Sunday, December 19, 2010

New sewing project.

I've decided to put my silk projects on hold until I feel more confident about sewing with them, as I certainly don't want to ruin these beautiful fabrics.

However my next project is cut out and ready to sew. It's a short-sleeved winter dress using Simplicity 2648 'Amazing fit', so it's a good opportunity for me to learn more about getting the right fit.

I'm going to make View A. I must point out that I'm absolutely nothing like the model on the pattern envelope, this pattern can be cut to suit all shapes and sizes, so I'm hoping it will turn into something wearable!                   


Most people find it difficult to believe that we have winter here in Greece and imagine that we enjoy warm sunshine all the year round, but now winter has finally reached us too and it's freezing cold. It started to snow early Thursday morning and continued all day so there was very little traffic on the roads and schools were closed. I managed to take a few photos of 'our' snow.

    I had intended to walk round town with my camera on Friday morning but unfortunately when I woke up, most of it had melted!

Today the weather had improved quite a bit so we were able to go for a walk near the sea. It's definitely not the season for swimming or picnicking though!


Saturday, December 4, 2010

Colourful fabrics brighten up gloomy day.

This is the first really gloomy day we've had for a long time and it's been raining non-stop. To cheer myself up I got out the fabrics I bought in Turkey during the summer and autumn to try to decide what I'm going to make with them. I've got a few patterns in mind, but I would be grateful for any advice my readers can give me. Maybe you can recommend other patterns too. I must admit I'm rather afraid of cutting my beautiful fabrics and wonder if I should try out the patterns with cheaper fabrics first.

This is pure silk. It wasn't very expensive ( about 50 euros for 3.7 metres of 150 cms wide fabric) and it's a beautiful quality. I bought it at the Silk Market - Koza Han in Bursa ( Proussa).

   Here's a Simplicity pattern I thought I might use to make it, but I'm not sure.

Burda 8351.

Here are photos we took of Koza Han - The Silk Market in Bursa, Turkey.


Koza Han - The Silk Market.

While I was writing this post, we had thunder and lightening and very heavy rain and I got disconnected from the Internet. I was just about to post pictures of the fabric I bought in Istanbul during August. It was extremely hot but I was determined to look for fabric in the shops between The Grand Bazaar and the Spice Bazaar. Once again I was spoiled for choice but eventually chose two fabrics in  silk crepe - I'm not sure if it's pure silk but it's so beautiful, it really doesn't matter. The following photos don't really do it justice.


  I have no idea where I'm going to wear these silk dresses when I eventually get them made - they will hardly be suitable for picnics!            

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Ready to learn to use my old Overlocker/Serger.

I've had my Janome overlocker/serger for 18 years, but I've never really learnt how to use it, and it's been sitting in the cupboard for years. I've now decided that I should either make good use of it, or sell it, so I got it out out, cleaned it and this evening I'm going to see if I can still remember how to thread it.  I'm a member of the Sewing Comminity and one of the ladies there is going to help beginners like myself to learn some of the techniques possible on this machine.

Here's a photo of my overlocker/ serger and the books I've got to help me learn how to use it.


Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Sewing project finished.

I've finished the dress I've been making using Simplicity 3833 pattern - a 1960'a retro design. Even though I was very careful with the hem, I'm not sure if it's even. Anyway, here's a photo:


     This is the first project I've made with my new Brother Innov-Is 20 sewing machine, which I'm really enjoying sewing with.

My old Singer 288 machine.


Still having mild weather in Southern Europe.

It's more than two weeks since I last wrote anything in my blog, so it's time to catch up. Northern European countries are having freezing temperatures and lots of snow, but here in Greece it is still fairly mild for this time of the year, even though we now have more rain and cloud. It's so mild that we don't even need to put the central heating on, but I suppose that will soon change temperatures will drop here too. Up until the end of November, we were able to continue with our picnics on the beach with our friends. Here are a few photos taken during the last week of November.


Saturday, November 13, 2010

My new sewing machine.

I haven't posted for a few days as I've been busy learning how to use my new sewing machine! It's a Brother Innov Is 20 LE which I ordered from Sewing Machines Dirct in the U.K and it only took a week to reach me. It's a computerised machine although not an expensive one, and I think I'm going to really enjoy sewing with it. I haven't taken any photos of it yet, but here's one from the website I bought it from:

Here's a link to the website I ordered it from, just in case anybody is interesed in buying a new sewing machine.

This is the pattern I'm working on at the moment:

     It's a 1960's retro dress and I hope it's going to suit me. I'll making mine a bit longer than the ones on the pattern envelope. Anyway, back to my sewing now!



Monday, October 25, 2010

The Island/To Nisi.

I don't watch much television as there are not many programmes on Greek TV that interest me, but occasionally we get some excellent serials and then I don't miss an episode if I can help it. MegaTV has just started showing a film version of Victoria Hislop's novel, 'The Island' or 'To Nisi' in Greek on Mondays at 9.45 p.m. If you click on the following link to a newspaper article, you can find out more about it.

I really love the soundtrack to the film. -   'The Island' soundtrack

Here is a link to the original version of the song in the soundtrack, which was first recorded by Sotiria Bellou.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Sunday picnic on the beach.

The weather was beautiful again today so we were able to enjoy our picnic on the beach after all.

A table for two with a view of the sea and mountains.

A view of the mountains and town of Xanthi from Fanari.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

A beautiful Autumn day.

Today the weather has been beautiful - a bright, sunny autumn day, which I really didn't want to spend at home in the town, so we drove down to the coast to Avdira.

On the horizon you can just about see the island of Samothraki.


A view of the island of Thassos.

  I'm hoping that tomorrow will be fine enough to go somewhere for our Sunday picnic, because heavy rain has been forecast for most of next week.

Friday, October 22, 2010


Apart from sewing, I also enjoy knitting - both hand and machine knitting, although I can't say that I've mastered my knitting machine as much as I would like to, but now that I have more time on my hands, I hope to be learn new techniques and not restrict my machine knitting projects to drop-shoulder sweaters. My knitting machine is a Brother 930 with Ribber and here's a photo of it:

Most of my sweaters were made long before we bought a digital camera, so I don't have any photos of them when they were new apart from this one:

I have to admit that I'm still rather 'afraid' of my knitting machine so for relaxing when I'm watching TV or listening to music, I prefer hand knitting. Up to now  I've just been knitting in stocking stitch using multi-coloured or batik yarns just to relax.
This is a sweater I made two years ago.

At the moment I'm knitting a cardigan with a beautiful yarn called Alize Lanagold Batik Design which I bought at the yarn market Kurkcu Han in Istanbul. I'm following a pattern from The Knitter's Handy Book of Sweater Patterns' by Ann Budd.

Alize Lana Gold Batik.



Thursday, October 21, 2010

Sorting out my clutter.

I haven't written anything in my blog all week as I've been busy sorting out cupboards and getting rid of all the clutter I don't need. It's a long time since I did a good sorting out but now I'll be able to find all things I need for my sewing, knitting and other hobbies. I found lots of articles on WikiHow to help me get organised and here's a link to them:

Clutter Busting - how to articles from wikiHow

Sunday, October 17, 2010


Last spring I started sewing again on my old Singer sewing machine, which I've had for about 30 years, and really enjoy it so I'll be writing about and posting pictures of my projects. I also hope I'll get lots of advice from more experienced dressmakers than I.

Here are three projects I made last spring. I made two summer blouses from Simplicity 2936 

Here are two photos of the blouses I made:

I also made a skirt from Simplicity Pattern 2516.

Here is mine:

More about sewing in future posts.

No picnic this weekend.

As you may have guessed from my blog title, I really love going for picnics in the mountains and by the sea whenever the weather is suitable, which fortunately it often is. All the week had been rainy and cloudy, so we didn't make our usual plans for a picnic. It turned out to be quite a warm, sunny day, so instead we went to one of our favourite tavernas in the mountains near the town of Komotini. Here are a few photos:

Two photos of the restaurant before most people arrived.

Here are a few photos of the food we ordered ( and ate!)

The dessert was 'revani' ( Semolina cake ) with ice cream and was for both of us. The only problem was ( apart from the many calories) is that they brought us forks to eat it with. Eating ice cream with a fork, especially when it starts to melt, is not exactly easy.

Trying to design a page, chosing font colours and suitable background colours is turning out to be more time consuming than I thought it would be, but I suppose many people have the same problem when they start their blogs, so I won't let it discourage me.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Starting my blog at last.

I've been trying to start my blog for months but it's writing my first post that has held me back because I can't think of anything original to say in my introduction! Anyway it's time to dive in and just start. Once I've worked out how to organise my pages, post photos etc, I'm sure that I will enjoy writing it. I don't intend to limit myself to one particular subject - I'll be writing a bit about my daily life, my travels and hobbies and interests, but also any other topics that I feel are worth including. It's a new adventure and I'll just have to see where it leads me.