paintbrushes in a glass jar

Learning a new skill can be both fun and frustrating. Fun as you explore the possibilities and feel proud of your results and frustrating when what you imagined doesn’t fit the reality. This will also happen when you’re playing with watercolours: some things will look really nice, while others… rather disappointing. In this blogpost I will sum up some of the basic watercolour paint techniques I learned recently. Tools: I don’t believe in buying the most expensive tools when you’re just starting to learn something. Many tutorials on YouTube start with the different brands of paint you should buy; I…

large tropical leaf top

Abstract: Vintage: Mimetic: For centuries, the tropics and the jungle have fascinated us; for both their beauty and their well… deadliness. Banana, papaya, mango, they all have large, tropical leaves. We often talk about these fruit in terms of coulours, when it comes to garment making (ok, not sure about the banana, but humour me) but it’s about time we talked about their opulent and full of life foliage. And there’s nothing that says summer more than tropical leaves! 1. Townsen Tank – Rattan from Bloomingdales, €124 This top has a very simple shape, almost completey square, with lines neckline…

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As a person who owns much more patterns than she will ever get to use and still remembers the exact number of the now lost Burda magazine she lent a friend over 6 years ago, I am fascinated by garments that don’t need patterns. More specifically about boxy, square-ish shapes that have never seen a french curve in their life. That’s why I really like these blouses and dresses from this Kitting, Crochet and Sewing Magazine (I can’t find this magazine anywhere else, do you know if it has a different name?) Look at this blouse below, for example: it’s…

mindfulness is a bahit

  Why do we buy clothes? Yeah, I know, because we can’t all be hippies and live our lives in naked bliss. Because we’d be cold without clothes. Because clothes are an expression of the self. But why do we buy clothes, all the time? How cold are we and how much can this “self” be expressed through clothing? Or is it something else? Could it be we go to a shop when we’re sad or tired, because we feel the need to reward ourselves for our hard work? Could it be that we need to feel beautiful or sexy…

minimalist laundry

As a sewist you probably own a lot of clothes and fabric. If I look at my own clothes, I have those that I made and love and actually wear outside the house, then the clothes I’ve made and like but don’t fit with anything else in my wardrobe or don’t actually fit my lifestyle (frosting anyone?), then the clothes I bought and love, the ones I’ve bought and still love but don’t wear because they change shape, they’re difficult to iron or I just keep postponing their wear for “a better occasion”, the ones that were a gift, the…

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Today I was thinking about ways in which I could simplify the making of the bodice. Now, I have a bodice that I’ve made following the instructions in Helen Joseph Armstrong’s book, Patternmaking for Fashion Design and another from Sarai Mitnick’s book, The Colette Sewing Handbook: Inspired Styles and Classic Techniques for the New Seamstress but I wanted to see how I could make one fast and easy, if, let’s say I am too lazy to look for them And then I found this video with Peggy Sagers who explains pattern-making by draping. I always thought this was difficult to do, but…

tshirts on a line

What is t-shirt reconstruction? T-shirt reconstruction, or t-shirt surgery defines a way to alter or hack a basic t-shirt that completely transforms in into a new garment, sometimes an altered top, other times a cap, a skirt, a dress and even a handbag. The various techniques used to hack a t-shirt are cutting and slashing, sewing, painting, embroidery, braiding, and the list goes on and on. All you really need to start is a t-shirt! featured image: Saarbruecken city seen with my Nikon 35mm F1.8 DX lens by 55Laney69 licensed under (CC BY 2.0) How to cut a t-shirt T-shirts…

Fashion Illustration

I love how illustrators take the everyday and make it fabulous, magical. What I like most about  Nancy Zhang’s fashion illustration is how she takes an outfit that she wore and draws her feelings or mood, as she was wearing it. Or maybe her intention when she created the outfit. Zhang’s outfits are stories, they are sometimes journeys into the past, other times frozen fragments of the present. Sometimes they are pretentious and constructed, other times practical and comfortable. Even though she wears a lot of designer fashion, she is not a slave of the latest trend. Instead she travels in…

bow tie vintage neckline

One of the reasons why I like vintage sewing books is how practical and down to earth they are. Many go over women’s fashion and expect seamstresses to be able to apply the learned concepts to make garments for kids and men. The purpose of learning dressmaking is to be able to fill the needs and wants of all members of the family, garment making shouldn’t take too much time, yet the clothes should enhance the personality of the wearer and last a long time. I am curious whether you agree with me or not on this one, but I…