Thursday, December 30, 2010

2010 projects

It’s been a very hectic December month (as with most of you I think) and tomorrow is already the last day of 2010. I’ve counted my projects and I made 28 garments. Still one jacket almost finished and not shown yet, which will make 29.
Half of the garments were tops, either woven or knit fabrics. Two major projects in a coat and very complicated jacket which took a lot of time.  On the other hand 3 or 4 very easy knit tops.
Plans for 2011… I’ll discuss them in my first posts of the new year, for now I leave you with the pie-chart and my very first slide-show of projects (hope it all works).

Have a wonderful last day of the year. I wish you all a HAPPY NEW YEAR!


Sunday, December 12, 2010


Last weekend and week was very busy, with a lovely Sinterklaas day last Sunday. Kbenco, how nice that you made your children speculaas. We had that too, it really belongs to the tradition (as are chocolate letters and ‘banketstaaf’, a pastry with almond paste in it).
There was not time for sewing till last night and I finished my skirt (except for a button and buttonhole). It really fits well, but I think it’s a tadd too short for me. I’ll try to add pictures on me later and I’ll do a review with a bit more construction details. All in all it’s not a difficult skirt, the hem is gathered and attached to the shorter lining, creating a special hemline with a balloon (?) effect.
ETA: picture of me wearing the skirt. It would definitely have been better if it was longer.

I’m taking a break from blogging till the end of the year. It’s a very busy time and I feel that I need to take some rest. If I’m getting to some sewing I’ll show you results later.

I wish you all a very good holiday season!

Friday, December 3, 2010

A skirt

It’s been a long time since I’ve sewn a skirt. From my reviews I learn that the last one has been September 2009, over a year ago. I’m usually attracted to skirt patterns that have something special. This pattern is an example of a pattern I’m immediately attracted to, though I’m not sure whether the style will suit me. One thing I find dificult with skirts is to find something to wear with them.

I’m making this from a rtw skirt I bought last year. Lots of fabric that had to be draped, held together with two buttons and small belt. I never managed to drape it again as it was done in the shop, it always looked strange and  I never wore the skirt. But it had a lot of fabric in it, which I use now. It’s grey/blue in color with black (or very dark blue) dots. It’s not very difficult till now, the picture shows the detail that you see in the magazine picture too. Don’t think it will be finished this weekend, the Dutch have “Sinterklaas”, a local variety of Santa Claus, and I’ve some preparations to do for that. I wrote about that tradition in this post (3 years old, time flies!)

The pattern is again from the December Knip Mode, like the blue dress of two weeks ago.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Knip mode dress looks like Kwik Sew pattern

I just received an e-mail from Pattern Review. To my surprise I see a KwikSew pattern advertised which has a top that has the same collar as my Knip Mode dress.

It’s Kwik Sew 3826. So if you’re interested in making a similar dress, but can not buy Knip Mode easily, I think this is a great pattern to use.


Saturday, November 27, 2010


Forgot to respond to a few comments that were given on the dress. Mary Nana remarked on the length Knip Mode drafts their patterns for a higher average length than Burda or the big 4. She is right, with 1.74 m I'm even 2 cm taller than the length they draw for. I never make length adaptions for Knip Mode patterns, which I do for Burda. Something to consider when you start working with their patterns. The Dutch in general are tall (together with the Scandinavians I think). I have two nieces who were about 1.85 m at the age of 14/15, not so uncommon here. My daughther with 1.68 is considered the "small one" of the family.

Jane M asked whether it would be possible to make this as a knit top. Yes, I think it wouldn't be difficult at all to change the pattern to a top, you will have a beautiful neckline that way.
And Lia asked why I didn't use a serger. That's because of all the layers that are in the front, I just felt my sewing machine could better cope with that, and I have more control with my sewing machine than with my serger.
ETA : And I even forgot to answer 1 question, thanks for reminding me lin3arossa. The fabric I used was viscose (rayon) jersey. Not too thick and with a lot of drape.

Finished garments

Thank you all for your lovely comments on my dress. I wore it this week and it’s so comfortable, and plan to wear it tomorrow again when going to a birthday party. As I already said, there were a few things almost finished before starting the dress and I did finish them all last weekend, but there was absolutely no time this week for taking pictures (or sewing for that matter). I did “sew” through reading blogs in between, always a nice break when you’re stuck at your computer whole day. Didn’t leave too many comments though, but I really love to read about sewing and the projects other bloggers share.
If you like vintage patterns: visit Denise’s blog for a chance to win a beautiful vintage pattern. In between her lovely patterns, she shows the sewing rooms of so other bloggers and professionals. Always nice to see those and get inspiration from. I haven’t sewn vintage patterns yet, still think I should try one at some time.
Enough said, some pictures of the blouses and pants I made. I might or might not do reviews, perhaps I rather do some sewing this weekend.
First one is the same patterns as the blouse with the special cuffs I made recently from the BurdaStyle February 2010 issue. Only this time with smaller collar and normal cuffs. DD had not too much patience with taking pictures and didn’t notice the strange fold before she took the first picture. It normally isn’t like this, I wore the blouse this week and it’s a pleasure to wear. 100% cotton in a good quality.

Next is the Patrones blouse. The only pattern I liked from the fiesta issue, and I traced it before I sent the issue to Elizabeth. It has some nice details, like the little piece at the shoulder and the pleats at the sleeve. The line drawing suggests pleats at the shoulder too, but that’s not the case. It’s a well drafted pattern, it went together smoothly. The cuffis are a bit too wide for my liking, and all the fabric of the pleats in the lower part of the sleeve might be a bit much. Time will tell, I didn’t wear this blouse yet, too early to tell.
Som detail pictures:
The a-symmetrical stripe could only be matched in the wider stripes.
Collar with stand was on both blouses done by Pam’s method.

To conclude: a pair of black wool pants. I’ve worn these for two days, so a little wearing-wrinkles. I’ve been trying to make a tnt pants pattern in the past few weeks, and I’m still not there. Apart from the wearing wrinkles there are still a few in the back that shouldn’t be there. I will be working on that issue again. I would like to thank my friend Nancy K for her help during my fitting experiments. I’ve sent her pictures of quite a few versions, and her opions and ideas have helped a lot. It seems that pants fitting is a continuous struggle. I’ve been working on this a few times before, and sometimes wonder if I ever will get it right.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

December hasn't even started

and I finished a dress from the December issue of Knip Mode. In general I’m quite happy with it, the neckline is a bit deep and the collar tends to flip to the outside. Think I will open up the center front seam and pull the collar a little bit farther in. Doing this and keeping it together with pins helped a lot.


I like the drafting of the pattern, though I think there’s one marking point missing in the center front piece. Not a lot of trouble with my sewing experience, but could be difficult for others. I used a size 40 and only tapered down to 42 at hip height for the back pattern piece.

Melissa, who made the same dress last week, already noted that there are a lot of layers at center front. The fabric must not be too thick. I did not use my serger for the center front and neckline but used a zigzag stitch. The marking I missed was for where to start gathering at the center front piece. Pinning and basting everything together before sewing helped me in visualizing how this got together and  decide that the gathers all had to be below the pleated end of the collar (the part thats folded over), so that there would be no extra gathered layers of fabric at the point of the pleats.

I followed the detailed construction drawings, but changed (after unpicking) one step: the instructions tell you to sew upper front and skirt together and then sew the neckline and center front. I first finished the complete upper part (gathers, neckline and sewing center front), and my last step was sewing the upper part to the skirt part. I unpicked the seam I had already done for about 2 inches. For me this was easier to work.

Conclusion: I like the dress and I like Knip Mode better than BurdaStyle at the moment. Think I’ll start the new year with a subscription.



Friday, November 19, 2010

1 blouse done

But… no pictures yet, sidetracked again. Sigh, why do I do this? Because sometimes a pattern is so inspiring that you have to make it before finishing other things. Today I found a dark blue knit, bought 3 meters, washed it and put it in the dryer. Tonight I cut the pattern from the fabric and started sewing. Not finished, but will be tomorrow.


It looks black in the pictures, but it's dark navy blue.


For those of you who consider making this dress: try to get wide fabric. My fabric is 1.60 meter wide and this means you don't have to cut in a single layer as Knip mode shows with the 1.40 meter wide fabric they used. AND you can cut the main piece on the fold, which means you won’t have a seam in the collar. You still need 2.5 meters of fabric. Mine had shrunk considerably or wasn't cut to 3 meters initially, I didn't check before washing, but I ended up with 2.50 meter of fabric. This is the dress in progress. When it's finished, I have to sew buttons to the other blouse and hem a pair of black pants. End of the weekend I hope to have 4 (!) garments finished.


Tuesday, November 16, 2010

In search of a pattern

I’ve been searching the internet for this pattern: Vogue 8259, the Claire Shaeffer pattern for a Chanel style jacket.



I can’t find a site where it’s for sale. Does anyone of you have this pattern (size 14, but 12 or 16 would do as well, don’t know which sizes are together in the envelope) and wants to sell it to me, or exchange it with Knip Mode magazine? Would love to hear from you.

You are awesome, I’ve had two replies on this request, so I’ll be sewing this jacket sometime this winter. THANK YOU!.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Knip Mode December

Little time for sewing this week, and when I wanted to do a little on Tuesday evening around 11 pm, the electricity supply failed in our part of town, just when I was doing some edgestitching. It was solved somewhere during the night, but no real sewing done any more, it’s been a very busy week.

I had seen Knip Mode december on Monday, wanted to buy it immediately, but even that didn’t work as planned, I only bought it today. This is a great issue again . It has patterns for the holiday season, these are more “down to earth” type than the Patrones issue I gave away. More reflecting the Dutch style in general (after all, it’s a Dutch magazine).

There are patterns for men too, as well as sleepwear, both of which I never sew, nice for those who do.


This is my favorite, if I had 2.5 meter of plain knit fabric I would make it right away. I only have a printed knit which is not so suitable. It’s high on my to sew list anyhow.

I lightened the picture a bit, and still you can’t see it very well. The line-drawing shows the lines better. The other dresses are nice as well.

The jacket in the next picture remembered me of the Burda jacket I made, it has a lot of similar features. The skirt is one of my other favorites from this issue, not sure about the style for me.


The sleepwear / lingerie section. Looks very nice, though I still don’t think I’ll make it.



For copyright reasons I don’t want to publish too many pictures, here’s a link to a preview Knip Mode publishes.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Cowl neck top – snoop shopping

Snoop shopping on the internet I found this top. The brand is Robbi & Nikki and I simply love the style, the color is a lovely grey, but the price is a bit high at $175. I must remember this one for spring/summer, this is too cold now and needs to be worn on its own. Or perhaps I should add sleeves.



Sunday, November 7, 2010

Striped shirts

Two shirts are in the sewing queue, and I’m making them at the same time, as both need white thread. So first I took all the steps of cutting, marking, interfacing for both shirts, and now I’m sewing them taking the same steps. The pattern is different, but the main steps are the same.


For both I did sew the collar with stand first. For this I use Pam’s method, which I find easy with good results. I’ve done the method described by David Page Coffin (and described by several bloggers, including me) with good results too, but find it more complicated.

You’ll find a lot of these tutorials and links to Pam’s tutorials as well on my tutorial blog here.


A picture of the first collar, a cotton fabric that I bought recently (you’ve seen it as the contrasting fabric on the wadder shirt). I have a beautiful pants fabric to go with it, but the pants fitting is a struggle (I’m working on that too, but am not post pictures here).


The other fabric is cotton with some manmade fibre in the black stripes. It’s been in my stash for a few years, because I was afraid to work with it: the stripes were in the width of the fabric, and it has a lot of stretch. This makes it more difficult to work with, and I must use my walking foot to get good results.


The collar and stand on this one is attached. Next step is to do that for the other shirt. Now it’s bedtime.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

On the multi-cup pattern

As some of you rightly saw, I’m not too disappointed by the wadder. This just happens sometimes. I do have more of the white fabric, I’m thinking of using another pattern for the body part and use the collar and sleeves.

I’ve been giving the pattern drafting some further thought however. It was the first time I did use a pattern in which different cupsizes were included. But how to determine the size to use?

a. On the envelope, you determine your size by (full) bust measurment

b. In the instructions, you are told to determine the difference between your full bust and high bust, with a clear drawing where to measure. Based on the difference between these two measurement, you dertermine to use A/B/C/D cup pattern pieces. But nothing is said about the basic size to start with.


Women with the same full bust measurement (pattern size) can have a completely different cupsize, this depends on how your proportions are. Someone with my full bust measurment can have an A-cup, or an E cup, while I’ve a D-cup. When some years ago I discovered the need of doing a FBA (full bust alteration) the way to go is start with your high bust measurement and alter the pattern to fit your bust. This way you’ll get better fit in the back and shoulder area. It worked and I was happy to have discovered this method. Perhaps the same would be true for the Vogue pattern, and would it be better to choose your pattern size by high bust measurement? I’m not trying, but as this is a new pattern and many would want to try it, perhaps this is something to keep in mind.

The Patrones is for


The 3rd person who commented: Elizabeth001AU, please send me the necessary info to get it in the mail to you. My e-mail address is in the sidebar.

Hope you will enjoy it.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Shirt wadder

I pinned the sleeve into the armhole and that didn’t look too bad. There woud be almost no seam allowance at the point of the ‘corner’ as described in my post from Sunday, but that wouldn’t be too bad.


During construction of the body of the shirt, I got the feeling that it was too wide and that the extra space for the bust was at the wrong place. This is a pattern with pattern pieces for different bust sizes, and I used the D-cup, which is the correct size according to the instructions.

When I had sewn shoulder and side seams it was time to test. For me this is completely not working. It is much too wide and the bust space is too much too the side. Lucky it’s not expensive fabric, pity about the time already invested in the collar and sleeves.

I’m going to sew another shirt from the Burda pattern I used last time and sew a muslin for a pair of much needed pants. Quickly forgetting this pattern.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Patrones fiesta – party issue, something for you?

Patrones fiesta
Last week I bought the latest Patrones issue, but overlooked the fact that this is the Fiesta, or party, issue. Lots (and I mean lots) of party dresses. My need for these dresses: none. I’ve browsed the magazine several times now, checked all line drawings too and am convinced that I will not use it. I might trace the blouse on the cover, but that will be all.
Anyone of you interested? I’ll give it away but will ask you to pay for postage (paypal). Postage will be Euro 6,16  within Europe, and Euro 10.45 for the rest of the world. That is what I will have to pay at the postoffice. I’ll do a draw when more than one of you is interested. Draw is done!.

For more pictures from this magazine click on the above picture.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Working on a shirt

I’ve had quite a productive weekend. I made one knit top that I’ll show you later when I have a picture of me wearing it.

Further I’m working on Vogue pattern 8689, a new pattern for a basic shirt.


I learned to sew using Burda and Knip Mode patterns, without seam allowances. And till now, almost 40 years later, I'm still not used to working with patterns that have seam allowances. I miss the feeling for size, the curves and most of all: how the seams fit together. I've been sewing the collar and the sleeves already, and from the blue marks, that will fade away with water, you can see that I marked the seamline where the cuff has to meet the sleeve.

That was needed, because I used the method to attach a cuff as described by Sherry from the blog Pattern, Scissors ~ cloth. The cuff is not sewn to the sleeve first, but the sleeve is put into the cuff that is sewn together already and then topstitched. By the topstitching the cuff gets attached to the sleeve. Pretty neat method.

When cutting the pattern pieces, I wondered about the front part having a corner, but thought that that would be corrected when the seams were done. I find that patterns with seam allowances often have strange corners, that upon sewing the parts together turn out well. This time something strange is happening. Don't you think this is strange?

Of course I first checked the pattern pieces. I always trace my patterns, so I could have made a mistake there, but no, I used the correct pieces and traced them correctly too. Then I drew the actual seam lines on the pattern pieces and pinned them together. Same corner is showing.

In the drawings of the instructions, a smooth line for the armhole is drawn. Don’t you hate it when you encounter something like this? It stopped me for the moment. I will continue later, and see what happens when inserting the sleeves. The pattern is so new that there are no reviews yet. I’m curious if someone else has found this to be a problem.



Parting shot: I couldn’t help myself, going to a shop to buy some sewing notions I needed, I fell for this bouclĂ© fabric and it came home with me. I plan to make a short, simple jacket from it, Chanel style, but not with the elaborate original construction method.