May 25, 2012

Graduation dress finished - Simplicity 2444

There wasn't much left to do today on the graduation dress (No, not my graduation, my cousin's. I would be the oldest high school graduate ever, if it were me...). It took a little bit longer  than I thought to finish the sleeves, neckline and lower hem, but I did finish today and the dress is beautiful both on the outside and the inside, not a raw edge in sight.

First let me show you the inside, which I'm so proud of.


Don't know if it shows, but since I couldn't do a French seam at CB I hemmed the two sides before I put in the zipper.

The pocket - also in French seam.

Center front - French seam (Love them) and lower hem.

The pleats on the front skirt and the darts on the front bodice, aaaaalmost matching, only 1-2 mm off.
And look at those sleeve seams finished with bias tape! I'm so proud of myself!
OK, enough with the inside. Let's have a look at the outside. I did make the waist more fitted and it is better this way. When I cut out the fabric I added 3 cm at the bottom of the skirt and I finally made the hem 5 cm, so I guess I added 1 cm in the end to the length. I had also added a total of 6 cm to the waist using the pivot alteration method from the Colette sewing handbook, but I guess I didn't need all those cm, since I had to take it in at the waist. Other than that I can't think of any alterations I made. The size is Am. 18 at the bustline and Am. 20 at the waist- and hipline.

So, how did it turn out then. Here it is, I styled it with a darkgreen belt, turquoise sandals and a darkgreen necklace. I don't know how I'll wear it to the graduation, but maybe this is it.

My little girl wanted to be in the photo.

Only one thing missing... A waist... wish I had one...

Hope you like my dress, I do! Have a great evening.

Bye for now,


May 24, 2012

Sneak peek at the Graduation dress - Simplicity 2444

I've been a busy bee working on the dress I will wear for my cousin's graduation, it's a Simplicity 2444. It was no. 1 on my todo-list from my last blog post.

I have been very thorough with finishing the seams nicely. I've made French seams everywhere so far. I was very inspired to do this after seeing the work Cynthia at Dapperduds put in on her version of the Simplicity 2444.

I only have the sleeves, the neckline and the lower hem left to finish! Yay! I feel so proud to have taken my time to do things properly. I have used some of the tips from the Colette sewing handbook, it's great!

Well, I have some pictures for you, two with a belt and two without. (I know, the dress isn't ironed). Here we go!

I couldn't find a green zipper in the right shade so I settled for a turquoise one (Yes, I love that colour!). I won't be bothered by a different-coloured zipper, I mean, I won't even see it.

I'm thinking of maybe taking it in a bit at the waist, it doesn't look very fitted. I don't want it to be tight, but a little more fitted than this.

OK, going to prepare for watching the semi final of the Eurovision song contest.

Bye for now,


May 23, 2012

Getting organised - My todo-list

Today I sat down in the sun with pen and paper and made a list of the sewing projects I would like to do. I came up with seven posts that feel relevant and realistic at the moment. Here they are:

1. A dress for my cousin/God daughter's high school graduation Simplicity 2444 in apple (?) green cotton.  (Yea, I was totally inspired by the photo on the pattern envelope.)

2. A Meringue skirt from Colette's sewing handbook. I don't know what fabric I'll use just yet, but something from my stash, since I got so much fabric from mum.

3. A pair of shorts. I'm very inspired by the nice weather we're (finally) having, so I want some new shorts, but I haven't decided on the pattern yet, but the fabric will be from my stash, I think.

4. A blouse with peter pan-collar  (Colette's Violet look-a-like) from my sewing magazine, see the muslin here. I just have to decide on the fabric, cotton, viscose, crepe...? Have to check the stash.

5. A potato-sack blouse (Simplicity 2147) without pleats. I'm thinking viscose, kind of flowing... I was inpired by some blouses from H&M, this one and this one.

6. A colour-blocked potato-sack dress (Simplicity 2147) like the one I have in green and blue. I've gotten so many compliments about that dress, so I want to make another one. I recently bought a pair of yellow converse knock-offs and I love them. I haven't worn yellow in 20 (!) years, I had a mustard yellow top in high school, which I finally realised made me look weirdly pale and pasty, so after that no more yellow... until now! I'm so inpired by my shoes I'm thinking that I will make the dress yellow and green. The yoke and lower part green and the rest yellow. What do you think, wouldn't it be great?

7. Another denim Ginger skirt. I was so inspired by the version Sunni made on A fashionable stitch. I like pockets, which there are on Sunni's version. I think I will use the dark denim I bought for the jeans I had planned to make, but gave up on.

OK, those are my planned projects and I'm proud to say that I've already begun the graduation dress. I have altered the pattern to fit my not-so-pronounced waist, using the tips in the Colette sewing handbook (I love that book!) and have cut out the fabric. I will take a chance and not make a muslin, let's hope it will be alright anyway. I didn't pay much for the fabric so the cost is not the worry, the fabric's just such a lovely shade of green. Tomorrow, I have to get some thread though because the green thread I have is more of a grass green and not apple-like...

Ok, bye for now,


May 22, 2012

No, I don't have to shave my legs... - Or - Finally a wearable muslin!

Ok, here's my big secret, well not to people who see me IRL, because it's kind of obvious to them, but on the internet you can choose what you show and not, and I haven't been showing my head in pics because... (here we go)... I don't have any hair. Any, at all, anywhere....It's called Alopecia Universalis, the condition I have. If you want to know more about Alopecia, like there are three kinds, google it for information. So, no, I don't have to shave my legs ever. But I would be glad to do it twice a day if I could get my hair back. You feel kind of freaky without hair.

Well, instead of hair, I need something else to keep my head warm, because it's darn cold without it. I have a wig, but it itches, so I don't like it that much. Instead I ordered some headwear from Christine Headwear and they have been great.

Here's the one I have in silk/cotton.

 I have three so far, but today I felt that I should find out how they're made, so that maybe I could make something similar myself. So I did, and here's the result, not bad, right?!

I was really sloppy making it, not finishing the seams properly and so on. But it looks great and it was just meant to be a muslin, which is totally wearable. Yay! The fabric is viscose I think, and I actually bought it a quite a while ago to try and make a scarf like this.

Well, bye for now,


May 21, 2012

Violet look-a-like

Shopping at the supermarket recently I went to the magazine stand to check out the sewing magazines. There's Burda Style, Burda Easy, Burda Plus and the Danish/Swedish magazine "Sömnadsmagasinet" ("The Sewing magazine"). And in the latter there were some really cute 50s inspired models, a dress, a blouse and a skirt. The blouse looked kind of like Colette's Violet, which I've been thinking of making. So I thought, why not try to make this one and see how it goes, since I've never sewn a collar or a placket.

Cute, isn't it?!

I traced the pattern for size 46/Am size 20, and read the sparse instructions MANY times. But in the end it wasn't that difficult, I managed both the collar and the placket, although I couldn't be bothered to make buttonholes on my muslin, because it didn't turn out great. Wearable maybe, but not great. Let me show you...

 It looks OK, when I'm just standing.

 But if I hold out my arms you can see that it's just too big around the bust.

Detail of the sleeve.

The collar looks wonky, but it is straight.
The changes I will make, because I think I will make it "for real", are: size down around the bust, lengthen it a bit, put elastic in the sleeve hems instead of making a band AND find some cute fabric because this did not look good on me!

Now, I'm going to watch "Alcatraz" on TV, Sam Neill still looks good.... :)

Bye for now,


May 16, 2012


I spent half the day yesterday making the muslin for my jeans to be. Which I now strongly suspect will NOT be... I used a jeans pattern from Kwik sew from 1981 (I think). I chose the narrow leg (out of the selection of narrow, straight and bootleg) and even so, they were HUGE and WIDE and HIGH, the waist went up to my ribs without the actual waistband sewed on. OMG! I know I said I wanted jeans with a higher waist, but that's just ri-diculous. I don't have a pic because they don't deserve to be preserved, my unbearable, unwearable muslin (sorry, couldn't help myself..:)).

So now I'm kind of put out, I don't know how to proceed. Should I go for my altered pattern (with not such a high waist and skinnier legs, but not what I pictured from the start) or just drop the project altogether? Any thoughts, anyone?

Bye for now,


May 13, 2012

Crafts magazines

Visited my best friend yesterday and got two bags full of old crafts magazines (Sömnad och handarbete, Allt om handarbete). So far I've been browsing through the issues from 1981 and 1989 and what a walk down memory lane... I was born in 1974 so this is what I rememer wearing when I was about 7 and 15 years old.

I'm marking the sewing patterns I believe can be useful to me and so far I've found some pants, skirts and a blouse.

Anyone else who remembers this era from childhood/adolescence?

I also scored some nice 70s patterns (they look 70s at least) last night on Tradera (Swedish Ebay).

Than you so much for the magazines, Ellie!

Bye for now,


May 12, 2012

"Order! I will have order!" what Dolores Umbridge said in "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix" and what I would like to say about things here!

In my previous post I wrote about my upcoming projects and totally forgot about one of them. Not so orderly... So I will return order to my blog and tell you about this cute blouse I sewed up for mum.

She liked the one I made for our visit to her so much and she gave me loads of fabric, so I promised to make one for her. And I also gave her my first version of this pattern (Simplicity 2147), the dark green one which look sort of sack-like, though not on her, which was good.

She gave me the fabric for the blouse, kind of greyish-blue with irregular white dots. Super-cute! Some kind of cotton, very easy to work with, not a lot of fraying. I made most of the seams French seams and also used the twin-needle for the sleeves, neck and hem, it just looks really nice.

Here it is on the hanger:

And here I'm trying it on, even though it's a bit big for me. I hope mum will be pleased.

Oh, I almost forgot, but I lowered the neckline to get it more like a U-neck than a boat-neck, not that you can see it really... Mum's only request, I hope it will be enough.

So... I'm still waiting for my jeans pattern from Etsy and my Colette book, so I'm kind of stuck there. Although I bought some denim stretch fabric for my upcoming jeans, washed it, dried it in the drier and ironed it, and ended up with a blue drier door and blue fingers. I can't believe how much denim can bleed, I even thought of writing a post about this called "Keep bleedin', keep keep bleedin'...".

Ok, so now I feel things are back in order, though I might throw another Ginger in the mix after seeing this post by Sunni (A Fashionable Stitch) about a wonderful jean version.

Ok, bye for now,


May 09, 2012

New - and old - projects

My aim is that this is to be mainly a sewing blog, but I do have other projects as well, so I thought I'd take the opportunity to write about one of them as well.

First, an old project, not to do with sewing at all. I thought of naming this post something to do with books, because two of the things I wanted to write about are to do with books. My old and soon to be finished project is rather nerdy and concerns books and films, two of my favourite things. I really can't remember when I decided to do this, but some time in January I think. Do what then? Well, I absolutely LOVE the Harry Potter books and films, so I turned that in to a project where I would read each book (again! and in English of course) and then watch the movie (again!). I now have about a fifth left of the last book (Harry Potter and the deathly hallows) and the two movies based on the book. Quite a big project since I've been going on for about four months (well, some of those books are kind of brick-like). I can't wait til I get to read them to my children and we can watch the films together.

Second, I have some new projects which I've begun.
  • One, is sewing more Colette patterns, since I ordered the Colette sewing handbook today from adlibris. YAY!
  • Two, is trying to make Simplicity 2444 in time for my cousin/God daughter's graduation.
  • And three, is to make a pair of jeans for myself! I wore a pair of jeans the other day for work and it just bothered my that the waist was so low, even though they're supposed to be "normal waist". So now I will try to make a pair with a high(er) waist. I ordered an 80s jeans pattern from Etsy for $3 (+P&P), that I thought I could mould into what I want. We'll see... At least it will be a challenging project.
Ok, since I prefer posts with pictures, here's one of Simplicity 2444 (just to make it less "texty"):

Oh, by the way, the Ginger skirt has changed me, or rather my style. I wore it to work on Friday with a blouse TUCKED IN! OMG, that hasn't happened in 20 years! It actually looked like I had a waist and I didn't feel that fat. This is why I have to have high-waisted jeans, so I can tuck in a blouse and look good! This also gives me e new reason to shop more, because now I need cute belts (not necessarily new ones)...

Well, bye for now,


May 03, 2012

It's a skirt! Struggling with Colette's Ginger

I received my Ginger pattern from Colette patterns (which I ordered from on Monday (was away for the weekend and really got it in Friday, but didn't have it in my hand until Monday!). I was so up for sewing view 3 with a striped fabric.

Decided to make a muslin to find the right size and fitting flaws, and lucky I did! Because my muslin turned out quite awful. The waistband was too bigand it looked like I had a pouch on my belly because of a curve in the pattern. I didn't even take a photo, it doesn't deserve to be photographed, it looked so bad on me. I've been thinking about what went wrong and here's my conclusion: (1) the fabric was too light (ordinary cotton) and (2) it was cut on the bias which makes the fabric a bit stretchy and it doesn't give my (slightly round) belly enough support, (3) this was increased by the curve on the pattern in the front.

So what did I change for version 2?
1. I chose another fabric, not the striped one I had set for. I had a piece of denim in my stash, with a little stretch in it, which I thought could do the trick.
2. I made view 2 instead of 3, so the fabric wasn't cut on the bias.
3. I straightened the belly curve on the pattern, maybe 1 cm in the widest part.

Did it work? It certainly did! I'm very happy about the result, even though I couldn't be bothered with using an invisible zipper, but an ordinary one. I used turquoise thread, zipper and lining for the waistband. It looks very pretty on the inside, but it does not show much on the outside.

I even used mock flat fell seams in the front and sides, I got the instructions from the fantastic Coletterie page. On my awful muslin I even did flat felled seams without a specialty foot, instructions here, and those were SO pretty even though the skirt wasn't.

Well, here are pics of me wearing my new skirt (maybe I can wear it for work tomorrow! Yay! But maybe not with that shirt...).

Ok, now I'm beat. TV here I come!

Bye for now,