31 December 2014

It's done: burda style No. 122-012014. My top top of 2014!

Hey everyone!
Before the big fancy party for New Year’s is going to start, at least somewhere - definitively not here, I don’t get the whole forced happiness that comes along with starting a new calendar - I’d like to show you my most favorite shirt of 2014. And from pattern purchase to blogging it took almost all of 2014.
It’s burda style No. 122-012014 and it was on the cover of this year’s January issue (in combination with a hat, hence my choice). Normally I feel a bit ‘meh’ about the patterns burda chooses to put on their cover but this time I was really smitten. I have a massive thing for stripes in whatever direction they are going.
I chose to copy more or less their version, there is a chance my dark stripes are navy and theirs are black, and bought a soft pure cotton interlock jersey in navy and white in March.
Around June I actually found the time to trace the pattern (oh burda, I love and I hate you) and cut the fabric. I traced a 38 on top and a 40 around the hips, both sizes are slightly smaller than my measurements but so far this has worked out fine for me. The tiny stripes of the fabric where doing funny things to my brain while being spread across my dining table. But nevertheless I managed to match almost all seams that could be matched. Despite the amount of gathers the shirt was assembled fast. At first I used my regular sewing machine - so much easier for stripe matching - and switched to my overlock afterwards.
The neckline is a bit wider than the original, totally not on purpose. But my first attempt to finish the neckline with a stripe of jersey ended very wavy.
Since there was no chance to unpick the lightning bold stitch without damaging the fabric, out came the scissors. Next time I went very slowly and it worked out fine. The gathered parts are stabilized with some narrow twill tape.
But then it sat a while to be hemmed. I own a convertible overlocker/coverlock maschine. In general a good idea and it takes only a tiny amount of time to switch between the two modes. But every single time I think it’s a good idea to accumulate a few shirts for hemming while in reality it would be better if I hemmed every shirt on its own because otherwise it will take a few weeks or even months before I can actually wear them. Maybe now that I have written it out I will remember.
I hemmed it in August right before our summer vacation and it even got worn in Denmark. I’m always nervous when hemming stripes because the stripes point out uneven stitching very easily. But by coincidence the width of the stripes was the same than the distance of the needles and the stitching blends in almost invisibly.
Can you spot the seamline?
Fit-wise it turned out fine, but the gathers in the back tend to ride up to the small of my back. Path of least resistance I’d say. But I can totally life with that.

So far I have no idea how to perform a sway back adjustment on a pattern piece shaped like this.
Unfortunately the fabric is already starting to pill a bit, always a bummer when this happens but it is still my most favorite piece of 2014.
I have a bit of catching up to do about my makes from the last two months but that will happen in 2015.
See you next year, have a good one,

25 December 2014

Merry Christmas!

Hey everyone,
just a quick one:
See you soon, promise,

25 October 2014

It's done: two Kimono Jackets by Sew Caroline

Hey everyone!
In case you are reading more than this sewing blog, and I bet you do, they are addictive, aren't they, you might have come across a few pictures of women spreading their arms to the purpose to show the rectangular shape of the kimono jacket they just made. And because I'm such an original person I will start with such a picture myself to get over with it. So here it is:
I guess one might have been living under a rock (or behind the moon, as we say over here) not to notice the kimono jacket was one of the fashion trends this summer. And I'm not so much into current fashion trends myself and I noticed. But this one might have been a shame not to fetch. I really like how easily their add a summery touch to your outfit when it isn't all warm and sunshine. Since the shape is really simple I guess its fairly easy to draft a pattern yourself and there a few tutorials out there to guide you through the process but because I can be a lazy person I took complete advantage of the free pattern provided by Caroline from Sew Caroline and made two.
It's a one-size-fits-most-pattern and it seems I am most. The only issue I had with the pattern is that I think (maybe there is a reason for it I don't get) that the sleeve pattern is to small in width. To make it fit the armhole added 2 cm or 3/4'' and everything worked out fine. Originally it is supposed to be sewn with a 3/8'' seam allowance but because you will see the inside of this jacket a lot I went for French seams and worked with a 1/2''  seam allowance instead.

The colorfull version above above it actually my second version so let's have a look on my first one.
Let's ignore the white shine and focus on the little change I made to this one. I picked the fabric from my stash so quickly that I didn't realize that a shapeless, oversized patterns and a white fabric with a kind of geometric pattern on it is the universally applied combination for a hospital gown. Have a look yourself.
Doesn't this scream hospital gown to you as well or is it just me with my load of many episodes of ER or Grey's Anatomy in my life?
Originally I wanted to take it with me on my Denmark vacation without the suggested trim from the pattern. I thought, I could finish the jacket without it and get a proper trim afterwards on the fabric market I already had planned to visit.
A little frustrated at this point I just left it unfinished at home and took a swatch of the fabric with me, mainly because I still hadn't figured out whether the little dark stars in the pattern are black or really dark blue. We settled for dark blue after all.
Ahh, wait, speaking of finishing the whole thing, I remember a second small problem I had. I couldn't wrap my head around how to finish the front and neck seam at the inner rectangular corner by folding under the seam. In the end I had to cut into the corners to make it work but I am not sure this is the proper way o do it. Is there a proper way?
Somewhen on my vacation it got to me, I could try to apply a trim around the front opening as well to minimize this hospital gown impression. I got a lot of a really dark blue trim (a 'Chanel trim' to be precise, a least that was what the prize label called it) and sewed it all the way around in a continuous loop. So much better.
Here is a close look on the trim and the fabric.
The only thing I am unconvinced about is the neck opening. The square opening doesn't sit well and centered on my neck and the trim highlights this a lot. (I know, a real Kimono is squares only.)
So let's move on to the colorful version. I got the 'fabric' when I was about 12 years old together with a matching bathing suit to be worn as a wrap-skirt at the beach. The bathing suit is long gone but I hold on to this colorful wrap for a long time waiting for the right project to come along. I was very hesitant to use it but I think this fabric and pattern are a real match.
And the good thing about second version is, you can improve all the things you didn't like the first time aroun.
I decided to have a slightly rounded neck, so much better.
And that made it even easier to finish the front opening with some bias tape from my stash.
Two birds with one stone (or like we say two flies with one smack (?)).
In the end I like both versions, one screaming summer and the other a little bit more neutral and versatile (and I don't get to see my own back that often, so I can live with the square opening). Unfortunately fall is in full swing and these flimsy jackets not snugly enough anymore;-( Time to get out the patterns for cozy cardigans and long-sleeved tops and maybe finish my long overdue winter coat I started last year.
Stay tuned and thanks for stopping by,

08 October 2014

The shoes of my life

Hey everyone,
it’s been a while and it’s definitively fall now. All the chestnuts on my way to work can’t lie. I’m in full swing on planning my fall/winter sewing projects. An unfinished winter coat with fitting issues is still lurking in my sewing room. Hopefully we will become friends this time around. We will see, one should never stop trying.
But before I will dive into my long and season revised sewing list I have two smaller and non-sewing projects to share with you. With the cold and dark season approaching I’m already dreading my constant cold feet which inevitable come with it. This phenomenon is already a gigantic joke in my family resulting in at least one pair of (sometimes truly ugly) thermal socks or like as a present for Christmas for me. But this year, since I learned how to crochet this February, there is no need to wait until December to have taken care of my precious feet. I crocheted some slip-ons Converse-style!!!
Aren’t they cute? And isn’t my little furry photo bomber as well? I followed this tutorial on You Tube and had them done in about two evenings.
Here is another pic with a side view, just because.
They reflect my love for this shoe style very well and now I can even wear them at home snuggling on my couch.
And because I love these shoes so much there happened to be a very beaten-up pair in my possession. Looking sad, right?
But letting go of them? No way! Combine them with the recent long weekend we got to enjoy in Germany and some textile paint and there are shiny as new. Or should I say galactic as new?
I even thought to include the stellar constellation of my zodiac sign and they sparkle (not captured in the photos, but they do)!!! I just love how they turned out!
It was such a fun thing to do. I had to force myself to stop at a certain point to not over do it.

Once in a while a girl as to enjoy her love for shoes and combine them with her other creative passions, don’t you think. Done this as well recently? But the next post will be sewing related again, promised.
Thanks for stopping by,

07 September 2014

All good things come to an end..

and so has this long-needed vacation. Mr. Kat and I rented a beachhouse with a breathtaking view over the sea in the middle of nowwhere at the Baltic Sea in Denmark. For a week we did not do much accept taking advantage of the short distance to the beach, at least Mr. Kat did it everyday I was a sissy and entered the icecold coolish water only once, discovering several beaches which we almost had to ourself most of the time and exploring tiny fishing villages. In short, a week of pure leisure and relaxation.
The marina of Grenaa, very Scandinavian don't you think
Since I wouldn't bring something sewing related to do during the time I tried at least to do a Me-Made-Vacation and bring as much self-sewn clothes as possible. I chose red, blue, white and black as my color palette. If you count gray to black this is about 90% of my closet so it didn't help a lot to narrow down my travelling wardrobe. I'm a girl, so of course I totally overpacked. The weather forecast didn't help either. When we started our trip, we were promised a full week of rain.
I took a picture of my outfit in front of the mirror in our house hoping that I could catch the view we got to enjoy in the reflection but that didn't work. So I have it included seperatly in the collage I made.
1. Scout Tee 2. Kirsten Kimono Tee and Rea Skirt 3. unblogged Burda Style Top 4. unblogged Renfrew Top 5.&7. unblogged Zoela Top 6. Burda Style Cocoon Cardigan

You can see the rain we had in the beginning and at the end of our week there in the picture of the still amazing view we got to enjoy everyday.
Because a first glimpse of fall came very early this year to Northern Europe I changed my sewing plans shortly before the vacation and put away the more summery projects I wanted to make at first, including a Bombshell swimsuit and more Tap Shorts. But on the positive side I took a few freshly made tops with me (No. 3, 4, 5 (7)) which will be properly introduced to you in separate posts in the hopefully near future.
Speaking of fall, are you ready for a new season already? I am afraid I am not done with summer yet. There are still a few projects I want to do but won't be able to take them outside before next year. Should I go for them or is it more reasonable to start with my fall/winter plans, of which I also have plenty already?

Normally whenever I go somewhere I do my research on fabric stores in the area. This time I was (and still am) committed to Sally's Summer Stashbust and to avoid the temptation I did not do such thing. But of course when you aren't allowed to buy fabric there are still a few necessary things you can buy.

Let's have a closer look on what I brought home with me. Pretty buttons!
Aren't the black cats and the single violet one adorable? They came in a package together with the other violet buttons (I don't care much about violet, but these cats needed to come home with me).
And some very sparkly ladybugs.
I think I will apply a coat of clear nail polish on them since everything in their surroundings immediately starts to sparkle.
A danish sewing pattern (in danish, I'm still figuring out if this company has the seam allowance included or not) for a jumpsuit
as well as one for a blouse/dress. (I can already see the plaid version I will make).
At the fabric market in my home town (our cat Juli stayed with my parents for the week, and we sticked around for a few days after we came back and the luck would have it that the biannual fabric market took place the very day after our return) I came across a few very tempting fabric bolts but stayed strong and only got two trims for two Kimono jackets (a free pattern from Sew Caroline) I have in the making.
I'm actually wearing the one with the dark blue trim the moment I'm writing this. Watch out for them. I'm totally sold on this trend.
I also got a wooden crochet hook in a size I could never find in Germany. I guess I only remembered this because I brought a crochet project with me I had started a few month before but it hadn't gotten much attention lately. At home usually sewing wins over crochet so this was the perfect moment.
Actually, I got it to the six skulls in a row stage and it is close to finished. If you are interested in the pattern, it can be found here.
Enough with the recap. Has your summer vacation brought you new sewing stuff of any kind or is it still to come? Aren't I the only one who can't completly step away from her hobby when she is away?

Thanks for stopping by,

19 August 2014

It's done: A nerve-wracking Kirsten Kimono Tee by Maria Denmark

Hey everyone!
Once in a while in life we cross path with things our head tells us aren’t good for us but our heart can’t resist. They are are just so pretty that we just want, want, want them. I have no idea what you are thinking right now I am talking about, but since this is a sewing blog, it’s fabric of course.

When I spotted this fabric back in March (#summerstashbust14) at a fabric market I knew this flimsy jersey meant trouble. But I told myself over and over again that I could make it work. In the end I did, at least for now, a few more cycles in the washing will eventually tell the truth. But it took forever to make this Kirsten Kimono Tee by Maria Denmark.
Hello white glow again. I really need to tackle this.

Honestly, this really simple top to took forever to make but I love the result (it pairs well with my Rea skirt) and I’m happy that I endured the extra work. Usually this pattern is a quick and satisfying make in case you are planning to make one yourself. Keep in mind that there is no seam allowance included, I almost forgot.
It was nearly impossible to get the fabric on grain and crossgrain at the same time. I pulled and ironed and pulled again and succeeded almost. Any other tips on this than pulling? I have come across a few single jerseys without any stretch (even of higher quality) that are totally of (cross)grain, like this totally distorted piece. After this special treatment the fabric kept its diva attitude. The only chance to avoid skipped stitches was a layer of tissue paper underneath in combination with a microtex needle if I recall it correctly. Chances are high that there is still some paper in the serged seams. I’m still afraid that wholes will turn up after washing and mess with the great labor I had put into it in the process.
But the moment I saw this fabric I wanted it to turn into a Kimono Tee with cuffs at the sleeves. I love white red and blue together, I could live in a Tommy Hilfiger add.
I know it’s been a while since my last post and it will take some time till the next. Work life is crazy right now but there is a silver lining at the horizon called vacation!!!! My plan is to take as many me-made items as possible. My own personal Me-Made-Vacation if you will. There some un-blogged pieces I hope to take a picture of during that time as well as document it all. So be prepared for probably the last summer makes on this blog when I will be back in full force.
Thanks for stopping by,

04 August 2014

It's done: Flowery Tap Shorts by Katy&Laney

Hey everyone!
When I made my cropped Scout Tee I immediately decided that I needed some high waisted shorts to go with it. And so I did.
I went for the recently released Tap Shorts pattern by Katy&Laney and followed their sew-along. I chose to make a view A in combination with back 2 (welt pockets). And since I had to grade between two sizes and had never sewn anything with a welt (it’s the same as the German word for "world" I just realized after reading it quite a lot lately) I decided to make a muslin.
For the pictures I combined it with the white Scout Tee as intended, but the white has an almost radioactive glow in nearly all pictures. Have you any tips how to avoid this? Tell me, please!
I think calling these shorts a muslin is a crime. I looovvveee them! Totally out of my normal clothing range (both style and fabric) but I am glad I decided to make them properly with matching piping and eventually really nice single welt pockets, considering I made these for the first time.
The instructions during the sew-along where very precise and helpful and made this a totally doable operation. Another sewing skill to conquer ticked off my list! Bound buttonholes here I come!
I was a complete sewing rebel here and placed the zipper on the right, gasp, side. Since I am left-handed I like it better this way, so what. And speaking of zippers I had to shorten mine but left it long enough so that the end would be caught in the hem of the right leg.
No scratching of the unfinished end against my thigh. And these few stiches aren’t what are marking the end of the zipper’s way down, there is also a tiny drop of super glue helping them.
The fit was almost spot on on first try, I just had to take in the side seams like 5 millimeters on both sides and that’s it. I just love when the sizing is accurate! So much easier!
I rebelled a second time with this pattern and omitted the interfacing on the waistband. I was afraid since I usually don’t wear anything right at my waist it might get uncomfortable and too stiff. We will see how the fabric will hold up.
A few words about the fabric (stashbusting again!), these are cotton curtains from my boss' house. Is that weird? At work we have a swap table (at least that’s what I call it) where you can place stuff you don’t need anymore. Normally it is a lot of books and decoration knickknack but once in a while somebody will bring tablecloths or, like here, curtains. That‘s when I get excited. And I’m pretty sure that I saw my boss' wife bringing them. I guess I owe her a picture at least.
Since I luckily didn’t need to alter the fit much I will hopefully get around to make the intended denim version with the same fabric as my Rea skirt soon and maybe also a orangy red denim one (note to myself, buy a matching zipper) as well. That’s how much I love this pattern, which surprised me the most after all. Has this happened to you lately?
Thanks for stopping by,

28 July 2014

It's done: The Rea Skirt by Sewaholic

Hey everyone!
I have still no completed Tap Shorts to show you but in the meantime Sewaholic released a new pattern, two to be precise but only the most recent spoke to me. I mean recent like in it was released on Thursday and I had in done by Saturday. Hallelujah to pdf patterns. The Rea Skirt is supposed to be a really beginner-friendly skirt and the instructions a very precise. Well, I’d consider myself not a beginner anymore (the welt pockets on the Tap Shorts still kind of scare me though, hence the procrastination) but especially this short denim version of this skirt was something I felt was missing in my closet, so within three hours it was made from cutting to finishing the last threads.
And here my version in a lighter blue denim, remnants from my bedroom curtains, the very same fabric I’m planning to use for the Tap Shorts once I got the muslin (also made from curtains) completed.

It seems to be longer than the one Tasia is wearing in the picture. I was a little bit surprised myself. I checked twice if I had gotten the wrong version printed out, because with 175 cm (about 5’9’’) I am usually not on the short side where I am in the need to shorten a pattern. Then it came to me, I’m wearing my skirt a few centimeters below my belly button while Tasia is wearing hers right at her waist.
That’s not going to happen over here but at least I know where the additional centimeters come from and I can easily eliminate them in the next one because I hate to alter finished garments if it isn’t absolutely necessary to get the fit right or something. Over the day wearing it I started to like it at this length (and it got the wrinkles you can see in the pictures).
The pattern is actually really simple and consists out of two different pattern pieces, not very much to print out. There are altogether six fabric pieces forming the skirt in case you were wondering, because from the technical drawing I thought there were only four. I think to finish these twelve seam allowances took the longest. And as once in a while the question arises on different blogs how accurate we are with matching the serger thread, I will show you the insides of my skirt.
I was lazy and kept the white, but especially because it’s denim I think the white finish of the seams gives a neat and fresh look. On other fabrics I might have a different opinion. Usually I like it a bit more matchy-matchy. How lazy are you about this?
It’s-  as already mentioned - a very beginner friendly pattern but in my opinion it can easily be used as a base for a few more ‘complicated’ additions, like in the side panels integrated pockets, or a separated waistband with belt loops to keep a belt in place to kind of cover the elastic casing. Just a few ideas of mine. If you are sensing further Rea skirts in my future, you are right. I could use a few more summery skirts. And as much as like to extend my repertoire of sewing skills, a quick and easy pattern can be just the right thing. Particularly in times when my directly under the roof located sewing room has a tropical climate you can only stand for very few hours in the evening.
You might have noticed that there have appeared already a few Sewaholic pattern based items on this blog. I don’t like all their designs, some are a bit to feminine or even lady-like for my personal taste, but the simpler ones usually appeal to me and the most important thing, it is the only pattern company I know so far, where all my measurements are in one - and I repeat – one column. How often happens this to you?
Thanks for stopping by,