Saturday, April 30, 2011

Joining Me-Made-June

I have many clothes making hours ahead of me. Zoe has just announced Me-Made-June. Following on the success of her Me-Made-March/May and Self-Stitched-September challenges she is organising another one. Last year I participated in MMMay and SSS. I didn't join in MMMarch this year though for a few reasons: I was travelling, I didn't have so many me-made clothes (I threw away loads in a moment of madness) and also, SSS still felt too fresh. September was quite tiring for me (in the end I stopped taking photos of my outfits, I was getting sick of it).

Now though I feel up to the challenge again. And it will be June! Summer!! A different season means different clothes, I can wear my favourite summer dresses! Also, I won't have to wear so many layers so I won't need to make so much stuff.

So here is my pledge:

'I, Jodi Wade, sign up as a participant of Me-Made-June '11. I endeavour to wear
only garments I have made myself  (with the exception of lingerie, hosiery and socks) each day for the duration of June 2011'

I am looking forward to June. I have been knitting away like crazy, especially now that I want to finish my jumper by June.

I have been carrying my knitting around with me everywhere.... It is good to be able to make something while I am 1000km away from my sewing machine.

I spent about half an hour in the yarn store, getting the lovely man who works there to explain the pattern to me. He couldn't translate everything though so I will have to wing it a bit. I haven't met anyone who knows knitting terminology in both Turkish and English...

In other news, I got a lovely surprise today. My blue dress is Member Project of the Week on BurdaStyle!!!!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Knitting in Turkish

I found a great yarn store just around the corner from where I am staying in Istanbul. There was a great striped jumper pattern in a free booklet so I decided to try it. Even though it is in Turkish... At the moment I am doing fine but when it comes to the shaping for the armholes then I will need a Turkish knitter to translate for me...

The pattern is meant to be made up with a wool. I spent a lot of time going through all the different wool colours, trying out different combinations (the jumper has five colours), the man was helping me choose.

I had pretty much decided on the colours, then the man was like, "you shouldn't use wool, it will be too warm". (!!!)

I had wanted to make a nice jumper for cool Spring nights. Somehow he could magically tell that I am a slow knitter. So I followed his advice and had a look at the cottons. I chose four of the colours, and then he suggested a dark orangey brown I would never have looked at.

The colours look a bit different in real life. The end one is a mint green...
They looked good together so I bought them. Then I started knitting, got to the point when I should start the dark orangey brown. And I just couldn't. Not my colour. Luckily the man let me swap it :) I chose a light brown cotton instead and I am happy with that.

I have been enjoying my days, knitting a lot, befriending cafe owners, spending hours and hours relaxing in the hamam.

Coffee, popcorn, knitting...

So far I have done this much:

This year is like the year of stripes. I see colourful stripes everywhere....

Thursday, April 21, 2011

(Happy) Blue Spring Days

I have a new jacket! It's a light wool mens suiting fabric. I love it! One of my goals was not to purchase a patterned fabric (because I have so much patterned stuff already that it is pretty difficult for my self-made clothes to match...). So I'm not going to count these stripes as patterned - if only because the stripes are both blue. Also, I am trying to stick to colours that work together so I have chosen blue as my base.

I used Burda 7757. I think it is discontinued. I made View C, the longer one with the pocket. It wasn't so hard to make, even without English or Hungarian instructions.

I took the libegő up into the Buda Hills with my friends earlier this month. It was so beautiful up there, all the wildflowers out in force. My talented friend Zsuzsi Pal took the photos. Look at more of her pics on flickr. Thanks Zsuzsi!

See the buttonhole? It's a bound triangular buttonhole. I really need to learn how to do regular bound buttonholes... I did want to do one but didn't have any net access while making this to look up how they are done...

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Market Memories

 A couple of years ago I went to a weekend market in the Hungarian countryside with my ex boyfriend's mum. She loved going to markets. So we went even though it was my ex's birthday :) We spent hours there, browsing through all the stuff, bargaining with the sellers. It was great. I found some bright blue fabric. There wasn't so much, only about a metre, but I was able to squeeze a dress out of it.

I drafted a basic dress pattern with a waist seam. It has a little pleat at the front neckline.

All the photos in this post were taken by my friend Zsuzsi Pal. Check out her other photos here. She wrote an article about me last year for the magazine Budapest Think and we needed to have photos to go with it so we did a little photo shoot. If you want to read the article it is here. Zsuzsi wanted me to wear blue so I had to hurry to finish this dress which I had started a year previously. The neckline and armholes are bound with a ribbon (this was before I learnt the Hungarian word for bias binding... ferdepant).

Monday, April 18, 2011

I shouldn't make clothes for others

A friend of mine asked me to make her a pinafore dress. She had photos of her friend's one which she wanted me to copy. Exactly. I actually thought the original dress looked kind of ugly but it was what she wanted. So I made it. And I love it. I was wishing I didn't have to give it to her.... But she had bought the fabric and already paid me for it so I had to :(

The stretch satin was a dream to work with. It was so easy to sew.

The top part is lined with the same fabric, for the skirt I used some pale blue lining fabric I had left over from the spring jacket I just made. Lining it like this means no hemming. Yay!!!

I made Joja a dress last year which I also didn't like at first but which I fell in love with as well. Maybe I will have to make myself a pinafore dress....

I am in Istanbul again. I spent most of today in a lovely cafe. Cafe Kafka. It's great! My new favourite place. I spent hours in there drinking coffee and hot chocolate, eating cheesecake, writing in my diary. The owner was showing me around the place. He said when it opened 22 years ago there were only two cafes in Beyoglu! And now there are about 3000...

There about 5 floors of rooms which you access with a narrow staircase. Cosy couches. Great atmosphere. Aaaaaaah I love it there!

The Tulip Festival is on. The city of Istanbul plants thousands of tulips everywhere, it's so nice!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

I love bias binding!

I have just learnt how to use bias binding on necklines and sleeves. OMG. I cannot believe I never learnt this years ago! It is such a nice way of finishing edges. It makes them so nice and clean. Is it sad that I kind of get giddy happy looking at the inside of my dress necklines now?

I was using BurdaStyle's Anda dress pattern and in it it explained how to use the binding. I made an Anda a few years ago but I guess I didn't really read the instructions back then because I just sewed the binding over the edge so it shows on both sides. I feel like my eyes have been opened up. Here are the instructions. I think I should take some sewing lessons. Or buy some sewing books. I used to have a really great sewing book, the Readers Digest Complete Guide to Sewing. My dad bought it for me when I was a teenager. I wish I had it here... I think the shipping cost from New Zealand would be too high though, it's a big book.

I had to bind a v-neck too and these instructions came in very handy.

I have been doing lots of sewing this weekend. I made two dresses. The pink one and the polka dot one. I think it just needs to get a wee bit warmer to wear them. 

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Spring Sewing

I am loving Spring! The warm weather really makes me want to make new spring-like clothing but the sun makes me want to go outside and lie in the park...

There are so many daffodils out now so I am buying a fresh bunch every time I go to the market. Looking at them  makes me so happy. I put them next to my sewing machine so I can breathe in their scent whenever I want.

Yesterday I took the libegő (chair lift) up into the Buda hills. I love how the BKV have just crossed out the year so the tickets can still be used.

Walking through the forest up there made me think of one of my favourite poems. You can get a glimpse of my new jacket. We took tons of pics so will have them up soon.

I have a slight stripe addiction. The last three fabrics I've bought have been striped... I made my jacket out of the dark and light blue wool. The yellow is now a dress. I am deciding what to do with the blue and gold.

A dress or a skirt? It is quite a light fabric, horizontal stripes. Actually I think it is lining fabric, I don't care, I love the colours. I found it in a second hand shop. I think it is acetate (2.30am burn tests.... insomnia...). I didn't know that acetone dissolves acetate... Anyway, I have about a metre and a half of it. Enough for a dress if the skirt isn't too full. Any ideas?

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Trip to Istanbul

I was travelling for about three weeks of March so I couldn't participate in Zoe's Me-Made-March 2011. I packed quite light... one skirt (that I didn't make), one dress, a couple of tops. (Also I got rid of lots of my Me-Made clothes at the end of last year in a moment of insanity so I don't actually have so many options anymore). I did wear some stuff I had made everyday though.

I spent two weeks in Istanbul - it was great! The people were so friendly, met a lot of different people. 

This post is not really going to be about clothes or making stuff but more about my trip. So be prepared for lots of photos and videos :)

Wandering around Beyoglu I saw a little shop that was full of wool and crafty stuff so I just had to go in. The woman working there was so sweet. 

She showed me how to tie a headscarf in the Muslim way. 

I spent the rest of the evening wearing a scarf out and about. Such a different experience. It was kind of like having tunnel vision. I couldn't see (or be seen) without turning my head. It really made me feel much less noticable to men.

It is so easy to meet people there. This is with Mustafa (a dj we met) and Dávid at Magma. It is this little club run by some very friendly Kurdish people. It was 2 minutes walk from where we were staying so we would see these guys quite a lot.

This is Hür. He makes the most divine chocolate eclairs I have ever tasted in my life. Hür was in love with a woman named Marla ten years ago. They broke up and he named his patisserie after her. And she doesn't even know!

Here Dávid is wearing the hat I crocheted. It goes quite well with his nose.

This was one of my favourite little restaurants. It was right opposite the hamam where we were staying so we spent quite a bit of time there practicing our Turkish.

It's the perfect country for people who like to drink a lot of tea. Like Dávid...

This next video is of Tarek. He was a guy I hung out with a little bit. He sings at a restaurant in the old town.

For most of trip we were running late to catch our trains and buses. We took the night train from Belgrade to Sofia. It was pretty funny because our Serbian friends got on the train to help us buy the sleeping car tickets and then the train departed with them still on it! They had to wait about 20 minutes until the train stopped so they could get off.

We spent about an hour playing dress up on the train. First I was a gypsy girl. Edo's mum gave me that scarf. She is so sweet, whenever I visit her she gives me some clothing/accessories!

Then we were a wartime nurse and patient. We got given some sheets by the conductor. We were like little kids. It was so much fun!

And Dávid was a Turkish man :)

Watching the birds in the Topkapi Palace Gardens at night.