Giveaway update

Hello all!

This is just a quick update with a question!
A while ago I announced the winners for a fabric giveaway. However, Jeanne, who won the white and purple floral fabric hasn’t contacted me yet.
So Jeanne, can you please contact me before July, 22nd? If not, I’ll draw another winner for the fabric! It’s so sad if it has to lay here unloved!

Happy Sewing!

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A Leopard Circle Skirt


I hope you’re not over the skirts yet, cause I’ve got another one to show you! I feel strongly about leopard print, to me it’s a neutral. As I recently tweeted: I don’t want a minimalist timeless wardrobe. I want leopard printed everything!
When fabric shopping in Leuven at the recent meet-up I stumbled upon this awesome leopard printed cotton.
So I bought myself a piece and made it into a circle skirt. The good thing about this fabric is that it’s wearable all year round! I love versatile pieces.
I decided to make it into a circle skirt, since that’s my favorite shape for skirts. I feel like it’s so elegant and easy to wear. It helps that you can put them together in a couple hours and feel like a sewing genius. That’s always a plus in my book.

cirkel 1 cirkel 2 I’ve paired my skirt with one of my Nettie bodysuits. I love that the bodysuit provides bum coverage when you ride your bike. Bodysuits for the win! The shoes are Swedish Hasbeens Heart Shoes.
I added a lapped side zip and three decorative small red buttons gifted by my boyfriend! Since I was short on fabric, I skipped pockets (+ I only figured out afterwards how to add pockets to a sideseam with a zip)
The seam is finished with black bias tape. It’s my favorite hem finish since it gives a little extra volume.
cirkel 4 cirkel 5 cirkel 6So, what’s your favorite skirt shape? Do you have a print you love wearing?

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A Floral Maxi Skirt

Happy day to all!

I hope you are all having a beautiful day! I try to catch up on a backlog of finished makes. After my Flora Dress I wanted something easy and decided to make a couple of pieces that were easy to make and easy to wear. I’m currently obsessed with skirts, so you’ll see a lot of them in coming posts!
maxi 4
A couple weeks ago I was at Moens, a local fabric shop were they have a wide range of cheap fabrics, sometimes the quality is good, sometimes it’s really bad, but I think that’s normal when it’s so cheap!
When I was at Moens I bumped into Jo and we both drooled over some beautiful rayon that was just in.
I caved and bought a couple meters to make myself a vacation maxi skirt.
It’s basically a rectangle with an elastic. If anybody would like a beginner tutorial, I can make one. If you are a more experienced sewer, you whip it together in about an hour. Perfect when you want an easy make without too much fitting issues :-).

maxi 2 maxi5I love how floaty it is and how beauitful the rayon moves in the wind. I immediately fell in love with the print and knew it could become this maxi skirt I was thinking about for a long time…
maxi 1 maxi 3

So I leave you with my happy face and my smug face model pose. Modeling a maxi skirt is hard.
Happy Sewing!

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Wow! That pattern fits you perfectly! A Sewing Café Episode

Good evening lovely people!

When Lieke and I got together to tape another episode of Sewing Café we discussed fitting issues. Since we both have a very different build, we need other adjustments and we have different frustrations when it comes to getting the right fit.
Especcially as a beginner, fitting a pattern can be a daunting task.
So in this episode we tell you all about the fit adjustments we make and our favorite methods.

I hope you enjoy this episode! If you’d like to see the episode in Dutch, please visit Lieke’s blog!

What’s your fit DNA? Which adjustments do you need to make to get a good fit?

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It’s a double Nettie Post


If you follow me on twitter, you know that I’m a huge fan of Heather of ClosetCaseFile‘s style.
A while ago she launched a bodysuit pattern, called Nettie. Which you probably heard off, if you are reading blogs ;-).
I carved out some time and made myself two Netties.
I’ve finished them a couple weeks ago and since I’ve had a debate with myself on how to show the finished product.
But since it’s quite relevant to see a pattern on different bodytypes and the effect of different fabrics on a pattern, I’ve decided to conquer my fear and made pictures of myself in my Nettie sans skirt or pants to cover the upper leg area. So here they are!
Nettie 5To test the pattern I made it in a knit fabric from my stash. The fabric did not meet all the requirements (four way stretch) but still made a really cool Nettie. I received it a couple of years ago from a friend and the composition is doubtful but I loved the print so decided to give it a go!
I have an hourglass figure, so I graded on the pattern from a 12 at the bust, to a 6 at the waist and a 14 at the hips. I did not need to lengthen the pattern, but if I use the same type of knit I might shorten it a little bit (1.5 cm max). I’ve made the scoop front neckline with a medium back. I love low backs on me, but I also love wearing a bra so decided to take the practical route and opt for the medium back.
Nettie 4 Nettie 3 You can see that it hits my high on my bum and that it’s a little short for my bodylength. Of course that’s because the fabric isn’t as stretchy on the crossgrain as is recommended for the pattern.
After this succesful trial, I made another one in a buttersoft jersey (with recommended four way stretch.)
back view Nettie 2 nettie 1Here the bodysuit fits me perfectly. I love the fit on my and how soft the fabric feels. I also feel like the cut of the lower part is so flattering on my bum. And you can always use a flattering part on the bum!
Did you made the Nettie already? Do you have any body issues that make you think twice about photographing finished makes?

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Sewing Café: Favourite sewing books with Lieke from A Bouquet of Buttons!

A while ago, Lieke and I got together and ate sorbet ice, vegan cheese cake and oven baked crips. I mean, we got together and filmed another episode for Sewing Café!
We had a lot of fun and we hope that you’ll enjoy watching it as much as we enjoyed making this episode!

In this episode we discuss our favorite sewing books and try to convince publishers to publish more books in Dutch.
If you have a must have in your library, please let us know in the comments!

Here’s the list of books we talked about in the video:

  • Het handboek voor zelf maken, Knipmode (for sale here or here)
  • Sewing stitch Bibble, Lorna Knight (for sale here or here)
  • Dressmakers Bibble, Lorna Knight (for sale here or here)
  • Patroontekenen en Ontwerpen, Rietveld, google is your friend
  • The dressmakers handbook of Couture sewing techniques Lynda Maynard (for sale here or here)
  • Metric pattern cutting for woman, Winifred Aldrich  (for sale here or here)
  • Metric pattern cutting for men, Winifred Aldrich (for sale here or here)
  • Metric pattern cutting for children, Winifred Aldrich (for sale here or here)
  • Couture sewing techniques, Claire Shaeffer (for sale here or here)
  • Pattern Cutting Dennic Shunman Lo, (for sale here or here)
  • Pattern Cutting for Menswear, Gareth Kershaw (for sale here or here)
  • Rok & Co, Pieke Stuvel (for sale here )
  • Jurk & Zo,Pieke Stuvel (for sale here)
  • Fabric for Fashion, The Swatchbook, Review (for sale here or here)
  • How to use and adapt sewing patterns, Lee Hollahan (for sale here or here)
  • Dressmaking for real woman, Lorna Knight (for sale here or here)

Which books are your favorite sewing books?

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Tutorial: Low/High Bust Adjustment

Hello, hello!

First I want to thank you for your comments on my Flora Dress. It’s really nice to have this positive feedback when you worked so hard on a dress!
I promised to write a tutorial on the low bust adjustment (LBA) I did (over on a monthly stitch, some people asked about it) and here it is! The principle for an LBA is the same as for a high bust, so I briefly go over that as well.

So let’s start with the most important thing first: when do you need a low/high bust adjustment (LBA)?
You’ll need an LBA if the fullest part of your bust is lower than where it’s supposed to be, comparing to the pattern you are working with.
You’ll need a high bust adjustment (HBA) if the fullest part of your bust is higher than were it’s supposed to be comparing to the  pattern you are working with.
This is a bit abstract, but it will become more clear when you follow this tutorial!

What do you need

  • Front bodice pattern piece of the pattern you’re working with
  • ruler
  • measuring tape
  • pencil or pen
  • tape
  • extra piece of paper
  • tracing paper (optional)

Step 1
Take a measuring tape and measure from your shoulder to the fullest part of you bust.01 apexHere’s my dressform with a measuretape pinned to her, to clarify this a little bit.
Now, write this measurement down on a piece of paper so you don’t have to do this again!

Before you go any further, you might want to trace the pattern piece. I always do so, ’cause I sometimes mess up my adjustments and if I’ve trace the piece, I still have the original piece to start over.

Step 2
Next, take the front bodice pattern piece.
Check if it includes seam allowances. If it does, you need to draw the seam allowance line on the pattern piece at the shoulder seam. If it doesn’t you are good to go!
Now, we need to find the apex on our pattern piece. To do this, draw a line through the middel of the bust dart and the waist dart. (Blue lines on my drawing)
The intersection point is the pattern apex. (red dot)
1 apexNow, measure from the shoulder line (without seam allowance) to the apex and write this measurement down as well!
Compare the two measurements, if they are the same, you are good to go. If one of them is bigger than the other one, you might need adjustments.
If your shoulder-apex length is more than the pattern’s length, you need an LBA.
If your shoulder-apex length is less than the pattern’s length, you need an HBA, which is basically the same but the other way around. You’ll decrease the amount of space between shoulder and apex on the pattern piece.

My shoulder to apex length is 27, on my pattern piece it is 24, I need a 3 cm LBA.

Step 3
Take a pen and draw a horizontal line, right-angled to the center front of your pattern piece. Draw one above the bust dart (green on my drawing) and one below the bust dart (orange on my drawing) It doesn’t really matter how high or low you draw this lines, as long as the bust dart is in between the lines and they are right-angled to the center front.
2 draw lines
Step 4
Now we’ll adjust the pattern.
If you have a low bust, go ahead and cut the pattern at the upper line (green) above the dart.
Tape the top piece one sheet of paper. Tape the low piece also on the paper, but leave a gap that measures exactly the difference between your measurement and the pattern’s measurement (in my case, it’s the 3 cm.)
Make sure you keep the center front straight!
If you have a high bust, fold the upper line (green) up with the amount you need to subtract from the pattern.  Tape it down, but make sure you keep the center front straight!
This picture shows you how to cut up and tape down the pieces.
3 add needed length
Step 5
Straight your sideseam out. It’s the light blue line on my pattern piece.
Do this by connection the corner made with the armscye with the corner at the waist. Cut excess paper of. Make sure you keep the center front straight!
4 adjust side seamStep 6
Now we need to remove the length we added above the dart if we did an LBA. To do this, fold away the same amount of paper as you added, starting from the line below the bust dart (orange line). Tape it down. Make sure you keep the center front straight!

If you did an HBA, you need to add the length you folded out at the green line. Do this by cutting through the line below the bust dart (orange) and adding it here again. Use the technique described in step 4 for an LBA. Make sure to keep the center front straight!
5 fold lowest line down

Step 8
Adjust the side seam again as shown in step 6.

Step 9
You only need to add this step if you folded your fabric into the waist dart. Otherwise, you are done!
If you folded into the waist dart, the top of the dart, the pointy part, is now gone. You need to fix this again. Measure down from the apex on the pattern piece, this should be the same length as the original length between apex and dart point. Mark this with a new point.
Draw new dart legs by connecting the dart points on the waistline with the new drawn dart point.
6 adjust waist dartOn the right is the original pattern piece, on the left is my redrawn dart.

Your pattern piece looks something like this now:
7 adjust side seam again doneCongratulations! You are done.
I always encourage to make a muslin, since you might need to try if the fit is right now.
Sometimes, when I do this adjustment, I still need an FBA, but not always. It depends on the drafting of the pattern and the amount of ease in the pattern.

I hope you have found this tutorial helpful!
If you still have any questions, please ask! If you have any tips, please post them in the comments as well.
Happy sewing!

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Giveaway Results


A short post to announce the giveaway winners!
red floral fabric bara white flora Jeanne
Bara and Jeanne, please send me an e-mail (you can use the contact  form) so I can send you your fabric!
I’d like to thank everyone for participating!

On another note: I submitted my Flora dress to the Monthly Stitch competition. If you like it and would like to hop over and vote for me, that would be highly appreciated!
You can do so by clicking on the button below, my creation is named “A Monochrome Flora Dress” Thanks for your support! You can vote untill June, 13th, 24:00 UTC.
themonthlystitchvote dresses

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The Flora That Took Four Muslins

Hello,goodmorning, happy day!
(cue: Roger Wittaker)
I’m so happy the sun is out again. Last couple days have been rain, drizzle and full on downpour. Lovely when you’re on your bike.Suddenly sun started shining and this weekend it’ll be around 29°C!
I’ve finished this Flora Dress (pattern: By Hand London) just in time for a couple of things: graduation (26th june- third and normally last time!), Monthly Stitch Indie Pattern Month Dresses competition (ends Saturday evening), nice weather…
I already made a couple Elisalex dresses from the same company and really liked them. Therefore I was hopeful that Flora would be the same walk in the park.
Obviously, it took a little more effort to get a decent fit on this one. So let me warn you: this post is going to be text heavy!
This dress took a lot of fitting adjustments and even more muslins. I made four muslins total and I sort of like the fit now.
I might need to tweak a couple minor things for my next version, but this one is very wearable and fits very good at the waist and over my bust. I still have the pleat underneath my bust, but it can be removed by securing the two bodice pieces with a couple handstitches. I tried every trick in my book to remove it during the fitting stage, but nothing worked. I had a look at pictures of other bloggers in their Flora dresses, and they all seem to have the same pleat, so maybe it’s a design thing. I could not see it on the drawing or the model pictures, so I was not expecting this pleat, but all bodies are different, so maybe that’s why!
So let’s see some pictures!
full shot 2 big skirt
The flora has a very wide skirt. Part of its volume comes from very deep pleats. I like it, cause you can hold up your skirt as in the picture and you’re still completely covered. I think it will be great for bike rides!
My shoes are Swedish Hasbeens Heart shoes. Comfortable as slippers but a little more stylish!

full shotDetails!
I made the faux-wrap dress with the straight hemline option. I cut a size 8/12, based on my waist measurements.
I’m only going to list my final alterations here, ’cause along the road I also tried an FBA, (turns out I don’t need it in this pattern, what’s with those finished measurements, they are way of!), moved my darts a couple times and so on…
I started with a low bust adjustment. It’s an adjustment you need to do if your fullest bust point (apex) is lower than the apex on the pattern piece. It can save you a lot of time and head scratching. And avoids pulling above your bust and the ‘squeezed boobs’-look.
I’ll post a tutorial on this next week if you guys are interested.
I lowered the bust point with 3 cm.
I also took in the waist by 1.5 cm on each pattern piece, so it’s fitted now. I like my waist fitted without too much ease.
After trying on my third muslin, I discovered some bulging at the back from my neck and between my shoulderblades. So I removed some fabric from the upper back by using a slash and narrow method (opposite over slash and spread, you move the pieces in instead of out) This took care of the strange bulging.
back 1 smug faceI also moved the zipper down 5 cm, since I only hade a 40 cm blind zipper in my stash and otherwise it was too short. I closed it with a hook and eye at the top and I really love it.
Instead of lining the bodice I finished everything with bias tape. The fabric is quite heavy on its own, so two layers would be too hot for summer.
I sewed in some twill tape at the neckline to avoid gaping and it works really well.
Considering how bad the fit of this bodice was on me when I started the project, I’m quite happy with the current fit.
Last but not least, I also added pockets to the side seams. I love pockets in my dress, to carry my phone, handkerchief, random bits… So if I can add them I will!
twill tape + bias tape detail bodice bias tape inside armehole bias tape hem detail These shots are some detail shots:
On the first one you can see how I added twill tape and also used it to secure the bias tape. I made the tape using self fabric and a 12 mm tape maker. The tape is folded over, so you can still see it on the outside. It added a nice touch without being too overwhelming, in my opinion.
Next up is a shot of the armhole. The bias tape is completely hidden inside the dress on the armholes. I liked it better this way.
Last but not least: I finished my hem with bias tape as well. I used ready made tape, ’cause I had it, it was black and it was way faster (sometimes, I’m lazy efficient)

The fabric is a cotton sateen with a touch of lycra to make it a tiny bit stretch, which gives great comfort. Cotton Sateen Stretch for the win!
I bought it at Pauli, a fabric shop in Leuven. I still have some left, so maybe I’ll also make a skirt out of it, we’ll see.
swing swing
After all the adjustments, I really would like to make this again. I have some blue cotton eyelet and I want to make it into another flora for a wedding party.
I have to leave now, I need to go out and do some dancing in my new dress!


PS: I also submitted this dress to the ‘Indie Pattern Month’ dresses competition over on ‘A Monthly Stitch’. If you like my dress and would hop over and vote for me, that would be awesome and very nice! Thanks!

Posted in A New Dress, Made by me, Outfits | Tagged , , , | 16 Comments

In the mail


Luck has been on my side lately, or so it seems!

I applied for two giveaways and actually won them! (That hardly ever happens!)
So, I was waiting at my mailbox for the mail to come in.
One parcel came all the way from the USA.
It was a copy of McCalls 6569, a bathing suit you’ve probably seen over on Scruffy badger‘s blog. I won it in a giveaway by Kathy from SewMuch2Learn. A while ago she hosted a big giveaway to celebrate that she completed the Ultimate Blog Challenge.
Thank you so much, Kathy!

mccals KathyThe second giveway I won was hosted by Inge of Ingemaakt, to celebrate her 100th blogpost. That package came in the mail yesterday. Hurray for mail!
It’s a shirtweight cotton on the left and a drapey cotton voile on the right.
The package also included thes two patterns: New Look E6557 and a Sewaholic’s Alma blouse.
Thanks so much, Inge! I’ll have to brainstorm a litle and come up with plans to put this patterns and fabrics to good use!

Are you ever lucky when it comes to giveaways? What would you make with the fabrics and the patterns?

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