30 April 2015

Handmade Vacation

On the shore of Loch Lomond, wearing my Hetty and Skinny jeans

This week I returned from a two-week vacation to Scotland. And let me tell you, it was fantastic! I totally love Scotland, all the people were so nice and the nature is really stunning! We were lucky and only had one day of rain, which gave me a good excuse to hide inside shops :D Especially the Ness store, bought a nice coat there. I also loved browsing the bookshops, mostly at the sewing section. I did see a couple of nice books. But in the end I bought a couple of sewing magazines.

However, most the clothes I brought were handmade. I took at least three skinny jeans, a dress and a handmade skirt: all made by me.

Me on a very windy boat! Wearing my Hetty and Dress

And of course, when going on a vacation, the first thing I pack is my knitting project.

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27 April 2015

Happy King's Day!

Today is the national celebration of King's Day! It's a day with a lot of secondhand junk being sold, drinking beers and just having a great time with friends. And of course, it's a day off for most people. It's a very fun thing to watch all the people celebrating it in their orange clothes with crazy orange accessories. Dutch people can get crazy with orange...

Last year's edition I wore a handmade orange dress, but unfortunately I couldn't find the dress today. So strange, I swore I saw the dress this past year almost every week at the bottom of my wardrobe, but when the day is there to wear it I can't find it. Very frustrating and I'm glad my boyfriend doesn't mind me very much when I run around the house, trying frantically to find it and turning everything upside down in the progress. The house now looks like a bomb exploded ;-) 

Anyway, in my search I found my Amsterdam Parfait and eventually I had to admit that it would be a good alternative. King's Day is really great for wearing crazy clothes and the Amsterdam dress falls into that category. So, I combined it with a royal blue legging and blazer. Perfect! 

I did get quite a lot of compliments from strangers on this dress. It really stood out amongst all those orange costumes and people noticed it. So in the end, it was a good thing I couldn't find my orange dress. Amsterdam Parfait saved the day :-)

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26 April 2015

Needles & blouse fabric

Just before I went on a two-week trip to Scotland, I noticed some funny sewing related things. 

The first thing I noticed was when I grabbed a new needle for in my sewing machine. I had recently bought a new package of needles, because it sucks having a needle break and not having a new one! When opening the package to get a needle, I saw that they had a colour on them. Which means that every needle thickness has a different colour. Wow! Finally somebody had thought of this clever trip and now no seamstress ever has to get her magnifying loop to see which needle she puts in her sewing machine! 

The second thing I noticed was when I got to read the may edition of the Knipmode (Dutch sewing magazine). In the extra  that was included with this edition, was a blouse in the same fabric as my Boyfriend shirt! Yay! So funny to see the fabric in a magazine, I never thought it would happen. But I do think the blouse pattern looks a bit boxy and too short. I will never make it. 

the Knipmode blouse

my blouse

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16 April 2015

Armistice blouse

This blouse was made using the Folkwear #210 Armistice Blouse pattern.

The Dreamstress gives a very good tip about using tape instead of selfmade ties and about using bias tape for instead of the fabric front facing. With me using silk I didn't even think about making my own front facing, much too fussy with slippery silk.

I've read a lot of complaints about the sleeves being too long. But since I'm a long-armed girl, I just kept the sleeves as they were. And perhaps, after wearing this for a whole day, I get the feeling the sleeves are a bit short for me. When I stretch my arms, the sleeves don't give a lot of movement, they get stuck on my arms. Of course, it could be because I made the cuffs rather tight. I'll change the button placement and after I've done that, I'll check again if the sleeves feel so short.  

The silk was rather difficult to sew with. I don't have a lot of experience with this slippery silk, most of the time I use taffeta silk, which is much crispier and sews easier. Making the tucks in the silk was a really stupid thing to do. Fussy work! So, if you're using a slippery fabric, forgo the tucks. 

I changed the placement of the bib part. It was a bit too low for my 1910's taste. If I did it like the placement guide says, it will be too low and show my corset cover and perhaps my chemise. So, I just put it higher on the blouse. It would mean the bottom isn't totally covered, but I don't care, that will mostly be under my skirt, so nobody will get to see it.

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10 April 2015

Summer Flies

Summer isn't here yet, but I already knit a pattern which is called Summer Flies. Perhaps I should call this knitted shawl Winter Flies? Because, this winter really did fly... I had so many plans for stuff I wanted to knit and sew this winter...

The shawl is made using Debbie Bliss Pure Silk, of which I had two skeins in my yarn stash.

The pattern is simple and easy to follow. At the beginning it really flew of my needles, but at the end I had about 400 stitches on the needles, so it took me quite a while to knit one row.

More knitting details are on Ravelry.

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08 April 2015

Boyfriend Shirts

I like wearing long shirts with my skinny jeans, well at least long enough to cover up the fact that I don't have a zip in the jeans. Shopping for the shirts I like seems impossible, I can't find the shirts I like anywhere! The shirt I search for needs to be long and have something of a waist definition.
And you know, if you can't find the thing you like, you'll have to make it yourself.

After seeing the Great British Sewing Bee books, I decided to sew the boyfriend shirt pattern. But with an addition: a drawstring at the waistline. The pattern is available here, they didn't include the patterns in the book, but made them available for download on their website. So everyone who knows where the patterns are can download and sew them. But the difficult thing is the missing sewing directions (because they are obviously in the book). But how hard can sewing a shirt be?

Not that hard, because I made two of them! Both of them in a viscose, so it's easy washable and doesn't need ironing. 

It's a nice and easy pattern to use. The thing I changed was the width of the shoulders, I made them smaller. And of course I added the drawstring waist. 

With the flower shirt version I made the sleeves longer and gathered into a small cuff, which closes with a button. 

sleeves down, closes with a button

The sleeves can be worn rolled up (held with a button and tab).

The pale pink version:

I am very happy with these two shirts! Very easy to wear!

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