Friday, November 29, 2013

American Burda Magazine Giveaway

Today I have the Winter issue of the American version of Burda Style magazine to give away.

I had subscribed to the translated, monthly version of Burda Style for about two years. I stopped for several reasons. The first is the price tag. A yearly subscription runs about $80. Sure, each issue is packed full of patterns and if you end up sewing several items from each issue, the price works itself out. I wasn't doing that though.

The second reason I stopped subscribing was for the repeated, basic designs. If you subscribe long enough, you will see a revolving cycle of military and safari looks.
However, I have missed receiving the magazine. Amongst the repeated designs, there were some gems to be found. Plus Burda has more on point trends and a contemporary fit than many of the Big 4, in my opinion.
So I picked up the first copy of the American version... and I like what I saw. Yes, there are some military inspired designs to be had, but there are plenty of other styles I like too. One of the best parts is that the patterns included in the magazine actually have seam allowances included! No more tracing the pattern off plus adding seam allowances on top of that! There are some designs that are not included in the magazine. You have to go to the Burda website to download them for free. These patterns will not include seam allowances. There is a nice plus size section included as well. While you only receive 4 issues a year, the price is easier for me to swallow at $25.
I subscribed to the magazine and the first issue I received was the Winter issue that I already had so I am giving that away to one of you!
Now, if you are currently a subscriber to the translated version, I have a disclaimer. Apparently you probably own many of the patterns that are included in the American version. However, if you are a former subscriber or are new to Burda Style all together, then you will want to check this out.
So if you would like to get your hands on this copy here is the down low. Be a follower of my blog with your choice of reader (BlogLovin, Feedly, Blogger, etc.). Leave me a comment on this post. I will keep the giveaway open until December 7th until midnight, MST. The winner will be chosen randomly. Please be sure I can find your email address to contact you if you have won! Good luck! 

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Black and White Ensemble

I have three items to review today, starting with this white jacket. I've had this in my "to do" pile since I endeavored to sew up a capsule wardrobe for my Spring/Summer 2012 project. This was the last item left. I kept putting it off because I am lazy! I was dreading having to cut all the little pieces of fabric, lining, and interfacing. Well I finally bit the bullet and conquered it and I am very happy with the end result.
McCalls 5525 (OOP)
I had a difficult time deciding which view to make. I wanted a simple white jacket with the double breasted styling. I ended up going with view C, pictured in bottom right corner, but without all of the trench coat features. I kept the sleeve band.
I cut a size smaller than recommended by my measurements as usual in the Big 4. This was perfect- I got a nice, form fitting silhouette.
I used a white cotton twill for the shell and polyester lining. I splurged on the buttons. I really loved this vintage inspired leaf print button. I thought it would look great against the white jacket. Also, this was the first time I put shoulder pads in a jacket! I usually avoid them having grown up in the 80's and 90's when shoulder pads resembled something you would see on a football field. After reading up on the subject of shoulder pads, I decided to give them a try. I really like the subtle shape and structure they provide to the jacket.
Though there are many steps to the construction, I didn't run into any steps that I had a particularly hard time with. I love it! It's a nice medium weight jacket that I can wear throughout the year.
"I wonder if the neighbor will notice that I'm standing in her front yard taking pictures by her roses?"

Next up are the blouse and pants. After delivering my daughter, I needed some drawstring slacks that were more forgiving while I work on losing the maternity weight. I was drawn to this pattern for that reason. I also loved the blouse pattern. It is loose and floaty. I love the feminine features of the bodice and sleeve gathering.
Vogue 1367
 I am loving the blouse! I used this fabulous black and white print crepe de chine from my stash. I had purchased it from Gorgeous Fabrics. Looks like it is sold out now. The fabric sewed up like a dream. It wears like silk though. I think I'll be making at least one more blouse from this pattern. It sewed up quickly and easily.
I'm on the fence with the pants. They have some great styling features including topstitching, a mock fly zipper, and a shaped hem. I used a stretch RPL that I found at Joann fabrics in their suiting section. I went with the size the pattern recommended but they aren't as loose fitting as I had hoped- at least on my body. But they are a nice style if you want a semi-fitted, ankle length pant.  
I am currently hammering out some holiday gift sewing but will be back to selfish sewing soon!  
Enjoy your Thanksgiving!

Friday, November 1, 2013

Kiddie Parade

First off, here is our latest bundle of joy, Parker Michelle.

She was born on October 12, about 3 weeks early. She weighed in at 6 pounds, 5 ounces and was 19 1/2inches long.
Mommy and the rest of the family are doing well. My old routine of sewing when my eldest goes to sleep has been derailed by our newest addition. By the time they both go to sleep, Mommy is ready to pass out too! I'm hoping to get back in the swing of things as sleeping habits get better.
I was able to complete the majority of Logan's Halloween costume before Parker was born.  He was a cowboy this year.

I used McCalls 2851 for his vest and chaps. Both were insanely easy! I purchased both fabrics from Joann Fabrics, from their costume fabric section.
Prepster Pullover
I also made the chambray shirt under the vest using a PDF pattern from Blank Slate Patterns. First off, I've neglected sewing for my son mostly because the sewing pattern industry is geared toward little girls in the kiddie department. I was excited to stumble upon Blank Slate Patterns. They have a large selection of little boy patterns that are actually very cool! Secondly, this is my first experience with a downloaded pattern. It really wasn't all of the horrible things that I've read it could be! The printed pattern was taped together quickly and easily. I traced off Logan's size and the rest was cake! I recommend Blank Slate Patterns also for the instructions. The instructions literally take you step by step and are fully illustrated with photos.
That's all for now. I'm currently working on a lined jacket for myself. More to come soon!