Swoosh and It’s a Year Later

Hello! Much has happened.

The turtle just turned 13 months old and has started walking today. Of course all the necessary steps before that have also happened. Like rolling, scooting, crawling etc. He’s eating and sleeping through some nights.

The bean is now talking in sentences. This happens in (mostly) Italian, (some) Swiss German, and (we’re told good) Finnish. He also expresses his opinions freely and loudly. Just like a typical almost 3-year-old.

The PhD (perfect husband and dad) obtained a high-profile research grant from the European Union. He’s now plagued with a lot of bureaucracy.

That was for the family, the rest of this probably rambling post will be about me. Me, me, me! 😛

After 15 years, I finally graduated with an MA in English. Yayyyy!

I also started psychotherapy  for my post partum depression. Which began around 4 months after the bean’s birth. It seamlessly became an antenatal depression when I was expecting the turtle. To then stick around for round two of post partum depression with added anxiety. Since January I’m on SSRI (a type of antidepressant). Thanks to these measures, plus a lot of support from basically everybody (but especially PhD), I am now coping again.

Other stuff has also happened. Of course we were traveling. Of course I cooked. And of course I crafted.

But the intention of this post was about something that didn’t happen. Namely I didn’t get back into shape. I had given my jeans one year to fit me again. They decided they’d rather look for a new home. Their loss! 😀

But within the last month five or six people congratulated me for being pregnant again. I am not. After what happened last year, I’m done!

But they do have a point:


Belly 1 year after giving birth – not 3 months pregnant

Ergo, I have to become ActiveAline.

After some research I came across the MuTu system (not an affiliate link). I did the test and found out that I have a 3 finger wide diastasis recti. So starting from today, I am doing the 12 week program. I intend to document my progress here. As one does. So the warning:


Or not. Who knows if I can stick to documenting. I will stick to doing it, though!


I Made It! 

First, I made it through giving birth, with subsequent post-dural-puncture headache, followed by a sinus thrombosis caused by said birth. (Let’s just say I’m grateful for living in a country with excellent medical care) But what I really want to talk about in this post: I also made the deadline of this year’s outfit along by Andi Satterlund and Lladybird. Therefore I obviously made some clothes. Here’s the outfit:


Trying out a slightly fashiony pose 😀

The outfit consists of a boxy lace top (the free Cancùn pattern) and the official outfit along pattern, Sewaholic’s Hollyburn. I made both patterns with only minor modifications.
The reason I didn’t use the official knitting pattern: a top in fingering weight yarn was just not going to happen with a newborn.

I knit the top longer than the pattern by knitting two more lace panels and two more rows each garter stitch panel. During blocking it stretched out a lot and it’s almost tunic length instead of waist length as planned. It’s also way to wide. So if I ever make this again, I’d  cast on less stitches, knit pattern as is and maybe knit it in the round. It was a quick and easy top to make, so that might actually happen.

I made the Hollyburn in a size 10. The only modification I made: I swapped the (too wide) waistband with the (just right width) one of the Cambie dress. The skirt wants to ride up a bit at the moment, thanks to the little belly I still have. Construction wise I have nothing to say that hasn’t been said in the Hollyburn sewalong.

But I do want to say how much I love the fabric of this skirt! It doesn’t look so extraordinary from afar, but look how awesome it is close up:


Tiny skulls!

A little nod to my teenage goth self. 🙂

Ha! And finally I also made it to write a blog post.


It’s been quiet here for a long time. Naturally a lot has happened.

First you might be happy to know that we returned safely and uneventfully to Europe.

Then, we started the bean in daycare, so I could finish writing my master thesis. (that’s done and over with)

The reason to do it this academic year instead of the next is this:


(but if you follow me on Instagram you knew already)

Right now I’m one week past due date. The waiting and not being able to plan drives me nuts, so I could as well write a blog post. 😀

Other than that I have made some things, mostly knits. Continued cooking every day, baking occasionally and became a Konmari convert. This last bit to the dismay of phd, who loves to hang on to everything.

I might resume blogging at some point, like when the turtle (the 2nds belly name) starts daycare. Right now I have to prioritise my time and blogging has (sadly?) not become one of the most important things in life.

I still enjoy bragging about my life and stuff that I make, but I do it on the much faster Instagram, so feel free to follow me there. (I’m lazylinchen on there).

Bye! :*

We Are Going To Sydney!

Just a quick post to announce that I’m going to be visiting Australia from October 1st to November 30th! I’m really excited and have already booked a sewing class in the Bronte Sewing Room. (Yep my sewing addiction strikes again!)
It would be great to meet (sewing) people! So if you would like to meet up, comment here or send me an email at lazylinchen@gmail.com.
I hope to see you!


Warning: Picture-heavy post ahead

As mentioned in my last post, we went to Madrid! It was another one of PHD’s work trips, and again it was six weeks in total. We left from there three weeks ago and it was great!

We shared an apartment with the same crew as in Los Angeles, with the addition of PHD’s two descendants (one being the bean, the other PHD’s PhD student). Here’s some of us hanging out after breakfast:

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Morning hangout with part of the #madrid #conferencefamily

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Unlike last time, we didn’t have any house parties, though. As you can see from the picture above, the apartment was quite small. In addition it was stuffed full of knick-knacks, which made watching the bean (who just started to crawl when we arrived) a pain in the behind. So, one of the first communal efforts was cleaning and child-proofing:

Other than that, the apartment was quite the find. It was located within short walking distance of Plaza Mayor, close to the metro station La Latina. Thus it was perfectly located to go explore the city with the bean. We mostly just went on daily walks around the neighborhood, but every now and then ventured into other areas. Here are some impressions from these walks:

Traditional vs. Modern Art

Plaza del Sol - So many people!

Plaza del Sol – So many people!


Royal Palace – Plus some greenery

Unlike with other cities I hadn’t heard much about Madrid beforehand and thus didn’t have any expectations nor any clue what this city is like. So naturally I couldn’t be disappointed. Not that I could have been, anyway!

It was my second trip to Spain and the second city I was visiting there (the first being Sevilla, which is absolutely gorgeous!). We also went on a weekend trip to Barcelona on ascension weekend (maybe I’ll write about that as well, don’t know yet). What struck me in each of these cities was the amount of green there was. There are many parks throughout, be they small or huge. Thus, even when living in the center, as we did, the quality of life is great! The two parks that impressed me the most were the Retiro and the very new riverside park. Here are some of the things you can find in the Retiro:


Retiro Pool – I have no idea what the monument is for

The Crystal Palace - Could be built in Rivendell

The Crystal Palace – Could be built in Rivendell

Inside The Crystal Palace - Gorgeous temporary relaxing space

Inside The Crystal Palace – Gorgeous temporary relaxing space

Statue of The Fallen Angel – Unique in the world, I was told

Of course there is plenty more to see in the park, it is absolutely huge! I retrospect, I should have spent way more time there and taken way more pictures. 😉

The other park that resonated with me a lot was the new Madrid Rio Park. To make a long story short, the highway that used to be beside the riverbank got put underground and replaced by this huge park. I think this is a freaking genius idea and should be adopted by every single city on the planet! Again, I didn’t spend nearly enough time in the park, not to speak of taking pictures, so these will have to suffice:

Futuristic Foot Bridge – Combining technology and nature in aesthetically pleasing ways

Loads Of Slides – Weeeee!

Of course I also thoroughly enjoyed eating out. After the long winter in fast and pub food city (officially known as Jyväskylä) I was craving something different. That something came in the form of tapas and pinchos, which I ate for lunch almost every day:

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Today's #lunch in #madrid

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#latergram yesterday's lunch: #salmorejo in #madrid

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 Once I am back home in Finland, I want to start making tapas. I love how it allows me to eat many different things while still keeping the amount of food small. Let’s hope I can stick to that intention!

This post is already getting quite long, and I haven’t even mentioned the fabric shopping I did! I doubt I will have the time for a separate post, so I guess I will just leave that part out. Though, if you are interested in fabric shopping in Madrid, in the comments of my last post there is a very handy Google map with shop locations.

I had such a lovely time staying in Madrid, that I am sure to return (and hopefully soon!) We have more travel plans coming up, though, as PHD just got a research grant that will allow him to travel a lot in the next five years. So far, the plan includes a stay in Sydney in October and November. I would love to meet some folks there, so if you are interested, please let me know!

Laterblog Vol. 1

…I finished this coat already some time ago… Yeah, well… I could repeat again about why I bother to blog it so much later, but you know, I’ve said it before. So from now on, out-of season pictures will not be commented on further.

For those of you who follow me on Instagram (I’m Lazylinchen there as well), or have read my last post, this coat must look very familiar.

Fashion Shoot! – Well, probably more like catalogue…

It has taken up my sewing time and instagramming since before Christmas. But that is not even half of the time this garment has lingered on my to do list. Since my long cropped sweater post we all know my projects may take rather long to get done.

This project started its “life” in 2009, when it was published in the August issue of Burda Style. Yes, more than 5 years ago. Both the style lines, as well as the huge hounds-tooth fabric really appealed to me.

First Coat Ever!

Nothing came of it, though as I quickly got distracted by other projects. But then Project Runway season 8 happened. I was/am a huge fan of Mondo‘s work, which felt so fresh and new to me (still does). At that point I remembered the coat and the oversized hounds-tooth print, which I felt could have come straight from his collection. Shortly after, I happened upon this fabric and subsequently traced the pattern. I might even have bought elbow length suede gloves to wear with the 3/4 sleeves…

Then I stalled for the next 4 years. I would get the pattern out every Autumn, read the instructions, get intimidated and postpone to the next year. After all, the fabric was just too precious to mess up.

Glimpse At Lining – Can you believe that we forgot to take pictures of the back? -.-

But last Autumn when I was organising my stash after the move to our new place, I was suddenly over the fabric. So I pulled the pattern out and started cutting. No muslin, because I thought this design is very forgiving in terms of fit.

As for the construction, I took it very slowly and followed the instructions closely. They were usual Burda, but I used the German version, which I suspect makes more sense (plus, I learned to sew in school using Burda). For the collar and lapel, both upper and lower pattern pieces were the same, then (as per instructions) the lower pieces were just eyeballed and pinned to the correct (smaller) size. Apart from that, it was pretty straight forward. For the lining I tried to reduce bulk by eliminating as many seams as possible, as I used polar fleece instead of lining fabric.

I fused the facings and collar only, and in hindsight, I should have block-fused the whole coat, as the fabric is quite shifty (it’s loosely woven cotton) and creases easily.

I took quite a long time to decide on the closure. I should have done bound buttonholes, but I forgot and then it was too late. Regular machine buttonholes didn’t work, the four layers of fabric (I used 2.5 cm seam allowances) plus interfacing were just too much for my machine. In the end I cheated and used big snaps, sewing the buttons on as decoration.

Apart from being the first ever coat I made, there are quite a few firsts for me on this project: first time sewing a flap pocket, first lapel collar, first time sewing a 90º angle.

Collar Close-up

I wore the coat only a few times, as by the time it was finished, it got too warm for it. I had very mixed reviews from people. It seems that either they love it for the boldness, or they don’t get it as it is quite big. I for my part am insanely proud of my coat and love wearing it. Plus, it can even accommodate the little one!

TL;DR I made a coat and am gloriously proud of it!

Now I will have to wait for a long time to put it on again, as we are currently away in Madrid for 6 weeks on another work trip, then on to visit the in-laws in Sicily. If you have any fabric and/or notions shopping tips, for any of the two locations, I’d be very happy to hear them!

Getting Comfortably Out of my Comfort Zone

Ok, so I was at this meetup in Paris, and this being a sewing meetup, I was ogling everybody’s clothes to see which ones were self-made. (I only wore my Cordova jacket, all the rest was bought. For shame!) One garment that caught my eye immediately was this fabulous mustard yellow skirt:


In the course of the day I found out that it was indeed self-made and that its name is Jade. Lisa (to whom these gorgeously long legs belong) had designed the skirt and was offering it for sale. I did not, however, rush home and buy it immediately, as fabulous as it is. This hip-hugging design was just way out of my comfort zone. I was afraid this eyecatching design would make my saddlebags glaringly obvious. Nevertheless, I couldn’t get the design out of my head.

Therefore, when Lisa looked for reviewers for the improved pattern, I jumped at the opportunity! So there you have it, I got the pattern for free and boy am I happy I did!

Saddlebags? – Nope, not here!

Looking at the finished garment on me, I think either pregnancy has smoothed out the kinks a bit, or it’s just a good design. I would guess the latter. 😀 Every time I wear it I get at least one compliment, so that also helps! It’s also like wearing pyjamas, thanks to the ponte di roma I used.

The (pdf) pattern, which I think is correctly labelled intermediate, prints on 28 pages (there is also a copy shop version). At first I thought this was quite a lot, but you know, it’s an asymmetric pattern, so of course the pattern pieces aren’t mirrored.

Big Butt? – Yep, but you know… I like big butts…!

The pattern seemed quite straight forward to put together, so I was tempted not to follow the instructions. But this being a review, I did things properly and I’m glad I did. I learned a new and quite ingenious way of attaching the lining and sewing the side seams all in one go! Thanks to the lining, there is also no hemming involved. Double plus!

I initially had some troubles folding the folds (horrible sentence, but, erm, folds are folded… 😛 ). For that Lisa has helpfully included a folding practice piece that you can print seperately. (Which I didn’t use. I’m stubborn that way.)

Oh, Hi There Stray Thread!

I would usually make a knit garments with my serger/overlock, but because the folds are stitched down, used my regular machine. Too lazy to switch back and forth…

I had never been happy with the zigzag stitch for knits, as it always, always broke after a few wears. So finally I dug out the manual to my 1977 Bernina 831 and found that it has a stretch stitch. IT distorts the fabric just slightly, so I will have to experiment with it further, but it did the job wonderfully insofar as none of the seams has broken so far (that’s 2 weeks of excessive wear).

All in all it was a fairly quick make. I needed a bit of a breather after making about 10’000 muslins for a special dress and the coat you see a bit of in these pictures. While it wasn’t technically a project you can just sew mindlessly, I managed to power through it in 1 evening (cutting) and the next day (sewing), while still caring for the bean.

Final verdict: I am exceedingly happy with this skirt! I think it looks flattering even on a pear shaped figure. Plus, it’s a very eye catching design that’s gotten me tons of compliments already!

The Traveling Never Stops

The Traveling Never Stops

Though the blogging apparently does. Or should I say “takes extended breaks”? 😛 Again, usually I wouldn’t have written up this post 2 months after the trip (eeek! Where does time go?) But again, it was something special, so I want to document it. 🙂 After we got back home from Paris, we had three weeks of rest. We celebrated Christmas (at least the part when Santa Claus gives the presents) together with our neighbours in the common room. Then, for new year we went to Lapland. This was our third time (first trip here, second here), so we knew the drill: take overnight train to Rovaniemi, then 3 hour bus ride to Levi, where we met my family. This time we had rented a cottage that could accomodate all 8 of us:

The Lumovaara – Highly recommend!

Usually I would go to Switzerland for Christmas, and then spend New Year’s Eve in Italy. But to save the bean that stress, my family decided they needed to see how dark it can get in Lapland. Answer: it gets dark, but not as much as we expected:

Mid-day Sun – Just below the horizon

So day doesn’t technically happen, but there is a beautifully colourful sunrise that morphs seamlessly into sunset.

While there were some activities outside (not for me, mind you, I’m way too lazy 😀 ), we just enjoyed hanging out together in the evenings. My family got to know the bean and vice versa:

Family Hangout

Once we ventured out all together, to go on a cozy (if slightly cold) reindeer sleigh ride:

Reindeer Sleighing – In a Winter wonderland!

The bean came with us, wrapped up well in an extra blanket and inside my jacket:

Family Picture!

All of this was exceedingly nice, but the occurence that made this trip extra special was this:

Finally! Aurora Borealis!

Yep, three time’s the charm! Now I will never ever have to go to Lapland again! 😛 (Just kidding! Kind of…)

It was pretty amazing, even if it lasted only about 10 minutes. I’m sure, now that the pressure of having to see them once in my live is gone, I will see them quite often. 😉

Also, with that out of the way (just wanted to induce some jealousy 😀 ), I leave you with a picture from the bus trip home:

Sun Pillar – apparently a rare occurence as well!

A Long Cropped Sweater

Oh hello there! Long time no see! And to top it off, a make that has been finished since the beginning of November (as you can easily tell from the location of these photos). Usually I wouldn’t bother to write a post about something that “old” and “long ago”, but this one is special. How so? Well, may I introduce you to the sweater that has helped me deal with labour?

Pleased To Meet You! – Being silly in the Jardin des Plantes

But how can a sweater help someone through labour? Well, I had cast it on two days before giving birth and was knitting quite ferouciously up until leaving for the hospital. I was still so focused on it that whenever I needed to take my mind off the pain during labour (that is right before epidural and top ups kicked in) I was picturing this sweater and coming up with outfits. That’s how it got it’s ravelry name (Labour Celtic Hill).

Have Some Side View – To break up the text 🙂

It’s “Celtic Hill” a design from knitwear designer (and IRL friend) Kessa Tay Anlin. When she published the pattern I knew immediately that I wanted to make it (so bought it within two minutes of seeing it). What can I say, I love cables (both the look and knitting them).

However, I was 3 months pregnant at that time and knew that I wouldn’t be able to wear anything this body conscious in quite some time. So I postponed. When the bean took his time and I got more and more anxious, I needed something to calm my nerves. Knitting cables was exactly what I needed!

Back View – Just because

After coming back home I wasn’t really able to work on it for a few weeks. By the time we went to Paris, though, I started having little pockets of time to myself. Add to this the lack of a sewing machine and it took me almost no time to finish! It is not a difficult knit if you know how to do cabling, and the one fiddly part (grafting the cables) is explained very well in the pattern.

However, from purchasing the pattern, to starting the project, to actually finishing it, it took me a very long time, hence the title of this post.

Cable Detail – try to spot the graft (I can’t)

The yarn (Drops Merino Extrafine) was acquired at the epic closing sale of my favourite LYS. It can therefore be considered as using up stash yarn, even if it was in there for less than half a year. 🙂

Also, because of the sale, I only got the last 7 skeins of this dyelot. I knew it was not going to be enough for the full length, but was hoping I could get it to at least waist length. As you can see, I suceeded in that, though I used up every last bit of what I had. I love the look of cropped sweaters on me, so I am really, really happy with the outcome!

The above outfit is how I wore it a lot since completion. For the other outfit ideas, I have to get cracking with the sewing machine, as all the high waist pants I own don’t fit me right now. My “to sew list” is very long, though, so who knows if they ever get done! (Keep reading to find out! :P)

What is the longest you worked on an item? (UFOs don’t count) How do you take your mind off unpleasant situations?