Saturday, April 23, 2016

Spring Wardrobe: Outerwear

Recently I used the Konmari method to declutter and tidy my house and wardrobe. Ever since, I started thinking a lot about my wardrobe and my sewing. At times, my sewing can be all over the place - splurges of the moment on fabrics I don't really need, the excitement of a new pattern release that isn't my style 100%, but look cute on the model and it goes on. I want to sew more consciously and add pieces in my wardrobe I know I'm going to love and get a lot of wear out of.

I'm starting by planning my spring wardrobe more thoroughly and with longevity in mind. I know the main hole is my outerwear. My spring outerwear game currently consists of one pleather jacket, one denim jacket and some cardigans. I'm planning to add these types of outerwear:







I'm planning on using some indie patterns I have and draft my own patterns to make them. If you have any pattern suggestion please let me know!

So, how about you? Any spring wardrobe plans? 

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Sewing mojo....come back!

I recently went through a phase of sewing drought. I had ideas, I just couldn't find the motivation to make them happen. I hadn't touched my sewing machine for over a month. I missed sewing, but when it came to me actually sew something I couldn't find the focus to do it.

I thought I share with you the tips that helped me get my sewing mojo back:

1. Start slow

I always find that if you start with small, instant-gratification, quick projects, you are most likely to find your mojo. After my long period of sewing drought I started with a Grainline Linden Sweatshirt and a Named Beatrix crop top. These took absolutely no time and they gave me the push I needed to keep going.

2. Have patience

It's not gonna come in one day. And you most probably can't make a coat for your first project back from the sewing "coma". Start with small steps. Devote 15 minutes a day to your sewing, even if its just to sew a hem. 

3.Tidy your space

I find that I can't really function in a messy enviroment. I suggest you start by tidying up your sewing space first. We all know what a mess that can be, but it is so worth the fuss! After your space is tidy, you'll find the need to create something in it.

4.Find inspiration

Many people may find this strange, but the thing I enjoy most about sewing is the planning. I love browsing through Pinterest and Instagram for ideas and seeing what other fellow makers are creating. For you it could be a browse through the Internet, a read of your favorite sewing books/magazines or simply a stroll in the sun. 

5.Just do it

Stand up from the couch and start making. Worst case senario, you'll not like what you make. So what? Start again! The fun is in the making, right?

I hope you'll find these tips helpful. And please share whatever tips you have for getting your sewing mojo back after a long drought!

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Pattern testing: Nita Wrap Skirt

Hello lovely people! It's been quiet around here lately and the reason is that I've been Konmaring the s**t out of my apartment all month long. It's been a really tiring process, but with really satisfying results! A full blog post to come on this soon. But in all the mess that is currently my house I did manage to squeeze in a little sewing time.

So may I present to you, the Nita Wrap Skirt from SewDIY patterns. Another lovely pattern from Beth. I was a pattern tester for her Lou Box Top, so I already knew I was in for something good.

"The Nita Wrap Skirt is a fitted wrap skirt that sits at the natural waist with an angled front, three length options and three waistband closure options. The pattern features waist darts, a built in front facing and optional lining. Make the mini length in denim or corduroy for a versatile casual skirt. Combine a neutral twill with the midi-length for a sophisticated look that will take you from the office to happy hour in style."

 I decided to make the maxi length with the tie waist closure. I cut a size 10 for the waist and graded to a size 12 for the hips. I didn't make many modifications except from lengthening the front darts by 2cm. I'm really happy with the fit and I love that there are no fussy closures.

For this, I used a grey rayon blend that drapes beautifully and finished everything with french seams. You could use really any type of fabric for this skirt. The possibilities are endless, just by changing the length and the fabric type. You can see all the amazing versions from other pattern testers here.

The skirt was really easy and quick to sew. I'd say it took me three hours from taping to hemming. As with all Beth's patterns, the drafting is exceptional and the instructions are really easy to follow. 

*Disclaimer: I received this pattern from Beth for free to test, but all opinions are my own. I sent feedback on the draft to Beth. I was not paid to test this pattern, and was given a free copy of the final pattern as compensation.*

Monday, March 7, 2016

March Inspiration

Ohh the sweet early spring days! This month is all about spring cleaning, de-stashing, re-organising and sunny days! 

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Pattern testing: Sarah Shirt

Hello lovely people! This post had to be up a loooong time ago, but you know...., life happens and etc., so here it is now. Lately I rediscovered my long lost love for two things. prints and button down shirts. And when the two are combined, well..., that's a match made in heaven! So when the lovely ladies from By Hand London contacted me to be a pattern tester on their new button down shirt I shouted HELL YEAH! And I knew this one had to be in a print!

So let me properly introduce, By Hand London's new "child", the Sarah Shirt!

"Sarah is no ordinary shirt. Feminine and drapey yet chic and polished, Sarah is a button-up swing shirt with plenty of ease that clings and skims in all the right places. Choose from long, billowy sleeves and a dainty rounded collar or short cuffed sleeves and a traditional pointed collar."

The pattern comes in two sleeve lengths (long and short) and two collar options (a rounded collar and a pointed collar).It has pleats on the shoulders, a back yoke, a center back pleat, and an overall flowy fit, which is flattering in almost every shape.

I sewed Variation 1(long sleeved version), but used the collar from Variation 2(pointed collar).

I cut a size 8/12 for the bust and graded up to a size 10/14 for the waist and hips. For reference my measurements are B:90cm,W:76cm,H99cm.

The fit is perfect, roomy, without the potato-sack effect. It makes you feel put together, without it being restrictive.

As always with By Hand London patterns, the drafting is exceptional and the instructions were really clear and easy to follow.

As for fabric, I used a viscose rayon for my version, which was a very smart choice, if I say so. Everything sewed really effortless and pressed really nicely. I used up 2 meters of fabric, 10 buttons and 4 small snaps for the sleeves.

I seriously love this shirt! It's been worn at least once a week, since I finished it, and I can't wait to make another version! It's the perfect combination of chic and comfortable! As always a big shout-out to the fabulous By Hand London girls for another amazing pattern! 

*Disclaimer: I received this pattern from By Hand London patterns for free to test, but all opinions are my own. I sent feedback on the draft to the girls, which were included in the final pattern. I was not paid to test this pattern, and was given a free copy of the final pattern as compensation.*

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Reading: The Forgotten Seamstress

photo from Coletterie

At the end of 2015, I came to a realisation. I used to be a person, who reads a lot. Ever since I was a little kid, I loved books. But the last couple of years, that seems to have change. Social media took over, and instead of reading a nice book at bedtime, I find myself browsing aimlessly through Instagram and other platforms. I realised that in 2015 I only started reading one book and I didn't even finish it. So in 2016 I want to change that. 

When I saw that Colette was starting a book club, I knew that was exactly what I needed! And what better books to read, than sewing related books, right? 

The first book was "The Forgotten Seamstress" by Liz Trenow, a historical novel, with two narratives seamlessly woven together: 

"When Caroline Meadows discovers a beautiful quilt in her mother’s attic, she sets out on a journey to discover who made it, and the meaning of the mysterious message embroidered into its lining.

Many years earlier, before the first world war has cast its shadow, Maria, a talented seamstress from the East End of London, is employed to work for the royal family. A young and attractive girl, she soon catches the eye of the Prince of Wales and she in turn is captivated by his glamour and intensity. But careless talk causes trouble and soon Maria’s life takes a far darker turn.

Can Caroline piece together a secret history and reveal the truth behind what happened to Maria?"
I really enjoyed this book. An easy read, well-written, with a little bit of everything in. I'd definitely recommend it, if you're looking for an easy bedtime read. 
Check out the discussion over Colette's blog to see what other readers thought of it.
What are you currently reading? Any recommendations?  

Monday, February 15, 2016

Pattern review: Opal Cardigan

Hello lovely readers! I've been thinking about sewing patterns and my wardrobe lately. What makes a sewing pattern, a good pattern? On my opinion, one of the things that make a sewing pattern stand out is its diversity. Countless versions could be made out of this pattern and multiple fabrics would be appropriate to use. One such pattern I'm here to talk to you about today!

This is the newest pattern from Paprika patterns, the Opal Cardigan.

"The Opal Cardigan is perfect to throw on if you want to add more dimension to your outfit, or just to stay warm this winter. It’s even better for those days where you’re not sure you’ll need the extra layer since it’s so easy to throw on and off. It has a relaxed fit so you can wear it over anything if you need the extra layer. It’s just as easy to take off again since it has no buttons or buttonholes. This makes it a really quick sew as well, to be finished in just a few hours."

This pattern is really versatile! It has a dropped shoulder, three different hem lengths, two sleeve lengths and two different pockets, designed to fit both the shorter and longer versions. The front openings are finished with bands, as well as the sleeves, so no fussy buttonholes are needed!

You could use really any type of knit fabric you'd like and that will determine the overall look of your cardigan. Lisa has a blog post on the recommended fabrics for this pattern, as well as a 20% off from Gorgeous Fabrics on their sweater knits until March 15th with the code PARPIKA20.

For my version, I went with View C for the hem (the longer option) and View A for the sleeves (the longer option) and omitted the pockets, since I'm not really a fan. I cut a size B, without any modifications and the fit is perfect. For this one, I used a more drapey knit, to achieve a more relaxed look. I love the final look. I could throw this over anything and it would make for an interesting extra layer.

I can't recommend this pattern enough! The drafting is exceptional, the instructions are really clear and the possibilities are endless! I already have two more versions planned!

*Disclaimer: I received this pattern from Lisa for free to review. I was not paid to review this pattern and all the opinions are my own!*