21 mei 2017

I Sacrificed A Goat For This

Ok, not really. But getting this thing cut out did feel a bit like black magic. See, I had this sudden need for a pair of long black linen dungarees, and thought I had two meters in stash to make it happen. Imagine the infernal screaming that was produced when I discovered it was only a meter and a half, with bits cut away to be used in other projects! I was determined to make it work though, and set up an altar:

Ok, again, not really. I went rooting through my scraps and found two more tiny pieces of black linen from the same shop, did some crazy pattern tetris (while still managing acceptable pattern placement, grain-wise) and cut the whole thing out. Another fabric yield win!

So yeah, linen dungarees. These are exactly the same as my space trashbag pants, only full length instead of shorts (and I also changed the back a bit). I used the Morgan jeans as a base and was a bit worried about how and if these jeans would look in linen, but it turned out fine! I like the first pair of Morgans I made but the non-stretch denim bags out a LOT with wear, and by that I mean that they fit really well right after washing but look like those skater jeans every boy in my school wore when I was fifteen at the end of the day. These have relaxed a bit with wear, but not that much. Phew!

I did one thing differently and that was to forego the back bib, instead making the straps come straight out of the waistband. It took a bit of fiddling to get them in the right position so there wouldn't be any weird pulling, but I think it's a nice variation.

Sewing these is pretty straightforward by now (although I did mess up and sewed the center back seam before attaching the back yoke parts, so there was a bit of cursing and unpicking (top)stitching and stuff. I used the bib pattern from these Knipmode dungarees, which works fine. There's a bit of a weird gape at the side but I can fix that on the next pair (who knows when that will be though). As usual, these close with buttons at the waist, which is a really easy modification to make to a jeans pattern (I can make a sketch if anyone's interested!).

I removed the patch from these short dungarees to put it on these, because it seemed more fitting here. I wore this to go fabric shopping with Hanne and Joost, and then visited Hanne's inlaws to look at dogs and lambs, followed by fries in the sun. This will probably become a wardrobe staple, even if it kind of makes me feel like what a mom in a 90s sitcom or tv movie would look like if she was painting cabinets or something, but in a good way. Does that make sense?


Someone asked for a tutorial, so here it is!

(click for a larger version)
To sew this:

- Interface both the facing and extension piece

- Before sewing the side seams, fold the extension in half with right sides together. Sew the bottom closed and turn right side out.

- Sew the facing and extension pieces on the front and back leg pieces with right sides together. I use a slightly smaller seam allowance so the seam won't be visible on the outside.

- Press both pieces away from the front and back legs and sew the side seam, being careful not to catch the facing or extension in the seam.

- Fold the facing under, press. You can add a bar tack through all layers at the bottom of the opening to keep the facing and extension in place.

- Attach front and back waistbands like you normally would.

- Make buttonholes where needed, attach buttons.

I hope that's clear!

10 mei 2017

It's Basic, Bitch

I've been having basics on my mind lately. Don't worry, there's still plenty of room in my heart (and ideas in my head) for prints and statement dresses, but some days I just want to wear something simple and be done. Since I kind of decided to stop buying things I can make (so, that's almost everything, except for things like socks and underwear- not jumping on that trend anytime soon- or shoes) I suddenly find myself sewing t-shirts and solid linen skirts, like this:

First up: the t-shirt! This is My modified Renfrew again, slightly longer this time (I wanted to be able to wear this with lower waisted jeans or tuck it into a skirt) and in a much drapier viscose jersey. Again, I didn't alter the pattern except for straightening out the side seams for a looser fit. I like how it hits this nice balance between fitted and oversized!

I used a plain black viscose jersey for the bands on the neckline and cuffs, partly for contrast and also because I thought making them in the stripes would be a bit much. Next time I might cut the neck band a tiny bit shorter, since I feel it's maybe a bit too floppy. It was a bit loose on my previous version as well, but it's not as obvious because it was a heavier cotton. I already got slightly dizzy while cutting this thing out! It's very soft and comfy though, and I can see this getting tons of wear over the summer.

Now for the skirt! It's a full circle skirt, again, I know. I used to avoid them because I didn't like the way they looked on me, but I found that cutting them slightly shorter than I used to makes a huge difference! This one is made from a burgundy linen, which makes it drape and flow nicely. I have some more pieces of linen waiting to make something out of them, and can't get the idea of black linen dungarees out of my mind. ALL THE LINEN!

The skirt closes with an exposed zip in the back, which is one of my favourite ways to take a skirt from meh to slightly less boring, maybe? I usually fall back on this Megan Nielsen tutorial to install them and it makes it a breeze.

I was really happy with this skirt and it would make one of those perfect summer things that go with everything, but then I spotted something that put this look on my face:

When I was sewing this, I noticed there was a very clear crease on the front where it had been cut on the fold. These can be stubborn sometimes, but I figured I could always give it a soak and press if I didn't get it out with a steam and press. Anyway, after assembling everything and pressing the crease out I noticed it's not just a fold, it's also slightly faded. As in, there's a faded line right down the center front of my skirt (it doesn't show in pictures but it's definitely noticeable in real life).

I'm going to try throwing this into the wash, hopesully the colour will still run a bit and maybe even things out a little. If that fails I can either:

- Accept this minor defect other people probably won't even notice until I point it out, which I definitely will, every time someone says ANYTHING at all about this skirt
- Take the entire thing apart, turn the front piece around and resew the skirt (the fabric has no right or wrong side and the line doesn't show on the inside of the skirt. WHY DIDN'T I NOTICE THIS IMMEDIATELY I COULD HAVE USED THAT AS THE OUTSIDE AND IT WOULD HAVE BEEN PERFECT)
- Throw the skirt into a corner, curl up into a different corner, pout until I realise how ridiculous it all it, shrug, donate skirt and make something else.

We'll see what happens!

Also: thank you Joost for the pictures!

03 mei 2017

It's My Party And I'll Dress Like an Oil Painting If I Want To

I seem to have started a tradition of making a birthday dress every year! Truth is, I love sewing and wearing 'fancy' things, but I do feel like I need a reason to. So I'll grab any occasion for party dress sewing! And make a dress out of cotton canvas. Hm.

I got this fabric during my trip to Leipzig. My friend Stefhany said she knew a store where she gets her embroidery floss that also sold fabric, and would I like to take a look? HELL YEAH! There wasn't that much interesting stuff (apart from maybe the Kermit-printed sweater stuff with neon green fluffy wrong side) but they had this beautiful floral print in the home decor section. (as well as something with kittens my company made me buy. Not so sure about what that will become though). It looks like an oil painting, especially with the canvas texture!

I mentioned before how I would have to rework my bodice block because my shape has changed a bit over the past few years, and I can proudly say that this is the first dress I've made from a block drafted from scratch! I followed the instructions from this book and then messed around with it until I achieved something acceptable enough for me. (I would write a post about it but I only have weird photobooth muslin pictures and really not that much to say since it wasn't as hard as I expected) The bust fit is maybe a bit weird in these pictures but that's because I got a spontaneous ribcage tattoo on Saturday and I was unable to wear a normal bra!

I kept things very simple, trying to keep the front of the bodice a bit plainer so I wouldn't be overwhelmed by florals and letting them shine on the full circle skirt. I cut the bodice in a single layer so I'd be sure there wouldn't be any floral nipples or other weirdness! The bodice is lined in a thin black cotton, the skirt is unlined and hemmed with a bias facing.

I swear that back seam matched perfectly when I started out... But apparently the amount of ease I had decided on during the muslin stage was a bit too much for this stiffer fabric (or maybe I just made that muslin on a fat day?). In any case, I tried it on after finishing (stupid!) and the back was gaping pretty badly. It wasn't horrible and I doubt anyone who doesn't sew would really notice, but I knew it would bother me forever so I unpicked my hand-picked zipper, took arbout 3 cm out of the back and redid the thing. Much better! I think I'll make the neckline a tiny bit wider the next time, but for now this works well.

This is my 'children's tv-show presenter' impersonation. Hey kids!

I wore this on my birthday party (changing into a fleece onesie at one point for the sake of comfort due to the aforementioned fresh ribcage tattoo) and then the next day on my actual birthday, for a trip to the zoo with Hélène. It was raining so we needed an inside location for pictures, and decided the elephant building was perfect since all the elephants were outside and there was nothing to see inside (so no people either). The trouble was that us being in there made everyone outside think there was something to see, so there was some awkward standing around waiting for a ton of confused people with strollers to leave again. Woops! We also met a slightly crazy guy who kept pointing out dead butterflies. Good times.

Now, can someone organize something that would require me to wear something made out of black velvet and gold sequins please?

19 april 2017

Bunny Ears Are For Losers

My family usually has a big gathering around Easter, as lots of families do. It's not a super fancy affair but I had the idea for this outfit in mind for a while, and sometimes you just need a reason to make something, right?

So here is my black lace crop top and skirt ensemble. Because it was my goal to look like a goth curtain (or Spanish widow?) on Easter.

I got this lace at Pauwels when it was still there (eternal sadness) and kind of knew from the start this was what I wanted to do with it. It's a pretty heavy duty lace that feels like cotton (and pressed like cotton) with a nice drape. I decided to play with the transparency by underlining the skirt and leaving the top sheer. Risqué!

I used a Burda dress pattern I've made twice before as the base for the top pattern, shortening (and narrowing) the sleeves, lowering the neckline a tiny bit and taking a chunk out of the back to make it a bit less boxy. The lace was opaque enough for the seams to not be too jarring, so I just finished them with a zig zag stitch. I did trim and finish the bust darts instead of just pressing them down! All the edges and hems are finished with narrow black bias tape. and then handstitched down.

The skirt is my trusty full circle skirt, shortened considerably. I cut this way longer at first (and had to do some real pattern tetris to get everything out of my yardage!) but ended up chopping about ten cm off because I felt the boxy top with a kneelength skirt was too frumpy.

The entire skirt is underlined in a thin black cotton. I used a plain black cotton poplin for the inside of the waistband since the idea of having the lace up against my bare skin all day didn't seem like a good one. The skirt closes with a hand-picked zipper and a big button on the side!

Wearing the lace top by itself was a bit too much, so I shortened a spaghetti strap top I already owned to make it slightly shorter than the lace. It took maybe five minutes and works like a charm!

It was too cold to wear this outfit as intended, so I kept my cardigan on for most of the day. I did attempt to play baseball in this, and I'm pretty sure the dreadful results of that have more to do with my abysmal catching, hitting and running skills that with the actual outfit!

14 april 2017


Drawn in Berlin while tired one night.

(Click for larger and readable versions)

11 april 2017

I Was Born This Way. And By That, I Mean Tired.

I have a small problem with sleeping. As in, I'm not very good at it. Especially the falling asleep part. On normal days it takes me at least an hour, on bad days... Let's just say that on bad days I'm happy to get three hours.

This means that I often feel a bit tired during the day. So instead of trying to fix the problem I just made a t-shirt that says 'BORN TIRED'. There! Done!

Joost and I try to meet once a week to work on a slightly nerdy project, so I asked him to take pictures of my new t-shirt before we got started. He was obviously very enthusiastic and could hardly wait:

Also pictured: the tote bag I got at Les Voizines last Saturday
So yes, I made a black cotton t-shirt. Here it is:

I used a plain black cotton jersey I got at Stoff & Stil during my trip to Berlin. It might seem like a pretty dull fabric to buy on a trip, but I had a very clear idea of what I wanted this shirt to look like (not too drapey so viscose jersey was a no), my local fabric shop had no black cotton jersey and then I found this and just thought it was meant to be. The white is plain white ribbing, which I did buy in Belgium.

The pattern is the Sewaholic Renfrew, a classic I've had in my possession for ages and never made. I still haven't made it as is though, since I changed a few things!

The most notable change is that I shortened the t-shirt a bit. It's not a proper crop top since it's still lower than my natural waist, but it's a bit shorter than most of my storebought tees, which looks better with this type of skirt in my opinion. I also straightened the side seams for a boxier silhouette.

I'm glad to have finally made this pattern, it's a really well-drafted basic! The hardest part about this t-shirt was the letters. I spent a day thinking about what font to use, decided on Cooper Black (the same as the 'Vote for Pedro' shirt in Napoleon Dynamite!) and then spent an hour painting the letters on (with tiny brushes and some patience).

I already fell asleep wearing this once so it's a success in more than one way! Something tells me it'll be perfectly appropriate for work as well.

06 april 2017


I'm back from my short trip to Germany! We visited Leipzig and Berlin, saw loads of people and had a blast. I gave the Stoff & Stil store in Berlin all my money and ate SO MUCH FOOD!

First we spent the weekend in Leipzig with our friends Stefhany and Tim. They proved to be great hosts and guides, taking us to good food and making up stories when they didn't know the answer to our questions.

After that it was on to Berlin, where we spent our days visiting museums and hanging out with friends. I also managed to make at least one drawing every day:

(click to see larger versions)

We still had quite a few things planned for our last day, but things turned out a bit different! Picture us, waking up at a friend's appartment in the Oranienstraße. It's 9 in the morning, I just got dressed and the boyfriend is slowly waking up, checking his e-mail.

"I guess I'll just check us in for our flight home tonight, now I'm here"
"Yeah, sure!"
"That can't be right."
"This says our flight leaves at 11."
"We'll never make it! Why did we think it was at eight???"

People, we made it. It was a stressful way to end a holiday and we regret not being able to meet the people we were supposed to meet on that last day, but we made it home in one piece (maybe with a few extra grey hairs).

I came back with a suitcase full of fabric, so expect some sewing soon!