September 28, 2011
Could it get any simpler?
Plain oatmeal colored linen, herringbone woolen twill tape (I wish I had bought more of it...) and linen woven tape for the handles. No lining. All inner seems are finished the French way. And there are two inner side pockets as well. One and the same pattern as this one and this one.
I got one remark, though, from K. and the girls: where's the decoration? Where's the little square? I wasn't intending on adding one - but what do you think? To square or not to square?
Note: I know some of you were interested in finding a copy of the book in English. The title of the book in English is: Linen & Cotton Natural Clothes - Japanese Sewing Pattern Book for Women - and it's written by Kyoko Sakauchi. I found one available here...
September 26, 2011
School has just started - about what? three weeks ago - and we all went through our first colds and/ or first sore throats. The weather has been up and down, lately - more up than down, to be honest - but the mornings are definitely cooler. Not cool enough for digging up our woolen scarves - but a light scarf might be welcome, I thought. And since I still have a couple of K.'s favorite but worn out (according to me, not to him) T-shirts left and a couple of stitches on my machine which I haven't tried yet, I thought a homemade, light weight infinity scarf might be worth a try! And that's exactly what I did.
I didn't chrono but this is an under half an hour project for sure (rummaging through your closet for a t-shirt not included) and it couldn't be easier. So here's a quick how-to for a simple yet fun infinity scarf!
- an old t-shirt (a sweater might do as well)
- thread in contrasting color (I used a contrasting yellowish green thread to offset the brownish/grey faded color of the T-shirt.
- sewing machine or needle
1. Lay down your T-shirt on a flat surface and cut off the bottom hem part. Snip-Snip. (pic.2) Do the same at the sleeve insert level, cutting from one side to the other (pic.3)
2. Fold in half and cut again along the fold - snip snip - to obtain two identically sized tunnels. (pic.4)
3. Cut away the side seams (4 times) - snip-snip - to obtain 4 identically sized rectangles. (pic.5.)
4. Lay one rectangle on top of another rectangle, right sides facing up, and with a 1/2 inch overlap. Pin together - pins-pins (which happens to be the palindrome of snip snip, by the way, how cute is that!). Repeat for the remaining pieces and close the circle by placing the first rectangle on top of the last one (pic.6).
5. Sew together by hand or on your sewing machine with a jersey stitch. And done!
You have now obtained a wonderful light weight infinity scarf and no cost. So, now you can start experimenting with it - wear it twisted around your neck a couple of times, or just once and knotted... You probably could wear it as a head band as well... or as why not, as a belt (as a maternity belt even). A versatile addition to your wardrobe, that is!
Note: As I was finishing this tutorial here I came across this one in my reader at The Purl Bee - a very nice and luxurious infinity scarf, if you ask me...
As with all of my tutorials, please note, this tutorial is intended for personal use only. Therefore, do not reproduce, sell or commercialize in any form without permission. Thanks for understanding!
If you made something using a tutorial found on this blog or if you got inspired by something you found here, make sure to post your pictures here.
September 22, 2011
That's right! It became a bag!
Everything on this bag turned out the way I wanted. Even the leather straps which I made myself, and which I'm kind of proud of! They're made out of two layers of natural leather sewn together. The linen is natural oat-meal colored. The patches are cotton and denim.
The bag is fully lined, has two inner side pockets. The patchworked front has an extra layer of flannel in between and is hand embroidered. The back panel is plain natural linen.
No need to add this bag is unique...
September 21, 2011
Found it in the bottom of my closet - something I started after making this. It was supposed to become a blanket, but it soon turned out to be one of those projects that would never get far. So, I finally gave it a new destination... Pulled out an embroidery hoop last night for some final stitches... More about it later as it is ready!
September 20, 2011
I mentioned my silk blouse a couple of times already. I meant to show you pictures of me wearing it, but am to lazy/ busy right now to set up all my gear for an auto-portrait photo shoot. So here are a couple of pictures of the blouse on a nice hanger - just imagine a nice blonde (grey?) middle aged girl wearing it to get the full picture...
I used Burda pattern 7294 (read the review, which I just happen to find now, but which I agree with for most parts, especially the finishing of the edges) and made a few minor changes:
- I left out the elastic in sleeves and bottom of the shirt and just finished off with a regular hem, which works great - I wish I'd done the bottom hem by hand as I did with the sleeves - I'm actually considering redoing it.
- since I don't like the look of raw edges (even when finished off with a zigzag it looks unfinished) I used a French seam on all seams - a perfect finishing especially when using silk
- I made the sleeves slightly shorter and finished them by hand using a slip-stitch
- I didn't quite like the suggested finishing for the collar and bow tie. I used a rolled hem instead, but next time I'll make sure to finish the neck with a bias or use facing for both tie and neck.
I'm very pleased with the way it turned out. I love the silk ( love the fluttery drape!) which I got really cheap at one of those stores here in Paris at the Marché St.-Pierre where they only sell left over fabrics, end of series, often from designers, at really good prices.
I didn't realize it until yesterday when I was looking for something to wear on top of it (it's getting chilly here in the mornings and evenings), but the blouse pairs up really well with this wrap I made last year and which I'd almost forgotten about... A new favorite outfit for fall!
September 19, 2011
I can't seem to get enough of my new sewing machine. And it feels like it gave my creativity a new boost as well. So far, it's done perfectly well whatever I asked it to do. Silk blouse? No problemo! Leather? Don't make me laugh! Sewing's no longer a battle. (Well there's a good thing about having had to sew with a not so good machine - it allowed me to develop certain skills and tricks and a way around certain things my machine wasn't able to do.) My new machine and me, however, form a perfect team! We speak the same language. The result is that I've been very productive lately. Not only did I finish my silk blouse over the weekend, I also whipped this bag together yesterday afternoon - it's a different design from my usual bags and I really like it. I got the pattern from this lovely book 'Vêtements en lin et coton. La couture nature.' by Kyoko Sakauchi which I bought a while ago. What I like about this particular bag is that it's very roomy. The perfect shopping tote, if you ask me. Of course I had to add some of my 'signature' leather squares! I have a couple more ideas in mind with this very same bag pattern... I'll keep you posted...
I haven't made up my mind yet but this bag might end up in my Etsy shop together with its yellow fellow and a couple of other things. I just need a couple of hours to focus and set up the pages (this is the part I don't like about Etsy - it takes a lot of time to set up).
But before I do so I need to catch up on laundry and ironing - that's what you get with all the sewing... Everything else piles up, not to speak from the mess it generates. But, lets focus on the ironing first now...
Wishing you all a creative and productive week!
September 16, 2011
... yellow and squares!
Made this little wallet yesterday
I found a new way for sewing in those nasty zippers - once I've 'perfected' my technique I might throw it into a tutorial.
Also yesterday, I went on a hunt for more yellow fabric but - alas! - they run out of this particular one... which means I have to plan really carefully now what I want to make with whatever's left...
Instead of finding yellow I found a nice piece of silk - I hope my new sewing machine likes silk as I'd like to make a little blouse from it...
This week flew by - I hope the weekend will be slow.
Have a good one!
September 12, 2011
... for the shop. Yellow linen (a really nice shade of yellow - kind of mustard-like), burgundy red leather squares with contrasting stitch, and striped linen for the inside, including the little pocket. It will be up for sale in my Etsy shop later on this week!
September 11, 2011
I was horrified back then and I still am.
I watched the 9/11: Phone calls from the towers documentary (James Kent) and cried.
Live and love now,
life is so precious...
September 9, 2011
If you want to hold on to that summer feeling a little longer - or want to have an early start, depending on where you are - I highly recommend making one of these!
My girls and I made this colorful lemon and lime garland over summer vacation for the latest issue of Action Pack, which is all about Zap and Zest this time, with zap referring to electricity and zest to anything citrus.
So, if you'd like to find out how to make one of these and much, much more, please, hop over to Action Pack for a double issue full of fun facts and activities, crafts, science projects and recipes.
A nice way to kick off the weekend, if you ask me!
September 8, 2011
This picture has nothing to do with back to school, except, maybe, for the converses in them with the bright orange and black polka dotted shoe laces - our pre-teen's favorite footwear at the moment. M. started middle school on Monday and little H. - I should stop using the word little when I refer to her - started third grade. The changes for M. are drastic - her time table looks more like a piece of modern art. If it weren't for the green in it, Mondriaan would have been jealous [Mondriaan hated green apparently, we learned at Tate Modern, a couple of weeks ago]. We posted a copy on our front door and it will take us a while to get used to the different starting and ending times, and the week A and week B rythm. For little H., things have changed too - Wednesday mornings have been reintroduced and she ends at 3 in the afternoon instead of 4:15, which is really early if you ask me. But in general things look good. M. probably would have liked to be with more of her friends in class, but she seems overall happy and excited. H. literally got everything she wished for - could that be the shamrock she found in London?
For me this week has been busy too, so no time for crafts unfortunately, unless you count covering books in. And I don't think anyone is interested in a 'How to cover books' tutorial, either. But I'm sure things will get better soon. Especially, when I get myself that new sewing machine I've set my mind upon...
To be continued...
PS: About the picture - it was taken at the Watou exhibit, in Belgium. 200 pairs of ceramic boots aligned in a room. (Natasja Lefevre: Hoop, 2010). We really loved this display. M.'s favorite Converses somehow ended up in the picture...
September 1, 2011
Remember the herringbone collar scarf from a few posts back (thanks for the comments, by the way! For those of you who asked how many stitches I cast on: I simply followed the instructions at Purl Bee.) ? I haven't finished it yet and it looks like I'm running out of yarn...big problem, as it was left over yarn.
In the mean time, I cast on a new herringbone knitting project - in flax rope - yes, the kind of rope you buy at the hardware store. Not as cozy to knit with and certainly not as gentle on the fingers, but definitely a project you can take to beach without having to worry about the sand getting into the yarn. I know exactly what I want to use it for, I'm just waiting for a good moment to dive into this new project. To be continued...
As for now, pictures!
Don't you just love the stubborn look of this herringbone knit?