Poodle Blouse in Istanbul

I spent the last week in Istanbul, or as Greeks still call it, Konstantinoupoli!


The aim of the trip was a work-related scientific conference with a rather full program – from 7.30 AM to 6 PM and this from Monday to Saturday, but nevertheless, I managed to see some highlights of this amazing city.

I was especially lucky because I had a very helpful local guide (and his friend who actually works as a tour guide!!) who showed me and one of my colleagues around after the conference sessions. The local guide was a former PhD student from Turkey whom my father, who is a professor at the university, supervised several years ago in Estonia and I had his contacts after he came over for dinner in my parents house once. We had chatted maybe a few times during the past years over social media, but when the conference was confirmed, I told him I would be in town and he turned out to be extremely hospitable.

I didn´t go to Istanbul empty handed, I wanted to use this opportunity to take some photos of my lates sewing project in a more exotic environment than usually.

Do you remember this fun poodle print silk crepe de chine from my trip to Helsinki?


Just in time for Istanbul, I turned this and a scrap of plain black crepe de silk into this:


I have used this pattern (model 16, Patrones No 318) once before, and also wore it at the conference:



As you can see, this time I omitted the sleeves, the result of a long debate with myself – since after my first fabric shopping in Helsinki and pre-shrinking the fabric, it lost exactly enough length and width to forbid me from cutting the sleeves, I bought somemor on my second trip….. just to decide against the sleeves in the end.

Since the shirt is so easy to make, having no darts whatsoever, it was a good project for my first ever silk sewing. To my surprise, the fabric behaved well during the process and I am especially proud of the buttonholes, that are perfectly in line and equal in size. I don´t know if and when I will ever be relaxed while sewing them!

I used French seams for shoulder and side seams and at the armholes I just folded the fabric over twice and sewed.


Some close ups back at home:


Of course I looked around for fabrics in Istanbul as well, but I wasn´t so lucky with this. Some of my colleagues had randomly wandered around and reached a square somewehere between the Grand Bazaar and Spice Bazaar, which was surrounded by fabric shops and actually a bronze statue of a fabric merchant unfolding some fabric was standing in the middle of it, but I didn´t manage to find this wonderland.

Instead, I found a well-kept outlet at Grand Bazaar, selling Ikat silk and silk/cotton mix. Also some other traditional fabrics, but after a lot of thinking, I ended up with 1,6 m of hand-loomed silk ikat, which is exceptionally wide  – 80 cm. You can see me holding it in the next photo:



As you can see, the decision wasn´t easy, but I am very satisfied with the result. Believe it or not, but this is the only fabric I bought on this trip!

Walking down on Mahmoud Pasa street, I discovered some shops selling all kinds of crazy lace and glittery lycra, but I did not really stop by there. Then there were also countless shops for buttons, ribbons, bias tape and whatever you can imagine, but I cannot buy these notions without a certain fabric and pattern in my mind, so no shopping here, either. I guess there will be a moment where I will regret it, though 🙂

ImageImageImageGenerally, the whole experience of the city, as much as we could see it besides the lectures, was wonderful. The traditional tulip festival (tulip is the national flower of Turkey) was in full bloom with unreal color combinations and thanks to the local friends, we managed to drive around even at night, when, I dare say, the historic city center looks even more impressive.


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18 responses to “Poodle Blouse in Istanbul”

  1. I love the poodle fabric and the black contrast is a perfect combination.

  2. Lovely blouse – the poodle pattern’s really unusual. I also think you’ve girded me into looking at Istanbul as a destination – would be rude not too with all that fabric and haberdashery.

    1. thank you, Linda! Istanbul is a great destination even without the seamstress goodies, definitely worth a visit!

  3. Lovely, really!

  4. I love you blouse, really nice made and the contrast tie ia also beautiful match. I was two times in Istanbul , last time in 2009 and unfortunately that was prior my sewing times , hahah so Then I was not interested in finding fabrics . But I love Istanbul, is a great city where you can see a lot of wonderful things and eat delicious (not forget that :)..I think you did have really great time there.

    1. Thank you, Camelia! Yes, I did, and I would definitely like to return for holidays, too, this time was a rather full schedule with the conference going on.

  5. I love your blouses. Funny I was looking at airfares to Istanbul only today. The fabric store looks amazing.

    1. Thank you so much! Yes, and what a pity I didn´t find the whole square of shops that my colleagues saw. Next time, I guess…

  6. Hi Mari-Liis! I really enjoy reading your blog! I wanted to let you know that I’ve nominated you for a Liebster award. You can read about it here: http://sewinginsurfcity.blogspot.com/2014/04/rare-singers-and-liebsters.html

    1. Thank you so much, I feel honoured! I will not participate in the award, though. Too many rules and it is hard to pick just a few out of all the blogs I love!

  7. orea mplouza,kali epilogi tou xromatos…pigeni me to xroma tou prosopou sou,alla ke me to panteloni pou sinthiases,an sinthiasis ke kati sto lemo sou to sinolo tha ine kalitero

  8. Lovely blouse. I like your blog very much, I recently found it and read backwards to the very first post.

    1. Thank you very much! I think most of the people just look at the photos 🙂

  9. Hi! I just discovered your blog and loved it 🙂 I also buy fabrics (as a souvenir) from every city I visit! 🙂
    I’m sorry that you couldn’t find many fabric stores as Istanbul is like the heaven for gorgeous (and mostly cheap) fabrics 🙂 As a Turkish sewing blogger, I asked my readers to help me out making a “fabric store and fabric market map” in Turkey a year ago. Although it’s in Turkish, I’m sure you may find the addresses easily 🙂 Maybe it’ll be much more helpful if you visit the country once again.


    I actually started keeping an English language blog as well and will be able to translate many of my previous posts (inc. the map) soon.
    irem – sewingyourstyle.com

    1. Dear Irem, it is so sweet of you to share the link. I just need to come back to Istanbul, not only because of the fabrics but also because of the city itself. As I was there for a conference, I didn´t see as much as I would have wanted to.
      Thanks for sharing and thanks for reading my blog, and also good luck with ypurs, I will check it out!

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