Friday, March 30, 2012

Clever links: march 30, 2012

Lately I've been looking around the www. Vintage really is my kind of style and even though I already have some vintage-inspired dresses, I still don't own a crinoline. I like the 50s, but I'm not that crazy about those really full crinolines. I always think they add more pounds to my body. When I came across this tutorial on Gertie's blog, I thought that I could finally take the next step! This crinoline gives you a little bit of volume instead of a whole bunch. For people (like me) who are not as tall as most women, it's a really good thing to be able to use a crinoline without the extra 'weight'. Or at least, that's what I hope it will be like. In a short time, I'll be trying this one out!

The second link I want to share with you, is the one from What I Wore. Trench Coats are good in every season, but especially in spring and autumn. The downside however is that they usually only have one color. The ones with contrasting lines are most of the time just too expensive to justify the purchase. This tutorial from this lady makes it a lot easier to make your very own! It's not difficult, but it is timeconsuming. It's probably best to do this in front of your tv or something.
Have some old t-shirts lying around? Then check out this tutorial!Give your old long-sleeved tee a new life as a trendy t-shirt with cute sleeves! Or else buy a cheap one and upholster it! There are more than enough options without spilling any of it!

I don't know about you guys, but I'm trying to lose that bit of weight I gained during the winter. Just to look my best when summer comes: beaches, bikini's, dresses, shorts, ... The downside of it is that I recently purchased some new jeans. I hate buying something and within a few months not being able to wear it. Since I'm not a Wiz in altering jeans, except for the length, I was thrilled when I saw that Grosgrain has made a tutorial about altering jeans!

And now: I saved the best for last! Buttonholes are a nightmare! Or at least, they were until yesterday! Until then I always used 4 steps to create mine: small stitch up and down, long stitch, small stitch up and down, long stitch. It was a real pain in the ass! No matter how hard I tried, I never got it right! I ruined several blouses at the very end of the process because I just couldn't get those buttonholes right. Sooooooooo frustrating! I'm a selftaught seamstress and sometimes I really hate that, because you miss so many little things! Luckily, I ran into this fabulous tutorial from Grosgrain. It was a real eye-opener! Untill yesterday I didn't even know that my sewing machine had this little 'peddle' you can pull down. I've been sewing for about 2 years now, and never realised that peddle was just sitting there! From now on, those buttonholes won't be a problem anymore! No more failed projects because of them! Just like heaven!



Sunday, March 25, 2012

Finished Project: The Dublin-sweater

Before I begin, perhaps a little story about how I became the proud owner of this beautiful vintage sweater. A week or two ago, my Other Half went to Dublin with one of his best friends for a mid-week. Usually, I don't like it when he's gone, but when it means that I'll get a 'brandnew' vintage piece, I can definitely cope with it! So when he first called me and asked me my size, I advised him not to buy it. Because you really need to try it on before you buy it. Especially when he thought it would be too small.

OH has a mind of his own and he bought it anyway. Turns out that the vintage sweater he bought me wasn't too small at all! I almost drowned in it! When I tried it on, he was a bit disappointed. In his head, I looked fabulous in it but in reality, some work needed to be done. So I seated myself behind my sewing table and got to work!

I altered 3 things: I added a dart at the sides and took about 2 inches (5cm) in on either side. I also altered the sleeves: 1 inch at the sideseams of the sleeves and at least as much at the 'armpit'-part. For my very first alteration on an existing piece of clothing - a knitted one! - I must say that I did a pretty good job. What do you guys think of it?

Left: Before
Right: After


Thursday, March 22, 2012

Clever Links: Belt

Looking for tutorials to sew something new? Check out these blogs and sites! You'll also find them at 'Clever Links'.

Ruffles and Stuff - The Scrunch Belt
A Lemon Squeezy Home - The Disney Belt

A Lemon Squeezy Home - Anthro Belt

Friday, March 16, 2012

1 minute of silence

1 minute of silence to remember the catastrophe that happened in Switzerland. 22 little children will never come home to tell their stories. 6 adults will never be able to say 'I love you' to their loved ones, their families, their parents. 28 persons suddenly disappeared from this planet. 28 persons who will never be able to tell another joke, who can't argue anymore, who can't share their suffering and joy with others.

52 persons were on their way home when suddenly, after barely 20 kilometers of driving, they would never arive. Reason? Unknown. Impact? Huge. The Belgian population and the rest of the world were shocked. The Swiss Emergency Services reacted en masse. Witnesses let us understand what a terrible disaster this was. Even the most seasoned emergency workers - who get their portion of suffering and pain every day - had tears in their eyes.

I was no exception. Even when writing this post I have to push back my tears. Besides all those children and adults who left us behind, there are still several others in the hospital. Broken legs, arms, other injuries, coma, ... It's just horrible! These last couple of days our country has been in a state of shock because of the terrible accident on 14 march 2012.

At 11 o'clock this morning everyone held one minute of silence. I never expected that that one minute would affect me the way it did. Just knowing that everyone else in Belgium is also holding a minute of silence and thinking about what happened on Wednesday. It really gets to you. One minute of silence for the family of the victims out of solidarity. I just can't imagine what it must be like for those families, knowing your child (even adults are someone's child) will never return home. You'll never hear their stories on what they did and how they felt on their skiing trip. How heartbreaking is that?

On Monday I fell down the stairs at home (yes, even adults can fall down a stair) and I was complaining about the pain. But the physical pain I suffered doesn't even compare to the emotional pain and loss the families must feel. How can I still complain about my pain if someone else just lost their son or daughter? It makes you realize even more that you really have to live in the moment. That you have to make sure that the other person knows how much you love them. Never, ever leave somewhere without giving a token of that love. If you just had an argument, make sure that they know that you still love them, no matter what! Because you never know when it's too late to say it. This way, you'll never have blame yourself for not saying those things or that the last words you said to each other were words of hatred/argument.

Even though I never met the adults and children of that bus or even know their names, I will never forget them. Everybody recognizes emotions, you don't need to put a face on it. I'm sure these last couple of days and the coming days/weeks/months will be unbearable for the families left behind. Still, they need to know that we suffer with them. They say that 'shared grieve is half grief' (I translated this literally, don't know the saying in English). It won't bring those people back, but perhaps it will help the families in the processing of their grieve. Wouldn't that be a lovely and comforting thought?

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Monday, March 12, 2012

Making a cellphone cover

A few months ago I made my other half a brandnew cellphone cover. It's really not that much work, you just have to get the steps. My advice is that you first read all the steps and then afterwards start sewing. Basically, what you normally would do when you're about to sew something.

What you'll need:
- Outer fabric
- Lining
- Fusible Interfacing
- Batting
- Tracing Paper
- Velcro or closure snap


First of all, we take some measurements. You have to know the length, width and heighth of your phone. In my case that's 10cm, 5cm and 1,5cm. Add 1cm to the width and 0,5cm to the heighth. You don't need to add any extra to the length. So that'll give you a 10cm length, 6cm width and 2cm heighth. Now that we have our measurements, we can begin drawing our paper pattern.

Red lines: Length
Pink lines: Length of your phone
Yellow lines: Heighth of your phone
White lines: Width of your phone
Green lines: Half the heighth of your phone


Cut your fabrics. Don't forget to add a 1cm-selvage! Then cut the fusible interfacing, without a selvage. Afterwards you iron the Vlieseline on to your outer fabric and lining.
TIP: If your outer fabric is a sturdy fabric, you don't have to put the batter in, but you could. The batter helps to protect your phone a bit more. If you use a lightweight fabric, I would use some batting.

From left to right:
- Pattern
- Lining
- Batting
- Outer Fabric

The fusible interfacing has already been ironed onto the outer fabric and lining.


If you're using batting, handsew it to the outer fabric. Make sure to use loose stitches. You'll be removing those stitches later in the process.


Sew your choice of fastener to the outer fabric and lining. Make sure that the closures match on each side! In the picture below you can see that I attached the soft side of the Velcro at the top of the lining. Attached to the bottom of the outer fabric is the other side of the Velcro.


Take your outer fabric and fold the good sides together. Make sure that you line up the sides as shown in the picture. Sew the seams at the sides. Take your lining fabric and do the same, except for 1 thing: you'll want to leave a 8cm-hole on one side of the fabric. You'll need this hole to pull your cover to the right side. Afterwards, we'll handstitch it close. It is possible that you only need to sew 1cm before leaving the gap, it all depends on the size of your phone.


Bring the bottom of the sewn fabric to the side. This way, you create a little triangle. Sew along your filling. This little triangle will give the finished product a nice finish to the bottom. Clip the corners.
Do this on both sides of the outer fabric and both sides of the lining fabric.


Turn your outer fabric with the good side on the outside and your lining fabric with the good side on the inside. Then put the outer fabric in the lining fabric, good sides together. Make sure that you line the fabrics nicely together. Stitch along the upper sides to attach the two fabrics together. You only want to sew the top of the fabric, because you've already sewn the rest of it.


Pull the outer fabric thru the hole of the lining fabric. Push the corners out. Handstitch the hole in your lining fabric. Handstitching will give you the best results, but you can also sew it with your sewingmachine. This is faster, but won't give you the same neat look as hand stitching it.


Push the lining back into the outer fabric. Iron it a bit et voila!  Your very own handmade cellphone cover is ready!

PS: If there's anything that I didn't explain clearly enough, please contact me and I'll guide you thru it!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Looking for a dress 1

Spring is coming! Even though it's not always noticeable (yet), now is the opportune moment to make those stunning spring dresses! When I hear spring (and summer too, for that matter) sunny weather, hot temperatures, ... come directly to mind. With hot temperatures come those beautiful, comfy swing dresses! One more reason to roam the internet in search of new stunning patterns.

Last spring, I came across this great sew-along for this Sense and Sensibility Swing dress. Back then, I came across some really useful tips Casey wrote down. You don't even need to own the pattern. There are so many great tips in het Sew-Along that you can apply it for all your dresses!

Step 1: Supplies
Step 2: Fabric
Step 3: Prepping the muslin
Step 4: A little deviation
Step 5: Sewing the shoulder yoke
Step 6: Muslins and pockets
Step 7: Finalizing your pattern
Step 8: Seams finishes and underlining
Step 9: The midriff
Step 10: Pockets and a skirt too
Step 11: Not so scary sleeves
Step 12: Side seam zipper 40's style
Step 13: the hem: the finish line

Matching Plaids

Do you know the frustration when you sew up a garment and when you finish it, you notice that the plaids don't match? Aaarrggh! So annoying! With some simple tips from Tasia those frustrations belong to the past! She has a great tutorial: detailled, well explained and super easy to follow! Once you've read it, you'll never mismatch those plaids again!

Monday, March 5, 2012

An Introduction

Hi everyone!

I'm so glad you came by! The idea for my English blog came to me when I noticed that my other blog, which is written in Dutch, got a lot of visitors from English speaking countries. After a long time, I finally decided to create the same blog, but this time in English. Soooooo, this means that you'll find everything from the 'Head Office' exactly the same over here, but in English!

Obviously, I'm not a native English speaker, so bear with me if I make a few mistakes. If you come across some of these, please feel free to correct me! That way, I can learn from my mistakes.

So, that's it for a little introduction about the blog. Perhaps you guys are curious about how I became a seamstress? Well, it's your lucky day! Just keep on reading and you'll find out!
About a year and a half ago, I made my very first garment! The local scouts organised their annual Retrobal. Because I didn't want to rent an outfit, I asked my mother if she could make me one. When she was sewing the dress, I watched how she did it and even asked if I could do some parts. Untill then the only thing I had ever sewn were the hems of a jeans. Since then I've come a long way. But I still have a long way to go! So join me in my adventure through these sometimes difficult paths and who knows, perhaps you'll learn something, too! If you have a question, I'll try my very best to answer it as truthfully as I can!

I hope you'll find this blog interactive, interesting, helpful, funny, .... See you soon!