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!

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!

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!

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!

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!

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!