Summer Shirts

I seem to have cultivated a preference for thin fabrics with prints on them in the past while. I found I had four pieces of thin fabric next to the cycle stuff (here). So in two nights/days of frantic cutting and sewing I created three additional shirts following the pattern from the cycle top. All these tops now have different necklines and hem treatments, one also has ‘shorter’ sleeves due to fabric shortage. Moreover, during this fascinating time, I discovered the handiness of spray starch for creating self made bias tape, which is used in many of the shirts. 

The first is the dotted one. It’s white with small light gray dots. Four dots (that are printed pretty well on the bias) is the perfect width of neck-edge bias tape. This one has a scoop neck and a high-low hem. It’s all French seams again, but this iteration had the unfortunate luck to be the one where I forgot to trim the French seams before the second stitching, so some threads come out the side seam. I’ve decided that I don’t care enough to redo everything. You can see from the pictures that it’s quite sheer, which is why it is a good thing that I always wear a tank top under my clothes.

Front Back

The second one was made from a narrow fabric with paint splatters. I had already made a scarf out of this in the past, so one of the edges already had a rolled hem. I figured, why not use this. This shirt has slightly less wide sleeves and the hem is shorter and straight. The neckline is straight at the bottom and then comes up at angles to connect to the rounded back. I can’t really explain it, the pictures lower down in the post should show the difference clearly.

Paint front Paint back

Last but not least, the cat fabric. This fabric has little cats all over it, I think it’s cute. This one has a v-neck and a hem that is long on both the front and the back, but shorter at the sides. The fabric is not printed on grain, which made it difficult to get the neck to look ‘right’.

Cats front Cats back

Now, as these shirts were all made shortly after each other, I could still picture them all together. Below you can clearly see the differences in necklines and hem treatments (if you look carefully).I liked making these, and I’ve found that I also like wearing them, which is a plus as I have four now.

Necklines Hems

One shirt only requires about half of the cuts of fabric that I have. This means that there is room for some other things that could be made from these fabrics. I’m curious to see what I will come up with…

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Baby Dinosaurs

Some time ago, we did a one day table-top session in our larp. At some point I got the knitted Allosaur I was (am, it’s been thrown in a corner) working on out to show. I also had the book, Knitting Dinosaurs, with me. I then got a request for a Triceratops. Now, I didn’t feel like knitting the full size Triceratops, as that one is large! However, the book also has a pattern for Troodons, very small dinosaurs. I figured I could improv the additional features around a Troodon base and have them done quickly. That’s exactly what I did.

First, a Triceratops (purple and red). The defining elements were its four equally long legs, its collar and the horns. The legs were created by simply making four back legs and attaching those. The collar was improvised from the Triceratops pattern in the book, but smaller. It’s a little big, but who cares! The horns were short icords attached to the head, because a Triceratops without horns would just be a Cera, right!

Triceratops Triceratops


The second was a Parasaurolophus (white and red), which completely the normal Troodon with the addition of one horn on its head. There was some shaping involved and the person who received this Dinosaur thought it was a duck at first, when it was upside down.

Parasaurolophus Parasaurolophus


The last was a Tyrannosaur Rex (green). It’s a Troodon body, Troodon back legs and shortened Troodon front legs. I made a little ridge along its back to make it stand out a little. I also added the teeth to make it more intimidating and T-Rex-y. I don’t know if that worked.

T-Rex T-Rex


All dinosaurs have safety eyes with white felt behind them to mimic real-ish eyes, see the last picture for all the dinosaurs for a close-up of their faces. Their legs are attached in such a way that they can still move. That’s why the dinosaurs can both sit and stand. This was a successful project and I still have two Troodon bodies lying around that can still become dinosaurs!


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It currently feels very autumny (i.e. rainy), in the Netherlands. This would usually not be a problem, with me having central heating and a roof over my head. However, I will set off again this Friday for some larping. Rain and larp are, in my opinion, not a good combination for a few reasons. First, I get cold ridiculously fast and generally don’t warm up by myself, and rain is cold. Second, rain makes things wet. Not all my things are waterproof, ergo, my stuff gets wet. Some of the stuff won’t mind, but other stuff does mind. My feet for example, aren’t usually covered by the most waterproof substances out there in the world. So when the setting up crew posted the picture below to Facebook, I had to think of a plan, stat!


Now, we are all hoping that the rain stops quickly and doesn’t return until, say, Wednesday. The other thing we are hoping for is that the water that is now there will drain away quickly. However, in case thing two doesn’t happen, I need something that will keep the feet dry. To accomplish this, I decided to purchase rubber boots. I do own red rubber boots, but they are at my parents house, so that doesn’t work very well.

This plan did pose another problem.. Rubber boots don’t do very well in a medieval setting, especially when they have a floral design (couldn’t find plain black ones in my size). I need to cover those babies up with something. So in the same shop (where they have EveryThing), I also bought a faux fur pillow case, thinking that I could make some faux fur boots. I basically drew around the boots, added some length to the top, cut it and sewed it. Then I attached elastic at two points in order to keep the cover on the boot. I’ll let you know if they worked out!

On and off Bottom

Most left is the boot, without cover, middle left a boot with cover, middle right the bottom elastic and most right another boot with cover. You can see the ‘improvement’ the cover provides. At least when you consider them needing to be semi appropriate in a medieval setting. The other improvement is that the top doesn’t cut into your leg when there is a layer of faux fur in between. Now off to bed to see if I can get enough sleep to get the remainder of my stuff ready in time for tomorrow.

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Feathered Scarf

No, I did not pluck a bird for this project. I did, however, purchase a fabric that I really really liked, but for which I originally couldn’t find a suitable garment pattern that would allow me to wear it often. The first time I saw it at the market stall, I really liked the print. Dark red fabric with an almost invisible secondary pattern and blue and yellow feathers all over it. I didn’t dare to buy it because I didn’t like it as a skirt or pants or a top. In the week that followed, I did think of a plan. That plan was to make a scarf, how I would do that was a secondary question, but I didn’t care about that. So the next week I bought the coupon.

Pattern Edges

I first had to decide whether to cut along the crossgrain or the selvedge. I chose the selvedge which make the scarf between 1.8-2.0 meters long. Then came the width, about 1/3 of the fabric would do, I thought. This was approximately 50 centimeters. I folded over the cut edges twice and sewed them. Leaving the selvedge untouched, because I really liked that edge. I turned out that the back of the fabric, which has some dye splotches, would then be visible sometimes. So then I attached the long edges together to form a long tube. That’s it. Easy peasy, lemon squeezy.

Scarf Scarf

 As it is turning into winter again, I hope this will come in handy. It might be a bit thicker than your average scarf, but I don’t mind (yet). Let’s see if I find any flaws during wear.

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Convocation with a Bow!

At the beginning of the Academic Year, we celebrate something we call ‘Convocation’.  Convocation is a ceremony in which we welcome the new students into our academic community. I have been trying to make something for all the big ceremonies that we do. That’s why I have three graduation dresses and the queen’s shirt. This Convocation dress does mimic the first graduation dress a little as I’m using the same fabric for the skirt. That blue linen has been reduced to scraps and two dresses. It shouldn’t feature in projects again..

Anyway, I was browsing through my pattern stash and found a couple of patterns that I like. Then I looked through my fabric stash and found bit of fabric (the blue from this project and also using in another larp dress that pre-dates the blog). It was small, full width but only 40-50 cm long. I liked the idea of blue and blue and I’d found a pattern that could just fit on the fabric. With just fit I mean that I had to modify the sleeve to fit and that I literally didn’t have a piece left that was bigger than 4×4 cm.

The original pattern appeared in Dutch Burda 9/2009, dress 111 and features a slim-ish skirt. Me, I don’t really do slim skirts because during these ceremonies I’m running around. Therefore, I don’t like to get stuck in my clothes. The blue linen however was just about large enough to be able to make a skirt with a couple of pleats that would mimic the seamlines from the top. Brilliant idea, if I say so myself. The linen is also stiff enough to keep its shape, which is wonderful because I didn’t need a lining for the bottom that way.

Inside front Inside Back

The top features some interesting pleats and folds that are kept in place by the lining. Below a close up of the front fold/pleat thing. The back also has these.

The fold Back

However, those pleats meant hand sewing both the top and the bottom of the lining to corresponding pieces. This dress was a whole lot of work and quite a lot of head scratching before I figured it out.

Detail Detail

I figured out early in the process that blue and blue is a good idea in my head, but it was a little boring, so I made a red strap to go around my waist. However, not long before the event itself, I remembered I’d made a bow-tie-belt in something orange. I grabbed it from the rack, googled bow-tie-tying instructions and put it on. It was the perfect colour match with the orange threads in the top, and it looked much more festive than the red simple tie. Bow tie it was.

No Belt  Front

I did change the zipper to be a side zipper, it’s nearly invisible as can be seen in the picture below. The reason was that I didn’t want to cut up the linen to three pieces for a back zip. So I just closed the back zip seam and called it a day. I also put pockets in the skirt. I like pockets and they are really handy for keeping keys, phone and the event schedule.

Side Zip

I’m also knitting, have plans for pants, coats, shirts and scarves and I don’t know if I’ll ever get any of them finished. Wish me luck!

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Forgotten Graduation Dress

While writing the beginnings of the next post, I found out that I’d never told you about the Graduation dress I made for this years Summer Graduation (this was June…). I still want to because I really like that dress.

Years ago I was wondering around the interwebs looking for nice patterns when I found the Eva Dress pattern by Your Style Rocks. I thought it was really nice, especially since I like cowls. It also seemed fairly easy to put together, so for last summer’s graduation I decided to make it. It started as about 2 meters of black knit fabric with horizontal wavy stripes in red, yellow, blue and green. I cut out the pieces, but made some modifications.

  1. Shortening the dress before even cutting it out, I’m only 158 cm (5’2”, approx.) and skirts hitting below the knees isn’t too flattering for me. So I took off around 9 cm.
  2. Using only the lining piece from the middle section but reversing it to serve as the actual middle piece. I didn’t really like the gathers and didn’t think it would work in this fabric. I also put it on the crossgrain to create some difference.
  3. I added a hook and eye to the back, where the instructions tell you to sew a pleat.

It went together really easily and hemming actually wasn’t a disaster either, although it is quite a deep hem. Yay! I like the shape, the skirt is the right length, I like the colours, I’ve actually worn it to other events too and I think it’s just cute.

Front Back

Here you can see the front and the back of the dress. I’m still not entirely sure if placing the middle on the cross grain was a good idea, but I also don’t really care I think. You can also see the pleat in the back.

Neck Hook & Eye

Some details, the cowl neck, which may be a little wide, but it’s fun to wear. Also, the hook and eye that holds the pleat in place.


Last but not least, this is how deep I needed to hem it. I did serge all the insides, but I think my serger is a little on the fritz so it’s not always very pretty. Next post will be the Convocation dress, the dress I made for this week’s official event.

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Purple Pterodactyl!

From the same book that produced the Plesiosaur, now comes the Pterodactyl!

It all started from the plesiosaur and when I showed it and the book around. One of my friends seemed to like it and really liked the pterodactyl that’s also in the book. I told her I’d make her one. She requested the colour scheme from the Dinobabies pterodactyl, Dak. He is purple/pinkish with a white belly. I got some yarn for my birthday that was a pretty good  to pictures I found of Dak.


I knit mostly according to the pattern, although I did make some changes to make it look more like Dak. The instructions were followed for the legs, although black toes were knit. It was also according to instructions for the tummy, but guestimated where to start adding white to create the belly. I followed the instructions for the head (including errata), but decided not to change colour. I didn’t make the arms, although he did get strips of knitting along his wings to simulate arms. There are black fingers following the pattern for the arms. For the wings, I didn’t want him to have trapezoid wings, so I followed the pattern to where the fingers are, then I increased a stitch along the top in every row and decreased a stitch in the bottom every other row. This gave the wings more shape. He does have more of a tail than Dak, but less than the original. Last but not least, he’s got a neck! This was completely improvised.

Side Front

Here you can see the knit-in belly and the toes, also visible are his arms. I added red buttons for the eyes. I really do think that the colour matches quite well.

Back Side

These two really show the shaping on the wings (there is some!), and his little tail on the left. The right picture shows the neck, which he has, and that you can still move his legs around to suit the occasion. I think my friend liked him, so I’m proud.

I really like the book. I also started another one right after finishing Dak. That one is an Allosaur. I also made some small ones, where I took the body and legs from the book but improvised the defining features. You’ll probably see those around here too at some point.

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