Saturday, November 26, 2011

Thank you

Thank you for all your kind comments on my last posts on the lace twinset, the blouse en the fabric for the skirt. It’s good to have my mojo back and I had hoped to make the skirt this weekend, but I’m having a terrible cold and stayed in bed for quite a while today. After a shower and dressing I do feel a bit better, but not clear enough in my head to sew. Hope the cold will go away quickly.

A few answers/reactions on the comments: Kathererine H, thank you for your ideas about fitting the blouse, I will use the ideas on my next verson.

Karin wondered about postage and the time the Style Arc pattern took to arrive: the postage was 25 Australian dollars for 3 patterns. I ordered them on a Sunday and arrived on the Thursday one and a half week later. Postage is something a supplier can’t do anything about, but it’s quite expensive.

Belinda, thank you for your observation on the issue of the sleeve. It’s something I must think about, it might very well be that is an issue.

And I agree with Marie-Christine, that the back might be a bit large on me.

The skirt: the first picture is the favorite for most of you, and mine as well. So that will be the combination I’ll use. I did make the pattern on Thursdaynight, so when my head is clear again I’m ready to go.

For those interested in the Style Arc patterns: I have the Chelsea pants pattern and want to try that soon.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Dries van Nooten inspired skirt

One of the goals of fabric shopping at the fabric market last week was to find fabric for the Dries van Nooten inspired skirt. I wanted something with either black or navy. Brown is not in my wardrobe any more.

Of course I couldn’t find the exact fabric, or even fabric that came close. What I did find was a bouclĂ© fabric in red with black, a plain red and a structured black fabric. Today I found the fourth fabric. The pattern will not be difficult, the base is a pencil skirt, plenty of those in my stash or in Knip or Burda magazines. The combination of the fabric is the more important issue. Some variations below. The top part will be the boucle in red and black, the variation is in the other 3 fabrics. The plain red must nog be too loud in my opinion, therefor I think that either the first or the last picture gives the best impression for me.

From the structured black I bought enough to make something to go with the skirt, though I own a black jacket that will probably work as well.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Style Arc – Jenny blouse

The Australian pattern company Style Arc gets a lot of (mostly positive) attention lately on blogs and reviews on Pattern review. Of course I couldn’t resist and ordered two patterns and got one free. The shipment arrived last Thursday, and you can tell the sewing bug hit me again, as this has been finished on Sunday!

The Jenny blouse is a classic blouse with darts in front and back, collar with stand and cuffs with a sleeve placket.

Some features of the Style Arc patterns:

  • Patterns are in one size only. For this blouse no problem for me, but might be more challenging in the pair of trousers I’m planning to make.
  • There are no detailed sewing instructions for every step, but a sewing order is given.
    For this pattern detailed instructions were included for collar with stand (good) and the sleeve tab/placket (couldn’t understand it at all, I tried on a scrap, gave up and used David Page Coffin’s placket from his book shirt making). The instructions are on the site too (heading Tutorials)
  • A little piece of suggested fabric quality is sent with the pattern, which I like
  • Seam allowances are included, but can be different on several points. In this blouse the general seam allowance is 1 cm (3/8 inch), but on the collar, stand and neckline only 6mm. I LOVE this, as I don’t like the large 1.5 (5/8 inch) seam allowances and having the collar with narrow seam allowances from the start worked very well for me too.
  • Four levels of difficulty are given: easy, medium, challenging, experienced sewer. This was in the challenging category. In my opinion the last two categories could be switched, this is a pattern for someone with more sewing experience, but I don’t find it challenging.

The result on me, I will wear it tucked in, so I included a picture for that as well.

I used size 12, based on bust measurement. It is just a bit too snug for me, as you can see by the lines in the front. Also my fabric was a bit too thick and I had difficulty pressing it well. Good quality shirt fabric is very hard to find here.

I used a ribbon with a little shine and sparkle on the front.

As said above, the placket by David Page Coffin, not from the pattern. The sleeves are less “puffy” than the drawing suggests. there is one pleat, but no gathers.

The back, also some lines that shouldn’t ideally not be there. Suggestions for improvement welcome!

I do like the end result. For a first, unaltered pattern this is pretty good. It needs a small fba in the front and some change in the back too, but the length of the blouse and the sleeves are good. Or should I have used a size 14?
Also the pattern pieces are drafted well, the notches are correctly placed. My first experience with Style Arc is positive, though the cost of patterns and shipping will make that I won’t buy a lot of them.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Lace sorbetto top + cardigan on me

To complete the posts about the lace twinset knock off, the pictures of the top and cardigan on me. Chilly but sunny weather made it possible to have some outdoor pictures, thought it’s still difficult to git the right impression. To really knock this off I should have used some long pearl necklaces, but I don’t have any, neither did my daughter, so it still looks a bit plain. Next time I go shopping I will try to find something to go with it.

I’m really in the mood again, next project almost ready… stay tuned.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Sewing related weekend

Past weekend I’ve spent in wonderful company. Almost all of the ladies present at the PR Europe meeting in Brussels from April this year met again past weekend in The Netherlands. We even met two new ladies, Lauriana and Lilian (not in the picture).

On Saturday we started at the Gemeente museum in The Hague.

Marta, Sheila, Valerie, Lauriana, Hilde, Joana, Valerie (from OZ), Clare, Samira, Margaret.

Currently in the museum is the exhibition Fashion and Art, which was very nice to visit. Afterwards we went to Amsterdam, where we had wanted to visit the bag museum, but had just too little time after a lunch and very quick visit to Kantje Boord, but Amsterdam is nice to explore. Some pictures from the exhibition, where you are allowed to take them as long as you don't use flash light.

The zipper is under the black center part.


These sleevecaps reminded us of the Burda dress that was on the cover last year (September 2010?)

After dinner at my friend Valerie’s house we did an ugly-fabric swap. A standard at PR weekend (though this was not a PR weekend at all, but fun anyhow). This was the ‘ugly’ fabric I ended with. Think it will be a lining for a jacket or vest.

Sunday we visited one of the famous fabric markets. It was an indoors market, with an enormous amount of fabric stalls. Most of us left with quite a bit of fabric. This is my haul. Mostly knits, for not too complicated quick projects. I also bought fabric for the Dries van Nooten skirt, that’s for another post.


The weekend was as wonderful as the weekend in April. Thank you all ladies for such a fun time. And of course we were already talking about the next time….

Monday, November 14, 2011

So much to tell

I’ve done a lot of sewing (related) things in the past week, enough for a few posts. I”ll start with the real sewing bit: I did finish the lace twinset. And the cardigan was such an easy piece. I cut it at 8.45 pm this evening and finished it only an hour later! OK, I used the Jalie cardigan pattern that was ready to use, so no need to trace. But from cutting to finished project in an hour is pretty fast, while I thought I might be more difficult due to the special, open fabric.

In my previous post you can see the inspiration pictures.

This is the finished top. I’ll try to get pictures of me wearing it, but at the moment it’s difficult to have daylight pictures, which is what this needs. This is a picture heavey post anyhow.



For the top I used the sorbetto pattern that I also made before. I used the same blue silk as the top in this post, but now as an under layer. I used the layer of lace and silk as one after pinning them together.

I basted the darts before sewing them:


For the interfacing I used sheer pro elegance from Pam, and the technique to make it neatly finished as described in this tutorial by Lori. It really makes for a neat finish.

On the left the facing before turning inwards, on the right the finished facing.


The hem was serged and I stitched it by hand.

As said I used the Jalie cardigan pattern, no. 2566. For the front I cut it a bit longer and wider to get the look of the inspiration cardigan. This is all what was possible with the yardage I had.



The two together:

For the edges I used a rolled hem. Though I thought this might not work, a quick test made clear that it worked well. From a book I have I learned that it's better to have a bit more fabric in the rolled hem and this was the trick I needed to have nice rolled hems. For normal serging I always have the most narrow width (1), for this I used 3 to 4 cutting width. It gives the machine something to roll ;)


Monday, November 7, 2011

Plans – or how do I get back to sewing?

My own feeling on my sewing in this year is that it didn’t make for a lot of new, wearable garments. I declared a lot as wadders, or have long periods of sewing very little. I said it before, it’s the way it is, the way life is. But I would very much like to have my old enthousiasm back, trying new things, new patterns, new techniques, try to knock off a garment etc. I thought it might be a good idea to make a little plan, to get really started again (and don’t hold me up to it, it’s very subject to change ;))

The plan:

  • new tops, knits and woven (I need some brighter colors in my winter wardrobe, the amount of black tops is huge),. On the list are definitely this top from the latest Ottobre woman magazine
    and this one, the Jenny shirt from StyleArc. I only ordered the pattern yesterday, a new pattern company to try! As it must make its way from Australia to Europe, think it will take at least a week to get here.

    A lace top, inspired by this post from pdiddly. I will combine a navy lace with some silk I bought in Brussels as under layer and use the Sorbetto top pattern. If there’s enough lace (hope, hope), I might make a cardigan of it too.

    image    image
  • a skirt, knock off from Dries van Nooten, that I published about earlier.  Next weekend I will meet a lot of ladies at a fabric market here in The Netherlands (most of them were in Brussels in April too, but also a few new people to meet So looking forward to it ladies!). I defnitely will try to find fabrics for this skirt.

  • a pair of jeans. I will join the Lynne’s Jeans sew along, must get me started on jeans. I’ve traced a rtw pair a long time ago to copy it, but never got any further then that.


That’s enough plans for the moment. I hope to finish these before the end of the year. Being optimistic!