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Gutes neues!*

*Happy New Year!

I welcomed 2016 in Munich, Germany where I spent the last days of 2015.

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One of my former colleagues now lives and works in a small Bavarian town Bad Tölz, just an hour by train from Munich and sometime in September we decided with my boyfriend to go and pay her a visit.

The trip lasted just a few days, but it feels like it has been a long week since we did and saw so many things – visited one fashion and two art exhibitions, travelled to Salzburg, Austria for a day-trip, got acquainted with the history of Audi cars and wandered around Munich and Bad Tölz, of course.

I think the highlight of the whole trip was the amazing exhibition of Jean Paul Gaultier´s haute couture fashion From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk at Kunsthalle Munich.

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I had never seen any haute couture show close up and I was totally amazed by the abundance of details, the crazyness of the ideas, the unbelieveable use of materials and how it altogether looks really-really beautiful.

The exhibition has been displayed in several locations since 2011, the one in Munich will remain open until February 14th, so if possible, go and see it in the heart of Europe before it is taken to Seoul where it will be from March 26 to June 30, 2016!

I am adding a few photos here, but there are many better quality ones out online, if you search. I am just trying to show the level of detail in some of the creations.

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We also saw the special exhibition of Klee & Kandinsky in Lenbachhaus and the current exhibitions in Pinakothek der Moderne.

There was a slight disappointment in Ingolstadt as we went there to see the Audi Forum and mainly I wanted to see how the cars are made in the plant, but we could only see the museum part, since the assembly work was stopped for holidays. As a teenager I once visited Mercedes Benz plant in Germany (I don´t remember where exactly and it appears there are several) and it was a very exciting experience.

However, totally unexpectedly the small town of Bad Tölz offered its own highlights to our trip. This is a place I really want to go back to for a relaxing and sporty holiday in summertime, since you can do water sports on the river Isar and cycle or walk on its banks in beautiful surroundings. Somehow I took only a few photos (probably because I was all ooh! and aah! for the beauty of it), but the atmosphere there was great, complete with beautiful traditional houses and bright sunlight.

This idyllic place also has a fabric shop that offers, among the dirndl-fabrics, some interesting fashion fabrics as well. However, I did not buy anything, as I had already bought too much on the first day in Munich.

I only visited two shopping malls (Karstad and Oberpollinger) and their fabric departments, because of lack of time, but since everything was on sale, I got more than I should have at a great price.

My favourite is Karstad where I got the first two from:

They are both jerseys, the first more like a scuba knit and heavier, while the second one is more lightweight. The price? 6.99 and 4.50 euros per meter respectively!

The prints are quite loud but hey, this is why I sew – to have the luxury of occasionally extravagant and maybe not so seriously practical clothes since I can make whatever I like! I also got a perfectly matching piece of lining for a dress I am planning to make and some special needles for microfibre fabrics.

Some photos from Karstad:

From Oberpollinger I only got the last piece of a dark green stretch fabric, exactly enough for a pencil skirt. Their selection is also very interesting though, I had to restrict myself very hard.

On the last day of the year we visited the Festung Hohensalzburg in Salzburg, Austria, just before heading back to Munich to celebrate the Sylvester (New Years Eve) with our friends.

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Happy New Year! For all the sewing fans out there, I wish creative ideas and lots of finished objects!

Blue Cross Dress

Hello all!

I once again did not manage to post anything in November, but it has been really tough to balance work, school and everything else that I want to and have to do lately.

Nevertheless, I was determined to continue the tradition of an annual party dress! The photos, however, were taken just today, as I didn´t manage to do it at the Christmas party in more festive surroundings.

 

The pattern is originally from Knipmode (I am not sure which issue), but I got my pattern from its German version called Fashion Style, from August 2015. I cut the size 38 for the bodice and gradually widened to size 40 for the skirt.

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The dress is fully lined and due to the interesting back, was a bit of a challenge to complete and fit. I think the dress still is a bit wide for me when I look at the back cross detail, but I actually did not notice it before so now that I have been wearing it in public I think I am completely done with it and there is no way I would rip it open once again. Anyway, I guess anyone who has tried to take photos of their garments, knows that details otherwise not visible have the habit to appear in the photos.

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Despite of that, the dress feels very comfortable to wear and although the fabric is just a cheap polyester, it is somewhat heavy-ish and falls nicely. I suspect that the back detail would also fit better if the fabric had more stability, like the cotton stretch that has been used in the magazine samples. In order to offer some stability for the back detail, I used fusible interfacing for the outer details of the back.

The seam allowances are finished with bias tape and I used French seams on the lining.

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I really like the pattern, since it canbe combined with a jacket and then look totally suitable for office/work environment, if necessary.

The shoes are Dune Claudia, super comfy party shoes, I also have them in black patent/suede combination. I know that quite a lot of people find animal prints tacky, but I really loved this fun combination with blue suede and they are a nice accent for the one-color dress.

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I am afraid new year will start as busy as the ending one, so I don´t know when I will be able to post something again, but I am still spending the scarce free time I have with my sewing machine.

I hope you have wonderful holidays and a Happy New Year!

 

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 :)

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 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.

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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.

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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!

The Copycat Skirt

Hello!

Summer holidays are done for this year and so seems to be the summer – the moment August turned to September, it started pouring rain and it actually looks as if we have skipped a month and landed in October all of a sudden.

The second week of my holidays I was being just totally lazy at my parents house, staying up late, getting up late, meeting a few friends and also doing some easy sewing. Thankfully I had my brother take the photos of my new pencil skirt straight away, as it would be impossible to do it now when the weather has turned so bad.

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I must admit that I got inspired for this look by one of my favourite, if not THE favourite sewist and blogger, Erica B, more specifically by her post, which I now realize is a few years past already!

My fabric is a quite elastic cotton+polyester+elastan mix and not brocade as hers, but I really liked the look of some fancier fabric combined with a simple denim shirt, so I just… copied the look! Hence the Copycat Skirt!

A certain cat was involved as well (pun intended) – my parents´ Käbi (Pinecone):

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I used the pencil skirt pattern from BurdaStyle 8/2015, model 118:

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The length of the pattern suggests that the skirt should be worn with heels and I would totally love the longer look, but my reality is that most of my day at work I actually wear a polo shirt and sweatpants, just being properly dressed during the first few hours of the workday. So if I really wanted to wear it daily, I needed to shorten it to make it look nice with flats, as heels would be way too much for those few hours. This is why in my case the slit in the back would actually not have been necessary at all, but I still kept it, although together with the skirt, it got a lot shorter.

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I cut the size 38 at the waist and widened it to 40 at the hips. The skirt is very well-fitting and comfortable to wear. I especially like the high waist, which I think gives a more feminine shilouette than the lower fitting versions.

The fabric was bought on my trip to Berlin in July. I like that it goes well with the denim, but also with dark blue, white and even cognac-coloured tops, giving lots of possibilities for mix and match.

Adventures in Hungary

Hi!

This years holiday took me to Hungary for a week full of unexpected events – a thunderstorm that robbed a big part of central Budapest of electricity for more than 12 hours and for a slightly shorter period, of water as well. In addition to that, our brand new rental car (less than 3000 km on the odometer) broke down on the first day. It may sound like an awful week, but my boyfriend has an extremely patient and calm mind, which he maintains even in situations where I would get totally upset, so in the end I only have positive emotions when I look back at the past week. Plus, I got a new dress to show you!

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The dress is a simple and quick make, the pattern is model 109 B from BurdaStyle 04/2013, which is exactly what popped up in my head when I saw this pastel-toned Missoni-ish net at a local fabric store. I immediately found a matching cotton/poly mix fabric for lining and then combined all that with a cute metal zipper for the back.

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The pattern is very shoulder-revealing and the armholes generous, so not every bra fits under that dress – my advice to anyone trying this at home would be lifting the armscye by up to 2 cm.

As you can see, I also made some minor changes to the pattern by omitting the side zipper and back neck slit, using an exposed zipper on the back instead.

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Some more detailed photos here:

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The photos were taken at Takler Kuria wine estate in Szekszard where we spent nearly two days just enjoying the surroundings, the wines and food.

Prior to that we spent a few days in Budapest, where I did some fabric shopping as always. It seems that sewing is popular in Hungary as the ease of finding fabric shops reminded me of that in Portugal, where in addition to the shops that I found online, there where several that I just stumbled upon in city centers.

I visited two shops in Budapest, but also found one in Keszthely, Szombathely and even in a small place like Bonyhad where we just happened to stop for a moment.

The shops in Budapest were both special – the Mathe Textil shop is probably the most beautiful I have ever visited and Kis Brammer, which was a minute to walk from our apartment, managed to seduce me into spending 60 euros for a piece of fabric that hopefully will be enough for a skirt!

Mathe textil shop interiors with solid wood panels, mirrors and soft red carpets:

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Here is a photo from Kris Brammer tiny boutique as well and another one including the fabric I got:DSCN2331DSCN2333

The fabric selection in Kis Brammer is very luxurious – lots of silks, wool and lace and the prices are accordingly high. They also have a great choice of wedding dress materials for brides-to-be. The only downside is that the shop is so tiny that it is difficult to see everything and due to the shop assistants´ poor English, it was also hard to communicate.

The final three days of the trip we were based by Lake Balaton, but did lots of sightseeing, both by car and cycling in the western part of Hungary, up to the lovely town Köszeg close to the Austrian border.

The most interesting experience was the thermal lake in Heviz, but also the thermal baths of Szechenyi in Budapest. The water in Heviz was 32*C and the warmest pool in Szechenyi is 38*C, all natural. I preferred Heviz, though, because it was less crowded during our visit (also meaning the changing rooms were nicely clean) and it felt more natural, a total relaxation.

A few photos of the trip here:

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Sailor Top

Hello!

I have been enjoying my Colour Clash Top so much that I decided to make another version of it. Who would have thought!

As you know, the pattern is model 130 from Burdastyle 9-2012.

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This time, I gathered both sideseams of the top. I am not really sure if it was a good idea since this creates countless folds of fabric right on my waist.

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I don´t know the exact content of the fabric, but it is very thin and not really stretchy, an unplanned buy upon a sudden flash of an idea. I only wish I could sew half as fast as I buy fabrics.

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I used a piece of cotton lace for the back neckline on the inside:

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Anyway, if you are in need of a quick sewing satisfaction, this is a pattern I recommend!

Baby Blue Stripe Dress in Berlin

Hello!

As I mentioned in my previous post, this year is rich in travels and the trip of July took me to the German capital, Berlin.

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I have visited Berlin twice before, the last time being 15 years ago and the first when I was only seven years old. I still remember the wall that had been pulled down two years prior, but remnants of which were visible everywhere. Today 1300 meters of it is still erect and preserved.

The trip was a short getaway with my 18-year old brother, and I think we both had fun. He helped me to take the photos of my latest project as well:

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It is model 107 from BurdaStyle 1/2014:

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I made quite a few changes to the original construction. Firstly, because my main fabric is a see-through crochet lace, bought from Vienna last year, I doubled the bodice with beige stretch lining and that saved me from the facing you can see in the tech drawing.

I also turned the the two pleats on the back of the bodice into darts, because otherwise the fit was too loose.

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Thirdly, my version is about 15 cm shorter than the original pattern. I just felt that the gathered skirt looked so much better shorter. Longer, below the knee length looks best when the skirt is more fitted, in my opinion.

As you may have noticed, there is a back center seam on my version. This is due to the limited amount of fabric I had. I guess I could have managed to squeeze even the sleeves out, but I deliberately used a different fabric there.

The dress is very airy and nice to wear in summer, I also haven´t experienced any excessive gaping of the front wrap detail, which I thought might be a problem.

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Some dressform photos here as well:

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Berlin surprised me with two things: firstly, the weather was so moody, it could turn from perfect sunshine to heavy rain within just a few minutes and then back again. Secondly, although Germans are known for their punctuality and precision, trusting the direction signs in order to find the Kulturforum complex, took us to a detour of a good 45 minutes, while the thing itself was a ten minute walk from the metro station we started at.

We visited the fabulous Mario Testino In Your Face photo exhibition and also a great exhibition about impressionist and expressionist painting, Im Ex. Of course we didn´t miss the famous Pergamon Museum, although unfortunately the biggest exhibit, the Pergamon Altar, was sealed for repair and maintenance works.

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When visiting a place, I always try to imagine living there and the feeling I get when I imagine myself being a local, pretty much defines whether I like the place or not. I liked Berlin. We happened to stay in an area loaded with small shops and cosy eateries, packed with locals and took long late-night walks accompanied by the best ice-cream I have had in a while, so it was easy to like this city!

Of course, I always look up some fabric shops. Remembering the trip to Düsseldorf in autumn, when I saw the Karstad shopping mall, I knew that the 4th or 5th floor would also have a selection of fashion fabrics and I was correct. I was lucky, because they had sales going on and I got two fabrics I have been thinking to buy from Estonia, at less than half the price!

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The other shop I visited was a rather small one named Knopfloch in the vicinity of Alexanderplatz, where I got some sewing machine needles. They mainly had jersey and various cotton print fabrics, but nothing that I could no resist.

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A short distance from our hotel, there was also a tiny shop named Frau Tulpe, which opens at 11 on Saturdays so I got there too early and didn´t return later due to lack of time and the fact that it looked more like a craft shop, offering mostly colourful cottons.

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And finally, there is the Turkish market at Maybachufer, which among other goods offers fabrics and trims and notions and as I heard from one local, has the best selection of that on Saturdays.

The prices are really cheap, most of the fabrics I saw were sold at 3 euros per meter, but the selection mostly consisted of cottons, cheap jerseys and some novelty fabrics. I got a nice cotton fabric that looks almost like lightweight denim or linen and some cotton bias tape that sold at 50 cents/m for plain colours and 1 euro/meter for patterned ones.

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As an experience, the Turkish market is really nice, you can also try various foods and I am sure everyone will find something to buy as well.

The Sew Convert

This is my blessed life. Family. Sewing. Travel. A simple blog by a sewing convert.

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