Category Archives: Dress

2019 and 2020, Top 5 and Lookaheads

The sewing community is overflowing with wrap-ups of the previous year and decade as well as lookaheads to the new. I’ll join in, I like making book ends (heck, I have a whole spreadsheet dedicated to my creations and charts over pattern companies and types of garments, as well as one whole spreadsheet dedicated to my fabric stash). So first: The Numbers!

I made 40 sewing projects last year, of which 8 were for the kids, 1 was a bag and one was a cutlery wrap. Having identified a dress gap in my wardrobe I made many dresses this year, most of which get heavy rotation. I worked with 11 different pattern companies, Burda and Allt om handarbete were the 2 clear winners due to my collection of those magazines. However, the Allt om handarbete block is not a good match for me and to be honest their patterns are a bit boring so for next year I doubt they’ll be featured much.

Now, let’s look at some pretty clothes, shall we? I’ve already presented my bottom 5 of the year, so obviously it’s time for my top 5 of 2019! In chronological order:

1. Woman Dress

I bought this fabric in the autumn of 2018 and on March 6th I scrambled to make the dress so it could be worn on International Women’s day 2 days later. After contemplating many patterns, I’m really glad I went for a simple design to showcase those big Venus-signs. I’m also really glad that the despite the time crunch I was sewing this dress in, I pattern-matched the sides and avoided putting two big circles on my boobs. Whenever I wear this dress, it always garners plenty of attention.

 

 

 

 

2. Red maxi skirt

Ever since making the Belladone by Deer and Doe a few years back, I’ve been wanting to make a maxi skirt using that pattern. This spring I finally did, with a heavy but flowy viscose bought from Ohlssons and buttons from my mum’s stash. I must have ended up mis-counting, because the waist ended up much bigger than anticipated, so the pleats are quite deep. But I loved wearing this skirt over summer.

 

 

 

 

3. Blue-striped Reglisse

Both the fabric and the pattern for this project was bought for Black Friday 2018 and sewn up less than six months later! I’ve also made a less successful wearable muslin, but I fear that it will leave my closet soon. With this one I took care with the stripe-matching and it paid off well. I have lengthened the bodice and the skirt and raised the armhole a bit as well as making a bit smaller, making this sundress pattern appropriate for the office, as shown by the fact that this is the dress I chose to wear for my word ID badge.

 

 

 

 

4. The Lego shirts

I have a whole post dedicated to these, so go there for details. They are just really fun to wear!

 

 

 

 

 

5. My first ever coat

I invested a lot of time and money into this coat and luckily it paid off. I love how it looks, the fact that I managed to find a red non-wool fabric for it, the quilted lining, everything. Plus I wear it pretty much every day in the winter so it is in constant rotation!

 

 

 

 

As for the upcoming year, I don’t want to set any major goals, but rather guidelines. I will continue to sew with a plan, in which I’ll make a 4-7 piece plan for each season and try to stick to it. Sometimes, there isn’t enough time or priorities shift, but I’m at that point where my plans are filling gaps in my wardrobe, rather than building it. So, my own guidelines for the plans I make this year will be:

1.Use what I have

I have a pretty big stash with fabric for most type of clothing. For each plan I am allowed to buy new fabric only if an identified gap needs it (for example, in my upcoming spring plan I am making a pair of trousers. I had no suitable fabric so I bought for that. For a shirt tunic I’m making I must use something that was already in the stash). I start the year with 83,5 meters of fabric, let’s see where I end up.

This also applies to patterns, that I will try to use what I have instead of buying new.

2. Refashion

I have some hand-made garments at home that could use some attention to make them better (Exhibit A). For each plan I will try to add a refashion that would make some less-loved garments into more-loved, or at least have them die in the process of trying.

3. Sell things I won’t use

This relates mostly to fabrics and patterns. You know we’ve all bought some fabric and then realized it wasn’t our style or something or patterns that really only have one make in them. I hope someone will like what I have and take some things off my chest.

Long post, so congrats if you’ve made it to the end!

 

 

The Faux Wrap Dress for No One

See this girl? She looks happy in her dress, doesn’t she? Albeit the fabric choices are a bit juvenile, but I looked past the fabric and found a dress with a wrap twist on both the bodice and the skirt. I imagined it for the wedding I was attending in Cape Cod, in something nice and flowy.

McCalls’ 7317. Stay Away!

I bought a quite expensive cotton sateen, along with loads of cheap IKEA cotton, thinking that I am far enough into sewing that I can alter the bodice to make it fit. I happily set off on the journey, at that moment not realizing that ignorance is bliss.

This is what a screenshot of my phone gallery looked liked. In the middle of fitting, I stopped for grilled bananas with chocolate. And blue wine.

I don’t know how many times I made up that bodice. The 3 metres of IKEA cotton I had bought was all gone by the end of it and *spoiler alert* the dress still did not fit properly.  In a toile I sew using basting stitches, in order to easily rip them out. After a while I had pulled out the thread so many times that I got a cut on my finger. Cut by thread.

The problem lies in the neckline is my semi-qualified guess.

One of the major issues with this pattern is that the front neckline is the same for all sizes. Meaning that if you change the size you only change where the side and shoulder seam hit you. After a while my list of modification was long, I ran out of IKEA cotton, and I had a fit that was OK. In this case OK meaning not too much gape, not too low cleavage (or so I thought…) and adequate room in the waist. I cut my pretty fabric. One reviewer at Pattern Review says that she couldn’t get the dress to fit, but that it might be better suited for someone with a larger bust. Since I am that person, doesn’t this speak of really bad drafting?

The bodice was lengthened, bottom curve reshaped, I sewed with a smaller seam allwoanc at some places, pinched out a portion from the neckline and made the pleats longer. Still not enough.

This dress did come with me to Cape Cod and I wore it for my American cousin’s wedding. A year later I wore it to another wedding and this summer it also made an appearance at a party. The goal was to have a dress that would be that one go-to dress for fancy occasions. Sadly this is not that dress.

It needs a belt to be kept in place. And a safety pin in the clevage.

In order to not get an indecent cleavage I need to use a safety pin in a strategic place. I also always wear this dress with a belt to cover up the crocked waistline. Plus, the alterations of the bodice ultimately also lead to that the skirt didn’t line up properly and the overlap is much smaller than intended, leading to wardrobe malfunctions. I always get plenty of compliments, but I feel like such a fraud. Usually I take in the compliments, but when it fits this badly after putting so much effort into it, I feel they aren’t warranted. Plus, I just don’t feel comfortable in it.

I do love the back neckline

The pattern went off to one of my sewing friends, can’t remember who. I gave it to her for free, I couldn’t charge for such a bad pattern, but it did come with caution from me. I don’t know if she’s done anything with it. As for the dress, it will meet the scissors. I still love the fabric and the shape of the skirt. So I will take off that ill-fitting bodice and make a wrap skirt. I’m giving it another chance on life. As Tim Gunn says to Barney “Your [dress’] death could mean another [skirt’s] life”. That’s how I will view it.

Creation: The Princess Dress

You’d think that being off work for a little over two weeks would lend itself some great time and opportunity to photograph the most recent creations, right? Wrong! Therefore it is now time to present my Christmas dress. I wore it for our Christmas celebrations and then threw it in the wash without having photographed it and afterwards I haven’t looked presentable slouching at home(not that my standards for “presentable” is high, but I don’t want to be a total mess) or the times I have looked presentable I haven’t had the time to photograph myself as we were off somewhere with two kids.

 

En skulle kunna tro att drygt två veckors semester skulle leda till lite tid att ta bilder på de senaste skapelserna, eller hur? Fel, fel, fel! På grund av detta är det nu en bit in i januari som jag presenterar min julklänning. Den bars till våra julfiranden och sen slängdes den i tvätten utan att ha fotograferats. Efter det har jag inte sett tillräckligt presentabel ut (inte för att mina krav för presentabel är speciellt höga, men jag vill inte se helt bedrövlig ut), och de stunder jag har varit presentabel har jag inte haft fototid eftersom vi har varit på väg någonstans med två barn i släptåg.

Mortmain

Just two and a half weeks before Christmas I decided I needed a new Christmas dress. I fully committed to this dress. In order to get fabric I ran through IKEA in about 15 minutes. I impressed myself (I had planned to go to IKEA to buy gifts for the kids’ advent stockings, a fabric store is close by so the rush through IKEA meant I had some time to browse fabrics). It was a rush through the fabric store as well, looking through the remnant bin, looking through the bolt, before I eventually settled on this black and navy jacquard. I’m the first to admit that I don’t know a lot about various fabric types, but this fabric does not say jacquard to me. It feels like a satin with a mesh overlay, perhaps there’s something in the weaving that’s the same as for jacquard, but it’s not what I would have guessed. It’s a poly/viscose blend.

 

Bara två och en halv vecka innan jul bestämde jag att jag behövde en ny klänning till vinterns festligheter. När jag väl bestämt mig blev klänningen min högsta prioritet. För att kunna handla tyg sprang jag igenom IKEA på en kvart och imponerade på mig själv (jag hade IKEA-planer för att köpa presenter till barnens adventsstrumpor, eftersom Stoff och Stil och IKEA båda ligger på Svågertorp, betydde IKEA-loppet att jag hade tid för tyghandling också). Det fick gå fort på Stoff och stil också, jag letade i stuvlådan, tittade på hyllorna och till slut valde jag detta jacquard i marinblått och svart. Jag erkänner att jag inte kan mycket om tyger, men detta tyg känns inte som en jacquard. För mig är det mer satin med mesh ovanpå. Jag vet att jacquard är en vävning och det kanske är den tekniken som har använts, men det är inte vad jag hade trott. Tyget är en blandning mellan polyester och viskos.

I like the waist definition
I like the waist definition

Since time was sparse I looked through my pattern stash and settled on Gather Kit’s Mortmain dress. It’s the same pattern as I used for last year’s Christmas dress, but I changed it up by adding sleeves and doing the box pleats the other way. Plus, I used an invisible zipper instead of the exposed one. A whole new dress! Oh, and I lengthened the bodice a bit so the waistband hits me at my natural waist, so much more comfortable and looking so much better.

 

Eftersom jag hade lite tid tittade jag igenom mitt mönsterförråd och valde Gather Kit’s Mortmain-klänning. Det är samma klänning som jag använde till förra årets julklänning, men jag har ändrat lite genom att lägga till ärmar och göra motvecken på andra hållet. Dessutom sydde jag ett osynligt blixtlås istället för det synliga. En helt ny klänning! Jag förlängde också livet några centimeter så att midjebandet nu sitter vid min midja istället för en bit ovanför, det är mycket mer bekvämt och ser så mycket bättre ut.

Original sleeve left, Alma sleeve right
Original sleeve left, Alma sleeve right

The sleeves gave me a headache. It’s not a problem I’ve seen anyone share, so I don’t know if the problem is the drafting or if I have messed up. And I’ll never know. Anyway, I wanted to add sleeves as this is a winter dress after all. I sewed the cuffs, the sleeves, did some easing in and attached them. I tried the dress on for fit again (I had obviously already tried it on for bodice fit) and found I couldn’t move my arms (left, below). It was also straining over the bust, making my nice-fitting bodice fit worse. I received many tips on how to fix this; adding a gusset, making the sleeve less narrow, but in the end I took them out and replaced them with Sewaholic’s Alma sleeves, view B. Ah, now I can move my arms again, much better (right, above).

 

Ärmarna var inte trevliga att arbeta med. Det är inte ett problem jag har sett hos andra, så jag kan inte bedöma om problemet ligger i mönstret eller hos mig. Jag får aldrig veta. Jag ville ha ärmar eftersom det trots allt är en vinterklänningen. Jag sydde manschetterna, ärmarna, passade ärmkullen i ärmhålet och sydde fast dem. Sen provade jag klänningen igen och kunde knappt röra ärmarna (till vänster, ovan). Klänningen stramade också över bysten, vilket gjorde att det liv som innan passade så fint helt plötsligt passade dåligt. Jag fick många tips om hur jag kunde fixa det; lägga till en kil, göra ärmen mindre smal, men till slut tog jag av dem och ersatte den med ärmarna från Sewaholics Alma, vy B. Och så kunde jag röra mina armar igen (till höger, ovan)

Mortmain, side

Other than the sleeves, this dress came together nicely. The fabric was fraying like crazy, I left a trail of black threads around the house to lead me back to the machines. It was still pretty nice to work with, although unpicking was a PIA as the stitches disappeared into the fabric. Also, due to the polyester it didn’t take quite as well as I wish to pressing. But now I’m too into details, bottom line: it’s a pretty winter dress.

 

Förutom ärmarna så är klänningen lätt att sy. Tyget rispades upp lätt och jag lämnade ett spår av svarta trådar bakom mig, så jag kunde hitta tillbaks till symaskinerna. Det var rätt lätt att jobba med, men att sprätta var en plåga eftersom stygnen försvann in i tyget. Eftersom tyget har polyester i sig var det inte så kul att pressa, men nu är jag inte på smådetaljer. Det är en fin vinterklänning, helt enkelt.

Subtle differences between right and wrong side
Subtle differences between right and wrong side

And yes, I’m back with creatively naming my garments. This one has the very pretentious name of The Princess Dress. Not that I particularly feel like a princess or am a supporter of monarchy at all, but because of the colours. Some might say that navy blue and black don’t go together, I think they do. I think this fabric is a perfect winter fabric. Plus if that colour matching is good enough for our Swedish princess Madeleine, it is good enough for me.

 

Och ja, jag fortsätter med att hitta på namn till mina kläder. Denna fick det väldigt pretentiösa namnet Prinsessklänningen. Inte för att jag känner mig som en prinsessa eller ens är en supporter av monarkin, men på grund av färgerna. En del säger att marinblått och svart inte passar ihop, jag tycker att det kan de visst göra. Jag tycker att detta tyg är ett perfekt vintertyg. Och duger färgerna år prinsessan Madeleine, duger de åt mig.

 

Pattern/Mönster: Gather Kits Mortmain dress
Fabric: Jacquard in a polyester/viscose blend, Stoff och Stil
Notions: Invisible zipper, interfacing

Creation: Grey Skies Dress

I kind of want to see myself as someone who doesn’t abide by trends. I can walk around a shop, finding nothing I’d want to wear and or even inspire me. Thus the fact that I never look like anyone else and the fact that a denim mini skirt makes me feel modern, an unusual feeling for me. However, I wouldn’t really stand out in a sewing crowd, as there seems to be a whole other set of trends to follow in the sewing world. And I find myself following them, albeit a bit late. Anna dress? Check and check! Belladone dress? Check and check! Scuba dress? Check!

Scuba dress (7)

I’m not a big fan of sewing with knits. I kept reading about scuba clothes and thinking that while it looks fun it’s probably not for me. Then one day, as I was looking through the remnant bin in the fabric store, I suddenly put a piece of scuba knit in my trolley. As I had discussed scuba with her on Twitter I heard Amy/Almond Rock’s voice in my head telling me to buy it. The thing is, in the remnant bin the prices are reduced like 40% so it’s a great place to shop for fabric for experiments and wearable muslins. They could have some imperfections, in this case my piece was a little bit miss-coloured in a small corner of the piece, no big deal. In that instant I hopped on a recent sewing trend; scuba fabric.

Scuba dress (23)

The fabric laid in my stash, I knew what I wanted to do, but didn’t know whether or not I should buy a pattern for it. I wanted a fitted bodice and flared skirt. In the end I used two patterns from my stash, Simplicity 1539 (from this disaster of a top) and Burda 10-2011-04 (used for a velour skirt) which I modified. In the end the skirt isn’t as flared as I envisioned it and I probably should have omitted the waist seam, but it’s likely I’ll end up belting the dress when I wear it anyway. And I will wear this dress! I did a cheater FBA on the top, grading between the sizes 10 (shoulders and waist (which I took in even more in the end)) and 12 (over bust). For the skirt I omitted the panels and reduced the waist to fit the top, with a little bit of extra ease in the top skirt part.

Scuba dress (8)

Scuba is very synthetic. It’s just polyester and some lycra thrown in for good measure. That means that basically, this dress is a mini sauna. Just wearing the dress for these pictures, it was 15 degrees and sunny out, was an endurance test. So I’ll have to pick the moments to wear this dress carefully or I’ll end up in a puddle of sweat. This is no dress for cozying up by the fireplace. Also I’m left pondering one question. Can I wear this to work?

Hmm, is this work appropriate?
Hmm, is this work appropriate?

The October theme at The Monthly Stitch is “The Final Frontier” – look to the sky for inspiration. This will be my contribution, inspired by a gloomy, overcast autumn day.

Scuba dress (9)

 

 

Pattern/Mönster: Simplicity 1539and Burda 10-2011-104
Fabric/Tyg: Embossed scuba knit, Stoff och Stil/Präglat scuba-tyg, Stoff och Stil. Interlock for neckband/Interlock till ringningen
Notions/Sybehör: Tråd

 

Jag vill se mig själv som någon som inte slaviskt följer trender. Jag kan gå runt i en affär utan att hitta någonting jag vill ha eller ens inspireras av. Därav faktumet att jag aldrig ser ut som någon annan och även att en minikjol i denim får mig att känna mig ovanlig modern. Å andra sidan skulle jag inte riktigt stå ut i samling hemmaskräddare, eftersom det finns en helt annan uppsättning trender att följa i den världen. Jag finner mig följa dem, om än oftast något sent. Anna-klänning? Check och check! Belladone-klänning? Check och check! Scuba-klänning? Check!

Jag är inte ett stort fan av att sy stickade tyger. Så när jag läste mycket om scuba-kläder tänkte jag att det ser kul ut, men det är antagligen inte för mig. Sen en dag, när jag tittade i stuvlådan på Stoff och stil, hamnade plötsligt en bit scubatyg i min vagn. Eftersom jag hade diskuterat scuba med henne på Twitter hörde jag Amy/Almond Rocks röst i mitt huvud där hon uppmuntrade mig att köpa det. I stuvlådan är priserna reducerade, upp till 40%, så jag tycker det är ett bra ställe att handla experimenttyg och provplaggstyg. Tygerna kan ha imperfektioner, i detta fall var en liten bit missfärgad, men det var i ett hörn och lätt att arbeta runt. Och i det ögonblicket hoppade jag på sytrend; scubatyg.

Tyget låg i mitt förråd, jag visste vad jag ville göra med det, men inte om jag ville köpa ett nytt mönster. Jag ville ha ett formpassat liv och en utställd kjol. I slutänden valde jag två mönster jag hade hemma, Simplicity 1539 (från denna katastrof-topp) och Burda 10-2011-04 (använt till en velourkjol), detta mönster ändrade jag. I efterhand är kjolen inte så utställd som jag tänkte mig och det hade nog varit bäst att sy klänningen i ett stycke utan midjesöm, men troligtvis kommer jag att bära ett skärp när jag bär denna klänning ändå. Och den kommer att bäras! Jag gjorde en fusk-FBA genom att klippa olika storlekar. 10 över axlarna och midjan (vilken togs in ännu mer) och 12 över bysten. Kjolen gjorde jag utan panelerna och tog in midjan för att passa toppen, med lite extra rörelsevidd i kjolen.

Scuba-tyg är syntetiskt. Det är bara polyester och så lite elestan för att få till en riktigt bra stretch. Det betyder att i stora drag är denna klänning en mini-bastu. Bara att bära klänningen för dessa bilder, 15 grader och sol ute, var ett uthållighetstest. Jag måste välja mina tillfällen att bära denna klänning med noggrannhet, annars kommer jag sluta i en svetthög. Detta är ingen klänning för at mysa framför brasan. Dessutom funderar jag fortfarande över en fråga. Kan jag ha denna på jobb?

Oktober-temat hos The Monthly Stitch är “The Final Frontier” – sök inspiration i himlen. Detta blir mitt bidrag, inspirerat av en mulen, ruggig höstdag.

Creation: African Belladone

This dress is sewcialism at its best! I was laying on the couch, flipping away on my phone (probably watching Tour de France in the background) and found a post in The Monthly Stitch’s Facebook group. The August theme of “two” had just been announced and Siobhan had the idea of two garments from one fabric. Since I was the first to answer she kindly and generously sent me half a length of an African wax print. She had chosen a blue fabric with plenty of circles (which got pretty many drools in one of my Facebook sewing group). African Belladone (4)   At first I had planned a skirt but when the fabric arrived and I got to touch and feel it, it said “I want to be a dress” to me. So I ordered the Belladone dress from Deer and Doe. Since this fabric came all the way from Africa (Rwanda to be precise) to me and as a gift, I wanted to make the dress as good as possible. This included five muslins and one whole wearable muslin (in the post in which I talk about all fitting changes and stupid decisions). I had to do some puzzling on the fabric to get some pattern matching and to fit all the pieces. I didn’t do the waistband in the wax print due to not wanting to pattern match it. Instead I took some black denim I had in my stash, which I think breaks up the print in a good way but also gives a western/African fashion meet that I like. (when I pull the dress of the hanger all I can think of is how low that waistband is. But I am long-waisted, so it’s just the unusualness of having a dress where the waistband hits my natural waist that gets me) African Belladone (19) The bias tape I bought was a bit too wide, plus during this project I realised that I am not liking working with bias tape. I’ll take facings any day (and if I make this dress again I will think of ways to substitute the bias tape. It’s not my friend).

Waxprint meets denim
Waxprint meets denim

  The one bad thing about this dress is that I’ve made a sundress in August. It won’t be sundress weather again for quite some time. Luckily I’m going to Italy in October, so the dress will get some wear then. And maybe over a long-sleeved tee, this dress is too pretty to be held grounded in the wardrobe. African Belladone (12)   I would like to send a big thank to Siobhan for the fabric, head on over to her blog to see more wax print clothes and go to The Monthly Stitch to see what she did with her half of the piece. African Belladone (5)   Denna klänning är sybloggvärlden i sitt esse. En dag i juli låg jag i soffan, kollade runt på telefonen (och tittade antagligen på Tour de France i bakgrunden) och hittade ett inlägg i The Monthly Stitchs Facebookgrupp. Augustis tema ”två” hade precis kommit ut och Siobhan hade en en idé om två plagg från samma tyg. Eftersom jag var först att svara skickade hon en halv längd av afrikanskt vaxtyg till mig, väldigt snällt och generöst. Hon hade valt ett blått tyg med många cirklar (vilket fick mycket uppmärksamhet av de Vuxna sytokarna). African Belladone (17)   Först planerade jag för en kjol, men när tyget anlände och jag fick känna på det berättade det för mig ”jag vill bli en klänning”. Jag beställde Belladone från Deer and Doe. Eftersom tyget kom hela vägen från Afrika (Rwanda närmare bestämt) och det var en gåva ville jag vara säker på att klänningen skulle bli så bra som möjligt. Detta inkluderade fem provtoiler och en hel klänning som provplagg (ändringar och dumma beslut i det inlägget). Jag fick pussla på tyget för att få till lite mönsterpassning och för att få plats med alla bitar. Jag valde att inte göra midjebandet i vaxtyget eftersom mönsterpassningen hade inte blivit bra. Istället tog jag svart denim som låg i mitt tygförråd, jag tycker det bryter upp mönstret bra, men det ger också en västerländskt mode möter afrikanskt mode-vibb som jag gillar. (varje gång jag tar fram klänningen slås jag av hur långt ner midjebandet sitter. Men det är bara för att min naturliga midja sitter långt ner och för en gångs skull har jag ett plagg där midjebandet sitter i min midja och jag slås av ovanligheten).   Snedslån som användes som infodringarna var lite vid, under detta projekt insåg jag också att jag gillar inte att jobba med snedslå. Ge mig riktiga infodringar istället (och om jag gör klänningen igen ska jag försöka komma på ett sätt att ersätta snedslån, den är inte min vän).   En nackdel med klänningen är att jag har sytt en sommarklänning i augusti. Det kommer inte att vara sommarklänningsväder igen på ett tag. Lyckligtvis ska jag till Italien i oktober så klänningen kommer att bli buren då. Och kanske över långärmade t-tröjor, denna klänningen är för fin för att få utegångsförbud från garderoben.   Ett stort tack till Siobhan för tyget, läs på hennes blogg om fler kreationer i vaxtyg och kolla in på The Monthly Stitch för att se vad hon gjorde med sin halva.

Creation: Deer & Doe Belladone, Wearable Muslin

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The theme of the Monthly Stitch for August is “two”, since its TMS’ 2nd birthday! I have something a little extra planned for that and since it’s a little extra I wanted to take my time and make it perfect. Which brings me to this creation; the wearable muslin.

Belladone (23)

 

Let me tell you, this dress was a real PIA to sew – to no fault of the pattern at all. I made some bad decisions along the way plus the fitting was extensive. But I just hate on giving up on a project, especially when I think the end product can be really cute. Plus, when I had made it as far as zipper and hem left there was no way I was giving up.

Belladone (1)

 

The pattern is Deer & Doe’s Belladone dress which has already made several rounds in sewing blogs with its popular back cut up and the greatly shaped skirt. I like that it is printed on sturdy paper for easy tracing (team trace FTW!) and subsequent storage. The instructions are quite brief, but I like them. I’d rather have brief instructions and refer to reference book than long instructions. There are pictures to help to. What I don’t like about the instructions was that English automatically meant imperial measurements. Since it was a pattern drafted in metric, couldn’t we just once get the metric measurements? So I had both sets of instructions – English and French – up, since the French had the metric.

After two muslins of the front bodice and three of the back I finally got a fit that could go on the wearable muslin. There are still some things I’d change, though. All in all the following was made: I cut a size 40, made a 3 cm FBA while lowering the bust darts 2 cm, lengthened the bodice 5 cm, took of a wedge of 6 cm (per side) in the diagonal cut of the lower back bodice and made the overlap in the neck wider. Whew!

Belladone (24)
I’m quite happy with the fit (and I should be, it took me five muslins to get here)

What did me in was my decision to face the waistband. I was worried that it would distort so I added an interfaced self-facing. And it all went downhill from there. There was no problem adding the facing per say, but the added bulk was. I inserted the zipper and it wouldn’t go up due to the bulkiness. I had to cut back the facing so it wouldn’t be caught in the zipper seam and finish it on spot since the fabric was prone to fraying. Also I had sewed something crocked and the waistband didn’t align along the zipper, since I’d rather have a sharp V at the top. I think I took out and re-sewed the zipper at least 5 times, maybe more.

Belladone (16)
Wrinkles come from wearing the dress all day

 

The fabric is a cotton pique from Stoff och Stil. I like the colour and that it is a solid with an interesting texture. I found some black bias tape in my stash and used that as binding. I had meant to use contrast on the armholes and neckline as well, but sewed it on in the wrong way and didn’t bother changing it.

The pattern was great to work with and I see myself using it again, both as it, but perhaps also as a skirt or omit the back overlap and just do the deep v-back (while widening the shoulders of the back bodice). I like the shape of the skirt, the pockets, the hem facing and, of course, the back cutout. For the next time I will change a few things, obviously. I probably won’t face the waistband (and forever dread distorting) and I will sew the neckline last to know how much overlap I need. I had a pretty good fit in my muslin, but now it gapes, so I’ll save it for last next time. I’ll also pay more attention to hopefully get a matched up waistband. Luckily, since this is a solid, I think I can get away with the un-matching waistband and hide it behind a belt, but the neck gape bothers me, I’ll might try and fix that.

Belladone (17)
Still, in the end, I’m happy with my dress

 

In the end, a cute dress, and it shows my knees (apparently my husband thinks I should wear this length more often). I’m really glad I did this wearable muslin, had this been with my good fabric, which also requires print matching, it would have ended in a disaster. Now I’m prepared to handle my good fabric, wish me luck!

Månadens tema i The Monthly Stitch-gruppen är “två” eftersom gruppen fyller 2 år i augusti. Jag har något speciellt planerat för detta tillfälle och eftersom det är lite speciellt ville jag gör ett välarbetat plagg, vilket är vad som för mig till denna kreation; den användbara toilen.

Jag kan direkt säga att denna klänning var hemsk att sy – och det var inte mönstrets fel i det minsta. Jag tog några dåliga beslut och jag fick jobba mycket på passformen av klänningen. Men, jag hatar att ge upp ett projekt, speciellt när jag tror att jag verkligen kan gilla slutprodukten. Dessutom, när jag bara hade blixtlåset och fållen kvar så skulle jag i mål, inte en chans att jag ger upp så nära mållinjen.

Mönstret är Belladone från Deer &Doe, ett mönster som länge har snurrat runt på sömnadsbloggar med sin populära rygg och snyggt formade kjol. Jag gillar att pappret är ordentligt eftersom jag alltid ritar av mönstret på eget papper. Instruktionerna är kortfattade, men jag gillar dem. Jag har hellre korta instruktioner och en referensbok tillhanda än långdragna instruktioner, dessutom finns en del bilder som visar de viktiga momenten. Vad jag inte gillar i instruktionerna är att engelska automatiskt innebär brittiska måttenheter. Eftersom mönstret faktiskt är ritat i SI-enheter kan vi inte för en gångs skulle få ett mönster på engelska med enheter i meter? Istället använde jag båda uppsättningarna av instruktioner – franska och engelska – eftersom den franska hade SI-enheter.

Efter två toiler av livet fram och tre av livet bak fick jag äntligen en passform som jag tog vidare till det användbara provplagget. Det finns fortfarande lite att ändra dock. Slutligen gjorde jag följande: Jag började med storlek 40, gjorde 3 cm FBA samtidigt som jag sänkte inprovningarna två cm och förlängde livet med 5 cm. Ur livet back tog jag bort 6 cm (per sida) i v-ringningen och överlappade bitarna i nacken mer. Pust!

Det som gjorde plagget svårsytt var mitt beslut att fodra linningen. Jag oroade mig att tyget skulle vrida sig ur form, så jag lade till ett foder med mellanlägg. Och sen gick det utför. Att lägga till fodringen var inget problem i sig, men volymen som lades till i sömmarna var. Jag sydde i mitt osynliga blixtlås och jag kunde inte dra det förbi linningen, det var för mycket tyg där. Jag fick klippa tillbaks fodringen och försöka sicksacka det på plats eftersom tygerna gärna repade upp sig. Dessutom hade något blivit snett i processen så linningen är inte helt rak där bak, jag satsade på ett bra V i ringningen istället. Totalt tror jag att jag sydde och tog ut blixtlåset minst 5 gånger, kanske fler.

Tyget är bomullspiké från Stoff och stil. Jag gillar färgen och att det är ett enfärgat tyg men med lite struktur. Jag hitta svart snedslå i mina gömmor och använde det som infodring. Först hade jag tänkt att göra även armhålen och ringningen med kontrast, men jag sydde på det fel och orkade inte ändra det.

Mönstret var bra att arbeta med och jag kan se mig använda det igen, både som det är, men kanske också bara kjolen, eller ta bort den övre delen på livet back och bara göra den djupa v-ringningen. Jag gillar formen på kjolen, fickorna, fållinfodringen och, givetvis, den öppna ryggen. Nästa gång kommer jag att ändra på en del saker, naturligtvis kommer jag inte att fodra linningen (och för alltid befara att den drar sig) och jag kommer att sy halsringningen sist för att anpassa hur mycket överlappning som behövs. Detta plagg passar rätt bra, men halsringen gapar lite så det är bara att spara till sist, en enkel ändring. Jag ska också vara mer noggrann så att linningen blir rak där bak. Som tur är, eftersom detta är ett enfärgat tyg, kan jag komma undan med det och gömma det bakom ett skärp, men den glipande halsen stör mig, får se om jag gör något åt det.

Slutligen så blev det en härlig klänningen och den visar mina knän (uppenbarligen tycker min man att jag ska bära lite kortare kjolar mer ofta). Jag är verkligen nöjd med beslutet att göra ett helt provplagg, hade detta varit i mitt fina tyg, som dessutom kräver mönsterpassning, skulle det ha slutat i katastrof. Nu känner jag mig redo att tackla det fina tyget, önska mig lycka till!

Creation: Colette Hawthorn Dress

I’m not the person to instantly buy a new pattern when it’s released. I’d rather wait and see the pattern made up by various sewers before I buy it, therefor I am always late to the pattern party. So now, two years after its release, I have finally joined the Hawthorn bandwagon. It is also one of my two makes for “One Pattern, Two Ways” in Indie Pattern Month.

Me and my two Hawthorns
Me and my two Hawthorns

According to my measurements I hit all the numbers for the size 8. Yet I had to add a 2 cm FBA (1 cm per side). Pattern drafting and pattern maths are things I will never understand. I followed the FBA tutorial on Sewalongs.com and added an extra side dart. After that I proceeded to split the waist dart in two. I really like the fit of this dress, the bodice could be a smidgen shorter, but I won’t beat myself up about it.

Bodice with plenty of darts
Bodice with plenty of darts

The fabric is a ripstop (which says nothing to me), a 50/50 blend of cotton and polyester. I like the colour and the small print of the pattern, subtle but it keeps the fabric from become boring. It pressed well and was easy to work with. The oddest thing about this fabric however, is that it was actually bought with a Hawthorn in mind! It’s been sitting in my pile for almost a year and in the end it became the dress it was intended. Isn’t that amazing!? The buttons are mother of pearl. Hawthorn dress (12) The pattern was quite easy to follow, and I made my first tower placket and cuff. They’re not perfect but for my first attempt I’m very satisfied. I really liked the fold lines on the pattern piece for the placket, which made the whole thing easier, and the pictures on the sewalong really helped a lot.

My very first placket and cuff!
My very first placket and cuff! (Maybe I forgot one stitch line?)

This is a perfect transition piece, great for work in those in between seasons. It got its first wear at the horse race track for their annual family day on Ascension Day. Carousels, taco lunch, pony rides and horse betting, it really is fun for the whole family! Especially fun when I put 10 SEK (€1.07) on Mr. Gorgonzola, just because I loved that name, and that cheesy sounding horse (pun fully intended) won and gave me 347 SEK (€37) back. Thank you Mr. Gorgonzola!

image

Can you tell I’m really pleased with my new dress? Putting an effort into fitting, something I never did before, really pays off.

Perfect twirl dress!
Perfect twirl dress!

    Som en del av The Monthly Stitch’s Indie Pattern Month har jag sytt en Hawthorn-klänning. Tyget är ripstop (50/50 bomull/polyester) från Stoff och Stil. Trots att mina mått föll précis på storlek 8 var jag tvungen att göra en FBA på 2 cm (jag kommer aldrig att förstå mönster-matte), vilket gjorde att jag lade till en sidinprovning, dessutom delade jag midjeinprovningen i två. Klänningen bar jag första gången på Jägersros familjedag där hästen Mr. Gorgonzola sprang in 347 kr på min satsade tia. Härlig klänning att bära och storvinst på travet blev en väldigt glad Helena!

Creation: The Burdastyle Sewing Handbook dress: The Leaf Dress

Once upon a time I posted about a dress I loved, my Leaf Dress. I sewed it back in the Spring of 2012. Three years ago. Back then I didn’t fit into it, especially after adding a lining. Then I spent a year and a half being pregnant and nursing. Then I tried to adjust to being a working mum of two. Now, three years later, it fits!

Leaf dress (19)
Happy that this dress finally fits (the belt is a bit big, though)

The fabric, in form of my Leaf Skirt, have made rounds during Me-Made-May and its likes and it was always one of the most appreciated garments I wore. The irony is that the skirt is now too big. The skirt was produced after the dress, so I knew I had a winner fabric on my hands. The fabric is a lovely cotton sateen, I love working with that stuff. I behaves politely and do as I please; it doesn’t shift and it presses well.

Leaf dress (21)

The pattern is the dress from the Burdastyle Sewing Handbook. This was pre my FBA days, I think it wouldn’t have hurt my to do a slight FBA, but the dress sits nicely on me. The fit is not perfect, though, as the princess seams flatten my chest. It’s just that I’m so happy to be able to wear the dress, that I don’t care! People who don’t sew will be impressed, mark my words!

Leaf dress (24)

The dress, being fully lined, may very well be one of my best-constructed garments. I can’t wait for the weather to get warmer and wear this dress! (Not too warm though as the lining is polyester). Also, I’m hoping I don’t have too high expectations on this dress, having seen it hanging in my wardrobe for three years and now being able to wear it. It is just a dress, albeit a very pretty dress. And now I can finally wear it!

The ruffle is left raw
The ruffle is left raw

Project summary:
Pattern
: The Burdastyle Sewing Handbook dress.
Difficulty: Intermediate. With my experience I didn’t find it hard, I liked the images that accompanied the instructions. However, I would not recommend this as a beginner pattern.
Alterations: Omitted the neckline ruffle and closure (although I might add a closure now that I see the pictures).

Fabric: Cotton Sateen, Acetate lining.
Notions: Thread, zipper, interfacing
Price: Fabric 100  SEK (€11.61), zipper 23 SEK (€2.67), lining 20 SEK (€2.32), thread and interfacing 10 SEK (€1.16).
Total: 149 SEK (€17.29)

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Denna klänning sydde jag för 3 år sedan. Tyvärr passade den inte då, och däremellan har jag varit gravid och ammat. Men nu, tre år senare, har jag tagit mig i kragen och nu kan jag äntligen bära den! Den sitter bra, men hade nog dragit nytta av en Full Bust Adjustment. Mönstret är klänningen från The Burdastyle Sewing Handbook och tyget är bomullssating från Stoff och Stil. Tyget är underbart! Jag älskar mönstret och känslan av det, det var underbart att arbeta med. Klänningen är helfodrad med acetatfoder.

Creation: Green BHL Anna Dress

There’s one shower I love more than any shower in the world. It’s a summer shower, the one you take after having spent the day at the beach. I can always smell the outdoors on my skin and it feels so good to get rid of the salt and sand and feel clean. It’s usually still warm, so the wet hair is no bother and when you slip into a clean dress it’s the best feeling ever. This is the dress I want to slip into whilst drinking rosé wine or, even better, Martini Rosato.

Green Anna (13)

A maxi dress is a great way to keep your legs warm as the temperatures drop in the summer evenings and ever since last midsummer I have envisioned myself in a maxi Anna (By Hand London). Since the goal on Swedish midsummer is to sit outside for as long as possible, a maxi dress is a necessity if you want to go barelegged. I envisioned a green dress paired with a dark denim jacket, which I bought on our trip to Spain in December last year.

Green Anna (1)

Being a bit *ahem* bustier than the average gal, I cut a size US8 and did a 2″  FBA on my bodice. After I did this I also lengthened the bodice, from 0 cm at the side seam to 2 cm at the centre front. The pleats were 3 cm shortened and of course corresponded with my new length. The FBA is well described on the sewalong paged, however, I don’t like the way the apex follows the pleat in stead of the pleat following the apex. Either way I am pleased with the way my dress turned out in terms of fit. I had planned on testing the thigh high split, but that was totally forgotten when I sewed the skirt, hence, no slit.

Green Anna (35)

The fabric is a cotton gingham with 3% elastane, which makes the dress really comfortable. As I had read that the Anna might not need the 3.5 metres indicated I bought 4 metres. In the end I have almost 1 metre left, so I will make a top with the remains. I’m very pleased with my research, otherwise I would have ended up with a half a metre scrap which couldn’t really be used for anything.

Green Anna (24)

One of the things I like about the Anna is that it is a maxi dress, but still holds the shape over the waist. A lot more flattering than the more commonly seen empire cuts or flowing looks. The facings are very floppy and are prone to turn to the outside, I don’t know if that’s the nature of this cut or if they could have been drafted differently. They need a whole lot of pressing to keep neat and tidy. Also, I don’t like that, according to the instructions, they’re supposed to go in before the zipper and not even be under-stitched. I put them in after the zipper and understitched them.

Green Anna (30)

Despite all the small kinks, I like this dress and it will be worn all summer, I suspect, as well as going to Italy in October. It is also my entry for The Monthly Stitch’s Indie Pattern month, entering in the Dresses category. Now, pass the Rosato.

 

Project summary:
Pattern
: By Hand London Anna dress. V-neck and no slit.
Difficulty: Easy. There is no hard sewing.
Alterations: 2″ FBA. Shortened pleats 3 cm, lengthened front bodice, 0 cm at side seam 2 cm at CF.

Fabric: Cotton gingham, with 3% elastane. From Stoff och Stil.
Notions: Thread, zipper, interfacing
Price: Fabric  150 SEK (€16), zipper 23 SEK (€2.38), thread and interfacing 10 SEK (€1.08).
Total:  183 SEK (€19.53)

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En sommarklänning för lata kvällar på altanen, efter en dag fylld med sol och bad. Mönstret är By Hand London’s Anna-klänning och jag har ökat vidden over bysten. Tyget är bomullsgingham, med några procent elastin, från Stoff och Stil, den är väldigt bekväm att ha på sig. Jag gillar att den är skuren vid midjan istället för att bara hänga rakt ner. Infodringarna är dock lite besvärliga då de har en tendens att lägga sig på rätsidan, speciellt eftersom mönstret säger att de ska sys på innan blixtlås och inte sys fast i sömsmånen (under-stitch).

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.