Tag Archives: sewing

Just right for any occasion: the girl with the dragonfly dress

As you might know by now (if not, go back and read the last 5 posts a bit more carefully), we have been attending a wedding and I know that some of you can’t wait to finally see THE dress.

Well, we have established that much to some people’s disappointment the bride was only wearing a normal wedding dress (she did look really beautiful in it, but still just a normal wedding dress). Obviously for those of us who are born in England, the expectations are a bit higher when it comes to wedding dresses, you want to see something more royal, somewhere in between Lady Di and the Duchess of Cambridge.

But back to our outfit. Before looking for a suitable dress, we agreed that the bride should be the one with the most eye-catching dress so when choosing the number of layers of tuelle one should keep that in mind. I wasn’t planning on making a tulle-y dream of a dress for a one time occasion so we went shopping on the high street. But there was nothing. Really nothing. So we went fabric shopping instead. I was thinking of using a simple pattern and just doing two layers, tulle on top. The nearest fabric shop that had tulle on their website was biostoffe, my favourite fabric shop anyway. Unfortunately the organic version of tulle was not what we expected but they had some gorgeous voile by C.Pauli. We could easily agree on the turquoise version with white and glittery dragonflies.

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It was really perfect, sparkly enough for the little princess and yet still really nice and tasteful (I almost bought some of the aubergine version for myself)

Patternwise, we kept it simple, Leni by pattydoo a lovely summer dress for woven fabrics. IMG-20170904-WA0025 (3)

pattern: Leni by pattydoo, fabric: Libellensommer by C. Pauli

You might find the bodice a bit too wide. I usually cut her dresses in size 122 with a length of 134 (two sizes difference). If I would follow the measurements, I would have to go for another 3 sizes smaller but that seems just wrong. And in the end, even a princess needs to be able to run, jump and move around freely. Especially on the dancefloor.

To make sure that this simple dress would be slightly more suitable for a wedding, I added a silver ribbon around the waist

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and some Diamant buttons (considering how much they cost, I assume they are not real)

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The dress with its circle skirt was not only incredibly powerful on the dance floor (sorry no pics) but would also work for an afternoon tea party.

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I am really happy with the dress. It was quick to make (possibly quicker than finally finding something in the shops), it satisfied the desire for a nice and “elegant” dress without making grown ups feeling sick or blind.

And since the whole outfit, including white thights and shoes and sparkly nail polish, was good enough for a wedding, Madame decided to wear it on her first day back to school, too. So my worries of investing time and money for something that might only get worn once were completely unfounded.

I still owe you pictures of the amazing accessories we were all wearing but apart from that we could actually go back to every day’s life and work.

 

 

 

 

 

Scrap Sunday: Things the world has been waiting for. Or not.

Ages ago I came across a tutorial for a travel wallet and thought that it might be a good alternative to our usual routine of putting 5 passports and tickets in my husband’s jeans pocket. Obviously I never actually took the time to make one. But a while ago, it came back to my mind as a suitable present for my mother-in-law who travels a lot.

So, I looked for the tutorial again, only to realise that those diy versions are apparently for people with proper flight tickets. Who does still get proper tickets? Don’t we all have large print outs instead now? And it seems to be always for 2 people with space for two passports and two tickets….

In my mind I started to develop a collection of different sized travel wallets to accommodate different sized travel groups/families. Clearly another brilliant business idea. Although I also quickly realised that you do not want to take your five passports out of five different slots.

Anyway, my first attempt turned out to have far too tight pockets, mainly because I experimented with super strong interfacing decovil. So model no 1 now gets used as a powerful – almost magic – computer similar to the one Inspector Gadget’s niece uses. I am currently writing this post on it. Really.

Model No 2 turned out fit for purpose, but I finally had to admit that 3 layers of decovil are not easy to handle and not necessary.

I tried to keep it simple and grown up this time.

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See, using only one fabric for inside is stupid as it makes it impossible to actually see the different pockets.

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So, there is the big slot for a folded A4 paper, information, tickets,….

a medium one for one passport and a row of smaller ones at the bottom, with one compartment for credit cards or similar things and two for pens.

Most wallets I had seen online have a lot of space for credit cards. I don’t know why. Don’t you have them in your normal wallet anyway? Do you need special travel ones? Maximum a frequent flyer card or whatever, no?

But I thought a pen could be useful.To write down email addresses and phone numbers of your newly met friends.

And last but not least I went for a zip pocket. It would be large enough for something like a mobile phone or some money. Mainly it is there because otherwise that side would look to empty.

And just in case you were wondering: I did use a different fabric for that one at least. Otherwise it would have been ridiculous, really. IMG_6054

I am still working on different sized models, prototypes before I start my successful business of necessary things the world has been waiting for. I’ll show you another one on another day but for now I need to get back to the wedding outfit. I managed to lose the essential shiny silver ribbon. Without it the diamant buttons will look a bit lost.

A little delay and so not right for the season

I still owe you pictures of my coat Zsazsa by susalabim. I made it back in May I think when it was really not the weather for a coat. And it is still not. Never mind. I do not own anything to wear it with anyway. But it looks amazing on my dress form.

Susalabim is a fantastic designer for lillestoff. Obviously I had already bought at least one of her fabrics without knowing it and it is actually through the pattern for this coat that I discovered not only Susalabim as a designer but also lillestoff as supplier for organic fabrics.

The coat can be made out of one fabric but Susalabim uses it to show off her designs as a patchwork coat – ideal to use up left overs. So ideal for me one would think. Except that I was really intrigued by the fabrics she had used in her video – jaquard, something I haven’t used so far. So I actually had to order small portions of different fabrics to fake a pile of left over jaquards. They were all so beautiful. I spent ages in arranging them and sending pictures to my dear colour and style expert back in London. Apart from her totally wrong and unjustified advice that orange elephants would be too childish she helped me a lot. As usual.  But enough talking.

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Initially I had in mind to only use a 2 or 3 fabrics for the sleeves and to have larger blocks. But as those fabrics were so nice, I didn’t want to waste any of it and used the small bits too. But I underestimated how much they would shrink in the washing. So actually I couldn’t cut the sleeves properly and had to do real patchwork in two places:

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I love having the seams on the outside. It is so venturous and makes it cool and trend-setting.

However my banned from chocolate for life and boring 7 year old finds it wrong and embarrassing.

So what do you think? Are you boring or setting venturous trends? 🙂

I’ll take this coat to RUMS for now and wait for more appropriate weather to be a cool trend-setter.

 

 

Modern urbanisation: turning parking space into living space

Don’t worry this has not suddenly turned into a blog about architecture and area planning. Although this might be interesting, too. As long as it is an expert talking about it, not me. This one is still about knitting and sewing. Not that I would be an expert in these fields either. But aaanyway.

It is probably not wise to start with the highlight of today’s topic rather than building up tension but I do know for a fact that some of my readers get quickly bored and never make it to the end of my in-depth analysis of things. So let’s jump right in.

This parking site has recently been transformed:IMG_5744

into this beautiful home  (still without a roof in this picture) surrounded by a moat:

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to be completed with either a golden roof for a beautiful castle…

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or a dark roof full of spider webs, cracks and bats (yes, these are bats, no weird letter “M”s) for a witch house, dangerous castle or whatever you want to imagine.

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The attentive readers amongst you (for all the others: no need to look away in embarrassment, I am ignoring you anyway), this is not really a transformation as clearly it is a totally brand new development which happens to have the same shape as the afore-mentioned parking space.

It is finally time to reveal the long-awaited portable magic play mat:

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Rather by accident, I must admit, the pocket looks very castle-y but unfortunately it is not as deep as the pocket of the original car play carpet.

But lets unfold the secret inner life of boring spotty bag (trying to rebuilt tension here):

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So there is a deep looking cercle in the centre, made of bricks, could be a tower or a well in the middle of the wood, depending on the story you are developing.

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and a deep dark cave, possibly home of a dragon, a gnome or a captured prince (trying to break up stereotypes)

But enough teasing. Lets have a look at the carpet in its full glory:

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So, we have different areas, a dark wood at the top, a dragon forest in the right top corner (I know, they are dinosaurs! Could you please make a little effort and switch on your imagination?!), a wolf wood, a park with magical looking birds in cages, a pink unicorn forest (I know, they are not unicorns. You are starting to bore me with your negativity), a pond (the BLUE bit of course. I mean seriously!), a bed of lollipop flowers (on request. I’ll leave it to you to guess which ones are the lollipops, but I’d try those round lollipop shaped flowers if I were you), a few other lawns with magic looking flowers and plants and a big meadow with cute little magic people, possibly fairies and elves living in there. There is also a silver / breadcrumbs trail leading from the house to one of the lawns/forests or vice versa. Who knows. Up to you.

I meant to have more dangerous, dark looking areas but strangely (and I really can’t explain this at all), I do not seem to own many dark or dangerous looking fabrics. Apart from an endless variety of dinosaur fabrics. Nevertheless, I am more than pleased with the result, I have to say.

As you can see, similar to the car play carpet, there are poppers everywhere to stick on magic items.

We have…

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… a magic key,

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… a magic ring,

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…. a magic wand (clearly! But you can also pretend it is a log or whatever else),

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… a treasure chest

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… with real silk lining – would you expect anything less?

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….um… a bottle of magic potion (not my finest work, I have to admit. And I did get told off for this one)

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… a magic book. Clearly my favourite. If not the only one out of the set I really like.

I guess my main problem with these “props” is their inconsistency. The treasure chest is really 3D, the book is beautifully “drawn”, similar to all the decoration on the house, the bottle is just nonsense, all the others are much more simple. I guess they should all look a bit like the book. With embroidery as a main feature. Even if then the treasure chest would lose its main feature. What do you think? Which one is your favourite?

Also, would you prefer playing on the car carpet or on the magic one?

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In any case, after a very slow start I really enjoyed the project, especially the free hand machine embroidery. Remember when I did that 3 hours course at Tilly and the buttons back in London? I really want to explore this technique even more and finally invest in a proper embroidery foot for my machine. Plus, I have realised that I have to take the “using up my fabric scraps” project a little bit more seriously.

But it is almost May, time to focus on Me Made May, so the scraps will have to wait.