2018 makes (2) – bicycle dress

My makes of 2018, spread out over 9 blog posts. This is blog 2, with photos.

Knipmode 06-2016 dress 11, aka bicycle dress

2018-01-06: Pretty happy with the fit of this toile. Made so many changes to this 2016-06 @knipmode dress that it almost feels like my own design. The pleats in the back happened when I made changes to fit the shape of my lower back. I like them!

Already modified the pattern pieces, so ready to start version 2!

2018-01-07: It’s a good thing @corriedekleermaeker got me plenty of this push bike fabric when she visited. This is a fabric hungry pattern, especially if you can’t cheat with upside down pattern pieces. @knipmode 2016-06 dress 11, version 2: the real deal.

2018-01-09: May the cutting begin!
The balcony table matches beautifully with the dining table, so I’ve got me a temporarily kick-ass-sized cutting table 😎

2018-01-13: My interpretation of @knipmode2016-06 dress 11, in a jersey knit from #JanSikkes gifted by @corriedekleermaeker featuring plenty of bicycles 🚲🚴‍♀️🚵‍♀️ First made quite some changes to the fit in a wearable muslin first and now remade it in this slightly heavier jersey.

Finished it with a rolled hem, because I wanted to preserve the length and also just because I can now that I have my-first-overlocker. The hem curls outward a bit too much, so probably should have used the differential feet better. Not entirely happy with the arm scythes, which might turn out a bit too tight for the Brisbane climate. Also not certain about the pockets, adding bulk to the hips and tend to stay open. But then again, you got to have pockets!

Sometimes you finish a perfectly fine dress without jumping for joy, not sure why in this case. Guess I’ll need to take her on a test run and see how she goes.

BTW, the big ass cutting table made up of the dining room table together with the balcony table worked swimmingly. Thank the engineers for standardised sizing.

2013-01-13: What a difference 2 cm make in the armpit. Changed my dress from uncomfortable to just what I planned for!

2018-03-31: Last weekend I made another Burdastyle dress, since my push bike version has proven to be a favorite. This time I used a heavier knit, getting towards scuba in a beautiful bordeaux. I’m happy with the look and feel of it in this dress.


2018-02-10: Believe it or not, but making a petticoat has been on my wish list for many a year. Today I made it so!

Photos are: without, with and only a petticoat. Does it have the right amount of fullness you think?

I made this with tulle cut offs from @reversegarbageqld and got plenty left for a full length petticoat, or another short one with more layers 🤔. Having an overlocker definitely made the job a lot easier and faster 😁. It’s more a winter accessory though, tulle works nicely as insulation… 😫

Pleated skirt

2018-03-31: Yesterday I finally picked up this lovely print from Voodoo Rabbit to turn it into a pleated skirt, making it up as I went along. No cutting, apart from the pocket, but quite a bit of unpicking as I stumbled through the process. Now I can finally put my petty coat to use!

Also, the skirt is nice combo with this t-shirt from Plotz in the Netherlands featuring cutting scissors 😀. #SewHereNow

2018 makes (1) – work outfit

My makes of 2018, spread out over 9 blog posts. This is blog 1, with photos.

Deltares work shirts, 2018 edition

2018-01-01: A new year, a new sewing project. Made a 2nd work shirt in my 2018 style, but added some flat piping to the neckline (left one). Used both of my machines this time, do everything is threaded up with royal blue. #Classy
That makes two down, so a few more to go!

2018-02-03: First attempt to transform left over collars and sleeves from my refashioned work shirts into something. Currently thinking pleated skirt. I don’t have enough material to make an entire skirt though. Maybe it would work with a straight /plain backside. Thoughts?

Upcycling dress to pencilskirt

2018-01-02: Shapeless dress (on me at least) turned into knee-length vixen pencilskirt. It works great with my work-polo-turned-classy-top. Now I’ll have to wear fancy shoes into the office 😅

I reused the collar as waistband, with some elastic hidden within. Nipped the sides in a smidgen. That was all. Overlocker FTW.

Original dress donated by @mariandk42over a year ago *blush*. #waronwaste #slowfashion

Summer pants (wearable toile and the real deal)

2018-11-04: Summer pants! Planning on more, cause Summer 😎. Will tweak the waistband a bit in the next one.

#highwater #sewherenow #prettyinsides#KnipmodeWithTweaks #Lowrise

2018-11-06: Played a serious game this morning with a enthusiastic group of Indonesian delegates. Had great fun, but also shared with them that my pocket lining was in fact an Indonesian print. At the end they gave me this beautiful bracelet made from local stones, so I guess my confession was appreciated 😊. #imakemyownclothes #detailsmatter#prettyinsidesFTW

2018-11-18: Focused on some details and new techniques this weekend. Added a welt back pocket to my new pants yesterday and am working my way through concealed buttons and sleeve placard today. YouTube college FTW 😉 It’s fun to learn new things and take your time to find a nice way to do them. #alwayslearning#sewherenow #wearabletoile#myfirstbuttondown

2018-11-29: Happy work pants! @knipmode2018-09 pattern #16. This length combined with bare feet make me feel like Uma Thurman.

Modifications: ➕ swopped straight waistband with shaped #GingerMidrisewaistband, previously hacked to be a LowRise ➕ hidden button and hook for closure ➕ added welt pockets in the back.

#MorePockets #sewherenow #prettyinsides #twist

Deltares work shirts, 2019 edition

2018-12-16: There’s no such thing as too much coverstitching, right?

Making things up as I go along, hacking this Burda 08/2017 dress into a top, in knit instead of woven, omitting the lining, fabricating some neck facing, coverstitching all the seems.

I think it might need some tweaks (for starters get rid of those buste darts), but will happily test wear it tomorrow!

#workoutfit2019 #sewherenow #4moretogo #freshshirteveryday


2018 makes (0) – new machines

I’ve been all over Instagram in 2018, neglecting this blog. I think this blog will have a bit more staying power than random Insta posts, so I’ve gathered all my makes, in semi chronological order in a few blog posts. More for my future self than anyone else, mind you! It worked out to be 9 blog post, so I guess this was my 2018 make 9 :).


We start here with the changes in hardware in 2018 and the 2018 Christmas drinkies with the Spoolettes :).  Here’s the link to the photos.

Sewing machine troubles

2018-06-23: My trusty machine decided enough is enough earlier this week. At her age I think I have to respect her wishes. So after a week of research I’m shopping for a new companion today. Just spend 2 hours looking at Husqvarna, Brother and Bernina, next up is Janome. I have learned my Husqvarna 1200 had an exceptional collection of features and will be hard to replace!#YouOnlyMissThemWhenTheyAreGone
#SidewaySewing #AutoTension

2018-06-29: Topstiching like a boss on my new husqy. La Opal and I are getting to know each other. Let the weekend begin!

#NewMachineDay #HusqvarnaViking#Opal690Q #TheyCanFixMyOld1200Too#Yay

New machine, it’s a coverstitch!

2018-11-16: Not sure what I’m happier about: one last unexpected swim on the reef on Samoa Friday arvo or learning that my new coverstitch will be waiting for me at home tomorrow on Saturday morning!#AndTheHBtoo #GoodLife#WorkLifeBalance

2018-11-17: Out-of-the-box results, coverstitching in the round shoulder seams and all. No skipped stitch in sight, obviously I need to work on my sewing straight skills 😂. Follow up test runs did have 1 or 2 skipped stitches, so I will join the ranks of those struggling with this. But first some more practice to get a feel for the effect of the different settings, and to minimize user error 🤓

2018-11-22: My first coverstitch hem! Sure, you can get all technical and call it my third one, but who’s counting. BTW, did you know it’s super easy to unpick a coverstitch 😂

Definitely room for improvement, but I took the plunge and moved from scraps to garment. Bring it on! (the orange hem stitching is mine, the grey is the original from the upcycled shirt) #learningcurve#coverstitch #CycleQueensland

2018-11-25: T-shirt with coverstitched neckband and hems (!) put together in 1 morning. Roughly 75% of that time was spent attaching the neckband with the knit binder attachment 😅

Some observations: ➕ cut binding strips along the grain (stretch lengthwise), anything else will fail ➕ every time you stop coverstitching, you get a skipped stitch ➕ it seems to be impossible to coverstitch a hem in one go without stopping, let alone a neckband ➕ not sure how to bring these last two points together 😭

#sewherenow #coverstitch #knitbinder#learningcurve (Yes, I used new needles, checked the threading, flossed the discs, checked the needle settings and made test runs. The stitch quality is beautiful, except for the places where I stopped and continued, without as much as lifting the foot, just to reposition my hands.)

2018-12-01: Coverstitch project #2, a short sleeve Tee for the hb. Tension is better under control, but still some skipped stitches. Let’s see how they hold up in real life.

Had some fun coverstitching the neck and sleeve seams. Getting more comfortable with my new tool, but it feels there’s still a ways to go… For those paying attention: hb still only wears black, except when visiting a Buddhist temple. #holidaysewing

#sewherenow #learningcurve #coverstitch


2018-12-16: Christmas drinkies with the @brisbanespoolettes

Deltares work shirts

Out with the old, in with the new. I’ve finished the 2019 edition of my work shirt and I’m super happy with it. It’s not easy to find a fun pattern, that’s suitable for work, can be made out of a polo shirt (fricking center front button placard!) and has room for the company logo.

Top is the new line (hack from dress 120 Burda 8/2017). Left is the semi-wearable toile, before some major improvements (lengthen by 8 cm, reduce bust shaping). Middle 2 are sewn on sewing machine, finished with a double needle on the coverstitch. Right 2 are sewn on the overlocker, finished with a chain-stitch. I batch-sewed these, which worked well since I had to swap cones between the overlocker and coverstitch a lot, which is worth it for 2 shirts. I feel doing 3 in a batch might have been a bit too much for me! Last version is def the best, and as pretty on the inside as they are on the outside (swipe for pica).

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The old editions are from left to right: 2018 with a boat neck, 2017 with a waterfall neckline and 2016 which was just a fitted polo. Every edition has its place, and I enjoy seeing the progression over time. This year is the first time I used a pattern. Previous years I’ve been inspired by RTW neckline features, and made it work.

I’ve included a photo with me in the new shirt. Bonus: I think I’ve salvaged enough collars to make a cheerleader skirt! Just need to figure out what fabric to use in between. Also, I’m due for a change of color on my machines and sew something else than work shirts!

#sewherenow #sewingtall #deltares

Red carpet challenge

Sometimes all you need is good challenge to grow your skills and nerves. One of the lovely Brisbane Spoolettes posed the red carpet challenge: recreate a dress from the Oscars red carpet (February) for this years Frocktails (August). The idea was to make a somewhat more challenging project for a special event, stretching your skills. After going through all the dresses with the HB, there was a clear winner for me: Emma Stone in her golden flapper dress, adding a 21st century twist to this twenties gem. Now to find a pattern to use as the basis and of course the fabric. A very lucky trip to the fabric store Jan Sikkens in my hometown, together with my personal shopper and mum got me all those things. Which is a thing that never happens. Seriously.

With all these good vibes, it was time to get to business. The bodice needed to be closely fitted, so after making changes to the toile and copying those to the pattern pieces, I decided to make another toile to make sure the pattern now had just the right fit. A quick test with a pinned rectangular piece of fabric showed that the flapper part of the dress would be pretty straight forward. Of course, I broke my wrist somewhere in the process, so I had to postpone this project for 6 weeks. Good thing I started early! More details below the pics.

For the full photographic experience and the end result, go to Google Photos. Here’s a quick impression of the project:

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On to the real thing, the cutting of the fabric. Fortunately, the main fabric was very wide and I bought plenty, so I could hunt for the perfect pattern placement. Like, not getting a bare bottom print on my belly… And then the fun of pattern matching at the seams. Step by step this dress was getting together. The sewing bit was not that hard, especially since I already made the pattern twice :). I only had to redo one seem to get a better pattern matching at the zipper. Speaking of which, I was quite relieved when this actually closed. With such a close fitted pattern there’s no way of telling if it will fit until you’ve put the zipper in!

Next stop the skirt. The pattern is as easy as it gets, however to make it flap it requires you add 18 m of tassels. Straight. On a shiny fabric, which I feared would emphasize the stitches. On to the University of YouTube, where I learned to just do it and to start at the bottom. This was a disaster, crooked stitches, just a nightmare. But my lovely spoolettes came to the rescue in helping me locate EZ-Steam II on a Sunday (aka 2-sided fusible tape). A quick trip to Spotties later I got to work with the help of a drafting triangle, a long ruler and my trusty dive weights. Easy peasy lemon squeezy, but it still takes a few hours because of the 18 m.

Thanks to Ekka day (i.e. a random free Wednesday in the week before Frocktails) I even had time to spare to make a purse, since I wasn’t able to sneak some pockets into this one. And for shits and giggles I also added a twenties style headband and tassel earrings (the latter which I didn’t wear). Outfit completed. I must admit I was quite pleased with the result and had a great time at Frocktails. The dress even hold up when we went dancing afterward. Thanks Spoolettes, for keeping me on my toes.

Top part of the dress is this Burda Style Trumpet gown: http://www.burdastyle.com/…/patterns/trumpet-gown-032017
Knot bag: https://za.pinterest.com/pin/382524562086233903/


Speed record – dress in one day

I’m in the market for another wedding dress, but this time it has to be on the cheap. So yesterday arvo I ventured out to the salvos in Red Hill. This is a massive op shop, with separate “boutique” section with a high end selection and a well organised and huge “normal” section. It seemed to be my lucky day, with a wonderful wedding dress at display in my size! However, its price tag of a 1000 dollars didn’t really fit my budget. So I had to rely on my ingenuity and went to work. Alas, the Australians are simply too short, so it was though going. After a good hour of  deliberations with tops and skirts, I wandered into the section with fabrics and saw this perfect off-white tablecloth with silk embroidery, complete with 8 serviettes. Finally something I could work with to create a full-length wedding dress that fits!

The plan was to make a “square skirt” from the table cloth, which is a simple as cutting a hole that fits over your hips and finish said hole with a (elastic) waistband. The serviettes would have to be assembled in a top in some fashion. After an evening of plotting and scheming I had the rough outline of a plan.

This morning Linecraft proved to have the perfect ribbons and other haberdashery to make this vision a reality, so I ended up spending more on this than on the fabric itself.

Next step: cut a big hole in the table cloth. No guts, no glories! After that first big step, the rest was rather smooth sailing and before afternoon tea I had transformed a table cloth in a proper dress. I’m not showing the whole dress for now, since it will be a few weeks before I get to wear it. Don’t want to spoil the surprise, that would be bad luck *grin*.

I’m actually quite pleased with the end result, having a bit of a twenties vibe about it. Now all that is left is to trash it a bit, but why that’s necessary is another story.

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You say mens shirt, I say my shirt

Another method to turn a formless shirt into a fitted shirt. Some would call the original a mens shirt, all I see is a shirt that is long enough to cover my upper body, but lacks any shape or form. The latter is more easily fixed than adding length after the fact!

I found a nice red shirt, not quite as large as I would like, but half price at Vinnies, so who can complain. This time I used a black tailor made shirt I had ordered with Bivolino as my inspiration. The end result is a fitted shirt, that’s comfortable enough to move around in. I think I might use this method more often, so I’ve described the process below.

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I used the iron board as a pin cushion, when copying the pattern pieces from the Bivolino shirt. This works very well, as long as the pattern pieces fit on the board.

I matched the two front panel pieces at the arm hole (overlapping so that the seam lines match). The center front piece follows the center front of the shirt (button strip) off course. For the second panel I matched the bottom corner with the shirt. Of course there was some excess fabric to trim at the sides.

There was not enough room to actually cut the princess seam, but the since the overlap of the pattern pieces was something of 1-2 cm short, I decided to replace this seam with a small dart. (The picture below is from after I already put the dart in, so it’s less clear.)  The dart starts where the pattern pieces lose their comfortable overlap (fortunately below the breast pocket), ending straight at the hem of the shirt.

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You can see why the original shirt should ideally be XX-L or XXX-L. It is because arm holes in a straight cut are pretty wide, whilst in a fitted shirt they are much smaller, therefore you need more width in the fabric higher up. Since was only a L, I had to get creative.

For the back panel, I simply put the Bivolino shirt straight on top of the red shirt, marked the size and trimmed the excess fabric at the sides. Here I did not need to use the entire width of the shirt at the bottom. I did add up to 2 cm by eye, over the length of the back darts, to have enough fabric to add those. I drew each side separately by hand, hoping the front panels would still match (i.e. be the same length as the back panel). This worked better on one side that the other, but the end result is not bad enough to necessarily do it more precise next time (although I should).

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Because the arm holes ended up larger than the Bivolino shirt, I had to cut the sleeves a bit wider as well. Instead of measuring as I should have done, I made a lucky guess which was close enough. But next time I should definitely spend the extra 5 minutes to do it properly.

I kept most of the original shape of the sleeve head (which I separated carefully of the original, allowing me to use the complete length), which worked out well. Using a wider arm also allowed me to keep the original cuffs (at the smallest position), which is a necessity I think. That’s a benefit of a smaller shirt, the cuffs are less wide.


By the by, here is a photo of the end result of the project I mentioned previously, but forgot to put online.