Friday, September 30, 2011

Polka Dot Rooibos

Sooo, remember this picture?

I finally got down to sewing it! And guess what I made: my own bias tape (using Colette Pattern's Continuous Bias Tape Tutorial)! To make my own piping!
Of course, I didn't have piping cord lying around, so I used corded knitting yarn... It seems to have worked out alright in spite of that, though. :)

Another little detail shot: can you guess now what it is?

Well guessed, it's a Rooibos!
And can I tell you, I'm totally in love with Colette Patterns! This is the third sleeveless dress pattern I've made that includes facings, and the method for inserting them was the smartest, ever! No copious amounts of hand sewing! It's totally neat! I actually wasn't sure if the whole "rolling stuff up into the straps" thing would work out right until it worked for the second time. I had read about the method before, but couldn't wrap my mind about it. But it's totally genius!
Ok, I'll stop my excited babbling right away... I made a size 10 in the bust and graded to size 12 at the waist and hips (the pattern envelope actually suggested more like a size 13 for my waist, even my hips are a 10 again... guess I'm "full-waisted"... ;) Next time I'll go for the straight 10, as the dress becomes a bit roomy right at the point where I started grading. I also should have done a Mena Test! I inserted a very beautiful invisible zipper (yay for invisible zipper feet!) but I can actually get it on easily without opening the zipper...

I actually wasn't quite in love with this dress as I finished it. My first thought was that it reminded me a bit of my great-grannie's house dresses. My b/f's first comment was "oh, you sewed an apron?!", which didn't really help. I've decided to like it, though. :) Especially since it's the first garment that I sewed on my great-grannie's sewing machine. It kind of feels like fate. :)
My great-grannie and I, almost 20 years ago
That picture makes me really nostalgic. My sister and I spent a lot of time with our great-grannie when we grew up. My grandma was still working at that time, and my mom worked the mornings when we were at school/kindi and one afternoon a week. So we went to my great-grannie every Tuesday after school and had lunch and dinner and spent our afternoon there. We used to watch Western movies and murder mysteries with her. She was the first to show me how to use a sewing machine, even though I didn't really take it up back then. She was a wonderful cook, and she always made dessert. She must have spent a fortune on gossip magazines, romance serials and pocket money for her great-grandkids. I loved her. A lot.

Ok, back from the roads of nostalgia... My Ottobre magazines came! And it hasn't even been three weeks!
Now I need to think about which patterns I want to make. There are so many cute ones!

I have managed to finally trace and cut out the Macaron pattern, though, so I should probably start on that, first.

Ah, summer break, I love thee... So much free time! :)

What is on your sewing table right now?

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Self-Stitched Weekend & Exciting Things

So, this weekend we were blessed with some more sunny, end-of summer weather. So much that we just had to go and spend some time sitting in the park. Short-sleeved! On blankets!

And have some frozen yoghurt. With cherry sauce and crumbled oreos. Yum! :)

I even took my self-drafted green wrap dress for another spin on Sunday. Albeit with tights and a slip, but that means I can wear it for some more weeks, yet!

Also, some exciting things happened!

Minnado recently bought the newest Ottobre Woman issue. Honestly, I've been looking at those magazines for ages, but I've never been *quite* sure if I wanted to buy them. They have a lot of cute patterns, but also a lot of basic knit patterns, and I always think "oh, I can draft those myself". Although honestly, I almost never do... So, I decided to look over the back issues and buy the issue with the most patterns I liked in it. In the end, I got two. The Autumn issues for 2008 and 2010. They get here in, like, 3 weeks. I can't wait! :)

Also, I decided to get some personalized sew-in labels today. Everybody seems to have them and they look so freakin' awesome! (Hmm, a lot of my recent shopping seems to be motivated by jealousy...) Who knows how long they will take to get to me... but then again, I love waiting on the postman when I know there are going to be packages for me! ;)

Exciting thing no. 3: Lisette tagged me for a Versatile Blogger Award! Thank you, Lisette! :)
These are the rules:

1. Thank the person who gave the award and link back to them in your post
2. Share 7 things about yourself 
3. Pass this award along to recently discovered blogs
So, seven things about myself... (hmm, this is hard...)

1. I can never decide on a favorite color, though if hard pressed, I'd probably say it was green. Or does polka dot count?
2. Before starting this sewing blog, I was writing a personal blog/diary of sorts for 6 years, which no-one ever read. :)
3. The most expensive fabric I ever bought (for a whopping 17,60€/m) ended up a wadder - my boyfriend calls it the Potato Sack Dress. Which may be the reason why I don't buy expensive fabrics anymore...
4. At any given time, I have at least three favorite foods, which at the moment are Vietnamese rice noodle salad, Käsespätzle and grilled feta cheese.
5. I've been drinking (and enjoying) dry red wine, whisky and other "acquired tastes" for practically ages, but only just now started to like beer.
6. I may be in love with the whole cast of Leverage. They are all so adorable!
7. I like to make little lists, but it usually takes me ages to get around and actually do them. I guess they are more like a way for me to clear my head...

Ok, that was it, 7 slightly interesting things about myself. :) I'm tagging:
1. Donna from Nid de Tissus
2. Lily from The House of Mirth

Have a happy sewing week!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Coral Reading Mitts

I've finally finished the second of my Reading Mitts! :) My second item for FESA and the Fall Palette Challenge!

I totally love how they turned out! As cute as they look, the pattern wasn't complicated at all, despite my adding cables into the mix. And I learned lots of new techniques: picots, lace stitch, cables, how to make a thumb gusset... very cool for someone whose knitting has consisted of rib and stockinette stitch until now. :)

I've already worn them inside quite a bit. The weather is still gorgeous and it's lovely and warm in the sunshine, but in the shade and inside it can be quite cool - and I often get cold finger sitting in front of the computer...

Pattern: Susie's Reading Mitts (modified with a line of cables, 8 stitches wide)
Yarn: about 75 g of "Panda" by Rico Design, 52% bamboo rayon, 48% cotton

Andrea has inspired me to enter them in Stitched in Color's Celebrate Color contest!
Celebrate Color

I only used one and maybe a quarter of my eight balls of yarn. Now I'm wondering what else to make to coordinate my fall/winter outfits. I'm thinking one of these lacy scarves and maybe a pair of fancy socks? A hat? We'll see. Do you have any favorite pattern for winter accessories?

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Self Stitched Weekend and Plans

So I'm back in Berlin. :) My parents drove me up on Thursday night and we spent a lovely weekend before they went back home on Sunday. We even had room in the car to take my great-grandma's sewing machine!

I also finished my first Fall Essential, although it could be said that really, to call it that would be cheating. It was already half-finished last spring, but still required some hand sewing...

It's a cowl-necked knit dress, possibly a bit to short to be worn with tights but fine with leggins. I traced the pattern from my favorite boat-necked top (which, incidentally, is almost the same color) and just lengthened it. The cowl-neck construction was a bit of an experiment, I tried a few different things before tacking down the top layer by hand... The color and fabric make me really happy. It's a very heavy knit I found in The Fabric Store in Sydney. In hindsight, I might have added bust darts because it doesn't stretch all that much. I'm fine with the overall fit, though...

I also wore a very old dress again - the second one I ever made. I had trouble with the shoulder seams (always check the instructions, even if you're making a pattern for the second time!) and consequently it ended up a little short, and fitting strangely in the back and bust. I love the fabric, though, so I may have to turn it into a skirt instead...

I passed by the (unknown to me) fabric section of a department store with my mom on Saturday, and was really admiring their fall/winter fabric selection. Lots of cute double knits in all colors, and even pullover-weight cable knits, lots of lovely wool, curderoys... I saw some cute purple plaid and had the most lovely idea for a long-sleeved, knit yoke Macaron! Thinking of my stash, I didn't buy any fabric (I'll be back, though!) but I checked my stash and I actually have coordinating plaid/knit fabric in both blue and teal!

Option one, a teal plaid from some Walmart in Kentucky, that I had actually had in mind for a shirtdress at some point, and a teal jersey from the Maybachufer Market in Berlin:

And option two, blue plaid fabric from IKEA that were either going to become a shirtdress or pajamas, and some navy double knit from I forgot where:

There's also some navy-and-orange flower print fabric on its way to me - handed down from my boyfriends grannie - that might go well with the navy double knit.

What do you think? Good idea? Silly? Nice combinations, but surely not for a Macaron? (Patty made a really cute one with a knit yoke, and I've been thinking of combining the leftovers of my green knit wrap dress with my strawberry print for ages...)

What combination would you go for?

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Me-Made Weekend & Work in Progress

As I'm writing this, I'm sitting short-sleeved on my parents' balcony, tanning my legs and eating freshly harvested, sweet tomatoes. We're having a lovely fall over here: cool, crisp mornings and warm, sunny days. Windy, too. This is my idea of a perfect season... Things at the hospital are rather slow in the afternoons right now, too, so I've been let go early the last few days, to enjoy the afternoon sun. (In the mornings I seem to amuse our Consultant with my cheery "fine"s when he's asking how I'm doing. It seems a lot of students faint the first few times... ;)

Saturday I spent helping a friend move to the lovely city of Augsburg. I mostly got to see the inside of the local IKEA store and not much of the city, but I will be back to see the medieval architecture (and my friend, of course). The train trip took a good 2.5h there, and another 3.5h back, so I got busy with my knitting needles!

It's a free Ravelry pattern: Susie's Reading Mitts, modified with one line of cables. I can read English knitting patterns, yay! ;)
Self-stitched outfit: my polka dot Sorbetto and shortened red skirt.

I woke early on Sunday and did some prep work, before having coffee with my parents. Can you guess what it is? :D

Afterwards we went to visit grandparents at Lake Constance. We had some lovely Italian food (Scaloppine al limone, one of my favs!) by the lake and it totally felt like a mini holiday. :)

Being down here really is lovely, although I'm also looking forward to being back in Berlin on Friday...

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Fall Plans

OMG, I can hardly believe that September is 1/3 over already and I haven't even shared my plans for FESA and the Colette Fall Palette Challenge with you! I guess 8h day jobs really are time suckers (as are, even though they're way more pleasant, family evenings spent around the dinner table or the telly, I guess).

I have made plans, even though they are slightly less concrete than my SESA plans. Ideally, they are following my fall palette, which is inspired by this mood board:

Fabulous Frocks
Yay, dresses! At the moment, I'm totally digging knit dresses. They're warm and comfy and can be dressed up or down... I'm totally going to knit at least one sleeveless dress in either red, dark teal or purple. I also have a long-sleeved, self drafted dress in a green heavy knit that is in the process of being finished. And there are a couple of wool fabrics that I'd like to turn into basic sheath dresses. And what about shirt dresses...?

Fashionable Foundations for Frosty Weather
I'm definitely going for a (circle) skirt or two and possibly a pair of woolen pants. I think. I'm way more excited about the dresses, though! ;)

Chic Chemises for Cool Climates

I'm not really a blouse person (anything that doesn't need to be ironed is a big plus in my book) so we're probably talking knit tops, here. Long-sleeves. For wearing under dresses. Yes?

Underneath It All
I've had underwear on my to-sew list for ages, and I hope that this time, I'll actually pull through. I'm envisioning some knit panties with elastic lace, and maybe some colorful, layerable undershirts made of rib knit and lace.

Tender Tootsies

One pair of socks almost finished! I'm sure I'll manage to produce a couple more this fall/winter.

Those Cozy Nights
Pajama party! :) I hear some people are making Sorbetto pajamas, which sounds like a pretty awesome idea! Especially since I like short-sleeved PJs way better than longsleeed ones. I'm still looking for the perfect cozy flannel, though...

Baby It's Cold Outside

I love that title! You're genius, Ali! :) I haven't found any more pink/red bamboo yarn, so I've decided on making fingerless gloves and either knee-high socks or a scarf with it. I'm also thinking about grey cable knit over-knees... I don't think I'm quite ready for making a coat yet, though. I have a few of those still, anyway...

My palette looks mostly like this:

I totally forgot to include my neutrals black and navy, which are going to be combined with color splashes of green, purple, all shades of teal/aqua and coral/red.
My first objects in progress are going to come soon! What are you working on at the moment?

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Self-Stitched Saturday & Sunday

Hmm. So it seems like the new  blogger interface works kind of like the pages already did before the switch. Which is nice for uploading pics but puts out strange html, I've found. Ah, whatever...

Trainee work is fun, I got to see a natural birth and a couple of c-sections and assist in a couple of operations this week. Even if I know that I don't want to be a surgeon, it's very interesting. :)

Also, I've almost finished my second sock.

But, I'm still looking for inspiration for my fall sewing. I'm amost sure about my palette, but other than that...

Since I'm not participating in Self-Stitched September, I've decided to start on Self-Stitched Saturdays. No scrubs on weekends, yay! ;) I wore both my Crepes yesterday (the polka dot one for getting ice-cream in town, the nautical one for a Paella garden party) but only got one pic.

I'm also throwing in a Self-Stitched Sunday pic. I love it when the weather frogs (aka meteorologists) are wrong about impending rain...

Also, I've finally managed to send of my first Paying it Forward gift this week! I know, it took me almost two months. I was contemplating for ages on what to make... Btw, would YOU like to recieve a handmade gift from me? I've only got two participants as of yet, so I could make three more people happy with a little package! The only thing you must do is promise to send a little something handmade to five more people...

Hope you're having a lovely Sunday!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Fall Essentials Sew-Along

Hi everybody! September 1st is finally here and, together with my two co-hosts, Sarah from Rhinestones and Telephones and Ali from The Wardrobe, Reimagined, I can proudly present to you the Fall Essentials Sew-Along! :)

Last year's Summer Essentials Sew-Along, created by Ali, was my first introduction into the sewing community and a wonderful motivation for creating my first garments. When Ali asked early this summer if I wanted to co-host this year's, I was thrilled! I love seeing everybody's plans and inspirations, and how those turn into finished garments. We had 71 participants and roughly 150 garments this time around!

Now that summer is turning over into fall (we've been having lovely warm days and very chilly nights around here), we've decided to keep the fun going. So please join us in sewing some lovely Fall Essentials!

We've come up with seven categories of Fall Essentials, just to keep organized, but feel free to add to them!

Fashionable Foundations for Frosty Weather
Trousers, skirts, legwarmers and more! Anything that keeps your lower portion fashionably cozy fits perfectly here! The chilly weather necessitates the donning of bifurcated bottoms and sassy skirts!

Chic Chemises for Cool Climates
Blouses, tops, vests, cardigans, and sweaters! These wardrobe essentials can carry you from day to night, not to mention provide necessary layering to keep out the chill.

Fabulous Frocks
Dresses of all styles; mini, short, or long! Keep yourself warm in your modish designs, layering with tights and boots!

Underneath It All
When you're spending months covered from the neck down, a glamorous underpinning of your choice adds a secret, luxurious touch that chases the cold away!

Tender Tootsies
Let's not forget your frosty feet! Socks, slippers and the like are the order of the day. Keep those tootsies warm and dry!

Those Cozy Nights
Is there anything better than snuggling up in a cozy pair of pajamas with a hot drink and a book whilst Jack Frost works his magic outside? I think not! Sleepwear of all types are the way to go here!

Baby It's Cold Outside
Coats, hats, and mittens donned to keep the cold at bay, especially when out enjoying the spectacular fall colours!

Sarah is keeping a Member List on her blog. To officially join the sew-along, just join the flickr group and post your name/blog to the member list or send an email to Sarah. Here is a lovely button that you can post on your blog:

We thought we'd make as few rules as possible, so you can tie any plans and sew-alongs in with this one. I for one will probably take part in Colette's Fall Palette Challenge and Casey's Circle Skirt Sew-Along, and maybe take up some knitting...

Also, dear sewists from the southern hemisphere, feel free to join the sew-along using the Summer Essentials Categories! I'm sure we'll be jealous of your sweet little sundresses and breezy blouses come November!

So, happy sewing, folks!