2013 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 7,400 times in 2013. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 6 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

The reason for my silence…

Hello everyone,

I know, I’ve been very silent over the past months. Sewing just wasn’t in my priorities, nor even on my list at all. The summer period has been the busiest ever at the office, and at the same time, I was struggling with personal challenges.

About a month ago, I underwent weight loss surgery in Brugge, Belgium. It wasn’t an easy decision to make, but for the sake of my own health, it had to be made. Before surgery, I had to lose a certain amount of weight and believe you me, it wasn’t easy. So I spent the whole summer under a lot of work stress, coupled with a weight that just wouldn’t go down. Messed up metabolism, you say? You bet!

Anyway, I somehow managed to lose the weight while keeping a minimum level of sanity (I appologize to my colleagues who had to suffer me :(), went under the knife and emerged as a new person. The weight is coming off at a rapid pace now, but I would be lying if I’d be saying it’s easy! It’s hard to break life-long habits. But I absolutely don’t regret my choice.

Losing weight also means my beautiful creations don’t fit me anymore 😥 I want to give them a good home, so watch this space. They’ll be added to my Etsy shop very soon! I’ll be back shortly with a list of the dresses for sale.

Until then, happy sewing everyone!

Blog stats for 2011

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2011 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 7,500 times in 2011. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 6 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

2011 Sewing Year in Review

On this last day of 2011, it’s time to reflect on the year that passed. On a personal level, it was an incredibly busy year with its load of challenges. Nonetheless, I managed to squeeze in some sewing time and I was able to take part in some awesome projects. Here are the highlights:

In January, I couldn’t stop thinking about the summer to come. Interestingly enough, I actually used all the fabrics I bought that day! Often enough, my mind is full of ideas and I buy fabrics to match these ideas, but the reality of life and a busy schedule often prevents me from completing all these ideas.

March and April were by far the busiest months, with 8 sewing projects completed: from a bellydancing outfit, to a jacket, to several vintageinspired dresses. The dresses were showcased in a photo shoot, an invitation from my photographer friend Rubi. Who would have ever thought I’d be a model some day? 😀

The second half of 2011 was on the quiet side, with the amount of projects completed reduced to… 2! But it’s not about quantity, it’s about quality, right? 😉 I had the honor and privileged to make a wedding dress for an ex-colleague, which is always something very special. This project was the first that I drafted on my own, making muslins and all, and it turned out quite okay, methinks! And last but not least, I cannot forget my two elves, who went partying in style this x-mas.

All in all, 2011 was a fantastic year of sewing.

What’s in store for 2012? Several exciting projects, which I still cannot share for now 😉 But I’m sure I’m in for a fabulous year!

Dear friends, family, crafters, sewing enthusiasts and readers who stumbled upon my blog, thank you for your support in 2011 and best creative wishes for 2012!

Enjoy the slide show of “2011 Sewing Year in Review”!

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Photo shoot pictures!

Here they are, finally! 🙂

May I present you yours truly, all dressed up in retro style:

            

I like all of the pictures, some more than others obviously 🙂 But it’s also very confronting to see yourself on photos… I think a certain weight loss journey needs to be started soon!

To see all the other pictures, just click on one of the pictures above or visit my friend’s site!

Getting ready for the photo shoot!

I am getting ready for the photo shoot tomorrow, gathering my clothes, my shoes, my accessories and making last-minute tests on curling my hair for the big day. I’m so excited! In the end I decided to go for hot rollers instead of pin curls, mostly because I think I have absolutely no talent in setting pin curls. My attempts so far have been unsuccessful, to say the least! But I seem to be able to achieve some good results with hot rollers, yay!

At least there’s one thing I don’t need to worry about: the make-up is taken care of by a professional make-up artist. Nonetheless, I’m going to be bringing my Retro Makeup book, freshly received this week. This book is wonderful, it reads like a history book! If you own the Vintage Hairstyling book, you must get its sequel, the Retro Makeup book!

I have no sewing projects to show off or to talk about today. My next projects for the photo shoot were a skirt and a blouse, but the blouse failed me miserably – it’s the fabric, not my talents. I tried to make 3 garments out of it already, and all 3 failed. The skirt is all cut and ready to sew, but without the blouse, it’s just not the same. So I’m giving myself a break from sewing this weekend and I won’t be using the skirt for the shoot. It’s okay, I have 4 dresses already anyway 🙂

Yesterday was Queen’s Day in the Netherlands, when the whole country transforms itself in a gigantic flea market. It’s usually kids selling their toys, but there are also professional antique dealers selling some merchandise. I found a very pretty vintage double strand pearl necklace with silver clasp for just a few euros.

   

Isn’t it pretty? Yes, that’s me on the picture. After walking around the city center, we went for a drink and a sandwich and I just had to try my necklace on 😀

I’ll be back tomorrow to tell you aaaaaaaaall about the photo shoot!

Have a great Sunday everyone!

Exciting news

A short while ago, a friend (and ex-colleague) who is a photographer asked me if I’d like to showcase my sewing work with a professional photo shoot. It would help her expand her portfolio, and it would help me gain some exposure… and perhaps some confidence in my abilities too. I am really excited by this opportunity, but it also means one thing: I gotta get sewing!

The shoot will have a strong retro vibe, and this is the main reason I’ve been sewing garments with a vintage feel lately: full skirts, frills, old skool prints, etc. I have more of these planned for the coming weeks. My goal is to have about 5 outfits that could be used for the shoot. A make-up artist will be present as well. I just have to do my hair, but that’s easy: pin curls galore!

The small details still need to be confirmed, but the shoot should take place during the 1st week of May. I can’t wait! 😀

If you live in the Netherlands, please take a minute to visit my friend’s website, xllens photography, and book her for a photo shoot of your own 😉

I also redesigned my blog with a new template, I hope you like it 🙂

Interior decorating

I’ve been playing around today with a new blog theme, but there seems to be some bugs that WordPress will have to iron out. Bear with me for a little while! Hopefully my newly decodated home will be ready soon for a housewarming party 😀

Wanted – Shoes

Aren’t these shoes just perfect for a seamstress like me? 😀 But I’m afraid I can’t afford a hole of 795$ in my monthly income… 😆

Thank you Erica B. and Snuzal for the tip!

Spreading the sewing virus

Last Sunday, I went to give my teacher a hand during the sewing workshops she is organising. During these workshops, high school girls work on various outfits they designed themselves, to have them ready for a fund-raising fashion show at the end of the school year.  Since a few years back, high school students in the Netherlands are obligated to complete an internship that consists in volunteer work for charity organisations. My teacher chairs a non-profit organisation that allows students to develop their social skills in a creative way. (For more information about the foundation, have a look at their website.)

Helping out the students during the workshop is very rewarding. And it helps consolidating my sewing skills, as I need to organise my thoughts properly when explaining a new skill or technique to a beginner! Something might make sense to me, but this doesn’t mean it’ll make sense for another person and that this person will spontaneously know what I mean 🙂 Terminology is an issue too. I’m  used to the US English terms used by Big 4 pattern companies. But for international students, who might speak a different variant of English, this can pose a challenge. Just as an example, the different terms that could be used to describe sewing a garment by hand quickly before assembling it with the machine. I use “basting”. But this word was relatively unknown to my audience last Sunday! But we all managed to speak the same language in the end: the language of sewing 😉

It’s also amazing to see how creative these kids are. Some of their designs are truly awesome! They could definitely be a participant on Project Runway in the future. I can’t wait for the fashion show in June, and see all the final garments on the runway.

The turn-up for the workshop last Sunday was a bit disappointing, we only had two students. I guess the weather was just too great! Hopefully the turn-up will be higher for the next workshop 😉

For more pictures from the workshop, check out my Picasa album!