samedi 21 décembre 2013

A little step forward

After knits I have faced another one of my fabric terrors and I think I won: I can now sew with chiffon!

Okay for my first try I didn't exactly choose the most difficult project, it's a very basic top from the first Japanese sewing book I purchased -how なつかしい:

I actually made this top for one of my secondary school students but the result looked a little too grown-up so I kept it for me and made another one in girly blue Liberty for her :)
So my ultimate tip for sewing with chiffon is the same as with knits, ie add your seam allowances on your paper pattern so you can simply cut around and don't have to trace anything, which would make the fabric move too much. You can also use more weights than usual to keep your pattern in place, it will help stabilize the chiffon. Once the pieces were cut I used a simple straight machine seam and narrow zigzag to put the top together and finish the inside. With this design you're supposed to use self-made bias to create the tunnels through which you thread the strap but I felt that cotton bias tape would be more resistant so I put some instead and chose sheer ribbon for the strap.

I'm so happy I could make some progress in my sewing skills in 2013, maybe I'll finally be able to make some decent trousers in 2014^^

vendredi 13 décembre 2013

Silly shorts I love thee

I finally cut into the adorably creepy fabric I had been hoarding since last year and I'm super happy I did because now I have awesome shorts! First let's have a closer look at said fabric:

 These ones remind me of some of my students^^

 If Dora underwent a little makeover...

 That guy on the left totally looks like my brother!

 Hey this is me!

It is some off-white medium-weight cotton sprinkled with cute and bizarre -but aren't we all- black and red characters that I found at Nomura and my only regret is that I didn't take the mint green version too, so as a meagre consolation I used bias tape in this colour to finish the legs :(
The pattern is this one except I used wide black elastic in lieu of a fabric belt so that I could skip the button and zipper on the side -I'm a little ashamed because I'm totally getting lazy with my sewing these days!

And of course how could I live without lilac hair all this time?!

mardi 19 novembre 2013

Lolita fashion part three

For parts one and two please look here :) So for my latest take on this trend I stuck to the extravagant fabric/sober pattern recipe I used for the previous dresses and made my extremely basic loose-fitted, kimono-sleeved dress with amazing Sevenberry border fabric:

Dots! Flowers! Stripes! Black, white and colours! I die! Seriously I wonder how I didn't have a seizure when I saw this perfect fabric on the discount shelf in Tomato (200 yens a meter ie €1.50), you know this moment will definitely go down as one of the highlights of my life and be remembered fondly on my death bed^^. That's how much I love my fabric even though I'll admit that being a light weight canvas it's a bit hot but I guess I can take it.

I finished everything with green bias tape from my stash.

I didn't even bother putting on makeup because THAT DRESS!

mercredi 6 novembre 2013

The WTF jacket

I can be sensible when it comes to my garments and make wearable basics such as my knit tops, sober jackets or simple shorts but I'm a crazy project lover at heart :) I love picking cheesy, garish, kitsch fabric and making impractical vintage stuff out of them, like my string of big-skirted 50's dresses or numerous novelty print tops. But I must say that today's project takes the cake:

Yes, it is a kimono jacket made with flower printed silk and bordered with black fringe and no, it is not intended to be worn inside. I CHERISH this fabric, I found it in the discount corner of a local shop a few years ago, €2 a meter, pure Japanese silk with a print the Golden Girls would kill for, it was love at first sight! As for the fringe, it has always been my favourite embellishment so I just knew I would have to incorporate it into one of my creations one day. Finally I adore this kimono jacket pattern -the first version is here- and wanted to make another one.

 I haven't made a matching belt yet but I will, I swear!

jeudi 31 octobre 2013

My witch dress

Last year I went with bright orange for my Halloween garment and realised I really can't with this colour so this year I made something black:

It's a self-drafted knit dress with kimono sleeves and a slightly flared maxi skirt, I wish I could have made it a tiny bit longer but I ran out of fabric obviously.
And not only is Halloween my favourite celebration -tonight I'm totally reading E.F. Benson's creepy stories before watching a Kaidan Restaurant marathon :)- but it's also my mum's birthday, so I made her this dress using a great Mrs. Stylebook pattern and flower printed cotton from a local shop:

Happy Halloween!

jeudi 24 octobre 2013

A (big) bunch of tops

And they're all made from that Burda pattern using super soft knit fabrics from various local shops. Seriously I could live in these tops, they're so comfortable and with their demure boatneck and 3/4 sleeves they're ideal for work. Also I tried to make the most recent ones long enough to be worn with leggings, which worked okay and still the fabric's so light I can fold them or tuck them in when they're paired with skirts or shorts and there won't be any bulk.

A little Dora!!

I finished the neckline and sleeves by folding the fabric inside and using a medium zigzag seam:

As the white top which was too see-through, I had to line the upper front and back so the neckline was finished this way:

Also I've just found some navy with grey stripes knit in my stash so another one is definitely coming :)

mercredi 11 septembre 2013

My vacation wardrobe

I've just come back from my yearly Asian vacation and it was AMAZING! This time I went with my cousin/bff and we had so much fun now I want to travel with her only :) We spent a few days in Singapore and 2 weeks in beautiful Japan, starting with Tokyo, then Fukuoka, Nagasaki, Kyoto, Osaka, Okayama, Takamatsu and back to Tokyo.
I wanted to share a few pics of the me-made outfits I brought, I wore almost everything I had planned to except for a rayon mini dress that shrinked when I washed it and a cotton dress that looked atrocious no matter how much ironing I gave it :(

This is my NHK sewing book dress with a 60's flair made with Japanese cotton in a green quilting print, it was a breeze to wear in the summer temperatures! The pic was taken on Sentosa island in Singapore.

This khaki jersey top/ dotted navy shorts combo got a lot of wear during the trip, it was comfortable and would dry super quickly without wrinkling when I washed it. The top's pattern comes from Female and the shorts are self-drafted. The pic was taken in megastore La Foret in Harajuku, such a cool and stylish place for inspiration :)

A Japanese pattern navy linen dress with ecru crochet details totally inspired by one of Zoe's amazing creation, it's very flattering and I felt like a doll in it! This pic was taken in Nagasaki near the Promenade, I must say this was my favourite city this time, it was beautiful, original and people were adorable. Also I love willows!

Argh I look seriously chubby here but I just had to show you my classic red checked pattern Japanese cotton dress, I used an A-line dress pattern from the Sweet Dress Book and if I remember correctly the pic was taken in a cafe Veloce in Fukuoka.
Here I'm wearing my eternal denim shorts that are getting seriously worn out and need a replacement with a coral jersey top from a Female pattern. We had a blast in Osaka where the pic was taken and Icoca is so cute!

Me-made cropped leggings in black jersey, the shirt is from Uniqlo and the pic was taken in a temple near Nijo castle in Kyoto. It used to be the emperor's private garden, what an excellent place to visit!

I'm getting so emotional everytime I go to Inari, this is my most favourite place ever! I'm wearing a self-drafted top in Japanese cottton with sky print and my denim shorts next to one of the temple's gorgeous kitsune.

A Japanese pattern maxi dress in tropical print cotton in Ueno station, I've always loved deep water creatures and there was an expo about them at the Natural Sciences Museum!

Same place different outfit with a self-drafted dress in dotted cotton and refashioned denim jacket.

So about this year's bounty I brought back 2 Female issues and some fabrics including Liberty and Sevenberry cotton lawns that I can't wait to turn into cool garments!

samedi 20 juillet 2013

Tropical outfit

I've just finished two garments which I'm very happy with, they're colourful, comfortable and cute!

I made another raglan sweatshirt, this time in coral knit fabric, it's the same Female pattern as the tiger one except I made a size M and it's still a little baggy because the fabric is so thin it stretches a lot. I'll take care of that by slightly reducing the hip band next time, I think it'll work!

Now for the bottom, I adapted a pattern from the Sweet Dress Book to get a pair of very gathered, almost skirt-like shorts. They close at the side with two buttons and a zipper and they're made with some fluo print cotton fabric.

I'm super sensitive to cold weather and it's still winter here but the day was so sunny I was able to wear the shorts without tights and the sweatshirt kept me warm enough :)

lundi 8 juillet 2013

Tiger sweatshirt

Even though I'm usually more of a leopard fan I've been quietly obsessing about tiger prints for months now so when I saw this thin, velvety fake tiger fur at a local shop I was delighted! It was the perfect fabric for another idée fixe of mine, a slightly bulky raglan sweatshirt -go figure^^
I found the pattern in an old Female magazine, it was sized for knits but after measuring the pieces I saw it would be roomy enough for non stretchable fabric so I tried a size L and it worked great! Since I didn't want the hood part I simply finished the neckline with some mustard bias tape from my stash.

I'm so happy with how this project turned out, not only was it quick and easy but the final product looks exactly as I wanted it to! It's also very comfortable and I've worn it a lot :) By the way, to avoid damaging the fake fur I turn the garment inside out and put it in a lingerie bag before washing it in the machine.

samedi 6 juillet 2013

A little romance

I made another lace baby doll top, almost one year after the first one, except this time it's only the border that's embroidered. I must admit the fabric was an impulse purchase because I have so much stash I really shouldn't buy anymore stuff! It was 8€ a meter and 90cm were enough for the top which is plain voile at the back. I saw similar designs in some of the few designers stores around town and the average price is 200-250€ so I feel a little less guilty with my 7.20€ garment^^.

jeudi 4 juillet 2013

Hot basics

I sewed some leggings and a cardigan, hence the "basics" part. The leggings' pattern comes from an old Pochée magazine, I had to slightly grade it up but once this was done it came together in a few minutes! Of course there's only one inner seam for the legs, the waist is simply folded to the inside to encase an elastic and the legs' hem are folded too. I made a cropped version but the original pattern is longer and there's even a variation if you want to ruch the ankles.

Now for the cardigan it's from another old Japanese mag, actually it's a simple rectangle on the fold with two cut-outs to set the sleeves in:

Tracing, cutting, sewing and finishing took me less than one hour so if you want a quick, easy project may I suggest you try this one?
Oh and that leopard knit makes all that extremely hot imo^^

mardi 25 juin 2013

A new top

I discovered the crafts store Spotlight the last time I went to Singapore and even though their fabrics are seriously expensive I had to buy some, they were so cute! Case in point the adorable nautical themed cotton I used for today's top that cost a good 20 dollars A METER and that, of course, I had to waste by using it for a dress that made me look like a deranged aging little girl.

Fortunately I could save the skirt panels and managed to squeeze a top out of them. The patten is my altered R design from the Sweet Dress Book, I paired the printed fabric with plain white cotton for the yoke:

And I added a mock buttoned tab at the back:

Phew, I'm relieved I didn't completely waste it, I may even be able to make a lil' bag out of some remaining scrap!