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!

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!

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:

image

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. ❤️

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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. 😀

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 ! ❤

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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. 😛

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!

Nursing Nettie Hack

As I said in the Jenna cardi post (way back in October) I desperately needed tops suitable for nursing. But I really prefer bodysuits in Winter. (Long torso + normal length cami = exposed mid-section as soon as I sit down = Arrrrgh!) Enter Nettie and So Zoe’s Coco pattern hack!

As so many others did, I immediately bought the Nettie as soon as I had heard of it. I therefore got the version with the wrong sizing. Not a problem in the least for me, as I was heavily pregnant at the time and had bought the pattern for later use anyway. When that later arrived (ca. 1 month after giving birth) I totally failed on several fronts.

Firstly, I didn’t measure myself and enthusiastically/naively/vainly just went with my pre-pregnancy measurements. After all, I was feeling and looking great! Granted, I had (and still have) a more hourglassy figure than before (which I love, btw), and I was still 6kg over my pre-pregnancy weight, but somehow my sleep-deprived brain on post-pregnancy hormones didn’t apply this fact to a possible increase in sizes. -.-

Secondly, I also totally didn’t apply the corrections in sizing that Heather provided. DERP!

Thirdly, I didn’t follow Zoe’s suggestion on the placement of the opening and cut the outer overlap for below the breasts (like a shelf bra), with the inner overlap over the breasts. I thought the seam would cut into the soft breast tissue and create an unflattering look. Well, I was partially right on that, but the overlap shouldn’t be too big, as otherwise it’s very difficult to access the bewbs. So, double DERP!

Luckily I tried the whole thing on before attaching the bindings and sewing the crotch. Unsurprisingly, it was too tight. But only after I almost couldn’t fit it over Berta did I start to swear (internally). It was now totally clear that this thing was never going to be wearable. So I re-printed and re-assembled the PDF (as for once I hadn’t traced -.-), took my current measurements, took a veeeerrrry careful look at the new sizing suggestions and as a result cut the pattern two sizes bigger. I also followed Zoe’s suggestions to a T this time.

Thankfully, this resulted in an almost perfectly fitting nursing bodysuit:

Nursing Nettie Bodysuit – Front view

Almost perfectly only because the shoulders are too narrow (a known issue of this pattern by now). Zoe’s hack works very well:

Nursing Nettie Bodysuit – Front view in “action”

I love the bum coverage of this pattern, no VPL, no sneaking into butt-crack during the day.

Nursing Nettie Bodysuit – Back view

The narrow shoulders are clearly visible in the above shot. I have no reason to put the next picture, apart from “look at all that hair!” of the bean, and I somehow feel I always should put a side view of my garments:

Nursing Nettie Bodysuit – Side view

Luckily the Nettie is a very fast make, even with the nursing hack. This way I was able to make two versions within one week (while the MIL was still here). I have been wearing them constantly and I desperately need another one. But unfortunately I wasn’t able to sew at all since the Italian Nonna left (that was October 14). That is, until last week, when the Swiss Grossmuetti (Grandma) visited. First, no sewing machine in Paris, and then massive exhaustion due to a suddenly much worse sleeping/feeding pattern of the bean. But did I sew what I needed when I had the occasion? Of course not, that would be too logical now, wouldn’t it? I quickly made a Hollyburn, but that’s for another post. (Somehow this sentence reminds me of a recurring one in “The Neverending Story” by Michael Ende… 😉 )

For the next version I plan to hack the pattern even further, making it with raglan sleeves and ballerina neckline. The bean has been slowly going back to longer stretches without feeding, which means I get more sleep during the night, which means I don’t nap as much during daytime. I am therefore quite optimistic about getting to sew more. Now I just need to kick my social media habit amd it will be smooth sailing…

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!

Me-Made-May(ish)

Warning: some maternity related content ahead (well, actually just pictures). Plus sewing and knitting. Don’t complain afterwards that I didn’t tell you!

While I was initially sad that I had missed the sign-up for Me-Made-May AGAIN, I’m quite happy now. I didn’t really have time to take pictures all week, though I’ve been wearing a me-made-item every day so far. That’s not as difficult as it may sound, as I’ve stayed home most of the time, writing parts of my thesis (deadline met, thankyouverymuch). Well, when I’m home, I’m wearing lounge pants, and since I own only me-made ones, that’s kind of cheating, I think.

Nonetheless, I’d like to show some of the self made clothes I am wearing right now. (Nonetheless… pfffff… can you tell I just wrote a heck of a lot of academic stuff?). Since I started sewing again, I don’t like to shop anymore. Maternity clothes are no exception. So I make do with what I have on hand until I get some new stuff done.

Lounging Outfit – Courtesy of BurdaStyle

The outfit above is apparently my lounging outfit. The top is the Burda Style 02/2013 top #113, the bottom is my second (unblogged) rendition of the Burda Style 08/2011 pants #130. While the top is perfectly fine to wear as is, let me show you a little secret:

Keeping It Loungey – Keeping it Loose

I can’t close the pants anymore. But since they stay up even partially unbuttoned, I don’t see why I shouldn’t wear them. Neither of the patterns are maternity patterns, but work quite well at this stage of pregnancy.

My swirly top is another one of those non-maternity patterns that work perfectly fine with a bigger equator:

Goofing Around in My Swirly Top – Burda Style 01/2014 #122

Another one is my Colette Chantilly:

Colette Chantilly – Worn as maternity dress

Thanks to the inevitable body-changes, I now actually fit the bust even without a padded bra (that I can’t stand wearing atm anyway). Also, due to my freakishly long torso it’s an empire-line dress, which is probably why it made me look a bit stumpy. But I’m not complaining too much, I feel extremely cute when wearing it now because it’s just the perfect bodice length with a bit of a bump.

I know I styled it in exactly the same way as in that first post, but that’s how I’ve always worn it so far. The Peggy Sue is just the perfect cardigan for this dress. Plus, it’s now the perfect length, just above the bump. It is so great, that I made a second one:

Talking of Keeping it Loungey – Very Loose front

This one is done in a different yarn (ravelry notes), and it stretched a lot when blocking. It looks like a completely different cardigan, but I love it!

Talking of Keeping it Loungey – Very Loose back

I like the back view a lot better (and not just because my face looks weird in the first picture), it kind of reminds me of a swing jacket.

So these are some of the outfits I wear recently, with lots of repeats. But I’m currently sewing my first maternity dress, which should improve things a bit.

Thanks for stopping by, and have a nice mother’s day!

Making Clothes Again

Yep, I sewed. I finally managed to get myself out of my slump. Maybe it helped that the sun had been shining for three days in a row. Or maybe it was Tasia’s post on her bra making class. Or the fact that, despite the sun, it is still too cold to wear my “swirly top” (as nishiink named it) on its own and I needed a white layering shirt. Anyway, I made two garments, taking full advantage of the fact that PB was out of town, and my newish (and empty) cutting table:

Ikea Hemnes Daybed + Door ( – Handle) = Cutting Table – Ideal height for lazylinchen

First, I made the aforementioned layering shirt, using BurdaStyle pattern #112 from the February 2010 issue (I had previously made a pyjama top with it, so didn’t have to trace). Re-making things is a good way to get me sewing, I should remember that more often. The top is nothing special, it’s just “cake“. I was joking recently that I mostly sew cake, not enough frosting, which results in a mostly gray and navy and very boring wardrobe. Anyway, the top has a boatneck and raglan sleeves and is therefore perfect to be layered under the swirly top:

BurdaStyle magazine top #112 02/2010

It was very easy to put together, all in all it took me maybe 2 hours (with breaks for youtube inbetween).

But speaking of wardrobe staples: I made my first bra!

Ohhh Lulu Jasmine Bra – Nautical style

It’s not my first time sewing underthings, as I made quite a lot of cheeky panties already (it’s a great free pattern and sooooo comfortable!). But this was my first try at a bra.

Ohhh Lulu Jasmine Bra – Back view

As with the cheeky panties, the verdict is: sooooo comfortable! I used the Jasmine pattern from Ohhh Lulu. It consists of only three pattern pieces and is insanely easy to sew. I used some jersey remnants from my gray layering shirt and a shirt I never blogged. I slightly changed the pattern layout as I wanted to have chevrons in the front. For that I cut the fron center panels on the bias instead of on the straight grain. I also used some ribbon to cover how I attached the straps:

Ohhh Lulu Jasmine Bra – Back detail

I attached the straps in the back last, because I didn’t have the rings and doodads needed to make an adjustable strap. But to be honest, it fits so well I wouldn’t even need the straps. So next version is going to be strapless. While this looks rather nice, I also wanted to make it completely reversible, just to see if I could. So I did!

Ohhh Lulu Jasmine Bra – Reverse side

This side is admittedly less exciting, but I am proud nontheless that it worked! And that’s also the reason why I didn’t put in any bra closure (though I had one).

Ohhh Lulu Jasmine Bra – Reverse side back view

I am blogging this a week late, but I just needed to share! I see many more of the bras in my future life, as I really started to detest wearing underwire bras. This is comfortable and still gives me enough support. Plus, it’s a great project to use up those scraps! But enough said for now, I’ll be back soon with a post about our second trip to Lapland!