Monday, August 11, 2014

Burda PDFs Get My Vote

There has been a lot of dialog going on for a long time in the blogging world regarding PDF patterns vs. paper patterns.  The most memorable one (I think) being on A Fashionable Stitch a few years ago.  Sunni really nailed it!  That post obviously hit a chord
with sewers as she got 139 comments--equally entertaining.  Some fer, some agin PDFs.  So, I'm not going to go on a rant as its all been said before.

That said, when in Mongolia, I do PDFs.  I prefer paper patterns, but I can only cram so many into my luggage when boots, toiletries, vitamins, blah, blah, blah need to be packed--stuff I can't get here.  Then creativity hits and the perfect pattern is on the other side of the world.

I did haul over a year's worth of Burda Magazines last year and even though I whined through the tracing process, I have to say, everything I've made from them have FIT with little more than some of my basic adjustments.  

So I've recently downloaded 4 new patterns.  One McCalls, one Butterick, and two Burda.  Simplicity I just gave up on as the site just fought me and they never bothered to respond to an email to customer service.  

Both the McCalls and Butterick require downloading a special Adobe-esque program in order to print.  Oh, plus a special password is emailed to you in order to access the patterns you just paid twice as much as the sale price of the paper ones.  Security don't you know.  Plus, they won't allow printing the paper layout schematic (what else can I call it?).  Really, people???  Plus, I swear I read on one or both of them that I could only print them 3 times within one year.  ????  !!!!

Now, the Burda ones were instantly mine.  Boom.  Opened right up in Adobe, ready to print and to save.  The no seam allowance thing just is not that big of an issue with me as I usually add on to side seams as insurance anyway.  

And the Burdas seem soooo much simpler in every way.  As much as I don't enjoy the process, I have to admit it's getting faster with every one.  The right equipment, as in anything, helps lots.  

A rubber finger, from my old office days, is crazy helpful

I hang the cut-out patterns on skirt hooks.  These are what's available in UB.  Hey, you just can't have enough cute around the house, you know?

So, that's my PDF story and I'm stickin' to it. 


 

Monday, August 4, 2014

Godess Muumuu

The muumuu or muʻumuʻu /ˈmm/ is a loose dress of Hawaiian origin[1] that hangs from the shoulder  Wikipedia

Before the big Hong Kong trip, I managed to make a muumuu for those weekend evenings when loose and comfortable is mandatory.  I used this great rayon knit I forgot I had here in UB.  Exotic, no?  Very godess-ish I think ;)   Especially since I was so busy getting the neckline & yoke placed just so that I didn't think about the "wings" placed in a rather odd spot.  


I used my TNT Simplicity 2852, just making it longer like I did for my muumuu stateside, seen here.



I had enough left over to make yet another Kirsten Kimono Tee, a free download you can find here. (Note:  all her patterns are great--very well drafted)  

In fact, Kirsten Kimono Tees and Magic Pencil Skirts (find here)  have become my uniform this summer.  I feel comfortable and yet somewhat put together in this combo.  Note:  the armhole is not that low--I'm stupid sensitive about that.  Guess my hand is pulling it down.


Yep, comfort is king these days.  I've liberated myself of heels.  Maybe a 2" at a formal.  Or 1 1/2" on a Clark anything.  One of my best ever decisions.  Right up there with the one to quit coloring my hair.  






Monday, July 28, 2014

Unborn Outfits

On our recent trip to Hong Kong, I bought fabric.  I went planning to buy fabric.  Linen to be exact as I'm just crazy about the stuff these days.  I had a certain dollar amount in mind, even.  Well, let's just say things got a little out of control.

Meet Rowena.  Excellent English.  Extremely knowledgeable.  Very on top of her inventory.  The little vixen.  



 I spent a ridiculous amount of money.  Trust me.  Ridiculous.  

Fast forward to lunch and I am filled with remorse and contemplating putting a chop stick in my eye.  What was I thinking???

You know what this 1-in-a-million husband of mine says?  "let it go.  You'll get 2 years of enjoyment out of this stack:  petting it, pouring through patterns and blogs, planning, actual sewing.  Then you get to wear it.  And blog about it."  

He's a keeper.



Here's my haul:

Linen, of course :)
Bottom weight & light weight & coordinating print.  All pre-washed and dried 3 times per blog advice

Cottons & 2 pieces of silk organza:
The one on the very bottom is gorgeous cotton sateen


Look at this one!  Isn't it fun?  I'm thinking a vest and some sort of insert to pieces down the road.


This one is a stretch cotton silk with a border repeat.  Gorgeous feel and drape.


My husband even ended up stuffing most of this in his carry on.  Back home in UB, he asks me where I want the Unborn Clothing put.  :D  Seriously, though, I think I'll get about 12 pieces from this haul!

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Hong Kong Repeat

I have been away from the blog for a long time, mainly due to travel.  Lots of travel; much of it quick trips within the US seeing family.  Still, getting ready for a trip, being on the trip, recovering from the trip and then regrouping and planning for the next one is very consuming!  It is for me, anyway.

...but hey, I'm back and have a recent trip to share!

Due to recent Major Drama at my husband's company here in Mongolia, he was in real need of a vacation.  Mongolia has a week-long summer festival (we checked this off our life list long ago ;), so we took advantage of the extra days off and decided on another
trip to Hong Kong as it's a mere 4-hour direct flight AND it's in the same time zone!

Hong Kong was hot and steamy and we left to return to UB with Typhoon Rammasun hammering southern China and the Philippines and causing  crazy winds and rain in Hong Kong.  Still, we had a great time.

Warning:  this is a picture-heavy blog!  I'm anxious to get on to some sewing posts :D

We took a day trip on a Chinese junk to Stanley Beach.  So fun!








The urban parks!  All over.  Gorgeous.  Huge.  Quiet.  Clean.

3 large pools in this public pool complex!

Every day on our way to and from sightseeing, we walked through a gorgeous park next to our hotel and fell in love with the flamingos!  SO FUNNY!  They're very social--and noisy! and active--pics just don't do them justice.  Bath day was a real hoot.

Then there were a bunch of turtles that captured Randy's heart ;)  He took this pic of one "frolicking".  He talked of making a vedeo.  Enough said.

The shopping!  The city is dominated by consumerism.  Shopping tourism (primarily Chinese mainlanders) is huge--cruise ships pull up to the malls.  No lie.
 Forget Prada and Louis Vitton.  We tracked down printer cartridges (unavailable in UB, grr) at this 3-story electronics place in Mon Kok.  Score.  The place went on forever.

Then, there was my fabric shopping.  That little linen thing.  Stay tuned.

The streets!  Noisy.  Chaotic.  Crowded.  At times lovely

A stylish hard hat!



Really?  Bleck





Check out the little china dishes :)


Old & new
 Talk about high density living!



The trees.  Growing out of walls



The boats!




A great vacation