22 april 2019


A good long while ago, Hanne and Astrid hosted a sale where they sold some of their old stock of materials, costumes and clothes. One of the items was a vintage maxi dress, all black floral chiffon and viscose that looked pretty awesome, but also a bit small. Hanne convinced me to try it on anyway, and it magically fit like it was made for me! I took it home and there it waited for warmer days. I then wore it once, washed it on a cold delicate cycle and discovered the chiffon layer had shrunk in super weird ways, making the dress unwearable.


I sulked for a while and then unpicked the entire thing to make a pattern out of the lining. After a quick muslin to check the fit I cut into some precious viscose from my stash and made this regeneration happen:

It's not a super complicated dress, but it has some interesting details! Which are very hard to spot in this dark and busy print. My bad! The front bodice has a sort of pointy yoke with gathered cups attached to it, the back has a v-neck. All neck and underarm edges are finished with bias tape that extends into ribbons to form shoulder straps and tie into a bow, but there is a separate shoulder strap underneath (which prevents wardrobe malfunctions if the bows become untied!).

The hardest part was figuring out the order of construction! I didn't write anything down (obviously) but did manage to find a way to get a clean finish on the inside. The bodice is lined in a cotton voile to give the viscose some extra structure and stability. I thought about lining the skirt since that would allow for a cleaner waist seam finish but decided I'd be happier if this was as light and airy as possible.

I used this project as a way to get more familiar with my new sewing machine, by trying out some of the different feet that came with it. I fell in love with the edgestitching foot! I don't really have a problem getting straight topstitching on sturdier fabrics (like jeans) but find it a bit of a challenge on light or fiddly stuff, and this foot really helped. I used it to topstitch the bias binding on the bodice and it looks so neat. I also tried the rolled hem foot on the (haha) hem, but that was less of a success. I probably just need more practice but found it a bit challenging to get a neat result: in some places it worked perfectly but sometimes it wouldn't properly catch the fabric or only fold it once. In the end I folded the cole thing over once again and stitched it down, since the fabric is fine enough to get away with that without things getting bulky.

Another thing I'll need to spend some more time on is my invisible zipper installation. I need to figure out the best needle position to hit that sweet spot of stitching close enough to the zipper teeth so it's invisible, but not so close that it interferes with the zipper! This one works (thankfully) but it's not going as smoothly as it should and I'm praying it doesn't break.

I'm really glad that I got to save this dress in a way! The original might be gone, but I think I like this one even more...

10 april 2019

The Lady, The Hare And The Hawk

More drawing!

A while ago my friend Dennis told me about a group exhibition he was putting together. The theme was 'Coupe' (cut) and of course, my papercutting work would fit right in... I had plenty of time but ended up doing most of the work at the last minute, as usual!

The hardest part was that almost everything I make is cut out, so anything would fit the theme, really. I toyed with a few different ideas about surgeries and anatomical illustrations, but in the end I went back to things I like: animals, ladies and skulls.

These are among the largest papercut pieces I've ever made! They are around 70 by 50 cm, which allowed me to get in a lot of detail, but also made things a bit more unwieldy to work with. If I make pieces like this (where the original is presented and not an edited scan or print) I'll draw a mirrored version of the image on the back of the paper to use as a guide for cutting. This also makes things a bit more complex at times, especially with text! (If something has to be edited anyway I don't bother with this, just draw it the way I want it and mirror everything in photoshop)

The opening of the show is on April 11th at E²/Sterput in Brussels! I'll be there in the evening, so come say hello if you're around. There's a lot of cool stuff being made by others as well, and I'm looking forward to seeing it! You can find some more information here.

01 april 2019

This Is Where I Draw The Line

I've been drawing a lot lately. If you already follow me on Instagram you might have seen some of these pop up. I'm working on a big project that I'm very excited about (you can still send me stories! I'm working on very rough storyboards so it will be a while before I can actually show anything interesting, but stuff is being done!). But there are some other things I've been doing/working on that got me inspired! One of them is the weekly Zine Club at Muntpunt in Brussels, where my friend Gabri (and guests) shares his wisdom. Every workshop has a theme but it feels very free and low pressure, and allows me to just make stuff for fun. A few weeks ago me and Hélène collaborated on a zine about an Emily Dickinson poem, and we were surprised by how much we liked the result!

Tomorrow is the last workshop, but I hope we can keep this vibe going somehow. It's very inspiring!

Hélène and I did recently discover that we seem to work well together, and had an idea for a series of drawings about disappointing mythical creatures. This is another low pressure thing to work on when we have the time, and it makes me laugh. Here are the two I've made so far, the first one is a mermaid, but both her halves are fish. The second one is a unicorn with two horns. There's a vampire who just feels more comfortable in his bat form in the pipeline.

I've also done some more serious work when Thijs invited me to come draw for one of the Relaas podcast evenings. It's a monthly event where people come tell a story about something that happened to them, and illustrators make illustrations to go with these stories. I love this kind of stuff, and had some fun making these! One story was about a girl who got hot tea spilled on her legs at a bar and suffered some serious burns, the other was about an improvised arm wrestling championship in Kyrgystan.

Right now I'm working on a few larger pieces for a group exhibition I'm in, keep an eye out for those!