Friday, September 18, 2009
Lucky for me, my daughter speaks fluent Italian. When she was in college she had to take a foreign language, and she took Italian; it seemed like more fun than French or Spanish and the classes were small. When she graduated her University offered a chance to study in Italy at the Universita per Stranieri. We thought this was a great idea and offered to pay for a couple months of school there, thinking that she might learn better Italian, and also learn something about the country. It turned out to be a life-changing experience - for all of us. She spent a month taking classes at the Universita, then for the second month she traveled around Italy by train, staying in hostels, meeting people and seeing the sights. There is no better way to practice Italian. While she was there, she met the Italian gentleman who is now her boyfriend. Now she visits Italy a couple times a year, and she always brings me European sewing magazines. This last visit she found Modellina Extra, which is their special issue for plus sizes.
Here is their size chart - click to make it larger. It is a magazine similar to Burda in that the patterns are stapled in the center and look like road maps.
I noticed that the longer jacket is featured in several of the recent European magazines; I saw similar in Burda, and also in the European lines from summer. This is a very slimming look if you have somewhere to wear such an elegant coat. Italian ladies probably wear it while shopping. I never saw such elegant people as the Italians. They would be cruising by on their little scooters, wearing Prada and looking impeccable. (They must have a gene I don't have.)
They offer several sleeve options (this is a late summer issue), recognizing that ladies of a certain age might not want bare arms for all occasions.
I've never sewn from Modellina, so I'll have to compare with the Burda sizes and see where I fit in. What I'll do is pick a size that seems closest to mine, trace a pattern and lay the pieces on top of a pattern I know that fits and compare them. Then of course, a muslin and we'll see what happens.
It's fun to sew something that's different from the usual Vogue or Simplicity. The European patterns have interesting details and a different sensibility. I feel more chic just reading them.