Knip Mode June

It was almost a week late from the listed publishing date, but I found Knip Mode’s June issue in Albert Heijn, the local supermarket chain. All of their issues had ‘chew marks’ on one of the pattern pages from the printer’s, so keep an eye out of that. I selected a slightly blemished copy with tiny tears that won’t affect tracing.

On Wednesday at the luxury fabric store in Porte de Namur/BXL I spotted a heap of Big 4 pattern books and indulged in flipping through them. Patterns always look more appealing in the catalogues than as thumbnail Internet photos. 4976 is a great wrap dress that is cleverly cut for a teacher: flattering wrap bodice connected to a swishy skirt piece that’s not a wrap, it’s a normal skirt. There is no fear factor of walking into a steady breeze or the skirt falling open if you sit on a desk. Obviously a mistake for a teacher in the Low Countries. The designers hide the connection with a self-fabric sash belt. It looks like a kimono-style belt made from a wide center piece and long ties–very cute, but the drawings show it’s just a wide sash. It reminds me of an OOP Vogue pattern I have, a wrap dress with wide sleeves and 2-pc kimono belt but it’s for wovens (you can substitute) but I think the skirt portion is a true wrap.

I’m in love with this design. KM 06/07 to the rescue! They have a wrap dress with a waist seam and a ‘regular’ skirt below. See the light blue dress and serge blue contrast, or the solid brown version (with military details)? The back is one-piece but it’s easy to slash at the waistline and make it a 2-piecer, especially as this gives the chance to pinch out a waist dart and add shaping. Knip Mode’s version, in an accurate comparison to the American Butterick design, is more body-conscious with a fitted skirt while BK’s is full. I can slash and spread the skirt to add in fullness, the same way one spreads their fingers apart: slash to the waist, and pivot outward. You may need to make a tiny snip through the seam allowance from the waist s/a to the waist seam to make the pivot lie flat. Fill in with tissue. Voila! You could also wing it and just trace a wider line, like angling out a protractor/pencil combination. The only decision is how wide one wants the skirt, and fortunately I’m short so some gentle fullness looks better than a dramatic skirt. I think I’d like this with a narrow elastic casing sewn at the waist, to keep the waist staying put and to support the sweep of the skirt. I imagine it’ll be like using a petersham ribbon waist stay on a woven dress.

Question: what fabric? Therein lies the rub.

I actually saw that Asian-fusion Vogue pattern on a woman walking around Amsterdam a few years ago when it came out, made in a brown lycra ultra-modern Chinese graffiti-type print. The design is distinctive because the sleeveless version she wore has a Mandarin collar. I owned both the pattern and the fabric. That made me realize I’m a real sewing junkie.

I see the new designs also have such a dress, 5030 with shoulder darts that Debbie will love but it has the dreaded front overlap. It’s for wovens, which again can be substituted easily, especially if you go a size smaller to account for the knit’s give.

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