Trompe l’œil pearls

Next on my sewing list was a denim skirt. But suddenly it was the birthday of a good friend. She liked the oversized top I made using this pattern from BurdaStyle.
This time I replaced the facings with my beloved facing stripes. It gives a clean finish and since you can see the inside of the sleeves through the big armholes they should look nice there too.
My friend has a website (Chansonkritik) on which she discusses concerts and records of mostly German musicians. I wanted to make this shirt her work wear by painting the logo on it. But not only the logo…
There seems to be a (not new) trend in fashion: trompe l’œil. Back in the early 1950ies Hermes paintes scarves and collars on dresses.

trompe l’oeil hermes

And Moschino had a lot of trompe l’œil pieces in it’s pre-fall 2012 collection

trompe l’oeil moschino pre-fall 2012

My trompe l’œil is a pearl necklace I “painted” by stamping every pearl with the rubber of a pencil.

stamped pearls
oversized shirt

oversized shirt back
The necklace continues around the neck (of course … otherwise it would fall down)

oversized shirt with pearl necklace

I even crafted a little label. I have a stamp where you can write your own text with little rubber letters. The ink should be washable till 90˚C ( but the fabric paint on the shirt only allows 40˚C anyway) I like its imperfection…that’s the schmidt that happens 🙂
schmidt happens label

Maybe I get the denim skirt finished the next week… but today I got an invitation to a wedding that’s on december 2oth … so I “have to” sew myself a dress (and I don’t even know what it will look like at the moment…any suggestions?)

Autumn Outfit »Lucy«

I found this lovely outfit on Pinterest. It’s Lucy Laucht wearing a silk skirt with a cropped shirt.
Lucy Laucht Silk Skirt

This kind of skirt would be the perfect use for a silk-like fabric I had in my stash. It wasn’t much but maybe just enough to do this simple skirt.

silk-like fabric

I drafted the pattern myself. I didn’t do the pockets because the fabric is a bit transparent and I hadn’t much fabric anyway. It has an elastic waistband and a baby hem with rounded corners.

waistband with two elastic bands
baby hem
baby hem

My cropped shirt is more a hi-low or mullet shirt. It’s slightly longer than Lucy’s shirt because I want to wear it with pants too. I drafted the pattern using a shirt from my closet. I just had to change the hem. It only consists of two pieces. The sleeves are “built in”.

mullet shirt and silk skirt

mullet shirt and silk skirt

You see, this time no jersey dress 🙂 Well, a jersey  shirt … next on my list is a jeans skirt. It will be my version of the famous distressed jeans skirt from ACNE. Stay tuned …

BurdaStyle featured my Swimming Pool Dress and my Backtote recently. The Backtote made it to the “Best of october” gallery! Thank you BurdaStyle!

featured member project
backtote in best of october


V-Back Hattrick

The pattern for this dress was the first one I bought (I tried my sewing machine and skills on free patterns before). It’s Dress 128 from BurdaStyle 01/2011

The original dress from the magazine

For the first one I used some dark grey synthetic fabric that looks a bit like denim. The instructions were easy to follow. I did some little alterations: I omitted the zipper, made the dress shorter and tighter and added a hook and eye to secure the back opening. Later I replaced it with a small snap button.

v-back dress 128

back of v-back dress 128

The second time I used this pattern for a refashion of a dress my boss gave me. It was left over from a shooting we did.  The fabric is stretchy so I didn’t do the zipper and the bust darts. This time I secured the back with some stitches by hand. I can even wear it as an v-front dress 🙂

second take on v-back dress 128 from burda style

second take on v-back dress 128 from burda style

v-back dress 128 from burda style
v-front dress 🙂

The third one was another refashion. I wanted to make a dress out of a t-shirt. Finally I ended up using the “V-back dress” pattern again because it has a plain front ( I didn’t want to have any pleats in the motif) This time I did short sleeves and a front panel with two different colors. I found a jersey at the fabric market that matched the red of the motif…at least almost.
I cut the smallest size with no seam allowance. Again no bust darts and no zipper. I even closed the back. I used an elastic stitch for the hem. So I can hop on my bike with no ripping sound.

The artist that made the t-shirt (Herr von Bias) liked my dress and even wrote about it on his website

sketch v-back dress
My sketch for the dress

v-back dress 128 the third
v-back dress 128

Not only the artist liked this dress. I made it to the featured member projects on the front page of

v-back dress featured

Do you have a favourite pattern that you used three times or even more often?

Swimming Pool Dress

I’m a big fan of jersey dresses. Just pull it over the head and you are dressed for almost every occasion. There are many versions of Dress 122 from the cover of  BurdaStyle magazine 09/2010 on and around the blogosphere. With it’s stripes it is just perfect for colour blocking. I bought the pattern online a while ago and tested thousands of colour combinations using Photoshop. But there was nothing really convincing. Then this teal jersey was smilling at me at the fabric market…the colour reminded me of deep water and then there was an idea how to accentuate the stripes.

The pattern was a download pattern. Some sewers don’t like this kind of patterns. But for me gluing together some sheets of paper is way easier then tracing pattern pieces. Since the dress came in short sizes I didn’t change anything on the pattern. I just dropped the facings and the strange “sleeves”. Melissa from told me that you could easily use a normal sleeve from any other BurdaStyle pattern like she proved with her winter version of this dress.

Here are the first steps. Arranging the pattern piece on the fabric. Adding the seam allowance (Why don’t German BurdaStyle patterns have seam allowance included? ) Marking pattern pieces with numbers on masking tape (I like using masking tape to label the number or name of the piece or the wrong side of the fabric when it’s hard to see)

first steps of dress 122 09/2012

Now I sorted out the pieces that needed the special treatment and headed for the bathroom. We use chlorine bleach to clean the bathroom. I sprinkled the pieces with the bleach and waited.

bleach on piece of fabric
The colour starts to change.

After waiting about an hour I washed the bleach out and ironed the pieces. Then I sewed all pieces together with my overlock machine. The sleeves fit in the armholes just perfect. I finished the hem, neckline and sleeves with the twin needle.

detail of sleeve
Detail of the sleeve.

stripe of bleach sprinkled fabric

Just two hours after finishing the dress I went to an Electro Swing event. I chose the same teal colour for my eyeshadow and nail polish.

triple teal

The dress survived the night so we could shoot some daylight pictures the next day.

my version of dress 122 from burdastyle 09/2012

back of my dress 122

I was about to throw away the scraps when I found the pieces I cut off the cuffs. These are now the best hair ties I ever had. They look nice and they stay tide the whole day!

hair ties from jersey scraps

I really love my new “swimming pool dress” (and my hair ties). Because of the bleach it even smells a bit like a pool 🙂

Let’s see what my next sewing project will be…maybe a jersey dress…maybe not

Pseudo Knit Dress

It has been quiet here for a while. Some fallen leaves forced me and my bike to do the same. Leaves don’t complain about falling and lying on the pavement but I had wounds on  my knee and hands. So no sewing or blogging for some time. There are still several little scars on my hands but I hope they are gone when glove-time is over.

I found this very light jersey at my beloved fabric market. Without asking for the price I took 3 metres (well, in the end it was just 2 Euro/metre). The fabric stayed in my stash for a while, because I was looking for a dress pattern that doesn’t destroy the print with to many seams or pleats. Finally I drafted the pattern myself.

simple knit dress

simple knit dress back

simple knit dress detail
The light jersey has the pattern of a cosy knitted sweater.
It’s a pitty that it doesn’t keep warm like one.