Finished Fur Shrug

Done! A nice quick and useful project :) I wore it last night and I was glad I had it, it got quite cold in the early hours of the morning…

As I mentioned I lined it with red velvet (not real velvet unfortunately, but the fake velvet that still looks and feels nice) and added a red ribbon.


I realized last night how much I love the cut of this (cape/shrug, whatever you want to call it :)), it’s easy to take on and off, and it keeps me warm. But it’s not as bulky as a jacket. I also like it inside-out:

Reminds me of Little Red Ridinghood, but I’m ok with that :) The way this red velvet catches the light is amazing! It’s just soo red:

There’s not too much to write about this project, pretty straight forward, practically no problems (the basting probably helped!), so that’s it!

The next project on my list is another Butterick 2952, this time in a dusty pink color! (and with perfect fit hopefully :))


Finished Mint Dress

I finished it over a month ago! Finally got around to taking pictures. Here are all the posts about this dress.

A couple more WIP/detail shots:

It isn’t perfect, but after I finally wore it for the first time last weekend, I loved it! I guess sometimes I just need to stop looking at all the details that aren’t perfect and enjoy the dress as a whole :)

This is the first “complicated” dress I’ve ever drafted, and I’m quite happy with it.  Although next time I don’t think I’ll make a scalloped edge with the 2/3 circle skirt, they just don’t show that well… and that it’s hard to tie the back nicely without help! Also, the skirt is a tiny bit too small, and it makes the zipper look weird. Maybe a hook and eye can fix that.

I also finished the fur shrug today, I’ll post pictures tomorrow.

Plaid Pants

Along with the sewing machine I also got a pair of plaid pants and a green sweater at the thrift store. The pants are a size 42, I’m a 34, so I took them in, to make them look like retro riding pants:

I haven’t changed the right pant-leg here yet, the left one I took in by basting by hand. I already took in the waistband here, otherwise they would’ve fallen off.

The pants weren’t that hard to alter, just that I had to take in the top part not at the side seam but further back (so I didn’t sew through the pockets), and then had to kind of make the seam go straight again (does anyone know what I’m even talking about? haha, hard to explain…).

I kind of wish I could sew leather pieces to the inside like actual riding pants, but I think I’d get even weirder stares than I already got. Plus I’m too lazy :)

The purple, velvety belt I also got at the thrift store that day, 50.- cents! I just cut off a large piece of the end to make it smaller, and punched a few holes where I needed them.


On a not so happy note, I’m starting to get very worried about my package full of fabric and books I sent over from the states. It hasn’t arrived and the only tracking information I can see is “accepted” at the post office I sent it from, and nothing else after that. Did it not even survive a day in the mail? How could this happen? My aunt is checking it out at the post office today, so glad I she’s doing that for me. I really hope I don’t get bad news…  I really hope it just got stuck at the post office itself and that they can find it. I insured it, but then realized it was worth more than that. Plus I spent 2.5 weeks getting swatches and comparing to find the perfect fabrics! I’d be heartbroken if it got lost…

Make-Up Pouches

Wow, I haven’t blogged about sewing for almost two weeks!

I thought I’d be fine not sewing anything for three weeks, but I got a little antsy. I’ve been at my host-family’s house for the past few days (I spent a year in the states from 2008-2009, and this is my first visit after leaving!), and my first sewing machine (the cheapest brother model I got from amazon) is still here, unused since I left!

On Saturday we went to JoAnn’s Fabrics, and I got some cheap serger thread and a polka dot fabric. I decided to make a few pouches to organize my make-up, because I recently got a nice vanity-case-type “purse” from, and I went shopping at sephora (yet another store we don’t have in Switzerland :)). Since the make-up I got there is so nice, I want to store it in a way that will keep it nice and clean (I hate when stuff crumbles and smears on to everything else!), and I’m so happy with the results!

f.l.t.r.: roll-and-tie pouch for hair pins and rubber bands, make-up brushes etc. and pouch for jewelry

I’m not used to sewing stuff that’s so little. And I didn’t have an iron (so irritating! don’t know how I ever sewed without an iron!). But it’s so much fun to sew something practical! It made me feel productive and happy. I’ve been shopping a lot since I got to the states and it makes me feel guilty (even thought the dollar is so low right now). Sewing makes me feel better about that.

I’ll start updating my blog more when I get home (where I have an actual camera, not just an iPhone and instagram :)).

Red Sheath Dress

Pattern: Butterick 2952
Year: early 60s (my first time sewing a vintage pattern!)
Fabric: 1.5 m Red Cotton-Lycra
Notions: metal zipper, for belt: petersham ribbon, eyelets, vintage belt buckle
Time: ca. 10 hours
Cost: about 15 swiss francs (around $18)

Crossed another Item off my Mad Girls List!

I started tracing the pattern on friday evening, cut out the fabric on saturday evening (and sewed some of the darts), and basically finished on monday (was too tired to finish hand sewing the zipper). It was an easy project, but I’m still a little surprised at how fast (for my standards) I was!

I didn’t make a muslin, and I only made 4 small alterations:

  • at the tracing stage: took 1 inch off the waist (an adjustment I always have to do)
  • after sewing the facing: lowered the neckline slightly (as my mom always stresses: “show off your collarbones!”)
  • after sewing the skirt: took about 1.5 cm off each side of the skirt, and the bottom of the bodice (so the skirt would fit), but not all the way through the bodice, because I had already sewn on the facings…
  • shortened the skirt to above the knee instead of below the knee

I also made the self-fabric belt! Followed the instructions (grosgrain petersham ribbon!) and used one of the belt buckles I got in Paris. I really like the tortoiseshell belt buckle, but as this was my first try at making a belt I made a few mistakes: didn’t know how to make holes for the eyelets without damaging the belt, ended up using an awl and screwdrivers… and I sewed the belt to the wrong part of the buckle! haha, I’ll just try again.

The fit isn’t perfect, but I like it, it’s a comfortable dress that isn’t too revealing, fancy or full of details. Good for accessorizing :) The fabric is a little annoying because it’s hard to iron. It turns darker when it gets hot, and that kind of freaks me out. What I like about it though: it isn’t see through, so I didn’t have to make a lining! I bought red lining fabric anyway, so I might make a slip from that… or use it on my next red dress :)

The seams aren’t properly finished on the inside, because I’m going to get that brother serger in the states and finish the seams after my trip. I know the quality isn’t great, but from reviews on amazon and comments on my last post (thank you!), it’s good for the simple things. I do plan on investing in a better one in the future (great motivation to get a job when I start studying!).

The Floral “Paris” Dress

I finished it! The only thing i have to do is adjust the waiststay, made it a little tighter than the dress, so now the dress sticks out a little at the back when I close the waist-stay.

I’ll have another WIP post on this dress, or I guess it’s more of an “inner construction post”, because this is the first dress I made that’s nice on the inside too :) Just couldn’t wait to post pictures, so that’s why this one’s first :)

See all posts about this dress