Monday, September 26, 2011

Inspiration collage for (the color) pink challenge!

This week I am going literal on my inspiration and intend to more or less copy the oh so gorgeous hot pink vintage sheath dress that "Carrie Bradshaw" wears in Sex and the City: The Movie. I've been wanting to make this dress since I first saw it, so this weeks theme fits in perfect! (Or, well, as perfect as sewing a little pink dress in the beginning of autumn can be...) I wish I knew what brand this vintage dress is from but despite lots and lots of googleing I still have no idea.

I got the fabric, a great pink linen, from my moms fabric stash when I visited this weekend, it's a little bit lighter in color than the original but really cute! Also I'm not sure what kind of fabric the original dress is made from, but I think the linen will work fairly well anyway!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Finished: The growing corduroy pants!

Yes, you heard me right, they are growing... And here I thought I was pushing it by cutting the pants in a size 38 (a US size 8) which usually fits my bottom half everywhere except my waist... on a skinny day. So anyway, I cut the size 38 but added two inches in the waist. After the second, third and fourth fitting I think I altogether had removed five. Then I added the waistband and tried them on... too big again! Crazy!

For now, they look... ok-ish I think. I really hope they are not going to grow anymore, because with this type of pants, taking them in after finishing them seems "a bit" complicated. It's the pockets, if I try to fit the pants better the pockets will go wonky. Not that the pants aren't already a bit wonky, putting the zipper in made one front side wider than the other. But, like I said before, sewing complicated pants for the first time when the pattern instructions are missing: great fun.The pants are really super comfy though, so that's the upside to them growing.


Simplicity 5517, dated 1973. If I had joined the sew weekly challenges earlier, I would totally have used this pattern for the country/western style one!

I am wearing the pants with the silk paisley tunic I made this summer. It's really a favorite in my wardrobe and I love how the colors in it work just as well for flowery summer as for warm autumn fashions.

Good things about the pants: This time I got the zipper in without it looking like a three year old did it, yay! I did top stitching in bright orange that looks really cute close up, hopefully that's visible in the first pic! Also I like that I crossed the belt straps, it feels a bit more girly then.

In these pictures, the pants actually look quite alright. From the front. The few pictures I took from the back... hm, nope. They just go baggy and does nothing for my bum... Oh well. They work well with my fall color palette and I'm fairly happy considering it's my first time making pants like these! I'm not so sure I will be making this type of pockets again though, they are cute, but makes the sewing hard and altering even worse...

Saturday, September 17, 2011

A very colorful Fall Color Palette

So - It seems like just about everyone in the sewing blogosphere is doing the fall color palette thing, or at least having some sort of plan and thought to their up and coming fall sewing. Those who know me well know that me making plans is a very rare happening. (Usually if I actually make plans, they go up in smoke, perhaps because I'm so afraid they will? If I were a well paid Manhattan girl, I would probably spend a fortune on a shrink trying to take control over my fear of planning.)

However I did make some inspiration collages a bunch of weeks back, and with those in mind I sat down and painted some sort of palette of what colors I'd love to wear this fall and winter. Being me, I can not stick to just one color and work around it, so there is a little of everything in it. But then again, I wear the clothes I love year after year, and adore lots of color, always have, so I see this not only as my fall color palette for 2011, but for coming falls and winters as well!

The palette has, well, just about all colors in it. I wanted one part warm earthy tones, and the rest in bright and clear jewel colors.

Not only did I have these colors in the inspiration collages but look what I found in a recent issue of Vogue! I did the palette before I reopened the magazine and took these photos, I swear! ;)

Anyway, whatever I make will probably fit in with my palette. Not much of a challenge there. But I really love to use lots of color and match it up in ways that a lot of people might think a bit much, so even if this seems a bit over the edge I could probably make separates in these colors and combine any of them together (at least on a good day...).

Both pictures from British Vogue August 2011

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Finished: The Ghetto Fabulous Graffiti dress

...that I didn't know I was going to make!

So, this week my boyfriends mom was staying with us for a couple of days. One of those days, we ended up fabric shopping! (OMG I have a great fabric store within ten minutes walking distance, this is going to be dangerous! And, how was I supposed to know they sell more than just curtains...?) well, anyway, we were looking at fabrics, and I saw this crazy awesome stretch jersey thinking it would be a great top. My boyfriends mom quickly decided that if I would make her one too, she would buy the fabric for both of us. Awesome! Back home I realized there was more fabric than I thought and decided to go for a dress with my half of it instead, and sewed up my new favorite tight shift dress but this time with super simple gathered half circles as sleeves.

I could, with some "minor" stretching of things, think of the sleeves as the thing that connects the dress to this weeks theme over at sew weekly: Gatsby 1920s/1930s, since this type of sleeve, loose, wide and gathered on top of the shoulder seems to have been used a lot during the mid to late 30s. Like in these dresses:

(I'm not exactly sure about what year all these patterns are from, although I am fairly sure the ones on the edges are 30's I think that the third one from left is dated 1940. Anyway, close enough?)

The dress took me about 45 minutes to make. (I really really need to start making something else than dresses before winter hits me in the back of my head!) Here it is, I got such a graffiti vibe from it when it was finished so I had to go with the ghetto glam styling!

I am a little worried that the super busy print is making me look a bit... um, chunky? With that dark blue part coming down the side front... Oh well.

Here's one a bit better of the sleeve, not that one really can see how it's made with all these colors going on, but anyway, you can at least glimpse that it's only attached to half the armscye and that it's gathered on top! Apart from that sleeve I'd say about nothing in this dress says 1930's... (But then again, this wasn't part of my plan... so.)

Next up on my sewing schedule is a pair of corduroy pants that will hopefully fit me better than the I-don't-even-know-how-many pairs of jeans that's about as comfy as wearing a sardine can who are currently warming a shelf in my wardrobe.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Finished: The Homage to Mucha Dress

Here it is, my Art Noveau legend Alphonse Mucha inspired dress! (That I painted with acrylic paint!)

I wanted to make a dress that had a clear connection to the art noveau style and era without being to literal, so the basic dress that I started with is the same altered Vi-Mönster 2196 that I used for my When life gives you lemons dress. The only thing I changed was that I made the neckline square, something I did not anticipate to cause as much trouble as it did! Holy something, I mean, it took 45 minutes to sew the dress together, and then like four hours of miserable not working methods of putting that neckline together. (Not that it actually was that hard when I figured it out, I was just way way way to stressed and pms-bothered to think straight.) In the end I had to use another fabric to fill in the at that point very gaping neckline and put it back to where it was supposed to be from the beginning. After that, only the fun part left! The painting!

The flower pattern is based on an embroidery pattern from one of the books at

I chose to only paint on the front of the dress, I figured that with a pattern like that it's better not to overdo it. And also I was worried about what would happen if I would be sitting on it, after all, it is acrylic paint, haha!

Also, this was my 50'th post on this blog! Wow, time flies, but it seems I have been creating more than I think! 

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Inspiration collage: Homage to Mucha

This weeks sewing did not quite go according to plan. You know, when the actual sewing should be a piece of cake, and it is what comes next that is supposed to be a bit of a challenge... Well, that's when you mess up.

After hours of miserable fighting over a super simple grey knit dress (with a square neckline, which for some reason just did not want to work... ) I finally had a dress. Then came the next part... Since this time on Sew Weekly, we're all about color and paint, I found my inspiration in my favorite artist of all time - Alphonse Mucha.

Some of the inspiration:

Three photos from the book about Alphonse Mucha, embroidery patterns from the art noveau era found at and... oh, super old heavy wool navy issue pants that I got from my dad about thirteen years ago. But why? See those stains in them? That's acrylic paint. It takes about two years of washing to get rid of, if ever. Ka-ching! Now there's an idea! Yes, I painted a pattern on my dress with acrylic paint, the exact same paint I use for painting on canvas. And it worked!

But you will have to wait until tomorrow to see the result cause I want to take pictures outside and not in this crappy indoor light!

Monday, September 5, 2011

54 zippers!

...I was about to write "and a bottle of rum", but I changed my mind. After all, it is Monday.

What I intend to mention though, is my latest online auction find, of 54 vintage zippers. I paid 135SEK for them, including postal fees, so I got them for 2,50 each! (Not even half a dollar!) I believe these will keep me stashed for quite a while! Yay!

If anyone is crazy enough to count the zippers in the picture, they might notice that there are only 53, that would be because a brown one on the left decided to escape the table! ;)

Sunday, September 4, 2011

The "When life gives you lemons" dress

So, being a bit worn out from sewing that plaid suit earlier this week but still wanting to make something, I decided to dive into a super simple project that I wouldn't mind if I messed up. So here goes that fabric I didn't know whether to love or hate that I got in the pig-in-a-poke bag of fabrics a while back... And a pattern that failed me miserably last time (or, well, I did manage to fix the problem fairly well, but still decided that the pattern was evil!). Therefore: When life gives you lemons dress.

Here's the pattern:

Swedish pattern Vi-mönster no. 2196, dated 1960. Last time, despite having cut the size 40 (that is like a US size 12) the neck and armholes were ridiculously tiny. Last time I just added more fabric to the shoulders because everything was already cut, now I wanted at real solution. I managed to slice and spread the pattern so it worked this time! If anyone is interested I can make a tutorial on how to make this kind of change!

And here's the fabric... Oh yes, it's a purple-white-lime green striped heavy jersey.

Imagine my happy surprise when I realized it actually came out like something I might wear. In public! It might look a bit jailbird without the belt (and especially in this horrible evening indoor light, the flash kills everything!), but with a belt, cute shoes and some more styling I think I might be able to make it work! Oh and also - it took me about two hours from taking out the pattern to wearing the dress! That was some well used time! Apparently, when life gives you lemons, you might still end up with a cute (but crazy) dress!

This belt didn't look mismatched in real light... Both belt and shoes are real vintage and comes from my mom! I am so lucky she has saved some things from her 60s-70s wardrobe that are still usable! Things were really better quality back then...

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Finished: The Plaid Suit (YAY!)

I am so happy! I did it! The suit is finished, and I had perfect buttons in my stash already and... boy am I glad this is over, lol. And oh it will be some time until I make something this complicated again...

Here it is:

Yes, it needs ironing... I don't have an iron at the moment so all the folds and hems are a bit more fluffy than they should. Oh well.

Here are some where you can see the skirt a bit better. I used almost every little scrap of the plaid fabric, luckily, it was just enough for the waistband and the bit at the bottom. I think one good thing about having it like this is that the placement of the darker fabric makes it very slimming! The white shirt is an old rtw, I have no idea when or where I bought it (but most likely it was second hand...).

A few details, the lining, the bias cut pockets, the facing, the lovely brassy buttons with little anchors on them (I just lovelovelove them!!), and the green lining in the waistband which was also just a small scrap! Nothing gets wasted around here. :D

Now for some construction pictures...

You know you're in for a rough one when the pattern paper looks like the one above... The past weekend I remembered that I have this book called Mode Klassiker, it's a pattern book specialized on jackets, skirts and trousers... and it's written in German (bugger!!). The pictures are very clear anyway so following instructions work fairly well despite me knowing only a very few words in German. I chose to make a classic  Chanel style jacket and a very simple skirt. The book is from 1992, but I think jackets like this one are timeless.

As usual, I had the fabric in stash, so I did not have enough to make the whole skirt and jacket of just one fabric. Luckily, I had a little bit of left over heavy cotton/linen (mix? don't remember what the fabric was..., since I bought it a couple of years back, when making a medieval style dress!) in dark blue/purple, just enough to make facings and the skirt!

And here's some more: one left sleeve, and one right sleeve, finally. Facing, folding and putting in the lining. I am never ever doing that again with that super stiff lining, it took forever to hand sew, and I only did the sleeve endings and the bottom hem by hand. Sigh.