The Ikea muslin

Sunday, October 30, 2011Johanna / 10 kommentarer


So tonight I did a quick and dirty job pattern making, cutting and sewing together the muslin for my dress. It's all Ikea fabrics, which I think worked fine, though the sleeves will obviously drape better in silk chiffon. The sheer part of the dress took the most time, as I had to draft that pattern from scratch. The rest is just the Simplicity pattern. I think the fit is pretty good. Though I should probably do an adjustment to get rid of the extra fabric in the back, as I have a major sway back. But apart from that I think I can do the pattern as is.

My major concern now is how on earth do I finish the chiffon neckline? A narrow facing? Bias strips? And how do one make the neckline seem flawless? I guess a facing would have to be turned in somehow. I have never done this before, at least not in a proper manner. And none of the zillions of sewing books that I own has any chapters on chiffon neckline finishing. 
Life of Johanna

Whiz Tailor

Saturday, October 29, 2011Johanna / 5 kommentarer

Every roller derby player has to have a nickname and a number. The nick is usually tongue in cheek and often a play with words such as Wine-O-Mite or Chickie McSluggests. I wanted something that was linked with sewing in some way and toyed around with a few, like Speedy Needle and some others that I no longer can remember. But then I came up with Whiz Tailor, so now you can just call me Whiz!

There is a team member blog about us rookies and today I'm featured as, well, one of the rookies. Or fresh meat as it's called in derby. You'll find me here (in Swedish), though I was too lazy to put on all the protective gear for the photo. But if you want to see me in the rink with helmet and stuff, you can spot me in this crowd.

Special dress project

Friday, October 28, 2011Johanna / 3 kommentarer

Do I need another project to pile on top of everything else? Looks like I do. My next project is something unusual, at least for me. I'm making a special occasion dress. Which I haven't done since the bridal dress project last year. Now this one will not be as challenging, but I will work with some moody materials, namely silk velvet and silk chiffon. And I got a time crunch to say the least. Plus the fabrics are ordered from Hong Kong, and who knows when they will arrive? I do have back up plan(s). Like buying fabric locally or just wear one of the dresses I already own.

Anyhow, my plan is to make a version of the classic illusion dress. I put together this mood board just to see some possible variations. I was  leaning towards the Grace Kelly version in the bottom right photo, I want cap sleeves and preferably a neckline that is not too hard to finish. But the kids thought it was too "oldish". I already feel like a granny in some ways so that shouldn't bother me, but somehow it did. We'll see. First up is the muslin. Which has to happen this weekend. Since the Simplicity 4070 was such a success for the wedding dress I will reuse that pattern. 
Made by me

The Diana bag is our family bag

Thursday, October 27, 2011Johanna / 3 kommentarer

This weekend me and the youngest daughter finished the fourth version of Burdastyle's Diana bag. Her older sister made one two years ago and since then the young one has been asking for one too. You can imagine how much parental guilt that has been building up during this time. But now we finally got our act together.  Anja did most of the sewing, while I helped with the fiddly bits, like pressing and sewing the darts.

Now both me and the kids own Diana bags, plus a friend of mine. I guess next up is my boyfriend, but he has yet to ask for one!

Previous incarnations of the Diana bag.

Floremark Made by me

Maud II

Wednesday, October 26, 2011Johanna / 4 kommentarer

Remember the Maud skirt I made two years ago? The fabric is a vintage original from Swedish designer Maud Fredin Fredholm. I was lucky to score some from the secret place before they closed the doors. Her prints are stunning and the quality of the knits are amazing. I will put it up in the shop soon along with several new designs. So stay tuned. 

Scissors and headphones don't mix

Tuesday, October 11, 2011Johanna / 3 kommentarer

Since I have my work space in the living room I often use headphones to tune out, either by listening to music, podcasts or tv-shows. But one I day I did something really silly - I accidently chopped off the headphone cord while cutting some fabric.

Luckily for me I was given a pair of wireless headphones as a birthday present from my boyfriend. He thought they would be easier for me, since I move around a lot when I'm working (and perhaps he was subconsciously a bit worried for his old pair of headphones that I began using after the epic cut...). Anyways the wireless are truly great, I love not having to fiddle with the cord when cutting fabric or taking them off when I go to the iron board or head for bedroom, where I store most of my fabrics. The only fiddly thing is that I have to bring the docking station with me when I move the lap top or ipad to another location, since it needs to be attached to the device in order for the headphones to work. But apart from this, wireless headphones are truly a great gadget for us sewing enthusiasts. And no more worries about chopping off cords... 

Fashionable movies

Catwalk 3D

Sunday, October 09, 2011Johanna / 0 kommentarer

Is it worth paying some good money to see fashion shows in 3D in a cinema when you can watch the videos for free at and such? Well yesterday I decided to find out. The movie Catwalk 3D is said to be the first in this format, displaying five haute couture shows from the winter 2010/2011 shows. interspersed with designer interviews and some backstage images. As for someone who has never, and probably never will, seen a haute couture show live, I would say that this cinematic format really is the second best thing. You come much closer to the garments and the models and me and my friend repeatedly found ourselves being stunned by the details, the cut and overall visual impact, something you don't really experience on small screens and in magazines. To be honest just seeing Jean Paul Gaultier's amaaazing show, with Dita von Teese as an added bonus, was alone worth the price of the tickets.

As for the 3D-thingie - it helps elevate the experience, but it wasn't that present, in fact sometimes you didn't notice at all. It wasn't like the models were coming out of the screen so to speak, the 3D-effects mostly added some depth to the shows.

Do I think this is the future? I dunno, don't think it is that commercially viable right now, but if (when) 3D becomes common place in tv and computer screens, then maybe this will be standard way of displaying fashion shows. I think the Burberry is already experimenting with this, and perhaps some more designers? Anyhow it was a fun 66 minutes and I left the cinema feeling both stunned and inspired.

Catwalk 3D trailer
Made by me

Grey jersey blouse

Friday, October 07, 2011Johanna / 4 kommentarer

Once it was just a collar, but now it's a proper blouse. It all started with the grey entredeaux ribbon that I found in a local shop. Then I sort of played around with the design until I was happy. It took a while, there is usually a lot of tweaking before I get something that I am 100 percent happy with. Well now I am. 
Fashion Shopping


Wednesday, October 05, 2011Johanna / 3 kommentarer

One of the local designers that I really like is Jumperfabriken. Their niche is high quality sweaters, inspired by vintage looks. I plan to buy one of these sweaters for fall, but I can't decide - I want them all! Also if this is something for you, their webshop sells to plenty of countries. Here is an interview that I did with them two years ago (in Swedish, but at least you can look at the pictures!).

Covers exhibition

Monday, October 03, 2011Johanna / 1 kommentarer





Muslin beauties.

After yesterday's roller derby practice I took off my sweaty clothes and changed into jeans so that I would feel at least mildly presentable at the local design museum Röhsska, which I blog about now and then. Currently my fomer summer school teacher has curated an exhibition with students from the Swedish design university. He has employed the same principles that he thought us "study the great and you will develop your own design sense".

The students had picked one garment each from the cocktail dress exhibition, which features work from designers like Jean Paul Gaultier, Ossie Clark and Elsa Schiaparelli. Then they copied the dress, by draping muslin on a dummy. Then afterwards they designed their own look, which was inspired by the original garment. Some did a rather literal cover, whilst others did versions that had just a very slight reference to the original. But to me on of the most stunning things was the see the muslin versions of the designer dresses. They were almost as beautiful as the original, sometimes even more because you could see all the style lines and the insane amount of work that goes into high end dresses.

Fashionable movies

Bill Cunningham New York

Sunday, October 02, 2011Johanna / 1 kommentarer

Documentaries can be many different things, but for me personally, I often find the ones focusing on a person, while also telling a bigger story, to be the most fascinating. This documentary about street fashion photographer Bill Cunningham is a great example of this.

Bill Cunningham rides around New York on his bike day and night, taking photos of street fashion as well as observing high society during various charity events. Everyone knows of him, but hardly anyone seem to know him well. Even people who has worked with him for ages have no idea about his personal life or how he spends his time when he is not taking photographs. As the movie unfolds you realize that being a photographer is his life - he even sleeps between the storing cabinets that holds all his negatives. His tiny apartment has neither a kitchen or a bathroom "who needs them, just more rooms to clean" he laments when faced with having to move.

I have known of his photos for decades. but I'm an even bigger admirer know. Despite pushing the 80's he is roaming the streets endlessly, looking for trends and patterns, while also heralding the eccentrics  the drag queens, the bold. The documentary is done with a very respectful, gentle hand, while still being close to the subject. In fact the directors weren't allowed to set appointments with Bill, instead they waited outside his home, his work, his functions to see if he was in the mood to be filmed. You would expect that such conditions would create a stiff movie, but the result is instead very spontaneous and relaxed, just like Bill's photos.

I will definitely put this on the must-see list, so if you have yet to catch this wonderful movie, you are in for a treat! It's available on DVD.