March 13, 2012


Between job interviews, a terrible winter here in Istanbul (it never stops snowing or raining or both at the same time!) and my 150th flu, I really didn't have much time to sew. My only accomplishment is the Meringue Skirt which I had been drooling over for a looong time; and as soon as I felt a little better -and had some time- I laid my hands on the pattern. 

Sorry for the "humanless" photos; still not feeling good enough to pose :(

As everyone points out, Meringue is such an easy yet elegant skirt. It has two darts on the front and back pieces, widens slightly towards the hem and closes with an invisible zipper on the left. What makes it remarkable is the scalloped hem which is so "in" at the moment. I must admit I was a little sceptical with scallops at first, but they add so much to such a plain little skirt. And they are not that difficult to make too (check out all the scallop tutorials Suzie so neatly listed on her blog).

I used my eyelet fabric bought from the neighbourhood market I wrote about earlier. It turned out to be a romantic piece, suitable even for special occasions (date night, family dinner..). And I was proud with myself for making the invisible zipper "invisible enough" :)) The flower patterns did not quite match on the front and back pieces, but alas, I will accept that!

For the next time, I'd like to make a two-colored variation like Lucille's or use piping like Katya's. Aren't they adorable?!

February 27, 2012


When I saw a tutorial on how to make a bow-tie on A Beautiful Mess, I instantly remembered the left-over fabric from my zippered pouch (which I haven't shared yet, must do soon!).  But since there is no man around me that would appreciate a bow-tie, I made a sweet little hair-clip for myself.

As you can clearly see from the photos, the construction is quite easy. I only attached a barrete, instead of a bow-tie clip; and made the central piece a little wider. And then showed off with my new accessory all weekend, accepting quite a little compliments ;)

So, Yay! for the talented ladies over at A Beautiful Mess!...

February 23, 2012


Yet another project from last year! They took me ages then (5 whole days!), since they were my first go with shorts. And may I say, it wasn't one of the easiest patterns! Attaching the zipper only (with a fly) was a pain-in-the-bottom itself ;) Anyways, when I finished and put them on, I remember feeling quite triumphant.

The pattern is from Burda magazine, March 2011, model #131A, which you can purchase as an e-pattern from the website as well. The fit is perfect (I am a size 38) and they are pretty comfy to move around :) The side pockets are not very functional; but as you can see from my awkward posture, you can use them to hide your thumbs while posing ;)

And just to show off: please note how well-constructed my shorts are! After all, they are worth 5 days of hard work and tears ;))

February 18, 2012


I may be the worst blogger ever, to be posting after a whole month; but I had my excuse! Well, I resigned from my job and it was kind of a turmoil. In fact I saw it coming for a looong time, and at last I couldn't stay any longer. No hard feelings for anyone, but I just couldn't do the "thing" any more!

But then started the "unemployment" period, which I am really not very used to. I've been working there for more than 9 years; before that I was working freelance for another 2.5 years for more or less the same people; and before that I was at the university. So not much of a stay-at-home person for an extended time. 

So when I started staying at home (since I couldn't find a new job immediately) I was like "what now?" I hoped I could sew, knit, read, etc.; but you know, I couldn't do anything! Well, anything besides checking Pinterest and discover new blogs 24/7!!! Hence the silence...

But now I started to feel a little better and there seems to be a few opportunities "job-wise" so I'm feeling refreshed enough to start over :)

Unfortunately, I can only share a dress I made last year for now; but I'm working on some new projects at the moment and hope I can publish them as soon as I finish (if I bought a zipper timely, it would already be finished; but that's only me!).

The pattern is from Burda magazine, 02/2011, model #101. I used a soft, dark green linen blend. But the high-point was to find a matching belt that belonged to another dress (ready-made) I bought ages ago and haven't worn once!

It is such a cute and "flexible" dress, that I wore it several times on different occasions. Suitable either for a picnik with a cardigan, or to a party with some simple jewellry. 

What do you think?

January 19, 2012


I love shopping for fabric and sewing notions as I guess all sewists do! And here in Istanbul we are quite lucky that we can find very cheap (I mean really very cheap) fabric at neighbourhood markets (like farmer's market but you can find all kinds of crazy stuff too). 

So two weeks ago I went to one of these markets which is famous for its fabrics section, for the first time. Oh my! What a variety and such bargains! There were mountains of fabrics all around and women tossing and turning the piles over and over to find things they liked.

Prices were quite diverse, starting from 25 kurus (~15 cents) for small pieces, to 25 TL/meter (~10 € / 15 $) for fabric by the roll. You could also find all kinds of sewing related stuff like threads, ribbons, fusing, buttons, snaps, etc.

And here is my haul after 2 and a half hours of messing around:

1. Knits: Well, I must admit I was a little scared by these after sewing my grey dress; but I couldn't resist the candy colours. I thought the red-bordeaux striped would be a great tunic, and the coral a cozy scarf.

Striped: ~1 € / 1.5 $  ...  Coral: ~0.5 eurocent / 75 ¢ 

2. Chiffons: This was the first time I bought chiffon -for making clothes I mean. And I am not 100% sure I can handle these delicate fabrics. But I have been wanting a chiffon blouse for a really long time now, and maybe this is the perfect choice to try my hand on Colette's Sorbetto!

Each: ~0.5 eurocent / 75 ¢ 

3. Eyelet fabric: I loved this sooo much and bought it without any second thoughts. I want to make a strapless dress or a skirt, haven't decided yet!

Eyelet fabric:  ~1 € / 1.5 $ 

4. Cotton-prints: Loved the gingham ones but didn't think of something while buying them; maybe I can make shirts for my boyfriend. The greyish-blue leopard print is sure going to be a dress. And this is the most expensive buy of the day!

Ginghams:   ~0.5 eurocent / 75 ¢ ... Leopard: ~1.5 € / 2 $ 

5. Tartan: This is a lovely wool mixture with a little stretch. And it is destined to be a vest with matching satin lining. But first I need to find a nice pattern (non of the Burda magazines I own has one for my taste!) or come up with one myself!

Tartan:  ~1 € / 1.5 $ 

Well, there is still more stuff I bought that day but this is going to be one looong and boring post if I try to squeeze them in too. So let me share them in the upcoming one!

Oh, I'm already excited to turn these beauties into garments; now all I need is a little time ;o)

January 10, 2012


I have this skirt from Zara that I love; the cut and how it suits me and all. And I have never quite found something similar for ages. So I thought "maybe I should try to sew one myself". I checked my fabric stash (which grew a lot recently and made me promise not to buy anything new until I use at least half of it); and decided on a dark blue/black denim.

Preparing the pattern was not much sophisticated, I must admit! I just traced half of the skirt on a piece of newspaper (remembering my grandma); and added 1.5 cm for seams and 3 cm for the hem. For the waist band, I cut a 13 cm wide strip (5+5+3 for seams); but this turned out to be a mistake as I'll explain later.

I first sewed the center-front seam with the "flat-fell" technique as in the original model. Then attached the invisible zipper (which really seams invisible this time ) and finished the center-back seam with a slit. I then completed the side seams and ironed all the seam allowances to the sides. For the hem, I double-folded the fabric and finished with a topstitch.

For the waistband I folded the 13 cm strip in half, and the sides 1.5 cm (just like a wide bias tape); and sewed on to the waist. But there was a problem! Since I didn't want to rip anything, I just sewed the sides in a little to resemble narrow triangles. Well, it ain't perfect, but it did the trick!

Since I am still sooo afraid of making buttonholes, I went for a snap closure. I wonder when I will build up my courage to actually make buttonholes!?

So, here comes my copycat skirt. I like it so much and it has such a business-y look, doesn't it? So wait for me Wall Street, I'm coming to you 

January 3, 2012


These cable knit headbands are my latest addiction. I have first seen them in a book and knitted one for myself. Then forgot all about it and gave the book back to the library without copying the diagram. Then my cousin and a couple of friends loved my headband and asked me to make one for them each. Only then I remembered I didn't have the diagram anymore.

So I took the prototype, checked it for hours (literally, I'm not much of a knitting guru) and came up with more or less a similar pattern, all by myself (cheers!). 

Cable knit may seem difficult at first glance but once you get a grip, it goes on smoothly and you don't even have to check the diagram anymore. But if you are a beginner level knitter, you may just want to practice with some left over yarn first and then move on to the real thing!

So, first cast on 28 stitches and rib stitch the first row (1 knit, 1 purl, .... and so on). Then, repeat the following diagram until the headband reaches the desired length (~50-52 cm). By the way, I almost always slip the first stitch of each row to have a neater edge. 

Cable knit headband diagram

Well, I'm sure experienced knitters will grasp it at a glance but for those inexperienced ones just like myself: Odd numbered rows (1 ,3 ,5 ,7) are on the front; and even numbered ones (2, 4, 6, 8) are on the back side. So, when you're knitting the front, you should go from right-to-left; and when knitting the back, from left-to-right.

Once you reach the desired length, cast off by knitting two stitches together and always transfering that knitted stitch to the left needle...

And sew the two ends together by using the tail with a yarn needle. You may finish your headband at this point; but if you want a fancier one, you can gather the seam to resemble a bow.

If you want even a fancier one, you can cast on another 15 stitches and make a rib stitched (1 knit-1 purl...) piece to cover the bow area and decorate it with a cute button. And wrap this piece around the headband.

So you have 3 alternatives for a headband from a very plain one (if you call cable knit plain!) to a very fancy one. You can finish it in front of the TV in a couple of nights and show off with it! But I must warn you: Be prepared for some requests from family and friends :o)