I’ve been dying to buy a satchel / postman bag. The one that I really wanted (by Clio Goldbrenner) was beyond my budget.
So … I made my own.
The b/f had an old leather jacket that he was willing to part with for materials (although I think he may have been under the impression that I was going to make a leather mini skirt out of it - well anyway - I got started).
I had already made a satchel so I used a similar pattern. But then I did something totally new: I added a lining, with the leftover material from my pink skirt - its amazing what having a sewing machine makes possible.
The end result is slightly larger than most of the bags I carry normally so it feels super roomy.
The shoulder strap is a bit too long, I may have to adjust it…
The front flap is slightly asymmetrical and the hardware is gold. (I’m still really feeling gold jewelry - I need to take a photo of my earrings right now - all gold)
When I watched a lot of the street style photos during fashion month, I kept seeing pink everywhere. As I am pretty susceptible to suggestion, I instantly wanted something pink of my own. What to do? Make my own!
I found this great bright pink fabric, made a pattern out of one of my favourite skirts. The original plan was to make it close with buttons, but that didn’t work out (button holes blew my mind). So it’s a slip-on in the end, and the waist, though not perfect, is easily covered by a longer top. Best of all, I’ve gotten great compliments on it: DIY success!
This season pink feels great with nude/taupe/navy and gray. Somehow black + pink = no!
This is coming way late, but this summer I bought the super cute dress you see above. But the second time I wore it, I discovered a hole. Luckily , I was able to take it back. But the shop didn’t have any left in stock, I tried to purchase it online, but delivery problems meant that the dress never reached me. Every time I see this picture I am reminded how great it looked. Sigh…
As any good Canadian I’m a sucker for (what feels like our national brand) Roots!! I remember having a great Roots sweatshirt that saw me through elementary school.
So when I had a chance to visit Canada this summer it was a no brainer that I was going to visit a Roots store. They were having a revival of the retro logo in super warm high-quality sweatshirts. Getting a hoodie was inevitable.
Another great detail is the maple leaf on the hood at the back.
The pair that I used for this project were from 2004 and had been sitting unused for years. I had actually four pairs of trousers in the same situation. Three went to Oxfam because I didn’t think I could do anything with the fabric. But the last pair seemed to have potential.
I got started and I’m not sure why it ended up so short. I also couldn’t find a better way to join the legs together at the back and ended up bringing them in another size (the trousers were already snug).
The result? A short, tight skirt in brown and blue stripes (yes I did say they were from 2004). Back to the fabric dye. Two dying sessions later, yet another black skirt emerged!
I actually quite like it, but maybe need to balance the sexiness of the skirt with a more conservative top… What do you think?
This photo shows the construction better (and how tight it is?)
This is actually a little old. I bought it over the Christmas holidays and it saved me over the winter months. I’m not sure how much wear it’ll get in the summer, but anyway I love it and it has already seen me through many months and, doubt it’ll see me through next winter.
I got my first leather jacket (with much fanfare as you might remember), but the problem I discovered was that it was a button-up leather jacket… who ever heard of a button up leather jacket!? (even Humanoid agreed and the next season they made the same leather jacket WITH a zipper)
Soooo I had a leather jacket with buttons, and I wanted a zipper…What to do?
Finally I decided to add one myself. I’m a bit embarrassed to say that I added a zipper to a Humanoid jacket, but sooo happy with the outcome :)
Because the leather is so delicate (I think it’s sheep’s leather), I sewed the zipper into the lining and I think it’ll keep the jackets’ shape - yay. A few more pics.
Before (super cool leather jacket with so much potential, but no zipper)
This is a top I made from the left over fabric from this skirt. Basically, I cut out the largest rectangles I could from whatever was left and sewed the sides up, left part open for arm holes and then continued sewing at the top. No pattern involved. And the results:
It is nice and long, but it would be better with a bit more -ahem- width. Also the fabric is still quite sheer so I need to wear it over camisole.
( but honestly I can see myself wearing this- especially now that the weather has decided to turn warm!)
Try two with the same pattern as last time. Using the same pattern I made another sweatshirt and even managed to innovate the design a little with ribbing around the neck and waist. I’m quite happy with this one.
(worn with the black skirt I ‘improved’ here)
The differences this time? Better colours + a different neckline. Oh yeah and some practice!
Made from a pattern, I feel it’s not so flattering (even though I did my best to find the angles that suit me there wasn’t a single photo that I’m willing to share with the world). This time all you get is the skirt on its own:
I think I can see using this over a pair of leggings to workout in… maybe.
On a friend’s recommendation, I decided to try a more conventional approach for learning how to sew: by learning through patterns!
The first pattern I bought was for a sweatshirt (soo feeling sweatshirts right now). Even though the pattern was good and the result fairly closely resembled the photo on the package, I feel like I kinda let the project down by choosing bad colours and had some -ahem- creative construction issues (the sleeves are different sizes).
And so, here is my first pattern construction :
I can’t see myself wearing this out in public, but the photo turned out ok(?):
I filled the slit with the fabric from an old pair of trousers that I’d not worn in 2 years. Unfortunately the skirt was khaki and the trousers were brown striped. So a dye job was necessary (I’ve been getting very into dying fabric, if you hadn’t noticed here). It took 2 rounds of dying but all the fabric eventually ended up a uniform shade of black.
Confession time: I almost never wear trousers (ever).
I just feel like that I look better in skirts/shorts.
And so instead of a hundred pairs of jeans, I find my wardrobe is almost entirely skirts and only 1 pair of jeans (jean shorts are different, though, I’ve got a few pairs of those).
My go-to replacement for jeans has become … a black skirt. And so it’s time to talk about the 4 types of black skirts that I love:
The black cargo skirt - feels sooo fresh every Spring. I bought mine in Japan where I found a See By Chloe skirt on discount that fit me (see it here). Even though I bought it in 2005, it’s one I return to year after year because it always feels just right after the winter. This year too!
The black knee-length skirt - This one IS my jeans. I wear it all the time! Mine is -ahem- customised (by me - post to come!).
The black short/tight mini - a very sexy option - honestly a great backup (though mine might be a size too small! also a DIY project - post to come)
The black jersey skirt - stretchy and comfortable, but with a blazer becomes perfect office wear!
With these 4 options I am more or less satisfied. Did I miss any?
Are you willing to swap your jeans for a black skirt?
This time I tried another design which was meant to be shorts. (I think my pattern cutting skills are sadly lacking because it ended up as a skirt)
Also the fabric was way too sheer (confession time: I was planning to make a nightie out of this fabric - epic fail) so I added a lining of dyed black bed sheet and tried again. So, the original intention of shorts explains the inconsistent pattern, but otherwise I’m quite happy with the result and (the BIG innovation here) I inserted a zipper! Pics below…
And the back:
So some “product” shots:
And the lining:
My first zipper (excuse the amateur sewing job & crooked seams - I’m learning!):
You may have thought that I had retired my blog? But no!
I was just learning my way around my sewing machine (which is AWESOME - why didn’t I get one before?!) and learning all about making my own clothes - in fact so cool I can’t tell you, but I’m gonna try ;-)
So… there’ll be a bit of a shift in the content of this blog (sorry to readers that expected the latest from Belgium on fashion).
From now, this blog is going to be more about DIY clothing projects, my mini trends (sooo feeling gold jewelry but -bizarrely- sneakers at the same time?) and other stuff that’s influencing my style.
I hope I didn’t lose too many readers while I was gone, but I’m super hopeful that the new direction will be ok too (don’t worry you get to see the fails as well).
Stay tuned, my next post is all about my first sewing project.
I love Hallowe’en! It’s been one of my favourite holidays ever since I was little. Even now, this is one of the times of year that I adore. One thing I’ve done for the last several years is insist on homemade costumes. This year I decided that I was going to be a skeleton after watching the video Hallways by Islands.
I made an iron-on skeleton rib cage t-shirt and tulle skirt. I bought skeleton knee socks and added with some creepy face makeup (which is a pain to take off!!) I think I have a legitimate costume, no?
Even though the Brussels stock sale info has come through, I’m still waiting for the Antwerp hot list of designers that will be setting up their October stock sales. So far only Dries Van Noten has sent the invitation (on the same day as his Paris fashion show - well timed!)
Details below, when I get more info I will (of course) share!
Dries Van Noten Stock sale of fabric and clothing 17-19 Oct from 13h to 18h 20-21 Oct from 10h to 17h
That is the question that I’m asking myself about these shoes which I got for 10 EUR at a stocksale a few weeks back. Not sure!! They feel so perfect for spring-summer, but because we’re just entering autumn-winter, part of me wants to mask the floral print with either black or navy. If I take my time and do it properly I think it could look quite good, but I’m not convinced. Help!
I was just posting about a skirt on sale I got at the Petits Riens, on that same day I discovered this skirt in the 2.50 EUR bargain bin. At first I totally fell for the leopard print as it’s something that I’ve wanted to try out for a while and the originality of the cut. I glanced at the label (as you do) and saw…. it was Just Cavalli. For 2.50 EUR. NO WAY! Well I bet it wasn’t in my size, but couldn’t not try it on.
It was my size after all! (I take back all the negative things I’ve said about stretch denim!)
I took it to the counter all shiny and excited and the woman behind the counter said “oops, I thought I’d taken away all the designer stuff before we put up the sale stickers, this is 32 EUR.”
Devastated, but still determined that this was destiny, I replied “oh no, and I was so excited when I found it… what can I do?”
And in an instant she knocked the price to 16 EUR (half price!). So in the end, not 2.50, but still not bad. Might want to keep an eye on your own local Petits Riens, because I’m keeping a close eye on mine!!
Les Petits Riens Chaussée de Wavre, 826 1040 Etterbeek
A few weeks back my local Petits Riens second hand store was offering a sale on skirts, everything at 2.50 EUR. Score! (and before this sounds too pathetic and penny pinching - allow me to qualify that this is the shop that I once found a vintage Gucci bag in great condition for 50EUR!!).
My first discovery was the skirt above, a high front slit makes it a little sexy, but the otherwise conservative cut and colour keeps it the right side of tasteful (or that’s at least what I tell myself to justify being able to wear it to work).
Les Petits Riens Chaussée de Wavre 826 1040 Etterbeek
I actually got this in August and I always feel so chic buying new season in August or February, while others are still trawling the leftover sales items.
Speaking last post of being a print novice, here’s me going print all the way with this AW12 dress by Conni Kaminski. I feel like this is a really special collection and it features prints designed by Sarah Robin. It brings the dress to the next level.
… to go shopping at and actually find something I like at Zara.
But here is the silk (!) skirt I found at Zara for 9.99 EUR.
It is a super pretty flower print in gray/black/white. And still as a print novice this is a gentle introduction.
I is super thin so I don’t think I’ll get much wear out of it in the winter, but for the autumn and maybe with tights and boots, it could last till November and come back out next spring (no idea if Zara clothes last that long).
Just hope it doesn’t inspire the ‘oh she got that at Zara’ eye roll.
Worn here with my new COS top (see last post). Oh dear I’m going all high street and not Belgian at all! Quick bring on some love for Belgian designers!!
It is probably beyond too late to still be talking about purchases made in the summer sales (although, since the SS 13 shows are underway maybe it’s somewhat appropriate to be talking summer? Or is that just wishful thinking/justification for the lateness of this post?)
Anyway I bought this Humanoid dress in the sales and it was a lifesaver during the super hot days in the summer (more in Portugal than Brussels). And I am completely convinced that it will have lots of layering potential come autumn!!
As I “discover” new layering options, I’ll be sure to share them.
Side note: I bought this online and though I’m still hesitant to make all my purchases online, I trust the Humanoid webstore.