Sunday 20 April 2014

Easter Sunday

Today, it's not just Easter Sunday; there was a baptism in our church.

And there were many children, too. But I did not take photos of them. In part because they're so lively.

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I did not really intend to do an outfit post, because... well, it's Easter. But I got so many compliments at church that I figured I'd better document this for posterity. As in, the purpose of the outfit posts is to document what I like wearing and what looks good on me and this apparently fits into both categories.

Also because the coat is one of my newest thrift shop finds that fills a considerable hole in my wardrobe. It was very cheap for such a good staple. There are some little problems with it (like a spot hidden by the purse), but it's very much "me", and I don't find coats that feel just right that often.

beige wool felt cloche - C&A
green cotton T-shirt - thrifted
brown cotton blend sweater - C&A, second hand from a friend
beige cotton coat - thrifted
blue plaid woollen blend skirt, bias cut - thrifted
brown stockings - some Czech brand or other, České fusekle in Brno
black leather pumps - Clarks, second hand / thrifted
shoulderbag / purse - thrifted
ring - my baptism gift from grandma

Sometimes, an outfit is not a sum of its parts. But this one is. I like them all, and I like the complete picture probably even more. Not bad for something I just pulled together in the morning when I decided I did not feel like wearing my Blueberry skirt on such a bright day...

It's actually a very 1930s silhouette, somehow.

The cats, of course, got curious. So here are some cat photos for you:

One of the tiny ones playing with the tripod. We've reached a point where only some of the cats have names. This is the playful one. It may be the same one as the one called Lorinka, but I'm not sure and think not. Their coats changed a lot with the change to summer coat. :/

A tomcat being mesmerised by a bird.

This tomcat.

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And I've just seen my first butterfly of the year. It was yellow. Joy.

Saturday 19 April 2014

An Easter gift for you: Free pattern for a 1848 jacket aka kacabajka, and sewalong

So, the 1848 kacabajka. The one I have a pattern for.

Want that pattern? You can have it. You can have it for free, as a multisize printable PDF.

There are, of course, catches, because I'm by no means a pattern-making expert. But it's free! Well, free provided you don't count additional work as cost. Practically free! You can make yourself a mid-19th century jacket, or one in the style, and you don't have to pay for the pattern, or painstakingly resize it from a tiny draft. That's good, right?

A new cover for my mobile phone (and a partial tutorial)

I sorely needed a new cover for my mobile phone. I made one about four years ago and it was no longer fit for polite company.

So, that's what I've just done. Made a new cover for my mobile phone. With felt inside to protect the phone.

It's not perfect - it's only the second one I've ever made, and the first I've done with felt and on machine, and there's some fiddly stitching around corners in very limited space that I really could have done better... among other things. But the first one lasted me for four years, so hey, not bad.

Although towards the end, the first one looked like this:

So yes, I definitely needed a new one.

I got very lucky with the fabric. Some time ago, Spoonflower did a promotion on a new fabric - it's called Silky Faille, which of course means there's no silk in it at all and it's all polyester. Anyway, you could get a free swatch of it, so I used that opportunity to finally get myself some of my favourite design.

I mean, my favourite design of mine. I have several up on Spoonflower, but never got around to ordering any, because money and international shipping and who knows what else. Which, of course, in Spoonflower's policy meant that no one else could order them either, so it was all just a mental excercise.

But thanks to this, there's now one up that you can order yourself! And now they offer the prints in wallpapers and gift wraps and decals as well, so if you're not into sewing, you can still get yourself, for example, a gift wrap with tic-tac-toe and some fish pictograms. I'm quite proud of this idea, and it turned out very well.

Tic-tac-toe fish 1 

End of shameless self promotion.

That photo above is the swatch I received. The blue is a very nice deep, rich turquoise blue (almost teal), so I was very satisfied - I was afraid the colour of the printed fabric would be blander than on screen (as it apparently happens with some colours), but no, it's actually a bit more saturated than on my screen, so it should last well.
And as I looked at the swatch, I thought it was perfect size for the new mobile phone cover that I so desperately needed.

As it turned out, it was not only perfect size, the spacing of the pattern was more or less perfect, too!

This here is my very simple pattern. You need the width of your phone (in my case, I went with 4,5 cm), the height of it (I went with 10 cm, which was slightly more than the actual height), and the thickness (2,5 cm - I also store an additional Mini SD in its case in my cover, so the thickness is more than the actual thickness of the phone).

Cut the same from felt. You can leave very narrow seam allowances with felt if you're confident you'll manage them under your sewing machine foot. I did. I'm one for minimum seam allowances and minimum fabric waste.

Sew the bottom corners first.

Then the bottom seam.

And then the side seam.

And make it nice and smooth.

Very quick, very simple. Do the same with your outer fabric. The faille frayed a lot, so I stitched it with a zig-zag stitch to prevent the fraying.

What follows is the part that I think I could have done better. There must be a better way to do it. Anyway, what I did was put the felt into the outer shell, stretch it all to fit together - I put in the mobile phone and the SD case to make it fit together the way it should. And fold down and pin the seam allowances of the shell to the felt.

This was where it got very unscientific and messy. I could not figure out which side to pin from, and which side to sew from, and so on. And at the bottom corners of the flap, I had to clip the fabric so I could fold it, and now I have exposed clipped bits there.

Anyway, I took the phone out again and topstitched it together (from the inside). And that's how I made my felt-lined mobile phone cover. Feel free to steal the idea, and feel free to order the fabric and use it for yours. :-)

Oops. I slipped into shameless self-promotion again.

Tuesday 1 April 2014

I'm looking at you, Oona

I've suddenly realised that I'm somewhat bolder - or perhaps more "so what?" - about pattern combinations than I used to be. It's subtle, subtler than Oona's technicolour, but it's there. I would not have put this simple everyday outfit together like this - maybe not even a year ago. Or if I would have, I would have felt self-conscious walking the street like that, wondering if it looks weird. I only started feeling self-conscious today upon realising that I wasn't, that I liked what I was wearing.

I suppose this is how personal style happens. When you stop putting your clothes on just like that. And then you stop worrying if your clothes match and if the skirt hits a good spot on your legs and if the sweater does not make you look fat (actually, I don't think I've personally ever worried about that last item, but you get the picture). And you put your clothes on just like that.

I don't wear this every day - I still have trousers that don't fit me very well, and things. But this is what I can throw together when I feel like it and none of it is in the wash etc. etc. And looking at that photo - a quick snap with the camera sitting wobblingly on a chair, because the tripod is at home, and still the photo looks good - I think here I've managed the art of harmonising with my environment, too. :D

I wear that Felicitas Queisser scarf All. The. Time. I like having this as my signature style, for obvious reasons. I really need more fichu-en-marmote-able scarves. Ones I could wear with my bolder colours, too.

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I'm actually not looking at Oona. I'm looking into the garden. Some spring colours are very bold.