Having Fun Sewing for Toddlers Pt.1

Toddler Kitten Dress by thisblogisnotforyou.comToddler Kitten Dress by thisblogisnotforyou.com

  MEOW, MEOW!

I don’t enjoy sewing for others. That’s a fact.

I don’t really know why, and I’d love to be able to rejoice in it. But I don’t. Sewing for others makes me feel frustrated and in that case it becomes more chore than pleasure. There’s one exception, though: Sewing for my toddler nieces.

Again, I’m not sure why. I guess it’s because you can go wild with ideas and also fitting isn’t as big an issue as with adults. Toddlers aren’t that hard to please when it comes to new dresses.¬†They can be as crazy, loud and colourful as you like and they’ll love it! It’s also a great way to use up larger fabric scraps and try out combinations you wouldn’t be able to pull off yourself.

Last year I made a bunch of dresses, jumpers and a jacket for my oldest niece, who is 2.5 years old. I completely forgot to post these, as I mostly blog about things I make for myself. But I’m quite proud of them and they are too cute not to be shared.

So here’s the first one: A boiled-wool tartan and velvet dress with a fake Peter Pan collar and a grumpy kitten pocket.

Toddler Kitten Dress by thisblogisnotforyou.com

Toddler Kitten Dress by thisblogisnotforyou.com
Toddler Kitten Dress by thisblogisnotforyou.com

Toddler Kitten Dress by thisblogisnotforyou.com

Such a great little project to try my hand at appliqué (using the satin stitch setting and fusible interfacing) and simple hand-embroidery for the nose and mouth. I also tried a different technique for inserting an exposed zip.

And, of course, the pocket is fully functional. Toddlers need pockets!

How did I make the kitten appliqu√©? I made a little drawing and created a paper pattern from that. I cut out the velvet (recycling an old velvet top) and interfaced it. I sewed on the eyes by machine and the pink nose and mouth by hand, using embroidery thread. I appliqued the kitten to the front of the dress using the same satin stitch I used for the eyes. The bottom of the cat which you can’t see fills out the whole of the pocket, so you can’t see “where the cat ends” when you peek into the pocket.

To create the paws, I cut two pocket pieces and pinned the paws in between before stitching them together, as you can see in the picture above. The paws are lined with wool, as the velvet alone would’ve stretched out of shape. After assembling the pocket, I topstitched it onto the dress, covering the bottom of the weirdly egg-shaped cat!Toddler Kitten Dress by thisblogisnotforyou.comToddler Kitten Dress by thisblogisnotforyou.com

The collar was made pretty similarly. I appliqued the velvet collar to the front of the dress, before assembling the dress. This way I could simply finish the raw edge at the neckline by¬†facing it. The pattern is a toddler dress pattern from LA MAISON VICTOR, that I adapted quite a bit. I’ve made another dress using the unchanged, original pattern which I’ll review on the blog soon.

I love how this little dress turned out. I feel the combination of pink tartan, black velvet and the golden zip give it¬†quite a cool, grungy look. I’d love to have one in my size!

How do you feel about sewing for others? Do you enjoy making kids clothes?

xx

Charlie


Happy sewing!
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Wedding Dress Part VII: Revealing the Dress

DIY wedding dress by thisblogisnotforyou.com

Oh hello!

It’s nice to see you’re back! Thanks for following this journey of my handmade wedding dress so patiently, you really deserve to see some actual dress pics now! So here we go…DIY wedding dress by thisblogisnotforyou.comDIY wedding dress by thisblogisnotforyou.com

DIY wedding dress by thisblogisnotforyou.com
DIY wedding dress by thisblogisnotforyou.com

This is THE dress! I’m pretty proud I have to say. And here’s my DIY bridal bouquet ¬†– there will be another post about some of¬†the wedding DIYs, as well. It’s hydrangea – my favourite flower of all time – , two kinds of roses and baby’s breath. Pretty simple recipe, but very effective. I absolutely loved it, and it turned out even better than my trial bouquet a couple of weeks before.DIY wedding dress by thisblogisnotforyou.com

Here’s the dress is all it’s glory and from all possible angles:DIY wedding dress by thisblogisnotforyou.comDIY wedding dress by thisblogisnotforyou.com

DIY wedding dress by thisblogisnotforyou.com
IMG_1021A

DIY wedding dress by thisblogisnotforyou.com

I’m in love with the embroidery, I’d never thought it would turn out so well! As it was a super sunny day I also served as the disco ball at the party! I never wore the dress outside before, so the reflecting sequins were quite a happy surprise.

And here’s the open back that cost me a lot of nerves until I discovered self-adhesive bras…

DIY wedding dress by thisblogisnotforyou.com

I have never felt so pretty in my life! Putting on the dress was easy as pie as I could put it on all by myself. As I did not have any underskirts or petticoats, using the bathroom was no problem at all. It was just like wearing a normal maxi dress. Here’s the steps of putting on the dress:

First closing the waist-stay, so the dress would stay on and I had both hands free for the zip and button fastening. Putting on the lining top, then closing the zip. After that, putting on the delicate embroidered top and last but not least, closing the button fasting at the back.DIY wedding dress by thisblogisnotforyou.com

DIY wedding dress by thisblogisnotforyou.com
DIY wedding dress by thisblogisnotforyou.com

Me finding a loose thread just before the guests arrive. These pics show the layers of the dress nicely and my matching shoes!

Shoes and bag and everything colour coordinated in blush pinks and champagne matching our pastel themed barn wedding.

DIY wedding dress by thisblogisnotforyou.comDIY wedding dress by thisblogisnotforyou.com

Trying to frantically apply nail polish before the first guests arrive, because yes, I forgot about that and was way too late for the party already. So I tried to squeeze that in between taking pic with out photographer and shaking hands with arriving guests.DIY wedding dress by thisblogisnotforyou.com

DIY wedding dress by thisblogisnotforyou.com
DIY wedding dress by thisblogisnotforyou.com

This is my excited face, apparently. Oh and my pretty rose-gold SKAGEN earrings, matching our rose-gold wedding rings (and my dress!)DIY wedding dress by thisblogisnotforyou.comDIY wedding dress by thisblogisnotforyou.com

It was such a lovely, happy, wonderful day. The complete wedding (reception, party, ceremony) all took place in a beautiful rustic barn in a tiny village in Germany. We got married by my wonderful grandfather, who was a pastor until he retired some years ago. It was unbelievably touching and romantic to be able to celebrate this way. After years living away from family in London, it was nice to see everyone again for this wonderful occasion.

Most of the wedding was DIYed, not just including the decorations, but also my hair and makeup, some of my accessories, the bridal bouquet, our wedding cake and more. If you’re interested, I’ll share these on the blog, as well.

If you have any questions regarding the dress or something else, just leave them in the comment section below.

Here’s some more wedding pictures! Beware, there are quite a few¬†– so grab a coffee or tea (or delicious, cold German beer) and enjoy!

All the pictures were taken by our amazing wedding photographer who¬†was with us the whole day, early morning until way past midnight, snapping our favourite moments and making all these wonderful memories last forever. So if you’re getting married in Germany, check out his website!

DIY wedding dress by thisblogisnotforyou.comDIY wedding dress by thisblogisnotforyou.comDIY wedding dress by thisblogisnotforyou.com

DIY wedding dress by thisblogisnotforyou.com
DIY wedding dress by thisblogisnotforyou.com

DIY wedding dress by thisblogisnotforyou.comDIY wedding dress by thisblogisnotforyou.com

DIY wedding dress by thisblogisnotforyou.com
DIY wedding dress by thisblogisnotforyou.com

DIY wedding dress by thisblogisnotforyou.comDIY wedding dress by thisblogisnotforyou.comDIY wedding dress by thisblogisnotforyou.com

DIY wedding dress by thisblogisnotforyou.com
DIY wedding dress by thisblogisnotforyou.com

DIY wedding dress by thisblogisnotforyou.comDIY wedding dress by thisblogisnotforyou.comDIY wedding dress by thisblogisnotforyou.comDIY wedding dress by thisblogisnotforyou.com

DIY wedding dress by thisblogisnotforyou.com
DIY wedding dress by thisblogisnotforyou.com

DIY wedding dress by thisblogisnotforyou.com

DIY wedding dress by thisblogisnotforyou.com
DIY wedding dress by thisblogisnotforyou.com

DIY wedding dress by thisblogisnotforyou.com

So this is it!

Let me know what you think. Have you made your wedding dress yourself? Or are you planning to? I’d love to know!

If you missed out on any of the making of posts, just click on the wedding dress tag below or choose the DIY Wedding category on the right to find your way to the other posts in this series.

xx

Charlie


Happy sewing!
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Wedding Dress Part V: Embroidering the Bodice

Wedding dress embroidery by thisblogisnotforyou.comThis is probably the making of part of the wedding dress I am most excited to share with you! That’s very likely because it was the most fun part to create. Assembling a garment is fun, but it is also pretty repetitive as it is a similar process with many garments (even a wedding dress is just a dress after all). So trying something I haven’t done before was exciting and helping me loads to keep my sewing mojo up during the process.

The embroidery was initially part of the plan but I kind of discarded the idea once I started making my dress. I thought I wouldn’t have enough time because I procrastinated for too long and didn’t really start until five months before the wedding.

While making my dress I was really unhappy about not using embroidery and also, the dress seemed to become a lot plainer than I wished.

Eight weeks before the wedding, when I knew I could finish the dress on time, I decided to take a week out of the sewing schedule (which I didn’t stick to anyway) to try my hand at embroidering. I had never done this before, I didn’t have an embroidery frame, I didn’t even have the notions yet.

Not a particularly promising outlook, right? I decided not to get a frame and experiment with a DIY solution, and also ordered relatively cheap acryl beads, diamonds and sequins online.
Wedding dress embroidery by thisblogisnotforyou.com

At first I experimented with shapes and arragement of the different sized and coloured beads etc. I roughly stuck to the embroidered pattern of the Jenny Packham Esme dress I based my wedding dress on.

It’s a beautiful Art Deco style pattern which really suits the 1930’s silhouette of the dress. I changed it a bit here and there and also used a different colour of sequins to match my fabric. The colour of the sequins is hard to describe, it’s not gold or rose gold. Actually more like a warm silver if that makes sense? It reflected the colour of the fabric really well which helped ‘carmouflaging’ the sequins a bit so they weren’t too loud.

Wedding dress embroidery by thisblogisnotforyou.comBefore testing out DIY embroidery frame solutions, I used a small embroidery hoop to check if my fabric was suitable for embroidering.

My lining fabric is silk satin and my main fabric silk chiffon (although I’d say it’s a silk organza rather than a silk chiffon). Anyway, the fabrics are way too delicate to hold the strain of heavy embroidery, so I got some extra silk georgette in the exact same colour (which was lucky) when I bought my wedding dress fabrics last summer.

The georgette is as lightweight and transparent as the chiffon/organza, but much stronger and actually worked really well with my embroidery attempts:Wedding dress embroidery by thisblogisnotforyou.comOnce I got the knack of it, I had to think about creating a larger frame which would fit the whole of my bodice plus seam allowance. I used some styroform boards and pinned the fabric on it very tightly. The advantage was also that I could pin my template underneath so I didn’t have to mark the pattern on the fabric.

Wedding dress embroidery by thisblogisnotforyou.comWedding dress embroidery by thisblogisnotforyou.comHere you can see my template underneath the fabric, which I drew with pencil on drafting paper to make sure the pattern was neat and mirrored exactly.

The outline of the seamline was marked on the fabric with basting stitches.Wedding dress embroidery by thisblogisnotforyou.comWedding dress embroidery by thisblogisnotforyou.comWedding dress embroidery by thisblogisnotforyou.comWedding dress embroidery by thisblogisnotforyou.comI actually didn’t use too many different kinds of beads and diamonds:

  • cream white rocailles beads
  • silver rocailles beads
  • transparent beads
  • sequins (silver/gold coloured)
  • 3 different sizes of acryl diamonds (5mm, 10mm, 12mm)

Wedding dress embroidery by thisblogisnotforyou.com
Wedding dress embroidery by thisblogisnotforyou.comI had roughly outmapped the lines and shapes, but the exact positions and arrangement of beads and diamonds came about during the creative process.

It was so much fun, it was hard to stop. But I had to get on with the rest of the dress, so I limited the amount of embroidery compared to the Packham dress and only embroidered the bodice front and back pieces.

It took a week and three seasons of Homeland to finish.

My back hurt a lot during that time, but it was absolutely worth it. Embroidery like knitting can be very addictive because it so relaxing in a way.Wedding dress embroidery by thisblogisnotforyou.comWedding dress embroidery by thisblogisnotforyou.comWedding dress embroidery by thisblogisnotforyou.com

What do you think? Do you have any experience with embroidery?

Next time I’ll share the last steps of assembling the actual dress before the big reveal! So make sure you pop by!

xx

Charlie


Happy sewing!
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Refashion It! Embroidered Shirt – Super easy project for ‘refashion beginners’

embroidered shirt by thisblogisnotforyou.com

Hi there!

I managed to squeeze in a refashion project in my crazy busy week. While watching one of the most brainless shows on German television (it was a thursday night, guess what it was ūüėõ ) I embroidered the neckline of a simple grey tee I bought for ¬£3.50 at Primark.

As you know, I don’t go clothes shopping anymore since I prefer to re-/upcycle or sew things myself. Occasionally, I go and buy a pile of basic shirts to wear under my sleeveless dresses, though. I just did this last week and bought grey, black and navy longsleeved tees.

embroidered shirt by thisblogisnotforyou.comI love wearing these and thought about how to make them look a bit more chic without overdoing it, since they will be worn underneath most of the time. Because the neckline is often still visible, I decided to use a few tube beads to embroider the neckline.embroidered shirt by thisblogisnotforyou.comembroidered shirt by thisblogisnotforyou.comembroidered shirt by thisblogisnotforyou.comI used greyish-blue tube beads and sewed them onto the topstitching of the neckline binding. I didn’t sew the beads onto the binding itself, since I thought they might be too heavy for the light stretch fabric, pulling it down with the result of the neckline¬†gaping open.

embroidered shirt by thisblogisnotforyou.comI didn’t use one continuous thread, but knotted it off after every 10cm/4” or so. In case the thread should break, I won’t have to redo the whole thing.embroidered shirt by thisblogisnotforyou.com

It took quite some time.(Cough Р three hours Рcough!) Somehow everything I sew takes at least twice as long as I thought it would Р can anybody relate to that or am I the only one underestimating the time factor?

I love my new shirt. It definitely doesn’t look like it was just¬†¬£3.50, so the time was absolutely worth it. Sometimes it’s really some small touches that make a garment work.

If you are into embroidery – here are some of my other projects you might like:

embellished sweater           blazer refashion by thisblogisnotforyou.com

Button and Beads Bracelet           tutorial jewelry case

Happy weekend everyone!
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Refashion It! The Jersey Blazer (no sewing machine needed!)

blazer refashion before and after by thisblogisnotforyou.comI love blazers. I love red. Bright red blazers can look really cool, but this one was a weird mixture of too bold and too boring.

I love that it’s a jersey blazer, which kind of makes it more casual (since I don’t go to fancy events too often). But I thought that some contrasting colour was missing. It was just too red.

blazer refashion by thisblogisnotforyou.com

Look at all the red. RED.

I love to combine red and black and found that beautiful black lace in my fabric stash that has been waiting its turn for quite some time.

I also love to embroider fabrics with beads and sequins, I have no idea why. It takes so much time and hurts your eyes, but I guess the process is just really relaxing and meditative, like knitting for example.

After a huge amount of coffee, Star Wars Episodes IV & V and some Game of Thrones in between, I finally finished the blazer today. I only used simple handsewing techniques. (Even for the bias binding I used backstitching. The jersey fabric would’ve been too heavy for the machine and the jersey bias binding too stretchy.)

blazer refashion by thisblogisnotforyou.comblazer refashion by thisblogisnotforyou.com

So if you don’t have access to a sewing machine, this could be a perfect project for you. You don’t need too many materials, no complicated sewing techniques, just a handful of beads, a few strips of lace and bias binding and A LOT of time and patience.

Instructions for making your own embellished blazer

If you do not have so much time, omit the beads and use some lace trim instead for the collar.

blazer refashion by thisblogisnotforyou.com

First of all, I took out these two bad guys (by opening the lining at the hem).

blazer refashion by thisblogisnotforyou.com

What you’ll need:

  • black thread
  • beads (different sizes and colours)
  • black sequins
  • black bias binding
  • lace
  • scissors, sewing needle

I made the bias binding from a black jersey (I guess there’s some Lycra in it, too).

blazer refashion by thisblogisnotforyou.com

Cut out some strips of fabric (approx. 4cm wide) on the bias, enough to cover the edges of collar and pockets.

blazer refashion by thisblogisnotforyou.com

Cut out the lace, a little larger than the pocket. Pin it.

blazer refashion by thisblogisnotforyou.com

… then pin up the piping (if there’s some), so you can easily hide the lace under it.

blazer refashion by thisblogisnotforyou.comblazer refashion by thisblogisnotforyou.com

After sewing the lace on with a basting stitch all the way around (approx. 0.5-1cm from the edge), start attaching the bias binding:

blazer refashion by thisblogisnotforyou.com

Start with the side facing up. Place the bias binding on the lace, right sides together. Handstitch approx. 1cm from the edge.

blazer refashion by thisblogisnotforyou.comblazer refashion by thisblogisnotforyou.com

Tightly pull the binding over the edge. blazer refashion by thisblogisnotforyou.com

Pin the raw edge under and stitch (I used a backstitch).

blazer refashion by thisblogisnotforyou.com

To hide the raw edge of the lace, I sewed the piping onto the flap using a slipstitch.

blazer refashion by thisblogisnotforyou.com

Now it’s time to add some sparkle!

I used the same technique for the collar.

I embroidered the flap with black beads, silver-blue rocailles and black sequins.

blazer refashion by thisblogisnotforyou.com

I embroidered the collar sewing on black beads in two different sizes, starting at the bottom. Half-way up the collar I added silver-blue rocailles.

blazer refashion by thisblogisnotforyou.com

Since the collar did not have piping where I could hide the raw edge of the lace, I used a satin stitch all the way along the lower edge where I couldn’t add bias binding. This took almost as long as watching the whole Episode IV. So may the force be with you!

blazer refashion by thisblogisnotforyou.com

But it was totally worth it!

blazer refashion by thisblogisnotforyou.com

Here’s a close-up of the embroidered collar. I placed black sequins under the silver-blue rocailles. The beading also keeps the lace nicely in place.

blazer refashion by thisblogisnotforyou.com

blazer refashion by thisblogisnotforyou.com

I love my old new blazer (thanks mum for clearing out your wardrobe ūüôā ). I don’t like so much that the blazer lost a bit of its casualness. It looks really good with jeans and t-shirt, but I still feel a bit overdressed wearing it at work or when having coffee with a friend.

What do you think? How would you style it? Do you also enjoy time-consuming sewing-techniques (haha)?

Happy Sewing!
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