Are You, Are You Coming to the Tree

Pattern: Deer & Doe Acajou Trousers
Fabric: Denim Stretch twill; dark from Ohlssons Tyger, light from Böttger Stoffwinkel, Alkmaar. (Both out of stock. In fact I bought the last on the roll of the light blue denim)

Notions: 20 cm zipper, elastic, button, interfacing.
Also wearing: Hi-lo shirt.

While falling into a Youtube rabbit hole, I got stuck in a Hunger Games groove, prompting me to re-read the books. They are quite quick to read, as the language is adapted for teens, as well as pretty much non-stop action. Being a total fangirl, I even fashioned my hair into a Katniss braid (which it was before it became an Elsa braid), although I feel my hair is a little too short for the full effect. 

I added an extra back pocket. (Plus my attempt at the Katniss braid)

I don’t think my Acajous will be a trilogy, at least not at the moment, but I don’t think I leave them with a Catching Fire cliffhanger. I have two pairs, which I both like to wear, but as Barney Stinson would say; “New is always better”, the second pair are superior in many ways, in terms of fabric selection, finishing details and workmanship. As long as nobody studies that fly too closely. But who would?

Really comfy and can be used beyond the point of casual

The darker, first, pair a view B straight up, with cargo pockets and elastic cuff. The fabric is a stretch twill in a polyester/viscose/elastane blend, which, while meeting the weight requirement of the Acajou are still a bit too lightweight. The pants are still extremely comfortable, but a lot of wear and wash have already made them start pilling since I made them in August 2022. The new and better pair are version B without the elastic cuffs, or version A with added cargo pockets, as well as an extra back pocket. I have topstitched all topstitchable seams with denim thread as well. The elastic in the back waist, I probably could have pulled it a bit tighter, but I wanted to avoid the weird poufy effect I got by pulling it in too tight, so the trousers stay put, but are a bit too loose.

And I love my pink Converse high-tops!

My closet is slowly becoming filled with D&D clothing. I like the styles for most part and they fit me pretty well straight out of the envelope. As I am team paper patterns as well as team trace, it is sad that they no longer sell paper patterns, while I do understand their reasoning for it. 

And if your French, like mine, doesn’t go as far as wood types, you can always count on Effie to help you with what Acajou means.


Oh, I’ve had it up to here

Fabric: Stretch jersey by Hjerta Hertzman
Pattern: Burda 01-2009

In the autumn of 2018, I rushed from a conference at work to use the small free time allotted, not to get a drink with the others but to buy this fabric. Not only is it the most perfect green colour, but the statement all those Venus signs brings cannot be understated. The fabric lay untouched for about six months, until Wednesday March 6th, 2019 when I, in a frenzy, sewed a dress to wear at International Women’s Day. The perfect kick in the but I needed. I used a basic t-shirt dress pattern from Burda, which was already traced, and used extensively, I didn’t want a lot of seams breaking up the big Venus symbols. And, despite my time crunch, I managed to pattern match the side plus consider not ending up with circles on my boobs.

Since 2019, this has been a staple to wear on International Women’s Day. I also wear it for other occasions, but quite sparsely as I am worried that the foil Venus symbol will begin to fade; I don’t want to wear it out before its time. Let’s take a walk through memory lane.

‘Cause I’m just a girl, oh, little old me

2019: premiere wearing, dress is 2 days old. Fun fact, this is actually the bathrooms in our old temporary offices. It doesn’t really look like a bathroom and the light was pretty great for taking pictures. But now we are in our permanent offices with more bathroom like bathroom with poorer light.

2020: There are no pictures, but I did wear the dress on the eve of IWD (Mar 7), for tackling an escape room and dinner. March 7, 2020, the last time I went out for a really long time.

Well, don’t let me out of your sight

2021: Working from home, but let’s face it, a jersey dress is perfect for working from home.

Oh, I’m just a girl, all pretty and petite

2022: Our wooden deck was finished and I added a cardigan.

So don’t let me have any rights

2023: This year, same outfit as last year, but snow on the ground and wonderful morning light. Interesting to see how my hair changes from long to short and back every other year.

Soundtrack: Just a Girl by No Dout

There Are Nine Million Bicycles in Beijing

(and probably in the Netherlands as well)

Spotty Shirt:

Pattern: Deer & Doe Mélilot, version A, pockets omitted.
Alterations: Added 3 cm above the bust dart, added 3 cm in back width
Fabric: Viscose Twill, Böttger Stoffenwinkel, Alkmaar

In 2020 I bought myself a racing bike and since then maybe I’ve become a Mamil. Although I am not a middle-aged man; having recently turned 40 I guess that middle-aged part might apply to me. Also, the Swedish equivalent is mostly used against people biking racing bikes in the city, when the city sadly is not built for them and thus disrupting traffic. Me, I tend to stick to country roads, where I once blocked a tractor, and did think “Ha-ha! Payback!”. I bought in order to bike to work (I live in the countryside and work in the countryside with no city in between), but so far it hasn’t happened. Maybe 2023 is the chance!

Last summer we went to the Netherlands and we brought our bikes. What a difference to cycle in that country! There were bike paths all over and in the cities, bikes were given way in all intersections. It was weird and it happened more than once that I stopped when I didn’t have to. Old habits die hard, especially when those habits involve not wanting to get hit by a car. Of course, in Amsterdam this has almost become the opposite of intended, where bikes are all over and as a pedestrian you better stay out of the way.

One of the days, I took my bike into the city of Alkmaar and visited Böttger Stoffenwinkel. One of the fabrics that I took home was this spotted viscose twill. Based on its weight and drape, it was quite obvious it was meant to be a Melilot shirt. I have made me a many Melilot, but only one with long sleeves; this was my second iteration. I recall that my previous one was a bit tight over the shoulders so I added 3 cm there, 1.5 cm over each shoulder. I didn’t add a dart, I simply eased the excess into the shoulder sleeve.

Another thing I recall is that my cuffs were mis-matched. This time, with more experience in shirt making, I avoided this trap. I did notice that if you add all the pleats that are indicated on the pattern, the cuff will end up longer than the sleeve. So the last time I did this for one side, and fitted the other to the cuff. This time, I omitted two of the pleats and fitted the sleeve to the cuff. Also, I couldn’t understand the method the pattern wanted me to use for attaching the sleeves and cuffs, I did as I’ve done for countless other cuffed garments.

I did the full hidden button placket, such a clever method (and way better than Burda’s where you just put the buttonholes on the inside of the facing, the Melilot provides a proper way of concealing the button placket) and omitted the pockets. They are too heavy and too awkwardly placed on me.

The fit came out great, the fabric is the perfect weight for the pattern and I really like wearing this shirt. Even though it could be a bit reminiscent of either Cruella De Vil or Kenya’s model off duty design from Project Runway 16. Maybe I should just pair it with my Barney/Rose outfit and call it a day, aye?

Our House, In the Middle of Our Street

Pattern: Deer & Doe Passiflore

Fabric: Thin heart-printed denim, a remnant from Ohlssons Tyger

Notions: Coconut buttons, D-Rings, Interfacing, Thread

Alterations: I added 3 cm to the bodice length, above the princess seam curve.

The autumn of 2022 was spent rebuilding the house. It was 4 months in total and during that time we had workers in and out up to 6 days each week. And even when they weren’t there, the house was still a mess. My sewing room was left untouched, save for an extra drawer we had to put there. In the end though, I was too exhausted by everything that sewing was left on the back burner for most of December.

Therefore once I reached my Christmas holiday, a little over two weeks, I was feeling the sew-jo and was ready to tackle a more complex project. Endless days of sewing, reclaiming my sewing room and the joy of not having to focus on cleaning up all that construction dust everywhere (although it can still be found in some spots) or moving furniture back into their correct places, what a Christmas vacation! The renovations did leave us with a new upstairs area with loads of natural lights – a good spot for indoor photography, even in the midst of winter. And for those safety people like me out there, glass sheets have now been added under the railings to make the area safe. 

When Deer & Doe released the Passiflore coat dress a few years ago, I wasn’t immediately drawn to it, although I did like this look. But when they announced their discontinuation of paper patterns, I decided I need this pattern (as well as the Acajou trousers, made a pair – LOVE them! – will make more) and it made its way home to me. I am team paper patterns all the way, and I specifically love the D&D patterns, printed on sturdy paper with clear lines. But I digress.

The fabric, which I think might be a little heavier than intended for the pattern, but I love me a structural garment, is a thin heart-printed denim. At Ohlssons Tyger, you can buy remnants in bulk, by weight and this is one of those pieces. Due to this I have no information on contents or washing advice, but I’m guessing it’s cotton and I just washed it as I normally wash everything. It worked out fine. The dress is a fabric hog, but the style is very unique and this dress can work both as a dress and as a lightweight coat. Maybe it’s not one those patterns that can be used for many different looks, but I could be mistaken on that. Maybe I’ll try the blouse variation at one point. Or I’ll disregard everything I thought about my personal style and make the maxi version in a flowy fabric. However, I am trying to sew my stash this year and I don’t have 4 meters of fabric just lying around.

As I mentioned I love structural garments, and I also love sewing clothes with many details (shirt-making FTW!), so I had a lot of fun making dress. Also, the Deer and Doe patterns fit my body quite well, with the addition of length in the bodice, so I like filling my wardrobe with garments from their patterns (see my D&D category for more examples). The perfect vacation sewing project!

If you made it this far, yes that is a tea towel hanging on the front door. When the door was moved from one wall to another, it became a bit warped, and this is the current method of avioding the draft.

Sewing in 2023

As I mentioned in my previous post, I think the hunt for likes is taking over the actual exchange of information in the online sewing community; and I am part of that downward spiral. I’ve gotten a bit of Instagram fatigue, since I’m missing the interaction beyond just pressing the like. Sewing is one of my hobbies, and I have no intentions at all to make it anything else than that, but as others do I find my interest in them dwindling; most of the people I unfollow on Instagram are those that make too many collaborations or start their own business.

But as people try to find ways to make money of their sewing hobby, it also means that discussions that were previously held on Instagram, in blogs or on Facebook (or any other social media platform of your choice) are now behind closed doors, accessible through a membership fee. It seems to work for them, but what about just sharing your hobbies with friends?

Looking forward to 2023, I will try to be better at engaging with others. Comment on blogs and IG posts, be more active in my FB groups. While quoting Gandhi for this frivolous topic seems quite pretentious; still I need to be change I want to see in the sewing community.

Sewing plan for spring 2023

As for my own sewing, I will continue to sew with a plan and take charge over my wardrobe. I’ve been using the Acloset app all autumn which has been interesting to see what I wear and what is left hanging in the closet. I did start the year using the 30 wears app, but it stopped working (for me?) in the middle of the year. My closet should be filled with garments I love and that I love to wear. Sadly this is never the truth as you still need some clothes for yard work and other things around the house.

Fabrics to sew for the plan (except the fabric for the Chardon, it’s yellow with white stripes). 4/5 are souvenir fabrics

This year I aim to not buy new things and use what I have. For fabrics, it shouldn’t be a problem for regular clothing, last year had a high influx with souvenir shopping in Alkmaar and Vienna, as well as a win in an Instagram contest. Patterns, as well, should not be a problem, unless I need something very specific. As for notions, I have some, but it also depends on what I actually make. But the goal is that my output metreage of fabric is higher than the input.

Looking Back, Over My Shoulder

While I tried to get back into blogging, not all of my creations for 2022 made it on here. Sometimes it feels like I’m standing shouting in an empty room “look at this dress!” “these trousers are awesome” or “OK, so I screwed up on this one!” and nobody is out there listening. I miss the days when you got comments on your blog posts and reflections, now it’s all about the likes which is less personal, both on blogs and Instagram. And I’m bad at that myself, falling into the downward spiral (plus it doesn’t help that my blog reader of choice, Bloglovin’ is down a lot of the time. Is there another one?). I haven’t decided if I will keep this blog up and running, but that’s an issue for the future. For now let’s summarise 2022.

I sewed a total of 24 garments in total; a mix of outerwear, tops, shirts, blouses, dresses, men’s wear, children wear. Basically most stuff except for underwear and exercise clothes. I had a pretty good stride in the spring, then in the fall we did some major renovations on the house which sucked up a lot of energy and time, so sewing was put on the back burner.

As can be seen, I sewed a great variety of garments, but for pattern companies, Deer and Doe as well as Burda were dominating my sewing. I tried one new to me pattern company which was Danish company How To Do Fashion. Since I have quite a large collection of patterns, I try to use and adapt those, rather than buying new patterns, and when I do buy patterns it’s usually through Marketplace on FB.

As I was trying to figure out my top and bottom 5, I had trouble both narrowing down my top 5, as well as reaching 5 for my bottom list; a sign that I’ve figured out what I like to sew and wear. I mean, especially my Striped Stella, the thing that is bad with it is really minor.

Let’s start with the not so good, in no particular order.

The Covid Briar

I’m still not friends with viscose jersey, and this top also suffers from being too short in the waste. I wear it around the house, but what I actually need are some knit tops for work, this was not one. The question is if I will ever become friends with viscose jersey.

The Cheerleader Jacket

I like the style of the jacket, but I don’t like to wear it, the trouble is mainly the sleeves. They are designed to be 7/8 sleeves, but that is an awkward length and I thought they’d be full length on my short arms. They aren’t and are now neither full length or 7/8. Also, I was very lazy and machine-stitched the rib cuff closed, which created a very uncomfortable seam on the inside of the cuff. Let this be a lesson to me, not to cheat in these manners.

Green Aubetura

The search for a woven t-shirt ended, at least for now, on a D&D Aubépine/Datura mashup. I made which I liked, unfortunately the hem started to pill, this is my second version. I think the fabric I chose here, while soft, doesn’t have enough drape. It just doesn’t sit nice.

Striped Stella

This top is fine, but I made the neckline binding too loose, so it sits quite unflatteringly. It is an easy fix, if I just remembered to save the left-overs, but I worry about cutting the neckline down further. If I have the fabric left, I recon I should try.

Keyhole top

Another attempt at making a knit top with interesting design lines. This one from Burda XX/2014. It sits weird (lazy me, not properly FBA’ing) and the keyhole gives too much cleavage if I pull it down. The neckties feel too tight around my neck, I don’t like too restricting clothes. It hasn’t been worn yet, and maybe it does in order to truly be tested.

Let’s move on to the good stuff!

Acajou Trousers

These trousers were completed in August, and since then they have been worn 35 times. They are so comfortable and practical with the big pockets and are in constant rotation in my closet. These were made in a polyester stretch twill, and I’m planning to upgrade to a denim pair.

Sunshine Shirtdress

I bought this fabric after noticing a lack of colour in my summer wardrobe. This dress really conjures a sunshine feeling, and I do love wearing (and sewing!) shirtdresses.

Embroidered Chardon

It should come as a surprise to no one that I totally love Deer & Doe’s patterns. In this case I really did the perfect matching of fabric to pattern and I love the end result. The perfect everyday skirt for warmer weather!

Purple/Yellow Aubépine

Case in point, three of my top five creations are made with Deer & Doe patterns. The cut on this dress is so smart, and paired with the cute fabric, it’s a quick outfit. What’s not to like?

Vienna Dress

There’s so many lovely memories associated with this dress, that it doesn’t matter that there is some wonkiness. The evening spent at a ball in Vienna was amazing and I’ll remember it forever. I felt really pretty and unique in this dress, which was everything I was going for. Plus, the dress even got to take a swirl on the dance floor in a proper Viennese Waltz.

Holding Onto His Words, But Baby

I saw an angel become the devil

Still they look pretty good, hand in hand

Well, baby, I don’t need any of them
Heaven nor hell

I don’t know when it was, but sometime between 2010 and 2015, I’m not sure of the date, I heard the song Heaven Nor Hell with Volbeat on the radio. As I do like rock, the song appealed to me, but the lyrics really spoke to me. As an atheist I don’t need heaven nor hell, I’m trying to be a good person here and now, without the threats of hell or rewards of heaven.

I saw an angel become the devil

Anyway, after many long years living as Volbeat fans, we were able to score tickets to see them in Copenhagen. As it is their home ground, the tickets sold out quickly. My husband, by listening to them a lot on Spotify, were in the second priority group, the first were fan club members, and it was pretty slim pickings for our turn. I think everything was sold out by the time they were released to the general public. Last week we went, the arena was packed. Now, while I haven’t seen the before, from what I could tell lead singer/guitarist Michael Poulsen looked very happy to be playing in Denmark.  He looked relaxed, made jokes and maybe that is how he normally is on stage, but he did look genuinely happy. And I managed to follow along with most of the chit chat between the songs, not all of it. While I understand some Danish, it is easier in a conversation and not in a fully packed arena where the sound is designed for music. Volbeat is a great band and the concert was awesome! For anyone counting it was arena #2 for 2022 and 3rd proper band (6th if including supporting acts).

Still they look pretty good, hand in hand

About a year ago, I set my personal style philosophy as “office nerd connects with inner rocker” and I’ve been trying to update my wardrobe accordingly. I don’t know how successful I am in creating clothes I actually wear to concerts, but adding some rocker vibes to my everyday wardrobe is moving forward. Note, that I am still very much a nerd so YMMV on what is considered rockier clothes.

Well baby, I don’t need any of them

This blouse is an idea I’ve had for a while, it’s Deer & Doe’s Airelle, but I’ve made it a buttonfront as well as removed the collar. It wasn’t really difficult, I added a seam allowance and overlap allowance down the front, and made the facing bit accordingly. The fabric is a viscose/cupro blend, a fabric I really loved when I saw it, it connects with my personal style and it worked very well for the pattern.

Heaven Nor Hell

The skirt is from Burda and has been hanging in my sewing room for half a year. I made it up in a stretch twill which, albeit a bit tight worked because of the stretch (I made a pair of trousers in Burda 42, too big, then this skirt in Burda40, a bit too tight. Annoying!), but when I added the very rigid lining I could barely move in the skirt. Forget taking steps over half a metre long. While pondering my options (take out lining, add a wedge) the skirt hung in my sewing room. It didn’t help that spring was approaching and a lined black skirt wasn’t really what I needed.

The look of these together is a little more black than I normally go for, but I really like the look and I think at least the blouse is going to get a lot of mileage.

Patterns: Deer & Doe Airelle; Burda 110-2019-11

Fabric: Viscose/cupro (Out of stock); stretch twill Ohlssons

Notions: Buttons (blouse), D-rings, invisible zipper (skirt), interfacing (both)

Soundtrack: Volbeat Heaven Nor Hell

Hello Daddy, Hello Mum

Being a 1980s baby, of course I had heard Joan Jett and the Blackhearts declaring that “I Love Rock’n’roll” several times. I easily agree, although I do think both “Bad Reputation” and “Crimson and Clover” are superior songs (proving that I haven’t moved far past their hits), but maybe that’s just because of  I’ve heard them far less. And they weren’t destroyed by a Britney cover. There, I said it.

I’m your Ch-Ch-Ch-Cherry Bomb!

Displaying my lack of knowledge in Joan Jett, I had no idea that she was in The Runaways in the 70s, until I came across the movie of the same name, which I chose to watch because a) it focused on women b) I wanted to see what Kristen Stewart and Dakota Fanning could do outside of Twilight. That’s how I learnt of the Runaways, and of course Cherry Bomb plays a big part in the opening of the movie. The movie also made me want to introduce cool rocker women to my children, so Cherry Bomb was added to my weekend playlist and daughter E was blasting out “Hello Daddy, Hello Mum, I’m your ch-ch-ch-cherry bomb” at young age, making her mom very proud.

Hello World!

So, they just heard the women, but I didn’t pay a lot of attention to teaching them about the bands. Therefore, imagine my surprise when the following story took place. We were in the car and “I Love Rock’n’roll” came on the radio, with the display showing the song title and band name. After a while he turned to me and said “mom, I see that this is Joan Jett and the Blackhearts, but is this before or after she was with the Runaways?” Cue surprised Pikachu face on my part. Turns out he’d been vigilantly reading Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls and Joan Jett was one of them. (Ha, The Guardian, there’s at least one boy reading a story “for girls”! On his own! And he loved it! He recommended it to his 3rd grade teacher! And he hasn’t even asked for an equivalent for boys!)

I’m Your Wild Girl!

Even without the long explanation, it’s fairly obvious that this is my Cherry Bomb coat. My first foray into outerwear was Minoru by Sewaholic, and while that was a good starter piece, it was lacking in certain areas, one of them being it was a little too thin for me. This one on the other hand almost turned out too thick, but it also fills the gap that the Minoru had, this one can be worn up until really thick coat weather. The pattern is #116 from Burdastyle 12/2019, an issue with many goodies (I’ve also made that collarless blazer), but why they call it a viscose coat, I have no idea. There was a gazillion pattern pieces to cut, luckily I had just found out that one of my streaming carriers had Call The Midwife so those amazing women kept me company throughout tracing, cutting and, well, sewing the coat.

I’m Your Ch-Ch-Ch-Cherry Bomb

There’s not much to say about the pattern, it assembles well, it’s a coat with standard coat techniques for shell and lining. It might be a little too much for an everyday coat, but it’s fun! A cherry coat! I added a self-belt, to give the waist just a little more definition, but I didn’t add belt loops. Also, even though their small, it has pockets!

Pattern: #116 Burdastyle 12/2019
Fabric: Cherry canvas from Ohlssons Tyger.
Lining: Quilted lining from Ohlssons Tyger
Buttons: Gifted to me from my sister, Bernt I Lund
Sew in snaps: Selfmade.

Soundtrack: Cherry Bomb, The Runaways.

Hey We Need a Visit to Vienna

I work in a huge multi-national project, which is government-funded. This means we rarely get anything extra, our spring party this year was playing brännboll on our very uneven lawn, before enjoying a barbecue and a cover band with pretty bad speakers. It was perfectly fine and nice, however it wasn’t very extravagant. My husband’s company on the other hand, is all about the extravaganza, their Christmas parties are usually a weekend in a European city. This year they had their 10-year anniversary, and went really big; a ball in Vienna for the employees and their partners. As a person who sews their own clothes, you all know what that meant: it was time to make a ball gown!

I’ve heard that there’s something about that fallen town

As I’ve spent a lot of time figuring out my personal style, it was obvious I was going to wear something that still felt like me; structural, a bold colour, not too much frou-frou. I think I succeeded, and most people were just taken with the fact that I had made the dress to notice all those small errors I knew were there.

They say don’t forget to bring your friend on
schönen Donau under Vienna sun

Let me tell you, a ball in Vienna is an amazing experience. From arriving at Hofburg palace with tourists still around marveling about those fancy guests, to dinner with excellent food, Viennese music (opera, Mozart and a sing-a-long of Edelweiss), to dancing. They had professional dancers to show us the Wienerwaltz, and afterwards I asked of them for a spin on the dance floor, I couldn’t leave a ball in Vienna, without having done a proper Wienerwaltz, even though I probably took many wrong steps, but my dancing partner was pretty patient. I guess he had no choice.

And if we ever get to Vienna
sell us dreams about that echoing dome

During dinner, another woman came up to me and pointed out that we were the only ones “in same fabric”. Taffeta that is (the purple colour I chose seems to be out of stock at the time of typing). I think there was one more, but taffeta was quite an unusual choice. The pattern I eventually settled on was No. 23 Marrakesh by How To Do Fashion. I was drawn to the neckline and structural aspects of the design. Since this was a relatively important piece, I did a toile in a torn bedsheet, however I failed to consider that, unlike the bedsheet, the taffeta had no give whatsoever. So, while the bedsheet version looked nice on, the taffeta version could have gained from a minor FBA. But the lack of boob space gave a nice little corset effect. Levelling the dress was also hard, but in the end I think it looked pretty OK. Or people were too distracted by the cleavage to notice.

What if a last waltz can really save us
young at heart and full of hope

Regardless of minor snafus, this purple taffeta dress, worn with flats, really stood out in the sea of mesh, draping, pastel colours and high heels. I also took the opportunity to do some pretty makeup as well, and I felt really pretty. Like, I never know when I’ll be this pretty again, because I need this sort of occasion.

Because as Cinderella says: What’s a royal ball? After all, I suppose it would be frightfully dull, and boring, and completely … completely wonderful. It was completely wonderful.

Soundtrack: Visit to Vienna – Sahara Hotnights

Dagen før var allting som en sommerflirt

Yes, yesterday was like a summer flirt. I was strolling through Vienna, looking at gorgeous and impressive buildings, just taking in the atmosphere. (The day before that I had attended a ball at Hofburg Imperial Palace, but that’s a topic for another post. Yes, I did make my dress). Anyway, this summer has been filled with travelling, and my how I’ve missed it during the 2 corona pandemic years. I know, I know the pandemic itself is not over, but the restrictions are gone and the impact they’ve had on our lives. This summer I have been to many packed places and haven’t caught as much as a cold, maybe people are staying home when they’re feeling unwell.

This summer we’ve been travelling a lot (4 countries in total: Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands and Austria). I love the feeling of just been somewhere else, experiencing other cultures. I live in the south of Sweden, but just going across the bridge to Copenhagen really is a shift in culture. Maybe a subtle one to an outsider, but I can definitely feel it. We started the month of July cheering for the world’s finest cyclists as they took on the streets of Copenhagen in the first stage of this year’s Tour de France. Fantastic!

We then took on the Netherlands, with stops in Germany, playing on the beach, visiting Amsterdam and just enjoying life. Then the weekend in Vienna. During all this time, I really got to flex my language skills, which I love doing. In Denmark it was French and Danish, German in Germany and Austria and my Duolingo Dutch in the Netherlands. I did manage to get by, but some of the time it was easier to fall in English; it works most of the time.

However, one thing that is easily done even with limited language skills is fabric shopping. Meter is meter in many languages, and as long as you stick to full ones it’s just easy to hold up fingers indicating the meterage. If you’d like 1.7 meters, it’s a bit trickier, but my German counting skills got me by. (If I’d like 1.25 meters in German, that’s where it gets hard, ein meter, fünf und zwantig (one meter, five and twenty)).

In the Netherlands I took the bike into Alkmaar (what a treat to bike in a country where everyone shows consideration to cyclists!) and Böttger Stoffenwinkel, where I spent some time and money. Beware, some places in the Netherlands don’t accept credit cards, so even if my Visa card is a Debit card (as stated on it) it was declined. Luckily there was an ATM nearby and I could get cash. I bought the following (from top to bottom):

Og i morgen er endelig

Viscose twill, off-white with dots. It will probably be a long-sleeved blouse of some sort.
Cotton/viscose blend, linen look; blue/black with flowers. A summer dress. Something a bit looser than my normal aesthetics, I think.
Stretch denim, light blue: Probably a pair of DD Acajou.

Then in Vienna, my husband and I stuck to our deal on weekend getaways (it’s been exercised once before), that he gets to run for a while and I can visit a fabric shop. So I visited Die Stoffschwester from a tip from Sølvi/Delfine Elise. It was a lovely shop packed with fabrics and I ended up with four pieces. I had originally decided on three, but then that peace sign fabric screamed out to me. I snagged the final piece of it, as well as the yellow floral one.


Cotton knit red/white. For a knit top.
Cotton sweatshirt, peace signs. A sweatshirt and perhaps a skirt if the meterage agrees.
Viscose, yellow with flowers. A summer dress. Of course. Or maybe a maxi skirt… We’ll see next summer. Perhaps some flowy trousers as I found that missing in my wardrobe.
Cotton double gauze, blue tie dye. A beach outfit in which I can bike. The beach dresses I have are not suitable for the bike I bought, so if we’re biking to the beach I need something that doesn’t risk getting entangled in the gear wheels and chain.

For a second I did ponder memorizing my Vienna trip with an Edelweiss fabric, but it was white flowers on white, not my style. Had it been the flowers on green, you would have seen in in the picture.

Soundtrack: Dagen Før; Volbeat ft. Stine Bramsen. (A Danish metal band who, in some songs mix English and Danish lyrics, appealing to my bilingual mind.
Yesterday, everything was like a summer’s flirt, but tomorrow it’s final.)