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:

Fabulous!

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!

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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!