Wishing for more Knipmode

Did you know that if you browse non-English content with Google Chrome, it’ll automagically translate it for you if you want? I found this out during a late-night browse of the Knipmode site, particularly their e-patterns. I have to admit that I don’t get Knipmode’s deal. There’s a definite untapped market for them in sewers outside of the Netherlands and Belgium, even if they don’t bother to translate anything out of Dutch. Yet it’s always been really difficult to get a subscription to Knipmode outside the country. And now they’ve got an e-pattern store, but it’s tiny and doesn’t feature all their patterns, and patterns go “out of stock” in just a month or two (which makes no sense for digital patterns unless they’re trying to create some sort of false urgency to buy asap; it’s not like they take up extra space to store). They don’t have a way to use Paypal yet, or an English-language version of their website.

It seems like to me, although I admit I’m a complete outsider to their corporate structure and employees, that with a minimal investment in staff and infrastructure they could upgrade and translate their site and maybe a small selection of patterns, and suddenly have access to a world-wide market of sewers who would happily spend money on their patterns. I admit that it’s a selfish wish, too – if they had anything like the BurdaStyle online pattern selection, I would spend tons of money there, because I like the styles and the fit is so good for me.

Has anyone purchased an e-pattern from Knipmode? There was a poster on PatternReview who said it worked OK with an international credit card.

P.S. I changed my blog theme the other day, so if there’s anything looking screwy to you I’d appreciate you dropping me a note. Thanks!

Small but steady progress

I’ve finished tracing the wiggle dress from the Gertie book, but haven’t sewn it together yet. (It’s amazing how a library book due date sharpens the priorities.) I anticipate some length adjustment will be needed from the look of it, and maybe an upper arm adjustment (it’s hard to tell without the gusset in). I stand by my earlier post that the nesting of the sizes on the pattern sheet are weird, and the way that you have to ‘attach’ multiple pieces of each pattern when tracing is a bit annoying. You know what would be great for books like these that include patterns? If you could go to a website and print out just your size. Even if it were a small additional fee, I would happily pay that, especially if I could just input my basic measurements and get a pattern piece that would need less alterations.

Speaking of downloadable patterns, the Knipmode folks have started an online pattern store ala BurdaStyle. The whole thing’s in Dutch but it’s pretty self-explanatory. They don’t have everything up there, just a selection, and the plus options seem to be randomly mixed in with the misses, but at least there’s the possibility of getting some of the best of Knipmode patterns via the web, particularly since getting the magazine here in the US can be difficult and pricey. I haven’t bought anything yet, but someone on the PR boards reported having an issue using a North American credit card.

Liz at zilredloh has begun a “Project CPR” campaign to get UFOs finished. I love the idea and I need to do some of it myself. Or just get real and bin the projects that will never get finished. I made good inroads into resorting my fabric stash this fall, but I’ve still got a file-box-sized box full of unfinished projects. We may be moving soon and I dread the idea of having to move all my mistakes and not-quites (and my DH realizing the true scale of my fabric and pattern addiction, yikes).

Comparing pattern magazines and sizing

I haven’t bought a Knipmode since sometime last year, although according to Melissa the quality is improving again. Mostly I stopped because I realized how many I’d bought, compared to how few patterns I’d actually made out of it. What with Google Translate and all, you’d think the language barrier wouldn’t be that big of a deal, but when it came down to picking my next project I would often wimp out and choose something with English directions.

Well, I succumbed again – not to Knipmode but to a couple of other European pattern magazines. I came across a German site setting plus Patrones and La Mia Bloutique, so I bought two issues – Patrones Talles Grandes No. 8, a ‘best of’ collection of plus patterns, and La Mia Boutique Taglie Forti from fall 2011. The Patrones is not as up to date although it has some great clothes including several coats; the Taglie Forti is a nicely current collection but more casual overall (totally fine with me since I have a casual lifestyle).

Currently I’m having fun peering at the size charts and making comparisons. I knew that both Patrones and LMB ran smaller than Burda – I once bought a regular Patrones and quickly realized that there’s no way I’d fit in any regular sizes, whereas I’m right at the misses/plus break in Burda and Knipmode. Turns out LMB is even smaller, and the proportions are also different. Quick recap: Burda and Ottobre are very similar, except Ottobre assumes a slightly shorter torso, with a 24 cm difference (~9 1/2”) between waist and hip. Both assume a slight pear-shaped figure, with the hip being 6 cm (~2 1/2”) larger than the bust in each size. Knipmode is drafted for a taller figure, and a more hourglass figure – the waist measurements are the same between all three brands, but for Knipmode the bust and hip will be bigger for the same waist. Again, the hip is 6 cm bigger than the bust, but the difference between waist and bust is bigger, 28 cm (~11”).
OK, back to Patrones & LMB: Patrones misses and plus sizes are very different – the regular sizes have 28 cm between waist and hip, whereas the plus sizes only have 18 cm (7”). In the plus sizes, the bust size is only 4 cm (1 1/2”) less than the hip. So Patrones plus is definitely drafted for a rectangular, straight up and down figure. A Patrones 50 is between a Burda 48 and a 50, though obviously the waist is bigger. LMB retains its hourglass shape – all the way up the size range. Like Knipmode, there’s a 28 cm difference between waist and bust. The difference between bust and hip ranges from 4 cm to 6 cm depending on the size. An LMB 50 is equivalent to between a Burda 46 and 48, with an even smaller waist.

Has anyone made anything from either of these mags, and how has the sizing been for you?

August Knipmode

Lillian recently posted that Knipmode has a new editor, and that she wasn’t that impressed with the August issue. Based on the previews at the Knipmode site and at Stoff-Art, I have to agree. The line drawings are now sorted by type of garment, which is nice enough, I suppose, but makes it a little harder to find the plus patterns which used to often be clustered together. There are only four plus patterns this month. There are 31 patterns in total, but several are variations on each other rather than being unique patterns as in the past. If you count unique patterns, there are only about 20.

What’s more, only a pattern or two appeals to me, and usually several do. Melissa agrees about this issue, although she’s more charitable than I am. I will wait to see how future issues go. I don’t have a subscription, which has as its advantage that I can just pick up the issues that appeal to me and skip the ones that don’t. I will be sad if Knipmode is on a downward slope, but I’ve got plenty of back issues to keep me busy.