Ceremonial Jumpsuit

Yesterday we opened the Academic Year. This is an event in which new students are welcomed to the community, and teachers show up in black gowns. I try to make a fun thing for the events that we do, but this time I wanted something different. I have been dreaming of a jumpsuit for a while now, and I figured that yesterday’s celebration would be a fine occasion (and necessary kick-in-the-butt) to get my ass in gear and get cutting.

I decided to check out my stash for some fabric. I eventually found some fabric that is very stable, but very stretchy in one direction. It was the only bit that I thought was large enough really, as it turned out, it was also perfect. The pants pattern I used is the free Helena Culottes pattern by Ralph Pink, which by now has seen numerous alterations. I started by cutting out the pants as frugally as I could, using some striped fabric as used before in a shirt as pocket fronts. I also changed the grainline a little, because in the past there have always been weird folds in the back leg. The size of the pocket opening was also decreased, significantly, and a bit of the top was left off.

Pattern changes September 11

For the top, I first gathered some inspiration on Pinterest (e.g. this and this and this). It was quickly determined that I should do a v-neck, preferably with some overlap and maybe even sleevesies (church event and all). So searching though my pattern stash, I found a pattern in one of my old Burda magazines with all those characteristics (Burda Style 11-2007, pattern 112). Unfortunately the pattern only came in a size 76 (size 38 for long people), and I’m both smaller than size 38 and short. On the pattern piece you can see three (or four) different line colours to distinguish between the different sizes to create an approximate size 36. I then pinned the overlap together at the center and pulled the points down until they would fit my front and not be overly large. Sewed that all to the waistband that I sewed on to the inside, such that the inside waistband would be clean finished.

Inside front Inside back

I then added the second layer of the waistband and zig-zagged that on. I used a zig-zag stitch, because I found out that the fabric was so stretchy, that I was able to pull it over my butt without having to use closures! This makes it approximately the easiest thing to put on and be ready to go out. It’s easier than most knit dresses, as it has pockets!

Front Pocket

The top is a little wide-set, so to not show bra straps (and it being.. 9 o’clock on the night before the event), I found some fur-hooks to hook the straps behind and keep them from view. They do double duty with keeping the top on my shoulders. Although I have to take care when putting bags over my shoulder as that can dig in.

Bra-hook Front Back

So now for the full length view, in front of my closet. These pictures are unfortunately not the best ever. So I’m hoping that event photographers managed to get me once with some better light and stuff. I got a number of compliments (and people being surprised that I made it) which makes me very happy. It was worn to work today and it’s perfectly fine to do an entire day of office work in too.

Conclusion, I really, really like it and will enjoy wearing it in the future!

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Leather Haul and Arm Bits

I made things! A while ago though, but I was too lazy to post them. First up, a bracelet, effectively copied from this pin I found on Pinterest. There happened to be a piece of leather in my large leather haul* that was the perfect dimensions, all I needed to do was ‘square off’ the thick end to get the right shape. Then I added some slits and a hole and Bob was my uncle.

 Wrap Wrap


Next, I also made another watch band. This time with some weird-looking faux snake? from the haul. I like the hole detail in the band that shows the secondary band. I also used a closure which I got from eBay. I like how those work. I may need to get some more rivets as the ones I’ve been using have been reduced to 2 sets.

Watch Watch


And third, I made a cuff, partially inspired by this and this pin. It again holds a watch, and I was very pleasantly surprised that I managed to work out how to make the watch interchangeable by using snaps. Setting the snaps was nerve-racking, what if they were crooked and I messed the whole thing up?! Luckily that didn’t happen and it all worked out decently. This one also has normal holes and ‘riveted holes?’, there is a word for this, but I forgot, for decoration.

 The mess IMG_20160703_193312414

For now, I’m happy with this, although I don’t really like wearing in summer. It’s a little hot… no surprises there really. I do plan on making another one, this one in such a way that the buckles sit in the middle of my underarm, not on the side of the cuff. I also think it would benefit from three sets of straps. For that design to work though, I need to think a little more.

*Now, this all came about after I walked by a store in my town where they happened to sell bags of leather offcuts from their bag making process. Only 12.5 euro per bag, and there was a lot of content. If you ignore the bag (and other mess) in the foreground, all the leather in the back was what came out of the bag. With lots of different colours and thicknesses. So I played around, and created the three things above.

Phone July 2016 067

Somehow I’ve managed to use my right underarm too much, to the point where it now aches when I type, knit, use my mouse or sit still. So I’m not knitting, which is annoying as I want to finish the Stegosaurus I just started. For now, rest and hopefully recovery. I hope you can stay creative!

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New Shirt Pattern

I found another shirt pattern in one of my pattern magazines: Simplicity Naaimode nr 4. This one has a center back seam and either a boat or a v neck. With some fairly badly recovering red/off-white striped jersey I decided to try it out.

Front Back

I managed to match the stripes along the seams pretty well, and I quite like that it manages to be straight-ish at the back, as bottoms generally stick out more than backs do. The back seam is very curved, to accommodate the sway back. This is why it looks so much longer at the center back on the hanger, see below. It’s currently still on that hanger, so I should stick it in the closet soon.

Inside Inside

I have already cut the remainder of the striped leggings fabric (piecing significant bits), to this pattern, with some modifications. So hopefully, I’ll be able to show that soon too, although it’s very hot, and sewing in hot conditions isn’t always very nice.. We’ll see when super summer ends again!

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Knitting Tiger, Hidden Dinosaur

Some people experience the growing up stages in a different manner than would seem regular. I have not yet exited the ‘why’-phase that toddlers usually go through. I also entered the dinosaurs phase a lot later in life that one would deem appropriate, i.e. last year or so. It all started with that ‘knitting dinosaurs’ book. I knit a dinosaur, knit another dinosaur, and another, and some more.. I took some courses on dinosaurs on Coursera (an online platform with Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) on different topics). Collected the local supermarket ‘dinosaur stickers’ (still missing 89 by the way) and browsed ravelry on ‘dinosaur’.

Now, I never figured I would be able to wear something with a dinosaur to the office. So when I found the Dinosaur Illusion Sweater, I was both ecstatic and scared. Ecstatic because I’d found a way to wear a dinosaur, legitimately! Scared because it’s for kids age or sized 4 (I’m not sure), now, I can wear children’s sizes sometimes, but even I’m not that small. I’d have to resize it and since it is knitted from side to side you have to do it right immediately. Moreover, sticking to gauge seems to be difficult for me. However, I knit a test swatch and got to work with the calculator. This was my pattern eventually.


The technique is called illusion knitting. What this means, is that ridges and troughs are knit in the main and contrast colour. To create the picture, the main colour ridge becomes a trough and the contrast colour trough becomes a ridge, such that from the side, the picture appears. From the front it just looks like strips, but from the side, the above dinosaur appears.

The original sweater has sleeves with footprints on it, but after finishing the body, I wasn’t interested in sleeves anymore. After a couple of weeks of resting, I decided that it would be a spencer. I three needle bound of the sleeves on the outside with blue yarn. I quite like that detail. It was knit from one ball of blue and one ball of gray yarn, below you can see what was left over. 

Left overs Side

Above is the side view too. What you may notice is that under certain angles you can see the dinosaur in the stripes, if you look at the back picture, you can see that the tail appears more clearly when it curves around my body. The same in the side view and when you look at the front view, you can sort of see the outline of the dinosaur. It’s impossible to take pictures of this by yourself, so this is what you get.

Front Back

I’ve worn it twice now, and it’s been enjoyable. Up to many more wears!

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Stripes Everywhere

To combat underwear views in the last graduation dress, I made some shorts. I found this leggings pattern on the internet (Into the woods from Grosgrain Fab.com, here) and cut out the shorts from some striped stretch fabric I still had available. I wanted to have the shorts end on a blue stripe as that would match the dress better. However, when I put on the finished product, it was too long, and was clearly visible when wearing the skirt. Oh noes!

Front long Front short

So… I made another one that was shorter. Why not cut of some length of the first one? Well two reasons, 1. I didn’t want a green stripe at the bottom and 2. I needed some short leggings to wear under my butt-protector shorts during roller derby, and the first pair were just long enough to serve that purpose. I still managed to get the blue stripe at the bottom in the second version, so that was nice. You can see the difference in length between these two.  There are a couple of extra stripes on the right one.

Back long Back short

I have no idea why the left one pulls more than the right one in the back, especially since they are the same pattern. I’ve still got to try the full length version at some point. Not in summer though. First I need to finish a shirt from the remainders of this fabric…

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Twirly Graduation

A couple of Fridays ago, it was again time for the most important work event of the year. The Summer Graduation, 150 students came to pick up their diploma in caps and gowns during a splendidly sunny ceremony. This of course warranted a new dress.

I had found the pattern months before on Papavero, the Polish site that also gave me my January Graduation pattern. They call it the Sukienka na poprawiny and you can find it here. This pattern features an asymmetric full skirt and asymmetric top, it’s sleeveless and doesn’t have too many pattern pieces. Two skirt parts, one bodice front, two bodice back, a strap and three facing pieces. The skirt pieces are enormous and are not really suitable for a lining. This meant some special fabric restrictions as I didn’t want a see through dress. Luckily I found some blue and white fabric that was really opaque, it was a very long piece which I still got for about 10 euros, it was apparently just too short to cut in two (lucky me!).

Dress Back

All the bits were cut out and sewed the thing together. The front of the skirt turned out shorter that I would have figured so I decided to do a bias tape hem to restrict length loss as much as possible. This would also mean a nice decorative feature. I also covered some of the seams in the same bias tape for cleaner insides. I made a few changes, namely: increasing the depth of the neckline at the front, subsequently changing the strap piece so it would still fit, shortened the bodice at the shoulders quite drastically, inserted plastic boning in the back darts and I added pockets.

Pocket Binding

The pockets were fantastic. I could put so much stuff in but due to the nature of the skirt it was invisible. It helped me out a lot during the day. The other fun thing is the mega swirl factor of the skirt. To combat the dreaded underwear showing during mega twirl, I also created some shorts to wear underneath, but more on those next time.

Inside Inside

The invisible zip worked out pretty well and it’s nice to wear. It’s airy but still *in my opinion* formal enough to serve well during events like this. People also made a lot of positive comments about it, which is always nice. I think I may make the dress (or just the skirt) again, but then I’m going to lengthen the front of the skirt a bit so that I feel ‘safer’ when I wear it. All in all, it was a success!

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MMM ’16 Week 5

Week five had a crafty start and will not be seven days long. Lets see what that brings…

May 29

May 29

Blue striped shirt and leaves sweater
Comfort level: No pockets, but I made an external pocket for my mp3-player to listen to audiobooks all day while sewing.
Wear again: Only in the house.

May 30

May 30

Duck skirt and new blazer
Comfort level: Fine, the blazer is a little itchy but maybe some washing will help.
Wear again: Yes, maybe not together though.

May 31

May 31

Harry Potter and stripes
Comfort level: Easy.
Wear again: Yes.


Two days of non-pants? Since this week was only three days instead of seven and I still wore a non-pants outfit I’m calling this: Achieved
Five days of at least two me-mades? Since the week wasn’t five days, I am also calling this: Achieved

Week five has been survive(d)!


If I want my me-mades to be worn, I have to make sure that they have pockets. No pockets is severely limiting apparently. I also really like the variety that the different sweaters bring to me. This year was fairly easy because it was cold for most of the month and I had a number of sweaters to combine with different shirts and bottoms. I can definitely see that I prefer to wear pants & sweater combinations over non-pants. I’m guessing that that is because it feels colder with leggings than pants. I have, however, also found out that quite a few of the dresses I have made are comfortable and that I should re-start wearing those. There are some others that are better off in the attic or as a donation somewhere, since I don’t really enjoy wearing them.

Replacing my entire stash of bought t-shirts seems like a very feasible option currently and I see no qualms in also replacing the bought sweaters with home knits. I may still want to wear some bought jeans every now and again, although the made ones are also comfortable. I will see myself also continuing in making something new for graduation events. The one for June this year could theoretically already be worn, although the insides need some finishing and I need to find a way to incorporate pockets in some way, see above comments..

This Me-Made-May was very enjoyable and I liked participating. I also got to spread the word about sewing and people were regularly somewhat surprised about all the things I’ve made. This talking aspect was somewhat unexpected but still a pleasant side effect. Overall conclusion: Me-Made-May 2016, Challenge Achieved and Successful!

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