Category Archives: Outerwear

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.

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It’s Been A Year Or Two Since I Was Out On The Floor

In August 2019 I bought tickets for the May 2020 Green Day concert in Stockholm. Then it was pushed to May 2021. Now, June 2022, it finally happened! And in the meantime Weezer was added to the lineup, which was such a pleasant surprise!

shakin’ booty, making sweet love all the night

I saw Green Day in concert in 2017, so I kinda knew what to expect. And, let me tell you, they know how to put on a show. There are great songs, pyrotechnics, this time they had added interesting cameras (I was mesmerized by one placed one the head of Mike Dirnt’s bass guitar as he was playing the Longview riff). Weezer on the other hand didn’t have so much of a show, but man are those songs great. It felt like seeing an old friend again wondering why we don’t meet up more often. So, to counteract the fact that I haven’t listened to a lot of Weezer lately (I did listen to them back in the day, and they were in my top 3 band for 2020 on Spotify)) I’ve been blasting them in the car these past days. And singing out loud, thankfully I drive alone. I’m a born again Weezer fan! (I never stopped being a Green Day fan)

It’s time I got back to the good life

Just as five years ago, I feel at a loss at the what to wear to a rock concert, my wardrobe doesn’t reflect my inner rocker persona (even if I did try to rectify that, I didn’t get to the interesting black and white fabrics of this plan). I have some ideas how to rock up my wardrobe. This outfit, however, is not one of them.

It’s time I got back, it’s time I got back, and I don’t even know how I got off the track

I don’t know what prompted me to make a cheerleader outfit, but here it is. I wanted a petrol light jacket, to be worn indoors, and I bought some extra of this stretch cotton sateen to make a matching set. To spice things up, in my very subdued way, I bought a silver lining fabric, silver zipper and some iron-on stars, also silver. Such a good combo, the petrol and silver. 

Both patterns are Burdastyle, and both were in that good place of having interesting details to sew, but still not too tricky (even if the jacket had to pause following a scant week of covid). The instructions were a bit sparse regarding the insertion of the zipper with the main fabric, lining and rib neckline, I did my thing which I don’t think is entirely correct, but it works. As for alterations, while the skirt has none, the jacket body is lengthened 5 cm, and the sleeves by some bit. I didn’t write it down. Unfortunately, I should have added a bit more, they were designed to be ¾ sleeves, I wanted them full length but they are a tad too short. I think I’m the only one it bothers. I also added what became over-dimensioned welt pockets to the front of the jacket, following this tutorial (in Swedish) by Frk Wiberg.

I wanna go back, YEAH!

Even though they are designed as a set, I haven’t yet worn them as such. The pieces have been worn individually but not together, and I’m not sure they will. Unless I’m at some point going to a fancy dress party as a cheerleader. 

Patterns: Burda 125-02-2013 (jacket); Burda 109-10-2017 (skirt)
Fabric: Petrol cotton sateen from tyg.se; Silver acetate lining and grey rib knit from Selfmade
Notions: Metal zipper; invisible zipper; interfacing; iron-on stars
Also wearing: Covid Briar (not sure it’s a good match). I really did like my Me-Made-May outfit of the skirt paired with the floral Aubetura.

Soundtrack: The Good Life by Weezer.

Autumn Sewing and Winter Plan

As I continue sewing with a plan, but still take the occasional detour, I think a lot about what I want to wear and what I actually need. For the past year and a half, as I’ve been mostly working from home, I’ve realised that I like to get dressed when working (no sweat pants!) but my wardrobe has been much more casual than when going to the office. T-shirts have been worn aplenty, some to the point of disintegrating.

The Autumn Plan

(Disclaimer: I did once have a Zoom meeting in my robe as I had worked out and showered during lunch and the person I met called me earlier than scheduled).

So, now we are hoping that a more regular presence at the office is near (currently I have two set days, and “when necessary”) it’s time to update my work wardrobe, something that has been reflected in the fall plan I’ve sewn.

The Autumn Outcome

My autumn plan was also a trial of several patterns and style, such as the green blazer and combining Deer and Doe’s Aubepine and Datura into a blouse. The skirt was sewn, but it was planned as a colour-blocked affair, it became all green and the grey and black stretch twills will become separate skirts in the next plan. It could also be noted that I felt green was lacking in my wardrobe, so I’ve tried to remedy that. The trousers, which will have a proper post, are a bit too big, but I like the style and colour of them.

The Winter Plan

As I was sitting down to plan my winter sewing I had an epiphany. Last year I read “The Curated Closet” and one of the tasks was to name your style – and it didn’t need to make sense for anyone else but yourself. And then, the name just came to me “Office nerd connecting with inner rock chick”. I’ve been trapped in making “office appropriate” clothing (even worse when I worked in controlling) and lost a bit of myself. So, let’s change that! I found some fun fabrics at tyg.se that I feel go with the look I’m imagining. Blouses, shirts and t-shirts under blazers, skinny bottoms and colours. I hope it’ll feel right. And, yeah we’re going to a wedding so I need some attire for that as well, in silver and blue.

The Winter plan Fabrics. Office nerd goes rock’n’roll?

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 16 Hours Coat

Where do I start? Do I start with that this my greatest sewing achievement ever? That I, in secret, is happy that this is done and my sewing will not be covered in red lint, although I’m sure I will find it around for a long time to come?

Front view. It has side pockets (I should have made them a bit bigger).

I think I’ll go with awesome. I actually made me a coat! A real coat, with lining and toggles and all that shebang. It all began with that feeling that I wanted to make something a bit more challenging. Then I noticed that my winter jacket, bought in 2011, was ripping. Now surely, being a sewer I could have fixed that. I didn’t, I chose to do a new coat instead. Then the old jacket ripped even further as I was wearing it (it’s the sleeve to bodice seam).

Back view. I like the shape of the coat, but I have some issues controlling the collars.

One of the issues I have had with coatmaking is that I’m slightly allergic to wool, it makes me itch. I don’t know if it’s all types of wool, but quite frankly I did not want to invest in a whole bunch of wool only to find out at the end of the project that the lining doesn’t do enough to keep my skin from crawling. So a polyester substitute it was. I ordered some samples from tyg.se, then I got a newsletter from them alerting a new arrival. I had wanted to make a red coat, but not too red, and now they had a perfect boucle for my project. Combined with quilted, padded lining I started out. The toggles I bought later, from Bibbis textil.

Red toggles! And a snap to keep the top closed.

The pattern I used was Simplicity 8262, designed by Leanne Marshall, winner of Project Runway season 5. I found the pattern quite easy to work with, it all came together easily, that is until I had to turn the lining. I could not wrap my head around the instructions, how to fasten the coat to the lining along with sleeves and then turn it. In the I handstitched the “turning hole” in the back bottom as well as the sleeves. It took me around 15 minutes, much shorter than what I had spent deciphering the instructions without luck.

Gold lining. And a sewing room floor. And a foot.

This coat is not perfect. There are flaws that I could have avoided. But it was my first time making a coat and it’s still so cool and I will wear it a lot as it does keep me cozy and warm. The first test run was on a particularly windy day (all days here are windy, so it’s very windy when I say particularly windy) (it also happened to be my birthday, so wearing my coat for the first time was an excellent way of celebrating myself). I made a self-belt, not sure if like it or not also I’m not sure this turquoise scarf is the best colour match. But technicalities. Bottom line: I made a freaking awesome coat!

My own label. Made in Sweden.
I also remembered to add a loop for hanging, it’s not in the pattern

The title of the post? For fun I wrote down how long each session was and what I had done during that session. In the end it added up to 16 hours spent on this coat.