July 30, 2012

Giraffes and helicopters

I never did anything with those t-shirts for the kids yesterday. Today I've felt like s**t all day, tired, woozy, a bit nauseous, plus I hit my wrist really hard on a doorway... Not a good day...

Anyway, come evening, I felt a smidge of energy and sat down to finish the first t-shirt. It went really well, and when I came down with it, to try on, the other kid screamed for the other t-shirt. So I had no choice but to make that one too, which took about 45 minutes! (I had already traced and cut the pattern pieces.)

I must say that I'm not friends with the overlocker yet, but we're definately getting to know each other. Geez, you can sew fast with that thing....

I LOVE that helicopter fabric...

Some details..

OK, so feeling better about my day and myself now... Should have remembered that sewing makes me feel better whenever... :)

Bye for now,


July 29, 2012


Last night I was up quite late and surfed the net. After a while I thought I'd check out the options available for making your own clothes labels. I found this site where you can order labels with your name on them (and loads of other labels).

The prices were reasonable, so I ordered some (100 pieces, the least amount possible) and they will look like this:

I'm happy with it, but there weren't many fonts to choose from, which was a bit negative. The colour selection was ok, I chose a grey background and white text. I would have liked a pink background (pink is one of my favourite colours), but I think the text would barely be visible, so instead I went with the grey.

The labels will be here in 7-14 days!

I also started on the kids' t-shirts yesterday, I'm almost finished with one of them and will get started on the second one today probably. Very easy and quick to sew on the overlocker....

Bye for now,


July 27, 2012

Too much...

Yes, it has actually been too much lately... Too much of a lot of things, good things even, but I get really tired from that too. This week, we've been to Orust to visit my sister and her family and then we got a visit from my husband's brother and his family, and it's only Friday. All this visting is really fun, but I get really tired from being around people all the time. So I haven't had the energy (or the time) to get going on a new sewing project, not even to use my new overlocker! Or blog about the fabrics I got while visiting Orust (some seriously cute knit fabrics for me - and the kids!).

Now we don't have any plans for a week, which feels really good. So I hope I can gather some energy and use my new overlocker and make some t-shirts from my new fabrics and get going on the dress from my last post.

Off to bed now, to get some sleep=energy... :)

Bye for now,


July 22, 2012

Decision anguish

I've been thinking and thinking about my next sewing project, and I just can't make up my mind...

After getting my overlocker, I wanted to use it for making some t-shirts, but I just don't have the fabric for that, and I don't feel like going out and buying some just because.

I also wanted to use the fabrics I have bought lately and also the patterns. But even though there are some great combos there, I just chicken out, because I don't want to use fabric I like and then regret it... Does this sound weird?

Most of the times when I actually make something, it's either because it's such an obvious combination between pattern and fabric (bought for each other) or I FORCE myself to get started on something. For example my first Burda Easy blouse. I feel weird...

Anyway, tried to get out of my sewing paralysis by talking to my best friend when she was here on Friday. I showed her my new fabrics and patterns and she suggested this combo:

Simplicity 1882 and the cotton satin from Stoff and stil.

The fabric is black and white and I was thinking of making the collar and pocket flaps (?) black as on the pattern envelope. And I'm also thinking short sleeves, sleeveless just isn't me and 3/4 sleeves just get bulky when you're wearing a cardigan over.

What do you think? Is this the way to go?

Even though we're in the middle of summer, I'm having a hard time thinking about sewing summer clothes. I'm already thinking of autumn and winter, and also I like my clothes to be wearable the year around. But at the same time I don't feel like sewing the Ginger denim skirt I've been talking about for months, since it feels more like autumn....

OK, I'd better stop now, because I'm really starting to sound whiny, and I don't want that.

Bye for now,


July 18, 2012

Present time

Yesterday (exactly two weeks before my actual birthday) I got my birthday present, my new overlocker! I can't believe how fast it got here, didn't I order it on Thursday and yesterday was Tuesday? That's only 3 working days, because I ordered it in the afternoon!

So, here's what I ordered: The Brother 1034D overlocker, four cones of cream thread and four cones of black thread. All this for £209! P&P was free!

BUT, take a look at this... This is what I got for free!!!!!!

TEN cones of thread, five pairs of scissors, two boxes of sewing machine needles, measuring tape, a seam ripper AND a power adapter (the machine has a UK power plug).

I totally recommend Sewing machines direct. What a great webshop!

Now I only have to figure out my next project so I can start using my new machine!

Bye for now,


July 16, 2012

New fabrics and patterns

A few weeks ago I thought I'd try ordering sewing patterns from sewingpatterns.com, which is located in the USA. They have Simplicity patterns for $1.99! I chose five patterns and a PDF-pattern as well, which was only $0.99!

Here's what I found in the mailbox today:

The last picture, the bolero,  is the PDF-pattern, which I still have to figure out how to print... :) (Oh, just found that it's no problem when using IE instead of Firefox.)

Going home from our vacation we made a stop outside of Gothenburg, where there happen to be a large fabric store, Stoff och stil, which I frequently visit on the web... :) I've never been to the actual store and it's always nice to be able to feel the fabrics before you buy them, so we went in and I came out with this:

This is pinstriped stretch denim, 2 metres. Skirts or a dress...?

Here's some light-weight cotton, 1 metre.

More light-weight cotton, 2 metres.

Here are the two light-weight cotton fabrics combined. At the store they had made a dress combining the two, and I totally stole the idea, they looked so cute together.

And finally, some cotton satin, 2.5 metres. There might be some stretch in there, but I'm not sure. It's black with white flowers. I'm thinking...dress.

Bye for now,


July 15, 2012


During my last project, the tent dress, I started thinking about what Katy said about my sewing in one of her comments:
Katy47p July 13, 2012 10:19 AM
"Oh wow, you are so quick at sewing, I can't wait to see what you create with your new overlocker. xx"

Hmm, am I quick at sewing? Maybe I am. But why is that? And that's what I was thinking about. This is what I came up with:
  • I usually don't pick very difficult patterns=easy and quick to sew
  • I CHEAT!
Yep, that's right, I cheat. At certain things, not everything. For example, I want the inside of my garments to look neat, so I use French seams as much as I can, that's not cheating. So what do I cheat with?
Take a look at the picture below... Yes, I have not sewed the bias tape together before attaching it to the neckline. I just hate doing that, so unnecessary...

I also don't measure when pressing the seam allowance before hemming. I use my eyes and wing it. It turns out good enough for me...

When I made these pleats on the sleeves of the tent dress, I didn't measure properly, I used the dots in the fabric. 

And I also DIDN'T PIN! Nope, I try to use pins as little as possible... It's just tiresome to pin and pin and pin.... When I do French seams, I only pin the first seam, then I press it and just sew the second seam.

Well, am I the only one doing this, or is there anyone else who also cheats when sewing? What tips or tricks do you use when sewing?

Bye for now,


Simplicity 2363 - a potential camping mate

Before we went on vacation (btw, we're back home again), I wrote that I was going to make Simplicity 2363 in a short, short-sleeved version. I was going to use the navy blue polka dot fabric I recently bought. I traced the pattern and cut out the fabric, using size US18 at the bust and size US20 at the waist and hips. The day before we went away I sew like a maniac for a few hours, just because I wanted to see what it might turn out like. I did everything but hem the sleeves, neckline and hemline and finish the French seams in the front and the back, but it held together and I could try it on. And it turned out to be.... a TENT!

I didn't have any time to ponder this since we were off early the next morning and with the packing and everything. But during the vacation the dress popped up now and then and I was thinking of what to do to get the silhouette I want.

The answer was to take it in 1,5 inches at each side seam and do wider (than normal) French seams in the front and the back. The result was pretty fitted over the bust and looser over the waist and hips, just the way I wanted it to be.

In the pictures I matched the dress with a red belt, red clog sandals and a red scarf. I'm happy with the look.

Here's the dress from the back without the belt.

Here you can see that the finished dress bear no ressemblance to a tent... :)

From the side. Personally, I don't think it looks like a preggie dress, which is always a hazard with gathers or pleats near the stomach area.

I decided to make pleats on the sleeves, because they look so big and just stood out a lot. It turned very well I think.

In these two pics, you can see how wide the Freanch seams are. Above, the side seam. Below, the front seam.

Here's the dress just hangin' on the coat hanger.... Lovely pink bias tape at the neckline, huh?!

Well, some things to think about, if you're going to make this pattern, think about waht silhouette you want, the pattern is pretty big/has a lot of ease. I think I could have cut a size US14 for the top, and I'm usually a US18. But if you want a loose-fitting dress, go with your usual size. The sleeves are also very wide. For me the length was perfect, I only used 2-2,5 cm/1 inch for the hemline, but I'm quite tall, 175 cm. I cheated a little bit, but it's acutally possible to use French seams everywhere. I cheated at the armscye and the gathered bits. I also didn't feel like using facing for the neckline, so I went with bias tape instead.

Will I make this again? Possibly, now that I know what changes to make. (I know I could have made a muslin, but sometimes I just don't feel like it....)
Would I recommend the pattern? Yes, but think about the things I wrote above.
I'm I glad to be back from the vacation? Actually, yes.... (Really boring weather=no going to the beach=frustrated kids=frustrated (pale!) parents tired from entertaining the kids....)

Bye for now,


July 13, 2012

Early birthday present

I have a birthday coming up in a few weeks and I thought I'd finally take the plunge and order an overlock machine/serger. I've been drooling over them on the web for years it seems. My husband has been asking me frequently lately what I want for my birthday, and yesterday as I was yet again drooling over the overlockers, I said that I wanted money to help me buy one.

As he was glad to get out of going shopping for a present, he transferred money on the spot and I ordered straight away from Sewing machines direct, which is a great webshop with great prices and the nicest salesman (?), Russell. He always replies fast with great answers when you e-mail and my overloker was dispatched yesterday already!

What did I get then? I decided to get the Brother 1034D, because it had several accessories included: a piping foot, a gathering foot, a blind hem foot and four white thread cones. I also ordered four black and four cream thread cones. I'm so excited, yay!!!

Ok, back to my vacation.

Bye for now,


July 05, 2012

Vacation headscarf and upcoming dress

I thought I'd make a new headscarf for our upcoming vacation. Always nice to have something new for when you're going away.

I used some lightweight cotton fabric from my stash, originally from my mum's stash. The pattern is the one I drew up myself using a Christine headscarf as a template, see my first version here.

Not the greatest photo, since I had to take it myself in front of the mirror...

I must say it's a relief to be able to make these scarfs myself, to get the fit I want, because I feel the bought ones can get a bit stretched out and then they're just too big and sort of float on my head instead. The ones I make myself, I can make them a bit tighter and get a better fit.

I'm actually working on a dress as well, from the navy polka dot fabric I recently bought. I traced the pattern of Simplicity 2363, a pattern I bought from Sewessential a while ago.

I will make the shorter dress with short sleeves. But I probably won't have time to finish it until after our trip.

Bye for now,


July 04, 2012


In my previous post I wrote that I make sketches to get an idea of what a garment might look like made up of specific fabric. Here is an older sketch of a garment I've made and blogged about.

Can you see which one it is?



New and improved - Lisette Portfolio (Simplicity 2245)

As I wrote yesterday, I was thinking of what to do with my new fabrics and I came to think of pockets. I'm planning on making a denim Ginger skirt with pockets/belt loops and a denim Meringue skirt with pockets, maybe like Sunni's on this Ginger skirt. So I'm into pockets and I felt I had to give the Lisette Portfolio (Simplicity 2245) another go. My first version is here and here.

This time I felt like doing a tunic-length version, instead of a dress. The fabric I wanted to use was not one of the new ones, but I came to think of a lovely fabric I bought earlier this spring. I made a sketch, I like to do that to get an idea of what the garment might look like.

My fabric has a pattern of bird houses, but I thought it was bird cages when I drew the picture, didn't remember... ;)

I didn't want to do the neckline as it is in the pattern, I felt it was too high and I wanted an easier job this time too. So I wanted to use bias tape at the neckline and the sleeves. It worked great, everything went really smoothly and the tunic was so easy to put together.

The changes I made from last time was:
1. I changed the size from EU46/US20 to a EU42/US16 at the bust and a EU46/US20 at the hip. (Revelation: so this is how it's supposed to fit!)
2. I cut the back piece on the fold, instead of making two pieces. I wasn't going to make the closing at the neck anyway.
3. I used bias tape for the neckline and the sleeve hems instead of the pattern pieces from the sewing pattern.

I have to say that I lo-o-o-o-o-o-o-ve kimono sleeves! So easy to sew and so comfortable. Unfortunately the inside of the tunic isn't as pretty as I would have liked. I just couldn't figure out how to do French seams and get those pockets seams to work, so I had to go with zig-zagging.

Here's a close-up of the pocket and the super adorable fabric...

So, to wrap it up: I'm very happy with the tunic (although the fabric store didn't have enough of the bias tape I wanted :( , there was only enough for the neckline) and I can see myself wearing it to work a lot!

Bye for now,


July 03, 2012

Project in progress

I have been thinking and sketching, about what to do with my new fabrics. And in that process I decided what to do with a fabric I had from before. It is gorgeous(!), so I've been meaning to do something thought-out with it. And you'll see it tomorrow, when it's finished and I can post about it. See you then...

Bye for now,

Johanna (off to bed)