Finished: Beige Winterbeestjes shirt.

handmade outfit handspun vest mittens sewn shirt blouse skirt

Finished the dress shirt. It’s wearable, yay!

Noting the problems:

I used the selvedge at the button band but now it shows at the underside:
handmade outfit handspun vest mittens sewn shirt blouse skirt
handmade outfit handspun vest mittens sewn shirt blouse skirt

The shape at the arm hole needs to be taken a little in at the sideseam. The arm hole needs to be brought closer to the body at the underside. The sleeve then needs to be equally elongated:
handmade outfit handspun vest mittens sewn shirt blouse skirt
The steep corner at the front of the armhole isn’t actually much of a problem. Besides it being difficult to cut and difficult to sew.

Collar is a bit too wide:
handmade outfit handspun vest mittens sewn shirt blouse skirt
Probably the width I added when I thought it was too narrow.

The waistshaping is horrible:
handmade outfit handspun vest mittens sewn shirt blouse skirt
I’m converting it to a princess seam or to a panel with tucks or pleats at the underbust. Being petite with a small frame and having this proportionally big boobs just won’t make a nice fitted dress shirt with just waist shaping.

Little mistake: both sleeve plackets are the same. One closes the wrong way around. But at least they are both at the correct spot on the sleeve: the underside.
handmade outfit handspun vest mittens sewn shirt blouse skirt

Overall I’m happy. This is wearable!

Today I wear it with my fractal handspun vest.

a Fake Fur Crocodile

krokodil kussen crocodile plushkrokodil kussen crocodile plush

Free form sewing the ridges, remembering to pivot in two steps at every corner:
crocodile cushion Sewing fake fur
Only I made the mistake though of sewing with the Wrong Sides together. I had to unpick all this.

Much better, sewn with the patterned sides outside and then turned:
crocodile cushion Sewing fake fur

Those back paws look awkward though. They’ll have to go.
crocodile cushion Sewing fake fur

Two tips when sewing with fake fur:

  1. don’t pivot in one step at sharp corners, pivot in two. It makes turning easier and corners become more crisp.
  2. after turning rub the seam with something (end of scissors, a nail) to free up the hairs.

Here’s the turned seam with one half treated so the fur is free and one how it looks fresh of the machine:
crocodile cushion Sewing fake fur

Handsewing on its paws and its felt teeth. The front paws are little pouches a well, they can hold things.
crocodile cushion Sewing fake fur

She loves it!
crocodile cushion

Bonus: cats really appreciating this fake fur:
crocodile cushion Sewing fake furcrocodile cushion

Skirt-Sew-A-Long Inside Number 23 Finished

A self drafted pattern of a skirt with waist band, zipper at the side, lining, and nice deep pockets. Inspired by the Hollyburn skirt by Sewaholic which is used for the sew-a-long by Inside Number 23 in which I participate with this skirt:
selfdrafted skirt pattern sew-a-long Inside Number 23selfdrafted skirt pattern sew-a-long Inside Number 23

selfdrafted skirt pattern sew-a-long Inside Number 23selfdrafted skirt pattern sew-a-long Inside Number 23

It’s a fitted skirt because I have no hips and no bum. No waist either. I do have a belly. And a sway back (curved lower back). I accounted for all of this in the pattern. Straight skirts are most flattering, with a flare at the hem so I can move my legs. The flare is done with godets in this skirt.

Look how much ease for striding these godets give me. I feel victorious!
selfdrafted skirt pattern sew-a-long Inside Number 23

Using the selvedge as the edge was very handy. Less finishing to do.

Now there’s a nice IKEA print just at the front of my skirt. Also: This skirt is lined.
selfdrafted skirt pattern sew-a-long Inside Number 23

I’m very happy with my skirt. It’s made of sturdy canvas so it can stand my way of living. It is in all the right colours that fit my shirts and this grey vest that I just knitted.
The fabric has a bold print and it will disguise the stains I undoubtely will make on it.

And now I have a good pattern from which I can make multiple skirts. The video tutorials Inside Number 23 posted gave me the courage to make this skirt form beginning to end. French seams in the lining. A kind of lapped exposed zipper. Pinked seam allowances in the canvas.
The only thing I didn’t take from the video’s was a level waist band. That’s for next time.
I did use the zipper to take away the excess width in the waist band. There’s a hook and bar in the waist band.

Onward to other sewing projects!
selfdrafted skirt pattern sew-a-long Inside Number 23

Finished: light linen skirt on the bias

sewed a skirt, wet felted a bag

Cut on the bias, based on my self drafted pattern. With minimum ease as I figured that the biased fabric will have a lot of give.
Don’t know what happened but I cut it way too small. Had to insert a strip but didn’t have enough fabric left for that strip to be on the bias too. So it’s a design feature now.

I sewed it to one end of the front panel and then fitted it on me to determine how much overlap the back panel should have.

This made for an awkward angle of the zipper but I didn’t care that much at that point:

sewed a skirt, wet felted a bag

It has a little pocket which is better supported by fabric on the grain than fabric on the bias.  It only needs to hold my ear plugs and my pills which are all light weight.

The zipper catches the shell fabric and the lining. Shell fabric finished with pinking shears. Base of zipper reinforced with a few hand stitches. I even closed the top of the side seam by hand to make sure everything was fairly neat.

sewed a skirt, wet felted a bag

The waist band is just a straight rectangle folded double, reinforced with non stretch band and a few runs with the machine. The band is regular satin band, but the non stretchy kind. Light weight too.

Its ends are even more reinforced to hold the hook and bar. Or at least the hook. Because the bar had to be put back. I made sure to sew it to the areas where the satin band and the top seams are though, the sturdiest parts of the band. Will keep an eye on it with wearing.

I’ve already noticed that the top of the band wears down quickly. It being just a fold and not two pieces sewn together, in that delicate linen. Another thing learned.

What I also learned is that I’m way more shaped at the waist than that the top of my skirt indicated. I’ve now learned that straight waist bands don’t fit my body if waist bands are any higher than 1 cm/ half an inch.
sewed a skirt, wet felted a bag

All my future waist bands better be (ridiculously!) shaped. (But how to reinforce them then? Don’t like iron on interfacing. My iron hates them and so do I. Will have to learn about this.)

With this final skirt I have now narrowed down my favourite type of skirt to wear: with pockets, with shaped waist band that closes with a hook and bar, with a straight line past the hips (no pleats, no gathers, no semi-circle) yet enough room around the legs to take strides in (flare, vent, inserted godets, fabric on the bias, it’s all good).

The lining is made of chiffon, slightly shorter than the skirt:
sewed a skirt, wet felted a bag

Chiffon matches this light weight linen and together this is a lovely Summer skirt.

Which shouldn’t be pressed or ironed from the outside because the silver among the purple shapes melts.

Another thing I learned and that I can illustrate clearly: chiffon likes new needles. Here I am sewing the French seams in the silk chiffon lining and the old needle ravages the silk. I switched mid seam to a new needle and it went smooth from there on:

Finished: a sturdy canvas skirt

Sewing skirts, learning to.

Using the same pattern as the Lilac Skirt on the Bias, with the straight pockets I’ve come to love and a VERY sturdy waist band. No lining. Double stitched side seams (lapped seams) with a zipper. A sturdy waist band with a sturdy hook and bar for closing.

Again below the knee.

The waist band is extra sturdy: it has curtain band in it. Talk about non-stretchy sturdy stuff! I sewed it on the inner panel and then topstitched through it from the outer panel.
Sewing skirts

The inside of the waist band takes “roll of cloth” into consideration. I prefer the fold not to be on the outer top of the edge, but just on the inside. I think it’s a neater look from the outside. Inside:
Sewing skirts

When sewing the waist band to the skirt I made a mistake. It doesn’t meet its other end at the same height:

Sewing skirts

Will have to redo one side (at least).

After readjusting the waist band all that had to be done was to attach the hook and bar:

Sewing skirts, learning to.Sewing skirts, learning to.

Not sewn in very neatly because I was done with this waist band and this is a usable garment primarily, not for pretty details. Prior to attaching the hook and bar I reinforced the ends of the waist band by machine stitching and pivoting and stitching some more.

The reinforced pocket openings and the sturdy waist band work like a charm. The sturdy side seams have proven useful too. I wear this skirt with confidence, no matter where I sit down or when I crouch down and put quiet a bit of strain on the seams.

Only one thing I’ve learned after wearing this skirt a couple of times: reinforce the point where the pocket opening meets the side seam:
Sewing skirts, learning to.

And something weird happened during pressing: the black thread melted. I had to restitch some parts of the hem and now the molten bits scratch against my calves when I wear it.Sewing skirts, learning to.

Don’t press too hot. Your cotton, linens and silk fabrics might not care but these polyamide threads do.

Finished: lilac linen skirt cut on the bias.

Tour de Fleeve 2016Tour de Fleeve 2016

Here still in progress, with its waist band not yet turned to the inside.

It’s a straight skirt which flares at the bottom. This is a look that suits me very well as I am a chandelier? a candle? I don’t know. I have no waist and I have no hips.

The pattern is self drafted, inspired by a commercial skirt I have (linen, on the bias) and with my previous self drafted patterns as starting points. I have inserted pockets into the front panel. The inside of the pockets is not on the bias.

The pictures show I have a problem with pointy darts on this skirt. None of the usual measures helped (run the foot as slowly from the fold as you can; shorten the stitch; don’t make a knot). This is because the cause probably lies in the fabric being cut on the bias. It stretches different from fabric cut on the grain.

Things that might work are the use of shrinking thread or to stitch a non-stretch fabric or silk paper together with the dart on the WS.
Or don’t use darts in bias patterns. Just loose them into the side seam. Biased fabric stretches anyway. That’s what I’ll do on a next skirt. My commercial skirt on the bias doesn’t have darts either. A clue.

the skirt:

  • 40 cm wide at the waist
  • 50 cm at the hip
  • proceed a bit straight and then flare.
  • front and back panel are the same. Previous skirts have shown me I don’t care for a slightly lower CF.

I’m now using the basic pattern I’ve devised over the last couple of skirts. In this skirt I placed the front/ back panel 1,5 cm away from the fold, but only at the hem. To give myself a bit more ease around the calves when walking. This skirt is below the knees.

the sewing:

Cut and stay stitch everything.

Add the pockets to the front panel, reinforce the opening with non stretching band.

Temporarily baste the pockets, especially at the waist edge, to prevent skewing.

Sew side seams but only once.

Try for fit. If good: finish side seams: fold to the front and add topstitching. This is a lapped seam? Felled seam? At the pocket I reinforced the side seam. Finishing seams with pinking shears.


has 2×5 cm more width than the skirt

Pressed lining. Sewed the side seams with french seams. Where it meets the zipper I gve it a rolled hem. The lower hem was a rolled hem too.

Now the lining can be hung into the skirt. I pinned it to the waist.

Catch zipper and lining together in the seam allowance of the fashion fabric.

I reinforced the opening of the pocket with a non-stretchy band:
Sewing skirtsSewing skirtsSewing skirts

It has a lapped zipper. I like those.
Sewing skirts

A strange problem occurred during wearing: when walking the skirt swivels around and brings the sideseam to the front. Might have to do with the chiffon lining being tacked down onto one sideseam (the one with the zipper) but not the other.

Yes, I still need to attach a hook and bar. But I’m already wearing this skirt in public 🙂 It wears wonderful, apart from the swiveling. It’s nice and light and a good colour and there is indeed enough room around my legs for fierce striding. The pockets hold up well.

The pattern works well for fabric on the bias. The darts are less pointy then on the first pictures but in a next skirt I will take them out (of the sideseams). Would add more sturdiness to the waist band though. Perhaps a second line of (top) stitching, about 1,5 cm from the top. Catching that non stretching band. It’s just that in previous attemps I have not succeeded in making this neat.

Finished: a straight linen skirt

linnen bloemenrok rechht

The pattern is self-drafted and fit the fabric just about. It’s light summer linen. I added a lining of silk shiffon.
linnen bloemenrok rechht

The side seam is sewn, folded down and sewn again.
linnen bloemenrok rechht

Raw edges of the side seam are then pinked. Lining is shorter than the fashion fabric and has a rolled hem. It’s chiffon silk.
linnen bloemenrok rechht

A handpicked zipper. The sides are uneven on purpose as I needed more wearing ease at the hip but less so at the waist and below the hip:
linnen bloemenrok rechht
After wearing a couple of hours the skirt grew wider and I didn’t need this solution. I even had to put in extra waist darts both at the front and back.

A non-stretching satin band reinfores the waist. It catches both the fashion fabric and the lining and both their edges:
linnen bloemenrok rechht

Same spot with the extra darts, needed after a few hours of wear:
linnen bloemenrok rechht

Zipper shows where I needed more wearing ease and where not. After thought front darts bulge a little.
linnen bloemenrok rechht

New front darts, on top of the old ones. They bulge a bit:
linnen bloemenrok rechht

I’ll get someone to take a picture of me wearing it, it looks quite elegant I think.
I now have a staple pattern for a long skirt that fits my body type. It’s quite slim fitting so very usable for fabric cut on the bias.

finished a lined linen skirt, on the bias

paarse linnen rok
Linnen, cut on the bias.
First picture shows accurate colour.

Waist band, pockets in side seam, lapped zipper in side seam:
paarse linnen rok

Lining with a rolled hem and french seams. Attached at waist band and zipper.
paarse linnen rok

Sideseams sewn, folded flat and sewn again. Finished with pinking shears.
paarse linnen rok

Pockets weirdly low as I tried to stay clear of the zipper. Next time trying to combine the two.
paarse linnen rok

There’s tape in the side seam, to prevent stretching. It has a double function in catching the lining. Later on the waist band is put over these three layers: fabric, lining, band.
Sewing skirtspaarse linnen rok

Everything was staystitched too, as soon as the fabric was cut. Fabric cut on the bias will stretch otherwise.

Lapped zipper, my first.
I’ve worn this skirt a couple of days now and some of the bits need refinishing. The end of the waist band popped loose, for one:
paarse linnen rok

Fabric cut on the bias wears very pleasantly. I want to make more.

Finished: Hoezee skirt.

self drafted pattern, based on a trousers block I learned to draw at Modevakschool Internationaal in Schijndel.

hoezee skirt finished self drafted pattern fly zip yoke cabvashoezee skirt finished self drafted pattern fly zip yoke cabvashoezee skirt finished self drafted pattern fly zip yoke cabvashoezee skirt finished self drafted pattern fly zip yoke cabvas

With the yoke at the back I managed to fold away all waist darts (and they were long! Because of skinny ass and sway back). The back panel is one piece, cut on the fold, which works well for such a bold printed fabric. The yoke and front panels look a bit weird, with the CF seam and the print repeat..
Sewing Hoezee skirt

I don’t know how it happened but the skirt is too wide. The trousers weren’t. Even though I cut precise and I fitted it before sewing I must have done something wrong. It’s not very flattering. But it does sit very comfortable and is a good skirt for daily use.
hoezee skirt finished self drafted pattern fly zip yoke cabvas

I prefer my skirt silhouettes more figure hugging:
hoezee skirt finished self drafted pattern fly zip yoke cabvashoezee skirt finished self drafted pattern fly zip yoke cabvas
I can wear this silhouette because I’ve got no hips nor upper legs. It’s not something to be desired particularly, it’s just the way I’m shaped and you have to work with what you’ve got. Skirt will need to have a vent in the back though.

Sewing Hoezee skirtSewing Hoezee skirt>

I indeed missed two pattern pieces: the upper inside of the pocket and another zip part.

Sewing Hoezee skirtSewing Hoezee skirt
I fumbled the zip until it looked like it does on commercial jeans we’ve got in the closet. There was a lot of crotch inspection last week…
Sewing Hoezee skirt
Fly zip, I’m not a big fan. Although I see how all seams are reinforced and how functional that is. Also the zip guard prevents the cold zipper from touching your skin and that’s a pre in any garment.
However, the position of CF and zipper threw me off completely and I still don’t have a clear idea of what goes where and in which sequence.

Oh, well. Next time I’m looking into lapped zippers as I have a feeling that’s more my cup of tea. A lapped zipper with a zip guard if need be.

Sewing Hoezee skirt
I caught the edge of the pocket in the zipper seam allowance, as instructed by my teacher. I had to cut off a large part of the pocket to make that happen. This shows me that when positioning the pocket parts, especially the little piece that’s still in shell fabric, it’s very important to use the paper pattern as a template. You want the top part, which attached to the waist band, to be very accurate positioned:

Sewing Hoezee skirt

Topstitching the left front panel, securing the zip piece. Not going all the way to CF though:
Sewing Hoezee skirtSewing Hoezee skirt
Then topstitch from the right side, this time catching the zipper guard at the back.

The waist band is so much more shaped than any of my bands before! Still it should be more narrow in my waist.
Sewing Hoezee skirtSewing Hoezee skirt
I put in a non stretching piece of band, because parts are on the bias now, with all that curving.

After finishing the waist band it became clear that the yoke from the pattern was way too high (sway back!) I had to unpick its seam with the waist band. Putting it back together was not that easy because now I had to secure it with one seam instead of sewing it into place from the inside, fold over, topstitch.
Sewing Hoezee skirt
I stitched it from the inside, to make sure I caught everything there, but used a purple thread that would stand out on the outside. With everything in place I could sew The One Line from the outside, being assured I would catch all the layers and all the parts.
Afterwards it was time to unpick the purple (and the staystitching that was visible here and there).

All seams were pinked and stitched twice (once when folded down). That’s one thing about jeans and canvas fabric: you want your seams to be sturdy.

In the waist band I put a hook and eye and the shop only had these ugly ones. That’s ok, by this time I was so done with this skirt I just wanted it finished.
I learned that I should draft the waist band longer at the right top. Luckily I had used the selvedge for this part and could work it right up to the very edge.
I’ve since changed the pattern.

Grey little flowers blouse: tripping over arm hole.


  1. To play some more with the armhole: position, fit, ease.
  2. the original Burda sleeve does not have the grain centered, does this have a function?
  3. another collar.

PATTERN ALTERATIONS made on the Grey Winter Deer blouse pattern:

  • bringing the armhole closer to the body in the front and back. Not taking in sideseam nor altering how it meets the sleeve. (my alterations widen the armhole… or not?)
  • shortening the shoulderseam by 2 cm. Doing this at the princess seam point instead of the arm hole. Just to find out.
  • taking off the integrated collar, inserting the collar from Deer & Doe instead.
  • a little more pronounced shaping at the underbust on the side front panels
  • not forgetting the horizontal dart in the front panels this time.

same alterations I made for the Grey Winter Deer when compared to the Stylish Cat Lady Blouse:

  • extend the front panel towards the collar, don’t let it bend away so fast

using the front panel -free cut to extend the Center Front seam- for cutting the facings.

not the sleeve seam though. (sleeve cap yes)


horizontal one in the front panel and the cup darts at the side.


  1. sleeve seam
  2. zipper (new way, just like a lined zipper pouch.)
  3. long seams
  4. shoulder seams

2. Zipper sandwiched between front panel and facing. Having it’s end peak out so it’s hidden from the right side:

Precise cutting makes for precise positioning, front panel, zipper and facing line up beautifully:

Because I did the zipper before I sewed the princess lines I could work it like a zippered pouch. I used a tutorial.

3. Princess seams are quite curvy. Here’s one panel laying on top of its partner:

Pin it down, cut into the seam allowance and staystitching to make it work:

– the princess seams ended way too much to the side, they don’t run over the apex.

The zipper is not yet top stitched, that may draw in the princess seams a bit. Topstitch the zipper and see what’s what. Before the topstitching I pressed and pinned the fabric carefully. On the outside it covers the zipper, on the inside it lays back a bit, for easier operating of the zipper.
But somehow, no matter how well you pin and press, the upper layer will wrinkle because the dog teeth make the under layer go faster. There’s a lot of pulling and smoothing involved to make it look acceptable. Slow sewing.

– I need little darts at the side bust, before I put in the sleeves.


Zipper top stitched. Princess seams are still off the apex, 2 cm too much to the sides at least. I think I might have added some width to the front panels when I cut it? Perhaps because I wanted a button band and snap ons buttons. Then I changed it to a zipper but didn’t take out any fabric. Will do for a next time I use this pattern.

For now I think I’ll leave it like this. It was quite an effort to sew the princes seams, with their curves, I don’t look forward to resewing them. And I fear the armhole is already positioned enough towards the bust, it shouldn’t go any nearer.

Taking in the sideseams at the underarm makes up for the surplus of fabric. Took in a whole (2x)1 cm. Now it’s snug. Might be too snug.

The curve at the underbust -more curvy than the previous blouse- works well. But still horizontal folds.
I wonder if they’d be less if the closing CF was not as stiff as a zipper is.

Sewing in side darts.

pinned one and sewed it in with sleeve running close to the dog teeth and bodice on top. No trouble easing it in.
Fitting showed I had not enough room at the front. I’m going to take out the bust dart.
(sleeve cap seems to be too roomy at the front but this is the 2 cm seam allowance bulking things up. It’s not been graded yet.)
Shoulder seam is positioned a bit to the back:

(the collar is going to need some serious engineering. I know nothing about collars! Yet.)

took out the bust dart. While sewing the arm hole was now too big for the sleeve. As the shoulder seam was a bit too much to the back I took it apart and used it to take away some of the excess fabric of the armhole. (we’re talking maybe one cm here, exactly how much the side bust dart took up.)

looks awful. Sits even worse.

It looks like I moved the shoulder seam to the back instead of the front (??)
The arm hole is way too wide at the front top, the sleeve cap is too narrow over my upper arm. I can’t move one bit, it looks like I sewed a sloper, with no ease.

The whole arm hole sits awful. It should be nearer to my body. Higher in the sideseam, closer to the body in the front. The shoulder seam should even be shorter I think, but then the sleeve will move on top of my shoulder and that’s not good.

But the extra ease from the abandoned bust dart is good though. It’s on the right side in this picture:

Blouse thrown in corner. I’m done sewing for the day.

got no idea. The sleeves have to come off, that’s clear. I have enough fabric to draft new sleeves. But how? What?
Take the bodice -with bust darts- as a point of departure I guess. That one sits good and looks fine. But the arm hole is a bit wide at the front. How attach a sleeve to it without it becoming wings?
Maybe a gusset at the underarm…
The bustdarts do give the armhole a right angle. It’s no longer oblong.
The sleeves need some sort of wearing ease, at the sleeve cap. Even though Fashion-Incubator makes a good case that it’s nonsense.
Drape the sleeve in the hole?

I think I shouldn’t have matched up the seam of the sleeve with the side seam. Fashion-Incubator shows a rotated sleeve in her last picture.

I’m also thinking about sewing it in back side to front, just to see if that changes anything.

NEXT TIME I use this pattern:
– broaden the side front panels: make the arm hole smaller by bringing it closer to the arm pit. It’s about 2 to 4 cm out.
– more soupleness at the closing (CF) to see if the horizontal wrinkles at the underbust disappear. That rules out a zipper.