2017 – Planing Ahead

As we go deeper into January 2017, its time to plan this years sewing.

Yay!

This year I did things a little differently then usual (where I just pic ALL the things), because having a small baby really eats away of your sewing time 😉
So, this year I picked All the things I want to sew..

…and then I removed half of them.
All costumes with lots of pieces/decorations/complicated (and time consuming) elements had to go. Sorry, Not sorry.

Then I took a hard and “realistic” (yeah right) look at what was manageable with approx 1-3 hours sewing a week (more, if I could use nap time at its fullest but that’s hardly likely).

Then I took a look at my stash (because after half a year of maternity leave you really need to cut back on the excesses, like fabrics) and added that account into the ekvation.

And lastly I run everything through the eyes of the “Historical sew monthly” and possible events to come, and tried my best to match everything up.

So, after lots of forth and back, here is what i plan to make during 2017:
(Presented through the HSM17 lineup)

 The Historical Sew Monthly 2017:
(January-July)

January:
Firsts & Lasts – Create either the first item in a new ensemble, or one last piece to put the final fillip on an outfit.

8b05963d5ee97df4f28e42f9f5f09e09I begun the work on the apron on this fashion plate back in December and it will be both my first entry into 1810-20s (late Regency), and possibly the last piece of this ensemble I can finish this year (even though I would love to make the dress and bonnet as well).
And for the purpose of this challenge the apron will be the first item on this ensemble and the last ting to put on before leaving the home.

February:
Re-Make, Re-Use, Re-Fashion
– Sew something that pays homage to the historical idea of re-using, re-making and re-fashioning.

For this one I have two dresses that I would love to re-make to a better fit and perhaps even a better design.

IMG_2031 This 1780s Robe needs to be fitted better over my “new” stays, and perhaps let out a tad in the sleeves.

IMG_0522This 1910s evening gown needs a nicer back closure, and I think it would look better with the draping a bit more stitched down and controlled.

March:
The Great Outdoors
– Get out into the weather and dirt with an item for outdoor pursuits.

I’m not quite sure on what to make for this one yet, but I would love to make either a Regency Spencerempire2

Or this 1910s wrap cape.4208693c640de62d4b97f0ac6ec639fdBeautiful, Isn’t it?

Another thing I’m contemplating is to make a 18th century hair decoration to match the brown Robe Anglaise above. fbac9dca5d32b7a9e85ab39e839c26ea 650e2205c62d97b75a2e1ba7ad3e4a16
Something like these two mixed up

April:
Circles, Squares & Rectangles
– Make a garment made entirely of squares, rectangles and circles.

1237560510215538790warszawianka_chiton_clothing-svg-hiOn this one I plan to keep it simple with a Greek Chiton or Peplos made from one/two big rectangles of fabric.

I might also get time to make the frilly 1820s bonnet from January’s fashion plate.

May:
Literature
– Make something inspired by literature.

Also not sure on this one.
I would love to make a new Edwardian evening gown (if some of my fabrics speaks to me)mode1910-2

Or a green Regency day dress (or maybe a Pelisse) out of a pretty cotton fabric I’ve been sitting on for a few years now.5880ee0d1aa5d43db828e03caa587e55

Or I might just take this opportunity to finish my Robe a la Franchaise (begun in 2014)
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The literature reference won’t be hard to find on either of them.

June:
Metallics
– make something in silver, gold, bronze, and copper, whether it be an actual metal, cloth of gold or silver, or lamĂ©.

I was planing on making one of these 1-hour dresses from the 1920s in a lovely turquoise jewel toned fake silk, but now that I read the challenge description again I realize that won’t do.ladda-nedPerhaps I can add some sparkle or a nice piece of jewelry to go with the dress, to make it fit the challenge criteria better.

July:
Fashion Plate
– Make an outfit inspired by a fashion plate, whether it is a direct replica, or a more toned down version that fits the resources and lifestyle of the character you are portraying.

Another Regency piece I’ve been coveting for a while is a greek inspired over robe like his one.eveningfulldresslabelleassembleeapril1811

For the rest of the year (Aug-Dec) I want to wait a bit to decide what to do, since life and priorities change depending on sewing time/up-coming events or new interests.

So the last 5 challenges will be decided later this spring/summer.

August: Ridiculous 

September: Seen Onscreen

October: Out of Your Comfort Zone

November: HSF Inspiration

December: Go Wild

Here is however some of the things I’m thinking about

A new 17th century evening bodiceelizabeth-capell-countess-of-carnarvon-ca-1665-sir-peter-lely

A 15th century Burgundian gownspinning-women1

A sheer Regency gown to dress up/down depending on occasion. 28187ad2219cb5718f1b8e6e7609ab73

A man’s Regency waistcoatk4202drw

Of course I also plan to make lots of new baby clothes and perhaps one or two modern dresses/shirts for myself.

Lets see what I can get done 🙂

Announcing the Winner…

To celebrate another year of blogging and getting lots of new followers, I wanted to give someting back to you all (or at least one of you😉) by hosting a giveaway (ending September 7).

And after meticolus consideration, no I’m kidding, I just pulled one name out of a ball.

The winner are:

Gabriella Salvador

(Who also run the faboulus blog pourlavictoire – go check it out)

Congratulation to your new fan!*

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Thank you to all who participated.

Love

Åsa

*Gabriella – It would be great if you could email me your shipping adress (asasomnasodesign@hotmail.com), and I will make sure to post the fan first chance I get. 

Thank you! 😀

 

Guest blogger: The queen of EkenĂ€s Castle

As I mentioned in my previous post, this summer I got the chance to show some of my dresses at EkenÀs Castle where a friend of mine work.

Next up I was planing to tell you all a little about the castle itself when it it me – whom better to do that then the warden, Maria herself.
Maria Reuterhagens profilfoto

So here’s now my first guest post, By Maria Reuterhagen, the warden of EkenĂ€s castle.

***
IMG_9993The present EkenÀs castle was built in the 1630s.
There used to be a village where the castle is situated today, but the village was moved to make way for a castle, probably in the late 1300s or early 1400s. The first castle was probably built in the early 1400s and it existed until the late 1500s. No paintings or descriptions exist of the old castle so the shape and size of the old castle is unknown, but some vaults remain in the basement floor and the cellars.

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IMG_9977The present castle has served as the home of several noble families in Sweden including Nattochdag, Sture, Banér and Klingspor families. The present owner of the castle and the estate is Wilhelm Bergengren, who made sure the very worn down castle he had inherited from his grandfather was renovated and can receive visitors once more.

IMG_9984The matron of the castle is Hönsagumman, translated “the chicken lady”.
She was an employee at the castle who saved the castle from being burnt down by Russians in 1719. She still looks after the castle and is one of our most beloved ghosts.

IMG_9986The dining room has been renovated in 1870/1880s style. The Swedish kings from Gustav Vasa to Carl Johan XIV can be seen on the walls.

IMG_9994One of the owners of EkenĂ€s castle, Gustav BanĂ©r, got decapitated in “the Linköping bloodbath” in the year 1600. In a civil war in Sweden in the late 1500s, Gustav BanĂ©r supported the king on the losing side, Sigismund. The new king, Karl IX, made sure he and tree other noblemen (plus a bailiff) were convicted and killed for treason. His son, Peder BanĂ©r, was the builder of the present castle.

IMG_0007The royal family’s of 16th/17th Sweden

IMG_9997
IMG_9995The only original pieces of furniture still existing in the castle can be found in the countess Klingspor’s parlor – also called the blue parlour.
The still bright colour in the wall paper is the result of presence of arsenic. The countess Klingspor comes back once every year on May 2nd to have a traditional Swedish fika – coffee and cookies. On that date, the bailiff has to make sure that the countess has real coffee and real cookies in her parlor. Otherwise she will be very angry and things will disappear from the parlour – which has happened if her fika has been forgotten or overlooked…

IMG_0003The yellow drawing room, renovated into Swedish equivalent to regency period-style.
With two paintings showing the castle with a lake next to it. The lake has existed but was removed around 1900 – according to one story as the result of a curse…

IMG_0021
Library with walls renovated in rokoko style, floors are from the 1880s.

IMG_0027
IMG_0028Guest rooms on the upper floor. Of course with arsenic in the wall paper.

IMG_0017(Not the room pictured)
The room of the white lady. The person who tries to sleep here never sleeps well. The white lady shows herself when somebody living at the castle is about to die.

IMG_0030Bed from the late 1600s.
If you pull out the sprints, it can be turned into a flat package and can be pulled up easily at another place or another castle. 1600s IKEA!

IMG_0033The basement where Nisse, the stable boy, was beaten and hidden behind a brick wall because he knew too much. He is supposed to be behind there still…

The kitchen was at first situated outside the castle since so many fires started in kitchens. This kitchen is from the later half of the 1800s. The iron stove made it possible to move the kitchen into the castle. There was a sink so you could get rid of used water, but the fresh water had to be carried inside. The castle still has very little electricity, no plumbing, no running water and no heating. It is possible to visit the castle from late April to mid-November.

IMG_9992 In action

The Castle is open for public guided tours during the summer season, the rest of the year, check website and/or contact the baili.
www.ekenasslott.se

Exhibition of costumes at EkenĂ€s Castle

Back in April a friend of mine (who just happens to be the tenant at a 17th century castle close by) asked if I would like to put some of my costumes on display.

Would I?
Of course 🙂

We discussed back and forth for a while which ones to choose.
Then the planes got put on hold both due to our massive workload and due to the upcoming birth of my child.

In end of June we resumed the planing, and decided a date for her to come and collect the outfits.

So the day before, I went down in the basement and located all the bits and pieces for the 4 chosen costumes.
Then I got to work mending and ironing everything to get them all to look their best.

IMG_9953It’s hard work ironing 4 m of train.

IMG_9956Collected outfits – sorted, ironed and ready to ship.

IMG_9955I also lend her my dress-forms.

The castle EkenÀs is a museum with several different styles of interior decoration (from 17th century until early 20th century), and we wanted the costumes to represent a wide variety of times/people. Or at least as much of a variety you can get with only 4-5 shown pieces.

Here are the ones we choose:

1880s evening gownIMG_5660

Displayed in the dining hall next to the old piano and beautiful set dining room table.IMG_9990

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1780s Flower Robe AnglaiseIMG_3585

Displayed in the living-roomIMG_0009

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1790s Gentlemans wool outfitIMG_1115-ok

Also displayed in the living-roomIMG_0010

1913s Walking-dressIMG_0614

Displayed in one of the bedroomsIMG_0015

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And 1880s underwearIMG_5851

Displayed in one of the master bedroomsIMG_0024

I went to visit the Castle the other day, and got to look at my costumes the way the other visitors did. It was quite fun to watch old ladies and children alike photograph and point at my dresses.
And I must say, they really added something to the room and their exhibitions.

Wedding with friends

A week ago my dear friend Linda, from high school got married to the man she’s been dating since before I knew her.

It was a lovely wedding, held outside at a beautiful location, on he most perfect of summer days. IMG_0037The bridal party approaching the guest and waiting groom.

13769600_10155062431904517_5713467184305011177_nMe, my fiance and child right before the ceremony. 
Photo: curtesy of my friend Isa Gillman

IMG_0070“You might now kiss the bride”

IMG_0057My friends Isa and Emma (with her newborn baby girl) from high school.

IMG_0060And our boys…

IMG_0118Charlie and dad both sported the bow-tie.

IMG_0083The little flower girl eagerly assisted with he pacifier. 

IMG_0098Lovely photo of a lovely bride.

IMG_0104The bridal waltz – look at that beautiful lace and beaded dress back.

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IMG_0116The bride and her ever growing son.

IMG_0076The location was so perfect for an outdoors summer wedding, with a 19th century mansion, a great yard and even a little pond and gazebo on the backyard – I might just need to get the owners number…

IMG_0137The wedding-dress in all its glittery, tulle glory.

IMG_0124All my girls together.

IMG_0130Me and the bride doing silly faces.

IMG_0142Pro camera-GroupSelfie (I’ts really hard actually, twisting your arm that way)

IMG_0145My two tired boys at the end of the day.

And my dress…

I did plan to make myself a new nursing-dress, (from the Regency round gown pattern) but ran out of time (due to a clinging, ever nursing newborn in my arms 24/7), and I decided to do the next best thing – order a dress online.

With only a week left to the wedding, I put all my eggs in one basket and ordered this pregnancy/nursing dress in Azure blue, just hopping that the color/size/style would fit me.jolene_seaside_3_redigeratAnd it did.20160723_225236_resizedI felt very pretty (and comfortable) in the colorful jersey dress. Phew.

Ponderings on a friday afternoon

This is an old post, written about 3 months ago, that I forgot to post. But I think it’s still important for me o went these thoughts out loud, so here we go.

A quick warning – this have nothing to do with sewing or anything like that, so if that’s why you’r here (which I guess it is) considered yourself warned.

***

Today after work, I dropped by the grocery store to pic up some items for dinner. When the person behind me in the check-out line stepped in way to close.
Have you ever had that feeling – someone’s just a tad bit to close for comfort, and once you move to fix it, they keep stepping after. It’s not like a conscious threat, just something they do without thinking.
– They invade your personal space.

This happens to me – a Lot.

480826931Way to crowded for my taste…

I read some wear that the scientists managed to pinpoint the exact inch of peoples “personal space”.
with some variations in different countries and cultures, they know exactly how far away we comfortably stand to a stranger or our dear friend (much closer) when interacting.
We are all hardwired to feel this line in between two people and to place ourselfs accordingly.

Well I guess some people just did’t get that memo…

Or rather, I think my “personal space” are somehow bigger then the average persons.

As a Swede, who’s basically known for standing orderly in line, without ever making eye-contact with other people, I often rage at myself for not speaking up, even when I’m literally pushed into a corner.

I’ve been “pushed” out of check-out lines, seats on busses and lovely spaces on the beach countless of times, and I never say anything out loud (though my body language shouldn’t be to hard to read, you’d think).

Last week one of my co-workers (totally oblivious of personal space) kept following me when I step by step backed away from him, since he was way to close (in my mind). It ended when I hit my back against the wall and literally dowe under his arm in panic, to get away from him.
And no, this have nothing to do with sexual harassment, flirting or something like that. We were discussing a work thing, and my skin just started crawling with panic, just because he didn’t realize he was “in my space”.

Not even then did I say something.

Afterwards I always ponder over what I should have said (because just standing still, holding my ground just don’t work when the panic rises inside).
– Excuse me, but I feel uncomfortable when you/people stand to close, can you back up a step please?
or
– Sorry, but you are standing to close for me to be comfortable, can you give me some more space?

It sounds like a simple thing to say/do but somehow I never dare to.
Perhaps I’m afraid of peoples reaction, should they feel insulted and say something like: “I never hurt a woman
in my life! Is’it because I’m a man?” or something like that.
Because, lets face it, girls/women often take the hint when you step away the first time, and if not, a raised eyebrow and a look will do the trick.


Susanna_and_the_Elders_(1610),_Artemisia_Gentileschi“Susanna and the Elders” (1610) by Artemisia Gentileschi
Ok, maybe this picture is a bit overkill, but sometimes you literally feel like this.

What do you think?
Does this ever happens to you, and what do you do then?

I think I’m just worried I will pass this on to my child, since it looks very much like insecurity and self-degradation compared to other people.
And I wish I will find the courage to speak up next time.

And don’t even get me started on my fear of the “Oh, lets pet that big baby bump of yours”, I feel might come now the weather are warmer and the jacket are thinner (and don’t closes anymore).
I hope I will give those people (often older ladies) a nice right hook… put again, I probably won’t 😩

My (everyday) pregnancy style

As we all know, being pregnant do some things to your body (and mind).
Things that makes your morning routine take some extra time, and I’m not talking about morning sickness or the constant trips to the toilet – I’m talking of the head scratching process of dressing.

In the beginning (at least for me, I know everyone have it differently) you just feel bloated, unattractive and with a greenish tint to your complexion. Though wearing your normal clothes still works, if only a bit snug, some people prefer to wear cute little dresses with a bow tied on top. This was not an option for me, since we decided to wait quite some time before announcing to anyone that I was expecting.
So usual clothes it was – Even though I didn’t choose the most figure hugging tops in my wardrobe, (and thanks to Swedish autumn and winter just around the corner I could easily hide in bulky knits and cosy sweatshirts.

I was lucky enough to be able to wear my winter jacket the whole winter (it was a close one though, had spring hesitated a week more I would have been forced to get another one).

When spring arrived and my belly started to show for real, I bought a pair of pregnancy pants from a known two lettered fashion store, and kept wearing my usual tops and shirts. Everything with enough stretch in them would work. I also frequently used a pair of soft lose pants tied under the bump.
After a while I needed to add a long tank-top beneath my regular tops as my expanding belly made them look shorter and shorter.IMG_9754Comfortable loose pants, slim dress worn as a top and white belt.
pregnant in: week 39*

IMG_20160510_133456_resizedThere is no way that sweater will close…
week 37

In May my belly was really growing fast and I could literally see the changes each morning. I got myself a new pair of maternity jeans (the old pair was quite worn out by this time), and even splurged on a pair of denim shorts. 20160509_081328_resized_1Summer style – also, notice the sensible walking shoes
week 36

I did attend a few parties during the spring, and in the beginning had some trouble finding a nice dress to wear.
I bought a lavender blue pregnancy dress in January for these occasions, but when time come to put it on, it never felt right. In stead I raided my own closet, and found several dresses that would work.2016-03-14_20.03.36_resizedThe maternity dress I never liked.  
I did wear it though – for my birthday celebration in week 39 – the day before delivery.
week 30

IMG_9766A printed A-line dress I wore to several parties and occasions both during and before pregnancy.
week 39

IMG_9771A green form fitting jersey dress, I’ve never had the courage to wear before, but with a bump this big I figured no one would notice my other “bumps” and “humps”…
week 39 (two days before delivery)

Although not as much as I initially planed, I did work out some during my pregnancy. And when it came to clothes for bicycling, power walks and weight lifting I just used my regular fitness clothes – Pants worn beneath the belly, long stretch tops and jackets/west worn open.
IMG_20160305_110924_resizedweek 27

image000002_resizedweek 38

In the end my favorite clothes during my pregnancy was a slim black dress, a long tank top and a printed kimono/caftan, all worn with a narrow belt beneath the bust – non of which was new or made for a pregnant body.
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Slim black dress accessorized with belt, huge jewelry and gold bag.
week 30

IMG_0109_resizedAt my “goodby-party” at work, wearing flowery kimono, tank top and shorts.
week 38

IMG_20160515_194543_resizedweek 37

*In Sweden we count pregnancy in 40 weeks (with 40 full weeks as the calculated day of birth, and full term at 38-42 weeks).
I had my baby at 39 weeks and 2 days.

A Treasured Heirlome

Last months theme on “Historical Sew Monthly” was “Heirloom” (yes, I’m a month behind, but plan to soon be back on track).

Since all my older relatives have past away I struggled a bit with this one, but finally came up with something that would work.
But while I finish things up an get proper photographs of my entry, I thought I’d share one of my favorite Heirlooms from my grandmother.

Her binder from the pattern drafting mail class she took in 1964. IMG_7900“Nordisk brevskola” (Nordic mail courses”

When I was a kid me and my siblings used to visit my grandparents every weekend.
My grandmother was such a fun person who loved children and was never to occupied to play with us or show us how to pluck starwberries from their gardens.

She suffered from a stroke when I was about 13 years old, and even though she survived she could no longer play with us, or even make us understand her strange sounds, no longer able to produce any words.
I remember how chocked I was about her sudden change, and my uncomfortable feeling of insecurity and  when she tried to talk to me.
I’m ashamed to admit I couldn’t handle it and thous almost stopped coming along to wist her.
A few years later she had yet another stroke, lethal this time, and I remember the emptiness and sorrow I felt, regretting not being there more at the end.

After her death I was given her old sewing patterns, some threads and this particular binder – which I hold dear to my heart.
The thought of her taking the pattern drafting course  slowly learning by finishing one homework/test at the time, is just wonderful.
Since I also know she loved to sew little dresses for me and my sisters – which unfortunately all have now gone to charity.

Anyhow, to late in date for the HSM but a nice piece of Swedish dressmaking history all the same.IMG_7901“Modern pattern drafting”

You’l learn how to properly measure someone.IMG_7902

Drafting the basic pattern templates – Her the dress/bodice/skirt pattern.IMG_7903

Fabric layout’s equally important – in Sweden we call this a “LĂ€ggbild”IMG_7905

You also need to know how to alter the pattern pieces, and how to move the darts to your desired location.IMG_7906Interesting to see the way they used to put the darts between the breasts – something almost never used anymore.

Drafting a circular skirt (half circle) for that characteristic 50s look.IMG_7904

And some more challenging stuff like this fabulous jacketIMG_7907

I also love this kimono sleeve draftingIMG_7909

And who can resist the glamorous 1960s full skirted evening gowns IMG_7908Oh la la

IMG_7910My grandmothers “homework” drafting’s.

And at the end of the binder/course she received a diploma – notice the date…IMG_7911

I’m yet to make up one of these patterns, but I definitely will someday – if only to remember my granny.

City Cultural Festival with Dance Recital

By now it’s been two weeks ago the annual cultural festival in our town.
And just like last year me and my dance team was there to do a little performance.

This year the theme/time period on our dance was “Anything goes” or “All decades unite” to promote the upcoming Ball with the same theme.

I had some trouble deciding on what to wear (such a luxury problem, right), but in the end I decided to wear my new 17th century outfit. Mainly because I (correctly) guessed no one else would be wearing 17th century, and because I really wanted to try it out properly, to decide how I felt about it (stomacher and all)

20150822_121001_resizedMe and Maud

The weather was perfect (maybe even a bit to hot), and the stage had been set up in the perfect spot in the middle of the park, with lots of market booths and activities close by to help draw audience to us.

The performance went well, even though all our memorys was a bit rusty after the summer break.IMG_8204Lots of decdes in one dance: 1780s, Medieval, 1850s, regency and 1660s.

IMG_8205I used my thin fichu to cover my scooping decolletage from both uncomfortable eyes and the scorching sun.

Between the shows we had a short break to watch the other teams dance, and to take a short turn at the market (where we handed out information about our ball)

IMG_8186 IMG_8185Swedish folk dance team

IMG_8176Lindy hopp

IMG_8175The Swedish Polska dancing team.

IMG_8170The historic dance team’s resting in the shade.

IMG_8173Carl and Shakila from my sewing course, sporting medieval and 1850s evening wear.

IMG_8187Maud in er fabulous 18th century Anglaise.

IMG_8189We performed right beside the old cars exhition.

IMG_8191We also meet the mascot for our local Hockey team – I do not envy the poor hot person inside…

Before it was time to go home I got a few minutes to talk (and take some photos) with my childhood dance teacher Katarina.
I joined in her kids folk dance team at the age of 6, continued as assisting dance teacher at age 15, and still frequent the same summer dances, festivals, and barbecues. 11863477_951061591616540_6141235149920294569_n17th century meets Skedevi national costume (summer edition).

IMG_8197I totally adore this woman.

Once home again, my fiancé helped me by taking some photos of my outfit (sans the fichu).

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After the day ended I can truly say that I really love this costume.
I felt so pretty and stylish in it, the shape it gives me and the way it makes me feel really petite and like an Amazon at the same time is just so great (sorry, can’t describe the felling any better)
But I must admit it was quite a relief to get home, unlace and put on some sweats…
(I’m curently working on some big plans for this costume…)