Wednesday, 18 December 2013

Bergère de France Magazine 170: A Review

Bergère de France has published Magazine 170. Let's have a look at it, shall we?

#01, Bloomer. Not taken with this one. And I don't see why anyone would want to go to so much trouble to make an ugly onesie.

#02, Cardigan. This is... okay. It's too basic to be either bad or good. But Bergère de France, could you do me and all your customers a favour and stop photographing white items on a white background?

#03, Booties. Very basic booties. These might be okay for a beginner knitter, but if you're more skilled, I'd look for a cuter design. It's not like it will be a long search.

#04, Cable Sweater and #05, Cable Hat. Now we're getting to something a little more interesting. I like the combination of the blue and the taupe used here. But I don't think this concept was executed very well. That strip of cable is just plopped onto the front of this cardigan and hat without a real effort to integrate it and consequently looks rough.

#06, Rabbit Blanket. This is so simple and neutral, and yet totally cute and finished looking.

#07, Baby Nest. I'm guessing the idea here is you're supposed to put your baby in this. Most of the babies I have known would object very strongly to being put into the knitted equivalent of a FedEx envelope, regardless of how nice the texture was or whether the French word for "soft" was embroidered on it.

#08, All-in-One and #09, Beanie. This sleeper and hat set is really cute. Love the matching shoes.

#10, Dress and #11, Hat. Simple and pretty little dress. I'd want to do this in a colour, or possibly a variegated colour to liven it up a little. And I am not sold on the side placement of the pom pom. I think I'd want to put something else there, like a knitted flower.

#12, Zip Front Cardigan. Quite like this one. The little tab closure at the neck is a nice finishing touch.

#13, Bootees. Nice simple booties.

#14, Zip Up Front Cardigan. I originally thought this was a set of yarn tennis racquets and yarn ball until a reader helpfully pointed out they were supposed to be balloons. I can't say the balloons are working. They need colour and the pom pom balloon should be nixed entirely. Any motif deserves better than to be sketched so roughly on the front of an otherwise well-constructed hoodie baby sweater.

#15, Cardigan. I quite like this. The epaulettes and matching pocket welts are a nice touch, but I would leave off the top-stitching on the pockets as I don't think it adds anything.

#16, Trousers. Very basic pants. I assume they're meant to match the previous pattern.

#17, Helmet. I've reviewed this aviator cap design before and still feel the same way about it: I wish it had been made to look more realistically like an aviator cap.

#18, Wrap Cardigan and #19, Trousers. Not thrilled with this outfit. It just looks too blah and slapped together.

#20, Doll. This doll looks rather like a convicted felon version of Charlie Chaplin's Little Tramp and it freaks me out a little, but then maybe you think silent movie references and freaky is good. I don't know your parenting style.

#21, Openwork Cardigan. This one is your standard classic lacy baby cardigan.

#22, Mobile & Polar Teddy Bear. A hot air balloon mobile with a toy in it isn't a bad concept, but the design and colour choices employed here is uninspired at best. The bear is cute.

#23, Pushchair Blanket. This stroller cover does not look particularly well designed for the purpose, and sewing a bunch of crap all over it didn't help matters.

#24, Poncho, #25, Hat and #25, Bootees. Oh dear, did we take a wrong turn and wind up back in the seventies? The tabard-style poncho, the crude blanket stitching, and the ugly colour combination here all scream seventies, and not in a good way. Do not do this to your kid or Susan Olsen will show up at your door and try to talk some sense into you.

#26, Sleeveless Waistcoat. If you make this one for your child you're probably beyond even Susan Olsen's help. It is as ugly a pattern as any I have ever seen, and let me tell you, I see plenty of patterns.

#27, Boot-Style Bootees. These are at least inoffensive, though I may be too worn down by the previous several patterns to be sure I'm in a state of mind to judge them accurately.

#28, Teddy Bear. This isn't bad (it's hard to mess up a teddy bear), but I have seen much better-constructed bears than this one.

#29, Mouse Cushion. This one looks simply cobbled together and weird.

#30, Boat-Neck Sweater. Hand prints and bear paw prints could be cute design elements on a child's sweater, but they haven't been used well here and simply look random and rather pointless.

#31, Dungarees. These are cute. I might put bear faces on both knees instead of only one.

#32, Hooded Jacket. Not a bad little jacket. I might nix all the extraneous pom poms and tassels and just go with a single tassel in the colours used in the sweater and for the cross-stitching over the seams.

#33, Beanie & Mittens. Very nice little hat and mittens set. Love the colourway used here.

#34, Hoodie. I'd nix the blanket stitch used here and instead finish off hood, placket and hem with a strip of pattern, such as a Fair Isle or checked design.

#35, Long-Sleeved Dress. Not particularly attractive at all. Let's put it this way: if this were fabric instead of hand-knitted, it would look like a costume from a movie depicting a Depression-era orphanage, and it wouldn't be the kind of orphanage where the orphans trade wisecracks and sing in spontaneous four-part harmony.

#36, Sleeveless Dress. Not a bad little jumper, though I would cut the neckline away a little more.

#37, Cable Sweater. Basic cabled sweater. Though I wish I could figure out exactly what's going on with that collar.

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