Pattern Review – Vogue 1248

Sorry for the lack of posts for a while I have been away from my sewing machine on holiday! I return with a review of this fabulous pattern Vogue 1248 which I made for the second time shortly before going away.

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This pattern is by Andrea Katz and is in my opinion a fabulous balance of eye catching shape and practicality.

The pattern was classified as advanced (the first time I had attempted such a pattern) but it really wasn’t too difficult at all. I made the whole outfit in black linen earlier in the year to wear to give a seminar while on a research visit and just recently I made it again in white cotton as a great summer outfit.

The hardest part of this pattern in my opinion is the collar. It has three layers on top of the base and is also quite high making it quite bulky and hard to do up if you are not a giraffe! I adjusted for this when making it for the second time and removed the interfacing in the collar sections (the thickness of the fabric is enough to keep it in place).

The long pronged snap fastenings on the shirt are a fun feature (I have never had to take a hammer to my sewing before) but they really give it a professional edge.

The skirt is the conversation piece of the outfit. The belt/sash is made to look like the sleeves of a shirt tied round the waist which adds an artistic edgy feel to the look. The way they wrap around the waist several times before tieing at the front or the back are reminiscent of a japanese kimono.

My favourite part of the skirt ar the pockets. Instead of being stitched to the outside of the skirt on completion, they are incorporated as a separate section where first a bag is made and then stitched into the opening left on the side of the skirt. It is a neat construction and leaves a polished finish.

Overall I have to say that this is one of the best patterns I have ever made up and would recommend it to anyone!

Here is a picture of me in the white cotton version of the skirt whilst on holiday this year:

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Review – Pattern Magic

So far I have been posting about the clothes I have been making but now I want to pay homage to the pattern cutting book that taught me all I know: Pattern Magic by Tomoko Nakamichi.

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This book is invaluable to anyone who wants to move on from basic pattern cutting to creating really modern garments that are sure to stand out!

The reviews on Amazon praise this book but most caution against using it if you are not already a competent pattern cutter. I will admit that some things are not included (eg. instructions on how to draw a basic sleeve block) but these things can be found from a simple internet search so I would say this book is suitable for anyone happy with using shop bought patterns!

There are several projects in the book. Some are very complete (like the lovely “hide and seek” dress on page 77) and some are just suggestions of projects (like the bamboo shoot bodice). When I first got this book I spent hours and hours just looking through. It is so inspiring. The English translation is very well done and understandable even with the more technical instructions and the use of diagrams and pictures guides the reader gently through all the necessary steps whilst allowing room to add flare!

The book is separated into two sections although I can’t really see what distinction there is between them: both contain a mixture of techniques and projects. My favourite parts of the book are those dealing with the sculptural aspects of more stiff fabric such as the “drop hole” technique which I used in my Vortex – N -skirt.

If you are starting out you can easily follow the patterns in the book before moving on to designing your own things that are sure to turn heads! I can’t wait to get the rest of these books in this series but I have by no means exhausted all the possibilities I have in mind for the techniques I have learned so far.