Saturday, March 17, 2018

The Western Wedding Dress

So, last January we received an invitation to the wedding of one of my hubby's colleagues. There theme was Country/Western. Though I loved the theme (I do own cowboy boots and a Stetson), I was at a loss as to what dress to wear. The wedding was in the first few days of march, which could be warm or still very cold. But I set my mind on a dress and was determined to wear a dress, no matter what. Since I sew, I had a majority of options. But still...

 I was torn between having a nice and festive dress and a themed dress as requested. Because I didn't know whether others would follow the dresscode, I wanted to make sure that I looked festive enough. And if everyone was indeed following the dresscode, I wanted it to look on par. After many - and I do mean many - thoughts, I knew what dress I wanted to wear. But I hadn't decided on the fabric yet. So I went fabric shopping in my own closet and dig up this beauty. Two years ago I made one of my favorite dresses with this fabric - look here

As for the pattern: this was the third time I used Jennifer Lauren's Laneway Dress (v.1 and v.2) as my go to pattern. Since I already made it a few times before and altered it, I didn't need to alter anything this time. For this version, I went with the Centered Collar and added no pockets. I was thinking of adding the pockets, but decided against it due to the fabric I chose. This fabric has a bunch of little threads that give it a more textured look. The threads lay fairly loose on the fabric, so I was afraid it would start to unravel when I would routinely put my hands in and out (rings, bracelets, watches, ...). I had that happen with this dress and I need to make that one again (already cut it out again).

So I paired this dress with my cowboyboots and really liked it. I had a blast at the wedding and so did the newly-weds.

One of my favorite details on this pattern: The release pleats! They're flattering and almost always hit your bust at the right spot! No need to keep altering the darts untill it fits just right. That's a winner for me (and a true vintage detail, BTW).

Oh, and look at this cute thingy I handsewed on the dress :D

PS: most people respected the Dresscode and some even outdid themselves!

Sunday, January 28, 2018

2017: My year in review

Soooo, 2017 has past and 2018 is as fresh as a newborn baby! I wish you all the best of luck for 2018 and that all your dreams may come true!

A new year means it's time to take a look at 2017 and see if I passed my yearly challenge of sewing 1 garment a month. Ready to see some lovely makes? Here we go!

1. So back in January 2017 I blogged about a Vintage Blouse I made. I immediatly planned on sewing a 2nd one, but that had to wait 'till november 2017 (not blogged about, yet)

2. Between planning a wedding and changing jobs, I didn't really find a lot of time or courage to sew something. So for about 6 months I didn't really sew a lot. Untill I saw Jennifer Lauren's Laneway Dress. I immediatly started this test version.

3. One month after my own wedding, my sister married. So off course I needed a new dress for the occasion! It was a Tried-and-True (TNT) pattern that I've made several versions of. Blogged about it in July, but finished back in May.

4. Soon after that I decided to finally make that 2nd Akita Blouse from Seamwork magazine. Simple, straight forward and a beautiful wardrobe stable.

5. After the wearable muslin, I had to make a Laneway Dress in my desired fashion fabric. Although I didn't always like to wear pink, if it's the right shade, I quite like it!

6. Soon after the Laneway Dress came Itch To Stitch's Chai Shirt Dress. It was the first time I ever made a Shirtdress and I really love it! Next time though, I'll make an underskirt when I'm using cotton. It clings to my stockings whenever I wear them. That's the downside of cotton.

7. Having purchased Jennifer Lauren's Gable Top in the summer, I hadn't quite come around to sewing it untill it was autumn. Sewn in October and blogged about in November, this has become a wardrobe favorite of mine. Both fabric as pattern are super lovely!

8. Even though I haven't blogged about it (yet), I finished a second Vintage Blouse, like I talked about with the Tree Blouse. It has been worn, but not as much as the wearable muslin. The fabric is just a bit too brown and the small checkers are not as much to my liking as I would've thought. Perhaps that's the reason I haven't blogged about it yet.

9. In December I decided to make a new Christmas Dress, 1 week before my Christmas Parties began! So after some marathon sewing I finished 2 dresses. The first one is the wearable muslin in black with a black-and-white checkered top. Not blogged about yet, but if you follow me on social media (Instagram and Facebook) you undoubtedly have seen it!

10. And then last but not least: The actual Christmas Dress! Love it to bits, but it will be a while before I sew with Satin again! Very flattering but sooooooo slippery and it shows Every. Little. Mistake you've made while sewing.

Conclusion: 10 makes for only 6 months of really sewing isn't too bad. It's not the 12 that I amed for, but I'm a happy gal!

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Christmas Dress 2017

For those of me who don't follow me on Facebook or Instagram: Merry Christmas!

So last week I suddenly decided that I needed a new Christmas Dress this year. After making a Christmas outfit 2 years ago, I really got into it. My husband even said that he liked my tradition of making a new Christmas Outfit every year! The funny thing is that I didn't even realize it had become something of a 'thing' for me to sew an outfit for Christmas.

So last Friday I went through my stash in search of a suitable pattern. Before long, I came across Butterick B6018, a vintage reproduction of a dress that was very popular in 1966 - according to a lady on social media. My previous experiences with repro patterns weren't very good, so I asked around on FB before making it. Surprisingly though, the fit was pretty spot-on from the first round of sewing!

Before I made my wearable muslin (to be posted on the blog), I took 2cm out of the back and shortened the skirt 2 cm (7/8") and did a sway back alteration (-2cm/-7/8" at the center back at the waist, located in the back-skirts in this pattern). After making my muslin, I took another 10 cm off the skirt and sewed a 1cm (3/8") hem instead of the required 5cm (2") hem. I also reshaped the shoulders by taking 1,5cm (5/8") off the bodice front and back at the shoulders, tapering to 0 mid-shoulder.

I'm in love with this pattern. It came together pretty quick and had a really nice silhouette. It is a figure-flattering classic, not too tight in the waist. It features a zipper at the left side, per instructions this is a normal zipper, but I made an invisible one out of it.  Even though I didn't have to make any alterations as to the size, it would be very easy to do so. Even though I love it, I only would make it again when this Christmas Dress has had it's time or when the wearable muslin is in need of replacement.

Oh, and before I forget: the fabric used for this one is a dark blue satin for the bodice and underskirt. The topskirt is made out of a see through polyester fabric, but I forgot how it was called.

Friday, November 3, 2017

The Gable Top

I was on a roll last september. After I made the Chai Shirt Dress, I immediately started on the Gable Top. This one has been on my to-do-list for a while now. As soon as I saw this fabric, I knew what I wanted to make out of it. So I bought the fabric and then waited a whole month before I actually made it.

This Gable Top pattern from Jennifer Lauren Handmade is soooooo easy to make! It was the second time I tried a pattern from Jennifer Lauren Handmade and she didn't disappoint. I didn't have to alter it the slightest bit. Her instructions are clear and easy to follow, just like with the Laneway Dress (Version 1 and Version 2). All in all, I think this is an Indie pattern maker that I'll be following more closely. With the Laneway dress I hardly had to alter anything and the different bust sizes are a real treat!

This already has become a stable in my casual wardrobe. As soon as I find fabric that I like, I'll be making this comfy and warm t-shirt again.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Remembering WW1

In august my husband and I went to different memorials of the Great War in Belgium. I took a myriad of photographs whilst visiting gravesides, battlefields and museums. I made a little selection to give you an impression of our trip.

Note: all photographs are of my own creation and may not be used by anyone else without my explicit concent.

Start of our trip

Statue in memory of King Albert I. During the war in 1914-1918 he joined his forces on the battlefield.

At the statue of King Albert I there's a monument for his wife Queen Elisabeth too. She joined the field hospitals and tended the wounded.

Massgraves at Vladslo - Belgium

Mourning Elder Couple at Vladslo, Belgium

View from the Iron Tower at Diksmuide, Belgium.

View on the Iron Tower, with the AVV - VVK monument through the Peace gate.

The 'Dodengang' (Backlash?) at Diksmuide, Belgium

The 'Dodengang' (Backlash?) at Diksmuide, Belgium

The 'Dodengang' (Backlash?) at Diksmuide, Belgium

Replica of a shooting trench at the museam of Passchendaele, Zonnebeke, Belgium

Replica of an A-framed trench at the museum of Passchendaele, Zonnebeke, Belgium

View on a trench at the museum of Passhendaele, Zonnebeke, Belgium

Unique view of a preserved British dug-out underneath the Church of Zonnebeke. It's accessible for 100 days until they'll let it flood again in october/november 2017.

Australian memorial and graveside.

View on Australian graveside.

Bayernwald, Wijtschate, Belgium

Bayernwald, Wijtschate, Belgium. View on a German fortified bunker

Belfort of Ypres

View on Ypres and the once battlefields from the Belfort of Ypres

New Church of Ypres with remnants of the original Church.

New Church of Ypres, build with and on the ruins of the original Church

Friday, September 29, 2017

The Chai Dress v1: Wearable Muslin

I really had the hang in sewing dresses, this summer. After the Cyan Cocktail Dress, the Laneway Dress V1 and V2 and the second Tiki-dress (a complete replica of this one), I decided I needed another one. Shirt dresses had been popping up in my sewing feeds, but I never had the courage to sew one up. Not because I'm afraid of the buttonholes or the other shirt-features, but because I wasn't sure it would suit me. And then suddenly I received an e-mail from Itch-To-Stitch announcing their newest pattern: the Chai Shirt and Dress.

I immediately fell for it and wanted to try and make my own. So I put my other sewing plans on hold (soon to be blogged) and sewed this baby up in about 3 evenings, of which the last evening was spend sewing the buttons on! All I can say is that I'm very pleased with this pattern and am planning to make more, perhaps even a winter version. Such a quick sewing project with stunning results. My husband also loves this one because it's something I don't usually wear.

As far as changes go: this pattern comes with different bust sizes, so I didn't have to do an FBA. According to the sizing, I had to go with bust C and size 8. Then I did my regular alterations: -1cm (- 3/8 inch) on the front piece, - 1 cm (- 3/8 inch) at the side of the back piece 'till -2,5 cm (-1 inch) at the center back of the back piece. I didn't alter anything else for this round.

Overall, this came out very nice and was an easy sew. For the next one, I would shorten the skirt with 5 cm (2 inches), just so it's a bit more flattering on my posture. And then there is the waist of which I'm not sure. I think it needs another -1 cm ( - 3/8 inch) to hit my natural waist. But that waist is right at the bottom of the waistband. Because of the narrow space on the waistband, I don't think I'll be able to take 1 cm (3/8 inch) from it. Taking it from the top isn't an option either: I already altered it and any more alteratoins would make the seam fall on my bust instead of underneath it.  So I'm not sure if I should shorten the waistband or not.

How do you guys like my different colored buttons? It was more out of necessity than fashion, but I quite like how this looks. But those buttons sure did come at a price. I stabbed myself at least 4 times! If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook, you probably read all about it! Check it out here on Facebook and here on Instagram!

Sunday, September 24, 2017

The Laneway Dress V2: Pretty in Pink

Right after I finished my wearable muslin on the Laneway Dress from Jennifer Lauren Handmade, I started sewing my second version of this pattern. Did I mention that I really, really love this pattern? Jennifer has a keen eye on flattering garments with a vintage flair. Aside from the Laneway Dress I purchased the Gable Top a couple of months ago, to give knit fabric another chance. After a few projects that I just didn't wear (like this and others I never blogged about) and even fewer that I do wear (like these 2), I sort of have a love-hate relationship with knits. Yep, I love knitting and creating beautiful sweaters and the likes, but when it comes to sewing with knits... I just don't know... but with clear instructions from the Laneway Dress, I'm looking forward to sewing the Gable Top.

But let's get back to the Laneway Dress: I really love this pattern. After the muslin I wanted a plain version with a contrast collar and 2 buttons so all the beautiful details could be admired. And yet again: I loved it! Except for the poor fabric choice: the pink cotton shone a bit through, so I decided to underline it, but did a bad job at that. I wanted to wear it as soon as possible, so I rushed it a bit, thereby stretching both layers, with some bulk as a result. Luckily, it's not really that visible to the unpracticed eye ;-)

This time I shortened the waist with another cm (3/8 inch) and narrowed the shoulders by 1 cm (3/8 inch). On the muslin, I noticed the release pleats being a bit too high, so I also shortened them with 1 cm (3/5 inch). So the only real adaption I did to this pattern, was lowering the release pleats under the bust. The other adjustments (adjusting the waist placement and the center back) are changes that I always need to do, so those don't count.

I'll say it one more time: I love, love, LOVE this pattern! Onto the next one!