Sunday, May 29, 2011

Getting ready for Me-Made-June

I'm going to Istanbul tomorrow morning! I can't wait to see my friends there. And to eat lots of mussels and fish sandwiches. And to take ferries between Europe and Asia. And to go to the Tuesday market in Kadiköy. And to spend hours relaxing in the hamam. I'm excited.

I had been thinking to live in Istanbul but now I have changed my mind, I'm going to stay in Budapest. I love this city too much. I had already bought my ticket back to Istanbul though so I am making it a fabric shopping trip.

I have just started packing. I am trying to pack as light as possible so I can fit more fabric into my backpack. Since I am only wearing me-made clothes for Me-Made-June I am only going to take clothes I have made with me (and start June early). I am thinking of about four dresses. Maybe five. I don't want to take too much stuff, but I also don't want to bore everyone wearing the same dress everyday... Any thoughts on the ideal number of outfits? I only have one me-made skirt with me at the moment and that is a wintery one so I am not going to take that. I don't know what happened to all the other skirts I have made. I don't have my shorts with me either. So it's just dresses.

I am aiming to be back in Pest in about a week, maybe 10 days. I will probably travel back up through Bulgaria and Serbia. That is my plan at the moment but these things always seem to change :)

So here is what I think I will take:
- My favourite summer dress
- Blue floral dress
- My two new just made this week polka dot dresses. You will get to see them properly in June. Is it strange to take two dresses made from the same fabric though? They are pretty different in style.
- Petticoat (I need this to go with one of my polka dot dresses which I am definitely bringing).
- Blue striped jacket
- Bikini (I don't know if it is warm enough to swim in the sea yet but I will probably be staying at a hamam so I will use it there)
- Navy jardigan (I don't love this, but it is quite warm so it's good if I end up taking any night trains).
- Blue wrap cardigan
- Sparkly leggings

Looking at that list, it seems like a huge amount of stuff. Maybe I should reduce it a little? I managed to go all of March with just one skirt and one dress plus tops... And for the whole month I just spent in Istanbul I had 1 skirt, 1 dress and 1 pair of pants plus tops/jackets.  I am only taking one pair of shoes, ballet flats. Hmmm, what to leave out of my backpack??

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Budapest! Imádlak!

It is so nice to be back in Budapest. I love this place, especially when the weather is great. It has been so warm. 28 degrees some days! I have been trying to wake up early which is pretty easy when you get up and the sky is a beautiful blue and the sun is shining.

There have been a few thunderstorms too. Is it bad that I am happy when it rains because it makes me not feel guilty about staying in and sewing? I feel like I should be outside, doing things, but really I would prefer to be making pretty dresses.

I have been going for picnics though, enjoying the parks. It is so nice to sit on grass in the sunshine! Enjoying the little things.

This isn't my bike. Unfortunately. Wouldn't it be nice to have a bike to match every dress!

I do have a blue bike to go with blue dresses though. I will post more about this dress another day. It has pleats at the hem which makes it really easy to bike in.


I am trying to improve my bread making skills. Making lots of beer bread. I want to learn how to make jam to go with it. Any jam makers out there? Any good tips or recipes?

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Help! How to save my dress??!

I spent hours and hours this past week working on a red and white striped (cotton?) dress. I was making it for a party my friend was organising in Budapest so I really had to race. The lovely Ruth (a great BurdaStyle member I met) let me use her sewing machine at her place in Istanbul! I couldn't have finished the dress in time without her. Thank you Ruth!

I like making clothes for occasions... even if it leads to a lot of stressing (I was carrying the dress all around with me so I could hand sew to finish it up whenever I had some time - at cafes, on the ferry...). I've realised that hand sewing really isn't that slow if I am not trying to make the stitches even lengths... I hand sewed the back seam, the zip, the straps, the hem and the top of the bodice.

I didn't prewash the fabric. I know, I know, you should always prewash... but I really wanted to get it started and didn't have very good access to a washing machine. I left a scrap of the fabric on the floor, it accidently got some water on it and I noticed the red bled into the white! I don't want the white stripes to turn pink!

It gets worse.

I wore the dress on Friday night with a blue leather belt. The belt left some blue colour on my dress! So now I need to figure out how to set the red and wash out the blue. Any ideas??? Different sources say to try salt and vinegar for setting, while others say that doesn't work...

I forgot to get proper pics. The bodice actually does sit properly when I am standing normally.  My friend Christopher was wearing a top made for him by our friend Tamara. So many stripes everywhere this year... Tamara is a designer from Georgia. She is very talented. She has just launched a sunglass collection. And she makes shoes! Aaaaargh I am so jealous of that fact, I would love to learn shoemaking.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Salı pazarı/Tuesday Market

I love the internet! I posted a message on BurdaStyle saying that I wanted to meet some sewers in Istanbul to go fabric shopping and a lovely woman, Ruth, contacted me. So this morning I got up early (at 9 which is very early for me.... especially since I was playing backgammon til 3.30am with the guy who owns the cafe next door). Then I walked down to the water and caught the ferry to the Asian side. I love that - going between continents in 20 minutes.We met up in Kadiköy and went in search of the Salı pazarı (Tuesday Market). After a bit of walking we found it. So much fabric! Such low prices! A lot of it has some flaws (the end of the rolls aren't printed right, some is stained, some is weirdly sewn together). But a lot of it is really nice fabric. There were tables covered in buttons, ribbons, zips. Sewers paradise! If my wallet/backpack were bigger I would go crazy buying stuff there.

My stripe addiction continues. I couldn't resist this red and white striped fabric. I think it will become a dress.

There were lots of women there, sorting through all the piles of fabric. When you see something you like you really have to hang on to it to make sure the other woman don't grab it. Fun experience :)

Then we went to another area still on the Asian side and checked out the fabric district there. Istanbul is so big. So many different districts, so many hard-to-remember place names.  I like how in this city shops are grouped by type. Like there is a street with about twenty stores all in a row, all selling lights and lamps. Or an area where there are five wig shops next door to each other. It's a little strange for me but I like the convenience of it, especially when it means I can visit lots of fabric shops in a short amount of time.

I hear this song every day. So I have grown to quite like it :) Either it is on the radio all the time or Yasar (he works at the hamam where I'm staying) puts it on.

My knitting is slowly coming along. I have done about half of one sleeve (and started the second because I don't really know how to continue the first....). Where can I find a trilingual (English/Turkish/Knitting) person??