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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!

New Website! and Bellasigma in pink linen

Hello everyone! Welcome to my new and improved weblog! I’ve been working on it for quite a while and I’m so excited to finally be launching, even though I still have a few kinks to work out like the featured images.

I’ve added a few new features, like “My Closet,” where I’ll be keeping a portfolio of my makes with a short summary of the project details. You’ll also be able to filter by type of garment. And I’ve added a de-stash shop where I’m selling stash items that are just collecting dust and I’d like to find a new home for. Let me know what you think of the new website in the comments, or try using my new contact form.


I sacrificed my ill-fitting Dahlia to make this dress, and it was totally worth it. After I made my Sigma dress, I was so pleased with how I got the bodice to fit, I immediately had to make another one and this time I decided to mix it up and attach a different skirt. One of my favourites: the Belladone skirt. (And I actually did make it immediately, it’s just taken me a year to blog about it)

I am so behind on blogging that I don’t actually remember exactly how I did it. I do remember that I had a bit of trouble getting the darts on the bodice front to match up with the pleats. I know this because I serged the bodice to the skirt and then had to unpick it near the darts. I am too inexperienced with the serger to just redo small areas, so I just zig-zagged the areas I unpicked. Which is a shame, because I’m really proud of how I finished all of my seams on this dress. I don’t know how I did without a serger before. Wait, yes I do. I just left all of my seams unfinished before. haha. I think I remember the back darts on the bodice and skirt just magically matched-up, which is awesome!

The other modification I made was a box pleat instead of a knife pleat, a decision I kind of regret. I think it’s due to my fabric choice; linen is just not stiff enough to hold its shape. But I’m ok with it, because other than that this dress fits really well. I get compliments every time I wear it. Sometimes even from the same people over and over. That’s definitely a win for me.

Tiny Chevron Sigma

This is the Sigma dress by Papercut Patterns. I got this pattern a little while back when they were having a sale. It’s a semi-close-fitting dress with some lovely little details like pockets and gathered skirt.

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Last month I quickly made a muslin of this dress. I cut out my size according to the size chart. I lengthened the bodice above the dart using my shoulder to bust point measurement because that’s a standard adjustment for me. Once I’d sewn it up, I realised that I forgot to add seam allowance to the shoulder to bust point measurement, so I moved down the bust darts by 1.5cm using this tutorial, but left the bodice length as-is because the waistline hit where it was supposed to. The other thing I decided to change was the length of the skirt. Not that I didn’t think the short skirt looked cute, but mainly because I couldn’t sit down in it. I have fairly large hips and thighs, so the hem was digging into my legs and riding up in an almost ‘basic instinct’ kind of way.

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I kind of thought that this dress would be a super quick project, because I cut out and sewed the muslin in a matter of hours. But muslins are not an indication of how long a project will take by any means! I sewed this dress in short bursts and took about 2 weeks in total sewing an hour at a time here and there. The insides look pretty pristine if I do say so myself. I used a combination of different seam finishes. The side seams are finished with an overlocker, the waist and hems are finished with bias binding, and the back seam is pinked. That being said, I think someone who sews more often would probably have a quicker time with this dress.

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I haven’t sewn sleeves in a dress for quite a long time. I figured it was about time I had a dress with sleeves. Looking through my closet, I saw that about 90% of my dresses are sleeveless. The other 10% are long-sleeved winter dresses. I think I only have 2 dresses with short sleeves. So setting in the sleeves were a little bit of a challenge for me. One of them is perfectly smooth, but the other has little puckers at the top. It doesn’t bother me enough to unpick it though.

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The other thing I changed was I decided to put in an exposed zipper instead of an invisible zipper. I’m not a big fan of installing invisible zippers. I think mostly because I don’t have a real invisible zipper foot. I have a cheap plastic universal one that sometimes does a good job and sometimes doesn’t. I used this youtube tutorial, which explains it very well, but I kind of messed it up by the zipper stop anyway. It looks ok right now, but I’m not sure how well it’s going to withstand being washed… Stephanie from Love Teach Sew also suggested the tutorial on Megan Nielsen’s blog, so if I do it again I will try this tutorial as well.

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The fabric I used is a cotton poplin with navy blue and white zig zags.  It looks kind of like a solid from far away. Up close, you can see that I didn’t take the time to match the zig zags, but I’m not torn up about it at all. I guess in that way, it helps that I chose to do an exposed zipper to break up the pattern a bit.

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While I’m very happy with how this project turned out, there are a few changes I’d make on the next one. For one, I think I’d use a shorter zipper. I tried to get a 55cm zip, but it was either 50 or 60. I think that might be why it looks a bit funky on the back (but if anyone has any other suggestions, please let me know in the comments). Two, I would make the pockets deeper. They aren’t really useful for, say, an iphone. And three, I’ll have to lengthen the skirt by another 1.5cm if I want to hem it normally, not with bias binding.

Thanks for stopping by 🙂

A light pink linen Dahlia

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I didn’t mean to be gone so long! I think I lost a bit of momentum after making my maid of honour dress because it was such an intense project and it wasn’t something I chose to make myself. I made a few things here and there for other people, but in general I think I was battling the winter blues and loss of my sew-jo.

But Me-Made-May and the Indie pattern challenges going on over at the Monthly Stitch have inspired me again. That, and the beautiful spring weather we’ve been having. It’s been rather mild and not too much rain here in Holland.

Today I’m sharing the Dahlia dress from Colette patterns with you today. It’s described as being a perfect wardrobe staple that will transition through the seasons. I fell in love with the pattern as soon as I saw it in my inbox. I bought it right then and there! It just looked easy to make and has so many special gathered details that really seem to be flattering. I printed it out and traced it quite soon after I bought it, but I wasn’t sure what fabric to use at first.

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Then I had this trip coming up to visit my family in Canada (back in April) and I thought it was a perfect time to dive back into sewing. Yay! New dress! But when you’ve been out of it for a while, it can take a little bit to get back into it. I found that I was slow and clumsy and I wasn’t able to finish before I left. Mind you, I always seem to take on large projects when I want something new last-minute. Not that this dress is super-complicated to make, but it has quite a few pieces (11 in total) and a lot of little bits of gathering, so it just takes time.

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I love so many things about this dress, but I don’t think this is a great first try. When I traced the pattern, I traced the size I usually do with this brand. I also pre-emptively lengthened the bodice (by 2.5cm I think) so that the bottom of the waistband falls on my waist. These were two big mistakes on my part. First, because I didn’t really realise I had lost quite a bit of weight since I last measured myself. And second, I think that I shouldn’t have lengthened the bodice. I’m not sure yet how I feel about it. What do you think? I hope to make it again, and I plan on cutting out a smaller size and leaving the bodice as-is. Oh, and I had to change one more thing, which was adding pleats to the shoulders. Otherwise, it would have been completely unwearable.

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Oh man was it ever hot today! It was 34 degrees in the shade in our yard. I have been drinking a LOT of iced tea. This dress is actually great for this weather. The fabric I chose was a dusty rose linen. The thing I love about linen is it’s a perfect summer fabric. It is so incredibly breathable. This is from my 10 year old stash (from when I was working at a fabric store). I originally earmarked it for a suit, but yeah, that was a long time ago.  Those who sew and wear linen know that it does have a downside – it wrinkles like crazy! I just chalk it up to the charm of the fabric.

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What I am most proud of is the invisible zipper I inserted. Can you see it? because I can’t! I also loved using my new bias tape maker, although linen is a little bit thick for making the small bias tape. The other thing I love about this dress is the sleeves! I didn’t really participate in me-made-may mainly for this reason. My closet is full of sleeveless summery dresses, but no dresses with sleeves. The weather wasn’t really warm enough to wear dresses like that. So I definitely have to add dresses with short sleeves to my list of things to sew. I’m thinking maybe a Sigma dress by Papercut patterns.

What is your next sewing project? Have you found a gap in your me-made wardrobe?

Thanks for stopping by!

Reveal: A Maid of Honour Dress in Pink

Yes, I know. I’ve been a bad blogger. I have many excuses, but instead of boring you all with them, I’ll just get right into the juicy stuff: my maid of honour dress reveal. It’s been more than 2 months since my sister got married, but whatever. Better late than never, amiright?

My sister and I had discussions about the bridesmaids dresses, and I have to admit I was being a spoiled brat in telling her that I did not want my dress to be orange, which is the colour she wanted for the dresses. Why was I adamant about this? 1) I don’t really like orange as a clothing colour in general, and especially for myself, 2) after researching skin tones and colours that compliment them, I discovered that it wasn’t in my head that orange doesn’t look good on me, it’s ‘scientifically’ proven!  Anyway, her colour choice started to mingle closer toward a pinky coral rather than a tangerine orange, which I was perfectly happy with! She went shopping with her other bridesmaids and found these amazingly cute dresses in the colour she wanted, so they scooped them up! We had agreed that I sew my dress, so we were messaging back and forth about colours and sewing patterns. In the end, she chose Vogue 1289, a Pamela Roland design that had the same kind of feel as the other bridesmaid dresses with draping in the front.

Then, when she was shopping at Fabricland for said pattern, she had a look at some fabric, and snatched up a pretty pink bridal satin so I could sew it up. It was lighter than the bridesmaid dresses, but she liked the idea of having a different colour and dress for me. Isn’t she the sweetest?! Giving in to my demands…

So she sent me the pattern in the mail, and the fabric came  a little bit later, when my parents came to visit at the end of april. And, as a bonus, my sister also sent some hot pink lace for me to play with (: I took one look at that satin and I was like, ooooh noooo. This is going to turn into a hot mess. I’d done enough wedding pinning to know that shiny polyester satin photographs terribly. I was only frightened for a few moments though, as I quickly decided that I would use the wrong side of the fabric.

In the meantime, I had made a muslin, because, well, fancy dresses require a muslin! If you follow my instagram, you would have seen that this dress has been in the works since the beginning of May. I made the muslin out of an old bedsheet. It was a monster as it was to cut out, but when I got to the pleats, I was swearing a storm. It took me soooo long to pin those pleats, then baste them individually. I just kept telling myself that it was for a good cause.

the pleating of my nightmares

pleats

When I tried the muslin on, I breathed a sigh of relief that I had cut out the right size, because, well, we all know how it is when it comes to the big 4 pattern companies. I pretty much never go by the measurement chart. Vogue is at least pretty consistent with their sizing, so I always cut the same size. However, there was no way I could lengthen the bodice on this baby, so I opted for lengthening the straps, which actually wasn’t necessary. I sent some pictures to my sister, because I had to show my sis how things were going of course….

muslin

I got my mother in law to pin the changes that needed to be made. I was a little bit nervous about this because the muslin material is a jersey, whereas my fabric is a woven, so I told my mother in law not to stretch it while she pinned. The back was a little bit loose, so I took about 1cm out, and curved it out over my butt. I also added 1.5cm to the hem because I found it to be just the right length on my unhemmed muslin.  After sewing it and trying it on again, I made the changes to the pattern, then I cut into my precious fabric, careful to remember which side I was using as the right side.

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And then I procrastinated a little bit… I put together the top pieces before I left for Canada, but I ended up taking the pieces in my garment bag instead of a finished dress.

Not only did I get to be her maid of honour, I also got to be in Canada for 6 whole weeks! One of the only advantages of being unemployed (; (And in case you’re just tuning in, I live in Holland, while the rest of my family lives in Canada.) I arrived 3 weeks before the wedding so that I could do maid-of-honourly things, which included organising a lot of last-minute decorating things, but also included fun stuff like taking my sister on a much-needed weekend getaway with just the two of us, and organising the bridal shower/bachelorette party with my fellow bridesmaids. Crazy times.

So, I was having a wrestling match with the bodice lining pieces, as the princess seams did not want to press in a nice curve  around the bust, and the lining was pulling towards the outside despite having under stitched and pressing the shit out of it. Then I had a brilliant idea to get a bloody TAILOR’S HAM, which, honestly, every seamstress should have. However, scouring the fabric stores of Calgary yielded no results. I remembered having seen them at Fabricland when I worked there (–10 years ago–), and assumed that they were commonplace. WRONG!! Not only did they not have them, the people working at various fabric stores had no idea what they were. WTF?! Even my soon-to-be brother-in-law helped me phone some sewing places, during a planning meeting with my cousin and her bf no less. And my cousin’s boyfriend – who I decided right then and there was the sweetest! – offered to make me one once he found out that they are made out of upholstery fabric and sawdust. 😀

Fast forward a few days, and I haven’t heard anything from said boyfriend. Maybe not the sweetest…

So a week before the wedding, while I’m trying to coordinate a bridesmaids-last-minute-prep shindig, I’m in the garage stuffing a tailor’s ham (pattern here) with sawdust from my dad’s workshop. And let me tell you, A LOT OF SAWDUST FITS INTO THAT LITTLE FUCKER.  I must have been stuffing that thing, with the help of my dad, for a good half hour or 45 minutes. The people in the house thought I was shirking my duties.

So I practically run to the sewing room, turn on the iron, and start ironing away at the bodice (lining) pieces. However, it helped very little, I just had to resign to the fact that my fabric was going to be an asshole every step of the way. I finished the dress up over the next few days. I also fucked up the center back invisible zip by getting the fabric caught in the teeth, and I didn’t have enough fabric to cut another skirt. My sister just reassured me that no one would be taking photos of our backsides.

I finished the hem using a narrow hem (method 2 on this page here). And, when I was sewing the skirt lining, the final piece of the puzzle, I received that tailor’s ham from cousin’s boyfriend. Ok, he’s back to being sweet… (: When everything was finished, I then ran it through the washing machine with the basting still in the pleats because for some reason, I also kept getting black machine oil on the dress while I was sewing…

narrow-hem

mine on the right, his under the skirt lining

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And another reason I put off posting this make was because I was waiting for all the pretty pictures from the photographer. (: Here they are.

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me, sister, sister’s husband, best man

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the gorgeous bridesmaids

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speech time

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Oh, and did I mention I had a wardrobe malfunction? I didn’t even know about it until the photos came out. Turns out I got a bit revealing to the congregation… And then again at the reception while sitting at the head table. :S  At least I was wearing a bra, I guess.

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Linen is a strange creature indeed

Hello everyone! Dag iedereen!

 

In the midst of my busy May month, I put together this dress. It’s quite lovely, no? I started cutting the fabric before I left for Italy to meet up with my parents, actually wanting to make it before I left, but I of course had to choose a dress with a million pieces, so yeah, that did not happen.

In het midden van een drukke mei vakantie, ik heb deze jurk genaaid. Het is heel mooi, vindt je niet? Ik begon met uitsnijden voordat ik vertrok naar Italië om mijn ouders te ontmoeten. Eigenlijk wou ik hem naaien voordat ik vertrok, maar ik moest natuurlijk een ​​jurk kiezen met een miljoen stuks, dus ja, het is niet gebeurd.

Colette Parfait Dress

I had made a wearable muslin last year, but never blogged about it because I didn’t think it was too spectacular. I made it from white and black fabric, therefore see-through, so instead of using the facing, which is how the pattern is designed, I decided to make a lining. I just cut out all of the pieces in both fabric and lining, then attached it like you would a facing. It turned out pretty well. The bodice had a little bit gaping on the sides and back, but nothing too noticeable. I made sure to take 1cm out of the sides for this make.

Ik had een proef jurk vorig jaar gemaakt, maar nooit geblogd omdat het niet erg spectaculair is. Ik heb het gemaakt van wit en zwart stof, dus een beetje doorzichtig. In plaats van het gebruik van de facing, dat is hoe het patroon is ontworpen, heb ik besloten om een voering te maken. Ik knipte alle stukken in zowel stof als voering, en heb de voering als facing latten inzetten. Het ging vrij goed. Het bovenlijf zit een beetje los aan de zijkanten en achterkant, maar niets te opvallend. Ik zorgde ervoor dat ik 1 cm uit de zijkanten van dit jurk had uitgeknipt.

Colette Parfait Dress

For this one, I followed all instructions. My only regret is that I used a regular zipper instead of an invisible zipper. However, this dress was made completely from items in my stash, which I’m quite proud of. I am also not completely crazy about the fit. Despite the gaping, I feel like the muslin fits better. This one still gapes in the back a bit, but I also find the bodice front looks a bit ‘droopy’ across my bust. I’ve seen a lot of versions of this dress and in all of them, the bust fits quite tightly. I’m just going to attribute it to the fabric, as linen is a strange creature indeed.

Ik heb netjes alle instructies gevolgd. Mijn enige spijt is dat ik een normale rits in plaats van een onzichtbare rits heb gebruikt. Echter, werd deze jurk volledig gemaakt van items in mijn stash, waar ik best trots op ben. Ik ben ook niet helemaal gek over de pasvorm. Ik voel wel een beetje dat de muslin beter past. Deze jurk gaapt ook in de rug een klein beetje, en ik vind ook de voorkant ziet er een beetje ‘hangende’ over mijn borsten. Ik heb heel wat versies van deze jurk gezien en in alle van hen, paste de voorkant mooi strak. Ik ga gewoon aan het toeschrijven aan de stof, zoals linnen is inderdaad een vreemd wezen.

Colette Parfait Dress

This was my first time working with linen. I can’t help but think it’s a strange material to work with. It’s kind of flowy like chiffon, but doesn’t slip while you sew. It’s also a bugger to cut out because it doesn’t want to lay straight on-grain.

Dit was mijn eerste keer werken met linnen. Ik vind het een heel vreemd materiaal om mee te werken. Het is bijna chiffon-achtig, maar niet wegglijdt terwijl u naait. Het is ook een donder uit te snijden, omdat het niet aan de rechtdoor-graan wil leggen.

Colette Parfait Dress

You would think with all of my moaning about the fit that I don’t like this dress, but I really do like it. Besides it being comfortable and light for summer, I really love the print! The colours are just perfect for my complexion. I’m just a tiny bit sad that the colours bled so much when I did the pre-wash. The light purple parts used to be white, btw. But it’s so important to pre-wash linen because it shrinks like crazy. Both ways! And I don’t like to risk pre-washing my fabrics in cold water in case they accidentally end up in a warm or hot wash in the future, you know.

Je zou denken dat met al mijn klachten over de pasvorm dat ik niet van deze jurk hou, maar ik vind het heel leuk eigenlijk. Naast het feit dat het comfortabel en licht voor de zomer is, ik hou echt van de print! De kleuren zijn gewoon perfect voor mijn huidkleur. Ik vind het een klein beetje jammer dat de kleuren bloedde zo veel als ik de voorwas deed. De lichtpaarse onderdelen waren eerst wit. Maar het is zo belangrijk om linnen voor te wassen omdat het krimpt als een gek. Van beide kanten! En ik neem de risico niet om mijn stoffen in koud water te wassen voor het geval dat ze per ongeluk in een warme of hete wassen in de toekomst komen, weet je wel.

Colette Parfait Dress

I entered this dress into a competition over at The Monthly Stitch, so if you have a moment, please drop by and vote for my dress “Simply Parfait.” Thank you!

Ik doe mee aan een wedstrijd over bij The Monthly Stitch, dus als je een moment hebt, kom langs en ​​stem voor mijn jurk “Simply Parfait.” Alvast bedankt!

 

And finally, I shall leave you with one of the silliest outtakes from this photoshoot, which was done by Mr. Livana. (Believe me, there were more than just this one…)

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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?

Stashbusting Stats

First off, a big thank-you to Cation Designs and EmSewCrazy for hosting the stashbusting challenges this year and for creating the monthly challenge for us to get inspired.

At the beginning of the year, I took the stashbusting sew-along challenge. I vowed to use 13 pieces of fabric from my stash this year. Here’s a recap of what I made:

I started off with fabric from over 10 years old, from when I worked at the local fabric store in high school and beginning of college. During the year I switched back and forth between old and new. For example, I got a bunch of knit fabrics at the fabric fair last year and the year before with the dream of making and selling my knit dresses. Instead, they turned into Megan Nielsen’s Briars (row 2). My sewing machine broke at the beginning of summer, so there was a bit of a lull in my sewing queue. I got some Colette pattern sewing in, went on vacation, then came back and sewed a couple of stash busting projects. But mainly my summer sewing was made from new fabrics.

A lot of nice pieces from my stash, especially those from 10 years or older, were originally intended for small projects, like camisoles or short skirts. Now that I have a love of dresses, I often feel defeated by the lovely things in my stash I can’t make any dresses with. However, I purchased a few nice blouse patterns that will likely work better with my small pieces, such as the Eucalypt and Datura.  From this experience, I have been buying more than a meter of most of my new fabrics, unless they are intended for toddler clothes, for which 1m often suffices, or if the fabric will not make it to my stash as it is intended to be sewn right away.

I sewed a few more projects than I actually blogged about, like the ones above I only posted on instagram. I also made a top for my SIL, which I didn’t take a picture of, and a jacket for my niece, which I only posted to my facebook page. I also have a few UFOs that I made with stash fabrics (sewaholic thurlow trousers, another briar, a burda top), but I don’t think I can really count them for 2013 as I will not be finishing any of them on new year’s eve. I also made a few softies out of scraps as christmas gifts, but I don’t really want to count those either.

Summary:

  • Pieces used from my old stash (~2000-2003): 3
  • Pieces used from my new stash (~2010-2012): 12
  • Exceeding my goal by 2 pieces!
  • Min points: I added fabric to my stash this year, which was not part of my original goal. My original goal was to only buy notions, linings, and interfacing as needed.

Did you reach your stashbusting goals this year?

Miss-fires of 2013


Unfortunately, it is easier to list my misses than my hits this year.  Some of it has to do with fit, and some of it has to do with sewing mishaps, and then there’s losing interest and moving on to new projects. Without further ado, here are the misses of 2013, in no particular order.

Black and White Cordova: A missed opportunity, in a way, because when I wrote this post early in the year I said I only had to add lining to the sleeves. I have yet to finish this jacket, and the more I look at the pictures the less I want to.  I don’t think it fits too well, actually.

Pink Sureau: This photo shows exactly why I hate this dress.  It bunches up around the upper bust. And you can see the bust darts come up way too high. I even held a giveaway to get rid of this pattern! I wore it only twice: to take these pictures and one day for MMM13. Someone in the comments mentioned I probably need a FBA, so I suppose I will try to master that in the new year.

copycat challenge dress: Why is this a fail, you may ask? If you read my post, then you know how much I love this dress.  Well, when I attached the skirt to the bodice, I didn’t extend the zipper into the bodice. So I am afraid to wear this dress and break the waist seam, as it is already ripping near the zipper.

Laurel contest entry: I’m not a fan of this make at all. I wore it only for the photoshoot. I tried to be all creative and shit for the Laurel challenge and by copycatting a cool, colour-blocked shift dress I found on the internet. I think the fit is a bit too loose for my liking and the block in the front makes my boobs look enormous. I was, however, super stoked at my sewing skills getting around those tricky corners.

Other (unblogged) misses include:

Redvelvet dress from Cake Patterns or as I like to call it, saggy side boobs: I was pumped for this dress from the get-go. However, the bust pleats ended up at the side of my boobs instead of in the center of them. I’m pretty sure it’s an easy fix but I just don’t feel like it… The good thing about this project is I found out my boobs are low.

The Ava dress muslin disaster: After taking the time to do a FBA, even tediously photographing the process to make my first tutorial, when I actually went to sew the muslin, it was an epic fail! I went with the larger size for my upper bust (a size 6 instead of size 4, even though it would end up being ½ inch too big), and then completely forgot about it when doing the FBA, therefore adding about 3 cm more than was necessary. I also completely forgot that most bodice darts are too high for me, so when I made the effort to make the bodice muslin (out of a slippery cheap satin, I might add), I tried it on and almost cried. So much for a last-minute New Year’s Eve dress… The only thing good about it was that I had remembered to add length to the bodice – 7 cm of length….

Skinnified Thurlow trousers: Making wide-legged trousers is not as easy as it looks. Fitted through the hips and upper thighs, and beyond that turned into a disaster. I already tried to take them in  myself, but I actually need someone to help me pin them. It’s not easy tailoring on your own!

What were your sewing misses this year? What have you learned from them?

Top 5 Hits

Happy Holidays Everyone!

I shall be joining in on the top 5 lists for 2013. I have been experiencing a bit of a creative block as life has creeped upon me the last few months, so I haven’t really been sewing or blogging in that time. In October, I defended my thesis, then ended up having to hassle a few teachers to get my grades in by the end of the month, but missed the cut-off by a few days. I officially graduated on November 4th and went to the ceremony at the end november even though my diploma wasn’t ready, because my mom flew all the way from Canada to join in on the festivities. We had a lovely couple of weeks together hanging out, watching movies, and shopping. We even went to the infamous christmas market in Germany.

So on that happy note, I shall get into the top 5 Hits.

#5: Vogue 8651 tunic: I did not blog about it, and I did not take any pictures of it, but I made the sleeveless tunic for my sister-in-law and she wears it almost every time I see her since I made it for her birthday in August. I also made her a different tunic for her birthday last year and she wears that a lot as well. My brother-in-law tells me that she wears the things I made her ALOT, so I definitely consider this make a win.

#4: The Rebecca Taylor design dress (Vogue 1152): This dress doesn’t fit perfectly, and maybe I didn’t use the best fabric for the pattern, but I really like it anyway. I can wear it in the summer, or in the winter with leggings and a long-sleeved tshirt underneath. I am a big fan of versatility (and dresses!).

Jo13-1

#3: The retro-print, stash-busting Briar: This is probably my most-worn me-made make of 2013.  I absolutely love this top.  It is super comfortable and (imho) looks good too. I made two other briars in two different sleeve lengths, but I like the long-sleeved one the best because I am cold more days out of the year than not. There are also two more in my sewing queue – one for me and one for someone else. And I might just use up the rest of my knit stash for briars…

#2: Purple and green polkadot belladone: The Belladone from Deer and Doe is quite possibly my favourite pattern. Even though there are still fit issues (ahem, do a bloody FBA already, Joanne!), I love this dress! I love purple on me, and I coveted this fabric for almost half a year online before I bought it at a fraction of the cost at the bi-annual fabric fair in Leeuwarden. And don’t forget that green piping! I feel as though this garment was kind of an aha moment. It only took me 15 years to figure out that my torso is 4-6cm longer than commercial pattern bodices!

And the #1 hit of 2013: The not-so-retro dress.  It just goes to show how important a muslin is! I shall never make a fancy dress from a new pattern again without making a muslin first. This dress fits me like a glove! I got a lot of compliments on the dress, and had fun doing the crazy photoshoot with my best friend back home in Canada.

What were your hits for 2013?