Sunday, December 30, 2012

2012 projects

It’s that time of the year again, looking back and looking forward, making plans. Considering that I haven’t touched my sewing machines for more than 2 weeks now and have been sewing irregularly in the past year, I have completed more items than I thought: 31 projects finished. Not a lot, and quite a few of those projects were easy tops, but still a number.

The tops: most of them are liked and worn, with the exception of the blouse with the flowers and the white wrap top. The flowers are not “me”, and I should learn to buy fabric not too impulsively. I can’t pin down what is wrong with the wrap top, perhaps I should take it out again when spring comes and I will like it better?

The bra’s, mostly tnt patterns that I can make up in an evening. The exception is the MakeBra pattern I recently tried. That I will try again and make a few little changes for my comfort.

Only 2 jackets. The first one I’ve worn very, very much. The second I finished  in fall, while I think the colors suit a different season better. Consequently I have not worn it a lot yet.


Dresses: even 4 of them. I’ve changed quite a bit. I also bought 2 rtw dresses and wear a dress quite regularly now.


This change is reflected in the number of trousers I made: only 1! By now I feel a shortage of them in my wardrobe. I’ve thrown out a few that I found too wide, and now I miss a few basic winter ones. Must work on that.

To finish the list I made 2 quite distinctive skirts. I like them but haven’t worn them. Perhaps I should stick to a solid color or make a combination to wear. Now they are more or less orphans in my closet.


Well, that’s my 2012 summary. Of course I have a few things planned for sewing. No fixed list though. In the next week or so I want to go through the fabric collections and make a plan for a wardrobe collection of some sort. I’m thinking of doing the “one pattern, many looks”  contest on Pattern Review which starts January 1. I’ll keep you posted in the next year on my sewing adventures.

Here’s to a wonderful 2013, let it sparkle and may all your wishes come true!

Monday, December 17, 2012

On friendship and blogging

I would like to thank Pauline and L for giving met the ‘one lovely blog award’. I’m honored and thankful for this. I have been blogging for almost 6 years now (can’t believe it is that long) and I have been fortunate to meet so many new sewing friends through this. I had the pleasure of meeting both Pauline and L in real life and enjoyed meeting with others as well, but feel that I have a lot of sewing friends too that I have never met in person. It is such a pleasure to know you are there and occassionally commenting.
one-lovely-blog-award very-inspiring-blogger-award-2
Now I am to tell you 7 things about me that you don’t know and pass the nomination. I’ll do it a bit different: I had already written a post in draft to thank all my readers and sewing friends for being there, supporting me  in what has been a very difficult year (to most of you unknown, so that’s one thing you didn’t know).
My sewing, blogging about it and reading your comments has helped me enormously, though sometimes a few weeks passed without much activity or commenting on other blogs. It has been a period of life in which you get to know your real friends and those who let you down when things are not so good. I’m not going into details, my blog has never been about the details of my personal life, and in the past 12-18 months I didn’t talk about it at all.
I wouldn’t mention this if I would not feel that things are better now, I’m happy to see 2012 go and look forward to a happier 2013. My sewing inspiration is coming back, I have a lot of plans for next year and I look forward to sharing my sewing adventures with you. I enjoy reading all the other sewing blogs. I’m not going to mention anyone in particular now, let’s keep up the sewing, enjoy it and learn from each other by the inspiring garments and techniques we use.
If I get some sewing done, I’ll be blogging, but the year-end is busy as always, so I might not get a lot done.
Seasons greetings to all of you, have a wonderful time!

MakeBra wearing experience

I want to give an update on the MakeBra bra I made recently. When I showed it on my blog, I hadn’t worn it except for trying it on. I have worn it now and I will make it again, the cups are very comfortable. BUT: I made the straps too short, which resulted in irritated shoulders because of the tape I used. My skin is irritated very easily and next time I will either make the straps shorter and use a longer length of regular shoulder straps, or I will sew the tape in between the foam and the lycra.

The tape made for no stretch at all, my own mistake in not realizing that. It’s not a pattern fault, my mistake but something to be aware of if you make this bra and compare the length of the shoulder strap to the length of an existing bra, which I did.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

New patterns

I’m not usually posting when a new series of patterns is launched by the “big 4”, I only use Vogue patterns occassionally. I do receive the emails when new patterns are added. Just now I received an email announcing McCalls spring patterns. Spring! Winter only just started here. Being in need of a break doing end-of-year billing and organizing I clicked on the link for the new McCall patterns.
The patterns: I’m not a McCalls girl, I find them pretty boring (I’ll leave it to others to find the gems I’m missing), but the photos with bicycles are …. not always the clothes for this type of activity:
If you really want to get in trouble on a bike: this type of bicycle and that dress!
The same problem.

Two on a bike with no carrier part at the back?? Clothes more appropriate to the activity though. May I say boring?
Quickly back to my administrative tasks, then perhaps tomorrow evening there is time for sewing. Makes for more interesting posts hopefully.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Another easy top

I’m a bit on a roll with easy tops. Partly because I want to try patterns, partly because I’m into easy sewing at the moment.

This time I made the StyleArc Robin top. An easy top with square neckline, bust and waist darts, cap sleeves and an invisible zipper at the back as it’s designed for a woven fabric.

I made it straight out the envelope, no alterations at first. After finishing I took in the waist darts a bit more, otherwise the fit is good.

The invisible zipper is sewn in the middle of the center back seam, so there is a seam above and below the zipper. I found this a bit more hassle stitching the zipper in the correct postion, but the end result is very good. The back facing is one piece in this way and makes for easy sewing. No hassle with the top of the zipper, facing that has to be turned etc. I’ll remember that for any other top or dress with a center back zipper. If the neckline is wide enough to get your head in and out without the opening of the zipper this is a very neat way.

Look at the line drawing to see the placement of the zipper.

The neckline is higher than the drawing suggests, I will lower it next time. Also I will make sure that the vertical dart in the front is ending a bit lower. Like the Jenny blouse I made the dart ends at the bust point, I prefer that to have a little less marked. No problem in this printed fabric, but in a plain fabric I don’t like that so much.

As this was more or less a trial run, I used a remnant piece of fabric from a dress I made this summer.

The photo’s were taken just before going to the gym, hence the white stripes at the side. They’re from my gym-pants.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Quick and easy

The kind of project everyone needs once in a while. I’ve traced and cut this top yesterday evening and was at my sewing machine at 8 in the morning finishing it. Can’t remember the last time I did sew so early in the morning. I’ve given myself a day off. Have spent my morning sewing, chatting to my mother on the phone, baking bread rolls. A quiet morning on my own. Children will be home later in the afternoon, but for now, feels good to do everything at my own pace.

The top is from the Vogue 1141 (OOP) pattern. On PatternReview there are a few reviews from others who bought the pattern for the top only. Which I can understand, as the rest of the garments don’t speak to my imagination. This top is (almost?) the same pattern as the top from another OOP pattern which I had been searching for a long time (V2925). I learned from reviews that the top in Vogue 1141 was the same. I saw this pattern for sale on a Dutch site and placed a bid on it. To my surprise (and probably the sellers too, we both use different names on the site), the seller was a blog reader I had been in contact with about patterns in the past year and she sent me the pattern for FREE. Thanks again Ruta.

The larges size in the envelope I have is a size 12, which I would normally think is too small. I compared the pattern pieces with a very close fitting top that I wear under jackets and it was quite a few centimeters wider than that top. Which made me decide to go with the size 12. It is a close fitting top, but not too tight. There are gathers at the side to give some extra bust space. If the fabric has less stretch I will do a small fba next time. In the back the fit is very good. Though I can’t show you now, I have only dressform photos. Most of the photos are made lighter, to show the details of this very black fabric.

The pleats at the top are the main feature of this pattern. A lovely detail.

As said, gather at the side give some extra bust space

The back
The front, a lovely neckline

And tonight I will wear it with this (rtw) skirt. It’s Sinterklaas (December 5th) in The Netherlands, but as our children are not small any more we are going out for dinner with the family tonight. For my Dutch readers who do have the “Sinterklaasfeest”: have a very happy evening.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

MakeBra DL01–finished

As mentioned in my previous post: a quite different style, no lace, no frills. I’m not sure about the fit. It is so different from the bra’s I’m used to wear that I must wear it for a day before I can have a final verdict on that. When I first put it on after finishing I was disappointed, the fit looked quite off, which surprised me too, as I made a muslin.

Then I realised that the shoulderstraps have almost no stretch (result of the extra tape (red in my version, I had no black) to stabilise it, as per the instructions. Worked like it should do, but the remaining stretch is only in the 4-5 centimeters at the back where the shoulderstrap is. That should have been a bit more. My fault probably, I didn’t even look at the instructions for length but used the same length as on my other bra’s. Which have a longer shoulderstrap with stretch. After giving the strap the longest length possible, the fit was a lot better.

What is very good about this pattern is the coverage at the under arm. Definitely a plus for me. The bra is not my best work, the fold over elastic at the sides gave me problems (I just don’t like the stuff) and working with the foam was also a bit of a learning curve.

I like the shape of the cups, and I’m already thinking about trying this with a non-stretch lace. But first I’ll wear it.


The instructions for construction are mainly on the site of the MakeBra company. I can’t completely judge them, as I did it my own way mostly (which you probably do after making bra’s for many years). I used extra interfacing for the side/back to get extra support there, but did not attach the boning in the side, which the instructions tell you to do. Simply because I never do that and don’t need it.



I used a smaller hook/eye closing and adapted the widt of center back.




The fold over elastic, difficult to work with