Monday, December 19, 2011


It was my friend's work Christmas party on Saturday night. I couldn't really turn down the invite for a cruise on the Danube, unlimited drinks and delicious dinner... The theme was 40s - 50s sailors. At first I was going to wear my stripe madness dress but I can hardly even breathe in that dress, how would I be able to gorge myself with all the yummy refreshments?

So then I was thinking to wear one of my polka dot dress but I wasn't totally happy with that solution (the right colours but not really sailor like....). I got home from work on Saturday at about 5pm, started getting ready for the night, doing my makeup and stuff. Then at 5:30 I decided to make a dress. At 6:30 I was out the door! One of the quickest dresses I have ever made. I didn't even try to really match the stripes, quite a liberating feeling!

The stripes look black in the pics but they are a very dark navy. This was some jersey I had left over from my Pride Parade dress. Yay for stretchy fabric - can eat as much as you like then. 

There were hundreds of people at this party and EVERYONE dressed up. I was so surprised. People in captain hats, striped tops, even a pirate or two!

Drinking, dancing, darts and csocsó. It was a fun night!                  


Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Needlebook tutorial

When I was in New York I was an "intern" at BurdaStyle. Just for a week or so :) I was soooo excited about it - getting to help out at one of my favourite websites!!! I was staying with my friend in Brooklyn so every morning I would catch the subway to Manhattan where the BurdaStyle office is. It is nice to "go to work" in a new city, even just temporarily.

The lovely AnaJan was also an intern there. I met her last winter in Serbia and I was so glad she was in NY at the same time as me. Actually I had emailed her before I booked my flights when I still wasn't sure whether to go and when she said she was going for a whole month I almost died of envy and was like "right, I am going too!!".

It was so nice to have someone to get up to mischief with, a partner in crime :) Ahhh I adore that girl!

One of our tasks was to make some quick, easy projects so I made a little needlebook. At the book launch party one of the fun activities was sewing up your own little bag. There were some leftover bits of the printed fabric so I used that and some felt I found in the supplies closet. It only took about 20 minutes. Here is the tutorial. Very easy to whip up a few of these for small gifts for Christmas...

In the BurdaStyle office with two of my fave BurdaStyle members: Helene (CarotteSauvage) and Ana (AnaJan). I had so much fun hanging out with these girls! They really made my time in New York special.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Help! Who made that coat?

A year or two ago I saw a blog post by someone who made a very long, warm winter coat. I can picture the woman perfectly but I just cannot remember her name. She made her coat really warm with some kind of insulation fabric. I want to find that fabric. I think she is Canadian, has a daughter, the coat was a bit shorter at the front, but basially ankle length... She has short hair... Anyone out there in sewing bloggerland know who I am talking about?

I want to start making a winter coat soon, I'm thinking of how I want it to be.

Monday, November 21, 2011

BurdaStyle Book Launch Party

I'm in New York!  When people ask me why I came to New York and I say "for a party" it sounds so extravagant and ridiculous. The BurdaStyle Sewing Handbook party was last week. I made a coat which was in the book and I kept getting emails from the BurdaStyle team about the upcoming party and it was too tempting to pass up.

The book contributors were invited to go bowling with the BurdaStyle team. It was a nice way to get to know people the night before the party. Some people were definitely better bowlers than others. Hahaha. Wish I had video of that... We had a lot of laughs.... :)

The party was held in a cool bookstore in Manhattan. I got to meet and hang out with some of my favourite BurdaStyle members like AnaJan and CarotteSauvage!

There was a photo booth which was lots of fun. Here I am with Vlad and Sterling. I'm staying with Sterling in Brooklyn and he has been such a lovely host!!

With some of the book contributors and BurdaStyle people: Grace is wearing the skirt she made for the book. Jenn is a moderator on the site, David is BurdaStyle's Community Manager, Helene - aaaah this girl! An amazing ball of energy! You really cannot tell from her photos...  Nettie made a gorgeous dressAna I met last winter when I was passing through Belgrade.

And my friend Nicole came! We studied together in Budapest way back in 2006.

I read a lot of sewing blogs and follow what a lot of BurdaStyle members are creating online and this event was just such a great opportunity to meet lots of these talented people in real-life. I met some people I now consider friends.

It was a really good night, I enjoyed it a lot. Thanks BurdaStyle!

Friday, November 4, 2011

BurdaStyle Book and New York

BurdaStyle, my favourite sewing website, just released their first book! It's a sewing handbook with five patterns and lots of variations made by different BurdaStyle members from around the world. You can read more info about it here.

I submitted some sketches for two designs and they picked the coat for me to make! I was sent the pattern and some beautiful wool and I had a crazy week  last summer making a warm autumn coat for a tight deadline. And now finally the book is out!

I decided about a week ago to go to New York. I go on Monday for two weeks. I am soooooo excited!! I haven't felt this excited about something in a very long time. Flight prices weren't as high as I thought they would be so I decided to go on this trip instead of buying an overlocker.... Will have to start saving again for that when I come back :)

I can't wait to meet up with my friends there. And to see a new city! I have spent a day or two in the US on stop overs and the people I met didn't exactly make me really interested in that country (I was 17, travelling alone, and met loads of weirdos... this will be very different. Still going alone but I'm ten years older and will now be able to legally drink :)

 I am sooooo looking forward to New York!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Lomtalanítás and a New Acquisition

So, I kind of gave up on taking pics for Self-Stitched-September. It was just taking too much time.. I have still been wearing just stuff I have made myself though. You just have to trust me ;)

Last Friday in the 7th district was lomtalanítás. It is a yearly (twice yearly?) event where everyone throws out all their junk onto the street and you can take anything you want. Aaaaah I wish I had taken pics. I love that there are these huge piles of stuff on the street and it makes the city look like a dump yard. LOVE IT! I was wandering around and I found some old clothes which I want for the fabric. There was one garment which I grabbed just because I really liked the green fabric, I didn't even really look at what it was. Got home, and it is actually a skirt which fits me perfectly! Just a horrible mid calf length... So many things I could do with it... maybe turn it into a dress...

Anyway, I had really been looking forward to lomtalanítás because I wanted to find a table to put my sewing machine on (I have been using my kitchen table which isn't a great solution). I asked David to keep his eyes open for the size/height table I wanted. He was like "actually, I might know something." He had seen an old sewing table in a flat he had just been in. I went and had a look.

It had the sewing machine inside!!!!! Isn't she a beauty. David talked to the owner, and I could buy it!!

I did a little research, this machine was issued beginning 1908 in Wittenberge, Prussia.

 I have no idea if it works. The needle goes up and down fine if I turn the wheel thingy. It needs a belt thing to connect the treadle with the other stuff. No, my sewing machine terminology isn't great...  

I don't even have a clue how to thread this machine!

Even if the machine doesn't work, I am happy just to have this beautiful table.

How can I found out what model this is?                                   

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

S-S-S Day 12 - Spanish Omlette!

Day 12

I wore one of my favourite dresses. Its a modified Burda 7829.

About a week ago I was working alone on a crazy chaotic day when a guest arrived from Spain. We were chatting and I was telling him how I used to live with two lovely Spanish girls and how we would have Spanish omlette nights in our flat. I jokingly asked him if he could make me a Spanish omlette. I was in the office last night and HE BROUGHT IN A SPANISH OMLETTE HE HAD COOKED FOR ME!!!! Such a sweetheart! I love how I sometimes meet such lovely people at work. It makes me so happy. I have got given a lot of things at work but never home cooked food before!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

S-S-S Days 7-11

Day 7
On the Self-Stitched-September flickr group the girls are doing a weekly photo. Everybody tries to do the same thing in their Wednesday photo. This week the theme was "at work". I think I was a little overdressed for a day at work... But I wanted to keep up the variety. I couldn't remember the last time I wore a skirt. It must have been at least May.

Day 8 

It was cold! And it rained. Really felt like the first day of Autumn! A good reason to wear pants for the first time in about four months.

  • Blue wrap cardigan
  • Static pants (Burda Mag Sep 2010 #108)
  • Lace and polka dots top (I made this a few months ago but this was the first time I wore it)

Day 9

This was a nice day. It was back to summer weather again. I started repeating outfits. I could have continued a bit longer but I didn't really want to wear the other garments I have...

  • Polka dots and pintucks dress

We had a look at a huge beautiful flat which is available for rent. Gorgeous high ceilings, lovely white walls.... lots of space for having fun.

Oh the possibilities!

I loved the light in there.

Day 10

I wore my black and white dress but didn't take any photos, so you'll just have to trust me. This was such a productive day. I bought new folders and plastic sleeves so I can get all my patterns organised instead of having pieces of paper all over my flat. I went to the market and got talked into buying far much more fruit and vegetables than I planned on. I somehow ended up with about two kilos of grapes... Those little old men and women at their stalls... I bought some homemade jam from one old néni. So much easier than making it myself!

I made some sporty shorts. Soooooo nice to sew after about two months of no sewing. And so nice to start and finish something in one day.

Day 11

Another beautiful sunny day.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

S-S-S Day 6

In the day when I was at work I wore my red plaid dress with my black and white belt. It was kind of cool weather (only 24 degrees in the day...).

In the evening I went out with some friends. We went to check out a new project which is on this month, [SZOBA|R|T] They will be putting on exhibitions and concerts. If you are in Budapest, definitely have a look, it's a cool little place.

I put on a dress which took me countless hours to make but only gets worn about twice a year (usually during these self-stitched/me-made challenges when I don't want to repeat my clothes so much) - my striped madness dress. Also, it was one of the least clashing garments I could wear with my striped jacket. My wardrobe is full of prints and more prints... I still haven't made some solid basics like I have wanted to for a long time. I wore my sparkly leggings too.

I love my jacket.

So does Dávid. When he saw it he was like "I want one too".

Mr and Mrs Stripe

So I made him one! I used Burda 8186 for his and Burda 7757 for mine. I made the shirt he is wearing in the pic too.

Monday, September 5, 2011

S-S-S Days 4 and 5

Day 4

I wore my other scalloped polka dot dress and my petticoat. I would love to get some nice pics of my petticoat sometime. It is one of my favourite items. It is three tiers of sheer lavender organza - I love it.

Day 5

I'm wearing my black and white dress and the belt I made to go with it, and my petticoat. I didn't actually want to wear this today but for the sake of variety I put it on. If I wasn't posting pics I would have put on one of the dresses I wore in the first few days of September...

Sunday, September 4, 2011

S-S-S Day 3

Day 3

I had another day off. It was so nice. I got up early and went swimming.

 I made this bikini a couple of summers ago. It is getting a lot of use now. I've started swimming every day. I leave my makeup bag there so I HAVE to go. I am loving starting my day in the water. It is so relaxing.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Self-Stitched-September Days 1 and 2

So Self-Stitched-September has started.

Day 1:

I met up with a friend for an early coffee and wore a dress I made a few years ago which I still love.

In the evening I went out for a couple of drinks so I got changed. I didn't realise til later, but I put on a very similar dress to what I had been wearing earlier... Is it obvious that this is my favourite pattern ever?

Day 2

A day off work. I was so happy to have a day just to hang out with one of my good friends and relax and wander around the city and not have to talk to any stupid guests.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Soon it's September!

I can't wait for September. August has been passing so quickly but I kind of can't wait til it's over. Less tourists should be coming so work should be a little easier. I am exhausted. I just want to lie down and sleep for a week....

Fun things will be happening in September.

I'm going to take part in Self-Stitched-Sept '11. The amazing Zoe has organised another self-made clothes challenge for September. Another month of wearing clothes I have made myself. Actually I have just been wearing self-made clothes since the end May... Wearing my own clothes makes me happier.

This challenge will be good though because: 
  •  I will have to make some sporty clothes. 
  • I need motivation to finish/repair the growing pile of clothes that I am setting aside at the bottom of my wardrobe. For example, the pair of pants I made last September which I have worn a lot but still haven't hemmed....
  • Also, I don't want to bore everyone showing the same 3 dresses I have been living in all summer so I have some motivation to vary what I am wearing. 

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Busy Summer Days

More than a month since I have posted anything... Been so busy. In July I worked at kids camps in different parts of the country. It was a good experience, I got to see some new cities, got to know some other ones better. Lots of time spent I met so many different types of people. It was a very challenging month but the kids and all the fun and laughs we had made it worthwhile.

This little boy was so cute and funny!

Finally an activity these little terrors could agree on doing - painting. Being alone with 9 seven year and eight olds... not so easy.

On the last day of every camp the kids performed a play in English (!). This was one of the plays.

Such creative kids! This kid is a hedgehog.

More fun with paint...

At the end of July I got back my old job which I had quit last year. And now that company is bigger so I am doing the same work, in two places... I have only had three days off this month. Pretty exhausted... I haven't had any time to sew! I miss sewing.

I have just moved into a lovely little flat. I can't wait to unpack my sewing machine. It is nice to have a proper place to live after almost a year of being a gypsy. It has been a pretty interesting year so far but I want to be a bit more settled. I've decided to stay in Budapest, at least for another year. 

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

I love summer. I hate summer

Summer makes me happy. Summer makes me fat. Summer makes me unhappy.

I noticed one of my fave dresses, one which has always been very comfortable to wear, was so tight around the bodice when I was wearing it yesterday. Tight like I was constantly conscious of it. With all this travelling of late (camps in different cities) I can't really do any sewing (can't carry my machine), but I figured I can at least bring some supplies for tracing a few patterns, and some fabric to cut out. Tonight I traced out one of the patterns and then I was thinking about the tight dress. So I got out my tape measure. My waist and hips are both 4 cm bigger than normal! That is one whole freaking Burda dress size bigger! With what I want to make that is almost a big enough difference to not be able to put the garment on! With Burda patterns, for me, generally the pants/shorts/lower half stuff fits if I use the size my measurements say to use. With the jackets I think it is best to go one or two sizes smaller than suggested... Freaking terrible having to trace out the pattern again, in a bigger size.

I think this weight gain is because of too much alcohol and Hungarian food. I don't actually normally eat much Hungarian food but at these camps they provide all the food and it is so heavy. And the morning tea/afternoon tea are usually pastries/bready things... And sometimes there are extra pastries... And it is hot and there are ice creameries everywhere.

I miss cooking for myself....

I am not the kind of person who diets but I can limit my alcohol intake... Sooooo, I am writing this here, so I have some motivation to keep this:

I'm not going to drink or eat ice cream until I am 4cm smaller.

With the alcohol and going out and the happiness, I am not sure which is the chicken and which is the egg. Anyone else normally put on weight in summer?

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Bracelets, Paint and Győr

I'm in Győr at the moment. It's a pretty little city halfway between Budapest and Vienna. Being on the train coming here, it was like another world. Definitely not a Hungarian train. It had been forever since I'd been west of Budapest. The train was full of German speakers.  I have heard more German on the streets here in Győr than English. It's so close to Austria, it was tempting to just stay on the train... I haven't been to Austria since 2006, which is kind of crazy when I think about it... I have passed through, but not stopped.

I am working at a kids summer camp. This one is good because it has such a high ratio of girls to boys (10 to 3). Most of these girls love doing craft stuff as much as me. We have been making beaded bracelets. Some girls even brought in more beads from home so we would have more colours. I taught them how to do a knotted bracelet with thread too (the kind that was super popular when I was about 11). I told them to tell me if they were bored of it but they are always asking if we can go and make more bracelets. Seriously, I think we could make bracelets for the entire 8 hours and they would be happy. It would be great if there was a market for these, I would have my little sweatshop all ready with HAPPY workers...

Such pretty colourful grass... The beads got spilled on the grass at least once every beading session. A nightmare to pick up.

My new necklaces.

One of the most productive bracelet makers...

We got the kids to be our tour guides and show us around the city. They were actually such informative guides. Later it turned out one of the mums works for the tourism office there. She is trying to build tourist numbers to Győr. Go visit Győr!

Did you know that the Bazilika in Győr has a painting of the Virgin Mary which weeped tears of blood in 1697? Me neither. That's it surrounded by all the gold stuff.

Saw the tomb of Apor Vilmos. I never knew who he was before this either  (I just knew him as the square at the end of the 105 bus).

We will perform a little play tomorrow so we were making a background for that.  All the boys went out to play football and us girls had fun painting, making a big mess.

This is my newest dress by the way, will post about it when I have proper pics.

Water got accidently spilled on the painting at times....

Feet painting... :)

It was a pretty great day!