Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Cinderella reloaded

The Cinderella panel seems to never end. Out of 1m fabric, I already made 3 dresses and still have fabric for one or two.
This one is for a little girl from Germany. It was a bit scary making this without knowing much about the girl's size, but I really hope it will fit. 

Thursday, November 17, 2016

350 pom poms

How to add a bit of color to a rainy day.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Pink and fluffy

Some time ago I saw this faux fur and thought to give it a try as a small accent on a pullover, but it was sold only by the meter. So I found myself with one meter of it. And when I measured it home, it proved to be 1,30 m (thanks Stoffenstraat :D). A bit too much for a collar. This is how the idea of this coat was born. Add to this that I got for free a tiny lap of long haired faux fur. It had a fault in the fabric but I cut it out.

Between the lining and the fur there is one layer of fleece on the front and 2 one the back. It's really a winter coat.

It has fur lined pockets. Nice and cozy.
I added a touch of gold on the inside.

It doesn't fit the rest of the outfit but we took the pictures just as she came home from the kindergarten. The vintage style dress is also hand made, I knitted it myself about 2 years ago.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Tutorial: How to draw a leggin pattern based on an existing legging

A legging is such a simple piece and it looks like it should be piece of cake to find a good pattern, right? Well, it's not. Like all simple things, it seems to be quite difficult. But if you have already a well fitting legging you can easily make it have some babies. This is how:

First of all, you need:
-A well fitting legging. The width is important, the lenght and the height are easy to adjust. 
-Pattern paper (I actually use polyethylene)
-Paper scissors AND fabric scissors (never use your fabric scissors to cut paper)
- A lineal or whatever long straight thing you can use to draw a straight line about the desired lenght of the legging. If you don't have one, you can obtain the same effect by folding the paper in two.
-Jersey, pins, thread, elastic and of course a sewing machine for the legging itself.

First of all, you have to draw a vertical line on the paper, like this:

Easy, isn't it?

Now you fold de legging on half, back side out, and you put it with the outer side line exactly on the line from the paper. It will bend a bit close to the elastic, don't bother about it:

You will notice that the front part and the back part of the legging are slightly different. The back is a bit bigger and taller. 
You have to mark on the middle line where the crossing point between the legs is.
Also, the front of the elastic is lower than the back of the elastic. Mark where the front of the elastic intersects the middle line.
You can see these two markings on the drawing, at the tips of the arrows:

Mark where the legging's pipes end:

Carefully, draw a line just on the contour of the legging.
When you get at the intersection between the side line and the side of the elastic, Don't follow the curve formed by the elastic, just let the side line straight. The side line has to be straight all the way:

Unite the point where the elastic intersects the side line with the point where the front elastic intersects the middle line, with a very slightely rounded line. if the difference of height between front and back is very small, this line can be just straight, but the leggings i used in the example have a very big difference and If I would use a straight line, I would have a weird V-shaped elastic line at the front.

From the inside corner between the legs, draw a tiny horizontal line as long as the distance from the corner to the crossing point marking. The line has to continue the curve.

From the marking of the crossing between the legs (at the right of the inner leg line you have now on paper) draw a line down to the knee and let it slowly approach the inside seam of the leg until it becomes one with it.
From the end of the tiny line which continues the curve draw a line down to the knee just as you did with the previous line and let it also smoothly merge with the inner line:

You have now 3 lines converging into one. The outer one at the left is the contour of the back of the pipe. the one in the middle you don't need anymore. The inner one at the right is the contour of the front pipe of your legging.

Fold the pattern on the vertical line and draw only the lines of the front part of the legging, meaning the lowest line of the elastic and the most inner line of the pipe. when you unfold the paper, you should have this:

Draw seam allowances around your pattern as follows:
-for the elastic, add the width of the elastic + 2mm+ the seam allowance is most confortable for you to stitch on
-for the bottom of the pipes add about 2 cm
-around the middle seam and the inner seams of the pipes, add add the seam allowance you are the most confortable with (it depends if you use a sewing machine or a serger and also on personal preferences)
Take a generous seam allowance for the elastic and the bottom of the pipes, the surplus is very easy to remove but if you cut it too short you will need some creativity to fix it.

Cut the pattern out:

Now it is ready to use. 
In a next post I will show you how to sew it together.
See ya!

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Happy baby

I doubted if to post this.
No intricate patterns, no difficult projects. Just a few drops of colour. 
These are just a few of them. Many I gave away, others are in the laundry at the moment.

One of the many

One of the many PJ's I made for my girls. So many that I lost their count.

Blue on blue

Simple, with a wide skirt but still confortable. A good dress for dancing, playing and doing all the cool things little girls do.
The fabric: it's linnen, it's soft, it's old and I bought it in the flea market. I know it is old because it bleeded a lot of dye during the first washings. Almost coloured all my laundry blue.
The lining is cotton with pink ( but not so legendary... sorry, couldn't help but turning geeky) dots.
Cotton lace at the bottom for a touch of colour:

What to do with scraps of fabric


Very good pattern from Oon. Believe it or not, it's not so easy to find well fittting underware patterns.

A touch of autumn vintage

This is it, I have to post it! I was waiting to take a picture of Ekaterina wearing it, but the dress might get broken or small before I get that precious picture, so here it is!
It wasn't so easy to find a way to use the mini-panels without cutting midway through the girls, it wasn't so obvious from the layout of the innitial panel.
It's a Gorjuss quilting panel I bought on a fabrics market. I never made a quilt before and I don't feel like I want or I need one now, and pillow cases are totally not my thing, so all the beautiful quilting panels are going to end up as dresses, in one or another way.

Romanian dress

I did it! The first Romanian dress is a fact. Also, the first dress made especially for my youngest, Elisabeta.
The shirt is 100% hand made, embroyded with silk on white linnen. the linnen I bought at a traditional crafts market.
The apron is machine made, not really traditional, just some sort of a look-alike (have mercy please, it is for a baby and I also had only 6 days to make the entire costume).
Here is the shirt drying on the line just after I finished it:

The embroydery pattern on the sleeves is complethely authentic, the one on the chest is a retouched authentic one. The patterns I took from Semne Cusute, an amazing blog about authentic Romanian traditional costumes.
Kalinka-the-dog insisted to have a picture with it:


One for Millie. A simple dress with a twist. Ok, a few twists.
It is completely lined with the dark red fabric. The flowers on the orange fabric are embroided (not by myself, I'm not THAT crazy; or maybe I am but I don't have the right machine. Yet.)
 The dark red fabric is rather stiff which makes the wings stay upright. At the back it has an invissible zipper. It is shorter at the front and longer at the back, that's what that red thing you see in the foto is. Actually it looks very good on her but it's not easy to take pictures of Millie in action.
I'm planning a pair of fitting stripped leggings to go with it.
The panel with the girl is part of a Gorjuss quilting panel.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Viki has a new friend

Let me introduce you Fifi, my new but second hand sewing machine. Fifi is a Pfaff Quilt Expression 2048. She's the new friend of Viki, my "old" Viking Emerald 116. Viki is a very good and reliable machine and it will stay with us to help Fifi. It is strong, it sews perfectly and it is amazingly easy to thread. It's neat and clean. A no-bullshit machine. It also has a horizontal bobin, which I love. And the threader does work! But it has only 16 stitches, and this became a bit too little for me. I wanted some fancy stuff. Fifi has it, and it has wonderful buttonholes, and 2 alphabets (I didn't use them yet but I will sure do it soon). It also has a feature that only Pfaffs do: double transport. It has everything I could want from a sewing machine. And it was quite cheap, I bought it from a lady who used to be a professional but just retired and she kept it just for making English buttonholes and sold it for a small price despite the fact that it is in top condition. 
I must say that Viki got a bit jealous and just after getting Fifi into our house did something she never did before: tangled the thread like a cheap old wrack. But now she got to better feelings and they are working as a team.


This is the first panel out of a series of 3, so there are more dresses with images like this to come. 
When I was still busy making it, I asked Ekaterina if she likes it and her answer knocked me down. Didn't know if to laugh or cry. She said: "I don't like it because it has a little bit of blue and blue is not my favourite colour anymore" . Go figure what's in a little girl's mind! Luckly she changed her mind when she saw the finished dress and said "well, I still like blue a very little bit". Luckly!

...So the dress already went to kindergarten, although it is on the large side (I made it to fit over a t-shirt during the winter).

The image on the front comes from Santoro London and it is part of the Mirabelle series.
The French terry with some subtle glitter on comes - expectable- from The Stoffenstraat.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016


This time I decided to make something for Emilia. This pattern (Jill dress from La Maison Victor) allows for a bigger uncut panel on the front, so I gave it a try, even it is not a pattern for jersey. It somehow worked, only that the pattern not being for stretchy fabric, it turned out waaaay too big. I asked Ekaterina to fit it and it's her size.

Only that Emilia knows it's her dress and won't trade it for anything. So she's going to fit into this dress very very long. It was meant as a trial dress, but it seems it is going to stay with us...about 3 years.  This winter it will go with a long sleeves under.

If not, I'll have to make another dress for her, using the same print and so much bling that she will drop this one and want the new one.

This beautiful Stenzo panel fabric comes, like most of my fabrics, from De Stoffenstraat in Kasterlee

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Almost back to school!   

From time to time it feels good to go (back) to the basics. It gives you that "I can easily make this" feeling. You don't depend on the visits to the "cheap rubbish made by 5-years_olds on a boat" store anymore. At least you get the illusion you are more independent.

I started with these turtlenecks. I'm in love with turtlenecks since I was a teenager. You know, it was the beginning of the nineties...

The pattern is an adaptation of a basic t-shirt I found on this blog scatteredthoughtsofacraftymom . She's so nice as to post lots of really handy patterns and tutorials, all for free. There are also some good non-sewing diy ideas on that blog.

I'm moving on now to some leggings, another useful basic when school starts. I drafted and made a couple of test ones, to check the fit. I know this one is not very tight, this is how I like them. There are 4-5 more of them to follow, in different prints and colors. Here is she with her new leggings:

Aaand in the process of drafting,  I screwed one pair. It was meant for Ekaterina, because Emilia has already heaps of leggings and jeans, but I overestimated the stretch of the fabric so she could hardly pull them on. This is how Emilia got an unplanned pair of "boyfriend's jeans" (big sister's jeans, in her case) which are not at all like they should be, but she likes them so they will be great for playing in the garden.


While I was busy posting this, the girls went out in the garden to play. It took only maximum 10 minutes : this is how Emilia's jeans look now:

And here are Ekaterina's leggings, AFTER rinsing:

I think I underestimated again. 3-4 leggings is nothing. I think we need more like 10-15. At least.