La Mia Boutique 03/2019

La Mia Boutique 03/2019

Since I started making these sewing magazine reviews in video format, I honestly have less and less time to prepare a blog post as well.

So, here you’ll find a selection of my favorite designs for this issue, and if you’re curious to see the magazine in its entirety, you can go to the bottom of this post to see the rest of the photos and the technical drawings, or you can watch my Youtube video. I realize it’s a lot to ask to non-Italian speakers, but you can always mute me and listen to some music, right? (Also, check out Silvia’s La Mia Boutique reviews as well).

Read More

La Mia Boutique 01-02/2015

La Mia Boutique 01-02/2015

This morning I woke up feeling like giving some unrequested opinions on something, so I figured there was no better time to write a review :)

The good people of La Mia Boutique sent me a PDF of the new issue, which was not only very kind on their part (saves me A LOT of time in scanning the magazine), but it also shows they're not afraid of criticism, which impressed me quite a bit (they actually told me they do read my reviews and try to take notes, wow).

That being said, I'm afraid it doesn't make me less of a b̶i̶t̶c̶h̶ harsh critic.

Read More

La Mia Boutique 10/2013

Yes, yes, yes! Another very good issue of La Mia Boutique!
As usual, you can find it half here and half on Silvia's blog, with comments by both of us in every post.

Let's get started!
The first patterns of this issue (and my favorites) are by Italian designer Makola, whose gorgeous 50's- and 60's-inspired creations were the main attraction of the beautiful May issue.

Anna: First of all: I get that having an Audrey Hepburn-inspired photoshoot makes completely sense and it actually goes great with the clothes. But when you bring such an humongous icon into play, you need to do it right. I mean, DAT HAIR is hideous. Together with the model's perpetual duckface, and the LMB stylist inexplicable preference for heavy jewellery, it kinda bombs these photos. 

Anyway, at least the dress is very, very cute. A basic shift dress that looks great on almost anyone and a perfect beginner project. Because it doesn't have darts in the back, it could also be a cute jumper.


SilviaNot a new pattern if you have been seeing the latest issues but I wonder if you can have an issue on Audrey without a shift-dress pattern.

Anna: Lovely outfit! Perfect for a formal occasion, chic and put together with that touch of retro that I love. The coat pattern is almost identical to one included in the May issue, but that's ok.

SilviaTo die for! I love the color and the design. Would make it immediately. 

Anna: Ah, this dress! Silvia challenged me to make it, and it's about time I sew something from LMB. I've already studied the pattern and it looks quite interesting and doable.
I LOVE those in-seam pockets (similar to those of the Chloe dress by Victory patterns, but without a tab). The pattern is meant for knit fabrics, but I think it shouldn't be too much of a problem to make it in a woven (I'll add a side zipper). I just need to think it over a little bit and find the right fabric for it.

SilviaThis pattern screams Anna make me! Black and white combo is so cute. And I want the shoes too. BTW did you notice the tattoo on the model’s foot? ;)

There are four more Makola patterns in this issue, and you can see them in Silvia's post.

Anna: I like the idea behind this dress, but you need to have a shop/laboratory/whatever that pleats fabric nearby. That's just unthinkable in my area, so bye bye dress.

Anna: Bad-ass jacket. I love it, but it looks like a pain to construct; the horizontal lines are a leather trim. I also like the buttoned variation, although a jacket without pockets is blasphemy to me.

SilviaI love the style on this jacket. I never had a leather jacket in my life but I could certainly make the variation in a Ponte Knit or wool.

Anna: This pattern really picked my interest. It's different and stylish, I really like it. I think that shortened, it would also make a nice maxi cardigan.
Sorry if you can't tell too much from the photo... I can't either. I mean, black gloves? Really, LMB stylist?

SilviaWhen I read this issue included an Aspesi pattern I immediately flicked the pages to see it. The design is very interesting but it’s not something I would wear.

Anna: And here's the winner for worst product photo in a sewing magazine. Would you ever match the technical drawing to this photo if you didn't have the little numbers? I know I didn't when I was making these collages. So, it's an interesting pattern with lovely tucks on the front. I'm not completely sold on it, especially because of the fullness in the back, so it would have been nice to see how it looks on the model. I know, I'm asking too much.

SilviaWell, you don’t see much from the picture, but I like the fabric. The pattern is not for me though.

Anna: A nice button-up shirt/tunic, maybe a little boring. Why you would tuck it in those pants and make it look like a completely different garment is beyond me, but at this point it's clear that I'm not on the same wavelength as the photographer and the stylist (and the model too... is she stoned?).

SilviaI would chop off some of the length from this pattern or lengthen it for a shirt dress look and add a belt.

Anna: I really like the pants, although they're too low-waisted for me. The jacket... eeh, it's cute, but I wonder how functional it can be, with those short sleeves...

SilviaI don’t know how I would wear a short-sleeved blazer, but I really like the pattern.
Cool fabric [for the pants]! Give me those legs and I will wear the pattern too.


Anna: Very cute dress (although the waist looks quite different on the technical drawing, am I right?) with gorgeous embellishments. These are all adhesive studs; it would have been nice for LMB to give us a pattern for the embellishments or to at least give us an estimate of how many studs are needed. Without any of those two things, it's just a pattern for a very standard dress.

SilviaIt’s a cute dress pattern but it seems too wide and short for me. If I were to make it I would need to make some adjustments.

Anna: This skirt was clearly stolen from Burda, as it's two (slightly tapered at the waist) rectangles of stretch lace laid on two rectangles of jersey with a ribbon at the waist and a zipper at the side. Why would you complicate your life with a ribbon and zipper, I don't know. A 5-year-old can figure out this pattern without having to trace it off and add a seam allowance.
The cape is extremely cute, but once again we're faced with the wise decision of black on black, so we have no idea how it looks like.

SilviaVery cute capelet! I am really considering making it. Would you, Anna? Any suggestion on how to style it?
Oh a lace skirt! I have some lace stashed away and have been meaning to make a skirt for ages. The only think I’d need to check is the stretch factor.

Anna: Nice basic tunic, at this point I'm maxed out on clever and/or bitchy comments, so I hope Silvia has something to add.

SilviaCute shirt, though I prefer stand-up collars.

Anna: The first time I saw this, I thought "ooh, interesting!", but the more I look at it, the more I ask myself "how would you wear this?", unless of course you add some sleeves. Then it would make a very cute coat.

SilviaPity there are no sleeves on this pattern. I would muslin the collar to check the look on me.


So, all in all, despite my moaning and bitching, a very good issue. I even added a pattern to my to-sew list, so I can't complain.
As always, there's more on Silvia's blog, so go ahead and check it out. She also started a survey, if you want to let her know which patterns you liked the most, you can find it here.

The Original How Much Fabric? Reference Cards: review and giveaway


Today I want to tell you a but more about my new sponsor, Gwen from GwynHug, and her product, the Original How Much Fabric? Reference Cards. As a disclaimer, I didn't pay for this product, I received it for review purposes, but I am giving you my honest opinion. If this bothers you, please don't read this post, but if you have followed me for a while, you know that when I don't like something, I don't have ANY problem to say it. 

So, what are these cards and what do they do?
The name says it all, really: these cards will help you figure out how much fabric you need to make a certain garment. They are both available as physical cards or in e-book format, measurements are Imperial OR Metric and they come in different sets (Women's Clothes, Plus Sizes, etc.). I have the Women's Clothes e-book ready to use in my smartphone.

Consulting these cards is easy, and very similar to using the tables on the back of a pattern envelope. The big difference is that here you don't have just one number, but three for every size: minimum, average and maximum. By using the sketches on the back of the card (or on the following page, for the e-book version) you can easily figure out if the amount of fabric you need falls in the minimum, average or maximum section depending on the garment you want make, and on factors such as length, fullness, presence of sleeves, etc.
There are five sections respectively for dresses, pants, skirts, blouses/shirts and jackets/coats, so basically everything is covered.
The number you get is thought to be as precise as possible, but there are are also safety margins that you can add to your number in case you want to be extra careful.
If my explanation wasn't clear enough, here's a very helpful video to see how they work.

So, why not just using the fabric requirements on the back of a pattern envelope?
Well, I don't always never carry patterns with me when fabric shopping, so I'll often see a fabric and think: "That would be perfect for that pattern I bought last year". The cards not only help me figure out how much fabric I need, but also not to overbuy, which is something I always do, worrying that I won't have enough fabric, and end up with remnants too small for a project, but too big to throw away with a clear conscience. I have a huge pile of those, believe me.

I was very impressed by the amount of work and research behind the creation of these cards: the fabric requirements from 8000 patterns were used to give the most accurate estimate possible.
If you’re like me, and you frequently buy fabric with an idea of the garment you're going to make, but you don't carry the pattern with you, these can make your life so much easier! I also often buy pre-cut lengths of fabric, and the cards can help me figure out what I can and cannot make out of them.

Want to win a set of The Original How Much Fabric? Reference Cards?
Gwen was so generous to offer two sets to my readers: one for a US reader (in yards) and one for an International reader (in metres.) You can choose between e-book or physical format and which set of cards you’d like.

How to win:
Go on Gwyn's website and choose the set that you prefer. Leave a comment on this post, stating which set you would like to win (metric or imperial) and an email where I can contact you in case you win.
You can enter from now until Saturday, May 18th at 11:00am GMT.
One entry per person. Winners will be picked randomly.

Good luck, everyone!