Sunday, February 12, 2017

The Far North

I am not at all a skilled nature photographer, but I love these images so much that I just had to share them. After my exams I had a one-week holiday from which I spent two days somewhere in the high North (Well, haha, I didn't. I just drove to the Dutch coast, about two hours north from where I live, but it was so freezing cold that it felt like I had travelled to Scandinavia or so.)

It was freezing, sometimes even snowing, and the only things I did were walking and taking pictures. Nothing to worry about, only me, my camera and the sea.






I'm sorry for the overload of pictures! ;) If you're only interested in the giveaway winner, just scroll down. No hard feelings ;)



The second day I walked the "bunkerroute", a short trail through the dunes with the remains of German bunkers from WWII.









After that I walked down towards the coast. It had started snowing really badly by then, and when I reached the beach, I couldn't believe my eyes. It was as if I was on the moon: everything was covered in white. So beautiful! (None of these pictures are edited, these are the original colors)



And in this freezing weather, I suddenly noticed a shrimp fisher checking his nets.

To conclude, I'll announce the winner of the Sewing Happiness give-away! Your comments on the Dutch and English blog were all so sweet, thank you so much! I haven't had the time to reply to all of them yet but I certainly will. The winner is Zijkant, congratulations! You can contact me at withlovebyeva(at)hotmail(dot)com.

Thursday, February 02, 2017

Sewing Happiness world tour

** Deze post lezen in het Nederlands? Klik hier **

The first time I virtually 'met' Sanae was when I accidentally stumbled upon her blog. I don't even remember how I got there, it might be through Pinterest or Bloglovin' of even just through Google, but I do remember my first visit to her blog. Everything, from her pictures to the text and lay-out, made me feel so relaxed and happy.  I immediately read about a hundred posts, just because I couldn't stop.

A few months later I received an e-mail from her, telling me that I had won a sashiko art print she had given away on her blog. I'm still waiting for the perfect frame and spot to hang it, again because it's so tiny and beautiful! I was very grateful for this little gift and kept reading her blog with pleasure. 

That was until I received another mail from Sanae. "Do you want to be part of the Sewing Happiness world tour?" Uhm, yes?! What an honor! Especially when I saw the names of the other participants! I have to admit I was a little starstruck ;)


The book travelled all the way from the US to Belgium and unpacking it felt like opening a treasure box. Beautiful pictures and a beautiful lay-out, just like her blog. From the fabric choices to the illustrations, everything emits a zen-feeling.


If you're a beginner, you'd buy this book because it contains some simple and rather fast projects. If you're a more experienced seamstress, this book is just a treat for the eye and for the soul, remembering you that sewing should not always be difficult. The book is divided into four seasons, each with their own beautiful and timeless projects.


Those of you following me on Instagram might have noticed that I'm going through a tough period with lots of health issues. For the last two years I've been plagued by nausea, pain and an extreme lack of energy, but the cause is still unknown. Often I am not been physically able to sew, which kind of drives me crazy because the ideas and plans keep popping up in my head ;) And when I force myself to realize some of them, the pain withholds me from concentrating and I end up disappointed because I made stupid mistakes. In the end, even looking at my sewing machine made me sad because it reminded me of what I wasn't capable of any more. Needless to say that the simple projects in this book came just in time, right?


I started with two zip pouches as a present for a friend's birthday. The outer fabric is Wandering Lands by April Rhodes for Art Gallery, a leftover I bought from Mieke. On the inside I used a striped jeans and the leather pieces used to be a thrifted handbag before.


I based the sizes on the length of the zippers I had in my stash. I wasn't entirely satisfied with them since the corners are not perfect, but then I remembered that that's exactly what Sewing Happiness is trying to teach us: it isn't about creating the perfect object, but rather about enjoying the process.


After finishing the pouches I felt so happy and relieved because I had finally managed to create something again. So it didn't take long before I cut fabric for my next project!


I use my Nikon almost every day, but actually I had never thought about the ugliness of the original camera strap. Until I saw the book included a tutorial for a custom-made strap, of course. From that moment on I started hating the standard Nikon strap so much that I just had to make my own.


(While sewing, I envisioned blog pictures of myself wearing the blouse and the matching camera strap. That would be so perfect! Of course I hadn't thought about how I would do this, being that we only own one decent camera. Happy the old Lumix was willing to act as a stand-in model ūüėČ)


The fabric is Nani Iro Ori Some double gauze, a leftover from this blouse. To make it soft enough I added batting on the inside and topstitched with a silver thread.  Not very visible on the pictures, which is a pity because it's beautiful! The double gauze has a silver sparkle in it too and combined with the leather it gives the strap a luxurious look.


The Origami pillow and the Everything Bucket are still on my sewing list!

It might sound a little cheap, but this book really changed my life in a positive way. It gave me back my love for sewing and I am so so thankful for that! Thank you so much, Sanae, for sharing your inspiring story with the world!


And you know what's best? I may share this happiness with one of you! Sanae let's me give away a signed copy of Sewing Happiness plus a 45 $ gift voucher at 1000Stoff. To enter, follow withlovebyeva via Bloglovin' and leave a comment here, telling me if and how sewing has helped you through a difficult period. On February 12, I will choose the funniest/most special/... reaction! Make sure to leave your e-mail address if you place an anonymous reaction so I can contact you if you win.

I bet you have already seen all the posts on this tour, since the other bloggers are all such famous and talented ladies! But if you haven't, make sure to pay them a visit. I bet you'll be just as excited as I was to see their wonderful creations.

January 23 - Ute + Lara
January 24 - An of StraightGrain // Instagram
January 25 - Trine of Groovy Baby and Mama // Instagram
January 26 - Shelley of Bartacks and Singletrack // Instagram
January 30 - Annika of Näh Connection // Instagram
January 31 - Olu of Needle and Ted // Instagram
February 1 - Emi of Just Add Fabric // Instagram
February 2 - Eva of With Love - by Eva // Instagram

Saturday, January 21, 2017

A Nani Iro blouse

** Deze post lezen in het Nederlands? Klik hier **

I bet you all know Nani Iro. If you don't, definitely check out their website, because their fabrics are not only beautiful in colors and prints, but also the softest you have ever felt. They even get softer with every wash, isn't that amazing?

I have several Nani Iro double gauze fabrics in my stash (hadn't used any of them up to now, though. Way too precious to use!)

For this blouse I combined one of their linens (Bed Grass cozy white) with a double gauze (Ori Some blue). Although the linen is less soft than the double gauze, it is so finely woven that I immediately loved it. The blue border that I used for the bottom of my top was printed at both selvages, the white part in between has fine black lines and tiny white flowers printed on it.

The pattern is blouse 129 from Burda 4/2015. It is a very simple model with only three pattern pieces: a front piece, a back piece, and a sleeve insert. 

Both fabrics were ordered online at Julija's shop, a Belgian webshop and brick-and-mortar store with a large selection of Nani Iro and Liberty fabrics. If you happen to be in Antwerp once, it's definitely worth a visit!


My best friend Jan made me these cute little earrings for my birthday. He broke some teacups into pieces, softened the edges and made a little hole in them so that he could pull a ring through. They match my blouse perfectly!


This is the first crop top I have ever made. A few years ago I would have never dared to wear something like this, but being ill for 1.5 years I lost so much weight that I thought it was appropriate to wear a crop top now. When life gives you lemons, make lemonade, right? 

Main fabric: Bed Grass Cozy linnen - Nani Iro - bij Julija's shop
Sleeve insert fabric: Ori Some double gauze - Nani Iro - bij Julija's shop
Pattern: blouse 29 - Burda 4/2015
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