Friday, October 18, 2013

Backstitch: New Look and Competition

When I shop for indie patterns, I usually purchase them from Europe, in order to reduce shipping costs and waiting time. So far, my go-to store has been Backstitch, so when recently I was contacted by Alice, the owner, about the launch of her new and improved site, I was immediately in. 

Alice is having a very tempting competition with some amazing prices:

1st Prize: £50 off first order and 20% off all subsequent orders for a whole year
2nd Prize: £25 off first order and 15% off all subsequent orders for six months
3rd prize: £10 off first order and 15% off all subsequent orders for three months

The competition is open to everyone. All you have to do is place an order, via account (as opposed to via guest checkout) within the month of October.  You will be entered once for each time you place an order, so multiple orders equal multiple entries.
You can enter as many times as you like into the draw. More details here.

Alice has also offered a discount code to my readers: using code WLPAU at checkout, you will get a 10% discount off all products. I mentioned patterns, but Backstitch also offers a variety of beautiful fabrics, so you have plenty to choose from.
The voucher code expires on October 20th at midnight (inclusive of this day).

Good luck!

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Burdastyle Magazine 11/2013

Let's do this!

I'm putting this pattern first because it was probably the one that caught my interest the most.
The point is, I absolutely hate these pants and you would need to pay me in order to make me wear them. Much like harem pants, I find them ridiculous and incredibly unflattering on any body type. But the truth is, a lot of girls are going to like them. In fact, I showed them to two friends who have completely different taste in fashion than me (think edgy and modern) and they asked me to make them for them (not gonna happen).
They're trendy, they're (ugh) cool, so they'll probably have a lot of success. I'm VERY curious to read what you guys think of these.
Now, the rest of the magazine didn't really wow me nor disgust me. I'm kind of in the same "meh" zone I've been for the last few issues.
This jacket, for example, is very, very cute, but am I amazed? No. Maybe I will be when I look back at the issue in a few months, which seems to be happening quite a bit to me.

Again in the outerwear department, a really stunning jacket that fails to impress me only because I feel I've already seen it from Burda. Still gorgeous, though.

Super basic cowl neck tank with a shrug. Nothing special, but you can never have too many basic patterns, right?

Much like for the jacket in the last issue of Burda Young, I was so disappointed when I saw the technical drawing of this top. I thought it was a knit top with some awesome draping at the shoulders, but it's a woven top with a shrug (filling the "rectangle magazine" quota of the month). Wah wah waaah.

This looks cute: a pencil skirt with some design elements to add interest. Although maybe those pleats are not best friends of a pear-shaped girl like me... 

Designer patterns of the month, by Alessia Giacobino... I personally don't like the skirt, but the blouse is interesting. Those sleeves look very chic.

And now, an array of dresses!
I like both of these quite a bit but all those panels leave me scratching my head.
Did you notice that Burda is doing a lot of this multi-paneled dresses lately? To me they look like a lot more work than regular darted pieces and I find them a bit intimidating for alteration (meaning: how do you make an FBA on this kind of bodice???).

I like the sheer yoke and sleeves, the keyhole in the back with the little bows and the French darts, but I don't like the fullness at the back and the length.

I want to like this dress but it just screams bad '80s to me... The photo does not help AT ALL. Maybe without the puffy sleeves?

The plus-size patterns of this month are particularly beautiful, especially these two dresses above. Plus-size girls, you might want to take a look at this one!
I'm extremely curious to know your take on this issue... Keep it or leave it?

Friday, October 11, 2013

Minerva Blogger Network : Wrap skirt and T-shirt

Look at me, I'm Minnie Mouse!
Eheh, I realized how cartoonish these two garments look together just when I was putting them together, but I'm not at all bothered by this. It's a three colours I wear a lot and can remix with plenty of stuff in my wardrobe, and I think they look very cute together.

You can find more details on this outfit in my post at Minerva Crafts, but these are a Sewaholic Renfrew t-shirt (in a size 6) and a Miette skirt by Tilly and the Buttons (you can see another one I made here).
I originally wanted to use the Cascade skirt pattern by Megan Nielsen, but I did a stupid mistake while cutting my fabric, so in came the Miette pattern to save the day. Whew! It was a real "make it work" moment in Project Runway style! And I'm really satisfied with how it tuned out.

Now, the only thing I'm not very happy about this look, is that it goes along a kit on sale at Minerva Crafts. I kinda bombed it this month... First of all, the red linen-look cotton I used for the skirt is too lightweight for October. It's gorgeous, but it's starting to be really cold here and I won't be really wearing this skirt for much longer. Secondly, I included too much fabric for the t-shirt. Unless you want to make a knit dress or multiple t-shirts, I can't really recommend this kit in good conscience, but the single components are great. You can find the polka dot jersey here, the linen here and the Vilene bias tape (that I used to reinforce the shoulder seams of the t-shirt and the back openings of the skirt) here.

I learnt a few things from these first 3 kits and I hope the next ones will be better.
Do you have any suggestions for me? Anything you'd like to see more of?

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Liberty Mae blouse

Size: size 10 for shoulders and bust, graded to a size 12 at the waist.
Alterations: none!
Fabric: Liberty Tana Lawn in "Emilia's flowers (C)", purchased locally (at a fraction of the cost, thankfully)

I had mentioned this blouse in passing in my last post, when I actually asked you guys to give me a hand with a competition, an you made me win the second prize!
Thank you so much, everyone, you are the best! Now I have a sweet voucher to spend at A Fashionable Stitch.

Now, let's talk about this blouse.
It was made using the Mae pattern by Bluegingerdoll. This pattern attracted me immediately for the scalloped neckline, it's such a beautiful feature that I had to try it.

The whole thing came together relatively quickly. You definitely need to take your time with the scallops and the buttoned back can be a little time consuming, but that's it, the rest of the construction is really easy.
Mae is marked as a beginner pattern, but I wouldn't recommend to a complete beginner, you need a little bit of experience under your belt to make it.
I only glanced at the instructions, but they're well written and have helpful illustration. Furthermore, Abby had a Mae sew-along on her blog, where you can find more tips on constructing your blouse.

Worn with my black Kelly skirt
I really like this blouse. I've tried it both tucked in a skirt and untucked, with jeans, and I definitely prefer this second option. It's just a little uncomfortable for me when it's tucked in a skirt, because I find myself wanting to yank it down every time I move my arms. I think this is mainly caused by the fabric: Liberty tana lawn feels AMAZING against your skin, but I definitely prefer fabrics with more drape for blouses, especially those you will want to tuck in.
Paired with jeans, it makes a very cute, comfortable outfit and because it's very fitted, I also find it quite flattering.

Bluegingerdoll patterns are rather pricey, but they're printed on sturdy paper, the packaging is extremely cute (and functional) and they offer free shipping, which is great.
So far, I've been very happy with Abby's patterns (see my Billie Jean dress here). They just released a new pattern, the Peggy skirt, which you can check out here.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Last of my Summer Sewing : Tania culottes

Pattern: Tania culottes by Megan Nielsen

Size: size M

Alterations: lengthened about 10cm

Fabric: inexpensive dark blue viscose with mini white flowers, purchased locally and absolutely perfect for the job.

You know how last summer everyone went crazy for Megan Nielsen's Tania culottes?
Well, I didn't.
I was lucky enough to be a tester for this pattern, but when Megan sent it to me, we had spoken of something completely different, so I was a bit set back. I liked the idea of wearable, modern culottes that look like a skirt, but I was somehow perplexed by the actual pattern. Very full at the hips and very short... features I usually stay away from.
When I made my culottes in the fabric I always use for muslins (a lightweight plaid cotton, because I have a bolt of that stuff and "real" muslin doesn't exist here), it looked absolutely horrible on me. It made me look extremely wide and it was much MUCH too short for my own comfort.
So I wrote back my notes to Megan, telling her that everything went great with the construction (because they were very well designed), but this just wasn't the pattern for me. I was a bit heart broken, too, because it was the first time one of her patterns didn't really work for me.

But anyway, the pattern was released and many cute versions started to pop up (like Lauren'sAndrea'sNette's and Sophie's, among others). Everyone adored this pattern and girls and women of all shape and sizes all looked great in these culottes.
Could it be that I was wrong?

Well, yes, I was. Oh, I was wrong BIG TIME.
It turns out I only needed to lengthen the pattern and use a fabric with much more drape!

I'm so happy I gave this pattern a second chance, because this is the garment I wore the most this Summer (together with my Bleuet dresses).
I especially loved it with sleeveless button-ups, but it worked perfectly with tank tops and t-shirts as well.

Of course the best thing about these culottes is that when someone tells you "Ooh! What a cute skirt!" (and someone WILL tell you), you get to to this:

It's so much fun, I think I did it to at least ten people.

A few notes on this pattern that many other people already made:

- These culottes give you more modesty than a skirt in most situations, but that doesn't mean you won't be able to flash A LOT of leg. Beware of wind... I speak from experience.

- Constructing these culottes is extremely quick, but leave them hanging overnight before you hem them, because the bias will cause a lot of distortion. You can see from the side shots that the hem of my culottes is not perfectly even, but I did what I could with this fabric.

- If you have a serger, a rolled hem will save your life. Seriously. I was so grateful I didn't have to hem those giant panels!

And that's (finally) it for my Summer projects!
In the next photos, you'll see cloudy weather, leaves on the ground and, of course, that tan is completely gone and I'm back to my pale old self. Yay, Autumn!