Sunday, September 28, 2008

A bra

It's been a long time since I sewed some lingerie. Too many other projects that took priority, but today I felt like making one.

This is the result, a partial band bra. I took pictures while constructing, and will make a tutorial soon. Some time ago I received an email asking for a way to make a front closing to a bra. I did reply that I had never made such a bra (though I'm one of those women closing my bra in front and then turning it to the back). I think that this is the type of bra that might be the solution to make a front closing. I wouldn't know how to do it on a full band bra.

But now (it's Sunday evening here) it's time to prepare for a working week.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Pictures on me

As promised, the pictures of the jacket on me.


Excuse the jeans that are no good companion to this. And I will not post a finished jacket on my dressform anymore, I now see that yesterday's pictures don't really show it well. Even now you don't see the lines of the jacket very well.

I love the lines and the neckline, but as you can see, there are a few pleats here and there. Marji asked what the problem with fabric and interfacing was. I used Vlieseline H410 for the jacket, as I had no more of the interfacing I normally use (as in my last jacket). In the town I live this is not available, and I thought this would be enough. Either it was not, or it has to do with the lining method. I made sure the lining would not be too tight, but it just isn't working. When I used the stitch and flip technique for the first time in the class I took, I used a boucle fabric which is more forgiving probably.

The bagging techique looks more suitable for my way of working. Thank you for the information on Cecilia Podolaks book. It's on my wish list now. Does anyone know whether her method is different from the method Sandra Betzina describes?

A picture of the FBA I did on this jacket.

Now I had a photographer (DD), she also made pictures of the Knip blouse. Alanina asked whether I wanted to make the skirt too, and the answer is yes, I plan to make it soon.


And a last picture, not of a project of mine, but an inspiration I found. Origami/folded leather bag by Bottega Veneta. With a price of $ 2750 far beyond what I ever could pay for a bag (it's sold out), but I like it. Don't know if I ever do something with this idea, but liked to share.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Vogue 1063 finished

Earlier than I thought I managed to finish the jacket. No pictures on me yet, lack of good light.

My dressform is a smaller than me, so it has more pleats than when I wear it.

I'm not satisfied, I think the fit is not that bad (I'll show you later this weekend) but it has to do with the combination of fabric and interfacing that is not quite right, and it certainly has to do with the "stitch-and-flip" method of lining. I've decided now that this is just no method for me. I miss the ability of really pressing out seams, of changing a bit while sewing.

Setting in the sleeves was not easy, because I had to do that with the lining too. This because one of the seams of the back ended in the sleeve opening. I finished with bias lining fabric.

The notched collar is made in the way that Claire Shaeffer describes in her book "High fashion sewing secrets". This is a great book, that I highly recommend if you want to explore some special techniques.

All in all I don't think I gained time by using this lining method. I promised myself to sew this jacket again, but I will use a more traditional technique in sewing. I think I'll try bagging a lining on my next jacket, a technique that is described in the Sandra Betzina book "Power sewing" (also very helpful) and is described online too, but which I've never tried.

Anyone any other recommendations for lining techniques?

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Comparing instructions

The jacket is not done yet, and I didn't sew anything in between, like the blouse last week. I did make the collar, and one sleeve is inserted. Time is not on my sewing side at the moment. Hope to finish it this weekend, there's just too little time (why do we need sleep?).

Sewing the slit of the sleeve was quite difficult (it was the only part till now where I followed the Vogue instructions), the seam ripper was necessary twice, and understitching amost impossible.

Yesterday in bed I was "reading" the pattern for Vogue 1064, to know whether there were any special things in construction for that one. Both the jacket I'm working on (1063) and the 1064 are Anne Klein patterns, from the most recent  collection and both have a slit in the sleeve. To my surprise the construction for the slit is very different on the 1064 pattern. And now I've seen that, I remember I made a slit before in the way it's described in the 1064 pattern and it's much easier to do. Why didn't I remember that earlier on? I'll do the second sleeve in the same way as the first, but writing down this here, I hope to remember it for the future.

Construction 1063 1064

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Blouse in between

Sometimes you need a break from work, and early this afternoon I turned off my computer for a few hours and went to my sewing room (it has its advantages working from home). Didn't feel too well and not inspired to continue the jacket. The collar of the jacket is something I want to do with attention, and not with a slight headache.

Last week I already did all preparation work  and cut the fabric for blouse 16A of the September Knip mode. It is not difficult at all in construction: only ruffles, no collar or cuffs. Just what I needed this afternoon.

This is the result, the ruffle is more narrow than the Knip magazine picture suggests, but now I have looked closely at the picture again, I see that they turned part of the facing too for effect in the picture.

I'll show you the blouse on me later, when I have bought buttons to match and have finished the pants too.

My changes were only an FBA, and in changing didn't see that I lowered the neckline in a way that I can not wear this blouse without a cami. Live and learn.

I cut the ruffles on the bias. Knip mode almost always does those straight of grain, I think bias cut is easier to work with and gives better ruffles.

And Knip wants you to do the inside with a ruffle to the hemline too, I omitted that and did it like this.

Total time of construction was only 2 hours. Sounds like instant gratification, doesn't it.

Monday, September 15, 2008


As mentioned in my post of yesterday, my blog has received a few awards by PamGwen and Anne.

I really feel very flattered and honored, and find it a bit difficult to picture these three here in one post.

It's so lovely to share my sewing adventures with others by the means of my blog, and think it's an award as such that you read my blog and sometimes leave a comment. As all bloggers, I like comments, though I'm guilty of not leaving many at the moment myself. Sorry about that, time is very limited at the moment, and I try to sew and spend less time at the computer (I know, trying....).


The rules for these awards are (not all quite the same, but I'll treat them as one)

1. Select 6/10 bloggers to whom you would like to give this award.

Always a difficult one, as there are so many blogs, and I like so many. But I chose the following in no particular order, and I'm aware some are given the awards already, but these are really among my favorites:

Tany - I'm always amazed at the garments she makes. Beautiful tailored work, at a constant high level. And I'm still not really believing she's not a very professional seamstress (just kidding).

Paco  - though his blog is in Spanish, I like to see his projects very much, they are so detailed. And the google translator always makes me laugh, whether I choose English or Dutch to translate to. His recent contribution of a lapel tutorial for a tailored jacket is really excellent.

Summerset - I love her very regular posts, and the diversion between art work, clothes for herself, husband and children and the comparisons she does between vintage and contemporary pattern. Though I'm not making sewing an art like she does, I love to read about it.

Birgitte - Relatively new in blogosphere, she makes beautiful things. Have you seen her Chanel jacket? It's gorgeous.

Leslie - Makes beautiful knock-off garments with much care to the details. Very inspiring (I'm regularly reminded on my own unfininished knock-off top this summer)

Robin - Making things I like to make myself, except for the home dec. But I admire her for doing that too, and sharing her adventures. I like her style of writing, and somehow we seem to have a few things in common. She might come to the Paris PR weekend that is planned for next year. I want to go too, and hope to meet a fellow blogger in real life.

Cidell - Always a pleasure to read what she sews, and all the things she does besides sewing she writes about so well. Didn't you want to go to the cigar-factory when she wrote about that?

Carolyn - Love to read this lady's blog, she has an opinion, not only on sewing related matters, and I like to read them. Though I never write on political matters or comment on posts of that nature, I still like to read her posts on that too. And her working with wardrobe items and vintage patterns is so inspiring.

2. Put the award - prize on your blog and indicate who gave it to you by identifying her/his blog (done).

3. Paste these rules on your blog.

4. Write 6 of your most important values and 6 negative points you condemn (for the last award only)

Important Values:

Well, of course I could write 6 more obvious values, but there's really one value that stands out for me and that is respect. I mean that in a general sense: respect for nature, animals and other human beings. And I mean very specifically that people should respect others, disregarding their origin, gender, race, religion, money or lack thereof, social position etc. Everyone is valuable and equal, and if we all (individuals, churches of all religions, political parties, countries) would have (more) respect for others, I think the world would be a better place.
Not everyone is the same, I'm glad it is not so, but I don't believe in "All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others" (from Animal farm by George Orwell). I'm not a saint, who is, but this is really important to me. I want to be judged for who I am and what I do and stand for, and honestly try to do the same myself. You may differ in opinion on issues, but you should discuss the opinions and listen to the other and not judge right away. Having another opinion on an issue is never an excuse to use violence.

Negative Traits

Follows directly from above, I detest disrespectful behavior.

Well that's enough personal opinion, off my soapbox before I start on a few feminist issues.  Completely digressing from my sewing theme for once. Hope you don't mind. My next posts will be sewing related again. I always thought my personal opinions are not for my blog...

5. Inform the  recipients by leaving a comment on their blog (going to do that now)

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Lining as you sew

That would be how I would describe the technique "Stitch and flip". Nancy asked what this technique was, and rightly so, as this is not a technique that you can find in the sewing books. I took an online class at Pattern Review end of last year, Shannon Gifford was the teacher. She describes the technique online now in this article.

As you can read there, the lines of your patterns are important whether this method can be used or not. She stresses the use of vertical seams, and if you do it for the first time, that's a good starting point. But as you can see, my Vogue jacket has one curved line in it. It works too, but there is a bit of clipping involved (as with any curved seam). 

There are two downsides (for me) with this method:

  1. You can't change the seam lines while working, so you need a pattern that is tnt (trued and tried) or make a muslin first and be sure that you don't have to make any changes.
  2. The seam allowances must be the same for lining and fabric pieces. This works when using an American pattern, where the seam allowances are included. But I sew mostly with BWOF, Knip mode or Patrones patterns and mark my seam lines on the fabric, not on the pattern. I prefer it that way actually, as you can see in the picture I marked a few crucial seam lines in my Vogue pattern too.

This time I made a muslin twice, and use a Vogue pattern. Time to use the technique again.

Order of construction

Important is the order of construction, you start center back (or side if there's no center back seam) and work to the front. What I did for this jacket is:

With the stitch-and-flip method:

  • stitch center back seam
  • add side back
  • add upper side front panel

At this point I left this part alone and continued on the front

  • make the pocket construction with center front and lower front side panel.
    I didn't use the Vogue description. I used the method described in this post, which comes from an old Burda book I have, and then you can topstitch in one pass. The method Vogue describes you have to do it in 3 steps.
  • sew lining of center front and side panel together (no stitch and flip)

Then I continued with stitch-and-flip again

  • sew the front and side panel (now as one piece) at the back/side panel part constructed in the first part.

This is how it looks now with me. I made the roll line on the lapel as described in Claire Shaeffer's book "High Fashion sewing secrets" and will continue on the jacket making the collar. I've yet to decide on the Vogue method or other method.

I'll keep you posted.

And Gwen and Anne: thank you so much for your awards, I highly appreciate them and will post on these later this week. There was an award too by Pam, and I've only acknowledged that one till now on my Tutorials blog. I'm very flattered and it's good to know you like to read my blog.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Jacket started

For the first time this week, I managed to spend some time sewing. Or better: cutting and preparing. I have cut the jacket, a pair of pants of the same fabric and a white blouse. The blouse is the pattern from the Knip September issue I showed earlier, the pants my TNT BWOF pattern. And then I started to sew something.


After thinking about construction of this jacket, I decided to use the stitch and flip technique for the lining. Bit of an adventure, as it's only the second time I use it. The second picture above is the result. The jacket parts are completely interfaced, as per Vogue instruction.

Hope to show more Sunday evening.

Have a good weekend!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Good progress

Sunday morning was spent on changing the pattern for the Vogue jacket, and Sunday evening I spent about an hour making the second muslin. This is the result, I'm quite satisfied. It's worth the extra muslin.

What I did was:

  • narrow the shoulders
  • fba (I'll show pictures how I did that later)
  • widened the hip area
  • made the lines in the waist area in a better fitting curve than I had drawn with lenghtening the pattern


Sorry about the front picture, the neckline is a bit uneven, but these were made with a selftimer.

The waist can not be too explicit, because then my hips have too much accent to my liking, so there is quite a bit of space in the waist area, but the lines are better now.
The only thing to change now (I think) is to make the hip a bit less wide on the side panel, but that's quickly changed on the pattern.

On the sleeve I made a mistake, and took a line for the hem line, but it wasn't. Now it looks too short, but actually I must take out the extra length I added in the pattern.

The collar has separate pattern parts for under and upper collar, and there's also an extra collar band. That promises to be a smooth laying collar.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Why don't I make something simple

That was what I was asking myself when I tried the first stage of the muslin for Vogue 1063. As it is some time ago I made a Vogue jacket, I started with size 14, and made only a length alteration of 4 cm in the waist and 2.5 cm in the sleeve. I knew of course that this size would not fit right away, but hoped it would not be too difficult to alter.

It was difficult to make the alteration in the waist. The lines to "lengthen or shorten here" were there, but the pattern has a definite curve from front to back and it was difficult to decide how to make the curves on the altered pattern.

The result for the first phase: hips not wide enough, shoulder too wide, too much space in the front/waist area, a little extra space needed in the bust area.

In the picture I took in the right side of the muslin, which makes it already a bit better. All in all a bit disappointing. I do think I can make this pattern work for me, but it takes time. As said, I had hoped for a better result, I want to make a small wardrobe for work in the next weeks and there is not a lot of sewing time at the moment.

The coat for the coat sew-along must be postponed a little, I've traced the pattern again in size 40 and did a fba. Cutting of the (3rd) muslin for this must wait.

AllisonC asked if sewing in the Netherlands is very popular because there seem to be so much Dutch sewing magazines. I must say that it looks that way, with the magazines and our fabric markets in spring and autumn. Those markets are really nice and always very busy. Knip mode has special issues for children, babies, teenagers and plus sizes, besides the monthly magazine. And there's fimi and one or two other children and teenager pattern magazines. And yet, I don't know anyone personally who sews, and most of my friends don't even have a sewing machine, and if they have, only use it for repairing rtw clothes. Probably sewing for children is more popular than sewing for yourself. That's only my impression, perhaps it's different in other areas of our country, must be, otherwise the sellers of fabric and magazines would stop their business.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Another pattern magazine

A short note for a link to the preview pages of another Dutch pattern magazine, just for inspiration what you can do with one pattern: FIMI

The clothes often use the same pattern, but the style is very different. Mostly not my taste, but as that is a very personal matter, for your info.


Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Blouse finished, sewing inspiration

Sewing time was very limited last week. I did manage to finish my daughters blouse in time, at 11.30 pm on Saturday the last buttons were on! But it certainly was a project finished in time slots of 10-15 minutes at a time. It's and once again a good result from a Patrones pattern.

The ruffle in the front is a nice detail, the blouse is shaped by two darts in the front and one in the back. The back has a side panel which I cut on the bias. The sleeve is not matched correctly with the front, it's 1 cm off. If you read my blog for a while, you'll know that this irritates me. But in this fabric it is not so very clear.

DD wore the blouse proudly on her birthday, last Sunday. Which was apparently the last summer day here, as it really looks like fall here today, with rain and wind. The sun is nowhere to be seen, so time for fall projects.

For fall there's a lot of inspiration around. I bought the September Knip Mode today and think this combination is very nice. Especially the skirt has special pleats. This months BWOF was not very inspiring to me (yet), the pants I liked most was a RTW one.


And I ordered these Vogue patterns, I love (to make) jackets and found these two so special, that I couldn't resist temptation.