The Stash

Helena (yes, what a lovely name!) of Gray All Day is running a series called “Sew it Chic in a Week”. In it we are encouraged to share our finished garments. I have shared one garment there, since then I’ve been busy stitching away on my cross-stitch project. However, that cross-stitching project has not stopped me from adding onto my stash, so at the moment it’s been a larger input than output. Mind you, my stash is usually manageable in that I mostly buy fabrics for which I have a purpose. I don’t hoard fabrics. At least I don’t hoard fabrics when I do have an output of garments. Still, I don’t think it’s that bad… I just wish I could properly close my cupboard doors.

The Stash (2)I started out with using the two middle shelves for fabrics. It quickly got too small and my fabrics have extended up and down, as you can see those shelves are really meant for other things. And scraps have moved in. And garments I would like to alter. There’s a huge piece I meant to make curtains of, still there. Some stretch-denim which I ambitiously bought to make a suit, haven’t gotten around to that yet. Some Christmas fabric leftovers, I have no idea what to do with them.

The Stash (1)

These are my favourite pieces. (Note, no curtain fabric or Christmas leftovers). I almost have plans for all of these pieces.

Top row, LtR: Poplin, thinking a jacket/skirt set; 2x viscose, meant for blouses; Stretch twill, Clover pants
Middle row, LtR: Pique, meant for a skirt; knitted fabric, a sweater/skirt set; Gingham poplin, maxi Anna dress and a blouse (if enough fabric); cotton (also a blouse)
Bottom row LtR: Cotton, a blouse (I really need blouses); polka dot cotton poplin, a Mortmain skirt; Pique, another skirt.

(I accidentally left out a piece of blue rip stop meant for a Hawthorn dress. Oops!)

I do have a little bit left on my cross-stich birth record for Erika, but I can’t wait to start working with my uncut pieces. Every new piece is a new adventure!

Are you a fabric hoarder or project buyer? Have you ever bought a fabric with one project in mind and have it ending up something else? Which piece of fabric would you steal from me?

Helena från Gray All Day bjöd in sina läsare att visa upp sitt tygförråd. Mitt har växt ut ur sin avsedda plats och tar över mer och mer av min bokhylla. En del av bitarna gillar jag lite extra och har redan planer för, jag ska bara bli klar med mitt broderi först!

Beyond the Seams – Wardrobe Culling

In my Beyond the Seams series I take a look at some of the garments I have produced to answer the question “Whatever happened to..?

This Beyond the Seams post will be a bit different. I have had a different focus this Spring, and haven’t focused so much on garment sewing. MY focus have been cross-stitching and losing some weight. As for the second point, I won’t go into detail but rather say that some clothes that never fit me before fit me now, some clothes fit me again and others are, sadly, too big for me now. That’s all I have to say in that matter.

Hand-made skirts saying bye-bye

Hand-made skirts saying bye-bye

Otherwise I’m working along my cross-stitch for Erika. One stitch at the time and for each passing day I get a bit closer to finishing. Which is good because my sewing fingers are itching. It’s not that I don’t enjoy embroidery, it’s just that I want some change, a new challenge.

Blouses that don't look good on me

Blouses that don’t look good on me

Also a focal point have been re-inventing my wardrobe. I haven’t sewn myself a good wardrobe in the past. I haven’t focused on fit, fabrics or how my pieces go together. Therefore I have had a stuffed wardrobe and nothing to wear. So, I did a serious wardrobe culling, with most of the discarded items ending up being donated (I will try to sell some of the maternity pieces). If I don’t wear the items or even like them, there’s no room for them in my wardrobe. This will give room for a new wardrobe, hopefully a more thought out and well-planned wardrobe. Let’s hope it goes well (I do have some pieces of fabric that are waiting to be turned into clothes).

Dresses I once loved, but don't flatter me these days

Dresses I once loved, but don’t flatter me these days

It is with sad eyes I now say goodbye to plenty of my hand sewn clothes. I hope they can find a good home elsewhere. Still I ponder, does anyone want to wear my clothes? But as it is a question I will never get an answer to, I shall leave it be.

Farewell to:

Michelle, the Third
Norah Sundress
Knot Tank (never blogged)
Bow Dress
Pink Lace Top

Lime Truffle Dress (Missing from pictures)
The Sookie Dress
Blueberry Sorbetto (never blogged)
October Top
Namesake Skirt

Exclusive Skirt
National Day Shorts
Just Floral Top
“Not A Maddy”-blouse
Three Year Blouse

Plaid’n’wrap skirt
Floral and Coral Dress
Exposed Zipper skirt
Oldie, but goodie top
A green, wait black, dress

Lessons Learnt Skirt (missing from pictures)
Pink Peplum blouse

May they rest in peace.

The whole lot

The whole lot (3 jackets, 7 pants, 4 toppers, 4 shirts, 11 t-shirts/tanks, 8 skirts, 13 dresses and 13 blouses/tops

There are a few pieces that might still get donated or just discarded, this is the first cull. It pains me a little, but I don’t wear these things. Time to make room, mental and physical, for things I do wear and do like.

What do you do with your handsewn clothes that no longer fit or don’t fulfil your current needs?

Jag börjar året med en omfattande garderobsrensning. Kläder som inte passar, på ena eller andra hållet, eller som inte är min stil längre. En del handsydda kläder har följt med och jag får aldrig veta om de håller måttet för andra att bära dem. Nu är kläderna donerade och jag har mycket mer plats i min garderob att fylla med nya kläder, kläder som passar mig och som är mer jag.

Beyond the Seams – The Oasis Dress

In my Beyond the Seams series I take a look at some of the garments I have produced to answer the question “Whatever happened to..?

Made: October 2011

Fabric: I am quite pleased with my fabric choice as the corduroy keeps the dress warm and I like the subtlety and colours of the print. Babycord can sometimes come off as a fabric for children, that’s how it’s mostly marketed, but I see nothing wrong in using it for adult clothing. It does attract lint, but with this print, who’s to notice? The lining of the bright green is also fun and makes the dress unique.

Pattern/Fit: Laura dress by Burdastyle. I think my main issues with this dress comes from the pattern and my lack of alterations. The shoulder straps keep falling down, which I read about in some reviews and comments online, but I failed to do something about it. The fit seems off. This was before my FBA-days, so the entire dress is cut in one size, which sits tightly around me, but probably not correct proportion-wise. I would have wanted the pattern to be a little bit higher in the neckline as to not look too small.

The dress as I usually wear it

Styling: Usually I wear it with a long-sleeve light t-shirt underneath and light stockings, with a necklace to fill the neckline. I fail to see any more variation potential. As the picture shows, at least me, it’s not very flattering over my hips.

Rotation: I do like this dress and I pull it out of my wardrobe occasionally, but I never feel completely comfortable in it and the times I do pull it out occur less and less frequently.

Verdict: I really do want to like this dress as it is warm, unusual and colourful, for being a fall/winter garments. But as I said, I never fell completely comfortable in it since the fit is off and the dress is unflattering on me. I’m not quite ready to let it go just yet, but since I never find myself reaching for it, I’m contemplating that it will move out of my wardrobe. I still like the idea of a winter pinafore and I might make one in the future, I really like Ruth’s version, so I know a great version can be made.

Oas-klänningen, sydd hösten 2011, är en klänning som jag så gärna vill gilla. Tyget är roligt och färgglatt för att vara ett höst/vinter-tyg. Men jag är inte så bra på att styla denna klänning och den känns väldigt osmickrande på mig, det känns som om klänningen inte tar fram mina bästa drag. Tyvärr då jag vill gilla den. Men risken är stor att klänningen får flytta ut.

Inspiration: American Idiot

I’m not sure how much this post will actually be about sewing, but I’m throwing it in anyway. If you read to the end I will tell you which of my handsewn garments that had the honour of being worn. I’m also adding a warning for spoilers of the musical American Idiot.

Can you believe my husband has never, ever seen a muscial play or any other play. Now, he is not that into show tunes so the thought of him going to a traditional musical was impossible. Then I noticed that Malmö Opera would do Green Day’s American Idiot. After that it was a done deal and I treated the husband to his first ever muscial theatre experience.

American idiot

She’s holding on my heart like a hand grenade

Now, we are both huge fans of the American Idiot album and have listened to it thousands of time, singing along aloud, but during the show we realised that either of us had fully grapsed the story and social critisism of the album; we both pointed out that we would never listen to the album in the same way again.

American Idiot, ensembleAs for costume design, they followed in the punk lead of Green Day and it’s not something I’ve ever been into, even as a teen (as I teen I was more drawn to hippie styles). Leather jackets look great though. This shot above is from the ending when the characters reconcile with living in Suburbia. It really felt like a sad ending since it was driven more an urge to settle than to think that it was what they really wanted. I live my suburban life and wish for my kids never to feel like that, I want to give them the tools they need so they never settle for anything. And I need to tell myself that I shouldn’t either.

American idiot, bandThe band was excellent, energetic and great. The vision was to play the musical with the “dirtier” sound of Dookie, which I think they succeeded with very well. The audience was loving every performance and giving standing ovations in the end. The lead character was amazing, great voice, great acting, great presence and quite nice on my eyes. As I mentioned in my West Side Story post I would show you a different side of the actor portraying Tony. Same guy. He was good in West Side Story, in American Idiot, he was excellent. Just hear him sing Boulevard of Broken Dreams.

Those eyes...

Those eyes…

I’m not thinking a studded crop top will be in my near future, nor fire red hair. I will not live up to the standards set by Whatsername. What I do take with me in inspiration is energy, refusing to settle and a will to sneak a bit more rock’n’roll into my life and wardrobe. Until then I will listen to American Idiot and 21st Century Breakdown, reliving the great musical with great music.

And the handmade garment I wore? Of course my Rock Glam Skirt! Where else would I have the opportunity to wear a silver leather skirt if not to a rock opera.

All photos from Malmö Opera

I helgen var min man och jag och såg American Idiot på Malmö Opera. Den var inspirerande på många sätt, inte på det sättet att jag kommer att försöka återskapa kostymen – jag har inte direkt nytta för en nitad kort topp – men energin och känslan tar jag med mig. Jag kommer försöka smyga in lite mer rock’n’roll i mina kläder och lyssna sönder Green Days plattor – så bra är de!

Alla bilder från Malmö Opera

Inspiration: West Side Story

To be honest I thought I wrote this post 2 years ago. I thought I had written this and published it. I had another post planned in which I would reference this post so that was how I discovered that I hadn’t written this post at all. 2 years is quite a long time to live in delusion, right?

So what was it that happened two years ago that made me want to write this post? In short, I visited the opera. It was the first time in ages that I had gone to see a musical, it was my MIL who bought “her daughters” (two SILs and me) tickets for Christmas and it has been a tradition since (I missed Chess in 2013 due to flu and then saw La Cage Aux Folles last year (see, I blogged about those)). At that time I rediscovered a world of musical theatre and how fun it is to see a well-produced, engaging live performance.

WWS, Sharks and Jets

What I did want to write about West Side Story was the costume design. I really found it inspiring, perhaps not in the way that it is clothes practical for my life, but rather how they helped reflect the situation on stage. As you may know, the basic plot of West Side Story is that there are two rival gangs, the Jets (Polish) and the Sharks (Puerto Ricans). The costume designer has really made a point to make a distinction in the clothes, the Sharks are in colourful clothing and the Jets are in more neutral colours, as can be seen above, and this was true for both men and women.

The Sharks girls were also in two-pieces that dubbed as dresses, something I have experimented with twice, in my “Dress” and my Midnight Sun Outfit.

WWS, MariaMaria, as the central character and not into the gang rivalry has a wardrobe that differs from the rest. For her first night in New York, the party scene, she donned a white dress, to represent her innocence, with interesting sleeves. Sleeves that reminded me of my Flouncing Sleeves top and Envy dress, even though they are made in jersey and I suspect Maria’s dress is from a vowen. I can’t really see how her dress is cut under the bust. While I’m not comfortable in dresses cut in one piece, Maria’s dress is nice and inspiring (look closely at Tony because the actor will be featured in my next musical inspiration post, looking very, very different. Still hot, though).

WWS,sketches

Another fun thing is that the sketches from the designer was also shown. Aside from the strange body shapes of the women, I think she did a pretty good job in realising those sketches. As I am interested in sewing I thought it was fun so see a bit more of the process behind the clothes. My creativity isn’t quite there so I can make a sketch and realise it, but maybe someday I can. Until then I’ll continue to match patterns to fabrics and vice versa to build my wardrobe.

Better late than never! Two years after I saw the musical I have finally blogged about the wardrobe. And, since I saw another musical this weekend, a new post will soon be up and, as I promised, it will feature more pictures of the actor portraying Tony above. However, it inspired me in other ways than fashion.

All pictures from GöteborgsOperan.

För två år sedan besökte jag Göteborgsoperan för att se West Side Story. Det blev en öppning till att se fler musikaler. Uppsättningen var mycket bra och jag inspirerades av kostymdesignerns sätt att låta kläderna bli en del av handlingen. Sharks-tjejerna och killarna hade färgglada kläder som kontrast till Jets mer neutrala. Marias klänning från hennes första kväll i New York är också underbar, även om det är svårt att se linjerna på den. Extra kul var också att vi fick se sketcherna så att hela processen kunde följas.

Alla bilder från GöteborgsOperan.

Creation: McCall’s 5974 The Paint Splatter Dress

For weekends when we are expected to see people I have one dress that I grab. My Rule Britannia Dress. I made it a year ago and it has been on high spring/fall/winter rotation. For summer I choose my identical Aqua Painted dress instead. Sadly fall, winter and spring make up most of the year around these parts of the world so the Britain dress is seen very often. So often that I figured I’d need to make another dress so that people wouldn’t get sick of it.

Front view. There is a midriff band in there

Front view. There is a midriff band in there

Yet again I pulled out McCall’s “Perfect knit dress” (5974, OOP) and made myself a new dress. This time I made it with long sleeves, otherwise it’s pretty identical to my other dresses. What I like about this pattern is that is it a comfortable knit dress, but it still has some shaping and structure due to the pleats. I like structure in my garments. Stupidly I hadn’t marked the size on my traced pattern pieces at all so before tracing my new sleeve I had to match my old pieces to figure out which size I had. And here I thought I was always very thorough with noting my sizes and alterations.

Side view. I like the sleekness the band creates

Side view. I like the sleekness the band creates

The instructions for this pattern are very detailed. A bit too detailed. They have you sew ease stitches to set the sleeve in (it’s a knit, just stretch the shorter piece to match the longer), double-stitch every seam and add a zipper in the CB seam. I skipped those steps. They also want you to do a narrow hem for the neckline, which I did for the Rule Britannia Dress, which stretches the neckline. For this version (as well as the Aqua version) I did a neckband instead, which much better results. I also added cuffs to the sleeves to bring them in.

Added neckband for the neckline. I'm getting better and better at this technique.

Added neckband for the neckline. I’m getting better and better at this technique.

The fabric is a jersey/elestane blend from Stoff och stil. I had been eyeing it for quite a while, hoping it would go on winter sale. It didn’t, but I couldn’t resist it anyway. It’s dark grey with paint splatter on it, I really like it. I don’t know if the elestane content of this dress was higher (8%) than in my previous dresses, because when I sewed this up I ended up with a lot of excess fabric in my lower back, something I hadn’t seen earlier. The fit from the front was fine and the back was a mess (this is where I would add in progress pictures, but the batteries in the camera were dead). I took in the side seams an additional centimeter and shaped the back in the CB seam. It caused a little bulk in the seam, but the fit is way better.

Cuffs to keep the sleeves up.

Cuffs to keep the sleeves up.

So congrats family and friends! A new dress for you to see.

Do you have TNT patterns (aka clothing your family and friends see constantly)? Have you ever had a TNT pattern behave in a mysterious way?

Första kreationen för 2015 blir en favoritklänning. Två gånger tidigare har jag använt mönstret (Här och här), denna gånga gjorde jag istället med långa ärmar och mudd i ärmslut. Jag gillar kläder med struktur och även om klänningen är en jerseyklänning har den ändå struktur i och med midjebandet och vecken. Tyget kommer från Stoff och Stil och betedde sig inte riktigt som de två tidigare tygerna, men med lite ändring i sömmarna blev det en bra passform till slut.

Klänningen med brittiska flaggan är en av de klänningarna jag använder mest på fritiden under vår, vinter och höst, så de runt omkring mig blir nog glada av att få lite variation på vad de ser mig i.

Change of Pace

Remember this post from way back? It is pretty much still valid. What happened was that about this time I became pregnant with Erika. After her birth almost two years ago (!) my body has been in status quo. However, I am now sick of clothes not fitting me the way I want them to fit and not really feeling like myself when looking in the mirror. So I decided to try and loose some extra weight, which in the long run means I don’t know my future measurements and I can’t really sew fitted garments. And you know I like my garments fitted.

Gustav's birthrecord

Gustav’s birthrecord

That’s the reason why not a lot of garment sewing takes place over here at the moment. I do, however, have something else to keep my hands busy. Last year, when Erika was nursing a lot in the evenings, I made a birth record cross stitch for Gustav. For Erika I chose Happi’s Backyard motif with lots of cute animals and I’m hoping to add both her names to it. The sample says “Christopher” which comes in at 11 letters, Erika’s two names are 11 combined, although I will need a space too. I think it can works, especially since two of her letters are Is. But that’s a long way to go until I can add the name.

Erika's Birthrecord to be (source)

Erika’s Birthrecord to be (source)

I quite like cross-stitching it’s relaxing and it’s a lot of fun seeing the motif grow. I still remember how happy Gustav was when we put his birth record up over his bed and I’m hoping Erika will like hers too. It’s getting there, one stitch at the time (no picture, but so for I’ve sewn the two birds, the fence to the right of them (almost all of it) and some of the flowers).

Disclaimer: Writing about weight loss is a touchy subject, which is why I won’t go into further details to avoid fat-shaming. I think the sewing community is great for looking beyond bodies and body image and instead just talk about sewing, our shared hobby.

 

Det blir inte mycket klädsömnad nuförtiden, då jag försöker tappa några överflödiga kilon. Istället ägnar jag mig åt broderi och en korsstygnstavla till dotterns. Sonens, som syns överst, sydde jag klart för ett år sedan och dottern ska få det under motivet. Jag kämpar i TV-soffan, ett stygn i taget.