Testing Call: Vienna Tank Top from Itch to Stitch – German translation

Hi all,

I have finished the translation of another Itch-toStitch pattern, the Vienna Tank Top. I need some proof readers who are also willing to sew up the pattern. 

Titelbild_Vienna

You can find the full description of the pattern including material here. Need some inspiration? Look at the lovely creations from the testers here. Or my two versions here and here.

Requirements:

  • You are a native or fluent German speaker with a good feeling for the language
  • You like the pattern and intend to sew it up as is
  • You have enough time to send me the corrections and pictures of the finished garment until June 06.
  • Ideally you have a blog or facebook page to share your finished Vienna Tank Top and to participate in the blog tour.

Timeline:

I plan to start testing on Friday, May 26 and would like to receive the proof read pattern as well as your modeled photos with the Vienna Tank Top on Tuesday, June 06. 

Testing Procedure

Testers will be invited to a facebook group where we can discuss the translation and share pictures. In return for your effort you will receive a copy of the final German pattern.

Interested?

Then please leave a comment or send an email to sewingdreams (at) web (dot) de with ref “Vienna”. 

Posted in Itch to Stitch, Pattern Tester | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Ocean Breeze Cardigan

Last year I discovered that DROPS has tons of free knitting patterns, one of them the Ocean Breeze Cardigan.

Ocean Breeze Cardigan

I completed this already last summer, but only last weekend I got around to sew on the buttons.

Ocean Breeze Cardigan

I had some yarn in my stash that I wanted to use, but is was thinner than the yarn recommended. So I knitted a gauge and tried to recalculate the pattern for my yarn. This didn’t work though and the pattern didn’t look nice with the thin yarn. In the end I was so frustrated that I bought the DROPS yarn that was used for the model. Think their strategy worked on me: offer free patterns, and people buy the recommended yarn. I am slowly leanrning to match fabric and patterns, but with knitting I am still such a bloody beginner that I am quite lost.

Ocean Breeze Cardigan

The instructions are OK, I sometimes had to read them more than once, but this is rather due to my sparse knitting knowledge, I think.

The pattern was fun to knit and never boring. And a lot of knots!

Ocean Breeze Cardigan

Ocean Breeze Cardigan

The fit is great, only the armscyes turned out to be a bit tight. I also found the buttonholes to be tiny and the little rose buttons I found are still a bit hard to pull through the holes. It is OK though as I hardly will wear the cardigan closed.

Ocean Breeze Cardigan

Other than that I do not have to say much about this project (because I already forgot everything else. This is the downside of having projects lying around for so long).

Ocean Breeze Cardigan

I plan to wear the cardigan with dresses. It is a bit unpractical because it only has short sleeves, and when it is too cold to wear a sleeveless dress, I need something with long sleeves. But we will se how it works out.

BTW, the dress I am wearing is Vogue 8787. I made it several years ago and still love it as it is so easy to wear.

Posted in Cardigan, Knitting | Tagged , | 2 Comments

Keko Kreativ Yoga Bag

Last year I started practising yoga, and it turned out that I love it a lot. I got a yoga mat as Christmas gift, and so I needed a bag for the mat. I used the yoga bag pattern from Keko Kreativ, a German designer for bag patterns.

Yoga bag

Fabric:

As I am so not in sewing bags, I decided to make a muslin first from old curtains. The fabric is from IKEA and I had curtains from it in a flat where I lived 20 years ago. I often thought to discard the old curtains, now I am happy I did not. And as it turned out, I love this bag and won’t make another one. The fabric is rather stiff, so it is suitable for a sturdy bag. The lining fabric is from another old curtain. It is a more lightweight cotton. 

Construction:

The yoga bag pattern comes with different options for the closure, side panels and straps. I went for the zipper closure and made two different pockets at each side panel and a shoulder strap. The instructions are very detailed and include photos for each step.

Yoga bag

The zipper pocket is just big enough for my key. As you see my zipper is a bit too short. But hey, it was in my stash, so no complaints here. 

Yoga bag

The other side has an open pocket which is just for fun. It is rather small and not really useful. I also added a zipper pocket to one of the long sides of the bag. This is not included in the pattern, but I needed a pocket for my membership card of the gym.

Yoga bag

Yoga bag

The pattern comes with pattern pieces for the side panels (this is, actually, circles in different sizes) and how to calculate the circumference which is the height of the bag. The length depends on the length of your mat. It is important that you include enough ease here so that you can put the mat without difficulties in the bag. As you can see here my bag is about 5 cm longer than my mat. It works but a bit more space would be nice too.

Yoga bag

The instructions give no hint about the length of the shoulder strap. So I pinned my tape measure to the bag and tried to decide how long the strap should be. In the end I made it 20 cm longer than the bag. This works just fine, but again, it could be longer. Or should be longer if I wanted to use the slider which is also from my stash like the D-ring:

Yoga bag

In fact, I only bought the big zipper and the interfacing. The side pieces are interfaced with Vlieseline S320 and H630, the bag itself only with H630. 

The pattern has instructions how to bag the lining so that there are no visible seams inside. I do like that a lot.

Yoga bag

Yoga bag

Conclusion:

I love how the bag turned out, and it is great to carry my yoga mat. This is something I really had a need for, and now it makes me happy everytime I pick it up when I go to m yoga lesson. I did not like sewing it, though. There was a lot of cursing involved, especially when sewing the side panels to the main bag. The interfaced pieces were so thick and stiff and I really appreciate how my machine sewed over it without the slightest complaint. So you will not see many bags on my blog, I will sew them only when I am in great need.

How about you? Do you like sewing bags, or are you a garment sewer like me?

Posted in Bags | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Itch to Stitch Anza Jumpsuit and Dress

Kennis released a new pattern, the Anza Jumpsuit and Dress. When I first saw it I immediatley fell in love with the bodice: the slightly curved V-neck and the breast pockets. So I coud not resist and applied for the testing.

The Anza comes as jumpsuit or dress and features an elastic waist, pockets, cuffed sleeves and different cup sizes. I made the dress. I love the jumpsuit look on others, but I am still a bit reluctant to try it for myself.

Anza jumpsuit and dress

Anza jumpsuit and dressAnza jumpsuit and dressFabric:

I used a black-grey cotton that I bought last year in a local fabric store. I had bought 5m of it with the purpose of making pants. But it was the only fabric in my stash that was lightweight enough and that had the required length.

Alterations:

I cut a size 2 A cup for the bodice, tapering to a size 4 for waist and skirt. I made no other changes. As this is a loose fitting style, this was to be expected.

Construction:

The construction is straight forward. As there are no sleeves to set in, no collar and no lining, this is quite a quick sew. I kept it simple and finished the seam allowances with my serger. The most challenging part was sewing the cuffs to the sleeves at the underarm seam.  This reminded me of sewing a placket to a slit in a shirt sleeve.

Conclusion:

This Dress is quite an unusual silhouette for me. Usually I prefer a fitted bodice and  a flared skirt. I am also not so in shirttail hems for dresses, but this is really a trend at the moment. And I think, this is the first woven dress I made that is not lined! But, of course, this dress is really comfy. So lets see how it will work its way into my wardrobe. At the moment, it is still just to cold to wear it.

Disclaimer: I got the pattern for free in exchange for testing it. All opinions are my own.

This post contains affilitate links.

 

Posted in Dresses, Itch to Stitch, Pattern Tester | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Paro Cardigan German Translation available

The Paro Cardigan from Itch to Stitch is availbale in German now! For all the details please refer to the German page here.

Paro_Titel

Posted in General | Leave a comment

Itch to Stitch Tierras Woven Joggers

Kennis from Itch to Stitch released a new pattern, the Tierras Woven Joggers, and I was one of the pattern testers. The Joggers are meant to be comfy, but dressy pants, and that is what they are.

Tierras woven joggers

Tierras woven joggern

Tierras woven jogger

The pictures are not the best but it was cold and rainy that weekend and I had to take advantage of a rain break.

Fabric:

I used a 100 % cotton batiste from my stash. It was not quite enough so I had to use some other scraps of green fabric for the waistband and the pockets. In the end I am happy how this turned out. The green contrast balances the flower print.

Tierras woven jogger

I also had to piece the pocket facing as there wasn’t any piece left which was big enough. I always felt that piecing is not professional and would somehow downgrade the finished garment. My mind changed after I read an article about piecing in one of the last Thread issues. If you use it deliberately and in unconspicous places it can save a lot of fabric.  That is something I can appreciate.
Tierras woven jogger

Alterations:

I started with a size 4, as I was sure this is my usual hip size for Itch-to Stitch patterns. This version was a bit tight though, and after remeasuring I found myself between size 4 and 6 (I totally am sure hope this is due to my regular visits to the gym and not due to too much cookies during the holiday season). So I let out all seam allowances and this final version is rather a size 6.

I made two other alterations to the pattern:

  • shortening the front crotch
  • taking off some fabric below the butt

For the first alteration I just used the crotch curve of a Burda pattern. I always have too much fabric in the front, so this has nothing to do with this pattern, but with my body shape. I also had a bit extra fabric below the butt. To get rid of it I used the method from Kennis King and folded out the extra fabric below the crotch curve at the back leg and added the same amount again at the hem.

Construction:

Construction was very straight forward. I finished all my seam allowances with the serger. The elastic in the waistband is sewn down with two seams. This gives a nice, smooth look and prevents the elastic from twisting, but you have to make sure to cut the elastic to the correct lenght. Alterations later on would be difficult. I made some really quick and dirty drawstring from fabric scraps with my serger.

Tierras woven jogger

Conclusion:

This is my wearable muslin of the pattern. I admit I planned to wear these as pyjamas, but now I think they are just too pretty to hide in the bedroom. They are really comfy, but with the slim leg also look dressy. The rise is very low, but just OK for me. Unfortunately I will still have to wait a few months until it wil be warm enough to wear my Tierras Woven Joggers.

Posted in Itch to Stitch, Pattern Tester, Trousers | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Testing Call: Paro Cardigan from Itch to Stitch – German Translation

Hi all,

I have finished the translation of another Itch-toStitch pattern, the recently released Paro Cardigan. I need some proof readers who are also willing to sew up the pattern. 

Paro_Cardigan

 

You can find the full description of the pattern including material here. Need some inspiration? Look at the lovely creations from the testers here.

Requirements:

  • You are a native or fluent German speaker with a good feeling for the language
  • You like the pattern and intend to sew it up as is
  • You have enough time to send me the corrections and pictures of the finished garment until March 30.
  • Ideally you have a blog or facebook page to share your finished Paro Cardigan and to participate in the blog tour.

Timeline:

I plan to start testing on Friday, March 17 and would like to receive the proof read pattern as well as your modeled photos with the Paro Cardigan on Thursday, March 30. 

Testing Procedure

Testers will be invited to a facebook group where we can discuss the translation and share pictures. In return for your effort you will receive a copy of the final German pattern.

Interested?

Then please leave a comment or send an email to sewingdreams (at) web (dot) de with ref “Paro”. 

Posted in General, Itch to Stitch, Pattern Tester | Tagged , | 1 Comment

Winterdress

I did need a lot of patience for this dress. I started back in February last year, hoping I could finish it before winter was gone. Alas, this did not happen, and when the weather warmed up I was not in the mood of sewing a warm woolen winterdress. So it sat in my sewing space for nearly a whole year. When I put it out a few weeks ago, I had so many issues to deal with that I was not sure if I could finish it this year in time. But I did and have worn it already twice.

winterdress

winterdress winterdress

Fabric:

The fabric is a 100% wool sweater knit from Anita Pavani. The fabric is lovely and very warm, but also quite expensive. So when I pulled the dress out of its corner this winter, I wasn’t pleased at all to notice a lot of wholes. Some tiny, some not so tiny. There was nothing else for it but to sit down and mend the fabric. Did anyone else had to mend a dress before it was finshed? I unripped some thread from scraps for this so that the mending would be as unobstrusive as possible. I counted 12 wholes, and just yesterday I discoverd two more….Lesson learned: don’t throw your unfinished projects in a corner for one year. 

The dress is lined with pongé silk. I just love the combination of wool and silk and have used this pongé already a lot. I bought it at a reasonable price at buttinette, and it is OK, but for the future I would like a silk that is not see through.

It was an experiment to combine a stretchy fabric with a non-stretch lining. The wool knit obviously stretched out a bit (I put the dress on like a thousand times while fitting the sleeves). When I sewed the lining into the dress I had to release the darts at the skirt and the princess seams to make it fit.

Alterations:

I described the alterations I made to the bodice already here. I fiddled a long time with the sleeves. First, I raised the bottom of the armscye, because when I raised my arms the entire dress would move with my arms. Then I was not happy with the sleeve cap. I thought I could shape the fabric with steaming to decrease the excess fabric but this did not work. In the end I cut off 2 cm of the sleeve cap height (forthe lining I cut off only 1 cm to have a bit more ease for the woven fabric).

Construction Notes:

I sewed the complete dress on my regular sewing machine. Somehow I did not want to use my serger. Shoulder seams and the seam allowances for the zipper are reinforced with silk organza strips.

winterdress All seam allowances are catch stitched down. This was only possible as the fabric is quite thick. Nevertheless I had to make sure to only pick one thread so that the stitches would not show through on the outside.

winterdress

I put the zipper into the side seam. It was the first time that I did this. It is nice, because the zipper is quite unobstrusive and I can close it by myself, but I find it more difficult to get into the dress. So, not sure if I will do this again or not. First I made a handpicked lapped zipper, but that was just too bulky, so I ripped it out and sewed in an invisible zipper by machine. So much better!

The sleeve lining is cut on the bias to have more give. Obviously when I cut the lining last year I did not have enough fabric because the sleeves were too short. So I had to sew on some fabric scraps. Because of the bias the seams are a bit wonky, but nobody will ever see this.

To add a bit more interest to the dress I added black ribbon at the waist and made a little bow. I copied this idea from one of the dresses in Gerties ultimate dress book. So simple, but makes a plain dress less boring.

Conclusion:

There is no question, this dress is really comfy and I can even ride my bicycle without problems. I am not sure, though, if I would like to have it a bit more fitted. Also, for a winter dress, I would have liked to have the back neckline a bit higher. All in all I am just happy to have this long project finished and I am itching to try the bodice for a new dress, maybe with a circle skirt.

Posted in Dresses, Vogue | Tagged , , | 10 Comments

365 Challenge January complete!

Somehow I managed to follow the 365 challenge during January and have now all 31 blocks complete! Sometimes I sewed one block a day, but often I had to catch up during the weekend. And often I just hurried up to get finished and did not really enjoy the process. But on Friday I got a call that left me thoughtful. My gynecologist’s practice called me. I had an appointment for next week and they had to cancel it because my gynecologist had passed away. She had had a stroke. I was really shocked and did not know what to say on the phone. I think she was the same age than me and I went to her for the past ten years once or twice a year for my routine check-ups.

When my father passed away two years ago it made me sadly aware that our time on earth is only limited and recently I tried to live my days more consciously. Last New Years Eve I contemplated the last year, and there was not much that I remembered besides our holidays. Now, my boyfriend and I often ask each other in the evening “what was your favorite part of the day”, and often enough it is quite difficult for me to have an answer to that question because the day just flew by. But on other days it is quite nice to remember the full moon, the chimney sweeper who made me smile, a beautiful sunrise, all those little moments that make you feel happy.

After the phone call I decided that I will try to connect those special memories to the daily blocks, to take that sewing time as an opportunity to reflect the past day and be grateful for it. And maybe on New Years Eve I will have more to remember.

The blocks started very easy which is great for a beginner like me. And I really was astonished that it makes fun to cut stripes, sew them together, cut them again only to sew them together in a different way. I like this aspect very much, how so many different geometrical pattern can be created just by putting the same basic pieces together in different ways. So here are my blocks:

2017-01-01 2017-01-02 2017-01-03 2017-01-04 2017-01-05 2017-01-06 2017-01-07 2017-01-08 2017-01-09 2017-01-10 2017-01-11 2017-01-12 2017-01-13 2017-01-14 2017-01-15 2017-01-16 2017-01-17 2017-01-18 2017-01-19 2017-01-20 2017-01-21 2017-01-22 2017-01-23 2017-01-24 2017-01-25 2017-01-26 2017-01-27 2017-01-28 2017-01-29 2017-01-30 2017-01-31

6th of January yearly “New Years” event from our company

10th of January was my shop opening

11th of January I sold the first pattern

12th January chimney sweeper (he looked so cute in his traditional costume and just made me smile when I opened the door)

28th January I finished my winter dress

What I learned:

  • you can buy self-adhesive fabric grips that prevent rulers from slipping over your fabric while cutting with a rotary cutter
Posted in General | Leave a comment

Itch to Stitch Paro Cardigan

My first make of the year is the new Itch to Stitch pattern, the Paro Cardigan. It was love at  first sight and I was more than happy to be chosen as a tester. The Paro is a long cardigan with a feminine touch.

Paro CardiganParo CardiganParo CardiganParo Cardigan

Fabric:

I used a lightweight sweater knit as main fabric that I purchased some years ago at a local fabric store. It is a cotton, and it may also have some poly in it, but I am not sure. It has a nice texture nad drapes very well. For the band I used an organic single jersey from my stash which is a shade darker than the main fabric. This adds a little bit of contrast.

Alterations:

I cut my usual size 2 with a size 4 at the hips. I thought about going one size up to make sure that the cardigan would not be too small in the shoulder area, a problem that I often have with Itch-to-Stitch patterns. However, the Paro Cardigan is designed to fit over garments, so I went with my usual size and the fit is just right as is.

I made a small bust alteration as after basting everything together I had too much fabric across the bust. This pattern does not include different cup sizes, so this is a normal adjustment for me. 

Construction:

The instructions are clear and detailed as always. I planned to sew all seams with my serger, but then I suddenly decided to finish the seams with Hong Kong binding. Kennis has this included in the instructins as an option, and as a dutifully tester I tested this seam finish also….Of course this put me in some time pressure. Especially as I used the Hong Kong finish for the hems too, but then had to unpick everything again as it was too stiff and the fabric could not drape anymore. I used my coverstitch instead. This is an inside view:

Paro Cardigan

I changed the order of construction a little bit. I used a second layer for the waistband. The single jersey was a bit thin, so I thought it might be a good idea to have it reinforced with a second layer. This gave me also the opportunity to have a clean finish on the inside. I tried to use the burrito-method (the same method you use for sewing shirt yokes), but it was not possible to have the whole cardigna rolled up in the waistband, so I ended up sewing the inner layer by hand.

Another change is that I hemmed the cardigan before attaching the front band. Also, I sewed the front band in two steps, first I sewed the outer band to the cardigan. Then I folded the seam allowance of the inner band under and handstitched everything in place. I tried to stitch in the ditch, but somehow this technique is just not for me. I never get it nice on the inside. After I took the pictures I unpicked everything and sewed it in place by hand. This just works everytime 

Paro Cardigan

I found the button in my stash. Years ago I inherited a box with buttons from my grandmother. Often I think I will never have any use for them, as there are a lot of single buttons, and usually you need more than one button. But for this project I found the perfect button. The topstitching on the button has the same shade as my fabric. I could not have found something better.

Paro Cardigan

Conclusion:

I am sure I will make another one. The pattern is very versatile. Have a look at the other testers’ versions, there is so much inspiration. Just keep in mind that the fabric should have enough drape and is not too thick, else the pleats might become too bulky. Unfortunately, it is too cold at the moment to wear my Paro Cardigan right now, so I need definetively a winter version. I already have some fabric in mind. 

 

Posted in Itch to Stitch, Pattern Tester | Tagged , , | 2 Comments