Seafoam + Coral Chardon

 

This is the Chardon skirt by Deer and Doe. When I saw all the pretty colours of twill at Fabricland in Calgary this sprint, I just had to get some. These two colours go really well together and I knew they would make a perfect Chardon skirt. I know it’s now fall, but I’ve been enjoying the last few warm days in this skirt.

This is my fourth Chardon skirt, believe it or not (and I just finished a fifth this month as well). My first one has ended up in a charity bag because the colour wasn’t really me (it was bubblegum pink). It may have been the ‘me’ from about 12 years ago, when I originally purchased the fabric, but the 2016 me just wasn’t liking it so much, even though I loved the style and especially the pockets. My second two were meant for winter. One grey and one wine red. Those were both the mini versions, which look cute with leggings. I made one just before I left for Canada last winter, and the other one I made while I was there. They are really great basic skirts that go with pretty much anything.

This one is a little bit less basic, but still basic enough to be worn with a variety of summery prints and basics.

I got enough of the coral red to make another skirt, so I made the Brumby. Much like my first bubble-pink Chardon skirt, I was not incredibly pleased with my entire bottom half being pink, so I made my sister happy with it. I’m much happier with it just being a pop of colour in this skirt.

Construction:

Since I’d made this skirt a few times, I made a couple of changes worth noting here. First, I under stitched the facing. With my previous versions, I wasn’t happy that you could kind of see the facing at the top. This is especially true if you use a thicker fabric like a twill or denim. Secondly, also to help the facing stay down, I stitched in the ditch at the side seams. In my previous versions, I hand-tacked the facing down at the middle-front and sides. . If you add the belt loops, this is less of an issue because you’re sewing the facing down in several places.

Also, I finally figured out that I should rotate when top-stitching the pleats instead of sewing two separate lines of stitching. It’s a much neater finish and the stitching doesn’t come apart at the bottom either.

And I’m really warming up to invisible zippers! I really love the look of an invisible zipper in this skirt, even though it pulls a little at the waist.

What’s your favourite skirt pattern??

Thanks for stopping by!

Circle skirt app review

Do you like circle skirts? I was kind of indifferent to the idea, but I love love love them now!! When I saw this floral textured fabric at Fabricland, I immediately knew it would become my first circle skirt. I don’t entirely remember what tuned me into them. I think I saw a few dresses on pinterest or in my blogroll where sewists attached a circle skirt to any ol’ bodice. At any rate, I remembered reading about By Hand London’s circle skirt app when it first came out and thought, ‘meh, that’s too much work’.

Screen Shot circle skirt appBut it’s not much work, really. Quite simply, you input your waist measurement, the type of circle skirt you want (1/4, 1/2, full), your desired length (mini, midi, full length) and BOOM, the circle circumference and fabric requirements pop out. What more could you want?!

Well… I have a couple of comments about that, actually.

  1. First, maybe this is my own stupidity, but it would have been nice to have a note saying that you should reduce the waistband size when using knit fabrics. Mind you, the app states it is strictly for woven fabrics, but you can easily adapt it to knit fabrics I think. If you reduce the waistband by (anyone know by how much?) a bit, and stretch as you sew, it would work beautifully.
  2. It says for me that the mini half circle skirt WILL NOT work on 115cm wide fabric. That is not entirely true, at least not for a small to medium size waistline (mine is 72cm). If you fold your fabric on the crossgrain, you can easily get a half circle skirt out of it (or even a full circle skirt if you have double the fabric). I did it for a summer dress. I got it cut out of a scant 2m of 115cm wide fabric.

These are just a couple of things I found out while using the app, and by all means does not mean you shouldn’t use it. Just use your brain and get creative. It’s just a starting point. For example, I’m also going to tweak the half circle skirt to include side-seam pockets.

This one I made is a full circle skirt, ‘mini’ length, with in-seam pockets from Deer & Doe’s Chardon skirt pattern. I made the pattern on a piece of wrapping paper. Using a sturdy piece of wrapping paper/kraft paper is good if you intend to use it many times. The only thing is, it tends to want to roll up… I now have it pinned to my wall and it’s flattened out nicely now.

Double feature: eucalypt and mabel

separates-side-1

Today I’m revealing a couple of separates I’m really proud of. I didn’t really intend for them to match, as I had cut them both out on separate occasions, and only decided to put them together when an indie pattern contest was announced over at the Monthly Stitch. Here are the Eucalypt top from Megan Nielsen and the Mabel skirt from Colette Patterns. I am really enthusiastic about these two pieces for a number of reasons. First, they are both incredibly easy to sew. I took my sweet time, sewing in 15-30 minute bursts and finished in a few days, but you could easily make one of these in an afternoon from start to finish. The only notion you need is thread! Second, they fit quite well. And third, they are super comfortable, yet look quite chic.

Vandaag krijgen jullie twee voor de prijs van een! Een topje en een rok. Toevallig passen ze goed bij elkaar. De top is de Eucalypt van Megan Nielsen en de rok is de Mabel van Colette Patterns. Ik ben heel enthusiast over deze kledingstukken voor een aantal redenen. Ten eerst, zijn ze allebei heel makkelijk te naaien. Ik heb rustig de tijd genomen om deze af te maken. 15-30 minuten hier en daar en toen was ik in een paar dagen klaar. Maar die kan je waarschijnlijk makkelijk in een middag maken.  Het enige fournituren die je nodig heb is draad! Ten tweede, ze passen mij heel goed. En als laatste, zijn ze SUPER comfortabel! Maar zien er chic uit.

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For the Eucalypt top, I chose a polyester crepe from my stash that’s about 12 years old. It’s a really beautiful fabric, and has a really nice feel and drape to it. I was really happy with the fit of Megan Nielsen’s briar top, so I cut out the same size (M). However, as I mentioned in my previous post, I lost a bit of weight as of late, so I probably could have gone with a size S. However, I am not unhappy with the fit. Because of the drape, it skims the body quite nicely. I made matching bias tape, which was the most horrible part of the whole process because this stuff does NOT want to press. Thankfully, it at least creases, so it wasn’t a complete disaster. I attached it from the inside and topstitched it on the outside, which is good practise for me because I haven’t sewn for a while. The rest went together practically within minutes, as there are only 5 seams (or 4 if you leave out the CF seam), and a narrow hem.

Ik heb polyester crepe gekozen voor de Eucalypt die ongeveer 12 jaar oud is. Het is heel mooi en heeft een mooi structuur. Ik was erg tevreden over de pasvorm van Megan Nielsen’s Briar topje, dus ik heb de zelfde maat uitgeknipt. Heelaas (erm, eigenlijk niet heelaas…) ben ik wat afgevallen, dus ik had waarschijnlijk voor maat S moeten kiesen. Maar het valt niet echt op en ik vind het niet zo erg. Ik heb bias tape van hetzelfde stof gemaakt, maar dat was geen pretje! Dit stof wil echt niet goed blijven gevouwen. Ik heb het van binnenstebuiten genaaid. De topstitching was een goed oefening want ik heb best wel lang niks gemaakt. Maar de rest ging heel snel! Er zijn maar 5 naden en een kleine zoom.

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As for the Mabel skirt, I had already made a (wearable) muslin and decided that I wanted to have it sit closer to my natural waist. I think I took out about 1.5cm from the center back and graded out to the backside. I also added about 3cm to the length so it would fall at the same place as the muslin. I really like the final result. It is made out of a neutral-coloured ponte knit. Ponte is a perfect match for this pattern. My only complaint is that it doesn’t leave much to the imagination. I.e.  you can see the outline of my underwear and tucked-in top. In that way, the center front seam wasn’t necessarily the best choice for this combination, as you can see the line. But it’s not enough to stop me from wearing this combo! It’s just too perfect together.

Ik had al een proef rok gemaakt voor de Mabel en ik had besloten dat ik de ceintuur hoger moest zitten. Ik heb ongeveer 1,5cm ingenomen achter. Ik heb het ook daarom 3cm langer gemaakt. Ik ben zeer tevreden met het resultaat. Deze rok is van ponte jersey gemaakt. Dit patroon is er zeer geschikt voor.  Mijn enige klacht is dat je alles kunt zien, voornamelijk  mijn onderbroek…. Wat dat betreft staat de middelste naald van Eucalypt niet zo mooi in de rok gestopt.  

separates-front-3

While I prefer the look tucked-in, it also looks pretty good tucked out.

(I have no idea what the translation of tucked-in and tucked-out are in Dutch, sorry)

 

Reveal: A Royal Blue Maternity Skirt

My gorgeous friend allowed me to photograph her in all of her pregnant glory wearing the maternity skirt I made for her.

Mijn prachtige vriendin stond me toe om haar te fotograferen in al haar zwangere glorie. Ze draagt een zwangerschaps rok die ik voor haar gemaakt heb. 

Shortly after she announced she was pregnant, I asked if there was anything I could make for her. I sent her some photos of the maternity patterns I already had, and also sent her to Megan Nielsen’s maternity website for some tips and tricks. After browsing that website, she said she actually really liked the maternity skirt, so I ordered it and sewed it up for her in two colours: royal blue and dark grey.

Na dat ze kondigde dat ze zwanger was, vroeg ik of er iets wat ik voor haar konden maken. Ik stuurde haar enkele foto’s van het zwangerschaps patronen die ik al had, en ook stuurde haar naar de website van Megan Nielsen voor enkele tips en trucs. Na het bekijken van die website, zei ze dat ze eigenlijk het zwangerschaps rok heel leuk vond  dus ik bestelde en naaide het voor haar in twee kleuren: blauw en donkergrijs.

I finished the grey one first and gave it to her for her birthday in October.  I finished the blue one in November. She is especially happy with the blue one, even though it was not one of the colours she requested. She also gets the most compliments on it. 🙂

Ik was als eerst klaar met de grijze en gaf het aan haar voor haar verjaardag in oktober. Ik was klaar met de blauwe in november. Ze is vooral blij met de blauwe, ook al was het niet een van de kleuren die zij aangevraagd. Ze krijgt ook de meeste complimenten op deze. 🙂

Isn’t she beautiful? I am very grateful she let me take photos of her in her skirt, especially since the baby could come at any moment.

Is ze niet prachtig? Ik ben erg dankbaar ze liet me foto’s van haar maken in haar rok, vooral omdat de baby op ieder moment kan komen. 

A little note on sewing: This is one of the easiest pieces of maternity clothing you could make. It is only TWO pieces! If it weren’t for the elastic, this would probably be a half hour make! I made them both on my sewing machine with a zigzag stitch. I matched the thread pretty well, so you can’t even see the top stitching. I’d definitely recommend this pattern!

Een kleine opmerking over naaien: Dit is een van de makkelijkste stukken zwangerschaps kleding die je kan maken. Het is slechts TWEE stukken! Als het niet voor de elastiek was, zou dit waarschijnlijk een half uur naaitijd duren! Ik heb ze allebei op mijn naaimachine met een zigzagsteek gemaakt. Ik paste de draad vrij goed, dus je kunt niet eens de top stiksels zien. Ik zou zeker dit patroon aanraden.

This was my first time using Dutch and English.  What do you think? Or should I quit while I’m ahead?

Dit was de eerste keer die ik allebei Nederlands en Engels gebruik. Wat denk je? Moet ik snel ophouden met mijn slechte Nederlands?

It’s been a crazy july, guys

Hello everyone. Again I’ve been neglecting my blog, however I think I’m not the only one because it is finally SUMMER and we are all going on vacations and spending time in the sun. Amiright? Myself included. I went back to Canada for a couple of weeks, this time with Mr. Livana, who hadn’t been there for 3 years, since my accident. So he figured it was high time he showed his face. So it was less of a vacation and more of a howmanypeoplecanwevisitin2weeks? Let me tell you, the trip did not start off well (for Mr. Livana).

Wait, let me back that up a little bit. About a week before we were scheduled to fly, my hometown, Calgary, FLOODED. I don’t mean a puddle in the street. I mean, like, thousands of people being evacuated and houses floating down the river, flooded. I mean, making international headlines flooded. The whole downtown (city center) was flooded, with some places without electricity or phonelines for weeks. Luckily, most of my family is “poor,” thus not owning riverfront property. Only two family members were evacuated, and didn’t sustain damage to their actual property, though one was without electricity.  My sister also works downtown and wasn’t able to work for quite a few days, and once she could go to work, they had electricity but no phone lines.

Highway 1, the main highway running through Canada, was partially washed away in the direction of the mountains. And we were planning on driving to the mountains with my friends the weekend after we arrived. But construction workers worked day and night to get the highway open to non-commercial vehicles within about a week, so we were ok to drive! Which was great, because the Canada Day long weekend (the weekend of July 1) always brings a lot of traffic into the mountains.

Our friends had to work until late, so we didn’t get on the road until 22:00 on a Friday. But it was good because most of the long weekend traffic was  gone.  Mr. Livana had volunteered to drive that night, and we made it to the Days Inn in Golden within about 3 hours. When he got out of the car, he said “I don’t feel so good” and when we got to the hotel room, he continued to say that until he ran to the bathroom. He threw up several times that night, including once in the sink when he woke up in the middle of the night and couldn’t quite make it to the toilet. Poor Mr. Livana’s weekend was also ruined by the fact that he needed to find a bathroom about every hour to empty his bowels. His diet consisted of pedialite and immodium for much of the trip. It’s really too bad, because we stayed at an amazing resort in Kelowna, in an apartment/condo for the four of us complete with kitchen, a large tv, bathroom with jacuzzi tub connected to our room, and the pool a stone’s throw from our balcony.

But we did end up doing some fun stuff, like visiting Mission Hill winery and having a fancy dinner there. That’s where I wore my new Kelly skirt by Megan Nielsen patterns, which I paired with a Banana Republic top that is not unlike the Datura blouse by Deer and Doe patterns (which makes me want to make one now, but I can’t because the pattern is out of stock until the end of July).

The skirt is made out of a dark grey fine corduroy. And the pockets are lined with the New York fabric from my Ginger skirt. I will not say that this skirt was a dream to sew because it WASN’T.

This project had its ups and downs all around. The first few steps were a breeze, just sewing straight lines to attach the pockets to the front, and sewing the side seams. Oh yeah, I was flying. But then I didn’t follow the instructions, which no where tell you to tack down the pockets, but I did it anyway thinking I was smarter than megan nielsen. So when it came time to set in the pleats, I couldn’t figure out why it was bunching up the *&?% pocket. Until I let out the basting at the top and then it was a breeze again. (this also happened over at Ginger Makes while making her sister’s Kelly Skirt).

Then when I was attaching the waistband, I didn’t pin down the pockets, so I caught one of them in the bloody stitching and had to unpick a good chunk of it. *TACK DOWN YOUR POCKETS PEOPLE!* And by the time I sewed down the waistband, not all of it was caught on the inside, but I stopped giving a shit and just left some of the raw edges sticking out. GAH.

And those button holes…. *^$#@^ All I can say is at least I had the foresight to practice first. I hadn’t done a buttonhole in years, so I figured I better make sure it looks ok. That was a nightmare. Mostly because I think after 10 years it’s probably about time I get my machine serviced. I couldn’t get it to do the ends right. So after about 8 attempts, I figured out that I needed to change the width to do the ends, which worked on MOST of the buttonholes in the end. But there is one buttonhole in the middle that has a really fat line because my machine didn’t want to turn back to the narrower width apparently. So, yeah, my machine should probably go in for a checkup sometime soon.

This winery had amazing food, which cost as much as a night at the resort, but since we don’t do it every week (or every month, or EVER), it was a delicious treat that we all thoroughly enjoyed. We got the matching wines for each course as well. It was the last night, so Mr. Livana joined in, guts be damned!

Things started to look up the following weekend. We had a BBQ at my (soon to be) brother-in-law’s place near the mountains on Sunday, then we went to Drumheller with my parents on Tuesday. I wore my Kelly Skirt again, this time ‘dressed down.’ But I must say, it did not travel too well. Sitting in the car for almost 2 hours and the top and bottom button both came undone. It was uncivilized! But it looked pretty cute, no?

 

But the next day we got some really bad news. Mr. Livana told me that our kitty was going to die. Before we left, he had been having problems eating and going to the bathroom. We took him to the vet and they said he was pretty healthy except for a blockage in his intestines and an inflamed kidney. They gave him laxitives over a weekend, gave us some antibiotics and sent him on his way. So while we were in Canada, he got a bit better, then stopped eating again. Mr Livana’s parents were taking care of him, and took him to the vet only to find out that his kidneys had shut down and that he was going to die. It was devastating. We made the decision to put him down before he got any worse. They could have kept him alive for the next few days until we got home, but his quality of life those last few days would have been nothing. Our poor little kitty was only 2 years old. Coming home to an empty house was hard. We both miss him a lot.

Korban, our little kitty

Korban, our little kitty

Ginger goes to New York

To be honest, there isn’t too much exciting to say about the construction of this garment. However, it looks fabulous, doesn’t it? I thought I’d get a head start on my pledge to sew pants or a skirt in may, and this was the perfect pattern to do it with. It took very little time to make, even with the French seams I did.

This is the first time I put in an invisible zipper with an actual invisible zipper foot. However, it’s not one of those feet that is made for my machine, it’s a universal one from Unique and I didnt put it in quite correctly I think, because it’s not completely invisible. When I did a test with it on another zipper, it was completely invisible though, so I know it’s possible. I think it looks good enough though. I’m not going to unpick it.

back view

This is my second Colette pattern make after Laurel. I must admit, I’m not completely crazy about Laurel because I don’t think it’s very flattering on me (I think I need to add darts under the bust to make it more flattering). But my faith in these patterns has come back! I went out and bought Hazel to try next.

Look at that tiny waist! I thought I lost it when I gained a bunch of weight. Found it!

damn that's a tiny waist

The low-down:
Pattern: ginger skirt from Colette patterns
Size: 8. And it’s a little snug so next time I shall reduce the seam allowance or trace another size. Officially, my waist runs a size 8 and my hips size 10.
Fabric: a new York inspired print by Stenzo that I got at last year’s Stoffenspektakel (one of our annual fabric markets). So this is a stash buster!
Notions: thread, invisible zip
Time: about an hour to cut out the pattern and fabric, just over 2 tv episodes to sew (yeah, I measure in tv episodes because either I’m watching tv while I sew or Mr. Livana is and I can hear it in the background).
Make again: heck yes! Do you see how little my waist looks? It’s magical. And it hardly takes any time to whip it together.