Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Slow progress

Making a coat is not a quick, instant gratification project. It’s more likely a project taking a few weeks. This of course depends of the amount of time you have for sewing in a day. During the week that is not too much for me, but I try to do a bit most days.

In the past weekend I basted all the seam lines, pinned the front, side and back together and decided on a bit more waist shaping.

The next step is interfacing the front and that’s mainly done now. I’m using methods from my favorite book on jacket construction (Tailoring, the classic guide to sewing the perfect jacket), which I wrote about a few times before. It describes the classic interfacing construction, the machine stitched variation and the fusible method. This time I opted for the second one, machine stitched interfacing. It also has a shoulder reinforcement. The shaping darts are pressed open and catch stitched to the interfacing. On the good side of the fabric only the straight stitches on the strips at the edges are visible. They are in the seam allowance though so won’t be visible later.

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A few questions that were not answered yet (sorry, I’m not always good at answering in the comments, though of course I read them, will try to do better)

Where do I get my lingerie fabric and notions? Mostly from Kantje boord in Amsterdam. Another source is, an ebay store from a lady based in Rotterdam. My last bra (black and white) was made from one of her kits.

Do I know any courses to take (asked by Anna from Maastricht): I took courses in the past and have learned a lot by doing and experimenting. My courses were all in the Randstad, so no help to anyone living in Maastricht. There is a Dutch  lingerie forum you could ask for recommendations.

Which pattern did I use for my bra: The last one was a knock off, so no pattern used.

A facebook page was mentioned but I’m one of the few people that is not (yet?) on Facebook. There is only so much time in a day….

What is the fabric for the skirt? I don’t know the actual contents. There is certainly a man-made fibre in it. It feels like a viscose/cotton. Here is a detail picture.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Next project – a coat

After a lot of hesitation I decided a coat will be my next project. It’s not more complicated than a jacket, as one or two commenters said when I was deliberating what to sew two weeks ago, but it’s heavy, warm and still a lot of work. If I start it now, it will be ready by the time the weather calls for a warm coat. To be honest, I hope it’s ready and it will still take a while to wear it. I’ll be showing the steps I take (though not a tutorial) here, so if you feel like sewing a winter coat (Lilian?) perhaps you’re starting too. Sewing an hour or so each day will get it done….


This is the pattern, BurdaStyle 6845’. I’m using view A only shortened the pattern by 20 centimeters, which makes it about 10 centimeters longer than view B. Tonight I constructed the under collar, based on the instructions in Kenneth King’s course The fly front coat on Craftsy. I loved to watch this course. I will not make the coat of the class but Kenneth’s instructions can be applied to other coats as well and he’s always giving tips during construction.

My order of construction is perhaps strange, as I start with the collar which will be attached to the coat much later . This fabric is rather thick and I want to be sure that it works properly for what I want, which is the reason I started with the collar. Then I would know, prior to cutting the whole coat, how this fabric behaves and whether it would work for this pattern. I’m not short of fabric and I could choose another pattern if needed.

The under collar is interfaced with hair canvas, which is cut on the bias and stitched on the grain to the under collar. This pattern has a collar in two parts, so I applied the same technique to the small part that will be sewn to the neckline later. After sewing the seams the bulk is reduced at the crossing points and the seams are edgestitched. After stitching the hair canvas to the collar the seam allowances are cut off, which means no extra fabric/bulk.

Next step is construction of the upper collar and sew that to the under collar.

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Thursday, September 11, 2014

Lekala 4122 and a pencil skirt

Taking good photos of this jacket is difficult, it shows more pleats than actually there. There are a few little wrinkles, but it’s a close fitting jacket. I used a cardigan pattern and used it for a woven and I like the result of it. The fabrics were bought at the Utrecht fabric market last year. The skirt was almost finished last year as well, and I had more or less forgotten about it as for some reason I did not like it. Strange, because when I tried it on now I did not know what I disliked about it then.

For those who don’t know Lekala patterns: it’s a Russian site selling pdf patterns and you can enter your own measurements. Based on those measurements you get a pdf pattern made to your measurements. This was the first time I used one of their patterns. I bought 3 prior to taking drafting lessons and I wanted to see how it worked out. I’m quite happy with it. I made the neckline a bit higher, it was very, very low and the sleeves were very wide, so I changed that too. The pattern has a ruched front which I did not do.


The skirt is a basic pencil skirt, absolutely no idea which pattern I used. The fabric is quite special.

It’s finished with hong kong binding and Petersham ribbon in the waist.

Purely by coincidence I saw this jacket online today ( from the Donna Karan spring 2015 collection. Its lines are very similar to the Lekala pattern.


It’s been a very busy two weeks and I know I have not answered a few questions. I will get back to those in a later post.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014


Do I need to say more?


Renee (Miss Celies pants) spent the last days of her European trip in Amsterdam and she took the the time for a few meetups. As she was here on her honeymoon I felt honored she made time for this. I met her at Kantje Boord, the famous lingerie shop here together with my friend Valerie and had a lovely lunch afterwards. We were lucky the weather was nice again so we could be outside.
Another meetup was on Monday, but unfortunately I could not make it to that one. I’m sure Renee will tell you about it all when she’s back.

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She took a good haul of fabric and notions home with her. Renee: I’m looking forward to seeing what you make of this and it was such a pleasure to meet you again.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Decision made

Glad to know I’m not the only one dithering in the sewing room. Vivien: you were right, a jacket was (almost) what was needed. The day after my previous blogpost about not being able to decide I suddenly knew what I wanted to do. A jacket/cardigan from fabric that I bought last year at the fabric market in Utrecht. I had it in my hands several times and each time I was unsure about what I wanted to make from it. Now it was clear: a jacket with a black accent. It was in my hands last Thursday too. and at a subconscious level it must have remained in my mind.

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I took my chances and used a Lekala pattern that I bought a few months ago. The sleeves are a bit wide but otherwise it’s quite good. It’s a cardigan pattern so that might explain the wider sleeves. I will take them in a bit. Also the dressform doesn’t do it justice. It has nice shape in the waist. I’ll line it and when it’s finished I will show it on me.  On my screen it looks black and white, but it’s off-white.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Can’t decide

I just wasted an hour or so in my sewing room and I just can’t decide on my next project. I’ve finished my lingerie set (made two panties to go with the bra). No other projects are in progress. I’m trying to be a bit better organized and don’t start on more than one thing at a time. Let’s see how long I can do that ;)

My thoughts while taking out fabrics from my closet

  • Shall I do a last summer project? The weather has been horrible here (I was so cold that I wore socks in August, normally I don’t wear anything on my feet till October). It seems the weather is better next week and September is often nice….
  • Shall I start the winter coat I’m planning. This is the fabric and I’m planning Burda 6845 for it.  Hopefully it’s still a while till it’s time to wear such a coat, but it takes a bit of time to construct…
    imageboiled wool
  • This red linen is nice for the jacket I drafted, oh no, it’s better for a dress, too casual for the style of jacket I’ve in mind, it’s better in a jean-jacket style or at least better for summer, I want a jacket for the next few months. Back went the linen…
  • This grey fabric is perfect for the jacket, but it ‘won’t be nice with topstitching. Have to underline it. Lots of work. It’s dark, too dark perhaps. Still half in summer mood of course, I’m more into brighter colors still.. ..
  • Oh, this wool has been in my stash for years now, it’s so beautiful, I really should make it this year. Back in the closet, it’s a real winter fabric….
  • Perhaps I should sew a t-shirt or another lingerie set, easy and (almost) instant gratification.

Not asking for opinions on what I should start, Í just feel I can’t decide. While I really intended to start a new project tonight, it did not work out that way. I will sleep on it and perhaps something strikes my fancy for real tomorrow.

On another note: thank you for the comments on my bra. It's always nice to read comments and especially to know that these lingerie posts are inspiring to some of you. Lauriana: I’m glad to know you found a way to comment on my blog, I was not aware that going to a blog through Bloglovin might be an issue. I do have issues with commenting when I read on the Ipad, which I often do and therefor are a irregular commenter myself  In general: I love to read the comments but am not at all offended if you don’t comment or only occassionally. There is just not enough time in the day for all of us.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Copy from RTW

This summer I bought my first bra in what must be over 10 years. Since I started making my own bras, I only bought sports bras and made all the “regular” ones myself. I went to a shop to buy a new sports bra and then I saw this one. I tried it on, it looked good and fitted very well. End of story: it went home with me. It’s a Freya bra and I wear it regularly, it’s very comfortable. (the picture is from the web, not me)


My bra making journey started because it was so difficult to find good fitting bra’s in my size: I’m full busted but have a narrow frame. According to most size charts I’m a C80 and a bra measurement tool from one of our countries lingerie selling stores even puts me in the B85 size range. Those sizes don’t fit me. It’s more like E75 or F70 that is the right fit for me. Which might sound huge, and perhaps it is, but it does not feel that way. A bra that fits well does make you feel good, no matter the letter/number in the size. Though it’s more easy to find bras in my size now, they usually are in the higher price range (or maybe I’m picky).

Loving the shape and the fit I wouldn’t be me if I wouldn’t try to copy this bra. I used silk organza to trace the parts of and then transferred them to paper, checked the seamslines and trued them where necessary.

In the past days I didn’t feel like sewing other then the bra, the weather here is like we plunged into fall (it’s cold and rain showers that give the feeling of it being October), I’m inclined to start winter sewing. This is the result of my copy from RTW: