{ ABSENT } Ive been gone so long even WordPress thought it time to upgrade without me…

Yip friends, thats what happens when your’e absent from blogging for almost a month!

We just had to break away for a little holiday. Those that follow me on Instagram will know we took a little us-time to Italy. It was just a week but it was enough to recharge the batteries before heading back to work to start a new project & deal with the snagging of the old.

We traveled by car coz the hubster has been doing so much air travel recently. I couldn’t ask him to do airports & planes for holiday too so a little driving it was. First stop was { BIBIONE }, then onto Venice for the day, then to Lake Garda, then up into “The Roof of Italy” to Merano, back into Austria to Salzburg and then home. We drove, slept, wined, dined, swam, hiked, moaned our way through Italy whilst sampling all the gelato we could along the way. Let me tell you Bibione might have been the most touristy but boy oh boy did we have AH-MAZING gelato there! Id drive 5 hours back to Bibione just for the dark chocolate ice-cream…you dont believe me…I absolutely would.

{ VENICE} was lovely. Fell in love with this perfect city with all its flaws. We didnt find it smelly or over-priced at all but I guess thats because we’ve lived in some expensive countries/cities to know when things are really bonkers expensive. Im pretty sure there are some bonkers places but in general, its european prices all day, every day.  Id go back in a heart beat & Im not just romanced by the touristy stuff that everyone does because I dont really subscribe to that crap to be honest.  I was just romanced by how peculiar and different Venice is.  I seek out the oddness & peculiar in everything so for me this was a treasure chest just waiting to be explored.Italy_Grand_Canal_July2014

{ LAKE GARDA } was disappointing, weather wise and otherwise. It was not what I was expecting, bar the lake of course so it was no great shakes to leave & press on to Merano.

{ MERANO } was beautiful, full of lush green vineyards. Very Austrian/German in every way but the Italian still manages to shine through here and there.

{ SALZBURG } - oh Salzburg. You know how much I love Salzburg. One night was enough to remind me of my love for this city.

Salzburg_July2014

A great little getaway filled with spectacular views. Italy_July_2014

So now Im back at work and headed to London tomorrow. Its a short in & out business trip that unfortunately I didnt have much time to plan. Back in May I was supposed to join Rachel and all of you at the London get together. I was all booked & ready at the airport but unfortunately, I was not allowed to board the plane. UK Immigration is a bitch I’ll tell ya that!! I dont travel on an EU passport, I was denied entry to the UK and therefore my passport had to go into the Embassy for stickers and stuff. (Now dont be thinking how did she not know she needs visas/permits etc coz Im not that clouded over…..the system is chaos! I had been traveling in & out of London for 2 years without any problems until that farking day!)

I received my passport back last Thursday after what seemed like an eternity. Im stickered up & ready to rumble. I could go on for days about my immigration situation and while I would very much like to vent here, I think its probably better that I dont.

Long story short is that I’ll be in Londontown quite a lot over the coming months. Most of the trips will be quick in & outs for business but Im hoping that I can at least get to meet some of you & shop fabric while Im there.

Lovies to you all

x ange

{ KWIK SEW 3488 } The Shirt-dress…

i’ve been wanting to make  forevs…

I had seen an image in a magazine yonks ago & thought the idea of creating a focus down the middle using contrasting buttons quite genius. After settling on the Kwiksew 3488 pattern, I found a lovely weight 100% white linen at my local fabric store for €6/m & knew it was a match made in heaven. KwikSew3488_front01

This was the first Kwiksew pattern Ive used & I have to be honest & give credit where credit is due. First of all, I love that its printed onto heavier weight paper than the tissue most pattern companies use. It just makes more sense because Im not the sewer that traces…I cut that darn pattern & I use it. The only time I trace is when I notice the pattern battling after multiple abuse….& of course those dreaded BurdaStyle traces. I also love that the paper is { WHITE }. Probably because the writing is easier to see…I dont know, I just prefer it to the brown tissue. Also, most of the writing is in dark blue but the really important text like “PLACE ON FOLD” or cut 1 “ON FOLD” is in red as well as the pattern piece numbers. Sure, these are small details but I dig small details!!! The thing I love most though are the colour coded size lines. XS is in light mauve, S is in light red/pink, M is in light blue & so on. { GENIUS }. It makes following your size so much easier. Again, small deets but you know…

**edit** after publishing this post yesterday Ive had a few ladies mention that since KS was taken over by the McCalls group, the patterns are now printed onto the same brown tissue as the Vogue, Butterick, McCalls etc. This is rather disappointing to hear obviously however Im also quite surprised this is the case because I purchased this pattern from the US recently – directly from McCalls. It could be it was old stock & thats why the pattern was still on the thicker paper?!? Just wanted to clarify incase anyone goes out to buy their patterns based on my review only to find tissue!

The instruction sheet is also printed onto white paper rather than the drab brown but hey ho, whatevs floats your boat. Where some other brands show little diagrams of which side the pattern piece should be laid for cutting ie. right side up etc, these instructions you do have to read..no diagrams. I prefer the diagrams for quick reference but the text is also fine so I highlighted it for quick reference next time. The actual sewing instructions were also really good. This wasn’t a difficult project & I couldnt find any reference to what level of sewer would find this suitable but I would say an advanced beginner with experience sewing buttonholes & topstitching could take this on without a problem. KwikSew3488_front02 KS3488_back

The body measurements listed on the back of the envelope indicated I should sew the L but once I saw the finished garment measurements on the actual pattern piece, I went for the M & Im glad I did.  There is a certain amount of ease allowed for but ease is such a controversial subject. Some people like lots of ease, some like very little. I think it also depends on the style of garment & your body shape really.

Because this was my first Kwiksew pattern, I decided to leave the topstitching until as late as possible. I needed to fit it & I certainly didnt want to have to unpick masses of double topstitch…because almost every seam calls for double topstitch but you can leave those off if you like too – its ups to yous. Most of the seams I topstiched with a twin needle giving it a really nice finish. After sewing so much silk & jersey recently, the linen was a darn dream. I sewed the shorter version, with short sleeves & no pocket flaps. KS3488_stitching_detail

Next big decision - the { BUTTONS }…I had black buttons in mind because I wanted to create that focus but then I found bronze ones…the mind boggled! I took to Instagram for help & some of you voted black, some of you voted bronze – so thanks for that!!! I eventually found these lovely black domed buttons with silver splatter on them. I liked the shape & feel so I went with those. You might also notice I placed my buttons at closer intervals than the pattern suggested which meant almost double the amount of buttonholes. Luckily my Sapphy has the one-step buttonhole feature so sewing those were easy as pie. Once the buttons were stitched on, I blind hemmed & she was done.I wonder if the buttons prevent it from looking too doctor-ish though….because it feels a little doctor-ish. What do you think ?? KS3488_buttons

The dress is really comfortable, belted or not…& in linen perfect for the hot weather we’re having & Im hoping the linen will keep softening with every wash too. Im lucky enough to work from home so this kind of dress fits my lifestyle incredibly well. I just have to slip on a pair of cute flats or my over-worn nude espadrilles & Im ready to go should I need too.KwikSew3488_front04

Im definitely sewing her again, perhaps with 3/4 sleeves in a lightweight denim & red topstitch or chambray….or even with cap-sleeves??!!?

Have a good weekend & till next time,

A x

{ RTW } So I had some time today…

to do something that I really dont have much time to do anymore.

More so than no time, I just really dont feel the need to browse much RTW as I used to.  I find the quality of fast fashion alarming, more & more so in fact. The particular store I browsed today was nothing short of junk…I have no other way to describe what I saw…& touched. { EVERYTHING } was synthetic, cheap & sewn together so badly, I wouldn’t even use them for rags to mop up my floor.

Sure, the goods are cheap….or at least they appear to be { BUT } when you think about how much wear you would get out of a €7.95 cami for instance, by the time its made it through its 3rd or 4th wash, if indeed it even gets through that many washes, is it even still the same shape or colour as it was when you first purchased it??

So I left the store, rather displeased & en-route to my car I suddenly found myself smiling…..pleased & proud to say that I dont have to purchase that rubbish any longer. I would much rather spend my hard-earned dineros on good fabric that I know I can turn into a million-buck cami if I wanted to, that would go through endless washes before it started to remotely fall to pieces.

I smiled because I can sew.

I smiled because you can too.

xx Ange

{ EASY LIVING } Kimono…

This project has actually been finished for quite some time. Life happens & that means some things have to take a back seat but Im cool with that. Are you?

Browsing one of my favourite websites I came across this fabric that looked delicious enough to eat. It was listed as “Ramie” & since I had no idea what it was, I decided the surest way to find out was to just order a piece.  Wiki doesnt make it sound too appetizing but dont listen to Wiki coz in fabric form, its delish. Its got the texture of linen but it feels like cotton – what more could you possibly ask for when you have summer on your mind?! Now I do wish I had ordered more than the a mere metre… Style2254_side

Style2254_side02

I had wanted to whip me up a Kimono-style somethin’ for some time. I settled on an old Style pattern (#2254) and used the robe as a place to start. If you’re interested in checking this pattern out, there is one available on Etsy for the moment. BTW, does anyone know if Style Patterns Ltd still exists ? Or what happened to them ? I remember them having some really awesome patterns..

Anyway, I shortened the length overall as well as the sleeves & instead of attaching lace trims, I used the extra unwanted length to add nice broad hems. Also, because I didnt sew in the lace trim, where the shoulder meets the back neck, I simply folded over the facing & stitched it down. Style2254_facing

There is nothing to say about the sew because its dirt easy…novice easy. Kimono_Style2254

Till next time – Ange x

{ feeling (& looking) particularly fragile today after the rolling stones concert in vienna last night. it was so good i could quite possibly die feeling rather musically satisfied today. if you ever get the chance to see those blokes live, take it. i promise you would not be disappointed }

{ EASY SILK } Copy Cat top…

Seven Years ago I purchased a lovely simple  pullover top that Ive worn pretty much every week of my life since…Its that lovely.

With easy knit at the back & a gorgeous printed satin in the front, it started to look a little worse for wear. Ok, ok…it looked a little worse for wear around 3 years ago already but for some reason, I still see it as pristine as it was the day I carried it home in my shopping bag.

It was time to reproduce.

So I traced the pattern off which wasnt very hard given its just a block with boat neck. I chose a grey knit/jersey for the back as well but for the front I used the piece of 8mm Light Pink Silk Habotai I purchased a few months ago. The baby pink was a little too clean for me, so I dirtied it up  with my favourite RIT liquid dyes using the colour formulation for “Titanium” from the Fall 2012 Pantone colours RIT has on their website. I used 1/4 tsp Kelly Green, 1/4 tsp Black with 4 cups of water & added extra colour as I needed to intensify where needed. I dipped my silk until it looked more or less how I wanted it, rinsed and laid it out to dry.  RIT_liquid_dyeing

 

RIT_dyed_silk

Pink & grey are one of my { FAVOURITE } colour combinations. Pink is so girly & grey is so soft, the two go together perfectly. In fact, I love grey with everything really!

The silk & jersey sewed together without any problems. I was anxious at first – it could have been a full on fuck up! I hadnt tested the two fabrics together….should I be admitting that?!? Truth be told, Im quite a rouge when it comes to sewing in a way. I dont muslin (or hate doing when my better judgement insists), I hardly ever test fabrics & sometimes, I dont even pre-wash….even though its one of the first things I advise when someone asks me about sewing!! hahaha. Rich, I know, but thats how I roll.

So here’s how she looked once sewn up :Silk_jersey_top_front

The neck facing near my right shoulder doesn’t sit 100% flat….think it has something to do with the interfacing in that area. Ive already unpicked her there & will give it another go just so she’s perfect but on the whole, I really love it. Its simple & so easy to wear. Id make this again…probably not with an 8mm silk because it is quite fine but definitely with the 2 fabric combinations.

Hope you all had an awesome weekend!!

x Ange

{ McCALLS 6839 } Party’s in the back…

The hubster is away & its raining outside so it seems the universe finally straightened itself out & gave me the well overdue time I needed to sit & sew. It actually started Friday in fact. I had work to do but since a lot of my work relies on the UK folk (& they were bank holidaying), I decided to pull out my ‘ol Ellie & get her all cleaned up before starting a quick project, you know, something to give me that instant satisfaction I was craving.

Some of you may recall my post last year when I told you that I had not used my overlocker in a year….that was last year MAY!! So its been 2 years since I used her & I have to say, I feel the same way about it all now as I did then.. I loved taking the break to explore my other options on finishing seams but I’ll be honest & say its nice to have her back too, plus, my pinking shears are farking blunt!! Anyone know if those can be sharpened??

Ellie needed { A LOT }of TLC to make her happy. I must have spent at least 2 hours trying to figure out her problems – tensions, needles, thread, re-thread. Nope, she did not want to know my business, so I left her overnight. Saturday she was still skipping stitches & messing me around until a light came on…{ DING } LUBRICATION!! A couple drops of oil to her vitals & she was purring like a kitten. Back in business ….

So, the task at hand was McCalls 6839 version B, with no sleeves. I used an olive viscose jersey I had purchased last year and found as close a finish dark green to match in thread. She whipped up quite easy & before you judge her from the front in all her boring-ness….McCalls6839_front

…check her out from the back!!! McCalls6839_back

I mean really, what is there not to love about a top that comes together in a matter of an hour or so, complete with party in the back??? Nothing right.

I overlocked my side seams, shoulder seams & the back drape before turning over to finish. To avoid any stretching out on the back yoke & neck I used an iron-on strip interfacing & a bias one which I bought here for the neck area. You could make your own by bias cutting soft interfacing of course – its cheaper!

So the big question – is it underthings friendly?? Well, that depends on the type of underthing you wear. I have an average sized torso & I find my normal cross strap shows if it sits centre but I do have some that sit much lower so these work fine. For example in the pics above Im wearing a low fitting bra & it does not show. (aaaahhhmmm, excuse what looks like smartie action happening on the front….oh you see, you didnt notice it at first, now Ive gone & brought it to your attention…) There are so many lovely lacey underthings on the market these days anyway,that who cares if you see something peeking…

Its worth mentioning that the back drape can be made as draey as you like. Cut the back drape from a scrap piece of fabric & then play with what suits you best. Increasing or decreasing the back piece will give you options on how deep or high the drape hangs.

Anyway, its a good pattern, one that could even be good done in a drapey woven although you’d have to allow a little extra fabric to compensate for no stretch factor. I cut my usual size but it was around a size too big so I pinched in where I needed  before finishing off the seams.

Highly recommended so dont be surprised if you see another version before the summer is out.

xx Ange

 

{ BURDASTYLE } Twisted tank…

Ive had this pattern cut out for an embarrassingly long time. In fact, not just the pattern, but the chartreuse satin I used for the lining had been cut out for this top too. I just didnt have the right fabric to finish it off – { ENTER} lovely piece of gorgeously coloured silk….and right there it was a match made in heaven.

The satin is a heavier weight which made it much easier to sew but the multi-coloured bit of loveliness was a real pain in the ass. No amount of spray starch, cutting through paper or pointing at it with that “now you listen to me” tone in my finger could possibly tame this beast. I struggled & cursed & eventually, defeated, I lost my sewjo & she hung, hung, hung.

A few weeks ago I decided it was time to finish her so I steamed through & refused to leave the sewing room until she was done!Burdastyle_07_2013_103B_front

I used the Burdastyle Twisted Tank pattern. I cut my usual size but found the fit ran a little on the big side so I nipped in some under the arms. I also lowered the V-neck for a better look & fit because it was sitting way to high for me. While I love the pattern, Im not that in love with the join down the middle. I dont mind it, Im just not overjoyed with it. The join is necessary in order to get the twisted effect on the front but twisting & joining in the back would also work so if I were to make this again, Id probably look into changing that aspect. You should also notice I gave my straps an extra twist – no reason, just did.

Its a simple tank top with a little bit of whimsy on the shoulder. Its easy to sew up & since the lining & the outer fabric are both luxurious fabrics, its indeed a very luxurious piece to wear – light as a feather!

I cant wait to pair her with my denim mini for summer…

’til soon, Ange x

 

 

{ QUIET IN THE CHAMBER } Ive been quite crap…

…recently with sewing or blogging…or anything remotely related.

After finishing german school I was recruited by the hubster to assist him with his current project. If I tell you its been non-stop thump thump since middle march, I wouldn’t even be exaggerating.

Its been manic.

Ive had days when Ive actually thought setting myself on fire would be more comfortable & we all know how there is nothing comfortable about the prospect of that. But seriously, when last did I read a blog….Um…I have around 280 blogs to catch up on.

We are nearing the end though so its gonna get better soon-ish. Ive never ever been under this kind of stress. I cant think straight. Its not healthy & I certainly don’t plan to be under it much longer but work is work & we are grateful to have it. Still, a good nights sleep would be good & a little stint in the sewing room would be even better.

On the up side, Ive booked my flights to join you guys at the London Meetup in May. #terribly excited. Check in at Rachel’s blog for details on the when’s, the where’s and the how’s to join in on the fun. {WHOOP WHOOP}.

Anyway, just wanted to let you all know why Ive been so crap at keeping the blog up to date.

Trust you are all well & sewing up a storm.

Ange x

{ LEATHER JACKET } Cabernet…

Hello Lovelies -

Im finally getting my a-into-g & started to muslin the BurdaStyle leather jacket from the 08/2013 magazine. I buy the German edition becoz thats whats on offer here in my ‘hood but I need your help { PRETTY PLEASE}. Normally Im quite good at following the german instructions but Im battling to make sense of these.

Can any of you lovelies email me a copy of the scanned english instructions for the 113 leather jacket from the 08/2013 BurdaStyle ? You can send to angekronaus@gmail.com.Id love you forevs :)

Here’s a pic!!

IMG_0907

Im very behind in my sewing. Sewjo seems to be back but I just cant find the time to sew. Work is craz-ee. Im supposed to be only working 20hrs per week but its looking more like 50!! & the weekends are filled with housekeeping duties, on top of all sorts of other challenging stuff we’re having to navigate at the moment (more on that another time though)…

{ UUUUUUUUURRRRRRRRRRRRGGGGGGGGGHHHHHH }.

Never ends.

I seem to have 3 WIPs at the moment in various stages of “undecided”….does it get any worse ? One just needs a hem, the other needs to progress from muslin phase & the last is dyed, pinned & just needs to be sewed. I need a kick in the ass I know. And somehow Ive started on this leather jacket too…..

I really need to go back to one project at a time!

x Ange

 

 

{ BY HAND LONDON } Kickstarter…

Hello Lovelies -

414 awesome people of this world have backed the gorgeous ladies of By Hand London so far in an effort to raise 35000gbp.

With only 8 more days to go, please head over to their Kickstarter page to read all about how you can pledge to help them achieve their dream of printing fabric on demand.  The smallest pledge would help so dont be shy.

These girls have offered us one smashingly good pattern after the next, just imagine how amazing their fabrics would be….

x Ange