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Have you ever spotted a dress, a coat, a jacket, what have you, loved it, had to have it, made it (or bought it), only to realize there is something terribly wrong with it, that will never allow you to wear it happily? Maybe it’s too transparent, or maybe it clings too much, maybe it wrinkles like crazy, or maybe it makes your bottom look fat and your legs short. You love it, you hate it. What do you do? Do you zip and bare? Do you keep it “just in case”? Do you give it away without thinking twice?…

beautiful cleaning brush

I’ve started my spring cleaning and instead of rolling my sleeves and getting to work I’m here blogging, and reading about other people who clean I really like the idea of the Apartment Therapy cure: in one month you get to clean, organize and improve the space you live in by doing something every day. There are some things that I like but I wouldn’t do, such as buying flowers. Not because I don’t see the point, but because my house has a lovely terrace with plenty of plants and flowers, even in winter (one of the perks of living…

How many of the things you do in your free time are (still) meaningful to you? If you could learn anything, what would it be? Why are you sewing? Why are you blogging? Before I get to the point and explain why I’m asking those questions, I will start with a short (super-short, I promise) story about keeping less for feeling better. For a while now people in my team at work were complaining that there’s too much work, too many partners to work with and too little time for them to reach their goals and do quality work. The…

taylor tacks 3

This week I learned something quite cool: using tailor tacks for darts. I don’t know why I never put any attention into this previously, but it’s quite a time saver, you get perfect darts and there’s no mess or unhappy after-washing incidents. First insert the needle once through both layers of fabric. This is a skirt dart, but a bust dart works the same. Then slightly open the two layers, making sure the thread is long enough to cut. And snip, making sure you left the threads a bit longer, so they don’t get fished out when you move the…

a-vintage-inspired-gathered-yoke-blouse

This is another idea from ”Precision draping; a simple method for developing designing talent” by Nelle L. Weymouth. And it seems so easy to make also: just cut a (sort of) diamond shape above the bust, then slash and spread the remaining part of the bodice to create pleats. Then sew back together. I would work with a relaxed version of the bodice for this. The bodice I made with this method comes out very fitted. For this blouse I would just grade it to a bigger size so the blouse has some movement. And it’s easier to take in…

graffiti vintage ladies in underwear

Happy New Year! May 2013 bring you many new sewing ideas and lots of hours of sewing fun. One of the books I started the year with was “Precision draping; a simple method for developing designing talent” by Nelle L. Weymouth. Published in 1889, this is a lovely book; everything is so well explained and it just makes pattern drafting seem so easy! I got to this book via The Perfect Nose, who posts lots of vintage goodies as well as marvelous sewing projects of her own. One of the things that I sketched into my notebook for future reference…

Why a basic bodice block? A basic bodice block that fits you like a glove is a precious pattern to have. This will be the starting point of many designs, from relaxed tank tops to dress up shirts and summer dresses. You can create a basic bodice from a close-fitting commercial blouse or dress pattern, or you can draw your own, pencil and ruler in hand, based on your very own shapes and curves. In this lesson I will be showing you what kind of measurements you need to take in order to make your basic bodice and in the…

Spring is here and I haven’t yet posted my sewing wishlist. Oh, no! April is almost here and there’s one week left of my get rid of a thing a day challenge. (Actually getting rid of a thing a day isn’t as easy as I thought it would be. It involves thinking, deciding, organizing – but more about how that went next week My plan was to post the sketches and woo you, my wonderful readers who leave me comments and email me (thank you), but I might miss spring altogether if I wait until I have all the sketches,…

One of my new favourite blog is Sarai Mitnick’s Coletterie. I love that she posts things that are useful, well thought, honest, beautiful and the list can go on and on. I check my rss reader and many times the first blog I open is Coletterie. Her latest post, 7 tips for using fabric that you have (you know sewing from my stash has been a personal challenge in the past) made me realize there are some things that I’ve learned this last year about sewing from the fabric you own and never shared them. So here is my list…

The more I learn about pattern making and garment construction, the more interested I become in the meta of sewing. I call meta everything that has to do with sewing: the research, the thinking about it at night, the sketch, looking for the right fabric and accessories, drafting or choosing the right pattern. In short, what leads to sewing. Daria from Kittenhood said something very interesting in a comment to my post about understanding fabric gain lines: I completely understand! I’m sometimes so excited about a project when I think about it (usually at bedtime), that I feel like getting…