Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Sewing: Lotta Jansdotter's Everyday Style

I was looking to freshen up my wardrobe, so I picked up this book last fall...

...and I've made several projects from it since then. The book includes patterns for several basic wardrobe pieces, including accessories. It goes through each season, showing ideas for how to customize and style different pieces for that time of year.

Elsa Bag

I started with something simple, and I have an addiction to bags anyway. The Elsa bag is a very simple, roomy tote with leather handles. I really like the look of the handles, and they are just riveted into place. It was not difficult or expensive to get the required tools and supplies to do this. I picked up the rivet tool, leather, and copper rivets at the Tandy store. 

The fabric is a piece of canvas-weight upholstery with a Persian motif that I had in my stash. I can fit books, magazines, lots of stuff in there. 

Esme Tunic

I wanted a dress that I could wear in cold weather with leggings, so the next thing I made was the Esme tunic. I scaled the pattern up a bit from the largest size, and adjusted it for a large bust. 

The fabric is a medium-weight wool melton that I originally got for making viking garb, but decided to repurpose it for mundane wear. It's very comfortable and cozy to wear in the winter, with boots and fleece-lined leggings. 

Tedra Skirt

Having invested in boots and leggings, I decided to add a skirt to my winter wardrobe.
This was a large scrap of wool tartan from my stash. I had just barely enough to cut the pieces out on the bias, but it didn't take much for the short skirt.

Patchwork Scarf

In addition to the patterns, there are instructions for making accessories, like this patchwork scarf:

This was a great opportunity to use up some of my smaller scraps, and put some fun combinations together. It's a good scarf "recipe." I will probably make a few more of these.
That's all for now. So far, the book has been very useful. The patterns are basic, but versatile, and they look good on a variety of body types. You can change the look of each piece by using different fabrics and making some of the accessories. 

With warmer weather coming, I'll probably make some lighter-weight stuff to wear through spring and summer. 

Thursday, March 23, 2017

A couche for making bread

So another thing that's new is that I've been baking bread without a machine. Not only that, but I've been hearth-baking the bread: baking it on a stone in the oven, rather than placing the dough in a pan. One way of proofing free-form loaves like that is by using a couche, which is just a piece of cloth that is used to cradle the loaves while they rise. You can buy a couche, but I have skills. I sewed two rectangles of linen fabric together, like you would to make a placemat, and viola!

Educate and Inebriate!

A rainbow of bittersweet Italian liquors. We have gotten really serious about this. Like, reading books about it and everything. Aperitivo time is a thing that we are totally down with. 

Cleaned out a closet and found this. Didn't know what it is or where it came from, but it is probably a leftover from when I used to host a lot of parties (many years ago). I looked it up. Mandragora means "demon." It is a sweet liquor made from the mandrake root, and it reminds me of Absinthe. We are keeping the bottle around as a "curiosity."

Speaking of cleaning out closets, I also found several bottles of mead that I brewed umpteen years ago. I was very skeptical that it would still be palatable, but it was indeed still good. Very smooth and mellow. I savored every drop as I reminisced about that time period in my life. 

Homemade Negroni. Yum.

The Scarf

Did I mention? I finally finished that Doctor Who scarf for my bro, not quite in time for Christmas 2016, but soon enough after that he could use it during the winter. And, I'm only just posting about it now. I have some catching up to do with this blog. 

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