Wednesday 27 July 2016

How much space do I actually need?

I was originally looking for patterns (just looking...), when I not only found paprika patterns (if you like sewing, look at the jasper jumper and the jade skirt, great stuff!) but also discovered that Lisa is sharing in her blog details and thoughts about her life. Not only did they spend time as travellers and had a proper look around Europe, they have settled in a yurt. Yes. A Yurt. How brilliant is that? (link) It's a super efficient 1 "room" house. I love it!

Wednesday 20 July 2016

A State of Mind - and what Gandhi's got to do with it.

Ages ago my wonderful husband (the natural minimalist...) gave these words to me on just a small piece of paper, and I thought I'd share them because they mean a lot to me.

I find this quote so incredibly good, because it draws such a concise line from the moment to the future. I mean, it shows you, that what you are doing/thinking this moment, influences your future, so living in the moment is not just momentarily but has consequences.

Monday 18 July 2016

Make And Mend - Dots Shirt

So... it's "Make And Mend" Monday again! :)

Sunday we wanted to go to Church (I've visited Freiburg Anglican Church for the first time and it was really nice!). So on Sunday morning I pulled my favourite blouse out of the wardrobe because I thought it would be the perfect thing: It was going to be a hot day and that blouse is made of thin (but not too thin) and not too wrinkly 100% cotton, it looks semi-decent with my (freshly dyed) black linen trousers... and I LOVE it! (I bought it about 10 years ago at H&M and I just love the crazy dots. It reminds me of Marimekko a bit, somehow... and I love dots anyway... and it's happy black, too!)

So, I took it from the hanger (I didn't really pull it, since I sorted through the wardrobe I have lots of space in there) and put it on and - it had 2 holes! Big ones! And I have absolutely no idea, where they come from! Quelle horreur! I temporarily fixed it with some black thread and then when we came home tried to do it better. Here's the process:

As you can see, you can't really see the holes...

But when you look closer, they are bigger than acceptable... *sniff*

Mounted on my ironing Board (left side out)

I used pins to adapt the fabric as close as possible

And added a light-weight fusible interlining thing (like H180 vlieseline)

THis is what it looks like from the right side.

I made tiny pleats and used backstitch to secure them, just the frayed corners of the rips were concealed like this, no more.

You can see the tiny pleats here, but because the fabric has this lively pattern, they hardly show.
Finish! As Good As New! And still my favourite blouse!

So that's another item saved!

Linen trousers old and new

Summer is approaching finally and I have started wearing my linen trousers again. I've got 3 black ones. they have  faded quite a bit, I find linen does that, probably due to its chemical properties.

All of the trousers are still good, so I don't really want to get rid of them, so - my first "make and mend" project - I re-dyed them black with the help of the washing machine. And I really like the result. Proper happy black. ;)
    I've used Simplicol Colours (R) and their "salt" so it adds up to 7,48 Euros for 3 "new trousers".

    Why didn't I post a picture: Well, I made 2, but I think my camera hates me and made them look the same (just the wrinkles and creases  were in different places, which proved it was a different picture...). And I didn't really want to show you 2 pictures that are more or less the same. 

    EDIT: I noticed a very very thin fabric area in the crotch area on one of them now... makes it unwearable, unfortunately. BUT the trousers are 12 years old, so it's ok. AND I am going to take the pattern so I can make a new pair, because they did fit quite well.

    Wednesday 13 July 2016

    Downshifting - Our way.

    Have you ever heard about Downshifting? Well, to be honest, until just a short time ago I hadn't either. But as you know, there's a word for absolutely everything and anything. :)

    Downshifting can be part of making life simpler. It generally means to reduce overall worktime in order to have more time for individual life plans, to be more at comfort with the work load.
    For us it started with the birth of our first daughter. We had to make big decisions. Would I be a stay-at-home-mum? Would we both work as much as possible to make the maximum amount of money/month? Would we both go part-time to make sure there is always somebody at home? How would we cope with the stress of both having a job and a baby (and you know, they get ALL sorts of weird snots and coughs all of the time...). We were thinking about it an awful lot. About how to work best or most. We didn't really find a good solution, we always felt our little daughter would be the one who would suffer from our work plans. So we tried to figure out, what is most important to us. And that was: To be there for the little one, to form a family. To spend time with each other and create a safe, quiet, relaxed home.

    Wednesday 6 July 2016

    A word or two on Consumerism.

    I have talked about minimalism and simple living a good deal now. But I feel I should talk a little about consumerism, too. It is a fascinating topic and for me, it is really at the core of the motivation to try to pursue a simpler lifestyle. I don't want to bore you with lots of dry facts, so I've gathered a few comments and links on the topic that have been food for thought for me. 

    Consumerism as a social and economic order and ideology encourages the acquisition of goods and services in ever-increasing amounts (source). The development of consumer societies meant the erosion of the traditional values and attitudes of thrift and prudence.(Sharon Beder)

    One essay that has really made an impact on me is Sharon Beder's "Consumerism - an Historical Perspective". She is writing about how consumerism developped (mainly focussing on the US) and why. It's just a 5 minutes read and very rewarding.

    Monday 4 July 2016

    How I caught the sewing bug... and a blast from the past!

    If you ever asked yourself, when and how I started sewing, I have to tell you: I've not been sewing my whole life. I am not one of those that followed the call early on and dressed their dolls. I regarded sewing as something you can do, when you need something. A necessity Not as something that's actually fun and makes sense.
    Hence, I discovered sewing as a hobby rather late.

    {Dorothy Moore} Lesson 2 Skirt Variations

    Dorothy Moore presents a number of Instructions for drafting Skirt Variations: A-Line, Circle Skirt, Panel Skirts, a Wrap Around Skirt and yoked skirts.

    I have drafted a slight A Line skirt with a yoke. (Instructions below)

    My first version was up to the waist, made from stripey linen fabric with 4 panels cut on the bias (so you get a sort of chevron pattern in the front and at the sides)  and... it was awful. I didn't even finish it and didn't take a picture either. It was a bit much of everything. An abomination :) So I put the whole pattern and everything to the side, concentrated on other things and took it up again after several months had passed.

    I don't usually like to wear my skirts right at the waist level (with pencil skirts it somehow works though...), so I used my pencil skirt as a guide for lowering the pattern down to the waist,  about 9 cms in total (just a bit more than 3 inch), that's quite low. I then added a yoke to the pattern following the instructions of Dorothy Moores's Lesson 2 so I could omit the waist darts. Et voilà!

    Pattern for A Line Skirt with Yoke drafted to my measurements. Sorry, brown paper on wooden floor = not so good contrast. ;)

    I've had 1 meter of this totall cute fabric in my stash, it's from Lewis & Irene "April Showers". Because it wasn't quite enough for a proper skirt, I added an underskirt. The underskirt is made of an old white cotton curtain (using the same pattern, just a bit longer) and I've had a bit of thin red zig-zag trim left which I added at the bottom of the underskirt. I didn't have enough fabric to cut the yoke in the same direction of the fabric, but I don't really mind.The invisible zipper is inserted on the left side. I've also added a tiny button and a bow. Can you find it? ;)

    Due to rainy weather (I hope the choice of fabric didn't have anything to do with that...) I've not worn it yet.  

    Total Cost 15,54 Euros
    Umbrella Fabric : 15 Euros
    Underskirt: Old Curtain 0 Euros
    Trim and button from stash 0 Euros
    invisible zipper 0,54 Cent

    Here are the instructions  how to draft an A Line Skirt and A Yoked Skirt. You'll need to draft a Pencil Skirt first.

    Dorothy Moore A Line Skirt

    Dorothy Moore Yoke Skirt