Manequim 640 (September 2012)

There was a little bit of sewing on the weekend but I have to admit, we had such a beautiful weekend here in Wellington, instead of photographing my Simplicity skirt to share with you I went outside and got dirty in my garden instead!

Stage One of my Edible Garden has begun and I’ll share a bit of that with you later because I am sure there are a few of you who will be interested 🙂

For now I have a fantastic issue of Manequim to show you. I know I often say “this is an amazing issue” about Manequim but this issue really is amazing. I like so many items! After the disappointing last Patrones issue it really cheered me up.

Don’t believe me? Let’s take a lookie shall we?

We start with four formal maternity dress patterns. I don’t have any experience with maternity sewing but Melissa of Fehr Trade points out an interesting observation regarding the hems on the pattern sheets, being straight they may not be a true maternity draft. Still, nice to see some glamorous gowns for mums-to-be.

I love all the dresses in the celebrity style section. Gorgeous colours and cut-outs and nice detailing.

Dress 400 is probably my absolute favourite, princess seamed bodice with seams that run down the skirt and little cap sleeves with detail at the hip to mimic them.

Marni is the designer section this month and we are back to just three patterns but Blusa 398 is a definite favourite and multi-sized.

In the sporty section I can’t stop looking at these shorts. They have a cute retro look about them and piping! Who doesn’t like piping?!

The jacket is also great and the dress (multi-sized) is interesting in it’s details- It has some ties at the back and what looked like some sort of partial wrap apron style skirt.

I had a closer look at the flat pattern and sort of tried to assemble it in my head.

Dress 390 pattern layout to fabric

So I think this is how it goes together, and it looks like just piece 11 is the wrap bit. You catch the inner edge of 11 in the side seam between the front skirt (8 & 9) and the back skirt (10/10a), then it has ties on the outer finished edge that you tie around the back, this pulls the upper part of the side seam around to the back creating a small fold at either side and cinching in the waist. I quite like it and have added it to the queue.

Front & Back assembly of Dress 390

I love the caption for the “Chic 24hour” section, “In the rush of the day, it is not difficult to maintain elegance all the time. Manequim reveals the tricks and practical pieces you have to have to be always beautiful”

All these pieces are great, two jackets, two skirts and a top!

I am a bit miffed that for this jacket with interesting shoulder detail they stuck the models arms in the air!

We had the usual plus sized pattern at the beginning of the issue:

And an entire section aimed at the petite (under 150cm tall) but I am not sure if these items are petite in sizing or just recommended as flattering to the shorter woman.

It’s too early in the month to get next month’s preview but I think this issue will keep me busy for a while! 😀

Manequim 639 (August 2012)

Manequim 639, let’s go! 🙂 First up, we can all copy Kate and crochet this pretty cardigan.

This weeks plus sized dress is gorgeous, princess seamed bodice with a nice pleaty detailed collar and sleeves.

I really like the white dress in “Powerful Costume” (what?!) and the pleating detail on the shirt is interesting.

This month’s celebrity section is based on the fashions of Brazilian actress Débora Nascimento. I like the sequined top and the one shouldered dress is quite nice too.

All the Carven items in the designer section are really nice, especially the pleated dress but I’m not so sure about the blouse, the weird pleat detail at the arm looks a bit weird and bulky to me, I think it could end up looking more like a mistake.

I was super excited when I saw the preview of the “New Luxury” section last month.

I think the tops 350 & 351 are both beautiful and the teal dress (347) is simple and gorgeous, I could definitely see myself making that for a special occasion. I’ve included the full length front shot for you to see it better.

I’m not so sure about the overalls in “Sport Chic”, it makes the model look a bit too boxy, I think you could add more shape by modifying the seams of the black section. The flared pants look good and I wish they had included the skirt at bottom right but it’s good inspiration anyway.

There’s a section at the end that seems to be about office fashion by Gloria Kalil.  I’ve scanned the themes “liberal” (which Google Translate translates as “liberal”) on the left and “creative” on the right. Another blouse with weird arm join pleat thing but I like the orange blouse, it’s very pepluminosity 😉 (sorry, inside joke)

So next month in looking very summery which is great since it is officially spring here. My garden is definitely in spring mode, my Kōwhai tree is in full bloom, much to the delight of many enthusiastic Tui. I even saw a Kererū sitting at the top of it the other day. I was so fascinated and excited I just stared and stared at him and it wasn’t until he flew away that I thought about grabbing my camera, duh!

Manequim 638 (July 2012)

Going out on a limb here but this has to be one of the best Manequim issues I have received so far, full to the brim of amazingness:

Manequim 638 (July 2012)

I am trying something different this month, placing the line drawings separately so you can see more detail, you like?

It’s hard to see the details of the skirt in the middle, even at maximum DPI, looking at the pattern pieces doesn’t make it any clearer, I think maybe a bow which would be awesome.

The dress I really like (in my size, score!), it is a faux wrap dress and I already have some ideas for it, here is the back story: I saw an advert on TV for a new online clothing store called which sells lots of what I consider “cheap and disposable” clothing. My opinions aside, I noticed a dress that looked a lot (actually exactly) like Vogue 1190 so I went online to try to find it so I could share with you but there were sooooo many pages of dresses to go through I found this instead: Beatrice Striped Jersey Wrap Dress

Isn’t it funny how inspiration and complimentary patterns sometimes turn up at the same time? I was thinking how much I liked the pattern above and then I spotted the above dress online the very next day. It would not be difficult to add in those extra seam lines and also I seem to have amassed quite a lot of stretchy striped fabrics in my stash so…

Peaky shoulders seem to be all the rage right now. I don’t really need any help with accentuation in that department but I am interested in the construction, they look really cool on a jacket. The green dress is gorgeous too but I am far too distracted by the dress in the centre. I LOVE the magic silhouette/illusion idea and I think this one is gorgeous with a great cap sleeve and bust detail. Here is some more inspiration found on Myla Belted Illusion Midi Dress & Catherine Metallic Panel Short Sleeve Midi Dress

They also remind me of a pattern in my stash: McCall’s 6028 Palmer/Pletsch that I bought after seeing it compared to two dresses in the Michael Kors Spring 2009 Ready-to-Wear Collection.

This month’s “Always Well-dressed” section is Courrèges and since I had no idea who they were I decided to google them and I was really impressed at the like-ness, even the photography style portrays the same feel as the online store images. I’m not really sure how this section works, surely Manequim has to ask permission to produce a pattern that so closely copies the style? Anyway, it’s very mod (in a good way I think) and I really like the purple/yellow/white colour combo.

Bonus points for a vintage sewing machine prop, loving tops 336 & 337 and the jackets, channelling and little bit of Chanel maybe?

The Black & White section is great too, the white jacket is fabulous! I have been intending to make a blazer/jacket for work for aaaages and this one is going to the top of the list, it’s almost my size so I’d have to have a bit of fun-with-grading but it would be worth it.

The black dress has some great details if you look at the line drawing and another magic silhouette dress mimicking the previously mentioned Kors dress.

There is also a fabulous formal section with 6 different outfits based on some celebrity fashion. Long and short and all very sparkly or shiny 😉

Next month looks interesting: I spy an odd looking jumpsuit/romper but also a fabulous looking luxury section!

I’ll leave you with a quick sewing room update: Carpet samples are being mulled over and my finger is hovering over the ‘GO’ button! Exciting! 🙂

Manequim 637 (June 2012)

This is going to be a quick post – more pictures than words because that is how my day has been 😉

Manequim 637 – June 2012:

Convertible jacket to blazer, nice idea and a pretty plus sized dress:

Nice lines on these dresses:

Do you like those green trousers and the purple top? You can’t have them, no pattern is provided. The keyhole dress is nice though, you can also make the black pencil skirt and shiny coat:

Simple skirt pattern to make the most of a pretty print on lightweight fabric and I LOVE these trousers (multi-sized) because I am one of those girls that refuse to let go of the boot cut/bell shape. I believe it will never go out of fashion and is perfect for balancing my hips out:

Huge plus sized section, love the lace on the bodice of the white dress (look at the line drawing, it’s more flattering proportions than the image which shows the dress they are copying):

Big coat section too. I was hoping for some great men’s patterns for my hubby but it’s just the ladies coats:

Next month looks like a great issue:

That’s all for now 🙂

Super Magazine Post: Manequin 632 & Patrones 310 & 311

Apologies that I have been a bit slow with my scanning lately. The good news is that my scanner and my computer are now vaguely grumbling at each other, which is better than the straight out ignoring that was happening before 😉

I’ve had a really busy two weeks and last weekend I tagged along with Nerdy Hubby to help out with some field work in the upper North Island. We drove about 920 kilometres in two days which is a lot when you consider the North Island is only about 1100kms in total from top to tail. So hence my brain is a little bit fried and when I tried to write some intelligent things to accompany my scanned images I failed. I found I was just writing “I like this (insert item of clothing here), it’s pretty” over and over.

So here are a few less words than I originally intended and some pretty pictures to inspire you 🙂

Patrones 310 (Winter Special) starts with a pretty sparkly number to kick off the festive season. The dress itself is quite simple, but that can be a good thing when sewing sequins.

I like this cute little shrug/bolero too, would look great over the sparkles.

The next section is a little bit pirate but the book series I have just finished reading has a sexy pirate side-kick siren in it and this is exactly how I imagine her so excuse my indulgence.

A nice bustier pattern that could be easily embellished and the rest might come in handy next Halloween.

I am quite disturbed by the trousers #20, I have no idea what is going on in the crotch area and clearly, judging by the models pose, Patrones don’t want you to know either.

Classic strapless dresses feature in the central section, I like #34 but #36 and #37 are my favourites, super elegant.

From the plus section we have this nicely detailed layered dress in emerald-green, Patrones always do a great job of their “Grandes” patterns.

Patrones 311 (Spring advance) begins with some sweet dresses. I like the neck line and pleats of the blue dress and it looks great with the blazer. The green dress I am not 100% sure of, I like the look on the model but…

You all know I am a bit vest obsessed right now and this issue has a vest for everyone, you name the style, from military to glitzy, and there’s one here for you.

There are some super cute baby patterns in this issue too. Don’t get any ideas but I think that apron/wrap is just great and the little boys outfit is very smart.

Next month is the Spring Special, I tried translating the blurb with Google. It usually does a pretty good job but this time, not so much. Something along the lines of “positive air” spring fashion, comfortable designs that feel good, happy tendencies, flirtatious woman’s clothing including light blouses, shorts and dresses.

Actually Jacqui has already received her issue so pop over here to check out her review 🙂

January Manequim starts with some trend ideas, I think this is quite a sweet way to embellish a simple top, except that I’d probably be constantly knocking them off and have to re-sew them back on.

This white dress in the celebrity style section is really interesting, it looks a bit Grecian in white but I think would look even better in a strong solid colour or large-scale print.

There is a short plus section in this issue too, the model is gorgeous. This skirt and top are really nice, the skirt is panelled and I think it might even have pockets. I wish they’d left the metal zipper in the front of the top but that wouldn’t be hard to insert if you agree.

Lots of short flirty skirts and nice tops in the central section. The wrap around top #103 looks really interesting, I’ve included the layout for you to see and the fabric is gorgeous too.

I think this tunic dress pattern would be great for using up those beautiful remnants from other projects or that amazing <1m piece you dug out of the remnant bin at the fabric shop (I have my fair share of those!). Love the pleat detail on the skirt of the blue dress, I’ve seen it on quite a few dresses in the shops recently.

The designer section this month is Céline. My favourites are this gold 60s inspired sheath dress, it’s simple in shape but the pink and black band really makes it pop (sized in a 44, perfect!). The black and white top I also fabulous, very versatile and I’m thinking about tracing it out this weekend.

I think we’ve seen a similar pattern to this vest before, perhaps with a bit of extra embellishment, but it’s a vest, so two thumbs up from me.

Manequim were due for another WTF moment, it’s been a while, so here is this month’s – The new office trend: bare midriff over pencil skirt, perfect for a day at the office…

Summer is quickly disappearing here, and I’ve been contemplating a cropped or short sleeve blazer of some sort. This blue one is nice, my other options are this jacket which I fell in love with instantly from Manequim (already traced) and I also own this Butterick pattern (view C or D maybe).

I’ve never been a big fan of one-shouldered dresses but this yellow number has swayed me and even the white inspiration image is pretty hot.

Red dress = pretty…words.running.out…

And here’s next months preview, colourful and yummy at the same item, just the way I like it 😉 Melissa’s already received her issue before me so you should pop over and take a look for yourself.

Blouse 303 from Manequim 625

It’s probably about time I showed you all some sewing. I have managed to drag myself away from the biggest party NZ has seen for a while to finally take more pics of my newest blouse. I finished it about 3 weeks ago and I’m going to put my hand up now and say I know these photos are really bad but I’ve taken them three times and just can’t seem to like them so I’m giving up and posting anyway 🙂

If it looks like these photos were taken on two different days it's because they were

The contrast is terrible, I know, plus I managed to get the sliding door in all of them, which I subsequently had to crop out so the composition is pretty awful too…the wind didn’t help either, I’d get myself all settled, push the remote button, wait for the beeps and then, wooosh! Gah, who’d of thought, wind? In Wellington?!

Because everyone likes to see an out-take...

I don’t know, for some reason I am hating the photos I take of myself lately, but I’ll get over it because I LOVE this blouse…so on to the details:

It is from Manequim 625 and is#303. I liked it as soon as this magazine arrived in my hot little hands and I chose to use this amazing silk crepe that I got from the  “Remnant Table of Endless Inspiration” at my last trip to Potters (sigh, I miss that shop!).

You might have noticed, although I haven’t mentioned it officially, I am doing a little bit of stash busting. The Esther cardi knit was from my stash and this blouse was the next one – (Belated) Birthday Dress and the following project are in this category as well.

I got this 149cm x 1.1m length for $10, a bargain yes, but I was scared to ruin it so I let it mature nicely in my stash and then I put my brave on and cut into it last month. If you are in Perth and have not been to Potter’s yet, then what are you doing? Go, go now, you will not be disappointed.

This is only the second silk item I have made, and my first in a crepe. I discovered quite quickly that working with this fabric was a lot of fun. It frayed right in front of my eyes, even while it was just sitting on the table it was merrily fraying itself away to nothing. But I loved the print so I was determined to make it work. To be honest I think it took me longer to work out how to place the pattern pieces to make the most of the print than it did to eventually sew it up. I used Photoshop to help me finally decide how to do it and I’ve started a post on that (along with the construction) that I’ll pop up in a day or two – it will be another of those epically nerdy posts so consider yourself forewarned 😉

Despite the fraying and the Photoshopping the construction went pretty smoothly, apart from the fact that I had to unpick the standing collar three times. It was completely my silly fault and in the end it turned out for the best because it meant it got a tad shorter and after my first try-on I was starting to feel a bit like HBO cat.

And here are a few more detailed shots.

Standing collar and front pleat detail

Sleeve detail

After cutting out my pieces I realised just how sheer my fabric was, this would mean I needed french seams, which was not really big deal. I’ve only ever done them once before (on my BurdaStyle Book blouse no less) and they worked out ok, plus Carolyn had just posted up a timely reminder tutorial which I had a skim over to refresh the memory. Here is a sleeve close-up inside out, you can see the French seams. I’m quite proud of how they turned out and my construction skills are definitely improving. I think the French seam also helps strengthen the seams and protects the interior of the silk during wear and washing.

Inside out detail

In other sewing related news:

Exciting: I have (99.9%) finished the (Belated) Birthday Dress and I am so happy with it! The hem got pressed today and I just have to decide whether to top-stitch it (as per the instructions) or get out the needle and thread and hand stitch it up, which I am terrible at…but the fabric weave/print will help hide my hand-sewing sins and whichever way I chose to go there will be photos next weekend.

Less exciting: The Gok coat is also complete, but I’m not sure if I like it. I will share pictures with you before I decide what to do with it. I think it can be saved, the question is: “Can I be bothered before Summer arrives…?”

Next in-line: I guess I should really try to finish the Forever Jeans…thread arrived from eBay last month – yes, that means I gave up on Spotlight and bought it of all places from England! But I guess that all depends on how soon my pattern splurge purchases from BMV arrives 😉 …

Rain-Sun-Rain-Sun, Oh and a Manequim top!

Image courtesy of

We’ve been having some crazy weather here in Wellington the last few days. Big storm fronts are sweeping across the entire country (indeed they are the size of the entire country) in waves so that we have one awful day (with bonus tornados) followed by a wonderful sunny calm day, then another crappy one follows. Today is sunny but still pretty windy. I really wanted to take photos of my new top outside so you could all see the view from my house but it was far too brisk.






This is Blusa 158 from Manequim 620 (February 2011), it is sized as a 44 and I think it’s a little big for me in the shoulders and across the bust.

I took it in a little but I’m worried anymore and I won’t be able to get in to it! It might be a case of wait and see if it grows on me or take it in to how I like it and throw in an invisible zipper to the side seam. What do you think?

Because I started this top in the West Island 😉 and finished it here in the North Island I don’t have a huge amount of construction photos but it was pretty easy to make.

You baste all the front pleats first and then sew their central seam together and then attach the facings. Now it’s just a case of back shoulder seams (I love how the fabric wraps over your shoulders into the back seams) then side seams, hem the sleeves and the bottom and you’re done, I can’t believe it took me so long! I think…yeah I’m pretty sure, this is my first Manequim item that I have sewn and it turned out well, there’s nothing like a boost in confidence huh?

On Sunday (one of the fine days, oh it was so sunny!) I went along to the Wellington Fabric Hoarders club meet at Massey University.

They use a wonderful large and sunny room with plenty of tables and power points and a great view. I met Jenny, Claire and Hayley and we sewed together until I had to leave just after 2pm. They normally stay there until 6pm and there is even a little kitchenette. It was so good to be back in front of my machine and surrounded by other girls as dedicated to their own projects. I’m looking forward to next month already and meeting more of their members.

I worked on my trench/mac coat (doesn’t “mac” just sound so much more sophisticated?…maybe it’s just me). It was my intention to work on my “forever jeans” next but after Perth BSC member Debra showed off her purple mac coat I knew I better get mine finished so we can be online-mac-coat-sisters. I almost can’t believe we both chose to make a coat and in the same colour sans communiqué!

Anyway, I’m referring to this as my Gok Coat and I got so much done! After I worked out where I was up to in the instructions I managed to assemble and attach the collar and shoulder tabs, sew and turn all the sleeve and belt tabs, put together the sleeves and partially assemble the lining. Yay! All that’s left (apart from the undesirable task of searching out the perfect buttons & buckles) is to set in the sleeves (I hate this part, I prefer zippers can you believe it?!), attach the lining, make up the belt and hem! Oh and there’s all those button holes, eek!