Monthly Archives: January 2017

The Toaster Sweater#2 from Sew House Seven – SewMyStyle#1


I can’t believe it is nearly the end of January. Mostly because that means the first piece of the Project SewMyStyle has to be finished.
I already wrote about the Project SewMyStye in my previous post. The goal is to create a wardrobe capsule and to sew twelve garments in twelve months, together.
The January pattern is the Toaster Sweater#2 from Sew House Seven

Toaster Sweater#2
Everything is going to be alright – Toaster Sweater #2
Is this a quick sew?

I have a lot of jersey/tricot in my stash but none of it was sturdy enough for this pattern so I went to buy appropriate fabric. At 6 p.m. I bought the fabric at Soie Unique and at 11 p.m.  the sweater was finished—and I cooked a risotto in between. So yes, this is an incredibly quick sew.
I went for a black double layered jersey with a lot of structure because I truly need some solids in my wardrobe. The fabric has a good stretch and is very easy to work with.

Toaster Sweater in the Blue Balloon room by Martin Creed.
The Toaster Sweater#2 pattern

Based on my bust measures I cut out a straight XL but in hindsight, I should have taken the L because my measures were closer to that size and it turned out a little too big.  I also added 5 cm to the length, not only because I am a #tallgirl but also because—although I like the cropped version a lot—I think for my figure a little bit of length is better.
The pattern is straight forward and beautiful in its simple lines. I really like the neckline with the included facing. It is also very helpful that the stretch direction is added on the pattern pieces.

Toaster Sweater #2
Look at that neckline!
The sewing process

The instructions in the booklet were very clear so I followed them step by step. A few days ago I read the sew along on the Sew House Seven website and remembered to mark the vent dots at the side seams and the neckline. This was very useful. I sewed the whole thing on my sewing machine, using a walking foot and the stretch stitch.
The only thing I had some problems with was putting in the sleeves. Although it was a flat insertion I really had to ease the sleeve caps and I hadn’t read this in any of the reviews. And here I think the pattern is too wide. Next time I will downsize the sleeve caps and the armscye.

Toastersweater version 2
I think the size is a little too big for me—especcialy around the shoulders and the arms.

With a little marking, the sewing of the side seams went very easy. I used my beloved fagot stitch to hem the seams.

Walking foot and marking the vent seams
Walking foot and marking the vent seams

The vent corners


I really like this sweater. The feel is very warm and cozy but the for the next one I probably go down one size. Also, I wouldn’t have sewed this sweater if not for Project SewMyStyle, so in that way, the year is off to a great start!

PS Most pictures were taken at the Museum Voorlinden in Wassenaar.

Skyspace, James Turrel in Museum Voorlinden, Wassenaar
Skyspace, James Turrel in Museum Voorlinden, Wassenaar

9 inspirations from the sewing community

Do you lack sewing inspiration?

The sewing community provides you with a lot of sew-alongs, sewing challenges, giveaways and even a sewing party! I give you 9 online sewing festivities that maybe could give you some needed inspiration.

  • Project Sew My Style

    Alex from Bluebird Fabrics launched this year-long project last December 2016 and it is such a challenging project that I immediately signed up.Project #SewMyStyleSewMyStyle is all about raising awareness about the slow fashion movement and about encouraging young women to take up sewing. I’m not young but I felt spoken to. They want to show you that sewing your own wardrobe isn’t an unachievable dream.
    The goal is to create a wardrobe by sewing 12 garments in 12 months, with the entire community.  We’ll post photos of our makes on Instagram on the last Sunday of every month. In the end, we’ll all have a nice little capsule wardrobe of handmade clothes. To make the project achievable, the patterns that are chosen are relaxed in fit and most are accompanied by instructions.
    The first pattern on the list is The Toaster Sweater #2 from Sew House Seven. Currently, I am in the phase of choosing my fabric.

    Patterns for SewMyStyle
    The 11 patterns for SewMyStyle. The 12th pattern is yet to be released.


  • 2017 Secret Valentine Exchange

    The 2017 Secret Valentine Exchange is a non-conventional handmade gift swap that occurs worldwide, hosted by Ute and Shanae. I already gave you 4 reasons why you should participate.
    Sign-ups are closed now but you can follow all the makes on Instagram with the #2017SVE hashtag. At this moment I’m racking my brains to find something to sew for my Secret Valentine.

    2017 secret valentine exchange

  • Dressmakers52

    After a very successful MakeItYourself March 16, co-hosted with Wendy from WendyWard, Emma from Dressmakers Social started a year-long project: #Dressmakers52.
    Every Sunday, she picks a new theme from her deck of cards with prompts, to use as inspiration for posting a picture on Instagram. It started the first week of April 2016 and we are now in week 43 with the theme: dresses. I really love this challenge, it gave me a lot of sewing inspiration so far.


  • Moneta Party

    Moneta Party
    A real sewing party hosted by The Triple Stitchers: Abigail, Elle and Rachel.
    This is fun! It’s a party held on Instagram! Everybody can participate, no matter where you live—simply post a picture of your handmade ‘Colette Moneta dress’ on your Instagram feed between Friday, February  24th 18.00 GMT and Sunday, February 26th 18.00 GMT 2017 using the hashtag #Monetaparty. And there are prizes to win!
    I am really looking forward to this party because I am planning to sew a Moneta for my daughter for more than a year already.

    The Triple Stitchers
    © The Tripple Stitchers


  • Le défi dentelle
    Le défi dentelle
    A lingerie sewing party hosted by Marion, Eugénie and Barbara.

    Do you fancy sewing your own lingerie?  When you do, post a picture of it on Instagram and you receive a lingerie pattern from Barbara—Je fais mes dessous. You can post until Valentine (of course!). Wow! Don’t these beautiful pictures give you inspiration?


  • Jungle January

    Anne from Pretty Grievances started it 5 years ago: sew anything you want using an animal print fabric. Check it out on Instagram and Twitter with the #junglejanuary hashtag.

    Jungle January
    Teaser for last years Jungle January © Pretty Grievances

    I never used an animal print before and at this moment I don’t have an animal print in my stash but I do love all the Jungle January sewing! And you still have 10 days to sew something with an animal print! If you have an animal print in your stash—sew it!

  • Sew Japanese (patterns) in January

    Launched by Blogless Anna on Instagram. So far I didn’t sew any Japanese patterns, although I like a lot of them, especially the coats. Unfortunately, I will not have some spare time to sew Japanese this January (due to 2017SVE, SewMyStyle and the upcoming MonetaParty). But you can!

    Japanese sewing inspiration
    RepostBy @bloglessanna: “My #sewjapaneseinjanuary plans are underway. I’m hoping to sew two items from two of my newest books (inc. this top). Are you joining in?” )


  • Blusen Sew-Along

    No, it is not impossible to sew your own shirt! You just have to start. That’s why Elke —a German sewist is organising a Blusen Sew-along.Blusen Sew Along

    This is the schedule of the sew-along:
    * January 22: Choosing of the pattern and fabric, what inspires you?
    * January 29: Do you have to make changes? Are there hurdles?
    * February 5: Work in progress. Did you learn tips and tricks or do you need help with your project?
    * February 9 (Thursday): Presentation of the finished blouse. FINALE!
    You can follow all the makes on Instagram and social media with the #blusenSA2017

  • 2017 sewing book challenge

    Do have a lot of sewing books with patterns in it and you never sewed one these patterns? With the 2017sewingbookchallenge you can solve this.2017 Sewing Book Challenge

    Carla Peicheff looked at her sewing book library and realised she nearly didn’t use one of the patterns in it. That’s why she launched the 2017sewingbookchallenge: make at least one project a month from your stash of sewing books.
    I only have one sewing book and sewing something from it is already on my #2017MakeNine list.

1 free pattern from So Sew Easy gives 2 new sweaters

Free patterns
For me, one of the perks of the online sewing community is free pdf patterns. I discovered them when I restarted sewing after a hiatus of nearly 20 years—they didn’t exist in the eighties and the nineties.  In fact, the first dress I sewed in 2013 was the Eva Dress and this was a free pdf pattern from Your Style Rocks.

The Eva Dress from Your Style Rocks—a free pattern

So, mid-December 2016, when So Sew Easy announced “The Easy sweater pattern for non-knitters: Let’s call her Cami” this model immediately caught my attention because I love raglan sleeves and it was a free pattern. Also, it looked like an easy sew and I needed that because my sewing mojo was really low at that time.

Camy Sweater from Sew So Easy

You get the pattern through a link on the site of So Sew Easy that leads to Craftsy where you can download it for free.
The pattern consists of 28 pages to print and it has a very clear layout. On the site you find detailed instructions and a tutorial with photos. I had not any difficulties putting it together.

I traced size 16 following my waist measurements. Being a tall girl, I lengthened the body at the hem with 6 cm.
The fabric I used is a loosely woven, lightweight rust-coloured tricot that I bought at The Stoffenspektakel last Spring.

What I really like about this pattern are the inserts between the bodice and the sleeves. They give you the opportunity to use some contrasting fabric or ribbon to spice up the classic raglan model. I used vintage ribbon that I found at Nahkontor in Berlin. This was a little bit smaller than the inserts so I stitched it on top of the fabric.Nahkontor in Berlin. This was a little bit smaller than the inserts so I stitched it on top of the fabric.

Second sweater
And it was a quick sew so I immediately sewed one for my daughter too. I had some grey knit in my stash that was very suitable but in fact a little too small. But it was a 4-way knit, so I cut the sleeves cross-grain. Here, for the inserts I used black jersey, leftovers from a sweater I sewed for her a few years ago.

Do you often use free patterns?

9 things to sew in 2017 (and some more)

At the end of 2015 when everybody posted their #2015bestnine makes, Rochelle launched the #2016makenine: ‘The nine projects you plan to sew or to craft’ on her Lucky Lucille blog. That was a great incentive to think about the nine projects I really wanted to sew in the then near future. In fact, I’d already planned some in the back of my mind and I had bought all my patterns.

My 2016MakeNine


Did I sew these nine projects?
In my 2016 overview you see that I finished 41 projects last year but only 3 of them came out of my MakeNine selection. Why? Do I not like the ones I didn’t sew anymore? No, on the contrary, I still want to sew them but somehow they tumbled down on my priority ladder.

My 2016MadeNine


Because I still like the not yet sewed projects of 2016 I decided to keep them on my makenine list for 2017. The new ones are (top row):
* Snowball dress –  Yuki Waffle Patterns
* Jane shirt – Ready to Sew
* Falda Jacket – Pattern Fantastique

My 2017MakeNIne


2017MakeNine, the sequel
My first two makes of 2017 happen to be from my #2016makenine roster. What to do now? Mark them as realised or put two new in it?

2017MakeNine with the already sewed Paxson sweater and Hudson Pants for man

Some more things to sew in 2017: 5 WIP’s or should I call them UFO’s?
As I mentioned in my 2016 my sewing mojo drastically decreased after August and somehow that brought me 5 not yet finished projects.

  • Duffel bag to use for pattern drafting class
    Started in September
    I cut all the pieces and bought a zipper
  • Boxer shorts for my sons
    Started in September
    I cut all the pieces and made a mistake: the front and the back have different colours from the same fabric!
  • Jacket for my husband
    Started in October
    Only needs the second sleeve and the lining
  • Rosa dress from Tilly and the Buttons
    Started in December
    I cut all the pieces
    Sewed the side seams
    Very slippery fabric
  • Paxson for my son
    Started in December
    Cut all the pieces
    I put the sleeves with the wrong side of the fabric up!

Note to self: please finish these projects in 2017!

4 reasons to participate in the 2017 Secret Valentine Exchange

Design made by Sanae

The 2017 Secret Valentine Exchange is a non-conventional handmade gift swap that occurs worldwide. It’s the fourth time it takes place and it is organised by two very creative and inspirational women: Sanae from Seattle (US) and Ute from Berlin (Germany). You can read more about the exchange on Sanae’s blog.
Last year I participated for the first time and it really was a heart-warming experience.

Here are my 4 reasons why you should participate as well!

1 You get to know new people

  • Like I said before, the hosts, Sanae and Ute, are amazing people to meet.
  • Then you meet your assignment: the person you have to make a gift for, in my case that was Elle from the UK. I received an email from the organisers with some information and her IG-account for inspiration.
  •  And of course, at the end, you get to meet the person who made something for you. Last year Angela from Oakland was my Secret Valentine.

2 You get challenged

The purpose of the SVE is to make something yourself with barely any costs, to use materials from your stash. I learned that Elle’s favourite colours were: grey, navy, gold and mustard. Luckily I had some scraps in my stash with these colours.

Grey and mustard scraps from my fabric stash

Then you have to let your creativity work. Elle is a great sewist, so I decided to make some pattern weights and a bag for putting them in. I used the open wide zippered pouch pattern from noodlehead for it.

The pattern weights are filled with lentils
The open wide zippered pouch from noodlehead

I pimped it with some cuberdons, a famous sweet from Ghent, my hometown.

3 You get thrilled twice

  • It is very exciting to send a gift to someone and have to wait to receive their response, whether they liked it or not. Elle expressed her thanks extensively and still does, and every time I get warm and fuzzy all over again.
  • It is also very exciting to receive your gift, especially when it comes from overseas and when it is beautifully wrapped gift containing a block print of David Bowie on a white canvas bag. I use it all the time, because I love it so much.


4 It is very easy to sign up
Just fill in the google form. The deadline is Friday, January 6th, so you have to hurry a little bit. You don’t need to have an online presence to participate. You just have to let your creativity work!

Are you participating?

Sanae also drew some tags to use with your gift

2017-01-05 1:11 GMT+01:00 Wis Geysen <>:

What I Sewed – 2016

I was working on my 2016 overview when Saturday Night Stitch posted her 2016 hits, using an infographic. I found this such a cool idea that I copied it shamelessly and made my first infographic ever.

What do these numbers say?
In one sentence: I sew for women, using a pdf pattern from an Indie Pattern Designer!

41 sewing projects
I am a little disappointed about this number because one year ago I pledged to myself to sew one item a week. Until September I was on track—using #wgsewing16 on Instagram keeps me up-to-date—but after August my sewing mojo decreased dramatically. Currently, I even have 5 WIPs, all started the last trimester of 2016. But hey! I did sew 41 things, didn’t I?

5 hits from 2016
Because you can approach this from different angles I find it a little difficult to select five hits. Do you choose the most worn? The toughest sewing-challenge? The best fits? The ones you get the most compliments for? So here are my 5 sewing hits from 2016, randomly picked.

Nino Jacket * Paulin  Alice
It was on my #2016makenine and it is one of my favourite things to wear. I haven’t taken it off since November.
I picked a sublime wool from The Fabric Sales. The pattern was challenging with belted buttonholes and belted pockets but there are very good instructions on the Pauline Alice blog.

NO.7 VANLØSE * How to do fashionOne of the five paper patterns I sewed this year. This pattern from How to do fashion, a Danish Indie Designers, comes in a very beautiful package.
I used this floral crepe Lucy, bought from Mon Depot. For this project I made muslins for the first time ever and it paid off. I had to do some alterations at the trousers, I even had to shorten them! The first time that ever happened.
Because we had this real hot weather in September I could wear it a lot and I love wearing it.

Rushcutter * In the folds
I already acknowledged the greatness of this design on Instagram. New for me was sewing French seams and thanks to the thorough instructions, it worked out fine. I loved this dress so much, I couldn’t help myself and immediately made two, both in cotton.

Hudson Pants * True Bias

The comfiest pants ever! I sewed 4 this year, do I have to say more. The Hudson Pants for men is definitely on my sewing list for this year.

African Wax Prints

Sewing with African Wax was on my wish list for a while and I’m glad I finally did it last summer. If you wonder what African Wax prints are and where they come from, Tamara from Zoona Nova Design wrote a very interesting post about it. The fabrics I used are from Hi Target, which I found in my local fabric shop.
I made the  Brooklyn skirt from Seamwork and the Velo Culottes from Sew This Pattern out of it. The rigidity of the fabric gives both patterns some body, that I really like.

These are my impressions about 2016. My wishes for 2017 are coming soon.

A warm and happy Sew Year to you all!