Sunday, September 26, 2010

One year of blogging!

Exactly one year ago I started this blog. Not knowing what I was exactly getting myself into or where it would lead, but feeling excited at the same time.

And now I've made it: my 1-year anniversary!
I want to share my festive feeling with you, because without you I would have left this blogworld a long time ago.
So I want to say from the bottom of my heart: Thank you for stopping by, being interested and reading my blog. A special thank you for those who have been so kind to leave comments on my posts. This means more to me than I can tell you. All of them make me feel special and all of you are the reason why I'm blogging. And loving it!

Now I completed my first year I believe it's time for some looking back ánd forward.

How did it start?
I bought my first computer in the fall of 2006. I don't remember how I found my first sewing-blog but it was a real eye-opener for me. I've sewn my own clothes for a great part of my life, but I only met very few people who did this as well. Can you actually believe that?? Well, I'm sad to say it's the honest truth. 
So finding all these blogs with enthusiastic, sewing women all over the world was very special and like stepping into sewing heaven. I read all the blogs vigorously, was (and ám) immensely inspirated by them, and slowly started to dream about my own blog. But there were some issues I had to take care of first.

  • Did I want to go 'public' with my life? With this thought in the back of my mind I studied blogs and came to the conclusion that you could go as much or less public as you like. Ok, so that was no longer a reason to hold me back.
  • What if noone was interested in my sewing-stories? I put that thought aside quickly because you can only find out by trying.
  • Than the biggest issue. I did not have a digital camera. I bought a new (non-digital) camera a few years before that (didn't have a computer at that time, so why buy a digital-camera, I thought). But I knew I hád to have one if I wanted to start blogging myself. So I bought one and I never looked back.
Looking forward
I'll definitely go on blogging as I find it still as exciting and fun as when I started.
But with one year of experience in the pocket, are there things I want to change?

I want to:
  • make my posts more interesting for you to read.
  • sew more so I can post more frequently as I'm totally unhappy with the amount of posts I'm writing now.
  • upgrade the quality (both technically and esthetically) of my pictures.
  • write (a bit) more about other things but only in small doses and if possible sewing- or fashion-related, as I want this blog to be about sewing/fashion in the first place. (Maybe some cooking? I've got some lovely recipes which I've been dying to share with you).

Whoa, I've set myself some goals there! I don't know when (and if) I will reach them but I can always try, right? I'll do my best and in the meantime I hope you will 'stay with me' for yet another year.

Happy sewing everyone!


p.s. Starting a new sewing project today. It should be a quick one. So hopefully news on that very soon.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

New fabric

Yesterday I took a shopping-trip to Antwerp. This summer I discovered a great fabricstore there with lots of gorgeous jerseys (and other fabulous stuff). I just had to go back there.
(If anyone is interested in the address: Joëlle, Dambruggestraat 5a, 2060 Antwerp (Belgium).

I bought two lovely pieces:

This is gonna be a dress. It's the same kind of fabric as this dress is made of and it's wonderful to handle and wear. So I'm looking forward to (making) this dress very much!

This blue one is my favourite. Ít's gonna be a top I also made earlier. Since this top has a lot of drapieness at the neck it has to be a rather thin jersey. I think this is just perfect for it.

And do you know what the print reminds me of?
Paintings of Vincent van Gogh. They remind me of the brushstrokes he used in his paintings. I'm gonna call this 'the Vincent-fabric'.

I'm very glad with these purchases. They're a lot more expensive than the fabrics I usually buy, but as Sigrid pointed out in a reaction on an earlier post, it's definitely worth to spend more money to get better quality. I do have some great garments that looked worn after washing them a few times. That's almost like throwing your money away. So I hope these pieces will stay nice a bit longer.

Other purchases:

This vest came home with me. It's still too warm to wear anything like this, but I'm sure that autumn and winter will be here sooner than we think. (Not looking forward to it though..):

And I discovered a great (new) jewellery-store. I was already on my way back to the trainstation, so I didn't have much time to look around, but I managed to buy these:

Always nice to discover new stores. Especially when you have to say goodbye to others. I'm talking about Zara here. C'mon you guys! When you sell an XL-wintercoat then let it be an XL-wintercoat. When my arm gets stuck in the sleeve I have very serious doubts about that size. Don't pretend to sell clothes for larger people when you don't.
I never, éver managed to find anything in your store that fit, so now I'm officially done with you. Finished.

Then onto the sewing.
Maybe you noticed that on this sewing-blog there's not a lot of sewing going on lately. I've been back to work for 3 weeks now and I only managed to sew 1 item. It's not that I don't have the time. I'm usually home at around 6 and after eating and doing a bit of household-jobs, I'm free to fill in my evenings as I please. So I'm not gonna point at anyone or anything else. It's just that I don't seem to have enough energy to pick anything up. And now I can add an upcoming cold to that, which takes my last bit of energy.

But once I'm back on my feet I'm gonna start on the skirts I've got planned. In my next post I'll lay out my plans for you, right now I'm just not up to it (sniff...cough-cough!!).

Hope you are all doing well.


Saturday, September 11, 2010

KnipMode 2010-09 / 9b Top finished!

Done!! And happy!

After the little hickup I had in the beginning of this project, everything went smoothly. It didn't take very long to finish. Basically it's a very simple pattern. The sleeves of course are the most interesting part of this top.

These are both top-sleeves with only the elastic attached. If I followed the instructions I should have used a piece of elastic that was (quite a bit) longer than the sleeve itself.  Duhh ??? 
So I had to do the maths myself. But I did rather well I think.

Here you see the sleeve with the pleats basted in place (click twice on picture to get a closer view) and the bottom attached to the top. It's a bit ruffled at the seem but not very much.
When I wear this, the sleeves are not as fluffy as they are on the model in the magazine. Hmmm....probably her upper-arms aren't as fluffy as mine...

I'm proud of the way the elastic is sewed in. You can't even see the stitches at the right side because I managed to 'stitch in the ditch' perfectly...(you gotta love that expression!)

There were a few issues that I would like to point out in case anyone wants to try this pattern:

1. The sleeves are very, very long. Had to take off about 8 cm. Of course this differs from person to person and I don't have very long arms. But usually I get away with the length that's used in the magazine.

2. The waist was very wide. I chose my normal size (44) and usually I have to widen the pattern a bit to make it fit. But now I had to remove 10 cm in width and it's still not very close-fitting.

3. The top is quite short to my taste. I always lengthen a top by 4 to 5 cm, because of my bodylength. I did that this time, but it's still about 4 cm shorter than I usually make it.

4. This top hasn't got darts at the bust. If you're great at altering patterns I would recommend them. You can see in the pictures that there is some excess of fabric at that place.

Now, what's next on the list? I want to sew a skirt but I also want to lose some weight first. In the october magazine of KnipMode there was a beatiful wrap-dress. That could be a great project to start on, but I don't have the fabric for it yet. I think I'm gonna dive into my (petite) stash and see what I come up with. I'll keep you informed, of course.

Parting shot, Lowieke:

I  knowzz....I  izz super-cute and dazzhingly handsome.
After I wake up, you may cuddle me.

Enjoy your weekend!


Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Finally some sewing....and nothing to show for it

Man...I am só annoyed. I had my homework duties carefully planned this week so I could squeeze in some sewing this evening. After sewing for an hour I realised I had made a mistake.

The top I started last weekend (and wrote about in my previous post) has rather interesting sleeves so I decided to start with those. Try them out, so to speak. If they don't work then there's no need to put time in the rest of the project.

The sleeves have different front- and backpieces. Like 99% of the patterns have.

I cut out both pieces in pairs.....and forgot to switch them so I had a front- and backpiece for every sleeve.
No no, this experienced sewing-lady sewed happily and smiling two front-pieces together. Applied the elastic and pleated the sites of the sleeve. It was then that I realised my mistake: the marks for front and back were the same (where they should be different!!)

I had to take out all the stitches and now I'm back at where I started this evening. And there will be no more sewing before the weekend.


The good news is that I was pretty happy with the sleeve so far. Happy enough to not give up and try again.

But not today. The rest of the evening I will be reading blogs and I'll get an early night as I'm very tired. (It was a very hectic day. At a certain point I was holding 2 phones to my ears. Ahh...the blessings of a secretary-job..).

Hope your (sewing) time is filled with good things this week!


Saturday, September 4, 2010

Fashion is all around me

It's a fashion-filled fun day, today.

1. I received the fabric I ordered.
2. I received KnipMode. (ok, that was yesterday, but who cares...)
3. I discovered a fantastic jersey online-shopping website
4. I finally sewed an underskirt.
5. I traced the pattern for my next project
6. Tonight on TV: "The September Issue"
7. Tonight on TV: "Gosford Park"

1. To start with the fabric:

These are the fabrics for my next projects.
The grey and the darkgreen are gabardines with a bit of stretch, destined to be turned into skirts. The beige/creme stripe is a jersey-knit for a top. I had already washed (preshrinked) them when I remembered I wanted to blog about them, so you are looking at dripping-wet fabric here. 

2. KnipMode October 2010 landed in my mailbox yesterday. To me, it's not as great as the september-issue, but it has some nice pieces. I like the vibrant colours that are in fashion now. It's actually a very, very interesting fall-fashion I'm seeing around me. I love to plan ahead (=dream) and think of everything I'm gonna make and perhaps buy. But I don't think I'll end up with a wardrobe full of bright colours. That's just not me. There's no harm in dreaming though.

3. This time, KnipMode had an extra issue of 16 fall-patterns. All made with fabric from a certain brand. I looked for this brand on the internet and stumbled upon a great website: . (Look for stoffen to search for fabric).
Boy, oh boy, oh boy. If this ain't fabric-heaven! If ever I will be looking for a great jersey (and don't mind the fact that it's a bit more expensive), I'll know where to find it. Sigh....

4. Back in june I sewed a linen skirt which was rather see-through. I decided to make a little underskirt that could be used for other skirts or dresses as well. Today I finally tackled it. It's really not interesting enough to show you a picture or a how-to-make-it. Just very simple: fabric and elastic.
I tried it on with the linen skirt and discovered to my horror that the skirt, which had a perfect fit in june, has now become too narrow. (not due to the underskirt). Grrrrr......I REALLY need to go on a diet now!!!

5. Next project for which I traced and cut the pattern today: KnipMode sept 2010 / 9b:

You see a lot of these draped shoulders and I like them very much. Not sure though how they will turn out in the end. I'm actually preparing myself for a wadder to be honest, but I'll give it my very best and then we'll see.
I just háve to try them, that's all.
The fabric will be the striped jersey you see in the picture above.

6. Yoohooo!! "The September Issue" is on tonight. I'm gonna watch it and record it at the same time. I expect I want to see this one again, and again.

7. And why do I mention "Gosford Park" as part of this fashion-infused day? Well, I haven't seen the movie before but the pictures promise gorgeous fashion. It's situated in the '30's and it's about uber-chic people.
Not to mention it's a star-studded film, full of beautiful people and great actors. Eye candy, baby!
Oh, and if I'm informed correctly there's also a story involved..(whahahaa....).

Well, that's enough fashion for one day. If everything goes to plan I'll start on my top tomorrow.
Next time I'll give you an update and maybe even a finished top.