Back with ruffles

9 Jul

Hello again. This whole ‘hey it’s MeMadeMay let’s get back to blogging regularly’ thing didn’t work for long. I’m so sorry! Although I wore some unblogged makes during May I did not find the time to write about it. One reason may be the 4 weddings I attended in the meantime. But that will be another post (that will hopefully not take another two months) There’s a summary of the second part of my MMM outfits at the end of this post.
MeMadeMay is always a good way to get to know your personal style and likings. This May I noticed that I sewed a lot of ruffles in the last time. They are playful and feminin.
It started with a dress I made last October. I showed a friend how to sew a shirt and fell for the fabric she chose. I could keep the remnants and made another version of the dress from Burda easy autmn/winter2012. But this time I omitted the skirt part and replaced it with a ruffle. Our trip to Istanbul was a good opportunity to shoot some pics.
black ruffle dress
black ruffle dress back
We bought the fabric from a turkish dealer at the fabric market at Maybachufer in Berlin. I have no idea what it is. Something synthetic I guess. What I like most about it is, that it has two different sides. I played with both on the dress. It is very soft and keeps you warm without beeing very thick. Since the first wash I leave a trace of black fuzz everywhere I go. But I still love the dress I will not stop wearing it because of that. My friends shirt didn’t misbehave after the wash. Mystery fabric.
black ruffle dress detail

Of course I went to the fabric district when I was in Istanbul. But most of what I found there were notions and festive, glittery fabrics. So my only souvenir was a picture of me with the statue of a fabric merchant.
istanbul fabric

In December I made another version of this dress. The starting point was this dress I saw on Pinterest:

Image from seamsforadesire.com

I had two pairs of grey mens jogging pants that were a leftover from a shooting. The sweat fabric would make a nice warm winter dress. The pants had a slightly different shade of grey. So I had to pay attention to that when placing the pattern pieces.

My dress is not as wide as my inspiration. Mostly because I couldn’t get more width out of the pants. And since my sweat fabric ist not that drapey I was fine with the ‘more fitted’ style. For finish I just added some ribbing from the cuffs of the pants to the neckline and a white jersey ruffle to the hem.

During our trip to Venice in April it was the perfect sightseeing dress. Warm enough to not have to carry a jacket.

joggingdress01
joggingdress02
joggingdress03

Besides sewing, one of my hobbies is digging through my fabric stash :) I always end up sitting in a pile of fabrics dreaming of what they might become in the future. For the remnant of this dress the future was near. I just grabbed the pattern of my selfdrafted hi-low shirt, made the curving a bit less extreme and added black cuffs and of course a ruffle at the hem. And in about one hour I had my new favourite shirt.

ruffleshirt01
ruffleshirt02
ruffleshirt03

Enough ruffles for today :) Let’s have a look when I wore these one in MeMadeMay (There were some ruffle free days too ;) )
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MMM15_27MMM15_28
MMM15_29MMM15_30
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Hope to be back soon :) Thanks for reading!

Me Made May 2015 and a lot of work

8 May

I’m back again! Me Made May is always a good reason to take up the blogging again. Today I’m going to show you a little bit of what I’m doing at work. At least the sewing related part. As I work in a video production company sewing is no part of my job description. But from time to time I get to use a sewing machine. We shot a fitness DVD and I quickly made some bright pink curtains for the background.
sewing at work
The studio provided me with an old Pfaff sewing machine. I never used a machine like this. There was no manual and no one I could ask. But we got along quite well.
sewing at work
My colleague did some behind the scenes pictures of me while sewing
sewing at work
sewing at work
I know that you normally don’t use black thread for pink curtains. But well, it was the only thread available and the seam was out of frame. The Pfaff and I enjoyed working together. Another thing I sewed were some super hero capes for a mineral water commercial :)
sewing for work
But since this blog is usually about the clothing I make for me and people I like, let’s talk about the jacket I’m wearing in these pics. In fact it is only a wearable muslin. I made the pattern for this jacket by tracing a RTW jersey jacket I own. I like the shape and fit of this jacket. But it is orange with black lapels and that’s why not very versatile to combine. The fabric was not the best choice for a muslin. It is very very soft and stretches easily. So the pattern pieces got a bit bigger than supposed. I didn’t mind because it were only scraps of leftover fabric from some dresses. But the jacket turned out to be a nice cardigan, even away from the sofa.
detail fabrics grey jersey jacket
grey jersey jacket
The original jacket has no seams in the lapel. My limited amount of fabric forced me to improvise. Also the lapel never lays flat because both fabrics are so soft and drapy and I’m interfacing lazy (Does this word even exist? But I really almost only use interfacing when sewing bags or purses)
grey jersey jacket
We used the opportunity of having a well lit studio to shoot some pics of my second version of this jacket too. I made it to wear to my class reunion (yes, my A-levels are 10 years ago now). Back then I designed the t-shirt everyone wore on the last day of school (a little alien standing on a pile of books that reaches from the earth to the universe, to symbolise how far our education will get us…very pathetic, I know :) ) I wasn’t sure if I really got something to compete with my fellow pupils (Well, I studied and graduated as engineer in multimedia technologies and I have a job I really like… but you know there are always these doctors and people working in big companies and stuff like this) So I thought probably no one of them would fit in the t-shirt from our last day at school.  I planned to wear it with my comfy pencil skirt . There was some green jersey in my stash that matched the green of the t-shirt. I dug a bit deeper and found some remnants of the skirt fabric. When placing the pattern pieces onto it I couldn’t mind the grain of the fabric. So I had a hard time sewing the two types of more or less stretchy fabric together without getting wavy seams.
detail green jersey jacketdetail green jersey jacket
Some time after I finished my second version Schnittchen released the pattern Mona. It would have saved me quite some work to just buy this pattern instead of making my own. Although my jacket has some different details. It has a round, kind of princess seam in the front that works like a bust dart. The back is longer than the front but in contrast to the Mona jacket it is rounded in my version and has no seam/vent. Now you are curious to see the jacket in action? Well, here we go:

jersey jacket in action

Yes, it was the shooting of a fitness trampoline DVD and no, these shoes are not adequate to use it…


If action meant class reunion to you… I took off the jacket soon because it was to warm in there. But I have this re-creation of our former class photo as an evidence I actually wore it.
evidence class reunion
And If you made it all the way through this post just because you wanted to know how my Me Made May went untill know, I will not let you wait any longer. I wore the jacket on day 06. The last couple of days I didn’t have a photographer at hand. I’m not a selfie person but it’s Me Made May and I want to document the outfits on the day I actually wore them.
Thank you for stopping by!
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Cool Blue

24 Mar

Hello again :) I still try to work my way through the unposted garments from last year (while the pile of unposted garments from this year grows…)

Finally I managed to claim my blog at Bloglovin. So if you like Follow my blog with Bloglovin

This dress is a make from last summer. It was very hot. I covered all my windows and didn’t leave the house on this day. Good preconditions for stash busting :) I had some thin jersey in a vibrant blue left from the dress I made for my mother. It almost screamed ‘perfect summer swing dress‘ at me. And isn’t there a better colour to rescue you from summer heat than a cool blue?

blue dress
I prepared the pattern following the tutorial. Since I didn’t have very much fabric I decided to add a pleat and a panel of a contrasting fabric to the back. The pleat was repeated in the sleeves (you might know them from here or here or here or here). It was a quick make that helped me to survive some hot summer days. Only the day we took the photos, the sun wasn’t shining that much anymore. But I’m sure  you believe me that this is a nice dress for sunny days.

blue dress back

blue dress detail

blue dress

You might recognize the patterned fabric from my white dress. Till now, I only used it to accentuate simple one coloured dresses. I purchased a bit more than 2m of it. So why not make something that showcases this amazing print a bit more.

I found this easy pattern for leggings called ‘Roxie’ in the latest autumn issue of La Maison Victor. I know you could easily draft leggings with your own measurements, but I was too lazy. I traced the pattern in size 34 (XS) and just had to reduce length and width at the lower leg. I love these leggings. I wear them to my yoga classes and of course together with the white and the blue dress!

Roxie leggins

Roxie leggings

Roxie leggings

Sewing really helped my to discover and build my own style. Surely it might be satisfying to finish a garment with a lot of details, couture techniques and/or delicate fabrics. But for me, what counts the most is what I actually like to wear. And most of the pieces I wear regularly are simple and comfy ones. Nevertheless at the moment I’m working on a designer pattern with some tricky details. If it turns into the garment I imagine it to be I will score in the skills and in the style department :)

What do you find the most satisfying in sewing? Challenging yourself and your skills or to make the garment you want to have and you probably couldn’t find as RTW (as simple as it may be)?

The cosy coat

24 Feb

Recently I sewed a lot of cosy and comfy things. Wearing them makes you want to hang out on the sofa or take relaxing walks in the park… just enjoying lazyness. So it’s easy to forget that they aren’t even blogged about or photographed yet. I finished this coat back in october and wore it a lot since then. So it deserves to be finally introduced to the blogosphere.

Grinch from CUT magazine
I intended this coat to be something like a bathrobe, but a bit more soft and cozy and more appropriate to wear in semi-public (a.k.a. open the door for the postman or take out the rubbish). In the end I would even wear it as a real coat when it gets warmer outside.
Once again this is a make from my beloved CUT Magazine . It is based on the coat from their issue No. 6.

sketch coat Cut magazine
They called this coat ‘Grinch’ but I have no idea why. It’s a simple coat with raglan sleeves and a pleat in the back. Originally the sleeves are lined. I dropped the lining, because I like to have the soft backside of the fabric against the skin. Usually after tracing and cutting the pattern pieces I do my SDA (Skinny Dwarf Adjustements… making the pattern tighter and shorter where needed). But since this is a wide coat per se there was no need to narrow anything. I did not even shorten the hem or the sleeves. I wanted to use these extra centimetres for hemming. The instructions tell you to  leave the hem raw (as incomprehensible as the name…). The sleeve hems would be finished by attaching the lining (which I dropped). So I could use the extra length as hem allowance there too. One last adjustment was to separate the pockets. It surely was a nice idea of them to put the pockets and the front and back in one piece. But that way you couldn’t fit any other pattern piece next to it when working with regular wide fabric. By cutting the pockets as an extra piece I could squeeze the whole coat and a matching belt out of 2m fabric.
Again I have no idea what my fabric actually is. I bought it at the fabric market because I liked it’s texture, it’s pattern and it’s feel (well and the price… 3€ per metre) It’s a bit like a sweatshirt fabric especially in thickness and fluffyness of the backside.

fabric
I used my serger for all seams and finished the collar and hems by hand (something I could do while hanging out on the sofa)

hem coat
This coat has no closure. So I quickly sewed a matching belt from the remaining fabric.

"belt
Meanwhile this coat is my go-to outfit for sunday mornings. But the photos were taken when I wore it to work. We were shooting in an old factory building and I knew it would be quite cold there once we turn off our spotlights. My colleague and I used a shooting break to do ‘our shooting’ in the hall in front of the studio.

cosy coat
cosy coat
As mentioned before, this coat is not my last piece of ‘lazy wear’. I took two pairs of jogging pants and made a cosy pullover dress from it. Soon to be blogged :)

What is the cosiest garment you ever made?

Christmas outfit – just in time

27 Jan

The “just in time” refers to finishing the outfit not the blog post. Although there are still some other finished things waiting to be blogged about I thought I better show you my Christmas outfit first before it might get mistaken for an Easter outfit. But now let me wish you a happy new year before it gets to late for that too ;)

christmas outfit 2014
All patterns I used are from very nice magazines. I already showed you some makes from the german magazine “CUT” (some pants and a blazer. You haven’t seen a t-shirt and a coat yet) For my Christmas outfit I wanted to make another version of the blazer and some shorts. In November Stoff & Stil opened a big shop near my flat and my office (dangerous!) I spotted a lovely teal/white/dark blue plaid flannel and decided to base my outfit on it. The shorts should be made of this flannel only. Since I made the blazer before, I knew that it has some features I could accentuate with it. The top is based on a pattern from the magazine La Maison Victor. Meanwhile there are 6 issues in dutch and french. But only one in german. I chose the top ‘Fauve’ from this Autumn 2014 issue. They used a contrasting fabric for the facing because the pleats on the neckline let you actually see it. Just the right place for my flannel :) Although all the places I planned to go on Christmas are well heated and I would have the blazer on top, I didn’t want to go sleeveless. So here is how I planned my outfit to look like:
xmas outfit sketch xmas outfit sketch
I knew where I would get the flannel from. I just had to buy a dark blue zipper for the shorts. I only had a brown on in the right length. In the end I realized that I could have used this one too. You dont see the zipper from the outside. So the blue zipper was kind of a gift to myself :)  The fabric for the top and the blazer had to be chosen to match the flannel. I didn’t have anything in dark blue in my stash anymore (I squeezed 3 longsleeved tops out of my 2m dark blue jersey. There couldn’t be anymore left for this project) But I found some poly-something mystery fabric in my stash. It’s not the exact shade of teal but it matches well. I even had a scrap of teal ponte knit. Just enough for the shoulder panel of the lining. So I could have something soft against my neck. I went to the fabric market to get some dark blue fabric for the top. And I managed to buy just the dark blue jersey (okay…and some black jersey that one should always have in stock).

I started with the shorts. The pattern is from CUT magazine no. 11. Every pattern in the magazine has detailed instructions with a lot of pictures. First I was a bit confused because they let you fold your fabric left sides together before you place your pattern pieces on it. I was used to do it with right sides together. I thought there must be a reason for doing so. But in fact there wasn’t. I even had to do every following step the other way around to make it work. That is way my zipper is on the other side. But I don’t mind. I’m even a bit proud of myself because I managed to turn every step around in my head. I have severe problems with left and right in daily life! (I was told that every woman has it, but hopfully not as bad as I do).

pattern pieces shorts
After cutting I serged the raw edges of the pieces. One moment I thought that might have been one step to much, since I originally planned to sew the whole thing with the serger… but then decided that it is more comfortable to sew it with my regular machine.

shorts serged pattern pieces
I finished the shorts with one of my selfmade letter buttons (as seen on this blouse) This time I sewed it on with an X because it looks a bit like a snowflake (although we didn’t have any snow for christmas this year)

selfmade button

Next on the sewing table was the blazer. It’s the ‘Blazer Frazer’ vom CUT magazine no. 8. Because I did this blazer before (see here) I didn’t have to trace and adjust the pattern. I went straight to the cutting.

blazer pattern piecesThe only thing I changed was to not add the button and the buttonhole because I didn’t use the closure on my first blazer and the design works fine without it too. I like how the fluffy flannel and ponte knit goes together with the more sleek outer fabric.

blazer fabrics detail

Last but not least, the top. I wanted the top to be long sleeved or at least 3/4. One option was to draft or find a sleeve that fits into the existing armhole. Since this armhole was not designed for a sleeve and I have very very limited pattern drafting skills I went the quick and dirty way. I took my selfdrafted hi-low shirt and taped it’s dolman style sleeve to the pattern pieces. And that’s it. Worked out very good. I used the flannel for the facing and top stitched the pleats with teal thread.

top detail pleats
Finally some shots from the completed outfit. My colleague shot them at work. I didn’t have a christmas tree at home this year.

top fauvre la maison victortop fauve la maison victorchristmas outfit from CUT magazine and la maison victorblazer frazer from CUT magazine
I think the last pic was intended to be kind of a christmas tree pin up…but I’m more a clown than a pin up girl :)

christmas outfit
I really enjoyed making and wearing my Christmas outfit. How did yours turn out?
Now it seems like this is not the end but the start of festive sewing for me…there are two weddings to come this year. That means I need two more wedding guest outfits (and one wedding dress… not for me! For a good friend… exciting adventure!)

One Skirt, Two Weddings

13 Dec

First there was this beautiful sequined jersey I bought some time ago. I always knew that it should become a skirt. After some research and several nightmares I read about sewing sequined fabric I decided that it has to have no more seams than absolutely necessary. My fabric has metal sequins. I was afraid that they would kill everything that touches them… needles, blades, scissors. I found this tutorial on a single seam skirt made after your own measurements. Perfect. So I drafted the pattern, cut my fabric, removed the sequins from the seam allowance and stitched it together. Well…I added some centimetres for the hem on top and bottom. But I forgot to add the actual seam allowance to the centerbackseam. It could have worked since my fabric is a knit with a good amount of stretch. But the thread that holds the sequins isn’t elastic. I would not declare myself beaten that fast. I ripped the seam for about 10 cm from the top so I could get into the skirt and sewed some hook and eye closures to it. Since the skirt got quite tight without the proper seam allowance, they held the skirt together but you could see my skin in the spaces between them. Finally I found a small zipper I had removed from some old pants. I sewed it in by hand. First because zippers on jersey tend to get wavy and second because I didn’t want to have to remove so many sequins again. After I knew that I could actually wear this skirt I invested some time in sewing the waistband and the hem by hand. For the hem I used the un-sequined selvage of the fabric. So the sequines wouldn’t stick to tights I will possibly wear with the skirt when it’s colder.
The actual cause for finally starting to sew the skirt was the invitation to a wedding. Because I couldn’t attend the event just wearing a skirt I had to make a matching top. It was not going to be made of the sequined fabric too. That would have been to many sequins (and to much work ;) ). I chose a lightweight jersey from my stash. I used it before for one of my hi-low dresses.I wanted something simple with only a little bit of sparkle. Therefor I drafted this V-neck top. It’s the same in the front and back (the advantages of having small boobs). The sparkle comes from a necklace I attached at the shoulders and in the center with some stripes of the same fabric. I had this plan before I had the necklace… I wanted it to be rosegold to match the skirt and the sequins. The desired colour limited the number of choices. Almost out of despair I bought a necklace at H&M that had several rosegold strings held by one closure. My plan was to remove some strings to make it look lighter. When trying to loose them from the closure I realised that each string was made of little elements that hold each other like the fingers of a hand. That way I could have one necklace and adapt it to my desired length by joining two strings to one. I almost did a little happy dance.
sparklywedding07

I even managed to make a little pouch out of the very few remnants of the fabric. It’s just a tiny sack with another part of the necklace as the handle.

sparklywedding08

sparklywedding05

sparklywedding03

sparkling wedding guest outfit

sparklywedding01

Later this year there was another wedding invitation. Since it wasn’t that warm anymore and because I decided that it might be better to cover the areas where the skirt sits a bit too tight, I made another top. The fabric is a goldish shiny jersey. Not the best quality as I discovered while sewing it, but it matched the skirt and it was cheap. The pattern is a peplum top from Burda (#114 08/2012) I made it before as a top and twice lengthened to a dress (1, 2) I shortened the front of the peplum to show more of the skirt. Because I’m short I have to be aware of proportions to not  look like a dwarf as much. Again I didn’t use the original sleeve. I used the one from my last Burda easy dresses ( like here: 1, 2, 3 and 4). I just like the little pleat in this place.

Meanwhile I wear the top more often than the skirt. I pair it with tight black pants and a cheetah printed head scarf.

sparklywedding04

sparklywedding06

 

This is a shot from the wedding photographer. I don’t have a name or contact to link to. But this picture is her work and she did a great job on this day. It is also nice to show you some details. The pleat on the sleeve, the necklace that I made out of the remnants from the first top’s necklace and the headband I covered in the sequined fabric to match the skirt. It such an easy hairdo. Just tucking your hair around the head band and securing it with some bobby pins.

Doesn’t I just look like I belong to this villa in the countryside back in the 1930ies ;)

My Christmas outfit makes progress. I finished two of three garments. Plaid flanell is involved in everyone of them :) Meanwhile the latest issue of the magazine “La Maison Victor” arrived and I can start with the last one.

How is it going with your festive sewing?

 

I’m dreaming of a white… dress

4 Dec

Well, it was a bit more needing than dreaming :) In summer I was invited to a big birthday party with dresscode ‘white’. I don’t have a white dress in my closet because I thought I am very white myself and I probably look like a corpse when wearing white. The dress should definitely have a bit of colour as a little accent and to proof that I’m not naked. I did some sketches and hacked it from the well tested ( 1 , 2 and 3) Burda easy dress. Which means omitting the drapy front thing, altering the neckline to a round one and adding the triangles of contrasting fabric.

white jersey dress
white jersey dress
I even got a picture from the dress in action on the dancefloor. I really like my white dress but it was a strange feeling beeing around all these white dressed people. It felt a bit like accidentally getting into a sect.

white dress in action
To insert the triangles I cut them from the pattern piece and added seam allowance to both the white and the coloured pieces. I thought it would be a nice feature to end the skirt triangle some centimetres above the hem. Therefor I hemmed that pieces before sewing it onto the white skirt pieces.

detail coloured triangle in white jersey dress
detail coloured triangle in white jersey dress
As I present my projects not only here on my blog but also on Burda Style it happend that I got chosen to be featured, with my laced up Pants and my wrap blouse. It is not the first time this happend and like always I didn’t even notice it myself (because I usually don’t scroll that far down the front page). But some kind Burda member notified me in the comments.
featured member project
featured member project

 
Although I still have some garments sewn but not posted I started working on my Christmas outfit. The sketch is ready, I have all patterns (2 of 3 already traced) and fabrics are chosen. I even finished the first garment. Hope to keep the pace so I can finish it in time. Do you have Christmas sewing plans? Are they maybe already finished or do you still work on it on Christmas Eve?

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