Monday, October 25, 2010

Getting acquainted with La Mia Boutique

Dress (LMB 10-2010 #37 )with hood has gathered shoulder seams, elongated arms and ruched lower side seams:

Well it's Labour Weekend here where people all over the country celebrate the 40 hour working week. Parents will drool at the idea. I have had some more sewing time though so here's my weekend's effort.

Another muslin. The tricky thing about sewing in opposite seasons is that you are dying to make something but can't reasonably expect to wear it for another half year. Because my LMB is air freighted it is exactly 6 months ahead. Burda is shipped to NZ, which takes 2 months, and so by the time you actually get round to making anything you are pretty much ready to wear it.

I decided I did want to break the ice with my LMB and thought I'd give this easy knit a crack in a light polycotton knit, instead of a winter wool. I thought I might try it as a sporty summer look - a knit dress with a tee and leggings underneath and birkenstocks.

As always, there are challenges to surmount:

First of all, there was the small matter of translating the instructions. I faithfully typed them in to Google translate.

Google translate:
curl your shoulders behind the front with a running stitch, petit point, to match those of the back.

Translation of the translation: gather the front shoulder with gathering stitches until it measures the same length as the back shoulder.

Google translate: sewing the two sides of the cap along the center line, press the edges together to the right and hit back on the right with two stitching needles.

Translation of the translation: Sew the two sides of the hood along the centre line, press the edges to the right and topstitch down with a twin needle on the right side of the garment.

So you get the gist. Obviously Google translate's sewing vocabulary isn't that hot, but it's actually not too hard to figure out the basic idea.

I am teaching myself sewing Italian. I can now read about a quarter of the instructions without a dictionary, so I'm confident within about 6 months I'll have it mostly sussed. (I did a year of Italian at university, so the basic grammar and structure of the language is familiar to me, it's really just a matter of picking up the specialist vocabulary)

I have to say the designs have grown on me a great deal. It's definitely a magazine aiming to appeal to the hip and cool. I'd say it's marketed at the 20 -30 year old fashion aesthetic but that's OK by me, I know how to nanna things up.

My husband gave this dress the thumbs up. "It's modern." My husband is no fashion expert, in fact sartorially speaking he's a pretty simple guy. That's why his opinion is so useful. He thinks it either looks good, or bad, and it's really that simple.

Oh and thank you for all your advice on my last dress. I'll give your suggestions a try.


  1. What a hilarious translation experience (or two). The hood dress looks terrific - is it the famous NZ merino wool jersey?

  2. Looks great! I think it suits you, plus with leggings you can wear it to the playground ;)
    Burda in the olden days used to be only available in German, and you soon learnt which was stoffbrauch and webkante!

  3. Smark, I mean smart. And modern, too. Yes I like it, I especially like that hoody.
    Hooray for long weekends- and yes, wouldn't a 40 hour week be fantastic??

  4. Wow, you really are pumping out the creations! I really like this.

  5. Adorable!! Very hip and modern. Looks comfortable (in a totally good, I'm cool and comfortable, not slouchy way).
    That google translation had me giggling, and staring confused at the screen. Petit point??? Are you dancing ballet or sewing?

  6. Very cool and hip! I love it.

    I'm very jealous of your Italian reading skills. I picked up a LMB a few months ago. I'm almost completely unable to understand any of the words. For some reason my school German and bad conversational French don't help! And, Babelfish is even more hilariously useless (if that is possible)

  7. This top is cute and the outfit is modern. got to love those google translations, I remember one from the German that said 'suitable for wide bottomed ladies'. They meant it came in larger sizes.

  8. Well, your hubby obiously knows what he's talking about, the dress looks pretty darn good on you:)

  9. Love it! Very comfy looking.

    Obviously google translate is no better than babelfish then lol I had a ball of fun trying to translate a Knipmode! I can't wait to try LMB.

  10. How handy that you studied Italian. How could you know you'd use it for your...sewing career?

    I love this dress! Casual and classy at the same time.

  11. Great dress. I'd wear that. I think I will stick with the english magazines for now. I have bought my first Burda (ok it's Burda style, but still not a packet pattern) and am getting up the courage to actually cut something out inspired of course by your ability to boldly go..

  12. It looks very comfy chic. The sewing translation sounds quite appealing. Who wouldn't like to curl a shoulder? I am still just looking at my Patrones. Why didn't I study languages so as to ease my sewing difficulties?

  13. I keep meaning to get my hands on LMB, but I am loathe to order it "on purpose," preferring to run across it some time.

    Your dress is so cute, I just have to ask... Is it your uniform? :) It's a really cool version of the uniform, anyway.

    Great use of university Italian. My university French goes to much the same use.

  14. Thumbs up from me too. I love how relaxed it looks.

  15. Looks cute and comfy... ticks all the boxes!

  16. It drops 20 years off, which your previous dress might be considered to have put on. It also looks great with your bag. It is a great asset to have a husband who can tell it like it is. I bet you will wear it alot.

  17. This is flattering on you! And I am jealous that your picture looks like a sunny, summery day. Wish I was in the southern hemisphere!

  18. :-). You know google translate is what Burda uses :-). That's why they have to be so pithy, otherwise we'd lose track of what they were saying..

    Really like your dress, and thanks for pointing out this issue which looks fab. I often feel like I'm on a season-lag myself, and I have no convenient excuse like another hemisphere. I seem to have trouble starting to sew for different weather till I'm already suffering, what can I say?

  19. I'm constantly amazed at how stylish knit dresses can look...having grown up in the baggy t-shirt era. Yours looks both stylish and comfy. Thanks for showing us your LMB project...can't wait to see more.

  20. I love your hot mama outfit. It's very hip. You will be the envy of the playground!

  21. Haven't been to your blog for a while and have been completely left behind!! WOW, that dress is stunning, and along with your Eat Pray Sew blog the Italian connection down-under is very cool.
    You have taken on a whole new look, will keep in touch better in future, I have been missing too much

  22. I love your dress! It's great. I've been looking for a nice contemporary pattern to use with knit fabric. Thanks for putting the translations in - that will help enormously if I get my act together and buy the pattern!

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