Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Me Made May week 3 1/2 - summer is here!

I've fallen behind on posting my Me Made May-outfits... There haven't been a lot of time for blogging, and somehow the sewing post seemed more important (and fun) =)

We've had an unextecped change in weather, and the entire region seems to have skipped spring and gone straight for summer. Seriously, go back and check my pictures from the beginning of May and behold the snow and ice. Then we were gone a week, and the grounds turned emerald. Summer heat struck (which is 20 C in this part of the world), and one warm weekend later every tree and bush had leeves! Not too unusual, spring is always fast here. The unsual part is that it stayed warm. Loving it! =)

This is a long post, with outfits you've likely to have seen before, so why not check out the surrounding landscape, and see what happened during that warm weekend...

Thursday, 23 May 2013

Summer SWAP 4, 5 and 6

While pondering 30s fashion, I've been sewing up more jersey-stuff... (the dresses has already been featured, in the MMM on holiday-post).

1) V-necked top. This fabric was a nightmare! It didn't seem to have selvedges, more like cut edges. The printed pattern was parallell to the edges, but the grainline was maybe 20 degrees off. Laying out the pieces took ages, and I still think most pieces are slightly off grain. Pieces of this top will undoubtedly twist during washing. It has very little lengthwise stretch, so the underbustseam is higher than on the floral top from last week.

The whole point however was to test the pattern in a V-neck version. The neckband is not sewed on perfectly, but I do like the style. Not sure this top will survive long in my wardrobe, but it was good to test the V-neck pattern alteration =)

2) I had planned to make a dress in the horrible, off-grain fabric, but after discovering all the problems outlined above, I figured it'd be a waste of time. So I rushed out and got a turqoise viscouse jersey on sale at Ohlssons...

The floral dress was nice, but apart from me messing up the elastic in the waistseam, the entire waistline was too high. Very strange, since the pattern is drafted from my chevron dress that sits great at the waist. Then I got to thinking: the shoulder seams on that one has a tendency to wander backwards. Maybe the surpluce in the front bodice (the one I reduced for this later pattern) was divided between front and back to make the whole bodice longer?

Anyway, I added length a little bit here and there on the dress bodice pattern, altered the sleeves to be loose and half-long, slimmed down the skirt top to reduce the gathered effect, and changed the gathers in bodice and skirt into small pleats, more visible here:

However, this was still just a testrun for...

3) V-necked dress in the lovely jersey I bought at Stockholm sewing expo last fall. This fabric is wonderful! It has drape, a heavy fall, excellent recovery, is not thick and yet it has a bit of body so it doesn't fall all over the place. It cost a dear coin (twice the cost of the turcoise above), but I have a feeling it will last more than twice as long and see a lot of wear.

For me, this is a summer evening dress, or a winter dance dress. It'll be perfect for bluesdancing!

And that concludes the fast and easy part of my summer SWAP =)
Love, Erika

Friday, 17 May 2013

MeMadeMay goes on holiday - week 2

That's right, I spent last week (wednesday to wednesday) in beautiful, sunny Alicante, Spain!

Wednesday 8th, after a half-day of work, some hours of last-minute packing, pin-curl setting, and a nice, direct flight Umeå-Alicante, it was over midnight before we reached our hotelroom (with seaview from the balcony!). I'll admit; due to the whole "I'm travelling all day anyway and oh, drat, I've already packed all my me-made tops..." this outfit only has a me-made skirt =(

Thursday 9th (my birthday!) we spent the day exploring the Castle of Santa Barbara, a place I strongly recommend any Alicante-tourist to visit! The views of the city were spectacular, and the castle itself awe-inspiring.

In a me-made chevron jersey dress, and my hair still in pincurls =)

We had dinner at a restaurante-ship in the marina next to the hotel, and it was the best fish I have ever eaten! Just wow! It was a lovely birthday, and a great start on the holiday.

Outside the restaurante, in a me-made 30s inspired dress.

Friday 10th we explored the city. It's a beautiful old town, with plenty of pretty buildings. I even did a little bit of shopping!

Maybe due to the lack of rain throughout the year, many trees looked like this. This particular one was extreme, just look at how one heavy branch is supported! I'm wearing me-made blouse and half-circle skirt.

In the evening, at Alicante's beachwalk. I'm wearing a me-made blue jersey dress I haven't blogged yet, and the 30s inspired me-made jacket. Oh, and the handbag I bought earlier that same day! =)

Saturday 11th, there was an art museum, churches, gorgeous buildings, pittoresque alleys... We walked all day, and a me-made jersey top and pleated blue cotton skirt was comfortable and easy to wear. And yes, in almost all day photo's I'm wearing my new walking shoes. They're great! Supersoft to walk in, and with the added support of my ortho-insoles my feet remained happy through the many hours of walking. Not the cutest, though... Sometimes function beats aestaethic ; )

Sunday 12th we visited the archeological museum (MARQ). It was interesting to see the development of the city, but it might have been even more interesting with English texts... Everything was in Spaninsh! (And something similar, maybe portuguese). My high-school French gave me the tools to decipher the most vital information, it was quite fun to put it to use =) Anyway, a really nice museum!

In me-made jersey top and the pleated skirt.

Monday 13th we took the ferry to the island of Tabarca, about 20 kilometres outside the coast. Stunning scenery, lovely little town and the ocean was... beyond words.

In a me-made jersey dress and the pretty sunhat the mr gave me for my birthday!

Tuesday 14th, last day in town! Went around the town some more, visited a couple more museums. I recommend the Volvo Ocean Race museum! I haven't seen the race, nor am I very interested in sailing in general, but it was still a very interesting exhibition. I might even watch parts of the race on TV next year!

In my favorite me-made blouse and the half-circle skirt, on the plaza outside the hotel.

Last evening, after a delicious tapas-meal. Wearing a new me-made jersey dress, yet to be properly blogged.

It was a wonderful holiday, and I hope I'll soon be able to return to this area in Spain.

Love, Erika

Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Me Made May week 1

Me Made May is in full swing all over the blogosphere, and I love seeing everyone wearing their me-made garments! However, as I rarely follow daily-outfit posts, I didn't want to post such (and I doubt I'd manage it anyway). So instead, here's the first of my weekly round-ups!

Wednesday May 1st - a holiday in Sweden, so a me-made top and RTW jeans was as dressed up as I got. Here just home from dance practice with friends.

Thursday May 2nd - back at work in me-made jersey top and me-made halfcircle wool skirt.

Friday May 3 - first day with any real warmth in the air! Premier for the floral jersey top from my summer SWAP, and my favorite me-made summer skirt (first project ever featured on this blog!).

Saturday May 4 - beautiful day with a chilly bite in the wind. Picture taken during a 50 min walk the mr and I like to take a couple of times a week. Love Nydala lake at this time of the year, the ice is melting fast! Still a bit left in this photo, but I think it's clear by now. I'm wearing slouchy jeans and a floral me-made top.

Sunday I was in my me-made sweatpants the whole day, sewing away on my summer SWAP. No pictures =(

Monday May 6 - at work in my red blouse, and premier for the blue half circle skirt.

Tuesday May 7 - mirror shot. Green top and blue pleated skirt, all me-made.

Figured out tops and skirts are my go-to stapels? =) Of course, in 9-10 months a year, there's acutally a cardigan on top of it as well...

About the summer SWAP; I'm done with three more jersey projects (one top and two dresses) and I've finally finished lining the jacket from last summer. There just hasen't been time to take pictures of it, as I'm doing a last minute rush to get as much as possible ready of the SWAP-list before the trip to Spain. Maybe I'll just post pictures of me wearing them there, instead =)

In Sweden, today is the start of a 4-day holiday (for many people, at least). So have a great (long) weekend, folks!

Love, Erika

Thursday, 2 May 2013

Challenging my style-axioms

Is the fashion of all timeperiods for everyone? Or does some styles fit you better than others? Are there any total no-no's? I've always taken it for a given fact of life, an axiom that needen't be tested nor proved since it was so obviously true, that some styles fit me better, some are more so and so, and some I can't pull off no matter how hard I want to.

I've assumed that 20s, 30s and 60s fashion doesn't work for me. I need a waist definition, so the 20s and the A-line shift dresses of the 60s are a no-no. The hip-hugging 30s dresses with puffy sleeves accentuates totally wrong for me.

1936. Cute, but I'd never feel comfortable with so much puff at the shoulders.

But is that really true? Or is it worth testing this axiom? All right, yes, certain styles within an era might not work for me, but when ever does all the fashion variations from any era suit one person? Fashion through all ages has always been diverse, as in no point through history has everyone looked the same. Differences within a style can make that style work for very different body types, and I'm beginning to wonder if maybe when looking at period fashion sources (primarliy magazines and patterns) I'm giving the photo's/drawings too much credit. All the girls there looks the same, as they fulfill whatever beautyideal was prevalent at the time, but that's not how reality would have looked.

I started this summer with my 30s inspired wedding guest ensamble, and look! What would you know, it worked! However, I've been reluctant to leave my style-axioms behind, figuring that since it was just an A-line skirt on the bias it wasn't really 30s. But then I looked closer at a bunch of patterns and it seems the everyday wear of most of the 30s was worn with A-line skirts, not even on the bias all the time. And the huge, puffy sleeves? Yes, esp towards during 1935-1938 (approx) it seemes they were all the rage. But there was room for personal adaptions, just look at these blouses:

1936. All sorts of sleeves! On the same page!

So maybe I should give the 30s a real chance before I toss it out the window?

But my real eyeopener was when I tried on a late 20s/early 30s dress this Christmas. The story of how it entered my life is a cute one, and the details of the dress are amazing (albeit hard to see in this small, dark and partly blurry photo), but that's a post of it's own. You'll see more of this dress at a later date, I promise! Now I want to stay on track... so where was I? Right, bodyimage, time-eras and challenging my axioms.

This dress was made during an era when fahion appears to go 100% against what I know works for me, but it was obviously made for someone with a figure resembling mine. There's no apparent waistdefinition, but when I move, one can clearly see I have a waist. Also, while not emphasising my waist, it presents my derriere in a more flattering way than I have ever seen before. When made, it was fashionable, but still flattering for a figure totally opposite of the fashionable lithe girl.

So why do we dismiss entire eras ('cause I know I'm not alone in this) on the basis of not corresponding to the period fashionable bodytype? I think I need to get a bit braver, start exploring other eras and try to make them work for me. Who knows, maybe I'll discover another previous no-no fashion that becomes a favorite! =) I might even make a 60s shiftdress... I can't see how that could ever look good on me, but on the other hand, I've never tried! How can I be so totally sure if I've never tested? And here I think sewing gives me an advantage: had I just looked for vintage pieces or RTW, I would soon be discouraged (and has been in the past). Sewing it myself presents me with the golden chance of fitting the garment so it actually fits, and then maybe a tight 30s skirt or an A-line 60s shift dress can be made to look good on me.

How about you? Do you keep to one era or mix around? Has the fashionable body type of an era ever scared you away from that era? Ever had a similar experience to mine, when a style you thought never in a millions years would look good on you, suprised you with looking totally gorgeous?

Love, Erika