Life of Johanna

Summer bliss...

Friday, June 18, 2010Johanna / 2 kommentarer when you can spend your whole day outside without feeling cold.
Fabrics Fashion Shopping

Nadinoo pixie petal dress

Monday, June 14, 2010Johanna / 4 kommentarer
With the tax return coming up I went ahead and totally splurged on a Nadinoo Liberty print dress. She has several lovely designs, but I ended up falling for this quirky dress (The pixie petal dress) with petal collars (i.e.several layers of collars) and a fantastic print, designed by artist Grayson Perry. It's a fairy tale kind of dress, straight out of A Midsummers nights dream or The Magic flute, with the collar looking just like a flower and the magical star print which has an intriguing secret when you look up close.

The style is roomier than I usually wear. I bought a small and the design has quite a lot of ease. But I think I can pull it off! Oh and the workmanship is amazing, and I am pretty picky about that :) Now I just wish that the summer heat would return so I can wear this dress with bare legs!

By the way, I am a total sucker for illustrations and love when illustrators collaborate with fabric companies - I just wish that they would do more fashion fabrics and not just home dec stuff. So I totally fell over when I saw a close up of the print of Nadinoo's dress. And what makes me love it even more is that the man behind the print and this urn...

...likes to dress like this!

In Sweden the sort of person who designs in a style similar to Grayson's is always an urban hipster guy/girl (picture showing actual art school students). Even though, admittedly, my own looks can be somewhat hipster inclined, I find Grayson Perry's style very refreshing in comparison!
Grayson's Liberty fabrics can be bought at Clothkits.
Made by me

Burda magazine cardigan

Sunday, June 13, 2010Johanna / 12 kommentarer

For the first time in ages I have actually sewn something from a pattern company. The cardigan pattern is from the April 2010 issue of Burda magazine. After learning about the Burda drama, I went on a download binge on the German site, fearing that they will soon disable that option for non-German users. To clarify, that is just me being paranoid, I don't really know if they have any plans to actually do that.

Me being possibly paranoid (and trying to find new facial expressions for the camera) + a close up of the yoke made of pointenelle organic cotton jersey.

Since I sew a lot of cardigans I was curious to see how Burda would approach the construction of a classic v-neck cardigan. Instead of a straight long piece of ribbing this pattern calls for a shaped facing, but since I wanted to use ribbing I skipped their method as it doesn't really work with super stretchy rib  fabric. On the other hand, if you want the placket to be made in woven fabric I think the Burda solution is great. Another thing I skipped was stabilizing the armhole with interfacing tape. That is overkill in my opinion, since a serger on the highest feeder tension will keep the opening in check when attaching the sleeves. I also added pockets and a yoke to make the cardigan a little less basic. All in all I think it's a great basic pattern, the shape is great, fitted but not super tight. The only dislike is the sleeve ease. Burda still insists on using ease in knit sleeves, which I don't get that at all, and because of the ease there is some excess fabric at the sleeve cap, which bothers me a little bit. 
Etsy Fashion Floremark

Gorgeous Etsy treasury

Friday, June 04, 2010Johanna / 1 kommentarer
Everyone who loves muted colours has to check this Etsy treasury that I am included in! Just look at that origami top for instance and I am already a fan of French designer Isabelmayo I just want to tout Etsy's horn for a bit today. There is a level of design sophistication among many sellers that just blows me away on a regular basis.
Ooh and another Etsy designer that does a great job with the muted palette is Minx, love this dress.
Etsy Floremark outfit

What I wore today

Thursday, June 03, 2010Johanna / 2 kommentarer
Cardigan: H&M
Blouse: Made by me (as seen on TV! Hehe...) 
Skirt: Ilo by Floremark

Yes an outfit picture straight from the news room! A really colourful and summery look (for me anyway) since the heat has finally arrived in Sweden.  Summer feelings aside, I am a little tired today. I have upped my training a bit after a sloppy winter and did a long gym session yesterday plus I biked to work today. And on top of that I need to start running again, because I have just signed myself up for my first ever 10k run. Just thinking about that makes me exhausted.
wedding dress

Boning update and more wedding dress stuff

Thursday, June 03, 2010Johanna / 3 kommentarer

Thank you so much everyone for the insightful suggestions. And a special shout-out to Gail who pointed me to a very helpful visual in her blog and to Gorgeous thing's lace corset tutorial
I will order a batch of spiral boning from Corset making, just need to measure the corset pieces. And I also finally bought the Susan Khalje cd-book Bridal Couture. I think it will be an intriguing addition to my sewing library, even tough this dress might be the only bridal gown I'll ever do. If I, hopefully, would get married to my boyfriend some day I'd definitely wear a more paired down look, as I don't really do full blown gowns - I am a little restrained that way! I would say that my own ideal wedding dress would be a classic 50's black chiffon illusion dress, like this one from Countess de Vintage.

Oh and the bride to be has finally scored some fabulous silk ribbon! The ribbon is very close to the original, just a little narrower, and will be perfect I think. I can't wait until she hands the ribbon over to me so that I can show you. But we did have a lace hiccup, the lace that she picked had almost run out in the store (just a meter left) and the other one that she liked had even less yardage left. So now we are perusing an English seller, Harrington fabric, and she has ordered three swatches from them.

The first one is her favorite and pretty similar to the one she originally picked in the store. The bride-to-be is  very clothes savvy, has a great eye and is really tenacious when it comes to sourcing, so luckily I just have to focus on the construction bits! The wedding is in September and I plan to do most of the work during my summer vacation that starts in July, so hopefully we will have all the materials set by then.
wedding dress

Ideas on boning?

Wednesday, June 02, 2010Johanna / 9 kommentarer

The corset of the bridal dress needs some boning I think. But I am not sure which type. I guess soft and stable is what we are going for, but not too soft - I don't want a corset collapse in the middle of the wedding! In Swedish notion stores the only option to chose from is a Rigiline type of boning. I have used it in the past (ie in the early 1990's) but I'm not sure  if that is the best option. It was pretty easy to sew with tough. Do you guys have any recommendation for stabilizing a corset top made in lace and is underlined with regular acetate lining?
Book corner

The cut of women's clothes

Tuesday, June 01, 2010Johanna / 4 kommentarer

I recently picked up the book The cut of women's clothes 1600-1930 by Norah Waugh from the library. It's a total pattern geek/history buff read, packed full with pattern diagrams raging from the 1600's to the 1920's and also contains pretty through introductions to the styles, materials and assembly methods of each century. The thing that strikes me is how insanely elaborate the garments used to be, at least for the upper classes. No wonder they wore the same thing day in and day out. These clothes clearly cost a small fortune back in the days - a far cry from the jeans and t-shirt world we live in today. One dress in this book has four pages of pattern diagrams! It also makes it so clear what a revolutionary decade the 1920's was, fashion wise. Even more so than the 60's I think. It's pretty fascinating to see how the heavily darted corseted looks suddenly turns into square simple shapes in the late 1910's.

Janet Arnold has done similar books, that are also pretty impressive.