Category Archives: sewing community

The Mystery Blogger Award

I have been nominated by the lovely Diane, from Dream. Cut. Sew, for The Mystery Blogger Award. As she is a sweet lady and an inspiring sewist and blogger I’m thrilled to join in. Thank you, Diane,  for the nomination.

Mystery Blogger Award

The Mystery Blogger Award: how does it work?

Mystery Blogger Award is an award for amazing bloggers with ingenious posts. Their blog not only captivates; it inspires and motivates. They are one of the best out there, and they deserve every recognition they get. This award is also for bloggers who find fun and inspiration in blogging, and they do it with so much love and passion.”
Created by: Okoto Enigma

The rules are as follows:

  • Thank whoever nominated you and include a link to their blog.
  • Tell your readers three things about yourself.
  • Answer the questions from the person who nominated you.
  • Nominate 10 – 20 bloggers you feel deserve the award.
  • Ask your nominees 5 questions of your choice, with one weird or funny one.
  • Notify your nominees by commenting on their blog.

 

Three random facts about myself

FACT ONE

In August I’m going to be a grandmother, of a little boy, for the first time.  I’m so looking forward to this, you can’t imagine. Also, this will give me a reason to sew all of the cute baby clothes.

FACT TWO

My husband and I met in 1979 behind the dishwasher at the student restaurant where we both had a student job. Two months after that moment we kissed for the first time and we still do.

Rein & Wis

FACT THREE

I hate doing sports because I have a.b.s.o.l.u.t.e.l.y no talent for it. I once was a goalkeeper for a benefit football game with the youth movement of which I was a member.  We lost with 0-20! And I made one of the goals.

 

Diane’s Questions for me
  1. Do you have a bad habit and if so what is it?
    Procrastination, I guess.
  2. If money was no object,  where would you fly to in the whole world?
    Seychelles!
  3. What food do you hate?
    Warm red cabbage! This is a real childhood trauma.
  4. How many sewing machines/overlockers have you got?
    I have a 38-year old orange Toyota, a 2-year old Brother and a 1,5-year old Juki overlocker.
  5. Name 3 famous people you would love to share a dinner table with.
    Tilda Swinton, Frida Kahlo & Nick Cave.

 

My nominated bloggers, in no particular order:

Belle Citadel

O! Jolly! Crafting Fashion

The Compulsive Seamstress

Swarm of chickadees

Anne Whalley

Jess sews clothes

Small Bobbins

Dream Aloud

Sew Sarah Smith

Sew Becky Jo

 

And my 5 questions are
  1. What is the first thing you ever sewed?
  2. What was your favourite garment for dress-up parties when you were little?
  3. What is the strangest thing you had under your presser foot?
  4. Where is the furthest you travelled?
  5. What is the funniest movie you have ever seen?

I would love to read your answers but don’t worry if you don’t have time for it!

1000 photo posts on Instagram!

On 25 Juli 2015, I posted my first Instagram photo and today—almost three years later— I posted my 1000th. Say what? Yes, I posted 1000 photos on Instagram! Just like when I reached 1000 followers, I find it difficult to comprehend what this number means. But I love the interaction and sharing of photos and experiences with this wonderful online sewing community.
Below I share with you my 5 most liked and my 5 most commented on photos, ever! I go to Squarelovin to get this information. And my most used tag is #isew! No surprise here, I guess.

1000 photo posts on Instagram
First post on July 25th 2015
1000 photo posts on Instagram
Reenactment of the first post aka post 1000!
Top 5 of my most liked photos
#5 The measurement tape!

1000 photo posts on Instagram

I posted this photo for Day 1 of #sewphotohop September 2017: Intro! I thought it would be nice to show a typical sewist’s attribute for the introduction photo of this challenge.

It took a lot of practice to throw the measurement tape; even my husband had to demonstrate it!

#4 The Vogue 9075 Jumpsuit

1000 photo posts on Instagram

This photo is taken, and posted, on 25 May 2018 at the South wing of the Sint-Baafs Cathedral in Ghent. We were on our way to the official celebration of the diamond wedding anniversary of my parents-in-law. I justed finished this jumpsuit and wanted to show it off!

#3 The DKNY V1349 Dress

I took these photos for #mmmay17 but I made this collage, and posted it, for the ‘Curvylicious’ theme of #sewapril2018. I made this dress two years ago from a vintage curtain. There were some serious fitting issues (gaping armholes) the first time I tried it on but at the end I made it work. I love wearing it!

#2 The African Wax Selvedge Statement Sleeve!

Posted on Instagram on 10 April 2017 as an entry for #sewapril2018 for the ‘Statement Sleeves’ theme. I took the photo in August 2017, when I was working on the Laneway Dress. I love this African Wax selvedge and that’s why I use it as a natural hem!

#1 Sewing at Podere Santa Pia

This is my most liked photo on Instagram ever! My husband took it at our holiday home, Podere Santa Pia. I remember it took only a minute to make the photo. I posted it on 1 April 2017 for the last week of #dressmakers52: Happy place. “When I am behind my sewing machine I am in my happy place. But when I am behind my sewing machine at our holiday house I am in my happy happy place.”

Top 5 of my most commented photos
#5 Memories

A photo from 1986, I was heavily pregnant with my firstborn. I’m wearing my self-made bathrobe and nightdress. I posted the photo on Instagram on 15 November 2016 for the Memories prompt from #bpsewvember.

#4 The Summer Dress restyling

From a Summer Dress to the Venus Kimono. The collage of the two garments I posted on Instagram on 24 June 2018 during the big reveal weekend of #restylingexchange2018.

#3 The Velo Culottes

For day 14 of #mmmay18, I was wearing the Velo Culottes from Sew This Pattern and the Juniper Cardigan from Jennifer Lauren Handmade. This outfit received a lot of compliments!

#2 My 58th Birthday

I only posted this photo two days ago, 10 July 2018 for my 58th birthday. Thank you for all your birthday wishes.

#1 A photo for my 57th birthday

This photo was taken on my 20th birthday in 1980. I posted it on 10 July 2017 for my 57th birthday. I loved that I got a lot of birthday wishes even if I was knitting, not sewing. The sewing community is the best!

1000 photo posts on Instagram!

Thanks for all the love and comments, here’s to 1000 more Instagram photo’s!

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.

 

 

Eye-catchers #19

An eye-catcher is a person or a thing that attracts the attention

The online sewing community is very visual. So, every day I see heaps of sewing related images on social media and blogs. Some of them catch my eye because they make me think or they give me inspiration. Here, I want to share these eye-catchers with you.

diy wardrobe

 

Follow below what caught my eye the last months:

Sara’s cape

Sewing a cape for myself is one of my secret wishes. I even don’t know if it would be something that would suit me but I like the shape of it. Also, I think it would very wearable here in Belgium as an in-between-seasons coat. Definitely something my wardrobe is lacking as made clear by Me-Made-May ’18. So I was immediately taken by Sara’s beautiful version of the Woodland Stroll Cape from Oliver + s. This pattern somehow escaped me but it is definitely on my sewing list now.

Martina’s refashioned sweater

refashion sweater

The Annual Restyling Exchange of Amy and Pilar is running to its end. With the big reveal weekend coming the 22nd, 23rd, & 24th of June. The sweater Martina refashioned is not for the restyling exchange but something she made for herself. She made a new Sewhouse 7 Toastersweater #1 out of two old sweaters she didn’t wear anymore. I find this a brilliant idea and very inspiring.

Izzy’s pencil skirt

diy wardrobe

I think we, sewists, all have been there, at least I have. You have some leftover fabric from a sewing project and you have this particular idea of what to sew from it. Then you don’t have enough! Izzy resolved this in a very creative way. For a pencil skirt, she added a lace band and cut out the bottom section the other way. A very clever idea with a stylish result!

The blouse from @fragmentid

Burda blouse tweak

Hacks or tweaks do not have to be complicated. @fragmentid lengthened the sleeves of this Burda blouse and finished the hem with gathers. She said that she didn’t wear it with the original elbow length sleeves. Again a brilliant idea with a stylish outcome. Very inspiring.

Giorgia’s African Wax culottes

African Wax Culottes

Giorgia just combined two of my favourite things: African Wax print and culottes. A golden combination. I already made the Velo Culottes in African Wax but seeing this version of Giorgia makes me want to sew several more.

Tilda Swinton by Tim Walker

Tilda Swinton

Wow! This picture of Tilda Swinton by Tim Walker is a real eye-catcher, isn’t it? When it popped up in my IG-feed (@the_red_list) I couldn’t stop looking at it.  The movement of the fabric is just mesmerizing. I wished I could make garments like that!

Did anything catch your eye lately?

 

Me-Made-May ’18—It’s a wrap!

I’ve just finished my third Me-Made-May and I’m feeling happy and a little sad at the same time. Happy because I managed to wear me-mades every single day of May 2018. A little sad because it’s over now and I have to wait another year for a new Me-Made-May!

mmmay18
Standing in front of Anish Kapoor’s Sky Mirror on day 30 of Me-Made-May ’18.
Me-Made-May ’18: Day 19-Day 31

I already showed my first 18 wears of MMMay’18 before, below you see my 13 last wears (blog post linked where the me-mades have been blogged).

19. Seamwork Oslo Cardigan.
20. Seamwork Brooklyn skirt and  Sew Much Ado Seafarer top; new combo!
21. Maria Denmark Rachel Wrap dress.
22. In the Folds Rushcutter dress.
23. Newlook 6106 skirt with Burda Turtleneck Top; new combo!
24. Zippy top from See Kate Sew with box pleated skirt from Allemaal Rokjes.

25. New!! Vogue 9075 Jumpsuit; will be blogged soon ;).
26. Schnittchenpatterns Chari dress.
27. True Bias Ogden Cami maxi dress.
28. How to do Fashion n°7. Vanlose trousers and top.
29. New!! Seamwork Mesa dress.
30. Skirt from Knipmode with a 15-year-old rtw top; new combo.
31. In the Folds Rushcutter dress #2

The Me-Made-May challenge

Me-Made-May is all about setting a personal challenge regarding your me-mades, you can read all about this on Zoe’s blog. So the big question is: “Did I reach my challenge?”

  • I wore at least one me-made garment every day.
  • I wore every garment only once; so I had no repeats!
  • I wore 12 garments I didn’t wear last May 2017. So I reached my challenge here as I pledged to wear at least 10 garments I didn’t wear last year. I made 3 new garments this month.
  • All my combinations of two garments were different than the previous years.

Was it hard? No, not really. After nearly 5 years of sewing clothes for myself I have a considerable wardrobe to go through each morning and make a selection. Also, a bonus was the nice weather we had here in Belgium because I have a lot of summery clothes.
So it wasn’t hard, although I have to confess that towards the end of the month I would have loved to wear something I already wore this month.

Reflections

First of all, I am proud of myself because I’m able to wear 31 different garments that were self-made and appropriate to the situation, in a row. I didn’t give this feeling a lot of consideration the previous years.
Still, there are some serious gaps in my me-made wardrobe. Where are thou: solid tops? trousers? bras? in-between-seasons coat?  And I sound like a broken record here.
So, I am going to make that my challenge for the coming year: focus on sewing these types of garments.

See you at Me-Made-May 2019!

PS. An enormous thanks to my husband who took all the photos this month. I love you, baby.

18 days of Me-Made-May ’18

We are more than halfway through Me-Made-May ’18 and I wanted to let you know how the first 18 days of the challenge went.

As you can see in this little fragment— where I listen to my husband giving some posing instructions— the challenge is going smoothly. Even though I already wear my me-made clothes all the time throughout the year, I’m enjoying it a lot. Mostly, because I hadn’t worn some of the clothes I wore the last 18 days for a long time. Wearing them again made me happy, and probably (hopefully) these garments will come more in the rotation now.

18 days of Me-Made-May

Here’s what I’ve worn so far (blog post linked where the me-mades have been blogged).

18 days Me-Made-May '18

1. Odette dress – Blue Gingerdoll.
2. Seamwork Brooklyn skirt; new combo with very old RTW blouse and cardigan.
3. Seamwork Wren Dress.
4. New! Seamwork Eliza skirt.
5. True bias Hudson Pants; new combo with very old RTW tunic.
6. Colette Moneta dress.

18 days Me-Made-May '18

7. Daphe Day Dress from Sew This Pattern.
8. Colette Crepe Wrap dress.
9. DKNY Vogue 1349.
10. Telmadress from Vintage en Retronaaipatronen.
11. Megan Nielsen Briar Tee and A-line skirt; new combo!
12. Laneway Dress from Jennifer Lauren Handmade

18 days Me-Made-May '18

13. Festive plissé skirt in Lotte Martens fabric.
14. Veloculottes from Sew This Pattern paired with The Juniper Cardigan from Jennifer Lauren Handmade; a new combo!
15. The Rosa Shirt Dress from Tilly and the Buttons.
1
6. Julia Sweater from Compagnie M. combined with a self-drafted skirt; a new combo!
17. Papercut SJTee with an A-line skirt; new combo!
18. Deer and Doe Sureau Dress.

The Me-Made-May challenge

Did I reach my challenge? So far, yes!

  •  I wore at least one me-made garment every day.
  • I wore every garment only once; so I had no repeats!
  • I wore 7 garments I didn’t wear last May 2017. So I am on track here as I pledged to wear at least 10 garments I didn’t wear last year. Only one skirt came fresh from the machine.
  • All my combinations of two garments were different than the previous years.

When I look back at which garments I wore it strikes me that 10 out of 18 are dresses. And I always thought I was skirt kind of girl.

Was it difficult to select my clothes? No, it wasn’t. Partly because it is only the first half of the challenge and there are still a lot of options. Also, partly because we were blessed with some very sunny weather last week. So I could wear some of my summer clothes.

Overall I am very pleased with how MMMay18 is going and I am really looking forward to the next weeks. Are you too?

Me-Made-May ’18 ◊ I’ve signed up for #MMMay18

It’s the end of April and that means that Me-Made-May ’18 is very near. What is Me-Made-May? It’s a personal challenge to wear and to love your me-made-garments. This year is the ninth edition. If you want to know more about this challenge I suggest listening to the fantastic interview with Zoe, the founder, on the ‘Love to Sew’ podcast. Or read more on Zoe’s blog.

Me-Made-May '18 My Me-Made-May ’18 pledge

I, Wis (from @wis_g and www.whatisew), sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May ’18.

  1. I endeavor to wear at least one me-made garment each day for the duration of May 2018
  2. I will wear every garment only once; so no repeats.
  3. I will wear at least 10 garments I didn’t wear last May 2017.
  4. If I wear a combo of 2 me-mades I will wear a different combination than the previous years.

Me-Made-May '18

My Me-Made-May history

My first became aware of Me-Made-May in 2015. I was reading several sewing blogs and there was some MMMay15 buzz, either in blog posts or in the sidebar widgets. I was intrigued by this and I wondered if I could meet the challenge to wear me-made clothes during a whole month.

In July 2015 I joined Instagram (@wis_g) and made a huge and very inspiring connection with the International Sewing Community. So when Zoe made the announcement on Instagram for MMMay2016 I decided to accept the challenge and make a pledge. More, I made it quite challenging for myself because I endeavored to wear at least one me-made item each day for the duration of May 2016. I had no clue if I could make it but I did. Even more, I was able to wear a different me-made garment for 31 days.

Every day I posted a picture on Instagram.  I know this is not the purpose of Me-Made-May but I wanted to document the challenge for myself. More, this was an opportunity for me to archive my me-mades from earlier years. For this, I use the hashtag #wgsewingXX (where XX refers to the year I sewed the garment; so #wgsewing18 is for all my sewing I do in 2018)

Also, the pictures made it easier to contemplate about my self-made wardrobe and sewing.

These were my observations:

  1. I was able to wear at least one self-made garment every day for 31 days in a row.
  2. No repeats!
  3. While I wore only black clothes in the eighties, I was wearing a lot of colour being 55!
  4. Taking a picture of yourself every day was quite confronting.
  5. My style is very eclectic!
  6. There are only 6 self-made tops.
My Me-Made-May’s from 2016

After my successful first Me-Made-May, I participated again last year in MMMay2017. This time I made the challenge a bit more daring for myself. Not only did I endeavor to wear at least one different me-made garment each day for the duration of May 2017. I would also wear at least 10 garments I didn’t wear during May 2016.

For the second time I succeeded and I enjoyed it enormously. To be able to wear a different self-made garment for 31 days in a row made me happy. On top of that, I was really pleased that half of them were recent makes. Though I must confess that I didn’t wear some of the older makes since May 2016, I was happy with the excuse to wear them again.

For MMMay17 I documented on Instagram and wrote three blog posts about it. (I started this blog in December 2016). Again this made it easier to reflect on my wardrobe and sewing.

These were my observations:

  1. A LOT of prints! I definitely have to sew some solids.
  2. A variety of colours.
  3. No repeats, at all.
  4. An eclectic style.
  5. At that time we had some ‘tropical’ weather in Belgium so I was happy to wear my summer clothes.
  6. Two old rtw-tops. The others I made myself.
  7. Taking a picture of yourself every day is still quite confronting.
  8. I enjoy the challenge to search my wardrobe every day to look for a new me-made!

Wardrobe-wise I made some progress on self-made tops but I’m still lacking some garments in solid colours to combine with all my prints clothes.

MMMay17
My Me-Made-May’s from 2017
Me-Made-May preparations

How do I prepare for Me-Made-May? I don’t! That’s not exactly true but I mean I don’t sew any new garments especially in advance, or even during the month of May. Of course, when I finish something for myself I will probably wear it. This happened three times in MMMay16 and only once in MMMay17.

How do I then prepare? Instead of grabbing the first garment that comes to my mind in the morning I sort of plan my outfit in advance.

  1. I go through my agenda and look if there are some special activities or parties planned. If so then I know already which clothes I am going to wear for them.
  2. How many days do I have to teach or go to school. I try to picture in my head the work appropriate garments I have and that I could wear.
  3. Are there some vacation days? Again, I make a selection for these days.
  4. I check the weather forecast as the weather in Belgium is unpredictable. I am hoping for some sunny days because then I can prepare (in my head) my summer clothes.

Be aware that this planning is not on paper. These are only some thoughts in my head and they are not fixed. It is possible that at the end of May I didn’t wear that skirt that I thought of in the beginning.  After all participating in Me-Made-May is fun and shouldn’t be a stressy business.

I am really looking forward to MMMay2018. I’m definitely aiming to wear a different me-made garment every day. Also, if I wear two pieces I am going to try to make different combinations from the previous years.

See you at MMMay2018!

 

 

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—fashion can’t come at the cost of people or our planet—there 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: «insert drumroll» 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!

4 reasons to participate in the 2018 Secret Valentine Exchange

Woohoo!! The 2018 Secret Valentine Exchange is back. I love this “sewing-community- handmade-gift-swap” so much that I give you—again—4 reasons to participate. I wrote this blog post exactly one year ago for the 2017 Secret Valentine Exchange but everything is still true!

2018 Secret Valentine Exchange
Design made by Sanae

The  Valentine Exchange is a non-conventional handmade gift swap that occurs worldwide. It’s the fifth time it takes place and it is organized 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.
In 2016 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 organizers 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 of 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  Wednesday, January 10th, so you have still a few days. You don’t need to have an online presence to participate. You just have to let your creativity work!

Are you participating?

** I also posted about my 2017 Secret Valentine Exchange **

1 year of blogging

1 year of blogging

Exactly one year ago I pushed the publish button of this blog for the first time and herewith I entered the blogosphere.  Not that there weren’t enough sewing blogs already but I wanted to share my personal sewing stories. Although I was pretty nervous—would someone out there ever read it?—I also felt very excited. Especially when I received positive and supporting comments. So today I am celebrating 1 year of blogging and…

one year of blogging

 

1 year of blogging = 55 posts

I published 55 posts! That’s more than once a week.  While they are all sewing related, I don’t have a fixed format. Most of the time I write about the garments I sewed. Three of them: The Daphne Day Dress, The Chari Dress, and The Laneway Dress were pattern reviews and I loved the combination of sewing and reviewing.
In February I started the Eye-catchers series and this series worked really well. I got a lot of positive comments on it and it gave me heaps of sewing inspiration. I absolutely am going to write more Eye-catchers.
Writing a guest post for the Sewcialists blog was also a fun experience. After two years of inactivity  Gillian from ‘Crafting a Rainbow‘ reanimated this blog. I am glad that I could contribute with a piece about sewing bloggers who inspired me.

4 most read posts

I love some statistics so I consulted Google-analytics and found my most-read posts. The result doesn’t  surprise me.  In fact, they cover my different types of blog posts.

Eye-catchers #18

what I sew: one year blogging

 

The striped nanöo top

what I sew: one year blogging

The Laneway Dress

The refashion of a men’s shirt

What is not so good about having a sewing blog?
It’s time-consuming

Creating content, making and editing photos, this all takes a lot of time for me. Also because I am writing in English, which is my second language. Sometimes I think: “ Wouldn’t it be better to sew instead of blogging!”

 Feeling guilty

When I haven’t posted for more than a week I start to feel guilty. I tell myself that this feeling is unnecessary because blogging is a fun hobby and it should stay fun, not an obligation. Alex, from Sewrendipity, wrote about this guilt feeling too.

Still, I think the good vibes that blogging brings are stronger than the negative ones, so I am going to continue for at least another year!

 

Thanks

A huge thank you to my daughter for editing all of my posts, and to my hubby for taking almost all of the blog photos.

Maremma love
Mother & daughter in the Maremma, my favourite place on earth. Photo was taken by my husband.

 

And of course enormous thanks to you readers all over the world. Because without your support this blog would have no sense at all.

xxx