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...

09 juni 2014

Look at Me! I'm a Target!

YOU GUYS! I MADE IT TO THE FINAL ROUND IN THE SEW IT UP CONTEST! THANK YOU! If you like what I made and want to help me win this, please do pop over here and vote! As usual, the poll is at the end of the post!

Our final challenge was deceivingly simple: create an outfit that expresses your own unique style, using at least two handmade items. This one really got me thinking about what I wear and why I wear it. Most of my wardrobe these days consists of dresses with a fitted bodice and a wide skirt, casual jackets, flats and boots. I'll wear a necklace now and then but I usually forget to put on jewelry (except for a few piercings I never take out). My clothes have to be comfortable and easy to wear and combine, so I don't have to spend ages putting outfits together.

So for this challenge I made my favourite silhouette in prints I love, easy as that. I had a totally different idea for the jacket at first, but halfway through making it I changed my mind because it felt wrong with this dress. It will still be finished because it's an awesome project, but this second idea works a lot better! In the end I went for the Rigel bomber by Papercut Patterns, a pattern I've made before (that version gets tons of wear and I think it will be the same for this one!). This is an incredibly quick make by the way, I cut the jacket out one evening and it was done the next afternoon!

The fabric is an Indonesian cotton ikat I bought online some time ago. It's a lovely fabric but I only had a very small piece so it sat around in my stash waiting for the perfect pattern to come along! I opted to sacrifice some fabric to match the print at the side seams and cut the sleeves out of a black cotton. It breaks up the busy print a bit and makes the jacket a lot more versatile! The hem, sleeves and neck are finished with black ribbing.

I also lined the jacket in the same way I did before: make an outer shell and a lining and baste the two together before installing the zipper and ribbing. I then added the facing and catchstitched it down to the lining for a clean finish. It looks lovely and gives the outer fabric a bit more structure!

I'm really happy with this jacket, it might be my favourite thing I've made for this contest! It's going to get tons of wear. Now onto the dress, of which I'm already flashing a bit of sparkly hem here...

The pattern is the By Hand London Flora dress, and I wanted to make this as soon as it came out. It was the first BHL pattern I've used, and I think there will be more in the future! It has everything I love in a dress, and fitting it wasn't too hard.

I made the faux wrap variation with the straight skirt and used a cotton from Ikea for the shell. It has a lovely print of all kinds of biological illustrations, and I grabbed it as soon as I saw it! The jacket and dress might be a bit much for some people, but I absolutely love it. The two prints just go really well together in my book!

I just really love wearing dresses like this. They make me feel put together but I'm comfortable enough to ride my bike and pet dogs. I love finding prints and fabrics that fit my taste and the mood I'm going for in my outfits!

This is the only alteration I made (aside from taking some length out of the shoulders): adding pockets! Dresses just get so much better with pockets. I need a place to put my bits of paper and keys (to then forget about them and toss them into the washing machine).

So again, thank you so much for the support, everyone! I've enjoyed this competition tremendously (yes, even when I spent hours and hours glueing bits of paper to a dress). It's been incredibly inspiring and rewarding to see such a positive response to the things I make. Woohoo!

02 juni 2014

The Wallpaper Had It Coming!

I can't believe Sew it Up is almost over! We're already at the fourth challenge, and I'm stoked to say that I'm still in the running! So if you like what I made this week and want to see me in the final, please do go here and vote for my paper dress! (The poll is, as usual, at the bottom of the post!)

This week was all about 'unconventional materials', meaning NO FABRIC. We could use fabric as a base, but nothing was allowed to be visible on the outside. I decided to use paper since it's a medium I pften use in my illustrations, and I thought I could try and make something really beautiful with limited supplies. A trip to the thrift store later, I ended up with an outdated dictionary and a roadmap of France, which all led to this:

I thought about this design for a while. Paper doesn't drape the way fabric does, and using a book and a map meant I had loads of small pieces and one big one to work with. I decided to make a base dress with a fitted bodice and an a-line skirt and sculpt the paper around it, almost like a shell.

Tearing out the pages of the dictionary and cutting them into strips took the longest and was the most tedious part of the process, I can tell you that! I did some experimenting with different glues and paper placement and decided to use bookbinder's glue for the final dress. It adheres to the fabric really well, glues the paper smoothly without rippling and remains quite flexible.

I started by glueing the paper to the skirt portion of the dress, and then added long strips of roadmap to the waistline. I did this to give some movement and lightness to something that was quickly becoming very rigid, and it turned out lovely! There is a nice movement there.

After this I added the paper to the bodice, carefully shaping it around the darts and curves. It already had loads of shape before I put it on, and after wearing it for a while it looks like it's on a mannequin. I'm thinking of making it into a giant lampshade or something, or a ghost dress.

While I was designing this dress I came up with the skirt detail first, and realised it vaguely looked like a birdcage. I also wanted to add some interest to the neckline so I cut a bird out of a remaining piece of map, glued it on and cut away the neckline around it after it dried. It's a lovely detail and I'll probably use this in a 'real' dress some day!

I had so much fun doing this, seriously. I'm not sure what I'll do with this now it's finished, but it was a great way to think out of the box and work around some of the problems I encountered. It also turned out to be one of the cheapest challenge, since the paper was all thrifted and the fabric came from my stash. All I bought was a zipper!

So again, if you liked this, please consider voting for me here. I'd love to make it to the final round, if not just because I'm so excited about the final challenge!