The story of the Mashup Skirt

Many many moons ago, somewhere in 2013, I pinned a picture of a skirt on Pinterest. I loved it so much that I made it the front picture of my ‘Skirts Board’. Also many moons ago, in March 2014, I bought two pieces of fabric to recreate this skirt. And then this project got buried in my sewing queue…. until two weeks ago.
Then Me-Made-May 2019 came along and I created three wardrobe capsules. With my third wardrobe capsule, I gave myself a bonus: “I could replace any of the selected garments with a freshly sewed garment.” And boom! Out came the idea of sewing this Mashup Skirt out of the depths of my sewing queue!

Mashup Skirt

The Mashup Skirt pattern

Although the example skirt is an A-line I decided to make a flared skirt because I  love flared skirts just a tiny bit more. I used one of my oldest flare skirt patterns that I sewed already a zillion times!

The original skirt that inspired me.

The only adjustments I had to do to the pattern was to divide the front and back pattern piece in two to be able to get it out of the limited fabric I had. Only 0,5 m of each colour!!

The divided pattern pieces of the front and the back.

I cut the pieces out the two fabrics to achieve an even coloured left and right side.Mashup Skirt

A scallop button placket

The one thing I had to draw myself—and alas drawing is not my strongest feature—was the scallop button placket. How did I do it?  I drew a template of one scallop and used this to compose a string of scallops on tracing paper. I included an 0,75 cm (presser foot width) seam allowance. Then I had a scallop button placket pattern!

Mashup Skirt
The model of the scallop button placket on tracing paper.
mashup skirt
Positioning the button placket on the front piece.

 

The Mashup Skirt fabric

Like I said hereabove I bought this midweight linen at the Stoff Schnäppchenmarkt in Cologne in March 2014! So this project definitely counts as a stash buster project! I bought two pieces of the same quality in two different colours. I think this helped with the success of this project. But what was I thinking when I bought only 0,5m of each colour!?!

Mashup Skirt
The wrinkles in the fabric after a 2-hour flight and a 2-hour drive. I find this one of the charms of working with linen.

For the button placket and waistband, I used a leftover from the curtain fabric of my Seamwork Brooklyn skirt. For the back of the button placket, I took some black lining. This reduced the thickness.

mashup skirt

The Sewing Process

Sewing a flared skirt is rather easy. The new thing and the feature to focus on here is the scalloped button placket.
I cut out two plackets: one in fabric and one in black lining. I stitched them together using my presser foot as a guide.
scallop button placket

scallop button placket

Before turning the scallops I clipped and notched the curves. Then I placed the button placket between the two centre front seams. So you stitch through 4 layers of fabric. Here you experience the advantage of using lining for the back of the placket. At the inside, I graded the seams and pressed them open (two seams at each side).

The buttons have a vintage vibe but I bought them new at my local haberdashery shop. I sewed them on with my machine after stabilizing them with wonder tape at the placket.

mashup skirt

Some sewing hickups

When you’re sewing not everything always goes as planned. Sometimes it’s the sewing gods that let you down. Sometimes you just make stupid mistakes. Both happened during sewing this rather simple skirt.

After perfectly putting in the new blind zipper it broke when I closed it for the first time!! This never happened to me before. The only thing you can do then is rip it out and put a new one in!

When I serged the hem the last scallop got to the wrong side. Totally my own fault! Not enough focus.

mashup skirt

At first, I hemmed the skirt as narrow as I could. Remember the small pieces of fabric I had. Then, when I saw the pictures I found it a bit ridiculous to hem through half a scallop. So I cut off about 3 cm and rehemmed the skirt. This gave a much better look.

Mashup Skirt
Do you spot the difference?
Conclusion

I’m SEW  happy with my Mashup Skirt! I’m a little proud of myself f I or realising a design today that I had in my mind since 2014! And it came out just as I imagined. It’s been two weeks now since I finished the skirt and I already wore it a lot. It’s a pleasure wearing it and it’s suitable for many occasions.
Will I make another one? Maybe? I don’t know if I want a second or more Mashup Skirts in my wardrobe.

***  We were able to shoot some great pictures at the Pieve di San Giovanni in Campiglia Marittima.  ***

mashup skirt

mashup skirt

mashup skirt

mashup skirt mashup skirt

Me-Made-May 2019 | It’s a wrap!

Hello, my lovely readers!

It’s the first of June today so Me-Made-May 2019 is officially finished. If you read my blog regularly then you know that I approached MMMAY19 differently this year: I made three wardrobe capsules with 30 me-made garments.

So at the end of May, it means that not only I did I finish my third wardrobe capsule but I finished my total wardrobe capsule experience.  Below, you can read how it went.
Spoiler: I loved it!

Me-Made-May 2019 Wrap

 

My third capsule: ‘Everything goes’

The only parameter for the ‘Everything goes’ capsule was that it had to be me-made. The previous capsules contained also some rtw clothes, so this time I wanted it to be 100% me-made.
I gave myself a bonus: ‘If I would finish a new garment within these 10 days I could change with a previously selected one’.

I documented every outfit with a photo on Instagram. Click on the links of the days. Below you see my overview starting with day 1 in the left upper corner.

Me-Made-May 2019 Wrap

 

How did I feel about the-everything-goes-wardrobe capsule?

I must admit that when I selected these 10 garments that I was a bit skeptical that I would manage to make 10 different combinations. But I did! More, I am very pleased with the result. Of course, the new skirt— which I wore 3 times—gave me more combinable options than the Snowball high neck dress.
A second reason why it went so well is that 5 of the 10 garments were solids. That really expands the possible combinations.

New combinations?

Again there were a lot! I think it had been a year since I wore the Seafarer top and the Julia Sweater. So all these pairings were new and I renewed my love for both tops. I will definitely grab them more out of my closet in the future.

Me-Made-May 2019 Wrap

Me-Made-May 2019 Wrap

I told you already I so loved my approach to Me-Made-May this year. Not only did I wear at least one me-made garment each day of May but these all belonged to one of the three wardrobe capsules I created. Creating wardrobe capsules was new for me and I followed the guidelines of the 10 x 10 style challenge. I recommend these if you thinking about creating one for yourself.
I’m particularly proud that I was able to dress fit for all the occasions of life for 30 days and I never changed outfits during the day. There were even 4 flights last month.
Another benefit is that I discovered several new combinations I could make with my garments.

Me-Made-May 2019 Wrap
Very difficult to choose but here is my Top9 for Me-Made-May 2019. Three from every wardrobe capsule.
Conclusion

I’m a happy sewist who has a fond memory of Me-Made-May 2019!

Me-Made-May 2019 | Second wardrobe capsule round-up

It’s the 22nd of May and that means the start of my third wardrobe capsule for this year’s Me-Made-May. For MMMay19 I created three wardrobe capsules following the guidelines of the 10 x 10 style challenge.

Starting a new one also means I finished my second wardrobe capsule. You can read below how it went and how my third wardrobe capsule looks.

Me-Made-May 2019

 

I did it again!

Yes! I managed to dress 10 days with 10 different outfits using 10 garments. I called it my ‘Something Red’ capsule and I interpreted red with major liberty!

red wardrobe capsule

I documented every outfit with a photo on Instagram. Below you see a capture of my grid and I love the ‘Something Red’ vibe it radiates. My overview starts with Day 1 in the right-under corner.

red wardrobe capsule

How did I feel about the red wardrobe capsule?

First of all, I’m not particularly fond of the colour red. It’s not a colour that I gravitate to. So I’m rather proud of myself that I could make this work and enjoyed doing it. I managed to dress with something red 10 days in a row and my dressing was fit for all the occasions of my life. Teaching, dinner with friends, lazy day, school meeting… Even the chilly weather could be attacked by wearing red tights and my cardigan. By the way, this red cardigan is the winner of this capsule. I wore it 3 times!

New combinations?

There were several! The African Wax Brooklyn skirt paired with the colour blocked Seafarer top is absolutely a winner. I also enjoyed the pairing of the same skirt with the red striped Ali sweatshirt. I’m sure I will wear these combos again!

 

My third capsule: Everything goes!

For my third capsule, I wanted it to be 100% me-made. So I couldn’t work around one colour, although blue seems to be a little dominant.  I call it the ‘Everything goes with everything’ capsule.

  1. n°7 Vanlose trousers – How to do Fashion
  2. Julia sweater – Compagnie M.
  3. Wanted Tee – Vanessa Pouzet
  4. Faux Wrap skirt – Knipmode
  5. Kingfisher top – The Sewing Revival
  6. Hollyburn Skirt – Sewaholic
  7. Juniper Cardigan – Jennifer Lauren Handmade
  8. n°7 Vanlose top – How to do Fashion
  9. Snowball high neck dress – Waffle Patterns
  10. Seafarer top – Sew Much Ado

Bonus: I give myself permission to change any of these garments with a freshly new made one within the next 10 days!

On the first day of my ‘Everything goes’ capsule, I wear my monochrome Seafarer top with my blue Faux wrap skirt. Who says you can’t combine black and blue?

How is your Me-Made-May 2019 going?

 

Me-Made-May 2019 | First wardrobe capsule round-up

It’s the 12th of May today, which means that I finished my first 10 x 10 style challenge for Me-Made-May 2019. You remember that for this years Me-Made-May I levelled up my pledge a little. Instead of picking a random me-made garment every morning, I created three wardrobe capsules.
Below, you can read how it went and how my second wardrobe capsule looks.

wardrobe capsule

 

Did I succeed in my first wardrobe capsule?

I did! I managed to dress 10 days in 10 outfits that were combinations of the 10 items I selected for my Green & Black capsule.

wardrobe capsule

I documented my outfit every day with a photo on Instagram. This is a capture of my grid so Day 1 is in the right under corner.

wardrobe capsule

 

How did I feel about it?

First of all, I am a little proud of myself that I made it and at the end of the ride I enjoyed it. There was some unusual chilly weather some days and that annoyed me a little. Without my pledge, I would have worn something else these days. Here the black V-neck pullover came to the rescue. I wore this and the black T-shirt for three days. So that makes them the winners of this capsule.
My striped Nanöo top was only combinable with the grey skirt so that makes it not a very good capsule member.

New combinations?

Although I’ve worn the greenish box pleat skirt a zillion times before, I’ve never combined it with black tops before. I’m sure I will wear this combo again.
This challenge also brought back my love for the grey Seamwork Brooklyn skirt made out of a curtain sample. The combo with the very old RTW rib cord turtleneck is also new and a winner.

Posing with Produce

My second capsule: Something red 💃🏻💃🏻

So it is time to compose my second capsule. I dug in my closet once more and although it is evident to select separates—as they are easier to mix and match—I selected three dresses. It turned out an eclectic selection again, but that is my wardrobe.

wardrobe capsule

Ten garments with something red in it. This capsule is 90% Me-Made. I’m glad I could increase this percentage, the Black & Green capsule was 60%. For the third capsule, I’m going for 100%

  1. Ali Sweatshirt – Sew DIY
  2. Seamwork Brooklyn skirt
  3. Telma dress – Vintage en retro naaipatronen
  4. SJ-Tee – Papercut
  5. Julia Sweater – Compagnie M.
  6. Moneta dress
  7. Sureau Dress – Deer & Doe
  8. Flared skirt – Allemaal Rokjes
  9. RTW cardigan
  10. Seafarer top

 

Telma Dress

On the first day of my Something Red capsule, I wear my Telma Dress. I sewed it in 2016!

How is your Me-Made-May 2019 going?

My Me-Made-May 2019

It’s the beginning of May and traditionally that is the start of the sewing community festival month! Hurray!  This year it’s the TENTH year that the sewing community celebrates the Me-Made-May challenge. Zoe, the founder and hostess, describes it as a way to improve your relationship with your handmade wardrobe. You can read all about it on her blog.

Me-Made-May 2019

 

My Me-Made-May history

This is my fourth Me-Made-May that I actively participate in. MMMay16 is only documented on Instagram but you can read about my MMMay17 and MMMay 18 on the blog. To challenge myself I’ve tried to increase my pledge every year. However, last year I found that I’d reached my limit pledge-wise and it didn’t feel as much of a challenge anymore.  I wear my me-made clothes every day, sometimes combined with some old RTW’s. I stopped buying clothes—besides underwear, tights, and socks—in May 2015. So that’s why I wanted to level up my pledge a little, make it more challenging.

My  Me-Made-May 2019 pledge

 I, Wis from www.whatisew.be and @wis_g, sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May ’19. I endeavour to wear at least one me-made garment each day for the duration of May 2019.
I do not pick random garments each morning but I select garments out of the wardrobe capsules I create especially for this May 2019.

Me-Made-May 2019

What is a wardrobe capsule?

I got this idea of creating three wardrobe capsules for Me-Made-May from Alex from Sewrendipity. Last year she created three wardrobe capsules to wear during May 2018.
So how does it work?
The Me-Made-May wardrobe capsule is based on the 10 x 10 style challenge from Lee Vosburgh from StyleBee. “The concept is essentially a mini capsule closet of 10 items that you work with for 10 days, creating new looks and styling your clothes in ways you might not otherwise try.

The rules are simple:

  1. 10 pieces
  2. 10 outfits
  3. 10 days

Create 10 outfits with the 10 pieces you selected to wear the next 10 days. Just what I needed to take my Me-Made-May challenge to the next level. I’m going to create three consecutive capsules with outfits to wear between 2-11 May, 12-21 May, and 22-31 May.

My first  capsule: Green & Black

So I dug into my closet and came out with 10 garments that could fill my ‘Green & Black’ capsule. I found it not so simple as there are several parameters that I had to think about:

  • the chilly weather that is predicted for the next 10 days
  • two short flights
  • several teaching days
  • a long weekend at our holiday house

 

Me-Made-May 2019

Nine garments are green(ish)/black(ish). I allowed my jeans jacket in this capsule because I find jeans neutral and handy for travelling and for chilly days. The capsule is 60% Me-Made. I’m a bit disappointed by this number but I know that I lack in self-made tops. I will try to increase my Me-Made percentage in the next capsules!

 

On the first day of my Green & Black capsule, I wear my Nanöo top and Seamwork Brooklyn skirt. 100% Me-Made!

And, how are you living your Me-Made-May 2019?

Top 5 of 2018: reflections & goals

Woohoo! January is rolling like a high-speed train and February is already peeping over the horizon. So it’s high time for the last part of the #sewingtop5: Reflections and Goals!

2018 sewing goals

 

2018 Sewing Reflections

Some things I learned about my sewing in 2018!

#1 The joy of basting

Basting does not slow down your sewing, but, it helps your sewing. I bast both by hand and by machine. Basting by hand gives you control over these difficult, sometimes curved, seams. I also baste my zippers when I’m using challenging fabric like pleather or if I want the print to match.

2018 sewing goals
Basting a curved hem by hand.

You can also baste with your sewing machine. Herefore I use a straight stitch with stitch length 5. This is very handy when you’re sewing with knit fabrics.  I always machine baste neck bindings and sleeves. This way you can see the result and eventually, make some corrections. Afterwards, it’s easier to put these basted seams under your overlocker.

Once in a while, I baste the whole garment—even put in a zipper— with stitch length 5. Especially when I am a bit unsure about the fit. I make sure that then I have some extra seam allowance.

2018 sewing goals
The Snowball high neck dress machine basted for fitting purposes.
#2 The joy of hand sewing

It goes in fact hand in hand (!) with the joy of basting! Last year I often sewed some parts of the garments by hand. Usually the finish of the waistband. I find it easier than stitching in the ditch at the front side and trying to catch the seam at the back. It was Brooks Ann Camper on the ‘Love to Sew Podcast‘ who inspired me to do more hand sewing. She said: “It’s much easier and faster to unpick hand sewed stitches than machine sewed stitches!”

2018 sewing goals

 

#3. The joy of making a muslin!

2018 sewing goals

I made a muslin for my Vogue 9075 Jumpsuit. Being a tall girl I did want enough ease in my jumpsuit to be able to put my arms up when wearing it. Making a muslin is a bit more time consuming than basting but it so worthed when you preview fitting issues.

#4 The joy of prewashing your fabric!

Like I told you in my 2018 misses  I did not have the routine to prewash all my fabrics. This led to the minor disaster that some of my me-made garments shrunk after being washed! So after that calamity, I prewashed all my fabrics!

2018 sewing goals
Prewashing 7 meters of sweatshirt fabric.
#5 The joy of measuring!

I totally embrace the saying: ‘Measure twice, cut once‘! I do this now systematically. I measure all my pattern pieces and compare the results with my measurements. Sometimes I pin them already together to omit the seam allowances in my calculations. I find this very rewarding because I often use patterns intended for woven fabrics with knit fabrics and vice versa.

2018 sewing goals
Me, myself and my measurement tape!
2018 Sewing Goals

Well, here I am going to be very brief. I only have one sewing goal for 2019. Actually, there are two!

#1 Finish all—ALL—my UFO’s and WIP’s!

I’m not going to list all the UFO’s and WIP’s I collected the last 4 years— yes, I know some of them are that old! At the beginning of 2019, I had 9 of them.
Today, 3 weeks into the new year, I’m happy to report I already finished three of these sewing projects. Including the boxers for my sons which I started in September 2016!

#2 Don’t create new WIP’s!

This is also a simple goal. In 2019, and for the rest of my sewing life (hmm!), I am going to try not to start a new sewing project when the one I’m busy with is not finished!

Do you think that’s too ambitious? We will see next year!

 

Previous on the  #sewingtop5 series:  Hits, Misses & Highlights

 

Top 5 of 2018: misses & highlights

Next up in the ‘Sewing Top 5‘ are the 2018 misses & highlights!

2018 misses & highlights

M i s s e s

“Misses” is a very elastic concept! It could be some projects that totally went wrong, or that you didn’t wear. It’s also possible that you have sewed your garment ok but that when you wear it doesn’t feel like you. Or maybe you destroyed it by accident!

These are my 5 misses in random order.

#1 The Highland Wrap Dress by Allie Olson

2018 misses & highlights

This pattern checks a lot of my boxes: a sleeveless, maxi, V-neck wrap dress. Perfect for hot Summer days. So I started sewing it last June. In fact, if I had participated in the #sewtogetherforsummer, I would have chosen this pattern.
What went wrong? I think the type of fabric is wrong. This rayon gives the dress an airy and drapey feel but it made it very hard to sew it. But I kind of managed it until I got at one of the final stages: the arm facings. Here it went all kind of bumpy and I only finished one arm. And the bodice turned out too big.
What can I do about it? Unpick the already finished arm facing and redo it to make a crisp finish.

 

#2 The Kabuki Tee from Paper Theorie

Kabuki Tee

It is really with pain in my heart that I put these two Kabuki Tees under my misses. I adore the pattern; I used two of well-loved fabrics; I like the challenge of sewing the angels; I like them on hangers and still, I’m not happy wearing these Kabuki Tees.
Why? I think the boxy shape of the pattern is not suitable for my body type? When I see other sewists wearing it—check #kabukitee on Instagram— and looking good in it, everyone is kind of thin.
What can I do about it? Maybe I could wear them so that they’ll grow on me? I do have some fabric left so maybe I could lengthen them with a border?

 

#3 The shrunk Mesa dress

2018 misses & highlights

This happens when you don’t prewash your fabric. There’s a risk that your garment will shrink in the laundry! As a result, this Mesa dress is at its shortest now! Luckily it’s a summer dress so it’s still wearable but I can’t pick up something from the floor.
What can I do about it? Maybe I could lengthen it with a strip of fabric.
Note to myself: Prewash all your fabrics!

 

#4 Maxi Brooklyn Skirt

2018 misses & highlights

I lengthened the pattern of the Seamwork Brooklyn Skirt—which I already made several times to a maxi skirt. I thought I did it correctly by adding substantial length to the hem. I measured it accurately but apparently, I did something wrong. Anyway, what was I thinking because I know that you can’t lengthen a half-circle skirt in this way.
What can I do about it? I am going to reuse this fabric for a jumpsuit I am planning to sew this Summer.

#5 Creating (more) WIP’s

This was already one of my misses last year 🤦🏻‍♀️! I’m glad though I finished two of them. I reused the fabric of the sweater for my son and finished the Hudson pants for my daughter-in-law. Alas, I created some new ones. So this is going to be my goal for 2019: finish all (ALL!) my WIP’s and don’t create new ones.

 

H i g h l i g h t s 

Life isn’t only about sewing! Or is it? So here are my non-sewing highlights of 2018. If you are a regular reader of this blog then you will notice that these highlights not so different than those of last year. Except for number 1 of course!

#1 The birth of our first grandson M.

grandson

This is THE highlight for us for 2018! The first part of the year there was the excitement of the anticipation and after his birth, he brought so much love and joy to our family. We all adore him and love him to pieces!
Of course, it’s super fun to sew all these cute little clothes for him!

 

#2 Podere Santa Pia

Podere Santa Pia

Staying at our holiday home—Podere Santa Pia—in the South of Tuscany, Italy keeps being the best thing of our life. It’s even better if we are there together with family and friends. To keep the memory alive we take a goodbye picture every time we are leaving this paradise: #ciaosantapia.

 

#3 Spending time with family and friends
2018 misses & highlights
My father and mother celebrating my father’s 85th birthday. He is holding is first great-grandchild.

2018 was an intense family year. There was the 85th birthday of my father, the 80th birthday of my mother, the 60th anniversary of my parents-in-law, the birth of two little babies, and two big family gatherings: one at my husband’s side of the family and one at my side of the family. And of course, the pizza nights with my crowd.  These were all great days!

 

#4 Starting to walk
Rosa Dress Tilly & The Buttons
Walking through the city and discovering all kind of great backdrops.

I am so not into sports. I have absolutely no talent for it but I wanted to improve my condition. So last September I started to walk with the ambition to walk every day. And I am succeeding. The last 4 months of 2018 I walked about 5000 steps each day. For me, that’s 100 % more than before! I love doing it and I do feel an improvement of my condition.  Also, it’s nice to take these walks in the city and often my husband is accompanying me. Last year we had real luck with the warmest autumn since ever so that made these walks even more agreeable.

 

#5 Visiting musea
Sean Scully at the Pont
Standing in awe in front of a Sean Scully painting.

I can be totally flabbergasted by seeing a good art show. This year I had the pleasure to see two interesting art shows at the Museum De Pont in Tilburg. First, at the beginning of the year, there was the Jubilee show, Weerzien, which showed all their acquisitions. Later, in May, we visited the Sean Scully and Rineke Dijkstra show. Both shows gave me a lot of food for the soul!

Next up in this series: reflections & goals.

What I sewed in 2018 –Top 5: the hits

Nope, we can’t ignore it any longer. The new year—2019!—is definitely here. That makes that I can look back again and reflect. What kind of sewing year was 2018?
Like the previous years, I collected all my sewing data in an infographic and here below you see the result of my 2018 sewing!

2018 sewing

What do these numbers say?

I sew mostly for women, using a pdf pattern from an Indie Pattern Designer.  Although, compared to previous years, it isn’t that pronounced anymore. There is a shift in who I sew for. In 2018 I sewed more for babies. How else could it be with the birth of our first grandson! This joyful event is, of course, THE highlight of 2018!

2018 sewing
M. wearing his long sleeve sweater. Free pattern from Dromenfabriek.
54 sewing projects

I was a bit surprised by this number when I did the counting.  I didn’t have the feeling that I sewed approximately 1 item per week! Say what? The previous years this was somewhat of a (hidden) goal that I could not reach and this year it came to fruition without special effort. Of course, with the 13 Bombazine Mitts, which I sewed in January,  I took already a big jumpstart.
And yes, these 54 projects are ALL finished projects! Alas, I also have 7 (seven!!) WIP’s! But I am going to catch up on them!
Another thing that helped to get this high number of finished projects is that I didn’t lose my sewing-mojo this year. Last year, I didn’t sew every day and certainly not 300 times like I set out to at the start of the year, but there wasn’t a significant period of non-sewing!
A new item that I checked for this year is for how many projects I used fabric from my stash. It’s about 47%. This figure could be higher but I’m already pleased with it. Even more so, because it came naturally. It was not a specific goal of me to sew as much as possible from my stash.

sewing 2018
Buying new fabric or searching through my stash?
Top 5 of 2018

Gillian form ‘Crafting a rainbow’ has this nice challenge for your #sewingtop5. I enjoyed following this last year so I will do it again this year.

2018 sewing

Top 5 Hits

The first thing I want to share with you is my sewing hits! My hits are sewing projects that give me the most joy! And this joy can be caused by several things: from the pleasure of wearing it, the challenge of sewing, the first time tackling a particular technique, or the gratitude you receive from the person you sewed for…

Here is my selection of joy for 2018.

#1. My Jumpsuit

The Vogue V9075 Jumpsuit is without a doubt #myproudestmake. Why? I made a muslin for it so I would not have any fitting issues. This paid off. The fit is perfect!
This is also my best fabric-pattern combination of the year: a cotton and silk blend that I bought at Goldhawk Road in 2017. This counts for sewing from my stash! And I wore it a lot and with pleasure!

#2. The Statement dress

When you make a summer dress in a red/black plaid then you make a statement dress!! This dress gives me so much joy. Why? I had severe grading to do and it worked! The pattern matching is impeccable! And last but not least, my daughter loves it and that makes me happy!

#3. The Jill Coat

It was such a good decision to put a lining in the Seamwork Jill Coatigan. Even more, to put two buttons with a loop closure on it so this coat is totally suitable for Belgian winters.
I particularly enjoyed all the hand stitching I did because of the furry character of the fabric.

#4. All the baby clothes

I started sewing baby clothes in November 2017 when the first grandson of my brother was born. Then in 2018, there was the first granddaughter of my other brother and then in August our little treasure was born. Sewing all these cute baby clothes is great fun and these projects are great stash busters too!

#5. The Kingfisher Top for my daughter-in-law L.

I was over the moon that I could cut out the Kingfisher top out of one panel of Lotte Martens handprinted fabric. This panel was 60cm by 150cm. I had some serious pattern tetris to do but it worked. I was even more over the moon when L. loved this top I made for her birthday! It makes me happy when my family loves and wears the garments I sewed for them!

Next up in the top 5 of 2018 are Misses & Highlights, and Reflections & Goals.

Second blogiversary: the answers to your questions

Hello, my dear blog readers! I’m very thrilled today because exactly two years ago I published my first blog post. Though I don’t post as regularly as I want I still love blogging about my sewing encounters. To celebrate this second birthday I’m throwing a Q&A-party. So, here they come, the answers to your questions.

sewing blog

 

What’s your favourite thing you ever sewed? from Chloe
What’s your favourite garment you’ve ever made and why? from Jane

Chloe’s question popped up first. Pff! That’s an easy one, I thought. Then Jane made an addition to the question and that made me do some serious reflection. At first, I thought about my recent makes but then I realized they will come up in my Top 5 Hits 2018 that I will publish shortly. So, I had to look further and delving into my archives I found not one but two favourite garments that reached the “special” status.

#1 The Brooklyn skirt from Seamwork in African Waxsewing blog

Why is this skirt one of my favourite garments? I sewed this skirt in August 2016 and it was the first time I sewed with Africa Wax. I love this type of fabric so much. To fit the front pattern piece—the skirt is a half-circle skirt with a generous front box pleat—on the fabric I had to sew together two panels. I succeeded in an impeccable pattern matching. The all-around pattern matching of this skirt is the best I ever did. I put inseam pockets in it. I wore it already a zillion times and it hasn’t lost its fit and its elegance.

Impeccable pattern matching!
#2 The Vogue DKNY V1235 Dress for my daughterVogue DKNY V1235

I sewed it in May 2017 and it was my number one that year. Why? I’ll repeat what I wrote about it last year: “I sewed this dress for my daughter to attend the wedding of her best friend. I worked very hard on this dress: I made two muslins for it and executed my first FBA—that still sounds like a medical procedure ;). It was also the first time I sewed with border fabric. I love how the placing of the border I had in my head came out. My daughter received a lot of compliments on the dress and she loves wearing it. This makes me sew happy!”

 

Where do you get your fabric? from Kim
Mahlia Kent
Standing in front of the Mahlia Kent store in Paris. I’m wearing my African Wax print skirt!

I do not have a dedicated fabric shop. My fabric comes from everywhere! There are some brick fabric shops in my hometown Ghent that I go to sometimes. They cover the range from established values (Artevelde, Au Pluba) to new shops (Stoffenkamer).
I also buy fabric online. Girl Charlee UK is my favourite for knit fabric.
The thing I love the most about fabric shopping is searching for fabric shops or markets whenever I am in a foreign city. So far I bought fabric at Goldhawk rd (London), Mahlia Kent (Paris), Montmartre region (Paris), Kantje Boord (Amsterdam), Neuköllner Stoff (Berlin),…
But if you read some of my blog posts before you’ll know that my favourite fabric stall is at the market of Castel del Piano, a small Tuscan city. There is this lady who only sells remnants and I already found some real treasures there.

Buying fabric
Checking fabric at the market in Castel del Piano

 

What’s a typical day for you? Do you sew/create most days? from Sarah

I don’t have a typical day and I don’t sew every day. My job as a history teacher at a university college dictates my yearly calendar. The first term of the academic year (September-December) is hard with a lot of courses to prepare and to teach. So there’s barely any time to sew during weekdays. The second term (February-June) is less hard and that leaves some time for sewing during weekdays.
But one of the perks of being a teacher is having several breaks throughout the year! Then all my time is sewing time!

sewing blogger
Teaching in my me-made clothes

 

Do you finish one project completely before the next one kicks off!? from Ersan

Aww, this is a tough one because it touches one of my weak points, maybe even the weakest. No, although I want to, I don’t always finish a project before I tackle a new one. Why is that? I don’t really know. The only explanation I have is that I enjoy the thrill of starting a new project. In fact, I love cutting out a new pattern.
Sometimes I abandon a project because some urgent sewing with a deadline comes up: gifts, sewing community challenges, pattern testing… The result is that I now have several UFO’s and WIP’s! I don’t even want to count them. I also have some nagging children because some of the WIP’s are garments for them, that I promised them.
So, I want to make this one of my goals for 2019: “Finish all (ALL!) of my UFO’s and WIP’s & don’t create new ones!”.

sewing blog
Already cutting out something new when I still have so many projects going!
Does the blog take much of your time and effort? from Eleonora

In fact, it does. It’s not that I don’t know what to say! The main reason for it taking so much effort is that English is not my native language. So, the writing of a post takes a serious amount of time. I’m trying to turn it into a regular routine, like writing every day for about half an hour but until now I’m not very successful at it! Which is why when I actually sit down and write, it takes me awhile. That’s why it ’s one of my goals for 2019: “Write every day for about half an hour for your blog!”.
However, although it takes some time and effort, I still love it. Because there are actual people reading and following—say what 213 followers!!!—this blog. Which I continue to be perplexed at. More,  it makes my sewing-heart sing when I receive comments and questions.

sewing blog
Sewing or blogging? That’s the question

 

What’s your favourite sewing technique? from Emma

My favourite sewing technique would be sewing French seams—which strangely are called English seams in Dutch—because they make such a clean and crisp finish! It became even more my favourite sewing technique after I got myself a ¼ inch presser foot. This makes sewing French seams a piece of cake!

French seams 1/4 inch presser foot

 

So these are the answers to your questions. Thank you for asking and thanks for reading. If you have some more questions put them in the comments and I’ll be glad to answer them. Now, excuse me, because I have some bubbles to drink!

 

  Top 4 of most read blog posts this year!
  1. Eye-catchers #20
  2. The Ali Sweatshirt from Sew DIY
  3. The Seamwork Jill Coatigan with striped lining
  4. Burda Turtleneck Top

 

 

Second blogiversary: call for questions for a Q&A session

Q&A

The end of December is nearing and that means my blog is turning 2 years old. I thought it would be fun to celebrate this second blogiversary with a Q&A session. So, I would love to hear any of your questions about my sewing… and I will answer them on my blog on the 30th of December!

q&a

 

Ask your question here!