Monday, July 8, 2019

I Love My Minoru Jacket!

I really needed a casual outdoorsy kind of jacket for cool summer evenings so I made a Minoru jacket and I love it so much! It's just what I wanted and came together really easily once I sourced all the supplies.

When not in use the hood can actually be rolled up and put in a pocket in the collar but I forgot to get a pic of that.

I'm super happy with the length of it

 I was looking at all the usual pretty prints and bright colours which attract me when I was searching for fabric and instead I bought a solid colour!! Normally I cannot resist a wild print but I was so very restrained this time! The few occasions when I do buy a solid it's usually textured. Or sparkly. Or shiny. I love satin... But this is a plain cotton twill. And it's even brown! What's more nature like than brown? Ok, maybe green, but I got a subtly striped green and brown viscose lining fabric to go with it. I'm feeling pretty proud of myself! One of the big problems with my wardrobe is that almost everything is in some kind of print so it's hard to mix and match things. Actually when I was sewing this I was big time regretting the brown but now I am so happy. Small victories!

I made a few changes to the pattern. I lengthened the body at the hem 10cm, and the sleeves 7cm. I read many reviews of this pattern and a lot of people complained about the sleeves on this pattern being too long already but I have super long arms. I narrowed the sleeves from size 8 to size 4 at the cuff and then narrowed the cuffs to match because I didn't want the gathering which is in the pattern. I got 2.7 metres of fabric to account for the lengthening and it worked out just perfect.

This pattern is really wonderful and easy make (especially following the sew-along) but it blows me away that external pockets were not included. It's a jacket!! I'm pretty sure almost everyone who makes this adds pockets of some sort to the outside so it would have been nice to have some options included. I made zippered ones with flaps.

I know Krisztian is in all my photos lately but I swear we are not a couple 😂🤣 We are both very single!

Instead of doing the elastic waist I added a drawstring. The main fabric and the lining sewn together form the casing. And I put in eyelets using this super handy eyelet tool I got from my Nana. Thanks Nana!

I lined the hood and added a drawstring there too. If I make this again (who am I kidding? WHEN I make this again) I will put the eyelets a cm or two lower.

It's a little tight at the shoulders (many people have mentioned this in their reviews but I stupidly ignored it). Next time I'll add a little extra width there.

I also added a zipper shield to protect my clothes. This zip is a pretty rough zip. Metal teeth. I went to four shops hunting for the perfect zip. I would have preferred a double ended one but I couldn't find in the right colour and length. I actually bought a gorgeous green one but then changed my mind so I might try to use that in my next jacket. The zip shield was a bit flimsy so I added some embroidery stitching. I have something like 250 stitches on my machine and I've used the embroidery ones approximately twice ever... so it was really nice to have an excuse for using at least one of them. Trying to keep with the outdoorsy idea I went for a leafy vine stitch.

I actually waxed the whole jacket because I wanted to make it waterproof or at least water resistant. This took F.O.R.E.V.E.R. But then the very first time I wore it I stood next to a bonfire for hours and then washed it to get the smoke smell out... And with that most of the wax washed out too. But a little has remained and I love the visual effect it has on the fabric, how it makes it look more worn. Maybe I should just make a jacket out of actual waterproof fabric because this one is not getting rewaxed.

Worth losing the wax
(Edit July 9 after reading Lauren's comment): I can't believe I missed the chance to do something funny with the zip shield! I knew then this project wouldn't be complete without some words on it. I tried embroidering onto the jacket five times but with the weight of it pulling it wasn't stitching nicely so I made this patch. It's going to be perfect when it's a little more frayed.

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Me-Made-May 2019 Pledge

So it's almost May (in just a few minutes!) which means Me-Made-May again. In case you don't know what that is, read all the details on Zoe's blog.

Here's my pledge:

'I, Jodi Wade, sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May 2019. I endeavour to wear only me-made garments in combinations I like each day for the duration of May 2019 and to try to have as many different outfits as possible through the use of accessories'.

It's the same pledge as last year but I like it. It's still a bit of a challenge because although it's easy for me to just wear clothes I've made,  putting them together into nice outfits is harder.

Sunday, November 18, 2018

Transformational Reconstruction in Romania

A week ago I was in Romania at a pattern cutting workshop. I have been following the Japanese designer Shingo Sato online for many years. He makes some amazing creations and also travels the world passing on his skills. Normally his workshops are quite far from Budapest (often in Western Europe and on other continents). But then I saw one advertised for Bucharest so I signed up so fast. Bucharest is less than an hour and a half flight from here. And I'd never been there and had always been curious about it.

With the Master!!

Well I absolutely LOVED Bucharest. I could definitely live there I think. I was staying in a cool Airbnb which is also a gallery. It was in a beautiful district with old villa buildings, close to hipster cafes and bars. My host was amazing and showed me around and made everything just wonderful.

The 'House of the People' aka, the Romanian parliament building. It is just monstrous!

I stayed for five nights which was not enough. It was also five days of sewing which meant not so much sightseeing. Although I did have a few very fun evenings out. I especially loved the cocktail bar Fix where they use lots of delicious natural ingredients.

The workshop was super intense. First two evenings with Irina Akkaya to get to know the basics. She's a fashion designer from Romania who organised the workshop (which she did an impressive job at). She was super nice and her family is wonderful and she basically seemed like super woman with the patience of a saint dealing with all of us.

Exhausted from the full days of sewing (and nights of partying).
This is the pattern of the above box integration bodice.
Then we had three full days with Shingo. We learnt so many cool techniques. It was so inspirational and I've come home full of ideas. We learnt interesting ways of getting rid of certain seams and I can't wait to try out these things in garments.

I had never used one of these wrist pin cushions before but wow! It really made my sewing so much faster. I need to get one of my own.

We even got on Romanian TV!

It was so good to learn new things! I wish all my future trips could be combined with learning!

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Green Peplum Top

A few days ago I was going through my box of unfinished projects and stumbled upon this top. All it was waiting for was buttons, buttonholes and some seam finishing. I couldn't believe it! I guess at the time when I sewed it I couldn't find the right buttons... which was maybe 5 years ago because I remember sewing it when I lived in Akacfa utca. I quite miss that time - I did so much more sewing than I do now.

So I looked through my now much bigger button collection and found some shiny green ones that I got from my Nana.

I can't remember if I used a pattern or just a block for the bodice. The sleeves and peplum are just kind of circular pieces.

This top was originally a skirt so I had limited fabric to work with. That's why the back is pieced. It's a "Design feature" lol. I actually found the skirt on the street. Every year each district in Budapest has a day to throw out all of their unwanted things from their homes onto the street. Then people can take what they want before the rest is collected. It's a pretty great way of recycling. And it's fun seeing what treasures you can find!

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Me-Made-May Days 1-12


I'm really enjoying this crazy, busy May. I've been trying to only wear outfits I actually like for Me-Made-May, and also to use more accessories because I feel I don't really do that enough.

Day 1

What I wore: Self drafted red lace dress, white necklace (gift from a friend)

How I felt about this outfit: I loooove the way this dress looks but now I can only wear it on my most skinny of days (so like once or twice a year). And I can't really eat while wearing it... I would like to make it again slightly bigger (my list of what I want to make is never ending though so we'll see!).

Day 2

What I wore: My polka dot dress (bodice is a very modified Burdastyle Danielle, the skirt part is self drafted) and my self drafted petticoat.

How I felt about this outfit: I haven't really worn this dress the past few years, I'm not sure why. It used to be one of my absolute faves. I think I will put it back into rotation.

Day 3

What I wore: 70's dress, belt and purse bought second hand in New Zealand.

How I felt about this outfit: This is a comfy dress. I love this style - loose and belted. Can eat as much as you like! I sometimes feel a little dowdy in this outfit though. Maybe I should shorten it a few inches.

Day 4

What I wore: Black and white dress (modified E971), 30's necklace (there are some wonderful antique shops here).

How I felt about this outfit: This dress makes me feel especially womanly. It's nice and swishy. I made it back in 2010 and I am a little surprised I still have so many dresses from then. Actually most of the dresses I've worn so far this month seem to be from 2010/2011. What a wonderful, crazy time that was, I guess a little of the energy/memories still remain in the garments.

Day 5

What I wore: Self drafted birds and flowers dress. Headband made by my dear friend Ella.

How I felt about this outfit: This dress has huge pockets so it is very practical. Pockets are so important! The headband makes me feel like a hippy, it fits this free feeling which comes with the sunshine. Oh, I'm so glad it's Spring!

Day 6

What I wore: Plaid dress, modified Burda 7831

How I felt about this outfit: Another ultra girly dress. I keep thinking I am too old for this dress but somehow I can't get rid of it, I'm too proud of my awesome plaid matching! It doesn't have pockets though!! Why doesn't it have pockets?! I have started using a backpack to save my shoulders and oh my god I never knew how often I reach into my bag. I am constantly having to take my backpack off. But actually I know why this particular dress doesn't have pockets - the skirt doesn't have any seams, it's a full circle.

Day 7

What I wore: Self drafted LBD, leather shoes I made!!

How I felt about this outfit: I wear this dress allll the time. Seriously. Like twice a week year round since I made it maybe 6 years ago. It has huge pockets (large enough for a couple of bottles of beer...). The only 'flaw' is that it has a metal zip up the back which makes it not a comfortable dress for travelling in but for every other purpose this is my go to dress.
The shoes I made a few weeks ago! I've been going to shoe making classes. I think I will write about these more in another post though.

Day 8

What I wore: White blouse (Burda 7831), self drafted skirt

How I felt about this outfit: I felt like a school girl! And the attention from men was crazy. Soooo many men said hi to me on the street. At first I thought they were guys I had met before and forgotten but no. Even guys I hadn't made eye contact with. It was so strange, guys so rarely say hi.
(BTW, that is New Zealand wine in the pic!! I found a place here which has it! So delicious! A little taste of home).

Day 9

What I wore: Flamingos in Love dress (Burda 7829), self drafted aubergine cardigan

How I felt about this outfit: This dress is made from one of my all time favourite patterns but I don't feel totally comfortable in this version of it. This cotton is so very light, it feels like I'm naked and the low cut neckline coupled with the short skirt makes me feel so self conscious. This was the absolute longest I could make it though, I used up every single scrap of fabric (I even had to cut the pockets from a different fabric).

Day 10

What I wore: The bodice of this dress is modified from Burda 7829, the skirt is made of 8 panels. With big pockets! Self drafted black jumper. Vintage bag.

How I felt about this outfit: This is one of my favourite dresses. And I like it dressed down with sneakers.

Day 11

What I wore: Polka Dots and Pleats dress

How I felt about this outfit: This is one of my favourite summer outfits. Easy to throw on, can eat what I like, the stiffness of the cotton stops it from being form fitting.

Day 12

I haven't actually gotten dressed today. It's been so nice to stay at home! I've been doing a little too much partying lately, I really needed this kind of recharge. Watching lots of Netflix, getting some paperwork done, a little spring cleaning, checking things off my long to do list.

I've realised one of the reasons why I blog so infrequently these days - it takes so much time!
Whomadewho is helping though. Such great music! This is my soundtrack of the evening.

Monday, April 30, 2018

Me-Made-May 2018 Pledge


I've been wondering whether or not to do Me-Made-May this year but in the end I just cannot resist.

If you also want to join up head over to Zoe's blog: Me-Made-May '18: SIGN UP HERE!!!
But hurry! May starts tomorrow already!!

A full me-made outfit - overalls, t-shirt and sandals!

I'm going to do the same pledge I did last year. I know I can wear just clothes I've made, but it makes it a challenge to only wear outfits that I actually like. A lot of my clothes don't match (because of my print and crazy colour addiction).

 'I, Jodi, sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May '18. I endeavour to wear only me-made garments in combinations I like each day for the duration of May 2018 and to try to have as many different outfits as possible through the use of accessories'

I'll try and post my daily outfits on Instagram as much as I can. But I don't want to put too much pressure on myself to take pictures Every Single Day because that might make me go crazy. Here's my Insta in case you want to follow along there:

Also this year I have a few pairs of sandals I made and a pair of shoes! I can't wait to show them off. They don't go with all of my outfits though so I won't be forcing myself to only wear handmade shoes.

I'm quite looking forward to going through my wardrobe, temporarily putting away my RTW clothes.

Friday, December 1, 2017

Fabric stores in Budapest

These are my favourite places to shop here in Budapest. They are not in any particular order.

1087. Baross tér 4-5

This is in a beautiful building close to Keleti. It looks like a library - except the shelves are lined with fabric instead of books! From the outside you would think they have higher prices than they do. They have sweater knits, denim, pleather, fake fur, lycra swimsuit fabric in solid colours, quite nice jersey (but not many colours) and lots of other stuff. They have low priced, good quality fabrics. Years ago I didn't really like the staff there but now they have become so nice. And funny. I went there after a few successful months of not buying fabric (trying to reduce my stash) and one of them asked if I was "cheating on them?". I still laugh thinking about it.

1074. Hársfa u. 5-7, the entrance is from Barát utca though.

This shop has everything you need for making sparkly/standout dance costumes - glittery, sequinned fabrics, feathers, bra cups, rhinestones, ribbons, fringes, shoes etc. It is a bit on the expensive side but they have a great selection of stretch fabrics and it is nice to be able to find all the bits and pieces in one store. They have lots of cool swimsuit prints (this place is always my first choice for bikini fabric). This is also where I usually get fabric for leotards.

I Love Textil 

This is a chain of stores mainly on the Körút but they also have a shop on the kiskörút near Kálvin tér. They have very cheap fabrics (most of it is only 390 ft/metre). Some of it is a little bit more. Like 690 ft/m :) It is not all the best quality but if you hunt around sometimes you can find some lovely fabrics. They have a lot of knits/jersey.

Voál Méteráru
1073. Erzsébet Krt. 20

I love this shop! It has gorgeous fabrics. Silks, lace, wool. High quality polyester fabrics too. They have a big selection of lining fabrics too - and silk blend linings which they have hidden out the back. The prices are quite high but their stuff is really so nice. For example they have solid washed silk for around 7000 ft/metre. This company has another shop at Oktogon (Oktogon Méteráru, Andrássy út 47) which has similar things but it is a little higher priced.
1073. Erzsébet Krt. 34

This is also connected to Voál and Oktogon, so the staff can often tell you if the fabric you are looking for is at one of the other shops. Like the other day I was looking for navy ribbing which they didn't have in one, but had in the other. This shop has quilting cottons, a great pleather selection, upholstery fabric, plush fabric.

Special Textil
1052. Petőfi Sándor utca 18
1136. Pannónia u. 15

This is a very old, gorgeous shop (it's around 100 years old!). They have beautiful silks and wool. Lots of coating fabric. It is definitely pricey but like the name, it's special. They have two shops but I have only been to the one in the city centre.

Fortuna Méterárú
1132, Váci út 10.

This place has great sweater making supplies. Fleece and plush fabrics. Ribbing in lots of colours. The staff are very nice. And they have haberdashery stuff too.

1052 Budapest, Régiposta utca 7-9.

This is button paradise! I love this tiny shop. I love bringing in my near completed garments to choose buttons with the help of the lovely ladies here. It really is a wonderful experience. 


This is a haberdashery chain. They have shops all over the city. Most of the things are hidden behind the counter so you have to ask for everything by name. And they won't always show or tell the whole selection that they really have. So it can be a bit of a struggle, but they are good for zips, thread, elastic, shoulder pads, bra cups etc.

Do you have a favourite shop I should check out?

Monday, November 27, 2017

Things are happening!

I'm going to teach sewing! I've been thinking about it for ages. I'm setting up my studio now. It's quite exciting! Furniture got delivered a few days ago, I'm putting it together now. Lots of tables and chairs. I'm learning how to use an electric drill, wow it makes things faster! It's my new favourite tool.  Did you know I had never ever bought furniture until now? At the age of 33! I was too scared of the commitment. So this is a big step for me! And now I have a cutting table! I don't have to cut out my fabric on the floor anymore. I feel so happy just thinking about that. My back is very happy too.

I've ordered sewing machines too, they should arrive next week.

I'm starting off with a sweater making workshop, and then an ugly sweater decorating one.

Last winter I had a sweater event with a few of my friends which was so much fun and we made these creations:


But I also want to have classes for complete beginners. It will be in English (I can get by in Hungarian but I do not know the technical sewing terms in Hungarian) so I think it can be a great chance for people to practice their English while learning sewing skills, killing two birds with one stone. Actually that makes me think, maybe I will make a sweater like that. With two dead birds on it :)

I made a Facebook page for it all: Jodi's Sewing Room

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Bias Slip - I Love Old Lace!

I'm very proud of my latest garment!

When I was in Kuala Lumpur earlier this year I bought this soft, drapey cream fabric to make a bias cut slip.

Forever ago I saw the stunning Vera Venus slip and was like I must make that! She generously provides the pattern completely for free which you can download here. I love this pattern! It comes together easily, the fit is great, the instructions are easy to follow, it's also available in copy shop size for printing (so you don't have to stick together a million A4 sheets. I think I've said earlier but I didn't realise until this year how much cheaper copy shop printing is than I expected. For years I was looking at the wrong option when I should have been looking for blueprint or architectural printing).

I learnt a lot making this. I think it was my first time applying lace in this way. It really opens my mind to possibilities with all the vintage lace I have.  Thanks Nana for the lace!

I pinned, basted, then used a small zigzag along the line of the shape I wanted, then trimmed the excess lace and the fabric from behind.

It is super clingy. It is meant to be like this but I'm not really used to having something that hugs quite this much. I'm sure I will get used to it after a few wears though. I can just wriggle into it but it cannot fit over the shoulders on my dress form. Sorry no photos of me wearing it, it is a bit too sheer.

I can't wait to make many more of these! At the moment I am working on one in red silk which I'm sewing completely by hand because I don't have so much access to my sewing machine these days. It's actually nice having a portable project to carry around in my bag with me. It is light and takes up very little space