Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Nursing Summer Tops - Sorbetto and Burda

First of all: I'm really sorry about the poor quality of the pictures. I would redo the whole photoshoot if I could but I can't for the world fit into these tops anymore since I'm 4 months pregnant. Yay, the word is out. That being said, they will come in handy next summer when I'll probably be breastfeeding our little one.

I made these tops at the end of last summer and didn't feel like blogging about them once fall set in. I suppose they could be an inspiration now to all the young mums out there in Sewing Land.

The first top is the classic Sorbetto, by Colette patterns. I inserted an invisible zip just behind the right side of the front pleat. Really easy and you can't see it at all! You just have to cut the front pattern piece in two to the left or right side of the pleat and add a seam allowance for the zip.
I know that a front zip won't make sense to everyone, but my breastfeeding bra's open at the front.
I altered the pattern a little. I lengthened the top and made the armholes a little wider. I also took the back in just a little bit to prevent gaping. I used a pretty raspberry pre-made bias binding to finish the neckline and armholes.

The second top is view D of a Burda pattern (Burda Young 7051), of which I'd already made view B.

Okay, I should learn how to pose more naturally!

I was happy with the fit of B so I thought I wouldn't have to alter the pattern of D much. Boy, was I wrong.
It was as if I was sewing a whole different pattern. I had to alter the armholes, the back and the side seams to get a fit that I liked. I also inserted an invisible zip on the Center Front and a hook and eye closure at the top. This helps keeping the top modest enough when breastfeeding (it doesn't fall completely open). I chose a fabric with the Pantone Fall colours Acai en Koi.

The only issue I have with this top is that the fabric pulls a little where the zip ends. I think it has to do with the fact that I cut this top on the bias to create a kind of chevron feel.

Otherwise i'm very happy with both tops and how comfortable they are to wear and to nurse a little one!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Floral Burda Top

I made myself a floral top to celebrate the somewhat late arrival of Spring, although it feels more like winter right now...

It's top 102B from Burda Magazine 02/2011. I've been planning to make this top for ages and finally did it. I'm so glad! It's very comfortable and looks great with my self drafted black pencil skirt.

The fabric is a floral knit. It's very lightweight, so I decided to line the whole top (instead of lining only the top part). I also lengthened this top quite a bit. It's really very very short if you don't and I wanted to be able to wear it with more than just this black skirt. I added at least 10 to 15cm.
I used a twin needle for the hem and it worked like magic! So happy :-)

And one last sour face picture to show you the real length.

Monday, March 31, 2014

Batwing Shirt

I have a batwing shirt that I really really love to wear. It's classy and so very comfortable. It makes sense to copy that shirt, right?!

It was a rather easy make. It was my first time sewing with a knit that behaves like a knit :-) I used Wendy Mullin's advice and used a walking foot. Good idea, since the front of my shirt is a regular woven polyester fabric, but the back is a really slippery knit.

I made cuffs for the arms and used self made bias binding for the neckline. That was my only mistake. I should have stabilised the neckline and the bias binding. It's a bit wrinkly now. I don't really care because this shirt is so super comfortable to wear.

The polyester fabric features a digital print. It's a street view in black and white. I love it! It's not available anymore, but this one would be a lovely choice too!

Friday, February 7, 2014

Wardrobe Architect

I've been doing my homework the last couple of weeks. I'm talking about consciously planning what to sew and building a wardrobe with enough basics to wear with all the frilly things I own.

I must say, I find Sarai's posts very interesting and the worksheets have been really an eye opener to me. I already know intuitively what my core style is. Sometimes, though, I make something that I feel not totally comfortable wearing. Usually I only realize this after finishing the garment. I would like to be more confident when choosing a sewing pattern to make something. Some things are nice when other people wear them, but they are not necessarily my style. The most recent obvious example is my Laurel dress.

I love that dress, don't get me wrong! But it doesn't feel like 'me'. The neckline is too high and the shape is not fitted enough. I consciously chose to make this pattern because I felt this fabric needed something with minimal darts/... But the downside is that I don't feel 100% comfortable wearing it.
Okay, time to move on. I've created three basic outfits for the winter and three for the summer. They're based on things I own and love wearing.

And... what I suddenly realised when putting this together: I own a lot of leopard. Roarrrrrr!

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

My 2014 Sewlution

Because I didn't participate here last year, I'd like to make up for it this year.

My 2014 Sewlution: I hereby pledge to make one project from every sewing book I own.

I love to browse through sewing books for inspiration. I have several books that I love: Gertie's book, Famous Frocks and some other vintage inspired and modern sewing books. I even own two books about sewing bags. But, dear readers, i have a confession to make. I almost never make the projects featured in the books, even if I positively love them and have drooled over them many a time.

I think part of the reason is that I don't like tracing patterns. Yes, i'm that lazy! I don't make many Burda patterns because of this either btw. I hate all the coloured lines that are printed like a spiderweb across the pages. It wouldn't be the first time that I badly traced a pattern piece or forgot to trace one all together... And I hate having to add the seam allowances.
On the other hand, I really like some of the garments and other things featured in my sewing books. So I guess that this year I'll just bite the bullet and actually make some of them!

Is this just me? Do you like to make projects from books or do you just use them as inspiration?

Friday, November 22, 2013

Dotty Top

Some time ago, my mom gave me her sewing patterns. She hasn't been sewing clothes for ages and figured I could put them to better use. A lot of the patterns are a bit outdated right now (think cotton pants with an elastic waistband or drop waist 80s dresses) and my mom was apparently very fond of 'quick and easy' patterns. Which means: nothing fancy going on in pattern design land...

Nonetheless I was really excited to start making something with one of the patterns. It's a sort of top, Burda 5160 Super easy! What's not to like about a super easy top?!

I used a polyester fabric, with a bit of sheen. At least that's what I think it is, this fabric has been sitting in my stash for I don't know how long and I don't even remember where I got it from. It has a lovely drape and I really like the print, especially the black and red polka dots.

I changed the pattern quite a bit to fit in with my wardrobe and not to make people want to send me back to the 80s. (Though that's the decade I was born, haha!)
I shortened the top and took in the whole shoulder area. My shoulders are broad enough on their own that they don't need a lot of extra attention. You know, the 80s silhouette...
I didn't use the facings the pattern provided, but finished the neck area and the bottom with black bias tape. My fabric was too slippery to even think about cutting and sewing facings.

I quite like the result and have worn my top on many occasions already. I also love the back. The closure (which you can't really see well in the picture...) breaks up the pattern a bit and adds a twist to the whole thing.

PS I also got a few lovely patterns for little girls summer dresses. I know what I'll be sewing next summer!

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Laurel in Roses

I attended a pattern drawing workshop this summer at -the very appropriately named- Workshop in Leuven. We learned how to draw a basic pattern block for skirts and to design skirts from that block. It was all very interesting and I loved the whole experience.
Workshop also sells beautiful fabrics, yarns and patterns. During the workshop, I of course spotted a fabric that really caught my eye. The fabric consisted of panels, with roses. I bought two panels and the Laurel pattern from Colette.

I must admit that I really like this Laurel. I was a bit apprehensive at first, Laurel is not the kind of dress I usually wear. I like rather tight fitting clothes and that's not what Laurel is about. However, I needed a pattern without too many darts, so as not to break up the roses on the fabric too much.

I made some pattern alterations. I did a sway back adjustment. I finally figured out that I need this and suddenly all my dresses seem to fit better... I also took the back neckline in, just a little bit though. I think I lengthened the dress a bit, but I'm not sure, since I chopped the pattern up to create the bottom tier...

I used a blue stretch cotton for the sleeves and the bottom of the dress. And I found a jacket in the exact same colour, to match my dress :-) Hooray for matching colours!
PS I forgot to iron this dress before taking pictures... But the wrinkles really show how much I love to wear it! Hah!