Wednesday, December 30, 2020

Butterfly Pajamas

Last month I bought about 1.2 m of french terry in a colorful butterfly pattern. The fabric looked very beautiful in the shop and I imagined it as a light hoodie for Gaby. I even bought a pattern of a cute hoodie from However, instead Gaby requested a new pair of pajamas, as her flat in Prague is rather cold. My fabric was not sufficient for the top and the bottom of a PJ pair, so I went back to the fabric shop in search of a coordinating fabric for the bottom. Gaby wanted it in blue, but all the suitable fabrics were not blue and all the blue fabric was not suitable for pajama bottoms, so in the end I bought a meter of ponte in this purple color.

For the top of the pajamas I used my true and tried Shkatulka top with some minor corrections in height and extended width, as this french terry is not very elastic. I have a decent amount of fabric left, almost enough for a second top, but I am hesitant, as i don't think the fabric is suitable for PJs and I should have probably stuck with my initial plan to make a hoodie out of it.

The PJ bottoms are the personalized pajama style pattern I got last summer from The ponte is a bit softer and the bottoms are not that bad, but the whole color and fabric choice is overall very wrong. The color scheme is childish in an unflattering way and I don't think the PJ will get much wear. 

But! Today I acquired the ultimate PJ pattern (IMHO) - just what I was looking for - the Movie Night Pajamas by Sew a Little Seam and my hands are itching to make a proper pair of PJs. Can't wait for Monday, when the fabric shops will be open again!

Monday, December 28, 2020

Blouse 114 Burda 11 2020

I finally found the right fabric to sew Blouse 114 from Burda 11 / 2020 - the cover pattern of the issue. I bought the pattern, printed it and glued it as soon as it was available, but the fabric I was planning for it turned insufficient. I recently finished another blouse with it, but more about that later :)

A few weeks ago I came upon the same fabric I had in mind, I believe this is ITY with elastane, in this rich wine color. It was a precut 1.2 m piece and was just enough to fit size 36 with my preliminary corrections for height and width.

First - I reduced the width of the pattern pieces by 1 cm at the fold line, thus a total reduction by 4 cm. If I hadn't corrected for the width, the neckline would have been too wide and slipping off my shoulders all of the time.

Then I reduced the length of the pattern pieces - 1 cm above the arm curve and 3 cm above the waist. I also reduced the length of the grown sleeves by 2 cm and I significantly shortened the cuffs and the waist piece. As I have mentioned, I am quite petite and the pattern seems to have been drafted for someone really tall with very long arms.

Another correction I made was to make the wrist cuffs and the waist cuff more fitting. There is a major contradiction in this pattern - it requires very fluid fabric, but expects it to hold a very long cuff - naturally, the cuff slips downwards and gathers. I preferred to keep the elasticity of cuff instead of reinforcing it and to wear the blouse with the cuffs slightly raised.

Size: 36, reduced in length and width
Fabric: ITY with elastane, 1.2 m
Thread: black polyester on the overlocker, wine polyester on the straight machine
Time to make: 3 days

Saturday, December 26, 2020

Cherni Vruh on Christmas Day

 As Gaby is home for the Christmas holidays and wanted a proper mountain hike, we decided to climb Cherni vruh (2290 m), the summit of Vitosha - a fairly easy hike in the summer, but quite a challenge in winter. The forecast for Christmas days was sunny and fair weather just about zero C, so off we went early in the morning. Little did we know what a challenge the peak would be that day! 

It was cloudy with some sunshine in the lower parts of the mountain, but as we approached the ascent, the wind grew stronger and the peaks were clouded.

:At the foot of the first climb. Here I put the camera back in the backpack and didn't take it out until the peak, as the visibility was non existent.

::On Cherni Vruh! This time climbing it felt like an achievement!

:Luckily, the trail was well trodden and there were some fellow crazy hikers up and down the peak. We followed the winter marking poles and this time I truly appreciated their importance under thick fog and hurricane wind conditions.

:On the peak. No scenic panorama this time :)

:On the way back. Here we took the wrong track of winter poles, as if 57 km/h winds and zero visibility were not challenging enough. We must have been only meters from the right markings, but we couldn't see a thing. We followed for some time in the steps of whoever had passed through this track before us, checking with our GPS and in the end decided to abandon the track and traverse directly to the right trail. A bit risky in the waist deep snow, but it was only about 30-50 meters across and we were back on track, so it was worth it.


:As soon as we were down the peak back to the plateau, the fog and the mercilessly pushing us winds were behind us, it was sunny, scenic and fairly quiet.

Hike info:
Destination: peak Cherni Vruh (2290 m)
Mountain: Vitosha
Total length: 12 km
Elevation gain: 480 m
Total duration (plus rest): 4 h
Average difficulty: 7 / 10 

Me-made items, worn on this hike:
Husband: boxers, socks, hat
I: lingerie, socks, hat, green Hipster shawl, my orange Cabled top, reserve green gloves in the backpack
Gaby: socks, hat, chocolate Hipster shawl, reserve purple gloves in the backpack

Thursday, December 24, 2020

Plaid Pleated Skirt

The second skirt and the last item I made out of my 2 m plaid wool fabric - a pleated skirt for Gaby. I designed the skirt myself, using pattern 112A from Burda 03 / 2020 for the yoke of the skirt. The smallest size of the pattern is 36, and as Gaby is 34, I reduced the pieces of the pattern by 1 cm.

The original Burda skirt has an invisible zipper on the side, but I though a fly front zipper would be more appropriate for the style I was going for with this skirt. This is my first ever fly front zipper and I am very, very happy with how it came out. I watched two video tutorials and followed them step by step to make mine.

I also decided to add two small decorative pockets to the front, to add a bit of interest to the skirt.

To make the pleated part I measured the width of the yoke at the hip, tripled the length and cut a rectangular piece of fabric of the calculated length and about 30 cm in width. Then I carefully folded and ironed each pleat, basted it in place and then heavily ironed the whole pleated part again and left it to sit basted for a week, to fix the pleats.

The inside of the skirt. The overlocked edges make garments look so much more professionally made, I'm pretty happy with my work on that skirt :)

Pattern: Pleated Skirt, self-drafted, partially using #112 from Burda 03 / 2020
Fabric: wool with elastane
Size: 36, reduced
Thread: black polyester
Time to  make: 3 days

Sunday, December 20, 2020

Plana, Manastirishte in December

This is the first blue sky I've seen in a long time. Sofia is again under heavy clouds and smog and the sun, if it ever manages to break through, shines upon us from leaden skies. 

When we started from Sofia today the skies were grey again and soon after the exit of the city we enter into a very heavy fog, which only grew thicker and colder. The phenomenon had formed between Vitosha and Plana mountains and was holding the villages of Bistritza and Zheleznitza under an almost impenetrable cover. Unfortunately, we saw there had been a car accident, even though everybody was driving as slowly and as carefully as possible. And then we took the deviation for the village of Plana and - oh, magic! - as if cut with a knife after a turn the fog disappeared and the sun was shining and the sky was visible and blue. I'm sun a sun driven person that I immediately felt myself smiling and laughing. 

I was so happy we chose peak Manastirishte for our hiking goal today!

Hike info:

Destination: peak Manastirishte (1338 m)
Mountain: Plana
Total length: 7 km
Elevation gain: 160 m
Total duration (plus picnic): 2 h
Average difficulty: 2 / 10

This time I gave the short hike two difficulty points, as the tracks were muddy and sticky, so difficult to walk, but we kept a very brisk pace and climbed the peak in less than 50 min. As we arrived on top, it felt we had had a very good exercise.

Holy Spirit Chapel on top of the peak

Me-made items, worn on this hike:
Husband:socks, hat
I: lingerie, socks, hat, gloves, my purple Pull Irlandais

The heavy fog between Vitosha and Plana
We had our picnic at "our place"  - a bunch of rocks near the foot of the peak on a meadow of thick high grass and I even had a 10 min bask in the sun - as we see it so rarely lately, one has to enjoy it fully when one can :)

Thursday, December 17, 2020

Skirt 112 Burda 05 2019

 I had 2 m of the wool with elastane fabric and I managed to make not only the pair of pants I showed you here, but also TWO skirts - one for me and one for Gaby. This is the one for me - my fourth skirt #112 of Burdastyle 05 / 2019. This is a very comfortable sporty style of skirt, which I like and intend to wear a lot and make again in other fabrics as well.

My first skirt 112 was size 36 and was too big, especially around the waist. So to cut this skirt I used the pieces of size 36, but reduced the widths by 1 cm (a total of 4 cm) and additionally reduced the waist by 1.5 cm (total of 6 cm). Now it fits me like a glove!

The pattern features a double yoke, pockets,  an invisible zipper at the back and lots of decorative stitching, which I decided in the end to make in black. My plaid fabric is busy enough with horizontal and vertical lines, so additional obtrusive decorative lines seamed a bit redundant.
A few shots with the sweater tucked in, to demonstrate better the construction of the skirt.

Fabric: wool with elastane
Size: 36, reduced
Time to make: 2 days

As for the lining - the pattern envisages lining only for the yoke, I had initially added a full lining, made out of acetate lining fabric, but it was too tight and messed with the fit of the skirt, especially when I tried to adjust it around the waist - the lining kept peeking out above the waist line. So in the end I removed it and added cotton lining only to the yoke, as per pattern. However, I believe full acetate lining, but properly fitted, would be better, as the wool does stick to the tights and I know wool garments benefit from lining. So, in the future, I might reconsider adding a lining to the lower part of the skirt as well.