I can't complain of not having enough tops, because I've been sewing shirts very often lately. It's always the same pattern ( blouse with peter pan collar from The Great British Sewing Bee 1 book, just modified by me and never yet made with the collar). This time I made it with a knit, that's unfortunately already sold out.
It's a bit wide which I like and really lets the pattern of the jersey speak. What you can't see, is that I cut both sleeves as a right sleeve. Luckily I could adjust it a bit while tacking the seams on my overlocker. I think the construction of the shirt took me about an hour. Quick reward!
I'm pairing it with my me-made jeans and the me-made watch.
The pattern reminds me of the mosaic windows in churches.
I used a twin-needle for the hem and sleeve finish. All other seams are done by my overlocker.
Sunday last week I did a cutting session and cut four more versions of the blouse in different fabrics, some with short and some with three quarter length sleeves or in dress length. I hope that it will help me to squeeze in some sewing time in the evening and then not be bothered by the whole cutting thing.
When I was on holiday in the beginning of September I also stopped in London, because I found a good flight to the South of France from London. Of course I needed to go fabric shopping there, despite travelling with a backpack only. So the amazing Charlie from This Blog is not for you was not only so kind to host me, she also showed me the famous Walthamstow Market in the east of London and together we found some bargains. One fabric that I got was this scuba jersey printed with roses and as soon as I came home I sewed up a skirt and matching shirt from the 1 meter that I got. I was quite surprised that all the pattern pieces fitted on the 1 meter by 1,5 meter piece, but it worked out and so I got myself this lovely ensemble.
The skirt is a simple pencil skirt that I made using an old pattern. About six years ago I could fit that pattern in a woven fabric, but nowaday with my more womanly figure I can only use it for fabrics with stretch. I'm totally fine with that.
The shirt was made using the free pattern from the German edition of the book belonging to the first season of The Great British Sewing Bee. In Germany you can get the patterns on this website.
I serged all seams and then stitched over the beginning and end of the seams with a zig zag stitch to prevent the opening of the seams.
The print is a colourful, probably digitally printed rose motif on a dark background.
I was immediately drawn to the fabric, as I believe that I've seen a similar fabric used on a very expensive wetsuit from an American designer.
The skirt has a small waistband that I serged to the front and back and then secured with a row of zig zag stitches.
It's a good length, flirty but not too short.
Both of the pieces can also be worn as seperates, either pairing them with a dark sweater or a black mini-skirt.
The shoes I'm wearing in the first pictures are my new Victoria sneakers, which I got in Biarritz. They are from a Spanish brand that still manufactures in Spain. In the shop it was the last pair in my size and the shop assistant had to get the second shoe from the window decoration, but I'm very happy about finding them as I needed shoes to replace my worn out Vans that I go three years ago in San Francisco. I like to buy shoes on holiday as a memory of the trip.
I just returned from my second big travel this year and realized that I haven't even written something about my trip to Turkey back in March, so I'll try to fill you in on the round trip that I did in Turkey.
I flew from Berlin so it was a good opportunity to meet up with some old friends and see each other again. I was lucky to be hosted by the cousin of a friend, who lives in a good distance to the airport, so that I didn't have to travel too far to get there.
I only got to Berlin in the afternoon and left the next morning, so there wasn't much that I did apart from chatting and drinking tea with my host.
In the morning I took a flight to Istanbul, where I stayed the next days. Then I went to Ankara, Eskisehir, Bursa and back to Istanbul in the course of two weeks. I flew back to Berlin and stayed with another family friend.
I packed lightly and only travelled with 12 kg, but I had lots of combination possibilities and about 60 % of my travel wardrobe was handmade. I mainly took sweaters, t-shirts, tights, a skirt and jeans, because I knew that it wouldn't be so warm when I got to Turkey. It was actually a good travel wardrobe and I wore nearly every piece.
In Istanbul I stayed in a hostel and also returned there, when I came back at the end of the travel. The six bed room was clean and filled all my needs. No kitchen meant to eat out or get something from a grocery store like this yummy chocolate dessert. I met two American girls on my first evening and went out to dinner with them each night. We tested local restaurants and also had typical mezze in the bar next to our hostel. I didn't really explore the nightlife of Istanbul, so maybe I'll have to return one day to party in the city.
The hostel was situated behind the Blues Mosque and Hagia Sophia, so in a good place for dinner and sightseeing.
After Istanbul I went to Ankara by bus because I wanted to visit a friend there. We got to know each other on my first trip away from work in 2013 when I was travelling thorugh Croatia and Italy. Ankara is the capital of Turkey and a very political city. I experienced that myself as I was travelling before some kind of election. To market their party the parties go around the city by car and blast their messages from speakerphones as loud as they can - which is quite disturbing at times. They also decorate the streets with little bunting in their party's colour.
I explored the city by myself one day, as my friend was terribly sick, but also went through the town with her when she felt better. We drank nargile (shisha) and had some colourful traditional ottoman sweets.
This is Ankara when the sun is setting and the evening muezzin call is heard all over the city. We were standing on a hill next to the old castle and enjoyed the view from above as all the lights in the city slowly started to turn on. I t was great!
From Ankara I went to Eskisehir, but it was raining all night when I arrived and I only stayed there till the next afternoon. There is a wax figure museum, which I didn't visit but which should be a cool place. The mayor of Bursa actually makes the figures himself as a hobby. All over the city you find different sculptures and I imagine the city to be a good place in summer. The hostel I stayed in was close to the center, but unfortunately not too many guests there, so I stayed by myself in a four bed room.
From Eskisehir I took a bus to Bursa and met a girl there, whom I contacted before via couchsurfing. She picked me up at the bus station though it was far outside the town and brought me to a famous Iskender place - actually the place where Iskender kebap was invented and the only place that is allowed to call it Iskender. We also went to the silk bazaar and I got some nice fabrics there.
From Bursa I took a ferry back to Istanbul, met with an old aquaintance from study times and enjoyed some last days in the city before flying back to Berlin. There I had two nights at a friends place and visited the Mauerpark flea.
The holiday made some good memories! I'm yet to print out some photos and document the journey in a travel photobook, but just thinking about the trip makes me smile. There are lots of more stories to tell from the trip, but that would fill pages. So I leave you instead with the picture of two silk scarves which I got in Bursa and that I want to turn into tops.
Every couple of months the Dutch Fabric Market stops in Hamburg. Never heard about it before? The Dutch Fabric Market is an institution in Germany. It's basically an association of different Dutch fabric retailers that travel around Germany and present their fabrics and notions. In every city also some local shops have stalls and show off their cloth.
I've never been to one of the markets, so when it came to Hamburg on a weekend that I was staying in town I jumped at the chance and went to Alsterdorf market, where it took place. You couldn't miss that place and already at the subway station I knew where to go, just following the ladies with the big shopping bags.
There were lots of stalls with brightly patterned jersey fabrics and fabrics for children, but I also found some great fall fabrics and wools.
These hight quality wool fabrics weren't cheap, but I've never seen them before offered in a store. It's not my style, but I know that they are liked by many women on the market.
The 50 cm cut offs of cotton jersey are really popular at just 4 € the piece. Not really my thing, but definitely a great ressource for mums and if I ever have a niece or nephew, I'll surely make something sweet of that kind of fabric.
More bright cottons and cotton jerseys.
There was a big stall with very fashionably fashion fabrics, like jersey, wool and sateens, which I really liked. They sorted the fabrics by colour and it was a really attracting display of the fabrics.
In my last post you can see what I got at the market. Some of it cheaper than at work, some of it I'd not seen before and on the notions I totally lost my money, because they are definitely cheaper online or at other stores.
Apart from the fabrics and some haberdashery (only three stalls), they also sold pattern making supplies and pieces of laminated fabrics as well as homedecor fabrics and patchwork supplies.
I have this T-Shirt for quite a while now, but I never got around to take pictures. Having a Sunday to myself I decided to take advantage of the light in my living room and take some pictures. In the morning I went to the Dutch Fabric Market, which travels through Germany and takes place all over the country. I've never been to this kind of market before, so I was very interested what kind of fabrics they offer. I left the market with some good stuff, which I'll show you at the end of the post.
The fabric was a score at Stoffe Mahler a fabric wholesale company that also has a direct sale. It's quite a travel to get there, but they have great stuff. They sell a lot of designer fabrics as well, though they are heftily priced. I went with fifty centimetres of this jersey, which was just enough for front and back of the t-shirt.
For the sleeves I used some navy jersey that I had left from another project. I think that I once got it at work. We often get jersey knit fabrics for low prices and good quality from Italy, so I usually stock up on them.
The sleeves are ruched and then set in, which adds a nice detail.
I used my overlocker for all seams and then did the hem with the regular machine and a twin needle.
The shorts that I'm wearing are also me-made. It's the same pattern as the jeans and I just altered the length. It took me some trial to get a shorts length, because I couldn't imagine that the crotch is so short. I first ended with some kind of bike shorts, which looked very odd.
In the end the length was just right and I like the very much. I'll definitely take them with me on my next travel adventure.
The shorts are quite high-waisted which is comfortable and covers the odd belly.
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This is my haul from the Dutch Fabric Market. I got some black jeans fabric with stretch for 12 € ( 7€/m), some woven Peruvian fabric for 7€/m and some twill with unregular dots for 13,50 € (9€/m). I also got some needles and pins, because I needed them. I should've gotten them at work though, because they were pricier than at work. I thought I'd get them cheap at the market, but well I was mistaken. Anyway I think I'll check when the next market is and if I got time I'll visit again. The market was well visited and at some times I was overwhelmed by the crowds but it was okay to browse.
Okay, so I have to catch up on a lot of projects. Just some days ago I got the e-mail about the next blogger meet-up event in 2015. I went there this year and made a biker jacket - then I never blogged about it, though it's been one of my favourite jackets in spring. Today I had a lazy saturday and decided that it's about time to test my new camera (no DSLR but a very handy small camera from Sony) and did a mini photoshoot in my living room.
The biker jacket is made from a Burda pattern (issue 9/2004 mod. 127). I cut the pieces at home and then sewed the whole jacket on one weekend in Bielefeld, starting on Friday evening and finishing on Sunday morning. I had to make a quick run to a local supermarket to get the push buttons, because I forgot to get them before. Then Mema was so nice to bring a hammer on Sunday, so that I could finish the jacket. Unfortunately I messed up to of the buttons, so the jacket was 100 % finished at the end of the weekend and it took me another month to get new push buttons and add it, but after that I wore the jacket quite often.
The vertical zipper leads to a pocket, where one can easily store a camera or some keys. The diagonal zipper leads no where, it could be perfect for breast feeing ;). The jacket was too short, so I added a piece with 10 cm length to the hem and then attached the bottom band. Now the length is just right.
Details of the zippers and the cuff. The wristband is my favourite watch, which I made for a sewing tutorial at work. You can find the tutorial at Handmade Kultur (in German).
I got all of the zippers at Stoff&Stil, because it's just the cheapest place to get metal zippers and they have a good selection of colours.
I like to wear the jacket with a pair of black skinny jeans, that I also made, wear very frequently (that's why it's already a bit washed out) and that I never blogged about. The pattern is my pattern, as it's a heavily modified Burda pattern from an old issue. It was meant to have a side zip but I just made up a fly and pockets by using a pattern for a skirt.
You can also leave the zipper open and have a more casual look.
In the back I combined the two different fabrics. The black one was bought from work and the tweed is a vintage fabric that I found in the stash at my grand fathers old sewing studio.
The jeans have some wash lines, but I like the vintage look of them. The knees are a bit out of shape, but it's okay when I wear them.
The pocket lining is some floral fabric that I had in my stash. I love to be able to individualize my clothes like that. It's rarely seen, but I know that it's there and that makes me happy.
I also made the t-shirt of my rockstar outfit. It's another Burda pattern (issue 2/2013 mod.126).
In the back you can see two slits. Wondering why they are there? Well, I made a silly mistake while sewing the sleeve to the armhole and somehow caught a piece of the back in the seam and when I opened the seam I had a slit in the back. Since I didn't have enough fabric to cut it again, I just made a slit on purpose on the other side of the back and now call it a design element.
I love this pattern, as it's so simple to sew and also looks really good with contrasting fabrics.
Of course I am a true rockstar and also made my shoes! They are storebought espadrilles where I changed the fabric. Now I have shoes with a world map to take on my next travel around the globe.
Whee, this was a lot of pictures, hope you like!