Category Archives: Skirt

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.

Me-Made-May 2022; Day 13-24

May is moving on and here are my next 12 outfits. For the first half of the month, click here.

Days 13-16

Day 13: Today at work, I just wanted to be comfortable. A t-shirt dress to the resuce!
Wearing: Venus Dress and RTW Cardigan.

Day 14: We had friends over for dinner today and out of context my exclaim that “I hate this time of year” seems off. But in context, it was that we discussed how hard it was to get dressed for these in-between temperatures, especially if you’re leaving the house. You want to go bare-legged, and during the day you can, but in the evening you need to cover your legs and that’s boring. Still, I was at home, so I had more freedom.
Wearing: Purple Aubépine

Day 15: Cleaning up from yesterday’s gathering, biking and sewing a toile for a very exciting project were the items on today’s agenda. The very exciting project? My husband and I are going to attend a ball (!) in Vienna (!!) in August, so today I sewed the first torn bedsheet version of How To Do Fashion’s Marrakesh pattern. I love the neckline and style of the dress and I hope it will look good in the purple taffeta I’ve bought. First toile looks very promising, but I need to ponder it for a while.
Wearing: Covid Briar and unseen shorts (cause they don’t deserve to be seen. Very comfy though).

Day 16: Back to the office after a nice weekend. I stopped by the library to pick up a book I’d booked (Egalia’s Daughters) and took todays photo in the library.
Wearing: Coral Trousers, Striped Wrap top and RTW jacket.

Days 17-20

Day 17: One of my favourite fabric and pattern pairings in a while, and premiere wearing of my recent denim Chardon. This skirt is so lovely!
Wearing: Denim Chardon, Simone T-shirt and RTW jacket.

Day 18: Right before snapping this picture I managed to cut my finger on my key, don’t ask me how, so the pose is a bit awkward. The 1.5 cm cut on my right index finger had just begun to bleed, but I didn’t feel like going inside to take care of it and then going back out for the photo.
Wearing: Green Aubetura and Rhombus trousers

Day 19: Fun day! After work I met my sister and dad for “dinner and a show”. The dinner was delicious tapas and the show was the music of Benny Andersson. Mostly known for being one B of ABBA, his musical deed is so much bigger, covering everything from pop, to musicals, to Swedish folk music. I love listening to live music, and hearing a symphony orchestra, well there’s something special about it. I scoured the internet and found the music sheet for Födelsedagsvals till Mona (birthday valse to Mona (Benny’s wife)), and I hope to learn them over the weekend. It’s such a beautiful piece!
Wearing: Sunshine shirt dress and white zip cardigan. The tights came off later in the day, making this my first bare-legged day out and about.

Day 20: Apparently, I dressed in discarded French military uniform today; blue, white and red. The story, which I was told, was that the French didn’t believe in camouflage, that they would intimidate the enemy just on presence alone, and then they had to make their presence known by dressing in bright colours. I did as well, but not as a not the French military. However, the fit of these trousers is really bothering me, excess fabric in the crotch and too tight over the calves. I was ready to rip them apart, salvaging the zippers and button, but then I was distracted by my recently printed music sheet.
Wearing: Coral Trousers, Denim Datura, White Zip cardigan.

Days 21-24

Day 21: My husband and daughter were away all weekend, my son and I were home together. To both our tastes we did our own things and met for mealtimes. We both enjoyed the day.
Wearing: Pinda Trousers, Eloise Hoodie and T-shirt with bows.

Day 22: The intention was to spend this day in the same manner as yesterday, but since it was my sister’s birthday she invited us to a café for some cake. Can’t say no to that! I got compliments on the dress, specifically the tucks along the bodice and sleeves. I had been worried that they’d get lost in the busy print, but as it turned out; they didn’t.
Wearing: Purple Aubépine and RTW denim jacket

Day 23: Despite better judgment, I wore the coral trousers again and they were still ill-fitting and too tight (I mean, there is a reason why the linked post for them is “Sewing fails 2019”). So I ended the day by ripping out all those zippers and the buttons to go on a new project. At the same time I also noticed that the turquoise chinos I wore earlier in the month were pretty badly torn (cheap fabric) and now I’ve ended up with no trousers in a fun colour. I need to change that!
Wearing: Coral Trousers, Scissors Shirt, RTW jacket.

Day 24: I’m abroad (Outside Royal Arena in Copenhagen)! In November 2019 my sister and I bought tickets to see Trevor Noah and today was the day it was finally happening. Even sitting in the arena waiting for Trevor himself to show it was a surreal feeling. My sister, having admired the tucks two days earlier, said she liked the skirt, but was relieved to find out that I hadn’t made all the embroidery, the fabric was bought as such.

Wearing: Denim Chardon, Striped Stella, RTW/Thrifted Jacket

Stay tuned for the final days and my lessons learnt.

Me-Made-May 2022; Days 1-12

The Pledge

While I never did announce it here, over on Instagram I am taking part in Me-Made-May 2022. As this was the month we returned to the office full time, as well as having several social engagements; my pledge was focused on that. After 2 year of social distancing, how does my wardrobe hold up?

Days 1-4

Day 1: One aspect of returning full time to the office is that I can finally remove the last pieces of office from my sewing room. I put the screen in the closet and tidied up the rest. I do look forward to having separate spaces for work and play, even though I need to commute every day. It’s about 20 minutes one way, a mostly lovely drive in the countryside while listening to a podcast, it’s not that bad.
Wearing: A Sysysy-dress in pique.

Day 2: For the first days of Me-Made-May I must squeeze in the garments that are soon no longer weather-appropriate. I did this in this combo, one I found I liked a lot more than expected. The blouse is polyester, so it’ll be uncomfortable in warmer temperatures, and while I hemmed it sing bias tape, I can see that the hemline is beginning to unravel. This day I solved it by wearing it tucked in, but I really should mend it properly.
Wearing: Aubetura blouse and Burda skirt

Day 3: Again, an outfit for a bit more chilly weather. These will very soon get put away until the autumn.
Wearing: Airelle blouse and Burda trousers

Day 4: Pairing this dress and my pink Converse shoes has been on my mind for quite a while, so today I pulled them out of the wardrobe. I like the combination!
Wearing: Aubépine dress, RTW blazer.

Days 5-8

Day 5: One thing about my work is that it sometimes requires long legged trousers (it’s, at the moment, partly a construction site and to enter that part that type of dressing is mandatory). Since I might need to go out there today I wore my chinos, paired with a t-shirt and sweatshirt. While I do like the pieces individually, I felt this outfit lacking in something; colour perhaps, especially in the t-shirt/trousers combo. In order to be able to dress more freely, this was the day I brought an old pair of trousers and a long-sleeved t-shirt to keep at work, that way I could go the construction site no matter what I dressed in that morning.
Wearing: Sara Chinos, star sweatshirt, blue striped wrap top (unseen)

Day 6: This day I knew I needed long-legged trousers (in addition, we also need high-vis vest, safety shoes, hardhat, goggles and gloves; I didn’t take a photo in full get-up). While it’s not more colourfulthan yesterday’s outfit; I still liked it more. Same trousers, same sweatshirt, just a different top. And shoes. Maybe pink Converse can save any outfit? I made these trousers in a cheap twill, and I noticed later that they have ripped along the back welt pocket. Sigh!
Wearing: Sara Chinos, Bruyere shirt, Star sweatshirt (not in picture)

Day 7: Weekend at last! That in-between weather. After my workout I ventured into the city to listen to a concert in which my kid was playing. The School of Cultures is in a 100 year old building, so I posed in the staircase, I love old time staircases (this one is my favourite), so I couldn’t resist the opportunity. In the evening we had friends over for dinner and hanging out (laughing till I cried. Good times!)
Wearing: Coral trousers and Covid Briar

Day 8: A chill Sunday at home. Cleaning up after last night, and finishing my purple Aubépine were the items on my agenda.
Wearing: Grey Brumby and Red Knit top.

Days 9-12

Day 9: I wanted to add some colour to my work outfit and settled on a green Aubétura and denim skirt. I really like the design lines of the skirt, they shine in this fabric, but I’m not convinced it pairs well with the Aubétura blouse. Ah, well.
Wearing: Green Aubetura and Olga in Denim

Day 10: If yesterday was about colour, today was about neutrals. Premiere wearing of my rhomb trousers, paired with my scissors shirt. I think the shirt lends enough humour to the outfit as to not get boring.
Wearing: Rhomb Trousers and Scissors shirt.

Day 11: Work again, but with an added team activity of shuffleboard and dinner in the evening. In order to have some wine, I took public transport today, which is why I am wearing my work backpack on the way to the bus stop, instead of having it in the car waiting to be driven to work. I can take public transport door to door, however it takes at least 45 minutes each way and clashes with pickups/drop-offs at school. And in the same time I could theoretically bike to work.
Wearing: Coral Trousers and White Bruyere.

Day 12: Tired morning. I wish it was Friday, so I went for a casual Friday look. That said, around the office you see people in all types of wardrobe around here. If you’re eagle-eyed, you’ll see that the bomber jacket of today, matches the skirt of day 1. Although I haven’t worn them together yet.
Wearing: Rhomb Trousers, Teal Bomber and RTW t-shirt

Sewn: A Deer and Doe Denim Duo

As you may have noticed, I prefer taking my pictures outdoors, in natural light. As I live fairly up north, during winter we don’t have a lot of sunlight, which is an issue for my half-assed self-timer phone photos. And, now, even though it’s April, we’re past equinox so daylight is no longer an issue, the weather continues to throw me for loops.

April weather in Sweden is notorious for its constantly changing weather, logically dubbed “April weather”. In the grand scheme this means that one day can feel like summer, the next can have hail and frost. This, according to Wikipedia has to do with the fact that the sun warms the ground, but high up in the atmosphere, where the clouds are formed, it still cold. Last week we had the ultimate April weather day; in one day we had rain, snow, sunshine, hail and thunder. Late March usually gives us a glimpse of hope for warmer weather, but April sure knows how to knock us straight to the ground.

While the weather is keeping me on my toes with regards to warmer weather, my sewing is already there. Summer clothes are on my agenda! Last year I bought a remnant piece of this lovely embroidered chambray, and immediately pictured it as a Deer and Doe Chardon, perfect for summer. I jokingly suggested to my husband to go full 70s with bell bottoms and the border print there, or just a maxi, he didn’t seem to realise that those things are not my personal style at all. However, the Chardon fits in with my preferred silhouette. The border embroidery was on the cross-grain, and with what was left over, I was able to cut a Deer and Doe Datura. The Datura is a basic woven tank, with the yoke and a dart to give it shape. For this version I omitted the collar and I cut the back on the center fold. I used a scrap for my stash as lining for the inner yokes.

The Chardon is pretty easy to fit, since it only needs to fit in the waist and there are several places to play with some width; in all the pleats as well as the side seams. For the Datura, I cut a straight 42, and added 2 cm each to the yoke and the bodice piece. I like these pieces and I do like the faux dress look they create. Now I just need the April weather to make way for some actual spring.

Fabric: Embroidered chambray from tyg.se

Patterns: Deer and Doe Chardon (skirt) and Datura (top)

Summer Sewing 2021 – Outcome

As I have mentioned before, I do like to plan my sewing. For each new season, I make a plan. As each season ends, I try to figure out what I missed, what I wore, what never got worn to, hopefully, remember for next year so I can make a better plan. For the summer of 2021, here’s what I planned:

What I planned

This year I tried to go for a mini-capsule, where all pieces would mix and match, also while using fabrics I had accumulated over the year. I did sew all of those piece, maybe not the exact pattern (you’ll see what I mean) and added a few pieces that I also needed, but that didn’t necessarily fit into the capsule.

What I sewed!

I truly love the bumblebee dress, how it fits, how it looks, the fabric! The Vaccine Top is also a pretty big hit, it’s a bit dressier (not shown here is the plunging back neckline) and that, since it’s white, goes with plenty of bottom pieces. The other white top, not in plan (pattern Burda 06-2018-121) is a fail. It’s a pique fabric and I’m having trouble getting the neckline to lie flat. But the biggest issue is that against all better judgement, I should have known better than to put gathers around my boobs. While I thought I’d like this for really warm days, it has hardly been warm and I wouldn’t want to wear it outside of the house.

The little jacket from Knipmode (Edition 04/2019 cannot find pattern online), in a stretchy sweatshirt knit, is a very nice little summer jacket. I just haven’t been out a lot in weather that would need it, but surely it can be worn for fall as well? And I didn’t call you Shirley.

As for the bottoms, the blue skirt is lovely in colour and length (and has a post of its own). The tie-dye culottes (Burda 06-2018-103) I made because, well, I needed shorts. I liked the idea of a longer length and the styling made it seem like the overlapping flap would make the culottes look more like a skirt. Truth be told, while I like the shape, the flap mostly gets caught between my legs. If I were to make these culottes again, I’d make them without the flap, and I’d add a waistband. Interfaced waistlines just don’t do it for me.

Now the red trousers. Certainly a pair of 3/4-length trousers are a staple of a summer wardrobe up in the Nordics. I love the fabric and the pattern with the cool pocket details (Burda 10-2017-113). However, someone really stupid (not naming names or placing blame here, people!) didn’t check the stretch of the fabric and didn’t realise that it went on the cross grain of the fabric instead of the straight grain. So now I have trousers that stretch well in the lengthwise direction, but not so much where I actually would want the stretch. Stupid! Plus the haphazard stretch made it harder to get the pocket details sharp. You live you learn (eventually, last fall I made the exact same error.

As for random things to consider for next year’s summer sewing:

  • I need more colour!
  • I want some more vowen, slightly looser tops
  • Viscose knits are lovely to wear in warm weather, but I need to stay clear of the nightgown feeling they can give me
  • I’d like more practical shorts – cargo style – for hikes and similar outings.

Also I’m likely to find lovely fabrics over the year to come, so who know what I’ll want to sew then…

Sewn: A Grey Brumby

This weekend past was a long weekend here in Sweden, Ascension Day is a public holiday and at my office we always get the Friday off ass well, so Woo-hoo, four day weekend!  We had grand plans, well grand to be in the Covid-19 pandemic of 2020, we meant to meet people. Friends on the Thursday and Friday was my sister 40th birthday so she invited us to a picnic. On Wednesday night my son started sneezing, which was a full-blown cold by Thursday and thus all plans were cancelled.

Love the skirt paired with my denim jacket

Luckily, I had planned to get my car inspected on the Wednesday (mandatory in Sweden), so since I had to leave the house, I also decided to go do some fabric shopping. During April I’ve made a big dent in my stash (11 metres out, nothing in. Still had about 70 metres, though), but I wanted something new and fresh to work with. I picked up four pieces and one of them hardly spent any time in my fabric box, it’s already made into a skirt. Imagine that!

Exposed zipper in the back

I spent last year’s black Friday money with Megan Nielsen, purchasing the Briar and the Brumby. I’ve made several Briars already, but this was my first completed Brumby. With some stashed jacquard, I’ve made half a Brumby, but decided to put it off until colder seasons, I mean I need to take the opportunity to make some warm weather clothes, right?

Please note that I put on pretty shoes for these photos

This is version 2, midi length with many gathers. The hem is a bit deeper than designed, both because I liked it so and to shorten the skirt a bit. I also failed at realizing how a zipper is measured so it sits a bit low and I had to add a hook and eye at the top. Other than that the pattern is sewn as intended. It was a nice pattern to work with, I probably could have drafted something similar myself, but I don’t want to and I’ll gladly pay for someone else to do it, if I think it’s a pattern I’ll use a lot. I liked that the Brumby is not an ordinary rectangle into dirndl skirt, but there is some shaping in both the skirt panels and the waistband. Also, the tutorial for inserting the exposed zipper really helped.

The fabric is a linen/viscose blend, which, once you get over the fraying, is lovely to work with and it was perfect for this skirt. I see this skirt being a summer staple piece and besides the jacquard version for winter, I’m also envisioning a cupro Brumby for winter events. Conclusion: It’s a nice little pattern!

 

Me-Made May, the first half

While I do share my outfits every day on Instagram, I want to share them here too. To really make myself think about my outfits, what I like and what I don’t like.

Day 1: Meeting people. At a distance, of course. Wearing Checkered Chardon, a Megan Nielsen Briar in linen knit and a double gause Simplicity 8610 jacket.
Since I was actually leaving the house this day, I tried to combine things in a new way. It kind of works. I’m still debating whether or not I should add a button to the jacket.

Day 2: Staying casual at home in Waffle Patterns Pinda pants and Burda 11/2019 hoodie.
Casual and comfy. Nothing more, nothing less.

Day 3: Wearing Waffle Patterns Pinda Pants, RTW tank and Megan Nielsen Briar. And thrifted pink Converse.
I had to rush out as soon as the store opened as we were out of toilet paper (we’re so not hoarding!) and something for the kid to bring to scouting. Tired, but comfy and I had those pink shoes to cheer me up!

Day 4-6, all working from home in knit tops.
On 4 and 5 I’m wearing a wrap top from Burda 02/2020, thrifted trousers on day 4 and my Olga skirt on day 5. I love the colour of the top and the details of the skirt. And look at those lime green leaves in the background! Day 6 is a meh outfit. Both pieces are from Allt om Handarbete (top, trousers) and I need to make so many adjustments to get them to fit, both in terms of sizing and other alterations, that I think I’m done with that company. The colour scheme is nice, though, and the top is a bit better with a belt.

Day 7-9Day 7: I won the Hey June Lane Raglan in an IG giveaway and after six weeks of travelling from the US it arrived and I already had a fabric dedicated to it. A nice and comfy t-shirt, I like the fit since the pattern came with a built in FBA and I like the paint effect of the blue stripes.
Day 8: I went all out with blue shades today! This dress is so comfortable, but still with a nice shape. The fabric is pique and the free pattern is from Swedish designer Jenny Hellström. Rest is RTW. While in theory I would want a me-made denim jacket I don’t see the point as this jacket is perfectly fine. Once it’s worn out, we’ll talk.
Day 9: I went on a pre-breakfast bikeride and while waiting for the family parkour with my daughter I threw on some old sweat pants and a t-shirt. They served their purpose for keeping me clothed, but not sweating on anything precious

Day 10: Lane Raglan again. Handstitching a hem on a dress in one of my favourite fabrics.
Day 11: Pinda pants, a slouchy cardigan in linen knit (refashioned from a me-made warp cardigan) and an Allt om handarbete knit blouse. This knit blouse is OK, despite my complaining of the company earlier. And, while not shown, I like to think my sleeves are better matched than their own example.
Day 12: OK, so I wore the same outfit as yesterday, but got around the issue by wearing a me-made top for the gym. This is a nice airy top, but it’s quite tricky to put on, and it does show off my efforts at the gym.

Day 13: Olga skirt and grey MN Briar. I like the silhouette of this outfit, but, as can be seen in the two Briar outfits above, the neckline is very wide on me. And then I’ve taken in the knit one!
Day 14: These trousers have so many cool details (that I effectively hide) and I love the colour, but the fit is off as they are Allt om handarbete. Their block and I are just not compatible! The linen knit works like this, a bit slouchy (in the best way) over a tank. It was an experiment and while OK, not great.
Day 15: It was grey, windy and raining, so I decided to wear some blue skies and flowers. Clothes can help elevate your mood! The pattern is New Look 6301 and it’s comfortable and put together. A great dress!

Sewn: The Curtain Skirt

This project is near and dear to my heart. After my grandfather passed away 2 years ago, we had the task of cleaning out his and my grandmother’s (who had passed 5 years earlier) flat. We took one weekend, my cousins, my aunt and uncle, my dad and my sister, and spent it in their flat, sharing memories and mementos, telling stories and reminiscing. An interesting detail was that we all had connection to different things and stories to share and others had forgotten about.

And yes, I made that top as well. Pretty happy with the top/skit/belt styling here.

Anyway, my grandmother was quite the crafty person. Having grown up as the eighth of nine siblings in a contract family, statare in Swedish. Due to the conditions as well as WW2, the whole family was told to make do and mend. She enjoyed working with her hands, as did her mother, and tried many ventures; sewing, crocheting, weaving, lace-making, knitting and quilting. She continued to learn new things, she took up quilting in her 60s because she wanted to learn something new.

If you’re wondering about that right hand side blur – my phone slipped in the case.

While sorting through the linen closet we came across these curtains, which were woven by my grandmother with an added lace edge, crocheted by her. While it is a curtain fabric, I wanted to keep it and make it work for some sort of garment, most likely a structured skirt due to the nature of the fabric. It took me a while to find that pattern and then it took me some building of courage to cut into the piece of fabric. Luckily, my aunt cheered me on as she wanted the fabric to be used rather than just lying in box somewhere.

Pleats in front, double darts in back

I went with a skirt from Burda 01/2020, number 111. I like the Burda patterns and came across a few magazine in a Facebook pattern group, so I decided to expand my collection. This skirt features pleats that go all the way up into the facing, which leaves an interesting visual effect. Pleats and darts, as in the back (double darts! Great fit!), don’t usually involve the facing, but in this pattern both do extend to the self-facing, which makes for a pretty good fit. I shortened the skirt a bit, which I had to decide beforehand since I wanted the lace edge for the hem and omitted the belt loops and self-belt. While I think I will be wearing the skirt with belt, due to its shape I think the belt will stay put. Otherwise, it is an easy add on, should I change my mind. I also added a cotton/poly voile lining, due to the weave being a bit loose and, well, white. I just sewed it onto the self-facings, added the darts and pleats and sewed the side seams really long.

The double darts make for a great fit.

I’m glad I finally dared to cut that fabric and I hope my grandmother likes the idea of cutting her fabric up in order to make something I’ll get a lot of use out of. My aunt texted me a newspaper clip, with the final line saying that we should honor the artisan by using their things, so she approved of my decision. And every time I wear this skirt I’ll be sure to send my grandmother a thought, wherever she is.

 

The Denim Skirt of Rectangles

Sometimes you just want to sew something mindless. Engage your hands in something, but not something that requires too much concentration or skill. New Year’s Day was a day like that. I was tired from a night of good company, good food and many good drinks, plus my daughter had a nasty cough as well. Needless to say, I needed some sewing time, but I wasn’t up for undertaking any project with many details or where precise sewing was required.

When adding the belt loops, I didn’t realise that the front was was right in the CF. So the belt’s a bit off on the side.

Enter the Trijntje skirt! I’d been planning to sew a weekender skirt, i.e. a skirt that is comfortable to wear around the house or doing weekend errands. Simple enough. The denim was a remnant from my Denim Pinda pants so I had what I had and needed to work around that.

See, all rectangles. But they’re great to sew on New Year’s Day!

I’m not entirely sure this pattern even qualify as a pattern. Let me tell you what it is: It is to rectangles sewn together with two rectangles sewn on top. Then some rectangles are sewn in the top to form a casing to pull the elastic through and voilà: a skirt! Some pretty topstitching hide the fact that it’s all just a bunch of rectangle sewing. Which is, in fact, the perfect New Year’s Day sewing. I didn’t even bother to trace this “pattern” I just measured the pieces and transferred the measurements to the fabric.

The rectangle skirt, as styled in Knipmode

The styling in the magazine (Knipmode 04/2018) included a self-belt, but I didn’t have enough fabric for that, having already shortened the skirt to account for the yardage I had. I intended to make the belt loops though, as to wear the skirt with a regular belt. Then I misplaced the last scrap, believing I had thrown them away (that’s what I get for cleaning my sewing room!) and scrapped (pun, intended) that idea. However, the elastic is a bit too long to hold up the weight of the skirt on its own (very comfortable though) and I cursed past me for loosing that last piece.

This skirt does its job; provides a good leisure skirt

Then I was sorting my fabric and this time the cleaning paid off. Hidden among my knits I found that missing piece of denim and I could proceed to add the belt loops, 1 month after completing the rest of the skirt.

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!