Thursday, July 31, 2014

Two garments drafted

These two garments were almost finished when I went on holiday, but there was just not enough time to finish them then. I came back with a a lot of ideas in my mind and almost started something new. But…. I promised myself to not start too many things and keep procrastinating finishing. Thus I finished these and there is nothing in the ufo pile (not counting the muslin for the jacket).
The top is drafted to my own measurements and basically a knock off from an Ottobre pattern. It’s an easy and versatile top that I now have in 4 variations and I love these on a hot day. The fabric I bought in fabric in the trip I made there with my sewing friends. After serious consideration I decided to buy it. It’s a lovely, lovely silk and feels so very soft to the skin. I said to my daughther that we should always be wearing silk. It took a bit of tweaking when cutting out as I had only 1 meter. The facing is cut in two parts and the binding for the armholes was cut off-grain, but certainly not on the bias as I would have wished.
I’m quite happy with the fit, only the bust dart looks a bit low,

The skirt was drafted after an Knip Mode skirt from the August 2013 issue.

I closed the pocket seams in the end, as they were standing off. The photos are not so clear and show a few wrinkles but it is a comfortable skirt.

Seeing the photos I like the top better with the tan color.
A few construction photos:
The under collar of the top was cut on the bias and I “favored” the seam of the upper collar. It makes for a nice edge to the collar.

For all seams I used French seams. The first pass I made with the serger and very thin Serafil thread which adds hardly any bulk. I don’t always do seams of tops like this but this fabric was worth it.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Back from the UK

I’m back from a wonderful holiday in the UK.

My husband I did a lot of walks in the first week, we visited Pauline and Mike in their new home, spent an afternoon with sewing friend Vivien and her husband and in the last week our children joined us. We had the most gorgeous wheather, my face and arms haven’t been as tanned in years. Home was very far away for a few weeks, as was blogging and blog reading for most of the time. It was good to take a long break.

Before I resume my blogging about sewing (a sleeveless blouse and a skirt were almost finished before I left) a few pictures of the last weeks. Pauline is holding samfire in her hands that we picked on the shores and ate that evening. I can so understand she has limited time for sewing at the moment.

DSC01646 DSC01612 DSC01599 DSC01549 DSC01519 DSC01499 20140721_123613 20140721_115606 20140718_150739 20140718_141444 20140718_122320 20140710_105657 boot

I am aware that during these weeks my country was struck by the horrors of the Malaysian airplane being shot down and so many people lost their lives, most of them Dutch. The horrible aftermath that is still happening. I have no words for this. Only wish the violence in the world would stop. So many areas of conflict and war. Horrible.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014


Blogging Break that is. I decided there was not enough time to work on the jacket prior to our holidays. I only prepared all pattern pieces, also for facings and lining and will not start cutting and sewing till I’m back from a  holiday in the UK.

Hope you all have a lovely summer (or winter in the southern hemisphere) and enjoy it, sewing or otherwise. I’ll be back in a few weeks.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Jacket muslin

Remember my struggles with fitting a jacket last year? I lost count of the amount of muslins I made, the tweaks I made to patterns to get it right. These struggles with fit have led me to learning pattern drafting (better). I had some basic knowledge of it from a few lessons in the past, but never did work on it properly.

I’m convinced now it is a good approach for me. Last week I drafted a pattern for a jacket, the same idea of jacket I made  last year. I wearit but after all the work I’ve done on it I still think it could be better. It was made from a Burda pattern which I altered and altered…

The muslin of my self-drafted pattern. Could not find shoulderpads which will help with the fit in the back, but otherwise I’m pretty pleased with the result. Remember this is also not interfaced or otherwise stabilized. Just muslin fabric. Taking it to class tonight to hear what my teacher thinks.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Busy with.....

A lot of things actually, so much that blogging was put on the backburner. The usual life and work things of course, a day out with friends to an open garden scheme (so nice), but also being absorbed by pattern drafting, making (muslins of) the patterns drafted and a “new” activity: after 20 years or so I’m knitting again. Which fascinates me, as for some reason I thought I would never be taken to knitting again, but well, I am.

What have I been drafting? Two tops were on my wish list to try: a pattern from Ottobre that I have used before and like for a summer top. In the Ottobre pattern I did an FBA and still thought I could use some extra space. In my class I drafted the pattern to my measurements and it fits well. Nothing spectacular, but I’m trying to get a grip on drafting. The pictures on the dressform don’t show the fit, I’ll try to get better photo’s later.


It still needs buttons and a good pressing.

The other top is an experiment to make Vogue 9006, one of the spring 2014 patterns. Less easy I must say and after two versions my conclusion is that it’s not for full busted women. At least my version of it, I did not use the Vogue pattern. Perhaps I should consider a sort of stay underneath, as it tends to pull sideways at bust level. Another thing I noticed is that the shoulderstraps of my bra show, cut in shoulders are not for me.

I used two different fabrics: the green emerald one (gorgeous color btw, which I love) is a polyester (?), the second one a rayon with a lot of drape. I cut the center panel on the bias. The green one pulls a bit at the seams because of all the unpicking and re-stitching I did. I think I will wear these tops, but mostly under a jacket or cardigan.


And to give you an idea of the drafting: it’s a lot of lines! It might look intimidating, but actually it’s not that complicated, it’s a step by step process and this picture is from the end of that process.

It’s for a jacket, I’ll be making a muslin this weekend. Keeping my fingers crossed it will fit well.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Bra making tip – band elastic not wide/stable enough

Recently I bought some new fabric and notions at Kantje Boord (the famous shop in Amsterdam) and the color elastic I wanted was not available in the quality I like for the band. I prefer the elastic in the band wider and more stable. There is some weight to be stabilized ;)

Initially I thought to use a different elastic for the band but working on it tonight I came up with another solution: sew the more narrow elastic to a wider one.

The two elastics that I sewed together before sewing it into the bra.

DSC01377   DSC01376

The bra in construction: on the outside only the colored elastic is visble, on the inside you see the more firm elastic.
Thought it worthwhile to share. I’ve discarded elastics in the past because of the fact that I could not find a good firm one for the band. Probably will use this myself more often.


Monday, June 2, 2014

Three dresses

In the past two weeks I did something I’ve never done before: sewing 3 dresses using the same pattern. It’s Vpgue 1809, a Donna Karan pattern (out of print).

This all started when I was clearing out my sewing room and sorting my patterns. I stumbled upon this pattern with all the pattern pieces ready to cut. I was planning a sheath dress anyhow so the decision to use this pattern was easily made. After the first one two followed.

The dress was one of the first patterns I blogged about (June 2007). That version is long gone from my closet. I did not like the fabric a lot and have not worn it often. I made it longer this time, and lowered the neckline a bit (on the last two a little more than on the first one). Otherwise no changes, which is good after 7 years.

This was the first one I made, the fabric is linen, bought at a fabric market here in The Netherlands. After finishing it I immediately wore it the next day and it felt very comfortable.

Another linen version, this fabric bought in a shop. Very summery.

The last one was made in cotton, bought in Paris on my trip with sewing friends. Sorry for the face in this set. A smile would have made a difference.
The fabric was a bit thin and it took me a lot of time to match the invisible zipper. Even basted it was a little off after sewing and I had to unpick twice.

I was inspired to use this fabric by Linda’s blog where she posted about this outfit.


A red jacket is still on the “to sew” list, for the time being combined with a red cardigan.


All dresses are lined, using the full pattern for the lining and sewing the facings on the lining.


lining with facing

The zipper is inserted by machine, also the lining is sewn by machine. This method is described by Amy from Sewaholic here.

Think that’s my share of dresses for this season. I made 4 dresses, which is certainly more than usual for me.