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Turnbeutel crazy

by Anna
turnbeutel selbstmachen
A couple of weeks ago, two friends and I went to the Netherlands to visit friends of us. While I did not take a single picture (my phone battery died and I could not be bothered to take the big camera), some pretty interesting things happened. First, we welcomed a hitchhiker on board: Roar, Danish, like the Katy Perry Song. Then we did what I absolutely did not want to do, we spent Saturday at the designer’s outlet. No need to say it was super crowded. Sunday was wonderfully relaxed. And I finally noticed my friend Hülyas turnbeutel. So fun, so easy to wear and so simple to make!
turnbeutel drawstring bag
I think, she preferred to call hers a sportbeutel, but this kind of drawstring bag just makes me think of elementary school physical education class. When it always was a turnbeutel for me. Anyhow, this one’s too cute for smelly shoes, so today I am carrying my purse, sunglasses and tissues in my new bag.
drawstring bag diy
There are lots of tutorials on the internet for this kind of backpack, but alas I decided to go my own way. I will be sharing what I learned when I started just making it without a big plan. There are some minor changes I would make for the next one, yet I am happy I took the most important step: The first step. Sometimes starting is the hardest, no?

How would you call a bag like this? Happy weekend! ~Anna~

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Statement neckline top – easy to sew

by Anna
statement blouse top chemise diy sew
What do you say when I tell you I have a easy peasy to sew loose top for you! And you will construct the pattern by yourself, too! (This is the point where I as a reader suck in my breath through clenched teeth.) But relax! Take a deep breath because this top really is a breeze. The shape is basically a rectangle with some modifications. Anybody can draw a rectangle! With the help of a ruler and a measuring tape you will get there!

The pattern is for a loose German size 40, which would be a US 12. Since it’s oversize, it will fit bigger sizes as well as smaller ones. Feel free to adjust or simply use a jersey material if you feel unsure.
easy sew loose top
supplies light- to medium-weight cotton fabric, five different colors of (medium weight) felt, matching thread, ruler, measuring tape, tailor’s chalk or pencil, fabric scissors

Step 1 Fold the fabric with the face inside. Find the middle point of the half at the raw edge and mark it. Then measure 60 cm down from there and mark. This will be the middle of the blouse and hem line. From this point using a ruler draw a straight line parallel to the raw edge. It should be 58 cm long, so 29 cm on either side of the dot you marked.
diy statement blouse easy
Step 2 From the dot measure up 50 cm: this will be the lowest point of the front neckline. Measure up another 3 cm (or from the hem line 53 cm) for the back neckline. From the first marked point at the hem line measure 13,5 cm to either side, mark. Go up 57 cm from each dot and mark. These will be the start points for the shoulder seams.

Step 3 From the lowest point of the neckline (front) measure 35 cm to each side and mark. This point is the end of the shoulder seam and upper point of the armhole. Connect with the dot we found in step 2, start of shoulder seam.

Step 4 From either end of the hem line draw a line with ruler and pencil that ends at 30 cm from the bottom. This is the side seam that ends at the lower point of the armhole. The armhole should be 20 cm. So draw a straight line down from the point we marked first in step 3 making sure it is no shorter than 20 cm. This might shorten the 30 cm line, which is ok. Draw a little curve to connect side seam and armhole if you like. Or let them meet at and angle. Either way is ok since this will be loose fitting anyway.
statement collar top
Step 5 Time to draw the neckline. We have the lowest points marked so draw a curve from the beginning of the shoulder seam to the lowest point for the back neckline.

Step 6 When I started sewing I always liked to pin my pieces to keep them together. Do so if you like and cut both layers of fabric. Now we have to exact pieces. To distinguish front and back take the upper piece where there is the dot remaining for the lower neckline. Fold the fabric in half on the imaginary middle that we created in step one. You should still have that first dot there to help you. At the neckline draw a curve from the shoulder seam starting point to the lowest point of the front neckline. Cut it while folded.

Step 7 Place front and back of fabric with the right side inside and pin shoulder and side seams. Stitch with a seam allowance of 1/2 cm (1/4 inch). In case you are unsure: A slightly bigger seam allowance won’t give you a much smaller top. Try it on after you finished those seams. You can easily make it smaller at this point by using a bigger seam allowance and cropping the leftover fabric. Press open the seams.

Step 8 Hem. I just used the hemming foot of my sewing machine which makes the tiniest, cutest hem. You could also fold in (a tiny bit and doubled), press and stitch. Either way works. There you have a loose blouse!
felt applications diy top
Step 9 Using bottle caps and small glasses draw cicles in different sizes on felt. I have five colors of felt and four sizes of lopsided circles… I cut about 30 circles and ended up using 26 of them. Arrange the circles on the front of the top. Either with spaces in between them or with circles touching, however you like. Take your time. I let mine sit overnight, rearranged in the morning, made some circles smaller and adapted it another time after work until I was happy.

Step 10 Pin the felt circles. Chose a thread that matches the overall appearance of the blouse but contrasts some of the felt circles. Start to stitch at the neckline. Make sure to only stitch on side of the fabric!!! You still want to be able to wear your garment… Secure at the top and sew a straight line down so all circles in one strand will be fixed to the fabric. I thought it was fun to end some seams in the middle of the last circle and have some go further down. Fix all strands of felt circles. There it is your statement top!

Comment or e-mail me with questions and see my page for infos!

Can you tell I am still getting used to taking my own picture with the camera timer? Also autofocus is kaputt… ~Anna~

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Dip-dye espadrilles – My ombré summer shoes

by Anna
blue ombre espadrilles
My favorite shoes are no shoes: I looove to walk barefoot. My second favorite shoes have to be espadrilles. I am a flat shoes kinda girl, I am tall enough already. My love for espadrilles started two years ago in France when there where espadrilles in Carrefour market right before our trip down south. I bought two pairs. One is still alive, the other one has been dearly loved. They are so comfy, obviously flat, double as house shoes and are fun on the beach as well. They can be diyed, can be DIYed (betcha I will make this soon) and they are available for evey budget. Right now I am debating getting a pair of these two tone multi leather espadrilles by Lika Mimika. Dream on, Anna!
dip dye shoes
A few weeks ago at the very first outdoor flea market of the year I got lucky. I found a pair of white espadrilles! They were a perfect fit and when I looked up to ask how much they were, the seller pointed at the dust marks and said she would give them to me. A present! At the flea market! At around noon when they had only been selling for an hour. Of course I did not decline.
dip dye diy shoes
I wore them around the house a lot, it wasn’t yet warm enough to go outside in espadrilles. Then the day arrived when I wanted to dip-dye several itmes in jeans blue- I love to look at the pictures of Hettys DIY napkins in their wonderful blue hues. Needless to say that white shoes don’t stay white when you dip-dye wearing them. So in they went as well.
diy ombre bast shoes
I worked with a dye that made a medium shade of blue when using 600-800g of fabric. I had already died one table cloth, one dress and two short curtains before the espadrilles took their turn. Meaning the dye would only stain slightly.
ombre shoes
supplies white espadrilles, blue fabric dye, water

When only dyeing a pair of shoes, use a small amount of dye and a proportional amount of water. If you are dyeing more pieces dip all of them in the colored water first, then dip in the shoes for a quick complete bath. They need to be fully covered by dye and then retrieved again. Then place them, toes to the ground, in the bucket or tub with dye. Let sit there for as long as you want. I received this effect with only two minutes in the dye.
dip-dye espadrilles
Machine wash on gentle for the shortest amount of time possible. With my washer this was 15 minutes. Do not spin much. Let dry on the clothes line. I have not tried tumble-drying these, I prefer to go gentle on them…

The bast sole has gotten blue, too, these ombre shoes really have the blues… And make me dream of a vacation on the beach, a city trip to a place with palm trees and sand dust and the light feeling of being carefree. Anyone wanna come along?

The pink pants are DIY, too! They are my stamped bubble pants…

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Customizing jeans shorts with lace

by Anna
lace trimmed shorts
The thing from my tag line that I post least about is customizing fashion. Gotta work on that today with todays post which is also number 300 on this site, yay!

I love to customize and these shorts are a project that is particularly dear to me. I think I must have owned these jeans for about ten years. I wore them as long pants until they got all ripped, then cut them off and wore them as just plain cut-off shorts. For a couple of years again. Then I found the cutest little triangle pattern lace ribbon – reminds me of picot edges – at the fabric market around this time last year and started to trim the legs. Well, I misjudged the amount of lace it would take to go around (I know, there are measuring tapes in this world but I wasn’t planning on this). Half a year later on the next fabric market in my area I got the lace…
diy lace jeans shorts
With spring having sprung I finally proudly present: the lace trimmed shorts! They had been spruced up before – see those sparkly embellishments? For the longest time I wore them rather punk despite the glitter heart: a safety pin worked as a button. Since they do not really need to have a zipper and button (they are a bit big anyway), I put on a little folded lace trim as a permanent closure. Pretty punk, as well…
customized jeans shorts
So lace ribbon all around the legs, and on each pocket it was. For the legs I simply pinned the lace underneath the fabric starting at the inner leg seam and stitched all the way around on top of the pants. For the pockets I stuffed as much of the ribbon underneath the pocket fabric while I cut into the fabric part of the ribbon and folded it under lace at the sides. I stitched over the pocket – I do not use those either – and it was done. This is a fast, cute and easy way to spruce up some shorts. Also, there is the hipster called lace involved…

Considering these were my around the house shorts, I think I will get a lot of wear out of these in the great outdoors this coming summer. What do you think?

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My first peplum top

by Anna
floral peplum top
Can you believe we are already through the first quarter of 2014? Now I really, really want warmer temperatures! And it looks like we will get them in my part of the world: Yay, for spring!

The sunshine inspired me to give peplum top making a try. It is the first top of that kind that I own, is that strange? It is because I love this look, it’s feminine without being too girly but still has a sassy edge. It looks dressed and grown-up and fun all in one. There is not much more that I need from a garment.
gathered strap detail peplum top
Oh, wait. Comfort is a big plus. Having somewhat followed this tutorial below my top could not turn out as comfy as the knit version. My cotton (blend) does not contain any elasticity so it is a little on the tight side. Which will help me improve my posture, right?

Besides not choosing a knit, I omitted the sleeves and instead gathered the shoulder part. Tiny detail, big effect, do you agree?

Even though I have not really worn it yet, I love this little top already. It was so easy to see – just doing the shoulder seams, one side, putting in the zipper, adding the peplum and hemming everything with selffabric – just like making a quick (and cute) dress. Taking the pattern from a T-Shirt was easy peasy, so that anyone, even without practice – can do it.
blumentop mit schößchen
Altogether this did not even take two hours to make. It actually took longest to get my eyes off of the splendor of Downton Abbey and onto the fabric. Which, by the way, is from my stash, bought at last years spring tour of the dutch fabric market.

I bet I am not the only dressmaker that has ever chosen a zipper that was only a close match not a perfect one. But why waste those long, invisible zippers when the a short, regular one will do the trick?
birds eye view peplum top
The mannequin is slimmer than myself, so the pemplum sticks out more, when I wear it. Possibly you will get to see that, too…

Overall a fun and quick little top. Easily dressed down with dark blue skinny jeans (or simple denim shorts) and dressed up with a black pencil skirt. Any suggestions how to go really quirky with it? I am thinking a pattern clash like in Hettys third outfit in our 3 ways to wear it…

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Winter dress update – work in progress

by Anna
winter dress shape
It has taken shape!
loving the missoni style fabric, the warmth of it and the cache coeur effect
cache coeur robe style missoni
missing sleeves, button holes, buttons
More details about the pattern and the three things on sunday aka work in progress “series” here and here
sideview missoni style pattern dress
planning to post the finished dress within the month
Happy sunday!

Anna, Studio

Stamping: The pink bubble pants

Pink bubble pants
Pink bubble pants

I am so excited to finally share this post! When I bought these pants way back in, um, february I only did so to stamp on them. But as things always turn out differently than planned: while still figuring out wether to stamp flamingos, love doves or anchors I fell in love with wearing the baby pink pants plain as they were. So for that time being I made star spangled jeans and later doily painted pants.

Then one day – it was summer by now and too warm to wear them – it hit me: I would stamp soap bubbles on the baby pink pants. And also I knew exactly how I would do this, no stamp making involved, but using shot glasses. My mum has an impressive collection of glassware and among them different sized and differently rimmed shot glasses. Deal.

Bubble stamped pants
Bubble stamped pants

You’ll need
pants
3 shot glasses with different diameters
fabric paint (I used “Sunny” in white by Javana Textil)
a plastic container or a saucer
pencil / tape

Supllies for stamping bubble pants
Supllies for stamping bubble pants

How to
Prepare: Wash and dry your pants and iron them to have a flat, easily printable surface. With your pants either flat or worn, mark with a pencil or tape where you want the bubbles to be.
Marking bubble places
Marking bubble places

I opted for spaced and mostly in pairs as real soap bubbles love to stick to another, don’t they?

Stamp: Now pour some paint (you won’t need much) into a shallow little plastic container or onto a saucer. Place the pants flat on your work surface dip a shot glass lightly into the paint and them stamp. Be careful not to drip!

Stamping bubbles
Stamping bubbles

If you push the glass with the paint somewhat into the fabric you will get thicker, closed circles while a light setting of the glass gives a thinner bubble, possibly with holes. Change glasses (read: diameters) so no two close bubbles have the same diameter.

When one side is done – let dry. Repeat the steps of stamping on the backside and let dry again. While the pants are drying find a spot where you can hang them to dry after the next step – without having them touch anything (clothes line would be a great option).

Put the pants on and stamp on the sides (i.e. the seam) to have bubbles all around. Carefully take off the pants and hang to dry. Once they have completely dried iron according to the fabric paints instructions. And then you’re done!

Yay for bubble pants
Yay for bubble pants

All this only happened a short time ago and I was lucky I still got to wear my bubble pants with my white vintage top and flats (Primark). For the colder days I plan to wear them with a jean shirt and eventually a cream and pink sweater and … oh, the possibilities!

When Hetty took the photos we were on the way to an outside screening of “The Great Gatsby” – can you tell how excited I am? ~Anna~