Knitting · Sewing

When your sewing mojo comes back

 

 

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So, my sewing mojo was lost a long time. During winter and early spring all I wanted to to is knit. I forced myself to make one dress for Paris, but I didn’t feel that excitement and joy sewing usually gives me. But I am old enough to know that times like these pass and when your sewing mojo or sewjo comes back, you have hardly time for sleep and eat 🙂

I am definitely better at sewing than blogging about it, but today I am going to share one portion of this sewing spree I have had.

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Not in any particular order I am going to start with my jacket. I like to sew dresses, but I need more outerwear. One of my goals in sewing is to sew more things I really need and wear. So I went for Republique du Chiffon Nicole pattern. Obviously I skipped the quilting as I had quite thick cotton fabric I wanted to use. I didn’t want to line the jacket so I chose to finish the seams with bias binding. It took time but is so worth it! I like the jacket inside a lot more than the boring outside 🙂

 

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According to my measurements I should have made size 36 but I wanted it to be a bit more snug and as I was omitting the batting and lining I thought I will make the size 34. It works fine. I also omitted all the curvy corners.

I liked the pattern, but it was unfortunate that they didn’t have illustrations or clear explanation on how to attach the sleeves. As the body do not have an armscye, there is a question how to handle the  seam allowances under the arm.

This jacket goes well with trousers but I am jet to find a patter for a jacket that goes well with dress!

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I also made a dress for me. Although I do not need so many dresses as I wear trousers a lot more, I wanted something I could wear for a bit more formal events. Formal is very different to different people but this is how formal one freelancer is willing to go right now.

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The fabric is lovely Atelier Brunette Stardust Black double gauze. I think that their Stardust fabrics are the most beautiful polka dot fabrics in the world. The dots are placed so nicely, they do not have a geometric placing which usually kills the polka dot pattern for me. Even my husband, who is quite distant from fabric and sewing (who is my lovely photographer and do not tell me when the facing of neckline is peeking out because he does not notice such things but who marks my hemlines) instantly noticed “how beautiful dots” my dress have 🙂

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For the bodice I used my trusty old Burda Style 10/2011 dress nr 116 pattern. I don’t make the front seams but this is the only adjustment I make as this pattern fits me well and I use it all the time when I need this kind of bodice.

For the skirt part I used one width of the fabric and I also added pockets and lining.

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The fabric is the clear star in this dress and I am planning to purchase this in white and pink and …. and…. as well 🙂

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Next. I do need trousers that are not jeans. I mean, I do plan to make my own jeans as well, but I really would like to wear something else than jeans too. I am so glad that wide leg trousers feel in vogue again so I decided to use this lovely checked linen to make myself some trousers.

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I used Burda Style 06/2018 jumpsuit pattern. I added pockets, back darts, zipper and waistband. And I also lengthened the pattern as the jumpsuit is cropped.

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It is always good feeling when your two handmades go together well. I think that my trench-jacket goes well with these trousers.

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The one in our family who really do need new dresses is my daughter. She is growing so fast that last year making is already too small for her. But as she is 13 already, I do need to plan with her because she has her own taste and likings. She did not like any fabric I had in my stash (I cannot blame her, I didn’t either and that lead me to major destash) so we picked this Atelier Brunette Moonstone Pink fabric together (she really has a good taste!). We also picked the pattern together. I already had this Kalle Shirtdress pattern by Closet Case Patterns so that was easy. According to her measurements she is almost size 0 so that is what I traced. I also made a wearable muslin before cutting into this lovely fabric.

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I also knitted her a cardigan to go with it 🙂 It is made of Katia recycled cotton/poly yarn and the yoke pattern is from Drops 150-7 Fox sweater and I have made one myself (link to blog in Estonian) too.

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And as mentioned before, I do want to make more trousers for myself, I jumped on the Lander-pant bandwagon. And I am loving them as everybody else who have made them!

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I had to make a flat seat adjustment though. I didn’t think that flat seat is my issue but when I googled the wrinkles I had I decided that this is what needed. I used Style Arc tutorial. It made the situation better but not perfect. But right now it is good enough for me. And I love them anyway 🙂

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So that is it for today. I keep sewing 🙂

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Knitting · Sewing

Uniform cardigan. Inari dress. Reyna shawl. And one cardigan fail :)

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When I saw the Uniform book preview for the first time I knew right I away that I really want to have that book. I like the concept of making clothes that you would actually wear every day. I do like to sew dresses, but  I don’t wear them every day. But tunics and cardigans are the best companions for jeans which we all love so much!

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But then I started to contemplate. Do I need a pattern to knit a simple raglan cardigan? No. Do I need a new basic set in sleeve pattern to make this tunic? No. Do I already have all the knowledge and recourses to make similar cardigan and tunic? Yes.

But I still couldn’t get this book out of my mind. The style and photographs are so simple and fresh. I found myself going to the Makingzine site over and over again. And then I thought that not only the knowledge and the patterns are important to make something. It is even more important to have the inspiration. For me, a good visual is so important. And the feeling of holding a book in your hands is something else than scrolling Instagram.

So that is how I justified spending my money on something I actually didn’t need so much but wanted so much 🙂

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I started knitting the cardigan even before the postman brought me the book because I was sent the e-book some weeks before the actual launch of the book. Really nice!

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I used an unknown yarn I had purchased some years ago from Alevig. It was a real bargain. Something like 17 euros for the whole cone and the composition is wool and silk. This yarn is not soft by any means but it is not itchy either. The best word to describe it is rustic. I have worn the cardigan with a long-sleeved shirts so far and haven’t had any issues of itchiness with it.

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So I made the A-line, dropped back, simple 2×2 rib hem, tapered sleeve and simple 2×2 rib neckline version. As I completed this cardigan several weeks ago, I don’t remember whether I chose the smallest or the second smallest size…. I think I used 4 mm needles. It is amazing how easily one forgets such details 🙂

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I really like how this came out and I would like to make some more. There are so many options in the book that it was quite hard to decide. I think that I would like to make my next one from a fingering weight yarn.

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I absolutely love this yarn! Those yellow silk nepps are so subtle but add so much.

Now there is left a tunic to make, but right now I have some dresses (ha-ha) to make. But my mother has a jubilee and right now I am making a Kalle shirt dress for my daughter. And then some Ateliere Brunette Stardust for me 🙂Unfiform-12Unfiform-6

Two months ago I finished my Named Clothing Inari Tee dress. I made it specially for my first trip to Paris in the end of February/beginning of March, but it was so cold there (snowing) that I wore it only when going there and on the last day.

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Alterations that I did was lengthening the dress and I also graded the size 36 top part to size 38 lower part. I also lined the dress as I want to wear it also with tights and I cannot stand when my dress clings to my legs.

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I chose a linen (or maybe it is lined/cotton blend) fabric I bought from the Abakhan Fabrics which sells fabric remnants by kilo. Although it is linen or linen mix, I didn’t wrinkle during my flight so much as I expected. Maybe the lining helps it a bit.

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This a really lovely pattern. Simple but a little bit of twist. The side seams are brought to front a little bit, the hem is high-low and it also has a slight balloon shape. Love it! The sleeves fitted perfectly as well, this is usually when I struggle.

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And I have three different lining :))) I wanted to use silk against my upper body, so I used one thrifted silk shirt for that. But it didn’t have enough length, so I lengthened it with a viscose lining I happened to have in my stash. But as it is not matching the outer fabric, it  showed  between the slits (I should have known that). As I didn’t want to take the dress apart and change the whole lining, I just cut off what was showing and replaced it with the dark lining 🙂 Nobody sees it except me and now you too.

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So chronologically I go backwards now, because the next, failed cardigan, I completed even before the dress. Because it didn’t come out like I expected I was not going to blog it. But then I thought it is important to show also the things that go wrong to keep it real.

I wanted to make a cardigan with the similar fit of my store-bought cardigan:

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I measured it, made a swatch and everything seemed to go perfect, but then the cardigan started to grow on its own. Really. It grows even when I am not wearing it 🙂 It is the perfect example of the wrong combination of yarn and stich pattern. I used Drops Alpaca and Brushed Alpaca Silk together. Neither of them have any stretch or hold and as the brioche is prone to stretch, it did, and a lot.

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I wouldn’t say that I don’t like the cardigan. But it is too big to fit under my outerwear and even when I managed to squeeze my self and the cardigan into my winter coat, my arms looked like sausages and the feeling was not pleasant too. I have one jacket that could fit me with my cardigan in but there is another big flaw – the yarn (I blame the Brushed Alpaca silk) leaves hair everywhere! As my coat and jacket are dark and I hate operating with a lint roll, I know that I will never wear this cardigan with my coat or jacket.

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I have to say that this cardigan is very soft and squishy and my children love it. They sometimes just hug it and sometimes they use it as blanket. So I decided to not rip it and keep it next to our sofa as a family cardigan/blanket. Fortunately our sofa is not dark.

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And last but not least – my Reyna shawl. I knitted it from Juniper Moon Farm Findley yarn I bought as a souvenir from Vienna last year. I decided to knit a top down shawl to use up the whole skein. So I altered the pattern to fit the proportion.

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I knitted it with 2,5 mm needles (I am a loose knitter) and it came out really flowy and drapey. I haven’t worn it yet though.

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So that’s it. Congrats if you made it here 🙂 See you!

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Sewing

Nightgown dress

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I made a quick dress for myself. It started with the fabric – I found a piece of rayon that matched my cardigan that I was wearing at the moment and home it came with me. I didn’t have a lot of this fabric so I went for sleeveless dress and I also cut the lower part of the dress crosswise.

Helsingi 2016-58The pattern is from Burda Style Magazine 3/2012. I lengthened the skirt, rose the neckline and also gave 1 cm to the armhole (i.e. I cut 1 cm seam allowance but later finished it with bias binding, therefore it didn’t change). I also skipped these quite bizarre pleats at the back and my dress has no zipper as I can easily pull it over my head.

 

Burda Style Magazine 3/2012
Burda Style Magazine 3/2012

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So there it is – simple as nightgown 🙂

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Sewing

A coat, the Merchant&Mills Factory Dress and Camber Dress

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I like to sew dresses. Dresses always inspire me and they are fun to make. But somehow I wear dresses only at summertime. Because  when it is winter, you have to find matching coat and boots to your dress and if you haven’t planned properly, nothing in your wardrobe matches. That is often the case in my house. So I finally understood that I desperately need a good coat in my wardrobe so I could wear all the dresses I make and give my jeans a rest.

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After a long deliberation I decided to use the pattern from the Burda Style Magazine 08/2014. This pattern is for tall women and I am not tall. Maybe that was causing some fitting issues I had to fix. My mother is my “sewing buddy” but she lives far so my husband had to manage to do the fitting. It was not the smoothest but together we managed to raise the shoulder in strategic spots and this helped to fix the crossing fronts.
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I also managed to burn the front with the iron although the material is wool. So I had to make a seam to the fronts (to replace the burnt shoulder) and because I already had the seams, I also made the in seam pockets too.

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I also lengthened the coat, because my dresses are usually knee-height.  The fabric is two layered – the outer layer is wool and inner layer is cotton. I have worn the coat for a month now and it pills a bit. I hope the pilling stops soon 🙂 But all in all I am content with my new coat and I have worn dresses a lot lately. I also bought my first Dr. Martens (shoes AND boots) to complete the look so I am a really happy camper!

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I also made two dresses. I fell in love with Merchant&Mills and ordered some patterns and their book. I love this company to pieces and I cannot imagine a better looking sewing company. I have watched their video twenty times at least! Their shop in Rye, East Sussex is my dream destination now 🙂

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First I made the famous Factory Dress. I used a nice yarn-dyed linen from my stash. I decided to cut the smallest size available although not all my measurements fall to this column. I didn’t change anything except the length and I think it came out beautifully. I have worn this dress a lot and I just cannot get over how much I love how a linen fabric creases. This is just beautiful 🙂

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Then I made the Camber dress. I liked the plaid dress on their website so much that I decided to make mine out of plaid wool. I was lucky to find exactly the fabric I was looking for (Kangastuudio in Tallinn, Estonia). I did struggle with the sleeves because I lengthened them but the original pattern was not good for long sleeves (the cap was too shallow). So I used a sleeve pattern I already had and recut the sleeve. I managed to set the sleeve about seven times before I was satisfied with the result.

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I also lined the body of the dress. I didn’t see that the lining was showing until I saw these pictures. So I have to fix it. I will also make short slits to the sides as I narrowed the dress a bit and it is a bit uncomfortable to walk (the dress tends to rise when I walk). Other than that I am happy with my dress and I have already worn it to a concert and two birthday parties. Eveli 0326-10

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Sewing

Wool Coat

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This wool coat was born because I had free time in town and I decided to spend in a fabric store. One of my favourite fabric stores in Tallinn, Kangastuudio, had 40% off discount day and so I arrived home with two fabrics in my bag.

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Usually I don’t gravitate towards this kind of fabric, I tend to like simple and “boring” fabrics. But this one felt so luxurious, heavy wool with a stretch, that I just couldn’t resist.

First I planned to sew a robe style coat that could be finished quickly. After some consideration and discussion with my mom, who is the best tailor I know, I decided to go for a more sophisticated yet very simple style. I wanted my coat to be without visual pockets, without collar and buttons. I also wished for a straight silhouette.

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I combined two patterns. For the back and sleeves I chose the same pattern as for my summer jacket, Burda Style 3/2015. For the front I chose a pattern from Burda Style 12/2012, but didn’t do the waist seam.

 

Burda Style 3/2015 #105 Asymmetrical Jacket
Burda Style 3/2015 #105 Asymmetrical Jacket
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Burda Sytle 12/2012 #104 Long Wool Coat

I was afraid that combining two different pattern is too risky,  but for my surprise I didn’t have to do any changes in the fitting.

For fastening I opted for snap fastening and for the right front I attached the snaps only to the facing. I topstitched the right front close to the snaps to secure it. I like this clean look without buttons!

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The only downside of the fabric is that it is so easy to pull the yarns out – I mean the clasp of the handbag or engagement ring – everything gets stuck in the fabric and pulls out the yarn. This is annoying.

But the coat is very warm. For the back and sleeves I added a layer of cotton flannel to protect me from the wind. But it seems that the fabric itself is quite warm as well.

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All in all I am pleased with my new coat. I really like the fabric and also because it is a bit out of my comfort zone.

Sewing

Summer jacket

Eveli_jakk-4Although I write this post in October, I completed this jacket already in June. Lazy blogger 🙂

The jacket was born out of necessity. Our summer here in Estonia is often called “bad skiing weather” meaning that when going out for a day you can almost never count on your short-sleeved top or dress. But I didn’t have a summer jacket and I am not always into cardigans. So I brought out a fabric thathad been waiting in my stash for years. I had some trouble finding the right silhouette and pattern for this jacket. I didn’t want itto be blazer kind of jacket. When I tried on my 10-year old daughters trench (out of frustration to cheer me up) I shouted “eureka!”. So here is how it looked (I will not try it on again though):

My daughters trench that inspired me.
My daughters trench that inspired me.

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Burda Style 3/2015 #105 Asymmetrical Jacket
Burda Style 3/2015 #105 Asymmetrical Jacket

 

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The pattern is from Burda Style 3/2015, but I changed it a bit. I added back yoke, back pleat, different pockets, epaulettes, half cuff straps, collar with stand (it probably has a different name, but I cannot remember at the moment). I also omitted the asymmetrical front.

I like the fabric and the colour, but I wish it had a bit stretch in it. The lining is rayon and striped.  All in all, I think this jacket has a bit of a Burberry vibe going on and I like it 🙂 I also like how this colour suits with light blue and makes it pop. Light blue is sometimes hard to style as it has a tendency to make some colours look muddy in my opinion.

I have to say that I do not like the trousers I am wearing. They were ok when I left home, but after several hours of sitting in the car and in the cinema they stretched out and look like old lady pants. I have already donated them (I bought them second-hand as well).

But I have been loving my jacket – we had an extra cold summer this year, so I wore it a lot.

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Sewing

New dress from Mekkotehdas book

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I am a big fan of Finnish blog Mekkotehdas. Few years ago they published their first sewing book of dresses for girls to 128 cm tall. I loved this book! This spring they came out with a new book, Mekkotehdas Aikuisille (Dress factory for grown ups). I met Sunna and Kirsi, the girls behind the blog and a photographer Krista Keltanen in Tallinn, Estonia this week and we had a lovely afternoon wandering around Tallinn Old Town. They also gave me their new book which I was so happy about! Next day, after closing the book I jumped right into sewing. The book was just so inspiring that I had to sew something from it right this moment 🙂

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I chose the dress Inger from the book and a soft rayon from my stash. Actually, I bought this fabric from Helsinki, Finland, where the authors live 🙂

According to the measurements given in the book, I should have taken the pattern for size 36 but as usual, I went for a size smaller. This is what I usually do, after measuring the pattern and comparing it with my existing garment, of course.

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The only thing I changed was the length. Everything else is like the pattern called. The dress has a zipper in the back but it goes on and comes off even without opening the zipper. As the fabric is quite sheer I added a silk lining. The rayon I used is very soft so I didn’t want to ruin the feeling by adding “cold” lining. Silk feels warm! I used up a silk top I had bought from thrift store with future sewing projects in mind. I often by silk garments from thrift store just because the fabric as the new silk fabric is quite expensive.

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This dress reminds me my high school days back in the nineties:) I used to have similar dress then. This dress is a bit out of the box for me though as I usually tend to choose patterns with fitted bodice. This dress has only bust darts, so it hangs loose and is therefore extra comfortable. For me, this fabric print combined with the pattern has definitely  nineties vibe 🙂

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About the book. I really enjoy Mekkotehdas style and feeling. Sunna and Kirsi together with photographer Krista take you to a fairytale created for people who love creating beautiful dresses, host cute little parties, walk in the woods and by the seaside… The book is not just about the patterns to make the dresses – it is the feeling you get.

There is about ten dress patterns in this book including one for girls up to 140 cm tall. The book also incorporates instructions for making a make-up bag, a beach tote, scarf with tassels and wrist warmers.

 

And after closing the book, you genuinely believe that from now on you will only wear cute dresses!

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