Tag Archives: life

Getting Ready for Bali

It’s almost time!

Today I put this notice on my shop

[*singingI'm going on vacation. La laaa laaa }

[*singing* I’m going on vacation. La laaa laaa }

And tomorrow the house/cat/chicken/sewing machine-sitter will arrive and I’ll be flying wayyyyy south! Bali fill up your fabric stores, for here I come!

I’m packing the 5 Game of Thrones books (haven’t watched the series, but have heard many good things, so will read it instead), the e-book reader filled up with other books, bathing suits, a few dresses for dining out, baggy trousers and lounge trousers (for the flight), shorts, kimno tees and tank tops. Oh, and plenty of sun block. I’m also bringing my computer and will have WIFI access, but I don’t know how much I’ll actually be using it – apart from sharing a few pics on Twitter ..

These weeks leading up to being ready to leave has been really busy – and there are some patterns waiting for instructions and release when I get back – want some clues?


Anyway.. I so need this vacation and plan on being all zen and super relaxed and energized on my return!

Talk to you soon!

Rrrrrrrw (The Jungle January Skirt)

I am such a lemming.

I really am.

For the last couple of weeks I’ve been (and continue to be for a few weeks to come) really really busy. Book keeping, translations of new season patterns for Onion and MiniKrea, the usual fabric store hours and teaching two new classes have left only very little time for sewing (and even less for drafting, photographing and writing, I’m afraid).

Yet I still found myself turning to my blog reader from time to time and I couldn’t help noticing the Jungle January (started by the Pretty Grievances blog) things that are going on.

So you know I had to do: In the fabric store, we sadly only had a very limited selection of animal print. Mostly chiffon and fake fur. And hidden away in the home dec section – this printed cotton/polyester blend.

Jungle January at mariadenmark.com

Nothing much to do with it (what was it intended for, I wonder.. It’s not quite heavy enough for upholstering. Pillows? Really non-drapey draperies? I don’t know.) but to make it into a skirt. I got myself 75 cm – threw it in the washer and dryer (gasp! I never put my clothes in the dryer) and quickly cut the pieces for a pencil skirt using my own skirt draft. For I was planning to wear that skirt for the baptism of my niece – and I was to be the GodMother!

{Here I am. Godmother'ing Sofie. I loved it!She behaved nicely - and so did I (I think)}

{Here I am. Godmother’ing Sofie. I loved it!She behaved nicely – and so did I (I think)}

It was a quick and dirty make – no facings, no waistband, just the skirt front and back and the lining front and back, invisible zipper, pin fitting, sewing the lining to the waist and zipper, turning, hemming – and that was it. Phew.

After working long days in the fabric store (=no sewing) Wednesday and Thursday, I finished it Friday, and then only had to make the top before leaving for the baptism on Saturday. I decided to wear a drape top with my new skirt, but the blue one was too dark and the brownish one too light, so I made one in a teal green.

I didn’t get around to take any pictures myself, these were taken by my sister, and they don’t really show the outfit. In the one below I had the sun directly in my face and couldn’t see a thing. Also it was freezing minus 8 degrees – so I just wanted to get my coat back on..


{Blinded by the light (and the snow didn't help either:-))}

{Blinded by the light (and the snow didn’t help either:-))}

Anyway. I really like my skirt. In the Iphone-pic on top I wore it with a grey t-shirt – and I think it toned the skirt down enough to be able to wear it to work. Actually – I thought it looked pretty good with the plain t-shirt.

Well. I’m off to do some more translations.. Talk to you on the other side..

I have no pictures

I really don’t. Every day this week (not true, because I was away for two of them, but anyway..) I have been trying to get some good pictures of something sewing related.

But no luck.. It’s so dark all the time. Even today, when I spend all day at the computer, I checked from time to time to see how the lighting was. No luck.


So I have no new pictures. I can’t show you how to pin fit your trousers properly. I can’t make my new header (need some artistic needle and thread works – and am not  prepared to pay for it from a photo bank, yet…) and I can’t show you the piles of fleece in lovely spring colours (because I live in a place where summer and fleece fabric actually goes together, you know) I’m using for samples for my classes that are starting next week.

I’m also working on some new designs – both for the pattern line and for other uses (so here it would be nice with pictures of my pencils, my lousy sketches and maybe a blurry pic of the design wall with spring coloured fabric) – and then there is all the end-of-year tax work. Balancing the books, labelling all the little pieces of paper, printing whatever has been kept online (so stupid that I have to print it) and placing of everything in binders.

And that’s pretty much what I did this week…. How was your week?

P.S. I just realized – I need to blog about how my taking the Seamless Pledge is working out.
I have now been banned (by myself) from buying RTW clothes, bags and shoes for two months. It’s still going great. I have been tempted by shoes, but have not bought them. I made my Christmas Dress and wore my drape tops for any other holiday parties and didn’t need anything else.
I have a bit of a challenge for January though, as I am going to be Sofie’s godmother and carry her at the baptism, and I need to work out an outfit for that. Am thinking about making the “leather” pencil skirt I’ve been talking about and pairing it with a light coloured drape top (maybe w sleeves) and heeled boots… Opinions?

I’m back – and Happy New Year!

Hey everybody!

I’ll just do one of those catching up posts again. I’ve missed you, but also kind of enjoyed being off line. It’s good with a break from time to time…

So here we go:

1. Oh, wow! I’m so thrilled by the welcome the day-to-night-top got! Amazing! (BTW – it’s still introductory priced until January 1st!) Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!
I’m also delighted to read the reviews – and the first four reviewers (who will receive a free MariaDenmark pattern + a surprise sewing package) are:
Scruffy Badger
Sew Busy Lizzy
Suzy Bee Sews
Darry Do!

I’ll send your packages in mid January and we’ll talk via e-mail about the MariaDenmark pattern (if you haven’t already, please e-mail me at maria (at) mariadenmark (dot) com!)

2. Christmas! Did you have a great time? Did you give any handmade stuff? Did you recieve any, or any sewing/knitting pressies?
I made some cotton voilé scarfs that were well recieved (I talked about them in the Christmas Special of the Podcast), as well as two pairs of handwarmers.

I also got great presents: Including a knitting pattern I’ve had on my wish list for some time and yarn and also a gliding foot for my Husquarna machine. The male members of my household (i.e. the husband and the 15 yo son) gave me wonderful presents to spoil me – including luxury underwear and jewellery (from the husband, of course ;-) ) and the son had gotten me a gift certificate for a facial. We always put little rhymes or poems (with clues) on our packages and his said “you are already pretty and this will relax you and make you even prettier” (I can’t really bother to make that rhyme in English right now.. )

{Thank you for a great year! Happy New Year!!}

{Thank you for a great year! Happy New Year!!}

3. The obligatory end-of-year review: What a year 2012 has been! A year ago I was unhappy with my workplace and grumpy and not seeing where I would be going with my career. Then during the spring I realised that I needed to do something about it all and one of the things I realized was, that I might be able to make a living from making sewing patterns and teaching on the side – making use of the drafting classes I had taken. In June I was considering and in July I knew I had to do something. I was able to quit my elementary school job in October and have worked for my self and the fabric store for 3 months now. And I’m pretty happy. And not feeling stressed out, which I love.

4. The obligatory looking forward into next year: Well I have big plans. Not only for my patterns and my designs, but also for doing something for the Danish Sewing Market. One of my “compe-leagues” (see what I did there? :-)) asked me why I wasn’t interested in selling to the Scandinavian market. My reply was that I don’t really have a platform to do it from. We are working on changing that…
So my goals for 2013? To make enough from my patterns etc to support myself fully, to develop my pattern designs and venture into the Danish market – and to have fun, keep running and gardening and find strength to overcome any obstacles that’ll be on the way. Well. Anything can happen – and it usually does.

5. Happy 2013 to all my readers and customers! Be save on New Years Eve (I’ll be wearing a Drape Top, of course!)  and I’ll see you next year – May you all have a year filled with lovely fabric and fun!

SEWING ALL THE THINGS (and not buying any..)

I mentioned before that I have been thinking about joining the growing movement of pledgers, pledging to not buy any clothing for a period of time.

This self-employing thing is not really giving me that much spending money, and in light of the recent discussions about the real cost of fast RTW (ready To Wear) clothing and my wish to live more green – I already buy ecological food and also have my ecological kitchen garden and the chickens – it makes sense to stop for a moment and think.

Even though I have been sewing for a long time, I have also been happy to shop the high street stores such as H&M for a lot of items. Partly because my weight has been fluctuating and I didn’t want to spend time sewing something that wouldn’t fit me for long, partly because it’s so easy and also kind of fun to spend an afternoon shopping and trying on clothing with my sister.


{Take off the dust covers – I’m going to sew up a storm (Ha – In reality the covers have not been on the machines since I took this photo. I don’t really now where they are..}

But now I have stabilized my weight in a place I’m happy with, I am making patterns for everyday wear, and it makes a lot of sense for me to actually sew the stuff I need for my wardrobe.

So here we go:

The Seamless Pledge

I, Maria of MariaDenmark: Wool & Weeds, am taking the seamless pledge for one year until November 1st 2013. In this time, I will not buy any new clothes except underwear, tights and socks. Instead I will sew or knit all my clothes or buy from second hand stores and flea markets. This also includes shoes and boots and purses and bags. The only exception is during my vacation in Bali in April. I will do a special blog post at the end of each month, to keep a record of how I’m doing.


As I mentioned in the podcast, I need a new pair of blue skinny jeans, and I have purchased those last week – I don’t have time to sew them right now, so this is okay. But starting right now: no buying clothes for me!


Okay. I’m waaay behind on everything I want to tell you – so let’s just do a quick catching up post:

1. New Podcast Episode is up. You can listen to me and Tini talking about sewing, knitting, our notions, autumn traditions (and a Danish  dessert) and even me talking about taking the Seamless Pledge (more on that in another post). I also talk about future design plans.

{The fabric I want to use for the waterfall party top I’m working on drafting (it looks much better in reality) and a flexible ruler, the one I mentions as my “I’ve got a notion..}

2. Barcelona Stash Enhancement: I also want to tell you so much more about Barcelona, but I think I’m going to save it for the podcast and add a bonus episode as well as a page of links when I get to edit the episode.

But I do want to show you the stuff I got in Barcelona. I think I was a really good girl, and I didn’t buy much, only some much coveted Silk Organza and some swimsuit fabric. But on every Patternreview Week-end we do an Ugly Fabric Swap – and this time was no exception. I got 2 pieces of cotton – which I think will both be pyjama bottoms. I also, as I mention in the Podcast, was the lucky recipient of two of Paco’s faboulous patterns


{The patterns from Paco; Ugly Fabric;  The dark silver swimsuit fabric; My Silk Organza for pressing}

 3.Sunday is SEWING-FOR-FUN-Day
Or so I thought.

I announced on the podcast this week that I was dedicating Sundays to Sewing-for-fun-days. Meaning that Sunday is the day for sewing things that are not necessarily made from any new patterns I’m designing, and not necessarily made for the pattern target group members. No, Sundays are – like I did last week – about sewing gifts, sewing for fun, stuff that isn’t on a deadline.

So what did I sew this Sunday?
Nothing. That’s what. I was getting my next pattern for wide legged trousers ready for the pattern testers, as I had planned to do Sunday morning (a 30 minute job), when my computer decided it wouldn’t cooperate. Long story short, I wasn’t able to convert my graded pattern into a pdf format, and I had to re-type all the grading information for different sizes.
There goes the Sunday..

But the pattern is now send to testers and I’m finishing up the pictures for the instructions. It’s a great pair of trousers!

MariaDenmark Wide Legged Trousers

{Trousers in the make. The pattern and the fabric for my versions}

What had I planned to sew? Well. The amazing thing happened. My almost 15 year old son asked me to make something for him! It requires sewing fleece (which is fun, and which I don’t do very often) and there’s also some embroidery involved: He asked for a monogrammed Bathrobe for his birthday! Yay! I haven’t sewn for him in years, and now I can – if I just find the time:-)

By the way. I’m planning to do a Fit-a-Long and Sew-a-long when the trouser pattern is released. If anybody can come up with a good graphic (or a more catching name than fit-n-sew-along, don’t hesitate to let me know:-)



What a crazy busy week I’ve had! I love travelling and experiencing new places – but I always underestimate how much I have to catch up when I get home (and the laundry is still not caught up…)

While I was in Barcelona I got a new niece. My brother and his lady had the cutest little girl – who is going to be called Sofie (Or Fie, for short:-)).

Yesterday I finally had the time to go visit with them (it’s a 2 hour drive each way, so it’s not something you do after working till 8 pm)

My brother and sister-in-law had asked me to make a new cover for the breastfeeding pillow (shown both when flat and in action.-), so I did, and also made matching baby trousers (from MiniKrea 10400). They took me 35 minutes to make – and that’s including tracing the pattern (only one piece..)!! I didn’t have enough fabric to cut it on fold, but I just did a centre front seam as well, and it was so very fast.

I also had made the green cardigan and some hats for her.(Click the smaller pics for a larger size)

But the most important thing was that I finally got to meet her. She is so adorable!

P.S. I have a Pattern for kids bundle sale over at my shop. I have made pattern packages for boys, girls and one especially for newborns. Go have a look and see if there’s something you’d like..


Yep – I’m back and rested from my week-end trip to Barcelona.


{We told the world at Parque Güell why we were there. So Much Fun!}

I had a great time and saw so many interesting things and talked to interesting people and recorded something for the podcast and I have so much to tell you, but first:

The winners of the Fabric Give Away!

I did the random number generator thing and the winners are

Number 25Angela

Number 29Sewing Princess

Number 4ana5059

Number 10 – Pattij

Congratulations! I am sending you all an e-mail for your address tomorrow – and thank you to all who participated. Thank you for your comments and suggestions, which I will now take into consideration when I plan my next patterns. :-)





Pre.P.S: Remember to participate in my fabric give-away!

After two days at home working for myself, I am today going out there in the world to meet my new workplace – the gigantic fabric store – and more importantly – my new colleagues. I feel like when I was a kid and as about to start a new class or school. Will they like me? What will I wear? and telling myself: “Be careful – don’t joke yet, don’t be too much“.

I am getting out there. And every time I see my brand name on print – when I didn’t write it – I get so excited. People know my patterns. Yay! And they seem to like them. Even more Yay!

This morning I woke up to this (from Patternreview) in my infolder:

MariaDenmark.com mentioned at Patternreview.com

{From the newsletter this morning…}

Speaking of getting out there.. We have a new episode of the Twin Needle Podcast out. Go listen. It’s fun and also we are good company while you sew (I know, because I was listening to it again (after I had edited it and uploaded it) while sewing my t-shirts last night. Am I weird that I also enjoy listening to my own podcast? I guess I feel like I’m hanging out with Tini all over again while listening (and quite often I’ll hear something I didn’t even remember we talked about..).

Parting pic, before I rush out the door (nervous!): The autumn wardrobe t-shirts (Birgitte Baic Tees and a Kirsten Kimono tee as well) cut out (but before I started sewing them). Can you tell how many there are?

{Cut t-shirts for my autumn wardrobe}


Today is my first work day as my own boss. As I joked with Lizzy, over the week-end on Twitter - I am the toughest boss I’ve ever had. Never satisfied. Always wanting more. Well. If I pay me well enough that we can make a living, I’ll be okay with that…

Anyway. So Of course I have to celebrate and share my joy and the best way to do THAT is to have a give away. Don’t you agree?

So this is what I have for you: Fabric.

Fabric Give-away at blog.MariaDenmark.com

{I am giving away this Lovely fabric. Great quality, by the way..}

Yep. I am cleaning the shelf (and the slate) and giving away 4 bundles of fabric – each containing 1.10 meter (150 cm wide) of a very nice quality 96% rayon (viscose) / 4% elastane black and cream printed jersey great for a Birgitte Basic Tee or a (short) knit dress + 50 cm high quality sturdy lavender or grey cotton/lycra ribbing (120 cm wide) with excellent recovery. The ribbing is great as waistband on knit pants or skirts but also very nice for neckline treatments or cuffs.

To win one of these very lovely fabric packages, here’s what to do:

  1. Go to my shop: MariaDenmark | ShopONION.com and figure out which pattern you like the most.
  2. Then copy the link found underneath the item into a comment along with the name/number of the pattern and anything else you’d like to add (like why you like it – it might help me when drafting new patterns:-))

To earn extra entries:

  • Tweet about this give-away (including a link to this post) and leave a comment telling me about it (including you Twitter-name).
  • “Like” MariaDenmark | ShopONION.com on Facebook and share the post about this give-away,  then leave another comment, telling me you did so.
fabric give-away at the Mariadenmark blog

{This is where you find the direct link for the pattern! Click to enlarge}


This giveaway ends on Monday October 16th 23.59 CET- and I’ll draw the 4 winners randomly from all the entries on the 17th. The winners will be contacted by e-mail and announced in a post. Although you can enter 3 times, please note, that there is a maximum of one package per person.

Now, go tell your friends about it:-)