Monday, 28 December 2015

dress for the festive season: not black but more glitter

This is going to be the last post of 2015. 

This month I finally had the time and materials to participate in the sew it up monthly competition. The theme of this month was less black, more glitter. I had the perfect fabric for that, a dark blue wool and and polyester blend with a wide glittering border weave. I bought it as a coupon and it was only a 1 meter 20 centimeter long. When I bought it I had the intention of making a skirt. But then I decided it had to be a dress. I prefer dresses anyway and special for special occasions a dress feels more festive. 

So then I had to find a pattern dat I could make with only 1.2 meters of fabric. At first I thought it was going to be impossible. I didn't just want a straight tube/ A-line dress. But then I realised that if I altered the pattern for the Lora dress (my first version) a bit it could work. I also needed to be sure that the pattern would have the right length, shortening it would make the glittering border smaller. So I shortened the sleeves and didn't make any pockets. By doing this I just managed to squize the dress out of it. I made one big mistake, I cut the back bodice piece on the fold . But because I needed the zip in the back I had to cut it open. So I was left without a seam allowance for the zip. Fortunately the fabric had a bit of stretch to it so I just used a minimum seam allowance for the zip. The fabric is also really itchy, I lined the bodice and the skirt with a dark grey venezia lining. I was planning to line the entire dress including the sleeves. I tried but because the lining doesn't have stretch it was to restricting. So I just put up with the scratchy bits. It is worth it!!

I wore the dress for Christmas and my entire family loved it and I'm going to wear it again on new years eve. I just don't have the time to make more than one dress so I just wear the same one for the entire festive period. 

Best wishes for 2016! 

Wednesday, 4 November 2015

Little Black dress, the Lora

Remember that I liked the last La Maison Victor that much? Well here is my second make from the September/October issue, the Lora dress.

It is what they call the ultimate modern dress, with a perfect fit and nice details. And for me it is exactly that. It even has pockets!!! 

I made the dress in a size 36 graded out to a 38 in the hips. And again it fits perfectly without any major adjustments. I don't get their sizing, tops in a size 36 are always to big and dresses are spot on. I think I'm going to make a 34 in tops from now on. Even if that means that I have to retrace all my favourite patterns.

During summer I go all out with bright colours an prints. but during winter to be honest I mostly wear black. With a bit of navy, gray and a red jumper every once in a while. So most of my winter makes are going to be a lot darker and more neutral colours.

Starting with this little black dress. The version in the magazine is made up of a black textured fabric with a bit of stretch (polyester, viscose and lycra blend) . I however never buy the suggested fabrics so I used a gorgeous black cotton and wool blend. It has a similar texture as the dress on the model but no stretch. I prefer the natural fabrics and even through that it is a wool blend it is super soft. No scratchy or itchy feeling at all.

The only downside is that because they count on the stretch of there fabric that they have not included a kick pleat in the back hem and I could have used one. It is still al right if I walk at a normal pace but if I want to run to catch the metro I notice that the skirt is to narrow. That is the only thing I would change if I will make the dress again, to add a kick pleat to the back seam. And as you can see in the previous photo the the pleats at the waist make it look like I have a bit of a tummy even through I I don't. probably because the fabric is a bit ticker.

I have a feeling that this lora dress is going to become my go to pattern for winter dresses, just like my june dress for the summer. It is not as perfect as that dress but I have a feeling that it might be with a few adjustments in the next version. 

Monday, 19 October 2015

Dusty top in a glittering fabric

So this is the Dusty top from the September - October issue of La Maison Victor magazine. That makes it fall appropriate not? The issue is great, one of the best so far in my opinion, lots of nice patterns that I would love to make, three lovely dresses, a nice top, a fun jacket and a coat. I want to make them all but I don't have the time. I was scrolling through my blog a few weeks ago and I noticed that I hardly ever make winter clothes and if I do they are party dresses... So I went shopping for nice winter fabrics, I went with my mom and my grandmother. It was a super nice trip and I bought some really lovely pieces with the intent of making this top and some dresses.

This top can be made in jersey and woven fabrics. The example that they made is made out of a jersey with some glitter in it. I liked it a lot! So when I saw this beige / gray thin sweater fabric with gold glitter thread running through I immediately knew I was going to use is for this blouse. The fabric would be rather thin for a sweater but it is actually rather tick for this blouse. 
you can't really see the glitter

The pleats on the shoulder would be nicer if the fabric was a thinner and more flowy fabric. Now it is rather thick. The pattern has facings to finish the neckline and armholes. There is one piece for the front and one for the back. But because my fabric was a bit to thick it added to much bulk. I altered this by cutting the facing in three pieces. One for the neckline and two for the armholes. I sewed the facing flat by hand. 

So the result, it's nice, definitely wearable but next time I will make some alterations. First of all I will use a different fabric, thinner and probably a woven. The neckline is to low. And the top is on the large side. so if I'm going to make it in a thinner fabric I will have to size down. The other patterns that I have made from La Maison Victor always fitted in a size 36, my size according to my measurements. but these last two are to big. 

Monday, 5 October 2015

sleeveless Alice shirt

Okay the last thing I made during summer it is the Alice pattern from the July- August La Maison Victor magazine. I made this early in September, a bit to late. To cold to wear it.

The fabric is a mystery fabric, no idea what it is made of, I'm guessing it is some kind of polyester blend. Anyway I love the print but I hate the fabric, it is soft but it wrinkles so fast! Half and hour of wear and it is a wrinkled mess. I chose to make size 36 based on my measurements. But I think it would be better in a size smaller, it is a bit big under the arms.

I do love the buttons, they are from my grandmothers collection, and they go perfectly with the colours of the print. It is the first collared shirt that I have made and it went surprisingly well. Normally the explanation in the magazine is relatively basic. But the collar went fine. the instructions where split up in small portions and a bit more thorough with clear diagrams. So that was great!

Next project is also a sleeveless blouse but it is form the September - October issue so that makes it fall appropriate!

Sunday, 20 September 2015

Emmeline tee

Just a quick post to wrap up my summer makes, one more to go after this one. From the last post I won the fabric on a blog and in this one I won the pattern. I'm very lucky lately :).

The Emmeline tee is a very easy pattern so not much to say about it. I made a size small. The pattern can be used for woven en stretch fabrics. I of course  had to do it a bit different and combined the two. I made this T-shirt with leftover fabric from a summer dress and my concert tee. They both where to small to make an entire item but to big to trow away and the colour is a perfect match. 
I made version 2 with contrasting sleeves in the woven fabric. The woven fabric is slightly see through but that doesn't matter for the sleeves. 

To be honest I don't think I would have bought the pattern myself. It is a bit to basic for me to justify the price. 14£ is a bit to expensive for me, but the pattern is beautiful and it comes with good instructions. The envelope contains a booklet with very detailed instructions for the 3 versions and separate once for woven and stretch fabrics. If you are a beginner it might be worth it, just for the good instructions. 

Tuesday, 1 September 2015

Soma swimsuit and bikini

So I made a swimsuit... and I never thought I would. Then why? Because I had the fabric... good enough reason for me. I won two meters of fabric of my choice from funkifabrics. Originally I had the idea to make a sports bra and some leggings. but when the fabric arrived I knew it had to be a bikini and bathing suit.
The perfect bikini for actual swimming 

So I did what every good seamstresses does and I googled swimsuit patterns, and was blown away with how many seamstresses/bloggers made a bathing suit! (And how many of them posted pictures of themselves wearing it on their blog.)
I had a difficult time choosing a pattern but eventually I opted for the Soma swimsuit by papercut patterns. The pattern is a bit more expensive then what I usually pay for a pattern but since the fabric was free I thought I would splurge on the pattern. And I'm glad I did. The best thing about the pattern is that it has three different versions, a one-piece, high and low waisted bikini bottoms and two different bikini tops.

I only own bikinis because I have never been able to find a fun one piece in my size. Retailers assume you want to wear a bikini if you are a smaller size or are that athletic that you want a bathing suit that is made for swimming laps in the pool but doesn't necessarily look nice. The reason I want a one piece is because I burn easily and a one-piece means one less area to put sunscreen, yes I'm that lazy. I wanted a fun bating suit that fits well and looks good.

Because I had never sewn a bathing suit I made a trial version, from my good fabric. I learned that using the right elastic is important. And I discovered that using good thread does makes a difference. I started with a small bit of thread from my grandmothers stash. The thread was old and apparently that does make a difference. When I was sewing my machine skipped a lot of stitches and when I used the gutterman that I bought it didn't do that anymore. I never finished the top because the finish was not neat enough for my liking. The bottom part looks fine so I'm keeping that one but with an other top, I still have enough fabric to make a new one. 

After the trial version I decided that I liked the other top better so I made that one. I made the top in a size small and the bottom in medium. The top fits well, its a bit snug and that makes it difficult to put it on and of. The bottoms where to big, I was worried that they would fall of in the water so I mad them 3 cm smaller on each side. This suit is lined with an other fabric, a thinner swimsuit fabric that I bought on the market in Maastricht. The trial version was also to big but I didn't make notes and I forgot. I bought it on a whim because I was surprised to find it on a market. I thought it would be super difficult to find. 
The fold over elastic was even easier to find I went to my local shop with the hope of finding elastic in maybe white and black. I was already thinking of ways to dye it. But no I ask for fold over elastic and she pulls out about 15 rolls of of brightly colored elastic. I used the technique that they explain on the papercut blog for covering elastic with fabric. I didn't want to buy an other type of elastic and at first I wanted to use the fold-over elastic for the shoulders straps as well. But that type of elastic was not firm enough. For the bikini I measured them myself and only realized they where to long when I had sewn them on. I thought it was to much work to unpick them so I sew them together. And I like it a lot that way... they are very secure and can't fall of my shoulders whilst swimming. 

I guess this is the longest (rambling) post I have written and I should start working on them sooner, considering that I started working on the first bikini in spring break. 

Tuesday, 7 July 2015

Graduation dress

It has been a while since I posted, that is because I was busy working on my final design project. I didn’t do anything else than work on that one assignment for over a month so I didn’t sew anything for a while. But now I’m officially a master in the architecture. I was so happy to have the time to sew again and deiced to make my graduation dress. But then life happened (read sleep deprived) and I was left with only 3 days to make the dress. I bought the fabric on Wednesday and the graduation ceremony was on Saturday at 10 am.

I had my mind set on a silk dress, in 3 days I know. They had a few options in the store and of course I chose the very thin flowy option. They had a few thicker options but I didn’t like the prints that much and a few cotton and silk blends. I love the fabric it is so beautiful, soft flowy and I love the print. But the best thing is 20 euro the meter, for 100% silk, a bargain compared to the lining, antistatic and nice to wear but 10 euro the meter.

Okay enough praise for the fabric now the pattern, I wasn’t going to cut into my beautiful fabric without knowing if my dress was going to fit. So I made the June dress form la maison victor again, you can see the first version here. Because the silk is transparent I was worried about the seam finishes. I tried overlocking the silk but that was not as neat as I wanted it to be. So I finished it with French seams, I think it is so weird that they are called French seams in English because they are called English seams in Dutch. 

The pattern is not actually made for transparent fabrics because it doesn’t have a lining. I made the front and the back of the dress in silk and lining. Once these were finished I pined the silk to the lining and used them as if they were one fabric. I didn’t want to underline the entire dress because then it would not show the flow of the silk anymore. The reason why I pined them together is because I thought it would be nearly impossible to insert a zipper in the silk. The neckline and straps were finished with facings.

Needless to say I was hemming my dress at 11pm the day before the ceremony, but it was worth it!

PS. Some of you might have realized that I never posted the second half of me made May. I just wore the same items as in the first half and I thought it would be a bit boring to take the same crappy selfies and was too busy to come up with something more interesting.

Monday, 25 May 2015

Venue top

My June dress from la maison victor was a large success! And because the fit was so great I could not wait to make something else from their designs. I wear a lot of blouses in spring so I immediately thought of the venue top.

The fabric is a coupon from the stoffen spectakel, no surprise there. I have no idea what the fabric is made of, I’m guessing that it is a polyester blend of some kind. Maybe polyester and viscose blend? The fabric looks shiny but is surprisingly soft and comfortable to wear. But it was a nightmare to sew with, it is slippery and frays like crazy. The blouse has been finished for a few weeks and I still find little threads everywhere.

I had enough fabric to start with, a little over 1.5 meter but then I made a mistake. I tried to match the pattern as well as I could. But when I cut the sleeves I made a mistake and I cut the sleeves upside down. (Great tip, don’t cut fabric when you are about to fall asleep) I didn’t have enough fabric left over to cut the sleeves a second time the way they designed it. So I shorted the sleeves and left out the slit. Instead I made it look like I rolled up the sleeves. I think it is a nice alternative of the original design and I needed less fabric!

I like the pattern a lot, the fit is not as perfect as with my June dress but still good. The only thing that bothers me a bit is that the blouse is a bit narrow at the shoulders. I will try to make them a bit wider next time I use this pattern. Not sure how you do that but I will find out because I really like the pattern.

Because I like their patterns that much I got myself a subscription, they had an amazing discount for the occasion of fashion revolution day. So you will see a lot more of their designs on the blog in the future. 

Sunday, 17 May 2015

Me Made May 2015: The first half

You can see the pictures that I took for the purpose of documenting me made may on the blog. They are all crappy mirror selfies because it could not be bothered to make good ones. Also this month is probably not the best month to try to figure out how well suiting my handmade wardrobe is for my lifestyle. I only have classes once or twice a week in May and I spend most of the other days at home working on my final design project. And I don’t always bother to get dressed if I don’t have to leave the house. But I tried to make an effort to choose my handmade over the others and this was the result.

Hudson pants
plantain tee
ava top
lane raglan sweater
Hudson pants
concert tee
venue top (on the blog next week)
lane raglan sweater
plantain tee
I found a pair of pyjamas that I made when I was about 16, the finish is not great they are one of the first things I made. But I love the border on the top and one extra outfit for me made may.
wrinkled pyjamas

I still have noticed somethings about my handmade wardrobe.
  •         I don’t have any handmade skirts anymore and I miss them, I made some years ago but threw them away because they don’t fit my style anymore.
  •          I love my Hudson pants but I need a pair in a thinner fabric, mine are a bit warm.
  •       If I do have class I’m used to wear trousers and a blouse when the weather is not that nice. At the moment I only have one suitable blouse, the venue top that I finished recently (and will be on the blog next week).
  •        Most of my dresses are sleeveless and the weather has not always been nice enough to wear them. I should make some with sleeves, maybe in a knit fabric?

Saturday, 9 May 2015

navy plantain T-shirt

I’m trying to make more clothes that I can wear on a daily basis. Of course I started with a T-shirt.
It’s my second plantain T-shirt, the last one was a light blue long sleeved version. There is not that much to say about this version. The fabric is a lot thinner than the one I used in my previous make. I think this one is a lot nicer, the T-shirt is wider at the bottom and the thinner fabric suits that better.

Also with the last one I had a problems with my threat breaking when I used the twin needle to hem the sleeves and the bottom. The threat broke once when I was hemming this T-shirt and I have no idea why. If someone has an idea why this happens please let me know. It is so annoying when that happens if you are nearly finished.

And I love the tulips in the garden to bad I’m not working on anything pink at the moment that would make the perfect back round. 

Monday, 27 April 2015

Me Made May

I took a pledge for 'Me Made May'

'I, Nathalie from, sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May '15. I endeavour to wear a handmade garment 5 times per week for the duration of May 2015'

I’m going to try 5 days a week instead of every day because I don’t have that much handmade clothes yet. I’m happy that it’s in May because if it would be in winter I would not even be able to make 5 days a week. So I have already noticed that I seriously lack handmade winter clothes. That is kind of the purpose of ‘Me Made May’ to find out what the holes are in your me made wardrobe. Get to know you style better and it’s just a time to appreciate your handmade clothes. I might post some pictures on the Pinterest board. And a round up on my blog, probably crappy mirror pictures. Nothing is sure I will see at the end of May how many time I  remembered to take a picture.

If you want to know more about Me Made May than have a look on Zoe’s blog

Thursday, 16 April 2015

My perfect summer dress

Okay I know it’s a big statement ‘my perfect summer dress’ but it really is the perfect dress for me. So I can hear you wondering why perfect? Let me tell you…

First there is the fabric. I bought it at the ‘stoffenspectakel’ like most of my fabrics. It was a coupon that I found at the bottom of the pile and it was 10€, a bargain. And who doesn’t love a bargain? I know I do! It’s a very nice cotton with the perfect weight and drape for a dress. The fabric actually feels rather heavy but perfect for this dress. And then the pattern, navy and white dots. What I like that much about it is that the dots are scattered on instead of being aligned in a grid. And the dots themselves are not perfectly round but irregular in shape.

So to me it’s the perfect fabric that fits my style so well and that goes with all my other clothes.
Than the pattern it is the June dress from the la maison victor pattern magazine. It came in the magazine form the summer in 2014 but you can buy it separately on their site as well. I can’t believe that I have waited so long to make this dress. The June dress was the reason that I bought this magazine.

So the pattern, on the website it is described as flattering for every figure and with a bit of ’50 glamour. They didn’t exaggerate, it is super flattering and I feel wonderful and glamorous wearing it.
I love the high neckline at the front in combination with a lower v-line in the back. The skirt is pleated but because of the lovely drape of the fabric it is really flowy and not bulky at all, something I’m always a bit worried about.  

Than what I like the best about the pattern is that I feel that it is drafted specially for my body. I made a size 38 and made no alterations. It just fits perfectly right out of the magazine. I was a bit worried that I would mess up my beautiful fabric when I would realise that the dress didn’t fit. (But not worried enough to make a muslin, haha)

But the best thing about the dress is the finish! For once I took my time to achieve the best possible finish. And it worked, part of that is probably that I didn't need to make any alterations. Normally I sew something try it on notice that it didn't fit properly and that is where it goes wrong. I get frustrated and impatient and mess up even more. But not with this dress, I tried it on what surprised about how well it fitted and took my time to finish everything. The neckline is understitched to the facing and the facing is sown by hand on to the zipper. The hem is finished with and invisible stitch on the sewing machine.

That’s why it is perfect, the fabric, the fit of the pattern and the finish.

I’m already working on my next project a blouse form another la maison victor magazine and that one is far from perfect. But more on that when it is finished.