Monday, July 29, 2013

Getting my hands dirty: Itajime silk shirts and an Anna dress in the making

When I was in New York I took an itajime class with Shabd Simon-Alexander which was amazing!
Dissolving the paint
She has just released her first book, Tie Dye, dye it, wear it, share it, which I really recommend. I haven't made any of the projects out of the book yet, but the instructions and the pictures are very clear and beautiful.

During the class I painted some silk and cotton which I bought at Mood during Lladybirds meet-up.

Silk painted with nickel and grey
Before washing it properly, the colours are a bit softer now
I made two shirts with the silk, and I'm thinking about what to make out of the cotton (it is pretty thin and see through) but I am a bit low on ideas for that one..

Any ideas for the cotton fabric? I have around 2.5 meters of it.. (around 3 yards).

Any ideas?
This shirt is made from a self drafted pattern which is a great pattern for loose fitting tops.

This robins egg blue one is made without a pattern and I arranged the pleats on my dressform and then sewed it together. This approach has caused the side seams to move a bit towards the back, but I'm calling that a design feature :) The armholes are a bit too large, but it doesn't really bother me.
Quite flowy, sorry for the crappy lighting
For the button holes I reinforced the fabric with a white cotton on the inside. I recycled the buttons by cutting them off one of my boyfriends old shirts and then using the wrong side, which was less shiny and has more colours than the right side.

Enjoying the French country side
Begging? What's that?

Both shirts have french seams and look really clean on the inside, which I really like.

This weekend my sister, Eef and me dyed some cotton scarves and some silk. At first my sister was sceptic about folding techniques, but look what she made!
Very concentrated workers
My sisters creation

I used a new technique from Shabd's book, which allows you to make polka dots and circles, how great is that?
I want to turn this piece of silk into an Anna maxi dress!

The green is a bit faded in the picture, but in real life it looks beautiful!

These photo's remind me that I should try and make a black skirt, since it is a very good staple piece to wear with all my new shirts. I was thinking this one from Pattern Cutting looks quite good to me..

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Victory Patterns Simone, a lot of torn out stitches..

I've been working on the Simone pattern from Victory Patterns for a while now.
When I was in New York I bought some of this cotton at Purl Soho, they had it in two colours and I thought it would make a wonderful Simone shirt. But after cutting out all the pieces and sewing the front part (with the pleats) to the placket it looked horrible! The cotton is way too stiff for this kind of shirt, which needs some drape. Off course I forgot to take pictures, as I was rushing to get my seam ripper and took it apart again.
Then I found some drapey silk in my stash which I was saving for the lining of Vogue 1207 after seeing Julia Bobbin's wonderful version. Then I messed up the pleating on the front, since I coudn't really figure out how it was supposed to be folded. I only noticed this after sewing the front piece to the placket  (again!). The bust darts were also very different in position, one ending 3 cm higher than the other..
First I tried to solve the bust dart issue by lengthening it, off course this didn't work and it looked quite sad. So after some deliberation (asking my boyfriend and sister for their opinion) I decided to cut out another front piece and eliminate the pleats all together.
No pleats!

I just retraced the front piece so that it fitted around the placket and then sewed it together. Much better!

I inserted an invisible zipper and used the wrong side of the silk so that it is less shiny.

But now I had another little issue, since the cotton is quite stiff and since I also interfaced it (like the instructions tell you to) I don't like the way the placket falls. If it moves outwards you get this weird looking effect. I hope it won't be too obvious when I'm wearing it (though my grandma did notice it, but she has the professional-seamstress eye)
The tab has the tendency to stick outwards..
The bust is a bit tight and I can't get the neck to close like it's supposed too, so for my next Victory Patterns make (which I've already started working on) I cut out a size 6 instead of a 4. Let's see what happens then!
Some weird gaping
Overall this is not a super succesful make, but it did teach me some things about drape and stiffness of fabric. I hope that I have enough left over cotton to make a fitted dress, which I think will work much better drape-wise.
I think I prefer to wear it tucked into something,
what do you think? 

Stashbusting count: 1.5/15 (just 0.5 for the silk)

Thursday, July 18, 2013

A Truffle in France

Last weekend we went to France for a weekend getaway. I figured it would be the perfect opportunity to take some photo's of my two Truffle dresses which I made from the Colette Sewing Handbook.

How great is the colour of this door?
We went to the third smallest town in France, and it was great! We got to sit outside with the dogs the whole evening while enjoying great wine and food.
The first real dress (with an invisible zipper and a lined bodice) I made was a pink wool gingham Truffle, which I was absolutely in love with! 
All things made by me..
Our lovely hotel
Now, after sewing a lot more dresses (and losing a little bit of weight unintentionally), I see so many fit issues that I can't stand to wear this dress in public.. When it is hanging down and if I don't push my shoulders back, you don't notice it a lot, but I still notice it..

The back neckline is gaping like crazy, and the bodice is way too big. But since I lined the bodice, I think it will be a lot of work fixing this, what do you guys think?
More gaping!
I think I will eventually change the bodice, just because I love the fabric so much! It is really soft wool.

My first invisible zipper
Ooh! while typing this I realized something.. When I was at the fabric store buying this wool, I asked the lady about pre washing the fabric, and she told me I was crazy. Now, after working with wool and always pre washing it, maybe that might be my solution! Throwing the dress in the washing machine on the wool setting.. Hmm.. Might try that..

This is my second Truffle dress, without the ruffled skirt part.
Sorry for the wrinkles, there was no iron in the hotel!

What kind of cotton is this?
My second Truffle dress is a blue cotton (not sure what you call this type of fabric) with a lace back. I retraced the bodice back and then cut out the part which I wanted to make in lace.

Inside out
I also moved the zipper to the side, which worked out great. I made my own bias binding for the armhole and necklines, and an invisible hand-sewn hem.
Little doggy butts in the corner..

Hand sewn hem
It is a bit on the short side, but I think it works because the front of the dress isn't too revealing..

This weekend I was also awarded the Super Sweet Blogger Award by Annette Tirette! I was soo excited to see my name there! Thanks soo much Annette!

One of my cake-creations
1. Thank the Super Sweet Blogger that nominated you. 
2. Answer 5 Super Sweet questions.
3. Include the Super Sweet Blogging Award in your blog post.
4. Nominate a baker’s dozen (13) of other deserving bloggers.
5. Notify your Super Sweet nominees on their blog.

1 – Cookies or Cake? Definitely cake! We get soo much cake at the veterinary clinic where I work and I absolutely love it! I also love to bake my own cakes, maybe I would prefer cupcakes over cakes, but that was not one of the options.. 
2 – Chocolate or Vanilla? Chocolate! For sure! This is my favourite recipe: Chianti Chocolate Cupcakes..
3 – Favourite Sweet Treat? The sour sweets, I really like those.
4 – When Do You Crave Sweet Things The Most? After I finish work while I'm driving my car! I eat a lot of liqourice then..
5 – Sweet Nick Name? Cocodrillo :)

I nominate the following bloggers: (not a baker's dozen, but that's quite a lot!) Rachel In Red and Coser Cosas!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Hannah is bossing me around, a.k.a. The Sew Bossy challenge

Guys! Hannah from Made with Hugs and Kisses is bossing me around... 
I actually kinda like it, I guess you'll understand why when you see what was in her package. 
The package, I love her stationary paper!
(I added the cow and the cactus plant for the pic)
For those of you that do not know The Sew Bossy Initiative, you should definetely check it out! It is a really cool thing where two bloggers decide to team up and then send each other a package with fabric and or a pattern! The whole point of the initiative is to challenge each other a bit and get out of your comfort zone..
How amazing are these earrings? Hannah made them!
 Our original plan was to send each other fabric and a pdf pattern, but we figured it might be difficult to buy one for each other and then mail it.. So in the end we decided to describe the challenge and the pattern that you had in mind for the other.

Hannah send me an amazing fabric, which is originally a (new ;)) bedsheet and she has kept the other half! It is a gorgeous flower print which looks like it's painted with water colours..
It's even folded around the edges, that's how big it is!

 My challenge is to use this amazing print and sew a vintage inspired dress, which also makes good use of the border print that's on the fabris. It's like Hannah can read my mind! I've been wanting to make a dress with a border print for a while now! I've been thinking about the shirt dress from Gertie's New Book for Better Sewing, do you guys have any other ideas?

Close up
 In the package she also included those amazing earrings (which I've already worn twice!) and buttons which I can cover with fabric myself and maybe use in the dress. I had also been looking for those recently, coincidence?
To see the package I've send to Hannah hop over to her blog Made with Hugs and Kisses and check it out! I've included two pieces of fabric and some other me-made things.. My package took a while to arrive, but in the end it got there! The planned deadline of our makes is the end of august, so stay tuned for the big reveal!

Next up will be a Truffle dress and a super sweet award which I was nominated for!