Monday, November 28, 2011

Weihnachtskleid sew along – Cut

Although I had the best intensions I am already falling behind in the Christmas dress sew along creative challenge. The reasons are manifold of course (job, little one, lovely husband, other crafting, Christmas decoration,...), but the real reason is...

... that copying the pattern is my least favourite part of the whole dress-making process. And I am glad to read that I am not the only one who thinks that. Anyway, I therefore procrastinated it as long as possible (as you do with things you don’t want to do or as I do at least :-))
Anyway, I am very proud to announce that I have taken that hurdle.

Voila, that is the visual proof.  8 pieces of pattern copied in the right size. Well, I hope it is the right size, since my measurements seem to fit with none of the suggested sizes: breast medium size, waist medium to small, hip largest size. I guess that is what you call an hour glass figure ;-) Anyway, I decided to make the biggest size and then make the dress tighter in special areas if necessary. And after all it is a Christmas dress – so it should still fit even after a month of great food, sweets and no sports.
Additionally to copying the pattern which I only ‘survived’ due to a glass of red and Hector und die Entdeckung der Zeit, a great audio book , I managed to wash my fabric. So since I have a few days off at the end of the week, I am positive to catch up and show more of my soon-to-be-Christmas-dress next week. Although this not even one of Catherine’s deadlines. Which means I might even be ahead of the class ;-) Hurray!
So, I am off now to have a look at what you have been up to.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Weihnachtskleid sew along – Fabric Choosing

Oh dear, only the second round of the Christmas dress sew along, my favourite creative challenge at the moment and...

... I already have to draw the PANIC card. And that is supposed not to happen until the 19th December ;-(
found here

Choosing the pattern was easy, but choosing the fabric seemed impossible. My lovely readers Doris, Christiane and Wiebke suggested ‘Viskosejersey’ or ‘Merinojersey’ as ideal material for my pattern and so the decision was made: I am going to sew my first jersey dress.
And then I had a look around and all I found was...
... cheery stripes...

... weird camouflage patterns...

... cute children patterns...

... and boring unis.

All fabrics found at Stoff & Stil and believe me those were the ones which were still quite okay. I want to spare you the horrible flower, batik, punk-style jerseys which I found elsewhere.
No fabric for an elegant, vintage-inspired Christmas dress ;-( Unfortunately I also haven’t had time to go to the Stoffmarkt or Berlins Welt der Stoffe, so I had to turn to my beloved stash –  full of fabrics which I simply loved without having a project in mind. And guess what I found. The perfect fabric. Right there before my nose.

It isn’t jersey, unfortunately, so there will be lots of ironing involved in the making as well as the wearing process, but I am willing to deal with it. I LOVE this fabric, because...
... it is elegant (the black and white is a bit Chanel, n’est pas?)...
... it is a tiny bit ethnic (if you look very closely you can see little chamois bucks jumping out of the tendril pattern)...

... it is unusual (not something you could find at H&M and the like)...
... and the pattern will look gorgeous with it. Ummmh, well I hope it will look gorgeous and I hope that I can refrain from swearing during the sewing process, because white fabrics means, I will have to make a lining dress as well, I am afraid. Oh well, it is a challenge after all ;-)

Ahhh, I cannot wait to see what fabrics you have chosen. And I am particularly curious whether Friederike has decided to do the same dress like me or not. I hope she did, because I would love to see which fabric she has chosen and how the same dress looks in two different variants. So I am off to browse...

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Monday, November 14, 2011

Weihnachtskleid sew along – Pattern Choosing

Decision made. It was not easy but it is done. I have decided which will be the pattern of my Christmas dress in the Weihnachtskleid sewalong. It is a pattern that I wanted to do for a long time.
First I didn’t had the pattern. I almost ordered it in the US, but luckily asked my sewing girls-friends whether I should order something for them as well in order to make it worth the international postage. And guess what? My friend J. had exactly the pattern I wanted and she offered to borrow it to me. Not only that, she even sent it to me by mail. How cool and lovely is that?  Now she is in Minnesota for 9 months and you can read here what she is experiencing there. Thanks again J. for lending me the pattern. I will treat it very well and when you are back you can choose one from my stash of patterns.
Ok then I had the pattern, but I hadn’t had time to get started: work, baby, blah-blah...
And then Catherine came along with her brilliant idea of the Christmas dress sew along. And then there was no doubt, it had to be this dress.

Now the next challenge is choosing the right fabric. It needs to be soft and swingy but not too thin and transparent. And I need to buy new fabric (what a shame ;-)) because in my huge stack there isn’t one of 3m lengths. And that is what you need for the circular skirt.
Butterick suggestes the following fabrics: crepe, matted jersey (too casual for my liking!), soft linen (too summery, I also want to wear the dress with tights at Christmas), soft faille (not sure what faille is ;-(), crepe de chine, cotton (too much ironing!), cotton blends...
Any suggestions from your side regarding the perfect fabric are very welcomed!!!

Saturday, November 12, 2011


Oh well, I wanted to blog day and night after I finished my big project at work… and now I wash constantly, change bedding, cook potatoes and rice... in short I have a sick child at home. And I can do nothing but trying to comfort her and do the washing. Again. And again. And again.

Well, see you when she is better ;-(

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Wedding Anticipation Set

I am so excited! My little sister is getting married next year. She and her boyfriend just came back from a trip to South Africa and announced the good news. I am so happy for her. He is a great guy and they are a wonderful couple (for more than 6 years). So I think it is wonderful that we will celebrate them and their love big times. Because that is what weddings are all about, isn’t it.
picture found here
Since we live 800km apart, sharing anticipation and taking part in the preparation is not easy, but I still wanted to let her know how excited I am and to give her reason to dream and plan. Therefore I sent her a little
Wedding Anticipation Set
It contained:
A bridal magazine – most of them are horrible and consumption focussed, I know, but I think they are a great way to see what is out there in bridal world (which can be a scary world I can tell you) and make up your mind about what you want and most importantly what you don’t want.
A blank notebook – for taking notes of all the beautiful things and amazing ideas which you come across during your bridal research, I lost a number of papers with fabulous ideas because they just got lost in my stash of paperwork, therefore I love to have everything bound and in the same place.
Post-Its – to mark the page with the beautiful idea in the magazine full of things you don’t want to read or see again or for little ideas, but please make sure to stick them into the notebook, they will get lost otherwise, I promise you
The list of my favourite 5 wedding blogs – which you can easily find at the righthandside of my blog, I like them because they are different to the fairy-tale-pink-princess-stuff that you often find in bridal magazines, they offer warm-hearted, affordable, creative and alternative ideas which makes a wedding so much more beautiful
The Ultimate Wedding To Do List – I know you can find such extensive To-Do-Lists in every bridal magazine, but I found them always quite daunting, they included millions of things which I didn’t want to do, traditions I have never heard about, but forgot important legal things which are mandatory in Germany, therefore I created my own version and offered sister to use it as a guide and change it into her Ultimate Wedding To Do List
Unwanted advice – yes, I already started with this slightly annoying tradition, just to help her get used to them J, no honestly I think most people give you advice because they want to help you and it is really up to you what you do with them: ignore them, take them into consideration, forget about them, act on them, discuss them with your loved one,...
Of course you could also add a bottle of bubbly, chocolates or the like, but I wanted to give the post no excuse to delay the delivery and it worked. They delivered it into her office in record time  ;-)

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Weihnachtskleid sew along – what a great idea!

A new creative challenge – that is exactly what I need. A reason to get off the sofa and onto my sewing machine. Fortunately Catherine provided me with exactly what I needed – a charming, challenging, creative kick in the b***. Thanks so much for the inspiration, Catherine.

So, let’s start making something beautiful for us, girls. I know we tend to craft 24/7 for our loved ones and most of the time they appreciate the time and effort we put into making Adventskalender (advent calendars) and presents, but... we deserve something beautiful, custom-made and unique as well. So, for a change, please just think about yourself and take part in Catherine’s big creative challenge: “Christmas dress sew along”.

I already have a very special pattern in mind which I would like to make, but since I still have a week to decide on the pattern, I will start looking around for inspiration right now. So, see you later...

Monday, November 7, 2011

St.Martin’s Day

On Friday it is St.Martin’s Day. I know most of you won’t be familiar with this celebration. It is a very German thing, I thought, but after reading this I think it is a very European thing.

Anyway, in Germany it is not a super-duper important celebration either, except for Kindergarten kids. I still remember the excitement I felt when I was little. You crafted lanterns at Kindergarten before, and then you were allowed to go out at dark and run around with your friends (and parents). Sometimes there was even St.Martin himself on his horse accompanying the lantern procession. One lantern or other would always go up in flames. And in the end you got hot chocolate and a cookie. Kids adventure pure.
Now my little one is about to celebrate her first St.Martin’s Day. I am not sure whether she is ready for the whole adventure, but I cannot wait ;-). A few things seem to have changed in the past 35 years, however. First of all the lanterns are not crafted at Kindergarten anymore (or maybe just with children who are already able to either use scissors or a glue stick). Also candles are not allowed due to security reasons. You have to use LED-lights nowadays, so I guess the going-up-in-flames bit won’t happen anymore. I just hope St.Martin shows up, otherwise I will need a double shot of hot chocolate to overcome my disappointment ;-).
Anyway, since I have been raised with a new self-made lantern every year of my childhood, I just couldn’t buy a lantern for my little one. I had to make one. Since she is only 1,5 years, she wasn’t a great help, but she did pick up the waxed paper from my stash ;-)

I started off with a cheese box (as you do ;-)) and then just added waxed paper and some dollies (basically to cover the bottom bit since I didn’t had enough waxed paper and I didn’t want the cheese box to be visible). It is a bit more girly than I would normally like, but somehow I was in a sweet mood. And I guess it makes up for the lack of girly clothing on my little one. Maybe people then recognize that she is a girl even if she wears jeans and neutral colors day in and out.  And I cherish the years that I can get away without a Princess Lilifee lantern. Maybe it is just this year anyway ;-)

Ahhh, I cannot wait for Friday!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

What‘s next?

I guess, you cannot believe your eyes. Two new blog posts in a row. Whoa!!! I know it is quite a change from the past months, but I am back. Truly back and I am bursting of creative juices and I have so many things to tell you that I don’t know where to start.

Unfortunately I cannot show you any finished projects at the moment, because I haven’t had time to do any things-I-love-to-do in the past weeks – oh well, I know I am melodramatic, there were a few things but not nearly enough for my liking.
Anyway, but I have great plans:
·     Build a play kitchen for the little one as Christmas present (making the play kitchen will be my Christmas present to myself, I cannot wait to get the compass saw out of the basement)

·     Sew a ton of really cool scarfs for Christmas (I have a very cool pattern for a children scarf which I want to enlarge to make it adult size)

·    Bake a ton of cookies – seriously, I cannot wait to unpack my cookie cutters and this year I want to go beyond the tried-and-tested-and-much-loved  butter cookies.

·     Make wonderful relaxing bath salts and using them ;-)

·      Get my hair cut and coloured (there is a time when plucking your grey hairs isn’t a solution anymore and my time is NOW)

·      Have a lot of mulled wine at Christmas markets (after 4 years abstinence due to our stay in Australia and breastfeeding)

·      Finally sew a shift dress of the wonderful houndstooth fabric that has been lying around forever

But before I start with all of these projects, I try to get well and send my warmest wishes to the fabulous bloggers who meet in Berlin today. I don’t want to spread my germs otherwise I would be with you that is for sure. Have a great, inspiring afternoon! I know you will have anyway ;-)

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Hurray, it is done!

It is unbelievable, but it is true.

I have finally finished this huge project at work which has tied me up for the past couple of weeks, no really months.

I am so glad!
That it is over. That I have a life again. That I can sleep at night.

I am so proud!
That the presentation went so well. That I managed to finish it on time despite working part time. That I haven’t forgotten how this job works during my maternity leave.

And of course I am sick!
Nothing serious, just one of the nasty colds that my little one seems to bring home from child care every week. Only this time, it caught me ;-( Maybe because I slowed down a little bit after the presentation. And then the bacteria or virus of whatever it was, caught up.

Anyway, I am happy. I am relaxed (amazing what 2 days of doing nothing can do). I am full of energy and I cannot wait to do creative things, to bake, to read and to tend to this little blog of mine. I missed it soooo much.

Hope you are still there. And hope that you have a good time as well at the moment!

See you soon! And with soon, I mean, tomorrow. Hurray!