Gemma Twin Set

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Now everywhere, at least in our surroundings, the summer vacation has started, Sofilantjes has released again a new pattern: the Gemma Twin Set. It is a twin set, thus actually two-patterns-in-one! And I got to test this great pattern set of a culotte or skirt and top! Probably you know it, but I had never heard of the term culotte. For the few of you who are like me, I will explain: a culotte is a wide pair of shorts or pants that almost looks like a skirt.

The Gemma twin set is perfect for this time of the year: if you are still completing the summer wardrobe of your child, you can make a nice summer set, or, if your child has enough clothes for the summer already, you can make a fall-proof set with longsleeves and combine it with knee socks, tights, or leggings. Both top and bottoms can be made rather quickly and are not complicated. That’s also a pro in holiday times, when children are around and might keep you from sewing much.

So what ís the Gemma twin set exactly? It is a set of a culotte or skirt and a top. The culotte/skirt comes in two lengths and can be made out of woven or knit fabrics. The top is made from knits, can be made with short or long sleeves and has two hemline options. I have made three sets plus a separate top during the testing period, and Miss SieBe loves to wear them! The first set I made had already a great fit, although the top was slimmed down a bit later on. I didn’t make fancy pics of this one, so don’t look at the quality, but I thought it was too cute to not show it:

I was asked to make the culotte in mini length and combine it with a top with shorts sleeves and the curved hemline. That last detail doesn’t show in the pictures, but was appreciated by Miss SieBe, so she wanted more of those. I used a 100% cotton Efteling fabric for the culotte. Miss SieBe has asked me for quite some time now to make something for her out of this fabric. Because, initially, I didn’t have in mind to use it for clothes, I thought it was a perfect fabric to use for a muslin. She has been lucky, as it came out perfect!

The only option that changed in the second set was the hemline: this top has a regular straight hemline, but again it is not visible in the pics, as I prefer the look with the shirt in the culotte.

Again, the culotte is made out of a woven fabric (100% cotton), though it can be made from knits as well. The waistband is made of jersey fabric, but the pattern also has an option for a woven waistband. I love this combination of woven for the culotte and knit for the top. It allowed me to make new fabric combinations from the fabrics in my stash. Sometimes I need a lot of time to decide on fabric combinations, but this time I had made three combinations in less than ten minutes. As I also wanted to use the third fabric combination, so I decided to make another set:

For this set I made the skirt with a woven waistband in knee length. The skirt twirls so has been approved by Miss SieBe! She prefers to wear the top on the skirt instead of in it. I think I don’t, but at least it shows the beautiful high/low hemline of the top!

And, last but not least, I made a longsleeve and, in that way, already started with Miss SieBe’s fall wardrobe. The curved hemline comes into its own best when worn on a pair of shorts, jeans, or pants. It is a lovely detail that should not be hidden and that makes from this great basic top pattern something special!

We are definitely a fan of this pattern! The fit is great and I love that it has the possibility to combine fabrics of different structure. Although the twin set is perfect together, the two parts are also great to make separately. For example, the top can be combined with ready-to-wear shorts or jeans, and the culotte with other tops. I have already many more combinations in mind and only my limited sewing time can keep me away from making those.

Are you also enthusiastic? You can buy your own copy of the pattern here*:

ENGLISHhttps://www.sofilantjes.com/product/gemma-twin-set-english/?affiliates=280
DUTCHhttps://www.sofilantjes.com/product/gemma-twin-set-nederlands/?affiliates=280
FRANÇAIShttps://www.sofilantjes.com/product/ensemble-gemma-francais/?affiliates=280

The pattern is for sale until July 25 05.59 CET.

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Royal mommy-and-me dresses

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This post was supposed to be published way earlier, but other things got in between, and before you know, it is months later. Nevertheless, since the Regina from Sofilantjes* is an all-time favorite for many, it is still relevant. Yes, this post is about the Regina*! I first heard about this pattern from a friend, when she used it for a birthday dress for her daughter. That was in the time I just started sewing and did not dare to make a dress yet. 😀

Less than a year later, when I bought my first patterns from Sofilantjes, the Regina* was the first one I selected. I love its characteristic neckline, with gives it its royal look. I made one for Miss SieBe with long sleeves for fall and winter and knew I would make many more in the years to come. It is a pattern that can be used the whole year around with its three sleeve length options. And with several skirt options, there’s enough to vary.

You won’t be surprised that I was very happy when last January, Anne Jacobs, the designer from Sofilantjes, announced that she was working on the Regina in adult sizes*. When the pattern finally released in March, I couldn’t wait to sew one up. My first regina I made in a solid dark blue fabric, with the thought that if it wouldn’t fit properly, I could use the fabric for clothes for the kids, so it won’t be wasted.

However, I didn’t need to cut it in pieces, for I was very happy with the result. Now I am wearing this dress very often, even at the moment of writing this blog. The dress is good friends with the washing machine! I did not have enough fabric for the 3/4 circle skirt AND long sleeves, so I made the half length sleeves with that circle skirt. Now I am happy with that length, for it is perfect for spring and cooler summer days.

I already had a fabric in mind for my second regina, the Zelda design from A Spark of Happiness. When that fabric came in, Miss SieBe, told me she loved it. She was disappointed that it was not for her, so I promised her that when there would be some fabric left, I would make something for her as well.

At that time, I was testing the Anna Apron from The Dutch Pattern Farm and needed a quick dress to match the apron, and this fabric was perfect for that. After calculating, I found out that I had enough for matching regina’s!!! I couldn’t start yet though, because to be completely sure, I wanted to cut out my own dress first, and then the dress for Miss SieBe. And before I could cut out her dress, I wanted to make a muslin for her first as well. I chose the half circle skirt from the add-on. So that was what I started with:

When I found out the fit was right, I immediately continued with the other dress, because I needed it for the final pics of the Anna Apron. Hemming had to wait after I finished our twinning dresses! 😉

Soon after the dress for Miss SieBe followed my own dress. For both dresses I chose the gathered skirt with short sleeves. The girls’ regina officially doesn’t have a gathered skirt, but the pleated skirt can also be gathered, so that is what I did. And I am very happy with the result!

I looked for a good occassion to wear our twinning dresses for the first time, and that was Easter (Yes, yes, a while ago). Unfortunately, we didn’t meet any family or friends that day, because of the Covid-19 restrictions, but we had a video-call-breakfast with the family. Though we don’t have a fancy camera on our laptop, they noticed that we were wearing the same dress! On a later occassion, when we could meet my parents again, I asked my father to photograph us. So credits for the pictures are for him!

Pattern: Regina dress and tunic from Sofilantjes. Click here for the aff links*: Kids English, Kids Dutch, Adults English, Adults Dutch, Bundle English, Bundle Dutch. (a French version can also be found on the website).
Fabric: The pink dress with flowers is a coupon I bought from Holland Stoffenhuis; The blue-white fabric of the other dresses is Zelda, from A spark of Happiness.

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Advena with stripe

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Already back in February, I had the idea to make this Advena* top (pattern from Sofilantjes*; this is the baby version, but it also comes in larger sizes) for Little Mr SieBe. Then, I made Miss SieBe a Permeo* dress for her birthday from this nice Wild Shadows panel from Swafing.

It was quite a puzzle to get the two horses on her dress at the right places, but there was a third horse left on the panel. I found out that this horse fitted exactly on the middle front pattern piece of the Advena Baby size 12m/80, the size of Little Mr SieBe. No millimeter left! So I cut that piece, but other projects had priority and I left this one unfinished.

Last week I thought I it was time to finish it before Little Mr SieBe would have outgrown size 12m/80 and before it gets too hot for a FT top. While working on it, I thought it would be nice to make a stripe on the sleeve, just like the Permeo has. To give it a cooler look, I decided to do the topstitching on the stripe, instead of on the sleeve. It was a little more complicated then on the Permeo, but perfectly doable.

This is how I did it:

  1. Cutting instructions: Remove the 1 cm (3/8″) seam allowance from the shoulders. NB: this only works with neckline option A! Do not cut the sleeves on the fold, but in two mirrored pieces (so you’ll cut 2x two pieces).
  2. Sew the bodice pieces together (till step 5 of the instructions), but do not sew the shoulder seams yet.
  3. Sew the sleeve pieces together on the short sides. Repeat for the other sleeve.
  4. Now sew the sleeve to the bodice, lining out the seam of the sleeve with the center of the side piece, just like you would usually do. (see picture below)
The sleeve sewed to the bodice

5. Measure the length from the neckline to the hem of the sleeve. This is the length of the stripe. Cut a pattern piece of this length and 4 cm (1 1/2″) width. Cut two stripes from your fabric. Best use a fabric of a similar weigth as the main fabric.

6. Sew a stripe right sides together to the front of the bodice on the shoulder/sleeve. And then the other side of the stripe to the back of the bodice’s shoulder/sleeve seam. Repeat for the other side/sleeve (see picture)

The stripe sewn between the front and back of the bodice and sleeve

7. Iron the seams, fold them either to the stripe or to the bodice/sleeve and topstitch. This can be a little tricky since the sleeves does not leave so much room to sew, but it worked for me with size 12m/80. I don’t think it will work with longsleeves though.

The stripe with topstitching

8. Finish the top/dress like you would usually do: sew the neckband, and hem. I didn’t hem on top of the stripe, and I didn’t topstitch the neckline on top of the stripe, because I like that better, but you can do as you prefer.

9. That’s it! Enjoy the result!

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Stella on a toddler

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Here is the promised second post about the Stella jumpsuit, a pattern from Sofilantjes*. In my first post I explained how I made the print continue on both sides of the jumpsuit. Initially, I planned to add just one or two modelled pictures to my first post. Then, I tried to make these pictures, and had to conclude that it didn’t give me the result I wished. It turned out to be impossible to take the photo I wanted. However, it gave me a bunch of other photo’s that I’d like to show.

I dressed Little Mr. SieBe, took my camera, and found him like this:

So, I took him to the place where I wanted to take pics, closed the snaps again, took my photo camera, looked up ready to shoot, and saw:

So I started again, and again, and again, and he kept opening the snaps before I could take a picture. Besides, he had some other tricks to keep me from photographing him in his jumpsuit from the front with closed snaps:

In the end, I gave in, this was the best result I could get…

…until he fell asleep!

I could have known it would’nt be easy. He is in his terrible 2’s after all, so ‘no’ is his favorite word and action. I finished this jumpsuit back in January. Although he was still 1 at that time, he already did the same: opening all the buttons all the time. That’s why we put it away for a while. Unfortunately, he still knows the trick and has grown in between as you can see.

So, despite I love this pattern, and it is really cute on Little Mr. SieBe, I won’t be making another Stella for him any time soon. Luckily, the pattern starts from size NB / 50, so there will be enough opportunities to make it as a gift!

If you don’t have the pattern of the Stella Jumpsuit yet, you can buy it on the website of Sofilantjes in English*, Dutch,* or French*. It comes in sizes 50-92 / NB – 2y.

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I welcome comments, advice on how to photograph a toddler, questions, or what else you have to say!