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?

All good things come in threes

26 Nov

As you might have noticed I’m a repeat offender when it comes to patterns that I like. But not every repetition ends up in my own closet. This is another garment for my mother. I did the dress from Burda easy Autmn/Winter 2013 in a caramel coloured rayon and in black jersey with a flowery accent.

My mother wanted the skirt to be longer and the neckline to be higher. I added elastic to the sleeve hems so she can wear the sleeves high or low. Both fabrics are lightweight jerseys.

blue jersey dress burda easy 2013 blue jersey dress burda easy 2013 blue jersey dress burda easy 2013

Now we just have to wait for the summer to come back so we can wear out comfy and chic dresses again.

It’s a Wrap

20 Nov

No big surprise, just the very popular Burda Wrap Blouse. At the moment it has 752 downloads on the international Burda website. Like almost everybody I fell for it the moment I saw it in the preview for the April issue of Burda magazine. I had many fabric combinations in mind but in the end I decided to start with a remnant of rayon from my caramel dress. It was a quite small piece of fabric, not even enough to do both front parts. I used some black chiffon for the lower layer. It is sheer but it doesn’t show much. But anyway there was just enough fabric for the smallest size without seam allowance. I thought this is no big deal since I almost always use the smallest size without seam allowance and it is described as boxy (that equals roomy in my world…).  Well, but I almost always use knit fabrics with stretch. And the construction of the front is not made for just dropping seam allowance. The edge of the front panels is supposed to sit right beside the shoulder seam. But my shoulder seam moved  a bit inwards and I had to be careful not to catch the edge when setting in the sleeves. Another issue was the corner of the front parts. I saw many people just overlapping the fabric and stitching it in place. My mission was to do this one thing properly. I read the instructions from Burda on how to do this ‘envelope corner’. Please don’t think that Burda instructions are clearer in German. At some point (after consulting Google and looking at some pictures) I thought I unterstood how to do it. Then I realised that this corner is no right angle… just ignoring the knot in my brain I went for it  and it worked somehow. I’m quite pleased with the result (Although it brought me some Star Trek comments on Facebook  and in real life) And as if there weren’t enough problems with this ‘supposed to be easy’ garment, it shrank when I washed it (the pictures were taken before). At the moment I’m considering wether I will rescue it somehow (because I think it might be a nice companion for the laced up pants) or to give it to some little girl (in this case I maybe have to hurry before the girls I know won’t even fit into this anymore)

Wrap blouse Burda 2014

Wrap blouse Burda 2014But I wasn’t scarred enough not to try this pattern a second time. My mother liked it too when she saw it in the magazine. I bought 1m of some satin-like rayon in grey because I liked it’s pattern. I had to make some adjustments. My mother wanted it to be longer. I also added the seam allowance and some ease. I did the backpiece on the fold for the first one. This time I went with the center back seam because I could fit the pattern pieces on the fabric better this way.  Although I was totally prepared to use some other fabric for the sleeves I could squeeze it all out of my 1m of fabric. I had a hard time setting the sleeves in …Seems like I had went a bit to far with my alterations… In the end I hemmed everything by hand. No needle, thread or tension adjustment worked to get a smooth result with this fabric. Sometimes I like to do some sewing by hand because it gives me the freedom of doing it whereever I want. The only difficulty was to space my stitches evenly. But only until I discovered a simple trick on Pinterest. Just mark the desired spacing on your thumb  with a pen and by holding the fabric you can see exactly where your next stitch has to be.

Wrap blouse Burda 2014Wrap blouse Burda 2014I don’t know whether I will have a third try on this… but on the other hand I really would like to have a wearable version for myself :)

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