Saturday, 16 September 2017

Diary of a shirt dress: The reveal!

And it's finally done! And I love it!

I sewed in the remaining buttons while on vacation in Italy and took photos.

Monday, 4 September 2017

Diary of a shirt dress: Days 7&8

It's Wednesday and I actually have some evening time to use on the dress. It might seem it's not much left on it, and piece-wise it's true, but it's mostly pieces that require a bit of attention to detail.

Today I worked on the button panel running down the center front. I didn't have enough of the same fabric to make the right and left panels, so I only have the right panel (the one that'll be on top) cut out of the main fabric, while the left panel is cut out of the same green cotton sateen I used for the inner waistband. Well, it'll be mostly invisible anyway. I interfaced both.

But oh no! The right panel isn't long enough! Improvise...improvise! OK! A piece from another part of the main fabric will have to do. I measure this out, cut it and interface it. This one goes on the bottom, the planned bit goes from the neckline as far down as it reaches and I stitch both in place. Then I fold the bottom bit to make my panel piece, then fold the seam allowance to wrong side, and top stitch the edge catching the inner part. I also top stitch the folded edge.

At the place where the planned panel meets the unplanned little one, I fold the planned one in a triangular shape much like a tower placket. At least this way people might think it's a design feature πŸ˜„! Then I fold the planned panel in half, press the inner seam allowances to inside and also top stitch the inner part in place. But here I also top stitch down the triangle side and up again on the folded side in a continuous line, strengthen the illusion of a design feature.

The left side panel is long enough as is, so this is simpler. Just sew it as normal.

Next it's the collar stand. I'm unsure how this will behave if I only interface the outer one, so I do both. Then sew it as normal: Sew them right sides together along the top and sides, turn right side out and press, then sew the outer bottom seam to the neckline, fold the seam allowances of the inside stand to wrong side, pin in place and top stitch from the right side.

I've considered out of laziness, dislike of buttonhole making and lack of matching buttons in my stash to go buy some snaps. But got lazy even for that especially that I didn't have much time to spare on trips to the fabric store, and ended up biting the bullet and making those detested button holes. I made those from the collar to the waistband on Wednesday.

I decided to use large crystal beads for buttons, and Thursday started with me sewing these for the buttonholes I made yesterday.

Now I could close the dress around the waist and decide on the length. And hem the dress. Then do the remaining buttonholes below the waistband. This added up to 21 buttonholes in total 😬. Did I sew the remaining buttons (and move the waistband button as this ended up off the correct place)? Of course not. I packed buttons, thread and needle together with the dress. I'll do that in Italy...

Saturday, 2 September 2017

Diary of a shirt dress: Days 5&6

The week has started and I’m back to using the evenings for not only sewing but also studying/researching for my business.

I didn’t mention my business before? No?! I’m working on getting myself ready for starting an online fabric store beginning of next year. My base product is Egyptian cotton fabric, in all possible variations (Woven, jeans, knits, name it!), but I'll have more than that. So, if you’re interested, watch this space 😊
Some extra info and a survey that'd really help if you fill are available here.

There’s of course a lot to get up to speed with relating to laws, rules, and business in general, which leaves me little time to do other things in the evening, but I do sneak in some sewing/crocheting/knitting/embroidery every now and then.

Monday has come and I took some time for that. Today I connected the bodice to the skirt. I applied interfacing to the outer waistband.

Then gathered the bottom of the bodice and stitched it to the top of the outer waistband.

I then gathered the top of the skirt and stitched it to the bottom of that same waistband.

And that was it for Monday. On Tuesday, I was actually on an evening course until 8 in the evening so there wasn’t that much time to achieve anything. But I did the inner waistband! I stitched the top of it right sides facing with the top of the outer such that the bodice ends up sandwiched in between, then turned the seam allowances of the bottom to the wrong side, pinned to the bottom of the outer waistband, pressed, and stitched from the right side along the existing (bottom of outer waistband and top of skirt) seam.

Then went to bed…Tomorrow is a new day. Good night 😊

Sunday, 27 August 2017

Diary of a shirt dress: Day 4

Sunday is here and the dressmaking is continuing again. After doing the skirt side seam, it's time to insert the pockets. Which was what I did first today.

Diary of a shirt dress: Day 3

Yaay! It's the weekend and I can finally continue working on my dress!
I have most of the design details figured out now, so I'll just start cutting.

The natural place to start was of course the skirt. This will be where most of the fabric goes and where the print really comes to life. I spent some minutes first tying to lay the fabric as straight as possible. Now I've already figured out earlier (on day 2 πŸ˜„) that the skirt will be made of two triangles 75cm wide x ~105cm long. Technically this is not very true as the front will be split in 2 because of the button closure.

But starting with the back of the skirt, and taking into account 2cm for the hem, I marked a rectangle 110cm long (105 + 2 for hem + 3 as error margin) by 75cm wide, and cut it taking into account seam allowances on sides and top edges.

Saturday, 26 August 2017

A cardigan for the Norwegian summer / I dye for the first time

Actually this project was started in April and finished in May. I signed up to be a product tester for Minerva Crafts early this year and this is the project I made for my first review.

Thursday, 24 August 2017

Graffiti bomber (or bomber jacket v2)

Not so long ago I made myself a bomber jacket. It got so many compliments and I even got requests from mostly family and a friend to make them similar ones. 😊

Friday, 18 August 2017

Diary of a shirt dress: Day 2

Oh! I just so hope I don't mess this project up! It's be a shame.

By now it's clear that the day count doesn't correspond to actual days. Some days I don't sew. Today I won't actually sew either, I'm going out soon. Friday night!

But I did do some preparation work:

Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Diary of a shirt dress: Day 1

The reason I decided to write about this dress in the form of a diary is the amount of excitement around it. I've been psyching myself up to it for quite a while now. I was hoping to get it done before the summer to wear it during the summer but so many other things got in the way, especially things I promised to sew for others and that ended up on a schedule because of travel plans etc...Well, better late than never.

So today after getting back from work and putting the finishing touches to the blouse I've been working on (coming soon to the blog of course), I started thinking about this dress again. Now I'll make it! And will take it with me on vacation in 2.5 weeks time!

Tuesday, 15 August 2017

Rush dress but surprisingly good dress

If you follow me on Instagram (hayek.m83), you know by now that I have loads of projects in progress. This was NOT one of them.

One of my best friends got married recently, and I couldn't decide whether I wanted a new dress to wear to his wedding or not, and in the end decided not to make one. Until the last day before the wedding that is πŸ‘€. But since the time left was one evening, the following set of requirements materialized:
- It has to be a simple quick to sew pattern.
- I have to have this pattern in my collection already.
- I have to have all the required fabrics and supplies.

Saturday, 12 August 2017

Sewists of the world! I need your help!

I've been thinking this over for a while and now I have decided! I'm opening an online fabric store!

I'm starting with different kinds of woven and knit fabrics made of Egyptian cotton, but planning already to have other natural fibers in the future as well as sewing supplies (buttons, threads, zips, maybe even sewing patterns etc...)

The shop will be based in Norway since I live here, but will ship worldwide. And one of my main goals is to keep the shipping costs down.

I've been out there buying from online stores myself and have taken a lot of pluses and minuses into consideration while thinking this one out so hopefully you'll all like it. But there's only one way to find out: You have to tell me yourself!

So I'd like to invite all of you that sew to take 10 minutes of your time and answer a little survey I created. You can take it in English or Norwegian. And the best part?

πŸ‘‰There's fabric to winπŸ‘ˆ

3 winners will be drawn and each will get 2m of cotton fabric! But if the participation exceeds expectation, I'll increase the number of winners as well.

And if you want to double your chances to win, head over to my Instagram account and repost my cry for help there (more details in the IG post).

Thank you all in advance and good luck!

(picture from

Sunday, 6 August 2017

Dream trousers (Embroidered cotton trousers)

About a year and a half ago I moved from buying fabric for a specific project in mind, to buying fabrics I loved at the shops and then decide later what I make with it. Sometimes I had a vague idea of what to make, sometimes not at all. Some months ago though I started feeling bad about all the fabrics in my stash and decided not to buy anything without a predefined project and to start stash busting, although I did develop a new habit of buying one piece of fabric from any new land I travel to, then it carries a nice memory. And that I don't feel bad about.

Wednesday, 26 July 2017

Bomber jacket and I love it!

After sewing my last pair of trousers I got so exhausted that I wanted to sew something simple and straightforward. Not because the trousers were difficult, not at all, they were really simple, but because of all the blog posts that resulted from them πŸ˜‚ (I wrote 4! A normal one and 3 tutorials). Those were a bit of work.

Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Crocheted Froggie

During my last trip to Egypt in June, I tried my hand at crocheting toys as you might have already read in my post about the bunny. Then you'd also know that I used the bunny to train for bigger things. And here it is: The frog! πŸ˜€

Half was through this frog I realized I was using the wrong stitch and the frog was growing extremely long! I stopped, scratched my head, googled a bit then undid and redid using the correct stitch. Again, if you read about the bunny, you know I haven't bothered to redo that, but the frog would've looked awful otherwise πŸ˜‚.

The scarf was made by my mom who decided to give me a bit of a hand.

This little guy is also based on a pattern from Stoff & Stil, all yarn is also from there apart from that used for the scarf, it was leftovers from my mom's stash.

And although this frog looks way better (and more professional) than the bunny, and although everybody in the family loved it, the bunny is still me nephew's favorite. And I'm fine with that.

Monday, 17 July 2017

Summer delight trousers a.k.a How to make Seamwork Moji from a Burda pattern?


I love Seamwork's Moji trousers! I've been looking at this pattern forever and really wanted to make it. But I have to admit...I'm cheap when it comes to patterns. Moji costs $12. I stopped buying the $5.99 patterns from the American Burda site because I speak Russian and they cost under $3 on the Russian Burda site (and they have loads of sales). So $12 was super expensive in my book.

Sunday, 16 July 2017

Create fold up effect hem

This is a very cool looking detail on cigarette pants (you know the type that becomes narrower towards the foot but isn't skinny). It gives this relaxed casual look.

This was another detail on the Seamwork Moji trousers I wanted to recreate. With a bit of logic and a bit of imagination, I managed πŸ˜„.

Tuesday, 11 July 2017

Narrow your trousers hem

Have you ever had this pattern or pair of trousers that fit you nicely around the hips and thighs but you wished they tapered more towards your foot? In this post I'll show you how you can achieve this.

Let's start from a simple pattern drawing. Piece 1 is the front leg pattern, piece 2 is the back leg pattern.

If you want to shorten of lengthen the pattern, do that first, then follow the steps below:

1- Measure the hem on the front and back pattern pieces, A and B on the image below.

2- Calculate X=A+B

3- Now measure around your leg where the hem will be, we'll call this C, also point your foot and measure around the biggest bit where the heel is, we'll call this D. You need to manage to get the trousers past this point when you put them on πŸ˜ƒ.

4- For this to look good, I recommend adding 6-8 cm to C, let's say we'll use 8cm. Now calculate Y.
If C+8 is equal to or greater than D, then Y=C+8.
If C+8 is less than D, then Y=D.

5- Now we need to reduce X to Y and do this proportionally, so next comes a bit of math so concentrate! 😜

6- New front hem length E=A×Y÷X, New back hem length F=Y-E.

7- Mark a distance (A-E)÷2 from each side of the front leg pattern.

8- Likewise mark a distance (B-F)÷2 from each side of the back leg pattern.

9- Most commercial patterns have knee positions marked, if not, hold the front leg pattern to you and mark the middle of your knee on the pattern, measure from hem to this mark and mark accordingly on the back leg pattern.

10- Draw a straight line from the marks made in steps 7 & 8 to the knee marks.

11- Fold along these newly drawn lines or cut away outside them, and use the modified pattern pieces.

The same can be done on your pair of sewn or RTW trousers as well, you can mark straight on the pants and sew along the new lines.

And leave me a comment below if you have any comments or questions 😊

Sunday, 9 July 2017

Crocheted bunny

I love crochet. I'm quite good at it and enjoy doing it. I've crocheted myself a few garments already and I do use them often. But I've never done any toys before. The multitude of shapes to construct a toy and the importance of getting those shapes right scared me a bit, together with the fact that there was nobody to make toys for.

But now I have a nephew, who is a great excuse to make all kind of things! Clothes, toys, decor items, bed sheets...😁

Saturday, 8 July 2017

Create patch pockets

Patch pockets look good and are so easy to make! You can choose the shape and size you want and from there it's just a few simple steps to make it happen.

Friday, 7 July 2017

Star shirt

For quite a while since I started sewing, shirts have intimidated me...They're one item where fit is crucial everywhere! Shoulders, neck, waist, back, etc...And there are a lot of details and pieces, back yoke, collar with a stand, cuffs, button plackets. And until now I think they're the most demanding garment to sew properly.

Sunday, 2 July 2017

Eliminating gathers in a garment

Before you do this, you have to make sure this doesn't change (significantly) the fit of your garment! Some gathers are there not only as decorative details but as an essential detail for proper fit. In case of the latter, you can't just eliminate them, you have to go with them or transform them to pleats (but that's another topic).

Monday, 19 June 2017

While waiting for the Norwegian summer

While the weather in Norway still can't decide whether it's summer or not really, its brother in Tunisia had very decisively moved into early summer when I was there middle of May.

This fabric for this pattern (answers to the guessing game)

Although the level of participation was really disappointing, a big thanks to those who did participate 😘.

I did get one response that guessed them all correctly! Elpida! Spot on, this is exactly how these fabrics will be used. πŸ˜ƒ

Friday, 2 June 2017

A taste of Tunisia: The island of Djerba

To be honest, there isn't much informative I can tell you about Djerba apart from telling you that the Friday market in Midoun is not worth the effort, especially if you've already been through the markets of Tunis, in which case this will be a total disappointment.

Tuesday, 30 May 2017

Up for a guessing game?

Below are 6 fabrics for my upcoming 6 sewing project (all for myself! mwahaha)

1- Cotton with feathers pattern:

Monday, 29 May 2017

A taste of Tunisia: Tunis city

El Zaytouna mosque

Our third day in Tunis we dedicated to the city itself.
I mentioned that we were living in the old town with its maze of tiny alleys, this also contains the markets of Tunis (or for those who feel souks is a special word, then souks...which translates simply to markets in Arabic).

Sunday, 28 May 2017

A taste of Tunisia: Carthage

The view from Birsa hill

The second day we headed to historical Carthage. This is a city very rich in history and culture, there's debate as to when it was established, but it's around 1000 B.C by the Phoenicians. It was a thriving commercial city and the remains found there show how open to the world around them they were, how many different cultures passed through it and blended together, how their own arts been influenced by so many others they came in contact with. But the romans had different ideas some 750 years after, burnt it to the ground, killed everybody and built their own city on the rubble...

Thursday, 25 May 2017

A taste of Tunisia: Sidi Bou Said

The most famous thing about Tunisia for me has always been those pretty white houses with blue trim...Blue doors, blue windows and sometimes some extra decoration, overlooking the sea.

Sunday, 21 May 2017

A taste of Tunisia: A vacation begins

I just came back from a week's vacation in Tunisia that I really loved. It's a country I always wanted to visit and experience, and some time ago I was talking about it with my little sister and we laughed about meeting there one day (given I'm in Norway and she's in Egypt that is...).

Saturday, 6 May 2017

The almighty Ukrainian shirt

I have finally done it! After two years of cross-stitching perseverance I've finally done it! 😁

The whole story started with me travelling to Ukraine a couple of years ago on what could be described as a nostalgic vacation. I wanted to see my childhood city Lviv again and how it looked today (well...2 years ago). Yes. I was born in Lviv, Ukraine. Because my mom is from that beautiful city. And I lived there for 5 years before moving with my mom to the Arabic world to join my Jordanian father.
The front

Tuesday, 18 April 2017

Shirt in flowers

May is coming closer and closer but I'm also progressing quite well with my collection. I have finished the shirt I was planning for a friend before Easter, and boy am I happy with it!

The plan was this:

- Pattern 9/2013 #117 from Burda Style.
- Cotton poplin fabric from Minerva Crafts.
- Yellow butterfly buttons and black flat buttons from Stoff & Stil.

Sunday, 2 April 2017

Jumpsuit in flowers

A.k.a "Sewing for others" collection - item 6 of 8. This is not the first time I use this pattern (for the sewing interested: It's Burda Style 4/2016 - Model 112).

Wednesday, 8 March 2017

Some fast days lately

It's amazing how much faster it goes when you're alone at home and have to make your own food! πŸ˜† Or when you get involved in something or other that requires a little bit every day...

My husband has been travelling for work most of last week and most of this week, and although the daily routine hasn't changed, I do spend part of my evening cooking and suddenly evenings are a lot shorter...

Saturday, 25 February 2017

Next plans or "Sewing for others" collection

I mentioned my spring collection in my previous post. However! Some travel plans have changed and therefore the spring collection has to wait.

What I'll start with is the "Sewing for others" collection and if I still have time before travelling I might make something for the vacation I'm travelling to, but we'll see...

Tuesday, 21 February 2017

The last winter project for 2016/17

I've shared with you a few weeks ago my intentions to sew the last project for this winter and showed some items I considered for the purpose to match a piece of fabric I had available and wanted to use 😊

One of the nominees pushed aside all the others for me when it was released in the January issue of Burda Style magazine. I liked the shape and design details and at the same time, the simplicity of its construction... And the winner is!

Tuesday, 7 February 2017

Some sun can't hurt

Our 7th floor balcony

I'm on vacation!!! Finally 😁! I've been waiting for so long! And now I finally took a week off and flew to Egypt. I'm spending the whole week in Cairo with my family including the new little addition to it, my nephew Zein who is only 1 month old πŸ‘Ά

Wednesday, 25 January 2017

Project jeans - part 2

My original plan for this past week was to catch up on an embroidery project I keep neglecting, and I did do a bit on Monday so I feel a bit better about it. But on Wednesday I got this urge to continue with the jeans.

Monday, 16 January 2017

Project Jeans

The idea was born as simple as ever: I want new black jeans, I love those flared ones the weather woman on NRK wore, I will make them myself so they fit properly.

The pattern
The M&S purchasing was a bit more challenging:

Monday, 9 January 2017

It's a new year

Taal lake, on the way to the volcano

And a bit over a year since my last post.
I'm not sure why this time of year gets me blogging again, maybe it's the lingering holiday mood, maybe the slightly more relaxed, less busy days. I'm a bit disappointed with myself for not writing
The White beach, Boracay
more, I don't exactly lack things to write about or want to write, but my problem is that "inspiration" hits at times and places when I don't have the means or the time to write. I should start carrying a little notebook...Saying that, I'm not going to quit my day job yet πŸ˜‚