Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Too much of a good thing...

In a previous post I wrote that a nice piece of my Michael Miller wee wonder fabric remained. I had been planning a true Louisa dress for our middle daughter for long, and I thought this border print would be perfect for such a dress. I was wrong, or at least I am far from satisfied with the creation I made, I added too much details.

I had not thought my plans through when I started to cut (big mistake). I cut the pocket piece and the front and thought that I would cut a back from a contrasting uni fabric (because I did not have enough to make a back from the same fabric. When I put the pocket on the front part I realized that print on print was not the way to go (of course it wasn't, what was I thinking...). It was already late in the evening and decided to sleep on it and hope I would come up with something the next day.

The next day I decided that the front piece would become the back piece. There were two problems with this "solution". The back piece should have a higher neckline and should have a seam allowance in the middle. I decided to "fix" this by sewing a piece of fabric on the neckline and cover this with a collar. The zipper would become an exposed zipper on the front. To give the whole thing an intended look I would put the zipper on an zipper placket. The collar and front placket pattern pieces are again from the earlier mentioned Stof voor doe het zelvers 2 book.The short sleeves and extra shoulder detail were inspired by the same book.

The contrasting uni color fabric I used is from a bed cover we once bought at Ikea. The color matches the grass from the wee wonder remarkably well.The pipping details were made from the last home made pipping I had laying around.

The dress would have been better without the collar and front placket, the dress has too much detail now. Even with the collar, it would have been better if I would have adapted the pattern of the collar to really cover the whole upper back, so without the mistake-showing-whole that remains now.

My daughter likes the dress and the fact she can open the zipper herself, so it will probably get some wear in day care. Lets hope our youngest will have longer hair when she will fit in the dress, so it covers the mistake at the back. It is not a great way to end my sewing year, but the silver lining is that it will be an easy project to beat. At least I managed to use almost all the fabric, this was what remained from the two yard.

Feel free to leave a comment in the language you prefer (although Google translate might have to assist me if you choose something different than English, German, Dutch or Hungarian).  

Monday, December 29, 2014

Our 10 of 2014

In the Dutch speaking blog community we are throwing things at each other, we are throwing invitations to show our most loved moments of 2014 captured by a photograph. TamTam threw me one of those invitations and I happily caught it. I loved looking through our picture archive, I have not been doing it enough this year. In the previous years I kept our photo albums up to date, but the time I spent on that activity (and on many other activities) has now turned into sewing time.

As many others before me, I  had a hard time selecting only 10 pictures. I therefore cheated slightly and decided that the goal of this post is to show 10 happy memories, and some of these memories need more than one picture.

The first happy memory is from the first warm day of this year, somewhere in March. We packed up the kids and some food and held a picnic at a nearby play yard (together with many more families).

In this second picture I am baking cookies with the kids. Our youngest was in a phase that she wanted to be held all day, so I carried her a lot at that time.She really has grown this year!

The third picture shows our three eldest playing house in a cardboard box. Our kids love cardboard boxes (as most kids I presume) and whenever we have a big box, the kids play with it until it is torn to pieces.

The fourth event is one of our trips to the local zoo. For three years we had a a subscription to the zoo. This particular zoo is like a beautiful park and it is the perfect outing on a sunny weekend day. The small picture shows our two eldest walking hand in hand, I love seeing that they are such good friends.

The fifth picture is made at a nearby lake. This spring we had extremely nice weather and being near the water was a lot of fun. This time I went alone with the three eldest kids (because the youngest was still sleeping a lot) and the kids build sand castles for hours.

I made the sixth picture when I was trying to create this years fathers day present. Inspired by Pinterest I wanted to capture the shadows of kids. Making a nice shadow picture was harder than I anticipated and in the end we created a different present, but this picture is one of the few pictures that has all our kids on it. After trying to make the gift picture, the kids just played outside and I shot some more pictures. I love the smaller picture because it really portrays our eldest in her pure form. Dreamy, not really aware of what she is doing, hanging on something while her underwear is showing.

The seventh picture is again made at the small lake. It was the first time we went there as a whole family. Our youngest loved to play in the sand. She looks like a catalog baby in this picture (usually she looks like a little troll, adorable in her own way, but far from resembling a catalog baby).

On the eighth picture we are celebrating the birthday of our sons teddy bear. We were driving home from a day at a amusement park when my son announced in the car that it was his bears birthday! We all played along with it and when we arrived home I turned some leftovers into a cake, took some small balloons and gift wrapped a bottle of honey while the kids dressed up for the party.

I love to send picture Christmas cards and I prefer to have something different every year. This year we opted for a "falling leaves" picture. On one of the last nice days of a very warm fall we went to the forest and shot some great pictures, not the "perfect"one I was looking for but for everyone's sake (making the "perfect"picture can create some tensions) I made it work.

The last picture is an even rarer picture than all our kids together (my son is usually boycotting those). It is a picture of just me and my husband. Over Christmas we received a tripod. While I was setting up the tripod to make a picture of a part of our extended family my husband proposed to make a picture of us, to test the settings. The quality is not great, we switched off the lamp later, and used the flash, but I still love the picture.

I think that everyone who wanted to catch the invitation, has already caught it, so I will just end with wishing everybody a happy next year!

Friday, December 19, 2014

The Julia sweater for women

With the blog tour still going on, you have probably all seen that Compagnie M has launched a new pattern, the Julia sweater for women. I have made two child Julias already and when I heard Marte was preparing the women's version, I knew I would buy it immediately.

I have loved the collar version from the time I saw the child pattern but I somehow did not make that one. I thought it was too girly for a boy and on my foxy sweater it would have been too much distraction. I therefore decided I was going to make the collar version for my own sweater.

I used two fabrics from my stash. The floral I bought very cheaply at fabric.com. It is a tissue knit, a bit see-through and not very stretchy. The solid greenish fabric is a women fabric from Lillestof. Both fabrics only have horizontal stretch. Following Marte's advice I turned the fabric for the sleeves to optimize stretchiness.

My body did not fit the measurement table, My bust prescribed a size 44 the rest of my body a 40. I chose to adapt the pattern a bit. For the back I cut a size 40 for both the sleeves and the middle piece. For the front middle bust part I drew a size 44 but switched (with a smooth line) to 40 below the breast part. Because of the adaption to the middle part, I also had to adapt the front sleeves.

After the first fit I decided to take away some fabric under the arms, due to the flimsy fabric I looked a bit too much like a bat. The flimsy fabric also left the collar (on which I should have ironed on stabilizer of course, but didn't) far from perfect. After I fixated the collar with transparent thread I was very satisfied with the sweater.

Next time (yes I will definitely make another one) I will sew the sweater from good fabric, but until then I love my flimsy version.

Feel free to leave a comment in the language you prefer (although Google translate might have to assist me if you choose something different than English, German, Dutch or Hungarian).   

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Another Christmas dress in border print

I already wrote in my previous post that I bought several woven fabrics in border print. The cloths I am showing you in this post are from Michael Miller's Wee wonder, which I also bought at Fabric.com.


I bought 2 yards to make my eldest a dress. I used my newly acquired Stof Voor Durf het Zelvers 2 and mixed and matched myself a great dress. I chose a bodice with small collar, long sleeves and a gathered skirt. Griet's (author of the books) daughters are probably of a similar build as my kids, because (I almost did not believe it) I had to use sizes that were similar to her length. Based on my daughter's measurements and the measurements table I made a dress from sizes varying between 104 and 116 (For Ottobre patterns I usually have to cut a width of 92) and the dress fits perfectly.

Getting ready for the spinning test. 

Spinning out of the frame.

I still had a big pile of fabric left after cutting the dress. My son, as usual looked a bit jealous at the girly fabric, and I decided to cut my son a shirt from it too. The pattern is from the same book. The pattern combines woven cotton with jersey. Only a small piece of woven cotton is needed and I cut the boy from the border to make it less girly. I used T3 transparent snaps on the shoulders, to keep the focus on the fabric. It would have been better if I would have cut a size 110 instead of 104, but this way my middle daughter will be able to enjoy the shirt soon.


I can also (almost) see it mommy!

 The last picture is just cute, but not usefull at all to show the shirt!

I again linkup this post to both the Sew and Show and Project Run and Play Christmas sewing link ups.

Feel free to leave a comment in the language you prefer (although Google translate might have to assist me if you choose something different than English, German, Dutch or Hungarian).  

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Christmas dress in border print

Small dresses is what made me want to sew. One of the first things I sewed totally on my own was a dress (which is unblogged) for my eldest. In the subsequent years I have sewed a lot of different types of items but small dresses still have a special place in my heart. In this post I show you the two latest additions to my girls wardrobes.

In blogland I had seen several dresses made of cotton with a border print. I wanted my girls to have such dresses and ordered a few different fabrics with border prints. The main dress I am showing you today is made from Michael Miller Origami Oasis (which I bought at Fabric.com). I bought one and a half yard to make a dress for my middle daughter. It is my first dress in woven cotton combined with long sleeves. I somehow always assumed that those long sleeves without stretch would not be comfortable, and chose to focus on knit dresses for long sleeves. In blogland I saw several long sleeved dresses in woven cotton and I decided to try it myself. The bodice part is the upper part of a Louisa dress (of which I used the same size earlier for a dress in knit). The sleeves fit perfectly and she can easily move her arms. If you were also doubting if you should make your playful girl a long sleeved dress, I can assure you, just do it.

The skirt part, I made by cutting the border from the fabric over the entire length and ruffled it to fit the bodice. I did not make side seams and simply put the seam at the back.  I added handmade pipping that was left from an earlier project. I did not line the dress (I have an earlier bad experience with lining, and did not want re-try it in my first long sleeves woven cotton dress) and finished the neckline with a piece of handmade bias of which I had made the pipping.

The dress quickly got a twirl test.

After cutting the fabric for the dress I saw that I still had a relatively large piece of bird fabric left. I therefore re-used the (free) Janneke pattern and managed to cut a Janneke for my youngest out of the "scraps". The dress I made my youngest earlier still fits perfectly.

I also managed to make a few pictures of them together. As you can see from the behind picture, I managed to find two spots in the fabric where I could easily put my invisible zipper without decapitating birds.

The dresses will probably be worn over Christmas. Therefore, besides linking up to sew and show from StraightGrain I also link up this post to the Project Run and Play Christmas link up.

Feel free to leave a comment in the language you prefer (although Google translate might have to assist me if you choose something different than English, German, Dutch or Hungarian).