August 31, 2016

Well and twisted

This is the last thing I made before going on holiday. I just finished it a few days before I left and it has stayed unblogged since: My new nejiri or twisted top!

The pictures aren't that good. I asked E to quickly take a few snaps when he got home yesterday. He obliged but we were both kind of tired and distracted so the result is eh... less than great.

Anyway, I have made this top, from Pattern Magic - Stretch Fabrics. The design is very similar to the nejiri from the first book (a design which was also intended for stretch fabrics) which I had made years ago. I've explained the differences, and my quest to better understand the design, in this blog post.
Coincidentally, I happened to have a fabric in my stash which looked very similar to what was used in the pictures for the book. A kind of olive-y, brown-y cotton jersey. So, obviously, I used that. 

I started using my own sloper, not the basic pattern from the book and I seem to remember I didn't add quite as much length as the instructions tell you to (I think I left out about 5 cm and also didn't make the bottom band quite as wide). I am slightly taller than the average Japanese woman these designs were created for but I noticed before that I apparently make different style choices when it comes to the length of tops. As it is, the top is still pretty long by my standards but I think the length is needed to make the "stopper" end up in a place on my hips where those are at a fairly even width. 

The looser shape of this top (compared to the previous nejiri) is interesting. In a lot of places, it doesn't show. All of the excess width there is taken up by the twist. But at one side of the bodice, there clearly is some extra ease. 

Oh, and those stoppers? They really work! At least, the one on the bottom does. My old top would start moving back the moment you had put it on with the twist in place. This one seems MUCH more stable. At the armholes and neckline, the bands are not as snug and there is less twisting in those areas. I don't think those stoppers really make a difference.

All in all, it was a fun experiment and it led to a wearable top. I think I will wear it but it doesn't feel completely "me".

August 27, 2016

the dog days of summer

Ok, I know it's the end of August. Most people have returned from their summer  holidays, schools are starting again and soon, it will be autumn. But here in the Netherlands, it certainly doesn't feel like summer is over yet. We've had some of the hottest days of the year in this past week. 
So, when I thought about showing you a vintage magazine today, I knew I couldn't go for a late August or a September issue (I usually try to kind of match the date). Those are always about autumn fashion and I'm wearing my hot-weather-clothes today... 

So, instead, I chose De Gracieuse no. 14 (two magazines a month, so that's the second one for July) from 1931. The cover may not look very summer-y but this is sort of the holiday edition.

The headlines of each page suggest the sort of lifestyle the sophisticated lady who subscribed to this magazine might enjoy (De Gracieuse is mostly a magazine for well-to-do ladies and those who sew for them).

Like these coats and suits: "For travel" 

"For a trip abroad"

"For trips to the mountains" (this is a Dutch magazine so a trip to the mountains is always a trip to a foreign country). And there on the right: Culottes!

"Outfits for early and late afternoon"

"The thin summer dress for the seaside resort"

"The latest novelties for the trip"

"Cotton for summer dresses"

"Plain, striped and checked fabrics for water sports". Based on the images here and in other issues of the magazine, water sports for ladies in the 1930's basically meant being near the water and sailing, but look! Three pairs of beach pyjama's!

Such lovely outfits and such an intriguing peek into the lives of the happy few.

August 23, 2016

ehh... Hi there!

If you're new to this blog: Welcome! I haven't posted in a while and there is a good reason: I've been on holiday. Maybe it is old-fashioned now but I used to get the advice not to announce my absence on the internet and I still kind of follow that. Sometimes, I write blog posts while I am on vacation but often I don't. And I don't post on Facebook until I am at least almost on the way back. I often feel kind of guilty about doing that to the readers of my blog though...

Anyway, I'm back now. I've been in Austria for two weeks and after that, I've been very busy getting started in a new job. This time, I didn't blog while I was on holiday because I was too busy doing things like this:

E and I have been keen hikers for years (we also did quite a bit of hiking in those weeks) and for the past two years, we've done a lot of indoor climbing and had instruction in outdoor climbing a few times. This holiday marks the first time we have actually done any proper rock climbing on our own though. 
In case anyone is interested, Tirol is a great place of rock climbing. Even for beginners who can really only climb sports routes (which means, with bolts drilled into the rock to which you can clip your rope), there is a lot on offer and the bolting of the routes is really thoroughly done. Lots of shiny new bolts and good anchors. We used the (free) app from this website, which I recommend but only if you can read at least a bit of German. 

We also made a trip to M√ľnchen to see this:

The last World Cup Bouldering this year. Top-favorite climber Shauna Coxsey was really impressive. 
We've been watching these events on youtube for months but it was really cool to be there for this one.

Of course, we didn't just do sporty things, the weather wasn't good enough every day ;)
We also went to this place:

Kufstein fortress, in the town of Kufstein. It is an impressive castle which was in use for centuries. I'm showing it here because of one little exhibit in the part which houses the local history museum.

Elements of traditional costume: Hats, combs and those brown squares at the top...

Those are printing blocks! I'm actually quite curious if these designs are still used for "Trachten" (folkwear) in that area but I haven't been able to find out.

Obviously, after this little intermezzo, I plan to return to my regular, sewing and vintage fashion related, blogging.