A few weeks ago I was contacted by the Dutch makers of two new-to-me sewing magazines, Made by Oranges. This company sent me two sewing magazines to look at: My Image, which contains 16 patterns for women in sizes XS to 3XL (plus codes to down load a further 3 free patterns), and B-Trendy, which contains 20 patterns for children (boys and girls), in sizes from 1 year to teens, again with codes to down load a further 3 free patterns.
My hatred of tracing patterns from BurdaStyle magazines is well know. And, well, nothing much has changed in the course of using this magazine either, lol, but I know that LOTS of you LOVE using magazines like these and I can see that certainly the designs are stylish and on trend, and they do offer unsurpassed value for money. (BTW, the international shipping costs on these magazines are very reasonable, IMO).
Here are some images from the (womens) magazine before I get to talking about the dress I made. All very wearable and beautifully styled. I have also included the line drawings from the current issue of the childrens magazine below.
Here is the magazine image of the dress I chose to make, which was one of the free download options.
Here’s my version:
This is an above the knee tunic style pattern with notched out neckline finished with facings, elbow length sleeves and an invisible zip in the centre back. There are bust darts but no other shaping to the tunic.
34-52 / XS-3XL (US 4-22)
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?
Were the instructions easy to follow?
Instructions are minimal. They read ok in terms of the English and are sensible in their order, but I would say you need to have a bit of sewing knowledge/ experience to use these patterns.
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
This particular pattern was one of the free download pattern options that came with the magazine. It printed off as 9 pages in total, but the pattern pieces were still overlapped so needed to be traced and you also had to add seam allowances. (This is a dislike for me). There is an option to create separate pattern pieces which is good news, and rather than printing 9 pages you would have to print 26 pages, but I chose the 9 page option because I wanted to tissue fit so would have had to trace the pattern anyway.
I don’t enjoy tracing patterns, and I found it quite hard to distinguish between the sizing lines. Also, I ended up grading out a couple of sizes at the hips and this was quite hard to do because the lower part of the tunic was traced off separate to the upper part (you tape them together once traced).
No finished measurements are provided.
You are expected to pick your size based on high bust measurement, which is what I did, and I did check with the makers what size cup they draft for, but they were not able to provide me with that information. However, I think in the end the fit through the bust and shoulders is pretty good for me.
Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
- I added 3.25 inches to the length (this tunic is short!) and took a 1.25 inch hem at the bottom of the tunic.
- Added 0.25 inches to the sleeve hem to match the bottom hem.
- Made side seams and centre back seam allowances 1 inch for fitting – I ended up using 5/8ths inch for all seam allowances.
- 0.5 inch sway back adjustment, adding removed length back to lower hem.
- Shortened length of bust dart by 1 inch .
- FYI this tunic took approx 2 metres fabric
- Staystitched neckline and understitched facings and added clear elastic at shoulder seams.
- Ended up adding darts in the back to provide more shaping.
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
Initially I wasn’t sure about this look for me, but I have already worn it and it is very comfortable and perfect for autumn. If you like working with sewing magazines I would recommend.
Very wearable addition to my autumn wardrobe. A great alternative to BurdaStyle and remember all the patterns come in plus sizes – unlike BurdaStyle there is no separate plus size section. This is a bonus IMO.
Thank you to the Made by Oranges team for the chance to try these magazines out.