#sewdowndewsbury – The Aftermath

My god it was good! #sewdowndewsbury was just the most amazing meetup – I had such a good time! So much so in fact that I didn’t even stop to take pictures, but I’m sure you will have read other accounts (and if not, have a look at Ali’s picture gallery). From her post you will know that not only did she help me organise my stay and answer all my many questions, but she also organised a day walking in the moors with expert guide Brian! Isn’t that amazingly nice?! Thank you so much Ali! And thank you Brian for making sure we didn’t get lost and putting up with all our sewing talk!

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This was my first time in Yorkshire (apart from the usual touristy whistle stop in York) and I’ve fallen in love with the people! Everyone was just so nice, happy to help or just have a little chat. And now that I’ve realised that it’s just so doable to travel to Yorkshire even for a few days (can you imagine that plane-metro-train-journey to my house on the way back took 2 hours 32 minutes? Absolutely incredible, ey?) I’m hoping for many future visits. Fabworks, I know where you are!

Of course I came back invigorated and inspired and with so many plans! I’ve already made plans for most of my fabric haul – I’m sure you are interested 😉

So here it goes:

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The only item on my shopping list, a light wool suiting which will become pleat front trousers. I’m not alone in thinking they are a great idea, Shauni thinks so too (and she even has much the same images on her pinterest wall that I do, so we must be onto something).
Patternwise I’m either going for this from Burda 8/2016

 

Or this from Ottobre 5/2015

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What do you think? Right now I’m leaning more towards the Burda pattern. Around the hips both are much the same, with slanted pockets and two pleats, but I think I prefer the slimmer legs of the Burda pattern.

This is going to be my Hila top:

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Hila bought the same fabric for a dress, I only bought 1 metre, so the fabric has already decided it wants to be a cowl neck top. I have made many sleeveless ones, but I discovered a really nice short sleeve version on Lucie‘s blog, so I think this is what I’m going for.

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This fabric told me it wants to be a short sleeve blouse. Does your fabric ever talk to you? Mine sure does and I’ve learnt to heed an order from fabric, so I have decided on this Burda pattern from 2010:

 

This version has a weird collar which I don’t care much for, I’ll swap out a normal collar from another version.

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This cotton lace wants to be a sleeveless top of some kind. I wonder whether to make it a quite fitted sleeveless classic shirt with darts or something more drapey. So far, the fabric was not available for a statement, so I’ll have to prevaricate for a little while.

 

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This one, however, is spoken for: This is going to be the Teresa blouse. You will have guessed it: Teresa bought this fabric too, so I’m delighted to be her fabric twin. It’s asked to become the blouse version of a dress in the latest edition of  Maison Victor. I seem to have mislaid the foto right now, but if you are interested I could to a review of this magazine.

So this is it: my #sewdowndewsbury report. It was so nice to have met so many likeminded people and to be made feel so welcome. The day has definitely put Dewsbury on my (until now rather shady) map of the North. Here’s to many returns!

 

 

Merken

#sewdowndewsbury: All my bags are packed…

Only 7 sleeps until the Dewsbury sewing meetup, organised by Ali of Thimberlina! Needless to say I’m already incredibly excited! So much so that I’m already packed and waiting to go, humming Peter Paul and Mary songs.

I’m flying handluggage only, but at the same time I want to do some fabric shopping – not two things that are commonly mentioned in the same sentence. So I thought I have to save on weight by reducing the weight of the carry-all itself. So I sewed a carry-all of the lightest yet toughest fabric my stash could muster.

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Now don’t think I intend to rock up at the Ryan Air counter with a bag as full as this and try to get this into carry-on. The bag is just packed full of my entire bedding for the purposes of illustration. I just thought I might as well make it a bit bigger for those times when I fly carry-on on the way there but have one item of checked luggage on the bag back (which tends to mysteriously fill itself with fabric, at least that’s my past experience 😉 ).
It’s made from a waterproof rip stop nylon that was intended for a jacket until I realised that by virtue of being waterproof it would also be non-breathable. I’m sure boil in the bag jackets have their uses, they are just not for me…

While I was at it I also made a new ultra-light-weight toiletry bag.

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It weighs in at all of 120 gramms – unfilled, of course.

I “designed” it in such a way that it will hold the plastic bag of liquids that you have to bare at security.

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I can just rip the plastic bag out and have the guard inspect the brand of deodorant I’m using and then pack it back in the pouch so that my toiletries don’t get lost in the depths of my massive bag.

In case you are not that interested in the details of my luggage, here’s a look at my goodie bag:

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It even has the date of the momentous occasion on it:

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And finally a little look at a little present for one of the people I’ve wanted to meet for a long time. It’s navy on the outside and has a silver lining on the inside. I bet you know who it is for already 🙂

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I can’t wait to meet all of you very soon! See you on Saturday!

xxx Chris

A quick review of Burdastyle 3/2017

My feeling is that Burdastyle has come in for a lot of criticism lately, and I have to say that I agree: there have been noticeably fewer patterns in each issue and a lot of repetition.  They seem to have a new design team and for my taste the quality has slipped a little since.

The March issue is a little better, in my opinion, so I thought I’ll share a few thoughts with you.
It’s the wedding dress edition with a few nice dresses:

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I like the look of that, however even on the model the straps don’t really lie flat, so I wonder whether that isn’t a problem waiting to happen.

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This is marketed as a “Duchess of Cambridge”-style dress. Well – not every lacy sleeve makes a Duchess of Cambridge dress, does it?!

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The “wedding guest” dress on the left made me wonder – I guess there must have been a simple A-line dress with wide sleeves in every one of the last five issues. Why another one? And a boring one at that?

The boho-wedding dress… Well, if you’re going in for a beach wedding it could come in useful.

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This made me laugh out loud! Wear this to a wedding?? A beach-coverup style mini dress? Really? I was under the impression that most 17 year olds don’t get married these days.

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This are the two things from the issue that I might just make: I really like the trousers. They are in the tall size and a real classic. I have fabric waiting, so these might be one of my next projects.
The cold-shoulder top is nice too, a bit more structured than most. I might make this once summer comes along, from some black cotton I still have in my stash from Ecuador.
There are instructions for the embroidery and although I personally hate embroidery I think it’s a brilliant idea to teach that skill for those who are ameanable.

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There is another reason that Burdastyle isn’t so attractive to me any more: they are reaching out more to the beginner, like in this very simple top. It’s great in principle for a newbie to get more detailed instructions, but I personally would like it if they branched out more into advanced techniques too, so that more experienced sewists get a chance to learn some new skills too.

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Nice, classes pieces for kids – I expect these patterns will be popular.

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That’s my favourite outfit in the whole magazine, in the plus section, so I won’t be able to use it because I’m too lazy to teach myself the skills to size this down. I like also that they have used a proper plus size model, so you really get to see what these patterns look like on a curvy figure.

img_6016That is great too – love it! This is easy enough to frankenpattern from other sources, so I might just make that. I love the combination of the two fabrics.

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So near and still so far! I think it’s brilliant they are doing info on pattern changes. This is for FBAs – but I just think the instructions are a bit too sparse, two pictures for each type of FBA. I would much prefer it if they had fewer methods, but more clearly explained.

And now for my pet peeve:

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A few months back they started baking recipes. Baking recipes!! Are these in the international edition as well? What place do these have in a sewing magazine? There is a rebellion against them on the Burda Facebook page every month, but Burda’s heart seems set on them.

Just a quick overview of all patterns:

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and technical drawings:

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Overall, I think it’s not a bad issue, but not stellar either. I cancelled my subscription in December, so this is my last issue of the subscription and I have to say that it has not changed my mind.

By the way: Please excuse the bad quality of the pictures. I do recognise the problem and I ordered a new camera. It’s still just a point-and-shoot, but a more high-end one than the point-and-shoot that I’ve been using so far. AND I have enrolled into Photography for Beginners course in order to learn at least the tiniest bit about photography AND I hope to find a corner in my sewing room as a “photo studio”, so maybe I’ll have a more regular supply of well-lit photos in future. One can just hope!

Knit Fever!

I don’t know what it is, but after a hiatus of a few years when I did very little knitting I really enjoy it right now. So much so that I even stopped making UFOs – instead I made two projects from start to finish since the beginning of December without any procrastination at any stage.

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Exhibit 1 is this cardigan.

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The pattern is Vitamin K by Heidi Kirrmeier. It’s a top-down cardigan with waterfall front and without closure. I apologize that I can’t show you any better pictures, but this is the second attempt of photographing this cardi and it was ever so cold (plus I was prancing about outside the restaurant where my dinner was waiting for me which didn’t exactly increase my posing motivation).

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The waterfall is created via increases at the front so that it forms a triangle that flows down in rather a pleasing fashion when you don’t keep hold of it 😉 . This picture is from my first attempt (sub-zero temperatures, both outside and for the motivation of my photographer).

Underneath you can see a dress to blog – but I just can’t bring myself to step outside in it again while it is quite so cold, so this might have to wait for another couple of months.

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I loved knitting this! You start at the neck and work your way down. The eyelets serve as increases which help you get the width you need for the waterfall. The sleeves are knit straight after the shoulder section (I knit them flat because I hate knitting in the round with small circumferences, but I’m sure it would be perfectly possible if you are a fan). After the sleeeves the body is finished in one piece – which means that when you are done knitting there is hardly any seaming to do (only the sleeve seams) and tadaa- you are done! Perfect!

While we’re at it, let me show you my most regularly worn garment of 2016:

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Yep, it’s this simple boring white T-shirt.img_5873

It’s a slight hack of one of the Burda patterns, I don’t even remember which one. While there is nothing special to it, it seems to have hit a nerve because whenever I put it in the wash I miss it immediately.

By the way: The jeans are RTW – shock horror! I’m kinda over skinnies at the moment and while I haven’t found the perfect non-skinny pattern I’m stuck with RTW… But hope is in sight, the latest Fashion Style (which I bought yesterday) has a boyfriend jeans pattern, so I ordered fabric and will try the pattern asap. Marianne of Foxgloves and Thimbles did a really interesting review of this edition if you want to know more. I bought it for the boyfriend jeans which are unusual in as much as the front pocket extends towards the back in one pattern piece, thus forming the yoke. I’ll report more once I know how it has gone. There also is one more pattern that struck my attention: a shirt-bodysuit. It’s a straightforward fitted shirt with a bodysuit attached so that your shirt will never ever untuck itself. I’m not sure I’m going to sew this because I wear shirts quite rarely, but I still like the idea of having this pattern in my stash, so Fashion Style/Knipmode 2/2017 get a definite thumbs-up from me.

Otherwise I haven’t been sewing that much recently. It might be because my sewing room is quite cold, it may be because I’m really waiting for spring now, but the temperatures are far too cold to even contemplate wearing spring clothes just yet, or maybe it’s just that I enjoy knitting more. Hopefully my sewing mojo will pick up again soon – and if it doesn’t the Dewsbury sewing meetup will surely give me new motivation. Can’t wait to get there!

The Moral Highground Cardigan

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Aaaaaand I finished another cardigan! Remember when I kept wingeing that I has such a backlog of knitting projects that were lingering 3/4 finished or waiting for seaming? Well, in a round about way I made a promise to man up and go ahead and finish that backlog.

And would you believe it: I just did! I am now officially without unfinished knitting projects!

This cardie is the last of the lot (and it hardly qualifies as a backlog given that I only started it in July).

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The pattern is from a German knitting magazine called Rebecca. However, the I added the cable panels to the centre front rather than ribbing because I wasn’t sure I wanted a button up closure. I figured if I feel like buttons I can still add some at a later stage and won’t need buttonholes because I can fiddle them through the gaps in the cables.

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So far I am happy with the coziness as it is. I used Malabrigo Rastita in the Jupiter colourway (from this shop). It is is just the most wonderful yarn, really babysoft (it’s 100% merino). I have really sensitive skin and most yarns are slighly itchy for me, even when others think they are perfectly fine, but the Rastita really is beautiful. And I needed a lot less than I thought I would so I might even be able to make another project with the rest.

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The pattern doesn’t have any shaping in itself, it’s basically rectangles for the front and back, but I think that’s a great canvas for all the cables.

Buoyed by my success in finishing my knitting backlog I even started, finished and made up ANOTHER cardie since! (And as soon as I remember where and what the sun is I shall post pictures – these ones are from the end of 2016 when we still did have sun…). So you see, I feel I’m well and truly on the moral highground with my knitting now. Let’s hope I won’t fall off, ey?!

Knipmode/Fashion Style: The Dressing Gown Wrap Dress

Good heavens – this is one of those projects that really looks a lot better in real life than in those pictures – I promise.

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While it seems I got straight out of bed, put on my dressing gown and (strangely) a pair of boots, I actually like wearing this dress. I think it has a Missoni vibe going on and the rayon knit is oh so soft and has just the right weight for a wrap dress.

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I used my tried and true Knipmode wrap dress pattern. What I like about it is that there really is no option for any wardrobe malfunctions. The skirt wrap is so generous that it will not undo, even when sitting down speedily, as I am wont to do. And the the bodice will not gape, even on the less well-endowed and needs no adjusting at all.

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See – no gaping!!

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In the meantime I also had my hair cut, snow has arrived in my part of the world and so everything is in place to march boldly into the new year!

Dewsbury Sewing Meetup: 2017 just got a whole lot more interesting!

Now, Dewsbury isn’t all that close to southern Germany. In fact (and embarrassingly) I had to look up where Dewsbury is – so when I read Ali’s post about the next sewing meetup on 25 February and remembered all the reports about last year’s meetup and the fun everybody was having I cried a little tear about how sad it was that I couldn’t come.
And then as you do I convinced myself that flying over to England was a totally stupid and completely unfeasible idea, that it would cost hundreds and take days.

Only then I discovered that in fact I could leave my place of work on the Friday, have lunch, take the subway to Nuremberg airport and be in Manchester 2 hours later on Friday afternoon. And the flight would set me back all of 30 Euros.

And so: I’m coming!!!! I’m actually coming to the Dewsbury sewing meetup and I’m already SOOO excited. So much so, in fact, that going back to work today was hardly noticed although I always dread the start after the Christmas break.

So I hope to see as many of you as possible in Dewsbury. I will have to be very select in my fabric shopping as I’m travelling with hand luggage only (or I will have to wear several lengths of fabric as scarves or skirts on the flight home ;-), but I’m coming for the chat anyway.

It’s going to be my first time in Yorkshire, apart from a couple of very quick visits to York, so I hope to do a little bit of hiking on the Sunday. Any tips on Shaun the Sheep inspired landscapes are welcome – the more stereotypical the better!

LOTILDA

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