Mühsam ernährt sich das Eichhörnchen

Or, as the English say: Slowly but surely.

Last week I got a cold. Now, summer colds are always particularly annoying, but have you ever sat in bed, with a fever and a ginger-thyme-honey concoction in your hand, listening to people frolicking about in the pool? That’s just wrong, I tell you. Wrong.

Finally I got better, after a night of very impressive fever dreams (which I sadly don’t remember, but they were WILD) and another day of pampering. When the weekend came, I was just stuffy and sniffly and mildly cranky, because I still wasn’t allowed in the pool.

What’s a girl to do? Use the time to get some sewing done, obviously. So Saturday was spent re-drafting the Moss skirt one size bigger, as my first one is just abouts wearable, but only because the denim has a good amount of stretch. Sorry, I still got no decent photo of it 😦

While I was at it, I also drafted the Scout Woven Tee – I’m not participating in the sewalong (if I finish a fashion fabric version before the deadline, I might still hop the on bandwagon, but it looks unlikely), but I had wanted to make one of these for ages, as it seems such a versatile pattern and a good use for the odd meter of fabric that one tends to find in the stash. Or the cut-offs bin, as it may be …

I even cut the Tee yesterday, but then my still ginormously stuffed up head refused to function any longer, and I collapsed in front of the TV.

Come Sunday morning, I felt better again, and sewed up the Scout Tee, cut from a bedsheet I acquired in a charity shop in Brighton shortly before I moved for just such an occasion.

This is how it turned out – I think I probably should go down a size, what do you think?

Scout woven tee
Scout woven tee

And while this particular version can’t ever be seen outside of the house (okay, I wore it on the patio, too) because I simply don’t do pastels, it is amazingly comfy to wear. It’s probably destined to become a nightgown, and I’m seriously wondering if I have enough of the sheet left to make a matching pair of pajama pants.

Since it went together really quickly, notwithstanding a little blunder with the bias binding for the neck, which I first attached the wrong way round, I decided to start on the Moss skirt next.

Now, let me tell you – I really like the pattern. Or, to be precise, I like what it looks like when finished. It’s just your classic little denim skirt, something even I like to wear.

But there are a few issues with the pattern – just as the first time, the markings for the pockets, and pocket linings, and facings, are a tad mysterious. I puzzled for a good 5 mins before I was sure I had the pieces lined up correctly.

Eggplant moss inside
Eggplant moss inside

Next up the fly front – apparently, there are as many ways  to sew a fly front as there are pattern designers describing it. The seam ripper came out. And stayed out. Three times lucky, it now looks okay.

Eggplant moss front
Eggplant moss front

With only the waistband left to do, I quickly stepped out and lit the BBQ. While the coal was getting hot, I attached the waistband, only to find it a tad short. So I hacked off an inch in the center back.

Then re-attached the waistband. And realised that I had made a huge blunder and sewed the fly to the outside while putting the waistband on. The seam ripper started complaining – it’s not used to such a thorough workout on a Sunday.

Now I’ll have to cut a new waistband, and do the hem – but I’m pretty certain the skirt will go into heavy rotation once it’s actually done, as I really do like it, and I’m still a bit in love with the eggplant corduroy I used – also acquired in Brighton, in Fabricland, of course.

Eggplant moss pocket
Eggplant moss pocket

The fabric I used for the pockets will one day become another Simplicity 2447, methinks … I had an eye on it for the Scout Tee, but the tiny print needs a few features, non?

Halp!

Dear blog friends,

I’ve got a favour to ask.

There might be a rather big party in my future – and I’d like to make an outfit for it. Now, if you’ve been reading my blog for any length of time, you’ll know I’m pretty much a no-fuss kinda gal, and trying to find a pattern that suits the “look glam and still be able to walk’n talk like a cowgirl” leaves me a tad confused.

Please – what should I make? I’m lost.

Tumbleweeds …

It is well and truely summer here now. Which is great and sunny and warm and sunny and … well, you get it 😀

Which means I’ve not been home a lot, and not been too keen on being stuck in the sewing room. Despite the fact that I really could use more summery clothes … the irony of the situation isn’t lost on me.

Anyways, there was loads of fun had two weekends ago when I went sailing. I’ll spare you the endless “look – water!” and “more water!” photos (and we didn’t get a single shot of the school of 30 or so dolphins we saw), but this one I want to share as it’s a bit special to me.

Holding the wheel
Holding the wheel

Yup, that’s me steering the sail boat we were on! Quite exciting, that … and a good experience on more than one level. Life here has had it’s ups and downs, and despite having gone through the experience of moving to a new country before, this time it’s a lot more challenging. While a lot of things are great, my general mood hasn’t really been. I guess I feel a little lost, and a tad lonely, and just find it harder than expected to settle down. I’m sure all will be well in time, but right now, I’m struggling a little bit.

And quite literally taking the steering wheel has brought back into focus what I knew before, but sometimes seem to forget: it is what I make of it. So … moving on.

ordirnary day at the office
Ordinary day at the office

That’s me at work, wearing the “broken build” hat. For those of you not familiar with software development methods, it’s a way of letting people know that you’re fixing something rather fundamentally important (which, in all honesty, I wasn’t, but … ah, well, long story).

laurel in action
Laurel in action

That’s the promised better photo of the second Laurel dress I made … I really love it. Sadly, there was some sort of weird fabric accident, and one little bit of it looks a tad roughed up – not sure if it was the messenger bag or the washing machine 😦 I think it’s still wearable, but sad nonetheless.

To console myself, of course I made another one … no photos yet, but I’ll get some soon.

And of course, the garden is still growing. After all went so swimmingly with the tomatoes, I should probably have expected some little setbacks. Well, I didn’t.

One day, I noticed the first tomato starting to turn red. It looked amazing:

Loogking good ...
Loogking good …

Then I inspected it’s underside:

Meh
Meh

I don’t know what this is – if anybody does, I’d love to hear! Also, tips on how to prevent this would be greatly appreciated.

There are, however, many more tomatoes on the bushes, so I won’t fret. Okay, I’m lying. It’s the first one, and I had plans for it, dammit!

Plans ...
Plans …

Let’s hope these beauties will turn out better!

San Marzanos
San Marzanos

And the first chilies, too:

Some chilies
Some chilies

Speak soon!

More of the same …

Are you getting bored with my Laurels yet? Clearly, I’m not – I made two more over the weekend.

This time as dress versions. For the dresses, I went up a size, because after some consideration I realized I found the blouses a tad too tight over the bust. Maybe that was a mistake – I made the black linen one first, and ended up taking ~ 2 inches off each side.

Black Linen Laurel
Black Linen Laurel

I know, yet another horrific photo … I’ll try to get shots with me in it, but my camera clearly is a poor weather baby and has huge trouble with the sun here.

Anyways, after I’d made this one, I transferred my changes to the pattern, moved the darts a little bit more (again), and made another sleeveless version.

Sleeveless Laurel
Sleeveless Laurel

Last week, my parents came down all the way from Germany to visit me, and parents being parents, they asked what they could bring me from home. Now, I have all sorts of weird food issues – the most prominent being a rather pesky gluten intolerance. My mother, bless her, tries really hard, but invariably ends up bringing me food I can’t eat without making myself miserable. So this year, I thought we try something else, and asked her to bring me some fabric.

It was a huge success – my mother had weeks of fun bartering with the merchants on her hometown’s market, and I got 8m of nice fabric – mostly solid knits, but this fabric is a light woven cotton-something mix. To be fair, it’s a tad too blue for me, but for some reason I really love it.

My only woe with this make is that I cut sleeves before realizing that it would be much better sleeveless in this drapey fabric … maybe I can squeeze another blouse out of the remnants to avoid the sleeves going to waste.

Manteo growing
Manteo growing

In related news, I think this cardi will go great with the dress, non? Just need to finish it … and hope it blocks out, as it’s looking awfully small at this stage.

And last but not least, my plants. They seem to like it here 😀 When I started the seedlings back in February, I passed a few plants on to friends, since I had far too many. Out of the whole bunch, mine have outgrown all their siblings in the most impressive manner. I don’t know what it is, but I love it!

San Marzano tomatoes:

San Marzano tomatoes
San Marzano tomatoes

Rambling red (stripey tomatoes!):

Stripey!
Stripey!

And the herbs – parsley, coriander, 2 sorts of thai basil, italian basil and pink wonder tomatoes:

The wild growth
The wild growth

There are a few more things on the needles, but I’ll save them for another post.

Oh, and the rain? Nothing but a distant memory. I might even be a teensy bit sun burnt. Maybe. 😉