An Unusual Amount of Plucking Up Courage

An Unusual Amount of Plucking Up Courage

We (yes, that’s the royal we ;) ) interrupt the usual program for a bit of sewing fangirling. This is going to be long-winded, so be warned!

The ones who know me IRL will probably know that I spent the last 5 weeks in Paris (more on that in a future post). A Finnish friend had made me aware that there was going to be a DIY expo (the Salon Créations & Savoir-Faire) during this time When looking at the vendors, I saw that Deer and Doe‘s Eléonore was going to be there. I love her patterns for many reasons, so of course I had to go! So on the first day of the expo I strapped the bean in his carrier and off we went! When I got to the booth I plucked up all my courage and asked for a picture:

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The lighting was horrible, hence the grainy picture. Eléonore on the other hand was lovely, despite being very busy! Of course I bought some patterns (as well as some fabrics from Les Trouvailles d’Amandine, with whom she shared the booth). I hope I will present a finished garment combining the two sometime soonish.

Anyway, now following Eléonore on Instagram, I found out two days later (from a comment on one of her pictures) that there was going to be a sewing meetup the week after. Of course I wanted in on the fun!

Finding information about it was not very straight forward, but nothing an information specialist (a.k.a librarian, a.k.a. me!) couldn’t find out with a little bit of digging. Once again I plucked up all of my courage and asked Lladybird (who the meeting was organised for) if I could join. She quickly pointed me in the direction of CarmencitaB, who kindly let me join.

So once again I strapped the bean to my front and got going. We were very warmly greeted by our host (who, I found out, had just won the French Sewing Bee!) and got a personalised bag of bags and goodies. It turns out I wasn’t crashing a small and private meetup (phew!), as we were 25 sewists from 9 countries:

Spoolettes in Paris. ❤️

A photo posted by Carmen Bouchard (@carmencitablog) on

I didn’t take a single picture during the whole day, hence I took the above picture from Carmen’s (our hostess’) Instagram. But if you’re interested, Julie (of jetsetsewing), Charlotte (of englishgirlathome) and Freya (of handmadebyfreya) already wrote up posts about the meetup with lots more pictures. It would be too long to mention all of the people who attended, so I won’t. :D

Of course, as seems to be usual at such meetups, we had a lot of fun fabric and notions shopping and socialising. We started off in the Sentier, followed by tea in the Maison Sajou, and ending at the famous Coupons de Saint Pierre. I did not get so many fabrics, as I made the “mistake” of buying 3 meters of wool coating in one of the first shops I entered. It was so heavy that even the thought of buying more was just too much! However, this gave me the opportunity to socialise with the other sewists without much distraction.

All the while the bean was behaving really well, either sleeping or watching his surroundings contentedly. Only when we stopped at the Maison Sajou, where we had been invited for tea, did he start to get restless. The reason turned out to be a full diaper, which the owners kindly let me change on the counter. After that he fell asleep pretty quickly again, so I could shop at the coupons sale quietly. I did get some more fabrics there, the offers were just too good to pass up! So in the end PHD had to come and help me carry everything home. :) The others went for dinner, but by that time the bean was more than a little tired and rather cranky, so we headed directly home.

The next day those of us who were still in Paris and didn’t have to work (some had just come for a day…!) were invited to Anna Ka Bazaar, which is extremely cute!

Anna Ka Bazaar – photo is from their website

Again I didn’t buy so much, but this time the thought of having to bring all that fabric to Finland kept me in check. Also once again, at the beginning I kinda forgot to take pictures, so I’m once again very thankful for Instagram:

Aujourd'hui nous avons eu la visite de couturières anglophones à la boutique #AnnaKaBazaar ! ❤

A photo posted by Anna Ka Bazaar (@annakabazaar) on

This time from Anna Ka Bazaar. Reminded by the taking of this picture I once again plucked up my courage and asked the other ladies for pictures, having regretted not taking any with some of the other sewists the day before. However, these are just for my private viewing pleasure. :P

So, my first (and probably only) organized sewing meetup was very enjoyable. I have, as is wont to happen at such occasions, met a lot of new people and have found a lot of new to me blogs. Now my blogroll and Instagram just got a lot busier!

A Dedicated Sewing Space!

In my last post I kinda sorta said this post was going to be a house tour. But first I will stick to the most important room of them all. Now, if you read the title this will come as no surprise: it’s the sewing room! It’s the first time I have a room solely for sewing. (Which is not entirely true, as will be evident later.) But anyhow, since I’m the only one using it, it’s the room where I can be as kitschy as possible I want, as evidenced by the following picture:

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Yep, even the computer is pink

Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to keep it this organised once I unpacked all the boxes and started sewing… Normally it looks more like this:

My Sewing Space – As it looks in use

My Sewing Space – I’m messy, what can I say…

Quite different, isn’t it? First of all, I had to give up the idea of being able to keep the sewing machines in the same spot and ready to sew at all times. I somehow only realised after moving that there is not enough space in the room for a cutting table. But luckily the cutting mats I own (they are connectable cutting mats from Olfa) fit exactly on the built-in tabletop. Even more luckily, the tabletop is at a perfect height for cutting. So I use the table to cut and sew (often at the same time).

But what kind of room has built-in cabinets at perfect height for working standing up? Well, it is a housekeeping room, that’s also why there is a sink in it. Which is, in turn, the reason why it is not solely for sewing anymore:

My Sewing Space – Plus changing table

We also use it for changing the bean’s diapers. Here in Finland it’s common to just wash the baby’s behind under the faucet instead of using wipes. Also, this particular faucet is ideal for such a purpose.

Anyhow, back to the topic at hand. In the cabinets above the sink I keep sewing notions (green baskets), some of my yarn stash (kitschy self-made box) and Burda magazines. I hope one day to be able to have this level of organisation in the rest of the apartment…

Never going to happen! I mean, not even the other cabinet is as well kept:

My Fabric Stash – Overflowing, as usual

At least the fabric is divided by types. Plus, I managed to take advantage of the move and measured, labelled, photographed and made a database (using Memento) of all my fabrics and patterns. But I think I might write a separate post about this project (what worked, what didn’t).

The space was obviously already mostly furnished, I only bought an office chair with wheels and (finally!) a full length mirror:

Hello There Stash Overflow!

Perfect for helping with fitting (I hope). Even though I had hoped the same of Berta (my custom dressform), who is modelling a botched Nettie bodysuit and a Rae skirt (both to be blogged later). Well, that didn’t work. But a girl can hope, right?

Anyway, that’s more or less my sewing space. Not that I get to use it so much lately. I’d say we mostly use it for the other activity mentioned in this post. ;)

Next post: the rest of our home. Until then, have a good one!

I Won!

I won my first giveaway prize! It came in an extremely opportune moment, as I desperately needed this particular garment. It has to do with breastfeeding and feeling cold while doing it. No, it’s not a nursing top, though I could use some of those as well…

No, the garment I needed was a replacement of a well-beloved 12-year-old me-made, a ratty old hooded cardigan. Made about twelve years ago without much knowledge about anything, really (which shows in almost every aspect of it’s construction…). Nevertheless, it served me fine through all these years, but I think it’s time for it to retire. After all my lounge pants are quite stylish now, even if I say so myself. How lucky for me that I won a copy of the equally stylish  Jenna cardigan in a giveaway on The Monthly Stitch! It’s new indie company Muse Pattern’s first pattern.

I made the the long version with long sleeves and the shoulder yoke detail. I like how this takes this simple pattern up a notch.

IMG_6732stylish

While I did not make this in an afternoon, as others have done (there’s serious cuddling to do around here, you know), it was quite a fast make. (That is after taping all those pages together. Ugh, I loathe that step in PDF patterns…)

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I went with my current bust measurement, which is one size bigger than before. It shows a bit in the shoulders, but the rest of the cardi fits really well, I think.

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The sleeves are quite long, as opposed to the bodice length that is just a tad short for me. But I repeat again (ad nauseam, probably) I have a long torso, so it might be just me.

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Obviously I changed a few things. Most notably, I put in an invisible zip instead of the button placket. The reason being that buttonholes are my nemesis, whereas invisible zips are my favourite closure (ever since I bought an invisible zipper foot, that is). Also, miraculously I had this separating invisible zip in my stash, and no button stash to speak of.  The other change was that I added side seam pockets. Unfortunately they turned out too small and I might just close the side seams, but for now I’ll leave it as is.

The fabric I used is a stable cotton/elasthane mix from Eurokangas. I have no idea why I bought it, since I avoid wearing animal print at all cost, as it can look quite tacky on blondes, I feel. This is ok, though, and I’m happy I had it in my stash (it was the only suitable fabricI had for this pattern).

I am already planning a second version, as this one is in very heavy rotation (it’s the only cardi I have atm). I just need to find the time to do it, as I am also knitting the gorgeous Celtic Hill. Seeing as naps take about 1 hour max, and that knitting takes a lot less start-up-time, I think it will be some time before I really get to it, though.

That’s it for now. Maybe I’ll do a getting settled post next, as the apartment slowly emerges from chaos. No promises, though! Life is a tiny bit unpredictable at the moment (even if the bean already has some kind of routine and lets us sleep more than I expected). Hopefully ’till soon!

Me-Made-Pregnancy

Obviously my pregnancy was me-made, but in this case I refer to the me-made clothes I wore… :P

After my last post it took the little one another 9 days to make an appearance. Which means he was born 10 days after his due date on September 6 at 8:54 in the morning. I won’t bore you with my birth-story (which has no gory details in it anyway, it was rather smooth). It’s the outcome that counts. In this case a healthy and quite lively boy, who will henceforth be called the bean.

We are slowly adapting to the new life. Sleep is less than before, of course, but not too bad. What surprises me is that, while it is exhausting, as I had anticipated, it is also quite fun. Which I didn’t expect for at least 3 months after birth… So good on me for having honest and straightforward momma-friends! Don’t get me wrong, it is a lot of work and I don’t get anything done (thank goodness my mother-in-law is here to take care of everyday things such as laundry and cooking!). But it’s also quite nice to be a mum.

Anyway, emotional ramblings are done now. This post is going to be about what handmade clothes I wore during my last trimester. If you came here for cute baby pictures, sorry! PHD (Perfect Husband and Daddy, who more than deserves that title) and I decided not to post pictures of out child on the internet. At least not those that show his face. There are too many creeps out there.

Anyway, the clothes! Just a quick rundown, as some of them I have blogged about before, some are described on Burdastyle, and some are just very easy and I will link to the tutorial. First up, a dress that I especially made for pregnancy, using this tutorial on Do It Yourself Divas:

Maternity Maxi

I didn’t have an old t-shirt to use as the top part, so just made a cropped version of the Plantain shirt and followed the tutorial from there. Very comfy to wear on days where it wasn’t too hot.

The same can be said about the following (non-maternity) maxi dress, Sewaholic’s Saltspring:

Sewaholic Saltspring

I blogged about this dress here. While it fit ok, it got a bit snug around the bust towards the end.

Another dress that I made especially for pregnancy is this BurdaStyle maternity dress 132 from the June 2010 issue:

BurdaStyle 06/2010 #132

Sorry for the wrinkles. This one was quite the disappointment. I went with my pre-pregnancy measurements, which were considerably smaller, and still it came out way too large! I took the back in by about 6 cm in total and added elastic to the empire line to keep things secure in the front. As you can see it was still too big in my last trimester. However, I wore it anyway, as it was perfect for the heat wave we had going on here this summer.

Other than the above dress, my Colette Crepe was my saving grace in the heat:

Colette Crepe

I wrote about this dress on Burdastyle here. I was quite surprised to find it was working as a maternity dress, but I guess that is thanks to my long torso. Apparently Colette patterns tend to be short in the torso, so on me this workes as a kind of empire waist dress, which is quite ok for maternity wear.

The last dress (I didn’t wear pants much, as it was just too hot) is the Tiramisu by Cake Patterns:

Cake Patterns Tiramisu

Again, I blogged about it here. It was one of the most comfy ones, as it’s a knit. Now I’m wondering if it would also work as a nursing dress/top. Will have to test and report back on that.

Other than that, nothing much happened sewing wise, the move and giving birth kind of interfered with that. So that’s it for now! (Whew, managed to write this post all in one go during one of the bean’s naps!) Have a good one you all! Hopefully ’till soon!

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!