January 27, 2013

Stashbusting sweatshirt dress

Oh my goodness, I've been so tired this week, I've started working 75% instead of 50%. I intended to post about my sweatshirt dress days ago, I even had the photos and everything, but there was just no energy for it... Well, better late than never I guess, so here I am.

In the last issue of 2012 of Allt om handarbete Sömnad, a Swedish sewing magazine, there were a lot of dresses and raight away I liked the sweatshirt dress. I didn't have sweatshirt fabric but some heavier jersey, which I later on realized was a double knit (I have never understood when others have been writing about double knits what they were, but now I do after seeing my own fabric. It's kind of two jersey fabrics stuck together.) I traced the pattern for size EU46 which is was I normally wear, cut and sew the dress together and this is what I ended up with...

 Yep! That's a TENT, ladies and gentlemen!

In these photos, underneath the dress(?) I'm wearing sweat pants, a longsleeved t-shirt and a wool cardigan and it doesn't even show... and it's also too long.

Some work had to be dont before I could wear this in public. I had to take in the sleeves the sides and make a sort of dart down the center back. I also unpicked the hem and cut off about 2-3 inches off the length.

Here's the dress looking somewhat better. I lined the hood with turquoise cotton jersey, which I also used for the pockets and I found a turquoise zipper in the right length. (Yep, it's the same jersey I used to underline the Tiramisu dress. I bought the fabric at a charity shop it was 4-5 metres for about £5 and it has been very useful!)

The dress is super comfy and I've worn it three times in the last week, wearing it right now actually. The fabric is rather warm so the dress has been great now that it's been so cold here in Sweden.

Don't know if you can see the long dart in the center back, but it's there...
 Quite a difference from the first photos, the dress is still big (and comfy) but it's not a tent anymore. After the dress was finished, or I thought it was finished, I wore it to work one day and realised that the sleeves just were too long, something had to be done. So I cut them off! and made new, longer cuffs, which is very cute, I think.

Not the best photo, but I hope the new cuff is visible. Now the dress is finally finished. So between this dress and the Tiramisu dress I've had some bad luck lately when it comes to fit and size. Am I really not as big as I think or what's going on? Both the Tira and the sweatshirt dress were too big to start with and I had to size them down considerably before they were ok. I have chosen size after my measurements, but still ended up with too large garments. Hmm.... strange...

Anyway, I'm working on starting some new projects.and I will also be back with the result of the Stashbusting sewalong.

Bye for now,


January 21, 2013

Tiramisu dress - finally wearable

I have been taking part in the 30 minutes a day Tiramisu knit dress sewalong, but when I was almost finished I ran into some huge problems...

A while back I bought some super cute jersey fabric, it's green with darker green polka dots (or swiss dots, I don't know the difference between those...). Almost immediately I knew I wanted to use it for a Tiramisu dress and when the sewalong came along shortly after it was such a great coincidence.

This is how I wore it today to work, with a grey cardigan and my new boots!

I found my size which can be bit tricky and traced the pattern as I usually do. I cut out the fabric and sewed up the dress until I came to the part when you baste the sides together and try the dress on...

The fit was ALL WRONG! The seam that's supposed to go right under the bust was just above my waist and the shape was just not good. The fabric was too lightweight and stretchy, everything showed like pantylines and tummyfat. I kind of froze and didn't know what to do at that point, so I abandonned the dress for a few days. I also wrote a comment in the Flickr group about this frustration and got some awesome help and encouragement. Yay for sewalongs! :)

So two days ago I finally started to rescue the dress. I cut it apart where I had serged the pieces together and unpicked the basting. I just couldn't bear to do something to the neckbinding or the sleeve bindings, too much hassle. I adjusted the size of the bodice from a 35D to a 30D and also the waistbands. Then I cut out all the pattern pieces from a sturdier jersey fabric except for the neck and sleeve bindings .

I attached the underlining bodice to the shell by overlocking or zigzagging. The dress looks AWFUL on the inside but at least now I can wear it! :) I also had to omit the pockets because they did nothing for my already wide hips...

I had already top-stitched the neck binding using a twin needle so I used zigzag to attach the underlining.
Here you can see the zigzag on the inside of the neck binding.

Now the dress looks alright and I even wore it to work today. I haven't finished the hemline and I don't think I will either.

Look, no gaping!

The Tiramisu dress is a really pretty and flattering dress once you've figured out the fit, but for me it did not go as smoothly as I had anticipated. But I do recommend the pattern!

Back soon with the dress that I made while pausing the Tira dress,


January 15, 2013

Sewalong fun!

I really like participating in the fun sewalongs that some of the creative people here in the sewing blogosphere come up with and host. Right now I'm taking part in three sewalongs.

There is the Sew Colette 2.0, which is taking a break right now but will resume in March. I'm really looking forward to that.

Then there is the on-going 30 minutes a day Tiramisu knit dress sewalong. My participation has been very chopped up, but right now I'm in the same stage as everyone else.


And today I read about the fantastic Stashbusting sewalong 2013 and decided to join in! I have committed to use at least six pieces of fabric from my stash this year. This sewalong seems superfun with one theme a month and challenges with prizes! Yay! I'm so in!

Stashbusting Sewalong

I have also committed to some other sewing goals for 2013. I'm in the jar of Karen from didyoumakethat. My sewlution is to  sew garments with bound buttonholes, welt pockets, zippered pockets as I want to learn new techniques.

Now I just hope the I can combine some of these sewalongs, that would be really cool.
Are you in any of these sewalongs or any other that I don't know about?
Bye for now,

January 12, 2013

Winner of my giveaway!

Ok, time to announce the winner of my giveaway since it's past noon on January 12th. Even though there were only two participants, I still used a random number generator. Eitchy was no. 1 and Gjeometry Catja was no. 2.

And so, the winner is EITCHY! Congratulations! I will e-mail you to get your address.

Well, I must say, this giveaway turned out to be quite a flop. Last time (last summer) I at least got six comments=six participants, this time there were only two. Which is.. kind of surprising because I've had over 500 pageviews since I announced the giveaway... weird...don't people want to win stuff? Was my prize not desirable enough? Hmmm....

Anyway, this was it for now and I hope Eitchy will be happy with her prize.

Bye for now,


January 05, 2013

It's in the bag - My version of the bag from the Burdastyle sewing handbook

The other day I finally had enough of my purse. It's been nothing but trouble... First one of the swivel clasp on the shoulder strap broke (actually fell to pieces) after only a few days. Then there was the outside zipper pocket, where the zipper never has worked, not even after going to the store to get it fixed. I haven't had for six months even, the shortest period of time for me ever. And it's just hard to find a good purse...

So, why not MAKE the perfect purse?! That's what I thought to myself anyway... Said and done!

I started by thinking what I was looking for in a purse - size, number of pockets, types of pockets etc. Iliked the size of my old, stupid purse so I went from there. I also remembered that there was a bag in the Burdastyle sewing handbook. I used that pattern and adapted it to fit my needs.

Here's a BUNCH of photos from the process...

All the fabric pieces and the sketch of my purse.

One of the side pieces. I made pleats instead of gathers at the bottom because of the heavy fabric.
Front/back lining piece with double pocket.

Other front/back lining piece with zippered pocket.
Lining completed.

Outside front/back pockets. One zippered and the other one only pressed.

Outside front/back pocket attached to front/back piece.

Shell finished. Or so I thought....

Here the lining and the shell are sewn together. I remembered to  fasten the  little side straps before sewing everuthing together.

Side strap from the outside.

Side strap from the inside.

The elastic's in the casings and fastened and the sides are stitched too. Yay! I thought, and then I realised that I had forgotten the handles.... :(

Sewing on the handles.

Handles! Yay! They turned out quite OK actually.

The shoulder strap, complete with D-rings and swivel  clasps. (Had to go to three stores to find some.)

Shoulder strap

What do I have in my purse then? Well, it's not a secret...

Side pocket - extra head scarf.

Front/back pocket - work keys and home keys

Other front/back pocket - my car key and the husband's car key

Inside double pocket - chewing gum and hankies.  Everything else jumbled around in the actual bag. I think I will have my mobile in the remaining side pocket.

Looking good on the arm...

Looking good on the shoulder...
 Hope you enjoyed all those photos. :)

I used some heavy-weight fabric (furniture fabric) from IKEA. I think they still have the print but in some less offensive colours. This is HOOOOOT pink with yellow print. I used yellow zippers and some yellow bias tape for the pockets. The thread is a slightly darker pink. The lining is some light/medium weight cotton I had in my stash. The IKEA fabric has been in my stash for quite a while. What I ended up buying to finish the purse was two 30 cm zippers, swivel clasps, D-rings and keyrings (to connect the swivel clasps and the D-rings) - much, MUCH cheaper than a new purse!

It was really fun to sew the purse, it took two days for me, but then I didn't sew all day. It was actually kind of fun NOT to use the overlocker, I used my sewing machine for everything. I recommend the pattern for anyone who would like to make their own purse.

Anyone else who has made the Burdastyle bag?

Bye for now,


January 03, 2013

Sewing room addition

Ever since I moved my sewing space downstairs to the guest bedroom I've been seeing some sort of notice board on the wall to the left of my sewing machine. I knew exactly which fabric to use for the cover, a super cute sewing themed Tilda-fabric from Panduro called Sewingbird labels.

Yesterday, I went into town with the kids and decided to finally get some that fabulous fabric. Lucky me!!! It was on sale!!! Half off, so I treated myself to a whole metre. :)

Isn't the fabric adorable?

It wasn't the first notice board I've made so it took about 15 minutes to cover the board, put the pins and clips on it and put it on the wall.

I think the fabric is gorgeous and I wouldn't mind having it all over the walls in my sewing room. :)

Sewing-wise, I'm waiting for the Tiramisu dress pattern from Cake patterns. I will participate in the Tiramisu 30 minutes a day-sewalong which starts on January 8th. I hope I get my pattern by then. Well, I already have the fabric so all I have to get for the sewalong are the notions.

And yet again, please take part in my 5000 pageviews giveaway!

Until next time,