Saturday, July 21, 2012

I'm not sewing...

Huh. How come that I seem to always want to start my posts with either lamentations about how busy life is or complaints about the weather, or both?

Ok, possibly because both are bugging me a bit and both seem to have a negative influence on my sewing mojo (who wants to sew breezy tops and floaty dresses while wearing thick knitted socks and a pullover, I ask you? Also, my current internship placement is not quite living up to my expectations. The people are nice, mostly, but there don't seem to be a lot or learning opportunities. More like a lot of routine work. Hmpf. And we're looking for a new - bigger! - apartment! Exciting, but also a lot of work.). I have not sewn a stitch since finishing my mom's Rooibos.

And is May really going down as this year's one month of summer?

Anyway, enough with complaining. A lot of incredibly awesome things also happened: For my birthday, my boyfriend took me on a helicopter flight to an incredibly romantic dinner! My family got me a beautiful rose-fabric-covered dress form (which hasn't found its way over here yet, but I hope it'll arrive soon) - and apart from the waist being a bit smaller, it even has my exact measurements! And the rest of my friends are sending me on a gourmet raw food candle light dinner with my boyfriend tonight! It's bound to be pretty interesting, isn't it?
Heh. My polka-dot Crepe and the helicopter match. :D

Also, a couple of days ago I had an envelope in my mailbox coming from NY. Who could send me something from New York, I wondered? It was Oona, who was sending her Paying it Forward package! Three cute fabric bangles, and some very cool labels, a CD with her favorite jump around songs and some polka dot fabric - can you imagine the huge smile on my face? Thank you, Oona! :D
Now, to show you that my hands haven't been totally idle, here is some knitting progress. As the weather hasn't been nice enough to cycle to work most mornings, the 40min bus ride provided a perfect opportunity for a few rows of stockinette, which is just easy enough to do before eight o'clock in the morning, when my brain hasn't fully woken up yet.
After the Where's Waldo socks, there's a red lace shrug on my to-knit list. And after that? There's a myrad of possibilities... I bought some Drops yarn during spring sale. A big lace shawl in aqua, maybe? A green merino Miette? We'll see...

So, are you knitting or sewing at the moment? Is summer a busy or a lazy time for you?

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Summer Sparks Sew-along Wrap-up & Winner!

Thank you, everyone, for participating in the Summer Sparks Sew-along and congratulations on finishing your garments! As of today, I've counted 34 entries - some of you even took the time to make two! And what a lovely lot they are, I've already added a few items to my imaginary to-sew list for the summer. Since this summer has been and is going to be rather busy to me, and I still haven't managed to work on my self-drafted shirt-dress any more, we'll see how that will go. ;)
So, before announcing the winner of my part of the Summer Sparks giveaway, I will present you with the list of patterns used, that Ali has graciously put together:

Dresses, Knit
Ali's nautical inspired Jalie 3024 - I love the fluttery sleeves!

McCall 6659 (maxi dress) by knottygnome
McCall 5974 by Sarah
Jalie 3024 by Ali

Dresses, Woven

Simplicity 1803 by Shanni Loves - isn't the fabric gorgeous?

Simplicity 1803 by Shanni Loves
Sewaholic Lonsdale by SunnyB64
Sewaholic Lonsdale by KristenMakes
Butterick 443 (modified) by Guineveresmom
Butterick 5028 by banevels
New Look 6048 by shelshel
McCall 6349 by simplybeu
Simplicity 2246 by Minnado
Self-drafted by ayenforcraft
Self-drafted (with hand-dyed fabric!) by Tasha Miller Griffith
Self-drafted by Ana5059
Simplicity 6402 by SewWell
Vogue 1190 by BTStars
McCall 4440 by msjennyhomemaker
Butterick 4699 refashion by Sarah
Colette Rooibos (as a gift) by Alessa


Vogue 7975 jacket
Isn't this Chanel-esque jacket beautiful?

Vogue 7995 by starryfish52

Look at that gorgeous pleated Burda skirt by Merche!
Burda 05-12-113 by Merche
Vogue 2043 by Lucia Pixelada


Maider's lovely vichy peasant blouse.

Lutterloh 101 by Karamiel
Burda 06-2011-124 by Maider
Self-drafted by Yvette
Simplicity 3596 by foster2023
Scout Woven Tee by FutureNakano and Gingermakes
Vogue 1282 by Merche


Summery aqua capri trousers by Karamiel.
Lutterloh 236 (60s) by Karamiel
Burda 03-12-114B by Maider
New Look 6100 (modified with handpainted polka dots!) by jill with love

So, have you found inspiration by those lovely summer garments? Personally, I'd love to sew a citrus-y dress like Sarah, and a Lonsdale in a cute flowery print, and a pair of polka-dotted shorts would be totally awesome!
Ok, now on to the giveaway! You remember that Ali is giving away an indie sewing pattern of your choice, Sarah has provided a lovely orange seersucker fabric, and I'm giving away the blue and white flowery crepe fabric below, with some matching off-white crepe lining.
We put all of your entries that were uploaded to the flickr group into a pot and each of us drew a winner. My random generator chose...


... Karamiel with her lovely Lutterloh capri trousers! Congratulations, Karamiel! Please contact me with your mailing address at aldara at gmx dot net.

Both Ali and Sarah are going to announce their winners on their own blogs shortly.

What are your sewing plans for the rest of the summer?

Sunday, July 1, 2012

A Sparkly Gift

Today is the first of July, marking the official end of the Summer Sparks Sewalong. How did it go for you, everybody? I've seen quite a few wonderful garments in the flickr group (most of which I haven't had the time to comment yet, but I'll get there!) - and you still have until July 4th to upload a photo of your own finished garment, to enter the giveaways for an independent sewing pattern of your choice, some lovely seersucker fabric or a breezy blue and white fabric. :D

I'm a bit embarassed to say that I haven't come any further in the making of my muslin since my last post. Which isn't to say that I haven't been sewing, it's just that something else took precedence. What could be more important than the Summer Sparks Sewalong, do you ask? Well, my mom had an important birthday yesterday, and I'd been promising her a me-made sheath dress for ages, only she didn't want to let me measure her until she'd lost some weight (silly mom, she looks fantastic).

Anyway, at the beginning of the month I very sneakily had my sister steal her measurements, so I could finally begin the birthday dress for her! I used Colette's Rooibos pattern, which I love both for the flattering fit and the cute little neckline detail, and because I already knew the construction. Paired with some lovely black linen, it made for a birthday dress that I'm quite proud of. :) The best thing, of course, was the face of my mom when she saw it, and the fact that it actually fits. :D

The dress is fully lined with some rayon acetate lining, the bodice and midriff traced from the actual pattern pieces and for the skirt I just taped the pieces and cut it out in one, which thankfully worked ok. As it's fully lined, most of the seams are just pinked, which I hope will hold up. The lining is attached to the zipper with handstitching, and I hemmed it up with some black lace.

We're celebrating the birthday in Italy, by the way, at the same place in Alto Aldige that we visited for Easter. A good decision, too, as at least in Berlin it has been raining cats and dogs, while we're having the loveliest, hottest weather. :) We're staying in a beautiful little apartment with a garden. Look at the roses!

Bolzano also is a beautiful little city. And the view!

I leave you with a picture with my mom, sister and me all wearing me-mades. The white skirt my sister is wearing is made of eyelet and a little too long for me, but it fits my sister really well. I also took in the dotted Rooibos during my visit, because my sister also lost some weight. Now it fits us both, and she graciously lent it to me for the evening. ;)

I hope you're having an equally lovely time! Did you  manage to finish your sparkly sewing?