21 Jul 2014

Kate&Rose patterns

Bought some new patterns (just because I sew soooo often lately...:-S)
Okay, I just couldn't resist (read: might be hoarding again). I discovered the cute Kate&Rose patterns while browsing through the creations of the Sewing Indie month (may 2014) on the net. Yep, another thing I totally missed this year...

This summer is quite sunny and warm so I choose to wear wide, airy blouses instead of my regular fitted ones. I've got 3 different ones from the ethnic inspired English brand 'Monsoon' and wear them a lot! I wanted to make something similar for the hot summer days. The Monsoon blouses have Indian inpiration and I've got 3 fine cotton blouses with pintuck and (machine) embroidery details (sorry about the blue one, it was already 'stuffed' in the laundry bag, ready to be washed)

The thing with indie designers is that not everyone has stockists and selling points abroad. Some, like the Colette patterns are easier to get outside the US than other, less known names. The past years I had to order all of my Sewaholic patterns through the website, from Canada because there were no stockists nearby. Since I don't have a Paypal account, it is not easy to get something from an Etsy seller (you can buy Kate&Rose patterns through etsy). My credit card was hacked once after placing an online order, so if it is possible I prefer to pay online with my regular bankcard or with a simple money transfer.
I used to order a lot of patterns from the US, like during the sales of the big 4, but lately the post rates have gone up a lot, so it is barely cheaper (if cheaper at all) to get patterns there.
I'm not a fan of buying Pdf patterns as I find the printing-cutting-sticking annoying. I also prefer the touch and feel 'real' pattern tissue, and I trace everything. I never cut up my original pattern tissues, hoping that some day I'll have a daughter who will be happy to own and use my collection...

Though Kati Lovasz of Kate&Rose is a US (New York) based designer the paper patterns can be now ordered with other indie patterns from Berlin here. After the money transfer I received my order within 3 days. Great service!

I choose the two designs above. What I immediately liked about the Roza pattern were the raglan sleeves and the absence of any closures. A simple pull-over blouse, yay! The Zsalya top has a pretty yoke and no buttons or zippers either!
All of the Kate&Rose patterns have Hungarian names. I was born in Hungary myself, though have lived longer in Belgium and the Netherlands than there. The designs are inspired by Central European folkswear, which traditionally uses colorful (but also monochrome, like white on white) embroidery. Exactly what I was looking for. It reminded me of my childhood, back then I used to embroider a lot with my grandma! We (me and my sister) had a lot of embroidered garments. Practically all of our clothes, either sewn or knitted was made by my grandma until we were about 6 years old.
Right now I only have this damaged picture on hand, but you can spot the embroidery around the neckline and the front of my late 70's mini-dress:

17 Jul 2014

1934 summer cruise wardrobe - article

The summer is back! After a few very rainy days finally it's sunny outside, here in the Netherlands. I'm already back to work, but some of you might just start to enjoy weeks off, preparing for a trip far from home.
Last week I wrote about my tips for festival outfits, now get back in time for a crispy, fresh holiday wardrobe from the 30's! Back then, going on cruise was very fashionable. Enjoying the fresh air, sunbathing on the ship, fancy dinners with entertainment, trips to the shore to visit foreign towns and cultures.
Although this article is from 1934 there are a lot of tips you could use when packing for your holiday wardrobe, even when not going on a cruise.

This summer cruise wardrobe plan based on the classic and fresh white, red and navy color combination. If those are not your colors (white is certainly not mine) the article advises on other color options as well. How about string-color* combined with bright green, pale blue and some brown or grey with cornflower-blue, pale blue and white? Scroll down to read!
*string-color is beige

"don't wear these on cruises!
  • printed crepe-de-chine or crepe day dresses
  • any dresses that are 'frilly'
  • high-heeled shoes
  • black for daytime, unless it is linen
  • dresses of elaborate materials, such as satin
  • elaborate make-up by day
  • jwellery in the daytime
  • 'trimmed' hats
  • taffeta (it will split) or lame (it will tarnish)"

14 Jul 2014

the first McCalls Archive collection patterns

Finally, the first vintage-patterns from McCall's Archive Collection! Read about it here.
It is a 1930's jacket and skirt, both with 2 versions. I prefer the grey, pinstriped  one, since the blue jacket looks rather like a blouse to me. It could be the fabric choice though...

The jacket is 6995 and the skirt is 6993. Though the patterns are not 'originals' (they only replicate the original pattern illustration) they look good, with pretty details, and most importantly, well-fitted!
It would be great to have the two patterns as a set in one envelop, instead of two separate patterns, right? I guess it's a marketing strategy, instead of buying just one you probably want to have both. The good news is, it is on sale right now for 3.99$ (until the end of 14th of july)
It's a pity they choose not to show the original drawing either. I collected a few similar looking images from the mid 30's, to show more options for fabric choices and accessories:

As for the choice of design I hope they keep up the standard, since the recent Vintage Vogue patterns weren't really special. I loved the Vintage Vogues because they had quite a few 40's patterns, while Butterick seemed to have more 50's dresses. I think, the McCall's Archive collection patterns would be a great option to buy - especially, if they include patterns from my favorite era, the 40's too!

According to the article above they are reissuing Downton Abbey-inspired sewing patterns too, in the Fall issue of Butterick. Can't wait! 

8 Jul 2014

What to wear & carry when going to a festival?

Guess what, here is another blogpost! Today I have something not-vintage, not-sewing and not-knitting to share. Past week visited Werchter Rock festival in Belgium. This is one of the bigger summer festivals in Europe, it has about 80.000 visitors each day. This year Pearl Jam, Arctic Monkeys, Metallica, Kings of Leon, Bastille performed among others. This was my second time there and I was better prepared than the first time. I thought it would be fun to share my tips and lists to what to take with you, in case you are planning to visit a festival during the summer months.

5 festival essentials to carry:

  • sunscreen spay (UV-protection 50)
  • foldable plastic bottle (like platyplus)
  • mid-size messenger bag (water resistant)
  • foldable picnic blanket with water resistant/plastified back
  • sun hat
A foldable water bag is really handy, because most festivals don't allow you to take a plastic bottle with you. You simply can't avoid sitting on the ground, so a picnic blanket is a must! We used ours very well. It was a cheap one which can't be washed, so we just threw it away after the last day. A sun-hat and sunscreen is another thing you must take with you. A lot of people walk around like red lobsters after the first day and you certainly want to avoid that. A messenger bag which is big enough to put all your stuff in but not as large as a backpack. No need to worry about dirt and rinks if you carry one which is made of water resistant fabric or plastic.

5 things to wear:

  • oversized band shirts/boho tunic
  • (jeans) shorts 
  • comfy jeans for colder days
  • sneakers 
  • one piece of 'statement' accessory (a necklace or bracelet)
Remember, a festival is not a fashion show. It is more important to wear clothes you feel comfortable in. I suggest to take one outfit for each day. The first time I took more shirts,  shorts and skirts with me and at the end of the day I didn't really knew what to wear. This time I prepared an outfit for each day, and took less stuff with me.
Oversized shirts are easy to wear if the weather is hot and they cover up any weight issues which makes you look more confident. A boho style tunic can be a good option. I took a pair of (age and figure-appropriate!) jeans shorts with me, which were comfortable to wear and also quite dirt resistant. No problem to sit on the ground and not too hot on a summer day. You see a lot of All Stars sneakers around, mine are cheap look-a-likes which ventilate well, and I can throw them in the washing machine (or in the dirt bin) after 4 days. An extra inner sole makes them more comfortable to wear all day long! Hiking boots can be an option because they are comfortable, but they don't ventilate well, so you don't want to wear them all day long.

5 things in your bag:
  • sunglasses
  • a rol of toilet paper
  • earplugs with an acoustic filter ('partyplugs')
  • colored lip balm (my fav is Palmers 'Cherry & dark chocolate')
  • silicone bag for your keys and money
Sunglasses are essential! Even if there is enough toilet paper on the site I like to carry around my own. It can be handy to use for any other purpose like instead of napkins or to dip your blanket dry if anyone spills drink on it...
It is worth the money to invest in a pair of earpugs with an acoustic filter. This time I was happy to avoid the loud, ear-paining noise. Usually I don't wear a lot of make-up, just a bit of foundation, eye-shadow and a colored lip balm instead of a lipstick. Lipstick melt and get messy in hot weather, and since you drink and eat all the time, it is useless.

handy for rainy days:

  • lightweight, hooded outdoor jacket 
  • rainboots (no need for expensive ones!) 
My experience is that cheap plastic rain capes don't work! It is better to take a light weight, outdoor rain jacket which you can fold up and put in your bag or tie around your waist. This time we've had 2 rainy days and I was really happy with my rainboots! It was almost sad to see a lot of people walking around with soaking wet shoes or sinking to their ankles in the dirty mud. Remember, there is no need to invest in expensive Hunter rainboots, mine are cheap ones from the local farmer's market and are just fine!

5 big no's:
  • (high) heels
  • toe-slippers/flip-flops or anything barefoot
  • mini skirts or dresses
  • tight or short tops
  • synthetic fabrics
It speaks for itself, you won't be able to walk around all days on heels. My experience is that the festival grounds can be dirty, people spill drinks or food, so I wouldn't wear anything barefoot like sandals or slippers. You won't be able to sit down elegantly in a mini skirt or dress. Tight or short tops aren't comfortable to wear all day long, just like synthetic fabrics.