Monday, September 11, 2017

Dear Prudence




Summer is comming to an end, and it’s time for me to start thinking about autumn sewing.. Very hard thing to do when it’s still around 30 degrees C every day.. I’m in that awkward phase when I don’t have any ideas.. Long sleeves, thicker fabrics, layering, jackets, coats.. Nothing new and interesting comes to my mind.. The other day I looked through Burda magazines from last few years to get an inspiration and decided to try one of the patterns.. I liked the bodice from the dress #104 from 10/2016 issue (variation A, B).. That V neckline looks so feminine and I wanted to see how it would look on a finished project.. 



Bodice is very simple.. On the front there are only bust darts, and at the back waist darts.. I decided to add half circle skirt with inseam pockets to this bodice.. The fabric was in my stash for couple of years.. Thin cotton with a bit of elastin.. I had about 1,60m of the fabric to sew this dress.. The only compromise I had to make is cutting the sleeves shorter (without part 4 of the pattern).. Also I added lining to the skirt.. 


There are a few things I would change to this pattern in future.. The first is making it narrower at the waistline.. It’s nice to have some room for food and drinks, but with this pattern there is too much even for me.. The dress would look nicer with better fit at the waist.. The second is moving bust darts 1cm lower.. I made the dress in size 36, which I wear now, and darts are positioned slightly higher.. Although setting in the sleeves reminded me why I hate sewing sleeves, I think they look good.. There is enough ease so I can move my hands normally.. That's an important thing.. 

Monday, September 4, 2017

Negacija




I have a great occasion for a new blog post after four month break.. I was very busy during summer, sewing for my shop, without having time to make anything for myself.. When Camille from Deer and Doe patterns asked me to write a review of their new pattern, Azara skirt, I knew that was a perfect opportunity to squeeze some selfish sewing time.. And I didn’t stop there, I actually made the whole outfit – top and skirt.. I had my eye on this cute wrap top from ‘90s Burda issue.. In my mind Azara skirt with this wrap top was great combo, so I decided to make both garments from this cute black rayon with bees print.. I just love matching separates.. As usual, there's more photos than words in my post.. 



Azara skirt is basically a ¼ of a circle skirt, with sort of side panels (I don’t know the right name for those parts).. On my photos you can hardly see what I’m talking about, so hop over to Deer and Doe page where you can better see the details.. Black fabric is very hard to photograph, but I couldn’t resist making this outfit from this lovely rayon fabric I had in my stash.. There are two versions of this pattern.. Version A is button down skirt, and version B is simpler one with zipper at the back.. Right away I knew I would make a buttoned version..  The pattern is from their fall collection, and originally it’s planned to be made with the lining.. I made a summer version so I didn’t need the lining.. One more thing I changed, instead of making button holes and sewing buttons, I made my skirt with snaps.. I find it easier and neater that way.. 


The pattern comes with clear step by step instructions.. I’m not one of those who follows instructions.. For me it was enough just to take a look at pattern pieces and figure out in which order to put them together.. I didn’t agree with all the steps in the instructions, one more reason to make it my own way.. First, there’s that problem with circle skirts, even if it’s only a ¼ circle.. With most of the fabrics the hemline will stretch on those parts that are cut on bias.. I love to finish everything except the hemline and leave the skirt to hang over night so the day after I could make the hemline even.. In my case I used rayon, and the fabric stretched for about 2 cm at side seams.. There is one more reason why I leave finishing the hemline for the end.. I’ve made dozens of button down skirts over past couple years and from my experience one side is always a few millimetres longer (or shorter) than the other one.. I try to be precise as possible.. I always attach the skirt to the waistband, and after that I hem it.. I find that the easiest way to make even button down skirts.. 




The wrap top is from one of my favourite ‘90s Burda issues 07/1995 which I bought at flea market.. I’ve already shown you one dress from that issue, and there are more patterns I hope I’ll find time to try.. I have a Hungarian issue, where I understand only a few words – colors for tracing pattern pieces.. I slightly changed construction of the pattern and made ties shorter.. This way the top is tied at front.. There's enough interesting things going at back with that V neckline.. Also, I added those cute pleated trims as kind of sleeves.. That detail makes this top more cute and special.. 





This outfit is definitely a big success… I love it, and I feel great wearing it.. Azara skirt gained a lot of compliments from my friends who have very different style than me.. The shape is easy to wear, and looks great.. And I love that I started making more separates, because I’m in need for more tops.. Usually I make dresses and skirts, and I’m glad I have a top that goes well with my summer wardrobe..  


Behind the camera - Matija Vukov

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Lambada


♫ ♪ Kaoma - Lambada


About a month ago I discovered perfect sewalong for me – The sew back project.. It’s hosted on Instagram by lovely Hariet aka @hobblingshandmades .. She calls everyone who’s interested to recreate or make something inspired by an outfit from when you were younger.. If you’re interested to join you have more time, till the end of the June!! You can also hear more on her youtube channel.. Those of you who follow me for a longer time know that I already made a very special remake two and a half years ago.. It was a dress my mom made me to wear on my aunt’s wedding in Italy.. If you haven’t seen it, or you wanna refresh your memory follow this link..



Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Common People




One of the advantages of living near flea market is popping there every couple of days to see if there’s anything interesting.. I always try to control myself to buy only things I really need, mostly sewing supplies.. There I’ve found so many great and quality fabrics, and Burda magazines from past several decades.. I have a rule when it comes to prices.. I already have a good collection of vintage Burda issues passed on to me by my aunts.. I really don’t need more of them, except if the price is next to nothing..  For Burda magazines I would give up to 50 RSD per issue (less than 50 euro cents).. That was the case with this one I found all alone surrounded with books and records.. You wouldn’t expect much in an issue from July 1995.. I took a look at technical sketches of the patterns and loved at least 5 patterns only at a first glance.. Then I browsed the magazine and saw all the dresses with open back, shirt with lace insertion, dress with a scalloped neckline, and I felt like I hit the jackpot!! This issue is like made for me.. You can see couple of my favorites on my ig post, and I scanned technical sketches for dress patterns for you to see here (last photo)..




Before I even started pattern tracing my faves, I wanted to try a simple dress pattern #104 from this issue.. I wasn’t sure about the fit of ‘90s patterns.. On models garments look like they are at least a size or two larger, and the fit is weird.. If I hadn’t seen a technical drawing of this simple dress I would never try to make it.. As you can see on a photo below, it looks like a white oversize baggy dress.. On a sketch you can see all the beauty of the pattern – bust darts that create interesting V line, curved under bust seam, half circle skirt, V neckline at the back.. This issue from 1995 is from those years when in Serbia Burda magazines were black market goods.. From that decade German issues are most common, but I’ve also seen Greek ones, and this is my first Hungarian.. That was the situation when I started sewing back in high school.. Also, that’s one of the reasons I don’t have a habit of reading the sewing instructions.. All I ever needed to know were those four words which determine the color of the pattern I want to trace (black, red, blue and green).. I googled kèk, which means blue and I was ready to start this project..

 

Monday, March 27, 2017

Baš volim što ti je lepo




It’s been a while since I made a cute dress.. And a very longer time since I tried a new way of manipulating the fabric.. Like sewing all the pintucks, lace insertions and scallops wasn’t enough, I felt the need to bring something different into my sewing routine.. Pleated trims were on my mind for quite a while, just never got around to try making them (the easier way).. My first (recent) project was this blouse I posted on Instagram.. Nothing special for a first try.. I needed something simple until my horror vacui mood kicks in.. To be honest, I had success with making pleated trims in my early days of sewing.. Only problem was the time it took me to make those – several episodes of Midsomer murders (one episode lasts about hour and a half!!!).. During my new recent experiment I was sure there must be a faster way to make these little thingies.. I even remembered that Andy from 8th season of Project Runway had a pleating tool which helped him to make those gorgeous pleated trims for the final collection.. So if Endy could make pleated trims without wasting too much time, so can I!! With that on my mind, I found the tutorial on how to make a pleating tool.. It was the first tutorial that popped on Google.. I took a quick look, and used a thicker paper I had at hand for making that little helper.. I’m very pleased with how much time it saves, and how easy it is too use.. Of course, my tool is small dimensions, for making ¼ inch pleated trims.. 




Now a little about the dress.. Adding something interesting into princess seams of bodice I tried couple years back, and you can see my dress with scallops here.. For that one I used a Burda pattern.. This time I wanted to try redrafting a basic bodice sloper to what I had on my mind and see if the fit would be wearable.. My redraft is not very different from the Burda pattern I already used, but I still needed a confirmation that one can easily play with simple shapes to get something different.. To get what I wanted from bodice sloper I opened the neckline, redrafted waist darts into princes seams, and made ¾ sleeves.. Nothing complicated.. The skirt is simple pleated one.. 

Friday, March 24, 2017

Psycho Killer




This is a very special project for me.. It’s part of Sewing Around The World organized by Schnittschen, an independent sewing label.. If you’re not familiar with them, go and check it.. Every month they present one of the sewing bloggers who chooses one of their patterns to sew.. When Nadja approached me I was so happy to be part of their project, along with other great sewists.. When it was time for me to pick a pattern, I thought an outerwear could be nice challenge for me.. I rarely sew jackets and coats.. These items take more time to complete, so I always delay starting them..  I also got to choose a fabric, and I have to admit, this was my first time doing it online.. I wasn’t sure which pattern to pick, until I stumbled upon this gorgeous raincoat fabric at Lillestoff.. I was blown away with this cute and cheering raindrops print.. And the fabric is water-resistant!! Perfect for a raincoat.. The idea was there – I’ll use their new pattern Amy parka to make a raincoat.. I’m glad Silke and Nadja liked this idea, and made possible for me to finally make a raincoat.. In this post I’ll write about my first make using Schnittchen patterns and my experience with sewing raincoat fabric from Lillestoff..



Since this was my first time to sew Schnittchen pattern, I wanted to make a test version to go through all steps and see if there is a need for the adjustments.. With raincoat fabric there’s no unpicking, which means no room for a mistake.. Amy parka is a pattern for an oversize coat, with hood and huge deep pockets.. It comes in two different lengths, and it has lining.. Sewing my test version went without problems.. Although I don’t like when seam allowance is included in a pattern, here it’s only 1 cm so it didn't make me problems.. Instructions are very clear.. This was one of those rare times I actually read it.. Looking at my finished test version, there was only one minor adjustment I had to make to the coat – shorter sleeves.. This pattern has dropped shoulders, and the sleeves were too long for my arms.. I had to make them shorter for 3-4 cm.. 



Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Opasne Igre




If my Ig isn’t wrong, I made this dress 9 weeks ago! I wanted to blog about it back then, but there was always some reason to postpone photographing it.. Very cold weather, short daylight, holidays, travel, sciatica, and three months are gone.. 


First, I want to say the biggest thanks to Ebony for making a tutorial on how to draft your own pattern for tent dress from a simple top pattern.. Maybe there is some simpler solution for redrafting, but I wasn’t lazy, and this one worked for me.. This is my second version of the same redrafted pattern.. You can see my first version here, and read more about the sewing process.. The first version of the dress, which I made two years ago, I often wear, it’s very comfortable, goes great with tights or leggings, has that unusual casual look.. Just perfect.. That’s why it was time to make a second version.. For the second version I used wool fabric I bought at the flea market.. The price was next to nothing for 2m of this plaid wool fabric.. Man who sold me the fabric said that it would be great for tablecloth!! He probably spends lots of time in local pubs, where checked tablecloths are a must.. The mark on the fabric says that it’s locally produced – Exportext Lebane.. That factory was closed at some point (as most of great textile factories in Serbia), so I might not be wrong if I say that this fabric is vintage..