Category Archives: sewing community

A little cheating for Project SewMyStyle: a pocket skirt

When I saw that the May entry for Project SewMyStyle was a gathered pocket skirt I decided not to buy the pattern from Callie Faye Collection but draft it myself. Why? Because since last September I am following pattern drafting lessons and the scope this year is skirts. I learned to draft a  pattern block for a straight skirt and use this pattern block as a base for all kind of skirt designs. Furthermore, my fabulous teacher stimulates me to draft a skirt pattern myself whenever I see a model that I like.  So I dared myself to do it!

Pocket Skirt

The pocket skirt pattern

Drafting a pattern for a gathered skirt turns out to be rather easy. First I measured the hem of the gathered skirt of a dress that I liked. In this case, my Sureau dress.  To gain the same width I  added 5 cm at the center front and the center back of my pattern blocks. I calculated the proportions of the pockets on the picture. Although they are big enough they tend to look smaller than the ones on the original design. Probably because I lengthened the skirt until the hem was on my knees. So I ended with three pattern pieces: the front, the back and a pocket.

pocket skirt

 

The sewing process

I used a soft printed cotton chambray from Dress Fabrics. I bought it last September. This fabric worked like a dream.
Because I didn’t buy the pattern I didn’t have instructions for sewing the skirt. So I studied the pictures on the website, relied on my know-how of skirt sewing and made my own instructions!

 

1. Pockets

Put on the pockets first as they are also slightly gathered. To accentuate the pockets I used the wrong side of the fabric as the right side.

Iron the seam allowances of the pockets and stitch the three seams at 1 cm.

Pin the pockets on the skirt and stitch 2mm from the sides.

Pocket Skirt
The pockets are gathered together with the skirt.

 

2. Gathers

Make the gathers by stitching two lines in the seam allowance. I use a different thread colour for the front and back to make it easy to pull at the thread.

Mark the center front with a pin and divide the gathers proportional between the two sides.

Stitch with a short stitch length between the two lines to fix the gathers.

 

3. Waistband

For the waistband I used preformatted interfacing for waistbands. I cut out the length of my waist and here I made an error. The original pattern asks for an elastic in the back waist. So you have to provide the same extra width for the back waist. This I forgot. So I also gathered the back. In hindsight, this made the further construction even easier.

Before sewing on the waistband close the left side seams of the skirt.

Pocket Skirt
View from a strange angle: the back gathers.

4. Blind zipper

Put in a blind zipper. After sewing in one side of the zipper, I close it. Then I make little notches on both sides of the tape at the waistband. This helps to pin the second side of the zipper at the right place.

Pocket Skirt
A perfectly matched waistband

4. Finish

Sew the side seam under the zipper. Finish the waistband and hem the skirt.

Pocket Skirt
Conclusion

I am happy with my pocket skirt. I wore it a lot already. Drafting the pattern myself gave me a lot of satisfaction. It means that I learned something in the pattern drafting lessons. Although I did not buy the pattern suggested by the Project SewMyStyle I sewed the skirt. More, I enjoyed the whole process. That is what SewMyStyle is all about, isn’t it?

Pocket Skirt

 

Eye-catchers #12

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.

eyecatcher

Follow below what caught my eye recently. Some of them are garments which other sewists wore during the Me-Made-May’17 challenge.

The Sophie Swimsuit from Andrea

Sophie Swimsuit

I was immediately taken by this stunning version of the Sophie Swimsuit made by Andrea from Fair Fit Studio. I simply love this golden colour. Summer is near and I need some swimming suits. This pattern could be the one.

Not a Primary Color’s Mitchell Dress

Mitchell Dress

I am always glad when sewists I follow alert me to pattern designers I didn’t know before. So did Siena when she showed this gorgeous Mitchell Dress from Paddleboat Studio on Instagram. She did some modifications on the pattern but most of all the way she used the different blocks of the fabric is breathtaking.

Yumi’s linnen blouse

Solid Blouse

One of my reflections of Me-Made-May’17 is that I need more solids and more tops. This kind of linen blouse would be perfect.  I think it is from a Japanese pattern book (?) because the comments on @jpn.winterberry’s IG were all in Japanese. In particular, I love the design of the collar.

Sewvanilla’s shorts

Border Shorts

Lately, I am into border fabric. Look at the dress I sewed for my daughter. More, I printed my own border fabric but I can’t show it yet because it is for my #restylingexchange2017 challenge. So, when I saw this shorts by Sewvanilla I was intrigued by the placement of the border. Very inspiring.

The maxi dress sewed by Mokosha_II

So far I only made one maxi dress. Then I saw this smashing maxi from @Mokosha_II and I immediately wanted to sew another one. Originally it was a Burda pattern but she changed almost everything about it. Also, isn’t that a gorgeous fabric she used. On top of that, this is a great picture too! I l love everything about it.

Did anything catch your eye this week?

MMMay 17 – It’s a wrap!

Me-Made-May’17 is finished! I am happy because I reached my goals: wearing a different me-made garment every day. More, I also pledged to wear at least 10 new me-made’s—sewed between June 2016 and May 2017. I succeeded.
I already wrote about the first half of my MMMay 17. Below, I’ll tell you about the second half and some further general observations.

Me Made May 17
31 May 2017, my husband repaired an old little bench and I am wearing me- made’s.
New garments

MMMay 17 overview

Two Rushcutters — In the Folds  //  Simplicity 1355 // Daphne Day Dress —Sew This Pattern

 

MMMay'17

DKNY Vogue 1349 // Toaster Sweater #2 — Sew House Seven // Nanöo Top and Brooklyn Skirt — Seamwork

Old garments

MMMay'17

New Look 6106 // Seafarer Top — Sew Much Ado and Versatile Wrap Skirt  — Make it perfect // Crepe Dress — Colette
Zippy Top — See Kate Sew and Skirt from Allemaal rokjes // Box Pleat Skirt from Allemaal rokjes // Rachel Wrap Dress — Maria Denmark

Some observations about the second half of MMMay

There are only little changes in my observations in comparison to the first half of MMMay.

  • Still a LOT of prints! I definitely have to sew some solids.
  • A variety of colours.
  • No repeats, at all.
  • An eclectic style.
  • We had some ‘tropical’ weather so I was happy to wear my Summer clothes.
  • Two old rtw-tops. The others I made myself.
  • Taking a picture of yourself every day is quite confronting.
  • I enjoy the challenge to search my wardrobe every day to look for a new me-made!
Conclusion

I enjoyed MMMay’17. I am thrilled that I am able to wear unique me-made clothes 31 days in a row. On top of that, I’m really pleased that half of them are recent makes. Though I must confess that I didn’t wear some of the old makes since last May, I was happy with the excuse to wear them again.

This challenge also makes me reflect on my wardrobe. There are some gaps:
*  tops
*  trousers – I only wore some comfy pants last month
*  garments in solid colours
*  an in-between seasons coat or jacket
*  bra’s

MMMay'17
My Me-Made-May’s from 2017

It was also fun and inspiring to see all the beautiful makes from other sewists on Instagram and on the blogs. Again I met some new amazing and creative people.

I am already looking forward to MMMay 2018!

MMMay 2016
My Me-Made-May’s from 2016.

Eye-catchers #11

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 recently.

 

The African wax top of Natalie

African Wax top

I told you before: I love African wax and when I see something made of it that immediately gets my attention.  This happened again when I saw this stunning top sewed by Natalie. Apparently she wasn’t convinced herself, at first, but I really love it. The fabric is gorgeous and showing the selvage at the hems of the sleeves is fantastic. Such an inspiring idea.

The Falda Jacket

Falda Jacket Pattern Fantastique

The Falda Jacket from Pattern Fantastique is on my 2017MakeNine list. This is the original version made by the pattern designer. Look at these exceptional lines. I am crazy about this design. I planned to sew it this Winter—I even have the pattern and fabric—but I didn’t get to it. I am definitely going to do it this Fall, I promise.

The Tie Belt Dress from Mollie Moxie

Tie Belt Dress

This amazing dress made by Mollie Moxie instantly caught my eye. I like the fabric, the model and also the length. Mollie lengthened the dress because she had more fabric than the pattern required. That doesn’t happen a lot to me; most of the time I am a bit short of fabric for the pattern I am making. Nevertheless, I think it is a great idea for when I should have more fabric.

Ooobop’s dirndl skirt

The simplest things are often the prettiest one. When you have such awesome border fabric just design a dirndl skirt for it. When you wear it to cycle—like Ooobop did—cars will stop and heads will turn!

 

Brenda’s sewing tip

This is such a clever tip from Brenda:  to eliminate bulk in cross seams, make a V-snip. I did not know this trick but I will definitely apply it the next times when I have to sew cross seams.

Did anything catch your eye lately?

MMMay 17 – halfway

We are halfway through Me-Made-May’17 so it’s time for some observations. It’s the second year I’m participating, therefore I extended my pledge. Besides wearing one me-made garment every day I also endeavor to wear at least 10 me-made garments I didn’t wear last year. I also want to wear 31 different outfits. Did I succeed so far?

New garments

Me-Made-May '17NO.7 VANLØSE — How to do fashion //  Moneta dress — Colette patterns  //   Brooklyn skirt –Seamwork  //   Walkey dress – – MIY collection

 

Me-Made-May '17

Two hour top (free pattern) — Sew Different  //   Ariadne Tunic  (free pattern) — Tanit-Isis Sews  //   Veloculottes — Sew This Pattern  //   KnipMode skirt

So far I wore 7 new me-made garments thus I am on track. Except for the Moneta dress, these were all sewed last Summer. The Ariadne Tunic is, in fact, an old make but I did not wear it last May.  I sewed it in 2014. The back is perfect but there are some imperfections at the front so I don’t wear it often.

Old garments

Me-Made-May '17

Paula pleat skirt — Maria Denmark  //  Amelia Dress — Green Bee Patterns  //  Hudson Pant — True Bias  //  Sureau dress — Deer&Doe  //   NewLook 6106  //  Julia Sweater — Compagnie M. and Skirt from Allemaal rokjes   //  Odette dress — Blue Gingerdoll

Seven days I wore clothes that I also wore in last year’s me-made-may. I don’t consider that a bad thing. It means they still fit me and that I am happy to wear them.

Some observations
  • A LOT of prints! I definitely have to sew some solids.
  • A variety of colours.
  • No repeats, so far.
  • An eclectic style.
  • All the tops—execpt the Julia Sweater—are old rtw’s.
  • Taking a picture of yourself every day is quite confronting. Also, there were a lot of grey days with bad light. A true damper on the party.
  • I enjoy the challenge to search my wardrobe every day to look for a new me-made!

How is your me-made-may going?

1000 followers on Instagram

My Instagram profile picture.
My Instagram profile picture. Sewing keeps me sane!

When I posted my first Instagram photo in August 2015 I could never have guessed that I would ever reach 1000 followers. I am even more in disbelief because about 950 of them are people I don’t know in real life! But I am thrilled to have met this wonderful online sewing community.

 

What!?? 1000 followers!

 

First post, August 2015

I joined Instagram with a photo of me in our Tuscan garden. I wanted to share pictures of my two loves—besides my family—sewing and Podere Santa Pia, our Tuscan holiday house. Back then I could never have predicted the joy it would bring. I met so many inspiring dressmakers, pattern designers, fabric stores… I even met the fabulous Anne Whalley in person.

Anne Whalley
Meeting Anne Whalley was an amazing experience.
All the sewing joy

Thanks to IG I had the opportunity to test several patterns: the Nita Wrap Skirt from ‘Sew DIY blog’, the Daphne Dress from Sew This Pattern and currently I am testing a dress pattern for Schnittchen (still a big secret).

Testing the Nita Wrap Skirt and the Daphne Day Dress

 

I was flattered and excited to be featured on the Girl Charlee UK blog. The Secret Valentine exchange brought me a beautiful bag from @sophomorestudio.

I really love the-photo-a-day challenges in which I participated like #sewphotohop, #bpsewvember, #MIYMarch, #makersforfashrev, #mmmay, and #dressmakers52.

I can’t forget the Moneta Party. A virtual party only attended by sewists of Instagram all dressed in their Moneta Dress.

The Moneta Party.
And the sewing joy continuous

At this moment two new and exciting challenges are running. First, there is the Sew Together For Summer. We all sew together a shirt dress before June 21.

Second, the Restyling Exchange which is very thrilling. You receive a garment from somebody to restyle and to refashion and you send one of yourself to another sewist. Although this will give a lot of sewing joy it is also a bit nerve wrecking: sewing for somebody you don’t know. But everything is perfectly organized by Pilar and Amy.

The men’s skirt I received from @elisabetefcarvalho.
The dress I sent to @listokap.

And last, but not least, it was Instagram that stimulated me to start this blog. I felt that I wanted to share more than was allowed in the comment section beneath the photos. But I get a lot of inspiration for my blog through Instagram like you can read and see in the Eye-catchers feature.

Thanks for all the love, here’s to many more years of Instagram sewing!

Eye-catchers #10

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.

eye-catcher

Follow below what caught my eye recently

 

The Seamwork Jane T-shirt by Becs

Seamwork JaneBecs made a real eye-catcher from a basic T-shirt by using this beautiful, bright floral jersey. Again evidence that the right fabric choice can bring a pattern to a higher level.

The African wax Tunic Dress of Eleonora

Burda Tunic DressI love African wax and when I see something made of it that immediately gets my attention. So I was intrigued when I saw the Tunic Dress Eleonora made. It is a pattern from Burda. The straight lines of this pattern make the design of the fabric sparkle.

The Winterdress from Bianca

Winterdress Patternreview

Bianca, from the blog Thanks! I made them, made this Winterdress from Patternreview in a double layer cotton jersey. She airbrushed and stenciled it. Then she handstitched around the shapes and cut out the middles. That’s the way to have unique fabric. Very impressive!

Suzy’s Jumpsuit

Jumpsuit Bridgetown Dress hack

The April entry of the project SewMyStyle was the Bridgetown Backless Dress from Sewhouse 7. Suzy took the challenge to a higher level and created a jumpsuit with the pattern. Therefore she used the bodice of the dress and combined it with trousers. This is an ingenious idea and the result is stunning.

The Mirri Dress from Ariane

Mirri Dress Wardrobe by me

I discovered a new pattern designer by looking at and reading about this beautiful dress Ariane made. It is the Mirri Wrap Dress from Wardrobe By Me. I like faux wrap dresses and this one has a nice shawl collar. Also, the left under-piece has no pleats and that gives the dress a smooth look.

Did anything catch your eye this week?

Me-Made-May ’17

Tomorrow starts Me-Made-May ’17. Again an exciting challenge from the sewing community. Zoe, the founder, describes it as follow:
Me-Made-May’17 (#MMMay17 for social media interaction) is a challenge designed to encourage people who sew/knit/crochet/refashion/upcycle garments for themselves to wear and love them more.”

Me-Made-May '17

To sign up you make a pledge that you post in the comment of Zoe’s blog post.

My pledge

 I, Wis from www.whatisew.be and @wis_g, sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May ’17. I endeavour to wear at least one me-made garment each day for the duration of May 2017. I will not repeat any garment. More, I will wear at least 10 garments I didn’t wear last May 2016.

 

Me-Made-May ’16

Last year—mmmay16—I participated for the first time and I enjoyed it tremendously. These were my observations:
1. I was able to wear at least one self-made garment every day.
2. No repeats!
3. Wearing only black clothes in the eighties I am wearing a lot of colour being 55!
4. Taking a picture of yourself every day is quite confronting.
5. My style is very eclectic!
6. There are only 6 self-made tops.

My Me-Made-May’s from 2016

Are you participating?

 

Eye-catchers #9

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.

sewing ideas

Follow below what caught my eye the last week:

The trench coat of Mariatrench coat

I have a love-hate relationship with trench coats. I love wearing them but the RTW-ones I bought in the past all had some fitting issues. So far I didn’t think about sewing one myself but when I saw this beautiful trench coat of Maria I might give it a go. On her Instagram feed she didn’t mention the pattern she used. Maybe she drafted it herself? Look also at the fabulous embroidery she put on the back of the coat.

The Fenway bra from Orange LingerieFenway Bra

I mentioned it before: making my own bra is on my sewing wish list for a long time. Again—when I saw this amazing make by Jennifer —I said to myself: “Wis, what are you waiting for?!”.

The Wanted-T-shirt from Vanessa PouzetWanted T-shirt

This is the third version of the Wanted-T-shirt Annika made. Also in a plain colour and with short sleeves, this t-shirt is an eye-catcher. The design of the neckline is dazzling.

The Highlands Wrap Dress from IndiesewHighlands Wrap Dress

Amber from @soisewedthis made a stunning version of the Highlands Wrap dress, a new pattern from Indiesew. I love her choice of fabric for this perfect Summer dress.

Rachel’s Astoria Top

Rachel from @shesewsvintage brought the Astoria from Seamwork again to my attention. This is also a pattern that I want to sew for so long. I love her fabric choice. It gives this top a real vintage vibe.

Did anything catch your eye this week?

Eye-catchers #8

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

sewing visualThe 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 week:

Csew’s Pilvi CoatPilvi Coat Lotta Jansdotter

This stunning coat from Csews caught my eye. Of course, it’s because of the brilliant fabric she used. The pattern is the Pilvi Coat from the sewing book  Lotta Jansdotter Everyday StyleThis coat pattern is beautiful thanks to the simple lines and the raglan sleeves. That is why the result is so great: a beautiful fabric doesn’t need a complicated pattern.

Knipmode dress by KasiaKnipmode jurk

I was immediately taken by this elegant dress made by Kasia. On her blog, I read that she used a dress patron from Knipmode and made some alterations to it. That was even more striking because Knipmode is a Dutch—my mothertongue— pattern magazine and I think Kasia is Polish. So reading and sewing this pattern should be easy for me.

Deer and Doe Mélilot shirtDeer and Doe mélilot

Catherine from Thread Snips proves again what difference fabric can make to an already great pattern. This is gorgeous fabric. No more words needed!

Renee’s Lucy BackpackLucy Backpack

This is such a cute backpack made by Renee. See more pictures of it on her Instagram feed. It’s the Lucy Backpack from Swoon patterns made in playful canvas from Cotton+Steel. I want to sew one too but I have two bags waiting in my WIP-drawer already.

#hellospringdressHelloSpringDress

@runningNstyle along with @jamorebyjackie and @robertswife_collection, are hosting a new friendly spring dress contest. Sew an inspirational spring dress and post a picture of it on Instagram before April 28, using #hellospringdress. There are some prices to win. Another sewing challenge to motivate me!

Did anything catch your eye this week?