Friday, May 29, 2015

Lillestoff contest output part 3: Boy hoodie and skirt

This is my third and last post on the fabrics I won in the Lillestoff contest. This time I am showing you the results of the hoodie and skirt idea that helped me win the fabric. The earlier posts on these fabrics are here and here.

Both the garments I am showing today have a large portion of self drafting in them. I do not know when you can say you drafted a pattern yourself. Is it important that you didn't use any pre-existing pattern or is it enough if you significantly altered a pattern? I am curious to hear your opinions.

The hoodie I cut based on three already cut patterns I had laying around. These were two Ottobre patterns, from one I used the armholes, neckline and hood. From another I used the width and length and from the Julia pattern I used the idea and height of the kangaroo pocket.

The width of the kangaroo pocket was determined by the fabric's print. I took four columns of faces and cut two times one column of faces for each side panel. I first sewed the kangeroo pocket and side panels before I cut the armholes. I had to do this because the main panel ended very close to the armholes.

I lined the hood with the black and white striped fabric. The combination with the faces fabric is lovely. I forgot to take a picture showing the inside of the hood, but you can see how well they math here.

I finished the hood with the same technique as I used for the Theo polo, only with a much narrower strip. I cut straight down at the centre of the panel. I used my serger to attach the bias strip beginning a centimeter from the bottom of the cut, all along the hood and down the cut again. I sewed the bias in place with my twin needle. Although I used white matching bobbin thread the small zigzag on the inside of the hood bothers me a bit.

The fit is perfect, my son can totally lift his arms without his belly showing. He loves the kangaroo pocket, especially putting is arms through totally.

For my daughter's skirt I eyeballed a waistband and cut a A-line skirt. The uni-colored orange is a very stretchy interlock with great recovery, perfect for waistbands. I added double bias pockets to create an nice transistion between the different fabrics.The pockets were inspired by the swing skirt (the shape) and the princess castle dress (one layer pockets sewn to the outer jersey fabric).

The suns fabric and both striped fabrics are almost totally used. From the interlock I still have a good piece left and will come in handy for future skirts, I love orange. I also have a good deal left from the faces fabrics but decided to give it to a friend who also loves Lillestoff.

This series therefore has come to an end. I managed to sewed up five garments from the fabric, thanks Lillestoff!

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, May 25, 2015

Summer Surprise Anniversary Tour and Giveaway

In the previous months you have seen me sewing multiple Sofilantjes' patterns. I sewed these skirts, coat and these dresses. Sofilantjes is run by Anne Jacobs and she started selling patterns exactly a year ago. Here she writes why she started drafting patterns, it is a very moving story with fortunately a happy ending, Anne's husband heard he is cancer free a few weeks ago! Back to the one year anniversary, Anne is holding a big party and when I say big, think enormous. This week 24 bloggers are showing off versions of her first pattern, the Summer Surprise dress, tunic or top and everyday there is a new giveaway! At the end of this post you can read more about the other bloggers and today's giveaway. Now let's focus on my contribution to the tour.

We were invited to hack the pattern and you probably know I love that. I flipped the jersey dress pattern to woven, flared out the skirt (because woven dresses need a bit more for playability), closed the back bow and added bow pockets. I expected that if I kept the bow piece in knit fabric, the woven dress wouldn't need any extra closure method. It worked out exactly as I planned, the dress fits over her head.  I am very pleased with how it looks so I wrote a small tutorial.

The bow on the original design looks cute, especially the ones I have seen passing on our tour's Facebook page (so make sure you check out all the other bloggers this week), but I wanted to show the versatility of this pattern, and make a slightly adjusted bow.
When I saw this bow I knew how I wanted to change the design.

I determined the right dress size (woven dresses are wider than knit dresses) by looking at the width of a woven bodice that fits my youngest well. I put the woven bodice piece on the Summer Surprise pattern and picked the one where the width, just below the arm holes, matched. I picked the length that fits my daughters size, but flared out the skirt part a bit.

The main fabric is from Cloud 9 which I bought at Modes4u. Because the main fabric is woven the little box pleat at the front is nicely sharp. The white knit is from a white shirt. I actually sewed a wide bias instead of a double folded knit jersey strip, but it mimics the binding from the original design. I also added a strip to the bottom.

Instead of adding a folded strip to the entire neckline, I added a wide bias from upper bow mark to upper bow mark (which finished the front of the dress). I took the width of the bow piece as it was drawn in the pattern and added another seam allowance to it (twice, one on each side). The original bow piece was 13 wide and mine 15 cm. I used the bottom of a seamed shirt to cut a 15 cm times 15 cm square (if your piece isn't hemmed yet make the piece a bit higher). 

I folded the bottom pieces together and serged almost to the end. The middle bow piece will have to be able to go through the small hole, not a bit hole is needed.

Open it, now you have a sort of triangle piece with a rectangle above it. 

I pinned the fabric to the hole in the back (no picture, my apologies) and serged the seam together. The end of the bias and the beginning of the bow overlap. I sewed the top of the bow to the seam by hand (first I did it with my sewing machine but the stitching was to pronounced). I added the middle strip to turn it into a bow.

For the pockets I used the same 15 cm times 15 cm pieces (already hemmed). I drew the shape of the back ho
le on the side of the dress (with washable marker).

I pinned the bow one seam allowance around the line and sewed close to the side of the fabric.

Adding the middle stripe was again the last step, I determined the tightness such that it doesn't distort the fabric.

The fit of the dress is great and I think it looks super cute!

To make sure everybody can take part in the festivities the pattern is on sale with a 25% discount. Use the code “Anniversary”. The Summer Surprise pattern got an update and if you bought the pattern in the past you can now easily download the new version from your account. I you got the pattern another way, like on Etsy or in a giveaway please email Sofilantjes.

Besides a discount for everybody, a few can win great prizes, there is a new giveaway each day of the tour!

In today's giveaway you can win 8 patterns!
-E+M Patterns, winner's choice
-Izzy & Ivy, winner's choice
-Mandy K Designs, winner's choice
-Paisley Roots, Saffron Twirl
-Rose & Lee Designs, winner's choice
-Aivilo Charlotte, winner's choice
-Funktional Threads, winner's choice
-Sofilantjes, winner's choice 

  a Rafflecopter giveaway

The Rafflecopter is open for 48 hours. Tomorrow and the days after it, there will be a new prizes (in other rafflecopters) and you can find those rafflecopters on the blogs that are planned to post later this week.

The links to the other blogs in this tour are:

Each day this week you can find an overview of that day's bloggers with spoiler pictures on Sprouting JubeJub. Check out the blog every day for a lot of eye candy and to win those great prizes! This blog tour is sponsored by these amazing sponsors!

You made it to the end of a long post so now the bloopers.

I really wanted a nice picture where she would put both her hands in her pockets. With the first shoot she was of course refusing to do it (like she was not showing me her back). But then when I put her on the floor she did it, I quickly made a picture but only her face is sharp. It became a great spoiler pick, but not what I was planning.

The next day we tried again and when her sister was showing the look what I wanted (I had an efficient shoot, taking pictures of another dress as well) then she did this.. soo close...

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, May 20, 2015

Lillestoff contest output part 2: Baby romper

Another efficient post, this time I used some leftover Lillestoff fabric (the promised skirt and shirt are already sewn but will be posted about later) to participate in the Project's Run and play May contest. This time we got a T-shirt pattern which I turned into a romper for my youngest. I used the black/white striped Lillestoff fabric to make my own chevron fabric. All the lines match up in the middle (both front and back) and on the sides. The Lillestoff jersey is not slippery and is perfect to match up strips like this.

I used the smallest size of the pattern but still had to take a bit from the middle (knits require smaller sized patterns than woven fabrics) and cut the arm holes less deep. I made the sleeves more fluttery by finishing the end with a rolled hem and with my differential transport on 0.7. This way the fabric is actually stretched which creates a nice lattice effect. Honoring my own nationality, I cut the fabric that way that the Dutch girl is in the centre on the front.

I used shirring elastic to make the cinch waist of the original pattern. I wanted to try if jersey would be light enough to be shirred and it worked out great. Because of the cinch waist I could make a size slightly bigger than she normally wears without the crotch hanging down to low. This way she will be able to wear it the whole summer (if it actually ever becomes warm enough to wear it, weather is horrible so inside pictures it is).

I added small cuffs at the bottom of the leg. I paid extra attention to the fabric to create al line of faces. To finish the crotch I cut between the faces to create a relatively one colored piece. I again used my favorite flower kam snaps, black ones this time, for closure.

When my middle daughter saw me cutting the sun fabric she wanted some herself. I combined it with one of the matching knits to make her a dress. I again used the free penny play suit pattern, but you could also use the free Izzy pattern as an alternative. This time I didn't gather the fabric under the yoke and added another contrasting band at the bottom so I didn't have to hem. The dress is therefore slightly different than the previous two (but of course has pockets) but still I felt it didn't deserve a hole post. This descision was also strongly influenced by th fact that my middle daughter was not in the mood for pictures.

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, May 18, 2015

Lillestoff contest output part 1: Waterfall dress

Two weeks ago Lillestoff organized a competition. Everyone was asked to send in their sewing ideas for the two fabrics: Sterntaler Kimbi and Kidsface. I wrote that I would make a waterfall woman's shirt, a skirt for my daughter and a hoodie for my son, and I won! I was over the moon, although my fabric stash is filled with Lillestoff, I didn't own these two yet and not much beats free organic fabric. When my package arrived last Wednesday I was even more ecstatic because besides the 3 meter that was announced I also received 1.5 meter matching fabrics.

The abundance of fabric made me want to sew even more than I had planned. Part of the contest rules was to post about your creations between the 18th and 31st of May. Therefore, this post if the first of a series.

Today I start with my waterfall plans. With one and a half meter I decided to make a waterfall dress. After I made a few dresses last year I somehow never made more. I love wearing them but I I gained some weight instead of loosing it and this demotivates my selfish sewing.This fabric gift finally was the last push I needed to start sewing for myself again.

I looked through all my Ottobres and found a waterfall shirt and dress in Ottobre 2/2009. My measurements didn't fall in the same size and I decided to do a full bust adjustment. Even thought knit is very forgiving when it comes to sizes, and especially Lillestoff with its great recovery, I wanted to challenge myself to be better. In the fall I did a full bust adjustment on a jersey dress with princess seams which was much more complicated than I had to do for this dress. This pattern already had darts so I only had to make them a bit wider.

The dress has a six pieced skirt, which calls for a lot of fabric if you can not use the fabric upside down. The Sterntaler has small smiling suns, I considered using them upside down but I decided against it. This meant that there was no way I could cut it out of my fabric, I really tried. But when I made the dress just above the knee it worked out fine.

I really like the shape of the dress it really hugs my body the right way, although it doesn't hide my post pregnancies belly (I think I saw my neighbour even looking at it yesterday thinking I might expect a fifth) it shows that I have curves. The darts have to be moved a bit to the middle to actually be on the place where they should, but I am still very satisfied and I think I will use this pattern again.

The nice heavy structure of Lillestoffs jersey makes the waterfall less pronounced than if I would have used a light weight drapey fabric. I finished the dress with a yellow/gold double needle top stitching.

I made pictures with a tripod (to avoid sighs from my husband when I again am not satisfied with my pose). I really needed quite some distance between me and the camera and put the tripod just behind a small wall separating our driveway from the pavement. I actually had to take a small run to reach the timer, but also increased the chance of being alone in the picture. I had a small photo bomber which was running with me and fortunately didn't reach my leg before the end of the ten shots, but she was there when I was choosing the right setting and I just love the picture

  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). 

Friday, May 15, 2015

Janet blouses, my two test versions

A while ago I saw a great Mondriaan design dress on Facebook. I loved the idea and put it on my Pinterest board for future inspiration. Two weeks later I saw a testers call from the same designer. I only knew it was going to be a blouse, there were no pictures, but the promise of a bunch of collar and sleeve options sounded great. I applied and was lucky to be among the testers. The pattern is as nice as I expected. The pattern is a flowy blouse with 5 collar options (of which one is without collar) and 5 sleeve options (of which one is without sleeves).

For the first version I made, I used silk which I bought at Suzdesigner stoffen (who seem to have closed) on sale last year. I had planned it for myself, but now I thought it would be the perfect fabric for this pattern. The woven fabric is from one of my old blouses, the blouse had some nice small pleats and I cut the yokes from this nice detail. I chose to make the converter collar and flutters sleeves. I thought it was a great combination between super sweet and cool.

The instructions of the pattern are great and because the seam allowance is 1.5cm I did my first french seams. It turned out this was easier than I expected. Silk is hard to work with and the evening I sewed it I coincidentally saw some tricks (of which the source now escapes me). I learned from that post that delicate fabrics like silk have the tendency to be pulled in your machine. The best remedy is a straight stitch plate and straight stitch feet. This way there is only a very small hole in your machine. My machine has a 9mm hole and 9mm hole in the feet so this explained why my fabric was indeed not feeding through my machine as I would have liked.

My fabric is not as drapy as I would have expected. The blouse therefore seems a bit wide under her arms. I read that silk is drapy, so I used silk without really evaluating my fabric. My fabric was that delicate and light that it more floats than hangs, does that make sense? So I made another. This time I used a very drapy knit, knit is not one of the adviced fabrics but it worked out great. This time my fabric really draped. I had chosen the fast version without collar and without sleeves. The greenish knit is a woman's knit from Lillestoff. I once bought 4 meter and I used it here and here as well. The woven part is a fat quarter from Robert Kaufman I bought in a fat quarter bundle at

I ran out of my last purple flower snaps, so I made a combination betweenn flowers and round snaps. I also ran out of my favorite round bronze snaps and added one star at the top.

I love both blouses although they look very different, for the first time I really styled my daughter differently in the same shoot, so on the playground she changed shorts shoes and hair. Funny how a sewing blog can inspire someone to become a better photographer and get a better sense of style.

The blouse is releasing today and through the weekend there is a 35% discount in Popolok's Etsy store with the code "Janet" making the price less than 5 dollar. The 35% sale is store wide on all Popoloks pattern, check it out.

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).