Tag Archives: The Monthly Stitch

The Queen Skirt

One of my guilty pleasures is royal fashion. I love looking at the gala dresses after a big event or looking at the everyday wear, trying to up my fashion sense. Of course what we do associate most with royals is just the gala dresses, but they are quite hard to work into the everyday wardrobe of a commoner. The way this guilty pleasure takes form is mainly reading blogs about royal fashion, but I do also have a book on the subject “Royal Style” by Ebba von Sydow. In it there’s a picture of Queen Margrethe of Denmark, wearing a lovely yellow dress. I have tried to find this picture online, but with no success, so here’s a photograph of a book:

Ett av mina skämskuddenöjen är kungligt mode. Jag älskar att titta på galaklänningarna efter någon stor händelse eller bara studera deras vardagskläder för att piffa till min egen stil. Visst är det så att galaklänningarna är det vi associerar mest med kungligheterna, men det är rätt svårt att få in dem i en undersåtes garderob. När jag tar fram denna skämskudde läser jag oftast bloggar om just kungligt mode, men jag har faktiskt också i mina ägor ”Kungligt snygg” av Ebba von Sydow. I den boken finns en bild på drottning Margrethe av Danmark, då hon bär en underbar gul klänning. Jag har försökt att hitta den på nätet, men utan framgång. Här är ett fotografi av en bok:

 Queen margrethe of Denmark

 

I really like this dress, it’s cheerful and fun and Margrethe shows us that colour is not just for young people. That said, I’m not sure I could pull off a yellow dress, but it’s a fun dress.

Jag gillar denna klänning, den är glad och rolig och Margrethe visar oss att färg är inte bara för unga människor. Med det sagt, så är jag inte säker på att en gul klänning skulle passa mig, men det är fortfarande en rolig klänning.

Floral skirt

This fabric captured my interest when it first was released. While the only common denominator with Margrethe’s dress is the flowers I still made a connection in my head. Since the fabric is viscose, which I don’t like working with, I was a bit reluctant to buy it, but when I found a piece in the remnant bin I couldn’t resist. The fabric has been in my stash for quite some time and The Monthly Stitch’s flower power theme was just the push I needed to actually do something with this fabric.

Jag gillade detta tyg direkt när det släpptes. Även om den enda gemensamma nämnaren med Margrethes klänning är blommorna, gjorde jag ändå en koppling mellan dessa i mitt huvud. Eftersom tyget är viskos, ett tyg jag inte gillar, så var jag inte jättesugen på att köpa det, men när jag hittade en bit i stuvlådan så kunde jag inte motstå det. Tyget har legat i mitt förråd rätt länge och blom-temat hos The Monthly Stitch var precis den spark i rumpan jag behövde för att äntligen göra något med detta tyg.

Floral skirt

Many garments have circulated in my mind. A blouse, a dress (although, there was never enough fabric for a dress), a skirt of varying complicacy. In the end I went the easiest of all routes and did a dirndl skirt. I used the Coco Skirt pattern from Jenny Hellström’s Sy! Från Hood till skjortklänning, because I saw no point in “drafting” my own dirndl pattern when I had one at home, someone else had already figured out the proportions, even if I shortened the skirt a bit.

Många olika idéer har funnits. En blus, en klänning (fast, det fanns inte tillräcklig med tyg), kjolar av varierande komplexitet. Till sist tog jag den allra lättaste vägen och gjorde en dirndl-kjol.  Jag använde Coco-mönstret ur Jenny Hellströms Sy! Från hood till skjortklänning, eftersom jag inte såg någon som helst poäng i att rita ett eget mönster, när jag redan hade ett. Någon annan hade redan listat ut rätt proportioner, även om jag kortade kjolen något.

Floral skirt

By the end of working with this skirt my 3-year old came up and admired the fabric. By then all I had was my skirt and scraps. She said she really liked it and luckily the store still had this print in stock, in jersey. I picked some up and she requested a skirt, so I made her a circle skirt. There’s still some left so I can make her a top as well. I guess I’ll be matching my daughter. Good thing she is totally awesome.

Mot slutet av arbetet kom min tre-åring fram och beundrade tyget. Då fanns det min kjol och i övrigt rester. Hon sade att hon gillade tyget och som tur var fanns detta tryck fortfarande på Stoff och Stil, fast i jersey. Jag köpte lite och hon beställde en kjol, jag sydde en enkel cirkelkjol. Jag har tyg kvar så jag kan sy en topp av något slag. Jag antar att jag kommer att matcha min dotter. Tur att hon är en häftig unge.

 The blouse is another handmade creation that I’ll talk more about soon. The skirt/blouse outfit was my contribution for April’s Flower Power theme on The Monthly Stitch.

Blusen är också hemmasydd och jag kommer att berätta mer om den framöver. Denna klädsel var mitt bidrag till aprils blomtema hos The Monthly Stitch.

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UFO: The Leaf Skirt

I tend not have UFOs. Usually I have finished projects and fails. I cannot live with not finishing something, unless it is a complete fail that cannot be rescued. If I have decided to do something, I will finish it.

Jag tenderer att inte ha ofärdiga projekt. Vanligtvis har jag färdiga projekt och missar. Jag kan inte leva med att inte göra klart något, om det inte är ett helt misslyckande som inte kan räddas. Om jag har bestämt mig för att göra något, så avslutar jag det.

That said, it meant I found it hard to find a project for this month’s theme at The Monthly Stitch which was UFOs. At first I thought it would be one to sit out, but I didn’t want to do that since I haven’t posted there in a while. Then, during a discussion in The Monthly Stitch’s FB group, I realized what I should do.

Med det sagt så innebar detta att jag hade det svårt att hitta ett project för månadens tema hos The Monthly Stitch, som var just UFOs. Först så tänkte jag att jag får väl sitta på bänken, men jag ville göra något eftersom det är ett tag sedan jag delade något där. Sen, efter en diskussion i FB-gruppen för The Monthly Stitch så visste jag vad jag ville göra.

Yes, this was too big, but I hid it

Back in 2012 I made a dress with a fabric I loved. It didn’t fit until last summer (and sadly, now it doesn’t fit again). With the leftovers I made a skirt. I wore the skirt during the Me-Made May ’12 and it was one of my most appreciated garments of the community. But it did hide a secret. It was too big in the waist. And not a little too big, when I made the adjustments now it was 7 cm (that’s 2 ¾”) too big! So, unpick, unpick, unpick it was.

2012 gjorde jag en klänning i ett tyg jag älskar. Den passade inte förrän förra sommaren (och ledsamt nog inte nu heller). Med resterna sydde jag en kjol. Jag bar den under Me-Mady-May 12 och det var ett av mina mest uppskattade plagg. Men den gömde en hemlighet. Den var för stor i midjan. Inte bara lite för stor, nu när jag mätte var den 7 cm för stor! Det var bara att sprätta, sprätta, sprätta.

It fits!
It fits!

I ripped both the side seams to take it in 3.5 cm per side. Facings were unpicked, the zipper was taken out and the hem was opened. The fabric is a cotton sateen and on its Wikipedia page it says that the sateen weave is very susceptible to wear, which was made clear to me as I was unpicking. The fabric tore in several places, so in a silver lining way it was good that it was all of 7 cm to big, because it meant I could easily cut of the torn bits. I also noticed that there is some wear in the dart, so fingers crossed this skirt will last me a while, now that it finally fits.

Jag sprättade båda sidsömmarna för att ta in den 3,5 cm per sida. Infodringarna sprättades, blixtlåset togs ut och fållen öppnades. Tyget är ett bomullssatin och på dess Wikipedia-sida står det att satinväven är känslig för slitage, vilket synliggjordes tydligt när jag sprättade. Tyget slets sönder på vissa ställen, så på ett ”glaset är halvfullt”-sätt var det tur att den var så mycket för stor som sju cm, då kunde jag lättare klippa bort de sönderrivna bitarna. Jag noterade också att en inprovning är lite sliten, så nu håller vi tummarna att kjolen hänger med ett tag, nu när den äntligen passar ordentligt.

Love the new length
Love the new length

The pattern is the Meringue skirt from Colette’s Sewing Handbook, obviously scallops omitted. The fabric is cotton sateen from Stoff och stil. Most of the details regarding the construction are in my creation post – in which I talk about its being too big and needs to be taken in. It only took four years! As a result from being taken in, the skirt now sits higher and is shorter. I don’t mind.

Mönstret är Meringue-kjolen från Colette’s Sewing Handbook, uppenbarligen utan uddkant. Tyget är bomullssatin från Stoff och Stil. De flesta detaljerna angående konstruktion är i min kreations-post – i vilken jag pratar om att den är för stor och måste tas in. Det tog bara fyra år! Som en konsekvens från att ha tagits in sitter kjolen högre och är kortare. Det bekommer mig inte.

The Leaf skirt revisited (1)

Now I hope to get some spring-time wear out of this skirt and that it won’t completely fall apart on me. Also, I need to source some more cotton sateen, that thing is a dream to work with!

Nu hoppas jag på lite vårklädslar ur denna kjol och att den inte trillar i bitar för mig. Dessutom vill jag hitta mer bomullssatin, det är en dröm att jobba med!

And yes, I’m wearing the same cardigan in both the 21012 picture and the 2016 pictures. I love that styling!

Och ja, jag bär samma kofta i båda seten bilder. Jag älskar den matchningen!

The Monthly Stitch

Creation: Grey Skies Dress

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

Scuba dress (7)

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

Scuba dress (23)

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

Scuba dress (8)

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

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

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

Scuba dress (9)

 

 

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

Creation: African Belladone

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

Waxprint meets denim
Waxprint meets denim

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

Creation: Sewaholic Alma Buttoned Blouse

All over I read blog posts where sewers have altered, adapted and modified patterns to suit their taste, something I have never been very good at. Therefor I am very proud of this project, which really is a simple alteration, still one I couldn’t find with the help of Google. I love wearing woven tops and blouses in the summer, more so than wearing clinging knit tops. I have been on the lookout for a buttoned blouse but couldn’t find one. In fact I did buy New Look 6945 last year but as I began studying the pattern I realised I didn’t want to try and FBA it for the fear of getting too much of a cleavage. Plus what’s up with the ease in these patterns?

Sewaholic Alma
Great casual blouse

As I am blogging out of order I have previously this summer made myself a new Sewaholic Alma and I really like that pattern! Thanks to the double darts it’s easy to fit and it’s flattering. For the first version I had fitted it and made an FBA so for this round I could focus on the button front. I sewed a size 6, graded to a 4 below the waist, lengthened the pattern 2″ (1″ at the bottom and 1″ at the lengthen line) and did a (total) 3 cm FBA.

IMG_0079
My changes to the facing

For the button front I extended the front piece by 2 cm and obviously cut two pieces of them. For the front facing I also extended it 2 cm in width at the centre front, and extended it down to the same length as that of the blouse. I made the facings 5 cm wide and sewed them with a 1 cm seam allowance. I didn’t under-stitch them, in stead I top-stitched around the whole neckline, front and back. All back pieces were left un-altered.

Sewaholic Alma
A risk of gaping, but not too big

I found five white buttons in my stash which I put on my blouse. For my next version, and yes there WILL be more versions, I will probably add a little more to the centre front 2.5-3 cm and use more buttons. There is a little gape in this blouse, but thanks to the FBA it’s OK to wear, it’s a casual blouse anyway.

Sewaholic Alma
I love the shape of the blouse

The fabric is leftovers from my Maxi Anna, a cotton poplin with 3% elastane. Also it fits the theme for July in The Monthly Stitch “Check it out“. A perfect wearable muslin, and I can’t wait to make more and experiment with necklines and buttons. I might end up with a wardrobe full of Almas! Jag gillar att bära kläder i vävt tyg, även när det är varmt (även om denna sommar kanske inte kvalificerar in där). Efter ett långt letande efter ett mönster på en blus med knappar fram beslutade jag att göra om Sewaholic’s Alma. Jag har lagt till 2 cm mitt fram på bade livet och infodringen, den har jag dessutom förlängt till blusens längd och gjort 5 cm bred. Till nästa version ska jag nog lägga till lite till och använda fler knappar. Denna funkar men risken för glapp är rätt hög. Tyget är bomullspoplin med elastan från Stoff och Stil, tidigare använt i min Maxi Anna.

Creation: Colette Hawthorn Dress

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

Me and my two Hawthorns
Me and my two Hawthorns

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

Bodice with plenty of darts
Bodice with plenty of darts

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

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

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

image

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

Perfect twirl dress!
Perfect twirl dress!

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

Creation: Green BHL Anna Dress

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

Green Anna (13)

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

Green Anna (1)

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

Green Anna (35)

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

Green Anna (24)

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

Green Anna (30)

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

 

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

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

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

Creation: Simplicity 4032 – Sweatshirt Blazer

I really feel I am coming into my own in my sewing. This project was a gamble and I felt it could either way, success or complete disaster. It makes me very happy to report that it’s a success.   The story of this blazer began in the summer. The husband and I had ditched the kids at the in-laws for some shopping in their town. Mainly grocery shopping, but we also took a walk in the city. There’s a lovely boutique which I like to visit for inspiration and an occasional purchase. I tried on a blazer in sweatshirt fabric, which I quite fancied but the husband weren’t impressed with the raw edges of the collar lapels. It was quite pricey and it didn’t feel 100% so I left it behind, but I did like the idea of a sweatshirt blazer. I haven’t been much of a blazer person in my days and a sweatshirt blazer seemed like a nice way to ease myself into it. Sweatshirt Blazer (8)   I searched the web for a suitable pattern and in the end settled for Simplicity 4032. It’s made for fleece fabrics, but several other fabrics can work, including sweatshirt fabrics. The bodice is princess seamed and there’s a variety of collars and flounces to make a jacket or vest. A lot of options in fact and I can see myself making up a few of the other versions. This time I made view D as it was the most close to the blazer style I envisioned. Sweatshirt Blazer (11) According to the measurements I was to cut a size 16. Looking at the finished garment measurements this jacket had an ease of 15 cm (6”). That’s a whole lot of ease! So I cut according to finished measurements, in my case I cut a size 12 with no size alterations. It’s still a bit too shapeless in the back, but it looks good. I don’t even want to imagine a size 16 on me, I wonder if I even could get it right after it’s been cut. The sleeves are a bit too long and the elbow dart hits too low on me. Ah, those short arms of mine! If I make this again I will shorten the sleeve a bit, perhaps also take it in and make it sleeker. Sweatshirt Blazer (7) The instructions tells you to just layer the two pieces for the collar/flounce and leave them raw. As the rawness was what I didn’t really liked from the beginning so I stitched the two pieces together and folded to get a more finished look. Along the way the iron was my best friend, the sweatshirt fabric really benefited from a good press in achieving a professional look. Sweatshirt Blazer (14) Verdict? I love this jacket! Lounge wear for work at its best. There are a few things I could’ve have done better, but all in all I’m pretty pleased with my first blazer. It may sound a bit stupid, but I am glad I went with my instinct and cut a smaller size than recommended as it ended up great in size, not too much ease. I makes me feel more confident in my abilities and is a testament that I have learnt a lot this year in fitting. Two thumbs up! Paired with my Helena in corduroy (unblogged at the moment), the blazer was in my fall plan and the skirt was added later. I’ve brought the look together by matching the buttons since my fall plan is dominated by grey and aubergine. I’m getting the hang of this styling thing! Fabric: Grey sweatshirt fabric (isoli) Stoff och Stil Pattern: Simplicity 4032, view D Notions: Buttons, interfacing Techniques used: Buttons and buttonholes, collar and flounce, concave/convex seaming, princess seams. How do you draw inspiration from RTW? What is your secret for getting away with lounge wear at work?

Creation: Mortmain Frock

I feel a warning is in order. If you plan to invite me to a party in the upcoming fall/winter season you will be seeing this dress. I love wearing it and I feel totally pretty in it. This dress will probably celebrate Christmas and New Year’s, plus it has the opportunity to see two musicals (American Idiot and Kristina från Duvemåla). Not too shabby for one dress! It also gets to make an appearance during The Monthly Stitch’s Frocktober.

Mortmain (16)
Happy about my new dress (and ran into a wet bush on the way to take photos)

The pattern is Gather Kits’ Mortmain dress. I have made an FBA, which I talked about in my process post along with other alterations. The pattern was great to work with, I loved that it was printed on a sturdy paper, as opposed to the tissue paper that’s often used. I even got it back in its envelope the same way I took it out! Since I’m a tracer at heart I much prefer sturdy paper. Since I am learning the ropes of the FBA, this pattern, with the dart placement is an excellent base to accommodate for a fuller bust. However, I think the darts are still a bit too long.

Bodice closeup
Bodice closeup

The fabric is a cotton satin with about 5% lycra. It’s quite heavy, but I think it works for this dress. It’s very comfortable to wear due to the lycra. Of course the main attraction of this dress is the exposed zipper in the back. For this type of dress, it’s so perfect! A calssaci silhouette and bam! Some excitement in the back. My zipper ended up a bit too low, so I had to add a hook and eye at the top of the seam. I don’t think it distracts too much from the design.

La pièce de résistance
La pièce de résistance

Since I already had decided that this is a winter party dress I wanted to add some decorative stitching. My first idea was to do it in a silver metallic thread, but after doing half the neckline I started to feel bad for my machine and took them all out. All I had to show for that evening of sewing was small bits of metallic thread all over my sewing and reading rooms. And myself. Plus a silver stitch on a teal dress really makes the dress look like an ornamented Christmas tree. It was a little too much. In the end I did the same stitch but in regular black thread instead. Still fun, but not over the top.

Decorative stitches for neckline, armholes and hem
Decorative stitches for neckline, armholes and hem

The other instance in which I had to break out my seam ripper was a total “what was I thinking?”-moment. I had made my armhole facings and was set to attach them. I found which piece was front and back and pinned accordingly. It didn’t quite fit, but I pulled and tugged and got it in to sew. I did the other one, which fitted perfectly, and turned to look at my first one. Sure I had set the front in the front, but I had pinned the whole thing upside down. Nothing to do but rip and replace. Such a stupid mistake!

As I mentioned in my process post I interfaced the waistband and did a self-lining, all inspired by Mary of Idle Fancy. I hope it will hold the dress up better, especially since I have stretchy fabric to begin with, plus it looks quite nice, don’t you think? The waistband feature was one I liked about this pattern, since it’s not seen very often these days. All the edges are overlocked. The suggestion from the pattern was to use pinking shears on the facings’ raw edges. I did overlock them too because for one I don’t own pinking shears and secondly overlocked raw edges are bound to hold up better. There are facings around the armholes and necklines, I know some prefer to use bias tape instead, I’m on team facings. I do however find the need to topstitch armhole facings to keep them in place. The exposed zip is sewn, close to the teeth, with the wrong side of the fabric folded out, then the excess fabric is trimmed and the zipper is sewn again close to the edge, hiding all raw edges.

Overlocked edges and faced and lined waistband
Overlocked edges and faced and lined waistband (and some stray threads)

I enjoyed working with this pattern. The instructions were very clear and the glossary of sewing terms in the back was great to keep the flow going without explanations of terms mid-text. My one problem with this dress is I have nothing to wear with it. I think a good option would be a cropped jacket, such as New Look 6080. Yes, then I’d have one party outfit, but maybe all you need are few great pieces, with some variation potential in terms of accessories (perhaps the Tallis collar drafted for this dress) and layering, because let’s be honest here: I don’t attend that many parties.

Do you go for a many special occasion pieces or is a few enough? Do you have a party invite for me so I can wear my new, lovely dress? Do you get the Mortmain reference (I don’t) and why is it that there as so few of them on blogland?

Creation: Michelle The Third

Following my third incarnation of Sewaholic’s Alma, I began my next project in my fall sewing plan, which is yet another third incarnation. And another female name as well, Michelle (I know that technically Sewaholic patterns are named for streets and areas, but Alma happens to be both a street and a name). Michelle is a Burdastyle pattern from back in the glorious day when patterns were free and the sense of community was high. What happened?

Yep, side seam pockets!
Yep, side seam pockets!

I have previously made two summer versions of the Michelle Skirt, one yellow and green and one pink. It is a comfortable, easy skirt so instead of finding and tracing something new I chose the easy way out. The fabric is a duchess satin; shiny, quite stiff and 100% polyester, which played into my choosing a looser skirt for winter. I wouldn’t want to wear polyester too close to my body and since it’s not very good at keeping warm, some sort of outer layer was excluded. Full skirt with tights under – polyester can work for that. The burgundy fabric has been in my stash for a good 2.5 years so it was time to get it out in the air. The grey fabric was purchased to provide contrast and it’s the same fabric type, just another colour.

Hardest bits: pleats and folding polyester ribbon trim.
Hardest bits: pleats and folding polyester ribbon trim.

The pattern is pretty straight-forward and easy, plus the old Burdastyle’s instructions were quite detailed and had illustrations. (Forgive me while I daydream of old Burdastyle). I had no issues putting this skirt together, the hardest part was the pleats, but that was only due to the fact that it’s impossible to draw on polyester. Yes, I know tailor tacks, but I just pinned where the pleats went and stitched. It worked for this skirt since the pleats were short and straight, the method would not have worked well on darts (that piece of tip is sponsored by experience; having tried and failed). Another hardship was adding the contrast ribbon since my polyester fabric would not press. Synthetic fabric has a life of its own, I tell ya. Michelle The Third (14) Being older and wiser than when I made my previous versions I decided to add inseam side pockets. Since I plan to wear the skirt to work, having pockets is great for tossing the phone in when going to meetings or, what I do more often, to the coffee room. I traced around my hand and drew a pocket shape. The pockets were added to the side seam using By Hand London’s tutorial. Of course this made the step “sew side seam” a bit harder, however pockets are good to have. They’re a bit too small so I must struggle to get my hand in, however, I am quite happy with the placement and sewing of them.

Back view. Perhaps I saw the facing with a seam allowance a bit too big.
Back view. Perhaps I sewed the facing with a seam allowance a bit too big.

My fall wardrobe plan goes in the colours of grey and burgundy, which I have captured in this skirt. I am a bit worried that the fabric makes it look too home-made, but I think I will have to wear it to find out. Paired with my grey Alma, to take it from party to work. Two pieces down, five to go! Are you worried that your homemade clothes look “too homemade”? How do you avoid that? Do you ever daydream about the old Burdastyle as much as I do?