Tuesday 23 November 2010

A swingin' weekend it was

What a weekend I've had! So much great dancing during the socials, and amazing beyond words classes!
Frida Segerdahl and Skye Humphrey held classes Saturday and Sunday, with a theme we as a dance community and me personally really need to work at: the continuation of energy. To keep the energy and thus the movement flowing, to continue the movement. Sounds a bit weird and at the same time like a given, but trust me - it was neither. Very fun classes, but quite tricky. I need to keep working on this!

The social on Friday was almost a warm up for the weekend, a kick-off. The dancefloor was a bit thin, which was rather nice, no crashing into each other and space to do fun, big moves.
The big night was however on Saturday, at Sofiehems föreningshus, a wonderful danceroom. Great floor, nice atmosphere, with a big band playing on stage and a lot of dancers on the floor.

Photo: Erik Israelsson
I played it safe with my outfit for the day: the polka-dot dress and hair done with pin-curls. The curls came out rather nice, I think. Maybe because I miscalculated how long baking would take Friday afternoon, so I didn't have time to take them out before the dance and then taking them out just before class on Saturday seemed silly, so they laid for about 48 hours... =)

An unusual angle for me, Johannes got a bit creative. What do you say, does it work?

Malin and Johannes are soon moving from Umeå, so Swingum took the opportunity this night to thank them for everything they've done for the society. They'll be greatly missed, in their roles as instructors, cashier and webadministrator, but most of all as friends. They're only moving a 3 hour drive away, so we all hope they'll have lot of chances to come visit. It won't be the same, but we'll get to see them and dance with them. Don't be too long, guys!

Photo: Erik Israelsson
Karolina had made a beautiful present box for them, with Swingum-shoes. Adorable!

Photo: Erik Israelsson
One dance night each semester Swingum is in this dancehall, and we in the kitchen try to make it a special evening when it comes to the "fika" as well. (For non-swedish readers: Fika is sort of coffee/tea and cake, but it means a bit more in Swedish. One can take a coffee on the run, but never a fika on the run. It's sitting down, taking a break, usually with comapany).
Me and Rita baked the sweet bread, and Mona baked the baguettes for the cheese table.

Photo: Erik Israelsson
By now you might be wondering, "Yes, presents and fika, but didn't they dance?". Of course we did! Here's a photo of Skye and Frida performing:

Photo: Erik Israelsson
Swingum Lindy Hoppers had a little performance (before Skye and Frida danced, wouldn't want to follow them up on a stage...). I'm adding a short video, the new camera only takes 40 seconds films. An apology beforehand: this was not my best performance. I and Robin usually don't partner up, we had only practiced once. And it was the first time I heard this arrangement of the tune.
I'm also adding a movie of Malin and Johannes social dancing inbetween sets (that's why so many are sitting. They're having a fika =) ).

Friday 19 November 2010

On Sewing in Swedish

The language of sewing is very intriguing, it can make a complicated process simple and understandable, or it can turn the easiest thing into a string of gibberish. When I started reading English sewing blogs I often despaired, but in time I learned and by now there are some sewing techniques I only can explain in English terms! Neither suits me (I strive to be a bi-lingual sewist), so this past year I've tried to locate sewing books in Swedish, to fill out both my vocabulary and hopefully give me tools to better my sewing. I've come across some great books, and figured I'd share them with you! (English speaking readers: sorry; no English books... yet. But check out Gertie's blog if you haven't already, she has lots of great book-tips).

I'll continue this in primarily Swedish, and just make a small translation to English.

Först ut: en serie böcker jag hittade på Umeå Stadsbibliotek. Det är runt 14 böcker som mycket utförligt med text och bilder går igenom allt man kan tänkas vilja veta, från enkel sömnad till skrädderi (rekommenderas varmt om man vill sy kavajer el liknande). Den visar arbetsgång, olika metoder beroende på hur krångligt man vill göra det för sig, hur man väljer material, allt. Jag önskar verkligen att jag kunde hitta hela serien att köpa, men de är ur tryck. Om nån springer på den, maila mig gärna! Eller köp den själv =)

A series of books that cover everything. It's out of print (these are on loan from the local library), and I would so love to have them!

Sy kläder av Linda Gibson är en nyare bok, bra med bilder och bra text. Den är dock mer som en referensbok över hur man gör olika detaljer, den beskriver inte arbetsgången för sömnad av tex byxor. Som referensbok över sömnadsdetaljer är den dock strålande. Även denna är lånad från biblioteket, men den finns tydligen på bokrean då och då, så jag tänker hålla ögonen öppna.

A great referencebook for details.

Har skrivit om denna förr, men den förtjänas att nämnas igen. Tycker man om att läsa sig till förklaringar, har man en figur som kräver stora mönsterändringar på färdiga mönster är denna bok en räddande ängel! Jag kommer aldrig mer köpa ett mönster, det är hundra gånger enklare att göra ett grundmönster från denna och sen ändra det till den skärning och de detaljer jag vill ha. Boken kommer med ett set grundmönster och förklaring hur du får dem att passa just dig, men det finns även en beskrivning längst bak av hur du gör mönster från dina egna mått. En liten brask-lapp: jag har senaste upplagan, är osäker om mönster från egna mått finns med i den äldre upplagan. Vill du köpa den begagnad, kolla upp det. Det är dock inte fel att inverstera i denna i nytryck.
Boken för herrkläder ska mycket snart beställas också...

A great pattern construction book, easy to use as it also comes with basic patterns. I seriously will never buy a pattern again, be it vintage or modern. It's just way so much easier to alter the basic patterns and add whatever cut or details I want.
I'm on my way to ordering the one for the gents clothings as well...

I promised a coat update, however, since ready printed patterns are a real pain to alter to fit (I really am hard to fit) I'm still working on the toile. Currently it's the armholes and the arms that are giving me trouble, but I'll see mom next week so I'm thinking she will be my saving grace and then the coat pattern will be ready. I may - as usual - be overly optimistic, but I think sewing will go a lot faster than toile-fitting, so I'm still aiming to be ready by Christmas (depending on how much I'm working). However, if I'm not, then it's not the end of the world, I do have clothes to wear! =)

Back to sewing books and language: Do you sew in one language or several? Or is written sewing descriptions gibberish no matter what language they're in? What's your method for learning new sewing techniques? And of course - any tips on sewing books? Beginners or advanced, in Swedish or English!

Now I'm off to a great weekend of social dancing both tonight and tomorrow (be still my heart!) AND classes Saturday and Sunday with the amazing Frida and Skye. It's going to be a great weekend! I'm back on Sunday or Monday with pics of outfits and maybe other things. In the meantime, have a great weekend!

Love, Erika

Sunday 14 November 2010

Hats! Lots and lots of hats!

A while ago me and Elin placed a bid on a lot of 26 vintage hats at Ebay (US), and we won the auction! The hats were ours for a very reasonable price, even including shipping. Yesterday we finally got to open the box, and I can tell you: it was like Christmas! =) As all Scandinavians knows, vintage hats here are usually quite boring and very expensive. So this was a real treat!

Elin, happy at the mere sight of all those hats.

Then the "trying them on"-phase beagan, with some very good laughs. This one took the price. Pretty? Yes, in it's own, very period-typichal style of the late 40s. Would I wear it on town? Good gracious, no! But for a special type of party, as a part of a more comstum-y outfit, then maybe... But still maybe. =)

OK, onto the hats we really liked and would wear to town:

This pretty pink feather cap was adorable on Elin.

I fell head over heels for this cute little summer hat. There's a small, flat bow in the back, and long ribbons that hangs loose down the back.

I usually don't go for pink, but in this hat it really worked with the blach details and the netting. I can't help it, I adore netting!
Ehh... The colour combination of the hat, the hair and the cardigan is a bit strange, but you get the idea of the cute back of the hat... Unless the colours strikes you blind first! ; )

This 40s boater was so cute! Just look at the embroided ribbon and the little fluff-ball =)

A round-up of the hats that came home with me:

The big white one will primarily be a interior decoration piece, and the red hat we have shared custody of =)
To finish this long string of hat-photo's, my favorite:

The netting lays in front and behind the hat, along with the small hearts over the ears keeping it effectivley in place. Why do I always fall for winter stuff? I've said it before, it's a good thing I live in such a cold climate! =)

I know a sewing post with a coat update and some other little things are long overdue, and this week there will be one on Wednesday or on Thursday (unless work turns crazy this week too). I've already written it in my head, now I just need some photos and text...

But right now, I just want to say "YAY for hats!" and do a little happy dance just looking at what laying on my sideboard. A little silly, but that's ok when hats are involved! Lol!

Love, Erika

Saturday 6 November 2010

Some of the many good things in life

Oups! Missed some posts there, didn't I? Well, well, that will happen now and then. As I said, I don't do too well with fixed duties, so blogging is always optional for me =)
In want of cleaver things to write about, or photos of fantastic sewing projects I've finished, here come's a little round up of some of the many very nice things that have come my way since I last wrote.

Tea and cheesecake at Nya Konditoriet, the city's oldest and prettiest coffee-house. They have amazing cheesecakes...

And don't you just love the interior decor?

I got this beautiful merry widow from What Katie Did, as an early Christmas gift from Marita. You only get a photo of it in the box, as I don't feel brave enough for a photo of me in it... =)

Tea and cake at Kattis place (the last for a while, she's gone to England for 7 weeks!). The cupcakes were as tasty as they were cute, lots of almond and lemon curd.

Malin, Johannes and 1 1/2 year old Alva came to me for an afternoon tea and scones last Sunday. Alva discovered that one can run in a circle through the rooms in my appartement. Of course, running was way more fun when someone chased her =) As you can see, she wasn't too sad about being caught either!

Alva is an adventorous little girl, and a new place holds the many wonders of discovering what lurks on, under and behind all sorts of furniture. In this picture she tested the method of getting to the other side of the coffee table by going under it =) If one doesn't try, then how to figure out what works best?

Alas, I have few pictures from the week that just passed. There's been a lot of work, and any energy left in the evenings have gone to dancing and sewing. However, Friday (yesterday) the reception I worked in that day (I move around between different receptions) closed at noon. It's always nice to close early, and look what a marvelous view we had from the windows that day!

Today was just as great as yesterday. Slept in late, had toast and tea for breakfast while reading a feel-good book. Sunshine through the windows all morning, jazz floating through the rooms. An excellent sewing day!

What are you doing this weekend?

Love, Erika