Friday, January 30, 2015

Pearls and Scissors reader survey results!

TGIF, my friends! It's time to wrap up my little reader survey with some fun results. I actually had planned to post this yesterday, but I got so caught up in making pretty graphics and talking to my Mom via Skype (you know how it goes). Sometimes my need to tweak one little photo to "perfection" can just drive me crazy. Either way, I hope you enjoy this little summary!

First, would you just look at that map! The blue areas represent the countries that the blog has had visitors from over the past month (or so Google Analytics tells me). The darker the blue, the more visitors. That map just makes me smile. I'm so happy I have readers from all over the globe. It would be so fun if you mentioned where you were from more often in the comments. Or just comment... Either way I'm excited!
 Most of you who took the survey have been here for a while. Which also makes total sense, because a) if you're new here, you probably won't think to fill out a reader survey right away, and b) I had very few reader at the beginning, so it naturally most of you joined during the last 2 years. I'm truly thankful for all of you who have stuck around, especially the ones that have been here from the early days. Your continues support means the world to me!
 This was the most interesting question for me. I've often thought about what I should write more about, what you find interesting, and what I maybe should blog less about. It's not a shocker for me, but it was interesting that Refashionista turned out to be your favorite with a cleat lead. I thought it would be more neck and neck with the crafting DIYs. I guess you love your refashions just a tad more.

What was also interesting was that the hair style posts aren't that popular. Maybe it's because I haven't done them in a while? They are the ones that get a lot of love over the web (Pinterest, other blogs), but I guess you are here more for the crafty stuff, which I totally get. Another thing that surprised me was the love for my Sewn feature and personal posts that don't get that many comments always, but it's good to know you still enjoy them.

I loved reading all your comments about what you'd love to see more of on the blog. There were some interesting insights there and a couple of really good ideas, so thanks for sharing your thoughts!
This question was one part getting to know what type of craft DIYs you'd love to see more of, and one part research for an idea I had (more on that coming soon). I guess we're all sort of soul mates or something, because the lefthand graph is actually the exact order of my preferences. And it's great so many of you want to get more into crafts and learn new things this year. You also mentioned you'd like to learn pottery (me, too!) and tatting (had to google that one),  and basket weaving. Well, I can't help you with all of them, but I am going to help you with some of them. I'm brainstorming and working on a concept for the blog that will help me do just that (oh, so secretive, aren't I).

Oh, and one last things. Do give Bloglovin' a chance, will you. I've been using it as a blog reader for over a year now and I really like how easy it is to keep up with my favorite blogs, save the posts I love for later reference, and find new blogs to read. I noticed that a lot of you are relying on Facebook to get the latest news from me, but since Facebook only shows my posts to about 20% of people liking the page, I'm afraid that's not the best way to keep you updated. I'd hate it if you'd have to miss some of the posts because of Facebook's strange algorithms.

It was so helpful reading through your answers, so thank you so much for participating!

I do have big plans for the blog this year, and lots and lots of DIYs and tutorials planned, so I hope you'll follow along.

xo. Hanna

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Sewn // Grey buttoned cardigan for Rein

 It's Wednesday again! This week sure is flying by, but that's what I say every other week, so it shouldn't surprise me. Anyway, I'm really been busting out some sewing projects lately, so I have a fresh one to show you today.

This cardigan for Rein has been on my to-sew list for about 1.5 years, which is actually not too shabby for me, given how some projects lurk on the fabric shelf for a decade or so. I had the idea when browsing Pinterest, as it often happens (TG for Pinterest), and then scored the fabric at the discounted left-over pile in a local Tallinn fabric store. The prices there are usually too high for me, but this was half off, so I took it. I new that squeezing a men's size cardigan out of it would be complicated to say the least, but I took that chance and hoped it would pay off.
 Well, as you can see, I did manage to squeeze, and I really do mean squeeze this garment out of that fabric. I had to cut the sleeves in to pieces and the hem band looks almost like an after-thought. I just didn't have anything left to cut it from. Needless to say, I had only tiny scraps left once I was done. Which is how I like it, so all is well that ends well. Although, for a moment after I'd cut the body pieces I did think I wasn't going to be able to cut all the pieces needed for this. I was a little panicky for a sec, but then I made it work.

What I learned from this project is that sometimes, cutting a pattern piece into two or even three pieces can really help make a tight fabric situation work. The fabric band for the hem combines 4 pieces I cut from the final square piece of fabric I had left.

Now, you might think at first glance that the cardigan is made of two different fabrics, but actually it's not. The fabric was a double-knit, so I ended up just alternating between the two sides of fabric to create this effect. That was my game-plan from the start.
I used vintage buttons from my stash. I'm so glad I decided to bring all my buttons to Germany. I thought long and hard about leaving them, but ultimately, I just couldn't. Buttons can be expensive, and having a stash around comes in handy.

I might have made the buttonholes a bit too big, but oh well...
The only part of the garment I'm not 100% happy with is the neckline (what's with me and those necklines lately). Since I had to, again, cut the band along the grain versus cross-grain, it didn't have enough stretch in it to make those neat curves on the shoulders. But, I guess it's not that noticeable when he's wearing it out and about. And he didn't mind it, so I guess it's all good.
As for the pattern, I used a Burda Magazine pattern (mod. 133 from 10/2008). I cut the smallest size, and ended up taking in 2 cm from each pattern piece on the sides, so a total of 8cm from the bust, and another 4cm from the sleeve width (2cm from each side). I always new Burda patterns were more on the large side, but taking into account that Reins actual measurements are a size up according to the size chart, that's a lot. So, whenever you work with Burda magazine patterns, check for the measurements on the pattern pieces before you cut, and when in doubt, always go a size down. That's why it's almost impossible for me to sew a Burda pattern for myself without major alterations, because even the smallest size is way too big for me.

One of my goals is to put together a range of tried and tested patterns for Rein, that I could whip up without alterations. So far, I've perfected a t-shirt pattern (more on that to come), and now I also have a cardigan pattern. I used to make every pattern only once, but now I'm seeing the benefits of perfecting the fit of one pattern, and them making different variations of it. A trouser pattern is next. I don't know if I dare try a Burda pattern, though. I tried to make him a pair that ended up being about 4 sizes too big, although it should have fit according to the size chart. I'm sure I'll figure something out.

What's on your sewing table?

xo. Hanna

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Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Style Pearls // Burgundy and jeans

 I've got to admit, being unemployed does absolutely nothing for my style. These days, it's good if I get dressed at all, let alone choose an outfit. It's amazing how style-senseless I can get when i have nowhere to go. I'm guess I'm one of those "lazy" people who can wear pj's for days unless there's a need to put actual pants on. And, that's all good, but I'm getting so bored with my outfit choices lately. It's the same old sweater and jeans all the time.

Part of my frustration is due to my much smaller wardrobe after the move. And, while it's easier having less clothes and there for less options (I totally get why people love a capsule wardrobe), I find myself in a style rut. I don't think getting more clothes is an answer though. Rather, I think a few wardrobe reinvention experiments might do the trick.
We took these pics on one of our walks last week in our neighborhood. It was a little bit weird posing for photos while people were passing by. I don't know if I'll ever get used to that. Every time I do, it's just awkward. Oh, the things we do for get good blog photos, right? Speaking of which, I think Rein is constantly getting better at this blog photography thing. I don't know what I'd do without him. Thanks, hun!
 What I wore // Sweater - refashioned / Jeans - gift from Mom / Bag - thrifted from vintage Humana (added strap) / Shoes - Tamaris (a couple of years old) / Owl earrings - Christmas gift from hubby
In other news - I need to re-dye my hair badly. It's growing like crazy for some reason. I dyed it only a month ago, but I've already a 2cm outgrowth at least. My hair has never grown so fast, so I'm just in awe. Also, I have no idea where to get natural henna and indigo around here. Funny thing is, I just bought like a year's supply back at home, and forgot to pack it. That's so like me!

Have any of you tried a capsule wardrobe? I'm kind of forced into it right now, so I'd love to hear your thoughts.

xo. Hanna

P.S! Thanks to An Geli Ka for the new feature name! I'm going to send you a special treat, so look out for an e-mail from me :)

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