Tag Archives: wiksten

a tova for fall

Back at the sewing machine after a too long break. I made a skirt during my days off which I’ve yet to blog but I couldn’t resist sharing this Wiksten Tova blouse first. I won’t go into how much I love these patterns (again)…
tova blouse. tidytipsy
I am consciously trying to slow down, in keeping with the season but also with what I know is good for me. Due to an annoying old horseriding injury I move slower as well and I try to enjoy being in the moment more.
What’s this got to do with sewing? I hadn’t stopped to actually enjoy sewing, the motions of making something wearable out of a piece of cloth, for a while and I did that with this blouse.
tova blouse. tidytipsy
the love of sewing. tidytipsy
I took my time, savouring each step of the process. The fabric is a lovely, buttery cotton batiste which was a joy to handle.
the love of sewing. tidytipsy
the love of sewing. tidytipsy
the love of sewing. tidytipsy
I even handbasted the seams that the pattern called for and yes, it does save time in the end and makes the seam finishes so much prettier.
As always there was a bit of a hiccup with the front inset corners but apart from that, sewing up this pattern was smooth sailing and pure joy.
tova blouse. tidytipsy
tova blouse. tidytipsy
I think it shows in the result too. It’s well made and I even like my topstitching. There are imperfections and parts I’d like to redo (as always) but on the whole I’m really happy with it.
tova blouse. tidytipsy
tova blouse. tidytipsy


yet another wiksten tank

Sorry for the long silence folks! I’ve been so busy since coming back from Italy that I haven’t taken many personal photos, let alone edit them.
We got summer and sunshine for a whole week, finally a stop to all the rain and below 20Cs we’ve been having! Which means that I got to wear the latest Wiksten tank, made earlier in the year:

I found this lovely silk chiffon fabric months ago and had to try working with it. It was easier to sew with than I had expected! I absolutely have to wear a white top under it though, because it’s very sheer.

Grey isn’t really a color that suits me but I like to pair it with corals or reds to brighten it up (like this red H&M blazer).

I haven’t actually touched my sewing machine in weeks and weeks but I’m hoping to dust it off today after work to work with a nice bright summer fabric I picked up yesterday.
I won’t complain though, I love all the travelling I have been doing lately and look forward to all those weekend trips already planned! As always I just wish there were more hours in the day though, to make time for sewing and also more time for developing my business (as it is, I’m so busy with photoshoots and editing them that I haven’t found the time to work on my website or the print shop I really wish to set up).
But now, another day at the office and starting the weekend after that 🙂

wiksten tulip skirt

It’s no secret that I adore Jenny Gordy‘s patterns and I’ve wanted to get my hands on the Tulip skirt pattern for ages. I always thought it was sold out, but it’s actually available online (thanks to Neus for the tip!).
With spring some time away the navy corduroy seemed a good choice for a fall/winter version of the skirt.

I was a bit intimidated because the instructions came without pictures but I needn’t have worried: The skirt sewed up like a dream, using simple techniques I already knew.
I didn’t have any fusible interfacing (also, I hate fusible interfacing), so I opted for sewing in some lightweight muslin instead. I’ve never sewed in interfacing before, but it worked fine.

The pattern calls for a bit of handsewing to finish the placket and waistband. I actually really like handsewing and I love how pretty and invisible handsewn finishes are.
Since neither of my two vintage sewing machines have a button hole feature I handstitched the buttonholes…twice, at least. The thick, interfaced corduroy placket made it a bit of a pain so I’d recommend using machine-made buttonholes when possible!

I made the smallest size and it fits really well and is such a versatile style and color that it can be worn with just about anything. A slight drawback turned out to be the fabric choice: Even though I picked the thinnest corduroy I could find the skirt is still a bit too stiff and doesn’t drape as well as I should like. I’m hoping it’ll soften when washed a couple of times.

I can’t wait to make a summer version of this. I’m thinking a nice soft linen or linen/cotton mix, maybe a light brown or grey…this will definitely not be the last tulip skirt!
In other (totally unrelated) news: I’ve found the perfect way to curl my very thin hair! The solution is rag curls and just 4 in total (two on each side of the head). The result is big soft curls instead of frizzy baby curls which is what I get when I try to curl my hair in any other way. I did actually take a photo of the rags in my hair but it turned out too embarrassing to post, so you’ll just have to imagine it (or look at Anna’s post on rag curls).

fall tova dress

I did it again…made a dress from one of Jenny‘s patterns that is.
This time it’s another Tova Dress.

The fabric is a linen that I picked up locally because it was on sale (and because I immediately thought it would be perfect for this pattern).

(the colors are more true in the first picture, the fabric is a dark navy blue). The linen makes this a great between the seasons dress.

I’ve been sewing a lot this year but I’m amazed how much of a difference practice makes. With every item I make my sewing is getting faster and neater at the same time. Practice really does make perfect (although I’m still a long long way from perfect!).

It’s not really that wrinkly as it appears in the photo. Or maybe it is and I’m in denial.
I see endless combination possibilities for this dress and look forward to wearing it a lot this fall. Oh, one alteration I made was lengthen it by about 2 or 3 inches, to make it wearable at work. I always have a hard time buying dresses, because the fashionable length is just that little bit shorter than I feel comfortable wearing (I’m officially a prude).
So good that there’s great fabric and patterns out there so I can make the things I like. Which reminds me, both the Tova dress and the Tank pattern are available for preorder at Wiksten right now! Go get sewing in my stead, as I’ll be busy moving in the next weeks and won’t come near my sewing machine too often I’m afraid 🙂

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 top

After making the dress from this pattern a couple of weeks ago, I really wanted to try out the top version as well.

The fabric I decided upon and waited patiently to ship to me is from the Victoria and Albert Collection The Grand Tour and it was a real pleasure to work with. The grey fabric I made the dress out of was slippery and shifty but this quilting weight print was wonderful to sew with.

And finally it looks just as good on the inside as on the outside! I have to mention again how very well made Jenny’s (from Wiksten) patterns are, this top has all french seams and beautifully neat binding finishes at the collar and arms. Very important details for us serger-less crowd!

I love how the top looks simple but classy but is so versatile at the same time! It can be worn with virtually anything both in summer and with a shirt underneath in winter, tucked inside pants or left loose. I think the simple graphic print works nicely with my favourite canary yellow cardigan or boldly coloured scarves and other prints. We’ve been having an uncharacteristically hot spring so this was finished just in time!

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 🙂

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).