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The ones that know me well know that I enjoy sad and dark books. There is something refreshing about reading a story that drills into your soul and makes you weep. I think the beauty is that you can simply close the book and be back to your own life that all of a sudden isn’t all that bad. Some people like jumping into an icy cold ocean, some like diving into a dark and mind-shattering books. I think we all need something that shakes us up once in a while.

All my life I have made stories in my head. This is how I fall asleep. It might be a sign that my stories are boring but it is nice to lull yourself into sleep by escaping somewhere else. I struggle falling asleep when I am too exhausted to make up stories in my head. My nighttime stories are mostly of happy nature but there is a certain dark element that haunts them. Ever since I was a kid I have been convinced that nothing that I imagine can come true…

When I saw the house in the photos below my mind went crazy. The house oozes of sadness and loneliness. I immediately started picturing all the sad stories that could have happened there. That old lady that lived there and that nobody ever saw except when she went out at night and walked around the island with an empty baby stroller. Those two little boys in rags that nobody knew who were but could be seen standing outside the house on a moonlit night. Or the old man that…

In any case I am pretty sure this house has some stories to tell. It is on Skogsøya the same island we took the pirate photos on. It is simply beautiful despite it being so worn and about to fall apart.

I made a dress for my daughter before we left on vacation. A purple dress, which happened to match the flowers surrounding the house perfectly. As nobody is living there I figured we could sneak up to the house and take some photos. The doors on the back where a little bonus we discovered. Beautiful!

The dress is made from the Antalya pattern. Truth be told, I wouldn’t have picked this fabric myself but my little girl’s favorite color these days is purple. Surprisingly there isn’t a large selection of purple fabric but we found Lizzy House, Butterflies, Chasing Butterflies in Grape Fizz at Hawthorne Threads which we could both accept. The white fabric is some old Stoff og Stil cotton I had with tiny little white dots. I love the shape of this dress and it feels quite unique. I however struggled a bit with the pattern. The illustrations don’t seem proportionate to the actual pattern pieces (might be size dependent) and the description for the opening on the back wasn’t quite clear to me. Otherwise it was a rather straightforward pattern.

Better check the other door as well

Better check the other door as well

What do you do when life is a bit hard and it is vacation time? You head off to an almost deserted island and play pirates!

We decided it wouldn’t be worth it to pay for an expensive trip anywhere this summer. We needed to go somewhere where we would be forced to relax and not be able to do things all the time. North of Norway was the obvious choice since my fiancés family has a house there on an island called Skogsøya. Already on the first day I could feel some of the tension I have been feeling leave my body. There is something freeing about being disconnected from stores, restaurants, museums, and amusement parks. Instead you have flowers, mountains, walking paths, red beautiful boat houses, worn houses and beautiful beaches with breathtaking views (unfortunately with very cold water). There is plentiful of #30perfectdays opportunities and so far I feel like that project of mine is really helping me see the positive in life despite there still being plenty of difficulties.

Going to a remote island might not be quite as exciting to an active four year old as it is for two tired grown-ups so I have been trying to spice it up a bit for her. We drew some pictures for a little bucket list book we are gonna fill with photos afterward of things we are planning to do. One of the items I strategically placed there was playing pirates. Technically more for me than her but who cares. Before vacation I made a pirate t-shirt for my little boy and my little girl wanted one as well. I got the idea to make them bandanas based on the pattern of the fabric and do a little photo shoot with them. There is one certainty when it comes to kids. You cannot plan a thing, you just have to go along as it happens and make the best of it for everyone.

So we took the boat a short trip to a white beach and took some photos and played pirates. I might not have gotten perfectly styled pirate photos but we had fun and the four year old really wants to do it again.

The two t-shirt pattern I used were from Ottobre. Unfortunately both patterns I used were flawed. The sleeves didn’t fit the armholes so I had to cut off a bit of the sides making both t-shirts a bit too tight. The patterns I used were Young Designers from 03/2011 and Frogs Egga from 03/2011. The latter one was ridiculously long as well so I don’t really recommend any of these patterns. I have now tried three patterns from Ottobre that has a problem with the sleeves and this has started making me a bit annoyed (and wonder if there is some important detail I am missing). The fabric was from Uglemor and it was a real pity the patterns were flawed because it is a really lovely fabric. The bandana fabric was some old Stoff og Stil fabric I had in my stash. Most likely some kind of rayon.

One scary pirate and one eating his socks... Then there is this stowaway....

One scary pirate and one eating his socks… Then there is this stowaway….

Knife to my head? I will keep chewing on my sock

Knife to my head? I will keep chewing on my sock

That eye patch is annoying

That eye patch is annoying

To hell with this bandana!!

To hell with this bandana!!

Pirates, be scary!

Pirates, be scary!

Then the big pirate went off and changed her outfit

Then the big pirate went off and changed her outfit

And went looking for star fish

And went looking for star fish

Pirates need to eat

Pirates need to eat

Oh no, they are coming, lets hide the treasure

Oh no, they are coming, lets hide the treasure

Let's fool them! Lets make a mark and make them think we buried the treasure here

Let’s fool them! Lets make a mark and make them think we buried the treasure here

In the mean time this little pirate just hung out and ate… sand…

Eating sands makes pirates tough?

Eating sands makes pirates tough?

What do you do when life is hard, hectic and kind of sucks? You give yourself a little challenge!

While I normally don’t let people’s idealistic photos on social media and blogs fool me into thinking their life is perfect I have fallen into that trap a lot lately. I feel like I have done nothing but struggling for a long time now. First it was a miserable pregnancy that left me on crutches. Then there was colic and while the worst passed it never quite ended. Our little boy seemed to be in pain and had problems sleeping. It took us a long time to figure out but we are now pretty sure it is silent reflux. Now we just need to find the right medicine and hopefully this intense uphill walk is over.

All of this has left me in an eternal state of feeling like I get nothing done ever. I feel like a wreck from not sleeping and I am quite exhausted from carrying around a cranky 10 kg baby day and night. If I actually have the time to do something I am usually too exhausted to be efficient and that frustrates me.

The trap I fell into was subscribing to few blogs and specifically blogs where the bloggers had kids around the same time as I do. While these have perfect make-up, post numerous blog posts a day, participate in TV shows and go to parties and events I pretty much sit at home in my pyjamas trying to get my baby to sleep more than 20 minutes at a time. My make-up is drying up in its containers and complete strangers feel the need to point out that I look really tired at times when I actually get out of the house. I am a pitiful mess and right now my only ambition is just to make sure I am not wearing my clothes inside out when I leave the house…

I try to remind myself that these bloggers are just posting the highlights of their life. The problem is that I cannot stop myself from analyzing and digging. Even it if is just glimpses of their life they do manage quite a lot. Not only do they need to do all the things they are posting (or stage them) but they need to prepare, edit photos, write about it etc.

It becomes especially frustrating considering the fact that one of them is a single mom with two kids. Then there is the American lady with five kids thereof one infant. She is homeschooling them, writes great blog posts and sews beautiful clothes for her kids. All of this makes me feel like a complete failure not getting anything done. I have yet to find a high profile blogger with a colic kid that I could relate to. For some reason these kids seem immune.

All of this has started digging a serious hole into my self-esteem. My self-esteem that is heavily dependent on me watering it with “getting things done”. I should of course count taking care of my kids as one of those things but that is extremely difficult to quantify.

It is so easy to fall into the trap of just focusing on the difficult things and overlook lots of nice moments. Moments that would make my life look a bit more exciting on Facebook and Instagram. So the challenge I am giving myself is to flood my social media feeds with those nice moments for 30 days. When there is a moment that makes me smile, when I get something done, when I do something nice. Basically something that makes me happy even if only for a brief moment. This will hopefully inspire me to do more nice things and realize that I have lots of things to be happy about. Maybe I can even fool someone that my life is a bit more glamorous that it actually is?

I will be posting this experiment on Instagram/Facebook under the hashtag #30perfectdays. I will be keeping it as real as possible. Don’t expect me to start posting selfies in expensive designer clothes or attending parties. It will be normal life and probably a heavy dose of my two kids. Anyone want to join me as an inspiration to catch the magic of this summer?

Here is the first moment that made my heart melt. Just look at these two sweethearts holding hands on the way to Kindergarten. My little girl is carrying flower for a party they are having today. We took a walk through the forest yesterday to pick them. Another moment worth remembering!

I remember us having a tiny little apple tree when I was growing up. It was no more than few centimeters and I can’t remember that it ever growing any bigger. It had been planted underneath our red currant bush that wasn’t particularly big either. This is the thing about Iceland, trees (and plants in general) don’t grow that easily and very slowly if they grow at all. I think it must have been one of my older sisters that planted that apple tree. It was planted under the red currant bush to be protected from the harsh weather. The bush was partially surrounded by our rhubarb patch as well which gave it additional protection. It took me thirty something years to finally realize that its placement was kind of odd. What would have happened had it actually grown? Would we have cut down red currant bush? It is a bit sacrilegious to cut down bushes and trees in Iceland since it takes so long to grow them so I am pretty sure this would have become a dilemma. I guess everyone must have just assumed that it would never survive. I have to ask them about this one day :) .

It was the craziness of my garden that got me thinking about this little apple tree I had had forgotten. Having a garden in Norway is something completely different from having a garden in Iceland. Here you must trim trees and bushes and weed constantly. I think I ripped up three red currant bushes that had spread themselves during my last weeding round. It is a bit difficult to get used when you come from a place like Iceland but I am becoming more brutal every day.

We don’t have a apple tree in our garden but our neighbour has one. It is absolutely beautiful every spring when it blossoms and reminds me of my childhood dreams of having fruit trees. I am fine with it being my neighbours as I have grown allergic to apples in my older years but I am tempted to plant my own and see how fast it grows.

It is finally summer time and I have been in dress making mood. I feel like I must make them before my little girl grows too old for cute little dresses. This is the first one out of the Hanami dress by Straight Grain. I really like the fit of this dress and I think it is really cute with its flutter sleeves and a low waste. Size 5T fit perfectly and it was nice to get a pattern with European measurements for a change. The pattern instructions were straightforward with the exception of the zipper placement instructions being a bit confusing (or at least to me). The fabric I bought long time ago and was the part of the first fabric line I completely fell in love with and HAD TO HAVE. It is the Fiji from the Happy Mochi Yum Yum line by Monica Solorio. I made this dress from the same line couple of years ago. I lined the sleeves with grey cotton from Stoff og Stil, added piping to the waist to get some contrast and made a little bow. I am quite happy with the result but then again I love anything yellow!

Hanami is according to Wikipedia the Japanese traditional custom of enjoying the beauty of (cherry blossom) flowers. It felt fitting to “steal” the neighbours apple tree that was in bloom for a little photo session.

Now lets dance

Now lets dance

Breastfeeding in Norway is dictated by something that reminds you of the North Korean regime. You better believe in it, try your best to adhere to it, and never speak negatively about it. At least not amongst people you don’t trust. If you fail you better weep and show your sorrow. The punishment for not following these rules is thankfully not quite as harsh as in North Korea but there are a lot of true believers here that will frown upon you if you don’t.

You are simply expected to breastfeed here and this is carefully imprinted in you during your pregnancy with midwife sessions, brochures and posters. Breast is best is a popular slogan used and there is even a propaganda film with that name.

There is a whole army of nurses at the hospital that make sure you try your best right after your baby is born. You immediately get interrogated if you intend to breastfeed and while you might think that a yes is enough to get them to leave you alone you are wrong, they will keep pushing and nagging as long as you are there. Your hospital journal carefully documents if you are trying to breastfeed or not. Sadly there seems to be more focus on documenting your breastfeeding attempts than your birth. The nagging is so intense that I actually found myself wanting to stop breastfeeding just to annoy them.

Breastfeeding is expected to come above all your needs. While I was at the hospital after my boy’s birth I rang the bell to get some help to go to the bathroom. I had some issues with low blood pressure before and after my caesarean and didn’t want to risk fainting while getting my baby back to his crib. The lady came and the first thing she asked why I wasn’t breastfeeding as my little one was crying a little. I said I had just done that and needed to go to the bathroom. She ignored my request for help and just grabbed my boob and stuck it in my kids mouth and swiftly left the room.

This really sums it up though. Forget about your own needs and just focus on breastfeeding. Older kids better be able to feed and fend for themselves as none of the advices you get take into consideration that you need to take care of them as well. Looking at the website Ammehjelpen which is a voluntary support organization for breastfeeding the advice for a baby that is dissatisfied is just to let the baby breastfeed all the time. This might be possible with your first child but with the second one it isn’t quite doable.

Women that can’t or don’t want to breastfeed will always give a little speech how sad they are and how hard they tried. I don’t doubt that many of them are sad because of all the pressure to breastfeed but I am willing to bet an arm that there are quite a few that just give that speech to get rid of the judgment. You are expected to grief just like in North-Korea.

There is plenty of judgment if you don’t breastfeed. The propaganda has resulted in lots and lots of true believers that try to preach and belittle people that struggle or don’t want to do it at all. Search anywhere online for someone asking for advice that their baby wants to eat all the time and you will find a lot of harsh critics that tell them it is normal and that they are selfish for wanting to give them formula or baby cereal. Women that struggle producing enough milk get thrown in their face that everyone can produce enough if they just try hard enough. In general, you are flogged publically if you dare to question the true belief.

The queen bee of it all is Gro Nylander. The oracle on breastfeeding that has strong opinions and know-it-all attitude. She is the one the media goes to for all articles written on breastfeeding. In a recent article about decline in breastfeeding she went as far as saying it will take lives. She was referring to increase in breast cancer for women that do not breast feed but I feel like she could have presented that as a benefit and not as a threat.

I also believe women should be met with understanding when things are hard and not just “try harder” and “it is intended to hurt” attitude. Searching on the Ammehjelpen website you will find the following phrase as assistance for painful letdown:

If you feel the pain is insufferable then just remember that pain from milk letdown is not dangerous and will go away eventually.

Just what you want to hear when you feel like someone is dragging barbed wire through your milk ducts!

Let it be noted that I have breastfeed both my children and am still doing so with my baby. I do it because I can and it seems like a natural way. While the benefits of breastfeeding have been debated there is still no evidence that it is not good for your baby (as long as your baby doesn’t have allergies). Let it be noted that I felt like I had to write this to avoid public flogging and this is exactly what I strongly despise. Being bullied into breastfeeding. I would rather be presented with more research and a more human-friendly attitude. You shouldn’t be made feel like a criminal for supplementing with formula when needed or dropping breastfeeding if you choose to do so. Our lives, needs, and bodies are all different and what works for me doesn’t necessarily work for others and we should all keep that in mind. I really don’t think people should be bullied into breastfeeding!

Another religion in Norway is wool (more on that some other day) and it is recommended that you use breast feeding pads out of wool as it doesn’t get as cold when wet as other fabrics. They might keep you warm when you leak but they don’t soak up the milk so you end up with embarrassing stains on your clothes. They are also quite expensive ranging from 11 t0 20 euros for a pair. I found a cheaper solution to both the cost and leaking problem and thought I would share a little tutorial.

What you need is some scraps of wool (I used merino wool from Janus). Thread, paper, scissors, something to measure and something to draw a circle unless you feel like free-handing it. I used an overlock machine but you can of course just use your regular machine.

Get your commercial breastfeeding pads of choice and find something circular that is slightly larger then them. I used an Ikea plastic bowl for my Natusan pads. You need approx 2 cm extra on the edge (1 cm for seam allowance and 1 cm padding so it is easy to insert the breastfeeding pad).

Draw two circles on paper and cut them out.

Fold one of the pieces in half and measure 2 cm from the middle.

Draw a line and cut the piece. Throw away the smaller piece as you will only be using the larger one.

Cut four pieces of the half circle piece. I recommend cutting it on the grain as it is easier to overlock it this way.

Then cut two large circles as well.

Overlock the straight edges of the smaller pieces.

Now pin the smaller pieces on top of the circles having one of the smaller pieces overlap the other one.

Overlock around the edges and fasten threads.

Now the commercial pads can be inserted into the wool pad and you have the best of both worlds. As the Natusan pads are form shaped these tend to sit in place much better than store bought wool pads.

Would love to hear if anyone tries this :) !

I just realized why I don’t live in Iceland. I really, really hate having my hair all over the place tickling my nose and blocking my vision. I am amazed that some people have long hair there. It is not the only problem either. There are times when you need to walk next to your stroller to make sure that it doesn’t blow away. I immediately started designing a sideways handle for my stroller when I struggled keeping it on the road. Pity Iceland is such a small market or I would be on my way to be a billionaire…

Then there is sand that you find everywhere. Despite my little one having a hat and being inside a rain-cover in his stroller he still managed to get sand in his ear. Wind, wind, wind is what I warn everyone about in Iceland and yet I had managed to forget how annoying it is. At least I got to sit in the car and snicker at some poor tourist that was cycling in the wind because that is what we Icelanders do. Laugh at the poor people that think a biking trip in Iceland is a good idea.

You can’t see from the photo that it was windy but let me tell you that the car was shaking at times.

We just spent two weeks in Iceland visiting my family and playing tourists for few days in Reykjavik. Quite hetic with a little 5 month old that still seems to have some colic tendencies and an active 4 year old. There wasn’t much relaxation but we got to meet some nice people there and spend some time in warm outdoor pools.

It has been an unusually cold spring in Iceland. Thankfully I had made my daughter some new wool pants before we left. She isn’t really a fan of pants. Actually she seems to hate them and getting her dressed into something warm during winter time is often a real struggle. She would wear a summer dress all the time if she was allowed. As I am stubborn as well and refuse to give in, I have started a new project trying to find patterns and types of clothes which she can tolerate and that have anti-meltdown properties. This is the first one out and it seems to have been a success.

It is a Ottobre pattern from Ottobre 6/2010.
The fabric is wool terry cloth from Janus and I used Merino wool in the same color for ribbing. I made tiny little embellishment with a button and a ribbon and I think the combination of that and the fact that they are soft and loose were a success. It is possible to adjust the length a bit without being too thick or clumpy and it was easy to wear extra pair of stockings under on a particularly cold day. There is nothing spectacular about those pants hence they needed the giant glass bowl monument to spice up the photo shoot. That upside down glass bowl on top of giant hot water storage tanks is Perlan in Iceland.

Unfortunately she managed to fall so there is a hole on them already. She wears her clothes out pretty quickly these days but I think I might be able to repair that.

Here is my little Viking wearing her pants!

In front of Perlan

In front of Perlan

Playing out some imaginary scene

Playing out some imaginary scene

Silja and Leifur Eiríksson

Silja and Leifur Eiríksson

Decoration

Decoration

For more photos from Iceland, visit my Instagram feed.

Alternative drugs

Ironically the word for fabric in Norwegian (stoff) is the same word you use for drugs. It quickly becomes just that after you start sewing. You become severely addicted and you want more more more!

There are many similarities between fabric addiction and drug addiction. You tend to downplay the amounts you are buying and there are times when you just have to have some NOW! I have yet to start trying to sneak them into the house without my fiancé knowing but my gut feeling tells me this might happen eventually. The reason being that you tend to hoard fabrics. This might be the biggest difference between those two addictions or I at least doubt that drug addicts are able to hoard drugs.

Hoarding is in my genes. I have some serious hoarding issues that I try to fight every day. I collected numerous things when I was younger and while I am no longer an active collector I still have serious issues trying to limit the amounts of stuff I keep and bring home. Another problem I have is that I tend to save things forever. I don’t know how many times I have kept some treasured food item for so long that I have had to throw it away. I want to do the same with my precious fabrics, I want to treasure them forever and make sure I use them for the perfect thing. One might think fabric never go out of date but they actually do if you buy fabric for your children.

This particular fabric was something that I just HAD to get and no matter how hard I tried to forget about it I kept going back to the online store to check if it was close to being sold out. It is an GOTS organic jersey by Andrea Lauren. Eventually I just caved in and bought some. I really wanted to make the perfect thing out of it. I just think it is incredibly stylish fabric with the pattern on the bears. I am generally not a big fan of fabric with animals on them for anything other than pyjamas but this one felt destined for something more. I forced myself to use it now but did a trial run to make sure I didn’t waste it on a failure.

This time I used the body suit pattern from Ottobre 01/2012 but changed the opening to be on the shoulder instead of on the front. The fit of that pattern is quite good on my little guy or actually the best I have found so far. I made the “brun bukse” pattern from Heilt Spesiell og Jubel with a slightly wider rib around the waist than on the previous attempt. I freehanded the pattern on the pocket to “match” the bear pattern. I was even brave enough to attempt doing some contrast color of the thread on the binding. The fabric for the pants is jeans jersey from Olivias. The bear fabric is from there as well.

Back pocket

Back pocket

Contrast color on binding

Contrast color on binding

Pocket

Pocket

I am off

I am off

Haha I just messed up your background!

Haha I just messed up your background!

My little baby boy seems to be in a hurry to grow up. At 13 weeks he had grown an average of 1 cm per week. At 22 weeks he had grown 19 cm!! I am starting to wonder if I have some kind of superwoman milk.

It is not just that he is growing quickly. Before he reached the five month mark he started pushing himself forward. So again I have an early crawler. My little girl started at four and half months. He isn’t getting very far yet but I quickly found out that I need to watch him a bit closer than before. I went to get some water and found him inside the TV bench when I came back. So much for sitting back and enjoying my coffee… Thankfully we learned our lesson from last time and bought a baby jail :) .

I am in a bit of a panic. My baby is growing up quickly and soon I will have a little boy and no baby. I have been frantically making him some baby clothes since this is my last chance until in maybe 30 years when I might become a grandmother. As he is a rather fuzzy baby that doesn’t nap for more than 30-45 minutes at a time this is rather challenging. I have however managed to make a couple of things in size 74 and I now feel a bit calmer. Well, now I am panicking that I need to make my little girl some dresses before she is too big for little girl dresses but that is another story.

The patterns I used for the body suit is from Ottobre 4/2014. I don’t recommend that pattern as the sleeves simply didn’t fit. I had to cut off the sides of the front and back piece so they fit. Because of that the body suit is a bit of a slim fit. The pants are from the Norwegian stretch pattern bible also known as “The Book” amongst people that sew in Norway. The books is called Heilt Spesiell og Jubel – Sy glade klær til glade barn and the pattern is called “Brun Bukse”. I like the fit of that pattern.

The polar bear fabric is Artic from JNY bought from Olivias and the Stretch jeans fabric is from Olivias as well.

As it is Animal themed Kid’s clothes week I am submitting it as that as well even if I made it a week ahead. Unable to participate this week.

The little fellow is still slow enough to be a good photo model even if he has a tendency to chew on the background and move it around.

His sister joined at some point and had to cuddle him a bit. He seems to be enjoying the attention.

Loving sister

Loving sister

Matching dribble bib

Matching dribble bib

With dribble bib

With dribble bib

There are certain details and things that can irritate the hell out of me and once I have noticed them there is usually no way for me to not notice them. In short, I like things to be lined up and logical. This has been magnified by the fact that my profession involves making user friendly software where everything is supposed to be logical and obvious. While I don’t do graphics myself I am getting more and more involved in critiquing that as well. Call it occupational hazard, I pretty much feel flooded by frustrations when I use any kind of digital device over all the things there that are just plain WRONG or stupid!

It plagues me in daily life as well. Take this for instance:

This is something I see every year when I visit my dentist. “Brukte skotrekk” means “Used shoecovers”. Are they supposed to be thrown on the floor? It is not really obvious that they are supposed to go into a trash bin is it? Gah! I bite my lip, curl my fingers and make sure to leave before I risk finding myself moving the bin into the right place. There is one thing worse than these mistakes in my head and that is anal people that correct them. Cannot be known as one of them :) .

This hasn’t exactly made sewing easier. I see every flaw and usually nothing but the flaws. I tried to fix that issue by looking at store bought clothes but that was a mistake as well. Now I cannot look at them either without seeing all the mistakes and believe me, these poor souls slaving away making our clothes are making a lot of mistakes. Take any piece of clothing with stripes as those are in fashion and you will probably find that they aren’t all aligned correctly.

So to give myself a real challenge (and to guarantee my own dissatisfaction afterward) I made a striped baby bodysuit. It was initially meant as a casual match for the suit I made for my baby boy in the last post. I however realized right after I started cutting into the fabric that these two fabrics weren’t a match at all. The linen was too dark and the blue stripes were too dark and too wide.

I used a pattern from Ottobre 1/2014. Either I cut the collar wrong or the pattern was a bit off since it wasn’t long enough to fit the pattern description. Otherwise it was a decent pattern though a little bit wide for my little boy that isn’t skinny at all. The fabric is a Lillestoff fabric I bought at Uglemor. Beautiful shine on that fabric!

What I learned during this process is that there are quite a few places that the stripes need to be matched. Listing these for future reference.

– Upper and under part of the collar
– Side seams
– Underam seams
– Back seam
– Making sure the snaps are aligned correctly so the back opening lines up
– The cuffs on the arms both need to have the same color on the bottom
– The arm pieces needs to end on the same stripe color
– The underarm seams.
– The front edges of the collar need to end on the same stripe color and they need to be of even size.
– You might want to somewhat match the sleeves to the stripes on the bodice.

I made mistakes on some of these and I didn’t even attempt the last one. What I found was that it helped to pin every other stripe and make sure to pin on the edge of a stripe so you can check both sides to see if it is aligned correctly on both sides.

Believe it or not, I am somewhat satisfied with the result even if there are flaws. The stripes are quite well matched most places and I feel like I have learned something.

Hungry supermodel

Hungry supermodel

No do not turn to this angle, there is a flaw *doh*

No do not turn to this angle, there is a flaw *doh*

Two Gentlemen

You tend to not talk much about the nicest people you know. You just talk about the people that are eccentric enough to be a good conversation topic. I didn’t understand this until my uncle passed away couple of weeks ago. He was one of the nicest man I have ever known and when he died I realized that I hadn’t told many people about him. I always looked forward to visiting him when I went home to Iceland. He was a good man that I will miss!

I recently read an article that struck a chord with me. It talks about how each time you move you leave a part of yourself behind. I did indeed do that when I left Iceland 16 years ago. I regularly make brief guest appearances in that old life of mine but when I leave again big parts of that life gets stashed away in a quiet corner in my brain only for me to see. Sadly a nice uncle isn’t an exciting conversation topic and hence I have only told few people about him.

He lived upstairs when I was a kid with his sister and his mom until she passed away. They had their own kitchen but the rest was shared (entrance, bathroom, TV etc.) I used to visit them upstairs all the time. He used to read for me and listened to me talk about all the strange things I was interested in no matter how boring they must have been for him to listen to. I got to eat cubed sugar and sit with them at their tiny little kitchen table when they had their afternoon coffee.

He did a lot for me. My parents didn’t have a car and as we lived on a farm I was pretty dependent on having someone drive me places if I wanted to join anything other than school. So my uncle would drive me and pick me up on his light green Lada Sport. Without this my life would have been significantly emptier of experiences. I regret never thanking him for all of this.

I remember him enjoying two things. Cars and music. He helped me with my car when I was old enough to own one. I played instruments when I was younger and when I got an organ to play on at home he would come downstairs and play all the songs he knew by heart. He had an old white/yellow accordion which he let me try. It was huge and heavy and I was never really able to play it but I remember wanting to try because I looked up to him. I enjoyed these times we spent together.

He was a patient man and would let me and my sisters hang out with him a lot. I never remember him being impatient. I think he would have been a great dad but unfortunately he never had any children. He didn’t find anyone until late in his life but I am glad he at least got to share the last years of his life with someone. The last few years of his life were sad. He got a stroke and had to spent the last years in an institution. The last few visits there were a bit difficult but being the man he used to be I still always looked forward seeing him even if he barely recognised me.

Now I have told you about Sæmundur. No intrigues or exciting details but he was a good man and that is really what matters. I think we should all be better at not only talking about the people in our life that make an interesting story but also the people that are just genuinely good people. One day it will be too late.

As my uncle was a real gentleman I find it fitting to show the little gentleman clothes I made for my son. I think it is sad he never gets to meet his great uncle. My daughter did and while she might not remember it I at least have photos of her with him. I just hope my son will grow up to be a gentleman like Sæmundur.

This suit is a linen suit made after the Emil and Anton Ottobre pattern from 1/2014 in size 74. It is not lined so a relatively easy pattern. Just be aware that the upper and lower part of the pants are of equal length. I found out after I had managed to sew one of them upside down. The straps are also a bit short so I would lengthen those a little bit. The linen is Kaufman Brussels Washer Linen Blend Espresso. The shirt is just a store bought one.

The gentleman

The gentleman

Exciting ceiling

Exciting ceiling

The vest

The vest

The pants

The pants

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