my 2018 in sewing (late post)

first off, happy new year to everyone!

well, 2018 ended in quite a hectic way for me so i couldn’t write this post earlier. but anyways, as i had done for the past few years, here’s a recap of my 2018 in sewing.

honestly, i wasn’t expecting to sew as much as i did. with the depression, moving, and back pains etc., i had little hope that i would have enough will and energy to sew. but 14 sewing projects in a year, that was quite an achievement! 😉 (the coordinated set was put twice up there because there are 2 items, the pants and the top.)

out of these 14 items, 8 were done without pattern. the french bulldog top was done by putting an old top over the fabric and cutting the fabric straight out. the knot dress’s idea was taken from Named’s Kielo dress. the twist knot tops’ idea was taken from a Zara top.

last year i have fallen out of love and fallen back in love with sewing and clothes. who knows what will happen next in my journey of sewing, but at least having invested in a better sewing machine helped, too, in getting myself re-inspired.

with my new sewing machine, i’ve also been more inclined to learn new techniques. since my new sewing machine makes it a lot easier for me to sew things like button holes and decorative stitches, i can concentrate more on making my garment more neat and polished instead.

other than these 14 items, i actually also made 2 small pouches that i never posted. one is made for my mum by her request, and was the very first time i made a pouch with zipper. i still used my old sewing machine for that, just before i wrapped it up and sold it.

the other one was my very first project with my new sewing machine, a test run, so to speak. it wasn’t that neat, but i needed to test the zipper presser foot and overcasting presser foot (something i never had before!). the pouch works perfectly well, so i’ve been using it to keep my keys.

these 2 pouches were unfortunately the only ones i made using old fabrics that i had… all 14 sewing projects were otherwise done using *gasp* new fabrics! the knot skirt and polka dot twist knot top fabrics were given to me for free, though, so… at least i don’t feel too guilty for getting so much new fabrics, haha. 😅

i don’t have any new sewing resolution for this year, it stays the same as last year and the year before: to sew only the things i need or will definitely wear until it breaks. those 14 up there i have been wearing daily, except for the last dress, LBD, which i have yet to wear due to lack of formal party invitation, LOL.

and with that, 2018 is officially closed and i warmly welcome the new year! what will you have in store for me, dear 2019? 💕

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true to myself

last time we went to Stockholm, we went for a (long) walk around Södermalm. in order to keep me happy (said my husband), he reminded me about this second hand store that we once went to but didn’t have time to look around. he remembered that i wanted to stay to see the stuffs, but we had to go back that time already, so now he suggested we go there again. (this was quite rare of my husband to actually suggest we go to a store, so yes, it really was just to keep me happy! :D) without any map, just depending on our shabby memories, we tried to find the place… and found it!

the store is called Emmaus Stockholm, and as i said, they sell second hand things. i went to the basement one (there were 2 entrances to 2 separate stores), because that was where i went the last time. i’m still not quite sure what the difference was, but from Google translator i found out that the basement is where the vintage stuffs are.

there was one area full of designer brands, like Moschino, Marc by Marc Jacobs, Chloe, Just Cavalli, and many more. i went straight there and sorted through them, hoping i can find something cool. i’m definitely not new to shopping pre-loved clothes, but i can honestly say that i had never succeeded in grabbing an original designer branded item when shopping for second hand items. i’m always amazed at people who can find these branded items in second hand stores.

i found a few things from there and tried them on. the first one was a pair of Moschino jeans. they fitted, but they were too long. they needed to be shortened, and they costed about 35€. next one was a Chloe top, simple dark blue jersey with colourful flower embroidery at the hem. it looked good, and costed about 30€.

i showed them to my husband, and he asked, “are those really what you want?”

i gave him my reasons (“they’re branded stuffs!” “all i need to do is shorten these jeans” “this is Chloe top!”), and all he said was, “that wasn’t what i asked. to be honest, i can’t even see the difference between the ‘branded’ stuffs and normal clothes, but i can see that there are nothing special with those clothes. the clothes you bought in Pasar Senen in Jakarta were better looking.”

wow. for those of you who are not familiar with it, Pasar Senen is a biiiig big area in Jakarta that is full of second hand markets (used to be, at least. don’t know what it’s like these days!). it was THE place for me to shop for second hand clothes, where i could get 10 different clothing items for as small money as less than 10€. my husband never went there himself (he would die from the heat), but he knew that it was a dear place to me, and that i bought most of my clothes there when i was still living in Jakarta. the clothes there were not branded, but sometimes i found Japanese brands in the midst of the sea of second hand clothes, like Lowrys Farm and the likes.

anyway, what my husband said reminded me of my old self, shopping and having fun with my girlfriends in Pasar Senen. who cared if none of the clothes were branded? if it was cute, we bought it. if it was unique, we bought it. after all, that was how i see clothes: a way to express myself. would i really be able to express myself in plain black jeans with the word “Moschino” stamped at the back? i’m not even a denim person. or in a simple jersey top that costed 35€ even though it’s no longer new, which no one can see is actually Chloe brand because the label is inside the top? are those really what i want?

as i came back to my senses, i put those items back on the rack. as much as i love fashion, i don’t think i can forgive myself for spending that much of money for second hand clothes that don’t show my true personality.

and almost immediately my eyes fell on to something else on a different rack (non-designer brand area): a cute black and white cardigan. i pulled it out, and right away my husband said, “now THAT’S more YOU.”

i agreed. and since this one costed 6€, i ended up getting it.

monkicardi

Monki cardigan, self-made jeans, custom-made shoes, Mango belt, Oasap earrings, & Other Stories clutch.

i can’t really say it’s unbranded, because it’s from Monki brand, which i also usually love. i like how the colours are actually quite basic (reminds me of a classic Chanel cardigan), but the bow details at the front make it more my style.

the earrings worn on the pic was my other purchase from Oasap.com which was another cheap find at less than 3€.

oasapearringssoon after grabbing this Monki cardigan, i saw another too-good-to-pass item.

costop

COS top, self-made dress (worn under top) and skirt, shoes from Dappermarkt – Amsterdam, necklace gift from mum-in-law.

it’s an asymmetrical top from COS, yet another brand i love. both Monki and COS are from the same group as H&M, along with Cheap Monday, & Other Stories, and Weekday. and yes, i love them all. i especially love COS because they almost always have feel-good materials, such as cupro, silk, high quality cotton, merino wool. but because of the use of such materials, they are usually a bit out of the budget for me. so getting this high quality cotton COS top for 8€ was quite an achievement!

the necklace worn on the pic was a little something i got from my mum-in-law last Christmas (other than the Marimekko tights).

necklaceshe said she bought it from a place in Finland (can’t remember the name), but i think the fabric looks a lot like Indonesian batik. what a nice coincidence. 🙂

i am happy with my shopping, and the fact that i stayed true to myself (thanks husband, for the reminder!). sure, they weren’t any designer brands, but they look more like me, who i am, and how i like to express myself in dressing up. plus, they’re a lot cheaper than those designer brand items!

maybe one day i will be lucky enough to find a good designer brand item(s) for a good price that still reflect who i am. but until that day comes, i’m happy just being silly old me.

Queen of Late

once every blue moon, i do also buy ready made clothes. these days i don’t get too much tempted by clothes sold by fast fashion stores, though i do enjoy a trip to these stores just to keep myself updated with what’s on trend and what’s out (i tell myself it’s for my job, but i really enjoy seeing the cuts & small details in these clothes to help me in my own sewing projects… and shamelessly copy them). the only exception that would make me want to buy a ready made clothing item is if a) the print of the item is something hard to get as a fabric, and b) it’s really cheap. 10€ is the maximum limit i set for myself, unless if the store in question is actually a higher-end kind of clothing store.

so when a clothing item falls into both a and b categories… well, you know i’ve got to take a chance.

oasapdress

Oasap dress, Marimekko tights, Up shoes, Miffy watch.

i had never heard of the online store Oasap until The Fashion Huntress started posting a few of her clothes from there. i browsed their collection, thinking that i probably would still find them too expensive, but suddenly i saw this dress with quirky Queen print that i had seen before from another brand (who sold it for like… hundreds of euros). the price i got from Oasap that time was around 7,50€. i also found a pair of earrings for a mere 1,50€. plus, they were having a free delivery around the world campaign.

so i thought it was worth a try to order from there. they accept Paypal, so that made it even easier. this was in mid November 2014.

all i had to do after that was wait. and wait. and wait. and waaaaaaait some more. i had planned on wearing this dress at my workplace’s Christmas party, but nope, the dress did not come yet by then. so i thought okay, i could probably still wear it on Christmas dinner. but nope, the dress did not come before Christmas holiday yet either. so i thought, fine, i suppose i can wear it on the cruise to Stockholm. but the dress arrived exactly on 31st of December when i had to go to work, so i could not pick it up from the post office until AFTER new year’s holiday (and after the cruise). bravo, well done!

oasapdress2

the Queen (of Late) print in close up…

i hereby dub thee the Queen of Late. i was finally able to hold it in my hands by the 5th of January 2015. no more parties or dinners coming my way, so the dress is basically late for everything, but whatever. better late than never.

so am i happy with this dress? i am, especially since i only paid 7,50€ for it. but if you are planning to wear something from that store any time soon, i suggest you find it somewhere else. otherwise, if you don’t mind waiting 1,5 months for the item(s) to arrive, this online shop is a great place to get quirky & cheap clothes.

i’m also happy with my new Marimekko tights, which i got as a Christmas present from my mum-in-law! ❤ she knows my style well, don’t you think? 😀

my dress… lip them!

lipdress1

i guess i have a thing for facial part prints. after eye print, now this lip one. i couldn’t help it, the print reminds me of Moschino for some reason, even though it’s not. when i saw the fabric, i just knew i wanted to make it as a shirt dress. but not just any usual shirt dress. you know me, i like surprises.

but first: the original pattern. a while ago, the writer behind Indonesia In My Pocket sent me a thank you note. and along with the mail, she sent me a stack of vintage patterns. one of them was this:

voguepattern8276i’ve always wanted to try a vintage pattern, and this one looked promising. thankfully it was my size (or it was loose-fitting enough that i can still fit in it! i guess back then the clothing sizes were slightly bigger. phew!). i used it as a base for the top part.lipdressdetail1at first i thought the darts would be a pain in the a**se to do, but it went by like a breeze! next,  i decided to add small gathered sleeves.

lipdressdetail3for the back side, i added a peekaboo factor with a black polka dot tulle.

lipdresscloseup

then i added cut-out details on the sides of the waist part. the skirt part is basically made of 3 rectangles, and to make it so that the cut-out parts don’t hang loose i added elastic bands exactly under the cut-out parts.lipdressdetail2and that’s not all yet for the details! i also added hidden side pockets! 😀

lipdress2

lipdress3

self-made dress, stockings from Plaza Semanggi-Jakarta, shoes from Dappermarkt – Amsterdam, Miffy watch.

i don’t know what got into me, i just felt like adding this and that tiny details to this dress. it took me far longer than usual to complete this dress, what with the pattern altering & sewing the buttons… and i also believe my sewing machine is slowly dying, as it was jammed hundreds of times while i sew this. 😦 but i finally managed to finish it, and the result is everything i had wished for in a shirt dress. ❤

okay, so this is again a new fabric (God help me!), but my way of making it up is by sewing it immediately, and also dressing it up in multiple ways. dear self, i promise this was not a waste of time & money! 🙂

lipdress4

Monki sweatshirt, self-made dress, unbranded socks, ASOS cage shoes, Miffy watch.

lipdress5

self-made dress, Nevada t-shirt, H&M stockings, shoes from Dappermarkt – Amsterdam, Miffy watch.

while writing this post, i searched for other images of dresses with lip & polka dot prints… and found this in ASOS. 😀 yep, that’s exactly the same fabric! but again, i think for me, my version suits me better. 🙂

thank you so much, A, for the Vogue pattern! hope you’ll agree that i’ve put it to a good 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.

croptop1

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.

croptop2

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.

croptop3

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.

croptop4

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.

croptopclose

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! :’)

croptop5

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. 🙂

failure is not accepted

in my 6 years of sewing experience, i can’t tell you how many times i’ve come face to face with problems that might just make me have to accept defeat and call the sewing project a failure. ask my husband. he knows how many times. 😀

at times like those, i usually stopped sewing (usually from being too disappointed) and did something else to take my mind off of it. then when i felt like i was ready, i would resume the work and try to fix the problem.

up to this very moment, thankfully there is only one sewing project i could honestly call a failure (because i ran out of ideas on how to fix it, and the amount of energy spent on it was too much for me to try to fix it again), and that was years ago. so i’ve come to get used to accepting no failures at all.

some weeks ago, i wanted to make this lovely cocoon cardigan from BurdaStyle magazine (November 2013 issue, pattern no. 107):

cocooncardi

picture from BurdaStyle.com

i had the perfect fabric and time, and while i was doing it, i could already imagine wearing it at work, etc.

when it was done, i tried it on… and found out the problem immediately. it was the wrong choice of fabric. it was too stiff, the kind you would use for coats (and doh, it IS supposed to be for coats, i just thought it would work as a cardigan too). looking for reassurance, i turned to my husband and asked what he thought about it.

this is what he said, “Yes, that’s a nice bathrobe.”

BATHROBE. B-A-T-H-R-O-B-E.

there’s nothing wrong with a bathrobe, except that this wasn’t supposed to be a bathrobe, dammit! (moral of the story: you should never turn to your husband/spouse for reassurance.)

so i tried cooling down my head by cleaning up my work desk, stowing away my sewing machine and fabric remnants etc.. i was not going to give up, but i was depressed since i just spent the whole day sewing something i thought would look cool and MOST DEFINITELY NOT A BATHROBE.

that was when i started browsing for cocoon/oversized coat images around the internet. well, guess what?

cocoonoversizedinspiration

pictures from various sources around the internet

there really are such things as bathrobe-looking coats. 😀

i compiled these pictures and showed them to my husband with triumph all over my face. one, because even if he was right and my cardigan looks more like a bathrobe, bathrobe-looking coats are actually IN (okay, they’re called oversized coats, some are cocoon coats, some are oversized cocoon coats). and two, i may have failed in making a cardigan, but i turned out to be making a coat instead. this counts as a score! 🙂

so i began hatching these ideas on how to dress up my cocoon/bathrobe coat. suddenly i got quite a bunch of ideas, i needed to sit down and draw them. the results?

furcoat1compl

vintage blouse from UFF, self-made top and coat, Zara trousers, studded flats from Dappermarkt-Amsterdam, batik bag given as a gift from my aunt, Miffy watch, jersey fabric worn as headband.

furcoat2compl

Lord Shiva tee from India, loose pants from Dappermarkt-Amsterdam, self-made coat, Bianco shoes, CottonInk tubular shawl, Zara belt, vintage purse from UFF.

furcoat3compl

second-hand shirt from Pasar Senen-Jakarta, self-made top, skirt, and coat, H&M tights, ASOS cage shoes, & Other Stories clutch, Miffy watch.

furcoat4compl

H&M boys blouse, H&M girls dress (worn underneath blouse), self-made tights and coat, Bianco shoes, H&M necklace, Sophie Martin clutch, Miffy watch.

just so you’ll understand why i thought this was the perfect fabric, i have to show it in close up:

furcoatdetail

it’s a kind of furry wool fabric, much like what was shown on the BurdaStyle pic up there. i bought 2,3m of it for only around 15€. seeing how many ways i can dress it up now, as a COAT, not a cardigan, i must say it was way worth it.

once again, i think & i believe i have successfully avoided a failure. 😉

PS. all illustrations are drawn by me using 2B pencil, coloured pencil, and copic pens.