March 29, 2013

Cropped trousers for spring

I've been wanting to make these trousers ever since I got the sewing magazine (Swedish sewing magazine Sömnadsmagasin). In the magazine they were made in hot pink cotton stretch sateen, which looked fan-tastic! I've been looking for some similar fabric, but decided to use to denim stretch fabric from my stash instead (that's what you do when you're short on cash! :( ). Well, at least they will be my entry in the Stashbusting sewalong! Yay!

They were quite fun to put together and it actually took me two days to finish them (instead of my usual one-day garments). The only majot problem I had was putting in the invisible zipper. I've never had any trouble with those before, so I'm not sure what happened this time.

I cut a size EU46, but I probably could have gone with 44 because I took them in about 3 cm on each side seam from the hip down. In retrospect I could have taken them in at the waist too, because they have stretched out a bit after wearing them for a day.

I also got my first try at welt pockets, although they're fake. Looks kind of neat though! :)

I used some quilting cotton for the pockets and the inside of the waistband. I also only had a green invisible zipper, but I like colour so I'm happy with that.

I put a hook and eye above the zipper. The waistband isn't exactly even at the zipper, but I'm OK with that, not a perfectionist... :)

I hope I will make some similar trousers in a happy colour, like green or pink, soon. That would be very spring-y!

Unselfish sewing part 3 - Simplicity 1699 for my grandma

Recently I've been feeling that it is really OK to sew for others, something I wouldn't have done six months ago, I guess that's progress for you... :)

My grandma (on my mother's side), who is 86 years old, asked me a few months ago if I could make her a dress. She knows I sew a lot. She wanted it to be blue because that's her favourite colour.

I said I would do it, but not rush it. And now I finally felt like it was the right time for me to do this project. I found some cotton fabric, that I was going to use for curtains like 15 years ago, but never did. It's dark blue with big red and yellow flowers and green leaves on it. I thought that it would be good since I didn't know how much my gran would wear the dress anyway. So two birds with one stone: unselfish sewing AND stashbusting! Great!

I decided to use view A from Simplicity 1699 which I recently ordered from

The construction was pretty simple, but I changed the order of some things to make the dress more adjustable-friendly. The pattern called for putting together the bodice and then the skirt and then joining them. But I sewing up all the front pieces and then all the back pieces and then sewed them together at the sides. I don't know any of my gran's measurements so the dress needs to be easy to adjust. My gran doesn't live near my, but in the same town as my mum so she will be the one to make the adjustments if needed. And I wanted to make it easy for her.

Anyway, here's how it turned out...

The zipper wasn't long enough, so I put it in a bit lower and added a hook and eye at the top.

I overlocked all the pieces before sewing them together. The inside looks very neat!

I cut a size EU44 because it was the smallest size on the pattern. I can put on the dress and zip it up, but I can barely move in it. I thought I would make one for myself, but I think I have to go up a size then.

I like the sleeves because they're raglan sleeves and not set in sleeves, which I find hard to move in. The scalloped detail on the sleeves is very cute, but I'm not sure I would make them again because they were kind of hard to get even, we'll see... :)

I would recommend the pattern, the style is cute and not hard at all to put together. Other alterations I made was to cut the front skirt on fold instead of cutting two pieces. I put in the zipper another way than recommended. And for my next dress I would lower the neckline which is very high.

I hope to get photos of my gran wearing the dress, but we'll see.

Happy Easter everyone!!


March 24, 2013

Planning for a comfy garden

For a while, well the last few summers, I've been wanting to improve our conservatory (glass terrace?) Don't know what word to use, but I'll stick with conservatory). The glass of the conservatory is really old and becoming more and more fragile, not a good thing when you have 6-year-old playing football nearby.

We have a sliding door to open the conservatory towards the wooden deck in our garden, which is good, BUT the sliding door is located behind the door that leads into the house when open. What were the people who built the conservatory thinking?! So what I want to do and Mr Red and I have agreed to do is to replace all the windows in the front with sliding windows and the windows and sliding door on the left will be replaced with a whole wall of sliding doors. We will also replace the plastic roof with a thicker plastic roof.

But of course I don't only want to change the strucrute of the conservatory but also the interior, so this morning my son and I went to IKEA to buy new garden furniture! :) Yay!

Source: viaJohanna on Pinterest

Source: viaJohanna on Pinterest

Source: viaJohanna on Pinterest

I'm very happy with our purchase and I can't wait to be able to use the furniture! We still have loads of snow left so I guess it will still be a while. At least I could put some of the old chairs outside in the sun. The weather has actually been great yesterday and today and yesterday I was able to sit in the sun for a while for the first time this year. SO NICE!!!

I have done some sewing this weekend too, but the result will have to wait because it's not quite finished and it's not for me! :) More unselfish sewing that is!

Hope you're having as good a weekend as me, it can't get better than sewing, shopping and sitting in the sun, am I right?!

Bye for now,


March 21, 2013

Adding to my pattern library

A few weeks ago I took the opportunity to order some new Simplicity patterns when sewingpatterns sold them for $1.99 each. The patterns arrived yesterday (that is the downside of ordering from the USA, it takes WEEKS to get them). Here's the haul:

I like the dress and the jacket. But was surprised when I saw this pattern in the package, had no recollection of ordering it... Hello amnesia..:)

I like the dress, I'm not into peplum tops. Same here, can't really rememering putting this in the cart...

Not much to say, cute dress!

I really like the waist detail on this dress.

I followed Sunni's sew-along of this dress and thought the results looked s good.

How cute is the dress with sleeves?!!!

I've been trying to focus on spring sewing, but it's really hard when there's still loads of snow, more coming and the temperature stays constant between 5 and 18 degrees below zero C (23-0 degrees F). Since spring seems a long way away still an because it was snowing yesterday, I decided to cheer myself up and ordered the new Colette pattern, the Laurel dress, and also another Colettte pattern I've wanted for a while, the Violet blouse.

I can't wait for them to come, maybe it will finally be spring when they show up! :)

BTW, if you would like to invest in some new sewing patterns too, has a promotion on McCall's and Burda patternsat the moment, I think (I don't get paid or endorsed by to write this, I just want people to be able to save some money and make some bargains).

What's on your pattern wish list?

Bye for now,


March 19, 2013

Burdastyle t-shirt

I finally got some sewing done this past weekend. I had seen this cute t-shirt pattern in Burdastyle magazine 02/2013 and I wanted to try it out.

Since the pattern only went to EU size 42 I decided to frankenpattern it with another t-shirt pattern I have that fits really well. I made it 42 over the bust and 46 over the waist and hips.

I shouldn't have... The t-shirt turned out way too big, everywhere! Iif I make it again I think I will make it size 40 over the bust and 42 over the waist and hips.

Or it could have been the fabric that wasn't compatible with the pattern, but I don't know why that should be, because the fabric is just some viscose jersey.

Anyway, I had to take it in about 5 cm/2 inches on each side at the hips, to get a decent fit.

I added bands to the sleeves and made them and the band at the neckline a solid colour to add some interest. I think the result turned out good.

I would like to make the t-shirt again in a striped jersey, but I have to get some first! :)

I have loads of other plans but I keep seeing great new things all the time, so it's hard to decide what to do next. I have seen some cropped trousers in hot pink cotton sateen which I can't take my mind of, maybe those are next on my sewing list.

So did you get any sewing done this weekend? Do you have spring sewing plans?

Bye for now,


March 16, 2013

Vintage find

I keep reading about other bloggers fantastic finds and bargains from charity shops and flea markets. I keep going to my local charity shops hoping to find something, but in this town they suck big time. Not only are the clothes awful ninties relics but they're also expensive! I don't think a pair of horribly out-dated jeans should cost SEK 100/£10/$15! I never find anything good....

Until today! :)

I found this sixties/seventies shift dress (a style that suits me!), in aqua (one of my fave colours!), in my size (!!!!!!!!!!!!!) for SEK 95/£9,50/$14,50!!! How good can it get?! The only downside is that the dress is 100% polyester, but I guess that's what to expect from that time period. At least the label says it's polyester crepe, which I have never encountered before.

Can you see the adorable V-shaped front piece and the princess seams and the buttons?!!! 
I don't know which of the photos that shows the colour best....
I'm totally psyched that I finally found something good from the charity shop!!! Anyone else who has made a good find this weekend?

Sewing-wise, I just haven't had the time to go on with any projects. The closest I've been to anything sewing-related was this morning when I traced a pattern for a T-shirt from Burdastyle.

Cute style, right?!

Anyways, have a nice weekend,


P.S. Like so many other sewing-bloggers out there, I have a pet. Surprise! It's a cat!! Just realised I have been holding out on my cutie-pie. So here are some photos to enjoy. Her name is Siri and she's six months old. She's a Devon Rex. (And almost impossible to photograph...)

March 08, 2013

Pros and cons of Alopecia

If you have visited my blog before you might have seen that I have a medical condition called Alopecia Universalis (AU). There are three kinds of Alopecia:

  • Alopecia Areata - where you have bald patches, on your head or elsewhere (not to be mixed up with male pattern baldness).

Alopecia Areata

  • Alopecia Totalis - where you've lost all the hair on your head, not eyebrows or eyelashes.

Alopecia Totalis

  • Alopecia Universalis - which it total loss of all body hair, no eyebrows, eyelashes, nose hair, leg hair, arm hair, you name it, it's not there.

Alopecia Universalis (this is not me).

I started losing my hair two years ago (March 2011), starting with my hairdresser finding a bald spot on my head close to my left ear. The spot was about 3-4 cm in diametre, but it kept growing and I started losing hair in other places on my head. My eyebrows started to thin out. From March to August I lost all the hair on my head and by November I didn't have any eyebrows or eyelashes. August was also the last time I remember shaving my legs.

"Before" picture from June 2009

Another before picture from November 2010
"During" picture from May 2011

During... from June 2011
Now I look like this. From January 2013

At first I wore a wig to work everyday to try to look normal. I told all my colleagues and my pupils what had happened, so there wouldn't be any weird rumours about me. But by November I mostly quit the wig and went over to head scarfs instead.

One of the first wigs I tried on, didn't buy it though.

My first wig. It doesn't look so bad in this photo, but it had so much hair and  the hair style was very  "celeb fresh from the hairstudio"-not me.

Same wig as above but cut short and with a hair pin in the bangs.

My "real" wig, I bought this to wear seriously. Here it's long, straight from the box.

Same wig as above, but cut shorter. This is the one I do wear, when I wear a wig. It's very light and have a normal amount of hair, sort of comfortable. 

My latest wig, bought this last summer. It was on sale and it's curly like my own hair used to be, well, not THAT curly but still... I thought it would be fun, but I've only worn it out once. Sorry about the weird eyes in the photo...

Now I've been living without hair for a year and a half and I still don't like it, I know that my hair is probably never coming back, but I've sort of come to terms with the situation. Buuuut...... there are some things that bothes me and there are some things that even are positive, even though I don't like admitting it...:) So I've put together a list of pros and cons! (In no particular order).

  • Don't have to shave legs, armpits or bikini line
  • Don't have to pluck and shape eyebrows
  • Shorter time in the shower
  • Don't have to fix my hair after showering
  • No need for hair products, razors, shaving gel, electrical hair appliances
  • No sweaty hair in the summers
  • No worries about what your hair looks like after swimming in the summer
  • Don't have to worry about holding my hair or getting puke in my hair when throwing up (realised this the other day when I had the stomach flu)
  • Can't get head lice
  • And more I can't think of now...
  • It's really COLD not having any hair
  • Not easy finding well-fitting headscarfs
  • Expensive to buy headscarfs (at least the ones I like)
  • You can't show your face to anyone without putting on make up first
  • If you invest in semi-permanent make up (which I totally recommend) it's crazy expensive
  • Wigs are mostly totally uncomfortable, tight and itchy
  • The good wigs are expensive
  • If you wear wigs all the time, you might have to buy 3-4/year
  • People stare at you if you go out without something on your head
  • People think you have cancer if they see you have no hair
  • My nose keeps running all the time because I have no nose hair
  • And more I can't be bothered to write down now...

Well, the biggest downside of them all, which sadly overshadows all of the pros, is that, no matter what, I still feel and look WEIRD without hair.... :(

Anyway, I'm trying to cope and I know there are people out there who are in much worse situations, but it does feel like such a bitch sometimes. I'll be back soon with sewing-related posts, something that really cheers me up and takes my mind off the no-hair situation. :)

Bye for now,

Johanna aka Baldy ;)