brand new

again, i was offline from my blog for a while. but i had a very good reason this time.

you see, we just moved to a new house. again. 🙂

this new place is so close to our first home together (the one before our previous one), closer to the city center, closer to people. i am a city person, so imagine my delight when we got the news that our application for this new place went through.

the moving was tiresome, especially since it had to be done in parts and during the most hot times of this year’s summer. but we are optimistic that this will be our home for a loooong time. longer than 5 years, at least. 😀

moving means packing, and packing sometimes mean leaving out some replaceable things. this time, it meant leaving out my beloved sewing machine of 10 years.

it wasn’t that it got broken or anything. in fact, if you see my previous post, i sewed that dress using my old sewing machine.

but time has changed. and when i got that sewing machine, i wasn’t even sure if i would still be sewing at all after 10 years, or was it a passing hobby. it was my first ever sewing machine, my learning one, my basic one. and now that i know i still got that sewing passion in me (and my birthday was just around the corner at that time), it was time for me to move on… to a better machine.meet my Brother’s replacement, Juki! ❤ this pic was taken just when it arrived, so those tapes are long gone now, LOL! this is my first computerized sewing machine ever, and i promise i will make the most of this machine!

but first, when the days had been so very hot here, i started with a very simple project. any guesses what that would be?

& Other Stories top, self-made culottes, COS shoes.

why, culottes, of course!

i was so amazed by how easy it was to make my previous culottes that i had to make another pair. this fabric was embroidered on one side, which i then used as the hem part. i got 2 meters of the fabric, and after washing it (so that it shrank) i divided the fabric’s length to 2 and used each piece for each leg. i was left with enough fabric to create something else later.the whole project took me about 2 hours from cutting the fabric till the very last stitch. i got 80 cm long of the elastic band for the waist and absent-mindedly put it all inside the tunnel without measuring my actual waistline… so after i sewed in the tunnel, i tried them on and only then realized that the waist was way too loose.

so out of the 2 hours i spent to make these, 20 minutes went to rip open the waist tunnel stitches (enough to take out the elastic band), adjusting the elastic band, and closing the tunnel again. still considerably quick, though.

and let me tell you, a girl can never have enough of culottes! i’ve used these culottes so many times already, just like i had the previous ones. this is the summer of culottes for me!

there you have it, from brand new home, to brand new sewing machine, and brand new culottes! i feel like i’ve finally found a brand new passion for sewing again, after a long time. but that’s for another blog post! 🙂

the 1000th culottes

i’m still playing the same old records. the same old tricks. the same old fave.

Zara shirt, self-made culottes, COS shoes, earrings from Indonesia Wholesaler store.

i’m talking about the fact that i am still making culottes after all these years. i can’t seem to stop myself, they’re just the easiest things to wear. ❤

this was my third encounter of the pleated kind… i mean, pleated fabric. the first one was pleated tulle so i didn’t need to think of how to finish the hem on that one, but the second one–pleated chiffon–was quite a nightmare to work with. so i thought i would never, ever, work with pleated fabrics ever again.

it all went down the drain when the ‘pleated trousers’ trend came around. as usual, at first i was not interested at all…. but as i kept seeing them over and over again, every where i looked, and then i came across a beautiful green pleated fabric…. my heart melted like warm butter. 😅

so i braved myself to do it, with the least possible work and pain & suffering. here’s the cheat sheet. (no step by step pictures cause i was in a hurry to finish these culottes, honestly, who has time to take pictures???)

the pleated fabrics are usually sold with pleats going sideways (from selvedge to selvedge), so if you want to have the pleats going vertically on your finished garment, remember to buy the fabric according to the width that you want to go for. in my case, the fabric was about 150 cm wide; since i only wanted culottes (not full-length trousers), half of the fabric’s width is enough for the length of the culottes. so all i needed to get of the fabric was the width i wanted for 1 leg. that was about 80-90 cm.

then i folded the fabric ‘sideways’ to two (selvedges together) and put a pattern of any pants i could find on top of it. i only needed the crotch yokes from this pattern, but since i wanted the culottes to be quite loose i used the crotch yokes from Burda pattern no. 7688. i put the back and front patterns side by side and cut the fabric as a whole leg piece ( = not separating the back and front anymore). this way i wouldn’t have to sew the sides and risk the pleats not being matched. cut the part where the fabric was folded, this would be the waist part of the culottes.

so i got 2 pieces now, the right leg piece and the left leg piece. the hem of the culottes is where the selvedge is, so there would be no need to think of how to finish it!

since i only had elastic band which is 5 cm wide left at home, i had to be quite creative with the waistband. you can do what you like at this point, but my idea was to make a tunnel and just put the elastic band in after everything was done. i didn’t want to make the culottes shorter by making the tunnel out of the self fabric, so i used a remnant of a jersey fabric for the lining of that tunnel.

as always when sewing pants of any kind, start with the inner seams of each leg parts, and then sew together the crotch yokes. then it was time for the tunnel and then put in the elastic bands.

self-made top and culottes, Crocs shoes.

voilá! you are done! 😎

New Yorker shirt, second hand vest from Pasar Senen – Jakarta, self-made culottes, Just Kulkith shoes.

rock the look with cropped top, loose shirts, singlets, or whatever else you please.

now that i’ve made these i feel like making other pleated culottes! 😁 LOL…. i can never have enough of culottes, and these pleated ones are actually quite fun and easy to make.

and btw, i sewed everything for this project only with my sewing machine. still too lazy to change my overlocker threads. ask me again next year. zzzzz. 😪

(silverain x skoci)²

summertime is the best time for blog hibernation, but now i’m slowly coming to life again with new sewing projects.

Skoci is an Indonesian brand that produces bags, purses, and home accessories with cute handmade prints. you can see their works here and here. i just adore their prints, and i personally think these would sell well in Finland & other Nordic countries, heehee!

years ago when they just started their business, i had begged for them to sell their ‘rejected’ scraps of fabrics with hand-stamped prints so i could use them for my own sewing projects. well, now i finally got what i wished for when some of their relatives visited Helsinki a few months back & brought me some of their fabric scraps for my birthday present! ❤

the first project i made was a simple one. small fabric scraps are easiest to be used as pockets on clothes, and i happen to like dresses with pockets!

self-made dress, H&M socks, Zara sneakers, Skoci pouch.

i used medium weight cotton jersey for the dress. for the upper part, i used the ever-so-versatile pattern from Ottobre design woman magazine 5/2016. i extended the length and made it wider as it went down so i could attach elastic bands on the sides & they would scrunch up nicely.

other than the pockets, for an extra detail i made a low scoop for the backside and added a strip of elastic band to keep the shoulder parts in place.

see? simple.

for the second project, i literally had to push myself to even start it (i was still half hibernating that time). i had to retrace the pattern #126 from BurdaStyle magazine 03/2015 because the last time i used size 38 the culottes fell on my hips, not waist. so this time i used size 36 and prayed that they would fit me. (they did. phew!) of course it was a good thing i also lost a little bit of weight during my hibernation!

H&M sweater, self-made shorts, Just Kulkith shoes.

i used viscose twill fabric i got from Marimekko Outlet last year. i would like to point out that when i was checking out my purchases at the cashier there (less than 10€ in total for 2 fabric ‘scraps’) the cashier lady laughed at me/the sum of my purchases. i don’t know, i guess she was used to seeing tourists and Finns alike going all out there and buy things for at least 50€ and above. i would love to show this cashier lady what i managed to do out of my ridiculously cheap purchases. :p

back to Skoci now. i knew i wanted to make shorter version of these culottes with the viscose twill, and first contemplated adding pockets to the backside where i could again use the Skoci fabric scraps. but i decided that i wanted the culottes to look a bit more formal so… how about using the scraps for the hidden pockets instead?

for that, i first sewed some scraps together (like patchwork) and then traced the pocket pattern on it. since these scraps are made of stiff cotton fabric, i only used them for the inner side of the pockets and used the viscose twill for the other side.

and then i added orange pompoms underneath the waistband (i know i said i wanted them to look a bit more formal… but don’t you agree that the orange pompoms work well with the green fabric??). i got this pompom band for free from my friend J, and i had been waiting for the perfect project to put it to use! however, attaching the pompoms here was a pain to do, and i had to redo some parts of it a few times because i just realized after they were done that the pleats on the culottes were not symmetrical. they still aren’t, and the waistband’s center back seam is also off but this was the best i could do so i’ll leave them at that.

lastly, the button i used was something i got from Indonesia back in 2010. i almost used a dark green one that L–another friend–gave me (she also got it from Marimekko Outlet store), but then thought that yellow button was what the culotttes needed.

i was so happy to get the culottes done and saw & wore the result!

the 2 projects were perfect combinations of Silverain & Skoci, and i hope R & P from Skoci agree, too! ❤ thank you ever so much for the birthday present, guys! you rock!

school days are NOT over

remember my love for culottes? well, this year culottes made a come back and were all the rage in pretty much every store/magazine. when my sister found that out, she laughed and said it reminded her of our high school uniform. yep, one of my high school uniforms was indeed culottes. except that they came in cream and icky brown colours. brrr.

but despite those annoying brown-culottes days, i guess i still have a thing or two for culottes. i suppose my school days are not over yet.

houndsculotte2

self-made blouse and culottes, H&M tights, ASOS cage shoes.

on a recent trip to a fabric store, i saw this fabric’s price tag (5,90€/m!) and just bought it without thinking too much. it didn’t say what the material was, but i believe it’s 100% polyester. it’s kind of stiff with satin surface. i don’t know what has gotten into me, but it seems that lately i’ve been drawn to black, white, and grey colours. i like the houndstooth print on this one. after the shopping, as i got home i started flipping through my sewing magazine stash and decided to try this pattern #126 from BurdaStyle magazine 03/2015.

image borrowed from BurdaStyle.com.

it was actually (and surprsingly) quite a simple project. the only problem i had was when it came to sewing the zipper, as i just couldn’t remember how to do it right and Burda’s instructions are always a bit strange.

houndsculottedetail1

but after examining my old sewing projects, it came back to my mind and in the end i got to do the whole culottes in a relatively short time–about 5-6 hours from when i just copied the pattern to the pattern paper down to the last stitch.

partly due to the limited amount of the fabric, i cut the fabric about 12 cm shorter than the original pattern so i would have a higher hemline. but as i tried them on before sewing the hemline, i noticed that “my usual problem” occurred again here… since i have a somewhat tiny waist and a lot wider hip, it’s always a problem for me to know which size is best, the smaller size in which the waistline is perfectly fitting mine (and risk not being able to get into the pants/culottes because the hip area is too small) or the bigger size in which the hip area is perfectly fitting. i chose the latter, and the result is this.

houndsculotte1

when i see other seamstresses’ results, the culottes always fit nicely on their waistlines. well, for this photo shoot i wore a self-made blouse where you can see the seams on my waistline. that’s where the culottes were meant to hang from. but since i made mine according to my hip size, the waist part is a tad too big. boo. (and don’t even start telling me to sew it in to make it smaller. no thanks.)

houndsculotte5so in the end i sewed the hem another 5-7 cm higher than my original plan, just so that the culottes would be midi-length. also, instead of a button & buttonhole, i sewed a skirt hook & bar. i think it looks better that way.

houndsculotte4

other than the sad waist part, i suppose the culottes turned out nicely. they’re super comfortable to wear, even in the cold autumn. and thanks to the polyester material, they don’t even crinkle/crease!

houndsculotte3now i just need to invest on some long tops/blouses so that the error on the waist part doesn’t show too obviously. or maybe i could get off by saying, “they’re meant to be low rise culottes. haven’t you heard? it’s the newest trend!”. mm-hm. 😉