Thursday, 13 August 2015

Win, win!!

Hello all!

I bet you're all excited to know WHO won the first ever Pinhouse Give-away??

Yes yes, all shall be revealed! But first I want to thank each and every one of you who really got the whole idea of sharing warm memories. I wanted to give you all an opportunity to sit down, look back, and remember past times. Good times had with loved ones, fun times! Sometimes maybe we forget a little, and when being reminded to think back, memories reappear and bring smiles to our faces. I hope you all got smiles! Oh, and thank you all for the lovely birthday wishes ;)

My fondest birthday memory is of my 30th birthday. I had an aweful day, no friends or family around me, no plans, no cake, no party. Late in the afternoon, my mother called, like she always does on my birthday. I remember feeling so lost and sad, but after that phonecall my "sky brightened" and I felt.. well, loved and appreciated. (And then of course, I had a cry because we were so far apart...)
I guess you could say it was a day of mixed feelings, but mums know how to make it end well :)
It meant very much to me, and it still does. Love you, mamma!

I really enjoyed all your stories, too! Lots of lovely memories. Thank you again for sharing.

So, without any further ado, here are our two winners!

Suna and Angela !!!! Yay!

Fabulous winning ladies; if you could please email me your details (, I will pop your goodies in the mail very shortly. You will both recieve fabric, and a little surprice ;)

To all the rest of you, if you haven't already, go check out their blogs, they're great :)
And remember; we are all winners in the big scheme!

Sunday, 9 August 2015

Scandinavian fashion anno 1919

Hello everyone!

I just cannot believe my luck lately! Look what I found while thrifting!

Look at the fabulous bewinged hat!

Evening silk gowns with fur or lace trim.

The coat on the right has 25(!) buttons.
You wouldn't want to be in a hurry
while buttoning those.

These are four issues of Nordisk Mønster Tidende, or Nordic Pattern Times, published late winter of 1919 in Norway, Denmark, Finland and Sweden. This weekly magazine was first published in Denmark in 1874, by the danish gentleman Carl Aller and his wife Laura. It was a huge success, and after only two months, even the Royal Danish court was on the subscribers list!

Over the next 20 years business expanded to Sweden and Norway, and was the first magazine in Scandinavia to have a front cover printed in color, in 1892. It even excist today as Femina in Denmark and Sweden, and KK in Norway, and still remain one of the most influential womens magazines in Scandinavia.

After what I have been able to find out, these these printed issues are quite rare nowadays. I would love to own more of them.

Everyday (!) wear for the young ladies, and some underthings for the mature.

I really like those pleated coats (left). Lots of fabulous fur collars too.

I am in total awe over these issues. The details in the illustrations are magnificent, and the vast number of patterns issued every week is astonishing. Each magazine is like a pattern catalog, but there are about five free sewing patterns included in a nested pattern sheet. There is also a weekly menu, complete with recipes, lots of tips for the household, different craft projects in embroidery, crochet, lace and even tatting. This is quite surprising to me, considering the end of WW1 was just months ago. It seemed that the effects of years of war was mostly seen in the kitchen. When reading through the menues, you get the feeling that it was slim pickings.

Also very interesting to see the incredibly complex craft patterns described as quick and easy!!

Easy lace for a chemise neckline.

It would seem like these magazines were for the Lady of a certain standard, with housemaids and enough time and money on her hand to fill her days with embroidery and tatting :) And pattern shopping! I wish one could still order these patterns, just look at all these beautiful coats!

Pleated walking suit. I adore that jacket!

Lovely young maidens in their winter attire.

Silk and fur in abundance.
Buttons and pleats, too!

I love flicking through these issues, looking at what was the high fashion this year. It is amazing to see all the little details of the outfits. Decorative pleating, buttons, lace inserts and trims in different materials. Every pattern is described in the catalog, stating what materials are needed and yardage. There's also line drawings of every model.

Such lovely underthings :)

Although this is not an era I would necessarily copy for my own everyday wardrobe, there is loads of inspiration to be found in these images. I am also inspired by the effort that went into every garment in these times. Just a simple thing like a short underbodice or a chemise, was elaborately decorated and just stunningly gorgeous. I would feel like a queen everyday if my underwear drawer was filled with things like these!

I hope you found these images inspiring!

Just as a quick reminder, or if you're new to this blog; remember to join the give-away!
For a chance to win one of two prizes, just follow the link above, and share your fondest Birthday memory with us all! I'd love to hear from you :)  (Give-away is now closed)

Wednesday, 5 August 2015

PJ time!! (and GIVE-AWAY time!)

(Give-away is now closed.)

Finally, right??

Ok ok! Today's my Birthday and it's been a year since I told you all I was having a give-away to celebrate both myself and this blog. Instead of being embarrassed (like any normal person), this year I am making this a two-winner show! Win win (pun intened)! This blog is now twice the age it was last year (and luckily, I'm not), so it only seemed logical. But we'll get to that later on.

Firstly, my Carolyn Pajamas! Behold!
A birthday is mostly associated with swoonworthy partydresses, but since those dresses obviously didn't want me to make them, we're having a PJ-party instead!
This is version C of the lovely lounging set by Closet Case Files.

This pattern was great! It is a classic pajama with cuffs and piping and pockets, but with a slight feminin shape to the shirt, so not too boxy. The shorts are just the right kind of short, with an elasticated waist, has a faux fly front and pockets. My set is even more classic looking with this striped seersucker fabric I bought online from Croft Mill. This fabric is very light and breezy, and my initial plan to make a sundress out of it, was quickly discarded due to it's slight see through nature. But for these PJs; perfect!

The avid stripe-matchers among you will no doubt instantly spot that my stripes AREN'T matching, and just know that I am totally ok with it! The multi colored stripes were impossible to figure out during cutting, and finding the centre? Forget it! I spent an entire afternoon on the floor, sweating and cursing like a sailor, trying to get it right. Top tip for matching multicolored stripes when cutting a double layer; fold your fabric on the cross grain. Now the different colored stripes lay on top of themselves, and pieces cut on the fold is done separately (folding on grain). Use lots of pins all over your fabric piece, to prevent things from shifting as you cut.

Absolutely baffled by this one....!

Just to illustrate; above, you see the breast pocket. Now follow the stripes from left to right. Matching....matching....matching....not matching. Wth ? How can that be?! I swear, those two stripes changed places, just to tick me off! So cuffs, and pockets, I didn't line up, but I did my best on the collar, and also on the seat of the shorts.

Proof that I did match something!

The piping business was news to me, never done that before. I made my own, from scraps after my pink shirt, to give it a good contrast. I was a little hesitant going so bold, 'cause if you mess up the piping in screaming pink, people are going to notice :)
However, it all went wonderful, and I love the look! I now want piping on everything :)

As proud as I am about the piping, I am even more proud of the insides of my PJs. I could wear this inside out and not be ashamed :) Everything is finished with french seams, or narrow self bias binding. Now I really can appreciate how far my sewing has come, since I first started :)

Nice and tidy, I sure like that!

I have been living in these since I finished them, and when they were in the wash, I was just lost.... I guess that means I need more of these. I plan to make at least one other version with long bottoms and maybe long sleeves. A silk one would be lush too, just need to find the *right* fabric (and the dosh) for it.

Right, over to the give-away! Yay!
To join the raffle, you just need to be following my blog, and also add a comment below telling me your fondest Birthday memory. It could be one of your own B-days, or someone elses, pets and family all apply:)

This party is open for one week (closes Aug 12th at 23.59 CET), and two winners will be drawn at random. The gifts might be revealed when the winners are announced, as I always thought presents should be surprises. I can say though, that there will be fabric involved, and quite possibly a pattern ;)

Be Zen until then ;) Best of luck to all of you!

Friday, 31 July 2015

A tale of a new friendship (and a massive amount of vintage bliss!)

Hello boys and girls!

I trust you are all having a lovely summer (or winter...), I know I am!
My three weeks of holiday is almost up, and it has been wonderful to just be. And not so much do! That is not to say I have been sitting on my patootie, oh no! There has been sunbathing (lying on my patootie), kayaking (ok, that's sitting), doing lots of yoga/human pretzel impersonations, some sewing and knitting. Basically, every and any thing my heart desired!

I have also made a new friend! A sewing friend!
This lovely woman is named Hilde, and I met her last spring on our annual sportscar gathering. She is a seamstress by profession, and works with our national treasure, the Bunad. She has her own sewing studio her husband made for her in their barn. It's better than I make it sound, I am so envious!
We have had some on and off contact, as we live a couple of hours apart and are, well, busy. We met again this spring at the same event, and she told me she had some stuff that she wondered if I could use. They were apparently some patterns, but I had to come visit her to get them. Done deal!

To make a long story short (and get to the good stuff) I went to see her last weekend, and OH MY!
I really dont know where to start.

Spot the third one from the left.
a complete holiday wardrobe!

To kick off, there's some Norwegian mailorder patterns from the 50s. The big green book is a gem! It is printed in 1964 and contains heaps of techniques and how-to's for the home seamstress. Also knitting, crocheting, how to make lace (!), needlework, everything. It is in Norwegian, and finally I can communicate the sewing lingo in my own language! It is hard, when you are self taught and have googled all you know in English... To my greatest joy, there is a tailoring section in there, and I sense my two piece suit is drawing near:)

Next, there is a huge lot of German patterns, that has been pulled from a subscription magazine. The subscriber was Norwegian, and collected these for what seems like some years. They range from about 1966-69, and contain lots of fun stuff! There must be over a hundred of them!

Cool sailor slacks.
This pattern had several variations.

The coolest item of all (if there is such a thing!) is this Silver Scissor booklet, complete with the special ruler/ tape measure. It is similar to the Lutterloh system, where you draft your pattern from small drawings of the pattern pieces using the ruler. Quite genious, and I look forward to have a go at this :) It seems the patterns were released in intervals, so you could collect them over time. I haven't counted these, but there must be about 50 or so.

Will you look at that purple set! And the top suit...swoon.

This should be fun!

I just adore adore the white ensemble....!

 There was also a small collection of various 1960s patterns, and a magazine containing some patterns as well.  

Fabulous dressing gown alert, top left corner!

I am just over the moon over these things! The total number of patterns is probably 200+, and worth a pretty penny if sold separately. Needless to say, I am not letting go of any of these, I feel so blessed to have recieved such a generous gift! She even gave me two pairs of chrocheted gloves, but they are getting a post of their own. Utterly gorgeous things! Here's to new friendships!
Thank you, Hilde :) You're a star.

Monday, 29 June 2015

Playing hide and seek with sewing success

Hello all you good people!

I just want to thank all of you who commented on my last post, in which I shamelessly shared my un-enthusiasm about my mailorder sundress (along with my tired after-work-face, undone hair, and general lack of styl(ing)). I had lots of great input, and ideas on what to do to de-frump it, and I am very greatful!

I have not yet got around to do anything about it, but it is happily simmering on the back burner, until I feel the *need* to fix it. I have bought some new buttons for it actually, so it is slowly coming along :)

In an attempt to make myself feel better, I decided to start a new dress!

Oh yes!
I had some lovely cotton satin fabric with this great tropical leaf print in my stash, that I specifically bought to make a tiki/sarong skirted dress of some sort. The fabric patiently waited for it's perfect pattern match for nearly two years, and I finally found it in Butterick #5880. It is a reissue of a 1951 pattern. I was lucky and found the pattern on sale on the Butterick page, and downloaded the pdf. I decided on a size (12), and got cutting. The bodice, with full lining and all, went together like a breeze, as did the skirt. I pulled the bodice on just to try it, before the zipper went in.

Oh the shock and horror! It was way too tight! Oh no! I quickly pinned the skirt panels together, and realized there was no way in corseted Hell that dress would fit me. And I had used all my fabric too, so no recutting. You would think I had learned by now to make a frikkin' muslin already, but no... This winging business has got to stop. In my defense, I didn't have any fabric that I wanted  to make a muslin out of, so I just crossed my fingers.

Would've been so pretty... sigh.

In my defense #2; I did ask around on Facebook sewing groups about this pattern, and there was the general consensus that this pattern had lots of ease. Every dress I've made to date has come out a tad big, so I decided to swing the other way, and size down. I also had a hard time finding the size chart on the pdf, and midway through the process, I found notes of the finished garments measurements scattered about on the pattern pieces.

At the end of the day, it was entirely my own fault, I got eager and cocky, and ended up with a boo-boo. Anyway, I am going to finish the dress and try to find it's smaller than me owner.
I am sad, and bummed, since this would have been the perfect fabric/pattern match, and that I don't have any more of this fabric. But I will have a Butterick #5880 dress! I love the look of it, and already got some new fabric for it :)

I need to build some sewing confidence first, so I opted to sew something non-fitted before I try my hand at these  
(£"#€%>¤&@) dresses again. What more perfect than a nice pajama set?

It has been on my list for a long time, and the Carolyn Pajama-pattern from Closet Case Files was love at first sight. I am making the shorty short version (C) and so far they are looking quite lovely!

I hope to share some sewing success with you guys very soon!
Wish me luck (again), I obviously need it :D  Heh!

Wishing you all good sewing success,
and happy sewing!!

Thursday, 18 June 2015

Something's not right here...!

Here's a little update on my mailorder sundress I was teasing you with many weeks ago!

Remember this?

The dress is actually in a state of finished, hemmed and all. However, upon fitting and "testdrive" I just felt it was all kinds of wrong. What in my mind would be an awesome polka-dotted swishy flared sundress, turned out to be a rather dull frumpy thing.

This is my un-impressed face.
I realize I am not helping on the frump-factor.

The front buttoning extends too far up the bodice, and is way too modest. WAY.
The only way to wear it is with the top button open, which leaves me with a collar/lapel with a button hole in it. Pfft. I also have issues with the bodice. It is not in any way fitted. With my glasses on, I CAN see from the cover drawing that it is indeed "blousy" but I always get distracted by the tiny waists on those drawings, and my brain goes "-Yup, fitted!". And to make matters even worse, I added "some" in the waist 'cause the pattern said 34" bust, and that usually means 28" waist. Which I don't have.

Where's my swishy skirt, then??!

I also envisioned a fuller skirt. On the envelope it looks wonderfully-full, but in real life it's just a slightly wide (?) A-line. I can live with that, but still... *sob*
Maybe I could wear a petticoat (that I *still* need to make), that could give it a little lift. Doubt it.

Right. Let's see, what else? Oh, yes, the buttons. I thought upon buying these grey fabric covered ones, that it was a small miracle to find some in a matching grey! Probably was, but it doesn't change the fact that they are boring. They just disappear. This dress calls for something with a bit more presence.

Here you can just see the hot pink pocket lining.

And finally, the collar.
When cutting my fabric pieces, I had the remnants from my shockingly pink shirt fabric up on the table. I decided to line my pockets with it, and aaaaaalmost went for a pink collar too. Should've just dunnit. The collar now, is the same story as the buttons. It just blends into the boring-ness. Actually, I saw Mrs. Ooobop's new dress today, and was smacked in the face by her contrasting collar! Have a look! It's just what my dress lacks (that, and fabulous shoes, fuller skirt, petticoat, hot city night etc.etc.) What reason did I have for deciding against the pink? Well, I didn't "want to limit the styling options by putting a color onto that neutral base". Really!? (I deserve this boring dress, for that thought alone!)

The backside is actually the most favourable bit...

In any event, I have decided not to hate on The Frump, but just improve it! Yes, I will try to refashion it, and see if I can make it a little closer to its imaginary cousin in my head :) Also, I now regret fully lining the thing.  But it should be doable, non?
If you have any ideas, tips, tricks or other creative input, you are most welcome to share!

Right. Onwards!

Tuesday, 16 June 2015

Lekala #5877 - a spot of contemporary sewing.

Hello everyone!

After my trip to Denmark, where I wore mostly me-made outfits, I realized that I am lacking cover-ups. Not that I was running around half naked, but I was constantly missing that little throw-over garment for sipping drinks on a chilly deck overlooking the sea- sort of thing. Or just something over my shoulders, when out to dinner in a sleeveless dress.

To date, I haven't made a single piece of outer wear, or jacket of any sort and it was time to remedy that. Since jackets tend to be a bit more structured, I figured I best be starting small. Just by coincidence I stumbled upon the Lekala website, which specialises in customized pdf-patterns, and I was intrigued. Could I really get a pattern that was drafted especially for me, in just a matter of minutes? Turns out, I could. And for a  very reasonable price too!

And here it is! My version of the Lekala #5877.
It is a cropped, cap sleeved jacket or bolero, with ruched detailing on the sleeves and a rounded collar. One button closing in the front. It is also fully lined.

I made it up in some leftover blue linen, which I used for my RAF swing trousers. This jacket was great for using smaller bits, as the pattern pieces are not very large. I guess one could also do a color blocking with this too! The design lines kind of begs for it ;)

The construction was very straight forward, and it all went swimmingly right up to the collar bit. I think my brain was on holiday that day, and I basically did everything backwards and upside down. By the time I figured out the right way, I had trimmed off nearly all the seam allowance on the collar, and was just able to eek it on. But I did it!

The written instructions are what I would call minimalistic. There are no illustrations, but all you need to know is in there, you just have to read it all through, and use your noggin'. I suspect a complete beginner would struggle a bit, but nothing you can't overcome.

I got myself into a knot (literally) when attaching the lining. I read the instructions, but didn't quite pay attention, and did it like I thought was right. I then proceeded to turning the jacket to right side again, and ended up with a twisted pretzel. I could not for the life of me turn it back to where I started, and in the end I had to get the ripper out and unpick the lining on both sleeves. Just as well, it was all wrong! I admit, there was a few tears when my lining pieces threatened to fray beyond recognition, but I was very happy when the jacket was once again untangled. The whole spectacle was a You-tube moment for sure....

For the lining I used some sparkly viscose type of fabric, that's been in my stash since before it really was a stash. I think it was the perfect thing for the jacket, a pop of color and sparkles in all that mellow blue linen. Makes me happy to look at it :)

I guess you could say that this jacket was a roaring success! I love it, and it's the perfect summer throw over. I think I could stand making more of these :) I also think it's versatile, it goes with tanks and jeans just as well as dresses or skirts. Depending on fabric, you could make it casual, or dressy.

So what do you think? Have you ever tried Lekala patterns? I am tempted to make some more of their designs. Not having to make any adjustments was kind of sweet ;)

Happy sewing!