Friday, November 12, 2010

Corduroy Trench and Shorts

I’ve been toying with the idea of making a trench for Emma for a while; so, when I found this polka dot corduroy fabric I knew I had to try it.

Speaking of fabrics, when I was planning the fall capsule for my daughter, I first narrowed down the pieces I wanted to make, and then focused on the fabrics. I definitely wanted some corduroy; it is such a cosy fall material! I was glad I could use a flower-print one I’ve had for a few years (see the shorts in this post), and I found the polka dot one online. It was an added bonus that both cord fabrics coordinated. Also, both are pinwales and lightweight.

As you can see, the shapes of the trench are very basic, yet, lady-like. I was glad to find the lace-up shoes to "toughen up" an otherwise very girly wardrobe.

Construction-wise, the trench has inseam pockets, cuffed sleeves, and is lined in lightweight cotton fabric, all practical details.

We found the cap in TJ Maxx and I knew it would perfectly compliment the trench, so, we had to have it.

I had to wait three weeks for the flower-shaped buttons, but it was worth it, they add just the right touch of whimsy.

I find that shorts are a great alternative to skirts, even for winter, worn with tights.

The pattern for this pair of shorts is from Burda WOF, and was reviewed here: as a summer garment. For fall, I made it in flower-print corduroy, in a size bigger.
As I have said before, I love the playfulness and girliness of this pattern. I highly recommend it to anyone sewing for a girl.

A couple of detail shots:

Monday, November 8, 2010

Dresses, Dresses, And More Dresses

DD loves dresses. If she had it her way, she would wear dresses only, preferably princess ones...

As part of my fall capsule for her, I made 3 dresses.

1. Diamonds and Squares dress.

This dress was made using a Burda WOF pattern, but unfortunately, I don't remember which one. I used a poly knit and played with the pattern: the placket features squares and the rest of the dress diamonds. The dress is underlined with a lightweight cotton knit, and the neckline is bound with lightweight brown corduroy cut on the bias. There is a CB button closure.

The other 2 dresses I had made before (2 years ago) in a smaller size. They turned out to be such huge hits with DD that I remade them in her current size this summer. Since they have been previously reviewed in detail, I will provide only brief descriptions below.

2. Village Frock

The pattern was purchased from the ladies behind

For previos version and construction details, pls click here:

3. Striped Dress with Leggings

Previous version and construction details, pls click here:
This dress is self-drafted, and made from a reversible (two-faced) interlock. I utilized both sides. The bodice is lined with something similar to swimsuit lining.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Polka Dot Tiered Skirt and Marc Jacobs - Inspired Tees

Thanks to everyone for the well wishes and the congratulations on our baby boy!
I apologize for the non-existing maintenance of the blog, but babies do that. Luckily, he is a delightful baby and fills my heart with so much joy.

Back when I was pregnant, I made a fall capsule for DD, and will try to post the outfits as she is wearing them.

I wil start today with a skirt and two tees.

The skirt is a design inspired by J Crew's Crewcuts summer collection. The original skirt was made of silk and the tiers laid more flat. Our version is made from lightweight corduroy and poofs up, which I love:

The tees (the one worn with the skirt and the one below worn with the jeans) were inspired by the Marc by Marc Jacobs tee below. I liked the peeking twisted contrast at the hem and at the sleeves. My version is with quarter sleeves and is more fitted.
Here are two close-ups:Details on construction:
Skirt: It has a base layer ( a rectangle) onto which the gathered and hemmed tiers are attached. The waist is elasticised, with the elastic laying on the inside of the skirt. I also lined the skirt.
Tee: It actually consists of 2 tees, the inside layer being cut longer at teh hem and sleeves. The two layers are constructed separately, and then attached at the hem and sleeve hems. when attaching the side seams of the inside layer are moved clockwise for a twisted effect. Lastly, the neckband is attched to both layers simultaneously.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Our Baby Boy

Our baby boy Alexander Valentin (Valentin is my Dad's name) was born in the end of July (way after his due date), and we have been busy loving him ever since!
I have some fall clothes that I made for DD before Alexander's birth and will try to post them as she starts wearing them. The temperatures have to drop WAY down first!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

What Happened To Me... (not good)

I had to run some errands today in Peyton, and noticed that a new nail salon called "Chic Nails" had opened. I have been going to a place that is very good but is a bit far, so since this new one was close, I decided to peek inside. To check the service, I decided to get the cheapest thing done, a paraffin dip for the hands. The guy who was doing it poured paraffin in 2 plastic bags (mind you, I have never seen it done that way, you usually dip in the paraffin and then they put plastic gloves on your hands) and asked me to put my hand in one of the bags. As I am sitting on a chair and putting my hand in the bag, he is maneuvering the paraffin around my fingers and hands from across a table. At that point he twitched or something, I don't know, but he poured the entire paraffin content of the bag over my thigh and the part of my dress that was covering it. I was so distraught, I got up and said I was leaving. Noone from the 3 people servicing the location said anything, with the exception of a meek, "I am sorry" by the guy. Mind you, at this point I am clearly super very visibly 9-months pregnant, was obviously balistically upset, and the only reason I did not lose it right there was because my 4 y.o. was right next to me.
I left, went home, searched online for how to get rid of the wax, tried to clean up the dress, but the stains would not go away no matter what I did. I called a dry cleaner and she said that with colored paraffin (which cosmetic paraffin wax is) it is likely the stains will stay in one form or another. So, I called the salon, and told the guy they should pay for the damaged dress (I actually had just bought it and had the receipt saved, the tags still in my unempried trash can). He told me he would not do that because it was an accident and that he did not have time to deal with me. Then, he hung up. BTW, he refused to put me in touch with the owner.
Next, my husband got really pissed off by the hanging up of the phone, and drove off to the place to make his point. I was not there (probably should have gone as well) but the guy insisted that not only it was an accident but it was entirely my fault because I had moved my hand. I had not, not to mention that the projectile of the paraffin flow would have been very different if I had, however, this is beside the point. The other two workers agreed with him, although they were doing pedicures about 5 yards away from me and had no way of knowing what happened, other than it happened.
Mind you, the dress was not expensive but 1) was really pretty, 2) fit me very well (which when you are 38 weeks pregnant and still relatively small in the rest of your body is very very hard to come by), and 3) would have been great for the last 2-3 weeks of the pregnancy, for breastfeeding, and for the first 2 postpartum months. The dry cleaner I left it with was very ambivalent about the result; she said she would try her best. I mean, realistically, what else can she say or do anyway.
Now, I complained to the Better Business Bureau, wrote a negative review for the business on, but I feel so utterly unsatisfied and screwed over! I even cried after my husband came home and told me what their version of the events was. If I was not as pregnant as I am right now, I would have totally taken this issue with the small claims court (although it is not worth my time and effort, I would have done it on the principle). But right now I simply can't! I just have this overwhelming desire for revenge that I cannot quite get control of...

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Over The Knee Boots Infatuation...Yeah, in June...

I know it is HOT outside and only the end of June, but I could not contain my excitement when I came across these Alexander Wang "Sigrid" boots on (the photos are from there). They are over -the-knee, and the notched heel and the back zip closure are to die for.
The website does not mention where they were made, yet, another retailer that carries other footwear pieces from his prefall collection lists the items it carries as "made in China." I don't mind shoes being made in China, but should they cost $900 then? I don't know... Had they been made in Italy, Spain, heck, maybe even Brasil, then ok, but China?
If they ever go on sale, I may get them.

Look at the profile and the heel! Beautiful...

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Burda Website Rant

Ok, so by now most of you have already heard about the closing of Burda Fashion website for EG speakers and “merging” it with Burda Style.
I am going to start by saying that I am not one of those people opposed to change and new things, not in the least. However, I am miffed by this decision. I am also confused by what might have inspired it! After a long courting of American sewers, Burda just decides to take away its entire magazine website from them?
I used to use the magazine website a lot – for the archives, for previews, etc. Now I have to go to the Russian website (thank goodness my Russian is still decent) and navigate from there. But why? To me, Burda Style serves a completely different purpose than Buda Fashion and has a distinctly different concept altogether. I, personally, don’t care about it, but that is just me. There are plenty of people who like it and use it. What I am struggling with is why suddenly EG users are denied access to the most popular features of Burda Fashion. I read some of the explanations that the people behind Burda Style have provided, and found them plenty lame. They say that “some” features will be eventually added to the Burda Style, but fail to elaborate on which features and when. Now, if it was up to me, I would have first asked for opinions of users before doing something this major. Even then, though, I would have done a gradual move to Burda Style, and present users with a full of features website, as opposed to one that is yet to be populated.

Bottom-line for me, I've spent plenty of time on Burda Style to determine it is not my cup of tea, and I don’t see using it in future. As long as the access to the Russian Burda Fashion website remains an option, I’d continue going there for previews and archives.

What do you all think?

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Girly Summer

Here are the rest of the things I made for DD as part of my summer sewing plan:

Burda WOF 2008-04-140, s.104:

Sleeveless top with shoulder ties; made from cotton seersucker in white and yellow stripe.

From the magazine:

Burda WOF 2008-03-133:

Sleeveless top with ribbon at shoulders and neckline; made from an old cotton shirt of my husband (the sleeves and two fronts).

From the magazine:
Burda WOF 2008-03-2008, s.104:

Shorts/Bloomers; made from cotton seersucker in white and yellow stripe.

Design-wise, I found the shorts most amusing. The pockets are really interestingly done, the leg is gathered as in rompers, and the ties are so cute! All in all, it is a very fresh, girly, and current garment. I am planning on making it from pinwale corduroy (in a size larger) for fall.

From the magazine:

Burda WOF 2008-03-131, s.104:

Dress/ Pinafore Top with gathered straps; made from cotton voile with beautifully raised print. Depending on the length of the bodice, this pattern can be either a tunic or a dress. I like that it can be layered over a tee. The flower pin is not part of the pattern, I just thought it was a nice touch.

I love the fabric. You cannot really appreciate it unless you can see it and handle it. I really want to make something for myself from it, but cannot settle on the design. Maybe next summer…
From the magazine:

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Little Girl's Sewing

I am continuing with posting the outfits I've made for DD. She, btw, has recovered from her surgery and is all better. We don't know if the surgery resolved the underlying issue, and will not know until end of August.
So, let's begin...
Striped dolman sleeve tee - selfdrafted.
The striped tee is self-drafted and made from lightweight cotton jersey.
I made for myself the same design tee, from the same fabric.

The necklace, btw, is her "pink pearls necklace," and she styled it with this outfit herself.

Linen Tunic, Burda WOF 2008-08-134, s.104:

Well-drafted pattern, the back closure is a line of buttons down the CB.

I don't know if you can tell from the photos, but the stripe has a tiny metalic thread woven into it. From magazine:

Burda WOF 139-07-2009: Wrap dress; made from lightweight denim.

The dress, in itself, is a very plain design, which is why, I think, the magazine suggests embellishing with crystals at the bottom hem. I chose to do a chiffon flower (from Dillard’s) instead; it is more my daughter, I think. However, my only advice, make it in a fun print or you will have to embellish. The flower, btw, is detachable.

From magazine:

To be continued...

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Burda WOF 2008-11-139

I have been doing a lot of sewing for DD, and it is time for some posting to take place!

This dress is from Burda WOF 2008/11-139, and is designed by the head designer of Pampolina. Below is the nagazine picture and the technical drawing.

Technically, I should have cut s. 104, but this is s.110. I did it in 110 so she could wear it in the fall, however, I think that one can easily size up in this pattern.

The fabric is pinwale corduroy (Kaufman print). The fabric is a fairly busy print with larger objects, so I had to be careful with the placement of the pattern. Luckily, the print was not off-grain at all! The dress is fully lined with ponge lining.

There is an invisible zipper in CB. There is also a lot of topstitching but it is worth it.

My impressions from the instructions: not impressed, very typical Burda WOF.
The pattern, however, is drafted beautifully!
I love how the dress turned out, the fabric totally makes it!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Today's Pregnancy Outfit

I am in my 29th week. It is getting heavy, I am feeling acidic, and huff and puff all the time.
Have been meaning to post pictures of the clothes I made for my daughter; however, we were thrown a curveball here. After much insistance from my husband and me, a sleep study was performed on our daughter. It confirmed our suspicions that she had sleep apnea, and not just any sleep apnea but a "markedly severe" one. So, she had to have her tonsils and adenoids removed. The surgery went well; turned out she had oversized adenoids and adult-sized tonsils. The recovery has been bumpy though, very rough on her. Therefore, the pictures will have to wait a bit.
Had to run errands today, including find myself a new bra. Here is what I wore (t-shirt dress, leather jacket, tights and clogs):

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Vogue Pattern 8259 Wanted

Does anyone have the Claire Shaeffer Vogue Pattern 8259 (6-8-10 ) that they would be willing to sell? Or does anyone know where there may be one for sale?
I checked ebay and the vogue site, but did not find anything. :((

Worst come to worst, is anyone willing to lend me the pattern, so I can trace it in my size?


Sunday, April 25, 2010

Spring-Summer Collection for My Daughter

I have been doing some summer sewing for my daughter. It has been a while since I have made her anything. Plus, she has loved and worn a ton the few things I have made her. The picture above contains most of the pieces I have made for her, but there a few that I made after the photo was taken.
The idea behind the undertaking was to develop a "collection" of sorts that offers the possibility to mix and match the individual pieces. When planning, Ihad to take in consideration the summer clothes she already has (mostly bottoms). I could have, hypothetically, made her the tank tops and tees she needed, but I went to the The Children’s Place and Old Navy instead. I’d rather use the time for something less generic.
Most of the designs are Burda WOF patterns; some are drafted by me. The styles and colors reflect what I like in children's clothing, i.e. clothes that resemble those of grown-ups, yet appropriate for the little ones. That is why there are not many (any!) frills and pink hues. I did not make more pants because my daughter prefers dresses and skirts to pants, so I had to respect that as well.

I am going to post individual pictures and brief reviews (if a commercial pattern was used) shortly.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Dolman Sleeve Tops

I needed some more or less basic tops, yet, I wanted to steer clear of the basic tee. The solution - dolman sleeve top where the "dolman" element is very understated. I made the torso long, which may have to be redone after the pregnancy ends. The sleeves are slim and reach mid-forearm.

Again, I betrayed my mantra to not make multiples from the same pattern. The tan top is made from taupe heather 110z. rayon 4-way jersey; the striped top is made from lightweight cotton jersey with plenty crosswise and minimal lengthwise stretch. Both were extremely easy and quick to make, yet, I think are great wardrobe essentials.
On a separate note, the night when I made the tops, I also watched "My Sister's Keeper." I cannot remeber the last time I cried so much during a movie, but it has been a couple of years. It is one of those features that gets lodged in your brain and sticks with you, especially if you are a mother. So yes, if you have not seen it, see it; it is a brilliantly honest movie, albeit disturbing at times.