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Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Sloppy Jo & What We're Up To

This blogpost is coming to you from within the cosy walls of a Mongolian yurt! We're not in Mongolia though, but in the hills of la Marche, Italy. We're alternating short periods of travelling with one month stays at organic farms (wwoofing). We've been travelling for five months now, and it seems we've figured out the right balance between travelling and working. The travel periods allow us to see different places and give the travel experience. The wwoofing gives us temporary homes where we learn a broad range of new skills, and also have a comfortable place (with internet!) to work on Paprika Patterns. So far we've stayed on a back-to-basics donkey farm in Sardegna, a high-end Agriturismo with cashmere goats and now we're experiencing the yurt-life. If you’d like to follow our travels, you can find us on Facebook.

Needless to say, travelling has slowed down our work a good deal. We've discovered that full time travel and full time work just doesn't go together. Instead of getting away from everyday life you end up feeling more stressed! Looking for a place to safely park your truck for the night and drafting patterns in Illustrator is just too much for one day. It was a good lesson in acceptance and patience on my part, as I'm so excited about getting Paprika up and running. I just had to let go if I wanted to be able to actually enjoy our travels. It sounds a bit ridiculous, right, with the life I lead now, what more could I wish for? But, we're still making steady progress! Somewhere in the (hopefully near) future, there will be a nice website where you can get the Jade :)

I do manage to squeeze in some sewing time here and there. I feel a big urge at the moment so I'm hoping to sew up a nice wool flannel Archer in the next days. But first, here's an easy basic make, because that's just what I need most right now. I modified the Sloppy Josephine pattern I made earlier. It's turning out to be my go-to Tshirt pattern. This time I lengthened the sleeves to 3/4. Jen has a tutorial on how to do this, it's really easy. I also lengthened the bodice a bit, and added an inch to the neckline so it's a bit higher. I got into trouble with the neck band, it was a bit too tight. Instead of unpicking I crossed my fingers and tossed the finished shirt into the washing machine, and that took care most of the wrinkles. You can still see them a bit, but not enough to bother me.

I wanted the neckline to be a bit less wide so next to heightening the front I also traced the XS lines at the neckline at front, back and sleeves, and then graded out to S at the waist and M at the hips. This works quite well and is easy to do. The fabric is a lightweight jersey from Cousette, designer Aime Comme Marie. They still have it in mustard, grey and blue. It's wonderful stuff, very drapey but not too thin. I just keep ordering from Cousette, they have such nice quality fabrics.

This shirt gives me the option to layer and combine different outfits with a minimum amount of clothes. The colour is basic but the feathers make it a bit more interesting. It could be easy to make this pattern yourself with some stamps too, maybe I'll try that in the future. If I find the time between planting olive trees, building compost toilets and drafting new patterns :)


  1. loved reading this! i miss your posts, and was wondering where are you these days (i'm kind of lazy when it comes to facebook, i rarely pay attention to anything peeps are posting there, but now i'll make sure to check out your new adventures :)

    1. Thanks, that is so nice to hear! You never know whether people actually notice your absence. But I do miss being part of the community!

  2. Meeting donkeys in the gentle Italian winter sun... I don't care if it's hard work, you're living the dream.

    Best wishes

  3. lovely! I like your idea of cutting the neckline at the smaller sizing. I've got the pattern ready to go, so loved seeing your make!


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