Friday, 31 March 2017

Leopard tartan floral skater dress and shirt

Pattern: Lady Skater dress by Kitschy Coo
Fabric: 2.7 m viscose and polyester (?) knit
Haberdasheries: none!

I ran into this slightly crazy fabric at a store and wanted to buy the usual amount for a skater dress, but since there would have been a very small piece left over, I got that for free. Therefore, as I think this fabric will look nice with a jean skirt I plan on making, once I had cut out all the pieces for the dress, I also cut a shirt out of the leftovers.

I had just cut the front of the dress when I realised the part of the fabric I liked the least would be the main visible part when I wear a cardi over the shirt. So I cut the front again, with a nicer layout, and just used the first front as the back, resulting in a low neckline at the back of the shirt. I had been thinking of doing this anyway as I saw it on another skater and liked it.

This fabric was difficult to serge – I took a serging lesson and thought I now understood the machine, but it gave me a hard time again with this dress and skirt – and also nasty to hem, as it’s got velvety swirls on it which are thicker than the rest of the fabric. The twin needle hem initially looked like this:

Eek. This made me think about why I twin needle the hem of the skirt anyway. The sleeves, sure; they need to be elastic, after all. But the skirt doesn’t! So I ripped the hem and restitched it with a single needle, and that looks much better.

Sunday, 12 March 2017

Basic black skirt

Pattern: Drafted based on my WW1 nurse aprons, which are loosely based on the Wingeo #411 1910-1915 skirt pattern
Fabric: Thick black cotton twill
Haberdasheries: An invisible zipper
A first: Putting in an invisible zipper

A nicely warm long cardigan I own doesn’t look that nice with trousers, but also not with flared skirts. I thought it would look very nice with a basic black fitted skirt slightly longer than the cardigan itself, but couldn’t find one, so – the usual, I made it myself.

As the bottom part of my World War I nurse aprons came quite close to what I had in mind for this skirt, I decided to base it on those aprons! So it’s got the same panel layout at the front, English seams, and I also added similar pockets sewn between the panels.

This was my first time working with an invisible zipper, and I’m happy with the result! Sewing it in was easier than I expected, even using a regular foot.

Thursday, 26 January 2017

Best buy of 2016: snap jewellery

The first time I saw bracelets with interchangeable ‘chunks’ by Dutch brand Noosa at a store in Germany I loved them, but since I needed three chunks plus a bracelet to make just one combination, and that amounted to about €55, I didn’t buy them. (Not to mention the bracelets were huge on my tiny wrists.) Sometimes I came across the chunks in a store again and ogled them, but I realised I probably wouldn’t wear them if I bought them.
Then I found out that there are also rings for these snaps! Now that was a great idea! I love large rings, and this meant that with every chunk I bought, I’d have a new ring! Also, I found that there are different brands besides Noosa that sell snaps, and mainly that there are lots of nice ones to be found on Etsy! Needless to say, before long I had a whole collection of snaps, and I’ve been wearing them a lot!

Unfortunately the ring I bought was the kind that looks like stainless steel but is actually brass with a ‘silvertone’ layer over it. The layer started disappearing after I’d worn the ring about ten times, and after a few months of admittedly intensive wear, the ring became weak and easily distorted, and also, really ugly. Plus it leaves a blue stain on my finger. I haven’t managed to find a good quality ring yet. Some say putting clear nailpolish on it prevents the layer from coming off, but now the ring exudes nailpolish smell when I wear it. Meh. Obviously this has dampened my enthusiasm a little, but I still had so much fun wearing my snaps last year that I thought they were worth a mention!