Monday, March 30, 2015

Little helpers: Twin needle

This weeks little helper is mainly needed for stretchy fabrics - the twin needle! Not only does it two nice lines next to each other, as the back with the bobbin thread is zigzag, the hems or seams stay elastic!

What is it good for?
Well, doing twin stitches, duh!

Well, as I said above, you can do elastic hems with them. But you can also use them to do double seam on jeans - with a needle for wovens of course! Or decorative stitches with a twin needle, but beware: Only in the width of your presser foot.

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By the way, if you have problems with the fabric accumulating in the middle between the two seams, you can either try reducing the opper fabric tension, iron on some interfacing under the seam or iron the sh*t out of it after sewing. All reduce the "wall formation"!

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How much does it cost?
Depending on where you buy them, you pay between 50 cents (hah! ^^) or 4 Euro. They are not very expensive and really usefull!

Who needs it?
I think most people do, but if you never work with jersey and have no intention for using them for decoration you don't. Or if you own a coverlock machine. If that is the case, I might be your new best friend and come over to visit you with a bunch of unhemmed shirts! ;)

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Sunday Sweet - Sourcream chocolate cupcakes

This sunday my mum visited me and I visited Paisleystern yesterday, so I made some more cupcakes. I added sour cream instead of butter to my normal recipe and was surprised how juicy they (still) are!

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Some white chocolate on top and bat sprinkles - viola!

Friday, March 27, 2015

Short hoodie by Your Style Rocks

I've seen versions of this little hoodie jacket all over the internet - probably not only because it is free (download it at Your Style Rocks after registration), but cute to boot! I hesitated for more than a year to sew one because I hate everythign to do with sewing which comes before the actual sewing. And this hoodie pattern needed
  1. downloading and printing the pattern
  2. glueing the pattern together
  3. cutting the pattern pieces
  4. cutting it from the fabric which I already had
Which makes one two more steps than my usual approach with commercial patterns (but still one less than Burda or other magazines. I wonder why I never use those?! *head->desk*). But I made it and actually it was a short task as the pattern is only 19 or so pages. And now I have it on hands in case I want to make more...

Anyway, admire the hoodie in all it's glory:

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I lined the hood with lea print jersey which was leftover from another project. This also reduced bulk as the main fabric is a chunky sweat jersey!

I used KAM snaps for the closure again, so I got some more miles out of the tongs I bought although I didn't really need them. Black this time because cool as glow in the dark may be it does not match much in my wardrobe:

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Pattern review
The pattern went together easily and it was true to size. I never looked at the instructions so I have no idea if they are good or not. After years of sewing a hoodie with only 6 pattern pieces is not really a challenge... I can recommend the pattern, but can't really say if the instructions are sufficient for beginners!

Week in Review 13/2015

What did I see?
Yet another artist who makes sculptures of fantastic creatures is Creatures from El. (Etsy / Deviantart). They might not be as fluffy and cute as the ones I showed here recently, but these are amazing nevertheless!

What did I listen to?
Sherlock Holmes audiobooks

What did I ask myself?
Am I productive? Or do I just fake it?

What did I read?
Nothing. Was too lazy - maybe that answers my question?

What did I work on?
A shirt and a dress

I was happy about...
Having great plans for this weekend!

I was annoyed about...

I bought...
A book and plastic boxes for work

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Comfy pullover

I made a off the shoulder pullover from fabric I bought in Januray! The pattern I based it on was New Look 6813, view A. The pattern is for a t-shirt, but I made the hem a little wider and elongated the sleeves to end up with this:

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The two buttons I added in front are purely decorative, I wanted to use my fancy glow in the dark KAM snaps! I'm all for clean and simple style in my every day wardrobe, but the buttons are cute!

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... but not functional! ^^

On the back I added my label - on the outside, so my boyfriend asked me several times already if I wear the pullover inside out... -.-

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The sleeves end in a little self fabric cuff and are long enough to be pulled over my hands if it is cold or I need some extra comfyness!

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Pattern review
I've sewn the pattern before and really like the raglan sleeves. This is my to go commercial t-shirt pattern!

Monday, March 23, 2015

Little helpers: KAM Snaps tool

The tool I'll show you today is also relatively new in my tool box, but I still used it already with success: The KAM Snaps tongs (with snaps of course!)

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What is it good for?
The tongs insert KAM snaps into fabric, leather or paper. This is useful for bags - to close them with snap buttons which you don't have to sew in- and many bloggers use it for children's clothes. I used mine for bags and as decoration...

What does it cost?
The tongs were 20 Euros, but 50 buttons were already included. Usually, the snaps are 20 for 1 Euro, so quite cheap actually. There are also different forms (stars, hearts) available but I never looked after those so I have no idea if the prizes differ...

Who needs it?
 Actually, I don't know. I didn't really need it myself, because I could have used other snap buttons or a completely different kind of closure. Or clench my teeth and handsew some snap buttons in. But I don't like hand sewing and I liked the snaps that were used on my leather belt thingy. And I find them kinda cute and already used the tongs more than I thought. So this is more a gimmick, but if you have 20 Euros spare and need closures for bags or children's clothes, go for it!

Friday, March 20, 2015

Week in Review 12/2015

What did I see?
The idea of the ring I'd like to show to you today is really intriguing. Unlike normal rings which are build to last, this ring is made to fade. Like the wearer, this ring shows age by losing it's white cover and revealing the golden center. The designer says: "The Oroko rings age and, with time, expose their hidden treasure," Israeli designer Noam Bar Yochai said. "It will age and wear like its bearer, revealing something of its owner’s life and habits."

Also, due to me being sick, I watched a lot of Netflix the last days. I have finished the following series High School of The Dead (nice anime, but really predictable), Defiance (nice SciFi  playing in a dystopian Seattle which I really liked), and Blue Exorcist (funny story about twin brothers who aim to become exorcists, one is the son of the devil though...). I promise I also did other stuff, but that was mainly sleeping and sneezing...

What did I listen to?
Several Sherlock Holmes Audio books on Youtube

What did I ask myself?
Will she like it? Will she hat it?

What did I read?
Nothing, my head hurt too much for reading.

What did I work on?
A shirt

I was happy about...
My lovely boyfriend who took good care of me

I was annoyed about...
Being a sneeze fest for several days... Boo!

I bought...
Nothing, but I sold something!

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Little helpers: Seam ripper and point turner

The tools I present today are ones that I bought after Madama Mari Mortem's recommendation some time ago. Don't get me wrong, I did own seam rippers before, but this one is rather fancy:

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What is it good for?
The seam ripper "Seamfix" by Gütermann is everything a normal seam ripper is plus the silicon thingies on both sides. One looks like a bee hive, the other like a - certain part of female anatomy ;) - This lead to the name bee-nipple in my home... They remove the little pieces of thread that are left in the fabric after seam ripping when you move them over the former seam. Really nice! By the way, did you know that many seamstresses use the seam ripper wrong? This video shows how to do it correctly:

What does it cost?
I got mine for a mere 2,50 Euros, so not much of an investment!

Who needs this?
Well, everyone? The only other option I know to rip seams - besides pure brutal force! ^^ - is a small pair of scissors. Otherwise a seam ripper is really handy and this one removes thread leftovers well, which is a bonus!

What is it good for?
The other tool on the pictures is a point turner which is used for turning points, duh! You can use it for everything angular, like corners in the collar or in bags. The pointy bit goes into the corner and makes it nice and -well- pointy.

You can also use the point turner for "pressing" seams open. No heat is applied, but for cotton fabrics this method works as well as ironing. Just lay the pieces open and move the pointer with pressure along the seam. That's it!

What does it cost?
Something around 5 Euros.

Who needs this?
This tool is not as necessary as the seam ripper. You can turn corners with every pointy object in reach, like pens or rulers or knifes. The point turner has the advantage of being pointy and thin enough for pretty corners in the finished product, but not ripping through the fabric as easily as a knife or a pointy pen. I like to use it to open the seams because I hat ironing with passion, but this tool is more optional than the ones I showed here before...

Monday, March 16, 2015

CorpGoth Status Report: What's for Lunch?

Subject: What do you eat for lunch on a typical workday? Do you brown-bag it, eat at a cafeteria, or go out? Do you eat with coworkers or solo? Do you work through lunch? Do you do something else during your lunch break, like take a walk, run errands, or go to the gym? If you work from home, do you make a fresh meal and play with your pets or kids? Tell us something about your midday break in this report.
My lunch is kind of easy-peasy: The whole working group gathers at 12 a.m. sharp and visits the canteen together. There are always three warm meals (one of them vegan or vegetarian) plus additionally fresh salads from a bar for self assembly or other warm options. The actual meals are state-subsidized for students, so much cheaper than the salad and other bar stuff which has to be paid by the ounce.

Bringing my own lunch is not really an option because of the canteen (the workers frown on people that eat their own lunch there). Not going with the others is also frowned upon - but not by the canteen workers but my boss. So to the canteen I go to eat more or less healthy there... Which usually takes about 30 minutes with all of us talking about work and heading back to our desks. Not the most exciting or relaxing lunch "break", I guess!

But since I work long hours and go to sports or computer class directly after work, I also bring some afternoon snacks which I eat during my low energy point between 3 and 4 p.m.. I always have some nuts at hand in case I get severely hungry, but usually my snacks are a smoothie or self made yogurt with fruits. Sometimes a salad when we made some at home and have leftovers!

My boyfriend on the other hand almost always takes leftovers from the stuff we cooked the evening before.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Week in Review 11/2015

What did I see?
I saw two movies in the last week. "Jupiter ascending" was kind of awkward.I liked the visuals and the costumes although the story was neither exciting nor new. But the costumes and make up and pretty visual effects were worth watching it for me. My boyfriend deemed it the worst movie he ever saw... Then we watched "Kingsman: The secret service" and it was funny and well played. The story on this one is good and the jokes and style are really good. My boyfriend also loved it, so highly recommended!
After seeing amazing portraits of real people last week, this weeks sculptures are made by self-taught Alaskan sculptor Lee Cross, known professionally as Wood Splitter Lee.  Although many of them do not have naturalistic origins, they look so lifelike as if they could just jump into your lap, right?

What did I listen to?
Audiobooks and student's questions

What did I ask myself?
Why am I always sick on the weekends?

What did I read?
Nothing. Go me!

What did I work on?
Nothing as well, I was barely at home without sleeping

I was happy about...
Finally being able to sleep...

I was annoyed about...
Catching up with the flu wave currently spreading in Germany. Yay! -.-'''

I bought...
Chocolate. Being sick makes me decide stupidly...

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Generation next dress

As soon as I saw the McCall's pattern M6791, I knew I needed this in my life. A figure hugging dress (when I currently feel a little bigger than usual), with open back (when I ususally wear a bra) und really long sleeves (when I usually put mine up to the elbows)? Count me in!

Actually, I have no idea why I wanted it, but I had to have it. And to sew it. So I used some of the fabric I bought on the fabric market and got to work:

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I tweaked the pattern a little with a snap button in the back for easier entry and exit of the dress. I also added some clear elastic in the sleeves for a permanent ruffled look:

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I was so happy that I finished it with all stripes matching as well as possible - some pattern parts change direction, so it did not work everywhere. But then I realsied a huge mistake: When sewing the underdress, I wanted to avoid itchy seams on the inside. So I somehow put them on the outside - which looked really stupid and just plain wrong...

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After some serious bad words and several days of not-looking-at-that-stupid-thingy, I took my trusty seam ripper and corrected my mistake. Now it looks really sweet and waits for some occasion to wear it out!

By the way, the pattern was rather easy - if you keep in mind which seams will be visible  on the outside. I'd recommend a rather thin jersey because I don't like the ruffling in the back that much with my thicker jersey. It looks a little to prominent in my eyes... And any pattern will show off the directional changes very much, so be aware. But if you follow the instructions, this pattern is as easy as the pattern says!

Monday, March 9, 2015

Little Helpers: Buttonhole measure

I'd like to start a series on helpful tools for (beginning) seamstresses. And with tools I do not mean sewing machines or the best type of needle - although that would be helpful as well, maybe sometime later?- but rather literally "tools". Things I use regularly and love a lot!

I'll start with this buttonhole measure.

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What is it good for?
It divides a given length into equal parts to place buttonholes or other things. It was invented for buttonholes, but you can also use it to distribute decorative trims or pleats or anything you'd like. For buttonholes, you simply put either the first or second position on the breast apex (the part of your chest that marks the widest circumference) and pull it to the full length of your garment. If you'd like more buttons, just carefully mark the positions and move the measure along the garment without changing the interval between the buttonholes.

The same goes for pleats or anything: Set the desired interval and move the measure along the garment. Works like a charm every time!

What does it cost?
I paid 20 Euros including shipping (German seller)

Who needs this?
Everyone who designs their own patterns and uses buttonholes on those. Everyone who has a chest that deviates from the norm and has trouble to find/sew blouses that don't gape at the chest. Everyone who uses trims or large pleats. 

Do you have any recommendations for me? Tools you dearly love but no one knows about? Or something that works better than the buttonhole measure I recommend here? I'd love to learn about that!

Friday, March 6, 2015

Week in Review 10/2015

What did I see?
This week I fell in love with Justyna Neryng's portraits of fairytale children!  They display the evolution of child to women and are strange, soft and powerful at the same time:

What did I listen to?
Marusha - Somewhere over the rainbow

What did I ask myself?
How can I eliminate this problem?

What did I read?
Work literature. And stuff about SMART goals.

What did I work on?
Nothing much, I cleared my room and added a new storage unit.

I was happy about...
Getting my serger back

I was annoyed about...
My serger being broken

I bought...

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Did I mention I try to reduce my fabric stash? Haul edition

I know, I know. I try to finish UFOs, I try to reduce my stash of fabrics and work with existing materials. I really have more than enoguh fabric to keep me sewing for at least 3 months. But somehow, I feel a bit like Dory from "Finding Nemo":

I visited my mum and she wanted to buy lining fabric for a coat she is working on (I swear it runs in the family). I simply couldn't resist taking some lonely and teary eyed fabrics with me! Then I visited a fabric market together with friends and went a little berserk, although I did not spend that much money. But I seriously need to sew something otherwise the fabrics take over my room!

The jerseys I got. I'd love to try some of the patterns I already own, but with the broken serger, currently not much sewing is happening -BTW it wasn't the power control. But I got a new one to find that out! Grrrr!- with stretchy fabrics. I have a certain thing for dots and stripes in case you didn't know yet (each 1.5m):

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I also got some remnants because. Well actually just because they were cheap and pretty and why not? Black thin cotton for historical stuff (2.5m). Black sweat fabric (1.5m) with white dots woven in for a sweatshirt. And more black sweat (2.5m) for a comfortable stay-the-night-in fishtail or dress. Not sure yet...

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Grey stretchy satin with stripes (2m). The fabric is poly something, but it feels rather good and will make a perfect skirt lining!

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And the last bit: Fake fur (60cm x 20cm) with an amazing quality which I will use on a jacket from Ottobre 11/2013 if I ever get myself to copy the pattern. Pirate fabric for a gift (0.5m). And stretchy fabric for first underwear trials (1m).

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And now I need to get some sewing done this week. Pronto!