Sunday, July 27, 2014

Bombshell by accident

Hi sewing nerds,

summer´s finally decided to stay for a while, so I spent time mostly outdoors, enjoying the sun and lazy breezes here in Berlin and around at the lakes that surround our capital city.

But still, sewing is with me all the time.
I got inspired by a dress made by my favorite designer, Lena Hoschek, which she released this summer, namely: the cabrio leaves dress. A jersey dress with a pencil skirt shape with ruffles at the sideseam and knotted at the shoulders with a little waterfall neckline.

As I didn´t find any unlicensed pics online, I give you this, my own interpretation of the pattern and overall look of the dress:

This is the fabric I found for my experiment, a lightweight cotton jersey with some elastic and a similar color as the original.

The fabric and the idea then lay in my stash and waited to come to life, but I got distracted and did many ohter garments before yesterday I came across a website that sparked my interest,, by the talented Laura.

She presented a tutorial for a ruffled skirt that looked smashing and so I dove into my stash to look for a siutable fabric, coming up with the one above.
I didn´t opt for a maxi skirt though, a mid length was more to my liking.
I did the skirt and it fit me well. During my first fitting in front of the mirror suddenly I felt reminded of the cabrio leaves dress and the idea to make this skirt into a dress struck me.

I rummaged through my old Burda issues to find a pattern with a waterfall neckline, as I had never made one before and wasn´t sure about how the pieces should look. I found one in Burda 9/2012, shirt 130.

I cut the front and back pieces and added a little capsleeve as I found long sleeves wouldn´t work on this dress. But when trying it on together with the skirt it just looked old-fashioned. I didn´t like it at all.

It makes a nice shirt though :-)

I found a shirt pattern in an old magazine (from 1997) and, although it didn´t feature a waterfall neckline, it sported a knotted shoulder. 

The pattern asked for double layers, which I managed to sqeeze out of my remaining fabric. Sewn together and in front of the mirror for a fitting.
It looked promising. So I basted it together and connected skirt and top.
And to my surprise, I looked so much like one of these 1940ies Bombshelldresses! Starting this I had no idea how it would turn out, but I love the result.
The slit may be a little naughty e.g. too high, but still, I like it like that. Also the asymmetrical hem. I was shortly thinking about adding more ruffles also to the second side, then decided against it. It is much more interesting this way. What do you think?

You must excuse my pics, unfortunately there was no one near to make them, so I had to use the self-portrait button and hope for the best...

Like it a lot :-)

A little on the butt side... still like it

If I dare, I will wear it tonight at the outdoor dancing at the Bode Museum.

All in all, I think I´m going to experiment a lot more often, now that this one came out so nicely.
Watch out for new makes.

Happy sewing peeps, and keep the good spirits up!

Monday, June 30, 2014

A very retro-inspired Tiramisu

Hi folks,

let me proudly present to you my latest make:
a Tiramisu.
It´s actually my second version and much improved too :-)

I found the fabric, a soft drapey viscosejersey, at the market "Stoffmarkt Holland", a travelling fabric market that comes to Potsdam every three months for one day only. And fell in love with this aquamarine color and little white polka dots (of course).

My first version of the Tiramisu by Cake patterns was made of a similar fabric, yet I had my problems with the right sizing of the bodice. My torso is rather long and my boobs small, so I decided on going with a size 30 (the smallest available). During the first fitting I sadly found out that it was much too short. Luckily I had some fabric left and cut the bodice again, same size but about six centimeters longer than before. That did the trick. In the end I had to take in some of the sideseams (about two centimeters at eacht side) to make it fit at the waist, and I like the result alltogether.

With this version I wanted it to sit right at my natural waist, so I widened the waistband on top of the longer bodice pieces, and now I just love the result.

The white seambinding gives a nice and clean finish to it, imagine white gloves and a poodle and I could step right into a Cary Grant Movie...

I added the pockets to this one (where I omitted them with the first version) and they don´t make the hips look bigger at all (which was a concern at first).

In short, I love this dress. 
Hopefully the summer will remember to come along to play soon, or it will just hang in my drawer and wait for better weather!

I will wear it to my Salsa dance class on Sunday anyway.

Hope you like it as much as I do:-)

Cheers, and happy sewing,

Monday, June 23, 2014

A staple dress and -blouse

Hi peeps,

as usual, it´s been a while since my last post, but work is rolling in and I still didn´t manage to clone myself, so some things simply have to wait...

But then, I made some pretty stuff since I last posted, mostly dresses of which I want to show you my two versions of the staple dress which was included in the previous Perfect pattern parcel.

I found this cotton/viscose blend on my favorite fabric market, Maybachufermarkt, here in Berlin. It´s always fun to browse between the stalls, touch and feel the fabrics, have a little chat with Mahmud and his colleages and sample some of the Maroccan food thats being offered. It´s one of my favorite pasttimes on a Saturday after cleaning the flat and shopping groceries. I take a ride to Neukölln and enjoy the atmosphere at the market. Should you ever come to Berlin, don´t miss it, every Saturday from eleven am to five pm.

Back to the fabric. I love those big Hibiscus flowers on white ground, the fabric has a nice drape and is very lightweight, doesn´t crumple and feels cool against the skin.

I made the staple dress with a normal seam, maybe next time I will try the high-low seam version.

The dress came together pretty easily, ok, the pattern is for beginners and I was finished in a few hours.
Shoulder seams were made with french seams, I like the clean look that gives to the inside of a garment.
The shirring in the middle sits a little too high for my liking, a fact I eliminated with the blouse from the same pattern. Due to the lightweight fabric I decided to omit the pockets as I didn´t want my hips to be emphazised too much. I added just two rows of shirring on that one. My machine (a Singer curvy) had no problems whatsoever with the elastic in the bobbin.

I am rather pleased with the result as you can see. Only the weather changed and it is too cold to wear this dress at the moment. But hope never dies, huh?

On with number two:
A blouse from the same pattern, with a very different fabric. This time it´s a pure cotton, a little stiff but with a nice feel to it, a lovely print (or so I think) and so very easy to sew, my Machine almost purred while sewing it.... :-)
Unfortunately I cut it too short, and it looked like a bad joke when I tried it on for the first I simply cut another 20 centimeters and added them to the hem. Now it looks hot (again only my opinion...)
and I will wear this a lot (at least if it will ever be warm again here).

But have a look for yourself and tell me what you think!

Ok, bad hair day inclusive, but not too bad or is it?
I like the blouse and the dress. All in all a time well spent. I´m thinking about a jersey version in a plain color, with pockets, just to be on the practical side for once.

And just for fun a little goodie as a nice finish:

Have fun sewing guys and keep your fingers crossed for the time to pass fast until I can finally pack my stuff for the Great Oz Experience.....
Til then,
happy sewing :-)