Wednesday 22 February 2012

Ikea and luxury - a contradiction?

This weekend I did something new to me: An Ikea-roadtrip! It's bizarre, considering that Sweden is the hometurf of Ikea, but the closest warehouse to Umeå is the one in Sundsvall, 350 kilometres away. Personally, I'm not a huge Ikea-fan, I prefer shopping second hand or investing in solid, quality stuff. However, some things are actually in pretty high quality even at Ikea, one just has to know where to look. For organizer-mojo's they're great! I've been wanting to make my sewing room a bit more organized, to put that final touch to it, and this trip was perfect for that. I also bought about 25 metres of toille-fabric =)

25 metres... that's a lot of toilles!

Thing was, someone very dear to me (someone who might be what's been occupying my thoughts and time these past couple of months...) needed to get a whole lot of basic things, so we figured we'd make a mini-vacation out a trip to Ikea by staying over at a nice hotel in central Sundsvall.

I'll be honest, I voted that we'd stay at Knaust simply 'cause I wanted to take photo's on these stairs =) Unfortunatley, Ikea took so long (five hours!) that when I got to the hotel I was way too tired to fix my hair or press my new-sewn red dress before dinner, so you get to see the post-Ikea me instead of the fancy vintage version I had planned.

Just look at the ceiling! And the staircase...

Here you can see all the way up

Resting on a landing

Ever heard stories about how the hotel was overbooked and someone's room got upgraded? It always happens to someone else, right? This weekend my fairy-godmother must have been in a good mood... An albeit nice double room was tranformed into a loft suite!!!

We had dinner and then there was just no point in leaving the hotelroom. Had a glass of wine, some chocolate, and just chilled in our top-suite with a view over the rooftops in central Sundsvall...

Picture taken from the bed loft

Best of all: we could have a continental breakfast at the suite, served at a time of our choice (we did pay like 40$ extra for the change of rooms and the roomservice, but it was so worth it!). This will undoubtledly go down as the most luxurious vacation I've ever had. Not too bad for an Ikea-roadtrip, right? ; )

Bye, bye, Knaust! 

I had the best weekend, driving through this beautiful landscape, shopping things that will hopefully make organizing my sewing supplies a lot easier, staying at a wonderful hotel with roomservice, and spending the weekend with someone I care about. Pretty darn perfect =) Now my fingers are itching to build furnitures and to re-organize my sewing space!

Love, Erika

Sunday 5 February 2012

In retrospect...

So, seems I went into blog-hybernation... The dark months up here are... well, they're dark. Like really dark. Ok, not "the sun doesn't rise"-dark, since we do get 2,5 hours of light even at the end of December, but my energy tends to dip very low during December and January. Also, this winter there has been something special occupying my mind and time... I don't want to jinx anything, but if all goes well you'll find out eventually (oh, how I hate when people tease with information like that! But sometimes it just feels necessary to tell a little but not all). Anyway, it's something fun! =)

In the meantime, and to get me blogging again, here'e some of the things I've been up to during the past two months:

Meeting up with Kattis at Nya Konditoriet when she was in Umeå, and eating the worlds best cheesecake: saffron and raspberry. Yum! The hot chocolate is something else as well =)

Visiting my sister Kajsa, who moved to Malmö in southern Sweden a year and a half ago. It was wonderful to have a weekend just the two of us! She studies in Lund, and we went there for an afternoon, so she could show me around. Lund is an old university city, and although it's a 15 min drive from Malmö, it's still considered to be a city in it's own right.

The university area was beautiful, just check out the ceiling in this underpass! And all the streets are laid with cobblestones, so pretty!

To something else: Of course, I have been sewing. The amazing thing is that I'm actually very close to being ready with this make. Of course a far cry from being ready to Christmas like the plan was, but there will be Christmas next winter as well =) This dress took some time, since although I had done a dress in this style, I wasn't 100% happy with the bodice (it was too long in the back and in the front edges, and the sleeves were a disaster). I went back to the drawing table and am much more pleased with this version. The sleeve pattern could still use some more tweaking... All that's left is one buttonhole (I sew them by hand) and the corresponding button. And I want to make a matching belt! See, I finally did it...

I ordered belt-kits from A fashionable stitch! I've been eyeing them for ages, as a matching belt and buckle really screams "vintage!". I'm hoping this will be the cherry on the top =) I also got a point turner and some tailoring tape. Sunni runs a wonderful shop, and it was a pure pleasure shopping from her. Easy to order, the parcel shipped superfast, and I had my things a whole week earlier than I counted on. They look almost too pretty to use, don't they? =)

I've been adding some books to my sewing library as well, and so far I really like them. The Dressmaker's technique bible was a Christmas gift. Make your own dress patterns was my desperat attempt for some guidance for the weird problems I have with sleeve fitting. Not sure how helpful it is with that, but it's an interesting read.

Last but not least; I've been dancing! This seasons classes have begun, but I'm only teaching the second half of the intermediate class this spring. Quite nice to be able to focus on just getting some classes really good. This photo is however from the social dance last Friday. I look a bit strange, sorry about that. I was coming down with a fever, and have been ill since. However, I wanted to show the outfit anyway, as both the skirt and the blouse are me-made =)

All for now, and have a great week!
Love, Erika

P.S. Did you see I was the Featured member on WeSewRetro during January?! I still feel a bit overwhelmed and very flattered at being asked! =) It's such a great community of talented seamstresses, I'm glad I've finally started posting there after lurking inthe shadows for over two years =)