I don't usually buy new patterns or fabric, since I still have so much stash (kind of the whole point of this blog). However, some time ago I came across the Indiegogo page of Bootstrap fashion. They were running a crowdfunding campaign to expand their Design Center, with which you can mix and match pattern pieces to create your own sewing pattern. They also sell made-to-measure patterns from Lekala. One of their rewards was 35 of these patterns for $35 - a bargain! So, I pledged, and received my $35 in-store credit (plus $2 extra)... and naturally, had to buy a pattern to test things out.
First off: while I haven't tested a pattern yet, I have heard great things about this service. What they do is, they have a huge database of sizes for each pattern. You enter your measurements and any adjustments you want made (for me, a small bust adjustment and proportionally long legs), and the program matches the best fit from all the pieces it has. So, the patterns aren't actually drafted to your measurements, but because they have so many pieces 'behind the scenes', they can produce a great fit for a large range of bodies.
Second: the customer service is amazing. They answer all questions quickly, like I said they gave me $2 extra credit even though they did not reach their crowdfunding goal, and they seem extremely professional. If you are on the fence about trying a made-to-measure pattern, just give Boostrap fashion a whirl. They're worth your custom.
The first pattern I bought was this long-sleeves knit dress with contrast top. At the same time, I received a 20 euro discount coupon for an online fabric store. Perfect timing, right? Sort of. I bought what I thought was a suitable knit of organic cotton (and a length of discounted linnen with a beautiful flower pattern, I'm very happy with that one). Unfortunately, it wasn't quite what I had in mind... For the dress, I was looking for a sturdy 4-way stretch. What I got was a thin, flowey fabric that is nice, but totally unsuitable for this dress. It's my own fault: I didn't check all the details properly. If I had done some thinking on the weight per square meter, I would have realised it would be too thin. Let this be a lesson to everyone who buys fabric online: check twice, buy once.
I did end up finding fantastic fabric in the one fabric store I know of in my home town (about twice as expensive as the organic cotton, but so be it...). In the meantime, though, I was left with the thin knit fabric. At first I thought I'd make a muslin of it for the dress, but it felt like such a waste! So I decided to make a second dress: dress 122-A from Burda 07-2013.
I will end up with two dresses in the same colour scheme - the Bootstrap fashion dress will also have a light pink skirt and a dark pink bodice - but other than that, the two are so different that I don't think anyone will notice. And if they do... well, I guess that means I have an almost coherent 'style'!
Finally, I want to share a sneak peek of something else I've been working on that is not so much a project as a self-led course in sewing: