May 14, 2009

Latest Read

Picture thanks to Wikipedia

As much as I am a sewionista, I am also a bookworm. Unfortunately, I don't get to read much right now. Usually only on my way to work and back on the train. The book I just finished was "A Fine Balance" by Rohinton Mistry. Certainly, a book that I can recommend although it took me almost a month to read through the more than 750 pages.

The story is set in the mid-1970s in Mumbai, India when the government declared a "State of Internal Emergency". During this period of expanded government power and crackdowns on civil liberties, four characters from diverse backgrounds—Dina Dalal, Ishvar Darji, his nephew Omprakash and the young student Maneck Kohlah— come together in Dina Dalals tiny flat. These characters are all brought together by economic forces changing India.

Ishvar and Omprakash are tailors who have been forced from their village into the city in order to find work. They work in Dina's flat for an export company, sewing ready-made garments.

Maneck, from a small hillstation near the Himalayas, moves to the city to acquire a college degree for the case that his father's business is no longer able to compete after a highway was built near their village.

Dina, from a traditionally wealthy family, maintains her independence from her brother through the money she earns from the export company and the lodging of Maneck.

All of them are painfully constructing new lives which become entwined in circumstances no one could have foreseen.

I really enjoyed reading this book due to it's beautiful language and I liked how the different stories were woven together to one. If you are interested in historic events and different cultures, this is certainly a book that you will like. However, I think the ending could have been a little happier but that's just my opinion. Did you read any good books lately? Let me know!

Happy reading!

May 13, 2009

Latest sewing projects

Here you can see my latest sewing projects. The blouse was done last weekend and I just finished the skirt today. For the blouse I used the pattern no. 116 from last year's July issue of Burda WOF. The fabric is a medium weight white cotton, the sleeves are from an eyelet fabric originating from my Mum's stash. You just gotta love relatives that sew too.

Picture thanks to Burda

You might have already recognized that I used IKEA fabric for the skirt. The skirt is just simply gathered with a high waistband and pockets in the side seam. Unfortunately, the fabric lost more than 10 cm in length during pre-washing so it is shorter than I wanted it to be and I had to do a faced hem to "rescue" as much of the length as possible. In case you are wondering what a faced hem is or how it works, here is a how-to from Burdastyle. In contrast to the how-to, I cut my facing on the straight grain due to the straight hem. For the hem and waistband facings and pocket bags I used left-over fabric from the white blouse.

Happy sewing and refashioning!

May 03, 2009

Cleaning out the closet...


With a consumption of 28 kg of textiles per head every year, Germany is leading in the consumption of textiles in front of the US and Switzerland. In fact, the average German citizen could manage without buying new clothing for 7 to 10 years without suffering any inefficiency of clothing. Merely the change of fashion, the desire for something new and successful advertising make sure that our wardrobes age in our minds and become obsolete before their time. Additional research showed that 10 to 15% of the clothing bought are only worn once or never.

All this and more, are reasons for me to change my consumption pattern. As preparation for my 2 month pledge at wardrobe refashion, I started organizing and cleaning out my closet. Here are some tips that might be useful for you too.

1. I cleaned out all the pieces of clothing that don't fit the season and stored them at my cellar in order to get a better overlook of what is in my closet and I can actually wear now.

2. I created different piles for those items that require mending, I don' t wear anymore or never wore but still like. Actually I'm not a big fan of the "not worn for a year get rid of it" theory. There are so many pieces in my closet that I have not worn for a long time but started wearing all of a sudden again because (at least my) taste changes back and forth. I guess you just have to figure out what works best for you. With those items I have never worn, I tried to figure out what was the reason for that and tried new combinations. For each single one I found a new way of wearing it that I have not thought of before.

3. Then I grouped all my clothing by categories; tops, t-shirts, skirts etc.

4. I tried to hang up as much clothing as possible, in particular those pieces that get wrinkles easily or loose their shape.

5. Afterwards I ordered each group by colors, starting with the lightest, ending with the darkest.

6. In addition, I ordered my accessories. I use a tie hanger for my belts and this special hanger with circles from Ikea for my scarves. Not trying to make any advertising but Ikea has a lot of great solutions to get your wardrobe more organized.

Now, I can see all the great stuff I already have in my wardrobe and mix and match it up in new different ways. Inspired? You can get more great tips on wardrobe organization at studentcharade and ask Nubby. You got more great tips? Let me know and have fun getting organized!

May 02, 2009

The Wardrobe Refashion Pledge

For the next 2 months I will be part of wardrobe refashion. Here is my pledge:

I Julietta pledge that I shall abstain from the purchase of "new" manufactured items of clothing, for the period of 2 months. I pledge that i shall refashion, renovate, recycle preloved items for myself with my own hands in fabric, yarn or other medium for the term of my contract. I pledge that I will share the love and post a photo of my refashioned, renovoted, recycled, crafted or created item of clothing on the Wardrobe Refashion blog, so that others may share the joy that thy thriftiness brings! Signed Julietta

Pics of my graduation dress

So I finally took some pictures of my graduation dress because the university takes forever to upload the "action" pics onto their homepage. For now the ones on the hanger will have to do. Hopefully I can upload some nicer pictures soon.

I really like the cut of the dress and think it's quite flattering for many body shapes but I'm glad I made a muslin of it beforehand. The skirt was ridiculously large. I had to modify the pattern pieces so that it was only 1.5 times as big as the waistband piece. In addition, I increased the dart in the bust area and deepened the neck line and armhole.

Certainly happy about the outcome and this way I could be certain that no other girl would wear the same dress ;-)