No, I don't speak Portuguese. It's just that I've been spending some time over the last couple of days with a Portuguese-English dictionary. (Why do we even have such a dictionary? For the same reason we have a Serbo-Croatian grammar, and a Tibetan phrasebook: You never know when these things are going to come in handy, and I have trouble getting rid of books.)
I was looking forward to trying my first piece from the Brazilian pattern magazine Manequim, but I ran into something odd with it. First I want to stress that, after seeing four issues, I really like this magazine. To my mind, the clothes are beautiful and stylish, and many of them have interesting details that could be picked up for use on other garments.
My choice was #266 from the May 2013 issue, a loose-fitting blouse with a nice open V-neck, but minus the epaulets with spikes.
I made a muslin since I wasn't sure how a Manequim pattern would fit me, and I'm glad I did. Certainly I'm not shaped like the model, but the neckline I got is simply not the same. It's considerably higher and smaller. This is not an issue of sizing, because like most Manequim patterns this one comes in only one size.
I wasn't convinced about the construction of the strips down the front, either, which was my favorite part of the blouse as pictured. At the point shown here, the facing is already attached at the neckline; now you're supposed to turn under the edges (at the lines traced in black thread) and topstitch it into place along the neckline and down the center front. Even with all those seam allowances and edges trimmed and neatened up, this seems like an awful lot of fabric trapped inside what should be a very clean design element.
Here's what I think: The version modeled in the magazine is a ready-to-wear blouse, whereas the pattern provided in the magazine was drafted after the fact to resemble the original but does not reflect its construction or even its exact shape. Maybe only some of the patterns are treated this way? Not sure. I don't think I'll make this blouse up, at least not just now: the neckline is fixable, but the armholes are also tight on me etc. etc. I'm not going to give up on the beautiful clothes in Manequim, but you can be sure I'll always make a muslin.
And now a peek into the stash for a little cheering up, courtesy of Gorgeous Fabrics: