Galleria culottes in wool

Well, who am I if I don’t finish projects on the verge of being seasonally inappropriate, and take pictures where I haven’t quite managed to get my face in focus?

Pattern: Galleria culottes by Secondo Piano, in size 8, I think. The pattern is free, and the size range for finished garment measurement at hips is 36,5″/93cm to 47″/119 cm.
Fabric: Mid-weight wool from a shop in Shepard’s Bush in London, bought in 2017 or 2018. The color is caramel, or copper, or bronze, or maybe burnished gold.
How much fabric is left: At least two metres, maybe 2,5.
How will I use the leftovers: I am thinking maybe a trench coat? Or a cape. Either way I will totally be able to wear a set!

My pose in the photo above is giving me some Audrey Hepburn-vibes – probably helped by my low and square heels (a recent find from a new, favorite vintage place in Bergen). Maybe the silhouette of the culottes helps as well with the 60s or 70s feel?

This is a sewing project I have taken my time with. I think I cut out the main pieces a couple of years ago, constructed the pockets and inserted the zip, and then for some reason put it all aside. As part of my not-so-new-any-longer project management scheme I choose one sewing project per month. If I don’t finish it within that month, I roll it over to the next. This has been a good way to get through my very large collection of unfinished projects that I truly do want to complete, but just need a little structure to help me get there. These pants have been my March and April 2022 project.

Look at my cute little helper! I can kind of already see that the pants will attract some cat hair. Also, it is itchy. These pants (well, culottes) are designed to be fully lined, and even with a silk lining something is itching it’s way through. It is bareable, but definitely noticable. I don’t think I will go back and change anything on these pants, given the frequancy I imagine I’ll wear these, but the future potential trench coat will probably be underlined and then maybe lined with something sort of dense, to keep the fibres from poking through.

I do like the swish of these pants, as well as the color and firm drape of the fabric. The real star however, is the pattern and the instructions. I found everything very beautifully laid out and designed (I mean, when the font and the numbers themselves are pretty, I am a happy camper), the drafting is good as far as I can tell, and the details are really something. The pocket construction and the little bar tacks are lovely, and the instructions have you bind the inner waistband edge, which is then at one edge folded up to meet the overlap – classic trouser construction, and very satisfying aestetically.

I brought this sewing project with me to a summer cabin for Easter break, and only there realized the next step was to interface the waistband. I had not brought interfacing, but I did have a piece of firmly woven cotton that I guess was in the project basket because I had considered doing a sew in interfacing. In the picture there is the white cotton basted to one half of the straight waistband, and on the other side a strip of silk to face the inside waistband to lessen the itch factor.

It was a real brain puzzle to get everything in the right place, involving a lot of measuring and marking with chalk. I wanted to reinforce the top edge with seam binding (the black ribbon), but not to fold it over. I butted it up to the edge of the seam line for the silk lining insertion, and edgestitched it in place. The waistband was steam shaped, and I added seam binding when I sewed the waistband to the pants as well. I thought I had reinforced everything really well, but it still seemed to grow a bit during a day of wearing. I am undecided if I will do something about it. Maybe a good steaming and coaxing will help?

For the hem I used several bridal and tailoring techniques, which I always really enjoy. The hem facing is from the lining fabric, which I bound with bias tape instead of folding – just being fancy. I edgestitched the bias bound lining, which then created the seamline on the outside. That line isn’t entirely straight, but I am ok with it. I don’t think that is visible for the casual observer! After turning up the seam allowance I did a little origami bit, pinching and sewing the seam allowances of the turn-up together, while folding the main fabric out of the way. This anchors the hem and adds stability. The bottom of the lining came up short of the hem facing, and here I made thread chains attaching the seam allowances of the lining and the wool fabric together, while still allowing the lining to move as needed.

The pattern really is high quality. The pattern pieces are shown in a diagram with the correct and varying seam allowance along the different edges, which is something I haven’t seen on other patterns. It does make it more easier to trip up and sew something with a too large or too small seam allowance as you have to keep referring to the diagram (and I totally have several places with incorrect seam allowance), but I think it also makes for a more precise finished garment. I really only deviated from the pattern with the inverted front pleats, as I wanted to be able to adjust the position and angle of them after getting the pants on my body. I suspect the changes were minimal, but it was nice to be able to fine tune.

I am very happy I have completed these pants, and that my finished garment is so close to the vision I had! It might take me years still to get through my already started projects, but it feels good to focus at one at a time, and give them all the attention they deserve.

Thoughts on scraps

Also, thoughts on sustainable making and consumption – I guess these thoughts go together! It isn’t the first time I have shared thoughts on this topic – some years ago I wrote about tiny dresses and sustainability and even longer ago about using the fabric scraps. It turns out I still have thougths! It’s a length post, this one.

I have not bought new fabrics in a couple of years (and with my current very low output my stash will last me decades), and save a raincoat I invested in last year after much research, I have not bought new clothes for even longer. There is very little joy for me in browsing and shopping new clothes, knowing how destructive this consumption is. I can’t remember a particular moment I realized how much of an issue the textile and fashion industry and our consumption presents, but I’ve only become more sure through reading up. Some documentaries have helped, such as The true cost of fashion, Stacey Dooley Investigates – Fashion’s Dirty Secrets, Norwegian public broadcasting’s
Sløsesjokket
, and another Norwegian mini-documentary series called Sweatshop. Listening to the podcast Check your thread by powerhouse Zoe Edwards has only further inspired me that this is both important and doable, and the Soul Craft festival advocates a connection to making and materials that I think goes hand in hand with mindful consumption.

So, it does not feel good to participate light-heartedly in an industry that is so destructive. What do I do, then?

I buy new rarely, and after much research. I spent a couple of years thinking of getting a raincoat from a local company, then months asking friends for their opinions on their own raincoats, trying on different models, and choosing one for myself. It was pricey. I bought a pair of winter boots this year, after several winters of cold feet (I hate feeling cold!). They are made of leather and lined with sheepskin, and produced in Europe. They were pricey.

I have been looking into brands in line with my beliefs, and I have found some (though not bought from most of these yet). There seems to be more of them arriving at the scene, which makes me very happy! Pure waste based in Finland produce their textile from waste fiber, Rifolab based in Italy does the same. I have bought a sweater from Norwegian brand Hekne that was knit with respun yarns in France. Other brand that have come across my radar is Rockay Running (Danish), Cariuma footwear, Tripulse sportswear, Sorbas Berlin and Emroce swimwear.

I use my garments and shoes for a long time. I have a Uniqlo merino wool cardigan in regular rotation, and it is thinning in places, but still doing ok some 10 or 12 years on. I have a dumb amount of shoes, because I keep them until they are really quite worn out!

I try to take care of the things I own. I mend holes, I oil wooden kitchen utensils regularly, I am best friends with my little electric fabric shaver. I get a lot of joy from patching utilitarian things up! Visible mending is not really my thing, so I usually try to make it quite invisible.

I do buy second hand clothes, and I particularly like finding things while I travel. Best souvenirs! My headache comes when I am ready to pass on garments, because there is no very clear best solution. Donating to a thrift store is easy, but the fact that so many garments bypass the second hand stores and goes on to litter third world countries in quantities they cannot process, and probably don’t even want? I am horrified. If possible I give the garment to someone I know who is interested in it. As a next option I might try to sell or give away the garment online, ensuring it goes to someone who actually wants it. Though, make no mistake, I do also bring clothes to Salvation Army – but I aim for other options first.

My newest second hand purchases.

I know some places take fabric scraps for recycling. The Norwegian branch of Salvation Army did for several years up till recently. Turns out, with the massive amounts of garments and textiles coming though, and a fraction of it making it into their thrift stores, they were self-sustained and then some with scraps for making shoddy. I have not found another alternative that I trust and that can show where the textiles end up.

After listening to podcasts that in part covers using scraps and unwanted garments, such as Check your thread, I would love to produce as little waste as possible, going out of my household. That means it needs be put to use somewhere within my household! A favorite activity at times has been to search the internets for suggestions for scraps (I have collected some ideas in a pinterest board here, and another one specifically for piecing fabric and combining smaller yarn quantities). A lot of them are things I am not interested in, and I don’t want to end up making more stuff for the sake of making. The finished product must be useful and aesthetically pleasing to me. As such, there is no scrunchie-production or random strip quilting going on in my sewing room. Some project suggestions I come across are dangerously close to “making trash out of trash” in my eyes.

At times this has frustrated me – what do I do with all the leftover bits of fabric and worn out garments? I have found some things that are both doable and interesting to me.

  • Quilts. Yes, I just said no random scrap quilts. For years I have seen scrap quilts that probably make a huge dent in a scrap pile, but that were not to my taste at all. They looked very random, no color scheme with a balance between saturated and unsaturated colors, no thoughtful variation of size and placement of different colors, just pieces of brightly colored fabric that beat each other up. The past year or so though, I have been seeing beautiful quilts and compositions using scraps, but also being *designed*. Publiclibraryquilts and Felicia Semple of The Craft Sessions and Soul Craft both make (scrap) quilts that are compositions, in the way that artworks are compositions. I can get on board with this. I have also made a quilt where I wanted to use scraps, but also wanted it to look beautiful and in line with the rest of my home.
My own almost finished quarantine scrap quilt, finished in 2020. I had an orange tablecloth that I cut up, and pieces of different blue-grey fabrics.
  • Mindful pattern cutting. Many times I have adjusted pattern pieces based on the fabric I have available. Hems have been reduced in width, a skirt was made less full, if doable I have cut some pieces on the cross-grain. All this to best use up the piece I have.
  • Use fabric scraps for pockets, facings, etc. This is an oldie, for sure. Recently, I have been thinking how I can piece together scraps for linings. I am picturing a wool coat where I could piece silk scraps going from bold and saturated colors at the bottom, to pale colors further up. A pieced color-gradient lining!
I am picturing something along the lines of Petra’s coat, where the colors transition from top to bottom.
  • Piece fabric in garment making. I have done this before as well, but with pieced clothing being more common, at least what I am seeing in the IG home sewing community, the threshold is getting lower for me to consider piecing fabric to thoughtfully use the amount of fabric that I have available. I have some chiffon weight fabric I am thinking of piecing together in a symmetrical and geometric pattern, in a button down shirt.
Very visible and graphic piecing would be cool. Via Pinterest.
  • Baby clothes and kids clothes need so little fabric, so if I have remnants that work in weight and color and material, tiny clothing is very satisfying.
Baby clothes don’t require much yardage.
  • I have yet to make any zero-waste garments, but I would very much like to. I am not sure if I feel this is a superior solution over traditional garment patterns in home sewing, as I think some traditional patterns overall uses less fabric – though with some waste in forms of off-cuts. Have I wasted less resources if I make a zero-waste dress needing 4 metres of fabric, than if I make a traditionally patterned dress using 2,5, but with offcuts? I guess it comes down to what happens to the scraps. I am really enjoying seeing the designs coming out of this movement, and especially happy seeing it implemented into factory production – think letterman and denim jackets! I follow Zero Waste Design Online for this specifically, and they also have started a Zero Waste pattern library. Also, zero-waste backpacks and bumbags? Yeeesss! Hinerangi is a kindred spirit who has tried a lot of zero waste patterns, and her IG-account is worth checking out. Zero Waste Wardrobe has a number of really nice looking patterns (and also, for free!), and I am thinking one of her patterns will be my first ZW-attempt.
This is a zero-waste bra pattern, and I’d love to try it out.
  • Use scraps in weaving. I am not sure I am much of a decorative weaver, but I would love to make a traditional “fillerye”, a woven scrap rug. It runs in the family I guess, with both a mom and a grandmother being weavers. I even have a loom waiting for me when I am ready (and have the room for it!). This could take care of quite a lot of larger pieces of disused fabric, such as pillowcases and sheets, maybe some larger pieces of clothing. Rag-rugging is also a great scrap-busting craft, but I prefer the look of the woven rugs. Below are two rugs inherited from my mom, which I would guess my grandmother made. I think I even remember her loom being set up in the guest bedroom, where we slept.
  • Making baskets! I recently did an online course learning the basics of making baskets, and what drew me to it was the potential for reuse. Strips of fabric, twine, yarn… I have not actually finished a basket yet, but I already have a fair collection of textiles to use: kitchen towels and sheet with holes, old tshirts and jeans, some pieces of unused fabric. The course recommends baling twine as the core, which I wanted to find an alternative to as the point for me is avoiding buying new materials when the earth is literally overflowing. I think a possible option could be strips of jeans, rolled up. I am thinking it might be sturdy enough to work nicely!
  • Rags. Kitchen towels with lots of stains and holes, socks blown out at the heel, tshirts worn threadbare? Perfect rags for shining shoes, woodworking, etc. I think there is a limit to how many rags one household needs though.
  • Finally, I have joined the many many crafters making a pouf to hold their tiniest scraps and unusable bits, with the one from Closet Core being a popular pattern choice. I’ve realized a full pouf is probably many years in the making, so in the meanwhile I have made a lower inner bag (out of a faded unwanted pillowcase, of course), and have started putting my scraps in there. I have small offcuts, threads from the sewing process, yarn ends, the fuzz from shaving pills off fabrics, cut up worn out socks and underwear. I teach art and crafts at my school, and I have been collecting scraps of thread, fabric and poly batting during their making, so that will go into my stuffed pouf as well. Another option is to make stuffed toys. A recent episode of Check your Thread featured zero-waste designer Liz Haywood, whose patterns also include dolls with clothing. The dolls can be stuffed with scraps, of course!

I am not making perfect choices all the time, and my lifestyle certainly produces waste. These, however, are things I have found over the last five years that make sense in terms of my values and capacity. I’ll end with words of encouragement from zero-waste chef Anne-Marie Bonneau: “We don’t need a handful of people doing zero waste perfectly. We need millions of people doing it imperfectly.”

hoppy Elisabeth blouse

I posted about this blouse on instagram, and I wrote a really long caption. I’ve never been good about keeping it brief! So, blog post it is!

Pattern: Elisabeth Blouse by Republiqué de Chiffon , in size 36.
Fabric: Drapey viscose from Stoff og Stil, bought at some point in 2018 or 2019 I am guessing.
How much fabric is left: Between 1 metre and 1 1/2 metre.
How will I use the leftovers: As I have gotten more into the idea of combining different fabrics into the same garment, I have been looking at my stash to see contenders. This fabric is one of them. I am thinking of a shirt dress, heavily inspired by this Gucci one.

As I mentioned on IG I really like the design of this blouse, and I am super-happy with how well the fabric type, print pattern, colors and design elements unite into a cohesive whole. The fabric is swishy and adds a bit of drama, like the ruffles and gathers and volume does, while the colors and print patterns gives it a modern direction. I feel elegant, bold and confident – what a win!

Another thing I am pleased with is that this was my August project, started in the beginning of August, and finished a few days into September. My efforts to choose one project to work on (and preferably finish) each month is working so well for me! It is giving me room to focus on just this one project instead of having six or seven on the go, and so far has made me finish them instead of putting them away and forgetting all my changes and decisions in the intervening months.

By the way, for September I’ve been knitting a sweater, which I didn’t finish so it is also my October project. At the end of October I’ll choose what I am in the mood for and what makes sense with other things planned in the upcoming month.

The buttons I used were the first ones I pulled out of my bag of buttons, and after considering a few other options I think it is a very nice fit. They are mustard colored matte shaft buttons I bought at Lorna’s Laces in Chicago, during a tour while I lived there, so … 2009 maybe? I think I bought them for a knitting project, for which they looked flat and cheap. Here the slightly large and matte buttons work well to mix a modern and vintage flair.

I went off script for several things, and the cuffs are one of them. I think the cuff paper pattern piece must have gotten misplaced before cutting the fabric, so I just eyeballed the dimensions of a rectangle. They are deeper than the original design (which I don’t really mind), and they are tighter than intended – they’re actually supposed to overlap just a little. This does bother me a little, but not so much that I’ll redo anything.

The fit is really quite nice, and the drafting is good. My measurements usually put me in a size 36 for upper body and hips, but a size or two up for my waist and bust. With the design of this blouse I figured the shoulder and length of the sleeves was what I needed to fit to, so I cut a straight size 36 with no pattern changes except to lengthen the bodice a few inches, based on a couple of reviews I read. I was surprised to find the shoulders too wide on me, which is rarely the problem – here the shoulder seam sits beyond the shoulder point instead of inside, as it usually does for me. I would ideally have narrowed the yoke by 3 cm to have the sleeve sit at the right place, since the underarm seam drops down a bit and feels weird when I move my arms now.

I also mentioned in the IG caption that I was less than thrilled with the instructions. I do believe there might be some translation issues at play, as it is originally written in French. In a European tradition you have to add seam allowance yourself. I’m not crazy about that in indie patterns bought individually. I get it for magazines I guess, but for a single paid pattern I would prefer not to have to do the work. The pattern pieces are labelled in French, which allowed me to practice my language skills. :)

The pattern layout makes absolutely no sense (so much waste!), so I ignored it completely. Some of the steps in the instructions are very brief, such as “Prepare seven 5 cm-long loops from scraps of fabric.” With my experience I can deduce that these are for the rouleau button loops, decide how wide they should be, and how to construct them. This isn’t very helpful instructions for a less experienced sewist. I also staystitched and edgestitched liberally where I thought prudent, though that isn’t suggested in the instructions.

Some things construction wise I altered as well, such as doing a double layer for the yoke and burrito-ing it into a nice finish, and not using a single long gathering thread along a section that changes direction twice, and insert the sleeve flat instead of in the round. The sleeve and the cuff were both lacking notches I would have expected to see, to align with seams they intersect with. I also chose to have the non-interfaced part of the collar and cuff face out instead of in, as I wanted to keep a soft line overall. I am not sure that was the best choice on my part, but it’s not bad either.

I always worry a bit about coming off as grumpy and nitpicky when I point out things I’m not thrilled with about patterns, and I can’t imagine it being super-fun for the pattern company to read either. However, there is such a span in quality in sewing patterns, and I think it is important to share what works and what doesn’t.

The instructions particularly frustrated me in this make, but the design and the fit is very nice. Being such a particular design I’m not picturing making this again, but if I did, it might be fun to choose a more structured fabric. I have seen some really great versions in striped shirting!

nénuphar jacket in wool

It’s that time of year again! When you try to take pictures at dusk because you are in fact wearing the jacket you want to blog about, and it is a clear day after all, so the chances of getting workable pictures are higher than usual, so you take pictures, and they are ok. Also, you discover that linen/cotton dresses and tights makes for bunching up, and you prefer to pair this jacket with skinny jeans anyways.

Pattern: Nénuphar jacket by Deer and Doe, in size 36.
Fabric: Wool, possibly with some polyester in it, based on the smell while ironing it. I can’t remember where this is from, I think perhaps left over after a costume project for a theatre production? It was an oddly shaped remnant of 1,3 meters perhaps? I remember measuring, but clearly didn’t write it down anywhere.
How much fabric is left: Perhaps enough to cut out a couple of patch pockets.
How will I use the leftovers: I was thinking I could make a kids jacket with contrasting sleeves in this wool fabric, but then I had to recut the facing bands, so pockets of some kind is most likely.


I apparently cut this out in the beginning of September, and by early October it was done, I think. I feel like I spent a long time on this jacket, which is probably due to all the decision-making during the making. You see, I was wildly inspired by the grey-blue structured version of the jacket that Camille wears in the pattern pictures, and I thought of this piece of wool from my stash, which I think worked out quite well!

The fabric choice feels representative of how I often go off script from following patterns, and all the domino-effects of those choices. Once I had picked the wool fabric, I realized I should have a lining. Since I had access to a lot of great fabric stores in Chicago, I have ended up with quite a few lining silks in my stash (apparently I liked to buy 3 yards of lining silk, since it was silk, and cheap-ish, and I didn’t know yet what I might use it for. Set for life with linings! Haha!). This one is actually one I dyed and used for my final collection, and I like the bright pop of color inside.

With the lining cut out I had to decide how to attach the two. This was complicated by the fact that lining ended up too short (mainly due to china silk being shifty af), and also since I was being very particular about the finished length of the jacket – wanting it slightly longer than patterned. I thought about folding up the hem over the lining, like in the Sewaholic Minoru jacket, but the lining was too short. The jacket hung on my dressform for several days until I thought “What would Julie (my college sewing teacher extraordinaire) do?”, and the solution presented itself: hem facing. Wonderful! I could get the extra length that I wanted, and also choose the width of the hem facing to work with bagging out the lining. I ended up catchstitching the raw top edge of the hemfacing to the back bodice piece so it would stay up and properly support the hem, and then used a ladder stitch to attach the lining, folded under like in a suit jacket.

Next thing to contemplate… How am I attaching the lining to the jacket? And how does that affect the construction of the lapels being topstitched in place? I should really record my thought while I am in the process – or maybe it’s just as well, because that would turn this post even wordier. I decided on hong kong binding of the facing edge, which I stitched in the ditch by hand, which covers the lining. All topstitching of the lapel was done beforehand.

My jacket most definitely has a different vibe than the many wonderful floral viscose versions, and that is fine – I think it is pretty cool to see how differently one pattern can be used. In this stiff fabric I think it reads more as outerwear, and I can imagine using it as such during summer evenings for example. Wool is not out of place when the sun sets on a Norwegian summers day!

Patternwise I cut a size 36, but sewed the construction seams (perhaps excluding the facing seams I think?) at 1 cm seam allowance instead of 5/8″. I can’t quite remember if I did that because I like 1 cm seam allowance, or for sizing since I sized slightly down  – measuring upper bust I am about 85-70-93, which corresponds to size 38 for the last two measurements and full bust. With the unconstructed style and stiffer fabric I was afraid of the volume being too much, and I am happy with the size. I could have sewed the intended seam allowance and have been perfectly fine.

I think this is actually my first Deer and Doe pattern, even though I have been a fan from the beginning. Can that be right? I had to check, and I own three of their patterns, but this actually is the first I have sewn up. I thought the drafting was excellent, down to the grainline on the sleeve being what looks slightly off, but actually being exactly as needed to make the sleeve drape nicely on our arms hanging slightly forward. The packaging is beautiful, and the instructions were good – no confusing moments. I have the Mélilot shirt and Belladone dress both in my sewing queue, and I am excited to sew them both.

Finally, this was a nice step in being happy with my slow pace of sewing. I deliberate a lot (*a lot!*) when I sew clothes, makeing changes and needing to problemsolve. Having to do that quickly in a work situation is fine, but when it comes to sewing as a hobby, it seems like a slower tempo is more comfortable for me. I think this also shows in how I have not made much progress on my #makenine plans (almost two of the bunch are finished), but that is certainly not because I don’t want to sew them – I just have a slow output!

October

I went to an island off Naples for my fall break a few weeks ago, stayed at what used to be a convent, and took some not so great pictures of black clothes with my cell phone. But hey, they are pictures, and it’s time to share stuff I sewed this summer!


This place was pretty ridiculously gorgeous. After last winter’s complete shitness in the weather department I booked this trip in February to load up on vitamin D for this upcoming winter. I got sun and warmth, and good food, and knitting, and hiking and bathing in thermal baths. I mean… it was lovely. And, I even took pictures of some stuff I’ve sewed!

Black pants

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Pattern: An out of print Stoff&Stil jersey pants pattern, also used for these pants. The Named Alexandria pants would be similar.
Fabric: A little less than 1 m of a  herringbone cotton/linen (I think?).
How much fabric is left: About a metre
How will I use the leftovers: I’d like to make shorts. I’m not sure whether to do a super high-waisted wide legged 1947 Simplicity pattern I have, or perhaps the Fern shorts from Afternoon patterns. Technically they are quite similar.

These are very comfortable pants, especially for warm weather. I wore them in London this summer as well, and they worked nicely. They do feel a little baggy, and I think they end up sitting a bit lower on my waist than they are drafted – which might be from me not having stretched out the elastic before sewing (a tip I recently read!). So, the pattern I used is for jersey fabric. I ignored that while cutting out the pieces, and lo and behold – I couldn’t get the pants over my hips when I pinned the side seams and tested the fit! Shocker. I had plenty of fabric, so I cut another strip and now there is a subtle tuxedo reference. Haha!

I do really like the elastic waist, the tuck by the pocket (there was supposed to be two, but I undid one to gain more width across), the pockets themselves, and the length. I wonder if I should make them just a hair shorter – especially since they tend to ride down a little, but I haven’t been bothered to yet.

Black dress

The dress is made from the same black fabric as the pants. I really thought it was linen, but after washing and drying several times, I wasn’t quite convinced. It’s doesn’t quite have the sheen that linen often has, and it certainly doesn’t wrinkle as much. It attracts lint like nobody’s business, but has a different hand than I’d expect from cotton. Even looking at the fibre length and doing a burn test was inconclusive! I’m calling it a cotton-linen blend. It’s a fabric that was left over after a theatre production I worked on, many years ago, and I know it was a 4 metre length from Stoff&Stil. This dress took up maybe 1,5 metres, or there about.

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With everyone living their best linen lives this summer, I wanted to take part, and figured my linen(-ish) fabric was a good way to go. I’ve been especially inspired by the Elizabeth Suzanne dresses of effortless cool and impeccable proportions, and the Georgia dress in particular really struck me (to be honest, the pants above are probably a little Clyde inspired – among other recent rtw pants and pants patterns).

I used my now trusty self-drafted kimono-sleeve top as a starting point, and then estimated lengths and widths. Guys – simple silhouettes like this one is so hard to nail. It took me so many rounds of alterations to get to what you see above. The width was too much. The waist not curved enough. The neck was too high. The sleeve bands sat too low. The sleeve bands were too wide. Even now I think the neck is a bit too wide, and easily slides off to one side. My admiration of designers such as Elizabeth Suzanne and the work they put into getting the proportions just right has increased tenfold! Good design is worth paying for, because there is a lot of skill and work that goes into them.

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IN THE WORKS

I have a lot of projects underway, started and half-finished. My Fåvang-kofte is getting close to done though, and I made some progress during this vacation. You can even see it lying on the chair outside my room in the pants pictures above. I parked myself there and enjoyed the sounds and smells and views as I knitted along.

I have an almost finished Ready-to-sew Jeanne t-shirt, and a black and white striped fabric I want to use for another, a finished Deer and doe Nenuphar jacket, and fabric for a Melilot shirt all picked out and ready to go. Also, a wool miniskirt still in need of assembling, a dress to be refashioned to a Beignet-like skirt, a half cut Pussy Bow blouse from Pattern Runway, and M7261 running tights to be assembled (the top has been in use since the beginning of the summer). I have actually completed some kids clothes for friends, and a set of undies for me. Fun new projects are jumping the queue all the time, but it seems like I just need to decide on one or two to focus on, and be a bit systematic!

In terms of #2018makenine I don’t think I’ll be close to completing my nine items. The running set I’ll manage, and the Fåvang kofte will be done in a few weeks I’d say. I’m pretty sure I’ll have time to make the Melilot shirt, and I will certainly start the Kalvågjakka. I’m not sure I mind too much though – pretty much all the remaining items are things I still want to make! I might just roll them over to 2019.

Final note: Shortly before my trip I listened to the Love to sew podcast episode featuring Karen Templer of Fringe supply / Fringe Association, and I loved it – for sure one of my favorite episodes of the podcast. I proceeded to binge read the entire last years worth of her posts, and I am feeling so inspired! I was especially intrigued by her queue check posts, and if I feel like it I might do something similar. Especially since I did go to Bergen Strikkefestival and bought a couple of skeins that I have plans for! Ahh, knitting. And sewing. And crafting. Making all the things!

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