Burgundy Inspiration Dress

It seems to me that the word “love” has been used excessively to the point of devaluation. We use the same word to describe our feelings for our children as well as a nice juicy burger for example. So what words or expressions should I use for this fabric here? Because it seems that saying I loved it from the moment I saw it does not really convey the feeling when I first noticed it on Minerva Crafts Instagram account, sewn up and worn by Hila from Saturday Night Stitch. You can check the post up here. My heart sank for real! And it was one of those times where the fabric bought online was exactly as I had envisioned it when it arrived!

And as fate would have it, just about the same time I tried copyshop printing for the first time for my pdf patterns. And while adding files to the online order system, I recalled having a bunch of Jalie patterns on my account. And there it was, the perfect match for my fabric, Jalie Rachel! And here is the result:

I have used Jalie patterns before and have always been happy with them and I now made a mental note to try some more soon, after having been on Style Arc train for a while already.

So what to say about this simple but fun pattern and dress? It is easy to make really, but watch out for the fabric, I would love to make one or possibly even two more with different necklines and tie options that are provided with the pattern, but due to the way the front piece is cut, I don´t think it would work with visibly striped patterns. I have one snakeskin viscose jersey in my stash that I was about to cut for the same dress but noticed the last minute that from a distance it has a repetitive pattern in lines and probably that would not play out nicely for this pattern. The houndstooth print on my dress also has a direction, but the way it looks on the dress rather benefits it, I think (on the bust it is perpendicular and on the skirt diagonal). For comparison, look at the back:

My Jalie size is constantly V and I didn´t need to make any modifications really. I didn´t use the pattern piece provided for the neckline, just calculated the length of the binding by multiplying the neckline circumference by 0,8 and dividing it into 4 equal parts as well as the neckline in order to stretch and stitch it evenly. The sleeves are a tad long I would say, but as you can see I have the habit of pulling them up anyway, so I decided to leave them as is, it might be nice to be able to pull them down when it is colder.

The only trouble with this dress at the moment is that since I am breastfeeding little Lennart, I have to consider the occasion for wearing it time wise because I would have to undress almost completely for feeding him! But otherwise it is as comfortable as a nightgown, I really like this fabric not only for the print but for the soft touch of it as well. And the burgundy is so good for autumn! I might have one or more projects in the works in this shade….

It is the first time I have used a tripod and a remote for the photos. These were a gift from my husband for my birthday in September. I also need to get some sort of light source for the winter photos, the trouble with daylight is real… But unless you really zoom in, I guess the photos will do for now.

Roadworker Set and Other Little Things

Hi there!

I started the post below a few weeks ago already but then couldn´t find time for finishing it until today and therefore any referrals to time and date are from the moment I first wrote the post 🙂

A little bit of sewing for kids done again! I finished the jacket of this set a couple of days ago, but the pants were done already on the day we ended up at the maternity ward to welcome Lennart 🙂

You may wonder why did I make another rainy weather outfit, since just a while ago I made the softshell set as well, but the truth is that Estonian summer can be very moody and one must be ready for rain even in July. The softshell set would be too hot for summer rain, so already while sewing the softshell, I made plans for another set but for warmer days. Ironically, the summer has been very nice and it has mostly been raining at night so no problem that I managed to finish it as late as now.

I used the same pattern, jujuna.fi Autumn Wind for the pants as for the softshell version, but the jacket is from Ottobre 3/2020, model Rainbow Dots. Originally this is designed for cotton fabrics, but the Goretex is also lightweight so it suited well. I was contemplating to leave the lining off, but eventually added it anyway; the pants, however, are unlined.

And for what I think is the first time ever, I made use of a messed up project: a T-shirt I had made for myself a while ago, for the lining. It is cotton jersey, but not very stretchy and I thought if Liisa-Mai is going to wear the jacket on short sleeves, it will be more comfy. However, in the end I decided to use a regular lining fabric for the sleeves, so that it would be slippery and facilitate putting the jacket on.

I love the pattern but I myself could have done a better job with the zipper. Unfortunately the Goretex is also not forgiving, so there is a small line of stitches gone bad that is visible around the base of the zipper because unpicking a seam on Goretex will leave marks.

Making this set proved once again that my reluctance of sewing for kids mainly has to do with me not enjoying sewing with knits, but most of childrens´clothes are designed for cotton jersey. I enjoyed making this set far more because I could use non-jersey fabrics and I loved the little challenge as it was once again something I had never made before plus the novelty of the material.

By the time of writing this post, Liisa-Mai has been wearing the set many times already and seems to love it.

She started kindergarten last week and in preparation for that as well as with the goal of using the fabrics I have been hoarding recently, I also made her a set of sweatpants and a hoodie. Loved making these so there will be more coming, I guess.

These patterns are also from Ottobre, 6/2017, models Young Jogger and Forest Fauna. I made them in size 92 and while the pants are an exact fit, the hoodie is a bit large, but this is no problem for me, she will grow into it in no time. Originally the hood is unlined, but I wanted to add some colour to the piece, so I lined it with purple cotton jersey that matches the arm and hem bands as well.

And last but not least, I also made a merino wool lined overall for Lennart and this seems to be just on time as the weather has been really autumn-y since September hit. I made the overall in size 68 and thought it is going to be huge at first but he is a big guy and he can already wear it. I love seeing him snuggling in something I made and that is also practical 🙂

Once again the pattern is from Ottobre, the Sky Jumper from 4/2019. The pattern comes unlined but I added one since this is supposed to be worn during car rides and walks to keep him warm and cozy.

I have also uploaded a few sneak peeks from other things I have made during the summer but I need to find the time to take more pics and write posts up. I always choose actual sewing over blogging so when free time is limited, I end up sewing more stuff than I can write about.

Until soon!

Baby News Vol 2 and Some Old Debts

Hey!

This is my first post as a mother of two! Our little baby boy Lennart was born on July 12th and everyone in the family is trying to find their place in this new situation. There are moments where everyone has a different “want” and “need” and it is hard to decide who gets what first 😀 However, we are so privileged to have the best grandmother and mother in law one can wish for (and Lennart was born exactly on her birthday!!), so there have been moments that I have actually been doing some sewing and now writing this post as well. Both kiddos are asleep, what a bliss 🙂

The old debts that I mention are the three pairs of Jalie Vanessa pants that I have made over the last year and mentioned several times but not really talked about them. One reason was that there were no proper photos, the other that soon after making the last two pairs I started to show some baby belly and I was at that point not ready to give any hints to anyone. Now that almost two weeks have passed since I gave birth, I don´t mind showing them even with my postpartum belly. I wore the first pair I made, which was about the same time last year, together with my new Style Arc Como Knit Top. The latter was sewn “blind” during the last weeks of my pregnancy, since I had no idea how it will fit, but I decided to trust Style Arc.

The fabric for these pants is a rather cheap polyester that is very surprisingly really comfortable and perfect for this pattern: it is light and airy and it barely wrinkles, making them perfect for travel, for example. After making them last summer, I wore them to work almost every day because these pants look work-appropriate despite being so comfy and they were also a wardrobe staple during our trip to Spain (oh, those pre-corona perks of life!). No wonder I made another two pairs and I have fabric in stash for a brown version as well. I cut size V but I would suggest widening the calf part of the pants just a little bit, I have managed to make them fit by leaving a very small seam allowance, but anyone with stronger calves would need a little more space there.

A few pics from Spain here, wearing the pants with an oversized flounce top I made for the trip as well. By the way, this top turned out to be great during the last weeks of pregnancy as one of the very few (non-stretch) things I could fit my belly into. I used a very nice breezy viscose fabric for the top and together with the pants they were great, apart from the wrinkling of the viscose. The pattern for this top has somehow gone missing from my sewing room, otherwise I would have made more by now, but I am too bored for tracing…. It is originally a Simplicity/New Look/something from these companies pattern, but I cannot find the original pattern number online. I traced mine from Meine Nähmode 2/2019, but they don´t print the original pattern numbers.

But now back to the Vanessa pants themselves… I guess the following photos show the versatility of this pant pattern the best, and I am sorry that I don´t have any better pics of the checkered version although these were my go-to work pants in autumn.

Below you can see the tech drawings for the Jalie Vanessa pants and for the Como Knit Top by Style Arc. Maybe not here on the blog, but definitely on my Instagram account, I have mentioned that I have fallen in love with Style Arc recently. To be honest, I blind-sewed several things using their patterns during the last weeks and days of my pregnancy (this time it was the only thing to provide pleasure and kind of escape from my body that was just HUGE) and some of them are unfinished, waiting for a try-on and fitting adjustments. Hopefully blogging about them will not take a whole year as has happened with these pants here!

For the Como Knit Top, I made one major change that came about partially accidentally – I cut the top out and then realized the pattern called for a double front! No spare fabric left, but also thinking that it would be too warm for summer anyway, I just drafted a facing and I guess it was the right call, preserving the intended look but keeping it thin enough for the summer. I actually don´t see a reason why I would waste fabric for the double front anyway.

And finally a couple of pics of the three versions of the pants together. As you can see I haven´t added a drawstring to any of the pairs and for the black version, I even omitted the buttonholes.

Happy sewing everyone!

The Fitting Fiasco Jacket

Hi!

I notice that it is exactly a month ago I kind of promised to post something I made for myself 😀 Well I haven´t been lazy especially considering my condition, but taking the photos is the problem, somehow it is never the right moment! I found a second for this today and here you go:

But let´s talk about my recent love affair with Style Arc patterns! Despite of being bad at blogging about my projects, I have sewn up a few of them already (you can see one project in the background of the left photo as well) and there are others in the works. I don´t know really what it is about their patterns, but I guess it must be the simple lines and wearable designs that attract me, plus there have been zero issues with printing and taping the patterns together (at least from the company´s side, that is, haha). And as their motto goes, these are sewing patterns that fit! ……. Which makes it extra ridiculous that I managed to make what is probably the worst mistake during my sewing years!

I chose this easy jacket pattern to keep up with my promise to myself that I should up my game in jackets and to create something easy to wear for this summer, the first part of which I will be very much out of my normal shape with my hip circumference being exceeded by my waist! I liked the lines of the Dorothy jacket and while no jacket would close around my belly, this one with its angled fronts seemed to do better than the more traditional options while worn open.

I used a slightly stretchy fabric I ordered about 2 years ago from Italy on the bolt, I think I got 6 meters of it since I was contemplating starting my own webshop for fabrics. I have since dropped the idea, but honestly, the few fabrics I got then, have been such a pleasure to sew, albeit together with the shipping, far from economical.

The fabric has two good sides, both nicely textured, and it took me a while to decide which side to use. Since I have lots of it left, I will definitely use the darker side as well and who knows, maybe even for the same pattern because as I have mentioned already, I managed to make an unbelievable mistake with this one. I am aware that most of the people will not notice anything too strange about this jacket, but it hit me when I uploaded the first photo to my Instagram account. I had set in the sleeves the wrong way!

I struggled with them while sewing the jacket up and was surprised as I am used to Style Arc patterns coming together easily and also the notches didn´t seem to match… which should have rang a bell, but with my pregnant brain, I just continued and struggled to make it fit (as much it is possible considering the belly) and then completed it just to realize the fact! 😀 Honestly, I could rip it up and make amends, but since the fabric helps to hide the problem I will leave it as it is. In addition, can we actually talk about “fit” at all, given my current shape? However, I love the pattern and this will not be the last Dorothy jacket you see.

We will see when I will finally follow instructions and make an unlined jacket when it is said so, because so far even if I have tried to refrain from the lining, eventually I have still added one. I like how it makes the whole garment look much more professional and I love using either a matching or even better, a contrasting piping between the main fabric and the lining. This one is no exception:

You may wonder why the lining of the sleeves is black while the rest of it is navy – the answer is that I made it during the strictest quarantine and I was not able to get more of the navy stretch lining so I just had to accept the fact that if I wanted to finish it, I needed to use what I had.

I am interested to see how this will fit once I regain my normal shape. Probably we will see that sometime in July 🙂

Happy sewing!

Double Trouble Set

Hi!

During these weird times I am one of the lucky ones who can work from home quite effortlessly and therefore I am not one of those who now find extra amount of time for their hobby.

But I have been quie busy in my sewing room/office during the last month, just not quick enough to finish everything yet, not to mention blogging about it.

However, one project that turned out to be bigger than I imagined, is an outdoor softshell set for Liisa-Mai and possibly for her little brother who will be born in early July, Hence the selection of a rather neutral fabric in terms of girl/boy suitable colors, all this work has to pay back, right!?

It is my first time sewing softshell and first time sewing anything so technical and it really took more time than I assumed, mainly because I was thinking ahead every step and also because I had to buy new materials and tools and then wait for their delivery.

The three pieces are all from different pattern magazines/companies but funny enough, all Finnish 😀 I guess it must be the climate that has inspired our Northern neighbours to create patterns for outdoor fun for children. You can´t get by with little dresses and maybe a hoodie in this part of the world.

Anyway, so the jacket is Ottobre 4/2015, model Warm Inside; the pants are from jujuna.fi, model Autumn Wind and the hat is a free downloadable pattern from kangaskapina.fi.

As you can see, my version of the jacket and the pants do not have pockets and I didn´t bother makng the velcro straps for the sleeves of the jacket either. I just felt that in this size or at this age, the pockets and the straps are not really functional anyway, so why spend more energy on them.

It took me long time to decide and then find material for hood facing and knee and bum pieces. The Ottobre pattern for the jacket suggested poplin (!) but this simply felt wrong for an outdoor jacket and I also didn´t have a clue what to use for the knees and bum. But then I got really lucky by just stumbling across a seller in an Estonian FB fabric marketplace group and ordered GoreTex fabric in a perfectly matching shade of blue. Problem solved!

Other things that I did differently regarding the jacket pattern was using piping instead of bias tape for finishing the hood facing on the inside. Also, the pattern suggests leaving the seam allowances untreated because softshell doesn´t fray, which is true, but I don´t like the way it looks. So instead, I serged the seam allowances together and pressed and topstitched down to one side. I think this way the whole thing looks much more professional. And lastly, one thing that really made me rise my eyebrows was the fact that Ottobre doesn´t seem to know that once you have understitched a seam, it is basically impossible to achieve a sharp corner if the instructions have you sew a perpendicular seam after that and then turn the piece inside out.

Liisa-Mai is 89 cm tall right now and I made the set in size 92 and Ottobre is definitely rather loose-cut in general, so the whole thing is a tad big for her at the moment, but then again I think it is going to be just a blink of an eye and she will have outgrown this, so I believe she can get more out of it this way.

And while the whole process was at some point really dragging due to the search for materials and tools (I got a pair of Prym snap pliers and snaps for the removable hood as well), it really paid off when she tried the jacket on for the first time and then was dancing around in front of the mirror 🙂 Also today, wearing the set for the first time as a whole, she looked really satisfied and what else can make a mommy´s heart sing, right?

The pattern for the pants suggests using buttons and elastic bands with buttonholes for keeping the pants down and this might be one thing I will add, although they do not really slide up at the moment, probably because they are a bit long on her.

And finally the little hat, this is a great pattern in terms of ear coverage, but the black thin merino knit lining that I used wants to peep out all the time and understitching seemed to stretch the edge of the hat too much, so it is not the most successful project, but again, she loves it and it matches the rest of the outfit, so I will take it easy.

Hopefully the next post will be something for me if I do a good job and finish some stuff during this weekend 🙂

Enjoy the spring!

The Tommy Coat

Hey!

I am quite sure this is the longest break from blogging that I have taken during all these years – it is about to be three months without a word here!

I have a very good reason for this, though 🙂 I now know from experience that expecting a baby drains all my sewing mojo despite of not having any nausea at all, but I just feel tired and apathy takes over in the early stages. In later stages, I find it very hard to sit for prolonged time so then there is this reason. So if there hadn´t been a very conveniently organised sewing course right in my hometown, I wouldn´t have anything much to show you even after this three month hiatus! But now there is this….

I started the coat sometime in autumn, but as I said, lost all my mojo until I had the chance to participate in a sewing course. The course was not designed for coatmaking, but the participants could make basically anything they wanted, so I wasn´t the only one making a coat. There were also people who started with their first ever garments from scratch. As I am self-taught, I always find interesting to learn from this kind of courses and I also enjoy the company of people with similar hobbies.

And really, without that course, there would not be another coat in my wardrobe. There were weeks where I only progressed during the three-hour weekly class and when initially the ten meetings seemed to be more than enough, in the end I managed to finish the coat but nothing else.

The pattern is Burdastyle model 113 from November 2017 issue. With the help of my teacher I added a semi-self drafted collar as I felt that making a fully (except for the sleeves) windproofed coat without a collar wouldn´t make sense.

The fabrics I used are both 100% wool and initially bought for a jacket and a coat, so I have plenty of the camel tone material left over. The lining is Tommy Hilfiger, hence the name of my coat 🙂

I guess my favorite thing about coats and jackets is the piping between the lining ant the facing. This time I hesitated between a plain blue one and the one that you see I finally used. I love how it echoes the golden snaps that my husband attached to the pockets and front of the coat.

Right now I can still wear the coat buttoned up, but not for long. However, the slightly oversized look is exactly what I wanted so in autumn there will be a chance to wear it as intended. Together with the instructor we decided to take out 4 cm from both of the side seams, tapering to nothing towards the hem. I think without that change it would be too baggy on me even in my current condition.

Of course, narrowing the coat that much from the under arms meant that getting the sleeves right was also a bigger deal than usually. I am so happy that I had professional help!

My teacher wasn´t so happy about the length of the sleeves after we managed to set them in since they turned out a bit shorter than they should have been. However, I only noticed this after she mentioned that, so for me this is no big deal. But I do need some kind of a hat or a suitable headband to wear with the coat as the weather is still quite chilly here.

So this is what I have been up to, basically! I have also made a few things for Liisa-Mai and for her sibling who should arrive in summer. I really hope by that time the world is functioning more or less normally again.

I am currently working from home and so grateful that I can do that, but next week will be off as I had plans for a short getaway to Cyprus…. of course no way to do that even if I still wanted to!

So, stay safe and maybe this situation offers opportunities for sewing that we otherwise do not have due to the busy schedules!

Wedding in Mauve

Hi!

It´s been a while again! This post is going to be about a wedding guest outfit that I made in October for my dear T & R´s wedding. Writing this, I realize that I still need to show you the dress I made for her hen party night!

Anyway, a while ago I found a remnant piece of mauve fabric suitable for a light jacket, discounted by 60%. It was the colour and the texture that drew me to it and I was very happy to soon have a good reason for sewing it up! No better reason than your dear friend´s wedding!

Since upon our return from Spain I only had about three weeks until the wedding and I decided to make the hen party dress as well, I really pushed it with the jacket and the matching dress and honestly, once finished, I felt like I am out of sewing mojo for a while.

The pressure of time was also one of the reasons why I chose the once tested Simplicity 1421 pattern. Once again I added a lining because the mauve fabric is suprisingly lightweight and definitely needed interfacing which I didn´t think would have looked or felt nice right against the skin. Plus I for some weird reason I really like to sew the piping between the lining and the jacket and I love how it looks when finished!

For the dress I used Papercut Patterns Moana pattern. I went with the size smaller than suggested in the sizing chart and it was a good decision. I am not really thrilled with the dress, though. I should have lengthened the bodice since the ruffle runs too close to the natural waist and I envisioned it lower. I also feel that there is too much fullness in the skirt part and quite frankly I wouldn´t be surprised if someone thought I was pregnant while wearing the dress. It looks better with the jacket on, but of course I couldn´t keep the jacket on for the whole night of dancing. The funny thing is, though, that when I compare my version to the ones on Papercut Patterns website, I actually got what I was promised – it looks the same to my eye, but I seem to like it more on the model for some reason.

But I do love the colour of the dress and I actually went and bought another 2 m of the fabric to make a new dress one day to go with the jacket that I think worked out great.

Now fast forward to December. As you probably know, I have made a dress or an outfit for the Christmas party with colleagues every year since 2012 when I returned to Estonia and started with my current employer. That means 7 dresses/outfits and this year would be the 8th! Of course I didn´t want to break the tradition, but for some reason I was absolutely out of inspiration this year.

I actually started making two different dresses but for various reasons didn´t complete them and one of them now will be turned to a pencil skirt and the other one will be completed, but not any time soon. So it was already the final countdown for the annual party when I bought a piece of the most glittery fabric I have ever used and quickly made a cami using the Misty pattern by Sew Altered Style. Take note – this is the same pattern I used for the yet-to-be-blogged-about hen night dress.

Since I had tried the pattern and it was really just a cami, I finished it on time and combined the mauve jacket and a pair of plain black Vanessa pants by Jalie Patterns. I have now made 3 pairs and I guess you can say that I love the pattern 🙂 I haven´t properly blogged about these pants, either.

The perfectly matching shoes are actually at least 9 years old and probably this was also the last time I wore them, but I remembered them while getting dressed for the party and once I put them on there was no way of going back 🙂 the outside is purple but the inner half of the shoe is glittery with fading effect starting from light pink to dark purple on the heel.

So the Christmas party outfit was a combination of one new and two formerly finished items. I wore my coat on top as the party reception was held outside. Unfortunately, not photo of that, but I guess anyone who is into sewing can imagine the satisfaction when you can dress yourself completely in self-made clothes and can be sure that there is no one dressed like you around!

A little memory from the beautiful wedding of T &R

I hope you are having a great time with your loved ones these holidays and also find time for your hobbies – like sewing!

Until soon!

Summer Day Dress

Hi!

I must admit, there is something really enjoyable going through the summer projects in November! I can almost feel the warm sun and the slight breeze when I look back at the few photos we took when I first wore my McCalls 7920 dress:

Just for the record, I am posing here with my mom´s bicycle, mine is much sportier and with this one I actually feel very insecure since it has this awkward break system where you have to pedal backwards and it seems I normally rest my legs in exactly this position that causes the breaks to activate on it, so I never feel relaxed when riding it.

Anyway, so the dress is McCalls 7920, view D and I actually also made a belt, but for some reason maybe used it only once, go figure 😀

I have a thing with shirtdresses and I just recently read somewhere that they are (or just were or will be, don´t remember) on trend again. Well, I don´t really care about that, but it is nice knowing that one can become trendy every once in a while by sticking to your thing 😀

I made this in probably the most comfortable summer fabric, linen+cotton blend. The day we took these few pictures was very warm and it was really the best thing to wear. The stripes required some careful patern placement and cutting in order to match up nicely in front, not only vertically (left and right side) but also horizontally as the pattern has a waist seam and darts.

Other than that, the pattern itself is very straightforward and I love the result. I was trying to use the “industrial” line sewing method again, by working simultaneously on two preojects with the same pattern but it only went well to the point that I could use the same thread. Once I got to the seams that are visible on the outside, I only continued with one and unfortunately I never finished the other version. I am hoping I will by next summer because I used some amazing fabric for it!

Until soon!

Flash(back) Dress

Hi!

I guess I really need to invest into a tripod so that I could take my own photos for the blog. And then a private secretary or a mind reader in order to write the posts on the go. Because I only seem to find time for sewing lately, but not much for writing and proper photos. I also realized that there is a ton of projects from summer that I have not even mentioned, so there is a lot of catch up to do and I will try to get going with the first one.

It is AK Patterns (Athina Kakou Patterns) Suzy dress that I have made once before.

I call it the Flash(back) Dress because the idea struck me at noon on a Friday at work sometime in August and on Monday morning I entered the office wearing it 😀 I love when ideas, patterns, fabric and most importantly, available time all line up to make things like this possible!

But flashback because the result reminds me of the 80´ s and in a good way (if this is even possible). I can recall my mother wearing something similar in terms of the pattern. It took me a little bit of thinking to decide whether to use the block of mint or not. But both, my husband and my brother who was staying at our house for the summer, advised on going with the mint and I am so happy I did.

Compared to the first version, I lengthened the bodice by 5 cm and the fit is so much more comfortable. However, the fabric, while apparently very similar to the one I used for the first version, has actually less stretch, so despite of looking relaxed I shouldn´t gain any weight if I want to keep wearing this.

And another note to myself – DO NOT take any blog photos early in the morning! One of the reasons this post was delayed and only includes those few pics is that I didn´t like my puffy eyes but here you are! Just didn´t want to delay it any more and I´ll take that as a lesson – no photos allowed in the mornings 😀

On the more positive side, I really like how this khaki goes with the summer tan and my pewter shoes! I bought both, the mint and the khaki polyester fabric (with slight stretch) on one of our trips to Germany. I love when I can find the same fabric in different colors, it offers a great opportunity for color blocking as well as does the design of the dress itself.

I am really hoping to continue with the catch up before we all realize it´s Christmas again! Happy sewing!

Yellow Flounce Dress and Trip to Spain

Hi!

Once again a whole month has passed and I have been sewing a lot of stuff, just not blogged about them, yet. If you are also following me on Instagram, you probably have had at least a glimpse of everything I´ve made, so that is at least something.

I will leave the summer sewing for another post, but share a bit of our trip to Spain a week ago and one of the things I made specifically for that purpose – a yellow dress in viscose twill, using Butterick 6677.

The fabric is in a way perfect for warm climate (although the temperature was mostly moderate, at around 20-25 degrees Celsius) since viscose is nicely breathable and even has a slight cooling effect; but on the other hand it wrinkles horribly and after sitting in the car for a while it didn´t look half as nice.

As for the pattern, it is a very easy make, but can be time consuming as you have to do a very narrow hem on the flounce and also on the side that attaches to the bodice. I was temptated to just serge it, but the result is definitely better if you follow the instructions, I am glad that I did.

The waist is elasticated and there is a loop and button closure on the back. If I ever use this pattern again, I will skip this because the neckline is wide enough to pass over the head without needing any closure at all.

I couldn´t find a matching bias tape so for the first time ever, I made my own. I used cotton poplin in the same colour as my main fabric and it worked great. I think that the regular bias tape is usually heavier cotton that would not have been so good for the soft and drapey viscose.

We spent a whole week in Northern Spain and Basque Country, starting and ending our trip in Bilbao. We rented a car and visited the beautiful Picos de Europa national park and its mountains and also randomly picked some sights on the way for stopping by. It was really enjoyable, with no tight schedule or plans, just knowing that we have to get to the next accommodation by night.

One of the best accommodations we staid at was a beautiful, fully equipped traditional house “at the end of the world” as we said it, because the mountain village where it was located in, consisted of maybe 50 houses or so and the road to it was just a narrow serpentine wriggling up the mountain. This is also where we took the photos of the dress and the biggest photo below is the view from our bedroom window.

I visited three fabric shops in Bilbao and shopped at two of them. At Rafael Matias there were many fabrics discounted to 7 euros/m and I bought two after a long hesitation as there were so many beautiful options. The shop itself is also very nice and in addition to the fabrics I bought a pattern magazine that is new to me – Patrones Mujer. I am not going to go into detail over this as you can get a good overview of it on their website and it looks like you can order it, too. The interesting part is that the magazine does not contain written instructions, just the patterns and cutting information both in English and in Spanish. For the instructions, you are supposed to watch YouTube videos that are only in Spanish and at least the one that I checked was not very detailed. However, the patterns are easy in majority and I guess if one has previous experience then sewing most of them will not be very complicated.

The other store that I shopped at was Esquibel. It doesn´t seem to have a website despite of the very fancy looking sign and the way the fabric was packed – it was carefully wrapped in paper and then put into an expensive looking paper bag. The shop owner, Mr Manuel, who must have been at least 80, wrote the details about the fabric on a special card and signed it personally. He also cut the fabric, but the packing was done by his assistant. The shop itself was full of rolls and rolls of great fabrics, also silks and good quality wool fabrics.

I wouldn´t have found the shop unless I needed something black for a dress for my friends bachelorette party. It can be really hard to find something as simple as black fabric because it needs to have some kind of texture to be interesting. Mr Manuel and his assistant suggested one with little heart print all over and initially I thought it would be a little childish. I have made a dress of it by now and I think it worked great, but more on that in another post.

We had a great time in Spain and little Liisa-Mai is a perfect companion for travelling – no whining, no sleep issues, curious and as patient as you can expect a 1.5 year old to be.

In addition to the yellow dress, I made other things for the trip as well, I will write more about these in the next posts.

Until soon!