Sunday, December 20, 2009

Merry Christmas

Also here in the Netherlands there is more snow today than I care for. I’m happy for my children that it’s vacation time, so they won’t have to go to school on their bicyles tomorrow. Instead they can enjoy the snow, though they’re a bit too old to play in it.

I planned to show some pictures too, but my camera is playing tricks with me, the memory card shows my sewing projects, but not the snow pictures I thought I had taken. Pity, as they would have been great to remember how high the snow was today. We are not used to these amounts of snow, most years we don’t see any at all.

I won’t be blogging the next two weeks. No looking back to the sewing projects of 2009. It’s been a hectic year for me in which I’ve done less sewing than I hoped for. I’d like to start 2010 with sewing a small winter wardrobe (January/February). But it might come to nothing: I thought I would have sewn a jacket before Christmas, and didn’t even trace the pattern. But I will be trying to at least come up with a plan for a wardrobe, I still am intrigued by that idea, but don’t want to be in a timeframe or contest with specific rules.


Wishing you all a very good and peaceful Christmas.


Friday, December 18, 2009

Posting this anyhow

Thank you for your comments on my previous post. Though I thought I was getting these comments because of the subject of the post, it appears to be a more general invasion. When I caught up reading the sewing blogs a bit on Wednesday night, I saw more posts with complaints on these comments and quite a few of you indicated in the comments that you get those irritating comments too. Chosen the wrong public I guess.

For the moment I won’t bother anymore, other then removing the messages as soon as I can and being a bit more careful again on the words I use for the ’unmentionables”.

The sewing matters: this afternoon I left my computer screen, having “square eyes” from too many programming hours this week. Left the laundry and ironing for tomorrow, the cleaning for my cleaner on Monday (lucky to have found one this summer) and finished the item I was working on. The fit is great, which you won’t see from the pictures. The accompanying items are cut and will be finished very soon.

Friday, December 11, 2009

A bra

It’s been quite some time since I showed some ling erie on this blog. As interlude I’m sewing a new set. The lace for this set was bought quite some time ago, and I waited sewing it till I had my pattern fitting me again, I like it so much that I didn’t want to risk it on trying a new pattern with it.

One of the things I’ve changed on my pattern is the downward hike on the back. It’s a technique described in the “bra makers manual” of Beverly Johnson, intended to make sure the back doesn’t go up. She also describes this here.

As always I’m trying to get symmetry, but did not try it for the bridge part of it. The embroidery is rather full/thick, a seam on the bridge was no option this time.

This set will be finished grey elastic and shoulderstraps, the exact color that is in the lace too.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Pants again

Let me start with showing a picture of the two pattern pieces for the right side waistband. The lower is the outside (good) fabrid, the smaller the inside. I made similar alterations for the left side of it.

As you can see, it is a shaped waistband, so Katherine h, you can try this too if you would want to. Not the complete waistband is cut on the fold, only the center front partially.

A detail from the finished waistband.

As interfacing I user the Pro Tailor deluxe interfacing from SewExciting. Mici asked what was so special about Pam’s interfacing. Well, the quality is outstanding, it’s much better than the vlieseline that is available here and it’s great value for money. It’s 150 cm wide too, while vlieseline is only 90 cm wide. And she has a sale now!

The inside with lining and zipper fly.

I like garments that look good inside too, even if I'm the only one who ever sees this. This was something I found disappointing in David Page Coffin's book, as he never uses lining, and doesn't care much about the look on the inside.

Pictures from my pants are not very good, to show you something of the details I had to alter the images a lot. Daylight pictures are difficult now. I wore these pants today, and they feel very good. The wrinkling is not to be fussed about. As pants shape differently with every move you make, there will always be a wrinkle/pleat somehow, but I think that this quite good.


A fysiotherapist concluded a few months ago that my left leg is a bit longer than my right leg. It’s strange to see that reflected in the pictures I make for my blog. I’ve noticed before, and you can see it here again too. For the picture I show it with my shirt tucked in,  but normally I wouldn’t wear it like that. Today I wore it with a short jacket that I made two years ago.

To conclude a reply to Rebeca, who commented on my previous post yesterday, asking for help finding a free pattern: Rebeca, I think you get a better response to a question like this if you post it in a more general sewing forum like Stitchers Guild or Pattern Review. The comment section of my blog won’t get that much attention. For the shirt you’re looking for and the purpose (costume), I would go for a t shirt and a rectangular piece of fabric for the cowl, if possible/necessary  cut on the bias.  Good luck finding/making what you need.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Pants – waistband

After one more (undocumented) muslin I decided I could make the pants in the final fabric. They’re almost finished, the lining has to be sewn and set in. Buttonhole, button and hemming are then the last steps, planned for tomorrow evening. The first picture again shows a wrinkle.I’m not showing it yet, it also needs a good pressing and I’d like to wait till it’s completely finished for the final evaluation.

For the finishing of the waistband I was inspired by the book ‘Making trousers’ from David Page Coffin. I’m not overwhelmed by this book (and certainly not by the irritating music on the accompanying dvd, which you can’t turn off first time, as sometimes there is a tiny bit of spoken information) but it is inspirational, what as such is good. One of the eye-openers was to make the waistband on the fold and make the inside waistband shorter. It makes for less seam allowances when sewing the button hole. Hope you get the idea from these pictures (as said, lining still to be added).

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Another top and answering a few questions

Just before the working week starts again I finished my last of the “production line” sewing of tops. I do like Jalie tops for their basic, good fitting patterns, but leave it to BurdaStyle (trying to get used to the new name of BWOF) to make more special knit tops. In my opinion they don’t have knit top patterns often enough and could do some change to the designing of armhole and sleevecap. BurdaStyle instructions always tell you to to sew the side seams first and then set in the sleeves, like in a blouse. In the black top of yesterday I changed the armhole and sleevecap to those of Jalie 2449 and have sewn the sleeves in flat (shoulder seams - then sleeves -under sleeve and side seams in one go).

In this top (June 2007, no 110) no side seams at all. I used red embroidery thread for the lower thread in my coverstitch, and topstitched from the wrong side. Quick and easy pattern, but you have to pay attention to the construction of the sleeves. I might not write reviews on PR for these tops, all these have been reviewed often.

Nancy K: the way Debbie “cheats” with the sizing is exactly what I do for BurdaStyle tops like this. I start with size 40 at shoulder height and taper down to size 42 at the lowest point of the armhole. In this way I create the space I need at bust height, and have less in the shoulder area.

Answering some questions:

Meli88a: the band of the cardigan is attached with the serger and topstitched as described above for this top. A review of this cardigan (grey version) is here, with links to more pictures. Debbie: the shoulder certainly isn’t drop-down, it’s a normal shoulder width.

Tina asked whether I used Pam’s interfacing for lingerie too. The answer is no, I never used it for that, but think that the tricot interfacing might be suitable.

Thrillingfindz: the purple jacket is August 2008, no 115.

Today I browsed the December Burdastyle again. What do you think of this picture? Leisure time is the subject: do you do your knitting standing?


Saturday, November 28, 2009


I made a few tops the past days. One evening I traced the patterns, the next evening I cut them all and then I threaded all machines with black thread, put in new needles and started sewing in a few sessions. The result:

Jalie 2805 in two versions

Basic black top with V-neckline



With overlapped V-neckline (buttons not yet on, must have some good ones somewhere, just can’t find them)



BurdaStyle 01-2009-110


A bit more detailed in the lighter picture below


And earlier this week I made the New look cardigan. The buttons reflect the light different. They really are purple. It’s difficult to take good pictures right now, it’s dark so early.



Looks like easy pieces, don’t you think? The Jalie tops and the cardigan were, but my seam ripper did come in action for the Burdastyle top (nothing to do with BWOF, my fault)!

I started using decorative elastic at the edge. It gave puckers with topstitching and I was not too happy with the result in general, too much pajama-look. That was the point I picked up the seam ripper, took half the top apart, just cut off the elastic and gave it the neckband as shown above. Now it’s great, I tried it on and DD said it looked like I just bought it from a special store. Quite a compliment.


The black fabric was from an online store that I can highly recommend to my Dutch readers if you’re looking for quality fabrics: JerseyFashion. I bought two meters, it’s 1.60 wide, not cheap, but very good quality. I managed to get two tops from this, what in the end wasn’t even that expensive for two tops. They also sell the red/white/black fabric, which I bought earlier elsewhere. Different structure, but also very nice quality.

Next: Finishing the wrap top and one other top from this series and then back to the pants. I keep postponing.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009



Trying to visualize the effect of two patterns with different fabrics. I’m not too good at using the more advanced functions of Paint Shop, but I did well enough for my needs. I don’t want to use more time on this than I did.

I love all the jackets that I showed in last post, but have a preference, like many of you, for the first one. I think it is a good pattern to use, even though I’m not using a plaid. It will be not casual though, that is clear by this way of looking at it. The motorcycle jacket is a good second, and something I just want to try, either in the blue fabric or in the tweed/bouclé.  So these two are the jackets that I’m planning to make this winter (though I could always change my mind). I’ll keep the others in mind for another time.

And Kay, you had to laugh because of the preference we have for the same patterns, I had to laugh when I saw that you had the same thought for the buttonholes as I have. I read Brigitte’s review of this jacket yesterday, and saw your comment on this.  So it may be a transatlantic sew-along, though it will be a week or two before I will start on this (with a muslin).

Monday, November 23, 2009

Planning ahead

This week I'm working on the cardigan, t-shirt and pants fitting. Thank you Nóra for the suggestion of the BWOF shirt pattern. It's a nice pattern, but with the horizontal line in it a bit more complicated to get a good fit. Enough on my hands with the pants fitting for now.

But in the meantime I’m planning ahead. Two years ago I bought this beautiful fabric from EmmaOneSock. Wonderful fabrics Linda has, and if shipping wasn’t that expensive I would buy more there. With one exception (Pam’s interfacing) I stopped buying overseas, though I’m regularly tempted, because I can’t help myself browsing the site.

The fabric is black/brown and I finally want to use it, giving more accent to the black than the brown, which was established last year not te be one of my good colors. But which pattern to use? I like making jackets, though reality is I don’t wear them too often. I thought about using a jeans jacket pattern, but that’s just a bit too casual perhaps. This is my shortlist. What do you think?

In combination with black fabric for the strip at the seams?

Always like a different collar/neckline.

Think this one might be too formal, but love the neckline.

Not my usual style, but one can’t always make the same thing, can’t you? 
Don’t you think this is the same pattern as the next one? Burda re-using the pattern with a twist.


Saturday, November 21, 2009

Patrones blouse no 63 – issue 284

The line drawing from the magazine

The picture and my version beside.

As I told you in a previous post, the blouse is in the plus size range of Patrones. The smallest size is 50, and bust measurement for that size is almost 20 cm more than my bust size. Not a good idea to try to make that pattern smaller, too much difference.

But when you look at the picture in the magazine and at the cutting layout, you’ll see that this is a basic v-neckline blouse with vertical darts (picture on the left). What I did was finding a Burda pattern with the same type of dart in my size. In the March issue of 2005 I found the blouse of the picture on the right. I transferred the neckline of the Patrones pattern to this one and compared it to the neckline of another blouse I made with a V-neckline. For this pattern I traced a size 40 in the shoulder area, and tapered down to 42 at bust level. For the cuff and collar I referred to the instructions of Patrones: basic rectangles.



After showing the picture of the cuff earlier this week I put the sleeves in, and found them too puffy. So I took the elastic out and used longer elastic. Much better now.



Detail of the collar. It’s handstitched to the neckline.This picture does the color best justice on my monitor. The fabric is purple with black lines and a bit of shine in it.


Another inside picture. The instructions don’t tell you what to do with the edges of the collar and cuff, where the cords are pulled through. I made a small seam before foldeing the collar part and left them open between the lines of stitching for elastic/cords. You can see that in the picture below.

I made sure that the seam of the collar was not at one of the edges, but a little off the the center on the under side of the collar. In this way the gathering of the edges of the collar is the same, there is no extra thickness at one of the edges.

All in all a nice project to work on, and I’m quite happy with the result.