Friday, March 27, 2020

And Sew On

My finished sewed items are piling up, and though I still hope to be able to photograph them modeled, a few still pictures:

: The latest, finished only this morning - a skirt for Gaby. The pattern is # 112 from BurdaStyle 05 / 2019. I already made this skirt for myself, but was not happy with the fit. Based on my skirt, I narrowed and shortened the pattern pieces and the new checkered skirt fits Gaby just perfectly. It turned out the pattern is designed for banana shaped bodies, like Gaby's (less difference between the waist and hip circumference), while I'm the more mass distributed pear shape and will have to play with the design to make one for myself as well.

The inside of the skirt - I used cotton shirting remnants to make the lined yoke. Hand stitched hem.

Invisible zipper. Amazingly I had just the right color and size invisible zipper for this skirt!

I also made two blouses out of pattern # 101 by Burdastyle 03 / 2020. The pattern calls for lightweight knit, but I made mine out of lightweight wovens.

The toile is out of some lightweight cotton, I made it size 34 for Gaby, but she did not like the color and it will go into the donation bins.

The second blouse is size 36 for me, made out of lightweight linen gauze. I love the fabric and the color, but as it is very, very loosely woven, I made all the seams enclosed french seams, including the sleeves.

It turned out a nice wearable blouse, my only gripe is with the front neck, which is supposed to be boat neck, but is a bit wide on me, so I inserted an elastic thread to gather it a bit. If we are at all able to go out this spring, I hope I'll get to wear it :)

I also made a second version of the Think Pink Cardigan. This one is size S and fits me much better than the lavender one (which I still wear a lot at home). I do not like the fabric, which is thin polyester (or polycotton) knit. When I bought it I thought it was cotton, but it has definitely a lot of polyester, the cotton is debatable. I plan to make another one of these cardigans in a thick cotton knit, but I'm still hesitating whether to stick to the S size or to go up to the M (this cardigan really runs tight and small, and I'm a small person and rarely have that problem).

And the last of my finished makes - dress #105 of Burdastyle 01 / 2020. I made size 18 and ran into my frequent problem with Burda patterns - if the skirt fits my hips, it's too wide at the waist :( I narrowed the waist by 4 cm and it is still shapeless. A narrow belt could work, if I had the figure for belts, but I'm short waisted and belts simply do not fit my figure type, as they shorten me additionally. I'm planning on adding an elastic to the inside of the waist to see if this would fix the fit. The fabric is natural viscose, all the seams are french seams and I inserted an invisible zipper at the back.

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Manastirishte Again, 2020

Because I refer to my blog as a diary, I'm posting a few phone pictures from our last outing just before the complete shutdown of Sofia and the return of winter. We had a nice 7 km walk along the empty trails of Plana and gathered some sun, picnicking on the dry high grasses at the foot of Manastirishte peak.

Sofia is the only European capital, nestled at the foot of five mountains, with a well developed infrastructure of trails  and with the highest percentage of the population, practicing mountain tourism. I might be wrong, but this current lockdown, in which we find ourselves in, with a prohibition to even go to the park individually, not to mention for a walk in the mountains, is utterly nonsensical and I doubt it will last long, before we break free or go crazy.

For now, I'm limiting myself to going through my hiking pictures and working out on the elliptical at home :(

Monday, March 23, 2020

Face Masks

It seems the coronavirus crisis is going nowhere anytime soon, Sofia is under lock down, there are no masks in the pharmacies, so yesterday I sewed a bunch of reusable cotton face masks. The pattern and the instructions are here, but there are many other patterns and models out there.

My fabric is 100% cotton ranforce (densely woven cotton fabric) and one of the masks is made of 100% cotton shirting. The masks have two layers of cotton fabric, elastic, which pulls the mask behind the head (much more comfortable than behind the ears) and nose wires to fix the mask closely to the face. The removable and disposable inner filters are dried wet hankies. I went to the supermarket today and tested mine, it works as fine as could be expected, I suppose. After usage I threw away the filter, washed the mask thoroughly and I will iron it after it's dry.

The weather has been actually good to us - winter is back with a vengeance and staying at home is not so bad, when it's cold and snowy outside :)

And I made some comfort food too - it's so sweet and chocolaty, that if not from coronavirus, we risk dying from chocolate (hope not!).

I improvised the recipe and it came out quite good:
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup sugar 
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/4 cup cocoa
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder

For the frosting:
  • 1 tbsp soft butter
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tbsp milk

Mix the batter, pour into the cupcake forms and bake in a preheated oven at 180C. Leave to cool. Mix the frosting and distribute on top. Enjoy and stay safe!

Saturday, March 21, 2020

Malta 2020, Day 3

We spent our last day in Malta walking around Floriana and Valletta and we caught the ferry for a short walk in the Three cities across the bay:

: Sarria Gothic Church in  Floriana

: Ta Fatima church in Pieta:

: In the Botanical garden of Floriana

: Msida Bastion Historic Cemetery

: A view to Triton fountain and St. Publius Church from Valletta St. John Bastion

: St. John Co-Cathedral - an amazing historical church!

: Republic square

: St. George's square

: Lower Barrakka gardens

: War siege memorial

: Upper Barraka Gardens

: We watched the Saluting Battery show at 16:00 o'clock, it was fun

: Then we took the Barrakka lift down to the ferry and went to the Three cities

: We walked around the narrow streets of Birgu (Citta Vittoriosa)

: And after and hour and a half walk hopped back on the ferry to return to Valletta

Last night photos of Valletta and Floriana, before we took the bus to the airport and back to Sofia

:Upper Barraka gardens
:Triton fountain
:St. Publius church and the Granaries

:St. Anna boulevard