Drei Drapey Dresses

4 Feb

I know that it has to be ‘Three Drapey Dresses’. But I liked the alliteration and my native language is German so I dared to mix it :) I’m pretty sure that soon there will be four of them and then no chance for an alliteration anymore (Well… maybe Four Fancy Fummel… Fummel is German again… means rag… but the dresses are way to beautiful to be called rags.) Enough play on words…

The dresses are made from the Great British Sewing Bee’s Drapey Dress pattern. This Pattern is part of the book ‘The Great Britsih Sewing Bee 3 – Fashion with Fabric’. I thought about buying the book just because of this one pattern. But I already have several sewing books. There is much content that is covered in almost every book. And I didn’t even read the general stuff in any of the books because I learned it the hard way before I had the books. And sometimes, if you wish for it very much… a free download comes your way. I knew which fabric I wanted to use for the first dress. But I was afraid it wouldn’t be enough, since everyone who made it before stated it is so roomy. I digged through my fabric stash but couldn’t find a satifying fabric to combine with my favourite printed jersey. Because of my fear of getting lost in the finished dress I used my special grading trick. I printed the pattern at 90% and used size XS. Voila, perfect fit – no alterations!

Drapey Dress one
Drapey Dress 01
As you see, I managed to make the whole dress out of the printed fabric. I just had to do the back in two pieces instead of on the fold.

Drapey Dress01
The cat liked the dress too :) And if you wonder why I wore a longsleeved dress in summer… this was the end of November! (okay… it was South Africa… ) It just matched the coulour of the pool so well and my pale skin doesn’t like the sun anyway.

Not only the south african cat liked the dress. My mother was so excited that she wanted one too. And again I squeezed one out of the remnant fabric from another dress. As you see, it’s an awasome autumn dress!

DrapeyDressMutti_front03
DrapeyDressMutti_side
DrapeyDressMutti_back
Usually you don’t want somebody to wear the same dress like you at a party. But we both liked it so much we wore it to my aunt’s birthday.

DrapeyDressMotherDaughter
But the excitement wasn’t over. My mother wanted to have another version she could wear in winter (you see… soon we have one for every season). Together we chose a velvety knit fabric in dark blue.

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My mother and I don’t seem to be the only ones really loving this style of dress. Way before I saw the dress from The Great British Sewing Bee, I saw a similar one at COS. The only difference are the sleeves.

Image from COS

Another clue for this beeing quite popular at the moment is a new pattern from StyleArc. Again just the sleeves (and the back) are slightly different.

Image from StyleArc

And talking about beeing popular… I feel a bit famous, too. I’m in the Burda Style magazine again :)

caro burda again

How often do you sew a favourite pattern? Is four times enough? ;)

New Year – New Motivation

21 Jan

I wish everyone a happy New Year! (Is it to late for that? At least it is still January :) )
Many people start the new year with resolutions. One of the most popular resolution might be to exercise more. In order to motivate myself I made some excercise wear last year. (My most popular resolution is to post my makes right after finishing them and not half a year later…) Because Yoga is my favourite kind of sport I made a pair of leggings and a tank top (There is still a longsleeved top on my to-sew list to keep me warm through shavasana…my favourite part of doing Yoga)

The leggings are made using the same pattern I used for my last pair (it’s ‘Roxy’ from La Maison Victor.) It was a quick make since I already adjusted the pattern to my measurements (made the waist a bit higher, legs a bit tighter and shorter).

LeggingsYoga
The tank top was made using the pattern from my hi-low dress The fabric of the leggings was used for the back panel the hem and the binding of neckline and armholes. The main fabric was a remnant. I didn’t remember that it was that stretchy. To bring the neckline back to a sport appropriate form, I added a little gathering in the front. It looks pretty intended, don’t you think so?

TankTopYoga
These pictures, once again, were made at work. We shot trampoline fitness videos and I was the double for some split screen shots. It happend that I wore the dress the tank top is based on the second day of shooting. It is not really suitable for sportive activities, but I was pretending anyway.

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Do you have any resolutions (or even re-sew-lutions :) ) for 2016? How long do you pursue them? (In my case, usually till February ;) )

Thanks for reading and see you soon!

Mix and match wedding guest outfits

27 Oct

Finally I found some time to put something up here again. But at least now I can put all of this years wedding guest outfits in one post. Last year I attended two weddings. I wore a sequined skirt paired with two differnt tops matching the different weather conditions. This year there were five weddings… And I didn’t want to wear the exact same outfit I wore to another wedding again.

Since I wanted to make myself a pair of culottes for some time now, I found the first wedding to be a nice occasion. My dear friends gave my vouchers for different fabric shops here in Berlin for birthday. I found this dark red (it could almost be the Pantone colour of the year 2015 – Marsala) Acetat-Poly blend in the shop just across the street from my home. It isn’t actually plain dark red it is mottled with black. I liked it at first sight and my voucher was enough for 1.5m and matching thread.

I used the Burda Style Midi Culottes pattern from 03/2015. Especially the pleats in the front attracted me. I made size 36. I knew that I would have to take out some length if they should become Midi Culottes. But I decided to keep the extra length because I wanted to wear them with high heels (borrowed from my colleague…way to high for me…but experience makes you lern…)
Just the evening before I whipped up the blouse. It is based on my selfdrafted hi-low top. I just added the collar. Everything is sewn together using my serger…quick and dirty :) But it worked.

To build a connection to the culottes I added a bow made of the same fabric to the blouse. It’s just basted by hand (one hour before the wedding :) ) Except the shoes it was a very comfy outfit.
culottes burda style 03 2015
I actually climbed a tower in this outfit. (But I put off the shoes for the way down :) )
culottes burda style 03 2015
The pockets saved me from making/buying a matching purse. The outfit was finished last minute and I don’t know how I could have squeezed in making a bag anyway.

For the second weddding I did not only sew my outfit but the dress of the bride too. (I will go a bit more into detail about it in another post. The bride gave me a dress with broken zipper she did not need anymore. It wasn’t my size and not completely my style. I made a simple pencil skirt from it. Simple only in terms of shape. The fabric itself had two layers. One solid coloured poly-something with a bit of stretch. The upper layer was a mesh with fabric sequins in different sizes. Each held by a tiny bead. Although it was a strapless dress there was still some fabric left after I did the skirt. So I puzzled a heart from it (lots of hand sewing involved) and added it to a simple hi-low shirt (a quick selfdrafted one with just a front and a back piece). I bought some simple not too high black shoes to go with it. The breezy top was just the right choice for that hot summer day!
i <3 weddings :)
The inspiration for the top came from Megan Nielsen. I admire her Valentines Day Version of the Briar top.
sequined skirt and shirt
Some weeks later we went to the third wedding. This wedding had a colour scheme. The bride wanted her girls to wear coral. The second colour was green. In May we went to Barcelona together with the bride (a hen party/bachelorette party as a three day trip) I made clutches for all the girls. Of course I used coral and green. I finished them during our winter vacation. Suddenly I was well known around the whole village to be “the girl with the sewing machine” after the maid saw it while cleaning the room and told all her friends about it. (I didn’t think it would be so special to bring a sewing machine to a hotel room…)
clutches for hen party
The clutches had different linings (as shown on the tags) and each had a selfmade letter-button with the first letter of it’s owner.
I already had some shoes in coral and green and looked for fabric to match them. I found a lightweight coral denim with a cheetah pattern online.
coral fabric and shoes
I designed the dress. A sleeveless drop waist dress with a ruffle at the hem and a triangular cut out in the front and in the back. I added stripes of fabric to cover the areas the bra would show. But the weather became colder the closer the wedding day was. I had some very green tights and I decided to be brave enough to wear them to the wedding. First because they matched the coulour scheme and second because I didn’t want to feel cold. Then I bought a tanktop the same green to wear underneath. And finally I added sleeves to the dress… Looking back I think a less stiff fabric would have worked better for the silhouette of the dress. But it gave a nice body the the skirt part. The location was lovely. The Spreewald is a wonderful part of Germany.
coral green
coral green coral green coral green
If you think these were nice outfits but you don’t see the mix and match anywhere, you are right :) But here we go.

The fourth wedding was celebrated in an old ball room.  So I went for something a bit more classy. There were still some of the fabric sequins left from the dress I made into a skirt. I used felt as a base and made two hearts to wear in my hair and at the collar. These little pieces completed the whole look with the blouse from the first wedding and the skirt from the second one.
pencil skirt and blouse

For the fifth wedding I wanted to wear the cullottes again. But I didn’t manage to finish a new top in time. But the blouse from wedding one and four turned out to be a good base for a nice outfit. I liked it together with a pencil skirt so I took another one from my closet (The comfy pencil skirt I made years ago). To complete the outfit I digged into my stash of fabric scraps (I knew they would be useful at some point) and found remnants of the skirt. I cut out two pieces shaped like a long heart, sewed them together, turned the right side out and ruffle it while adding pearls of different sizes. The pearls had the colour of the blouse and this little brooch created the connection between all elements of the outfit.
pencil skirt and blouse again

For this year the wedding season is over now. And I already sewed some more casual stuff for myself and for my mother. I try do show it to you before all the newly weds enter the next level and I have to/ want to sew baby related things :)

See you soon ;)

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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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?

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