Wednesday, June 8, 2016

McCall 3857: The "Kathmandu Valley Blouse"

Oh boy! I've just returned from an amazing trip to Nepal.  Unlike most of my trips, this one was mostly pleasure (with just a small amount of work thrown in).  

Our friends took us to explore the city of Bhaktapur ("Place of devotees"), an ancient Newar city in the east corner of the Kathmandu Valley.  It was pouring when we arrived (which is great, as it's needed) so we climbed the stairs to a great teahouse with a 360 degree view and waited it out. You can see the teahouse as the second building in the foreground.  The sky clear after an hour and we were able to visit several Temples.

Here's a look up at the teahouse:

I made the blouse from McCall 3857 specifically for the trip.  I had this AMAZING 1940s fabric in my stash. I had bought the fabric several years back in the Vancouver Antique Mall and was waiting for just the right pattern to use it.  I combed through my 1940 McCall patterns and settled on this adorable blouse and jumper pattern (I will definitely make the jumper later).

I paired the new blouse with my 1940 McCall 3606 skirt (the "Collegiate Skirt") and am posing in front of the Bhairavnath Temple:

The fabric is so amazing.  Here are some close-up photos of the rich yellow colour.  I also had the PERFECT white matching flower buttons in my stash.  Don't you just love it when sewing projects come together with the perfect matching elements?

The blouse features a set-in collar, gathered sleeves and two tucks in the bodice waist front and back to create a very wearable silhouette.  The blouse also has small cuffs of matching fabric.

There's quite a bit of evidence of the destruction in several buildings due to the recent earthquake in 2015.  We were glad to see many of the Temples still standing but several are down or severely damaged.  The beams in the photos below are there to prevent further cracks and to provide a bit of support to the standing structures.

The most spectacular part of our visit to Bhaktapur was climbing up to the Nyatapola Temple, the tallest temple in the Kathmandu Valley. The steps were a bit scary and I'm really surprised the Temple did not sustain major damage from the earthquake.  The statues lining the stairs were absolutely break taking.  

Nepal is known for many handicrafts, including pottery.  We had the chance to visit a local potter's shop and see him in action making various teapots, cups and incense and candle holders.

We enjoyed walking around and taking in all the sights and sounds of this lovely town.

What an amazing trip!  We so enjoyed everything--and I'm so glad I finished this blouse before we left!

Have you been to Nepal? Is it on your wish list?

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