Thursday, October 29, 2020

Cowl Neck Burda Sweater

This is the second of the Burda patterns for knitted fabric I acquired during the sale - a cowl neck sweater pattern 103, published in BurdaStyle Magazine 10 / 2014. The pattern calls for drapy lightweight knit fabrics and features an interestingly constructed cowl neck and extralong sleeves.

I printed the size 34, as I intended this sweater for Gaby, and the first thing I did was to measure and cut the extra 10 cm of the length of the sleeves - maybe such sleeves were in fashion in 2014, but I thought them ridiculous.

To sum up, though I am very proud of my workmanship on the blouse and the way I managed to comprehend the sketchy instructions in Russian on the construction of the cowl, the sweater was about to be declared a disaster. Firstly, it turned out that Gaby didn't like cowl necks. Yes, I should had consulted with her, but as a maker I prefer to sew things that are interesting to me and this pattern seemed interesting ;) Secondly, my lightly brushed sweater knit fabric - super soft and extra stretchy, turned too heavy for the cowl neck and it just sits there without draping. And thirdly, if Gaby didn't want the blouse, it meant that either I had to wear it or redo it somehow and I never ever wear white. I have always considered it an awful color on me. I have warm olive skin complexion and white, even off white as in this blouse, always seemed my enemy. Not that I don't like it as a color - I love it on other people and envy them for being able to wear it, just I don't like myself in white. Until I saw these pictures.

I like the blouse, I like the fit, I love the softness of the fabric and I think it actually suits me. So I'm keeping it :) I'm planning a second version of the pattern in a teal color and a very fluid knit jersey, to test this cowl neck with a more suitable fabric.

Size: 34, shortened  sleeves by 10 cm, body by 3 cm
Fabric: lightly brushed sweater knit, 1.2 m
Thread: white polyester
Time to make: 2 days

Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Burda 6990 B Raglan Sweater

I finally sewed one of the Burda patterns for knit fabrics I bought recently - this is Burda 6990 basic raglan sweater, featuring 5 different necklines. And I liked so much the result that I made a second one out of the same fabric for my daughter.

I  chose view B - boat neckline and the smallest size - 34. However, this pattern runs really big and this XS is truly just an S - with more than enough ease around the body and the sleeves. I shortened the pattern a little above and below the waist, as I usually do. I also a bit modified the finishing of the neckline - I did a sort of a bias binding with a 3.5 cm wide band of the same knit fabric.

Size: 34 and 32, shortened
Fabric: cotton jersey, 2.2 m
Thread: black polyester
Time to make:  5 days for both tees

As I mentioned, after I made the size 34 for myself, I downsized the pattern to 32 and made an identical, but a bit narrower sweater for Gaby. This cotton jersey is very soft and stretchy and this is currently one of my most favorite blouses.

And of course, I added my personalized labels - these are actually quite necessary for boat neck T-shirts, as the difference between the front and the back is rather subtle.

Saturday, October 24, 2020

Manastirishte In October 2020

Warm and sunny October days always feel so precious to me, and today was one of them, an absolutely perfect late autumn day with temperatures +20C, the smell of grass and leaves and scenery that makes my heart sing. This autumn we are choosing open trails in the low mountains, to enjoy to the fullest the sun and the views. And one of the best of these routes is the track from the village of Plana to Manastirishte, the highest peak of Plana mountain. It is a picturesque and easy semicircular trail, with the only shortcoming - it's short.

:The trail is very wide, with almost no elevation gain

:Peak Manastirishte in the distance

:Vitosha rises up high to the west of the low Plana

Hike info:

Destination: peak Manastirishte (1338 m)
Mountain: Plana
Total length: 7.5 km
Elevation gain: 160 m
Total duration (plus picnic and rests): 2 h 30 min
Average difficulty: 1 / 10

:On peak Marchin kamak

:The long chain of peaks of Rila mountain in the far distance

Me-made items, worn on this hike:
I:  socks, Central Park Hoodie (but it was too hot and I had to take it off, so it stayed in my backpack most of the hike)

:The view from Manastirishte

:On the top. We had our snacks here, with a view to the valley below and Vitosha just across.

Thursday, October 22, 2020

Boatneck Shkatulka Tee

Last week there was a sale of Burda patterns for knits and I bought 7 new patterns, trying to select for unusual constructions or interesting details. And then, against all logic, I took out my true and tried Shkatulka fitted tee pattern and modified it again for my height, adding long sleeves and a boat neck. And this is definitely my most favourite self-made T-shirt so far!

For this iteration of the pattern I printed the Russian 42 (EU 36) size, added the boat neck I had constructed for Gaby's striped tee and elongated the sleeves, using the sleeve pattern from the Plantain Tee. The body and the sleeves are a bit long on me, but I have a funny attitude to sleeves - they either have to be 3/4 or extra long, I dislike sleeves, hitting me at the wrist (and I never wear watches or bracelets either, can't stand anything around the wrists).
To finish the boat neck, I used 3.5 cm wide bands of fabric, employing the method I devised for Gaby's tee - first I covered the back neckline, then I sewed the back to the front shoulders wrong sides facing, then I attached the long front band to the shoulders and the front neckline and finally I turned the band, covered the raw edges and sewed it down. I love the neat finish this produces!

Pattern: Shkatulka Fitted Tee, modified with boat neck and long sleeves
Size: Russian 42 (EU 36, S)
Fabric: cotton jersey
Thread: orange polyester
Time to make: 2 days

The fabric is the remainder of the gorgeous wine red knit jersey, which I initially cut for my Plantain tee. In all honesty, I prefer this fitted pattern with the boat neck to the Plantain, looking at the pictures of other Plantains, my fabric is too heavy and elastic for that cut.

I had planned to give this tee to Gaby, as having two tees out of the same fabric seemed redundant, but we'll see, I love it - the color, the cut, the fit, too much to give it away. I might act selfishly and keep it and make another one for Gaby out of a different fabric :)

Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Mandy Boat Tee

Another striped tee I made this weekend. The pattern is the very popular free Tessuti pattern - Mandy Boat Tee.

The pattern provides four sizes, each of which covers two sub-sizes. I printed the smallest size - XXS and XS, and as my fabric is rather stiff cotton knit without lycra, not very fluid and with limited stretch, I reduced the width of the body by additional 6 cm (-1.5 cm out of each front and back piece).

Pattern: Mandy Boat Tee by Tessuti
Size: 1 (xxs and xs), reduced by 6 cm in width, 2 cm in length
Fabric: striped cotton jersey
Thread: white polyester
Time to make: 3 days

One of the features of this pattern I liked most is the boat neck - this pattern is made for stripes, look at that chevron! The instructions provide an extensive pictorial tutorial on how to make the tee and, as the pattern is very popular, there are also a lot of makers' photos and videos around the web.

Although the weather is getting colder and winter is coming :), I chose the 3/4 length sleeves - to me they seem more consistent with the wide boxy body.

Sunday, October 18, 2020

Polovrak in October, 2020

We are continuing to enjoy sunny and comparatively warm weather in October, with temperatures ranging between 15C and 20C. It's not as warm as last year, when we made some of our most memorable hikes in the high mountains at the end of October, but it's definitely preferable to the cold and rain Gaby is enduring in the Czech Republic this autumn semester (on top of the virus crisis there).

This Saturday husband and I chose a favourite nearby mountain - Lozen and its summit Polovrak. As it is an easy trail and very near by car from home, we hike there at least twice a year and we still enjoy it - there are such places.

: The forests of Lozen mountain are mostly made up of oaks and the trees are especially beautiful in the autumn, I love the shape of oak leaves.

:Lozen monastery. The trail passes nearby and we always peek in the well kept grounds of the place.
Hike info:

Destination: peak Polovrak (1182 m)
Mountain: Lozen
Total length: 13 km
Elevation gain: 420 m
Total duration (plus picnic and rests): 3 h 45 min
Average difficulty: 3 / 10

:On peak Polovrak, the highest of Lozen mountain. Here we had our lunch snacks under the warm October sun.

:Dam Iskar in the far distance

:This time, to extend a bit the hike, we also went to a nearby peak Roden, marked on the map. However, the so-called peak was just a high point in the forest, nothing like Polovrak or Lanina Mogila, from which one can observe the landscape around for miles.

:But the trail itself was very pleasant to walk, so we enjoyed the detour.