Sunday, September 30, 2012

Guitars bag

After making this quilt, I completely fell in love with one of the fabrics I used in it: Heather Ross' Far Far Away III Guitars in Pink. So I ordered another yard at Charm Stitch, and turned it into a little travel bag.

I wanted the bag to be simple, straight and geometrical, so I drew the pattern (well, basically some squares and rectangles) myself. Assembling was also pretty easy. I first stitched quilt batting against the guitars fabric, to create a quilted effect. Then, I installed the zipper between the lining and the outside fabric, next stitched the rest of the outside (inside out) and then the lining (also inside out, but leaving a turning hole).

For the bottom, the lining, and the thingy around the straps (what's that called in English? I don't even know what it's called in Dutch) I used this cheap linen.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Double breasted coat

Last year, I made DearMyKids' Double Breasted Coat for the first time, and she wore it all Winter long. But as the picture below (of Norah's first day to school) shows, it has become a teeny tiny bit too small (no, the coat is not supposed to have 3/4 sleeves).

So a new one was due. I went to several shops and markets to find some suitable fabric, but eventually, I had to settle for something I liked, but not loved. I found it on the market in Rotterdam, it was cheap, and it smells weird.

I ironed some insulating interfacing on the fabric to make the coat warm enough. I made it in size three, so Norah can wear it all Winter. So for now, I'm folding up her sleeves, which looks pretty ugly.

The model is really simple, and the pattern comes with great instructions. The only change I made was adding some facing in the front part.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Occupational therapy

We spent the past weekend in Middelburg, a nice town in The Netherlands. Our weekend also included dinner in the hotel restaurant, and as many of you probably know, such a dinner is generally not a treat for a hyperactive 2.5-year-old. So on Friday, I decided to be proactive, and make a little something to keep Norah busy.

Drawing is an activity which generally keeps her occupied for a good ten minutes, and my plan was to extend this by giving her a pencil roll. Taking 12 pencils out of the roll, putting them back in again, out again and in again... I guestimated that could add another ten minutes.

And it worked!

There are plenty of pencil roll tutorials on the web, but I was too lazy to go through all the steps so I just made up something very simple myself. Fabrics are Kokka Elephants Trefle (from Julija's) and Michael Miller Random Pencil Check (left-over from this dress).

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Orla Kiely's Cars

In the sales a few months ago, I didn't only score this gorgeous Serendipity baby duvet cover, but also a pillow cover by famous Irish designer Orla Kiely. Norah is very fond of cars, and I immediately liked the idea of using a rather 'boyish' print for a girl's dress.

Originally, I wanted to use this pattern, but then I remembered all the difficulties I had with it (tiny armholes, to mention just one) and decided to play it safe and use Citronille's Violette pattern (again, yes). I shortened the sleeves, made the bodice a bit longer, and replaced buttons with a blind zipper. In the skirt, I made 4 pleats instead of gathering the fabric. 

At the time when I bought it, I thought I was pretty smart. Now, I know better. I didn't think for a second about how difficult it would be to work with such a geometrical print. About the fact that the cars would need to be aligned both vertically and horizontally. And that that would be pretty complicated with the pleats in the front and the back. And with the blind zipper (4 attempts, dear readers, and it still isn't perfect!).

The result is a dress which I'm far from happy with. The pleats are too big and placed too much to the center of the dress (both because I focused on the print running through), and the waist is too wide (same reason).

I look forward to work with some simple, ungeometrical fabric. I want to feel smart again.

Bubble skirt #2

Number two in what should become a nice pile of bubble skirts for the coming Autumn/Winter: this pattern again (though less bubbly, as I overdid it the last time) and this fabric again (had plenty left from the dress-with-pleats-and-piping).


Sunday, September 2, 2012

Golden girl

What convinced me to buy Citronille's Violette pattern a couple of weeks ago was not the drawing on the package, but this gorgeous linen version of it by Four Little Frogs. I first made the Violette in Liberty of London fabric, but last week I finally gave in to a persistent urge to make it in linen as well.

I used a left-over from solid grey linen I bought at Stoffenspektakel in Antwerp months ago, and I decorated it with gold textile paint. The skirt of the dress is not as wide as in the original pattern, which I regret, but I had to make do with the fabric I had.

For quite complex sew-technical reasons*, I used a blind zipper to close the back, instead of buttons.

The dots are painted by hand, not stamped. I still can't believe I painted about 120 dots without screwing up!

* I hate sewing on buttons.