The One with All the Maternity and Moving Plans

The Moving Part

I haven’t been blogging much lately and that has everything to do with our big move which is coming up a month from today. I mainly keep busy by planning all the renovations which need to be done – it didn’t seem much at first but boy, was I wrong – Two weeks from today, the house will be officially ours and while we have already been doing construction work on it, it doesn’t feel like we can do anything we want just yet.

We are redoing the entire electrics – they date back to 1967, so they’re in dire need of an update, we’re putting in new hard wood floors in the entire house, redoing all the pipes for water and drains and redoing the kitchen. We’re actually stripping the kitchen and building a completely new one in a different part of the house. In september we’re having new windows put in because these date back to the 1930 and could use an upgrade to some more energy saving ones 🙂

Apart from the fact that I’ll have my own sewing room, I’ll have my own walk in closet/dressing room as well (which I’ll have to share with my soon to be hubby, but he doesn’t have that many clothes). And he basically gave me carte blanche for the kitchen 🙂

Interested on how my kitchen will look like? I love a retro interior, I inherited a complete 1960-1970’s dining room set so I wanted to keep the vibe going, especially since the house has been last modernised in the 60’s.

So yes, I basically want my kitchen to be teal/aqua. I just love it, I fell in love with it the moment I saw this picture. I even ordered the same type of cooker (although, I did that before deciding on the teal). We’ll be painting the cabinets ourselves so that if we don’t like the colour anymore in a few years, we can just choose a new colour and paint over the teal.

But before my house looks like that let me share some pictures of the house mid construction 🙂

This will be my seating room, we will be replacing the window with a window from ceiling to floor.
This will be my seating room, we will be replacing the window with a window from ceiling to floor.
This will be the kitchen.
This will be the kitchen.
My sewing room gets a window from ceiling to floor as well!
My sewing room gets a window from ceiling to floor as well!
Hubby-to-be's office space :)
Hubby-to-be’s office space 🙂

The Sewing Part

I have had time to sew while planning the house but I haven’t had the amount of time I would have wanted. I’ve made quite a few new items but the boyfriend is so busy that I’ve got no-one to take my pictures.

The hard part about sewing now is not the moving or the heat, it’s actually getting used to my changing body. It’s not like the bump is already big enough to be called an actual bump and it doesn’t ask for special maternity clothes yet but it certainly is noticeable and all my clothes are getting to tight. I’ve got one t-shirt that still fits, one skirt and one pair of pants. Luckily thanks to the heat-wave I’ve been running around in my short shorts and a bikini-top (running around the house that is). So I went through my stash and took out every piece of knit fabric I had, I went to the store and bought some more (yes, I know I’m supposed to be stash busting, but I can’t really use a lot of cotton) and made a to sew list of things I need. I’m being careful not to sew too many summer clothes because autumn starts early here and by then we’ll have moved but maybe not yet unpacked and I’ll have started a new job (hopefully) so you get my drift.

What’s on the ‘to sew’-list?

You definitely see the difference in size. And the first one had gaping, A LOT. I have proof...
You definitely see the difference in size. And the first one had gaping, A LOT. I have proof…
  1. More Tiramisu dresses (I’ve already made 2, have one more cut out and fabric for 4 more! – Blogpost on that later) Those dresses are genius. I do have to go back and fix the bodice on the first one because it’s too big but you don’t hear me complain. It takes me about 15 minutes to cut one and one hour to sew one! And they are perfect maternity wear. See colours in picture below (number 1)
  2. I have 4 colours of stretch denim in my stash and was planning on making 4 pairs of jeans like the one I made before, only raising the back just a little and adding a wider waistband, again to support the bump. See colours in picture underneath (number 2)
  3. I’ve got some yellow sweater knit left from my Owl Briar and bought two more colours in the same fabric and I’ll be using them to make some kind of sweater/cardigan. I haven’t decided on a pattern for those yet. See colours in picture underneath (number 3)
  4. About six months ago I made a punto-di-roma knit skirt. I wore it a lot through winter but it wasn’t my favorite. I wore it again this week and somehow it fits better now than it did before. It’s super comfy, superfast to make and it has a wide knit waistband to support the growing bump. See colours in picture underneath (number 4)

    The skirt pattern. Lacking explanation because it took me 2 tries to get the kind of pleats right :)
    The skirt pattern. Lacking explanation because it took me 2 tries to get the kind of pleats right 🙂
  5. I bought 5m of off-white interlock knit fabric. I pre-washed it (yes, you read that correctly) and I plan on having my own little sweat shop and making several Renfrews. I will make them a bit longer and it gives me a chance to try all sorts of embellishments. I have several knits with print in my stash and they’ll probably turn into Renfrews as well 🙂
I love ALL  the knits. This is not all - some are in the washing machine being pre-washed - and the colours are a bit different in real life. The red is less bright and the blue in n3 is actually green :)
I love ALL the knits. This is not all – some are in the washing machine being pre-washed – and the colours are a bit different in real life. The red is less bright and the blue in n3 is actually green 🙂

Each and every one of these are quick projects. But because I hate going through the motion of tracing and cutting, I’m planning on doing most of the tracing and cutting in the next few days, so that I always have something ready to be sewn. Because face it, sewing is the fun part of making your own clothes. The prep work just isn’t.

But because I have so many knits to work with in the next couple of weeks/months (I haven’t even started talking about all the cool baby patterns and fabric I have and outfits I’ve planned) I decided to follow Gillian’s advice for lazy seamstresses and invest in a cutting mat and rotary blade. Go check out her blog, she’s the queen of knits!!


The One with the Sewcialbee

The challenge

About a week ago me and some fellow sewcialists were talking about the new ‘Great Online Sewing Bee’ on Twitter. Some of us applied, we even had some matching hashtags (#pickheather, #pickgillian, #picklaura) but sadly, none of them got picked (I still think this is a huge mistake!)

While talking about this we decided that we wanted our own low-key sewing challenge. Something fun, without the actual pressure, judges or prizes. We would get a challenge and then just have fun making those. We wanted to have a test run with a smaller group for the first challenge but the next one is open to anybody, the more the merrier!

It was quickly decided that Gillian and her lovely sister Annie would take care of the main items aka set up a Flickr group (admit it, we would have been lost without.) And Annie would think of a challenge as she isn’t a sewcialist herself (she’s such an amazing knitter though).

These were the groundrules (I shamelessly copied them from Annie’s blogpost)

  1. This post goes live at 3 PM on Sunday, July 14, 2013, at 3 PM EST/8 PM GMT. Participants get 24 hours from that time to design/draft/sew their garments — but really, the idea is that they should at least attempt to limit themselves to about 4 hours of sewing time.
    The 24-hour window is so that people in any time zone can participate. Having it over a Sunday night/Monday morning means that both weekend and weekday sewers can take part.
  2. TNT patterns (tried ‘n’ tested) are totally welcome, and, in fact, encouraged. Riffing on a staple design is important if they’re going to manage much in that 4-hour sewing time!
  3. There’s no judging, and (at this point) no prizes, other than the glorious satisfaction of a challenge well mastered.
  4. At the end of the 24 hours, participants are to submit photos of themselves wearing their completed garments (or incomplete, for that matter) to the group Flickr pool. (Questions and chatter will take place in the group forums, at the same link.)
  5. It’s an open event: anyone is welcome to join in!

When I read through the first challenge I had two minor heart attacks:

  • First of all, she started talking about knitted scarfs/shawls so obviously I thought she wanted us to knit one. I seriously panicked, I didn’t even think about reading the rest of the post before freaking out. You have to know that I ‘know’ how to knit if ‘knowing how to knit’ is starting something with a straight stitch and then ditching it 5 cms in 🙂
  • Then I thought she wanted us to make a scarf/shawl out of fabric and that sounded way to easy.

But bless her, she didn’t disappoint. She wanted us to pick our favorite triangular scarf and make a top to match it. I loved this challenge for various reasons the main one being that I’m in desperate need of tops.

It took me about 12 hours to decide what I wanted to make and still I kept changing it until the last second. My problem is always the same, I have so much inspiration that I don’t know where to start and end up making nothing at all!

But this time I had to and after 3 hours and 50 min this was the result!


I loved taking part in this challenge and was so curious to see what everyone came up with, everything was so very different! The next challenge will probably be in August so if you want to give it a try yourself, please do!

Now for the design itself:

The pattern for the t-shirt is actually a Megan Nielsen pattern (like you couldn’t have guessed). It’s the Ruched Maternity tshirt. I ordered it the minute I knew I was pregnant but hadn’t gotten round to making it yet. This t-shirt came together superfast on my serger. I think it took me 30 minutes at the most. I cut a straight size M but opted for the XL length because I like my shirts a little longer. It fits like a dream.

You might be asking yourself why it took me 3.50 hours to make this shirt if the shirt itself only took 30 minutes.

The rest of the time was spend on the appliqué.

Because I’m an autumn type I picked this dark orange scarf. I wanted a matching applique on a plain t-shirt. I picked a fox for three reasons.

  1. In my mind foxes come out in autumn
  2. In my mind foxes are dark orange
  3. I found this fox template in a craft magazine I bought a few weeks ago and was dying to try it out 🙂

A lot of you were really enthousiastic about it and wanted to recreate it so I’ll tell you how.

  1. Print this template
  2. Enlarge it 200% on a copy machine
  3. Cut out all the paper pieces for the fox.
  4. Look in your stash for scraps and choose any colours you like
  5. Cut all the pieces out of your scrap fabric.
  6. Use the paper pattern pieces to cut out the same sizes in fusible webbing (the one that sticks on both sides like the back of a store bought appliqué)
  7. Start building the appliqué by ironing the pieces together. Keep the main body piece for last.
  8. Take the entire applique to your sewing machine and use a satin stitch to stitch around each separate piece
  9. Use a very small straight stitch to attach it to the front of your shirt (preferably before putting the shirt together)
  10. use embroidery thread for the nose and eyes (I used textile markers for the eyes)
  11. Enjoy your home made appliqué.

satijn steek

snoetjeHope this gives you enough information and if you make anything using the template, please show me 🙂

PS I did not create this template. This template can be found in ‘Mollie Makes issue 23 and is designed by CV Savage which can be found here.

The One where I claim my blog

This one is long long overdue, but apparently it’s necessary 🙂

So hereby, I claim my blog on bloglovin’

Follow my blog

Thank you so much for following me one way or the other!

The One with the Great Discovery

Everyone who knows me a bit, knows that I hate tracing patterns. That would be Hate with a capital H.

But they would also know that I’m too much of a chicken to cut into my patterns.  So that leaves me with a huge dilemma each time I want to try a new pattern. For the last few weeks my hate for tracing was so big I only made patterns that I had made before (read: traced before) or Megan Nielsen’s patterns because I know my size in her patterns so I’m not afraid to cut into them.

I’ve tried many types of paper before, I tried

  • the sturdy IKEA paper which is great but only for pattern drafting (because it’s not sheer at all)
  • the flimsy and cheap tracing paper which wrinkels like crazy and ripps by just looking at it. It comes in rolls but they are flimsy as well. It’s sheer but not sheer enough.
  • the slightly better paper with a 1cm grid on it.  Great for pattern drafting but the grid is just confusing when tracing and it’s still not sheer enough
  • the pattern paper which comes in separate sheets but is folded so the foldlines bother me.

All in all I just hadn’t found the right paper yet. I had been looking at the fantastic Swedish Tracing Paper a lot of you swear by, but by the time I get that stuff shipped over here and pay the import taxes it’ll have cost more than my engagement ring (figure of speech).

I was getting kind of desperate because I’ve got all these patterns that I’ve been dying to try out but I just can’t get myself to trace them. Then I had an idea today. When I was in college and studying Interior Design I used tracing paper for blueprints. It’s satinized but it’s really sheer. It comes in rolls and separate sheets. I decided to drive down to my local arts supply store and pick up some.

I tell you, that stuff is amazing! They will write songs about this paper, this paper will go down in history as the greatest paper ever made. Sure it doesn’t come as cheap as regular tracing paper but I’m happy to pay that for the amount of comfort it provides.

Just look at how sheer this is!  ( Can you guess which pattern I'm tracing?)
Just look at how sheer this is!
( Can you guess which pattern I’m tracing?)

For those that are interested. I got a roll which was 29cm wide and 20m long and one that was 75cm wide and 20m long. I forgot to check the weight of the paper so one is a bit thicker than the other and that’s not really necessary but it’s okay for now. I’m just so happy with it that I traced three patterns already! And for me that’s seriously awesome!

Don’t worry that I haven’t blogged in a while, I have been sewing and I will write about those makes but I’ve been working in our house so it’s been quite busy!

The One with the Meet-Up

Those who know me a bit, know that I’m incredibly jealous each time someone organises a meet-up. Why? Because they are all out of reach!(geographically, therefore financially)

But now we’re finally planning a Belgian/Dutch meet-up! Yay! I can’t begin to explain how excited I am!

If you want in and join me, Anneke, Joost, Jo, Lisa and Inge for all the meet-up fun, you can send an email to Anneke (she’s the organising queen!) at annekecaramin (at) hotmail (dot) com.

They more, the merrier! You can also fill in the Doodle to pick a date. The deadline is quite close, I think because we’re all that excited!

Now the only remaining question is: What am I going to wear for christ sake! I can’t wear anything I’ve worn before so I’ll have to make something new (like that’s a problem). Only thing is, I’ll have to get creative since I’m stash busting!


All I have left to say is that Carlton expresses exactly how I feel about this!



How a sewing machine works

I found this GIF on 9GAG and because it shows you how your bobbin thread and your spool thread come together to form a stitch, I found it interesting enough to share!

How a sewing machine works