Tag Archives: pattern

red button down skirt

Finally, some sewing again and it’s not even navy blue!
red skirt. tidytipsy
A bright red skirt which has been in the works for nearly two months! Phew. It’s based on the same pattern as the blue pencil skirt, but I wanted to add a button placket at the front.
I first procrastinated on actually drafting the pattern and when I finally did, I made many stupid mistakes…I redrafted and sewed the skirt up pretty quickly and it was looking really neat when I realized I had miscalculated the button placket and the skirt was now way too tight. So I ripped the placket out again and got creative in adding a new placket without having to redo the whole skirt (I was out of fabric for that anyway). Add a little time between each step to stew over it and get my motivation back up and you have two months of work on a simple skirt. At least now it fits!
red skirt. tidytipsy
It even has pretty buttons and button holes and is fully lined (don’t get me started on how many times I messed up the lining).
red skirt. tidytipsy
I think I’ve worked on it too long to determine if I like it. I’m sure some of you know that feeling. I’ll see how I feel about it in three months. That sounds depressing, I promise to be more upbeat in my next post :)
The necklace I’m wearing is by Native Clutter on Etsy btw.

salme lydia blouse

My last summer sewing project before plunging into fall and winter ideas (to be honest, I’m in waist deep already :) ).
As mentioned in my Kimono dress post, I’ve discovered Salme Patterns for me. I really like Elisa’s designs – simple with a touch of vintage.
So I couldn’t wait to make the Lydia blouse in this gorgeous lightweight cotton/silk mix feather print.


On the whole I’m very happy with this. I did have a few issues with this pattern though:

  • The fit is good, but man, these patterns really do run small! I should have gone up a size, even though I made the size that should have fitted me perfectly. It still fits, but the back is a bit tight and with the thin fabric the seams already look like they won’t last forever. Next time (yes, there’ll be a next time!) I’ll go up a size.
  • The instructions are pretty sparse. I couldn’t for the life of me figure out how to get 11 pleats into the front, so I ended up with less
  • That neckline is a lot higher than in the pattern picture. I don’t think I did anything wrong here and it looks ok but I really wish it was a lower.

Things I liked about this pattern: It was easy and fast to assemble while still teaching me new techniques. The sleeve cuff finish especially is a very interesting folding technique which I liked a lot (I should mention I did blindstitch the whole cuff by hand instead of doing only a few tucks as instructed). I omitted the shoulder detail but I’ll probably make it next time. The pattern comes without seam allowances, which suited me fine since I was free to add my own 5/8 ” and french seam the whole thing. On second thought, maybe that’s what made my neckline so high…maybe I should have added a slimmer seam allowance there.
Using Jen’s great tutorial, I french seamed the sleeve inset and it worked great! Now I’m wondering why I’ve never done it before…so nice and neat!


Now…off to buy fall fabrics!

salme kimono dress in silk

And the next one, I’ll have to see that I post all my summer sewing before summer is actually over…
I’ve discovered Salme Patterns for me and have so far made two of their patterns. The kimono dress was a test for something I’ve had in mind for months. I came across this interesting blue silk and cotton mix fabric on the remnant table in my favourite local fabric shop for 4€/m and had to snatch it up of course.

I don’t much like elastic waists so I just taped the two pattern parts together and cut one long shape and made a belt in the same fabric. It looks pretty strange without the belt I have to say!

I found the pattern to fit well. Salme patterns have less ease than other patterns though, so I would recommend going up a size when between sizes. I didn’t even look at the instructions so I can’t say anything about them. I changed the neckline and cut it lower.

I’m not all that sure about the fabric…I’m forever telling myself to stick to solids and then I come across a pretty pattern and can’t resist. It is a nice change in pattern for me though and I’m finding silk or silk/cotton mixes much easier to work with than I anticipated. And silk is always heavenly to wear of course!

patterndrafting-land

That’s where I am and where I’ll be for months to come guessing by my stack of ideas and fabric. I’m busy drafting a couple nice basic blouses, using the Sorbetto pattern as a sloper. I did modify the length, armholes, neckline and bust dart, so I’m not sure you could even call it a Sorbetto any longer.

Which leads me to the question: how do you store your self-drafted or printed patterns?
I even trace bought patterns (like the Wiksten Tova and Tank) because I usually make the smallest size and I want to “save” the multisize pattern. Until now the number of my patterns are quite manageable and I store them like this, the pieces carefully folded and held together by a clothespin for each pattern.

They live in a small vintage suitcase. It was my mom’s and I claimed it as a kid and have held on to it ever since.


As my stack of patterns grows I will probably have to think of a new method soon. I’d love to see how you organize and store your patterns!
By the way, I am honored to be featured on the Wiksten Blog today with a tankdress I made from Jenny’s pattern!

handmade wardrobe

I’m still in the planning stages for most of my spring wardrobe. I don’t think I’ll ever get as organized as some sewers, I have too many ideas flitting in and out of my head and I change my mind too quickly.
That said, I’ve picked out and bought some fabrics that I’d love to use for the next few projects:

The floral cotton is the one I used for the most recent Sorbetto top, so that one is crossed off.
I’m terrified of the silk, I haven’t even pre-washed it yet (just cold water and mild detergent? Or is that too much already?). I’m trying to decide if it’ll look better in a more fancy blouse pattern (like Downton Abbey Edith’s blouse…swoon) or a very simple top that shows off its gorgeous drape, like Sybils top. I’d have a pattern for that one already, a dead simple 1950’s top I’ve made once or twice before. I could leave the sleeves short or extend them a little.

Not pictured is a grey and cream striped cotton jersey, my first knit and a take on the Sewaholic Renfrew pattern.
The rayon was an impulse buy, I love the print and rich browns look good on me. There’s a reason rayon is called artificial silk, it’s soo soft and nice to the touch, I can’t wait to sew with it. Same question here as for the silk regarding the right pattern choice. Any suggestions/opinions greatly appreciated, do leave a comment :)
The voiles will be simple, versatile blouses that can be worn with anything. I’m drafting the patterns myself, using the Sorbetto top as a basic sloper.

I’ve discovered the beauty of keeping a notebook and jot down ideas on the way to work on the train or wherever. At home I try to convert the scribbles into drawings I can actually work from.

I’m also dreaming of some 1920’s inspired dresses with drop waists…ideally a simple but elegant pattern in a soft, drapey solid.
We’ll see how many ideas make it into actual garments, before a new idea and a new project takes their place in my head. At least the sewing area in our new apartment is much roomier and more inviting than trying to sew between the kitchen table and the hallway, like in our old apartment.

Oh, and did you see the beautiful Tiffany lamp on the table? A thrift store find! Quite pricey at 30€ (that usually buys half the store), but I had to have it and I love the cozy, warm light it adds to the otherwise rather dark room.

floral sorbetto variation

A quick sorbetto top with a twist (or two, or three).

Inspired by this top and this Sorbetto Top variation, I modified the original Sorbetto pattern: Extended the shoulder by a couple of inches (and lowered the armscye) and added length, a button placket at the back and a small collar.

I also made a size bigger than I’d need to have it look a little blousier. The fabric is a lovely light floral cotton (almost sheer but not quite). I have to say I’m quite proud of the buttonholes at the back. I made them with my zig-zag steel monster machine using this tutorial for making buttonholes without a buttonhole foot or feature.

I like how it turned out and how it fits, but I’ll see how much I’ll actually wear it…I have nothing to go with a green floral except jeans. I’ve been looking for a nice grass-green fabric for a while (not cool green, not neon or flashy, just a nice fresh green) but no such luck.
Kind of like this aloe a friend gave me (I did find this lovely flower pot with a pastel green border for it at the thrift store).

I’m working on a couple more spring wardrobe-planning posts, so I might actually get more than one blog post in this week. Somehow a post each weekend sounds manageable and ok, but 4 posts a month sounds like nothing at all! I used to blog every two days when I started, but I have neither the time to write nor to read that much anymore. Most days it feels like I’m fighting my Google reader inbox and for every post I read there’s two more up that I don’t want to miss. Luxury problems I guess :)

practice makes perfect

I promised to post more of my sewing and since I can’t really put it off any longer, here are two more tops that got made this summer: a striped blue top from a vintage 40’s pattern (the same as this one) and a Wiksten Tova Top.
I was reluctant to post them because I don’t really like how they came out. The great thing about sewing your own clothes is that you can make precisely the kind of clothing you love. The bad thing about it is that you’re bound to go wrong some time, it’s part of the learning process.

I love the look of the blue top, but it doesn’t really fit me. It’s not very noticable in the picture but the bust area is much too big for me and it looks funny with the tailored waist. I have since learned how to make a small bust adjustment. Also the fabric is too stiff for this pattern, it worked much much better with the light cotton voile I made it from the first time.

The next top is a Tova from a light-weight cotton lawn (maybe, it’s not voile but equally light weight).

I loved the fabric when I saw it and I love it still…just not on me. I don’t do patterned fabric very well, I am finding out more and more that I should stick to solids.

So with each item I make I am still learning and learning. Making clothing can sometimes be frustrating and it will always be very time consuming. But it is also very rewarding and I for one am always thinking that the next thing I sew might just be the perfect item that I have been searching for :)

wiksten tank with sleeves

I’m back from a 2-day trip to Belgium, where a friend and I spent a day at the beach and visited the beautiful city of Bruges.
I will have the pictures up in a big travel post soon, but first a little sewing to show off as promised (the first of a few posts, I hope to get the other stuff photographed this week).
I’ve been dabbling with quite a few patterns lately but I keep coming back to the Wiksten Tova and Tank Top patterns. The tank pattern especially fits me really well and is so simple and yet versatile. I decided to add cap sleeves to make it suitable to wear at work as well.

I did raise the neckline a bit (only 1/2″ I think). The fabric is a super soft cotton and psst, don’t tell anyone, but it’s a thrifted vintage bed sheet! I love the big plaids and the cheery colors but I am already planning to make at least two more of these tops in some solid voiles.

I know I keep repeating myself, but this pattern really is a joy to work with, it’s simple and quick, has super nice french seams and fits great without any adjustments. I predict many more tank tops to follow :)

wiksten tank dress

I am in full dressmaking swing again! After making the tova dress I was totally hooked on Jenny’s patterns so I went ahead and bought her tank top/dress pattern as well.
I ordered some beautiful fabric for it but it was taking a while to ship and when I found this lovely gray woven cotton locally I had to use it to make the dress.

I really really like how this turned out! It’s a simple dress but it will be great to wear in summer on its own and also as a layering piece the rest of the year.
The pattern is (again) so very well written and I didn’t have any trouble with the instructions at all. The pattern uses french seams which is great for me because I don’t have a serger. It looks so nice from the inside as well!

I must say it took longer than I thought it would to make it, mainly because there is a lot of pinning and pressing and topstitching and putting it together requires a lot of concentration (for the inexperienced sewer like me at least!). I had to take breaks in between doing the seam finishes and the fabric was a little shifty, so the finish on the inside is not as neat as I would like. I’ve seen this done impeccably by others and I am really wondering how they did it. Practice makes perfect I guess.

The fit (I made the extra small) is perfect (again) and this will get a lot of wear I am sure!

I actually wanted to wear grey tights with this but both my pairs had holes in them so I opted for a pair of dark jeans. I really want to get some funky leggings to go with it though.

The plaid scarf was an impromptu friday night sewing project and I am working on a tutorial for it, hope to have it up soon. Jenny’s patterns are really addictive, I predict a summer full of tank top and dress sewing for me :)

patterndrafting adventures

Wow, has the weekend flown by! Can’t believe it’s already over again. I had planned to finally tackle Cal Patch’s wonderful book “Design-it-yourself-clothes” and make a top pattern for a dress. For one I am totally in love with the gorgeous dress Anna did based on that book and also I need a paririe dress for a charity event which is planned at the barn in June (1880’s country fair). I haven’t got any fabric for it yet but figured I could already draft the pattern and make a muslin on Saturday morning.

Two days and three handbasted muslins later (thank goodness for all of those old Ikea pillow cases, or I wouldn’t have had enough cheap fabric!) I was getting pretty frustrated because it just wouldn’t fit and the armhole was making me cry. My boyfriend said ‘Well, you didn’t think it was going to be easy, did you? Why did you think nobody does it anymore these days?’ to which I stammered ‘I thought people were just being lazy’.
Fast forward to a fourth draft and muslin and things are looking a whole lot better. Still not super duper perfect but good enough to be a satisfying finish to the weekend.

Totally unrelated but we’ve also been having a terrible storm today and all the way to the barn the streets were littered with branches and leaves. I took the highway on the way back but even there it was pretty scary with the sudden strong gusts of wind…I was glad to be home again and watch the rest of the storm from my cozy living room!