frenchie flamingo

my love of dogs in all shapes and colours still continues (of course… i don’t think that’s something that will ever die down! LOL), and seeing this fabric made me squeal. without thinking too long, i bought it and made it out into a simple top almost immediately, too.

self-made top, New Yorker shorts.

i mean, what’s not to love about this print? French bulldog pups in cow pattern, looking in all directions. ❤

i got about 70 cm of this cotton jersey fabric because it’s super wide (about 180 cm). i wanted to do something super simple yet try out another decorative stitch from my sewing machine, so i decided to copy an old top i got from a thrift marketplace in Jakarta, Indonesia.

the ‘twist’ is at the front part where the seam between the bodice and the sleeves are. this was where i tried the decorative stitch (top left pic) and i am sooo in love with how it turned out!

the original top i have has these lace frills on the hem, but seeing the salmon pink colour on the dogs’ ears made me think of my flamingo fabric and so i decided to use remnants of that instead.

other than the hem, i used that same flamingo fabric for lining the edges of the sleeves… so that when i fold the sleeves up, i can show the lovely flamingos!

and that’s the story of how my French bulldogs get to meet the flamingos! probably not the most logical relationship in the world, but i must say, it works on my top, hahaha… and that’s all that matters! 😀

gonna take my frenchies and flamingos out for a walk now, while the summer days are still here. 😉

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my boyfriend’s twin

2 years ago i sewed my very first pair of (boyfriend) jeans. i have been using those jeans ever since, like, a LOT. they are still in good shape too, but i wanted to have another pair. i wanted to have another go at it, with some slight modifications.

enter my boyfriend jeans’ twin.

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self-made sweatshirt and jeans, Mango belt, unbranded socks, Bianco shoes, salmon pink earring from Indonesia Wholesaler store, purple tassel keyring from Morocco (worn as earring).

before we go any further, i just want to warn you that i am super proud of myself for sewing these jeans and thus please be prepared for the many pics in this post. :p

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anyway, i used the exact same pattern as last time, Named’s Wyome Boyfriend Jeans pattern. i made the leg parts below the knees slightly wider this time for more ease of wear. i also made diagonal seams from the side pockets down to the knees, just for fun. just like last time, i didn’t make the decorative stitches at the back pockets, because i wanted to save my topstitch thread.

now, for this pair, since my fabric’s colour is so pale, i decided that i wanted to have pink decorations: pink topstitch thread, pink buttons, pink lining, and pink bias tape (you’ll see them soon).

previously, instead of regular topstitch/quilting thread, i used the bear thread for my first jeans. i also used an old needle, from my late grandmum’s stash. and i also made a lot of mistakes while sewing with thick thread, like going back and forth at the edges for ‘locking’ the stitches, which is apparently a big no-no as it would jam your sewing machine! (no wonder my sewing machine almost died that time!) the correct way to do it, so i learned, was to just keep on going forward, leave long enough thread leftover at the edges, so you could then knot them by hand! clever! 🙂

so that’s what i did this time, and i also used a brand new needle (regular 100/16, NOT the jeans needle because my sewing machine can’t take it for some reason). everything went so smoothly, i nearly cried from happiness!

another difference this time was the fact that i have an overlocker! i did most of the seams with this, it really makes my life a lot easier.

i even put interfacing on all the correct places this time (i skipped that the last time and really regretted it), even though my fabric choice this time doesn’t really have that much elasticity. but anyway… i’m still glad i did it.

because this time i decided to line the waistband with a regular cotton fabric, which is also the fabric i used for the pockets.

it’s the paper doll fabric i used to make my coat many years ago. look how cute that came out on the jeans!

instead of installing 5 buttons as the pattern calls for, i used 4 this time. on my previous pair of jeans, i rarely even need to open/use the fifth button, that’s why i thought 4 is enough. and as if these details weren’t enough, i went the extra trouble to add one more tiny detail… bias tapes on the inside of the side seams! so that when i roll up the hem, you can see more pink on my jeans, mwahahaha!

anyway, i can again only praise the clarity of the sewing instructions of the Named pattern. everything was clearly written & drawn, i had no problem at all sewing these ‘complicated’ jeans.

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i only encountered one problem when sewing this, and it wasn’t even the pattern’s fault. somehow, when i was sewing the crotch edges using my overlocker, though i thought i was extra careful, i still managed to end up with a big cut right in the middle of the front part of the jeans! the overlocker’s knife got to it when i wasn’t looking, i swear! 😦

because of this, i had to sew the crotch parts together quite a lot smaller than the original pattern, so that the hole would be covered underneath the seam, and i only prayed to God that i could still fit into the jeans. thankfully God was playing nice to me, and gave me my wish. the waist/crotch even fit much nicely and better than my previous pair of jeans exactly because it’s smaller! 😀

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for attaching the upper parts of the belt loops to the waistband, i still had to do them by hand, because there was just no way that kind of thick layers of denim fabrics could go under my sewing machine’s foot.

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but i think they look alright! and of course i had to test the jeans while squatting… (yep, they’re very comfy!).

paleboyfjeans1i think i’m already falling in love with my boyfriend (jeans)’s twin. i just love everything about it, all the small details that probably will never be found out by anyone else but me (like who’s ever going to take a peek inside my pockets??) but just the fact that they’re there and that i made them myself is really something special. ❤

now i just keep wanting to make more jeans! LOL… but i don’t think my poor old sewing machine will appreciate that. and girl, you are just about to cheat on your first boyfriend jeans with your second one, and already you’re thinking of a third boyfriend?? 😀 pfffft, stop it!

how to wear a circle

just another quick sewing project, resulting in an odd piece–but i love it!

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self-made top, Zara TRF cropped jeans, necklaces from Legian – Bali.

it was meant to be a cheap copy of this COS circle top, though of course since i used cotton jersey (for the top part) instead of silk/viscose jersey, the result is not quite like what the original looks like. 😀

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images borrowed from COS store’s website.

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see the difference? well… i do. but that’s okay! i love how different it came out and you know me… the weirder the better!

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so basically the shape of this top is (supposed to be) a circle. i made the top part from jersey so that i don’t need any closures. the bottom part is made of printed viscose crepe from a scrap of fabric i got left from this dress. and before you say it, i also love how the whole print is actually a production fault. 😀

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you guessed it. since i used fabric scraps for the bottom part, there wasn’t a big enough piece to make the whole back side, hence the seam in the middle. ah, the challenges of working with fabric scraps!

circletop6to me it’s interesting to see how the top looks completely different when i am in different positions (see the 2 last pics above). it’s like it has a life of its own. 😉

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i know i said that this was supposed to be a copy of the COS top, but my version actually reminds me more of Ted Baker’s flowery clothes. that doesn’t hurt at all!

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this was one of those “under 3 hours” sewing projects that ended up sweetly.

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it may not be normal or pleasing for everyone else, but i’ve given up pleasing everyone else anyway. as i learned last year, sewing is fun when i do it for myself, and not to get comments or approvals from other people.

on that note, while sewing this circle top, i found myself singing this particular song over and over. and how fitting, since the song is also called “Circle” (by Edie Brickell & New Bohemians).

PS. i do not own the video, song, nor the lyrics. i just borrowed them for personal use.

crop it how you like it

when it comes to body figure, mine is far from perfect. that’s why i had been quite unsure about the ever so popular ‘crop top’. i just wasn’t sure i want to show my round tummy to everyone. (and no, i’m not pregnant.)

but then i started seeing how women of real sizes (ie. non model-like body types) are wearing them, loving them, and rocking them. so i thought, why not give it a try? i had just the right amount of the scuba fabric left, and i knew what i was going to combine it with for the sleeves.

so this is my version of a crop top, self-sewn, and how i wear it in 4 ways.

1. the expected way.

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self-made crop top and skirt, H&M tights, Bianco shoes, Moody Monday earrings.

pairing it with the exact same print seems logical. besides, it’s also been somewhat of a trend to wear matchy matchy clothes, so here i am practicing it. the good thing about this is that my skirt has high waistline, so that means less skin showing off.

2. the shy way.

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self-made crop top and stripey dress (worn under the top), shoes from Dappermarkt – Amsterdam, Moody Monday earrings.

you want to wear a crop top but too shy to show off your tummy area? no worries, just slip on a dress underneath the top, and you’re ready to go.

3. the layered way.

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self-made crop top, H&M blouse (for boys), H&M jeans, ASOS cage shoes, handmade knitted brooch (worn as head piece) from an Indonesian artist/brand whose name i can’t remember… sorry! 😦

this is rather similar to #2. it’s the fake way to wear a crop top, but it makes sense if you want to be able to pull it off for work (unless your work place is super cool and lets you work with your tummy showing around!). just wear it as a vest on top of a blouse.

4. the unexpected way.

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self-made crop top, tulle skirt, and leggings; ASOS cage shoes, Sophie Martin lip pouch.

okay, this last one is completely experimental and… well, unexpected. just throw in everything and anything you can think off and you’re done. easy as pie. 😀

the idea is to have fun. so that’s what i did, and i think i will enjoy doing it all year round now, thinking of new ways to wear it.

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for the top, i used a combination of pattern no. 131 from Burda Style magazine 05/2012 (bodice) and pattern no. 122 from Burda Style magazine 10/2013 (sleeves). i made the bodice almost half shorter than the original version, and the sleeves also a lot shorter than the original one.

croptopdetaila tiny surprise on the sleeves: it’s a Dior fabric. i used it here, and that was the one and only time i actually called my sewing project a failure. i have given away the original dress i made with that fabric, as i was too lazy to correct it, feeling like i’ve let Christian Dior down by making such a wreck out of their fabric (how dramatic), and thought that that was it. but then a few days ago i found a small remnant of the fabric in my closet, and i was so delighted that i could finally now possibly give it a new life. thank you, Dior, for giving me a second chance! hope i’m not letting you down this time! :’)

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since the remnant of the scuba fabric was really only a small piece, i had to make the back side from 2 pieces (the original pattern also used 2 pieces and buttons for closure). i’m actually glad about it, because it again gave a bit more structure to the shape. and that’s what scuba fabric is good for!

this is now my second sewing project made completely out of fabric scraps, so long live the fabric scrap tribe! also, surprisingly, this is now the 14th sewing project i’ve done this year, and it’s only September! i’ll definitely still be making more until the end of December, so it looks like i’ll manage to make more than i did last year after all.

oh, and yes: i’ve finally cut my hair. a combination of symmetric and asymmetric. and very easy to do with just a pair of scissors (and a husband–>for the back part, LOL). perfect. 🙂

the fabric scrap tribe

i never go for new year’s resolutions, but if i were to have one this year, it would have been to use my “old” fabrics that have been sitting in my closet for years in my sewing projects rather than buying new ones. i’ve done quite good so far, and actually, i think i’ve gone further than i intended to, because i’m even starting to use the old scraps/leftovers of fabrics i’ve used before in my previous sewing projects.

suddenly, i feel like i’m a member of a tribe. the fabric scrap tribe.

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self-made top & pleated skirt, Norlyn tights, Crocs ballerinas, Ted Baker Taffety purse, earrings from India, unbranded plastic bead necklace worn as bracelet.

some people go to the fabric store with a clear idea of what they’re looking for, and often they leave the store without finding that perfect fabric, exactly because they have that clear idea in the first place. let me tell you: it’s easier if you go fabric shopping without knowing what to look for. you’ll end up with more fun things that you had even imagined.

but how would you know how much you would need if you don’t know what you’re going to make from it? here’s another tip: always get a minimum of 1,5 m when you have no idea what to make (make it 2 m if the width of the fabric is less than 140 cm or if you normally wear larger sized clothes). if it’s something you’re not sure you can get more of in the future, then get an extra amount.

for me, since i always shop at the place where the fabrics are already in pieces, i always have to make do with what i find. if there’s a nice looking fabric but only 80 cm long, well, i’ll get it now and think about what to make of it later. tip #3: you can always mix and match fabrics, too.

and now… where have you seen those fabrics before that i used in this sewing project? you’ve seen the African wax cotton fabrics (i used 2 different ones) when i made this skirt, and the one i used for the “bib” is a Just Cavalli crepe fabric i used to make this t-shirt. and guess what? i originally only got 70 cm of that Just Cavalli fabric, and still i managed to make a t-shirt and now this top with that small scrap of fabric. 🙂

the pattern i used was from the May 2014 issue of Burda Style magazine, pattern no. 123.

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picture borrowed from Burda Style website.

i wasn’t planning to use 3 different fabrics at first. but when i was tracing the pattern, i just realized that the 2 fabric scraps of the African wax cotton just weren’t big enough. when you’re already on fire to sew something like i was, you’ll learn to improvise as you go along!

i omitted the seams on the upper part of the top. instead of using piping, i used bias tape, sewn on top of the “bib” and neckline. i also omitted the batting originally used inside the sleeves part, to make them stiff. the African wax cotton fabrics are stiff already as they are, so what would be the point of the batting?

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i made the hemline longer than the original by sewing it normally (instead of folding the bottom part upwards to act as a lining for the original hemline). and since i was already using a different fabric for the hem, i decided to make that bottom seam look more interesting by sewing the fabrics first wrong sides together, fold both fabrics’ seam allowances apart, turn them around and sew them down again.

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nevermind, i guess you can’t really see it from the picture. but this technique is quite handy when you want to make something look neat from the outside and inside (not that i’ll be wearing this top inside out though…).

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scraptop3so, anyone else wants to join the fabric scrap tribe? a lot of fun and creativity is 100% guaranteed. 🙂