Cooper Bag by Colette Patterns

Tada! My finished Cooper Bag. Actually it's not completely finished. I still have to add the jiffy rivets.

I am soooo excited about this bag! It was a really quick make. But be warned if you decide to make it out of waxed canvas. Pressing the seams was new to my, but it's no problem with a tailors clapper. It really helped getting neat flat seams without melting the wax too much.

You also have to clean your sewing machine really good afterwards, but it is worth the trouble. 

As mentioned in my previous post, I bought the kit from Colette Patterns new store 'Gifts for Crafters'
I also added a hook for my keys.

Even thou it is a quite easy and straightforward pattern, I enjoyed the picture detailed sew-along on the Colette blog.

The inside of the bag. It is a very roomy bag with four inside and four outside pockets.The adjustable strap is one of my favorite features. Can't wait to take this bag with me on the plane to Seattle!

Pattern Description:
Cooper gives you three different bags from one basic body: messenger bag, backpack, and satchel. These highly durable bags can be made in a range of sturdy fabrics such as duck canvas, waxed canvas, twill, and heavy ticking.

All versions are lined and feature eight large pockets, magnetic closures, and hardware details. The messenger bag (version 1) has an adjustable cross-body strap. The backpack (version 2) has two shoulder straps and a hang loop. The two-handled satchel (version 3) does double duty as a bike pannier. (from website)

Pattern Sizing:
One size, different bags

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?

Were the instructions easy to follow?
Like all Colette Patterns instructions very easy to follow. They have a sew-along on their website with lots of step-by-step pictures.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
There is nothing to dislike. It's great that it gives three different bag options and offers lots of room for customizing.

Fabric Used:
I bought the kit, which came with waxed cotton canvas for the outside and nylon ripstop for the lining.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
I added a strap to attach my keys to.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
I will for sure sew it again, and highly recommend it.

I love my new messenger bag!


In the making

A quick view of the two projects I am currently working on:

First one is the Cooper Bag from Colette Patterns. I love this version in waxed canvas.

I bought the kit from their new online shop Gifts for Crafters 
I like that the pattern offers three different takes on the bag. My first go will be version 1, the messenger bag.

So far I have finished the lining and the strap. I am still waiting for the tailors clapper to arrive so I can press the waxed canvas. As usual, Colette Patterns has excellent instructions. They also have a sew-along for all three versions of the bag on their blog. I am looking forward taking this bag with me on my Christmas vacation.

The second project is this wrap dress from Burda:

I made it before in the short version with cap sleeves. The fabric I am using is a dark purple strech poly silk charmeuse. 

I would have loved this fabric from Mood Fabrics
 Silk Crepe de Chine in crushed berry, but it was slightly out of my budget. Maybe next time.

Why am I making this dress? Because I can!


The Secret World of Haute Couture

I stumbled upon this BBC documentary yesterday, and I think it is really interesting. I have never been big into fashion until I started to sew my own clothes. Even now I don't care about what's "in fashion". I really couldn't care less about what is trendy. But I can appreciate the process and work that goes into these true pieces of art.


My second Monique dress

Just a couple of pictures of my second Monique Dress. You can read all about the first version with a review here.
I made both dresses within a week. In this second version I was able to finally tweak out the problem I had with the lining and the side seams not matching up.

The fabric is Whimsicol in Tide from Nordika by Jeni Baker

I love this border print! And my new red shoes ;)

I added black piping to accentuate the waistband.

Here a closeup of the piping.

And the inside of the dress. As with my first version I only lined the bodice. It's a 50/50 silk cotton blend.


Monique Dress by Sew Serendipity

It took me about a year to finish this dress, but finally it's done. I bought the pattern a year ago because I wanted a dress pattern designed for quilting cottons, and I immediately fell in love with her poppy version of this dress.

One of my favorite fabric designers is Anna Maria Horner, and when I saw this fabric I knew it had to be a casual summer dress. It's 'Turn of Events in Plum' from her Innocent Crush line.

 So why did it take me almost a year to finish this dress?

 After the pattern arrived I made the stupid mistake of not making a muslin. Turns out the pattern has a couple of errors in it. The darts don't line up as drawn on the pattern, and the front bodice is too long to fit on the back bodice on the side seams. It annoyed me so much finding that out after I cut into my nice fabric, that I just tossed it in a corner and didn't touch it anymore until a couple of days ago.

Luckily I had a lot of fabric left and just cut out the bodice part again. Since I don't like facings I decided to line the bodice with a 50/50 silk-cotton blend I had in my stash, and in the perfect matching color too. 

I also lengthened the bodice 1 1/4 inch. This pattern is designed for a 5.4" size and I am 5.7"

 I could have done a better job with the lining. Oh well, next time. The side seams still didn't match up, even after cutting the armhole of the front bodice piece bigger. That's why I had to serge the side seam, instead of having it encased in the lining.

Now that I tweaked out all the errors and fitting issues I am absolutely in love with this dress. I already made a second one which I will blog about later. 

Pattern Description:
The Monique Dress is a retro design with a fresh modern twist. Featuring a flattering neckline, raised waistline, and a full A-line skirt, this dress will make you feel so pretty! Options for a solid or pieced bodice and various fabric accents means you have a lot of opportunities to mix and mingle all sorts of fabrics. Add a dash of trim or a coordinating bit of fabric here and there and make your own unique creation!
Pattern Sizing:
Bust 32 - 44
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?
Were the instructions easy to follow?
I didn't follow the instructions at all.
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
After I got rid of the errors in the pattern I love it.
Fabric Used:
Main fabric: Quilting cotton
Lining: Silk cotton blend 50/50
Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
- lengthened the bodice 1 1/4"
- cut the armhole of the front bodice piece bigger so it would fit to the back bodice piece at the side seams
- moved the darts
- got rid of the facings by adding a lining to the bodice
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
Now that I have a good fit I will absolutely sew it again. So many possibilities with all the wonderful quilting cotton prints.
I highly recommend making a muslin to figure out the errors in the pattern. After those errors are eliminated it is a wonderful pattern for a summer dress.


Jamie Dress for a friend

This was the first time I made a garment for someone else. A very good friend from Germany visited me for three weeks in the summer and for her birthday I made her this dress. It was quite easy, since she fit exactly in my size :)

We went to JoAnn's and she picked this poly-satin. The only changes I made was to lengthen the bodice by 1 inch.

The construction was very forward. Which totally reminds me that I haven't blogged yet about my Jamie dress. Well, I guess it will be done in another post.

Right now I like to listen to this song. It helps me getting my awesome back.


Current project: Quilting

My latest project is a quilt which I am quilting myself. I pieced five quilts so far, but never quilted them. I always gave them away to a local long-arm quilter. 
Here is a little sneak peak at the current quilt. I am quilting circles.

 These are the five quilts I pieced, gave away for quilting, and put the binding on myself. 

This first one is Sanctuary in Oasis Quilt by Patricia Bravo. I kept this one for myself.

Unfortunately I only have pictures of these two quilts of the finished top. Before the quilting was done. 

This was a wedding present for a good friend in Germany.

Gypsy Caravan Window to the Soul Quilt

Again a wedding gift for a good friend in Germany

Organic Soul Blossoms Window to the Soul Quilt

The other two quilts are Baby Quilts, also presents. The firs one I blogged about here.
A gift for my youngest nephew Ben.

And a gift for the baby of a friend in Germany.


The Cordova Jacket

Long time no blogging. But I finally finished something and got around taking some pictures. Here is my Cordova Jacket by Sewaholic Patterns.

I didn't jump on the bandwagon when the pattern came out, because I wasn't sure if it would be a style for me. But after seeing so many versions I was sold. I still don't like Version A with the double peplum, but Version B is just my style. 

I wanted a simple jacket for fall when it gets chilly enough to wear a light jacket, but not cold enough yet for my coat. And I wanted it in a dark brown suede. I found just the right fabric on and it was on sale too.

Cordova Jacket Front

Cordova Jacket Side

Cordova Jacket Back

And my stash provided me with just the right shade of Rayon Bemberg! I changed the pleats in the lining for gathering. It made it easier working with the rayon and I don't mind that it looks different than the outside, nobody is going to see it anyway. 

Cordova Jacket Lining Front

I wouldn't mind some pockets. There seems to be this trend where dresses and skirts have pockets, but jackets and coats don't. I don't understand it!

Cordova Jacket Lining Side

 And you might have noticed that I have a new dressform. It was a lucky find on eBay. It is a PGM Professional Dressform in size 4. I still have to pad it to my exact measurements. It doesn't have the stand with it, but it was only $89 so who am I to complain.

Cordova Jacket Lining Back

Pattern Description: (from Sewaholic website)
A feminine fitted jacket that creates an instant hourglass figure! This great-fitting modern jacket is perfect for work, weekend or a special night out.
Princess seams and peplum seaming form a flattering silhouette. Choose from a flirty double peplum, or keep things simple with flat peplum seaming instead. The collarless neckline allows you to wear your favourite scarves easily! Jacket is fully lined, with pleated sleeve cap detail and zip front closure.

Pattern Sizing:
0 - 16
I made a size 6. With a measurement of 34" a size 8 would be 1/2 inch too big. I decided to go down a size and it fits perfect.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?

Were the instructions easy to follow?
Just as the other Sewaholic patterns, this jacket has short, but easy to understand instructions.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
I am not a fan of Version A with the double peplum. This is was kept me away from the jacket for too long. But this has nothing to do with the quality of the pattern, it's just a personal preference.

Version B is just up my alley. I love the simple style of the jacket. No collar, simple lines at hems and zipper. I wouldn't mind pockets.

Fabric Used:
Outside: Vintage Suede (Microsuede) in Espresso from
Lining: Rayon Bemberg

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: 
I didn't pleat the lining sleeves, but set them in gathered.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
I would sew it again, and absolutely recommend it!

I love my stylish suede jacket. I get a lot of compliments for it, and that feels good!


Alabama Chanin

I remember seeing the Alabama Chanin books at Barnes & Noble and looking at them briefly. Afterwards I went on their website and was enchanted by the style. But it wasn't until about three weeks ago that I finally ordered my first book, Alabama Studio Sewing + Design. Now my mind is set on one day making one of the gorgeous dresses myself. 

But first I have to practice on some smaller projects. I bought a second book and the basic needed tools and started with a little project from Alabama Stitch Book.

I ordered the two scissors at (it was a bit cheaper), the thread and needles are from the Alabama Chanin website. I really like that she doesn't keep it a secret how to copy her wonderful designs. And even more, offering on her website the exact same high quality tools she is using to create these wonderful garments. 

My first project were these gloves. It was a nice way to try out the stitching technique. I used some cotton jersey from my stash. I want to practice a bit before I buy the fabric from the website.

Here a close up of the embroidery stitches on the gloves. I used to do some cross-stitch embroidery when I was younger and have quite a bit leftover embroidery thread. 

The first two panels from the next project, the Reverse-Applique Corset. The outer layer is the same cotton jersey as the gloves. The underlayer is also from my stash. I didn't think these two colors would work that well together, but I really like the effect.

Here a closeup of the Reverse Applique. I am still practicing :-)

I don't have a paintbrush gun or any fabric paint (yet?), so my stenciling technique was a Sharpie marker.