Monthly Archives: June 2014

Things 198 & 199

I needed a cosmetic bag for some skin care product for a friend’s birthday gift. I pulled out the Liberty Mitsi fabric leftover from my Belcarra blouse. Liberty is beautiful and dreamy, but also expensive. The only way I can make it work in this 365 project of mine is by using every last scrap.


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I had a cream-coloured zipper in my stash and the lining is a beautiful yellow cotton from a men’s shirt (thanks, Jim). I added a two-inch gusset so the bag can stand up — always handy for a cosmetic bag.


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Then, because I still had some scraps left and I wanted to fill the bag a bit, I made a matching tissue pouch.


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I love this set and I’m glad to send it off to a good home.

I still have some scraps left, though they’re mostly pretty small. Maybe it’s time to start a Liberty patchwork quilt.


Cost of these Things: 0
Cost of all Things to date: €263.44

Thing 197

Today’s Thing is last Wednesday’s Work in Progress, the Simplicity blouse in Liberty lawn. Esther wore it today with her blue Hollyburn skirt.


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The blouse was quite easy to put together. It was interesting to see how my sewing knowledge has improved. In the past, if the directions called for a step I didn’t understand or see the point of I would just skip it. So I never understitched (didn’t know what it was) and I never trimmed seam allowances (didn’t see the point). Turns out the finished product looks more, well, finished, when you follow the directions.

My only major hitch was the zipper. I accidentally bought an invisible zipper and didn’t realize it until I was home. I had neither the time nor the inclination to head back to the Haagse Markt so I googled “inserting an invisible zipper” and plowed on ahead. Unfortunately, the very first step is to attach an invisible zipper foot to the sewing machine. I don’t have one.

Let me sum up the next hour of my life: Gaaaaah! I sewed the zipper in three times and it was still not lining up at the collar. On the fourth I got it respectable. Not perfect — you can see a thin line of the zipper — but respectable, and that’s all I was going for by that point.


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But zipper issues aside, the end result was good and Esther loves it.

For the Netherlands-Mexico game this evening she embellished with an orange tutu and other orange paraphernalia. Needs more cowbell. Check.

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Note: The game was the most stressful one yet. Tied in the 85th minute of the game, and won after the 90 minute mark. Our collective screams just about peeled off the wallpaper.

I’m also really glad I don’t have to clean up all the decorations yet. Here’s hoping they stay up until the 13th!


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Cost of this Thing: €27.45 (Liberty doesn’t come cheap)
Cost of all Things to date: €263.44



Thing 196

Today’s Thing was supposed to be made with more of the yellow sheet but I kind of ran out of sewing steam. When we got home from a wedding this afternoon, instead of sewing a yellow bib as planned I pulled out Wednesday evening’s beading project.


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My Swarovski bead box is getting sadly empty. I have a couple of full packs of crystals left but mostly it’s just baggies with the leftovers — two of one colour, three of another. I decided to see if I could do something with the dregs (not that Swarovski qualifies as “dregs”).

I started with the biggest crystal (8mm) in the middle and added the others on either side, spacing them with pewter bead caps and glass seed beads. A tiny sterling silver lobster clasp and chain give an elegant and adjustable finish. Tiny wrist? No problem. Too many doughnuts? Bracelet still fits.

I attached the last crystal bicone to the end of the chain to use it up and because it’s pretty. Two good reasons.


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I’ll put this one in the sale pile. At our last sale we had several people looking for finer, delicate bracelets. Let’s hope those people are at our next sale.


Cost of this Thing: 0
Cost of all Things to date: €235.99


Thing 195

Another day in Yellow Sheet Week, another pair of underwear for Martina.

It’s a new pattern for me, a freebie called Hipster from


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Instead of using the directions at Makebra, I followed the tutorial at Very Purple Person. I just had to change one thing on the Makebra pattern to make it work. The gusset (crotch — I dislike that word. Ew.) needed to be a separate piece from the front, so I just snipped it off. I like how the edges of the lining are completely concealed with this method.

Martina says it’s the most comfortable pair yet so I think I’ll make some more of these.


Cost of this Thing: 0
Cost of all Things to date: €235.99



Thing 194

It’s Day Three of Yellow Sheet Week and today I present you with another pair of Cheeky Panties underwear for Martina.

I don’t have much to say about them. This is my fourth or fifth pair and they are easy peasy (when I don’t make dumb mistakes).


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I’m getting a bit bored with making these so to shake things up a bit I tried another undies pattern. I’ll post about them tomorrow.


Cost of this Thing: 0
Cost of all Things to date: €235.99


Work-in-Progress Wednesday: Simplicity Blouse

On my January trip to London I picked up an animal print cotton lawn at Liberty. I intended to use it for the lining for Esther’s Minoru but decided it was too cute to hide inside a jacket. Esther LOVES this fabric so it deserves to be seen.

I’m trying to squeeze a couple of items out of it: a Hollyburn skirt, a Simplicity blouse and as many gift pouches as possible out of the remains.

The Simplicity blouse is my current work in progress. I’ve made at least three blouses/dresses from this pattern over the last two years.


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I spent at least half an hour shifting the Hollyburn and blouse pattern pieces about the fabric, trying to fit them all. A couple of pieces will be patched, but only on the lining of the collar and the pockets of the skirt.


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So far I’ve assembled most of the blouse. I just need to finish the collar and the hem. I hope to finish it tomorrow.


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I have a ridiculously ambitious list of Things to make in the next three weeks: four blouses, two sets of pyjamas, two t-shirts and a skirt. And that’s just the sewing…


Thing 193

Day 2 in Yellow Sheet Week is another bra for Martina. (Mom… stop..please…)

It’s the Anna Cross Over Bra from Ohhh Lulu, the same pattern I used for the first three I made (here, here and here).


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I ran into a lot of problems this time, all of my own making.

First I sewed together the front pieces wrong. I pulled it apart and started over.

Next I attached the back piece backwards. I cut it off (it was serged and I wasn’t going to unpick it) and reattached it, right side out.

I started to sew on the elastic around the bottom when I saw that the back piece was now upside down. I removed the elastic and cut the back off again.

As I was pinning the back piece in place I realized I had actually done it correctly the second time — it wasn’t upside down. By this time the back band was at least 2 cm shorter than when I started. (Fortunately the fabric is soft and stretchy.)

Finally, the bra was done. Until I saw that one of the straps was twisted. Sigh. The stitch ripper was put to some good use on this Thing.


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I didn’t have any white fold over elastic so I used lingerie elastic for the whole thing. It doesn’t give as polished a look to the bra, plus I’m not sure how well it will hold up, especially the straps.

But it was free so I don’t mind taking a chance on it. Living on the edge…


Cost of this Thing: 0
Cost of all Things to date: €235.99


Thing 192

It’s Yellow Sheet Week.

It should be Orange Flag Week in light of Holland’s THIRD WIN! Yeah, baby! But I’m out of orange fabric, so Yellow Sheet Week it is.

I had an old yellow cotton jersey sheet that presented possibilities. Some may see an old ratty sheet. I see wardrobe staples for my children.

The first Thing I made from the sheet is a Renfrew shirt for Martina.


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I used the same sizing as for her black polka dot shirt. The only change I made was to the neckband. It didn’t lie completely flat on the black shirt so I pinched a bit out of the pattern piece before cutting out the yellow fabric. That did the trick.


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I used the least worn areas of the sheet, near the edges, away from the middle. The fabric is a bit thin but it isn’t pilled or discoloured. (And, yes, I should have ironed it for the photo.)


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Have I mentioned how much I love the Renfrew? It’s not too many pattern pieces (five), I can sew it entirely on the serger and it’s usually done in under two hours.


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And best of all, it turns out great every single time.


Cost of this Thing: 0
Cost of all Things to date: €235.99


Thing 191

Today we had a wonderful day catching up with old friends. The sun was shining (mostly) so we spent the day in the back garden. I did not sew, I did not crochet. I just enjoyed my company. So tonight, as I sit down to write this blog post, I am thankful for the summer buffer I’ve been working on over the past few days.


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Thing 191 is another Incy Wincy Elephant from Lucy’s blog, crocheted with a 2.5mm hook and the light blue acrylic from Elsa’s dress.


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I made him at the swimming pool yesterday morning while Esther was having her lesson. In 45 minutes I finished all but the last two rows of his back end.


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This little fellow will be added to my summer gift stash.


Cost of this Thing: 0
Cost of all Things to date: €235.99


* Here in the Netherlands we’re enjoying the long summer days. I took these photos outside at 9:30 this evening. It’s now after 10:00 and still light out. Other than the allergies I love this time of year.


Thing 190

I’ve started working on some summer buffer to keep the holidays relaxed. I made a few future Things today but the last one — a zipper pouch — is today’s Thing.

The outer fabric is Liberty leftovers and I lined the bag with some black polyester lining from my stash.


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I tried to get all fancy and add lace. It probably would’ve looked better if I’d attached the lace nearer the bottom. Or left it off altogether.


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To be honest, the bag didn’t turn out as well as I’d planned. The zipper didn’t go in great and I had to hand stitch both ends. It looks a bit wonky and homemade.


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Still, it’s a good size for a wallet or passport case, or just an all-purpose pouch, which always comes in handy. And it was free.


Cost of this Thing: 0
Cost of all Things to date: €235.99