The Autumn Flower Dress

Hi!

I know it has been a while since my last post, but at least I have a good excuse – I started my Master´s studies and since I am also working full time, it is really difficult to manage time between all the things I want and should do – work, studying, sewing, sports and quality time with my boyrfriend. Not all is lost though 🙂

DSCN2661

 A dear friend of mine arranges (or maybe it is more precise to say that his wife does) a great birthday party every year where everyone gets together for an extreme fun night where usually there is also live music and dancing.

So this event plus a nice scuba fabric I got from Helsinki in September (I go there once a month now for the university) were motivating enough to push myself and sew up another dress.

DSCN2655 DSCN2669DSCN2657

This is actually a mix of several patterns. The main part is based on McCall´s 6243, but once again combined into one front and two back pieces. I realized that I have used this pattern either in the original form or combined for FOUR times by now, making this the most used pattern in my stash! You can see the three earlier versions here, here and here.

Since I really liked the sleeves of the Baby Blue Stripe Dress (Burdastyle 1/2014, model 107)and I wanted to add some interest to the otherwise once again, plain pattern, I re-drew the armscyes of the bodice in order to add the sleeves. I was worried about this, thinking that I may spoil the whole thing by doing so, but to my big surprise I got it right with the first try.

DSCN2667

After the sleeves were in, the neckline still seemed to lack something, so I picked a random dress collar (it was another Burda pattern) and followed the pattern at first, but ended up changing it quite a bit. Again, considering the randomness of this, the collar looks quite good to me, maybe it could extend just a little bit further to the center of the back.

DSCN2684DSCN2666The hemline is unfinished, which is the first time I tried this. At first I planned hemming it properly, but the dress would have been a tad too short after that and I have seen this kind of shortcut/design element on RTW items, so I decided to let it be.

The photos were taken on the day after the party, because as always I was in such a hurry that I finished the dress an hour before leaving the house and there was simply no time. However, I got several compliments on the dress and it felt really good!

Another piece of news is the glasses that you see on one of the photos – these are my first ever and I should wear them while driving or working long hours on the computer in order to avoid getting my eyes tired, but I like them a lot and sometimes decidedly wear them elsewhere as well.

Sewing-wise the next project should be the annual Christmas party dress. I have the idea and the fabric, now I just have to perfect my time-management skills in order to finish it on time!

Out Of The Closet: Taffeta Stripe Dress

When I saw this striped polyester tafetta fabric on a trip to Estonia back in 2010, the perfect pattern for it immediately popped up in my mind – Burda Easy Fashion spring/summer 2009 dress. This particular magazine is one of my absolute favourites since I would still like to make most of the models in it. There are two versions of this dress in the magazine, one of them with a bow belt:

This is my fabric:

And this is my dress:

ML003

ML001

ML002

My dear friend Tiina, who is a photographer (her works can be seen here), took the photos of the dress and we had a full session, playing around with different accessories:

ML004

ML007

I enjoyed sewing this dress very much, the pattern has a great fit, no alterations whatsoever were needed. The only downside was that the fabric is not very forgiving – once the seam is sewed, the stitch marks stay and if you need to pick the seam, the marks cannot be removed by pressing or anything. On my dress, they are visible on one of the side seams of the skirt, but in order to notice this you have to look for it, so I am not letting myself be bothered by it.

Because this project was my very first using a fabric with stripes, the bodice and skirt stripes do not match up. It didn´t even occur to me to check it until the dress was nearly completed 🙂 But as all of the “Out Of The Closet” items that I am showing you are the first I made after a break of several years in sewing (and prior to that I was a teenage sewist, not paying too much attention to anything, I didn´t even press the garment while in process!), it taught me a valuable lesson. Because of this mistake, I only wear the dress with a belt, so that the discontinuity of the stripes doesn´t strike the eye.

The Easy Fashion also suggests sewing a tulle petticoat, but I didn´t since I am happy with the puffiness of the skirt the way it is.

Although the dress was finished in 2010, I wore it for the first time in February 2012, for the reception of the Independence Day of Estonia at King Georges hotel, organized by the Estonian Embassy in Athens. It is a very nice tradition to invite all the local Estonians and I attended every time. The tradition continued this year as well, but as some readers already know, I am currently in Estonia and couldn’t participate. Here is a photo from February 2012:

And last but not least, two close ups:

DSC05108

Out Of The Closet: Little House On The Prairie Tunic

I haven´t mentioned it here, but although I currently live in my homeland Estonia, I don´t live in my hometown. My home at the moment is in a tiny seaside town with a population of 11 000 people. Coming from the overcrowded city of Athens, the change is really huge. It has its downsides as the variety of restaurants, bars or entertainment is really small. On the other hand, I walk to work and in 10-minute walking distance from my house there is a nice swimming pool. No squeezing in the midst of the crowds in the metro, no heavy clouds of exhaust to inhale! In spring and summer I will probably enjoy living here more, because I can then use my bicycle for getting around and for getting a workout. I really LOVE cycling!

Another downside, though, is that I don´t have any old friends or family in this town and everyone I know right now is from work. Immediately it brings about the problem of taking photos for the blog!  I have arranged with a colleague to take some photos if I am really in trouble, but I don´t want to make it a burden on anyone, so I´d rather wait until I visit my hometown and have someone take the photos then.

I spent this weekend in the capital, Tallinn, for a change, since the past 2 weekends I didn´t go anywhere. I had a good time, ate out, went to the movies and had some photos taken!  And because the Stardust coat is not proceeding much (I am afraid I still have to ask a friend to send me more fabric from Athens), once again I am showing you something I made before starting this blog.

It is the tunic from Burda Easy Fashion autumn-winter 2009.

The photoshoot was not an easy task, as the weather has been gloomy for the past days (weeks actually!) and a good light is really an issue. The following photos were taken during approximately 10 minutes, which was the lucky 10 minutes of sunshine we got on Saturday, believe it or not!

I need a special mood to wear it, because as you can see for yourself, it is a bit of a hippie-style or little-house-on-the-prairie-style, if such a thing exists! And honestly, I don´t feel like this very often, but when I do, I enjoy wearing the tunic a lot! And as my friend Taavi, who took the photos, pointed out, it is an investment piece for the future, if I decide to get pregnant 😀

Once again I am surprised at myself, since this is one of the first things I made when I started sewing again, and it is not exactly an easy project with the buttoned front, lots of gathering and plaid fabric.

I cut size 38 as nearly always with Burda patterns and didn´t make any alterations. The wooden toggles are from a dress I bought, but didn´t like them there, so I removed them and used them for the tunic. The fabric is some kind of a cotton mix, I believe, it is nicely lightweight, but wrinkles quite easily.

The boots are a cheap pair of a Greek brand called Hunter, but I loved them for the colour.

And last, but not least, remember this? :

The basic pattern is the same for these two items! The bodice part is the same, but the front yoke has pintucks and bow tie, the sleeves are different and there is remarkably less gathering on the blouse, but the bodice part is exactly the same!

The technical drawings once again:

Generally I would say that Burda Easy Fashion used to have more complicated patterns than they do now. I still buy the magazine, but they haven´t been able to  beat the 2009 issues, both spring/summer and autumn/winter.

Out Of The Closet: Fur Vest

Hi from Estonia!

Yes, this is the huge change in my life that I mentioned in my previous post! It is hard for me to write about it, without sharing too many personal details, but I guess I owe an explanation, why the background of my photos will be somewhat different from what you would expect from someone living in a Mediterranean country like Greece.

I think everyone has heard at least something about the situation in Greece, since it has been a hot international topic for the past few years already. I have lived in Greece for the past five years, seeing the situation worsen year by year. I am actually a physiotherapist by profession, but during this time, have only been able to work as a volunteer, because the Greek authorities have been extremely slow in the process of my diploma recognition. By now, even the recognition would not help much, because the (official) unemployment rate is 25%.

I am not exactly a stay at home mom type, so this time has been quite tough, although my fiance has been extremely supportive. Nevertheless, when I was offered an interesting job back in Estonia and considering the outlook of Greece, we made a common decision, that I have to go. There will be a lot of travelling, Skype conversations and missing each other, but we will give it a try, hoping that it would not last too long and that we can live under the same roof again soon.

For now, the title of my blog will become a misnomer, but I have decided not to change it or move to a new address.

Travelling with 150 kg of luggage was an experience, but things went very smoothly and I hope to be more or less settled in my new hometown by the end of the next week. I also brought my sewing machine, which thankfully fitted perfectly into my hand luggage, but unfortunately had to leave my dressmaker´s dummy in Athens for now.

As I said in my previous post, I haven´t been able to keep sewing due to the packing and moving process and since I will be working full-time, probably will not keep up the pace as I used to. Until then, I am pulling out a few items from my closet, that I have made prior to this blog, to keep you entertained 🙂

As I woke up in my parents´ house today, the weather was something of a winter wonderland – blue skies and thick fresh white snow that all came down during 24 hours after my arrival to Estonia. It is this years first snow and a tad early, normally the first snow falls in November.

It was a nice chance to take photos of the faux fur vest, based on Burda Easy Fashion AW 2009 issue vest pattern, for which once again I only have a photo to show (when I open the box that contains my pattern stash, I will be able to provide the technical drawing as well).

 

AN UPDATE:

I cut my vest way shorter, hip length and also added wooden toggle buttons and sewed loops between the fur and lining of the opposite breast of the vest. I think it is my first garment with lining and although maybe not the easiest due to the fur, it taught me a lot.

The pattern itself is very easy, but the fur makes the sewing process quite exhausting – the material is thick and if you make a mistake, picking out the seams is not exactly fun. When I cut the material – on the wrong side, using a razor – it looked as if we had a sick cat in our house, the tufts of fur were all over the place. At first I wasn´t sure that anything could come out of the whole project, it seemed too messy. But here it is:

Due to the mild autumns of Greece, I have worn it quite a lot and enjoyed it very much. I got lucky with the fur, because it feels very nice and luxurious, I haven´t seen anything comparable in the fabric stores anymore. I think it is best worn with a belt, otherwise it can create a somewhat boxy figure.