zondag 29 januari 2012

Something old, something new, something thrifted, something blue

I made this sweater merging a hoodie pattern and the sweater pattern from Ottobre 4/2007, # 26.
I bought the soft green fabric two weeks ago and mixed it with blues from my stash. The red-pinkish fabric for the hood and binding is from a T-shirt I bought second-hand.
On the front, I added Kikker (Frog), a character from a Dutch children’s book. I printed an image of him from the internet on transfer paper and ironed it on an old off-white T-shirt. I’m very curious how it will hold in the laundry. Usually, I use a stabilizer with glue for my appliqués, but this time I only used it on the white part, not on the border. If the frog will faint, I can easily remove it without leaving traces.

The construction was a bit of a puzzle, because I barely had enough blue fabric.
But I really liked the challenge.

I loved to play around with the fabrics and I love the result. I hope Pelle can wear this often. If he grows out of it, I might enlarge it by removing the binding and adding some sweater fabric in that zesty pinkish-red color (because I have just about the same color in a sweater fabric in my stash, which is purely coincidence, because it was a gift). But that’s for the future. For now, I’m definitely going to use this pattern again, because it gives me so much possibilities to mix and match. And for me, that’s one of the great delights of sewing.

donderdag 26 januari 2012

Clothes to be.

Every now and then I indulge in buying some expensive fabric. Because it gives me so much pleasure to sew with and because I can compensate by also buying second-hand clothes, inexpensive fabric and by recycling.
So there I was, ordering on the internet in this huge German store. When I looked carefully at the receipt a day later I saw I made a mistake. In stead of brown owls I accidentally ordered pink ones. The fabric was already on it’s way.

When it arrived, I told Pelle I had other intentions, color wise. But he said it was no problem at all. “I like pink, mum”. And that’s true. Here’s a boy who has no awareness of social conventions and easily wears a button with Cinderella and Snow-white on them just because he likes it. I don’t think he even knows the meaning of words like ‘childish’, 'girly' and 'boring' which establish your position when you’re 6 years old. I think that’s the pearl of being mildly autistic. He does things his own way and his authenticity shines through it. I have always seen that. His soul is very visible. So to celebrate that, I am going to sew him a nice shirt. Pink owls. But he has to wait though, because first, I want to wrap him with up in warmth. A sweater and a pant to suit the weather. In the meantime, I can hardly wait to delve into those 2 knits, too.

donderdag 19 januari 2012


I don’t watch television that much. I’d rather sew, or do something else at night. But on Tuesday, there was a film I’d liked to see and it didn’t disappoint me. The title was simply Adam and it was a gentle story about a young man with Asperger’s syndrome who falls in love with his new neighbor. They get a relationship, but in the end he moves to California and she doesn’t.
I’m no expert in Asperger’s (I think Pelle has a different kind of autism) but I had the impression it was a rather realistic portrait. More sentimental and romantic than in the real world, but that’s where movies are for. It wasn’t over the top.

I don’t know what the future will hold for Pelle. Will he ever get a relationship? Have friends? I honestly don’t know. Am I worried? No. Not at all. Because the future is so very far away and because there are so many people here right now who love him and care for him. He is a sweet and charming boy and people like him. And I guess that will always be the case. There will always be people who care, like they do for the character in the movie. And that is a comforting thought.

zondag 15 januari 2012

It's not crab at all.

Last night I finished the sweater. I am so pleased with the result.

Pattern is from Roos, no. 3000A, which was a gift from her, but you can easily adjust an Ottobre or other pattern.
I liked this one because of the square pocket.

I used a honeycomb stitch for the seams.

I had a lot of trials on the appliqué. Made a tower, made a second one by stitching strait on the fabric (with stitch-and-tear in between), looked on the internet for iron-ons. Thought about making a lighthouse and a rescue band (too obvious). Decided to not add anything at all. And than suddenly, a light bulb went on in my mind and shone on the creatures of the sea. I used them before. Pelle has this lovely book about a tiny little white fish who is searching for his mum. He meets all those animals and the each have a different color. “Is this the mother of little fish?”, “No, this is a crab, and he is red”. So there was my inspiration.

The red crabfish.

I tweaked it a little (both scales up, otherwise the appliqué would be to big), stitched it with a dark thread to make it look a bit sketchy, added a little yellow for the contrast and there it was. The tool to give the sweater it’s personality.

The sweater is very comfy, and I hope he will wear it very much.

(I might change the end of the sleeves, though. Give them a real cuff. I'll see).

donderdag 12 januari 2012

Nothing finished, yet.

I didn’t have much time to sew, this past week. So I can only show you the sweater as a work in progress. The sweater fabric is soft and will be so comfortable to wear, but is also a bit too dark to my liking. It was intended to be for a sweater for Mark, and he loves dark colours. We bought it more than a year ago in our local fabric store, which unfortunately closed after more than 30 years in December. The sweater never became reality, because I have to confess that I don’t like to sew that much for my lovely man. Since he likes things to be plain, I miss the playing around with matching fabrics, colours, pockets.

As I do want to use the things I have and because of the good quality of the fabric, it’s now for Pelle – once again. I do feel I need to spruce it up with stripes, an appliqué and contrasting stitches to countermatch the darkness. So I’m on the go.

For the back, I tried something new. A kind of piping, but without the thread inside. I just folded a piece of T-shirt knit and sewed it between the seam and stichtched it again. I think in will look nice once the hood is falling over it. I want to use this method again.

I did something similar some time ago, with an unfinished sweatpants, but with a different technique. I just sewed one end of the fabric in-between the seams, folded the other end beneath the stripe and stitched it.
If you look carefully, you can see the difference.

The result is a bit wobbly.
As I am always on the lookout for a polished look, I will use the folding method again.

I should finish the sweatpants. Why didn’t I already? The applique turned out so nice.

donderdag 5 januari 2012

A little trick.

Pelle wore his red pants today and oh my, do they look good on him. I will post some picks when the matching sweater is ready by the end of next week. But as I had anticipated, the waistband was a bit too wide. I did not want to sew belt loops, because he has a strange habit of lowering all his pants below his bellybutton and insisting on wearing a belt whenever it is possible. The combination of those two preferences makes him complain about a light pain on his hips. No wonder, but I can’t talk these habits out of his head. They only alternative is no loops at all and hence no belt. He doesn’t have a problem with that.
So to adjust the waistband, I though of something else. Before folding it over, I sewed two large buttonholes on the inner side. And this evening I put an elastic band through it. Then I fixated the band, cut the spare ends off and voilà, a little invisible stretch in the back. No need to use buttonhole elastic. If he gets a little thicker (if ever), I can undo it easily.

A very smart solution, if I say so myself.



Fixating the band.

Cutting of the spares.

Nothing to see anymore, except the holes.

The result. A flat front.

A wrinkled back.

Doesn't it look professional?

dinsdag 3 januari 2012

I proudly present ….

….. my first pant with home-made fly.

The camera can't picture the true colour. It's a plain red.

This is a winter pant made of double coated cotton. I thought it would be nice to make Pelle another warm pant, as it’s supposed to be winter here. Right now, it’s more like a Novemberstorm coming over, but I want to be prepared.
I used the same pattern as for the brown pants, because of the great fit. (Ottobre 5/2006, # 19, size 122), with a few minor modifications. As the cotton is not stretchy I had to sew a zipper into it. The last time I made a fly was a few years ago, during sewing lessons. (I always have to thing about Marty McFly, when I read the word. He was the character in the Back to the Future movies). Since I don’t attend lessons anymore, I was out on my own. I carefully followed the instructions in the magazine and it worked out so fine, I could hardly believe it. No puckering needed.

For the waistband I followed instructions from an old book I have

and now the pant is done. I so hope Pelle will like wearing it.
The next project is a matching sweater. I'll keep you posted.