She wore (black) velvet

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Here is the result of some experimental sewing!

This dress in black fine velvet was initially meant to be a version of the BHL Anna dress. But as it proved so difficult to cut out the pattern pieces when the fabric would not stop sliding about all over the place, in the end I opted to just eyeball cutting the bodice pieces into something that loosely resembled the Anna bodice pieces and sew them up as they were and hope for the best.

I decided not to add any darts or pleats and fit the bodice by gathering at the neckline.

I then added a simple gathered skirt and fit the garment at the centre back seam by cutting away the excess and adding a zip.

It could have been a disaster but the sewing gods were on my side and luckily I’m really pleased with the result. This was one of those satisfying projects that takes just one whole day (with a break for a tea on a sunny terrace) from start to finish. I really love it as it’s super comfy and I’ll wear it for lots of different occasions.

I was really determined to use up this black velvet as I’d got it out several times to think about what to do with it but could never settle on an idea. I got a few metres of it for a very good price at a fabric sale at Le Caméléon Coquet on Place Van Meenen in Saint-Gilles – a gallery/shop/workshop that specialises in Japanese paper and fabric. It is quite a mysterious place but opens every so often for fabric sales, otherwise I think you have to make an appointment.

It’s lovely fabric but I’m definitely looking forward to sewing with something sturdier now though!

You can’t see so well in the photos but there is some interesting detailing on the fabric.

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Self-drafted in September

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September was a busy month – a trip to Palestine, amongst other things, kept me away from my sewing machine.
But this dress was one good sewing achievement this month. It is a self-drafted pattern based on a mix of features rubbed off of existing garments I own.

To say I’m happy with this dress would be an understatement – I love when you make something that reminds you why you started to make your own clothes in the first place. And the fabric – I’m not actually sure how to describe it! It hangs well, it is a synthetic mix of sorts but it is comfortable and breathable to wear – and it is a lovely shade of deep orange, oh and there are TEAPOTS all over it. I bought it a few months ago at the Marché des Abattoirs in Anderlecht.

I love the shape of this dress – it is kind of everything I could want, it feels dressed up and dressed down at the same time, it’s comfy and loose fitting yet there is a lot of ‘structure’ going on, with the front bodice waist yoke panel, the peplum bit and the split flappy sleeves. And did I mention the teapots already?

I also have to mention this amazing Coletterie ‘How to sew a baby hem’ tutorial. Without being too dramatic, learning this technique was one of this month’s highlights for me. Looking forward to a future full of fearless
hemming.

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Now for an avalanche of photos of me prancing around in the street…

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An autumnal make (Red Ponti Roma Vogue 8977)

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Say hello to my first make as part of the White Tree Fabrics blogger team. I’m really happy with it; perfect for autumn’s (early) arrival here in Belgium.

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The pattern is V8977 and the fabric is red Ponti Roma. I was drawn to view C on the packet as I thought it was the type of item lacking in my wardrobe.

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I sewed it up mostly on my overlocker (but my sewing machine was used for the darts, the front neckline pleat basting, the sleeve gathering, the neckline binding, and for attaching the back strap and the cuffs). It was also the first time I used my overlocker’s blind hem foot. This tutorial greatly helped me work out how to use the thing.

I didn’t know what to expect from this pattern/fabric combination and I couldn’t be more happy with it. I’ll wear this a lot over trousers or thick tights in winter when I want to be cosy. I’d recommend this pattern if you want a loose fitting easy make that can be made interesting with the right fabric, and you can make it more interesting in the detailing: instead of using the strap piece at the back you could make two ties; you could mix up the buttons; or shorten/change the style of the sleeves.

But I’d say if you prefer something more fitted then this pattern might not be for you.

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As for the fabric, it is so soft, hangs so nicely, and is just the right thickness. I’ve already washed it a few times and it seems to be holding up well so far.

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Detail shots:

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(buttons from Veritas)

Would you make a dress/top like this?

Ok, I’m off to dream of autumn sun and listen to Mr Tembo.

Moving day!

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Don’t worry I’m not going far, just to my own url. No packing required!
This blog should now automatically redirect to: www.belgianseams.be

See you there!

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Hello, dolly!


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Hello! I’m back in Belgium after a lovely trip to Scotland. This is just a quick post to show you some things I’ve acquired of late and to announce the winner of the Sparrow top pattern.

First up, say hello to my new dressmakers dummy! I had never considered getting one before, but when I saw an advert from a girl who was selling a handful of them round the corner from me it seemed like too good an opportunity to miss. I’m not that interested in draping at the moment but it could be something I get into in the future, who knows. For now she (any name ideas?) will mostly be used for decorative purposes.

Next, it is my overlocker! I got this a few months ago but I have yet to post a picture of my latest shiny piece of equipment. So far so good, and I’m really glad I saved up my pennies and invested in one. The model is a Janome Jubilee 60789 and I bought it in Espace Machines à Coudres on Chausée d’Ixelles. I would highly recommend this shop as they are really friendly and when you buy a machine you can then schedule in a free workshop where they help you out with any problems you are having getting to grips with your machine!

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I also made a protective dustcover for it using some oilcoth bought in Leuven from Habiba on a mini blogger meetup. The cover was made using more or less the same method as the one I used to make a cover for my sewing machine. Don’t they look cute together?

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And thirdly…the winner of the Sparrow pattern from Liola Patterns is…Irena from Koffie en Koekskes. Well done, Irena! I will contact you to get your email address and send it over to you.

You can see the draw here:

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And finally… look at these amazing labels my Mum gave me as a birthday present! img_2634cropped
I was so surprised, can’t wait to sew them into my handmade items! 🙂