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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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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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.

zigzag dress with fake collar  my girl wearing the zigzag dress

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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The little little black dress

tutorial LBD little girl  black buttons

Here it is, (finally, after caught up with work) : ‘the LLBD’.  It started with some leftover black buttons, some yards of black popeline and the urge to combine this somehow.  I know, using black for a little girl is somewhat unusual but this dress looks so adorable on her.  It’s amazing how this easy pattern resulted in such a well fitted dress, and in my mind it’s the LBD ‘Audrey’ would have liked as well.

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The few measurements I took were her tummy, neckline and the length.  I started from a rectangle based on the dress length and the skirt width.  Half way the rectangle I marked the waist and from that point I drew the bodice shaping a smaller rectangle.  Then adding darts, a neckline and armholes.  Easy, no?

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For the back I copied the front pattern, adding 1cm of seam allowance at the centre back.   I made a facing for the neckline and armholes.

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When cutting the pattern I cut into the front part until the dart.

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The  waist is gathered to fit the bodice and sewn together.  Afterwards I sew the darts.

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This looks nice already, doesn’t it?

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I sew the shoulders and facing.  It would have been easier to use a binding to finish the dress but this way I create a more sophisticated look.

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I sew the side seams and hem.  I prefer a hem with enough seam allowance,  5cm for this dress.

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I added loops at the shoulders to narrow the shoulder width. To make this dress more glamorous I sewed on large black buttons around the neck opening.  These buttons never seemed to have found there way back to the original clothes but hey, this is much more fun!

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Love You Audrey, xxx

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Get the most out of a little piece of fabric…

my little girls printed dress

A little piece of cotton fabric was elbowing for weeks to get out of the shelf.  When I bought it I imagined a cute 50’s dress for my daughter, you know, the kind of dress little girls like to spin around in, and the kind of dress that reminds me of my own twirling as a child. Unfortunately, When I got home, ready to make my beautiful dress, I noticed the fabric width was too small for my design. So goodbye dress, goodbye sweet memories, or maybe not?  After a great deal of thinking I came up with the idea of using a seam at the center front of the bodice.  And actually it was a change for the better…

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Een klein stukje stof lag reeds een paar weken te dringen om uit de kast te komen.  Toen ik dit stofje kocht had ik zo’n schattig jaren 50 jurkje voor mijn dochter in gedachte, zo’n jurkje waar kleine meisjes graag eindeloos mee rondzwieren, zo eentje dat doet denken aan mijn eigen ronddartelen als kind . De teleurstelling was dus groot toen bleek dat de stofbreedte van dit mooie katoentje ter smal was voor mijn ontwerp.  Vaarwel jurkje en vaarwel zoete herinneringen, of toch niet?  Na heel wat gepeins kwam ik dan op het idee om met een middenvoornaad te werken voor het lijfje.  Dat bleek achteraf nog een heel leuke inslag…

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This is the pattern for the bodice of the dress.  I used the following measurements for this pattern: Chest width: 62cm – Waist: 56cm – Shoulder to waist: 24,5cm – Armhole: 11,5cm – Neckopening: 14cm – drop by 5,5cm. This is for a size 3/4 years old.  I add 1cm of seam allowance and 3cm at the center back with buttons.

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I copy the pattern for the facing and lining.

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This is my magic bucket of fabric leftover. I found this nice red cotton for the lining, a perfect match!

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So this is how it all comes together.  I draw chalk lines for the skirt of the dress: 2 pieces of 33cm (includes seam allowance 1+3cm) and all that is left of the fabric width.  I draw another chalk line at 7cm to make the fancy trim at center front seam.

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The trim is finished at one side with a roll seam of 0,5cm.

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I use my iron to make pleats.

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All pieces are sewn together, the outer shell and the facing/lining exept for the center front.

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I pin the trim on one side of the bodice and close the center front.

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Now I fix pleats in opposite direction with a top stitching.

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I sew the outer bodice and lining bodice together at the middle back and I close shoulder seams (bodice and lining separately)

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I close the neckline of both layers.

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I close armholes of both layers on front and repeat this for the back. I stitch from the inside, not as shown here!

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For the skirt a close side seams (not the center back) and gather the pieces for the skirt to match the width of the bodice.  For this particular fabric I’m using pleats again instead of a gathering.  I attach the skirt onto the bodice outer shell. Then I fix the inner shell by stitching from the outside on the seam between skirt and bodice. (to hide inner seam)  I’m closing the lower part of the skirt at center back and finish the hem.  Finally I’m adding buttons and buttonholes at center back.

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Rectangle top for my little girl

rectangle top girl

Squares and rectangles, that’s where it allways begins!  Remember my rectangle top?  Well, this is a top I made for my daughter and it’s just as easy.

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Vierkanten en rechthoeken, dat is waar het altijd mee begint!  Herinner je nog mijn rechthoek topje?  Wel nu, dit is een versie die ik voor mijn dochter maakte en net zo eenvoudig.

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My design!  – Mijn ontwerpje!

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Draw 2 rectangles of 15cm x 13cm (age 3-4y).  Draw a neckline on front and back.  (You can use measurements from an existing top)  Add 5cm for the sleeve trim (2 x 2,5cm).  Add seam allowance everywhere, exept on the center front.

Teken 2 rechthoeken van 15cm x 13cm ( 3-4 jaar).  Teken een halsuitsnijding in het voor- en rugpand. (je kan de maten nemen van een bestaand topje).  Voeg 5cm toe voor het mouwtje (2 x 2,5cm).

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Cut all patterns twice in fabric. –   Snij alle patroondelen 2 keer uit stof.

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Sew the shoulderseams from front and back together – Stik de schoudernaden van het voor- en rugpand aan elkaar.

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Put both parts on top of each other, the seam allowance is visible.  Sew them together at the armholes.  Sew the center back and the neckline only at backside.  Turn inside out and sew the front neckline from the inside. (This will all become clear once you are in the middle of this)

Leg beide delen op elkaar met naadwaarde zichtbaar.  Stik de armsgaten dicht. Stik de middenrug en de halsuitsnijding enkel aan het rugdeel.  Draai binnenstebuite en naai van binnen uit de voorste halsuitsnijding dicht. (Wordt vast en zeker duidelijk eens dat je hier volop mee bezig bent)

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Cut the lower part for the top: 2 pieces of 28cm heigth x fabric width. (or smaller if you don’t like a wide look) Sew side-seams and cut open at center back.

Snij het onderste deel van de top: 2 panden van 28cm hoogte x stofbreedte (of smaller als je niet van te wijd houd) Naai de zijnaden dicht en snij open op middenrug.

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Make a roll seam at hem. Sew 2 times at the top, and pull the loose strings to gather untill it fits the upper part you just made.

Maak een rolzoom onderaan.  Stik 2 keer aan de bovenzijde en trek aan de losse uiteinden zodat het precies past op het bovenste deel.

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Sew the centerback of the lower part.  Sewon a push button at the back neckline to close slit.

Sluit de middenrug van het onderste deel en naai een drukknopje aan de hals om het splitje te sluiten.

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Made By Me in Antwerp!

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