Thursday, September 29, 2011

Scallop collar

I've been experimenting some more with the embroidery stitches on my Bernina, this time trying out a scallop seam. I decided to go grey on grey in order to make the effect more subdued, sometimes less really is more, but I can't help thinking the a cream colour would have been nice too. The collar will end up on a blouse, or that's my plan anyway.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Vidal Sasson - The movie

This movie main purpose seems to be convincing the viewer that Vidal Sassoon is the biggest genius that has ever entered the fashion world (or even the world in general, which the opening credit's comparison to Albert Einstein indicates). Undoubtedly the man has done a fair bit when it comes to introducing modern hair styles, but there is something about this kind of documentaries the totally rubs me the wrong way. It's basically 90 minutes of talking heads praising his genius and very little footage of himself actually doing things. Though Vidal himself comes off as a likable figure with a striking presence, looking very spry and stylish for a 83 year old.

There is also a very touching story pottering underneath, he had an addicted mother and absent father, grew up partly in an orphanage and dropped out of school at an early age. With wit, a good bit of street smartness and hard work he managed to create not just iconic hair styles, but also a strong brand of saloons and hair products, some of which are still running today. You could say that his business model set the template for brands like Fredric Fekkai and such.

So obviously there are plenty of interesting story lines in this movie, but I keep wishing for a more engaging format. Though there are some gems certainly, such as his tough childhood which gives clues on his drive and ambition and I love the insane clips from his talk show days and rigorous work-out regime - he was into things like pilates and yoga long before it became trendy. There is also a touching sequence about the divorce from his second wife Beverly which he had three children with, one of which died of an suspected overdose ten years ago. So can I recommend this documentary? Well I would say maybe, if you like me are a total fashion history nerd, but there are plenty of other fashion documentaries that far excel this one.

Monday, September 19, 2011

A rock and a hard place

As I mentioned in a previous post I was out dancing on Friday. I went with my jumpsuit friend Cattie and again we decided to to a theme. I don't know why I haven't been done this more often over the years, it really adds to the experience and puts you in a great mood! And can totally compensate for club hazards like bad music and annoying people.

This time we were aiming for a Joan Jett/rock chick-look. In a way it's a pretty easy style to emulate. But for someone like me, who doesn't look like that at all usually, it is very easy to step into masquerade territory. So I decided to skip the skulls and the studded belt and pick a more subdued look. I really like Alison Mosshart's style, so I tried to emulate that a bit. Then I spend some time watching this video (clue: it is called How to get the rock chick look). It was very helpful, and I loved quotes like "even though it shouldn't look perfect, there is kind of a perfect way of applying it". To be honest I should have used even more make-up and darker hair wouldn't have hurt either. But I think my friend Cattie pulled it off perfectly. I think the word "dead ringer" would be the correct term in this case...

(no caption necessary)

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Some reviews this way comes

Finally all three documentries that I blogged about this summer are available on dvd. I just recived the first one, about Vidal Sassoon, and am eagerly awaiting the next ones (though Halston doesn't ship until November). And as always I plan to review them so I'll keep you updated!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

No superwoman at all

A comment I got on Facebook today got me thinking about how one's presence on social media sometimes skews the image of a person. I mentioned in my status feed that I had been clubbing yesterday and she commented "it seem like you are out dancing all the time". The truth of the matter is that it was only the second time this year, though granted, the last time was less than two months ago. But the reason it seems like I do this and other things all the time, is that I am very prone to share stuff, both on the blog and on Facebook. For instance I take a lot of photos and often post pictures of outings with family and friends on Facebook. It works as a digital photo album for me, and helps reinforce the fond memories I have of these instances. The same thing with this blog obviously, where I blog about pretty much everything I do that is sewing, fashion and sometimes life related.

But when people say "You got so much stuff going on all the time - I don't know how you do it" I always start to feel self conscious. I mean I do want to talk about the stuff I do and take pride in them too, but on the other hand I don't want to be building an image of myself as an overachieving superwoman. Because I don't feel comfortable in that role at all, and I don't think that is very true to who I am either. Granted I am good at getting stuff done when I have the inclination and I like to have fun in my life. But all in all, my life is fairly mundane. And am very fine with that - I don't want to have a life that is frantic and crazy. So I guess this post is my version of a social media disclaimer!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

A blog questionaire

What is the yuckiest food you know?
Hmm. Tricky. I am not a fussy eater at all, but since I haven’t eaten red meat and poultry in over 20 years, I am a bit disgusted by that. But then again, when I ate meat I loved the taste. Apart from that, two things I rather skip are overly boiled carrots and eggs.

Mention five things that you are happy with regarding your career
  1. That I switched from being a librarian to journalism.
  2. That I sent a book proposal to several publishing companies and got a book deal
  3. Starting Floremark
  4. I never got good grades for my writing in school, but now I think I am good writer.
  5. That I really like my job, and still learn new things on a daily basis.

Do you have any regrets in life?
Two biggies. One that I went back to a volatile relationship when I was young. Nothing good came out of that. Secondly, there has been times when I have hurt people due to me being inconsiderate, those situations I really regret.

What are you going to wear this winter?
Same old things I suspect. Either knee lengths skirts and dresses with wool stockings and my coveted leather boots. Or jeans with a cardigan and blouse.

Which is your most expensive piece of clothing?
My Gloverall duffel coat, which I haven’t paid for since it was a hand me down from my mum. But it is getting worn out so that it is soon time to replace it, which will be my biggest purchase unless I decided to make one myself.
Even though my taste runs on the more expensive side, I don’t have any pricey designer garments sitting in my wardrobe - just a few home made replicas :) But I do buy a lot of shoes in 1000 krona range ($150 and upwards), since I cannot stand the look and lack of comfort that comes with cheap shoes.

Do you have any secret talents?

One thing that not everyone might know is that I have a near photographic memory when it comes to facts about celebrities :)

What did you do last weekend?
Hmm, what did I do? I went to roller derby practice with my eldest daughter, ran for the first time since my race, worked on a sample for the Floremark fall collection, did a music- and moviequiz at a pub on Sunday with some friends. Also I watched almost an entire season of The Apprentice UK.

What are your five most important to-do’s this week?
1. Find out why my ordered roller skates has yet to show up. 2. Buy some stuff for an outing tomorrow, where the theme is Joan Jett/rock chick. 3. Get what feels like a billion articles written - I work the weekend too.  4. Try to finish the new Floremark sample. 5. Get at least one strength workout in, my exercise routine has been less than stellar this week.  These are clearly plenty of stuff, but I’m home alone all weekend and I’m usually super effective when so.

What are you wearing right now?
Lee jeans, an old Nanso pique polo shirt and a cardigan from Newhouse. Rocking preppy chic today!

Last song you listened to?
Some horrible cover of Joni Mitchell’s Big Yellow Taxi that was on the radio.

Best beauty trick?
Obviously being happy with your life works wonders. But for a more hands on advice – if you got facial acne don’t waste your money on expensive products and facials. Instead start using benzoyl peroxide, it is cheap and extremely effective if you follow the instructions to a tee and let your skin adjust to the treatment gradually.

Which clothes style to you prefer on men?
Mod-inspired clothing, vaugly early sixties. Fitted pants, polo shirts, wolly sweaters and sharp suits.

And ugliest?
Anything from the Dressman chain, they excel in bland fashion. Also I have to say baggy jeans bermuda shorts. I’m sure they are really comfortable, but when you see 90% of the Swedish male population wearing them, it becomes a bit too much in my book.

What magazines to you read?
I’m a total magazine junkie, I’m constantly trying to quit the habit, as it is expensive, wasteful and not even rewarding at times. But I still keep buying and buying. So here comes a list of some of the regular offenders. Vogue UK, Vogue US, Vanity Fair, Filter (a Swedish reportage magazine), Burda, Elle Sweden, Elle UK, Elle US, Gentlewoman, Bust, Tatler, Sonic (a Swedish music magazine) and plenty more.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Roller derby update

Yesterday I had my third roller derby practice, so yes I decided to commit to the sport. It wasn't without angst though. The team is hungry for hitting the competition circuit and wants members who are prepared to put in a lot of effort. As for me, currently, I don't have that time. But I spoke to them about the situation and they were cool with that. Though once you get up to competition level, there will be demands on how many training hours you put in - but that scenario is obviously waaaaay off for me currently.

Me practicing walking on the toe stops. It's harder than it looks!

Me trying to tackle an oppnent so that I can reach the water bottle that she guards. This is not an area where I excel in. The other girl was bigger and much stronger and I couldn't get her to budge. Whereas she just needed to give me a light push and I was defeated. Apparently the best option for tiny players is to learn to skate fast!

As for the sport, it is aggressive, highly technical and very demanding physically - I had DOMS for a week after the first session. What I love the most right now is the technical aspects of roller skating, I have done some decent progress in that area already and I could easily see myself skate around the rink for hours and hours if only my muscles could take it - roller skating is such a high for me. As for the contact sport thingie, I am more nervous as injuries are pretty common. So my strategy is to become a speeding bullet or a jammer as it is called. I have noticed that I'm faster than some of the other newbies, which I think is due to my small frame. So for once I get some real use out of being short!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Playing with some embroidery

My vintage Bernina (late 80's) has quite a few decorative stitches. Some which looks really nice, especially considering how old the machine is - I think it might have been one of the first computerized versions, but please correct me if I'm wrong. Anyways I played around with the stitches a while back and got so thrilled about the result that I decided to include one of the patterns in my next Floremark collection. Not in a big way, the slow speed doesn't allow for that, but on a few details.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

A fashionable TV-schedule

Lots of design and fashion TV to be excited about this fall. Here is a little round up:


Project Runway All stars
At first I was rather thrilled about this format, then I remembered the snooze fest the last all star gathering was. Granted that was a one off, not a whole season, but my guess is that the designers start to behave more tv-conscious and restrained once they've seen themselves on the telly - which makes for a more boring watch. Also a second coming means less newbie excitement. That said, some of my favorite contestants are back, such as Kara Janx and Anthony Williams from season 7. So yes, I will definitely watch this one too. Premiers fall 2011.

Work of Art 
Work of Art is the perfect show to fill in after the regular Project Runway ends. This is the Top Chef/Project Runway for the art world. I enjoyed the first season a lot, as it was really interesting to get familiar with the artist process. And while I'm sure some will disagree, the elimination process felt quite natural in this field too. I mean some art is better than other.

The Rachel Zoe project
I'm sure some think this is a train wreck because everyone in it is totally self absorbed and obnoxious, plus there are quite a few staged moments. But I really enjoy this show. It provides an interesting insight into the world of stylists and this season there is even more fashion, since Rachel Zoe is launching a fashion brand which clearly involves some struggles. Season 4 is running currently.

It's a Brad Brad world (working title)
One of the obnoxious personalities in the Rachel Zoe entourage is getting his own show. We can expect a lot of drama since Rachel clearly has a chicken unplucked with Brad Goreski as he allegedly stole some clients when he left her company. I hope that this show will have more footage from actual pre red carpet fittings, but since celebrities seems totally camera shy when it comes to this, I suspect not. Scheduled later this year.

How to make it in America
Not a reality show, but a well played drama set in the New York fashion world. I really enjoyed the first season where the starring duo tries to start a jeans company based in the NY garment district. I think this HBO-show paints a rather believable picture on how hard it is to hustle yourself to the top. Looks like there will be plenty more fashion story lines in the new season and even a cameo by the multi talented (and crush worthy) Pharrell. Premiers in October.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Bran muffins

I gotta admit, losing my beloved gas stove and getting a proper hot air oven has totally rekindled my love for baking. This time I want to share my favorite healthy muffins recipe. It's an adaption of Kellogg's iconic all-bran muffin, but you don't need a box of cereals to make this version. Instead I use proper wheat bran. This muffin is for those of us who really likes wholemeal things (bulgur fans can raise their hands now!). It's more like a breakfast muffin or afternoon snack than a dessert. But it is still very savory and has some sweetness too. Plus they are low in fat as an added bonus.

You'll need:
250 ml (1 cup) regular wheat flour
100 ml (2/5 cup) sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
1-2 teaspoons cinnamon (depending on taste)
2 teaspoons vanilla sugar (or the regular amount of vanilla extract for a muffin bake)
300 ml (1 1/4 cup) wheat bran
250 ml (1 cup) milk
1 egg
2 tablespoons applesauce/jam
3 tablespoons oil
100 ml shredded carrots or 1 mashed banana.

Mix the milk and wheat bran and set for a few minutes.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Not your regular hooded jacket

Even though I buy Vogue all the time, I am seldom inspired to actually make something I see there. Usually the fashion is bit too high brow and bold for my taste. But when I saw this sweater jacket from Marc Jacobs in the August issue I got a completely besotted. Yes it is just a sweater jacket. But there is something about those darts (I presume they are sewn on the outside and then pressed. Or is it a quilt?) that makes this jacket much more exciting than a regular hooded sweatshirt jacket. Though the idea to make visible darts are a bit daunting to me, as they have to be utterly impeccable. Gertie did some great visible darts on her dress but I'm note quite ready to commit I think.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Velvet dress for fall

I'm having a super busy week and don't have much time to blog. But I want to share a little glimpse of the first thing for Floremark fall collection. It's made of organic cotton soft velvet/velour and crimson wool jersey. I worked hard with developing the fit on this dress. It has a shaped back seam so no tent like back which is common with knit dresses, plus the drape of the velvet makes the dress flow really nicely. 

Saturday, September 3, 2011


In Sweden we talk about cupcake-blogs, which stands for blogs that sugarcoat life and only show the pretty things, usually written by young women who likes to eat macaroons and cupcakes. Today is my time to do some cupcake-blogging and a little parental bragging at the same time. Hope you can stand it ;) This is my 12 year old daughter's first attempt at cupcakes, and I was pretty floored when I saw the result. She has such a flair for this sort of things, a trait the she hasn't inherited from me, that's for sure! Plus they were absolutely yummy. Sometimes cupcakes are more for the eye, and hide a rather bland muffins underneath, but these were great inside and out. The cupcakes were for my boyfriend's birthday which we are celebrating today

Oh, and he got the best present from his brother - a ZZ Top mug! They were pretty huge in Sweden back in the 80's, like the ultimate cool band. I wonder if they are still around?

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Dress day

I have been wearing jeans, jeans and more jeans since I returned to work a month ago. I'm always tired and in a hurry in the morning and tend to reach out for the thing closest to me, which usually are the jeans that I threw on the floor the night before. But today when I woke up I felt a bit more well rested than usual and decided to wear one of my favorite dresses that I made (and screen printed) three years ago. Making a little bit more effort with the clothes totally helps elevating the daily grind for me.