Made by me wedding dress

The official wedding photos

Thursday, September 30, 2010Johanna / 3 kommentarer

Here are some of the official wedding photos. We first toyed with the idea of attaching tulle layers directly the dress, but came to the conclusion that it would be easier with a separate skirt. The tulle skirt comes from a store that sells clothes to competitive dancers and worked really well.
Etsy Floremark Made by me

Lilith on Etsy

Tuesday, September 28, 2010Johanna / 0 kommentarer
Treasury by Lilliputloft

I forgot to add that the Lilith skirt is up on Etsy, and is already included in three Etsy treasuries! Wee! I am by the way always lagging behind with marketing, getting my stuff noticed. There is just not enough time in my life to devote to all aspects of running a small business. I mean I kinda know what needs to be done to achieve more, but I have to prioritize. So some of the stuff with Floremark is sort of happenstance.  But I still work pretty hard and am constantly evaluating and adjusting my processes. I have learned so much this first year, and feel there are still tons of stuff more I need to get my head around. By the way, the blog Crafting an MBA by designer Megan Auman is a great source of info for those who owns or wants to start their own handmade biz, and this post in particular puts words to something I really believe in when it comes to making things happen.
I think so many times we use decision making as a form of procrastination. We hold out for the perfect solution and devote countless hours researching and debating. But when it comes to running a business, perfection isn’t the most important thing.  Action is.

 Megan Auman

P.S Thank you guys for all the input on the fabric post. I am definitely going in the direction of using a cowl neckline, and see if I can find something for contrast, I don't wear a belt much, but I think it would work really well with this dress. 

Yay or nay?

Monday, September 27, 2010Johanna / 11 kommentarer

After fiddeling this rayon jersey in the store a few times I broke down and bought it. While the picture doesn't really do it justice, it looks and feels like it's straight from the 60's. I guess it might be described as fugly to some eyes. Or plain ugly if you ask my eldest daughter- but hey she is born in the 90's, so retro references are probably lost on her. But I have to admit I go back and forth myself on this one. On one hand I think it would make a cool sweater dress, perhaps with a funnel neck? On the other hand, I think the print is perhaps not cool/bold enough and will just luck boring and mumsy.
Fashion Life of Johanna Shopping

Fall sweater

Saturday, September 25, 2010Johanna / 2 kommentarer

I love sweaters, cardigans and hoodies and tend to feel somewhat undressed without them. I didn't wear them in Greece though, once the thermometer passes 30 degrees Celsius not even a hardcore sweater wearer like myself can muster it. But on normal Swedish summer days I usually wear a thin cardie. I guess the feeling is similar to the need to have some kind of bedding over me when I go to sleep. Even if I am sweating I have to have something that covers my body in order to be fully relaxed. It's not that I feel a need to hide something. Nor do I get cold easily. But being surrounded by soft warm fabrics gives me a certain type of calmness - I feel secure and relaxed.  

The sweater I am wearing in the photo is my new favorite. It's from the Swedish label Newhouse - they do a great version of preppy wear. And the quality is always very good. I suspect that my annual income (and my age) is way lower than most folks who buys this brand, but I like classic clothing, I  always have and I suspect I always will. 
Screen printing

Screen printing work shop

Friday, September 24, 2010Johanna / 0 kommentarer

In my last post I complained a bit about not having a good working environment for screen printing in our relatively small apartment (and really weak water pressure which makes cleaning the frames near impossible). Well that got me thinking and I realized that a few months ago I saw some info on weekend printing work shops. So I decided to check it out and saw that one class in November was still open for applicants.  I took the plunge and booked it. I am a compulsive class taker, and they can be quite costly, so I have kept that habit in check for the last year, but since this is just a weekend it feels pretty manageable. I plan to make some kind of border print to use for a new skirt design, we'll see how much fabric I will be able to print over the weekend. Hopefully a lot!

Thinking about doing another run of this print. Both the owl above and the leafs are designed by my boyfriend. I cannot draw anything, I am below average when it comes to that skill. Funny enough I can do pretty good vector graphics in Illustrator, but with freehand drawing I am so bad that it's comical. 

P.S I am experimenting with a new design for my blog. Thought it was time to change it up a bit. I did this one really quickly so I might end up doing  more changes as I go along - I didn't think over all the details before I redid the layout.  
Etsy Floremark Made by me

New Floremark skirt

Wednesday, September 22, 2010Johanna / 10 kommentarer

Not up in the store yet, need to settle on the sizing first. I normally only work with knits for Floremark but this fabric was just too spectacular to resist. The border is printed on a wonderful champagne colored cotton satin. I only got a few yards of it, but I would love to do more skirts like this with border prints. Ideally I would like to get back to screen printing again, perhaps do a run of this print again, but to be realistic I would need a better setup than our apartment offers.

Etsy Floremark Made by me

Grethe cardigan

Tuesday, September 21, 2010Johanna / 5 kommentarer
Remember this sketch? Well now it has turned into an actual cardigan. I've been dying to be more creative again and design some new garments for Floremark. And I whipped this first style this weekend, it's called Grethe, and is made of super soft charcoal rayon jersey and the yoke is a wonderful black knitted lace fabric.

I made the closures out of bridal loops.

I also got a new skirt design that is nearly finished, just need to find the right buttons and take some photos.
wedding dress

The wedding reception

Sunday, September 12, 2010Johanna / 13 kommentarer

I am so fricking proud, she looked absolutely fantastic in the dress. Plus she had such savvy styling which totally elevated the outfit.
(and yes she arrived in the back of a truck, and the groom was the driver!)
Made by me wedding dress

The wedding photographer

Saturday, September 11, 2010Johanna / 1 kommentarer

Today I will finally see the wedding dress in action, as I am hired as the wedding set/party photographer. They have a separate official wedding photographer, so I just need to focus on the small stuff! But hopefully I can bring back some nice photos of the bride in her dress too. My own dress is the ingenious Parfait dress from Colette patterns.
Life of Johanna

Photo course

Saturday, September 11, 2010Johanna / 1 kommentarer
I have just returned from a week long photo course for journalists who has to take their own photos when out on assignments. I've had so much fun, the days were super long, with classes all days and photo assignments most evenings. But the time flew. I love taking photos but stress (and well laziness) sometimes prevents me from taking ambitious photos when out on the field. Being both a photographer and writer can sometimes be draining. So this week has been great kick in the butt when it comes to my journalistic photography. I think my best skills lies in capturing moments between people, but it was good trying out other types of scenarios and techniques that I feel less comfortable with. So here is a diverse bunch from my photo week.

Made by me wedding dress

Bridal dress - check!

Saturday, September 04, 2010Johanna / 13 kommentarer

Apart from a final fitting tomorrow before I sew the zipper in properly, the bridal dress is finally finished! Things has gone really well all in all, but I totally underestimated how difficult and time consuming it is to make a corseted full lace dress. I also had some difficult "lace troubles". The skirt is fully underlined and it's hard getting the lace to stay flat on the lining on such large chunks of fabrics. Plus bias cut netting lace grows different than bias cut lining, so getting the two layers on the skirt to stay even is really hard. The lace "pop-upped" in some places. So I had to open several seams and realign the lace.

One lesson that I've learned the hard way when working with lace and lining as one layer is that everything should be staystitched from the very beginning. I didn't do that, and had to pay the price. The ribbon embroidery went better than expected though, it was fussy and time consuming, but thanks to the English detective drama Murder in Midsomer, the time spent hand sewing still flew.

And some cheating confessions. I feel a little bit self conscious about the hem, as it's more ready-to-wear than couture, but the bride and I nixed the idea of a scalloped hem as it would be too time consuming and fussy. So I did my usual blind hem method, first I serged the edges, then I hemmed using the machine blind hem stitch. I will also admit using a glue stick to secure the edges of the lace to the lining before I serged the two together. The glued bit was cut away, so there is no glue on the actual dress, but I still feel a little embarrassed admitting my working method!


And some random life stuff 
I have been so stressed lately that I haven't had any time or energy for blogging. Things has been both really stressful at work with the Swedish election coming up, and at night all my orders has kept me more than busy. And now I am going away on a job related photo course for a week (though I am glad to take a break from the election, my day job is primarily about covering city hall politics for a local news paper and with the election it's just insane).

I soo long to start sewing in a more creative way again! We have also decided to hire a cleaning service, that comes to our apartment and do a bi-monthly cleaning. Cleaning has never been a forte in this family and hopefully this solution will make everyday life a little easier. I don't have any friends who uses it, so I don't really know what to expect, but I think this is the right step for us to take. And it will free up both time and energy.