Thursday, May 25, 2017

Sofilantjes anniversary tour

Three years ago, Sofilantjes* released her first pattern. Today, I celebrate that in style with a double Sofilantjes hack in fabric from Lotte Martens's Let's party collection. Sofilantjes is possibly best known because of her patterns for knit fabrics, but Sofilantjes also has patterns for wovens. The Brueram*, one of those patterns for wovens, might actually be the Sofilantjes' pattern that I love the most. This will be my fourth post on that pattern (1, 2, and 3) and my fourth hack (although the first two were only minor adjustments). Party's are not only on warm days, so I also made my daughter a jacket, a hacked Cicero* to wear this festive dress to any party during the year.

This time it was the Litore*, another pattern by Sofilantjes, that inspired my hack. I love the look of the double set of straps on the back. To get that look, I narrowed the straps towards the shoulder and cut off the entire strap at the shoulder. With hindsight, I should have gone for a bit wider strap to have it more closely resemble the Litore. I determined the position of the straps pre-shirring at about 1/3 and 2/5 from the sides. I sewed them in between the lining and main fabric (as explained in the Brueram instructions) and gathered the back. Then, I attached the top of the straps to the shoulder following the Litore instructions. The skirt part is inspired by the Mantica*. I love how playing with these patterns actually could occupy all my sewing time.

That beautiful shiny lace is Lunari Aqua, one of the gorgeous Lotte Martens fabrics from the Let's Party collection. When I received it, I immediately knew why I had not seen it one the web yet. It is so pretty that people will have cut-fear for sure. It took me three weeks to settle on a plan to optimally use it. I used it for both pieces today and already cut a third project, an Aura* from it. If you use it as a beautiful detail like I did, you can actually make a lot from one panel. Two other ladies went a different route and used more of the panel in one garment. She used a different lace from the same collection as a breathtaking back on a woman's dress and she made a jacket consisting a 100% out of  Let's party lace. Lotte Martens is having a sewing competition at the moment. If I inspired you to cut your treasured Lotte Martens fabric or buy some, be quick because the competition is only for a few more days and the prizes are amazing!

For the Cicero jacket, I used the same color blocking option as the pink/brown one in this post. I wanted the jacket to look as classy as possible, and I, therefore, omitted the ribbing (I did not have any fancy ribbing). I did not want to cover the lace with a hood or collar, so I also omitted those. I went for clean lines. To omit the ribbing at the bottom of the jacket and sleeves, I added a bit to the length to both the jacket itself and the sleeves. I hemmed by folding the hem allowance inwards. This time I made some pictures while I shortened the zipper, and I will use them to make a tutorial on how to melt a new stop. Nothing fancy, but some asked for more details. I bought the rayon of the dress and the faux jersey at Textielstad.

I am so happy and honored to be part of the Sofilantjes family. Anne was the first designer that let me test something and I will always love her for that. All her patterns give me instant joy while sewing them and I am very much looking forward to all the other things she will make us sew. Due to the anniversary celebration, you can win fabric spending money by entering this Rafflecopter. These lovely brands are sponsoring the prize.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Feel free to leave a comment in the language you prefer (although Google translate might have to assist me if you choose something different than English, German, Dutch or Hungarian). If you buy anything through my affiliate links (*), I get a small commission (the price stays the same for you), I am very grateful for everything that feeds my fabric addiction.

Monday – Tales of a Tester
Tuesday – Kreatita
Wednesday – Ronda B. Handmade
Thursday – TurtleBirdies, Inspiration

Monday, May 22, 2017

Suit up for summer

It is beginning to look a lot like.. summer! Each year when temperatures are rising, our kids immediately start asking if they are allowed to play with water in the yard.  This means that for weeks I have to tell them it is still too cold, the sun looks nice compared to the cold winter months, but still no summer weather. Now, it seems we are finally there, water play season is open, at least for the coming week. That gives me a good reason to do some swimsuit sewing ( I would need a reason). I was not alone in my desire to sew with lycra's, today is the start of the "suit up" blog tour, so you are treated on a lot of inspiration this week.

I decided to dress all of my kids in something new. I had quite some swimsuit fabric left from last year's first attempt to sew swimwear. While searching through my upcycle pile I found an old bike short of mine from 15 years ago. The fabric was still in perfect condition, only the elastic had dried in the mean time. The black fabric was the perfect contrast to spice up my blue and purple. I had actually already bought some other lycra for the tour, but that will have to wait for another project.  The thought of dressing them in coordinating pieces became too good to ignore.

Jalie generously offered a free pattern from their swimsuit collection and I really wanted to try them. Browsing through the catalog, my eye fell on the skin suit pattern.  It sparked a memory of longing, I remembered needing that pattern after seeing this awesome costume. The pattern includes sizes from small child to grown up, so you will see this pattern more often on the blog here. I foresee my son will want to be Batman or Spiderman real soon.

Based on the size table I cut a straight 8 years and it fits perfectly. After making all the pictures I realized there is no picture of the back. I found one from the side, but you can not see the fit on the back, so you just have to take my word for it, that it fits great everywhere. I slightly adjusted the pattern by making an exposed zipper. I wanted the suit to have some black in it, and the zipper seemed to be perfect for that. I also omitted the collar/hood and just finished the neckline with a bias of the purple

For my son, I used the Suat boxwear pattern. I made several of these already that have not been blogged yet. My son loves the fit of the pattern and it is super easy and quick to sew. The pattern includes both a boy and girl front, and I decided to sew a small one for my youngest as well as part of a bikini.

The last pattern that I used for this post is the Azure swimsuit pattern. I bought this pattern, by Titchy Threads more than a year ago. It is reversible, color blocked and with several options. A must have pattern I would say. I personally prefer the totally color blocked side of the swimsuit that I made my middle daughter. My daughter, of course, prefers the other side. She claims not to like black, but I think the contrast is lovely (maybe a bit too much like the original pattern picture, but lovely). My daughter likes to have options so a reversible swimsuit is perfect for her desire to regularly wear something else. The reversibility also increases the likelihood that one side will be loved my her younger sister when she will inherit the suit.

I hacked the Azure pattern into a bikini top for my youngest. I tried to be as economical as possible with my fabric and I probably cut the lining and main in two different directions. Or maybe something else went wrong, but the top is bunching up a bit, fortunately, the receiver did not mind at all. She loved the entire outfit and refused to take off the top for two days.

In the beginning, I already said that these garments were made as part of a swimsuit tour. In this picture you see all the sponsors and below it, you find the line up of all the bloggers. This tour is organized by the lovely Paisley Roots and SewSophieLynn you can find all the information about the give aways on their blogs.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Nena dress and top

Last year, Katrien from Kaatjenaaisels designed the Tulip dress with Eva and earlier this year she drew the Vienna together with Isabel. Both those patterns had a lovely unique front and now Kartien has released a dress on her own, Nena. The Nena has several lovely design details and has a perfect finish. The pattern includes a top and dress length. It is for woven fabrics and does not have a zipper, so perfect for those with zipper fear.

I tried both versions, the top and the dress. I first sewed the top and I made a small adjustment to the pattern. The fabric that I wanted to use was a bit too small to cut the entire top from. I solved this by color blocking the back in such a way that the back pleat is a contrasting color. I always like to make fixes (a mistake or alack of fabric) look intentional. During this phase of the pattern the back split had to deepened a bit, there was no new version yet and  I did it myself. I decided not to cut a once-piece back. During sewing I realized why Katrien designed it as one piece (it created a beautiful finish), so I followed the pattern for the dress.

When looking at the pattern pieces, I saw a perfect opportunity to use my first screen printed fabric. I gifted myself a Bobbinhood kit over Christmas but somehow did not dare to use it. I therefore wanted to follow screen printing workshop. I was so intended to do at least one that I ended up doing three in a period of two months. This blue fabric was the result of the first one. During her bachelorette party, we had a screen printing workshop with chemical screens (that were prepared for us in advance). I designed a screen with drawings from my kids and this fabric was actually my test cloth. It was a remnant of a white sheet earlier this year, that I dropped it in the blue paint that was left after making this dress. I used it to "test" my screen and I thought it had become too pretty to throw away. On my second workshop I printed this dragon and on the third this Harry Potter combi (both Bobbinhood workshops).

Let's talk about all the small details in this pattern. The pattern has elastic in the waist for both the dress and top version to create a nice fit while not using a zipper. The pattern explains how to add a small tie to make a bow on the waist of the dress, but I omitted that one. The pattern has a small pleat on the front at the shoulder which is best visible in my top version. The front has a v neck with a small horizontal ribbon/elastic in it. It is up to you what you sew in between, I twice used elastic to make dressing as easy as possible. The garment closes with a hook and eye, I actually upcycled those from a bra that I stopped wearing.

The dress was sewn with the final version of the pattern. I sewed the dress in a fabric that I took from our sewing weekend. I asked who I could thank, but nobody was sure it had been their fabric so I can not tell you anything about this mystery fabric. With the dress, I followed all the french seam instruction, so the inside is almost as beautiful as the outside. Except for the edge of the facing, there are no visible seams on the inside. Of course, I ran into a small obstacle that I had created for myself. I wanted to add pockets, but I also wanted to have a french seam finish. Fortunately, the web can usually tell you the solution, so I found a tutorial here. The picture is a bit obscure, but you see the inside of the dress with the pocket.

Due to the release of Nena, the entire shop is now on 10% sale with the code HAPPYNENA. I also sewed the Tulip and here you can find my version.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Camellia dress

Petite Stitchery recently released their new spring collection (although the patterns are suitable for other seasons as well). The Poppy skirt, Periwinkle top and tunic, Lilly dress and the Camellia dress. A lovely set of patterns, each with their own special features. For example, the Lilly is a combination of woven and jersey and you have to check the back of the Periwinkle! I decided to sew Camellia which for me stands out  due to the double collar and the front closure.

I used two Soft Cactus fabrics from my stash, both with the same print, but different colors. I always think that I almost out of wovens but when I actually look in my stash there seems to be plenty of choice. I really like how these two fabrics work together and I feel the main color really suits my youngest.

I did deviate from the pattern a bit, twice. I added pockets, my youngest has enter the phase that when I tell her I am making her a dress, she asks if it will have pockets (after she asked if it twirl). The pattern includes instruction to make the dress close with visible buttons. Some of the example dresses in the pattern do not have buttons on them. I wanted that look and I wanted it to be suitable for a three year old. So, instead of using a hidden button holes or snap strips, I actually used a long strip of velcro. This way she can easily dress and undress herself. With hindsight, having separate velcro island might have been better. The dress now has the tendency to curl upward slightly. It is not that obvious, but a lesson for next time.

The sizing of the dress was spot on. Based on the measurement table I made a size 2 and lengthened the skirt a little bit. My little one is really loving our photo shoots. She is into doing all kind of poses, she makes them up herself and she holds them for a short period to avoid blurry pictures. She apparently really likes the pose where she holds her own face. It is super cute, for our family album, but no so much in showing the dress. I could not resit showing you at least one of them though.

You can buy the Camalia pattern or the other three patterns individually or as a bundle on the Petite Stitchery website. Here and here you can see more Petite Stitchery from my hand.