Thursday, January 30, 2014

La Mia Boutique 02/2014

After a few months of collaborating with Silvia on LMB reviews, I'm back on my own! Silvia and I had a lot of fun writing these posts together, but they took A LOT of time, so finally I decided to go back to my usual way.
In the meantime, we postponed the review for the January issue more and more, until it didn't make a lot of sense to write it anymore; it wasn't a great issue anyway, so it's not a big loss, but you can see the technical drawings here

So, from now on, you'll see less patterns featured in these posts, only a selection of those about which I have something to say. I hope that's ok :)

Despite the frowning, duck-faced model (seriously, what the F is up with her?), the issue begins with a stunning coat. The huge collar reminds me of something from the 50's and the shape is spectacular. Unsurprisingly, this is a design by Chiara Boni.

The styling here makes me want to cry, but what a cute dress! Two big bows like these might be a lot to pull off for many people, but the rest of the dress is so simple that I think they work.

Again a design by Chiara Boni, this very elegant, very interesting bolero paired with a pretty boring bustier dress by Laura Mancini. This bolero reminds me a bit of the Victoria Blazer by By hand London, a pattern I've actually never thought could work on my body shape.

Definitely not a dress for everyone and for every day, but nonetheless quite stunning and definitely attention-seeking. The pattern pieces for the sleeves are HUMONGOUS, and in fact you need as much fabric for them as for the rest of the dress.

Next is a photoshoot inspired by tartan with a styling so tragic I'm not even gonna try and comment on it.
This coat pattern is extremely cute, and there's also a variation with patch pockets and without the fur pieces which I like even better. It reminds me a bit of the Anise coat by Colette patterns.

I don't remember why I included this fugliness, but here it is. Both designs feel incredibly outdated, especially those pants with an elastic waist. I can't... And to think they're a creation by acclaimed designer Aspesi...

More cute outerwear! This is definitely an advanced pattern, though. I love the big collar and princess seams at the back.

Cute outfit, no? The jacket is very Chanel-chic and the skirt would actually be great for a pregnant woman, since it has a very wide waistband made of knit material.

And finally: lingerie! I guess the previous patterns were popular. I haven't caught the lingerie bug just yet, but I really love the second set, especially the lines on the bra (although it doesn't look like it provides quite enough support for me).

Aaand... that's it! Here is the rest of the patterns of this issue (full size here):

I'm really looking forward to next month's issue, which is going to include designs by Makola (who made the May 2013 issue the best ever)!

Avete comprato questo numero di LMB? Che ne pensate?

Monday, January 27, 2014

Plantain Babydoll Dress Variation

Size: size 38
Alterations: transformed the t-shirt into a dress with this tutorial
Fabric: mistery knits from my stash

Hey, guys!
Let's start the week with some news I'm really, REALLY excited about: guess who's going to write for the English version of the Deer and Doe blog? Oh, yeah!
I'm going to write some tutorials and explore some pattern variations, yay! My first project was a babydoll dress based on the (free!) Plantain pattern. You can read the tutorial here.

I've been wearing more and more loose clothes lately, so this dress fits perfectly in this new frame of mind. The low neckline and the fitted shoulders make it flattering and feminine, but the babydoll style means it's incredibly comfortable, and versatile too. I've been wearing this both in and outside the house, and it's perfect for both.

The version you see here was a test, made with some cheap knits with my stash, while for the dress you can see on the Deer and Doe blog I was lucky enough to work with some organic jersey from Les Trouvailles d'Amandine. Oh my goodness, that fabric puts to shame all the cheap stuff I've been working with, it's sooo soft, great both to wear and to work with. Not to mention, being quite the ecowarrior, I love the philosophy behind it.

Speaking of Plantain... Have you guys been working your own version? There just a few more days to enter the competition, so hurry up! :)

Taglia: taglia 38
Modifiche: ho trasformato la t-shirt in abito, come illustrato in questo tutorial.
Tessuto: due jersey dalla composizione sconosciuta dalla mia collezione.

Ciao a tutti e buon lunedì!
Vorrei cominciare la settimana con una notizia di cui sono felicissima: indovinate un po' chi scriverà per il blog inglese di Deer and Doe da ora in poi? Eggià!
Sarò l'autrice di qualche tutorial e mostrerò qualche variazione dei cartamodelli esistenti, e il mio primo progetto è un vestito basato sul modello (gratuito!) della t-shirt Plantain. Potete leggere il tutorial completo in inglese qui, e in francese qui.

Ultimamente ho iniziato ad indossare sempre più capi d'abbigliamento un po' più ampi, e questo abito in stile babydoll ricade perfettamente nella categoria. Lo scollo basso e le spalle aderenti lo rendono femminile, mentre la gonna ampia è estremamente comoda. Ho indossato quest'abito sia in casa che fuori, ed è perfetto per una moltitudine di circostanze.

La versione che vedete qui è una prova fatta con del jersey poco costoso che avevo in casa, mentre per la versione per il blog Deer and Doe ho avuto la fortuna di lavorare con del jersey bio di Les Trouvailles d'Amandine. Che stoffa fantastica, fa veramente impallidire il jersey da poco che ho utilizzato finora. E' morbidissima, un piacere sia da cucire che da indossare. Senza contare che, essendo io un po' un'eco-warrior, apprezzo molto la filosofia del suo negozio.

E a proposito di Plantain... State lavorando sulla vostra versione? Questi sono gli ultimi giorni per partecipare alla competizione, perciò sbrigatevi! :)

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Tutorial: How to Finish a Waist Seam with Bias Tape (Faux Waist Stay Tutorial)

Hey guys!
As promised, here's the little tutorial to show you how I finish the inside of dresses with a bulky waist seam. It will reduce some unwanted bulk and give you a clean, beautiful finish, all in one!

It's a super easy technique, you'll see; and the only notion you need is about 1m of bias tape (as much as your waist seam measures).

This is the stage of construction you want: the bodice and the skirt of the dress have been joint, but there still isn't a zipper. This dress has a center back zipper, but this technique will work on a side zipper as well.
I didn't even care to remove some of the basting threads I used to gather the skirt because we are going to trim the seam allowance anyways.
You want the seam allowance of the waist seam to be pressed upward.

1. Fold down the bodice of the dress so it's out of the way, and pin your bias tape through both seam allowances, very close to the seam. If you're using a slippery fabric or you're not very experienced, you might also want to baste before you move to the sewing machine. 

2. Edgestitch the bias tape to the seam allowances all along the waist seam; be careful not to catch the bodice in the seam.

3. Now trim the skirt seam allowance down to 5-6mm (1/4"). You don't want to trim too close to the seam (I went a little overboard) or you will weaken one of the most important seams of your dress.
If your fabric is very bulky, you might want to also trim down the seam allowance of the bodice; in this case, grade the seam allowances.

4. Fold  the bodice up again, and give a good press if needed. Pin (and baste, if you need more security) the bias tape to the bodice.
At this point you have two choices: you can either machine stitch or hand stitch the bias tape. Hand stitches are easier to conceal on the right side but are time consuming. Machine stitches are visible on the right side but are much faster.
If you decide to use your sewing machine (like I did in this case), remember to use a bobbin thread that matches your fabric and, as you sew, to slightly pull the bodice perpendicularly to the seam to avoid sagging.

This is how it looks on the inside...

... and on the outside.

Once the dress is worn, the seam is not very visible, especially if you're using a dark fabric (more photos of the dress here). 

I hope this tutorial will be useful, please let me know if you try this technique!

Tutorial: rifinire la cucitura in vita di un abito con lo sbieco

Oggi, come promesso, vi mostro la tecnica che uso con i vestiti che hanno troppo spessore alla cucitura in vita. In questo modo, eliminate dello spessore indesiderato e rifinite la cucitura in un sol colpo!

Si tratta di una tecnica semplicissima, vedrete; l'unico materiale necessario è circa un metro di sbieco (la quantità è pari alla lunghezza della cucitura in vita del vostro abito).

Questo è il punto della costruzione da cui volete iniziare: il corpino e la gonna dell'abito sono stati cuciti insieme, ma non c'è ancora la lampo.
Non ho nemmeno rimosso alcuni fili di imbastitura usati per arricciare la gonna, tanto andremo a tagliare il margine di cucitura.
Assicuratevi che i margini di cucitura siano stirati verso l'alto.

1. Tirate giù il corpino in modo che non sia d'intralcio e puntate lo sbieco sui margini di cucitura, posizionandolo molto vicino alla cucitura. Se la vostra stoffa è poco maneggevole o non siete molto esperte, imbastite lo sbieco prima di passare alla macchina da cucire.

2. Cucite lo sbieco ai margini di cucitura lungo tutta la vita, mantenendovi il più vicino possibile al bordo dello sbieco stesso. Fate attenzione che il corpino non finisca per sbaglio nella cucitura (succede!). 

3. Ora tagliate il margine di cucitura della gonna e riducetelo a 5-6mm. Non tagliate troppo vicino alla cucitura (come potete vedere io ho un po' esagerato) o indebolirete una delle cuciture più importanti dell'abito.
Se state lavorando con una stoffa molto spessa, potete ridurre anche il margine di cucitura del corpino.

4. Riportare il corpino nella sua posizione e, se necessario, date una bella stirata. Puntate (e, se necessario, imbastite) lo sbieco al corpino. 
A questo punto avete due scelte: cucire a macchina o a mano. Se cucite a mano, è più facile nascondere i punti sul diritto, ma ci vorrà più tempo. Se cucite a macchina, i punti saranno visibili dal diritto, ma ci metterete meno tempo.
Se decidete, come ho fatto io qui, di cucire a macchina, ricordate di usare un filo per la bobina abbinato alla stoffa e di tirare un pochino il corpino perpendicolarmente alla cucitura mentre cucite per evitare che la stoffa rimanga allentata tra la cucitura in vita e quella dello sbieco. 

Questo è il risultato al rovescio...

... e al diritto.

Una volta indossato il vestito, la cucitura non è granché visibile (altre foto di quest'abito qui).

Spero che questa tecnica via sia utile, fatemi sapere se la utilizzerete!

Monday, January 20, 2014

My Birthday Anna dress

***UPDATE: from now on, you can read my posts in Italian by clicking on the Italian flag in the top right sidebar. Thanks Pauline for helping me with this!***

Sizesize US8 for shoulders and bust, graded to a size US10 at the waist.
AlterationsI didn't use the 7-panel skirt of the pattern and opted for a very gathered skirt with in-seam pockets (I used the pattern piece from the Emery dress).
Fabric: A luxurious designer wool from my stash.

Back in November, when I made my first Anna dress, I told you that I fell in love with this pattern and that for sure there was going to be a second one. Well, here it is, probably one of my makes I'm most satisfied with!
This is my revenge on print placement after my Emery dress débacle, and I couldn't be happier with the result.

This gorgeous designer wool (although don't ask me what designer) was actually on of the first fabrics I've ever bought, which means it has been in my stash for about 8 years.
I remember buying it from this fantastic fabric store in my town (now closed, sadly) that carried almost exclusively designer fabrics. They used to always display remnants hanging on a clothes rack just outside the store, and even though I could hardly sew a straight line, I would always stop and look at them all. I guess fabric addiction is something I was born with XD

Anyways, this repeating print always intimidated me and I'm glad I waited all this time to use it, because it was so worth it!
Once I decided out I wanted to use it for an Anna dress, I figured I definitely wanted the roses to frame the neckline and have the plaid section in the middle of the dress. Once I placed the pattern pieces of the bodice on the fabric, it was quite easy to figure out the rest.

Just like last time, I went for a gathered skirt; this time it's even fuller, I used two panels in the whole width of the fabric. It's not the most flattering solution for my already full hips, but this fabric has such a lovely drape that makes the skirt so dreamy!
I used bias tape on the inside of the waist seam to eliminate some bulk, though, and I took pictures, yay! A tutorial is coming later on this week :D

I photographed this dress on my birthday, two weeks ago, and since I felt festive, I took out my cat ear headband (from ASOS) that I love so much but never have the courage to wear... I mean, if taking photos of a beautiful dress on your birthday is not the perfect occasion, I don't know what is XD

***D'ora in poi, potete cambiare la lingua di un post cliccando sulle bandierine nella barra laterale, a destra in alto. Grazie Pauline per l'aiuto!***

Tagliataglia US8 per spalle e petto, aumentata a US10 in vita.
Modifiche: non ho usato la gonna a 7 pannelli del modello e l'ho sostituita con una gonna molto arricciata con tasche nella cucitura (ho usato quelle dell'abito Emery).
Tessuto: una sontuosa lana dalla mia collezione.

A novembre, quando ho fatto il mio primo abito Anna, vi avevo detto che mi ero innamorata del modello che ce ne sarebbe stato sicuramente un secondo. Beh, eccolo qui! Probabilmente una delle creazioni di cui sono più soddisfatta!
Questa è un po' la mia rivincita dopo il disastroso piazzamento della stampa dell'abito Emery fatto a dicembre, e sono felicissima del risultato!

Questa meravigliosa lana designer (anche se non chiedetemi di QUALE designer) è stato forse il primo scampolo che io abbia mai comprato, il che significa che è rimasto nella mia collezione per qualcosa come 8 anni.
Ricordo di averlo comprato da questo negozio bellissimo del mio paese che vendeva (purtroppo ha chiuso) quasi solo tessuti firmati. Fuori dal negozio avevano in esposizione scampoli e rimanenze e, anche se all'epoca sapevo si e no fare una cucitura dritta, mi fermavo sempre a guardare queste stoffe e a sognare ad occhi aperti. Con la dipendenza da stoffa si nasce, mi sa XD 

Ad ogni modo, questa stampa ripetuta così particolare mi ha sempre intimidito e sono contenta di aver aspettato ad usarla, ne è decisamente valsa la pena!
Una volta deciso di volerla usare con il modello Anna, ho deciso che volevo le rose ad incorniciare lo scollo e la parte con il plaid nella sezione mediana. Una volta messi i pezzi del modello del corpino sulla stoffa, è stato semplice far quadrare il tutto.

Come l'altra volta, ho optato per una gonna arricciata, stavolta ancora più grande, poichè ho usato due rettangoli in tutta la larghezza del tessuto. Forse non è la soluzione migliore per i miei fianchi larghi, ma questa stoffa cade così bene che non ho saputo resistere a una gonna ultra femminile!
Ho utilizzato dello sbieco all'interno della cucitura in vita per eliminare un po' di eccesso di stoffa e ho fatto delle foto nel processo, per cui pubblicherò un tutorial prossimamente. :D

Ho fotografato quest'abito il giorno del mio compleanno, due settimane fa, e visto che ero in umore di festa, ho tirato fuori il mio adorato cerchietto con orecchie di gatto (di ASOS) che non ho mai il coraggio di mettere... Insomma, se fare le foto a un bel vestito il giorno del mio compleanno non è l'occasione giusta per indossarle, allora non so quando! XD

Friday, January 17, 2014

Burdastyle Magazine 02/2014

The flu knocked me out for a few days, so what better way to ease back into blogging than criticizing the new issue of good old Burda?
Let's go!

There are a couple interesting t-shirt patterns in this issue. This one has this draping on the front that I'm not too sure about... I want to like it, but it just doesn't convince me... I mean, I'm the kind of person who would be caught in a door knob or something within minutes of wearing this t-shirt, so...

EDIT: If you want to see a finished version of the t-shirt, my reader Carla very kindly sent me a link to Kathy Sews's blog. Thank you!

This other t-shirt again looks interesting on paper... but again it doesn't convince me. This thing at the neck feel a bit constrictive to me and I don't really like how it connects in the back.
The skirt is the first of a series of very, very cute A-line skirts in this issue. Quite lovely, really.

Finally for knits, I'm quite intrigued by this little dress here. I love the mix of materials and the asymmetry at the front. I'm also intrigued to know how that neckline is constructed (it looks like a triple band of some sort?).

Now, for a little bit of controversy.
You know what I'm about to say. THOSE PANTS. If you're one of those people who loves them and could even make them work, just know I admire you, because I can't help but shrugging and thinking "hideous", and I don't know if that just makes me a little small-minded. But yeah, I can't help it, I just hate them.
The jacket is really cute, but that's not the point, I'm too distracted by the pants.

And speaking of cute jackets... Hello! This reminds me a liiiittle bit of the Ninot jacket, the latest pattern by Pauline Alice and although I don't need a jacket like this one right now, it's a very, very nice one if you like a bit of vintage in your look.

I'm a bit surprised at myself, but I quite like this little top here! There's also a dress version and I like it even more.
The skirt is just beautiful, I die for all those pleats!

The skirt is a simpler (yet still very cute) variation of the previous one. The bustier... I don't know, it's something I probably wouldn't wear but it's not a bad idea per se... Opinions?

Give me a dress with a buttoned back and I'll be happy any day. Joking aside, this is REALLY cute. I'm curious to see how that belt is constructed with the front pleats...
The technical drawing here suggests that the stripes of this dress are pieces of three different fabrics... right? Wow, that seems like a LOT of work for such a simple dress. I definitely would never do it, but I guess it allows you to create some interesting effects...

My gosh, there's a lot going on in this dress... I really don't like the neck flounce, it looks a bit too... junior to me (and spoken from someone who wears Peter Pan collars almost daily, that's saying a lot).
I like the tucks, but I feel like there are way too many.

And finally, plus size patterns!
The top here is cute and has tons of potential for variation. The pants... eep! I really don't like them at all. That flared leg is so 90's to me and the pocket placement on the back seems very very wrong.

What a cute little jacket! It feels a bit matronly as styled here, but it could look much more fresh and young in another colour (or just with different styling, really).

What do you think, guys? To purchase or not to purchase?
I think I will get this issue, I'm not incredibly thrilled by it, but it's one of those I might regret not getting later on.

Nuovo mese, nuova review di Burda (non ancora in italiano, sorry!).
Che ne dite dei modelli di questo numero? Io probabilmente lo comprerò: anche se non mi fa impazzire, ci sono abbastanza modelli interessanti, e sono sicura che se non lo comprassi, tra qualche mese me ne pentirei... Mi è già successo troppe volte!