So many weeks ago, I released my newest pattern: The MariaDenmark Paula Pleat Skirt. And what a great welcome it has gotten, I am so happy!
For some reason I thought I had published this post – about the release – at the same time, but obviously I hadn’t. Well. What can I say.:-)
So anyway… You’ve probably seen it by now – but this is my latest pattern:
I really really like my Paula Pleat skirts! And I’ve been wearing them a lot!
I always loved the wide skirts ’50′s look on others, but since I have no shape (well, not much waist, anyway) and am short waisted, I don’t really look good in skirts like that (full skirt, tiny waist, that is).
But I figured out how to wear them, anyway:
Instead of wearing the skirts at my natural waist, I’ve lowered the waistline on this pattern some (3.5 cm /1.5″) (so if you should be lucky enough to have a pear or hourglass shape, raise the waistline by the same amount ( – just add to the top of the pattern, lengthening the darts and moving the pleats straight up – or go down a size) and then, whenever I tuck my tops (which need to be somewhat close fitting for this look to work), I wear a buttoned cardigan or blazer jacket with waist shaping on top.
See? It almost looks like I have a waist…
Do you want to make your own skirt?
Joanne and Ashley already did – and I want their versions, too!
So, since I was an idiot (did you known that the origin of the word “idiot” is ancient Greek, and that it was used to refer to a person who didn’t vote(i.e. didn’t take part in society)? Well I do vote – I’m not that kind of idiot:-)) and didn’t post this when the pattern was released, and therefore didn’t give you the intro offer – I’ve made a special offer, just for you:
It’s been almost two weeks since I was in London, already – Now I better tell you something about it!
First of all – I had a fabulous trip! I stayed at an airbnb which allowed me to live at Portobello Road for a forth of what it would have been had I stayed in a hotel – and also, it was a great experience, staying with locals! I highly recommend!
Saturday I met up with Karin from Sweden. We’ve known each other for a long time and met at the first Patternreview European meet-up. We had coffee and then walked through Portobello Road looking at all the great stalls and shops. (My host later told me that there is a really good fabric vendor there (close to the Portobello Green) who has his stall up on Fridays! He apparently buys fabric from design houses in France and sells cuts at a really good price. Next time I’m going to go there on a Friday!!!) And we stumbled across yarnbombing at Portobello Green! We had to hug the trees!
Then we went to Islington (Angel tube station). What a lovely area! We walked around a bit and browsed the shops and stalls and suddenly we were right in front of the Loop yarn store! We had to go in, of course – having heard so much about it – and we might also have shopped a tiny bit…
Next up was Ray-Stitch. Great shop – and I got some pins etc and was very tempted to get some liberty jersey. I didn’t though, and now I so regret it. It was lovely and in greenish and teal toner. Would have been absolutely perfect for me!
Anyway.. I was there to meet Stephanie from Starcross Sewing for an interview. She is doing this thing where she sews from a new indie pattern company each month and then interview and review the products. Go visit her – she is having a give-away of one of my patterns!
The rest of the evening was spend with wine and dinner and when I returned home to my room, my host and her friends invited me to have cheese and wine with them. That was really interesting and they were very kind. I went to bed soon though because Sunday was the big Patternreview meet-up!
First of course I had to figure out what to wear:
Words can not really convey what a Patternreview meet-up is like. And neither can pictures, I’m afraid. It’s like being with your bests of friends and you just talk and talk and talk and have a great time. We started out talking about sewing but eventually we were covering other subjects such as husbands, driving, politics and pubic hair (yes, really, but that was a lot later and after a Gin & Tonic or two…)..
But before that, we were at the V&A and spend some lovely hours sitting outside in the sun and having lunch and just talking sewing. Later we went to Liberty’s (yes, I bought a piece of souvenir fabric) and after that some of us went to a pub for some drinks (and this is where the talking evolved somehow).. You can hear about the V&A – and my interview with Deepika from Patternreview in the latest episode of the twinneedle podcast.
I am so happy I finally got to meet Deepika – founder of Patternreview.com. We’ve known each other and talked via e-mails and on Skype for ages, and strangely it didn’t feel like we were strangers at all. It felt like we were friends, who had just seen each other last week, and will see each other again in a couple of weeks.
More wine and dinner on Sunday evening (a great Turkish restaurent in Lamberth!) and Monday I spend walking around London (I love doing the London Walks!) and then met up with Karin again for a lovely afternoon tea, before I caught the flight back home.
Can you tell I had a great time? I only wish I had been able to meet Rachel (House of Pinheiro) and Karen (Did you Make That) and Winnie (Scruffy Badger) and other bloggers as well. Well, I’m hoping to come back to London in January. See you then?
Sunday I squeezed in some sewing for fun. I just had to use the leftovers of the fantastic (but maybe slightly over the top) animal print fabric – the one I also used for the drape skirt.
So I made a quick Kirsten Kimono Tee.
Alterations: I changed the neckline into a very deep V – and also added about 1.5 cm to each side seam to get the oversized look. I thought this drapey and thin viscose (rayon) jersey was perfect for an oversized tee.
It’s a little on the short side, but works fine. No one is home to help me take pictures these days – and I couldn’t be bothered with the tripod (or with doing hair and make-up), so this Iphone thing will have to do… (I found out that if I’m waiting for the perfect time and for the perfect pictures, I never get around to blog. Big surprise…)
P.S. If you want the Kirsten Kimono Tee pattern and don’t see it popping up in the right corner of the screen (it doesn’t work well on phones, for instance) – just go and subscribe to my newsletter via this link instead. Does the same thing:-)
Great news: It turn out that the draped skirt works well with tights for winter too! I wore the grey one all day yesterday around the house – and it’s very comfortable. Yay!
Do you want to make one now? – It’ll take you less than an hour!
1. Cut a piece of nice jersey (not too heavy, ponte knits won’t work) the width of your hips + seam allowances and twice the length you want the skirt to be + twice the seam allowances (if you are making a casing instead of adding ribbing, remember to add something for the casing as well.)
For me that was 96 cm wide (I folded the fabric and measured out 48 cm) and 102 cm long.
2. Snip mark the fabric at the fold (opposite of where the seam is going to be) at each end.
3. Sew the seam (using a stretchy seam), right sides together and press. You now have a long tube.
4. Fold the tube into a double layer, wrong sides together. The folded edge is your hem. 5. Now we turn the outer layer of the skirt half way around the inner layer. This is where we need the snip marks. You simple turn the outer layer so that each snip mark aligns with a seam. Pin or baste or both:-)
6. We now have a messy twisted blob instead of a simple tube:
7. Finish the waist by either sewing a casing and inserting elastic or by adding ribbing (with or with out elastic). I added ribbing by cutting ribbing 14 cm high and about 10% less than the waist wide, sewed the centre back seam of the ribbing, folded and pressed it wrong sides together and sewed it on with a 5 cm wide elastic in between the ribbing layers.
8. You are done. Yay! Wear the skirt with sandals or ballet flats in summer and with tights and boots in winter.
How are you? It’s been some time, but teaching season has begun here – and I’ve been lucky enough to get quite a few classes and workshops at the community college. Besides teaching a bit of fitting, sewing and knitting, I’m teaching English and IT for senior citizens, and I love being able to wear my teaching wardrobe (with high heels!) again!
So I have been sewing a tiny bit for fun (and I didn’t take any decent pictures because I just wanted to sew!) – and just before summer ended (it ended last week, FYI), I decided I needed some new summer skirts. You know – the very last minute kind.
First up: The drape skirts.
You have seen these. They were all over the place last year, and I’ve seen some in stores this season as well. I like the drape – and when I finally figured out how to make them, I had to make a couple. Seriously – They took like 30 minutes each to make.
The first one ended up a little on the short side. I hadn’t taken into consideration that the drape actually takes up some of the length… As much as I love that one, I’m not really able to wear it outside the house – and especially not at the fabric store where I bend over a lot:-)
I really like the grey one with the ribbing (the others I just make a casing with elastic), and will try it out wearing it with tights – I don’t know if it will work or if it will get stuck. But anyway – I’ll let you know, and it’s great for wearing when it’s really warm!
As I said – really simple to make… Do you want a tutorial? Tutorial HERE
Secondly: The 50′s skirt muslin
I’ve had this pattern in my head for some time and had made the first draft of the pattern. I hadn’t had time to work much on my own patterns this summer, so I decided to see if I could make a wearable muslin from it. The aqua twill was perfect – even though it wrinkles somewhat easily.
I’ve made some alterations to the pattern and now I’m ready to try a winter version – in a herringbone wool with a satin lining.It would also be brilliant in a fake leather, don’t you think???
So last Sunday, my husband came to me and said: “Tomorrow afternoon we are going to Rome to celebrate our anniversary Tuesday.”
We always go some where on our anniversary – but usually just in the immediate surroundings i.e. in Denmark or somewhere in Scandinavia. But since no one sensible goes to Rome in August (it’s warm! and there are no swimming pools!) it’s actually a lot cheaper to get airline tickets and a hotel there than to drive and get a hotel here. So Dennis went to work in the morning and I took the train in the afternoon to meet him at the airport.
And off we went. And 3 hours later, we were at the hotel. I highly recommend this place, BTW. Very centrally placed (200 m from the Trevi fountain), Very designed, very Italian – Check out our brand new room (they had just opened these rooms the Friday before):
It’s leopard print fabric on the walls, people! You would have thought I had ordered it, but no! That’s just what we got! I know! Perfect!
So we went to dinner at a place that was recommended by the receptionist (we arrived at 10 pm – no problems, that’s when the Romans eat, and you know: When in Rome…. (also it was 30 degrees C. At 10 pm!). Delicious and very fair priced! Also nice wine.
Next morning – our anniversary – and first of two days we had in Rome. We had booked a tour at the Vatican. And that posed the first problem: To cover my knees and shoulders (as you need to do in the churches). In that kind of heat! I had tweeted and asked for help on Sunday and got some hints, but every dress I had that covered my knees was too thick for the warmth in Rome – so I ended up just buying a jersey skirt, which turned out to be perfect! Listen! If you go to Rome (or Bali) – or somewhere else where you need to cover your knees in 30 degrees humid warmth – Make a quick stretch jersey skirt, elastic waist, preferably rayon. That’s what I’m bringing next time I go something warm. I didn’t much like the one I ended up buying (it was less than 10 Euro, so it was okay), but it was comfortable enough + (big bonus) if you make it maxi length, you can wear it with comfortable flat sandals!!! + (also bonus) you can roll it up and keep it in your purse, and when you need to wear it, you can just put in on over your shorts!
Later we went to the Trevi fountain and threw a coin and to the Spanish Steps for drinks, then had dinner on a great restaurant somebody had recommended to us.
Anyway. Rome wasn’t seen – or build - in a day, but we got close to see it all in two (no, not really)!
We interrupt with a fun language lesson: In Danish Rome (Rom) and rum (rom, the drink) is spelled and pronounced exactly the same. This has led to my mother turning the phrase “Rome wasn’t build in a day” into “Rum wasn’t drunk in one day”. I don’t know if this is just for my family… but alas…
On the second day, we went walking all over Rome to cover all the places my mom had texted me I had to see (yes, I’m 38 in less than 3 weeks, but she’s still my mommy…): Pantheon, Colloseum, Piazza Navona, Forum Romanum etc, and walked to the island in Tiber and across that to get to a small restaurent in the Travestere area, also recommended to us. We had the best pasta there. It was truly amazing!
Obelix always said: They are crazy, those Romans.I didn’t meet anyone particular crazy this time around, all though I must admit that the shoes on the Roman women (walking on cobblestone, mind you) were crazy high, but we met a lot of nice and friendly Romans – and I think we will be back (but maybe not in August).
It was a great anniversary. I can’t believe we have been married for 8 years already.
And now: The winner!
The tired husband volunteered to play Lady Luck and here are the results:
Congratulations, Anna! I will mail it to you on Friday!
After months of drawing, drafting, cutting, printing, sewing, muslining, correcting, sewing and finally grading and writing (and you guys waiting), Edith is ready!
I was first inspired to draft and sew the Edith blouse, when I was looking through a photo album with pictures of my paternal grandmother (“Farmor” in Danish) from the mid 50s. So I named it after her.
Unlike what you see in tv series and movies, the dresses my farmor and her sisters wore were not as moviestar elegant and had much less width in the skirts. But the rounded collar and lapel details were really flattering and was just what I wanted. I didn’t intend then to make a pattern to sell, but when the people on twitter said they wanted one, I decided to give it a go.
So what is she like? Why should you make your own Edith?
Well, she is an absolutely timeless blouse or shirtdress, with softly rounded collar and lapels and is very flattering to all body shapes. She gently skims the curves, and you can wear her anywhere for any occasion – with out ever getting tired of her company.
Wear the blouse with skinny jeans or trousers for work or play and the knee length dress for a night out or for shopping, depending on your fabric choice. Put on a close fitting cardigan to match the style in the autumn and winter. For hourglass or pear body shapes: Wear a belt with the dress to emphasise your tiny waist.
That’s right! If you like the blouse I’m wearing at the picture above, you can win enough of the exact same fabric (95 cm of red polka dot cotton poplin) to make your own + some extras!
Here’s how: Talk about this pattern and/or share this blog post link (you can use the buttons at the end of this post) on Twitter, Facebook or on your blog and leave a comment telling me you did so before midnight CET August 10th 2013, and I’ll draw a winner randomly next Sunday..
Sorry to overwhelm you with cuteness, but take a look:
I KNOW. Cute, right?
So this adorable kitten (still no name, any suggestions?) is an orphan kitten who was all alone and calling from the bushes in my garden all day long (this was two weeks ago). I heard her first time when I was sitting working in my office at about 2 in the afternoon. I registered that there a´was a kitten calling, and didn’t think about it any more as there are plenty of cats in the neighbour farm and they do of course sometimes wander into our garden as well. Well. When I was hanging up laundry at 5 pm, I heard the kitten cry again. I thought the kitten had been there a long time, but decided I would give the mother cat some peace and quiet to get her kitten, so I went back inside. At 7 pm I couldn’t take it anymore. The kitten was still crying, and I started pulling up the nettles and other weeds blocking the way to teh fence from where I could hear the crying. An hour later I found the small kitten (weighing less than 300 grams) and took her inside. SHe was terrified. ANd dehydrated. It was a Friday evening, but I called my vet anyway and he said I should give the kitten some milk mixed with a raw egg yolk. I had a syringe from when I had been feeding kittens before, so I gave her something to drink, and that’s about the time when she decided to give humans a chance.
Based on the weight, we would have guessed she was about 3 weeks old, but I think she was a little older. The very next day she was able to eat from a plate (cod eggs mixed with yoghurt) and use a litter box.
So, this has been taking a lot of my time recently, as well as teaching some great t-shirt workshops and
doing tons of translating and working on patterns.
Oh yes – and then there is this
The cushions I’m making for my mother’s couch. We all know that home dec is not my favourite thing, but can I just say – I’m getting the hang of it and I’m almost done. While my parents are travelling next week, I’ll go to their apartment and put the covers on the couch and I’ll remember to get a pic!
Oh, and then the other thing(s) that’s keeping me off line: The garden and the fact that we are experiencing a very nice summer here. In Denmark you never know with the weather, so when the weather is nice, you go outside as much as you can, it’ll be cold before we know it…
Here’s my garden right now (I took these pics half an hour ago). Dennis in enjoying reading a new book (and he usually only reads fiction when on holiday) and I’m ready for a dip in the pool.
I have a lot of sewing planned, though. Just waiting for finishing those cushions!
While I call it “just a tank top” it’s a brilliant basics that you can wear for any occasion. Sometimes the simplest is the best!
And this pattern is perhaps the most versatile basics of all!
A tank top of any colour or pattern can be worn with jeans or shorts for casual wear, a plain coloured or subtle print tank can be layered with a thin cardigan or blazer jacket for office wear and you could make one in a glittery jersey – or animal print – to wear with skinny jeans and heels for a night out.
Have fun using any kind of print – including kid’s jerseys – and use matching or contrasting ribbing to finish the armholes and the neckline.
Designing and drafting, sewing, knitting, gardening, running, teaching to pay the bills, struggling to make time for everything and generally living a 30-something life in Denmark.
Also translating and selling design patterns from MariaDenmark|shopOnion.com .
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