Thursday, January 19, 2017

An Old Favourite Top

I decided to have a whole sewing afternoon. I'm working on a new pyjama set and they are nearly complete. I finished the top. Then I remembered I hadn't bought the elastic I need for the shorts. And for the panties I need my measuring tape and I have misplaced that. OK, so I lose either my seam ripper, measuring tape, snips or scissors basically every day. But usually they are just hidden under a piece of fabric. However this time it's been hours and still no sign of my measuring tape... Very frustrating so I decided to work on something new. But something simple because again, the missing measuring tape.

I had a quick look through a few of my (far too many) bags of fabric and found some sheer black polka dot fabric. I had loads of the fabric left so originally I must have bought a ridiculous amount of it, especially considering I have made at least two tops out of it already. I used this fabric way back in 2010 to make a polo necked top.  Turns out that was the first Burda magazine pattern I ever used.  It's really funny and eye opening reading back through my blog from that year. How different my life was. How differently I saw the world. That year I wrote 78 (!) blog posts. A few more than last year's two posts...

Anyway, I loved that top soooo much. It got worn completely to death. The fabric was pretty delicate and susceptible to snags and then in 2013 it became an amputee and not long after that finally died. I'm actually surprised it lasted that long.

Since it was such a favourite I thought why not just remake that exact top.

So sheer
I did the entire sewing on my overlocker. Even the hems :D I think it took me an hour total for cutting, sewing and snapping a few pics. I made the neck a little higher and wider than originally because I remember the tightness bothering me on the old one. It's pattern 121 from Burda magazine Sep 2010.

This machine was not used for the making of this top.

Actually I've never sewn anything on that machine because I can't figure out how to thread it or where the leather belt thing is meant to go.

This is not me. My annoying front camera automatically goes first to this crazy "beauty" mode. Bigger, whiter eyes, narrower face, clearer skin. I think it whitens skin too, negating all my fake tan! Asian phone, Asian beauty standards :)

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Being productive

Hi! It's been a while since I have blogged. Not because I haven't been sewing, I've just been being lazy. There are so many garments I would like to post!

Since New Years Day I have had a pretty bad cold and mainly staying at home (I finally sucked it up and went to the doc yesterday though. I think I haven't been to a GP since I was a teenager...). Anyway. The upside of this illness is that since I haven't been partying or socialising at all I have been sewing, sewing, sewing. I've been very productive in the last two weeks.

I've been trying to make the perfect loose-ish sweater pattern for myself for the last few months. There have been a lot of bad patterns and wasted fabric. And sometimes I was just too tired while drafting patterns that I made things which look ok, but which are a bitch to sew up.

For example this sweater which was meant to have raglan sleeves. Except it was very late and somehow forgot what raglan sleeves actually are (yeah, I don't know how either) and made sleeves caps which come to a point.... They look fine though and it fits great but I wanted something just a little easier to sew.

My phone can take pictures if I say CHEESE!

It couldn't be left so plain so it got a little sparkle. I know it would be useful to have a few more solid basics in my wardrobe but it is oh so very hard to achieve. Maybe one day, when I'm a real adult. For now though, sequins are still one of my favourite things in the world. I love them almost more than chocolate. Almost.

Robots in the snow

So after that drafting mess I had a go while wide awake and made a pattern (with actual raglan sleeves) that I looooove. I've used it three times this year already! I only have pics of one of the versions so far though. I bought these two lovely grey fabrics years ago. Only 75cm of each so not enough to make anything just from one fabric but they match perfectly. It's nice and light but still warm and cosy.

I have also been doing some knitting. Although at a much slower rate. I bought this lovely merino wool last year in September to make a hat for Peti's October birthday. And it only just got finished now in January... This is the way to make sure birthday presents are a surprise!

It's the Classic Cuffed Hat from Purl Soho. I really recommend this pattern if you are a beginner who wants to expand your skills. I learnt so many things from this. It was my first time using circular needles and knitting using double point needles in the round (which I was always very intimidated by). And I learnt a new cast on! The Long Tail Tubular Cast On is something I wish I knew about years ago, it's so useful!

I used Malabrigo Rios yarn in Sand Storm. Such a nice wool to work with!
Doesn't this look terrifiying! FIVE NEEDLES!

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Me-Made-May 2016 Pledge

I cannot believe how fast this year is passing, nor how extremely slowly winter is disappearing - it's cold enough to still have the heating on and it's May already tomorrow! And with May comes Me-Made-May! Organised by Zoe of So, Zo every year, it is a month where you set yourself a challenge to do with wearing me-made clothing. It should be something that is personally challenging. It could be wearing a me-made item a few times a week, or solely me-made garments every day. It's up to you to decide.

I have been hesitating over whether to join in all the fun this year. I've taken part in a lot of these Me-Made-Mays over the years, I know I can go months just wearing my clothes. That in itself isn't extremely challenging although it means I have to give up my store-bought jeans (and the wearing of all my boyfriends clothes - his stuff all fits me - cardigans, jeans, everything!). I was thinking I can use this challenge as a chance to change how I feel in my clothes. Lately the weather has been so miserable and I have been in a rush to get out the door so I have worn some outfits that I don't totally love. I am generally a big fan of mismatched clothing but recently I haven't been doing it in a way that I find aesthetic... I would like to use this month to work on that, to really think about what I am wearing and plan things out because it makes me feel so much better about myself, more confident, when I wear an outfit I love.

'I, Jodi Wade of, sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May '16. I endeavour to wear only me-made clothing (excluding undergarments and hosiery) in outfits I consider to be nice each day for the duration of May 2016'

Also, this challenge is a great reason to finish some of the many half finished projects I have lying around everywhere, so I can have some variety in my wardrobe!

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Teenage Treasures

I went back to New Zealand for a visit earlier this year. I had a lot of fun going though all my old boxes, my wardrobe and my dresser throwing out lots of things, choosing what I really want to keep. My dad had been a bit annoyed about all my stuff still being in my old bedroom (it was basically untouched for, oh, 13 years) but I managed to empty it.

I even found all my old payslips from when I worked at KFC during high school. And my old bank statements from the same time period. It was quite hilarious/shocking to see how much I spent on fabric back then!! Half of my pay check went on fabric! I wish I was exaggerating. (And I earned so little! Just over $5 an hour...) And then seeing how much of that fabric was still sitting in my wardrobe... (it is now mostly in my mum's stash because we have similar fabric taste). Nowadays I am really trying to not buy too much fabric because I have so much to use up and it takes up so much space.

My style as a teenager was much more colourful and brave than it is now. I brought back with me a few of my old cardigans but the majority of pieces I just cannot wear anymore.

Like for example this fluffy, furry orange hoodie with gold bead string with a matching skirt from 2002.

All of my skirts from about this time (early 2000s) seem to have these ridiculously high splits. They are quite obscene. I was even embarrassed wearing them in front of my mum for the photos.

This pink dress was one of my favourites back in 2001. I modified a 70's pattern to make it. It's a little bit too tight now, made me feel too self-conscious, (and of course, another scandalous split...) so this one stayed in NZ.

This green zigzag dress is made from the original pattern of the above pink dress. I think I made this one in 2000 when I was 15 or 16. Back then I didn't care about pattern matching. At all! I used to love wearing this with matching green tights. It's a little too tight for comfort now even though it's a stretch fabric.

 This next outfit is kind of horrifying. I almost didn't post this because it is so unflattering. I think I wore the skirt quite a bit but I am pretty sure the matching (hahahaha, what was I thinking?!) top never saw the light of day.

I loved these blue pants to death. It was rather surprising for me to see how badly they are sewn. The insides are not finished at all. The waist is so high! They are from around 2000 when I was 15, the top from about 2002.

My gown for the ball (prom) when I was 17. I can't believe I can still get it on!! Not much breathing room though. I'm surprised at all the details in it like boning and an internal bodice. I was very last minute sewing this up, I made it in a week and it was only finished half an hour before the ball started... One of the pieces I am most proud of.

The main reason for my trip was my Nana's (grandmother's) 90th birthday. She's really cool, she keeps up with things, she's active on facebook, has skype, learns languages online! We had a big party for her which was lots of fun with lots of my rellies and family friends. On the day of her actual birthday I went over to her place. She mentioned she had found her wedding dress a few days before. Now this is a dress I have ALWAYS wanted to see but never had because it was "up in a cupboard somewhere". I got to try it on!! My Aunty Bonnie was so patient and did up the seemingly thousands of buttons (with tiny, tiny loops). It's a little short in the front, and the sleeves could be a tad longer but the bodice fit perfectly. I couldn't believe it. My grandparents married in 1948. People loved her dress so much a few of her acquaintances copied it!

I'm not married! Playing dress up only!

The details on it are amazing.

There is not much I love as much as playing dressing up!

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Undies Undies Undies

This year I have been using up a lot of my stash fabric making underwear. They take only an hour or two, and I love putting the pretty little details on them - ribbons, bows, lace.

This fabric is from Istanbul. I bought it four years ago at the Sali Pazari. Has it really only been 4 years? It feels so long ago but then again also so very recent. I bought metres and metres of this stuff. I don't think I completed anything from it though.

This fabric is left over from when I made pajamas five years ago.

I can't even remember how long ago I got this blue cotton. The yellow elastic and the lace are from my grandmother's stash which she has been collecting for me. She's wonderful!

I bought this fabric sometime last year I think. 

This floral/herbal fabric has been languishing for years in my stash. Likewise the green ribbon.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Me-Made-May Days 1-6

May is already well underway. Time is passing so fast. I'm loving participating in Me-Made-May again. It is making me wear clothes I probably wouldn't pull out of my wardrobe otherwise.

Day 1

I spent the day running round, baking, doing errands.

What I wore early on:

Then in the evening we had drinks at our place. There may have been dancing.

What I wore later:

Day 2

We went for the night to a little tiny town in North Eastern Hungary. I couldn't believe the contrast in the buildings there. An ornate palace and a few other beautifully kept buildings, and then the rest of the town is in a completely run-down state.

Beautiful yellow fields of rapeseed
Hungarian countryside
The weather was awful in Budapest but it cleared up

What I wore:

Day 3

What I wore:

  • Goosefoot hoodie, self drafted
  • Black track pants, self drafted
So nice just spending the afternoon at home

Day 4

What I wore:

Enjoying the sunshine, Spring is finally here!

Day 5

Did you know Sylvanian families still exist!!! I couldn't believe my eyes. I want to have kids just so I can have Sylvanian Family things!! I used to play with them when I was about four years old (I never had my own but my cousins did). Nostalgia.

What I wore:

A Sylvanian sized beer! Everything in the supermarket is so adorable.

Day 6

Budapest has suddenly had summer weather (27 degrees!) which calls for summer dresses.

What I wore:

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Me-Made-May 2015 pledge

I wasn't sure whether to join in with Me-Made-May this year or not. I bought two pairs of jeans last year and I have gotten so used to wearing them after spending years only rarely in jeans. It will be hard to give them up for a month. But I'm going to try! Also I don't have so many me-made cardigans or jumpers so it will be a definite challenge! Last year I participated in Me-Made-May but it was so hard posting pics all the time so I think I didn't even post them on my blog in the end. I hope that will be different this year.

 'I, Jodi Wade, sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May '15. I endeavour to wear only me-made clothes each day for the duration of May 2015 with the exception of undergarments and hosiery'.

Monday, April 6, 2015


I've just moved flats and with the packing (and starting of the unpacking) I have realised how I have really far too much fabric in my stash. Far, far too much. I don't know where to store all this fabric - I have even been thinking of buying furniture to store it all.  I came across the Stashbusting Sewalong 2015 which is just what I need. I'm joining a little late in the year but better late than never, right?

I have a lot of pieces of fabric I love which I have been saving for the perfect idea or pattern. Some I have had for years. I want to reduce all these. I will make a hard goal.

Stashbusting Pledge
 "I, Jodi Wade, commit to making 52 items from stash fabric in 2015. I also commit to not buying any new fabric except for that which I need to complete projects or for items for others until I have made things from at least 15 pieces of fabric."  

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Bikini Weather

Summer again. I love the summer. Hot weather. Holidays. SUMMER CLOTHES.

I haven't been doing much sewing this summer though. Just working, travelling, reading, drinking.

With Ron at the Dead Sea

One of my most favourite people in the world lives in Tel Aviv. Ron used to live here in Budapest and then moved back to Israel about five years ago and had been telling me ever since to visit him. So I finally did at the end of June. And it was wonderful! Great food, the sea, sunshine, cool people, cool bars.

The trip was a great excuse to make a new bikini.

It's actually the first triangle bikini top I've made. The last few years I've just kept making bandeau variations and that was getting pretty boring. I made up the pattern myself. It could use a little work still - I would add a cm or two to the back of the bottoms so I don't have to keep pulling them up to avoid showing any crack, and I would make the elastic a little tighter around the waist.

We went for a day trip to the Dead Sea. What an amazing place! It's so beautiful and still. The water is extremely hot - hotter than I would run a bath - and so salty. Oh my god the pain when the water got in my eyes... But besides that, it was so relaxing. We even fell asleep for an hour just floating on the top of the water. You can't sink, you can't even really swim because it is near impossible to kick your legs down into the water you are so buoyant!