24 januari 2013

The Indigo Leaves Dress

I finally managed to photograph another garment! It's a tricky business during winter it seems, as I don't really like indoor shots (especially for a lack of a decent background) and my photographer isn't really available during daytime hours. Anyway, I dragged my dear brother away from his studying to quickly take some pictures of this dress:

I made this some time ago and wear it quite often, but didn't get around to photograph it. The pattern is a copy of a well-loved H&M dress (yeah you heard that right!) that had been through the wash one too many times and had to go. It fit me really well though, and the style was perfect for lots of different occasions, so I took it apart and used it as a pattern for this dress. It's a fairly simple pattern with a few interesting details, mainly the five darts around the neckline. Darts I didn't photograph because this is what happens if I'm out in the cold for too long:

Um, yes. The rest of the dress is pretty straightforward: a pleated skirt with pockets, a tie around the waist, no sleeves, yadda yadda. But the back has a nice surprise:

Omg, buttons! They were functional on the original dress but mine aren't because my buttonhole foot is still lost (and surprise surprise, it's hard to get decent buttonholes with your regular presser foot... Not impossible, but tricky!) and I never used them anyway.

The verdict: I love my new dress, it's already a staple in my wardrobe, I should really trace the pieces of the old one so I have a paper pattern, I need a new buttonhole foot. Or find the old one. But I'm afraid it fell into my scraps bin and was accidentally tossed out. Boo.

18 januari 2013


I rarely get the urge to clean or organize, but this week I took a look at my pattern stash and realised something had to change. I don't really have a lot of space for sewing, definitely not compared to how much fabric I have. Most of the fabric I plan to use soon is stored in two plastic bins that have been overflowing for months, and all the rest (lining and muslin fabrics, remnants, gifted things without a designated purpose) takes up a small cupboard in the hallway. I also have one large plastic bin for patterns, something that should work out in theory. But months of taking stuff out and putting it back in left the bin looking like this:

 Yeah, that's bad. But the inside is worse:

That's what you get when you start drafting patterns (so no envelopes) and just toss them into a box because you haven't thought of a way to keep them organized. I had been thinking about this issue, and knowing myself, I knew it had to be something I could store quickly because I'm LAZY when it comes to cleaning up. I had used flimsy plastic sleeves before because they were there, but they just kept sliding all over the place and fitting all the pattern pieces inside was almost as fiddly as pattern envelopes. So on a trip to the art supply store, I decided to take a look at the office supplies and find an alternative.

Tadaa! I found these cardboard folders for absolutely no money, and figured they'd be perfect. I could write anything on the front or even make a sketch of the garment, and they were large enough to keep a load of pieces. So after an hour or two of unloading this bin, sorting loose pieces and storing I was left with this:

Phew, that's better. I've got a heap of folders with self-drafted or pdf-printed patterns on one side, and extra folders, patterns with envelopes and sewing magazines on the other. This actually feels like a way of storing things even I might keep up!

Now on to the fabric...

13 januari 2013

A new Year

I might just be the last person to make a post like this. Happy New Year everyone! It's been quite busy around here, with little time for sewing activities. Thankfully I spent my Christmas money on a truckload of fabric, and found a few spare moments to make some plans!

I never really make New Year's resolutions, but I did spend some time thinking about what I want to sew and how. Lately I realised I was hurrying to finish projects as soon as possible, producing as many garments as I could in the limited time I had. When I noticed I started skipping things to be quicker, an alarm bell went off. What was the point in spending time sewing my own clothes if I wasn't going to do it properly? So that is my first and main resolution for this upcoming year (and the ones after this one as well): sew slow!

I have mentioned before how I wanted to make a proper winter coat, and the red wool I'm going to use arrived this week. The pattern will start from a basic double-breasted coat pattern I bought last year, but I will add some things such as wider lapels, pleats in the front and of course the back detailing (which I've completely ripped from a vintage coat I saw on Etsy). It will involve a lot of muslins and a lot of tailoring, but hopefully I'll end up with a gorgeous and warm coat! (By the way, the wool I bought is nowhere near as pink as the colour in the sketch, it's just really hard to photograph! The colour was called 'cardinal' and it's a lovely red, slightly deeper than your average bright red.)

The second coat I have planned for this year will be a trenchcoat in blue. I have made a trench before (pre-blog) and loved the idea, but the pattern wasn't quite right. I found a Burda coat I love, and will probably add a few details and make a couple of changes.

I will definitely continue my love affair with prints this year. The birds have already arrived, and the woodland fabric is on its way. I realise this might not be everyone's cup of tea, but I really really love simple dresses as a canvas for an amazing print.

Here's another one of those prints, and another resolution: I do need a few more basic items as well. I have this chambray lying around and think it would make a lovely dress, to be worn just as is in summer and spring and with a cardigan and tights in fall and winter. I'm also planning to learn sewing with knits: at the moment I still rely on H&M and such for t-shirts, but being able to make my own would be a huge step forward. A t-shirt doesn't take a lot of fabric and the end result wouldn't even be all that more expensive than the cheapies I buy (and ruin) on the high street.

So these are some new year's thoughts, and an idea of what to expect on this blog the following months!

11 januari 2013


Hello everyone,

I want to apologize for the long silence on this blog... I currently have a lot of work so there's not that much time left for sewing. I do have a post or two planned for next week, so stay tuned!

In the meantime, here is a sewing-themed piece I made some time ago. To see more of my illustration work, visit my other blog!