Monday, June 28, 2010

A Sad Week

Mr Nicky, our 18 year old dog died last week.  He was really fading that last week or so but he was a great dog to the end.  We got him when he was 6 months old right after our son's bar mitzvah.  Our daughter Alex was 6 years old; they grew up together. He was very popular with the girls in her dorm when we brought him  with us to visit Alex both at boarding school and college and she was of course thrilled.  She lavished attention on him when she was home last fall between contracts.  He'd gotten crotchety in his old age, but he let Alex pet him and hold him while  he was intolerant of our attentions.  She kept hoping that he'd last till she came home from Korea this December,  but that was asking too much of him.   I keep looking for him when I walk through rooms.  
On top of that, I put my back out yesterday.  Not the worst I've had, but not great.  I am doing my back exercises and taking it easy. 

I have gotten some sewing done and I'll get to that in my next post.  Pants that fit. Finally. 

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

I Scored La Mia Boutique

My moratorium on buying foreign pattern magazines is over with my scoring the June issue of La Mia Boutique.  I didn't know what was in it, but I decided to take a chance because the price wasn't bad and because it was coming from Around the World, Inc.  the international magazine store at 28 W 40th Street in NYC.  I wouldn't be waiting 3 months for delivery, or paying more than I paid for the magazine and shipping for shipping alone.  Apparently they now have a website, but they  haven't listed  all the pattern magazines that they carry on it.  I found out about all this on a thread over on Pattern Review. They did respond to a query by adding it to the site.  Wonder what other pattern magazines they have and haven't listed.
I knew from the cover that there would probably not be much I'd want to sew in it, but there are several, including some plus sizes that will work for me.  Some of it was just too frilly and exposed for me, but if you are young and fit, you may like a lot of this.  What I don't get, is why they all seem to love the American west as a design influence.  You've seen it in Burda and Patrones too.
Anyway, here's what interests me. Obviously not this cover, but this is how the text got lined up.

You'll notice the obvious cowboy reference?  

I like this dress.  It's in a very Missoni like knit that would be great to find but of course that's not happening. 
Love this top.  Think of all those scraps I can use up!  I'll leave off the scribbly stuff. Too crafty by far.
she looks larger than the regular sized models, but take a look at this one.  Does she even look close to plus size?
On the whole there are several things I will add to my sewing queue so the purchase was not a total loss.  I am having trouble with blogger and  can't figure out how to get the type and pictures to look good together.  I haven't figured out how to make columns with pictures inset next to type.  It's frustrating especially when you just want to write a quick post.  
This issue had the white, girly, ruffly first half and to me, the more wearable things in the second half.  All of the plus sizes were quite nice.  The only objection I have is that there is nary a dart in sight even in the plus sizes, that and the waist size is absurdly smaller than the bust and hips.  Way smaller than even Patrones which is smaller than Burda.   One other thing I really like is that the fabric choices are clearly given below the text for each garment.  I don't know Italian fabric vocabulary, but a lot was either  added it in English or it is the same in Italian so easy to understand.  They also gave more than one fabric suggestion for each, not just what the garment is made up in which is a definite plus.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Burda Style July Preview

Why does the Russian site always have the Burda Style previews first?  Why not the German site? Well, anyway I finally figured out how to access it and while a lot of women will love it, the regular sizes are a bit girly for me.  I didn't do girly when I was young and now it's certainly not the time!  I do like the leather jacket, but it's really not for someone with a DD cup bust. I can just see that collar  jutting out over my bust.  Not a pretty sight.
This top on the right is lovely.  Just not for me.  It is certainly more interesting and trendy than a lot of what Burda has been showing lately.
When we get to the plus sizes, I thought that this top was interesting.  Definite possibilities, especially the ability to use up all those too big to throw away scraps.
The above dress however, enlarged from a regular sized dress from a while back, would make me look like a whale.  You'd have to be the sort of minimally plus size of the model, and that tall to look good in this.  Also, no bust for it to hang off.  So basically I found one top I'd make so far.  I certainly hope that there are more suitable clothes in this issue. 

Thursday, June 10, 2010


This seems kind of redundant after yesterday's post, but here's a similar dilemma where I'd welcome your opinions.
As I wrote yesterday, I have been tracing patterns and this one is actually in my sewing  queue.(unlike the Vogue).
It's 143 from Burda 6/10.  It's a knit, but it calls for a neck facing front and back, and then I guess without much stretch would need the invisible zipper called for  in the side.  I  don't really like using clear elastic, but I do have some knit stay tape that might work.   I would rather not use  a facing and then have to put in a zipper.  I am planning on using some silk jersey that I have in my stash.  The jersey doesn't have any lycra in it, so it doesn't have as much stretch.  I'm not inclined to do a french binding; I think that it will be too thick.  Would it work using my knit stay tape and just turning and topstitching do you think?  Is there some reason they've used a facing and  I'm  just not seeing it?  If I don't use the facing I'd leave out the zipper. 
By the way, I went to the English archives, which is still there, and from there I actually found the old style Burda English site for the current issue.  Kind of bizarre.  Burda Archives and since they don't have the current issue up, on the left is a link to Burda Style Magazine.  What is going on here?  They announce that we are being redirected to Burda Style but now we can find the old site?  Regardless of why or how I am happy to have access to them.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Vogue 8649

I got this pattern at the last Joann's sale.  I walked in for a zipper and walked out with this because it is one of  the Custom Fit patterns with multiple cup size fronts.  So far so good.  I got it home and I read the directions.  Chances are I wouldn't make it the way the tell you to, but I always read them.  This is a knits only pattern, but they one, tell you to stay stitch the neckline and two, instead of using a knit binding they tell you to use ready made bias tape to finish the  neckline.  Not knit but woven bias tape.  Head scratching here.  Why would you do this on a knit?  The instructions are to open one edge of the bias strip  sew it down, understitch it , press, turn baste and topstitch close to basting.  I understand that it will stabilize the neckline but do I really want to do this on a knit top?  How would you handle this edge dear reader?

On to other sewing.  I figured out why the Threads directions for narrowing pants legs doesn't work for me.  It's ok in the back, but in the front it flattens out crotch curve and this does not work on my body.  I need a deeper front curve or I get ugly vertical wrinkles pointing to the front crotch.  So I've been struggling to get my black pants sewn up to where I'll be happy to wear them and decided a break was in order.  Instead I've been taking a page from Karen and tracing off patterns and getting them altered to fit my body; always a lengthy task.  I wanted a vest and I found one in an old Knipmode, yeh I am actually going to make something from my collection of Knips.  I traced a couple of tops from the latest Burda  and I transferred the changes I made to my pants to my pattern.  I need to trace a pencil skirt and then I'll go back to my pants, and sew up the blouse I cut out too.

On the experimenting front  the narrow sas on the waist band works really well.  It is much easier to sew opposite curves when the sas is narrow, in this case 1/4".  On the other hand, the fabric is another one with too much lycra.  I like a small amount, like 1% which is very hard to find, but when you get up to 3% it is yard to get pants to stay without sewing them a lot tighter than I like them to be.  Of course after an hour they'll be a lot looser!