A Foxy Twinset

Foxy1Continuing on with catching up with my blogging backlog, here are two Ondée sweaters that together form a twinset! One of them is a collarless short-sleeved one, and the other one is an adaptation of the long-sleeved version, which I changed into a cardigan following Marion’s tutorial. Both are the same size as my other Ondées.

Foxy2Mimolette and I both bought the same fox print cotton jersey knit at the Stoffenspektakel, I’d say two years ago, and this year she had the idea of challenging ourselves to sew that fabric before the end of fall. Thanks to that little challenge, I finally got that adorable print out of my stash, and I went in search of a pattern that would be easy to sew and that would get a lot of wear.

Foxy3Enter Ondée, but with a twist this time since I made a matching short-sleeved top and long-sleeved cardigan. Making the short-sleeved top was a breeze, and the cardigan was not much more difficult: in addition to following Marion’s tutorial, I also interfaced the facings with some knit interfacing and understitched them with a zigzag stitch.

Foxy6My intention was to use the whole length of fox fabric and there was a very small piece left after making the twinset, so I took that as an opportunity to finally try my hand at making some underwear: I used So, Zo’s free pattern and made a pair of panties! I should have made a size bigger or pulled less on the elastic while sewing it because they ended up just the tiniest bit too tight (still wearable), but this will be an easy fix for any future version.

Foxy5I love love love my little fox twinset! I have been wearing it constantly (the fabric is already starting to show signs of wear), and it’s been getting lots of compliments. It was my first time making an Ondée without the collar, and I’m pretty sure it won’t be my last: it truly is the perfect t-shirt shape for my taste!

Foxy4

Snails on a Eucalypt

Escargot1I hesitated sharing this top as it is so simple. I would have preferred showing it at the same time as a matching bottom in order not to devote a whole post to such a basic piece, but none of the garments I haven’t blogged yet fits the bill, so here goes.

Escargot2It’s Megan Nielsen’s Eucalypt tank, a pattern I’ve made twice already, once in a woven as per the pattern, and once in a knit. I got the fabric from a swap in September (thanks again, Yanoudatoi!). My intention that day was not to come back home with anything, but I couldn’t resist such a cute print, so I allowed myself to take it but use it immediately, which I did.

Escargot3It was a very short length, so I didn’t hesitate for long: the only pattern I could think about that could fit such a tiny piece was the Eucalypt. There wasn’t enough fabric to make the bias tape, so I went in search of some pre-made at Kaléidoscope, where I knew I could find some that was light enough since they carry a lot of Liberty bias tape. Not only did I find bias tape that was light enough, but I found matching bias tape! Not matching as in the same colourway, no, matching as in the very same fabric, with just a tiny nuance in colour!

Mathematics not being my forte, I didn’t buy enough to bind the bottom hem, so I sewed a baby hem instead.

Escargot4In addition to that little involuntary one, I made two voluntary modifications to the pattern: I straightened the hem because I intended on wearing the top tucked in most of the time, and I added a fake button placket.

I don’t think I’ll be back with a new post in the next two days because CHRISTMAS!, so let me wish you a Merry Christmas already, and I’ll see you Saturday!

Enregistrer

The Clue of the Lady In Blue

NancyDrew1Like a lot of people who sew, there are many times when I finish a garment, vow to make another one because I like it so much… and then promptly forget about it.

So when I told you about how much I liked my first Ondée and how I was definitely going to sew other ones, I was conscious that, even though I intended to hold my promise, there was a good chance I’d be swayed by the next shiny new pattern and never keep my word.

NancyDrew3But lo and behold, I did keep my word on this one! And the Ondée sweater is such a fast sew that I actually made two in one afternoon! I’m showing you the first one today, a blue one with white collar, which is also the one I have been wearing non stop since its completion. The main fabric is a cotton/lycra knit from eBay seller Tia Knight. The collar fabric is the same I used on my first Ondée. Looking back at that post, I realise I forgot to mention that I had bought both mint and white jersey knits at the Stoffenspektakel, where you always find loads of high quality cotton/lycra jersey knits in every colour of the rainbow! I also forgot to mention the size I made: a 36, my usual bust/waist size for Deer&Doe patterns.

Like for the first one, I serged the whole top except for the collar (I didn’t feel like changing the serger thread to white just for the collar!), for which I used a zigzag stitch. Once again, I topstitched under the collar with a zigzag stitch.

NancyDrew4The skirt is also a repeat! It’s another version of this skirt I love and wear so much, based on the tutorial in Gertie’s book (also available on her blog). I don’t know how I managed that since I seem to remember I measured the waist of the first version, but the waist is a little bit looser than that of my first one. I intend to insert a small piece of elastic at the back to remedy that, but me and alterations, you know how it goes…

It’s a question of an inch, so the skirt is perfectly wearable as is, but it doesn’t stay in place as well as a skirt with zero ease at the waist.

NancyDrew5Despite that little flaw, I love that skirt so much and have been wearing it accordingly. Did you notice the print? It’s a Nancy Drew print! It’s from a discontinued Moda Fabrics line. As one of Nancy Drew’s biggest fans when I was a kid (while we’re at it, did you know that, in French, her name was “translated” to Alice Roy and she is widely known as Alice détective?), I couldn’t pass up this fabric when I found it three years ago at de Stoffenkamer. I bought it with the intention of making this exact skirt! I cut (more like, tore!) the pockets from the remnants so as not to waste any scrap that could be used. The fabric was narrow enough that I could use the whole width on each skirt panel… including the selvedges!

A note about the fabric: it has that very weird smell (almost, I don’t know… fungusy?) when being ironed. I thought this was maybe due to a storage problem of some sort, but it’s been washed quite a few times already and the smell is still going strong every time it gets ironed, so I’ve come to think it’s probably the dye itself that’s to blame. Luckily, it doesn’t smell at all once it’s cold!

NancyDrew2This outfit is nothing complicated, but I have been wearing it a lot these past few weeks. When the weather was a little bit warmer, I wore it mostly with this cardigan, and these days it’s finally been cold enough to pull this one out the wardrobe. It’s an outfit that I think is both cute and easy to wear. I won’t promise anything, but I’d really like a few duplicate versions!

Little House on the Emery

Emery1What better way to (re)start catching up with my backlog of unblogged garments than with one of my favourite ones?

This is a Christine Haynes Emery dress (size 4), made with lovely quilting cotton I bought (heavily discounted!) from Fabric Rehab. I lined the bodice with some lilac cotton I had lying in my stash.

Emery6I substituted a simple gathered skirt for the skirt of the pattern. I finished the dress fourteen weeks ago (thanks, Instagram!), so I don’t exactly remember why. Probably good old laziness… I remember thinking “yay, I’ll be able to tear the fabric for the skirt!” and then being disillusioned when realising that the fabric was printed a tiny bit off grain, just enough that it was impossible to keep the rows of houses of the print in line with the torn edges. So I had to cut along said rows of houses instead of perfectly on grain to make sure that the houses wouldn’t hang askew on the finished skirt.

Emery3Other than that, this was a pretty straightforward dress to make. However, as with absolutely every single sewing project of mine, there was a moment right near the end when I persuaded myself that it was going to be a dud (it’s a sickness, really!): this time I focused on the imperfect print matching at the back. I didn’t even try keeping whole houses on the skirt for lack of fabric, and weirdly this didn’t bother me at all, but I did try it on the back bodice and the almost but not quite entire houses running along the (hand-picked) zipper annoyed me so much that I couldn’t see anything else anymore. But as usual, after letting things settle for a while and especially after wearing the dress, I can barely see what was upsetting me so much at the time!

Emery4Now that I have been wearing the dress for a while, the only thing I might change for a future version would be to maybe shorten the bodice (or just the back bodice?) by a centimetre or two for an even better fit. The waist is also a little bit wider than I would have chosen, but this makes for a more comfortable dress, so I don’t think I would change that after all. I like my high-waisted skirts to have zero ease at the waist because otherwise they don’t stay put and among other things don’t look as nice with cropped tops as a result, but with a dress there’s no risk of the skirt part moving around since it is held in place by the bodice.

Emery2I’ll be back very soon to try and show you the rest of what I made… before the end of the year! Yes, I am so hopelessly rigid that, save for ones I would complete at the very end of the year, I just can’t start 2016 without having blogged all of my 2015 makes! Or maybe I am just looking for an incentive to start blogging regularly again? 😉

Emery5

Ma Pomme Dress

MaPomme1I made this dress as a replacement for one of my go-to summer dresses, which was one of the first garments I sewed. The dress in question was actually a vintage dress refashion, so it’s kind of a miracle that the fabric had held up for so long, but I was still sad when I realised I couldn’t wear it anymore.

Then again, I was also glad to have an excuse for sewing myself a new one of course!

MaPomme2I had bought the fabric (100% cotton; the brand is Little Darling) earlier this year at the Stoffenspektakel with this exact dress in mind. It was a delight to sew and is also really nice to wear.

As for the pattern, well, I didn’t use one! I drafted this dress myself, you see… OK, OK, my “pattern” is literally a rectangle! 😀 And two of the sides were in fact the selvedges of the fabric. So the cutting part was not too difficult: I just had to tear a piece of roughly the length of this dress (and a few centimetres more just in case – which I ended up using as you can see on the finished dress)… and that’s it!

Same with the shoulder straps: after I measured the desired length and width of my straps, I simply tore four pieces (not forgetting to add seam allowances), then rounded one of the short edges of each.

MaPomme3What makes the dress is the shirring of course. I used a method similar to this one (after sewing the fabric piece into a tube – with a French seam – and making a casing at the top to insert a piece of elastic afterwards to avoid ruffles) and it was, once again, very easy. But man did it take a long time! Eighteen rows of shirring along 1,50 m of fabric, I was feeling murderous near the end! Then I saw how cute the shirring looked and I relaxed a little bit. 😉

MaPomme4I forgot to take close-up pictures of the pockets, but they are almost the same (just a little bit deeper) as these ones, made following this tutorial. I did take a picture before attaching them to the dress, though. The buttons on the pockets are the same as the buttons on the straps, only smaller. I bought them at Veritas… in Luxembourg (I hadn’t found any I liked here in Brussels and I was spending two days there)! None are functional.

MaPomme5There are two small things I’m not so fond of with this dress. The first one, the fact that it creates a sort of semi muffin top under the arms (front and back), is inherent to this type of garment, at least on my body. And the second one is simply that I didn’t think to interface the shoulder straps and that they are a touch limp as a result. These two details are what stops me from loving this dress as much as I love the previous one I showed you, but I still like it a lot!

See you soon for the rest of my summer sewing projects!

Encina Dress

Encina1How time flies when you’re on holiday… I hadn’t planned on taking a blog break for the whole duration of my summer off from work, but these two months have flown by and I have just realised that I haven’t posted anything here since the end of June.

I have mentioned previously that I don’t like posting my finished makes in the “wrong” order, i.e. not in the order I finished them, but I have finally come to my senses: this would mean photographing my sundresses in the dearth of winter, which… nope, not going to happen!

Encina2So here is the last thing I made, and a clear favourite! I spent the month of August in Spain, and since I had just gotten rid of a few too old summer dresses, I needed to sew one or two new ones to take with me.

This one is a Japanese pattern, dress F1 from this book (how cute is the cover dress by the way?). As you can probably guess from the loose fit and simple design, it didn’t require a muslin and it was really easy and fast to sew. I made a size M (FYI, my bust is a Burda and Deer&Doe 36) and it was spot on; I didn’t need to take anything in or let anything out.

Encina4When I first inserted the back elastic, I thought it looked really weird, thick and lumpy, but I was surprised by how much better it looked on the finished dress, and although not perfect, it doesn’t bother me any when I wear the dress.

Encina5My only deviation from the pattern was adding two giant patch pockets, for aesthetic and practical purposes. At first I sewed them right along the side seams of the dress (as you can see here), but in the end I felt like they would look better placed about ten centimetres closer to the centre, so I unpicked and reattached them.

Encina6The fabric, a pale blue cotton with white trees, came from Stragier. It cost €15 a metre, which is more expensive than what I’m usually willing to pay for a simple cotton, but it seemed so much cheaper compared to the outrageous prices of most of the fabrics in the shop, and anyway, I couldn’t pass up such a lovely print! Because the trees reminded him of the oaks that adorn the country in the area where we spend our annual summer holiday, it was my boyfriend who dubbed the dress my “Encina dress”.

Encina3I’m particularly happy with this dress. It was unbelievably comfortable in the Spanish summer heat, and I also find it really pretty and surprisingly flattering (though I won’t be mad at you if you roll your eyes at my proneness to find potato sacks flattering…).

Next up, another favourite, the other dress I sewed for my Spanish trip!

Peachy Dress

Blush1Judging from my blog, you’d think I’ve completely given up on sewing and knitting, wouldn’t you? But I haven’t, not at all! I blame Instagram for the languishing of this space: it is so much easier instagramming what I’m working on or what I’ve just finished than bothering to clear up the space where I’m taking my blog pictures (you didn’t think it was always this pared-down, did you?), set up the camera and tripod, and check my hair, and strike a pose, and blah, blah, blah.

But I’ve decided to stop with the slothfulness and blog those unblogged garments already! My obsessive nature compels me to present them in the order I made them, so we’ll start with this dress I finished in, ahem, February!

Blush3The fabric was a birthday gift from Mimolette, who knew I had been fawning over Atelier Brunette’s beautiful designs but hadn’t taken the plunge yet (I have since bought three meters of this beauty). Bye Bye Birdie Blush: gotta love the alliteration. My birthday’s at the very end of September, so this fabric only spent five months in my stash, not too bad compared to the usual lot of fabrics in my house.

Like all cottons, it was very nice to sew with, but man does it wrinkle! Also, it has a tendency to forget that it’s 100% cotton and sometimes attracts lint like a common synthetic. I mostly wear it with this cardigan, which I wear with a lot of other pieces, yet this dress is the only one it sheds tiny pieces of black fluff on. Not that big of a deal, but it was surprising at first.

Blush4The pattern is from Stylish Dress Book 3 (Dress B). It’s a very simple pattern so I was sure I’d be finished in no time, but you know me, I’m never finished in no time!

I quickly realised that with such a light-coloured fabric, I’d have to add a lining or run the risk of putting my underpinnings on display. Luckily I had some beige Bemberg rayon in my stash, and putting in the lining was not too difficult. I did have to think twice about how to manage around the neckline facing and the sleeves, and finally opted to simply attach the lining by hand at the sleeves (but by machine everywhere else). While we’re on the sleeves, I trimmed those with a very small piece of this lovely cream lace (oops, still haven’t started on that blouse!).

Blush5I had planned on adding patch pockets to the dress, but later realised that there was no way the pockets I had in mind would work with the gathers of the skirt. So I had to ditch them in favour of side seam pockets, for which I had to unpick and redo the side seams of the skirt, argh!

Blush2The only thing I’m not happy about with looking at the finished dress is how high the waist is compared to the dropped waist I was imagining. I should have measured the pieces beforehand and compared them with my other dropped waist dress. Like most sewing mistakes, it never bothers me while wearing the dress, but I’ll definitely lower the waist if I ever sew that pattern again.

Now only eight more finished projects to blog to catch up on my backlog!

Camper Tee

Camper1Pretty close, huh?

This isn’t my first project of 2014, but my last project of 2013, which I finished ten days ago, but couldn’t find the time to photograph in between holiday activities. You may have seen the sneak peek I posted at the end of the picture overview of my projects of 2013.

CamperFabricThe fabric is this adorable cotton jersey knit with a retro VW Camper print from de Stoffenkamer (not available anymore, I’m afraid). It was quite nice to work with in that the edges didn’t tend to curl and it was pretty stable, yet I almost lost my mind when cutting because the print was a smidge off grain, which made it impossible to both place the pattern pieces on grain and keep the campers horizontal. I chose to keep the campers horizontal because it really jumped out at me otherwise, yet I was afraid it would cause the tee to hang funny. But it’s actually subtle enough that it looks totally okay, phew!

Camper2With everything going on, I didn’t even try matching the pattern at the side seams of course, but I don’t think it’s obvious at all on the finished tee.

The pattern is Sewaholic’s Renfrew, which I cut in a size 4, one size smaller than my measurements, because I wanted it to be closer fitting, and I’m really happy with the fit. I omitted the hem band (stitched the hem with a double needle) and I cut my own neck and sleeve bands, in off-white cotton ribbing. The sleeve bands provided in the pattern were too wide for my taste, and the neck band seemed so hugely long I don’t know that it would have sat properly.

Camper3Other than that I made no modifications, that’s the joy of working with knits! Also, this was my first time using my new serger and I must say, even though it’s definitely not indispensable to sew knits, it still makes for a much cleaner finish.Camper4In any case, I can see myself wearing this tee a lot as I think it will look very cute tucked in my Hollyburn, Beignet and Chardon skirts. And I’m pretty sure that this is won’t be my last time using the Renfrew pattern!

Apple Pie Skirt

Pommes2After more than a month without so much as touching my sewing machine, I was itching to get back to sewing, but with the start of the schoolyear I couldn’t for the life of me find the necessary time/energy.

Pommes1That was until last Wednesday, when I had the afternoon free and the apartment to myself, so no more excuses! I opted for a very simple project that could be completed in one afternoon, to get back in the saddle smoothly.

Pommes3I had that project in the back of my mind since I bought this vintage apple fabric a few months ago. I loved its colours, print and drape, but it’s one of those almost swimsuit-like polyester knits from the seventies, which I thought might look a little tacky as a dress. So I immediately pictured it as a very simple elastic waist gathered skirt.

Pommes8I tried to keep things as simple as possible: I used a whole width of fabric, so there is only one seam at the back and the selvages serve as seam allowances. I however found it pretty difficult to sew the elastic on: even when stretched out to the hilt, it wasn’t long enough to accommodate the width of the fabric. I solved the problem by making a few small pleats where there was excess fabric. Also, the elastic I chose has ruffles up and down, which made it difficult to sew evenly, but it doesn’t really show on the finished garment unless you’re looking for it specifically.

Pommes4The hem is simply turned up once (the fabric doesn’t unravel) and stitched with a double needle. I debated for a long time whether to keep this length or to chop it off, and finally opted for this more practical one (no risk of flashing anyone when getting on and off my bike!), which I also found cuter even though it’s possible that it makes me look a little shorter. I figured I could shorten it later if I ever had a change of heart.

Pommes5I was so happy to have a finished skirt at the end of the afternoon that I immediately planned an outfit featuring it to wear the next day (i.e. yesterday), which was the one you see in the pictures plus a golden yellow cardigan (and a scarf to keep the cold away!). After wearing it on my bike and at work yesterday, I can now attest to its comfort!

Pommes6

I was afraid a skirt with an elastic waist wouldn’t suit my figure. I’m still not convinced it’s the best choice for someone with such large hips and a short waist, but I think it looks okay anyway and maybe that’s just me being picky… It certainly won’t prevent me from enjoying my new skirt. It’s in one of my favourite colour combinations and it has apples on it, what more do I need?

And now I’ll leave you with an image that truly reflects my sentiments towards taking pictures of myself. 😀

Pommes7