As I mentioned in my previous post, I think the hunt for likes is taking over the actual exchange of information in the online sewing community; and I am part of that downward spiral. I’ve gotten a bit of Instagram fatigue, since I’m missing the interaction beyond just pressing the like. Sewing is one of my hobbies, and I have no intentions at all to make it anything else than that, but as others do I find my interest in them dwindling; most of the people I unfollow on Instagram are those that make too many collaborations or start their own business.
But as people try to find ways to make money of their sewing hobby, it also means that discussions that were previously held on Instagram, in blogs or on Facebook (or any other social media platform of your choice) are now behind closed doors, accessible through a membership fee. It seems to work for them, but what about just sharing your hobbies with friends?
Looking forward to 2023, I will try to be better at engaging with others. Comment on blogs and IG posts, be more active in my FB groups. While quoting Gandhi for this frivolous topic seems quite pretentious; still I need to be change I want to see in the sewing community.
As for my own sewing, I will continue to sew with a plan and take charge over my wardrobe. I’ve been using the Acloset app all autumn which has been interesting to see what I wear and what is left hanging in the closet. I did start the year using the 30 wears app, but it stopped working (for me?) in the middle of the year. My closet should be filled with garments I love and that I love to wear. Sadly this is never the truth as you still need some clothes for yard work and other things around the house.
This year I aim to not buy new things and use what I have. For fabrics, it shouldn’t be a problem for regular clothing, last year had a high influx with souvenir shopping in Alkmaar and Vienna, as well as a win in an Instagram contest. Patterns, as well, should not be a problem, unless I need something very specific. As for notions, I have some, but it also depends on what I actually make. But the goal is that my output metreage of fabric is higher than the input.
While I tried to get back into blogging, not all of my creations for 2022 made it on here. Sometimes it feels like I’m standing shouting in an empty room “look at this dress!” “these trousers are awesome” or “OK, so I screwed up on this one!” and nobody is out there listening. I miss the days when you got comments on your blog posts and reflections, now it’s all about the likes which is less personal, both on blogs and Instagram. And I’m bad at that myself, falling into the downward spiral (plus it doesn’t help that my blog reader of choice, Bloglovin’ is down a lot of the time. Is there another one?). I haven’t decided if I will keep this blog up and running, but that’s an issue for the future. For now let’s summarise 2022.
I sewed a total of 24 garments in total; a mix of outerwear, tops, shirts, blouses, dresses, men’s wear, children wear. Basically most stuff except for underwear and exercise clothes. I had a pretty good stride in the spring, then in the fall we did some major renovations on the house which sucked up a lot of energy and time, so sewing was put on the back burner.
As can be seen, I sewed a great variety of garments, but for pattern companies, Deer and Doe as well as Burda were dominating my sewing. I tried one new to me pattern company which was Danish company How To Do Fashion. Since I have quite a large collection of patterns, I try to use and adapt those, rather than buying new patterns, and when I do buy patterns it’s usually through Marketplace on FB.
As I was trying to figure out my top and bottom 5, I had trouble both narrowing down my top 5, as well as reaching 5 for my bottom list; a sign that I’ve figured out what I like to sew and wear. I mean, especially my Striped Stella, the thing that is bad with it is really minor.
Let’s start with the not so good, in no particular order.
I’m still not friends with viscose jersey, and this top also suffers from being too short in the waste. I wear it around the house, but what I actually need are some knit tops for work, this was not one. The question is if I will ever become friends with viscose jersey.
I like the style of the jacket, but I don’t like to wear it, the trouble is mainly the sleeves. They are designed to be 7/8 sleeves, but that is an awkward length and I thought they’d be full length on my short arms. They aren’t and are now neither full length or 7/8. Also, I was very lazy and machine-stitched the rib cuff closed, which created a very uncomfortable seam on the inside of the cuff. Let this be a lesson to me, not to cheat in these manners.
The search for a woven t-shirt ended, at least for now, on a D&D Aubépine/Datura mashup. I made which I liked, unfortunately the hem started to pill, this is my second version. I think the fabric I chose here, while soft, doesn’t have enough drape. It just doesn’t sit nice.
This top is fine, but I made the neckline binding too loose, so it sits quite unflatteringly. It is an easy fix, if I just remembered to save the left-overs, but I worry about cutting the neckline down further. If I have the fabric left, I recon I should try.
Another attempt at making a knit top with interesting design lines. This one from Burda XX/2014. It sits weird (lazy me, not properly FBA’ing) and the keyhole gives too much cleavage if I pull it down. The neckties feel too tight around my neck, I don’t like too restricting clothes. It hasn’t been worn yet, and maybe it does in order to truly be tested.
Let’s move on to the good stuff!
These trousers were completed in August, and since then they have been worn 35 times. They are so comfortable and practical with the big pockets and are in constant rotation in my closet. These were made in a polyester stretch twill, and I’m planning to upgrade to a denim pair.
It should come as a surprise to no one that I totally love Deer & Doe’s patterns. In this case I really did the perfect matching of fabric to pattern and I love the end result. The perfect everyday skirt for warmer weather!
There’s so many lovely memories associated with this dress, that it doesn’t matter that there is some wonkiness. The evening spent at a ball in Vienna was amazing and I’ll remember it forever. I felt really pretty and unique in this dress, which was everything I was going for. Plus, the dress even got to take a swirl on the dance floor in a proper Viennese Waltz.
Well, baby, I don’t need any of them Heaven nor hell
I don’t know when it was, but sometime between 2010 and 2015, I’m not sure of the date, I heard the song Heaven Nor Hell with Volbeat on the radio. As I do like rock, the song appealed to me, but the lyrics really spoke to me. As an atheist I don’t need heaven nor hell, I’m trying to be a good person here and now, without the threats of hell or rewards of heaven.
Anyway, after many long years living as Volbeat fans, we were able to score tickets to see them in Copenhagen. As it is their home ground, the tickets sold out quickly. My husband, by listening to them a lot on Spotify, were in the second priority group, the first were fan club members, and it was pretty slim pickings for our turn. I think everything was sold out by the time they were released to the general public. Last week we went, the arena was packed. Now, while I haven’t seen the before, from what I could tell lead singer/guitarist Michael Poulsen looked very happy to be playing in Denmark. He looked relaxed, made jokes and maybe that is how he normally is on stage, but he did look genuinely happy. And I managed to follow along with most of the chit chat between the songs, not all of it. While I understand some Danish, it is easier in a conversation and not in a fully packed arena where the sound is designed for music. Volbeat is a great band and the concert was awesome! For anyone counting it was arena #2 for 2022 and 3rd proper band (6th if including supporting acts).
About a year ago, I set my personal style philosophy as “office nerd connects with inner rocker” and I’ve been trying to update my wardrobe accordingly. I don’t know how successful I am in creating clothes I actually wear to concerts, but adding some rocker vibes to my everyday wardrobe is moving forward. Note, that I am still very much a nerd so YMMV on what is considered rockier clothes.
This blouse is an idea I’ve had for a while, it’s Deer & Doe’s Airelle, but I’ve made it a buttonfront as well as removed the collar. It wasn’t really difficult, I added a seam allowance and overlap allowance down the front, and made the facing bit accordingly. The fabric is a viscose/cupro blend, a fabric I really loved when I saw it, it connects with my personal style and it worked very well for the pattern.
The skirt is from Burda and has been hanging in my sewing room for half a year. I made it up in a stretch twill which, albeit a bit tight worked because of the stretch (I made a pair of trousers in Burda 42, too big, then this skirt in Burda40, a bit too tight. Annoying!), but when I added the very rigid lining I could barely move in the skirt. Forget taking steps over half a metre long. While pondering my options (take out lining, add a wedge) the skirt hung in my sewing room. It didn’t help that spring was approaching and a lined black skirt wasn’t really what I needed.
The look of these together is a little more black than I normally go for, but I really like the look and I think at least the blouse is going to get a lot of mileage.
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.
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.
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!)
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.
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!
Yes, yesterday was like a summer flirt. I was strolling through Vienna, looking at gorgeous and impressive buildings, just taking in the atmosphere. (The day before that I had attended a ball at Hofburg Imperial Palace, but that’s a topic for another post. Yes, I did make my dress). Anyway, this summer has been filled with travelling, and my how I’ve missed it during the 2 corona pandemic years. I know, I know the pandemic itself is not over, but the restrictions are gone and the impact they’ve had on our lives. This summer I have been to many packed places and haven’t caught as much as a cold, maybe people are staying home when they’re feeling unwell.
This summer we’ve been travelling a lot (4 countries in total: Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands and Austria). I love the feeling of just been somewhere else, experiencing other cultures. I live in the south of Sweden, but just going across the bridge to Copenhagen really is a shift in culture. Maybe a subtle one to an outsider, but I can definitely feel it. We started the month of July cheering for the world’s finest cyclists as they took on the streets of Copenhagen in the first stage of this year’s Tour de France. Fantastic!
We then took on the Netherlands, with stops in Germany, playing on the beach, visiting Amsterdam and just enjoying life. Then the weekend in Vienna. During all this time, I really got to flex my language skills, which I love doing. In Denmark it was French and Danish, German in Germany and Austria and my Duolingo Dutch in the Netherlands. I did manage to get by, but some of the time it was easier to fall in English; it works most of the time.
However, one thing that is easily done even with limited language skills is fabric shopping. Meter is meter in many languages, and as long as you stick to full ones it’s just easy to hold up fingers indicating the meterage. If you’d like 1.7 meters, it’s a bit trickier, but my German counting skills got me by. (If I’d like 1.25 meters in German, that’s where it gets hard, ein meter, fünf und zwantig (one meter, five and twenty)).
In the Netherlands I took the bike into Alkmaar (what a treat to bike in a country where everyone shows consideration to cyclists!) and Böttger Stoffenwinkel, where I spent some time and money. Beware, some places in the Netherlands don’t accept credit cards, so even if my Visa card is a Debit card (as stated on it) it was declined. Luckily there was an ATM nearby and I could get cash. I bought the following (from top to bottom):
Viscose twill, off-white with dots. It will probably be a long-sleeved blouse of some sort. Cotton/viscose blend, linen look; blue/black with flowers. A summer dress. Something a bit looser than my normal aesthetics, I think. Stretch denim, light blue: Probably a pair of DD Acajou.
Then in Vienna, my husband and I stuck to our deal on weekend getaways (it’s been exercised once before), that he gets to run for a while and I can visit a fabric shop. So I visited Die Stoffschwester from a tip from Sølvi/Delfine Elise. It was a lovely shop packed with fabrics and I ended up with four pieces. I had originally decided on three, but then that peace sign fabric screamed out to me. I snagged the final piece of it, as well as the yellow floral one.
Cotton knit red/white. For a knit top. Cotton sweatshirt, peace signs. A sweatshirt and perhaps a skirt if the meterage agrees. Viscose, yellow with flowers. A summer dress. Of course. Or maybe a maxi skirt… We’ll see next summer. Perhaps some flowy trousers as I found that missing in my wardrobe. Cotton double gauze, blue tie dye. A beach outfit in which I can bike. The beach dresses I have are not suitable for the bike I bought, so if we’re biking to the beach I need something that doesn’t risk getting entangled in the gear wheels and chain.
For a second I did ponder memorizing my Vienna trip with an Edelweiss fabric, but it was white flowers on white, not my style. Had it been the flowers on green, you would have seen in in the picture.
Soundtrack: Dagen Før; Volbeat ft. Stine Bramsen. (A Danish metal band who, in some songs mix English and Danish lyrics, appealing to my bilingual mind. Yesterday, everything was like a summer’s flirt, but tomorrow it’s final.)
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!
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)
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.
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.
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.
May is moving on and here are my next 12 outfits. For the first half of the month, click here.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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
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.
T-shirts are often something I come back to when I need a palette cleanser. Or when I need a t-shirt. After inevitably catching Covid at the end of January (which, in my case, omicron variant, was in line with a mild flu) I wanted an easy project to get back to the sewing machine, one that didn’t require a lot of thinking or complex techniques, as the project I’m otherwise working on at the moment is a bomber jacket.
I had found a fun piece of viscose jersey in the remnant bin at Selfmade (formerly Stoff och Stil), which was enough for a t-shirt. After looking through my collection of t-shirt and other knit top patterns, I eventually settled on Megan Nielsen’s Briar. Viscose knit are a bit of my Achille’s heel, I like the look of them, but for me they very easily can fall into nightgown territory, especially the more light weight ones, and they can lose shape with time.
Since I’ve made 5 Briars in total, I figured I could present them all in order, as I honestly don’t have a lot to say about each one.
Number 1 – The Yoga Briar
This one was sewn as a layering piece in a very soft cotton jersey from Ohlssons tyger. It’s the cropped top, but lengthened, I found the original length of the cropped version way too short and it would probably end up cutting off my breasts in a weird and unflattering way. I wore this over dress shirts and t-shirts, for work and for leisure, however after some rounds in the washing machine the fabric began to pill and lost its finesse. It has since been regulated to yoga wear, and it’s a great layering piece for yoga, providing warmth without getting in the way of poses.
Number 2 – The linen Briar
Linen knits were heavily discussed in my FB wardrobe planning group and when I found some in the remnant bins at Ohlssons I picked it up. For this Briar, I straightened the hem. The fabric was too see-through to wear on its own, which is, to be honest, not what you want in a t-shirt. The fabric was very delicate and after a while I got some runs in, delegating it to the trash. Sad, but true.
Number 3 – The Faux denim Briar
For this one I sized down, since the grey version felt a bit too big and made the shoulders a bit wider. I used a denim cotton/lycra knit from Stoff och Stil. However, when cutting the pattern I didn’t consider which way had the greatest stretch, so the greatest stretch runs lengthwise. It makes for a very tight t-shirt, also the neckline binding became very lumpy. Also I’m not sure about the pocket placement as is, though I’m not sure what would have been a better one. This square pocket is an odd shape on me, I prefer the semi-circle pocket of my grey Briar. Sadly, due to the aforementioned reasons, I don’t wear this Briar a lot.
Number 4 – The Pleated Briar
I needed to replace my grey layering Briar and this time I went with colour! A cotton/lycra mix, with pleats, purchased at Bernt I Lund. I like the pop of colour this sweater adds to an outfit.
Number 5 – The Covid Briar
The most recent one! In the end I think I cut off 15 cm from the long-length version. With these normal-waisted trousers my tummy does do a bit of peek-a-boo, so it might not be office appropriate. But the t-shirt is very comfortable and I do like the length, I think it will look good over high-waisted shorts.
So, if I had to pick a favourite… Well, it’s not that hard. The emerald green Briar!