Red Pencil Skirt Pattern HACK

I have quite fallen in love with Delia’s Pencil Skirt Pattern from Delia Creates.

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Especially the knit version of it… well, since I didn’t do the pleated version yet. It’s on my long-term to-do list, only it’s not quite the best time to do a pleated pencil skirt when you’re pregnant and your figure is going to change a lot in the next year or more. So that’ll have to wait a bit.

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Anyway. The knit pencil skirt is a dream to do. It’s super easy, fast done, looks great, feels great, is comfortable… what else is there to say?

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I have done a “simple” version, when I was making an outfit for myself to my cousin’s wedding. That turned out great. So I had to make another one. Except I played around with the pattern a little bit and made my own little hack.

Basically I took the pattern and cut it into smaller panels, only to sew them back together. That’s all there is to it, really.

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I also added some pockets. Though it might not seem as the best idea with a narrow pencil skirt, I just like to have pockets. Even though, I don’t put much in them. But I don’t wear a watch, so I like to have a place to have my phone around me, most of all when I’m not at home. Also it’s nice to have a place to put a tissue or a headband for Liv, to have them around… That’s why.

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I had plans of adding some closure to the pockets to keep them from standing off a bit at the hips. Those plans came right after I made the skirt and tried it on. It’s been a while since and I never got to do them… not sure I ever will. Maybe with the next one.

I used a deep red jersey for this skirt. It’s similar to the off-white one I used for the skirt I wore to the wedding, except it’s a bit thinner. Still thick enough though to make a good skirt fabric. I also bought it at the same time as I bought the off-white jersey. It was just a thing in the moment, and what a good moment that was!

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Yep. What else is there to say… I love those skirts. I’m sure there are gonna be more, whether in the original pattern or hacked ones.

So I’ll just add this awesome GIF my sis made. Ouuiiiii!

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Dresses To A Mint Wedding

Oh dear, time has stood still around here again for a bit. It seems almost hard to get it going again. But I will talk about the reasons why some other time. For now, I would just like to finish this post, I started a month or two ago… when it was still warm… so I might then just move on.

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This summer my lovely cousin had her wedding. I was sewing trousers and a vest for her son which was out of the same fabric his father had his made. By the way, it was one of the most lovely woolen fabrics I’ve ever sewn with. It was a DREAM to do it! Unfortunately I do not have a photo of him to share yet.

What I can share with you are the dresses me and Liv wore to this wedding.

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I knew she wanted the “theme” or rather colour of the wedding (decoration) to be mint. From something quite different I had done before this, I had a lot of mint fabrics at home. So, again last minute, after I was finished with the trousers and vest, I decided to make something for us too.

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For myself I wanted something to be casual enough to be comfortable in for a whole afternoon-evening, but yet appropriate for a wedding and maybe a little bit different.

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So I chose to make an off-white jersey pencil skirt, with the pattern from DeliaCreates, and this weird but cool asymmetric mint jersey shirt, which I drafted after another old shirt I had at home.

The jersey skirt pattern from Delia Creates fits perfectly, though I might have made it a size smaller yet. From her instructions it should have been even bigger and I was struggling a while to get it more or less right. But I guess, that’s due to my post-baby-figure, that never got back.

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I had real luck with the fabric. I bought it while looking for something else and it was quite cheap and seemed nice so I just took it. It was really a quick decision in the moment, but I’m so glad for it, because it was just ideal for this skirt. The colour is really nice, an off-white that can be formal, but still can be matched up with casual stuff. It’s wonderfully soft to the touch, yet rather a thick jersey, so it holds a nice form and also has the advantage that it’s not at all see-through. Perfect for a skirt. Also, combined with the great patter from Delia, it was just a quickie to sew! What more does one want?

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The mint jersey fabric for the shirt is a much softer, flowing one, which again was wonderful for the use of the shirt. Gave it a kind of waterfall-effect, which was really nice.

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What I like about the pattern is it makes it look really almost like an ordinary shirt, but with an interesting twist on the sides, plus it is really nice and comfy, especially in summer, to have it so wide. And at the same time the mint colour adds the formal touch, making it, I think, fit enough for a wedding.

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The neckline is actually rather wide and it needed something to make it hold better in place, which was a nice opportunity to add a nice little detail in the back. I actually used a different mint fabric, which I used for Liv’s dress and which is not stretchy. Luckily it’s in the same mint tone as the shirt’s fabric, though. Over this I added a piece of lace (can you see it on the photo?), which again I used for Liv’s dress. So not only does it add a nice accent, it actually was a direct link to my daughter’s dress and made it matching, though, not in such a clear way. Hah, insider information here.

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So, to get to Liv’s dress, now that I’ve started talking about it.

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For her, I made a simple mint A-line dress, with a stretchy off-white lace at the top.

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As I mentioned before, I made her dress out of a different fabric. Not quite sure what exactly it is, because it’s been in my stash probably for years. I think it’s a cotton-poly-blend or something… It’s actually nice to touch, and it can be stretched a little bit actually, but otherwise is a bit firmer. First I wanted to make her dress out of the same jersey as my shirt, but it was too flow-y and falling for the simple A-line. So I took this fabric and it worked really well.

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The stretchy lace fabric at the top not only adds a nice detail, but is also really useful. It makes it softer and more comfortable around the neck and shoulders, not only to wear, but also to dress and undress.

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For the hems of the neckline and sleeves I used the soft jersey from my shirt. I admit, the combination of the stretchy, thin lace and the soft jersey was a bit slippery to sew… but worth the comfort, I think. Also, thanks to the stretch of both, I didn’t have to add any buttons or any other closure around the neck, which in the end saved me lots of time, energy, and made it super easy and quick to put on.

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Yup, that’s about it.

See you (hopefully) soon(er) in a next post.

Our Matching Family Christmas Dresses

Ok, so this is a little bit crazy (during summer), but let’s talk about Christmas.

I don’t know about you, but somehow I always end up singing Christmas songs in the middle of summer. Maybe to turn my mind away from the heat? Or my head actually becomes overheated and starts acting crazy? Aaaaanyway…

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I was jumping back and forth between writing this now and leaving it for winter season, when it actually would be more current. But the photos have been taken more or less recently, in a fully green garden, so it would be just as weird to post them in winter as it is to write about Christmas in summer, so why the heck wait.

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So here we go. After helping my lovely cousin with her family matching outfits for Christmas, and probably sewing something else maybe as a gift (as if I would remember), I decided to make some quite last-minute family outfits for us.

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Liv has a lovely red dress she got for her birthday. And since it is quite festive with its striking red lace (for photo see at the end of the post), it gets rather less worn than it would deserve. We’re not too much of the sort who wears a lot of sleek and fine clothes. Or who go too much to places or occasions where you would have to. So I didn’t want to make her a special Christmas dress, rather she should wear the red one. Therefore I had to find something to go with it. I might have made a bow for her head or something, but she pretty much refuses to wear any of such things on her head and they get thrown away very soon. (Not that I’d be into bows too much anyway, but for a little girl why not.)

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Since it was winter, she would have to wear something underneath the skirt anyway, so I decided to go a bit punk and have her wear trousers with that posh dress. At least she’ll be able to wear them anytime during the year afterwards.

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I made them really simple. Just something to put her legs into with an elastic waistband. You wouldn’t see any other details under the dress anyway. And a little kid doesn’t really need any pockets or the like, so why bother. Also I was short on time.

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For my husband I made a raglan shirt, making the sleeves out of a thicker black jersey. This was to make it a) look more interesting and add a contrast, b) add comfort for him when wearing, c) to get by with the bought fabric.
This, dear reader, is not a questionnaire. I am simply giving you all the reasons at once. ;-)

My husband does not like being too dressed up, so again, making him a tie or bow or anything more sleek was not really an option. So I think this was a nice middle-way. It’s comfortable and simple enough and yet the green fabric makes it also look nice.

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The fabric was something I bought also last-minute before doing it all. After deciding suddenly I would give it a try and make a family outfit for us, I went to a fabric store here in town- a few days before Christmas. I have to say, I did not expect a half-empty store. They were obviously pretty much sold out, restocking apparently only after Christmas. So even though, I had something a bit different in mind when I was going there, I just went with anything that would catch my eye, after getting in.

So obviously, I got out of there with the only thing that caught my eye- an emerald green fabric (with subtly black kind of checked stripes). For those of you who do not know me that much: emerald green is MY colour. I love greens, almost any shades and hues, and deep, dark, emerald green is the colour that will always catch my eye.

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The fabric is probably a poly-blend, at least that’s what I’d guess by touch. As I said, since I didn’t have much choices, I just went with whatever I found.

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As for me. I ended up with a simple knee-length dress, with short raglan sleeves, a wide neckline and a bit longer hem in the back.Why ever did I do that, I’m not sure anymore, just seemed like a fine idea at the time I guess.

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I actually tried around with my own dress the most, not quite content with it until the very last minute, when I just decided it would be OK simple as it is. Somehow I wanted to make something more out of it, but time, energy left fabric and a too tired mind didn’t let me. In the end, I was actually happy that I’d left it as it was.

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Whew. Enough said, I think. Here a photo from Christmas only to show you how we looked together and that we really had it on, haha.

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Shirt With Twigs And A Green Stripe

A different post is waiting half-written which I wanted to post these days, but I’m still processing the photos and it’s getting on rather slowly because I can’t seem to concentrate on it right now. So I thought, I might boost my mood with rather posting this meanwhile. :-)

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I bought the fabric last autumn. The bare twigs and branches on the jersey give it rather a bit autumn-y touch (but not too much not to be able to wear it all year long), I guess that’s why I bought it then. But then I was always working on something else and so it stayed on the fabric stash for a few months. It was some time between winter and spring that I was rather in need of a nice, comfortable shirt I could wear both at home and anywhere else, really, when I took it out again and made it into.. well, a shirt, just as I have described it right now.

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There’s a pattern in my collection, I made already some time ago from a shirt I already own and which I really like and feel comfortable in. So I took that. I adjusted the neckline a bit, because I know from a previous project I did, it came out a bit too big. (Though, on the original shirt it’s just fine. Maybe I drafted it wrong?).

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I made it with elbow-length- sleeves, because that’s justhow I like it best. That way it’s good for winter, spring and autumn, or rather, as long as it doesn’t get too hot. Even if I have a shirt with long sleeves, I aaaalways roll it up to my elbows. Pretty much always, sooner or later during the day. It’s just much more practical.

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As much as I like the twigs pattern on the fabric, when you make a whole shirt out of it, it feels a little boring. I just felt like I really had to break it up somehow.

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That’s how the green stripe in the middle of the back came to be. Like a little surprise when you turn around. I kinda love it!

Not so boring any more, huh?

Grandma + Granddaughter Summer Dresses

I am happy to say that today I am going to share with you something I’ve done recently. My wonderful, dear Mom had her birthday not long ago, and I was more than happy to oblige her with a wish she had for a dress.

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Once -some longer time ago- we were together at a fabric store in Vienna. I was looking for some fabric for I don’t know what any more, and she bought this lovely denim blue thin cotton fabric with white dots, saying she would like me to make a dress for her out of it. So I took it home with me, where it sat for a while, put away with other fabrics in my fabric closet, waiting for its turn.

In the meantime it was winter, not time for wearing thin dresses anyway, lots of other things to do… Until this June, when her birthday was coming near, I finally got it out again, remembering it was something I’ve promised her long ago.

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Originally we took fabric enough to make a simple long dress for mom. She has a dress, similar to the one I made, which she likes and she gave it to me to draft my pattern from it, with just some minor adjustments. But then she said, she wants the dress to be knee-length-short. Since it’s a thin fabric anyway, and is good for a summer dress anyway therefore, it doesn’t need to be long.

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So suddenly there was some extra fabric left. So we started talking about matching dresses for her and Liv. Though, I am not exactly sure whose idea it was, I am almost sure it was her.

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And here they are. Beautiful matching grandmother and granddaughter in their summer dresses.

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The yellow flower is getting water to drink (right into its mouth) 

I made Liv’s dress a bit differently on purpose. The fabric makes it so clear they are matching, I didn’t want the pattern to be the same, so they would look like… big version, small version. I like matching outfits. But I like them to be a little bit different. Most of the time. Though, sometimes it works even if they are same-same. Let’s not get into that any deeper right now anymore.

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Detail of closure on the side with buttons on Grandma’s version
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Detail of Liv’s front closure with buttons

The original dress I drafted for my mother’s dress also had a lovely lace at the bottom hem. I kinda liked it, it added a bit of refreshment to the simple pattern. So I looked through what I had at home and found some lovely embroidered madeira laces which I liked. Unfortunately none of the two I liked most I had enough for both dresses. So they each got a different one. But I wonder if anyone would even really notice, if I didn’t point it out.

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I think they’re so cute together. :-)

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Hudson Pants + Bear Shirt

Oh my, oh my. All the things I want to share I’ve been doing for the past few months(!) are piling up again. It seems this kind of beginning of a post is becoming all too frequent. And yet, here we go again. I spent all the time sewing or doing other stuff, not finding the time or nerve or whatever it is to sit down and write something. And the seasons change again and it seems awkwardly late to write about shirts and things I’ve been doing this spring (or winter! Argh!).

I was never good writing diaries or the like, either. I could never keep a day to day journal and time always flew by until I would write again. But, oh well, it’s not like it matters too much.

Never mind.

I’ve wanted to sew a pair of those lovely Hudson Pants, I’ve been reading all around blogs about. And I have to say I love them! They are wonderful to wear, comfortable, yet nice.

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Yes, ever since I am a mom, like so many others, I too have gone through a change, starting to appreciate more the functional, comfortable, easy clothes. And as I have (I think) mentioned before, I am experimenting a bit with patterns on fabric. And I have come to love asymmetric lines. But now I’m going a bit farther with this than I wanted.

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Anyway. Hudson Pants. Love them. What else is there to say?

Kelli from True Bias has made a truly great pattern. Though, I didn’t know what size I was in American sizing charts, so I measured myself, but then I had to go 2 sizes (I think) smaller than it showed me… But that’s OK. It was pretty easy to make it smaller. Still easier, than trying to make it bigger than you’ve cut it..

(I’ve also made the Mini version, which I guess I love even more… but that’s just spoiler alert for some other time, hehe.)

Fabric-wise I have chosen an Art Gallery jersey fabric, with the lovely name of Shore Remains Trinkets. I was in a mood for mustard yellow… I guess that was due to the spring. :-)
Love the fabric, so soft and great to wear!

I’m pretty sure I’ll be doing another pair of Hudson Pants soon.

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I’ve also made this shirt with geometric Bears! It’s probably one of those things I did yet in winter. Argh. Took me so long to post about. I don’t even remember anymore when I did it.

I had this cute Bio-Sweat fabric, Camping Bear (green) and I was in need of some winter shirts.. And I saw a pattern in BurdaStyle, which seemed nice, so I did that.

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Only I did some changes to it. I basically left out the part at the bottom that seems to stick out underneath. And I made it with only elbow-long sleeves. I was a bit scarce of fabric and it seemed not to make much sense with the pattern on it and considering it was a sweat fabric, not jersey as it should be for the pattern, it seemed to thick to get the result for that anyway. And then there’s the simple fact that I usually roll up my sleeves to my elbows, if they are longer, so the effect of it would get lost anyway.

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The neckline seems to be a little weird, standing up as it does. But since I’m too lazy to repair, change or do something with it, I just got used to it.

Oh yeah, and I also made high-low seam at the bottom. I guess you can see that on many things I sew lately. It’s just so practical! No bare back popping out when you bow down, etc. Especially for winter and any other time it’s chillier outside.. (Yes, not exactly that you’d be looking for that kind of thing right now, since summer has finally arrived with all its glory and temperatures…)

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Another spoiler alert. I used some rest fabrics from this to make a pyjama for Liv. We actually love that one even more! Coming soon (hopefully) ;-)

The Matching Asymmetric Winter Coat for Mom

It seems I am late -again- to write about a winter coat on the brink of spring. I could argument, that it is not THAT thick and I can still wear it in early spring-time while it gets warmer. Truth is, though, that I still have to find a way how to keep my projects up to date with this blog. Or at least with seasons. Not such an easy task with little kids around and a pregnant photographer :-)

Nevertheless, I am very happy to be able to share… wait for it… The Asymmetric Winter Coat! For mom. Matching to the lovely Asymmetric (Fairy tale) Daughter’s Winter Coat (and its matching Doll version)..

Tadaaa.

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Yes, you are right, it is exactly the one, I had my meltdown over. It has taken me rather a long time to make. Well, to fit, to be exact. Ok, I admit, most of the time it’s been hanging on the sewing mannequin, waiting to get some attention. And every time I would take it down to get something done I just got rather frustrated about not being able to find a way to fit properly and it quickly found its way back to sitting up there.

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The thing was (if you haven’t read the meltdown post where I mentioned it a bit), I used a pattern that was too big for me. Ever since my pregnancy with Liv my body is stuck somewhere in between sizes. My breast grew quite a bit, my belly has (even 2 years after giving birth) still some jelly-belly as I like to call it (though, I admit, I have not been working too much to get rid of it), and I grew overall a little bit bigger. Everybody used to tell me all the extra weight would go away when I’ll be breastfeeding. Well. I am still breastfeeding and it has not gone away on itself.

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And now there’s the never-ending problem with sizes. I take measures. They show me I’m some size bigger. But then it’s actually too big on other parts, where I haven’t grown much bigger. I always try to adjust the pattern beforehand. But I don’t have my new body-form that well “in hand” so I don’t always get it quite at first try.

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Well, like with this coat. Of course, I made a beta-version out of some extra old stash fabric I had at home which I wouldn’t really want to use for anything anyway, so it was perfect to be the trial version for my coat. Or so it seemed. I adjusted some problems there, but overall it seemed like it would be OK. It was not a too soft fabric, but it turned out still softer than I should have used, because when I cut the pattern out of the thick curtain fabric it just didn’t fit as well. And the most annoying thing of all- it didn’t fit on the back! The one place where it’s the hardest to make adjustments when sewing on yourself!
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To cut the story short. After some unsuccessful attempts to adjust the back, I finally sat down with it (after winter was already midway over anyway) for about two or more evenings, I basically ripped the whole back up apart, ripped the sleeves off again, and little by little made adjustments, until it finally fitted! Or at least, well enough for what I could still do with a pattern that was not exactly best, and for which I still had nerves left. After all, I still wanted to have a chance to wear the matching coats with my daughter, while it still fits her, after I’ve designed it that way! Anyway, turns out a bigger pattern is not always easier to adjust than a slightly small pattern..

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What is done is done. And this is finally done.

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These winter coats have been pretty much an upcycling project, which was pretty exciting. If you haven’t read about it in the post about Liv’s coat, then I’ll tell you again. They have been made out of curtain fabric from IKEA. We have those petrol curtains in our bedroom, and when I was cutting quite a bit off from them (because our bed is right under the window), my initial thought was it would make a beautiful winter coat for Liv. And since there was still some fabric left, I made a matching one for me too. Yay.

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Originally I meant to make a hoodie for me too, but there wasn’t enough fabric for that. So I left that away. I actually like it this way probably better anyway.

There wasn’t enough fabric for my sleeves either. So I took advantage of some faux leather, which was in my stash of fabric at home anyway and made them out of it. I really love the biker-touch it adds to the whole coat!

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For interlining (the middle layer), I used some flanel fabric I also had at home. (The same one, I used for Liv’s coat too.) The only new thing about the coat is my lining (ok, and zipper), because I didn’t have (enough) any matching fabric to go for that at home. But since linings are cheap, the whole winter-coats-project was really cheap! Yay! If I don’t count those nerves I had about fitting the back.

Didn’t turn out too bad in the end, I think. Even the back. I definitely have to buy some more of the curtain fabric to make another matching coat for Liv next winter! I never thought it would be so fun to be going around in matching stuff with my daughter.

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