Monday, October 29, 2012

Up above the world

Hi there! I'm using the opportunity of having borrowed a wifi dongle for a short update from the moving front, since I have no idea when the telephone technician will come by to activate our internet. Because we moved house!
gratuitous autumn pic from a beautiful Indian Summer day a week ago
I didn't say much about it here, but we've been looking for a bigger flat since August (and nope, I'm not pregnant), and actually already had a new tenant asking to move into our old flat at the end of October, way before we even found a new flat. I found a wonderful one at the beginning of the month (after several rejections from other landlords, I was getting quite a bit panicky) and we only got the confirmation and signed the lease a week ago. And then we moved in on Saturday! Crazy! Don't ask about how many boxes we packed up in a week...

Anyway, now we're here, in an apartment almost twice as big as our old, tiny, 1.5 room apartment, with two balconies, an amazing view, a huge wardrobe (yet to be assembled), a nice little sewing nook (yay!)... There's lots of stuff to be assembled (including the kitchen), everything is full of boxes, some rooms don't have light fixtures yet... But I already love it here. You'll be getting pictures as soon as the rooms aren't full of boxes and half-assembled IKEA furniture anymore.
I leave you with a view of the sunset from our 4th floor balcony, yesterday. :)

Wednesday, October 17, 2012


Here's to franken-patterning! :D Seems like altering existing patterns to knock off a different look is quite on trend, my recent favorite example being Gillian's Macarony (actually, she called it Maca-ny Peo-ron, but I go for less subtlety...). I tried to get the look of Simplicity 2451 by using my only vaguely A-line skirt pattern, Meringue from the Colette Sewing Handbook, as a base. Hence: Meringuity.

For a first attempt, otherwise known as muslin, it's almost wearable. Almost, because I cut out two identical back pieces, thinking that in a solid woven fabric, the right and left side should look the same. Enter a twill weave. Yeah. Not so much. It needs a close look to my backside to notice, though, so I've actually already worn it out and about. Also, the pleats are slightly asymmetrical. Because I'm a slapdash sewist. But oh well.
It haz pockez. Also, new short hair.
Apart from that, and the fact that even after taking it in about a centimeter on both sides, it's still a wee bit big, it nicely fills the gap of basic, neutral skirt in my wardrobe, and actually works nicely with all of my me-made longsleeves!

The pattern alteration really wasn't all that difficult. I used the "adding a waistband" tutorial on the Coletterie, made it curvy in the front instead of straight, and added two pleats and a pocket on each side of the skirt. Next time, I'd try to get the pleats to lie more at an angle instead of straight down, and change the curve of the waistband a bit.
The facing and pocket linings are made of some polka-dot poly-lycra scraps, leftover from my first Sorbetto, and I hemmed it by hand with some lace tape. Notice the difference in right and left side of the fabric. In my defense, it was an overcast day, and I didn't have enough fabric to cut a second back piece...
The last mishap was using a zipper that wouldn't stay closed for the heck of it, which made me learn how to install a hook and eye. Another technique checked! ;-)

Now I'm wondering if I really need an improved version of Meringuity in red corduroy (which I don't have in my stash yet), or if it would be a better idea to wait and see if I can acquire an actual Simplicity 2451 pattern for my next try. It's not a pressing decision though, as I really should pack up my sewing things for the move that will hopefully happen at the end of the month...!

Before I hop to bed, if anyone reading my blog should be in NYC this weekend, I have a recommendation for you! A very good friend of mine, talented singer/songwriter Lili Sommerfeld, is having her first gig in New York this weekend! She's playing in The Path Café (Westvillage) on Friday from 7-8 p.m. and at the Somethin' Jazz Club in Midtown Manhattan on Saturday starting at 9 p.m. Both even have free cover! I could tell you dozens of wonderful things about her, but before I embarrass either of us, I'll just leave you with a video of one of the songs from her album.
Oh, and a song with loop station. Because that's just really cool. :D
Have a lovely, lovely rest of the week, wherever you are!

Monday, October 8, 2012

Self-Stitched Weekend and Things I like

Hi everyone! First of all, thanks so much for all your suggestions and offers regarding Simplicity 2451! I may revisit them at some point, as I'm still rather intrigued by the pattern, but for now, I think I've made a fair approximation out of the Meringue pattern from the Colette Handbook. It's even almost finished (well, the hopefully wearable muslin is, more about that at a later point), but still requires some hand sewing - after I've taken it in a couple of centimeters. Yay!

I thought I might show you a couple of outfit posts from last week(end), when I met my parents about halfway between our homes (read, in the middle of Germany) for a bit of a spontaneous wine-tasting vacation.
We stayed in a rather cute little village near Würzburg. Cute enough that I'd call it kitschy if I didn't come from an equally cute little town myself. Oh and look, stripes look cute with strawberries, too. Plus, new boots. In red. I ♥.
By the way, every third house in that village was a winery. Okay, maybe every fifth one. But still, loads. I won't tell you how many different wines I tasted in the three days. Loads. Yum.
I sometimes forget how many beautiful places there are in Germany that I haven't seen yet. I should remember more often.

I thought I could also share some stuff with you that I've ♥ on bloglovin in the last weeks...

Like Zoe's Refashion Fridays, and especially her tutorial on adding a cute collar to a t-shirt. Or a lace front. Pretty!
Or Madalynne teaching us how to correct the fit on raglan sleeves.
More sleeve alterations: How to alter a pattern for forward sloping shoulders.
And last but not least Colette teaching how to sew a fly front - something that I have yet to try!

My first day in Surgery Internship was fine, btw. No 24h shifts for German interns! Gosh I'm glad about that, and with my way to work shortened by about 40 mins and beginning 45 mins earlier, there really is a whole lot of afternoon left after work! Wahoo! (We'll see how I do on my first "real" day tomorrow... ;-)

Have a lovely week, everyone!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Oh, look! Stripes!

Can you believe that my second term of internship is already over? I saved up some study days, so I have this week free, but after that, my third and last term is starting, and as it's even shorter than the others (12 weeks instead of 16, as I've been saving my 20 days of leave to have more time for studying) - I'll be finished by Christmas. Crazy, huh? 100 days of intensive studying later, It'll be written board exams for me, and oral board about 6 weeks later, and then I'm officially a doctor. Weird and kinda scary.

Ah well.

What with a totally free Saturday (bf is at his parents and flying on family holiday for 2 weeks, without me as I got the time off on very short notice) - sewing time!
The pattern is one I've used before, Ottobre 05/2008-14, a simple raglan-sleeved tee, although this time around, I lowered the neckline by a couple of centimeters and added a bit of width for a gathered neckline detail. The fabric is actually thinly striped, not light pink, and bought on a whim when we got the fabrics for the baby blanket, in August.
All things considered, I'm rather pleased with the look and fit, and very happy that the neckline gathers worked out. It's one of my favorite details on a favorite shirt, and I'm pretty sure, more tops in this style will follow! :D
It did remind me that I'm missing some me-mades in my wardrobe, though. I have next to no me-made skirts! Can you believe that? I've had some navy twill, destinied to be a little skirt, for ages, and almost set to make one yesterday, when I found that I only own two skirt patterns. The free Burdastyle Kasia skirt (which is highwaisted, a look I since learned doesn't go well with my figure) and the Colette Meringue. What I really want, though, is something along the line of Simplicity 2451 (of So...Zo and Scruffy Badger fame), but Simplicity patterns being rather expensive over here, I've decided to franken-pattern the Meringue. Which will take a little more time, but there you have it. I happen to have some this week. :)
The leftover scraps made a nice pair of knickers, too, and would have made a second, if I hadn't been silly and cut out three left front pieces instead of a left front, and a right front and back, respectively. How I did that? No idea. Ah well...