Sunday, August 19, 2018

More summersewing

As I type this, I only have 1,5 days of vacation left. Oh my…where did those 5 weeks go?? Because of the 2 heat waves we’ve experienced here in the Netherlands, the first 3 weeks went by in a bit of a blur. I really could not do much more than hang on the couch and move as little as possible. It's just not my kind of weather and I’m ever so glad that the heat is gone, altough it’s still above 20°C. In spite of all that heat I managed to get some sewing done.

I bought the fabric for this skirt (KnipMode January 2018 – skirt ‘Yara’) at a fabric fair and it is a wonderful jersey with elastane. The colours are so vibrant, And it has a bit of weight to it so it hangs beautifully. It was a super quick make. I took size 46 and made it slightly bigger at the hip. Jersey can be so clingy to your body and I really want to avoid that if possible. 
As you can tell from the picture below, the design calls for an elastic band as a waistband, but I opted for a casing of the fabric, sewn on top of the skirt, and 1,5 cm elastic to put in it.


It’s a very nice skirt. Flowy, summery, colourful. I hope to get a lot of wear out of it. However, I lack some matching tops in my wardrobe so I must work on that. The shirt I'm wearing here matches perfectly colourwise but is too tight.

The other projects I made are the the blue polka dot blouse, which I already showed you in a previous post, some very comfy lounge pants and currently I am working on a white blouse. That blouse is a bit of a pain actually (fitting design and non-stretch material...need I say more?) and I don’t know if it will end as a wearable item. If it does, you’ll read about it here. It could actually be a perfect partner for my skirt so I’m really keeping my fingers crossed the outcome will be good (enough).

So yeah, there you have it. The holiday has not been a complete waste as far as sewing is concerned. I hope I can hold on to my sewing mojo when I’m back at work. More than often I’m very tired at the end of the day and I don’t feel like doing anything. We'll see, I'm not gonna beat myself up about it.

For everyone whose holiday has ended or is about to end: Good luck with the start-up. I know how it feels!
On the other hand, it will be great to see my colleagues again and with our daily walk during our lunch-break we will be able to enjoy the sun some more.
I hope you have time to enjoy it too.


Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Feeling hot hot hot, new blouse and other summer-stuff...

Anyone out there who likes to sew in blistering temperatures?? No, me neither…
It's sooo hot and dry here in the Netherlands and there's no sign of it changing anytime soon. 
I have a trip planned this thursday with two friends. Initially we were going to pay a visit to a few city's in the province of Zeeland, but I don't think that's a good idea when it's 35°C. Thursday and Friday are actually the hottest days according to the weather forecast. We will probably be driving on to the coast instead and spending our day at the beach.
Next tuesday I'll be going on a daytrip with a friend to Trier (Germany). It's  booked at a bus-company and I'm really looking forward to that but if the temperatures are still this high (and chances are they will be) than it's going to be somewhat of a challenge to be walking around in a heated city. I hope the bus has airco, that would be a big plus!
Okay, I've moaned enough. There are still a lot of people who really enjoy this kind of weather. I'm sure my kind of weather will return. Everyone gets their fair share eventually. Now, on to the sewing part.

I'm in the second week of my 5-week holiday and despite being overheated, I did manage to make a garment. It's a remake of a blouse I made in june 2014. (See here). Back then I had some troubles with the pattern. This is what the original one looks like:

It has pleats on the neckline, just sewn in place without any further reinforcement. That just didn't work, the neckline was way too wide. I even tried to enlarge the pleats but it just seemed to open up if I put it on. I decided to draft a rounded band to put on top of that neckline and that did the trick!
I've worn the 2014 version só many times and now I'm really satisfied with the end-result of this new blouse. The fabric is a bit stiffer than the purple one from 2014, but it's just working fine. To make sure I could get it on and off I had to eliminate one of the front darts, but that doesn't seem to make a change. 
The pile of fabric I bought recently (see my previous post) really is waiting for me to dive into it. I hope I'll be entering my sewingroom soon once it's cooled down a bit.
Happy summer/sewing everyone!

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Let's start this holiday with new fabric

Today is the first day of my summer-holiday and it's gonna last for no less than 5 weeks. There are some trips planned but nothing longer than 1 day, so there's gonna be lots of time left to spend sewing. (And reading, and cooking, and gardening, and doing nothing, and shopping, and sleeping in, and cuddling/playing with my brave little cat-friend). At least that's the plan. But sewing will only happen if the temperatures are gonna drop a bit because it's too hot for me to even move. The 14-day forecast however doesn't show any signs of dropping temperatures. I was allright with that when I was younger but with a certain age comes a dislike of being too hot. I'm sure some of you ladies out there know what I mean, right?
There's hardly any green grass left to find. It all looks yellow. Nature is in desperate need of rain. Lots of rain.

Nevertheless I really wanted to buy some fabric at the beginning of my holiday and today I received 2 packages with fabric at the same time. Talking about planning!

In my head I'm already focussing on fall-sewing but there are some fabrics in my purchase that scream summer.
Well, let me talk you through the pile of goodies.

First, a loose woven, boucle-ish soft pink fabric. It was not showing on the picture on the website (nor is it here) but there is a little hinge of silver thread in it. Not in a way that i don't like though.

Then a viscose fabric, with vibrant blue and green in it. Beautiful but slippery. 

Another viscose fabric, quite thin, see-through and flowy, with beautiful colours.  
The colours are actually even more intense in real life.

A crincled, softblue/purple viscose with beautiful flowerprint. 95% of the fabric is as light as you can see at the top of this picture. The darker colours are only on one side at the end, so I can play with that and use it as a design-feature.

This fabric was a drag to photograph but I think I nailed it.....a lovely pink crepe fabric.

Talking about fall-sewing. This piece I réally like. It's a brick-coloured knitted fluffy fabric and I will be making a long cardigan out of it. 

And finally, a grey jersey with little black spots. With this I'll make a pair of comfy loungepants to wear at home. 

I think I've added enough to my fabric-stash to last me a while. I have more than enough fabric lying around but it's just fun to buy some new stuff now and then. And there are so many beautiful new fall- and winterfabrics coming out, I just want them all!! 

Little update on my cat-friend for anyone who's interested.
Last week I went back to the veterinarian because I still had some questions about this artrose-condition in combination with the painkiller-medication. He said it would be best to do a blood-test to check the function of his kidneys and liver. My cat behaved just as bad as the last time but with the help of 2 assistants he managed to draw some blood without sedation. Which was great because now I could feed him right after we got home and he didn't have to deal with any side-effects. The blood-test showed that the kidneys are at a point where they are starting to deteriorate. Nothing abnormal for a cat his age, but a concern in combination with the painmedication he's having right now. So I have to give him half of the dose for 6 weeks and then go back for another blood-test. In the meantime I will have lots of time to spend with my little terror-cat ;-)

Well, I guess this is all I have to share right now. If there will be any sewing going on in the coming weeks, I'll let you know.

And I'll talk to you next time.

Monday, June 25, 2018

Sometimes life gives you lemons....

No I'm not talking about summer fabric with lovely yellow lemons on it...

My little cat-friend who has been with me for 13 years has been diagnosed with severe arthritis. (The exact words of the vet: "We don't see this very often"). I noticed that his movement was slower and jumping up and down didn't go as smoothly as it once did but it's an elder cat and I thought that was just normal and age-appropriate. Lately though he seemed to be in pain at times. So I took him to the vet last friday, which actually turned into a very stressful visit for him (the cat, not the vet...) but also for me. They had to give him anesthetics to examin him. Then they decided to take x-rays and there it was, the verdict of arthritis. I wasn't completely surprised, but still....
Now he has to be on continuous pain-medication for 30 days and then try to reduce that to every other day (at least, that's the plan for now) and I can give him special food that will help to improve his movement and reduce (or eliminate, yes please!) the pain. Sometimes the effect of that food is such that they don't need painmedication anymore. We'll see.
He is still not his old self. Anyway, I keep a close eye on him and pamper him whenever I can.
I know these problems can come with age, but I am still in the proces of accepting that.
Or to refer to the title of this post: I find it still hard to make lemonade of all this.....
I know some people will say "pull yourself together, it's just a cat not a human" but that's just not how it works for me. Sorry, but not sorry.

Well, you probably didn't come here to read my sad stories right? So I'll end on a positive note.
This is a shirt I made from the old, adjusted t-shirt  pattern. This time with 3/4 length sleeves. I love it! It's perfect for cooler summer weather or warmer fall weather. So I hope to get a lot of wear out of it.
I also finished the blue-white striped cardigan and am about to start on a blue summerblouse, but that will be for another post.

Because this kind of fine stripe is a complete nightmare to photograph, here's a close-up:

Well, I guess that's it for now guys, talk to you next time.

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Burda 2008/10-119

Thát was a quick make! The major part of the work went into adjusting this pattern for my size. This one goes up to a size 46 but for me it needs to be a bit bigger/longer at some places. The fact that the frontpiece has pleats makes it more of a struggle to get it right. But I think I succeeded in doing so. The fit is great. Because of the pattern placement I was limited in the amount of length I could add at the bottom. Otherwise I would have added about an inch.

I love patterns that are fairly simple to put together but are special at the same time because of some detail. This is a good example.
So yeah, pretty happy with that. I already wore it to a party friday night and today at work. Now the temperature has dropped it’s significantly cooler so it’s perfect to wear this long-sleeved top.

The colours of the fabric are hard to capture on my camera. And that's a real shame because they're beautiful. I love the different blue-toned colours combined with the brown/taupe/dusty pink. Because the front-pieces are placed diagonal on the fabric, the print on the garment is diagonal as well. 

A new project is already on the table and it is one that has been on my sewinglist for quite some time now. The idea is to make a cardigan with a nice blue-creme-striped jersey (I believe it's French terry). It's a remnant from the fabricmarket and has been in my stash for quite some time now. I still haven't cut into the fabric because the usual doubts (will it fit nicely?…) are holding me back. It would be a bummer if this project would fail. Better go and take measurements again.

Phantom Thread
Last week I went to the movies with a friend and saw Phantom Thread. I believe this movie originates from 2017 but I never heard of it before. My friend drew my attention to it and I’m glad she did. If you never saw this movie: dó if you have the chance!! It’s about a fashiondesigner in the 1950’s, Reynolds Woodcock, played by Daniel Day-Lewis. There’s a lot going on between him, his muse/girlfriend, his sister and his (late) mother. But there’s plenty of room also for sewing stuff and beautiful 50’s fashion. (Apparantly Daniel Day-Lewis learnt to make a dress in preparation of making this movie.) . The story is one you get sucked into. It’s dreamy, but never cheesy and you are constantly wondering what will happen in the next moment. So all in all, yeah, great movie! I really recommend it.

That's it for now, talk to you next time.

Friday, May 4, 2018

Playing with stripes

First of all a big thank you to those who left a comment on my previous post. It's great to hear from you!

In the meantime the tee is finished. Nothing complicated, just a simple project. But isn't it true that those pieces are the ones that get to be worn the most?
I thought it would be fun to play a bit with the stripes and added a band at the bottom of the sleeves with the stripes going in the opposite direction. For that I folded a rectangular in half and sewed it double at the bottom of the sleeves. The stripes of the necklinebinding are also placed at a right angle.

I'll try to sneak in a little post about how I make a necklinebinding. If you are struggling with the usual method (folding a strip of fabric and sewing it double to the neckline), this method may be the one you were looking for. It works for me every time and I find its much easier. 

Back to the tee. I'm happy with the fit. Basically I measured my hips, waist, bustline and upperarm circumference and changed the old pattern accordingly, including a fullbust-adjustment. There is still some bulkiness in front of the armpit. I have to look into that but for now I'm really happy with the outcome: a fitting t-shirt, but not too close-fitting. 

A new project is already in the making. It's a new version of an old Burda pattern.
I love, love, love this pattern. It suits my bodyshape very well.
However, I have some doubts about my fabric-choice. It's a thin jersey and I'm afraid it will be too thin to hold its shape. But I'm going ahead anyway and hope it's going to work out! I would be very sad if that fabric would go to waste.  I made this shirt more than once in the past and I still have the paper pattern, but it needed an upgrade in size as well. I got that out of the way so now it's time to cut into the fabric. Fingers crossed!!

The weather is really improving here in the Netherlands and the weather forecast for the coming days is great, so it would be a waste of good sunshine to spend hours and hours in the sewingroom. But if I recall correctly, sewing this shirt is not a lot of work. So I hope to show the result soon.

Thanks for reading and talk to you next time.

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Alright, let's try this again.

It’s hard to believe that it has been almost 2 years since I wrote my last blogpost. Time flies at an incredible pace. The reason why it’s been that long? When I think about this I come up with several reasons:
  • I finally landed that permanent job. But it’s fulltime, sooo... (I’m not complaning, I lóve my new job, its awesome and I’m dead proud of finding a job I had set my heart on and convincing my boss that I’m worth to be there for the long run). 
  • I wasn’t inspired to write about anything, felt like I had nothing interesting to tell and no-one would miss my writing. 
  • The thought that blogging is not popular anymore. Seeing lots of bloggers stop eventually. If the 'great ones' out there are losing readers, then why should I even bother.... 
  • And last but not least, I gained some weight which caused me to think that the things I was sewing didn’t look nice on me and I wasn't particularly keen on posting any pictures. (Yeah I know, shame on me…).

The fact that I’m writing now is not a guarantee that I’m back on track, but hey, we’ll see. At least for now there’s the intention to pick it up again. What triggered me is possibly the fact that lately my sewingmojo has returned with a vengeance. I’ve got lots of plans and browse the internet for fabric on a regular basis. And let's not forget the big fabric-markets we have here in the Netherlands!
Another thing that has fuelled my returning fun in sewing is following fellow-sewists on social media like facebook and instagram. But most of all youtube. There are so many great, lovely, funny, educating, eyecandy youtube channels out there!! My playlist is long and gets refilled every day. I hardly watch any ‘normal’ TV anymore. If I have to describe those channels with one word it’s ‘Inspirational’.

Right now I’m at the point of starting a simple t-shirt. As I mentioned I gained some weight and therefore my bodyshape has changed a bit. I’d like to create a good fitting t-shirt pattern that I can use as a basic. For that I’ll change a pattern I’ve used in the past. It’s not complicated but I just find it hard to get the fit right.
Adjusting patterns is something that has become a regular part of my sewing anyway. It is a bit timeconsuming but pays off. There’s still room for improvement in that area but that’s okay. We’re learning as we go and that’s a good thing.

Anywho, this week I’m off from work and there are a few plans on my list. It’s not a goal to finish them all, but I’m happy with whatever I get finished.
So first off it’s the basic t-shirt. Just simple, short-sleeved, with a rounded neck finished with a binding. I love the pink and grey fabric I’m gonna use for this. Me loves a good stripe you know. Maybe I can play a little with the stripes to give it some details. Hmm...I like that idea.

Talk to you next time. And hopefully soon ;-)