{ PAPERCUT } Flutter blouse…

Its been quite some time since I sewed anything for myself. In my last post I mentioned that I had plans & boy have I put those plans into action. Getting going was the hardest but now that Ive hopped that procrastination hurdle, Im all fired up & ready to keep sewing sewing sewing…

While I was expecting I ordered the Papercut Flutter Blouse & could not wait to give it a go. I was curious about sizing so I waited a few months for my post-baby weight loss to steady itself & then measured myself up & went for a medium which seemed perfect until I wore it for a day & realised I could’ve actually gone for the small…..

Let me start by saying everything about this pattern is just gorgeous. Right from the ordering process, posting – which is free worldwide by the way, delivery, packaging { OH THE PACKAGING…DROOL }, the pattern itself – everything folks, just everything. They can do no wrong in my eyes. And no, Im not affiliated or being paid big bucks to say this. They just impress the crap out of me. If I were indeed pressed to give any strike I would say that I prefer sewing with a 1,5cm seam allowance as opposed to a 1cm however that would be my only micro mini grunt. Papercut_flutter1

I used this 100% viscose crepe purchased from Buttinette while on sale. Its heavy-ish but with a lovely drape. I used a white bias tape for the neckline and doubled over my hems on the sleeves & waist but my next Flutter blouse I plan to use the bias tape exposed on the neckline & edge of sleeves. Yup, already planning another Flutter – this time with the longer sleeve option. I tried to match pattern where possible but since the pattern is so random it was difficult to do everywhere. The birds just make me happy & apparently they make other people happy too because I always seem to get people asking about this blouse whenever I wear it.

Not much else to say about this top besides that its up there as one of the most satisfying sews ever for me. It was quick, easy & just what I needed to get my sewjo kickstarted. I should also just apologize up front for the crappy pic above. Im having to chose my bridges carefully these days & unfortunately time doesn’t allow for pretty photoshopped, light corrected, cropped & crazy pics. Soon hopefully…..SOON.🙂

Take care all x

{ SEWING IN 2016 } Plans…

Ive been out of sewing action for a few months but here is me telling you that my will to sew is back!

Baby has been all-consuming, therefore its been tough to find the time to sew…or do anything really but bubs is getting bigger. He doesnt need my 100% attention any longer & finally he’s linking those sleep cycles in the day better so he’s sleeping longer which gives me more time to do me stuff. Some people asked me why I dont sew in the evenings & here’s the thing : I dont like sewing in the evenings very much. I prefer natural daylight as opposed to artificial light. Also, the room I used to hang my laundry & do my ironing is now the baby room so all that laundry ended up in my sewing room! We finally decided our bathroom was big enough to take the laundry, it just needed planning so we’ve installed the wardrobes we always wanted, installed the hanging rail for laundry & all that laundry crap has moved out.

In the months that I haven’t been sewing Ive been taking advantage of fabric & pattern sales so I have a lot of good materials stocked up just waiting for some action. Cant wait.

One of the first things I need to do is re-measure myself because our bodies change shape after having a kid. I somehow managed to lose all my pregnancy weight gain 6 weeks post birth & went on to lose a further 12kgs. Im not sure how, it just melted off to be honest. I dont say that braggingly either. I guess Ive just been lucky or the combination of high summer, nursing, sweating & walking just really paid off. While it may be good for my self esteem, it has presented problems with my wardrobe in the sense that a lot of my me-mades from pre-baby no longer fit… so I need to assess these & figure out which ones I love enough to alter & which to donate.

The next thing I need to do is decide on what I want to make. I know Im not even bothering with winter garb (not that I do much winter sewing anyway) so summer sewing it is. Ive had a piece of fabric earmarked for another Rachel Comey Vogue 1247 (see the first one I made). I also purchased the Papercut Flutter pattern last year so I’ll be making one of those as well as the Named Patterns Delphi Dress which I adore. Perfect for summer.

Apart from those new projects, Ive got a never-ending list of alterations I need to do to my denim shorts, some new jeans to hem (coz dammit they always too long) as well as some sewing for my sweet little boy.

Writing all this seems like Ive already bitten off more than I can chew..{ YIKES } but I guess if I dont start I’ll never know.

OHHHHHH & while I was taking that sewing pause, I purchased a new overlocker. I’ll have to tell you all about that soon. { WINK WINK }.

Ok lovelies. Till soon xx

 

{ MATERNITY } Dressing the bump…

Having recently gone through a pregnancy, I thought Id share with those of you interested in the clothes I found comfortable, practical & wearable especially during the last trimester when everything is a challenge.

To start off, I found maternity wear in the stores rather uncomfortable. I tried on quite a bit of it along the way just to see what looked good & to be honest, I never bought a single thing besides a pair of black jeans (which I wore constantly until spring hit) & a pair of blue jeans which I hardly wore at all. My sister however gifted me 2 pairs of maternity shorts she used a few  years back & I loved those. I could wear them postpartum too which was great. The rest I made and or wore regular clothes. That being said, I think I was fortunate to have my final months over spring/early summer so I could wear dresses & skirts which flared nicely over the bump.

For me right up until the end I was able to wear mostly regular clothes on my top half. I found t-shirts, knit/jersey tops really practical. The lower half I dressed in the aforementioned black jeans or the Megan Neilsen Ruched Maternity Skirt (now called the Erin Maternity Skirt). I made this in black & wore it alot. Easy to make & super comfortable. Also easy to dress up or just be casual in. I also made the Megan Neilsen Alissa Maternity top without the long ties, ie. just to tuck into the skirt but ended up making it too big so only wore it once.

Another item I made was Butterick 5796 top (view A) with the twisty detail and loved that paired with said jeans or ruched skirt. The detail on the top was super fiddly but once I got it right it went together really well. Would i make it again….probably not. B5796IMG_4028

I purchased a few other maternity patterns that I wanted to try but never got around to it. If Im ever lucky enough to be pregnant again I might try them otherwise I’ll gift those patterns to someone somewhere along the line.

So, what did I wear besides these pieces I made ? Well, I purchased maxi dresses in knit fabrics (boobtube style) for the summer which I wore endlessly especially right in the end. They were super comfie & gave bump the space it needed with no squeezing of the waist etc. Id highly recommend these types of dresses. I jazzed them up with a cardigan or kimono over if I needed…or as per below with a gold belt.19

I also wore alot of non-maternity pieces that Ive made but were roomy enough to accommodate bump…

Vogue 1027 which is the DKNY dress that I made back in 2013. Especially in the warmer months, this really was a go-to getup for bump & I. The fabric is a stretch & therefore fitted well, comfortably & saw me right to the very end. In fact, I wore this dress to the hospital & home again 3 days later. V1027

NL6150 in the floral. Real handy maternity tee. Its definitely all to do with the fabric I used for this because the protea one I made in cotton jersey did not fit over the bump after about 6 months.

I had made this Maria Denmark Kimono Tee (which is a free pattern if you sign up for the newsletter) in the beginning of my pregnancy & I wore it all the way through to the end. Love this Tee I have no words. Its super easy to sew together & so incredibly comfie. You’ll notice I used black & coral quite a bit over the pieces – wasn’t planned, just worked out that way🙂Kimono Tee

McCalls 6751 made in a polycotton black with pink polka came in handy. Its slightly short in the front but paired with my black maternity shorts or ruched skirt, was a winner.

For special occasions, the V2091 DKNY black number proved stretchy enough to cover the bump for a function at 7 months but I doubt it would have stretched much more to accommodate anything much later.  Unfortunately the V2091 is OOP.

NL6254 I blogged about during my pregnancy so you can read about that top here if you missed it.

All in all, I dont think one has to spend a fortune on maternity specific items. Be sensible about what you purchase if you do & if you make anything, be sure to make wrap dresses that can be worn again or basics like the ruched skirt that can go with absolutely anything. That would be my advice.

So to all of you expecting, Congratulations & good luck with dressing your bump. Any questions, do shout.

xxAnge

 

…Im in sewing pause mode

Since my last post announcing the birth of our baby boy, Ive not had time to do anything sewing related, except purchase a pattern or two & sew a border to a baby blanket!

I stare at my sewing machines every day while I hold this precious bundle & even though I long to get back to sewing I acknowledge that these early baby days are few & I may never get to have them again.quinn1

Lil’guy is 11 weeks today. The first 8 weeks were tough. Let me say it again, T O U G H. He’s just emerging out of the ‘hold-me-all-the-time’ phase which has been particularly exhausting as he wouldn’t sleep (or do anything in fact)unless he was held. He also had reflux issues which seem to be improving now thank goodness. I know everyone tells you how hard the first 3 months will be but boy oh boy, nothing can prepare you!

We coming out the worst of it hopefully so all we’ve got to look forward to now is teething & the teenage years, amiright?!? haha

Love this lil’guy to bits so do excuse me while the sewing stays on pause for just a short while longer…

Hope you’re all well. xxAnge

{ SPECIAL DELIVERY } …

Our special delivery arrived on Friday, 3rd July 2015 at 08h04.  baby1

He is by far the finest & most rewarding me-made ever and I still find myself in awe of the fact that I made him. Feel so blessed and grateful.

Mommahood so far has been a whirlwind of adjustment – something no-one could ever have prepared me for, but at the same time just full of beautiful moments.

If you dont already follow me on Instagram, click on the right IG sidebar now & you’ll see more pics!

Trust you are all well. Hope to be back at the sewing machine soon-ish😉

Ange x

 

 

{ SIMPLICITY } Star Sewist Blogger Challenge

On a total whim, I decided to take part in the Simplicity Star Sewist Challenge because lets face it, who wouldn’t like to win a years supply of patterns amiright ?!? So I chose to go with the dressmaking pattern, New Look 6145, because I like dresses & I knew dressing my baby bump would be easier adjusting this pattern to maternity rather than the other two patterns on offer. NL615_side3 Out came a beautiful piece of navy linen which I accented with some navy & white Shweshwe fabric I purchased while on holiday at home in January. The two pair really well I think. I sized up in general to allow for my pregnancy measurements as well as a little extra for ease. At first I was just going to use the shweshwe for the sleeves & inner facing but then decided rather than make my side seam godet inserts in linen, to make these in shweshwe too. I wasnt entirely sold on the contrast so I cut one of each, basted them both in & decided almost instantly on going with the shweshwe contrast as soon as I saw the dress semi-fitted. In all honesty, the inserts dont work 100% because I didnt trim off the angle required on the side seams. I left them as they should be because I really want to remove the shweshwe panels once Im able to wear the dress post-pregnancy. The inserts really just give me the added space for the baby bump & ass. NL6145_side Overall, it was an easy sew & I { ADORE } the pleated sleeves…but then again, Im gaga over pleated anything! NL6145_front Thank you to Simplicity for offering the challenge & for the free pattern. I’ll certainly be making more of these shift dresses in the future. Also, good luck to all the sewcialists that have entered the competition. Cant wait to see who wins.

This will probably be my last sew for myself until after baby arrives. Im finding the bump so hard to gauge on size since Im in the final weeks & this Noodle is growing like crazy. Ive also hit the exhausted & rather uncomfortable stage so sitting for hours in front of my sewing machine is proving a little challenging. Ive gained 10kgs until now & Im feeling every.single.gram I tell ya. Ive had a relatively uneventful pregnancy to be honest with very few issues but these final few weeks things have definitely amped up. Dont get me wrong, Im loving being preggy & I couldn’t be more grateful for what is about to change our lives forever but this third trimester is tough on your body & your mind. Anyway, hope you’ve enjoyed my little me-made. Till soon. Ange x

{ DECOR } Sunshine roman blinds…

One would think being in the interior industry, self-made decor would come naturally to me.

Yip, ONE. WOULD. THINK!

The opposite is true for me in fact. I previously loathed doing my own home decor sewing. Curtains, blinds, cushions, the lot…. { LOATHE IT }. It most probably has much to do with the fact that Ive always had professional curtain workshops make my clients curtains, bedspreads, blinds etc & it may have become a luxury to have the same workshops whip up things for me in the past too. Decor sewing always reminded me too much of work & I prefer sewing garments anyway.

Since moving to Austria, I have found it incredibly difficult to find such workshops in & ’round my ‘hood. They probably exist in the big cities but since I live in the sticks, it really has forced me to make things myself.

I really needed to get some window dressings for the baby room so I decided to do simple roman blinds complicated with the need to line these with a good block out lining because the morning sun streams in through the one window & the other window is flooded with an annoying 10,000,000 watt halogen flood light from a neighbour that Im pretty convinced is signaling aliens “Land Here”! Cant have either!!

As you know, we are not aware of whether we’re expecting a boy or girl so we needed to go with something kinda neutral. Yellow is neutral. Non?

I had purchased this happy Ikea fabric a year or two ago just coz I loved it & had cushions planned in but never got to it. Unfortunately 2m was only sufficient for one window so off I darted to Ikea to pick up a further 2m. Thank goodness Ikea still had & might I add, still at the same price! I love the ‘watercolour-type’ effect of the yellow especially. stockholm-meterware-gelb__0175068_PE328506_S4

Since I had never made roman blinds before, I went into this project…well…blind. I hit YouTube for a tut & came across this Debbie Shore video. She explains things so well, I actually felt like I had the confidence to give it a go.  Here are the results : roman_blinds_1

roman_blinds_2

We have aluminium venetian blinds integrated to the windows already which when closed give good results but the blinds just add something extra to the room & the blockout does its job extremely well. No more halogen flood lights, thanks neighbours! Instead of installing cleats to the wall to wind the cords, I use the integrated venetian blind fixings because I hardly ever lift the venetians so there was no point in adding extra cleats for the romans. By the way, WTF is up with blinds being named after the Italians???

My experience with decor in general is vast even though I haven’t actually made things myself. Working with professionals in the industry though, I have learned a thing or 10 about the do’s and don’ts so I’ll share some essential tips.

Always use the best quality supplies you can afford. Don’t be tempted to use cheap alternatives because especially with blinds & curtains, the sun does damage & cheap supplies will just fall apart in no time.  Good quality lining is paramount.

Check your measurements again…..& again before cutting anything!!

Work systematically – it really does help to keep things clear especially when you’re dealing with various sized windows. Lengths & widths can vary ever so slightly so deal with one window before moving onto another.

Make worksheets. Simple diagrams with measurements will help. { PROMISE }.

Take your time.

Ive also included a list with links to the various places I purchased my supplies if your’e interested. Im supplying these links because Im thoughtful, not because Im affiliated in any way. Clear!

Supplies :

{ Fabric } : Ikea Stockholm

{ Lining } : Black out “Natur”

{ Blind fittings } : Toggles, tapes, cords etc

{ Batons } : Husband supplied

{ Rods } : Bauhaus

We’re almost finished with setting up the baby room so I’ll be sure to update pics as soon as its all done.

Hope you’re all well

x Ange

{ New Look 6254 } The non-maternity, maternity top…

Ive not wanted to turn this blog into a maternity/pregnancy blog by any means but the fact is Im expecting & since I sew mostly for myself, its natural that Id hit a stage whereby my life would be consumed with baby stuff, baby bump & dealing with dressing it. So feel free to skip these maternity frock posts if you have no interest – I dont mind🙂

This New Look pattern has been in my pattern stash since 2004, not because I was hoping to be pregnant by then { NOOOO }. I bought it because it looked cute. Its not a maternity pattern BTW !!! After making it way back then & realising it made me look extremely pregnant, I decided to hang on to it for that day Id need it. Well folks, that day came – about 2 weeks ago. Im only due in July so its going to heat up pretty soon & then there’s the postnatal period which still requires a little bit of maternity wear so I decided to give this a go. NL6254 I used a polyester from my stash, probably also purchased around 2004 believe it or not. I was never overly fond of the fabric so I figured if the top didnt work for me, it would be no great loss. Turns out, I really like the fabric now that its made up.  It pairs well with both white & blue which will be perfect for Summer. I lined the bodice with a cream cotton to keep things stable. There should have been more gathers under the bust however on fitting, I realised it was a little too snug gathered right up so I let them out a little to allow for some extra room for the growing bewbs. Its still a little snug so Im hoping these milkies dont grow too much more. NL6254_side On the up side, there is plenty room on the lower front for the expanding baby bump. The sides have splits to a decent height allowing for extra swish which is nice. NL6254_side2Overall, its a quick easy sew & a top suitable for maternity, although it wouldnt work as a nursing top unfortunately. Now, all I need is the snow to move on out so the sun can come out. Roll on Summer. x

{ NEW LOOK 6248 } The quick linen skirt…

It was the weekend before the Monday we were leaving to go on holiday….so what did I do….well, I whipped up a last minute skirt for the holidays didnt I?!? Dont you?

Good thing this tried ‘n tested pattern is a breeze.

Might I also add this was { LAST } year Summer. Whoops!NL6248

I used some of the 100% white linen I had left over from the shirt-dress. Love the fabric. It may crease like no-ones business but its crispness is such a pleasure in the heat.

I made view E without the ruffles, which admittedly woulda looked really cool but I didnt have the time to ruffle about in honesty. 8 panels sewn together, each seam topstitched with a 4,5 length on my Sapphy, in go the facings & the zip, hem & she’s done.

Easy as that. N6248

Just thought Id share if any of you are considering this little skirt for the coming summer.

Till soon my dears xx

PS – Ive paired the skirt above with the BurdaStyle wrap top I made yonks ago incase you interested in that pattern.

{ BIGGEST, TOUGHEST } project of my life…

Lovelies –

Ive eluded to my absence in the recent past & although I dont feel pressure as such to post to my blog regularly any more, I have felt a little guilty for keeping you all in the dark. Your’e not just readers. I value you all as friends – whether Ive personally met you or not. Anyway, the time feels right to let you in on my news… 19

The hubster & I are expecting.

After many many years of trying, we’ve finally been blessed. We are so very grateful for this little miracle & Ive naturally done everything to protect & grow this little human to give it the best opportunity for a healthy start in life.  Having just passed the halfway point in the pregnancy journey, things are now moving full steam ahead in preparation for the lil’un to arrive early Summer.

In other news…

I havent been doing much sewing to be honest. I took a little break in November-ish time to focus on the pregnancy & then December I caught a cold. With no medication allowed, the cold developed into a chest infection with a very slow recovery unfortunately. I did manage to make a maternity skirt and some other small things which I’ll share over the next few weeks.

Mid-January we jetted off down south for 3 weeks to visit family & friends back in my ‘hood. It was so lovely to get away from the cold, fuel up on sun & love before returning to what is hopefully the last of the cold weather.

Since the bump is growing Im having to make up some more maternity items which is really exciting. Ive naturally been going through all the maternity patterns available & Im thrilled to see there are some real lovely options available out there….but still, are there enough?! .

Thats all the news I have for now. Trust you’re all healthy & happy

xAnge