Tag Archives: plaid

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 🙂


tutorial: sewing a fabric scarf – the cheater / fabric saving way

Ok, so I promised a tutorial for my plaid scarf in this post:

Normally, when you want to make a fabric scarf, the process is pretty straightforward: you cut off a piece of fabric that is between 2 and 3 yards long in the width you like, hem all raw edges and be done. This would leave you with lots of excess fabric.
But what do you do when you don’t have two or three yards of the fabric you want to use, or the fabric is expensive and you can’t afford much? I really wanted a plaid scarf, but I couldn’t find one I liked and this plaid flannel was pretty dear. I just didn’t want to buy 3 yards of it, so I only bought 1 yard and made my scarf this way:
Your piece of fabric is 55″ (or 44″ depending on the fabric) by 36″ (1 yard). You want the longest sides to stay, so you divide your fabric in two halfs of 55″ by 18″ (the 18″ will be plenty width).
I drew the rest of the process up for you (click on the image to inlarge):

I promise you will not see the seam on the right side of the fabric at all, if you take care to match your pieces and if you use a thread in the color of your fabric. Obviously I forgot to match my plaids, but still, the seam is only visible when the scarf is laid out flat:

Your scarf will be pretty long and you have lots of options to wear it. Here’s how I do it:

I fold it in half, wrap the open end around my neck once, pull it through the looped other end and tuck the end under the loop. I really really love my long, comfy scarf in that soft soft flannel and I wear it all the time. It’s perfect for spring too, because the flannel is light yet warm enough for chilly mornings.

Done! Have fun sewing light fabric scarves for summer!

tova dress

I did a bit of patternmaking and dressmaking last year and I was dying to get into it again. When Jenny put a few of her famous tova patterns in her shop, I just had to have it. I looked for the right fabric a good while until I found this beautiful soft plaid flannel and here is my tova dress:

I must say I loved loved loved Jenny’s pattern and it was worth every penny. It shipped very quickly from NYC to Germany and it is beautifully made.

As I made the smallest size available (xs) I traced the pattern onto paper first. I bought some vellum paper but ended up not having enough, so I taped the pattern up against the window and used normal white paper to trace it.

The instructions were very clear. I had been a bit worried because the pattern was marked “for intermediate sewers” and I would definitely count myself as a beginner, but I didn’t have any trouble following the instructions at all.

Even though I made some of my own patterns last year I’m very glad that I did the Tova dress with Jenny’s pattern and instructions, because I ended up learning a couple of new techniques. It was also my first time setting the sleeves in the correct way instead of doing cheater sleeves by gathering at the top. I’m not the most patient sewer nor the most accurate so it is really due to the fantastic pattern and instructions that everything came out looking exactly as it should!

My treadle did a great job again, I only had trouble in areas where stitching through multiple layers of the flannel was required but I was able to get by. I ended up wishing I had done french seams in some places though, because it would have been no trouble and it would look so much nicer (wonder if I’ll find a serger on one of my next thrift store hunts).
I’m thrilled with how the dress came out!

The only thing that bugs me is that the wrong side of the fabric isn’t very nice to look at and it shows as the collar flaps open. I should have lined it (not that I know how to do that). The fit is great, definitely better than my own patterns from last year and it is just such a nice dress.

Thank you Jenny, for making such wonderful patterns! (I just had to go ahead and buy another one, I’m waiting for the fabric to make it right now).

bits and pieces

The hours are running away from me again this week.

I went treasure hunting (a.k.a. thrift store shopping) again yesterday and came home with the car full for about 15€ all in all! I’ll try to be faster in posting my pretty finds this time.

Murphy deciding he likes the soft flannel that came in the mail earlier in the week. I was really lucky to snag one of Jenny’s patterns a few weeks ago, it was sold out in minutes. So far I bought fabric for it and traced the pattern onto vellum paper and hopefully next weekend I will finally get to cutting and sewing and actually taking photos of it all.

Snapped at the barn on wednesday evening. Wednesdays are my hardest days of the week and I usually get to the barn tired, in the dark and the cold. But then, riding my funny little pony (not the one in the picture, that’s his stall mate) and sweeping the floors and filling water buckets I realize how much I need this quiet evening. It’s a special sort of downtime for me in the middle of my fast-paced week. I will always believe that people without animals to care for are missing out big time. It gives so much more than it takes.

high-waisted plaid skirt

My ‘new’ machine and I are slowly getting to know each other and this is the first (presentable) thing I’ve sewn on it:

:::::::It was inspired by this skirt here, so I can’t take credit for the design: http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=107286.0
The fabric is a gorgeous washed wool plaid that I bought on a whim and I thought it was just right for this project. Sewing it up was a nightmare actually. Somehow the bobbin thread I used is a tiny bit thinner than the one that was in the machine to begin with and I never really got the tension right, so lots of seamripping and trying and swearing. Having done everything except the straps I found out I needed to put in a zipper to get the thing on…more seamripping. I did finally finish it though it took me nearly the whole day.
But treadling? I LOVE it! Once you get the rhythm it’s a lot of fun actually. Only problem is I get so caught up in treadling that I forget to watch where my seam is going! I’m the world’s worst multitasker 😉