Wordless Wednesday

 

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Hygge Hubby Capsule Pt 3: McCalls M7486

My February Minerva Craft Blogger Network post is live. I made the third and final garment of my husband’s hygge inspired capsule.

The weather hasn’t been too cooperative on a weekend so it’s an indoor photoshoot this time. Here is a sneak peek of the sweater.

 

And here is the link that will take you to the post on the Minerva Craft Blogger Network. Enjoy!

Thanks for stopping by.

Peace and love,

Hila

 

Pattern Review: DP Studio LE 406A AND B – LONG ASYMMETRIC SKIRT WITH RUFFLE DETAIL

At some time in December last year, I came across a French pattern company on Instagram, DP Studio Fashion. The company ethos is to keep abreast of the latest fashion news to find out about new shapes, volumes and shades. They sell a collection of ready-to-use patterns through their online boutique. I was quite taken by the designs which are so unique and fashion forward. There had so many patterns I wanted to buy, however, I limited myself to two. Here is the first one – a skirt:

Le 406 is an asymmetric skirt constructed in one piece and has no waistband. The pleats on the right side create volume that is then added to a frill sewn on the true bias creating a front ruffle of full volume and effect.

This is the picture that got me 

Postage and Service

The ordering process was very simple. The online website has pages for english and french language users. Postage was incredibly efficient with the patterns arriving within four days via courier. I was impressed. 

I knew I wanted to make my Christmas outfit using this pattern. Looking through my stash I considered using a denim and very nearly cut it out in denim but at the last minute remembered some tartan fabric that I believed would be more festive.

A note on the pattern – it has one of the largest pattern pieces I have ever worked with! The main front piece has two pieces that have to be taped together. The 2 pieces were not aligning perfectly along the grainline points. I emailed DP Studio Fashion and they responded within a couple of hours saying that this was a problem they were aware of – an error in the printing. I had to tape it along the right side seam and draw in the hem curve. It’s a simple enough thing to do – I don’t know if subsequent batches of the pattern will have this error. This picture shows what I mean – it really is a minor issue.

All the pieces are cut single layer so this pattern requires a lot of fabric. I failed with pattern matching the side seams but I figured it could be a design feature.

As an intermediate level seamstress, I found the instructions clear and well written. There is a picture tutorial available on the website.

Sizing was spot on. I chose the pattern size based on the provided grid and it was perfectly right for me.

I made no changes to the pattern. The waistband is supposed to have a facing but I opted for a Petersham ribbon. Two reasons: it is quicker and more comfortable.

I managed to finish the skirt in the nick of time on Christmas Eve and was able to wear it on Christmas morning paired with my black BurdaStyle roll neck top. A fetching combo that I felt good in.

After a couple of hours I noticed that the side where the flounce is anchored tended to ‘drop’ creating an asymmetric waist look. My assessment is that the waistband needs to be snugger to keep both sides at the same level. But then again it might just be this particular fabric which has a slightly loose weave that seems to let out over time and tightens when washed.

Pictures…..

DP Studio Fashion LE 406A AND B – LONG ASYMMETRIC SKIRT WITH RUFFLE DETAIL

 

Verdict: I love this skirt! I felt edgy when I was wearing it. The swish factor is a definite plus for me. It is a skirt made for striding forward towards…something! My sister in law said it had a Vivienne Westwood punk rock vibe. I was pleased beyond reason with that compliment :-).

I am looking forward to making another version of this skirt. It has much potential when using different fabrics. There are more patterns from DP Studio Fashion that I have my eye on.

Thanks for stopping by and until then, Happy Sewing!

Peace and love,

Hila

BurdaStyle 01/2017 #105 Activewear Edition

I actually made this outfit in January 2017 (Yay for actually sewing a BurdaStyle magazine of the same month!).

Athletic Tank Top 01/2017 #105

Tha fabric for the top is a self wicking knit which has some stretch. The stretch is quite minimal and not like a t-shirt jersey. Unfortunately, I don’t know its exact specifics as it was part of a bundle of fabrics from MinervaCrafts that I had won on IG in 2016. It is very comfortable to wear and supports my bust well.

The top is made up of 8 pieces – nice seam detail to look at but a pain in the neck to deal with. First of all, when tracing it I forgot to write in the seam numbers that tell you which edge to join where and had to rip out twice and cut more pattern pieces (I was using an overlocker). Eventually, I got my head around it and it worked out nicely.  I even put in a fancy neon green exposed zip. The zip is purely decorative, in my opinion, as I can easily pull this over my head without using the zip. The next time I make it I will omit the zip.

I really like this top because despite all the seam lines it is very comfortable. The upper half is self-lined so no overlock seams rubbing against my skin. Its fussy but well worth it.

 

Athletic Leggings 01/2017 #106B #106B

The fabric for the leggings is deep dark brown ponte roma with a shiny surface. I quite liked the angular seams and the high waist of these sporty leggings. Though fussy to sew up if you are trying to line everything up, I think they are worth the hassle. The pattern actually calls for zips at the ankle side seams. No thanks.

 

For both patterns, I cut the size 38 without any adjustments. I have worn both of these quite a lot over the last year, especially for yoga classes. The leggings are a tad too warm in summer but perfect when the weather is on the cooler side (on account of the ponte).

This outfit was/is a win for me – a great addition to my activewear collection!

Athletic Tank Top BurdaStyle 01/2017 #105

 

Thanks for stopping by and until next time, Happy Sewing!

Peace and love,

Hila

Facing my fears

I felt the urge to write after I got back from my swimming lesson. I have never been able to swim. My whole life I was convinced that I will meet my death in water. Sure I could wear a swimsuit and I could get into a pool – hardly ever straying from the shallow end of the pool. If I happened to get near the deep end, I always stuck by the edges where I could hold on.

The funny thing is that I was always so ashamed of the fact that I couldn’t swim that I vowed my own children wouldn’t feel that way because I was going to make sure they will be able to swim. All my children have had swimming lessons from babyhood. Smugness was a feeling I carried around whenever I thought about how enlightened I was. Even though I can’t swim I wouldn’t pass on a fear of drowning to my kids because I have empowered them! How wrong I was.

As a family, we travel a lot. Most places we end up have some large body of water. The kids and my husband love the seaside (especially a warm beach like Dubai or US ones in summer). 

During these times I was constantly on edge, worried, concerned, agitated, tense. Constantly exhorting them to be careful, to watch out, cautioning. I would move from these gentle feelings and actions to stronger admonishments and occasional freaked out yelling the longer we were at the beach in the water.

Ocean Grove, New Jersey. June 2017

 

My kids are comfortable in water. I was not. My anxiety was ruining what would have otherwise been an awesome time. The sad thing is that this wasn’t why I realised that I needed to learn to swim.

My decision to learn came out of 3 separate but interrelated issues

  1. My anxiety around water was the fear that I couldn’t dive in and save my child should they need me to.
  2. Feelings of powerlessness contribute to depression and taking an action helps with mental wellbeing (for me). I felt powerless about this possible scenario and learning to swim would empower me.
  3. I needed an aerobic regular exercise in addition to yoga (endorphin release that happens with exercise is good for mental wellbeing)  that was gentle on joints – I had tried running (again) and after 2 weeks I remembered why running never sticks with me – my joints don’t like it.

These 3 combined pushed me to take the plunge and find adult swimming lessons. I was lucky enough to find a space on a Tueday morning class in October 2017. I have had 8 Tuesdays of swimming so far since I started (there have been half terms, school training days and Christmas holidays in between).

Guess what? Swimming was nowhere, nowhere, near as hard as I thought. I can now do front crawl and backstroke. Currently, I am working on improving on my left arm stroke, making my breathing more efficient and improving stamina. I can do laps now. The one hour in the pool flies by and I LOVE the time I am swimming. The glee that I feel when I am splashing about and diving around is all powerful. Why, oh why, did I not do this sooner? Why did I have to wait 37 years? I want to apologize to my children for curbing their enthusiasm and bliss when they were in the water and feeling like I now do. All I could see then was danger. I now know the joy – which I didn’t even consider while deciding to do it.

Even though I had made sure they had swimming lessons I was still passing on my fears because I hadn’t faced my fear. I did. I conquered it so easily it was like in those movies where the protagonist walks up to face the large, tall and menacing shadow looming from around the corner but it turns out to be a small creature standing in front of an angled light.

How many more fears have I not faced that are holding me back from living my best life? What I have gained from facing this fear is far more than I could have imagined when I decided to face it. So – this year I will continue to face my fears and let’s see where that takes me.

Thanks for reading my internal dialogue. Have you faced any fears in the recently?

Tuesday 16th Jan 2018 10:35am

 

Peace and love,

Hila

Love Sewing Issue 44 Reader Review M6886

I made another M6886 as a reader review article for Love Sewing magazine (Issue 44). They invited me to their studio for a proper photoshoot with a make up artist and everything! Even got my nails done :-). It was quite an experience – one that I will cherish. Here is the review……

McCall’s M6886 Pattern Review for Love Sewing Magazine

You can never go wrong with a classic silhouette like McCall’s M6886. Designed to be a close fitting pullover dress, it has three neckline variations and four sleeve lengths. I love the scoop neckline on View D. The simplicity of sewing this dress is at odds with how well presented and chic I feel in it – surely something so quick to sew shouldn’t be so elegant?  Yet it is and that is the beauty of this pattern – I can see why it’s incredibly popular in the sewing community with over 160 reviews on PatternReview.

Well written instructions mean that even a new beginner can tackle this. The instructions are also written for sewing machines so even if you don’t have an overlocker you are covered. I cut a size 8 which fits me well – I took in a half inch at my narrowest waist point as I wanted a snugger fit there.

Let’s talk fabric – this lush wool ponte from Minerva Crafts is the bee’s knees, the cat’s meow as it were. I was torn between the brown and pink colourway but settled on the popping pink of course! Unusually, this beautiful ponte roma stripe is made from 100 percent wool fibres. It has a luxurious feel and was an absolute dream to sew. The stripes measure approx 7mm wide so I easily got away with minimal stripe matching (I can honestly say that stripe matching is not my forteJ.). It also helps that it’s reversible which means cutting out can be economical. The fabric is comfortable to wear, isn’t scratchy and the wool makes for a cosy warm dress – perfect for fall/winter. Love!

This dress has got so much layering potential for winter too – I plan on keeping it cosy by layering it over a black turtleneck with tights and knee length boots! Sweet!!!

If you are looking for a practical, easy to sew and figure flattering pattern then look no further than McCall’s M6886. I have more plans to add to the three that are already taking pride of place in my closet!

And pictures…….

I don’t think I did too bad in a studio 🙂

Thanks so much for stopping by and until next time, Happy Sewing!

 

Peace and love,

Hila

 

Hygge Hubby Capsule Pt 2: The Tee by Merchant & Mills

Its that time of the month again, the second Tuesday of every month is when my posts are published on the Minerva Craft Blogger Network. For this month I made the second garment of my husbands hygge inspired capsule.

We did a proper photoshoot for this project and it was hilarious getting my hubs to pose! He was up for the challenge though. I asked him to grow a beard so I could try to have the look here from Merchant & Mills product website…..

Here is the link that will take you to the post on the Minerva Craft Blogger Network. Enjoy!

Sneek peek at my pattern matching skills :-).

 

Thanks for stopping by.

Peace and love,

Hila