Monthly Archives: February 2013

You’d Almost Think I Worked In a Fabric Store…

or: Some Sewing For Fun

A few weeks back Dennis (you, know, the husband/programmer/webmaster), who never seems to notice anything regarding home dec or fabric, commented on the ratty state of our old tea cozy.

He was right, you know. I made the old one 14 years ago. The filling was some sort of thin batting (and it didn’t really keep the tea warm for long) that lost it’s fluffy-ness 10 years ago. Also – the fabric screams 90′s (so I guess it will soon be retro-cool?) and reminds of the apartment I lived in with my son’s father, so you know. Looong overdue for change.

oldteacozy

Anyway. When he mentioned it, I could see that I had to do something about it. That same day I bought a meter of each of the two patchwork cottons I’d had used when I made a small box bag recently + some thermal interfacing. Washed them, hung them close to the furnace to dry, and the very next morning I got out the fabric, the old tea cozy and the tea pot and started to make a pattern by comparing tea pot measurements and old tea cozy.

And this is what came out of it. A lovely new tea cozy (that actually keeps the tea warm for a long time):

{New Lovely Tea Cozy - with cat hairs and tea stains and everything}

{New Lovely Tea Cozy – with cat hairs and tea stains and everything}

I used a double layer of the thermal interfacing (as recommended by the manufacturer – all though one wonders why they just don’t make it in a double layer then) and it’s a bit stiff to work with, but it went okay (all though a walking foot would have been nice). I can’t bother with bias tape, so I did a right-sides-togheter-turn-press-edgestitch thing instead. Worked fine.

That was quickly done, and then I had a lot of fabric left, so I decided to make matching pot holders. Still some left, so I made bread basket napkins thing-ies.

{Pot holders and bread basket napkins. Crumps and cat hairs included}

{Pot holders and bread basket napkins. Crumps and cat hairs included}

There is still a little fabric left. I think they’ll be small zipped pouches. I can’t do more for the table. It already looks like I’m a person who enjoys to sew and works in a fabric store with coordinating fabric. And we all know that’s not like me at all….

Come Lounge with me..

Here it is:

{Lounging with a book and a smile}

{Lounging with a book and a smile}

My newest pattern: MariaDenmark 302 – Laura Lounge Trousers

{New pattern Front Page. Had a little fun with modelling this time:-)}

{New pattern Front Page. Had a little fun with modelling this time:-)}

You might recall how these super cute and very comfortable lounge trousers started their life. It was when Gillian dared me on Twitter and I made my bright lounge wear set. I already had an idea for the trousers in my head on on the sketch pad and the dare made me draft the pattern properly.

Changes have been made since the original and I also added a jersey waistband option – because it can sometimes be hard to find ribbing in the right colours. You can even use a remnant from making your Birgitte Basic Tee to create a matching set!

{Smocked waistband. Really easy!}

{Smocked waistband. Really easy!}

The Laura Lounge Trousers are comfortable enough to do yoga or sleep in, but stylish enough that you won’t be ashamed to answer the door while wearing them.

These versions are made with cotton knit velour, but I would also recommend making a pair in sweatshirt fabric (with the soft side against the skin, it’ll be great for cold winter nights) or in a heavy jersey or double knit. Actually I have some fabric for making myself a grey sweatshirt fabric version. I’m thinking to add ribbed cuffs to make them more baggy and maybe some patch pockets… You know. For when I have a Sewing-For-Fun-Day.

Anyway. Pattern is available on MariaDenmark | ShopONION.com and on Craftsy.com (Europeans – check both links to find the best price – that’s all I’m ever going to say on that. For the rest of you the price ends up being the same w fees and stuff). It will also be on Patternreview.com shortly.

 

Sneak Peaks and Thank Yous

First of all – sorry for my absence. A mean bug decided to invade me and I have been sick (yes, really, not just ill) for over a week. It’s the kind of bug that’ll let you think you are okay then BAM drag you bag to bed. I think I’m better now, knock on wood. This post was partly written when the bug hit, and now I’m just going to post it..

Wow! You guys are amazing! Amazing!

Here I go and post two posts in a row asking to give me your opinions. And not only do I get a lot of answers. I get really well thought out answers that I can totally use when figuring out how to focus my energies and what to work towards.

Thank you!

 

{A new pattern on the way... Guesses?}

{A new pattern on the way… Guesses?}

I will post some results when I have them properly analysed and thought about them. But let me just tell you. I’m thinking I should continue to make fitting instructions with the patterns – because fitting must be the biggest frustration for sewers today – and there is really no need for that. It’s just techniques that can be learned.

So January has been for accounting, planning, translating, teaching and considering. February is still translating and teaching and planning and NEW PATTERNS!

{Smocking on a waistband... Could it be stylish lounge trousers?}

{Smocking on a waistband… Could these be stylish lounge trousers?}

I get a tiny bit distracted with new design ideas basicly all the time, but a meeting with my mentor made me realize that while inspiration is good, it will not let me finish products to sell if I get sidetracked. So I should sketch and describe any new idea, but really try to hold on to what I’m working on and my production plan.

Right now I’m finishing up two patterns – and making my first version of a third pattern I’m considering to release (one of those that just popped into my head).

{A toile}

{A toile}

I’ll be back soon with some FOs and a pattern release…

To Print Or Not To Print

When I started making plans for being an independent pattern designer, I didn’t consider printing my patterns and selling them in an envelope at all.

First of all, I thought it was impossible, financially. I would have to get a loan and not even being sure I could pay it back… well. I didn’t want to go there.

 

7his has absolutely nothing to do with the post, but it's a sample I did for a class. I started out w 2 pieces of fabric + a zipper}

{This has absolutely nothing to do with the post, but it’s a sample I did for a class. I started out w 2 pieces of fabric + a zipper}

Second, I’ve always felt that the one thing I wanted for my patterns to be unique or just special, would be the thorough instructions. Illustrated with clear photos, and even including fitting advise. With printed patterns, this can’t really be done, because it’s too expensive to print colour photos and to have many pages in the instructions, which is needed for them to truly show step-by-step sewing.

Third, I believe that it’s better (and a lot faster!) for the environment – and for the business to ship via the cheap and energy efficient internet shipping (hah!) than via a more unreliable postal service. And I do believe we will see more and more pdf patterns until they are the norm – and I do want to (and believe I am on the way) be among the first businesses to rely on pdf patterns as an stable income.

{.. I stitched a couple of seams..}

{.. I stitched a couple of seams..}

So. Why do I write that? Well.

A lot of people have written me asking me to print my patterns. And then there was a big talk on Twitter about it. And I got contacted by someone who will actually be able to print smaller amounts (usual minimum is 1000) at a fair price. And then I started thinking.

If people want printed patterns, maybe I can print some, with as detailed instructions as I have room for, and maybe B&W pics, and then give a link and a code to full colour (and fully detailed) instructions?!  What do you think?

{..and then I turned everything and did a few more seams..}

{..and then I turned everything and did a few more seams..}

I can’t do a Kickstarter funding since I’m not a US or UK resident. But I might be able to do a preorder thing that’s working the same way.. I’ll consider (and calculate) a bit more – but I’d love to know what you think!

And you know – I am already selling printed patterns. They are not my own design (but I have translated the instructions), and the instructions are not as thorough as the ones I do. But both the other brands (namely ONION and MiniKrea) are Danish designed patterns, in much the same design philosophy as I use.. And they come with instructions in English.

I send out newsletters with articles and offers for MariaDenmark patterns as well as Onion and MiniKrea (for instance – every month, a new ONION pattern is 25% off – this Month it’s an easy-to-sew jacket or coat.) You can sign up for my newsletter here (and in the sidebar):

 

Boxbag made by MariaDenmark

{..and it ended up being a super cute box bag, which I’m using in the fabric store to have my lotion and tissues etc. close by. Lousy Iphone pic – I apologize. But I do love the colour combination }