Sunday, 15 September 2019

Summer Dress Serie - The Navy One

I wanted a navy dress for our little week-ends at the sea. However, I did not have a chance to wear it yet, it was finished before our big vacation and we did not have a free week-end yet. So maybe later this month.

Anyhow, this dress was a simple and quick one. I used the true and tested Cara dress from La Maison Victor, only with short sleeves this time. I used a dark navy ponte and that is about it.


Originally, I wanted to keep the dress as is, but I ended up putting the white rick rack as decoration.

I do not think there is really much more to say about this dress, but since it was part of my summer serie, so it is better to publish it now and not in two years :)


Sunday, 1 September 2019

Hats for Vacation

I love hats, any hats basically - small, big, summer, winter, I am just so sad that hats are longer a standard accessory, as it was the case still in the 60s. In winter it keeps you warm and protects you hair; in summer it keeps my face in the shade and my scalp from getting burnt.

So when we decided to go on summer vacation to Peru, I read everywhere that the sun is actually very strong over there. Even though we went there during their "winter" season, it is important to note that the country is very close to equator and most of it is in high altitudes which means that the sun becomes even stronger. Which, for my Celtic skin meant: good sunscreen, glasses and hats are obligatory. But then, travelling with hats is not the simplest one, ideally, I would need fabric hats which I can fold in my little suitcase and take them whenever needed. Also, I wanted little bit of variety and it needs to go with rather autumn travel clothes, so sewing them would be the best option, as usual, lol.

Once I decided to sew them, I had to find the right pattern for my bucket hat. And while there are a few of them for kids, finding an adult bucket hat pattern was not so easy. I had found one at OliverS, but when trying to understand the paper pattern, the pieces did not fit right.
When I was getting desperate, I looked through the last Burda magazine (June 2019) and saw a pattern for exactly what I wanted. I traced the pattern out and sewed a quick muslin from a very stiff fabric and I got excited by the result. For my vacations buckets, I only had to shorten the brim slightly and extend the diameter (yes, I have a large head and this is probably the only measurement, I have to extend).

In the end, I sewed up two bucket hats in coordinating fabrics. I used a little scrap of the brown plain fabric and found a corresponding colored one in my local quit shop. The red/grey one was entirely from new fabrics. However, half-meter was largely sufficient, so no additions to my stash needed.

Verdict: the hats got worn almost everyday during our vacation and I was really happy to have them, I did not get burnt one single time and my hairdresser said my hair was not damaged at all when I came back.

Tuesday, 27 August 2019

Summer Dress Serie - The Paisley One

I have quite mixed feelings with this dress, which is probably due to the context of its making, the fabric etc. I cannot quite decide whether I love it or not.

So, first the fabric: I must have bought this fabric the first year of my sewing because I reaaaaally liked the paisley on it. It is a raw silk, little bit scratchy and fine at the same time. I had 3m of it, but I think of only 1,2 m width. I was in love with this fabric for 2 years, but never sewed anything from it. Then I completely forgot about it for another two years. And I rediscovered it this summer again. So I decided to finally make something from it, before I completely fall out of love of it.

Then started my search for the right pattern. I ended up buying Burda 106 from July 2016 issue. I have always liked the lines, even without the pockets. A quick muslin later and I was cutting my fabric carefully to make sure the paisley matched. 
And honestly, I am really proud of myself because apart from 1 vertical seam and some slightly rounded seams, the pattern matching is quite good actually.

I have used up all my fabric, even though I still have quite a lot of scraps.

Another issue was the fabric transparency. Once you folded the fabric (e.g. for seam allowances), you could actually see through the dark parts of the paisley - no good at all. So instead of purely lining the fabric, I have interfaced the pieces with white silk-viscose. It is also helping significantly with the scratchiness.

Overall, I am happy with the fit of the dress - not too large and not too narrow, just what I like. However, me being very pale, I feel it is just too white and pasty for me. Maybe with a black jacket, that might work better. I will have to try.

Saturday, 17 August 2019

Summer Dress Serie - The Origami One

I have bought this fabric little bit by chance this summer - it is a linen/viscose mix and it has such a nice feel and shine that I just could not leave it in the shop and had to bring it home and find a project for it. I also quite love the violet colour, so the dress had to be something special.

I had the Burda pattern 101 from last year June edition bookmarked for "when the right fabric comes" and I figured this was the right combination. Seeing the top part of the dress, I had to muslin it, and I was right, I narrowed the "Star-Trek" flying bands and narrowed the bodice in general so that they fall in the shallow part of m shoulders, not on top of them.

When looking at the pictures, I think I could have done it even more, but once everything was cut, it was hard to play with the pattern.

The dress is of course fully lined and has pockets. I have recently been lazy and did not add pockets on some dresses which I definitely miss when wearing them, so the rule now is clear: add pockets whenever possible :)

The dress came out very nice, as the structured bodice fell into pieces just perfectly, the only thing bothering me a little bit is the fit of the dress: I think I could have fitted it little bit more, but at least I have a dress for eating huge lunch when at my in-laws.

This dress might be a great example of a frosting sewing, as I did not wear it to work yet, ad am looking for the right opportunity (maybe just because both the fabric and pattern feel so special and maybe I should just get over this and wear it :)


Monday, 12 August 2019

Summer Dress Serie - The Easy One

From the whole serie, this one was probably the easiest one.

It is actually an exact copy of a silk dress sewn some time ago which always gets worn when the high temperatures arrive. So it was kind of obvious I needed another one.

Also, last year I found this fabric. It is actually the same as this one, just in different colours. The violet one was used for a very nice Anna dress which I considered too short to wear last year and gave it to my sister.

So I was really happy when I found this fabric in green and I just had to sew another summer dress with it. So there we go: Burda 115-07/2015 back again.

I do not think there is again much to say about the pattern, it is an unlined dress, I only line the little sleeves as it enables me to enclose the shoulder seams and finish it nicely. It is all sewn with French seams. And contrary to the pattern, I sewed on the belt. I tend to do it all the time, as I am afraid I would loose it anyhow and it works pretty well, so why not.

In the end, it is also kind of relieving to just pull out a pattern from your stash, have all the adjustments done (including the skirt length) and just whip up the dress in a few hours. It does not happen often to me and I would not want to sew everything like that, but yes to the instant gratification of this make!

Saturday, 13 July 2019

Summer Dress Serie - The Eyelet One

Or the classical one. I mean black eyelet is just such a classic that you always need a dress from it. I had in the past quite a nice one from Esprit, but I was always obliged to wear a cami under it and without sleeves, it was not so office-friendly. Also, the fabric did not resist the multiple washes and I had to say goodbye to it. So a replacement was needed, but took time.

I bought this black eyelet fabric two years ago in Thailand with the idea of a new black dress and then it sat in my stash. Fortunately, this year's Burda came to the rescue and offered this cute pattern: 102-05/2019.

This is exactly what I am looking for in a summer dress: short sleeves, A-line skirt, adjusted waist, loving it. I did my usual adjustments by shortening the bodice and narrowing the shoulders and narrowed the skirt just a little bit.
I was hesitating whether I had to interline the dress but then, I figured out that if I just line the dress with some black silk and all is good. No seams are visible on the outside so it works OK.

I omitted the pockets, because I am not sure how this additional line on the skirt really works on me. I have already sewed similar pockets on other dresses and I was always sceptic on them, so this time, I did not want to take any risks.

So yes, it might be yet another black dress, but it is just the right size and just the right pattern.

Saturday, 6 July 2019

Summer Dress Serie - The Grey Linen One

In my summer dress serie, I have sewn some easy dresses, some TNT patterns, but also some new ones and this shirt dress is one of them.

I love the idea of shirt dresses and it also seems to be quite in this year, so I needed another one. This time, I wanted something more casual than my TNT McCalls. I fell in love with this Simplicity 8014, and I just had to order it specifically for this project.


The fabric is a fine grey linen bought last year during Marché St Pierre sales period. It has such a nice sheen in it, so even though it is a slightly too light shade of grey for me, I went for it anyway. And it was just a great choice for this pattern. It sewed like magic, obeyed under the iron and did not melt.

The whole dress is sewed with French seams, I added pockets, because, you know, pockets and topstitched everything. As said, the fabric was great to sew with and the result is obvious.

The dress is adjusted, yet casual enough and it is very different from my usual style, but at the same time, sooo ME.

Of course, I did not have enough buttons in any colour for this dress. I wanted some basic black buttons, which I bought, but then saw these wine-colour buttons which were actually of a better size and the colour works very well with the grey. And I also realized I already have shoes of the same colour, so it was just meant to be.

The only thing which I struggle always with is the belt. The dress needs a belt, for sure. I sewed mine on the dress because I do not want to lose it any time soon.

Sunday, 30 June 2019

Summer Dress Serie - The Red one

I have not posted for 2 weeks, but I have been sewing like mad. I have been in a real summer-dress-sewing period, producing sometimes even two dresses a week. Because: well, because is there some more fun than sewing cute little dresses? I can hardly think of anything else :)
Sooo, I just enjoyed myself and got my machine spitting dresses one after another. And today, when my photographer and myself finally got to taking pictures, there were like 9 of them to photograph. We got seven of them in the camera and then stopped by exhaustion. Brace yourself, my summer dress serie is starting.

The first dress is actually the last one made, directly hot off the machine, maybe 20 minutes before our picture session started. This dress is Burda 134-05/2013 pattern,

an old one, but a great one. I had already sewn this dress twice, in my early sewing years:
- one in a very cute viscose, which never got worn because the cleavage and the back V got desperately stretched out and the adjustments I did shifted the "under-the-bust-line" way too high.
- another one in black/violet silk crepe which still has a few flaws but is my favorite when the temperatures get over 30. The silk is just so light and the fit is pretty good so it feels like wearing nothing.

I did not plan sewing this dress again, it is not office-friendly, but then, I was going through my stashed pieces under one meter, desperately looking for ideas on what to sew with them and I found 80cm of this red silk crepe. I have sewn a cute top with it already, but since I wear trousers only rarely and the top only works with black, it was not the biggest success in terms of wears.
And the it clicked together: with a little chance, I could squeeze this dress from my remnant.

Well, in the end, I had more than enough to make this dress. I could even self-line the top part of the dress which makes a cleaner finish. This time, I actually retraced the pattern again, did my usual short-torso and narrow-shoulders adjustments and resewed a muslin to make sure the fit is fine this time.
I was really careful on the cleavage pattern pieces, I interfaced and stay-stitched all of them, just to be sure that nothing gets extended.

And bingo, I just love the result! The fabric makes me so happy when I see it, it goes so well with my complexion and feels amazing against my skin. It is exactly the same weight as the black-violet leopard, so a great one for a summer dress.

I am really happy that I could use up this remnant and that the result is so awesome! Did I say I love this dress?!?!

Tuesday, 18 June 2019

False Chanel Jacket

Well, I still have a plan to buy some great bouclé and take the 100+ sewing hours needed to make a real Chanel jacket, but for the moment, I have at least sewn a little simple bouclé jacket and I like it a lot.

The bouclé fabric comes from sales at Coupons de St.Pierre, is quite simple, but I really like the style. In my new job, jackets are more of a norm than cardigans, so this one will work great with black dresses.
The pattern is Burda 108-02/2017 (oh, the February 2017 issue - I think I have already sewn at least 5 patterns from this issue). I did a few usual adjustments on the shoulder part, but I also narrowed the jacket to make it less boxy and more fitted.


The jacket is entirely interfaced, because the bouclé was very moving, and lined with some black light silk which makes it feel very luxurious.

Originally, I did not want to add any decorations, but when the jacket was almost ready, I tried to add some fringes and a black ribbon. And I am really happy I took the time (the ribbon was to fragile, so I had to sew it by hand) because it really finishes the jacket. 

I did not bother with any closing. At first, I wanted to add the little hooks, but it did not wok well and I figured out I would never wear the jacket closed, so why bother...

It is a little different style than what I usually sew and wear, but it will fit to my work wardrobe very well.