Monday, March 28, 2011

Skirt preview




A little preview of the new skirt that I made. Not up for sale yet, I need to finish some orders first, but hopefully later this week I can tell you some more. 

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Serger secrets








When I first bought my serger I was kinda terrified of it (the speed, the knifes!). But now, after six years, I know that I will always be serger owner. The things that scared me at first are now the things that I really value. However since I learned to master the basics I felt like I hit a plateau so when I saw the book Serger secrets on Amazon I decided to give it a go.

And I am very glad I did. This is the sort of super thorough, initiated sewing book that I prefer. Serger secrets pretty much covers everything you want to know about a serger, great photo tutorials with info on everything from settings to thread choice  plus a great problem solver chapter. But the deal breaker to me is that it shows so many new things that I had no idea you could do with a serger, like making bound button holes, piping, zipper insertions, lace heirloom and much more. Though some ideas in the book is pushing a bit too far aesthetically - just because you can serge a patchwork vest (!) together with piping and bells (!) doesn't mean you should. However I am a firm believer that pretty much everything can be made to work in some ways, so I'm sure that these ideas could be useful for some.  

Friday, March 25, 2011

Jeans and sneakers



I tend to wear a lot of skirts and dresses in the photos I post here. But I am just as much a jeans and t-shirt person. So this is what I'm wearing today, which I think is a very typical outfit for me.

Top: Roxy long sleeve from Floremark
Jeans: Lee (always Lee or Wrangler, unless I make the jeans myself)
Shoes: PF Flyers (the best canvas sneakers, fresh from the box!)

Now I'm off to buy some waffle ingredients. Today is the official waffle day (in Sweden we have waffle day, semla day, cinnamon bun day....)

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Sizing research



I am working on a block pattern for a skirt in woven fabric and I'm struggling a bit with the sizing. Even though I provide measurements I also want to have a sizing system that comes close to my customers expectations of a medium or whatnot. My customer is a grown up woman, hence a small is bit larger than shops catering towards teenagers. And my XS would be for the slim folks (though I don't have that size yet as I never get any requests for it, only XL).

Today I checked out skirts in retail chains such as Mango and Zara. However I think their Mediterranean sizing is a bit smaller than the US market equivalent (where most of my customers are). I'm wearing a Zara medium in the photo, and it fits pretty well, but maybe some would find this skirt a tad snug for being a medium. I think that my lower body falls somewhere between a "generic" small and medium. What would you say, does this skirt looks like a medium to your eyes or is it more a small? I know it might be hard to tell from a photo, but for reference, I wear a size 6 in US brands like Anthropologie, Ann Taylor loft and Banana Republic.

Monday, March 21, 2011

More work






Thank you guys or giving the correct English colour name for the Dora top - cobalt blue! As you can see the scallop trim in these photos have a similar hue. I'm working on a skirt for the spring collection. I'm sorta loving the idea I have, but I haven't assembled the skirt yet. Sometimes I get so impatient that I don't do a dummy first, so this can be a hit or miss. 

Friday, March 18, 2011

Dora top





Managed to catch the last rays of sun yesterday evening so here are some photos of the newest addition in the Floremark collection.- the Dora top. It's made of organic cotton jersey and decorated with tiny doilies. The colour is deep blue and I would love to get some help in naming the colour in English. In Sweden this colour is called Kornblå (Cornflower Blue) or Kleinblå (Klein blue). 
What would you guys call it? 

Also the sleeves/cuffs are constructed in a fun way, that I will talk about in a separate post. 

Dora is available in my Etsy shop.



Thursday, March 17, 2011

Tidens tecken - the best fashion history book ever








I don't actually own this brilliant book. But if you count all the months I've borrowed it from library during the last 20+ years, you could say the book has been in my possession for over a year. It's a Swedish book and called Tidens tecken (Sign of the times). So why is it so brilliant you may ask? Well, firstly it contains an exquisite collection of garments from 1895-1986. Secondly it puts the garments in a visual context by showing  similar themes in art, architecture, design and so forth. And thirdly the writer talks about how movements in the society has shaped the fashion. I've read nearly 100 books on fashion history, and looking back this is the one that stands above everyone else, because it excels both in visuals and written content.

I first read this book as a fashion hungry teenager and it made a very strong impact on me. I really wanted to own a copy. But the price was steep for my modest means, and when I finally could afford it with ease, it was out of print. The writer Tonie Lewenhaupt and her photographer husband Claës has done several books on fashion, all good, but this is by far the best.

Edit: Available in English too on Amazon! Crosscurrents: Art, fashion, design

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

A short lived pleasure


Every spring I end up buying several bulb plants. Mostly daffodils, but also crocus and sometimes hyacinths. On my way home from work today I saw that the local vegetable shop had a bunch of bulp plants on display outside. Soon this will become a hyacinth, and then it will be over. Most of these flowers last less than a week. But they bring me so much joy and helps ease my longing for the balcony that we lost when we moved to this apartment. I cannot muster taking care of a whole allotment so a balcony was the perfect solution. I used to grow all kind of herbs and plants, but now I have to do with my potted plants and seasonal short lived bulbs.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Summer preview


I love neutrals and straight lines, but I really want to do some more whimiscal pieces for the Floremark summer collection, I think the long taxing winter this year really needs to be remedied  with some light hearted styles. Still using quite a bit of blue as you can see, but they are more azure and less navy. Around 50% will again be in organic cotton. The blouse is finished but I'm waiting for some sunlight so that I can take better pictures. 

Thursday, March 10, 2011

A trip to the beauty saloon



Yesterday evening I went to a local beauty school to get my eye lashes and brows dyed by a student. Have never been to anything close to a beauty parlor before, but I was curious and since my hair is getting darker and darker I thought it would be cool to try a darker shade around my eyes too. So after a messy experiment with a home dye kit, I decided to let a (semi-) professional do it instead (the reason for a "semi" is of course that I was hoping for a bargain, and it was). I guess I could use mascara and an eye brow pencil instead, but after trying it a few times lately, I have, once again, concluded that I don't like make-up.

The best part about the experience was that it was so fancy. I have a weakness for fancy, as in luxe. The school was in a beautiful large, turn-of-the-last-century apartment, with high ceilings, stucco and crystal chandeliers. And the young students wore pristine white coats with their hair tied back in ballerina knots.

As for the dyeing it took 15 minutes in total. It did sting a bit on the eye lids at the end, but the skin was never irritated. Also I allowed the student to pluck my eye brows just a tad bit. I never touch my brows, except for the occasional mono brow separation, so I was curious to see if I would like them a bit shaped. And now I think I do.

If I had been an adept beauty blogger I would of course have taken before photos, but since I'm not, you will have to take my word that it does looks different, but in a subtle way, it's like a non make-up make-up.

Will I do this again? Possibly. It depends how long it lasts. If the colour is gone in just a week or two, I will not do it again. But if it lasts for a while, then maybe it's worth it? 

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Victim of viral marketing



I have been semi coveting a Cambridge Satchel for quite a while and Toast had a version on sale earlier this year. But I didn't commit. Then last Friday a friend updated her Facebook feed with a story about how she was spending her evening with a bright yellow Cambridge satchel. And suddenly I was craving one again. I am such an easy target! And it just goes to show how effective viral marketing can be. I guess it really is no different from good old word-by-mouth, but hasn't the number of messages increased with all the social media? Anyhow, I'm not caving in yet. And since they are hand made in the UK they certainly come at a price. But they sure make for nice eye candy.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Suzabelle



It's no secret that I love clothes with subtle, retro inspired detailing in neutral colours. That is why I totally love the Suzabelle spring collection. I just recently found about this designer, she is based in Seattle and seem to be on the rise. Her previous collections are really beautiful too.  

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Today's outfit



Since it has been so frickin cold lately I have not been able to wear my Karl Lagerfeld skirt as much as I want. But today it was at least nearly zero Celsius degrees so I decided to braise the cold winds and wear the skirt to work. The initial love that I expressed for this skirt is still intact, it was really a great decision to sew up this pattern.

Cardigan: Made by me, fabric from Emma one Sock.
Blouse: Made by me, print silk chiffon from Textile Studio.
Skirt: Made by me, using the Karl Lagerfeld pattern from Burda magazine.