I documented every outfit with a photo on Instagram. Below you see a capture of my grid and I love the ‘Something Red’ vibe it radiates. My overview starts with Day 1 in the right-under corner.
How did I feel about the red wardrobe capsule?
First of all, I’m not particularly fond of the colour red. It’s not a colour that I gravitate to. So I’m rather proud of myself that I could make this work and enjoyed doing it. I managed to dress with something red 10 days in a row and my dressing was fit for all the occasions of my life. Teaching, dinner with friends, lazy day, school meeting… Even the chilly weather could be attacked by wearing red tights and my cardigan. By the way, this red cardigan is the winner of this capsule. I wore it 3 times!
There were several! The African Wax Brooklyn skirt paired with the colour blocked Seafarer top is absolutely a winner. I also enjoyed the pairing of the same skirt with the red striped Ali sweatshirt. I’m sure I will wear these combos again!
My third capsule: Everything goes!
For my third capsule, I wanted it to be 100% me-made. So I couldn’t work around one colour, although blue seems to be a little dominant. I call it the ‘Everything goes with everything’ capsule.
It’s the 12th of May today, which means that I finished my first 10 x 10 style challenge for Me-Made-May 2019. You remember that for this years Me-Made-May I levelled up my pledge a little. Instead of picking a random me-made garment every morning, I created three wardrobe capsules.
Below, you can read how it went and how my second wardrobe capsule looks.
Did I succeed in my first wardrobe capsule?
I did! I managed to dress 10 days in 10 outfits that were combinations of the 10 items I selected for my Green & Black capsule.
I documented my outfit every day with a photo on Instagram. This is a capture of my grid so Day 1 is in the right under corner.
How did I feel about it?
First of all, I am a little proud of myself that I made it and at the end of the ride I enjoyed it. There was some unusual chilly weather some days and that annoyed me a little. Without my pledge, I would have worn something else these days. Here the black V-neck pullover came to the rescue. I wore this and the black T-shirt for three days. So that makes them the winners of this capsule.
My striped Nanöo top was only combinable with the grey skirt so that makes it not a very good capsule member.
Although I’ve worn the greenish box pleat skirt a zillion times before, I’ve never combined it with black tops before. I’m sure I will wear this combo again.
This challenge also brought back my love for the grey Seamwork Brooklyn skirt made out of a curtain sample. The combo with the very old RTW rib cord turtleneck is also new and a winner.
My second capsule: Something red 💃🏻💃🏻
So it is time to compose my second capsule. I dug in my closet once more and although it is evident to select separates—as they are easier to mix and match—I selected three dresses. It turned out an eclectic selection again, but that is my wardrobe.
Ten garments with something red in it. This capsule is 90% Me-Made. I’m glad I could increase this percentage, the Black & Green capsule was 60%. For the third capsule, I’m going for 100%
It’s the beginning of May and traditionally that is the start of the sewing community festival month! Hurray! This year it’s the TENTH year that the sewing community celebrates the Me-Made-May challenge. Zoe, the founder and hostess, describes it as a way to improve your relationship with your handmade wardrobe. You can read all about it on her blog.
My Me-Made-May history
This is my fourth Me-Made-May that I actively participate in. MMMay16 is only documented on Instagram but you can read about my MMMay17 and MMMay 18 on the blog. To challenge myself I’ve tried to increase my pledge every year. However, last year I found that I’d reached my limit pledge-wise and it didn’t feel as much of a challenge anymore. I wear my me-made clothes every day, sometimes combined with some old RTW’s. I stopped buying clothes—besides underwear, tights, and socks—in May 2015. So that’s why I wanted to level up my pledge a little, make it more challenging.
My Me-Made-May 2019 pledge
I, Wis from www.whatisew.be and @wis_g, sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May ’19. I endeavour to wear at least one me-made garment each day for the duration of May 2019.
I do not pick random garments each morning but I select garments out of the wardrobe capsules I create especially for this May 2019.
What is a wardrobe capsule?
I got this idea of creating three wardrobe capsules for Me-Made-May from Alex from Sewrendipity. Last year she created three wardrobe capsules to wear during May 2018.
So how does it work?
The Me-Made-May wardrobe capsule is based on the 10 x 10 style challenge from Lee Vosburgh from StyleBee. “The concept is essentially a mini capsule closet of 10 items that you work with for 10 days, creating new looks and styling your clothes in ways you might not otherwise try.”
The rules are simple:
Create 10 outfits with the 10 pieces you selected to wear the next 10 days. Just what I needed to take my Me-Made-May challenge to the next level. I’m going to create three consecutive capsules with outfits to wear between 2-11 May, 12-21 May, and 22-31 May.
My first capsule: Green & Black
So I dug into my closet and came out with 10 garments that could fill my ‘Green & Black’ capsule. I found it not so simple as there are several parameters that I had to think about:
the chilly weather that is predicted for the next 10 days
two short flights
several teaching days
a long weekend at our holiday house
Nine garments are green(ish)/black(ish). I allowed my jeans jacket in this capsule because I find jeans neutral and handy for travelling and for chilly days. The capsule is 60% Me-Made. I’m a bit disappointed by this number but I know that I lack in self-made tops. I will try to increase my Me-Made percentage in the next capsules!
On the first day of my Green & Black capsule, I wear my Nanöo top and Seamwork Brooklyn skirt. 100% Me-Made!
Hello, my dear blog readers! I’m very thrilled today because exactly two years ago I published my first blog post. Though I don’t post as regularly as I want I still love blogging about my sewing encounters. To celebrate this second birthday I’m throwing a Q&A-party. So, here they come, the answers to your questions.
What’s your favourite thing you ever sewed? from Chloe What’s your favourite garment you’ve ever made and why? from Jane
Chloe’s question popped up first. Pff! That’s an easy one, I thought. Then Jane made an addition to the question and that made me do some serious reflection. At first, I thought about my recent makes but then I realized they will come up in my Top 5 Hits 2018 that I will publish shortly. So, I had to look further and delving into my archives I found not one but two favourite garments that reached the “special” status.
#1 The Brooklyn skirt from Seamwork in African Wax
Why is this skirt one of my favourite garments? I sewed this skirt in August 2016 and it was the first time I sewed with Africa Wax. I love this type of fabric so much. To fit the front pattern piece—the skirt is a half-circle skirt with a generous front box pleat—on the fabric I had to sew together two panels. I succeeded in an impeccable pattern matching. The all-around pattern matching of this skirt is the best I ever did. I put inseam pockets in it. I wore it already a zillion times and it hasn’t lost its fit and its elegance.
#2 The Vogue DKNY V1235 Dress for my daughter
I sewed it in May 2017 and it was my number one that year. Why? I’ll repeat what I wrote about it last year: “I sewed this dress for my daughter to attend the wedding of her best friend. I worked very hard on this dress: I made two muslins for it and executed my first FBA—that still sounds like a medical procedure ;). It was also the first time I sewed with border fabric. I love how the placing of the border I had in my head came out. My daughter received a lot of compliments on the dress and she loves wearing it. This makes me sew happy!”
Where do you get your fabric? from Kim
I do not have a dedicated fabric shop. My fabric comes from everywhere! There are some brick fabric shops in my hometown Ghent that I go to sometimes. They cover the range from established values (Artevelde, Au Pluba) to new shops (Stoffenkamer). I also buy fabric online. Girl Charlee UK is my favourite for knit fabric. The thing I love the most about fabric shopping is searching for fabric shops or markets whenever I am in a foreign city. So far I bought fabric at Goldhawk rd (London), Mahlia Kent (Paris), Montmartre region (Paris), Kantje Boord (Amsterdam), Neuköllner Stoff (Berlin),… But if you read some of my blog posts before you’ll know that my favourite fabric stall is at the market of Castel del Piano, a small Tuscan city. There is this lady who only sells remnants and I already found some real treasures there.
What’s a typical day for you? Do you sew/create most days? from Sarah
I don’t have a typical day and I don’t sew every day. My job as a history teacher at a university college dictates my yearly calendar. The first term of the academic year (September-December) is hard with a lot of courses to prepare and to teach. So there’s barely any time to sew during weekdays. The second term (February-June) is less hard and that leaves some time for sewing during weekdays. But one of the perks of being a teacher is having several breaks throughout the year! Then all my time is sewing time!
Do you finish one project completely before the next one kicks off!? from Ersan
Aww, this is a tough one because it touches one of my weak points, maybe even the weakest. No, although I want to, I don’t always finish a project before I tackle a new one. Why is that? I don’t really know. The only explanation I have is that I enjoy the thrill of starting a new project. In fact, I love cutting out a new pattern. Sometimes I abandon a project because some urgent sewing with a deadline comes up: gifts, sewing community challenges, pattern testing… The result is that I now have several UFO’s and WIP’s! I don’t even want to count them. I also have some nagging children because some of the WIP’s are garments for them, that I promised them. So, I want to make this one of my goals for 2019: “Finish all (ALL!) of my UFO’s and WIP’s & don’t create new ones!”.
Does the blog take much of your time and effort? from Eleonora
In fact, it does. It’s not that I don’t know what to say! The main reason for it taking so much effort is that English is not my native language. So, the writing of a post takes a serious amount of time. I’m trying to turn it into a regular routine, like writing every day for about half an hour but until now I’m not very successful at it! Which is why when I actually sit down and write, it takes me awhile. That’s why it ’s one of my goals for 2019: “Write every day for about half an hour for your blog!”. However, although it takes some time and effort, I still love it. Because there are actual people reading and following—say what 213 followers!!!—this blog. Which I continue to be perplexed at. More, it makes my sewing-heart sing when I receive comments and questions.
What’s your favourite sewing technique? from Emma
My favourite sewing technique would be sewing French seams—which strangely are called English seams in Dutch—because they make such a clean and crisp finish! It became even more my favourite sewing technique after I got myself a ¼ inch presser foot. This makes sewing French seams a piece of cake!
So these are the answers to your questions. Thank you for asking and thanks for reading. If you have some more questions put them in the comments and I’ll be glad to answer them. Now, excuse me, because I have some bubbles to drink!
The end of December is nearing and that means my blog is turning 2 years old. I thought it would be fun to celebrate this second blogiversary with a Q&A session. So, I would love to hear any of your questions about my sewing… and I will answer them on my blog on the 30th of December!
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.
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.
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!
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?
I drew a 45° 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.
I cut out one piece of the yoke in a single layer.
Then I transferred the 45° line and the red stripe marks to the back side of the pattern piece and checked the placement on the fabric.
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.
Then I basted the yoke and stitched it with my overlocker. For the topstitching, I used the small zig-zag stitch on my sewing machine
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.
It’s the third of September today and that means August is definitely finished. Which means that the latest Theme Month, the Sew Style Hero, of the Sewcialists is over.
If you want to discover all the amazing makes sewists from all over the world made to honour their personal Sew Style Hero, head over to the Sewcialists blog. I’m super excited that I could write the round-up of this theme.
My personal Sew Style Hero is Becky from ‘I Sew Therefore I Am‘. I love her Kabuki Tee so much that I just had to sew one myself. I featured her version in my last Eye-catchers.
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.
Follow below what caught my eye the last months:
Tiina’s Japanese Dress
Thanks to the fun summer photo challenge #sewingagogo I discovered this beautiful dress made by Tiina. It’s a pattern from the Japanese sewing magazine Cotton Friend. I was immediately attracted by the sharp design of the front. The instructions are only in Japanese but apparently well illustrated. So far I’ve neversewed a Japanese pattern but this dress really inspires me to give it a try.
The Frances top from @maxantonia
The simple line of the design of this top combined with the remarkable finish of the sleeves immediately caught my attention. I love this version by @maxantonia in blush pink cupro. Also, this Frances top is a free pattern from Fibre Mood, a new pattern book/magazine company. Once you register you can download it and more, the instructions are available in 4 languages (Dutch, French, English & German). When I searched through the site some more I discovered Fibre Mood is stationed in my town. It’s always great to discover some sewing souls in the neighbourhood.
Beck’s Kabuki Tee
When you don’t have enough fabric but you’ve got your mind set on using this specific fabric for the pattern you want to sew; you have to go right to the limit. That is what Beck did with the Kabuki Tee from Paper Theory. The result is stunning and totally my thing. The way Beck placed the fabric accentuates the absolute crisp design of the Kabuki Tee. Look at these square shoulders! I was so in awe that I immediately started sewing a Kabuki Tee myself and designated Beck as my Sew Style Hero.
The Kobe top made by @katilulemakes
When you look at the front of the Kobe top from Papercut patterns you may think it’s a classic top, but the back gives away the unexpected and stunning design. I was instantly taken by this version by @katilulemakes. A perfect combination of fabric and pattern! Maybe I could still make one for these warm fall days that are coming…
@sewingblue is a Swedish sewist who I admire tremendously. She has great sewing skills and everytime she posts on Instagram I am totally in awe. So I was not surprised when I read the capture of this photo that it told the story of a great—and yet new for me—sewing technique. It’s about a clear finish on the inside. She uses a seam allowance of 2,5 cm. After stitching the seams the seam allowance is folden and then stitched to the body about 1 cm from the seam. You will see the stitching on the bodice but this gives also a neat effect. Hats off for this kind of sewing!
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.
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
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.
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.
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
Do you have a bad habit and if so what is it?
Procrastination, I guess.
If money was no object, where would you fly to in the whole world?
What food do you hate?
Warm red cabbage! This is a real childhood trauma.
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.
Name 3 famous people you would love to share a dinner table with.
Tilda Swinton, Frida Kahlo & Nick Cave.
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.
Top 5 of my most liked photos
#5 The measurement tape!
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
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
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.
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!