Well my lesson was to remember to look for blouse & top patterns with shaping elements like darts and princess seams, they suit my body shape much better. I’ve not totally given up on it yet, one day I’ll pull it out and either fix it or transform it into something else becasue I really love the fabric.

Best Purchase – I thought this would be an easy one! I was going to say my Bernina 1150 MDA overlocker, but to be honest I can’t for the life of me remember if I got it early 2010 or near the end of 2009. I use it so often and love it to death that it feels like I’ve had it forever! An overlocker definitely takes your sewing to that next level. So to keep this honest I’ll instead say my Singer 150 dress form, but that’s also a bit of a white lie since it was a birthday present from my Husband…although I did chose it…so since I’m writing this I’ve decided it does count :) Another great sewing tool that really improved my fitting skills and my understanding of patterns and sizing.

Favourite Gadget - I love sewing gadgets, actually I love gadgets full stop. In sewing there are a lot of chose fr0m, some good, some bad, some useless. This last year I got myself a few new ones but I’d like to think I do use the ones I bought regularly, as in then are out on my table and in reach. It’s quite hard to chose a single favourite so I’m going to list the most used three.

  • First up the Simflex Expanding Gauge is fantastic for even spaced buttons, button holes, pleats…just about anything and I find a new way to use it each time I pick it up.
  • Next up, marking tools. Different sewing tasks sometimes require a different type of marking tool and I own them all but my favourites are my Chalk Cartridge Set, because I can have any colour I like (and after I bought it I spotted someone using it on Project Runway, so it must be good) and my Chaco Liner Pen Style Combo because, again, go0d colour choice, but also they’re so easy to use! I’ve linked these last few items to Nancy’s site and indeed that’s where I bought them, she has better prices (as if half or even a third the cost in the shops here in Australia) and a great selection.
  • My last gadget is a bit embarrassing, I considered getting one of these ages ago but held out for fear of looking like a bit of a sewing n00b. I figured it was kind of like training wheels for your first two-wheeled bike but when I saw my sewing expert friend using one and extolling it’s virtues I decided to give in and I haven’t looked back. It’s a magnetic seam guide and it is AMAZING! I got a Birch one from Spotlight. So simple and so cheap, go and get yourself one now! Go on…

Best New Sewing Skill I Learnt – Welt Pockets. These stem from a project that I haven’t posted properly  yet but I mentioned it during Self-stitched September, my husband’s Stinchcomb Jacket, which I will post soon, promise. I followed this welt pocket tutorial on BurdaStyle and because I was initially sceptical my first try was in calico but it worked a treat! I was completely amazed and blown away my my own accidental skill. They worked just as well on the real jacket, and I had to make 5 of them, so I’m feeling like a bit of an expert now. Seriously, give them a try, they aren’t so scary.

Biggest Sewing Revelation - “If you don’t give it a go, how do you know you can’t do it?” that’s my new sewing motto and I’ll share more of that with you soon when I post “How to make your own wedding dress” (or a similarly named post). Intrigued? Good, sign up for new posts via email or to the RSS feed and all will be revealed soon :)

Hello 2011:

I’m not a huge fan of setting New Years Resolutions with time-frames, like “sew a new item each week” or “post to my blog every day” etc, they just stress me out.Last year I endeavoured to just sew more clothes that went together, create outfits and boost my “basics” for my everyday wardrobe and it worked pretty well.

For 2011 I will continue with that goal along with the basics of just generally sewing more and blogging more. I also want to have a go at drafting my own pattern, even if it’s just a few basic blocks, I just want to get my head around the mathematics. I also need to seriously eat into my fabric stash, but who doesn’t right? I’ve promised my boy a few clothing items too but we’ll see how that goes.

I think the most important thing I want to do this year is really learn a lot more about fabrics. My fabric knowledge is truly, shockingly bad. I already have a plan in place and I’ll share a bit more of it with you when I get it properly started. Basically I bought a hard cover book and I’m going to fill it up with all the fabric types, definitions,  swatches and anything else I can learn about that particular fabric (care instructions, what it’s best used for, a bit of history etc). When I buy new fabric I’m going to make sure I note down the fabric type/content/origin to help me learn. I’m a visual person and therefore a visual learner so I’ll be writing this all out by hand, trying to keep it neat and colourful, that’s how it will stick inside my head.

Lastly, in 2011, I want to learn to love my body, don’t we all need that? Sewing helps me do this but like any woman my positive feelings come and go. This year is the year to make a proper effort, learn what looks good on my body, what flatters me, achieve the best fit I can possibly achieve and just love ME.

Right that’s enough thinking for a brain that’s currently operating with a 5 hour time difference, happy sewing for 2011 everyone xx

Burda December 2010 Mash-Up

I’m just not feeling it with this month’s Burda. I’m not sure if it is because my sewing brain is elsewhere at the moment and I can’t focus or if there really is so little in this magazine that appeals to me…hrmmm…maybe when I pick it up again nearer to Winter I’ll see a few more but for now here is my sparse looking selection:

Burda December 2010

A new strategy: November 2010 Burda Mash-Up

I’m getting desperate now, my November Burda arrived but still no Manequim or Patrones (although they did send me a renewal notice asking for money!)

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So not much magazine love for me this month.

I’ve been flicking through the newest Burda over and over instead and it occurred to me that I always see patterns I want to make then forget about them. I’ve flicked through a few other magazines recently and found myself thinking, “Oh yes, I remember wanting to make that dress!” Part of the problem is that my magazines arrive in the wrong season, it’ll be 42 degrees outside (that’s about 107 degrees Fahrenheit) and the issue is full of (beautiful) wool coats, ugh. But the main reason is that I can’t sew anywhere near as fast as my magazine addiction’s growth rate.

So I’m starting a new strategy, one that won’t be help me much until I get back from my honeymoon but I am putting it in place now, and I’m going to share it with you.

It’s not the usual Burda review, there are plenty of blogs doing that already. No this is going to be a quick and dirty snapshot of my favourites for the month from each magazine and we are starting with November’s Burda issue, since it is the only new magazine I have right now and the internet makes it so easy to acquire the images.

This is not a promise that I will make every item, by the way, just a way to help me (and maybe you) to remember them all. Something I can pop back to when the appropriate season rolls around.

Here we go:

Burda November 2010

I had trouble liking this issue when I first saw it, it’s all a bit gypsy for me to be honest. But when I look at my selections like this I can see that I do like quite a few items from this issue.

So did I miss anything that YOU love?