Tuesday, December 31, 2013

A Sewing Year in Review: 2013


It's been really fun to reflect on how I've progressed this year. I've started out thinking I hadn't really progressed, and then realized that I had actually accomplished a lot! It goes to show how important it is to stop to see how far we've come sometimes!
2013 was the year of sewing breakthroughs for me. It's been mostly an internal process, rather than a change that manifested itself in the actual things I've made:

1) I've finally realized my dream of taking a college-level course in pattern drafting this winter and I'm so incredibly happy I did. The ironic thing about it is that it brought me closer to commercial patterns. Fit for Real People and my sewing guru, Lorraine Henry, have also contributed to this big time, but for a variety of reasons, 2013 has been the year where I've suddenly had the revelation and the skills to pick up pretty much any pattern and work with it. It's felt like a world of possibilities!
2) But a world of possibilities can also feel overwhelming sometimes. And I've had to stop and think about what it is I wanted to make. I've slowed down the actual sewing in the fourth trimester to take a step back and refocus my sewing aesthetic. I'm so excited to report that my vision has never been clearer and I look forward to aligning my sewing with this new vision in 2014.

New direction in snippets:
- Quality over quantity.
- Lux fabrics.
- Cohesiveness.
- Dress shirts, wool blazers, classic pants and smart, structured dress in neutral colours.
- More to come on that later!

Other thoughts about this year:

Sewing Friendships
It was sad to leave Toronto just as I was getting to know so many local sewists after organizing the sewing meet-up with Gillian of Crafting Rainbow in February. That said, the beauty of our community is that it's transnational, so I've been able to enjoy keeping up with all of you on your blogs. I've also slowly been building a sewing community of my own in Sweden, meeting up with Joëlle from Handstitched Files, fabric shopping in Kinna, in addition to joining my local sewing club. I'm so grateful for these friendships.

Blogging Consistency
I've been keeping this blog alive for three and a half years, so I know something about consistency. However, there is still plenty of room for improvement! The ability to stick with something for a long period of time is a good skill to have in all areas of life -- whether professional or personal -- so I really want to work at it. One strategy that's proven effective for me is to plan my blogging a couple of weeks in advance, and I want to do more of that going forward. It's less about the blogging per se (because, let's face it, posting 2, 15 or 45 posts a month won't really make a difference to anyone) as it is about the exercise of developing consistency and dedication over a long period of time. 2013 has been the most consistent so far, so I hope 2014 will be even better!

More Sharing
I still find it difficult to assess how much of my life to share with you guys here. How I've dealt with this in the past has been "if it's not sewing, don't share" and "whenever in doubt, don't share." But your positive reactions to posts about snippets of my life in Sweden this year have made me reconsider. And I really do enjoy reading those kinds of posts in other blogs. After all, it's not as if the sewing is happening in a vacuum in our lives! Of course, there is a balance to everything (don't worry, I won't start blogging about my dog's eating habits. Although you'd be surprised at how interesting that would be!) and defining that balance is a very personal thing. All this to say: in 2014, expect to read more about the elements of my life that are intertwined with the sewing.

I'm going to conclude this post (and this blogging year!) by thanking you all so much for your continued support. I deeply appreciate your visits and comments and I'm sending you all my best wishes for a new year filled with love, peace, community... and productive sewing!

Happy New Year everyone!
Adrienne xo

Friday, December 20, 2013

Gone fishing... or skiing

Lake Louise (source)
I hope you're enjoying the holiday season as much as I am, here in Canada. :-)

I'll be away from home until the end of January, so I'll be posting less frequently because I want to spend quality time with my family and friends. But I won't be thinking of you any less and I will continue to read and comment on your blogs. You can also find me on Pinterest if you miss me too much. :-)

Happy sewing everyone!

Adrienne xo

Friday, December 06, 2013

PVC clear elastic tape for the shoulder seams?

First of all, I just wanted to thank Dibs from Dibs and the Machine for giving me the opportunity to contribute to the wrap dress sewalong! I've been a huge fan of her and her blog since we met in 2011. Believe it or not, she is just as funny in real life as she is on her blog, and maybe more, if that's even possible. Her sense of humour is a big reason why we love her and her blog so much! Do check out her blog if you don't know her, and you can also have a look at my guest post "how to make your own Catherine Middleton engagement dress". :-)

*****************************

When I was making the dress, I wanted to try clear PVC elastic to stabilize the shoulder seams.
Frankly, I don't know how much it needed stabilizing, but it was nice to try this notion -- and realize how easy it was to work with. Useful to know for when I actually need it...
Like, uh, I don't know, maybe for the crotch seam of my SEWLUTION TROUSERS????

BAD sewist, BAD.

Will Adrienne manage to accomplish her sewlution before the year's end?Mission Impossible Theme by Mission Impossible on Grooveshark

Wednesday, December 04, 2013

How to do a SBA on a Wrap Dress or Wrap Top with a Shawl Collar

Looking at those unusual pieces for the front panel pieces of Vogue 8827 left me scratching my head... How... will I do... a Small Bust Adjustment... on that?

Thankfully, it's not too difficult. Today, I'll be sharing a way to adjust pattern Vogue 8827 for us ladies of modest chestal proportions. :-)

It goes without saying that this method can be applied to any wrap dress or wrap top with a shawl collar, cowl neck, or any other collar variation directly connected to the front pattern pieces (you'll see what I mean in a minute).

First things first: How do you know you need a SBA on your wrap dress or top? You'll know because the front piece will be too long. Make a side dart as shown, and measure how much you need to take away. In my case, I needed to take away a good one inch of extra fabric. Make sure you write this down.
Before we dive into the minutia of the procedure, let's pause for a minute to think about what this piece IS exactly. We're looking at many pieces all connected into one, namely, the bodice front piece, the collar (pink), the collar facing (orange), the bodice front facing (purple), the skirt (yellow) and the skirt facing (blue). Phew. Many pieces.
Now that we know what we're looking at and where everything is, the first step of our pattern adjustment will be to separate the collar piece from the bodice front piece and the skirt front piece, in order to be able to adjust the bust. We'll do that by cutting along the lines, as shown in the picture bellow, and cutting ALMOST all the way at the shoulder, leaving the patterns connected a bit there for pivoting.
Don't cut all the way up
Note: This is what I did and it worked well for me, but I realize as I'm writing this tutorial that, strictly from theory, I could have cut along the point where the bodice front meets the collar, instead of cutting between the collar and the collar facing as shown above and bellow. I don't know how overlapping the pieces would have worked out in this case, but if anyone tries it, let me know.
Same idea for View A and C.
Just remember that you'll have to adjust the collar facing piece separately for these views,
since the collar facing comes as a separate piece
Pinch out the excess fabric at the bust according to what you measured earlier on your muslin, and "smoosh out" the dart -- meaning, press flat (either with your hand or your iron) the bubble created by the dart. Now, you'll see that the front collar and the collar facing will be too long, so it needs to be overlapped with with skirt and skirt facing.


Tape everything in place and ignore the gap in your pattern when you're cutting.

There you go! It's not more complicated than that!

Happy sewing everyone!

Credit:
The method is a combination of the "Smooshing Out Small Darts" section of Fit for Real People (see page 147) and Lorraine Henry's presentation on performing a SBA on a princess seam as seen at the Creativ festival in the spring of 2013.



Monday, December 02, 2013

Completed: Vogue 8827

The original inspiration for this dress was Sallie Oh's magenta version, but when I finished sewing it as per the instructions, it somehow didn't end up looking right.

I brainstormed for a couple hours and finally found a solution I couldn't be happier about! :-) Stay tuned for my tutorial on how to modify a basic wrap-dress pattern into a "Catherine Middleton engagement dress knock-off" over at Dibs and the Machines later this week. Dibs is hosting a wrap dress sewalong right now!
Before I get into the details of this make, I thought the shadows above were a nice invitation to answer some questions I've had recently about photography. :-) I take all my photographs with a tripod and camera remote. :-) As of May of this year, I use a Canon EOS T3i, which has perform extremely well.
Now, onto the dress!

Pattern: Vogue 8827
Fabric: Jersey purchased on Goldhawk road in London. (Probably cotton with a small percentage of rayon and lycra, but can't be sure, it was purchased so long ago.)
Adjustments to the original pattern:
- Small bust adjustment (I'm preparing a separate post on how to do this on this pattern, by the way. A bit tricky).
- Added 1,5 inches to sleeve length.
- Graded the side seam from sizes 5 under the arms to 12 at the hips.
- Raised the lower point of armscye by 1.5 inches and moved it 0.75 inch inwards towards bust point.
- Removed 0.5 inch from shoulder width.
- Other modifications unrelated to fit will be explained in my guest post at Dibs and the Machine!

In the end, I found the best way to tie my belt was to tuck the edges underneath at the back!

I would definitely recommend this pattern, if you're looking for an easy wrap dress.
Happy sewing everyone!

Friday, November 29, 2013

The Perfect Pin Cushion

So I was mentioning that I have more time to sew these days.

Here's what I discovered today: a cork pot mat makes for the best pin cushion. Perfect!

Happy sewing everyone!



Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Favourites of the Fall

I can't believe fall is already pretty much over! More and more, I feel the urge to document things, so I don't forget the best moments. I started thinking "What were the best moments of the fall?", and I thought I would share them with you, if you allow me. :-)

French -- This fall, I decided to make an effort to incorporate French into my daily life. Yes, French is my mother tongue and, yes, I write in French everyday as a translator, but since moving to Sweden I hardly speak or read French anymore and I missed that. I decided this needed to change. I borrowed French books from the city library, went to cinéma français at least twice a month with Mr. AS+AS and francophile friends, and traveled to France. Although the trip was admittedly not primarily for the purpose of reconnecting with the French language, it felt good to speak French as well as replenish my "new words" little notebook. I also realized during our trip that, despite what Mr. AS+AS says, his level of French is quite impressive and that there is no reason, aside from habit, that we should not speak French at home.
Foodie Pleasures -- It's also been a foodie fall for us. We picked tons of berries and plums in August, and made jams of all sorts this fall: black current, ginger-lemon-plum, and cinnamon plum butter. Then, apple season started, and we spent many afternoons making dried apples, and... Mr. AS+AS made 150 litres of apple cider! Anyone fancy a bottle of homemade cider?
Cycle commute -- I cannot believe it when I hear people from Gothenburg complain about how "bad" the bike paths are. If only you knew! If only you knew how horrible the bike paths are where I come from! (i.e. Toronto) I thank the Lord every day for the luxurious segregated (segregated!) bike paths I get to employ every time I head to the city center. And with the colours of the fall, my bike commute has been even more spectacular.
Trail Running -- Fresh air, the leaves changing colour, the sense of community from running in a group.... I've continued to enjoy training in the forest with my running club this fall, with the added enjoyment of discovering a sauna tucked away in a corner of the showers. Ah! I'm a complete addict now. And feel myself becoming more Swedish each day. This fall I was able to celebrate the end of my marathon training season with the Nice-Cannes marathon, and I'm finding it pretty nice now to have the pressure lifted and to be able to run for pleasure without worrying about speed. It also means I now have more free time to do other things... namely, sewing. :-)
Source
Cozy up at home -- Swedes have perfected the art of cozying up the home, with different traditions that make darkness fun. I've enjoyed lighting candles and brightening up our apartment with those colourful lamps. I've also not been feeling too guilty about spending evenings catching up our TV series, wrapped up in my big duvet and drinking liters of green tea. (Yep, in case you were wondering, this is what's happened to my sew-jo.) Nice thing is, the cozying up season is far from being over. The best has yet to come with cinnamon-ginger cookies and mulled wine season only beginning this weekend.

Thanks for allowing me to share my favourite things of the fall, and I wish all of us a wonderful and productive winter!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

The Pinafore Dress

I mentioned recently I was working on a custom dress.

Julia came to me with a request to make her a pinafore dress. A what?? A pinafore dress! I wasn't familiar with this kind of dress either. :-) For many years, her pinafore dress was her favourite, but one day it just disappeared.
In comes Adrienne! After exchanging sketches and pictures to make sure Julia and I were on the same page, I proceeded on drafting the bespoke pattern from her measurements. A muslim fitting later, and we were in business! Well, pattern-wise, at least...
Finding the right fabric proved to be a little more challenging. Julia wanted double knit in a shade of blue with a little purple in it -- simple request, I thought. Wrong. After looking almost literaly everywhere in Sweden for such a fabric, we finally turned to Gorgeous Fabrics online (thanks to a Reader's suggestion!), to find a crêpe textured double knit in Royal Blue.

The trickiest parts of construction was probably to sew the round pockets. This fabric was quite thick and bouncy, and didn't really respond to pressing (like, at all). This meant that creating a nice, even curve in the pocket was really, really difficult. After several failed attemps, careful and precise basting turned out to be the solution.

All and all, I really like how the dress turned out I expect it will look fabulous on Julia.
Now, is taking custom orders something I want to do more of? Mister AS+AS asked this question over dinner the other night and I was surprised to hear myself say that I wasn't sure. I always thought of bespoke tailoring and custom dressmaking as THE best job anyone could have.

I found out that the stress and pressure of meeting your client's expectations does take away a bit from the fun and pleasure of sewing. It's not longer "lah dee dah, I'm sewing!" if you know what I mean. Not that Julia was a difficult client -- far from it! She was the best first client I could have asked for. But it was still a bit stressful. What if I mess it up?

But of course, the other side is that there is something extremely rewarding in allowing people to feel confidant and beautiful and enabling them to go out in the world and do the things they want to do. Not that I would be pretensious enough to think that I'm doing that with my dress, but I imagine it's how the tailors of Savile Row feel at the end of their work day. :-)

Thank you for allowing me to share this sewing milestone with you. It's Sewing Club tonight, so I'm leaving you on an extra happy note.

Happy sewing everyone!

Monday, October 28, 2013

Sewing is Back! (But we knew that)

Good morning everyone!

So nice to see our own Kristiann from Victory Pattern in the biggest newspaper in Canada today.

Don't you love to see our amazing community being written about in mainstream media?

Enjoy reading the article and congratulations to Kristiann for the feature!





Tuesday, October 22, 2013

The Sewing Gods Strike Again

I must have done something right, Readers, because the sewing gods seem be looking after me, still. If you recall, in Spain, a screwdriver flew down from the sky to land on my terrasse, and I was finally able to repair my sewing machine.

Well, the other day, I came into my building and there she was...
To whom did she belong to, and why would someone abandon her in the hallway? You bet I made it my priority to find out.

Fastforward a couple months and this dressform is now... in my sewing studio. :-)

Turns out it belonged to the organiser of the neighbourhood sewing club (because yes, we have a sewing club in our community -- pretty amazing, I know). Matilda, the organiser, had no use for the dressform and wanted to know if I would, perhaps, be interested in borrowing it... indefinitely? Hum, YES.

What is this sewing club about, your ask? I've been going for the past month now, and it's a group of women (men are also welcome, but none are joining us... for now. I'm working on convincing my partner to come. ;-) ) together to chat, have coffee and sew. It's been so nice to get to know other women who love sewing and to have access to quality sewing machines (namely, Husqvarnas, capable of sewing through eight layers of jeans like a knife through butter) and a serger. The organiser has studied both fashion design and tailoring, and even has a masters in textile arts. But best of all, she's very willing to share her knowledge, which means we'll be learning a lot in the months, in spite of the club not being a class per se.
Source
You might be wondering what's on my sewing table at the moment! Well, I've just finished a custom-made dress, which I'm pretty proud of. But my sewing daydreams right now are totally dominated by Anne Klein's Vogue 1223 in the fabric shown on the mannequin. I'm trying hard to reign in this vision -- or, at least, to postpone it until the spring -- because it's totally impractical. What I need right now are fall and winter clothes, not another summer dress. But every so often, I turn to my dressform and... and... the fabric is just so pretty....

Saturday, October 05, 2013

Dump that Bias Tape -- Let me Introduce You to Fold-Over Elastic

Source
I discovered fold-over elastic by accident in my local notions shop, but quickly realised that once you go "fold-over," you never go back!

What's so great about this stuff?
Source
Essentially, it has the clean appearance of a woven bias tape, but the elasticity of an... well, of an elastic. The creased line in the middle makes it perfect for folding over -- hence, the name "fold-over". It makes for bias tape that's virtually impossible to mess up and that's what I used on my last dress. I could have used the satin side, but I chose the reverse, mat side for a more understated detail.
ALSO, because it feels so soft against the skin -- on both sides -- it would lend itself really well to underwear. I've seen it used for headbands and other hair accessories quite a bit, too. (Check out this tutorial for elastic hair bands by Megan Nielson.)

It's not hard to source online. This shop, for example, carries it in every colour under the sun at a quite reasonable price (hello, $0.50/yard!). You can also easily find it in glitter, velvet, prints and even tie-dye on Etsy and eBay.

Did you know about this notion and, most importantly, do you also think it's the BEST THING EVER since the invention of the sewing machine?? Or do I just need to get out more?

Happy sewing everyone!

Friday, September 27, 2013

Completed: Leanne Marshall's Simplicity 1877

Can you believe this dress was largely made in 5-minute increaments between pomodoros? That's what I call slow sewing! But you do what you have to do to get your sewing in, right?

I was kind of nice to sew so slowly. Having to stop after five minutes means that you're stopping while it's still fun. It's like, as a summer camp counsellor, they say it's important to stop the activity while your kids or teens are still having fun, so they'll be excited about the activity next time.
Fabric: some kind of light-weight synthetic with a decent stretch content. Almost like crêpe to the touch in a way, but not exactly. Purchased in London a while back, I'm pretty sure at Simply Fabrics in Brixton.

Pattern: Simplicity 1877 by Leanne Marshall. View B.

What did I change?
- Performed all my usual adjusments for the bodice (narrow upper chest, changed the angle of the shoulders, etc..)
- To avoid breaking up the stripes of my fabric, I transfered the back darts into the center back seam.
- I also removed two of the four darts in the front for the same reason, resolving by the same token the small bust adjusment.
- I omitted the shoulder frills in View B, again to avoid interrupting the geometric lines.

Tips:
- If you're working with an unstable fabric, you might want to consider finishing the collar and armholes with bias or elastic tape (like I did, more on that in a next post) rather than following the instructions and making your own facing tape (or whatever it's called). My fabric didn't press well and it turned out pretty disastreous so I added the black elastic and I'm really pleased with the result. MUCH better.
I'm really really happy with this dressed. It gave me a nice sewing boost and my brain is now racing with fabrics, patterns, ideas and projects. So many things to sew, so little time!!
And it keeps getting better -- this dress even has HIDDEN POCKETS. At first I was a little annoyed by how un-deep they were but I think it's better that way because it shall discourage me from overloading them and deforming my dress (let's face it, totally something I do).
Now, if you excuse me, I'm off to parade my new dress for lattes and carrot cake with my sweetheart.

Thanks for letting me share my dress, everyone!

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Lobster dress goes cray-cray

*** ALLERGY ALERT : This post contains seafood. ***

Hey guys!

Here’s the moment you’ve all been waiting for: lobster dress meets crayfish!
YIPPY-YAY!
But first things first: You guys pointed out in my last post that I was being too hard on myself, criticizing my lack of a cohesive style in my sewing. And you know what? I decided that I have enough reasons to beat myself up on a daily basis, that sewing doesn't need to be one. So take that, "cohesive style".

No, kidding aside, I do still want to work towards a more cohesive look, but I'm not going to be too hard on myself about it. As many of you pointed out, experimenting is also what it's all about and I do have to use the fabric I already have (let's face it, A LOT).


Now... back to CRAYFISH. Crayfish parties happen every year at around August or September in Sweden. I’ve heard about the tradition extensively and had been waiting for this party impatiently. It basically consists of eating crayfish to your heart’s content (along with a few -- or many -- shots of vodka).

This particular party was organised by our neighbourhood community and the dress proved to be the BEST conversation starter. Of note, I was most pleased to become acquainted with another translator working from home. I’ve yet to meet a translator I don’t like, but anyone working on the swedish translation of Malala’s biography scores MAJOR bonus points in my book. (No but I mean, how cool is that?!?!) Mostly,  it’s nice to somehow feel a little less alone as I quietly put in those very long hours, because I now know there is someone a few doors down who is experiencing the same agony and stress. 

I do enjoy my profession. I mean seriously! Anything gets tough for more than 10 hours a day though. But I am still doing the 5-minute sewing breaks throughout the day, which helps, and I'm now almost finished my dress. :-)

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

F for Fail in Visuals

Not to be over-dramatic with my title, but when I look at my handmade wardrobe as a whole, I honestly feel that I've done a pretty poor job at developing a visual language that feels natural to me. Maybe you see a few recurring themes, but it's faaaaar from being how I want it to be.

These thoughts are coming after Tilly's great post "Sewing for your style".

I've always admired sewing bloggers like Jane, Tilly, Zoe, Gertie and Lladybird who were able to have a very defined style and just develop, grow and expand it in ways that felt very natural to them. They are using clothes to develop a visual language that is theirs and theirs alone.

This has definitely been a goal of mine, ever since I started sewing, but it hasn't really worked out. Why?

I think my problem has been methodological. So far, my method has been no method at all. I always thought that the visual thing would simply happen on its own. "If I like it, I go for it." has pretty much been my modus operandi, all the while hoping that, one day, the stars would align and my handmade wardrobe would magically become cohesive.

The truth is, like many things, defining your visual language is a process that takes both time and efforts. What Tilly's post helped me realize is that you have to actually sit down, and think about it. Go on Pinterest, create mood boards, pay attention to what you react to most and work on consciously defining your style.

This, Readers, brings me back to the most basic question of all:
Were I to have "a wardrobe that makes me drool on a daily basis," what would it look like? 
Food for thought!

Sunday, September 08, 2013

What we’re up to this weekend

Work, work, work! I’m following a tight schedule to make a big deadline next month, but I’m still finding time to sew!

When things get really crazy, the only thing to do is to pull out the big guns: the Pomodoro Technique.

Are you familiar with Pomodoros? It’s the only reason I’m able to get anything done. Basically, you work in 25-minute chunks, followed by a 5 minute break. This is hands-down the best method I found for any task that requires concentration, like writing or translation, and I use it for blogging too sometimes. 

You can get all fancy with lists and check marks and even reward system if you want. Lol. (Speaking of rewards, I think it might be time for me to check out those fabric stores...) I'm just using a plain notebook right now, but I can often be found drooling over Asian agendas and planners on eBay... (Say stationary nerd!)

Anyhoo, my latest breakthrough has been to SEW during my 5-minute break between my work chunks – one of the many benefits of working from home! (That, and the shortest commuting time on earth.) I’ve been finding it really satisfying to do something with my hands for very short bursts. Not to mention how encouraging it is to see your sewing project progress a little bit every day. The hard part is to drop my sewing when my alarm rings, but I tell myself that I'll be able to get back to it in only 25 minutes. :-)

Tuesday, September 03, 2013

Completed: Pauline Alice Gingham Cami Dress


I'm so happy to finally be allowed to reveal my Cami Dress!

Sewing this dress was really enjoyable for a cami-nation (get it?) of reasons. Aside from the fact that Pauline did a really great job with the pattern (heck, you would never guess this is her first!) I had forgotten how much fun it is to sew with a stable fabric such as cotton. Not to say that sewing the collar was easy-peasy, but you know...

Modifications:
- A ton of things in the bodice. Won't go through it all, but basically all the normal adjustments I usually make to account for the following figure variations: pear shape, narrow upper chest, forward head and slightly-rounded upper back. That last one led me to add gathers right at the base of the neck under the collar and I quite like the result.
- I squared off the tip of the collar a bit for a more current look.
- I made the skirt less voluminous by removing about 20 inches in width at the bottom and maybe 25 inches at the waist. I concentrated the gathers bellow the four waist darts.


What I will do differently next time:
- Not cut the shoulders so narrow. I'm not sure where things went wrong here, but I think I made the mistake while comparing the pattern pieces with my bodice bloc. (See bellow. The shoulder/sleeve seam is weird!)

- For some reason, I only had an extra long zipper, and for some reason I felt that I needed to "get value for my money" by using as much of the zipper as I could in the side seam. Believe it or not, this led me to lower the pockets by 4 inches. Who in their right mind would do such a thing? Apparently me. We now have to contort our shoulders forward to put our hands in our pockets. Yep...
Tips:
- The instructions call for double thickness of interfacing and if you're like me, you might be prone to thinking "I'm sure one layer will be enough." You must not succumb to this temptation. Just stick with the instructions. Now, my cuffs are not as nice and crisp as they should be.

All and all, it was a pleasure working with this pattern (which you can purchase over here  in downloadable PDF format for a very decent 8 euros). I look forward to seeing what Pauline Alice has in store for us in terms of pattern #2, #3 and beyond! Thank you for inviting me to be a pattern tester!


Saturday, August 31, 2013

Quick Hello from Fabric Wonderland

Peekaboo!
On our way back from my partner's hometown in the countryside today, we managed to stop by Kinna, the heart of the Swedish textile industry (which I vote should be re-baptized "Fabric Wonderland" from now on). Pretty amazing place.
I'm so glad such a place exists less than 100 KM from my house, because I was seriously getting concerned about the lack of fabric choices in Sweden. Today's trip was mostly business, though -- I was looking for a high quality double knit in a very particular shade for a custom dress I'm making. But mission failure today.
Panic! I can't find the right fabric!
Has anyone seen such a fabric around the internet or their local fabric shop? I'm looking for a high quality double knit or heavy-weight knit in royal blue or rusty orange. I'm pretty desperate!

p.s.: Thank you to Johanna for her great fabric shopping guide. Very useful today!

p.p.s: I cannot, for the life of me, wrap my head around Swedish pronunciation. How on earth can a word spelled "Kinna" be pronounced "Sheennna". It simply makes no sense.


UPDATE: Thanks to PoldaPop, I've found the fabric.... Gorgeous Fabrics to the rescue with royal blue double knit samples on their way as I type!

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

The best things about sewing-blogging...

...is that we get to meet like-minded people both online and off. In this case, "like-minded person" is a definite understatement.

I met up with Joëlle from The Handstitched Files in Malmo last week (our tandem trip went very well, if you're wondering!). I only discovered Joëlle's blog quite recently, but I'm so glad I did because it turns out we have several things in common. Aside from a common passion for sewing, the both of us are Quebeckers exiled in Sweden... although Joëlle would be more accurately described as "a Swede originally from Québec". Lol. You see, Joëlle is practically Swedish by now. And as of a few days, she is more than practically, she is officially Swedish! Her new Swedish citizenship was quite the occasion to celebrate. Not that we needed one. Lol.
To see how well Joëlle has integrated into Swedish society and to hear her perfect command of the Swedish language was quite inspiring to poor little me, struggling so very much with both of these at the moment. But Joëlle understood perfectly well my situation (I believe her exact words were: "I know exactly how you feel") and promised that things would get better sooner rather than later. I hope she's right, because I'm feeling quite marginal to Swedish society in many ways at the moment.

Anyhoo, Joëlle turned out to be the funnest, most adorable host. And she wore the prettiest, self-stitched Simplicity 2444 dress and jacket, wore the same colour of lipstick that I always wear (coral pink), with matching shoes (to die for).

All this to say that if you find yourself passing through a town where you know a fellow blogger lives, I highly recommend reaching out to them. Meeting Joëlle has only solidified my belief that the online sewing community is a really special place with really wonderful people. Likewise, if any of you, dear readers, are passing through my city, it would be my greatest pleasure to meet you! :-)
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