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.


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!


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


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.



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.



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!


With the world not quite making up its mind if it is winter still or summer already, I have both wool and linen stuff to show you today. And lots of words!

The final alpacca shawl

Starting with winter and alpacca wool, this is a scarf with well over a decade worth of history. I could probably write a whole separate blog post on this scarf alone, but here is the short version:
– Bought different colored alpacca yarn in 2004 while at “folk high school“, where everyone knits all the time. I made several long and skinny scarves.
– Started a pair of colorwork mittens, which I didn’t finish until many years later.
– Moved to Bergen in 2005 to study at the University, and freehanded a crochet wrap cardigan with this brown color, which was my neutral at the time. I am still impressed that I just decided to crochet a cardigan with no pattern and little experience. Raglan, and seamed, no less!
– Never wore the cardigan, since the crochet fabric was very open. Frogged it the same year and made a crochet triangular scarf instead that I wore near daily for the next decade.
– Still in 2005, found the exact color brown on clearance since it was being discontinued, and bought the rest.
– Fast forward to 2013. Had lots of yarn left, decided to knit myself a sweater. Thought I would run out of yarn, but I had plenty left.
– Frogged the crochet scarf during Christmas two or three years ago since the yarn was breaking in places. Idea of giant scarf to end All the Brown Alpacca Wool was born.

– Frogged the silly faux colorwork mittens that never fit, and were never used.
– Early 2016 I started a (real!) pair of colorwork mittens with the rest of my Barcelona souvenir yarn. I ended up knitting three mittens as I somehow lost the first somewhere in my apartment. Yeah, no idea how I managed that feat.
– Early 2017 I started the Final Alpacca Scarf (pattern is Close to you). I couldn’t finish the scarf though, as long as the colorwork mittens were underways, and they were taking kind of forever.
– March 2018: Finished the mittens, and subsequently knit the final three rows of the scarf with the very last of the alpacca yarn. Phew! 14 years and three iterations later, I do believe I will keep this one!

Irish Vine Colorwork mittens
Ok, that was not so short after all, but let me make it up by saying the following about the mittens. They are pretty, they took a long time to knit, and I am happy with them. The end. Ravelry notes and more pictures here.

Linen crop top and shorts
Moving deftly into summer, as our weather did – for a day at least. Sustainable sewing is a hot topic right now, and the Love to Sew episodes on this and intentional making were particularly inspiring to me, especially the round-up of ways to use scraps. I was delighted to realize I do a lot of those things already! Refashioning has also been a focus for a number of years, through projects like The Refashioners run by Portia Lawrie. I am mentioning these things as I had a stroke of inspiration one day, eyeing a full length linen sleeveless dress hanging in my wardrobe. It was given to me by a friend who though the color was typical me. Here is a terrible phone camera picture that I snapped at night before starting to unpick everything.

I did love the dusty olive green linen, but the fitted and lined dress was not a style I felt comfortable in. Suddenly I had the idea of using the bottom of the skirt as a crop top, placing the existing vent on the back for a breezy, boxy summer top. Using my trusty self-drafted kimono sleeve top as a template, I traced the shoulder slope and neckline, and added rectangles for sleeves. The neckline facings are pieced from the armhole pieces of the dress, which happened to have the perfect curves.

This was a case of squeezing as much as possible out of the available fabric. For the shorts I used the OOP 3850 Simplicity Built By Wendy Slim-fit pants. I have made shorts (still unblogged, save for a mention of the plans) from this pattern, and they fit alright. I extended the lines as much as I could to get a high waist, and was able to eek out a waistband that is faced with a different fabric on the inside. The front pieces were cut with the dress side seam running down the middle, and the back was pieced. I used the original invisible zipper, just shortened. For comfort and allowing for fluctuations in weight the waist isn’t fitted, but rather has a 1″ elastic, held ever so slightly taut, that keeps the waist in place but doesn’t pinch.

I wanted to make the shorts as high waisted as possible, so I could wear them with the crop top with just the right amount of skin flashing. As you can see, I have to raise my hand quite a bit to show midriff! The vent means the back is more on display, especially when I move, but it is all in balance I think.

I had so much fun turning this unworn dress into something I look forward to using! Having the tiniest of fragments of fabric left afterwards was also fun – I so enjoy the creative problemsolving in projects like these.

Ogden Cami

This post is getting so long – I think I can sum this sewing project up quite quickly. Fast sew, good patterndrafting, I need an FBA (judging by the straps splaying and the wedge popping out near my armpit), viscose wrinkles, I’d like to shorten the straps 1/2-1″, and the strap placement doesn’t cover the top my my bra. I prefer to be able to wear a bra (with straps), so I am not sure that this top will become a staple in my wardrobe. Solid pattern!


Alessa of Farbenfreude is moving house soon (congrats!), and was doing a destash on her instagram. This fits right into sustainable sewing, so I am excited to get some new pieces of fabric and exercise creativity in deciding how I can best use these pieces. This gorgeous tweedy wool with multicolored flecks feels maybe like a Belladone dress, I think. And look how sweetly packaged – thank you Alessa!

Christmas brioche scarf
Yes, very late… I am knitting a brioche scarf that was a Christmas gift. In all fairness, I did request color input on a knitting giftcard, so I didn’t start until February. It is grey, will be very long, squishy and warm.

Fåvang kofte
Finally I found yarn to suit the frogged Bayview sweater! The pattern is looking beautiful, and I have made it to the point of dividing for sleeves and bodice. This is one of my #2018makenine items.

Also a #2018makenine item, a set of running tights and top. The sizing has thrown me off, since many reviews mentions going down a size or even two. In addition, I won’t be using 5/8″ seam allowance (1/4″ is more like it, using an overlocker!). I have cut out the top going down three sizes, hoping for a wearable muslin. I want to order wooly nylon ( is a source for us Scandinavians!), but I need to…  actually order the stuff.

A selfless Sydney jacket
I am making a Sydney jacket in a dark grey felted wool. I have made two for myself, this is the first, and the only one that has been blogged about. The jacket has been waiting for months, all cut up, and shouldn’t be hard or lengthy to sew, which leads me to the next item on my list.

I have been thinking of how to participate in MMM in a way that makes sense to me. Using me-made garments each day is something I can easily do, but what is not happening at the moment is sewing time. Almost every project feels too overwhelming and time consuming in this hectic season I am having. I’ve decided in May to spend 15 minutes each day on this sewing hobby of mine. That can mean taping and cutting patterns, gathering supplies, basting a seam, or actual sewing (!). I am hoping this will lower the threshold to just do *something*, even if I can’t set aside longer chunks of time. So – that is how I am participating this year!

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