Friday, April 30, 2010

Gorgeous Spring Days

I am loving this week! It has been pretty great so far. 

I wanted to enjoy my last few days of 'freedom', relaxing in my store-bought clothes. Didn't happen though because everything was dirty or drying  (washing machine is finally working now! Really happy about that!). So in the above picture is all stuff I have made recently. The belt too. I went to my new favourite bistro, Most, this morning. They have great food and it's reasonably priced and I got to sit in the sunshine and eat my breakfast with my friend Tom who I never get to see often enough (cos he moved back to England and is opening a tea house in Newcastle). What beats a morning like that?

And I went to my favourite rövidárúbolt and got lots of underwear elastic - bugyi gumi - my vocab is expanding :) I decided I might as well give undie making a go and it had been a week or two since I had been in that shop and I adore the girl in there cos she is always so sweet. She gave me a couple of extra metres of elastic for free today!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Me-Made-May - My Rules

I thought I should set out my personal rules for this challenge.

I will wear only clothes I have made myself for the month of May. The exceptions are socks, hosiery, lingerie and shoes. I could probably sew myself a few pairs of undies but I just don't want to :)

I have been making cardigans for the past few days. How easy are they! I think I might just convert completely to knit fabrics. No worrying about getting the fit exactly right - knit fabrics stretch! And they are comfy. Really comfy!

I am wearing one of my new cardigans right now. It's a wrap one with raglan sleeves. I think it will be getting worn a lot. I LOVE IT ALREADY. I am also wearing a pajama top I made (even though I am at work...). The washing machine in our flat hasn't been working for this past week so I was getting kind of desperate for clean clothes and my pjs were clean... It's blue and purple floral cotton. I think it is cute - as pajamas - just not as a normal top for being seen in public in.

I want to go buy some more knit fabric tomorrow. I'm thinking black, plain black. I need to be able to mix and match my clothing. I usually find it quite difficult to buy plain fabrics. I really prefer prints. This all means that I have a lot of things that really do not go so well together (like my plaid jacket with my colourful summery dresses....).

I read an article about a month ago that said people who dress in solids appear more trustworthy. I can't remember if it was a fashion article or a psychology one. Either way, it really was quite interesting. Sure, of course clothing affects people's perception of you, but I didn't really think things as simple as solids vs prints could matter so much. Next time I go to an airport I am going to try this out (I always get stopped at the airport, get my bags searched for drugs, my shoes checked for explosives, questioned about where I have been....). I think people generally think of me as very innocent looking but airport people are different. I just tried googling that article but I can't find it. Maybe it was a career one? If anyone finds it, please send me the link.

I want my shift to finish so I can go home and put buttons on my new cardigans!

Monday, April 26, 2010

A Great Spring Day!

This day is great for many reasons.

For starters, because I have the day off! I worked the last ten days in a row which was exhausting but now I have today and tomorrow completely off work. Lots of time for making stuff :)

I finished my pj bottoms early this afternoon.

So now I have two sets of pjs ready for Me-Made-May.

The weather is absolutely gorgeous today. It's 22 degrees! So I wore my blue cotton dress. Just my dress - no sweater or jacket on top, no tights or leggings with it. It was so nice to feel the sun on my skin!

I walked all the way to the fabric store that is near Keleti (about a half hour walk) and then all the way back. The weather was just too nice to take the bus. The ladies in that shop were really nice today! I normally don't go there very often cos the staff are usually so nasty to me so that was a lovely change. For the past week or so people have been so nice to me and I have been attracting good things. I am not exactly sure why but I like it. (At work I made all the guests love me. I got given flowers from one guest, another couple gave me a bottle of wine, I got nice comments written about me....).

I had been stressing a bit about the fact I don't have any me-made jumpers or cardigans. I found some ok knit fabric though. I bought a blue, a grey, and a aubergine. I ran into a guy I know in there and he was saying how hard it is to find nice knits here. It is so true. When I was a teenager, in New Zealand, almost everything I made was with stretch fabrics. Now the majority of stuff I make is with woven materials.... It is very restricting. The clothes I make nowadays are very different to the ones I used to make. Sure my style has changed naturally, but back then I had more options. Whenever I go back to NZ I will have to post pics of all the crazy stuff I used to make :)

Thinking about those clothes I made years ago makes me miss all my patterns... I wonder if I could convince my dad to find them and package them up and post them to me.... I had a great basic cardigan pattern that I used to alter for basically every cardie I made. It drives me crazy how I can only buy Burda patterns here. I can draft basic patterns but it is so time consuming and it makes my head hurt.

Anyway, back to why this is a great day. I got recognised in the fabric shop by someone who reads this blog! That was a surprise and made me super happy. Hi Anna! It was nice to meet you :)

I have started cutting out a new dress. I think this will be my first and last georgette dress... It is so hard to cut out. It moves around so much it is unbelievable! Look at how crooked it is! At least it is much easier to sew than cut.

So I am going to do some work on this dress for a few hours. I am pre-washing my cardigan fabric right now so hopefully that will dry fast and I can get onto making them. Only 5 more sleeps until May!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Preparations for Me-Made-May

I made a list of items I think I will need for Me-Made-May. I think it may be just a tad too long for me to finish before May arrives but hey, not everything has to be finished by the start of the month, I can still make stuff for wearing later in the month!

My spring trench coat is misbehaving. The sleeves make me want to cry so I have kind of taken a break from that. I wanted to narrow the sleeves and I also took in the side seam of the coat a bit too. So that makes the curve of the sleeve head (is that what it's called?) not the right size. I have been unpicking seams (even some top-stitched ones, basting, pinning, unpicking basting, re-basting. It is frustrating. I really want the sleeves to sit right.

I picked out some white buttons for it which match the dots but now I think the contrast is a bit too strong. I wonder if the ladies in the button shop will let me exchange them for something else. (I couldn't find brown buttons in the right shade). Maybe I will use self-covered buttons.

So I have been working on other stuff. I made a linen dress. I will post more about it when I have better pics but here is a quick snap I took of it before I hemmed it.

I only had one set of me-made pyjamas. So I am making another set. I have done the top.

The bottoms are half-finished. Just got to do the hems and add elastic.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Me-Made-May: Join Zoe

Zoe from 'So Zo...' has just completed her Me-Made-March wearing just things she has made herself (except bras, socks, tights and shoes) for the whole month of March. I am very impressed. March isn't exactly a warm month so I am in awe.

 She is going to do it again in May but this time everyone can join in. I think it's a fabulous idea! There is a lite version "in which you aim to wear at least one handmade garment each day throughout May". I have already been doing that since October though (I have been wearing at least my blue tartan coat or my plaid jacket everyday since then).

It will be quite a challenge I think. I don't mind not wearing pants (I don't have any here I have made myself) - I love wearing skirts and dresses and I have a couple of pairs of shorts. I think my main problem will be making some warm jumpers or tops. I don't really have any me-made ones. Well actually now that I think of it, I have  black wool kind of jacket that I never hemmed and I shrunk in the washing machine but maybe if I just cut the sleeves shorter.....

I can knit but I think if I was to start knitting a jumper I would finish it sometime around Christmas...

I am slowly working on my Spring trench coat. It is coming together nicely. I am trying to do at least 2 or 3 steps from the pattern instructions everyday. That is manageable. I have to go look for some buttons for it tomorrow. There is a really great button store 5 minutes walk away. It has millions of buttons! There are hundreds of drawers full of them. They sell cool belt buckles too. But mostly just buttons. The ladies in there are really nice. Last time I went in they helped me find an apple button to match the fabric of some shorts I made last month. 

I have so many garments that I have finished but don't have pictures of. Any volunteers?

Wednesday, April 7, 2010


I have finally learnt the Hungarian word for interfacing! Now I can ask for it in all of the shops :)

Carrot Cake Recipe

Today it's my flatmate's birthday so I made him a cake. I like the Carrot Cake III recipe on Allrecipes a lot but I have tweaked it a little according to what people wrote in their reviews of it.

Here is my version of it:


  • 4 eggs
  • 1/4 cup oil
  • 1 cup apple sauce (I just simmer a couple of chopped up apples in a little water then puree)
  • 1 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 2 cups plain flour
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 4 cups grated carrots

  • Icing
  • 1 package of cream cheese
  • Icing sugar (enough to make the icing thick - yes, I know, I am super precise)

Beat the eggs, oil, apple sauce and sugar together. Sift the dry ingredients together and add to the wet ingredients. Mix - but don't over mix. Stir in the carrots. Bake 40-50 min at 180 degrees (or in my oven - somewhere between gas mark 2 and 3...). I don't understand these gas marks. They differ on every oven!

This is a pretty easy recipe. I think the hardest part of it is grating the carrots :)