Up in the air

Those of you who follow me on social medias (mostly Instagram) might know that past months were quite intense. I graduated from high school, had my final exams (and passed everything), traveled few times. Basically a lot of things happened and I couldn't find time to sew. With a broken heart I watched makes of other, very talented sewists and planned what I will sew when I'm finally able to reunite with my sewing machine. In the meantime I ordered few things from miekkie.com and decided to use a beautiful cotton with metallic birds from their "Up up and away" collection for my comeback project.

I originally ordered this fabric specifically for pattern #127 from Burda Magazine 2/2015, but when it arrived I decided to do a simple off the shoulder top. I didn't had to use any pattern. I've cut out 4 rectangles (front, back and two sleeves) and with few measurements created parts of the armholes. All I had to do is sew side and sleeve seams, attach the sleeves, create a tunnel on a neckline for an elastic and finish the hems. I couldn't decide whether I should do a regular hem, or finish it with a bias binding. My Instagram followers were very helpful (thank you once again!) and with their decision I finished my top with golden bias binding to match metalic birds on the fabric. Sewing this top was exactly what I needed. Fabric is very easy to work with, top was quick to make thanks to not complicated cut.

Quick side note - you may experience some technical difficulties with my page this week. We're changing a lot of things. Sorry in advance. But it'll be worth it!


Lace debut

I must admit, I just love lace. For me it's a very feminine fabric that can upgrade every make. Back when I started sewing I wanted to make some girly clothes that would fit my body, since the ones from stores usually were poorly made or did not fit at all. As soon as I saw this golden lace I fell in love and imidiately started workig on my first lace project.

I've got all of the supplies as a Christmas gift around 5-6 years ago, specifically for pattern #106 from Burda Magazine 12/2012. I really liked that pattern as soon as I saw it and it was also a chance to have matching skirts with my cousin. I was quite stressed about sewing with lace, cause it was my first time doing it, but most of it went fine. I only needed some help with the waistline. What I really like about the pattern is the fact that I had to insert a zip only to the lining layer. For the lace layers I added few snaps. The only thing I would change is a different shape of the lining - currently it's a basic skirt, but a gathered rectangle or circle would've been better for a 14-year-old.

Unfortunately I don't think I'll be able to wear this skirt anymore. The lining is just too fitted right now and sitting or walking up the stairs is very uncomfortable. I may re-do it, but I'm not sure if I actually want to. It might be one of the first me-made clothes that I've grown out of.


Clothes that didn't survive

Through seven years of sewing I had to say goodbye to some of my makes. Some of them were to small, the others got destroyed, I've lost some of them to. It was always hard, cause I put a lot of heart into every single stitch. But it's something normal and I think that every creative person should look sometimes at those old pieces and see the progress. So I wanted to show you some of my makes that didn't last for long.

The first dress was made for a wedding 3 years ago. Because of the shipping problems I only had one day to finish it. I used pattern #116 from Burda Magazine 3/2015. Sewing was quite nice, despite how stressful the deadline was. Instead of usin the original pattern I made a pleated skirt. There was an invisible zipper on the left side (that wasn't so invisible to be honest). Unfortunately I broke it while sewing it in. When I was trying to repair it I accidentally cut the dress and there was no way to fix it. It's currently waiting to become a skirt.

Another wedding dress was made a month later. I wanted something elegant and simple, yet with a twist. I decided to modify pattern #122 from Burda Magazine 11/2012. Sewing was tricky, because I wasn't sure if what I was doing will work. It did and I was really happy with a result. I thought that it might look better if it will be more fitted. The ripping killed the dress, it created many holes. I was not able to sew this dress the way I wanted to. I had to say goodbye and hope that I will recreate it one day.

One of the easiest things to make - a gathered skirt. It was a really fun project - I also made another skirt using the wrong, blue and white side of this fabric. I had some problems with the waistband. I wasn't sure how to do it properly, which resulted in some problems with the zipper. I clearly have no luck with them. I had to rip everything, still waiting to sew it the way I should. Fun fact: the zip broke when I was doing those photos with my friend and I was stuck in the skirt.

How many makes of yours got destroyed through the years? Do you fix them or reuse them for something new?


I'll adult later

Few weeks ago we had an amazing sewing event in Warsaw - Warsew Days. It was a great oppurtunity to search for a new sewing machine, attend few courses and, most importantly, meet fellow sewists and sewing bloggers. There were also few contests announced befor and during that event. For the first time, I decided to enter one of them.

The contest was organised by Maszyny Brother (Brother sewing machines in Poland). The rules were simple - you had to pick a print, they gave you a piece of fabric with it and your task was to make something using that particular fabric. The only limit was your imagination. I decided to go with "I'll adult later" print, cause I thought it was kind of ironic - at that time I should study for my finals, but I went to a sewing evet instead. I found a matching fabric and added a black ribbing. I used a pattern #1 from Burda Easy 1/2014, but without the pockets. Sewing wasn't difficult, instructions were clear.

Belive it or not, I actually won! I'm preparing my own prints as a prize. Really excited about them.


Fashion Revolution Week - my thoughts about fashion industry in Poland

It's that time of the year when we ask "Who made my clothes?". Fashion Revolution, a movement fighting for bigger transparency in fashion unites us to create a safer, cleaner and more rewarding industry. Since I'm a student of a fashion related school I was able to see how this big industry works. I thought that Fashion Revolution Week is a perfect time to talk about Polish factories and companies. Not many people actually think how their clothes were made. They don't want to know who stands behind them. And because of that Poland may soon become the second Bangladesh.

DISCLAIMER - everything you'll read is based on my own experience and thoughts. Just because I consider some events and actions as good or bad doesn't mean that others will see it like that. Also, few examples can't represent the whole industry. Every company has different politics and methods.

I was lucky enough to visit two clothing factories and have work practices at an atelier of one of the polish fashion designers. For obvious reasons I won't give you any names, but I can tell you what I saw.

Let's start with the small factory making clothes for big, internationally known companies. To be honest, from the outside I couldn't even tell that someone makes something there, it looked more like a warehouse. Factory wasn't big, there were around 20-30 employees. We visited them during spring, it wasn't a warm day, but the temperature inside was really high, it was fuggily and difficult to breath. There was no AC, only some seamstresses had fans, few lucky ones were working near open window. Rooms was crowded, we couldn't fit and had to split into smaller groups. In this place, for the first time someone told me to change my school. Not because I wouldn't find a job, but because of conditions.

The second factory we visited was a lot bigger. I'm pretty sure it's one of the biggest factories in Poland. Again, many well-known companies produces their clothes there. There were many different departments, each with various problems - heat, noice, old and dangerous machines. It was autumn and despite there was no AC, windows were shut. Because of that (and my health condition) I almost fainted at ironing and packaging department, even though we've been there for around 15 minutes. For the second time I've heard that I should change my school.

I also had a chance to "work" for a fashion designer. For a month I was usually patternmaker's assistant, sometimes I had to hand-sew some things or organize an atelier. I was really scared. I had no idea if I was good enough for this place, or will the team accept me for this short ammount of time. But everything was good and I've spent those four weeks working with people that really wanted to teach me something and seemed really happy with their job. I think this was a good example of a safe and healthy workplace. But since I was there only for a month and I was only helping I don't really know anything about salaries, health care, etc.

Overall, even though there are companies that cares about their employees, bigger factories still have a lot of problems with it. There are many books and articles showing how bad the situation in Poland is. Many seamstresses work for the lowest salary and their workplace might be a risk for their health and lives. In the time like this, five years after Rana Plaza tragedy, we should stop for a moment and think what can we do to make fashion industry safer. Let's ask big fashion companies who made our clothes. Let's ask how the workers are treated and in what conditions they're working. Let's ask how important their employees are for them. Let's do everything we can, so Rana Plaza tragedy won't happen ever again.


From mother to daughter

One of the things I love about sewing is that you don't have to make something from a scratch. You can take any piece of clothing and, with a little bit of creativity, make something completely new. I was really excited to start my new refashion project. This time I've picked a very simple dress.

I got this dress back in December. My mum couldn't wear it anymore, so she gave it to me. At first I didn't wanted to do anything with it, but it was clearly too big. It took me a while to come up with an idea. I didn't wanted to do anything difficult, but on the other hand something very simple wouldn't be that satisfying.
I decided to make a jacket and a pencil skirt. I've cut the dress in the waist to have enough fabric for both pieces. I ripped out the sleeves to create a pattern. I made the new ones using chiffon. I added a metal zipper and finished hems with ribbing. I left the original slit on the back. I think it's a really nice detail. For the skirt I used patern #118 from Burda Magazine 04/2012. I already used it, so I knew that I won't need any adjustments. I saved the original side seams and hem. I added an invisible zip on the back.

It's actually first big, successful refashion. I did few of them in the past, but I've made some mistakes and they're just hidden somewhere in a box. I thought about re-creating at least one thing. Maybe I'll have time to do it soon.


7 tricks for better cutting

Something I used to hate was cutting the fabric. I was scared that I'll ruin it or a pattern, so I usually asked my granny to do it for me. But after a while after finding perfect scissors and learning few tricks, it became my favourite part of sewing. It's not always easy, but each time I notice some new problems and solutions. I want to share some of them with you. These are my 7 tricks that will help you cut your fabric perfectly and easily.

Pre-wash your fabric

Some of you probably had this situation - you bought (or made) a perfectly fitted dress or trousers, but couldn't put them on after washing. It's caused by natural fibers like cotton or linen. Hot water makes them shrink. That's why you should pre-wash your fabric before cutting or iron it with a lot of steam.

Use different tools and methods

If you want to know more about the fabric you're going to use, just search the internet. You can't use pins while sewing leather; delicate and slippery fabrics should be cut unfolded with rotary cutter; you must match big patterns, stripes and checks - the list is long. Every type of fabric must be treated differently.

Have more than one pair of scissors

Good, sharp scissors are a treasure for every sewist. That's why they should only be used to cut fabric. You should have a diferent pair for paper. Also, remember to sharpen them regulary.

Use pattern weights

You can always use pins, but I personally fell in love with the pattern weights and I think they're better. You won't make any holes in your pattern and you can use them with leather. At the beginning you can just use mugs or little jars filled with water.

Cut it, don't rip it

Something I've noticed in fabric shops - people cut the fabric a little and then rip it. It's quicker and you keep the grainline, but at the same time the structure of the fabric is damaged. You can see the difference in the photo.

Keep your fabric flat

Common mistake - the fabric must lay flat on the table, especially while cutting on fold. If you move it during cutting there's a really big chance that your pieces won't be symetrical.

Take your time

You don't need to rush. Take your time, it will make the whole sewing much easier.


That's just few of my cutting tricks. What are your favourite methods?