yes? no? maybe.

So, I haven’t been taking a lot of pictures lately. This past winter, I have been reading and writing rather than making. I didn’t feel I had the energy to just stay up all night sewing most of the time. And I also did not feel like tackling huge projects. I went months without taking a single nice picture, without even noticing it.

Sometimes I wonder if I’m doing too many things. Or rather attempting to … and not really getting anywhere with anything as a result of that. But even if my priorities currently are somewhere entirely different, the sewing machine still comes out regularly. And so do my pencils and paint and brushes. Being creative and making things, actually using my hands, is something I need. I just haven’t figured out what all of this means with my life having changed so much in these past 3 years.

But who knows, right? I might wake up tomorrow and start to sew daily again. Or not. probably not, we’ll see.

I’m still not in the mood to take pictures, but I have a new project. I learned how to tie proper bow ties recently, so I set out to sew a bunch of them. Or rather: A friend taught me how to tie those things, and then we made some together. Crafting (or sewing, or painting, or …) with friends are always a wonderful way to spend a day. Or a night. Or, you know, a good excuse to chat and cook and stay up way past everyone’s bedtime. And bow ties have been on my “to sew” list for years, so yay for that.

No pictures of actual bow ties. Because nobody took a singe presentable picture so far. But this is the pattern I came up with.

My method is not perfect yet – I think I will have to just get out of my comfort zone and try sew-in interfacing. While iron on works like a charm, I think it doesn’t make for the most durable end product. But I have a working pattern now. And some prototypes which range from wearable to really great, so I’m considering it a success.

And all bow ties were sewn on Eleonore. She makes the most beautiful tiny little stitches. My new Singer’s stitch pattern doesn’t even come close, so I guess that’s another success. I’ve always dreaded sewing sliders onto 700 layers of tiny slippery strap bits, but the heft of Eleonore’s full metal body made it a joy to assemble the ties.

And you know what? I just remembered that I did in fact sew a spontaneous winter coat in December. That first coat I have been afraid of sewing for so many years because I was so sure I would mess it up (I didn’t). And that I didn’t even end up take pictures of … Oh well. Maybe that’s another post for another day.

Posted in DIY, Life 05.05.2017
Tagged

invisible (perception – an experiment)

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Posted in Life 29.11.2016
Tagged

First hoodie!

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Me and a fish.
I’m somewhat blurry in most of those pictures as the photographer focused on the fish rather than me. But can you blame them? The fish is amazing.

I made a hoodie! I wanted to try that for a really long time, so I’m glad I finally stopped thinking about it and just did it :)

But I guess there’s a time and place for everyting: I was packing for a trip (back in january) and realized that a purple cropped hoodie would be just the thing to have – And the fabric was kicking around since I bought it to make a hoodie years ago. I just randomly drew a pattern while consulting a few regular hoodies I own.

It ended up being the best decision ever. Cropped hoodies are the best thing no one seems to be selling. They have all the comfort and cozyness hoodies have, but work way better for curvy figures. And big skirts. What I’m wearing in the pictures might just be the best casual winter outfit I ever had.

Anyways. Cropped hoodies. Get one. They’re the best idea ever.

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Three piece hood. Huge.

So I always had this somewhat irrational idea that I could not possibly be able to properly sew with knits.

As it turns out, this is only half true. When one evening I just went for it and made a cropped hoodie, I realized that it was not that hard. Sure, some techniques were different from working with wovens, but generally it works. Maybe I should have tried this approach 5 years ago :P

The big issue is actually the fabric. It’s almost impossible to get decent-quality knits around here. Everything is either way too thin and slinky for most garments, or made from polyester, or the pilling is so bad that a garment (that I just spent a lot of time on) hardly survives the first cycle of wear and laundry. Even the expensive stuff from the “good” fabric store often ends up to be really bad quality.

The thing is … I made this sweater, and it’s amazing. It is cozy and soft and not too tight and it has a big hood – and as it’s cropped, it works really well with circle skirts. But it started to fade and generally look quite worn out really soon. It is also starting to rip at the seams even though I did use the right kind of needles and everything. The fabric is not great, even though it looked and felt so nice when I bought it. And I think that is my least favorite part of sewing. Buying fabric that looks and feels like it would be a lovely quality, but dissolves as soon as one starts wearing it … Oh well. Live and learn. Or … try again and hope for better luck next time.

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Fake buttons. I was really happy to find them in my stash, as the colour matches perfectly.

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The hood is lined with t-shirt weight lavender jersey.

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So these pictures were taken while I was travelling, after half a day of exploring Antwerpen. This shows that it really is a wonderful, versatile outfit.
It also is the reason why everything is a bit crinkled in those pictures. And the reason for me not wearing a crinoline. Also, salt water in the air makes my hair look like plastic cotton candy.

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All wrinkled and salt-haired, but happy.

Posted in Uncategorized 04.09.2016

Elna Supermatic

I have a new sewing machine.

Actually, I have an very old, but new-to-me sewing machine!

Maybe a bit of background information: I have always wanted to get an old sewing machine with those fun little stitch cams. And I always wanted to have/try a sewing machine that uses a knee lever instead of a foot pedal. And I love mint green (not that this would come as much of a surprise to anyone …)

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After a few months of randomly looking at vintage sewing machines, I happend to find this old, mint green Elna supermatic on the Internet. It was quite cheap, it was in good condition and came with a lot of accessoires. So I had to find a way to get it.

The old thing was not a city dweller – it had spent it’s first life in a cozy village at the end of the world. I had to send some people I know (and their parents that live very close to the end of the world) on a quest to test-drive and eventually purchase it for me. But my plan worked out just like I had imagined*. It’s here now.

And apparently, it’s name – her name – is Eleonore now:

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Here she is. And she even matches my decorating. Or rather … She exactly fits into my overall colour scheme. And she feels lovely. All metal, and really heavy.

She came with the original box and a few instruction booklets that I did not take any pictures of. I did, however, take pictures of everything else. Lots of pictures:

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I love how the toolbox just slides underneath the bed here. It’s such an elegant solution.

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The lid of the toolbox was the only part that was a bit unhappy when it got here. But I was able to find all the parts (erm) and glue it back together with two-part epoxy. While it’s still visible – and I am not completely sure epoxy is the right kind of glue for the material – it works for now.

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Totally legitimate attempt at keeping everything from falling apart while the glue was drying.

But now for the stitching! Yay, stitching! This is what it did when I first got it, even before I took it apart to clean and oil it:

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Of course it was in the middle of the night, so the light is horrible. But it was working right from the beginning :)

Using the knee lever for the first time was interesting, but not as hard as I had feared. I need to work on keeping a more consistent speed and generally getting more control over what I’m doing would not hurt … But for a first try it was alright.

And now to the accessories:

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It came with two extra stitch plates, a bunch of feet and feed dog covers, and all the original tools such as the brush, seam ripper and screw drivers. And loads of bobbins.

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Eleonore also came with 26 different stitch cams.

The Elna Supermatic uses what they call Elna Disks for everything that is not a straight stitch: Single-layer cams for stitches that only need to move the needle left and right (Up to #36 on my sample), and double-layer cams for the more complex stitch patterns that additionally use both forward and backwards movements.

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After inspecting everything that came with the machine and reading the manual, I also made a sample piece to try out all the stitch cams:

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And here it is: All the stitches:

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After the test drive, I also took the machine apart as far as I could. I did some cleaning and oiling and I also got rid of a colony of dead moths that ended (up) inside the machine. Yum.

She is so shiny and pretty now :)

Now I just have to find a new project to play with! It’s been a while … For a number of health and related reasons, I did not have the energy or motivation to sew much in these last few monts. But I really hope that the spring sun will change that sooner rather than later**.

*Insert evil laughter.
No, seriously. A big thank you to the people who live very close to the the end of the world.

**Yes I am aware that it’s snowing again, and it’s freezing. But one can hope for a bit of sunshine, right? It’s almost may -.-

Black flowers

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For this dress, I copied a bought one I have almost worn to death by now.

It was pretty straightforward: The dress has a shirred waist and the straps have a drawstring and close with a little bow.

I made it two years ago, and when I finally managed to take pictures last autumn I ended up forgetting about them. Again.

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And a close up of the fabric. And my hair, that had a really strange colour back then.

I love the in-between seasons :)

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Posted in Hair 11.04.2015
Tagged

knitting?!

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Okay then, I knit a hat. I also lined it with textured purple fleece to match my hair. Now there are slightly lame pictures. But the pictures have snow and I knit a hat …

It’s the first thing I ever managed to knit. I have no pattern because I didn’t use one, but this very helpful site taught me how to knit the textured pattern. It’s the last one, Marguerite stitch.

There’s a lot of room for improvement, but it’s cozy, it’s pointy and it’s purple.
And the ties are actually usable, so when temperatures drop and the wind becomes a storm … my new hat becomes a real bonnet, bow and everything.

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Here, have some not-so-great-pictures!

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I always wanted a pointy hat and a bonnet … I got the idea to combine both of them after seeing this hat

Posted in Uncategorized 21.02.2015

more pom-pom trim.

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Tablecloth.
Boring but pom-poms.
Nothing more to say.

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9 yards of pom-pom trim down, 1 to go

Posted in DIY, Random 04.02.2015