It’s pretty normal to get flowers for birthday. Meanwhile it is almost as normal for my friends to give me fabric or a voucher for fabric for my birthday too. 🙂 Lucky me.
It must have been two years ago when I got this lovely floral Jersey. For me it is always interesting to see what people think I might like. Jersey is always a good choice. And those colours… just perfect! (I try to stay in my autmn colour palette… but sometimes I get carried away by a nice pattern or the structure of a fabric)
I got 1,8m of this sleek and heavy Jersey. That’s always enough to cover my tiny body. Since the print is quite busy I didn’t want it to be interrupted by to many seams. So I found the perfect pattern in a magazine, that I discovered when I got several issues for birthday from a dear friend (she knows me well) some years ago. It’s the CUT Magazine . This dress pattern called “Izzy” was in the latest and sadly last issue of the magazine, No. 14. A casual and comfy t-shirt dress with pockets! What I liked about the dress was the construction of the sleeves and the shapes of neckline and hem (round and angled in the front and angled and round in the back… I’ll just insert the line drawing and you will know what I mean 🙂 ) I made the smallest size with no alterations!
The pattern isn’t designed for knit fabrics. They even used wool for their original version. I guess everything that has some weight will work. Meanwhile I did another version in a ponte knit (still not photographed, because there is so much more in the pipeline). It was a solid colour this time so I had to be more accurate with the top stitching. Yes, top stitching on knit fabric…it always seems impossible until it’s done 🙂
I wear this dress the whole year round! It’s is a very good travel companion because it doesn’t get wrinkled. And even if it would, the print would hide it 🙂 It was just last year when I finally got around to get it photographed properly, on a work trip to the lovely greek island Kos.
It’s no secret that I love the GBSB Drapey Dress. I loved it even before it was released (because COS sold the exact same dress).
I was very lucky that the pattern came as a free download. There are not many pattern pieces. So it was easy for me to figure out how to sew the dress. I didn’t miss the instructions. This time (well it’s the fifth one I made) I took pictures of my way of assembling the dress.
First I attached the pockets to the middle part of the front.
Second (optional) step was to join my back of the dress. This step was only necessary because I used two types of fabric. One was the remnant from my mothers second Drapey Dress (a soft velvety fabric) and one was Jersey.
In the third step I added the upper left bodice part (including the back of the left pocket)
This was followed by the upper right bodice piece. If you want you can baste the fold at the neckline.
The fifth step is the shoulder seam.
If you go for the long sleeve version those sleeves are added in the sixth step.
Now you just have to close the side seams and add the neckline facing. I had to add a band at the hem because I forgot to lengthen the pattern this time. (I printed it out at only 90% of the original size to get my size. But that means I need to lengthen it a bit in my case)
The dress was the perfect option for the scottish weather. I wore it visiting one of my favourite places in Glasgow: the wintergarden next to the Peoples Palace.
The fourth version of this dress was a special one! I added invisible zippers to the seams in the upper bodice to create a nursing dress for a friend. And I was assured it works 🙂
I finished all hems with the twin needle using two different colours matching the fine stripes of the fabric.
I guess this wasn’t my last one…
How often do you sew a pattern you like?
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.
I actually climbed a tower in this outfit. (But I put off the shoes for the way down 🙂 )
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!
The inspiration for the top came from Megan Nielsen. I admire her Valentines Day Version of the Briar top.
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…)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 😉
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?
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.
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!
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)?
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.
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.
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.
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?