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…)

IMG_6733

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.

IMG_6748

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.

IMG_6745

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!

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.