Sunday, February 28, 2021

Colorblocked Burda Blouse

I made a new short-sleeved blouse. This is Burda #113 from 11 of 2018. I've somehow missed that pattern when it came out, but I noticed it on Ellen's blog - Ellen's Sewing Passion, and immediately added it to my wish list on the Russian Burda site. And when the site had a sale a few days ago, I grabbed another batch of 10 patterns, this blouse among them.

I browsed through my fabric scraps and found two matching pieces, remnants from previous projects, which made a perfect duo. However, when I first placed the pattern pieces on the fabric scraps to see if I had enough fabric, I hadn't noticed that the navy fabric was turned across the grain. I cut the striped pieces and when it came to cutting the navy, I had a little shock - I could fit the pieces, but only if I cut across the grain. And this is jersey fabric, kind of tiny stockinette stitch and direction is important, though this particular fabric does stretch in all directions. 

I spent hours pondering over the problem and in the end decided to modify the pattern pieces in order to make them fit in the right direction. First I shortened the front and the back by 3 cm in addition to my usual shortening by 5 cm and i also reduced the front by another 3 cm, thus reducing the amount of gathering on the side. Thus I was able to fit the back and the front on my fabric scrap to the last millimeter :)

Another obvious modification of the pattern I had to make - I made the blouse short sleeved. I simply didn't have fabric for any other sleeve length, but as my fabric is thin and suitable for the warmer months, this was a welcome mod.

And I also used my true-and-tried method for finishing boat-neck t-shirts. However, this time I raised the neckline a bit too high and made the neck opening a bit too tight, so I'm not entirely happy with the final result, but ... it is what it is, I'll have to live with it. Or rather, Gaby will have to live with it, as the t-shirt is for her :)

Size: 34, modified
Fabric: navy cotton with lycra, striped cotton knit
Time to make: 2 days

Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Manastirishte 2021

The weather this weekend was pretty unpleasant, wet and rainy, but the forecasts promised a glorious day on Tuesday, so we decided to skip the hike on the weekend, free Tuesday and hike on a work day for a change. What a perfect plan! We enjoyed the unbelievably blue skies and warm sun and had the trail all for ourselves! 

We chose again one of our most favourite routes for the cold months - from the village of Plana to peak Manastirishte and back along a semi-circular trail.

The church at the end of the village:

Peak Marchin kamyk. The trails were wet and muddy and not easy to walk, so the usually quick and easy trail today took more time and effort, which was quite welcome, given how rare our hikes have been lately (mostly because we are still without a car and relying on public transportation).

Vitosha, with a very thick snow cap after last weeks snowfalls.

Hike info:
Destination: peak Manastirishte
Mountain: Plana
Total length: 9 km
Elevation gain: 160 m
Total duration (plus rest): 2 h 30 min
Average difficulty: 3 / 10


It was so warm, that our jackets remained in the backpacks for the whole duration of the hike.

Me-made items, worn on this hike:
Husband: boxers, socks, hat (on and off)
I: lingerie, socks, knitted hat and gloves in the backpack

One of the features of this hike I enjoy a lot - the view to the gorgeous chain of snow covered Rila peaks in the distance

There were quite a lot of broken branches on the trees along the way - the heavy snow and probably also ice in the mountains unfortunately have caused some damages.

On the peak. This time we had it entirely for ourselves and had our lunch here, on the sunlit benches near the chapel.

The Holy Spirit Chapel on top of the peak

Wednesday, February 17, 2021

Tweed Chaika

I finished one more sweater out of Natural Fantasy Condor - Italian bobbin tweed I was gifted by a FB friend. Instead of making another Hayward or other plain color stockinette sweater, I decided to combine the pink tweed with a remnant of the plum Natural Fantasy Condor tweed I used for this hoodie and make another Chaika. 

Chaika (sea gull) is a pattern recipe by Olga Kondratieva. Two years ago I knitted it for the first time for Gaby and it is one of her favourites, mainly due to the soft and warm merino yarn I used for hers. 

The pattern recipe is very easy to calculate and follow and the striped part is quite addictive to knit. I must admit I enjoyed knitting this sweater though I do not consider it a must-have and wouldn't have made it had I not had the gifted yarn - just now I have too many of these sweaters and no place to wear them - I prefer T-shirts at home.

Some technical details about the sweater. I calculated the yoke with little positive ease and knit it in the round, casting on with long-tail cast on and rolled hem at the neck. After the split for the body and the sleeves I shaped the V with short rows on every 3 stitches, until I reached the central stitch. meanwhile I slightly A-shaped the body by adding increases to the sides every 5 cm of length.

I hemmed the body with 2x2 split rib, which I cast off with purl over purls and knit over knits, to keep the hems elastic and not too wavy.

I knit the sleeves in the round, gradually decreasing every 9th round. Then I finished them with long 2x2 ribs and I-cord bind off.

Pattern: Chaika, based on Olga Kondratyeva's recipe
Yarn: Natural Fantasy Condor, 200g total
Yarn Content: 62% wool, 6% angora, 10% silk, 4% modal, 18% polyamide, 450 m / 100 g
Needle: 3.25 mm body, 3 mm hems
Time to knit: almost two months with other projects in between

As promised, winter returned with -16C and heavy snow. Last week I was out in a short-sleeved T-shirt and just a few days later it was freezing cold and sweater weather again. Luckily, the temperatures are expected to rise again next week. I think I had enough snow this year, so I'll be quite happy to see it melt and never come back until next winter :)

Sunday, February 14, 2021

Movie Night Pajamas

A few lounge wear items I made recently for Gaby - Love Notion's Leggin's size 14 and the top of Women's Movie Night Pajamas by Sew a Little Seam.

I had been eyeing this yellow butterfly bamboo knit for a while specifically with these pajamas in mind and when I finally decided that I like it enough  - it was gone, just about a meter left. I bought the remnant and made the top of the pajamas, but now I'll have to find a matching fabric for the bottom. 

I chose the crew neck with the placket style and long sleeves, but I don't think I'll be making more pajamas with buttons - so much work for nothing. Still, I wanted to experiment with the placket as I also bought a piece of fabric, intended for a t-shirt with a placket, so the practice on these pajamas was definitely useful.

Size: 0-2, shortened
Fabric: 100% bamboo knit
Time to make: 2 days


I had about 30-40 cm of fabric left, so I made a matching bikini.

Size: 0 
Fabric: 100% bamboo knit
Time to make: 1 day

Tuesday, February 9, 2021

Black Blouse Burda 6202

As I mentioned, last month I sewed a blouse for my mom, which I haven't blogged. I had a few scraps of fabric left and I decided to make a short-sleeved blouse my myself. I chose a raglan pattern, as in these patterns the front is usually shorter than in t-shirts with set-in sleeves and my scraps of fabric were small.

The pattern is Burda 6202, which was the first pattern I made with my Brother overlocker, using a similar kind of fabric. As I was cutting the t-shirt out of scraps, I had to make a few compromises - the sleeves are cut on the bias and not on the grain and the neckband is made out of two pieces. The latter wouldn't have been much of an issue, if I hadn't made a blunder - I mistakenly attached the part of the neckband with the connecting seams to the front, instead of the back. They are barely visible and I do not intend to mend it, but it does bug me a little, such a silly mistake :(

I was worried that the bias cut sleeves would not sit properly, but their design - short sleeves, gathered with elastic, actually makes this compromise indiscernible, I think.

Following my notes from the first time I made this pattern, I made a couple of mods - I raised the neckline by 2 cm and I shortened the blouse by 2.5 cm. If I could turn back, I would have shortened the blouse even more and used the saved fabric to cut the neckband out of one whole piece, but I can live with it as it is.

Pattern: Burda 6202
Size: 34, shortened
Fabric: cotton knit, scraps
Time to make: two days

Unlike Central Europe, which is in the clutches on an Arctic cold, we are still enjoying ridiculously, blissfully warm weather in February and I was quite comfortable in my short sleeved blouse during this photo session. I did put on my thin fleece jacket for our walk in the park, but there were young people in  short sleeves in the park, so as unusual as it may seem to make and then to wear a summer blouse in February in the Northern hemisphere, it was actually (almost) weather appropriate. Alas, not for long - the Beast from the East, as they call the approaching cold front, is expected to hit us on Friday, with temperature drops down to -10C. Ugh:(

Sunday, February 7, 2021

To the Blue Arrow Shelter, 2021

After a whole month, we are finally back in the mountains and I couldn't be happier. Yesterday was a rare warm and sunny day, with temperatures nearing 20C (!!!) and everybody (I hope) was out, enjoying the sun and the fresh air.
Husband and I chose to climb the trail from the village of Zheleznitza to the Blue Arrow shelter - a route, which has become one of the staples among our annual hikes. The trail is steep and when hiked in the spring, it is an amazing illustration of the seasons in the mountain - from late spring down in the village to early spring mid-elevation to winter up at the shelter. However, as it is still winter in early February, the range this time was from warm and snowless hills to ankle deep snow and strong winds on the ridge.
Pictures from my phone, I decided not to bring the DSLR this time (again :)

Hike info:
Destination: Blue Arrow Shelter
Mountain: Vitosha
Total length: 11 km
Elevation gain: 530 m
Total duration (plus rest): 3 h
Average difficulty: 4 / 10 

Me-made items, worn on this hike:

Husband: boxers, socks, hat
I: lingerie, socks, hat, black Grasser T-shirt, Zerda gloves in the backpack

:The Blue Arrow shelter, as the skirts of Belchova skala peak (1832 m)

:The visibility was astonishing, to the north it was as far as the snowy peaks of the Balkan mountains

:When taking photos with a phone, how can you resist a selfie :)))

:The amazing chain of snow covered Rila peaks in the distance

Tuesday, February 2, 2021

More January Sewing

I was very productive in January and I did a bit of selfless sewing too. I forgot to take a picture of the blouse I made for my mother and I already sent it away, but here are a few pics with notes on the other stuff I made.

Alex requested a new set of bedding and a new pair of pajamas and I was only happy to oblige. The new bedding is 100% cotton ranforce (high quality cotton bed linen fabric) - flat sheet with elastic, duvet cover and two pillow cases. The pajama set (the blue color on the first picture is the true color) is made out of cotton knit using the Movie Night Pajamas pattern by Sew a Little Seam.

Size:  SM
Fabric: cotton knit, 1.9 m
Time to make: 2 days

I also made a pair of leggings for Gaby, using the free children's pattern by Love Notions. Although they are labeled for children, size 14 is actually pretty big and can easily fit a slim (xs or s) woman.

Size: 14
Fabric: cotton with lycra
Time to make: 1 day 

And a few phone pictures from my stroll through our park yesterday - the weather warmed abruptly (10C according to the thermometer on the building across the street) and all the snow of the previous week turned the park into a bog. But it was so pleasantly warm and it smelled like spring. I can't wait for the winter to be over, I want some green already!