donderdag 29 maart 2012

The magic of books.

I love to read to Pelle. Until a few weeks ago, we often read simple stories about toddlers, who go into town, or to the barber, or to the supermarket. But recently, we’re moving on to more complex stories about children who are a little older. Jip and Janneke is currently his favorite and although the tales are more than 50 years old, they still appeal to me and Pelle. Jip and Janneke are neighbors and play together all the time. The splash into puddles, pretend to be fireman, tear all the pages from the calendar, hide beads all over the house and do lots of other funny things. The pictures make it even more attractive. So we very often cuddle up on the coach and delve into the books.
And when Pelle goes to bed, Mark takes over. He’s reading another book from the same author which he like very much when he was Pelle’s age, about a gnome called Wiplala. Our worlds expands as we join the characters and live their adventures.

dinsdag 27 maart 2012

I just can't get enough.

I just can't stop sewing T-shirts for Pelle. Here's another one. Thanks to Bo Bendixen (link below)it turned out fab.

T-shirt,front by oddwise
T-shirt,front, a photo by oddwise on Flickr.

Via Flickr:
I made my boy a T-shirt, using new fabric (blue stripes) and old T-shirts. The fish is from an old Bo Bendixen T from myself, bought in Denmark many years ago. The bindings are from thrifted shirts.

T-shirt, back by oddwise
T-shirt, back, a photo by oddwise on Flickr.

Little fish. by oddwise
Little fish., a photo by oddwise on Flickr.

I made a small aplique on the back, using quilt cotton from my mother (the pink and green), felt for the eyes and a fabric marker.

woensdag 21 maart 2012

How I sewed a hood to a woven shirt.

Dear people,

I sewed a shirt with a hood and I thought it would be nice to explain how I did this.
So here I go. And please correct my English if I'm not mentioning the right terms.

Here's a close-up of the inside of the neck. As you can see, there are three fabrics: the woven shirt (frogs), the hood (brown knit) and the neck binding (brown piece of woven cotton), covering the seam.

I bought the frog fabric 3 years ago and then I was so surprised to see it in the Ottobre mag in the summer of 2009. Since it is really spring here I wanted to make Pelle the short sleeved shirt from the picture. The pattern is # 31, Little Fella Shirt. It's a pattern with a buttonlist and facing included in the front and a neckbinding to cover the neckseam. I decided to go for size 116 and to add a hood, because I had only 50 centimeters of fabric and it was a good excuse to avoid sewing a collar. There’s a pattern of a shirt with a hood in one of the other issues (summer 3/ 2011) but not in size 116. So I had to improvise.

What did I do?
I drafted a hood in size 116 from the Hilda dress pattern (Ottobre 06/07, # 27), but you can use any other pattern as well.
I then had to adjust the size of the hood to the neckline of the shirt.

Measuring of the pattern piece of the hood. As I took the photo with one hand, I could not get the measure tape quite right, but I followed the curve precisely.

Here you can the measuring from a different angle.

I then laid out the pattern piece of the back and front of the shirt together and measured again. (nothing wrong with my hand, just bended that finger).

I shortened the hood and deepened the neckline by 0,5 cm to make things fit. I guess you can also make a pleat in the hood. (Might even be better, in hindsight).

Because I deepened the neckline, I made the neck binding a little longer.

I cut out the hood, sewed it (right sides together), finished the seams with a fancy stitch from my Phaff and did not take photos of that process. But I hope you can imagine how it worked out.
After finishing the hood, the next step began: sewing it to the shirt.

I closed the shoulders of the shirt, placed the sleeves and than closed the sideseams and armseams. (no pictures).
Then it was time to sew on the hood.

Here’s a pic of the button facing, folded back. The white stuff is the stabilizer. You can also see the seam allowance. I basted it, but you can also pin it or just leave it as it is. Anyhow, you should leave opening space at the neck.

I then pinned the hood to the neck. Right sides together.

Now here's a crucial part. I sandwiched the fabric of the hood between the button facing.

I basted the fabric of the hood and went onto the next step.

I pinned the neck binding onto the fabric of the hood. The right side of the neck binding goes unto the inside of the hood.

I placed the neck binding unto the button facing, ending in the middle of the facing.

I pinned and sewed the neck binding and the hood in one go unto the neck of the shirt. (and removed the thread of the basting, afterwards).

Cut of the excess of the neck seam...

... and make small cuts, where the seam curves.

Than folded the unfinished part of the neck binding under the seam, pinned and sewed. I tried to stitch into the ditch.

Now you can flip the buttonfacing to the right side. Before I did that, I cut of the excess fabric in the corner.

I folded the button facing back and there you have it: a neat finish.

I then pinned and secured the button list to the front.

And then, finished of the shirt.

Afterwards, I posted this instructions on the net. It took me more time than sewing the whole shirt.

zondag 11 maart 2012

Monkeys and Crocodiles.

I finally finished the crocodile T. It had to wait until I found the right fabric for the binding.

I also changed the monkey T. I replaced the binding and added a banana. I still think there’s something missing, but don’t know what. But anyway, it will be nice to see Pelle wearing it.

zondag 4 maart 2012

Monkey T.

Monkey T. by oddwise
Monkey T., a photo by oddwise on Flickr.

Made out of the fabric I ordered in Germany. Spring is in the air, here and I fancied making something with short sleeves.

donderdag 1 maart 2012


Slowly but steadily, there are classmates of Pelle coming over to our house. They want to play with Pelle. How wonderful is that?
I can still remember the first time D. came over, so many years ago. The boys knew each other from Kindergarten and were 3 years old. D.’s mother asked if it was alright if he came to visit us, because she had to go to the hospital. Pelle fled to the attic, that first time. Every now and then D. came to our house, and very gradually the interaction started to grow. Today, D. came again and we went to the woods. We played hide-and-seek and the interaction between the boys was so natural. The funny thing is that I also noticed that they want to compete with each other. Who can ride the fasted, who can outrun the other? On our way home D. was faster, and Pelle really had a meltdown. He was angry, disappointed and cried. All quite natural feelings, I think, and I welcomed them. Pelle’s always allowed to express his feelings and I take them seriously and try to make them clearer for him while giving him comfort. When we had lunch, 10 minutes later, the air was clear again and Pelle could talk about what had happened with some amazement.
D. is not the only classmate who came over recently. There were three girls who played with him and it was wonderful to see how our play in his playroom echoes in the contacts he has with the children. I truly feel how we are building his capacity to play and interact and now he’s ready to use his skills and feel secure in the company of others. It is also very apparent how those girls really like him and how he’s in love with a bright, imaginative, longhaired one who he wants to hug, sit close to and stroke her knees. I see it, and in turn, my heart melts for him.

Making ends meet.

I am a careful sewer. Most of all, I want the things I make look good. If that means it takes some extra time, I don’t mind. I iron pockets, before sewing them on, I baste before doing something tricky (like a fly). With stripy fabrics, I try to make the seams meet. I also cut carefully, at the beginning of a whole new project. Like yesterday, when I took some time to place the patterns of a T-shirt on the crocodile fabric I showed before. I wanted the crocks on front and back to line up. When I started pinning the T together I saw something totally unexpected. Both side seams match exactly!! How crazy is that??


Other seam.

I often have hidden pleasures as I see Pelle in the clothes I make for him. A detail that turned out really nice, an appliqué that still makes me smile, something technical that looks good. The crock-T will be extra special to me just because of those seams.

(I hope to finish the T this weekend. Will post a picture when it's ready.)