Lagenlook or bust – maybe both?

I’ve been sewing like a mad woman for my friend G. She’s an artist and a keeper of secrets, the best kind of friend. When I came across I immediately knew the styling was very G. She agreed, wholeheartedly to commission some dresses and off she went to buy fabric – I had me a patron! I made two Peplone Jackets one as a jacket style and the other as a dress as well as two Briare slips.


Briare Slips
Briare Slips

Since making the Tina Givens garments I have read some reviews on Artisan Square about them; all rave reviews. I’m afraid my experience with these ‘patterns’ was somewhat different. I’m reluctant to launch into an all out assault on the patternmaking because peeps on Artisan Square were bandying about terms like couturier with regards Ms Givens. That term infers she is far more a pattern maker and dressmaker than myself.  Nonetheless, I humbly offer my experience. The patterns are crap! Sorry, couturier or no couturier, these patterns are completely under engineered. Not in an excuse me, I’m cute, retro and soooo Lagenlook kind of way, but more of a “couldn’t be shagged adding a dart” kind of way. I get that these are large loose garments, but the saggy baggy elephant look at the underarm screams – “for the love of God, put a dart here”. The excess fabric at the back armhole was completely ridonculous, despite having cut a size small. My friend G is no waif, she is as Alexander McCall Smith might put it “a traditionally built lady”, yet those bloody armscyes were enormous. The patterns are devoid of grainlines and have no notches. The side seams of the Briare slip bodice slope downwards, which gives the bodice an extremely droopy look and also creates a point where the skirt will be attached – tricky stuff. The patternmaking is basic at best and I am not in any way an expert pattern maker – but I’ve never seen anything so shabbily cobbled together.

The style is Lagenlook, click the link for an excellent summary. It is not to be confused with lagerlook, as in beer swilling youths or the other Lagerlook, as in the fella in black sunnies from Chanel!

Screen Shot 2015-04-11 at 1.59.37 pm

This is a mode of fashion that has completely bypassed me. It probably shouldn’t have because I love anything loose and sloppy with a retro twist, jazzed up with handwork! A translation from german to english – ‘lagenlook’ means layered.


a bit much for the supermarket perhaps?
a bit much for the supermarket perhaps?


In retail there are some intriguing examples of Lagenlook here and on Etsy here. Our very own Tessuti seem to have developed patterns along the lagenlook line, easy fit, easy wear, easy sell here. There’s a whole lot of hippy types rocking the look with healthy tans by the beach and a bloke that looks a lot like Kenny Rogers here. OMG, I think I’m in ‘imaginary life’ heaven. This looks like it can get a bit twee though. The thinking woman’s crumpet – Kevin McCloud might call it pastiche, harking back to times gone by when ladies were fed up with corsets and other bodily restrictions! Its just a tad ‘costume’ for moi, but I love the aesthetic intention, just not sure I could pull it off outside of a music festival bedecked in glittery gumboots. I have given it a go in fact, recently I bought an oversized floral nightie from Vinnies (a local charity shop) and I can hand on my heart tell you I look more like crazy incontinent cat lady than ephemeral hippie wearing it. Perhaps I need to accessorise with a petite bespoke caravan?


I asked G some questions about the experience, she was kind enough to allow me to share her answers.


Why would you have someone make garments for you, why not just go to a shop?

I’m a larger lady much to my sorrow. I find a lot of shops have clothing for larger sizes but I’ve got to say most of them are so hideous that I would rather become a recluse than be seen in public in them. The patterns and colours rest somewhere about 1983 as far as I can tell on the up to date scale and the prevalence of nylon makes me wary of rivers of sweat in summer and open flames in winter.


What do you like/dislike about the ‘bespoke’ route?

I love the bespoke route as you can get what you actually want and not what some rag trade designer thinks is appropriate for your age/size/lifestyle needs. With online shopping and under staffed stores the whole experience is dwindling to something akin to the speed with which you are shuffled through the exit doors after the fire alarm has gone off. I like interacting with other human beings as I have not yet evolved, (unlike some people under the age of 22) into a type of homo sapien that will be able to reproduce itself and have all its needs fulfilled without going outside its own front door. 

Is there anything that could improve your experience?
There is nothing that could improve the experience as far as I can tell. I am absolutely hopeless at fabric and the constructing of garments and so am happy to entrust this mystery to someone in the know.
How could someone sewing for you improve the experience?
The individual treatment given by an experienced professional is always bliss. 
Do you feel you get what you expect?
As my most recent experience is what I best remember, I would say that if you communicate honestly with each other the outcome should have no surprises.
How do you feel about the maker presenting you with unexpected outcomes? I’m thinking along the lines of… you don’t always know exactly what I’ll come up with, is this a pleasant surprise or does it fill you with trepidation?
Unexpected outcomes are some of life’s best experiences. If you start off in one direction and find yourself offered another there is always a good chance it will be pleasant. If on the other hand your Aunt Muriel has specifically requested you wear a puce taffeta outfit to her latest celebration under threat of disinheritance, and your bespoke couture budget may suffer as a consequence, by all means do not be led off the original path and do not be diverted. Otherwise enjoy the trip !
Anything else you think people making clothes for others might benefit from knowing?
Its like a clothes safari – Its safer with someone to guard your back. Knowing that that person has only your best interests at heart is the most reassuring thing in the world.
Thanks G, you’re a doll!


Each garment required 2 toiles, easy fit is perhaps just not my thang. They still look very loose, imagine what they looked like before I removed monstrous wads of excess! I thought I’d hate the slips but on G they looked like they were made for her – boom boom! The blue dress was a surprise, It was intended to be a slip, but I felt the fabric was too heavy. I discovered a handmade looking stitch on my Bernina and used it as topstitching on the flax coloured linen dress.

Without further ado, here are the results, which admittedly I like. I recommend if you like this look, find patterns that approximate it elsewhere, be kind to yourself.

shimmery and prickstitched
shimmery and prickstitched




Nearly headless G aka the reluctant model!
Nearly headless G aka the reluctant model!

Is Lagenlook your look, could ya, would ya?


BTW I’ve just signed up for Me Made May ’15, my first such pledge ever! If you’d like to see what its about click the link at the bottom of the page. I pledged to wear something ‘Me Made’ every day. I may have to resort to gratuitous jewels to adhere to the pledge – but anyhow, lets see how it goes!






Add yours →

  1. Thank you so much for your review! I was tempted by a number of Givens’ patterns but had not yet made the purchases. As a larger lass, the fullness of the Givens garments seems perfect, but I am also short, so bunching and pooling of fabric produces a ‘square’, therefore very dumpy silhouette. I would be supremely irritated by sloppy drafting and no notches, also…. It is really useful to hear of your experience. On the other hand, the garments that you produced for your friend look wonderful! Thanks again for your feedback on these patterns – and I look forward to seeing your ‘me made’ examples.

    • Hi and welcome, thanks for the feedback. Its always nerve-wracking writing a less than stellar review, but I felt it needed to be said! I think the look works pretty well on larger lassies but a garment should fit somewhere – even if its the wrist. My friend was horrified by the thought of ruffles around the hem and I think she was right. You may prefer the japanese Lagenlook which is monotone and therefore a tad more streamlined?

  2. You’re amazing and a scream, too! Loved this post and I love your friend (and she’s a keeper of secrets, too…the holy grail in a friend…frankly in any person). I honestly love the finishing details you have put into these. I’m so impressed by the lovely contrast between the cuffs and binding and the dress in a similar colour palette. Wow! Brava, you. You are a very good friend and you have a great eye for detail.

    This gets me thinking though…my mother has had a similar style for a while, and particularly since going to Sweden a few years ago when my brother was living there, she has pretty much adopted a pared-back version of this look. I never used to like it when she wore baggy, layered things (my mother is really petite and slender so I wondered what she was hiding under her dresses!), but in recent years she has hit the mark with interesting patterns and textures. And in any case, if she’s happy…I think this look is…worth a look! Incidentally, I just looked up “lagen” in word reference and there are surprising words at the bottom of the entry, including “clutter, club sandwich ??, medley (I think this is the one!), provision”:

    PS What is that gorgeous blue fabric above (love the tiny stitches around the pocket).

    • Ah Stephanie, you are a sweetie. I’m thinking lagenlook may lend itself to latent kleptomania or possibly concealed pregnancies, but I do like it! I came up with a few definitions depending on whether it was german or dutch. The striped fabric behind the pocket (is that what you’re referring to?) is a remnant of curtain fabric pressed upon me by a manufacturer when I bought blinds! True story! I think its all kinds of metallic and plastic with a hint of cotton!

  3. Thank you for your refreshingly honest review. I personally am not a fan of Lagenlook and being swamped in fabric is not my preferred look. However, the slip and jacket you made for your friend is delightful, due more to your careful work than to the pattern, I feel.

    • No, its not for everyone. It does appear more streamlined in the japanese styling though. For me the take away message is that if a garment fits somewhere it looks better than if it fits nowhere! Thanks for stopping by KaSchu.

  4. Argh, no notches! That is the worst, so lazy. I love the fabrics you’ve used, your friend is very lucky!

  5. The fabrics you picked seem so cool and elegant and your stitching certainly looks spot on. Great in-depth review, thank you!

  6. Wow, such strong opinions on a style that doesn’t fare well in western civility. Lagenlook is definitely European and seems to be favored by the romantic and/or non-traditional stylist. I prefer this look, although I do not favor the ruffled, lacy, overly baggy, overly detailed styles. My body type (rectangle-ish) does not fare well with tailored, close fitting clothing (I despise jeans). Years ago I was to attend an event with my family. It was 90 degrees, mid-July. I wore a gauzy-lined floral drop waist type dress (I thought it was beautiful). My father thought I was wearing a nightgown/house dress. He asked (before we left) ‘aren’t you going to get dressed?’ I said ‘this is my dress’. He shook his head and looked at my mom (for intervention I guess). My mom (wearing a suit complete with pearls, clutch purse and matching pumps) said ‘I guess that’s her style-Lord knows I raised her right’. I laughed and walked out the door.

    • It is odd how styles dichotomise opinions so much. I am busty, so am wary of overly boofy styles up top, they look maternity on me. My husband’s business partner once commented on a dress with puff sleeves I was wearing, he said it wasn’t me! I didn’t invite the comment and I do wonder what commenting on people’s style serves to do? Does it make the commenter feel better in that they got it off their chest? Certainly the recipient can’t pop into the tardis and change – so why? Style should be more about self expression and less about making others feel comfortable with us I think. Thanks for popping by ‘adventurer’!

      • lisa San Francisco Bay Area 04/02/2016 — 4:52 pm

        Yes! The Tardis for a quick change!!! Please—then I can be younger and slimmer too!!!!

      • Too funny, I wouldn’t mind older so much if it weren’t for the wrinkles!

      • I think that you hit the nail on the head with your comment that “Style should be more about self-expression and less about making others feel comfortable with us.” That is the spirit of a Facebook group I am a part of, called Sewing Tina Givens, Lagenlook, and Boho styles. We are a supportive and encouraging group – and we never judge each other. A couple of your previous comments (suggesting that the outfit in the pic was too much for the supermarket), did sound a bit judgmental; but it’s your blog, and part of what you do here is express your opinion. That’s cool. And you are right about the TG patterns. I tried one, and could barely figure out how to make a dress from it. But I am 65, and have decided to wear whatever the hell I want. I dare anyone to complain about it.

  7. Wow! Thanks for this review. I’m wanting to learn how to sew and read on her side some of the patterns are beginner. I’ve considered purchasing but was always hesitating. The lagenlook is my style but a bit less lose I think. Any suggestions on patterns to try would be appreciated! I love gauze fabric and have quite a few lose, flowy, wide leg pants – but they’re not huge on me.

    • Hi there Dirtcandy! I think as a beginner sewist the most important thing is clear instructions. Practically any patterns will work to get this look if you choose small prints and gauzy natural fabrics which you can layer. Nani Iro do beautiful gauzes suitable for this purpose, but if you’re in the US I think it might be possible to use feedsack type fabrics? As far as style is concerned – Sewaholic’s Tofino pyjama pants would be a great start because the instructions on their blog would be invaluable. If you want the pant to be roomier you can split the front and back pattern piece up the middle and open it up like a triangle. Let me know if you want more instructions on how to do this. Also McCall’s 9278 looks to be a very worthwhile pattern, includes pants, sleeved top and sleeveless top. McCall’s 8149 looks lovely but depends on where you want the volume – top or bottom or perhaps both? Here is a link to a Lagenlook thread on Artisan Square,18463.0.html I also reckon you couldn’t go wrong with Grainline’s Scout Tee and just lengthen it into a dress, do this by extending the side seams the same amount front and back. Sew raw fabric strips to the front bib section and voila! Trust me, any beginner patternmaking you do would be an improvement on the Tina Givens patterns! Best of luck x

  8. Just wanted to drop by and say great review with a similar but different viewpoint to myself – not sure if that makes sense! I love the trims that you have done – particularly on the Peplone jacket – you have one lucky friend! If you are taking applications for the position – please count me in! It is intresting what you say about notches and instructions – they are defiantly very lacking, but then they are not something that I pay attention to, so I had not noticed quite so much!

    Sadly I also don’t think that they are beginner patterns as despite their simplicity, there does need to be some alterations made for fit. However, I love this style and will continue playing with the patterns . . . . And maybe there will be some red trim in my future!

  9. Very cute! I really like Lagenlook style and so when I found Tina Givens patterns I bought a couple. I just finished messing with the Phoebe pattern a few minutes ago and am terribly frustrated. I thought as a new sewer this would be so easy. It’s not or was not. The arm holes are huge huge huge but this would be just fine if the sleeve only fit those arm holes. The sleeves are tiny in comparison and I ended up cutting away some material but still, couldn’t get it to work. What a waste of material. I have another Tina Givens pattern and think I will do a muslin first on it. There are some directions but they’re basically useless. There’s not one thing couture about Tina Givens imho. I could have drawn up these patterns and done just as good a job.

    • I couldn’t agree more. On the upside, they’re so baggy you could possibly gather the armhole at the top of the shoulder and reduce the armscye that way? It’s so frustrating to spend time and money on s project and have it fail through no fault if your own.
      I’d peruse her eye candy then replicate with a Big 4!!! Best of luck with your sewing.

  10. Your an absolute riot, the honesty is refreshing. I think I will be trying to achieve my layered look with a different brand of patterns. i dont care to take on even the free ones from Givens. Thank you again, and I will be a loyal reader from now on. Keep up the free flowing humor and honesty.

  11. I just bought several Tina Givens patterns, having recently decided to get back into sewing after many years without a machine. Not that I was particularly skilled to begin with, but heavens to Betsy, those TG patterns are a challenge! First taping all those pages together didn’t work for me, so I cropped the excess off each page and laid them out in Adobe InDesign, then turned them into a pdf and printed them on an oversized printer. That was a lot of work, so I thought I’d buy a printed pattern and save the little pages and tape. Not so – the printed ones have to be taped together, although the page sizes are much bigger. Even then, they don’t always match up and there are typos and ambiguities that made me wish I hadn’t chose old Tina to be my first trip back to sewing. Now that I’ve put the tape away, I have several things cut so wish me luck on the assembly.
    I read all these very experienced seamsters raving about how cool the TG patterns were, so I thought perhaps it was my rusty skill set that was making me dissatisfied with her loosey-goosey patterns and instructions.
    Thanks so much for the validation. I wish I’d seen your blog earlier. I hope I didn’t just waste all this pretty fabric. . .

    • Feeling your pain Chickenlittleink! On the upside the patterns are so oversized you’ll be able to salvage any problems with a recut I think. I saw an amazing link on Pinterest to a Marcie Tilton pattern, made up in gorgeous repurposed fabrics, maybe go that way next time? It was on this blog but I’ve just clicked over and my jaw dropped – so bloody beautiful – seriously! Best of luck, don’t hesitate to throw any issues to the blogosphere, if we can’t help, no one can!!

    • Practically the same situation as Amber. I did make a Briare slip with free fabric and was encouraged but I started the Bianca tunic/shirt/jacket with the $11/yd linen this weekend and was cursing to my husband about what an awful patternmaker TG is. There are places where the 6 or 7 sizes merge into 2 or 3 lines and no indication of which one to use for which sizes. Maybe I guessed wrong but maybe the pattern itself is wrong. There are a number of wonky things going on but I am determined to salvage the linen.

    • I am great full for the free pattern start, but have also found the patterns and instructions to not be correct in several cases. I have to cut down the dress tops and lengthen

  12. Yet another person here to say that my TG dress (made with gorgeous Anna Maria Horner jersey) drapes as beautifully as a canvas sack. It is a Christmas gift, so I have time to salvage it, but am unsure how to proceed… The main set back I see is the sleeves gather in an unflattering way in front of the armpit. Should I just disassemble the entire thing and start over, or try to pin, tuck and rehem? I’m thinking the latter.

    • Sorry to hear of your TG woes. Can you unpick the sleeve and sew the sleeve in with extra at the underarm seam. Run up the side seam and sleeve in one, taking in the excess? Just a thought, I suppose you might also create tucks in the top of the sleeve cap?
      Doesn’t it give you the pips?!

  13. Hi there. Thanks for the shout out to Project Minima. As a fan of Tina Givens I just have to say something. Totally agree with you that her patterns are almost always screwy. They are not for beginners as so much info is left out or incorrect. They are greatly oversized. Some are even completely out of scale. Even so, I enjoy working from them. It encourages my creativity to solve whatever issues come up and I’m usually successful one way or another. I think I’ve only had one complete fail. I like layering and oversized clothes. Not so much into the ruffles nor the patches and raw edges. Truly I’ve made over 25 pieces in linen, velvet and cotton. You can see them all on my blog, Project Minima, under the label of Tina Givens. Also a fan of Marcy Tilton patterns. What you’ve made with the Peplone and Briare patterns looks great!

    • Interesting Pao, but really, the very least a pattern company should do is provide a pattern that works don’t you think?
      I absolutely love your take on the patterns, you have a terrific style and a personality that sings in it. Your blog is the sort of style porn I wish I could pull off, but I can’t! Hopefully people coming to this site to seek solace after a botched Givens will find you and become all inspired again! Go you good thing!

  14. I am about to undertake 3 TG patterns I purchased at a half-off sale. They call for pricey, WIDE, linen or voile which I don’t want to screw up 3 yards of so I plan to try out a mix of vintage sheets. The instructions are astoundingly brief and I am pretty sure I can just go from the diagrams. No darts, facings, fasteners, etc. Just quick and dirty slap a garment together with interesting shapes. I am thinking I will want to reduce arm and neck openings and maybe pop a few darts in but I like the idea of raw-edge hems and finishing with a bias binding. Enjoyed your frank evaluation and going to check out some of your suggestions.

  15. Oh dear. I wanted to try a Tina Givens pattern, or I should say, my mom (who has many many years’ experience sewing) quite possibly would make me the Michell dress if I asked nicely. I have been having a heckuva time finding patterns for Lagenlook clothes. I love Blue Fish Clothing but simply can’t afford it, and thought we could make something together.

    Any other suggestions for patterns? Thank you!

  16. I found that the purchased pattern Leona didn’t scoop at the sides and was cut for people much shorter than 5’7′, after making it in expensive linen. I have had to cut down the shoulders and necklines, have found them
    To be massive, and everything for me has to be longer. I am however very great full for the free patterns that gave me a start

  17. I so *completely* agree with your cogent description of the Tina Givens patterns as “cra**”. I recently spent $15 each on *TWELVE* Givens patterns and set about making a ‘collection’ because I thought they looked like fun projects for beginners. Because it’s such a vitally important Life Skill, I intend to volunteer to give free garment-making lessons for beginners. Unfortunately, *every* Givens pattern I make is so woefully incomplete and incorrect that, IMHO, no beginners and few intermediates could get a good result entirely on their own. Givens’ sloppily-written instructions (AKA “primer”) contain numerous misspelled words (no proof-reading?)! and her retro “Moosewood Cookbook”-style drawings are largely inscrutable time-wasters. Givens utterly FAILS to include basic, necessary steps such as stay-stitching necklines and armholes, so she’s hardly a “couturier”–and I ought to know, considering that I’ve been making and wearing closets full of Vogue couturier patterns for decades, like all the women in my family. After I’ve spent so many hours with these overpriced, under-accomplished patterns, I have a “motto” for Tina Givens: “An ounce of pretention is worth a pound of manure.” (Steel Magnolias)

    Frankly, for every Givens’ pattern, “errata sheets” should be published online to point out all her mistakes, omissions and other BS. Rather tellingly, Givens admits *in writing* that she can’t even sew a straight line. In the Joliene ‘magic’ dress instructions, Givens says she can’t sew two parallel rows 1/8″ apart, so she says it looks more artistic to have crooked, wavy lines. BTW, if we have to completely redraft and redo the Givens patterns, then we own that work product. Givens doesn’t own a “copyright” on any garments, just on her images of them.

    FWIW, to get the ubiquitous Givens’ ruffles to look like hers, you need to use a ruffler set to pleat every 6th stitch with a deep pleat. Ordinary pulled bobbin thread gathers would look wrong because they wouldn’t lie flat–but Givens *fails* to provide the slightest ruffler instructions other than to mention the word “ruffler”. You need more fabric length for the every-6th-stitch pleated ruffle pieces than Givens specifies–so cut the ruffle strips with extra length just to be sure you have enough. I just finished the Luella tunic and the way Givens does the neckline is “quelle primitive”, but I did it her way the first time around. I will take some pics when I get this ‘collection’ complete.

    • Well done Mary, thank you for that review. I find it totally unacceptable that so called ‘pattern makers’ charge for ‘patterns’ that wouldn’t pass muster in first term design college! Grrrr!

  18. I am so very glad that I haven’t bothered with the free Tina Givens patterns i downloaded yet. I wanted so badly for them to be workable, but every time I looked at them, I felt lost.
    However, on the subject of bust darts, do you have any suggestions on where to place them? I’ve only used bust darts when i have sewn some rather form fitting garments. I’m looking at sewing a loose fitting lagenlook style sundress, and wonder if the looseness would make a difference in their placement.

    • Hi SJ, it depends so much on preference, style and whether you want darts at all – it’s possible to pivot them out completely! I suggest you look up the Curvy Sewing Collective – they have excellent tutorials in dart placement, full bust adjustments and creating darts where there were none! Best of luck x

  19. I’m so glad to have found a review that agrees with my views on the TG patterns. I was convinced it was just me and my shape that were out of kilter (I’m a 14/16 pear BTW). I have found sleeves that should be full and loose are too tight for my arms, that the drape over the bust makes me look pregnant, and the droop to the sides just made me feel shabby, not chic, and the sleeves of a jacket came out elbow length instead of full length as per the photo. There aren’t enough photos to understand the details of the garment, and there are no proper line drawings to give an understanding of the front and back views. And the instructions give me a headache.
    For info, I’ve tried some of the Habibe Acikgoz Bold & Beautiful patterns as I loved the look and thought I’d finally found patterns that might fit… wrong!! The sizings are just as strange as TG, the patterns have to be stuck together which always seems to create a distortion, and the instructions are just plain bad. The sleeves on the jacket I made are way too short, even though they’re long in the photo.
    I thought I’d struck gold with these TG and HA patterns because I’ve had limited success with commercial patterns from the Big 4: I don’t know about other peeps, but even though I’m a 14/16, I need to use the size 22 cutting lines to get garments to get anywhere close to fitting. So disappointed, especially as I find clothing in stores expensive and badly made, and again don’t fit or look dreadful on.
    If anyone has advice on where good, well cut, well fitted, reasonably priced clothing can be had in Western Australia, I’m all ears!!

    • Hi Emma, crappy patterns suck! I had a thought the other day… Tessuti over here in the east do an amazing job of their patterns, download and paper patterns by post. I like most things I see, here is the link to their pattern line
      I note their XL goes up to Bust 106cm, Waist 94cm, Hip 116cm. The style lines are fairly simple and I think quite possible to add where necessary. There are so many chic examples on their site too. Best to measure the actual pattern at critical points – bust for me, to get an accurate finished girth. Do let me know what you think.

    • Hello Emma,
      I wonder whether the new line of patterns from Cashmerette would be of interest? They aren’t lagenlook style, but could be a good place to start. Once you gain confidence, maybe you can alter the style or even draft your own?
      Cheers, Sarah

  20. Oh my gosh! It’s not just me!! Have spent the last 3 weeks sewing TG patterns, thinking I must have done stuff wrong..many problems with fit, sizing of patterns etc. thank you so much for all this good info on other places to check out for the Langenlook style. I live in Arizona during summer, very hot here. Would love some suggestions for fabric choices to this kind of style. Local store here is pretty much into quilters cotton which is not very “soft”. Thank you for your honest evaluation of the TG patterns!

    • Definitely check out Tessuti’s patterns Ellen, so suitable for the heat. They’re designed in Sydney and so you can add humidity to your heat! Linen would be wonderful for this look. I know the crumpling can be a negative but I’m not a fan of linen looking too perfect. After ironing, I throw it in the dryer for 5 min, it softens the hand of linen beautifully. All your online stores stock linen, heavier is superior to thin and whispy in my opinion. Some cottons are wonderful when they’re broken in and rayon/viscose is also made from natural fibres – it drapes beautifully. Best of luck and thanks for stopping by 👌🏻

  21. Thanks for the honest review. I have been enchanted with Lagenlook for a while, since I found the discussion of Tina Givens patterns on Artisan Square. Having made about 5 pieces, I think her verson of Lagenlook works better for my Imaginary Life than my actual life. I can’t wear any of her garments at work. My coworkers think I’m weird enough as it is! Thanks for the Tessuti recommendation – I’ve looked over the patterns and they look more suitable to my real world.

  22. Hello there fellow sewers! So pleased to see critiques of TG’s patterns. Am an experienced sewer and pattern maker who is a tad rusty, so lagenlook pieces were the choice for me to get my confidence back. Paid good money for 5 TG patterns recently, and am disappointed with the lack of professionalism in their finishes. The really positive aspect to all of this is that I have been forced to hone my pattern making skills to make these damn clothes look good! I have had to alter necklines, add darts, and alter armscyes – oh my giddy aunt – those armscyes are terrible. I am a believer in feeding information back to people, and will do so to TG at some point. In the meantime, it is great to read about other people’s experiences. Sewniptuck – thank you so much for providing us with a forum in which to chat. I must look up the Tessuti patterns! Cheers everyone 🙂

  23. I want à paire of jeans patchy and baggy like yoy show on your add. Can you do this?

  24. It’s refreshing to see honest critiques of TG patterns. I, too, have had many issues with her patterns. What helped was joining the Facebook group ‘Sew Tina Givens pattern discussion group’.
    Also, I’ve emailed TG with problems. Giving them feedback can only help. One pattern was so bad that I requested (and received) a full refund. That pattern is now pulled from their lineup.
    Their pattern grading is a real problem, getting worse as the size increases.
    These patterns are NOT for the beginner (although they should be). Be prepared to sew a test garment first, you will be glad you did.

  25. Joanne Heavens 07/01/2017 — 5:52 am

    Your blog was so entertaining. Thank you for this and also very informative.I agree that unless you’re able to improvise and adapt the patterns (this helps if you already have some knowledge and experience of dressmaking and sewing) then they can look a little rough around the edges and shapeless when stitched up.
    Your garments look amazing and the fabric combinations look great together. You’ve inspired me to get sewing for spring.

    • Hi Joanne and welcome. Thanks for your lovely comment. There are some excellent alternatives mentioned in the comments – most notably patterns drafted by Tessuti here in Aus. They’re quite compatible with lagenlook. I’ll have to write up a report about the tops I’m making this same friend at the moment – ripped off a top she bought in japan!

  26. Thanks for the review, I just happened across the patterns on Amazon.
    I check out reviews before deciding on wether to make a purchase, glad I did this time. I noticed, there are no line drawings, for me I need a picture, not just a photo of the idea being conveyed by the designer.
    Thanks again, for the vicarious experience.

  27. Absolutely a stella review. Sadly, but not surprisingly you don’t seem to be the only one who has these views. So does that force us “the great lagenlook lovers of the baggy lady brigade” to be bold and try and invent our own pattern in order to be chic and uptodate, whilst looking like an unstuffed teddybear?
    Can I really be thinking of “going it alone”….. after all what have I got to lose really? Seems extremely complicated (not)….get a load of fabric lay down on it, get some random kid to draw around your torso (like they outline around their hands). Cut, pin, stitch randomly with eyes shut….and voila!!! Tina Givens move over, I’m coming through!!

  28. Those outfits are just perfection in your hands. I’m not a Lagenlook person but with an outfit like that, especially the coat, I so could be. Beautiful!

  29. I have been retired for a couple of years and now live in sultry Cairns. I decided to take up dressmaking about 12 months ago and I’m still in practice mode. I now want clothing that has no zips, buttons, darts, unnecessary fitting and, most importantly, is natural and cool. I’ve made a couple of Tessuti Eva dresses, which I love, and now use the bodice as a TNT patten block. Unfortunately, Cairns doesn’t have any good quality fabric shops and I source most of my fabric from Spotlight – quilting fabric, Japanese lawn cotton, poplin, basic prima cottons, etc. I love your version of the TG Peplone jacket – can you please advise if the material is cotton and where it was bought? I might be able to source via internet ☺

  30. Hi,
    I will have to agree with you. Before I found this review, I bought the PDF version of Givens’ Bohemian #4 Sychill magazine ($12.99 Can) and immediately realized all the patterns look like Moo-Moo’s, which was not what I was expecting.
    I learned my lesson

  31. Hi,
    Befor sewing your review, I bought Given’s Bohemian #4 Shychil magazine for $12.99 Canadian, and to my disappointment, all the included patterns look like Moo-moo’s. Not what I was expecting or what I wanted. I learned my lesson.

  32. I have had a nightmare with patterns from TG. She actually responded to my complaint that the pattern was incomplete and implied that I am inept and unskilled and that I should maybe learn to sew before using her stuff.
    I draft patterns now and I will never say I am a pro…but my patterns are hands and feet better than anything from that overpriced website.
    I wholeheartedly agree with your review…and more.

  33. Hi and thank you for your refreshingly frank and hugely entertaining review! I have dappled into Tina Givens´ patterns myself for quite some time with very mixed results. Tina Givens patterns usually come with a rather basic and sketchily instruction so I rather consider them as a suggestion on how to make the piece of clothes. I´ve made some pieces I really love and wear a lot from those patterns (such as the Plinka pants, the Meri pants, the Bloom and the Prairie dress) but I´ve also messed up completely with some (such as my attempt on the Phoebe shirt or the Lola Lou dress), which where a sad waste of time, money and good fabric.
    As I love the silhouette of the clothes and am a huge enthusiast for Lagenlook I intent to go on purchasing patterns from Tina Givens, but to chance her stuff comparing the pattern with clothes I already have and that fit – especially the armscythes, the bust area and the overall ease…

    To me, a good source of inspiration are the retail clothes from scandinavian Gudrun Sjoeden (you can find her online shop easily feeding that name to your favorite search engine).

    I adore your version of the Peplone jacket! I didn´t go near that pattern yet because I feared it was much too saggy. But on your friend it is so lovely. Did you do many alterations to the pattern?

    I´d love to hear if you did or do more clothes for your friend G. and see some pics of it!

    • Hi Polarbearcub, it was quite some time ago that I made that dress, my memory of alterations is a little dim! Since then, I have made some lovely double gauze tops copied from a Japanese RTW version G adored. I’m pleased you’ve enjoyed some success w the TG patterns – hoorah 😄 perhaps you need a blog yourself? Not at all difficult, it might explore Lagenlook specifically? Btw have you seen those couple of patterns by Dotty Angel for ?Simplicity, they look to be delightful. Go well xx

  34. Christine Grant 29/05/2019 — 1:24 am

    So glad to have happened upon your review of the Tina GIvens patterns. I really like the styles and have been unable to find similar retail garments to purchase, so I determined to make my own. I now plan to avoid TG patterns, but hope to find similar styles in more workable patterns. Style Arc is somewhat similar but not fully and super pricey. I’m not yet up to self drafting. Any other suggestions for finding loose, interesting, natural fiber type clothing patterns? Thank you.

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