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!


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.

 

 

The challenge in the laundry conundrum!

Thanks for your responses on yesterday´s post, I´m glad to hear that I´m not the only one.

I finished laundry today (yes, it took me two days…) and the advantage of having all your clothes clean at the same time is that you can really really look at them.

I´ve decided to conduct a little experiment:

I selected the clothes that I liked best out of my entire wardrobe. This wasn´t as easy as I thought because most of my beloved clothes are either too small or not suitable for breastfeeding. Of the ones left, I selected the items on the rack in the picture.

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I´m going to try and work with these clothes only for the next two weeks. I figured that if I have two weeks worth of clothes, I have my bases for summer covered. (Belgian summer = every type of weather imaginable but mostly rain and very humid)

Does this mean I will not sew for the next two weeks (or afterwards)?

Ofcourse not BUT when I sew it should follow these rules:

  • I need that item of clothing (i.e. I do not own shorts, I should sew shorts)
  • I´ve already cut out the pieces (i.e I cut out a pair of Hudson Pants over the weekend, they can still get sewn)
  • I can refashion items that otherwise would not get worn or would be thrown away (i.e. I have some t-shirts I like but don´t wear because the neckline gapes or they are slightly too long = easy alterations)

My goal is not to have a small mix-and-match wardrobe in the end, because mix-and-match doesn´t work for me. But I want to have a smaller workable wardrobe filled with pieces that´ll actually get worn.

What do you think? Crazy or doable?

 

 

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!

 

Fall/Winter 2015 Maternity Capsule Wardrobe

I wanted to blog about another wrap dress I made but the weather and a teething 20 month old got in the way for now. So while you eagerly await those pictures, let me tell you about my sewing plans for this Fall/Winter.

My maternity makes were all over the place last time and I’ve ditched them all. There just wasn’t anything special about them and they didn’t coordinate at all. I’ve been meaning to make a capsule wardrobe for ages but so far it’s proven harder than I expected , seeing I like to start from scratch but I don’t want to throw out any of my clothes…

So with almost no maternity clothes left and Fall just around the corner, I’ve decided to do a quick brainstorm on what to make.

Continue reading

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)

 

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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 😀

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)

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Yes, I know, my drafting skills are spectacular 😀

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.

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

It’s sewing time!

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

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

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

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

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

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

swatches

 

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

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