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!

Style Arc x Abakhan x 2

Hi!

This will be a post of “two”-s: two Style Arc patterns, two fabrics from Abakhan and two identical little dresses for the dessert (for which two of the fabrics are from Sunnyday Kangad)!

I guess you have already noticed my little love story with Style Arc patterns! I really like their line art/technical drawings that for some reason are so appetizing to me, but more importantly that their styles are contemporary, casual yet quite elegant nonetheless. I also like the 1 cm included seam allowance and their monthly freebie campaign AND the fit of their patterns! So that is quite a lot to counterbalance their instructions that can be less than helpful sometimes.

As a result I own A LOT of Style Arc patterns, almost always grabbing the freebie and always taking advantage of sales. Lately I have used the copyshop option for printing them and then the process is as follows: don´t like the rolls of uncut patterns around -> cut all of the patterns out within a few days -> don´t want to fold them because they are nice to use when flat -> keep them piled up in my sewing room -> don´t like the mess it creates -> sew them up, one by one to get rid of the mess -> whoop, another sale coming up -> back to the beginning….

So I somewhat mechanically sewed up the Portsea Luxe Sweat (more so because of the cosy brushed sweatshirt fabric with metallic thread that I got from Abakhan without any clear idea at first, but that I realized was perfect for that pattern) and honestly laughed out loud when I put it on – just too short and too wide and generally really weird. I felt disappointed that I had used up my fabric and knowing how hard it is to give up my me-made clothes, I imagined it just taking space in my wardrobe, never worn. You can see how wide and boxy it really is:

I quickly took on another project, the Christia Pant that had been waiting for quite some time on my bookshelf and paired it with a classic blue pinstripe fabric bought some time ago also from Abakhan. And then… these two pieces met in my wardrobe and I realized they were made for each other!

I believe this kind of a pant – really high waisted, cropped length and with rolled up hems is exactly the pant this sweatshirt requires, being as cropped as it is, and having a rolled up sleeve detail on its own. I have been wearing the top without any extra shirt underneath but it has quite a tight fitting neckline so a t-shirt can also be worn on colder days. As the Portsea pattern was a freebie, I remember contemplating whether to take it or not because I didn´t think I would sew it and I also don´t think there will be a second one, but I am really glad I tried something so different from my regular choices. Unfortunately the “luxe” factor of the fabric – the lurex thread, is not visible in the photos, you just have to believe me that it shimmers beautifully in real life 🙂

The pants, however, are perfection. I am completely blown that they fit without any alterations and quite proud of my pattern matching as well. They could be a bit longer and now that I have tried and tested the pattern, I will definitely repeat it in another fabric and add 5 cm to the length.

Both items are in size 10, as always with Style Arc patterns. Although the top is really wide and boxy, I feel that it would not fit if I had made a size smaller. If the pants would sit lower, I would have to worry about flashing my belly, but when worn together they balance each other very nicely in my opinion. Both of them are also really easy and quick projects, which is always a plus, isn´t it?

It seems that we are finally done with winter now and the weather is so bright and sunny the last days, pure pleasure! Soon the lilacs will bloom, which is my absolute favorite time of the year! And in less than two weeks my little Liisa-Mai will turn 3 already, but for some reason I haven´t had a flash of insipiration yet, as what to make for her birthday in the “me and mini me” theme.

But her best friend had her third birthday just last week and I made them matching dresses. The insipiration came from Liisa-Mai, who stated that the dresses have to be brown! Wow, can I be proud that I have a three year old who is not only thinking pink and “Frozen”? I think I can, while it lasts 😀

The brown fabric is what I had left over from my Homewear Set and the middle stripe is the same lurex thread brushed sweatshirt fabric that I used for the Portsea Sweat. The pattern is from Ottobre 1/2021, model 8. Candy Shades.

Happy sewing and until soon!

Pleather and Jacquard Affair

Hi!

This is the first of what will (most probably) be three posts regarding my latest collab with Abakhan fabric stores. This time I got several fabrics that will not make up one cohesive set, but separate items that I will match with others, made from fabrics in my stash. So these posts will take some more time as I am making more than one item for each.

The first up is this simple looking, but not so simple to make, set of Itch to Stitch Hepburn turtleneck (my second time using this brilliant basic pattern) and Itch to Stitch Danube skirt.

You can probably tell after seeing this photo, why the set was not so simple to make 🙂 I had a piece of beige pleather in my stash for about two years already, for a skirt one day. And the day came when I found this pretty jacquard knit on clearance on Abakhan online shop.

Pleather can be tricky to sew with and honestly, it took me way longer that it should have just because some days I treaded sewing the next step as there was absolutely no way to unpick the seams without leaving ugly marks on the material. Also, when sewing multiple layers of pleather, the material sticks to the foot of the machine and I got through some parts only by holding my breath! On the other hand, the material surprised me positively too, because I could actually press it carefully on the inside of the garment and while I was not sure whether this will be wearable at all when I started off, eventually the skirt looks exactly as I planned and is surprisingly comfortable, too.

I made a few changes to the pattern, mainly due to the limitations of the material – I left off the coin pocket, did not topstitch the waistband and did not use bar tacks to fix the fly shield in place. In addition, I didn´t use a button, but attached two press fasteners as I thought it would be near impossible to get a nice looking buttonhole and there would not be a second chance after the first try.

Also, the front fly instructions are a bit different than for the Liana jeans that I recently made. After comparing the Danube and Liana instructions, I used the latter for this skirt. I was afraid that with Danube instructions, the zipper would be too close to the fly edge as has happened with some other patterns in the past. I don´t know if it really would be the case, but I wanted to be sure, so went with the Liana instructions in this part.

For the Hepburn turtleneck I only had just enough of fabric to squeeze out the length of these sleeves. It is shorter than the full length, of course, but longer that the 3/4 option of the pattern. The latter seemed too short even for me, although I tend to prefer shorter sleeves. The cotton jaqcuard knit is quite thick and less stretchy than the ribbed cotton jersey I used for my first version, so it fits tighter and is also tighter around the neck. But I really like the pattern of the fabric, it is so versatile while still kind of neutral due to the colors.

In conclusion, it really is as my dad says – the things that offer the most satisfaction, don´t come easy. It was not easy making this skirt and someone should really hold me back if I happen to say that I am going to make something in pleather any time soon 🙂 but still, satisfied with the result!

Thanks, Abakhan, for providing the material for the top and therefore giving me inspiration to use another material in my stash!

Until soon!

PS. SPRING IS FINALLY HERE, even if only in the calendar! Happy spring!

Spring is in the Heart Set

…because it is not yet outside… For about a week we had amazing sunshine, temperatures above zero and almost all the snow was gone until it returned yesterday to my great dismay. Well, it is expected in March, but still, those few days felt like there was more air to breathe, I really do seem to work on solar energy! However, I managed to use one of the sunny days to take some photos of the two items I recently completed. As it goes, it seems I have somehow managed to find a midway between sewing time and blogging time by not blogging about each item separately, but to sew up things that go well together and then show them in one post.

So, I am really looking forward to spring and summer and while dreaming about this, I made up something that cannot be worn yet. Only maybe the dress, if I put a coat on it, as my smart almost-three-years-old daughter suggested just today (she is really one of the coolest humans I know, haha!)

All of the fabrics happen to be from Abakhan, but the greyish blue suede was bought about 2 years ago already while the dress fabric came in December. I just saw it on the website and you know the feeling when your heart skips a beat… If this happens, I can be quite unstoppable!

Both of the patterns are Style Arc, Sienna for the jacket and Pixie for the dress, which was a freebie pattern in November or December. The Sienna is originally unlined, but as much as I try, I haven´t made an unlined jacket yet. A lining really elevates any jacket plus adds to the ease of wear because it is so much easier to put on due to the smoothness of the fabric. It was maybe a bit trickier to figure out this time due to the construction, but completely worth it! Just the suede fabric gave my sewing machine a hard time occasionally and I changed several needles until the Microtex version worked.

I was really happy I could use the suede from my stash as well as the remnants of the yellow lining. It is quite an unusual shade, but it worked perfectly with the dress fabric. You can see my hesitation below as I wasn´t sure whether to go with the yellow or more conservative beige, but I am so glad I used the first option!… And the piping of course!

The dress is a really fun style i think, so relaxed and flowy and quick! If there would be a next time, I would maybe change the neckline to a round one, but I like it as it is, too. It can be worn with or without a sash and I ordered extra fabric to make a sash from the same material, the photos show a black one I already had.

The fabric is called marocain stretch crepe and it doesn´t seem to wrinkle or fray and it was easy to sew. I also like that the print is something in between floral and animal print and the colours make it possible to match with black tights and boots for early spring, but at the same time it would be suitable even for summer, I think.

So, despite Style Arc instructions being once good and once off, I still like their styles and fit very much. I have bought so many patterns that I am excited to make and I always seem to find something new even though I have scrolled through the website probably a thousand times already 😀

Happy sewing and lets hope the spring weather will return soon and this time for good!

Chocolala Makes

It is the name of one handmade chocolate brand in Estonia and I just had the box next to my laptop while thinking how to title this post that mainly has to do with brown garments… spot on!

Highly influenced by one of my sewing buddies with whom we chat nearly daily but have managed to really meet only once, leaving aside several encounters where we hand over bags of fabrics that we have jointly ordered, I have recently taken a closer look at a small pattern brand Itch to Stitch patterns. The designs are classic I would say and as I have mentioned my goal of trying to create an almost all hand made wardrobe, classics is definitely what one needs as the basic elements (remember, I made altogether 3 ITS Lisbon cardis?).

So, being influenced by Kadri, I tried making a pair of Itch to Stitch Liana stretch jeans and wow, I discovered a true unicorn for myself! This pattern, sewn in the right (meaning the right amount of stretch) fabric, “straight from the envelope” in size 6 fits me exactly as I want a pair of skinny jeans to fit. It is a bit hard to believe, really… Things may change in the future, though, because my body has changed after the two babies and I haven´t been able to cycle as much as I used to, so if I can commence this in spring-summer and get consistent, there is a chance of some muscle build up in the thighs an buttocks that I lost during the pregnancies and I may need to make some adjustments. But right now, just wow!

The fabric is probably a simple cotton twill with elastane, but I am not 100% sure as I bought it by weight from Abakhan together with some other fabrics in matching shades as I am really into brown, beige and the likes right now, which is funny because I used to really dislike this color. While I lived and worked in Cyprus between 2005-2007, the ladies there used to wear brown a lot and it always seemed such a dull colour to me… and here I am 😀 I can also say that you will be seeing more of these colours quite soon…

For the back pockets I used one of the 33 free topstitch templates available on Closet Core Patterns. It reminds me of an ECG wave, but I thought it was easy to do and I liked it 🙂

I used a regular button this time, but as you could probably guess, I have cut out another pair already and I will use a metal jean button for these.

This turtleneck is also an Itch to Stitch pattern Hepburn, super simple and super satisfying and super comfy because the turtleneck really sits close to the neck and is nice to wear under a coat without necessarily needing a scarf. I will be making more of these for sure! Again, the fabric is from Abakhan by weight and I think the turtleneck and the jeans cost me about 12 euros altogether!

It has been very cold and snowy here in Estonia this winter, but for us this is how it should be and I really like sunny winter days – first, for better photos and second, for walks by the frozen sea like this:

Happy sewing and until soon!

A House in a House

Hi!

While sewing for kids is not exactly my forte, I got really excited when I realized I could make them something else instead of clothes, something that will take them much longer to outgrow and something really unprecedented for myself as well.

So I made a house! Yes, it is technically a teepee tent, but boy, this is huge! 😀 I know it doesn´t look like that in the photos, but the diameter of the base pad is 120 cm and the height of the poles is 180 cm but since they are angled, the total height is about 160 cm.

If you want to try this at home, a few remarks: be smarter than me and pick a fabric that does not run in one direction. Because of the monkeys running one way, I used nearly 6 m of this and have lots of leftovers. Maybe even picking a different fabric for each side would be a fun idea? My main fabrics are from Abakhan and the heavy upholstery fabric for the poles and all the smaller details like ties, tie ends and trim is from Kangadzungel. My husband bought the poles and cut them to the correct length. I believe they are slightly narrower than suggested by the pattern and also not bamboo, just regular wooden sticks.

For the added trim and ties I used leftovers of some curtains in our house, so these small details plus a piece of boning for the window flap were the only parts that I can say I behaved economically. Otherwise, considering the amount of fabric, this teepee is definitely more expensive that what you can find as ready-made.

Secondly, the pattern requires faux leather for the pole covers, but I would suggest fabric instead. You need to turn out the upper parts of the pole covers and I suspect it would be even harder with faux leather. It was really hard in my case as I used a heavy upholstery fabric, but the leather would stick to itself I imagine.

I know there are people out there who can sew this up without any pattern whatsoever, but I am not that person. I prefer using a pattern and I chose Burda 6559 for the purpose. It is quite straightforward, but you need to pay attention when measuring for the pole covers. It took me a long time and some brainstorming to understand what is meant by lengthening the pattern to 148 cm as it says. It is really confusing what exactly is considered the beginning point of this measurement, so if you want to get away with it faster, I can tell you that you need to measure from the point of turning the pole covers inside out, mark 2. I would like to hear of anyone who figures this out solely from the instructions 😀

Anyway, nothing much to say about it other than this really is the BIGGEST thing I have every made and this position will remain unchallenged for… maybe forever. Unfortunately our family policies on social media will not allow me to share the happy eyes of my daughter when she first entered the tent and peeped out of the side window for the first time. But that melted my heart 🙂

Until soon!

The Homewear Set

Hi! I hope this new year has started well at least in personal matters for you all! I don´t know what is wrong with me, but I don´t seem to be able to fully enjoy staying at home even on paid maternity leave, so I have started working part time from home again. I do realize that this means reduced time for sewing, but I really enjoy having different things to think about, not just sewing projects or baby stuff…

For as long as I can remember, my mother has always worn a skirt at home, but I never find it comfortable, even in summer. At home I usually wear a pair of old jeans or track pants and my husband still talks about an especially hideous pair of extra slouchy pants I used to wear at home a few years ago. If it was up to him, I would be wearing dresses, but …

I realized I could make myself a comfy homewear set after I completed my morning robe. I don´t know why, but it never occurred to me earlier than now, when I made an agreement with myself to try to make all of my clothes (excluding underwear, sportswear etc), that I could also make this kind of casual stuff.

I was drawn to Ottobre woman 5/2017 model 10 due to its interesting angled princess seams on the front. This model is also currently the topic of a sew-along on the Estonian biggest online sewing community so I am not the only one who liked this pattern. For the pants, I used Style Arc Joni Knit Track Pant pattern that was the freebie of December 2020. To me, the side seam of the pants that curves to the front, echoes the angled seams of the hoody and I thought these two would work great together.

And they do, actually! There are some minor things to remember for the potential next time: the jacket is a tad too long for my liking, I would prefer it to be about 5 cm shorter (not sure however, if I would like to go through the pain of shortening it, due to the angled seams) and I think if there will be a second time, I would add facings to the fronts because I don´t like the way it looks on the inside right now. There could be a mistake from my side regarding the neckline finishing, but still. But I must admit I was surprised that the general fit of the jacket is spot on, I had heard many times that Ottobre patterns have too much ease, but I measured this one and cut the size 38 and it is exactly as fitted as I wanted it to be.

As for the pants, I went with my regular size 10 for Style Arc patterns and they are true to size, slouchy around the hips and tight around the calves, that is the style. The dropped crotch was a bit scary at first, but eventually they do fit nicely. The only thing I would definitely change another time is the back pockets. The placement is too high for me and I guess I would even leave them off the next time.

I couldn´t find ribbing in the exact shade as the french terry I used, but I think eventually this is good, otherwise the whole thing would look too plain. The cotton jersey I used for the top and for the hood and pocket matches perfectly and to my great surprise I was also able to find perfect zippers, cord and cord end caps locally. Finding the correct size and colour of eyelets was more complicated, but a sewing buddy living in Tallinn helped me out with these too.

I waited until taking photos of these items before wearing them because I knew once I put them on, they will stay as they are really comfortable and now I feel that I look put together at home, too. Little Liisa-Mai (2 years and 8 months old) also exclaimed: “Mommy, this is a very nice set! I like it!” And it must be nice because this girl has an eye for this stuff – she is choosing her own outfits almost every day and also has a say in what her baby brother should wear. I once put on a pair of socks that really didn´t match the rest of his clothes and when we got downstairs, Liisa-Mai immediately demanded that I should change them 😀

Some close ups too:

I have been wearing this set the whole day today and I have also realized that I need another one for sure. I just have to decide whether to use the same patterns or pick something new and what colour should the second set be – I am between really dark purple (too dark?), navy/blue (too boring?) and dark green (too weird?). Anyway, there is thought food for a few days for sure 🙂

I guess I have fooled you a bit, because although these are the first things I am showing you in 2021, they are not the first things I have made. Just hoping to get more photos taken soon.

Happy sewing!

Finally done! (The Fireworks Project)

I know many of you will expect this title to have to do with the worst year in so many people´s lives. I don´t rush to call 2020 that bad PERSONALLY because how could I, having had our precious baby boy arrive in mid July? But I have to admit that the overall Covid situation even though no one in our family has fallen ill or been affected too badly by its collateral damage in terms of job loss etc, has grown heavy on me as well.

The title actually has to do with the last project of 2020 and it is this dress accompanied by a jacket that looks plain on the outside but is quite fierce on the inside 🙂

And it is no usual project either, being my first collab with a company, Abakhan Fabrics, that has several shops all over Estonia, the other Baltic States and Great Britain. I have personally visited one in Riga and one in Liverpool. They have a large variety of fabrics and honestly I was quite thrilled when they approached me because when they opened their beautiful store in downtown Tartu (my childhood hometown), I was a teenager, already interested in sewing and I remember vividly how I loved to indulge myself in the fabrics on offer.

After taking a look at their website which unfortunately does not represent even half of what you can find in stores, I decided to go for a simple dress in a remarkable fabric. However, it turned out that there was not enough yardage left for my project so I quickly rearranged my plans and decided to go for a skirt in said fabric, a top and a jacket. BUT…. when the package arrived, it appeared that since the piece had been the very last one on the roll, there was actually enough for my dress! So once again, plans changed and here we have a jacket and a dress.

Now the reason for such a title is that the pattern for the dress, Burdastyle 12/2020 model 112, is really off. I was careful enough to measure the pattern first and to my great surprise I had to cut a size larger than normal and still add extra room for the hip area. When comparing the pattern to the measurement chart, it looks like the pattern has been designed with zero wearing ease! And no, not for knits, but wovens!

The muslin did help out in terms of avoiding complete failure, but there was still too much tweaking to do around the bodice and even after all this work, I can´t say that I am 100% happy with the fit since the back neckline is gaping slightly.

The pattern is originally designed unlined, but due to the fabric I chose (slightly sheer and scratchy on the wrong side), I had to add a lining to the dress. At some point, when I could try the dress on already, I realized I want to skip the sleeves. This is again weird, but the armholes are not big at all although this is what usually happens when the pattern is designed with sleeves and you just leave them off. I wonder if I would have pushed through with the sleeves, would that have been another nightmare in the process?

So a dress that looks really simple, turned out to be a lot of work – fit issues, adding a lining, main fabric that only accepted tailor´s tacks for markings… you name it! I guess the two things that kept me going were the fact that the fabric is really beautiful and that I was working on a sponsored project that I was documenting on Instagram stories.

The jacket is a pattern that I have used three times already, Simplicity 1421. I think it is a wonderful pattern that fits well and works great with a wide range of fabrics and is a simple design that looks good for special occasions. It is not designed as lined, but I have always added a lining because it just upgrades the whole thing. Plus my favorite, the piping, of course!

In this case the pattern was tried and tested, but both fabrics frayed like crazy, making the process more difficult than it could have been. The fabric that I chose for the lining is not a lining per se, but just a very fluid, silky polyester that can be used for a top or even a slip dress. I am not sure whether this and my dress fabric are from the same producer, but it looks like exactly the same pattern, doesn´t it? And I know that while wearing the complete set, no one will see the lining, but this is what makes sewing so fascinating – the ability to create things that at first exist only in your head and then adding those “secret” personal touches. If ten sewists would be given these fabrics, we would have ten different end results! And this is mine!

To those of you who will wonder, where and when will I have the chance to wear these clothes, the answer is that the dress will be worn for New Year´s Eve at home because we will have friends over and I always like to dress up even at home on Christmas and New Year´s Eve. The jacket will have to wait its turn, but given that it is a classic black piece, it will definitely have many occasions in the future.

In terms of sewing, 2020 has actually been a good one – I upgraded techically as I bought my Juki HZL-F600 (it is technically the same as the F700 but white instead of fuchsia on top) and as my husband fulfilled my birthday wish by gifting me a remote and a tripod for taking photos. Considering how cumbersome it was to find time for both of us at the same moment especially with two kids, the tripod and the remote have been a relief for him as well. I also completed some garments that I am proud of, for example the Tommy coat and the Burgundy jacket. Considering that I was pregnant for the first half of the year and later having two kids at home, I have also been rather productive. And to top this, I was offered this exciting collab from Abakhan!

I hope for the new year to bring further adventures in sewing but most importantly I hope that the vaccines will help the world to turn to normalcy sooner than later!

Lisbon x3

Hi!

It doesn´t show I guess, but I am doing something sewing related every day, if I can´t literally stitch, at least I can tape patterns or do some other preparatory work. And I have been sewing like mad recently as well, great fabrics are waiting and my head is full of ideas. However, life with two little kids has its own plans sometimes and some things take more time than they should. These three Lisbon cardis could have been made in a week, but it took me maybe four? Among other things of course!

When I noticed this Itch to Stitch cardigan pattern, I knew that there will be more than one of these in my wardrobe. Why? Because you can make them in basically any fabric combination you can imagine, but what immediately came to my mind was that I could achieve a rather pulled together look with the comfort of a hoodie.

For the first one, I had fabric in my stash, for the last two, I shopped already with Lisbon on my mind. All of the black details are made of the same fabric, a remnant of leather-look ponte that I had in my stash. For the first two cardigans I used the wrong, simply black side of it but for the last one, I decided to go with the leathery effect.

Because taking the photos can be a problem if you have to line up a sleeping baby, the brief sunlight of the winter and your own looks of the day (some days whatever I do, I don´t like myself on any of the photos) so I did not have the time to play around with various other garments in my wardrobe that can be paired with the cardigans, so just my Jalie Vanessa pants (another beloved pattern sewn x3) this time. However, after I completed the first version, I did take some pics combining the Lisbon with a pleather skirt:

I made all three versions slightly different (in addition to the fabric choice, obviously!). The first one has five big buttons, the second has none and the final version has seven smaller buttons. By playing around with the pattern, I can also visualise it looking nice with a statement zipper….

Just by a lucky chance, I was able to find perfect buttons for the pepita print version – the buttons have the same print embossed! This makes them look a bit leathery, again matching the leather look ponte that I used for the black details.

For a while already, I have been emptying my wardrobe of the ready-to-wear clothes that I don´t wear anymore and my secret goal has been to get to the point where the majority of what I wear is made by me. This will exclude sportswear, underwear, socks and knitwear since all of the years that I have been sewing, I have never felt the pull to make any of these things.

These cardigans take me closer to the goal in terms of having something easy and comfortable to wear in addition to all the dresses that I have made and will make more, but that are not always the most practical for my lifestyle.

In other news, I recently won a year of Burdastyle subscription! I can´t believe my luck, since as a rule, I never win anything, either the lottery (ok, I almost never play either) or any social media draws. However, I hit the nail this time! This generous prize was put out by Kadri, who is the administrator of the biggest online Estonian sewing community as well as one of the admins of Itch to Stitch Facebook support group. You should go and check out her sewing blog Kadristik!

Happy sewing!

Easy Like A Sunday Morning… Right?

Hi!

So all the while I have been whipping up dresses and what else, I didn´t notice that the one garment that I start and end my day with is literally falling apart – my morning robe! Even my 2-year old started pointing out that it looks “broken” and commented that “daddy will have to buy you a new one!” I loved the last idea, but then I realized I could also make it myself and love it even more because of that. And “daddy” can always spend his money on something else I like but can´t make, right?! But good thinking baby girl 😀

So it seemed like a piece of cake – just find a pattern out of a gazillion patterns out there, but the first obstacle emerged as I realized if I wanted a shawl collar like the old one had, there are not so many patterns at all. There were some that were not in my size range and others that looked good but just without the shawl. Ok, so I finally found Simplicity 8804 that seemed to be perfect until I received the pattern and looked at the back of the envelope. Finished chest circumference 128 cm. 128 cm? 128 cm! So that was about 20 cm too much and the shoulders were also way wider that the original robe had. One thing is that I don´t want to be lost inside my morning robe but the other also that I had bought 2,3 m of cotton velvet for the purpose already and the huge robe would have needed 3,3 m.

So I ended up doing what I had never done before – since the original robe was so worn, I just cut it into pieces and used the pieces as a pattern. It would have been a good idea to create a proper pattern and make everything symmetrical and match up on paper but I just went with it. Even my husband asked: “Didn´t you make a paper pattern first?” Nope.

Actually, being a simple thing as a morning robe is, there was not that much trouble sewing it up per se, but it took me a week because… well… children 😀 Baby Lennart turned 4 months old and I guess he was going through what they say is the 4 month sleep regression because while he has been sleeping tight every night since birth, he pretty much kept me awake all through the past week. Not crying, thankfully, but just sniffing around in his crib, nursing more often than usual and waking up earlier than usual. However the past two nights have been normal again, so let´s hope we are done with this! But the robe… The most complicated part were the pockets where I accidentally didn´t consider the nap of the fabric and one of the pockets would have looked darker than the rest of the garment. But I realized it relatively early… relatively is emphasized here…. so at least I didn´t sew it on yet but I had to create a new pocket and it took some time since the lace, the piping and the bias tape had to be sewn again on top of the pocket.

So what I made differently in comparison to the original robe is that the original did not have the piping feature but the front edge was overcast with bias tape. I figured I could never make the silky tape look pretty and since it runs all over the edge, it would have to be perfecr for sure. So instead, I put a silky piping between the two layers and I love the result. I am telling you, if you contemplate whether or not to use piping, usually “yes” is the correct answer 😀

In the end, although it took me that long, I am happy with the result. The original robe was made of bamboo velvet, the new one is cotton velvet, but they feel very similar, cosy and not too warm. And the shawl collar is a must, it keeps the neck toasty. Initially I tried finding a matching shade of lace an other trimmings, but no luck. Now looking at the photos, I think the cream details are actually even better! And did you notice that the robe has no side seams? So nice against the skin!

I guess you can tell how much I like it 😀 Just loads of photos! By the way, the fact that it matches my bedroom is purely accidental. I ordered the fabric and only realized it later! I was actually looking for a peach shade as the original, but couldn´t find any and now it seems like it had to be this way!

Happy sewing and until soon!