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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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!

End of The Year

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I thought I’d pop in here one last time before the year is ending and show you my christmas dress – or as much as you can see from it! My sister and I wanted to try ‘writing’ with light (we used sparklers) and decided to take pictures of my dress as well. They  turned out pretty dark, but I still love them – I love anything moody, mysterious, dark… Also, there is nothing particularly interesting about this dress except for it’s sparkly fabric, so it doesn’t matter if you can’t see everything.

Details about the dress: It’s a super simple sack dress with three-quarter sleeves, made out of copper lamé I’d had in my stash for at least three years. As a pattern I used my bodice block and sewed just the two bust darts and scooped out the neckline. The construction was really simple, but I did use french seams everywhere for a neat finish – and I wanted to make sure that the scratchy metallic threads of the lamé wouldn’t come in contatct with my skin. It was finished within a couple of hours – maximum success for minimal effort.

Also, this is my entry for Allie’s december Social Sew – Holiday Glamour. I’ve just managed to submit it before the deadline – visit her blog to see many more awesome holiday garments, it’s very inspiring!

And to conclude this post, as well as this year: I obviously have not been very active lately, but I promise you – there will be new content in the new year. I also plan to change a couple of things (mainly frequency and also slightly the topics of posts) but overall, things will stay the same. Still, I’m happy about these small changes and I’m also really looking forward to posting again! I did miss it it :)

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Moss Embroidery

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I have some sneak peeks from my costume for you today! I have time until Christmas break to finish it and even though there is still so much to do, I’m starting to see the end of it – I actually think it will be finished earlier. But so much time went into it already…. I spent three days dyeing and bleaching fabrics for the skirt alone! But the end is in sight, I ‘just’ need to assemble the corset – after I’ve finished embroidering the outer layer.

The inspiration behind the embroidery is moss and lichen growing on trees and rocks and I tried my best to get similar structures and textures. I used up to seven colours of embroidery floss, ranging from green and blue to brown and a burnt orange. I also incooperated three different kinds of glass beads, two matte, one shiny. The base fabric is a silk dupioni which I dyed into a blue-green – it also got this crashed look in the process, which is a perfect backdrop for the moss embroidery.

This isn’t really a tutorial, just a couple of progress pictures. Also, there really is no right or wrong way to do this, I just go with the flow and do whatever feels right. I’m basically making up the design as I go along and there is no way I could recreate it to 100% ever again. It’s random and organic and that’s why I love it so much. Also, please ignore that the colour of the fabric changes – the light went from bad to worse during the process and my camera needs to be replaced. The most accurate colour is probably in the second picture, in case you’re wondering.

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There is still a lot of work to do, but I think it will look great in the end… Let’s hope it’s going to be worth all the cramps in fingers and shoulders!

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Progress

Wow, the last couple of weeks have been intense and I wasn’t able to spent as much thought on this blog as I would have liked. There are just a lot of things going on right now and I neither have the time nor the energy to come up with any content – so please bear with me! I don’t know how long this phase will last and when I can finally come back and dedicate more time into this blog. Let’s hope it’s soon.

Still, I have a couple of sewing-related updates I wanted to share with you. A bit of progress as well as some finished makes – I just thought you might like to know what I’m working on (when I don’t have to do a thousand of other things)!

First are two more Astorias. One will be part of my november Social Sew, so more about this one later. The other one is made out of the scraps of this one and the blue-grey one. The fit on these two is perfect, I just went a size down at the waist and now they look how they are supposed to. I also lowered the necklines at the front, I thought they where a bit too high. Even though I have three Astorias now, I’m thinking about making more, maybe in navy, dark grey and/or black. They really only take one hour to make and if you make them all at the same time, you’re even faster. I love this pattern :)

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Next up is a slightly gathered circle skirt. The fabric is a beautiful Cotton+Steel quilting cotton I got at a fabric sale last month. I somehow didn’t manage to cut a full circle (I think the fabric wasn’t wide enough, but it was also late at night when I decided to start with this skirt, so maybe I should blame that) and so I cut a half circle skirt and then one more panel, because the print didn’t look good – I wanted more fullness. I don’t know what this is now. A three-quarter-circle skirt? Or one and a forth? Don’t ask me, I don’t remember. I guess I could just measure it, but anyway. Because the third panel was a later addition after I had done all the math to figure out the radius etc, the waistline was too big and so I gathered it down to the correct size. I really like how this looks now, full and pretty. All it needs is hemming.

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Now the last thing is actually a wearable muslin of the Grainline Studio Archer button up shirt. For this test version I made view B, with the flounce at the back. The shirt still needs cuffs, collar, button/holes and hemming, but I can already say that it looks just as expected. I will only make two minor changes – slightly adjust the shoulder seam and grade back to my original size at the hips: I graded up to a 10 based on my measurements, but that is totally not necessary. Will cut a straight size 8 next. I used a lilac/grey cotton for this version, wich is extremely densley woven – it took a while to figure out which needle would work with such a fabric (I ended up using a jeans needle, it was the only one that went through all the layers without getting stuck somewhere). To make it a bit more fun, I decided to put one of my indian stamps to good use and printed a little fish on the edge of the collar. I also assure you that the pocket and everything else is straight, I just didn’t photograph it on a level surface :) And it needs ironing. I will show you the whole thing when it’s done!

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And that’s it! Hope you enjoyed it, I’m going back to my desk now :)

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