Friday, February 28, 2014

Pattern testing : Carme blouse by Pauline Alice

Pattern: Carme blouse by Pauline Alice.
Size: size 38 at the shouldersand bust, and 42 at the hips.
Alterations: none.
Fabric: cotton shirting, purchased locally.

This post comes a little late as this pattern was released last week, but maybe you haven't seen the latest offering by Paulice Alice just yet, or you want to read some opinions about it, so here it is!

I was asked by the lovely Pauline to test this pattern before its release, and it was quite a lovely process. One reason why I like to be a tester, it's to sometimes try a style that I wouldn't immediately pick for myself, and the Carme blouse is an example of this.
I've never been a huge fan of mao collars on myself, for some reason, and I don't wear a lot of loose-fitting blouses; Carme didn't rock my world on both these things, yet it was fun to sew something a little different (and I'm quite happy with the result). Two things I really like about this blouse are the vertical tucks (easier to construct than I expected) and the roll-up sleeves.

I chose my size based on the finished measurements rather than my own, so I basically went down a size for less loose fit. I didn't make a muslin a I ended up with the two fit issues I (almost) always get: the bust dart is too high for me and I should have done a small FBA. As I said, these are standard alterations for me; the rest was spot on.

The instructions for this pattern are very detailed and full of illustrations; the test version had a few faults, and Pauline worked really hard on them and did a great job. By the way, they come in English, French and Spanish. The only thing I would probably change in the instructions is suggesting to French-seam the sleeve seam, so that it looks neater when they're rolled up.
And one last piece of advice: if you're going to try this pattern, choose a fabric that's easy to mark! You'll thank me, I promise.

In these photos, I'm wearing my blouse with a pair of (unblogged) Chataigne shorts, but I've also tried it with jeans and tucked in a skirt, both with the sleeves down and rolled up, and it always looked great, I must say it's an extremely versatile garment!

I can't wait to see what Pauline is going to offer to us next!

Modello: Blusa Carme di Pauline Alice.
Taglia: taglia 38 per spalle e petto, 42 per i fianchi.
Modifiche: nessuna
Tessuto: cotone per camicie, comprato in un negozio locale.

Questo post è un po' in ritardo visto che questo modello è uscito la settimana scorsa, ma magari non lo conoscete ancora, oppure volete leggere qualche opinione a riguardo, perciò eccomi qui!

La carinissima Pauline mi ha chiesto di fare da tester per il suo ultimo modello prima della pubblicazione, ed è stato un processo molto divertente.
Uno dei motivi per cui mi piace fare la tester, è che a volte mi capita di provare dei design che non sceglierei immediatamente per me, e Carme ne è un esempio. Non mi sono mai piaciuti i colletti alla coreana su di me e non porto molti top "loose", e Carme non mi ha fatto cambiare idea, ma è stato comunque divertente cucire qualcosa di un po' diverso (e il risultato finale non mi spiace affatto). Due dettagli di questa blusa che mi sono piaciuti molto sono le pieghine verticali (più semplici e veloci da cucire di quanto temessi) e le maniche "arrotolabili".

Ho scelto la mia taglia basandomi sulle misure del capo finito e non sulle mie effettive, perciò ho praticamente scelto una taglia più piccola della mia per un effetto meno "loose". Non ho cucito una prova e mi sono ritrovata con i due difetti che ottengo (quasi) sempre: la pince è troppo bassa e avrei dovuto fare una piccola FBA, perchè mi tira un po' sul seno. Come ho detto, si tratta di due modifiche standard per me; il resto cadeva perfettamente.

Le istruzioni di questo modello (in inglese, francese e spagnolo) sono dettagliate e piene di illustrazioni. La versione di test aveva qualche mancanza, e Pauline ha davvero fatto un ottimo lavoro per implementarle e migliorarle. L'unica cosa che aggiungerei, è di cucire le maniche all'inglese, in modo da avere una rifinitura migliore quando le si arrotolano. E un piccolo consiglio: scegliete una stoffa semplice da marcare! Mi ringrazierete per questo, promesso.

In queste foto, indosso la blusa con un paio di short Chataigne (mai bloggati), ma l'ho anche messa con dei jeans e infilata in una gonna a vita alta, sia con le maniche giù che arrotolate, e funziona sempre benissimo, confermandosi un capo molto versatile.

Non vedo l'ora di vedere quale sarà il prossimo modello di Pauline! 

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

La Mia Boutique 03/2014

As anticipated in my latest review, I was very, very impatient to get the March issue of LMB as it features my favorite designer they've ever had on the magazine: Makola, the same person who made the May 2013 one of the best issues ever and basically gave me back hope toward this magazine.
Aaand... Makola didn't disappoint! Let's see:

Ok, this is not earth-shattering, but it's really beautiful nonetheless. A simple a-line shift dress and a cute, retro bolero, both very versatile patterns that could look good on many people.
The only thing I don't like here is the choice of material: if you don't use the same thick, knit fabric they used here (which for me would be quite hard to find), you'll need to modify the pattern in terms of finishing (for example, the neckline and armholes of the dress would need a facing or something like that).

Now we're talking! What a beautiful dress! Again, maybe it's not the most unique design, but it's a classic, it's feminine, flattering and very versatile.

Hellooooo lover! I think I fell in love with this dress, in fact I want to replicate it with the same black and white gingham fabric! The wide collar and the dramatic, pleated skirt are gorgeous and I like that it has princess seams in the front bodice (easier to fit). Added to the top of my summer to-sew list.

And finally from this designer, another cute, retro outfit, this time with pants. To be completely honest, I forgot to take a closer look at the instructions for the pants, because the waistband on the technical drawing looks a bit... weird. I'm not sure what's up with that.
The top is a very cute basic, perfect for variations and easy to fit, with the princess seams.

My excitement for this issue pretty much ends here. There still some cute patterns (although not really my cup of tea), but there's also one the ugliest things this magazine offered us:
This is everything I wouldn't want to look like: dated, dowdy and homemade-looking. Just terrible all over. Both pieces here are pretty insulting, but the skirt has to be one of the fugliest things I've ever seen. Ouch.

But luckily, not everything is on that level. This dress is not bad at all and it reminds a little bit of the Chantilly dress pattern by Colette.

This looks pretty hot! Again, I forgot to check what's going on with the waistband of those pants, but that top, while not for me, is quite beautiful.

Now, this is a really interesting dress, and unfortunately it doesn't really show in the picture. I personally wouldn't spend an incredible amount of time to trace, cut, and assemble a gazillion on panels (plus bias tape), but if you're less lazy than I am, this could be a real head-turner.

I was really surprised to see this pattern, as I don't think I've ever seen a pattern for a leotard! By the way, when I asked you for help to find a long sleeved leotard with a low back in my last post, many of you asked why I couldn't make it myself... Is this destiny? If I find the right fabric for it at a reasonable price, I'll definitely try this pattern, obviously, after altering the neckline.

I really want to like this dress, but I'm afraid there's just too much going on... What do you guys think?

Finally, a quick look at the plus-size section. There are some very cute patterns for the curvier ladies in this issue, like this dress. It's a bit complicated and some details get lost in the print, but I like it. It's another Colette look-alike (this time it's the Macaron dress pattern). If you're not a fan of the "t-shirt with a strapless dress" effect, you can always make it all in the same fabric, and it still has enough details to make it interesting.

This outfit is quite basic, but it looks rather youthful and very flattering on the model, something you can't always say about plus size patterns in this magazine.

Other remarkable patterns in this section are a cute sleeveless dress and a couple parkas. You can see them right here:
Full size here
I'm overall satisfied with this issue, so much so that I have a new must-sew summer dress.
What do you guys think?

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Minerva Blogger Network: Belladone dress with heart cut-out

Pattern: Deer and Doe's Belladone dress.
Size: size 38 at the shoulders, 40 at the waist and 42 at the hips.
Alterations: transformed the back using this tutorial from the Deer and Doe blog.
Fabric: cotton poplin from Minerva Crafts (can be found in this kit).

Ugh, this post was supposed to go live last Friday... I mean, I had the perfect dress for Valentine's day, right?
But that's one thing I have yet to learn after three years of blogging: write posts ahead of time, when you can, because life will get in the way just when you really want to post something.

Anyways, it's not Valentine's day anymore, but I don't love this dress any less!
I've actually wanted to make this variation of Belladone ever since it appeared on the Deer and Doe blog last year, and since we recently translated that post for the English blog, Valentine's day was the perfect excuse to finally try it.

I don't think I need to spend many words on Belladone, I made it three times before (1, 2 and 3) and it's still one of my favorite patterns ever. I could happily live with a wardrobe full of just Bleuets and Belladones, seriously. Anyway, more details on construction are here.

Another thing I love about this dress is the two rows of lace on the skirt. I never think about trims for my handmade clothes, but they can add such a beautiful little touch!

What else? Oh, yes! I wanted the cut out to stand out against my skin in these photos, but I didn't have any top with a back neckline low enough, so I just wore a knit bolero backwards, which worked for the photos but would be incredibly uncomfortable for real life. So, I'm on the lookout for a top, a t-shirt, or even better a leotard with long sleeves and a low (but bra-friendly) back; so far, I only came across dance wear tops, that leave the back completely bare. If you guys know of any (European) shop that has what I'm looking for, I'd really appreciate your help! :)

Modello: Abito Belladone di Deer and Doe
Taglia: taglia 38 per spalle e petto, 40 per la vita e 42 per i fianchi.
Modifiche: trasformato il corpino dietro utilizzando questo tutorial.
Tessuto: popeline di cotone di Minerva Crafts (potete trovarlo in questo kit).

Mannaggia, questo post doveva essere pubblicato venerdì scorso... Cioè, avevo il vestito perfetto per S.Valentino, no?
Questa è una lezione che ancora non ho imparato dopo 3 anni di blog: scrivi i post in anticipo, sei hai tempo, perché a volte la vita si mette in mezzo proprio al momento in cui vuoi assolutamente pubblicare qualcosa. 

Ad ogni modo, non è più S. Valentino, ma amo comunque moltissimo quest'abito!
Volevo provare questa variazione dell'abito Belladone da quando è apparsa sul blog di Deer and Doe l'anno scorso, e mi è tornata in mente di recente quando abbiamo tradotto il post per la versione inglese del blog, perciò S.Valentino era la scusa perfetta per metterla in pratica.

Non ho più molto da dire sul modello Belladone, avendolo già fatto altre 3 volte (12 e 3), se non che è ancora tra i miei modelli preferiti. Sarei felicissima se nel mio armadio ci fossero solo Bleuet e Belladone, davvero. Ad ogni modo, potete trovare più dettagli sull'abito qui.

Un'altra cosa che amo di quest'abito sono le due righe di pizzo in fondo alla gonna. Non penso mai alle passamanerie quando cucio, ma a volte anche facendone un uso molto discreto, fanno proprio la differenza.

Cos'altro? Ah, sì! Per queste foto volevo che il dettaglio cut-out sulla schiena risaltasse contro la pelle, ma non avendo maglie abbastanza scollate, ho indossato un bolero al contrario, cosa che ha funzionato per la foto, ma sarebbe scomodissima per la vita vera. Sono alla disperata ricerca di una maglia, o ancor meglio un body, a maniche lunghe e con la schiena scollata (ma non troppo, che non si veda il reggiseno). Ho trovato solo articoli per danza, con la schiena completamente scoperta e che quindi non fanno per me. Mi sapete aiutare? Grazie! :)

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Burdastyle Magazine 03/2014

I was ready to write an enthusiastic intro to this post, but then looking back at the patterns I selected from this March issue I'm not so convinced anymore. I know I tend to be hypercritical toward Burda, but... I don't know, let's just see.
Ok, strangely enough, this is my "coup de coeur" of the month. It's very similar to a pattern from last month (that Pauline has compared to something from the last collection of Chanel Couture), and I'm not too, too crazy about the squared neckline, but ever since this top appeared recently on Katey and Laney I'm more and more in love with this silhouette.

I'm really in love with the dramatic sleeves of this dress, but I really dislike the neckline (or lack thereof). Why does it look dramatically different on the model, though? I like it so much more in the photo!

Nice! I used to dislike bomber jackets, but after seeing a few Rigel bombers by Papercut pop up, I'm really warming up towards this style.

I have mixed feelings: on one side I like cropped blouses with a high-waisted skirt (since I wear this style 99% of the time), and the little details (such as the collar) are very cute here, but on the other, I don' know how practical this style can be (meaning: if I raise my arms, will I flash everyone?).
The skirt is quite blah, although I like the exposed darts in the back.

I can't decide if I like this blouse or if only like the photo... Those sleeves are probably very impractical, but I like how they look in a sheer, flowy fabric.

March also automatically means bridal issue. I'm not too impressed with this one, but these two vintage-y patterns are really cute and chic. The fit of the first one is not great on the model, which is a pity.
Plantain with a weird pleat on the front? Not crazy on this one.

Beautiful gown! I don't have an occasion for it, and the shape would look tragic on me, but it's stunning nonetheless.

Same thing for this dress. The proportions would look tragic on my shape, but it's an extremely cute dress for ladies with a slender figure :)

Finally a couple of gorgeous dresses for the plus-size ladies. Burda very often offers boxy, dowdy looks for plus size women, but when they do it right, it's with stunning results.

Final balance... I know myself, when in doubt, I probably won't be able to restrain myself and will add this one to the collection.
What about you guys?

Saturday, February 8, 2014

February Featured Sponsor: Urban Cut

Today, I'm really pleased to have a little chat with Stefanie, owner of German-based pattern shop, Urban Cut, and my newest sponsor.

 Please tell us more about yourself (where you're from, hobbies, if you like to sew, etc.)
Hi! I'm Stefanie and I live near the wonderful city of Munich. In 2009 I started to sew and have never stopped ever since. Two years later I started a blog, where I still share my sewing projects.
At the beginning I sewed a lot of breadbaskets and bags. Nowadays I mainly sew my own clothing.

 What made you decide to open Urban Cut?
Last spring, I hosted a sew along together with Alex from Mama Macht Sachen. I wanted to sew the the Robson Coat from Sewaholic and ordered the pattern in Canada. Unfortunately, the pattern got lost on the way to Germany.
I searched for online shops in Germany to get the pattern in time for the sew along, but I didn't find one. So I decided to change this and to do it myself :-) 

 What's the sewing world like in Germany?
There's a great sewing community in Germany, represented by fantastic blogs of wonderful seamstresses. We have a lot of great sewing events, for example the "Me Made Mittwoch" just to mention one - the self made wednesday, where we present our self-made outfits, worn in our everyday life. That's a great source of inspiration and my to-sew list gets longer every week.

✄ How did you select the products for your shop?
I would be lying if I said that my personal taste doesn't have an impact on which products I choose ;-)
I try to have patterns for all levels of sewing experience so that you can find patterns for beginners up to advanced seamstresses. My personal goal is to find new patterns to expand my offer continuously.

✄ What do you see in the future of Urban Cut?
I hope I still discover new designers and can provide wonderful patterns to my customers.
At the moment most of my customers live in Germany, but there is a growing number of orders from different european countries. I'm very happy that my offer appeals to seamstresses and I hope to keep gaining popularity all over Europe.

Thank you, Stefanie!
If, like me, you live in Europe, you might not like to buy patterns from across the Ocean because of shipping costs and time; I usually purchase from the UK, but Germany is closer to me and shipping costs are usually cheaper, so new shops like Urban Cut are a win-win for me!

For those of you who want to do the same, here's a discount code kindly provided by Stefanie:


Wednesday, February 5, 2014

A super girly Airelle dress

Size: size 38
Alterations: turned the collar into a Peter Pan shape; omitted the darts, added the skirt panels of the Sureau dress.
Fabric: black cotton poplin form my stash; bow-printed chiffon from Wholeport.

*This post contains affiliate links*
It's a rainy, gloomy week and I don't feel like blogging, but I've been quite productive lately and I'd hate to have project photos pile up just because I'm lazy.

So here's one of my latest makes, a variation of Deer and Doe's Airelle blouse. I love this pattern to pieces, but my first two attempts (1 and 2) weren't very successful. My main mistake was fabric choice, both were too stiff for this garment. And because I also wear dresses much more than separates, I decided that for my next attempt I would make it into a dress.

I received this fabric as part of the blogger sponsorship program at Wholeport and I thought it would be perfect for a dreamy, super feminine version of Airelle. This chiffon wasn't exactly easy to work with, but it does look incredibly cute.

One of my favorite things of this pattern is how well the collar is drafted, it perfectly lays on the shoulders.
One piece of advice, though: don't skip the facing! I hate facings and I replace them with bias tape every time I can, but in this case, the bias tape will really complicate your life and it will be very difficult to make the neckline look neat on the inside.

And that's it! To be honest, this is not my favorite dress ever, but I do like it nonetheless and it fits quite seamlessy into my wardrobe.
What would you have made with this chiffon?

Taglia: taglia 38
Modifiche: transformato il colletto in Peter Pan; omesso le pince; aggiunto la gonna dell'abito Sureau.
Tessuto: popeline nero dalla mia collezione; chiffon con stampa a fiocchi di Wholeport.

*Questo post contiene link di affiliazione*
Che brutto tempo, questa settimana! Piovoso e malinconico, mi ha tolto qualsiasi voglia di scrivere! Ma visto che sono stata piuttosto produttiva ultimamente, mi spiacerebbe lasciare accumulare le foto dei miei ultimi progetti solo perché sono pigra, perciò ecco una delle mie ultime fatiche: una variate della blusa Airelle di Deer and Doe.

Amo moltissimo questo modello, ma i miei primi due tentativi (1 e 2) non sono stati di successo. Per entrambi ho usato della stoffa troppo rigida, che li rendeva scomodi; inoltre, indosso molti più abiti che separati, perciò sapevo che il mio tentativo seguente avrebbe dovuto essere una trasformazione in abito.

Ho ricevuto questa stoffa come parte del programma di sponsorship di Wholeport e ho pensato subito che sarebbe stata perfetta per una versione ariosa e super femminile di Airelle. Questo chiffon non è molto semplice da tagliare e da cucire, ma è veramente carinissimo.

Una delle mie cose preferite di questo modello è il colletto, che cade perfettamente sulla curva del collo.
Un consiglio, però: usate la paramentura! Io odio le paramenture e le sostituisco appena posso con lo sbieco, ma in questo caso vi complichereste la vita e non avreste un interno ben rifinito.

Ed è tutto! A essere sinceri, non è il mio abito preferito di sempre, ma mi piace comunque ed è una buona aggiunta al mio guardaroba.
Voi che cosa avreste fatto con questo chiffon?