29 mei 2015

Wake up cousin! We're going to the zoo!

Well hello there! I'm here! With a garment post! Isn't that exciting? I've actually finished three other things that should be photographed, but other stuff just keeps happening. Last weekend Tasia and her husband were in town, and I basically spent three days with them having a blast and getting a slight sunburn (first one of the year!). It was really nice to meet them both, and I think they had fun as well:

Just saying: they were trying not to hit kids, no matter what this picture looks like!
We really enjoyed showing them around Antwerp, introducing Tasia to a few museums, fabric shops and of course the wild swarms of bees that regularly roam town:

This was really cool though. People were having drinks two tables over. Surreal.

(In all seriousness, I hope they got a beekeeper there instead of just exterminating them. We need all the bees we can get, people!)

Anyway, today my boyfriend, Lieke and me went over to Planckendael to look at cute animals and I took the chance to photograph a new thing between some huge plants. It's an Alder and I love it.

I'm feeling like sewing summer things (even though I was freezing my butt off when we arrived back home) and this is definitely summery. I used a super lightweight cotton gauze, which means I have to wear a top and bike shorts underneath it unless I want my underwear on display.

As usual with Grainline patterns, this came together really well. Any hitches I encountered had more to do with the fabric! It was very shifty, and I had to press very carefully to avoid warping it. Some pieces also grew a lot after cutting. I ended up using my walking foot for most of the construction, and that definitely helped.

One big booboo: I barely had enough fabric to cut this dress, and could only make it if I cut the front skirt panels on the crossgrain. Sadly enough, they now wrinkle in a different direction than the rest of the dress. It doesn't show as much in real life, but I'll definitely have to remember it the next time!

I'm also tempted to rip out the topstitching on the collar stand because it's a bit too wonky for my liking. But then again, this fabric is pretty fragile so it might not be a great idea (but obviously running and climbing through playgrounds is). This silhouette is pretty different from what I usually go for, but I really like it. I cut my size according to my bust measurement because I didn't mind a relaxed fit around the waist. The result is a number that might get a sequel or two!

After this little shoot we went ahead to see everything on offer. There were loris you could feed nectar to:

We also got to see a very grumpy fox right after waking up, and before his lunch. Too cute.

It was a pretty intense day, and we managed to see the entire park. We learned tons of things about bonobos and I managed to identify a tawny frogmouth and some banded mongooses. Good times!

11 mei 2015

A quilt a day won't keep your backache away

Hi guys! Don't fear, I'm not turning this place into a home decor blog, but I do have a few progress shots of a pretty massive project!

One of our living room walls still has an empty spot, right above a small cabinet. It's still empty for a reason: I wanted to put something big on that wall! Some time ago I spotted the amazing map quilt kits Haptic lab sells. The idea is super simple: you get a template printed on a sort of tear-away stabilizer, make your quilt sandwich (backing fabric, batting, top fabric), pin the template to it and follow the lines. I have never done anyhting quilt before but I think it's a nice introduction: the focus is on the quilted design, you don't have to cut or stitch small pieces and it's easy to customize (add embroidery or even appliqué). I'm nowhere near finished, but here are some progress shots!

I chose the constellation quilt because space, and have finished the main outlines of the map so far. At first I toyed with the idea of embroidering drawings of the constellations as well, but I decided to keep it a little simpler to stop this from becoming a truly massive project I'll never finish. 

After finishing this corner I decided I couldn't wait to see what the final thing looks like, so here's a peek! It's pretty exciting to see and feel how things are working out. Haptic Lab provides some basic intructions on how to put things together and what stitches to use, which worked out fine. Since this is going to be a wall decoration I'm not bothering with making the back look nice or hiding my thread ends, but some instructions on that would have been nice since you have a lot of small separate shapes. Hopefully this will continue to go well!

There should be some garment posts up here soon by the way! I made a fancy dress I still haven't properly photographed and something for my birthday, which was last week. I turned 26 and decided to celebrate with a hands-free spaghetti party. It looked like this: