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.

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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. 


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.

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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)


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.

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!

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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?

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.

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! 

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04 April 2014


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

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03 April 2014


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.


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