Monday, May 31, 2010

A nice surprise!

Last week I received quite an unexpected yet wonderful surprise by the amazing Papgena Made It who awarded me with this:

Thank you Papgena! Since I started blogging I've never been awarded and tagged and I know I am going to enjoy this.
So according to 'the rules' I have to say 10 random things about me.

1. I love all things vintage. I collect vintage things but mostly things that belonged to my family and have a special emotional value.
One of those is this lovely fish brooch I received from my grandma which I will treasure forever.

2. I am crazy about books - I always say that it is as if someone has put a curse o n me. I am an avid reader and I am proud of it! I can get lost in libraries forever. My likes vary to the extremes. However as a BA in English language and literature I have a softness for British writers.
An anecdote: About 7 years ago I discovered Terry Pratchett. I fell for his humour and imagination in a heart beat. And there I was sitting alone in a crowded bus station, waiting for an intercity bus and reading his "Wyrd Sisters". Suddenly I found a dialogue in the book so hilarious I actually laughed out loud. Couldn't restrain myself! People must have thought I was nuts! I still get a throbbing feeling of embarrassment when I think of that awkward instance! I have made a mental note to myself: Pratchett mustn't be read in public places!

3. I love fairies, dwarfs, witches and wizards, knights and pirates and the lot. I am a bit sad Harry Potter, The Lord of the Rings and the Narnia didn't exist when I was a child to spice my childhood a bit. However, I am glad they are part of my children's childhood. (Correction - the two latter did exist only they were not popular nor translated back then!).

4. I am profoundly interested in ethnology! I love discovering and learning about the customs and traditions of my and other countries. At the time being I am studying our traditional folk costumes. The ultimate goal I've set for myself is to make (sew) an authentic female costume regardless of how time consuming and difficult it turns out to be.

5. I love photography! I am not as good as I would like to be and I am considering taking a course this summer. I love taking pictures of my family and nature. Oh, when it comes to taking pictures I also have a thing for doors (and windows). There is a reason why. I'll leave that as a topic for another post.

6. As mentioned above, I love nature in its every form and shape. And I am obsessed with environmental issues and preservation of our planet. I love being able to raise the consciousness of the young people for the environment through my profession and I hope that small contribution shall pay off in the future.

7. We would love to have a cottage in the mountains as a retreat from all the hubbub of the modern world. With a huge garden with lots of trees and flowers. And a place where I would be able to grow my own food. That would be something!

8. I love old-fashioned correspondence! In the past (before my children were born) I corresponded with lots of people for many years. There was literally no place in the world where I didn't have a pen friend. But I stopped doing that and still miss it. Letters have a special charm for me!

9. Traveling fills my batteries to the fullest! Many places I've been - thousands more to discover! Possible destination for this summer: Italy!

10. I used to write prose and poetry! I still keep my writings and occasionally plunge into them only to find myself amazed at the different angle of perception with every single approach at them! But deep inside I have always wanted to write children's books. Maybe one day I will do that. Who knows?
This blog is a proof of my inclination to write - especially this post. I just hope that I didn't kill you to death with my story today! So let's this be the end of it!

Furthermore, as part of the award I have to nominate other blog authors for it.

I will choose:
1. Emily@ravenhill
2. Mai@mairuru
3. Tuppence@momfetti
4. Vasilka@arheoblog

If you haven't visited them yet, don't hesitate! You''ll immensely enjoy them!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

The Candy dress

I've seen this dress in a magazine featuring a domestic designer and I couldn't get it out of my head no matter how hard I tried, so eventually I said why not make it. I drafted the pattern myself and the only thing I copied is actually the upper part of the bodice with the "cat-eyed" holes and the ruffled piece.

Making the dress was quite easy and induced by the lovely front and the colour of it I named it the Candy dress. To keep my Cupcake dress a company :)

Though to tell you the truth I still love the cupcake better than this one. My heart always misses a bit when I see it in the wardrobe. It is a dress I will keep forever. Sorry Candy!

For this I used a thick cotton ribbed fabric and I am satisfied how the fabric fits the design although the original dress was made of satin so I wouldn't mind trying that in the future. Oh, yes. I left the edges of the ruffles (that's the one in the middle) free to fray - something I've been quite crazy about lately, as you may have noticed!

All the pictures were taken at the Robevci house which is turned into a museum. We visited it today and really had an amazing time looking at the ancient display of pottery, weapons, jewelery and parts of monuments. I am writing a post on it for the other blog where there will be more pictures.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Alice in Wonderland

I took my daughter to cinema yesterday to watch this masterful creation and we were truly thrilled by it! Needless to say the book was one of my favourites as a little girl!

Mr.Burton virtuously transported us into Wonderland. I admire his imagination! The world he created was an ethereal one, with a magnificent palette of colours for the background and a wonderful set of characters.

But the thing I was most impressed were the costumes. Now, I wouldn't be worthy calling myself an aspiring seamstress if I don't mention the brilliance of the costume designer Colleen Atwood. I read somewhere that due to her masterful mind the film is referred to as Alice in Fashionland. And Fashionland it was. The array of dresses Alice wore were extraordinary! I was transfixed by the designs and the fabrics! Too bad I couldn't find a good source on the Internet to show here some of them.

My favourite character. Johny Depp had yet another brilliant performance and the Mad Hatter was the right role for him. I loved the way he fell into Scottish gibberish!
As for the other characters I would restrain from commenting my thoughts but have to share some of Eva's observations. She thought it is sad for the Red Queen to be so evil because she would have no friends (clever girl). Next, she wanted to know why the White Queen has such posture and why does she keep her arms as if a ballerina? And she wondered why she has black eyebrows contrasting her blond (white) hair. I guess we can never get hold of Burton's imagination! He would always be ahead of us!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Summer top in refashion

I bought this top a couple of weeks ago just because I am a fool for cotton. And this was gorgeous. I wasn't even deluded by the tag saying it's a size "M" because even a child could see that this was one of those 'one size fits all' things. I didn't mind its plainness because I knew this is the perfect dress for summer. And I knew it won't be the same once I lay my hands on it!

And I was right. The front part covered only a small portion of my bust and I thought I might add a little structure to it. First I added a wider strip of fabric on which I attached a smaller pleated one all over the front.

However, it still was too much opened so I added another pleated strip

Rear view. I ruffled a strip for the back too.

Now I can wear it as a dress, or as a tunic over jeans and flats.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Quote of the day!

I just received this in the mail and the plain truth behind it was so overwhelming I simply had to share. I apologize before hand for the absence of censorship and a bit of foul language at the end.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Reality check? Check again!

On Sunday evening the much appreciated David Guetta was to host a party here. But instead he held it on Monday at 1 o'clock a.m (mind you) much to the audience's dismay and annoyance. The resident DJs did their best to warm up the audience but his appearance was much delayed - which I think was inexcusable.

Nevertheless, he managed to restore the audience's mood and he atoned himself by offering a great performance.
We were together with my sister and her husband and we really had an amazing time!
I cannot offer many good photos (all you can see is hands up in the air and the shining screen)
Both husbands were worried that we might stand out in the crowd due to our age, but were reassured very soon that we were not the only ones threading steadily towards the forties (I shudder at writing the figures)!

So after a long night and early morning of dancing - because it ended at 4 o'clock in the morning - we felt like run over by a truck! My whole body hurts! I still suffer from a stiff neck and I've been cranky for being deprived of more than several hours of sleep. Although I exercise I know now of muscles I've never been aware of!

Reality (check): You are not in the twenties (thirties - Yikes!) anymore! You don't expect being all peachy after jumping all night long!
Me: But I still feel young inside! My soul is young! I am nurturing it, investing in it so that it may remain the same for the years to come. Beat that reality!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

The Rhapsody in ruffles

Well here is the ruffled top with the ruffled collar. It's made of the lightest cotton in soft blue.
For the top I didn't use any pattern. I just drew it with a chalk on the fabric.

The construction was quite easy, and the ruffles were fun to make.
The front part of the bodice is shorter than the back. Up front I added a ruffle in circles.

At the back I sewed three rows of ruffles and I like the effect they create.

When trying it for the first time, Eva wasn't quite satisfied with it. She kept saying: "I look just like a conductor! All I need is an orchestra!"

And the rambling went on and on.... (Look at me! I am growing a tail! What am I to do with it?!)

Eventually, when it was finished and when I made a tiny belt for it she took all her words back.
The photos are witness to it. She enjoyed the photo shoot - I didn't even have to bribe her. Now she thinks it's adorable and asked if she may wear this to school on Monday.
Here's the link to the tutorial

The doily blouse

I have made this blouse the same day I made this one. As a matter of fact I made three that day. The third one for me. Just like the red one because I had plenty of the fabric. Mine is not adorned - that makes it possible for me to wear it with different scarves, jewelery, etc. A detail will have certainly limited the possibilities.

I didn't plan to leave Eva's plain. I had in mind an applique or something, but couldn't decide on anything and yesterday, piling up the things needed to be finished (and those are numerous - take my word) I experimented with the doily and where would be best to place it.
And this is the result. The doily blouse.

I recycled one of her old pair of tights to make these knee-length cuties.
So now she has a matching pair of socks.

She didn't know what I was doing with the blouse and when she saw it like this she just said: "Oh, mom - it's gorgeous!" Isn't that the greatest reward for a mom?!
In continuation - The Rhapsody in ruffles.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Ruffled collar tutorial

I just finished a top for Eva. It has ruffles, more ruffles and nothing but the ruffles, so to speak. For the top I used the same ruffled collar as I did for my Bronte dress.

And I documented the process as I went along, so here it is.

The ruffled collar tutorial

Cut out the piece of fabric on the fold with slightly curved edges and sew those edges.

Turn the collar right side out.
Here it is.

Next sew a running stitch near the bottom and when finished
pull the bottom thread to ruffle it.

(On the side bar I have a tutorial on ruffling
so you may check it up for this)

When done with the ruffling pin the collar to the top.
Cut off the excess fabric and threads. Sew to fix it in place.

To finish it you may use a bias tape or a ribbon. I used this cute
decorative ribbon, which I think gives it a cute finishing touch.

And you are done!
The top I made with this collar is really cute, but I decided to take some photos tomorrow. Somewhere outside. It really deserves it. Because today it's "cloudy no - wait- it's sunny -' shall I rain' - oh I just can't make up my mind" weather, and the shadows it makes in the house are just terrible for photo shooting.
So, until tomorrow, take care.
Update: Here's a peek of the finished piece!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

The birth of the scarf tee

Here is the story of the birth of the scarf tee.
I've mentioned here that I have quite a large collection of vintage scarves. Well there was this gorgeous one I wanted to use for some of my sewing projects but didn't want to cut it out but use it as a whole.

On the other hand last summer I bought this tee

on a clearance purposefully with an idea to refashion it - because I am not a person that wears this kind of tops. I am pretty much broad -shouldered and I hate emphasizing the fact even more- I am sure people get the picture as it is.

However until yesterday I didn't have the slightest notion that these two were up for a match.
The children, due to the fresh air and long hiking (refer to my last post) went to bed early, the father of my children was deeply involved with an action movie on TV and that left me free to enjoy a little sewing after long abstinence.

So I made zillion things in front of the mirror and this is what I came up with.

I cut off the upper part of the top and left this piece aside for later.
Then I folded the scarf twice and marked it for cutting for the opening of the head.
I did this twice because I didn't want a big neckline just gaping, so it is a good idea to try it a couple of times until you are satisfied with the opening.

This is what I got.

Next I shirred the edge of the scarf. Since the scarf was almost twice wider than the left over piece of the top, I thought this would be a good way to narrow it a bit.

Then I joined the two pieces. I sewed them together right above the elastic all the way round.

In the end I used the cut-off straps to finish the neckline.

My new scarftee.

Rear view.

This was so easy I know I'll be making another one!