May 22, 2015

Amsterdam Sewing Meet up

This Wednesday I attended my first ever Sewing Meet up in Amsterdam. So much fun! 
Thanks Rachel, Janou and our special guest Tasia from Sewaholic for a great day and tons of sewing inspiration! 

We had a delicious lunch at De Bakkerswinkel where we chatted and exchanged little gifts while enjoying our food. After a short pit stop at A Boeken we made the 45 minute trip to Kantjeboord. Fabric heaven in the middle of a residential area. I'm so happy to have finally discovered this store!

Kantjeboord is world famous for their lingerie supplies, but I can assure you that the regular fabric selection is equally impressive. 

rainbow of elastics and lace

the cutest little bows

beautiful lace

The color range in satin, crepe, voile and ponte is unlike any other fabric store in Amsterdam and the prices are very reasonable. I limited myself to one purchase, but I will be back very soon! 

Sad that you've missed this meet up? You will have another chance this weekend! 
Tasia and Belgian sewing bloggers will meet Saturday in Antwerp. 

Contact Lieke of Bouquet of buttons for more information. 
Everyone is welcome to join! 

Date: Saturday May 23th
Location: Antwerp

Jan 28, 2015

Sewing TV Alert!

Busy times for Dutch sewcialists! Two sewing shows will air tonight!

While the sewing community is already warming up for "The Great British Sewing Bee - Season 3" with tonight's recap of the highlights of last season, I'm particularly looking forward to the launch of a new Dutch sewing show called "Door het oog van de naald".

The Great British Sewing Bee - A look back at the class of 2014's best moments - and some they'd rather forget. 
BBC Two Wednesday 28th of January 20:00 (GMT)

Door het oog van de Naald - Aflevering 1
(Dutch) RTL 4 Wednesday 28th of January 20:30 (GMT+1)

I think it's great that a commercial TV channel is hosting a sewing show during prime time. Any renewed spark of interest in sewing in the Netherlands is very welcome!
Even in Amsterdam fabric & notions stores are scarce and can be awfully quiet, and the market stalls mainly cater to an older and less fashion forward audience. It would be nice to run into younger fabric shoppers in the future!

Jan 7, 2015

New year, new sewing machine!

Happy New Year everyone!

It's been awfully quiet around here, but that's going to change in 2015!

After posting about my autumn sewing plans I enthusiastically went ahead. And then -BOOM!- 10 stitches into my next sewing project my machine broke down. I was working on an evening gown (top picture) that I planned to wear the next day. Sewing machine or no sewing machine - I was determined to wear it, so I finished the whole damn thing by hand. A post will follow soon!

The next day I brought my machine in for service, hoping it would be an easy fix. Not quite the case. My good old Pfaff was one of the first electronic models. Just trying to repair it would be labor some and costly €€€ and a long term fix was not guaranteed.

As it was my late grandmother's sewing machine I felt quite sentimental about it. I considered the repair, but also wanted to explore my options. Just out of curiosity I searched marktplaats (the Dutch version of Craigslist/Ebay) for second hand machines.
And there it was: a mechanical Bernina well within my budget!

It was a lucky discovery: the machine was advertised as "sewing table for sale" and I think for that reason many people overlooked this listing. It's the exact same model that my mom has, so I spotted it directly in the tiny picture. Somehow it felt right to replace my grandmother's sewing machine by a model that I learned to sew on.

I was so nervous when I made the call to see if it was still available! But it was, and now I'm the happy owner!

On the phone the seller noticed my excitement and that sealed the deal. The sewing machine belonged to her mother and it was difficult for her to part with it. It was her mom's pride and joy, but she herself couldn't even attach a button if her life would depend on it. It made her very happy that the sewing machine would be loved and used in a new home. As an added bonus she gave me all her mother's sewing tools and notions that were in the drawer cabinet.

My boyfriend and I rented a van to pick it up and made a day out of it. I rewarded him with mussels by the beach for lunch, after he carried everything down a flight of very scary stairs. We followed with a visit to both of my grandfathers and grandmother. Happy days!

It also turned my dream of having a designated sewing space into reality. My boyfriend and I live in a small 1-bedroom apartment. Until now I was sewing at the dining table in our living room. It worked, but I always felt that my sewing was taking over my boyfriends living space, and therefor I was holding back. Once it's folded up, the sewing table is compact enough to fit next to the bed in our bedroom. It has an elevator to lower the machine into the table for when it's not in use, how cool is that! Now I can close the bedroom door and sew in peace. Win-win all around!

This Friday the talented Mrs. Foxgloves (aka my mom) will come over to teach me the ropes of my new machine. That's going to be one fun day! I can't wait to start sewing again!

I wish everyone a great new year and look forward to seeing your new creations!

Happy sewing!

Sep 28, 2014

Autumn Sewing Plans - Resources for wardrobe planning

Do you feel inspired to start planning your own fall wardrobe, but need some help to get started?

Below a selection of  resources that I've found particularly helpful to start thinking about my wardrobe in a different way.


1. The Colette Wardrobe Architect

I've mentioned it a few times before: the Colette Wardrobe Architect has been the single biggest influence in changing my perspective on my wardrobe and redefining my core style.
With weekly assignments, well written pieces and helpful worksheets this series helps you to get active and really make a difference. Don't forget to read the comments section of the weekly assignments. It contains some interesting insights of other participants.


2. Into Mind

A more recent discovery of mine. This website focuses on the benefits of a curated wardrobe, minimalism and simple living. Very practical and down to earth. I admire the strong focus on quality over quantity. Like the Colette Wardrobe Architect this blog contains articles and practical guides to get you started on curating your wardrobe.


3. Project 333

Project 333 describes itself as "a minimalist fashion challenge that invites you to dress with 33 items or less for 3 months."
The project has been widely publicized and has a large blogger following. There are many inspiring blog posts and Pinterest boards to get you inspired to dress with a relatively small capsule collection.

The blog Un-Fancy is a popular example.


4. The Vivienne Files

Regular examples of small capsule collections in interesting color palettes.
I do not always like the particular items, but find the concept inspiring.


5. The Uniform Project

Proving just how little you need when you select good basics and fun accessories. A very inspiring project! I highly recommend to watch the lookbook and TEDx videos that you can find on their homepage.

"In May 2009, with fashion as her medium, and education her cause, U.P Founder Sheena Matheiken launched the Uniform Project, pledging to wear one little black dress for 365 days as an exercise in sustainability and a fundraiser to support the Akanksha Foundation— a non-profit organization providing education to underprivileged children living in Indian slums. And for the next year, Sheena reinvented her uniform by accessorizing with vintage, handmade, reused, or donated pieces." 


Sewaholic's blogpost about the Frosting vs Cake conundrum. Very interesting read about sewing what you like vs sewing what you actually wear on a daily basis. Widely picked up by sewing bloggers (just google) and some interesting observations in the comments.


Any inspiring blogposts that I missed? I would love to hear more in the comments!

Sep 27, 2014

Autmn Sewing Plans - Color Palette

My patterns are selected. Next stop: fabric shopping!

Before I go out to hit the fabric shops I like to think about my color palette.
I used to wear a lot of black, but lately I'm getting much more into wearing color. It's my goal to create a cohesive wardrobe, where everything mixes & matches and goes together easily.

I'm a firm believer that style is more important than trends, but color is one area where I'm willing to make an exception. A little accent of a trend color can elevate a whole look and make it feel more fashionable.

Pantone is a great source to get insights into color trends. Pantone publishes annual color trend reports and announces one color of the year. Pantone's color coding systems are widely used across the (graphic) design and fashion industry, so when Pantone announces a color to be trending you can be sure it will pop up everywhere.

This seasons color palette is quite diverse. I love that purples and blues are making a comeback! They are my best colors to wear. Misted Yellow and Cypress are colors I really like, but can't pull off around my face. That doesn't mean I won't be wearing them. They are great colors for a pencil skirt.

I'm not an experienced color wearer, so I would probably pick one of these colors and create a ton-sur-ton outfit, or use one of the shades as an accent color in an otherwise neutral palette. But there are more interesting ways to use these colors. To get a bit creative I turned to the interwebs and collected pictures of outfits in this seasons colors. Hope you will feel insipired!

Which colors will you be wearing this season? Let me know in the comments. 

Happy sewing! 

Sep 26, 2014

Autumn Sewing Plans - The quest for the perfect pencil skirt


Another wardrobe staple this fall will be a versatile pencil skirt. Depending on the styling a well fitting pencil skirt can take you from day to night, office to weekend. Butterick 5566 is my choice of pattern. It's a great basic, offering 3 fun variations.

In addition to this pattern I'm still on the lookout for a more high waisted pencil skirt.
Any pattern suggestions? What is your TNT pencil skirt pattern?

I would love to hear!

Sep 25, 2014

Autumn Sewing Plans - The Scandalous jacket

Anyone else watched Scandal wishing they could have main character Olivia Pope's wardrobe? All of it. Like, now.

Boy does this series have an amazing stylist and wardrobe. Episode after episode my jaw dropped in admiration.

I fell in love with the wrap style coats, jackets and cardigans that are frequently featured on the show. My favorite is a Salvatore Ferragamo coat retailing for $2500. Being just slightly out of my budget I will reach for the next best thing: enter Vogue 9037. 


The pattern is categorized as easy and offers three lapel variations. I can't wait to start sewing on this pattern!