Spring and Summer sewing 2015 part 2

I like to plan my sewing, I spend more time planning than actually sewing and then I want to kick myself for not putting my words (or drawings) into action.

I told you about my Spring sewing plans, I finished the copy of the dress and love it, but haven’t gotten round to taking pictures yet.

But just the colour scheme wasn’t enough. My drawing went into overdrive and I experimented a bit in Photoshop. I wanted to try my hand at creating a beautiful capsule wardrobe (there’s a lot of clothes, ‘cuz I don’t do minimal)




These were just the ‘in between’ ideas, but you get the gist. I finally settled on the pieces of clothing I wanted and the fabrics to use…. Most of them from stash (yay for me), I even wrote down the place to find the ‘new’ fabrics for future reference (Yes, I’m that organized – when it comes to sewing)

Fabric Collection

I’ve bought most of these fabrics by now (somehow, some unplanned ones jumped into my bag as well – bad fabric) and having them here really inspires me, I love looking at the colors, touching and stroking them and they really give me a ‘Spring’ feeling! If you’re wondering about the weird numbering, it corresponds with the picture below (I numbered them by hand and not on Photoshop and I really can’t be bothered to fix that but basically top left is 1 and so on…)

Let's play the game 'Spot the pattern'

I’m sure you can spot a few familiar patterns :) I might not use the exact same patterns but I’ve began experimenting with what works and what doesn’t. I tried my hand in drafting my own perfect Spring/Summer t-shirt to turn into dresses and tunics and so on. I’ve never drafted anything before, I’m more a ‘hack from pattern’ kinda sewist, but it’s been fun and it’s given me the chance to use the ‘less pretty’ fabrics in my stash for wearable muslins :) Now those fabrics finally feel loved as well.

Now before you go on saying how pretty my drawings look and you wish you could do the same: Keep reading!

I’m not very good at drawing but this series of blogposts inspired me to give it a go anyway! I suggest you read them if you want to make your own outfit drawings but are afraid you can’t draw.

I actually cheated by copying the line drawings of all the patterns I wanted to use, scaled them to be the same size and then started mixing and matching. Those of you who follow me on Instagram, know how much fun I had a few weeks ago. (Note that fun should always be accompanied by The Doctor)

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How is your planning going?

PS I want to thank you all for the kind words on my last blogpost. I feel a lot better now that it’s out in the open. I’ve taken my life back into my own hands, Konmari‘d my entire house to get rid of the mess and I have a new co-worker who’s awesome! (And has a blog) She’s basically been acting as my personal therapist to get me to like my job a bit better…. So far, it’s working :D

Sometimes life gets you.

I’ve been meaning to write this post for a long time but always hesitated because this is supposed to be a sewing blog. But it’s my blog and in the end I decide what gets published. I consider you all to be my friends, I’ve never related to anyone as much as to my fellow sewcialists and I’ve never felt less judged by a community. So I at last feel comfortable sharing what’s going on in my life.

It all started after the baby was born about 14 months ago (time flies). Because we were still renovating the house I was confined to two spaces upstairs with a newborn. I spend three months inside with only a TV to keep me company. I didn’t have a decent kitchen, I didn’t have a decent place to do laundry. All I got to do all day was sit at home in front of the tv and eat. So I ate and I ate and I ate. In the end I gained nearly 12 kgs. That doesn’t seem like a lot, but the more I gained the worse I felt about myself.

I felt bad because I had gained weight, I felt bad because I couldn’t keep our house tidy (which was really no surprise since it was basically a construction site) and I felt like a bad wife because I wasn’t happy and in return couldn’t make my husband happy.

It improved somewhat when I went back to work and when we finally finished our downstairs area enough to actually live in it. But in June (10 months after we moved) I still didn’t have a kitchen and I still had people staying here every Friday to Sunday working around the house. I lost it. I couldn’t handle the mess, I couldn’t handle the pressure of being a new mom and I couldn’t handle the fact that my husband never learned how to do household chores. I love him to bits and I love my mother-in-law to bits but he never had to do anything around the house when he was living at home so he messes up every single task. He can’t cook, he doesn’t know how to do the laundry and he doesn’t know how to clean or tidy things up. He leaves his stuff everywhere, doesn’t put anything back into its rightfull place so it all comes down to me. On top of that I have the sweetest family who spend entire weekends helping out and staying over to get the house ready as fast as possible. But the constant presence of all these people and having to serve them extra meals and having them critisize every thing I did or didn’t do was too much. I felt so guilty and so bad about not wanting them there when all they did was help out, that I just lost it. completely…

At the time I didn’t have a fulltime teaching job, I wanted to, but the school system is very weird in Belgium so I wanted to work fulltime but there just wasn’t a fulltime job for me to do. Financially we were barely coping. I kept telling everyone that we needed to stop construction so that we could save some money, but nobody ever listened. And money grew tighter and tighter and tighter.

I spend my entire Summer depressed on the sofa. 8 weeks of Summer holiday and all I did was cry and watch tv. I was home all day, the baby went to daycare and I didn’t even manage to make dinner by the time my husband got home.

I felt totally worthless. By then we had a kitchen and our downstairs area was looking like a house, but everything got to me and it was all too much. I couldn’t handle the mess, I couldn’t handle the pressure and I didn’t know how to talk about it. Every few days I would break down and cry in front of my husband, who tried to understand but couldn’t. I didn’t feel like a good housewife, I felt like a bad mom, I felt like a bad wife plus money was tight so I felt bad everytime I bought something or everytime I wanted to meet up with friends. But spending money was the only thing that made me feel better. It was a vicious circle.

At the end of August, I got a new teaching job at the same school as last year, this made me partially happy since I would be seeing my pupils and co-workers again and for the first time I got to recycle some of last years’ work, which gave me a bit of free time. It wasn’t a fulltime job, again, but I was hopefull that something would open up and I would get a fulltime work schedule in a few months.

In Octobre, I finally decided to do something about my weight and my depression and I started eating Paleo. I’m not going to promote Paleo here, but the fact remains that by January I had lost 10kgs, I was sleeping better and that my depression was partly gone because I didn’t have anymore bloodsugar spikes. Eating Paleo really is the way to go for me.

By Novembre it was becoming obvious that getting a fulltime work schedule wasn’t going to happen and money was again running tight. This made me feel worse again, because it was my fault that this was happening. I was the one not working fulltime. All my guilt and all my feelings of depression came back. I didn’t enjoy prepping for class anymore, my house was a mess! All I did was lay on the couch and spend money we didn’t have in an attempt to feel better. I still loved teaching though, just not the stuff that came with teaching. It was getting so bad that something had to be done and I started considering other options. By the end of Decembre money was still our biggest problem and I finally gave in and looked for another job, something other than teaching. I found something quite easily, something related to interior design which I studied before I decided to become a teacher.

It really killed me to say goodbye to my school and pupils, but we needed the money. I really liked the new job, although working overtime was part of it. I didn’t mind, the only thing I felt bad about was not seeing the baby as much as I did before. I wasn’t used to working a 9-5 job.

Things started to look up until the 25th of February. Around 10 am, I was at work and had a missed call from my brother-in-law from the previous night. I decided to call him back but he told me it wasn’t important anymore. He sounded weird but I blamed the bad connection since he was out of the country. It wasn’t the bad connection. He had just gotten a call from my father-in-law with the news that my sister-in-law had been in a car accident and had passed away. Her car slipped on an ice patch, she hit the concrete bridge with her head and was killed instantly.

I still haven’t come to terms with what happened, I still don’t belief she’s actually gone. It was the stupidest accident anyone could ever imagine. I spend the entire week up to the funeral in a haze. Making sure I was there to support my husband and his family, taking care of practical stuff, calling newspapers to get the details out of the paper. I tried to stay strong. But inside I was dying, not because I was as sad as her family but because in a split second I lost whichever kind of faith I once believed in. I lost myself. It felt like something out of a film, something that happens to other families and you read about in a newspaper. i never imagined it could happen to anyone I knew, let alone family.

It made me rethink and it still does, who I am, what I really want to do with my life. Not in a kick under your butt kind of way but in a way that made me realise that I have absolutely no idea who I am or what I want.  The only thing I’m certain of is that I love my daughter and that I love my husband.

But it made me realise that I don’t like to work overtime and spend more time than necessary away from home, it made me realise that my job is quiet superficial, very money oriented and I hate that people complain about their table taking a bit longer to produce than first estimated. It doesn’t seem important as anymore, nothing does.

I want to do something that I love, something that makes me happy, but I have no idea what that is. All I know and feel now is that I’m not happy. It’s a taboo to say, but I’m not happy and I don’t know how to fix it.

I don’t feel as worthless anymore as I did 6 months ago, I don’t even care about that last kg or cleaning everyday. It’s worse, I honestly have no idea who I am.

I don’t expect you to help me or feel sorry for me, I wrote this post just for me, because I have nobody to talk to in real life and these words just needed a way out. This is what my life looks like at the moment and for the past month I’ve been trying to get it back on track while helping my husband get over what happened, but I honestly don’t know if I can.

Spring & Summer Sewing 2015

It’s February and I can’t wait for Spring to begin so I can start sewing my warm weather wardrobe!

Sure, I’ve got a massive backlog of winter sewing to blog about but since those clothes are on constant rotation they are never available for photographing when the light outside is somewhat decent. Truth be told, they’ll probably never make it onto the blog but I’m not going to feel bad about it :)

A few years ago I bought a dress, it was relatively cheap and the amount of ironing it required drove my mother insane. But I wore it until it had holes (which didn’t take long since the quality was quite crappy). Then I gained some weight and stopped wearing it. I couldn’t get myself to throw it out and kept it aside to save the fabric. I’m glad I kept it because it fits again (yes, holes and all) and I want to recreate it. I’m still looking for the perfect pattern as I can’t get myself to take it apart and rubbing it off turned out to be impossible (too many details and gathers)


Yes, I know, my drafting skills are spectacular :D

Apart from wanting to recreate the dress, I wish I could get my hands on the fabric because I’m in love with it and it inspired me for my Spring/Summer palette.

inspiratie SS15

Suggestions are always welcome! Have you ever found such inspiration in an ‘old’ piece of clothing?

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

kerstkaart 2014

I’m blue!

I’m lying in bed right now feeling very much under the weather and in one of my awake moments I posted an Instagram pic of my signature style. (Day 8 of Sewvember) I found the pictures in my Instagram feed and on my blog and came to a revelation about what I like to wear!


Apparently it’s coloured/floral scarfs, tan boots, chambray and lots of blue!
I’m an autumn type so I would never consciously pick navy as my favourite but apparently unconsciously I do! Who knew!

Are there any colours you wear over and over again?

Now I’ll just go right back to feeling sorry for myself and watching Gilmore Girls!

Blurry pictures and selfie overload!

Today I discovered a gorgeous spot far away from prying eyes. Sadly all my outfit pictures turned out this way.

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Upside, I get to go back and play around with my camera a bit more tomorrow! Husband agreed to look after the baby while I’m away (like he would ever say no to that) so I could enjoy my alone time. Fingers crossed the weather is as beautiful tomorrow as it was today!

I’ve been working on building up confidence in front of the camera and on taking better pictures. So far I’ve started liking it, which up until a few weeks ago I really really didn’t. Confidence is getting there. Picture quality is still tricky ;)

I’ll leave you with the few pictures that turned out okay. Far from perfect but I like how they look, the way they capture the light and the fact that these are straight of the camera totally unedited! Sorrynotsorry for the silliness. It’s a steep learning curve :D

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I wish you all a lovely evening, I’ve got a date at a diner in Stars Hollow!

The Epiphany of the Perfect Knit (Pencil) Skirt

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For months I’ve been pinning pictures of fitted knit pencil skirts and oversized sweaters. I really wanted that as my go to outfit for fall and winter, even to go to work. (One of the perks of being a teacher – wear a scarf and tights and you can pretty much get away with anything)
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But finding the perfect skirt deemed to be harder than expected. I couldn’t find the perfect skirt or perfect pattern. I tried on a few skirts in stores to see what I liked, but they were either too long, too short or too flimsy (or pricey). Buying a pattern seemed silly as well since this is basically the easiest piece of clothing on the planet to make and I wasn’t looking forward to spending money and then taping the PDF and then altering the entire thing (since I always have to)
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Why was it so hard?
My demands, that’s why it was hard!

  • I wanted my skirt to come all the way up the slimmest part of my waist, not any higher since I have a very short waist and I didn’t want a waistband getting stuck underneath my boobs.
  • I wanted it to be mid thigh length so it was covering the larger part of my legs, but not restrict any walking.
  • I wanted it to be very very stretchy with great stretch recovery.
  • I didn’t want it to show underneath my clothes.
  • Most skirts where either barely covering my behind or the right length but with a waistband that would creep up while wearing ending in a skirt that was too short.

This morning I was planning my sewing for the next three days (we’ve got a week off of school and the first three days baby is still going to daycare) and it hit me!

I’ve got tubular ribbing in my stash! (You see where I’m going with this…)

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Take a piece of tubular ribbing twice the length you need/want.

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Fold it in two length-wise. The fold will be the hem.

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I used the wrong side out because I prefer the texture.

I decided not to finish it with a waistband or elastic or even serge the layers at the top since
1. Knit doesn’t fray
2. Waistband or elastic would show under my clothes
3. The serging might affect the stretch.

UPDATE: On day 2 I decided to finish the skirt with a waistband after all. Not because it would be more comfy but because I kept thinking ‘What if I get into an accident and people see that I’m just wearing an unfinished piece of fabric.’ I tried, wearing unfinished pieces… not for me. I simply serged a 1″ elastic sandwiched between the two layers, I then folded the top so that the serged edge was under the elastic. I then stitched down the serged edge 1″ from the top, creating a ‘waistband’. It doesn’t show underneath my regular clothes so it looks the same and no stretch was affected ;)

For those of you that think this is totally stupid, you are entitled to your opinion. For those who think this is genius but are worried about finding tubular ribbing in your size, good news, it comes in different widths and it’s all very stretchy since I used the narrowest size in my stash (14″x2) and my 42 inch hips fit into it perfectly!

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The green is the same width as the blue one I’m wearing.

Waist to mid-thigh, fitted, stretchy, great recovery and the double layer makes it completely opaque and the lack of waistband makes it sit smoothly under my clothes. I’m happy! Let’s order some more ribbing!

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Cuddly cat bomb!

Cuddly cat bomb!

Have you ever wanted to smack yourself for coming up with something so easy you don’t understand how you didn’t think of it sooner?

Outfit: Sweater – Megan Nielsen Briar sweater with owl applique (unblogged) // Skirt – No sew knit (pencil) skirt

One year ago


One year ago today I married the best husband I could ever wish for.


Before I met him, I had spends years looking for the right guy. I wanted love to be like movie love. Happily ever after with my soulmate. I wanted to get married and have kids when I was 16. It has always been my dream. But since I only seemed to fall for guys who needed fixing that just didn’t happen. For years I kept thinking it would change and I was too romantic to realise movie love is nothing like real life love.

I couldn’t predict real life love was better!


Three years ago, on our first date he let me talk about myself all the time, he wanted to know everything. We didn’t kiss that night but I couldn’t get him out of my head. Just a few days later we had a second date and we talked and talked all night. We both had to get up in the morning but he didn’t leave until 4 am. We kissed by the car and I was in love. Date number three came around and when I asked him how on earth he could still be single, he looked shocked and said: “I didn’t think I was single anymore, I thought I was yours.”
That’s the moment I knew he was the one.
We moved in together 6 months later and living with him is easy. He doesn’t need any fixing (although I wouldn’t mind him picking up his socks once in a while). He’s sweet, reliable and a hard worker. Not the most exciting qualities in a man, but the most important ones in a husband and father. But I also think he’s absolutely gorgeous and he still makes me swoon. He’s also the best father to our daughter I could ever wish for. He makes me laugh and makes me feel good about myself. He doesn’t know how to comfort me when I’m down, but he’s a guy and he scores points for trying.
We never go out and don’t go anywhere, maybe that’s boring, but that’s just us. We prefer to stay in and watch a movie together or spend the morning in bed playing with our daughter.
I got pregnant a year after we moved in together and we found out the day we signed the deed to our house. We decided to get married.


We wanted all three of us to be in the picture.

Our wedding day was the happiest day of my life (apart from the day our daughter was born). We only invited our family and closest friends. It was magical and perfect and I still wouldn’t change a thing. A lot of people have been asking for pictures, so a year later, here we go.
I was fortunate enough to find the best photographer. He was one of my best friends in college and he came to stay with us from the day before the wedding till the day after, so we have professional pictures of our entire day. He knew us well enough that we felt totally at ease in front of the camera and he knows enough of weddings to make sure everything runs smoothly and on time.
I know everyone will be looking at my dress, so long story short: Because we were renovating our new house and I was pregnant I thought that making my own dress would be too overwhelming. So I bought one. I still really like it, but since then my sewing got better and if I had to do it again, I would have made it myself. .







Yes, I’m feeling up his butt…



Taking pictures by the fire and a piece of charcoal jumped into my cleavage.


He captured me…

We are both raised Catholic but we don’t attend church, so it didn’t feel right to have a big church wedding just because it looked good in pictures. We had a small civil service instead (perfectly normal around here, since you need to have a civil service anyway)


“You may now kiss the bride!”




Us and my godfather – normally he’s a serious doctor.


The wedding party


The historical landmark in our village – I am a history teacher after all ;)


A quite moment to ourselves.


My secret weapon in a long day of standing on my feet ;)


My father-in-law and my dad. They get along perfectly!


He was actually cuter than my husband, but he couldn’t stay, sadly.


Speech! Speech! Speech!


Food was good.


Wedding cake – total surprise as we didn’t ask for any :)


First dance together.


Father – daughter dance.



And then the party started… She’s my best friend and my ‘best man’ ;)


These are my other be sties. We live to far apart, I miss them so much!


I did however change into a stretch lace dress halfway through the night and I did make that one myself. It’s a Maria Denmark Day-to-Night dress in red stretch lace underlined in red jersey. Not my best make but I had it for a year, wore it only once and despite me being pregnant, it still fit!


It was getting to hot for my wedding dress so I switched. A lot of our guests thought there was another pregnant lady, the one in the red dress… it was just me who changed dresses :)


I did my hair and make-up myself and I don’t regret it. I felt like a princess marrying her knight in shining armor.


See through back.



Good view of how pregnant I was :)




These are our baby’s godmother (my cousin) and godfather (my husband’s best friend). We asked them on our wedding day.


My brother… and cousin in the back.


It got late…


It got later…


Last dance…


I can’t believe it has already been a year, time flies when you’re having fun.


Whatever you’re about to do, Lola is right there with you!

So I finally made the Victory Patterns Lola dress. Waaaaaay overdue, but I never wear sweaters so I didn’t see myself wearing a sweater dress. But then I saw so many gorgeous versions (here, here and here) popping up around the internet and I found the perfect fabric so I decided to give it a go. But not before I made this wearable muslin (yes, seriously, I made a muslin)


I can definitely say that whatever you have to do, Lola is the girl for the job. I took her out to the doctor’s, to work and she even helped me with the shopping and taking care of the baby.

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Seriously, sewing this dress is easier than making the baby smile. She does have the best bitchy resting face though

I am in love! (With both the dress and my gorgeous baby!)

The facts:

    • Fabric is a sweatshirt fleece that was intended to be a blazer but that didn’t work out so it was totally meant to be a Lola.
    • My measurements put me in a size 12 but I wanted it a bit snugger so cut a size 10 but I could easily go down another size on the top.
    • This dress took me 2 baby nap times from start to finish! And that’s even with unpicking the twin needle stitching on the pockets 4 times! So super fast, just the way I like it :)
    • My mother-in-law loved it (that was a pretty weird feeling), she was even saying she’d like on of her own (even weirder)
    • My hubby noticed the new dress and he even noticed the fit wasn’t perfect yet.


The pockets are both her greatest strength and her greatest weakness. She lets me take baby’s laundry, baby’s bottle and the baby herself upstairs (not in the pocket) all at the same time, but she also made me look for my earbuds and classroom keys for half a day and I only found them because I fell on top of them when I crashed on the couch when I came home.


This dress is snuggly and comfy. For now she’s perfect to throw on as a single layer with boots (I even wore it yesterday with heels since it was 23 degrees here). She kept me warm but not too warm all day. (Except for that one classroom where they are trying to recreate Rachel and Monica’s tropical Christmas Party. Too bad I don’t have Joey running around to turn the radiator off from underneath.)  When it’s a bit colder she’s perfect with tights and my me-made blazer (more on that in another post).

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Inspecting the blazer and watching the cats play in the background. Using baby as a prop is not the best idea.

There will be a lot more Lolas to come. I still have my ‘good’ fabric to cut into and some regular French terry, but I’m having trouble finding nice ribbing for that one. (Stupid hard to match radiant orchid!)


This is what I found when looking through my test pictures… I was being spied upon :)

Have you ever made a pattern and loved it while all along you thought it wasn’t your thing?

PS Thanks Gillian, for explaining how to get Flickr pictures in my blog :)

Audrey would have been proud!


Back in the summer I had a chance to be a pattern tester for the new Audrey and Me Pattern Company by Charlie of This blog is Not For You. Her first patterns are the Hepburn Dress and Skirt and since I wanted to get some experience in making a woven dress I chose to make the dress version.


The dress itself gives you a lot of options. 3 different necklines and the possibility to combine it with the Hepburn skirt to turn it into a fitted dress instead of a fitted bodice with a flared skirt with deep boxpleats.


I opted for the scoop neckline as I don’t like the look of higher necklines on me. The fabric I used is leftover from my Portside travel set and I’m so happy I ordered too much because I just love love love this fabric! I’m seriously tempted to order some more in this and the natural colourway (or the beige one, or the red one) for next summer! I also used a leftover metal zipper and I seriously adore metal zippers!

85% cotton, 15% polyester - looks like linen

85% cotton, 15% polyester – looks like linen



I’m very excited about this dress as it’s my first woven dress with a bodice lining and my first dress with an exposed zipper. Also the first time doing an FBA!



Sorry about the wrinkles :)

Sorry about the wrinkles :)

My measurements (bust 102cm/waist 82,5cm) put me in a size UK18, but after muslining that I had to take it in so much at the waist (I like my waist quite snug) that I decided to make a size UK16 and do an FBA.

On my first muslin (size 18) I took in both side seams from nothing at the dart to 1 cm at the waist and I enlarged both front waist darts with 1 cm as well. Which resulted in an overall loss of 8cm at the waist. I also shifted the CF to fix some gaping I had at the neckline, I took it in 3 cm grading to nothing at the waist (because of this it got to tight for the girls).

I did two bodice muslins for the size 16 but that was only because I made my FBA on the first one too large. I finally settled for a size 16 with a 4 cm FBA (2 on the pattern) and I took out the extra length the FBA added + I did a 3 cm swayback adjustment. These are all common fixes for me, I always do a swayback and I have a very short waist.

When I made my dress out of fashion fabric I noticed that under stitching the neckline and armhole openings didn’t really work (very very fiddly) so I unpicked the whole thing and cut the lining 2mm smaller on neck and armhole opening, this way it naturally favors the inside. That’s how I always do it.
I really tried turning the bodice like the pattern said (through the straps), but in the scoop neck version the combination of the narrow straps and my medium weight linen made it impossible. It might work with a lightweight fabric like a cotton batiste. Either way it won’t be an issue with the other versions as those straps are wider.


I unpicked the whole thing and just sewed together the neckline and side seams, turned the bodice and used faux leather piping to create a facing for the armholes.


I have no remarks about the rest of the dress, every notch and marking matched up perfectly so putting together the PDF and the dress itself was really easy.



It fit great when I made it – although I’ll probably deepen the front waist darts a bit for the next one – but since then I’ve lost some weight so it’s too loose now. I’ve also come to terms with the fact that I have either narrow shoulders or sloping shoulders because the straps slide down and this is not the first pattern I’ve noticed this on.


Because of this I don’t know what to do with the dress. I really like it because it’s so perfectly finished and it has so many firsts but I’ll probably never wear it again as it’s too loose and the straps slide down. So my plan is to be happy with the experience and the pictures I got out of it but to take it apart and use the fabric for something else (probably a Moss skirt or a Nasha skirt) so that in any case, not all is lost.