My #Augusttribute

The sewcialist theme for this month is August Tribute (am I the only one who thinks of the Hunger Games when hearing the word Tribute?)

So let me tell you about my inspiration!

Although you wouldn’t say so based on the stuff I sew, there is one sewcialist I have the sewing hots for (is that even a thing?)

Can you guess who? I’ll give you 4 clues…
1. She sews a lot of pretty dresses!
2. She obviously likes slouchy boots.
3. She owns SO.MANY cardigans.
4. We speak the same language!

Do you know who it is?

That’s right! It’s Inge from Ingemaakt!

Serious girl-crush! A few years ago all I wore were dresses/skirts and slouchy boots and cardigans! I have recently rediscovered some of my old dresses and even if they’re a bit short/tight now, I made me feel like me again. I have no idea why I stopped wearing dresses with cardigans and boots but I think for the most part because fitting woven dresses SCARES THE LIVING SHIT OUT OF ME… Or that is up until now. Recently I’ve started noticing my fit issues (it only took me two years) and I’m confident that with some patience I could totally get those dresses to fit me. Patience being the operate word here. Sewing used to be about getting something new, fast… I didn’t really bother with finishes and because I mostly sew knits, fitting was reduced to a bare minimum.

To put my words into action I’ve bought two new patterns. The Camí dress by Pauline Alice and the Edith Blouse/Dress by Maria Denmark. And yes, both were inspired by Inge!

Apart from wanting to steal ever outfit she has ever modeled, I think she’s genuinely one of the nicest people I’ve met online and I’m looking forward to meeting her in real life one day!

If you don’t know who Inge is, hop over to her blog or start by admiring some of her outfits right here (yes, I copied the pics from her blog, but I don’t think she’ll mind)

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Camí love!

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Edith love!

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I told her she could send the entire outfit my way… Too bad she really liked it!

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I wanted the same fabric for my Ginger… Too bad she got it in Japan.

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love.the.entire.outfit #sigh

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Her cardigans match her skirts all.the.time… #jealouslikehell

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Also: CLOGS! They are my new shoe crush! #iwantobuyalltheclogs

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The One with the Calendar

I have been planning to do a lot of sewing but when plans just stay in my head and don’t get transferred to some kind of calendar, they tend to get pushed back. So I decided to make my own calendar as I tend to absolutely hate the ones you can buy are find online. I’m very picky about calendars 🙂 Because I put in the effort to make one, I thought why not share it with you all. This one is just for the month of August (yes, I know, it’s the 5th already, but the idea only came to me today) but others will be following.

You can download it as a .jpeg (click the image) or as .pptx (click the link) if you want to modify it 🙂 I made everything myself except the sewcialist logo which I generated here (it was developed by the brilliance that is Joost) and the #sewcialbee logo which I stole from the #Sewcialbee Flickr group, made by the ever creative Gillian, but hey, no #sewcialists calendar would be any good without them.

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Sewcialist Calendar August 2013

And if you’re interested in what mine looks like. Here it is:

You might recognise some line drawings :)

You might recognise some line drawings 🙂

I know that this looks ambitious but all of these projects are fast and serger friendly knit patterns. I really need some more clothes as pregnancy creeps along and I have to prepare for the upcoming school year.  So I plan to do some sewing each day 🙂

I would love to hear what you think 🙂

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!

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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.

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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.

For you February – Project Weekender Bag & Project Pajamas

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This For You February post isn’t the most impressive one but I had fun doing it so I wanted to share it anyway.

For You February for my Dad.

It was my father’s birthday coming up and I wanted to give him something personal. He’s a Landrover Defender maniac and he goes away on weekends with a Landrover club a lot. But everytime he has to take one of my mother’s bags and they are all quite feminine. So I decided to make him a weekender bag.

I based my bag on this tutorial for a zippered box pouch. I only made it a lot bigger and added 2 handles. I wanted to incorporate the Landrover logo and decided to carve a stamp. This was also a first and I think it turned out really nice. (I am aware this is technically copyright infringement, but because it was just a gift for my father I thought what the hell.)

He was dead happy with the result and took it to work the next day to show all his colleagues what his ‘little’ girl made him 🙂

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Note: As you can see on the close up of the zipper I had a little touch-and-melt between the zipper and my iron. Whoops, didn’t think about the fact that plastic zippers melt 🙂

For you February for my Mom.

Remember the pajamas I made for myself? Well, my mother loved the pants so much I gave them to her. A few days later she called me saying she had a huge problem. She wasn’t able to take the pants off long enough to get them washed 🙂 She wanted to live in them, they were that comfy and warm.

So I decided to make her another pair. This time I went for an off-white flannel. I saw it as a good opportunity to try out some decorative stitches on my new machine. I wanted to try flowers but my mother isn’t really the flowery type so I chose ton-sur-ton thread and went for geometric stitches instead. She loved them and now both pants are on heavy rotation.

I’m really sorry for the bad photo quality on this one, but my mother took these pictures with her iPad.

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Note: I have enough of this flannel and the plaid flannel left to make some for me, so yay! 🙂

How is your For You February going?

For You February – Project Bumblebee

The Twitter Sewing community got talking again and suddenly we all realised that we were all sewing for others this month. We decided it needed a name and For You February was born. Leave it to the ever lovely Gillian to design a logo for it!8443097400_8d9abff521_h

It wasn’t any different for me. There were some ‘For you’ projects on my list for this month. Only difference is, they weren’t presents. People actually asked me to make these (which does make me a little proud of myself) for a special occasion. So instead of taking it easy, I was on a schedule! And I hate schedules 🙂 I love sewing and I love seeing the finished results on other people but I just have to force myself to start work on those projects. Once I get started it’s lots of fun but the time it takes to get started…. Pff 🙂

My first two requests came from two of my colleagues. I usually teach secondary school, but once a week I also teach English in primary school. The two teachers over there are super lovely! So when they asked, I just couldn’t say no!

The first request (I’m keeping the 2nd one a secret until it’s finished) was a ‘bumblebee’ dress for Carnival (think Brazil, think Mardi Grass). The dresses for sale in shops were either too expensive or too ‘sexy bumblebee’… Not the look you want to go for around 10 year olds 🙂 She wanted something dark yellow (more of a musterd colour) with dark brown. A sleeveless, loose fitting dress so she could wear something underneath.

I opted for the Banksia Dress pattern but left off the collar, the placket and the sleeves. For the first time ever, I made a muslin. Not because the pattern was difficult (because it’s really not), but because I wanted to make sure I had the right fit (When sewing for others, I want it to be perfect). She tried it on, I made my alterations and I thought the final dress would take me only half an hour.

Making of

Wrong! I decided against buying striped fabric and instead I bought two colours of twill and cut my stripes. That’s the part that took some time, together with making sure the stripes matched (I wanted them to continue at the side seams), sewing all the stripes together and finishing the seams 🙂

But when it was finally done, I was very very very happy with the result! I even took the time to change thread colour while doing the topstitching so it matched the twill! Yay for not being lazy!

All in all, I think the end result matched the design drawings really well. Why did I draw such an easy dress? Because this way it was easier to see how many stripes I needed and which colour to put on top. Far easier to visualize!

Final

I’m happy and so was she! And in the end, that’s why we do it!

How is your ‘For You February’ going?