A Grey Knit Blouse

Remember the grey blouse sketch I made the other day? Well, this is the blouse finished. It was very easy to sew and draft the pattern, I just took the basic measurements: neck – waist, shoulder-end of 3/4 sleeve and arm circumference, then drafted a loose blouse pattern. The fabric it’s a stretchy grey knit I had in my stash since spring. It has a silky feel and it drapes beautifully, so I am quite happy I finally turned it into a blouse. Here is another pic in which you can see better the relaxed scoop neck. I was pretty…

On Sewing with a Time Limit and the Beautiful Sewers of the British Bee

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Have you watched The Great British Sewing Bee? I have just watched the second episode and I’m inspired to sew more and learn more. The contestants are amazing. I don’t know how they could find so many beautiful and talented people who sew so well. I think the challenges in the show are difficult because of the time limit. This can changes a person’s way of sewing completely. I am a rush sewer (not that I watched the show I know I can say that without thinking people thinking I am a hole in the pavement:) so I think I…

On Personal Style: What is It?

“What constitues great personal style? This is one of the questions I get asked the most. We tend to think that to achieve great personal style someone must have perfect clarity about who they are and what they stand for. I politely disagree. I think conflict about who you are often leads o even greater expression. This is why young people, or the young at heart, are those that inspire or move fashion forward. They are still strugling to find themselves: “Am I a rocker? A footbaler? Or a little bit of both?” These contradictions produce the most interesting looks.”…

Those Clothes We Love to Hate

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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?…

Spring Cleaning Time: The Spring Apartment Cure

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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…

On Doing Less, Focusing on What is Meaningful

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…

How to Get Perfect Darts with Tailor Tacks

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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 Cute Vintage Gathered Yoke Blouse

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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…

Various Vintage Necklines and How to Draft Them

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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…

Sewing Course Lesson 2 – How To Make a Basic Bodice Block

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…