Tag Archives: ONION

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 }

MAY 1st & 2nd (me-made-may 2012)

What a week- What a week-end! We had a fabulous party for Dennis’ s 40th this Saturday (and my son had his DJ’ing debut <very proud mom>)

Not much sewing, but a bit of knitting – more about that later.

Anyway. ME-Made-May 2012 has begun!

On May 1st, there weren’t any red flags around me, I had to work all day, teaching, of course, and several school related meetings. I made it home for a couple of hours in the afternoon before leaving again, and Rasmus took this picture:

{In the garden, sneaking in a little fresh air between meetings}

I wore navy dotted kimono tee (Me-made, first version of my pattern), flared jeans (H&M) and lovely and very comfortable heels (Ecco). I also wore a jacket at some of the meetings.

 

On May 2nd we still had lovely spring weather, but it is chilly in the morning. I had teaching to do and another meeting – but I had a long lunch break and went thrift shopping. I found some nice slips and a shirt and top – all costing about 2€ each. I got this lousy Iphone pic:

{Thrift shopping during lunch break}

This is my first version of ONION 2026 - one of my favourite patterns. I made it something like 4 years ago, I think. It’s a bit short (I didn’t have enough fabric), but I wore it with tights and ballerina flats – both from H&M (loving this sunny weather).

Are you doing Me-Made-May? I’d love it if you left a link to where I can see your outfits in the comments!

And P.S: There is a new episode of the Twin Needle Podcast up. And we have a brand new blog, as well…

SUPER SEWING SUNDAY

I had a Super Sewing Sunday:

I started out by pressing and ironing and setting in the snaps of my shirt dress muslin, which might not be a complete muslin after all – it is wearable. ( I got tons of compliments when I wore it at work yesterday.)

We might even call it a FO!

{Tucked in. Sorry about the early morning-no make-up look. I just wanted to get a pic}

The fabric is cheap cotton polyester (5€ per meter]. I used snaps instead of buttons, and I changed the collar. I simply made a no-stand blouse collar. But I might have overdone the points :-) I want the collar to be a bit smaller in my final version.

Me? I sot of like it, but it’s clear that I need to add a bit more fullness to the bust and I need to fine tune the sleeves as well. But overall – it fits my body nicely – and as one of my co-workers said – it gives me a very good figure, since it is shaped around my body, and skims  over any cuddly bits…

{Untucked. Horrible picture from the afternoon - that's why it's wrinkled from wear as well}

After I had finished the shirt (which is based on ONION 2015 by the way), I decided to cut into the pattern tissue of the Minoru Jacket. I had been procrastinating starting the jacket, because it meant I’d have to trace in the neighbourhood of a zillion pieces. I almost always trace patterns, that’s what most patterns I’ve used are laid out to, and I’m used to it, but this was already on thin tissue paper and as I said – a zillion pieces.

{Just before I began cutting the tissue. Aaaaargh - scary!}

So – never say never (which I think I actually did in the podcast episode) – I cut the pieces.

Which was more than a little bit scary – because then there is no going back (except, you know, you can order a new pattern) if I cut the wrong size. But I also realised: If it comes to worse, I know about grading patterns, so I can grade up or down. Anyway. I morphed and cut a size 8 at he sleeves and bust, a 10 at the waist area and a 6 in the hip area. I based the bust size on finished measurements compared to my current transition jacket (that’ll let me wear a sweater under it).

I ironed the tissue and pinned it together for tissue fitting, but didn’t do more than take a quick look (looks promising!) before I had to drive to the store for some milk (we had company coming) – and lo and behold, there was a garage sale on the way, and what did I spot??

 

{My new - very cheap - dress form! Yay!}

Yes. A dress form. I got her for 10 €. And she looks nice and clean  and has a wooden stand. We share bust size, but otherwise we don’t look alike (she has a tiny waist). I might try to pad her out, but for now, I’m thinking to use her for photos for my patterns. And she looks good with her wooden stand, right next to the piano (which doesn’t really work, either:-).

Now. What to call her….

FO: FRONT DRAPE SHIRT

I spend last week-end sewing. A lot. And pattern drafting and altering and sewing some more.

Then spring came on Sunday and since then, I have been using this sign a lot:

{The sign says: We are in the garden}

 

And have not really been concerned about taking pics of my FOs…

I am taking some patternmaking classes and have been practicing. But that is not what I am going to show you (yet..).

I am going to show you my ONION 5035 - A knit drape front shirt i made from a french lycra knit fabric I bought at the same time as the fabric for my 60’s dress.

{ONION 5035 drape frot knit shirt}

I cut it some time ago, and sewed it up just in time to wear it a little bit before summer really strikes. I made a small/medium and did a round back and a forward shoulder alteration. I think I might have forwarded the shoulder just a tiny bit too much.. Anyway, I like the fabric for autumn/winter (it’s a dark brown with teal-ish dots), and think I am mostly going to wear it with blue jeans and maybe a jacket over it.

The pattern is ONION 5035 – a knit shirt pattern with four styles: kimono sleeved v-neck t-shirt, drape front t-shirt and a style with  ties at the neckline. And then there are the different sleeve styles as well. The shirts are close fitting (and that’s why I did a S at the shoulders and a M at the waist – I love multisized patterns).

{The pattern with many styles}

So what did I do all week?

{The kitchen garden all ready for spring}

I cleared some of the kitchen garden beds (but I am keeping some leeks and the last cabbage for a few weeks more) spread lots of compost on the beds and covered the bed for early potatoes with plastic to warm up the soil. I also spend a lot of time just sitting in the sunny greenhouse, drinking tea and reading…

FO: THAT 60’S DRESS

It is done.

{My 60's Dress, made from ONION 2036}

I finally took some time yesterday, when I was not too tired, to finish the 60’s dress. All I needed to do was to sew in the facing, press the seaming and then press the facing in place (while waiting f o r e v e r for the tiny bit of seam to cool before I could move on to the next tiny piece) and then the hemming of the dress and the sleeves.

I had a little trouble with the hem. I hate hate hate hemming knit dresses – which is why I usually do a rolled hem on the serger. But this time I thought it would be better with a proper folded-up hem. Only the fabric shifted when I tried hemming and I got more and more annoyed with it all.

 

{I might be calling Knirke in this pic}

 

Then I remembered. I actually have some lightweight Steam-a-seam. We can’t get the light weight kind here in Denmark (only the heavier stuff, which is great for curtains or trousers, but not for knits and thin fabrics), so I had been saving it… For when? I don’t know. But now I decided it was time to start using it. It worked out great! First I steam-a-seamed the hems in place, then I stitched them using a long straight stitch.
Since neither the hem on the dress or the sleeves need to stretch to fit, the seams won’t pop. I hope.

Anyway. I really like (or should I say “I really dig“) this dress. Especially when wearing long high healed boots with it.

{And then I had to put her down since I got cat hair all over the dress}

The pattern is 2036 – That 60’s Dress. I did a basic version, because of the busy print on the fabric, and omitted the vent at center front and the pockets.

I made a size 38 and the only alteration I did, was a Rounded Upper Back Alteration. And then I sort of changed the order of doing stuff – like saving the facing for the final steps. If I make this in a woven fabric, I’ll probably go up a size (my measurements are just in between size 38 and size 40).

I love the dress – and the retro feel, and I think it’s a really basic shape that’ll be great for heavier weight fabric for winter dresses. And while it’s basic- it has a great fit because of the back darts and the bust darts. No wrinkels.

After sewing yesterday, I went outside to work in the garden, and we didn’t get to take pictures until today. Well, we didn’t get to take pictures of me until today. Let me introduce you to:

:-)

 

Done with Finish-itis…

First of all. What a great response to the new shop! Thank you for all the kind e-mails – and for all the orders:-)!

I have been busy, both tending the shop and doing my real job, and this is how far I am on the dress:

 

Bad ligth picture. Because there need to be one

Yes. It’s been cut out, the darts are sewn and pressed and I’ve sewn and pressed the center back seam and sewn the sleeves to the front and back. Not much sewing time for me this week, but hopefully I’ll get some time this week-end.

It’s Onion 2036 – a 1960’s styled dress, that can be made in both woven and knit fabric. I’m making this version in a rayon-lycra knit with a fabulous retro look.

 

The line drawing for 2036

While waiting for seams to cool down after pressing them (am I the only one who really hates waiting for that?) I finished the hat I made for my Bonus-dad. It’s now blocked, but it’s still on my table – which is too bad because it’s been chilly this week and he could have put it to good use.

The hat waiting for my bonus-dad

So I did finish something, but now it seems like my Finish-itis is over, because I am filled with new ideas as to what to knit – and first thing I’ve cast on, is going to be a lovely (I hope) boatneck jumper in Manos del Uruguay Silk Blend.

I really hope this is going to work, because last year I attempted to do something similar (The big Epic Knitting Fail) . And while it was lovely and perfect (even the colour!) I ruined it after blocking. I decided to put it in the washer for a spin (after I had handwashed it) and it felted. I cried.

And since then I’ve been afraid to start a new jumper. But now is the time.

The beginning of a beatyful jumper. I hope.

I’m doing a boatneck top down raglan with garter ridges at the neckline, hem and cuffs, I think.

I have more projects I want to cast on, but I’m waiting for the yarn to arrive. I really have a stash that’s way too small:-)

Welcome to Start-itis!

My creative week-end

(doesn’t that sound like something out of a magazine?)

After a couple of weeks with very little creative outlet (I’m working on some knit designs, that I can’t really show you – but I’ve only actually been knitting very little), I got a lot done this week-end:

On Saturday my friend Karen (whom I’ve known since we were 6 and been friends with since we were 14) came to visit me because she needed help in altering some patterns to create some maternity clothing. She is having a surprise baby in April – and she just gave all of her old maternity clothing to charity… 

Karen standing, me drawing.. My dining table is right next to my small sewing room...

Anyway. We spent the entire day chatting and measuring and tracing and altering patterns before cutting. We used ONION 2007 (a knit dress with raglan sleeves) as a starting point, and created t-shirts, tunics and of course a dress.  I’ll tell you how in a later post.

And from a different angle. Please excuse the no make-up look. The photos were taken by Dennis

We then had a nice evening chatting some more and then on Sunday I went to Copenhagen to meet up with Lisbeth and others to participate in a knitting workshop by Helga Isager (who is the daughter of Marianne Isager, that I wrote about some time ago).

Action shot. Everybody is trying techniques or touching yarn (I was behind the camera)

We did some swatches and talked about designing and touched yarn  a bit (like you do when you are at a very nice yarnstore and get a 10 % discount…). We had a very inspirering session and I left with a lot of new ideas jumping around inside my head.

Helga Isager is the second from the left. Very nice! And a super talented designer! I love her stuff!

What a lovely week-end!

Finished dress!

I had a little time to play this afternoon and finally got to the finishing of my latest ONION 2026. I have made maybe 8 of these – a few have died – but I think I have enough now!!

2026

Made in blue-gray viscose jersey (from Stof&Stil)

 I changed the neckline a bit on this version (I made the front edge a little lower) and added a narrow edge to the 3/4 length sleeves in the contrasting fabric. Also note, that I have raised the hemline quite a bit from the original pattern. My version is a size small with a upper rounded back alteration.

Here is how I’m wearing it today (it’s getting cold. Maybe I should just turn on the furnace..):

2026styles

Almost hiding my dress for winter

I am wearing it with brown suede boots, the brown chunky knit cardigan and my #stashbustarmy shawl. I think I’m going to put on some heavier tights, though.

I also finished the batwing sleeve top! But no pics yet. ..