Made by Me

Featured on Huffington Post!

Hege Thorbjornsen Huffington Post

Last week my latest blogpost was featured on Huffington Post! I feel incredibly honored to be a contributing blogger to their site, but I definitely had mixed feelings about what to write. I felt intimidated by all the amazing people they are already featuring and the pressure to write something substantial or impressive was on. I spent some time trying to come up with something clever to write, but eventually realized that 1. It doesn’t have to be perfect, it just has to be me and 2. Perfect never gets done…

So that evening I just started to write. Still filled with the feeling of incredible accomplishment after completing the Half Marathon, I figured what would be more suitable to write about than that ? I have to admit that I was a little nervous as to how people would react, but the feedback has been overwhelmingly positive! And I just wanted to say thank you to everybody for all the kind words! :)

You can see the full post here


How To Reupholster Easily, A Step-By-Step Guide

We have had this chair for a long time and even though my boyfriend have tried to throw it away multiple times  I always wanted to keep it and change the fabric. The framework is beautiful but let´s be honest the old fabric wasn’t too pretty. After moving it to our new place and having it stand here for 3 months untouched, I figured it was time to get it done. So here is my step-by-step guide.

Here is the “beauty” before I started my work. Pretty huh? If you dont look at that dated “Hansel and Gretel” inspired, faded fabric. Otherwise the chair is actually in good shape, which is great because then I dont have to do any reconstruction.

So How to reupholster a chair? Here is what I did step-by-step

1. I started off by ripping off the existing fabric. Or I actually started with the lining all around, which came off pretty easily, and then moved on to the fabric. You are supposed to do this very carefully so you can use the ripped off piece as a patten later on. Of course I read this when I was already halfway done, but it didn’t go to crazy so I kind of had it in one piece when I was done.

The lining came off pretty easily since it was glued on probably 20-30 years ago!

2. On the picture above you can see the staples that the fabric is attached with. I actually used a screwdriver with a sharp tip (Ikea starter set) to unhook the staples, as I am not a reupholster professional and more of a DIY kind of girl. As I unhooked the staple, I pulled them out with a plier. I know there are tools purposed for reupholstering, but since this was my first try, I stuck to my tools.

You can see the chair looks a little “scuffed up” because of the removal of the staples, but dont worry as long as it is underneath where the fabric goes.

3. After I finished removing all the fabric and trimming I cut up similar pieces in my new fabric with some extra lingering around the edges.

This is the new fabric I chose to put on my chair! Or a close up view so you can see the details. Nice huh?

4. I used my staple gun to attach the fabric. The most important thing here is to stay within the lines of where the old fabric was attached and keep the fabric as tight as you can! If it´s your first time, dont use striped fabric. That was the advice I got, and now I understand why. The staples should be pretty close together to keep the fabric tight and to not get “wrinkles”.

5. After I attached all the fabric, I trimmed the edges with a scissor as close as possible to the stables.

6. I got my glue gun ready and started applying the trim over the edges of the fabric to cover them and the staples all around the edges.

7. After I was done I went over the edges and made sure everything was covered up and that the trim was glued tight.

8. The result? Not to bad for a first timer:) Here it is! What do you think?


Jersey Maxi dress made from a tank top pattern!

I have wanted a maxi dress for ages, but I never seem to find one that I like. The shape is usually off , the fabric is not quite right or the pattern is too boring or too crazy. On my trip to the fabric store a while ago I picked up this really cool knitted jersey in white and grey stripes and I decided to sew my own maxi dress with my own pattern!

The fabric I used for making the maxi dress

I didn’t have any pattern and even after looking around online, I couldn’t really find any that I completely loved. And to be honest, my printer was out of ink and I was to lazy to go walk 3 miles either to buy new ink or to the closest print shop on a sunday:)

So the solution came to me in a tank top! I have a few that I really like the shape of and I folded it in halv and marked around on some parchment paper. I added some seam allowance of about half an inch ( 1-1,5 cm) on each side and cropped the neckline to a high v-neck in the front. Normally I would not add seam allowance to the fold (the back or mid section front of the tank top) because you are not sewing anything here, but this tank top is a little tighter than I would like my dress to be so I added all the way around.

Back. Added seam allowance all the way around. Usually I would not do the back, but the tank top is a little tighter than I would like my dress to be.

I then laid out my fabric with the inside out and enough width for the “pattern” to cover and made sure the stripes were aligning front to back. At the end of the tank top pattern I continued the line with a slight curve going out all the way down to the end of the fabric. I had measured in advance how long I wanted it and added a few inches to that. It is always better to have a little to much on the length instead of having it be just a little too short, especially when sewing without a pattern.

One of the sides cut and ready

After cutting out both pieces, I pinned them up together on both sides with zig zag stitches since I was doing a jersey knit (very important detail!). I tried on the fit and had to do some smaller adjustments to the waist for a perfect fit. After stitching it up, I pressed the hem and overcasted the ends (See your sewing machine manual for overcasting stitches, basically zig zag along the end of the line so it wont fall apart). I closed up the arm holes and neckline by doing a fold and sew. I sewed an overcast stitch to all the edges for them not to flare and then folded in about 1/4 of an inch (0,75 cm) and pressed it down with an iron. I then folded again and sewed with a lightening stitch (it is probably not called that, but it looks like a lightening on the sewing machine so I am calling it that). I also had to adjust the neckline somewhat as I wanted it a little lover then my first cut (Again, I have learned along the way that it is always better to have a little more than less fabric to work with).

And thats it! Took me probably a few hours to make, but I am sure if you are more efficient you could pull it off in an hour.

The result! You cant see the top part as well here, but it had medium broad shoulders like a tank top:)

What do you think?

Redesigning and sewing my old clothes into new ones!

The last few weeks I have been inspired by my friend Lisa to start sewing again. I have been doing it on and off for as long as I can remember and it really boosts my creativity. The perfect activity is when I can make something with my own two hands! Before I throw away any garment I always try to see another purpose with it and that exactly what I did with this shirt.

Before and after! I sewed in the waist, shoulders, arms and added some studs

I started out with an oversized shirt that I bought a few years ago. First of all, it used to be a little oversized and second of all, I have probably lost 25 pounds since I wore it last so it was time to do something:)

I started by cutting off the arms at the seams and put the shirt on with the wrong side facing out to fit me perfectly with pinning needles. I needed to adjust the shoulders and waist and used a french curve to adjust the arm hole opening and waist line on both sides according to the pinned needles. After taking in both of those I realized I would need to adjust the arms and wrists as well to make it look  good all together. Because the shirt was bleached denim it was important to adjust all of the seams where I had made adjustments so it would look the same overall.

I decided right off the bat that I wanted to add studs to the shirt somewhere.  After almost completing the shirt and browsing Pinterest for some ideas I went to the Fabric Outlet in Mission to get some studs. They have a lot of great stuff at that store and the prices are good and if you live in San Francisco and love to sew, you should take a look. (Ps. I am in no way payed to say this, I just like the store:) To my surprise they had 40% off on the entire store so I ended up spending 2,5 hours in the store and bought more than studs to say the least!

My catch from the Fabric outlet in Mission San Francisco

What do you think?