Sunday, October 30, 2016

Bringing home the Spirited away dress

Besides posting on my own blog, in the previous months, I have also been posting on the Craftingcon blog. Today, I am bringing one of those posts home, one that fits the halloween theme. The Craftingcon blog has a different theme every month, and the dress that I am showing today, was sewn for the "anime" theme. I picked one of the most well known Japanese animation movies (and one I have actually seen), Spirited Away to base the look on.

The movie is about a little girl who ends up in a world with ghosts. Those ghosts were the inspiration for this outfit. The ghosts are black and have a white mask for a face. Somehow the Groove dress by Made it patterns immediate came to mind as the base for this garment. The pattern cover shows a super cool black dress, so it might not be hard to imagine where my pattern inspiration came from.

For a while I was doubting how to incorporate the face. For long I was planning to do a flex print on the front, but then I got the idea to do it at the back of the hood. I choose the high low hem version, so that meant the back was going to be extra long. Perfect ghost material. Then I decided to just use a mask for the shoot and keep the dress black. I started cutting the dress from black summer sweat (bought at Joyfits) and realized there was no way to cut a full hood from the fabric. I had one meter and had been a bit optimistic (who ever reads fabric requirements).

No problem, enter my original plan. I pieced a hood together from black leftovers and some silver sparkling sweat (also from Joyfits). I considered using some white fabric, but I feared that that would result in an unwashable garment. This silver sparkle fabric is kind a grey, so totally fine to wash with black. I cut some flex by hand (which was actually a left over from somebody else, that I snatched with permission on a gathering, because I could not stand it going into the bin)

My girl, who is usually into colorful clothes, loved this addition to her wardrobe. It was a bit warm when I sewed it, but it is perfect for this weather. My daughter was very willing to play a little ghost for the shoot. Especially because I allowed her to put it on backwards as well. How cool would it have been if I actually made holes for the eyes!

Friday, October 21, 2016

Louisa Coat release

A winter coat might be the daunting sew for some (especially beginners), it is one of the most fulfilling sews. Your kid will be wearing their winter coat everyday for a few months and if you are lucky, for two years. It will be not be covered by other clothes, but will be in plain view for you to enjoy everyday. When Marte from Compagnie M*. wrote that she was planning a coat pattern, I therefore was more than happy to test it. My little one really needed one. As the smallest of four and third girl, she often wears hand me downs, but this year she got her own hand made coat.

The Louisa coat*, the newest Compagnie M. baby clearly resembles her sister, the Louisa dress*. Although, they are clearly from the same mother, the Louisa coat has a different character and also tries to look like her other sister Susanne* (the back of the coat looks like the front of the Susanne). As all the members of their family, there are several options to personalize. I chose for the hood and all piping options, but you can also make a simpler version or use a collar.

I bought a coupon wool felt a few weeks ago and it was the perfect amount for this little coat. The first tester versions used a thick piping and I felt my usual tester-envy. Especially because my main fabric is simple, I went for an over the top piping. I used a scrap from when I sewed this dress. I used some yarn to make a super thick version, it is unconventional and I love the effect.ou can choose for zipper or buttons. I did both, the main closure is the zipper, but to keep the flap closed, I added snaps.

I made a true winter version, so I sewed an extra layer of the fleece that I put between the main and lining. It worked great and the coat is very soft and warm, only the hood has become a bit too heavy. I ran out of flexible fleece, and could not line the sides of the hood, so I used another slightly heavier lining, that was not the smartest idea. The hood's front seam became very thick and I had to stop stitch it, to keep the fabrics in place. There was no way that I could top stitch the middle part though. Due to the thick piping, my machine would never manage,so that became a thing that I will have to do in front of the tv by hand. I used a See You at Six fabric for the lining.

I was in a hurry to make pictures, and I did not dare to iron the bottom seam yet. I never ironed wool yet, so very scary. The pictures were originally intended to be fit pictures, taken quickly when shooting these. I liked the pictures so much though, that I just stuck with them, although my bottom is a bit wobbly (due to the not yet ironing, the patterns instruction for bagging the lining are excellent) and the fact that I still had to secure the hood middle piece in the front by hand.

The Louisa coat* is on a 10% introduction sale now, over at the Compagnie M. web shop* with the code LOUISACOAT10. 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). If you buy anything through my affiliate links (*), I get a small commission (the price stays the same for you), I am very grateful for everything that feeds my fabric addiction.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

I am a late autumn

Four weeks ago, I participated in Project Run and Play, and I was out after the first round. I work best under deadlines, so when I heard on Friday morning that I did not have to deliver a look on Monday evening, I immediately jumped on the next deadline. I of course had started my week two look, but only the main piece was actually half way done. My not-yet-finished dress, went on my to-do-pile and it would still have been there if Eleri from The Project Sew and Tell Project would not have invited everyone that was a contestant or sewed along to link up their PRP experience.

This season, I actually only sewed along one and a half theme (shame on me, my worse track record and that in the season that I was a contestant), so there is not so much that I leaned this season, besides a reconfirmation that I sew best under deadlines and that all of my competitors rocked! They created amazing outfits, and are very nice people! As an alternative to "things learned", I decided to just show you the dress that I had planned for the "I am an autumn" look.

A few weeks ago I already made the perfect dress for the theme of the second week. While gathering new inspiration for week two I came across these two lovely pictures. I therefore drafted a dress (based on the Litore*) inspired by fall leaves. The main idea was that the dress is made from four leaves (in case you did not recognize the idea). The dress would have been too indecent if I only used the leave shapes, so I added dark brown triangles to create a full handkerchief skirt. I then shirred the corners, which turned it into a circle-like skirt. Due to its weight, this skirt twirls like crazy.

My dress likely is the most unconventional garment from all contestants. I am still trying to wrap my head around my own opinion of the dress. My girl is fortunately totally in love with the dress, she had to fit it a few times during construction (I do not make muslis...) and she had been very sad I had not finished the dress. So even if Eleri had not intervened I probably would have finished it eventually (but not now). Originally, I had been planning a sleeveless dress, and I would have made a jacket (and leggings), now I decided to just add sleeves. The Aura* sleeves fitted perfectly.

Originally, I had been planning an open leave vein structure on the back. I had cut a high and low V-neck, and the low V would have been in the back. Seeing as my focus shifted from, showing-off-my-skills, to just-finish-it, I decided to solve the neckline differently (and much easier). I switched front and back and used a double neck band.

I would like to end this post by again congratulating Jess with her victory. Her drive and planning gave me nightmares (She was showing process pics on Instagram of all weeks before I even started). What she created in these few weeks was really amazing! I also want to thank her and and the other contestants for the great time we had behind the scenes, I think you are all awesome and super talented!

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Welcome to Twig and Tale blog tour

You know I love blog tours. Today, I am participating again in one. This is not any blog tour though, it is a blog tour that I actually organized! I picked and contacted most of the 25 bloggers, and I was super excited that almost all of my picks wanted and could make time for the "Welcome to Twig + Tale" blog tourTwig + Tale (formerly known as BigLittle), recently changed her name, and we would like the world to know. We therefore picked a very international selection of bloggers. All these bloggers sewed at least one lovely Twig + Tale garment. As cherry on the pie, Art Gallery Fabrics was willing to sponsor the tour! We could all pick any fabric  from the Art Gallery website. Of course, there is also a give away. At the end of this post you can enter a Rafflecopter with the chance to win two yards of Art Gallery fabrics and five Twig + Tale patterns.

At the beginning of the year, I sewed all my kids some outwear from Twig + Tale. With the season change now upon us, most of those now need a warmer replacement. I picked a lovely combination of Line drawings in canvas for the outside of the coat and Moon stories spark for the lining. To make the coat really winter proof, I added an extra layer (from thick fleece) between the main and lining, this way she will stay warm for sure.

I used the updated Pixie Pea coat pattern for my coat. The updated version now contains two different hoods and a collar. I had seen several coat in the Twig + Tale Facebook group, combining hood and collar, and I wanted the same. I really love the look. When the hood is down, the collar is a great eye catcher. When the hood is up, the collar almost disappears and does not bother the wearer at all. If anything, it is an extra protection against the wind. To protect some more, I also added ribbing to the sleeves. The pattern is intended to have extra long sleeves. By folding them, your kids can use the coat one year longer. I loved the idea, and placed the ribbing such that I kept the extra length fold.

I of course, had to play with the pattern a bit. I added a zipper and an alternative kind of pocket. Another blogger on the tour added a zipper through a slightly different method, and wrote a tutorial about it. Seeing this will be a mid-winter coat, I wanted the front flap as extra protection. I therefore added one part of the zipper in the seam between the front flap and right front. The easiest way to sew in the other half is like another blogger on the tour did. She widened the left front piece a bit, such that the other half of the zipper could be sewn between lining and main fabric. I took a small detour by adding an extra piece of fabric to the left side (that is what you get if you start cutting without a clear plan in mind). I wanted the flap to stay closed, so I added snaps next to the zipper, but still hidden by the flap.

The inspiration for the pocket came from a retail bought coat from my husband. It is a double function pocket. You can either but something in the pocket from the top, or you can use the (open) side. This combination is really perfect for both storing gloves (or stones and twigs if you are my daughter), and just keeping your hands warm in your pockets. I had been planning to write a small tutorial, but I was not satisfied with the method I had chosen. The corners are so thick, that I had to hand sew them to coat. There was no way my machine would do it, I broke a needle trying, which of course did not stop me from trying some more. I like the concept so much though, I will add these to more coats to come. I will keep you posted.

Art Gallery Fabrics is kindly sponsoring 2 yards of Art Gallery fabric of your choice. To make the prize extra sweet, we are also adding a collection of 5 Twig + Tale patterns of your choice.
International entries are very welcome. Our bloggers come from every corner of the world to celebrate the global nature of Twig +Tale too.

Enter using the rafflecopter below. (The winning entry will be checked to ensure all criteria are met).

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Näh Connection Shop Blog Tour: part two underwear and ballet suit

Earlier this week, I showed you two Bethioua's that I sewed for the English shop opening of Näh Connection. Today, I am showing two more patterns from the shop. I sewed my middle daughter a ballet suit, that she will be using for her circus classes and underwear both originally (in German) by Erbsenprinzessin.

When I showed the ballet suit pattern to my daughter, there was no doubt about it, she was going to get the ballet suit version with the skirt (not that that was surprising). At the same time that I bought this gold lycra, I also bought a red one. It had been waiting patiently in my fabric closet. I had not showed it to the girls, because I knew they would keep nagging me about making something, like now.

Based on the measurement table I picked a size three and lengthened it to a size four. The sizing was spot on, the fit is perfect. I changed the finishing method of the neck line. The default option is with a neck band, but I chose to use clear elastic and fold it inwards. I did finish the legs with a leg band. This way there is a much lower likelihood that her underwear will be showing.

On the topic of underwear. The same designer of the ballet suit, also offer underwear. Both boy and girl underwear are available. I only made the girl version, but I will make the boy version in the near future. All my kids have a desperate need for underwear and socks at the moment.

My two little ones do not differ much in underwear size at the moment. My youngest still often has a little accident, and any underwear that I can quickly find, works in such cases. This means that she often ends up with her bigger sister's underwear. I sewed the first version, the light blue one, at the time that I sewed this dress. It was a test version, and it has been in rotation ever since. My little one wanted to model as well, so enjoy these cute pics.

The pattern explains all kind of finishes both how to and their benefits and drawbacks. The designer herself is not a big fan of jersey bands, but does discuses them. I clearly am a fan, I just love the fact that I do not have to go and find a matching ribbing or elastic.

Now go, and have a look at Annika's shop. Due to the shop opening, there's a discount. The more patterns you buy, the more you save, just use the following coupon codes:
buy1save10naehconnection for a 10% discount

buy2save20naehconnection for a 20% discount
buy3ormoresave30naehconnection for a 30% discount