choosing colours (ii)

after several days of hemming and hawing and spending every spare moment looking at fabric online, i finally made a decision and placed an order for my new summer sampler quilt!

i started with two inspiration pictures found online, and picking out the colours, found fabrics. orange combinationsi have been reeeeally torn between these two (as all my friends and acquaintances can likely attest, as i’ve been pestering them for opinions all week). the orange combination suited the idea of the quilt i had in my head, and is very summery and lovely.

wisteria scheme

the purple includes a lot of colours i like, and felt a little more unusual, and definitely still summery.

i could not make up my mind! i like both equally well, i suppose. even my usual decision making techniques, like flipping a coin and if you’re not pleased with the flip it points you to where you really want to go, weren’t working.

to make a long story short, in the end i went with the purples. i was helped along by the fact that i ordered the fabric from a different store than the one where i first picked out samples, and i couldn’t get all of the fabrics i’d picked. if i could have i’d probably have gone with the orange/coral combination.

here’s what my pick eventually looked like:

Summer Sampler order

i’m really happy with the decision. it’s got a good level of contrast and lots of nice whites. plus i got to incorporate something from the brush strokes collection by holly degroot, which i’ve been obsessed with all summer. i’m really feeling teal/magenta and cool colours right now, so in the end, after a looooot of flip-flopping*, i think this was definitely the right choice!

*i literally woke up at 5am and couldn’t fall back asleep cos i got all worked up thinking about colours. cool or sad?

no s(n)ewing in sight (heh heh see what i did there)

where did the snow go?? it was so snowy and beautiful, now it’s pouring ice-cold rain. nothing makes me quite so sad as a rain storm in december. it could be beautiful snowfall right now but no (climate negotiators in paris, you’d better get your darn acts together!)*

IMG_8429
obs: this picture (darn you, iphone) does no justice to how rainy it actually is. it’s driping-down-the-panes, beating-on-the-roof, would-be-cosy-if-i-weren’t-wearing-itchy-wet-jeans-and-sneakers rainy. in addition to being i’m-very-bitter-imagining-how-many-inches-of-snow-this-could-be rainy.

despite the gloomy view and getting the worst soakers of all time on the way here (mental note: riding a bike =/= dry feet; wear boots), i braved the weather to come work at the library for the fourth time this week! highly unusual for a confirmed homebody & home-office-lover such as myself.

i’ve discovered that i love working here even more than i love working at home. pros: no distractions (no sewing projects to glimpse out of the corner of a wandering eye here!). i sit at the same little desk on the third floor every day, my own cosy semi-private study space. and every day the same two guys show up and sit at the same desks on either side of me. we’re creatures of habit, we library-people. (further evidence: i’ve been wearing the same sweater for like two weeks** and guy-on-my-left has also been wearing the same sweater all week. routine-lovers, unite!)

and when i do want a distraction i just have to turn around because my desk is smack-dab in the middle of the egyptian archeology stacks, filled with such treasures as these old folios of various tombs, this very old encyclopedia of the egyptian language that i’m afraid to take off the shelf and this first edition of howard carter’s volumes about tutankhamun’s tomb.

ps here’s a song you can listen to on repeat if you also need to try to convince yourself that you don’t mind the fact that it’s raining right now:

*the mum of the kids i sometimes babysit is in paris right now as part of the swedish delegation, so cool right!

**my defence, should i need one: it’s winter! minimalism! etc.

Slow Fashion October

I’m a little behind on Slow Fashion October. I just read about it the other day in this great article on Autostraddle. And late as I am to the game it struck a chord with me, so here I am!

I generally respond warmly to anything ‘Slow.’ Slow Food, Slow Travel, I love it all. And so with sewing. I’ve had it drilled in to my head since I was a kid, “if you’re going to do something at all, do it right.” My sewing has gotten a lot better since I managed, a few years into my sewing career and a few years ago, to apply that lesson consistently. I don’t mind if it takes me a few weeks to complete a garment, if I have to spend ages sewing basting stitches and markings that will later be ripped out. It’s worth it for the end result.

Another aspect of Slow Fashion is that we’re encouraged to think in terms of “less is more.” Which it is! It absolutely is. I heard on the radio the other day that the average Swede has 100-200 items of clothing in their wardrobe, which sounded ridiculous. I dashed to my closet and started counting – a reasonable proposition thanks to a Kon-Mari session earlier this summer. I counted about 60-75 pieces in my own wardrobe, not including socks and underwear, and immediately felt that maybe I hadn’t sorted quite thoroughly enough. But here’s the thing – even though I wish (kind of) that I had less in my closet, I still want more!

I’m not even sure that I like clothes that much. What I really like is sewing. I just love sewing clothes so much!  My love of the construction has grown and blossomed into a love of clothes themselves. I do want more clothes, because I want to sew more clothes! Do I really want a tweed blazer in my life? Sort of, but most of all I want to sew a tweed blazer! I want to be satisfied with less, but I get so much satisfaction from sewing. So it’s a bit of a conundrum for me, but one I’m happy to sit with.

WORN

The theme for this week is “worn” and it’s all about longevity – making things to last, caring for them so they will last. That’s one of the delights of sewing for me. It’s why I make French seams on my pyjamas and why I pay more for the best fabric and why I’m so obsessed with heirloom sewing even though I have absolutely no need for christening gowns and bonnets.

I like to think that I also take good care of my clothes after they’re made, from laundering to mending. I’m not so sure that I really do it as well as I imagine though!

I always hang my clothes to dry (not only do driers waste electricity, they’re terrible for your clothes!) but I have no idea how to prevent white shirts from getting yellow stains, or how to remove them once they’re there. I have a pile of mending in a corner of my sewing room because although I love mending in principle, and I kind of like doing it once I get around to it, it’s like pulling teeth to get myself to just sit down with the darn mending in the first place.

I did do some darning today. A 10-crown card of darning thread and half an hour in front of the tv and it’s like I’ve got a brand-new pair of socks!

IMG_8242One more picture to enliven this text-heavy post:

IMG_8243I made these pyjamas about 3-4 years ago from this adorable kitten & polka dot fabric. I love them. They’re my only pair of winter pyjamas so they see a lot of wear. I had to mend a tear in the shoulder last week and I noticed that the cuffs are starting to wear on the edges, which bums me out but also makes me happy as it’s a sign of lots of loving use!

What about you? Do you practise Slow Fashion? If you’ve been blogging about it in October, please link in the comments! I’d love to read your thoughts.

Farmer’s Wife 1930s quilt

If you are interested in quilting you might know that Laurie Aaron Hird released a follow-up to her Farmer’s Wife quilt. I’ve spent many hours pouring over photos of the original, 1920s, quilt on pinterest and longing to make it. I still love the original and hope to make it some day, but now that I’ve seen pictures from the new book I think I like it even more!

farmers wife book cover

I think it’s the airiness that comes from the wide sashing and on-point setting that really tickles my fancy!

I want to make this quilt so much! There’s a quilt-a-long that started a couple of weeks ago, but I won’t be joining in, at least not for a while. I have to finish my summer sampler quilt first, not to mention a number of other sewing projects in  various stages of completion. And then there’s the small issue that I don’t have the book yet. I’ve asked for it for Christmas so I’m using that as a carrot; if I get my summer sampler done by Christmas then I’ll be able to dive right into the Farmer’s Wife!

Why blog?

I really want to have a place to keep all my projects together – especially a place to see all the stages, from planning to finished result, with plenty of pictures!

I’ve had blogs before and they’ve never really stuck (I’d link you to all my past blogs but oh, who has time – they were legion), yet the idea of blogging keeps floating around in my head. I make so many projects, and I’m proud of them and want to show them off ! I suppose it’s as simple as that.

I’d also like a blog as a place to write and keep longer texts, not about creative pursuits but more about life and opinions in general. We’ll see how it goes with that. Perhaps one aim will win out over the other in the long run – if I manage to keep this blog updated for longer than a week.

As you can guess from the title, I sew almost exclusively with vintage patterns – knit from mostly old patterns too. Why? Well, I’ll get to that in another post!