Saturday, January 19, 2019

A new family member: softie adventure 2.0

I mostly sew clothes for our kids, but I do sometime like to sew something else, like softies. Our kids do no need any extra softies, but I just like the challenge. Sewing softies appeals to my need to create and to learn new techniques. Almost four years ago, I created this doll, and it seems that I have moved up on the learning curve. After I created these two adorable animals in the summer, I deemed myself capable of trying this really awesome doll pattern that I had bought a while ago, but did not dare to start.

In the fall the designer of the pattern created a sew along, and this was just the push that I needed. This time, I actually bought the required supplies, so not like the previous doll just use something that is around the house. I have to admit that things do become better with better material. I took it slow, did only a few steps on one day, but in the end the doll did not take that much time as I feared.

We have quite some dolls in our house, and two years ago I bought two 18" teen dolls. The dolls look great, but in that product line there are only girls. Our son sometimes feels a bit left out in our house full of girls, so I decided that the doll that I was going to make would have to be a boy. In case our son wants to join in on our girls' play. We try to raise our kids relatively gender neutral, but we do see that our son prefers to play with "male" characters, so for example we also have a bunch of male ponies from the my little pony line.

This time I am actually satisfied with the face and embroidered facial expression,. With hindsight, I should have made nose a bit bigger, but it is so much better than last time. I also learned that you should not "draw" the nose with a dark marker, I used purple and that remained visible. I tried to wash it out but now he actually got a pink nose. The kids love this element, so I just let go of my frustration about it. For the hair I used a piece of upcycled fake fur, that I used for these boots as well. So hording this stuff sometimes does pay off.

A doll of course also needs clothes and by our son's suggestion I created a bear onesie. The main requirement is that you can put it on the doll, it does not have to be comfortable, so I was fine with winging it, and it actually fits great.

Saturday, January 12, 2019

Upcycling for the boy times 4

I wrote it in my previous post already, I am not sewing as much anymore as a few years ago. What did not change is my love for quick projects and today, I am showing you four long sleeves that I sewed in less than one hour in total, including cutting. They were, of course that super quick because they are upcycling projects. Sweaters from me and from my husband, that got a second live.

I love "before" pictures,  even though the quality of today's ones is crap, no other way to say so, I still added them. These four upcylces were a spur of the moment project. One evening, I was overwhelmed by the fact that there really was nothing with fitting long sleeves to be found in our son's closet. So, I pulled four garments out of the to-be-upcycled-pile (as big as the new fabric stash now a days), slapped them on my son for fun, made pictures with my phone... and adjusted the sweaters. The idea was that me and our son needed a quick fix (I my sewing kick and he clothes), so in my mind there was no time to take out the good camera and background screen. The modelled shot were made several days later, seeing as the clothes were worn before anyway he was allowed to just wear them before I made final pictures.

This heavy knitted sweater I bought for myself several years ago, I still love the style, but it just is not for me. When you upcyle such knitted fabric, a serger comes in extra handy. Jersey fabrics do not fray, but this knitted fabric will disintegrate into loose threads if not handled correctly. In the before-picture you see that the sweater's neckline is super big on our son and the whole thing is of course too long, I took off the neckline, cut a new body and sleeve pieces keeping the bottom intact and sewed back the neckline (that I had made smaller). No hemming for me on this one.

The white/blue sweater was one of my husbands favorites, but there was a  tiny hole near he bottom of the button placket. I closed the hole with a thread, but my husband did not deem the garment suitable for work anymore. He is a star in spotting small imperfections (not in me fortunately). I added four golden triangles at the bottom to the button placket. One was enough to cover the stitching of the tiny hole, but I wanted to give it an intentional look. For this sweater I actually kept the entire original neckline and just narrowed the body and made a new hem. This did of course result in a non-stripe matching between sleeves and body.

The other two sweaters got the same recipe as the white/blue striped one. I re-cut a sweater by keeping the neckline, and shoulder seams intact.The grey/black sweater was mine and by pulling up the neckline and two small hand stitched pleats keep the rather strange neckline perfectly in place. I could not save the entire text from the black sweater, the "S" from Shipyard lost it's top, in the sleeve cycle, but I think he looks fancy even with an incomplete 'S'.

Friday, January 4, 2019

On repeat, two times Orbis, two times cessim

Happy new year! I am not really one for making new years resolutions, I regularly make plans to stop doing certain things or do other things more, but I do not really connect them to a date. So looking back over the last five years, I see that I managed to change my fabric buying behavior. Looking at my actually decreased stash, there are now many uni fabrics in there that more easily combines or can be screen printed.

Another thing that changed, but not really intentionally, is that compared to the beginning years, I now regularly sew the same patterns. In the beginning, I could not imagine re-using the patterns more often, because I wanted something new everytime. I now sew less hours in a week than I did in the past, especially since I took up designing, which means that when our kids need clothes, I just take a patterns that I know will fit perfectly and will give me instant satisfaction.

Although I did not sew the Orbis as often as the Domi yet, I do think that the Orbis will take over the top spot of "my most often sewn pattern" in a few years. This fall I sewed two more and they are in such heavy rotation that I actually should sew a few more...

This year the long sleeve Fall wardrobe of our son contains several upcycles, but more about those in a later blog post. I also sewed him two fluffy Cessims. He loves being covered in soft fabric, which is also why I sew him so many Orbis and Domi pants. This time, I also made him extremly soft tops. I used the easiest Cessim options with one seam at the back.

Saturday, December 22, 2018

Framalo meet Eximia

Monday, I already told you, that I made three more Eximia's than that I showed in the release blog post. Today, I am showing you those Eximia's that I created from the fabric that was gifted to my by Framalo! To celebrate the Eximia release, Sofilantjes teamed up with several fabric stores and everyday day there are Eximia give away's. There is also a give away of one free copy, more about that at the end of this blog post.

I was allowed to pick fabric from the entire collection of Framalo, and that was a hard task. It is a pity that I do not live close, because I would love to see the actual Framalo store. Not just because besides fabric they also have different diy hobby material, but also because you can actually have a sewing weekend there (yes you can have a sleep over!) and Veerle from Famalo also organizes birthday parties. If you want to organize another type of get together with your sewing friends you can also invite Veerle to come to you with her fabric, because she does do home parties as well.

In the end, I chose for one of the new Chat Chocolat fabrics from the solid as a rock collection. The wine red is clearly my type of color, and the green and pink dots give a playful effect. The fabric is super soft on the inside. and perfect for winter outfits. The fabric stretches very well in one direction and a bit less in the other. The fabric is a joy to work with and also beginners should have no fear of this stretchy material. Besides this one, the collection contains five more prints.

Although the garments were all made with the same pattern and main fabric, I did not want them to be the same, so I decided to use three different contrast fabrics. I finished my sweater with the remnants of an old, already upcycled sweater. The color was a perfect match, and last time I had not used the neckline, nor the bottom of the sweater, that I now turned into the sleeve cuffs. For our eldest, I used a uni green fabric, and for our youngest, I went a bit wild and used a striped pink, that very well matches with the pink in the fabric.

The Eximia, both the girl and woman version are still available with a 25% discount in the Sofilantjes webshop, the sale is until December 24. To make the Eximia celebration extra festive, Framalo is giving away a copy of the pattern. Check out her Facebook page. 

Monday, December 17, 2018

Eximia release

The Eximia sweater is the newest pattern from Sofilantjes. With the pattern you can make a short sweater, which is perfect on summer dresses, a medium sweater or a long sweater, one that can be worn with leggings. The pattern contains both 3/4 sleeves and long sleeves. A versatile garment that sews up super quick and looks awesome in all kind of fabric, a typical Sofilantjes pattern.

In the pre-test phase I sewed two Eximia's one for myself and one for our eldest. The pattern changed a bit after this phase, but not so much, so my pictures give a pretty accurate picture of the pattern. I sewed up three other Eximia's but more about those next Saturday!

The Eximia is designed to be worn on sleeveless or short sleeved garments, and you get the best results in stable knits. The longer versions can also be worn without anything underneath (on top). The shorter version can of course also be worn without clothing underneath, but the belly button will be visible in that case.

The short length Eximia is the perfect layering garment to wear on your summer dresses. That Vallis that I sewed in the beginning of the summer I wore very often and with this Eximia I can wear it during the winter as well. I have never been a type to layer my clothes, I do not really own cardigans, but this short sweater is something that I do see myself wear very often.

For our eldest I sewed the longest version. This version looks great on jeans, we did not try it with a skirt yet, but I can imagine that it would give an extra interesting layering detail. My version is from Punte di Roma and the version for our eldest is made from a very soft knitted fabric, but I have no clue how to call it. It is super soft and she loves the feel of it on her skin.