It’s almost inevitable to spend the end-of-the-year holidays reflecting on the year you’re leaving behind, and the one you’re approaching. 2011 has been all over the place for me; I completed my fashion design bachelor in May, I left Chicago behind to go on a three-month road-trip/camping-trip, and I moved back to Norway in August. I’ve been living without most of my belongings since leaving Chicago (they’re on their way, but goodness – several months overdue!), so settling in hasn’t been quite complete yet. With this year of adventure and nomadic living behind me, I am hoping for settling in 2012. I’m want to have all my belongings in one place again, and I’m looking forward to some measure of routine!


And for a peak back at what I’ve made this past year – look at that! I think I have some colors I keep coming back to! ;) I’m quite surprised that I’ve knit more items than I’ve sewn this year, but I think the work on the collection skews that – I mean, does one tailored, fully lined coat equal one knit baby hat? I think perhaps not! But that collection has definitely ruled my sewing world this year.

What’s in store for 2012 then? I want to sew more for me. Sewing school-projects has been a ton of fun, especially going through the process of drafting and fitting patterns before sewing the actual garments. But they weren’t necessarily for me! There is a backlog of things I’ve been wanting to sew, and now is the time. For example, I have a Beignet skirt high on my list, and I’ll be doing Tasia’s sew-along for the Minoru jacket now in January.

There are most things still from my fall pallette challenge to sew, like jeans, pencilskirts, blouses, and dresses. I want to do a detailed series on tailoring jackets, and I have a handful of my own designs I’ll be making as well.

Most excitingly, I’ve been working behind the scenes on a line of sewing patterns! I’m still working hard on them, and will be starting small with just one pattern at a time. I’d love your help though, so if you’d like to be a pattern tester, follow this link to my pattern tester survey! Everybody is welcome, I’m hoping to have the first pattern ready for testing early spring.

I’m looking forward to this year, and I hope everybody else is too! Now, if only my fabrics, patterns, and tools could arrive so I could get started sewing again!


the Valentine’s day skirt

Finally, something sewn! There has been a lot of knitting around here lately, which isn’t too strange considering that I’ve been without my sewing machine for months over the summer, only to play a repair waiting game with an airline, an insurance company, and a repair shop.

So, fed up with waiting, I did what any normal person would do. I finished this skirt by hand.

Eking every last centimeter out of this remnant. And yes, that makes me ridiculously proud!

The pink lining, the graphic ribbon, the silk organza, and the wool suiting.

Yeah, this skirt has been waiting for completion since sometime this spring. I started patternmaking around Halloween (I clearly remember my co-worker talking about the scant and tacky clothing she was planning to dress up in, and me drafting this pretty demure pencil-skirt. I pick pencil-skirts over scant and scandalous any day!). I posted about my muslin and the fitting changes back in December last year, and was really determined to finish the skirt for my Valentine’s Day date (John and I went to the Museum of Science and Industry in the morning. Then I went  straight to class. It was lovely). That obviously didn’t happen!

The Valentine’s Day thing seemed appropriate because of the rich pink silk that I lined the skirt with, and I got pretty close to finishing before it all came to a screeching halt. I really wanted this skirt to be full of lovely touches, so I’ve been taking my sweet time and doing things thoroughly and nice. I interfaced the waistband with organza; I bound raw lining edges with more organza to prevent the crazy fraying I knew would happen otherwise (I used the same silk as a lining for another skirt, and when I took a look at the inside for some reason, it was such a mess! Just silk-fuzz everywhere!); and I french-seamed all the lining seams I could.

Binding the edges of the silk used for the pocket and the lining with strips of bias organza. That should keep the silk from fraying, and I think really increase the durability and lifespan of the skirt.

I had sewn in the zipper already and was all set to attach the lining to the waistband when I realized I had closed up the wrong side of the lining. I had just messed up which side was supposed to be open when looking at the right side – and since the right side of the lining was facing my body, it wasn’t the same as the shell where the right side faces outwards. Ops! Undoing painstakingly made french seams on silk charmeuse? Yeah, it went in the waiting pile.

Where it stayed. I graduated. I went on a cross-country road-trip for several months. I moved back to Bergen and Norway. And I was without a sewing machine. And really missing my sewing.

The insides of the pockets are the same pink silk as the lining. So lovely to put my hands into!

So I redid my french seam, and attached the lining to the waistband. I used this black and white graphic ribbon in the transition, and I love the way it came out! I also used it at the bottom – it made sense to me in how I needed to sew this thing by hand. Look how narrow that hem is! On the one hand I’m a little perturbed – hems aren’t supposed to be that narrow – but on the other side, I think the flash of black and white and pink is pretty cool!

The waistband facing, contrast ribbon, and the lining. And the same at the hem.

And I love the pink charmeuse best of all. I adore putting ont the skirt and seeing all the pink just hiding cheekily! Oh, and happy Valentine’s day everyone!

a new year

I guess I’m already a little behind with this new-year-post-thing, since I’ve already posted something in this new year that had nothing to do with accomplishments and resolutions. I’m enjoying people’s resolutive and summing-up posts out there in the blog-world – especially the crafting ones – so I think I’ll follow suit!

2011 is looking like it will be a whirlwind of a year: I’ll be working hard towards my graduation in May, and the boy and I will also be packing up our life in Chicago at the same time, and then head…. well, I’m not sure yet. The ultimate goal is to move (back home – for me) to Norway, but we’d like to take advantage of the time post-May to travel a bit. With no obligations anywhere, I guess we’re looking at a bit of a nomadic life before we settle down somewhere!

And that’s why I think setting very concrete crafting goals for myself this year is a little futile.  I easily feel bad if I don’t accomplish self-imposed goals, which isn’t all that fair towards myself when I have plenty of projects to work on! I think having resolutions can be wonderful, but I’m worried they might feel constricting in a year that will see so much change for me.

Anyways! I’d like to sum up what I did – crafting-wise – in 2010! (click any image for the blog-post)

So there it is – 14 projects. And a whole lot of them knitting! I’m nowhere near what other productive ladies have managed this past year, such as SouleMama‘s 12, 13, 14 sweaters (and that’s counting only sweaters, knitted ones!), Tasia of Sewaholic‘s 28 items, or Mena of sewweekly‘s whopping 52+ dresses. I did release a pattern for my reversible biking hat – and that feels like an accomplishment! I also have a couple of projects I just haven’t posted yet, so let’s call the total number 15. Or 16.

There is a lot of things I’ve been (and am!) working on that doesn’t really show up as finished projects yet, but here is a peek at projects I technically started last year, but haven’t finished yet:

• My Bayview Street cardigan is a sleeve away from being done
• A kind of secret cardigan project is started
Another baby-blanket has been started
• I’m well on my way on creating my 3, hopefully 4-look collection for my final semester at school
• I’ve started a February fitted sweater
• My pocket-pencil-skirt is on its way

And I do have some projects in mind for 2011 – well, at least the first part:

• Did I mention the collection?
• I have several ideas of some how-tos to put up on this old blog
• A pile of things to mend and re-fashion
• A perfect summer dress
• A little blog-improvement
• My perfect pants project
• A 1930’s reproduction dress in a mustard-colored rayon chiffon
• A couple of self-made patterns I’d like to share (!) (this I’m very excited about!)
• More excitement – an upcoming give-away to celebrate my 100th post (which hasn’t happened yet, but soon!)

Any other crafting-resolution-makers out there? Thoughts on making resolutions – or not? Do share!