Thursday, 11 October 2012

MyImage magazines 2011-2012

My MyImage magazines arrived this morning in the post! I spent some time looking through them and thinking about what I want to make. This is the first time I've picked up the magazine after Melissa at Fehrtrade offered a coupon. She has reviewed the magazines and made up a few garments from it previously, which is how I knew about it (I am the absolute worst lurker on other people's blogs, seriously).

I thought I would review the magazines at first look generally before I make anything. As I'm a relative beginner to sewing garments, I guess I'm trying to give a beginner's perspective on the magazines and (eventually) on making up the patterns in them. Of course, you can also make up your own mind by looking at the online version of the magazines and the line drawings. This got really long, so click the jump cut for more!

Patterns and Instructions: The format and look of the actual patterns and instructions section is very reminiscent of Ottobre. For me, that's a good thing, because I love Ottobre. Most importantly, I think, the pattern sheets are similar in size and design -- four pages of overlapping multi-coloured lines on a white background. It's less easy than a regular single or multi-sized pattern envelope, yes, but still much friendlier than Burda's pattern sheets in my opinion. As with all the magazines, the patterns don't include seam allowances. This doesn't bother me overly -- I just add them in to the paper pattern.

The instructions are extremely brief -- more brief even than Burda! I haven't tried to follow them yet, so I can't really report on how good or bad they are, but looking at the pattern I've ear-marked for my first item from the magazine, they reasonably comprehensible, if very very succinct. They do seem to assume you know how to construct garments to a degree (they don't mention seam finishing, for example). I'll definitely report more thoroughly on this in my first pattern review.

The other thing that reminds me of Ottobre is the baffling "difficulty rating". Ottobre give us undefined dots (1, 2 or 3) with no explanation. MyImage rate items 1-5 based on difficulty, but the rating is defined in the most amusingly limited way ever, for example: "1 = no experience", 3 = "reasonable experience". Helpful, I don't think!

Styles and Styling: Since they have all the patterns shown in the magazines online (which I LOVE and wish everyone would do -- Burda and Ottobre both half-ass this step, in my opinion) you can actually form your own opinion about whether the content is to your taste. In my opinion, one thing Ottobre and MyImage have in common is that the patterns are mainly stuff you'd make to wear every day (cake, as a lot of bloggers call it) rather than very fancy garments that you'd wear for parties (frosting). However, I would say MyImage is slightly more youthful and trendy overall compared to Ottobre, which does tend to be relatively conservative and, in my opinion, pitched to a slightly older audience overall. Some of the MyImage styles are probably too young for me entirely (the tiny winter shorts in the A/W 2012-13 magazine for example) and a couple are styles that I think will date rapidly, particularly the trouser patterns. The relative youthfulness also shows in the styling of the models with lots of really bright prints and vivid colours. I am not sure this is always the best for showing off the style lines of the patterns -- you end up squinting really closely at those items that are shown in solids/relatively subdued prints in order to figure out how certain design elements you can see in the line drawings actually work out. It is easier to see them in the large magazine photos than the small online photos though, prints notwithstanding.

I've seen some people complain in the PR threads about the magazine about the fact that the magazine shows the same patterns several times, but I actually really like that. I also like that they show the back of some garments and some detail shots, although a couple of times I've been like "wait, what am I looking at here? O.o" at the detail shots. I'd like it even more if the magazine showed people of several different body types in the outfits since they're repeating them anyway, but at this stage I am resigned to the fact that nobody selling fashion ever uses a range of body shapes (except Ottobre!).

Sizing: The sizing seems very similar to Burda and Ottobre. Right now, my unfortunate fluctuating weight means I am right at the top of the range I move around in. The size range is 34-48, although not all the patterns have the bottom two or the top two sizes. You're probably least well served if you're a solid 48 or a 34. For me personally, as a 42-46 (depending on which measurement we're talking about!) I'd have to grade for size in A/W 2012-13 for just two patterns although neither of them are actually things I would want to make. I would say, looking at the four magazines I have, that their trend is towards more inclusive sizing over time. I'll report back on sizing in more detail when I make up a pattern.

Individual patterns: The real test to me is how many patterns I'd earmark to actually make. On this occasion, I paid the equivalent of £18 including postage for the four magazines or £4.50 each. From this point on, to buy the new magazine it's going to be more like £6. In general, I usually pay between £2 and £4 per envelope pattern, and will rarely spend more. So, for me each magazine has to have at least two patterns I definitely want to make, and preferably a couple of others that I really like and would at least consider making in order for me to get value for money.

Going through the four magazines that I have, I've easily hit those guidelines -- much more easily that I hit them for Burda, for example. For most of them I like 3-4 items enough to imagine making them, and usually a couple of others are "possibles". I don't always have the skill set right now for all of them though. I really love a few of the jackets, and they are mainly rated 4 on the difficulty rating, which I think is probably beyond me for the moment. Still, I'm encouraged by how much I found that I would make.

So what is my first planned pattern to make up? It's M1262, a jersey dress with a pleated bodice that should (in theory) be easy to FBA. Stayed tuned to see me working on this pattern.


  1. Westmoon - you are an enabler!!! Last time you posted about the My Image (and other) magazines I went to the My Image website and put a whole lot of stuff in my basket..... and then thought - hang on - I have heaps of patterns I haven't sewn yet (well over a hundred) so emptied the basket. With this post I just had to buy the magazine! At least I limited myself to just the current issue. I will have to grade up the patterns but I love some of those dresses.

    1. It's true, I am a terrible person! /o\

      I too have SO MANY patterns and magazines, I really didn't need any more either, but there's so much that's to my taste in these magazines I couldn't resist. I spent this evening in front of the TV tracing that dress pattern and doing an FBA so I can make up a muslin this weekend.