It’s sewing time!

My new clothes are great and they are fun and comfortable to wear. They make it easier to get dressed in the morning, which is a huge benefit now that school has started again. But now that I have a closet full of RTW the need to sew has disappeared. It’s a weird feeling. I’ve stopped buying clothes 2 years ago and since then I’ve always lacked something, so I had to keep sewing in order to keep having clothes. But I ended up with a incoherent mess and lots of icing.

Now that I don’t have to sew what I need, I can go back to sewing what I want and spend more time on each project to finish it as nicely and precisely as possible. It’s kind of liberating but also scary, because I’ve go no more excuses to resort to fast and easy makes :)

I’ve made a list of all the patterns in my stash I really want to conquer this fall/winter. Here it is:

Some are obviously easier than others and I know I can make these up easily, it’s just the lazy seamstress inside me that needs to get off her ass and actually sew them. The lazy seamstress in me is happy though that these are either PDF’s or StyleArc patterns, which means no tracing (I hate tracing!)

I plan to make these from stash, which admittedly does contain fabric I’ve only recently purchased. But once it’s in the stash, it’s part of the stash and the stash doesn’t come with an age. I’m not pairing all my ideas with fabric or colour swatches like most of the posts but that’s because I’ll probably change my mind at the last second anyway :)

I did make a colour palette based on swatches I had from my favorite online fabric store so I can share that with you and give you an idea of the overall concept. I bought some of these fabrics and substituted others with fabrics I already had.

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Next time you hear from me it better be because I’ve finished and photographed a new make. I suck at photographing my makes, by the time I get home, I’m too tired to set up the camera :) So if you like blurry process and mirror shots, just follow me on Instagram!

Do you ever lose your ‘sewjo’ because you don’t need any new clothes? 

 

RTW won’t kill me

Last week Summer turned into Autumn. That’s about two months sooner than last year. So naturally I wasn’t ready.

After complaining about my wardrobe all Summer I finally decided to clean out my closet. I put away every single piece of clothing that doesn’t fit me anymore so it would be easier to see what I was left to work with.

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The stats:

1 sweater
12 cardigans
1 faux lambskin vest
2 blazers
3 blouses
1 shirt
2 shirt tunics
6 dresses
1 pair of corduroy trousers
1 pair of corduroy leggings
1 pair of printed leggings
2 bodysuits with print
1 tanktop with print

If you look at my separates I have a problem to say the least :) Apart from cardigans, my separates are non-existent.

This is the part were the ability to sew and my stash were actually stopping me from fixing this. Being able to sew and having a vast stash made me feel guilty each time I thought about RTW shopping. But I didn’t have the time or the right stash to fix it.

After I saw what I was left with last night, I decided that enough was enough and that I just needed to go shopping.

I knew what I wanted since I’ve been preparing on a Pinterest Board for a month. I looked around online to see which stores carried the style I was looking for and this morning I went shopping… Alone… No baby.

My tips for shopping RTW when you don’t like shopping but you really have to:

- research in advance which type of clothes and silhouettes you want
– make sure you are not rushed and not distracted
– start at the front and look, calmly, at the entire selection
– pick what you like but be honest about your size
– try everything on and try to mirror yourself from a few feet away

Whenever I went shopping these past few months I did the exact opposite of all these things and left the store each time feeling miserable.
This time I left feeling happy with what I got and I can’t wait to start making new outfits.

This is what I got:

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I went for very drapy shirts which cover my bottom and are loose but not shapeless. I also went for (very) stretchy pants and high waisted skinny jeans. I opted for solids and neutral prints. I got it all for less than 200€, so I don’t feel too guilty.

I’m glad I went shopping because now I can go back to sewing stuff I like instead of stuff I need!

Edit: Once again I wasn’t completely honest with myself about my size. I bought 3 pairs of really stretchy skinny twill pants. I wanted a print, a back pair and a coloured pair. I went a for blue and white print, army green (dark olive) and black. Because they ran out of the black ones in size 42, I sized up to a size 44. Believe me, it hurt to pick the largest size available, but if they were too big, I could always take them in. The 42 fit me but as always they seemed to be creeping down during the day. Hoisting up my pants every 5 seconds was not what I had in mind. I thought it was due to my high hipbones… Until I put on the black size 44 today… They were perfect! Once again, I had let myself to believe that my body was the problem and I’d have to live with it. They fit fine elsewhere, so why weren’t they staying up… Because they were a size too small!! So I’m returning the printed and green pair and swapping it for a bigger size. F*ck the bigger size, I wanna be comfy!

My #Augusttribute

The sewcialist theme for this month is August Tribute (am I the only one who thinks of the Hunger Games when hearing the word Tribute?)

So let me tell you about my inspiration!

Although you wouldn’t say so based on the stuff I sew, there is one sewcialist I have the sewing hots for (is that even a thing?)

Can you guess who? I’ll give you 4 clues…
1. She sews a lot of pretty dresses!
2. She obviously likes slouchy boots.
3. She owns SO.MANY cardigans.
4. We speak the same language!

Do you know who it is?

That’s right! It’s Inge from Ingemaakt!

Serious girl-crush! A few years ago all I wore were dresses/skirts and slouchy boots and cardigans! I have recently rediscovered some of my old dresses and even if they’re a bit short/tight now, I made me feel like me again. I have no idea why I stopped wearing dresses with cardigans and boots but I think for the most part because fitting woven dresses SCARES THE LIVING SHIT OUT OF ME… Or that is up until now. Recently I’ve started noticing my fit issues (it only took me two years) and I’m confident that with some patience I could totally get those dresses to fit me. Patience being the operate word here. Sewing used to be about getting something new, fast… I didn’t really bother with finishes and because I mostly sew knits, fitting was reduced to a bare minimum.

To put my words into action I’ve bought two new patterns. The Camí dress by Pauline Alice and the Edith Blouse/Dress by Maria Denmark. And yes, both were inspired by Inge!

Apart from wanting to steal ever outfit she has ever modeled, I think she’s genuinely one of the nicest people I’ve met online and I’m looking forward to meeting her in real life one day!

If you don’t know who Inge is, hop over to her blog or start by admiring some of her outfits right here (yes, I copied the pics from her blog, but I don’t think she’ll mind)

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Camí love!

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Edith love!

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I told her she could send the entire outfit my way… Too bad she really liked it!

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I wanted the same fabric for my Ginger… Too bad she got it in Japan.

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love.the.entire.outfit #sigh

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Her cardigans match her skirts all.the.time… #jealouslikehell

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Also: CLOGS! They are my new shoe crush! #iwantobuyalltheclogs

Do we tend to overthink our wardrobe?

A few months ago I told you about my wardrobe malfunction/identity crisis. While I’ve managed to feel better about myself and my role as a mother (because, seriously, she’s the cutest baby ever) I haven’t lost any weight and my wardrobe is still a mess.

I think the lack of weightloss is due to lack of motivation. Let me explain, I do really want to loose the extra weight but I also really really really really (yes, really) want another baby. Like now! And it seems pointless to loose all the weight now and then just gain it back with my next pregnancy. Because I would have to start over again. And that’s just silly in my book.

These past few weeks I’ve managed to find/make some items that make me feel put together. I feel/look better with better fitting clothes. I’m also making an effort to get properly dressed everyday.

But starting September 1st school starts again and I’ve got no autumn wardrobe. I did the whole Wardrobe Architect thing but to no avail.
I’ve been thinking about what I want and I guess I kind of figured it out but it all gives me a giant headache. It just seems that being able to sew overcomplicates things because I want to sew every single thing myself and I just don’t know where to start so I don’t get started at all.

It all gives me a terrible headache and not a lot of will to sew.

Does the fact that we can sew our own wardrobe make us overthink the entire thing?

BFF Nettie twins!

After I made my two Nettie bodysuits I figured it was time for a Nettie dress. I had just bought this spongy ITY knit on sale (and bought 4 metres) and figured this was the perfect fabric for my new summer dress.

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I made sure to carefully cut the pieces so the stripes matched. I even cut the sleeves to match… But I cut the red on top instead of the blue so I didn’t attach them :)

I didn’t make any alterations after my previous Nettie, I just graded out to a bigger size in the hips. I used a navy blue ribbing in my stash for the neck and shoulder bands. I initially wanted this to be a maxi dress but it looked like I was eaten alive by the stripes :) So I cut it off midcalf and finished it with a narrow lettuce hem on my serger.
WORKED LIKE A CHARM! Seriously, this dress makes me feel put together! Slip on some heels (and some shapewear – stupid postpartum belly) and I’m good to go!

I made this dress the day before a small scale blogger meet-up and decided to wear it! Before the meet up I met up with my best friend and went window shopping. She noticed that my dress was much like some RTW dresses she liked. But she tried those on and she just didn’t look good.(Totally the dresses’ fault, not hers) They were too tight, too short, too flimsy. So I promised her that next time she came over, I would teach her how to sew one herself!

I broke out all my suitable stash knits for her, but she hesitantly asked if I had any of my striped fabric left :D I did, so she made herself a Nettie dress out of the same fabric!

That ofcourse needed pictures!

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Side note: Best compliment about this dress was Hanne telling me she thought it was RTW until she saw the perfect stripe matching :D

I never knew I needed you but now I can’t live without you! Or yes, I made a Nettie!

It took my best friend and a lot of convincing to get me to pose for these pictures but in the end I’d do anything for the sewing community :)

I’d been eyeing the Nettie pattern ever since Heather Lou released it, but due to limited funding I held out. Until I swear, it just fell into my inbox! Oh.my.god you guys, sewcialists are so amazing. And especially Hanne who bought this pattern for me as a belated baby gift :) She figured this pattern was just what a new mommy needed and boy, was she right!

I immediately got to it (3 Netties in 3 days) and this seriously sewed up superfast. Apart from the snap placket it was all serger all the way!

Nettie 1:
For my first version I used a floral double knit I had in my stash. I didn’t make any alterations and this is the result:

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As you can see I still needed a few modifications:
– The overall thing was a bit too long.
– I needed a swayback adjustment
– I needed a narrow shoulder adjustment

But it was definitely wearable! And it goes so well with all those bright coloured skirts I have in my closet but that just looked to dull with a white top.

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Nettie 2:

On my second version I made some alterations:
– I shortened the bodice by 3cm
– I did a 3cm swayback adjustment
– I pinched out the excess on the shoulder which resulted in 1,5cm at the top to nothing at the underarm.

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I do think this version fits a lot better :)

I have made a Nettie dress as well, but you’ll have to wait for tomorrow’s post to see that one.

All in all, Nettie is a pattern you didn’t know you needed until you have it and then you can’t imagine your life without!

PS Hubby’s comment was hilarious: “Oh, you made a onesie like the baby! But you’ll just wear this around the house right?”

“Bigger on the inside” travel set

I wish I had made a Tardis (preferably with The Doctor included – preferably David Tennant) but I made a travel set instead!

We had an upcoming holiday to France. Only problem: Baby is not a light packer… Or rather mommy is not a light packer for the baby. So with a car filled with baby necessities we needed luggage that we could push and shove into the last remaining airpocket :)

Enter: the Portside Travel Set by Grainline Studio.

I’m seriously IN LOVE with this pattern. I’ve never been the one to sew anything but clothes but this was the exception. I decided to make a set for me, my husband and the baby (talking about being ambitious)

I could praise this pattern all night long. It’s perfectly drafted, everything matches up perfectly and the explanation is very clear!

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I used a brown cotton canvas for the bottoms, a white/navy blue linen look canvas for the upper part and off white canvas for the lining. I opted for navy blue webbing for the straps and a navy blue metal zip (I heart metal zips). This might not seem like the most ‘fun’ bag (I’m totally jealous of the one I made the baby) but I felt great carrying it around and my husband loved it as well. And doesn’t this fabric look like it could be a 10th Doctor suit?

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I decided to omit the shoulder strap since I knew I would never use it.
Apart from that I followed the pattern to a T.
Once you get past interfacing the gazillion pieces (seriously, so many pieces! – Note: I did have to interface 3 sets!) this is actually quite a quick sew. The only trouble I had was when I had to insert the zips ’cause I suck at putting them in by machine, so I decided to hand pick them.

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In retrospect the only mistake I made is that I didn’t attach the straps like Jen suggested and it ripped in transport, they did look nice though and I love the pockets! (Note: Very easy fix)

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I sadly wasn’t able to finish the entire set because I started this only the day before we were supposed to leave. (It’s a quick sew, but not that quick) But I did manage to finish the three duffel (duffle?) bags and those were the most important ones anyway!

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But why did I call them “Bigger on the inside”? Because these are HUGE on the inside! I was able to fit an entire week worth of stuff inside one of them (apart from my shoes obviously, but then again, if I had only taken two pair instead of three, they would have fitted inside as well). To give you an idea. My bag contained: 2 small towels, 1 large, 5 dresses, 2 jumpsuits, underwear and socks, a jacket, my toiletries, accessories, a bikini, two scarves, 2 books and all my chargers).

One last thing: Baby LOVES her bag!

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The ‘mixed feelings’ dress that is the Colette Myrtle

(This is a word heavy post, if you want a review, read on. If you just came for pictures scroll to the bottom)

When Sarai released the newest Colette knit pattern, I was jumping with joy. Seriously, I felt like a bouncy castle. I don’t think I ever purchased a pattern this fast and seconds later my printer got to life. I’m not the one to start on a pattern right away, like ‘forget all the rest, nothing is more important’ right away. But with this one I did.

The Myrtle was everything I was looking for and more. I had immediate vision of a wardrobe filled with Myrtles, Myrtle variations and Myrtle hacks. But what goes up must come down…

It started with assembling the 64 pages… I would have liked it if I didn’t had to print the extra bodice pieces for the 2X and 3X sizes. (Edit: Apparently, they are releasing a new version so you don’t have to assemble as many pages) It’s an easy pattern to assemble and everything matched up perfectly, no complaints there!

But then I had to pick my size… According to my measurements I had to make a size L (which made me cringe a little) and it specifically said on the pattern that the waist was supposed to have negative ease, so you had to pick your size based on your body measurements, not the finished measurements. I’ve gotten into a habit of measuring pattern pieces for knit patterns because not everyone likes the same amount of ease. I like my knit garments somewhat fitted, especially around my bewbs (you have to highlight your good features amirite). I wanted my dress to look like the black model (seriously, I want her curves!)

(Note: I’ve edited this part as I mentioned before that it had 10″ of ease, I must have mixed up the measurements I took because it turns out it’s only 4″ after remeasuring. But in my defense, that’s still way too much imho) I’ve come across knit patterns with zero ease, I even came across some Big 4 patterns which have a lot of ease because they use the same block for wovens, but the amount of ease in this pattern is huge! My bust measures 100 cm (39″) and the flat pattern pieces (SA included) measure 115 cm (45″)! For a knit…

I wasn’t even going to muslin that size. Based on my measurements I could have gone with an XS instead, but I went the safe route and made a size S. I did my usual 3cm swayback adjustment.

The instructions are very clear, but I would have sewn it differently (which I did). I self lined the entire bodice. The pattern has you cut one back piece and fold over the neckline and armholes and twin needle them down. Twin needles are tricky enough in the best situations, so I wasn’t even going to try it. I don’t like the look of it either. Instead I cut 2 back pieces so I could self line it and have a nicer finish. Worked like a charm. It took me about have an hour to assemble this dress, so instant gratification it was. And when assembling the whole thing I first sewed the front armholes and then the side seams, this made it a lot easier to avoid catching your back in the seam.

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When I put on the finished dress and posted about it on Instagram, I had mixed feelings about it. It looks nice enough. I like the drape of the collar and the whole things feels very comfortable to wear. As you can see, it’s still not very fitted in the waist so I could have gone down a size easily. But the shoulders and armholes look off. They’re too wide for my taste. So that was something I’d have to change.

I also own the Maria Denmark Day-to-Night Drape Top and I did like the shoulders on that one, so I put one on top of the other and changed the shape of the armhole.

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I also stabilised my back neckline with some fusible seamtape to reduce gaping. The result was much more my taste.

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While still pretty loose, I’ve already worn my three Myrtles (there is a maxi dress but I don’t have pictures yet) multiple times. I really really like them. I don’t like a lot of things about the original pattern, but I think it comes down to the simple fact: How much ease do you want? Which model do you prefer? If you prefer the model with the looser fit, I’d say make the suggested size. If you prefer the tighter fit, go down 2 sizes :)

Dieting 101: Need your help :)

Hi guys,

Thanks so much for your feedback about cutting into my fabric. I’ve decided to ‘get over myself’ and use my pretty fabrics now, because there will always be more fabric and who am I kidding, I won’t be able to resist them anyway.

But that’s not why I need your help. Between juggling work, household, a baby and a house under construction, I’m feeling a bit overwhelmed.

Last week I decided to go on a diet. The weight has been creeping up on me slowly for the last years. And now I want to lose it. I already bought a second hand crosstrainer to be able to exercise at home (cause I haven’t got time to hit the gym). I don’t want to lose the weight fast, but I want to keep it off.

And that’s where you come in. I need your tips, tricks, recipes. Because that’s where I feel overwhelmed. I like food, I like filling, tasty dishes and there seem to be a lot of nice recipes out there but you now the thing with the trees and the forest.

I just don’t know where to start. I want healthy food, I want easy, tasty food and above all, I want food that my husband will eat as well, because I’m not cooking two dinners!

So if you know anything at all… Please share!

The Fear of Cutting into Fabric

Ever since I got pregnant my weight has been fluctuating quite a bit. I lost nearly all of my pregnancy weight about a week after I gave birth. Since then I’ve tried losing some more because I didn’t feel comfortable the size I was. But with all the “new mom, back to work, renovating the house” kind of stress, instead of my weight going down, it went up. I’m an emotional eater and I’ll always be.

Now that our kitchen is finally finished, I have a proper space to cook again, so I’ve got no more excuses to not go on a diet.

Or at least, I still have one and in my head it’s a valid reason because it’s also the reason why I’ve lost my sewjo.

I’ve got all these pretty fabrics in my stash which I’m afraid to cut into because what if I loose a lot of weight and the clothes I make don’t fit me anymore. Then I will have cut into my precious fabric for nothing. So the obvious choices are 1. don’t go on a diet or 2. don’t sew until I’ve lost the weight.

But I don’t feel good in the clothes I currently have and all my untouched patterns are seriously starting to mock me so I want to sew, I want to make pretty clothes I feel good in, nevermind what size I am (or getting). Also sewing releases stress which would reduce the emotional eating :) (only selfish sewing does this btw)

So am I the only one whose afraid to cut into fabric because I might rapidly not be able to wear them anymore or am I just being plain silly and do I need to get over myself … Seriously, genuine question!