Just wanted to share some recent photos of the flowers in our garden. I am in love with this season!
I was in desperate need of a quick project in between all the hemming and (hand) sewing of buttonholes in my Burda trenchcoat. It's not that I completely lost my SewJo, but I still don't love my coat so I'm a little scared I won't wear it a lot after I finish it. It's probably not so bad but I keep seeing my own shortcomings in sewing with heavy fabric.... You'll see the end result in a couple of weeks, I do promiss!
Zinnia is the new skirt pattern of Colette patterns, and has 3 variations. I made Version 2. I used to own a black H&M skirt that is similar to it and I wore it to pieces. Or until pleated skirts were outfashioned and I had a closet clearing frenzy (I hate it when I throw out things and regret it later! Does this happen to others?). I also love their dark blue Version 1 with a front button closing, and I have just that kind of fabric left from my Navy peplum top. And I have a beige/sand coloured wool polyester blend for another V.2.
I made the skirt first and then found out that it needed a lining, so I made that afterwards, unpicked the waistband and sewed it on again, attaching the lining to the skirt. Btw: we did the photoshoot in our new but still empty home, while we did some measurements!
The pattern is very easy to follow. You really have to be precise with the pleats: my waistband was hardly long enough to keep a piece that overlaps so you can put a button in it. My blind zipper fell apart after I put it in, so I put in a regular zipper instead (hand sewn, looks quite nice if you zoom in!). Don't look at the creases please, I even ironed it before we stepped in the car...
I am quite happy with the result. Its is flowy and feminine and I keep finding colours that match really well with this
type of green (my hubbie called it forest green). This cute Esprit blouse, for example, but also petrol is a great but unexpected match. And, very importantly, I can ride my bike to work with it! (if it doesn't rain, that is)
Have you made Zinnia yet? I'm very curious to see yours! Do you think it would look nice in a floral print?
I always wanted to sew 'something peplum' as I think it could emphasise my straight figure. When I saw the tutorial at Merricks Art's blog I couldn't wait to start. She made it from a thrifted oversized blouse, out of a beautiful blue fabric. Of course, I wasn't able to find such an item, so instead I bought this great navy cotton. It is really soft and has a slight stretch to it. AND it was only €1 a metre at the market.
I used the top of the Laurel dress (again:)) as a base, but cut it at the waist and changed the darts on the back so they went straight down instead of in a diamond shape. Also I made the sides a little tighter, but with enough ease.
I took photos of this step:
I don't have photos of the next steps, so I will try to explain them.
After this step I put in a blind zipper and put in the sleeves. I made the armholes about 1 cm bigger on each side and that way putting in the sleeves got way easier. There are still some puckers but the sleeves look al lot less puffy! The sleeve ends I finished with self made bias binding.
I also (so sorry I forgot to take photos of this!) made facings for the neckline instead of bias tape, to make it look flat.
For the bottom part, I cut a rectangular piece of fabric of 1,5 times the width of the top and about 20 cm tall (about 8 inches). I folded this part in half and stitched the short ends, so I got a circular piece of 20 cm tall. Then I measured elastic band at the exact width of the top, and stitched it to the bottom part, so that it was evenly ruffled. I then pinned this part (good sides together) to the top and stitched, being careful not to stitch through the elastic band. After I removed the elastic band (see also Merricks Art tutorial, she explains it well, and has added the photos that are lacking here...sorry). You could achieve the same result by sewing a long stitch along the border and ruffling it and distribute the ruffles evenly.
I hemmed it with a simple turned in hem and... Voila!
I am very happy with the result, and I already wore it to my mother in law (it's her garden in the photos) and work! Most people (including my mother in law) didn't believe I made it myself so that made my day :)
All photos were taken by my beloved husband with my beloved Sony NEX 6!
Remember I said I didn't like the strap that came with the Sony NEX 6? A parcel came today with these really cool camera straps that I ordered from www.imostrap.com last week! They came unbelievably fast (they said shipping would take 10-14 workdays) and they were nicely packed in these cute plastic zipper envelopes. I ordered two, because they were relatively inexpensive: $22 for the Little Heart and $26 for the Green Tone (total order was $54 incl shipping). The Little Heart has no neoprene covering and is suitable for small cameras (i.e., mirrorless or smaller) as the binding is a little narrower than that of the Green Tone, which has a neoprene lining and quick release. The latter is also suitable for (heavier) DSLRs. The quality is good and I like how it looks on the camera (and on me:)). Most importantly they feel very soft and sturdy when I put them on. The straps are a bit long, but easily adjustable. Also a few minor remarks: I don't like the ends of the nylon binding which look like they're burnt with a cigarette lighter (but these can be tucked away) and the stripes of the Green Tone are not straight at a few places, I think because of stretching the fabric. Ah well. I just love them!
I went to Venice for a couple of days with my mum, and it was lovely! We spent a day at the Biennale and got totally oversaturated with art, and the other days we enjoyed ourselves wandering through the Castello, Cannaregio, San Polo and Santa Croce neighborhoods. We also made a trip to Murano and Burano, two little islands known for their glass and lace crafts. I loved being in Italy again, the food, the weather, and Venice is just so jawdroppingly beautiful...
Of course I had my Sony NEX 6 with me and I am super happy with it! It is so light, I sometimes even forgot I had it with me. My mum also has a new mirrorless camera (an Olympus EL-5) and we played a lot with our cameras. Here is a glimpse of the result :)
Quite recently I made a dramatic decision that will change my life a lot: I bought a mirrorless camera, which will very probably replace my dear old DSLR (a Canon 30D). The decision was hard, as I can only know for sure that I like this new kind of camera by buying one and start playing with it. My new baby is a Sony NEX 6 and I just got
to know him/her!
These are the reasons (or a combination of them) I made the switch:
The moments I will use the Sony (and I don’t use my Canon now)
My husband and I spend 3-4 weeks a year backpacking in countries all over the world. I only bring my camera on these
trips. Because that’s the only time I bring a bag that is large enough to fit it. I, so to speak, ‘organize’ everything around the camera. Because, for the type of photography I want, you need good lenses, that have a lot of glass in them, and I would never forgive myself standing in a beautiful spot in country X and I left them at home
(there’s always my husband carrying his 5D Mark II, but sadly that doesn’t count). So that was a choice: good photography = a bigger bag that I normally would not dare showing myself with in daily life (ugly bulky trekker backpack) = only this kind of photography when I travel.
But when I travel, I also do my best to bring the lightest of the lightest (small toothpaste tubes, tiny bottles of shampoo that always run out after two weeks etc).
This seems a little contradictory right? True: you don’t need a heavy toothpaste tube for anything. But still.
With a little Sony NEX and lenses that I can fit into the pocket of my wind stopper, or slides easily into a normal sized (more feminine) backpack OR handbag, I would definitely bring my camera on more occasions. To anything: a party, dinner, on the way to work, doing groceries. And the best camera is the camera you have with you, or so I heard.
The Pleasure of (Photographing while) Traveling
Another important moment was the three days in Ankor Wat, Cambodia with 1.5 kgs of camera hanging around my neck (I am a small woman), taking a million pictures (what else is there to do) and finally using only 3-4 of them in my book. Was it really worth it carrying all this weight? Did it maybe even make the visit less enjoyable? Do I travel for photography only?
You wouldn’t believe the number of people that we passed during the 10-day Annapurna Sanctuary trek in Nepal sporting small mirrorless cameras. They laughed at us and said “Why on earth are you both carrying such a heavy camera!” We shaked our heads at that time because mirrorless cameras weren’t that good yet. But they are starting to get better and better…
Nowadays the possibilities of the lighter, nifty mirrorless cams have been enhanced so much, that I started to be interested. I needed a new camera anyway, my 30D getting a little old. The reviews are still not as convincing as in saying ‘Mirrorless can replace DSLR’, but I think that what I want to do with a camera is possible, i.e. portraits, taking sharp pictures in low light settings, street photography, bokeh. Especially with a couple of nice primes, such as the 35mm f1.8 (that I still need to save up for) I doubt my Canon 30d can beat what I can do with this one.
My Sony NEX 6 just came and it’s so cool and small and nifty, but still so serious-looking!
I started it up pretty fast and shooting and operating it is quite easy. I will need to get used to a few things:
- Zooming in at the pictures while you are viewing them: you have to push the OK button and then the scrolling wheel around it will allow you to zoom in and out. But you start fully zoomed in. Why? And why can’t you switch between photos while zoomed in?
- One thing I would immediately like to replace is the neck strap. What a stupid, scratchy plastic thingy. Guys, I paid almost 1000 euros, could the strap please be a little softer?
- Of course, the electronic viewfinder. This is very, very different from a DSLR. It makes me use the LCD screen a lot. But wait till have used it more.
To be continued (in my next blog entry which will be about Venice)!