Monday, December 31, 2007

2007 almost gone

2007 in sewing terms was a year in which I feel I really got back to sewing. I did sew a lot in the past for myself, but that hobby was mostly lost in the past 10-15 years. I did sew for my children a lot. And I liked that very much, though it doesn't give as much challenge as sewing for myself, both technically and fitting wise.

Early in the year I published my first review on Pattern Review, which I had discovered in November last year. Since then I wrote 44 reviews, most of them on clothes for myself. There were successes and failures, but I enjoy sewing immensely again.

In April I started this blog, and that too is fun, though I have thought a few times to stop writing, as I was afraid it was not adding too much to my reviews. Now I think that it is a good opportunity to show what I'm working on, and try to share things in the sewing process that not always become that clear in a review. From the comments I think at least a few people like to read it, I'm very thankful for those comments.
And I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who reads this blog and especially those who comment more or less regularly. I appreciate this very much.

And I enjoy very much the sewing community on the internet in general, it's such a friendly place. I read entries on Stitchers Guild regularly, though I don't post a lot there, it's a very nice community too.
And last but not least: all other blogs that are sewing related. It's a joy to read about sewing activities of others, I learn a lot of those bloggers that have better skills than I have, and others have great ideas about embellishment, or change a pattern that I would never have thougth of etc. Thank you all! Which makes me remind me of the fact that I have to update my link-list in the sidebar. There are so many more blogs that I enjoy reading, that are not mentioned yet there.

Next post I'll tell you about my sewing plans for the new year. Now I'll change my jeans for something more festive, we have friends over in an hour to celebrate "old and new" as we say here.


Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Testing post


This is the text in English.

Dit is de Nederlandse tekst.


Dit is de Nederlandse tekst.

Title Three

This is the example text for title three.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Merry Xmas

To all of you: Merry Christmas!

Lining a vest

In this post I'll describe how to line a vest. This description is based on the technique that is described in a Burda sewing book I have (in Dutch).

For your information: here you can find this description in a PDF-file.

First the result of the vest, I had no buttons to go with it, will add these later.

The back of the lining is cut 3-4 centimeters from the fold of the fabric. This gives moving space and prevents your outer fabric from pulling.

Sew the center back seam partially: 5 centimeters on the top, and a few centimetres in the waist and on the bottom.

Sew outside of vest as normal, but do not sew the side seams.

Sew lining, without sewing side seams.

Pin and seam vest and lining at front, armholes and back hem. Stitch to the exact seamline of the sideseam, not over it (see next picture)

Make sure you mark the side seam, to be sure that you do not stitch too far.

Clip all round seams, grade seams if your fabric is thick.

Turn the vest by putting your hand through the side seam, pull the front through the shoulder seam.

Repeat for other side, use the same side seam to go through.

This is how it looks, partially turned.

Completely turned

Now pin the seams you want to topstitch later. It is now still possible to reach all seams through the side.

Pin and stitch the side seams of the outer fabric. Be careful not to stitch the lining.

Press the seam.

Pin the lining over the side seam.

You can choose to stitch this seam by hand, or 'stitch in the ditch' from the right side of the vest. The next picture shows the result of stitch in the ditch.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Sewing plans

Well, I got some sewing done today. When I cut my black skirt, I also cut a vest from the Knip Mode magazine. Not to wear together, but there was enough fabric left for this vest, which I wanted to make. I made the outer shell and cut the lining (the black dotted fabric), and hope to finish this project this weekend.
On the end of this post there is a description how I made the single welt pocket. I'll write another post to show how I do the lining for such a vest.

There are quite a few other projects that need to be finished and one for this weekend too: my DD wants to make/have a new dress for Christmas and I agreed to make one from the November BWOF issue. Fuchsia pink with black bow is the idea. No opportunity to get bored I guess..... Planning could have been better.

This week I gave up on the idea of finishing my jacket before Christmas: I was misinterpreting something in my Stitch and flip jacket class on Pattern Review, and it became only clear to me what I was not getting at the end of the course. I'm still convinced that it will be a fine jacket, I just waited till it became clear, I've not cut something very wrong or something like that, but there's simply not enough time left. And it's not as if I had nothing to wear!

Further my denim skirt to finish, a lingerie set I want to make and last but not least: I want to try making a bag (how long is holiday season? One month, please tell me it is!).
Call me a fool, but I want to make this bag, while I never made one before. Or is this really not a good idea? Anyone experiences with bag making, please tell me!

Some technique to share: a single welt pocket.
Blogger is not very good in layout with pictures, so the description I have put in a pdf-file too, which you can find here.

Prepare the area for the pocket
Reinforce pocket opening by ironing a 4 cm wide fusible interfacing to the wrong side of fabric
Mark the pocket placement with chalk lines on the wrong side

In my garment there's a dart crossing the pocket. I slashed this open and pressed before applying the interfacing to prevent bulk on one side.

Baste along these chalk lines, so that you can see the lines on the front of the garment. The distances between the horizontal lines is the height of the welt.

Fold strip for welt in half lengthwise, wrong side inside and press .
Mark the width of the welt with chalk or baste this line (no separate picture, you can see it on the picture below)

Pin welt on right side along placement line.

On right side, pin fabric for back pocket over attachment line, right sides together.

On wrong side stitch horizontal lines on the basted lines, exactly to the corner. Use smaller stitches towards the corner and make sure the length is exact.

Cut the fabric between line, make a diagonal clip towards the corner. Don't cut the welt.

I graded the seams of the welt, because the fabric is a bit thick. When the fabric is not that thick, you can leave this step out.

Pull/fold the welt and back pocket part to the inside. Press the seamlines.
Pin the pocket lining to the seam of the welt, stitch.

From the inside, pin lining and back pocket to the triangle and the welt.
Stitch very close to the front of garment, preferably with a zipper foot. Stitch pocket too.

Press from the right side. The pocket is finished.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007


Back from Londen (already since Monday night, but first a few other things to attend) I have no pictures to share from the Victoria and Albert museum. It was not allowed to take pictures.
But wow, this exhibition was worth coming to. Like Melissa who wrote in the comments, it took me over two hours too to see it. And the friend I was with (who is not a sewer) enjoyed it too.
There were many details to see (only sometimes I would have liked a mirror so the back of the garment could be seen better). There were short movies from catwalks, or undergarments that were worn, Audrey Hepburn etc. The music in the background was from that period, but really in the background, not too loud. Really wonderful.
And I wish I worked at the museum, so that I could peek into the construction of these garments better, you don't really see that part obviously (sorry Carolyn, no details there).

In the evening we went to the Royal Albert Hall, listening to Christmas carrols from the London philarmonic orchestra and choir, which was an experience I want to share with my family sometime.

Next day we went to Kew Garden, to see the Henry Moore exhibition, which was fabulous too. I admire his sculptures for years (am really very fond of more abstract sculptures and art in general), and never saw an exhibition with his work on this scale.
We had great weather (as I had hoped it was not raining, just freezing a bit) and had a lovely English lady as a guide at first, and afterwards we explored on our own.
Though not at all sewing related, a few pictures. Not much sewing with me at the moment, too busy with work and other things.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

A new skirt

After all my muslins it was time for some real garment, and it had to be a simple one. I want to have a new jacket and skirt ready for Christmas, and time is flying.
First there was our Sinterklaas feast and its preparations, this week my son had his 12th birthday (Hurray, 12/12 he became 12) and this weekend I'll spend in London, visiting the Couture exhibition in the Victoria and Albert Museum and listening to Christmas carols in the Royal Albert Hall. I look forward to this very special weekend, but together with my work there's not so much time left to sew next week.
The skirt I made was BWOF 08-2006-103. The review of this is here.

Two detail pictures here (lightened them so that you can see some details, black is so difficult to take pictures from). More pictures in my picture album.

As said, this was a simple project. But a black skirt is always a good item to have and I like this one's special back godets. The only special thing I did was adding tailor's tape to the waist, before lining, to prevent stretch.

Tonight I will cut lining and interfacing for the jacket that I'm doing in the Stitch and flip jacket class on Pattern Review. That's the jacket I hope to have ready end of next week to go with this skirt.

Hope London is cold but not raining. I will think of all of you when I'm at the exhibition. When I'm allowed to make pictures I share some next week.

Just a teaser from the museums website:

Sunday, December 9, 2007

One jacket out, one jacket in

Thanks to those who advised on the jackets. It's very helpful. The second jacket is definitely not going to be made by me. Look forward to versions of Tany and Vicky, but am convinced now that it will not work on me.
Summerset said that it should be longer to look good on me, Vicky that the style should show the waist. They're both right, but if I show my waist with a wide jacket, it will give more accent to my hips (which is not a plus of me). And for me that would only work with a sheat dress under the jacket, not with skirt or pants. I know because I tried a short jacket in a shop a few months ago.

The first jacket after a little tweaking in the back: with one shoulderpad, couldn't find the other one, and didn't have another pair. I narrowed the back in the princess line a bit, and a bit more in the waist, as suggested by Nancy K. A bit too much in the waist I think.

This is the fabric/lining combination that I'm going to use (sale started in a fabric shop with great quality fabrics, so I bought me a nice capsule of this bouclé, and black and brow fabric for skirt and pants!)

There is still a need for a second jacket, as I want to make one of the brocade I've shown you a few posts ago. Thus, another muslin for BWOF 12-2006-109. Also a princess line jacket with a special collar. Only to be seen in the line drawing, as the picture in the magazine is hiding this nice detail.
I like the general style for me and for the intended fabric.
After tissue fitting for the neckline, I lowered the gap on the neckline 3 cm, which is better.

The pattern needs more tweeking. For the sleeve the ease as such is good, but the marking for the shoulder point seemed incorrect, and the front had too much space in the side panel, resulting in puckers while sewing. Both problems must be addressed first.
And look at the difference one shoulder pad (on my right) makes on the back!

That's enough blogging for this weekend,

Friday, December 7, 2007

Two muslins

No progress on the skirt at all. I've been busy Tuesday evening and a part of Wednesday writing Sinterklaas "poetry". In Holland the 5th of December always is the moment in the year when children get presents. Sinterklaas is our Santa so to say. In the past 20-30 years the Sinterklaas event is getting less important for teenagers and grown ups, as with us too a lot of people give presents with Christmas. My family in general keeps to the old tradition, and Christmas to us is a feast of light, going to church on Christmas eve or morning, have a family diner, but no presents. Hard to understand for those grown up in another tradition I guess.

But the 5th of December is special if you do it with older children, like ours of 14 and (almost) 12 years old. We give presents and write a text that has to rhyme. And it is OK to make little jokes about someones habits or hobbies. It was great fun to hear the rhymes our children wrote, they're getting older, seeing and saying more and making good rhyming texts. I got quite some remarks about time spent on sewing sites, packages arriving with orders from overseas, and of course the time spent on sewing in general.

Enough sidetrack, back to the muslins for the BWOF jackets.
The first is for the jacket I want to make in the stitch and flip jacket class I'm going to take on Pattern Review. This class starts the coming week, so it had to be made now. The picture in the magazine doesn't do this jacket justice.

From the linedrawing I thought the neckline might be what I was looking for and it certainly is. It is a bit standing away from the neck. I tried a jacket recently in a shop with this neckline and loved it.
I traced a size 40 and did an FBA. It's still a bit snug, and I'll add another centimeter or two in the bust. Further I'll add 3 cm in the length. Though I do that by default for blouses or t-shirts, I didn't do this now.

The other is BWOF 2007-08-115, that I loved by the picture of it in the magazine. But I'm not so sure now I made the muslin whether it is for me. This one is snug too (but I cut a 40 and did no alteration, so that's not so strange). Before taking the pictures I forgot to open the pleat in the back. It has to be longer by at least 5 centimeters for me, but my feeling is that the pleats are not wide enough for a stiff fabric. The muslin is made from remnants of light denim fabrics, and the fabric I want to use is a bit crisp brocade. I'm in doubt.

What do you think? Are there any other changes necessary for the first jacket (back?) and what is your opinion on the second one? I really appreciate your opinions.

Q/A: Nancy asked what I wanted to use for the tabs. I planned to use a leather closing, but if I am making it, I might consider bound buttonholes and rather large buttons.