I have returned! I actually got back last Saturday but caught a cold on the plane back and have been a little out of it. Although the weather was not ideal (two days of sun out of ten days in Turkey and a day and a half of rain in Athens), we had a great time. We especially loved our visit to Kapadokya in the center of the country--it has amazing geological formations (pictured at the top of the post) and fantastic hiking. Which I was able to do as I was cleared to leave the US without the boot. What a relief! You can see all of my photos here.
I went into a sewing mania before I left. It was almost to the level of unhealthy. Well, let's be real. It *was* unhealthy. I called Cidell and begged her to stop me. I was acting like a true addict, and kept saying, "OK, this really is the last one." And then I would sneak and sew something else.
Because I sewed so much it was more like shopping than planning. I just wanted a lot of pieces to choose from! In the end, I didn't pack quite right because it was much colder than the weather had predicted but I survived. I will eventually (I hope) blog about most of the pieces individually, but here's a few sneak peeks (click the photos to enlarge).
First and foremost, a new jacket! This is the fuschia lambswool from the Vera Wang Lavendar Label collection that Fabric.com was selling for $1.99/yd at the beginning of the year. I was not overly impressed with the quality of most of the fabrics from that collection, but this jacket held up well with 12+ daily hours of wear for nearly two weeks and better yet--I'm not sick of it! I am really happy with this piece. The pattern is Burda 08-2010-113. Here I am posing with a reproduction of a medusa head that is found in the Byzantine Cistern (photo in situ here)
A wrap dress out of the fantastic border print knit that was a gift from Marji (I also managed to squeeze another dress and a skirt out of this fabric, quite a feat as it was a double border, double directional print). I'm pictured here on the Acropolis in Athens in front of the Erechtheion. I persuaded the friendly German guy who took my picture to take another after a sudden gust of wind blew the skirt open to the waist in the first photo!
A wrap sweater, made from a gold sweaterknit I bought ages ago for the very purpose of making a wrap sweater. It's amazing when things actually happen as planned. I rubbed the pattern off a sweater I bought from H&M about 6 years ago. I loved the sweater so much I went back and bought it in the other color they had and I wear them all the time. I'm glad I finally got around to making this into a pattern! Also glad I got around to making it for the trip, as many days I wore two sweaters and a jacket to stay warm, so I was glad to have the extra layer.
In addition to these pieces, I made two more dresses (both came), four tops (two came), a skirt, a nightgown, and a sunhat (the very, very last piece made at midnight the night before departure--really needn't have bothered on that one, lol!!!).
I was looking forward to fabric shopping in the Grand Bazaar, as the little map in my guidebook showed a whole "street" of fabric shops. Well, I think home sewing is about as popular in Turkey as here because there were only 4 or 5 fabric stands, mostly with fancy sequined type fabric. I did manage to find two pieces. The one on the left was sold to me as cotton; I was suspicious of how soft it was but liked the print. When I pulled out out of the washing machine I confirmed for sure that it is rayon as it had that papery, woody texture. Oh well. The piece on the right I purchased from a man who spoke a little more English than I do Turkish (6 words instead of 4) so he didn't represent anything to me about the fiber content, and I knew it was poly anyway. I think it may be a rayon-poly blend, based on the burn test (a quick bright flame with almost no odor, but a hard bead after extinguishing). I just love the delicate print.
Now it's back to real life (*sigh*) and hopefully a healthier, more balanced relationship with my sewing machine.