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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.


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