Tuesday, February 7, 2012

A Night Out

Is anyone else getting fed up with winter? Even though we had lovely fall weather until almost mid-December, I could really do with some warmer weather by now. While I like the ice-cold (between -10 and -20°C) but sunny weather of the last week better than not-quite-freezing gloom and sleet, I'm feeling like a Michelin man in multiple layered tights, leggings, tank tops and long sleeves. No fun! (Also, would you believe that this is the first time that I'm spelling "leggings" correctly? Seems the third "g" is only optional in German...)

Still, last week was lovely. I completed my final exams (well, before board exams next spring) which were nice and short and relatively easy - and there were only three of them! I received my placement for internship and got into paediatrics - my first choice! :-) I also got first choice for Internal Medicine, and the Surgery one is only a 5 min bike ride from my home. Yay!
leaving uni after exams

Then I went to visit my parents for my stepdad's birthday. We cooked a lavish 4-course meal, I visited my little half brother (who recognizes me despite only seeing my three times a year, and is also able do tell between different brands of tractors by the color of their wheel rims - and he's only two-and-a-half!), visited my grandma and we looked at old pictures of her and her sisters as little girls! She allowed me to take some of them with me and I really have to scan them in before giving them back - some of their dresses are so cute, and my grandma was so pretty as a young woman. And her dashing boyfriends!

My parents accompanied me back to Berlin and we had a lovely weekend together, spending one night in a hotel with a bar on the top floor and a view over Berlin (b-day present for my stepdad, and we were so glad we didn't have to use public transport at -23°C outside!), drinking cocktails of all colours and spending time in the spa, trying out a couple of Vietnamese restaurants (it's a trend... and yummy! we also bought a cookbook), drinking lots of Jasmin tea and generally having a good time.

I wore this cutie for our night out.
excuse the goofy grin - this was after the cocktails...
Do you ever think back to a time when you had very little clue about sewing? This is the very first dress I made, back when I didn't know anything about exotic like zipper feet or interfacing. I was slightly horrified with myself when I saw some of the issues before attaching the lace collar (which, after two years of thinking about it, I finally bought off ebay a while ago). Notching the seam allowances of the neckline and arm holes went a long way, though, and after slip stitching the facings to the dress, this is really very wearable. If slightly short.

Would you believe that I even altered the pattern for my very first dress? It's a simple Burda sheath dress with a slight A-line, which I shortened and inexpertly added width to the hem, to get a more 60s feel. I'll need to get a better photo of it at some point. My friend suggested adding a little lace doily as a pocket, which I think is a cute idea.

What with exams and family action, there hasn't been any sewing going on (hand-stitching a bit of lace doesn't count... ;-), but I finished a teal snood in a chunky acrylic yarn (finally, after casting it on three times to get the size right!) and started on a black sock while travelling. Incidentally, do any of you know how to make socks more durable? The striped socks I gave away for Christmas seem to have gotten holes in the balls of the feet after a few wearings. I guess I should have used actual sock yarn (once again, Alessa: research before buying/making stuff!), but are there other tricks I could use? Seems the person in question regularly shreds hand-knit socks after a few wearings...

Hope you're having a good week, however the weather!

23 comments:

  1. Yay for finishing exams and congrats on getting the internship you wanted!

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  2. Congratulations on finishing your exams and getting an awesome internship! Love, love the dress! So pretty!!!

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    1. Thanks Sarah! After wearing it a second time, I think I seriously need to fiddle with the darts, but otherwise I really like it now. :)

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  3. So funny to go back and look at our first garments, isn't it? Yours looks very mod and cute. Also, Vietnamese is one of my favorite cuisines! Super tasty. We get it all the time at work, despite the fact that we're in the middle of Chinatown/Little Italy :-P.

    Re: socks, I've seen some bloggers who will double up the yarn at the heels and toes (places that tend to get a lot of wear). I also saw one knitter who held a piece of (cotton?) thread together with the yarn when working the heel and toes. I'll bet if you used that thick quilting thread it would be super durable.

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    1. Hah, I'm jealous, I think I could eat Vietnamese every day! I need to borrow that cookbook off my mom... I had already doubled up the yarn on the heel, which is still holding. It's the balls that are the problem, but the quilting thread is a fabulous idea. I'll try that next time!

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  4. So pleased that you have the placement that you wanted.Well done!
    I love the lace collar too!!!

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  5. lovely view! your internships will be rather cool I think. Would be nice to hear how it´s going. Congratulations for learning so much about sewing. I feel a sense of accomplishment when I realised I know more than I used to...which was not applying last night when I accidentally pinned and sewed an extra section of a bodice sloper I was making...duh!

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    1. Oh no, I hate it when stuff like that happens... which is usually near the end of a garment when I want to hurry up and finish it. But yes, it is cool to see how much more I know now. :) I'm sure I'll drop the occasional hint about my internship here.

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  6. Congrats on getting the internship you wanted! The lace on that dress is lovely. I have trouble wearing some of the first things I made too...I wear them *under* sweaters and whatnot. :)

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    1. Yes, I do that with my second dress. It's very ill-fitting in the shoulders. But at least they get worn, right? :)

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  7. Yes, I am complete agreement about being fed up with winter and having to layer up in so many clothes! I am having to wrap my little baby up and take her on the daily trip to school. I am so looking forward to longer days and warmer days! I am glad you got the placement you wanted. Your dress is very cute, how nice that you can wear an early make! i am intrigued to see the photos of your Grandma!

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    1. I'm thinking we could write a petition to mother nature for an early spring? ;) I scanned in all the photos and I'll post some of them soon. :)

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  8. sick of it being cold, I need warmth and colour! Love the dress. x x x

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  9. Sounds like a good week :) I love the black burda dress, it looks very 60s to me. Maybe you could double up the yarn in places that wear out easily? I'm no knitting expert but it might work.

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    1. Thanks. :) I've thought about that, too. I'm definitely doing that next time. :)

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  10. Congratulations!! You´ve very good news!
    I love the lace, your dress is so cute, it´s your first dress project, isn´t it? Really good!

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  11. Eek, it sounds freezing. Baby, it is cold outside. I like thinking back on my first makes, too (though I've honestly got rid of most of them). It's amazing how wearable they were (given how little I knew) and how much more I know through trial and error. Each garment like a goal post along the way. I'm remembering this with knitting -- I hope one day knitting a sleeve isn't so painful. :0

    Congrats on your internship!!

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  12. Congratulations on doing so well, and getting into your first choice!
    Your first dress is just magnificent! I love the lace collar. :)
    re the socks, does the wearer have rough flaky heels? in which case a pumice stone and some moisturiser might be a good idea for the next gift... :) Handmade socks deserve nice soft feet, to respect them.

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  13. Congratulations on finishing your exams and getting your placement, such good news!

    I love your first dress, that lace collar's gorgeous and I think it looks great on you. Thankfully my first sewing project bit the dust a long time ago, I think it was truly hideous so I'm glad it'll never see the light of day! ;)

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  14. Well done Alessa! Fantastic news! And I really enjoyed reading this post... smiled when you mentioned the German spelling of leggings.... enjoyed hearing about your family celebrations & at last, the lace collar that you've been hinting at is released to the world. And wow, what a superb example of a lace collar - it's perfect! Really suits you. Enjoy the days becoming longer....even if it's still cold!

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  15. That's great news about school and sounds like you had a nice family visit. The dress is pretty fabulous for a first try, and the collar really adds a nice touch. As for socks, I have had luck reinforcing regular yarn with wooly nylon (intended for sergers) or even silk thread.

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  16. Sick of winter as well. Really nice dress, you made. Like your blog a lot. Hübsch! Have a good one!

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