Thursday, December 31, 2015

Katy Perry New Year's Eve Blog Party

Last day of the year, a day to think about the great events of the past 365 days and make dreams for the next. I activity started blogging one and a half year ago, and although I didn't have clear (sewing) resolutions for 2015, I hoped to enter the (more) professional sewing league. In the past year, I managed to get myself selected by several designers to test patterns, I was an official contributor to Kids Clothes Week and gathered some competition prizes, with the prize of being a next season's Top Stitchers member as cherry on the pie. Top Stitchers is a friendly competition between blogger in which they often make a OTT (Over The Top) look. I love the concept, but I need some practice in such looks, so when Melissa was searching for applicants for a Katy Perry NYE event, I jumped on board. It doesn't go more OTT than Katy Perry. So let's get this party started!

I had over two months to make this outfit. On one hand that is great, on the other hand that means a lot of time to doubt about the look. I wondered the web searching for Katy Perry images and I relatively quickly decided on a glitter look with a big (relatively short) skirt. These parameters still left me with half a universe of patterns and fabric to choose from though.

Then I came across the Petticoat and pinafore set from Handmaiden's cottage. This fitted my demands perfectly, to make it more Katy Perry, I shortened the skirt, but besides that, I could simply follow the pattern (I know sounds strange coming from me, but while I was gathering meters and meters of fabric the hacker in me was sleeping).

I used inexpensive glitter table linen for the white petticoat (due to the gold, the glitters in the white are not that pronounced) and golden lycra for the pinafore. I thought she would only wear the two together for this shoot, but the individual pieces would work great as separated (the golden lycra pinafore paired with legging works great as modern princes dress up). My daughter didn't agree, she LOVED the look and demanded to wear it to her school's Christmas' dinner and on her birthday (that is two official wears in one and half a week). According to her it is the most beautiful thing I ever sewed, even though she says that about almost every new dress, but still it makes me happy.

For the shoot, I used my recently acquired white backdrop, it really makes the gold pop! In the past year I have strongly developed my photographic skills, but there is still a lot to learn. I have some general sewing (although they also could be called "buying") resolutions, buying less clothes (I have bought patterns for underwear and socks), buying less fabrics (last year was not very bad, but I can do better, or let's say I can do less) and buy less patterns....

So, next year I will participate in Top Stitchers and I will go on a sewing weekend, organised by her, but no other big sewing things scheduled yet. I am considering buying a coverlock, so if anybody can tell me if the Janome 2000 is really 300 euro's better than a Janome 1000 I would be helped a lot. let's hope for an even more adventurous year, than in 2015!

This leaves me to wish you a happy New Year's Eve and a good start of 2016. Thanks for visiting me and hope to see you again soon! The Katy Perry party doesn't end here though! There are great prizes to win and check out this amazing lineup of bloggers that are celebrating the New Year in full Katy Perry style:

New Year's Eve
Blog Host: Becca at Sewing Stadium
Miranda at Inspinration
Starly at Sew Starly

New Year's Day
Ajaire at Call Ajaire
Candice at Candice Ayala
Shelly at Sew Shelly Sew
Jeanine at The Crafting Fiend
Audrey at Skirt Fixation
Dorothea at Bonnie & Lottie
I love to hear what you think of my creations. 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).   

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Merry Christmas Dress

Due to everybody's (including my own) busy schedule I will keep it short. When I saw this fabric at Stoffenelf early September, I just had to have it. I loved the kittens and knew my kids would too. For long I was doubting what to make from it, all my kids were drooling over it so I had to divide (and concur) the fabric. When I tested the ADTV shirt from Sofilantjes the pattern screamed "dress" so I hereby present the ADTV Christmas dress.

I went overboard on color blocking. The red dots fabric was a left over from this dress. It combines beautifully with the red and white stripes. Both are really Christmasy, I cut the stripes slightly off grain to give a candy cane effect.

I did two shoots with this dress. The first one my model was not in the mood (and refused to wear the red tights I gave her) and the setting wasn't ideal, but I was on a deadline (which as it turned out, I could have ignored ). Later I did another shoot, one for which my four year old refused to change leggings.

You might be wondering what I did with the rest of the fabric, seeing as I primed you for more garments, well they are for next year. Let's hope they still like cute cats by then. Enjoy your Christmas, my model will certainly have a better time then when we did the shoot!

I love to hear what you think of my creations. 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 17, 2015

Homemade gifts part 4

Finding small gifts for people can be hard. Most of my friends and family simply have everything that they desire (a combination of satisfied people and no money problems). I feel that my ability to sew, crochet, knit etc has really helped me in my quest for nice presents. A hand made gift usually requires more work than going to the store and fortunately most of the people that I want to give gifts, realize that. This way I can give gifts that are inexpensive on the financial side, but show that I care due to my invested time. Turning a rejected item into a new gift gives even more satisfaction. In this post I will show you how I turned an impractical pot holder into a cute Reindeer pot coaster.

Okay, let's be honest from the start, I could just have folded the potholder and get an instant coaster, the hole thing would even have been bigger, but where would have been the joy in that? I have sewn many children clothes, but I am a novice when it comes to quilting. Although my Pinterest feed often makes me drool over the most gorgeous creations, I didn't really try it yet. It is usually good to start small, so this pot coaster seemed a great idea (I know it is not true quilting because I didn't sandwich the fabrics in the end, but I have no clue how to call it technique other wise).

First, I took out all the original seams, so also the sandwiching stitches. Then I cut narrow strips of fabric and sewed them back together using both sides of the fabric. With hindsight I could have cut more interesting shaped strips, but keep in mind, I am just experimenting. Then I enlarged the new free Sis Boom's Rachel Reindeer to 160% and drew my two sides of the deer on my my re-sewn piece of fabric.  The pattern lines are the sewing lines, so if you want to pre-cut your fabric make sure you use a seam allowance. The 160% enlargement was the maximum size that I could draw of my fabric piece, but it is also a perfect size for all my pots. Then I puzzled my heath resisted bating (which was a part of the original pot holder) into a deer shape. I took two layers (the maximum that I could cut from it) to make sure my table was optimally protected.

Sewing the two sides together had to be done slow because the hole thing was rather thick, but  going round still took me only about 10 minutes. I carefully cut corners and seams allowance before turned the deer to the right side. I considered sandwiching the piece together with some decorative stitching, but in the end I decided against it. I started sewing on the side, but because the thing is rather thick I immediately broke a needle. I wanted to save my time and frustration and just kept it like this. My decision to not stitch it through also had to do with the fact that I couldn't decide on the color. Due to the December month I felt the urge to use red, but the deer is so cute that it could also protect your table in spring, when the red combination would be slightly less appropriate.

I made this deer as part of this year's Sinterklaas (Secret Santa celebration with my friends). I also embroidered three small towels with inspiration quotes that I found on the web. I did the one with more space between the letters a day before the other two. I do not know why the whole thing got more condensed, I only noticed it when I took the pictures. The pictures are not of the best quality because the procrastinator in me had me postpone these project to the last moment, and I had to make pictures in the night.

For the same joyous occasion I also knitted a hat from a free pattern. I knitted it to be an optional gift for one of the male partners of my friends. In the end we enjoyed the evening that much, that not all the gifts were exchanged, my daughter really didn't want to part with the hat, so I made sure she got it in the end. My girly girl wears it well.

Here you can first part 1, 2 and 3 from this series.

I love to hear what you think of my creations. 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 10, 2015

BIllie PJ's

Although I also bought Wolf, the PJ pattern from Zonen09, today, I am showing you a Billie PJ. I made this one over a month ago, but didn't came around to make pictures. When I was shooting a test garment (about which I am not allowed to tell you anything yet) on my youngest, my middle daughter photo bomded the shoot in her Billie PJ's. She was very in the mood for pictures, so prepare for silly faces and strange poses.

This PJ was sewn quickly after this, this and this one, all a matter of using a cut pattern to its fullest. I originally planned on making a dress, but I was overestimating my daughters length (because she is growing out of all her dresses with an incredible speed) and ended up with a too long garment. The length was perfect for PJ's though, and seeing that she loves to wear PJ's anyway, this one will get a good amount of wear for sure.

 Another reason why the dress turned PJ was because I wasn't satisfied with my finishing level. The first problem was that I cut the extended wrist cuffs too short (I wanted to try something else), so I sewed the two pieces together (to make one big one) and cut another big one. I ended up sewing the cuff inside out on the arm though, that is why the seam is showing, and I was not in the mood to take it off again (I was convincing myself it doesn't really show, but I was kidding myself). I hemmed the dress by just sewing a doubled piece of jersey on the bottom. Trying out something new, but even after I did an extra line of stitching, the bottom has the tendency to curl upwards.

I bought the fabric at Joyfits for just 11 euro's (a bargain for an entire meter of organic fabric). The fabric is out of stock now, but check out this section of the site for other bargains. Also the contrasting light blue is from Joyfits.

So, not a very successful garment, but I love the pictures though! I gifted myself a background and I love it, it is just plain white, but I feel it makes my inside pictures much more professional looking. Let's end with a true sneak peek of the garment I am testing, it is going to be great!

I love to hear what you think of my creations. 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).

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Irena Top pattern release from Itch to Stitch

I mentioned in this and this posts that I have recently tested three patterns for Itch to Stitch. Today I will be showing the third one, the Irena top. A jersey top with a deep neckline. On the pictures you also see my purple jeans again, but now in combination with my upper body. I had a very efficient shoot that day (one of my collegues was nice enough to help me out because there was no moment of day light at home that day), so I couldn't show you these pictures earlier.

The final version of the Irena top has a very deep neckline, so you have to wear something under it, or be very self confident. The style is really different from what I have in my closet, so it is a welcome addition. The flower fabric is tissue knit that I bought at a year ago, it is extremely light weight and I haven't dared to use it for a project yet. It was very stretchy though and this project required a 50% stretch so this gave me a perfect opportunity to use it.

I had one yard of the flower fabric and I knew I wouldn't be able to cut the entire shirt from it, but I was trying to see how far I would get. You can probably imagine that the front piece looks a bit odd when cut. Well it looks so unusual that I actually ended up re-cutting it mistaking it for a scrap piece. Imagine my horror when I realized after my creative cutting and sewing some leftover together that I didn't actually succeed it cutting all pieces (except the waistband) from the one yard, but had all the pieces minus the front one..

Like always I did find a solution and like often I am happy with it. The contrasting black is much more stable than the tissue knit and I feel the fit is better due to its stability. The shirt is a relatively quick sew (especially compared to the jeans), but you will have to be patient and follow the instructions well to make the neckline line up nicely.

The first version I sewed is from a very slippery fabric that I bought at Stoffenelf. The colors match my jeans perfectly. That version of the pattern had a less steep neckline, but I still have to wear something under the shirt because the fabric wasn't stretchy enough. It didn't come close to the required 50%, but I was stubborn. Especially round my chest the neckline is pulled open, I still very much like the shirt though.

All three patterns are still one sale and also the extra bundle discount still applies. Use code "cyber" to receive an addition 15% off when purchasing 2 or more patterns. Valid thru Dec 6. Check out the patterns now at Itch to Stitch.

I love to hear what you think of my creations. 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). 

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Precious Maxi Dress

Today it is December First, the first day of a month packed with holiday events. School, work, sport clubs and day care are all celebrating the end of the year, which means that our family is running from celebration to celebration while having progress conversations at school, finishing up work before year's end, packing for our yearly trip etc. To get a running start in an attempt not to get overwhelmed with all last minute stuff I already fished my eldest's party dress, a Precious Dress from the Scientific Seamstress.

The Scientific Seamstress is organizing a #ssholiday event during which many different bloggers show off their version of one of the SS patterns. My eldest has been begging me for a maxi dress ever since I made my middle daughter this one, so when I saw the Precious Dress pattern I immediately knew what my contribution to the tour would be, a maxi Precious. The Precious by itself comes in three different lengths, but maxi isn't one of it. It is very easy to determine the right length for a maxi by following the "measurement method"in the pattern.

The pattern has an optional apron. By tying the sashes of the apron the dress becomes nicely fitted at the waist. Instead of making an apron I added two sashes to the side seam. To balance the design, I added a horizontal bar between the bodice and skirt part. I kept the length of the sashes intentionally very long, because of this dress, just love that bow.

Both fabrics are from Soft Cactus and although they are from the same line, and I bought them both, I wouldn't have thought about combining them. In the past I saw somebody combine them and I was blown away by the result. I was sure that my example was the earlier mentioned dress from Sofilantjes, but when I searched the picture to link to, it turned out that she did a different color sash. If you were the one that inspired me (I commented to the post), just tell me and I will add a link to your post. Update: the orginal source found me and here is her project.

I love the black back of the dress, but this was not my original plan. I however managed to (again) incorrectly cut the back twice and then I was out of main fabric (I should have stopped cutting after my first mistake, but I was determined to finish cutting that evening). Apparently it was meant to be, because I feel it spices up the dress. The black bias at the bottom of the dress does the same.

The last thing I changed compared to the pattern, was the closure method, I switched out the buttons at the back for an invisible zipper. I had one meter of fabric and I needed the entire length and width for this dress. I even had to make the skirt slightly less wide, simply because I didn't have enough fabric. I used the incorrectly cut backs to make invisible side seam pockets, so I really used the whole one meter coupon.

I love to hear what you think of my creations. 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, November 30, 2015

Liana Jeans, Itch to Stitch pattern release

To write that I could use some trousers is the understatement of the year. Let's say it wasn't a coincidence that this, this, this, this and this shirt where all modelled with the same jeans. Itch to stitch's call for stretch jeans to the rescue. The last years I haven't bought many trousers (hence the gaping hole in my closet where my trousers should be) and I therefore kind a managed to circumvent the whole skinny jeans phase. When I was a teenager bootcut was the style and for me it stuck, so thank god they are back! This pattern has three leg shapes though, so which ever style you are stuck in, it is there!

Like last time, I will show you my second pair first. These purple ones with white top stitching are amazing. The fit was perfect from the start. I do not often wear high heals during the day and at home I always walk on my socks. I therefore kept the length such that they do not scrape the floor when I am a not wearing shoes. The length of the pattern is longer though.

The back pockets are a great position for your own top stitching design. In the test group I have seen several beautiful versions. When I was sewing this purple pair I was in a hurry, so I chose for a simple single line basic top stitching. I think it is still very elegant like this. I cut and sewed the trousers on one Saturday (starting in the morning).

My second pair of jeans is orange with golden top stitching. Gold really has become my favorite color (for small details). I used a twin needle (for jeans) to do the top stitching, that was a challenge in the corners, but I am very satisfied with the look. I still have to add snaps to the pocket flaps, but I haven't decided on the color yet. Check out the shape of the flap though, isn't it cool?

I unfortunately forgot a step in the zipper instruction for this orange pair, and therefore kind a screwed up the end result. If I wear them with a belt the problem isn't that obvious and when I wear it with a longer sweater it is non-existing (what you can not see isn't there right?) Me skipping the step, was me not paying attention, it wasn't the introductions. The purple version's zipper is perfect.

The choice of two bold colored jeans might not be the most logical one for others. They do not universally match with every sweater type, but I love them a lot. A blue one I can buy relatively easy anyway, but I might make myself a third pair though!

Jump over to Itch to Stitch to check out the pattern now! There is a release sale of 20% and an extra 15% bundle discount if you buy atleast two patterns.

I love to hear what you think of my creations. 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).