Dressmaking Weekend at Sew Over It

Sunday, 29 May 2016

As I may or may not have told you, my lovely mum got me a sewing machine for my birthday last year, which I was (and am) so excited about, I've completely fallen in love with sewing; it's something I can become completely immersed in for hours and hours at a time, which is really nice in a world where everything is so distracting (social media, I'm looking at you!).

When I first started, I got the wonderful Tilly and the Buttons' book 'Love at First Stitch: Demystifying Dressmaking'; it was a really good introduction, and I was so pleased, when I managed to make my first wearable clothes item from it, i.e. the margot pyjamas, which I've already made again and no doubt will be making again and again (and again). 

Anyway, I'd been wanting to do a sewing course for a really long time, because I thought it'd be really useful for someone to properly teach me the foundations for clothes that I'd actually dare to wear out the house, so when I saw that the dressmaking weekend was 20% off at some point, I knew I had to book myself onto the course. 

As you might get from the name, the course consisted of two days, each of which was dedicated to an item of clothing; on the Saturday we learnt how to make a full circle skirt, and on Sunday, the ultimate shift dress. The patterns were provided, we were in charge of finding fabric we liked. For the dress I chose a very summery liberty fabric, which I love, but am now thinking might be a little wild. 

I'm pleased to tell you that the course was really fun and incredibly useful. Our teacher Julie is really experienced, a great teacher and a lovely person all round. There was plenty of tea and cake (essential for good sewing I think) and a fun playlist in the background. We learnt everything from taking proper measurements, to adjusting the pattern to them, to putting zips in and waistbands on. I was really chuffed with the skirt and the dress I made - it just feels so fun to wear something that you've made! I don't have a very good photo of the skirt, but here's a fun little, twirling video :). 

Julie's advice to us was to make a couple fo full circle skirts, and a couple of ultimate shift dresses before moving on to more difficult dresses, but I'm already dreaming of moving onto the Betty dress. However, in an attempt to be patient (and because I do really like the two patterns we learnt), I made another ultimate shift dress yesterday, am planning to make one with long sleeves in the near future and am dreaming of numerous fabric variations for about five more full circle skirts, so we're all golden. 

If you're interested in doing one of the Sew Over It courses, I believe you get 10% off your next one when you sign up to their mailing list (and it looks like the intro to dressmaking and the dressmaking weekend are still 20% off?). Like I said, I can only recommend their courses, both to learn very useful techniques AND to have a very fun day/weekend. You can see a list of all the classes they do here

Talking about classes and deals etc, I've also bought Tilly and the Buttons' 'Learn to Sew Jersey Tops' online course which includes her beautiful Agnes Top pattern (which Lisa from Sew Over It reviewed here). On a day to day basis, I think most things I wear are jersey, so I think learning to sew with it is essential if I a bigger part of my wardrobe is to be made up of me-made stuff. The reason I got it now (as opposed to waiting until I've made all those shift dresses and full circle skirts I'm planning to make) is that there's a 30% off offer that ends today! So if you're interested, I recommend you head over now :), the code is SEWCOMFY. 

Right I'm off to look at dreamy fabrics (and maybe, just maybe do some uni work too). I hope you're having a lovely bank holiday weekend. 

P.S. Anyone else loving the Great British Sewing Bee? 

Easter 2016

Friday, 29 April 2016

Oh gosh, I am doing a terrible job at the moment at keeping this little space up-to-date, so I've decided that over the next week or so I'll play catch up and post the photos I want to remember. I hope you don't mind :)

As a start, here are some from our Easter.

D and J go to Lapland: Everything else

Friday, 18 March 2016

Today I just wanted to quickly share the last set of photos from our Lapland trip, nothing spectacular, but still they all represent little memories I'm fond of :)

We realised that we have this super strange (and pretty unhealthy) habit of walking from one food place right into the next (see here for example). We went for delicious Mexican food one evening, only to go to the nearest Kiosk afterwards to stock up on snacks. As you can see, even the coldest of weather doesn't put Daniel off eating an iceburger type icecream thing (don't ask), even if it means having to do so with gloves on. I passed on the icecream (lame I know), but joined him for some oreos when we got back to our hotel.

D.: "Are we going to go look at the ice cats now"? 
Me: 😳 | ??? | 😳 | ??? | 😳
*Walk over*
Me: Ahhhhh 😻

So apparently it turns out ice cats aren't actual animals, but something that some people take pleasure in sculpting. Others take pleasure in looking at the sculpted ice cats (look how pleased he is!). 

And last but not least: LOOK, we met a Reindeer! I'm pretty sure it wasn't Rudolph (not even a hint of red on that nose), but it was still nice. Daniel even managed to reindeer whisper him/her over to greet us. 

And then it was already time to say goodbye to beautiful Lapland. Our return journey was pretty much the exact opposite to our way there, since we only had about 45 minutes between landing of flight one and departure of flight two, which just happened to depart from what seemed the exact opposite of the airport, but we made it, so it doesn't matter too much. 

I can't wait to go back to Scandinavia this summer, when we're going to Stockholm. If you have any tips, I'd love to hear them :) Until then, Hyvästi (that's Finish for goodbye in case you didn't guess/aren't a fluent Finish speaker). 

D and J go to Lapland: Skiing Fun

Thursday, 10 March 2016

After getting to the hotel late and our glorious dinner, the night before and a pharmacy run first thing in the morning (see post I here), we were keen (and terrified) to hit the slopes. I was pretty bad and Daniel pretty good; Daniel and I filmed each other coming down sometimes, and it made me realise that what felt like lightning speed to me, actually deceptively looked like snail pace from the outside, strange huh? Anyway, it was still SO MUCH FUN, even if my muscles made me feel like dying the next morning and I thought there was no.way.on.earth that I could actually keep going for the whole three days. Turns out I could though (if you can still say that with the amount of rounds I sat out haha).

Doesn't he just look so fly? 
During our final day, Daniel even managed to persuade me to go down a red slope and whilst when I got up there, I thought I was going to have to kill him, I'm happy to report that I'm actually so pleased he did, it was such a beautiful one :)

Anyway, here's some more photos, I guess what we did is pretty self explanatory so doesn't require so many words.

D and J go to Lapland: Travelling to and Arriving in Lapland

Wednesday, 9 March 2016

Last Friday, Daniel and I travelled to beautiful, beautiful Lapland; our way there was looooooong. We left the house at around 6.15 in the morning to head to Gatwick, where we started the day with a hearty breakfast at the Grain Store which was super tasty.

We were heading to Rovaniemi, but to get there you pretty much have to go through Helsinki (as far as I understand it anyway) and I managed to book us flights that included a 5 hour transit, great work on my behalf, but oh well. On the flights and during the transit time, we kept ourselves entertained with the UFC 196 Press conference (I admit I like the drama surrounding it, just not the actual fights), kanelbullar, aimless wandering around, our books and his playing cards.

We arrived at our first hotel at around 10 o'clock Finish time, and I for one was pretty hungry. Turns out, we were in a pretty deserted place where it wasn't the easiest to come by food. We tried to call a pizza service, which brought us ... laughter, lots of it. We first didn't get through a million times and then got someone who could only speak Finish (and I'd like to say here that I don't expect people to speak English, it was just funny because we were such touristy idiots) and hung up on us. In hindsight, we're not even sure it was the right number, because it was just too odd. Just imagine some tourist calling up your landline and asking if you deliver pizza :D. So needless to say, we did not have pizza that night, our 'dinner' was similarly unhealthy though:

It wasn't great to be honest, but it was pretty much all the vending machines had to offer. It was also about 10 minutes before I realised I had managed to lose my liquid bag during the transit time. Super annoying because of my cosmetics, even more annoying because it had my eye cream in that I'm pretty reliant on because of my corneal erosions. But, thank goodness, nothing happened that night (even though it often does WITH the cream, so it really was so lucky) and the next morning we trekked to the nearest pharmacy (which was actually only about 10 mins away) and we realised that it really was all worth it because look how pretty it looks:

I'll stop with this one now, but there's still a ton of photos to come! I hope you're having a great week :)

Let's play catch up :) AND a one-month Headspace code up for grabs

Monday, 29 February 2016

Hello, Hello, how are you? I thought it was time to catch up a little. Like I said many, many times before, I want this to blog to be a photo diary type thing (amongst other things I guess), to remind me of the sometimes quite mundane things that make my days, weeks and months enjoyable. 

For Valentines Day, Daniel and I decided to keep it quite low key and go iceskating (at Ally Pally) followed by having pizza in bed with many, many 'It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia', it was perfect. There may or may not have also been Oreo Brownies for dessert, who knows. We've always been pretty good at all of the eating together (healthy, not-healthy, you name it), but lately we're also becoming better at being active together, which I like a lot. In the last couple of weeks we've also been for a 1 day skiing course, and another 3 hour skiing session in preparation for our skiing holiday in Lapland. Speaking of which, if you have any recommendations for Lapland, do let me know :) Aaaand we're also planning to go bouldering some time soon. Exciting times. 

I'm also happy to report that after a long time of being a bit rubbish at actually cooking and baking things, I've become better and more spontaneous again, definitely not least because of the amazing 'a modern way to cook' cookbook; the Kale and Tomato one pot past (pictured above) is INCREDIBLE btw, so tasty and quick, it's hard to believe. Also I know that that photo is a little unclean, but I kind of like it, I think it reflects my ravenously devouring on yet another night where I didn't manage to have dinner until 9.30. Other than that, Daniel and I made some supertasty cinnamon buns (we later topped them with cream cheese icing too mmmh) and I made some soda bread one rainy Friday afternoon as well.

I'm still 100% in love with knitting, crocheting and sewing. Right now, I'm making a super simple (and super massive) scarf from the wool I bought in iceland, before re-attempting to make the mosaic pattern that was featured on Purl Soho as a loop scarf... As for sewing, I really need to make my first garment to actually wear outside (so far I've only made pyjama bottoms); I'm thinking of a simple, elastic wait, midi skirt. Once I've accomplished that, I'd just love to make the Betty Dress from SewOverIt with sleeves. 

And last but not least: yoga and mediation. Yoga is just one of the greatest things ever, isn't it (along with tea and cosy jumpers and socks)? I can't say I always feel like doing it, but I always get rewarded for doing it by feeling amazing afterwards. One thing I'm massively struggling with is 'flowing' by myself, but I guess that will come with practice. Just in case you were wondering, my favourite styles when going to a yoga studio are Ashtanga, Vinyasa Flow and Yin Yoga (Yin is incredible!). Other than that, remember when I spoke about the 'small move, big change' book? The very first, small change I implemented was committing to doing at least 10 minutes of Headspace every morning before I head to the shower and I'm happy (and a bit proud) to report that I'm on a 34 day streak. It's the most obvious thing in the world, but setting a deadline that's not just EOD when I just want to fall asleep has massively helped. Are you doing Headspace? If you are, I'd love to buddy up, so do let me know if you fancy it! Other than that, they sent me a code to give to someone to try Headspace for a month as a reward for reaching a 30 day streak, so if any of you would like it, just get in touch either in the comment section or on Twitter (@Kirschplunder_). 

Have an amazing week, lovely people <3

About making time

Tuesday, 9 February 2016

Sometimes I'm sad that there doesn't seem to be enough time to do all the things I want to do. I want to do well at my Masters, more so even, I want to learn as much as I possibly can at uni, so one day, I can help companies make their employees happier and less stressed. I want to become really good at taking photos and at making my own clothes, be it through knitting*, crocheting or sewing, and therefore spend hours and hours practicing and looking for articles and blogposts that will help me to get better or simply will inspire me to try something new. I'd like to listen to lots of podcasts and read even more books. I want to do a lot of yoga, preferably every single day. And above all that, I want to be a sincere friend, a loving girlfriend, a thoughtful and considerate daughter, granddaughter, sister and niece. 

But I'm only sad about that for about one second, before the sadness turns into happiness. Isn't that very fact, not that there isn't enough time, but that there's so many things and more importantly people that I feel passionate a really good thing, doesn't that make me oh so lucky? Isn't feeling passionate one of the best feelings there are? And I guess it's just about priorities, big stones, little stones, sand, water, you all know the story right? I've decided to make a bigger effort to make time for what's important to me, and to remind myself that it's not about the hours worked but about how much I get done and learn in the hours that I do learn (which is usually increased after I go to yoga). I'm trying to schedule my weeks better, whilst always remaining flexible for impromptu time spent with/talking to my nearest and dearest, and most of all, I'm trying to make myself remember that this feeling that there's too much I'd like to do is a good thing.


*One day... and if it's in ten years I need to make the yoga shawl pattern by Andrea Mowry, it's just so beautiful. But I guess it'll have to come after all the other little making projects I've got planned, and also I feel like I'll have to get better at knitting first.