Summer in the city

summer dress for girls

Yes, we have a beach in Antwerp!  It’s a narrow stroke of sand on the left bank of the river Schelde.  It’s forbidden to swim there and the view isn’t that nice.  By all means, it’s not perfect but I enjoy the silence and the ships passing.   I don’t like the crowded seaside anyway, thus for me it’s a good hide.  The sun was in town last sunday and it was a perfect day to make pictures of my little girl’s new dress.  A bright printed dress with a summery back detail in a lovely viscose.  This fabric makes her skirt flutter in the breeze, just perfect for taking pictures…

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I use a classic bodice for this dress.  The red lines is how I altered the original bodice.  As you can see I added height on the front shoulder seam (2cm) For the back I only copy the lower part of the bodice.  The bodice for this dress is fully lined and small fabric straps insure everything stays in place. (see sketch).  For the skirt I cut 2 rectangles (fabric width x skirt length 36cm) and gather them at the waist before attaching it to the bodice. The hem is finished with a roll seam.

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Mix and match pencil skirt

different fabrics

I will always have a reason to stash small pieces of leftover fabrics and I believe my excuses are truly valid.  I use leftovers for linings, for contrast trims, for covering buttons, for bows or any other detail I can think of.  Possibly not everyone in our family shares this love, but I love going trough my bits and pieces.  My new pencil skirt is about mixing and matching fabrics within the same colour range.  I used this black and white cotton flower print, mixed with some leftover uni cotton for the waistband and lace to make this design.  At the waistband I sewed on two strokes of a vintage lace ribbon which I found at the fleamarket of ‘Porte de Clignancourt’ years ago.  You see, eventually everything will get its purpose!

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Easy pattern DIY: For this skirt I made a slant cutting into a basic skirt pattern .  That’s it!

 

And one for my instagram followers ;-)

mix and match skirt fitting

 

 

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A summer dress pattern…

little girls easy printed dress

It’s a nice day today, a little cloudy though but enough sun to make some pics of my miniature model.  As always she likes to model her new dresses to any public and I’m smiling as I see her twisting and turning her hips before my camera.  It’s a simple dress in a cute pattern with a contrast binding and some pleating at the neckline.  At the back I made a V-shaped slit and I closed it with a little bow.  It was easy, didn’t took very long and absolutely worth the attempt!

little girls printed dress

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Dresses for girls

 

 

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The sizes mentioned below are for a 4 Year old.  The total length is 56cm, so I started with a rectangle of 56cm (height) and 24cm (1/2 width) After drafting the pattern I added the pleats.  I marked the darts at the neckline and cut into the pattern all the way down to the hem.  I added 1.5cm width for each pleat (only on top, 0cm at hem) , this will increase the neck width but after sewing the pleats it will have the original width again.   As a finishing touch I made a belt of the contrast binding I used for the back.  I hope you have fun when you’re making this!

xxx Made By Me!

tekening voorkant     tekening rugzijde

 

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Refashion fashion

70’s revival that seamed hot when I was in my twenties made me buy this vintage dress years ago at a thrift store.  It seemed to reappear every now and again but I never wore it so this means something’s wrong.  I can’t help it, and my husband keeps telling me I should, but throwing away clothes is against my nature and everything I stand for. This dress is made by someone once, I can tell by the way it was stitched it was not from a retailer and maybe that someone shared the same passion for fabrics and sewing as I do.  It makes me nostalgic but after all these years this piece of clothing will be ‘remade by me’.

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This is what’s left of my seventies dress after cutting and sewing… see the result below!

leftover dress

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I used the basic pencil skirt pattern I made before and just added a waistband, side pockets, a new lining and some pleats at the middle back.

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The paisley woven fabric is amazing, isn’t it?  I love these kind of fabrics!  I did go all the way with this recycling dress, I even reused the old metal zipper for my new pencil skirt and I still had enough leftovers to create a diamante flower belt.  I have this crazy obsession with belts, I wear a different one every day, one more to add to my collection…

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Follow my  instagram pics and see what I’m up to!

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A basic top

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An easy pattern and some 20 minutes of sewing, that’s what it took to make this basic top.  It’s just such a great and simple addition to every girl’s wardrobe that I wanted to post it here.  The embellishment on the other hand took more of my patience.  At least it’s a nice way to spend your evenings watching your favourite late night series without feeling to guilty…

making beaded strings beaded ribbons

I’m using these silver coloured beads and sew them onto a satin ribbon by hand.

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I made enough beaded ribbons to make 2 braids.  I sew the embellishment on both shoulders by hand.

pattern tank top

This is how I drafted my basic top pattern:

I started the pattern with the measurements from my chest, hips and length.  Because I’m using a non stretch fabric and I don’t want to use a zipper or buttons I need to add 6cm at chest and hip width.  Of course I want to avoid any problems putting the top on afterwards and at the same time I want to create a loose fit.

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I draft the neckline and the armhole from front and backside.  I cut the pattern in the middle front and reassemble it at the side seams.  Now I can check if the armhole is looking as one fluid line.

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Adding seam allowance.

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I surge all seams and sew the top.  The armhole and neckline are finished by sewing closely to the seam.

This is my basic top pattern, as you can see it’s probably the simplest pattern ever!

 

 

 

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The zigzag dress

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The weather is finally improving and so is my mood for sewing.  Although this means I’m spending more time behind my sewing machine rather than enjoying a gin tonic on my terrace…  But that’s okay, I’m just enjoying it so much.  Nice weather calls for sweet summer dresses!  I’m reworking the LBD I made a few weeks ago in a summer version of colourful Zigzag stripes, adding some contrast ribbon and using my daughter as my muse.  Fortunately she’s enjoying it as much as I do…

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The pattern is the same as the black button dress, but now I’m using a red cotton ribbon to finish the seams at the waist.

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I stitch the ribbon onto the bodice and onto the skirt to create a contrasting detail at the waist .  After that I stitch the vertical dart, the ribbon ends are now nicely finished between this seam.

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I had a last minute inspiration and created a fake collar with the leftover from the cotton ribbon, I thought it would look great with the zigzag print.

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So proud of my work, I’m having this gin tonic after all!

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The chic and easy joggers tutorial

My sporty chic pants

This tutorial is about how to make a loose and easy trouser that looks elegant at the same time.  It’s a little like jogging pants but with a more fitted leg.  Making well fitted pants is rather complicated but this pattern is very executable.  I used a fine wool crepe with a satin waistband to create a simple, yet effortlessly chic look.  I hope you can easily follow my instructions and make yourself a cool pair of joggers.

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I measure my hip width and add 8cm.  I divide this by 4 and mark this on my pattern, this is the red line as you can see here.  The vertical lines mark the middle front and the side seam of the trouser.

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I take an existing pants with a more loose fit (not too oversized). I copy the crotch of the front by laying it at the middle front seam just below the waistband and going down following the curve of the original pants.

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I draw a second horizontal line starting from the crotch.  When dividing this line in 2 you mark the middle of the leg.

I use this line to draw the knee and the hem of my pants.  The width for the hem is my ankle width + 8cm divided by two.  The inside seam of the trouser leg is 64cm.  Now I can connect all these points by drafting a flowing line.

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I draw a slight curve from the hip towards the waist going up by 1cm.

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For the backside of the pants I copy the front and cut into the pattern at the hip line.  I use the existing trousers again and copy the middle back seam just below the waist to the crotch.

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I make flowing lines at the side seam and from the back crotch to the knee.  It’s important to keep the same length on the side seam and the inner leg seam to keep the leg balanced.  Now your pattern is finished, you just need to add seam allowance everywhere.  I use 1 cm of seam allowance on all seams and 6cm at the leg hem for the elasticated cuff.

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I’m using this beautiful fluid wool crepe and sew everything accordingly. The width of the waistline on my pattern is the same width to create a straight waistband in black satin.  When stitching it onto the pants I leave the waistband open for 12cm at the middle back for the elastic band.

waistband pants handmade buttons

There are no darts in this pattern.  To make it fitted at the waist without using an elastic band all way round I made some buttonholes on the front. The buttons will create a pleat on both sides.  On the middle back of the waistband I only use 15cm of elastic band.

The buttons are handmade with the black wool I used for the pants.  Because these button kits never seem to work (it’s probably just me…) I sew the fabric buttons by hand.

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My new joggers!  They fit perfectly and look so classy in this light wool crepe. I do think by using a colourful printed cotton with a fully elasticated waistband it will look amazing as well.  A leopard print or a bright flower print, oooh yes…

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