Sunday, July 5, 2015

Blouse with woven strips of fabric – part 1

When inspired like this I want to continue and despite the heat I started working on the muslin. The main focus point of this design are of course the woven strips at the top, I think it’s difficult to do this right without using a layer to fix them during construction. For the final product I plan to use water soluble fabric (Avalon) for this. In the muslin I opted for a thin fabric that does not add bulk and which I will cut away later. It’s thin and fluid so I starched it. I traced the pattern piece on this “temporary”  pattern piece with carbon tracing paper on both sides. In that way I can see the actual seam lines adding the strips of fabric and in construction.

For the weaving I used fabric strips of different width as in the inspiration piece.


When woven and pinned I turned the pattern piece on the carbon tracing paper again and marked it.


Then I cut away the extra length of the strips.


There is a little room between the strips but not a lot. On to the next part and sewing the muslin together. To be continued…..

Saturday, July 4, 2015


All of a sudden the inspiration was there today. I was on Pinterest and saw a pin from my friend Valerie and immediately knew that I wanted to try to make my version of it. It’s a Nina Ricci blouse and I simply love the line of the placket, the stripes, the weaving of the strips of fabric. I’ve started drafting already and will make a quick muslin when I can get myself to sewing again. At least the inspiration is there, that’s step 1.


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Friday, July 3, 2015

Not sewing related (again)

As we are having an exceptional heat wave here in The Netherlands (and in most of Europe) I’m not sewing. It’s just too hot. That’s from someone who lives in a very moderate climate, I know.

I mentioned before I was knitting a mystery shawl pattern (Xanadu). It’s finished and I like it. It was a difficult knit with lots of cables (at least stitches that were knitted in a different order, which is how cables are knitted). I did not use a cable needle and love that way of doing them. I had a difficulty with the pattern, as in the knitting patterns I’ve done in the past two years a blank square means a knit on the right side and a purl on the wrong side. Not so in this pattern, it was the reverse, which got me confused very often.

During my holidays I had a finished shawl with me that I used regularly in the evenings and on the chilly days. They do give that little bit of extra warmth, I’ve come to like them a lot (though until two years ago I never knitted or used one).


Blocked and unblocked.


Friday, June 26, 2015

Back home

Apart from showing you two fabrics at the end, this is a non sewing post. My inner battery has reloaded, it’s been a lovely holiday, even if the weather wasn’t always cooperative. Also no inclination for blogging (apart from the one post in the first week), though I intended to, but normal life was far away, which is a good thing in my opinion.

We went to the south of France, due to family circumstances shorter than we planned. These pictures are from a walk we did there.

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On to Italy, where our children joined us for a couple of days. They were all about making non-standard photos. So here’s my family. Some of you might remember pictures of my daughter in a jacket I made for her when she was 14. She’s almost 22 now and nearly finished her studies. My son is 19 and doing a traineeship with a radio station for his studies. I’m quite proud of them.

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A picture of mr Sigrid too, and a proof of me wearing the dress I made ;).



The view from the Torre del Mangia in Siena (400 steps up).




On the way back we were in Germany and there is where I bought two remnant pieces of fabric. I’ve hardly been looking for fabrics as I’ve so much that still has to be sewn, but one can’t resist a good bargain, can you?



Above a lycra which will be used in lingerie, below a cotton/silk blend (Vogue is printed on the side), just enough for a summer top. The fabric was very much “me”.


Till next time, with some proper sewing stories.

Friday, June 12, 2015

On holiday

Today we had this magnificent view. The weather was not very bright but still the view was wonderful. This is from the lovely city Mougins, the old village is an art centre and there were a lot of outdoor sculptures to be seen.



By coincidence we came upon some textile art too. We visited the Chagall museum in Nice. Apart from paintings and stained glass Chagall also designed tapestries, something I did not know. Some tapestries were very large. The exhibition often showed the small painting and the large tapestry side by side. The weaver was a very skilled woman, as the details he painted are perfectly matched in the tapestries. 



We also made a few lovely walks and are in short enjoying our holidays. In the evenings I’m knitting a shawl. This is clue 1 of a MKAL (Mystery Knit Along) almost finished. I’ve been knitting quite a lot of shawls in the past year and a half or so. After about 20 years I resumed knitting and discovered I like knitting shawls, which have the great advantage that fit is not an issue (a nice break from my fitting troubles in sewing). I’ve done a few mystery knits, this is my 3rd. It’s quite a complicated pattern with a lot of switched stitches. Fun!


Sunday, June 7, 2015

Two piece sleeve comparison - muslin

Yesterday evening was the perfect moment to sew the muslin with the two different sleeves. Some important football (soccer) match that my family really wanted to see and I am not interested at all. Football on television is out of the room for me ;). I don’t mind others watching, just don’t like it myself.

The result (changed the colors a bit to show the seams better). On my left arm is the more conventional draft, on the right side Suzy Furrer’s ddraft.



The right shoulder is more sloped which is clear in the pictutres and the sleeve even seems to drop off the shoudler. I’ll look into those issues later, the focus for now was on the sleeves. I think the shape of both sleeves is fine. The sleevecap on the more conventional one is higher (it has more ease). In both sleeves a little room can be taken out of the back armhole

In Suzy Furrer’s method the seam in the front is very visible as was to be expected seeing the pattern pieces. I don’t like that and will use the other sleeve. Though if you have Suzy’s class on sleeves, you’d probably be able to figure out how to change it. I will not bother because I have another option already.

Further this is not the jacket style I have in mind, so there will be more to do on that, but it will have to wait a while. The next pictures will probably be from a sunny spot in the south of Europe. Books and knitting in my suitcase, no sewing.


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Saturday, June 6, 2015

Two piece sleeve – drafting comparison

In general I’m very impressed with the pattern drafting classes by Suzy Furrer, as you have read in previous posts. Watching her doing the two piece sleeve though I had my doubts. It looked so different from what I’m used to in a two piece sleeve, both from commercial patterns as from the way I’ve drafted those before.

After my holiday I want to make a jacket, so I started changing the sloper to a jacket sloper and thought it was time for a sleeve draft experiment. I drafted the two piece sleeve using Suzy Furrer’s instructions and drafted it too using the method I was already familiar with. For both I used the same draft for the jacket itself.

Writing this post as much for those interested in drafting as for keeping track of what I’m doing myself.

The first picture is the way Suzy Furrer starts her two piece sleeve, her base is the normal sleeve draft and you take the outside parts and combine those to the under sleeve. The second picture is the Danckaerts method I’ve learned in the past year or so. In this system you don’t start with the base of another sleeve, the instructions are especially for drafting a two piece sleeve, based on the circumference of the armhole.


What I noticed in Suzy Furrer’s method is that there is less curve to the sleeve. She instructs you how to make it curve more forward, but in the result it’s less than in the other method. Also, because the “square” used in her method was rather wide for my armhole circumference, the result is an upper sleeve that’s very wide at the bottom, and an under sleeve that’s very narrow.

IMG_1472 The final pattern pieces using Suzy Furrer’s method
IMG_1473 Final pattern pieces using the Danckaerts system
IMG_1475 Upper sleeve pattern side by side
IMG_1474 Under sleeve pattern side by side

There is one important difference between the drafting systems: in Suzy Furrer’s method you decide yourself how much ease you want in the sleeve cap, as you measure the front and back length including the ease while drafting. The Danckaerts method is designed to always have 4 cm of ease. In the instructions it says: the sleeve cap must always have 4 cm of ease. Opinions differ on the need of ease at all and to how much is needed depending on the fabric you use. To me 4 cm is too much in general, I prefer less, so it will be a bit more complicated to change that in the pattern.

To me the draft of the under sleeve looks too narrow in Suzy Furrer’s method. To really compare I will make up a muslin of the jacket sloper and use both drafts.