Cold Shoulder Hot Pattern Top

Hi!

The month of September is coming to an end and what a month that has been!

The latest high emotions come from the sunny holiday in Greece, which for me was extra special because it was the first time back there since returning to Estonia four years ago, after having spent five years in Athens.

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We started from Athens in order to see the mandatory sights and I also managed to squeeze in time for a couple of friends, whom I hadn´t seen all this time! Then we hired a car and drove to the island of Evia, which is connected to the mainland by a bridge. It is not so well known as several other Greek islands, although it is the second largest after Crete, but we had a marvellous time nevertheless. Since the high tourist season is over, there were only a few people at the organized beaches, but we even avoided that by discovering completely secluded beaches that were only for us to enjoy. This is real luxury!

I managed to make two new pieces for the trip and the top you see here took me exactly a day from cutting the fabric in the morning to finishing it at around 10 PM. Of course I took breaks as well for cooking and eating and packing (since our flight was 3AM!), but it was such an enjoyable day, a true holiday doing only the stuff I love and really nothing else!

The pattern is HP 1196 Metropolitan Urban Gypsy Blouse from hotpatterns.com, my first ever pattern from them and it turned out to be a great experience! I discovered the pattern thanks to probably the most productive and inspiring sewing blogger, Erica Bunker, whose version is here!

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Since I started contemplating making the top just a few days prior to the actual acceptance of the challenge, I purchased the download and print-at-home version of the pattern.

I cut size 10, but as you can see, it is really generous and what actually matters the most, is the shoulder circumference. The fabric is a piece of chambray that I got from Berlin last year, for like 6 euros!

Similarly to Erica, I had no issues with the pattern, it is actually very easy to sew up, but I suggest following the instructions carefully, as everything will turn out beautifully and there is no need for shortcuts, as eventually they will become obstacles when finishing the top. I almost tried to switch the sequence of hemming the sleeve ties and assembling the sleeves, but I quickly realized that sticking to the instructions is the easiest and shortest way.

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The shorts that I am wearing are also made by me, several years ago back in Athens, actually, take a look here.dscn9967

I used bias tape bought during the same trip to Berlin to finish the seam allowances, but I didn´t have enough for the hem. I wish i would have realized it earlier, since I would prefer the hem to be finished with such a cool plaid tape instead of the plain white that I had to go with eventually. I also created tabs for the curved hems meeting point at the side seam in order to give it more strength.

While in Athens, it would have been unimaginable not to go to the numerous fabric shops, not much has changed since I wrote the post on this topic. I got a piece of white cotton batiste and 2 meters of nude tulle craziness – I really hope I can turn this into a dress combining it with sharp black. In addition, I got two pieces of fabric for cushions-to-be for our house.

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Now, I realize this is a sewing blog, but I still cannot hold back the other big news and events that made this September so memorable. Firstly, as you might know already, I am a big fan of Ludovico Einaudi, and have been attending his concerts in Copenhagen and in Helsinki. Shortly after we returned from Helsinki, I discovered that he will be performing in Tallinn on my 33rd birthday! There was NO WAY to be absent from this, so in an instant we got new tickets for Tallinn too 🙂

I have no photos of the concert or before or after, although we had a great night with friends, I can only say that I was wearing the Black Swan Dress as I did for my first Ludovico concert.

The reason for no photos is actually so controversial – I was too excited and too emotional that night because my boyfriend had decided that he no longer wants to be my boyfriend and he asked me to marry him just a few short hours before the concert! But no photos of that night, would you believe?

So I will just share a few from Athens, the rest of the trip together with a new dress is coming soon in the next post!

 

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End of Summer Dress

Hi!

I am posting this with great effort to avoid leaving two months between posts. Well, date-wise it is two months, but I have a few good excuses for this.

We are all busy and sometimes beyond busy but when it comes to buying a house and moving in while keeping up with the university (yes, even in summer…) and work duties at the same time, I think it is understandable why I haven´t been able to sew much! However, there is a project I managed to finish today, which had been a long time UFO (unfinished object).

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It is a summer dress that I started already last summer. Of course it shouldn´t be such a long project, but it is definitely not a quick make either, this is for sure.

The pattern is from Burda Easy Spring/Summer edition 2014. I don´t really think that this pattern should be called easy (at least for me it was the first try to sew this kind of elastic shirring), but I guess they refer to the fact that the pattern pieces do not need to be traced, since they are already on a pattern paper, ready to be cut out in the suitable size. My size was as always, 38.

I used a lightweight denim fabric for my version, and at first the thing that attracted me to this was that my boyfriend has a denim shirt in exactly the same fabric. By now the fabrics do not look the same anymore, because he has been wearing his shirt often while my dress just sat there unfinished!

I suspect there is a reason why the dress is not shown from behind in the magazine photos, as the back detail doesn´t fit very well. I made several attempts to make mine fit better, but in the end I just gave up and left it as is:

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As you can see, the back details are winging a bit. Now looking at this, one easy solution could be to overlap the details a little and simply change the position of the back button.I might actually try it..

Another detail that complicated my version of the dress is that I decided to line the whole thing, not just the back details. So in a sense it was like sewing two dresses. It makes the dress hang a little more stiff, because I used cotton fabric for the lining, and maybe also a tad warmer that an average summer dress should be, but the deep cut neckline should compensate for this. In fact, I seem to have only one bra that fits well under such a low-cut dress.

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But yes, the photos are taken at my first real home after my parents house as it is not a rental apartment anymore! This also means that among all the other works we need to do here, I will also get my own permanent sewing space for the first time!

I have been sewing on several kitchen tables, on a dining table and at the desk for all these years and my own sewing space that doesn´t need to be cleared up after when I am done for the day has been one of the main things I dreamed about when imagining my own home. I will have to share it with my boyfriends office space, but the table will be mine only!

It will take some time until I can share any details about the sewing space as there are a bunch of more urgent things we need to get started with before, but I am willing to wait!

Until soon!

Princess Jasmine Pants

This being the longest winter after seven years of living on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea, I could easily switch to summer right now. Instead, we have a wonderful winter weather today here in Estonia, very appropriate for our Independence Day.

And I have completed a pair of summer pants in anticipation of my favourite season in Estonia. I just felt I needed a change in the battle against my Stardust Coat that is still in process, although thankfully it looks promising already.

I hope to make an update on the process in near future, but for now, here are the Princess Jasmine Pants:

Patrones No. 316 pants

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Now that I think of it, it is pretty funny that I made a Wilma Flintsone Dress in summer. Maybe while others draw their inspiration from the latest catwalks, mine subconsciously comes from cartoons?

The pattern is from Patrones No. 316, that I ordered a while ago because of some great jumpsuit patterns this issue contains. But I started with those baggy pants instead, just because I happened to have the suitable fabric in my stash. The fabric is some kind of cotton blend, quite lightweight and at first I thought to make it into a dress.

The pants are low-rise and really baggy, with six decorative metallic buttons in front and 3 at both ankle cuffs. There is an invisible zipper on the left hip and the pattern originally calls for pockets that I omitted. The pattern is model No 10 in Patrones No 316:

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Patrones 316 bombacho pants

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As I was cutting the pieces out, I realized that it was impossible to cut the legs in one piece because of the amount of fabric I had. After a lot of brainstorming I decided I can live with horizontal seams on the backside of the pant legs. In the end I even topstitched the connecting seams with pink thread to pretend that it was intentional. This gave me the idea to topstitch in the first place. I was thinking to use the traditional thick orange thread used for  jeans topstitching but then changed my mind and went with a bit unconventional pink.

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I love the buttons I found, although the twelve of them cost me more than the fabric and other notions together! They come in silver as well and you will probably see the silver version on a certain coat soon 😉

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I am quite proud of lining the sides up so well, but not so proud of the pink zipper slightly showing, although it is invisible. I just couldn’t resist using a pink zipper as I wanted the zipper pull to add to the pink topstitching. With a good ironing though, the zipper shows much less, so I am going to keep it as it is.

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It is marked as “costura facil”, meaning it is an easy pattern to sew and I quite agree. The reason why it took me longer than it should have, is that I used bias tape (pink!) to finish all the seam allowances and lately I only sew in the weekends.

As with my Patrones shorts, the fit is very good, I cut Patrones size 42 and I didn’t have to make any major alterations to the pattern. Although I don’t exactly feel like a princess in them, I think I will enjoy wearing these easygoing pants very much this summer!

As nearly all my summer shoes are still in Athens, I have no shoes to show you today!  However, I don’t think I would match these pants with high heels as modeled in Patrones mag.

Happy sewing and Happy Independence Day to all Estonians!

Patrones Shorts

I was so happy when I got my first and so far the last Patrones magazine this summer, but when I took a closer look at the patterns, I got a bit put off with the fact that the pattern sheets only come in 3 sizes and if one falls in between of those sizes, the tracing can be painstaking. They offer sizes 40-44-48 and I found myself being 42. Just for your information, I wear RTW garments in sizes 36 and 38, so already the big number seemed scary enough.

In addition to the models I showed in my earlier post, I also instantly liked these shorts:

I got a piece of nice dark blue stretch denim from Estonia and finally decided to give these shorts a try last week. I traced size 42 and hoped for the best.

At first I tried to follow the instructions, but realized soon that instead of  brushing up my dormant Spanish (I managed to get myself to a pretty usable level for my Erasmus exchange student period in Canary Islands several years ago), I can do without them. So I continued on my own and thankfully didn´t have any problems whatsoever.

I was very pleasantly surprised with these shorts, because I think the fit is perfect! There is a difference of 30 cm between my waist and hip circumference which sometimes makes it hard to find pants that really fit. It is the typical problem of fitting at the hips and being too large at the waist.

I couldn´t believe my eyes when these shorts fitted me at the hips and at the waist without ANY adjustments at all. The best part is that when I sit, there is no ugly gaping on the back, so I don´t have to worry about publicly flashing my underwear.

The trickiest step was the topstitching. I definitely wanted to use a thick orange thread similar to the RTW jeans topstitching and a double needle for more professional look. But my sewing machine protested because of the thickness of the fabric and the whole process was very time and thread consuming. Plus, I broke two needles. Truth be told, I was pretty exhausted when I got this done. The rest however, was not complicated at all, so I will make these shorts again for sure, but not in denim. Or at least in a thinner kind of denim.

Instead of several smaller belt loops, I made three bigger ones which serve more of a decorative than practical purpose.

Here are my shorts:

I am not really sure which way to prefer them – either straight or with rolled-up hems? They seem to be wider than in the picture of the magazine, but since my legs are not exactly thin, I think that slightly wider shorts look better on me.

Another question – do you think I should also use orange thread for sewing the hems?

In order to reduce the bulk for the pocket, I used pink gingham. As it was the first time I made such pockets (I am more into dresses, as you know), I didn´t realize that this cute detail will not show on the inside of the shorts. I should have reconstructed the pockets in a way that the whole pocket would have been gingham and only the upper, visible part of it would still be denim. But instead of undoing the whole process so far, I decided to take it as a lesson, and let it be.

As the first encounter with Patrones patterns ended so well, I am really interested in making more of their garments, just to see if I simply got lucky or have I really found perfectly fitting patterns for me.

The blue suede shoes I am wearing are Logan Crossing, a lucky bargain from a year ago. They seem to be sold out anywhere online as far as I checked.

photo from polyvore.com

And last but not least, I have made progress on Stefania´s dress. She came over today for the first fitting and so far it looks promising. It seems I don´t have to make too many alterations and thankfully she was also happy with the length, because in my impatience, I had basically finished the balloon skirt of the dress and changing that would have been a lot of fuss.

Here is a small peek: