Category Archives: eco- friendly

FO: Fairtrade pencil skirt.

Thanks for all the lovely comments on my UFO post. It seems like most settle on three projects at a time. That sounds sane. I am not going for sane, though. I´m going for chaos! 😉 No, seriously, eleven is a little excessive, but I did actually finish one of them yesterday, as well as get some work done on the Aidez. But. I started a new project as well… So I´m back where I started! Oh,  well. What can I say, all this lovely yarn is  screaming at me “knit me, knit me! ” So what can I do but obey?

Enough of that, I promised you some pictures of actual finished garments, and here is one of them. I´m throwing in a pattern review too, for good measures. This project definitely fits into my Fun! sewing too. What´s not to love about a fun print on a pencil skirt?

Two different stylings. One office-ish, the other one for running errands. I don´t work at an office. But if I did, I´d walk around like this ALL the time. 🙂 The picture to the upper right tries to show you the fun curved darts. Can you see them? 


Pattern Review BurdaStyle Magazine 07-2012-120

Pattern size: 34-44

Pattern type: pencil skirt

Rating: Highly recommend

Pattern Description: From “This is a classic pencil skirt with stylish curved front darts. This skirt has a straight silhouette and features a back vent. You can pair this skirt with virtually any top and matching blazer.”

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Yup.

Were the instructions easy to follow? This is not an overly complicated pattern, so the instructions were not used much, but they made sense when I looked at them!

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? I really love the little curved front dart. It´s details like that I love Burda for. So simple, yet very cool.

Fabric Used: I used a cotton sateen from Offset Warehouse, a beautiful organic cotton called Brick Layer. I ordered a yard of this fabric on inspiration from Roobeedoo who mentioned them in one of her blog posts. Thanks, Roo! You should all go check out Offset Warehouse, they specialize in eco- and fair trade fabric, clothing and haberdashery. What´s not to love?

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: None. Oh,  that´s not true. I probably lengthened it say 8 cm or so.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? I might use this pattern again, maybe in a solid color?

Conclusion: A classic high-waisted pencil skirt, easy to make, fun to wear!


10 Responses to FO: Fairtrade pencil skirt.

  1. Oh wow! The yellow belt makes it look so “fashion” and yet it has a vintage air to it too. I would never have known the fabric was from Offset – I passed over this print assuming it was for upholstery – but you look NOTHING like an armchair in it! 😉

  2. I love the skirt and the print. Did you use a special type of interfacing to avoid the waistline rolling over? I read a review on Burdastyle from Frabjous Couture that said she use boning.

  3. Thanks everyone!
    @Sewing Princess: I didn´t use any special type of interfacing, just the regular one I usually use, a woven cotton one, not especially thin nor thick. I just understitched the facing and tacked it in place. 🙂

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0 Responses to Living in the World.

  1. Thank you for the link to that TED video! That was so neat to see. I don’t do everything I could, but I try to do what I can given my emotional limitations 😉

    The scariest thing to me about the future is that we are pumping massive amounts of carbon into the biosphere that has been out of circulation for hundreds of million years. The climate that that carbon was a part of was very, very different, and our society is highly adapted to our current climate, which we are changing rapidly. I suspect that we will limp along, getting by as we tend to. I doubt we’ll manage to do this without major cost to the planet, but I hope that our society will be affluent and flexible enough to meet the challenges we’ve created for ourselves. We know that civilizations can and do destroy themselves—I just hope that the modern, diversified world economy with wide distribution of knowledge will be able to compensate for the added strains we will encounter as we exhaust and disrupt our world.

    … Which amounts to a pretty big downer, so I try not to think about it and remind myself that we usually pull through.

  2. I believe in doing what you can, which is, like you said, different for everyone. Recycling is a good start, as if reusing things, or giving them away instead of just trashing them. I have been focusing mostly on food lately. Cooking my own instead of going out, choosing healthier, organic choices, etc. It is cetainly something worth thinking about!

  3. A great post. I do lots of the usual things like recycling and also try to think when I buy and not buy food etc wrapped up in extra packaging. I am told this is now called Precycling. I don’t buy new things. I do drive a car,my son’s school is not walkable nor on a bus route. I hope once we move this summer I will be able to walk and lift share with other families to get him to school. I try to limit my journeys and we have a day a week which is no driving day. I am not sure whether all these small things add up. I also am the light switcher off person in my house. BUt I do think it is my responsibility as a parent to practise what I preach and to show my kids positive actions.

  4. I love this post, Solvi. I’ve always been aware and made an effort, but in a very offhand way and I’m finally gaining more courage to do more. I think we can each do our part. Do I think it’ll reverse the insane damage? Probably not, but I feel good about my life and where I (choose to) live by being more mindful. It’s also easier to do when you live in a community that makes things so, so easy. I feel I must live in one of the greenest parts of the U.S. My concerns revolve aroundconsumption and waste — how can I not just buy less, but buy better? And how can I reduce my waste? Buying pre-packaged food during a crazy week is still better for me (health and pocketbook wise) than eating out those same days that week. How can I create good habits that are mutually beneficial for me and my community? I think that’s the sticking point: People rarely see that a life change can actually be greatly beneficial.

    But funnily enough, I’m spending more than ever (and I’m on a clothing ration!). Once I decided to buy quality, it means I own less but I’m dropping more bills — a hard sell in the U.S. I keep reminding myself these are investments, that I’ll save money in the long run. Whew, long comment 🙂

  5. great post solvi, i try to do what i can – the usual recycling, only using my car when i have to (i actually dream of getting my dad to extend his mechanical skills to building/customising a car that’d be greener for me, mechanical refashioning?!). i do muslin but i keep the material and resuse it where-ever possible in other muslins, like say smaller collars or sleeves cut out of bodies etc. i’m hoping to get my own place this summer and am having a lot of fun researching selvage yards where i can get everything from floorboards to sinks to doors and furniture rather than buying new bulk produced things.
    we’ve all got to do what we can, i personally try not to think about the huge-er picture, its overwhelming and paralysing so i plod along doing my little bit.

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6 Responses to 2010 – my challenge in review

  1. What a fantastic post, Solvi! I love how you approached clothes buying and sewing, and I especially love everything you created. I love your Beignet skirts and your knitted tunic! Fabulous! I’m so happy that you are sewing along with me in the Hepburn Hepburn Project. You are a gifted seamstress (not to mention awesome knitter), and I love seeing what you make.

    Thanks for the link to Women for Women International. I’m going to keep that one in mind and definitely donate this year.

    Sarah 🙂

    • Thanks, Sarah – I loved your links to different good causes the other week too, it´s so great that there are so many ways one can give back to the community! 🙂

  2. congrats on such a great year! My self-stitched-september was so uplifting and eye-opening towards making my own clothes, and after that month I felt the same luckluster feeling towards clothes off the racks as you. I am so impressed by the dedication you have and hope to do the same. thanks for the inspiration!

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0 Responses to Pledges and sustainability.

  1. I’m so glad to have found you through SSS flickr group, what a great blog! I LOVE your grand plan and actually had been thinking about doing something like that myself! Very inspiring work, lady! xxKO

  2. i don’t have any tips for how to get rid of things in your closet, mine is crammed full as well. i find if i’m angry about something or in a random “i need to get rid of everything” mood, then i can cull things for at least 10 or so minutes (until i get out of the mood, try things on to see if they fit etc!). oooh and i love love love the ceylon dress!

  3. my best trick for getting rid of clothes: invite a friend or relative over to help (this is ESSENTIAL), then try on EVERYTHING (not all at once), and have this friend/relation be brutally honest with you (pick someone you’re comfortable with as far as being in your undies, so you can quick-change without leaving the room).
    The main rule is: if it doesn’t look fabulous, it goes.
    You likely have stuff you know you already love and look fab in, and those things can be set to one side, to help cut down on time.
    You are allowed to hold onto some not-so-fab items if all they need is alterations, but they must leave your closet and head for the sewing room right away. If they’re not fixed (or missed) in a month or so, those have to go, too.
    If you just can’t stand to get rid of something, because you made it, or you have strong memories, etc, you can keep it, but again, it has to leave the closet and be stored elsewhere. If you haven’t got that sort of space, take a picture, and let it go.
    My sisters and mom and I try to do this for each other once a year or so. Sometimes it’s a couple years in between. Can’t be done without the friend/relation, though. You have to have someone else there to help keep you going, and to keep you from rationalizing too many items that really don’t work.

    make sure you send it all off to charity/thrift stores, of course (after giving your helper their pick, if they wish). even the stuff that isn’t wearable gets used at those places – one near me bundles up their unsold or unwearable clothes and sends them to Africa (usually), where they are cut into strips and woven into rugs, which helps the impoverished make honest money, etc. Win-win.

    • Oh, thanks Laurel! That is a great idea to get someone to help me. Come to think of it, my sister IS the best clutter police I know. Only problem is she lives a 100 miles (european miles) away, so I´ll have to wait for her next visit. If I don´t suggest this as an activity for my sewing group.

      I love the part you added about the stuff that should be fixed. I have ALOT of stuff in my “ixing bin”, and they´ve been there way much longer than a month. So I´ll probably start there. 🙂

  4. I wrote a similar post yesterday! Last night, I filled two bin bags: one bag has gone into my “storage drawer” and contains my summer clothes; the other contains items for the charity shop. Once I got going, it wasn’t too hard. I still think I need to be more brutal with what’s left and intend to strike again tonight. I also know that I ought to edit the summer bag a bit more, but at least it is out of sight for a few months! One thing I would say: try to do your editing in daylight – then you can identify the items which need to go because they are past saving due to fading / bobbles etc. I feel quite refreshed! P.S. There are some interesting comments appearing on my post you might like to read.

    • Oh, that´s so funny that you did that too, must be the season?
      And the part about daylight, is soo very true.

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Summer Essentials Sew-Along: The Sundress 1

Traditionally, I´ve been a skirt-sewing gal. I have made a million skirts, and when Me-Made-May came around I found that I really didn´t have much else, so now I´m sewing up mostly tops and dresses (although I can´t resist Beignet, and it is already cut…). The latest result of this is Simplicity 2362, or the… Continue Reading…

0 Responses to Summer Essentials Sew-Along: The Sundress 1

  1. Such a pretty colour. I love those dresses that you can just throw on, too. Unfortunately it’s winter here at the moment so I have a whole lot of time to wait before I can justify making one. Otherwise Self-Stitched-September will roll around, it’ll still be chilly out, and all I’ll have to wear will be summer dresses 🙂

    • Thanks. I am starting to worry a bit about September myself, as I´ve gone for the full version this time (I did a lighter one in May), and I think I have, for much to long, ignored the fact that September is in fact autumn here in Scandinavia, and can be beyond chilly….so really, I should stop making summer dresses and start working on a coat or two instead…:-)

  2. Very pretty! I’m starting to fret about self-stitched September too. All my plans for summer sewing have been thwarted by cold weather. It’s July 1 and I’m sitting here in a wool sweater. Grr.

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Hello, my name is Ceylon.

So, I took some time yesterday and finished Ceylon. It was so much fun sewing this! I love how everything just came together with this one, the instructions were easy to follow, and even though there are quite a bit of parts and pieces and details with this, I never felt lost thanks to the great instructions.… Continue Reading…

0 Responses to Hello, my name is Ceylon.

  1. Ah! Totally lovely. (Like all your projects!) The Ceylon is actually one of my favorite patterns in the Colette line (so elegant!) but I’ve always hesitated on whether it would look good on me, but you’re starting to tempt me to get it … ; I just love the shape, it’s so flattering, and in the colors your chose, so feminine and summery.

    I’d totally invite you to tea if you weren’t on the other side of the planet. Keep ’em coming!

  2. Thanks a bunch Ali! Go for it! There are too few Ceylons out there, if you ask me, I´d love to see your version as well! 🙂

  3. This is sooooooo good! You are welcome for the inspiration! I was thinking about how to add piping to this pattern when I try it in the future. The buttons are beautiful and totally perfect for this dress. Looking forward to your take two!


  4. Gorgeous version! Love the black buttons, a perfect contrast to the soft summery peach. I almost bought Ceylon but changed my mind – all those buttonholes!! Looks fantastic on you though, excellent work!

  5. Wow, this is just beautiful! I’m sewing a Ceylon myself at the moment, and I love what you have done with the piping! It fits you excellently.

  6. Thank you all so much! I´m so glad you liked it.
    @Zoe: I wondered about the piping as well, and settled for this solution, but I think it will be mighty cool to add piping to the yoke as well.
    @Tasia: Thank God for an automatic buttonhole foot on my mothers sewing machine! 😉 (I don´t have one for my own…yet…)
    @Kjersti: Looking forward to seeing your version as well!

  7. Hello! I just found your blog through Pattern Review. I wanted to come and see more pictures of your beautiful dress. You have the best version of this dress so far, I think. The piping and the buttons are just perfect. I am looking forward to see what you sew next. 🙂

  8. Couldn’t find an email so shall post here 🙂

    Just wanted to ask your permission to use one of your images
    in a blog post – I’m doing a roundup of some of my favourites from the Summer Essentials Flickr Group anmd I’d really like to include your Ceylon!

    • Thank you Irrena, I used a lightweight cotton I thrifted, it is probably quite old as it is 90 cm wide, and that is not the standard in Scandinavia anymore for cotton fabrics. It has a bit of stretch, and lovely to wear! 🙂

  9. oh my lordy!!! This is the nicest dress i have ever seen! The piping looks fabulous! I would pay a small fortune for a dress like this. I can only dream about becomming this good at stitching!

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I´m so exited! After buying a couple of patterns over at Colette patterns, and reading their blog, I found Zoe´s blog and her fantastic challenge. Every day in May she will (and now I will and a bunch of other crafters will) try to wear something self-made every day of the month of May. I´m… Continue Reading…

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0 Responses to My slippers

  1. […] On more sewing related stuff, I´ve made a new pair of slippers. I wear slippers everyday when I´m at home, so I´ve got quite a high rotation on slippers, this is the third pair of handmade ones, you can see one of their predecessors here. […]

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