Wednesday, 18 November 2015

Review Knipmode December 2015



As a long time subscriber to Knipmode I've always been very strict on the twelve issues in, twelve issues out rule. With one exception: the December issue was always a keeper. Not sure about this one though, as I'm a little underwhelmed. Look at the cover. Perhaps it would make a good January front page with all the grey, but does it say Christmas, or New Year's Eve?

Knipmode.nl

Looking at the technical drawings I don't see much that makes me change my mind. Even though some of the dresses are made up in lace and one of the tops has sequins, design wise they're not very different from linen dresses and tops we saw in the spring and summer issues. It's all a bit...safe.

Let's take a look at some of the older December issues.


Designer evening wear, not one or two, but 20 Little Black Dresses in different styles, patterns for stylish accessories like clutches, bow ties, evening coats. 

It's not just about Christmas. The box with my treasured December Knipmode magazines is where I will be looking first when I need a pattern for a cocktail dress for a Midsummer night's party, where I found Prom dress patterns for my daughters, evening wear for a Gala or a dress pattern suitable to attend a formal wedding. I know of students and musicians using the designer patterns to make affordable  outfits for events with a 'white tie' dresscode or stage performances. With eleven magazines a year full of everyday wear, can we please, please have a festive December issue?

End of rant. When you're not looking at the collection through my disappointed eyes you may find some useful patterns. 


Knipmode.nl

 I'm all for relaxed family gatherings during the holidays but even secret pyamas can be a little more glamourous in December!

Deck the halls?


Knipmode.nl
The styling of these patterns is definitely more festive, but a tank top, a t-shirt, rectangular skirts with elastic waists and a simple sleeveless dress? Make these patterns up in bright or floral cottons and it's called a summer holiday capsule wardrobe. 



A pencil skirt and a jacket, modeled in two different sizes. The classic skirt is looking good, but something is off with the jacket (#23 and #24). Is it the collar that looks too tiny? The centre front that looks a bit frumpy when the jacket is closed? Is there just too much going on with prints and colour blocking? Or is it the placement of the princess seams and the extra darts? I'll pass.



Now finally, here's a dress with interesting seams! Maybe in red to show off the design details? (The Knipmode website is down, so I can't add any details from the pattern shop)

Let's end this review in a positive mood. Is it all bad? No, it's not. I've already traced A-line skirt #5, I'll keep dress #17 in mind as a summer dress and maybe cardigan 13 will end op in my sewing queue. But is it a collectors item? Certainly not.
This December, and for all events in the next year, I'll be looking at Vogue or Burda for evening wear and cocktail dresses. Or, of course, my trusty box of older Knipmode December issues.

What brought on the change, I wonder? Of course Knipmode found its niche by selling patterns for busy and active women. Not as fashionable or experimental as Burda, not as basic as Ottobre. Over the years I've read several columns by chief editors suggesting we don't want to dress up anymore, all we want to do in December is put up our feet in lounge wear, play games and watch Netflix. But is that really true? Theaters all over the country are sold out for ten days in a row around Christmas, restaurants are fully booked. Whenever I go to the ballet, or a concert hall, I see lots of people dressed to the nines. We need patterns for that!

How about you? Do you like to dress up whenever you can or are you in Team lounge wear? 
What's your favourite source for evening wear and cocktail dresses?

13 comments:

  1. An interesting post. I'm not sure that I'm representative of others. I don't go out much so don't have too much need of glitzy glamorous dresses or cocktail dresses. That's not too say I have no need! I do need clothes for theatre etc but not 'dressed to the nines'.attire. I do have a couple of festive events but most of my time at Christmas is spent with family. Not lounge wear and Netflix, though. I'd be looking for something moe festive in a December issue, not exactly the same as I could get in other issues just in different fabric. Of course, it's fascinating how a change in fabric can totally change the mood and appearance of a garment.
    I'm impressed by your 12 in 12 out rule. I keep thinking I'm going to use some of the old magazines I have! Anyway, I'm just not as organised as that.
    I like the look of 22.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. To be honest, I only implied the in/out rule after I had built a solid archive of around six years. Too many stuff in the sewing room is killing my creativity and I also have a collection of Burda, Ottobre, La Mia Boutique and a rapidly expanding Vogue Designer patterns collection fighting for space!

      Delete
  2. That navy dress is fab. But, overall, you're right. It feels like Christmas after the presents or NYE coffee.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Interesting post. The jacket that looks "off" looks better to me worn open than closed.

    To answer your other question, I can't remember the last time I got dressed up. Maybe for my brother's wedding ~5 years ago? With a 3-year-old and an IT job at a tech company with a very casual style of dress, there just really isn't any occasion for me to dress up.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's not like I'm running around in sequins and silk on a daily basis, on the contrary, but wow, five years? Don't you ever want to create an occasion, just to dress up?

      Delete
  4. I have never seen a copy of Knipmode so I can't comment on that, but as I don't get much opportunity to go out socially, when I do I make the most of it. It's lovely to have a reason to "dress-up". I love the navy dress, it is very elegant.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Make the most of it, exactly what I mean! planning an outfit for a party or a wedding anniversary is part of the fun!

      Delete
  5. Let me start with this: I love dressing up, but, unfortunately, these days you may well wear jeans to the opera, nobody would give a s**t. To be honest with you, I owe zero glamorous dresses, and it's about time I start building my red carpet collection :) As for this KnipMode issue, I could not agree with you more. Having said that, I really loved the November issue, which my boyfriend kindly bought me, and I think it contains enough elegant patterns for the year to come

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ahhh, you just proved my point by posting the Vogue designer pattern you're planning to make for a corporate Christmas event on Instagram. That's exactly the kind of dress you used to find in Knipmode! In fact, I made up some Knipmode patterns in the 90s that were mistaken for Donna Karan originals when I wore them in the US. I miss that. I think we've seen the worst of the 'jeans to the opera' trend and I feel pattern makers and magazines should encourage us to go the extra mile.

      Delete
  6. Hard to comment really as Christmas in Australia is of course warm and therefore often very relaxed and casual.... I do love frocking up though for a special event or occasion!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Hi, good point, I just bought my KM Dec 2015 yesterday (Dec 31st). The cardigans and those draped knit tops look good, but I never tackled the extravagent designs of Decembers past since I have young children. Maybe it's something to do with what people sew? Or they are just experimenting with a new December design menu to gage reader response? But good points that restaurants are packed and people go otu for cultural events, so there are places to wear such designs. I hope you find something sewable from this issue.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There seems to be a shift from dedicating the December issue to party wear, to spreading party dresses in November, December and even the January issue! Perhaps it has to do with the release date, which is so much earlier now than it used to be. The January issue was out on December 12 in The Netherlands, well in time to make that last minute party dress :)

      Delete