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. โค

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. ๐Ÿ˜…

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.

voilรก! you are done! ๐Ÿ˜Ž

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! ๐Ÿ˜ย 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. ๐Ÿ˜ช


meerkat manor โ™ฅ

yep, i was a fan of that Animal Planet show many years ago. who doesn’t love meerkats, anyway??

self-made top, Marimekko x H&M shorts, New Yorker sunglasses.

that’s why when i saw this fabric, i just had to get it, no questions asked!

in case you’re wondering what table lamps and teapots doing together with meerkats, bisons, and armadillos… don’t worry, you’re not the only one! it’s an absurd print, but that’s just what i love.

the fabric is viscose crepe, and i think i got about 1,3 m of it (140 cm wide). almost all of them went to this oversized blouse. i used the same pattern as the one i used for this rainbow blouse, but due to the smaller amount of fabric i didn’t make the back side as long.

for the piping, i used leftover fabric from this cardigan project. i didn’t put any filling in it, just folded small strips of the fabric into two. it’s a little bit more successful than the rainbow blouse’s piping, but for some reason the back parts still sometimes look awkward in some positions…. so i came to the conclusion that maybe the blouse model is just not good for pipings of any kinds. ๐Ÿ˜

other than that, this project went by without any problem. except for the fact that i couldn’t find my traced pattern for it, so i had to re-trace it from the magazine’s pattern and mistakenly traced another pattern’s back side of the blouse, AND i didn’t even realize it until i cut the fabric.

thankfully the other pattern’s back side is much wider than this one, so i just cut off the excess fabric. another good thing is that since this is viscose, it’s quite easy to pull and reshape the fabric on the neckline area (hidden under the collars) because of course when i cut the excess fabric of the back side, the other pattern’s back side’s neckline no longer aligns with this pattern’s neckline.

but i bet you can’t see it in the end result, right? (go on, examine the 3rd pic from this most bottom/last one here!) HA. i feel like a genius. ๐Ÿ˜

so all is good! and all is summery and lovely! and off i go to have fun in the sun with my meerkats, bisons, teapots, telephones, cuckatoos, etc. life in the meerkat manor is always absurd and never boring! ๐Ÿ˜‰

monkey business

self-made top, New Yorker shorts

looky, looky, another sewing project already!

just a quick and fun project involving these monkeys this time.

i got about 60 cm of the fabric (about 160 cm wide), which is a ponte jersey. it was done without any pattern, just cut 2 T-shaped pieces and the leftover was for the sleeves.

the pleats on the sleeves were done just by feeling, and since i wanted the sleeves to be wide, it turned out that the leftover pieces weren’t wide enough… so i added some smaller scraps to the inner seams, hahaha! you can see it from the middle picture above, but when i am actually wearing the top, no one can see it. ๐Ÿ˜‰

i was too lazy to change the threads of my overlocker (it had white threads at that time, this project needed black ones) so i decided to only use my regular sewing machine for this project.

just for fun, i made the front part shorter than the back.

my husband thinks the print and colour looks like Indonesian batik on this fabric. perhaps he’s right. but that only makes this even more special. ๐Ÿ™‚

i wore this top outdoors once already, and then the weather here suddenly turned from winter straight on to summer!! ๐Ÿ˜€ somehow we’ve managed to skip spring! today it was about 27C degrees outside, hurrah!

well… i’m not complaining! this is still a successful top that i know i will wear many more times in its lifetime. after all, who doesn’t love monkeying around?

have a sunny summer, everyone! โค

not-so-cold shoulders

self-made top and culottes.

well, hello!

it’s been a while since i last posted here, and i fear this will just keep happening. ๐Ÿ˜› i hope you didn’t think i was giving you a cold shoulder. i just happen to be very busy in life, and quite frankly, i was beginning to be very uninspired in terms of sewing.

i saw lots of nice fabrics, and lots of nice clothes, but even lifting up my scissors to start cutting up a fabric felt like such a big thing to do….

things only started to change again in April, when i finally started to get enough rest, and with that came a new hope for everything: spring/summer, new inspirations, new desires to sew new things.

this fabric was (unfortunately) something new. i could practically hear it calling me, wanting to be made and worn with green colour (don’t ask me why. the stripes colours are orange and light greyish blue, LOL!). it only costed less than 4โ‚ฌ and i promised myself that it would be the first thing i sew again, to turn my sewing life back up. ๐Ÿ™‚

so here it is, me keeping my promise AND my year’s resolution. except for the part that i bought a new fabric. oops.i wanted to keep this simple,ย but with a small twist. the fabric is cotton jersey, 90 cm long and 160 cm wide. i used my fave pattern from Ottobre Women magazine and again modified it a little bit here and there.

the slits on the shoulders were inspired by a cupro dress i got last year from & Other Stories. i love the cold shoulder trend, but i don’t really want to get cold shoulders, if you know what i mean. ๐Ÿ˜€the keyhole detail at the back is also something i love to add into an otherwise ‘boring’ look.

i was hoping that these small details are enough to keep this top from looking like a pyjama shirt!

this top took me slightly longer to finish due to the fact that at first i couldn’t get the sleeves to stay put on the slit parts. i think i made the slits too big, and therefore the weight of the fabric itself dragged it down. after stitching up a few centimeters of the slits, it seemed to help a lot.

it was also with my own horror that i noticed when i was sewing the hem that the stripes didn’t match up! so the hem was strangely done, instead of exactly on a specific stripe it’s all wonky and off sync. but feh, whatever. you can’t see it when i wear my top underneath my culottes or shorts or pants or skirt, right???

even with the wonky hem, i really love this top! it’s exactly like how i envisioned it to be and look at the happy colours!

today happens to be May Day, so rejoice, everyone! even when it’s been raining the whole day here, i can smell spring and summer coming our way. hope it comes sooner than later! โค

leopard under peacock skin

… or is it peacock under leopard skin? ๐Ÿ˜€

self-made skirt and necklace, tights from Pasaraya Blok M – Jakarta, Zara knit top and boots.

my first sewing project of 2018 happened in February! ๐Ÿ˜€ LOL! what an achievement.

some time in January, a friend/co-worker, J, invited us to her place to grab her fabrics for free. yes, you read me right. apparently she had too much fabrics and she just knew that she wouldn’t sew most of them ever, so she decided to give them away for free for us lucky people. โค

i found this slightly stretch stiff satin (S4) fabric and could instantly see myself wearing it as a skirt. the colour palette is just like that of a peacock’s, yet the print is that of a leopard.

gosh, what a terrible picture… i swear the hem is straight! ๐Ÿ˜€ the knots at the front make the skirt flop down if i try to hang it on a hanger, that’s why i decided to put it flat on the floor for this pic, but the angle makes it look like the hem is asymmetrical, LOL… whatever.

anyway, the pattern and the knot technique is the same as what i used for this skirt many years ago. to my delight, my size has gone back to the way it used to be in 2010!!! woo-hoo! that means i didn’t even have to trace a new pattern!

since there was only about 1 meter of this fabric, i didn’t have enough to make the knot parts with only the scraps. thankfully i found some other old fabric scraps from my own cupboard, so i used them as a lining for the knots.

instead of making the knots exactly on the center of the front part, this time i made them a bit on the sides. only after i sewed the sides did i realize that the top knot is a little bit too high, almost covering the waistband. :p ah well. can’t be too perfect in life, right?

another change i made was the location of the zipper. the original pattern calls for a zipper on the side, but since this fabric is already a lot thicker than what i used the first time and the side is full of the knot parts, i thought it would be easier to put the zipper at the back.

and of course, instead of the invisible zipper, i used metal zipper and sewed it so that it would be exposed. i like that it adds a bit of a ‘rocker’ feeling to it, hihihi!

all in all, i think this is somewhat more successful than my first skirt, in the sense that the bottom doesn’t scrunch up weirdly. i guess it’s because this fabric is more stiff, so it holds its shape better. but i did wear that first skirt like a gazillion times, so i can’t really say that one was a failure either. :p

i already love this skirt now even though i haven’t gotten the chance to wear it outside yet (hello, -16C!! ). while waiting for that to happen, i made another accordion necklace! haha… okay, i lied, i actually made the necklace already before the skirt, but hey… don’t they go along together quite nicely?i made it using a cork fabric. yep, they sell those these days, haven’t you heard? a very thin layer of cork material pressed on top of a fabric, so you can sew it into all kinds of things. anyway, i cut the fabric to 1 cm wide strips, and put 2 strips back to back so that it won’t show the fabric side when i make the accordion shape. yes, i’m da*n proud of myself to come up with this idea, hahaha! this necklace i have used many times already; no need to wait for spring for that! ๐Ÿ˜‰

so there you go, the first 2 months of my 2018 in a very short summary! ๐Ÿ˜€ LOL. hope you’re all having a great 2018 so far as well!

(silverain x skoci)ยฒ

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! โค

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 10โ‚ฌ 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 50โ‚ฌ 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! โค thank you ever so much for the birthday present, guys! you rock!