Tuesday, 14 September 2010

On presents, and stuff in the mail

Today is my birthday. Happy birthday to me (I have to say that, I've found that birthdays are increasingly not very pleasant as I get older, so I'd better make them as nice as possible!).

As if they had known, there was mail from both Gwyn Hug (who makes the "How Much Fabric" reference cards) and Spoonflower (I think my favourite design your own fabric-site, so far anyway).

I helped translate a text about the Fabric Reference Cards for their website, and in return I got a set of cards, yey! I love freebies. Or should I say favours and returns! Win win situations.

First, the cards. I love them, I'm the typical user. I never know what I'm looking for when I go fabric shopping. I always find fabrics that I LOVE, and of course never know how much of them I need since I haven't decided what exactily I want to make, even though I often have a vision or idea. I can now simply check the charts on the cards in my purse and that way make a much more educated guess than ever before about how much I should get (it will be really interesting to see if it makes me buy more or less yardage than before!).

That tint in the picture is blue morning light for you, I didn't set the white balance (I usually never photograph indoors that early in the morning). Interesting. I must find the white balance-button on my camera (too tired to photoshop it now)!

The Spoonflower "gift" was a fabric colour chart (that made me very keen on ordering their fabric, the colours are brilliant!), and a set of fabric swatches.

I ordered them both through their website several weeks ago, and do I hope the shipping is faster when it comes to their fabrics (they would take a few days to produce too... that + this amount of delay in shipping and I would get very restless from waiting!).

But look at all the colours...  beautiful. I might have to frame it!

As I mentioned, I also got a set of fabric swatches. I miss a thin, organic cotton in the set, but the Organic Cotton Interlock Knit, the Quilting Weight Cotton and the Cotton Lawn are all very pretty, and very nice to the touch. I just wish the last two ones were organic too. I'm quite sure I'll either order a print by someone else, or design one myself in the near future.

I think user designed fabrics is a brilliant, brilliant idea, one that makes the future look very bright! I've said it before; I love the internet!

Naturally, since it's self-stitched september, I had to wear something self-made today. So, here's the first proof that I actually do try to be a dedicated follower though not member of the movement; my drape drape pleat tuck dress. It worked well (but the fabric stretched quite a lot in the "skirt". The boots may not be my first choice for work (more so for parties), but my work boots are having an autumn makeover at my favourite shoemaker's (is that how you write that, really?).

The red hook on the door was an early birthday present from myself to me, it's a metal branch-shaped hook called Branch. I fell in love with it and had to buy it. I also needed a handle on my closet door, so it was kind of a perfect excuse to get one...

I'm considering getting myself a second birthday gift too, Professional Sewing Techniques for Designers, by Julie Cole and Sharon Czachor. I saw it in a shop, really liked it (it's full of sewing techniques, as the title indicates, that are very well explained from what I could see) but was put off by the very heavy price-tag. I've now found it a lot cheaper on the internet (amazon.co.uk).

It seems like the perfect book for me, I really don't know how to sew, at least not how to sew the correct way! 

Does anyone own it, or have any other experience of using it as a reference? If so, is it as good as it seems?


  1. C'mon, birthdays are always fun! Have a wonderful year...

  2. Happy Birthday! I know what you mean about birthdays as you get older. It's not the age so much as the lack of excitement, it's always a bit of an anti-climax these days. Love your recent drape drape clothes, i'm having to think hard about whether it would be a good book for me. Looking forward to hearing more about your spoonflower plans,

  3. Happy birthday!!
    This dress is so fabulous! I couldn't believe when I read you didn't think you knew how to sew, you can sew beautifully! Your creations are always inspiring, fun and sophisticated at the same time.
    Wishing you a wonderful day!

    Your recent creations have been fantastic - love this dress!

  5. HAPPY BIRTHDAY for yesterday! I've been schlepping round your blog a lot over the last week, getting all kinds of inspiration from all your adventures with knits - so THANK YOU! I was very taken with your cowl neck top, and had almost got my novice-knit-sewer's version sorted to my satisfaction until I stepped out of the house, and got soaked (ah, UK autumn). Sadly, I guess it's going to have to go away until next year to get much wear. I'm loving (the fabulously easy) circle scarf though - thanks for all your exciting posts!

  6. YAY! Happy Birthday! Hope it's a fantastic day! LOVE your dress!

  7. Happy Birthday Karin :)! I have the reference cards too - I must remember to put them in my bag. Oh & the GywnHug.com site also has a tutorial that I need to do - on how to make a pouch to store your cards (& keep them scratch free inside your handbag).

  8. Happy belated Birthday! Hope you had a wonderful day!

  9. Happy belated birthday! I love your "drape-drape" posts --- the garments you've made are fantastic. Hope you had a wonderful b-day!

  10. Happy happy birthday! Better a bit late than never! Love all your stuff. You are soo awesome!

  11. I just came to your blog from a comment you left on another sewing blog and saw from this post that you're a birthday twin of mine! Happy belated birthday! :)

    I've been thinking of getting the Professional Sewing Techniques book, too, but I haven't had a chance to see it in person. Given the price, I'd like to know what's inside before I buy, so if you get it - and I think you should treat yourself to it ;) - please post about the contents.

    Finally, the comment you left on the other blog was that you had a Swedish pattern drafting book. I've been researching pattern drafting methods, looking for one that yields a good fit, and am curious about your book and the method it uses. So far the most promising in terms of accurate fit that I've come across are a site that uses a "Scandinavian Pattern Drafting System": http://leenas.com/English/draw_bodice.html
    and a book written in English, "The European Cut" (information here: http://www.vestisbooks.com/). Would the method used in your book be similar to either of those?

  12. Hi! I've just found your blog after purchasing the Drape Drape Vol 2 book. I've just starting sewing over the last couple of months. First it was to dress up my baby daughter, but I thought I might now venture into a few outfits for myself....we'll see how that goes! Your blog is entertaining and inspiring so I'll be tuning in to read more. Happy birthday :) !

  13. Oops, a bit late now, but happy birthday! That dress really does look amazing on you, do people stop you in the street to ask where you got it?
    And I found boots like that at the Salvos recently, yay!


  14. Thank you all so much! I was very happy by all the nice comments :-), shiawase (one of my favourite expressions, it means happy heart in japanese, sweeet...)!

    I haven't been around the blogosphere much lately, we went to Copenhagen (loved it) with work over one weekend and I was visited by my mum the next one, so no time. But I did sew something, just got to photograph it!

    ingelsidebelle: I'll have to consult my book vs the method on the website you linked to and get back to you. But I did have to make quite a lot of changes to the patterns I first made. For me the standardized darts are a big problem since I have a relatively straight (but angled) hip lined and flat upper back (no hunchback there, no), so I've since actually removed the front skirt darts and reduced the upper back darts (bodice-).
    That problem would probably appear in any method but I now know that if I ever draft my own basic patterns again I should adjust them first. Small darts for me (so for any curvy girl reading this: you might want to try making the darts bigger than recommended if you draft your basic patterns).

    Fourth Daugher: Hehe, nooo. No one has ever stopped me and asked. But I still like wearing it. Makes me feel kind of cool...

  15. Dags att uppdatera Karin. Jag väntar med spänning på att få se alla dina små underverk!

  16. Hello Karin

    I used to make and design many of my own clothes, and my greatest friend was my tailor's dummy. They aren't cheap, mine cost £75, but if you intend to do a lot of drssmaking it would be well worth the investment.

    There is a cheaper one here, on Ebay.


  17. Hi! Great blog. :?

    Do you know if the book about professional techniques teach anything more than Reader's Digest New Complete Guide to Sewing? I have it on my wishlist as well, but if there is nothing new it, I may get something else instead. :)


  18. Sabrina: hm, I'm sorry but I've never even looked in the Readers Digest book... I would GUESS that they're a bit different though, since Professional sewing techniques is aimed at students and written as a textbook more than for home seamstresses. I think that should make a difference in what techniques/hints/tricks are included.
    I can't bet on it though!

  19. Thank you for replying. Happy birthday by the way! :)

  20. Hi Karin,

    I came across your blog looking for more info on the Drape Drape books. Great posts! I'm thinking about getting the 2nd one. I make and sell my own clothing. This may be a silly question, but do you know if you can sell the garments you make by the patterns from the Drape Drape books?



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