Copycat Challenge Completed!

Inspiration

I first blogged about my copycat inspiriation here. But if you missed it, here’s a brief recap.

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Basically I wanted the top with the lace applique with a plaid tulip skirt similar to the second photo. Angels Never Die is one of my favourite brands. Whenever I see a sale on Vente-Exclusive, I always buy at least one thing (but it often puts me in the red and then I promptly send it back…:(

I love that they mix fabric prints, textures, and weaves.  They often mix knits with wovens and they always have interesting draping, designs, and appliques.

Making the dress

To make my dress, I used the skirt from this Burda 09/2011 Dress pattern. The top part is a refashioned basic knit top I’ve had since last year, from the Hema. It matched the brown plaid I had in mind from my stash, so I went with it.

I cut out the skirt from the plaid fabric.  I had to do some creative cutting because I had only 1m of it and those front panels eat up a shitload of fabric. So some of the seam allowances were cut on the selvage but that’s ok. I ended up cutting the waistband on the lengthwise grain (if that’s even a term?!). Also, none of the plaid matches, but I’m ok with that because it’s not too noticeable. I did not use the instructions except to check how much to gather the top of the skirt to.

The skirt has pleats AND gathers.  And the pleats are gathered! It’s a lot of fabric sitting right there on my pouch, but I like to think it doesn’t make me look too huge because the back of the skirt is such a nice shape, kind of like the Elizalex dress. The hem is finished with bias tape. The inside seams are finished with bias tape on the waistband and with a zigzag stitch for the side seams.  I would have liked to do french seams, but I figured it would get too bulky.
I purchased some of the lace trim from the most recent fabric fair in Leeuwarden and some from my local fabric shop, Jan Sikkes. I attached the trim to the top using a zigzag stitch to help keep it from getting wavy. I folded the trims over at the top and slipstitched it in place.

Styling

I paired it with leggings because a) it’s getting cold out there, b) it’s not lined, and c) it’s a good thing I did because riding my bike to the photoshoot place made the dress open up pretty much right to my crotch. I might have to add a snap or tack it down.

In some of the pictures I’m also wearing an actual Angels Never Die jacket, which I love love LOVE (there would have been an exclamation point if the jacket had pockets, but it doesn’t so boo hoo). My boots are Dr Martens and are already like 3 or 4 years old.

I accessorized with a fake pearl necklace I inherited from my grandma because I thought it matched the lace on the top quite nicely.

I even did my makeup, which you can’t even see in the pictures 🙁  I did cat eyes with brown eyeliner to match my dress!

And now, for picture overload!

 

Thanks for stopping by!

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New Patterns: First Impressions

It’s fall, so pattern companies are introducing new patterns. I am especially interested in what the lovely indie pattern companies are doing. Aren’t you? With their beautiful instructions and great fit.

Most patterns I’m really excited about but some patterns I’m very underwhelmed by (I’m looking at you, Colette patterns). So I thought I’d give a roundup of all the indie patterns that I’ve seen. Maybe some of them you haven’t seen yet (I doubt it, though). Plus you’re getting my two cents on each one. You can click on any of the pictures to be taken to the website.

Zinna by Colette Patterns

Let’s start off with the one that is irking me the most. I’m sorry but I can’t get behind this pattern. The one pictured here is the one I dislike the most.  The chiffon one with lining, that one looks pretty, but nothing I can’t find in one of my back issues of Burda magazine. If you’re handy with patterns, I think you could easily make it yourself with a couple of rectangles and a fitted waistband. I gravitate more towards the Kelly skirt or the Beignet skirt for a skirt with buttons.

Hawthorn by Colette patterns

I was just added to Colette’s mailing list a few weeks before Hawthorn’s release. I was so excited because I really love their designs. I was a little bit disappointed by the Laurel, as I just don’t think it looks very flattering on me, although I saw a ton of beautiful versions in the Flickr group. But I was definitely underwhelmed when I saw this dress.  I thought it could just be the styling on Colette’s model, so I waited until a few versions popped up in the blogosphere. Some were beautiful, but most I didn’t like too much. I think shirt dresses just aren’t my thing. But I do love the half-circle skirt!

Aupebine by Deer and Doe patterns

This dress is so adorable. Since I made that apron of mine with the pintucks, even though they’re really annoying to sew, they look really cute. This is definitely high on my wishlist.  I think first I will make a tunic of sheer material to wear over a slip and leggings.

Red Velvet by Cake patterns

I’ve never been so excited for a pattern release before. I liked the tiramisu from Cake, but I never purchased it because I kept thinking it was only so-so.  But this…. This is really quite lovely. You have some options for the bodice and skirt, plus you can go crazy with colour or print blocking if you want. I’ve heard great things about the fitting of Cake patterns, so I think I won’t be able to contain myself when it’s released (there’s no release date yet; I’m hoping end of september/beginning october).

Virginia leggings by Megan Nielsen

I’m a sucker for leggings. I have a pattern from McCalls and they were way too low rise for me. I’m happy that Megan included both high rise and low rise in her pattern. Plus they’re available as a PDF download. Instant gratification! This is definitely coming up in my sewing queue after my unselfish sewing is finished, for which I’m actually using a Megan Nielsen pattern for! I’m making the maternity skirt for a pregnant friend of mine.

Dandelion dress & top by Disparate Disciplines

I was one of the kickstarter campaign investors, so I got this pattern for ‘free.’ I really can’t wait to try it out. It’s got really interesting seaming along the side, and you’ve got a lot of options in just one pattern: a top, a dress, and different necklines. I think it would be great for job interviews with a blazer over top.  She’s also got a ‘pay what you want’ cami pattern that was recently released. Also very pretty.

Anna dress from By Hand London

Ok, not so new, and they’re coming out with one or two patterns shortly (Georgia and Polly, I believe). But I just had to give a shout out to the By Hand London ladies for taking the blogosphere by storm! I’ve been seeing multiples shoot up on many blogs. I am also a fan! I want to make the short version with an asymmetrical v-neck.

Asymmetric Kimono dress by Ralph Pink

I thought I’d add this pattern by Ralph Pink. If you haven’t heard of this pattern company yet, go check it out.  Not that their collection is all that new. Kazz the Spazz wrote about their jumpsuit a few months ago.  There’s some interesting stuff over there, especially if you’re into making corsets.  The 2013 collection has some cool looking designs that you can have fun with colour blocking, like the jigsaw dress. I haven’t tried one yet, but I find them to be very reasonably priced.

So, what do you think? Which fall patterns are on your wish list? And did I forget to mention any new patterns?

 

*disclaimer: all pictures are copyright of their respective owners. I’ve used them here for illustrative purposes.

Gathering Apron

I made this back in July I think. I meant to photograph it sooner, but I wiped my beet-juice covered hands on it and it was sitting on my laundry pile for a while. Maybe I should have taken photographs anyway, to make it more ‘real.’ So here it is, freshly washed: my Gathering Apron from Sew Liberated.

I’m wearing it with my Kelly skirt (not intentional). And what also wasn’t intentional was to show my crazy life in the background. haha, I thought I cut out my laundry in the shot, and I didn’t even notice the knocked-over bucket. I decided to leave the photos as-is, as it kind of goes with apron photos. They aren’t supposed to be glamorous or anything, though this pattern is more glamorous than most. Not unisex at all.

The pattern features adorable (yet annoying) pintuck details at the waistband and the bottom of the apron. The best part is the huge pocket in the front, perfect for gathering produce from your garden, or eggs from your chicken coop. I don’t have a large garden myself, but I could see it being useful to put clothespins in and various kitchen stuff while cooking.

I made it out of a thick grey linen I got for €4/m at de stoffenspektakel this past spring. And I can see why it was such a good price. The fold line is permanently faded, as you can see a line down the front of my apron. I chose linen because I wanted to have a teatowel feel to it, someting that would be absorbant, because I like to wipe my hands on my clothes, which is why I had to make myself an apron!

And now for my little rant, I mean, review of the pattern. You see that cute little gusset? There are only written instructions on how to attach it, and it’s a bit confusing. Fear not! There is a video of the sewing process to help you if you are a visual learner. Um, yeah, I had to put in my password to access the video 3 times before it worked, because it’s one of those rnadom number and letter passwords. Then I finally access it and I see that the pattern piece in the video is  completely different than the one included in the pattern. In the end, I figured it out. You’re supposed to line up the bottom of the gusset with the bottom of the bust cup and sew from the pattern marking to the top of the gusset. I hope that helps someone who is trying to figure it out.

The rest is fairly straight-forward. I finished the straps differently than the pattern called for. I believe you’re supposed to sew the straps closed by topstitching it, but instead I just sewed them inside-out and used a long-handled wooden spoon to turn them inside-out.

And I also did only the bare minimum of pressing because I made it during our heat wave in The Netherlands. It was around 25 to 32 degrees for a good while, so you really don’t want to be handling a hot iron. Most of the apron is finger pressed. I think I only did a final press, actually. And pressed under the seam allowance on the belt so I could top stitch it down. It’s just an apron, so I’m not terribly sad about it. It’s one of the reasons I chose this project to do in the heat, actually.

Here is my new tiny kitty! His name is Walter and he is either completely crazy or completely relaxed. Kittens are so fun and exhausting! After Korban died, we decided to just get a new kitty rather than waiting a year to get one (we were basically at the end of the spring kitten season). I sure miss Korban but Walter keeps me so busy that I don’t think about him too much. I love him and his craziness.

One last note about Sew Liberated Patterns: I got this pattern as well as their skinny jeans pattern. I am grateful that the gathering apron pattern is one size  because the skinny jeans pattern is multi-sized but does not distinguish between the sizes using labels nor different line dashes. There is also no size chart. So I guess I’ll have to give it my best guess. So these jeans are no longer high on my priority list for sewing. Better to make some Thurlows I think. Lauren totally skinni-fied them. So I think I may do that too.

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Terribly sweet blogger

I am so terrible for not posting this sooner, but I’m going to have to say ‘sorry, not sorry’ after reading this blog post by So, Zo. I’m not sorry that I have a life in addition to sewing and blogs. But I do thank all my readers for following me and posting all of your lovely comments.

So, a couple of months ago, I was nominated for an award by Sally of Sally Bee Makes! 😀 Thank you Sally, again. Sorry it took so long to get up this post (sorry, not sorry).

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So, this is what I have to do now:
1. Thank the Super Sweet Blogger that nominated you.
2. Answer 5 Super Sweet questions.
3. Include the Super Sweet Blogging Award in your blog post.
4. Nominate a baker’s dozen (13) other deserving bloggers.
5. Notify your Super Sweet nominees on their blog.
The questions:
Cookies or cakes?
Cakes. I love making them and I love eating them. Especially the mini kind.
Chocolate or vanilla?
Chocolate please!
Favourite sweet treat?
At the moment, panna cotta. Just got back from Italy where I ate a lot of it, and now I’ve made it twice! It’s got calcium, right…
Sweet nickname?
My nickname is Jo. Sweet? I think so.
My nominations:
And I’ll probably be away from the blog for another month or so because I’m most likely doing my thesis defense at the end of the month, so I need to put all my energy into finishing off my thesis, giving a presentation, etc etc…