I have moved

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

Friday, July 27, 2012


Nice finish inside at the zip thanks to Colette

This was a pretty neat finish.

I love it when tutorials I find online yield awesome results.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Work load

We are gardening today

We did a bit of gardening today.

By "we" I mean Rickard. I sat in the shade in our new lawn chair and sipped my coffee and entertained our 5 year-old.

We have a big patch of strawberries that has yielded lots of berries this year but the leaves have all been eaten off by some unknown creature.
Berry season is over now and Rickard decided to cut down the stems and we'll see if the new leaves that are already sprouting will be left alone.

The flower beds were also full of weeds that have been left to grow undisturbed that he pulled out and it's looking really nice now.

He also mowed the lawn. We have two huge patches of clover in the lawn that just won't go away, and lots and lots of weeds with yellow flowers that crawl just under grass level and escapes the mower. Once the grass is cut the yellow flowers stands up and can easily be seen.
But no matter how much he pulls them out they always come back.

Lord of the flies

Death to fruit flies!!

In summer we're plagued by fruit flies.

They show up seemingly over night and although I have started to bag all our fruit and put it away they seek out our under-sink food disposal and procreate.

I found a fool proof recipe to keep them in check though.

I pour some water into a large drinking glass. Add a squirt of Fairy washing-up liquid then mix in a large dose of honey and a splash of white wine vinegar.

This is left on the window sill and will attract the flies. It didn't take 5 minutes to catch the first fly when I mixed it up today.

I leave it as is for about two days after that I either throw it out and mix a new batch or use a small strainer to remove the dead flies.
I'm not sure what it is but I'm guessing too many dead bodies will leave a warning for the other flies to stay away.



I bought a kit of 33 colours of DMC embroidery floss a month ago. They delivered two skeins of each colours and they have been muddled up in a box while I tried to figure out a way to store them for easy use.

Then we did some changes to the girls' play table down stairs and this paper roll holder was left over.

I cut off the legs protruding backwards and screwed some hooks into it to hang it on the wall.

The dowel comes off and I spent all of Tuesday night  organising my skeins.


I love how it turned out. It's easily accessible and I kept the original labels so I can easily see what's running low. Plus there is room for more colours if I want to expand it.

The little shelf in front keeps the floss in place, plus it's a great place to store needles, a spare pair of scissors and a thimble.

Corsetry - on hold

I've run into a bit of a snag with my corset.

The parcel from the UK was delivered to my pick-up place but because they chose to send it insured my post office refused to release it to me as I had ordered it using my shortened name instead of my given name.

It took some convincing and a lot of phone calls to the postal services before I found someone who would release it to me.

Sadly they were out of busks and sent only what they had.

I'm still waiting on the busks. I hope they arrive this week.


Instead I'm spending my time pondering a new skirt for me while plugging away on my hexagons.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Quilt for Sofia

I made this quilt top a good long while back.

2012-07-08 21.35.37

Read more after the jump!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Skirt for me!

New skirt

I'm normally a pants-type of girl. I will wear those denims as long as the weather allows it. During warm weather it's a pain finding stuff to wear. Especially as I'm of the larger size variety.

Last weekend I had a reason to wear a dress though and I bought those leggings with lace at the hem everyone seems to wear here these days.

It got me thinking that maybe I could pull a skirt off after all. I knew I found a cheat sheet for skirt making on Pinterest a while back - over a year it seems - and it looked easy enough.

I had a large piece of Amy Butler fabric languishing in my stash that I bought several years ago and intended to sew a dress from. There was more than enough of it and a good chunk of a coordinating fabric for a hem facing and a waistband.

I also had a piece of dark grey blue solid to add as flat piping between the front and back centre panels.

2012-07-17 10.11.33

I studied the cheat sheet and took some measurements.

I needed a waist measurement and a hip/derrière measurement. I also needed to know how long I wanted the skirt to be and the distance from my waist to the widest part of of my hip.

I chose a six panel configuration for it just like on the cheat sheet, but you could easily divide into 4 or 8 panels instead.

Six panel skirt for me

I cut the back panel in two and remembered to add seam allowance for an invisible zip.

For the waistband I bought some 3.5" wide waist tape that I ironed to the outer fabric. It adds some body to the waistband and it makes sewing it really easy as there are grooves in it that help you fold it evenly. I also added the same piping to the underside of the waistband.

Since the panels are in an a-line shape I felt it would be easier to hem using a hem facing rather than a folded hem. I have made enough Oliver + S-dresses for my girls to feel at home with that technique.
Instead of a slip stitch to attach the facing I opted on five rows of top stitching. It adds some weight to the hem and keeps it in place.

Contrasting hemfacing

I wore the skirt last night when we were visiting my uncle. It was the first time in a long while that I felt comfortable in a skirt.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Go East

We left Malmö with overcast skies and threatening rain clouds this morning. 20 km outside town we drove into a wall of rain. And I mean that literally.

It rained heavily for a few minutes maybe 5 kms then we passed out of it and into my favourite part of the world.

Through the rain - the Sun shines on the other side

The clouds were breaking up and blue skies were peeking through.

We stopped briefly in Ystad which is at the southern most tip of Sweden and the start of an area of Skåne called Österlen. Rickard did his military service in Ystad, his paternal grandparents farmed not far from the town here and my father's family is from the area as well.


To say that it feels like home to us is an understatement.

We try to take a drive down here a few times each summer and when I come into money* I will buy an old house here and retire. ;-)

Ystad is full of these old houses. Too bad they cost an arm and a leg. And probably part of your torso as well to buy.

I might even buy this house.

Kåseberga Harbour - perfect place for an ice cream and kippers. Not at once.

After Ystad we continued on to Kåseberga Harbour. It's an old fishing village at the foot of a high hill. At the top of the hill is Ales Stenar.

We usually park in the harbour but it was full today so we drove back up the hills and parked the car before taking a walk to the harbour.

Cured sausage and feta cheese spread of Persian sesame bread.

We stopped at a picnic table at the top of the hill and ate our packed lunch. It was warm in the sunshine and I was regretting my choice of pants (black jeans).

After lunch Rickard took the girls down to the harbour to buy ice cream before we packed up and left.

This is Skåne

I snapped this picture while we drove. It's quintessentially Skåne to me.

All-you-can-eat cake and cookie buffet

Before driving home we stopped at Mossby Kaffestuga (Mossby Coffee Cottage) for some coffee and an all you can eat cake and cookie buffet.

There are several of these Kaffestuga spread all over this part of Skåne where they serve buffets of cakes and cookies.

My favourite is Annorlunda (meaning Different) on the Eastern coast of Skåne, but it's so far to drive. Mossby works well too, and it has a great playground for the girls.

We were completely beat when we came back home and dinner was cancelled because we were all so full from all the buns and cakes and cookies.

* Sadly there is no trust fund or any other kinds of money I can "come in to" so I will have to keep my hopes up with the lottery tickets .. too bad I never buy them ...


This past weekend I had the day off - a whole day to myself and I started it in the sewing room fiddling with stuff for the girls but then I had a change of heart and decided to actually make myself something.

Said and done*

In May I took a bus trip up North to learn how to sew corsets. I haven't blogged about that yet, sorry. Anyway, I decided to start a new one.

I had traced a new shape on some muslin and I started by cutting out the outside fabric.

I chose an army green twill from my local fabric store. It's not quite as tough and non-stretchy as proper coutil that is the traditional corset fabric. But I had to make do with it since coutil is not available here.

Shell done.*

I interfaced the outside and sewed the pieces together. Then I cut out the inside in a bright red twill fabric of the same quality as the outside.

I plan to make an underbust corset that I'll have to wear a regular bra and shirt underneath. I think red topstitching against the green outside is going to look pretty.

Not getting any further now. The busk and boning are ordered but won't arrive for at least another week.*

In no time the inside was also done and now I have to wait a few days for the busk and boning, i.e. the hardware of the corset to arrive in my order from the UK.

The busk has to be put in first before I can move on.

* All pictures are processed in Instagram - I've fallen in love with it this summer and I apologise in advance if I go a bit overboard with the filters ;-)

Saturday, July 7, 2012



Isabel's coat was done too when she came home from camp. I left it to her to choose the buttons.

I had some lovely white coconut buttons but she chose some silvery looking plastic buttons with a relief butterfly pattern on them.


Isabel got a back flap too like the one I made for Sofia. I like the original look of it. I also added a bunch more topstitching to it.


The inside seams are all bound with a store bought light blue bias tape with tiny white dots.

Secret Agent Sisters

It matches her new Jump Rope well and it hits at just the right length I think.


Cleaned up the kitchen window. Got a cute retro radio for the window too.

I found this cute retro looking radio at a local store - actually I think it may be found in the UK too - Clas Ohlson?

The girls were splurging with their piggy bank and birthday money and I splurged on a radio for the kitchen window.

It's one of those places at home where stuff accumulates. I try to keep it neat but it's so hard.

Now I cleaned the window, and cleared the shelf so I could hook up my iPod to it.

I dropped the iPod at the sports utilities store yesterday and cracked the screen but it's still working. I have sent in a quote request at the repair centre but I do not think it will be affordable. I am tres sad.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Olympic Bag

A few weeks ago I read a blog post by Happy Zombie where she had tried to make a lunch bag but made the classic mistake of turning her directional fabric upside down.

The fabric she used was a I <3 London-themed fabric and I was overcome with desire for it. I love all things British and with the Olympic Games coming up it seemed fitting. It had arrived after all!!

I quickly looked it up at my favourite online quilt store, Fat Quarter Shop. I know it might sound weird to have that as my go-to place to find fabric - why not a local store.

Well, first of all they do not always carry the prints I need and if they do they rarely carry the full collection.
Plus even when adding shipping cost and the sometimes inevitable customs to the fabric from Texas I still end up paying less than if I could source it locally.

Anyway ...

I got the London fabric last week (after a long battle with my local grocery store which also doubles as my parcel pick-up place, but that's a whole other blog post) and plonked it in the wash immediately. I wanted to make a lunch bag too from it and I needed it to be pre-shrunk.

When it was hung up to dry Sofia caught a glimpse of it and asked for a bag from it. I felt a bit greedy but quickly realised I had 2 yards of it and there was enough to share.

We settled on a small Messenger Bag from Oliver + S's book, Little Things to Sew. I had made the larger size for Isabel and knew it was not a very difficult design.


The mistake I made with Isabel's bag was that I didn't interface it enough and I didn't want to make the same mistake with this one.

I looked at what interfacing I had available to me at home and realised quickly that nothing would do. So instead I decided to quilt the lining to make it sturdier.


I had a remnant of a red Kona Cotton and some lightweight cotton batting. So I drew 60 degree lines all over and started quilting.
I was going to cut out the pattern pieces first and then quilt but I stopped myself at the last minute. I don't think it would have worked out as well.


I used a Union Jack fabric as a lining for the outside pockets and their flaps as well as for the inside pocket.


The strap comes from Isabel's Secret Agent Coat and the darker blue binding is from the first Secret Agent coat I made her.
The light blue binding with the tiny dot is also leftovers from Isabel's coat. Yay for stash busting!

I even recycled the hardware strap shorteners from a bag I cut up a while back.

I'm so happy with it I posted to Facebook about it: "Sofia, honey, we gotta talk about this bag. I don't think it turned out so well and Mummy's going to make a sacrifice and wear it so you don't have to."

Yeah, she didn't buy that.

I might have to make one for me as well ...

Wednesday, July 4, 2012


Television recording!!!

Every summer after schools end Swedish television airs a special summer vacation show for slightly older kids.

For the past three years this show has been produced in Malmö and they air live from a specially built boat down at the Docks.

This year the boat is called Rockan (transl. The Stingray), which rhymes with Dockan which is the name of the city blocks where they boat is moored.

The taping/airing is open for all who wants to visit and on Monday morning we drove down there to see if the girls could get some seats and see how television was made.

Sofia got bored quickly but they had gotten seats in the bleachers and couldn't really move so she was forced to stay where she was.
We stood up on the docks and had no way of reaching them while they aired.

It was fun to watch at home in the evening and see all the stuff we had seen in the morning.

You can catch it here if you're curious. That's the show we saw.

It's kind of hard to see the girls if you don't know where they are and even if you do it's hard to see them.

When they are filming the Greco-Roman style wrestler the girls are in the bleachers to the right in the frame. Sofia wore a pink Hello Kitty hat - but like I said it's hard to really see them.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

A Day Out

2012-07-01 11.12.31

On Sunday, to celebrate that Isabel had come home from camp we went to visit the City Museum at Malmöhus (or Malmö Castle).

More after the jump ...

Monday, July 2, 2012

Jump Rope - finished

I have made three Jump Rope dresses before. Two polka dot and flowery for both girls and one from some Patty Young fabric for Isabel.

Just before Isabel went to camp I asked her if she wanted a gingham one and she eagerly nodded yes. A blue one please Mummy.


So I set to work grading the pattern.

The original patterns only goes up to a size 8. The first dress I made Isabel I had to grade into a 9/10 for her.
These have both become a bit tight around the chest so I knew I would have to grade it further.

I have been planning to do so for a while but it's such a bother to bring out the original pattern to use as a reference so I have put it off. But after a sad visit to camp where we left an almost crying girl at the lunch table I set to work.

I added about an inch all around the chest and deepened the armscye slightly. I added 4" to the width of the skirt and 5 inches on the length using the size 8 as a base. I can get away with this since the skirt is just a rectangle and has no curves.

I also lengthened the placket by 2".


The biggest difference was the sleeves. I love the narrow sleeve on the original pattern but I wanted to see if a slightly puffed sleeve could work too.
So with a bit of help from my favourite aunt I altered the sleeve piece to add some puff and drew a cuff for the arm as well since the alters called for that.


I chose to make a white collar and placket because I love the crispness of it and the vintage/retro flair it adds to almost any fabric choice.

Once the dress was made and I hung it up on a hanger I thought it looked almost like a nurse's uniform from some 50's movie, but my friends assured me I was wrong.

I didn't add any buttons. I wanted Isabel to pick them herself. And she chose white plastic buttons sewn on with blue perle cotton. I was about to make blue button holes but I thought I could switch the look of the dress up easier if I left them white.
This way I can take off the buttons and sew them on with yellow or red thread later on.


Isabel said she doesn't like red in combination with the blue and white - which is a combination I love. Or she could have had red buttons or even snaps with red bows sewn on the outside.

I also added a tiny flower to the collar in blue lazy daisy stitch with a yellow French knot in the centre. In retrospect I should have done that before I sewed up the collar so the wrong side of the embroidery would be hidden.

I almost cried when she tried it on. She looked so summery and lovely and grown up. It gave me Alice in Wonderland vibes and I was seriously contemplating sewing her a petticoat with tulle on it to wear underneath ... I might still do that.

The puffed sleeves add a childlike look to it though which makes it very suitable for my almost 8 year old.
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