Just before the weekend I received the latest Ottobre, and some of the designs in there show a simplicity almost like the one that you usually see in Japanese patterns – I love it. Sunday I went ahead and traced one of the patterns (#28 from 3/2011) – I originally wanted to make it for Frida, but it didn’t come as small as that, so I went with one for Ronja instead.

Ronja hasn’t been measured for a while, so I did just before I started tracing, and it turns out she’s a size 116 according to her height, but only a 98 width – phew! I decided to add room for growth, and traced a 116 height and 104 width for her – still I had to concentrate while tracing to make everything match up. I always highly recommend measuring before you sew up Ottobre garments, because they tend to be quite wide in the sizes, but they fit perfectly if you go by measurement.

Tulip dress (Sunny sailor dress)

I used linen for the dress and spiced it up a little with Amy Butler’s “Daisy Bouquet” for the sleeves. I added two appliqued tulips in order to create a link from the sleeves to the main fabric, and I think it works fine, even if the edge stitching of the tulips isn’t the best I’ve ever made – for some reason the fabric didn’t quite move properly while I was sewing. Other than that everything came together just fine, and it’s a perfect fit for Ronja.

Tulip dress (Sunny sailor dress) - pleats and appliqué

I haven’t made this kind of pleats before, but I find them such a neat alternative to gathering – a beautiful design detail (yet slightly more time consuming). This is a wonderful summer dress – and it’s original name “Sunshine Sailor Dress” goes so well with the fact that we will be spending this year’s summer vacation on our boat! :)

Lemonade on the garden table

I made a Lickety Split bag for spring a while ago as a gift for a special blog-friend. I didn’t show you then, but it’s more than appropriate now, because I think I can say with confidence, that spring is finally here!

These are pictures from yesterday afternoon, when the girls and I enjoyed the sun in the garden. Mads was out with his friend Martin and thousands of other motorcyclists celebrating the annual opening of Bakken Amusement Park – the oldest amusement park in the world. (If you’re curious, the first to paragraphs here explain the event rather well.) I do believe they enjoyed themselves as well!

Snowdrops and a blue sky

What a great day

Winter aconites

So now that I’ve proved to you that spring is really here – this is the Lickety Split in my dotted spring-version.

Lickety Spring

Lickety Spring

I made it just the same way as usual (previous versions here and here) – followed Rae‘s pattern, and added sew-in interfacing to give it a touch more body and a magnetic snap. I’m really fond of it, and I think the recipient was as well.

And speaking of Rae – don’t forget that her awesome Spring Top Week is about to begin. Tops can be entered from March 30th, and all the details on how to participate are on her blog. Even if you don’t participate, the amount of inspiration found in the many contributions is amazing – and that will be revealed over on Rae’s blog in the beginning of May.

It’s definitely time for an update, don’t you think? I found a job – I even managed to find one that I’m totally looking forward to, with Denmark’s largest publishing group called Berlingske Media! I had my last day at AOL Advertising last week, and the office is pretty much closed down now, so I’m enjoying a few calm days before taking on my new challenges. I love that!

Yesterday I was sewing – it has been a while, and there are so many things I want to make. I actually wanted to take part in Sarah’s Pattern Challenge, but I haven’t had the time or energy to make concrete goals for myself, so I’ll just go on to sew a bit here and there, using her challenge as an inspiration.

Anyway, I made these things – a vest and a pouch for my Ipod Touch.

Vest and iPod pouch

The vest is from an Onion pattern, #6013, it has a dart on each front piece, and I really like the fit of it, though it is quite simple. I made a size small, based on measurements, and it is just right, but it couldn’t be any smaller for me (normally I’m a size M in Onion patterns). I used a quilted fabric, and the pattern is easy peasy, so it didn’t take me long – also I love wearing vests, so this is a welcome addition to my wardrobe. Oh, and I left out the tie in front – like the look better without.

Purple vest

The pouch for my iPod Touch has been planned for a while, but I wasn’t sure which style I wanted to go with. I have been looking at (and drooling over) these beautiful pouches by KapomCraft on Flickr – she has an Etsy-store as well, so if you’re not into sewing, you could go there. I wanted to make something in a similar style, but wasn’t sure if I could do it without a tutorial or something to go by. So I went back to the same tute I used for Ronja’s Nintendo DS pouch, using new measurements, and adding a pocket in the front. I used the same fabric as I did for the vest – it’s already padded, so I didn’t need to use any interfacing or similar. Otherwise I would have.

Everything came together almost right – except when I was done it was just 3 mm too small in the width, so I turned the wrong side back out, undid the seam, and made a new one adding 1.5 mm on each side. Now it’s just right – nice and snug.

Pouch for iPod Touch

At first, I didn’t add any kind of handle or strap, but I quickly realised that was a mistake – so therefore I went to my all-kinds-of-stuff-drawer, and found a nice piece of ribbon, which I added as a neckstrap. It really is just the way I wanted it now.

iPod Touch Pouch with neckstrap

Only thing I would want different is the Ipod Touch itself – ’cause what is an Ipod Touch really? An Iphone without a phone – that’s what it is. I want the phone too…  :)

We’re finishing off with a funny story today: Frida has taken the first steps towards getting rid of the diaper, and she has started using the toilet. Her doll though is using a potty for that very same purpose (well, perhaps not entirely, but still). In Danish a potty is a ‘potte’ – however Frida seems to believe it’s called an Ipodde. :D Now, where could that possibly come from?

Frida loves to paint. A LOT. And so far she has been using an oversize bib as an apron, but yesterday I decided we should be able to do better than that. So I made her an apron.

Oilcloth apron for Frida

The oilcloth is something I bought for another project – those of you who have been with me long may remember the oilcloth backpack, which is still Ronja’s preferred bag for her gym class. I got the fabric long ago from Stof&Stil, but it’s over a year ago, so I don’t think you will find it there anymore. I used Amy Butler dots for the straps – I never seem to stop turning to that fabric, it just adds a great touch to almost anything.

Oilcloth apron - pocket detail

I was looking for a nice apron tutorial online, and I found this one (pdf) on Sew Liberated. Her blog is amazing, she has made some gorgeous patterns, and I wantwantwant her book, so do take a look over there if you’re in the market for inspiration.

Anyway, her apron pattern wasn’t exactly what I was looking for, I only wanted to use one layer of fabric due to the sturdy quality of the oilcloth, so I couldn’t sew straps and ties in between two layers. Also, even though I like the idea that a child can close the apron herself, I think that a proper tie is best for an apron that I want Frida to use for a long time – it is more adjustable that way. I ended up using her pattern as a guide line, but widening the apron a bit and shortening it as well, since Frida is younger. I trimmed the apron and the pocket with bias tape. For the neck strap, I followed her directions exactly, and it works perfectly. I could have made it a bit shorter, but again, it isn’t crucial, and this apron will last for a long time.

Elasticated neck strap

And as for the little painter, she loved the apron the moment she saw it. I wanted to put up a picture of her where you could see the entire apron, but I wasn’t able to drive her away from the painting, so I guess that proves a point as well… ;)

Frida doing a more abstract piece

Besides the Simply Stylish Handbag, another thing that has been waiting for me to get on with it, is the Mini Dress from Amy Butler.

It’s rather funny actually, because I first saw it in a friends Flickr-photostream. She made two versions of the dress, and before purchasing the pattern I asked her for some advice on the pattern. She quickly offered to lend the pattern to me, which is so sweet of her – also considering that she lives in Spain. So thank you so much, Eva! :)

Well, this is my version.

Amy Butler Mini Dress

As you can see, it was made for a different season (and a different skin colour) than the one we have now, but hey, spring is just around the corner, right? Please imagine the following photo with yummy chocolate brown skin (sure, like that’ll ever happen…)

I’m not sure what to think about it. I do like the design, but it has a slight tendency to look like a maternity dress because of the fullness in front. I didn’t press the pleat in front, because I’m still not certain whether that’s what I want. So anyway, even if the dress is quite wide, it has a nice fit in front, but in the back there’s just way too much fabric and nothing to fit it to the curves of my back. I’m working on what to do about that – I may gather it somehow at the waist to underline that there’s actually a female figure under there. No need to sew a dress if I want to look like I’m wearing a bag…

This is what it looks like in the front.

Amy Butler Mini Dress

I didn’t get a photo of the back, which means you’re also missing out on my perfect invisible zipper (love my invisible zipper foot, but I may have mentioned that 1, 2, or 100 times earlier…)

That’s it about this dress. I’ll let you know later in the year if it turns out I get a lot of wear out of it. :)