Tag Archives: shoponion

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 10th (me-made-may 2012)

That’s better.

This is what I wore today (Thursday May 10th):
Me-made 60’s dress made from Onion 2036, black tights (would have gone for brown, but they had a hole on them), and my currently favourite heels from Ecco (they feel like I’m walking on clouds – lovely shoes!)

Picture was taken by Frederikke – one of my 6th grade students. I spend the day teaching until 4 pm and then went home and worked on a new design.

Not a kimono tee in sight…


… (drumroll, please, honey)


The winner of 4 lovely MiniKrea patterns is

H.alda who commented

Please contact me with your e-mail and postal addresses (you can e-mail me at maria@shoponion.com).


If you didn’t win – fear not: You can still have the patterns at a great price. For the duration of this week – until April 15 2012 at midnight CET – you (and everybody else, who sees this code – you are welcome to share it, if you like) can use the Coupon code GIVEAWAY at checkout at MariaDenmark | shopONION.com and get a 10 % discount!

Here are the direct links to the MiniKrea Patterns:


  Find MK10300 H E R E


Find MK20400 H E R E


Find MK30000 H E R E


Find MK50220 H E R E


Thank you to everyone who participated in the drawing – it was so much fun to read your comments (please keep them coming :-))

Now I’ll go and figure out which new kimono tee I’ll wear to work tomorrow….



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…


Well, I do not claim to be a trendsetter, or even a trend-spotter. But I have gotten pretty good at looking at trends from catwalks and in stores and reading articles and combining and concentrate them to figure out what I think are going to be the big trend items in a season.

I better tell you, that I am sort of picky and a bit conservative (in the known-is-save kind of way) about what I wear and I don’t follow trends blindly. Often it’ll take me a season or two to even like a trend…

Anyway. Here is my compilation of trends for Spring/summer 2012. I’ll link to ONION patterns where appropriate :-):

{Spring 2012 inspiration}

Set from Polyvore.


First of all (and nothing to do with patterns) the fabric and colours:
Orange is big (but soooo not for me to wear) and red continues to be a great colour to wear as an accessory or as a single garment (jeans, a top OR shoes).
We’ll see (and I plan to wear) a lot of Polka dots – especially white/cream dots on red or blue background. Stripes continues to be great. And flowers, of course (but that gets to girly for me:-))

And on the other end of the spectrum – pastels – especially light green and light rose are everywhere. Also lace and eyelet fabric is very in style.

Also, and this is something I’ll look into wear: Chambrey fabric used in shirts, shirt dresses and skirts (and it’ll last well into next winter as well!)


As for design details and patterns (Links are ONION pattern numbers):
The drape details are still big – and will continue into winter.  (You will find them in patterns 2034, 2038, 2039 and 5035).
The 1960’s a-line shapes (also great for showcasing lace and patterns) found in 2035 and 2036  are still fun and pleats and gathers, too (as in 2019, 2021, 3023 and 3033).
New-ish are the Peter Pan Collars especially in contrasting colours (have a look at 2015 and 1041) and the big peplums (1037 and 1041). I’m not good with tight collars – makes my head look funny, so that’s not really a style for me. But I think it looks very cute.

{ONION patterns for spring trends}

For me – I’ ll look into the pastels. Especially the light rose and light green – mostly as skinny jeans, I think, but I might add a t-shirt.

I like to keep things and lines very simple, so I’m not sure about the peplum jacket just yet (I don’t wear jackets much as a elementary teacher, anyway. Cardigans are more suitable for my kind of work).

I also really really really like the polka dots. Fun and girly without being over the top, especially when worn as a loose fit knit t-shirt. And for summer parties: on a shirt dress. I also like the draped collars and will definitely wear those.

I’ll leave you with a pic of my latest fabric buy – Polka dots, of course:-)

{Polka dotted navy rayon jersey. Top is already cut.}




I KNOW! Imagine sewing for somebody who is not me!

Well. I wanted a small in-between-projects project, so I had time to decide what to sew for me next.

Also. I wanted to figure out how I can get more sewing done. This was a usual semi-busy weeek, with no time for a designated sewing evening/afternoon, so I’ve been wanting to try out if it works for me to find more sewing time by sewing in 15-30 minutes increments.

Anyway. I chose to make another one of these very fast spencer dresses. This time in a size 6 – 9 months. The pattern is MiniKrea 10003 – Spencer Dress in the Newborn size range.


{The pattern I used. I did the basic EASY version.}

Every evening before making dinner, I have allowed my self to work on something sewing related for 15-30 minutes. I am actually amazed at how much that can be accompliced by just that.

First day I traced and cut the pattern (which doesn’t need to be traced, but I chose to, as this baby-dress can be made in 4 different sizes – and I think I’ll use it again!).
Second day - I cut the fabric. The pattern works with both knits and wovens, I chose a beefy knit velour, but am treating it as a woven fabric, by lining it with a cotton print. Also threaded the machines.
Third day I sewed the lining to the fabric and did the side seams and edge stitching
Fourth day was for pressing and hemming
Fifth day - buttonholes, buttons and decoration.

{The finished dress. I can't wait to see it on Carla.}

All the work was done in 15  – 30 minutes increments. Had I had a sewing night or day – I probably could have finished it in one day. Very simple project!

The pattern can be made in both knits and wovens. I chose a beefy knit velour, but treated it as a woven fabric by lining it with a printed cotton.

{When pressing velour, place a towel under it, so the pile doesn't get flat}

Here are some hints for sewing with velour:
1. When cutting the fabric, make sure you place the pattern pieces so that you would brush against the pile if you were wearing it and brushed downwards.
2. When pressing or ironing velour, always place a towel underneath the fabric. This keeps the pile from being pressed flat.


I decorated the dress with some star iron-on-studs. They are really cute and makes all the diffrence in making this a holiday dress.

{The iron-on star studs. Love.}

Parting picture from the garden:




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!

Finishing stuff – and continuing other stuff :-)

Hello. My name is Maria and I work too much.

That is one explanation for why I’ve been gone so long. Another is that I simply haven’t had much to blog about.

Well, now I’m back.

The new design for my shop is finally in place and as I am typing this, Dennis is in the processs of transferring all the data from the old shop into the new.
That’s a lot of things wiped off my To-Do list – and this gives me room to do something I really want – blog:

I have so many things to show you. These last months, work has continued to being crazy. I amalso  taking some classes after work, to become an expert on using mindboards, using a Mobile phone while teaching, learning styles and on narrative pedagogy.
Thankfully a lot of these classes make room for me to knit. So I’ve also finished a lot of stuff.

First I want to show you Carla:


Adorable Carla

Remenber last year, when I helped my friend Karen sew maternity clothes? Carla is the reason why she needed them. Way back in May I started this little cardigan and somehow I got sidetracked by a shawl. Then a sock. But now, having to listen to all these professors, I got it out from the basket and finished it in no time. I also made the little Buzzbee hat - which is fun and cute to make!

I have also designed and finished knitting a pair of Fingerless Mittens. I am not quite sure about them (or more likely, the yarn choice), but they are done, and I might make them in another yarn again – before publishing a pattern…


Warm hands - warm heart



And then I’ve sewn the dress I talked about in the spring. I decided I wanted to give it a go and made a very short dress with short sleeves. I could always use it to check the fit and the neckline. I finshed it just in time for autumn cold to hit the country. When it was done, I decided to add some Ugly Duckling prints to the front (otherwise it was just plain boring) – and then I tried it on:

This is how I would wear it in summer. With sunglasses and silver ballerinas..

In early autumn- this will work. Scarf and ballerinas. Tons of different patterns here..

And this is how I actually wore it yesterday. With boots and a cardigan.

I honestly don’t think I’ll wear it much until next summer….

Anyway.. My newest sewing project is a 1960’s styled dress in this lovely fabric:

Lovely remnant of French jersey. Totally '60's!


I might as well go cut it out, while I wait for Dennis to finish with the shop….


Snapshots from my week-end

First: Important message: Paypal is acting up. Apparently a lot of peple have had trouble paying with Paypal in the shop the last couple of days. The webmaster (you know – Dennis :-))is looking into it – but until he can work it out, you are very welcome to e-mail me at mariaATshoponionDOTcom (substitute At for @ and DOT for.) with your order, so that I can process it manually. I’ll need your address and paypal account address, as well as your order.
Now on with the regular posting:

Wow – the week-end swooshed by!

Most of all because I was spending a lot of time adding yarn to the shop. It’s an experiment. I asked my costumers if they would be interested in the luxurious Onion yarn and I got quite a lot of people saying they would be. SO I ordered a bunch and started adding the yarn to the shop. I have added a bulky weight Alpaca/wool blend and a DK weight superfine Merino. The Alpaca is really soft and feels wonderfull to knit with. Also looks great with cables. The superfine Merino is 100% superwash wool and also soft, but mostly it’s noted for it’s great stitch definition – and it comes in so many colours!

BTW – I’m having an indroductory offer with 25% off! – Should you be interested.. – Feel free to spread the word!!

They are both lovely yarns, and I’m curious to see if my regular sewing customers will buy it…
socks and cat
That was Friday and Saturday taken care of. Well, I did manage to knit a bit – mostly I worked on my fathers ragsocks – knitted in aran weight sock yarn. I don’t know if it’s been too long since I last knitted a sock, but I had big problems with working out the heel (was knitting late at night and watching a movie..).

Sunday, Lisbeth came to see me. We had such a great time talking and knitting and sorting out my personal yarn stash and swapping yarn and sewing patterns and having tea and talking and knitting – you get the picture. I had to rip out the heel of the stupid sock 3 time – because I was trying out new techniques that didn’t really work for me… (I know. My own fault!)

We talked a lot about the shop – and Lisbeth had a fantastic idea that really made my mind reel and that I’m very excited about. I can’t share it right now, but will as soon as I can! All in all a fantastic day!

Lisbeth had only just left, when my father and his wife arrived with a door for my room. When I cast on the socks for my father, I was told that he wears a size 43 in shoes. But it turns out that he is indeed wearing a size 45 – and that the sock (which was pretty d*** close to being finished) is too small!

Needless to say, I threw it into the knitting basket and have been knitting on my Raspberry Jumper since that.