Embroydering a “Rogalands bunad” in the “Jelsamønster”, basic embroydery skills

Here in Norway, it is normal for young women to get a national dress costume that is traditional in the part of the country where they come from. Here is a internet photo of the type of dress I am working on for my daughter :                   https://emblabunader.no/damebunad/rogalandsbunad-jelsa.html#

I have embroidered “free hand” before, so I was familiar with cross stich and a few other stitches.

The first thing I conquered for this project was the stem stitch. My good friend Craftsy.com have a basic embroidery course called “Design It, Stitch It: Hand Embroidery
with Jessica Marquez”.This is a great resource, and has been a great guide to me.

The greatest obsticle for me was the “satin stitch”. To begin with I either added too much yarn, or got the stitches irregular.
I was quite nervous starting this project, because it is so enormous, and the fabric I am embroidering on is super expensive!!!

This is the council I can give others who are starting out. 
1. it is a good idea to sew the stitches so they look like they are going in the same general direction. Specifically I am thinking about leaves and other small fill areas.
2. In curves, changing the direction gradually looks best. I am including a photo, showing how I sew a stitch ahead, to help me estimate what I need to do in-between. (this is what seems to work best for me)! 
3. In the “bunad store”, where I bought the fabric, the woman suggested that it often is easier to work with a motif if you start in the middle area. Like a rose bud, etc. then work to the sides in an even manner.
4. A friend of mine said that she did not use more thread then she felt was necessary to cover the area she was working on. This is probably a good idea so you avoid bulk, but I try to make sure that the thread covers what it needs to!!!A friend of mine said that she did not use more thread then she felt was necessary to cover the area she was working on. This is probably a good idea so you avoid bulk, but I try to make sure that the thread covers what it needs to!!!

5. when a line represents a area with satin stitches, I find that it is good to sew evenly one stitch on each side of the line. 









6. In general, collect all the information you need using all the resources you have available to you is a good idea.

Initially I was very overwhelmed by this project, but believe it or not, now I am starting to relax with this embroidery !!!

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My “swap fabric”, jungle january, pyjama pants,

Today is the last day of «Jungle January» and my daughter has been reminding me that I need to post my swap project before it’s too late. She put her pajama pants over her shoulder and kept asking me what month tomorrow is. Slow as I am to catch on, I didn’t “Catch On”. I thought she was referring to her Dad’s birthday tomorrow (Yeah, 51 years old, imagine that, it sounds so Old :-)).

Anyway, in the end, she had to spell it out in plain text, and finally I understood the message. I tell you, this Mom will be fooled by anything, not taking the symbolism in what is being comunicated. I have a tendency to take things literally (have to laugh at myself sometimes, how gullible I am).

So back to “The Swap”! Kelsey Rogers from Nevada was my swap partner. This is the first time I have participated in a «swap” and it was more fun than I thought it would be. Kelsey was so sweet. She sent me some animal print ribbon and French bulldog flannel fabric. This was very exciting to me, because as some might know I have a Frenchie :-), a nice white and black girl.IMG_9961IMG_9974

Look at what I got for “my swap”, I am so pleased. She even sent me a French bulldog card. That was so thoughtful of you Kelsey, you “tickled me pink” (as my grandma in Wisconsin would have said).

I am still trying to think of a project for the butiful ribbon, but as I “in a way” mentioned above, I made a pair of pajama pants. I was planning to make a top to go with it, but “my 15-year-old daughter has a mind of her own and insisted”, “She didn’t want a top, she wanted only pants”. Therefore, in the end, I gave up persuading her, I didn’t see any point in making something she was telling me she was not planning to wear.IMG_9977 IMG_9978 IMG_9980


As a pattern, I used Lekala 5263.

pysjamas bukse It is a very simple pattern and it was perfect.


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Our School bands Christmas lottery

Now that I have started writing about our school band, I might as well continue.

It is still jungle january, so I will show you the animals I made first :-). Four little bairs! Arent they cute? The pattern is a free sewing pattern from sewingpatterns.com gratis bamsemønsterDSC_0432







One week after the band was finished with the musical “Lion King”, they had their yearly lottery. This is a tradition every year. Parents of the musicians are to bring one prize each. They can buy things to bring, but they are incouraged to make gifts themselves.DSC_0428


At present, the band is very small; this does not yield many prizes. Therefore, people can donate things. The handmade theme of the prizes are stressed. This is something the community and culture around us supports, and people are usually very willing to buy tickets from the  musicians when they prior to the lottery  go from door to door selling tickets.  Some people who don’t have relatives in the band will for example knit a sweater and donate it.

Still, we do have the need to mass-produce something. It is not easy to live up to the high standards and expectations the people in our area have to this (as the Norwegians call it) “basar”.  They might even feel let down if the tables are not full of prizes.

sissel lunde


My closest “neighbor mom” has for many years arranged meets where parents can help make things that will be prizes.

However, this past year there was only a small group of parents gathered. My neighbor mass produces runners
with free motion quilting and applique, makes decorative pillows, little mice, angles, Santa’s or other cute objects. I dare to say that without her the lottery would no longer exist. Here are some of the prizes she has made:


Table runners


advent calender























voksenbord gevinstervoksenbord - CopyOf course, I have always donated something for this event. I have been a “mom” of the
school band for many years and that is a commitment. But the last three years I have mass produced things like aprons, bibs etc.barn nisseforklebarneforkle




I always make a mix of childrens and adult aprons.
IMG_9568lite barn og nissemor
In the past I have made things like a princess costume for a little girl and her doll (I added a  tiara for both the girl and doll), little girls dresses, outfits for children in general and of course this past year I had to make a children’s lion costume. Regrettably I did not take a close up photo of it before it was “raffled away”, but I do have some general photos of the prizes, and in the photo bellow you can actually see the lion outfit (and a couple of the dresses I made).DSC_0430

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2. the costumes I made for “lion king”, school band

Finally here comes the review on the outfits I made 🙂 Part 2

a group photo  from a band and musician rehersal (not all the caracters were present)

a group photo from a band and musician rehersal (not all the caracters were present)

For most of the otfits I used  McCalls 5956.

McCalls 5956

McCalls 5956

















Scar wore a wig and his ears were sewn on. He also had a black “mane arround his neck, hangig like a triangle in the front and back. The neck was finnished with a stretch ribbing.


Zimbas hair and beard are really a ready purchased prop for a “dog outfit”, his ears are sewn on.

Here you can see Mufasa/adult zimba, Scar, the child Zimba, 






Nala, timon and Pumba.
IMG_0425 IMG_0426








The end of a lions tail

all the lion outfits were made from a woven cotton velvet with stretch,  while Timone and Pumba’s outfits were sewn in a sturdy Micro fleece. All the hats are also lined,giving them more support.

The back of the hyena ears

The back of the hyena ears are made from fake leather, while the insides are made from  a marbeled, woven  cotton)

hyene bak






I used fake fur and a fake leather fabric for details.


The last thing I  made were three hyena outfits using ready to wear jersey tops. The white “draw strings” were too visible, so they were omitted in the end.

A hyena outfit

A hyena outfit

The back of the hyena ears

The back of the hyena ears






Pattern FIT:

If you read other reviews on McCalls 5956 at (http://sewing.patternreview.com/Patterns/31521 ), you will find that it is quite “baggy”. For the first couple of costumes I used the sizes based on McCall’s sizing chart. I agree with earlier reviews. It is baggy, especially around the neck and bust area. Over the bust that is not a big problem if your fabric is relatively thin. However, as you work your way into heavier fabrics it becomes a problem. To compensate for the “really baggy” neck area and bodice, I gathered it and added a “neck-band” with the desired neck width to them.  This worked well.  I also prefer having a band around the ankles and the wrists.

when I started to sew Timone and Pumba from micro fleece I altered the pattern, making it narrower. I downsized it by at least one size compared to the smallest pattern size (widthwise). This was much better. I also used the downsized version when making Nala and “the child Zimba”.

I  made several changes to the “hat part”. The back section I moved further back and “on the top” I extended it all the way to the forehead).mønstertemplate lue mod The ears I placed wherever I deemed necessary for that costume (by making a small incision and sewing on the inside. the lining in the hat helps support the ears.  It is also a good idea to understitch the lining, because it helps keep everything in place.

The most comfortable costumes I am sure were the ones made from the cotton velour. They were relatively thin and draped nicely.  The fleece of course is a bit warm, but was very nice and sturdy.


As I gained confidents and experience with the pattern, I naturally was more satisfied with the results.


Overall, I was happy with the finnished  costumes. Still, I did not feel that Timone was quite complete because he was missing the stripes on his back. In the end, after the costumes were finished, my sweet “fellow mom” glued the black stripes to the back of Timones outfit, making it more pleasing both the actors and me. IMG_1958

Together they also made a fourth hyena outfit.


Some more photo’s:





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Costumes for “Lion king” part 1, school band

Because this is “Jungle January” I think this is a great time and Place to post about animal costumes.

In turn, three of my four children have played in our local School band. It is not large, but has a long tradition and resourceful parents behind it. In November 2015, they were planning to arrange the musical from Lion King.

gruppebilde alle

A group photo from a band and musician rehersal (not all the caracters or band members were present)

Here is a link to the band playing on facebook: https://www.facebook.com/147926477798/videos/10153120243067799/?theater

My neighbour "moms" :-)

My neighbour “moms” 🙂

sissel lunde





 A “fellow neighbor mom” asked me if I would help sew the costumes. I must admit that I hesitated at first, because I knew that would involve a lot of work. However, I am a “mom” (my youngest daughter Plays there) and because my “neighbor mom” was so dedicated to this work (I realized she really did need the help), I decided that I wanted to this.

My “neigbour mom” and her mom (who also still has her youngest daughter in the band) were driving forces in shaping the costumes.

They spent a lot of time and imagination solving this “costume problem” and I feel grateful to be “dragged along for the ride” :-).

At first they tried to buy as much as possible, but soon realized that it was not so easy to get the “right costumes in the right sizes” and with the “look” we wanted. Gradually we made most of the costumes ourselves.

My “neighbor Moms”worked together, creating what they call “simple costumes”. They used a childrens hat,  instructions from “you tube , and a lot of creativity shaping them.

Still, as most of you sewers would know “simple isn’t always SO SIMPLE” and a “easy projects” have a tendency to become a “lot of work” and maybe not so simple after all!!! Many of the animals wore leggings and a fitted top, with detailed costume pieces on top.

All the “small animals” had a hat, tail and some facial paint as details. This worked well, look at this “lot”, aren’t they cute? IMG_1954 IMG_1954IMG_1955IMG_0427 (002)

The two giraffe costumes are the only costumes fully “bought”. They were just perfect.



Making Rafki’s costume was a bit trickey. Mostley because it is difficult to get a hold of  fur that is “as thin as possible” and it wasn’t  easy to sew in one piece. The solution was making a fitted jersey hat and hair/beard” as separate parts. It might not be the “cooleste” (as in not warm :-)), but it worked and it was easy to use.IMG_0405

Zazu was a colorful addition in the play. This video from “You Tube ” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tXRtz_6XEI4 was a great help in shaping him. Still, gluing must have seemed a much to “simple solution” to my neighbors. They sewed all the details in the costume and it looked great!



They actually made one more costume, but I will tell you about in my next post where I also will Write about the costumes I made.

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Sewing is the solution to EVERYTHING! Sewing ripped tea bag.

Some times I laugh at myself and how I solve small problems in life. Like when I use the sewing machine to create miniature bags (that I cut appart) , sewing paper together or like now, fixing my tea bag. It ripped by accident and of course sewing was the solution!!! Just look at this: DSC_0046

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semi “self drafted” dress (Using a T-shirt as a pattern). lace and IT jersey dress

Hi again 🙂


I made this dress for my daughter’s friend. This is something I have wanted to do for a long time, but you know, days come and go and it just “never happens”. Finally, I got around to it. I wanted to make it comfortable and user friendly, so my fabric choice ended up being stretch lace and IT jersey. The bodice and sleeves are made from stretch lace, while the “underlay and skirt” is made from IT jersey.

I knew that I wanted to make a simple fitted bodice and decided that my T-shirt would be a good starting point. I copied the shape of the T-shirt parts by drawingarmside around it (paper underneath). Then I cut the front, back and “cap sleeves” from IT jersey.

Afterwards I cut the same parts from “stretch lace”, the only difference was that I cut the sleeves longer (to bellow the elbows).

halsI assembled the IT jersey and lace top pieces separately, then put the lace on top of the IT jersey and finished the neck with a strip of folded lace. This I sewed through both fabrics  around the neck (joining the tops together), folded it to inside and hand stitched it in place. Now I put the dress on my daughter (she was my model) and marked along the “waist”. I sewed the skirt one cm below the waistline.

The IT jersey skirt I gathered using elastic, before sewing it on to the bodice.

There is no zipper in the back because the fabric is so stretchy. Overall, this is a very comfortable easy maintenance dress and YES, I am very happy with the results.side2 side bak

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Kwik sew 3352 and vest from shape shape 2 (by Natsuno Hiraiwa and Hiraiwa Natsuno)

This year my husband turned 50 and our youngest daughter had her 15th birthday. Here in Norway there is a very strong tradition of having “confirmation” for the 15 year olds. Originally this was tied humanistic groups (and others) have created their own ceremonies where the teenagers learn about important things in life and entering the “adult world”. Because we are not members of the Lutheran church and because we do not affiliate ourselves with any non-Christian organizations (we are Christian) we have chosen to just celebrate our children “growing up” with a family birthday party. Combining my husband reaching the ripe age of 50 and my daughter “growing up” we have had a combined party for both of them. All of my husband’s siblings, their family’s and my father in law were there (My family are mostly in the United States).



For such a occasion I wanted to make a “special outfit” for myself. A friend brought me back some nice silk from Vietnam last year and I now had a great opportunity to use it. I made a skirt with Kwik Sew 3352  .

kwik sew 3352

.shape shape2

and a vest using a pattern from “Shape Shape 2” (by Natsuno Hiraiwa and Hiraiwa Natsuno).

The skirt has almost a “bell like shape”.skjørt forranskjørtbak

I was a bit skeptical at first, but have decided that I really like it. I might make it up later in a soft drapy fabric (the silk is a bit stiffer).

Here I am With some of the flowers from the party.

Here I am With some of the flowers from the party.

I like the combination of the simple vest in a Japanese style with the skirt. After making the skirt I really didn’t have enough fabric to make the vest, so I adjusted the pattern by shortening it (I don’t need it so long anyway).

vest shapeshape2.vest shapeshape2 bak

I made it as long as I could with the fabric that was available to me and I am pleased. It was simple and fun to make.forran

So here you go fobak


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simplicity 1799

As I mentioned in my last post I have worked a lot on pattern fitting and princess seams lately. While doing this I have spent a lot of time with simplicity 1799.


I think it has a lot of interesting details and fun options. I previously made a dress With this pattern for my daughter in Law https://sewingforfun.wordpress.com/2015/05/11/simplicity-1799-a-dress-for-my-daughter-in-law/ . And now, finally I have a dress like this for me.



I think that one of the most important Things when working With princess seam patterns is getting the bust point placed correctly. that is having the right bust size, distance between bust Points and getting the bust point placed at the correct height. I think that I am getting the hang of how to get the bust size and distance between the bust Points right. My greatest challenge while working With this pattern has been lengthening the top side parts and getting the bust Points at the right Place vertically.

To get the right fit I have lengthened the side top parts (both front and back), and lowered the bust point by about 1 inch/2.5 cm.

At first I only lowered the bust point area in the side front pattern piece, but after sewing it up, I decided I needed to give the middle top pattern piece the same treatment, and it worked, My results were much better.

I made this dress With a spandex Cotton jeans looking fabric. It is very light weight and comfortable. I have topstitched many of the vertical seams and I think that suits the pattern. In these Pictures I have not added the decorative buttons, but I plan on doing so at a later date.

nærforranto give the “slanted” under bust side parts the support they needed to hold the topstitching well I sewed micro fleece to the back of these pieces and then trimmed away the excess where they were not needed (after the decorative seams had been sewn).

ekstra nærforranI have actually made this dress up Three times before getting it right. Now I am happy. I feel well about wearing it. I don’t think anyone would think there was anything wrong With it. Still, there is still a small bulging tendency at the very top of the side front pieces. I am not sure how to deal With that, but it is not very evident in real life unless I point it out. So I will wear the dress, but would be very happy for any advice on the matter.


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simplicity 2917, strawberry dress

I LOVE strawberries.

strawbery – KopiThey make my mouth water just thinking about them. Strawberry smoothie, strawberries and ice cream, just strawberries, yumJ!!!

Recently on one of my fabric store visits I came across this fabric. jordbær

NO, I DID NOT NEED IT, I have more fabrics then I probably ever will need. But oh, I LOVED IT. I was behaving like a good girl and only bought the things I had come for. But afterwards I told my husband about my “fabric love” . He understood that despite my apprehension and reasons not to get it, I really did “HAVE A NEED FOR IT”!!!! So he picked up 2 ½ meters on the way home from work. The love of my life, him (and the strawberries).

Lately I have focused especially on fitting issues with princess seam sewing patterns. I really want to get good at addressing fit issues over the bust. “Adjust the bust” a sewing class on craftsy.com (with Kathleen Cheetham) has been of great help. I am making progress and am feeling better and better about getting these patterns right.

I chose to use simplicity 2917cover29.06

I have altered the neck, making it round, shortened the skirt, added small pockets and dropped the bust point by about 1 inch/2.5 cm.

Now I have a nice summer “tunic”/dress and it is perfect for this season and everyday use.sykkelside2bakforran

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