Monthly Archives: May 2014

Work-in-Progress Wednesday: Belcarra Blouse

I bought another pattern.

My latest acquisition? The Belcarra from Sewaholic. I wasn’t originally planning on making this one but then Day 2 of the Sewaholic Belcarra sew along was devoted to the FBA — full bust adjustment. I’ve been wanting to learn how to do one properly and here the opportunity was being dropped in my lap. It’d be rude to turn it down. And since Tasia is offering this one as a downloadable PDF, plus it’s on sale and the euro is doing well, it was practically free. Totally justifiable.

First I printed and assembled the pattern (25 pages — that’s a lot of cutting and taping).



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Next I prepared the front piece according to the FBA tutorial. It’s always seemed an intimidating process, but by following the steps one at a time it wasn’t actually difficult.


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So now I’m ready to go. I’m going to make a muslin out of an old sheet, so probably not too wearable, but if I can get the fit right I might use my Liberty Mitsi fabric for another. Maybe with fuchsia lace sleeves? I’ll have to ponder. For now my goal is to learn to customize the fit of a blouse. Bedsheets will do.

I’m not sure how long the sew along will take — they don’t usually race along too quickly. Maybe this will provide a few weeks’ worth of Work-in-Progress Wednesdays.


Thing 133

Today’s Thing is another Hollyburn skirt, this time for Esther. I bought this material at the Haagse Markt when the girls chose fabric (black and pink) for their Renfrews. My plan was to make myself another Coco but I changed my mind — I want something brighter and more summery for a short-sleeved version.

This fabric is, however, perfect for a Hollyburn. The colour goes with most of Esther’s t-shirts, plus it’s lightweight enough for summer and has a bit of stretch for comfort.


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I made a few changes for Esther’s version. First, I raised the hemline by five inches. I also skipped the zipper and pulled wide elastic through the waistband. Esther prefers elastic waist everything.

And the blind hem was so much easier than the last time! No weeping and gnashing of teeth necessary.


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This girl is ready for summer!


Cost of this Thing: €2
Cost of all Things to date: €199.62 (still under 200…)

Things 131 & 132

What a gorgeous day! While Martina was having her violin lesson this afternoon, Esther and I went to the beach. I ordered a glass of rosé and Esther played in the North Sea. Esther thinks she had more fun. I beg to differ.

I wasn’t home for more than a few minutes today so I was glad to be able to pull out last Wednesday’s beading project for today’s Things.


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I made this children’s necklace and bracelet with scraps of beading wire discarded by my beading buddies. This is the beading equivalent of dumpster diving. The glass beads and magnetic clasps are from my dwindling stash.


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See how well these go with Thing 128?


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I need to get invited to more parties because I have a really great gift stash.


Cost of these Things: 0
Cost of all Things to date: €197.62


Thing 130

Today’s jewelry post has been postponed due to comment gold.

A t-shirt for a maiden fair
A hairband for the golden hair
Her socks in slocks
With pouch and flags

Bring on the scrunchie
When Esther comes
I’ll buy her lunchie!

– Mom/Oma




I wasn’t going to post any more Things with this fabric but then my mom (Hi Mom!) commented on yesterday’s post with this poem.

I whipped up a scrunchie lickety split with two tiny scraps and a piece of half inch elastic. As Things go, it is rather lame and the only reason it’s getting Thing status is because of the poem.

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Esther was persuaded (coerced?) to put on all the pink-flowered Things one last time. I got my photo and the endless metre of pink flowers is all used up.


Cost of this Thing: 0
Cost of all Things to date: €197.62


Thing 129



Remember This is the House that Jack Built?



These are the party flags that wave in the air

To announce the gift pouch with the treasure so rare

Carried in by one shod in slocks

That match the hairband

That match the t-shirt

of Esther who picked this fabric.


(This why I don’t write poetry.)


I did it — five projects from one metre of fabric!

The last project in this challenge is a vlaggetjeslijn — flag bunting. I cut eight triangles of the flowered fabric and eight of the solid pink (leftover from Martina’s Hollyburn skirt.) Each flag is one side flowered, one side pink. I sewed them up on the serger and used my regular machine to attach them to the ribbon, alternating sides, with five inches between each flag. The ribbon is from my stash and there’s plenty left.




I have a few wee scraps of the flowered fabric left so I promised Esther a scrunchie.

A what? she said.

Oh, child, let me tell you about the 80s. Next I’ll make you matching slouch socks…


Cost of this Thing: 0
Cost of all Things to date: €197.62 (Still under 200! Hoping to keep it up for at least another week or two.)





Thing 128

One of Esther’s birthday gifts last month was a charm bracelet that came in a handmade pouch. Esther was all over the bracelet (the charms were the Big Five) and I was all over the pouch. It was round instead of the usual rectangle.

For the fourth pink-flowered Thing I decided to make one for myself.


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I used a breakfast plate as a pattern, and a small saucer for the inside base. It’s lined with a scrap from an old sheet and ribbon from the stash.


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It’s perfect for the jewelry set I made on Wednesday (to be blogged about on Sunday, once I’ve run out of pink flowered fabric.)


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Here is my willing model (and chief recipient) with her profusion of flowers:




That’s a lot of pink flowers…


Cost of this Thing: 0
Cost of all Things to date: €197.62


Thing 127

For the third Thing using the pink flowered fabric, Esther requested slocks.

You know, slocks. They’re like slippers and socks, at the same time.

We googled free patterns and settled on this one. It was close enough to what Esther described and I could improvise any changes she wanted.

I traced Esther’s foot for an approximate size and, using the tutorial pictures as a guide, drew a pattern piece for the sides/top. I think the tutorial calls for different top pieces for the left and right side of each foot but I made them the same. The fabric had plenty of stretch to made it work. I also added a lining.

The exterior is with the pink flowers and the bottoms and lining are from an old pair of grey leggings. I bound the tops of the slocks with the last of picot-edge fold over elastic, which helped tighten up an overly large opening.


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I sewed these entirely on the serger. (As you can see I couldn’t be bothered to rethread the machine with darker thread.)

If I’d planned it correctly I could have concealed the inside seams altogether, but I’m not losing any sleep over this. These slocks are soft and comfortable and good enough.


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They’re slightly roomier than Esther had envisioned — more slipper than sock — but with the way children grow around here I’m not worried.


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As Coco Chanel once said, “Fashion fades, only slocks remain the same.”* 



Cost of this Thing: 0
Cost of all Things to date: €197.62


* Quotes may or may not be an accurate representation of what was actually said.

Work-in-Progress Wednesday: Yarn Preparation

Remember when I mentioned all the yarn samples from my yarn lady? Thing 84? Anyone?


Today was a Dutch weather day: bright sunshine, suddenly dark, thunder and lightning, torrential rain, and then sunny again. I sat upstairs by the window in my sewing room and watched the weather as I tackled a tedious chore: unravelling more of the yarn samples.



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This is Step One for several upcoming projects.


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The creamy one will become a sheep or a goat next week (anyone know a good free crocheted goat pattern??). The red and black is for a hat, as are the orangey-green variegated ones. The tangerine yarn is quite fine and would be good for a little amigurumi project. I might also use a bit of it to trim the orangey-green hat.

It’s good I have some more free Things in the pipeline.



Thing 126

For Day 2 of the pink flowered fabric Esther requested a wide hairband to match her shirt. I’ve made a bunch of these before so I pulled out one of her favourites and used the same measurements.

I cut a rectangle and hemmed along the long edges. Next I sewed a long, narrow tube through which I pulled a length of elastic. I attached the two pieces with with my serger and called it a day. 15 minutes, maybe?


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It was a non-gym day so Esther could forgo her usual braid.


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Matchy-matchy, pretty-pretty!



Cost of this Thing: 0 (just need to do that about 75 more times)
Cost of all Things to date: €197.62




Thing 125

I’ve set a challenge for myself this week: 5 Things out of one metre of fabric. This is my feeble attempt to reduce the deficit.

I mentioned last week that I let the girls each pick out a metre of fabric for a shirt. Martina’s was the black jersey with white polka dots (Thing 123) and Esther picked out a pink flowered knit.

To make Esther’s shirt I used the Renfrew pattern again but lopped two inches off the length and raised the neckline by about an inch.


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I put the Agatha Christie down and focused on sewing quickly. 55 minutes, baby! Yep, I sewed a shirt in under an hour. Feeling pretty pleased with myself.


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And as you can see, Esther is pretty pleased, too.


I had a good quarter metre of the fabric left and hence the idea to make multiple Things with it this week. I CANNOT pass the €200 mark already. I’m going to try stretch that €2.38 for a bit.


Cost of this Thing: €3
Cost of all Things to date: €197.62