Friday, December 1, 2017

Fabric stores in Budapest

Every so often I get emails asking where I buy fabric so I thought I would tell you about my favourite places to shop here in Budapest. They are not in any particular order.


Mathé
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.



Taylor 
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.



Gombudvar
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. 



Röltex

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

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Floral "Camouflage" Overalls

I made overalls!!



I'd been wanting to make a pair for the past month or two since someone posted on one of the many sewing groups I follow on Facebook about some she was going to make. I was very tempted to also, like her, buy the Turia Dungarees pattern but the thought of sticking together almost 50 pages was a a bit too much (no print at copy shop option!). And I also wanted some with a bit more shaping at the back.

I was imagining a pair of blue denim overalls, with gold top stitching. But the fabric shop didn't have the shade I wanted and right next to the denims was this stretch floral twill... I wanted the overalls for doing gardening in because I am sick of showing my crack to the neighbours. This is the perfect fabric for it! It's like camouflage fabric! Well it will be in a few months when my flowers are blooming. It was the end of the roll so I had to buy almost a metre more than I needed but it will get used!



I had a hunt through my patterns and remembered that I had made some pants years ago using a pattern from Burda magazine September 2010. I still have those pants although they are very snug now (and I never actually hemmed them) so I don't wear them. So I traced out the pattern in the next size up (always so sad to do! My weight hasn't changed at all since then but my measurements have a lot). I extended the waistband pieces into bibs. Got rid of the side seam pockets. Added some straps, buckles, a big zipped front bib pocket and voila! Overalls!



The bib pieces are doubled for a bit of stability. There is an invisible zip in the side seam. I found heart shaped buckles! And rose buttons!







The blouse is Burda 7831 which I made way back in 2009! It is one of the very few white garments I own and I am honestly a bit surprised that it is still this white.



These overalls are comfortable thanks to the stretch fabric but if I was to make them again I would probably lower the crotch a cm or two. I am going to add a few patch pockets to the front legs because they desperately need them but I couldn't wait to start wearing these!

Monday, May 8, 2017

Retro Swimsuit With a Mind of Its Own



Do you ever start to make something but it seems that you don't really have control over the final creation, that the fabric is choosing what it will be?



I added foam cups to the top for a little support.


A few months ago I really wanted to make a one piece swimsuit before I went to New Zealand but like usual I decided on it at the last minute and was in a huge rush. I looked at hundreds of photos of vintage swimsuits for inspiration then made a pattern. I made a muslin, did some changes and it was looking great. I went to the fabric shop, found a beautiful perfect fabric (I asked for 65 cm which would be just enough for a one piece). At home that night I pulled it out. It looked small. Measured it. 55cm. Sooooo angry. I had so little time before my trip. Luckily I had kept my receipt so the next day I returned it and got the amount I needed. Cut my swimsuit, started sewing it. I made a few minor seeming changes and I fucked it up! So pissed off at myself. There wasn't enough length in the body so it was pulling down. I nearly cried. And it was too late to fix it so I went on holiday without it.


 


Fast forward to the end of April and we had a weekend trip planned which involved spending time at the thermal baths so I thought I would pull out my swimsuit and try to save it. I cut it in half making it a bikini. Half a day working on it, trying it on a million times, and it was done. If I had known from the start it would have been a bikini I could have bought half the fabric!




I'm pretty pleased with it after all. It's nice to not worry about my crack hanging out. This is my first high waisted bikini. It's a very different feeling - like being a demure (but still sexy) 50s lady.


Why can't all pools be octagonal? I love this shape!




These photos were taken at the 400 year old Turkish Baths in Eger. It's so nice there! Beautiful and clean and hardly any people. Most of the time we had the pools to ourselves. Hungary is lucky to have so many thermal springs.


Radioactive water!






Thursday, April 13, 2017

Me-Made-May 2017 Pledge

May is almost here again.

We are well into spring here in Budapest. The year is flying like usual.

Zoe, the wonderful organiser of Me-Made-May posted the MMM 17 sign up post a few days ago. 

If you don't know what MMM is you can read all about it here in detail but basically it's a challenge where you wear clothes you have made yourself. You can decide whether you want to wear one item per day, or just me-made garments. It is up to you to make it challenging for yourself. I have taken part in most of the MMM challenges over the years since 2010. It's a lot of fun! Every year more and more people join in. It's so nice seeing the amazing creations the others make.

I know it is possible for me to only wear me-made garments because I have done it so many times before. That in itself isn't so hard. Last year I tried to make it harder by only wearing outfits that I actually like, rather than mismatched clothes that make me feel self-conscious. This year I would like to carry that on, and also try to have a bit more variety by using different accessories. So here is my pledge:


 'I, Jodi, sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May '17. I endeavour to wear only me-made garments in combinations I like each day for the duration of May 2017 and to try to have as many different outfits as possible through the use of accessories'



I'm just thinking back on what I wore last May. I didn't post my outfits on here but I posted a lot of them on Instagram.




One which really sticks out as something I didn't love is my leotard. Or rather, the way I wore it. 80's style, over leggings or tights. Would you believe, it's only in the last few months that I have realised I can wear my leggings over my leotard!!! It makes a huge difference. It looks a million times better. Although sometimes it is fun to do the whole 80's thing with legwarmers... I guess the lesson is, just because the pattern is from a particular era, you do not have to style the garment like that always.

I'm looking forward to going through my clothes, pulling out all my warm weather garments, fixing the things which need fixing. I also have a few half finished garments which I hope to have done in the next few weeks.


 

Monday, March 20, 2017

Kuala Lumpur

l'm in Kuala Lumpur for a few days, breaking up the long journey from New Zealand back home.


Old and new

Super tall buildings

I spent my morning in the National Textile Museum. It's a wonderful museum! Well worth a visit. It was so interesting. Beautiful embroidery, batik fabrics​, intricate jewellery. There was detailed information about how all the different techniques are done too. It really made me want to start embroidering everything I own!

This stunning embroidery is done with a flat gold thread. They actually stitch over a cardboard template






Everything there was so beautiful! Especially the jewellery (which I forgot to get any photos of). A lot of the jewellery and clothing were owned by royals.




Beaded necklace

Machine embroidery

Batik fabric

My plan was to spend the rest of my day in some fabric shops but I stopped for a little rest in a bar (happy hour!) and it started pouring down so I am stuck here for a little while... I don't really want to ruin my shoes, it's a huge amount of rain! So now I'm on cocktail number 3 :D




***

(I'm writing this part the next day)

After a few too many drinks I finally left the bar when the rain was slowing. Didn't get too far when I was stopped by flooding...



So I decided to take the train instead of walking but just to get to the station everyone had to take off their shoes. I even saw one woman removing her tights, right there on the street!







That wasn't the only excitement of the day. I finally found the fabric shopping district! I was looking unsuccessfully for this a year ago and was very near but was maybe looking a street or two in the wrong direction. This time though! I somehow learned how to follow a map!

 The main street of it seems to be Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman. There are many, many fabric shops. And a lot of the ones which look like they aren't fabric shops actually are - just the ground floor is ready made clothes and once you go upstairs there are several floors of fabric paradise. 





There is lots of very cheap polyester everywhere. They call it "washable silk" lol. A lot of it is designer replica fabrics. Pucci seems to be the strong favourite for knocking off. 

I really had to be tough and not buy too much (I'm travelling with a backpack so space is quite limited - this is the one downfall to having a backpack).

I bought a few metres of what the man said is silk crepe but I'm not completely convinced. I will do the burn test when I have access to fire. I'm quite in love with these fabrics! They are so nice to touch. One is destined to be a top, the other a dress. It's from Gulati's (150 and 152 Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman).


I also got four metres of a satin from Kamdar (179 Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman). It's so, so soft! I want to make pyjamas out of it. When the saleswoman heard what I want to use it for she said "it's too expensive to make pyjamas out of!" and directed me to the cheaper "washable silks". But I could not resist this gorgeous print. 


I also got a few cottons from a nice store called Harisons (229-235 Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman) which has good quality fabrics. I'll post them when they are made into garments though :) 

I have another full day here, then I fly to Istanbul and have a day there. I had planned it so that I could go to a market that is only open on Wednesdays but now I think I might be all shopped out. I don't even know if all this will fit in my bag! 

It's been a very long trip, I can't wait to be home.


Monday, February 6, 2017

70's Love


Pockets!

I'm a big fan of second hand shops and one of the things I like most about them is finding cool vintage patterns. When I go for trips to New Zealand I always look for them. This one is Style 2631 from 1979 and I got it for the bargain price of 20 cents!




The bust size is perfect for me but I am very much a pear so I added 9cm at the hips (3cm at the centre back and 1.5cm on the side seams). I followed the pattern instructions for the most part although I added interfacing to the sleeve bands and neck facing. I think now though that maybe it would have been nicer to have had a soft collar.


This belt is also from an NZ op shop



"Dress is gathered to yoke cut all-in-one with sleeves, and has shawl collar, front fastening and side seam pockets". I LOVE that it has pockets. And the yoke is so very nice. I really enjoyed making this dress (except for the RAYON).




The boyf chose this fabric. I wasn't really into it but he was so enthusiastic about it I let him buy it for me. But now I love it. I think it was the perfect fabric for this pattern. It was purchased about a year and a half ago so when I was cutting it he forgot it was mine and thought that it was fabric for a shirt for him. Lol. He has more floral garments than me! I am not even kidding, I counted.

So, this fabric is rayon. Apparently I have somehow never used rayon before. It is the devil's fabric! It moved around so much while cutting. It stretched out at the pockets. It was ridiculously hard to get a straight hem. It drapes so nicely but is it worth all the trouble? I followed some of Sarah Beth's tips which helped a little. Normally the sewing instructions (at least on older patterns) always say "baste and then sew" and I always just ignore the basting part and just sew. Not this time though. I basted almost every single seam! It was completely necessary otherwise I probably would have been in tears while sewing.

The buttons are some from my Nana's button collection. She gave me a tin of some nice ones last year so I had a rummage through that and found the perfect ones. These are even the right size according to the pattern (1.5cm).

I'm very anti-smoking but I love this tin

I bought a new sewing machine last year, a Juki HZL-600. Her name is Hazel and she is the true love of my life (for many years I thought that my Babylock overlocker was the one but now I see that I was wrong. Although I LOVE LOVE LOVE my Baby). One of the reasons I wanted this machine in particular was that I had heard it does beautiful buttonholes and it really does. No more dreading doing buttonholes. They are so fast and easy and come out so perfect.

Just look at that buttonhole!!



I really like this style of dress and the fact that it gets belted (so can actually eat when wearing it, unlike a lot of my other dresses). I think I will make it up in a solid fabric next time to really showcase the details. It has topstitching on the yoke but it is barely visible with the print. 



I can't wait for the weather to warm up so I can start wearing this!