Sunday, June 27, 2021

Polka Dot Burda Blouse

This is the second pattern from Burda 06/2021 I won recently. It is dress # 108 with a square neckline - a feature, that is very much on trend this summer. I still haven't decided if I want to sew it as it is shown in the magazine in the form of a dress, as sheath dresses are not exactly my type of dresses, but I think the pattern makes a very nice and interesting blouse.

The fabric - viscose knit with elastane, had been in my stash for almost a year now. It was an interesting print, with polka dots in the central half and stripes on the sides. I wracked my brains over it, browsed for ideas and what not and still couldn't decide how to use the mixed print. In the end I decided to separate the prints and to make a blouse out of the central polka dot part and probably a sleeveless top out of the two striped remnants. The polka dot blouse is now a fact and I'm still figuring out what to make out of the two long narrow striped pieces; we'll see.

I cut the blouse out of the dress pattern in size 36, slightly grading at the hips to 38, as I wanted some ease there over jeans and skirts. The sleeves in the pattern are plain straight short sleeves, but at the last minute I decided to elongate them up to under the elbows.

Size: 36
Fabric: viscose knit with elastane, 1 m
Time to make: two days

The most interesting feature of this pattern, which I'm definitely going to use again - the square neckline, which is formed by two folded straps and the self-facing of the top end of the front and the back. Because my fabric is not very stable, I added stitching with a double needle to fix the fold of the self-facing and the straps.

The hems of the sleeves and the blouse are finished on the overlocker and then with a narrow 1 cm fold stitched with a double needle.

Wednesday, June 23, 2021

Burda Black Dress and Purple Dotted Rays

This is my second Burda #114 06/2021, this time in black ITY fabric. I used the corrections I had made to the pattern when I worked one my leopard tunic earlier this month, introducing a further sway back adjustment. The fit is quite loose, but I find it very comfortable and as the fabric is drapy and fluid, the dress actually looks elegant, not too baggy, despite the amount of positive ease. However, when I make this dress again, I will try to go down a size by self-grading to the next smaller size (the smallest provided for this pattern is 36).

I've always been a staunch advocate of natural fabrics, but this ITY polyester is actually so nice and soft next to the skin and so breathable, that I've been reevaluating my fabric preferences for the summer and now I want a long dress in floral ITY, if I can find such fabric here in Sofia.

Size: 36
Fabric: ITY, 100% polyester
Time to make: 2 days

 And a few pictures of my old new Dotted Rays shawl. Three years ago I knitted my first Dotted Rays, using various yarn remnants. I loved the bright and a bit brave color combination, but the past three year showed that it was not well suited for my wardrobe and I was not using this shawl as often was I wanted. So this spring I decided to unravel the stripes up to the purple part of the old shawl and to overdye the yarn in purple and bordeaux colors. 

The light and darker blue and greenish stripes took the overdyeing quite well and looked in harmony with each other, however the bright yellow yarn kept clashing with the rest of the colors, no matter how much dye I added to it, until it turned dark brown. In the end I decided to leave it aside and dyed a new ball of the same yarn (white merino extrafine) in light purple (the fourth color stripe).

I am extremely pleased with the final result and now I intend to use this new Dotted Rays as much as it deserves - it is the perfect shawl for slightly cold weather

or as a summer evening cover. And although the temperatures these last days have risen drastically here in Sofia, it did come in handy yesterday evening after this photo session, while we were shopping in the cold storage area of our local supermarket :)

Pattern: Dotted Rays by Stephen West
Yarn: Merino Extrafine 150 g, self dyed
Needle: 3.75 mm circular Addi Lace
Time to knit: 10 days

Tuesday, June 22, 2021

Devetashka Cave

This weekend we travelled to the other side of the country for a family celebration. I love adding sight seeing to such trips, so on our way we stopped to visit an interesting cave near the town of Lovech - the Devetashka Cave. It is a very big karst cave on the east bank of the river Osam and is a protected area, now the home to about 30 000 bats and other faunal species.

The cave was one of the filming locations of the Expendables 2 and the bridge to the cave, spanning now over the river Osam, is a present from the crew of the film.

The cave is famous for its enormous spectacular entrance with several large openings in the ceiling

A tributary to Osam runs through the cave

Because it is a protected area, only the large entrance hall is open for visiting, the actual passages of the cave are closed to the public and can only be visited for scientific and environmental purposes.

The cave has been occupied by humans for tens of thousands of years; the archeological findings of the site are now exhibited in the Museum of History in the town of Lovech.

The sheer enormity of the place is very impressive and even Alex, who is rarely enthusiastic about site seeing, was in awe.

The river Osam

Thursday, June 17, 2021

Striped Tunic

One more tunic in my wardrobe! This is a modified Laundry Day Tee by Love Notions, with added kimono sleeves and color blocking, tunic length.

Initially I wanted just another tee, but it turned out that my piece of diagonally striped cotton knit was only 50 cm long and would barely produce a cropped tee. I sat on the project for two days and finally decided to color block it. However, I didn't want to lose any of the striped fabric, so - it had to be a tunic. And it occurred to me that I liked a lot the curves of the LDT, so I turned it in a color blocked kimono sleeved tunic.

The black fabric was a serendipitous newcomer to my stash - a few days previously I had bought it for a dress version of Burda #114 06/2021 and it married the striped fabric perfectly. I risked to cut the upper part of the tunic from the black fabric before cutting the dress, but I had just enough for both projects.

Size: XS
Fabric: black ITY (100% polyester) and striped cotton knit (100% cotton)
Time to make: 2 days

I didn't even try to match the stripes at the sides, as because of the curve of the cut and the diagonal placement of the stripes such matching would have been impossible anyway.

 Now all I need is a new pair of black(er) jeans and a new haircut :)

Monday, June 14, 2021

Polovrak 2021

A few phone camera pictures from our hike to peak Polovrak in the Lozen mountain on Saturday. The day was warm, but cloudy with a promise of rain in the afternoon, a promise which was promptly kept by the skies :) We managed to get back to the car before the rain and then rode back home through scattered showers.

I love such fairly easy and short hikes in the near mountains, as they leave me enough time during the day to clean the house, cook and sew - I cut and almost finished sewing a dress this same day :)

:On peak Polovrak, the village of Lozen and Sofia down in the valley in the distance
Hike info:

Destination: peak Polovrak (1182 m)
Mountain: Lozen
Total length: 10 km
Elevation gain: 420 m
Total duration (plus picnic and rests): 2 h 45 min
Average difficulty: 3 / 10 

:Dam Iskar, as seen from the peak

Me-made items, worn on this hike:
Husband: boxers, teal longsleeve

:These green lizards look dangerous, but are actually harmless and very timid

:Lozen monastery

Monday, June 7, 2021

Konyarnika 2021

This Saturday we chose a circular path on Vitosha we've hiked several times - from Zlatnite to Konyarnika and back along an alternative path. We had planned to have a lunch at one of the huts on the way, so we didn't bring picnic food this time. Alas, Saturday was a brilliant sunny day and the mountain was full of people, queuing for barbecued meat and fries. We tried at two places, calculated the waiting time and decided to head home hungry. Well, let me tell you, the late lunch we had back home was one of the most delicious I've had in a while :)))

Konyarnika is one of my most favourite places on Vitosha - I love the spreading valley and the views to the surrounding peaks 

as far as Cherni Vruh:

And this is the second time we see a deer on Konyarnika:

Hike info:

Destination: peak Konyarnika (1782 m)
Mountain: Vitosha
Total length: 9 km
Elevation gain: 400 m
Total duration: 2 hours 45 min
Average difficulty: 3 / 10

Me-made items, worn on this hike:
I: lingerie, Burda 113 6/2021 top, Hound-tooth Hoodie
Husband: men's boxers