Pink Sheep Coat

Hi!

The world has changed since my last post. Or maybe I just thought it had changed a long time ago but it actually hadn´t and what we are witnessing is proof of inability to change, to learn from the past? Nevertheless, utterly saddening, frightening and exfuriating times that I as many others never believed to be happening again.

As for many others, sewing is my therapy and I am working on one or another project all the time. Just did not feel like blogging about anything for some time. Maybe I will catch up, maybe not. Maybe the time for blogs is over anyway? This just reminded me that next month it will be the 10-year anniversary of this space!

Anyway, as it happens, I made another coat. But this time a super quick one, not like the last that required batting, quilting and what not. However, the road to this super quick coat was a long one as everything started from a feverish search for a not-too-sporty and not-too-complicated coat pattern that would be suitable for softshell. I actually wanted to make a softshell coat and I still do. But I made one in boucle, apparently… after having bought some boiled wool that showed up in completely wrong color and after finally settling with a cheaper and less warm fabric but in the perfect shade of pink!

As I was in search for a perfect pattern for softshell, one of my sewing buddies showed me this gorgeous Sew La Di Da Vintage pattern, the Rock Steady Coat:

I instantly wanted to look at least somewhat as cool as this woman (on the website there is a black version of the coat too) and I ordered some faux leather and boiled wool. As I mentioned earlier, the wool arrived in a completely unexpected shade of pink that just did not work for my complexion and did not match the faux leather I already had. So a small online fabric shop Kangahaldjas helped me out and the owner specifically looked up and ordered a boucle fabric in the perfect shade that also could be left with raw edges as per this style.

And I did it again – make a coat without ever having tried the pattern brand before and just crossing fingers that it would work out, which it did! There are minor issues with the instructions – like what to do with sleeve hems – the pattern markings seem to suggest they will be turned back, but the length of the sleeves would be too short in that case and also the instructions don´t mention anything about it. So I just left them raw as the rest of the edges.

The coat is unlined and maybe this the only bugging detail. While I like the raw edges on the outside, I would prefer the inside, especially around the neck, to look a bit more professional. But still, I honestly enjoy every minute I wear it. As my other sewing buddy, who jokingly called the coat Shaun the Sheep (she was not wrong), pointed out, one of the biggest Estonian newspapers wrote that a pink coat should be prescribed by doctors this spring. I can support this idea by saying that if you wear something you feel good in, it definitely helps a ton with dealing with the world, and in my case it happens to be this pink coat!

As you may noticed, I added the belt and belt loops to my version, but it looks equally cool when worn as intended, loose. I made the smallest size S/M and I love how it fits, not oversized as most of the stuff we see these days, but relaxed at the same time.

I also wore my coat in Stockholm about two weeks ago for a conference and following my traditions, managed to squeeze in a quick hop to downtown to a fabric shop.

As their website declares, Sidencarlson should be one of the oldest fabric stores in Stockholm. The small shop has a well-curated selection of fabrics, lots of them high quality wools and silks with respective price tags, but they also offer a range of simpler things and I grabbed some blue-white bengaline for a pair of stretch jeans one day.

The conference was a success as well, our poster was awarded as the best poster of the conference! And that was the creme de la creme of Scandinavian spinal cord rehabilitation experts!

Until soon!

Villanelle, tres belle!

Hi!

Does it seem like a good idea to try out a new-to-you pattern brand with a coat pattern involving single welt pockets that you have never made before and quilting with Thinsulate for the first time? A sound advice would be “no!” but I did all that and ended up with my third coat and finally one that can actually be worn in our climate too. You know, these classy wool coats are nice but only as long as you live someplace warmer, not here in Estonia.

So yes, taking all of the abovementioned risks, I tried out Vikisews patterns and their Villanelle coat and it was absolutely worth it!

I had been wanting to make some serious outerwear for a long time but it always seemed too complicated and honestly there aren´t so many patterns out there that involve padding etc. But thanks to Instagram I stumbled upon Vikisews patterns and was encouraged by several sewists who mentioned that their instructions are really thorough. So, after finding the right fabric ( I got so lucky at our local store, the fabric is water repellent which is a must in Estonian winter, in my beloved color of khaki green and cost less that 5 euros/m!) and Thinsulate 150 for insulation, I just dove in right before Christmas. By the way, I hope I will not have a chance to test it, but Thinsulate 150 is claimed to keep you warm in up to minus 30C*!! The truth is that no wind gets through it and if I am dressed like you see in the photos- long shaft boots and the coat with a scarf and gloves, it is super toasty!

If you remember my last post, I mentioned that the dress there was just a side project of a bigger one. At some point I did feel overwhelmed, it is true. The instructions are about 30 pages long complete with photos but because of the quilting, there are so many extra steps that you just need to keep it cool and keep going. But the Insta-sewists were not lying, the instructions really do take you through every step very carefully, with only some minor inaccuracies regarding the photo content.

I made the coat in size 40 after a long debate and I got a bit worried at some point that it might be too big, but eventually I love the slightly oversized look of it. The sleeves were really wide though, so I narrowed them by 4 cm!

If you noticed, the quilting does not match on the side seams because the pieces are quilted separately and then sewn together. I had imagined that the quilting would run smoothly on the sides too and was a bit turned off when I realized this wasn´t the case. But then I eyeballed everyone in the supermarket wearing quilted coats and didn´t see a single one without that issue and calmed down. I do think that there shuld be a clever way of achieving a smooth look though!

Interestingly the fabric looks so dull when photographed indoors, but here are some close-ups:

It was my first time making single welt pockets (or any welt pockets) and I was extra careful and looked up extra information on the process as this was a step were the photo material of the instructions was a bit confusing. The pockets are not perfect, but considering these are my first and sewn with insulation, I am ok with them. The pocket flaps seem to be too narrow, at least I did not take the risk of sewing them on and just cut new and slightly wider ones.

If you decide to try this pattern, I really recommend not leaving the snaps off. Since I hurried to wear my coat last weekend already, I did so before I attached them. You can wear the coat without any problems, but the look is more fitted when the snaps are closed and it is much better.

With the completion of this coat I fulfilled a long time dream of being able to wear me-mades regardless of the weather. And although it was a big project and took many hours of work, it kind of opened up a new horizon and I have been eyeing some other padded coat/jacket options for the future. Honestly, you just have to try it to understand the satisfaction of a real self made warm winter coat!

Until soon!

These Boots Are Made For Walkin´…

Hi!

If you have been here before you might know already that one of the “neutral” colors for me is khaki green and that I am hopelessly drawn to it. In today´s post I will show my first make of 2022, but it is actually just a side project from making a coat! And it was easy to have this as a side project since I didn´t have to change the threads, so you already know one major fact about the coat-to-be!

But this here is the Ginnie tunic from Style Arc. A pattern that I bought a while ago and at some point looked at it with a sigh and thought that I don´t really see myself making it . But then, a magical moment at a fabric shop a few weeks ago and I knew it was it.

I made a few changes to the pattern: firstly added 10 cm to the skirt piece to make it dress length instead of tunic; used eyelets for the cord openings instead of buttonholes (I had to wait for nearly a week until the eyelets in suitable color and size arrived); and the biggest surprise of all – I had to cut new sleeves as the original ones were so tight that I could hardly put the dress on, not to mention roll the sleeves up to attach with the tabs! I was lucky to have enough fabric but really, this has never happened to me so if you plan to make this pattern then make sure to check the sleeves first. I cut my normal size 10 from Style Arc and the rest of the dress fits just fine.

And lastly, I lined the skirt because the fabric is polyester twill and I was afraid it might get clingy when rubbing against the tights. I don´t know if the lining helped, but the skirt does not cling and the dress is generally very comfortable to wear despite the polyester. The fabric looks a bit velvety in photos because it has a slightly brushed effect. For those in Estonia and interested in buying, I bought it from Kangadzungel outlet in Tallinn. The fabric was 5 EUR/m, while the eyelets that I ordered from Abakhan and only used two of the package of 24, cost 10 euros!

And those pockets! This is what attracted me about the pattern in the first place and this is the first time for me making this type of pockets. However, they are easier to make than they look and I love how they came out. I wasn´t sure about the elongated bodice, but it works well with these pockets and sleeve tabs and generally gives me a safari ride vibe…. which takes me to the boots! Honestly, I never wore this kind of boots before, but they seem to be popular at the moment and then I saw a pair of khaki ones on somebody… At that moment I decided I needed a pair too, and exactly in khaki! So generally this look might be too… I don´t know….safari?… but I wear these boots every day since buying them and I am still wondering about the fact every time. It is nice not to take yourself too seriously, so although they are a step to the side for me, I love them and I love that I can wear them with this dress, but I also wore them with snow pants earlier when sleighing with my kids. I know that the black background doesn´t show them so well, so here is a better pic:

I think that khaki goes really well with (antique) brass details so while I had jeans buttons in suitable color at hand, it took some time to find matching eyelets in the size I needed. These are small details but I really think that these two eyelets add a nice touch to the dress in comparison to the buttonholes that were suggested by the pattern.

I used to be really intimidated by these hardware details and always asked my husband to attach them, but this time I just borrowed his hammer and did everything by myself! One thing that I am annoyed with myself as well as with Style Arc is that despite of knowing that cutting a neck band anything else than on bias will lead to it not laying flat, and I still followed the instructions at this point. Why is the neck band suggested to be cut straight in the first place? And what is wrong with me that I still follow this kind of suggestions? Anyway, it started annoying me too late in the process, so no going back, but it could look so much better if I had used my brain!

Generally this dress has been a nice opportunity to try something new without getting exhausted or trapped in something too complicated and this feels refreshing as I am working on that said coat at the same time.

Until soon!

Pepita, my Love!

Hi!

There are some colors that always catch my attention and I find it hard to say no to – such as olive/khaki green, navy and some shades of pink – and there are prints/patterns that have the same effect on me – stripes and pepita (aka houndstooth).

I feel like any fabric with this pattern is calling my name and so did this one:

The story of getting the fabric is quite funny, actually. One of my sewing buddies shared an idea of a skirt that took lots of fabric and I had just seen a post on FB that someone was selling a suitable one and actually in the exact yardage that she needed. So she bought the piece, but the seller threw some samples in her bag and this is how I found out about the existence of this one. I paid 12 euros for 2 meters and made myself the party dress of this season. The season meaning one party, though, haha! And I know I am lucky because so many people don´t get to go to any parties at all!

The pattern is McCalls 7997 that I bought about two years ago already. I even have another fabric option in my stash that I initially intended to use but that will have to wait. I like the agled front version of this pattern too but didn´t have enough fabric for it this time.

I have been sewing mostly Style Arc patterns lately and their size 10 fits me usually perfectly. As their style is usually more loose fitting, sewing them has been forgiving for my figure. But after stopping breastfeeding in spring but not stopping some bad habits I acquired while pregnant with my son (suddenly I just could not resist cinnamon rolls and dipping biscuits into my coffee), I have gained weight and most of the extra is on my hips. So although I have been sewing size 12 for most of my sewing “career”, I had to cut size 14 from the waist down this time. Not a nice realization for sure.

Nevertheless, I am happy with the end result of the dress, even though there are some mistakes that once again remind me how important is accuracy in the cutting phase – mistakes made there are harder to fix than sewing a few stitches wrong.

By now you may have started to ask about the photos of this post. I usually take photos at home or outside when the weather allows and the problem with winter light (or the absence of it, really) has been bothering me for so long. And I can admit that I was totally influenced by Fehr Trade who when struggling with the same problem, finally solved it by getting herself a small softbox for product photos. It was a lightning moment for me and right away I searched up what I needed from Amazon. And got the same life changing experience, because for just 120 euros (at the moment when I am writing this, you can snag it for 99 !!) I can now take photos with enough light in my own home anytime I want. Just like that.

The set that I got comes with two softboxes complete with bulbs and stands and a backdrop system with two stands and a rod in between with 3 backdrop cloths (green, white, black) and clamps for attaching them. Everything packs into a duffel bag so it is super convenient if there is no space for a permanent studio spot. The setup is easy as well, I did not need any instructions actually.

And last night just before we left for the party, my husband surprised me by setting it up in our spare room (this is something like a chill out room next to the sauna, a guest room with a kitchenette at the same time and now as it appears, a home photo studio!) so I could get the photos done in a heartbeat.

On the left below is how it looked the first time I set it up in my living room (sorry for the mess in the background, I was too excited to try better) and on the right is the set up from last night – I ironed the background cloth this time:

The light is really natural and actually all of my expectations have been exceeded. I haven´t tried it without the backdrop yet, I guess even just using the lights would make a huge difference.

Now, back to the dress. I am really not positively surprised by the armhole treatment of the sleeveless version as per instructions. As I understand, I should have used bias tape in the armhole while also lining the dress. I solved it by just sewing the lining and main fabric together right sides facing. It is tricky to sew, but I think the end result, especially after understitching is so much better.

The other confusing part of the instructions was that the drawings show 6 buttonholes on the front, but the pattern pieces have marks only for three and so does the cover photo and line art of the pattern. At the same time, there is also a marking for an inner button on the left front, but no buttonhole marking to match this on the right! Anyway, I made three buttonholes and used 6 buttons, so the right line of buttons is just sewn on and not functional buttonholes. In addition I put in two snaps that help to keep the bust area in place above the buttons.

Sometimes it really pays off to have a large stash at hand. I did not have to shop for the lining as I have had it ready and waiting for about five or six years already and I bought it from Helsinki. So all I needed was some matching piping (miraculously found the perfect shade locally) and although no one outside my family and my followers will know, I find pleasure in knowing that my black and white dress has such a bright inner side.

I don´ know if this makes any sense, but the dress gives me such 80´s and early 90´ s vibe, how about you? For me this just a fun flirt with that era but could be that someone who was an adult during these decades finds it a bit costume-y?

Anyway, I wish you all a very merry holiday season and that you would be able to spend this time with your loved ones!

The Lemon Jacket

Hi!

I owe this post since September, actually, but I was hoping to get better photos. I didn`t manage this since of course the days got shorter and shorter and there is the same old problem with daylight in winter. Being really fed up with this, I just ordered a photo booth set and it should be here by Christmas! We will see if this will be of any help, but since it includes softboxes and bulbs and a set up for the background, I am thinking it must make at least some difference.

Anyway, I finished the jacket a few days before its first outing which was for a special occasion at work. More than ten ambassadors from different countries residing in Estonia accompanied by the people from the State Protocol came to my workplace for a visit and I was one of the hosts. So I wanted something comfortable, yet bright and eye catching to wear. This was my outfit for the day:

The pattern of the jacket is Style Arc Janet and the fabric is cotton bucle from Chanel that I bought from a small local store that brings fabrics straight from Italy. The prices are sometimes really painful, but I have never been disappointed in the fabrics. They also have an online shop but I don´t know whether they would ship internationally: Kangalavka

Funny fact – I got this perfectly matching stretch lining from the same shop about a year earlier, having another project in mind, but how lucky that I never got to that project:

And once again my favorite detail – the piping!

Since the boucle is actually very lightweight and does not hold shape, I interfaced all the pieces apart from the sleeves (maybe I should have done that too because the sleeves crease at the elbows) and I also added even sturdier interfacing for the hem and sleeve hems. The interfacing helps to achieve the crisp look of the front. Also, for the first time I used shoulder pads for a jacket. I bought several options online and thankfully one of the pairs was a good fit – not too bulky and hard and they leave a natural looking shoulder. As for pattern modifications, there were none necessary (do you see why Style Arc is an absolute winner for me?), but I omitted the front closures because I knew that I would never wear it closed anyway.

And since I am a person who likes to match colours, I just had to get the exact shade of shoes to finish off the outfit. Again, funny fact, made in Italy!

My pants are Jalie Vanessa, one of the three four pairs I have made. While writing this, I remembered the fourth pair that I also made in September but that have not made it to the blog either… One day hopefully I will be able to show these too!

Until then, happy sewing!

The Feel Good Dress

Hi!

While preparing for the trip I felt that I can be satisfied if I manage to finish one item and eventually managed three! In addition, during what could have been my most productive week in all history, I also made a sweatshirt dress and a set of pajamas as a gift for the kids of my friends.

This dress was cut already sometime in summer and then put aside as more urgent projects came on. But honestly I had been preparing for this for a very long time already, at least from the beginning of the year. It started with a RTW dress that I saw on a website and later on some instagrammer and I loved the style and the colour:

Image from aboutyou.ee
Style Arc Vivian pattern

I started looking for a pattern that I could use to try to copy the look and I succeeded with Style Arc again. They have some patterns that are only sold as paper versions and not pdf-s and I always shopped the latter but once more or less accidentally happened to check out the paper pattern section and there it was – the Vivian vest/dress. I ordered it and although there were warnings that due to the lockdown and restrictions all over the world, the package might take very long to arrive, it was with me in about 2 weeks I would say. Anyway, I was surprised at the speed. Since if you order at least one paper pattern you are eligible for the freebie of the month in the same format, I saved myself the effort of printing and also got that month´s freebie pattern on paper.

I then started looking for a suitable fabric, which I again consider a jackpot as I found this velvety tencel (?) heavily discounted at one of the shops that I can visit maybe once or twice a year in another town. I think it was 80% off at about 3 euros per meter (can you believe?) and I got almost 3 meters having exactly this pattern in mind. I was actually really surprised at how much fabric this apparently simple dress uses up but if you consider that there is a wide facing on both of the fronts as well as half of the back then it is like sewing 1,5 or even more dresses at once. I didn`t realize this until I saw the pattern. It is very cleverly designed and the design leaves the inside very neat. For example, the cuffs are sewn on only on the outside, on the inside it s all facing! The assembly is a bit tricky due to this construction, but completely doable. I got a bit shaky when I reached the buttonholes though!

When you compare the inspiration dress to mine then of course the “original” doesn`t have buttons and at first I was quite sure that I will not add them to my version either. I changed my mind when I tried sitting with my dress and I realized that without the buttons (since mine is open in front) I would have to think too much about decency and I also would like to wear it to work in summer. So hence the buttons and buttonholes. Well, 6 buttonholes that have to be perfectly aligned. The ones farther from the edge were tricky to get pretty because of the amount of fabric on the way. But eventually I only had to rip one of them!

Then there were the buttons. I had some at home that I was planning to use if I can`t find a better shade. I thought I had seen the same buttons but slightly greenish at the local store and was planning to go there but got soaked in rain and turned back. The second chance was also the last as it was the day before my flight and eventually I had to ask my husband to go to the store like 10 min before closing time to pick the buttons. It turned out they did not have the greenish shade that I had imagined and he brought two sets of others to choose from. Finally it was my daughter who decided which ones to go with!

Another detail of course is the pockets. While my dress was still without buttonholes, I thought that I would add them in order to mimic the inspiration dress, but after the buttons were in place I decided it would look too busy and left it as is. BUT, I love love love the outcome and I am planning to make another version that would be more wintery and that could be worn more like a vest, over a top or turtleneck and possibly even slim fitting pants underneath? I can reconsider then.

Seriously, I picked the title of this post just because this dress makes me feel so good! Casual enough, classic enough and very comfortable. I wore it to an other fabric hunt, this time in downtown Telde where my friend took me. It is a shop with long history and they have even kept their insignia from 30 years back as the friendly and (typically Spanish) talkative lady told us.

I was already worried about the limitations of my luggage so I only got one fabric. I could have gotten three… Anyway, I picked a light colored checkered fabric that I believe is a blend of viscose and polyester but I cannot be sure. The shop reminded me of the Athenian fabric stores where for every detail you have to ask the shop assistant. How could one possibly remember the exact composition of each fabric and their price, is beyond me. Actually of course it is not possible, so you just have to trust their word or use your own common sense when it comes to the composition and the price.. well you never know, right? I didn`t get this feeling here but I did many times in Athens that the shop owner just decides on the spot, what they will ask you.

As you can see, I also got some haberdashery, mainly elastics, buttons (from a giant Chinese store) and quality thread (Gütermann annd Coats, from the department store of El Corte Ingles the other day).

Although I had planned to, eventually I did not visit any fabric stores in Las Palmas, We were thinking to go there to another Kilo shop but as the assistant in this small one told us, the Las Palmas store is bigger but they offer lots of craft and costume fabrics, so that at least according to her, the selection of dress fabrics is actually smaller there. And anyway, can I complain? I got 10 meters of fabric altogether during one week and my luggage was full of all kinds of stuff to take home – from kids´ clothes and shoes to wines, cheese, jamon, local sweets and so on.

Now that I am back at home, it is such a nice throwback to this warm and sunny week in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. Just today my dear friend sent me a few pics of her sweet daughter E, for whom I made one of the sweatshirt dresses (in September and October I made 4 all in all!) I guess she likes it!

As I mentioned, I actually completed 4 of such dresses, the first three are below, the pattern is from Burdastyle 10/2013, model 146. Three of the dresses, as well as the one E is wearing, are in size 110 and one in 122. You can see that it is a tad big for her but children grow so fast that this will not be an issue for long. I used brushed sweatshirt fabric with metallic thread in 4 different colors altogether and even the cuff fabrics were all lurex. Since I made little E´s dress the last, I had to get some extra fabric and chose this brighter strawberry pink. I think it matches her sunny and sparkling character perfectly!

Until soon!

The Hope Dress

Hi!

One of the items I made just before the trip to Gran Canaria was the dress that seemingly half of Insta-sewists have made already – the Hope Dress from Style Arc. I remember being quite “meh” about it, but at some point when all of their dress patterns were discounted, I still grabbed one. I realized I could use a fabric that had sat in my stash already for a couple of years and although I liked it very much, I struggled with finding a suitable pattern. I think these two, the Hope pattern and the cotton and silk blend go very well together.

As a hindsight I should have considered the stripes more but I believed that they are busy and uneven enough to not pay too much attention, but you can see for yourself that I should have given it a tad more thought. Anyway, at the same time I admit that I can live with the result and after I found the right shoes to go with the dress I am very positively surprised. The fabric is amazing to wear, luxuriously soft and breathable and of course the colors, the main reason why I was drawn to it in the first place! However, there is something about this fabric that I had not encountered before – the sewing machine skipped stitches and the only thing that helped was changing the thread! I suspected the fabric to be too slippery or the needle to be worn, but it was the thread that did not do well with the material. You live and you learn….

As you can see, I shortened the dress by 15 cm and instead of chopping the extra length off, I created an extra wide hem. This gives the otherwise very airy fabric some weight. I also wanted to cut the bodice front and back both so that the stripes would be horizontal, but didn´t have enough fabric (probably just bad planning). I omitted the back slit and button and cut the back facing in one piece taking out the seam allowance in the center because I knew from the numerous reviews on internet that the dress goes over the head easily even without the slit.

I loved the way the pockets were instructed to be sewn – both pocket pieces are sewn to the front of the dress, creating a small dent on the front piece and then the front is sewn to the back at sides. A very easy and clear way that gives this kind of inseam pockets somewhat more structure.

In summary, I would say that the Hope is quite worth the hype. It suits all figures I would say, is easy to wear and quick to make and … and what else would you want from a dress anyway?

I wore my dress for (fabric) shopping in the vicinity of Telde. The fabric shop is actually a huge hangar and is mainly filled with thousands of home textiles and curtain fabrics. The selection of dress fabrics is small, especially in comparison to the amount of others, but I still scored 7.5 meters of fabric!

I got black and off-white textured viscose-poly blend that has a beautiful drape and does not seem to wrinkle. They also had the same fabric in fuchsia, white, red, cobalt blue and powder pink, leaving me with a heartache about the latter. I also got two pieces of steel blue polyester (but nice quality) fabric that I have the devilish idea to turn into either a jumpsuit (devilish because my husband doesn´t like jumpsuits) or then a faux jumpsuit. The color is identical, but the two cuts differ in texture and weight. One of them is a crepe and the other one heavier and smooth, perfect for pants or the lower part of the said jumpsuit.

This place is defnitely worth a visit if you have a rental car at hand or have such a great local friend like mine!

Until soon!

The (First) Jumpsuit

Hi!

The very last item I finished before my holidays was something that I had never made before – a jumpsuit!

I am not even sure why it took me so long to make one since I like how they look on other people (most of the times). Probably one of the thoughts holding me back was that I once had a RTW jumpsuit that I ended up wearing maybe 2 or 3 times because my husband was not a fan. And I can see his point because there is a danger of looking like a giant toddler when wearing this type of garment.

But this time I had finished everything I had planned for the trip and just when I had two days left to my flight, I saw Mie´s Instagram post:

I think it is a very clever idea to make separates that can be work as a faux jumpsuit, but this is actually not what got me, it was more the fabric! So two keywords or thoughts clicked in my head – “jumpsuit” and “wait, I have a somewhat similar fabric in my stash” followed by another two: “I also have a suitable pattern”, “I probably even have enough time to pull it off”.

So real quick I had cut the Butterick 6691 pattern out (view D) and managed to finish it so quickly that this time I was actually done with sewing without needing to stay up until the morning on the previous day of my flight! I really surprised myself here!

The process would have been even faster if I had bought the correct size. I usually sew size 12 from the Big 4, but this time I had accidentally bought the pattern in size bracket 14 and above. However, the pants fit perfectly, I just had to take in the sides of the bodice which is still loose but it is also the style. Since I took the sides in, I didn`t gather the front piece on the sides as the instructions tell you to. I actually also don`t get the point of it because the elastic in the waist gathers it anyway?

I am so positively surprised at this outcome and it is SO comfortable to wear, just throw it on and done. I originally bought the fabric with Style Arc Nova Midi Dress in mind, but now I am convinced that the bright colors and flowy nature of the fabric go so much better with this fun style. The fabric is a viscose an poly blend if I remember correctly and I got it from someone on a Facebook fabric market group.

What about my husband? you may ask. Well, his response was as expected – still not a fan. He told me that only the red clown`s nose is missing. Just as he had finished his sentence, our 3,5 year old daughter rushed in, stopped and burst out: “Oh, mommy, now THIS is really pretty!” Opinions…

But I wasn`t too worried, after all I was the one going on the trip and my husband was saved from accompanying a clown. I am not even sure what exactly bothers him about this garment (I mean not the exact piece, but jumpsuits in general). What if I had made a separate top and pants from the same material and then worn them together? Would that change anything? Or otherwise, if I had used a different fabric for the top or the pants, would that be more acceptable? Knowing myself, I will probably try to find out by testing these ideas…

As you can see, the pattern does not include a sash, but I made one anyway. I like to tie it on the side of the wrap so that it looks like the top itself is tied on the side. I also tested a black leather belt, which also looks good, but the sash is definitely more holiday-y.

The holiday itself is probably the most relaxing one I have ever been on. It is not just the big comparison with my daily life of juggling the work and home balance but also that in the pre-babies times I used to get so excited on trips that I could walk all day from morning to evening and explore and experience endlessly so that I would drop to bed every night and be almost exhausted after the trip. This time, because I know the island a bit from the past and partially also because I have quite a bit of time for myself as my friend is working part time, I am taking it extra slow. Long walks by the beach (I am staying in an AirBnB rental just a few steps away from my friends home) and preparing some blog posts, reading, enjoying a glass of wine late in the evening etc, it is just so good. I do think about my sweet family and we do daily video calls, but otherwise it has been a great week and I have enjoyed it thoroughly!

Until soon!

Down The Memory Lane

Hi!

I really believed that I had posted something in September, but wow… It has been two months exactly since my last word here!

The truth is that I would post so much more often if I could somehow automatically type my thoughts because usually there is a whole story in my head with each item I make but in reality as you can see, I am having a hard time to keep up even with this self set goal of a post per month.

But it is quite indicative that the last post is from my last holiday and this current one is again written while on holiday. It just illustrates so well the lack of time for blogging in my life right now. Thankfully not for sewing, but I definitely make my choices when it comes to sewing time vs blogging time.

Again, not to give any false impressions, the amount of holidays that I get from my work is not much more than the minimum what is required by the law, but thanks to the same law I have accumulated a number of days from the time pre-baby #2 and this means that I do have exceptionally lot of time off work in 2021.

So yes, I am on holidays again and this time traveled a rather long distance to visit a place I spent 3 months in during my studies – Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. I was there 16 years ago the last time together with a long time close friend of mine, doing our clinical placement before graduation. Needless to say, when you are 20 and have been sent to an exotic island with a decent scholarship in the middle of January while all is under snow in Estonia and you find an apartment on the main street of the city just off the famous Las Canteras beach, you make memories. I actually think this experience was truly life changing for both of us. My friend met her now-husband and I got inspired to travel more which resulted in my own endeavours in Cyprus and Greece for altogether 7 years. Since my friend also lived in several places in the meanwhile, I never got back until now that she has been living in Gran Canaria for about a year again.

I made three pieces in preparation for the trip and I am hoping to be able to take some photos while here for future posts. But why not first make a note here about a dress that I made in summer but never posted about. Especially since the fabric is somewhat coming home as I got it in a really sweet and funny way.


I have mentioned that I have a couple of fellow sewists with whom we chat almost daily, mainly about fabrics, patterns and sewing but also share some life stories. One of the ladies vacationed in Marbella in spring and when she visited the local fabric stores she gave the others a real-time overview of the shop and fabrics. I remember having to attend an online meeting in any minute and actually confirming the details of the purchase while already in the meeting. So I was sitting in Estonia and she bought the fabric for me in Marbella! I made it into a Butterick 6723 dress pretty quickly and wore it during the summer and of course it was one of the first items that I packed for this holiday as well. I really like this fun animal print and I feel a bit like laughing at myself when I wear it. You can`t be too serious when you have all kinds of jungle animals all over your dress!

So today as I wore my Jungle Dress as I call it, it occurred to me that this fabric is back to its roots in a way, down the memory lane as myself when I stood in front of that old green block of flats where I last was so many years ago. And as if this was not enough, my leather jacket is also from Spain, our trip to Bilbao and Basque Country in 2019!

I guess you can imagine that I am having a great time and what makes this vacation extra special is that I am here without my children or husband, who so so kindly agreed to stay back and do the daily drill while I truly relax. Believe me, just being able to sit and eat uninterrupted is a blessing!

Since the fabric is viscose it does wrinkle easily but at the same time feels really nice on the skin. The dress itself was really quick and fun to sew and I like that the channel for the elastic is sewn to the bodice as opposed to just leaving it hang on the inside. I used up all of the fabric and there was none left for the sash, but I got lucky and found a suitable belt instead. However, initially I also planned to make the sleeves of version B, but did not have enough material. Now I think that it looks better this way because the sleeves are quite full already, if they would also be longer and involve a tie they might steal the show a bit too much.

For quite some time I also contemplated whether I should use brown or green buttons, but went with the first, thinking that it might end up childish. Now I have been wearing the dress at work during the summertime.

In the following days I will be able to check out at least two local fabric shops and of course I am really excited about this and hoping to find something nice that I can share with you the next time!

Until soon!

A Dress of Two Summers

Hi!

As I type this, it is a rather gloomy, windy and cold day outside with occasional rain. We had an abnormally hot June and July and then August has been somewhat of a disappointment. Therefore I look at these photos with a bittersweet feeling as it seems that another summer has come to its end. They also bring back memories of our fun little family vacation to Narva-Jõesuu and Narva in July.

This dress has somewhat of a funny history. First of all, I call it the Dress of Two Summers because it was as good as finished already last summer. But as you know, I was pregnant until the middle of July and then had the post-partum/breast-feeding body that I wasn´t even sure would ever allow me to wear the dress and I didn´t want to hem it until I knew if and how many alterations it needed. This summer, I finally hemmed it and only decided to add a snap to the front of the dress for extra security although I am actually happy how it fits even without the snap. Another great pattern from Style Arc, of course! It is the Annabelle dress sans the ruffles:

Secondly, the fabric of the dress. I just adore it. I am not sure I have used this word on this blog before. I love the print, the color combo, the slightly crinkled look of it, the feel of it, just everything. And it is also the fabric for the cover sample of McCalls 8104:

I first saw the fabric on this pattern cover when it was released and then shortly afterwards saw it at Abakhan store in Tallinn. Initially I was sure I would make the McCalls dress, but I didn´t buy enough and therefore had to change my plans. It would have been fun though to copy the look, wouldn´t it? And just recently I saw it on sale and grabbed myself another 2 m, again not enough for the McCalls, but I am thinking a flowy wrap skirt one day..?

Anyway, I was a bit meh at first (that means before hemming it) but once finished it has turned to one of the most popular dresses for this ending summer. Just makes me feel nice!

I also think that this must be my first real wrap dress and since it seems to have become quite a habit, I am once again planning to make more with this pattern. Some of the details below:

I think this dress is equally appropriate for holiday as well as workplace, at least for my job. Basically from the office to the beach dress 😀

Talking about beaches, I really recommend Narva-Jõesuu. It used to be the summer resort for many Russian aristocrats before WWII and even now there must be many Russians spending their summers there deciding by the look, style and size of the summer homes. But at the same time there is another layer of history, the Soviet era that lurks around some abandoned resort buildings from that time, mixed with new or restorated old ones that are quite fancy. All in all, an interesting combo of old and new, wealthy and poor, but nevertheless the whole place has a wonderful relaxed atmosphere and the beach is actually breathtaking. A really long (it must be a few kilometers) stretch of sand, the sun dropping to the sea in the evening, cooling water and most importantly not crowded and not too “developed” meaning there is only one beach bar on the actual sand.

I am not such a fan of Narva, though. It is the border town with Russia and it is definitely worth visiting and it has developed a lot over the recent years, but unfortunately as it was basically bombed to the ground during the WWII there is not much left of the historical city center and it feels kind of center-less if there is such a thing.

I have a couple of more projects from summer that I have been wanting to post about, I am hoping to get there before it is already weird! And I have also participated in some workshops that I really want to share about more, but that is also a story for another time!

Until soon!