Wednesday, July 12, 2017


A while back I joined the Sew Social weekend in Amsterdam, where I met a group of international sewing bloggers. As part of the program, we got to follow a screen printing workshop by Barbara of Bobbinhood.
As you know, I love to design prints and have used various techniques to print fabric, including freezer paper stenciling, using discharge paste and sunprinting. But screenprinting was a novel technique for me, and the workshop was a great introduction.
I arrived at the workshop with some blue-grey jersey that I had bought at the fabric market that same morning, and some printed photos of kingfishers, with the idea to use those as a design. But I changed my mind and went for puffins instead. As a child I once spent a whole day at a Norwegian cliff watching these funny birds (on the island Runde, to be precise), and I still vividly remember sitting on this grassy cliff with my family, with puffins all around us, flying off and on from the sea to their nests.
I figured that the characteristic shape of these birds could be captured in a relatively simple design, and I was really happy to see that this was indeed the case. It took me four hours of concentrated work (leaving hardly any time for a break or a chat with the other participants...), but at the end of the workshop I emerged from my concentration bubble with a nice 4-color print.
Next, the sewing. I made a Charlie polo (Zonen09), which is as simple to sew as a regular t-shirt, but looks just a bit more fancy. Plus it allowed me to let the colors of the print return in the collar and cuffs of the shirt.

I'm really happy with how it turned out. It's always fun to see your kids in one of your hand-made garments, but when the fabric design is yours as well, it's double the fun.

To see what the other participants made, head over to their blogs: Huisje Boompje Boefjes, Vera Luna, Inspinration, Dotta, Needle&Ted, Made by Toya, Craftstorming, As it seams, Fliegfederfrei, Miss Castelinhos, Compagnie M, Pienkel.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Twig & Tale Upcycle Tour

As you may know, I love a good upcycle challenge. It's so rewarding to give old, worn-out clothes a new life, especially when you have worn these clothes with love. I bought these red corduroy pants when I was a student and used to wear them a lot, but some years ago I decided that it was time to move them to my stash pile.
They have been there for quite a while, waiting for the right moment to make their reappearance. And that moment finally came when I was asked to participate in the upcycle blog tour of Twig and Tale.
Twig and Tale is the New Zealand based pattern company of Lisa Spearman, who designs whimsical, nature-inspired, easy-to-sew children's clothes. In her pattern instructions she pays special attention to which materials are suitable to upcycle for the different parts of the garment.  
Since I was short on time for this tour, I chose a quick project: the Wild Things Hooded Scarf. This is a hat and scarf combined in one, with ears! The pattern comes with a whole menagerie of animals to choose from; zebra, fox, bear, lion, cat, bunny, yes even a giraffe! I wanted to have a fur-lined hood, so I chose the lion.
I happened to have some colourful plaid cotton in my stash that matched nicely with the red corduroy, and therefore could be used as lining fabric. I didn't have any fur though, so I went to the fabric market where I found a whole bin of fur remnants in all colours. This orange-blue fur matched perfectly with the lining fabric.
Next up, cutting the pattern pieces. When upcycling old garments, this is always a puzzle. In this case, the front legs were pretty worn out, so I cut the long scarf pattern parts from the back legs. There was still enough usable fabric on the front legs to cut the hood parts.
The hood originally consists of three parts but since my fur was very thick, I split the front band into two narrower bands (with added seam allowance), the back part in the main/lining fabric, and the front part in fur.

Then it was just a matter of following the pattern instructions, which were clear and straightforward.

My son is almost 4, so I made him a size 3-5 yr. It's a bit big on him, and the long fur gets into his eyes and mouth. But when he's wearing it on top of his wool hat, the fur doesn't bother him. I might be biased but think he looks so cute in it. A mix between a lion and an inuit boy.

Be sure to visit the other participants on the blog tour, there is more eye candy waiting for you!

Go here for the blog tour overview page.

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Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Winterland revisited

Four years ago I made one of my all-time favorites, inspired by a sweater that my mom knitted thirty-something years ago. The original had shrunk into weird proportions, but I loved the colors and the shawl collar, so I decided to copy it.
Of course, he quickly grew out of his sweater (as babies do). Each following winter I planned to sew another version of it, but I didn't manage until this winter.
The pattern is the ADV tee by Sofilantjes, adjusted to be slightly wider and with a shawl collar instead of a v-neck. 
In order to make the shawl collar, I drew a 5 cm horizontal line, centered at the bottom of the original V. Then I connected the ends of the line with the tops of the V. Next, I cut a 14 cm wide strip of ribbing, folded it in half and attached it to the neckline, stretching the ribbing as I went.
All fabrics came from my stash. It turned out I had too little brown ribbing for the bottom band and both cuffs, but fortunately I had some rust red ribbing that perfectly matched the colour of one of the sleeves. Happy accident!
On a not-too-cold afternoon, we went to the local park for a photoshoot during golden hour. He perfectly blended in among the brown tones of the plants.