¡Madrid!

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:

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:

Our rental in #madrid was so dusty that we decided on an impromptu cleaning session.

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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!

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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:

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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:

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!

The coat is done! And thanks to the swingyness of it I can fit the kid underneath as well. 😁 #coatmaking

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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!