Category Archives: Completed sewingprojects

The Virginia leggings from Megan Nielsen – SewMyStyle#3

The third piece of the Project Sew MyStyle are the Virginia leggings from Megan Nielsen. Although wearing leggings is way out of my comfort zone I accepted the challenge. Now, I am glad I did because they feel so comfortable and the fit is on the spot.

 

Is this a quick sew?

The goal of the SewMyStyle project is to sew together one garment every month and post your sewing on the last Sunday of that month. Strange enough I was still expecting there to be another Sunday in March. So I thought I had all the time left and was planning on sewing my leggings next week. It was the post of Alex on Instagram that warned me that in fact, I had to sew it this Sunday. Luckily I had my fabric and I could finish it in exactly two hours—from printing the pattern till putting it on.

The Virginia leggings pattern

This is the first pattern from Megan Nielsen that I sewed and it was a very pleasing experience. The 17-pages PDF-pattern has clear marks for the gluing. There are only two patterns pieces: the legging and the waistband.
Based on my measures I cut out a straight XL and I did not lengthen the legs, although I am 181 cm. I checked it with my Hudson pants and saw they were long enough. I love the scrunched look at the ankles.
I opted for the natural waist version and raised the waist with another 10 cm. In hindsight, 8 cm would be enough but they are sitting comfortable.

The Sewing Process

The Virginia leggings come together easily. The instructions are clear and you only have to sew three seams and the waistband. I sewed all the seams on my serger and used my beloved fagot stitch on my sewing machine for the hems.
I believe an important condition for the success of this project is the fabric choice. It is absolutely necessary to use fabric with at least a 40% stretch. This cotton-viscose jersey with a good stretch was a lucky find at my local fabric shop. It was the only colour they had.

Conclusion

Virginia leggings Megan NielsenI would have never thought it but I ‘heart’ these leggings. They are comfortable and feel like a second skin. I even wore them to school today. On top of that, without the SewMyStyle project,  I wouldn’t have sewed them. So again a big win.
Will I sew more Virginia leggings? I guess so. Definitely for my daughter because she loves them too.

Virginia leggings
That’s how I look after a day of teaching.

The Daphne Day Dress from Sew This Pattern

In the beginning of February, ‘Sew This Pattern‘ asked for pattern testers. Last year I made their Velo Culottes and I loved them, so I was eager to be a tester for the Daphne Day Dress. On top of that, they asked for an intermediate sewer and I like a bit of a challenge too. So I immediately volunteered and was glad when Annie selected me.

Daphne Day Dress

The Daphne Day Dress pattern

I received a pdf pattern and a booklet with instructions. Due to the clear marks on the paper, the gluing of the pattern went easy.
The main pattern contains seven pattern pieces. The bodice has a separate midriff piece so that the front bodice can have gathers and the back bodice an open back. On top of that, the skirt has pockets and pleats—two of my favourite features.
I traced the (Australian) 18 based on my measurements. As asked, I didn’t make any alterations to the pattern. Being a #sewingtall girl I only lengthened the skirt with 6 cm.

My vintage fabric

I had this vintage cotton fabric—a gift from my sister-in-law—in my collection that I thought was perfect to give the dress a real vintage look. Only, this fabric had a strange width of 76,5 cm so I had to cut the front skirt in two pieces. This resulted in some serious pattern matching.

Daphne Day Dress

The sewing process

Thanks to the very detailed instruction booklet the sewing went smooth. It is a plus that every step is illustrated with a photo.
I finished the edges of the facings with self-made bias binding.

Daphne Day Dress

 

What I like about testing a pattern is that you have to decode the way of thinking of an experienced designer-sewer, and get to test-run the instructions they have written. I struggled a bit at the part where you put the back midriff, the back midriff facing and the back bodice together. I managed in the end but suggested some extra marks could be helpful here. That is what pattern testing is for, isn’t it?

Daphne Day Dress

Conclusion

Because of the challenges I liked sewing the Daphne Day Dress. I’m glad I used this vintage fabric for it because it is perfect for this design. It accentuates the vintage feel.
Now, I’m dreaming of a long warm Summer to wear this dress.

Daphne Day Dress

The striped Nanöo top

I was so in awe of The Nanöo top—made by Debora—in my latest eye-catchers that I decided to sew one myself. Furthermore, I had some very soft green striped jersey in my collection that was perfect for this project. So, why wait?

The Nanöo Top

Nanöo is a rather new Spanish indie sewing company with two patterns so far. They distribute the pattern both in paper and in PDF-format. The ordering and downloading of it goes very smooth.

The Nanöo Top pattern

The pattern has a clear design and exists  out of three pieces. You only have to glue eight pieces of paper together but here I miss some connection marks. On top of that, the only measures indicated in the instructions are those of the finished garments, which are not specified. I assumed the largest are the hips. Based on these measurements I cut out the tallest size and did not make any alterations to it.

When you sew striped fabric the most difficult part is matching the seams. Especially when you use knit fabric. Taking extra care of the cutting is very helpful.

The Nanöo Top

How to cut the front and backpiece in a single layer

* place and pin the pattern piece
* be sure you mark the center or your front or back on the fabric
* cut out, be careful not to cut beyond your marks

Cutting The Nanöo Top
* flip the pattern, align on the marks you made on the fabric

Cutting The Nanöo Top
* cut out the second halve of the front piece
* put the cut piece on the fabric, right sides together and cut the second piece

Cutting The Nanöo Top

Now your patterns pieces lay already in place for sewing your shoulder seams.

Cutting The Nanöo Top

The striped fabric

The fabric is a soft cotton jersey  from Girl Charlee that I bought in November 2015! Sewing with knits can be a little tricky but this fabric is cooperative. The seams keep flat and the stretch is perfect for the neckband.

Due to the cutting of the pattern pieces single layered and stitching with a walking foot the seams came out perfectly matched!

Perfectly matching seams

The sewing proces

Sewing together the Nanöo top is rather easy. It only has only straight seams and a neck binding. Still, I did it all by instinct as the sewing instructions that come with the pattern are rather brief.

The Nanöo Top

Conclusion

I am very pleased with my Nanöo top. Especially with how the stripes come out. For the next one, I will lengthen the sleeves to make them three-quarter.

My first striped top is spot on!

The Nanöo Top

 

What I sewed in February – What I want to sew in March

Wow, February was a short but such an intense sewing month! As I told you before the theme of the month seemed to be secrecy and that made the sewing really thrilling. Even more thrilling was the grand finale of the month: the Moneta Party! Read all about it below:

February sewing
  • The 2017 Secret Valentine Exchange

    reversible tote bagFor my Secret Valentine I made a reversible tote bag and a coin purse. I wanted to sew both for a long time and I had a great time doing so. The tote bag came together very easily but I struggled more with the coin purse. Even after making one for practice I kept struggling with attaching the fabric to the frame. But a handmade gift can afford some imperfection, can’t it?

  • The Daphne Day Dress from Sew this Pattern

    Daphne Day DressI consider myself lucky that I could test the latest pattern of Sew This Pattern. It was a bit challenging but I like that because you can use your skills and the result gives you a lot of satisfaction. I used some vintage cotton fabric I had in my collection. When you live in the Northern hemisphere and you test a pattern from a designer of the Southern hemisphere then you have to brave the cold to make some pictures. But I’m really looking forward to wearing this Summer dress in the Summer!

  • The self-drafted skirt for the pattern drafting class

    I’m so enjoying this pattern drafting class that I’m taking. Our first homework was to draft a block for a straight skirt. Mine turned out to be a bit too small so I have to make some alterations for next class.

  • The Moneta dress from Colette Patterns

    The sewing community had a blast of a Moneta Party. Sewing together a Moneta dress was really very stimulating. I had great fun. Read all about it here.

  • The Saunio cardigan for the SewMyStyle project.

    The second project of SewMyStyle was the Saunio cardigan of Named Clothing. This pattern is a little out of my comfort zone but I accepted the challenge.
    I made it in a loosely woven linen with a woven print and lengthened the bodice with 13 cm. It came together very easy except for the sleeves. The front of the sleeve cap needed easing in and it shows.  Also, for me, the sleeves were a little too narrow and I widened them as much as my seam allowance let me. But I still think there is something not really right with the design of the sleeves.
    At first I wasn’t thrilled with the result but after wearing it a day it grew on me.

  • WIP’s

    Did I finish any WIP’s? No! Did I create new WIP’s? No! So the score remains 6 WIP’s.

 

March Planning

What are my sewing plans for this month?

What are your sewing plans for March?

My Moneta

M-m-m-my Moneta

At this moment the Moneta party* is in full swing and it really fantastic to see all the beautiful Moneta dresses everybody is showing.

* The Moneta party is an Instagram party hosted by The Triple Stitchers and you can only go to the party dressed in your self-made Moneta dress. Here you can read more about it.

Moneta Dress-Colette Patterns

Me too, I engaged myself to sew a Moneta. I already had the pattern from Colette Patterns a few years but I never managed to get started on sewing one. So this party was a great spur into action!

Going through my fabric collection I thought that this Orange Red Faux Snakeskin spandex knit from Girl Charlee would be suitable and it was.

Moneta Dress Colette Patterns

I’m over the moon that I picked it. It has a good stretch and is easy to sew. More, it has a funky design that reminded me constantly of Nicolas Cage in ‘Wild at heart’!

I don’t want to elaborate much on the pattern because so many others did that before me. Here are some thoughts about sewing the Moneta dress.

  • I went for version 2 with the 3/4 sleeves.
  • Being a #sewingtall girl I lengthened the bodice with 6cm and the skirt with 4 cm.
  • I also graded the bodice from L at the bust to XL at the waist.  In the future, I would give even more ease at the waist because it is kind of small.
  • It was an easy sew and the instructions from Colette patterns are very clear.
  • For the gathering, I used clear elastic and it went rather easy—I have some experience with this technique due to the fact I sewed some Wren dresses.
    Also Abigail—one of The Triple Stitchers—wrote a very helpful tutorial about it.
Conclusion

I am extremely happy with my Moneta dress. The pattern has a very neat design and if you experiment with the fabric you can really get a stunning result. Check it out on Instagram! Will I sew more Moneta’s? I’m positive I will.

Moneta Dress Colette Patterns

How I made my #2017sve

My 2017 Secret Valentine, a reversible tote bag.

Now that my Secret Valentine has received the gift I made for her I can tell you something about how I made it.

secret valentine reversible tote bag
The reversible tote bag
What to make?

I wrote before how exciting it is to participate in the Secret Valentine Exchange. The first thing you do after you receive your valentine is a search of what to make.
I have a board of suitable handmade gifts on Pinterest and there I found a pin of a tote bag and one of a coin purse. My mind was immediately made up as my valentine likes useful things. Also, because I really wanted to make both things for a long time. Win-win!

The very popular pin of the tote bag on Pinterest—with the measurements

In my stash, I found some leftovers of upholstery fabric reflecting the favourite colours of my valentine: raspberry and rose gold. So I was all set!

How to make the tote bag?
  1. Drawing the pattern

    First, I copied the measurements of the design to tracing paper and as I was staying at our holiday home at that time—where I don’t have garment rulers— I used a plate to form the circle line.
    The dimensions of the bag are good so I didn’t make any alterations.

  2. Cutting the pattern pieces

    I have cut four pieces—two out of both fabrics. Unfortunately, the board on the board fabric did not have the same position on both sides so that is why it is rather low. 1 cm of seam allowance is included.

  3. Stitching the bag

    The bag comes easily together. To do so I followed the directions of the scheme I found on Pinterest.
    1)  stitch all the side seams
    2)  stitch the bottom seam minus one opening for turning the bag to the right side
    3)  stitch the curves of the handles minus 5 cm on each side
    4)  measure 8 cm for the boxed corners, stitch and trim

    5) turn the bag inside out through the opening on the bottom
    6) stitch the inside bottom seam

    7) pin and stitch the handles in both layers—work very strict here


    8) Voilà, tote bag is finished

    9) Take pictures

I also made a matching coin purse but here I had some difficulties with gluing the frame to the fabric. So there are some imperfections but isn’t that the charm of hand made gifts?

What I sewed in January – What I want to sew in February

Wow, I blinked a couple of times and January has passed. Even February is already flying away. Still, I wanted to share what I sewed in January and look ahead for my sewing plans for February.

January sewing

The sewing theme for this month seems to be gifts: for my husband, my family and my godson. You will find a roundup below.

  • Men’s Hudson Pant from True Bias

    Men's Hudson Pant
    Men’s Hudson Pant for my man
  • Finally, I sewed my beloved pants for my husband. It was already my fifth one so I had no trouble with the sewing. I made it in a real soft light-weight jersey I found at the Neuköllner Stoff in Berlin. I used some leftovers from my Wren dress for the pockets. The fit is spot on but my husband is not really in favour of smaller legs and the ankle cuffs, so he made his demands for the next one! But he sleeps in it.
  • The Seamwork Paxson

    Seamwork Paxson

  • The Seamwork Paxson was on my #2016MakeNine list.  Last December, I cut one out for my son but accidently sewed the back with the wrong side of the fabric to the good side of the fabric. That’s why it is still a WIP today. Luckily, I could use the same size of the pattern for my husband, so that was a win.
    Because the plan was to use this sweater together with the Hudson pant from above, I cut it in the same jersey. The sewing went easy—like all Seamwork patterns. Alas, the arms and the bodice were too short. Luckily it fits me. So now I have a new sweater and my husband has half a pyjama.
  • Pyjamas for my godson

    He got them as a new year’s present but I only managed to finish the pants. So he received a PIP—Present in Progress. I made them in this funky skeleton cotton that I also found at the Neuköllner Stoff in Berlin.

  • 7 Hudson Pants

    To celebrate New Year I made matching Hudson pants for my family and myself. How I did that I will tell in a future blog post.

    Sewing 7Hudson Pants
    Hudson Pant sewing line
  • Toaster Sweater#2

    January was also the first month of the SewMyStyle project. I finished the Toaster Sweater with ease last Thursday of January and I love it. You can read all about here.

  • Did I finish any WIP’s? No! Did I create new WIP’s? Yes, the pyjamas for my godson. So now the score is 6 WIP’s.

February Planning

What are my sewing plans for this very short month? And it seems the theme is secrecy.

  • First, of course, the 2017 Secret Valentine Exchange.
    I’ve selected my fabric and at the moment I’m totally absorbed in the making of my gift.
  • Second, I’m going to test a pattern for a dress. It’s the Daphne Day Dress from Sew This Pattern.
  • Third, the second project of Sew My Style: the Saunio Cardigan of  Named Clothing. This pattern is a little out of my comfort zone but Jessica—one of the SewMyStyle leaders—made already a very inspiring make.
  • Fourth, making a muslin of my first self-drafted pattern of a straight skirt—assignment for my pattern drafting class.
  • Fifth, the Moneta Party! I’m going to sew my first Moneta.
  • And last, I really would like to finish at least one of my WIP’s.

What are your sewing plans for February?

When your selfmade clothes make you dance

Do you also make a lot of photos when you try to make a photo of your makes for your blog or Instagram? Well, I do and that results in loads of photos on my phone, tablet and computer.
That is why I had to make a backup and I used Google Photos for it. So far I can’t tell if it is a good app because I only installed it yesterday. Nevertheless, one feature immediately caught my eye and made me smile: the assistant automatically makes animations when there are two or more photos taken in a small time frame. Below are some of my favorites, they are all of my sewing projects of earlier years

Allemaal Rokjes
The first skirt I made in 2013—pattern from the book ‘Allemaal Rokjes’
The Eva Dress—free pattern from Your Style Rocks, sewed in 2013
crepe dress
The crepe dress from Colette Patterns, sewed in 2014

 

NewLook6106, sewed in 2015
Maria Denmark’s Rachel Wrap Dress, sewed in 2015

 

Rushcutter dress
The Rushcutter from In the Folds, sewed in the Summer of 2016

What do you do with all your sewing photos?

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.
Fabric
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

Conclusion

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

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?