New cardigan sneek peak

Let me introduce you to the new cardigan designed by Andi Satterlund.

I’m wearing my Hawthorn dress underneath, all wrinkly from my suitcase, sorry.

I’ve been working on it during the last month and I can say that I feel very fortunate to have tested this pattern. The design is vintage and feminine, ideal for wearing with your favourite dresses during the cool spring and autumn days; though it would also look super nice with a pair of pants and a scarf for winter. It’s a fitted design with perfectly functional pockets. The design reminds a little bit of those cheerleeders from the 50’s, which makes it retro and gives it a flavour of youth.

This pattern will be available very soon, so stay tuned.

Fabric scavenging

As I’ve already explained, there’s a shop in Vigo called Retales Lidia where they sell fabric by the kilo. Some of those fabrics are the same as the ones used by Inditex, and among some useless fabrics, you can find some jewels. In the picture below, the white fabric is a cotton knit given to me by my sister, but it’s bought there. The one on the left is an oilcloth (around €6 per meter), and the two below are two cotton quilts (around €7 per meter). The rest are six kinds of fabric bought by the kilo. Some are 100% cotton and others are cotton blends (difficult to say since they were not labelled) but I just spend €13 for all of them.

They are not ultra large, so they will be probably destined to skirts or blouses (I see an Alma blouse with the blue flowers fabric, second from the left; and a top with the white flowers on a green background fabric), except for the one at the most right. That one could be enough for a dress. I already have another fabric for a Cambie dress, but I keep thinking that with this one would be lovely too. Or just any other dress. I have to go pattern hunting now!

I also bought there some gorgeous linen for Koen’s Jeddediah pants. I’m impatient to start!

The two times I went to that shop, most of the fabrics by the kilo were different ones, which makes me think that they are selling a lot and also renewing at the same speed. What I won’t give for a shop like that in Madrid!

The Old Reader

I am not really following blogs during these last days. I’ve been using The Old Reader for a while, due to its similarity to Google Reader and also because of the philosophy behind it. It reminds me of the old days of the internet in which a lot of amateur projects were born with tremendous amounts of illusion. Many of them died after a while, but I like the fact of supporting this kind of initiatives. Unfortunately The Old Reader is down since last Saturday. After a big migration, several SSD disks died leaving us without complete service. Some people are very annoyed at this and complained publicly leaving comments on The Old Reader Blog, without taking into consideration the nature of this project; it’s free, with no adds and it’s a project of carried out by two persons.

I have to say that I regret not having an export of my subscriptions just to be able to follow you all as I’ve been doing until last Saturday. I tried Bloglovin but I can convince myself to completely make the leap. Probably, when The Old Reader comes back to life (expected in 2 – 3 hours) I’ll see if I can export my subscriptions and then I’ll test other feed readers to use when these outages occur. We shouldn’t forget The Old Reader is a project from two people that are giving us their time and effort for free so that we can enjoy a similar product to Google Reader. As I said, I’ll test other feed readers, but for the moment I stick to The Old Reader.

Train derailment

I travel between Madrid and Vigo either by train or by plane. I came by plane this time and I’ll be going back this Saturday also by plane. I arrived home today around 22:30 from having a drink with an old friend and I saw my mother with her eyes glued to the TV. That same train I sometimes take suffered a terrible accident today around 9 pm. The causes are still unknown, but out of the 218 passengers, they’ve already counted 60 deceased and 140 injured. At the moment they have need of great amounts of blood from blood donors and people had a very positive answer crowding the hospitals to give blood.

I can only say that I’m so sorry for those families and I can’t help but feeling lucky that I was not in that train. My thoughts are with those families who are experiencing the longest night of their lives.

You can read more here and here and here.

A family week

As I’ve explained in my previous post, after experimenting very high temperatures in Madrid, I felt too optimistic and packed two skirts, a pair of shorts, a dress and a half for my two weeks here. The half comes from the pieces I cut to make a Lonsdale dress, since I missed two of them and they just went back into the suitcase. I only brought a pair of long pants that I wore almost non stop since I arrived: my thurlows. But after spilling some food today during lunch at my sister’s I had to leave them go almost by themselves to the washing machine. I’m wearing now a pair of very old pants. Last time I wore them was about two or three years ago, when I arrived too late to the airport in Brussels (that time not my fault, there were just some works on the rails and we got stuck for more than half an hour) and I had to run to the gate leaving my suitcase behind. At that time these pants were already quite old.

For the rest the week didn’t go too bad. Koen’s parents enjoyed Vigo and the weather on the day we went to the Islands was the best of all the ones we had. Sadly I have no pictures from it. When I first got my DLSR I used to take it everywhere with me, but then I got a third lens, the 50 mm 1.8, and I’m on the petite side and I always find annoying to take it here and there. I’ve decided that I’ve got to put a solution to it, and that’s making my own camera bag; something big enough to also carry my wallet, cellphone and all the stuff I carry in my purse. I have checked on internet a bit and I like the Paparazzi camera bag (adding a recessed top zipper) or this cinch tote (I would make modifications to this last one too).

Paparazzi Camera Bag
Cinch tote

We went one day to Retales Lidia, where they sell some fabric by the kilo, apart from other things. Koen wanted to buy some linen for a pair of Jedediah pants and shorts. Morgan actually looked for pattern testers and I applied but I sent my email too late to be able to part take in it. I think it was good in the end, because when I’m here it’s sometimes difficult to find the right moment for sewing. We bought 3 meters of a wonderful linen and I’m planning in joining the Jedediah sewalong that will take place in August. We will be just back from Belgium and I’ll be ready to sew! They also have cotton quilt at a very reasonable price (€ 7,50) and lots of other nice fabrics.

Unfortunately I have no pictures of the fabric we bought, but I took a couple of pictures there that seemed funny to me. They sell not only fabric by the kilo but also old buttons and zippers!

Fails

Murphy’s law says that if there’s anything that can go wrong, will go wrong. And it definitely did this time. We were supposed to take a flight to Vigo yesterday at 5 pm, but after taking zillions of planes in our life, we miscalculated and missed our plane. We could change our tickets to some hours later and to another airport in the same region, so all was not lost.

We were going to come next week, not this one, when my sister was also on vacation. Koen’s plans were bringing his racing bike and cycling around while I spent some quality time with my family. But a month ago, Koen’s parents sent us an email to let us know that they were coming to Vigo this week for the first time in their lives, and to meet my parents, also a first. We had to change our vacation days at work, Koen couldn’t bring his bike and we missed our plane. What else could go differently than planned? Don’t take me wrong; it’s going to be a pleasure to see them, but things are just not coming out the way it was planned.

You see this photo?

Two days ago I cut some fabric for a Lonsdale dress. It requires a lot of fabric, so I decided to cut it in advance and like that having less to transport. My plan was sewing the dress between yesterday evening and today and then wear it tomorrow evening for date with our parents. But dear friends, let me tell you something to avoid the same that happened to me. Today, when I was finally working on it, I discovered that two of the pieces were missing. I don’t know if I either forgot to cut them or they just stayed home with the rest of the fabric. So, dear friends, if you happen to plan the same in the future, please do two things:

  1. Make sure that you have all the necessary pieces to finish your garment. Check it twice.
  2. Take with you some extra fabric just in case. Things happen.

Anyway, the weather here is not as hot as in Madrid, and it’s clearly much more humid; so all the skirts and dresses I brought will probably stay in the suitcase, and if I happen to wear some of them, it will be just for the hottest hours of the day. Today I was wearing my first A-line skirt and sandals, and I’m wearing now my Thurlows and my Freija. So, even if could have finished the dress, I don’t think I would have been able to wear it tomorrow for dinner.

These are some bracelets I made for the family, one of the things that worked so far. I haven’t given them to them yet, so you know, they will probably break when they try to wear them.

At least I have my knitting. I’m still working on Andi’s test. I’m over 50%, so I’m afraid this project will not last for the complete vacation and all the things happening will drive me crazy. I think I’ll need to pay a visit to a famous store here that sells fabric by the kilo. After all this fails it will be so comforting…

White with red details Hawthorn

I must confess that I was not thrilled by this design, and that I got carried away after all the fuss that was made about it. And I wanted to be part of a sewalong, having motivating deadlines, being able to learn from others in real time. So I bit the bullet, I bought the pattern, and after some procrastination (as I said, I was not very motivated) I made it. After buying a light weight cotton that caught my eye I found again problems to put my heart into it. The fabric was beautiful, light, wonderful for these summer temperatures, but it was a bit too sheer. The bodice could be fine like this just wearing a beige bra, but no way I could wear a skirt with nothing underneath. So I kicked myself in the ass and went to buy some white cotton batiste that was a wonder to work with (unlike my light cotton, so slippery and delicate).

For the lining I should have cut the same pieces but 1 inch shorter, but as I am a bit lazy, what I’ve done was cutting them just the same length and then basted 1 inch from the bottom to have a line to cut. I prepared the lining in the same way as the skirt (putting the four pieces together) and hemmed it. Then I sewed the lining to the skirt at the waist and front, assembled the dress and treated skirt and lining as one for the rest of the process.

I finished the waist and edges with some white bias tape to make it look more neat and I think it looks quite professional. The only thing I’m not proud off are the facings. I should have staystitched both curved sides. I have the impression that the side opposite to the one that is staystitched is a bit stretched out. Not really an issue, as that part stays inside, but I have the feeling that I always have to place it carefully when putting the dress on.

I was planning on putting shell or white snaps, but I could only find silver, brass and this beautiful cherry. The moment I saw them I new they were the perfect contrasting color, and then I spent some of the wee hours thinking that I wanted to embroider something on that same color. I got the design from the Hoop Loop Vintage Transfers Flickr group.

I finally made a size 2. At the beginning I thought I could need a 4 for my waist, but on a second thought I stuck with size 2 and that was a good call. I thought at first about lowering the collar but after asking for an opinion to Koen I decided to keep it like the original. I had to raise the front darts 2 cm though, since the pattern is for a C or D bra cup and I think I’m around size B or C, but probably with a completely different shape than the model. I sometimes see the bodice a bit loose on me, but Koen convinced me that it’s just right. Oh, well, nothing is perfect.

Intarsia

Whenever I go somewhere I have so many pictures and things to tell that I create loads of posts in my mind but nothing gets typed. Last weekend we were in Valencia and I still need to rescue some pictures from Koen’s phone to be able to show you my bikini in action.

For now I will tell you that I’ve been knitting in the train on the way there and back and also during some brief moments at the hotel. This cardigan has a bit of intarsia, just a tiny little bit, so it’s ideal to get initiated into this colorwork technique without being overwhelmed by it.

Testing a pattern means that you have to be very careful when you read the instructions, following them very carefully (no cheating allowed!) and being able to spot any mistake. If something doesn’t match you have to re-read again, count your stitches and find out if you made a mistake yourself. If that’s not the case, then the designer should be contacted so that she can verify it and then correct it. It’s a process that requires continuous feedback and requires a good communication in both ways.

Have I told you how much I’m enjoying this knitting?