Monday, April 23, 2018

A simple Alma Blouse

While I was at it (the sewing spree, that is. Read here and here), I decided that I needed a blouse to go with the skirt I just made. So the very next day I dived into my pattern library and dug up the Alma Blouse from Sewaholic.

Because I made this one a couple of years ago several times, I didn't alter anything else than what I did back then. I knew this was going to be a flattering wardrobe staple. Sewaholic's patterns usually are. Although it has been a while since I last made one (been to busy with vintage sewing patterns and the likes), it was a walk in the park. Quick and easy put together, great fit, easy to follow instructions, ...

So yeah. Just a plain and simple blouse. I opted to leave the Peter Pan colar off - even though I loved it in the past. At first because I couldn't find the exact white that I wanted for the colar and later because I wanted a quick fix :-) This pattern is one of my TNT-patterns (= Tried-and-True), so I'm bound to make another one in the future.

Monday, April 9, 2018

A poofy Winter Skirt

So, after I made the Blue Winter Dress, I was inspired to make a poofy skirt out of the same fabric. When I bought the fabric, I bought 4m (+4 yards) because I didn't know what exact type of dress I wanted to make. So I had more than enough for 2 dresses if I wanted to.

Inspired, I went looking for a skirt pattern that I first made in 2011: McCall's5591 . I loved the style but I wasn't a confident sewist back then. At first, I forgot to underline or line the skirt and it was a bit see thru. I also didn't add pockets because I was afraid of it. Fast forward 7 years later, and I'm glad I didn't attempted those pockets back then. Man, they would've been a pain in the ass. They were now! The problem with these pockets are the plackets. I love the detail they give to the dress, but I put them on, ripped them off, put them on again and again for at least 6 or 7 times. I simply didn't 'get' how they would come to the outside wen sewn the way it was. Then finally it hid me: I thought I had to put both right sides together, but the wrong side of the 'placket' had to go to the right sight of the skirt. With that realization, I put the skirt to rest for a couple of hours. Otherwise, I would most definitely ruin it.

So after about 3 hours, I picked it back up and went on my merry way with sewing. I had a few more struggles with the sides of the pockets (still not a perfect finish, but it'll do) and the zipper. The zipper-struggle has more to do with the fact that this fabric is really thick and that I'm not used to inserting regular zippers. These days I find it easier to add an invisible one, due to all the dresses I make ;-)

So, the skirt was finished. I didn't really like how it fitted, but couldn't say what was wrong with it. So I went to show my husband. He looked at me strange and said: those pleats don't do exactly the same. One goes to the bottom of the dress and the other doesn't. That's just weird. So I looked at the skirt again and now I saw what was bothering me. I folded one of the inner pleats to the wrong sides'. Argh!!!

At that time I really hated this skirt. Why couldn't this one just cooperate and be as perfect as I imagined? So I got to know my seamripper even better as I worked my way through the front of the dress until I could turn said pleat in the right direction. I also took out the pleats in the back. Apparently, my but has grown over the years and I needed that extra fabric over there. The day after, I re-sewed the seams closed and Ta-Da! A skirt to be loved!

All-in-all: though I really like this pattern, I'm not sure I'll make it again. The instructions aren't clear, which caused me a lot of trouble with the pockets and I really did not like sewing this skirt. Wearing it is something different :-D

Monday, March 26, 2018

The Blue Winter Dress

Back in December/January - when it was getting really cold - I got an idea for a winter dress. Before too long, I'd found myself in the fabric shop and found the perfect fabric for the project that I had in mind. I wanted a simple dress with a vintage flair and poofy skirt without all the petticoats and circle skirts. In short: a classic dress that I could wear to work and still be in the 50's style that I like so much.

So I started with a sketch that I shared on FB here. Don't look at my marvelous sketching abilities, I sew, I don't draw :-P   At first I wanted to merge Jennifer Lauren's Laneway Dress with Butterick 5520 for the raglan sleeves and then add a boatneck and pleats to it. I cut out, merged and adapted the pattern pieces back in january and made the first muslin. The skirt with the added pleats was a big hit, but the top an absolute fail. It just didn't fit. Disappointed I sat the project aside and decided to come back to it when I felt like it.

I didn't touch it in february, but when I was looking for a pattern for a wedding dress, I came across the bonus pattern for the Laneway Dress. Jennifer Lauren just new that one day we would need a classic neckline and provided it for us! Thinking back on it, it was an easy adaption, bt I was so set on the raglan sleeves and boatneck that at the time, I just didn't consider a classic neckline. I wanted those raglan sleeves because I was afraid a regular sleeve wouldn't work with this thick fabric.

Look at that perfectly aligned zipper!

As for the adaptions of this dress:
  • I first added pleats to the skirt by cutting the front skirt pattern apart at the dart-placement on the bodice. This way, the darts and pleats would line up beautifully. I added 10 cm (5") that I pleated to the side of the dress when sewn. I left the back untouched because I didn't want to have too much poofiness.
  • Because I hadn't made the bonus pattern with the classic neckline yet, I had to adapt the front bodice pattern as I did the original pattern: I shortened the back with 1 inch (2,5cm) - as usual - and I shortened the waist with 7/8 inch (2cm) I also shortened the shoulders with 3/8 inch (1cm). 
And that's really all that was to it. The fabric does everything else: it's sturdy with not a lot of drape to it, so it holds it form naturally.

Love the pleat-galore!

I'm really in love with this dress. Even though the really cold days should be over, I'm glad I made this dress. As I'm writing this, it's snowing outside, in the middle of march, while a few days ago it was still 15°C! I know what I'm going to wear to work this week! And who knows, if you follow me on Facebook or Instagram, you already saw me wearing this dress!

Saturday, March 17, 2018

The Western Wedding Dress

So, last January we received an invitation to the wedding of one of my hubby's colleagues. There theme was Country/Western. Though I loved the theme (I do own cowboy boots and a Stetson), I was at a loss as to what dress to wear. The wedding was in the first few days of march, which could be warm or still very cold. But I set my mind on a dress and was determined to wear a dress, no matter what. Since I sew, I had a majority of options. But still...

 I was torn between having a nice and festive dress and a themed dress as requested. Because I didn't know whether others would follow the dresscode, I wanted to make sure that I looked festive enough. And if everyone was indeed following the dresscode, I wanted it to look on par. After many - and I do mean many - thoughts, I knew what dress I wanted to wear. But I hadn't decided on the fabric yet. So I went fabric shopping in my own closet and dig up this beauty. Two years ago I made one of my favorite dresses with this fabric - look here

As for the pattern: this was the third time I used Jennifer Lauren's Laneway Dress (v.1 and v.2) as my go to pattern. Since I already made it a few times before and altered it, I didn't need to alter anything this time. For this version, I went with the Centered Collar and added no pockets. I was thinking of adding the pockets, but decided against it due to the fabric I chose. This fabric has a bunch of little threads that give it a more textured look. The threads lay fairly loose on the fabric, so I was afraid it would start to unravel when I would routinely put my hands in and out (rings, bracelets, watches, ...). I had that happen with this dress and I need to make that one again (already cut it out again).

So I paired this dress with my cowboyboots and really liked it. I had a blast at the wedding and so did the newly-weds.

One of my favorite details on this pattern: The release pleats! They're flattering and almost always hit your bust at the right spot! No need to keep altering the darts untill it fits just right. That's a winner for me (and a true vintage detail, BTW).

Oh, and look at this cute thingy I handsewed on the dress :D

PS: most people respected the Dresscode and some even outdid themselves!

Sunday, January 28, 2018

2017: My year in review

Soooo, 2017 has past and 2018 is as fresh as a newborn baby! I wish you all the best of luck for 2018 and that all your dreams may come true!

A new year means it's time to take a look at 2017 and see if I passed my yearly challenge of sewing 1 garment a month. Ready to see some lovely makes? Here we go!

1. So back in January 2017 I blogged about a Vintage Blouse I made. I immediatly planned on sewing a 2nd one, but that had to wait 'till november 2017 (not blogged about, yet)

2. Between planning a wedding and changing jobs, I didn't really find a lot of time or courage to sew something. So for about 6 months I didn't really sew a lot. Untill I saw Jennifer Lauren's Laneway Dress. I immediatly started this test version.

3. One month after my own wedding, my sister married. So off course I needed a new dress for the occasion! It was a Tried-and-True (TNT) pattern that I've made several versions of. Blogged about it in July, but finished back in May.

4. Soon after that I decided to finally make that 2nd Akita Blouse from Seamwork magazine. Simple, straight forward and a beautiful wardrobe stable.

5. After the wearable muslin, I had to make a Laneway Dress in my desired fashion fabric. Although I didn't always like to wear pink, if it's the right shade, I quite like it!

6. Soon after the Laneway Dress came Itch To Stitch's Chai Shirt Dress. It was the first time I ever made a Shirtdress and I really love it! Next time though, I'll make an underskirt when I'm using cotton. It clings to my stockings whenever I wear them. That's the downside of cotton.

7. Having purchased Jennifer Lauren's Gable Top in the summer, I hadn't quite come around to sewing it untill it was autumn. Sewn in October and blogged about in November, this has become a wardrobe favorite of mine. Both fabric as pattern are super lovely!

8. Even though I haven't blogged about it (yet), I finished a second Vintage Blouse, like I talked about with the Tree Blouse. It has been worn, but not as much as the wearable muslin. The fabric is just a bit too brown and the small checkers are not as much to my liking as I would've thought. Perhaps that's the reason I haven't blogged about it yet.

9. In December I decided to make a new Christmas Dress, 1 week before my Christmas Parties began! So after some marathon sewing I finished 2 dresses. The first one is the wearable muslin in black with a black-and-white checkered top. Not blogged about yet, but if you follow me on social media (Instagram and Facebook) you undoubtedly have seen it!

10. And then last but not least: The actual Christmas Dress! Love it to bits, but it will be a while before I sew with Satin again! Very flattering but sooooooo slippery and it shows Every. Little. Mistake you've made while sewing.

Conclusion: 10 makes for only 6 months of really sewing isn't too bad. It's not the 12 that I amed for, but I'm a happy gal!

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Christmas Dress 2017

For those of me who don't follow me on Facebook or Instagram: Merry Christmas!

So last week I suddenly decided that I needed a new Christmas Dress this year. After making a Christmas outfit 2 years ago, I really got into it. My husband even said that he liked my tradition of making a new Christmas Outfit every year! The funny thing is that I didn't even realize it had become something of a 'thing' for me to sew an outfit for Christmas.

So last Friday I went through my stash in search of a suitable pattern. Before long, I came across Butterick B6018, a vintage reproduction of a dress that was very popular in 1966 - according to a lady on social media. My previous experiences with repro patterns weren't very good, so I asked around on FB before making it. Surprisingly though, the fit was pretty spot-on from the first round of sewing!

Before I made my wearable muslin (to be posted on the blog), I took 2cm out of the back and shortened the skirt 2 cm (7/8") and did a sway back alteration (-2cm/-7/8" at the center back at the waist, located in the back-skirts in this pattern). After making my muslin, I took another 10 cm off the skirt and sewed a 1cm (3/8") hem instead of the required 5cm (2") hem. I also reshaped the shoulders by taking 1,5cm (5/8") off the bodice front and back at the shoulders, tapering to 0 mid-shoulder.

I'm in love with this pattern. It came together pretty quick and had a really nice silhouette. It is a figure-flattering classic, not too tight in the waist. It features a zipper at the left side, per instructions this is a normal zipper, but I made an invisible one out of it.  Even though I didn't have to make any alterations as to the size, it would be very easy to do so. Even though I love it, I only would make it again when this Christmas Dress has had it's time or when the wearable muslin is in need of replacement.

Oh, and before I forget: the fabric used for this one is a dark blue satin for the bodice and underskirt. The topskirt is made out of a see through polyester fabric, but I forgot how it was called.

Friday, November 3, 2017

The Gable Top

I was on a roll last september. After I made the Chai Shirt Dress, I immediately started on the Gable Top. This one has been on my to-do-list for a while now. As soon as I saw this fabric, I knew what I wanted to make out of it. So I bought the fabric and then waited a whole month before I actually made it.

This Gable Top pattern from Jennifer Lauren Handmade is soooooo easy to make! It was the second time I tried a pattern from Jennifer Lauren Handmade and she didn't disappoint. I didn't have to alter it the slightest bit. Her instructions are clear and easy to follow, just like with the Laneway Dress (Version 1 and Version 2). All in all, I think this is an Indie pattern maker that I'll be following more closely. With the Laneway dress I hardly had to alter anything and the different bust sizes are a real treat!

This already has become a stable in my casual wardrobe. As soon as I find fabric that I like, I'll be making this comfy and warm t-shirt again.