Wednesday, 23 May 2018

Free 1961 Pattern drafting book!

I've come another great resource for drafting patterns. I was actually looking for ways people adjusted Ginger Jeans, when I came across this blog Kat Makes and she's doing a lot of great stuff and despite the fact that she has a completely different shape to me, I found lots of really cool stuff on her page. So check her out.

She's also drafting her own patterns and is using this free(!) and downloadable resource, which I recommend. It has the same sort of feel my "Dorothy Moore" book has, but is so much easer to access. :)

Pattern drafting and grading (by Michael Rohr, 1961)


Wednesday, 16 May 2018

Sunday, 6 May 2018

Ginger Jeans - I did it!

I can't quite believe it myself, I made jeans!

And they fit. 

After a long long time of contemplating, of procrastinating and fretting about fabrics, my sewing skills and the "oomph" of my machine - my existing 2 pairs of jeans were slowly but surely falling apart. And despite my best efforts of mending them repeatedly...  it was time to face the fact: I need new jeans.

First I actually went to town and looked at jeans. Tried some. And got annoyed. I want low to just-mid rise flared jeans. Not too much "use" on them. Not too thin. Indigo blue. Really dark. This is not in fashion at the moment. I tried everything that was proclaimed to be my size. I even tried the very fashionable high waist skinny jeans - which sort of went up to my rib cage, were too long, to tight and just "uuhhrgh". It was a very very very frustrating experience.

And then I bought the much acclaimed Ginger Jeans pattern (with Flared Jeans extension pack) by Closet Case Patterns

I followed the instructions of the sewalong
and it all went together fine. Surprisingly, the jeans are a little on the widish side... I am not entirely sure, why. I might have lost some weight (hm... how likely is that... hm...), the fabric has a poor recovery (doesn't seem like it, but who knows...), the pattern runs slightly wide (possible and most likely), I was taking my measurements too loosely (possible), I didn't cut close enough to the pattern, added some width while copying... I did notice this after basting them, so I used a more generous seam allowance (instead of 5/8" I used 6/8, but it's still a bit wide in the bottom and back thigh, especially after wearing them for a few days)
Anyhow - the jeans fit. They fit well enough for me. I have no issues with the crotch, no issues with matching, they don't twist and they are super comfy.  - it was a real WOW experience. Also my machine didn't buckle up once and sewed through up to 8 layers of jeans like butter (I did use a jeans needle though). 

What do I think of the pattern? - I LOVE IT! - 

The size is accurate, not supertight, but I didn't aim for that. The instructions are superclear, the sewalong is great and the possibilities for variations are SO vast. Heather also gives lots of instructions on fitting, in case you do have frown or smile lines. Or whatever other issues occur.

If you want to make jeans - make these! 

What I really liked was the precision of the pattern. Notches match, clear instructions, no blahblah and - if she says low rise it means low rise. Precision this is. 

I admit, I was VERY sceptical. My experience with sewing trousers is very limited to say the least. My confidence wasn't very big and because of my unique shape, I only anticipated problems. 

Just to give you an idea: My waist is a size 6 in her pattern, while my hip is a size 12 (although I would probably go down a size in the hip with the next pair... ). And in addition to this big waist-hip ratio, I have a sway back. And I am smaller that "standard women" (whatever that is... have never met one). 

I followed her fitting/grading instructions in the sewalong and the resulting pattern looked - curvy. I stuck with it bravely, because I thought - I calculated this, I followed instructions, it MUST work. And it did. The only thing I had to adjust was the waistband - which gaped. Like it always does. I could have cut a new waistband, but I took a shortcut (because I wanted to finish the jeans and going back to cutting fabric felt like a backstep... and I was lazy and impatient...). I made two darts in the waistband inside, clipped the excess fabric and transferred the changes to the pattern waistband. For next time. Yes, there will definitely be a next time. I might even use contrasting topstiching. :) 

I also really like her suggestions about the "insides" - coloured serger thread, nice fabric for the pockets - turned not inside the pockets but in a way you can actually SEE it when putting on the jeans. Yes, that makes me feel good. Talking about a serger. I own one - I didn't use it. I just zigzagged everything. I was plainly too lazy to put up the machine. 

The biggest challenge for me (sewing wise...) was the topstitching. Who would have thought that sewing two completely parallel lines is SO difficult. My husband giving me a glass of red wine with the sewing boosted my mood, but I wasn't sure about the topstitching skills... As I noticed later, it didn't do any harm, my parallelity the next day without wine looked exactly the same. I might have to practise that a little more and continue using toned down topstitch thread. :) 

My other issues are (and none of them have anything to do with the pattern fit...): the blue of the fabric. It is a little too blue. And even. I am not used to that. I might try and find some real indigo jeans fabric. Also the front pockets are quite wide. Which is ok in a way, because I CAN put my entire hand in it in case I have nothing else to do. But I think I would make them a tiny bit narrower next time. I also have the idea to copy the coin pocket my "nearly fallen apart jeans" - it's a small single welt pocket in the pocket lining -very cute). Other ideas for next time include more belt loops (I don't even own a belt...) and back pocket designs. My back pocket is plain, but I have this idea about an ECG or a WonderWoman logo thing. I would also move them up a tiny little bit. But maybe with making the next pair tighter, I won't need that. I might also try the mid-waist and high waist version with those shaping pockets. Maybe I could even try skinny jeans (the last time I wore skinny jeans was in 1999). I also had this GREAT pair of jeans (that also fell apart...) with add on front pockets that were square... I think I have a picture of me wearing them somewhere... but only a front view...) . ideas, ideas, ideas... why is sewing jeans so addictive? 

Finally, here are my Ginger Flares! Brand new! First time!


I've casually put my hand in that pocket, so nobody has a chance to evaluate the fit.
You just have to believe me it's good. :) 

Posing naturally, this is what I do with walls on a normal day.
At least I didn't have to worry about my expression this way...
You can also see the jeans are a bit wide on the hip and leg after a couple of days of wearing them.
I don't mind, this is what my jeans usually look like. :) 

On the left you can see the adjustment darts for sway back I made on the waistband back.
And on the right my beautiful happy lining, which used to be a pillow case. :) 


Pattern: 17 euros
Print in Copyshop A0: 40 Euros (I wanted to try it out...very comfortable, but expensive.)
rivets 5,50
Buttons 4,70
Fabric - Stretch Jeans (97% cotton, 3% elasthane) 40 Euros
Yarn (sewing and topstitch) 4+3 = 7 Euros
jeans zip 3 Euros

I am planning the next pair already... :)

Wednesday, 2 May 2018

Books are for reading - S. Basile

Salvatore Basile

"Die wundersame Reise eines verlorenen Gegenstand" (The strange journey of a lost item)

At the moment only available in German and Italian, but a good read. It would make such a lovely film. Watch out for the English translation, it's a good read. 

Tuesday, 1 May 2018

May seasonal table 2018

I am always amazed what the camera thinks is the center of the picture... sorry...

I can hardly believe it myself, I've managed to change the table, take a picture AND blog about it all on the same day. The explanation: I've got a week off work and it is a public holiday and good weather, so the kids can run around in the garden a lot. :)

The lilacs are from a bush around the corner and the smell is wonderful - not too overwhelming but lightly noticeable. The piece of bark has been on the table a lot already, the bird last month, too, and the mountain crystal was a contribution of the kids.
I've still not managed to restore this little cabinet (the wooden veneer at the bottom is coming off slightly, because a previous owner seems to have stored it with its feet in the water...) and there are some more dents I have to see to... at some point...

This month's Eugene  Grasset card, from "La belle jardinière"

Thursday, 26 April 2018

Whatever happened to Minimalism and me?

Photo by Samuel Zeller on Unsplash

It's been quite a while since my last post on Minimalism. 

To say the truth - I think I've said about everything what Minimalism means to me. 

And to tell you even more truths: I am still working on it. I am still working on myself. And it is still hard at times. 

I am still trying to find the best way, the middle way. The Make and Mend Challenge really helped me (and so did having to live on a much tighter budget for a year). But I also have to say, being back in the "normal" way of life, with our "normal" budget, it is so incredibly easy to fall back into old patterns. 

But the most important thing is, that I live my life more conscious, more aware and I think a lot truer to myself than I did about 15 years ago. Or even 4 years ago. 

Whatever the stress, whatever the challenge. 


Friday, 13 April 2018

Wednesday, 11 April 2018

Mia doll for the KiTa

The KiTa-time (kindergarden for younger than 3 year olds) has been wonderful. The way the staff of the Waldorf-KiTa welcomed her, made her comfortable, gave her confidence and helped her grow as a person, while respecting her very own personality is amazing and I am very grateful she found a place there. She loved going there every single day and I can see her little face light up when she talks about the staff there.

So I wanted to express my gratitude in making a doll that resembles my little Miss No 2 (at least a little bit). In March my big little girl will be continuing to the "big" Kindergarten with her sister. I am a little bit sad about it, but I think the girls will also like to be together in the Kindergarten.

I am very grateful also to the KiTa, because it encouraged me to have a look at Waldorf/Steiner related books. I started reading a bit antroposophic literature (especially concerning children). I found it very encouraging and supportive in some aspects, other aspects are and stay very foreign to me. But that's ok. I am grateful for the positive input it has provided for the family.

This is the third doll I made following the immensely wonderful patterns "baby twink" of Mariengold. ( Again, I really enjoyed making the doll, the instructions are so clear and nice. I also made clothes following her ebook "oh girl" - a little dress (made from a fabric remnant from one of Mias summer dresses), jersey trousers, a little woolly jacket (that I wished Mia had...) and a woolly hat similar to one my girls have. Also shoes, of course. And fabric nappies, which you can't see on the picture, but they are there. :)

The doll is approx. 30cms in height and is filled with organic sheep fleece. All the fabrics and dyes used on the material are also natural and organic, so it's totally safe for the children to play with the little doll.

She comes in a little grey cardboard suitcase-bed, including a small blanket and pillow.

Wednesday, 4 April 2018

April 2018 Seasonal table

Goodness, April and Easter arrived so quickly this year, I didn't manage to get a light green piece of cloth (none in stash...) or anything else that looks a bit fresher and more springlike. 
I did manage to remove the reed from the table, although I really really like it, for me it is always connected to winter, cold, frozen, barren landscape. With reed swaying in the icy-cold wind. 

Finally the weather has changed though, and we've had a few warming days, the plants start growing and budding, I've found the raspberry sprouting everywhere (I LOVE raspberries!), so it is very delightfully springy - at least for the moment. Last year we've had lovely weather like this and it tricked me into buying plants and planting them - just before the next frost - 90% didn't make it (one raspberry bush among them, which filled my with deep sadness...). 

Anyhow, this year I am just enjoying the growth around me and will wait until May (after the Ice Saints) to make the plants are on the safe side. 

So this is our Easter/April table, with contribution from the kids.

Grasset Postcard, April

Monday, 2 April 2018

March tabel 2018

Opps... March passed so quickly... but just before changing, I made a picture of our March table. :)

The kids helped a lot.

Grasset Postcard March

Friday, 30 March 2018

Otari Hoodie - Scroop Patterns Test

Namaste, guys!

So, I've had the honour to be a pattern tester for Leimomi Oakes (aka "the Dreamstress" from Scroop Patterns.) I can't say how happy that made me, and I owe it all to the neighbour's cat. :)

The pattern has officially been released today, it really did take me some effort to hold back this long. :)

Leimomi designed a basic hoodie pattern, which is really really neat. Really really neat. I can't say often enough, how neat this pattern is. My gosh, it is neat. And offers so much space for choosing fabrics. From elegant to cute and romantic to wild I'd say anything goes. You can buy the pattern here: (which I really recommend to do...)

There are two pocket and two hood views in it, that can be mixed. The instructions are very very clear, with super nice finishing touches for pockets and the zip (superneat!!), so this is a piece you even love to look at from the inside. Yes. Exactly. Maybe you know what I mean. A comfortable covered neckline (looks and feels good) and an ingenious covered zip (outside and inside, but you can also make it so the zip shows outside) make this look so professional. But at the same time, it is not difficult to make, so no worries, this is perfect pattern if you've not made a hoodie before. Also nice is the fact it doesn't need excessive amounts of fabric, so this hoodie can be made rather economically.

I've been wearing it a lot already and it's so comfy. As you can see, I've really tried with the pattern matching, but something happened at the center front. Whatever it was, it didn't have anything to to with the pattern.

I chose to make the pointy hood (as you probably noticed in the first picture..) and the bound pockets. The sizing is really precise and it has a nice close but not too tight fit. Just perfect. Apart from grading between the sizes, I didn't need to make any adjustments.

covered zip (inside and out) and bound neckline. Pockets bound. Neat. Superneat. 

I really enjoyed making this pattern. I was given it for free as a pattern tester (so obviously I had the test version) but I didn't receive anything else and all of these opinions are entirely my own.

Audrey Hepburn - Gorgeous eye Make-up!

Found on, this wonderful picture of Audrey Hepburn
Completely unrelated to anything, I came across this photograph showing Audrey Hepburn. It is probably a film still, because she is wearing the exact same eye make up in the film "how to steal a million" from 1966. So beautiful.

There are actually a few tutorials on youtube about this make up, but none of them do the beauty of this justice, so I am not including them.

Wednesday, 7 March 2018

Sewing plans for 2018

Photo by Fleur Treurniet on Unsplash

You wouldn't believe it, but I have plans for 2018. A lot of plans and also sewing plans. Here they are.

- A Dirndl (Bavarian style) for Little Miss No 1 for her first day to school (September). I have the pattern already and a book on Austrian Dirndl making, so I am trying to make it in a more traditional style, sort of a mix between Austrian and Bavarian (sorry), with cartridge pleats and apron and maybe even smocking. I have chosen a fabric already and I hope it won't be sold out by the time i get around to buying the supplies (probably July). It will be rose, with tiny white and blue flowers and a dark blue apron and a white blouse. :)

- A Dirndl for myself, using the same traditional techniques. First I thought I'd go for rose, too, but I am torn between happy black (with tiny pink and green flowers), and this aubergine coloured fabric with white and mauve coloured double-dots. With green apron. And white blouse, obviously. Again, cartridge pleats on the dress planned and maybe a smocking technique on the apron.

- It also seems my jeans are giving up - which means I will have to face the challenge to make trousers for myself - jeans or normal, I don't know yet... - DONE! I made Ginger Jeans!!!

- also I would like to make a shirt with a massive cowl collar (check out's super cowl shirt; I ALSO really like their "love me 2 times sari simplicity" thingy ... would be nice to make that and dye it with natural dyes... some day...)

- and my biggest plan Using up fabric from the stash. I also have this lovely black satin jersey in the stash, which I might make into a pencil skirt, or into a backless shirt. Or a backless dress, if I have enough fabric. But again, I have to draft the pattern first, then make a muslin and then see... :) - which means I have to go through it thoroughly and think about what I really need. I've also got a lot of scraps of knit fabric... maybe some undies

- make a pillow cover from an old (favourite) t-shirt (that shrunk...)

Tuesday, 27 February 2018

In search of the perfect T-Shirt - Pattern drafting and an approximation (and lots of sheep)

Self drafted T Shirt! Nobody should look this stern with a self drafted shirt full of sheep. I don't know how I managed!

(If you just want the instructions for drafting a t-shirt and not so much talking: Here it is  How to draft Jersey shirt pdf)

And here is the talking:

Because my body is unique, I usually have problems with store-bought clothing:

1. the waist line is too low on me (sort of "on the hip", looks silly), because I am smaller than what standard clothes are made for. (if you want to know more about standard sizes in clothing

2. I have a comparably small waist  and bust in relation to my hip measurement (compared to standard sizing).

3. My hip point is lower than average.

4.  My shoulder width is rather small.

5. I have a sway back nobody seems to want to have anything to do with

Vogue Patterns calls this gallantly "triangle shape", I think it used to be called pear shape? :)

So, all in all with off-the-rack clothes, they are too long, the waist is in the wrong place and the hip width is too small, so if I wear e.g. a T-Shirt, that fits my upper body, the waistline is just a tad too low and the hips small (even with stretchy fabric) so everything is travelling upwards to the waistline with movement and I end up pulling shirts down all of the time, even if they seem to fit ok at first glance.

To cut a long story short, I decided to draft my own t-shirt pattern.
It is really easy, if you just follow instructions!

There are a lot of  tutorials on youtube, I used this one (in German)

The thing you have to know about pattern drafting is this: It will give you a close approximation (probably closer to your body than any of the off the rack clothing is though...) and you have to make the fine tuning with a muslin on your body. Then you transfer the changes to your pattern. If you've made a lot of alterations or big alterations, I recommend making another muslin. Is is a lot of work and a lot of fabric potentially going to waste, but in the end you will have the perfect jersey shirt pattern. Which you will be able to use for all sorts of Jersey shirt variations.

And you will know a lot about you body and clothes fitting.

When you have a pattern finally, bear in mind, that changes to the neckline might need more changes in the upper bodice than just cutting the neckline. Jersey fabric is rather forgiving, but still, everything you change in the fabric might have consequences in fit overall (Dorothy Moore is dedicating a whole chapter on neckline changes... but I will write about that another time)

Also the amount of stretch of the fabric influences the fit (and also the recovery...)!

My first muslin was made from a piece of cotton jersey without much stretch. So I accepted it would be a little tight. There was pulling above the chest towards the armpit. That's the fabric asking for a dart. Hm. And the basic pattern has a very high neckline.

First I cut out the neckline the way I like T-Shirts, which changed the whole appearance of those wrinkles. But they were still there.

I also found the shoulder width was a bit wide, so I reduced it by 1 cm on each side. And changed the paper pattern accordingly.

I also have lots of wrinkling in the lower back, because I have a sway back.

There are several options how to deal with a sway back in knit shirts.
1. Ignore it.
2. Make sure it's not a too small hip width which makes the shirt travel up.
3. Introduce a seamline in the center back. Or two. Or just two darts. Those can take up the excess fabric.
4. You can try to remove about 2-3cms (1inch) just above the waistline on the back pattern and when you assemble the shirt you stretch the side seamline about 10 cm (5inch) around that area. It works sometimes.

Oh, and those wrinkles in the front could  be removed if you introduce a side dart, either to the side seam or to the armhole.

Has anyone else got good ideas to seal with wrinkling and sway back on knit fabric?

I chose to go with option No 1 this time. After transferring all the other changes to the pattern, I made another muslin. This time I used a mad fabric which I bought years ago because I wanted to make shirts for the children from it. It's nice quality stretch jersey (i guess 95% cotton and 5% elasthane) and has a nice weight to it, which I bought in a sale because most people probably found the pattern a bit too busy. I even made a shirt for the children for it, but even on them it is a bit busy. So I had enough left to make this shirt.

I like the fit despite the wrinkling in the back and that little bit of pulling in the front. And there are a lot of sheep on this. A lohohot. I might use it for pyjamas, which makes just the right amount of sheep. I might need pyjama bottoms with dogs now, i suppose.

Sorry for not taking any pictures during the process of making it. I just assembled it.
1. Match shoulder seams. Sew.
2. Insert sleeves, Make sure front part of the sleeve is in the right place.
3. Close sleeve seam and side seam.
4. Insert neckline binding.
5. Hem sleeves and bottom.
6. Iron carefully.

  Here's the resulting pattern and shirt though.

Actually I think the shirt fits better in real life than on this picture.
Less wrinkles around the chest.

see the wrinkles in the back -> not adapted for sway back. I can feel another muslin coming...
(And also quoting The Fast Show: "Does my bum look big in this?")

Below you will also find the description and drawing for drafting this shirt. Don't be put of by the instructions, you'll end up with you own personal shirt pattern.

Enjoy! Bah! Bah! Baaaah!

How to draft your own jersey shirt pdf

If you have questions, leave a comment!

On fitting t-shirts for FBA (I don't really need FBA, but it is interesting anyway and maybe you want to try this out!)

Friday, 23 February 2018

Martha Mania (Milchmonster)

A Martha Mania Collage

I've made these Marthas aaaaages ago. Years.  I've been wearing them a lot, i really love them. The pattern is great and it is perfect for busy patterns (I think...).

There are several option to the Marthas, small and big hood, shawl collar, pockets or not, sleeve options, several different top versions. I even think the Marthas are so great, they can distract from the stupid door backround. :)

Here ist the  Link to Milchmonster's Martha

The size is quite accurate, I just find the shoulders are a bit narrow, I added about 1cm at each size of the shoulder seam (towards the arm, both on back and front piece). I shortened the upper length about 1 cm.  Obviously these are individual measurement that depend on everybody's body, so it's not the patterns fault. Overall the sizing is very accurate.

The instructions are really good, I've got them in German, I don't really know whether she offers other languages, BUT I think it's easy enough to make it even if you don't understand the language, if you've made a shirt before.

Here is the Martha Parade:

Lillestoff jersey

It reminds me of Disco somehow...
the knit fabric is from - brilliant shop. 

also knit from Michas Stoffecke

Lillestoff - Monster Drops

I did the picture editing with, which is (at least for the moment), free and easy to use. They have some fun stuff there.

Tuesday, 20 February 2018

Dirndl for Little Miss No 2

Yes, that's an Octopus!

I've been sewing a little because I had a few days off and I wanted to try out a new pattern for the girls.

It's the Dirndl "Vroni" By Mondbresal (here's her page and I really like the pattern.

It went together well, the measurements are very precise and the instructions are good. I didn't use the recommended button closure but inserted a zipper and did a few other things differently than the instructions said (apart from the zipper those shortcuts cost me a lot of time and I should have just followed instructions, that's what they are for...). I've not made the blouse from her patternpackage yet, but I am planning to.

The fabric is entirely from the stash. The top is a remnant of a red and white spotty cotton, the skirt part is from a lovely green fabric with birdies (which I initially planned to make bedding from but never got around to it...). And the blue apron used to be a curtain...

Just in case you don't know what a Dirndl is

we do pugshots here, too. (sorry, couldn't resist this bad joke)

Tuesday, 13 February 2018

Pattern drafting and sewing tutorials

This is a German video by a very talented lady who is also drafting her own patterns. I think she is explaining it very well and I also really like her style.

Kleider für Julia - by Andreia

Saturday, 10 February 2018

The February Table 2018

Admittedly, our February table doesn't look significantly different to the January one. Only I managed to change the postcard to February. And there are a few more stones that the kids found and I desperately long for spring and colours and flowers so I put a few small grape hyacinths on the table, too. Last week we've had a few snowdrops, but I didn't manage to take a picture before the wilted. And it was snowing yesterday. And 75% of the family have the flu.

Tuesday, 6 February 2018

Ileana Dress - for Little Miss No 1.

I've had this pattern lying around for some time, because... I forgot about it. There was some sort of sale or so at Compagnie M a few years ago and I bought Ileana, too. I was given this lovely leaf patterned fabric (rather heavy) and I knew immediately, it should be a dress for Little Miss No 1, with a circle skirt. She's totally into wide skirts that "turn" at the moment. I am not really in time for the season (or much too early, depending on which way you look at it).

I printed the pattern and then chose the size according to her measurements - which meant a 2 year old in width and a 5 year old in height... uh... I wasn't sure whether that would work out. I took the shoulder measurement and the armhole for 5 year olds, too... But it turns out, her measurement tables are correct (silly me...) which is SUPER! Not too much ease but not too tight, either.

It turned out really well and went together easily. The only thing I didn't really like was the zipper, which ends at the waist, so the little one has to sort of squeeze her bottom through the waist opening measurement. If I make the dress another time, I would choose a slightly longer zip and extend it into the skirt section (which would have to be split in the center back then, too, but that's not too bad).

All in all I really like her patterns, also this one, which is really versatile. I like the different collar options. 

Initally I had planned to paint a few of the leaves and fruit on the dress with fabric  paint, but little Miss No 1 objected. She did agree with the yellow bias tape for hemming it. She wants to wear the dress every day now (which will be a lesson for me: don't make dresses in the wrong season - or keep them to yourself until the weather clears up...). We've got storm and freezing temperatures at the moment...

Material: none, as was given and from stash
Pattern: Compagnie M, Ileana dress, circle skirt, cap sleeves, collar with bow. Already had that.

Sunday, 4 February 2018

A Ruffled Skirt for me!

Yes, this is actually me. 

I've finally managed to make another skirt for myself. I had been wanting to make this ever since the weather had become colder (so for about 2 months...). And finally I managed.

I took the pattern off a skirt I had made before "The forest skirt" (that's 3,5 years now...). Back then I had taken the pattern off a RTW skirt, had extended the skirt (more pronounced, or broad-legged A shape). What I didn't do was to adjust for sway back, so on that skirt I still had to make to darts in the waistband back after finishing it, because it was gaping. Hm. Nevertheless, that skirt with its flounce and that supercute pattern became one of my favourite skirts. So I decided, I should make another one. Because I am in a "I should wear more skirts"-mood at the moment.

I still had a nice piece of wool twill from my husbands wedding suit in the stash (matured 7,5 years...) that I initially had planned to make into a Victorian riding habit but never got around to it.  uckily I should say, because when am I going to wear a Victorian Riding habit? I can't even ride horses...
I also had this black cotton voile sitting around for some years (I had planned to make a Regency gown from it... which also never happened...). These fabrics are perfect for my purposes.

I didn't find the pattern for the forest skirt any more, so I just copied the skirt itself (which means I sort of automatically adjusted for sway back because I just included the waistband "as is" and not with those darts). It worked perfectly well.

The fabric was behaving very well, even the voile, and in about 3 hours the whole thing went together. I still have slight trouble with "invisible" zippers - despite the correct zipper foot they are never really invisible. I probably don't stitch close enough to the little zipper teeth. Also the zipper is not black, but dark grey, which was all I had in my stash and it HAD to be done that day.... :) Also, my zippers hardly ever match...

For the finishing of the seam of the wool overskirt I used a cotton checkered bias tape that was lingering around in the cellar. I love finishing hems with bias tape. They come out so neat and tidy and also you can add "hidden colour" to a skirt. They also give thin fabrics a bit more substance and they have a nicer drape. I've always wanted to try out horsebraid in that aspect, but haven't managed yet.

So, nothing breathtaking this time, but a quick and easy supercomfy and very girly skirt. The ruffles are swinging with every step around my legs, I nearly feel like a princess.

I'm sorry you can't see much on the pictures - black in bad lighting ....

Friday, 2 February 2018

I'm a fan - more sewing and pattern drafting!

Although I've not been sewing a great lot recently, and didn't really make a lot of progress with the pattern drafting (non whatsoever...), I've been researching patternmaking and stuff. Dreaming sort of... And in this lovely blog -> Sewing galaxy (german and russian) I came across this lady, and it's just great. I love looking at what she's doing (because of the kids I am mainly watching on mute...)

 Looks at this!

The Channel of Paukshte Irina

Try out her "no pattern 10 min summer dress" 

If you know russian, go to her russian channel (or learn from watching only...)

Tuesday, 30 January 2018

Whitework embroidery

While on my second year of "make and mend" and with an awful lot of bills coming in in August 2017 (car broke down twice, dentist, government fees...), I was looking for something else to do arts &crafts wise, that would give me new skills, need some time and is cheap as in "doesn't need a lot of special equipment".

So I started a project in whitework embroidery. I had been toying with the idea of whitework emboidery for some time, and have already done a bit of embroidery for the 18th century (crewel embroidery stomacher, very simple design). So it seemed like a good idea.

I found it really interesting. The stitches themselves are really easy standard stuff - only a lot of them and you should try to make them really even... I think I still need some practise there. A lot of it actually.

In case you can't read it, the letters say "We'll manage". Not We'll Moan Age. That's just the way I've embroidered it.

I think I used about 4 or 5 strands of white yarn (Anchor), and I only stitched with half of the thread (for whatever reason, I have no explanation for that, but once begun I couldn't really change it...). The fabric is a tight cotton fabric from my stash. The total cost was about 6 euros for the yarn. And it took me 4 months to make it.

After finishing it I mounted it on a canvas and now it is hanging in our bathroom. :)

It was a fun project. :)

Tuesday, 23 January 2018

Waiting for flowers - transparent

While I was impatiently waiting for the first flowers to appear (and especially the snowbells!) I made some for the window. I was following the same book as usual (Mit farbigen Transparenten durch das Jahr, Kronshage und Schwartz).  The real challenge was to make this, while in the backround the children went through innumerous fights over - I don't know... "you are in my space" "I am not" and "don't drink the coffee" "I'm not" etc. :)

I am looking forward to the first flowers.

Tuesday, 16 January 2018

January 2018 table

This is what the table looks like in January. The reed is back, the vase stays, the bark stays as well as the stones. Re-entry the igloo light. The little blue vase is still waiting for snowbells to be put it. This month the belle jardiniere is preparing ground and there is some holly on the picture and I noticed for the first time, that the dresses the lady is wearing all bear the zodiac signs of the month. At least that's what I think.

Wednesday, 10 January 2018

There is nothing wrong with shopping...

Mike Petrucci (

Lately, a few of my friends have apologized for shopping. I feel a little bad about it, I don't want to spoil anything for my friends. I also feel a little "ok, somebody obviously thought about what I am saying and (even better) also thought about their purchase and then decided for (hopefully) good reasons to get it anyway - no matter what that old bag is saying". Well done. :)

But I thought, I'd say it anyway: Shopping is okay. Spending money is ok.

If done with reason and sense.

We live in a world that has introduced money as a means to make exchanging something of value (even if it is imaginary) easier. Because it would be so much harder to trade sheepskins, gemstones or gold. We also live in a world that is based on shopping for competence - hardly any of us can make our own furniture, kitchens, bathrooms, we don't have the material and the tools... we need people and companies who do that for us. And that's a good thing.

I think it is lovely if you furbish you home in a way you like. If you do it every 3 weeks, maybe that's worth thinking about, but if you try to create a space with furniture and items of every day use that are good and last long - why not.

There is also nothing wrong with treating yourself to a special something - but maybe not every day?!

And most important - if you can't afford it - don't.

Yes, consumerism is a weeeeiiiird thing. :)

Monday, 8 January 2018

GREED - DW Documentary - Part 2

In case you've not found part two to the documentary from last week. :)

Greed - A DW Documentary.

Sunday, 7 January 2018

A Christmas table (December 2017)

So this is our December/Christmas corner. The children's agates are on it again, the reeds went out for soft fir tree twigs (albeit in the same vase with the same sand). As you can see plenty of christmas decoration. My favourite is the little ram made from wool. I got it in a Maroccan art shop (in Frieburg, funnily) about 10 years ago and the moths have nibbled on him a bit (poor thing), but he's still very cute and I wouldn't throw him out just because of a few dents here and there. I might take a bit of wool and needle felt away his injuries before he goes into "aestanation".

A lot of our Christmas decoration we have has some link to traveling (we'll never be able to make up for our CO2 imprint...). The little metal reindeer (there are 4, but you can just see 2 stripey ones in this picture) are from Riga, The little hears (red/white and blue white) are firmly stuffed fabric hearts I got in Laos. I will never understand, why in Lao I could get a design that strikes me as swedish, but there you are, that's how it is. The Frobel Stars I made myself. The wooden Nativity scene is made in the Ore Mountains in Germany. They are famous for their skills in woodturning. These little figures are all made by hand in this technique. I got them in Leipzig (a beautiful city!!) on the Christmas market from a stall with the nicest and most patient ladies ever (they had so many wonderful little things (and big, but I couldn't get anything big...) and I was overwhelmed...). This the company   (no, I don't get any cookies from them, I just love the craftsmanship). Behind the miniature figures you can see a big piece of platanus tree bark, which we found on one of our walks.

I admit, I like a bit of blingbling, too, so we've put a small piece of amethyst and a small piece of rock crystal. My grandfather (maternally) had lots of big amethyst and rock crystal pieces which I adored when I was a small child (and was never allowed to touch... but we used to look at them together, how they sparkled!). I don't know what happened to those after my grandparents died, but I hold fond memories of both of them and these two little pieced remind me of them.

The table is never as static as it seems on the pictures, the kids rearrange the figures, the three holy kings move closer to the nativity scene, stones are added and taken away, some are painted. Even the teelightholder as exchanged, sometimes we have one the children painted on it, and they, too, change places.

Eugene Grasset, La Belle Gardinière, Décembre

Saturday, 6 January 2018

Three Holy Kings - Window transparent

Another transparent for Epiphany (which is also my birthday...). I've made it around christmas and we put it up just after christmas and will stay there until the 3 Holy Kings have made their way to Bethlehem.

This is also made with the book "Mit farbenigen Transparenten durch das Jahr" by Michaela Kronshage und Silvia Schwartz.

I really enjoy the layering, which is something I've just recently discovered and I can't wait to make a sprint transparent. :)

Thursday, 4 January 2018

A Winter table (November 2017)

We've got a little corner in our living room, where we try and decorate a little every month, according to season. It is also known as a "seasonal table" to Waldorf or Steiner aficionados, but it is not a strictly speaking waldorf table. It's just that little corner in our living room that is decorated according to season.

Here you see November/early December. We have a lot of reed growing next to a footpath close to our home so I cut a few and put them in a vase, together with some sand. The cloth is light blue linen (which should be dark blue or violet, if I understand the colour circle the Steiner year follows, but I haven't got that in the stash ans light blue is so matching...). The children found some pink and white Symphoricarpos (snowberry), which I now know is poisonous, and we've put them in a little vase. Around it are a few stomes and 2 small agates, which they got on a christmas market. My favourite candle holder (which I've had for at least 15 years), from Kosta Boda. It looks like an icy igloo and has the most beautiful shadows ever. Kosta Boda has the famous "snow ball" teelight holder (and a lot of other beautful things

We have a fixed set of postcards we use for every month - "La belle Jardinière" by Eugène Grasset (Art Nouveau). They are so beautiful, i love looking at them again and again. You can see art of him here 

This table was slightly changed into December, to then turn into our December/Christmas table. Which I am going to try to post, too, before Christmas is over.

Monday, 1 January 2018

GREED - DW Documentary -

My husband pointed out to me this excellent documentary.
Learn about greed and its sources and what drives humans.