Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Battle of the blogs

Two years ago, Cas en Nina organized a super cool competition for 10 sewing bloggers which was won by her. This cool Battle of the Blogs is back, and I am part of it! Today, the first round starts, and me and nine wonderful blogger colleagues are showing you what we made with the one meter fabric that we received from Cas en Nina. We were allowed to combine the meter with other fabrics, and I went all the way and made my four kids each all something with the lovely Znok flowers that I got.

Let's start with the tunic I made my eldest. I used the Mini Swagger pattern by George and Ginger, this one was the high on my sewing list, and the first pattern I cut from my fabric. I love the look of this patten. It has the flare of a dress with circle skirt but needed much less fabric than a dress in her size would usually take. If I would have made both circles in flower fabric, It might have been a different story, but like this, I had enough left for more garments. Make sure you check out the small doll in the third picture, on her own, my daughter sewed her cloths by hand, and those clothes might be the garments in this post that I am most proud of.

For my son I sewed a Dimo shirt from Harristar designs. This is actually the fourth Dimo that I sewed, but I have not come around to blogging the previous ones. I bought the pattern when I was preparing for our sewing weekend, I actively searched patterns that would be perfect for scraps. I sewed two during the weekend, you can probably spot them in the overview picture that I posted then. I love seeing boys in flower fabric, but until now, I had not sewn something with flowers for my son, he usually turns down my plans. Now I did not ask, and just sewed. He already wore the shirt to school, so I think I can sew him more flowers in the future.

For my middle daughter I used my knitification powers to slightly hack the Azure party dress by Ainsley Fox (price is in Australian dollar) into a knit dress. I omitted the zipper and instead of piping I used ribbing strips. I really love the effect and it was so easy! I just folded a ribbing strip between the layers and serged the seam as usual. The skirt is a very flowy fabric, officially it is a lining fabric, but I bought it to recreate the feel of this dress. The fabric is rather see through so I put a pink circle skirt as lining, so this dress can twirl!

These first three garments where planned before I started cutting my fabric. The last one, the dress for my youngest was not. She is small, and I figured I would come up with a plan for the scraps. After cutting the tunic and shirt for my son, I saw that I would be able to cut a circle skirt from the large piece that was left, and I went for it. I was thinking of maybe switching in the circle skirt into Azure dress, but I realized it might not be long enough (I kind a forgot to add hem allowance). So, I went back to my original skirt idea for my middle one and moved over the circle skirt to my smallest.

I had made a mistake in cutting one of the Dimo sleeve pieces. I had printed a much smaller sleeve size and actually cut it from the fabric before I realized my mistake. I was bumped, because I wanted to use as much as possible from this fabric and could not stand it even though it was really a tiny piece and I had cut it from a scrap of flowers. I decided to roll with it and use the too small sleeve for my youngest. I cut another and winged a bodice combined with some other scraps (I was down to the last scraps, so I could not have mirrored sleeve and a flower back, which I forgot to make a picture of). The skirt is long, but that is how she likes it, this way she will be able to wear it for another year.

While sewing these garments I made pictures of my latest favorite circle skirt hemming technique. I recently read a trick on how to gather the edges with a serger and it works perfectly for me. I could not find the post anymore where I read it, so I just made pictures and a small tutorial to show you. Like I wrote a while back, I gave up on getting pictures of my middle one without leggings if she does not want to. These leggings were not an ideal combination with the dress, but just pretend it is not there. My kids where doing the same with me during the shoot. It is so hard to get them all to look at you at the same time. In the end it turns out that I like the ones with the worse poses the best though, it really shows them how they are.

Like I said at the beginning, I sewed these garments as part of Battle of the Blog, edition two. For round one we all received one meter of fabric of our choice from Cas en Nina. In the webshop you now get a 10% discount on with the code BATTLE on MONALUNA en ZNOK fabric. Curious to see what the others received and what they sewed, check out the overview at Cas and Nina. Make sure you vote for your favorite, the price we can win is amazing!

Monday, March 27, 2017

Alterative Cicero's

In February, I showed you my first three Cicero's. Today, I am showing you two more, both hacked versions. In January, Anne pitched me the idea to sew a Cicero* having both a hood and a collar. I liked the idea, and of course gave it my own spin. I feared that when I would combine the hood and collar as they are in the original pattern, the front seams would become to thick. I therefore created something different. My fears were actually ungrounded, because last week somebody showed a lovely hood/collar combi in the Sofilantjes Facebook group.

Inspired by a retail-bought coat, I sewed the hood partly free from the neckline. I had planned to put snaps on the front overlap, but I misjudged how much centimeter I should have added to make it comfortably. Now the flaps are only decorative. I wrote a tutorials for you if you want to try something similar, you can find the tutorial on the Sofilantjes blog.

The other Cicero that I am showing you today was also sewn in February. I sewed this short sleeved Cicero during our sewing weekend. I used only my own scraps for this one. My sweat scraps turned out big enough to actually only use three different fabric and not one fabric for every pattern piece, as I had planned. But seeing that I could totally finish two of the fabrics this way, I just went for it. Adjusting my plans is in my nature.

The small hack in the color bomb one is that the zipper does not continue into the collar. I am sure many of you can do this without any help, but I did put it in the Cicero hack tutorial that I wrote on the Sofilantjes blog. I had been planning to actually redraft the collar a bit, to make it more traditional collar shape. I cut the redrafted pieces of this Cicero after 23:00 on the first night, but I quickly realized I had cut the wrong piece on the fold. Palm to the face and off to bed it was. I really should not sew after bed time, I could salvage the incorrectly cut piece by cutting the original collar from it, so that is what I did, I hate wasting fabric.

The main fabric of the first Cicero was bought at Textielstad. It was part of the batch of blue/grey fabric that I bought during the fall with the intention of selfish sewing. Really funny to see that my fabric taste goes in cycles, I really have clear trends in my taste. Apparently I am in a more pink phase at the moment. Two of the fabric from the scrap Cicero were used before I started to blog regularly. The owl fabric can be found in this post.

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.

Friday, March 24, 2017

Dulcie dress, free pattern release

We are celebrating today, Sewpony has officially dropped the "vintage" part of her name and on this road to simplicity she is releasing a lovely easy sew dress, the Dulcie, and the best part about it, it is free! This pattern, designed for wovens has two necklines, two ways to finish the sleeves, and optional collar and pockets. Visit the Sewpony website to find out how to get this lovely free pattern.

During testing I sewed two dresses and I showing them in reverse order. I sewed the second dress with the final version of the pattern and I actually followed the instructions, so I did a fully lined bodice with blind zipper. I sewed the square front neckline and added pockets. The bodice fabric is a Cotton and Steel remnant from the Cas and Nina remnant package that I told you about yesterday. The skirt is the same fabric as this dress and now that I fell back in love with it, the fabric is almost gone. I used a blue fabric for the lining and that gives a nice pop, even though I did not used the folded sleeves.

The first dress that I sewed is this grey dress. I actually used a jersey bodice on this one and did not line the bodice, but worked with a square facing (inspired by the neckline). The jersey is a very interesting double quilted version from Lillestoff. It is also from the remnants box and it was only 30 centimeter high. The height turned out to be perfect to cut the bodice from. I did forget to take away the zipper seam allowance on the back, so I made an extra, off centre seam (I did not want to cut in the print), the seam is almost invisible though, and might even add to the design.

Originally the dress also has a square back neckline, but that created the a bit of a shoulder dropping hazard, so that neckline was taken out of the pattern. Due to the fact that I used knit, shoulder dropping hazard was amplified. I first solved that with a small upcycled strap on the back neckline, but then she suggested to use multiple lines. I took some mustard yellow jersey, and it turned out great. I always love when a fix makes you more creative.

The skirt part of this dress is again See you at Six rayon and also from the remnants box. To create the back skirt, I had to puzzle four pieces together, but it worked, nothing was left or else I would have made de back straps with the rayon. I love that with this rayon well ironed seams are really invisible. As you can see, my daughter got glasses, and she loves them. She chose a beautiful pink pair, that I feel suits her very well.

I am not celebrating alone, and if you want to see more Dulcie dresses, you can visit these girls. Like I said at the beginning, visit the Sewpony site to find out how to get the pattern for free.The coming weeks more fun things will happen on Friday's over at Sewpony, so be sure to subscribe to the newsletter.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Angie hack-a-ton tour

I love pattern hacking, so when I saw a hacker call for the Angie dress from SisBoom, I was immediately interested. The Angie pattern would have been my second choice for the SisBoom tour in January, so I was extra excited. After sewing this woven dress, I wanted to try more, so this time I did not use my knitification skills. The hack I did was redrafting the dart into a princess seam and adding visible contrasting pockets.

The Angie is a sleeveless summer dress without zipper or buttons. It goes over your head, and due to the elastic in the back, the dress is still fitted. My choice of hack was clearly inspired by the dresses that I have sewn for my girls, like this one and this one. I secretly was jealous of them, and I wanted my own color block and pockets this summer.

The Angie pattern has three neckline heights, normal and low. I felt adventurous and cut the low neckline. After the first fit I decided to add a visible binding to keep all the height that was left. The neckline is perfect like this, but it should not have been a centimeter lower. During the first fit I also took the dress in a bit just under my arms. I just stitched an extra wide seam and then the fit was perfect.

I again used See you at Six rayon, I just love the drape. I do not like having a small piece of fabric left (because I have a hard time throwing scraps away and they keep piling up), so I decided to have a bit fuller skirt. Seeing the pocket part is not gathered, adding extra width in the skirt was a little bit overdoing it. I even would advice to have a little bit less wide skirt with this hack than the pattern usually prescribes.

I used 1.5 meter of the See you at six fabric. One meter was bought at the Stoffenmadam and the other half meter I bought as a remnant from Cas en Nina. In bought a big pile of remnants (over 6 meter in total) and golden fabric that I used a s contrast was also part of the package. I receive the package two weeks ago but already used three other remnants a, so I will mention the package more often the coming time.

The tutorial that I wrote kind a assumes you have already sewn these kind of pockets, so I do not go into detail on how to fold your fabrics there. I am also not supplying exact pieces for pocket, you will have to be brave a bit and just try, but you will be so proud of your self after drafting these pieces. If you have an questions, you can always ask.

Step 1: Take the original front bodice part of the Aggie pattern
Step 2: Draw a straight line from the point of the dart to somewhere on the shoulder. My straight line hits the shoulder approximately on 1/3.
Step 3: Slightly redraft the corner around the dart point into a curve and cut the original bodice part in three pieces. You can throw away the triangle dart piece, you will not need it any more.

Step 4: Take the side front bodice piece and put it above a piece of pattern paper. Now draft a pocket like I did in the picture. The exact shape is up to you. Just put you hand on it (keeping you hand hand like it would be in a pocket) to check the size. The main pocket (the outside lines) should be a bit wider than the bottom width of the bodice part. Now draft the inner line of the pocket piece. This will be the visible contrasting line, this part should be just as wide and the bodices bottom.
Step 5: Copy the entire pocket on another piece of paper and then separate the inner piece from one of the first pocket pattern piece that you created. You now have three pocket pieces. One for the contrasting fabric (the biggest piece), one for the lining (this one will not be visible, this is the one in the middle) and one that you will use to cut a piece from the skirt (the smallest piece on top).
Step 6: Now you add seam allowances to all these pieces, check my picture to see where it is needed. For the bodice you only have to add it to the line you cut. Two of the pocket pieces need seam allowance on the outside (except for the side). The easiest way to add such seam allowance is to just redraw the pattern piece on a new paper. For the smallest piece you will have to cut the seam allowance away from the exciting piece, so the smaller piece will actually become smaller.

Step 7: You will use the smallest pocket piece to cut the pocket from the skirt. Cut from both front corners a piece exactly the size of the small pocket piece (of which you cut the seam allowance already. You will not need the pattern piece or the cut outs from the skirt in a later stage, these are waste.
Step 8 and 9: Use the new adjusted pattern pieces to cut you fabric for the bodice (the middle should be cut on the fold) and the pockets. Put the middle part of the front bodice with the right side up on the table. Put a side piece on aligned at the top and pin the princess seam from top to bottom and sew. Do the same thing on the other side. I did not pin and made my pictures with that in mind, but while writing the tutorial I realized that normal people just pin their fabric. If you live dangerously like me, you start sewing on the top and while sewing you adjust the pieces such that you nicely sew the curve. Clip the middle point just to the stitching and finish the seam. Press the princess seam toward the side (I also did it, not skipping pressing darts etc any more).

Step 10: Put the skirt on the table with the ride side up and put the pocket lining on it with the right side down (so good sides facing each other). The curves should be aligned exactly. Sew the inner curve. Clip the seam, than turn it such that the right side of the fabric is visible, press and optionally understitch.
Step 11: Put the skirt on the table with the wrong side up, put the big pocket piece on top with the wrong side up. Pin the outside curves on each other and sew the outside curve of the pocket. Do not sew through the skirt, but lift the pocket pieces such that you only sew the lining and the main piece together. Finish the seam. Sew the sides of the skirt pieces together and gather the skirt as described in the original instructions. Do not gather the visible part of the pockets.
Step 12: Now the most tricky part to explain (and to sew). For the nicest effect, you want the princess seam to perfectly blend into your pocket. Pinning and possibly even adding some basting stitching is crucial. Put the skirt on the table with the right side up, put the bodice on top of it, with the right side down (so right sides facing each other) and while pinning, check if the seams line up. Sew the bodice to the skirt. Continue with adding the elastic and finishing the armholes and neckline according to the instructions.