Wednesday, 1 August 2018

My favorite summer top

Click here for Norwegian


A bit after I opened Cotton Candy, I decided to make a 2018 Make Nine list for Cotton Candy as well. There were a few reasons for that:
  1. I wanted to showcase some of the nice fabrics I have (obviously).
  2. I wanted to inspire sewists in Norway (and maybe outside of Norway too) to make their own pretty clothes and not limit themselves to a difficulty level thinking some project or other is hard.
  3. I wanted to make video sew-alongs that show the process of creating a few garments step by step, again to show that anybody can do it.

Thursday, 26 July 2018

The crochet top of dreams


I've been wanting to make this top for ages, it's been in my favorites on verena.ru for a very long time. But I didn't want to do it in just any yarn, I wanted some luxury yarn...something I would simply love.

Tuesday, 24 July 2018

Mystery blogger award

Lindesnes lighthouse (Norway's southernmost point)

Well, I've never been nominated for anything, so this actually feels good, there's someone out there that thinks my blog is worth reading! 😂

This is nothing official, it's a friendly chain of recognition between bloggers, a cozy thing. Here's what the creator Okoto Enigma says about it:

"Mystery Blogger Award is an award for amazing bloggers with ingenious post. Their blog not only captivates; it inspires and motivates. They are one of the best out there, and they deserve every recognition they get. This award is also for bloggers who find fun and inspiration in blogging, and they do it with so much love and passion."

Me and Otto (I also have JJ 😊)

Here are "The Rules" to the "Mystery Blogger Award":

  • Thank whoever nominated you and include a link to their blog
  • Tell your readers three things about yourself
  • Answer the questions from the person who nominated you
  • Nominate 10 - 20 bloggers you feel deserve the award
  • Ask your nominees 5 questions of your choice, with one weird or funny one
  • Notify your nominees by commenting on their blog

Now that we're done with the introductions, here we go:

The awesome Ellen Hatteland

I was nominated for this by the awesome Ellen Hatteland, she's been a source of inspiration and awe for me ever since I started sewing. I called her my sewing role model before and I still totally mean it. I first "met" Ellen on burdastyle.com 3-4 years ago when I started sewing and still follow her and her amazing (and many!) makes today 😍 (For the Norwegian sewing population: yep, that's the same Ellen from symesterskapet 😎).

What would be interesting and new to tell you about myself? hmmm
  • I worked offshore for 6 years in the oil & gas industry as an engineer on a seismic vessel (oil and gas exploration boat), in some cases the only girl of a crew of about 55 people and often looked like this (This is a room on the boat we called the Instrument room where all the computers, servers and technical people lived 😂):
Some 10 years ago on the Western Spirit

  • I'm obsessed with languages, speak four, understand a good deal of 2 more but speak them badly and dream of learning all the languages in the world! 😵
  • I love the sea! We bought our house mainly because I was obsessed with the sea view from it (a couple of kilometers away and it's just the Oslo fjord but still!)

The questions I was asked by Ellen are:

  • What do you do to cheer up your partner? hehehe...I mean you have to think in that direction with this question, don't you? 😄, but seriously? listen and cuddle, or cook one of the things he really likes.
  • If I ask you to sing spontaneous, what song would that be? I got no roots coz my home was never on the ground (No roots by Alice Merton)...I listen to the radio all the time, so it would be whichever song is stuck in my head at the time. Although I dance more than I sing 😁
  • Your favorite topping on the ice-cream.. Caramel sauce! Totally! Even better if it's salted, yum!
  • What makes you feel uncomfortable.. Stubborn arguments that lead nowhere, hate them!
  • What kind of competition would you like to participate? 20 years ago, I'd have said swimming, today? probably sewing 😄
Yup! I've been to Taj Mahal 😎

Now it's time to list some names that I love to read, in no particular order (some don't blog that often but I love to read when they do, and some have already been nominated before by other people):

  1. Why did you start sewing?
  2. What's your favorite me-made garment?
  3. What's you favorite city/town/village/place in the world of those you actually visited?
  4. Have you ever won a challenge/giveaway and what did you win?
  5. How would you react if someone you've never seen before walks up to you in the street, happily calls your name and gives you a hug?

Tuesday, 17 July 2018

Tunisia blouse


I live in Norway, my youngest sister lives in Egypt. We've been joking for a while about meeting in Tunisia, then one day we realized we don't need visas to go there! So I grabbed my husband, she grabbed our mother and we did it! We met in Tunisia 😄 (you can read my impressions of that trip here, here, here, here and here 😊)


As you might have read before I started a tradition a few years ago to buy a piece of fabric from each new country I visit (if the opportunity arises of course), and the old market of Tunis did offer such an opportunity.


What I bought was a hand woven cotton/polyester mix that is normally used to make traditional Tunisian garments, this was meant for a short vest. I liked the color combination of it: the classic blue, red and white and I liked that it had tassels on the short sides. It didn't take long before I knew exactly what I wanted to make with it.


I wanted a blouse that is loose, with some sort of bell sleeves, a square neckline and a straight hem so I can use the tassels at the hem. This Burda Style pattern was close enough.


But a few modifications had to happen:
   - I made the side seams and hem straight instead of curved so as not to disturb the stripe directions. Read How-to here.
   - I ditched the gathered peplum and instead lengthened the front and back pieces with the same amount. This is simply done by subtracting the seam allowances from the peplum height and adding that at the bottom of front and back, since we don't need any for hemming either given we're using the fabric edge.
   - My fabric wasn't wide enough to leave the sleeve length as is so I shortened it a few cm's to fit into the fabric.
   - And finally replaced the gathered bells at the sleeves with pleated ones. Read How-to here. 


The sewing was pretty easy but the fabric did offer a couple of challenges...being hand woven it wasn't "geometrically correct", it wasn't symmetrical around the center, so I couldn't stripe-match, but it's not disastrously visible so I'm not too sad about that. And I found a little hole that I had to darn.


The result is 😍😍😍. I love it! It's almost that I wish the weather was a bit cooler so I can wear it! Not that I'm complaining about the weather, it's been Norway's best summer ever!

This is also my first July entry for #burdachallenge2018 and my 5th of 9 of Make Nine 2018 😊


Pattern: Burda Style 03/2014 #119
Fabric: Handwoven cotton/polyester mix from the markets of Tunis.
Photos taken at home in Asker, Norway.


Monday, 16 July 2018

Create pleated bell sleeves

To add bell sleeves at the bottom of your sleeves gives them a very pretty shape and isn't difficult to do. Here's a way to achieve them:

- Measure the circumference of the bottom of your sleeve.
- Decide how many pleats to have. I used nine on my version and think it works really well.
- Now divide the circumference of the sleeve by the number of pleats to get the pleat width A.
- To get beautiful even pleats, you need two strips of fabric equal to 3xA + seam allowances in length, and about 12-15cm + seam allowance to sew into the sleeve + hem allowance in width.


Saturday, 14 July 2018

Modify a rounded hem to a straight hem

You might think why would I want to do that? And I wouldn't blame you, I love me a rounded hem too, but sometimes the fabric dictates it like my stripy fabrics with tassels on one end.

One thing to keep in mind is how the sides go down to the hem. If it's more or less straight from the waist to the hem, then it's just a matter to find the desired length and draw a straight line across. But if it tapers out like in this pattern:


Then you need to think a bit differently, but it's still very simple...

Here's what to do:
- Make a marking at the side seam where the highest bust point is on the front piece and at the corresponding point on the back piece.


- Draw a line from that point parallel to the center front/back seam all the way down to the hem, and fold or cut away the excess.


- Now find the correct length for your garment and draw a line across the pattern pieces that is perpendicular to the center front/back and side seams.


Note that this method might not work if you want the garment to go beyond the hips, make sure the pattern is wide enough to accommodate your hips in such case 😊.

Thursday, 28 June 2018

A bit of baby sewing


A few months ago, a little girl was born. This little beautiful girl happens to be my niece, and although I was already part of another gift for her christening, I couldn't resist sewing something as well.

Saturday, 23 June 2018

World's Easiest Top


I've been wanting to write about this top for a while but 40+ C weather in Cairo and a broken aircon were not helping 😄, but here I am doing it. Coincidentally, this top is perfect for such temperatures, it's easy and fast to make, as well as light and breezy to wear.


I made this for the first time back in 2015 from two silk/polyester scarves as an experiment. It turned out really cool and I even wrote some simple instructions on how to do it on my Burda projects page. It looked like this:


Now a lot of you know that I opened a fabric store some months ago, and as much as I'd like it, fame and customers don't come without work 😄, and I started looking for channels to advertise for myself. I've been a member of a few Norwegian sewing groups on Facebook already, where I showed my makes in general. Then I discovered that one of them also had its own Snapchat account that members can sign up to take over for a day or two. The admins of the group encouraged shop owners to take over and show a normal day at the shop.


I thought why not? I took over one day, talked about Cotton Candy and my reasons behind it, showed my work day, but since it's a sewing group, I thought it'd be nice to also sew something quick and simple in the evening. And what's more perfect than this top? So I clipped me a piece of woven viscose from the shop and went to work.


The feedback was really amazing! People loved it, complimented me on it, saved my snaps for later and those who didn't or who weren't following that day but saw the top on FB and IG later, asked me about the pattern I used. The result of all this is a free sewing pattern that I wrote, and that is available for download in both Norwegian and English from my store here.


I've become a regular on the snapchat account by now, It's such an ego boost! 😂 People are so nice, and it's great to hear that people like what I make, and learn something from what I show.


Pattern: World's Easiest Top by Cotton Candy
Fabric: Woven viscose with abstract print in pink from Cotton Candy
Photos taken in front of Cotton Candy's warehouse in Asker, Norway.


Wednesday, 20 June 2018

Wrap dress...from another point of view


I've been intrigued by this pattern since I opened the instructions and saw how it's constructed and how you put it on. I loved the idea! Pleasure to an engineer's eye 😂. I already had a piece of fabric that I bought to make a summer dress a couple of years ago and thought it'll suit this pattern.

Monday, 18 June 2018

Summer's coolest sweatshirt


As part of the Minerva product testing team, I managed to get my hands on some really interesting fabric. It didn't look super exciting on the site, but when it arrived? Ooh yeah! 😎 It was a spur of the moment pick, so the initial choice of the pattern was too.