30 oktober 2017

I'd Like To Try And Read Your Palm

It's Halloween time, so I'm going to brush up on my palmistry skills! I think I got this right.

I'm thinking of making this a postcard. Would you send it to anyone?

25 oktober 2017

You As Well Beast

I'm seeing a lot of concerts these days so you are getting a lot of music-inspired illustrations!

We'll be seeing the National tomorrow night in Amsterdam, and I had this image stuck in my head since listening to the final song on their latest album for the first time on a plane to Canada:

I could say something about how you can sometimes choose to just cope instead of deal with stuff when actually solving a problem is just too much, but I'm not sure if it would make sense, so I'll let you guys interpret this the way you want to.

I normally post a video for the songs I illustrate but only found a single live recording with terrible audio, so you'll either have to take my word for it or go listen to the album or something.

18 oktober 2017

It's My Lifelong Ambition To Become A Cryptid Zookeeper

... I already have the uniform.

In all seriousness, I can't help but think this jacket would be perfect for a zookeeper who spends his or her life taking care of elusive creatures. Or is that just me?

I saw this jacket in one of the latest issues of Knipmode and decided to give them another chance. Usually their styles are way too basic for my taste, or they just don't look like something I'd wear. And even if I did want to wear them, the patterns seem to run so large it's ridiculous. They are drafted for someone who is almost 10 cm taller than me, but there just seems to be way too much ease all the way round. For this pattern I cut a size 36, which has a chest circumference that is about 6 cm smaller than my own, because the waist and hip sizes matched mine more closely and I figured I'd never wear this closed anyway. I can button this. No straining. Over a sweater.

Sizing issues aside: well done Knipmode! This is a military-inspired safari style jacket thing but it's a bit more streamlined, with  front and back darts for shaping. I cut this out of a 2 meter wool remnant (from Pauwels I think) and it was a surprisingly quick project, if not for my machine giving up halfway through. It's gone to the magical repair place now and Joost graciously helped me out by allowing me to use one of his machines until I get mine back. Thanks again Joost!

Not all heroes wear capes.
This is the kind of project I like: lots of small details, precision, natural fibers and not too fiddly. I skimmed the instructions to see if there were any surprised but construction was very straightforward. I didn't make a muslin so the fit isn't perfect (there's some wrinkling around the shoulders that could probably be fixed) but it's definitely wearable.

Of course this jacket wouldn't be 'me' without any additions. I had bought this patch a while ago and it was waiting for the perfect project. I like how the yellow contrasts with the burgundy wool! But the real surprise is on the back:

Yeah, that's a big ass felt snake on the back of my brand new jacket. I spent two days cutting, embroidering and hand-sewing this on but it was worth all the trouble. Do you want a close up? OF COURSE YOU DO

I love working with felt, but it has to be the real thing... And it's getting hard to find. I order mine online now but the colours are always a bit of a gamble. If anyone knows a good source for wool felt in lots of colours somewhere around Antwerp, let me know!

I don't think I'll be making this again anytime soon, since my closet only needs so many cryptid zookeeper jackets. But I'm sure this will get tons of wear when I'm out feeding my hellhounds.

13 oktober 2017

La La La La La La La La La Lee

I'm going to see Nick Cave tonight, so I made a drawing.

I can't imagine a better way to spend an evening on Friday the 13th.

08 oktober 2017

The Bog Witch Has Dressed Up For The Occasion

Guess who decided to emerge from her swamp!

I spent two weeks in Toronto and Montreal, Mostly eating and wandering around. For once I hadn't sewn anything new to wear on this trip (we were wayyy overdressed as well, since the temperatures were way higher than what was predicted while I was packing clothes!) so no outfit pictures from Canada! Instead I made something really fancy when I got back. Here:

Yeah, I told him to zoom in a bit after this. Architecture is all fine and dandy but IT'S ALL ABOUT THE DRESS HERE.

That's better!

Right after my vacation ended the store I work at had a celebration weekend because it has existed for 125 years, and we were supposed to dress up nice for the occasion. The conversation with my boss kind of went like this:

'Can I just go all out?'
'Yeah, sure!'
'But I mean, go alll the way with sequins and stuff?'
'Go ahead!'


Now, in fairness, I didn't make this dress just for that occasion. We have a wedding to go to later this month and I wanted to make this for that occasion, so for once I'm super prepared and won't be sewing at two in the morning the night before!

Here's a peek at the DRAMATIC BACK DETAIL
I got this sequin fabric at Stoff & Stil when I was in Berlin a few months ago. I bought a bit of it because it looked so great, but I had no real idea for it, except that a part of me wanted to combine the gold sparkly leaves with black velvet. Yep.

My first idea was a bustier dress with a full skirt and maybe some panels of sequins in the bustier, but I feared it would look a bit dated... Or like a 1980s ice skater or something. After some pondering I decided on a black velvet bodice with cut-on short sleeves, a deep v in the back and a waistband between the bodice and the sequin circle skirt (of course it had to be a circle skirt. I wanted fullness but pleating sequins seemed like a terrible idea). I started messing with my bodice block, made a muslin and declared it good to go!

Looking really pissed off because cold.
Sewing this was pretty uneventful. I had worked with velvet before so I knew to hand baste everything twice and use tons of pins, and that made everything go pretty smoothly! I was a bit worried about the sequins because I definitely didn't have the time to remove thousands of sequins from the stitching lines... These are pretty small though, so a sharp needle went right through it. Phew.

I underlined the sequins with a black cotton voile because the mesh they were on was quite see-through, and lined the skirt with a slippery acetate lining so the skirt wouldn't stick to my legs. The bodice is lined in cotton because that's way more comfortable. The skirt is hemmed with a bias tape facing. The hem is a little puffy because sequins don't like to be pressed, but at least it doesn't look like shit!

It's also super twirly because CIRCLE SKIRT! I was a bit worried about the fit on the bodice for a while, and while it is not the easiest dress to get in and out of (side zippers yo) the fit is surprisingly good considering my hasty pattern drafting and testing! It will definitely get another outing at the wedding I'm going to, well-rested for once!