Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Paris (2)

This photo was already part of the slideshow, but I’d like to show it here once again. Same pattern, very different dress. The other versions were not finished yet and one is made by someone who was not able to come to Paris. I hope to show those in a later post as I’m sure they’re very different again. Joana made hers in a ponte knit with white trim and added a triangle in the neckline. It shows the pattern pattern. My version is a tad too long, there was no time left to make the hem a little shorter, will do that later.

Considering the fact that I made my own pattern (based on the Burda pattern!) I’m quite happy with the result. I’ll keep drafting, a shirt is nearly finished.


You can’t go to Paris with sewing friends visiting fabric stores without buying fabric, can you? One of us could, but she will be moving house transatlantic soon, so did not feel the urge to add to the stuff to be moved. I was not strong and added quite a bit to the stash. Time for a stop to buying fabric? I’m not committing myself ;)


My haul consisted of some trims:

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And fabrics. Some as basic as a simple black fabrick but of a beautiful quality in a mix of cotton and silk. White linen in blouse quality. I have not made pictures of everything but will share a few: black and white cotton that could be used in various directions. I want to make a summer dress of it and as it’s a “coupon” of 3 meters there might be enough for a top too.

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This wonderful silk. Not my usual colors but fresh for summer.


Remnant pieces of silk in different qualities. This was on the last moment, just before closing time. They were only 3 euro per piece, also good for learning to sew silks better. I did not often do that yet. Just enough for a tanktop or something similiar.



Hope to show finished garments of some of these fabrics soon.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Back from Paris

Pictures say more than a thousand words. It was a fabulous weekend:
If you don't see the slideshow, this is a link to the album:Paris album

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Dress finished (with 3 hours to spare)

The story of this dress:

  • 3 weeks ago I ran with sewing friends, we had seen this dress in the online previews and all liked it. The idea was born to all make the dress for our upcoming trip to Paris (this weekend) and see all the different takes on it
  • Nice idea, then the dress turned out to be petite sized, not my sizing :(
  • I started following a sewing course recently for fitting and started pattern drafting
  • Thought: I can do this, re-draft the pattern for me on my own measurements, plenty of time (not a lot of experience, but hey, should/could be better than trying to alter a petite size, I have to alter patterns anyhow.)
  • Two drafts and muslins made (see previous posts)
  • Last week: making the dress, plenty of time, my work agenda is not as full as usual
  • Reality: last minute work jobs come into my planning (what’s new my family is asking), my train to Paris is leaving Thursday afternoon
  • Wednesday thought: I can finish the lining tonight… the small work job I wanted to finish took a bit more time, at 11 pm I’m not up to attaching a lining any more
  • Thursday morning: the lining is attached, 10.30 am the dress IS FINISHED, with 3 hours to spare, ENOUGH time to print the tickets for the train (done), write a quick blog post, pack my bag (I have a small list of what not to forget) and go off to Paris…..

To those of the group who could not make it this time: we will miss you!

If you think of making this dress: Burda instructions are very difficult and hard to follow, I’ve already uploaded my construction photos here. I wanted to make the front and back separate and sew together in a later stage than the Burda instructions. The crucial thing is that you have to attach the front facings earlier than normal. I chose to leave the top part of the seam of the facing open till later, which made construction a lot easier . Burda gives this pattern 3 dots for the difficulty level, but I should certainly give it 4 dots. It’s complicated.


See you later with stories of Paris, hopefully photos of the dress on me and maybe other variations, I’ve already seen a preview of one which is showing the pattern details better than my version.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Step by step

My week started with a lovely meetup with Pauline. She had to be in The Hague at her company’s office there and I was lucky she had time on Monday evening to come over to me. We hadn’t seen each other for a while, so we had a great time catching up.


(the glasses are not permanent I hope, I had an inflammation on my eye that made wearing my contact lenses impossible).

The other evenings were spent sewing. I did sew the panties to the bra I recently posted and made progress with my dress. On the panties I used the same embellishment as on the bra adding a little touch of red.


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The front of the dress is constructed. Normally I don’t mind the sparse instructions of Burda, but they could have made this dress to the monthly step by step pattern. And changed something in the order of working. It just doesn’t make sense to me to install an invisible zipper in a partially constructed back,and in a later phase complete the back and insert the zipper for the rest of the length. Really??? To me that sounds like the road to failure.

The instructions (for me in Dutch, so can’t know how the translation in English worked out) were almost incomprehensible. I made pictures during my construction and later I’ll check whether they make sense enough for an illustrated post on this.

I did not make a muslin of the skirt part, did cut extra seam allowance to be save so hope I’ll be allright. The most difficult part is over now. Keeping my fingers crossed that the fit will be ok.


Monday, March 31, 2014

Pattern drafting – dress version 2

This wonderful spring weekend I did not do a lot of sewing, instead I enjoyed the weather and went for a long walk on Sunday. We got lost a bit and it was even longer than planned for, and together with the running I did on Saturday, I was exhausted yesterday evening.

Based on the comments I did manage a few alterations though at the pattern and made a quick second muslin on Saturday night. The shoulders are 1 cm wider, which made the neckline go up a tiny bit, just enough to be more comfortable. The original pattern was followed more closely by adding a bit of the bust dart onto a dart following the diagonal line. The remainder of the bust dart was shifted to the line where the upper part and diagonal line meet. Clear as mud?

This time the right shoulder doesn’t seem as much off as in the previous muslin, but the sleeves are not in yet. The back looks a bit too long, which I couldn’t really see last time as I had put in a zipper that was too short.



I’ll discuss the result with my sewing teacher later this week and hope to sew the real dress really soon.

And for those of you interested in pattern drafting, through Pinterest (Vicky, thank you!) I found this Australian site with awesome illustrations of designs and the way the pattern is constructed. Very, very informative. A wealth of knowledge shared.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Pattern drafting

I’ve (finally) succumbed to the idea that I should try to make my own patterns. One of my Dutch commenters has asked a few times why I did not do that, as I was always so struggling with muslins, patterns etc. I did learn the basics of pattern drafting years ago but never got round to properly doing it for myself, did think it was too much work. Going to the sewing class with my fitting issues I was convinced that this was a good thing to do after all and I started drafting the bodice part, first on default measurements, after that on my own measurements. Surprise, surprise in my last lesson, the fit was actually rather good first time round. Combined with the fact that I sewed a wadder of a blouse this week which I tried to fit properly from a pattern and failed horribly in the armscye area, I will continue to work on pattern drafting.

My next lesson isn’t till next week, but I’m going fast forward and tried to draft a dress from BurdaStyle’s April issue and even made a muslin of the top part already.

It’s dress no. 117 which I discussed with Hilde and Joana on the day we ran together. We all had seen it in the previews and thought it might be nice to all sew this and wear it on or next get together. I got the magazine and to my disappointment, it was a petite sized pattern. As I’m already 6 cm taller than the normal length BurdaStyle is drafted for, petite sizes are definitely not for me.  So it was either de-petite the pattern and do the other alterations I do for most patterns anyway, or draft my own pattern.

First result, I thought I might need the extra space in the front to get the skirt hang properly, but have pinned the darts in the second photo, which is much better. I will transfer the changes to the pattern and the crossing part will not have the dart. For now I kept the normal bust dart. No FBA!

The neckline is too low to wear without a cami most of the time. Making it higher would make the lines very different. What do you think?

The zipper for the back was not long enough which makes it look a bit frumpy. Very clear is the difference in both shoulders, an area to change on the right side.

Though I messed up the first time drafting this, it was relatively easy. It took me two evenings to get here.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

About a pattern, running, fabric and a new bra

There’s a lot to write about, I did quite a few sewing related things this week and/or shared them with sewing friends.

First of all I would like to thank Barbara, one of my readers that I met when she visited The Netherlands last autumn. We had a very nice evening at the time and have been in contact since. She sent me this wonderful Montana pattern. I was a great admirer of Claude Montana in the 80’s and had a few of his patterns, but not this one.  This pattern will be in my to sew list for next winter.


Last Sunday I did my first official 5K run, together with sewing friends Hilde and Joana. The photo is from before the run ;). For all of us it was a feeling of great achievement, to be able to do this when we only started running a few months ago. I wrote about this here. Let’s do it again ladies! Marta came to cheer us on, it was a lovely afternoon.


Then I spent a few days with my friend Valerie in Zeeland, where we enjoyed sewing, chatting and going to the fabric market together.

This is my haul, can you see the black/white/grey preference?


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And what did I sew? I finished a bra for my daughter that I started months ago and made myself a new one. It’s made from non-stretch lace. The narrow elastic that is normally used to stitch behind the scalloped edge of the bra I now used as accent. At the top of the cups it’s a bit shorter so that it will still have its purpose of keeping the lace to your body.

I’ve played a bit with the pattern pieces and redrafted my tnt pattern to have one long straight edge at the side cup. The shape on the dressform looks a bit strange, but it’s a good fit on me.

That’s all for now, I’m hoping to do a bit of sewing later today, now it’s usual Saturday routine.