Sunday was Sewing-For-Fun day!

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.

Fun Sunday sewing: A v-neck kimono Tee (I just changed the neckline) - oversized by adding about 1.5cm to each side seam.. Made from the last scrap of the OTT animal print. Love it!

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:-)

The Draped Skirt Tute

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!

Here’s how:

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.)
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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.

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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.
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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:-)

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6. We now have a messy twisted blob instead of a simple tube:

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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.

drape skirt collage

Happy Sewing! :-)

The Last Skirts of Summer!

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.
skirts by MariaDenmark

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???

 

 

When in Rome.. (and also – a winner!)

So last Sunday, my husband came to me and said: “Tomorrow afternoon we are going to Rome to celebrate our anniversary Tuesday.”

Well.

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.

All roads lead to Rome, you see…

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):

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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!

[I’m wearing a leo print oversize tee (pattern may come..) tied at the lower waist. feeling v 80s! And slightly out of my comfort zone]

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…

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[In front of the Pantheon. Wearing no me-mades. Very rare thing to happen]

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.

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[8 years!]

And now: The winner!

The tired husband volunteered to play Lady Luck and here are the results:
winner
Congratulations, Anna! I will mail it to you on Friday!

Here’s Edith: (you could win fabric!)

Finally!

After months of drawing, drafting, cutting, printing, sewing, muslining, correcting, sewing and finally grading and writing (and you guys waiting), Edith is ready!

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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.

This is one of the few pics I have at home of my grandmother Edith in the mid 50s. She's on the left with my uncle standing and my father in the stroller. It's her sister wearing a dress with a rounded lapel and collar on the right.

This is one of the few pics I have at home of my grandmother Edith in the mid 50s. She’s on the left with my uncle standing and my father in the stroller. It’s her sister wearing a dress with a rounded lapel and collar on the right.

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.

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Relaxing after the photo shoot. That’s my bathroom window behind me – with shampoo bottles etc.. ahem…

And here she is, finally!

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.
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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.

So how can you get this lovely pattern? As always, it’s available on MariaDenmark | ShopONION.com, on Craftsy.com and on Patternreview.com.

EdithBlouse
Oh, and I promised that you can win fabric!

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!

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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..

Kittens And Cushions

Sorry to overwhelm you with cuteness, but take a look:

Kitten cuteness

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

{Not pretty - Yet! The bags are filled with cut fabric and finished cushion covers. I have 5 to go. Then I will have paid for the pretty sewing machine}

{Not pretty – Yet! The bags are filled with cut fabric and finished cushion covers. I have 5 to go. Then I will have paid for the pretty sewing machine}

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.

Summer

I have a lot of sewing planned, though. Just waiting for finishing those cushions!

It’s Just a Tank Top…

What do I see over there

{In the midlle of my kitchen garden}

{In the middle of my kitchen garden}

 

Let’s get closer

(and ignore all the mess. My garden is for eating, and sometimes I don't get to move things out of the way...)

(and ignore all the mess. My garden is for eating, and sometimes I don’t get to move things out of the way…)

And closer

There it is

There it is

Yes. It’s Just a Tank Top – The newest of my patterns:

I struggled to find a name for this top - and kept saying: It's just a tank top. So that's what it's called

I struggled to find a name for this top – and kept saying: It’s just a tank top. So that’s what it’s called

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.

Want to get a great offer for this pattern? It’s included in the latest version of my newsletter! (remember to subscribe if you’d like more articles, news and offers from me!)

Or you can go find the pattern on Craftsy:

 

Talk to you soon! (I want to tell you about the humongous sewing project I’m doing for my parents. Humongous – I tell you. But that’s the least I can do…)

 

Photo shoot day!

IMG_4801 by mariadenmark
IMG_4801, a photo by mariadenmark on Flickr.

Today is photo shoot day and the chickens kept getting in the way. So I called them and they followed me to the coop. The photographer was very amused!I’m wearing the Just a Tank Top to be released this week-end!

WoW! It’s June allready! – More Me-Mades

Important notice for anyone who already got the Birgitte Basic Tee: Go download it again! I made a new and prettier better version of the pattern sheet (and so much easier to assemble!) and also updated the instructions.

Well, times flies when you’re having fun – as they say. And I AM having fun. Rambling ahead…

I’m very busy at the moment with translating gigs, drafting for others (getting paid to do so)  and teaching a great big bunch of T-shirt Workshops at night. Not that much time left for my own patterns – not to mention sewing or blogging about it.. (and then of course, there are still days in the fabric store…)

IMG_2048BSuperCat

{And then the cat needed surgery – and I did sew: I sewed her a shirt/cape to keep her from biting the stitches – I present: Super Cat}

But I AM having fun! I get to make money talking, writing and drawing about sewing. And that is exactly what I quit my school teaching job for!

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{One of the most worn combinations – jeans (or me-made shorts), Me-Made tank top and cardigan. Here at the hairdresser with my hairdressers Zanni (in the US tee) and Belinda}

Anyway. The Me-Made-May. I did a little better than last year in that I actually wore Me-Mades every day of May. But I didn’t do posts about it – or even upload to the Flickr Group – and that was sort of the point. But here is my sum-up:

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Yixi, an online acquaintances and long time customers became a RL friend when she visited me in Denmark in May. The crazy eyes/smile is just me being super excited – and not very photogenic… I’m wearing me-made tank top

I wore a lot of me-made t-shirts and tank tops with jeans (not me-made) and shorts. I only wore my wide legged trousers once, and the skirts only appeared a couple of times as well. But my Minoru rain-jacket was a staple throughout May as was all my knit fabric dresses – Especially my Audreys – they were great when I needed something a little more dressy – like when I actually left the office in my house..

So, anyway. I hope you are still here – and I also just want to let you know that I’m in the process of editing all my pattern sheets (finally got a hang on how to fix the width of the lines) to make them prettier, easier to use and a lot easier to assemble. For now I’ve (as I said in the beginning of the post) edited the Birgitte Basic Tee and if you already bought it (in my shop or at Craftsy.com) you should re-download it. Go ahead!

Summer Street Dress Sew-Along

Hello, hello..

You know how life happens once in a while, and you just can’t seem to find the time to sit down and look at your me-made photos and post about them? Well, that. I’ll do a big catching up post today, though…

But first – I just wanted to mention that there is a

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Summer Street Dress Sew-Along happening over at Patternreview.com.

This is the dress, you may remember, that Deepika from Patternreview designed and I drafted and which is available only through Patternreview.com.

I’m looking forward to see everyone’s interpretations of the pattern!