Finished: Rowan's Birgitta Cardigan

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Hi all!

Last week I finally finsihed my first cardigan after a huge knitting slump which lasted more then a year. In march 2015 I started knitting this cardigan and it was such a big project, but I'm so glad it's finished :)

I already bought yarn for this project in 2011, but I wasn't a very experienced knitter at that time and I wanted to wait until I had some more experience. And I'm glad I waited, because I think this was the most difficult knitting project I ever did. And then you might wonder why I would start such a project after not knitting for over a year? Well, I don't really know, but I guess I like a good challenge and something pretty.


The roses were a nightmare to knit. At times I had more then 20 little knitting balls to work with. The pattern of the upper part was also a bit difficult becuase the colors don't differ that much from each other, so you actually can't see very clearly where you are on the pattern chart which will be the case when you use more contrasting colors. 

The fit was quite difficult. The cardigan is very short and I needed to added like 3 inches / 7,5 cm to get the length I desired. The same goes with the sleeves. They would be very very short if didn't elongate them.

When I sewed the whole thing together I wasn't happy with the fit. It was very boxy and I don't like that. To improve the fit I took in the waist with 3 cm at each side and tapered it to the actual side seam somewhere below the bust area. 

The placement of the buttons gave me a real headache! They just didn't seem evenly distributed, while I did knit a buttonhole on a regular interval. In the end I had to change the positions of some buttons three times before I was satisfied.

All in all, I'm very happy with this cardigan! Although it was a long and sometimes frustrating process! 


Inspiration: Record Patterns part 1

I love searching on Marktplaats (a Dutch kind of Ebay) for vintage sewing patterns. Especially when they are a bargain. Last week I was searching again and found two vintage pattern sewing magazines from the 30s and early 40s. Nowadays I have a small budget and I just bid 5 euros for both of them, not expecting anything out of it. But hey, if you never try you won't get anything. So you can imagine I was very surprised when the seller accepted my bid. 

Last Friday the magazines arrived and I'm so happy with them, there are many color illustrations, which is not always the case with (pattern) magazines from these eras. I thought it would be nice to share them with you. And I like to strart with the 40s edition, to be more precisely: march 1942.

I don't really like box coats, but I adore every other tailored coat and suit on these pages. 

The pink dress is my absolute favourite dress from this magazine. And lucky me, it's included on the pattern sheet :)

Talking about the pattern sheet: this is going to be a nightmare to trace!

The details of these dresses are amazing!

I love all the dresses of this page. Especially the black and white dress with bolero.

Some lovely skirts with great details! The jumper dress is something I would wear straight away. The ruffled blouses are very cute if you ask me.

A couple of wedding dresses, one of them is also on the pattern sheet :)

Those pleats are such a great feature on the pink dress! 

More beautiful dresses, it just never ends!

The dresses on this page or mourning dresses.

I love the coat on the left!

Some stylish garments to wear at home.

This is the back of the magazine withe even more dresses!

I hope you enjoyed it! Anytime soon I will share some illustrations of the 30s magazine. 


Vintage Pledge 2016 and Instagram

Good morning! 

Yesterday I decided I want to participate in this years Vintage Pledge hosted by Marie and Kerry. It has been a while since I joined a thing like this. I always like the group feeling that comes with sewalongs or other comparable initiatives. 

So here is my pledge:

During 2016, I, Anthea, pledge to sew a 30s/40s evening gown, a 20s flapper dress and 30s/40s lingerie.

Wanna join? Click here
I always dream about making my own evening gown, but so far it was only an idea, because I don't know how often I would wear an evening gown. I don't like sewing things which end up almost never worn in a closet. But the challenge of making a fancy evening gown using all kinds of new techniques is appealling so much to me, that I don't mind wearing this particular me made gown only a few times. 

Source / Inspiration
A 20s flapper dress is also on my wishlist. I always thought it's not the right style for me, too rectangular for my taste. Somehow I have started appreciating this style more and more over the years. I only never thought about sewing a flapper dress, but this has changed. I hope to draft and sew my own ultimate 20s flapper dress!

Source / Inspiration
Sewing lingerie is another thing I never gave much thought. I love making garments people actually see and don't really mind what is underneath it. Ok, that's a bit bold stated. I mean, I like decent and clean underwear, it's just simple not too fancy. I'm really growing into the idea of wearing a totally me made vintage inspired outfit and that includes lingerie.

Source / Inspiration
When it comes to social media I'm often a bit behind. Last december I finally got a good working smartphone and this gives new opportunities. I had heard of Instagram, but couldn't use it on my old smartphone. But now I can, so I signed up :)

If you use Instagram, please let me know how I can find you and I will follow you :) If you like to follow me you can click here.


WIP 30s coat: Preparations

Today I want to write a little about the coat I want to make. A couple of years ago I found this beautiful pattern of a coat (Simplicity 2865).

Because this is a huge project and I bought expensive fabric I want to be very careful. I read the book 'Tailoring. The classic guide to sewing the perfect jacket' and sofar it's helping me a lot. 

I started with tracing the pattern pieces and made a muslin to see how it would fit. I did have some problems with the fit. The upper sleeve was way too big for me and also the bust area was on the bigger side. But luckily there were no other major alterations needed to get a good fit.

Left top-bottom: pretreating edge tape ~ Right top bottom: pretreating hair canvas
 In the meantime I started preshrinking the fabrics I want to use. At first I wanted to take my coat fabric (100 % wool) to the dry cleaner but they asked so much money, I decided to preshrink at home with help of a damp towel and my iron. I didn't know wool could shrink so much (so much for being careful)! I lost about 40 cm of length! And that caused a huge problem, because I wouldn't have enough fabric to cut out all the pattern pieces. 

One of my cats (Dita) is assisting me
By carefully pressing and stretching out the fabric again I gained 15 cm and with a creative pattern lay out I was able to get all the pieces out of it after all :)

Puzzling with the patterrn lay out and used everything heavy I coud find in my home

It looks a bit messy, but I just wanted to see what the most efficient way would be. Actually, I even made a sketch of the pattern lay out so I knew where the pieces should come.

I also pretreated the hair canvas and edge tape after reading this in the book I mentioned above. I never thought about preshrinking these materials. I guess 'better safe then sorry' would be right to use in this context. 

Some steps of makking bound buttonholes. This is the front. I used contrasting thread on purpose
This afternoon I practiced making bound buttonholes. I do have some experience but I prefer making some samples to know how the fabric is behaving and deciding what the perfect length of the buttonholes should be. Normally I use the method I learned during sewing class, but I wasn't very happy with this technique and wanted to try something new. Once again I used someting from the 'Tailoring' book and with great succes. Actually I took the best of both methods and blended it to something which worked so well for me. 

Some steps of making the buttonhole in the facing and the finished buttonhole

I'm always a bit scared of making bound buttonholes but now I'm feeling quite confident!

The next steps I'm going to take will be practicing the pockets and starting with pad stitching the collar and the front facing. 

It feels so good being creative and productive again :)


Finally a finished project! :D Simplicty 1329

Hi All!

Finally I can show you something I finished :) Thanks to my sweet boyfriend, who took the pictures. 

2015 was such a hectic year with a lot of changes (not only my hair color ;)) which resulted in neglecting my blog badly. At times I was even thinking about deleting the whole thing. But I just couldn't do that. So new year, new chances, let's just see if I can put some life in this blog again. 

With no further ado, I would like to present you the playsuit I made last summer:

I'm very happy with the result, although it is at some places a bit loose. The last couple of months I lost some weight, but it fitted me perfectly when I finished this project last summer. I used a red/white gingham fabric with small flowers printed all over it.

I used Simplicity 1329 and made view 2. It was a hard choice because I liked the top of view 1 as much as the top of view 2. But I have so many blouses and tops with puffed sleeves, so I wanted to do something different. 

The playsuit consists of a top, skirt and shorts. I love high waisted shorts with a side button closure (which you can see below). 

I decided to make the buttonholes by hand. This was the first time and I'm really happy with how the buttonholes came out! 

You probably won't believe there's snow outside. Not really the perfect weather to wear this outfit. But I'm sure I will have a lot of wear out of it next summer. 


Almost Finished...Simplicity 1329

Oh my, it really has been a while since my last blogpost! I've been so busy these last few months. But I tried to sew on a weekly basis. Alas, I wasn't progressing that fast to finish my playsuit before the end of the summer. Well, I'm just not a very quick seamstress. I like taking my time and pay attention to detail. 

But, I'm very close to finishing this three piece playsuit! And I took some pictures while I was sewing which I want to share with you!

Once again, the pictures were made with my smartphone and aren't always very clear. 

Back in July is started with the shorts:
(Somehow I can't remove this space in Blogger)

I often save the hand sewing for the last. This time I wanted to make hand sewn buttenholes, but I saved it for another moment, because at that time I didn't know what buttons to use.

Next up, the top:

Making the ruffled sleeves:

Adding more ruffles:

Sewing the gathered skirt:
More ruffles!

Making bows for the skirt:

Detail of the skirt and bow:

Hand sewing time!
Using snaps as closure for the top. You see the left side seam of the top.

Completed top! I added a bow as a finishing touch :)

Finishing the short:
My second attempt at hand sewn buttonholes. After marking the length and position of the buttonhole I cut through the fabric to create a hole. To prevent the fabric from fraying I use the buttonhole stitch, using sewing thread.

The real buttonhole is made with buttonhole thread and  looks like this:

More buttonholes! 

I only need to finish the last buttonhole and sew the buttons. Then it's finally time to make some outfit pictures!