Tuesday, 21 June 2011

I'm a yoga devotee (outfit for Bikram Yoga)

Announcement: I've taken up Bikram Yoga. I used to do Ashanga Yoga, off and on since 2001, but I needed some variety. Another type of Hatha Yoga seems adventureous enough, don't you think?
Bikram Yoga is also called Hot Yoga, as in yoga in a very hot and humid room. I really like it! 
I quickly discovered though that you can NOT (at least I can not) practise Bikram yoga in capri yoga pants, I did the first time and it was painfully warm. They say it's between 38-40 degrees celsius in the room, and though I don't really believe that it's THAT warm, it's warm.
Here's a Bikram class (picture from www.bikramyoga.com via http://www.bloomspot.com)
I only added that picture to prepare you all for the pictures of me in my new outfit further down (I am normal!).
So, after my first, schocking experience I bought a pair of hideously expensive yoga shorts right away (after I had had to ask for help to turn the shower on after my first class)! 
Then I discovered that I really need two sets of Bikram-clothes since I don't have the time to wash them often enough to be able to work out as often as I like, the clothes are soaking wet after class. I also needed more towels, I use up three every time, two to cover my mat, they're wet too. I think it's quite cleansing, I like it. And now I can actually turn the shower on myself after class :-)
Hence this outfit, at a fraction of the price of the first one; a pair of shorts (a simple copy of the ones I bought) and a top (a copy, kind of,  of one of my favourite bikini-tops). All sewn on my serger (overlock). 
Big relief maker making the shorts: I bought a loop-turner, it's one of the best sewing gadgets I've come upon yet! It's a metal stick with a hook in one end and a loop in the other, you push the metal stick through a bias- (or non bias jersey-) tube that is to become a drawstring or strap, fasten the hook in the end of your not yet turned bias-strap, pull it through the tube and voila, the drawstring/strap is turned the right way! No safetypins involved. No swearing. The drawstrings in these shorts wouldn't be the same without it (and they would have taken a few times longer to make) Easy peasy! 
Here's the top closer up. It doesn't have any kind of closure in the back, I pull it on over my head and tie the staps behind my neck.
If I make another one I'll decrease the spacing between the cups (I have to tie it tight enough for my nipples not to peep out during the poses when you bend forward, and that's about half of them). But then again I'll probably make one in another style altogether, I like variety (even though I follow not one but two kinds of yoga with very strictly dictated series of movements...).
The shorts side drawstring closer up. The drawstring is really only there as decoration, but I guess if it's really hot I might pull it up as much as possible! But it looks better on me tied something like this.
Here's the Bikram series, in case anyone wonders what on earth this is all about. 

I like posture no. 3, 5, 11, 12 and 22. only because I'm good at them. I don't like posture no. 8, 18 and 23, because I'm really bad at them. My neck is as stiff as on a 90-year old and I really have to struggle in all neck- and back-bending poses, but that's why I endure. I want to make my neck more flexible!
I want to be like a dancer, like an elf... (and I want to be able to tie my own shoelaces when I get old).
No pain, no gain, they say... (I listen and obey).
Image borrowed from http://www.pimpmyspace.org
Oh, if anyone else here is into Bikram Yoga, you'll know mr Bikram himself has actually banned the colour green from his studio. I feel like an Ashtanga Yoga-rebel when I roll my green mat out, heheh. Lucky me he's not there to tell me off..!

And here's the Ashtanga Vinyasa primary series. Very different it is, not. More same same but different! The first two rows show the movements in the two sun salutations that you always start the Ashtanga pratice with (I miss them in Bikram Yoga!), then follows the other poses. I never did all of them, only a selection.Image from http://yoga-pictures.co.tv

Ok, thank you for listening. I swear, I will not mention a word about yoga in my next post ;-)

Sunday, 19 June 2011

The perfect shrug?

Whoopee, I'm back blogging! Loooong time no see, I'm sorry I just disappeared but I got fed up with my old computer that 1. has a hard drive that is so stuffed that I need to delete something every time I want to add anything and 2. gets overheated and shuts down on a regular basis. Annoying!

Well. I'm glad I've got proof I don't over consume computers, and I've finally decided to switch to Apple. I'm a convert. This MAY be my last post on a PC (heheh). Can't wait.

I didn't stop sewing though, and now that daylight is back here in the northern hemisphere I can photograph my creations too, yippie (and I'm also less tired than in winter).

Here's my last creation, a simple shrug that is a copy of a shrug I got a big high street chain a few years ago. I think it's the perfect shrug, especially for home seamstresses; it's very easy to make, doesn't use a lot of fabric ans consists of one pattern piece only.

Add to that that it folds up perfectly flat, a big bonus for people like me who live in SMALL apartments, and great for traveling.

It also lends itself to a variety of different materials (as long as it's a knit) depending on which it may be the perfect piece to cover your shoulders at parties, or to avoid too much sun in the middle of summer. I'm also thinking of making it in a mohair knit (they tend to sell designer mohair knit remnants at my favourite fabric shop... yummy...)

I can write all that since I didn't make the design up myself ;-)

I made mine in a rather heavy cotton jersey, a genuine 1980's fabric that I got in the early 90's, left at my parents place when I moved out, and then forgot about. My mum gave it to me this easter and now it's actually back in fashion again! I love the colour and it's very comfortable to wear. The best thing? I've got a few meters of it.... I hope to make a shirt for summer too. I've got about four projects in the pipeline that I need to finish first, though..
Now, I've graded the pattern for size 32-44, and I would LOVE your help to try the pattern out!

If anyone is interested in using up one of their scraps (you need about 85cm of a 60cm wide jersey for a size 32 and about 120cm of a 80cm wide jersey for a size 44), please e-mail me on "karin.arver at gmail.com" and I’ll send you a PDF with the pattern (9 pages). Mine is a size 34, so I know that size 34 is correct, but if you're a size 34 and would like to try it I'll send it anyway, of course!

Cutting and sewing should take about an hour at the most since it’s so simple to make.

Fingers crossed a few of you want to try it out and that I graded it well!

I’m hoping to be able to post the pattern in a week or so, if it works for the testers.

Update: I don't need any more test-persons, I got feedback from several of those who tried the pattern out, thank you all so much! I got some great hints on things to improve/explain better.

For those of you who want the pattern; it will be published on Burdastyle on monday 11th July, simply download it from there. And please don't forget to upload pictures of your shrug and connect them to the pattern once you're done! Thank you!
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