Eeeee, no chyba jeszcze nie...
Well, no, no really, not yet...
I made trousers and dresses but when I thought about pullovers or sweatshirts I immediately thought about knitting or buying it in a shop, not sewing by myself! *^v^*
But when I looked through the book "ソーイングナチュリラ シンプルナチュラルなおしゃれ服" which means "Natural sewing. Simple and natural fashion clothes" this blouse caught my attention. Maybe because it was made from a blue cotton? Or maybe I was intrigued by the loose shape with pleats, something that you wouldn't find in my wardrobe, something not typical for me, all I have is fitted with pleats, yes, but not puffed to the shape with them! ^^*~~
I postponed this project till early Summer to make it from cotton or linen but then I remembered I had a piece of light blue angora loosely woven and I decided to make the trial Winter version.
I chose the biggest size 3L, added 5 cm to the body and 10 cm to the sleeves, and it's perfect for me but I know that I'll enlarge the pattern to have the bigger looser Summer version. And the sewing was so quick! A few straight seams, no fuss setting-in sleeves, the longest took me to sew the bias tape facings on all openings by hand on the left side... *^o^*
But I didn't want this pullover to be ordinary so I decided to embellish it. I found a drawing of a spider chrysanthemum on the Net, I printed it and painted it with fabric paint. Of course first I made a trial version on a piece of spare fabric because I didn't know how it reacts with wool. I wanted to make a stencil but it turned out when I placed the printout under the fabric and lit the lamp directly over it I could see the shape of the petals quite well, so I painted the flower looking at it and consulting with another printout that I kept next to the pullover.
Cats helped a lot. ^^*~~
And then they got bored and went to sleep on our bed. *^W^*
Just when I finished the Winter version of this blouse's, I redrew the pattern for a Summer version - I lowered the neckline by 1 cm, added another 5 cm to the body and added 5 cm to the width of the lower line of the back piece's to make it more flowy. I might start sewing it already but I'll share the results when it's possible to wear it without the Winter coat, at the moment we will be having one week of serious freezing temperatures!
Did you know they make meringue lollipops matching my new pullover?!... *^V^*
I want Spring already! I'm fed up with tasteless tomatoes and gloomy days. Husband makes toasts with green peas and feta and it helps a little, but we've been taken over by the general life depression and we don't like it at all.To be frank I want it to be October already because I'll go back to Japan then. ^^*~~ (okay, so if I say "go back" I mean "go there for a few weeks" and we'll have to leave Japan again, and it also brings me down...)
I made a sweater.
Or rather a vest because the sleeves are almost non-existent. I'd never buy this yarn myself because Adriafil Soffio Plus is 50% acrylic (and I'm allergic to acrylic). The rest is mohair and wool. But this yarn was a gift and I thought I'd give it a try since my hands didn't shed the skin during knitting (like it was last time I worked with acrylic thread...).
The free pattern Yuttari is a pullover/vest oversize style. You knit the back straight and on the front there are stitches added forming the looser neckline. I decided to knit front and back at one go so I didn't have to seam the sides, when I reached the armpits I separately made front and back and then did a 3-needle-bind-off on the shoulders with a visible seams for decoration. As the last job you pick up the stitches for the sleeves and knit ribbing.
I used all the yarn I had, namely 4 skeins, on 5 mm needles. The pullover is just as its name - comfortable. I think it'd be better from thinner yarn, it would have more flow. From Soffio it's a bit chunky and I'm not sure I like it much.
The yarn is warm and this pullover is okay to layer with other clothes in Winter, but is it really my style? Am I just grumbling because it's my whining phase and today's wind froze me to death when we were taking these photos at the river bank?... So, maybe I'll stop writing because this post is full of negativity and fussiness...Till next time!
Let's love each other! On all days of the year but today let's love even stronger, because why not? *^V^*
Here's lunch I made for my husband today:
And of course he also got some homemade chocolates! ^^*~~
And starting tomorrow we are again on a once-a-year slimming-our-menu time. Who's with us?If you don't know what it is, read the posts from 2016 and 2017 below.
When on Friday I published our breakfast's photo on my Instagram Pimposhka asked about the recipe. And here is a small problem because it starts with: "on the evening before put rice and shitake mushrooms into a rice cooker, add the correct amount of water for a "rice congee or porridge" and set the timer for a required time in the morning to be ready"...
I never cooked rice congee in a pot on a stove but it's not a rocket science, just some rice cooked for a longer time in a lot of water. When rice with mushrooms is ready add onsen tamago (soft boiled egg - boil 1 l of water, when it boils add 1 cup of cold water, turn off the gas and remove the pot from a hot stove, take out 4 eggs from the fridge and place into the water, put the lid on and set the timer to 17 minutes. After that time take out the eggs, you may keep them in a fridge for a few days until you want to eat them.) Also some other things like chopped Spring onions, some chilli, soy sauce, sesame oil, freshly ground sesame seeds, as you like. Eat with your favourite pickles. It's light, warming and easy to digest.
And now let's talk about the main topic of this post's.
My friend Eri sent me a parcel. It contained sweets but also something much cooler (let's be honest, the sweets lasted only three days... ^^*~~), namely the sewing book! *^V^*
The title is "ソーイングナチュリラ シンプルナチュラルなおしゃれ服" which means "Natural sewing. Simple and natural fashion clothes" and that's exactly what's inside the book - simple patterns, no frills, plain fabrics, the style I call "typical Japanese" because that kind of clothes I kept seeing in the streets of Tokyo very often. One colour fabrics, straight lines, sometimes some interesting detail like a pleat, longer back, some asymmetry or an eye catching collar.
I never even considered buying Japanese sewing books because I assumed the patterns would be too small for me, too short, too narrow, too much hassle with adjustments. Also, I never thought this style might suit me. What looks good on small Japanese women may look funny on a tall Polish girl. And I always had an image of a Japanese face finishing the whole portrait and I have the typical European features unfortunately. *^v^*
But when I started to look through the book I got from Eri I started to gush over the contents! What's more, on the next day I threw one of the fabrics I bought in Japan in Kimono Kuraya into the washing machine because I already knew what I wanted to turn it into - namely dress pattern U. ^^*~~
You may remember when I mentioned that the kimono fabric can be bought in a piece around 30 cm wide and around 11 m long, so I had to sew together two or even more widths to accommodate the pattern pieces.
To be frank the longest it took me to prepare the fabric (washing, drying, measuring, sewing together, matching the prints), sewing was rather quick because the dress has only two long side seams, a few pleats on the front, neckline and hem. I chose such a simple pattern on purpose to see how to work with Japanese patterns and avoid too many adjustments.
I admit I was too lazy to make a muslin so I cut generous seams just in case but it turned out I didn't need that. This pattern comes in three sizes: S, M and L, and I chose the biggest one which has the bust circumference 106 cm and the length of the dress 95 cm. Of course I added some cms to the length so the dress would reach my knees but because the dress is not very fitted to the figure I didn't lengthen the upper body part and I placed the belt loops just where they were in the pattern. The dress is loose enough to omit any zipper, ect and the belt makes it nicely fitted as much or as little as you want.
A few words about working with Japanese patterns: they're very similar to Burda's, you have to add the seams yourself. All the markings are similar, the marks on the sleeves you have in Burda are only on the fronts, here there are on both fronts and backs (sewing in the sleeves was a piece of cake, no complicated setting in when there's always a bit of too much fabric somewhere and you have to repin and repin the pins and move the fabric per millimetre... here I just pined in the sleeves and sewed the seams, they're comfortable and not limiting any movements, wonderful! ^^*~~). The description of sewing steps is accompanied by the very clear and easy to understand drawings of the more tricky parts of sewing and that's really great! I generally think that even if you don't speak Japanese or know kanji but you know how to sew you will be able to make clothes from the Japanese patterns! Funny thing I got to know some new Japanese words, like facing or belt loop! *^V^*
For the first time in my life I worked in such sewing conditions...
Cats "helped" me on every stage - when I was drawing the pattern on paper, prepared the fabric, drew the pattern pieces onto the fabric, pinned the pieces, sewed, tried on, they kept steeling the chalk and measuring tape... I told you our cats are the "accompanying" types and they kept me company almost all the time, even for a longer while I was sitting at the sewing machine with Aki in my lap - sleeping, washing his paw, trying to catch the fabric with his teeth... It wasn't an easy job! *^w^*
Of course this dress is made from thin cotton and is for Spring/Summer season, it's not designed to be worn with a pair of thick tights (and a sweater, and a scarf, and a coat...). It will stay in my wardrobe till the warmth of Spring comes again. ^^*~~
It was my first time with Japanese sewing patterns but definitely not the last one! From that book I already want to make another dress, two blouses, a pair of trousers... *^o^* My wardrobe will definitely gain some "Japanese style" clothes!
I've read that the idea of a Nikuman Day was started after on 25th January 1902 in Asahikawa, Hokkaido, there was the lowest temperature ever noted in Japan, minus 41 degrees C. People thought it would be great to eat some steaming hot warming bun with meat filling on such a day. *^o^*
Nikuman has a Chinese origin (baozi), in normal konbini stores in Japan we found four types: nikuman (with meat filling), kareman (with Japanese curry), anman (with sweet bean paste) and pizzaman (never tried this one...). On the special nikuman stall in Ebisu there was around 10 types, including mushroom filling, prawn filling and such curiosity like a huge bun with many things inside, including a hard-boiled quail egg! *^V^*
Nikuman is usually big as an apple and has the characteristic pleats. Making them at home we can adjust the size and filling to our preferences, we may even omit the traditional dough and use the quick and easy Jamie Oliver's recipe for a coconut milk and flour dough, I made it and works very well! ^^*~~
Today in Warsaw it's not that cold as it was in Asahikawa on that day (lucky us!), but I'd eat a nikuman anytime anywhere. But because I cannot buy a steaming hot bun from a shop here I had to make them myself (sometimes you can buy buns without the filling to warm up at home and serve with some meat sauce, they're popular in some regions of Poland). The recipe is easy and totally worth the effort! Are my buns pretty? Not really. But the taste is exactly how it should be. ^^*~~
I've already written about these buns on the blog so I repeat myself, but who cares, they're so tasty that I'll be recalling them every year in January! *^-^*~~~
PS.: I had quite a lot of a new sweater done when I measured it and it turned out I was knitting a cover for an elephant... I'm going to frog it till the beginning because of course I was too lazy to swatch it or measure it at the start of a project. So, I decided I am angry with myself and I will never speak a word to myself ever again!...
Husband is still on sick leave, till the beginning of February, and the healing process may take as long as six months....Because he's not allowed to do much we take slow walks around the neighbourhood, and because it's Winter we mainly visit cafes and local bars, drinking lots of coffee and tea, and eating cakes for better mood.
Sometimes we also eat lunches, for example Vietnamese pho soup in Pho Toan:
Or Japanese oyakodon and miso soup in Peko Peko:
Some dishes became inspirations for my own experiments. For example, on our way from the doctor we stumbled upon the Lebanese bar Kumin where we were served delicious food, including the set of starters!
I prepared a similar set some time ago (and going to repeat that soon!), but for now I started with pickles. Robert especially liked carrot with cumin, pink radish is both tasty and decorative. When we were in a Georgian restaurant recently we were served pink pickled cabbage with beetroot (hence the colour), so of course I had to make it as well! *^V^*After one week in brine the veggies are slightly sour but I hope for their development with time!
Apart from cooking (or not) and eating I've been mainly reading recently. I keep taking Ian Rankin's detective stories from my library and I devour them in two days max, they're so good that when I start reading suddenly it's 2 am and I'm still not in bed!... ^^*~~As for the knitting, I abandoned my violet pullover for a moment because I needed to buy more yarn and lengthen the body. I looked at some finished projects' photos and realised the other versions also look too short at the front, maybe it's because Japanese girls have shorter bodies than the Europeans and that's why the pullover looks fine on a Japanese designer. Anyway, it's on hold at the moment and I've been knitting something completely different, from the yarn I was given. I'll show you when there's anything presentable.
I don't want you to stay catless, so here is the cat to sum up the post! ^^*~~
It all started when Robert felt like eating pielmieni in broth on weekend. We didn't have the ingredients to make them and lunch time was coming so he asked whether I wanted to go out to eat them.
You don't really have to persuade me to eat dumplings, I can eat them anytime anywhere in any amount and type, *^v^*, so we went to Babooshka restaurant where they serve the good ones - in broth, with a dollop of sour cream and some chopped parsley. You can imagine the size of our disappointent when it turned out that on that day Babooshka was closed!... They have the second place in Warsaw but it was rather far from where we were, and our stomachs were so very empty at that point... So, we went for a short walk along the street and finished in Georgia restaurant where we had pielmieni with cream, not in broth. They were okay and we discovered something delicious - Georgian pickled cabbage with beetroot! ^^*~~
And yet, this lunch left some lack of taste and satisfaction and next week I decided to make pielmieni at home, to eat them in a broth just like we wanted. *^0^*
The recipe I found is rather easy - simple dumpling dough (flour, water, salt) and minced pork/beef stuffing served in a dense flavourful meat broth, perfect for a cold Winter diner.
So, now I'll leave you with Aki and I'll go and take care of my husband who fell off the horse on Wednesday and now he's barely moving and is on sick leave for a while... (but he'll recover so do not worry please!)Until next time! *^v^*
PS.: My pullover has the whole body finished but I need to add some centemetres since my yarn is thinner than in the pattern. I've been working on the sleeves now and it takes soooo much time, as usual...