I work in a huge multi-national project, which is government-funded. This means we rarely get anything extra, our spring party this year was playing brännboll on our very uneven lawn, before enjoying a barbecue and a cover band with pretty bad speakers. It was perfectly fine and nice, however it wasn’t very extravagant. My husband’s company on the other hand, is all about the extravaganza, their Christmas parties are usually a weekend in a European city. This year they had their 10-year anniversary, and went really big; a ball in Vienna for the employees and their partners. As a person who sews their own clothes, you all know what that meant: it was time to make a ball gown!
As I’ve spent a lot of time figuring out my personal style, it was obvious I was going to wear something that still felt like me; structural, a bold colour, not too much frou-frou. I think I succeeded, and most people were just taken with the fact that I had made the dress to notice all those small errors I knew were there.
Let me tell you, a ball in Vienna is an amazing experience. From arriving at Hofburg palace with tourists still around marveling about those fancy guests, to dinner with excellent food, Viennese music (opera, Mozart and a sing-a-long of Edelweiss), to dancing. They had professional dancers to show us the Wienerwaltz, and afterwards I asked of them for a spin on the dance floor, I couldn’t leave a ball in Vienna, without having done a proper Wienerwaltz, even though I probably took many wrong steps, but my dancing partner was pretty patient. I guess he had no choice.
During dinner, another woman came up to me and pointed out that we were the only ones “in same fabric”. Taffeta that is (the purple colour I chose seems to be out of stock at the time of typing). I think there was one more, but taffeta was quite an unusual choice. The pattern I eventually settled on was No. 23 Marrakesh by How To Do Fashion. I was drawn to the neckline and structural aspects of the design. Since this was a relatively important piece, I did a toile in a torn bedsheet, however I failed to consider that, unlike the bedsheet, the taffeta had no give whatsoever. So, while the bedsheet version looked nice on, the taffeta version could have gained from a minor FBA. But the lack of boob space gave a nice little corset effect. Levelling the dress was also hard, but in the end I think it looked pretty OK. Or people were too distracted by the cleavage to notice.
Regardless of minor snafus, this purple taffeta dress, worn with flats, really stood out in the sea of mesh, draping, pastel colours and high heels. I also took the opportunity to do some pretty makeup as well, and I felt really pretty. Like, I never know when I’ll be this pretty again, because I need this sort of occasion.
Because as Cinderella says: What’s a royal ball? After all, I suppose it would be frightfully dull, and boring, and completely … completely wonderful. It was completely wonderful.
We surprised the kids with a trip to Legoland this summer I wanted to add an additional surprise to make them dress properly for the occasion. On the second day of our Legoland stay the kids took on the park in colourful attire and received plenty of attention. I did not wear any of my Lego-shirts in the park (the jersey was too thick for the heat we had).
Legoland is not that big and the two days we spent there were more than enough. The rides were just big and scary enough for the two kids (ages 6&9) and not too childish for us adults. My favourite ride was the pirate boats where all riders and spectators could shoot water at each and getting soaked was quite nice in the 30-ish degree weather we had. Plus the attention to Lego details is so good, I was really impressed. Big Lego-blocks outside, Lego-decorations in the hotel room at Legoland hotel, signs in Lego and my favourite: French fries at the buffet as Legos.
I used generic t-shirt patterns for the kids, from Burda and Allt om handarbete, but don’t ask me to recite a pattern number or even the magazine issue. Like I said, generic t-shirt patterns. The armscye on Gustav’s t-shirt came out a bit too big and the sleeve hem allowance too small, so the sleeves are not perfect, but he is still constantly wearing the t-shirt, when it’s not in the wash that is. Erika also likes hers, but with so much to choose from in her wardrobe the Lego shirt is not selected that often. Maybe I need to turn it right side out since the back is white and she might not see it…
All the tops were sewn up pretty quickly since they were fairly basic patterns. Although, by the end of project Lego t-shirts I was quite fed up with Lego fabric, knit fabrics and assembly line sewing. The t-shirts were well received, I turned a few heads and caused some smiles when I wore the Stella to work, and the Legoland surprise was awesome, cause in Lego Everything is Awesome!
Generic kid t-shirt patterns from Burda and/or Allt om handarbete
Stella T-shirt from Jenny Hellström’s book Sy! Från hood till skjortklänning
Sleeveless top, Allt om handarbete 104-04-2019
After having a terrible summer here in Sweden, I was looking forward to wearing many summer clothes in Italy getting pictures of them with great backdrops and just enjoying wearing them before winter hits us. And then I would come home and show you my lovely outfits along with gorgeous backdrops. Little did I know that October in Gargano would be either beach weather or rain. Beach weather meant I wore a bikini and rain meant I wore jeans and hoodie, none of which I’d made myself.
For the travelling days I wore my aqua Colette Clovers, which were comfortable for flying and the subsequent 2 hour drive. The fit is a bit off so I must try and figure out what to do with the fit before my next pair. No pictures of these outfits, I wore the pants with long-sleeved white t-shirts, because aeroports are not very inspiring.
This is in our small garden at the resort. There were olive trees all over, including one in our garden. Since we went to the beach later on, this is basically my breakfast outfit, Wild Flowers Alma and Blue Pocket skirt. Comfortable outfit, and those pockets are quite practical, even if they can only hold small things otherwise it’s pouch galore. Another handmade outfit to see the light of day in Italy was my Gingham Anna dress. Evidently it was worn to the beach, the waves were quite high but it was lovely. Later it came off in favour of the bikini and some salty swims in the Adriatic Sea. I’m not quite happy with the fit, the bodice could be lengthened a bit and the facings don’t stay put despite my under-stitching. Perhaps I should just top-stitch them to at least get that problem out of the way, it’s harder to do something about the bodice length.
That was it for the handmade things I worn. But since Gargano was such a gorgeous place I’m going to add a few more pictures anyway, it’s always fun to look at vacations pictures, right?
Upon our arrival to the hotel, the lunch serving was just ending, so we were told to head down to the patio immediately if we wanted lunch. So we went down and ate a delicious four-course lunch with the view above. Every day we had a four course lunch served and everything was so good; Carpaccio, Mozzarella filled pasta medallions, seafood pasta, lamb chops, swordfish, tiramisu, raspberry ice cream (just some of the highlights). Yummy, yummy, yummy. On the days the weather was nice we had both breakfast and lunch on the patio with that gorgeous view. I’m not one to photograph food so you’ll have to trust me when I said it both looked and tasted delicious.
The hotel also had a pool with very cold water. Still, I had to go for a swim, because it’s not often I get the opportunity to swim in an infinity pool by the Mediterranean sea. OK, so it’s not really an infinity pool since you can walk behind it, but it’s the closest I’ve been. I told the husband to use an angle to make it look the most infinite.
Two of the days it was raining, one of them we drove up in the mountains of Gargano to visit the Umbra Forest, an ancient forest. The trees were quite majestic and it would have been great for hiking if it had not rained or the kids were a bit bigger.
Brightening up our car rides was this warning in the rental car. I find this picture hysterical, it’s a definer of my sense of humour. When bored on a car trip I would look up, see this picture and laugh. The kiddo in the back was worried when he noticed my reaction and said he did not want to fly around in the car. I told him that as long as he stayed belted, he needn’t worry. Then I kept on laughing at the picture. It’s seriously hilarious.
The reason we went to Gargano was to run. I ran (got around) the 10k race and after finishing I concluded that running isn’t my thing. It hurts my legs, I don’t find it fun and I can’t enjoy the surroundings. I got around, changing between running and walking, in a decent time (1.05) but I don’t know if I want to run that much more. Maybe I could do a 5k. At least I got a pretty medal to take home!
Then, after five lovely days we went home. Our flight route was right above the Gargano peninsula so I had the opportunity to take one last farewell shot. I hope to go there again!
Efter den väldigt dåliga sommaren iI Sverige såg jag fram emot att bära manga sommarkläder i Italien, ta bilder med fina bakgrunder och bara njuta av dem innan vintern slår till. Sen skulle jag komma hem och visa upp mina klädslar med de fina bakgrunder. Inte visste jag att oktober i Gargano var antingen strandväder eller regn. Strandväder innebar att jag bar bikini och regn innebar jeans och hoodie, inget som jag har sytt själv.
På de två resedagarna bar jag mina turkosa Colette Clovers, de var bekväma för flygresorna och den följande 2-timmars bilresan. Passformen är lite fel och jag måste lista ut vad jag ska göra åt detta till nästa par. Inga bilder av dessa klädslar, jag bar byxorna med vita långärmade t-shirts, för att flygplatser är inte särskilt inspirerande.
I vår lilla trädgård på hotellet. Alla dalgångar var fyllda av olivträd, vi hade ett i vår trädgård. Eftersom vi åkte till stranden senare är detta i princip min frukost- och lunchklädsel; Vildblomsalman och den blå fickkjolen. Bekvämt och fickorna är rätt praktiska även om de bara kan hålla små saker för att undvika att de faller ihop och bildar en känguruficka. En annan hemmasydd klädsel som fick se dagsljus i Italien var min gingham-Anna. Till synes bars den på stranden, vågorna var rätt höga, men det var trevligt. Senare åkte klänningen av till förmån för bikinin och salta bad i Adriatiska havet. Jag är inte helt nöjd med passformen, framför allt kunde livet vara längre. Dessutom stannar inte infodringarna där de ska vara, trots min under-stitching. Kanske ska jag kantsticka ner dem för att få bort det problemet, livlängden är det svårare att göra något åt.
Det var de handsydda kläderna jag bar, men Gargano var ett så vackert ställe så jag slänger in några bilder till, det är kul att titta på semesterbilder, eller? I alla fall några få…
När vi kom till hotellet höll lunchserveringen på att avslutas, så vi blev nerskickade till terrassen för att hinna få lunch. Vi gick ner och åt en utsökt fyrarätters lunch, till utsikten ovan. Varje dag fick vi fyra rätter och allt var så gott; Carpaccio, Mozzarellafyllda pastamedaljonger, skaldjurspasta, lammkotletter, svärdfisk, tiramisu, hallonglass (bara några av höjdpunkterna). Mums, mums, mums. När vädret var bra åt vi både frukost och lunch på terrassen med den underbara utsikten. Jag fotograferar inte mat, så ni får lita på mig när jag säger att det såg underbart ut och smakade fantastiskt.
Två av dagarna regnade det, en av dem körde vi upp i Garganos berg för att besöka Umbra-skogen, en urskog. Träden var majestätiska och jag hade gärna vandrat där om det inte regnat och barnen var större.
Nåt som livade upp bilturerna var varningen. Jag tycker bilden är hysteriskt kul, den definierar min typ av humor. När jag var uttråkad under en biltur kunde jag bara titta upp på denna bild , jag började alltid skratta. Sonen i baksätet blev orolig när han såg min reaktion och sade att han ville minsann inte flyga runt i bilen. Jag svarade att så länge han hade bälte på sig behövde han inte oroa sig. Sen fortsatte jag att skratta åt bilden. Den är skitkul!
Anledningen till att vi åkte till Gargano var för att springa. Jag sprang (tog mig runt) 10km-loppet och kunde efter målgång konstatera att det här med att springa är inte min grej. Det gör ont i benen, jag tycker inte det är kul och det gör att jag kan inte njuta av omgivningarna. Jag tog mig runt, växlade mellan att springa och gå, på en hyfsad tid (runt 1.05), men jag vet inte om jag vill springa så mycket mer. Kanske skulle klara av 5 km. En fin medalj fick jag med hem i alla fall!
Sen, efter fem underbara dagar åkte vi hem igen. Flygrutten gick precis över Gargano-halvön så jag fick möjlighet att ta en sista bild. Jag hoppas att återvända!
I really like getting small peeks into other people’s lives, not just the sewing. So I decided to post about things I do when I’m not sewing,
July has been an incredibly warm month here in Sweden. The minimum day temperature has been 25 degrees Centigrade (75F) but more often than that it’s been above that. Therefore I have hardly sewn anything during July. I have finished a dress for Heather’s sundress sewalong, but I haven’t photographed it yet. Photographing new garments is my Achilles’ heel when it comes to this blog.
The last week of July was spent in Ebeltoft, Denmark where we rented a summer house. A great vacation.
We visited many beaches during July, both here at home, at the in-laws and in Denmark. Nothing beats a swim in the ocean on warm days! However most of my pictures featured kids who want to bathe naked and those pictures will not go on the Internet.
In the city of Aarhus in Denmark, there’s an open air musem called “Den Gamle By” (=The Old City), where there is a collection of houses from the past. There are three section 18/19th century, 1927 and 1974. The houses are decorated according to different city people, such as the priest, the merchant, different craftsmen, the pharmacy, with its additional garden and much more. I really liked that the staff walked the streets in character and behaved appropriately. 1974 was the latest addition and it was quite fun to see a period of time that is so close to your childhood, even if I was born a bit later than that. As you can see above the town also had its own tailor (sorry for the blurry picture, I was not allowed to use the flash inside the buildings). I also took a picture of the work station. Such a lovely place to work with a great cutting table. a machine nearby and lots of lights from the windows! Although I would prefer my modern machine and I’m grateful that artificial light allows me to work even when it’s dark outside.
On our trip to Denmark we also visited a safari park. Great fun and the kids loved it! They featured the continents of Africa (pictured), North America, South America and Europe and we learnt a lot (did you know that all living 2700 European Buffalos/Wisents stem from 12 wisents that were all left?)
A great family vacation, but not much sewn. I have the rest of the year for that! Before leaving my AWSM: July post I will summarise Sew for A Change as well. The challenge this month involved cleaning and to be honest I haven’t even bothered with it. It’s been too hot. I will take the tips with me for future reference, but in this heat my energy is lost.
I did make a few purchases:
Ingoing points: 59p
Hat in acrylic (seen above): -6p
2 m cotton poplin: -5p (to be an awesome Mortmain)
Four blouses, one skirt, second hand: 0p
Outgoing points: 48 points.
Next month involves recycling, we do a lot of recycling and the challenge is to come up with three ways to improve your recycling, and we pretty much have covered all of the tips in the post except textile recycling, so I will definitely look into that.
I hope you enjoyed peeking into my life away from the sewing machine. Posts like these won’t be a regular feature, if I have something to share I will.
For the kiddo’s second birthday I made him a cassette t-shirt. I never got around to posting about the finished t-shirt, so here it is.
The kiddo at his birthday party opening one of his gifts. I still haven’t mastered jersey, which can be seen in this t-shirt. I’m not very good at finishing, both necklines and hems. For this t-shirt I used a bias cut strip to finish the neckline, which turned out a bit big. For the hems (sleeves and bottom) I haven’t mastered the twin needle, I probably need to practice to find the proper settings on my machine, I usually end up with a “buldge” between the seams. I need practice!
I really like the t-shirt and I have enough of it to make myself a top too. We’ll be matching in cassette t-shirts! (If I get mine done before he outgrows his).
At the moment I don’t get much sewing down, the husbie and I spend our evenings watching Le Tour de France. It is pure torture as it feeds on my France-withdrawl. I love France, it’s such a beautiful country and I want to go there at every given chance (but still wanting to go other places, too). Ah, France…
My husband usually cheer for the one he thinks is the best, I usually cheer for the cutest one. They coincide, but unfortunately Andy Schleck is not competing this year due to being injured. So the tour is just longing for France.
I haven’t written where I’m from, just that I live somewhere in Europe. Before, when I wrote more personal posts, I wanted to keep some anonymity. Now, however, when my blog is not as personal I guess it wouldn’t hurt. But I am too much of a coward to just write it. Here’s a list of all the countries I’ve been in, ergo I live in one of these.
Austria (driven through it)
Germany (Also West Germany back in those days)
Luxembourg (driven through it)
Slovakia (Train through it)
Countries outside of Europe:
Turkey (the Asian part)
So, I live in one of these countries. I have dropped hints around here, it’s hard not to, and one can even find indirect links to this information.
I know this is silly, but if people would guess, it would make my week. So, please, guess!
I’m sitting here, looking through pictures of the Bavarian Alps. There’s not that many Alps in Bavaria, but there are some. Basically one line of Alps, then you’re in Austria or Switzerland. The only time I’ve seen the Alps before was when I was driving through them on the way to Italy, it was a whole other experience to be there, to walk there, to experience the mountains.
When I see the pictures, remembering the sites and views, it’s magical to me. I live in an urban area, with mostly fields around me, not much forests, not a hill in site. It’s beautiful here as well, but I’m so familiar with it. Seeing places like the Alps, where it’s nature, undestroyed by man, it’s wonderful. All cynical views I have of the world disappears because at that moment it’s just about then and there. As I return to the cynical views return, but at least now I know there are places like that. Boyfriend took a picture of me, where I’m standing looking out over the Alps and a beautiful Alp lake. You might think I’m praying, I have my hands like that, but I’m not (me, praying? An atheist? Yeah, right!), but I can see in myself that I am taken by the view. Nature has created something so beautiful and man has kept from destroying it. I can’t even begin to describe the beatuy that can be in this world.
And I’m sure there are more places like these, far away, where man and Western civilasation has not reached and destroyed. Places where you forget the cynical, cold world we live in, places to which you can run and be filled by its beauty and forget everything else for a while. There are those places.
I was in Bayern over the weekend to visit a friend of mine. It was me, boyfriend, she and her boyfriend; we are all close friends. The first two days were spent exploring Bayern and the last day for München. (I prefer to call places by their original name).
We visited Neuschwanstein, an extraordinary, ridiculous castle on the bottom of the mountains. The views were extremely beautiful there, the Alps, an Alp lake, the hills. Just beautiful.
Oberstdorf was next on our trip, if you know ski jumping you know Oberstdorf. This is where we encountered the weird bathroom. It was a glass cage in the hotel room, with curtains around it. Basically you could shower and go to the bathroom, with a public. The drapes were on the outside, so it was impossible to close them from the inside, and then when opening in they were drawn into the bathroom, due to the ventilation. It was an interesting bathroom.
This was also a town that loved kitsch things, all over the restaurant and the pub we visited. Weird parents too, who brought a tricycle to keep their child occupied. I would bring books that could keep them entertained while sitting down, but at first I would explain to them that while eating you sit down and engage in the food.
Anyway, we also visited the ski jumping arena and went to the top of the highest ski jump. Great view over that part of the Alps. So much fun.
The last day was spent in München, just walking around, soaking in the atmosphere; visiting a bier garten, hanging out in the Olympic Park, and the top of the Olympic tower. Great view there as well, plenty of views during this trip.
Then, on our last day, we got up and went to the aeroport. Once there, we learned that our flight was delayed for two and a half hours. We got some vouchers, which just covered a sandwich and drink at the cheapest place. We got home, but later than expected and by then the day was almost over.
The food in Bayern is also great; schnitzel, sausages, great side dishes; sauces, salads, potatoes, fries. All good. The breakfast at the hotel with the weird bathroom was great. The had a “Wänschel” who prepared eggs by demand, freshly squeezed orange juice and waffles. Such a treat, not only to get these things, but also to get them fresh.
A great trip, and it was so much fun just hanging out with my friend again. I miss her. We used to meet every week and now I’ve seen her once in three months. A whole weekend was great and we shared many laughs. Over each other, over bathrooms, over kitsch.