Sunday, 14 September 2014

Multiple Monetas and a sewing machine on fire

For OWOP 2014 (One Week One Pattern) I picked Colette's Moneta as my pattern. The aim of the challenge was to wear your favorite pattern throughout the week and show it's versatility. Hundreds of sewists all over the world joined in and it was fun watching those countless pictures on Instagram.

Day 1: Wearing my Monet inspired Moneta during a relaxed day in the sewing room.

Day 2: gardening in my Floral frenzy Moneta

Day 3: disaster day. As I was sitting in my sewing room, quietly pinning some pieces together, I heard a strange noise coming from my sewing desk. Then there was smoke. Lots of smoke. Coming from my beloved Bernina, yikes! More on that story in another post. Needless to say there was no finished Moneta peplum top at the end of that black day.

Day 4. What's a girl to do? Keep smiling, get dressed, in a repeat Moneta, and take the sewing machine for an emergency visit to the repair shop.

Day 5: I posted my 'if only' Moneta on Instagram. If only my Bernina had not been overnight in intensive care, this would have been my fourth Moneta dress. Now it was 3 meters of fabric, draped convincingly. Fooled anyone?

Day 6: look who's back! (Another repeat, now worn with a cardigan)

Day 7: The Grande Finale! For the last day of OWOP I picked my lace Moneta.

So, although things did not exactly go as planned, I enjoyed wearing these dresses and styling them with or without cardigans and with different accessories. For sure my Moneta collection will  get some new additions in the near future.

Day 8: OWOP, I can't stop! Lace, for a night at the ballet.

Cheers to Jane of Handmade Jane for hosting this inspiring edition of OWOP!

Thursday, 11 September 2014

Giveaway winner

It's happy hour chez Foxgloves and Thimbles! Cocktails ready to drink to the start of a brand new blogging year. And let's not forget there's a lucky winner!

Oww! I've learned a lot over the last year, but putting a random number generator on the blog apparently is not one of my most successful new tricks. I made a nice composition, in foxglove pink, added the numbers, generated the winner and then I got stuck. 
How to get that thing up here? Copy/paste left me with a mysterious HTML message in the middle of this post. So here's a picture of my screen.

And the winner is.......... Evie of Pendle Stitches.

Knipmode magazine will be on it's way to England soon.

Now to cheers to all new sewing friends all over the world!

Thursday, 4 September 2014

Blogiversary and giveaway

It's time to celebrate! September 10 will be the first blogiversary of Foxgloves and Thimbles. 
It's been a wonderful year and I've really enjoyed being a part of the online sewing community. Thanks everyone for your inspiration, support and thoughtful comments!
My blogiversary coincides with the 45th anniversary of Dutch pattern magazine Knipmode so I thought it would be nice to send a copy to one of you, happy to send worldwide.

The September issue contains over 40 different items in regular and plus size ranges. Tops, tunics, sweatshirts, trousers and more.

Coats Knipmode 9/2014

Skirts Knipmode 9/2014

Dresses Knipmode 9/2014

If you would like to win a copy of this magazine leave a comment before Wednesday, September 10. 
The winner will be picked randomly. 

Friday, 29 August 2014

Sundress addition

To get some more wear out of my summer dress I refashioned a cardigan. It was a long and oversized RTW cardigan that just wasn't working for me. I forgot to take 'before' pictures, but the wonky hemline hit sort of just above the knee. I shortened it about 20 inches / 50 cm and used the cut offs for a 2 inch / 5 cm wide band to finish the hem and to make the ties. Easy job, but I'm really happy with the result.

Have a nice weekend!

Thursday, 28 August 2014

All's well that ends well

Speaking of lousy timing! Just when temperatures dropped to an all time low for August I finished my sundress. Well, as you all know, Murphy was to blame for that. But never mind, at last we have a dress to discuss! It's a Moneta. Again? Yes! And thank you Handmade Jane for giving me an alibi to use this pattern for the third time this summer. I've been wearing my Floral frenzy Moneta to death and my Lace Moneta has been out for special occasions like ballet performances, concerts and dinner parties. So why not make another one? 

The fabric is a lightweight cotton jersey. I lined the bodice to get a clean neckline finish and I changed the sleeves to capsleeves. I lowered the front neckline (about an inch) and looking at the finished neckline I wish I'd lowered it a bit more.

The picture on the left shows there is hardly any difference between the front and back neckline. To make dressing less confusing in the foggy state of mind before my double espresso I added a little landmark. A simple cross stitch would do, but I'm such a fool for silly additions. For me this kind of detail transforms an ill fitting, grossly overpriced RTW garment into a must-have in the blink of an eye. 

Well, construction wise this flower was the only highlight worth mentioning. Some pictures of the inside:

Waist seam, stabilized with clear elastics and hemline, serged, folded and hand stitched

I asked my husband whether he liked my new dress. "New dress? You're kidding me! I've seen that one before!" I'd like to think this means I've nailed my signature style but maybe it's a sign I've used this pattern one time too many. Ouch!
I hate being predictable. So let's end with an innovation! Instead of kicking my tripod just outside the kitchen door and take some pictures on the usual spot I experimented. Yeah. That's why there are no pics of the back available, all out of focus or headless. But to show I'm no one trick pony I even tried a new pose! See?

Happy sewing!

Monday, 25 August 2014

Murphy's law for sundress sewing

Back in June, when Heather launched the summer sundress sew-a-long, I was one of the first to sign up. An August deadline? Ample time to sew a carload of sundresses! Or? 
For one reason or another I wanted butterfly fabric for my sundress, nothing else would do. 

When I found this picture I realized I'd unconsciously been looking to reproduce a favorite dress from way back, when Canal Couture and Sartorial Sweatshop were very cute little girls with a love for icecream and colorful hair accessories.

That dress deserved a remake! I visited every fabric store and market I could think of, but no sign of butterfly fabric. Finally I tracked down this Robert Kaufman fabric in Hong Kong.

This beautiful print with tiny golden details was certainly worth waiting for. In the meantime I ordered a sundress pattern from a Dutch online store. Not the cheapest option, but it was in stock and should arrive the next day.

Oops, sorry! Did we say in stock? We meant to say it was on backorder!
Three weeks later: still on backorder. 

June turned into July and we were in the middle of a heatwave. I really needed that new sundress! Plan B:

A Knipmode dress and a cotton jersey. Nice pattern, beautiful fabric but bad pairing of the two. Plan B was a mess.

Still no sign of Simplicity 1803. Mind you, I paid the equivalent of $22 for that silly no show pattern! Some phone calls later I discovered someone in the shop mixed up pattern codes. To make things worse: it had been in stock all the time but I could have waited till Christmas without anyone noticing.
But, allways look at the bright side of life: the number one project in the 2015 summer sewing queue is ready for take off!

Now August arrived and I still did not make a new sundress.
Time for plan C: another cotton jersey and a TNT pattern, see the first picture of this post.

As soon as I started cutting this dress the weather changed from unusually hot to pretty bad, even for Dutch standards. It's the coldest August since 1924. So let's put another log on the fire while I'm finally hemming my sundress!

Sunday, 10 August 2014

Sewing room organization

My thread stash was outgrowing it's dedicated space. Well, not just the thread stash, but for the sake of the year of No Rules in the sewing room I will deal with my fabric stash in due time. Promise.
I prefer to keep my thread in boxes, unfortunately the ones I picked last year were getting overcrowded to a point where searching for the right colour became a nuisance.

Luckily I found some much bigger boxes at the sale of HEMA, a Dutch department store. I have no idea what these boxes were meant for (definitely nothing sewing related) but they proved to be the perfect height for Gutermann spools.

So after spending some quiet time near the pond I came up with this improved arrangement. 

I also rearranged my machine needles. Am I the only one needing a magnifying glass to check the numbers on those unidentified needles that wander around my desk?? 
From now on I keep needles that have been used for just one project on a piece of pinked silk, next to their same sized pals. The yellow note on the cover tells me what needle is on duty in my machine right now.

It looks like Schmetz is finally adding colour codes, but until all my needles have been replaced by this new type I'm relying on this system.

Sewing wise this was not the best of posts, but after our summer break both my sewing room and I are prepared for new adventures, starting tomorrow!