Monday, March 29, 2021

The Chanel Skirt

 A few pictures of my new Chanel style boucle skirt:

This is a very comfortable mini skirt with interesting front panels and faux pocket flaps, which can be easily dressed up or down. I'm really happy that I saved the fabric from the failed Chanel jacket and made this skirt.

Size: 36
Fabric: wool boucle
Time to make: one week

I like how the skirt combines with the burgundy blouse I made last December.

I made a small modification of the back of the skirt - instead of the exposed zipper as per pattern, I installed an invisible zipper, straightened the central line and compensated the added width with a second narrow dart at the back.

The skirt is fully lined and closes with an invisible zipper. To clean the seam allowances here I used a Hong Kong seam binding with bias tape I made out of black cotton voile.  

I secured the bias cuts on the fronts with fusible and opted to finish the many layers of fabric there (the lined pocket flaps plus the two parts of the front) on the overlocker to avoid bulkiness.

The hem is finished with Hong Kong seam binding and then hand stitched.

Sunday, March 28, 2021

Gorni Lozen - Pasarel 2021

Mud, Sweat and Tears Beer

After two weeks of cold weather and abundant snowfall, yesterday was very sunny and warm, finally a spring day. All in all, March was quite an unusual month, it seemed like the weather reversed and from mid-spring we slowly returned to winter again. So yesterday's hike was a typical winter hike, with the bizarre sensation, that we roamed the same mountain a month earlier, with spring flowers and no snow! Only in February we crossed it from west to the east and yesterday we traversed from north to south.

:We started from the village of Gorni Lozen. A view to the Sofia plateau and the village. Did you know that once, millions of years back in time, this was the bottom of a lake!

:The first half of the trail was still covered with snow and ice and was quite slippery. After an hour of climbing along the frozen snow and mud our legs burnt from the effort to keep balance like after an aerobics exercise!

:We decided to take a detour and climb peak Lanina mogila, following into the steps of a couple of hikers before us

:As we got higher, we could see the large Iskar reservoir and Rila in the far distance. 

:The narrow track to the peak. No wonder we met almost no one on the trail. It was difficult, but quite satisfying!

:We had our picnic at the top (first beer this hiking season:), with this gorgeous view, spreading over almost a hundred km of distance.

:We had planned to go down the peak along an alternative route, but the track was covered by a thick layer of snow and no one had traversed it before us, so we went down along the same trail as we went up.

:The southern part of the trail from Lanina mogila to Pasarel was actually the more difficult one, as the snow was intensely melting and the tracks had turned into muddy creeks, 

while the legit creek, which we had to cross six times without a bridge!, was a full watered river. At the end we were muddy and completely wet up to our knees! At least we'll have stories to tell to our grand children one day :)

:And Pasarel reservoir at the end of our trail. After all that snow the water reservoirs this summer should be full!

Hike info:
Destination: Dolni Lozen - Pasarel
Mountain: Lozen
Total length: 12 km
Elevation gain: 470 m
Total duration (plus rest): 4 h
Average difficulty: 6 / 10 
Me-made items, worn on this hike:
Husband: boxers, raglan sweater, orange hat in the backpack
I: Plantain T-shirt, lingerie, socks, brown C.C. copycat hat in the backpack


Monday, March 22, 2021

Knit Rhapsody

It still hasn't stopped snowing and the numerous jokes about the first days of spring in Sofia are beginning to get old :) All Sunday I was on the edge getting ready for a photosession of my new short skirt, but it simply wouldn't stop snowing - a heavy, wet snow, that initially melted, but gradually began to pile and pack, closing some of the main mountain passes of the country.

So, instead of modeled pictures of my sewing, a few birds on the branches of the plum tree in front of our balcony - and the poor tree was just beginning to bloom :(

And my latest make - a rayon knit Rhapsody. This is my sixth (!!!) Rhapsody blouse, a pattern by Love Notions, and my first, made out of knit fabric. I had to modify the pattern significantly, as the smallest size SX is rather large, and the recommendation for knit fabrics is to go down one size. But what do you do when you have no where lower to go - you improvise.

Made on the overlocker, with a single layer yoke and a simple round neckline, it is more of a fancy comfortable t-shirt, than a dress-up blouse, as my other Rhapsodies. And because of the cold weather this time I chose the full length bishop sleeves - Gaby said enough with 3/4 sleeves :). 

Again, only a few flat shots of the front and the back of the blouse, I hope to have more decent photos of it later, when spring actually comes here.

Thursday, March 18, 2021

To Be Photographed

While my knitting mojo is in hiatus and March weather is soul searching its winter or spring essence (it's been snowing for four days now, after the +20C on Sunday), I'm in a sewing frenzy. Here's what has been finished recently, waiting to be photographed some day, maybe ...

One of my better makes, I think. This is my personal pattern, based on the freethe Easy Smock Top by Last year I made this top for myself and it turned one of my favourites, and when I saw this delicate viscose knit in off white with navy blue hearts, I knew Gaby would love it. So this is for her (as most of the other items on the rack).

This viscose blouse was actually made last autumn, days before Gaby left for Prague, so it was never worn, photographed or, I believe, even tried. This is Burda 6840, style A. I copied the smallest size available 36 and reduced it to size 34 for Gaby, omitting the double button placket. I hope it will get some wear this spring and summer, as I find it really lovely.

And from the oldest to my latest make on the rack - finished only this morning. Last month I made the top of the Movie Night Pajamas, but I didn't have fabric for the bottoms. On Saturday, when I went on a tour around the fabric shops, I couldn't find a matching fabric for the bottoms, but I found the same fabric in another shop - so I bought another meter. I made the bottoms of the pajamas and from the scraps I managed to squeeze a small short sleeved tee, which could be worn as a summer top for the same bottoms (or, I suppose, as a short-sleeved tee). The pattern for the tee is one of my recent acquisitions - Burda 6820, view B.

And another Burda 6820, something for myself. This is a combination of the sleeves of view A, the body of view C and a henley button placket I designed myself, imitating Love Notion's  Breckenridge Henley. I had a fair amount of this cotton knit, which I had bought for a long-sleeved blouse for gaby, so my little henley top is a sort of a free extra.

For Gaby's long sleeved blouse I used again Burda 6820, view C, but I added a scoop neckline, button placket and sleeve tabs for rolled up sleeves - so basically turned the basic longsleeve into a more interesting pattern. I've ordered brass snaps plus instruments for installing them on Aliexpress and i plan to replicate this blouse with snaps some day.

And the last item, which took me quite a while to make, though it looks like a  fairly simple short skirt. The pattern is Burda 117 from 02 / 2017 and the fabric is gorgeous Chanel type wool boucle. I must have bought it some 25 or more years ago to make a Chanel jacket, I actually have a picture of the unfinished jacket on my blog from some 8 years ago. The pattern for the jacket was again a Burda, but the fit was disastrous. So I finally decided to disassemble the jacket and use the cut pieces to make a skirt. It is fully lined, with an invisible zipper and even some hong kong seam bindings, of which I am very proud. Can't wait to demonstrate it to you, as soon as the weather clears again.

So, that's all for now, I'm off to print a new pattern and cut into the fabric :)

Monday, March 15, 2021

Lakatnik 2021

What a change in the weather again! After the cold and snow, Saturday and especially Sunday were warm and sunny and glorious! I spent Saturday on a tour around the fabric shops downtown and on Sunday we took the train to Lakatnik - a small village in the Balkan mountains, situated in the picturesque gorge of the river Iskar. The village is known for the interesting steep canyon walls and numerous caves, an attraction for climbers, speleologists and ordinary tourists. 

As the day was absolutely gorgeous, the place was brimming. Climbers in action:

:The Iskar river has carved into the limestone a canyon, which is the main pass through the chain of the Balkans in this area.

: The lockdown was lifted from the cafes and restaurants at the beginning of the month and on such a warm Sunday the local cafe at the skirts of the rocks was full. It was nice to see people enjoying themselves, happy in the sun.

:The entrance to the Temnata Dupka (Dark Hole) cave. We had brought a fairly powerful flashlight and entered some 30 m into the cave with a group of other tourists.

: A colony of bats

: This cute little guy was hanging from the rock literally 30 cm from me and I hadn't noticed him, until the guide showed it to us.

Hike info:
Destination: Lakatnik Eco Trail
Mountain: the Balkans
Total length: 9 km
Elevation gain: 240 m
Total duration (plus rest): 3 h
Average difficulty: 4 / 10

Me-made items, worn on this hike:
Husband: boxers, socks, orange hat in the backpack
I: Black Grasser T-shirt, lingerie, socks, knitted hat and gloves in the backpack

:The trees in Sofia still haven't started to blossom and I was amazed to see trees in bloom in Lakatnik. Spring is definitely ahead there.

There were lots of late spring flowers, while the early flowers like snowdrops and crocuses had wilted.

The trail starts at the foot of the rocks and gradually climbs up to the top. And do not worry, I'm not sitting on the edge, there is a three layered terrace under, but I like the illusion of danger this picture creates :)

The views from the top of the rocks are magnificent - the endless chain of the Balkans, the meandering Iskar below and the steep canyon walls above it - it's breathtaking!

The road and the railway tracks follow the curves of the river through the pass

A memorial to the climbers and mountaineers, who have lost their lives

A memorial, built during the communist era, to the victims of the workers' revolt in 1923