14 september 2014

Business Time!

Some exciting news here! Lieke, Ilse, Charlotte and Erika decided we needed to clean out our stashes and are hosting a fabric sale in Antwerp! Aside from fabrics we'll also sell notions and books... I won't be able to contribute much since I did some serious destashing during the blogger meets and before my move, but I do have a few goodies for sale...

The event is hosted at Lieke's house, so if you want to stop by you can send her an e-mail at bouquetofbuttons@gmail.com to get the address!

I'll be there on Sunday afternoon by the way, if you want to come say hello...

31 augustus 2014

I guess this is my comeback then. Rejoice!


Hello friends! It's me!

This blogging break lasted longer than I wanted/expected it to. The boyfriend and me moved into a new place, and this, combined with me working loads of extra hours at work meant I spent most of my spare time unpacking and organizing! The new appartment is amazing though. Our first place together was a bit of a necessary evil: it was a basement level, dark and quite damp, but it was large enough for the both of us and our work and we needed to make a decision. Now we have the two top floors of a gorgeous building (wooden floors!), a little balcony and loads of windows and light. I even have my own sewing/drawing room! Expect some pictures when things are somewhat in place.

Now, let's talk about sewing! This was sort of an emergency dress I made right before we moved, back when there was still a summer going on... Temperatures were really high all of a sudden, and the part of the store I work in doesn't have air conditioning. I looked at my wardrobe and figured out I needed something very lightweight and loose to survive!

This fabric is a very soft and drapey viscose knit I got from Wanderlust fabrics. That's right people, I made something in a knit! And it only took me three fours (making the pattern included!). Sewing knits is nowhere near as scary as I used to think it was, but for some reason I still prefer working with wovens. For this dress, I simply traced the shape of a tank top I already owned onto pattern paper, lengthened it and did some math for the bindings. It could have used a bit more length but I stop caring when it's hot and it's fine with tights...

I reinforced the hem with fusible seam tape, then just turned it under once and stitched it down with a zig-zag stitch. It has enough flare so it doesn't really have to be stretchy!

Something I'm really happy about is how the bindings turned out. I don't remember exactly how the calculations went but the finished strips ended up around 15% shorter than the holes they were meant to bind. I stitched all the seams in the garment, stitched the short ends of the binding together and folded it, aligned the raw edge with the raw edge of the garment, stretched and sewed. The edges were then topstitched down with a straight stitch, again because I didn't really feel they had to stretch!

Here's me being all smug about sewing a dress in three hours and moving into a nicer place. We see that building in the background from our balcony, by the way! It's like the town hall, but for the city district we live in now, so not really a town hall if that makes sense (does anyone know the proper term for this in English?).

I'm currently organizing my workspace and hoping to get sewing and working again soon! In the meantime, enjoy this picture of me ruling over my minions. Or, more exact, ruling over one pigeon. He didn't really listen to me so I wasn't exactly ruling over him though.

22 juli 2014

It's Oonapalooza and Everyone's Invited!

Oona's blog was one of the first sewing blogs I started reading. I was (and still am) baffled by how intuitively she seems to turn fabric into amazing garments and the brilliant ways she uses prints. So when I heard about Oonapalooza I took the loudest, most technicolor print out of my stash and got celebrating!

This is a rayon challis I bought from Wanderlust fabrics, and it's truly great in person! Kelli from True Bias used it to make some shorts, and I decided to go all out and make a dress.

This dress fills a very real gap in my wardrobe. The days of working mostly from home are over, meaning my usual strategy to cope with heat (stay inside and don't wear clothes) are not really an option anymore. I took a look at my clothes and noticed there's a severe lack of light and airy dresses fit for hot days and mobility. Time to do something about this!

The pattern for this is mostly self-drafted (Oona style!) I started from my trusted bodice block, spread it to add volume (but not as much as for this dress) and simply lengthened it into a dress. This was then chopped up again to create the contrast yoke.

"I can see your bra straps" "phbbbbt"
The yoke was the hardest part about sewing this incredibly easy dress. It's a stretch lace I bought from Mondepot with my Sew it Up prize (yay!) and the trickiest part was getting a sharp point and sewing the stretchy bits to the woven bits without everything going wobbly. I stabilized the bias cut edges on the challis with fusible tape and just used lots of pins and a walking foot! The neckline and armholes are finished with narrow black bias tape.

To lift the entire thing out of muumuu territory I just cut a long strip out of my leftover fabric and used it to make a tie belt. I like how the volume worked out: it's super floaty and light but still wide enough to provide loads of airflow.

I think that might be the closest I'll ever get to a cool Oona pose on a tiny bridge.

This dress was a dream to sew (it took me two short evenings to draft the pattern, cut everything and sew it together). I loved wearing it and felt really comfortable, even on a sticky hot train (which was shared with some peeps returning home from a Belle Epoque picknick at the Antwerp Zoo... They were quite literally dripping but looked SO AWESOME). I love it when the result of a challenge like this ends up being very much my thing!

And for those who want to frolic in this Garden of Eden I'm standing in: you're out of luck! It belongs to Luc Cromheecke and his wife Sabine, an awesome comic book artist who fed me tea, cookies and wisdom during a three-month internship two years ago. He bought one of my boyfriend's drawings and we decided to deliver it in person, which led to this feast:

It's a good thing we took photos beforehand because I ended up absolutely stuffed and barely able to move!

17 juli 2014

Bowties Are cool. Deal with it.

I'm back with another finished project! It's been a bit quiet on the sewing front, after Sew it Up I took it easy for a while, did some knitting, designed a card for friends. But as soon as the sewing itch came back I started on a project I've wanted to make for a long time!

This dress is made from a very lightweight cotton I bought in Brighton over a year ago. The saleswoman said it was Gaultier or something but I wanted it because I really liked the feel (so light!) and the print (border print!).

The print also reminds me of someone...

I bought a book about Daleks on the same day. Don't judge. The TARDIS necklace I'm wearing in this pictures is an amazing birthday gift from some amazing friends. You know who you are!

Back to the dress! This pattern is made by me! I started from a basic bodice block, slashed and spread to get rid of the darts and add some pouf to the bodice and then turned it into a faux wrap. I also added two tucks along the neckline, but they kind of get lost in the fabric! this gathered bodice was attached to a waistband, and I just gathered my entire length of fabric as a skirt to make maximum use of the border print with my limited yardage.

The dress closes at the back with an invisible zipper, but it only goes halfway to the top. I left the rest of it open and closed it at the neck with a button and loop, so there's a slit for ventilation and aerodynamics. Oh, and if you look closely you can see something peek out...

That's right, I got my first tattoo almost two months ago! It's something I've wanted for a long time, and I spent ages looking for the right artist. I ended up with Susanne König at Salon Serpent in Amsterdam and she did an awesome job! I definitely want another one. Sorry mother dear.

Sewing time is a tiny bit limited right now... My boyfriend and I are moving into our second appartment together (my own sewing/drawing room! Yay) and there's so much stuff to pack. I'm hoping to squeeze something out for Oonapalooza though!

12 juli 2014

Giveaway Winners!

I'm a teeny tiny bit late announcing the winners of this giveaway, and that's only because I completely forgot about it. Sorry! Things are a bit hectic now (we'll be moving in less than a month!) But I'll soon be back with a finished project...

Anyway, without further ado: the stripe fabric goes to True Bias and the Michael Miller fabric is for Rebekka! Rebekka, if you are reading this, I couldn't find a way to contact you so could you e-mail me at annekecaramin(at)hotmail(dot)com so I can get the fabric mailed to you?

Hooray for the winners!

03 juli 2014

Sewing Café: What's in your sewing machine drawer? AND A GIVEAWAY!

Woops, looks like I disappeared on you guys for a while! I was very busy bathing myself in my recent victory, and preparing the shop I work at for the sales... Working around ten extra hours a week. Things are getting a bit calmer now, so I found the time to make and post a video!

Lieke from A Bouquet of Buttons started this really cool sewing café, and Hanne tagged me after making her video... Meaning I had to share intimate details about the contents of my sewing machine drawer. Here is the video, the sound is a bit silent so I'm afraid you'll have to turn up the volume...

As for my nominations, I would really like to see what Joost and Stephanie like to have around!



I really wanted to celebrate winning Sew it Up, and since these challenges made me think long and hard about my own sewing and style I thought combining some cleanup with a giveaway would be good!

I went through my stash, looking for fabrics that never got used and just didn't feel like me anymore. The result is a surprisingly small selection, although that might be because of the numerous swaps we had with the local sewing bloggers... Anyway, I found two fabric I probably won't use so two people can win something!

I tried taking pictures but the light in my appartment was so crappy I resorted to taking them from the internet. Sorry!

This first fabric is a Michael Miller quilting cotton, made famous by Roisin. It's been prewashed and in perfect condition. I have around three yards of this!

The second fabric is a lovely striped cotton I bought on Etsy ages ago (the photo is from the original listing). It's very soft and almost transparent, and could make a lovely summer dress. There's around two yards of this, in two pieces.

If you want to win one of these fabric leave a comment stating which one you prefer and I'll pick two winners by Friday the 11th! This giveaway is open to international readers as well. Bonus entries if you tweet or blog about it and post a comment with a link!

15 juni 2014


I actually managed to win the first edition of Sew It Up! Thanks so much to everyone who voted for me, this is seriously awesome. It was incredibly busy and a little bit crazy at some points, but I've had tons of fun! There will be a giveaway in the near future (but I need to collect some nice booty for that...) but before that, here's a gif party! (Bet you didn't see that coming!)

Again, thank you for all the support! It was lovely to see how everyone else interpreted the challenges, and really cool to see the interest from others! I'm off for some more overjoyed dancing...