light blue dress

i’ve been wanting to make a light blue summer dress since i read vi på saltkråkan two summers ago. the oldest daughter wears a light blue dress at one point and while i’m not really sure why i found that so especially inspiring (a blue dress has to be the next most basic thing after a black dress?) it’s been on my to-make list ever since.

i was in gävle in may when i found the perfect blue-striped seersucker fabric – and for only 29 crowns/metre. but it took me a while to find the perfect pattern.

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after a false start with a burda pattern – i traced it off and started laying it out only to realise the pattern required 56″ fabric and mine’s an unusually narrow 44″ – i started sketching out some ideas. i wanted an a-line skirt, button placket and extended shoulders or flanges instead of sleeves. not asking for much right? yet it took me the whole summer to find what i was looking for!

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simplicity 2018 to the rescue! just what i had in mind, and from 1947 – i love ’40s patterns, the bust sizing always corresponds to my measurements so i don’t have to change much.

this was pretty straightforward to make – or rather, very straightforward. one dart, a couple of pleats at the waist, what more shaping do you need? and isn’t seersucker a dream to work with? so flexible and easy-going.

my favourite detail has to be the hidden button placket.

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the inside is basically indistinguishable from the outside at first glance, which is a good thing but has led to me putting it on inside out more than once.

it’s definitely a summer dress but with a bit of luck i can wear it one or two more times before it gets really cold.

finally, i have a light blue dress!

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a little mending, a little blogging

a good sweatshirt (aka college sweater) is one of those garments that just get better looking the longer you have it and the more you wear it in. the fabric gets softer and the worn patches that develop around the seams just make it look even cooler.

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up to a point.

in the case of beloved blue sweater (so known around here as we both wear it and thus it is neither “my sweater” nor “your sweater”*) the cuffs had become so stretched and worn out that this sweater was no longer fit to be seen in public. not pretty.

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but why get rid of a favourite sweatshirt when you can easily replace the cuffs! fabric stores sell sweatshirt cuffs in a few basic colours and it took no more than 15 minutes to rip out the old ones and sew in the new. i think the darker shade of navy looks pretty cool too, and now blue sweater is better than ever. not bad for a 200 crown sweatshirt from  h&m. (even fast fashion can be slow fashion!)

excuse the mirror selfie, my tripod has a stripped screw and is currently unfit to be trusted holding up a camera.

speaking of things to be excused – pardon my month-long absence from blogging. i’ve been working on a few projects but uncooperative technology has made me less eager to blog about it. for one thing my laptop freezes every time i open photo editing software. for another, my bunny (perhaps you remember her from the quilt-biting incident) knocked a couple of keys off my keyboard a while ago. no big deal, except she proceeded to eat the squishy things from under the keys so i couldn’t put them back on. now every a, r, and q must be poked out with an athletic gesture. thus typing has landed on my list of things to do as little as possible of and blogging is less fun – until i get new squishy things!

*actually existing communism!

mending, sashiko-inspired

While I was researching last week’s post about slow fashion, I found so many beautiful examples of sashiko (Japanese quilting)-inspired mending and boro, the traditional Japanese practise of mending indigo-dyed cloth again and again. (Click the link to see a blog post with many beautiful examples of boro!)

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lovely mended jeans on honestly wtf
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a very old kotatsugake featuring sashiko
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lovely examples of mending
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sashiko-mended jeans on Rivulette

Looking at all these lovely things inspired me to f i n a l l y mend these jeans of mine, which have been languishing in the mending pile for months.

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(sorry for the gross lighting, it’s basically impossible to get a photo in daylight at this time of year)

Not real sashiko but, as I said, sashiko-inspired. I used some heavy-duty Gutterman thread in my favourite shade of blue. The stitching gives the fabric a cool texture and a sturdy feel.

IMG_8270The bum, with a patch on one side and reinforcement stitching on the other side where it’s wearing thin.

I am so happy to be able to wear these again, and bring my total up to three whole pair of wearable trousers!

Quilting time is coming!

Soon my quilt squares will actually start becoming a quilt – i.e. a fabric-filling-fabric sandwich held together with small stitches. I ordered extra-wide unbleached calico from Plush Addict for the backing. Today I pre-washed it and it’s hanging to dry. I keep laughing every time I see how wide it is (235 cm). I don’t know why I find that so amusing, but I do!

I’ll be spending a lot of time with this quilt in the next few months so I decided to work on a quick clothing project in the meanwhile, you know, just to get some variety in my life.

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I ❤ plaid selvages

These plaid bermuda shorts (Simplicity 1695) are, however, turning out to be a little trickier than I planned. There are no in-progress pictures to show yet as I’ve only gotten as far as basting the backing onto the fronts. Having done that I discovered my plaid doesn’t match at the centre-front. Tears! Yes, I really screwed these up when cutting. I didn’t buy as much extra fabric as I should have, managed to cut two identical fronts instead of mirror-image and it all went downhill from there. It’s going to take a little cunning to get this “quick” project to work out!

IMG_8244More details later. Meanwhile, here are some pictures of my bunny getting in the way while I was cutting, perhaps she was trying to stop me before I made a big mistake!

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Things I Want to Sew: Camel coat

While we’re on the topic of things I want to sew but am not due to not having any time/money/etc (and see yesterday’s post about the Farmer’s Wife quilt) let me introduce you to a little file on my computer called Things I Want to Sew.

I won’t actually make you look at the whole thing. It’s very long and borrows heavily from my 17 (17!) pages of Etsy favourites, which consist almost exclusively of patterns.

In the interest of your sanity and mine, today I’ll limit myself to telling you about my unhealthy obsession with sewing a camel coat, also known as a polo coat.

box coat
like this one!
or this one!!
or this one!!

I’ve been wanting desperately needing to sew one since early this summer, and I genuinely believed I would have it sewn up by now. Or at least be working on it. Or at the very least have ordered the pattern and fabric.

Well.

The only place I’ve been able to source camel hair fabric is Mood (and let me once again take the opportunity to complain about how terrible fabric shopping is in Sweden) and the cost of shipping a few yards of woolen goods from New York to Scandinavia is prohibitive at best.

Having discovered that the shipping cost is more than twice the price of the fabric has not deterred me, however. I’ll keep saving and meanwhile, since I’ve *ahem* never actually sewn a coat before, I’ll do some research and reading to get prepared and keep the dream alive. The dream of a beautiful camel hair coat. I will have one! Although realistically, not before it gets too cold to wear it this year. Darn.

UPDATE! UPDATE! The fabric I want just went on sale for 20% off!!! Wise and self-controlled Joakim pointed out to me that 20% is one of those numbers that tricks you by seeming like a better deal than it is but oooh! I want it!  My coooooat!