Sunday, May 29, 2011

Straight waistband to shaped waistband?

I have a question I can’t find the answer for with Google and the PR boards/knowledge base. The answer is not in David Page Coffin’s book on trousers (more a man’s view on waistbands) or in “Pants for real people” (only advertising a certain interfacing). So I’m trying my readers: I have used a straight waistband on a pair of trousers, but want to change this to a shaped waistband. Is there a special method to change this? Anything to take into account to change? Or can I take the pattern pieces for a shaped waistband from another pattern and use that?

Simply something I haven’t done before. Thanks for your thoughts/ideas in advance.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Resuming the Chanel style jacket

After the set of last weekend, my positive sewing mood returned. I did sew something new, which I will share with you as soon as I have pictures. After that I was considering a lot of options, and decided to resume the Chanel style jacket. I didn’t like it was still unfinished and even my family members started asking when the jacket would be finished. Time to work on it and get it off the “to-do/UFO list”. Mind you, it’s not finished yet, the sleeves have yet to be done, but there is more to show you than the mere construction pictures I showed till now.  These are the first pictures of the jacket in a more assembled state.


Detail of the collar and front with trim.


On my dressform. Unfortunately (or luckily, depends on the way you look at it) my hips are a bit less wide now than when the dressform was made. On the dressform there is not enough space to have the center front straight.

A much enlightened picture. On the inside of the collar I used another fabric. Knowing myself the threads on the outer fabric will irritate me immensely (I take out every label of a rtw top, because it scratches as my neck).

As before, I used a combination of the couture construction method and the more rtw construction. I took the pattern for the collar from the rtw construction method, but assembled the couture way. In the couture construction the collar is a rectangular piece of fabric that you make into the right shape.

The outer collar is interfaced, then the trim attached. Next step is sewing the outer collar to the jacket. The inner collar is then hand sewn to the outside collar. Though I did sew the neckline of the inside collar by machine. One of the things I learn from this project is that I don’t like too much hand sewing . Better: it is confirmed, I never did like it.


Saturday, May 21, 2011

A new set does the trick

The week ends (or starts) with a positive note. I’ve sewn something that I love, that is quick, isn’t it? A new lingerie set in 1.5 evening. It fits, I’m very satisfied with the result.  It doesn’t bring me closer to what garment I want to sew next (still feeling undecisive about that, I will take my time), but it’s nice to have sewn this. I can’t imagine myself not sewing, but the results of the past months (I even remembered two other projects that were no success) were not encouraging. This cleanses the palette and will hopefully be the first of more positive experiences in sewing again.

For those of you interested in some more details the following pictures.

The bridge has a seam center front, as to make it possible to have the scalloped edge of the lace on the bottom.

The scallop of the lace looks to be round here, but it has a seam at the bottom of the cup, which is far from obvious. How I do the elastic on the inside of such a scallop edge I have described in this post.

The inside. The sidepanel, bottom and side cup have a non-elastic layer to stabilize. This is also transparent and exactly the same color as the base fabric of the lace, so you can hardly see it in the pictures. I keep my seam allowances in the cup a bit wider than usual. If it is trimmed very short, the embroidery will come loose easily (how I know??)

My bridge has to be very narrow. This is how I overlap the chanelling for the wires. The wires go up till the top, but the second row of topstitching ends lower, where the two channels meet.

The “downward hike” as described by Beverly Johnson is my default back now.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Thank you

Thank you for your kind comments and suggestions to get back to sewing things I love. The remedy for me will probably a combination of several recommendations, mainly rest, re-orientation on what I like and want to sew, get inspiration in shops and browsing (sewing) magazines. Sewing a lingerie set will be the next thing. Marie-Christine suggested that and I bought some lovely lace last Saturday and yes, that’s something I can sew easily and feels so satisfying to do. I’ll use the Sewy Rebecca pattern that I'm sure of it fits, no experimenting with a new pattern now.


(picture is a screenshot from the Kantje-Boord website)

Marie-Christine made another remark that struck me: “Hard balance isn't it, keeping oneself awake with enough experimentation, and keeping oneself satisfied with good results?” I’m missing the experimental sewing very much. Trying a new technique, get out of my comfort zone on a special project. Must try to do that soon again as well. You  might see some lingerie experiments in the next weeks. Think my general garment sewing is on hold for a little while.

And also, I’ll eat some chocolate (good advice as well ;) and take some time with friends on a terrace (Valerie??).

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

What to sew?

A no picture post, which is an exception for me. I’m so disappointed in my sewing lately, I seem to sew more wadders or clothes that I don’t love/like than clothes I like to wear.

The result of past months (and on most I haven’t blogged before because of the disappointment):

  • Wrap blouse from Burda September 2011: shoulders were too wide, more drop-down style. Could be remedied by adding little pleats in the front and back. But the front doesn’t suit my figure. The back is fitted, the front should be changed to a more fitted style. Still thinking about how to change the front, because I love the fabric.
  • Knip Mode pants: wadder, fabric too stiff, fit no good at all
  • Knip Mode top from the May issue: pattern basically OK, but style no good on me
  • Pair of trousers of beautiful linen/silk: I put on a straight waistband that’s too stiff and I should have used a shaped waistband instead (can I still change that?)
  • T-shirt of which the neckline is too wide because I didn’t realize that the new neckbinding technique needed a seam allowance and I had cut that off in my pattern. It’s fine under a jacket, so not lost. But not motivating.
  • Pair of blue linen trousers, which I almost finished this evening. Good fit, but seems a bit high in the waist. Also the blue color I liked so much at the bolt, is reminding me when I wear it of a workman’s overall (no offence meant, just not the style I’m looking for).

Has this ever happened to you? What could/should I do to get back into sewing things I love? There’s the Chanel style jacket to be finished, and I love it till now, but my need in general is for more casual clothes .

Sunday, May 15, 2011


In the past week Cidell, Trena and Lynn (who has a blog but I can’t find it right now, thanks Peter for giving the link) from the US were making a bike/boat trip through the Netherlands. An opportunity to meet those lovely ladies in real life, together with some of the ladies who attended the PR-weekend in Brussels last month: Joana, Sheila, Marta and Hilde. We met on Thursday night for a chat in Nieuwpoort, a small city near Rotterdam where their boat had anchored for that night.
On Saturday we met in Amsterdam for a visit to the famous Kantje-Boord shop, which is the  shop for lingerie fabrics and notions and went to the Albert Cuyp market.
What is it that sewing brings you together so easily? Thank you all again for a great time. I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves mostly.
Group picture of Thursday evening Joana, Lynn, me, Marta, Hilde, Cidell, Trena

Joana showing and getting input for the bags she makes

Cidell and Trena, of course both in outfits they made themselves.

Browsing magazines.

At Kantje-Boord, the pictures say it all: there is so much to choose from.


Cidell, Sheila, Hilde and Marta

We ate some “poffertjes” at the Albert Cuyp market, these are small pancakes.

And I finished the evening together with Sheila and Joana in a Portugese restaurant. As Joana is of Portugese origin, she helped us with the menu. The starter was burning!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

I jumped on the bandwagon

Today I just felt like leaving the ufo’s and doing something else for a quick result. And it worked. In 2-3 hours I made Vogue 1250. Inspired by Carolyn I bought this pattern. It has several reviews on Pattern review already, and I added mine here.

I made it basically as it is, lengthening the upper part and the skirt by 3 centimeters. And I made the back facing a bit shorter, to make sure that the neckline wouldn’t gape, which knit necklines often do is my experience. I pulled on the facing while pinning it and in the end cut off about 2.5 centimeters off.

I tapered down to a larger size at the hip area, but it could still use a bit extra fabric, but with other underwear this will do. My daughter was remarking about my serious looks on pictures, and she made a few while teasing me, but though they had me smiling, they didn’t show the dress well, I’ll stick to the unsmiling pictures.

Next time (and I think there will be another version this summer) I’ll change the pattern to have side seams and no center back seam in the skirt, makes it a bit easier to adapt sizing as well.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Progress: nothing to show

The title of this post says it all. I’ve attached the trim to the front of my jacket, been busy with the pair of trousers I showed the pocket detail of, but nothing finished yet. While I had no UFO’s left in fall, I’ve got 4 now: jacket, trousers, blouse and a lingerie set. Time to do something about it.

To my defence (as if I need an excuse) there was little sewing time in the past week because of a nice 5-days away with my family to Barcelona! A wonderful city we absolutely fell in love with. Such a nice athmosphere, so many beautiful buildings all around, friendly and green parks. We had been warned extensively before we left for pickpocketing (oh, are you going to Barcelona, be careful, you loose your belongings before you know it). As in any city with a lot of people you have to be careful with your belongings, but I never felt unsafe, not even in a crowded market place. I’ve been to areas in other cities that felt worse.

No fabric shopping this time or anything sewing related. We walked a lot, saw a lot of Gaudi works and visited the Picasso and Miro museum. And still so much we didn’t see. The most impressive to me was the way the light came from above in the Sagrada Familia. I’ve tried to capture it in a picture (in the center) but it doesn’t do justice to the real thing. It was  exceptionally beautiful.

The only sewing related thing I did was buying Patrones. To my surprise some stalls even sold back issues. So I bought 3 issues. Now I have to finish something and then think about starting something new. Inspiration enough, as there are also the last Knip Mode magazines to choose from, and some patterns I recently ordered. Time to get sewing so that my next post can be sewing related again.

Have a nice weekend all!