I’ll stick to sewing!

I know I promised to tell you aaaaaall about the photo shoot on Monday, but I’ve been so incredibly busy this week that I just couldn’t find the time to write anything!

The shoot was fun! I don’t think I can pretend at a modelling career though, so I’ll stick to sewing as my creative outlet, thank you very much. Not that I didn’t have an excellent photographer, au contraire! Rubianca is very talented and I’m so grateful she offered to take pictures of me in my retro dresses. I guess watching Next Top Model doesn’t make you a model, because I found it quite difficult to pose and be imaginative. But that’s beyond the point anyway, the most important goal was to have fun – and fun we had!

Since I knew my hair just doesn’t hold a curl, especially when it’s a bit warm (and I was warm in the shop where were shot the pictures) I didn’t remove my hot rollers until I arrived to the location and was done with my make-up. (Yes, in the end I had to do my make-up, the artist was ill and couldn’t make it) Which meant I had to drive to the location wearing my rollers 😆 I did get some strange looks from other car drivers and pedestrians 😉

The location was a jam-packed retro 50’s store in Den Haag (Netherlands), Bennie’s Fifties Store: from jukeboxes to diner sets, and collectibles, dresses and petticoats in all the colors of the rainbow! The staff was very friendly and they let us shoot wherever we liked in the store. I haven’t really heard nor seen clients that afternoon, so we basically had the store to ourselves. I saw some cute things, so I’ll have to go back one day! 😉 Check out their online store at http://www.fiftiesstore.com/!

I haven’t seen the pictures yet except for one, and here it is:

This was among the last ones we shot, and my hair had almost lost all its curls! At the beginning of the shoot the owner of the shop complimented my dresses and gave me the best compliment of the world: he said I looked like one of my favorite artists, Dutch signer Caro Emerald. Riiiiiiight. I think Caro is absolutely gorgeous, so that made my day! 😆

This weekend was also a small break from sewing, before I step into factory-mode next weekend to make t-shirts for the summer. We’re going on vacation pretty soon, and I need short sleeves!

Have a great Sunday everyone! And of course: Happy Mothers’ Day! If I may add: Happy Non-Mothers’ Day too, because you don’t need to be a mother to love like one!


Dresses, dresses

I still need to sew for Spring/Summer… and we’ve already had temperatures above 15°C! Needless to say, I hate this period when it’s not quite warm enough to wear short sleeves, but getting way too warm for long skirts and tights. I’m spending long minutes in front of my closet asking myself the eternal question: “What am I going to wear?”

So I decided to go for a quick-fix, and I’ll give Vogue 8632 (view A) a try tomorrow:

The fabric is some mystery poly flower print I bought years ago at a fabric market. I think I must have paid 5 euros in total, a bargain. It’s very lightweight (but not transparent), it drapes very nicely and doesn’t wrinkle at all. And I love the print, with my red shoes it’ll be perfect 😉  I have just enough fabric for view A and I expect View A to end up being on the short side. Fortunately, I know I’ll be wearing it with a pair of black leggings, even in the middle of the summer (anti-chafing!), so it doesn’t really bother me. I have a zipper and the biais tape in my stash already, so I’m good to go!

Next weekend, I want to work on this Vogue 8573 pattern. I just love this dress with back tie. I need a red dress for a photo shoot in April and I’m planning on using some gorgeous red linen (very lightweight) I have in my stash. The pattern calls for a lining and I actually *will* line this dress (I usually ignore linings unless I really can’t avoid them). The only problem is that my linen is actually blended with some lycra, and I don’t want to lose this stretchiness by using a non-stretch lining fabric. I just placed a quick order for some stretch lining fabric at my favorite online fabric store, and I should get my package by Wednesday, just in time for a weekend of sewing 🙂

After reading this, I know my poor teacher is going to say something like: “What about those patterns we worked on together?” Yes, I’ll work on them very soon. Just not now 😉

Summer sewing and badass fabric

I have to share about my recent fabric purchases. Yes, I know I said I didn’t want to buy any new fabric for the time being. Yes, I know I said I wanted to use as much as possible the mounts of fabric I have in my stash for my Spring/Summer sewing.

But I couldn’t resist.

First, I’ve been obsessed with finding a cotton fabric with a lemons print. I need a lemon dress. Or a lemon skirt. In any case, yellow has slowly been growing on me as a Spring/Summer color and lemons are, well, yellow. I didn’t find anything online in the Dutch fabric stores, so I ventured to Fabric.com and voilà, the perfect lemon print:

It’s not as bright in real life, but it’s absolutely gorgeous. It might end up being a dress, but for now I’m aiming at a skirt. I’m thinking Simplicity 2606 view C, with black satin as contrasting fabric. Yum.

And because I’m going to have a totally badass Spring/Summer wardrobe, I needed some badass fabric too. Enter fun cotton prints with Ed Hardy “tattoos” 😆 Found at my favorite online fabric store, De Stoffenkraam (some of them are sold out now, thanks to me :lol:). First, a gorgeous royal blue print. I’m thinking Butterick 5313, view B.

Then, we have a light blue background print, which is going to be turned into a vintage dress pattern I have in my stash. It’s similar to the Butterick pattern above, but with a slightly fuller skirt, and short sleeves with cuffs instead of elastics.

And last, I only have 1.70 m of this fabric. And the picture on the website let me believe it was sort of lilac-ish, but in reality it’s actually grey. Meh. So I was a bit disappointed. I’m not sure what I’ll make out of this one, maybe a cute apron?

So there you have it, my latest fabric loot 😉 First on my list, after the Swing Dress, the mod dress and the high-waisted skirt (I know, I still haven’t given any details about the last two… be patient, it’s coming ;-)), will be the lemon skirt. Then probably the royal blue dress, and then the light blue dress…

Gosh, my projects list is growing by the day! 😦

ETA: I started putting together the muslin for the Swing Dress. I just don’t “get” the neckline. So I’m just setting everything aside for now. Maybe next week it’ll become clear…

Party time!

Apologies for the delay, the making of my x-mas party dress didn’t exactly go as planned. I got struck by a migraine on Dec. 23 and I barely finished my dress on time on Christmas Eve! But in the end I decided not to wear it for practical reasons, as the dinner was going to be very messy and I was afraid I’d get it dirty.

And shortly after x-mas it was time to go back home, fight jet lag, work a few days, etc. So here it is, finally!

The skirt is really poofy thanks to an awesomely gigantically poofy petticoat I bought on Amazon the other day. For some reason, they sent me the wrong size, but it still fits nicely, so I couldn’t be bothered returning it. I need to lose some weight anyway 😉

Now back to the dress. During my trip to Fabricville to gather the missing notions, I saw the new Simplicity Spring catalogue and instantly fell in love with a new pattern from their Amazing Fit collection, #2247. It’s not up on the Simplicity website yet, but for now it’s available for purchase via SewingPatterns.com. As much as I loved the original pattern I chose, Simplicity 2338, it wasn’t available in multiple cup sizes. My previous experience with an Amazing Fit pattern with multiple cup sizes (my green dress) was a success in terms of fit, so I was really looking forward to a mash-up of the front bodice and sleeves of 2247, with the collar and skirt of 2338. I carefully measured the bodice side seams, the armscye and the princess seams, and to my surprise, everything was either identical, or a good match.  Of course the front bodice princess seams were longer with the DD-cup, and wouldn’t match the collar length nor the facing length, but I figured I’d just shorten it with some kind of curved seam:

Curved seam

Of course this was a TERRIBLE rookie mistake, in the sense that obviously the DD-cup seams are longer to accommodate the extra roundness. But lo and behold, the waist seam is actually horizontal both on me and on Diana.

Waist seam

Ok, so it doesn’t show very much on this picture 😉  You’ll just have to take my word for it!

For the sleeves, I used the pleated version of #2247 and added length to match the 3/4 length of the original pattern. I had trouble with the top pleat, as you can see in the picture, even with basting it kept on opening. So there, I left it as is. I didn’t feel like fussing about!


To add a bit of fullness at the hem, I used horsehair. That’s for when I don’t want to wear the full crinoline.


And the dress wouldn’t be complete without the cute belt buckle!


All in all, I’m really happy with my dress, even though it’s not something I’d wear every day. But that’s not the only purpose of sewing, is it? Sometimes it’s just fun to make something for the sake of making it.

I don’t know what my next project will be, for now I’m still fighting jet lag (ugh!) and I’m tempted to start working on a Spring/Summer wardrobe. I’ll think about it 🙂

Best wishes to everyone for the New Year!

Edit: Here I am, ready to party… in my own living room with DH 🙂 Only after taking the pictures I noticed the belt buckle was not straight… oh well. But you get the idea 😉

Dress: Made by me

Shoes: Evans (now sold out)

Bag: Feet First Shoes

Fascinator: Pieces (last year’s collection)

Necklace: Bought a few years ago in a random shop in Aalsmeer, during my lunch break! 😆

Instant gratification 2

I guess I’m impatient. Or I change my mind easily. Or I’m addicted. Or all of the above.

Earlier this week I ordered some fabric from my favorite online fabric store and I received the package today. Yay!

In the box was a black/ecru/red cotton gabardine:

And a great polyester woven – don’t ask me exactly what it is, I have no idea. The fabric store calls it ‘Terlenka’, which is supposed to be a synthetic fabric. Anyway, it’s in a wonderful dark teal color. It appears to have the same characteristics as the bottle green fabric I want to use for my Instant gratification dress this weekend. Very soft to the touch, not too thick, with good stretch in both directions, and drapes very well.

So what is the Instant gratification 2 project, you might ask?

I’m going to make a simple pencil skirt with the black cotton gabardine, this evening if possible, using my new favorite skirt pattern, McCall’s 3830.

I made 3 skirts using this pattern this Spring and I love it. The fit is great, it’s not complicated, and it’s very quick to assemble. A real instant gratification!

I’ll be sure to post pictures. We have a small get-together Friday after work to say goodbye to some of our colleagues that are leaving us, and I’d love to wear my new skirt for the occasion!