Opal Waterfall Coatigan

Sometimes inspiration strikes on the very last day.

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Last week it was still really cold and I still didn’t have a winter coat. I didn’t find one in stores that I liked and I didn’t have the courage to sew one all winter. Fast forward to last week when I realised that my favourite fabric store was still having sales and that a nice warm draped coat wouldn’t take me all that long to make.

Enter my all time favourite pattern: Opal Coat & Cardigan (#obviously)

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I took the regular pattern in a size D and drafted the new front using this tutorial. It created a lovely drape which is just perfect to snuggle up in.

I used a narrow knit facing on the back neck and left all of the other edges unfinished since this doesn’t fray. I turned the topedge of the pockets to the outside (learning from past mistakes) and just topstitched them with the raw edges visible.

I didn’t include any closures because the strap of my handbag keeps it closed #notpictured

The fabric is a warm and soft fleece lined with faux sheep. I wasn’t sold on the colour at first but since it was on sale and it was the only one left I bought it anyway. When it was finished I realised that while being bland in itself, it was the perfect coat to pair with all my clothes and all my scarves because it was this bland 🙂 #doublewin

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Fun fact about my hat and scarf: I bought the scarf years ago but always regretted not having a matching hat. So when my mom knitted this hat as a ‘muslin’ in a perfectly matching shade and weight I claimed it before she got a chance to wear it (or worse, re-purpose the yarn :D)

 

This is what happens when your 3 yr old tells you how to pose. Getting back at me for doing the same thing to her 😀 #sassykid #ebonyinthewild

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Final verdict:

LOVE. period – now where’s the cold?

Summary

Size:

  • size D

Alterations:

  • Added 40cm to the front panels to create the drape

Fabric:

  • 2m beige fleece + faux sheep (total cost €10)

 

Stay tuned for more!

xoxo

 

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Pattern Review Sudoku Contest – inspiration

Pattern Review Sudoku Contest - inspiration

 

I came across the new PR contest and it inspired me to generate my own Sudoku to try and sew another capsule wardrobe. I really like the Sudoku idea because it makes it easier to make matching outfits. I usually sew dresses but I miss some separates and this might be a chance to change that. I´m not entering the contest itself because I can´t deal with deadlines right now and I want to use as much of the clothes I already own instead of sewing everything from scratch.

I´ll keep you posted!


Ebony = Love

Some patterns are just too good to resist. Especially when your friends make such awesome versions on release day 🙂

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Colours are slightly washed out even after correcting.

The Ebony t-shirt & knit dress is exactly what I was trying to create when I made my black Nettie swing dress but Heather Lou made it even better. The hi-low hem is on point and the sleeve variations give it everything you want and more.

I made a straight size 14 after Gillian advised to size down when in between sizes. Next time I’ll shorten it beforehand because this needed a 2″ hem to be sassy. I also have a 2″ sleeve hem. #yesimshort

Other than that, perfect fit 🙂

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These are the real life colours. Better lighting but the backdrop was making this feel like a camo outfit.

I’m not going into the whole “flattering vs non-flattering for my shape” discussion. Let’s just say that I don’t care and that I love love love this dress! I feel sexy and sassy and that’s what counts #somuchcomfort #somuchtwirling

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Accidental boobflower – #dontcare

Final verdict:

LOVE . period

Summary:

Size:

  • Size 14 (measurements put me in between 14 and 16)

Alterations:

  • 2″ hem (tips on hemming this thing – here)
  • 2″ sleeve hem
  • took in the sleeves with my serger

Fabric:

  • 2m rayon jersey

 

Stay put for more!

xoxo

 

 

Glitter deer combo

 

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This little lady turned 3 last week (#cuemommytears, #stopgrowingup) and my aunt bought her this cosy sweatshirt knit. Little did she know that my stash contained matching fabric (#stashisuseful). An idea was born and my sewjo was kicked back to life. (#halleluja)

Patterns:

  • Dress/tunic: Blå Blomma dress (Ottobre 1/2016) size 104
  • Leggings: Storm legging (Ottobre 1/2016) size 110

Fabric and notions:

Review:

What I like about working with Ottobre is the fact that their patterns are well-drafted, true to size and super fun. They always include little details which makes them extra special.

Dress/tunic: She still fits a 98 but I made a size 104 anyway so it’s still a little roomy but not by much. I’ve never tried high contrast ribbing because I prefer matched colours for my own clothes but the kid can pull it off and I really love how it turned out. I especially like the pockets, the yellow topstitching and the slight balloon shape due to the elastic hem.

Leggings: I decided to go up to a size 110 in the leggings because the fabric had less stretch than a regular cotton jersey and because I hope she’ll be able to wear it again next winter. The leggings have a 5cm hem at this point because they were way too long, but this way I can let it out if she happens to grow another inch or two. The samples in the magazines showed these leggings in 3 shades of coordinating blues but I decided to keep it simple by using the raw edge of the fabric as the contrast and just using one colour through out. They are cosy, soft and warm and she loves wearing them.

 

I usually don’t blog the things I sew for my kids but this is my life now and I’m really glad my sewjo is back even though I don’t feel like sewing for myself at this point. Maybe when the warmer weather rolls around 🙂 Until then, keep sewing!

 

xoxo

2017

I’d like to start by wishing you a happy 2017. May world peace and eternal happiness be forth coming! #optimist

2017 is only 3 days old and I’ve come to the biggest realisation in years. It’s a feeling I’ve had for a while but that I wasn’t able to properly voice or explain until now.

In a few days my blog will be 4 years old (#congratulations) and in those 4 years my life has known many changes and I’ve shared them all with you. As you well know, I became a mother almost 3 years ago and life hasn’t been the same since. I love my kids to death but three years of being either pregnant or on a diet while being sleep deprived has taken it’s toll.

I haven’t felt like myself in a while. Especially since I’ve gone back to work. Being an introvert, it’s always difficult to start teaching at a new school, but this year round it seemed even more daunting than ever. Like I’ve gone about this one to many times and I just don’t have the energy to do it all over again.

While I got my household affairs and the care for my kids in order, schoolwork and hobbies fell to the background, as did taking care of myself.

I’ve been struggling with my body for the past 11 months. I’ve gained weight since I gave birth, so I can’t really blame the baby. And while I don’t think I’m fat or unhealthy, this body just doesn’t feel like my own. I thought it would get better but it doesn’t. Especially since in my mind I’m still as skinny as I was pre-baby (or in between babies). My aesthetics haven’t changed either, but what once made me feel da bomb, now looks ridiculous.

All in all, I’m going through a major identity crisis style wise.

While a non-sewist would just go shopping and try out new outfits, I felt obliged to sew every single one of my garments. Needless to say this wasn’t happening, especially since I was sewing out of necessity rather than fun. I was sewing because I needed new clothes to wear. Which limited my projects to either fast fashion, finished in an evening or failed garments because I didn’t have to energy to sew a muslin.

I noticed that my sewjo was fading and that I was only sewing when I forced myself to. I felt guilty when I just wanted to watch TV or read a book. I felt like I had no time at all to sew, but when I did, I procrastinated so long, that there wasn’t any time left to actually sew. It didn’t stop me from planning and buying fabric though and I thought that if I bought just the right piece of fabric all my problems would be solved.

Obviously that didn’t happen. So I realised that feeling bad about a self imposed rule/agreement/deadline is just foolish. I shouldn’t feel bad because I’d rather watch tv than sew.

So I’ve decided to start 2017 afresh. I’ve cleared away all my sewing machines, made myself a little reading nook, occupied some more desk space for schoolwork, because I need a sewing break. I need to break this vicious cycle. I need to want to sew instead of having to sew.

I still love sewing, just not now and not for this body. That being said, this blogpost might just be the kick in the butt I needed to get my sewjo back, but if it isn’t, so be it.

I’ll still read blogs and sewing magazines and drool over fabric, I’ll just slow it down to what I truly feel like doing.

That was it!

xoxo

Monday Morning Secret Pajamas

Soooo, I´m back 🙂

I´m back at work (part time) and it´s been a real challenge getting things back in rotation. So if I want to blog more (because I want to) it needs to be quick and dirty 😉

(There is no more room in my sewing room to take pictures so I tried some quick selfies in our bedroom mirror – which I need to clean #sorrynotsorry.)

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Long story short: Only one of the items on my Fall list has been sewn, finished it two days ago and what I´ll be blogging about today isn´t even that. Weather has been really nice so far but I´ve been wearing the same 3 Summer dresses non-stop to work. I needed something new, fast! I´ve felt very indecisive for about 6 weeks because how I think I look and how I actually look aren´t the same. In my head I´m still as skinny as I was 10 years ago 😉 So the plans I´ve been making haven´t been the most flattering and I felt stumped.

Luckily, I found some inspiration in this Polyvore collection on Pinterest. (What did we do before Pinterest?)

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I started by recreating the black swing dress.

I took the Closet Case Files Nettie as a base. By slashing and spreading I made it into a tent dress which turned out very muumuu and tenty, with a very weird curved hem. So I sliced off 15 cm to make it short and sassy. (#nailedit) I used 1.5 m of black viscose knit, and about 15cm of black ribbing for the arm and neckline bands. I made the scoop neckline and the medium back.

I love how it looks with this cardigan and black tights. It might be a tad short for work but I need lounge wear too. This is perfect for everything and I don´t want to take it off, ever. So I´m guessing I need a few more which I can pair with blue or brown tights and the longer RTW cardigans in my wardrobe.

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See you later!

xoxo

What can I say? I love planning.

Since finishing up my Laundry Challenge I´ve been thinking hard about my Autumn/Winter wardrobe. For me Autumn starts on Septembre 1st AKA First Day of School.

Since I´ll likely be starting at a new school ( I´m still hoping for a job at my old school, but I´m being realistic) , I´ll have tons of new prep work to do in September (and afterwards) so it´s not likely I´ll have a lot of time to sew, especially since it´ll be my first time going back to work since having baby 2.

Keeping in mind that:

  • Autumn/Winter 2015 = pregnant
  • Autumn/Winter 2014 = same weight as now, but I threw all those clothes away when I lost the weight
  • Autumn/Winter 2013 = pregnant
  • Autumn/Winter 2012 (and before) = 30 lbs lighter

you´ll understand why I need to sew some new clothes.

I´ve been going over what I have, which is mostly long sleeved t-shirts and cardigans, and came up with a Sewing Plan to fill in the gaps. This plan might seem elaborate but they are simple shapes mostly from patterns I´ve sewn before (and loved).

I´m aiming towards more classic pieces, mostly fairly neutral, in nicer fabric qualities.

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This time I tried to sketch silhouettes/outfits and match them immediately to fabric I had in my stash (all apart from the silk). This makes the whole thing a lot more visual and easier to see as a whole.

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Left to right:

  • Outfit 1: White faux silk True Bias Ogden Cami + Olive stretch crepe True Bias Emerson Crop Pant
  • Outfit 2: Black silk dupioni circle skirt (self-drafted) + black/white striped Closet Case Files Nettie bodysuit + emerald cardigan (self-drafted)
  • Outfit 3: Rayon jersey tunic + matching cotton jersey Megan Nielsen Virginia Leggings

 

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Left to right:

  • Dress 1: Navy/white polka dot rayon challis True Bias Southport Dress
  • Dress 2: Raspberry stretch crepe True Bias Colfax Dress
  • Dress 3: Missoni-esque jersey wrap dress with wide sleeves (pattern to be determined)

 

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Left to right:

  • Outfit 1: Coral sweater knit jumper (Megan Nielsen hack) + Blue faux suede Colette Ginger skirt
  • Oufit 2: Raspberry rayon jersey tee + gold sparkle denim dungaree dress (Pattern to be determined)
  • Outfit 3: Black rayon jersey Cashmerette Appleton Top + Closet Case Files Ginger skinny jeans (mid-rise)

 

You may have noticed that most of these outfits aren´t BF friendly. I´ve done this deliberately. Keeping in mind that I don´t like BF clothes and these clothes will be mostly to wear to work, I thought it wouldn´t really matter if these were less (or not) accessible. This way, I´ll hopefull still like them when I´m done nursing.

I´m really excited about these outfits and I can´t wait to get started. I´m even going to do it the right way, muslins, FBA´s and all.

What do you think? Are you preparing for Autumn already?  What are you sewing?

PS: When I think back on how I started making my sewing plans I realise I´ve come a long way. Scared of a pencil after being traumatised in art school, I´ve realised that doing it by hand makes it so much more relax. I´ve sketched these by hand before but this time I wanted to visually match them to my fabric choices and pulled out the fancy pencils I bought in art school. I really really love how this turned out and even if they are very amateuristic compared to my closest sewing friends, I´m really happy with the imperfections. Skin and hair made it much more real to me.

Laundry Challenge: Conclusions

I´ve learned a lot of things the past two weeks, so let me share them with you!

  1. I have enough clothes to get me through 2 weeks minimum. I didn´t do laundry for 2 weeks and we´ve only had warm weather so I haven´t even touched the pants/long sleeve t-shirts/cardigans I had selected.
  2. There is no need to throw something in the laundry when it´s only been worn once and not dirty.
  3. I´ve got hardly any laundry now!
  4. I felt pretty good in my clothes the past 2 weeks. So no need to go emergency sewing!

BUT

(there is always a but)

Look at the pictures I pulled from my own IG feed:

 

These are my favourite outfits and they all have things in common:

  • dresses
  • dark colours or jewel tones
  • chambray
  • leopard print
  • belts
  • bolt necklaces/scarfs
  • boots

 

The thing is, I don´t do Summer clothes. I am not a Summer person. I like sunshine, but I don´t like heat. I like layers and I like boots. I like Autumn ´till early Spring. On top of that, I don´t like separates. (unless they are maxi-skirts or wrap tops) I gave it a try, but I just don´t like them. I especially dislike pants and t-shirts. Give me a dress and I´m happy! Not too short, because I don´t like showing my legs too much. Not that I don´t like my legs, I just don´t like showing them. Give me a tunic with a pair of leggings and I´m just as happy. I don´t like button up shirts unless they are chambray. I just don´ t do buttons. I don´t do zippers. I like flowy fabrics, lightweight, movable. My dream fabric is rayon jersey. It´s just a shame that they are hard to come by in nice dark prints.

So basically I´m not a person made to own a wardrobe fit for breastfeeding. And that has been my problem for the last 6 months. Don´t get me wrong, I love breastfeeding and I´m planning to keep doing it but I don´t like wearing accessible clothes. AT ALL! I don´t like altering clothes for breastfeeding, I hate the whole concept. I´m over it, let´s move on. And take the stupid heat wave with you! #endrant

(I think I might be exhausted from night time feedings and in need of a nap.)

Long story short: Enough clothes for Summer, let´s start prepping for Autumn!

 

Laundry Challenge Week 2: Round-up

Week 2 and also the final week of this Two Week Laundry Challenge. If you are new, find all about it here. If you missed the first round-up, you can find it here.

Week 2 was less about deciding the pros and cons of each outfit and more about determining why these outfits didn´t work before.

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This is one of the ´forgotten´ dresses. I think everyone woman has at least one item of clothing which she likes but somehow it still ends up at the back of her closet and it rarely gets worn. It certainly applies to this dress. I bought this dress last summer early on in my pregnancy. I had spend ages looking for a wrap dress that didn´t wrap around my belly button (Seriously, I knew I had a short torso but this was ridiculous) so when I came across this navy surplice dress on sale I snagged it up. I only wore it a few times during my pregnancy because after a few times the elastic didn´t play nice with my growing belly anymore. I don´t know why I didn´t dig it out sooner this summer but I´m glad I finally did. It´s neutral, can be dressed up or down and it´s perfect for nursing.

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Many many years ago, I bought a maxi skirt (I think the last time the boho trend was fashionable so maybe a decade ago) which was so long (short legs) that I would have to cut off 10¨ in order for it to be wearable. I never did because I didn´t know how to sew. When I finally did, I attached it to a strapless tube top because I wanted a maxi dress. I usually wear it with a short sleeved jersey cardigan but it was just too hot.

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I opted for cut off leggings and a t-shirt on Friday because I couldn´t handle the heat anymore (and neither did baby) so I wasn´t planning on leaving the house. I felt okay in this outfit until my aunt paid me an unannounced visit and I felt frumpy.

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Friday = Ice cream day (it´s just an excuse), so I had to put on something a little more decent to go get it. So I changed out of the leggings and t-shirt and into my new dress.

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I made this skirt last Summer thinking an elastic waistband Megan Nielsen Brumby would be the best thing since sliced bread, It could have been if I hadn´t used elastic to gather it and just used an elastic as a waistband. But I didn´t so the waist ended up really bulky, which looked aweful as a high waisted skirt. When I pulled it lower, my swayback made sure my skirt was 6¨ longer in the front than in the back. I really loved the fabric so I wanted to wear it again, so I chopped off the waistband and I asked my hubby to pin the hem for me… Shouldn´t have done that, it ended up being totally crooked and I ended up chopping off even more to straighten it out. It´s now under the knee length instead of midi length and I´m not sure yet what I think of it.

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This is the other version of the t-shirt that sales lady didn´t want to sell me, with one of my new Moss skirts. Although the skirt doesn´t look tight and is made in my size, it feels tight. I actually only wore this for 15 minutes and then changed into a stretch denim Moss skirt which was far more comfortable.

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On Sunday evening the t-shirt + moss combo had become too warm and I had to go to dinner at my inlaws so I changed into this maxi-dress. This dress started out as a muslin 2 years ago but it had gotten quite a lot of wear last Spring and last Summer. I really love it in Summer, but it´s too bright to wear through to autumn.

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I really really like this outfit. It could become my momiform because True Bias Hudson + Cashmerette Appleton Top are secret pajamas that looked pulled together enough to go to work. Sadly, it was way too hot to wear this yesterday. So I took it off and slipped into my tank dress again. But I need a few more of these for autumn and work.

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I made this Made By Rae Washi Top when I was pregnant with my eldest. I still love it a lot, especially the colours. It´s the only garment made out of quilting cotton I own/wear. It still fits even though I technically need an FBA to get the fit right. It´s not really noticable (especially for people who don´t sew) but the bust dart is about an inch too high. The waistline also doesn´t cover the bottom inch of my bust 😀 Nothing I´m really bothered by so I´ll wear it just the same. The shorts are the ones I made last week. They are comfy but if I make them again, I´ll straighten out the side seam so they don´t cling to my tighs.

This challenge has opened my eyes to some things, first of all that I need a lot less clothes for 2 weeks than I actually think. All the other conclusions would make this post way too long, so stayed tuned for the next one.

 

 

Laundry Challenge Week 1: Round-up

I´m halfway through my Laundry Challenge (read all about it here) and it´s going really well.

I put the rack of clothing right next to my bed so I can see all my clothes when still lying in bed. It makes me really happy each night and each morning to see them hanging there and deciding what I want to wear.

Big Win Number One: I´m excited about wearing my clothes.

I´ve noticed that since there are fewer items to choose from, I don´t get overwhelmed, don´t feel the need to change 500 times and I´m instantly happy with the choices made.

Big Win Number Two: Time saving.

I´ve felt great each day. I hadn´t been feeling all that well these last couple of weeks/months and I know I said I wasn´t going to care about the extra weight but I still do. I don´t want to, but deep down, the extra weight made me feel sad and I felt like I had nothing that made me look good. By choosing the stuff that I liked/loved, I´ve felt great each day the whole week. That´s the first time in months!

Big Win Number Three: Feeling better about my body!

I´ve already refashioned some me-mades that didn´t get worn. Two of those have now been worn and deemed ¨successfull¨.

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Big Win Number Four: More love and less waste!

The Outfits!

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I started off my week with an RTW outfit. This tunic dress is actually a night gown I bought as a birthing shirt 2 years ago. I bought two and this one didn´t get worn in the hospital so I kept it and I love wearing it with navy blue leggings. It´s comfortable and breezy and I´ve copied the shirt a few times. It´s not really suitable for nursing but since I spend most days at home it´s not really a problem.

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This skirt was my first refashion of the week. I call it refashion, you could call it an alteration. I love the fabric for this skirt and used the Myrtle skirt lengthened into a maxi as a pattern. At the time I thought it was a good idea to just use an elastic waistband but it turned out too high waisted and it was never really comfortable. I think I wore it once or twice last Spring but it just didn´t work as it was. So I took off the waistband and added a yoga style waistband instead. It´s still a maxi skirt (even slightly longer now since it sits on my hips) but it´s much more comfortable. I really like the fact that this waistband doesn´t show under my tops.

The t-shirt I´m wearing is actually the traced version of the tunic I wore on day 1. It´s supercomfortable and matches this skirt perfectly, but it didn´t get worn much because it was slightly too short to wear with regular skirts or pants.

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These trousers are my tester version of the Paprika Patterns Amber trousers. I loved wearing them but they are slightly too big and the front crotch was too short. This has been changed in the final pattern so I think I just need to sew a new version of these. Because they are too big around the hips they make my legs look really short. (and they aren´t all that long to begin with)

Top is a simple RTW shirt. I was in doubt between picking this one (think Closet Case files Nettie with scoop neck and medium back) and a more loose fitting dartless woven blouse. I felt great in this t-shirt so when the sales lady told me I should go with the dartless blouse because I needed to hide my big boobs and tummy, I bought two of these t-shirts. I haven´t regretted it for a second 😀

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I made this dress last year after getting pregnant. I was over the moon with this dress but somehow it got pushed to the back of my closet and each time I wanted to wear this, it just didn´t feel right. Somehow, now it did and I felt amazing all day!

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I made three muslins for Simplicity 1064. This is the result after I took it in 8cms on each side. I´ve gone down 3 sizes (to the smallest size in the pattern) since and it still doesn´t fit like I want it to. This one is comfortable but I need to wear a top underneath because otherwise it´s the most indecent piece of clothing ever… I do like the silhouette with the leggings though, so I´m going to let it simmer for a while to see if I want to revisit the pattern.

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I had been saying for weeks that I needed shorts so when temperatures went up that day I had no choice but to make some during baby naptime. True Bias Hudson pattern to the rescue! I´m glad I did, they are not perfect but since I don´t often wear shorts they are good enough and will get worn a lot.

The t-shirt is another one based on the tunic from the first day but the twin needle hem came undone after a couple of wears and it has always been slightly too long. I shortened it by 2,5¨ and it´s much better now!

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This maxi skirt was part of a Myrtle maxi dress but the white top part got stained so it didn´t look nice anymore. I had a two seam tunic in the same fabric so I shortened the tunic to a top and used the chopped off fabric to turn this chopped of skirt into a maxi skirt with yoga style waistband! I thought about dying it because I wasn´t sure I still liked the taupe stripes but I decided to wear it out first and then decided.

The top is a Seamwork Mesa shortened into a top and given a much larger neckline. Same problem here, it turned out slightly too short so it didn´t get worn. Problem solved.

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They predicted super high temperatures for the next three days so I wanted something really breezy to wear. I had already taped the Groove Dress pattern so I altered the neckline and armholes based on an RTW tank in order to create a flowy tank dress. I added a binding to the neckline and armholes. I left the hem raw because it doesn´t fray and because it dips lower in back and front than the sides do and I wasn´t looking forward to hemming all those curves. It was the perfect dress to wear on a very hot summers’day, sadly I managed to get massively sunburned so I have to spend the last hot day inside.

What I´ve learned so far:

  • I love pockets in clothes but somehow I´m too lazy to add them.
  • I prefer low necklines.
  • I keep forgetting to take my boobs into account when decided on a t-shirt length.
  • Accessories finish off an outfit!

I´m looking forward to what next week brings!