Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Springy Outfits

Oh, have the last two weeks been dreary and wintery hereabouts! I've been cheering myself up with breakfast muesli chock full with fresh fruit (strawberries!), using tanning lotion and coral-and-emerald painted toe nails. I can't wait for Friday, when I'm going to meet my family in Italy near Milano for a week of family vacation!

I have a few outfit photos from the beginning of the month, when we has a bit of sun, though, which I thought I might show you. :)
The Rooibos! As it isn't lined, I'm wearing it with a black slip, the lace of which you can see peek out. Also, new haircut.
Floral Macaron and a cardi. Obviously I was also wearing a jacket, but my bicycle makes for a lovely wardrobe-and-tripod combination.
Strawberry Macaron layered over a black longsleeve. Isn't the sun lovely?
And the Coral Lola. I love it. And I bought some fabric at GirlCharlee for a couple more versions. Blue paisley and navy and white stripes. Can't wait!

I hope the weather in Italy will be nice. We're renting a little vacation house with a huge kitchen, and I'm so looking forward to buying lovely fresh produce and cooking with my Mom. I'll totally need to buy sundried tomatoes for making pesto...

Friday, March 22, 2013

February Stashbusting

Um, yes. I know it's almost April. But, I did indeed manage a bit of stash busting in February, even though I didn't manage to take part in the Sewasaurus challenge. Possibly because the theme was unselfish sewing, and we know how bad I am in that regard. Although I did manage to replace the zipper in my boyfriend's favourite pair of trousers for his birthday (he finally resorted to emotional blackmail, after they had languished on my mending pile for over half a year). And I put missing buttons on three other pairs of trousers!

So, stashbust #1 for this month was a Rooibos made from green corduroy. I originally meant to make a second Parfait from this fabric, but decided that the bust gathers were a bit too bulky in the fabric. Also, you can never have enough Rooiboses, right? ;)
The Facts:
Fabric: about 1.5m of green corduroy from the Holland fabric market, about 0.5m of green and white striped cotton shirting from Hüco
Pattern: Colette Rooibos, Size 8
Notions: green invisible zipper, fusible interfacing, two random greenish buttons from my stash
Time to Complete: pretty fast since it's my fourth make of the pattern, maybe about five hours over two or three days.
Techniques used: Colette's awesome roll-up method of adding neckline/armhole facings, invisible zipper, Hong Kong finish (first time!), hand-stitched, bias faced hem.
First Worn: to a lovely walk, back when the sun was still shining at the beginning of March
Thoughts: This dress has seen a lot of wear in the last few weeks. I love the vibrant green colour, and it works great layered over black tights and long sleeves. I hope it'll work equally great as a spring/summer dress. Rooibos is one of my favourite patterns, I especially love the deep pockets. I think there are a couple more summer versions in the works, especially since the blue polka-dot version has gone to my sister...

Stashbust #2 is Cake Patterns' Tiramisu. That one has been on my mind for ages, especially since I was thinking about what to do with all the solid coloured jersey in my stash. Solution: use lace overlay to get some contrast!
I even sketched it out before I sewed it. :D

The Facts:
Fabric: about 1.5m of petrol coloured jersey, which I bought ages (aka 2.5 years) ago at the FIDM scholarship store in LA!
Pattern: Cake Patterns' Tiramisu, 35B/30W
Notions: 1m of a rather lovely, 16cm wide lace, bought on ebay and some fusible knit stay tape from A Fashionable Stitch
Time to Complete: I cut the pattern using someone's suggestion to cut out the largest size and then fold to the size needed, which saved some time on tracing. Maybe 5h in total over about 3 days.
Techniques used: nothing fancy, a bit of gathering under the bust, plus enforcing the shoulder seams and pocket openings with fusible stay tape.
First Worn: to a dinner with my boyfriend and his parents.
Thoughts: I really liked the sizing (which is by actual circumference, and not the usual "random" numbers), which threw me for a bit, though, when I saw that my waist size was smaller than my bust. That has never happened before, usually it's about 1-2 sizes bigger! ;-) Makes sense, though.
I'm also pretty proud of myself for the idea of overlaying lace. It was pretty easy, I didn't even baste it, just sandwiched it between the other layers. The edges of the wide lace ribbon were used for neck and sleeve band embellishment.
I'm not quite sure about this style of bodice on myself. It feels a bit foreign but kinda nice, as I usually wear a more closely fit bodice and a wider neckline. Next time, I'll have to shorten either the bodice, or the shoulder a bit, I think, and see how I feel about that. I'll also lose the pockets next time. I usually love pockets, but they feel a bit bulky in the jersey.

March has actually not been very successful, yet, if we're speaking of challenges. I have a half-finished skirt, and I may manage another jersey top or dress, 'cause that's my ultimate sweet quickie. I also got on a bit of a jersey buying shopping spree at GirlCharlee yesterday. They do have the sweetest jerseys! And what with shipping, I had to buy five fabrics. According to my pledge, that means I need fifteen finished stashbust-projects until they get here... ;)

What's on your sewing table right now?

Giveaway winners

The week (and last week, too) kinda got away really fast, I can't believe it's Friday already!

I also for the life of me can't find my camera at the moment, so I'll give you the winners from my fabric giveaway just like that. Since there were three prizes, I didn't use the random generator, but went the old-school way and made very uniform little pieces of paper, dropped them into a hat and had lady luck (aka my fabulous boyfriend) draw winners. :-)

And now without further ado: *drumroll*

The winner of the Wintery Fabric package is Carolyn! Congratulations!

The winner of the Cross-seasonal Fabric package is Vicki Kate! Congrats to you, too!

And, last but not least the winner of the Summery Fabric package: Minnado! Congrats!

Dear winners, please send your mailing addresses to aldara at gmx dot net and I'll have your prized underway, soon!

Friday, March 8, 2013

Sharing Luck or A Different Way of Stashbusting

I already told you about my luck&happiness this year, and you also know that I'm on a stashbusting spree. So I thought, what could be nicer than sharing my luck while doing a bit of stashbusting at the same time? I'm sure you can guess what I am talking about: it's fabric give-away time! :)

I'm lucky enough that the German postal system has rather sensible prices for international shipping, especially if the package is 500g or less, so I've made three little fabric packages of roughly a pound which I'm going to give away, shipping anywhere in the world. Even Antarctica (I think). ;) Just comment with your preferred package number. And tell me about your favourite food (because I'm curious. And love eating).

So, on to the fabrics!

Package #1: Wintery
These fabrics are actually both remnants. The grey one is a soft, medium weight double knit with a tiny bit of strech, probably poly and is sized 54cm (width) by 150cm (length) plus an added piece of 65x50cm. Should be enough for a skirt. Or a very soft and wintry cushion cover? The red fabric is some kind of medium weight twill (I think), and it's 90x30cm. Yes, that is pretty tiny. But it's a lovely fabric. :)

Package #2: Cross-seasonal
The green batik&print fabric is a light weight cotton, just slightly transparent. Maybe cotton lawn but with less drape and more body? I inherited it from my boyfriend's mom, and I kinda like it, but it isn't really my style. However, there are 2.5m of it (width is about 1.6m), so it should make an awesome summer dress. The other is a soft brown-and-blue-green-plaid corduroy, about 1.5x1.5m with just a tiny bit missing. I was going to make matching skirts for a friend and myself, but after making hers, I decided that brown really isn't my colour. Maybe it's yours?

Package #3: Waiting for Summer
The blue dotted fabric is rayon jersey with about 4% lycra, nice and drapey. It's leftover from a dress I made last spring, which I've been wearing very frequently. The remnant is 160x60cm plus two smallish, irregularly shaped pieces. Should be enough for a T-shirt plus a pair of knickers. :)
The striped fabric is a cotton or cotton-poly mix that used to be a skirt which I unpicked. It's two panels of 80x60cm. It's light to medium weight and would work for a blouse or skirt, or possibly shorts. Or a pair of Madeleine bloomers? I'm almost tempted to keep it... ;)

The giveaway is open for one week, until Friday, March 15, 11:59 p.m. CET.

Have a lovely weekend!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013


Huh, funny. Do you sometime have the feeling that, if you haven't blogged for a little while, it gets more and more difficult do to so? Because there is more and more stuff you'd like to write about, but you're not quite sure where to begin? For me, this usually results in not writing about everything I've been meaning to, but I'll try to do something different this time around...

So, can you believe it is March already? The current weather kinda makes me, as we've had five full days of sunshine and non-freezing temperatures, making me want to go out and take walks (which I did) and do some gardening (which, now being the proud owner of a balcony, I also did!). It's supposed to be snowing again by the end of the week but at least now I can believe that winter will soon be over. :)
trying my hand at winter-sowing in me-made mini glasshouses.  hope it'll work when snow comes back to haunt us...
So, life is going pretty steady at the moment, with daily revising and doing multiple-choice mock-tests. I've also joined a study group for the oral part of my boards, which makes me a bit nervous. I thought orals were in June, but apparently they can start any time after the written exam, and I'll only know up until 5 days before. Oh joy, give me 5h of checking MC questions any day...

On a lighter note (and because I don't have enough to do), I'm also working on a book. Well, not my book obviously, but I'm in a literary circle with some of my friends (we meet every three weeks to read and get feedback on our texts, which we've written about a specific prompt that we collectively agree on the meeting before). We recently decided to do an anthology of the texts we like most and self-publish it, and I volunteered to do part of the proof reading. So I guess, as some of my texts are in it, it really is partly my book. :D

And some more good stuff happened. Some time before Christmas, Tasha told me that there was a Simplicity sale near her, and did I want her to get Simplicity 2451 (which I have tried to copy before). I was delighted and we agreed to do a swap. She also got a couple other patterns I'd been eyeing for me. Plus a crochet hook key chain and some lovely organic lip butter her friend made!
I sent her some lovely Baby Alpaca wool (Alpaca mixed with Mulberry Silk, by Drops. They have the most amazingly lovely yarns...) and vintage eyelet lace.
I like to think that we were both very happy with this swap. I already have stashbusting fabrics in mind for my new patterns, too! :)

More lucky stuff: I'm also now the proud owner of my first genuine vintage pattern! Lisette sent me Advance 5513, a cute dress and bolero combo, for Sew Grateful Week. It's even in my size and so pretty! (Yes, I also have a stash fabric in mind for this one. *g* I gather I need to make a muslin first, though.)

As if that weren't enough, I also won Built by Wendy's Sew U Homestretch from Stevie's giveaway. How cool is that! I love sewing with knits, and I'm so looking forward to making me some new patterns. :D

So I guess you can see there's been much luck and happiness around here. I also finished two dresses for February, which, compared to the seven garments of January, isn't all that much - but February is a very short month. ;) More about those, soon.