29 mei 2017

Don't Swear! What Are We?

What do you do when you make something as a wearable muslin and it ends up kind of meh, imperfect and bland, but too good to just throw away?

Put some paint on it of course.

I currently have two t-shirt patterns that work really well for me (I've been using the Nettie pattern quite often, never as intended, but never blogged about those t-shirts because they're mostly black and boring. The other one is the modified Renfrew I've posted about twice before) but I would like to have a good basic tank pattern as well, since I don't do well with heat and just want to wear sleeveless things all summer. This is a first try, a copy of a tank top I already owned in a cheap grey viscose jersey. It's wearable, but there are a few issues.

The main issue is that I feel like the armholes and neckline are too high, which I'll try to fix on the next try by lengthening the straps a bit. The binding is also a smidge too short, but that might have been this particular fabric (which had less stretch than what I'm used to with these types of jersey). I do like the overall shape a lot: fitted on top and flared out towards the bottom, with a curved hem I couldn't photograph at home. Next time!

"When I grow up I want to be a vegetarian werewolf" - actually true.

After finishing this I knew it wouldn't really get worn as it was, so I got out my fabric paint and added one of my favourite movie quotes of all time. This took maybe half an hour to do by the way, I cut a round stencil for the shape of the moon and sort of dotted the paint inside of it to get those craters going, and then freehanded the words (which kind of shows, woops!)

So there you go, a 'meh' thing that now makes me smile. This is why:

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?