Sweet Silk Dolores Midi Skirt from La Maison Victor
Have you heard? The well-loved Belgian sewing magazine, La Maison Victor, has been translated into English and is being sold locally in shops all over the US, UK, Australia and Canada!
How cool is that?
To celebrate their new launch, La Maison Victor asked me if wanted to take part in a blog tour with some other awesome North American sewists and I was happy to hop on board. They sent me an early copy of their first English edition to check out and I'm here to share what I thought of it. (And stay tuned for some information on the 100% vintage findings and fabrics that made their way into this make!)
First of all, wow, this magazine is nice to flip through. It's pages are full of pretty pictures from craft projects and stylized photo shoots that accompany the 8 sewing patterns inside. The patterns aren't just for women, there are a good mix of kids, babies, and even mens' patterns inside too - So there's lots of variety. Even though I usually just sew for myself, I keep eyeing up the men's Greg Chino pattern as a potential gift for Wyatt.
I had a hard time deciding if I wanted to make the Solange Dress, a knit tee shirt dress, or the Dolores Skirt, a button-front midi skirt. I had nearly made my mind up to make the Solange, but ended up switching to the Dolores last minute so that I could make use of this amazing fabric that was just gifted to me by Wyatt's grandma. If you could believe it, this skirt is made from an old 100% silk curtain - Reusing at it's finest! I'm lucky enough to have 6 huge curtain panels in total in this emerald hue, a rusty red, and a warm cream so I'm sure you'll see more of this fabric on the blog in the coming months.
All of the patterns in the magazine are printed on paper, not tissue, and attached in the center of the magazine. This was definitely a lot easier to manage (and fold back into place!) than tissue patterns I've used in the past. I've never sewn from a magazine pattern before, so I was a little confused when I was trying to figure out how to assemble the pattern. Once I got the hang of tracing the pieces and assembling the pages together it wasn't too difficult - just something new. According to Anya, another blogger on the tour, these patterns are much easier to trace than the ones found in other sewing magazines. I can't vouch for that, but I'll take her word for it.
Once I got the pieces cut out construction was a breeze. I had some unrelated problems sewing this together because of the fiesty sewing machine I've been borrowing from my mom (I swear it only likes her). So some of the seams got a little wavy, but as far as the pattern was concerned everything came together smoothly.
The size 8 I sewed up fits me well. I thought it was nice that La Maison Victor has a range of smaller sizes in their size chart - Petite gals rejoice!
I made a few modifications to the pattern to suit my fabric and taste. First, I omitted the pockets because they didn't sit nicely with this material - the silk is just too lightweight to properly conceal the pocket bags. Secondly, I shorted the skirt piece by a few inches because I prefer when midi skirts hit me a little higher than mid-calf. Lastly, I used 1.5 cm buttons instead of 1 cm as recommended by the pattern. I knew I had to use vintage buttons to match the fabric and these paired so perfectly together, so I let the sizing thing slide. It made it a little challenging to fit both buttons at the top of the waistband, but I'm not about being perfect here.
While working on this dress I ended up switching between three machines - borrowing a machine while I'm looking to buy a new one has been no joke. But, it gave me a cool opportunity to try out sewing a manual button hole for the first time. These buttons are definitely not perfect, but they got better and more consistent the further down the skirt I went. (Thanks again Gillian for letting me borrow your other machine!)
The finished skirt makes me really excited for the fall weather to come. Being a midi skirt, it walks the fine line between summer and winter well, and is pretty appropriate for the chilly, mild summer we've been having in Ontario. I can't wait to pair it with a black turtleneck once it gets a little cooler out!
All talk about the skirt aside, I'm genuinely excited to see that La Maison Victor will be available all across Canada. I was worried you would only be able to find the magazine in independent or specialty sewing shops (which might make it hard to get your hands on) but it's actually going to be sold at Chapters and other major retailers in Canada. I'll be able to flip through future editions at the book store just minutes from my house - which is a pretty cool phenomenon for someone with an exclusively-digital sewing practice.
If you're interested in learning where you can find the latest edition of La Maison Victor in your city, check out this handy PDF here. If you're in the states, you can find it at your local Barnes and Noble.
PS: Pictured alongside this Dolores skirt is my Leopard Print Ogden Cami - Perfect for fall!