Saturday, November 25, 2017

Christmas in Michael Miller

In April, I added a lovely new badge to the right side of my blog without talking about it. Since spring I am a Sewing Portfolio's Ambassador. Sewing Portfolio's is the initiative of Candice who became fed up with the hassle of applying for testing or other contact with pattern and fabric designers. People were telling and showing the same thing over and over again and she thought it should be easier. Sewing Portfolio's therefore is a place to store all your best work in one place and besides easily sharing this info through one link, pattern and fabric designers can also actually find you without you knowing they were on the look out for someone with your profile.

Being a Sewing Portfolio's member became even more attractive when Candice decided to share the fabric goodies she received to show the world, with selected ambassadors. She is regularly searching for new sewing ambassadors, so when you start out as a member and have your portfolio up to date, make sure you check her ambassador calls. In August, I received three yard of Michael Miller Christmas fabric. The fabric arrived too late for the Christmas in July party, so now, after Thanksgiving, I thought it was high time to show you what I made! I turned the Nutcracker fabric designed by Sarah Jane into four garments, one for each of the kids. I love Michael Miller fabrics, the fabrics remain beautiful after many washes and the prints are awesome. This dress from Michael Miller fabric is still one of my most favorite makes ever and it still looks awesome after many many wears and washes.

Although three yards is a significant amount of fabric, I still had to be innovative to make it into three dresses and a shirt. I used three dress patterns by Straight grain, the Tinny, the Laure and the Ishi. For my son I made a Theo from Zonen09. The Tinny dress was the only pattern that I had not used before. Due to fabric scarcity I ended up adding a color block to the bodice of the Tinny and I winged the skirt piece based on the amount of fabric that I had. I made the pocket on the Theo a bit bigger such that the little boy from the panel could fit on it.

I of course planned to have a shoot with four kids happily watching the camera like little angles and showing of their clothes. I should have known better, I always forget that having them all watch in my direction is already almost impossible, but somehow every time I think it will be better now that they are older. During the first shoot with these garments I had more garments to shoot and this resulted in rather tiered kids so the picture that I posted on Instagram was a good indication of the  quality level of the group pictures during that shot. This is another gem from that session.

A week later I tried again and decided that I needed two type of pictures, one from the garments and one for our yearly Christmas card. At the end of that shoot, I had both. So today, I am mostly showing you pictures of the kids individually, because that was the best way to show of the clothes. Maybe next year, I can do both objections with one set of pictures, you know, when they are older... and when I gifted myself a bigger background.

During the second shoot I let my kids come up with their own idea's for the shoot. The picture of, my our middle daughter angrily standing on the chair is a picture of a conflict in their artistic process. The picture of our eldest in front of a very crowded table was the end result of that shot and somewhere in the middle I got the perfect Christmas card picture. I am not showing you that one yet, but it does not show of any of the garments well, so you are not missing out on that front. I will post the final pictures over Christmas on Instagram.

These three green fabrics are part of the Michael Miller Nutcracker act 1 collection. Besides this green color scheme there is also a blue and red one and coordinating plaid fabrics. I always have a weak spot for gold metalic paints and in all three of mine fabrics there were golden details. You can check out the entire collection here. I did not have enough fabric to make a blind join over the zippers, but to show you that I have the skills, I am showing you the join that I made on the panel.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Chris W Designs (Crazy) Global Blog Tour

Today, I am part of the Global blog tour of Chris W designs, who designs super cool bags. I usually like blog tours, but sometimes I am extra excited. Today's blog tour is one of those, the organizers were searching for "crazy" people, so I was immediatly intrigued. I am not a frequent bag sewer (although this is my fourth bag this half year, so I might have chance that statement), but I am a bit crazy for sure. I am a rule breaker. I am a hacker at heart and have a hard time following instructions to the letter. I am a quick and dirty sewist (sewing is my Candy Crush) and prefer to solve issues when they arise than to have an iron tight plan when I start. Chris, the designer is a bit crazy herself, and I so appreciate that of her. She made this awesome video of making a wallet, I dare you not to laugh out loud!.

I feel that self irony is one of the best forms of humor. Being able to laugh over your own mistakes makes it much easier to deal with them. Besides being a good form of entertainment, your mistakes can also be source of inspiration. More than two years ago I wrote a blog post about how mistakes inspire me, and I still very much believe in it. On today's bag I again managed to turn a mistake into a rather successful hack. I am totally in love with my version of the Savannah bag!

Hacking the pattern was encouraged, so I stared with omitting all interfacings and instead use extra sturdy fabric (a hack that worked lovely). One of those extra sturdy fabrics was a pair of upcycled jeans (I love upcycling and especially denim). I used the jeans for the strap and for the bottom/sides. I knew I needed something non- white for the bottom, because I will place it on the floor for sure. I also used the jeans as lining to stabilize the pockets.  I decided to make the upcycling extra funny and used the back including pockets for the lining of the big inside pocket.

I wanted the bag to "stand" but I did not want to buy thick (and expensive) interfacing. I did have a large piece of wool felt that I once took from a remnant bin. It is a very thick and sturdy fabric, in my previous post, the cheese is cut from that wool felt, so you can see how thick it is. I have a rather sturdy Pfaff, so I thought the thickness would not be an issue. But I had been a bit optimistic. I had to sew the sides together by turning the needle by hand (yes that does give you a blister). After doing this twice per side (my machine was skipping stitches) the bag held together fine. I did not dare to sew over the sides again to top stitch them. So I decided to leave it like this. Than, later I realized that if you take a rather narrow needle it is much easier to go through this fabric, so after the entire bag was done I did top stitch the bottom (and broke three needles). This way I also sewed the lining inside the bag, but that is fine for me.

Besides ommitting the interfacing, I was totally planning to follow instructions (no, this is not sarcastically, omitting interfacing does not really count as ignoring instructions for me). But then, I somehow ended up sewing the welt pocket in the top flap (it should have been on the main body piece on the inside of the bag). I was out of my main fabric. I decided to just roll with it (I had to sleep on it, when I noticed my mistake I first became frustrated of course). I sewed an extra strip on the flap to conceal the zipper and I actually like having not to open the bag and still be able to reach some essentials.

The Savannah pattern is packet with pockets, but I decided to omit some of them (which may or may not be due to a lack of time and fabric). This way I ended up with missing a small zipper pocket (which is actually a part of the original pattern) and I decided to convert one of the front pockets into a zipper pocket. I sewed in a zipper by hand, it actually only took me half an episode of a tv show (watching tv with my husband is the best way to make hand sewing bearable). For the picture I pulled down the fabric a bit, else it would not show at all, it normally is nicely covered.

Finding my keys is the most frequent interaction I have with bags. I therefore like to store them separate and easily reachable. I sewed an elastic in a side pocket, this way my keys are safe and easily reachable. I like to sew frugally in general, so besides upcycling the denim, I also upcycled the hardware of this bag. I repurposed the strapholders from an old conference bag. The fabric that I used was very inexpensive as well. Besides the upcycled jeans, the other main outside fabric was a free remnant that Joyce (blogless) donated to the "pile" on our most recent sewing weekend. The arrow fabric was an Art Gallery fat quarter that I got as a gift accompanying this skirt. The black dotted lining is from too small pillow cases that were part of a recently bought bedcover set from Ikea.

If I convinced you about the awesomeness of the Savannah pattern, you will be delighted to hear that you can win the pattern and more! There are two give away's connected to today's post. The first give away is that I am allowed to give away two(!) Savannah bag patterns. If you would like a chance to win one, you have to leave a comment on this blog post, in which you tell me how you follow me (Bloglovin, Instagram, Facebook). I will pick two random winners on Tuesday the 21st. For the second giveaway, the big one, you can fill the rafflecopter.

Updated: Bieke from Biebiezonder and Delphine Hoorelbeke won the two bag patterns that I was allowed to give away! Please contact me inspinration(at)

Tour Discounts

  • ChrisW Designs is taking 20% off all patterns until end of day (Australian Central Standard Time) November 21. Code GlobalBlogTour17 (applied automatically with this link. Buy without fear: If you purchase during the tour and then win a pattern, your purchase price will be refunded.
  • Handbag Hardware Australia (aff link) is offering a 10% discount for the duration of the tour. Use code: CWD10. (Excludes interfacing and Emmaline Bling.)
  • Bobbin Girl has a 10% discount using code BLOGTOUR17. (Not to be combined with any other discount or rewards points.)
  • Gold Star Tool is taking 15% off for our tour readers. Use code chriswdesigns.
  • Zipit (aff link) is also offering a 10% discount on shop items. Use code ChrisWDesigns.



a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tour Schedule

  Sunday, November 12
Monday, November 13
Tuesday, November 14
Wednesday, November 15
Thursday, November 16
Friday, November 17
Saturday, November 18
Tuesday, November 21
  • Giveaway winners announced on all the blogs:
ChrisW Blog, Glitter in my Coffee, Michelle's Creations, Flying by the Seam of my Pants, Serial Bagmakers, Tiger in a Tornado, Vanaehsa, Judith Stitches and More, Doctora Botones, Sewsewilse, Suck It Up Buttercup, Vicky Myers Creations, Marvelous Auntie M, inspinration, Fée bricolo, Trisha's Craft Corner

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

One Thimble issue 17

I know that many people feel they give you a compliment if they tell you your projects look store bought. I always assume that those people believe our store bought pieces are made by artists that love their work or by very advanced machines and not by the underpaid exploited factory workers that actually make our stuff. My husband knows what I think off that "compliment"so when he saw the shirt that I am showing your today, he immediately told me that it was totally incomparable to all the boring shirts in the store. He and my over-the-moon daughter made my day.

The project that inspired such praise was this interactive shirt. Yes, interactive, besides being a shirt it doubles as a toy. My middle daughter LOVES kitchen toys (besides the kilo's of Lego's in our house we have a lot of kitchen play sets as well), so when I saw this applique I immediately knew who I would use it for. Although the original project is an easy sew, I made it even easier. Officially you have to stabilize your fabric for the food item and sew the halves together. I went a slightlydifferent route, I saw this as the perfect opportunity to finally use the felt that I once bought. Besides the cheese, all the food items were made from inexpensive hobby felt that I glued together with textile glue. The cheese is from high quality felt and it is one layer. After cutting the union I decided to make an olive which is not in the set) from the little scrap circle.

This interactive applique is part of the new One thimble issue 17*. Although this applique would be an awesome stand alone toy,  I finally did decide to  sew the applique on something. I chose the new Regem* shirt by Sofilantjes as my canvas. Besides containing this applique, the new issue has many more patterns, and today I am also showing you the Nori dress by Paisley Roots. I tested the dress over the summer, so when she was wearing this dress, she was not freezing, I promise. After this test the pattern got adjusted a bit, the cut outs became a bit smaller and the skirt a bit longer.

The Nori dress closes with snaps on the sides and sliders in the neck. Snaps I have enough to last a lifetime, but sliders are not in my sewing supply. I feel hardware is often overpriced in craft stores and prefer to use a frugal solution or upcyle those parts. If you are similar, you might be happy to realize that old bra's also have sliders, and those I did have in my upcycle pile.

I told you before, my fabric stash mostly contains jersey, there is not much woven in there, and certainly not many wovens that are big enough to cut a circle skirt for a nine year old from. I did have some brown biological Cloud 9 fabric that I once bought to make a suit for my son from (which did not happen). Uni brown did not really say "summer"dress to me, so I took my Bobbinhood kit and for the first time hand-cut a stencil. I was between two summer vacations and scarce on time, so I freestyled this fabric in under 40 minutes. It could have been done better but I like the vintage vibe.

This post is part of the One Thimble issue 17 blog tour. The tour is nearing the end, which means that there is already  a lot of inspiration available. Here you have an easy clickable overview of the entire tour organized my Pattern Revolution. This issue also contains shorts, a bag, teacher gifts and jacket, a woman's dress and more. You can buy issue 17 one the One thimble site.


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.

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Stories without endings

Lotte Martens released a new collection on Wednesday and I again had the honor to provide you with some sewing inspiration. You know that my heart beats for jersey fabrics, so I picked an Aronia from the new collection. The Aronia fabrics have a gradient print with stripes and there are five different colors. I sewed with the yellow version which is a lovely color combination with a warm and bright  effect.

I wanted to provide as much inspiration as possible, so I used the stripes in vertical direction on the front and in horizontal direction on the back. I used the Legend dress pattern from Sew Straight and Gather. I sewed the dress before and I just love the neckline. The entire front of the dress is lined, for that nicely finished neckline. I color blocked the lining such that I only used the Aronia on the top of the lining.


The theme of the new collection is "Stories without endings" and I associate that with fairy tales. This weekend we had another sewing weekend that was located in a storybook surrounding which perfectly fitted the collection's theme. Katrien also took her dress on the weekend to make some magically beautiful pictures of her Lotte Martens party dress.

Lotte Martens' fabrics are known for their sparkle, and many of the fabrics in the new collection are printed with metal paint. The Aronia fabrics are also available with metal screen printed stripes, make sure you check this listing because that yellow dress takes your breath away for sure. Besides jerseys, the collection contains thick knits, scuba, wovens and more. I got a sneak peek from several of the blogger projects and with every sneak, I was amazed again, so make sure you check out all the posts that will become available for the tour.

I sewed my dress with one and a half meter of fabric and only had some small scraps left. This time I could not turn them into a dress for my youngest, but I did manage to sew a shirt. I used the Nivalis* pattern and some extra creativity. I had used all the clear stripes in the fabric on the dress, but by combining scraps, you can still see the gradient effect. I cut the front from four smaller pieces, but they go well together like this. I top stitched with some sparkling gold thread.

In the theme of never ending stories, I will also show you another Lotte Martens piece that I made earlier. After this ensemble, I still had quite some fabric left and I sewed my middle daughter a Aura* bolero. I probably do not have to tell you she loves this sparkling piece.

Although the collection was launched on Wednesday, you will have to be a little more patient for the Aronia fabrics. They unfortunately were not delivered yet, but you can already check the stores and the other fabrics from the collection.