Archive for May, 2009

Lots More Sewing

May 29, 2009

to come…

I just realized I can sew a lot more if you cut the same colored fabric out at a time, thread your machine, pin all the darts and seams that will be sewn first and just start sewing.
Following this theory of mine there was a lot of green on my desk these past two weeks.

  • a tunic with a decorative trip, Indian style with instructions on how to apply the embellishing band
  • 3 jersey T-Shirts or tops


  • a green dress with some crochet detail that I haven’t decided upon yet
  • a pair of thin stretch green pants

In the meantime we are planning a crazy backpacking camping trip to Europe. Me and my husband will start in Amsterdam, visiting the city and the surroundings, maybe even catch a train to Brussels for a gofre if we get the munchies one day. We plan on spending a few days hiking in the Alps, in Grindelwald a small tourist village close to Interlaken. Then we will be off to Salzburg, again in the mountains somewhere, to see the glacier, lakes and villages. We will be traveling by train, we have the opportunity of buying Interrail passes, since we are Romanian citizens and I know we will be missing out on so many things throught Europe and these 2 weeks will simply scratch the surface….but there will be 3 different countries, some city strolling and mountain hiking, a lot of photographs.
From Salzburg we will catch the train to Budapest, meet with my parents in law, drive to Valea Draganului, Romania, spend 3 days at the cabin.
5 days will be left for our home town of Cluj Napoca, Romania.

Why am I writing all this on a sewing blog? Just wondering what clothes to wear in fashionable Europe, while keeping my pack really light and having clothes for the mountain side and anythiung the weather will throw at me.

We will be doing a lot of walking through the cities, camping at high altitudes in the mountains so we need to be ready for anything.

Long sleeve tops in lightweight cotton would offer some protection from the sun. Like the tunic or the raglan tops with gathering around the neckline. These can be layered over a camisole, and taken off it is really too hot.

Shorts are cool for summer, but I think knee length pants are more stylish and are more practical for bike riding, etc. Lightweight jeans that convert into cropped version are also versatile. I wonder how these will look like with those hiking sandals… Linen feels great but it will be very wrinkly so I don’t think I’m going to pack that…I’m also thinking of packing some silk tops because they are so lightweight and dry easily, but those would be for wearing through Cluj where there won’t be a backpack on me…

Cotton is great and I love it, but for dry weather. It has no moisture wicking properties, on the contrary, it is very absorbent, so all the sweat from a day of walking/hiking will be stuck in the fabric, transforming it into wet sandpaper that irritates the skin.

So then I was looking online at those lightweight synthetic button down shirts, with UV protection that are perfect for hot wet weather. They wick moisture away and dry quickly. Essential if I’m going to pack light and wash my clothes often. A shirt I think will be always classic no matter what, so it will do for a walk throught any city and it will protect me from the sun and heat so I won’t have to wear that sticky sun screen lotion. Shirts like that from Columbia run around 30-50$ each and I think they look great for men, but they don’t really have a more feminine cut for us girls.

Another essential item I think would be a softshell breathable, waterproof or at least water repellent, moisture wicking jacket. This is great to have with you on the trail, at high altitudes where weather can play tricks with you and seasons can change by the hour. It will keep you insulated and dry. These can run up to over 200$ depending on what the label sais.

The downside with the synthetics is that they can become smelly after wearing for long hours.

You hear all these buzz words that add a lot of $$$ to prices, like SPF, water repellent, moisture wicking, breathable fabric, etc… I googled them and ended up finind this little online store called rocky woods:

They stock up all the fabrics I mentioned and are specialized in outdoor fabric. I’m not crazy about the pictures, because they do not portrait the fabrics, it is just boxes of color, so I’m not sure what to expect.

I just ordered today, all these for about 100$:

  • Burlington Moisture Control Sun Blocker Fabric for two long sleeved shirts (eucalyptus and brick red)
  • Burlington MCS Blocker Sun Protective Fabric Prints for two long sleeved shirts (Blue Plaid and Pink plaid)
  • Polartec Windbloc Laminate – Graphite/Brick
  • Gore® Soft Shell with microfleece liner – Grey- the last two are for a soft shell, that will have reflective zippers ans pockets

I’m sure this makes no sense and I can’t seem to see all these in a collection, but I do need to think about pieces that go together, can be layerd, are practical and easy to care for,  lightweight, do not wrinkle….

In the end, I’m pretty sure I’ll end up wearing the hiking clothes through the cities as well and look like the American tourist…

Locations to visit around Salzburg, not sure how we could get to all these places, we will probably need to choose:

View Salzburg, Grossglockner in a larger map

Yellow Drape Top

May 12, 2009

Yellow Drape Top, originally uploaded by fmirela.

Pattern: Burda WOF 10/1998

My favorite pattern for drapy fabrics again and again. Not much to say really, a simple fast serger project. Not a stitch done on the sewing machine, everything in this one is serger, so speed. Simple cut, drapy fabric, 15 minutes cutting out and about an hour of sewing.

Here are some details so you can see the fabric. My mom got this for me in that little dusty Italian fabric shop back home in Cluj, Romania.

The drape at the neckline:
Drape Detail

The coverstitch hem:
Coverstitch Hem


May 12, 2009

Stripes, originally uploaded by fmirela.

I’ve made the pattern for the top I’m wearing as simple as possible and really gave thought to the stripes on the fabric, wanted to align the teal line with the waist line.

Shoulder stripes

So this is a simple T shaped top with a fitted waist and sort of a 70’s feel in the cut and 80’s in the print. I keep meaning to scan the pattern and share it on BurdaStyle…maybe one day…

The top on the dress form is finished and there is another one I’ve made already in the same fabric, pictures pending.

White Wrap Shirt

May 12, 2009

White Shirt, originally uploaded by fmirela.

Pattern: Burda 02/2009

The exclusive design from Tristano Onofri
Fabric: sheer cotton/poly

This is a sheer paisley fabric, so I underlined the front wrapped pieces with the same fabric.
White Shirt

The blouse has a side invisible zipper and a false ribbon bow.
White Shirt

White Shirt

The back neckline and the sleeves’ hem are gathered by sewing with elastic thread in the lower bobbin, using a longer stitch step (4mm). Sew two double parallel lines with the elastic about 5mm apart, then pull on the elastic ends to achieve the desired gathering length and securely tie the elastic and the thread in a few knots.
I like to wear this with an embroidered cami underneath, not only because of the sheerness of the fabric, but also because the wrap is very revealing especially when I move…I love the look of wrap blouses and dresses, but one would need to really fill them so they would stay close to the body…me…I get a cami.

Blue Shirt

May 12, 2009

Blue Shirt, originally uploaded by fmirela.

Pattern: Burda 06/2008
Fabric: Embroidered Cotton from JoAnns
Accessories: Pearl Snap Fasteners

I like this top, but wish it was a little more fitted, I should have taken it in at the side seams.
Blue Shirt

I adore the snap fasteners, they were really easy to apply, so much faster even compared to the machine made automatic button holes.
Blue Shirt
Blue Shirt

I spent a lot of time laying out the pattern pieces over the fabric for the stripes to match.