29 December 2014

Knitting time!

After all the hectic summer work and reenactment weekends  I finally get to relax. I've put my sewing machine in the cupboard, cleaned up my sewing space (my boyfriend was happy to have the whole kitchentable free of sewing clutter) and started with a couple of knitting projects. There's nothing more I love to do in the autumn than sitting on the couch with a knitting project, the stormy autumn weather outside, some candles lighted and a cup of tea.



My first knitting project this autumn was a cardigan for me! It's made using the Hetty Cardigan pattern.
This pattern is really lovely and knitted topdown, so no seaming! I've never used this technique before, but it was not so hard to learn, you just follow the directions. By Gum By Golly made a great tutorial for knitting the sleeves top-down, with a lot of pictures, it really made knitting the sleeves more visual for me. More details are on my Ravelry page.

The hardest part was getting the lace pattern right on the sleeves. Only after finishing my second sleeve I noticed that I'd knitted the lace pattern on both sleeves different! Wah! So I had to frog one and knit it again in the right lace pattern so they matched. 

My different sleeves! Even the length was different...don't know where my head was when I knit this.
The following knitting projects are made for my boyfriend, because he re-enacts the Great War and he loves to dress up correctly. So I used this free knittting book from 1918 and made him a: balaclava, a pearshaped cap and a muffler.





Next on my needles: Lady Sybil's Sweater. 
Bye,
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08 September 2014

Another skinny




Well, I did it, I made granny jeans! I' not ashamed of it, no, I'm proud of it. Finally a comfortable jeans! The granny part of it is the elastic waistband. I based this skinny jeans on a jeans I already had and which I had taken apart for a pattern. I knew the jeans would fit me well, because of the original one. The only different thing is the length! There's about 4 inches added... And now I finally own a pair of jeans which is too long!



The front. 

It doesn't have a zipper, or even fake zipper topstitching. I was too lazy and I will be wearing this mostly with long shirts. 



The back.

It does look a little bit tight (horizontal wrinkles on my thighs), but after wearing it for a while and a couple of washes there's enough stretch to it. 



Bye,
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13 July 2014

Mermaid Cambie




My mermaid dress! Or that's how my boyfriend like to call it. He thinks the fabric looks like fish scales and it makes me look like I'm half fish-half woman. When at first I wanted to use the fabric with the 'scales' pointing up, he even told me put the fabric with the 'scales' down. To make me really fishlike :P

So I finally jumped on the bandwagon and made a Cambie dress! It seems like every seamstress out there has made at least one. And I really understand why: it is a flattering dress, the big skirt can hide a tummy, the sleeves are not too big or difficult to sew, the bodice has a nice heart shape, and pockets. Pockets!! I love them. So a lot of things that made me want to sew one as well and with all the beautiful dresses from the seamstresses inspiring me, what could go wrong?

HIDDEN POCKETS!! 
I ordered the pattern from the Sewaholic website and that went perfectly, the pattern arrived very quick for an international order. The fabric is a find from Zeeman and was supposed to be a cotton table cloth. I immediately liked the pattern and colour, so I wanted to make a dress of it. I used the pattern's body measurements for choosing a size and didn't make a mock-up/toile. Oh! That's me being naughty! Always make a mock-up. Most of the time I get away with not making one, but this time it really did bite me in the ass. You can read more about it in my pattern review.



The nice thing about Sewaholic is that they have a great guide to sewing the lining on their website. The sewing instructions on paper are a bit short, so having this photo guide is helpen immensely! I made me learn a new way of putting in a lining! Something I know I will use many times again with future projects. Although I did have troubles putting the blind zipper in, it was only because of the fit (too loose) and somehow I managed to have no trouble at all with the scale patterns matching at the zipper :D


the skirt lining
A few days ago Sewaholic made the Cambie pattern also available for a print-at-home PDF download. With the difference being only $6 I'm suggesting you should buy the paper pattern. It just has a nicer feeling to it when you're holding a paper pattern in your hands. On the other hand, the plus of a PDF pattern, is that when you've cut out the wrong size, you can print it again. And again. And again...

Are you going to sew a Cambie? You should take a look at these Cambie 'hacks':
Bye,
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07 May 2014

Meringue


This is my Meringue skirt made using the Colette sewing book. I'm wearing it with my Sorbetto cherry top. The fabric I used is a stiff red+white dots cotton. It was a bit tough cutting the pattern pieces, because I only had about a meter of it. So it resulted in the bottom facings being pieced, but it doesn't matter because nobody will ever get to see that side ;-)
It was a fun pattern to use, the scallops are really something I never sewed before so it kept the skirt from being boring to sew.

I ironed it, I swear! 
A close up of the fabric:


Bye,
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26 April 2014

Happy King's Day!

It's King's Day! Time to wear orange clothes and some snooping at the free-market in search for vintage stuff.

I'm celebrating it by wearing a dress I made using Gertie's Book for Better Sewing.

Bye,
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14 April 2014

Amsterdam Parfait



The description for this dress is: A versatile dress designed to be worn as either a sun dress or layered over a shirt or blouse as a pinafore style in cooler weather. Features a gathered bust and flattering curved midriff that fits snugly around the high waist. The straps and gathered pockets fasten with buttons. Skirt is a gently flared six-gore style. Closes with a side invisible zipper.



I finished my Amsterdam Parfait! And I really like how it turned out! It's very versatile, I can wear it as a sundress in the summertime or wear it with a cardigan when it's still cool in springtime. The colours of the map (light blue, yellow and green) make it easy to combine the dress with other clothes/shoes. And it makes a very interesting and noticable dress. And just plain crazy...because some men could take it as an excuse to follow the roads with their finger... I choose red buttons for this dress, because they remind me of those "you are here" dots on maps. 


pocket

The pattern first appealed to me because of the bust section and the pockets. I love pockets on skirts and dresses! The thing I don't like about the pattern is the length of the skirt. It hits my legs a fair way above my knees and it's not something I'm very comfortable with. This was the reason I've waited for a year to find to courage to sew this pattern. I know it sounds a little bit like I'm an old lady, but I don't like very short skirts. But my boyfriend likes the look and lenght of this dress and he thinks it makes me youthful and sportive. So I should just get used to wearing this lenght! Strange how ten years ago I had absolutely no problem with wearing miniskirts, but the last couple of years I didn't feel comfortable with it. 


Besides the lenght, the pattern is very nice. The waist is very high, not on the natural waist. If you're shortwaisted it shouldn't be a problem, but if you're longwaisted you should first make a mock-up and see if you like the lenght. I did make a mock-up of the pattern, mostly because I know that Colette patterns run rather large in the back. I have a very small back, so of course the size I choose (sz8) for my mock-up was much too large! About 2 inches. So after adjusting it on my pattern I cut it all out (there are a lot of pattern pieces for the top part) and had to carefully check if I didn't get any strange map-parts on the frontpieces. One thing that did confused me was the buttonhole placement. They were on both the front tab and the front strap pattern pieces. The sewing guide didn't specific on which one the buttonhole should be! So I looked at how all the other seamstresses made the dress and made the buttonholes on the front strap. 




I made a lapped zipper in this dress, because I was too lazy to buy an invisible zipper and I had enough normal zippers in my stash. The other thing I skipped was the interfacing. The fabric I used was quite stiff enough, so I thought that the facing and dresspieces should give it enough body, and it does. And I skipped doubling the pocket fabric. If you use a normal/thin fabric it's not a problem to make the pocket out of two fabrics, but mine was so thick it that I knew it wouldn't gather very good. And the pocket turned out okay. It was just a little bit more work with turning the seam allowance in and topstitching it. The trick is to iron the hell out of it! 

pocket inside view, no lining! Gasp!

A couple of lovely inspirational Parfaits: here, here and here!

Gertie has made a good tutorial on how to adjust the Parfait for a small bust: here.

Bye, 
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11 April 2014

Quick knit 40's style jumper



When I finish a knitting project my hands are itching to start a new one! This winter I wanted to knit a jumper, which could also be worn with my WWII re-enactment. I bought some cheap yarn. Yes, I know, life is too short to knit with cheap yarn. The yarn is from Zeeman and it only cost me 4€ for two big skeins.


I am wearing it with my new blouse and with a new skirt. The skirt is made using the pencil-skirt with flounce pattern from Gertie's New Book for Better Sewing. It's a very easy pattern to use and the book is great as well! A must-buy for the vintage lover&seamstress.


You can find the pattern here (it's on Ravelry, so you have to be a member. If you're not a member...become one! It's fun and addicting to browse all those patterns and projects!!). 
It's a very quick knit and the mock-cable stitch is easy to remember. So a fun and fast knit. 

But if you're not a member, this is the pattern:



Size 6 needles


300g Aran weight yarn (3 balls of Wendy Mode Aran was used)

Tension

Gauge 22st x 22 rows over 10 cm unstretched (please note the twisted rib pattern is very stretchy this pattern will fit size 32 -36 bust. To grade this pattern up or down add or subtract sets of pattern repeats as desired).
The Twisted Rib Pattern Stitch:

Row 1: p2, k2tog (but leave the stitches on the left needle -- knit a regular knit stitch through the “first” stitch -- drop the used stitches off of the needle now), k1. Repeat from to end of row.

Row 2: p3 k2. Repeat from to end of row.

Row 3: p2, k1, k2tog (but leave the stitches on the left needle -- knit a regular knit stitch through the “first” stitch -- drop th used stitches off of the needle now). Repeat from to end of row.

Row 4: p3 k2. Repeat from to end of row.

BODY PIECES (both front and back are identical)
Using 6mm (size 10 US) needle, CO 62 stitches.


Row 1: p1, follow twisted rib pattern stitch until last stitch, p1, turn work.

Row 2: k1, follow twisted rib pattern stitch until last stitch, k1, turn work.

Continue this pattern until you have knitted 3 inches of fabric.

Every six rows, add a stitch on EITHER SIDE of the row on the right side of the fabric, until you have 72 stitches. (you may do this IN pattern, or not, depending on preference.)
Work until piece measures 13.5”.
Shape Arm Hole: BO 3 sts at the beginning of the next 2 rows, then decrease 1 st each end of the next 4 rows. Knit until armhole measures 6” then change to p2k3 to replace the twisted rib pattern. Knit in rib for 1”, then shape shoulders by BO 6 sts at beginning of next 4 rows.

SLEEVES
CO 52 and work in twisted rib pattern (with p1 on either end) for 4 rows. Increase 1 st each end every 4 rows until there are 62 stitches. Work until piece measures 4.5”.
Shape Top: BO 3 sts at the beginning of the next 2 rows, then decrease 1 st at each end of the next 4 rows. Decrease 1 st at the beginning of every row while at the same time increase 1 st at each side of the center 2 rib panels every 6 rows.
Work until sleeve cap measures 6”. Then from right side, k1 slip 2 stitches, k1, pass the slipped sts over. Repeat from to end of row. p1 row, then BO.
 Stitch it all together and you’re done!


Bye,
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09 April 2014

Smooth Sailing blouse




This my review of the Smooth Sailing blouse pattern from Wearing History.

Pattern Description:

1930's puff-sleeved blouse with front and back yoke.

Pattern Sizing:
I always have the trouble of being the in-between-size. The patterns are often available in two packages and I usually need to gamble between a too small size or too big size. This time I gambled for the bigger size (size ..., package B) using the sizes guide. Although using the guide I feel as if the blouse is a bit big for me (in the shoulders).

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?
Yes!

Were the instructions easy to follow?
Yes, very good instructions!

please excuse the wrinkles... next time I'll iron it a lot better! 


What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
What I dislike about the pattern is that they are for sale in two size packages. And as usual, I have to choose because I'm in between two sizes. I opted for the larger size, better to have a too large pattern than too small? But in the end I should have taken the smaller size, because I feel as if the blouse is a bit big in the shoulder area. I have a rather small shoulder area and most of the time I tend to forget it when sewing. So a lot of the times I take the patterns by the bust-size or waist-size, but they turn out too big because of my silly shoulders! Next time when making this blouse I'll be sure to remember to change the shoulderpart!

Fabric Used:
A cotton dotted swiss, sheer. Next time I'll use a different fabric, because I don't like the look a white blouse gives me. It makes me so 'waitress' or 'matron' like. And it's a bit sheer, so I have to wear something beneath it.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
No alterations are made to this pattern.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
Yes of course, but I'll make it in a smaller size or make the shoulderpart a bit smaller.

Conclusion:
This is a very good pattern. It's very easy to download from the website and the print instructions are clear.

Plus: I wore it to a job interview and got the job! So A+ for the pattern for giving me confidence! 

Bye, 
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04 April 2014

Skinny!




At the moment I don't own a pair of jeans that fit me nicely. Most of them are either too short or too wide aka men's jeans (my length, 36", is almost impossible to find in women's department). Ugh! I hate it when I don't have a jeans I like to wear! So, after getting some inspiration from Pinterest I decided to make my wide jeans into skinny jeans! That way I could wear them a lot more and be fashionable.

I used this guide for skinny-fying.

in progress


 

fitting it after sewing

the difference after sewing one leg


Bye,
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03 April 2014

Amsterdam!

All this nice sunshine for the past days makes me want to sew a lot of summer skirts and dresses. After a look at the fabric stalls at the local market, I immediately spotted a rather unusual fabric. It's this Amsterdam map fabric.

isn't it lovely?
I didn't buy the fabric at the market, because I had to think about it (am I brave enough to wear it?) and what pattern I would use. So when I got home I did get an idea (of course always when I'm at home and not when I'm looking at the fabrics!). I bought the fabric eventually here, about 50% cheaper than the market.

I am going to use the Colette Parfait dress pattern! I bought it last year and never got around to making it...Check out these lovely Parfaits.



Bye,

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20 March 2014

Slacks






A long long time ago, I made some black slacks using the Burdastyle Easy Pattern from autumn/winter 2007. If you're not familiar with Burdastyle easy, it's called easy because the patterns are printed and you only have to cut it out in the right size. And they are not the most complicated models. 
the Burda pattern photo


Pattern drawing. My slacks are without the front opening and the pocketflaps at the back
So, I made these in black, but as usual I didn't make a mock-up. I liked the slacks when they were done, but somehow the tummy part was a bit tight, which pulled up the crotch area. So it gave me a bit of a cameltoe :-|

Years and years the slacks were in the back of my closet, never made it into the garbage bin because I don't want throw something I made away.

And a few weeks ago I wanted to make slacks again. This time with a 40's vibe, because I would like to wear it to re-enactment as well. I bought the fabric at the market, about 2m for 4€. 

 

To achieve a somewhat 1940's look I changed the center-zipper to a side button opening. This was a bit fiddly, because of the pockets but it worked.




Bye,
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