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!
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?
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?
This is another post that should have been made this fall, better late than never?
First off I’d like to admit that I have yet to wear this outfit besides for these photos so I can’t say it’s a wearable combo in my life. With that being said, I still kind of like it as an outfit.
The blouse is the Arielle Blouse from Deer & Doe. I can’t remember now but I must have shortened the sleeves, probably because I can’t stand wearing 3/4 sleeves (I do like rolled up long sleeves though, weird). The fabric is some kind of mystery fabric that I can’t remember buying, it was probably on sale somewhere. It most definitely contains a lot of polyester though since it melted when I ironed it. I am classifying this as a toile since it helped me determine that I really like this pattern, I will most likely make this up again in another fabric. I have a couple nice voiles that could be awesome.
This makes me wonder since I have never heard anyone speak the words toile or voile, do they rhyme?
The pants are made by this Stoff & Stil pattern again. The fabric is a lovely thick Japanese fabric that I love. Unfortunately I think I got the last piece, but it’s a darker version of this or this, this is also similar but with a smaller pattern. The thing about these Japanese fabrics is that they are just as cool on the wrong side as the right. You can see this on the inside of my waistband.
The pocket fabric is also a Japanese fabric, but it’s a thinner quilting cotton weight. Apparently I forgot to take a picture of the right side, oops.These are classified in my closet as special occasion pants as the fabric lacks good recovery, so it’s a wash after wear kind of thing. They are pretty fun to look at though 🙂
Forgive me for my long absence. I have been much more interested in the creating and sewing parts than that of sharing my makes. I am in the midst of sewing my summer wardrobe (I have already made three bathing suits) and thought I better update the blog with what I have made during winter/spring before I show you those things.
I’m starting out with this Coco I made way back in early fall. I wore it for my nephews birthday party in October and after losing some weight since then it doesn’t fit that great anymore. So it’s kind of old news by now but I still like it a lot so maybe I will get around to taking it in some day.
The pattern is Coco from Tilly and the Buttons; the dress variation with a cowl neckline. This is a really fast and satisfying pattern to make. I have made it up three times now I think and the last time it took 1-2 hours from start to finish. I love how comfy and retro it is too.
I didn’t really know about Ponte de Roma fabric before I bought this pattern and went to Stoff & Stil to find some. After a while I found a bolt of this blue loveliness and it said “Ponte de Roma” on the tag. When I got home and looked at the receipt it was called something else (can’t remember what now) and you can’t find it on their website if you search for Ponte. Strange.
I also got a grey version of the same kind of fabric that I had planned to make a long-sleeved Coco top out of but it randomly resulted in this instead.
In this picture you can see my mistake of putting in the cowl neck wrong, I couldn’t really tell the back from the front I guess and so I ended up with a seam in the front. Luckily, the fabric hides it pretty well.
I love these boots and if anyone is wondering they are from Green Laces.
I have noticed two big trends in the sewing blog community lately, jeans and bras. I don’t know in what world I would be called trendy but I have been joining in on both trends. I’ll get to the jeans in another post.
I stumbled upon Cloth Habit a few weeks ago and was so amazed at all her lovely lingerie and clothes that I read every post. It was such a happy coincidence that I found it around the time Amy released her first bra pattern. The strange thing is that I hate wearing bras (especially with underwires, ugh) so it was even more awesome to me that The Watson is a soft bra. I realised pretty quickly that I needed a few supplies to get started, and soon after that I found out that there aren’t that many suppliers at all here in Sweden. Then I found B. Wear which seemed like a good fit since I was after a bra kit and some elastics and lace. I placed my order and waited patiently for my delivery to arrive.
I got a limited edition bra kit and a matching panty kit. I just fell in love with this lovely jersey from Strömming Design and thought the retro print would be perfect for the longline version of Watson. I made matching panties too but they were in the wash when i was taking photos (oops). They are really comfy. I haven’t worn the bra much yet but plan on wearing it as lounge wear when the temperature rises.
I’m not a big fan of the hooks and eyes on bras and for my next version I plan on trying to make it work without them. I used the elastics, straps and power mesh from the kit I got and decided to interface the cradle. Luckily I was sewing this at my parents house and my mom had stretch interfacing.
I used a turquoise thread I got from B.Wear too that was supposed be extra fine for lingerie.
This is the first set that I made as a toile. I forgot to buy black lining for the bra and felt that it was necessary in the cups so I used some bathing suit lining that I bought instead. Worked fine!
I wish I hade hidden the seams of the cups in the lining though for a cleaner finish.
This wasn’t the first bra that I have made (if you count bathing suits), and speaking of bathing suits, here is my Soma (Papercut Patterns) bathing suit that I made in like October and never blogged about:
Bras and bikinis are so much fun to sew! I loved the “how did that happen” feeling when I finished the top and all the seams were hidden in the lining. Magic!
The problem with the bottoms was that I ran out of lining fabric and had to use two layers of swimsuit fabric. Not a good idea! I will have to make a new pair for the summer. By the way, the green triangles are not in the pattern, I added them to go with the triangle in the top.
Today was finally a sunny weekend day so I could take some pictures of my recent makes at last. I am hoping that I can turn those pictures into more posts real soon. I also have a mini challenge for myself for March that I am hoping will turn out good. Stay tuned.
Have you made a Watson or a Soma?
After my fail with making the last pair of pants I decided to buy a good pattern and actually do some research before tackling the task again. So I bought this pattern and this super soft dark blue twill fabric. Then, for like the second time in my life I made a muslin/toile to get the fit right. It helped a lot. To understand how the heck you install a fly zip, I searched the interwebs and found this great tutorial that really explains every step. I couldn’t believe how easy it was when I knew what I was doing, and so rewarding!
So after I had mastered (err, made ONE) zip fly I came to realize that there were some other hurdles when sewing pants. Like the waistband! I didn’t waste much time and looked up a good tutorial right away. I ended up using this method from Collette Patterns. I love how you get an extra surprise with the tape on the inside.
When I was almost done I realized the inseams weren’t as strong as they need to be so I sewed on bias tape all along the seams. This ended up being another fun detail as you can see the tape when the hems are rolled up (I always roll my pants up).
I decided not to make any back pockets since there wasn’t that much space back there.
These are now my favorite pair of pants and I still cannot really believe that I made them myself.
I apparently can’t make pants without making a matching shirt so I quickly made this t-shirt. I actually chopped up this dress that I seldom wear, there was just enough fabric.
Say “Hi!” to my kitchen wall. You will probably see it a lot until the weather warms up again. I hope you don’t mind! This outfit is kind of old by now but I haven’t gotten around to taking pictures. Again, I blame the cold.
So anyways, a couple of weeks (months maybe) I got this strong desire to make some pants. I have no idea why. I’ve made some pants before but they were mostly sweat pants or pants without a fly. I wanted to master the fly. So I got out this fabric that I bought on sale from Stoff & Stil and looked through literally all of my patterns, Burda magazines and books to find a good pattern. When I finally found the perfect style in one of the magazines I realised that the pattern sheets were missing (I have to sort these out some day!). So then I looked through my recently bought copy of the new Great British Sewing Bee Book and found the tailored pants for men. So I talked myself into making those but altering them a bit to fit.
This is me looking as mad as I was when I was trying to figure out how to make the fly. I kind of lost patience with the instructions after the first step with the pockets. Can I blame it on me not being british? I figured out my own way of making the pockets and they turned out pretty good. After that I tried my best to make the fly but I failed so miserably that I just cut the whole thing off and just sewed the front seam together. Then I proceeded with sewing the legs together and tried them on and of course they ended up way too tight. I almost tossed the entire project away but I must have had some kind of lightbulb moment that saved me. I added stripes on the sides of the legs. It is actually the same fabric as the rest of the pants, just turned inside out. So now I could actually put the pants on but since I had axed the fly I needed a way to fix the waistband. I ended up making an elastic waistband with three rows of elastic. Then I did the same kind of thing to the cuffs. So I ended up some kind of sweat meets suit pants. I’ve actually worn them to work a few times although they have a tendency to get a bit too baggy when the waistband drops down a bit.
When I hade finally finished the pants I needed a matching shirt so I whipped up this T-shirt. The pattern is the basic T-shirt pattern from Sew U Home Stretch, I altered the sleeves a bit and did my own neckline. The fabric is this organic jersey. This was my first top that I finished with my new Janome CoverPro 1000CP. My mom gave it to me way back in May but I have been kind of scared to use it. Now I love it as much as my serger and am kind of obsessed with cover stitching as much as I can. Too bad I forgot to take pictures of that!