Friday, April 30, 2010

A skirt fit for a queen

I got your attention there, didn't I ??
But no, the skirt I have finished and am about to show you later in this post, is not worth a definition like that. It's great to mé but not something fit for, let's say, a queen.

Then why this title?
queen Beatrix

I'ts Queens-Day in our country (and in the Netherlands Antilles and Aruba). Today we celebrate our royal family, and they are celebrating with us by visiting a few towns which have organised special festivities. These trips are broadcasted on national television. Actually everywhere in the country there are outdoor queens-day activities. Thé place to be is probably Amsterdam. And not unimportant: everyone has a day off!

I do watch the television but only to see what all our princesses, and especally our crown-princess Máxima, are wearing, haha.  Yeah, pretty shallow, I know.

Máxima is always very fashionable and has surprised us more than once with her outfits. I mean, you gotta love this:

or this:

or maybe this:

Sigh.........I wish I was a princess.....
No, not really of course.

I wonder if and how her outfits will change once queen Beatrix abdicates and Máxima's husband, prince Willem-Alexander, becomes king. Maybe in a few years time we'll know.

So. That's the link to the (rather silly) title of this post.
But we came here to see the skirt, right?

As I am a bit lazy today I didn't feel like dressing up for a picture so I asked 'The Blue Lady' if she would be so kind to pose for a picture. And she did.

I love this skirt. The fit is great and it has a real spring-feel to it. And that's about all I can tell about it. A great piece to add to my wardrobe and a nice addition to my mini-swap. I'm halfway now, two more garments to sew!

I'm enjoying the first day of a 6-day minibreak and I plan on sewing my next swap-piece, which is the white blouse, and after that the trousers and then I'm done.

Hope you are all (about to) have a great weekend with lots of sewing fun!


Sunday, April 25, 2010

SWAP-piece # 2 in progress: Burda Skirt

First of all I'd like to thank everyone who left a kind birthday-wish at my last post!  You are so sweet!!

Now, onto the skirt I'm currently making (Burda 04/2006-103). It's coming along just fine. I hope to finish it tomorrow. It only needs to be hemmed, so....  Today it's too nice outside to stay indoors so after finishing this post I'm gonna take up the book I'm reading at the moment and spend some relaxing time outside!

At this stage I only have some construction-pictures. Just to give you an idea of the ins and outs of this skirt. It's very basic and the pleat is the only real feature in it but it's the first time I'm sewing this kind of pleat so it's new and interesting to me. (By the way, the fit is great, I'll show you when it's finished of course !).

First, one more (and last) time, the linedrawing:

And now some pictures:
This is not the kind of fabric you should use (or wear for that matter) when you're having a headache. At first the lines were dancing before my eyes but now it seams I'm used to it.

The inside at the front. As you can see, the pleat is formed by placing a rectangular piece of fabric against the folds of the midcenter seam, attaching them at the sides and at the top with V-shaped stitching. These stitches go through the rect. piece and the folds, but don't show at the right side.
The hem of the rectangular piece is already folded and handbasted in this picture.
I didn't follow the instruction to use lining. This kind of fabric doesn't need any. So I just made a facing at the top and finished it that way. Perfect solution.

Darts and zipper in the back. Not an invisible one, but placed almost invisible. I haven't mastered the skill of sewing an invisible zipper yet. Oh, who am I kidding? I never even tried to sew an invisible zipper. (I'm terrified just thinking about it!!)

Here you see the bottom of the pleat. The vertical seams at this part are not sewed all the way down. First the skirt has to be hemmed at all places, and then you can finish the seams at the side of the pleat.
I still have to figure out how to do this so it looks neatly finished. There is something in the instructions about folding corners but I don't quite get that. Let's see if I can find some inspiration/solution on the internet.

Well, that's it for now guys.
It all takes a bit way much longer than I would like it to, and I'm actually jealous to see how much you are all accomplishing sewing-wise, but I'm just doing it at the pace that's appropriate for my life at this moment.
And maybe if I eliminate the 'have to sew'-factor, then the 'want to sew'-factor will return again. And that would be more than nice!

Sewing should be fun and not a 'tour of duty'. Don't you think so?

So bear with me, I'm not blogging nearly as much as I want to, but I hope you have patience with me.

Thanks for that.


Monday, April 19, 2010

Happy Birthday to meeeeee !

Yes dear ladies and sirs, today is my birthday! My 44th to be precisely.
I already had family and friends over yesterday to celebrate, but I still feel like a birthday-girl today. The text-messages, emails and phonecalls are still coming in.  I feel bright and cheerful and I like to share that feeling.
So here goes:

Everyone out there, being today's birthday-girl or boy, I hope you have a wonderful time with friends and family. Forgetting our diets for one day and enjoying all the good things life is giving us.



Sunday, April 11, 2010

SWAP-piece #1 finished

Today I finished the first piece of my mini-swap.

Although I tried it on during the sewing-proces when the fit was just fine, today when I checked the fit it felt like a bag around my body. I didn't understand. This is a TNT for me and the 2 previous tops I made fit alright. I blamed the fabric for it's a bit sturdier than the viscose-jersey the 2 other tops are made of. But then I saw what had happened...or rather, what hadn't happened. I totally forgot to sew darts in the backpiece. Oh dear! I was glad I found out what the problem was and after adding the darts the fit is great.

When I finish all four pieces I'll show you the outfits in a more polished way.

Next up?
Skirt - Burda 04/2006-103
In this fabric:

And now, for some (much needed!!!) relaxation:

Parting shot:

I emptied this basket yesterday and His Royal Laziness didn't take a minute to jump in it and try it out.
I know cats have flexible bones but if you could see how he's rolled up like a little sausage I don't understand how he can be comfortable. Most of the time at least 2 legs are sticking out because there's not enough room in the basket. But he is enjoying it, I guess. He's lying in it at this very moment and it doesn't look like he's planning on leaving soon.

Bye for now, hope to talk to you again soon.


Saturday, April 3, 2010

SWAP-piece #1 in progress: Burda Knit Top

The four pieces of my mini-SWAP are finally getting their place in the sun. Starting with the knit top. Next I'll show you some pictures of the sewing progress. It's nearly finished. I only have to put in the sleeves so I guess another half hour and it'll be a wrap. But since there'll be no more sewing today and I just hád to blog (where did the weekdays go? why didn't I have time to blog then?) I couldn't wait for the sleeves. Anyway, it's fun to see not only the finished garment but also the steps of getting there. At least that's what I think.

This is the stage where I put the pleats in place and basted them. And the facing is attached, going all the way around. From the waist down there are 3 layers of fabric. (Do you recognise the Burda? 10/2008. It is one of the better ones in my collection and it contains the pattern for this top).

This fabric is quite thick. I wanted to avoid bulkiness at the frontseam, as there are two layers of fabric in the front. So I left the sideseams open at the end, I cut off 4 cm. (see the white markings) of the inner frontlayer and then finished the sideseams.
After that I hemmed the top by folding the frontlayer 3 cm. over the innerlayer, which layer now lays flat in the hem. The result is just what I was going for. Can you believe I figured this out all by myself? Wow, I'm learning as I go.

This is as far as I've gotten until now. It fits great, so in anticipation of the finished garment, I'm already very, very happy with this top.

The patternpiece of the front is cut out off grain. Probably to make the effect of the pleats more 'flowy'. In this picture you can see just how off grain it is.

If only the pictures would show you the right colour. It's so hard to get it right. So I kept taking photographs until I nailed it. And of course the most rubbish picture does it best. So just for the sake of the right colour and don't mind the mess: the scratches of fabric in the following picture are exactly right, colourwise. Quite different from the lightblue of the previous photo right?

That's it for now.

I wish you all a happy Easter and I'll be back with more of my SWAP soon.