15 juni 2014


I actually managed to win the first edition of Sew It Up! Thanks so much to everyone who voted for me, this is seriously awesome. It was incredibly busy and a little bit crazy at some points, but I've had tons of fun! There will be a giveaway in the near future (but I need to collect some nice booty for that...) but before that, here's a gif party! (Bet you didn't see that coming!)

Again, thank you for all the support! It was lovely to see how everyone else interpreted the challenges, and really cool to see the interest from others! I'm off for some more overjoyed dancing...

09 juni 2014

Look at Me! I'm a Target!

YOU GUYS! I MADE IT TO THE FINAL ROUND IN THE SEW IT UP CONTEST! THANK YOU! If you like what I made and want to help me win this, please do pop over here and vote! As usual, the poll is at the end of the post!

Our final challenge was deceivingly simple: create an outfit that expresses your own unique style, using at least two handmade items. This one really got me thinking about what I wear and why I wear it. Most of my wardrobe these days consists of dresses with a fitted bodice and a wide skirt, casual jackets, flats and boots. I'll wear a necklace now and then but I usually forget to put on jewelry (except for a few piercings I never take out). My clothes have to be comfortable and easy to wear and combine, so I don't have to spend ages putting outfits together.

So for this challenge I made my favourite silhouette in prints I love, easy as that. I had a totally different idea for the jacket at first, but halfway through making it I changed my mind because it felt wrong with this dress. It will still be finished because it's an awesome project, but this second idea works a lot better! In the end I went for the Rigel bomber by Papercut Patterns, a pattern I've made before (that version gets tons of wear and I think it will be the same for this one!). This is an incredibly quick make by the way, I cut the jacket out one evening and it was done the next afternoon!

The fabric is an Indonesian cotton ikat I bought online some time ago. It's a lovely fabric but I only had a very small piece so it sat around in my stash waiting for the perfect pattern to come along! I opted to sacrifice some fabric to match the print at the side seams and cut the sleeves out of a black cotton. It breaks up the busy print a bit and makes the jacket a lot more versatile! The hem, sleeves and neck are finished with black ribbing.

I also lined the jacket in the same way I did before: make an outer shell and a lining and baste the two together before installing the zipper and ribbing. I then added the facing and catchstitched it down to the lining for a clean finish. It looks lovely and gives the outer fabric a bit more structure!

I'm really happy with this jacket, it might be my favourite thing I've made for this contest! It's going to get tons of wear. Now onto the dress, of which I'm already flashing a bit of sparkly hem here...

The pattern is the By Hand London Flora dress, and I wanted to make this as soon as it came out. It was the first BHL pattern I've used, and I think there will be more in the future! It has everything I love in a dress, and fitting it wasn't too hard.

I made the faux wrap variation with the straight skirt and used a cotton from Ikea for the shell. It has a lovely print of all kinds of biological illustrations, and I grabbed it as soon as I saw it! The jacket and dress might be a bit much for some people, but I absolutely love it. The two prints just go really well together in my book!

I just really love wearing dresses like this. They make me feel put together but I'm comfortable enough to ride my bike and pet dogs. I love finding prints and fabrics that fit my taste and the mood I'm going for in my outfits!

This is the only alteration I made (aside from taking some length out of the shoulders): adding pockets! Dresses just get so much better with pockets. I need a place to put my bits of paper and keys (to then forget about them and toss them into the washing machine).

So again, thank you so much for the support, everyone! I've enjoyed this competition tremendously (yes, even when I spent hours and hours glueing bits of paper to a dress). It's been incredibly inspiring and rewarding to see such a positive response to the things I make. Woohoo!

02 juni 2014

The Wallpaper Had It Coming!

I can't believe Sew it Up is almost over! We're already at the fourth challenge, and I'm stoked to say that I'm still in the running! So if you like what I made this week and want to see me in the final, please do go here and vote for my paper dress! (The poll is, as usual, at the bottom of the post!)

This week was all about 'unconventional materials', meaning NO FABRIC. We could use fabric as a base, but nothing was allowed to be visible on the outside. I decided to use paper since it's a medium I pften use in my illustrations, and I thought I could try and make something really beautiful with limited supplies. A trip to the thrift store later, I ended up with an outdated dictionary and a roadmap of France, which all led to this:

I thought about this design for a while. Paper doesn't drape the way fabric does, and using a book and a map meant I had loads of small pieces and one big one to work with. I decided to make a base dress with a fitted bodice and an a-line skirt and sculpt the paper around it, almost like a shell.

Tearing out the pages of the dictionary and cutting them into strips took the longest and was the most tedious part of the process, I can tell you that! I did some experimenting with different glues and paper placement and decided to use bookbinder's glue for the final dress. It adheres to the fabric really well, glues the paper smoothly without rippling and remains quite flexible.

I started by glueing the paper to the skirt portion of the dress, and then added long strips of roadmap to the waistline. I did this to give some movement and lightness to something that was quickly becoming very rigid, and it turned out lovely! There is a nice movement there.

After this I added the paper to the bodice, carefully shaping it around the darts and curves. It already had loads of shape before I put it on, and after wearing it for a while it looks like it's on a mannequin. I'm thinking of making it into a giant lampshade or something, or a ghost dress.

While I was designing this dress I came up with the skirt detail first, and realised it vaguely looked like a birdcage. I also wanted to add some interest to the neckline so I cut a bird out of a remaining piece of map, glued it on and cut away the neckline around it after it dried. It's a lovely detail and I'll probably use this in a 'real' dress some day!

I had so much fun doing this, seriously. I'm not sure what I'll do with this now it's finished, but it was a great way to think out of the box and work around some of the problems I encountered. It also turned out to be one of the cheapest challenge, since the paper was all thrifted and the fabric came from my stash. All I bought was a zipper!

So again, if you liked this, please consider voting for me here. I'd love to make it to the final round, if not just because I'm so excited about the final challenge!