Summery pink outfit: Brume and Eucalypt

Hello everyone! I wanted to make a more summery version of my beloved Deer and Doe Brume skirt. I just realized that I haven’t blogged about half of them yet, so I guess you don’t know of my eternal love for this skirt. I now have 6 versions of this skirt in my closet. My winter/spring/fall versions (the long length) are made of ponte knit, which wear really nicely, but get a bit sweaty when the temperatures start climbing. The black one is the exception, which is made of a soft cotton jersey, but black in the sun is also not my idea of fun.

I quickly dismissed the idea of doing a white version. White tends to attract spaghetti sauce and curry, so I decided to go for a light pink cotton jersey. It’s almost a ‘nude’ colour on me, and I like it a lot better than the tan version I made. The fabric is not as stretchy as I’d like. I probably should have sized up, as you can see there are drag lines across the front.

I made this version using the mini length of the Brume pattern. I find it to be a little bit on the short side. While not a true ‘mini’ skirt, I still feel a little bit insecure in it, so I’ve added a few centimetres of length for my other versions.

Because of the length, the fact that it’s a tiny bit see-through, and that it’s not nearly as stretchy as I’d like, I’m not sure how much wear I will get out of it. So if anyone would like to have it, feel free to contact me on instagram or via email. I made size 42/L but it would probably fit a size 40/M better.

(If you want to check out my other versions: black here and grey here)

I almost forgot about the top! It’s a Megan Nielsen Eucalypt top. It’s made out of a polyester crepe I’ve had in my stash since my Fabricland days >12 years ago. While I really love the print and the colours of this top, I’m definitely not a fan of it being 100% polyester. Luckily, since it’s sleeveless and fairly loose, it’s not so bad on a warm day with a breeze, but it’s not suitable for a sweltering summer’s day. Well, what can I say, you learn with age that natural fabrics are far superior to plastic.

My only complaint about this top is that it gapes a little bit at the front armhole. I thought sizing down would help that, but it doesn’t (it just made it tighter across the chest). If I did a FBA, that would add a bust dart and I love the fact that this top doesn’t have that. However, looking at the pictures I see that it’s hardly noticeable, so I might not do any adjustments in the future except to stretch the bias tape a bit while sewing. I did this on a knit version and it solved the problem really well.

Thanks for stopping by!

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über sexy Ondee + Brume outfit

This outfit combination makes me feel oh so sexy, while being comfortable at the same time. How many outfits can do that??? Not many, I tell you. This combination is brought to you by Deer and Doe. The Ondee sweater is a cropped top perfect for pairing with high-waisted skirts and dresses. The Brume skirt is a high-waisted pencil skirt made from knit fabric.

The Ondee sweater pattern has short sleeves, long sleeves, scoop neck, or contrasting collar. I have tried them all (more blog posts to come…) and I like the scoop neck with either sleeve variation. What’s great about this pattern is how quickly it comes together. I don’t think I’ve ever had a pattern that sews up this quickly, especially if you use a serger/overlocker. I think it takes me about 2 or 3 hours from cutting to finishing, which means someone who sews quickly, this will take only about an hour. The reason it comes together so quickly is that there are no hems to turn under, it’s all finished with bands (the neckline, sleeves, and hem). Not only that, but you hardly need any fabric at all for this top. You only need 1m or 1.1m, or less if you’re not worried about the grain. I made one of these tops with a scrap of 80 or 90cm I think. I did modify the pattern a little bit for this top. I lengthened it by 3cm so that I’m not showing any skin unless I lift my arms.

This particular top was made with polyester jersey I found on a trip to Innsbruck, Austria quite a few years ago. Or it might have been Germany…. I think I originally bought it with the Briar top in mind, but I kind of felt that maybe a Briar was a bit too casual to go with this print. I just went ahead and cut out my Ondee, hoping as I was cutting that I was making the ‘right’ decision. I really think I did! It’s such a cute top and because it’s such a bright and busy print, it’s not too overwhelming as a crop top.

The Brume skirt is also a fairly quick sew. I sewed it on the sewing machine instead of the serger so that it’s less bulky. There are quite a few pieces for a pencil skirt (front, back, side front, side back, yoke, waistband), but it’s totally worth it because it fits so beautifully around your curves. The fact that it’s jersey makes the fitting really easy. I have a fairly small waist compared to my hips, but I didn’t have to do any fitting adjustments. I’ve made this pattern a few times now, and my only recommendation is to topstitch the seams with a zigzag instead of a twin needle. I found the twin needle made the seams a bit wavy, and you really want those curves on the butt area to be smooth.

This black jersey is 97% cotton and 3% spandex. That means that it recovers nicely and doesn’t get stretched out like 100% cotton jersey would. It’s a versatile piece because you can wear it with boots in the winter and regular shoes for the rest of the seasons. A black pencil skirt never goes out of style, so unless the colour really fades, this skirt is going to get a lot of wear.  I would definitely recommend this skirt pattern!

Seafoam + Coral Chardon

This is the Chardon skirt by Deer and Doe. When I saw all the pretty colours of twill at Fabricland in Calgary this spring, I just had to get some. These two colours go really well together and I knew they would make a perfect Chardon skirt. I know it’s now fall, but I’ve been enjoying the last few warm days in this skirt.

This is my fourth Chardon skirt, believe it or not (and I just finished a fifth this month as well). My first one has ended up in a charity bag because the colour wasn’t really me (it was bubblegum pink). It may have been the ‘me’ from about 12 years ago, when I originally purchased the fabric, but the 2016 me just wasn’t liking it so much, even though I loved the style and especially the pockets. My second two were meant for winter. One grey and one wine red. Those were both the mini versions, which look cute with leggings. I made one just before I left for Canada last winter, and the other one I made while I was there. They are really great basic skirts that go with pretty much anything.

This one is a little bit less basic, but still basic enough to be worn with a variety of summery prints and basics.

I got enough of the coral red to make another skirt, so I made the Brumby. Much like my first bubble-pink Chardon skirt, I was not incredibly pleased with my entire bottom half being pink, so I made my sister happy with it. I’m much happier with it just being a pop of colour in this skirt.


Since I’d made this skirt a few times, I made a couple of changes worth noting here. First, I under stitched the facing. With my previous versions, I wasn’t happy that you could kind of see the facing at the top. This is especially true if you use a thicker fabric like a twill or denim. Secondly, also to help the facing stay down, I stitched in the ditch at the side seams. In my previous versions, I hand-tacked the facing down at the middle-front and sides. . If you add the belt loops, this is less of an issue because you’re sewing the facing down in several places.

Also, I finally figured out that I should rotate when top-stitching the pleats instead of sewing two separate lines of stitching. It’s a much neater finish and the stitching doesn’t come apart at the bottom either.

And I’m really warming up to invisible zippers! I really love the look of an invisible zipper in this skirt, even though it pulls a little at the waist.

What’s your favourite skirt pattern??

Circle Skirt App Review

Do you like circle skirts? I was kind of indifferent to the idea, but I love love love them now!! When I saw this floral textured fabric at Fabricland, I immediately knew it would become my first circle skirt. I don’t entirely remember what tuned me into them. I think I saw a few dresses on pinterest or in my blogroll where sewists attached a circle skirt to any ol’ bodice. At any rate, I remembered reading about By Hand London’s circle skirt app when it first came out and thought, ‘meh, that’s too much work’.

But it’s not much work, really. Quite simply, you input your waist measurement, the type of circle skirt you want (1/4, 1/2, full), your desired length (mini, midi, full length) and BOOM, the circle circumference and fabric requirements pop out. What more could you want?!

Well… I have a couple of comments about that, actually.

  1. First, maybe this is my own stupidity, but it would have been nice to have a note saying that you should reduce the waistband size when using knit fabrics. Mind you, the app states it is strictly for woven fabrics, but you can easily adapt it to knit fabrics I think. If you reduce the waistband by (anyone know by how much?) a bit, and stretch as you sew, it would work beautifully.
  2. It says for me that the mini half circle skirt WILL NOT work on 115cm wide fabric. That is not entirely true, at least not for a small to medium size waistline (mine is 72cm). If you fold your fabric on the crossgrain, you can easily get a half circle skirt out of it (or even a full circle skirt if you have double the fabric). I did it for a summer dress. I got it cut out of a scant 2m of 115cm wide fabric.

These are just a couple of things I found out while using the app, and by all means does not mean you shouldn’t use it. Just use your brain and get creative. It’s just a starting point. For example, I’m also going to tweak the half circle skirt to include side-seam pockets.

This one I made is a full circle skirt, ‘mini’ length, with in-seam pockets from Deer & Doe’s Chardon skirt pattern. I made the pattern on a piece of wrapping paper. Using a sturdy piece of wrapping paper/kraft paper is good if you intend to use it many times. The only thing is, it tends to want to roll up… I now have it pinned to my wall and it’s flattened out nicely now.

Reveal: A Royal Blue Maternity Skirt

My gorgeous friend allowed me to photograph her in all of her pregnant glory wearing the maternity skirt I made for her.

Mijn prachtige vriendin stond me toe om haar te fotograferen in al haar zwangere glorie. Ze draagt een zwangerschaps rok die ik voor haar gemaakt heb. 

Shortly after she announced she was pregnant, I asked if there was anything I could make for her. I sent her some photos of the maternity patterns I already had, and also sent her to Megan Nielsen’s maternity website for some tips and tricks. After browsing that website, she said she actually really liked the maternity skirt, so I ordered it and sewed it up for her in two colours: royal blue and dark grey.

Na dat ze kondigde dat ze zwanger was, vroeg ik of er iets wat ik voor haar konden maken. Ik stuurde haar enkele foto’s van het zwangerschaps patronen die ik al had, en ook stuurde haar naar de website van Megan Nielsen voor enkele tips en trucs. Na het bekijken van die website, zei ze dat ze eigenlijk het zwangerschaps rok heel leuk vond  dus ik bestelde en naaide het voor haar in twee kleuren: blauw en donkergrijs.

I finished the grey one first and gave it to her for her birthday in October.  I finished the blue one in November. She is especially happy with the blue one, even though it was not one of the colours she requested. She also gets the most compliments on it. 🙂

Ik was als eerst klaar met de grijze en gaf het aan haar voor haar verjaardag in oktober. Ik was klaar met de blauwe in november. Ze is vooral blij met de blauwe, ook al was het niet een van de kleuren die zij aangevraagd. Ze krijgt ook de meeste complimenten op deze. 🙂

Isn’t she beautiful? I am very grateful she let me take photos of her in her skirt, especially since the baby could come at any moment.

Is ze niet prachtig? Ik ben erg dankbaar ze liet me foto’s van haar maken in haar rok, vooral omdat de baby op ieder moment kan komen. 

A little note on sewing: This is one of the easiest pieces of maternity clothing you could make. It is only TWO pieces! If it weren’t for the elastic, this would probably be a half hour make! I made them both on my sewing machine with a zigzag stitch. I matched the thread pretty well, so you can’t even see the top stitching. I’d definitely recommend this pattern!

Een kleine opmerking over naaien: Dit is een van de makkelijkste stukken zwangerschaps kleding die je kan maken. Het is slechts TWEE stukken! Als het niet voor de elastiek was, zou dit waarschijnlijk een half uur naaitijd duren! Ik heb ze allebei op mijn naaimachine met een zigzagsteek gemaakt. Ik paste de draad vrij goed, dus je kunt niet eens de top stiksels zien. Ik zou zeker dit patroon aanraden.

This was my first time using Dutch and English.  What do you think? Or should I quit while I’m ahead?

Dit was de eerste keer die ik allebei Nederlands en Engels gebruik. Wat denk je? Moet ik snel ophouden met mijn slechte Nederlands?

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It’s been a crazy july, guys

Hello everyone. Again I’ve been neglecting my blog, however I think I’m not the only one because it is finally SUMMER and we are all going on vacations and spending time in the sun. Amiright? Myself included. I went back to Canada for a couple of weeks, this time with Mr. Livana, who hadn’t been there for 3 years, since my accident. So he figured it was high time he showed his face. So it was less of a vacation and more of a howmanypeoplecanwevisitin2weeks? Let me tell you, the trip did not start off well (for Mr. Livana).

Wait, let me back that up a little bit. About a week before we were scheduled to fly, my hometown, Calgary, FLOODED. I don’t mean a puddle in the street. I mean, like, thousands of people being evacuated and houses floating down the river, flooded. I mean, making international headlines flooded. The whole downtown (city center) was flooded, with some places without electricity or phonelines for weeks. Luckily, most of my family is “poor,” thus not owning riverfront property. Only two family members were evacuated, and didn’t sustain damage to their actual property, though one was without electricity.  My sister also works downtown and wasn’t able to work for quite a few days, and once she could go to work, they had electricity but no phone lines.

Highway 1, the main highway running through Canada, was partially washed away in the direction of the mountains. And we were planning on driving to the mountains with my friends the weekend after we arrived. But construction workers worked day and night to get the highway open to non-commercial vehicles within about a week, so we were ok to drive! Which was great, because the Canada Day long weekend (the weekend of July 1) always brings a lot of traffic into the mountains.

Our friends had to work until late, so we didn’t get on the road until 22:00 on a Friday. But it was good because most of the long weekend traffic was  gone.  Mr. Livana had volunteered to drive that night, and we made it to the Days Inn in Golden within about 3 hours. When he got out of the car, he said “I don’t feel so good” and when we got to the hotel room, he continued to say that until he ran to the bathroom. He threw up several times that night, including once in the sink when he woke up in the middle of the night and couldn’t quite make it to the toilet. Poor Mr. Livana’s weekend was also ruined by the fact that he needed to find a bathroom about every hour to empty his bowels. His diet consisted of pedialite and immodium for much of the trip. It’s really too bad, because we stayed at an amazing resort in Kelowna, in an apartment/condo for the four of us complete with kitchen, a large tv, bathroom with jacuzzi tub connected to our room, and the pool a stone’s throw from our balcony.

But we did end up doing some fun stuff, like visiting Mission Hill winery and having a fancy dinner there. That’s where I wore my new Kelly skirt by Megan Nielsen patterns, which I paired with a Banana Republic top that is not unlike the Datura blouse by Deer and Doe patterns (which makes me want to make one now, but I can’t because the pattern is out of stock until the end of July).

The skirt is made out of a dark grey fine corduroy. And the pockets are lined with the New York fabric from my Ginger skirt. I will not say that this skirt was a dream to sew because it WASN’T.

This project had its ups and downs all around. The first few steps were a breeze, just sewing straight lines to attach the pockets to the front, and sewing the side seams. Oh yeah, I was flying. But then I didn’t follow the instructions, which no where tell you to tack down the pockets, but I did it anyway thinking I was smarter than megan nielsen. So when it came time to set in the pleats, I couldn’t figure out why it was bunching up the *&?% pocket. Until I let out the basting at the top and then it was a breeze again. (this also happened over at Ginger Makes while making her sister’s Kelly Skirt).

Then when I was attaching the waistband, I didn’t pin down the pockets, so I caught one of them in the bloody stitching and had to unpick a good chunk of it. *TACK DOWN YOUR POCKETS PEOPLE!* And by the time I sewed down the waistband, not all of it was caught on the inside, but I stopped giving a shit and just left some of the raw edges sticking out. GAH.

And those button holes…. *^$#@^ All I can say is at least I had the foresight to practice first. I hadn’t done a buttonhole in years, so I figured I better make sure it looks ok. That was a nightmare. Mostly because I think after 10 years it’s probably about time I get my machine serviced. I couldn’t get it to do the ends right. So after about 8 attempts, I figured out that I needed to change the width to do the ends, which worked on MOST of the buttonholes in the end. But there is one buttonhole in the middle that has a really fat line because my machine didn’t want to turn back to the narrower width apparently. So, yeah, my machine should probably go in for a checkup sometime soon.

This winery had amazing food, which cost as much as a night at the resort, but since we don’t do it every week (or every month, or EVER), it was a delicious treat that we all thoroughly enjoyed. We got the matching wines for each course as well. It was the last night, so Mr. Livana joined in, guts be damned!

Things started to look up the following weekend. We had a BBQ at my (soon to be) brother-in-law’s place near the mountains on Sunday, then we went to Drumheller with my parents on Tuesday. I wore my Kelly Skirt again, this time ‘dressed down.’ But I must say, it did not travel too well. Sitting in the car for almost 2 hours and the top and bottom button both came undone. It was uncivilized! But it looked pretty cute, no?


But the next day we got some really bad news. Mr. Livana told me that our kitty was going to die. Before we left, he had been having problems eating and going to the bathroom. We took him to the vet and they said he was pretty healthy except for a blockage in his intestines and an inflamed kidney. They gave him laxitives over a weekend, gave us some antibiotics and sent him on his way. So while we were in Canada, he got a bit better, then stopped eating again. Mr Livana’s parents were taking care of him, and took him to the vet only to find out that his kidneys had shut down and that he was going to die. It was devastating. We made the decision to put him down before he got any worse. They could have kept him alive for the next few days until we got home, but his quality of life those last few days would have been nothing. Our poor little kitty was only 2 years old. Coming home to an empty house was hard. We both miss him a lot.

Korban, our little kitty

Korban, our little kitty

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Ginger goes to New York

To be honest, there isn’t too much exciting to say about the construction of this garment. However, it looks fabulous, doesn’t it? I thought I’d get a head start on my pledge to sew pants or a skirt in may, and this was the perfect pattern to do it with. It took very little time to make, even with the French seams I did.

This is the first time I put in an invisible zipper with an actual invisible zipper foot. However, it’s not one of those feet that is made for my machine, it’s a universal one from Unique and I didnt put it in quite correctly I think, because it’s not completely invisible. When I did a test with it on another zipper, it was completely invisible though, so I know it’s possible. I think it looks good enough though. I’m not going to unpick it.

back view

This is my second Colette pattern make after Laurel. I must admit, I’m not completely crazy about Laurel because I don’t think it’s very flattering on me (I think I need to add darts under the bust to make it more flattering). But my faith in these patterns has come back! I went out and bought Hazel to try next.

Look at that tiny waist! I thought I lost it when I gained a bunch of weight. Found it!

damn that's a tiny waist

The low-down:
Pattern: ginger skirt from Colette patterns
Size: 8. And it’s a little snug so next time I shall reduce the seam allowance or trace another size. Officially, my waist runs a size 8 and my hips size 10.
Fabric: a new York inspired print by Stenzo that I got at last year’s Stoffenspektakel (one of our annual fabric markets). So this is a stash buster!
Notions: thread, invisible zip
Time: about an hour to cut out the pattern and fabric, just over 2 tv episodes to sew (yeah, I measure in tv episodes because either I’m watching tv while I sew or Mr. Livana is and I can hear it in the background).
Make again: heck yes! Do you see how little my waist looks? It’s magical. And it hardly takes any time to whip it together.