Steely Seamstress

Sewing for life

Italian Sewing Magazines: Review of La Mia Boutique 06/18 and Cartamodelli 09/18


I’ve been in Italy for the last ten days, not that it was noticeable on my blog as I scheduled a blog post to appear in my absence with the final photos from my #SummerOfBasics outfit! As usual I was on the look-out for sewing mags. I had meant to post about one of these magazines a while back, but somehow I managed to actually leave the magazine in Italy. I was so gutted, because it was the June copy of La Mia Boutique containing several swimming costume patterns and I really do need to make myself a new swimming costume. Fortunately, I managed to find my magazine – it had somehow managed to find its way into the recycling when I was packing. The second magazine I picked up was a new Cartamodelli. So, here’s a look at the two magazines.

La Mia Boutique

If I was going to compare La Mia Boutique to any other magazine it would have to be Burda. The designs are quite fashion-forward and can be quite unusual.

La Mia Boutique Cover

Looking well-thumbed after it’s rescue from the recycling!

There are four swimsuit designs in the magazine; two bikinis, a trikini and a swimsuit. One bikini is a fairly conventional affair, but the other is this rather strange, off-the-shoulder affair with ruffles. I really thought that it would appeal to no-one, but weirdly I actually saw a few women sporting similar bikinis in Jesolo (Italy)! Anyway, it is definitely not something I would wear.

La Mia Boutique June 18 Bikini14

The “Costume” is the design that appeals to me most. When I’m at the seaside I’m not just a sun-bather; I need to be able to go snorkelling with Master Steely or kick a football about on the beach, so any bathing costume needs to stand up (or rather not fall down) when I’m on the move. This design, with its three anchorage points (halter neck, mid-back and waist) seems like a good idea to me. However, I will change the lower half to make it a little less revealing; it seems that all the designs have scant bottom coverage, but I’m sure that will be an easy fix.

La Mia Boutique June 18 Costume15

What other designs are there in the magazine? Keeping with the beach-theme there are two designs for over-swimsuit cover-ups. I particularly like the shirt-like look of this one, although I’m not entirely sure what is going on at the sides – are they open? Or is that just bobbly trim?

La Mia Boutique June18 CoverUp12

I like this “camicione” (big shirt), although I would probably skip the embellishments. It looks like a solid design. I used to have quite a few loose-fitting tops with long sleeves in light-weight fabrics. They seem to have bitten the dust over the last few years and not been replaced. That’s a pity, because I think they work well, better in fact than tight-fitting t-shirts in the UK, when it’s hot.

La Mia Boutique June18 Shirt08

Talking of embellishments, I don’t know what to think about this skirt, there’s an awful lot going on here. It seems to have fallen into that Italian clothing trap with adding lots of bling and random words, always in English or French. I do like the idea of a midi denim skirt, perhaps not this design though.

La Mia Boutique June18 Skirt11

As an outfit, plain though it is, I’m actually drawn to this page with the model wearing a combination of a simple button-up shirt with a pair of cropped trousers.

La Mia Boutique June18 ShirtandTrousers 1819

I also love this maxi tiered dress with the straps that cross at the back. Clearly appeals to the part of me that loves a classic seventies design.

La Mia Boutique June18 Dress07

Then there is this dress. It’s also long, but cocoon-shaped with deep pockets. I admire the design, but I’d really like to see this in a different fabric and with the model in a more natural pose. I want to see how that shape hangs. Would it look good in a stable knit?

La Mia Boutique June18 Dress20

I noticed there are so many designs in this magazine where white fabrics have been chosen. Great for showing off design lines, but a colour I stay away in the UK, it’s just too easy to get dirty. Perhaps if I lived in Italy I would wear it more. Actually, I saw children wearing white trousers and shorts there. Either Italian children aren’t messy or the mud doesn’t stick like it does here?

Sometimes in the Burda magazines, I find the plus section really good and wish they did those designs in the smaller sizes too. Here though, the plus size section was quite boring, and all dresses. Although I do think this dress looks flattering with its curved waistline. I like the combination of plain and floral fabrics too.

La Mia Boutique June18 Dress29

If you want to look at the complete magazine, there is a flick-through video here.


I picked up the September edition of Cartamodelli last week. This edition has 40 patterns in it, quite a bargain, but they are certainly more conventional in design in my opinion The thing that struck me about this edition is actually how summery it looked for a September issue. After returning to the UK, my thoughts are returning to warmer clothes already.

Cartamodelli Cover Sept18

The first design in here that really grabs me is this wrap blouse. I’m not really looking to expand my work wardrobe at the moment, but I think this would make a tremendously chic top for the office.

Cartamodelli Sept 2018 Blouse05

I love this jumpsuit. It is a classic design and would be a perfect summer make.

Cartamodelli Spet 18 Jumpsuit12

This dress is one of the more unusual designs in the magazine. The most prominent feature is lace-up front. At first I thought that perhaps the lacing was a bit too much, but the design has grown on me. Plus I have loads of left-over eyelets to use.

Cartamodelli Spet 18 Dress13

For me, the garments that scream “make me” though, are in this outfit. The fabrics that have been chosen are quite plain, so I know this wouldn’t necessarily be a page in the magazine that would grab everyone. I love the design of the pockets on this pair of jeans and the cut too looks flattering, slightly flared and medium-rise. The top can be pulled on, but I like the addition of the faux-button band; it makes the top look smart and yet I know that, because there are no buttons, it will be an easy make. Lastly, there’s the bomber jacket. It’s in a lace fabric, but could easily be re-created in a silk or a sweatshirting.

Cartamodelli Sept18 Outfit 19, 20 & 21

For some unknown reason there is a section in the magazine where the garments are just laid out flat and not modelled at all. Somehow, I’m just not good at imagining the cut of these items without them being on a person. How long are the tops? How loose are the shorts? I haven’t a clue! It’s a pity as they are good basics. Perhaps they decided that it wasn’t worth modelling these, but I’m disappointed.

Cartamodelli Combinations 24&25

I know that those that buy plus-size patterns moan when they see something they like and it’s not in their size, but hey it works the other way round too. The plus section in this magazine, is definitely more appealing, than in La Mia Boutique above. The outfit I really like is this denim blouse and asymmetrical skirt combination. I imagine the skirt, wouldn’t be too hard to grade down, so perhaps I’ll be able to make this without too much effort.

Cartamodelli Sept 18 Shirt and Skirt 32 & 33

I’ve found a flick-through video for this edition of Cartamodelli too, if you’re interested in looking through the rest of the magazine.

Finally, I made this guide to Italian Sewing Magazines which includes where they can be bought from on the internet, along with some other information on sizing for each publication. I have also created this glossary of Italian sewing terms. I’ll keep adding to it as I make more garments so it becomes more of a resource.

Author: steelyseamstress

Sewing a new wardrobe

8 thoughts on “Italian Sewing Magazines: Review of La Mia Boutique 06/18 and Cartamodelli 09/18

  1. I loved seeing these. Nothing I’d make exactly the same but it starts a few ideas up. I have a 10 year old copy of Moda Marfi and although out of date I never tire of the Italian elegance 😊

    • La mia boutique has some pretty radical styles. I couldn’t bring myself to buy the latest one as it was too off the wall, but my copy looks promising. I haven’t picked up a Marfi yet. I’ve only seem the magazine once, at a bus station and I was in too much of a hurry to buy it. The designs look so elegant – definitely something I’d pick for a wedding or smart occasion (if I ever got invited to one!)

  2. I wish the UK could produce some sort of pattern magazine. I am a Burda mag girl having collected since the 1980s when I also started using their paper patterns which became more widely available ( but minus seam allowances in those days). However the last few years I’ve been disappointed with Burda mag. I agree with you that sometimes the better designs are in the Plus section now which us frustrating. I’ve been looking at Knipmode and really like some of their things. Haven’t subscribed but may download a few patterns to try. Wish that was available at UK newsagents.

    • I agree. I think that we could do with a British pattern magazine or perhaps some of the European ones being more available. It’s not like the Burda mag doesn’t sell, in the WH Smith in town you have to snap it up or else you’re disappointed. I’m finding that the mags are a truly economical way to buy patterns. If I make just two things from a mag, then the price is justified in my opinion.

      • Yes I agree that even if you like a couple of things it’s still economical. It’s just that I compare it to the good old days of Burda when I’d like at least half a dozen styles. However I’ve just looked at preview of October Burda on the Ukraine site and I’m excited to buy it for the first time in a long time!

  3. Dear Steely Seamstress and Admins,
    first of all thank you very much for your review and the attention to our magazine. It’s La mia Boutique here 🙂
    We’d like to contact you, but there we couldn’t find no mail address. could you please write us at ?
    We think there could be some interesting ideas to share.
    Have a nice day
    LMB Staff

  4. Pingback: #makenine 2019 challenge | Steely Seamstress

  5. Pingback: #makenine 2019 challenge | Steely Seamstress

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