Thursday, September 12, 2019

The Wedding of the Century

Bay and Kolbaska met back in March and it was love at first sniff. It was obvious from the start that a wedding would need to happen. In the middle of summer, on a very hot July day, the two lovebirds officially tied the knot! The wedding was glorious, chaotic and hilarious.

We got a few videos:

This second one shows the pre-wedding jitters:

The days leading up to the big event were so much fun. A few friends came over and we worked on the doggies' outfits. I think I've discovered my true calling - I should be a doggy bridal designer!

I sewed up a white organza veil and skirt for the bride Kolbaska, and a blue net skirt for her Maid of Honor, Mara. Marysia (Mother of the Bride) blinged them out with sparkly stuff. Somehow in all the excitement of the ceremony we forgot to take proper photos of the bridal party.... So here are a few pics pre-bling during the fittings.

Maid of Honor trying on her skirt

Bay checking out the Maid of Honor while his bride is not around.

The Maid of Honor helping out with the fitting when the Bride couldn't be there.

As "Mother of the Groom" I wanted to have a really nice dress and that's actually why I made my Marilyn inspired dress but in the end I couldn't get it finished in time (goddamn all the gathers and piping!!!). So I wore a silk shirt I made earlier this year, and made a matching bow tie for Bay.

The "Father of the Groom" came to my sewing room and learnt how to make his own bow tie!

The Best Man borrowed Bay's Rainbow Pride bow tie.

There was even a doggy wedding cake made from fish!

Wait. I seriously have to help cut the cake?

Cutting of the cake

Originally the Priest was going to be a dog but he couldn't come in the end but it worked out so well with a human one!

This pic is my fave

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Yellow Means Summer

One of the retro sewing groups on Facebook has gone crazy this summer over this romantic polka dot dress of Marilyn Monroe. So many people were posting their wonderful versions of it I just had to try myself. The online sewing world seems to definitely influence me more than "real life" fashion. I used my favourite dress pattern ever (Burda 7829) as a base for the bodice but I modified it so much to make it more the shape of Marilyn's dress that I think it's not really recognisable.

I am not a yellow wearing person. I don't think it is a flattering colour on me but I have seen so much yellow around this season and I kept thinking I so want a yellow dress! I actually found the most absolutely gorgeous pale yellow floral satin but I just could not let myself buy it (it's been stuck in my mind for months though, so maybe I should make pajamas or something from it....). I didn't want to put hours into a dress I wouldn't end up wearing though so I compromised with this: yellow piping!

When I was looking at the pics of Marilyn's dress I was wondering why would they gather the fabric both at the top and the bottom of the tier. Why not just the one at the top?? So I only gathered the top of mine. And I quickly realised the reason. If it's not gathered then circumference of the piping is too big and then it will be wavy and stick out awkwardly.

Trying to tell myself that it's fine. No. It's really not fine.

So I cut out the piping between the first and second tiers of the skirt and then gathered both parts (no way was I unpicking that with all the piping stitched in plus being overlocked...). Even then it took four very long hours to redo....  so I couldn't bring myself to fix the last tier plus I didn't want to lose even more length by cutting it out, so I'm just accepting it as it is. This dress took three metres of fabric. The first tier of the skirt is about 2 metres long, the second is about 4.5 metres, and the third is almost six. Thank god for gathering on the overlocker. Seriously, I could not have done this otherwise.

How to gather on the overlocker: Put the differential feed to the highest it will go and make the stitch length the longest possible. It will gather your fabric automatically. If you need more fullness pull the two needle threads - if you use different colour threads in the needles than in the loopers then it's super easy.

I finished the hem with bias binding. This is my favourite trick for when the skirt is too short and you really want to keep it as long as possible. I bought this binding eight years ago in Istanbul, it seems like I managed to carry an entire lifetime's supply of bias binding back home in my backpack! I'm re-reading my old blog posts from that time in Istanbul... how much more crazy and free and fun those days were. Having the doggy has kinda sucked the spontaneity out of my life this year. (But I don't know if I could convince any friends to hitch hike with me these days anyway ;)

Bay my foster doggy is still looking for a forever home! If you know anyone who would like to adopt the most beautiful, happy, energetic, far too intelligent dog in the world let me know!!! I adore him but it is very hard looking after a dog alone, especially a Malinois. The organisation I got him from has so many dogs in their care that need foster homes - a lot of them are reserved for adoption already but they just need a few weeks in foster homes so they can get medical treatment/castration/see how they are in the city etc before they can travel to their new homes so then it really isn't a big commitment. So many of them get adopted to different countries, often Germany. They have all kinds of dogs so you can get one suitable for your lifestyle... And they can provide all the stuff you need to look after the animal, even the food if necessary. They have lots of cats too. Think about it :)

Bay got a bow tie. From now on I'm going to try to make him a matching accessory for every new dress of mine.


Every good dress needs pockets! I didn't have enough fabric left to cut the pockets from the main fabric so I did my usual trick - I appliqued scraps on at the pocket opening. This way the pocket doesn't show. I also do this when I want luxurious pockets, say from satin, but don't want them to be visible.

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!