A Call For Help

Hi!

The following has nothing to do with sewing and not really much with me either. But another family´s horrible problem has touched me so much that I have decided to spread the plead for help on this site as well.

I am sorry if anyone finds it inapproriate somehow. I am ok with this and if you don´t feel like helping out, it is ok, this is up to everyone themselves!

Since the story is not mine, I will simply lay out a few facts:

  • there is a 3 month old Estonian girl diagnosed with quite a rare genetic disorder Spinal Muscular Atrophy
  • until recently there was no cure and the affected children lived up to 2 years until their breathing stopped, because the disease disturbs muscle development
  • the medication Zolgensma that really cures the disease (gene therapy) is the most expensive in the world, with a price tag over 2 million USD (yes that´s right)
  • over a million has already been donated in Estonia

If you want to read more, go visit: https://helpannabel.eu/en/, and please consider helping!

The following is copied from the Facebook post of Tartu University Hospital Children’s Foundation that has already given 400 000 euros from their reserves and has opened phone lines and accounts for the same specific purpose (there is also information towards the end of the text for those kind and generous people who would like to donate from abroad!):

ONE MILLION! Thank you so much good people!

A little 3 month old Annabel, whose life depends on the extremely expensive medicine, is gone into the hearts of many people. Today, by midday, the amount of money donated by kind people for Annabels’ treatment was reached to 1, 014 254 million euros.

The Lastefonds’ donation account has received up to 221 167,74 euros, together with 400 000 euros, which came from reserves. Donation account HelpAnnabel, created by Annabels’ parents, has received 392 575 euros total to cover the treatment. The biggest donation, Lastefonds’ account received, was a whole of 22 thousand euros. Phone donation amounts, we hope to get by tomorrow.

Many great businesses have offered their help, by donating money for treatment and also, by offering their time and abilities. For example, thanks to Linna Ekraanid, the information for helping Annabel is able to be forwarded to people everywhere. Thank you so much for your help!

Donating to companies through Lastefond, is tax-free. According to law, the donated amount with income tax credit is up to 10% of yearly income, or till 3% with social tax of taxed amount, in the choice of etrepreneuer. Tartu Ülikooli Kliinikumi Lastefond is sending the data to Maksu- ja Tolliamet by the 1 of February, in the following year.

In response to, what happens with the donations, when little Annabel will not get together the needed amount, Lastefond assures, that the remaining money will go to cover other sick children treatments. This is how our charity organization is functioned for almost 20 years, which is also why, thanks to our regular donaters, the amount of 400 000 from reserves can be added to the cure for treatment.

Today, the essential medical documents of Annabels treatment will be sent to United States to wait for the final confirmation. Thank you, good people, for helping to save the little girls life!

To maintain the donations of the treatment that will save Annabel’s life, You can donate through the bank accounts of the SA Tartu University Hospital Children Foundation (SA Tartu Ülikooli Kliinikumi Lastefond) indicating in the explanation „Annabel“:

Swedbank IBAN EE682200221015828742
SEB IBAN EE261010220014910011
Luminor IBAN EE791700017000285384
LHV IBAN EE527700771000610813
COOP IBAN824204278603586607

Requisites for non-Estonian bank transfer:
Bank: Swedbank, address: Liivalaia 8, Tallinn
IBAN: EE682200221015828742
SWIFT: HABAEE2X

PayPal payment should be directed to info@lastefond.ee with description ‘’Annabel’’.

Let´s hope for the best! Thanks for reading!

Goodbye, Sewing in Athens!

Hi!

Some of you have been following my sewing projects for a long time and therefore know that this blog was started while I still lived in Athens, Greece.

Ironically, there are only a few posts from that time because my life took an unexpected turn in 2012 and I moved back to my native Estonia. Yes, initially the plan was to stay for a short time but as it happens, the temporary stuff tends to stick and I have been to Greece only for holidays since.

So, Sewing in Athens was the blog title when I started it and I kept the title even when it was already clear that I will never be sewing in Athens again. It didn´t really bother me, although it had become misleading and I cursed myself for having picked a title that was so attached to a place.

But for quite some time already I have felt that its inappropriateness is annoying me and I have been brainstorming in search for a new and better name. So, depicting me and my habits so well, The Late Night Sewist is the choice! I don´t believe I will ever become a morning person so I really hope I will never have to change this one!

Also, I often feel that I would like to share some progress photos and fabric shopping of pattern ideas with you, but the blog format is too clumsy and slow for this purpose.

Therefore, you can find me also in Instagram now: https://www.instagram.com/thelatenightsewist/

Until soon!

Help needed!

Hi!

I am currently making a dress for an upcoming wedding in May and I am using this cute pattern from March 2016 Burdastyle:

Unfortunately I only have the German version of the magazine and honestly, this time the instructions are like Chinese to me – I cannot make sense of them, but since I am using the precious stretch silk I got from Italy a few years back, I don´t want to make any mistakes!

I visited the local library today in order to get the instructions in English from their issue, but they also only have it in German, would you believe?

So I am hoping for someone who is reading this, to take the time and take a snapshot of the sewing instructions of this dress in ENGLISH and send the photo to me! I would really appreciate this!

Graduation Day Dress

Hi!

Some things apparently so simple to make, may take a lot of energy and work and then there are others that look hard to make, but in the end turn out quite the opposite. This was the case with my last project, a dress for my brother´s graduation day (I cannot believe how grown up he is!).

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It took me a while to get started because of doubts about how to actually go about it. I read several articles and blog entries online in order to choose the best approach for working with this kind of lace.

In the end I decided that it is the best to try to underline it. What confused me was that I could not find any answers to whether adding a lining is a common thing to do once you have already underlined the lace or not. I decided to use lining on the bodice part, especially because the front and back yokes without the underlining could then be neatly sandwitched between the layers, but skipped it for the skirt, so that in the skirt part, the seam allowances are finished with bias tape and are visible on the inside.

However, it could be reasoned that since the typical instructions on underlining say that the pieces should be treated as one layer of fabric later on, adding a lining would also be ok.

The technique was new to me, but it was not hard or too time-consuming in my opinion, although some of the articles I read gave me the impression that it would be so.

The dress is actually a mix of two patterns : Simplicity 1415 for the bodice:

…and Burdastyle 8/2015 model 109 skirt, that I actually have already made as a skirt here.

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The bodice of the Simplicity 1415 really attracted me with its sharp angles between the bodice and the yokes, although they are maybe a bit less evident since the lace  is not straight. The pattern actually is for a bodice and a separate overlay, but I used a part of the overlay pattern to create the yokes.

Initially I was worried about how precise the connection between the two patterns at the waistline would be, because I just worked with them separately. Therefore the surprise was great when the two parts matched exactly! But the experience with the Simplicity pattern was that it seems to be designed for quite busty ladies, I had to take in quite a lot from the back and side seams but not at the waist!

I really like how the underlining is barely visible under the skirt, so it is hard to tell where it stops!

I also changed the placement of the invisible zipper. Originally it was meant to be in the center back seam, but I did not want to interrupt the lace, so I moved it to the side seam and now the back piece looks so much better as one!

 

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The neckline and the “armholes” were finished with lace applique trim that I cut off the rest of the lace and hand-stitched to the edges to achieve a similar look as the skirt, which was just cut with the selvage of the lace on the bottom. I could use the skirt I had already made using the same pattern to predict the desired length, since I could not have made any changes to the hem later!

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I did not specifically try to make the lace motifs match anywhere, but they do match in several seams which helps to create the illusion as if it was molded out of the fabric without cutting too much.

The lace itself is not really elastic, but the lining/underlining is and thanks to the structure of the lace, it also has some give, so although the dress is very fitted, it is surprisingly comfortable to wear!

Here are some dressform pictures as well (note that this is just a window decoration dressfrom from a shop that closed down, it is not in my measurements, thats why the fit is not that good):

The dress took me two weekends and about 30 euros to make, which I think was absolutely worth it.

 

Burda Style news

Hello all,

my aim has been to sew at least one item every month and showcase it here, but the work has been so demanding lately that I am progressing the few garments I am working on simultaneously at the pace of a snail.

This slow going makes me feel disappointed and turns on a vicious cycle of lack of time and disappointment and in the end it is really hard to get back on track even if I finally find a little spare time.

However, as if to give me a wake up call, upon my return from Helsinki, where I was once again for school, I found a pleasant surprise in my mailbox – my third complimentary issue of BurdaStyle magazine, because I am in there! Yay!

The issue is the German edition of March 2016.

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The project they have chosen is the pair of pants I made back in 2012, while still living in Athens… as a matter of fact the photo was taken on the roof of my home! Weird, how time goes by, it seems hard to believe that it was just 4 years ago.

Anyway, this sweet present and a lovely comment on an old post have given me some energy and I have been patiently working on a few things in the evenings. Hopefully I will be able to show them before the end of March!

Until then, happy sewing everyone!

 

 

Zig Zag Zipper Dress

Hey!

I am usually not into using the same pattern repeatedly, but after stumbling upon some discounted bright turquoise blue double knit which I just had to have, I needed a simple pattern to show off the color and avoid visual overkill.

I immediately thought of my Zig Zag Znake Dress and McCall´s pattern 6243, view C.

M6243

Since the pattern was already prepared, I needed a few evenings to nearly finish the dress, but still had to stitch the last 20 cm of the hem by hand in a few minutes before a concert I attended last Sunday.

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It seems now that this celebrated the last summery evening of this weird summer, where the weather has been into extremes only – either very hot and dry or then pouring rain like there is no tomorrow. The concert took place at yet another beautiful manor of Estonia, this time a wooden one called Kõltsu. If you are interested, check it out here.

I have used zippers for the diagonal seams. It was a random idea that occurred to me as I was wandering around the fabric store and trying to picture the dress in my mind. At first the idea was to use golden zippers for some extra bling, but the ones that I managed to find did not look nice when unzipped, the teeth appeared yellow instead of golden, as if the gold was only sprayed over the zipper.

I finally went with a matching shade and got two 80cm zippers, of which I only used a half on each diagonal seam. The hardest part was removing the zipper teeth from the seam allowances.

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As you can see, I am repeating myself not only with the pattern, but with the color combination choices as well. I do have a LOT of shoes, but when it comes to turquoise color, I only seem to be able to match it with some kind of a pink. I also thought of a pair of golden wedges, but for this particular event I felt more comfortable wearing flats.

Ravel Hero 2

I am not very satisfied with how the dress looks on the backside. The nylon/spandex double knit is lighter in weight that the cotton one I used for the previous version (the Zig Zag Snake Dress). As a result I should be very careful with my underwear choices the next time I wear it and I am also considering adjusting the dress even more for my swayback.

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The fabric doesn´t fray at all so there was a great temptation to leave the hemline and arm and neck holes unfinished. In the end I still went the traditional way and stitched them by hand but didn´t bother to finish the seam allowances on the inside.

The front zipper in more detail:

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All in all it is a great summer project to make – quick and fun!

I will be off for holidays in a few days, so most probably the next post will be tagged as “Travel” again 😉

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One Lovely Blog/Very Inspiring Blogger Award

Hi there!

For many days already, I owe two ladies in the blogosphere a big thank you for rewarding me with the One Lovely Blog/Very Inspiring Blogger Award. The first was G. from Lin3arossa, followed by Red Point Tailor. Thank you!

I  know that some bloggers don’ t publish their awards and don’t participate in sharing random facts about themselves and at first I decided to keep it simple as well, until honingdesign (Thank you too!) nominated me once more.

I thought that as I felt  flattered and surprised by being nominated, why not spread the positive feelings by participating and nominating others too? The funny thing is that as I was indecisive about the whole thing, I had written a draft post right after the first nomination, but never got to publishing it. And in that nominee list of mine was honigdesign as well 🙂

lovelyinspiringaward

The rules of the award:

  • Thank the person who nominated you.
  • Add The One Lovely Blog Award /The Very Inspiring Blogger Award to your post.
  • Share 7 things about yourself.
  • Pass the award to 10 nominees
  • Include this set of rules.
  • Inform your nominees by posting a comment on their blogs.

Hmm, 7 things about myself…. let me try.

  1. I drink my coffee with lots of fresh milk, no sugar
  2. I once wanted to become a doctor, but now I am happy being a physiotherapist
  3. I love cycling, always did
  4. In addition to my mother tongue Estonian, I have learned English, Greek, Russian, Spanish, German and some French. Currently I use the first four languages daily
  5. I don´t like Coca Cola, but occasionally I take a sip from someone’s glass just to confirm that I still don’t like it
  6. I love picking mushrooms and berries in Estonian forests in summer. So relaxing and rewarding!
  7. I got my driving licence in Cyprus, where they drive on the left.

Now, the nominees, this is difficult, but nevertheless, this is my list:

Silk, Lace and Steel – a blog that is just starting up, but I have been keeping an eye on Jiulia’s creations on Burdastyle and love them all!

Jazz Couture

honigdesign

Jorth – I love the sewing and admire the knitting this lady does!

Allison. C Sewing Gallery

Catherine Daze´s blog

Vintage Girl

The Blue Gardenia

Sewingadicta – gotta love the blog for the amazing creativity as well as the sights of Gran Canaria – an island with a special place in my heart

I am naming only nine, I hope  this violation of rules will be forgiven.

Happy sewing everyone!

 

 

 

Happy 2013!

Happy New Year everyone!

I know I am kind of late with this, but I have a bunch of good reasons for it and nevertheless, I truly hope the new year will be better than the one that passed!

Whoever has followed this blog for a while probably can guess that I personally had a rough year and that part of it is quite closely related to the suffocating crisis in Europe which is affecting almost everyone, so let’s hope the new year will bring some relief to all of us.

When I  look back at the year sewing-wise, it definitely was a productive one and I took my hobby to a new level by starting this blog, getting more active in burdastyle.com sewing community, finally buying a dressmaker’s mannequin (plus a couple of books) and learning a lot with each project. I am especially proud of learning to sew a professional looking front fly and Rigilene-boned bodice. Also, I made a few garments to other people, which is totally new to me, but has given me lots of confidence.

Blogging has brought me absolutely unexpectedly loads of positive energy, thanks to the nice comments from readers and also friends in real life. A big thank you to all of you!

I am not very good at keeping strict goals, so I just hope to have enough time to sew in the new year. No new year resolutions!

During the holidays I was two weeks off from work and planned to sew and trace several patterns while visiting my parents. The result was close to zero (so much about the goals!), because I accidentally left some fabrics behind when packing hurriedly in the morning after the Christmas party with colleagues and I only managed to trace a few patterns.

Nevertheless, I had a great time because my fiance from Greece was visiting and we spent 10 wonderful days in my native Tartu and current hometown Haapsalu.

For us in Estonia and other Northern countries it is so usual, but for my fiance it was the first time to see frozen sea, and he couldn’t really believe his ears that in winter, if the cold has lasted for quite some time, we have some official ice roads open so that it is possible to go to some islands by car on ice, instead of taking the boat.

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Now, talking about sewing, I made some little investments.

I ordered several McCall’s patterns, when they were on 0.99$ sale on sewingpatterns.com and one Vogue, plus “Tailoring: The Classic Guide to Sewing the Perfect Jacket” from amazon.co.uk and also wrote to Santa Claus to bring me “‘Home Sewn”‘, a book by New Zealand Fashion Museum. Santa Claus ordered it from Papercut Patterns, taking advantage of their worldwide free shipping offer just before Christmas. Both books have yet to arrive, but it should be any time soon and I am very excited.

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The patterns I ordered:

McCall’s 6460

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McCall’s 6243

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McCall’s 6565

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McCall’s 6321

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McCall’s 6319

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McCall’s 6471

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Vogue 8849, of which I think it is best to show the technical drawings.

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I am not a systematic sewer, so there is a high chance that I will not use some of these new patterns, but at the moment I love them all and hope that eventually I would turn most of them into garments.

Happy sewing in 2013!

Burda Stretch Pants

I remember the moment when I saw Elaine’s terrific leather-ponte combo pants. My heart stopped a beat and I decided right there that I have to have something at least remotely similar.

Well, deciding to want something is one thing, but it can be a long way to finally wear what you imagined. But I think I managed in the end.

I didn’ t trust my drafting skills enough to do it the way Selfish Seamstress did, so I had to dig around until I could find a pattern that would allow me to make something similar.

As I mentioned in an earlier post, in winter and early spring there was a long pause in my sewing and in pretty much everything due to some serious things going on in my life. I discovered the suitable pattern much later in BurdaStyle March 2012 issue and by that time had to make a special order from France to get the magazines I had missed and which, after a long time, contained some really interesting patterns.

I think the people at Burda haven’ t really made the most of this pattern (model 126, March 2012 issue) for the magazine. The photo below is the reason I always open a fresh BurdaStyle in the middle where the line drawings are.

The pattern is quite similar to the Helmut Lang pants that inspired the Selfish Seamstress. There are no side seams and each leg consists of three pieces (four, if you consider the divided front piece two).

Since I probably wouldn’ t be able to pull off the leather pants look, I decided to make mine in doubleknit, with some fake leather details. The very first plan was to cut only the front leg details of fake leather, but in the end I also cut the side yokes of the same material and I think it was a good idea.

I didn ‘t expect much of the pattern because several sewists haven’ t been exactly happy with the fit and I was sure I would have a problem as well. The pants turned out to be a little wide around the waist and hips (according to the Burda size chart, my hip measurement should be size 40 or even 42 and based on experience I always cut size 38, and these were still wide!), but that was easy to fix.

A much bigger problem was caused by the fact that I must have cut one of the three leg pieces slightly off grain. This resulted in the good old spiraling pants – the seams were twisting around my calf and it was especially obvious due to the design of the pattern.

I knew what was the reason, but still, hoping that there might be an easy way out or that the twisting might be caused by a different mistake (which hopefully would again be easier to fix), sat down and ran a little search online. Well, it had to be the grainline issue, which most probably happened when I cut out the pieces from double-layered fabric and didn’ t notice that the lower layer was slightly off.

It was rather difficult to determine, which of the three leg pieces was responsible for the twist and of course I couldn’t rule out the possibility of having more than one piece off the grain. Finally I tried my luck with the side piece. But as I had ran out of fabric, I had to go and buy some more of it, wash it, cut the relevant piece etc… a lot of trouble, but I didn’ t give up.

I think I hit the spot of the problem, because after changing the side panel, the twist was gone!

The fake leather I used is the same as for my obi-belt, it has a nice fabric backing and it is slightly elastic, which I figured would match the doubleknit well enough.

As said, I cut the size 38, slightly adjusted the hip and waist width and omitted the back welt pockets altogether. I have never made them yet and I didn’ t want to put this project at more risk.

The pants could have a better fit, but generally I am happy with the outcome, they are wearable and fun. Some could say that maybe they are a tad too short, but this is the way I liked them. I tested them with several shoes and this length seemed to be the best in my eyes.

I didn´t want to stitch through the leather while hemming the pants, so I only stitched the fabric part and used fabric glue on the leather which worked perfectly because it is fabric-backed.

Burda Colourblock Dress

In winter and early spring we had a very rough time because of a serious health issue in the family and the general situation in crisis-hit Greece, so I didn´t have the time and energy even to look at Burda Style magazines for a couple of months, and of course when I finally came around, they had suddenly come up with some great patterns in February and March!

I managed to order these issues from Abo Press, France eventually and it seems they will be my favorite Burdas for a long time. It was also nice to get them in English, it is way easier to follow the instructions, because although I read Greek, the Burda instructions are notorious and I can certainly decipher English better than Greek.

One of the patterns that made me go through the whole ordering process was this colourblock dress, Burda February 2012, model 117b:

I also loved Amanda´s version and actually I was pretty sure that I would not copy the Burda colour scheme. But as I was fabric-shopping in Estonia in summer, I saw a suitable jersey in lime and changed my mind.

I made the last stitches on this dress on my birthday. The plan was to show the dress on the blog and then forget about it for some weeks at least, because it is too early for it here in Greece. But surprisingly enough, the chance to wear it came already yesterday!

I had arranged to meet my friend Anastassia, who happened to be in Athens for the weekend (another christening!) at 10 AM for a coffee, and although getting up early in the morning has never been my strong side, it was even more difficult yesterday, because it was raining outside, the air was cool and getting out of my cosy bed seemed not an option. But then it dawned on me that this could be the first chance to wear my new dress and out of the bed I was!

Because of the grey weather, the photos are not the best in terms of colour and clarity, but I hope they will do.

The dress was quite easy to make, apart from some stupid mistakes I made during the process. The mistakes were mainly due to the fabric looking exactly the same on both sides and so I managed to sew up something like a colourful chessboard, before I realized I had joined the wrong backs and fronts. So, it was easy to make but took me longer than it should have.

I omitted the tucks on the shoulders, as I liked the way they were without them and used an invisible zipper instead of the exposed one that the pattern calls for. I like the exposed zipper idea in general, but because I used it on one of my dresses already, I decided against it this time.

Another change that I made was omitting the snap fasteners in front. Since the dress has a zipper on the back, I don’t see a reason for leaving the front open at all. So the final stitches I made, was sewing the front yellow piece onto the beige from the inside, on the outside it still has the overlapping effect. I feel that this way the dress fits much better as well.

I cut size 38 and the fit was perfect, which was a relief, because otherwise it would have been difficult to make the colour blocks run smoothly at the side seams. The hemming was done by hand, so the stitches are not visible on the outside.

I am thrilled with the dress, because it is SO comfortable and I think it can be dressed up and down very easily by changing the footwear. Yesterday I wore it with black/silver leather flats in the morning and since the shoes got soaked, I ended up wearing the dress in the afternoon with wellies (rainboots), to meet another friend! The wellies were a bit extreme I guess, but I hate to have wet feet, so I didn´t really care.

The shoes that can be seen in the photos are Pump & Circumstance Nadine leather flats, very comfortable and although I purchased them last year from Amazon, I have noticed that metallic cap-toe shoes are around a lot recently.  I guess the silver leather toes of my shoes kind of fit the trend as well!

Another idea that still has to wait for colder days to try out, is to wear the dress with black matte tights and these Calvin Klein Karla booties that I absolutely love:

I don´t know why really, but the pewter-silver footwear seems to be the best for this dress, maybe because of the grey skirt-block.

By the way, I am so happy with the outcome, that I already got fabric to make the same dress in another colour combo! But that will have to wait a little, since right now I am working on Stefania´s dress and keeping fingers crossed for a good result!