Sunday, September 19, 2021

Movie Night Pajamas III

I am very much a morning person and my most favourite and cherished part of the day is the time for my cup of coffee, a piece of cake and a book or, more often lately, daily Duolingo exercises. From spring to late autumn I drink my coffee on the small balcony, overlooking the green area behind our building, still in my pajamas. 

This year I found a free pajama pattern - the Movie Night Pajamas by Sew a Little Seams, which checks all the boxes for me. The upper part is practically a T-shirt and the bottoms are leggings - just as I like them. I already sewed one pair for Gaby and one for myself and yesterday I finished my second pair. I've been looking for a suitable knit fabric for the pajamas all summer long and in the end I gave up on the idea that I could have it all - a print I like and fabric texture and quality I want, so I decided to make a compromise with the print. The fabric I bought from a new for me fabric shop downtown is very soft and smooth cotton knit with lycra, simply divine to wear and I think I can live with the busy print.

Size: 0-2, shortened
Fabric: cotton knit with lycra
Time to make: 2 days

And because I don't want to lose the recipe of the cake I made last night, here it is:


  • 2 average apples, peeled and grated
  • 2 eggs
  • 200 g sugar
  • 120 g milk
  • 60 g vegetable oil
  • 200 g flour
  • 15 baking powder
  • 100 g dry fruits and raisins 
  • 50 g walnuts
  • cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg or other spices

Beat the eggs with the sugar. Add the milk and oil. Sift the flour with the baking powder and gradually add to the wet mixture. Fold in the dry fruits, cut into small pieces, the raisins and nuts and the grated apples. Add the spices, stir and pour into a baking form. Bake in a preheated oven at 180C until a test toothpick comes out clean. Enjoy with coffee or tea!


Saturday, September 18, 2021

Ruta Pants by Viki Sews

A few days after I finished my wide legged Marlene trousers mid August, I made another pair of elasticated trousers - Ruta by the Russian pattern company Vikisews. These are made out of knit fabric and are more on the sporty side and I've been wearing them quite regularly on my walks in the park or when out shopping groceries. A month passed but the opportunity for a photosession of these trousers just didn't come. So when yesterday husband and I were walking in the local park during probably the last of the Indian summer days this year, it occurred to me that I had to have a few pictures of these, then or never. And here they are, just a couple of casual phone pictures.

The fabric is very pleasant to wear navy blue ITY, drapey and fluid, but still with enough body for trousers. The pattern calls for 1.14 m of fabric for the pants and additional 30 cm lining material for the in-seam pockets, but I managed to squeeze the two more likely to be seen pocket pieces out of the main material and I cut the other two pieces of the pocket bags out of matching navy blue cotton knit, a remnant from another project.

Size: S 
Height 154 -160 cm
Fabric: ITY 1.12 m
Time to make:  two days

I made the pants without any modifications, only shortened them a couple of centimeters, as they are designed to be floor length, which is ridiculously impractical. The fit is very comfortable and flattering, despite them being only simple elasticated knit pants; now I understand all the hype about this pattern in the Russian vlogging world. Summer here is over and it's time to take out the warmer clothes (it's been raining all day today and the temperatures have dropped by 10 degrees), but next summer I'll definitely be sewing another pair of these.

Thursday, September 16, 2021

Pchelina in September, 2021

The second part of our hike on Saturday - from the village of Potzurnentzi to lake Pchelina and back. I've said that a few time on the blog, I know, but I love going to Pchelina. The place is very beautiful, the trail is easy and relaxing, hiking there is pure delight! 

:Lake Pchelina and Rudina Mountain, which we had climbed previously that day, right behind

Hike info:

Mountain region: Kraishte
Total length: 8 km
Elevation gain: 160 m
Total duration (plus rests): about 3 hours
Average difficulty:  2 / 10 

:The iconic chapel St. Yoan Letny, dating back to XVI century. The lake is actually a dam, which was built on the river Struma on top of a former village, called Pchelintzi. The chapel was operating as the church of the village. Due to the fact, that it was built on a hill, it was preserved after the dam was built.

:We found shelter from the heat in the shadow of the rocks and rested and watched the lake. We observed the gathering of large numbers of ducks, it was truly amazing!

:After a while we went down the path and walked by the lake. It was so nice and serene.

:And back along the trail to the village and the car.

Tuesday, September 14, 2021

Rudina Mountain 2021

Photos from our hike on Saturday to Rudina mountain. This is a small mountain in the Kraishte region, a beautiful mountainous  area to the west of Sofia, bordering to Serbia. Rudina is only 1172 m high, but its peak is very scenic, with a panoramic view to the entire region. The trail is 4 km long and steep - a good training for more difficult alpine trails.

The day was somewhat surprisingly hot, after the chill first 10 days of September. We climbed the trail fairly quickly, probably for an hour and a half, had a short snack on top and went down to the car in less than an hour. As there was still plenty of time till sunset, we decided to go to lake Pchelina and have another short hike there.

: Chapel St. Nikolay Letni

 :Lake Pchelina in the distance

Hike info:

Destination: Sirishtnishka Rudina (1172 m)
Mountain: Rudina
Total length: 8 km
Elevation gain: 480 m
Total duration (plus picnic and rests): about 3 hours
Average difficulty:  4 / 10

Me-made items, worn on this hike:

Husband: boxers, Knip Mode Cargo Pants, Teal Longsleeve
I: lingerie, Sabrina Slims, Houndstooth Hoodie, knitted socks

 :I was touched by this bench, which is a private donation to the trail and had a plaque, reading This bench is dedicated to X and the moments, in which we share breathtaking views. By Y

 :The Eye - a mosaic composition at the site of the old quarry
:The village of Sirishtnik

Sunday, September 12, 2021


A few years ago we ventured into making our own preserves with jams and lazy lutenitza. This year we are expanding the variety with malidzano.

Malidzano (also spelled malijano, malidjano; the sound is dg as in judge) is a Macedonian spread, made out of grilled green bell peppers, eggplans, oil, salt and mustard. Although North Macedonia is right next door, so to speak, the recipe was not popular here until recently - a pity, as it is one of the best tasting veggie spreads out there and very easy to make. And because the name of the spread comes from the Italian word for eggplant (melanzane) and the spread has a definite warm, southern connotation, I'm discretely flaunting my Mediterranean plants in these pictures - the seed-grown  lemon tree and my new acquisition - the bougainvillea, which delighted us with its absolutely gorgeous colors already twice this year. 

The process of making malidzano is fairly simple, though time and effort consuming (but totally worth it!). Grill the peppers and the eggplants (I grill them in a small pepper roaster, but you can do it any way you grill veggies at home), let them cool, then remove the grilled skin of the veggies and mince them (we use a hand mincer) or blend them, if you prefer smoother texture. 


Then add vegetable oil (we prefer sunflower oil), salt to taste and a few teaspoons of mild mustard (the mustard is optional, but I find it really essential for the unique taste of the malidzano), and the spread is ready to be served or preserved.

Recipe (proportions per one eggplant):

  • 1 eggplant
  • 4 green bell peppers
  • 40 g sunflower oil (450 g to 4.5 kg of minced product)
  • salt (3 tablespoons to 4.5 kg of minced product)
  • mustard (2 teaspoons to 4.5 kg of minced product)

We preserve the malidzano is glass jars, boiled for 20 min (timed after the water has reached 100C and began boiling).

Thursday, September 9, 2021

Grey T-shirts

Today husband and sоn are wearing the T-shirts I sewed for them these last days. 

The pattern is a slim fit longsleeve from Burda 12 / 2020, which I bought specifically with Alex in mind, as he prefers his T-shirts short, slim and fitting.

For him I cut the smallest size 46 and additionally slimmed the tee by overlocking the side seams some 0.5 cm further in after comparing the t-shirt to his favourite RTW one. I also made some minor, but important modifications to the upper part of the tee - I added about 2 cm to the width of each shoulder and I deepened the neckline to fit him under his collar bone. And, obviously, I cut the sleeves short.  Now the fit is perfect and he says he truly likes him mom made T-shirt :) This pattern is a keeper for Alex (note to self!).

Size: 46 with mods
Fabric: cotton viscose knit
Time to make: 2 days

For husband I cut the original longsleeve, but as he does not like fitting blouses, I chose the biggest 54 size. However, despite the fact that he likes it and claims that it is super comfy, I think it was a mistake. He is a size 52 or possibly 50 and the larger size blouse is hanging off his shoulders, the neckline is too wide and the sleeves are a bit wider too. True, it is OK around his midriff, but otherwise it is simply a size bigger - my mistake. For him, to accommodate for his preference for looser blouses, I should keep to patterns that are regular or loose fit, and not try to fit him into larger slim fit blouses. Again, mostly note to self, but it might help others, struggling with similar fitting issues too.

Size: 54
Fabric: cotton viscose knit
Time to make: 2 days

Sunday, September 5, 2021

Adrienne Style Blouse

My second blouse for Gaby. I doubt it will get any wear this year, as the weather is getting colder, but anyway, there will be other summers.

This summer I saw quite a few Adrienne Blouses by Friday Pattern Company and I really came to like the big sleeve style. I did consider for a minute buying the pattern, but then I came upon a few reviews, in which the seamstresses shared the modifications they had had to make to the pattern. The original is a bit primitive, with identical back and front pieces and a completely symmetrical sleeve without a sleeve cap. To improve the fit they had raised the back, modified the sleeve to accommodate for the new back line and one of them had added a sleeve cap and a curved sleeve hem. Having watched that review, it occurred to me, that I have the perfect Burda pattern for this blouse - Burda 6202. It had the raglan sleeves with sleeve caps, low front and higher back, all I had to do was add volume to the sleeves.

For this purpose I simply cut the sleeve pattern, taped additional 20 cm width, smoothed the curve of the sleeve cap and curved the hem - higher (shorter) at the front and lower (longer) at the back - and voila - a new top was born.

And if you wonder why the hem needs to be curved - this is why. When you bend your arm at the elbow, the outer back curve needs to be longer than the inner front curve, so that the sleeve wouldn't pull at the hem.

The blouse can be worn tucked in or outside the bottoms, surprisingly I prefer it tucked in.

Size: 34, modified
Fabric: ITY, 1m.
Time to make: 3 days

Gaby likes slimming, form fitting blouses, tucked in high rise jeans, so I really hope she will like this make too, when she gets it. And if she doesn't - I'm quite willing to shelter it into my wardrobe :)