Poodle Blouse in Istanbul

I spent the last week in Istanbul, or as Greeks still call it, Konstantinoupoli!

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The aim of the trip was a work-related scientific conference with a rather full program – from 7.30 AM to 6 PM and this from Monday to Saturday, but nevertheless, I managed to see some highlights of this amazing city.

I was especially lucky because I had a very helpful local guide (and his friend who actually works as a tour guide!!) who showed me and one of my colleagues around after the conference sessions. The local guide was a former PhD student from Turkey whom my father, who is a professor at the university, supervised several years ago in Estonia and I had his contacts after he came over for dinner in my parents house once. We had chatted maybe a few times during the past years over social media, but when the conference was confirmed, I told him I would be in town and he turned out to be extremely hospitable.

I didn´t go to Istanbul empty handed, I wanted to use this opportunity to take some photos of my lates sewing project in a more exotic environment than usually.

Do you remember this fun poodle print silk crepe de chine from my trip to Helsinki?

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Just in time for Istanbul, I turned this and a scrap of plain black crepe de silk into this:

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I have used this pattern (model 16, Patrones No 318) once before, and also wore it at the conference:

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As you can see, this time I omitted the sleeves, the result of a long debate with myself – since after my first fabric shopping in Helsinki and pre-shrinking the fabric, it lost exactly enough length and width to forbid me from cutting the sleeves, I bought somemor on my second trip….. just to decide against the sleeves in the end.

Since the shirt is so easy to make, having no darts whatsoever, it was a good project for my first ever silk sewing. To my surprise, the fabric behaved well during the process and I am especially proud of the buttonholes, that are perfectly in line and equal in size. I don´t know if and when I will ever be relaxed while sewing them!

I used French seams for shoulder and side seams and at the armholes I just folded the fabric over twice and sewed.

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Some close ups back at home:

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Of course I looked around for fabrics in Istanbul as well, but I wasn´t so lucky with this. Some of my colleagues had randomly wandered around and reached a square somewehere between the Grand Bazaar and Spice Bazaar, which was surrounded by fabric shops and actually a bronze statue of a fabric merchant unfolding some fabric was standing in the middle of it, but I didn´t manage to find this wonderland.

Instead, I found a well-kept outlet at Grand Bazaar, selling Ikat silk and silk/cotton mix. Also some other traditional fabrics, but after a lot of thinking, I ended up with 1,6 m of hand-loomed silk ikat, which is exceptionally wide  – 80 cm. You can see me holding it in the next photo:

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As you can see, the decision wasn´t easy, but I am very satisfied with the result. Believe it or not, but this is the only fabric I bought on this trip!

Walking down on Mahmoud Pasa street, I discovered some shops selling all kinds of crazy lace and glittery lycra, but I did not really stop by there. Then there were also countless shops for buttons, ribbons, bias tape and whatever you can imagine, but I cannot buy these notions without a certain fabric and pattern in my mind, so no shopping here, either. I guess there will be a moment where I will regret it, though 🙂

ImageImageImageGenerally, the whole experience of the city, as much as we could see it besides the lectures, was wonderful. The traditional tulip festival (tulip is the national flower of Turkey) was in full bloom with unreal color combinations and thanks to the local friends, we managed to drive around even at night, when, I dare say, the historic city center looks even more impressive.

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Chain Print Blouse

A while ago I showed you my favourites from Patrones 318, among them the following blouse, model 16:

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I liked it, but at the same time thought that it would be slightly boring to make. That was until I found a fabric that immediately brought this pattern to my mind.

At first I wanted to be ready with the project by my colleague’s birthday party, but traditionally was short of time and finished the last buttonholes and sewing the buttons the day after the party. This is the result:

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As there are no darts and no princess seams, this blouse was really easy to make. Once again a pattern from Patrones fits me perfectly, I cut my usual Patrones size 42. Due to the simplicity of the project and the type of the fabric, I decided to give French seams a try. It does require some extra work, but I really like the result. The garment looks very tidy from outside as well as inside. Here is a good tutorial that gave me assurance for finishing the armholes with the same technique.

The hardest part was the buttonholes. Not because I wouldn’t know how to use my sewing machine, but I was hoping to finish right before the party, started to rush and as a result messed up a few times.

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The skirt I am wearing is from summer, more details here.

I also tried to style the blouse for a more casual look. I am not really sure about the 70’s style jeans, but decide for yourself.

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As you can see from the photos, the sun is really intense. We have had some really nice days here in Estonia, I can feel spring approaching and the days are longer and longer. It is nice to wake up and see the sun rising. The darkness of  November and December seems like a bad dream now.

Another piece of good news is that thanks to a tip from a cousin of mine, I got myself another sewing dummy! It is actually a decoration mannequin from a shop that is moving to new premises and they are selling their mannequins for 10 and 20 euros (20 for a tall stand). As normally they only sell clothes and accessories, I didn’t take the tip very seriously. Especially because although it is a chain of shops, the mannequins were allegedly for sale only in Narva, the easternmost town of Estonia, where the majority of inhabitants are Russians.

But a colleague of mine has an adventurous mind plus we have two curious Austrian students practicing in our hospital right now and they also got excited of the plan. So we basically drove more than 300 km to Narva and back to get the dummy. Of course we did a lot of sightseeing as well, but the whole idea started off the tip from my cousin.

A few photos of the trip here:

Palmse Manor

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Narva

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The dummy is a female shape in proportions of a Barbie doll. The waist circumference is 50 cm while the bust is nearly 90! But in order to photograph my projects it is just fine.

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And finally, the shoes you see here are both Nine West, first the Pugnose, and secondly the Oh Dear wedges:

Nine West Pugnose

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