Tuesday, 28 April 2015

More about knickers

Handmade underwear update

It has been about a year since I published this video about how to make your own hand stitched knickers. 
In making this video I could expand my knickers collection and now after a year I thought it was time to produce some more. Why? Because the few knickers from the high street, that I did not throw away in case I could not keep up with laundry tasks, are just too uncomfortable in comparison. And I also have a bit of Organic Cotton/Bamboo Jersey left over.

As I am currently experimenting whether working with the machine can come close to the hand-stitched-experience but also to see if I can produce slightly more economic garments with similar effect, I thought I give this project a try on the machine. 
I am writing this post also because some DIY friends possibly did not dare to try to make their own underwear because of the hand stitched madness or not enough time. So now there are no more excuses not to wear the most comfortable underwear ever!

If you watched the video you know how to make a pattern for this project. First you pin the side seams, as in the film, but try to use fewer pins, 3 would do and make sure you pin perpendicular to the sewing direction, you don't want to break the needle. I use a Gutterman sew all thread for the top feed, that is 100% polyester, for the bobbin I use Seraflock, that is a very stretchy thread normally used for swimwear. My machine is a very very old Singer with only the basic stitches. Set the machine to a wide zigzag stitch and put in a needle for stretch material. Let the foot come down so all material is under it, because that avoids problems with the material and thread forming a big knot. Also keep hold of the threads before you start as this helps to prevent these issues as well.
And after a couple of stitches reverse and sew backwards almost to the very edge. Almost because again you don't want to start the argument. Repeat once you arrived at the end of the seam. 

For the leg opening it is a bit different. Use only a few pins like before, and the same setting, but this time don't reverse. The reason for this is that you want no tension between material and thread. (Across the grain you have more stretch.) You know when you put on a garment and it goes ratsch and the thread snapped? So leave about 2 inches of thread in the beginning and then when you went all the way around instead of reversing, overlap the beginning and ending for about 2 inches, before you trim leave some thread. Now bring the hem between your index finger and thumb and stroke around the hem, at least once, you will feel movement between thread and material. Do this until the leg opening feels comfortable when you stretch it, so the thread won't snap when you pull it. Now you can trim.

The elastic band works the same way, only a few pins, 8 should do. Do not reverse but overlap and stroke the finished seam until you cannot feel any tension, trim.

Although it doesn't look nowhere near as good as made by hand - I just love the herringbone stitch, the result is very comfortable and you are prepared and ready to go on holiday in no time ......

Wednesday, 8 April 2015

Mindful and Tees

Yeah NOW the new series has launched!

I have been very busy and kept quiet for a while. And a lot has happened. But what is nicer to write another post and talk about a new project!

Practicing Kundalini Yoga and teaching it made me very aware of the power of words. One word can change my whole frequency in an instant!

The other thing I really love is comfortable clothes. Clothes that I do not feel, that look nice and are of good quality. That is i can cu.

So I combined the two and my new series of Mindful Tees was created. I know for myself how good it is to be reminded of mindfulness and being mindful. And to have a mindful word on a comfortable Tee is just the perfect thing to me.

PEACE was the first word chosen. And funny enough the carving for the print was created under the most un-peaceful circumstances you can imagine, having a bunch of kids run around being excited about Easter. 

LOVE had a similar challenge and having finished those two prints made me really happy. 

In this series I combined sewing by hand and sewing with the machine. Having spent hours with thread and needle and a garment on my lap I have a learnt a lot and trained my feeling for the right tension or better lack of it, construction and most comfortable design to be able to offer a more economic version. Only constructed by machine I added a reinforcing decorative stitch by hand (as usual). Living on a Hand sewn wardrobe for years I will tell you that the quality is so very high and my organic material choices made each piece last a very long time. This might be against the times but I love to have fewer pieces I love and wear them until they dissolve one day.......

So with this fusion I can be sure the comfort is excellent and the the embroidery gives the additional unique look.

Ok, there is so much more to do.
Peace. Love.

Saturday, 31 January 2015

For him

Hallo Valentine!

This morning when I finally started working I had to discover it was already past lunch time. Great.

And although it was already sooooo late, I had another idea that I absolutely had to follow in that very moment, so I lost another hour or so on top. And yesterday I probably should not have made my mala instead of working on this order as I had planned... But those shiny beads were just calling.....

I think I mentioned it before, I love it when someone asks me "could you make ...." These are my favourite projects as I love to find a solution. Saying that, before I start I have the greatest doubts and ask myself, why why why do I say yes to the weirdest projects when my time is already so limited. And by the way, why did I ever start sewing by hand. I just love my job!

So it feels all this avoiding and distracting gathered that much energy that I could realise this project in one go.

Yesterday I did squeeze some time in to make the pattern and do some thinking and today I made the prototype.

What is the project?
Very comfy underpants for a special Valentine.......

The test showed that they are comfy and nice to wear, whether the Valentine is happy.....I do hope so!

Sunday, 25 January 2015

The too hot cardigan

Valentine again

Yes it is almost Valentine's Day, and remember the cardigan I made this time last year, this pattern served me the whole year!

I am not such a fan of winter, actually I don't like to be cold as I get the feeling it is stressful for the system.....but every year I endure the cold.

There seems to be a pattern repeating, I suffer for a while and when I cannot anymore I think of what could ease the pain, and that's when I create a woolly top or anything to survive the rest of winter.

This year, I thought I would have learnt, but no, I spend 3 months looking at this gorgeous organic woolly rib material. Initially it should have turned into a blanket and that's maybe why it took me so long?
Too heavy for a blanket it waited and waited.....

This weekend magic happened and I was home alone, and almost had an order coming between me and this project, but I had no measurements so I could not start!

I could have designed a new pattern but I just love the Valentine's Day cardigan pattern and voila, I just finished my new cardigan.

And now I notice, this material is so warm that I only need to wear a t-shirt indoors......magic....

Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Now or never, for MEN only

Once upon a time...

It has been a long time and I only have a minute! 

So ATTENTION this is a new Hand stitched Top available for MEN, made of Organic Bamboo/Cotton Jersey. The photo shows the vest but it would not be a problem to add sleeves. The classic version is black or white, colours can be ordered on demand.

Made to order, the pattern is ready for size S, any other size requires grading, which would only mean the production takes a little longer.

The material is very soft and due the sewing by hand only the spoiling effect is enhanced drastically. Easy to care for and breathable, which means airing is often enough.

PS You don't have to be a Yogi to wear comfortable clothes ;)

Monday, 25 August 2014

Rusty accident, New Moon & a New Top!

New Moon on the wrong day ....

Why is that? I have a moon app and I was really very sure that New Moon was yesterday. I even did my Moon fast yesterday. But then this afternoon I read weird posts on facebook concerning the moon and checked my app and had to find out that New Moon is today, never mind.

A good timing for this post. I worked on a new order, a men's vest and because it is still school holiday I had to squeeze it in somewhere and found a gap. So I developed the pattern and checked and double checked and then when I was happy I started cutting the fabric, wow, this is running smoothly.

Pinned and stitched I put it on my tailor's stand, which is not accurate because it is a men's vest but as it is for a size S, I could at least see its shape and collar. It looked nice. Good that I had a similar vest to compare sizing because it was far too wide.

How did that happen?

I haven't done a top all summer, so I might be a bit rusty but intuitively, I added a bit to the pattern being used to making ladies clothes. I know my patterns and know when I need to cut a bit wider so there is more room for drape and change and fine tuning, so this might be why it happened. 

This vest has a similar cut like my Hand stitched favorite Tank top, just with a men's shape, as in smaller armholes, smaller cut for front and back neckline, and it is a bit less tailored at the waist. 

So no chance for adjustment here unless I changed the pattern and create instead of a one-seam top a 3-seam-top. But the really comfortable thing about this one seam is that it feels fantastic on the body, because no seam is bothering you anywhere and the one seam that holds it together and gives the shape is on the back. So the answer was no, I had to check the pattern again, make sure that the pattern was super accurate and then concentrate to cut it at the line without adding anything.

There was enough fabric left, I started again. 

And what to do with the unusable top? I tried it on had to find out that it looked really nice on me. I never thought of using these differences on a ladies top. That is why I probably like it. The neckline is a bit higher than I would normally go. But because men have wider shoulders there is more space at the sides of the neck and this makes the whole décolleté very interesting and loose. And as men's waist is less accentuated than women's it floats nicely down my sides without touching and comes to an halt at my waist where it drapes. 

I shall finish it and take a pic.... Nice to have a new order and a new top for myself at the same time!

Happy New Moon!

Monday, 18 August 2014

breaking the silence and an alien

time time time ....

I have been waiting and waiting to receive some pictures of the latest onesie order and now look at the date of the last post!!!

It is summer and I am tangled up in childcare - this involves saving an alien that has been thrown up to the attic door and as I washed it just the day before, it stuck there and did not move for a whole day, no matter what we tried.

I keep forgetting that there is hardly any me time in the summer holidays. What I always remember though and love is that there is only our rhythm and the kids turn into happy and relaxed little beings - even with the house full of children and them running wild!

So no news on the sewing front but as always ideas brewing. One of them is a new triangle bra version, another a cardigan and I found a new organic fabric source selling hemp...... which might make a nice Kundalini Yoga collection being white!!!!

More later, when there is more time....

;) x

Sunday, 18 May 2014

210 days of Bound Lotus and the Hand stitched Onesie

Harvest time

You might think I have started expanding my work and specialize in toddlers clothes. No I haven't. Although I would not mind it at all designing a girls dress or a baby jumpsuit or any children's clothes, really.

This time I worked on an Hand stitched Ladies Onesie. The request was to replace a range of jumpsuits with the mission to be more attractive at home. Also wearable all year long, with and without any other layers to wear, and very comfortable were included in this order.

I must say I am very happy to have been approached. It is nice to have my work noticed. And I love this kind of approach. Can you make me...is my favorite.

I would not have designed a onesie in near future, so it is nice to have expanded my collection. But now as it is accomplished I would not be upset at all if the customer would not like it, as I fancy one myself.

It is the ultimate of comfortable so far! The cut is very feminine but there is enough drape to feel good if you know what I mean. The waistband is looser than for the Hand stitched Yoga pants as it should just gently sit there, which is also an important factor for hot summer days. The legs of the pants only touch at the very end so the only points of contacts are on the shoulders, a touch on the waist and at the bottom of the legs. The conic shape allows to pull them up higher when you wish to have cooler ankles.

I have the feeling she might ask for other colors once she received it and will not wear it only at home. I guess I can start making another one ...... ;)

I called this post harvest time. This onesie was quite a challenge as it has a lot of folds and must really sit perfectly. And looking back I can tell now how much I have progressed with my work. 

I recently had a similar experience with my daily Bound Lotus practice. I noticed a shift before but now I can see the difference. It is hard to explain but this posture seems to be part of my body now, in way. I am still far from reaching my toes but I feel comfortable and notice what this posture gives me.

The warmer days seem to be more frequent and I am thinking of shorter and airy......... 

Tuesday, 6 May 2014

Time to make Dandelion Honey and a Hand stitched Jumpsuit (Ladies)


I just looked at the date of my last post. It has been a month! And where has time gone? And what have I been doing this last month?
Anyway it is May and I am happy for some sunshine. My kids are still coughing and I wish we could see the sea more often, not only because it is my favorite place to be but I would love to get some sea breeze into their lungs. Instead, we went to the park, whenever it was not blowing a gale or raining, and picked lots of dandelions before they are gone and made some honey.

I guess time also vanishes as our youngest son has to be taken to school since Easter. This makes three journeys to school each day, as he only attends half a day.
I experimented on rare occasions of having a working day or two on a Hand stitched one-piece top made of pointelle (ajour) which I loved already when I have seen my nanny wearing it. At that time it was rather used for vests. I found some white organic cotton ajour and it turned almost into a tunic. I also extended the short sleeves (t-shirt) of the one-piece top with white organic bamboo cotton jersey and I love to wear it.

Now I have an order to design a Ladies jumpsuit and I am looking forward to this. 

It is really nice to see that finally some people around me start to notice what I am doing. And also that they get interested in wearing it themselves.......

Sunday, 6 April 2014

After the Blue Phase


I hope I have finished the Blue Phase now! 

Winter is fading so I dare to believe and the light has changed, and to fight dullness I made a range of blue Tops. I don't really like to wear black. Although people still associate this colour with me probably because I had a very Black Phase a very very long time ago, it stuck to their mind. Even though it was followed by a White Phase and then a very colourful period.....

I seem to start working on my working days and as soon I am busy time is over. I understand that I have to corporate with my family life but it is like everything in my life at the moment. There is a thought or I start something and in a blink I am taken out and have to do something else. Normal for this stage of life, I still struggle with it and it keeps me feeling fragmented. A good challenge to still get things done, time efficiency is required and concentration. Which brings me back to my Blue Phase. I lack all of it. And chocolate is one of my dearest friend at the moment...oh.

There are only 2 more unfinished tops waiting to be made which feels much better than a pile and I decided to do some other very practical things today. Starting with a hairbandYou might think that is boring.  But to wear your hair all day long with an uncomfortable hairband only leaves you with headache and a very bad mood. And although I went through my whole workspace and did a spring clean at the same time (actually quite efficient!) I cannot find my one and only so comfortable hairband anymore. Ridiculous, it takes about 5 minutes to make and I only had one? Made of the edge of lycra - I love using leftovers - it is very elastic but still maintains enough stretch to keep my bun where I want to have it all day long without headache or broken hair.
Next on the list are undies and a bra but I won't go into anymore detail....... Ready for a long long Easter Holiday.......

Monday, 10 March 2014

Comfortable drop crotch pants and a one piece T-shirt

I am ready for spring!

Where have I been? Weeks have past by but it is still not spring.
I could not care less as I am completely into spring and absolutely denying that I am freezing cold. I also had to fight a bad cold which made me even more ignorant to cold!

But, but, but I progressed in my comfortable Hand stitched 
T-shirt project. The last version posted was a drapey one with one seam at the side. This drape was not very comfortable and also not tummy-friendly so I worked on a legere version, which is fun to wear and comfortable, very. Might post pics of this one later.

But now I have moved away one step. This Hand stitched top is made in one piece, meaning I folded the fabric at the shoulders and cut a hole for the neckline. Consequently there are no seams on top of the arms either. This way the jersey is gently hanging on my shoulders. Again words seem not to be able to describe what I mean. Compared to a normal sleeve, the lack of seems in this area makes an enormous difference.

The side seams have only a touch of batman wings. This gives more freedom of movement to the arm but also relaxes the armpit.

I chose Organic Cotton/Bamboo jersey, which feels gorgeous.
This prototype is short but works for layering with a tank top, but I started already a longer version....

Now to the very comfortable Hand stitched Yoga Pants.
I have posted the white version earlier. 

I have made the experience that wearing white only works if I feel comfortable. So I started to design my Kundalini Yoga outfit. I started with leggings, as it was winter and the need of layering required a simple cut for the pants. But now the layers are about to be reduced or vanish, so I could experiment with the shape of the pants. Saying that this drop crotch version is so comfortable that I might stop wearing leggings!!!!! I wish you could try for yourself. The no impact comfort makes such a difference. Additionally there are 4 tucks on each side, which is a nice element and again adds to the comfort.

So I am switching between designing for Yoga and adapting for urban life or designing for everyday life and creating a white Yoga version......

As I did with the grey Valentine's cardigan ....there is now an off white Yoga Version.

Well I am ready for spring.
Actually skip spring, I am ready for summer.