15 september 2013

The Super Spontaneous Shopping Spree

It had all started in such an innocent way. Stephanie asked me to join her to the Stoffenspektakel, a massive fabric fair that travels around the Netherlands and Belgium and urges loads of people to spend money. I had been there once before and was a little weary of the crowd, but the nice company lured me in! We asked the rest of the people we met in brussels to join us, but they were all doing sensible things like 'saving money' or 'stashbusting'. Boo!

I did manage to reel Hanne in, who sadly missed out on the previous blogger meet. She had to leave pretty early on, so Stephanie and I agreed to drag ourselves out of bed early and meet at the train station.

Look! Excitement!
We arrived at the market ten minutes before it opened, and there was a huge mass of people already waiting to get in. I didn't take any pictures, but it was a colourful bunch! I think a lot of people agree that sewing with beige is quite boring...

Stephanie quickly found (and bought) the coolest fabric of the day:

Foxes. On a knit. She said she'd make it into a dress immediately, I'm curious!

It wasn't long before Hanne spotted the seocnd awesome fabric of the day:

Yep, those are flamingos. We made her pose like one as well, because that's what you do in a crowded fabric market! I don't know how many times she said 'flamingos' today (it doesn't sound like an actual word anymore).

Both Hanne and Stephanie found some other goodies, but I didn't really see anything with my name on it. After absent-mindedly petting a black knit with a flocked brocade pattern thinking 'hey that's nice' and then moving on I realised that it WAS a very nice fabric, and that it would make a great wintery mission maxi dress. I went on a search for the fabric but my hungry brain failed to remember where it was and I left without buying anything. Or so I thought. After lunch the girls both took a train home, and I impulsively went back to the market to see if I could find it with food in my belly.


It's hard to photograph, the fabric is a lot darker and richer looking in real life... It's a very stable knit, and I think it will do perfectly well in my planned fall and winter wardrobe.

tldr: this was an awesome day and we all bought fabric.

11 september 2013

The Seasalt Dress

I'm not always the best at coming up with creative titles, but this might be one of my worst. It's a Saltspring dress! And the print reminds me of the sea!

When I first spotted the pattern on the Sewaholic website, I knew it would be perfect for my second maxi dress. Tasia really excells at making patterns that are a brilliant blank canvas: this dress is far from boring in itself, but I can see it work in loads of different prints or colours.

So here's mine:

(The pictures are a bit dark, it was a rainy day and we didn't have time until quite late! I used some Photoshop trickery, but this just won't be my brightest post ever)

I made this dress like a wearable muslin, and I'm very pleased with the way it turned out. The fabric is a cheap, lightweight cotton from a local fabric store, with an abstract print. It could have been a bit drapier in the bodice, but overall I'm happy with the fit. I might add some width to the back on my next version (something I did for my second Cambie as well) because I feel like there's a bit of pulling there.

I didn't notice how the blousy part had been pushed upwards when I climbed on the thing I'm standing on, that's why it looks a bit funny in this shot. Everyone and their mother already mentioned the ingenious construction of the bodice, but I'll just say it again: the lining is shorter than the shell, which causes the blousing. No tugging all day to get the dress to lie the way you want it to!

This is the first elastic-waisted thing (for daywear) that I've made in a very long time. I'm not too fond of elastic waists in dresses, I always considered them a bit of lazey fitting, but it really does the trick in this one. The blousing conceals the elastic most of the time, and I feel like I can eat an elephant.

I was also surprised to figure out I could keep wearing this dress into the autumn! It's described as a summer dress for hot days, but I think it works just as well with tights, boots and a jacket. Good, because I'm not tired of wearing this just yet and things are getting chilly here!

I only made one change to the pattern, and that was to use the strap variation demonstrated in this tutorial. I wear a lot of bags with straps that sit right on my shoulder, and liked the extra bra strap coverage this variation gives. I've already worn this dress multiple times since I finished it, and it's only encouraged my love for maxi lengths!

In the meantime, I'm packing away in my bedroom, sifting through years and years of notebooks, sketchbooks, drawings and other stuff. Deciding what comes with me and what stays behind or thrown away isn't too hard, but finding a way to get all my stuff into the appartment will be a challenge!

01 september 2013

The Walk in the Park Dress

This is going to be a very green post. And a silly one. Just a warning!

Today there was an annual fair in my boyfriend's hometown, with a massive fleamarket. We decided to go by, have a look, and take the opportunity to photograph one of my latest makes in a local park. One of my childhood dreams came true:

See that? That's one of those massive balloons my parents never wanted to get me.  And today I got one. I had a hard time choosing (they had a Spongebob one as well) but I went for the one-eared, two-legged tiger. And I was SO HAPPY!

Derp. Seriously. Balloons make everything better, even if it's a bit too cold for the dress you're wearing and the thing keeps bumping into other people because it's windy. I spent most of the afternoon smiling like an idiot, and gave it to another child when we headed home.

Now, the dress! It's a print I've been hoarding for a while because I loved it so much, and finally had the guts to just go for it and make something. It's a Michael Miller cotton with a park printed on it. I love how it looks like wearing a painting!

The pattern is a combination of a free bodice pattern I once found online but had to adjust so many times it's basically my own, and the skirt from the Chantilly dress by Colette patterns (by far my favourite skirt for prints without too much of a horizontal or vertical direction going on! It's even fuller than a traditional gathered skirt, but the gores and the curved hem make for a way nicer drape). The zipper looks a bit wonky in this picture, but I swear it fits fine!

Pockets, of course. I lined the entire dress in a green cotton poplin I had around, and the combination of those two fabrics makes for an amazingly poufy skirt.

The bodice is a basic princess-seamed style with thin straps. I've used two straps on each side for a bit more bra-coverage. The strange bit is that the bust part of this pattern fit me fine, but the back and sides were humongous on me. I think I've removed around 20 cm all around!

And now for the pictures you've all been waiting for: me looking like an idiot in the park! Just proving that this dress is excellent for ancient ghost-summoning dances...

... Or high kicks. I seem to be astonished by my own leg here.

He's actually incredibly sweet and happy, but tends to look downright evil...
One last little update: blog posts have been a little sporadic over the past month (I worked a nine to five-job most of the time and just never had the time for pictures!), and I'm afraid things will stay like that for a while. My boyfriend and I have decided to find a place together, and after a lot of looking at appartments things are going very fast. We found a nice little place and are sort of preparing to move all our junk, ourselves and this grumpy little bugger in. Exciting: I'll probably have my own little sewing space, so expect some posts on that!