Make something truly beautiful

This is what I wrote a few weeks back in my bullet journal. And something quite magical happened – I gave myself permission to do it. I haven’t had taken out the sewing machine in a few months. The time before that had been even longer. For many reasons. No specific need to make a garment, not enough time to make something I needed but that was too complex to make. Other reasons too. At first I wrote that down in an attempt to block time for creative work – I haven’t stopped making things, just sewing. But this phrase…

The things they don’t tell you about the capsule wardrobe

  I recently stumbled upon Leslie Price‘s (author at Manrepeller), article about the things people don’t talk about much, when they talk about the holy capsule wardrobe. I recommend reading this piece even if you’re not a minimalist, trying to decide the absolute minimum number of clothes you can own and still feel comfortable and put together (I like this expression, it is as if our normal state would be a jumble of limbs, hair accessories and extra-long scarves). “I hate my sweater.” writes Price. “It’s a perfectly fine sweater upon first glance: a classic navy wool-blend crew. But I’ve…

What I’ve learned from 30 days of drawing

In January I challenged myself to try and make at least one drawing a day. There were days I felt inspired and in the “flow” and where the pages turned and new sketches were eating the nakedness of the page. There were days in which the drawing challenge felt stupid: I am not an artist, why am I doing this? What is the purpose? There were days in which I didn’t draw anything. But all in all it was a great thing to do. Here’s what I learned from this and why I would do it again: I had fun.…

The story of the sweater that took me 3 years to finish

I started this sweater almost three years ago. I was preparing to move to another country and as I was packing and sorting through my possessions I’ve decided not to buy anything new. Ever.  As my sewing machines and all my craft items were either packed or given away, I realized I would need a new project that would keep me busy and happy, but also was easy to carry around. I had a gift card that I didn’t know what to do with; when I decided I would make myself my first sweater.  I remember choosing the yarn. Spending an hour looking…

5 Sweatshirt Refashion Ideas

Happy New Year! I hope that 2017 will be better, kinder and more mindful for you and me both. During the holidays I received a navy sweatshirt from a person I respect and admire a lot. The only thing is the sweatshirt is a bit (just a couple centimetres) too small for me at the waist and at the sleeve cuffs. I’d like to keep the sweatshirt and wear it as much as I can so that it would remind me of the beautiful person I’ve received it from, but I’d need to do some modifications. For now, here’s what…

Mid-sleeve longline knit cardigan (Oslo)

The Oslo Cardigan pattern from Seamwork was the first I bought and even though I didn’t blog about it I made five versions of it: one is this longer version with shorter sleeves, another is a micro-fleece house robe, a third, another longer cardigan made of suede (it was not stretchy so it turned out one size smaller), a fourth, a short wool cardigan that was too itchy to wear and a fifth garment, a kimono style wool cardigan with knitted sleeves and a belt. The version here was the first one I made. One of the mistakes I made…

Simple Sewing with a French Twist by Céline Dupuy (book review)

I recently flipped through a sewing book written more than ten years ago by Céline Dupuy, Simple Sewing with a French Twist and I wanted to make note to some of the ideas in this sewing book I really liked. Céline Dupuy is an artist and a designer and you can also find her on her Instagram or her website, where you can find this book and another one focused on reconstructing denim, as well as sewing patterns and other of her newer creations, like this repurposed denim bottle: A photo posted by Céline Dupuy (@celinedupuymllekou) on Feb 25, 2016 at 4:31am PST…

What I’ve learned from 30 days of less

In an effort to simplify and reduce, I started a little challenge last month. The challenge itself was simple: give away or discard an item I don’t need, everyday, for 30 days. I could discard more than one item if I could, but the challenge itself was creating a habit of reducing items that are not useful, not beautiful, not essential. Some days I went through an area of my house, like a drawer and looked for items I didn’t really use, need or like. Other times looking for things to discard got me into a full day or deep cleaning my…

Pattern Drafting: How to draft a leg of mutton sleeve

I noticed some time ago that drawing – even if it’s a 5 minute sketch – really helps me understand the construction details of a garment or a pattern. It also helps me remember more. In a way, for pattern drafting, sketching is like note-taking. Today, I wanted to share this interesting type of sleeve: the leg of mutton sleeve. That name! The idea for this sleeve, comes from my go to pattern drafting bible, Helen Armstrong’s Patternmaking for Fashion Design.  I talked about this book before in these posts on the how to use flat pattern making to draft a bodice…

The unfortunate saga of the little crochet tank top

I actually made this crochet tank top last year, but I didn’t get the change to post about it. I was also very excited about the project in the beginning, but the fit was… meh. I first sewed a lined crop top in a green rayon. I bought this fabric with plans of making a beautiful evening dress for a wedding last year, but after many hours of frustration I ended up with no dress and lot of small pieces of fabric. This is what happens when you don’t plan sufficiently and just cut by eye. Alas, a year has…