Tag Archives: sewcialists

Second blogiversary: the answers to your questions

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.

sewing blog

 

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 Waxsewing blog

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.

Impeccable pattern matching!
#2 The Vogue DKNY V1235 Dress for my daughterVogue DKNY V1235

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
Mahlia Kent
Standing in front of the Mahlia Kent store in Paris. I’m wearing my African Wax print skirt!

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.

Buying fabric
Checking fabric at the market in Castel del Piano

 

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!

sewing blogger
Teaching in my me-made clothes

 

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!”.

sewing blog
Already cutting out something new when I still have so many projects going!
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.

sewing blog
Sewing or blogging? That’s the question

 

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!

French seams 1/4 inch presser foot

 

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!

 

  Top 4 of most read blog posts this year!
  1. Eye-catchers #20
  2. The Ali Sweatshirt from Sew DIY
  3. The Seamwork Jill Coatigan with striped lining
  4. Burda Turtleneck Top

 

 

Second blogiversary: call for questions for a Q&A session

Q&A

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!

q&a

 

Ask your question here!



Sew Style Hero — It’s a wrap

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.

Sew Style Hero

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.

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

My TNTs – Tried and True patterns

The November theme of the Sewcialists is TNT patterns.  One of the purposes of this theme is to show the patterns that you tried, several times, and that you love. You can either share them on Instagram with the #SewcialistTNT or tell about them on your blog. (At this moment you have still one day for it!)
So I dove into my sewing archives and discovered that I had several TNTs.

My first TNT patternTNT Tried’N’True patterns

In 2013, after a sewing hiatus of more than 20 years, the first pattern I tackled was the A-line skirt from the book  Allemaal rokjes from Mme ZsaZsa  (You can translate the title as A whole lot of skirts !).  After sewing this skirt I felt the joy of sewing something for myself that has a good fit. The feeling was so strong that I immediately sewed some more of the same skirt. For myself and for my daughter.

allemaal rokjesIt is always the same pattern but some have more flare and others have a box pleat at the front.

Why sewing a TNT pattern?
  1. You save time
    The fact that you have already a traced and maybe an adjusted pattern saves you a lot of time. This is a big win for me because I am tall and I have to lengthen all my patterns.
  2. You professionalize
    Every time you sew a pattern that you sewed before you improve your sewing techniques. Well, after sewing in about twenty blind zippers in your skirts, I can do it with my eyes closed ;).
  3. You can vary a lot
    You can use another type of fabric for the same pattern. You can make small changes like lengthening the sleeves or the hem. Small decisions that bring a lot of variety to your wardrobe.
  4. You have joy
    Sewing a garment more than once gives joy. When you are sewing it you know already that the fit will be good, how it looks on you and how you feel in it. That makes that you have a smile on your face while you are sewing it because you know the outcome will be great.

 

Look below for some patterns that are my TNTs. For me, a pattern is a TNT when I sewed it at least three times.

The Hudson Pants from True BiasHudson Pants True Bias

The most loved and worn comfort pants in our family. I sewed several for whole my family.

 

The Odette Dress from BluegingerdollOdette dress

I sewed all three of them in a knit fabric. That makes them secret pyjamas.  And you don’t have to sew in a zipper on when you use a knit fabric, win-win.

 

The Brooklyn Skirt from Seamwork

Same skirt and the same pattern with no changes, but three different types of fabric giving three different looks.

Ogden Cami from True Bias

The same pattern in three different lengths. This cami and dresses gave me so much joy in the scorching heat of last summer.

Future TNTs?

Will I sew some more variations of above TNT patterns?
I don’t have a crystal ball but it is possible. But, more likely it is that I create new TNTs.
And you? Have you some (favourite) TNT patterns?

 

 

 

A guest post for the sewcialists blog

Hey there, I am super excited because today I posted my first guest blog post. More, it is on the sewcialists blog.

I am a sewcialist!

The sewcialists blog

The sewcialists blog is a blog from and for the sewing community. The goal is to build a community and make everyone feel welcome. There was a lot of activity between November 2013 and August 2015, but then the blog dozed for two years. Recently Gillian from ‘Crafting a Rainbow‘ reanimated it.

As a sewist, I entered the social media world in August 2015. So the previous activities of the sewcialists blog went past me. When about a month ago Gillian asked for writers for the blog I took the chance to participate because I love the sewing community!

sewcialists

Here is my first contribution to promoting the August Tribute Month: 5 bloggers who inspire me. Get over to the sewcialist blog to read it! Thanks!