Waltzing Mathilde

Waltzing Mathilde

And here it is, finally! All this waiting, and just for a muslin. I actually finished my Mathilde blouse a week ago, but didn’t get the chance to get some proper pictures taken until today.

I thought the blouse and my leaf earrings would make a good combination for these autumn-themed pictures and I even got William to take the pictures again. We found a nice lane nearby. I felt really self conscious though with all those people who kept driving/ running/ cycling by, but I guess I’ll get used to that.

So, about this blouse:

I upgraded the pattern to a size 11 (which would be a size 22 I suppose) and added extra length. I also narrowed the sleeves a tad, because I am wide enough as it is.


I thought the fit was okay, but after a day of actually wearing it I have encountered some issues, that mostly have to do with the front yoke and armscyes.


The front yoke seems a bit wide, but the armscyes are too narrow, or maybe it is the result of that. On the back it results in the fabric pulling apart a bit at the height of my armpits. I will have to figure out how to change this for the next version.


Overall though, I really like this pattern. I like the tacks and how the buttons are a real eye catcher. It was pretty easy to put together, although I wonder what it will be like with a less iron-friendly fabric.


In the meantime, I still don’t have a working sewing machine, but I do have some ideas for my next projects. There will be another shirtdress, in plaid! and I have already traced View C of Simplicity 2406, so as soon as I can I will start working on those.




It’s not easy being green…

So, I hoped I would have been able to show you my newest make by now, but catastrophe struck again. I got my sewing machine back and I finished my Mathilde blouse over the weekend, apart from the buttonholes, because I didn’t have any buttons yet.

Lacking any good haberdashery stores around here, I waited for the weekly market and bought six lovely buttons this morning. I got home, got all excited to finish my blouse (it’s green by the way), clicked on the fancy four-step buttonhole foot, set the dial for step one and then… Nothing. The fabric wasn’t going anywhere.

So while I said yesterday I wasn’t going to buy a new sewing machine for a while I might have to give that another thought…
At least, when the mail came that made my day a bit better!



So, more to follow soon, I hope!

The shirtdress and the (hopefully minor) catastrophe.

So, when I discovered this blog called Idle Fancy, I really got inspired. I saw this beautiful woman wearing beautiful dresses. Lots of them floral, just my kind of thing! I perused her entire list of linked blogs too and therefore my Bloglovin’ app now keeps me occupied a lot. But it was Idle Fancy’s post about McCall’s 6696 that made me want to make one too, thank you!

I wanted to make it, because most of the dresses I own are very similar to the Moneta. They come from Dorothy Perkins in the UK. But here was a dress with a collar, and belt loops and buttons! It was a project I could learn so much from, because I had never inserted sleeves, never sewn and attached a collar and never sewn a single button hole. My machine has a 4-step button hole function only, so it was quite scary!

I started with some green cotton I bought at the weekly market for 2 euros per metre. I made a size 22 D-cup bodice and a size 22 skirt. I quickly realised the bodice was too big and the waistband was too short, so I had to lengthen that and consequently I had to adjust the pleats for the dress. Because it was a muslin I didn’t use interfacing for the waistband and collar, and the colour made it look like a 1950s waitress uniform, so it’s not wearable, well maybe for this crazy ‘dress up and drink beer’ event people call ‘carnaval’.

Then I bought some cheap stretchy denim at the market and I figured I’d make version D with that, I decided on a size 20  C-cup for the bodice, but needed a size 24 for my belly. I made some newbie mistakes. I cut the pieces double layer, so the fabric pattern is off and I totally didn’t think about the side seams. Obviously I should have adjusted the skirt parts so the side seams would match up. I also didn’t stick to the seam allowance for the collar, so it came out a bit big. I did for the dress I want to talk about today though, and it’s still big and wide, so I might need to tweak it further.

Anyway… *drum roll*… here is shirtdress number 3, which I wore for my husband’s birthday yesterday and right in time for:Idle Fancy

McCalls 6696 9
It’s McCall’s 6696 version B, with a size 22 C-cup bodice and a size 22 pleated skirt. I adjusted the waistband to fit. I feel the bodice could actually be a bit smaller ( I made a size 22 because the denim was way stretchier so I was afraid it would be too small), but I would need to adjust the sleeves, because they are a tad tight.

McCalls 6696 4
It’s made of fabric that I bought at a fabric market. It’s a little bit stretchy and has a velvety finish (so everything sticks to it), and I have no idea what it is. It’s so soft though!

Halfway through making this dress my sewing machine decided it didn’t like me anymore. The transporter was stuck and the underthread kept pulling at the fabric. I managed to save my button placket, but had to take the machine to get fixed. I thought it would be an easy fix, but unfortunately the repair man didn’t agree and I was left with half a dress to finish and no sewing machine…. I could borrow my mother-in-law’s 1980s sewing machine though and managed to finish the dress in time for my husband’s birthday yesterday. It was enormously frightening and quite a challenge. sewing those 10 buttonholes….

McCalls 6696 10
(me trying to get my feet lined up)

McCalls 6696 7

McCalls 6696 2

There definitely will be more of these dresses to come!

McCalls 6696 5

So, apparently I’m starting a blog. Again.

Hello world!

About ten years ago, when I was at university studying New Media and Digital Culture, blogging was the thing to do. I actually have quite a few blogs floating around somewhere in, yes, cyberspace(!) because some of the modules even required posting my coursework on a blog. Now, nearing the end of 2014, I suddenly find myself reading blogs again. This time they are all delivered to me on the silver platter that is called Bloglovin’, though, but nonetheless, blogs!

How did this happen? After the introduction of Twitter and Facebook, how is it possible that people are still blogging? I didn’t even know people still use Flickr! Perhaps it is because I ventured out into teaching English (so please correct me when I make mistakes) to teenagers and my world has been confined to One Direction, I/you/he,she,it/we/you/they, snapchat and girls getting away with wearing leggings as trousers. Perhaps…

Anyhow, recently I found myself with three months off work (courtesy of Dutch law and insecure employers) and when I purchased a maxi dress from Dorothy Perkins to take on holiday and I realised it was in fact nothing more than an elongated tank top with an elastic waistband, I figured: “Hey, I can make one of those myself!”

My name is Marije, I am thirty years old and I live in The Netherlands. Two and a half years ago I bought a sewing machine (a Janome 6021) and apart from one dress ages ago (that didn’t really work out), I hadn’t really sewn anything until two months ago. But, with time on my hands and a need for something to put my mind on, I retrieved it from its box and ventured out into the world of selfmade fashion.

You must know, if you’re still interested, that I often put my mind on something, but it never sticks. My husband calls them my ‘phases’. Recently I’ve had a shoe phase, a nail polish phase… and right now I’m wearing neither. (I do wear shoes occasionally you know, but you get the point). However, I have a feeling this one might be something.

During the past two months I have made:

All have their flaws, some bigger than others and have only been documented in embarrassing manner, so not suitable to share with the world. All but one, because the last dress I made is right in time for Idle Fancy’s sewing challenge The Autumn of 1000 Shirtdresses and it is one I am actually very happy with.  It will be the subject of my next post and therefore, this blog is now officially open for business. Cheers!