I have moved

You can mostly find me here these days instead. I'll do cross-posting for a while longer though.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Self improvement

It was a glorious 9 degrees outside this morning and I hope I can say that Spring is finally here.

The girls were both excited about the sunny skies and went outside with out their coats on. However it turned out to be quite windy and the breeze isn't warm enough yet to allow that.


They both wore their new dresses and looked very neat and prim. Isabel wore hers yesterday as well and received a few compliments on the dress.

I confess that is one of my favourite parts of sewing for the girls. The comments. No matter how simple a garment you've made, if people know you made it they are automatically impressed.
I never fish for comments though, but the girls are usually very proud of their new clothes and aren't afraid to tell people "Mommy made this!"

I also get a bit frustrated sometimes when people compliment and think that I'm being bashful when I focus on what I could have done better. They think it's false modesty, but I feel I'm at a point now where my results sometimes should be better.
I see the mistakes and the fudging I made but other people don't.


I've stopped pointing out my mistakes and I just soak up the praise but still I know I can do better.
For instance on this dress the collars aren't really to my liking. They stretch in a funny way as if one side is too short somehow. (And of course it doesn't show in a picture because I make sure to make adjustments before photographing it)
I still love the result it's just that after making so many collars I should do better.

Ah well. I'll keep practising and we'll see where it gets me.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011


I've been waiting for my Lisette patterns for over a week. Normally I get a notice in the mail box telling me to pick stuff up if they can't deliver in our mailbox, or if I get slammed with customs I get a notice telling me to pick it up and pay.

Today I got a slip in the mail *reminding* me to pick up a package at the usual pick-up place.
Only I never got the first slip telling me it was there!

So I go to the store to fetch the package and the slip they usually leave in the mailbox is still there! On the envelope! Newbies.

Oh, and there was something weird with the customs declaration too. I think I've been overcharged...

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Vintage flair


Well, here's the finished result. Two pretty Jump Rope Dresses for two pretty girls.

They picked the fabric themselves and I added the white pindot fabric for the plackets and collars because the fabric had a vintage flair to it and I thought the white plackets would add to that retro feeling.


This is the contented smile of my 6 year old getting to try on her new dress for real for the first time.


And here's my 3 year old showing her dress off. She does this easiest by dancing.

Sewing information: Fabric bought at Stoff och Stil, 100 % cotton.

Pink dress: Oliver + S Jump Rope Dress size 8 graded to a size 9-ish, placket lengthened 1", bodice lengthened 1", skirt lengthened 2".
Blue dress: Oliver + S Jump Rope Dress size 6 - no modifications.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Practice makes perfect

When setting out to make the Jump Rope Dresses for the girls I was a bit (very) intimidated by the plackets. It looked like it would be difficult and hard to get it to look good.


I made a few test runs since I had to make toiles for Isabel anyway, and it was a lot easier than I thought. Not simple and easy-peasy, but certainly not as fiddly as I had feared.


The cotton I bought for the dresses was fairly flimsy, and the pin dot fabric I chose for the collars and plackets was very thin.
I used a thin fusible cotton interfacing (which I didn't preshrink - fingers crossed it won't shrink!) on the placket and it turned out to be just enough.


Both plackets turned out well and I'm more than pleased with them.

I have some experience with sewing by now, but I have to put down a lot of the success to Liesl's excellent instructions.

The dresses are all but done now, I have to sew in buttons but one of the buttons shattered when I tried to sew it in with my machine and I only had the exact number of buttons. So I have to find new ones.

I will definitely make more of these for Spring!

Random shoes


I'm sporting my new sneakers today.

I had red high top Converse when I was a teenager and I love the look of them, but I haven't had proper sneakers since.

But on Saturday I drove to town to buy a pair. They are a bit tight still, and I think my feet will hate me tonight, but I love, love, love them.

Friday, March 18, 2011


Well, good morning!

I'm feeling slightly more rested today, but TGIF all the same.

Last night I checked Twitter and saw a tweet from Liesl of Oliver + S-fame. She was selling precut bundles of her new fabric line in her webshop.

I had to take a look of course and came away with two bundles. I think the latter of the two is my favourite and I hope to make an Ice Cream dress for Sofia from it. And I hope Isabel will want something from the reds.

We watched Doctor Who last night and it was so sad. We're up to the Human Nature/Family of Blood episodes and it was so heart wrenching to see the agony The Doctor felt when he had to change back to being a Time Lord. The episode was flawless in every way, script, filming, acting.

Tonight we're watching Blink which I have heard so much about (please don't spoil it for me if you've seen it).

I also finished up the bodices of the girls' Jump Rope Dresses - sorry no pictures yet, I haven't had time to upload them from the camera.
I hope I can finish them this afternoon. I pick the girls up early so maybe I can convince them to play upstairs so I can start on the skirts at least.
I really need to get some shopping done too so I plan to leave early and get it done before I pick them up. While I'm at the store I'm picking up some packages from Amazon I've been waiting for.

I'm eagerly awaiting my Lisette patterns as well. They were shipped over a week ago so they should arrive soon.

Tomorrow I hope we can get some laundry done and take a trip to town. I need to buy new shoes and a bra or two.

Thursday, March 17, 2011


I bought two tickets in this raffle. Go join! She raised over $3000 in less than 24 hours.
The prize is really cool too.

I was watching live images from Japan on Friday and it's just all so surreal.
It's almost the same feeling I got on 9/11 when one thing happened after the other and it all felt like a bad action movie.
Well, this feels like a bad and over-the-top disaster movie.

Watching the live footage as the waters rushed in over land, seeing busses and cars driving to get away and realising that this is people dying *right now*, I'm watching and I can do absolutely nothing about it. It's a horrible feeling.
Not to mention all the troubles they are having with their nuclear power plants. Looks like a break cannot be caught there.

I'm old enough to remember the Chernobyl-accident in 1986. I live in Sweden and we had radiation reports on tv for months after. There are areas in northern Sweden that were quarantined and berry picking and mushroom picking there was prohibited for years.
This is a completely different situation, mostly because the power plants produce power via different methods.
But it's also different because there are so many reactors affected, and reading the news is hard because it's difficult to determine was news sources are reporting correctly and what sources are just out to scare me. Here is one article that I found slightly reassuring.
But then things have changed since.

I keep thinking about the heroes working to regain control over the power plants and I admire theirs and their families' sacrifice. Even though I'm working and getting on with my life, they are in the back of my mind at all time.

Happy St Patrick's Day!

Ho hum. I can't believe how tired I am!

And it's so not fair because I went to bed at a reasonable time last night, as opposed to the nights before when we were up until 12:30 am. Wait. I think I know now ...

Moving on!

Parents' meeting last night meant I got absolutely no sewing done. Mom watched the kidlets while we were away and once home I crashed on the sofa with Rickard and two episodes of Doctor Who. Good times.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Sewing is slow

The Jump Rope Dresses are coming along nicely. I still have issues with the collars. I don't like how they turn out.
I think next time I'll not edgestitch them and see what happens.

I have prepped the sleeves but then Rickard wanted to watch Doctor Who and who am I to say no to that? (Hello mr Tennant. Looking good as always.)

Well, tonight there's a parents' meeting at Sofia's daycare so I doubt I'll get much done. At least the serger is out and ready to go. I just have to figure out how to change the light bulb on it. I can't get it unscrewed.

I'm eagerly awaiting my Lisette patterns. Photos have trickled out of other people's sewing from those and it's all looking so good. I hope they arrive today.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Getting stuff done ...

Yay! Torchwood season 1 seen all the way through.

Now we can get back to The Doctor (and mr Tennant)

I'm working from home tomorrow and I'm looking forward to lounging around in my yoga pants. I have a Greek translation to do layout control of. It'll take all day.

I sewed up parts of a Jump Rope Dress for Isabel tonight. I made a button placket that looks awesome! Tomorrow I'm doing the same on a dress for Sofia so I'll be at the same place on both dresses. That way I can finish them together.

I need to make room for my serger though. It's stashed away because I needed room to trace patterns.

I really should make time to sew more often. We've/I've been so caught up in The Doctor and Torchwood (not that that's gonna change any time soon) that I haven't made time to sew as well.

But now I have two dresses cut out and two pair of pants for the girls and I have a bag to make for myself. I just have to decide on measurements first.

I hope I can make it bigger on the inside ...

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Signing off

So I finished up Doctor Who season 2 and then I sort of got stuck watching some of the other stuff David Tennant's done. Casanova, Blackpool and a spot of Hamlet.

I totally blame him for the late hour.

Both girls are fast asleep and I really should get to bed. I need to shower in the morning and that takes time and at the same time I have to get the girls ready for daycare and school. Always fun.

At least it's a shorter day tomorrow. I pick the girls up at 4 pm. Then I have to feed Isabel before her grandpa picks her up to take her to riding class.
Grandma's coming in to watch Sofia when I go to a parents' meeting at school. So most likely no sewing tomorrow either. At least Rickard's coming home tomorrow night.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Sewing report and Single Mom Days

Well, Saturday came and went and I spent most of it tracing patterns which I had promised myself I wouldn't have to since I was going to do that during the week before.

But it actually turned out fine. Sewing I can do during the weeks, but tracing patterns and grading them (guh! I graded the Jump Rope Dress for Isabel into a size 9/10 - successfully I might add!) I sure needed to do that undisturbed.)

So I made a toile for her of a size 8 first and it was as I suspected - a bit tight in the chest and tummy areas. So I set to work grading it as my aut taught me and I made a second toile.


I need to measure and fiddle a bit more on the point of the placket, but for a first and second attempt I'm quite pleased with it. It fit which is always a huge plus.

The rest of Saturday and Sunday I spent gorging myself on Doctor Who with Rickard. We got two thirds through the second season and after a recommendation from a friend we're finishing that and then moving on to Torchwood Season 1.
Her husband works at BBC America and had some inside knowledge that that was the way to go.

So next week the box set of Torchwood, seasons 1-3 will make its way home to us and we'll get started on that.
I found a good deal on seasons 1-4 of Doctor Who and seasons 1-3 of Torchwood that also included all the Doctor Who specials.

So sewing wise this week has been a bit of a drought. My husband is away on a business trip and won't return until tomorrow night and suddenly being a single mom with all the activities of the children puts sewing a bit on the back burner.

I have sewn in a zipper in Sofia's coat- Very temporarily. I'm not sure it will stay in, but at least she'll be able to keep it closed up a little better while it lasts. After all we're almost half way through March and I can feel it's getting a bit warmer in the air.

Next chore - pink some fabric and throw it in the wash.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

My "Projects I want to do"-list

I just need to get this down in writing somewhere and then get back to it. Links later.

To do this week (week 10)
Pink fabric and fabric and pre-wash (reds from Pink Chalk and the reds from City Weekend)
Jump Rope Dress - cut a size 9/10 for Isabel - I need to decide on fabric with her
New Leaf Folding Tote - already cut out and ready to go - needs interfacing cut too
Get my pants done - waistband and taper legs and hem

Happy Spring!

(image borrowed from here)

I subscribe to Pink Chalk's Fabric Club of Monthly Solids. Last month it was pinks and reds and from the look of the photo above I can expect a yummy stack of greens to land in my mailbox sometime next week.

Or you know - the slip that says to pick it up at the grocery store ...

I can't wait!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

A bit more serious than usual

(image from Palmefonden)

This week it's been 25 years since Swedish Prime Minister Olof Palme was murdered.

It's one of those defining moments in Swedish history I think. Any Swede back then, no matter what they thought of their Prime Minister can recall where and when they heard the news.

In February 1986 I had just turned 13. I can remember waking up in the night and hearing my mom talk on the phone with someone. She sounded upset but I fell back to sleep.

In the morning she woke me and told me Olof Palme had been shot.

"They have shot Olof Palme" she said.
"Who" said I.
"Nobody knows".

Already then there were rumours flying around and this was just the first day.

Olof Palme was a man who inspired. In some he inspired admiration and loyalty, and in others he inspired loathing and even hatred.
He was a very respected politician in Sweden but also a very much hated politician. There didn't seem to be a middle way with him.

My parents were politically active in the town council back then. At least my father was. And they were both actively working during the re-election campaign the previous September when the Social Democrats and Olof Palme had been re-elected into government.
They helped arrange all the local activities that seem to follow. Setting up areas where you could write your condolences.

Once the arrangements around the funeral were falling into place it was decided that one child from each local party organisation would be flown to Stockholm to participate in a choir that would sing at the funeral in the City Hall in Stockholm.
I was at the right age, I had the "right connections" and I already sang in a choir so I don't think there was much debate at home who would get to go.

It was also decided to send my father to carry the local party organisation flag in the "flag wall".

We were a group of 5-8 children who flew out of Sturup together and we were shipped off to a manor house outside Stockholm to bunk with the rest of the 240 children sent to participate.
It was a bit like Summer Camp. We would sing during the day and eat barbecued hotdogs at night. We were shipped into the City Hall in buses one day to practice singing and entering the Hall end exiting.

We passed the crime scene on the way.

On March 15th we were sent into town once more and spread out in the City Hall to wait for our entry. We all sang and laughed and made a lot of jokes and I don't think a lot of us thought about why we were really there until one of the officials came up to us and told us to simmer down because the coffin had arrived.

After that it all went quiet. Some children in the choir were as young as 7 or 8 I think and some started crying.
We got our cue and went inside the Blue Room where we filled the large stair case and parts of the balcony.

Here is a link to the opening of the ceremony. (I hope it's available outside Sweden as well - let me know if it isn't?). At 1:33 you can see the whole staircase filled with children wearing white sweatshirts. At 2:02 there is a shot of the "flag wall" I spoke of where my father was. At 2:14 you can hear us sing the first hymn.
At 2:41 they cut to show the children a bit more up close and at the moment they cut I am standing just to the right of the camera, no more than a child or two out of shot. (Also! Hello 80's hairstyles! I don't miss you.)

I had this on a vcr tape at home - I wonder what became of it. I haven't seen this in so long.

I can't help but feeling a bit dualistic about it. It was a sad occasion and a horrific event (the murder) but it was still a fun experience. I'm glad I had it.

(I can't help link to this too. It's the speech made by Anna Lindh at Olof Palme's funeral. She was chairman of the Social Democrat's Youth organisation at the time of the murder. She later went on to become Foreign Minister and she herself was murdered on September 11th 2003 when she was stabbed to death in a department store in central Stockholm.)

Troubles with the Mailman

My husband threw his back out the other night and has been at home trying to recover. He's on the mend so he's up and about and yesterday he was making a sandwich when he looked out the window and saw the mailman try to stuff a Flat Rate Envelope down the mailbox.

He went outside to rescue it and the mailman was a bit miffed and said if we plan on getting any more envelopes of this size we should really get a larger mailbox.

Well, it's not like I'm going to stop ordering stuff but I'm not particularly keen on having a dropbox out there with a large slot and a note saying "Any large and interesting parcels can be dropped here". That's just begging to be robbed.

The mail carrier have a system where if the parcel is too large for being dropped in a box they leave a slip in the box and bring the parcel to the pick-up station. My guess is he wasn't keen on bringing it back with him.

I'm at a bit of a loss as to what to do.


This whole affair meant I have some City Weekend-fabric to play with! There should be another parcel for me today or tomorrow with one more knit that I ordered, as well as another parcel from a different store with the red City Weekend colourway. I am so excited.

I have this Saturday "off" from the family and I plan to trace a bunch of patterns this week so I can get started on cutting fabric and sewing on Saturday. If I'm lucky I might be able to cut fabric during the week so I can just sit down at the machine after breakfast and get stuck in.

Too bad Isabel's still not sold on the Ramble in the Park fabric I got for her. With a bit of luck I might be able to make it last for a tunic for myself.
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