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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

I have a new motto: Don’t do today what you can get done much faster if you wait until the last minute.

There are certain things that are best left until the last minute. Like packing for a vacation. Start few days ahead and yet you will find yourself packing things at the last minute and using three times as much time on it as otherwise. I found out that costumes are another such thing. Wait until the last minute and you are forced to cut corners and make it simple.

My daughter had her first gymnastic performance this weekend. Home came a cryptic note that she was supposed to dress up in typical worn Oliver Twist clothes. I really didn’t feel like making anything and just put it off until the last moment. I was secretly hoping the dad would step up and magically produce something. I guess I have been a bit delusional lately…

So on Saturday I dug up some fabric (white cotton from Ikea and some brown viscose? fabric piece I think I bought at Stoff and Stil long time ago). I printed out a pattern for the Nora dress and got to work. I made up the apron pattern as I went along looking at a photo online.

I pretended I was participating in the Sewing Bee and needed to get everything done at record speed. If the makers of that show ever feel the need to throw in an extra challenge they should just give the contestants and infant to take care of. He was very cute though while still happy and “helping” me.

Everything was a one big hack. The dress I didn’t hem at all under the pretense that it made it look more worn. The apron is hemmed but just quickly with an overlock and one fold. Driving to the store that day was risky business. I had been hitting the sewing machine pedal so hard that I had problems not doing the same with the car.

It got done Saturday night and on Sunday we rubbed some ashes on the apron and the little orphan girl went to the show and made her parents proud.

The photo shoot was done in the same quick and at the last moment spirit. The model even threw in little acting without me asking. This is how she says you look when you are a poor orphan.

Poor orphan act

Poor orphan act

My daughter was a bit surprised when I made this and said: Mom, I thought you weren’t gonna make any more costumes? I really had no good answer for her but at least I would like to believe I have cracked the costume making code now. It might not be completely stressless but at least you stress for a shorter amount of time. Maybe I will start applying my new motto to more things in life.

Practicing

Practicing

Apron (I am sure orphans didn't have an iron...)

Apron (I am sure orphans didn’t have an iron…)

Feel the need to piss off a feminist? Make some cupcakes preferably with pink frosting and blog about it! For some reason cup cakes seem to have become the nemeses of feminists.

I only recently started calling myself a feminist. I have always wanted to stay away from that title because I think many of the high profiled feminists are too narrow minded. As with any other political view or religion it tends to get out of hand. It all starts with a person with good intentions. They simply want to make the world a better place. Then it always ends up with those same people trying to shoehorn people into a certain way of living (their way of living).

To me feminism is all about women having equal opportunity to do whatever they want. What they choose to do shouldn’t be anyone’s business.

There are plenty of issues that need to be sorted out. Women should be able to speak out in public without risking harassment, they should have equal opportunity in the work place and equal pay for equal work. Women shouldn’t be objectified and evaluated on their appearance. The list goes on and on.

There are numerous articles in media on how you should accomplish equality. They tend to focus on how women have to stop doing housework and stop making food from scratch. It has gotten to a point that people brag about forgetting their kid’s birthday. A true feminist definitely forgets some Kindergarten events and buys something ready made for the ones she remembers. You go straight to feminist hell if you dare to take two extra minutes to cut out animal shaped piece of ham for your kids lunch box.

Here I think it has gone all wrong. If someone gets pleasure out of making cup cakes then let them. Is that really a worse hobby than training for a bike race, fishing, hanging out at cafés or posting feminist articles on Facebook? Life is all about choice and priorities and should be up to the individual. A pink cup cake is not gonna be the deal breaker in achieving equality. It is not a sign that women are wanting to go back to being housewives. It is simply a hobby for some.

All that being said, I find it a bit sad that cupcakes are getting this unfairly bad reputation. They are really the easiest cakes to make and if you are a busy career women and want to make something they are probably your quickest and best bet. Unless you live right next to a store it might even be quicker to bake some than making an emergency last minute trip to the store.

I have been making these regularly for few years now when I need something quick. I am not really the baking type so these work wonders for every occasion. They can also be easily be decorated in numerous ways to fit the occasion.

Sheep, Frozen, Pippi Princess and Pig cupcake variations.

Sheep, Frozen, Pippi and Pig cupcake variations.

Vanilla Cupcakes

Adapted from Annie’s Eats

110 grams butter, at room temperature
180 grams golden cane sugar (or regular white)
3 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract
220 g flour
1 ½ tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. salt
60 ml milk

Preheat the oven to 180 C.

Put butter and sugar in a bowl and beat them with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time and beat them into the mix. Make sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl inbetween each egg. Add the vanilla extract and mix it in.

Mix together the flour, baking powers and salt in a separate bowl. Add one third of the flour mixture and one third of the milk into the batter and beat it with the mixer on low speed. Add the second third of flour mixture and milk and beat. Then the rest and beat.

Line a muffin tin with 12 paper muffin liners. Fill the muffins cups evenly with the batter.

Bake for 20-22 minutes. Test with a tooth pick that it is baked through. Cool and decorate with Vanilla Buttercream frosting.

Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

Adapted from Annie’s Eats

140 grams butter, softened
200 g confectioners’ sugar
1/16 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tbsp. heavy cream

Beat butter with an electrical mixer until smooth. Add the confectioner’s sugar and salt and beat at a medium speed until everything is mixed. Add the vanilla and cream and beat well until everything is smooth and fluffy.

Remember that point in my last entry where I swore through my teeth that I would never in my life make another costume? Well that didn’t last very long… In the midst of the mega tantrum I thankfully remembered that I was the grown-up and took a deep breath and asked the little lady what she wanted to be at Carnival with the forrest/insect theme in mind. Her answer was quick and clear: A ladybug. I knew right away that resisting the urge to make something was a lost cause.

I have a weakness for ladybugs. I instantly thought of the ladybug fabric I had bought at some point just in case I would ever get the chance to make something. I also figured that this is the last chance I get. Albeit tempting, I don’t think I can send my little boy to Carnival as a ladybug. The poor kid will probably be pushed to wear enough princess dresses here at home to ensure that his feminine side is well intact.

Thankfully, I was quite sensible at this point. I figured I would make something simple and that I might actually enjoy making. With a rather grumpy, picky four year old I figured that there were about million ways I could get this wrong. So I picked a dress pattern and drew a picture that I strategically laid out so she would see it. When she asked what it was I pretended that I had just been drawing. I want this my determined four year old exclaimed! I took that as a good enough approval.

When the dress was ready I just hung it out in the living room and let her discover it. Against all odds it got approved. We later had a little disagreement about wings that according to her were missing, yet the ones I made weren’t approved. At that moment I couldn’t have cared less what she wore to Carnival.

Trying to be a serious ladybug

Trying to be a serious ladybug

Despite all the back and forth she got up in good mood on the Carnival day and headed off to Kindergarten in her ladybug dress with her antlers and seemed quite pleased. After dropping her off I went home and drank some coffee while yet again swearing that I am done with costume sewing. Why bother so much. After all there had been at least one Elsa, one knight, and couple of non forrest/insect animals at Kindergarten…

Not sure I like those antlers

Not sure I like those antlers

The pattern I used was the Oliver + S Bubble dress. It was a straight forward pattern that I tempted to make again. I would however make it without the bubbles on the side as those were quite strange in my opinion. The fabric was old cotton fabric from Stoff og Stil. To make the antlers I simply wrapped some ironed black bias tape on a head band and made the antlers out of pipe cleaners.

Strange flat bubbles

Strange flat bubbles

Posing

Posing

Having fun

Having fun

Climbing in flowers like ladybugs do

Climbing in flowers like ladybugs do

The Cursed Costume

I think this will go down in history as the costume that almost made me go insane. Maybe it is cursed? It wouldn’t surprise me as it is actually a My Little Pony character that is evil (or gone evil). She is originally known as Princess Luna but goes by the name Nightmare Moon when she is transformed by the Nightmare forces. So far I have made this costume twice and it almost made me throw a full blown tantrum at Kindergarten. It also made my four year old throw a major tantrum. Yeah there are some evil forces there.

Nightmare Moon

Nightmare Moon

So how did I get myself into this costume mess. Here comes the long story since I feel the need to get it off my chest.

Before Halloween my little girl came with a strange request. I was expecting her to want to be Elsa but no she wanted to be Nightmare Moon. I had to google that. I think I was quite delusional around that time being almost 9 months pregnant and couldn’t really sit, walk or think. I hobbled through Stoff and Stil on crutches and set to work on the most complex costume I have ever made despite not being able to sit for more than 10 minutes at a time. Halfway through I find out that I hadn’t read the pattern description well enough. What looked like fleece in the photo was actually stretchy velour. Not surprisingly it was too small. With only few days to go I had to throw in the towel and tell my four year old I wouldn’t make it. She took it well and used her Elsa dress. I felt like a complete failure (and a whale).

After Christmas I figured I would give myself ample time to make a costume for the February carnival dress-up they have here in Norway. I was really surprised that my four year old was still set on wanting to be Nightmare Moon. So I started planning again and against better judgment made the plans even more elaborate. Then I started sewing in the midst of colic. It was a painful process with lots of small obstacles. I even managed to vacuum the pony ears at some point…

It looked like I wouldn’t make it for a while. Then a miracle happened and my little one slept well for few hours and I pretty much finished it up. I went to pick up my girl at Kindergarten in a good mood and and told my girl I was almost finished. Right after I find this note.

In short it says Carnival this year is themed: The wood and insects. I bit my teeth together and made sure to leave before I would explode. A pony is really insect isn’t it?

On that same day my daughter is having a particularly bad day. She had just spent the last week sick and probably wasn’t feeling well. She wanted to try the costume when we came home but something about it bothered her so she exclaimed angry that it was all wrong. She was so upset that she was unable to explain what was wrong and just threw a major tantrum. Lets just say I was quite close to throwing a tantrum myself. I swore through my teeth I would never make another costume in my life (something that my next blog post will prove wrong).

Nightmare Moon

Nightmare Moon

So this is a ridiculously advanced costume that might never get used. I forced myself to finish it despite it being “all wrong”. That day she was in a better mood and wanted to wear it. So we took some photos.

The costume was partially based on a pattern from Ottobre 6/2010. I used it as a base but changed quite a few things. I created the hood myself and drew all the stuff I appliquéd by hand. They were intentionally appliquéd quite rough as this was just supposed to be a quick costume. The jewellery is just fabric with some stiff interfacing and attached with velcro to the suit. I used velour for the suit and some jersey rib for most of decorations. Almost everything was from Stoff og Stil. The mane and tail are yarn. The wings aren’t quite stiff enough but can’t be bothered doing anything about that. I based the design on the toy version of Nightmare Moon and she got one as a gift with the costume.

Jewellery

Jewellery

Sleeve and Foot decorations

Sleeve and Foot decorations

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