Life of Johanna

OMG winter!!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009Johanna / 11 kommentarer
Regular readers might remember that I sometimes complain about how it's all grey, rainy and dreary for months and months in the part of Sweden where I live and how that kinda depress me. But for the first time in a very long time (years?) it is really cold and sunny here - and we got some snow too!

Today was an amazingly beautiful day and I got the chance to spend it outside since I was reporting on a story on "ice fishers" for my day job (not the right English term I am sure, but it's when you drill a hole in the ice and then fish through it).

And it is getting even colder this weekend. I might start complaining about this too, but for now I am relishing the change of weather.
Made by me

Evelyn top

Sunday, December 27, 2009Johanna / 8 kommentarer

Remember this? Well one of those sketches has now materialised into an actual garment. I really enjoyed designing and making this one, it's a fun challenge to translate a drawing into something that works in fabric too. The biggest task was to figure out how to make the tie detachable and after a lot of thinking I settled for a very simple solution- metal snaps.

I put it up in the shop as well and named it Evelyn. Maybe the top is a little too idiosyncratic for anyone else, but personally, I am very happy with this design!
Made by me

Hey ho!

Thursday, December 24, 2009Johanna / 10 kommentarer

Thank you so much for the all the comments on my last post, it was great to hear that I am not alone in this kind of handmade frenzy. As several noted, it is very easy of underestimate the time it actually takes to sew something and when you make something for others you really want it to be perfect, which adds to the stress. 

After wasting several more hours running all over town in search for bright pink overlock thread I finally gave in and used some purple that I had in my stash. It worked out just fine. But since I got so delayed I had to sew the set while my daughter was in the same room watching tv, but she usually shows no interest in my sewing so luckily she didn't notice what I was working on!

She really liked her new outfit and it fit her well. Both the top and leggings are from the Ottobre magazine, my favourite source for children sewing patterns and the fabric is a knit velour. So in the end it all worked out fine and now I will enjoy a five day holiday. 

God Jul/Merry Christmas/
Happy Holidays!

Life of Johanna

The charm of handmade gifts

Saturday, December 19, 2009Johanna / 8 kommentarer

I remember clearly that I said to myself that I would do no handmade gifts this Christmas - it's just too stressful right now. But somehow I still find myself franticly sewing up a new stripey set for my youngest. I even tricked myself into thinking that it would be faster than heading out to the Christmas shopping madness in order to buy something for her. Well my boyfriend went out shopping for the kids just as I was about to trace the pattern and he returned with a bagful before I had even started sewing. And then I ran out of bright pink thread. Hmm...
Fashion Made by me

My favourite coat

Saturday, December 19, 2009Johanna / 14 kommentarer

Coat: Made by me from Marfy Pattern F1019.
Skirt: Made by me (Floremark).
Beret: Crocheted by my friend Anita. Pattern from the book Stickat och virkat - vintage på svenska.
Betsy Blueberry.

Today, after getting more than 10 hours of sleep, I woke up to both sunny weather and a little snow. So feeling more exited than usual I decided to don my favourite coat, which I made three years ago from a Marfy pattern. I don't wear this coat nearly as much as it deserves since I tend to dress in jeans most days and this coat kinda demands a little more effort. But every time I put it on I'm reminded of what an awesome coat design this is.
Made by me

When in doubt...

Tuesday, December 15, 2009Johanna / 8 kommentarer

... sew underwear. My sewing projects are all over the place right now and I have a hard time focusing, so I decided to make something that offers instant gratification. The cami pattern is Kwik Sew 2467 (and the same as this one). I love it even more this time, it's such a nice classic style.

The fabric was a bear to sew however, it's a microfiber knit that repels needles - I had a lot of problem with skipped stitches and ended up omitting the scallop hem. Maybe I should have used a microtex needle instead?


Saturday, December 12, 2009Johanna / 3 kommentarer

... something is looking a tad bit familiar here. Sometimes inspiration is closer than I think.
Fashion on TV

Launch my line

Wednesday, December 09, 2009Johanna / 2 kommentarer

I think that Bravo's new tv-show Launch my line is something you'll either love or hate. And judging from the first episode I think I belong in the former category - in fact I feel much more excited about this one than I did with both Project Runway season 6 or The Fashion Show!

I think the reason why enjoyed the first episode so much is that the concept of Launch my line actually feels fresh. Putting together total laymen with professional designers has a lot of potential for both drama and great clothes and it will be very exciting to see how the wannabe designers will evolve during the season. Talk about a steep learning curve!

Also how cute isn't the Dsquared2 twins Dean and Dan? I kinda wish they were my big brothers, I would follow them everywhere!

Life of Johanna

Stripes on my mind

Monday, December 07, 2009Johanna / 4 kommentarer

Maybe it's because it's the only thing my youngest daughter wants to wear. Or maybe it's just some general stripe zeitgeist going on, but lately I have been thinking a lot about stripes. So tonight I toyed around with some stripey design ideas in order to satisfy my creative urge. I am aching to dive into a new project right now and the Hedy blouse is on hold since I had to order the fabric from the US - I can't pay $70 per meter, which is what the only silk I liked retails for here in Sweden. So in the meantime I think I am going to work on the stripes. 
Book corner

My biggest book obsession

Friday, December 04, 2009Johanna / 4 kommentarer

I gone through longing, love, jealousy and even contemplated lying. Such strong holding power did this book have over me when I was a teenager.

I discovered the fashion tome a hidden corner in my local library when I was 16. It was large and heavy and had a distinct old book smell. But it was the inside that contained the magic - the book was filled with the most enthralling images I had ever seen. The women were all heart achingly beautiful and the clothes just took my breath away, it looked like nothing else I had seen, the whole feel of the book was otherworldly to my teenage eyes.

Which made it very painful having to return the book to the library - and as soon as the library staff had put it up on the shelf I borrowed it again. But sometimes I would return to the library and find a horrible gap in the shelf.
Someone else had borrowed it.
Every time it happened I was struck by severe jealousy and I remember thinking that no one else could appreciate the book in the same way that I did.

I also pondered saying to the library that I had lost the book, in order to keep it in my possession forever. What made me hesitate was not primarily morals, but the fine print in the library rules guide. For most lost books they charged a fixed amount, which was manageable on a meager student allowance. But the fine print also stated that they might charge the book's "actual value". That phrase was enough to scare me straight

When I was 19 I left my hometown to go the university and the book started to fade from my memory. But a year ago I realised that it might be available on Ebay. 
And it was. For a song. 
Though only as a paper back with less than stellar printing. But the images has stood the test of time and I still find myself getting completely absorbed by all the beauty.

In Vogue was published in 1975 and contains stories and images from British Vogue from 1916-1975. Among the photographers featured are Cecil Beaton, Richard Avedon, Horst and David Bailey.
Patterns Shopping

New Colette patterns

Tuesday, December 01, 2009Johanna / 7 kommentarer

Yes finally! A whole new batch of Colette patterns are up. The Rooibos dress above is my favorite (and the coat ain't bad either). I would say that this new offering is more literally retro than the first Colette collection. Most poignant are the distinct 40's silhouettes, which I suspect is making something of a fashion comeback.