Sunday, 28 December 2014

Christmas party dress

I already made a top of the AVA dress by Victory patterns, my blue AVA top. So I already know how the pattern looks on me. The flower printed fabric used to be a skirt, with a very ugly elasticated waist. I never wore the skirt but I really liked the fabric. The fabric I used for the dress comes from the ‘stoffen spectakel’ in Hasselt. I walked up and down the entire marked twice to find the right colour to match to the fabric of the skirt. I was looking for a tick cotton or other woven fabric, but I could not find any in the right colour.

I made the dress in size in size 4 without any changes. Last time I made a size 6 but ended up way to big. I was afraid that the size 4 would still be too big because of the stretch in the fabric. The fabric that I used is a cotton jersey that has barely any stretch to it, but it is still a jersey knit. On the positive side because of the stretchy fabric I didn’t need a zip.

This time I realised what I needed to do with all the pattern pieces. (You only need pieces G and H if you use very thin or lace fabric.) But I didn’t make my own binding, the fabric shifted too much. I did use it on the hem of the dress because I wanted to integrate the fabric on another place than just the top. But the finish isn’t neat, but you can’t see that on the outside!) My grandmother gave me bias tape in a matching colour. The binding looks a lot better on the dress than on the top I made last year. This time it lays nearly flat to the skin.

I love to twirl around in the dress it is such a flowy fabric. I wore the dress on Christmas and got a lot of compliments.

Sunday, 2 November 2014

Red leather tote bag

When I had just started sewing lessons I bought some red leather on a whim. I went to a fabric market with my mom and there was a stall with pieces of leather. They had an enormous selection of different colours and I just could not resist. I chose the red leather because it’s a colour that went with almost all of my clothes. For me red is a neutral everyday colour.

But then I was too insecure to actually use the leather. I only just started sewing and I was using an old sewing machine of my grandmother that was a little unpredictable when I needed to sew a thicker kind of fabric. So the leather was boxed away for years, occasionally taking it out of the box to admire it. But I was never brave enough to use it.

A few weeks ago when looking at it I realised just how silly I was. So I decided to finally use it. The pattern I made myself. The pieces are just rectangles sewn together with two long straps so that I was able to wear it on the shoulder. I wanted a really simple bag that is easy to sew and big enough to fit a lot of stuff.

The leather has an irregular shape and I tried to use as much of it as I could because I wanted a large bag. The leather is sewn bad sides together because I wanted the seams to show. The lining of the bag is a white with red polka dots quilting cotton. My grandmother did sew the lining to the leather on her industrial sewing machine. I was afraid to try it myself on my mom’s sewing machine because it is rather thick to sew especially there where the straps are attached to the bag.

I really like how it turned out and I’m happy that I finally had the courage to use the leather. I have used the bag every week since I have finished it. 

Sunday, 19 October 2014

Light blue plantain T-shirt

I also really wanted to try the dear and doe patterns, I like the bodice of the centaurĂ©e dress a lot. But it is fall not summer and I have a ton of summer dresses, I don’t need another one. When I was browsing the shop I saw the free Plantain pattern and I decided to make that first before buying a pattern. This way I could see if I understand the instructions and how there sizing is. The instructions where easy to follow. The only downside is how much paper you need to print it.

Long sleeved T-shirts are a staple in my autumn/winter wardrobe. I like to wear them with big knitted cardigans. So the plantain T-shirt is really my style. I made a size 38 and it fits perfect. The bottom is a bit wider and that makes it a really flattering fit. I also like that the neckline nice and open that way I can wear it under a sweater for extra warmth.  I didn’t add the elbow patches because I didn’t have any fabric that would go well with the T-shirt.

Sadly when I was finishing the sleeves and the bottom with a twin needle my sewing machine acted weird.  At some points it would not feed the fabric trough and it would continue to stitch at the same place. I don’t know why I tried to adjust everything the tension on the threats, the stitch length,… but it continued to do that. It made a few small holes in the fabric. You don’t notice them much because I stitched over them but I know they are there. So this one is going to be a T-shirt to wear under a sweater.

Sunday, 5 October 2014

Blue AVA top

The second pattern I have used from my perfect pattern parcel 1 purchase is the AVA dress pattern by Victory patterns. They included a copy shop sized pattern as well as a print at home A4 size. That was awesome, I’m an architecture student and I have easy access to A1-A0 sized printers so not having to tape al the pattern pieces together was great I really like the peplum look of the top so I decided to make that one. I wanted to use the leftover fabric from the transparent dark blue knipmode dress as contrast at the top. So I went to the same fabric outlet shop to find a blue opaque fabric that I could use as the shell fabric. I did fined fabric in the same colour as the fabric from the dress. It’s not the same texture, it’s a lot softer and more drapy that the cotton but I like them together.
According to my measurements I’m a size 6 (the bust matches perfectly and my waist is slightly bigger). The size 6 was way too big for me, it is supposed to fit at the bust and flare out from the waist. So I made the top 3cm smaller on each side at the bust and 1.5cm at the waist. I think a size 4 would have fit me without any alterations so I make a size smaller next time. I didn’t understand the instructions completely, I made version 2 but shorter. After I finised the top I realised that I didn’t use two pieces  G and H, the front and back bodice binding. The instructions say that F and G are optional (the front and back bodice binding). So didn’t need to use G (the front bodice binding) but no idea why I would need to use bias binding when sewing the two back pieces together. I just sewed them together and that worked out fine. Please tell me if you know what I did wrong.

I will make this pattern again, I love the fit and look of the top and I want to make the dress as well. With a thicker fabric and maybe lace on the top it would be an awesome party dress for the holidays.  

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Navy and white polka dot shirtdress.

I really wanted to make a shirt dress to wear from summer in to autumn. I used a cheap cotton with polka dots in navy and white that I got from a fabric market. The idea behind this was that it would be a wearable muslin. I never made a shirtdress or shirt before so I knew it could go wrong.

The pattern is from knipmode magazine in march 2007, yes we keep sewing magazines that long. The smallest size available was a size 38 which is slightly to large according to my measurements. And the pattern is a straight dress and I wanted an A-line dress. I should have bought a different pattern in my size, but at the time I thought it would be fine. I was wrong!

 I had to take in the sides with 2cm. than it was still way to big around the waist so I hollowed out the back gradually up to 3cm at the waist. And I pleated the front where the loops of the belt are. The loops of the belt where way to small so had to make new ones that were longer. There was no way you would be able to make a buttonhole and fit a belt trough the ones from the pattern.

According to the instructions you need to finish the sleeves and roll them up. My fabric is not pretty on the inside so I wasn’t able to do that. I folded the unfinished sleeves inside and stitched them in place that way if I would fold the sleeves out you would see the nice side of the fabric.

The button bands could be neater but for a first attempt they are okay. The standing collar was a nightmare I tried 5 times to attach it and it’s still not right.  I finished the inside by hand because it just would not work.
The reason that the pattern started at size 38 is because it is available in different lengths (1,60m, 1.72m and 1.80m). I made length 1.72m because I’m 1.70m tall. You would expect the dress to fit just above the knee like it does on the model since there are different lengths available. But no I cut of 15 cm of the seam and finished it with an invisible stitch.

And the best part of the dress… I finished the buttonholes and buttons with red threat. After this ramble about everything that went wrong you would expect that hate the dress and I have never worn it. But no august and september both had bad weather and I wore the dress a lot. It might not be finished perfectly but I like the fit after all the alterations I have made. But I’m never ever going to make anything that doesn’t have a pattern in my size! 

Sunday, 14 September 2014

Transparent dark blue knipmode dress

First of all the fabric, it is awesome! It’s a gorgeous dark blue cotton that has a pattern with opaque and sheer parts. The fabric is from a local outlet fabric shop and I love it. I love it that much that I’m keeping the leftover scraps in case I can use them for another project.  

The pattern is from knipmode magazine in april 2013. Is number 21, a short sleeved A-line dress with 3 horizontal strips in the waist and a wide neckline. The strips don't match up, oeps. I like the pattern but  I don’t love it in combination with the fabric. I’m thinking the fabric would look better in a dress without the 3 horizontal stripes in the waist. The fit of the dress could be better a specially around the sleeves. But I can’t figure out what is exactly wrong with it. I assume that’s what you get if you don’t make a muslin. :) 

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Bright pink Summer concert tee

too sunny to take photos?

A very long time ago I bought the perfect pattern parcel 1 and I have finally used one of the patterns. I made the Summer concert tee by dixy DIY. It’s the first ‘indie pattern’ that I have used. Normally I use the sewing magazines like knipmode, burda,… They are convenient because I can buy them in all the local bookshops. My mum also buys a lot of them and they get used by my mum, grandmother and me. But the instructions are not always clear and without asking my grandmother I often would not be able to understand it all. I was a bit hesitant to buy patterns in English because than my grandmother would not be able to explain the instructions to me. (I don’t know why because I read a ton of sewing blogs in English and I understand all of that.)

But the instructions from the concert tee where clear and I loved the drawings with every step. The loose fit and the high low hem are really nice for summer and I love that its different from a standard T-shirt. I used a pink jersey fabric that I had in my stash. I didn’t realise that it is the exact same colour than my last project but I promise not all of my clothes are pink :) .  

Sunday, 7 September 2014

Bright pink Summer dress

This must be my favourite summer dress from this summer. The pattern is from knipmode in April 2013 I think, (Knipmode is a Dutch sewing magazine). I made a size 36 without any alterations and it fits like a glove! Well I did change one thing according to the instructions the lining of the dress is the exact same as the outside. But to save some fabric I didn’t make a pleated skirt but a A-line one for the lining. The fabric is  a lovely pink tufted cotton voile that I bought in a local fabric store. The lining is a sheer cream cotton. I didn’t line it with pink because I wanted to make sure that the little dots on the fabric really stood out. 

If I’m going to make this dress again the only thing I would change is the length of the zipper. I used a 22cm long one and it is difficult to get it on and off. Part of the problem with that is probably that I made the dress that tight fitting.  

Monday, 2 June 2014

An introduction

I learned how to sew in 2007, I took lessons for 2 years. Whilst I liked the sewing the lessons where to slow for me. And I quit when I went to university. Now I sew on my own and when I have trouble with something I ask my grandmother.
I’m planning on posting my finished projects here and hope they will inspire you. I will not go in to detail about the construction. Mainly because I have no clue about terminology :) . If you have any questions feel free to leave a comment.