Buying digital patterns from Knipmode

Note for all you Knipmode fans: you can now buy PDF patterns from their website and pay using Paypal. Although the website still looks the same, the backend has clearly changed, because the process for buying patterns is quite different from the last time I did it (last year sometime, I think). I read, on the Pattern Review boards, something about the publishing company that used to print Knipmode going out of business, and Knipmode being taken over by a new publisher. Presumably all the changes are due to that.

Unfortunately, it’s still not that easy to browse previews of the magazine or to browse the digital patterns. But at least it’s possible, with some patience and Google Translate open in another tab, to buy PDF patterns, and pay for them with Paypal if you want (credit cards are also an option, but international purchasing can get weird with those sometimes).

Keep in mind that the PDFs are sized for A4 paper/printers – if you’re printing on 8.5×11, you can shrink the instructional pages so they’ll fit on the page. But make sure not to do that for the pattern pieces, or your pattern won’t be the right size – printing A4 on 8.5×11 at 100% will crop off the top and bottom of each page just a little bit, but in my experience not so much that you won’t be able to figure out how the pattern goes together. (Note to self: figure out if my printer will print on A4 and get some A4 paper.)

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We’re all doomed, aka progress on Knipmode 9/2013 #9

I read an article recently about one of the machine learning programs at Google, where they’ve programmed some computers to try to figure out how to identify and tag digital photographs, without the aid of human beings. A scientist working there was quoted as saying that the program’s gotten really good at IDing photos, but they’re not really sure how – it’s layered algorithm on algorithm to the point that humans don’t really know how it works anymore. So, just FYI: Google has created Skynet, and pretty soon we’re all going to be running away from humanoid machines. Where’s John Connor when you need him?

I thought of this the other day when I was using Google Translate to translate the instructions for my newest Knipmode project, ‘Trui #9’ from September’s issue. I’ve learned, in my Knipmode adventures, that the Dutch word for stitch is also the word for suffocate, and Google Translate used to always translate it as the latter. Now, if you put it in a sentence that includes other sewing-type words, like seam, it’s smart enough to figure out it likely means stitch instead. See what I mean about Skynet?

The top is a basic darted raglan with a loose fit, and I want to use it to make a ‘dressy sweatshirt’ of the type seen in fashion magazines and stores recently. The plan for the final version is to use a piece of Japanese cotton my parents brought back from Japan for me a few years ago as the feature fabric on the front, combined with a gray sweater knit for the rest of the top. Test run #1 is finished but the hems, and is wearable, but I punked out of putting on the shaped neckline facings and did a binding instead, which doesn’t look quite right. Test run #2 is partially constructed and is awaiting a day when I’m feeling very mellow to tackle the facings (again – I already tried it once and failed horribly; second round is gonna be interfaced!).

Once again, I show low resistance to the charms of Knipmode

The October patterns are now available at the Knipmode virtual shop, and I liked what I saw of them so much I went off to sewingpatterns.eu (aka Naaipatronen) to buy the print issue. What did my wondering eyes see, but the September and April issues still in stock, so I snapped them up too. I have a reason: shipping is cheapest to the US when you buy exactly 3 magazines. That’s what my husband would call girl logic.

(While I was looking for Knipmode previews on the web, I found a great blog that posts pictures from each Knipmode monthly: Collie-Collie. It’s in Dutch, but the pictures are what we care most about, right?)

You know what would be super-cool? A digital subscription available to magazines like Knipmode. The option of buying the patterns in PDF is a very nice one to have, but you don’t get to see the fashion spreads or read the blurbs or see multiple views of a pattern, or entertain oneself with the interesting Dutch ads (maybe that last one is just me). I would totally pony up for a reasonably priced subscription to Knipmode digitally, even if it didn’t include the patterns. Then I could see the patterns ‘live’, as it were, and then decide more effectively which PDF patterns to buy. It would be pretty easy to do, using Apple Newstand or Issuu or one of the many other digital ‘magazine stands’ that have been popping up recently.

Hey, anybody at Knipmode want to hire me as your overseas digital consultant?

A little roundup

(All I do on this blog is post about Knipmode, huh?) No, but, seriously folks. The Knipmode people have added some more back-catalog patterns to their digital pattern store, including a collection of maternity patterns (click that link, or under Patronen Bestellen choose Zwangerschapskleding (which, not so shockingly, is Dutch for maternity wear)). THIS IS NOT A HINT, MOM, I’m not preggers, but I know that maternity patterns are thin on the ground, and expensive to boot. These are 3-4 euro a pop, and they even have a couple plus-sized maternity patterns in the set.

On a non-Knipmode note, the NZ sewing bloggers are hosting a ‘Cake and cake’ sewalong – they’re getting together in person to eat cake while wearing their Cake Patterns makes, lucky ladies, but have invited the rest of us to join in and post our pictures of cake & cake too. Pictures are due by July 28. I’ve got a Hummingbird top in progress so I’m hoping I can finish by then and participate (although my current diet doesn’t really allow for cake – black bean cake? Tofu cake?).

And one more thing, to make this post a trifecta: Pantone has announced the color trends for fall. I always roll my eyes a bit when these reports come out – I mean, who gets to decide these things; is there a color cabal? Is this all a marketing gimmick for Pantone? (Hint: yes.) But I do like the palette they’ve chosen, and most of the colors are deeper, fall-y-er (!) versions of the colors I’ve been seeing in stores this year. Most I could even wear, excepting the orange (maybe away from the face?). Worth a gander if you like keeping up with these things.

July! Sales!

Happy Canada Day, and early Fourth of July, all. This week is a little crazy for me work-wise but hopefully I’ll have some time to get in the sewing cave on Thursday (preferably before it gets too hot in there – evenings are a bit unpleasant now that it’s 90+ degrees outside). I finally unearthed the fabric I bought in Europe, so stay tuned for a photo of that soon, and plans for its use.

Speaking of Canada Day, Tasia has a one-day sale on Sewaholic patterns, 10% until midnight PDT. I finally gave in and bought the Alma and Pendrell top patterns (because I am way behind the curve).

There are some other neato sales happening right now too. Maria has a bundle deal on a 3-pattern set of her MariaDenmark patterns – one skirt and two tops – that’s good until the 8th. And Melissa just posted about a 20% discount code for Claire’s SA curve doohickeys – I’d been eyeing one for a while so I ordered one of those too. I also read on someone’s blog that Papercut Patterns currently has free international shipping.

And it’s not a sale, but Knipmode have listed a whole bunch of additional patterns in their digital pattern store, including a bunch of patterns from the April 2013 issue which I just love.

I must say that all the great features in the blogosphere for Indie Pattern Month and people’s great results in blogs and on PR have gotten me rethinking ever buying a Big 4 pattern again. All they do is frustrate me and don’t fit, and the only nice thing is that they’re cheap. That’s like buying all your bread at the expired bread store and being frustrated that it’s getting stale.

June Knipmode rises again

Funny postscript to my tale of downloading a KM pattern digitally – I was traveling in Europe at the beginning of the month. In my 90 unoccupied minutes in the Brussels train station, I managed to eat a surprisingly good slice of pizza a la fromage from Sbarro (!) and buy a copy of Knipmode from the station news agent. It was, of course, the June issue, so now I own the top pattern in two formats. Ah well. I wasn’t about to miss an opportunity to buy Knipmode from (nearly) its home turf, and the June issue is a nice one anyway.

Interestingly, there was also a pattern mag that looked to be made of Simplicity patterns, but provided in a pattern-mag traceable format rather than in envelope form.

I also picked up a little bit of fabric in Germany, and an English-language copy of Burda Easy in the Munich airport. They also had the regular BurdaStyle in German, Sabrina Woman (the German edition of LMB, I think), the German-language version of Ottobre, and a couple others.

Buying Knipmode digital patterns

Hey, blog-readers. I have sacrificed myself for your edification, thrown myself on my metaphorical sword, and purchased a top from Knipmode’s digital pattern store. I know, I’m so self-sacrificing.

Nah, really, I just saw this cute knit top with ruffle from the new June issue and couldn’t resist. It was knit, so it was something I might actually finish soon, and the details were pretty basic. It wasn’t a plus size so I knew I’d have to enlarge it below the bust, but not as much as a few months ago.

Here’s the deets about buying and downloading these patterns, FTR, since you can’t use the ‘translate this webpage’ thing from Google Translate the whole way through and actually check out, unfortunately:

1. First choose ‘In Shopping Bag’ to add each pattern to your (shocker) shopping bag – make sure you choose the PDF version.

2. Then go to your shopping bag and choose ‘afrekenen,’ which is check out.

3. Choose ‘registeren’ to set up an account.

4. This next part is pretty straight-forward; it goes last name, first name, address etc. – the only tricky thing to know if you’re in the US is that the Dutch translation of US is ‘Verenigde Staten’.

5. Available payment options are MasterCard, Visa, and something called Ideal, which must be a Dutch thing.

6. Then you have to agree to the terms and conditions, which look pretty standard. Click to order, and then you’ll be redirected to a page which asks for your credit card number.

7. If everything goes through OK, you’ll be given an order number, and if you ordered a PDF pattern, you should be able to go to ‘account’, then ‘mijn downloads’ to download the PDF.

8. Here’s the other tricky bit – it’s a PDF for A4 sized paper, not 8.5″ x 11″ (because North America refuses to get with the metric shenanigans, etc.). Make sure that your printer settings are set to 100%, no scaling, because otherwise the printed version will get shrunken down to fit an 8.5″ x 11″ piece of paper . There’s a 10 cm test square on the first page of the PDF so make sure to print it alone first and make sure all your settings are kosher before you print the whole thing out (ask me why!). Since A4 is a little narrower and a little taller than 8.5″ x 11″ you lose a little bit of printing on the top and bottom of each page, but thankfully Knipmode has put in pretty wide margins around each pattern sheet, so at least with this pattern I didn’t lose any actual  pattern lines.

Was it worth it? The euros/dollars exchange rate is pretty favorable right now, so I think my expense ended up being around 6 bucks. It’s pricier per pattern than buying a whole magazine, even with the crazy-expensive shipping from Europe, but when do you actually make every pattern from an issue? That would be never, in my case.

So anyway, if you like Knipmode’s style or fit but have trouble getting ahold of the print mag in your neck of the woods, their PDF store could be a good option for you. I still hope they add a paypal option, since that’s my preferred way to buy things online. But I didn’t have any problem using my credit card to order internationally. And remember, they clear out the older patterns after a month or two, so if you see a pattern, buy it before it’s gone.

Stay tuned – maybe I’ll actually sew this pattern up sometime soon!