15 januari 2015

No! No! No no no. I can't be six months late. I said five minutes.

Hello old friends! I just looked at the date of my previous post and let out a little sigh. Where does the time go? I've been doing lots of different things but it's mostly knitting so... unfinished and SLOW! I'm also currently without a photographer since my boyfriend went on a trip to Japan, which is obviously awesome. So that's why there are indoor pictures now, instead of our usual forays into the city and the great beyond... The past few weeks have been a bit hectic, with sales going on in the store I work at and lots of social gatherings. I had a few amazing Christmas parties with my family and one really great one with friends. We decided to go for a 'Sexy Christmas' theme and I just went for total blasphemy and dressed up as Sexy Jesus:

It turned out I looked more like the lovely Conchita Wurst.

Between that, I've slowly been working on a tailored coat (omg!) and the aforementioned knitting. But this week I got a sudden epiphany about a beloved stash fabric and decided to make a new dress. I'd had this Alexander Henry cotton around for a long time but was a bit lost about what to do with it: the print is amazing but really big so I didn't want to have too many pieces cutting through it, but it did feel like it needed more than just a basic fit-and flare bodice. What's this print of, you say? Oh just MOTHERFUCKING FRIDA KAHLO:

Seriously. This is called 'Frida's Garden' and I love how it combines all these little elements from her paintings in one. That, and some of the colours match the blue ombre I had done to my hair. Woop! As you might be able to tell, I used the bodice of the Flora dress from By Hand London. The humongeous skirt pattern would never work with this narrow quilting cotton, so I just gathered two widths of the fabric. It works better with this directional print ayway, imho!

I Didn't really bother with pattern matching on the front or side seams (just tried to avoid Frida-nipples) But I did make an effort to match the back across the zipper. It doesn't match as perfectly as I'd like, but close enough!

Here's a bit of a close up of the fabric. I really like how it's essentially a drawn impression of her work, but still instantly recognisable. This fabric is a lighter weight than the one I used on my previous Flora dress,  and it's very comfortable. I do wear it with a camisole since the neckline gapes a bit and gets very deep very fast... I had the same problem before and handstitching it closed didn't really work, so I resorted to an extra top, which is something I'll often wear underneath my dresses anyway!

I have a few more projects lined up, including an Icelandic sweater I knit for myself, but I'd like to wait with the picturetaking of that one until I finished the one I'm knitting for my boyfriend. Photographing them together would be so much more fun!

17 december 2014

Postcards to send to your Friends and Enemies

Some time ago, I made postcards out of some of my illustrations and put them up for sale. Recently it dawned upon me that I never made a clear post showing all the cards, just something slightly confusing! So I laid them all out and now present to you the entire collection:

All these are for sale for €2 each + shipping. I will ship worldwide! If you want one or more cards just send me an e-mail (annekecaramin@hotmail.com) with the numbers from this picture and your address, and I'll send a Paypal invoice.


PS: I'm doing tons of guestblogging all of a sudden! Pop over to Hanne's blog to see my tricks for making your fashion sketches look awesome (and read all her posts in this drawing series because they are super inspirational) and have a look over at Antwerpen Streetstyle to see what I've been doing for them!

11 december 2014

My Dungarees Make Them Hungry

Guys, I have some really exciting news.

I made dungarees.

And not a dungaree dress, no, real, proper dungarees. With two legs. No skirt. No tights. OMG.


As soon as I saw the Turia Dungarees by Pauline Alice I took a liking to them. It's a huge departure from my usual style (a lot of people I know have never seen me wear trousers) but I do have a relationship with dungarees that goes back to my childhood. They were my favourite garment to wear when I was out playing, and I still wore them years later when painting or doing messy things.

Before making these I actually made a trip to H&M to see if I could find a similar pair to try on before investing loads of time into making it (which is something I often do before trying new shapes or styles!). I liked the look so I made a quick muslin and just went for it. The pattern fits true to size and I didn't have to make any significant changes to the fit of the pants part!

After wearing these for a few times I did notice a few things I'd do differently next time. I actually hemmed them twice because they turned out super short the first time. They now have a tiny hem, finished with bias tape. It's ok but they do show off my socks a lot!

 I would also lengthen the straps a bit. At first I tied them behind the buckles to keep them from sliding, but this hoisted everything up a bit, making it hard to bend down. In the end I slid the straps into the right position and just topstitched them down.

Sewing this was really fun! It didn't take nearly as long as I anticipated, the instructions were very clear and made absolute sense (I followed them to the letter for once). The fabric (a slightly heavier weight cotton) was nice to work with as well. It held a crease really well which was awesome (all these pockets that need to be topstitched on!) and it didn't fray too much. I also think it nicely treads the line between dressing like a giant toddler and looking like a serious adult. Although my boss might disagree with me on that, since her first response was 'aaaawwwww!'.

I went all out with the details, doing my best to make my topstitching look good and installing rivets at certain stress points on the pockets. Things like this can really tie a garment together and take it to the next level!

I've already got some denim earmarked for the shorts version. No way I'm stepping away from dresses anytime soon, but these make for a nice change!

Oh, and again, for those wondering about the title: click!

18 november 2014

Revenge of the Swamp Witch

Once upon a time, there lived a witch in the swamps. She spent her time casting spells between the mud, dirt and water, wreaking havoc all over the place. Her frightening appearance- floating scarves, skirts and kimonos- burned itself into the collective memory of the people and remained there for centuries after the witch's death...

One day, a foolish young girl decided to use this image, and dress up as the Swamp Witch for something as trivial as a Halloween party, despite of the warnings her friends uttered. Because, as the story goes, the Swamp Witch's spirit was said to posess the bodies of the wild dogs roaming the swamp and the forests around it, and she did not like it when people would mock her name!

The Foolish Young Girl persisted, and assembled a costume inspired by the tales about the Swamp Witch. Most items were already present in her wardrobe, but she did have to get crafty to get her hands on some of them! She cut a stencil of the Witch's sign (as it was left on people's doors in the old days, striking fear into the hearts of the villagers) and applied it to a lowly store-bought top, using gold fabric paint.

Obviously, the kimono was the most important part of the outfit. The Foolish Young Girl found a piece of gifted lace in her pile of fabrics and went chopping. After simply sewing together a few rectangles and attaching some fringe, she had something that truly invoked the spirit of the Swamp Witch. Her friends were impressed, but begged her not to get too close to the forest, since the tales of the Witch had made a lasting impression on their minds. But the Foolish Young Girl ignored their warnings and went ahead.

This is the last picture the search team found on her camera when they recovered it:

06 november 2014

Oh Paris, you've really done something to me

Look who found some time to take pictures, edit them and write a post! I even had to take a short trip to Paris for these. Really. No, actually we were going there anyway to see the Welcome to Night Vale live show (AWESOME). We were in the city for about three days and had loads of luck with the weather, so I decided to take some pictures of a new dress during a visit to the Père Lachaise cemetery!

This is essentially a lengthened version of the Magena fringe jumper by Named Patterns. No spectacular hacking here: I just lengthened and slightly flared the pattern pieces, and omitted the hem band. It seems the Sew Convert had the same idea! I love her version.

This was my first time working with a Named pattern, and I'm impressed. The design is simple but interesting and opens up a whole lot of possibilities. The instructions are short but clear (mind: there's a lot less hand-holding than with other indie patterns! The instructions for this jumper fit on one A4 page) and the drafting was excellent.

I used a combination of two different fabrics for this. The main body is made out of a sparkly silver mistery knit I bought at Stoffenspektakel in Antwerp, the sleeves are made from a black modal knit I got from Mondepot. The black might be a bit too lightweight for this, especially compared to the glitter, but I don't really mind this... The main eyecatcher is the fringe of course, which has really won me over. I'm already planning another fringed project!

I cut the length a fair bit shorter than I'd usually go for to balance out the bagginess. This is a far cry from my usual fitted waist/full skirt silhouette, but I loved this for strolling around (and eating lots of food)

See? I can even do a graveyard dance in it. To be honest I felt a little awkward doing a 'fashiony' shoot in a location like this, especially since the cemetery is still in active use, but on the other hand we saw loads of tourists stomping on other graves to get a good picture of Jim Morrison's, so I guess it's not so bad? Damn, I'd be pissed if people walked all over my grave all the time just because I'm next to someone famous.

It had been a long time since I was in Paris, and I had a blast. We only had a few days so we decided to make the most of it and just see as much cool things as we could (within reason). We even saw the Eiffel Tower!

 We also visited a few really nice exhibitions (Hokusai and an Art Brut exhibit) but I was most thrilled about the Natural History museum! It's a beautiful building and the Paleonthology department is amazeballs. It's two floors stuffed to the brim with skeletons and seems to have been left unchanged for ages (I loved the ancient signs).

I've finished some knitting recently so I hope to photograph that as well now it's getting colder! Get ready for the sight of my first sweater...

11 oktober 2014

They tried to make me wear polyester and I just said no, no thanks

This dress was made for a pretty specific reason! As I've mentioned before, I started working in the haberdashery department of a store that also sells hosiery and accessories (fellow Belgians will definitely know who I mean...). Naturally, the employees are expected to wear things from the store whilst working. Yay, free tights!

Some time ago we got a shipment of little black dresses. Classic, shift dresses with a short sleeve and a high neck. My boss loved them. She got this vision of all employees wearing those black dresses on Saturdays, with different tights. Gorgeous! There was only one problem: I hated the fabric (polyester with a polyester lining, and our store gets HOT!) and the fit was way off on me. "Altering the dress would take me as long as just making a new black dress!" I said. "And hey, it kind of makes sense for me to wear something handmade, right? I'll even use trims from the shop!". My boss just sighed since I was like the third person that day to complain about the dresses, and then she told me to do what I wanted. Yay!

On to the facts! I wanted something comfortable but still slightly fancy, and my greedy eyes fell upon the Clover dress by Papercut. I had a black bamboo viscose (ouh!) in my stash that would be perfect, and I even decided to get fancy with some lace!

This viscose was an absolute dream to work with. It's fluid but still has some 'grip' so it's not slippery, and it loves to be pressed and steamed! I decided to not make a muslin since the fit seemed very forgiving (and I remembered the Rigel bomber fitting really well straight out of the package).

Casually defending my territory

This is a very simple dress pattern but there are a few simple and clever ways to keep it from becoming a sack. The front and back are two pieces with a centered seam and some shaping. It's a pullover dress but it's slightly shaped at the waist and extends into a flared skirt, limiting the amount of fabric you have bunched up around the waist. It even looks pretty good without a belt! I also love the soft lines created by the raglan sleeves. One of my favourite things is the underarm curve, actually!

I found this lace trim that was exactly the right width and decided to use it as my contrast fabric. to make the sewing easier I basted the pieces to bits of Soluvlies, sewed everything as instructed and washed it off. It worked like a charm, but the neckline is pretty deep, so I'm thinking of backing the lace with black fabric... The effect wouldn't be as dramatic, but I wouldn't have to choose between flashing my bra or wearing an extra shirt...

The original instructions have you braid a beld with embroidery floss and make your own tassels. I was too lazy and cheap to buy embroidery floss, so I just went for a long tube of self fabric and added some premade tassels. I really should have pressed that.

In the morning I wore this with a heavier coat, but later in the day things warmed up enough to pair the dress with this blazer! It's a classic thing I got handed down from my mother some time ago, and I recently added some embroidery to the lapels. Instant updating, even if the stitching is a bit wonky!

I wore this to work today and got loads of compliments. Paired with being comfortable this makes for a winner! They also go with my new boots-that-go-with-everything-anyway:

03 oktober 2014

Casual Wednesday

Bad blogger! I've been doing some sewing and a whole lot of knitting (I made a sweater! Only need to block it!) but photographing my makes never happened... Until today! I was wearing a new dress to work and decided to take pictures afterwards. Since the days are getting shorter (boo!) daylight was fading fast and I decided to pull a Hanne and take pictures on my little rooftop terrace!

This is the Bleuet dress by Deer and Doe, a pattern I made once before. I hoarded this vintage cotton for ages because I only had a small amount (three very narrow yards) but now I finally mustered up the balls to cut into it! I remembered this dress fitting me really well straight out of the package,  and I wasn't mistaken. The result makes me think of something Wednesday Addams would wear on a casual Friday. Casual Wednesday. And I'm posting this on a Friday. CONFUSION.

The black contrast pieces were made out of a black modal I got from Kokette Katinka. This stuff is pretty cool, it feels almost like a peachskin and presses nicely, even if it's a bid fidgety to sew! I have quite a bit leftover, but no real idea yet about what it will become...

The absolute star of this pattern is the bow in the back. It is so simple to add, but so incredibly CUTE! I started sewing this dress in a radio studio (really) and just couldn't stop looking at it. About that radio thing, Caroline was asked to teach Linde Merckpoel how to sew on Studio Brussel, and she invited me and Lieke along for an afternoon so we could host a sewing club. It was pretty awesome! The room we were in was filmed by a webcam I wasn't aware of until my boyfriend texted me to say he could see me. They also made a little video, you can see me flashing around in the background here and there:

This adventure is also the reason for this extra surprise element:

I had cut my dress the day before so I just had to sew in the studio. Since I had so little fabric (with a directional print) it was impossible to eek the hem facings out. My sleepy head was tired of cutting and figured 'hemming is like, the final step. I won't get to that. Screw finding more fabric, I'll cut those facings some other time'. Upon arriving in Brussels, only carrying my sewing machine and essential items, I noticed the hem was more like, the second step in the garment. Woops! Thankfully, Lieke was working on something gorgeous made out of peacock print and she had some left. Thanks again!

This was a very straightforward dress to make (far easier than the first one, but that probably has more to do with me using cotton this time instead of velvet). I really like how the princess seams make for a fitted silhouette without feeling constricting or uncomfortable! I spent five hours at work in this and it was awesome. One of my collegues bemoaned how I make nice things for me and then say 'nah!' when someone asks me to sew for them. Sorry guys!


In slightly unrelated news: I'm going to ask for money and it's not for me. My amazing friend Nena is trying to raise funds for an exhibition of her work in the train station Brussels North. She graduated from art school with a beautiful comic about the people who go through the station daily, and her plans for the exhibition would make for something truly astonishing. She needs 4200 euros to cover printing costs and an opening night, and we all really want her to get there! Every donation gets a present by the way, depending on how much you give. You can donate here and see more of Nena's work here!