28 maart 2015

The first linocut is the deepest

I have been doing a lot of linocutting recently, and I recently remembered I even used the medium to illustrate a book, but never posted about it! SO here are some pictures from that project. It was the third time working with Kapitein Winokio, a pretty awesome children's musician. (You can see previous projects here and here!). It was a book about animals with very different characters, and we decided lino prints could really work to make simple and strong images with lots of texture. I'm still really happy with how this turned out, even if my technique has improved a lot since then!

This might easily be my favourite picture of all, simply because it's a hawk making a phonecall:

I've recently been printing a lot of fabric patches to sew onto your favourite jean jacket or hoodie, and I'm hoping to offer them up for sale really soon! Here are a few sneaky progress shots:

25 maart 2015

Public service announcement!

Hi everyone,

One year ago I bought two domain names. One with my own name that I'd use for my drawing blog, and one for this sewing blog. As I got a renewal notice I started thinking. I haven't used my drawing blog in ages and I thought it would be silly to keep paying for two domain names, but losing the one with my own name felt a bit weird. So I decided to merge the two blogs and use my own name, Anneke Caramin, for this blog.

What does this mean? Practically, www.annettetirette.com WON'T WORK ANYMORE. You can still use annettetirette.blogspot.com and it will redirect to annekecaramin.com. If you use bloglovin' you won't notice anything, since bloglovin' still uses the old blogspot link.

As for content, expect some more variation! For those who didn't know, I studied and graduated as an illustrator. After graduating I honestly felt a bit uninspired and sick of drawing for a while, but now the urge has definitely returned... You can see some of my older work here and in the future I hope to post drawings along with sewing projects on this blog.

There will be some changes to the header and other things soon, and I hope you will enjoy these drawings posts as much as the sewing ones!

This is one of my more recent drawings: a portrait of St. Vincent, who is awesome.

20 maart 2015

Turns out it can be over before the fat lady sings

A few weeks ago I went to the opera with a few friends. We went to see Händels Alcina at de Munt, and it was freaking amazing! Even the Belgian Queen made an appearance. I think we both enjoyed the costumes, although her seat was far superior to mine.

Of course we decided to really go for it with our outfits and take this outing as a great excuse to get all dressed up. So the boys donned suits and the girls were in fancy dresses and heels. What better excuse to make a party dress?

I have used this fabric before for a Sew it Up entry (it became a jacket you can see here). I loved the fabric (a loosely woven viscose/poly blend with metallic accents) and made sure to find some extra so I could definitely make a dress. I wanted something simple that would showcase the stripes without distorting them too much, and without too many seamlines (this fabric frays like crazy and I was worried a dress with too much piecing would just fall apart).

In the end I modified my bodice block to have a separate yoke with a curve in the front and a dip in the back. I used the same stretch lace for the yoke as on the Oonapalooza dress and finished it in exactly the same way (trimmed down regular bias tape to make it more narrow). I still have enough of this lace to make at least two more transparent yoke dresses, so I hope you're not tired of it yet!

I tried to match the stripes as closely as possible, which was more successful in some areas than others. I cut everything on a single layer, something my cat really loved. The skirt is just two rectangles sewed at the sides and pleated into the waist. I hemmed it with bias tape as well and managed a very invisible finish thanks to the loose weave of the fabric.

I'm not entirely convinced about how the top part looks on me, I think the curve could benefit from being a bit lower and straighter... Maybe I'll make a slightly tweaked version of this someday. For now I really loved wearing it though! Especially with the tiny velvet gold embroidered purse I found at a vintage shop that makes me feel Oh So Fancy even though it means storing all my stuff in my coat pockets.

I still have enough of the fabric left to make a few decorative pillows for the living room, but I fear my cat would rip them apart. He likes kneading blankets, pillows or humans before settling down on them and keeping any pillow away from this lovable old fart would feel criminal. Decisions decisions!

10 maart 2015

The epic Scarf Saga (or why I suck at making gifts)

I'll be the first to admit it: I'm a really selfish sewer/knitter. As soon as I have to make something for someone else there's a combination of pressure to do well and the item in question not being for me, which usually results in delays. Embarrassing delays. One Christmas I made my father a scarf, and decided to make a matching hat the next year. By Christmas I had managed to make the pompom, and the actual hat took another year. So since this set has taken me three years (!!) to make I thought it deserved its own post:

Meet my dad everyone! He's more comfortable in front of the camera than me, so I'm thinking about asking him to model all the other things I make as well. It should be interesting.

This photoshoot was his idea actually, since he got complimented on his snazzy hat and scarf set and gave this nice person my blog. The next time they met he was told that my blog was really nice, but that it was a shame the scarf wasn't on there. So here you go, nice compliment-giving person!

Both scarf and hat are knitted in the exact same yarn. The scarf is entirely in moss stitch (I didn't use a pattern, just cast on a number of stitches that looked right and continued until the thing was long enough) and the hat in stockinette (to make for a more subtle set, definitely not because it was three years later and I'd forgotten what the scarf looked like, cough!). I used this free hat pattern from the Purl Bee and added a massive pompom.

My dad likes his scarf and hat so I think all is forgiven... But I think the moral of the story is that I should only knit or sew gifts for very VERY patient people.

26 februari 2015

Don't mind me, I'm just being casual

People, I've been on a bit of a roll lately. There are honestly so many ideas and projects bouncing around in my head it gets a bit overwhelming at times. I've been doing some sewing, knitting and even dug up my felt again to make some patches! Next stop: more linoprinting. I didn't have to work on Tuesday and Wednesday this week so I decided to have some fun. On Tuesday night Lieke and her boyfriend took me and my boyfriend to see the Decemberists, and it was AWESOME! I made us all little badges for the occasion:

On Wednesday we slept in and met up with a good friend and her daughter to go see the Panamarenko exhibit at the Muhka in Antwerp. It was all very nice and interesting, but at a certain point our youngest companion had a different kind of entertainment in mind:

I wore another Linden sweater for the occasion, the third one I've made so far! It's a ridiculously quick pattern to make, I cut it out on Monday night and sewed it on Tuesday morning, before my boyfriend woke up. It took some time to convince him that was actually the thing I'd been cutting the night before!

Boyfriend: "Go stand in front of the diarrhea wall! It'll be hilarious!"

The fabric is impossible to photograph, but it's a pretty light blue knit with golden sparkles all over. All those years of wearing jeans and t-shirts are finally catching up, and I'm currently drawn to glitter like a six-year-old. There are worse things!

I can't really say much more about this sweater. This time I just made view B in a size 12, without any alterations. I lengthened the neckband a smidge again to help it stretch around the neckline and finished all the edges with a zig zag stitch since this knit does unravel quite badly.

The skirt is new as well! My boss had another plan for us to wear matching clothes, and this time it was a t-shirt with a sequin appliqué on it. She thought it would look 'so cute with some jeans' so I made a burgundy wrap skirt to go with it. The pattern is from the previous Burda magazine and it was super simple. The back and front underlap are just rectangles (the instructions tell you to gether them but I went for pleats since I didn't want my butt to look too poofy). The front piece has a pretty interesting shape, the hem is straight but the upper side is much wider and curved, which is then pleated into the waistband. This makes the hem drop in the front, giving it an asymmetrical look. I used a solid linen bought in a local fabric shop.

Here are some more badges! I made the bottom two, the top one was bought from Lindsay Bottos. This picture also gives the best impression of what the fabric (and part of my hair!) looks like.

Of course I also got my lovely friend to help me pose. We take each other to a whole different level! Her daughter has clearly inherited her talent:

And how did we end this super sophisticated day? By eating pancakes and laughing at this cat. His name is Tupac and he's 2 bizzy 4 u.

16 februari 2015

Casually kicking ass... In space!

Hi everyone! Just as a disclaimer: the garment I'm showing you today has been shamelessly ripped off. In fact, it's a piss-poor attempt to touch the heels of the latest Valentine collection thing. I mean, how can you look at this and not want it?

I know, right! I had a dark green sweatshirt knit in my stash and loads of different gold and silver textile paints (because of course I own loads of those) so I decided to use the Grainline Linden sweater as a base and just go loco. I finished it in time to wear on a weekend in the countryside with my family, which was amazing. We were staying near Ypres, and even though I've been there before I was just overwhelmed with the amount of history in the area. We visited Tyne Cot cemetery and Flanders Fields museum and it was just incredibly touching.

I had made this pattern once before (But not for me! Incredible!) and knew it comes together really quickly. The only thing that gave me trouble the first time was the neckband: I used self fabric and I think the sweatshirt fabric just isn't stretchy enough compared to ribbing. I had a really hard time fitting it around the neckline the first time round and decided to lengthen the pattern piece a tiny bit on this version, which definitely helped!

The neckline turned out nice and flat, no gaping anywhere. It's a super speedy sew because knits (so no seam finishes, haha). I think it took me about an hour to get it together, clumsy fumbling included.

The print was really easy, and only took a longer time because I wanted to paint both sides and had to let the whole thing dry before turning it over. I cut rough stars in different sizes out of a sturdy paper and used a soft paintbrush to stencil them on. After that I added loads of dots and finished with some glitter (which ended up all over car seats and everything during our family retreat. I am simply too impatient to heat set the paint before wearing the thing)

The sparkle doesn't really show on camera, but it looks really nice in real life! I picked the size of the dress based on my bust and hip measurements and just lengthened it straight down. I like a flared skirt on a fitted bodice or in a more drapey fabric, but add it to this relaxed fit in a structured fabric such as this and I look like a trumpet.

Now if you'll excuse me, I have to get back to my spaceship.

PS: As a bonus, here's what happens when my boyfriend tells me to 'look angry':

15 januari 2015

No! No! No no no. I can't be six months late. I said five minutes.

Hello old friends! I just looked at the date of my previous post and let out a little sigh. Where does the time go? I've been doing lots of different things but it's mostly knitting so... unfinished and SLOW! I'm also currently without a photographer since my boyfriend went on a trip to Japan, which is obviously awesome. So that's why there are indoor pictures now, instead of our usual forays into the city and the great beyond... The past few weeks have been a bit hectic, with sales going on in the store I work at and lots of social gatherings. I had a few amazing Christmas parties with my family and one really great one with friends. We decided to go for a 'Sexy Christmas' theme and I just went for total blasphemy and dressed up as Sexy Jesus:

It turned out I looked more like the lovely Conchita Wurst.

Between that, I've slowly been working on a tailored coat (omg!) and the aforementioned knitting. But this week I got a sudden epiphany about a beloved stash fabric and decided to make a new dress. I'd had this Alexander Henry cotton around for a long time but was a bit lost about what to do with it: the print is amazing but really big so I didn't want to have too many pieces cutting through it, but it did feel like it needed more than just a basic fit-and flare bodice. What's this print of, you say? Oh just MOTHERFUCKING FRIDA KAHLO:

Seriously. This is called 'Frida's Garden' and I love how it combines all these little elements from her paintings in one. That, and some of the colours match the blue ombre I had done to my hair. Woop! As you might be able to tell, I used the bodice of the Flora dress from By Hand London. The humongeous skirt pattern would never work with this narrow quilting cotton, so I just gathered two widths of the fabric. It works better with this directional print ayway, imho!

I Didn't really bother with pattern matching on the front or side seams (just tried to avoid Frida-nipples) But I did make an effort to match the back across the zipper. It doesn't match as perfectly as I'd like, but close enough!

Here's a bit of a close up of the fabric. I really like how it's essentially a drawn impression of her work, but still instantly recognisable. This fabric is a lighter weight than the one I used on my previous Flora dress,  and it's very comfortable. I do wear it with a camisole since the neckline gapes a bit and gets very deep very fast... I had the same problem before and handstitching it closed didn't really work, so I resorted to an extra top, which is something I'll often wear underneath my dresses anyway!

I have a few more projects lined up, including an Icelandic sweater I knit for myself, but I'd like to wait with the picturetaking of that one until I finished the one I'm knitting for my boyfriend. Photographing them together would be so much more fun!