Archive for the ‘Made by Couturette’ Category

Me-Made: the most beautiful summer dress

May 23, 2011

Being German, I have been raised to believe that modesty is a virtue and that you’re not supposed to praise yourself. However, today I have to say: I am proud of myself. Isn’t this the most beautiful dress?

The fabric is a wool/cotton mix I only bough last week.

Somtimes, when I love a fabric very much I shy away from making something from it because I panic that I’ll ruin the fabric and I fret endlessly about what would be the perfect thing to make. So I am very very happy that this dress turned out so well,  it fit perfectly straigh away and it is really slimming. Alright, I lost a few pounds as well, but the dress IS a flattering cut.

I used this pattern:

I was sceptical how it would turn out with a patterned fabric, but all my fretting was for nothing in the end, everything is just perfect.

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Me-Made Easter Monday

April 26, 2011

Over the long and wonderfully sunny easter weekend I finally found some time to take up sewing again. About time, since I started to develop withdrawal symptoms already. Last week I had fantasies about a poison-green outfit (does the expression “poison-green” even exist? That’s how we call the colour in German). And I finally created an outfit to go with my green/white Miss L.Fire-Shoes. I’ve been dying to wear them for some time but just hadn’t anything in my closet to match.

The blouse is (again) Smooth Sailing by Wearing History. After my initial fitting issues are resolved I am totally in love with this pattern, it’s so versatile and results in nice little blouses.

The skirt is Burda pattern No. 105 from the mag  10/2010, and it is made of an old curtain. As if I hadn’t enough of a fabric stash lying around! This curtain has originally been bought from IKEA some 20 years ago and has ever since been hiding the chaotic contents of a large glass cabinet from curious eyes. A few weeks ago I replaced it with a new lace curtain because I wanted something more vintage looking. I thought I’d discard the old curtain, since it became rather yellow over time, however, since I had to decolour a few pieces of laundry anyway, I just threw it in the washing machine together with the rest and it came out a brilliant white. Since I did not have any other firm but not too thick white fabric it got upgraded to a new summer skirt. Woah, how green I am! I will not tell you how long it took me to figure out how to cut out the pieces to get the stripes to join chevron-style on the center front and back. Sometimes I’m really just going blank, duh.

I really like this outfit and it’s comfortable to wear. To make it 100% perfect, it needs a green belt which I will be making pretty soon as I still have 4 m of nice poison-green flanell wool which are destined for a sporty suit and there will surely be a scrap left for a belt.

Me-Made-Monday No. 11

March 21, 2011

My latest work: Wrap cardigan from pink knit.

And “Funny Hair Day”, teehee: In Thailand I had my hair cut to chin length. Normally I roll it on foam curlers overnight and brush it out in the morning. Today, before brushing I pinned up the front part with 2 combs and just brushed the back part – just to try it. It looked kind of funny and I left it that way. I have a nest of curls on top of my head – sort of Lucille Ball-ish. For everday it is a bit too much I think – my colleagues are giving me strange looks, but they are used to my odd vintage looks, so who cares.

The cardigan I made this weekend from this wrap blouse pattern from Evadress.

Very cozy, but not too flattering as I now can see looking at the picture. Maybe I should make the bows from thinner fabric? Or maybe add more lace trim at the waist?

The cardigan doesn’t look too complex from the outside, but it has a secret life: I added a satin band to the waistline, to stabilize the seam which also serves to tie the underlying front piece in place. An the front seams got stretched a little bit when I did the hems and the lace trim, so I added a slightly stretched elastic band on the inside, to get them to lie close again.

The skirt is from my Me-Made Lanvin suit – a very versatile garment, everybody should have a great skirt.

Little Leo

February 24, 2011

My last finished project before our vacation.

After an hour of practising on the ukulele last night my fingers hurt so much that I fell back on my major passtime: sewing. From leftover scraps of my Fashionista project I made a little cosmetic bag, the pattern is from one of the Tilda Books. I had to piece the lining as there where only tiny little scraps left but I wanted it to match the lining of the large bag.

And once again I had a fierce fight with the stiff interfacing, but this time I won. It was no fun to sew but I HAD the interfaced fabric, wanted to use it and I can be very stubborn, so I managed in the end.

I ended up sewing in the lining by hand because it kept slipping out under the presser foot and I couldn’t get any pins through the interfacing. Furthermore the seams are all a bit lopsided, sewing with stiff interfacing just isn’t my thing AT ALL.

Anyhow, here is the finished mini wildcat. It’s hoping to get a bigger sister soon.

From the outside the bag looks super tiny but I can easily put in a powderbox, lipstick, handbalm, blistex, a mini brush, a little jar of aspirin and some “femal hygienic products”. So it’s obviously bigger on the inside than on the outside – magic!

Sloppy craftsmenship and misbehaving interfacing aside I really like the little bag and I think I am going to make another one without the stiff interfacing, using some soft fleece padding instead. Making it is quick and not difficult at all if the fabric is cooperative and it would also make a nice gift.

Not a total desaster (yet)

February 22, 2011

But it might get there any moment 😉 .

Last week I got Lisa Lam’s “Bible of Handbagmaking” and fell totally in love with the “Oversized Fashionista” Bag. I wanted to make it straight away and dived right in at the weekend. And I was successful up to a certain point.

The inner part of the bag turned out very well. The pattern only calls for a zipper pocket.

But because I love well organized bags I made a few extra pockets for phone, pens, iPod and the like on the other side of the lining. I realized that I cut them too generously and had to add a seam to prevent the pens from disappearing completely.

On to the flap. This also worked out well and looks great. I love how the lightweight faux fur looks together with the hot pink lining.

But then came the part where I had to sew through 12 layers of fabric, underlining and very stiff interfacing to attach the handle loops. My Brother machine refused to do it, my Toyota broke 2 needles and the Featherweight wouldn’t even start – the belt just slipped. No chance.

I hopped in the car, drove to the next DIY store and bought rivets and tools for attaching them. Home again. Test riveting on scrap pieces. Riveting pliers is bend and ruined, rivet is also bend, scratchy and not sticking together. Invented totally new swear words and kicked back in the next corner. My dear inhouse prince gave it another try with similar results.

I went to the local cobbler to ask if he could do the riveting. Supposedly he can put rivets in “anything”. Well, we’ll see, I’ll be taking the bag to him next Friday, it can’t get any worse than it already is 😉 .

So, working with rather thick fabric PLUS heavy interfacing is not a project for regular sewing machines, obviously, and my leo bag is on standby until after our vacation.

But since my machines were already loaded with sturdy needles I squeezed in some “utility sewing”: I made a bag for 2 foldable camping cupboards.

The fabric is lightweight cotton poplin, underlined with an ugly old fleece blanket and I am quite happy how the bag turned out. Everything is very neat and the 3 layers poplin – fleece – poplin feel very soft. So the cupboards get a cozy and well padded new home. There is a zipper closure over the complete top. I am very proud of the bag, it’s almost a waste to stow it away in the garage 50 weeks a year, but on the other hand, sewing it was a nice practice.   🙂 .

Funny thing: once I start learning a new technique, like recently underlining, all sorts of projects are coming my way where I can use it. Must be the subconscious, I probably wouldn’t have thought of underlining the bag if I hadn’t done it recently on other things as well.  😉 .

Burda Style 10/2010/118A

February 15, 2011

My second go on this top is looking much better than the orange knit rag.

The fabric is a not too stretchy knit with a beautiful and bold plaid print. This time I tried to stick to Burda’s instructions, read them carfully, read them again, found that they contain errors and sewed it my own way.

The bow is cut precisely according to instructions and I think it could be a little bit longer. The 3rd version is already planned, I’ll make a longer bow then. Apart from that I really like this top. It is comfortable to wear and looks cute with pants as well as skirts. It has a good chance to become one of my favourites.

Horrockses meets IKEA

February 2, 2011

My fabric addiction has reached a sad new height: I am buying bedclothes for sewing dresses 😦 .

And I am having such a bad conscience over it, that I made the dress as fast as possible to make the bedsheets disappear from my fabric stash. Resist the beginnings! Even though it is still winter and I will not be able to wear the dress for quite some time.

Well actually I won’t make a habit out of sewing stuff from bedclothes, I just couldn’t resist the beautiful 40ies/50ies style pattern combination of IKEA’s HENNY CIRKEL, so,  here’s mybedsheet dress, inspired by the British Horrockses-Dresses:

Sewing went very fast and I even got a perfect collar corner at the shoulder seam.

For the hem I tried a technique described in “Threads”: Saw around the edge of the raw hem, iron it in so that the seam is on the inside, sew again, iron again, sew a third time and you’re done. It produces a nice narrow and relatively heavy rolled hem with one visible stitching line on the outside.

I was worried that the fabric might be too stiff for a dress, but after I threw it in the washing machine it is very soft and the dress is feeling very comfortable. It wrinkles a lot, but that’s to be expected from pure cotton.

Pattern: a vintage 1950ies Advance Pattern

Fabric: bedclothes HENNY CIRKEL from IKEA (The bodice is made from the pillow, the skirt from the sheets).

Total Cost: approx. 20 Euro

Time for sewing: approx. 3 hours, the pattern didn’t need any adaptation (rare luck).

Love my new summer outfit … but I guess I will not be seen shopping at IKEA in this dress 😉

Me-Made Monday No.4

January 31, 2011

Corduroy Blouse and Skirt Combination



A mix of decades: 30ies bluse (Smooth Sailing by Wearing History,with alterations)5oies Skirt (my current favourite skirt pattern, a vintage 50ies from Butterick).

I changed the back darts of the blouse to a pleat in the center back, covered by a buckle. I repeated the buckle motif on the front and extended the sleeves to 3/4 lenght.

Now that I look at the picture, it sort of makes me look boring (and fat, alas!). You cannot really see the details, it is not THAT drab in reality. I am wearing it with green accessories: a scarf and earrings, but was to lazy to take another picture ;-).

The corduroy is very soft and warm and the outfit feels good when worn. About the fat part … well, everybody can see that I am not skinny anyway, so what the heck?

Details:

Blouse: Smooth Sailing by Wearing History

Skirt: my TNT 50ies skirt pattern

Material:

soft cotton corduroy from e-bay stoffgrosshandel-holland

cost:

approx. 25 Euro

Time for Sewing:

approx. 5 Stunden

Me-Made Monday No. 2

January 17, 2011

It’s actually a Me-Made Sunday this time, because this is my new lounging suit.

Because I was so tired of hanging around in old sweatpants. My very good sewing buddy Taylor Maide made one of those suits and graciously allowed me to steal her idea.  The material is a heavy jersey knit (the stuff tracksuits were made of back in the 70ies) and I got it for a very low price, because it’s the kind of fabric that isn’t very appealing to most people. I think, this must also be the stuff Chanel used to make her first suits. She was the first to use jersey for outerwear as it had previosly only been used for undershirts etc.

I LOVE this fabric, it is very versatile and gives lots of room for creativity.

The suit is very comfy yet stylish and as you can see on the picture I am very happy with it. So much, in fact, that I have already started a second suit from a similar fabric in dark green – coming soon on Me-Made Monday.

Patterns:

Pants: pajama pants from an older Burda magazine. The same pattern shows up at least once a year in Burda. I made the legs a little bit more flared from the knees down.

Jacket:

Pattern No. 5 from der ottobre woman 5/2010. This was also a test of this pattern as I am planning to make a coat from it as well.

Costs: approx. 15 € incl. notions

time for sewing: approx. 6 hours

Me-Made Monday No. 1

January 10, 2011

Two-piece dress, fall 1950

My first Me-Made Monday outfit is from a pattern magazine from 1950. It’s a two-piece dress, with a pull-over top with zipper and double-button closure. Lightly gathered at the waist and with separate peplum and patch pockets. The bodice is lined, peplum and skirt are unlined.

Doesn’t it look exactly like on the fashion drawing? Ok, I’ll have to work on my waistline, but otherwise … 😉 .

I chose this model because of the adorable details: the zipper and double buttonhole closure. You can use a double button like I did here, you can pull a tiny scarve through the holes or a band with pompoms or …

Today is my first working day of the new year. With this dress nothing can go wrong.

From a leftover piece a made a quick beret (which I am not going to wear to the office, though. I am going to introduce my colleagues gradually to my new vintage style).

Pattern:

from Schwabe “Der Neue Schnitt” Fall 1950

Material:

lightweight rust coloured wool  Tweed

Cost:

approx. 25 Euro incl. notions and interfacing

Time for sewing:

approx. 20 hours incl. pattern tracing and muslin of the bodice