Velvet bow hair pin

Tuesday, January 31, 2012Johanna / 1 kommentarer
I don't normally do much crafty things except sewing, but I had some scraps laying around that I thought would make nice bow hair pins. They are super easy to make and here is how.

You'll need a bobby hair pin, some ribbon, a pearl, glue (I used super glue) and strong sewing thread.

Cut the ribbon in two pieces and start building the bow. 

Just make sure you don't glue the whole back together as you need to get the hair pin through.

Attach the pearl with thread and if the back of the pearl is flat, you can use some glue to secure the pearl to the bow.

Put the pin through the ribbon and secure it with some super glue. That's all!

I did mine pretty small, but I think you can go bigger, though that would require more sturdy bobby pins to hold the weight. The small ones are quite flimsy and I haven't found the sturdy ones in Swedish craft stores, so I just used some regular chain store bobby pins.
Fashion Shopping

Belinda sweater

Friday, January 27, 2012Johanna / 1 kommentarer

As I talked about the other week, I went on a little shopping binge. The other totally non-necessary purchase was the Belinda sweater from Jumperfabriken, that I've been craving for a while. I got it at a sale and Jumperfabriken's own sitesale now offers 60% off. I just love this brand, the retro inspired designs has such attention to details plus the quality is great. An they ship to many countries. 
Life of Johanna

A little blah

Thursday, January 26, 2012Johanna / 0 kommentarer
I've had a few sucky days this week. The RSI in my neck and shoulders has reared it's ugly head again  (it usually does this time of the year, I think it's related to seasonal fatigue). Then I failed the grueling 2+ hours roller derby test that would qualify me to do proper bouts (i.e. training for and subsequently participate in games). I am bit sensitive about this kind of "failures" so it hit me harder than I had expected (there were some tears). But after a comforting semla and some perspective (like the fact that most of the rookies failed the test, plus I have no place on a track if I don't have the proper skills) it felt a bit better.

But then I got the stomach flu which didn't exactly cheer me up either. Blah. Anyways I think I am back on track now, even though the lack of food has drained me of some energy. At least I managed to eat half a pizza tonight. And tomorrow I got an appointment with my massage therapist, plus I have started to see a chiropractor again (such are the prices I have to pay for working in front of the computer for over a decade). In the past I suffered through a very debilitating shoulder injury that lasted several years, but at least now I have the tools to deal with it, and if I am proactive I can usually curb the pain at an early stage. I also see my massage therapist every month, and has for years, which has been a great preventive method. So hopefully things will start to look up again!


Life through a Holga lens

Saturday, January 14, 2012Johanna / 3 kommentarer
My daughter and my dad.

My eldest daughter got a Holga lens for her birthday. The lens is made for digital cameras, but mimics the original film camera lens. Of course these days most folks add Holga, Lomo and Diana type of effects with their iPhones (aka Hipstamatic) which gives more consistent and generally more striking images. But the side effect is that it has also lead to a look that feels rather overexposed (pun somewhat intended).

Today we went for a walk in the woods and brought our cameras with us, and I thought I should share some Holga images that my daughter and I took. The results are not nearly as distinct as Hipstmatic but I personally prefer it this way and my daughter was happy with the results too.

I think the lens adds an analog camera quality to the digital pictures. It doesn't work indoors however as it needs plenty of light and it basically turns your fancy DSLR to a point and click camera. I think a lens like this just cost around $30 on Ebay and it weighs only marginally more than a paper cup.

Fashion Shopping

The lure of shopping

Friday, January 13, 2012Johanna / 4 kommentarer

Have you ever noticed that once you start shopping it just seem to escalate? I often stay out of the stores, mostly due to not having the time anymore to prowl aimlessly. And then I pat myself on the back, a little smugly, for not having bought anything in a long while. And when the smugness sets in, well it's a sure sign that I'm about to slip back into a shopping frenzy.

It all started innocently at lunchtime on Thursday. I followed a colleague to a sale at the local mall to help him pick out some new jeans. And then, all of a sudden, I was over at the women department checking out the cardigans, which is something that I definitely not need, as I already got about one thousand of them. Anyway I ended up buying this wool fair isle cardigan from Gant. Back at work my thoughts started to drift again and somehow I ordered yet another sweater, which I need approximately as much as I need a new cardigan, i.e. not at all. Then I started to lament on Facebook about my shopping binge as a lame attempt to control the urges. To sum it up: I.Really.Need.To.Stay.Out.Of.The.Stores.

Love the cardigan though!


Fabrics for designer knockoffs

Thursday, January 12, 2012Johanna / 1 kommentarer
One thing that I really like about EmmaOneSock is that she often manages to score fabrics that are actually used in designer's collections. Like these Anna Sui and Marc Jacobs designs. Great if you want to make something high end for a fraction of the price.

I really like this telephone print from Anna Sui.

Zodiac print from a few from Anna Sui collections back.

The same Anna Sui dress fabric but a different colourway.

And this is the fabric for these Marc Jacobs pants.
Fashion Life of Johanna

A nifty trade

Saturday, January 07, 2012Johanna / 1 kommentarer

Three years ago me and my crafty friend Anita did a trade, I made her a bag and she made me a beret. Then we devised a second trade, but life gets in the way sometimes (she had a baby!) so things took a little longer. But today I was given this amazing cardigan. The yarn is a heavy, slightly glossy rayon/cotton yarn with a wonderful soft touch. I am in awe of her skills. 
Life of Johanna

Nike running sensor - a review

Friday, January 06, 2012Johanna / 2 kommentarer

I got a Nike sensor and sportsband  as a Xmas present from my husband. I have been craving one for years, ever since my co-worker got one from her husband and told me about it. This was before it was even available in Sweden I think (the co-workers husband bought it in the US). And before smartphones and gps-based running apps. Now of course there is a Nike gps app and all sorts of Nike gear combinations, but if you don't own an iphone or a  modern ipod the sensor and sportband is the easiest option to go for if you want a Nike  setup. It's basically a more advanced pedometer. It keeps track of distances, time, pace and also gives an estimate of calories burned (I don't trust that sort of measurements though, from what I understand gadgets tend to overestimate that number by a lot).

The biggest advantage with a sensor/sportsband over gps is that it keeps track of treadmills runs too. The biggest disadvantage is that there are no route maps and the distance can be slightly off (it can be calibrated though). Compared to the free Runkeeper site the Nike plus is nicer, more visually inspiring and has better organisation. Though when I tried to upload runs and walks during the holidays the whole Nike running site was pretty much collapsed due to overload. I had numerous of issues and spent a large chunk of time on their Facebook help forum and it took several days before all my problems were sorted out.

Today I went for a run again and this time everything worked perfectly. Except my time, lol. I was actually faster two weeks ago. I blame it on the cold. This was the first time ever that I ran outside when the temperature was below zero. I haven't been running at all this fall but I am planning for a 5k in the spring and a 10k in the summer. Since I got the sensor I've already been out running three times, so clearly it was a much needed encouragement!

Life of Johanna

2011 - a year in review

Wednesday, January 04, 2012Johanna / 9 kommentarer
So apparently we are already on day four of the new year! Which made me realize that I need to hurry up with my annual blogging retrospective. If I procrastinate a little longer, it might as well be March before I get around to it. Something really does happen with the perception of time when we get older. So here comes my year of sewing and blogging.

Favorite sewing project:
My wedding dress by all accounts. Yes it was stressful and the fabrics were insane to work with, but I loved the outcome and the special meaning. This dress will always have a very sacred place in my heart.

Most worn: 
 The Karl Lagerfeldt skirt. I wear this so much, like every week.
And much more than any other skirt. It's genius. Genius! Just like Karl.

Most exciting blog development: 
I started adding recipes! Yes I can get excited about the small things in life :) Sometimes the sewing blogging can be a little constricting so 2011 I gradually started to include other things in the blog. I never have any plans with this blog, it all sort of happens organically and on inspiration. Which is also why sometimes the blogging is a bit erratic.

Biggest surprise:
That I would take up roller derby at the age of 39. We return to training tomorrow and I got serious jitters. What if I have forgotten how to skate?

Biggest mistake:
The dress that turned into a top because I can be such a absent minded person sometimes. Note to self:  Double check the fabric before cutting it. I like the top though.

Best wardrobe builder: 
The Burdastyle workout t-shirt. Words cannot describe what a brilliant lounge top this is. This is the first top I grab in the wardrobe after washing. In fact I often pick it straight from the washing bag.

 Biggest blog celebrity moment:
When I got an email from the director of the Halston documentary that I reviewed. He agreed that Richard E Grant would be perfect to play Halston!
Book corner Life of Johanna

Mail order nostalgia

Tuesday, January 03, 2012Johanna / 0 kommentarer
My eldest daughter gave me this book for Christmas. It's called Postordernostalgi and is a collection of cuttings from Swedish mail order catalogs spanning over the 60's to the 90's. I own plenty of English and American versions of these kind of books, but this is the first Swedish book mail order collection I think.

Some stuff is super cute, like these 60's outfits. Love the graphic rose print to the left.

Others are a bit comical, but as the copy says "sports garments now becomes a part of every day wear". A trend that has stayed with us for decades.

Other styles has been out in the cold for a while, but are now back in style, like the Hasbeens shoes.

 And then suddenly I am reminded of my own shady fashion past. Back in the 80's I ordered the ensemble to the left, in pink naturally!
outfit Patterns Tutorials

More about the Onion wrap dress

Monday, January 02, 2012Johanna / 4 kommentarer
Thank you so much for the comments about the dress! I just wanted to add some more info about the pattern and some of the construction details of the dress that might be useful.

The pattern is Danish but there is also an English version available, so you don't have to understand Danish to follow the instructions. No seam allowances included as per usual when it comes to European patterns. The pattern is printed on very sturdy paper which I appreciate very much. You can also read my review for more specifics about the pattern.

One really clever thing with this pattern is that you attach the waist tie in the neckline binding before the binding is sewn to the neckline. I did my tie wider and thus had to ruche the belt into the binding. 

I attached the collar last, after the binding was in place.

I did some tacking stitches on the binding to keep the collar in place and make the binding more like a collar stand. 

And here you can see me in the dress on New Years Eve, melting some chocolate for the dessert fondue. I managed to stain my dress a bit, but that is one of the hazards of a party!