Saturday, April 30, 2011

A dress with attitude

Last night I whipped up this dress.
Sorry, that is not exactly true since whipping up implies quickness, easiness and this was not the case here.
What I believed to be an hour or two dress, turned out to be an all-night nightmare.

I am to attend a party tonight. I checked my wardrobe and alas! There wasn't a piece that I could fit into. Why? Because I have not shaken off the winter fat my hips have so laboriously stocked. So I plunged into sewing a dress.

I used a Burda pattern (1/2010) for this and I have never been more wrong.
When I saw it, it had a retro flare and stroke me as a Jackie O dress.
I imagined it with the lace piece running along the front panel, but somehow it didn't look appropriate with the shape so I cut it at the front and sew the second part around the waist (yes, once there was a tiny waist...). I hand sew it and it almost shattered my nerves.
I had to add front darts and back darts to it because otherwise it would have looked as a sack.
I also had to get rid of the sleeves because they didn't fit well with the altered pattern.
However, I must say that I like how it turned out despite the experience being a horrific one!

The lace is vintage - I have taken it from an old dress of my mom's and have always wanted to pair it with this red lax I had in my stash. And I am glad I did.

And if you were wondering what the initial dress (pattern) looked like - here it is:

Thursday, April 28, 2011

On carnation headbands and ruffled blouses

Hello there. I am back after having a luxurious and enchanting Easter break. Hope you had great time too!
So, I guess I better roll up my sleeves. Batteries full and running, ideas coming out of my ears... if only I had more than two hands :)
Thankfully the project I am showing off here required not more than two hands and a bucket of good mood.. oh yes, and about three meters of jersey.

For this blouse I used an old Burda pattern (10/2000) with a bell sleeves and a V-neckline I thought I might enhance so instead I made two rows of ruffles (which I adore and you know I am crazy about) and I also made a wrap. The wrap is one of those loose, flowing and ruffling pieces that have been up and about for a while now, and I being determined not to be ripped off decided to make myself. It is composed of three rectangular pieces joined together and plain sleeves.

The thing I like best about it is that it can be worn in several ways (draping, tucking, tying) but here is just one shown since I had trouble taking a good picture of an ivory / light gray wrap against a white background. This thing is good to wear with everything and the combinations are numerous so I hope to wear it a lot.

Oh, and I almost forgot. The carnation headband to match it all. Isn't it cute?

Monday, April 18, 2011

Cutwork in colors

I cannot describe how much I love working the cutwork lately.
I have been experimenting with colors and fabric (various weights of cotton and linen) to see which one would give the best result.

I made this necklace for me. I love the burgundy red and this necklace would be a nice detail for the outfit I am making for Easter. The cutting was pretty challenging since the outer edges tend to show their tiny fibers which were trimmed to the limits and yet manage to peek out here and there.
Generally, I am satisfied with the work being accomplished and will show some new designs I've made so far.
Have a beautiful week!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Elizabeth's clutch

Immediately upon the settlement of the Nuno magazine on my computer and at the first thrown glimpse at the beautiful clutch I knew I will be making it soon. I did and I love it!

Elizabeth has used a lovely vintage linen to make it. Its shape makes it extraordinary and appealing. The pattern instructions are well written and one can make it only by looking at the drawing.

For this clutch I used upholstering fabric I had in my stash (which I adore and also used to adorn my blouse below)

lined it with cotton and added a metal clasp. I think this would be my favourite clutch for the upcoming spring and summer.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Free people

Just the other day while I was browsing through some of my favourite blogs I saw a feature of Free people - a brand I was not familiar with.

Since the presented photos sparked my interest I visited their site in search of inspiration only to conclude that I do not fit into many of the categories, especially no in the 'effortless dressing" and that rare were the pieces I found suitable for me (oh my God I am old!!!).
Needless to say, Eva was overwhelmed!

Besides the dress with the intricately crocheted front panel shown above which is truly exquisite, I also like the following pieces:

A top I would like to make for Eva. The eyelet fabric is fabulous!

This cute dress with embroidered border.

And this little number whose price made my jaws drop open in amazement and had to check it twice in disbelief! Pricey ruffles!

The vintage section also deserves a visit.
I would love to have this!

*All photos taken from*

Saturday, April 9, 2011


With a soft and gentle rustle, the new Nuno Magazine reveals the essence and the heartbeat of the spring: fresh, joyful and inspiring ideas that spring to life through Nuno philosophy:

Isn't it fantastic?! This enchanting issue offers a great variety of activities to embellish and spice up your home and your wardrobe. Enrich your spring with lovely crochet roses, paper butterflies and bunnies.

Indulge in making paper flowers and birds, bead your own jewelery, paint your blouse and the end result will make you breathless with excitement. And that is only the beginning.

I am glad that this issue also continues the tradition of setting up a great cause as its main objective, since a portion of the fee is given to a Tunisian family in the poverty-stricken mountainous region.

The issue can be bought here.
Thank you Elizabeth on the lovely opportunity and keep up the good work!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

On Fabric chicks and clay eggs

As Easter is just a few weeks away, I have been making small Easter related projects.
This year the decoration storage box gets a new addition: Easter fabric chicks. I love them especially the fabric - so cute! The children couldn't keep their hands off! I hand sewed them and quite enjoyed the process. There are other besides these two in two different fabrics but I am not really satisfied how they turned out. The reason for this is that I used sturdier fabric to make the others but after they were done I saw that I should have used softer fabric (preferably cotton). Lesson learned!

Their nest is full of tiny clay eggs I made maybe 20 years ago and I am sure there were a lot more since I aimed to make them in every possible color (as you already know that about me) but I guess they got scattered away during the years. None is of the same size and pattern (and shape for that matter); nonetheless I find them quite appealing.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Batman and the Queen of Hearts

This is the second part of the costumes I made for the April's Fool.
Jacob wished to be the Batman, and I, pledging to live a handmade life, instead of saving my sanity and buying a costume as any other normal person would do, I went to the fabric shops to pick jersey for the bat and sew it myself.

His costume is not the original of the Batman costume and it consists of a blouse, pants a cloak and the mask. We didn't have a belt because he didn't want one. Someone said Batman had tights but I wanted Jacob to feel comfortable so I made him trousers by copying the pattern of one of his older pants. For the blouse I used an Ottobre pattern. I designed the mask myself (as it can be seen) and as it always happens with time I ended up hand sewing the ears at 4 in the morning only to be told a couple of hours later that the little Mister feels awful with the mask on and he would rather not wear it!! However he put it on for the photo (willingly).
All in all I loved making the costume because Jacob loves wearing his costumes when he plays with his toys and that compensates for all made efforts.

This year my Principal asked us the teachers to participate and wear costumes ourselves. I (being a great fan of costume parties but still lacking time to prepare myself and get a more professional costume) decided to use a part of Eva's last year costume - The Queen of Hearts. I made a boat-neck blouse using a Burda pattern, snipped the lower part of the dress, hand sewed cards on it, made an obi belt and hastily sewed the edges of a rectangle piece which was to serve as a cloak. Painted a heart on the mouth and I also had a heart birthmark on one of my cheeks. There was a heart shaped ring but no crown to save my life.

You should have seen the faces of my students - precious! Jaws dropping and air gasping- it was hilarious! The teachers also competed and I won the appropriate award - a tea cup set!

Friday, April 1, 2011

Fairy princess

Sun glistening through the leaves of sturdy trees, catching rainbows in the morning dew...
Suddenly a twinkle and sparkling dust reveal the Princess of the fairies.

This day was expected with a skip of the heartbeat and building anticipation because children's hearts yearn to escape into a magical ethereal world...

For the April's Fool mascquerade Eva was a Fairy Princess.

She's wearing a pleated blouse with an Obi belt and a two-layered skirt. The bottom part is velvet while the upper is organza. She didn't have any particular wishes of how to paint her face, so I painted it on the spur of the moment.

However, regarding her hairstyle she wished a braid on one side and little whirlpools on the other. Fascinator added for accentuated effect.

My beauty... my fairy princess...