My Image Again

Young Image

A couple of weeks back, My Image magazine (the new European pattern magazine) sent me an email offer I couldn’t refuse—get the two summer issues FREE paying only shipping. Sold!

I picked up a couple of issues last spring. Now, I have to confess, I have a bit of an issue with pattern magazines. On the one hand, I LOVE them. I trace most of my patterns anyway, so that’s not an issue, and there’s something so exciting about having all those looks to flip through. However, (as with a lot of my pattern purchases, actually) I haven’t made up a whole lot from what I’ve already bought. I bought one issue of Burda, once, and made one pattern from it, which was basically a fail. From the previous two My Image magazines I bought last spring, I made one dress from the Young Image, for my niece (and modified it highly). My most-used pattern magazine is actually an old kids’ issue of Patrones that the Selfish Seamstress (reluctantly) gave me, back when I was blessed to bathe in the reflected light of her glory. I’ve made two patterns from it, and there are a couple more that are on the KIDS WANT list.

No, instead I tend to make variation after variation of TNTs.

One of the awesome things about My Image is that you can actually look at the entire magazine (except the patterns) on their website. The only issue I have there is that they tend to make things up in fabulous and crazy prints, which look great but can make it a touch hard to see what’s actually going on. Although the shots are more clothing-focused than a lot of Burda photos. You can also order the patterns in custom sizes, although the price of a single custom size is more than the entire magazine. Still, I’m tempted to give it a try, since one of the things that puts me off making up new patterns is the annoyance of fitting myself.

Anyway, the magazines arrived in really pretty good time shipping from Europe (about two weeks, which is faster than anything I ordered before Christmas arrived from the States). And, in an attempt to get myself out of my current stall, I resolved to make something. However, the dress I most would like to make from the women’s issue requires a stable knit of the sort I don’t have in stash (a doubleknit would be perfect). And I’m REALLY trying to work from stash right now. To the extent that I’m actually *doing* anything, of course, as opposed to just thinking about it.

A very simple pattern.

More importantly, being too lazy to worry about fitting myself, I selected arguably the most brain-dead easy pattern in the Young Image, Y1201, a racer-back tank tunic/dress with flounces on the bottom, cute ornamental tie-on things at the shoulders, and an odd little collar snugging in the racerback.

A very, very bad photo of the line drawing. Sorry, my scanner is being a pain today.

My children being not so much the flouncy types, I left these off. Being lazy, I left off the tie-thingies, too. I did motivate myself to make the little cuff. Go me!

On first ย impressions, I traced off the 116. The chest measurement is the same as Syo’s (or at least, the one I recorded for Syo last summer—she’s probably grown a bit but she also likes her clothes more fitted than tunicky). The “dress length” isn’t very long (it’s supposed to have a flounce at the bottom) while the shirt length ended right at the waist. I thought about cutting mid way between the two lengths, but ended up just going with the longer length, which worked out in the end. My Image pattern sheets are a dream to trace—there’s only 16 patterns, four to each sheet, and each pattern is in its own colour. Easy. The hardest part was remembering to add seam allowance to the sides, shoulders, and hem, but not to the neckline and armscye where I would be binding the edge.

Wait—that’s not Syo!

For fabric, I dug through the stash (which despite being rather too big never has exactly what you’re looking for) and picked a cream rib-knit, originally purchased because it was on clearance and a good colour and cotton and I must’ve forgotten how much I don’t like rib-knits for general wear.

The instructions have you cut the binding for the neck and arm-holes on the bias, which I think is fairly silly for a knit, so I just cut mine on the cross-grain. However, this design has enough ease you could probably do it in a woven, in which case the bias binding would make sense.

I have to say, although I am overall quite charmed with the My Image product, the English-language translation remains pretty, um, amusing. What was actually worse than the odd word choices is that the language isn’t entirely consistent. The bindings are referred to in various places as “yokes” and “edging”. One or the other would be figure-out-able, but the inconsistency makes it tricky. Or as tricky as an insanely simple project like this can be. I can’t tell you anything more about the instructions because I abandoned them at that point.

My terrible binding. And my goofy daughter, who will probably never forgive me for posting this shot.

I used my dumbed-down version of Sherry’s excellent binding technique, which is to say that I do it like her except I make my bands extra-wide to start with, don’t overlock the edge, and just trim down the extra close to the stitching on the inside. You have to stretch rib-knit binding an awful lot to get it to end up smooth. I figured that out eventually.

Back “cuff”

They give you dimensions, rather than pattern-pieces, for the rectangular pieces like the little back cuff, ย  which I approve of thoroughly. That being said, I’m not entirely sure how the cuff was supposed to be put together. I settled for seaming the long edges, turning inside out, and then stitching the ends together and turning that to the inside of the loop before threading it into place and finishing the side-seams. My first attempt seemed a little too wide, so I narrowed it some mmore, and I’m now pretty happy with it although I think it could be a little shorter, too. I didn’t add any seam allowances to this piece, but then I did use 1cm seams, so if seam allowances were included, they may have been 1.5 cm. I dunno.

Full back

Anyway, once I was finished stitching it all up, I realized that the use of a rib-knit and the omission of all the frilly bits had moved it firmly into “wifebeater”*, or rather boybeater, territory. And the loose, tunic style of the original was not at all appropriate for a boybeater. I could tell from looking, however, that the size and length would be just about perfect for Tyo’s tastes.


I was a little concerned that the armscye would be too high, but Tyo assures me it’s perfectly comfortable. And she hasn’t taken it off since I gave it to her, so it seems to be a hit.

As for the puppy hat, I have no idea.

*It occurs to me that this is probably one of those regional word usage things. A wifebeater is a close-fitting, usually rib-knit men’s undershirt, evoking the stereotypical image of the white-trash male sitting his trailer drinking a beer while watching the game and yelling at his wife. By extension, when a girl wears one, it is called a boybeater. Manbeater might be more appropriate, arguably.



Filed under Sewing

27 responses to “My Image Again

  1. It’s a classy boybeater! That cuff in the back takes it up a notch. ๐Ÿ˜€

  2. Love it!! Bet she wears the crap out of that. I got the first issue of My Image and I still haven’t sewn anything from it, although I like the styles. Wonfder what my block is.

    • Well, she’s already requested more (not that that’s unusual for her, mind you). I’d love to see you make some up. ๐Ÿ™‚

      • I need to. I’ve had that darn magazine what, 2 years now? I think I have that same magazine pattern block that you mentioned. I sew envelope patterns constantly, even though there is often something better in my Burda collection. And I trace everything, too, so WTF??

  3. Cute!

    I never heard “wifebeater” while living here in NZ but I did learn it while living in Australia ๐Ÿ˜‰ Their version of a wifebeater swaps out the caravan for an unnecessarily loud V8 engined car (Holden of Ford and they’ll fight over which is better forever and ever) and they call their canned beer a “stubbie” ๐Ÿ˜€

  4. LinB

    Yup. “Wifebeater” it is, here in North Carolina. Although I don’t remember hearing it used until after 2000, and a hefty diet of British sit-coms on public television put it into our local lexicon. “Sleeveless tee shirt” is what we grew up saying. Lovely shirt — I saw that used on a similar knit dress by … I think New Look, in the 1990s. I made it for my own then-10-year-old daughter.

  5. I don’t remember knowing the term “wifebeater” until more recent years– which is funny since I live in South Carolina. We always called them tank tops.
    I love the racerback detail. I think that pattern would be great as a dress but without the ruffle.

  6. Cute! Thanks for the “wifebeater” explanation..I needed it!

  7. Zena

    I would call this a “tank top” – and I grew up near where you did, though I have a head start ๐Ÿ˜‰

    I asked my husband, and he’d call it a “tank top” on a woman or an “undershirt” on a man. If pressed, he’d call an undershirt that was obviously not intended for use as an undershirt a “tank top” even on a man, but insists that “tank top” has feminine connotations for him.

    We agree that our impression is that “wifebeater” is a term adopted from the States, but not sure when.

    • Interesting. “Tank top” is definitely the more generic term in my head, but I wouldn’t restrict it to females.

      I remember “wifebeater” cropping up when I was in high school (so, mid-90s)… earlier than some of the other commenters, but still a fairly late addition. I think one of my highschool friends coined “boybeater” herself…

  8. Greetings! I sent you an email but it bounced back as “undeliverable” so I am posting here to let you know that you won the fabric giveaway on my blog.
    You can reach me at alittlesewing at gmail com

  9. We called them “tank tops” when I was younger, and they’re still tanks for girls. Wifebeater is the term most people in the States use now for guys, although they were originally sleeveless undershirts and not intended for outside wear (which is why they are associated with trashy people). Remember, when James Dean wore a white short sleeve t-shirt with jeans? That caused a furor because he was wearing his *undershirt* in public!

    History aside, this is an ADORABLE top. I have some rib knits in stash, but I’m like you — I can never figure out what I’m supposed to do with them (aside from cuffs and necklines and the like) because they’re too close-fitting for ordinary wear. I should practice binding because I have some turn-and-stitch patterns that would be vastly improved by a bound edge.

    • Hehe. My husband does a *really* good riff on that James Dean look (up to tucking the smokes up his sleeve…)

      I bind stuff all the time but I never seem to get any better at it… ๐Ÿ˜‰

  10. Rib knits never handle the way I expect them to, but that’s probably because I haven’t gotten much practice. Dunno. They’re lovely in wool (merino), it has to be said….

    Very cute tank and I have to say the hat is a good Tyo fare. Oddball and cute! I’ve said it before, the girl has style as does her sister and mum.

    • I haven’t used them a lot. The biggest thing with this is it stretched SO much. It goes back in shape fairly well with a bit of ironing, but I had to stretch the bands a LOT. Which I guess is the idea…

      I think they found that hat in the alley one winter… my children, the ever resourceful. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  11. Southern United States, we call it a wife beater – I really like it, and I agree the cuff moves it out of beater terriotory ๐Ÿ™‚

  12. Joy

    Very cute – I like the back detail and, honestly, prefer it sans ruffle. As is, it looks like a versatile summer pattern.

    I got the same My Image offer and just finished a dress for myself. I can’t resist the allure of the “thing I haven’t tried before”! But then I almost never sew envelope patterns, so pattern magazines are that much more enticing to me.

  13. I want a beater with a little cuff in the back! It adds a little something, ya know! We totes call them beaters. But in mixed company, this sort of tank is an undershirt, or if my husband is feeling especially vintage, and A-shirt. But yeah, generally a beater.

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