Category Archives: recycling

Almost an outfit. Most definitely a Sewalong.

Just so you know, this post is lenghty. 🙂Burda skirt and blouse

What went wrong with this outfit? 

Can you spot what´s wrong with this outfit? (Except for the fact that it is in no way weather appropriate right now up here).  No? Let me help you:



Almost an outfit


The shirt

So. Most everything that could go wrong, went wrong with this shirt. But – I have not given up. I will learn from my mistakes, and make another version, because I love the idea of this shirt. You see, this shirt has been in my mind for years. The most observant amongst you might recognize the pattern from Zoe´s recent wardrobe clear out. Her Ship Shape blouse has been on my to-do list since I first saw it, and I even tracked down the particular Burda Magazine just for that pattern (BurdaStyle 01-2008 for those who are interested).


Here´s what went wrong:

  1. Fabric choice. This shirting is just too low quality to actually use for shirts. I bought it on sale to use for a muslin for Anders´shirts. I thought maybe I could reuse it for myself. Not a good idea. It´s completely see-through  and not in any way something I would like to wear much.
  2. Poorly executed FBA. I just took a chance. I added a couple of centimeters here and there. That can work for knits. Not at all so for wovens. Lesson learned.
  3. Shirt style. Although I still love the bib, I am not too hot on the rest of the pattern. I´d rather have princess seams. It´s much easier to tweak.

These three wrongdoings gave me the following problems in the finished shirt:

  1. Horrible gaping on the button placket
  2. Crazy excess fabric here, there and everywhere
  3. The collar issues. Because I didn´t take the collar into consideration when I did my sloppy FBA.

Still, one thing I don´t understand is why the sleeves are so tight. I must have done something crazy, that´s for sure. I just don´t know what. 🙂


The skirt

The skirt, poor thing, is just a result of my own miscalculations. I had this nice navy corduroy and thought I´d put it into good use by making a skirt . Really. As if I really needed another navy blue skirt;-). Anyhoo.

I made it using  a BurdaStyle pattern from the March issue of 2010, mostly because I had that skirt pattern already traced and ready to go. What I had forgotten was that I´m not particularly fond of a front fly. I am more of a side/back- zip kind of a gal, so when I finished the skirt, it looked unbelievably frumpy.

The frumpiness was all over the place. I took it in both in the side seams and in both front and back darts, I shortened it, and at last I eliminated most of the frumpiness, but still – the side view of the zipper is pretty frumpy. But I will probably be able to save that by adding some hooks and eyes, and maybe take it in a little bit more in the front darts. I have not lost all hope in this one…



stashbusting sewalong


The good news though, is that both of these project could easily fit into the Stashbusting Sewalong that was announced by Cation Designs and EmSewCrazy earlier this January. I heard about it through Morgan of Crab & Bee (have you checked out her new blog design? It´s gorgeous! ), and I knew that this sewalong was right up my alley. As of yet I haven´t actually signed up, but I have started sewing with it in mind, so without further ado here is my official sewalong participation announcement:

“I, Sølvi of delfinelise, commit to using mostly pieces of fabric from my stash in 2013. I aim to use 11 pieces for myself and 5 for others the first 6 months, and I will revise how I´ve done every month. Depending on how I do, I will commit to more, or less, for the last 6 months of 2013.”

You like it? I sure do. Here´s what my plans look like:

Stashbusting Sewalong 2013

 Selfish Sewing Spring 2013


And here´s a collection of the fabric I´d like to use:

Fabric for stashbusting

That is a lot of fabric. But I really hope to work through most of it!  

For January the challenge is to use scraps and bits and pieces, and I am happy to say that it´s going well! This is what I made this weekend:

Reusable make-up pads

Washable make-up pads. One side is quilting cotton. Other side is minky. I use these all the time, and found it was time for a new batch. You can´t have too many! I got the idea for them back in 2009/2010 here.



Ironing board caddy with pincushion

A much needed scrap bin and new ironing board cover. I used a tutorial for the scrap bin and caddy that was on the very helpful Stashbusting Sewalong HQ Pinterest board for January.

Ironing board  pin cushion

Another pic of the caddy and the brand new pincushion. There are handy pockets in the caddy , and the little red fabric in the pin cushion is felt  – a desigated area for my needles! 

Ironing board CaddyThe pincushion is filled with rice, to make it less flimsy, and it holds everything in place. 

I also got a brand new iron this weekend, and I love it! It has an eco-mode, it gives out less steam than others without lacking in efficiency , and it´s partly made of recycled materials. Thank you Phillips! All in all I am pretty pleased with last weekend´s sewing efforts.

Are you joining in the Stashbusting Sewalong?

0 Responses to Almost an outfit. Most definitely a Sewalong.

  1. I don’t think it looks as bad as you think it does!! I *love* your selfish sewing plan though. I need to get on that. I’m still mentally preparing for the stash-busting project.

    • Thanks Donna! it’s not as much how it looks as how it feels.:-) espcially the sleeves. I was SO close to panicking and ripping them off of me trying to get it off!:-)

      Hope to see your stashbusting sewing plans soon.:-)

  2. I can also see the positives in your almost outfit! I hope you can save them as they really do have potential, and I love the bib blouse. As for your stash busting productivity, wow! I think I feel more organised just looking at the system you’ve created for your ironing station.
    Ps I love seeing your sewing sketches too !

    • I definitely will save the skirt, no doubt. Look out for it sneaking into feature posts! 🙂 And I have to say I am so pleased with the way I organizde things around the ironing board. For the first time it doesn´t become a complete mess the minute I lay eyes on the iron anymore. Woohoo!

  3. I’ve made most of my to-sew list from my stash this year. Fingers crossed I’ll stick to it. I hate fly-front skirts too! I have quite a little potbelly, being an apple shape, that makes it always stick out funny. Alas. Apart from the clothes, the other stuff you made came out awesome, I lurve the fabric you used on your ironing board decor.

    • Yay! for using stash fabric, and nice to hear someone else have the sam e opinion about the front fly. It all comes down to dressing in a way to suit out body type and personality, doesn’t it?:-)

  4. I don’t think your outfit looks bad at all! Honestly, I think most of the time we just overthink things because we see through sewists’ eyes. At any rate, your scrapbusting looks amazing…I love your illustrated plan!

    • Thanks for hosting the sewalong! And thanks for the nice words, I guess I am much more picky with my clothing than before I started to sew, but I really think that is so positive! Finally I can wear good looking pieces that I feel good in. I say Hurrah for our sewists eyes!:-)

  5. Awesome that you’re joining the stashbusting challenge! Your new projects look great and very useful. And, thanks for the sweet words about my blog!

  6. I’m glad you’re joining in the challenge! And your new projects look awesome and very useful. Also, thank you for the sweet words about my blog!

  7. Oh, lovely plans! I really like that you’re always sketching your plans. I should remember to do so, too, it’s such good practice! I’m also joining the stashbusting sewalong. 🙂
    That caddy and pincushion looks so lovely and useful! Great idea!

  8. Sorry to see the outfit didn’t work out but your plans for sewing this year look intriguing, is that underwear or a bikini at no. 11? Love the idea for reuseable make-up pads, definitely going to have to whip myself up some of those once the house is back on track!

    • Thanks, it’s just how it is with sewing, you win some, you loose some. I’m making a bikini (hopefully)! Those make up pads are really good, so I can really recommend it!:-)

  9. This post is so inspiring!! I absolutely love these stashbusting projects. The fabric you used for the ironing board cover, caddy, etc., is beautiful. I’m also jealous of your sketching skills. Looks like you’re going to have an amazing 2013. The new blouse is lovely, by the way. I’m sorry you’re not happy with it, but it is a nice style on you so I’m sure you’ll work it out! Happy Sewing!!!

  10. What an inspiring post – The sewalong looks great – I am thinking I will join in as most of my planned sewing involves stashbusting this year! The sewing caddy looks fab – what a clever idea. But mostly I love the washcloths and feel like copying you! The skirt and blouse look good in the photo but I know that photo and reality aren’t always the same, good luck with the alterations. 🙂

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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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0 Responses to My Baby´s Come Back!

  1. I have three men’s shirts lined up for refashioning. One is a white formal dress shirt with lots of pin tucks on the front in a kind of bib shape. I was thinking of just making it into a more fitted white shirt but now you have made me think of a tunic with casing for summer. Hmmm, you have inspited me now. I will let you know what I do. Good luck with the shirt sewing for your Darling. I have steered clear of sewing for Mr Minnado so far. The advice on MPB looked very good though. Have a good week. x

    • Ooo, that shirt sounds so nice for refashioning, I´d love to see what you do with it! 🙂

  2. What about using one of his discarded shirts to make a pattern from? It might take a lot less time to unpick the seams and trace the pieces rather than pattern fitting, since you already know it fits.

    • That´s a great idea, but none of his RTW shirts really fit him properly, (like in a tailor made kind of a way) so I think I´ll have to do it the “hard way”. Thanks for the idea! 🙂

  3. Welcome back to your honey! Wow, 2 months is a long time!!! I love that refashion you linked to share! Good luck in your men’s shirt sewing, I need to make one for my husband but he is very particular in how things fit him so it would be a big endeavour. I’ve finally managed to make jumpers that fit him perfectly but somehow that comes a bit more easily to me than pattern drafting.

    • Yes, I know, two months are much longer than you´d think, isn´t it? You´re such an amazing knitter, Kristen. I´m very impressed by your skills!

    • Thank you so much for the links! I especially loved the peasant top. So cute! You did use a shirt for 6808? That´s so great. Love the idea. 🙂

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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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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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