22 November 2016

Nettie dress



After my first successful attempt at sewing with knits (my Lady Skater dress), I felt the need to sew more stretch dresses! They're so comfortable to wear, yes, my perfect comfort clothes consist of a dress, warm tights and a woollen cardigan. 

Lladybird inspired me, she made some T-shirts from the Nettie pattern. I loved her glowing review of the pattern and decided to buy it.

And it truly is as she says: the Nettie patttern comes with a lot of options and is very fitted. I made my dress from a very stretchy thick knit, bought with my birthday money :-) 
I don't think I will ever make the low back opening option...even though the pattern provides you with directions to sew a bra inside it, I just don't feel safe without a separate bra + straps. 


It's an easy pattern to sew, even without a serger. Having problems with my serger right now, so sewing everything on my sewing machine. The instructions are easy to follow. I'd recommend it to a beginning knit seamstress! But...you do have to be careful with your choice of fabric. There is quite a lot of negative ease in this dress, so unless you use thick fabric, everything you wear underneath will be visible bumps and lumps. 


So if you aren't afraid to wear body-con dresses, make this pattern! 

Here, here and here are some lovely made Nettie dresses I adore. 

Bye,
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08 August 2016

Fly high dress



The fabric for this dress has been in my stash for about two years. It came from a second-hand shop and probably cost me about €4. When I bought this fabric I had my boyfriend in mind, because he is crazy about airplanes. Well, perhaps crazy really does cover it, because most of his spare time he spends on flying in his Flight Simulator. But in the end I never made something and the fabric was banished to spend it's days on my parent's attic.

But then....the Dutch Airforce was going to hold it's bi-annual opendays to demonstrate their air power. Of course my boyfriend had to go! And so I went with him.

What should one wear to an airshow?


An airplanedress of course!





Tell me, am I crazy to make a dress just for this occasion? Even when the weatherprediction was horrible and I would have to wear a coat all the time? Making my dress almost invisible?

Anyway, I had fun making and wearing this dress :-)

An airplane dress isn't even that crazy, just take a look at these beautiful examples: 
here, here and here

I went through my Burdastyle magazines to find a pattern. Found one I liked in the 2/2014 edition, Burdastyle calls it the Tea Dress

First I googled for pattern reviews about this pattern and fortunately I found a good one here:
and lovely examples over here:
The makes of others make me understand the skirt contruction. I don't think I would've understood the Burdastyle sewing instructions without seeing this skirt picture first.


This was the result, it's so funny putting my arms through there.



It has been such a long time since I've used a Burdastyle pattern. So long I almost forgot to add seam allowance to the Burda patterns. I think I'm a bit spoiled with all the 'seam allowance included' patterns. Just lay them on the fabric and cut. So, in the end I didn't add seam allowance, but drew the patterns on the fabric. It gave me quite a zen-moment, because it made me take my time with sewing. Sometimes I just want a project done in one day and rush through the project. But I liked this slow sewing project. I made a mock-up, let my boyfriend help in the fitting and redraw my pattern pieces according to the fitting changes. All of this took me a week (work always interferes). The final garment was cut and sewn in a day.


When I put this dress on, I loved Burda again even though I couldn't remember falling out of love. The dress fit perfectly.





Just a slight zipperproblem (invisible zip not completely invisible). Patrick and Esme would surely notice such things, so I made myself fix it so it was really invisible. Somehow I keep the judges from The Great British Sewing Bee in the back of my mind, especially their comments made when judging a garment.

The next day I wore it proudly to the airshow.

Fabric: cotton flanel
Notions: 60cm invisible zipper (€3,50), thread (€3,25), sew-on interfacing (€1,75)

Bye, 

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14 June 2016

Red Ceylon dress

I have to admit something....  



I love this dress! But I made it in 2012 and never blogged about it :-(  



Even the pictures are of a bad quality because they were made with an old iPhone, so not the best camera to use... and pictures taken inside, not a good idea. But here I am, sharing the pictures anyway. Mostly because I'm in love with this pattern and want to share this with you.  

The pattern is called Ceylon and is from Colette. I fell for the the styling and vintage feel of their patterns. I fell for the Ceylon pattern, hard. It has everything I want in a dress: Buttons, cute sleeves, not too much cleavage, waist definition and a wide skirt part. The only thing I'm missing is pockets (perhaps I can add those myself?). 



Bought this pattern at Penelope's Craft shop (now it's Stephen&Penelope and moved to a new location). Back then I didn't knit as much as I do now, so the store's beautiful yarns overwhelmed me a bit at that time (and the prices as well). But now it's something of a walhalla of yarns for me, though I have to admit I haven't visited the new shop yet.  

This pattern was my first Colette pattern and it didn't disappoint me. After seeing a couple of reviews of this dress I decided to make a mock-up. This version from Roisin (that piping is to die for!) and this one from Doortje (love her lace hem) are especially lovely Ceylon versions! 




I must confess: I'm a lazy seamstress and most of the time I don't make a mock-up of a pattern. Sometimes it works, the pattern fits and I get away with it. Sometimes it doesn't and it takes me more time to correct the pattern flaws/fitting problems. This time I knew this pattern would need a perfect fit in the bust area, so making a mock-up is a very good idea. The pattern flares from the waist down, so there was a great chance the skirt part would fit just perfect. 

So, still a lazy seamstress, only made a mock-up of the upper part :D I tweaked the mock-up a bit, took it in under the arms, because I have a small ribcage. I love the little booklet from Colette with all the sewing directions, it's great to store your patterns in at the back! 

The instructions are clear and I had no trouble sewing this dress. Only thing that bothered me was sewing all those buttonholes... not my favourite kind of sewing. The buttons are made using buttonmoulds and have the same fabric as the dress. In my opinion having buttons of the same colors is easy on the eyes. The red of the dress is already quite eyecatching, if I would have used different coloured buttons the effect would be a bit too overwhelming. 

 I'm in love with this dress!! 
 Only downside: cotton sateen wrinkles like hell :-( 

 Have you used this pattern? Did you like it?

Bye, 

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17 May 2016

1940's pyjama's



Pattern: Vera Venus/Smooth Sailing hack
Total cost: about 20€?

A while ago I wanted to make some pyjama's to wear at a 1940's re-enactment event. It seems silly, but when I'm at a 1940's re-enactment event I don't want to wear any modern clothes. I try to leave all of them at home and arrive already dressed 40's style at such an event.

One of the things I needed to complete my 1940's wardrobe was a pyjama or nightgown. Luckily, Vera Venus has a beautiful free pattern online, you can find it here. When I saw that pattern I knew this would be perfect for my re-enactment event pyjama. It had to be warm enough for the night (it can be very cold at re-enactment events) and decent enough to wear in front of strangers when going to the bathroom in the morning.

My inspiration for these pyjama's:



I followed Vera Venus' instructions for the top and used the French Knickers pattern for the bottom. And in about a week I had a lovely pyjama. But... after wearing it to an event I noticed the top was so difficult to remove! The top fit me perfectly, but had two problems:

1. The underbust seam was a bit too high, without wearing a bra the seam would be right on top of my breasts. Uncomfortable and looking bad.

2. The top fit so snugly I could only remove it by wriggling my shoulders in a certain way. I do know I have a light version of Hypermobility , but this was just an insane way of removing clothing! And presented a problem when trying to dress quickly in a shared sleeping accommodation. I don't like having my boobs naked while getting my head and arms stuck trying to get my top off!

So after the first event wearing this pyjama the Vera Venus style, I tried to come up with a solution. I had limited fabric left. After a search online at the usual fabric webshops I found this fabric and bought another metre, yay! It seems to be a flannel of the autumn/winter collection of Nooteboom Textiles.

The solution to my problem would be a buttonclosure. With the top as it was, it wouldn't work, it would be fiddly to try and make a button closure. And I didn't like the sleeves anyway.

So in the end I used the Smooth Sailing pattern I've used before, here.
It was tricky trying to fit all the pattern pieces on the fabric I had left. It wouldn't work with the bottom part. So I used the bias bottom part from the Vera Venus top I made and used the Smooth Sailing pattern for the upper part.

The result:




Bye,
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27 March 2016

Sleeves



In some of my previous posts I showed you my dresses made from Simplicity 3417, a 1940's dress pattern. It's a favorite pattern of mine and one of details I love are the sleeves.

Click on the dresses for more pictures:

I want to show you how the sleeves in my 1940's dresses are made. It's a special construction which gives the sleeve a really nice effect.

This is the sewing instruction:


This is the result:


My steps in achieving these sleeves:

Step 1:

The pattern tells you to use a sheer fabric strip. I did it a little bit different. This was how I did it the first time using this pattern and have been doing it that way since. But I'm thinking about using that sheer strip the next time. It's all a matter of having sheer fabric in my stash... This time I used a fusible interfacing, to strengthen the seam and giving it a bit of body. Instead of sewing through the 'O's, I marked the O's and connected them with a line. 

The pattern for the sleeve isn't that complicated, the gathered piece is just a slightly bit longer. It it possible to make this sleeve pattern for yourself, using a standard sleeve pattern and just lengthening the center part. 

Step 2: 

I slashed between the lines.

Step 3:

This is a bit more difficult to see on the picture. On the left side: next to the line from step 1, I've stitched two gathering lines, using the longest stitch length on my sewing machine.
On the right side: the gathering stitches are pulled until the two pieces fit on each other. Sew through both layers, right on the line from step 1. Finish the seam allowances the way you want, I did a zig-zag stitch.

The outside view from step 3, one side gathered.

That's it!

Bye,
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02 January 2016

Yes, another one




Allright, I have to admit it: my last post ended with my newly bought fabric, so you should have seen this coming.

I made another Lady Skater dress. After the first successful Lady Skater dress you didn't think I'd leave it with one, right? The fabric I used is a polkadot Ponte di Roma.The fabric is nice firm and washes well. 


What more it is there to say about this pattern and construction?

It's such an easy pattern! I really recommend it to beginners. I don't see myself as a beginner seamstress anymore, but I've never sewn jersey/stretch fabrics before. So in the stretch area I really am a beginner. But not anymore! Made a second Lady Skater dress and I'm guessing many more will follow. 


One thing I did change for this dress: made the sleeves 8 cm longer. I really have long arms... 

A couple of lovely Lady Skater dresses other seamstresses made:

- By Gum by Golly's Lady Skater
- Lladybird's Lady Skater
- Ingemaakt's Lady Skater

Funny thing: while reading the new Knipmode januari edition I saw this fabric! This is the second time I made something and seeing the fabric in the Knipmode after finishing the item. 


I must admit the pattern they used isn't very flattering... It's a stretch, but somehow they made the dress look like it's from a stiff cotton. Such a shame. 

bye,
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29 November 2015

My first Lady Skater dress!

My first selfmade stretch dress! Yay!




I bought this nice knit fabric at the local market, paid 15€ for 1.6 metres of fabric. The moment I saw it, I knew it had to be mine. The lady selling the fabric tried to show me some more nice knit fabrics, but it was this one that I coveted. It was my favourite colour, dark blue, and in a pattern, so not too boring.

But.. there was only 1.6 metres left on the bolt... Could I make a dress out of it? At first I googled a bit, to try and find Indy patterns for dresses and looking at their fabric requirements. Most of them needed about 2 metres. So byebye dress plan :-(

So, I started looking at patterns for sweaters and skirts. Maybe make something out of the ook Gertie Sews Vintage Casual, no, that book is in the storage and probably in the boxes at the back. So no option.

But still the dress kept looming in the back of my mind.

And then I found it! The Lady Skater Dress pattern!





Yes, of course, how silly of me not to think of this dress. I've seen this dress made so many times on the blogs I follow. So why did I forget about it? After looking at the fabric requirement I was positive it would fit on my fabric. Of course most patterns base their amount of fabric you need on the largest size.

I found it funny to base my size on the highbust measurement, this is the first time I came across a pattern who uses this method. Well, this is the first time I made a knit dress ;-)
Measuring all it became clear I needed a size 3.


But first, I needed to buy the PDF pattern. And what in pain in the *ss that was! Tuesday I looked the pattern up on their website. Wednesday I tried to buy it (after finally deciding I wanted it), but then the wesite was under maintenance. Well ok, waited a couple of hours, tried it again, but now the whole website was gone! Oh dear. I thought it would still be those same maintenance troubles, so I waited again a couple of hours. Tried it again, same problem. This time I googled a bit, and came across a message on Facebook from the seller.
Ah, so that's the problem! Ok, went to the new website. Tried to buy it with Paypal. Didn't work. Aaah, I was so frustrated!  It seems more people had the same problem.



Finally I worked it out and started printing the pattern, only to find out that my colour ink was almost gone. And of course the different sizes are marked in different colours on the pattern, just my luck. Well, I worked it out in the end, taped the pattern together and could just see the line for size.

So I ended up taping the pattern pieces together at 10 p.m. and kept on sewing till 1 am. Almost finished by then! The next day I only had to sew the sleeve ends and hem the skirt.





And I'm so happy with it! The pattern is really easy and the sewing guide is perfect! Quite a lot of pictures which helped me a lot with sewing my first stretch dress and sewing with clear elastic for the first time. Such an easy thing to use, but what a change it makes.

All the website troubles aside I can really recommend this pattern, to beginners and to experienced seamstresses.



without belt
I love this dress and I'm guessing there will be many more Lady Skater dresses made in the future... 

On the same day I wore it for the first time, I went to buy new knit fabric :D 
Came home with these beauties:


i love the foxes!
Bye,
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11 September 2015

Blue dress



Wow, this is the third dress I made from the 3417 Simplicity pattern. Here is my first and my second version. I really love this pattern! The result is a dress wearable as modern wear and for 1940's re-enactment. bought the fabric for 6€ at the Noordermarkt. The sun was very bright and beautiful, so sorry for squinting my eyes so much. 





So, third time using this pattern, but first time for marking my seam a different way.





I used a chalk hem marker to mark my skirt seam. I don't have a dress form at home (it's in storage at my parents), so marking the hem that way isn't an option. And with my boyfriend at work, a girl has got to mark her hems herself. I bought a chalk hem marker for just 2€ at a secondhand shop. I think it's from the 1970's or perhaps 1980's? Or could it be earlier?




Anyway, chalking the hem was a fun thing to do. The only thing that gave me trouble, was the side and back. That's because the skirt isn't straight and tends to hang in folds. Well, how on earth can one chalk in the folds? The option is to spread it open (with one hand, as the other holds the puff to chalk), but then the fabric won't hang correctly... In the end I winged it a bit and took the gamble. The hem is now a tiny bit longer at the back, but it doesn't bother me very much.



My conclusion: I need to use this hem marker more! It's such a useful thing and it's funny to watch the chalk fly :-)




The sleeves have a special construction, next post I'll show you the details.


Bye,

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03 September 2015

On the needles



Next project on my knitting needles is the Deco cardigan. It looks like I'm knitting a lot of cardigans, that's because I want to prepare for the autumn chill. I don't have a lot of cardigans I can wear with skirts or dresses. For that purpose they need to be waist length and all of my store-bought cardigans are hip length. 


gin&tonic and knitting: perfect

So I'm knitting this pattern. It's a simple pattern and it's knitted from the bottom up and seamless. That's so lovely to knit! For the sleeves I'm learning a new short row technique. It's called Sunday Short Rows (or Wrapless short rows) and actually a very easy way to knit in sleeves. With the standard wrap&turn short rows I always forget which stitch I need to put on which needle. The Sunday Short Rows uses a contrast yarn, so you never forget where you are! In the last picture you see my contrast yarn, it's white so not very noticeable! 




The yarn is the beautiful Excelana and bought in Edinburg, at Kathy's Knits. The colour is Nile Green, don't you just love that name?

Bye, 
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