Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Dress coming together

After showing you all options I like to share my progress. This is the result of a rainy Sunday afternoon.


I considered all the suggestions and votes given. thank you so much for that. The blue was more teal than I remembered and after also coloring the back options I decided on above variation. I took my chances and did not make a muslin. I’ve made so many in the past months (a lot not blogged about) that I was completely in a mood not to make one. I drafted a pattern with my own measurements with no ease for the bust (either positive or negative), drafted the lines in it, repositioned the darts in the front to match the lines and crossed my fingers it would work. It does! Happy dance. I do need the bust and back darts and did not try to take those out.

I will cut 3/4 sleeves and see how that will look. A sleeveless dress is no option here in these winter months and a jacket or cardigan will also hide what this dress is about.

The side seams are only basted and the darts not pressed yet. To be continued…..

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Why use a pressing roll

Just a quick post showing the advantage of using a pressing roll. I’m assuming you know an ironing board and iron are as important as a sewing machine. I guess as much time is spent pressing seams as sewing them (even more perhaps?)

Two seams in a test piece of my ponte knit. No significant difference on the wrong side.


Same seams on the right side:


The seam on the right was pressed on a pressing roll, the left one flat on the ironing board. The imprint when ironed flat is visible in this fabric when ironed flat. This does not happen using a pressing roll. A roll could be made from a piece of round wood (broomstick) with a towel around it.


Mix and match in red

In my first post of the new year I mentioned I wanted to sew more clothes that mix and match. With the first three garments this year I made a good start. First a pencil skirt in a boucle fabric with a lot of colors in it: from off-white to a deep warm red and a lot ot shades in between. A good basic to start with. The fabric I bought as a remnant piece at a market a few years ago.  It’s strange how the weave suggests an off-grain in the photos. It is cut on the grain (taking out a thread at the start of the fabric, cutting along that cut out thread and then making sure the pattern pieces are on the grain before cutting).

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The second one is a top to go with it, McCall’s 6513 that I made last year when the pattern was recommended to me by one of my sewing friends.

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And last the Sienna jacket from StyleArc. Too big in the back and I did take in the center seam and re-cut the collar. I MUST learn to use a size or two smaller and do a fba, OR make my own pattern. I quite like it though. It’s made from a thicker wool jersey (the pattern calls for a woven fabric). I thought it might work with this fabric and it does, making it dressier than a cardigan but just as comfortable and warm. This pattern will be used again after I altered the back.


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I have a lovely jacquard weave fabric for a skirt in the same color as the McCall’s shirt. That’s one of the next projects. After the dress that is. Thank you all for your ‘votes’ on this. The dress is cut and I’m off to work on it this afternoon.

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Tuesday, January 13, 2015

What I’m up to

I can’t believe time is going so fast. I was a little under the water last week with a fierce cold but managed to sew a few easy pieces in the evening that are the first of a few mix and match garments. They are finished but not yet photographed, I’ll post pictures later in the week.

In the meantime I’m thinking of sewing a dress for an upcoming dinner that I can wear on other occasions as well. The dress code for the dinner is not very formal, a knit dress will be fine. Browsing through Pinterest boards I stumbled upon this dress which I want to make in a ponte knit. This is an Oscar the la Renta dress which apparantly was sold for the bargain price of nearly 2000 euro (yes, 3 zero’s). For that you got unfinished seams too ;).
If you’ve been reading my blog for a while you can guess that’s not what I’m doing. It’s not me.

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An enlarged detail of the original hem/seam:



The colors are a struggle: the off-white is very nice but an online supplier selling all the colors I would want could not guarantee the dark colors not bleeding in the light fabric and I don’t want to go to the dry-cleaner for it. Today I looked in a brick and mortar store that had beautiful ponte fabric in a lot of colors, but not white or off-white. In the end I did not yet buy any fabric yet (also because I’m not yet sure how much I need for each color).

The color scheme I’m contemplating now is black, dark grey and a bright blue. My computer drawing skills are basic, in my line of work I don’t need that but using what programs I have I came to these variations. Colors are not accurate, I even forgot to take a picture in the shop, but you’ll get the idea. I’ll probably go for one of the alternatives with black in the skirt for the obvious reason that doesn’t give an accent to the hip area as much. What do you think?


Thursday, January 1, 2015

I know this fabric

Browsing the internet for inspiration I found a dress in what looks the same fabric I made a dress from last summer. Fun to see the similarities and the differences of how the fabric was used.

On the left my version, on the right the rtw version from Madeleine, a dress from the new collection. Looks like my dress will still be “in fashion” this year.



2014 gone, welcome to 2015

Looking back to my blog posts of 2014 I’ve sewn more than I thought I had, but certainly less than I wanted to. Writing this post I thought of the overview that I made a few years ago and made one again. These are my 2014 projects:

2014 was also a year for me with a lot of meet-ups with sewing friends in various places here in the Netherlands or abroad. It’s so strange to think that before my blogging/reviewing days I hardly knew anyone who sews. Besides the real-life meet-ups it’s also great to be in touch with other bloggers and readers through comments and/or e-mails (apologizing here for not being able to email as much as I would like, there’s only 24 hours in a day).

I’m not usually making pledges for the new year, but I do intend to sew more garments that mix and match. When I went through my wardrobe recently there were
a. (too) many black items
b. far too many orphans
c. quite a few things that I do not like that much, either because of the style or the general fit
d. skirts and trousers that don’t fit like they did

Time to do something about it. Which means:
a. sew (or buy) garments that go with the black and add a pop of color (black/white/grey will remain a popular theme with me)
b. sew with a plan and stick to it
c. clean out my closet and get rid of unloved garments
d. lose the 4-5 kilo’s that keep me from fitting those skirts and trousers (perhaps the most difficult task, despite running and exercise it’s difficult loosing weight)

At least it’s something to strive for. Whether I accomplish the sewing plans depends on the sewing time available. There’s a work challenge for me in the next months (learning a new programming language) which will take quite a bit of time. Besides that we have put our house on the market 2 weeks ago, which meant that my sewing room had to be emptied and very, very tidy. Quite a bit of my stash and sewing notions are now packed in boxes, including all my magazines. Perhaps it helps to stay organized????

Looking forward to 2015 and will continue sharing my sewing adventures here on my blog.

Once again: HAPPY 2015!

Friday, December 5, 2014

Projects in progress and finished

It seems I’m quite attracted to doing more difficult or time consuming projects in the past months. Do you remember the coat I was working on? It’s not finished yet but I did make some progress. I stopped working on it a few weeks ago because I was not completely happy with it. In the meantime I concluded that my choice for the pattern/fabric combination is not the best one. It’s a classic coat and the fabric isn’t. With hindsight I think a wider/shorter coat would have been more appropriate. Too late for that now. I intend to finish it, but it still could take me a while. I was not happy with the idea of flap pockets in this fabric (it is thick!) and even though I sewed them with lining fabric on one side, I decided to use in seam pockets. It still needs sleeve heads, lining, finishing of the vent….


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In the Canterbury weekend I started working on a jacket with a quilted lining. It’s more or less in the same state as when I went home. There hasn’t been a lot of time for sewing this week. On this I still have a lot of hand sewing to do. Having black lining does not make that task easier in the days with short natural light.


Another project I worked on but haven’t shown yet is completed. A blouse from silk that I bought during a meetup with Nancy.

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I can’t remember the last time I worked with such a slippery, thin fabric. I started out without any pre-treatment and got crazy. I bought a spray starch then and used that, hoping it would all wash out without visible effect. It did luckily. The inside are all French seams (take my word for it). The pattern looks a lot like a Knip Mode pattern I have with this neckline. Also StyleArc’s Brenda blouse has a neckine like this. I did not use a commercial pattern but drafted my own, like I did for a blouse earlier this year. For the interfacing I used the perfect interfacing from Pam, Pro Sheer elegance. Highly recommend that for a silk like this (not affiliated, just a happy customer).

There might be some easy sewing in the next week or so, I feel like some instant gratification projects and gradually tackle my more difficult projects I have around.

Enough for the moment, have a lovely weekend all, and a good “Sinterklaas” to my Dutch readers.