Back Into the Flow

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Let me tell you, getting back into writing after a long break is kind of hard. The words don’t come as easily as they used to. They tend to sound a bit forced and stiff and don’t flow and have the right rhythm. It’s all due to practice, as it is the case with everything really. But I’ll try my best….

Anyway, let’s talk about the pictures, or rather, about the clothes I’m wearing. Everything is self-made, except for the shoes (they are from Bensimon, in case you’re wondering). These are the jeans, the top is a Seamwork Kenedy dress and the kimono is self-drafted. And I also made my headband – the fabric is a leftover from my ‘ginghamalong’ project. Headbands are perfect for using up scraps…..

I think I might add ruffles to the hem of the Kenedy some time soon – it’s super short and I can only really wear it as a long top or with opaque leggings underneath. I made two more versions of it so far, and lengthened both by 5 cm – now they are perfect. I also think that the fabric I used for this first version isn’t ideal – it doesn’t have the right amount of drape and as a result the ‘dress’ looks more tent-like than I intended. Again, I don’t have this problem with the other two versions I made (I used soft lawns for both).

The kimono is probably the one piece of clothing I’m wearing the most right now. It fills an annoying gap in wardrobe: It’s a lightweight jacket for late spring/summer/autumn, that I can wear over anything: The sleeves are wide enough for thicker fabrics unterneath, the length is perfect and I love the fabric/colour! Major bonus points: the deep pockets. I drafted it myself, which was easy, because I had a reference: a kimono from my sister, which I wanted to recreate. I made some changes, but it basically consists of a couple of slightly slanted rectangles – one piece for the back, two fronts, two pockets, 4 pieces for the sleeves and one neckband (also two pieces). I actually wrote down all the measurements for the individual pieces, and took some in-process pictures of some of the steps: If you are interested, I can dedicate a seperate post to the kimono’s construction.

And that’s that….. In the end, writing this post was easier than expected. I guess I just need to get back into the flow!

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Sewing, LYF

Tattoos & Sewing. One has fascinated ever since I’ve been a small child, the other one is my dearest hobby. Both are all about the right needle (kind of)….. And now one will remind me forever of the other.

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I got my tattoo (first of many – I’ve got so many ideas!) last week, at Vienna Electric Tattoo. The artist is Sam Rulz, a super talented woman – check out her instagram here. I am so in love with her etching style, it’s perfect for my pair of scissors (fabric shears, obviously). I didn’t want regular shading, I wanted something a little more interesting, and I couldn’t be happier with the result.

I just I’d let you know, from now on, you will see it in all the photos – it’s quite big, so you can’t really miss it :) Also, I know that not everyone out there likes tattoos, so please, if you hate it, try to keep your opinion to yourself….Merken

Summer Skirt

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How is it June already? Last time I blogged it was aÁpril (I even had to check)…. Sooo, what have I been up to? Not much, especially lately. I originally stopped blogging in April because I just did not have the time: I made some costumes for a theater production (and assisted the costume designer as well) and often sewed well into the night. It was super time consuming, but I’ll tell you more about it in another post.

And then… I don’t really know what happened. I was quite burned out and tired and spent a couple of days at my grandmother’s in Graz (I never went home to Salzburg during easter – too busy). And then final exams came (the theoretical part is still outstanding) and my laptop decided to give up for a while…. Basically I just enjoyed a creative break, recharged a bit, worked on new ideas and made up some plans for the future.

That was just a little heads up, now let’s continue as usual. I’m mainly here today to talk about this skirt. And the fabric! It’s Cotton+Steel , from the Picnic collection, designed by Melody Miller. It’s called ‘enamel flowers’ (in navy) and it’s a quilting weight cotton, which means it’s not ideal for apparel sewing. But you can make it work if you consider a few things first.

Most important is obviously the cut of the garment. You won’t be happy if you use quilting cotton for a pattern that calls for fluid fabrics. It tends to be quite stiff (even after washing), so it’s good for anything structured, tailored and fitted. Just make sure your garment won’t end up too tight, as it does not stretch at all. Therefore, it works equally well when used for anything casual with lots of ease (but nothing drapey!). You can also use it for pyjamas and, as I did here, full skirts (either gathered, pleated or circle skirts).
Quilting cotton won’t shift when you’re cutting, it’s easy to sew and presses well. It’s perfect if you’re a beginner and want a fabric that isn’t a nightmare to work with. Also, it comes in a huge variety of prints and colours and you can find it in literally any fabric store. So if you find the right pattern, it’s a pretty cool fabric to use and won’t cause much frustration!

So these are my tips! Did I forget something? Would you use it for the garment-types I recommended above? I’m curious to know!

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New Staple

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I’ve dreamed about a stack of Liberty print shirts for a long time. I slowly built a stash of Liberty Tana Lawns, but was still on the hunt for the perfect shirt pattern. Enter the Grainline Studios Archer Button Up Shirt. It ticks all the boxes: It has a loose fit, classic shirt details and an overall masculine vibe, which is something I’m always looking for in shirts – I don’t like tight fitting blouses, I prefer something more loose and casual. What can I say – so far I’ve made three and I have plans for at least four more. I’m also preparing a tutorial for a hack and I want to make a couple without sleeves for summer. Personally, I think it’s the ultimate shirt pattern.

Do you recognize the fabric of the shorts? It’s the same I showed you in the last post, the one I used for the yoyo skirt. The pattern is an old favourite as well – my trusty trousers block, which I just cut off at the desired length. I think that with winter shorts, you can always go a little shorter, because you are wearing them with tights anyway!

Also, this is my entry for the Social Sew! This month’s theme is ‘New Year, New Wardrobe‘ – this shirt will definitely play a huge part in my wardrobe this year, as I finally found the perfect pattern (made in a straight size 8, if you want to know). I’ve wanted to own such shirts for a long time and I feel as if this year might be the year of the Archers. Ok, maybe I’m exaggerating bit… Also, in case you’re wondering, this is not a sponsored post, haha! I’m just genuinly happy that I found a pattern that is perfect for me.

It was seriously one of the coldest days and I could not bring myself to take the coat off (it does match the background), so I decided to include a couple of close-ups of the shirt and the shorts. All the seams of both garments are sergerd (using the industrial serger we have in school) and I added a bit of decorative topstitching to the hem of the shorts, but that’s almost invisible. I originally wanted to do french seams on the shirt, but then decided that it was too time-consuming – maybe next time, when I don’t want to bring half-assembled shirts to school just to finish the seams!

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Winter Colours

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I have another classic winter look for you today: Long-sleeved top and woolen skirt! I wear skirts in winter at least three time a week. Dresses – not so much (the rest is jeans). I actually have three wintery ones, but I find them quite hard to layer and so they are more a thing for late autumn/early spring.

Anyway, the top is a Seamwork Astoria – this time with the right fit. I also prefer this fabric, it is slightly thicker, more stable and also feels better. I normally  wear this crop top underneath for an extra layer, but I think I could also wear a regular t-shirt, tucked in – I have to wear something high-waisted with this top anyway!
The skirt is a Papercut Yoyo skirt – I’ve made it before (read the post here) and I don’t have much more to say about it: The fit is perfect, I love its simple, but unique shape. I only had an issue with the zipper: The one I used this time is crap, it broke on the same day I took these pictures (and wore the skirt for the first time). I tried to repair it and thought it had worked, but no, I couldn’t wear the skirt without having issues with the zipper again (coming apart from the bottom). I’m thinking about ripping it all out and insert a new one, but ugh, I hate it. Let’s hope I can fix it again and this time it will stay!

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Merken

Chequered

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I could also call this post ‘The many challenges of photographing your finished projects during the winter’, but that would be a bit long. Thruth is, I have a hard time taking decent pictures of my finished garments (or anything really) during the winter.

The light is probably the biggest challenge – it fades so quickly! If there is any light at all… Also, it’s obviously quite cold outside and if you want to photograph something else than coats and jackets, you risk getting a really bad cold. So you might want to stay inside taking the pictures, but this isn’t so easy either: Again, the light proves to be challenging . It’s either too dark or you get funny shadows from the window bars everywhere – which happened in my case. But hey, the checks mimic the fabric for the skirt, so maybe it isn’t even so bad…

The skirt is a typical winter skirt for me: High-waisted, mini and made of wool (a mystery wool-poly blend actually). I used my basic skirt block for it and added a 2cm waistband. The construction is very simple, there are just the darts and side seams to sew.
The top is also made by me, it’s Deer&Doe’s Plantain t-shirt. It’s a free pattern and again, comes together in an hour.This is the first version (I made two more) and I made in a size 38. I did cut a size 36 at the hips though, because the flare was a bit too much for me. Otherwise, no alterations to the pattern and I’m very happy with it. I also love the shape of the neckline! I used a viscose-polyester, lightweight jersey for it – very silky and incredibly smooth. And it was on sale (Komolka), so it was definitely a bargain.

A simple outfit (I would normally add tights) with two wardrobe staples. I can see myself wearing these pieces a lot this winter!

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#2017makenine

You know that I love to plan. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – it’s my favourite part. I also (try) to plan my sewing, match fabrics with patterns, make a queue… until I change my mind and make something completely different. So plannig what I will sew for a whole year? How can this possibly work?

I see my #2017makenine as a list of things that I definitely want to make, I could also call them The Big Nine or something. I put a lot of things on this list that I have wanted to make for a long time and this year I will finally make them so that I can move on and dream about different things. There are some easy, quick projects as well as more tricky/time consuming ones. There is a lot of outerwear – I just find it really difficult to find coats and jackets that I like and that are in my price range (I wouldn’t say no to a Peacock Feathered Burberry Trench Coat, ha!). But alas, DIY it is! Luckily I love to sew…

(for links to source, click on the picture! Patterns and everything else are linked as well, just move the cursor over the text! (since I changed my theme slightly, the links don’t show up in a different colour anymore…))

Leggings
I’m really loving the oversized-shirt/sweater-and-leggings look at the moment and while I own some shirts, I don’t have any leggings. Finding the right fabrics might prove to be a little tricky, but I already found the perfect pattern.
*pattern: Megan Nielsen Virginia Leggings

Suede Trench Coat
I’ve been dreaming about a suede trenchcoat and I just happen to have 4m of faux suede waiting to be cut into. It will happen this year. (it must)
*pattern: Named Clothing Isla Trench Coat

Joggers
Both out of a regular stable knit and… velvet! (totally inspired by Sara, her version is an absolute dream)
*patterns: Named Clothing Alexandria Peg Trousers, Papercut Patterns Anima Pant, True Bias Hudson Pant (still not sure which might suit me best!)

Light Dufflecoat/Parka
The Albion is waiting for a while now, I’m waiting for the right fabric. A lightweight parka would be nice as well.
*patterns: Colette Albion, Burdastyle Parka (because I have this issue already)

Duster
Something less structured than a trenchcoat and less detailed than a parka. I can imagine a solid, black, understated one as well as a velvet version.
*pattern: Orageuse Londres Trench Coat

Bomber/Souvenier Jacket/Hoodie
I recently discovered that bombers do look good on me (used to be convinced of the opposite) and now I want to make one myself. I would really love to add a huge embroidery to the back, but to be realistic – that probably won’t happen (maybe patches instead?). Ideally, I could also modify the pattern to be both a jacket and a sweater, and even add a hood to it.
*pattern: Papercut Patterns Rigel Bomber (though not ideal, the best one I’ve seen… any other suggestions?)

Camisole/Slipdress
Great for layering, perfect for summer. I already have so many outfits in mind and could come up with countless options more. I also love how I can customize them with lace, embroidery….
*patterns: Seamwork Savanah, True Bias Ogden Cami, Tessuti Sadie Slip Dress or I’ll try to make a pattern myself

Bodysuit
Again, great for layering. Especially under those high-waisted skirts and shorts I wear all the time. I’d also love to play with details like super low backs, v-necks, lace, sheer panels, etc.
*patterns: Closet Case Nettie Bodysuit, Named Clothing Tuuli Bodysuit or selfdrafted again

Maxi Shirtdress
The shirtdress is still my favourite kind of dress and this year I really want to make a maxi version. And generally try out new lenghts for both skirts and dresses (tea/maxi).
*patterns: Grainline Studio Archer Button Up (for a more relaxed look), Sew Over It Vintage Shirtdress, Sewaholic Nicola Dress, Named Clothing Wenona Shirt Dress, Deer and Doe Bruyère Shirt (all lengthened to floor length)

These are the big sewing goals for 2017. Without doubt, I will make othe things as well and maybe not all of the ones listed above. That’s alright. Plans change, I change, I might not want to have a souvenir jacket in my closet after all. But right now, this list looks perfect to me. Maybe (absolutely!) a bit ambitious, but I have twelve months to make them. Let’s get sewing!