Sunday 29 December 2013

Just in time: Colette Beignet Skirt

I hope you all had a merry Christmas with loads of food, family time and gifts. I hope you didn't gain too much weight and your garments still fit! I finally convinced myself to step on the balance this morning and had a shock when realising I gained two kilogrammes over the holidays. I knew I couldn't believe that radio moderator who said you gain on average only 350 g over Christmas! So, no more chocolate, cake and loads of walking.

Also thanks so much for all your lovely comments about my Christmas owl sweater! I wore it a few times in Germany and it kept we warm and cosy when walking after all these massive meals :)
Excuse the wrinkles. I tried to iron them out... Pockets!

But now, let me finally introduce my Colette Beignet Skirt! I managed to sew it up before Christmas, although it took me some courage to get started!

Pattern: Colette Beignet, which is a high waisted skirt with lining, facing, pockets, belt loops and belt. That's why there are so many pattern pieces - A to O! - and as I always trace my patterns I couldn't convince myself for some time to get started. But I am glad I did! I didn't made any changes to the pattern but traced a straight size 4 according to my waist measurement.

Fabric: For the shell I used a brushed cotton from Goldhawk Road. I decided that the brushed side is the right side, as I just love how it looks and feels! For the lining I used a cotton-silk also from Goldhawk Road and for the facing/belt/belt loops some cotton with flowers on it.

Construction: The pattern is labelled intermediate and I suppose that is because you have to sew a curve when attaching the facing to the lining. I took my time when doing this step, so had no problems at all. The only other fiddly bit was the belt loops, which you have to sew right sides together and then turn the right side out. Turning them involved some (loads) of swearing and Internet searches, but finally I managed to do it by using this tutorial from Ashley from Make it & Love it.

The facing and lining.

Embellishments: I just love the buttons! I got them ages ago, when I was looking for buttons for my Picnic Blanket Skirt. When they arrived I just knew they would be perfect for the Beignet and so they were waiting for their time to come :) As I didn't had enough, I just added a different button at the top. I also love the flowers on the belt loops and belt. Before adding them my boyfriend commented that the skirt looks like a jute sack! But now he likes the skirt and he said, he only said it because he knew it would look great when finished, puh.
I know the seam on the left looks a bit weird here, but having worn the skirt a few times, its gone :)

Do I like it? I love it! I have worn it twice already and as it is a little bit loose at the waist, there was plenty of room for my "food baby", hihi. Now, I only have to make a few sweaters and shirts to go with it. The only drawback is that the fabric wrinkles super easily.
When looking at the photos, I realised that everything, including me and the wall paper, has a similar colour.

Will I make it again? I am sure I will! Now that the tracing it done, it should go much faster! 

Wednesday 18 December 2013

Owl Christmas Jumper

Just in time for Christmas, I finished my knitted Owl Jumper. I am a little bit proud because it is my first knitted jumper (and my 2nd knitted garment) and I even made slight adjustments to the pattern.
Here come the owls!
Pattern: Owls by Kate Davies. When I saw it, I just fell in love with it because of the little owls at the neckline. Having been an owl fan even before the owl-trend started, I just couldn't resist!

See the little black buttons? Love that detail :)

Wool: Cascade Yarns Eco + in Merlot. Because of the color, I think it is suitable as a Christmas jumper, hehe.

Pretty from the back as well.
Construction: It took me only one and a half month, so pretty quick and easy :) You can see my Ravelry notes here, if you are interested. It took me longest to knit the sleeves! They were so boring, but otherwise it was fun :) (It was no fun, however, to sew on 40 little 5mm buttons, buh, took me a while.)

Look me in the eyes, hehe.

Have I worn it yet? Nope, because the UK weather is quite warm at the moment. But I will wear it in cold Germany, where it will keep me warm and cosy.

Do I like the jumper? I love it! The color, the fit, the OWLS!

One more to go, just because :)
Last one!

Saturday 14 December 2013

Here come the Flamingos!

Finally, after hording this fabric for 6 month in my stash, I decided it is time to use it. It is not really the season for Flamingos now :) but I felt ready to tackle such a thin jersey.

Sorry for the wrinkles!
Pattern: Burda 0010 from Burda Style Special autumn/winter No5/2013. As I had used the pattern before to make my Burda raglan top, there was no need to trace the pattern - win. The dress has a keyhole opening at the back and a turtleneck!

Fabric: A thin jersey which I got from Goldhawk Road at the summers blogger meet-up. Several people bought the fabric and since then, I have seen some gorgeous projects popping up (Naturally, when trying to find them again, I couldn't). But somehow I was unlucky with my fabric, as one half of it was off grain. The flamingos were walking up :( But I managed to lay out my pattern on the half with the straight grain, yeah! (Anybody else ever had the problem?) Except for the turtleneck, which I had to cut out 4 times!

Turtleneck and Pleats.
Construction: Again I had problems with the shoulder pleats, but I think they are a bit better than last time. Otherwise, the dress came quite easily together up to the point where you have to attach the (naughty) turtleneck. I just couldn't get my head around the pattern notes and sewed the wrong seam twice. Then there was only one seam left, I hadn't sewn yet, which turned out to be the one meant. You actually have to sew a cylinder (with keyhole opening) before attaching it to the neckline and I somehow didn't expect that. Then there was a lot of hand stitching involved. Which kept me wondering, if there is a special stretchy handstitch? Because you stitch the turtleneck to the neckline on the inside and when you try to squeeze your head through, it will stretch! I couldn't find anything on the web, so just kept stitching little zigzags. And it stretches fine :) I also attached two buttons and loops to keep the keyhole opening closed.

You can just see the black button loops.
 Have I worn it yet? Yes, when going for some fabric shopping and tea with a friend. I still have to stabilize the shoulder seams with some cotton tape to prevent them from stretching. I just had to get some advice first, about how to do it :) Looking at the pictures now, I somehow think this blue is not a color that should go closely to my pale face, puh. I look a bit like a ninja in a pink flamingo dress :P

More detail pleats :)
 Will I make it again? Probably not, as there are more jersey patterns out there that I want to try! Lady skater dress, here I come!

At least the flamingos are straight :)

Wednesday 4 December 2013

Its beginning to look a lot like Christmas...

Are you in Christmas mood yet? Are you decorating, baking, crafting gifts or are you hiding behind the couch, waiting until Christmas is over? I am one of those people, who start already at the end of November to listen to Christmas music - I mean I have to be in the right mood, right?

Christmas gifts :)

So, the last two weekends I was busy baking German Christmas cookies, Christmas Stollen (there were 2 kg, but it was already gone after one week), decorating my living room, sewing Christmas presents (two more to go!) and last weekend I made a Christmas wreath!

So, I thought I would share a few pics with you and also show you the pillow covers I made for my grandparents.

To make the pillows I used the bordered star tutorial by Deborah from whipstitch and the Liberty pillow tutorial by Rumi from 3patchcrafts. The patchworking took quite a while, as did the quilting, but as soon as this was done the pillow came together quickly. As the bordered star pillow is quite big, I added buttons at the back to close it and for the Liberty pillow I used the normal envelope closure.

Bordered Star

and its back.
The fabric I used was the Hand Drawn Garden bundle by Anna Maria Horner that I won back in August. I still have some left, so I will probably make a pillow for myself as well! The bordered star pillow is quite big and I am going to buy the pillows in Germany because I don't want to take them with me on the plane. I had only small cushions at home to take the photographs, that's why everything looks a bit loose.

Liberty Pillow...

...and its back
I even made a little label :)

And some detail shots: I free motioned quilted the star pillow and for the Liberty pillow I mainly used my walking foot.

Some free motion detail - I love clovers.

Just some stippling

I will leave you now with a final pic of my pretty Christmas wreath! Have a lovely Wednesday everyone :X

Sunday 24 November 2013

My first Burda jersey top!

I have been recently to the Richmond Theater to watch the play "Jeeves & Wooster" and because we arrived early, I had the opportunity to have a look into WHSmith. And what have I found among their magazines? A Burda sewing magazine. There were actually two issue, but I only liked the Burda Style Special autumn/winter No5/2013. So, I bought it.

I never used a Burda before, but heard already a few stories about how badly explained everything is. And forget about any nice illustrations! Never mind, I wanted to give it a try. I chose pattern 0010A, which is a jersey top. I decided to make it with long sleeves because I am always very cold in winter.

They made a fury jersey top.
In the left bottom corner you can hopefully
see the pattern.
The top has little pleats at the front and back of the sleeves and the sleeves go up to the neckline. The neckline is finished with a little strip of fabric and at the back you have a little slit that you have to close with button loops and button. According to my high bust measurement, I am size 34. So, I cut 34 at the bust and graded up to size 37 for the waist and hip. It was my first Burda pattern and I had no idea how good the fit would be on me :) But I think it is not bad!

Fabric: A dark purple jersey, which I bought at Goldhawk Road (which will go perfectly with my planned Beignet Skirt). It is a little bit thicker than the basic T-shirts you can buy in the shops.

Tracing: To begin with I had to trace the pattern (I always do anyway), because there were so many on top of each other. And it took me ages, especially because you have to add the seam allowances and then in the evening with no bright light, it was a bit difficult to see all the lines through my tracing paper. Also, at the sleeves pleats there was some weird shaping going on.

The placket is a bit stretched. Maybe I need a broad shoulder adjustment?

Construction: Apart from the pleats and necklines no problem at all. I used my overlocker most of the time and my twin needle only for the topstitching. As you will notice, my pleats don't look similar at all. I gave my best, but somehow they did whatever they wanted. Next time... (yep, there will be a next!) And the neckline? I think I might have misunderstood the instructions here, because it was very difficult to attach such a narrow neckband and also my neckline stands now slightly up. What about the placket and button loop? Weirdly enough the placket is pulled open. Probably because my shoulders need a bit more room? I might add another button/buttonloop here (the pattern instructions call only for one) and see if that helps.

Watch these pleats! I prefer the one on the right :)

Have I worn it yet? Yes, twice and I like it a lot. The only odd thing is that I can feel the sleeve seams. As the sleeves are not super tight, it can't be that. The seam is just a normal overlocked one, so maybe I can feel the threads? I was hoping the threads would soften after washing, but didn't. Did you ever have such a "problem"?

Will I make it again? Yes! I will make the dress version and I am finally going to use my flamingo jersey that I bought at the blogger meetup in Goldhawk Road in August!

PS: I am still thinking about making garments from my sewing list. But I am sure winter will be long...

Sunday 17 November 2013

Princess seams? I am not ready yet...

This dress was supposed to be my make No 4 from my autumn sewing list. But, as you will read, I didn't make it that far! The pattern is Simplicity 6908 that I got from a swap in August. The dress has princess seams, which I have never sewn before, a drape, a yoke back and front, and little sleeves.

I wanted to make the dress in a dark purple jersey, as the pattern states you can use jersey as well. But readers you know, my experience with sewing jersey is almost nil.Thus I decided to make a muslin first and I used another jersey that I also got from the swap in August.

I decided to ignore the back zipper, and also didn't cut yoke front and back (Here I was a bit confused by the pattern description and thought I might not need the yoke and I think I don't need it with jersey.).
And as you can see there are several problems! The bust darts don't point to my apex and the fabric is doing some crazy things at the hem. I have no idea how to move the darts on princess seams - do they actually have to be there? And I have no idea what happened to the fabric at the hem. I sewed with my overlocker and didn't stretch the fabric, so the hems should look fine. Any suggestion what could have gone wrong?

The bust darts are too high.
I was hoping to sew a wearable muslin, but  don't think I will ever wear it in public with this crazy hem. I also haven't bothered to sew button loops and buttons onto the drape to close it in the back. I am sorry to present you with such an unfinished "garment", but I am hoping  to get some comments that might help me to improve my sewing skills!

Seeing the problems I have with the muslin, I don't think I will make the dress with my jersey fabric. Maybe it is best, when I first learn how to modify and sew princess seams dresses before I try to make them with jersey.

Ahm, the photos were taken after lunch.
And I got the really nice comment from my boyfriend, that I can't gain weight when sewing such clothes. I know they are body hugging. But he made it sound like I have gained a few pounds in the last few weeks. Buhu, guys... Although I have to admit, I hardly left the house for the last month because I have started to write my PhD thesis at home. That is also the reason for my blogging and commenting absence, as I am happy about every PC-free minute at the moment. So, sorry for my blogging silence, but hopefully I will be back to old shape soon.

Friday 8 November 2013

Some advice please!

I will just leave you with a quick question before the weekend, because my best friend is visiting me for the next four days and I will not have time to make or write something :) Hah, I can't wait for her to arrive!

left: brushed; right: not brushed

A few weeks ago, I bought this lovely brushed cotton in Goldhawk Road. I will make a wintery Colette Beignet from it. However, the cotton is brushed only on one side and now I am not sure which side is the right and wrong one? Intuition-wise I thing the brushed and warmer side will be the wrong one. But then the bushed side looks prettier and maybe it is the right side? It would be great, if you could help me with this, because otherwise I am never going to make this skirt, buh.

brushed side

not brushed side

Otherwise, I have started already to make Christmas presents! For me its only five weekends left before I go home to Germany, so I really have to get started! No more selfish sewing :( For my grandparents I am going to make pillow cases. And you probably know, that my favourite colour for quilting is pink! Not a good choice for them. But I was lucky and won in August the stash match organised by Alexandra from a squared w. So I got a lovely fat eights Hand Drawn Garden bundle  and although these colours are not mine at all, they will be perfect for my grandparents.

Pillow case - not quilted yet

So, here just a little sneak peek of the first pillow case that is still in the make!
Have you started to make presents? Or have you decided what to give whom?

Have a lovely weekend!

Sunday 3 November 2013

Knitted Miette Cardigan: DONE!

After a month only, I finished my Miette Cardigan (in progress here)!

It is all blocked and buttons are sewn on, puh. I am so happy with how it turned out! It still has a few mistakes, but I don't care. I am so proud that I knitted something wearable :)

I wanted to use brown buttons, because they are neutral. But when I went to my local wool retailer, I saw these blue flowers and I just couldn't resist. Also, I made several blue garments during the last two month, so plenty of opportunities to wear the cardigan.

The sleeves are a little bit tighter and shorter than I would have liked. But hopefully they will stretch a bit width-wise. As for the length, I was knitting the sleeves in a crowded airplane and couldn't try them one. They looked long enough to me, so I started the lace pattern.
Lace detail.
I was really worried about the blocking and how I would pull the cardigan in shape. But there was no reason to! I just washed it in the washing machine (I have a wool program) and then put the cardigan on top of an old bathmat that had rubber at the bottom and fabric at the top. I then pinned the cardigan to the bathmat according to my measurements and waited for 2 days for it to dry. I wanted to show you pictures before and after blocking, but I was so excited, that I forgot to take them before. But believe, it is really worth to block your knitted make!

Fits like a glove!

How about you? Have you made any progress with your knitted makes or finished it even? I would love to hear about it :)

Flower buttons! It took me an hour to sew them on.

Next, YES there is already a next, I will knit the owl sweater by Kate Davies. The sweater has owls at the yoke and they look like the ones from my mittens. So, hopefully, that sweater will be an easy knit. I have already chosen the wool: Cascade yarns Eco+ in Merlot. I was having loads of fun winding the wool into balls. I thought it might be difficult, but no, really easy. Happy knitting!

Wool for my next project!

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