Saturday, March 31, 2012

One Week, One Pattern!

Oh my gosh, what a week!

I'm not quite sure if I've ever been this mind-bogglingly busy before, for 7 days straight! And right during OWOP, too! I faithfully wore something made from my self-drafted knit top pattern every day!

It all started out with choir rehersal weekend, which was all kinds of wonderful and amazing.
OWOP Day 1: Polka-dot dress. See me rock the ballet flats & socks look! We actually went dipping into the lake a couple hours later, it turned out to be that warm!
But singing 10h a day, while incredibly elating, is also kinda exhausting. Especially if one night turns out to be an hour short.
OWOP Day 2: striped tee. We spent the weekend in a youth hostel an hour from Berlin. The landscape was very pretty!
Which mixed me up even worse, because by my inner clock, it meant getting up at 5:30 on Monday morning, only to work 8.5h, go swimming (possibly a dumb idea, but I had an hour to kill before rehersal and it would have taken too long to head home and take a nap...) and then sing for another 3h. Guess who got home and fell straight into bed?
OWOP Day 3: black longsleeve, layered with a thrifted top.
I met a friend for pizza after work on Tuesday. It was nice catching up! Of course I didn't manage going to bed early, though...
OWOP Day 4: striped longsleeve, and also my first successful knit garment ever!
Pilates and another choir rehersal after work. At least my inner clock is slowly getting used to the time now, and the weather is still so nice! Cycling in the sun certainly helps!
OWOP Day 5: Zoe ruffle top, layered over floral Macaron. I very seldom wear this top, it feels just a bit too short... I think I need to add a hem band, if I can find some more of the fabric...
Day off, yay! Which means I finally got to finish dress no. 2 from my OWOP pattern - as my sewing machine got confused by a thread change last Friday and seized up on the last 10cm of side seam sewing!
OWOP Day 6: V-neck dress. Look Oona, it's a non-polka-dot pattern! I used the Renfrew instructions for the v-neck. They are great! Also: bye, summer weather! Welcome back, spring!
As I actually spent half the day in jammies catching up on blog-posts and cleaning the flat (and I only have 6 OWOP makes), the dress deserved another half day of wear.
OWOP Day 7: V-neck dress paired with a cardi I thrifted in Oxford. I think it needs another couple of buttons added...
I got to leave work early, as my supervising doctor was very understanding about needing to prepare for the choir concert. And honestly, it was a slow day anyway. But we totally rocked the concert! I think tickets were almost sold out, and we got to sing two encores! :D So in the end, it definitely was all worth losing some sleep - though I definitely enjoyed sleeping in and having a leisurely cappuccino in bed today!

Today I'm meeting some sewists I've never met before for coffee. Should be fun! :D

Do you have anything planned for the weekend? Whatever it is, have a wonderful time!

Friday, March 23, 2012

Family Fashion Archive

A bit late, but thanks for all your lovely comments on my Pictorial Family History post! :) I'm glad that so many of you enjoyed seeing the pictures, and I'm thrilled that some of you have been thinking about posting some pictures of your own!

Debbie posted some lovely pictures right away, and Catherine posted some amazing 19th century photos of her family! Debbie also had the very cool idea of starting a flickr group for collecting everybody's family pictures that showcase the fashions of the past. I volonteered to make a button and we've decided to call it the Family Fashion Archive!
For now, it's invitation only, so if you'd like to post your pictures, just comment on this post or on Debbie's blog, or send us a request via flickr.
I'm really looking forward to seeing some more photographs! :)

Have a lovely weekend!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Awards and Awesomeness

Oh Spring, have you always been this busy? Quite apart from real life, which is keeping me from the laziness of spring break that I've been accustomed to for the last 5 years of university with internship (which is going splendidly, btw), additional rehersals (including a weekend at a rehersal retreat) for a choir concert and another weekend of performances with my drama group - there are also an incredible number of cool and intriguing projects going on in the sewing blogosphere!

I've already decided to take part in Tilly's One Week, One Pattern from March 24-30, using a self-drafted knit-top pattern (which is also the basis for the spring polka-dot dress). Then there's Julia Bobbin's MadMan dress challenge, which would actually work really well with a dress that I've had on my to-sew list for over a year, anyway! And let's not even mention Sarah's Sew Cinematic and Sew Colette (which, incidentally, is already on its third garment, the lovely Truffle dress, while I found out this weekend that I need to buy some more interfacing to finish my first item, the Meringue skirt). So many projects, so little time! And thinking about which one to tackle first actually makes me procrastinate, because I can't decide...

However, a lot of very awesome things have happened in the last couple of weeks. For one, I received three awards. Three!

The Liebster Blog award was given to me by Becky from Sew and So, of knitting and rain coat fame. Thank you, Becky! The rules are to give the award to five blogs that you enjoy reading, that have less than 200 followers.
I'd like to give this award to these blogs:

Vicki Kate from VickiKateMakes
Lisette from What would Nancy Drew wear?
Liza Jane from LizaJaneSews

Also, my dear readers, I would like to point out that this award is actually German in origin and has no connection whatsoever to lobsters or other crustaceans. Really. "Liebster" actually means "dearest" in my mother tongue, another translation could be "favorite". :)

I've also received a Sunshine award from Donna from Nid de Tissus. Thank you! :) This one even comes with questions, and is supposed to go to 10 blogs that bring sunshine into my life.
Favorite Color: Does polka-dot count? Because if not, my answer is rainbow!
Favorite Animal: Cats.
Favorite Number: Pie. Uh, pi, I mean. Closely followed by e and 8.
Favorite Non-Alcoholic Drink: Water. Cappuccino. Herbal spice tea.
Facebook or Twitter: Facebook.
My Passion: Aside from sewing? Probably eating really well. And music.
Getting or Giving Presents: Depends. I love both giving and receiving thoughtful presents. ;)
Favorite Pattern: I can't quite decide between the Colette Macaron and the Colette Crepe dress. I love wearing both!
Favorite Day of the Week: Currently Saturday, predictably.
Favorite Flower: Pink tulips. Although I'd be just as happy to get a bouquet of edible blossoms or fresh herbs like rosemary and thyme.
Favorite celebrity role model: I really don't keep up with celebrities. I have inspirational postcards of Einstein and the Dalai Lama hanging over my desk, though. Does that count?

Ali from The Wardrobe, Reimagined
Jessica from A Yen For Craft
Scruffy Badger
Dixie DIY
Sigrid from Analog Me
Karen from Did You Make That
Marie from A Sewing Odyssey
Reana Louise from Curves, Patterns and Pins
Abby from Sew Get Dressed

If you don't do awards or have already received it, feel free to ignore this, though!

Ok, three time's the charm! Dee from Seams Sustainable has given me a Versatile Blogger award. I've actually already gotten that one a while ago, so I won't answer the questions again. But thank you, Dee!

I actually wanted to tell you about a few more awesome things that recently happened, but I was supposed to be in bed 45 minutes ago, so I'll postpone that until next time. ;) I'll leave you with a picture of last Sunday's outfit and hope you'll have a fantastic week!

yay for spring weather!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Online Classes, a Spring Dress & Lacy Undies

Have I ever mentioned that Craftsy is eeeeevil?
Why, you ask? Well, I had finally decided that I really do need to purchase Gertie's Starlet Suit course, because every girl need a cute blazer and skirt combo (even though I haven't even started on the Bombshell Dress class, which I got last year), and who knows how much longer it will be available for half-price? So I went and bought the class, and do you know, in the confirmation email they offered me any additional class that I bought this week for $25! Any one I chose! So, um, I might also have bought Susan Khalje's Couture Dress course (which includes a Vogue dress pattern, shipped to you with no charge). And Kenneth King's Jean-ious, which helps you reverse-engeneer your favorite pair of jeans.
Have I ever mentioned that I'm a sucker for bargain buys?

I haven't spent anything on fabric yet, this month, though, since I wasn't feeling well on the day of the Holland Fabric market, so that's alright. And I'm pretty sure it will be a great opportunity to learn loads of stuff!

I'm also happy to say that there has actually been some sewing going on! (Although to be honest, all of that happened last week...) I still have a pile of winter sewing to finish, two skirt refashions, a reddish wool Meringue, a sweater-to-cardi refashion... but with the weather already getting spring-like, I'm not all that excited about those. So I decided to make a quick spring dress to maybe get in the mood to finish these things, even though I probably won't wear them a lot before next fall.
Doesn't it look all high-school-ish? It's actually the interns' locker room at my internship placement.

This is the navy&cream polka-dot jersey that I bought a little while ago. I used my TNT self-drafted jersey top pattern for the bodice, the same that I used for my ruffle top and striped longsleeve and t-shirt, and a couple of other tops (and which is actually just the tracing of one of my RTW jersey tops). It works really well with strechy, drapey knits like this rayon jersey. Then I added the midriff band and half-circle skirt from my self-drafted raglan-sleeve jersey dress.

I finished the neckline and sleeves with a folded band, similar to the instructions for the Renfrew top. I love this finish, it looks so neat. :) I also attached the sleeves before sewing up the side seams this time around, and I think I'll do that whenever possible from now on.
yay for spring weather! now if it could actually be sunny on weekends instead of when I have to work...

The Facts:
Fabric: roughly 2m of navy&cream polka-dot rayon jersey
Pattern: bodice from self-drafted jersey top pattern, added straight midriff band and half-circle skirt
Notions: none
Time to Complete: about 4h, with little breaks in between
First Worn: Sunday choir practice
Thoughts: I love sewing with jersey, as there is so little fitting involved, and I've made the top pattern a few times already. Construction was pretty straightforward, even without instructions. I'm still looking for a good way to stitch seams like the ones attaching the midriff band without a serger, as the narrow zigzag sometimes isn't stretchy enough, but with the wider zigzag, the stitches are visible because of the vertical pull. For now I'm using a narrow zigzag that's reinforced with a wider one, and it works if I'm careful when pulling the dress on and off.

The dress is endlessly comfy, and I think I wore it three days out of four in the last two weeks. I may have to make another 3/4 sleeved jersey dress or two in the near future, so this one doesn't wear out in one season. ;)

I also managed to finish (or at least start on) another item on my sewing agenda: knickers! I copied the pattern from one of my favorite pair of lacy jersey hipsters, using pins according to Ali's instructions. The original pair actually doesn't have any side seams, but since I was working with small-ish t-shirts, I pieced them without any ill effects. They are very comfy as well, and I may have to round up the rest of my jersey scraps to make them all into underwear!
But, first things first. There are still some winter skirts to be finished!

What's on your sewing table right now? Have you already started your spring sewing, or do you still have some winter garments to finish?

Have a lovely Sunday!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Piling up

Do you have times when things start piling up around you? And not just the fabrics in your stash or the items in your to-sew list, but the laundry and the dirty cups in the sink and the new blog posts in your reader and the things you've been meaning to do?

Working an official 8.5h day (9h if I count changing time, 10h between leaving home and getting back, if I don't have anything else to do on the way) is a real change of pace from my relaxed student life of a few weeks ago. It isn't even that exhausting, after a couple of days of getting used to the new rhythm of the alarm clock ringing at 6:30 and being on my feet most of the day. I guess I'm just struggling with finding a bit of structure for my free time, and spending almost all daylight hours working is adding to it. Night time is reading-and-computer time for me, so I don't get a lot of things done. But only two more weeks until daylight saving time! :)

So, let me quit complaining. Internship is actually going quite well. :) Paeds is lovely, my direct supervisors are very friendly and my consultant is sarcastic and direct, but nice (and actually quite funny sometimes). I've even had my own little patients this past week (consulting with my supervisor, of course) and I have written my fair share of discharge letters, which makes me feel useful. I'm on the school-age ward for the next seven weeks, but depending on how many kids there are, we also get a few little ones (the most adorable, giggling two year old, yesterday) and even a couple of newborns. Awww. :) Um, yes. I'm also supposed to have a 4 week rotation in neonates. Awwww! :) Anyway.

Piles you might be more interesting in: the new additions to my fabric stash, curtsey of Goldhawk Road and Walthamstow Market.
2m of black jersey, possibly for a dress but more likely a shirt and a pair or two of leggings. 1m of lightweight poly roseprint, for a Pendrell blouse, maybe. 1.5m of awesome, stable polka-dot jersey, for a cardi. And possibly the bodice part of a dress. 1m of see-through polka-dot poly fabric, for a scarf. 1m of black pin-dot cotton lawn, another (Pendrell) blouse. And 1m of black and white striped jersey, probably a top.

Um yes. Do you see a (polka dot) pattern?
Also, some white embroidered cotton lawn, for a summer tunic thing. And 2m of grey polka-dot poly-cotton mix (?), in a striped formation. I thought it might work for my great-grandma dress, even though it's not 100% authentic.

Can you tell I had great fun at the fabric shops? :D I had some more fun at the supermarket as well. Did I ever mention I have a thing for tea?

Though honestly, my thing for pretty things is just as big. Does anybody else buy tea by the prettiness of the packaging?

More things:
1. Using a custom-fit sloper to alter a commercial pattern at My Measuring-Tape - sounds incredibly useful (if only I had a sloper...)

2. Cute reversible bag pattern and tutorial by Verypurpleperson - I'm probably the last to find this, thank you, Maider!
3. How to draft a block/sloper pattern by Madalynne - so I can then use it with commercial patterns, see above, yes?

4. Tilly's One Week, One Pattern challenge from Mar. 24 to Mar. 30. I have no idea yet what pattern to use. Maybe my self-drafted jersey longsleeve? Or is that too boring?
5. A pictorial family history, courtsy of Minnado! :)

6. Dixie's list of bra suppy sources - I've been playing with the idea of bra-making. Have you seen Sarai's amazing bra-slip?

7. Delightfully Tacky's tips for taking outfit photos - she's a style blogger with some really nice pictures, and I've been meaning to put a bit more thought into the photographic presentation of my garments...

And now I'm off to bed, so I won't miss out on beauty sleep! ;) Have a lovely rest of the week!

Friday, March 2, 2012

A Pictorial Family History

Last time I visited my grandma, I asked her if she had any pictures of my great-grandma wearing her grey polka-dot dress - the famed one that I'm trying to reproduce. I'm not sure if this is true in all families, but in our family, photography seems to have been a male thing (except for my great-aunt, who actually learned to be a photographer before she married a doctor and started working in his practice). So it was mostly my dad and grandfathers who took the pictures, and somehow, they all ended up with my dad, who, for reasons I'm not quite clear about, refuses to let me have a look at them, or, god forbid, take a couple. (I'm talking of my real dad here, not my mom's partner.) He's a bit of a strange one, sometimes...

Anyway (and sorry for starting a ramble), my grandma took out her two shoeboxes of photographs, and while we didn't find any of my great-grandma in her dress, we found an astonishing number of pictures from the mid-50s, when my grandma and her sisters were young, and even a couple of my great-grandma, when she was a young girl.
my great-grandma (left)about 65 years later
I'm always a bit astonished and delighted when I see how certain looks and features run in the family. I looked very similar to my grandma, when I was a kid. Also, look at the fantastic hairstyle my great-aunt wears below! That must have been near the end of the 50s, I think.
my grandma (left) and her sistersmy great-aunt/grandma's sister

Most of the pictures of my grandma were actually taken by one of her boyfriends. The really romantic story is how they got to be in her posession, because they both got married to other people, but over 40 years later, after both had been widowed, they met again and started a relationship.
He must have been qute the catch, he played the guitar and had a motorbike!
He definitely wore a leather jacket well! :) There are some really lovely couple-shots, and some great portraits of my grandma.
Look at the great pockets in that wool skirt, and the lovely jacket! I really like the contrast buttons, too. :)
And my grandma wearing trousers. They look a bit like Colette's Clovers, don't they? Look at the cute bow-blouse, too!
I love the "young teacher" look, too. And then there's short hair, a dirndl skirt and some silliness with another young man...
This one is from a dancing class graduation ball. I think my grandma isn't in the picture, but the girl next to the boy with the bowtie is her younger sister. Also, look at all those dresses! The later pictures include my mom an aunt as little kids.
Little polka-dot dresses! My mom is the one on the right. And look at those ridiculous captain's hats! *g* This must have been in the mid-60s...
Those dresses are really cute, with the double buttons and wonderful pockets! The woman is my great-grandma.
I think those coordinating dresses my grandma and great-grandma are wearing are fantastic! Although the color photography really still had some way to go...
This is my favorite picture of my grandma, I think. I love the dress and the sunglasses, and it's a great setting!

So, yes. A family history in pictures. I hope I didn't overwhelm you with all of those. I really love them, though, and I'm glad that my grandma inherited them from her boyfriend.

Do you have any old pictures of you parents or grandparents?