Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Mary Queen of shops


Have you seen the BBC-programme Mary Queen of shops? It's like a cross between Hells Kitchen and What Not To Wear. Retail expert Mary Portas visits failing fashion boutiques and help them getting their groove together again. It provides an interesting insight in the making of a successful store. The store owners basically gets a shop makeover and learn the tools of the trade by doing test runs on customers, visiting successful stores and learn how to appeal to customers and build a strong store brand identity. Mary Portas is not as annoying as Gordon Ramsey (no lame break 'em down/build 'em up strategies) but she is firm and brutally honest, and it's clear that she knows what she is talking about.


I found season 2 on a Swedish tv-channel's stream (TV8), I have no idea on how to find it elsewhere (though season 3 seems to be on youtube, but it's not just about fashion shops anymore I think)

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Competition update

I made it to the top 10 final! That's just awesome, though it's pretty clear when I look at the competition and the votes so far that I'm totally not placing in the top 3, this is not about being modest, it's just an observations of facts :) Some of the other ones are so strong that I can't even pick a favorite yet, and judiging by the votes so far, everyone seems to have their own favorite. Too bad you guys can't vote!

Monday, November 15, 2010

L'amour fou


What a touching, intimate documentary! L'amour fou (meaning mad love in English, I think) revolves around Pierre Bergé and the love of his life - Yves Saint Laurent. A story that is intertwined with the selling of the antiques that constituted the fundament of their extremely (over-) decorated Paris apartment. The story telling is slow and low key, you mostly hear Pierre Bergé talking while images and movies from their joint life is shown on the screen. But this is no ordinary story, it's a story about a young man suffering from a debilitating shyness and chronic depressions, who at the young age of 21 is chosen to take over the house of Dior. And how he around the same time met Pierre who would become his comrade in both in love and business until the death of YSL in 2008.

They make a fascinating couple. Pierre seems to have his head together at all times, somewhat bossy, and clearly a driving factor behind the Yves Saint Laurent fashion emporium. Yves on the other hand was sensitive, destructive, an addict, intensely artistic and a dreamer that oftentimes found the daily grind way too hard to deal with. Differences that put a lot of strain on their relationships, and there were split ups, but they always came back together.

L'amour fou is very respectfully told and at the same time brutally honest. I can really recommend this documentary. I've seen a couple of critics complaining that it's too slow, but for me it was a breath of fresh air, seeing a movie that doesn't rely on a high tempo to tell an engaging story.

Also Melissa gave a great reading suggestion in the comment field, The beautiful fall, a biography about Karl Lagerfeld and Yves Saint Laurent. I read this several years ago, before I started to blog, but I remember it being excellent and packed with juicy gossip. So definitely worth checking out.

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About the competition, just a quickie note that I'm now hoping to be picked as one of the 10 finalists, which I will find out tomorrow.  I'll update you then, regardless of the results, before I run to the woods sobbing! Only team members can vote unfortunately. And thank you so much for the encouraging comments!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Pretty much finished





I need to list this on Etsy before tomorrow night to be eligible for the competition. So I'm not really done, but it's more fun to blog about it than to do an Etsy listing. It's inspired by the Kraftwerk song The Model, partly by the song and partly by the album cover. The front consists of several pieces, but somehow Blogger makes the red bleed so it's not particular visible. I've had a bit of a shitty weekend, so I wasn't really in the mood for the photo shoot. Perhaps I got some fierce model poses out of my less than chipper mode, one can only hope. I was actually using a fashion book with photos from the 50's as a guide, trying the emulate the poses. But I'm not really a tall elegant person, just a short grumpy one! 

Once I get my stuff in order I will post about the competition so you can see the other entries too.

Update: A huge closeup so that one can actually see the seams. 


Friday, November 12, 2010

What I'm doing this afternoon


L'amour fou. Expect a review in a not so distant future. 

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Nostalgia


This is a photo of me from 1996 where I am wearing a dress that I made myself. It's a copy of a 30's dress that belonged to a relative of mine. I found the dress in an old house that I lived in for a while. 

I just kept the macramé lace collar (not seen on this photo sadly) , ripped the dress apart (it was already falling to pieces) and then redid it. It's was made of regular acetate lining and even though I didn't feel as confident in my sewing back then, in hindsight I think that this dress came out pretty well. Also notable is that I am actually wearing makeup and that I'm sporting a home dyed version of a 90's staple - bleached skunk highlights. I was pretty particular about wearing period clothes back then, the stockings in the photo are the real deal for instance, I  think they must have been from the 40's. 

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Work in progress

This is how the prototype for my competition entry looks like right now. 

And this is how our kitchen looked like when we came home from work today. The landlord is doing a complete kitchen overhaul. Luckily we don't have to do anything! I will definitely post photos once the renovation is done.

And this is how our temporary kitchen looks like. My boyfriend had put it together when I came home from work yesterday, and I think it looks really cute. Like a cabin kitchen! The only drawback is that it's right  next to my sewing corner, so it's even more crammed than usual.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Ingrid - the infinity scarf





After getting some feedback from two of my work mates, an intern and my eldest daughter (who knew that scarves could be such a hot topic?), I came up with this version of the infinity scarf. It's not rocket science or pattern magic, but I used buttons as a way to give the scarf more design options. My favorite is the first one actually, which isn't used as a classic circle scarf at all, but I really like how sleek it looks. The fabric is a wool tube knit and it's really soft to wear. I love how wools can take on so many different textures, from silky smooth to thick and coarse, and pretty much everything in between.

Ingrid is now in my Etsy store.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

A lesson about being too cheap


70 needles for 10 kronor (like $1.30). That has to be a fantastic deal, right? 

Well if you like really bendable needles I guess you won't be disappointed.
But as for me I need to learn that buying sewing notions from the grocery store's bargain bin is seldom a good idea. 

Saturday, November 6, 2010

À la London


Remember the market that I applied to? Well as I suspected back then I didn't get a table this time (but I will apply again, for sure). Anyways, the market was held in a nightclub (with a DJ and bands playing)  and really tiny, just room for 25 tables and it was soo crowded. Also I met up with some friends and kids, which was more than half the fun because it doesn't happen often nowadays that we meet up in the city and hang out. Göteborg, where I live, is a great city, but usually I'm at work or at home, and not much else. I guess that's what happens when you grow older.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Needle storage


After spending way to much time scrambling and squinting my eyes in order to find the proper sewing machine needle, I decided to try the tip that Wendy Mullen has in her book Sew U. It's super simple, just cut a piece of fabric or felt, label it with a size and then tuck in the needles that corresponds to that size. I used some wool/rayon felt that I cut apart with my rotary cutter. Then I tried the embroidery function on my semi vintage Bernina and created the numbers that way. I thought it might look a little neater than using a marker. Now the needles reside on my cork board and hopefully I will be able to keep them in check from now on.






Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Fall spirit


Took this picture of myself with the fancy Nikon work camera as I was rushing between jobs this weekend (between artist exhibitions actually, I have a great job sometimes). It was such a beautiful day and the weather suddenly got warmer again, Also I haven't had my hair cut since May, and it shows. Luckily I got an appointment on Friday, but I will just trim the ends as I'm growing my hair a bit longer again. While I think that a chin length bob is my best hair style, I like it longer sometimes for variation. That's about the only thing about myself that I change these days, my style is very predictable. 

Blanket stitches



I love the look of blanket stitches but have always assumed it was hard to make them. Anyways, I did my first attempt this weekend, and I think it worked out pretty well! Not tricky at all. The knit fabric in the photos is the only thing I bought at the fair, it's a wool tube knit that is incredibly soft, so I suspect it's merino. I plan to make some scarfs for my Floremark shop out of this fabric too, perhaps some kind of infinity scarf. But that will have to wait, as I got tons of other sewing to do.