Monday, November 03, 2014

Completed: Anti-UFO Project

Hello my chickadees!

How has it gone with your Anti-UFO projects? Did you manage to accomplish what you set out to do? If you've written a wrap-up post, make sure to include the link in the comments -- I want to see what you've made! I'm going to try to put together a wrap-up post of your makes if there is enough people. :-)

OKAY, I bet you're curious to see how the challenge has gone for me?

I'm pretty happy with what I've accomplished in the context of this challenge. Not that I think the pieces are so amazing per se (as usual, there are flaws and imperfections) but there is still a pretty big and satisfying feeling of accomplishment. The fact that I got ANY sewing done during this time is pretty remarkable, in fact, in light of the big changes that took place in my life these past weeks/months (will talk about it soon, I promise).

Double knit, synthetic fabric with leather patches at elbows and collar accents in double fold elastic (matte side). Self-drafted pattern. In the photo it looks like one side of the jacket is longer than the other. It is a bit in real life due to my scoliosis, I think, but it's not that bad as noticeable as it looks here.

Let's take a moment to look at what I had set out to do:
1) finish my blazer
2) finish my shirt muslin
3) complete my ponté knit pants.

As you can see my goals for the challenge evolved a bit. For one thing, I ended up producing companion pieces for two of the initial UFOs (a skirt to the blazer, and a top to the pants). And then the bird-poo-green "wearable muslin" of a dress shirt ended up being a total kill-joy, sewingly speaking. EVERY TIME I sat down to work on it, I swear! Still, the project gave me a good sense of the modifications I'm going to need for my next dress shirt. AND I need to take it easy in terms of the expectations I place on myself for dress shirts... Many of you sewing bloggers and readers can sew a mean dress shirt, I know, but I bet you didn't get to that point overnight, am I right?? (Encouragements, encouragements!!) I tell myself that my next shirt will be better. :-)

Now friends, you want to hear about it, don't you? Let me give you a bit more details...

Very heavy weight ponté knit. (I would never pack it my suitcase, in fact! They must weight at least 1.5 KG, no exaggeration.) There is an invisible side zip closure with a waistband. Pattern: Simplicity 2659.

Inspired by this image and especially this image. Self-drafted pattern. I had a half-yard of this thick, luxurious cashmere that I was dying to use and this was the perfect plan. If you look closely above you'll see that the sleeves are slightly different. I couldn't make up my mind -- big statement or quiet statement? -- and I wanted to ask for your opinion. But now, looking at the pictures, it's clear in my mind that the tighter sleeves are the way to go. I think I'm more of a "quiet statement" kind of person anyways. :-)

Your opinion is still welcome, of course.

Tuesday, September 02, 2014

Join me in the Anti-UFO Project

Hello my beautiful friends!

So glad for the interest in making the Anti-UFO Project a group proejct! I'm going to make things more official in this post. (And just in case that wasn't clear, UFO stands for Unfinished Objects!) The goal is to keep ourselves accountable over the next weeks so we can clear our sewing table and be unburdened by those projects we never finished. Open sewing table and limitless creativity are the goals! We'll be having fantastic company over the next weeks!

You'll find bellow a button! (Just a matter of grabbing the code and inserting it as an HTML widget on your sidebar. :-) I also thought that it would be good to extend the challenge by a month to give people more time and flexibility -- September being a busy month and all, with the start of a new school year if you have kids or if you're a student yourself. So the new deadline will be October 31st, 2014. Fittingly the Day of the dead... muah ha ha... death of our UFOs.

I'm super duper excited to see your nearly forgotten projects come to life over the next two months, and I will make it my personal mission to be your cheerleader and to help you push through your insanely busy schedule to get that sewing table EMPTIED OUT. I will also document my own progress here. Hurray!

Let me know if you have any question and sign up in the comments if this sounds like fun to you! :-)

Happy sewing everyone!

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Good Morning, Sunshine!

A lot of cinnamon buns and fika (Swedish coffee break) this week...
▼▼▼▼▼▼▼▼▼▼▼▼▼ Weekly sewing/life potpourri ▼▼▼▼▼▼▼▼▼▼▼▼▼

Hello my beautiful friends!

This week, has felt like three weeks wrapped into one. We had friends visiting over from Spain and we did some sightseeing with them, which really broke the routine.

- In terms of general discoveries this week, I REdiscovered Nirrimi from The Road is Home while away out in the archipelago last weekend. I had really loved her blog a while back, but somehow forgotten about it (probably because I didn't use Bloglovin back then). Somehow, my mood matched the mood of her latest posts on that particular day, and I found myself completely immersed in her storytelling and mind-blowing photography.

- The concept of internet fog. I feel that most of this weekend right now has disappeared in a big internet fog, where I have checked my email about every five minutes, and somehow got dragged in whichever direction the Craftsy newsletter or Bruda Style or Bloglovin emails pulled me. It's nice to now have words to describe the feeling. Although I tell myself I shouldn't feel too guilty about my weekend in light of the intensive week I've had. :-) I first saw the term in Brené Brown's The Gifts of Imperfection. (If her name sounds familiar, you've probably seen her The power of vulnerability TEDTalk!)

- The music of Veronicca Maggio. Uplifting Swedish bubblegum pop. :-)

- Spending two days in Stockholm this week, with our visit coinciding with Stockholm Fashion Week, to my surprise and delight. Stockholmers seemed extra well-dressed this week, even more than usual (which speaks volumes). There were also A LOT of fashion street photography for the event -- at every street corner, it seemed.

- This reminded me of the importance of dressing well, even when you think it's okay to be slugging it. You never know if which situation you'll find yourself in, which potential clients you might meet, which potential opportunity might come your way. It's my goal to have selfcare and dignity, and to present the best version of myself to the world every single day that I'm alive. Just like I appreciate SO MUCH the effort others people put in how they dress, I should make a little effort myself, and not just mindlessly grab the same old jeans and faded tee-shirt in the morning. And as seamstress, we know that it's entirely possible to be both comfortable AND stylish. :-))

I listened to two great podcasts on my long run today:

1 - A Tapestry episode with Lesley Hazleton. I found this podcast captivating more for the guest/author as a person, rather than for what she was writing about (although that was interesting too). As a person, she seemed so engaging and eccentric, and really open and unguarded at the same time, but also very deep and full of interesting experiences and stories. What an interesting person to have at a dinner party, I kept thinking.

2 - An Ideas episode with Germaine Greer. I was so pleasantly surprised to discover how strong and relevant her message still is today, some 44 years after The Female Eunuch. Hearing her talk so passionately about her theory makes me want to delve deeper into her work. I must admit that I always thought of her as somewhat of an outdated essentialist feminist, but I'm now convince that her perspective should absolutely be part of our "toolbox" of theoretical lenses to employ in different situations. Did you know that Germaine Greer is actually libertarian? One more fascinating fact about her!

Also: I sometimes tend to forget how happy and energized it makes me feel to engage with the world of ideas, and more specifically with feminist theory. It's a world that's not close to the realm of the everyday, and it does take some efforts to travel there, but it's so very worth it.

Whoa, it's been a long post today. As I said, it's been a busy week, and I guess I had lots to talk about. :-)

Have you been reading or listening to anything interesting these days? And have you ever attended a Fashion Week event?

Monday, August 25, 2014

The Anti-UFO Project

Hello my beautiful friends! My unfinished projects box is seriously overflowing at the moment. It's time to do something about it! I'm a firm believer of "one project at a time" so and all these UFOs hanging over my head are weighing down my creativity.

If anyone would like to join me in clearing their sewing table, that would be totally fun! Let's do this together! Let's hold each other accountable for finishing what we've started! I'm going to give myself a deadline, because deadlines work well for me: Septembre 30th, 2014. Nice and realistic! :-)

Happy sewing, everyone! And do let me know in the comments if you'll be joining. :-)

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Good Morning, Sunshine!

////Weekly potpourri of sewing thoughts and thankfulness////

Hello my beautiful friends!

I hope that your week was filled with lots of sewing and as much sewing daydreaming as mine was!! Good god it's been challenging to stay focused in Swedish class. A magical whirlwind of fabric, shapes, patterns, textures, silhouettes kept happening in my mind. Does that happen to you too, or I am the only weird one? Our classroom has floor-to-ceiling windows on a busy hallway... pretty hard not to indulge in people-watching during class. Especially given the amazing mix of people/cultures/styles we have. :-)

What catches my eyes these days!
- Leather cut outs and details.
- dress shirts,
- fun cotton prints.
- solids in light colours
- stretchy skirts,
- wool, luxurious bouclé,
- textured gray fabrics,
- crêpe,
- And so eager to play with STRIPES! :-)
1. TopShop 2. Smartset 3. ASOS

This week I'm grateful for... carving out little pockets of time in my weeks, for working on projects that have a very much long-term impact on my life. I don't know about you, but for me the long-term perspective often gets pushed back or delayed in the scale of the daily or the weekly. But it's the most important perspective. As they say, people often spend more time planning their vacation they they do planning their lives! So for me I know that this one hour per week I spend thinking about the long term is probably the most important hour of my week.

Photo : Andrea Christensen
In line with that, when Henrik works night shifts at the emergency, he's away for 36 hours. It would be easy for me to see his long hours as an annoyance or as something negative. But it also gives me the space to do things just for me; to reconnect with the long-term perspective. Last Sunday, I woke up at 8AM, grabbed my black trench coat, my rubber boots and my huge golf umbrella, and walked the 6KM to the city centre to have breakfast at my favourite café, Brogyllen. The streets were so quiet, except for the sound of the rain... :-) Perfect for clearing my thoughts, and getting my week off to a good start!

Happy sewing everyone!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Another Use for Masking Tape

A quick sewing tip for you today!

I started using masking tape to mark the wrong side of my pattern pieces, specially when the right and wrong sides are similar.

I found that the cheaper kind of masking tape sold at dollar stores (or "pound shops," for you Britons :-D) is actually better suited for this, because it's less adhesive and doesn't leave any kind of glue on the fabric.

Happy sewing everyone!

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Good Morning, Sunshine!

Weekly potpourri of sweet things and thankfulness

Hello my beautiful friends!

This week has gone by in the blink of an eye, with me cycling left and right around town for classes, meetings, and shows from the Kulturkalas, Gothenburg's annual mega big arts festival. Europeans sure know how to spend on the arts!

This week's favourites:
I can't even begin to tell you the different reasons why this video from Cooking with Dog is so amazing, but I will try. First of all, I have been obsessed with Cooking with Dog, a YouTube japanese cooking show, for the longest time. When I saw the they were doing pão de queijo, my number one favourite Brazilian food, I nearly fell out of my chair. I don't think I've ever mentioned it to you all, but I partly grew up in Brazil, where pão de queijo was a regular staple around our house. It had never previously occurred to me that it is possible to make it. From scratch. AT HOME. So this discovery has been quite mind blowing. I look forward to sourcing the flour locally to try the recipe. Will keep you updated. :-)

Other than that, last week I finished reading #Girlboss after seeing several positive recommendations from different sources, and I must admit that all my great expectations for the book fell pretty flat. Like wayyyy flat. Although I have a lot of respect for what Sophia Amoruso has accomplished in such a short time (building a multi-million dollar company with nothing but a pocket full of change) I often found myself wishing she had gone deeper... Deeper into tangible business strategies... and deeper into the analysis of herself as a person. What exactly caused her to go from a anarchist dumpster diver to a master capitalist in a few years? How did that extreme transition happen, and how does she make sense of it now?

I also found her tone a bit abrasive sometimes, with a lack of empathy that made it difficult to cast away the thought that sociopaths are more prominent among business leaders. For example, she mentions bringing children to an interview as a laughably obvious "no-no." It's of course not ideal, but some parents simply have no other option with the serious lack of childcare support in the US. The fact that she states right off the bat that she doesn't identify with feminism also bugged me a lot (as you would expect, lol). Saying that you don't believe in feminism comes down to saying you don't believe in equality between men and women. It just doesn't make sense to me. But that's just my humble opinion. :-)

I also found the title a bit problematic. To me, it speaks to the fact that a "boss" is by default male, and therefore we must add "girl" in front of it to make the idea of "boss" female (i.e., "woman doctor", "woman soldier"). I get it that she wants to inspire more young women to consider entrepreneurship as a viable option. And that is actually really cool. But I question the effectiveness of this strategy: Is using "girlboss"not also demeaning the achievements of female business leaders, in a way? And reinforcing the idea of boss as de facto male? Food for thought.

Anyhoo, to move on to a lighter topic and to go from Sofia to Sophie, a sewing-related high point this week was discovering the revamped blog of Sophie from Ada Spragg (previously Cirque du Bébé). Her new blog layout is absolute eye candy and I find her overall approach to sewing to be incredibly inspiring. (Have you SEEN her latest dress???) Yep, definitely a blogger who sets the bar very high for all of us. Keep up the good work, Sophie!
Photography: Olivia Frølich
If you like Sophie's sorbetto coloured aesthetic, you will most definitely appreciate this feature on Danish designer Stine Goya. Total dressmaking daydream that's guaranteed to spruce up even the lowest sewjo. It may also cause you to purchase home decor accessories in pastel colours. :-)

I hope that everyone will have a restorative and productive weekend!

Friday, August 08, 2014

Good Morning, Sunshine!

Friday-morning potpourri of sweet things and thankfulness

Turns out Oona might have been right. This dress may have been a case of too much cheese, and needing to rest my eyes away from the dress a bit. That, or it needed to be re-branded as beachwear. :-) It was perfect for the beach! (By the way, when we say "going to the beach" in Sweden we mostly mean "big rocks.")

This week, I'm thankful for...
- Fresh veggies from our garden... and all the delicious meals my partner cooks with them. Yum!
- The gorgeously appetizing photography of healthiteens on IG, who inspires me to take more time to prepare my food and make healthier choices and remember to take care of myself, even in times of intense stress.
- How energized and full of vitality I have been lately, both from spending so much time outside and from making sewing a bigger priority in my life. Yay!
- My organized closet -- I decluttered it two weeks ago and it's keeps on giving me joy, calm and happiness every morning when I open it. Never underestimate the power of a good clean!
- Summer weather that exceeded all of my expectations, and keeps on exceeding them.
- Running less these days and being OK with that, because sewing is more important to me at the moment.
- Watching The Shawshank Redemption this week and being reminded of the power of a positive outlook. I was never one to be so crazy about the whole "must think positive" self-help babble, but I must say that since becoming my own boss, I've seen first hand the effect of a negative attitude on your productivity! It really starts with ourselves, and how we view things. Anyhoo, the bigger lesson of the movie was worth the whole Hollywood melodrama side -- How much working a little bit towards your goal every day -- however big your goal and however small your daily action -- can have a dramatic impact on your life. As such, I was naturally reminded of my personal journey with learning Swedish. I'm starting classes again next week, and I'm only now able to appreciate how hard I've worked this past year, and how far I've come, independently of how near or far I am of the "finish line".  Just like with any journey, learning to celebrate the small and big successes along the way is extremely important. The success I celebrated this week was hosting a dinner party in Swedish for the first time and having a lot of fun without a word of French or English! :-)

Wednesday, August 06, 2014

Sewing the Open Back Dress

Hello my beautiful friends!

I hope your week is progressing well and that you are checking a lot of things off your to-do list! I, for one, am quite happy to check off this tutorial from my list, as it has been here for a few days now! You've read Part One, where I showed you how to draft the pattern pieces of your Open Back Dress, and today I'm happily presenting Part Two!! I will go over how to assemble the dress, with special focus on the waistband. By the way, the tutorial assumes you are a fairly experienced sewist, so it won't go into great details over the more usual steps. But if you have any questions, I will do my best to answer them in the comments. :-)

Before starting, make sure all of your pieces are cut out, properly marked and interfaced. :-)

1- Join the front and back pieces of the bodice and the skirt. To do this, you can first sew side seams of skirt, then shoulder seam of bodice, than side seam of bodice. When sewing the side seam of bodice, take care to leave approximately 5/8" unsewned at the bottom towards the waist, so as to stop your stitching line 5/8" before you reach the waist. (See dark pink lines in illustration bellow.)

2- Gather your skirt piece. Gather your bodice piece at the waist, only in the front.

3- Attach the bodice to the waistband, but only along the yellow line above. We're making an open back dress, so the goal is to sew only the front piece to the waistband, leaving the back out. That said, the finished dress looks better if I extended the stitching line one inch passed each side seams. It ended up delineating the waistline from the front, to avoid creating a boxy silhouette. A tip: reinforce the beginning and end of that stitching line (yellow line), since they're pressure points on the finished dress.

4- Attach the skirt to (the bottom of) the waistband, just like you normally would.

5- Next, press, as shown bellow.

6- Waistband facing: Pin and machine-sew the top of the waistband  facing, to the bottom of the waistband and top skirt pieces. The right side of the facing should be against the wrong side of the skirt. During this process, have the bodice out of the way and folded back.

7- Press waistband facing and stitch-in-the-ditch or handstitch the top of the waistband facing, like so.
8- Finish the lower hem of the back bodice, by serging or zigzaging and turning over (above and bellow). Other options would be to add a facing, to extend the hem by an inch in the pattern-drafting phase to allow for "a turn and a turn" type of hem (like I did bellow) or to double the back pieces creating a sort of self-lining. Bellow is one option for finishing, depicted from the outside and the inside of the dress.

9- Sew the two back pieces together along the Center Back seam, after having finished the edge, stopping as far as you want depending on how much back you want to show (and whether or not you want your bra to show, for example). Press seam open, and topstitch along the two sides (see third picture bellow).

10- Insert the back zipper, either by machine or by hand. If you want the zipper to come all the way up into the waistband, sew that last bit by hand. Also, if you want to insert an elastic, do it before this step. :-)

And that's it for the tricky parts of assembling your open-back dress! I wish all of you a wonderful time making this dress, and make sure to leave a link in the comment so I can admire your work!

Thanks for letting me share and happy sewing everyone!

Saturday, August 02, 2014

Oonapalooza Dress

Hello everyone! Back from the mountain and super refreshed from our six days of enforced internet detox. Easy to forget how life without the internet feels like!

So I made a dress this week! I started working on the second part of the tutorial I promised you last time and decided that I might as well make a second Open Back Dress out of it, since I loved the first one so much. Besides it was Oonapalooza month over at the Sewcialists, and I had just the fabric for it. Boldness and whimsicality embodied -- yes, yes, perfect Oona.

A word about the photos in this post: sorry if you're feeling disoriented!! I'm experimenting a little with backgrounds right now, some being more successful than others. :-) Lots of fun. :-D And a lot more fun than the embarrassment of taking pictures outside, big camera and tripod in front of everyone. Gaah. Last time, cars were literally slowing down in my neighborhood, checking out who that "celebrity" was. Gah. I know I was in a Bollywood movie, but still. I really like the end result of the photos I take outside, as tricky and uncomfortable as the process is, but I need to be in a special kind of mood for it.
Ahem. I may or may not have sewn better zippers before.
SO, things don't always turn out the way we want them to. I don't think I'm going to be wearing this dress very much (like, ever). The craziness and loudness of the fabric is one thing (my partner said the pattern made him dizzy. Call him Swedish -- minimalist -- but I think he is right.) I even used the reverse side of the fabric, to avoid the intense sateen effect, but it could only do some much to tone it down. More than that, I didn't do such a good job technique-wise with this temperamental silk (polyester?) charmeuse. Everything shows with silk charmeuse, as they say on Project Runway. (Speaking of PR, has anyone watched the last season? I'm several seasons behind!)

I liked the fabric a lot when I bought it (with the lovely Pincushion Treats back in the days where we were both living in the UK, I might add.) I still do like it, graphically speaking. But it just doesn't really fit with anything I have in my wardrobe. And somehow doesn't feel quite "me". It happens! :-)

The positive thing that emerged out of this dress is for sure to realize how much my attitude has changed as a dressmaker. In the early days, I used to get SOOO upset when I messed up a project. Difficult to believe now (okay, maybe not so difficult to believe) but I remember throwing myself on my bed, bursting into tears because the Andrew Sweater from Burda Style hadn't work out and ended up in the garbage. In those days I was equating a failure with the statement "I suck at sewing," which is so unfortunate! Because if you're afraid to fail all the time, then where is the experimenting? Where is the risk taking?

Somehow along the way, I learnt to take it easy! It's just sewing! I've accepted that the occasional failed project is bound to happen when you go outside of your comfort zone. "If you're not failing half the time, you're not trying hard enough", as they say. So failure is part of the deal. I know you all were probably a lot faster at learning this lesson than I was, but realizing this, with this project, has been an important moment for me. Along the years, I have been really inspired by how unafraid -- and brave! -- you have been in making mistakes in front of the world on your blog.

On these thoughts, little chickadees, I will leave you to it. Sew, sew, sew! Have a happy, productive weekend!

P.S.: For more technical details about this dress, again, you can check out my first Open Back Dress post, inspired from this dress by Club Monaco. You can see the drafting instructions for it here. And I'll be posting the sewing instructions for the waistband in the next days, so stay tuned! :-)

Friday, July 18, 2014

Make it: Open Back Dress

Hello my little chickadees!

Wow! I've said it in my last post and I will say it again: Instagram is AMAZING. Seeing your sewing and knitting in real time has been making me feel so connected to you all -- Your creativity, your openness, your energy... you are really inspiring me to step up my sewing and push myself outside of my comfort zone even more.

It's funny, for a long time, throughout high school and university, I yearned to be part of a creative community. I always thought of myself as creative, and I felt finding a community would be the key to actualizing this creative spirit that lived in me. In my young mind, the only way I knew to find a creative community was to hang around Kensington Market and the Annexe in Toronto -- The two "cool" places near me that matched a little bit my romantic image of NYC Greenwich Village or Paris Montparnasse... So I began getting involved in Toronto's cultural scene, organizing Ladyfest Toronto, playing guitar and attending open mics (so cliché, I know... I had dreadlocks in those days!). I never really succeeded in finding the community I was looking for then.

Back then, I would have never guessed that I would end up finding my community eventually, but that it would look completely different than the picture I had in my mind. (I guess you could say that about a lot of things in life.) I would never have guessed that my community would end up being online and centered on sewing. Now, looking back, it feels totally like "Of course!". Of course, my medium is sewing. Of course, finding this community needed to happen naturally and organically. Of course, it ended up being an online. Today, at 29 years of age, I can say that I am so grateful to have found a place where my creativity can flourish -- Readers, bloggers and fellow dressmakers, thank you for understanding and sharing my deep love of sewing. ♥ ♥ ♥

If the thought of soon being separated from my sewing machine for a week makes me a little sad as we get ready to hike the highest mountain in Sweden (the sun will still be shining at 11:45PM, I'm told. Can you imagine?), I tell myself that there will be Instagram to stay connected. And outside of cellular reception, there will be plenty of time to dream of sewing projects, my mostest favourite thing to do next to sewing. :-)

Getting back to our topic... drafting the Open Back Dress! This Club Monaco knock-off is really quite simple: no darts, considerable ease, and only a back zipper which could very well be omitted if your backside is on the flat side, or if the difference between your waist and your hip measurements is small (errr, not my case... ).

The diagram bellow is not to scale (obvs...) but it gives an idea of the way the pieces are supposed to look. Take note of the boxy, trapeze shape of the bodice pieces, for example. It's really that simple.

Here's how to do it: Starting with your bodice and skirt slopers* (or blocs),
- Drop the shoulder line on the bodice by about 3 inches to create the dropped sleeves.
- Pivot the bust dart to the bottom of the sloper (if your sloper has side bust darts) adding a few more inches for a loser or a more voluminous bust if desired. (The idea is that the bust darts are contained in the gathers of the waist.)
- Width of the waistband: 1 inch
- Length of the waistband: your waist measurement. For added comfort, you can add two or three inches and insert an elastic at the back of the dress like I did.
- Waistband facing is the same as the waistband piece.
- Skirt: add four inches ease or more, with the darts contained in the waist gathers.
- Neckline and armholes finished with fold-over elastic or bias tape (keep it simple!) -- no neckline or armhole facing pieces.
- Make sure to cut the neckline big enough to fit over your head... or add an opening of some sort at the shoulder seam, perhaps button or snap closures.
- Don't forgot to add seam allowance to your pieces before cutting!

After you've made your muslin, you will see clearly what works and what needs to be tweaked in your pattern. If there is a lot of changes to be made, a second muslin is never be a bad idea. :-) Patience, patience, patience is the mother of beautiful clothes! :-)

Good luck, and happy drafting! Let me know if you have questions in the comments.

Next up, I'll go over the details of assembly, going over the waist area in more details, as requested by Dana from Wardrobe Dysfunction. It's going to be next week, though, because I have to hike Mount Kebnekaise first!


* If you don't have slopers yet, there are plenty of resources online for making your own. Craftsy, eSewingWorkshop are solid resources, albeit not free, and Madalynne has awesome blog posts on making your blocs as well as other pattern drafting info. You can also order a "basic pattern" from one of the Big Four pattern companies and then adjust it to your figure by trial-and-error until it's perfect.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Complete: Open Back Silk Dress

We're finally having some bare-legs weather over here. YESS! I'm trying to soak in and retain every minute of every hour because this is so rare. In Sweden, even in the summer, I basically need a sweater on most days, by contrast to my prior muggy summers of Toronto and Spain. I really do love it when the only thing tolerable is iced coffee, shorts, and sandals... But thank goodness our days lately have been sweet and long, with plenty of possibility to wear my new dress!
It's an exact replica of a dress I saw on Club Monaco's website. Those who follow me on Pinterest will recognize it. This is the first time I'm knocking off a garment from a picture only, and I don't think I've done too bad. (You can see the muslin here.)  Although 85% of the success of this dress is probably due to the gorgeousness of the fabric, I must admit.

FABRIC: black sandwashed silk

Seeing and measuring the garment in real life is maybe not that important after all -- what matters is more how the garment looks on the actual wearer. For all I know, the "real" dress in the store would not even fit me -- as it has been the case with 90% of Club Monaco dresses I have tried in the past. But this is the beauty of sewing, folks! We get to make anything we want.
In other news, I finally acquired a new phone last week, which means I can finally exist in the world be on Instagram, About time, I tell you. My 2009 iPhone 3G had become an absolute relic of the past, to the point where most social media apps would not work. Discovering Instagram (yes, I "discovered" Instagram just now...) was full of surprises, like realizing how my sister-in-law has the most amazing eye for photography (and quite the Instagram following). It's as if I'm getting to know my friends all over again, through Instagram. I'm feeling soooo inspired. I invite you to add me on Instagram if you want.
These photos are from Gothenburg this weekend, but we're actually in Småland at the moment, in the Swedish countryside. I've been trying to limit my screen time this week, so I can better connect with my family-in-law and my surroundings. I have had the good fortune of having been welcomed into a big family when I met my partner, who has no less than five siblings (16 to 38), and three nephews and nieces, with a fourth one on the way. It also makes me miss my own family in Canada, these days. (Hello family!)

SEWING DETAIL: I wasn't going to insert an elastic in the back, but I ended up having to in the end because the waistband was too big. A lot of ready-to-wear garments have elasticated, or partly elasticated waists to accommodates a maximum variety of figures. I understand the logic but was never such a fan of this feature personally, because it's not necessarily flattering for me. In this case, though, I was a bit surprised to find that the elastic is kind of tasteful, and it really increases the comfort level of my dress. I will definitely use this device again.

Happy sewing everyone!
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