At the end of May I went on a mini-vacation with P and my parents to a little house by the sea. It was the first taste of summer and a wonderful departure from the hectic life in the city. When we needed a break from the sun we visited a few different second hand stores nearby. In the hot attic of one of them I found this white thick cotton fabric that called to me to become a summer dress. It might have been a tablecloth in a previous life. I washed the fabric and let it dry in the sun. There is something so relaxing about fabric drying in the summer breeze. I had bought the Alder Shirtdress printed pattern a while back and already knew I wanted to make one for the summer. Since the fabric had stripes of flowers I wanted to make something with it that didn’t require too much pattern matching. Right around the time I bought the fabric I was on some kind of shirt-making high so it felt like a good match.As usual with indie patterns I was between sizes, I had recently made an Archer Shirt so I went with the same size. The bodice ended up being too tight so I unpicked it and sewed it with a smaller seam allowance. This fabric was not made for unpicking. Every time the needle hit the fabric it punched a rather big hole. So I covered the holes up with topstitching on both sides of the side seams.Another problem with the heavy fabric was that it was a bit challenging to gather the skirt. On the plus side the gathers stayed really well in place. When wearing this outside for the first time during this photoshoot I also realized that the thickness of the fabric doesn’t drape well in the skirt at all. For example when I bend down the skirt stands out pretty much parallel to the ground. For this reason I think this dress will mostly be used to the beach or with leggings underneath.I also think I could have fitted the bodice better. I have a large back and ribcage which made me have to adjust the sides but I should have kept the original seam allowance by my waistline. I’ll try to fix that for my next version or make a full back adjustment (I think that is a thing?).I am really pleased with my pattern matching on the pockets. I love it when the hem matches up after sewing on the buttons.I didn’t have enough fabric to pattern match the yoke though, but I think it’s alright anyway.I accidentally sewed on the collar upside-down. So the under collar is flowery and the upper collar is mostly white. I think this is for the best though since it matches the white button placket. I really like the yellow buttons I found that matches the yellow flowers perfectly. They have square holes that I thought was unusual. I was one short though so I used a green one too. This is also a design choice I have made on a few button-downs I’ve sewed. I’m really glad that I found this fabric in a second hand store and barely had any scraps left over. Zero Waste is always awesome! Happy Midsummer!
There’s something really inviting about nice sleepwear although I rarely use them for sleeping. Add some piping and nice fabric and I can’t resist to sew up a pair.
I made a set of Carolyn Pyjamas view C in a flanell fabric when the pattern had just come out. Ever since I wanted to make another pair with more piping and long pants. I opted for the short sleeved version again though as I thought it would be more practical. This set turned out pretty summery though so I might have to sew a pair of matching shorts in the future.
I really like this pattern but if I make the long pants again I would adjust them so they aren’t so wide at the bottom.
(These were the best pictures of me in the pyjamas and I took a lot, haha :P)
Wow, this is a long time coming. I finished this coat in the fall of 2015. We shot the pictures a few months later but somehow I didn’t get to posting because it felt as though I had to write so much about this project.
Since I made this coat I have been wearing it pretty much everyday in the colder months. To be honest I’ll probably not wear it as much next winter since most of the buttons have fallen out and it could use a wash (but the lining makes it unwashable).
Since it’s been a while I’ll just shortly write about it.
Pattern: Minoru Jacked by Sewaholic
Adjustments: Followed this great guide by Sallie Oh for removing the gathers.
Added a front button placket.
Added a removable hood.
Added furry lining to the body and quilted lining fabric to the arms.
Added rib knit to the lining arms.
Added bellow pockets.
Added a drawstring at the waist instead of elastic.
Shell Fabric: Dralon (water resistant with teflon) from Stof & Stil
Main lining: I think it was this fake fur
Arm lining: Quilted lining fabric
I hope you all hade a lovely holiday season and a good first week of 2016!
I’m not much for reflecting back upon the past year and categorizing memories into time periods but I thought I’d make an exception today. The thing is that after the summer, my work got really intense and I did not have the energy to blog or even sew that much. It was a shame because I had sewn and photographed quite a few pieces during the spring and summer that never made it onto the blog. So I’m using this new year to finally blog a bit about these pieces and reflecting a bit about them so I have a fresh start for blogging in 2016.
In March, me and P went to Stockholm to see Paul Simon in Concert (I’m a huge fan). I planned outfits for the whole weekend for months in advance. Unfortunately I didn’t get so many great photos but at least I got this picture for my concert outfit. I bought the african fabric the summer before on a street market and thought it was perfect for the concert. I added bias bound patch pockets to the Clémence skirt inspired by this picture on Pinterest. This Nettie is my favorite so far and since it’s black it goes with a lot of things. I also made a black hoodie and a fan T-shirt with Paul’s face on it for the trip.Pattern: Simplicity 7498
Fabric: Floral printed poly spandex from Spandex World
I wanted to make lots of bathing suits for the summer so I placed a large order from Spandex World. This fabric feels retro to me so I made a tankini two-piece from this vintage pattern. The size of the pattern I got was about 6 sizes too big for me so I practically redrew the whole pattern. This suit unfortunately never made it out of the house this summer.
These shorts were a recreation of a pair of shorts I really wanted but never got in the 90’s. I like them a lot but I kind of messed up the waistband by the fly. I’ll definitely make this pattern again and when I do I will add belt loops since pants/shorts tend to stretch out a bit after some wear.Pattern: Soma bikini for Papercut Patterns
Fabric: Black/White striped nylon spandex from Spandex World
I made another version of the Soma bikini before, shown here. This version was definitely inspired by Lladybirds version although I arranged my stripes a bit different. I made the high waisted bikini bottoms which I hacked a bit by adding diagonal side panels to continue the shape of the triangle in the top. Unfortunately this messed up the lining a bit so they don’t look that great when worn. This is the best picture I got of me wearing the Maritime Shorts and Soma Bikini.
Pattern: Watson Bikini bra by Cloth Habit (with sewn in padding) and Soma high waisted bikini bottoms (ruched)
Fabric: Unicorns and Rainbows from Spandex World (sorry, can’t find a link)
I fell in love with this fabric as soon as I saw it which is weird because it is usually not my style at all (or is it?). I made it into a Watson bikini bra and sandwiched in padding between the cup pieces (using the technique used in the Soma bikini top).
Top Pattern: Beatrix by Made by Rae,
Fabric: White rayon with black printed birds from Ohlssons Tyger (on sale)
Jeans Patterm: Ginger Jeans (view B) by Closet Case Patterns
Fabric: Organic black denim with 5% Lycra from Organic Textile Company
I loved the Beatrix pattern when it came out, and made it within a week of buying the pattern. I love this shirt, it’s casual but still dressy and really comfortable to wear. I also loved the Ginger Jeans pattern when it came out around the time I was all about making pants. I finally got to making them after finding this great black denim fabric from Organic Textile Company (sidenote: their site is so funny). This fabric is woven with white threads and in certain light looks more like a dark blue denim but I love it anyways. Unfortunately I kind of lost my cool when sewing these and kept taking them in along the inseam and side seams that they ended up being a bit too tight and there’s a bit of twisted leg syndrome. Luckily I think I have enough left over to make another pair.
Some close ups:
I fell in love with this fabric when I saw this pin a couple of years ago, later that year I was placing a big order from Fabric.com and came across it again so I had to order it. I think I ordered 3 yards but ended up getting a few extra yards since it was at the end of the bolt (score!). It ended up in my stash a while after that since I wanted to make something special with it. The Washi Dress pattern had been on the back burner a while too and this summer they came together at last. I have my next washi planned out (with the bow) from this summer so hopefully I’ll get to making it for summer 2016.Pattern: Watson Bikini bra and Nettie hack (Wattie or Netson?)
Fabric: Milliskin Navy Blue and Milliskin White from Spandex World
This was my favourite make from the past summer, from the planning, designing, sewing to finally wearing. I wanted to make a retro styled one-piece in classic navy and white. After searching for the perfect pattern I came up with the idea to combine the Watson and the Nettie. Since I hade made both a few times before I had the fit down on both so that was no issue. First I made the Watson cups with sewn in lining (again, per the instructions of the Soma bikini top). I cut the back band on the fold and then attached the front and back band (plus lining) to the cups. I redrafted the nettie to remove the snap crotch and then measured to get the right length. I basically made really high waisted bottoms. I then combined the top to the bottoms with the white waist stripe. The lining from the bottoms attach to the band of the bra as you can see below. The thing that really stepped up the game for this suit was that I added the bindings of the bra with this super gadget I got from my mom. It’s a binding attachment for my Cover Pro, you basically just feed fabric into the right side and it folds and sews a perfect binding. It’s amazing and I am so blessed to have such a nice mother!
Here are some close-ups of the suit, I forgot to take pictures of it when dry so here it is wet after one of few swimming occasions this summer. Pattern: Bettine by Tilly and the Buttons
Fabric: Blue mystery fabric
I’ll start out by admitting that this dress only got worn once and I will concider it a fail. This is mostly due to the fact that the shape isn’t flattering to my body type and the sleeve tabs and cuffs turned out wonky for some reason. I made another go with the pattern as a shirt in a jersey fabric (below), but I haven’t worn that a lot either. I might give this pattern another go or two before I come to terms with the fact that it’s not meant to be.
I also finished a quilt this year. I never got around to taking pictures of it finished but this is what the blocks look like.I have made more things that I never got around to taking any pictures of and that are in constant rotation so now I don’t even remember that they are new. I’m not making any promises for this upcoming year except that I promise to continue to grow in my sewing and to love the creative process.
What have been your favorite makes of 2015? What are you hoping to learn and make in 2016?
I am so happy to finally publish this post. The idea came to me last spring: “wouldn’t it be cool to turn a pair of jeans into shortalls?” Shortalls were all over the place back then and I was reminiscing about my youth in the 90s and how comfortable it was with overalls. Then the summer came and went, without any shortalls for me. After some pinning and pondering I convinced myself to try again this year. I started out with a pair of black jeans, got to test out my visions and then ended up giving up for a while. One weekend I started again with another pair of jeans and finally got them done. When I finish a project I always do a big reveal for my boyfriend where I go into the room he’s in and say “ta-daa!”. This was one of the best reveals since I had finally gotten this vision out in the real world, and it didn’t hurt that he had been hinting that he would love to see me in overalls for a long time. Since it’s been such a long process to post this it means that I’m doing so at the end of summer instead of the beginning. Maybe shortalls are terribly out of style now, I wouldn’t know. Hopefully someone will be inspired anyways and I’m already thinking about trying this out with two pairs of pants to make overalls.This is a pretty time consuming project, it might even take as long as making shortalls from scratch but I love the fact that the fades and details are kept intact. Not to mention that redesign is always fun and great for the environment.The top I’m wearing is the Nettie Bodysuit from Closet Case Files. This is the second one I’ve made and I love them both. The third version is a hack out of the pattern that I hope to be showing you soon. I like the look of a tight top under overalls/shortalls but the negative part is that going to the bathroom is a real hassle (so many buttons!).I would love to know if anyone tries out this tutorial so leave me a comment, E-mail or message on Instagram (@Sewlyllosmig). The same goes if you have any questions or suggestions for improvement.
Click here to see the tutorial!
Do you like shortalls/overalls? What is your most successful redesign?
To be honest, I didn’t really pay attention when Jenny Hellström was a popular designer, I probably should have though. Her philosophy on sewing, redesign and ecology is close to my own, not to mention that her designs and sewing patterns are pretty awesome. I loved her first book Sy! Från hood till skjortklänning but unfortunately only got around to making a few things from that, like this and this. When I saw that she had released a new book (Sy! Urban Collection) I quickly ordered it and waited patiently. After my first look through the book, my feeling was “I want to make everything!” and I was really inspired. Unfortunately I don’t think the books have been translated to english yet which is a real shame. If anyone knows differently I would love to know! This is called the Kitty Jacket and one of the versions in the book was made in denim and I just thought it was such a cool version of a jean jacket. I was delighted when I realised I had just enough of some vintage denim that I scored on major sale in Denmark. The jacket is fully lined which I forgot to photograph but you can see it here in my sneak peak from a while back. This pattern has a lot of pieces to cut out, I think I counted 19 pieces so it took a while before I could start sewing. This was pretty fun to sew, and I like to sew in denim.Excuse the wrinkles and my bad posture. Inspired by the version in the book, I decided on doing a different approach to the topstitching as you can see from the picture below. I did two rows of top stitching close together. Before you think that the lines are wonky, this was a style choice. I know that a lot of sewers (especially me) say that after they’ve made a mistake but in this case it’s actually true, haha.
I made the bottom of the jacket different from the pattern. My version is squared with an elastized hem band while the version in the book is curved and quite short. You can see the book version at the bottom of this page (and read the interview with Jenny Hellström to get to know her a bit), unfortunately you can’t really see the bottom there though but you can see it starts to curve. When you see the book version you might notice that the collar on mine is different. This is the other kind of style choice I mentioned above :). Somehow my collar was too short to connect to the lapels or maybe I didn’t follow the instructions closely enough. This only bothers me a little though… *trying to look away*
I made a rather more annoying mistake that bothers me alot. The lining is not altered enough in relation to the change I did with the elastic hem so the lining pulls and is a bit too tight when I button it. So I’ve kept it open for now, maybe I’ll get to fixing it someday. I made this top too, it’s a Hemlock long sleeve tee, another great tee pattern. I ran out of the striped fabric so I added a pink yoke. After the first wash I realized that the pink fabric had been put in my stash without pre-washing. Pink spots all over, grrr… The lake was like a mirror the day we took these pictures. Have you ever made an alternative kind of jean jacket? Have you ever been alone on a beach at 10 am and just wanted to dance?
When this culottes trend started filling up my Pinterest feed I just shook my head in misunderstanding and chalked it up as another crazy fad. To me, the thought of culottes brought me back to the skorts of the 90’s. Well, somewhere down the line I instead started thinking, “I like pants, I don’t like wearing skirts, I like the look of skirts, wouldn’t it be awesome if I could wear pants that look like a skirt?” When I later bought the June issue of Burda Style Magazine and the featured pattern was a pair of culottes, I decided to give it a go. It really helped that this was the featured model because the pattern was easy to find and trace off from the spider web that is Burda Style patterns. Another great thing is that there are special instructions with pictures so you can even understand how to put the pieces together. I even followed their instructions for sewing the fly front, and I liked the way they instructed. The fabric I used is a lovely soft organic twill that I also used for these pants. It might be a bit too thick for this pattern, especially for the pleats in the front but I like the structure it brings. The pants are rather high-waisted so I thought they would look good with a cropped tee. Luckily, I had just scored the last of the softest organic cotton jersey you could imagine from Ohlssons Tyger. Unfortunately there was only about half a meter left otherwise I would have bought loads more. Luckily though, this was all I needed for this crop top. I used the always awesome Plantain pattern (I still cannot believe it’s free!) for this, I just made it shorter than usual.