Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Lili pattern release

Like her, I was over the moon when I received an email with the question if I would be willing to test a pattern. Although I have done several tests, this usually involves me (digitally) ridiculously waving with both hands, hoping to be picked. Designers do not (digitally) tap me on the shoulder asking me to test. I am not assuming I was at the top of their list, but I surely was having a small party behind my screen.

This joyful moment was in the spring of this year, and around May I sewed two dresses. It are summer dresses and have been in heavy rotation the last months. In case you are tempted to skip the rest of the post due to fall/winter season approaching, stop! The designers decided to add long sleeves as a free extension to the pattern, and oh my..,  that red dress look great! This dress, called "Lili" is the first dress of the pattern line "De Schatkaart".

The collar is clearly the thing that immediately grabs your attention. At first, I couldn't make up my mind about my feeling for that collar. I thought it definitely was an intriguing detail, but I feared that I wouldn't love the look on my kids. For the first dress I made, I made the collar as described and I was very pleased with the result. I especially love how the collar behaves like little sleeves and covers the shoulders. You can of course easily make the dress without the collar, that is totally up to you, or do it like her, she did removable collars.

Although I really like the first version, I decided against a second with the same collar, it is a very distinctive piece and having two in my daughters wardrobe seemed a bit much (and my hacker brain wanted to play). I had planned to make the second dress without collar, but because I liked the "sleeve effect" so much I drafted an alternative collar. One without the pleats. I used my last Finch Fabric (bought at Stoffenelf) on the bodice and didn't wanted to cover the animals ears, so I cut out a piece on the front. I sometimes go for drastic measures like that. After construction I realised that the pleats actually make the collar lie nicely on the shoulder. With my circular collar the effect is a bit different  but I still like it. My daughter picks this dress from her closet every time it is clean, so I think she does to (although that might be because of the skirt and fabric and not because of the collar).

The skirt has a few big pleats, I hadn't made pleats in a jersey skirt and was positively surprised about the nice result. For the first skirt I followed the instruction and pleated all pleats in one direction. I prefer my pleats to be symmetrical when measuring from the middle, so the second skirt has box pleats. The instructions suggested using woven fabric as an alternative, which I did with the second dress. The Soft Cactus matches the Finch Fabric wonderfully.

The pattern advised to make a little split at the back. Jersey dresses and shirts always easily fit my kids heads, so I asked permission to skip the split. The Snow white fabric is from Lillestoff by the way. Of course I added pockets.

The pictures were made in May, when my daughter's skin was in very bad condition, she looks much, much better now, but due to the colder weather I wasn't in the mood to re-shoot the pictures. The dresses still look great after many washes, so it really was a combination of bad weather and laziness.

You can buy the Dutch paper pattern at the shops on this list. As far as I know, you can not buy the pattern digitally (yet), but by spamming the designers with emails you might be able to persuade them. 

I love to hear what you think of my creations. Feel free to leave a comment in the language you prefer (although Google translate might have to assist me if you choose something different than English, German, Dutch or Hungarian). 

Monday, September 28, 2015

Reversible Billie hoodie

One of my Dutch Facebook groups baptised September as the hoodie month, meaning that we were challenged to sew a hoodie, any hoodie (woman's, kid's, dog's etc). I saw it as a sign to finally sew the Knight hoodie, but I managed to run out of time again. It is a perfect pattern for the coming Kids Clothes Week though, so maybe next month.

Due to my procrastinating, I needed a quick hoodie pattern. Last week, I came across somebody who made a Billie hoodie. Seeing that I am using the Billie pattern a lot lately and now know exactly how to make the perfect fit with it it on my kids, I used it to make my hoodie.

To increase the fun, I decided to make a reversible hoodie. I cut a centimeter extra seam allowance to accompany the double layer of fabric. A la Charlie I made a cut at the neckline. I sewed everything, except for the turning hole, with my serger. Also the neckline cut was done with the serger and I didn't stabilize the fabric.

The hood I based on the hood from this one. I made the hood slightly bigger because the older hoodie's neckline is being pulled up a bit when the hood is on. Ideally, I would have made the hood even higher, but I ran out of fabric. Both fabrics are from Lillestoff. I love the bright yellow and orange, I think they are great for fall.

I love to hear what you think of my creations. Feel free to leave a comment in the language you prefer (although Google translate might have to assist me if you choose something different than English, German, Dutch or Hungarian).  

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Quick upcycling, woman's shirt to toddler dress/tunic

Sometimes you have clothes that you can not really part with. About ten years ago I bought a shirt and it still was in my closet, although I really didn't fit in it anymore. Somewhere during my pregnancies my torso seems to have grown (or could it be related to the fact that my belly got modernised and went from 2D to 3D).

Now that the weather clearly demands long sleeves and that my middle daughter's closet (fortunately) doesn't harbour many hand made long sleeved item that she still fits, I did a quick refashion. As you know, I choose to be lazy if possible, so I took my recently drawn Billie pattern and used it to draw a dress. The bottom hem and width gave me clear boundary conditions. If the garment is really a dress or rather a tunic is up for debate, but in winter, when kids are wearing leggings I think it doesn't really matter.

As I mentioned here, I am in the process of making the "perfect"pair of leggings for my middle daughter. She has a very sensitive skin and I experienced that tights make her legs very itchy. My stash contains many hidden treasures and this super soft Birch is one of them. I bought it with the intention of some baby gift sewing, but when it coincidentally ended up next to the brown dress, I saw a match made in heaven. I can not explain exactly why, but the combination makes me very happy. I presume it is because of the green/brown/yellow combo in both garments.

This pair of leggings is actually the second pair, based on the La Maison Victor child leggings (I write "based" because I changed a lot of the characteristics based on some well fitting leggings from my daughter's closet). The first version didn't make it to the blog yet, because I couldn't pair it with anything. I originally sewed this dress to accompany the first pair of legging, but that combination looked more like a match from hell. What had I been thinking? Thank god fabric stashes!

I love to hear what you think of my creations. Feel free to leave a comment in the language you prefer (although Google translate might have to assist me if you choose something different than English, German, Dutch or Hungarian). 

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Martini dress number four

After last time's dress sewing theme adventure, that fortunately ended well but on which I I feared for the dress' future, I longed for an satisfying quick sew. I took my treasured Martini pattern and sewed a fourth dress from it. Here you can find number one and two and three.

Although I used my already cut pieces (on which I did a full breast adjustment), I did change up the thing again. This time I cut the back as one piece. This was a bit of a challenge because the pattern pieces are very curvy. The end result understates why I love working with knits. Knits are forgiving (to some extend), I surely didn't succeed in puzzling all those curves together for the full hundred percent but it was good enough. I pieced the back together because this way the print is not distorted. On the front, due to my breasts the princess seams are great, but although I am curvy at the back as well, I think the added plus there is much less.

Another thing I changed is the bottom of the dress. The Martini curves inwards, but this time I drew a small flare outwards from the waist down. I drew a much lower neckline than I did last time, a few of you correctly pointed out that showing some more skin there would be better.

The fabric is from Stoffenelf and has a great drape. Stoffenelf has a quickly changing stock, and this fabric is already out of stock. Check out the current stock (many digital jersey's), you will surely find some nice alternatives. I cut this dress the night this fabric (and many more) arrived in my home. There isn't much that is more satisfying than sewing a dress that immediately fits great from fabric you just bought.

I love to hear what you think of my creations. Feel free to leave a comment in the language you prefer (although Google translate might have to assist me if you choose something different than English, German, Dutch or Hungarian).    

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Jersey dress (Knip pattern)

I love wearing dresses, because you do not have to combine them with bottoms, they are enough on their own. Jersey dresses are the best because they will usually fit (even if you didn't sport during the summer and ate a lot of chocolate) and you do not have to iron them.

In the past, I made myself a few dresses and I love wearing all of them, but I can still use a few more. The pattern for this dress is from the most recent Knip (September 2015). I adjusted the fabric positioning because I was inspired by the Jaanu (that I still have to sew).

This was the first dress I made from the Knip and I am not that enthusiastic the sizing as I am about the Ottobre and La Maison victor. I really carefully followed the size table (so blending between sizes it is) but the whole thing was too big. I almost had to take the entire dress apart but I fixed it. For example on the back I actually removed about 5 centimeters of fabric.

The fabric is from Joyfits, a while ago she had a huge sale and I thought it was a great excuse to buy a few meters (not that I need an excuse normally, but it still made me very happy). The apple fabric is from Hilco, the fabric is sturdy with high recovery and stretch, ideal fabric for clothing. The other (upper) fabric I also bought at Joyfits, but I bought is almost two years ago. The one meter I bought from the Hilco was not enough for the entire dress, but I think this gives a nice combination.

During the fitting in which I discovered the abundance of fabric around my body, I also saw that the length wasn't that long, so I used a bias to keep all the length I had. I chose for 3/4 sleeves, like I mentioned in a previous post, I feel I can wear that length the entire year round.

I love to hear what you think of my creations. Feel free to leave a comment in the language you prefer (although Google translate might have to assist me if you choose something different than English, German, Dutch or Hungarian).    

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

DYYNI testing, the rest of the outfit and the give away winner

One and a half month ago, Pienkel released her first pattern, today she is releasing her second as part of the Aspiring Designers Challenge. I was again part of her tester team. The DYNNI is a six paneled skirt has three different official views, a one layer skirt, a two layered skirt and a two layer skirt with one rushed panel.

If you are a bit like me, you do not see three views, but you at least also see the possibility to make either a long or a short six panel skirt (depending on which layer you make, the upper layer is slightly wider than the lower layer) and you can of course create more rushed panels. I immediately thought Disney princess ball gowns. Imagine using a nice see through upper layer and rushing all six panels, your daughter will feel like a princess for sure.

The main fabric I used for the skirt is from Cloud 9 and the green is from Soft cactus. The pattern includes (optional) pockets, so if you do not have a pocket fetish like me because you haven't experienced how easy it is to add pockets to everything, this is a perfect pattern to teach you how to make them. With the code DYYNILAUNCH25 you can get a 25% discount on both her patterns in Pienkels Etsy store. In case you are wondering (like me) what the names of those patterns mean, DYYNI means "dune", Pienkel lives an an Island consisting of mostly that, so I see why she picked that name (and the rushed part might have inspired it). HIEKKA, her previous pattern's  name means "sand" (no further explanation on inspiration needed there as well).

Instead of going for multiple types of skirts, this time I sewed an entire out fit this time. Like I mentioned here, I got jealous seeing matching fall outfits. As I understand it , layering is the thing to do when the weather becomes cooler (I am a strange one myself, I just wear 3/4 sleeves whole year round and never get really cold). A few weeks ago the Jukebox hit collection was released. I love the idea of the pattern. It is one pattern set for a bolero, two shirts, two knee length dresses and a maxi dress. The manual is packed with hacking ideas and pattern mixes and the designer herself made even more hacks (on this Facebook page). I loved the idea and bought it on a 25% release sale (there is a 15% discount code on the Facebook group page). I made this reversible bolero with it. Due to the fact that I used two thick fabrics, the cute back pleat isn't really visible. I twisted a cord of a few strings of cotton to close the bolero.

The shirt my daughter is wearing is the third Billie I mentioned here. In my previous post I already mentioned a few misses I made with the pattern. Well, here is another. I was arrogant, thinking that my daughter would probably need a bit tighter shirt, her being a girl and the Billie being a boy pattern. Wrong, the pattern is unisex and like I mentioned last time, Zonen09 already has a nice tight fit. Just make the size the size table prescribes. My son and daughter have a bit more than a centimeter difference on the chest, but I assumed that she would fit in his shirt fine, so I just cut another shirt 116 (and lengthend it slightly). This shirt was actually the first one I sewed and the problem I mentioned with knits not being as stretchy as rib knit (which is prescribed in the pattern so this is all my fault) led to a very tight waist band. I omitted the wrist bands (my daughter would not have been able to put her hands through it), resulting in 3/4 sleeves. For the photo the shirt was fine, but my middle daughter will get to enjoy the shirt.

My eldest daughter was extra sad she will not wear the shirt because she actually choose and peeled the butterfly application. She did it already a few months ago, but I never came around to sewing a plain shirt. The butterfly is silver colored and it was hard to make a good picture from it because it is reflecting light.

Last but not least I happy to announce the winner of the give away, MARJOLEIN (in case more participated, this is the fabric she preferred most) has won it. Please contact me about how to get your prize.

I love to hear what you think of my creations. Feel free to leave a comment in the language you prefer (although Google translate might have to assist me if you choose something different than English, German, Dutch or Hungarian).