Tuesday 23 October 2012

Stockholm sewing expo

I'm home from a wonderful weekend in Stockholm! There were family and friends to chat with over a meal or two. There mom's adorable little dog to cuddle. There was Stockholm sewing expo... It being my first in many years, I didn't really know what to expect. Would a picky careful fabric shopper like me even find any fabric? I needn't had worried...

The sewing expo was tremendous fun! I'm not sure what sewing expos in other countries includes, but here they opened the concept and included all sorts of creative handcraft. There was fabric, notions, patterns, knitting yarn, quilting, lace-weaving, scrap-booking, jewelrymaking and more, to behold and enjoy. The hall was huge and tightly packed with interesting booths. Even though I may not practice all these different crafts, it's still fun to browse and get an idea of what's available out there, so it took us - that's me, mom and my grandmother - almost 5 hours to cover the entire expo, and we didn't even double back much.

There were vendors from all of Sweden, and I ran into the lovely Olivia from Retro Olivia, who was working in the booth for her mother's company. She was just as charming and knowledgeble in real life, and it was so much fun to chat about sewing, reading, blogging! I really hope I'll get a chance to meet her again in the future!

Me and Olivia - two vintage loving gal's, rather tired as it was towards the end of the day

With so much to see and do, where did I lay my cash, what did I bring home? Well, I tried to keep my purchases to things I have a very good idea I will actually use, instead of just going along with all the inspiration that struck me every 5 metres =) I did rather well...

Fabrics: blue jersey for a dress, purple jersey and elastic lace for underwear, floral jersey for a top for Malin, blue silk for a blouse. I also bought a seduclingly soft and airy pyjama-top made of ecological bamboo. It was a 50% sale - it really would have cost more to buy fabric and sew my own.

I got Cath kidstone's Sew! (in Swedish!), two underwear patterns (see, there was a point with the purple fabric and trim above!) and a booklet with knitting directions for retro-inspired projects. The knickers-patterns I shared with mom, and the knitting booklet I got from Olivia's mother's company "Färgkraft". All these things are areas I haven't ventured into yet, but knitting as well as sewing bags and underwear have been on my skills-I-want-to-learn list. Maybe I'll take the leap soon! =)

Fun stuff! Well, it's all fun, but this was just indulgement =) A lacepattern with linen thread/yarn to it, and two little fun tools for laceweaving. A vintage hat, gift from gran who found it in a second hand store. Perfect red! And about 45000 metres of thread. Whew, it really goes out of proportions when an overlock gets into the picture, right? The thread mom got for me at Stoff och Stil, to a much better price than anything we saw at the expo.

Stockholm was beautiful, clinging on to the end of fall, with gorgeous colours everywhere. Saturday morning me and mom solved (or tried to solve) the radio music crossword, while eating breakfast and enjoying this view.

And of course, one of the major treats with visiting mom is I get to cuddle with Elsa! =)

It was an intense but fun weekend, and now it's rather nice to be back home again. I'm looking forward to sewing! As soon as I unpack properly and sort through everything and dig out my sewing table from beneth the weekend's haul... Better start now, then I'll get to sew tomorrow! =)

Love, Erika

Thursday 18 October 2012

Getting my groove back

I had a free weekend and decided to do my best to get my sewing groove back. While having finished an UFO would be very satisfying, the actual process of finishing it is boooring. Cutting out a new garment on the other hand, that's fun. So Saturday I did this:

Sorry, murky picture.

It's a half circle skirt with a lapped sidezipper and a one-piece waistband, meaning only a total of 3 pieces to cut.

This colour is closer to the truth.

I hand-picked the zipper, on both sides, to avoid stretching the fabric. So the sides are sewn, the zipper is inserted, the waistband interfaced with thick woven fusible and then added to the skirt. All that's left is finishing the waistband edges and adding closures, and of course hemming after letting it hang a few days.

Sunday I had grand plans of turning a lovely green jersey into a dance dress. This was my idea:

It's based on my other jersey dress pattern, with some alterations in the bodice. However, after drafting the changes and laying out the pattern I realised I was short of 20-30 cm of fabric. I tried reducing the skirt width 4 cm both front and back, and it would have worked.

Works in theory, but it'll be very tight to add seamallowances.

But it was a squeez, and then I got the idea, how about two tops instead? I love this fabric, and what would get most wear, two tops or one dress? Obviously the tops! Esp as this jersey goes with almost all my skirts, both summer and winter. So I cut out the tops, and that was pretty much the day. No actual sewing done, but still 6 hours of sewing prep. It felt really good to have some productive sewing hours! Actually did get some of my sewing groove back... Altough my overlock did it's best to erase that groove yesterday. I've reached a stage where I thought me and the overlock had become friends. I usually thread it and balance the tension and change all those itty-bitty settings in 10-20 min. Yesterday, me and the overlock argued about just about everything for two hours! Which was my allotted sewing time. *Sigh* Ah, well, at least I got the darn thing ready for sewing the tops next chance I have to sew.

The two tops laid out, the extra space over the left bustpiece is for the second sleeve. See, there's room for seam-allowances! =) And I got some scrap fabrics, which was good when I did a zillion test stitches on the overlock!

Both these projects were made from stash-fabric, and as I've used three stash-fabrics lately, I'm elligable for some fabric shopping, right? Esp as my new altered jersey dress pattern needs a fabric... Well, I'll very likely have a good chance at finding some during Stockholm sewing expo this upcoming weekend. Yup, I'm going to Stockholm sewing festival! So excited, it's been 8 years since the only time I've visited the sewing expo (it always collides with something else in my scheduale). But this year I'm going! Yay! Also looking forward to seeing family and friends, so it's a really good weekend that lies ahed of me =)

Lot's of half made things today, but at least I am sewing again! How are you coping with the change of seasons? What's on your sewing table?

Love, Erika

Wednesday 10 October 2012

A chignon and sewing funk

I want to keep a positive tone on this blog, but feel the need to admit I've been in a bit of a funk lately. (All right, now why is it hard to admit I'm only human?!) Maybe due to the lingering cold I've been trying to get rid of since forever, or maybe it's the days getting darker that's getting to me. I've been all inspiration and no motivation whatsoever to get anything done. Finally I grew weary with myself and decided to try to lift my spirits!

First up: for this seasons first Lindy Hop Live I decided to try out a hair-do tutorial by Brittany on Va-Voom Vintage (tutorial found here). I didn't have the time/energy to do a pincurl-set, and don't have hot sticks, so I used my hot rollers instead. The wave effect is a lot smaller, this would really benefit from a pincurl-set with standing pincurls in the front. I like the idea to use a wave in the front, though. Got to try it with better prep =)

The back looks totally different from Brittany's, mainly due to my hair refusing to be tucked in at the top. So instead I did a sort of flat roll in the center and a flat victory roll at each side. Not bad, but I do like the fuss-free classic look of a clean chignon so I tried an adapted version the week after. No photo's of that, I'm afraid, but I plan to put up a little tutorial in a few weeks!

My second attempt to get myself a bit more motivated was to finally treat myself to samples from an internet fabric shop, Sonjas Textilateljé. They only carry ecologial fabrics, and they're swedish so it's fast and easy (well, for Swedes anyway). No customs or staggering fee's, yay!

You want to see some pics, right? =) All in all it's around 150 fabrics...

Shirtings - mostly cotton but also some linen

Heavy cottons - bags, interior decorating, summer jackets

Jerseys - cotton, but also some linen, silk and wool. Love the mathcing single jerseys and ribbings!

Wool, silk and heavy linen. Not much to look at like this, but oh my! The quality of these fabrics is fantastic! The black suiting is just stunning.

Of course my fabric storage space is full to the brim, but it's always nice to plan, to dream... Also, I'm thinking that with these in hand I might be saved from too much "Oh, I love this fabric, what can I do with it? I'm not sure, but I like it so I'll get x metres and then I'll surely have enough". Maybe it will be easier to decide on what I want to sew, find the perfect fabric for it and just order the amount I actually need. All with good conscience, knowing my fabric to be eco-friendly =) (And yes, I know the problems with eco-fabrics, I know there's no guarantees, but it's got to be a little bit better than shopping fabric I know with absolute certainty to be an eco-disaster).

Right now I'm trying to finish some UFOs. Hey, maybe that's why I'm in such a sewing funk! UFOs are just so booooring, and I've been at it for weeks. I even thought I was ready with a plaid wool skirt, when I realised the zipper stretched the fabric. Quality time with my seam-ripper ahed...

Or I can just dream about fabric ; )

Love, Erika