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a last post

September 2, 2011

hello, it’s me again. It’s been a while.. After this year of making my own clothes I’ve never officially finished The Dress I Made, in fact I think I never really will. But I do think the project as such has come to an end. A year is long enough to make a statement, don’t you think? So here’s one last post to say goodbye for real. And, because I cannot sit still and I’m terrible at goodbyes, to introduce to you a new project!

A few weeks ago Eelke approached me with quite an exciting proposition: for another project he rented a RED filmcamera, the type they use for shooting movies. Wooohooo! But what to film? As it turns out, I can stop blogging (at least for a while), but it is entirely impossible to stop making dresses. Or tops. Or skirts. So when Eelke suggested to do a fashion movie instead of a photoshoot I already had a few items waiting to be shown to you. Thanks to Eelke, Ben and Victor I can now show them to you in moving images. It is the perfect way to finish this blog for real I think. I hope you enjoy it as much as we enjoyed making the movie!

And then the new project I want to tell you about. As a matter of fact I’m writing this blog from a house with a swimming pool on the roof (important detail) in Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam. I’ve packed my backpack with drawing pencils, paper and my laptop, because I’ll be working in Ho Chi Minh City until december as a member of the Future Living Studio. It’s part of a supercool sustainable design project and we (european, american and vietnamese designers) will be working on the interior of an eco-lodge in Phu Quoc. So, if you haven’t pressed on the link already, you can here follow my design adventures in Vietnam.

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the day after

May 26, 2011

That was fun! I never expected so many people would bring that much dresses, skirts, blouses and trousers to swap. And not only ladies, even the guys joined in. Thank you so much everybody, it was a great birthday party! Eelke took some shots, of which I will show a selection after the jump. The full collection can be viewed at Eelke’s flickr page here. Read the rest of this entry »

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tonight’s the night

May 25, 2011

Today it’s exactly one year ago that I started with this blog. A good reason to celebrate, don’t you think? So tonight you are all invited to come celebrate with me at

Hoop Creatief Warenhuis, Grote Markt 10-13 in The Hague. From 7 to 10 pm, entrance is free but the drinks are not.

Bring friends and bring those dresses, tops, shirts, pants, cardigans, shawls and skirts that you bought but hardly wore (yes, I know you’ve got them too) and see if we can swap!

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my grandma’s buttons

May 19, 2011

I’m sorry I’ve been a bit quiet lately. My excuse is that with my sewing skills improving, the designs in my head get more and more complex too. Or at least more labour intensive. The fabric I work with for this blouse is a very thin satin viscose. I tried sewing it on my regular straight stitch machine with a special micro-needle, but the fabric just damages and I have to sew the whole blouse by hand.. which takes forever as you can imagine. Yesterday I finished the neckline, and I found the perfect button for it: one of the glass buttons I inherited from my grandma. I’ve never known her, but apparently she was a great craftress as well.

In the mean time I’m busy with the preperation of next week’s celebration of this blog’s one year anniversary. To share the fun, and to raise a bit of money so I can continue doing this, I decided to sell a few dresses on etsy. Have a look, and maybe one on my dresses can be yours!

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green outfit

May 11, 2011

These are the last pictures of the shoot Eelke and I did last month. It’s fun to see how items come together when I wear them in an outfit. The inspiration to take my sewing machine out usually comes from one of three different starting points: sometimes it’s the fabric that makes me think of a dress or something else. Sometimes it’s a technique that I want to try out, like the blouse I’m working on right now and sometimes I just need a specific item. I rarely start making an item with a specific combination or outfit in mind, but somehow they often fit together. I guess it’s because I’ve got a very specific taste in the fabrics I like and the type of garments I want to wear.

O, and I’ve made a facebook event for the birthday celebration of this blog!

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work in progress

May 5, 2011

It’s almost a year since I’ve started the challenge to create my own wardrobe and written the very first post of The Dress I Made. I’ve learned a lot from sewing all these clothes, and without this self-induced incentive of writing a blog I would never have started on a wintercoat for example. With making my own skirts, dresses and trousers, I learned about quality too. About the luxury feel of a dress that fits perfectly and about the secret pleasure of a blouse with hidden french seams. Now that I’ve spent endless hours handstitching hems to attach them invisibly, I recognize (and value) real craftmanship even more.

One of the reasons to start this project was the feeling that something’s wrong in fashion industry: fast turn-over rates, horrible working conditions and a total lack of respect for our resources. Recently I’ve visited a textile recycling innovation centre, where they told me that 30% (!!) of all clothes and textile goods produced are destroyed without ever being worn or used. Apparently in food industry figures are even worse, but still this is an insanely high percentage of waste, isn’t it? When I started this challenge I thought that I would really miss shopping, but that’s not the case. My love for quality has grown, and combined with a loss of appetite for mass-produced goods I’ve now got and even more expensive taste than before. And less money.. But that’s a side note, I just wanted to explain why I totally admire the work of Monique van Heist, who has the guts to not design a whole new collection every season. And the work of the ladies from I-did slow fashion, who make a continuously evolving collection with the help of ladies from their neighbourhood.

The pictures show a top I’ve been working on for a few evenings in a row now. I’ve explained earlier how I’m fascinated by 3D structures and textures in textile, and this is another example. I hope the result will be just as pretty as the image in my head, and so far it looks promising.

PS To celebrate the 1-year anniversary I invite you all to a ‘swap the clothes that you’ve hardly worn’-party the 25th of May in Hoop Creatief warenhuis in The Hague, from 7 to 10 pm. More info will follow!

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how to work with eyelets

May 3, 2011

If you have looked at the yin yang bag tutorial, you might have noticed the big eyelets that I used to lead the holding strap through. These are the biggest you can still hammer in by hand, without using a real press. Since I’ve had a few questions concerning where to buy them and how to add them to your piece of work, I decided to write a short tutorial about them. Read the rest of this entry »

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