Sewing in the Netherlands round up

It’s that time again where the Modista tour takes us to a new country to explore the instagram sewing community there. This month I had to highlight my new home of the Netherlands where I moved about 6 weeks ago.

Having done some research in advance I knew there were some great sewists and stores around but had NO idea how huge sewing is here!! It feels like on every corner there is a fabric store or market and I am constantly in fabric heaven. I’m working on a round up of where to shop for fabric in Amsterdam, but for now wanted to give an introduction to the world of Dutch sewing.

Since arriving in Amsterdam, our new home, I’ve of course been scoping out the local style. It’s certainly different to Liverpool -for example I think I wear the most make up out of anyone in a 5 mile radius – but is super chic. Some Dutch insta-sewing friends have told me they think Dutch fashion is super utilitarian and boring but to me it’s the opposite. With clean lines, strong silhouettes and quality fabrics it reminds me of Japanese minimalism or Parisian winters. I’m really into it!

As usual I’ve picked 5 sewists who I love to follow, 5 pattern designers to sew with, 5 stores to shop and 5 phrases to know when learning about Dutch sewing. It was really hard to narrow down to just 5 of each when there is so much to choose from here – part 2 in a few months, anyone?

I hope you find this post useful and don’t forget to let me know your feedback here or on instagram what you think!

5 sewists to follow

The Jolly Seamstress

One of my favourite Ducth sewists to follow, Anne has such a lovely style and colour palette and a really dreamy insta-aesthetic to boot!

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I did it again. I just can’t help it with this pattern, it’s so good! Not to mention that the fit is spot on for me. I hope you’re not tired yet of seeing this pattern because one more is coming very soon 🙃 Bodice is the basic darted bodice from the book #sewmanydressessewlittletime paired with my favourite ever skirt by @ninaleelondon borrowed from the #kewdress This time I made the dress in a woven stretch viscose from @ladymcelroyfabrics that I bought from @minervadotcom This fabric is the best, it didn’t pull or snag and it was amazingly easy to work with. Definitely worth the money. Especially happy with the finishing touches because all the seam lines match up perfectly. You can’t see it with this print but I’m so happy I went the extra mile. It’s quite a summery dress but I’m definitely going to pair this with a long cardigan that I’m sewing up at the moment. Once that’s finished I’ll start on the Scout tee that I managed to cut from the scraps. Oh how I love the endless possibilities. I can’t wait for it all to be finished! #ladymcelroy #ladymcelroyfabric #fabricaddict #summerdress #diydressmaker #seamstress #sew #sewyourown #isewmyownclothes #imakemyownclothes #sewingtall #millenialsewing #sewingpattern #sewingblog #sewists #sewistsofinstagram #memade #memadewardrobe #maker #slowfashion #diyfashion #naaien #naaienisleuk #jecouds #jeportecequejecouds #jecoudsmagarderobe #nähen #nähenmachtglücklich

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Poplin Peony

An “instagram friend”that has become a real friend, Joyce is a superbly talented seamstress who shares her gorgeous outfits on her feed. I love her style!

Time to Sew

You might recognise Kate for her awesome work with FibreMood or her great blog where she gets real about everything to do with the sewing community, from how to stitch a neckband to sustainability.

Stitch and Press

Maritza is a wonderful sewist and a pattern insider for Sew Over It and I love what she does with their patterns!

I Sew Therefore I Am

An Aussie in the Netherlands, Beck makes wonderful outfits and goes into deep detail in her blog which is so helpful!

5 patterns designers to know

Misusu Patterns

Primarily a kidswear brand, I really like Misusu’s unusual designs and they have some free patterns on their site, too@

De Steek Patterns

A sewing school in Amsterdam, De Steek have a really interesting concept where as well as purchasing their own patterns you can also get basic blocks from which to work, such as this trouser pattern.

Waffle Patterns

Yuki’s designs are sublime and so sleek. With a lot of coat varieties and one whopping pack of 23 pocket templates, they are perfect for winter!

Tregz

Looking to learn to sew? Tregz offers online sewing classes which include teaching as well as your basic blocks from which to build your patterns and makes. Follow her here on instagram!

Bobbin Hood

Gaining a cult status in the Netherlands, Bobbin Hood is about all things crafty including sewing! As well as kids and adult patterns, Bobbin Hood have a really cool book on screen printing which in these lockdown days is a hobby I could really get on board with. Check them out here.

5 fabric stores to shop

Karta Boutique

Run by Jessica of Jenovianti, this small independent brand imports the most amazing quality Indonesian batik fabrics. As if you needed another reason, 20% of profits are donated to charity.

Ansje Handmade

Organic and Sustainable fabrics with beautfiful prints

Eco-Friendly Fabrics

A small brand with commitment to sustainability and gorgeous ditsy prints like these…

A. Boeken Stoffen

If you’ve watched my instagram stories recently you’ll know I have a strong love affair with this store…with wall to wall fabrics it’s not quite online at the moment but worth a trip to Amsterdam for (when we can!)

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🌸 Cute cotton 🌸

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Monday’s Milk

These guys are classy AF. With beautiful fabrics from linen to Nani Iro prints, Monday’s Milk are seriously on my Christmas list.

5 hashtags to follow

If you’re wanting to discover some Dutch sewists you can follow these hashtags…

# dutchsewing

#amsterdamsews

#netherlandssews

#stoffenspektakel (aka fabric spectacle, I think…)

#naaien (sewing)

‘Sia dress’ by Marsha Style

This blog post contains gifted products – all opinions are honest and my own!

This week I finally finished my Sia dress and couldn’t wait to show it off! This is my first make from our new home in Amsterdam (!) where we moved just over a week ago. In between flat hunting and exploring we took a day to chill in our airbnb so I took the chance to finish off this gorgeous dress.

Felicity Fabrics very kindly offered me choice from their amazing fabric selection to work with and I was really taken with this Lady McElroy ‘Vintage Harvest’ print. I love the detail and the tones of the little flowers on the fabric.

If you haven’t tried Felicity Fabrics yet, I’d really recommend them. Caroline and Fliss put so much thought into their business and their eco-friendly packaging is a dream!

When the fabric arrived it was surprisingly soft and swooshy. It’s smooth to the touch and washed really well, the colours remaining vibrant. The drape is incredible and it’s quite lightweight – I knew it would be perfect for a dress with gathers or pleats and a voluminous sleeve.

I spotted the Sia dress as made by Sharlene at So Sew Dressmaking and fell in love with the pattern at first sight. I really like the waistband and unusual pleats at the bust and waistline as well as the sleeve variations. If you have a look at the hashtag on instagram you can see how versatile this pattern is; it works well in a variety of fabrics from cotton to linen and I can now confirm, crepe! I chose the unlined midi variation with long sleeves.

Taree Marsh, the pattern designer is from Australia and the Sia dress unbelievably was her first pattern! The details on this pattern are really what made this for me. You know that weirdly satisfying feeling when you’re piecing together a pattern and the notches line up really easily? Yep, that. Because of the pleats there’s no fiddly tweaking with easing the pattern pieces together or finding that one edge nudges over the other by about 4 mm no matter what you do. The Sia dress works up really smoothly and although it looks quite complicated, it would be really friendly to intermediate sewists.

My completed Sia dress

I made a toile of the dress in a poly satin and initially had some issues with the fit. The neckline gaped quite heavily and it was far too tight at the waist. To fix this was relatively simple. Taree herself got in touch to recommend her blog post on adjusting the bodice fit and all I had to do was take 1cm out of the bodice front and back pieces, which made a huge difference! Taree explains it much better than me here in a great video. 

To adjust the fit at the waist I graded out slightly. I added 0.5cm to the bottom width of the side seams of the waistband pieces, and graded out from the top of the pattern piece. I also added 0.5cm to the top of the skirt side seams. The dress now fits really well and I think it’s one of the nicest fits I’ve achieved so far – it feels comfortable and I had just eaten a huge burrito before these pictures (it was delicious by the way).

The pattern calls for an invisible zip which I stitched in by hand. It’s time consuming and there was a lot of swearing/accidental stabbing, but still less painless than trying to use my invisible zipper foot which for some reason I can never crack. Adding it by hand was quite mindful and I was able to get right up to the teeth for a really invisible insertion!

Overall I am really pleased with the pattern and fabric pairing used here. The Lady McElroy crepe sewed like a dream and was so lovely to work with, suiting the drapey fit of the pattern really well. It’s the perfect autumnal print and goes with a lot of my existing and planned pieces. I’ve been wearing it with this cream cardigan from M&S for day time and think with a little cami under the dress it would be even better as daywear (the girls were OUT for this photo shoot as you can see).

I’ll definitely make this dress again – I’d like to make a summer version with shorter sleeves in a viscose linen, or try this brilliant hack by Sew Lala who has made some stunning Sias! I’d also try it without the button placket to see how that feels – I do really like the slit up the front of the dress and will be adding buttons to my faux placket, but it didn’t feel essential to the dress.

I hope this post has inspired you to try your own Sia dress! Modista newsletter subscribers can get 15% off Felicity Fabrics using their exclusive discount code in September – if you’ve missed yours, let me know and I’ll ping you the code!

To get you inspired here’s some of my favourite picks from their fabric collection, for the Sia and other autumnal makes too….

Choco cord

I recently bought some of this in the green colourway and am OBSESSED. The quality is beautiful! It would be perfect as a Pippi pinafore or Ilford Jacket.

Floral jersey

How gorgeous is this jersey?? I can really see it as a Simple Sew Lena or the new Tilly and the Buttons Sewing Lotta.

Spice Foil Leaf

This one is just CRYING out to be a Sia dress!