Posts Tagged ‘sewing’

I’m currently quite excited about making my own clothes. It’s funny because as little as one year ago, I would have told you that taking the time and the effort to sew something I can easily buy in the nearest mall is silly. But now, although I do enjoy shopping for clothes, I’m also fascinated about the process of taking a flat piece of fabric  and turning it into something that can be worn.

For every thing there is the right time I guess…

The thrifting gods seem to be playing along nicely. Last week I came back from an estate sale with a small pile of patterns. I chose an easy-to-sew peasant top: 


The pattern, in case you care for such details, is Simplicity 5620, which I believe is out of print by now. I used a light weight cotton shirting fabric, very warm weather friendly.

I think I’m heaving some personality issues, since I choose to make these loose fitting tops, only to decide later on that they are too loose on the back, followed by some cursing and spitting while trying to remedy the situation.


Anyway, after adjusting the back, I added the stem with leaves applique to personalize it a little.

Which in turn got me thinking about a new pillow design for the shop, and so this cushion cover was born.


Now I’m going to find more loose-but-not-too-loose patterns to play with….


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I did it!

I finally overcame my fear of sewing garments, and made myself a new top.


I used the tunic pattern from the 5/2008 Ottobre design magazine (which was patiently waiting for me since February).

It wasn’t very easy, as this is my first try at sewing anything more complicated than T-shirt pyjama pants, and the instruction are not very detailed. Yet I managed to pull it off, and although it’s very far from perfect, I like it, a lot.

I miscalculated my size, and had to take it in on the side and back seems, and also skipped the zipper, it was large enough to wear without one. I love the front, but the back turned out huge and very tent-like, so I added two darts. The most important part though, is that it was a good learning experience, and left me wanting to sew more stuff.

How do you like my new model? Frida (I can’t just call her my vintage dress form, can I) was one of those too-cheap-to-pass Craig’s list finds, and I was happy to give her a new home.

The fabric, by the way, was a 1.99 piece from Value Village. I usually avoid them, can’t stand their high prices, but one trip to the “regular” fabric store made me realize I can’t afford to shop for normally priced fabric very often…

And on a different subject, am I the last person in blogland to join twitter? it’s fun, and it makes spend even more time in front of your PC. You can follow me here.

Enjoy your weekend everyone, and Happy Mothers day!

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The fabric I used is a Harris Tweed cloth (which I later learned was hand woven in Lewis, Scotland).


It was purchased in a garage sale last winter, in my normal state of mind: buy first, think-how-to-use later….

So it was waiting patiently at the bottom of my fabric shelf until I ran into it again when moving my sewing room upstairs. And there, with all the mess of fabric scattered on the basement floor, waiting to be refolded and replaced on new shelves, a match was made: heavy, warm, tweed, with bright applique flowers.


I like this combination. I made two versions so far, one of them you can still find here.

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He loves his trains


Well maybe obsessed with them describes the situation better. There’s no doubt that this year will be remembered as the year of Thomas and friends. He knows all the engines names, even those he doesn’t have (yet!). He tells stories about them, they dine at our table, they walk with us to preschool, they patiently wait behind the bathroom door. So when i asked him what would he like to see on his new preschool bag, you can imagine what he chose – trains!

And the final result:


He loved making this – choosing colors (OK, maybe i did help narrow down the selection a little), “helping” me pull the needle and floss, and the cute buttons for the steam puffs? entirely his idea!
He felt very proud wearing his special bag, and telling his teachers he helped mommy make it.
If you’re wondering “why bother making something you could easily get in the mall” this is the answer, and it’s definitely worth it.

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In my shop… Rain clouds

The rain is back today, and i thought I’d share some thoughts behind the making of these…

Beside the obvious inspiration that comes from looking out of the window, how the clouds were made was also inspired by Amy Karol’s book, Bend-the-rules sewing. One of my favorite pages is not about techniques or projects (which are gorgeous, by the way), but about the different “creative personality types”. I think i easily fit in the “perfectionist” category, and while i do like that in my sewing, I also wanted to try something a little different, something more relaxed, or as Amy puts it – more FUN. The clouds, with their curvy shapes and raw edges were the perfect exercise in crafting something that is inherently less then perfect. The materials used were almost exclusively thrifted, the only exception being the white linen fabric. The gray wool was an old wool blanket, the accent prints were from vintage sheets, pillow cases and other old fabric finds. Did i mention fun already?

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