Reveal: A Royal Blue Maternity Skirt

My gorgeous friend allowed me to photograph her in all of her pregnant glory wearing the maternity skirt I made for her.

Mijn prachtige vriendin stond me toe om haar te fotograferen in al haar zwangere glorie. Ze draagt een zwangerschaps rok die ik voor haar gemaakt heb. 

Shortly after she announced she was pregnant, I asked if there was anything I could make for her. I sent her some photos of the maternity patterns I already had, and also sent her to Megan Nielsen’s maternity website for some tips and tricks. After browsing that website, she said she actually really liked the maternity skirt, so I ordered it and sewed it up for her in two colours: royal blue and dark grey.

Na dat ze kondigde dat ze zwanger was, vroeg ik of er iets wat ik voor haar konden maken. Ik stuurde haar enkele foto’s van het zwangerschaps patronen die ik al had, en ook stuurde haar naar de website van Megan Nielsen voor enkele tips en trucs. Na het bekijken van die website, zei ze dat ze eigenlijk het zwangerschaps rok heel leuk vond  dus ik bestelde en naaide het voor haar in twee kleuren: blauw en donkergrijs.

I finished the grey one first and gave it to her for her birthday in October.  I finished the blue one in November. She is especially happy with the blue one, even though it was not one of the colours she requested. She also gets the most compliments on it. 🙂

Ik was als eerst klaar met de grijze en gaf het aan haar voor haar verjaardag in oktober. Ik was klaar met de blauwe in november. Ze is vooral blij met de blauwe, ook al was het niet een van de kleuren die zij aangevraagd. Ze krijgt ook de meeste complimenten op deze. 🙂

Isn’t she beautiful? I am very grateful she let me take photos of her in her skirt, especially since the baby could come at any moment.

Is ze niet prachtig? Ik ben erg dankbaar ze liet me foto’s van haar maken in haar rok, vooral omdat de baby op ieder moment kan komen. 

A little note on sewing: This is one of the easiest pieces of maternity clothing you could make. It is only TWO pieces! If it weren’t for the elastic, this would probably be a half hour make! I made them both on my sewing machine with a zigzag stitch. I matched the thread pretty well, so you can’t even see the top stitching. I’d definitely recommend this pattern!

Een kleine opmerking over naaien: Dit is een van de makkelijkste stukken zwangerschaps kleding die je kan maken. Het is slechts TWEE stukken! Als het niet voor de elastiek was, zou dit waarschijnlijk een half uur naaitijd duren! Ik heb ze allebei op mijn naaimachine met een zigzagsteek gemaakt. Ik paste de draad vrij goed, dus je kunt niet eens de top stiksels zien. Ik zou zeker dit patroon aanraden.

This was my first time using Dutch and English.  What do you think? Or should I quit while I’m ahead?

Dit was de eerste keer die ik allebei Nederlands en Engels gebruik. Wat denk je? Moet ik snel ophouden met mijn slechte Nederlands?

Stashbusting Stats

First off, a big thank-you to Cation Designs and EmSewCrazy for hosting the stashbusting challenges this year and for creating the monthly challenge for us to get inspired.

At the beginning of the year, I took the stashbusting sew-along challenge. I vowed to use 13 pieces of fabric from my stash this year. Here’s a recap of what I made:

I started off with fabric from over 10 years old, from when I worked at the local fabric store in high school and beginning of college. During the year I switched back and forth between old and new. For example, I got a bunch of knit fabrics at the fabric fair last year and the year before with the dream of making and selling my knit dresses. Instead, they turned into Megan Nielsen’s Briars (row 2). My sewing machine broke at the beginning of summer, so there was a bit of a lull in my sewing queue. I got some Colette pattern sewing in, went on vacation, then came back and sewed a couple of stash busting projects. But mainly my summer sewing was made from new fabrics.

A lot of nice pieces from my stash, especially those from 10 years or older, were originally intended for small projects, like camisoles or short skirts. Now that I have a love of dresses, I often feel defeated by the lovely things in my stash I can’t make any dresses with. However, I purchased a few nice blouse patterns that will likely work better with my small pieces, such as the Eucalypt and Datura.  From this experience, I have been buying more than a meter of most of my new fabrics, unless they are intended for toddler clothes, for which 1m often suffices, or if the fabric will not make it to my stash as it is intended to be sewn right away.

I sewed a few more projects than I actually blogged about, like the ones above I only posted on instagram. I also made a top for my SIL, which I didn’t take a picture of, and a jacket for my niece, which I only posted to my facebook page. I also have a few UFOs that I made with stash fabrics (sewaholic thurlow trousers, another briar, a burda top), but I don’t think I can really count them for 2013 as I will not be finishing any of them on new year’s eve. I also made a few softies out of scraps as christmas gifts, but I don’t really want to count those either.

Summary:

  • Pieces used from my old stash (~2000-2003): 3
  • Pieces used from my new stash (~2010-2012): 12
  • Exceeding my goal by 2 pieces!
  • Min points: I added fabric to my stash this year, which was not part of my original goal. My original goal was to only buy notions, linings, and interfacing as needed.

Did you reach your stashbusting goals this year?

Miss-fires of 2013


Unfortunately, it is easier to list my misses than my hits this year.  Some of it has to do with fit, and some of it has to do with sewing mishaps, and then there’s losing interest and moving on to new projects. Without further ado, here are the misses of 2013, in no particular order.

Black and White Cordova: A missed opportunity, in a way, because when I wrote this post early in the year I said I only had to add lining to the sleeves. I have yet to finish this jacket, and the more I look at the pictures the less I want to.  I don’t think it fits too well, actually.

Pink Sureau: This photo shows exactly why I hate this dress.  It bunches up around the upper bust. And you can see the bust darts come up way too high. I even held a giveaway to get rid of this pattern! I wore it only twice: to take these pictures and one day for MMM13. Someone in the comments mentioned I probably need a FBA, so I suppose I will try to master that in the new year.

copycat challenge dress: Why is this a fail, you may ask? If you read my post, then you know how much I love this dress.  Well, when I attached the skirt to the bodice, I didn’t extend the zipper into the bodice. So I am afraid to wear this dress and break the waist seam, as it is already ripping near the zipper.

Laurel contest entry: I’m not a fan of this make at all. I wore it only for the photoshoot. I tried to be all creative and shit for the Laurel challenge and by copycatting a cool, colour-blocked shift dress I found on the internet. I think the fit is a bit too loose for my liking and the block in the front makes my boobs look enormous. I was, however, super stoked at my sewing skills getting around those tricky corners.

Other (unblogged) misses include:

Redvelvet dress from Cake Patterns or as I like to call it, saggy side boobs: I was pumped for this dress from the get-go. However, the bust pleats ended up at the side of my boobs instead of in the center of them. I’m pretty sure it’s an easy fix but I just don’t feel like it… The good thing about this project is I found out my boobs are low.

The Ava dress muslin disaster: After taking the time to do a FBA, even tediously photographing the process to make my first tutorial, when I actually went to sew the muslin, it was an epic fail! I went with the larger size for my upper bust (a size 6 instead of size 4, even though it would end up being ½ inch too big), and then completely forgot about it when doing the FBA, therefore adding about 3 cm more than was necessary. I also completely forgot that most bodice darts are too high for me, so when I made the effort to make the bodice muslin (out of a slippery cheap satin, I might add), I tried it on and almost cried. So much for a last-minute New Year’s Eve dress… The only thing good about it was that I had remembered to add length to the bodice – 7 cm of length….

Skinnified Thurlow trousers: Making wide-legged trousers is not as easy as it looks. Fitted through the hips and upper thighs, and beyond that turned into a disaster. I already tried to take them in  myself, but I actually need someone to help me pin them. It’s not easy tailoring on your own!

What were your sewing misses this year? What have you learned from them?

Top 5 Hits

Happy Holidays Everyone!

I shall be joining in on the top 5 lists for 2013. I have been experiencing a bit of a creative block as life has creeped upon me the last few months, so I haven’t really been sewing or blogging in that time. In October, I defended my thesis, then ended up having to hassle a few teachers to get my grades in by the end of the month, but missed the cut-off by a few days. I officially graduated on November 4th and went to the ceremony at the end november even though my diploma wasn’t ready, because my mom flew all the way from Canada to join in on the festivities. We had a lovely couple of weeks together hanging out, watching movies, and shopping. We even went to the infamous christmas market in Germany.

So on that happy note, I shall get into the top 5 Hits.

#5: Vogue 8651 tunic: I did not blog about it, and I did not take any pictures of it, but I made the sleeveless tunic for my sister-in-law and she wears it almost every time I see her since I made it for her birthday in August. I also made her a different tunic for her birthday last year and she wears that a lot as well. My brother-in-law tells me that she wears the things I made her ALOT, so I definitely consider this make a win.

#4: The Rebecca Taylor design dress (Vogue 1152): This dress doesn’t fit perfectly, and maybe I didn’t use the best fabric for the pattern, but I really like it anyway. I can wear it in the summer, or in the winter with leggings and a long-sleeved tshirt underneath. I am a big fan of versatility (and dresses!).

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#3: The retro-print, stash-busting Briar: This is probably my most-worn me-made make of 2013.  I absolutely love this top.  It is super comfortable and (imho) looks good too. I made two other briars in two different sleeve lengths, but I like the long-sleeved one the best because I am cold more days out of the year than not. There are also two more in my sewing queue – one for me and one for someone else. And I might just use up the rest of my knit stash for briars…

#2: Purple and green polkadot belladone: The Belladone from Deer and Doe is quite possibly my favourite pattern. Even though there are still fit issues (ahem, do a bloody FBA already, Joanne!), I love this dress! I love purple on me, and I coveted this fabric for almost half a year online before I bought it at a fraction of the cost at the bi-annual fabric fair in Leeuwarden. And don’t forget that green piping! I feel as though this garment was kind of an aha moment. It only took me 15 years to figure out that my torso is 4-6cm longer than commercial pattern bodices!

And the #1 hit of 2013: The not-so-retro dress.  It just goes to show how important a muslin is! I shall never make a fancy dress from a new pattern again without making a muslin first. This dress fits me like a glove! I got a lot of compliments on the dress, and had fun doing the crazy photoshoot with my best friend back home in Canada.

What were your hits for 2013?

Survey and giveaway

Hello everyone!

I have this crazy idea of starting my own indie pattern line.  It’s totally crazy because I’ve never taken a pattern drafting or design class but reading about some indie pattern designers on the internet like Dixie DIY and Closet Case Files gives me hope!

My idea is to have a line of knit dresses…. that you can mix and match! I have a few self-drafted patterns which I mix and match myself and I just love having options.  Plus, knit dresses are amazing! They go together so quickly and mistakes are easily hidden by knits.

The question is, how on earth can I offer a line of mix and match bodices and skirts??

That is where you, my lovely readers, come in.

I have created a short survey (less than 10 questions) asking you about how you would like to see this project take shape.

I would really appreciate if you would share this survey on your facebook and/or twitter. I will be forever grateful! Plus I am offering a small token of my gratitude to one lovely survey-taker.  A €10 (or your currency-equivalent) gift certificate to the online craft/sewing supply store of your choice! I know it’s not a huge amount, but I’m a recent graduate with student debt and I would really like to start my own company.

To give you a little idea of what kind of patterns you might expect, here are a couple of my self-drafted makes from me-made-may. So you do the kimono sleeved bodice with the A-line skirt or the patchwork top with the bubble-ish skirt, if you know what I mean.

 

 

Day 5: threadless tshirt refashion

So you’d really be helping me out by taking this survey and sharing it with the world. I hope you like this idea as much as I do!

https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/92XWSG2 

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Copycat Challenge Completed!

Inspiration

I first blogged about my copycat inspiriation here. But if you missed it, here’s a brief recap.

Click image for link

Basically I wanted the top with the lace applique with a plaid tulip skirt similar to the second photo. Angels Never Die is one of my favourite brands. Whenever I see a sale on Vente-Exclusive, I always buy at least one thing (but it often puts me in the red and then I promptly send it back…:(

I love that they mix fabric prints, textures, and weaves.  They often mix knits with wovens and they always have interesting draping, designs, and appliques.

Making the dress

To make my dress, I used the skirt from this Burda 09/2011 Dress pattern. The top part is a refashioned basic knit top I’ve had since last year, from the Hema. It matched the brown plaid I had in mind from my stash, so I went with it.

I cut out the skirt from the plaid fabric.  I had to do some creative cutting because I had only 1m of it and those front panels eat up a shitload of fabric. So some of the seam allowances were cut on the selvage but that’s ok. I ended up cutting the waistband on the lengthwise grain (if that’s even a term?!). Also, none of the plaid matches, but I’m ok with that because it’s not too noticeable. I did not use the instructions except to check how much to gather the top of the skirt to.

The skirt has pleats AND gathers.  And the pleats are gathered! It’s a lot of fabric sitting right there on my pouch, but I like to think it doesn’t make me look too huge because the back of the skirt is such a nice shape, kind of like the Elizalex dress. The hem is finished with bias tape. The inside seams are finished with bias tape on the waistband and with a zigzag stitch for the side seams.  I would have liked to do french seams, but I figured it would get too bulky.
I purchased some of the lace trim from the most recent fabric fair in Leeuwarden and some from my local fabric shop, Jan Sikkes. I attached the trim to the top using a zigzag stitch to help keep it from getting wavy. I folded the trims over at the top and slipstitched it in place.

Styling

I paired it with leggings because a) it’s getting cold out there, b) it’s not lined, and c) it’s a good thing I did because riding my bike to the photoshoot place made the dress open up pretty much right to my crotch. I might have to add a snap or tack it down.

In some of the pictures I’m also wearing an actual Angels Never Die jacket, which I love love LOVE (there would have been an exclamation point if the jacket had pockets, but it doesn’t so boo hoo). My boots are Dr Martens and are already like 3 or 4 years old.

I accessorized with a fake pearl necklace I inherited from my grandma because I thought it matched the lace on the top quite nicely.

I even did my makeup, which you can’t even see in the pictures 😦  I did cat eyes with brown eyeliner to match my dress!

And now, for picture overload!

 

Thanks for stopping by!

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