Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Summer Sewing Plans

I really love Berlin in summer. To be honest, it can be a bit of a mixed bag - anything from really hot and sunny (which, around here, means about 30°C, hardly cooling down during the night, especially if you live on the top floor of an "Altbau" - one of the many buildings from the turn of the last century - without air conditioning) to cool and raining for days and anything in between. Summer sewing, it follows, is a bit of a mixed bag, too. My favorite garments last summer were my two jersey maxi dresses. For some reason, they feel great in any weather. ;-) And I have planned a couple more in these fabrics (which are both, incidentally, from The Sweet Mercerie).
The one thing about maxi dresses that is less than perfect is that they're a bit unwieldy for biking. So the other pattern that works perfectly for both hot and cool days (with a pair of leggings) is of course, Victory Patterns' Lola. I'm guessing nobody's surprised? ;-)  Both fabrics are from Lillestoff, the teal stripes are a French terry and the multi-coloured stripes are cotton jersey...
And the rest of my summer sewing plans? Well, it's a bit unusual. It's mostly woven fabrics. Whaaat? Right, I don't know why. But I've got them, and they're pretty, and I think I'll just try it and see if I can fit some more woven dress wearing in my life, right? Since I do have an overwhelming amoung of jersey dresses already... ;-)

I'm guessing what partly inspired my unusual plans are the Sew Over It patterns I got in London this spring. So beautiful! Here are the Vintage Shirt Dress and the Betty Dress. And oh yes, it's polka-dots! And florals!

The Sewaholic Cambie dress is such a pretty pattern and has been in my stash for years. As has the fabric I paired it with, which actually used to be a maxi dirndl skirt that I got second hand. The white and the red floral fabric have also been awaiting life as a garment for several summers in my stash. They've always been destined to become spaghetti strapped tunic tops. Let's see if I can make it happen this year.

I think I mentioned that I'm not a big fan of sewing garments for work, but I'd really like to make myself a pair of white linen trousers for the hot months. Hoping to finally get the fit right on the Sewaholic Thurlow trousers!
And last but not least, I've put swimwear on my sewing list again! I managed to get my hand on actual swimsuit lining, so I'm definitely trying another Bombshell swimsuit, the one with the sweetheart neckline this time.  And I'd love to put the leftover fabric to good use and make a Nautilus bikini! Hopefully in time for my birthday in July...
I think that's the bulk of it for my summer plans, although I'm sure I'll slip in a jersey dress or two, and maybe a couple of tops. Possibly even those Hudson Pants leftover from the Bread&Butter challenge?

Because I already have some plans for fall sewing. It involves button holes. And outerwear. And possibly even bra sewing! *scary*

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

polka-dot summer dress

Ah, it's summer, how beautiful! My favorite time of the year, starting at the end of April, when slowly but surely the cherries and lilacs start blooming, Berlin tends to smell rather lovely all through the early summer season, all the way into July. Linden trees and strawberries and the smell of summer rain and the river, cut grass and summer jasmin... :-)

In between all the other stuff I'm doing, I hardly find any time for sewing, which may not be the worst thing in the world, because my backlog of unblogged (and unphotographed) garments is about a mile long. Then again, the list of garments I'd love to make and finish this summer is just about a mile long, too. Does that mean they cancel each other out? Lol, probably not...

But since I managed to take pictures of a recent dress during MMM, let's get started with that one!
The idea for that dress and the fabric have been in my head (and my stash) for at least a couple of years, never realized because I was looking out for the perfect pattern. I even bought several patterns, but they were never quite perfect.
The end result isn't quite perfect, either, but at least it's done and wearable. And I may yet tinker with it a bit, to see if I can get it nearer to the vision I had of it.
The fabric is a navy rayon jersey with little white pin dots. Please don't ask me where I got it. It may have been Goldhawk Road, when I visited London in... 2012? Possibly it was
The pattern I used in the end is Cake Pattern's Tiramisu dress, with a few modifications. The bodice is made up of four self-lined pieces, with an overlap in front and the kimono sleeves gathered into more of a sleeveless style. Since I eliminated the neckband by lining the bodice, it gapes a bit. I'll either stitch the two sides together at the right height or try to deepen the overlay a bit, soon. The sleeves are also wider than I anticipated, and I may slim them down a bit, at least in front. I kind of like the draped look, but they tend to feel like they'll fall down, and a couple of centimeters might make all the difference.
I'm very find of the deep back neckline and the twirly half-circle skirt. If the front didn't gape that much, especially after a few hours of wearing it, I might not take that dress off again. :-)

By the way, and what I forgot to tell you in my MMM posts: I wouldn't love wearing my summer dresses half as much if I weren't wearing Bandelettes. No sponsering here, just an honest endorsement from one gal without a thigh gap to others who may have the same problem. If you wanna know more, I wrote a blog post about it two years ago...

How's your summer (or winter, as it may be) going?

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Me-Made May round two

And here's the second half of outfits from my Me-Made May this year, just in case you're interested and haven't been following me on Instagram. ;-)
bottom row: day 17-20 left to right; top row: day 21-24 left to right
So how was Me-Made May this year? I actually found it challenging to pick an outfit in the morning. As I mentioned before, I usually just grab  any halfway appropriate dress on a workday morning, no thoughts required, since I only just wear it for my 10 minute bike ride to work, lunch break, my bike ride home and however long it takes me to grab some leggings and a tee. But it was kind of fun, too, to break the routine and wear some different things not just on the weekends. 
bottom row: day 25-28 from left to right; top row: day 28-31 from left to right
Apart from what you can see in the outfits, I wore all me-made knickers during May. Next year I want to branch out into bras and jackets, too!

3/4 of all my outfits were dresses, by the way (wow, I've got lots of dresses, it seems), and I only wore two garments multiple times: my navy and white striped boatneck top (twice) and my Ginger jeans (three times). As for which outfits were my favorites, I have a bit of a hard time narrowing it down. I really like those jeans-and-striped-tee outfits.
But I can't narrow down the dresses... ;-)
Interesting, though, that there's two wovens and two jersey dresses, even though I hardly wear woven dresses most of the time... Both the dotty red one and the flowery torquoise one are Day-to-night-drape dresses by Maria Denmark, by the way.

So, another Me-Made May over... on to new adventures!