Saturday, 24 August 2013

Well, that was a disaster of a week

Let me just sum up my week by saying I spent four days in the hospital from Monday to Thursday and leave it at that. Ugh. What a vile, awful, hard week. I'm fine, more or less, and I'll be 100% fine in a few weeks with the help of some drugs, but just, wow, tough week that I'd prefer not to have to go through again.

The knock on effect, from a sewing perspective, is that there's no way I'm getting my sewing area set up any time soon. My second bedroom at the new apartment I moved into is going to be my sewing room (and also where visitors sleep should I have any -- I don't generally have a lot of overnight guests though, so most of the time it will be totally in sewing room setup).  At the moment, the room is full of assorted junk, plus all my sewing stuff still in boxes and bags and whatever. The only thing I have managed to do so far is put all my sewing books and magazines on a bookshelf. Where I lived before they were just piled up in various places, so it's nice to see them neatly organized on a shelf. My fabric though is still all in tubs inside the wardrobes and there's barely room to move around the room because of all the empty boxes and whatnot currently filling up the space.

As a consequence, I am abandoning any plan to do the Mini Wardrobe competition, even though I've been looking forward to it all year long. It's just not in the least bit feasible, between the sewing room situation, my current health situation (though I should feel totally 100% myself again in a couple of weeks), stuff going on for work and the fact that my weight is actually changing rapidly right now. I am so bummed about it though. :(

To cheer myself up while I was in hospital, though I spent quite a lot of time looking at patterns, bought a couple, and allowed myself to get excited at the thought of a couple of others.

First up, the Autumn/Winter issue of Burda Plus turned up this week, which was mildly entertaining. I was in two minds whether to buy it at all, but in the end fell victim to my usual completist mentality and thought I would regret not having it later if I didn't and then people started making amazing things from it.

Here are my top picks from the issue:
Burda Plus 02-2013-421
I think the fabric is probably part of the appeal of this dress, but the actual line drawing is really interesting as well:

I don't love the neckline -- I hate high necked anything, it just looks terrible with my very large bust -- but I find the darts in the small of the back really interesting. There are a couple of other versions in the magazine as well and they all look really elegant.

Is it weird that I like this? I know I am the first person to bitch about Plus patterns that are giant sacks, but somehow this layered dress really appeals to me:

It's slightly 20s looking without being full on flapper or drop waist. I don't know, something about it appeals to me. Maybe I just wish I looked like this model.

Other than that, there are a few things I kind of like, but am not hugely enthusiastic about. I saw a coat-dress like this one in a shop the other day and it actually looked amazing, but I don't know that I'd wear it. I also quite like these three variations on a jacket/coat pattern, but I am not really up for thinking about making coats this year. 

A lot of the styling and fabric choices left a lot to be desired in this issue (what is this outfit, Burda? Why would anyone go walking in the countryside with their dog in a purple glittery top and trousers that look like someone threw up on them?) but the absolute worst shot in the whole magazine, from both a pattern and styling perspective, is this one:

WHAT IS THAT DRESS? This is the same model as in the first pattern I picked out -- she has a pretty classic hour-glassy looking figure in that shot. She looks a totally different shape in this dress and not in a very flattering way. And the COLOUR. And the random CHINA RHINO ON THE FLOOR NEXT TO HER. Just. What is going on in this shot?

So that was Burda Plus. Probably not worth the money I paid for it, if I'm honest. I like to have three solid possible makes in an issue before I shell out for it and this I really shouldn't have bought under those rules. I also probably shouldn't have bought either the last issue of Burda Plus or the S/S of Burda Easy, either. Burda, why must you suck the money out of my pocket this way? :(

However, the previews for the A/W Burda Easy are really exciting. You can see the pretty pictures on my favourite Russian blogger's site already (I don't know how she gets them, but she's always the first with Burda previews!). I won't hotlink the photos but wow, there's a TON in this issue that I already really like -- in fact, I like most everything except some of the colour blocked stuff. Plus it's Burda Easy, which means real pattern sheets and actual instructions. So glad this is available in English again! I pre-ordered it the second I saw the previews so it is actually WEEKS from arriving, but I am really looking forward to when it does. I will probably review it a little more when it eventually turns up.

Meanwhile, probably my favourite magazine at all, Ottobre Woman, also released a new issue, 05-2013. I LOVE Ottobre for the classic, simple patterns they produce, the quality of the drafting and the fact that they not only size most garments for 36-52, but they show women in larger sizes in their garments in the magazine. Sure, it's not the most fashion forward magazine, and I know people bitch that the photos are badly styled or whatever, but if you want a solid set of basics, you just can't go wrong with Ottobre.

My two top picks from the magazine are:

This jersey top. The one thing I really liked about the Rose Tee I muslined, even though it went kind of wrong, was the rounded V-neck, and this has the same look to it. However, it's also ruched at the side seams and has a curved underbust seam, all of which I find really interesting. I really need smart long-sleeved jersey tops for work and I am very very tempted to make one of these.

I love literally everything in this shot. I love the jacket most of all. Her arm kind of hides the little design feature of some tucks that define the waist. I like the little peplum blouse although I am not sure it is really my style I'd be willing to try it. And I really like that little banded straight skirt as well.

Overall, I am super excited by the new Ottobre and absolutely can't wait to get it in the post.

And finally, I actually bought a couple more envelope patterns recently because I'm ridiculous. I finally got around to ordering the A/W issue of MyImage. I'm not super excited by the issue but see above re. being a completist about things. I decided to pick up the last Imagewear envelope pattern I wanted as well, IW1003. They're currently (since I bought it, of course!) on sale for €1 each, so if you've ever fancied the patterns now would be the time to buy!

I keep a close eye on the UK Simplicity official reseller as well. They had a pattern I'd fancied for ages as the "Pattern of the Week" selection two weeks ago (which means it's £3.50 inc p&p, which is pretty good. The pattern was Simplicity 1652. And then RIGHT NOW, Simplicity UK are doing a half price deal on all Simplicity patterns so I ordered a couple of others I've also had my eye on for a while: 2247 and 1754.

And finally, I've been mainly indifferent to the pre-Fall catalogue releases by the Big 4, but I do like this peplum jacket from New Look and although it's a total basic, I am tempted by New Look's new knit pencil skirt pattern, since I've been looking at how to turn one of my existing woven patterns into something suitable for a stable knit for weeks now. If I lived somewhere where Butterick patterns were cheap I'd probably pick up quite a few of their new collection as well. There's nothing I'd want to spend €10 to acquire, but if I lived in the land of the $2 pattern I might well want several of them.


  1. Really sorry to hear you have had such a bad time of it. It sounds like you are out of the woods and on the way to recovery of sorts, so I can understand your hopeful purchases - just looking forward to better times ahead!
    Hope you have a much better Autumn.

    NB.I often wait until the Big 4 have their sale and get 7 all at once, with postage it seems to balance out to being better than non-sale UK price.

    1. Ugh, it was just the WORST week ever. Hospitals are no place for sick people, they're so loud and it's so hard to sleep.

      It is very useful to know that the magic number is 7! I'm seriously considering whether I want to join the "pattern club" on SewDirect to get the discounted UK price, but I can't quite bring myself to pull the trigger on it. :|

  2. Hope you're feeling much better soon. I enjoy your blog - thanks for all the useful links. Love the layered dress, too! Very elegant.

    1. Thank you! :) I think that layered dress is so pretty. A bit impractical for every day though, and I don't go out so often that a satin/chiffon dress is really a necessity.

  3. Hope you are feeling better soon! Thanks for mentioning the Imagewear sale because I wanted to try them out sometime, and 1 euro with free worldwide shipping is hard to beat. I would offer to get you Big 4 patterns from here in the US during the sales, but with international shipping costs having gone up so much, I'm not sure you'd save much money over the BMV deals.

    1. That Imagewear deal is amazing isn't it? I think they are trying to clear the old stock out.

      I've done the thing where a friend posted on patterns that I had sent to her from BMV and it really works out not that much cheaper, plus it was a giant load of hassle for the person in the US who had to go to a post office etc etc. So I've given up on the kind of relay thing. Maybe I could take the radical step of buying fewer patterns!

  4. Sorry to read you have been ill, but glad you are on the mend. Be well.

    1. Thanks! I am much better already. :)