Saturday, August 31, 2013

The Sew Weekly!

  Hell yeah!

The Facts
Fabric: Cotton/polyester blend as fashion fabric + cotton for the lining
Notions: Zipper
Pantone Challenge colors: Vivacious!

Year: 2013

Time to complete: 6 hours
First worn: Today
Wear again? Yes!
Total Cost: 30€

I love pink, huh, I mean Vivacious!

I actually made this top last week. It was supposed to be the muslin for another top in the Pantone Fall Palette (Acai and Koi). But life got in the way and I won't be able to finish the other top for The Sew Weekly deadline, so luckily I made my muslin in Vivacious, which is also in the Fall Palette! Hah, foresight ;-)

The back

I made this top in a cotton/poly blend. It's kind of see through, like lace, so I decided to line it with a simple pink cotton. Unlike lace, the combinations of both fabrics proved to be a bit bulky for a top... However, I do like the look of both fabrics combined, so that makes up for the bulkiness.

 Silly face!

I didn't make a lot of changes, I only lowered the neckline and took the back seam in a bit. I'm happy with the fit though.
Oh, and this might be the one Burda pattern that isn't actually too big! Luckily I cut out a size 38 and not a 36 as I had originally intended!
 I love those jeans!

On a side note: the jeans are a refashion from a pair of my boyfriend's jeans. He'd bought them too small and they fit me perfectly! I skinnified (is that even a verb?!) them and added exposed zippers to the side. Love them!
I'm sorry the pics aren't perfect, but it is getting dark outside so early already!

Friday, August 23, 2013

The Pattern and Notions Swap

A couple of weeks ago I decided to join The Sew Weekly Reunion. Great was my surprise that there was also going to be a Pattern and Notions Swap. I registered just in the nick of time. 
I was really excited and a bit scared at the same time to get the name of the person I was supposed to send a parcel to: Adey Lim. I mean, seriously, what can a humble seamstress like myself send to this sewing Wonder Woman? I don't really have a lot of vintage patterns and neither do I have a whole stash of vintage notions.... So, I sent her a modern pattern and some modern notions with a vintage touch. I hope she likes what I chose for her. Lesson learned: it's really hard to chose something for someone else!

When I came back from holiday, a surprise parcel was waiting for me. I opened it as soon as I laid hands on it and found these wonderful goodies (I especially love the buttons with the flowers on them):

 Yes, the little bag with the pink bow are really sweets and I love them!

I also received an e-mail from Mary with some lovely pdf patterns (some of which I had been eyeballing for some time!).

In the meantime I'm getting ready to make something for The Sew Weekly Reunion. I've already made a test version, which turned out all right (I'll blog about it soon). I can't wait to finish it and show you all!

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Camping Trip with a One Year Old

I've just got home from holiday. We went camping and hiking with our one year old daughter. A lot of people thought it would be next to impossible doing this with a small child, but we had a lot of fun. A few impressions... 

The Aletsch Glacier - impressive!

We went to Switzerland and decided to pitch our tent on a camping site we knew from a previous holiday. Our goal was to do some hiking and this way we knew the terrain, so as not to embark upon unknown adventures.

Camping with Lily was a lot of fun. There weren't a lot of things she wasn't allowed to do - besides jumping in the garbage or trying to eat grass. That resulted in happy and relaxed parents and a happy and relaxed child (a bonus!). The only problem we encountered was that Lily wouldn't sleep in the tent during the day time. Too light and too hot... That of course resulted in a tired child at the end of the afternoon. But it also meant she went to bed very easily in the evenings, and fell asleep almost immediately every night.

She learned to open zippers and at the end of our holiday she could let herself in and out of the tent.

We'd bought her a Didrikson's waterproof suit. Perfect for those rainy days when she wanted to crawl, but the ground was humid, cold and everything was really wet.

We received a Deuter child carrier from a colleague of mine and bought a rain cover to go with it. The first two walks were really hard but after that you adjust to the weight of your child and it becomes easier to carry. Lily is used to being carried around and she loved every bit of the walks. She could easily sleep in the Deuter and the rain cover proved to be very effective on the rainy days.

 What is cuter than a sleeping child...

I guess that if your child isn't used to being carried, sitting a whole day in a child carrier can be a bit of a challenge though...

 Lily and me on the Swiss border with Italy (Albrunpass) - yes, those are the shorts!

On the camping we used our tried and true Ergo Carrier (also received from a colleague) to carry Lily around when we had some cooking or other chores to do. I guess this would be something I'd never thought to buy but it's the one item that I couldn't live without anymore. We use it a lot at home as well, to carry her around and get some work done. We didn't bring her pram and actually didn't miss it at all.
So all in all a very relaxing and fun holiday! I guess the bottom line is that like always the idea of what you can and can't do with a child is mostly a mental barrier that you create yourself...

Monday, August 12, 2013

More Sleeping Sacks!

My daughter really loves to sleep in sleeping sacks and I love making them. Talk about a perfect combo :-)

We've really got quite a collection in the meantime! I suppose though that the last one I made, will be the last one she wears. We're planning on buying her a duvet in the fall, when she's old enough. But who's said that I can't switch to making duvet covers?

These two were made for the cold winter months. They consist of one cotton layer and one fleece layer. 
One has the cotton on the inside because I loved that colourful fleece too much to hide it!

The other one has the softest white fleece I've ever felt on the inside.

The last sleeping sack is made out of two layers of cotton and some fusible interfacing, used for quilting.

It has the most lovely cotton fabric on the inside. The pattern reminds me of waves or even dragon's scales! What a great way to begin a bedtime story!

And one last picture with a roundup of all the sleeping sacks I've made so far :-)

Friday, August 9, 2013

Crib Bumper

Babies sleep in cribs. Everyone knows that! But what comes after the crib?
Lily spent her first months in a crib that we borrowed from one of my aunts. When she got too big, she spent some months in a second hand baby bed. Our backs soon began to hurt until we were kindly given a baby bed by another aunt. It's a bed my grandmother actually bought for my aunts, uncles and my mom. It's a real 50ies number and is called vintage nowadays! One of the sides opens, which is great for people with bad lower backs! (And let's be honest, who hasn't?)

The bed, however, came with a 14 year old mattress and without a bumper. We've had a new mattress made for the bed, which hasn't got modern standard dimensions. I, then, made the bumper myself, using some lightweight denim fabric with white stars on it and some white fabric with grey stars on it.

I attached some bias binding to the top and bottom of the bumper to tie it to the bed. That way you can turn the bumper upside down (and change its appearance from denim to white).

I had some fabric scraps left after making the bumper and decided to use them to sew another baby sleeping sack.

I actually copied another sleeping sack that we were given when Lily was born. It's proven to be a really useful design! I lined it with the same fusible interfacing I used for her first baby sleeping sack. Just fine, not too hot and not too cold for a typical Belgian summer.

Here's a pic from the back, which I like best. I had to patch it together like this, because I hand't got enough fabric left to cut it out in one piece. Sometimes working with scraps can really stretch your creativity!

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Baby Peasant Blouse

Are you ready for the second post in my baby sewing series? I know I am!
The second item I made for my little girl was a baby peasant blouse. I used this tutorial and found it a nice pattern and very easy to follow!

I used a beautiful Liberty fabric. It was actually a leftover from a dress I made for my sister (pictures coming up!). As I've told before, she's Lily's godmother and was very proud carrying her niece around in matching outfits. Hehe!

I lined the blouse with a light and soft cotton batiste. Perfect for a hot summery day! Lily loved wearing it (read: she didn't protest when I put it on!)

Saturday, August 3, 2013

The First Few Weeks

So, what actually happened between my last post back in September 2011 and now, August 2013? Was I abducted by aliens? No, no! But you're close ;-) I got pregnant and had a baby. She's a lovely one year old girl, named Lily Kate.
I didn't do much sewing while pregnant, apart from the traditional how-to-turn-your-jeans-into-a-maternity-jeans kind of thing. However, I started sewing again when my daughter was born.
I mostly altered my clothes into nursing friendly garments, but I've sewn a couple of things for my little girl too. So, let me introduce to you, the first of a series of posts about baby sewing. 
Spoiler alert: if you're not into baby stuff, turn away now, while you still can!

One of the first things I made was this Baby Sleeping Sack, from the book Homemade Beginnings by Anna Maria Horner.

We didn't know if our baby was going to be a boy or a girl during the pregnancy, as we wanted it to be a surprise. So, when sewing this sleeping sack I had to choose 'neutral' colours. I still do love the colour scheme though and would choose these exact colours again.

The sleeping sack is made from several cotton fabrics. I made the patchwork front from remnants of a (too big) duvet cover, the fabric of two dresses I made and an old pair of my boyfriend's pyjama pants (so soft!). It's not perfect, but I love the way it looks.
The inside is made from some fabric I had still lying around and that I used before to make a wallet for my sister (Lily's godmother). The back is cut from the aforementioned pyjama pants and I lined the whole thing with some fusible interfacing, a leftover from a winter coat I once made. Talk about stash busting!
But what I love most about this sleeping sack is that is made out of different fabrics, that make me think of all the people who love her!