17 Jan 2015

Inspiration: 100 years of beauty video's

Time lapse of a model getting her hair and makeup done to match every decade from 1910 to 2010.  Now there is a new version with an African-American girl. Quite different hairstyles, and I like her looks even better!

16 Jan 2015

diy: fitted changing pad cover 'Koeka Amsterdam' knock-off aankleedkussenhoes

Here is my third Koeka knock-off project!
For the changing pad I used their 'Amsterdam' changing pad cover as inspiration. They use a cotton waffle fabric in combination with a cotton bath-towel fabric for the middle section. These sell for about 45 euro's a piece!
Below the original version:

this is my knock-off:

...with a way better fit at the sides and corners!

- cotton waffle fabric (prewashed and -shrunk)
- bath towel 70x100 cm (enough for two changing pad tops. I ripped our the side seams for the seam allowances)
- elastics
- embroidery thread
optional: fabric dye to match the colors

My costs were for two changing pads less than 15 euro's!
About 6 euro's for 85 cm of cotton waffle fabric, 3.99 euro's for one IKEA Haren bath towel (70x100cm), about 1 euro of elastics and 1 euro of embroidery thread.
(I used dylon to dye both fabrics in the same color. The fabric dye was the most expensive, about 10 euro's but used for other projects as well)

1. Prewash and iron your fabrics before starting!
It is better to let the fabric shrink before the first use instead of the second one... I prewas my cotton fabrics at a normal temperature, but then put them in the dryer with fairly hot air.
Cotton waffle fabric tends to 'bobble' after washing. After prewashing I ironed my big piece of fabric and after cutting the rectangular pieces I ironed them again, making sure that the stripes run horizontally and vertically.
2. Take the measurements and make your pattern

Making the cover requires a bit of 3 dimensional thinking. You need to 'translate' a 3-dimensional shape into flat, 2d pieces.
The cover is made out of one rectangular upper part (consisting of two pieces of waffle cotton with a piece of bath towel in between) and 2 contoured parts for the short sides.
First, measure your changing pad. Use a standard seam allowance you are used to work with. For me it is 5/8" or 1,5 cm. I used my handy parallel tracing wheel to do this.

You can either measure and draw directly on your fabric, or choose to make a paper pattern first. You can choose how wide you like to have the bath towel section. The original one goes  up quite high at the sides.
If you assemble the top part from different fabrics don't forget to add extra seam allowances where the two fabrics meet!(= at both long sides of the bath towel and at one side of the side sections of the waffle fabric.)
3. Cut the pieces:
- 1  upper middle section (bath towel)
- 2x upper side sections (waffle fabric)
- 2x the contoured sides (waffle fabric)

4. Sew the waffle fabrics at the sides to fill up to the desired (measured) width according to pattern  Pin and sew.

5. Finish seam allowance (I used a simple zigzag stitch) and fold the seams under the waffle cotton layer. Press. I used a really small top stitching on the waffle cotton to keep the seam allowances nicely in place. The topstitching will be practically invisible when you embroider next to it.

6. Attach the contoured sides:
Since it is easier to sew a straight line simply clip and open up the seam allowance (basically straighten the shaped part). Place the pieces with right sides together, pin and sew. Clip the other layer as well.
As you can see my seams don't match up here. I decided to make the center part just a little bit shorter for a nice, tight fit.

Topstitching and clipping the corners:

7. Fit the cover on the changing pad: fold the short sides under and mark the corners. You can measure it too, but there is somehow always a certain amount of 'unexpected' stretch in the fabric which you can spot and correct this way:

8. If it is needed, open up the seams in the corners up to the marking on the inside and pin the seams in a downwards vertical direction. Stitch, reinforce corners by running 3-4 times through it. Finish seam allowances and press:

9. Now it's time for a lot of relaxing handsewing!
Embroider the edges of the bathtowel-layer with blanket-stitch in a contrasting color before putting in the elastics:

This is the best time to add the little appliques too. Of course, you are free to skip them or to use a Koeka-style applique. Those are made out of felt and secured with a simple cross-stitch (like an X) with embroidery thread.
I didn't liked the flower appliques of the original cover, and made really simple and cute crochet bunnies instead. I used this tutorial

10. Last step!
Make the elastic casing at the bottom. I used about 2 cm to do this, first folded back 0.5 cm and then 1.5 cm. Pinned and pressed before sewing.
To prevent bulking the elastics only go around the corners: 10 cm at the short sides and 15 cm at the long sides, measured from the corner seam. The mid-sections remain straight for a better fit.

Ready! ...and now make one more...
I have made two covers, and planning to make a light grey one too. Just for fun!

5 Jan 2015

today's diy project: roman blinds for the nursery

A happy marriage of a 2.50 euro piece of IKEA fabric and ready-made roman blinds! I took the ready-made curtain apart and used it as lining.
Never mind the ugly crocket tiles of the windowsill and the ugly heater. The windowsill will be replaced and the heater gets a nice cover when the new window is placed (within a few weeks hopefully).As for the nursery, it is finally getting finished! I'm still working on a few pieces of wall decorations, but other than that it is ready to use.

diy: Koeka 'Antwerp' baby blanket knock-off

Here is my newest creation of this very new year: a knock-off of Koeka's 'Antwerp' baby blanket! It is a lined blanket: waffle cotton lined with soft flannel. You can use it for the baby bed, but also to keep the baby warm when holding her.
My version is slightly smaller than the original size and though it looks simple it was probably the most challenging of my Koeka knock-off projects! It involved a lot of pressing, steaming and pinning to have the size right, because cotton flannel has a really annoying stretch to it.
On the bright side it is nice, fluffy and comfortably warm for the winter. Lovely!

material & sizing:
approx. 75x80 cm
It is important to use 100% cotton materials for all your baby stuff to prevent overheating!
- ready-made cotton flannel baby blanket (I bought one on sale for 10 euro's)
- cotton waffle fabric
- embroidery yarn

1. prewash and press both fabrics - it is important to let them shrink before sewing the two layers together!

2. Optional: I removed the original machine-embroidered edging and reused the thread again. This step took a lot of time but was worth it! (While ripping out the embroidery I've cut the thread in approx. 1 m length pieces so they were ready to use for the embroidery as a finishing touch)

3. Cut the ready-made blanket to size.
Mine had rounded edges which I removed by shortening the fabric. Finish the edges of the ready-made blanket with a zigzag stitch. Before doing that use stay-stitch to prevent the fabric from stretching. If your fabric still stretches like mine you can correct it by steaming and pressing the edges throughly.

4. Cut the waffle fabric slightly larger than the flannel blanket and pin the layers together:

5. Start at one side by folding the seam allowance of the waffle fabric under. Keep the flannel and waffle fabrics in one line. Carefully press the layers before sewing!
Topstitch close to the edge, but not too small, so that you catch both layers:

6. Carefully pin the layers again, lining up the sides using the squares of the waffle fabric as a guide. Attach the layers like above, one side at a time.
Pay attention to the corners! If they don't line up perfectly, correct by cutting a piece off. (don't forget to finish the raw edges!):

7. Embroider the edges with blanket stitch:

8. Finished!