Blogging Before the Storm

Attention, post containing mainly crappy phone pictures ahead!
(Plus, if you follow me on Instagram, this is nothing new, just a longer narrative to go with the pictures…)

Good day to you all! As you could guess from the long silence, I’ve been quite busy in real life! This is partly due to my nesting instinct, which kinda caused us to buy an apartment. (Though we were thinking about owning before as we were sick of our rent increasing by 50€ every year)

So yeah, we got our first own apartment! Needless to say we had a lot to do. But thanks to our super-awesome friends it took us mostly only 2 days to move most of our stuff. Well… they moved. I was just sitting there directing, as PHD (formerly known as PB) doesn’t let me lift as much as a carton of milk…) At least I got to cook for some of them!

Some of Our Moving Squad – Can’t thanks you enough!

For the first day’s helpers I just cooked spaghetti with a simple tomato sauce (in picture). For the second day I made my trusted risotto recipe.

That was 2 weeks ago and we have already settled in quite well. House tour to follow, but for now a sneak peek at my new sewing space (that got done first thing, of course!) :D

My Bastion of Girlyness!

As you can see I also acquired a wool stash… -.- I was doing so well only buying yarn for the next project, but then my favourite LYS (local yarn store) had to go, close down and have a huge sale…! (Good luck to Paulina, the owner, who closed because she’s starting a new education!) Anyway, all the girly fabrics you see in the above picture were donated by a dear friend.

Apart from my fairly complete sewing space, pretty much everything else is on good course and the apartment already looks and feels like a home. So far we have hosted a dinner party (including the inauguration of the sauna), as well as the housewarming party a week ago.

But you might ask “why on earth is the blogpost named blogging before the storm?” Well, that is because the little one is due to make an appearance very soon. I’m already a few days over the due date, and my belly keeps getting rounder and bigger, as you can see:

Belly Picture! – Plus, the swirly top returns!

However, I still feel quite well and active. In fact, to the horror of my mother-in-law, I was still biking a week ago. I would still bike, but I finally got a bus card and just have been lazy… :) Moreover, both our mums have arrived, and we just don’t have enough bikes for everyone. That’s kind of a pity, as I would love to see our mums get on a bike… }:-D

In sewing terms, I haven’t made much, due to the move and the most gorgeous Summer I could have wished for (yay heatwave and sun for one month straight!). But I am planning to do a roundup post on which me-made clothes I wore during this pregnancy, both maternity and non-maternity. Maybe I’ll throw in some finished knitted projects here and there. But for now enough on the updates! Have a great weekend everyone!

P.S: I got fed up a little with my Bloglovin profile (couldn’t disconnect it from Facebook), so have to claim my blog again. So here goes the claiming process: Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Reversible Jasmine Bra – Tutorial

In the comments on my blogpost about Ohhh Lulu’s Jasmine Bra back in March I got a request for a tutorial to show how I made it reversible. And finally, 4 months later (oops!), here it is! (Warning, picture heavy post ahead!)

It is a rather easy and straight-forward process, with a fiddly bit towards the end. Steps 1 and 2 are the same as in the instructions, but instead of using a lining fabric, use a second fashion fabric. At step 3 sew all vertical seams on both fabrics, except the back seam, like it says in the instructions. Then there is the trick of making it reversible. First, baste the elastics to one of the fabrics along the upper and lower edge, with the picot edge facing towards the inside of the pattern pieces, like this:

Elastic on Upper Edge – facing inwards

Don’t forget to slightly pull the elastic on the lower edge to let the bra sit snugly there. It should look something like this:

One Side of Reversible Bra

Now attach the straps to this layer, following the instructions of the pattern. (I just used the same elastic cut to the desired length.) Sew the other fashion fabric to this layer along upper edge, right sides facing, like this:

Sew Bra Shells Together – right sides facing

Then sew the center back seam and check the fit. I do it this way to ensure it’s completely reversible. Plus, I’m too lazy to source bra closures. (I would recommend making a non-reversible muslin first, though. Less work wasted if the cups are off!) If it’s too loose, just take that seam in. If it’s too tight… Well… Go ahead and swear…

Then turn right sides out, give the upper edge a good press (I do this in 2 steps to get a crisper edge) and topstitch (with a zigzag or other stretchy stitch) to keep both layers in place.

So far, so easy… Now the fiddly bit. First, turn and press the lower edge so the elastic shows on the right side, like so:

Turn And Press Lower Edge

Then, on the other fashion fabric, turn under the lower edge seam allowance:

Turn Under Seam Allowance

And pin to the other fabric and elastic:

Pin to Elastic And Other Fashion Fabric

I use a lot of pins, but the safest and neatest way would be to hand-baste all the layers together. Then it’s time for the last step: topstitch carefully, as you did with the upper edge.

Topstitch Lower Edge to Elastic

Tadaa! You’re done! A reversible bralette:

Reversible Jasmine Bralette – Wild side

Reversible Jasmine Bralette – Solid side

And here’s the proof it’s all the same bra:

Reversible Jasmine Bra – Back view

That’s it, I hope this was helpful! If something is still unclear, let me know, I’ll try and explain. Have a good one!

Giveaway Winner

Just a quick post announcing the winner of my 51 posts giveaway.

I had 5 entries for the giveaway, and used the random number generator. Here’s what it showed:

Therefore the winner is:

Giveaway winnerCongratulations Claire! I already sent you an email.

Sorry for the others! Have a good day nonetheless!

51 Posts! + Giveaway

Giveaway is now closed.

It turns out my last post was my 50th! Yay! But I only got aware of it after WordPress alerted me to the fact. -.-

Anyway, I wanted to celebrate that with you, dear readers! For those of you sewing people: stay tuned, there’s a giveaway for you! For you interested in food I will give a very delicious (though equally easy) recipe at the end. Those of you who read this out of nosiness (hi soul-mates!), there is some nosying to get done as well, as I will share some holiday pictures from Sicily and Switzerland.

But beware, this is going to be lengthy and picture heavy.


First, Sewing People:

In my last post I promised to write a bit more about the outfit I wore in those pictures:

Summery Outfit

Both pieces are from patterns by Deer&Doe. The top is their (FREE!) Plantain t-shirt, while the shorts are the Chataigne, view A. At first I was a bit underwhelmed by their Plantain pattern. But as I saw more and more versions popping up, I liked it more and more and finally caved. I mean, it’s free, what could I lose?

Deer&Doe Pantain Shirt – Customised even further

Nothing, that’s what. Especially since I used a small piece of fabric from my stash (ca. 1m), that had arrived cut completely off grain, and that got even worse after washing. So making this shirt was going to be a muslin, wearability optional. I chose the size that corresponds to my current bust measurement (which is… different) and it fits really well, even throughout the shoulders (I was worried it was going too big). I didn’t put any effort in this shirt whatsoever. You can see (if looking closely) that, apart from the off-graininess, the neckband is uneven (I didn’t pin) and I didn’t finish either sleeves nor hem and just let them roll. I also tested some stenceling I wanted to try for a while. I used a stencil from Ed Roth’s Stencil 201 and some textile colours I had laying around. In the end the shirt turned out quite alright, and I already used the pattern for a different project I might or might not blog at some later point.

Now the shorts are quite something as well. I (thought I) needed shorts for our short trip to Sicily at the beginning of June. Obviously none fit, so I wanted to make some. I had bought the Chataigne shortly before finding out I was expecting. At first I thought I was going to postpone to next year, but then I stumbled upon Gigette’s version. Genius in it’s simplicity! I made view A, though (she made view B), as I had traced that. Like her, I just replaced the waistband fabric with jersey and followed the rest of the pattern quite faithfully. (One tiny thing I changed was instead of sewing the cuffs by hand, topstitching them.)

Deer&Doe Chataigne – Maternified

I cut the size that corresponded to my measurements, and I’d say they fit as they should. I wasn’t too sure about the length, so lengthened them by 5cm (which I then removed again). I was also worried if they would flatter my slightly stumpy legs and shapely thighs.

Deer&Doe Chataigne – Back view

After asking the honest opinion of my mother-in-law and sister (who are both delightfully ruthless), I’m happy with them. The fit is quite comfortable, and they don’t do too strange things in the butt area. They accommodate my belly and fit well with my wardrobe. In the end I am going to postpone another pair to next year, but this time I’ll try the non-maternity version. (There’s some more thoughts on the pattern’s review, if you are interested)

 

NOW FOR THE GIVEAWAY: I have accidentally bought two of this short pattern, so want to give one away. Just leave me a comment saying that you want the pattern and how I can contact you. Giveaway ends on Monday June 30 2014.

 


Now, Nosy People:

For you less text, more pictures. If you read the previous section, you know that I went to Sicily in the beginning of June. The occasion was to look at wedding locations and sample some of the restaurants. In both respects we succeeded. We looked and sampled. However, we haven’t decided on anything yet. But we got to see some nice scenery:

Sunset View From the Parco Degli Ulivi – Almost all of the Aeolian Islands were visible

But wait? Aren’t we already married? Yes we are, but we want to celebrate with family and friends next Summer. So, since we are not very good planners, we need to start now.

In food news, we got to eat the most delicious sicilian food at one of PHD’s (perfect husband and dad (soon…)) aunt’s. Seriously, I’d be happy to have her cook the wedding dinner:

Caponata Siciliana – The best!

Marinated Zucchini – Garlic, olive oil, vinegar and parsley

Melanzane a Bocca di Lupo – Probably the tastiest eggplant recipe ever!

Unfortunately I forgot to ask the recipes for any of these. I was busy eating. Don’t judge, okay? But I will share another really tasty Sicilian eggplant recipe at the end of the post.

Apart from viewing and eating, we did some driving in an original 1972 Fiat 500. Or at least we tried to:

The Joys of Vintage Cars – Fiat 500

Unfortunately it was rather cold, so the shorts I made were of no use. I could live with that, but we weren’t even able to swim in the sea… :( And then, when the weather started to be more characteristic, I left for Switzerland. Which was uncharacteristically hot. But I was totally fine with that, as I got to experience some new outdoor restaurants, like this one:

Frau Gerold’s Garten – Mixture between urban farming, hipster hangout and beer garden

I love these types of alternative city spaces and wish there’d be something similar here in Jyväskylä. Ah well, maybe I’ll find some this summer (seein as I wasn’t here in Summer before).

Apart from visiting friends in all corners of the German speaking Switzerland, I mostly hung out with my mamma at home. I mean, I grew up in a busy (in Summer) tourist town. There must be a reason so many people want to visit, right? I guess I know which one it is:

The Jungfrau – Half hidden behind the trees

Yep, this is the view from my balcony. Not half bad. On holidays that is. I prefer flat countryside for everyday living. Good for me I’m back in Finland now!


 

Finally, the Recipe!

Today’s recipe is a Sicilian classic:

Penne alla Norma

Pasta Alla Norma

Ingredients (for 4 people)

350g pasta (penne or rigatoni are best)

ca. 500g eggplant (aubergine)

1 small onion, diced

1 can (450g) pelati (canned tomatoes) or 500g ripe fresh tomatoes, diced

100g ricotta fornata (can be replaced with ricotta salata or a little parmesan or pecorino), grated

salt to taste

Preparation

Wash the eggplant, slice it in thick slices, sprinkle with salt and let sit for 30 minutes. Wash and squeeze the eggplants thoroughly, then fry in a little olive oil until golden brown, let dry on some kitchen paper and cut in strips. In the meantime sauté the onion lightly in a little olive oil, add the tomatoes and salt to taste and let simmer for about 30 minutes. Prepare the pasta according to the instructions on the package. When the pasta is ready, add all the prepared ingredients and sprinkle the ricotta on top. Eat immediately.


 

And that’s it for now. Longest post I ever wrote, but covered all of my three main topics. See you again when I announce the giveaway winner!

Summer Switch

Apparently someone found the switch to turn on Summer. On Friday last week I was still wearing my guilty coat and rainboots, it was raining and under 10°C. Then BAM! on Monday it was sunny all day (which currently lasts 18.5 hours) and 31°C! I’m not complaining, though! Together with the weather the plants changed:

Suddenly the Grass is Green!

This is a house close to the city center. I love how it contrasts with the green! And green there is plenty to be had:

Juicy Green!

It’s so nice to see this colour after the long grey and brown period we had. But that’s not all, there are even some trees in bloom:

Flowers!

Aaaah, if it stays this way, I am extremely happy to be here this Summer. But let’s not get my hopes up too high, on Tuesday it’s supposed to get to 10°C again. :( But until then I’m enjoying with all my might! Today we’ll have a BBQ, and I prepared some traditional Swiss BBQ side: potatoe salad! It’s not a BBQ if there’s no potatoe salad (even if the Finns don’t seem to be aware of this fact).

Potatoes Salad – Closeup

Preparing this is easy, if a bit time consuming. Basically you boil, peel and slice the potatoes, add broth, mayonese, mustard, spring onions, white vinegar (I use wine vinegar) and salt (if needed), mix well and let stand for a while to let the flavours get absorbed into the potatoes. Yum!

Sorry, gotta run, there’s a tomatoe salad still to be made!

P.S: my outfit is self-made, will blog later.

Me-Made-May(ish)

Warning: some maternity related content ahead (well, actually just pictures). Plus sewing and knitting. Don’t complain afterwards that I didn’t tell you!

While I was initially sad that I had missed the sign-up for Me-Made-May AGAIN, I’m quite happy now. I didn’t really have time to take pictures all week, though I’ve been wearing a me-made-item every day so far. That’s not as difficult as it may sound, as I’ve stayed home most of the time, writing parts of my thesis (deadline met, thankyouverymuch). Well, when I’m home, I’m wearing lounge pants, and since I own only me-made ones, that’s kind of cheating, I think.

Nonetheless, I’d like to show some of the self made clothes I am wearing right now. (Nonetheless… pfffff… can you tell I just wrote a heck of a lot of academic stuff?). Since I started sewing again, I don’t like to shop anymore. Maternity clothes are no exception. So I make do with what I have on hand until I get some new stuff done.

Lounging Outfit – Courtesy of BurdaStyle

The outfit above is apparently my lounging outfit. The top is the Burda Style 02/2013 top #113, the bottom is my second (unblogged) rendition of the Burda Style 08/2011 pants #130. While the top is perfectly fine to wear as is, let me show you a little secret:

Keeping It Loungey – Keeping it Loose

I can’t close the pants anymore. But since they stay up even partially unbuttoned, I don’t see why I shouldn’t wear them. Neither of the patterns are maternity patterns, but work quite well at this stage of pregnancy.

My swirly top is another one of those non-maternity patterns that work perfectly fine with a bigger equator:

Goofing Around in My Swirly Top – Burda Style 01/2014 #122

Another one is my Colette Chantilly:

Colette Chantilly – Worn as maternity dress

Thanks to the inevitable body-changes, I now actually fit the bust even without a padded bra (that I can’t stand wearing atm anyway). Also, due to my freakishly long torso it’s an empire-line dress, which is probably why it made me look a bit stumpy. But I’m not complaining too much, I feel extremely cute when wearing it now because it’s just the perfect bodice length with a bit of a bump.

I know I styled it in exactly the same way as in that first post, but that’s how I’ve always worn it so far. The Peggy Sue is just the perfect cardigan for this dress. Plus, it’s now the perfect length, just above the bump. It is so great, that I made a second one:

Talking of Keeping it Loungey – Very Loose front

This one is done in a different yarn (ravelry notes), and it stretched a lot when blocking. It looks like a completely different cardigan, but I love it!

Talking of Keeping it Loungey – Very Loose back

I like the back view a lot better (and not just because my face looks weird in the first picture), it kind of reminds me of a swing jacket.

So these are some of the outfits I wear recently, with lots of repeats. But I’m currently sewing my first maternity dress, which should improve things a bit.

Thanks for stopping by, and have a nice mother’s day!

Boooring!

That’s the reaction I get from my spouse whenever I publish a sewing post. But hey, I need to satisfy my boasting needs on here, as it would be way to obnoxious to do so in real life! So here goes, two quick makes from recently. First up, a redo of an old favourite:

Burda Fashion 01/2009 #125

Here’s a picture of the old, and now sadly holey rendition:

Burda Fashion01/2009 #125 – Photo taken from my post on the pattern on burdastyle.com

This was actually the first thing I sewed after I took up sewing again. In hindsight, it was probably a bit too advanced for me back then. But I didn’t know knits were supposed to be difficult, so I wasn’t scared of starting it. And then it turned out to be one of my most worn things! I should really get into that mindset again with the Watson Jacket I keep procrastinating…

Anyway, the new version is 10cm longer, but otherwise unchanged (well, the snaps are different, didn’t have any huge ones left). Making this, I realised how much my skills have improved since 2009! While it took me two afternoons to make this back then, this time it only took one and a lot less swearing (none, in fact)! I know this will get a lot of wear again, as it’s comfy and, while simple, still interesting enough to be worn by itself.

This next make is yet another pattern I’ve made before:

BurdaStyle 09/2011 #108A

I happened to have some time at my hand quite unexpectedly one day. So I went to the local fabric store, thinking I could buy something to make undies for me and PB. This way I could satisfy my urge to buy something, but still keep it to a minimum, as undies don’t require much fabric. But then I had to go look at the cut-off bins…! This is where I saw this happy striped rib knit in rainbow colours. Argh! and it was soo soft! ARGH! I debated a long time, but then I won and bought it. (You can’t really lose against yourself, can you?)

I was going to maternify this pattern, using So Zo’s tutorial. But then realised that the stripes wouldn’t match anymore. Which they HAVE TO! Yep, I’m that OCD about stripes by now… So I just made a regular version, hoping it will fit for some more time. I love how it turned out! I mean, look at this! Almost perfect stripe matching! (I said I needed to boast…)

BurdaStyle 09/2011 #108A – Stripes match up all around!

This is the third rendition of this pattern, and it’s the third with stripes. Here is what I wrote about this pattern’s first version on burdastyle.com. I think it lends itself to stripes beautifully. Plus, I wear a lot of stripes. My version of a print. (I used to wear black head to toe as a teenager, and have just recently (erm, last 5 years…) started dipping my toes into colours and patterns again)

There’s nothing like making a TNT (tried and true) pattern to get you back into sewing! So now that I have gotten reacquainted with sewing, I feel ready to try  a new to me pattern. Plus, I really need some maternity clothes, as I start showing a little. My jeans haven’t fit since month 3 (2 months ago), I have just been wearing them unzipped, using the rubberband trick I saw on maternity diy. I did buy 2 pairs of maternity jeans, but that’s the extent I want to keep it at. Now I should start on those maxi dresses I bought so much fabric for it extended my stash to unreasonable proportions…

BTW: the last pictures were taken just now, at 6pm. I love Spring here even more than before. Isn’t that light gorgeous!