What a disaster!

I have a mountain of scrap fabric, an actual mountain, all sorts of fabric, all different sizes. Some so small that I wonder why I kept it! Don’t ask me why, but I just can not throw them away! You just never know what they could be used for! Yesterday, I was going through my closet and I just had enough. I wanted to finally use them for something usefull. So I came up with this fabulous idea! Something small off course, because there were only small pieces of fabric in this mountain. I decided to make my own Christmas decorations! Seemed so special! All kinds of bright fabrics in my tree, in different shapes and sizes. How cool would that be!?!

First, getting ideas. The fun part. Pinterest, Google. I spend a couple of hours searching and browsing for ideas. And I found a lot! And a lot of beautiful things. I really got excited! I started writing them all down, with little drawings on the site. I even drew a couple of templates. A star, 2 kinds of Christmas trees, a stocking, 3 types of balls… I started taking pictures of my work in progress to put on this blog to display my beautiful work. Well, turns out, I will use these pictures to display my failure. I still can not believe that I waisted half a day on this!

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I started going through my scrapes. That alone took me over 2 hours! Especially sorting them was a challenge, I tried by size, by colour, by type of fabric… Finally I went with 2 piles, one with colours that were Christmasy, and one with all the rest. There were so much fabrics in my Christmas pile that I then tried sorting that pile. I didn’t get very far. There were just too many kinds of fabrics and too many ideas in my head! The only solution I had was just to try something. To actually cut and sew. I took a couple of fabrics, 3 templates, cut out a couple of them and started sewing. Finally.

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Again, I didn’t get far. After the first one I saw that this wasn’t gonna work. It didn’t look good and I reaslised that I just don’t have enough patience to do such a delicate, fiddly work. I tried all the others, just in case and threw them all away. No home-made Christmas decorations in this house I’m afraid! Not this year, nor any year to come.

What was I thinking getting into this?! I think my mum, whilst reading this, will shake her head in disbelief that I even thought I could pull this off. I don’t have the patience for this kind of work, nor do I like the precision that is necessary to do it! Well, at least now I know never to attempt anything like it again. Or maybe use felt next time…

All was not lost in the end. After sorting my scraps yet again, I had another fabulous scrap-project-idea. But you will have to wait till after Christmas to read about it 🎅🎄🎁 😉

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What about you? Have you ever attempted a project that turned out to be a huge failure in the end? Or attempted something that is just not you, like I did? And how much scraps do you have? And what do you do with it? Let me know! I have enough scraps left for a couple of more projects! Leave a reply and tell us all about it!

I actually hope some of you did make your own Christmas decorations. And if so, please showcase them with proud, not everyone can do it!

If you want to know the update of this story (after Christmas) or want to know more about what I do (or try to do) click the small, blue “follow” button (bottom right)!

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What a disaster!

Is it a jacket?

No, it’s a curtain. Or at least, that is what it used to be.

This is one of my projects where I only use fabrics I already own (full story here) and up till now, the most challenging one, but also the most rewarding one.

I started off with this beautiful piece of curtain. I found it a year ago in a charity shop/thrift shop. It is pink with white strips and immediately reminded me of these iconic Chanel jackets we all know and love.

Vintage Chanel Jacket
CHANEL Vintage Bouclé Jacket
CHANEL Vintage Bouclé Jacket
CHANEL Vintage Bouclé Jacket

The idea was there, but there was one big problem, the curtain was nowhere big enough to make a classic jacket like these. I did have a pattern for a simplified jacket, one with a shorter raglan sleeve that seemed the perfect fit for my curtain. But then again, even when I opened up every seam in the curtain, there was no way I could fit all pattern pieces. So I cut the ones that did fit, the back, 2 front panels and both sleeves. To fit the sleeves, I had to shorten them a bit and there was no way I could do pattern matching. I had no facing whatsoever, so no way to actually finish the jacket. So back to my fabric closet. I decided to use a leftover from the curtains I recently made. It’s beige, but when put against the pink, it seems to mimic the pink color somehow and it matches beautiful.

20151020_114251For the lining I originally wanted to use just a plain white cotton, until I stumbled upon this beautiful vintage floral design, a piece of fabric from my late grandmother. Big enough to actually do pattern matching! And so gorgeous that this lining is my favourite part of the jacket.

This was a very challenging piece. I had no plan when I started sewing, so I didn’t even knew if I could even finish it. But I believe that if I had tried to put together all 3 types of fabric for this jacket before starting to actually cut or sew, it never would have ended up this way. I never would have thought of using this other curtain for the facing and I definitely wouldn’t have used my floral cotton for the lining. I found it easier to be creative by just doing, cutting a piece of fabric, pinning them together, changing things, grap a piece of fabric, put it back, grap another, rethink, regroup and just try. And make it work. When-faced-with-a-challenge-look-for-a-way-not-a-way-out.

I am absolutely in love with my curtain-jacket. It is by far my favourite piece I have ever made! Cool detail, the jacket has pockets, made out of an old silk scarf.

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Pattern: Chloe Jacket, La Maison Victor

Is it a jacket?

To wear or not to wear…

Do you know that feeling? You just finished a new piece of clothing and you are incredibly proud of it. You show your spouse, your children , maybe your mom or a good friend and then… doubt sets in. Is it actually okay? Can I really wear this in public? Can you see this is homemade? There is this flaw here, do you see it? My husband always puts me at ease with it, ensuring me that it truly, pinky-swear, absolutely, certainly, without any doubt, really looks good. And after a while, I believe it and I decide to wear it with confidence and proud!

And then the day comes I really want to wear it, and doubt sets in again. I quickly put together another outfit, just in case… And again I go back and forth between doubt and proud. After an hour or so, I decide to wear my homemade outfit, but not without asking my husband 50 times, if “it really looks ok” and not without doubting it the whole way there, rubbing every flaw, trying to make it go away and checking if no seams have ripped or so.

I see people sewing gorgeous clothes and showing them with proud. Even wearing them the same day they finished it. And I can’t help but feel envious. Not for the garments themselves, I truly believe mine look just as good, but the confidence in which they are able to showcase them to the world. Not carring about that flaw in the seam, or that smal pucker in the sleeve. I know, I shouldn’t care what others think. My garments look decently made, some even look extremely good on me, but still… How proud I may be about a certain garment, doubt always sets in. Clothes are extremely important to me. It defines who you are and how you present yourself to the world. The right piece of clothing can make you feel confident, powerfull and beautiful. But clothes can evenly so make you feel helpless or invisible. The wrong piece of clothing can make you feel like you are naked in plain sight, even when you are fully dressed. The best garments are the ones that are so comfortable you are unaware of what you are wearing, but at the same time make you feel so beautiful that you stand up straight and walk with confidence. Clothes, hair and make-up may seem superficial to a lot of people, but maybe they never felt the power of them. It can change who you are, change how you feel. That is why I love fashion, and why I love sewing. Clothes define you, and that is why I love my own garments, but that is also why I am so scared of wearing them.

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This weekend I did something I’ve never done before. We had to go to a dinnerparty with my husband’s bosses/colleagues and I wore an outfit I completely made myself. Trousers, a blouse and a jacket. I even wore it with proud and confidence… and I only asked my husband 20 times if “it really looks ok”.

What about you? Do you wear your own garments with proud or doubt? And do you believe in the power of fashion? Let me know your thoughts!

To wear or not to wear…

Dummy-update

He did it! He has put his dummy in the bag, and just went to sleep!

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I am always a very proud mom, but this seems an important milestone and now I am incredibly proud! It actually went so smoothly that I wonder why I did’t do this earlier.

As promised, SantaClaus came to get the bag and replaced it with a well-deserved present! 🎅🎁

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Have a nice weekend everybody! See you again on monday! 😙💞

Dummy-update

A chair and a moustache

I have been wanting to make this pattern since I bought the magazine about a year ago, but I never knew what fabric to buy. Since I am not allowed to buy fabric now (why not?), I just needed to find enough fabric in my closet to make it. Which was actually not so difficult this time, since I just didn’t have that much to choose from. The only cuff fabric I had was a soft beige and because I don’t have any sweater fabric in my stock, I decided to use an old sweater of mine. I chose this ugly turtleneck sweater, plain white, with no shape whatsoever. I never wore it, so I was actually very happy to see it go. As you can see, the pattern askes for a “leather”-patch on the shoulder and luckily for me, I do have a small piece of black imitation leather! But in the end, I didn’t use it 😄

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Call it a stroke of luck, or just coincidence but when I took out this piece of leather, I found 2 small pieces of this beautiful, rich-brown, soft fabric. The perfect color to fit the white and the beige and the perfect strength to replace the imitation leather. The sweather turned out gorgeous, still a bit too big, but my son will soon grow into it. Because I loved the way the brown looked against the white, I made a big moustache out of it and stuck it on with vliesofix. I debated whether or not to also sew it, but I like the raw edges, makes it look a bit more realistic. And I can always do that later.

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Now, what has the chair to do with this sweater and the moustache? Well, a couple of years ago, my husband and I upholstered some old chairs and we only had 2 very small pieces of fabric left afterwards 😇 Now, I only have one.

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Pattern: http://www.lamaisonvictor.com/nl/products/054866/Leather-Sweater-patroon-video (dutch, french or german)

A chair and a moustache

A star, a dummy and santa-claus

I have been trying to convince my almost 3-year old to give up his dummy. He only uses it at night to fall asleep, never during the day, but stil, it is bad for his teeth and he is now at the age he has to learn to live without. I told him a couple of weeks ago that SantaClaus has this tree where he hangs all the dummies and if a child is good and doesn’t cry for his dummy at night, SantaClaus sends him a present. Apparently this idea got stuck in his head and he has been asking me questions about this tree ever since.

IMG_20151014_163938When I was sewing yesterday, he came to sit with me and started talking about it again. So I decided to make a little bag to put the dummy in to send to SantaClaus. My son immediately loved the idea, even more when I told him he could choose the fabric and even help me sewing it! Since I didn’t found anything I liked, I made this one, it turned out so nice that I wanted to share it with you.

It is originally star shapped, very easy to make and the finished result lookes like a little pyramid.

This is how you do it:

1. Decide how big you want the hexagon shaped end-result to be (mine had sides of 8cm) and draw a star around this hexagon. Cut out 2 of these stars in fabric and 6 strings (mine were around 12cm long).

2015-10-15 11.02.382. Sew the stars together, right sides facing. At each tip of the star you sew in a string. Leave a couple of centimeters open to turn.

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3. Turn inside out, pulling each string. Close the turning hole.

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4. Fold the star in half (right side in) and sew 2 legs together, leaving a couple of cm open on top (2.5cm in this case). Repeat until you have sewn all legs together, turn to see the pyramid shape.

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Isn’t it cool?! I hope you all like it as much as I do! If my tuto isn’t all that clear, just let me know! And if you decide to make one, please send me a picture of the finished result!

As for the dummy. It is still in my son’s bed, I really hope he will put it in the bag when he is ready. To be prepared, SantaClaus already send me a present, just in case 🎁😉

Don’t forget to read the update on this story!

A star, a dummy and santa-claus

About a couple of grandmothers

Don’t ask me why I decided to start with this particular project. I guess I just fell in love with the pattern and this piece of fabric seemed to me the best choice to do it in.

The fabric I am talking about I found in my late grandmother’s sewing closet. She used to be a wonder in all sorts of handy work: crochet, knitting, embroidery, sewing… Unfortunately she fell ill and died very young, so I never had the chance to learn from here. I find it a blessing that I am able to use the fabrics that she bought a long time ago, and I hope I am honouring her in this way and she would approve of the things I am making with it.

This particular piece of fabric is a very soft, lightweight cotton. White, with blue and red stripes, making a very interesting plaid design. Although the fabric is probably more than 30 years old, it still feels very modern to me. There were 2 small pieces of this fabric, my grandmother probably bought it on a market in the leftovers corner. And of course, the pieces of fabric were to small for this particular pattern. I know you are not supposed to do this, but I decided to cut the sleeves in the other direction, so cross the grainline. It may not be as strong, but my pattern pieces fitted and the design on the fabric didn’t change.

20150915_095639Another adjustment I made was in the back. Because I was using a non-stretch fabric, I was scared that I wouldn’t be able to put it on. So I decided to leave a couple of centimeters open and use a very small button to close it on top. Turns out, I can easily put it on, so the adjustment and the button weren’t necessary, but on the other hand, it still makes for a beautiful back.

The rest was pretty straight forward, follow the instructions and wait for the finished result. I am very happy with the way it turned out, I know the finishing on it is pretty good and I love the design of the blouse. As for the fabric, even though blue is definitely not my color, the white and the red balances it out and it actually looks good on me.

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I know the title says that this is about a couple of grandmothers and so far I only mentioned one. Well, I wore this blouse to my other grandmother’s 80the birthday party. Seemed special somehow.

Pattern: http://www.burdastyle.com/pattern_store/patterns/wrap-blouse-042014 Continue reading “About a couple of grandmothers”

About a couple of grandmothers