Skip to main content

Sewing update

I’ve been busy with a lot of things, sewing was a bit on the background in the past two weeks. There’s a large painting project in my house that I started that takes quite a bit of time (2 staircases and 11 doors, discovered the white really needs two coatings to be solid, even though the original colour was just a pink white). More fun, but also time consuming in the next few months, we’ve started an allotment garden. The plot is not very far from our house, only a few minutes by bicycle, which is nice. I won’t write much about it here, but am thinking about how to record our experience with growing vegetables and fruit. If you’ve any suggestions on that, let me know.

The dress is in hibernation mode and might remain there for a while. It’s been a lovely excercise in pattern drafting, unfortunately not giving the result I wanted. It’s a real winter dress though (at least the fabric is) and though there’s still some snow left from this weekend, the sun that is now shining in my room is a promise of spring. The new buds are waiting too.


In the time that I took for sewing I wanted easy projects. It was not lingerie this time, I made two tops and a knitting bag. The tops were really easy and did not take more than an evening each to make.

A classic and basic Ottobre t-shirt (issue 2, 2006) from a wool/viscose knit. Lovely to wear.


Another Ottobre top, from the 5/2015 issue. The fabric is thicker, more a sweater than a t-shirt. I used my coverstitch with the looper side on top for topstitching. Also a project for the “use your magazines more” challenge.



To conclude this update a “knitting bag”. That’s what I’m going to use it for. I restricted myself to using only fabric and notions I already had and I had to be a bit creative.

The pattern is the Retreat bag from Emmaline bags. Bunny made some fantastic versions of it that inspired me to buy the frame and try it too. (I ordered the frame from U-handbag, not affiliated). This large version is really large and perfectly suitable for a knitting bag. Handles might have been good, but I didn’t think of them when I made this. The page with the pattern now shows a wonderful youTube video with construction including handles. I’ll probably have to order more frames, my daughter wants one as well and it would be a lovely gift to make too.




  1. Lovely tops! For the allotment I highly recommend Instagram. Not only does it show the amazing progress during the gardening season, it's also nice to compare different summers. Like, when you take a picture of the blackcurrant harvest and find that you took a similar pic 51 weeks ago. Every spring we make a simple map of the garden on A4 to document what we planted where and when. Easy for crop rotation. We put an evaluation on the flip side with general info about weather, success rate and manure and calcium gifts. I now have 18 years of gardening on 18 A4's. Priceless info!

  2. The sweater looks so cosy. Loved seeing the photo of the snow - it's been scorchingly hot here the past week. I'd be interested to hear about your allotment - perhaps another blog so you can add a bit more info to the pictures. We put in a raised vegie bed last year and are planning to add another 5. So nice to have home grown tomatoes, eggplant and capsicum to pick for dinner. Hope it goes well.

  3. I am enamored of a garden journal. They can be done the old fashioned way with a binder with paper, including pictures, or in a computer file. Some are even done on Pinterest. I have a lovely binder where I use loose leaf paper, print out pictures and include the seed packets where applicable; I also keep a record of where things were purchased with prices; and outcome of that plant in my area.
    If you Google garden journal, there are fancy ones you can buy, and also suggestions on how to do it. Here's an article by the Master Gardener Extension service.

  4. Those Ottobre tees look like handy but stylish basics - something Ottobre does very well IMO. I've made up the saddle shoulder top in a lovely viscose/cotton jersey, only to have it stretch out of shape in the wash! A real shame as I love the seaming. I must make it again.

  5. If you don't mind, do you remember where you got the viscose/wool knit fabric? It's chilly here at the moment and that mix sounds lovely!

    1. I remember as I bought it very recently. It's from a brick-and-mortar shop near me, so that probably is not helping you. Sorry.

  6. Hi Sigrid,

    Is het goed dat ik in het Nederlands reageer? Je tops zijn leuk en tas zijn erg leuk geworden. Ik vind die schouderlijn bij de raglan erg mooi.

    Verder ben ik zelf erg enthousiast qua moestuinieren in eigen tuin. Kijk eens op mijn blog onder tuinieren en je ziet mijn wisselende ervaringen. Verder zijn er twee blogs die ik kan aanbevelen. De schrijfsters hebben ook beide (Nederlandse) boeken geschreven waaruit ik af en toe put. en



  7. No problem Sigrid, thanks for replying!

  8. Quick sewing projects are so rewarding after all the drafting you have done and your knitting bag looks a great size.


Post a Comment

Comments are very much appreciated! I read all of them, try to answer the questions but don't always have time to react to comments.

Popular posts from this blog

How to sew a sleeveless top with facings

Edit to make this post only about the technique, not my ramblings on other subjects.
This is about making a sleeveless cowl neck top with a facing for both the front and the back. In this way no special finishing of the arm holes is needed. This method is based on Carolyn’s way of making a top with all seams enclosed.

Let me show you how to do this. It’s a good reminder for myself too, I forget when I haven’t done it in a while.
First you need a pattern that has a facing for the back that extends below the armhole. Also the front facing has to extend below the armhole. Easy enough to adapt a pattern, just trace a line about 5 cm (2 inches) below the armhole. The photo below shows you the facing of the back

Step 1: stabilize the back neckline of the back pattern piece

Step 2: with right sides together, sew the neckline of the back and the back facing, press but do not topstitch

Step 3: With right sides together, sew the armhole of the front to the armhole of the front facing.

Step 4:…

Dress Burda June 2018, construction picture

Once in a while a pattern shows up in a magazine that I want to make immediately. This Burda dress from the June issue is one of those.

It’s mainly the linedrawing that’s interesting, as the fabric they used for the magazine issue is not really showing the design lines. There would have been better accent options for the piping they uses.
If you’re like me and in general don’t look at the Burda instructions but do it by experience or your way anyhow, DON’T go on autopilot with this one.
Sleeveless dress: I close shoulder seams at the last possible moment. Not here, as you have to sew the bias band in between the center and side parts. The band has no seam (and I wouldn’t add one, too many layers of fabric), so the shoulder has to be sewn earlier than I’m used to.
Darts: I was inclined to sew all darts as first step and realised really just in time that the front dart is taking up the edge of the band. Front and back band! I was stupified why the angle of the band was not matching th…

Pants fitting, part 1

First, I'd like to thank all who commented on the fitting issues for my pants. I did look at Debbie's site and somehow thought it would not be the "one" answer to my problem, as I've become convinced that there is no one-step solution for me. But I think I have found part of the solution there. Tonight I spent adapting my pattern and making a muslin.

My starting point, after reading all the information was the Threads issue of January 2006, an article by Joyce Murphy Adjusting pants from waist to seat. In this article she describes "body space" as an important point in fitting pants. And it does make sense to me, as women have very different shapes. One needs more space in the front, and others (like me) more in the back.
The picture above shows the body space in my pattern, which is 15 cm. I tried to measure my own bodyspace by taking two rulers, and it is 19 cm, which means that 2 cm more is needed (half of the extra width in the pattern). The article d…