Category Archives: Completed sewingprojects

The Kingfisher Top from The Sewing Revival

Sometimes a pattern just falls on your head! I blame @robinsnest1926¬†ūüėČ . When she posted her first Kingfisher Top on Instagram I immediately wanted to sew one myself. The pattern ticked several of my boxes:¬†the combination of a woven fabric with knit bindings, a deep neck, a loosely‚ÄĒbut not too wide‚ÄĒ fit and raglan sleeves. I love raglan sleeves!
So, I bought and downloaded the Kingfisher Top immediately. Alas, actually starting to sew the top took longer than expected.

Kingfisher Top Sewing Revival

 

The Kingfisher Top pattern

The Kingfisher Top is a pattern from the New Zealand indie pattern company The Sewing Revival. It was the first time I heard from them and I was pleasantly surprised by their offer of patterns in their webshop. So, I also bought the Tui Dress, since it was the beginning of September and still very warm. Optimistically, I thought I would still have enough time to sew that too!

Kingfisher Top Sewing Revival

I ordered the pattern on a weekend and I wanted to start sewing immediately so I printed the pattern tiles and glued them together. The marks on the pattern tiles were clear so this was a quick job.
The Kingfisher Top pattern consists of 3 basic pieces: the front, back,¬†and the sleeves. Then there are the pieces for the neckband and the sleeve cuffs, both for the short and the 3/4 version. I like that you don’t have to draft the bindings yourself.
Based on the measurements on the size chart, I cut out the XL and didn’t make any adjustments. Although I like the fit, next time I maybe will grade down a size on the shoulder-arm part.

 

The Fabric

I bought this Italian silk at my favourite fabric stall at the market in Castel del Piano. It was a remnant so I had no other option than to make the top with short sleeves.
For the contrasting fabric, I used this black rib with bronze sparkles I still had in my stash. I used it for my second Juniper cardigan.

Kingfisher Top Sewing Revival

 

The sewing process

The sewing of the Kingfisher Top went smoothly without hiccups. The Sewing Revival gives it a 4/10 on the easy score and that’s a fair score.
The instructions are extensive with photos and illustrations. Not so much for me but very useful for a beginning sewist. This top came together in about two hours. First, I sewed all the seams on the overlocker. Then I machine basted (stitch length 5) the neckband and the cuffs and also finished them with the overlocker.

 

Kingfisher Top Sewing Revival

 

Conclusion

I think it’s obvious that I am happy with my Kingfisher Top. It’s a joy to sew and a joy to wear. I particularly love the feel and the drape of the silk. And I am lucky that we are now having these extremely sunny days here so I can wear it a lot!
Will I sew some more of this top. I guess you already know the answer. So thank you @robinsnest1926 for showing me the Kingfisher Top.

Kingfisher Top Sewing Revival

The faux wrap skirt from Knipmode

There are 1000 reasons to start sewing a new garment, aren’t there? Well, the sewing of this skirt started with an email of Knipmode. They offered me a discount on their patterns because they missed me. (It had been a while that I bought one of their patterns! Actually, the last time was in December 2016.) I know that this kind¬†of emails is pure advertising but once in a while, I’m sensitive for this sort of stuff. So I visited the website and this skirt¬†got my attention. It looks like a wrap skirt but it isn’t. It is a fitted skirt with an asymmetrical front flap fixed to the skirt with a loop.

knipmode skirt

The Knipmode skirt pattern

The pdf-patterns from Knipmode have no A0-format so I printed and glued together 27 pages. The different lines and assembly notches are very clear¬†thus that wasn’t a hard job!
The pattern consists of 7 pieces which are all on the printed pages.¬† You don’t have to draft some pieces yourself. I like that.¬† To save paper the extra front flap is drawn in two pieces.¬† You have to tape¬†them together. Here also the assembly line is very clear.
Be aware that these pattern pieces come without seam allowances.

knipmode skirt

Based on the measurements on the size chart, I cut out a 50. I took the size of the waist as my guideline as the skirt is fitted. I lessened the curve of the hips with 2 cm and lengthened the hem by 5 cm.  This all turned out perfect when I fitted the skirt.

knipmode skirt

The fabric

I bought this beautiful Italian wool in February 2016 at the market in Castel Del Piano. It’s dark blue (very difficult to photograph) with a subtle light blue woven check.

Italian wool

I immediately thought about this fabric because the model of the skirt is in plaid. The only problem with these fabric pieces from the market in Castel del Piano is that they are remnants so you have to take the piece as they come. I had 1,28m on 1,50m and the instructions asked for 1,60m on 1,40m. You need even more if you want to use a print! But I managed. I could even cut out the front flap on the bias.

The sewing process

Knipmode gives the sewing of this skirt a difficulty level of 2,5 (on 4). In my opinion, this is a correct rating.
The instructions are compact and without illustrations. But luckily for me in Dutch, my native language. I didn’t have a lot of trouble to put the skirt together. The only point where I¬† had to read the instructions a few times is when you make the loop on the front piece.¬† Looking at the photo now it seems obvious.
knipmode skirt

knipmode skirt

knipmode skirt

Conclusion

I am very happy with my new Knipmode skirt. I love that it is a fitted skirt with this twist at the front. Although I sewed the skirt on the last day of Summer I think I can wear it easily with tights in Autumn.
Will I sew another one? I guess I will. In fact, I’m looking forward to it!

knipmode skirt

The Ali Sweatshirt from Sew DIY

Last Tuesday Sew DIY launched a new pattern: the Ali Sweatshirt.¬†It’s a casual and comfy sweatshirt with some interesting design features. The design of the back yoke just asks for experimenting. I was one of the lucky sewists to test the pattern back in July. ¬†Although it was high summer at that time, the testing was a joyful ride.

Ali Sweatshirt

 

The Ali Sweatshirt pattern

The Ali Sweatshirt comes in two versions: one with a crewneck a one with a scoop-neck. I choose view B, the scoop-neck. The pattern consists of 7 pieces. Based on my measurements I cut out the XL but in hindsight, I should have cut out the L because there is a lot of ease at the bust. I understand Beth updated the pattern now with more narrow sleeves.  I assume that I would prefer this option.
As usual,  I lengthened the bodice by 4 cm. This is easily done because of the lengthen/shorten line on the pattern piece.

Ali Sweatshirt

 

The red striped fabric

After sewing the maternity dress for my daughter-in-law I had still enough of this beautiful¬†Red and White Stripe Cotton Knit from Girl Charlee UK. It’s soft and¬†I had already experienced that, even though being a knit, that it behaved very well under the machine! This and the possibilities the stripes give for some experimenting¬†with the placement of the back yoke,¬†are the reasons why I choose this fabric. Because usually, I am so NOT a striped-garment-wearing person. I think my latest striped sweater dated from 1975!

Ali Sweatshirt

 

The sewing process

Sewing the Ali Sweatshirt is a joyful ride. Nearly all the seams are straight seams and Beth wrote very clear instructions. I sewed the sweater totally on my overlocker and I topstitched the seams on my regular machine with a walking foot and a very small zig-zag stitch.

The one thing of the construction that took some thinking was the chevron I had in my head for the back yoke. How did I do it?

  1. I drew a 45¬į line (the green one) on the pattern piece of the yoke. I transferred some of the red stripes on the pattern piece too. This would make it more easy to cut out the second part of the yoke.Ali Sweatshirt
  2. I cut out one piece of the yoke in a single layer.
    Then I transferred the 45¬į line and the red stripe marks to the back side of the pattern piece and checked the placement on the fabric.
    Ali Sweatshirt
  3. After, I put the already cut out piece with right sides together on the fabric to cut out the second piece of the yoke. I carefully matched the stripes.Ali Sweatshirt
  4. Then I basted the yoke and stitched it with my overlocker. For the topstitching, I used the small zig-zag stitch on my sewing machineAli Sweatshirt

 

I used the same procedure for the plaid Zéphyr dress I sewed for my daughter.

 

Conclusion

I love my Ali Sweatshirt. I already¬†wore it a lot, especially on colder evenings when it makes me feel all comfy and cozy. I’m even wearing it now! If you are looking for an easy to sew sweatshirt where the pattern design still hands you some possibilities to give it a personal touch, don’t hesitate. There is a launch discount for this pattern until Sunday.

Ali Sweatshirt

The Magenta Ogden Cami from True Bias that took forever to sew!

Well, I wasn’t going to sew a new Ogden Cami this summer; I sewed already three versions (cami, maxi dress & dress) last summer. I even didn’t bring the pattern with me to our holiday house. Then I went home for four days to celebrate my mother’s 80th birthday and‚ÄĒnever not sewing‚ÄĒstarted sewing the presents for¬†a sweet little girl that was just born. In my search through my fabric collection for suitable fabric for the baby, I stumbled on this piece of magenta leftover. I don’t know what its origin is, or its composition because I must have had it for more than 25 years.¬†When I¬†held the fabric in my hands it said: “I’m perfect for an Ogden Cami!” And so another Ogden Cami jumped to the pole position of my sewing queue.¬† I grabbed the pattern and put it with the fabric in my luggage back to Italy. This was going to be a sew for maximum¬†3 hours, I thought. Man, was I wrong!

Ogden Cami True Bias

The magenta fabric

Like I said above: I don’t know the origin and the composition of this fabric. I¬†found two pieces in my collection: one small part with cutouts from a small waistband and a bigger part of 65 cm on a width of 114cm. The fabric has a medium weight and some drape. Perfect for an Ogden Cami!

Ogden Cami

The sewing struggle
Struggle #1 Not enough fabric

When I decided to make the Ogden Cami I roughly put the pattern on the fabric and thought I could¬†fit it. Alas, after trying several placements I had to admit that the piece wasn’t big enough.

Ogden Cami

But no worries! I had a good experience with the self-made striped lining for my Jill Coat so I could expand the fabric with some fabric straps. When I browsed my bags of fabric I saw the leftovers of my sheer Venus Kimono. The selvedge of this fabric has these strange stripes which I found perfect.Ogden Cami

My work order to expand fabric
  1. Cut out the back piece as economical as possible.
  2. Cut the remaining piece of fabric in two.
    Ogden Cami
  3. Assemble all the fabric pieces together to make one strap. Here I made a mistake to match the top of the first strap with the lowest point of the neckline. When I did a test placement of the pattern I noticed that because of that I had not enough fabric for the hem. I tried to unpick the strip but I used a small zigzag stitch to prevent fraying.  Needless to say that trying to unpick was hopeless.
    Ogden Cami
  4. Make a patchwork with small scraps so you have a perfect rectangle.
    Ogden Cami
  5. Stitch the strap to both sides of the line you cut. Cut out the front bodice. Tadaa!
    Ogden Cami
Struggle #2 The bias binding

As I squeezed the bodice out of the small amount of fabric I had, you can imagine¬†there was absolutely nothing left for the lining. No worries! I’ll finish the neckline and armholes with self-made bias tape! That would be easy, because I had my bias tape maker with me. I succeeded in cutting out two squares of 14 cm of the magenta fabric and one square of 15 cm of the sheer fabric. Of course, I wanted the bias tape to match with the fabric of the bodice.¬†bias binding

Although I’ve made continuous bias tape before, I struggled a lot with these small pieces and I just didn’t see how I had to make the loop. Also, due to their fluidity and devilish character both fabrics were very difficult to put marks on. So I made a sample in tissue paper and then the light went on.bias binding

Sewing the first line of the bias tape on the bodice went smoothly. For finishing the v-neck with bias binding I used the little dart technique that I learned sewing my Chari Dress.bias binding

The second part of the bias binding finish, the fold over, was hell! Because of¬†the small squares of fabric I used there were a lot of tiny seams in the bias tape. And again, these fabrics‚ÄĒalthough starched‚ÄĒ wouldn’t let themselves fold. So I basted the more tricky parts. This made it easier to sew the folded over bias tape.Ogden Cami

Then finally I could hem the bodice. I couldn’t believe that this Ogden Cami was finished. It was a 4-days journey!

Ogden Cami

Conclusion

Am I happy with my Magenta Ogden Cami? You may think I am not but I am! Since I finished it I wore it non-stop and I love wearing it. Just like my other Ogdens, this is a perfect wear for these hot days. Will I sew more Ogden Camis? I guess the answer is no but you’ll never know when I find another piece of fabric that talks¬†me into it!

 

The Statement Dress: the Zéphyr dress from Deer&Doe in Black Red Buffalo Plaid

On an afternoon a few months¬†ago my daughter and I were browsing the internet in search of a dress pattern that she would love. We came across the Z√©phyr dress from Deer&Doe and my daughter immediately liked the design of it. Because of¬†a fitted bodice, a v-neck, a loose-fitting skirt and a sexy vibe, it ticked all of her boxes. When I saw the pattern was designed for knits I said to my daughter: “If we make it out of the Black Red Buffalo Plaid we have then it is a statement dress!” As we both are never shy about making a statement we went for it and we¬†are both super¬†excited about it!

Zéphyr Dress

The Zéphyr Dress pattern

The Z√©phyr Dress pattern from Deer&Doe, version B, consists of 7 pieces. Based on the finished garment measurements in the instructions, I cut out the biggest size. I found it a pity though that in the English instructions the measurements are only in inches as I’m using the metric system. After conversion, I noticed I had to expand the waist with 16 cm. First,¬† I divided this width evenly on the waist hem of every piece of the bodice and graded¬†to the bust or arm. Second, I¬†broadened the skirt pattern by 4 cm in the middle of the pattern.
Further, I lengthened the bodice with 1 cm and the skirt with 5 cm. That was the maximum the length of my fabric allowed. All of the adjustments were perfect!

Zéphyr Dress
Perfect body length, perfect skirt length and perfect fit of the waist! And look at that pattern matching at the centre of the bodice and the skirt!
The Black Red Buffalo Plaid fabric

The Black Red Buffalo Plaid fabric is a cotton spandex knit from Girl Charlee. My daughter chose it a few months ago because she wanted¬†some garment of plaid. It’s a nice fabric to work with. It has some body, good recovery, and the needed 40% elasticity.
Though two things made the cutting of the pattern a little tricky, being a knit fabric and¬†the lines of the plaid. I solved this by cutting¬†open, with a single layer of fabric. It’s the same technique I used for my striped Nan√∂o Top.

Zephyr Dress
Cutting open in a single layer of fabric.

Zephyr Dress
I’m using the already cut pattern piece of the skirt to cut out the second. The slightly visible black lines on the back of the fabric help to make the pattern match.

One of the perks of this black red plaid is that you can create chevrons! The fabric asks for a single layer cutting so you can place your pattern pieces meticulous to make these chevrons.

The sewing process

The Zephyr Dress comes together easily. Deer&Doe wrote clear instructions with crisp designs.¬† Though I didn’t follow them for 100%.
As my daughter was going to fit the bodice several times I first staystitched the neckline to prevent stretching.¬†I didn’t make a muslin but I¬†basted, with a large stitch on the sewing machine, the bodice with an extra 1 cm seam allowance on al the seams. I once read this and remembered it as a tip for sewing for curvy women. Probably it was a tip from Jenny from Cashmerette.
After the first fit, it was clear that the extra seam allowance was not necessary. So I finished the bodice on my overlocker using a 2 cm seam allowance and rainbow thread!

 

Zephyr Dress
The neckline is staystitched and I reinforced the v-neck with some lightweight interface.

Because a single bodice is easier to handle than a complete dress I first sewed the armholes and the neckline. For the armhole and neck binding, I used some of the extra red fabric that was on the selvedge side. It was my first v-neckline in a knit fabric and therefore the instructions of Deer&Doe were not extensive enough. So I searched on the web and found a good tutorial from Grainline Studio and it worked out fine!
The last thing to do was matching the skirt with the bodice and tadaa! The statement dress was ready!

Conclusion

Do I still have to say that we are over the moon with this Z√©phyr Dress? I think the pictures speak for themselves. Will I sew more Z√©phyr Dresses? I probably will. I’m so glad I could adjust this pattern for a perfect fit that I absolutely want to sew it again.

Bonus!

It is totally a coincidence that the three patterns from Deer&Doe I sewed so far are all red!

Zephyr Dress
Zéphyr Dress                                     Sureau Dress                                     Givre Matternity Dress

A tale of two Venus Kimonos

When I restyled a summer dress to a kimono a few weeks ago I absolutely wanted to sew one for myself. I already had the perfect fabric in mind for it. Then I went to the market in Castel del Piano and I found some nice remnant pieces of fabric at my favourite stall. One of them eminently suitable for a kimono. So the only thing to do was to sew two Venus Kimonos in two days!

Venus Kimono

 

Venus Kimono #1 in African Wax Cotton

I got this fabulous‚ÄĒbut impossible to photograph‚ÄĒpiece of African Wax as a present from my sister-in-law. I don’t know where it came from or what its origin is but it has some vintage vibe. The piece was 1,80 m by 1,40 width.¬† I¬†was intrigued by the design and I wanted to use as much of it as possible. African Wax

Therefore I placed the shoulders of the front and back in the middle of the fabric and lengthened both the front and the back, until the borders. Just like the restyled kimono, I made before, I put the back at the centrefold, after folding over the seam allowance of 12 mm.
The front pattern was too big for the width of the fabric so I cut off 21 cm at the arms and placed these pieces at the selvedge.¬†This gave me more of the fabric design on my kimono and the selvedge¬†didn’t need hemming!

Venus Kimono
The back of the kimono with the beautiful design.
Venus Kimono
The front with the design in the middle and the borders on the sleeves.
Venus Kimono #2 in sheer flower fabric

When I touched this fabric at the market I knew immediately it would be perfect for a kimono: light, fluid and drapey. The only problem with this kind of fabric is that it is devilish to work with.

Sheer FabricSo, I treated it with starch to make it easier to cut and sew. And it worked! I didn’t have a single problem.Using starch

A small pattern hack

The sheer fabric was 1,65 m on a 1,50 with. I wanted a longer kimono so I lengthed the front and the back at the side seams with 35 cm and redrafted the hem.Venus Kimono

Venus Kimono
The lengthened kimono.
The Sewing Proces

It’s not difficult to sew the Venus Kimono. Annie, from Sew This Pattern,¬† has a detailed sew-along on her website with clear instructions and pictures.
The next three steps made it even easier for me.

#1 The 1/4 inch presser foot

1/4 presser footFor me, a 1/4 inch presser foot is an unmissable guide for sewing french seams. Here you see that I use some tissue paper for the start of a seam of fragile fabric.

#2 A stitched line to prepare the rolled hem

rolled hemThis I do slightly different than shown in the sew-along. I stitch a line 1/4 inch from the edge of the hem.

rolled hemThen I fold the fabric on the stitched line and press. Next, I fold the fabric again 1/4 inch and sew the hem at 1/4 inch. Here again, the 1/4 inch presser foot is unmissable.

rolled hem

#3 Basting the curves of the rolled hem

bastingWith my first Venus Kimono, I had trouble with the rolled hem at the neckline so I finished it with bias tape. For these two kimonos, I followed Annie’s advice and basted the curved neckline. And I learned that basting isn’t slowing your sewing process but in fact skilling it up.

Venus Kimono

Conclusion

Do I love my new Venus Kimonos? I do! Do I have a favourite? No, I don’t. It’s difficult to choose one because both are different in style and in how they feel. Will I sew more Venus Kimonos? Not in the near future but you all know: never say never!

Venus Kimono

 

P.S. All the time when I was sewing these Venus Kimonos I was singing Venus from Shocking blue. This song is a huge teenage memory. The strangest thing is, that when you look at the video, Mariska Veeres is wearing some kind of Kimono.

 

 

How to restyle a summer dress in a kimono

When Amy and Pilar launched the second annual restyling exchange I was very excited. Last year, my first restyling project was such a fun and challenging project that I didn’t hesitate signing¬†on again.
What is the annual restyling exchange? In short, you get a garment from someone to restyle and you send a garment to someone to restyle! So I received this summer dress from Rebecca and restyled it into a kimono.

restyle
Restyling a summer dress in a kimono.
Restyling: the start

When I opened the package that I received from Rebecca I was pleasantly surprised that it contained this bright summer dress with the floral embroidery. It was still new, barely worn, and it had gathered skirts. So I had a significant piece of fabric for my restyling project but not an idea yet. Initially, I wanted to go for the Kastrup top again because that pattern has several smaller pattern pieces. More, I could play with the placement of the embroidered border, which is something I like a lot. It was not until Diane, from ‘Dream. Cut. Sew.‘, posted her kimono made out of two scarfs that I had a lightbulb moment. I could restyle this dress in a kimono. I even had already the Venus Kimono pattern from ‘Sew This Pattern‘, so no extra costs were made for this challenge!

The Venus Kimono pattern

The Venus Kimono consists of 2 pattern pieces: the front and the back piece. I had the pattern already printed on A0 format so that was a huge timesaver. Although this kimono comes as a one size pattern with a relaxed fit you want to check the finished measurements. For Rebecca, the Venus kimono would have been far too big the way it is designed. So I shortened it with 14 cm and took about 1,5 cm off from the center front. These alterations were also necessary to make the pattern fit on the fabric I had available. I traced the customized pattern on to tissue paper because I wanted to keep the original pattern for a future kimono for myself.

Restyle: fitting the pattern on the dress

The first thing you do when you begin your recycle project is unpicking the seams. I started with the gathered skirt because this would give me the biggest fabric pieces. I also unpicked the hems as I needed every mm of fabric I could get. It takes a while to unpick all the overlocked seams and I was a surprised how much thread it gave.

After unpicking I gave the big pieces a good press to smooth the gathers. Then the most challenging part started, the pattern Tetris!

I put the pattern piece of the back, center back to fold line, on the front piece of the skirt. The pattern is designed with a center back seam but I cut off the 1,5 cm seam allowance. The arms were not covered but I marked this on the tissue paper and cut the pattern on this line. Also, you can see that the curve of the hem did not fit; so I adjusted that later when I hemmed it.

 

The front piece of the pattern went on the back piece of the skirt. Here, the length of piece fitted but for the arm, I had again to make a mark and cut the pattern piece.

 

To cut out the rest of the arm I lengthed the back and the front piece with other fabric fragments. Herefore I unpicked the bodice of the dress; also the shoulder straps.

restyle
Lengthen the front piece with the unpicked shoulder straps.

After lengthening the front piece with two fragment pieces of fabric the arm I was able to cut the arm piece of the front.

For the back, I worked the same way. First, I lengthened the pattern with fragments of the dress bodice. Here I kept the side seams of the bodice.

Then I put the pattern piece of the arm on the assembled fabric. You will notice that it didn’t fit totally. As I didn’t have any substantial piece of fabric anymore I shortened the front piece to make it match.

restyle
The assembled front piece with the shoulder straps and fragments of the bodice.
Restyle
Finished back sleeves.
The sewing process

After putting together the pieces of the kimono, sewing it was a piece of cake. Annie, from Sew this Pattern, has a very good sewalong on the website with clear instructions and pictures.
For the french seams, I used my 1/4 inch foot to have a guide and this helped a lot.

I finished the back neck line with bias binding because that is easier than a rolled hem.

 

Conclusion

I am super satisfied with this restyle project. It gave me a taste for more. I loved sewing a kimono, my first ever, and that also gave me a taste for more.
Thank you Amy and Pilar, for organizing this great challenge.

 

 

The Vogue V9075 Jumpsuit!

F I N A L L Y!
Finally, I finished my V9075 jumpsuit. Ever since I saw Beth’s, ¬†from SewDIY, linen version of this jumpsuit I wanted to make one for myself. That was in November 2015! After that I was I was always fascinated when I saw some V9075 jumpsuits on sewing blogs and social media. I even featured some in my eye-catchers posts, including¬†Rachel’s and Alex’s versions. Last March 2017 I bought the pattern with a discount online and even¬†though I had some suitable fabric in my stash I didn’t start sewing it.
Until, right before the Easter break, I had this sudden vision of using this charcoal fabric from my collection and I went for it. Needless to say that I am over the moon that I finally finished the V9075 jumpsuit!!

V9075 jumpsuit

The V9075 jumpsuit pattern

Why am I so drawn to this pattern? Well, it ticks several of my favourite boxes: a jumpsuit, princess seams, pleats, culottes with very wide legs, and pockets. Did I mention the wide legs?

V9075 jumpsuit

This is the third Vogue pattern I sewed and now I’m familiar with this company pattern¬†specifics. I know that the finished garment measures are indicated on the pattern pieces and this is very handy. Based on this finished measurements I cut out a 20 at the arm and bust and graded to a 22 at the waist and hips. To fit my belly I graded a bit at the princess seams and¬†narrowed the pleats. This after I lengthened the body with 2,5 cm and the crotch with 4,5 cm.

V9075
Grading at the side and the princess seams.

V9075

Narrowing the pleats.

To be sure that the jumpsuit would fit I made a muslin. I didn’t want to end with any form of cameltoe! The lengthening was okay, I could raise my arms and didn’t feel uncomfortable sitting down.
The bodice was a little too wide under the arms but that was easy to modify.

The fabric

I used this cotton and silk blend I bought at Goldhawk Road in April 2017. It was the end of a bolt, with a separate piece attached. That made that I had more than 3 meters for a ‘good price’ like the seller said! I never sewed with this type of fabric before but it went smoothly.
The silk gives it a faint shine and the cotton some rigidity, which I like for this silhouette. Also, this fabric has a great wrinkle recovery. On the pictures here in this post, you see how the fabric behaves after I wore the jumpsuit for a day. I cycled, I had lunch, I sat at my desk to write reports, and I had a walk.

 

The sewing process

On the pattern cover, you read that this is a very easy sew. And it is! It only takes much time because there are a lot of seams and these legs are very long and very wide! In my case, the side seams of the legs are 90 cm and the hem of one leg is 137 cm.
The instructions asked for lining the bodice but I didn’t do it because the fabric is rather heavy. Also because I didn’t have suitable lining when I sewed this jumpsuit in our holiday house in Italy. Instead, I finished the neckline with a facing. Next time I will probably use a

bias binding finish.

V9075 jumpsuit
The not so blind zipper!    The neckline finish with facing and rainbow overlock thread!

The only thing I struggled with was the blind zipper. Again, being in Italy in the countryside, I had only access to a small haberdashery shop. I needed a blind zipper of 65 cm long, although I had a smaller one with me to show, the one I bought was not a proper blind zipper. The first tape went in easy, using my blind zipper foot, but the second tape was horror. The stitches were to close to the teeth so the fabric got caught in the puller. Aargh!! I had to redo it several times and ended with some hand stitching.  So it is not perfect but good enough for me.

 

Conclusion

I am sew excited about my V9075 jumpsuit that I can’t hide it. I love, love wearing it. You have to do some arm exercises to get the zipper open but after a few times, ¬†you handle that like a pro.

 

Will I sew more V9075 jumpsuits? I hope I will.

V9075 jumpsuit
The first outing of the V9075 jumpsuit was at the celebrations of the diamond wedding anniversary of my parents-in-law. Introducing the women of the family.

 

 

Two versions of the Seamwork Mesa Dress

It started with the fabric. Last January, on a family pizza night, I showed my fabric buys. When E. ‚Äď my daughter-in-law ‚Äď held the milk fabric in front of her it suited her perfectly. So I simply had to sew something out of this fabric for her. But what? It had to be a pattern for knit fabric and besides suitable for a pregnant woman. Yes, E. is expecting our first grandchild and we are thrilled about it! ¬†After a thorough pattern search, the Seamwork Mesa Dress became the winner. And I enjoyed sewing E.’s dress so much that I immediately made one for myself too! Hence the story of two Mesa Dresses.

Seamwork mesa dress
Beautiful pregnant E. wearing her Mesa Dress!
Seamwork mesa dress
Future grandmother with her Mesa Dress!
The Mesa Dress pattern

Like all Seamwork patterns, the Mesa Dress has a simple pattern design. It only consists of 4 pattern pieces and, yeah!, it is available in A0 (copy shop) format.
Based on E’s new measurements I traced size M for neck and sleeves and graded to size L for the bodice of the dress. With the baby bump in mind, I lengthened the bodice with 7 cm. These alterations made a perfect fit.

Based on my measurements and based on the given finished measurements I cut out the XL pattern for me. But while cutting the fabric it started to dawn on me that knits always have some negative ease. So I started to worry that my dress was going to be too fitted. Alas, after basting the side seams my worry was confirmed. The fit was exactly right but too showing ūü§¶ūüŹĽ‚Äć‚ôÄÔłŹ.
I didn’t have enough seam allowance to broaden¬†the dress so the only solution was to sew in some side panels. Starting from nothing under the armpit and grading to the hem. All in all, I’m satisfied with the ease and the fit now.¬†I deliberately didn’t bother with pattern matching to give it a small effect.

The fabric

The milk fabric, as I call it, is a french terry from See You at Six. This is dream fabric to work with. I used it before for a baby sweater and a sweater for my godson (not photographed yet). So I had a royal leftover of this fabric. Typical for #sewingleftovers is that you mostly have not enough length for the project you want to sew. So you have to be creative! I put a yoke in the back. Again I deliberately didn’t bother with pattern matching to give it a small effect.

Seamwork Mesa Dress
The back yoke and the slightly too wide neckline.

 

The fabric I used for the second Mesa Dress is a Cotton Jersey Poly Blend from Girl Charlee UK, that I bought in November 2016! So, using this fabric definitely counts for #makeyourstash. ¬†It has some retro vibe and I love how it came out but in hindsight, it’s maybe a little too light. The Mesa Dress needs a heavier knit.

The sewing process

Sewing a Mesa Dress is easy. Also,  because you put in the sleeves first and after that, you close the side seams. I sewed both dresses on my overlocker for the seams and the neck binding. For the hems, I used the 3-step zigzag stitch.
The only minor thing about this pattern is the slightly too wide neckline. I already made the neck binding shorter but it still was a little too loose for both dresses.

Conclusion

Sewing the Seamwork Mesa Dress was fun! It made me happy all the time. Most of all I am very pleased with the dress for my daughter-in-law. Especially that she is able to wear it as a maternity dress.
Will I sew more Mesa Dresses? I think so. I’m already thinking of new version for my daughter-in-law. Wait and see!

Fashion Revolution Week: restyling or ‘New Lease’

Every year between the 23rd and 28th of April the Fashion Revolution Week¬†takes place. This is an awareness campaign to remember the victims of Rana Plaza in Bangladesh. Sadly, today 5 years ago on 24th April 2013, the Rana Plaza factory collapsed, which killed 1138 people and injured many more. To¬†raise awareness that the fashion industry also has to be a clean industry‚ÄĒfashion can’t come at the cost of people or our planet‚ÄĒthere are several campaigns and challenges this week on social media.

On Instagram, we have the ‘Makers for Fashion Revolution’ campaign hosted by Emily from ‘In the Folds’. Today’s prompt is ‘New Lease’.
Besides sewing your own new clothes there are also a lot of ways to changes old clothes to new ones. You can upcycle, recycle, restyle, refashion, embellish… them and so create new dazzling garments.

In this spirit, I want to draw attention to the annual restyling exchange of Amy and Pilar. This exchange fits perfectly with the Makers for Fashion Revolution action. I participated last year I want to share my experience with restyling a garment.

Fashion Revolution Week
Restylingexchange2017: look at this beautiful top Linda, @listokap restyled for me! I sent her an old dress that I only wore once!
My first experience with restyling: ¬†a ‘New Lease’

*** This post was previously posted on June 17, 2017. ***

When Amy and Pilar announced the first annual restyling exchange I immediately jumped on board. Those who read my blog know that I am always in for a challenge!
What is this restyling challenge? You receive a garment from someone to restyle it. Meanwhile, you send a garment from yourself to someone else, also to restyle it. So I received a men’s shirt from Elisabete and sent an old dress to Linda. A simple and beautiful concept. To make it more easy to sew something a questionnaire with measurements, colour and style wishes was sent with the garment.

restyle men's shirt
From a men’s shirt to a women’s top.
Restyling: how do you start?

I have never restyled or refashioned an existing garment before. So I started with unpicking the main seams of the shirt. In the meantime, I thoroughly went through Elisabete’s¬†IG-feed and read her blog. This gave me an insight into her style, but it was also a little intimidating because she is a very skilled seamstress and ‘refashionista’!
Looking through her pictures I got the idea of sewing the Kastrup top from ‘How To Do Fashion’. I have this pattern in my pattern collection but I didn’t use it so far. So no extra costs were made.

Fitting the new pattern on the shirt

Once I decided to sew the Kastrup top I stuck to it. This top has a vintage vibe and also nice sleeves. And, Elisabete has a thing for particular sleeves.
It was quite a puzzle to get the top out of the shirt. This was also the hardest work of the restyling.

restyle men's shirt
Fitting in all the pieces and cut them single layer.

restyle men's shirt

It was not possible to get the back pieces out in one piece. So I made a yoke for the back and used the original closure of the front for the rest of the back.

restyle men's shirt

I unpicked a little of the sleeve placket to be able to cut the new sleeve pattern.

restyling
The largest use of the old shirt!
Making my own border print

woodblock stamp printing

After cutting the pattern I was not satisfied. I wanted to give this restyling a more personal touch. So I decided to make my own border print. Also prompted by the recent positive experience I had with a border print.
My husband, who is an editor of artists books, has these Indian woodblock stamps, that would be perfect. I bought some blue textile ink and together we gave it a go!

woodblock stamp printing
The Indian woodblock stamp.
woodblock stamp printing
First test on a rest of the shirt.

restyle men's shirt

It is easy to print your border after your pattern pieces are cut. Then pattern matching is not difficult.

woodblock stamp printing

I was able to give one sleeve a non-conventional placing of the print. Which I adore.

Kastrup top - How to do Fashion

restyle men's shirt

Later on, I needed the test pieces to cut out the arm facings.

The Kastrup Top

Kastrup Top - How to do Fashion

Here is the result: ¬ęinsert drumroll¬Ľ the Kastrup Top! I adore how it came out. There are several features that I am proud of:
– The back with the yoke and the original front button placket.
– The sleeve with the non-conventional placing of the border.
– The vintage fabric used for the lining of the sleeves.

Conclusion
Kastrup Top - How to do Fashion
This is how I look after a full day of sewing.

I am super satisfied with my first restyle project ever. Now I hope that Elisabete likes what I’ve done with her husband’s shirt. I want to thank Amy and Pilar for this great challenge. I enjoyed every minute of it. More restyling projects will definitely follow.

When I was finishing this post, the message came through that Elisabete finally received my restyled top. She liked it and, moreover, the top fits! I am a happy woman now.

restyling Kastrup Top - How to do Fashion
©photos: Elisabete Carvallo
Sign up for the Second Annual Restyling Exchange

To sign up for the Second Annual Restyling Exchange go to Amy’s or Pilar’s blog and fill in the form. Simple as that. Maybe we meet as restyling exchangers!