Thursday, October 29, 2009

Holiday Crafting OCD

Starting in late September, I sort of lose it. My focus. My "me time". My lists. Under more lists. Covered by lists-of-lists.

Here's why. I love the holiday season. I love crafting and baking. So I try to do it all. By myself, of course. Handmade, as much as possible.

Gifts for Christmas. Gifts for two children's birthdays. Gifts for three advent calendars. Gifts for St. Nicholas day. Giveaways for two childrens' birthday guests.

Handcrafted invitations for two children's birthday parties. Handcrafted invitations for our yearly advent cookie party. Handcrafted Christmas cards. Handcrafted decorations.

Baking for the cookie party (20 to 30 sorts.) Baking for two children's birthdays. Baking for Christmas.

To fill the empty minutes (let's not waste any time here) I have a cross stitch Christmas stocking calling my name.

I love the holidays. Such a wonderful time for relaxed family togetherness. Ahem. And I really do love this time. Could we just spread it out a little? Over... nine months, maybe? (Having a baby sure wasn't this much work!)

Anyone else out there suffer this Holiday OCD affliction? Tell me I'm not alone!

Parting shot:

I thought I'd wait until December to show my handmade advent calendars. But now seems more timely really; maybe someone can use them for inspiration. So here's the first of the bunch.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Girl's pants (Phew!)

So I finished the Ottobre pants, and DD still didn't have a thing (read: lined pants) to wear. I still had a remnant of teal corduroy from this dress, and enough surplus energy/frustration to cut into it right away.
I put a suitable pair of pants on top, and started cutting around it. Wait... Let's not cut in anger, unless you want this to happen:
1. I cut the thing too small/tight.
2. I discovered I'd cut on the cross-grain. With corduroy. Very funny.
3. To remedy 1., I decided to put in side panels, didn't find a piece of corduroy big enough for it, rummaged around some more, finally found one, and cut apart one of the legs.
4. After sleeping on it, and considering trashing it all, I decided not to let a few little glitches get in the way of a nice pair of pants. I proceeded to patch together a new pant leg from the remnants, cut pockets, put in the side panels and a lining, and even added a little matryoshka to offset all the negative energy.
What can I say? DD loves the pants and hardly took them of since.
Here's to unintentional design elements. Anyone care to tell me about theirs?

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Girl's pants Ottobre 1/2008 no. 7

I've been sewing a bit, two pairs of girl's pants. Here's the first:

As always with Ottobre I was a bit exasperated with all the time-consuming details, but the end result is worth it. As is not usually the case, the made up size 104 didn't fit DD. I had taken out a bit of width before sewing, but she's not only swimming in them width-wise, they are also much too long. With the leg tabs and the fact that I fully lined them, I decided not to alter them, but wait it out. They ought to fit next winter.
The details:
Next up: the pair I sewed together without a pattern after finding out these were too big!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

SWALP - and Jacket BWOF 9/2007 no. 105

I would, probably, rationally, not attempt a SWAP. Not as long as the children are little. Not as long as my attention span is shorter than the thread on my needle. Not as long as my inner teenager battles my inner sewing instructor.

I may, however, be in the middle of a SWALP (sewing with a little plan) right now. In this post I named a table runner, kids' pants and a jacket from my most recent fabric spree as a tentative plan.
Runner? Check. Girls' pants? Almost done. Jacket? Weeeellll...

I have a confession to make: Last year, I attempted my first jacket:

All went well. Until I got to the collar. Here's the sad story in pictures:

I tried to fix it, ended up where I started, lost heart (and fabric, since this was ravelling terribly), and finished the jacket as it was. ("Maybe it won't be so bad if I look at it next week." Right.)

There's one more year of intense sewing experience (no tailoring though) between then and now. Is it time for another jacket?

SWALP says yes. I'd really like this:

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Autumnal table runner

I coveted Wendy's autumn table runner from the beginning, and promptly forgot about it (ah, the many inspirations on the internet!).

"All of a sudden" I craved a quilted runner in autumnal colors, revising my original plan of appliquéing autumn leaves onto a solid background. Yesterday, when I was deep into piecing the runner (and realizing I might just lack the patience to do a lot of patchwork/quilting), I looked at Wendy's blog. All right. Now I remember!

A few notes on construction:

It's a very balanced runner regarding the fabric sources: the forest animal fabric and the brown dots are from fabric markets, the green dots and orange print bought on the internet, and the orange solid as well as the lining from IKEA!

I started with making a template for cutting out the animal motifs, and then framing them in strips of brown fabric. Parallel to this, I randomly sewed together strips of orange, orange print and green fabric, cutting apart and sewing together again and again, until I ran out of steam. I almost left the project there and then, not sure if the oranges would go with the animal patches, but I really wanted this finished today, as this is German Thanksgiving! So instead of continuing with the patching, I sewed the animal patches on top of the orange/green piece, and rather like the result.

I did not quilt it after all, just lined with white muslin fabric and bound the edges with self-made binding. I wanted the table runner to be rather thin so I could set the table without removing it.

German Unification day: We climbed one of the seven (small) mountains south of Bonn by the Rhine river. Here are some of the views:

It's been 20 years (almost) since the Berlin wall came down, and 19 years since the reunification. I, for one, am happy for the freedom the last 20 years have brought the German people, and many others. If the next 20 years could improve the political landscape as much...

Oh, and I don't say this nearly enough: Thank you for all your nice, supportive, cheering comments. They make my day! And thank you for reading.


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