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!
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.
This morning I woke up to the sound of thunder, a clear sign that the temperature is going up. So this is my final post of old projects that I haven’t gotten around blogging about until now. Stay tuned for summer attire!
Let’s start with the Bruyère from Deer & Doe. I knew I wanted to make this shirt from the first time I saw it, I love the shape and look. Sometime this autumn I placed a rather large order from fabric.com, it may or may not have all started from my need for this exact fabric. Burgundy Chambray with dots, I had to have it when I found it and was not disappointed when I finally got it in the mail. It was one of those fabrics that you just have to look at and feel several times a day for weeks before you dare cut into it. Or is it only me that does that?
For this project I was lucky enough to get expert advice from my mother. This was the project I made for the sewing weekend my mom and sister and I had to celebrate my birthday (which means this shirt is 6 months old now, yeez). I made a toile of the upper front and back and Mom helped me make some adjustments, mostly in the back. The weekend sewing was a great way to really concentrate on one project and go through all the steps with precision. All the work paid off and this is my most advanced sew yet as well as my favorite garment of 2014.
By the way, sorry for the different colors in these photos!
Moving on to some Lindens and some jeans! Last year I got absolutely addicted to sewing jeans. I felt like there was something missing anytime I didn’t have any denim fabric or golden topstitching thread in my machine. These are the first of several pairs I have made since then. It all started one night when I was at a member night at Stoff & Stil. They had a lovely fashion show and mingling and stuff but in all honestly I just went to have all that extra time browsing through all the fabrics. I can’t remember if I bought the denim or the pattern first but they both went home with me that night. This is the pattern and I don’t know about the fabric but I wouldn’t recommend it anyway (more about that later). The great thing about Stoff & Stil patterns is that they are already cut out in your size on fabric-like paper so you save a lot of time. The not so great thing is that you have to buy every size separately and can’t easily grade between sizes. Also, the pattern pieces aren’t marked so if you have a pattern with many pieces you have to spend some time marking them up correctly.
The reason I wouldn’t recommend this denim is that it bagged out a LOT after some wear. When I first made them they were slim fit and were pretty snug, now they are more like boyfriend or baggy jeans.
This fall was also the season of loads of Lindens from Grainline Studios. This is a really easy raglan sweater pattern that you can whip up in a night or two. This version is made out of this organic sweatshirt fabric.
After my first pair of jeans I wanted to try to make some stretch jeans.
I got the fabric on my trip to Copenhagen, also from Stoff & Stil. This fabric was so much better though, although I don’t love the color. The pattern was from Ottobre number 5/2014 and worked out really great. I did adjust the waistband by adding a few centimeters (my waist is not proportionate to my hips) of length. This was needed so I could even button the jeans. I ended up adding an extra button too that ended up giving the jeans a more secure feel up top.
The sweater is another Linden in a fabric also from Fabric.com. It seams to be sold out now but it is a Birch Organic Trail Knit similar to this. I bought this fabric to make t-shirt like tops but when I received it and felt it I decided it was more suited for a sweater. I made a T-shirt for P in another Birch fabric and that worked out but they aren’t the kind of knits that work for my t-shirts.
My sister knitted my nephew (who was around 2 at the time) a really cute fox hat. Let’s just say I got jealous and asked her to make me one too 🙂 Then she made matching gloves that I got for Christmas! I might look like a kid myself wearing these but I love them. Thank you L!
My niece and nephews enjoyed looking at this sweater and made up a story about the girl looking for a treasure in the forest 🙂
This is yet another Linden that was totally inspired by this version that was featured on Indiesew. The grey is a stretch velour and the purple is a cotton lace. To add the lace i just lined up the the two front pieces (one lace and one velour) and serged them together before assembling everything as usual.
I made the corduroy pants in this picture too but I can’t remember what pattern I used. I think it was the same one as my first pair of jeans. The weird thing about this fabric is that I thought it had stretch in it when I bought it, cut it and sewed it. It was first when the pants where pretty much done that I realised that they weren’t stretchy at all. So these aren’t that comfortable and bag out quite a bit.
I wanted to add these pictures next to each other because I think they look so funny when compared. Looks like they were made for two different people! Here you can see the extra button I added on the waistband of the stretch jeans.
That’s it for the wrap-up. Good job if you got through this long post 🙂
Is anyone else as behind as me on their blogging? What are you making for the summer?