SWAP Project 3: Linnen Washi Hack

I made the necessary adjustments to my bodice and decided to use it for a dress. After a lot of thought, I kept coming back to the Washi dress by Made by Rae (I´ve made it a few times and I like it a lot)

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I deciced to swap the front and back bodice by the Lekala bodice and just add the Washi skirt pieces. I added 3cm to the centre front of the bodice to get the bodice the same length as the Washi bodice and then I lengthened the entire bodice by 2,5 cm so it wouldn´t look like maternity wear.

I did not muslin this, I cut straight into a gorgeous linnen I had been hoarding for 3 years. I fell in love with this fabric the minute I saw it. It´s dyed to look like denim and has a really nice drape. It was pricey but now that I´ve used it, I realise it was worth it. These past years I never found a project suitable or special enough to cut into the fabric and I was tired of it. I wanted to wear this!

I took my time with this dress. I interfaced the button placket, I used matching bias tape for the elastic casing and to bind the neckline. I serged all my seams in hot pink. I finally used the same bias tape to bind the sleeve and hem edges. I understitched them all and finished the dress by hand stitching the facing, sleeves and hem. I´m really happy with the finish and all my ´design´ choices.

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Final verdict:

Is it perfect? No. But I love love love this dress! It´s perfect to wear around the house casually with a cardigan or dressed up with a hot pink blazer. This is important because I decided that a mix and match wardrobe is not my thing, instead I´m trying to make/create outfits, so every piece I make gets worn. I tried both outfits with my boots, my pumps amd my sandals and they all looked great.

I´ve worn this dress to 2 birthday parties this weekend and I felt AMAZING both times. I love the fact that linnen is allowed to wrinkle. It´s such a soft weave and so breathable. This dress makes me feel pretty, pulled together and is easy to nurse in (big winner)!

What I would change next time? Add another inch to the centre front of the bodice, so it sits at my natural waist, instead of above it. (it´s not visible on this version though)

Summary:

Fabric and notions:

Pattern, size and adjustments:

  • Washi dress – Made by Rae
  • Size XL
    • Switched out washi bodice by Lekala bodice
    • Elastic casing instead of shirring
    • Neckline binding instead of facing
    • Button placket
    • Lengthened bodice 2,5 cm
    • Used bias binding to keep the hem as long as possible

 

Any suggestions for tunics? What are your favourite patterns?

 

Note: My camera and my remote aren´t communicating like they should. Every picture taken with my remote comes out blurry, whatever I do. Luckily for me, the husband was willing to take pictures this time and after telling him to shoot in continuous mode I felt less self-contious and I actually ended up with a few decent shots! Yay for him!

 

 

 

Looking back

When I was writing my blog post yesterday, I got annoying with all the random categories and tags so this morning I sat down, deleted all my categories and tags, made new ones and assigned them to all of my old blog posts.

Here´s some stuff I discovered about myself:

  • I have a lot of posts in the ´Random Ramblings´ category… Apparently I like to ramble, especially in 2013.
  • I wrote more blogposts in 2013 than in 2014, 2015 and 2016 combined.
  • I had A LOT of free time pre-baby!
  • I described my house as ¨requires minimum amounts of work¨ ROFL ! 3 years later, ending nowhere in sight!
  • Back in 2013, everything sewing related fit into a 6×4 foot space. That´s less space than my notions take up now.
  • I was going to sew from stash in 2013, 2014, 2015, … still not doing it.
  • I was going to stop buying patterns in 2013, 2014, 2015,… still not doing it
  • In 2014 I wrote that animal print is ´not my thing´… Who was this crazy lady! Bring on the leopard!
  • 30 lbs ago I wanted to loose 20 lbs… How on earth was I going to do that!
  • I´ve made A LOT of stuff I didn´t blog about…
  • I´ve made A LOT of stuff I don´t even own anymore.

But it´s reassuring to see that the basics haven´t changed!

  • Still zero patience when it comes to sewing for myself
  • Still addicted to buying fabric
  • Still addicted to buying patterns
  • Still loathe ironing and tracing
  • Still love making a mess, hate working in a mess, run away from mess

And this is for the entire sewing community and my readers (Apparently, I still have some despite the ramblings!)

THANK YOU for all the love and support!

(Special thank you to Gillian, without whom this blog had never started in the first place!)

 

SWAP Project 2: The ´7 muslins´cover-up

My quest continues. I´m still looking for the perfect tunic pattern to wear over all my black leggings.

I thought my search had ended when I saw Lekala 5772

I bought the pattern, taped it together and made a muslin. I initially wanted to swap the front ties for a front button placket so I could wear the entire thing closed over a pair of leggings. In the end it took 7 muslins to get to a point where I liked the thing on me and apart from the arm scye, there is really nothing left of the original pattern.

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In short:

  • Didn´t like the gathered neckline so I folded them up into a pleat
  • Didn´t like the pleat, turned it into a dart
  • Weird place for a dart, rotated the dart to the waist. Split it into 3 darts.
  • Didn´t like the 3 darts, swapped it for one pleat.
  • Decided the pleat looked off so swapped it out for a dart again, but making the dart wider, shorter and curvier. Added a button placket,
  • Didn´t like the round neckline with the button placket so changed it into a curvy V-shape.
  • Added an all in one cut on button band/facing, lowered the V and lengthened the centre front.

After that I was finally happy and decided to make a last ´wearable´ muslin in a stiffer cotton to see if everything added up and which way I wanted to finish everything.

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I took the time to drape and pin this bodice on me until I was happy with the fit, each time transfering changes to my pattern pieces, I had never done this before and it made me feel so peaceful to just be able to use my body and adapt whatever I was making without worrying about the sizing. I´m my own fit model and I let go of trying to fit into industry standards. Very freeing!

 

I used a light blue cotton shirting from my stash with a white floral print. The fabric was quite crisp so I decided not to interface the facing/placket. I finished the sleeves, bottom hem and back neckline with store bought bias tape in a slightly darker blue. And I added a pearl snap to keep it closed.

The stiffer fabric showed me that the angle on my button placket wasn´t right yet and that my facing was too wide and got caught up in the sleeves.

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Initially I had wanted to turn this into a tunic or a dress but I wasn´t sure about it yet, so decided to keep it as a top and thought it would make a lovely cover-up for something sleeveless.

It turns out to be a perfect cover-up for my favourite night gown. My night gown is a navy blue silk jersey with navy blue lace on top. It has narrow straps and a low neckline. I bought it right before I gave birth and I feel lovely wearing it. The straps pull down easily to nurse and it´s really comfortable. It is however, not modest at all and while I don´t mind my husband seeing the goods, sometimes it gets a bit cold running around half naked and my in-laws tend to show up for unannounced visits in the evenings.

(If you are wondering why I often take pictures at night, this is what happens when my toddler is up:) Sunday mornings are the best, obviously!)

I used to just cover up in a sweater but now I can wear this blue top and feel great. It´s not too warm, covers just enough and unbuttons easily for nursing. It´ll be perfect for Spring and Summer!

Mission accomplished!

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My little princess!

 

 

SWAP Project 1: Darcy Boxer Shorts

Yesterday I finally decided to stop planning and start sewing. Clothes don´t sew themselves or I could just as well go back to buying them. I started with a very ´selfish´ project. Nobody apart from my husband (and daughters) is ever going to see me in these pyjamas and he prefers me not wearing any at all😉 But still, I want to feel pretty when I crawl in bed next to him.

I thought some ´silk´ boxers would be a good starting point so I set out to make 2 pairs of Darcy Boxers shorts. It´s a free pattern by Measure Twice Cut Once and I had only read good things about them.

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I decided to do everything right and follow the instructions to a T. I have to admit that for a free pattern these instructions are wonderful. They are extensive and helpful. They weren´t as quick as I had guessed (hoped) but it was a day well spend.

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I opted for snaps because I was too lazy to sew buttonholes and they weren´t going to be functional anyway. This way I got to ´practice´ setting in pearl snaps. I have to say, I want to put pearl snaps on everything now and I´m really tempted to order some other colours as well.

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A bit wrinkled since I slept in them:)

Final verdict:

There is absolutely nothing wrong with this pattern. It´s absolutely lovely and a breeze to sew. Great for scraps. But instead of feeling all elegant in my ´silky´ new pyjama bottoms, I feel like I´m wearing Hugh Hefners´ underpants. They remain boxer shorts in the end and their cut is very masculine, combine that with the silky fabrics and I´ve got instant Playboy vibes😀

Doesn´t mean they won´t get worn though, they are the only warm weather appropriate pyjama bottoms I have so until I find another pattern, these will be in heave rotation😉

I´m even willing to give the pattern another try, but this time use the ´feminine´ instructions and use a different fabric:)

Summary:

Size:

  • Cut a size XXL

Alterations:

  • Took in both sides by 1 cm (so 4cm in total)
  • Used snaps instead of buttons
  • Used 4cm elastic instead of 2,5 cm because it was all I had on hand

Fabric & Notions:

  • Red print poly, remnant from stash (no longer available online)
  • Watercolour silk cotton (gift from Hanne)
  • Pearl snaps – bought here
  • Interfacing – stash

 

SWAP Spring – Summer 2016

I´ve thought long and hard about what I wanted to sew for this Spring or Summer. I have loads of clothes, part of which don´t fit me, part of which do fit me but make me feel very ´momish´. I like being comfortable but I know myself well enough to realise that I need to feel pretty as well, if I want to keep my sanity up😀

So I sat down with all my pattern magazines and my stack of paper and PDF patterns to look for inspiration about what I want to make. The following lists feel incomplete and overcrowded at the same time. Making all of these garments is crazy ambitious so I´m not even going to attempt it but it does give me a fair idea of what I would love to sew.

Fashionable foundations

 

I have to admit that the top row kind of scares me. I was never afraid to sew pants until the entire sewing community called sewing pants ´scary´ and ´hard´. I need to get over this ridiculous feeling and just sew them already, I´ve done it before with great outcome. The top row is less scary to sew , it´s just too bad that I can´t pull off any gathered or pleated skirts. I love the look of them but they make me feel like a fat toddler😀

Chic Chemises

 

Making outfits out of separates is kind of hard for me. I have lots of separates but nothing really matches, making my outfits okay but not quite good enough. My main problem are shirts. I don´t like wearing regular t-shirts so most of the time I´m stuck. I´m hoping that these few will make me feel comfortable and get a spontaneous compliment  out of the husband😉

Fabulous Frocks

 

I absolutely love wearing dresses. Throw on a dress, grab a cardigan and you are good to go. I really want to start wearing dresses again but they need to be nursing friendly or adaptable to be nursing friendly without looking like it (since I want to continue wearing them afterwards)

Cool Summer Nights

 

It´s time to say goodbye to my ratty old pyjamas. I´m probably not the only one who keeps old t-shirts just to sleep in and has a heap of mis-matched tops and bottoms. I say ´no more´, I want to feel good crawling into bed with my husband😉

My goal is to get a more cohesive wardrobe, a smaller wardrobe (for separates) and one that I absolutely love and feel good in, I´m trying to do this from stash wherever possible:) Apart from the Jalie Jeans, the Southport dress and the Bootstrap patterns, I own all of these. I´m waiting to order the bootstrap patterns until the moment I actually want to make them as they are based on your own measurements, just like Lekala patterns.

More later!

 

It´s all a matter of perception.

I was scrolling through some unblogged pictures and came across these two. Both pictures were taken in the summer of 2014, when I was about the same size as I am now (only difference is that I had already stopped breastfeeding, so my cup size was a lot smaller)

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The dress on the left (StyleArc Mia) was made for a wedding at the beginning of July, the dress on the right (Colette Truffle) was made for a family gathering at the end of June.

How I felt in both dresses is totally clear from the expression on my face.

  • I liked the dress on the right, but after a family member asked my mother if I was pregnant again (apparently, I looked really pregnant in that dress) it was banished to the closet and only came out again for these pictures.
  • I felt like a million dollars wearing the dress on the left. I had made a muslin, I loved the silk cotton I found and I spend hours finishing it to perfection. I was devastated that it was way too big after I lost weight, but I gave it to a dear friend who loved it as much as I did.

So if I had to chose one, I definitely felt better in the Mia BUT looking at the pictures now, I feel like the Truffle is more flattering to my figure and that I look a lot slimmer in it. I feel like the kimono sleeves on the left add a lot of bulk to my upper body even in a very fluid fabric, the hemline isn´t right for me either, it makes my knees look weird. I didn´t feel good in my body back then (still carrying quite a few pregnancy pounds) but looking at the Colette dress I now think I look quite alright. The fit wasn´t perfect yet and it might be the last woven dress I´ve sewn since, but I think it might be what I´m after right now…

What do you think? Am I correct assuming that the right one is more flattering (objectively speaking)?

 

Winter striped Bettine skirt

While January and February were really productive sewing wise, March was not.

  • The baby is awake more often and asking for attention (happy to oblige),
  • I had planned on making my hubby some clothes for this birthday but didn´t feel like it and because I felt guilty about it, I didn´t get in the mood to sew for myself (birthday is today, no clothes, whatever).
  • Researching my size and shape has spiraled out of control😀 But things are clearer now, I just need to find a way to incorporate it into my sewing.

This skirt is just the start of it.

Disclamer: These pictures are super blurry, I can´t seem to get my camera to focus. At this point, my iPhone takes better pictures!

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I wanted to make another knit pencil skirt, so I grabbed my copy of the Bettine again (because OMG I luv those pockets) and went straight to cutting. I lengthened it by 2¨ and decided to add an enclosed waistband this time. I sewed it up without the waistband, put it on, pinned out the excess around my hips, adapted it and added the waistband. Easy peasy one hour sew! For the waistband I just measured the elastic around my waist and cut a piece of fabric the same length. I made sure that after pinning the hips, the top of my skirt was just as wide as the waistband so there is no extra gathering.

If you came here to read about the skirt, you can stop here:) If you want to read about the lastest discoveries into my shape and size… Carry on:)

It´s the gathering I want to talk about today. While I am an hourglass shape (as you can see in the picture below), clothes that are considered flattering for an hourglass shape make me look like a fat toddler. Until recently, I didn´t understand why, but as usual a little Google got me a long way.

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This pictures shows off my figure beautifully. And the way my shirt falls tells everything about my shape so I didn´t bother straightening it out and retaking the picture. This is as real as it gets:)

You can clearly see two horizontal wrinkles at the narrowest part of my upper body. For one this indicates that this RTW could use a swayback adjustment but it tells you everything you need to know. The top wrinkle is where my bra hits, this is the comfortable – nothing pulled up too high- spot for me, it sits nice and flat across my back.

The second wrinkle is where my natural waist (and my waistband) is. As you can see there isn´t a lot of distance between those two, so I´m obviously short waisted. I always thought that this was why I couldn´t pull off any high waisted gathered/pleated or circle skirts. It´s only part of it.

I never realised but apparently hour glass figures are devided into 2 categories: There´s the X shape (or the true hourglass) and the 8 (or Spoon) shape. When I started reading about the 8/Spoon shape, everything just clicked.

An 8 is defined by:

  • a waist significantly smaller (+/- 9¨) than bust or hips.
  • hips are max 2¨ larger than bust
  • short waist
  • HIGH HIP/shelf hip (¨widest¨ part of the hip is at the top – no gradual slope)
  • BULK AROUND THE TUMMY AREA

I put those last two in all caps because that´s what´s been the problem all along. It´s because of my high hip/tummy combo that I can´t pull off anything that adds a little bulk to these areas. So no pleats, no gathers, no ruching… Because of the high hip/tummy combo everything that has a little volume around the waist area bulges out at my waist, making me look a lot heavier than I really am. That´s why women a lot ´curvier´ than I can pull off gathers and pleats like it was nothing. Their hips are at a regular height and/or their stomach is flatter than mine. I actually have a dent between my hip and the bottom of my bum. (You can see it in the picture above)

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Do I think my shape is a problem: HELLZ NO! Why feel sad about something I can´t change anyway! I can sew, so I can wear whatever the hell I want. And now that I know what´s flattering, I can sew that too!

That´s why I really like my new skirt, because it has no extra bulk at the waist, it doesn´t make me look bigger than I am. Sure, I could stand to loose the little mommy pouch but I´ve had ¨extra¨ tummy for as long as I can remember. My mom has it, my grandmother had it, even my aunt who´s 5ft 4¨ (1,67m) and weighs 120 lbs (55 kg) has it! I can change my size but not my shape. But I can learn to work with it.

Discovering all this has been eye opening and I´m really excited to start this new journey to creating a wardrobe that I not only 100% love but look good in even when lounging around on the couch:)

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Final verdict:

I love that side seam stripe matching! And POCKETS!

Summary:

Size:

  • Size 6

Alterations:

  • Added waistband
  • Took off 1″at waist level, 2″at hiplevel grading out to nothing at the hem.
  • Added 2″in length

Fabric:

  • Winter tricot (remnant from stash). Same fabric as this amazing dress! (Destined to become a dress for me as well, but got made into awesome – unblogged – maternity Virginia leggings and this skirt)

 

 

Thinking about size and shape.

For the first three weeks after baby was born, I was sewing up a storm. She was sleeping when she wasn´t eating and I was happy to be able to sew clothes that weren´t maternity wear. But the last week or two, she´s been sleeping less and crying more so I´ve been spending less and less time in my sewing room. Not in the least because exhaustion of nursing 15 times a day is wearing me down and I just want to lie on the couch. Nothing wrong with that 5 weeks post partum but it´s not really what I want to do.

Obviously, lying on the couch, you start thinking. (My husband constantly tells me that I shouldn´t think as much, but being a woman, that´s an impossible thing to ask.) I started wondering why clothes I really liked making or really liked on others, like my latest Linden, didn´t make me look like I wanted them too. I couldn´t pinpoint the problem.

Until Jodi wrote about her Linden. It really got me thinking about the stuff I want to sew because I like the look and the stuff I end up wearing and feeling good in. Those things don´t really match.

For instance, I absolutely adore Grainline Studio patterns. I love the relaxed look of their designs but they never end up looking as good on me as they do on other people. Reading about Jodi´s Linden made me realise that the way I view myself when I plan clothes and the way my body looks is totally different. Up until now my goal was to sew clothes that made me look like I did when I was 18.

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I wish I hadn´t thrown out that dress!

But I´m not 18 anymore. I´ll never look like that again and that´s okay. My 30th birthday is coming up, I´ve had 2 kids, nobody expects me to look like I did back then. Nobody but me.

I realised that there is a big difference between looking skinny and looking good. I´ll never be as skinny as I was back then, but I can still look that good, even with a few extra pounds (or 40).

Everyone would agree that the girl above isn´t skinny but I would kill to look that good. I told my husband about this and he totally agrees. He thinks I look good whatever size I am and he doesn´t get what all the fuss is about. He´s a sweetie:)

So from now on I´m done focusing on looking skinny, I´m going to focus on looking good. And feeling great along the way!

Does this mean I´m going to stop sewing Lindens? Ofcourse not, they´re soooo very comfy but I´m no longer going to feel disappointed that I don´t look like a perfect size 0 wearing them. I´m going to accept my body as it is, although I still want to lose the extra baby weight😉

What does this imply for my sewing? I went through my old blogposts and thought back about all makes that I ended up really loving and wearing to death. Here´s a small selection:

It´s clear that I like dresses and I like wearing belts to accentuate my waist (which is my smallest part), so I should just focus on sewing and wearing those. I like skirts as well, but I have to avoid high waisted and/or gathered skirts because they add bulk to my tummy area and stop right below my boobs… They really make me look like a fat toddler:)

It´s time I started showing off my hourglass shape!

 

Convertible maxi-dress

February´s theme for Sew It Up was Evening Wear, because all the big awards seem to be handed out in February.

I love evening wear but my current life style doesn´t really call for it.

But I really wanted an evening gown…
Or 20…
Preferably in a knit because… secret pyjamas and all.

So it sounded like my Sewingskillz had to come to the rescue…
Accompanied by my Googleskillz and my Pinterestskillz!

(Seriously, how did people get inspiration or tutorials in the days before the internet)

But I do not have the time nor the place in my closet for 20 dresses.
So… A convertible dress that can change look/model in a blink of an eye… HELLZ YEAH!

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Pink sparkly Pineapple Linden

Sometimes when you´re wandering through a fabric store,  fabric just jumps into your arms and it would be rude of you to ignore its pleas to go home with you.

That´s exactly what happened when I saw this heathered grey sweatshirting with pink sparkly pineapples printed on it. I took home 1.5m and just knew I wanted to make a Grainline Linden sweatshirt.

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