Robin Hat

A friend of mine had a hat for larp that I really liked. It was simply four pieces sewed together with the edges folded over. It reminded me of Robin Hood’s hat with the feather missing.

So I asked him whether I could copy the pattern. It was alright and I did, years ago. Now, for some reason I never got around to making it, but I managed to rectify that situation on Thursday.

I found the remains of the first attempt at my woolen cape, where I managed to forget factoring in that necks also require space. I cut the four pieces for my hat and sewed the two quarters, then the seam was sewed flat. One had a bit left open to allow for turning the hats inside out. Once the two halves were finished, I stitched them together turned it right side out and stitched it flat again. It was a pretty easy and quick project and I had a nice warm (and probably water resistant) hat to wear this weekend.

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Birdy Waterfall

After the origami cats shirt, I also cut out the pattern from some blue with blue and white birds fabric. This was a very fluid fabric that shifted even more than the cats print. The walking foot was truly essential in this project and it worked very well.

Since I figured out the order of construction during origami cats, this one came together easily with the only hurdle being the shedding of the fabric that made the French seams more difficult. It seems to be a little tighter than the other one, but it also flows very nicely so I hope that it will be good to wear. This one was also spray starched to a plank in order to get it to cooperate, so it will wait for service just a little longer. I do like the print and I hope it will be nice to wear.

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Alternative Shower Caps

My roller derby team has chosen its colours (yay!), and we are getting ready to start playing games against other teams. In honor of this occasion (and because I really hate the pink ones we have now and I found a free pattern online), I decided to make new helmet covers. Helmet covers are large shower cap like things players put on their helmet to signal their position. There are three positions on a team and two of those require a helmet cover. The jammer (who scores the points) has a star on the helmet cover. The pivot (who is the only one eligible to become the jammer) has a stripe on the helmet cover.

The colours that were chosen were yellow and black. So I wanted to make covers in both colour combinations, and make two of each in order to have some spare. It took some time to find the lycra required. On the Rotterdam market I found the black lycra, no nice yellow in sight though. I didn’t want fluorescent yellow, but a more natural yellow. Only one shop sold that and I bought a meter.

I cut out the patterns, and I still have fabric left over for at least three more covers in each colour. Then I sewed them together using a zigzag stitch in black or yellow (which I still had in stash), depending on the base colour. Some elastic was added and hey presto, eight covers. Now we need to play and see if they work or if adjustments are needed. Exciting!

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Origami Cats

I have a number of thin fabrics that were originally bought to make into circle scarves and shirts. I seem to have so many scarves at the moment that that is no longer necessary. However, there is no such thing as too many shirts. I finally grabbed one of my numerous ‘white print on dark blue background’ fabrics and cut into it. This one was the origami cats print. (I also have birds, more birds, triangles, cyclists and possibly more – too much stash)

The original dress for the wedding had a waterfall neckline based on the Eva dress pattern from Your Style Rocks (I made the dress before for a graduation). Since I evil-cornered the original dress, but I liked the neckline, I decided to re-make the pattern into a shirt. I cut it out from the origami cats print, it’s only two pieces so that was pretty quick. I had some order of construction issues, but figured it out in the end. I finished it in an evening. I still need to wear it, but I wanted to wash it first as I spray-starched it quite excessively during construction to limit the shiftiness. I think it will work out well.

And here is the finished shirt. I like the cats and I hope the shirt will behave as well as the cyclist shirt.

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Wedding Gift

Yesterday’s now married friend and her now husband also deserved a present of course. They preferred to shop for things themselves, but I don’t really like simple envelopes. As such I fabricated something around it, since I couldn’t help myself.

My friend is a fan of bunnies and her go to word was carrots (or cookies), with a bunny themed wedding and bachelor party it had to involve rabbits, clearly. I pinterested some more for cute rabbits and settled on this pin as the ‘inspiration’ for my ‘artwork’ – read, I drew the bunnies, enlarged the ears and coloured them with felt tip pens. Then I arranged a number of coins into a heart shape and drew balloons under them, if the coins are removed, it should still look like a giant balloon heart.

Then, because I couldn’t find a way to really add my name to the picture in the frame, I made a card and wrote something on there. The card was also somewhat symbolic and bunnyish. At the bachelor party, we made bunny art, and I drew the same design. It’s a quarter Miffy head (the only thing I know how to draw without a reference). Based on an old card I had for years. I stuck the card in an envelope and put that over the money heart. The picture was taken before I added all kinds of words around that symbolized their lives to me. I hope they like it, and otherwise I had a good time making it. I hope they Live, Laugh and Love for a long time to come!

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Double Duty

An old friend of mine notified us that she was getting married earlier this year. I knew that this would call for a brand new outfit. At some point in time I received the cutest wedding invitation card (it had bunnies!) which had a dress code on it: Tenue de Ville. I’d just bought a nice piece of fabric that could sort of fill that dress code. So I started work making a dress with a waterfall top and a skirt that could make use of the border print. At some point I put it on, and it just felt wrong. So, very, wrong – frumpy, not me, just terrible. So I chucked it in the corner (it’s still there) and set out on a plan B.

Plan B involved getting new fabric, since nothing I own is light-coloured or pastel or suitable to fit in Tenue de Ville. Of to the market on the next Thursday, and miraculously I found something that was relatively close to the mark. Light coloured, with green leaves and blue/purple flowers. It was some weird sort of stuff, almost like thin scuba. It didn’t fray at all, which made it really easy to work with.

As a tribute to the bride, I wanted a circle skirt, as she always wore them back when I met her. The fabric had some lettering, but the print wasn’t super directional, which allowed for that circle skirt. Then I needed to determine what to use for the top. I figured on the garden party top, as I know it fits without much hassle. But it needed something special, so I pinterested (is that a verb?) and found this pin. I liked the idea of the keyhole and the pointed waistband. In contrast to the inspiration I also incorporated binding and modified tulip sleeves.

This make felt so much better right out of the gates. It was super comfortable, it twirled so nicely and pockets. It was easy to dance in (queen of horrible dancing on the dance floor) and not too hot or cold. I was a fan.

It did have a test drive before the wedding. Two days before was convocation, a work event. I had this one finished in time (!), and I didn’t have the time or inclination to also make a dress for convocation so I wore this one instead. Therefore, this dress served double duty and will be put into regular rotation in my closet. It has been a super success!

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Mondriaan Finish

I’ve had this fabric in my stash for years.. probably over a decade by now. I have always liked the Mondriaan-eque pattern on it, but I never really knew what to make from it. I finally decided to cut into it again. I used the garden party dress bodice by Honig designs again (used before on the riding jacket and a graduation dress). I re-printed the pattern this time. I used the second size, squared out the shoulders a little (downwards), increased the width of the back darts and lowered the neckline on both sides. I added a skirt from two widths of fabric with big pleats (about 10 cm). Also, pockets, of course.

I think this is the cleanest finished dress I have ever made. The skirt is two full widths so I could use the selvages. Along the skirt zipper, shoulders and bodice sides, the fabric was folded inwards, cut with pinkers and sewn. The waist seam was finished with some white bias tape, invisible from the outside (I think). The neckline and arms were finished with some home-made bias tape. I sewed the single-fold bias tape along the inside at around 5 mm from the fold, cut of the excess fabric, folded the bias tape over the cut edge and under again and stitched it down around 8 mm wide. This mimicked the width of the stripes on the fabric. I had white in the bobbin and black as the top thread, so it almost looks invisible on the inside!

There were some severe troubles getting the skirt to go on right. Since I have quite a bad swayback and effectively stick my butt out very far when standing normally, I had to accommodate for some extra length in the back. This turned out a lot harder than expected, but it did work in the end (I hope). I might wear this for convocation this year. It might be too bright, I’m not sure yet. We will see at the end of August, I guess.

Hopefully the next you’ll hear from me will be around September 1st, when I’ve finished a dress for a wedding with a Tenue de Ville dress code.

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