Sunday, June 30, 2013

Last Chance!

A quick reminder that Google Reader is shutting down tomorrow. Bloglovin' is a wonderful alternative and you can follow me there right here, right now. See you on Bloglovin'!

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Mathilde Blouse

I've finished this beautiful Mathilde Blouse a few weeks ago and even had it all photographed for you, but the post just sat around my draft inbox all this time. Dang lazy me. Does this happen to you sometimes? Nah, you're probably a much better bloggers than I am!
The Mathilde Blouse pattern did not disappoint. And I'm not just saying that because the pattern was kindly gifted by Tilly herself as a congratulation for finishing my thesis (although I was super touched by the gesture). Nope, people. This pattern really is amazing. You can see for yourself!

Speaking of thesis, I heard yesterday that I passed with overall Distinctions, and that my thesis committee was positively impressed by my work. I was sooo pleased to find out! All my hard work has paid off, it seems! Also: I haven't forgotten that some of you had expressed interest in reading it. I truly am honoured by your interest and it's so important to me to put it out for you at some point in some form. For the moment, and after talking to a few people, it seems that there are copyright issues for me to consider when publishing it on something like a blog, especially if I want to turn some chapters into articles for publications. But I'm confident I can find a way to resolve these issues sooner or later and I'll keep you guys posted.
Back to our topic... the Mathilde Blouse! After carefully studying the Mathilde Blouse makers' gallery, I came to the conclusion that the most successful makes were out of fabric with a lot of drape. Score! I had just the fabric for this in my stash! Remember the peplum skirt I made for my sister this winter?
- I cut a size 2 in the shoulders and extended to a size 4 around the hips, following exactly the recommended sizing for my measurements. The amount of ease was just perfect in the end. (So nice to do without the guesswork when picking a size!)
- I didn't want to set myself up for a failure and decided to skip the pleats for this first make since I was working with such a slippery fabric. (If you want to do the same you can simply check out this very clear tutorial.) Turns out that I like the gathers quite a bit, and maybe more than the pleats because it adds some much-needed umphs in the, ahem, chestal area.
- Following Pins and Needles' advice, I lengthened the bodice by two inches because I'm tall in the torso. Next time I would consider lengthening even more -- maybe an extra inch or two more, for those days where I feel like having my bum completely covered by my shirt over my jeans.
- Following Karen from Did you make that? I scooped out quite a bit of the neck (as much as two inches, I believe) to leave room for my face to breathe. I have quite narrow shoulders and anything that comes too close to my neck creates displeasing head/shoulder proportions.
Like others have expressed, I initially wasn't sure about the level of puffiness in the sleeves. However, I decided to trust Tilly's design sensibility on this one, and left the sleeves as is. And you know what? I'm really glad I did! The fabric complements the style really, really well. I've worn this blouse a mere four times in two weeks, including to our long-awaited midsummer party in Northern Sweden, so I think that speaks for itself!
And by the way, do you like my new background? There are tons of interesting background in my new apartment for me to explore, with so much light! But then again, Swedish summer currently has 20 hours of daylight -- enough to make any apartment luminous! The real test will be this winter, when "daylight" is more like "dawn" from the short window between 10 am-3 pm, outside of which pitch black darkness envelops Sweden.

Saturday, June 08, 2013

Now blogging from Sweden + MMM'13

A lot has happened since my last post. I moved from Toronto to Goteborg, Sweden, I completed my second marathon (in four hours twenty three minutes) and made my way to three Scandinavian capitals (including a very relaxing stop at the Blue Lagoon in Iceland).

Understandably, things have been quiet at AS+AS headquarters, but I'm now settling into a routine in my new Swedish home. I will have pictures of my sewing corners for you in the near future. In the meantime, here's a recap of my Me-Made-May 2013, potpourri style.
Working at home, wearing my Graphite Tulip Skirt and my Confetti Fanfare Renfrew Top
Went to see the Marimekko show at the Textile Museum of Canada, Pendrell Blouse

Antiquing in Aberfoyle, with my Catwoman Minory Raincoat

Sightseeing with my aunts in Toronto, graphite tulip skirt + confetti fanfare renfrew top (underneath the sweater)

 Running errands, cleaning and packing, Pendrell Blouse
A bit of translation and preparing my move in Beyoncé Dress + refashioned jeans jacket

The rest of the month was just too crazy, between the move and my travelling, I found myself simply not able to pack me-made garments, and would have been unable to photograph myself in them even if I had. That said, Me-Made-May was still a very good exercise for allowing me to realise that my clothes need to be both travel-friendly and comfortable. As much as possible, the clothes I make should have these characteristics. Conclusion: more cake and less icing!!

In terms of my goal of up'ing my game in self-care this month, in an effort to better separate my home from my work life, I can say that it has only partly worked. The main issue was that this month did not consist of usual working days, except for the beginning. The days that I was indeed able to follow the routine of getting up, preparing myself "for work", going to the nearby coffee shop for coffee and coming home now to "my office" felt good, but I would need to continue the experiment for several weeks to see any tangible results. The habit would basically need to become engrained in my routine.

Fortunately, in that regard, I'm returning to my usual 9-hour translation days this coming Monday, so there will be plenty of opportunity to experiment with my self-care routine. There is a coffee shop right around the corner from our apartment, and the best part is that it also sells Swedish cinnamon buns, a delightfully spicier and healthier version of what we have in North American.
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