Thursday, February 28, 2013

Newsflash: Spring/Summer Marfy Patterns Announced

The latest collection of Marfy patterns has been released, with lots of floaty pretty dresses perfect for spring.  I have never sewn with a Marfy pattern (I can't even bring myself to get over the cost and buy one, especially with the lack of instructions and multi-sizing), but I have seen them used with lovely results, so I thought the latest collection was worth a mention.

F3153 - I love the contrast of the black lace top over the sleek white dress.
I might have to try to re-create this look using one of the patterns I already own...

F3127 - The draped shoulder is so elegant on this dress...

F3062 - The shoulder seam details are really interesting on this dress.
I could also see this being great for color blocking.

F3168 - Even though I haven't totally embraced the whole peplum trend,
I do love how this soft ruffle ends in a peplum.

F3152 - Another dress where I love the draping shoulder detail.

F3165 - The neckline cut outs are interesting, and I love the way seam goes into the skirt hem.

F3157 - I love the skirt pleating and ruffle details.  And the lace top is pretty cute too.

F3029 - This collar detail seems to be showing up in more and more patterns of late.

F3095 - The tie front is an interesting idea, and wouldn't
be too hard to add to an existing blouse pattern.

F3117 - I am not usually one to go around with a bare midrif,
but I do sort of like this top/pants combo.

F3131 - I like this shirt, but it looks similar to a few other pattens I own.
So, what do you all think?  Have you tried a Marfy?  Is it worth the price?  Do you see any favorites in this pattern collection?  And even if you aren't a Marfy fan, are we all ready for some serious spring sewing yet?

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

April Burda Style Early Preview Posted

The early preview of the April Burda magazine was just posted to the German website.  It seems like I haven't been very impressed by any of the early previews recently (only to then be blown away by the full issue of the magazine), but this month I think I might be in for a full issue of boredom.  Seriously - blah colors, blah shapes, blah photo shoots.  As always, I will reserve judgement until the full issue comes out, but with the early preview looking like this... well, I might be holding out for May.

I feel like I should like the pants and the jacket, but
something about the color and the oversized fit is putting me off.

Boucle dresses seem to be hot in the Burda magazines right now...
But this one is rather shapeless and a boring color to boot.

Just what we don't need - more summer sack dresses...

A sack dress that looks like a bathrobe... ugh.

This top is sort of cute, I guess?  In a sixteen going on seventeen kind of way.

Not a fan of the sleeves... But the rest of the dress is alright.

Still not a fan of the sleeves...  And that top is low, even by Burda standards.

It looks like we have a section for men's clothes!  (Yay!)
Although I am not sure why we are dressing them for the potato famine...

I suppose this basic sheath dress is cute?  But sort of boring... nothing I haven't seen before.
So... thoughts?  Is everyone else as bored as I am?  I suppose I am hoping for more from the full preview, but based on the designs so far I am not really expecting it.  In the mean time I am still obsessing over a lot of the designs from the March issue (seriously obsessing you guys - fabric has been ordered and tracing is imminent), so I won't be too upset if nothing in the April issue tempts me.  Though I can definitely see that it is time to start sewing for spring!

Friday, February 22, 2013

Pattern Review: BS-12-2012-138

Yet another "quick" sewing project I decided to make up that has nothing to do with my year-long sewing goals.  To be completely honest, due to multiple family members relocating at close to the same time the living space is a bit cramped right now, so some of my fabric stash is readily accessible and some of it is not.  Aside from fabric stash accessibility, my general thinking was that having my first project back after a rather long sewing hiatus being the teal blazer with welt pockets was probably not the best idea.  Mix in my cold/flu energy low and you end up with knit tops and fleece jackets.  Ah well.  At least I have been sewing.

In any case, the latest sewing project is another pattern from the December 2012 BurdaStyle Magazine:

BS-12-2012-138 - Color Blocked Coat

This project was a bit more time consuming than my other recent projects, but mostly because color blocking means lots of pieces.  And lots of changing thread.  And lots of seams to deal with.  I am thinking that of my projects so far this year, this one will probably see the least amount of use.  Not because it turned out poorly, but mostly because I don't think it really fits in with "my style" (Whatever that is.  I think it is morphing right now.  A work in progress so to speak.)  I thought this coat looked very cute in the magazine, but sort of knew it might not be the type of garment I would wear out on the town regularly.  Which is why I decided to do an experimental/wearable muslin version out of some rather inexpensive craft-store grade fleece.  I was trying to get my favorite color combo - teal/purple/black, but ended up with more of a mint/blue/black color palate.  The purple options were a little too Easter egg if you know what I mean.  I am pretty happy with the finished product though:

Color blocking!
And it has pockets!
Side #1.
Side #2.
The back.
The collar, and the fantastic black "fabric covered" hook and eye closures I found at JoAnn Fabrics.
Close-up of the curved yoke seam.

Here is my official pattern review:

Pattern Description:  Color blocked coat pattern using three colors.

Pattern Sizing:  Burda sizes 34-42.  I traced a size 38 at the collar, graded out to a 40 at the shoulders, and used a size 42 on the sleeves and lower back.

Were the instructions easy to follow?  Actually I thought the instructions were really good!  I pretty much followed them (though I didn't really need them) since they were the construction order I would have used on my own anyway.  I didn't finish the inside facing exactly as described, but since the fleece isn't going to ravel or fray I figure it doesn't really matter all that much.

Did it look like the photo/drawing when you were done with it?  Yes!  I changed the colors, but it looked very much like the photo and line drawing in the end.

What did you particularly like/dislike about the pattern?  I liked how this pattern used the color blocking trend to create interesting shapes in the coat design, but also be flattering to the body.  I also really like how shaping is built into the seams that help form the coat to the body.  It isn't a tight figure-hugging shape, but it is definitely not a box with sleeves either.  Despite the curved seams and many pieces, this was actually pretty easy to put together, so that was nice as well.  My only dislike is that the back of the sleeves seemed to have a lot of unnecessary ease.  Otherwise I thought the pattern was great.

Fabric used:  I used (anti-pill) fleece from Jo-Ann Fabrics for most of the jacket.  Some leftover jersey scraps were used for the front pocket pieces (to reduce bulk), and I used a bit of interfacing for the collar.

Pattern alterations or design changes you made:  None.  I made the coat exactly as drafted.

Would you sew this again?  Would you recommend it to others?  Well, this coat does make quite a statement, so I don't know that I really need a closet full of them.  I am a bit on the fence about the style (on the one hand, I really like the bold fun colors, but on the other I don't know if I will really wear it out a lot).  So I would tentatively say that I probably won't make another one, at least not anytime soon. However, I think the pattern is fantastic and I would totally recommend this to anyone who has an interest in making a color blocked coat.  Or even someone who didn't want to color block and just wanted interesting seam line details.  I think this could look pretty fantastic with piping details instead of using a bunch of different fabrics.  Or using a print fabric on the center front and back (and maybe the colar) with solid colors everywhere else.  And I think this pattern would work well in heavy winter coating or in lightweight coating for spring.  The only caveat is that there is no lining with this pattern, so you would have to draft your own.  But overall it is a really versatile pattern and I would highly recommend it.

Conclusion:  This coat definitely makes a statement (at least in the bold colors I chose), so I don't know that it is necessarily the best addition if one is looking to create a collection of versatile wardrobe staples.  However, it is a well drafted pattern that can create quite a statement piece and lends itself to creative fabric choices and usage.  I am not sure how much use I will get out of my rendition of the coat, but I am very pleased with the results in any case.  It is much easier to sew than it looks and the drafting is great.  Highly recommended!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Newsflash: New Butterick Patterns Announced

The latest round of Butterick patterns can be seen here.  It seems like the biggest trend for this spring is oversized baggy clothes.  Though I will admit that the new Gertie and retro patterns buck the trend somewhat.  Overall there isn't anything I find totally drool-worthy, but there are some nice dresses for spring.  Let's take a peak...

The major trend of this release seems to be oversized pattern, which we all know is not exactly my favorite look.  But, well, I will try to be as fair as possible to the new looks.

B5884 - A Suzi Chin pattern.
I feel like the fabric choice makes for a great photo,
but I don't think the sleeves would be super practical in real life.

B5884 - I suppose the sleeveless version is a bit more versatile?
But also pretty boring.

B5883 - Another Suzi Chin pattern.
I want to like the drape, but it really just makes the dress look like a rectangle with a cowl neck.

B5881 - a kAtheRine Tilton pattern.
I appreciate that the patchwork quality of this top doesn't look too forced.
Still not a fan of the baggy shape.

B5891 - another kAtheRine Tilton.
Not really a fan of the super wide hem - it makes the top look like a tent.

B5889 - Generic oversized tunic top.

B5893 - Even the pants are oversized and baggy!
I mean, typically I am a fan of a nice wide-legged trouser,
but these look like giant rectangles with an elastic waistband.
(Also - floral placement over the crotch is a crisis only partially averted.)

B5874 - A See & Sew pattern.
I actually might get this one because it looks like one of my
sister's favorite RTW tops and she has requested a re-make.
There are also a few cute Gertie and Retro looks:

B5882 - A new Gertie pattern.
I predict this will be a popular look, especially with the vintage lovers.

However, the peek-a-bustier top reminds me a bit much of some not-so-favorite skating costumes
I have seen others wear in the past.  It isn't that I dislike the top of this dress exactly,
it is just that I could never imagine myself ever wearing it.  Oh, well.  This pattern will be a pass for me.

B5895 - Another Gertie pattern.
The top and high-waisted pants are cute, but not really my style.

B5880 - A Retro Butterick pattern.
I like the top and hip drape, but I think the length would be quite awkward on me.
I think this will be another pass for me, but I do hope to see some of the
vintage lovers out there make this one up though.
There were a few other patterns of note in this release:

B5886 - A Muse pattern.
A rather basic pattern but I sort of like it.  I really like that the back is
covered and not an open halter neck, and that this is designed for
non-stretch fabrics and is meant to be lined.

B5886, again.  Actually, I think I like the even hem better though.  And I might
have some stash fabric that is calling out to be made into this dress...

B5885 - A Maggy London pattern.
Not sure how I feel about the zig-zag hem.

B5887 - Another Muse pattern.
I am sort of liking the color blocking on this knit dress, but I don't exactly find the
dress in the picture super flattering  on the model.  Something to ponder...

B5894 - A nice party dress.
I am a bit torn on the scalloped detail, but I think I sort of like it.

B5870 - A See & Sew easy knit dress.
I predict this could be a popular style and it looks pretty easy to put together.

B5873 - Another See & Sew pattern.
Very simular to some Vogue and McCall's patterns I already have, but I do like the style.

B5900 - How cute is this children's historical costume?

B5901 - They even have the accurate undergarments.

B5879 - Maybe it is a combo of the fabric, the skirt, and all the ruffles,
but am I the only one who thinks "frumpy?"
And that's about it.  Well, that's not entirely it, but the wardrobe patterns were snooze-worthy, and I don't care to review the children's patterns.  Overall I have to say it seems a bit blah.  I mean, sure, there are a few patterns I think I might pick up at a sale, but nothing really spectacular for me in this release.  What do you all think?  Anything here going to be added to your spring sewing?  Or do all of these patterns remind you of things you already have in your stash?  Feel free to discuss in the comments!