Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year!

... and this and that. A lot of sewers do end-of-year recaps; I didn't last year but might now since I'm a bit dissatisfied with my own output. Although I know it's for all the right reasons. Sigh.

(Christmas present no. 1)

So this was 2010:

Garments for me: 12
Garments for children: 9
Other: 4 tote bags, 3 pillowcovers (not blogged), 2 hats, 1 costume

Altogether: 31 items

UFOs: 3 (Christmas dress, navy skirt suit I haven't blogged about)

To compare, my output as put on this blog in 2009 was:

Garments for me: 7
Garments for children: 19
Other: 2 capes, 2 costumes, 1 table runner, 2 bags, 1 hat

Altogether: 34 items

UFOs: 2 (blouse, chanel jacket)

- Okay, 2010 didn't compare as badly as I'd expected. I think my dissatisfaction has to do with two things: First, I didn't make much during the last quarter of 2010 (except for my Christmas crafting extravaganza). Second, I made quite a few involved projects (three coats/jackets) that took some time and energy but didn't translate into "I made a lot"! -

As you've probably read between the lines, I didn't finish my Christmas dress in time. In the end, all that was left for sewing was the middle of the night, and I feel a bit too old, eh, tired for that. I'm not sure when I'll finish it; that probably depends on when I get another occasion to wear it (and enough pressure to sew it!).

I got 2 little sewing gifts for Christmas. Don't feel sorry for me; the fabric cupboards are full, and I have more sewing books than I can use at the moment (not to mention no space for new machines). So the thimble pictured above was the perfect, space-efficient gift! I also got a sorely needed pair of embroidery scissors. (Until now I cut my bottonholes open with nail scissors. I'm not sure you wanted to know that!)

I also received some money for personal (read: sewing) use which would be just enough for a Burda subscription that is now offered with a complimentary (at greatly reduced price) dress-form. (I hope to finish my sewing room early next year so I'll have space for it.)

It's the Prym "Prymadonna". Does anyone have experience with this dress form? My personal fitting challenges on top are mostly a long torso (do dress forms adjust for that?), skinny neck, square shoulder. I'd love to hear your input!

I wish you all a happy, healthy New Year. May the spirit of the holidays and the excitement for a new beginning carry you through the next twelve months!

(Next up: sewing resolution recap)

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Merry Christmas (Dress)!

This is the sad state of my current Christmas dress.

What is taking me so long?

First, I resolved not to add to my to do-list by planning to sew another dress.

- As I've hinted before, knowing how to sew for me leads to delusions about having to DIY pretty much everything, especially during the Christmas season. I made decorations, photo calendars, a photo book, cards, gift tags, pillowcases, gingerbread houses, cookies, and we recorded a family Christmas tunes CD (complete with CD cover artwork). Phew. -

Then, I thought scrap that, after making all sorts of stuff for others I really deserve a dress for myself. I even found a suitable wool-mix crepe in our town's tiny, obscure, remnant-roll-filled fabric shop. And a real silk lining.

- When I asked about the fabric content of the crepe (I thought it felt like wool), the shop's little saleswoman cut off a small piece, whipped out her lighter, and made the famous burn test (that I'd never seen nor done). Wool with poly, she says. -

I really, really wanted to make the infamous tulip skirt dress from BurdaStyle 8-2009, but couldn't for the life of me find that magazine (which I have!). Time was slipping away from me, so I settled on BWOF 11-2008-112 and got started. I try to steal an hour here and there which might not be enough to finish by Thursday night (Christmas festivities commence early on Christmas Eve here in Germany).

What do you think, dear sewing friends?

Can I get the dress done?

And are you a creative specialist yourself (only sewing) or a jack-of-all-creative endeavors?

I would like to thank all of you, my readers whom I consider my sewing friends and who have made my year so enjoyable, and wish you a very Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Teaching, Fudging and Old Dresses

This post shall be about teaching and fudging, mainly, but since I don't have pictures of either, and a sewing post just isn't all that attractive without pictures, here's a Christmas dress I made, uh, ten years ago or so?

(Sorry for the ten-years-in-the-closet wrinkles.)

It's a BWOF pattern that I made after having loved 60s style dresses for quite some time, and deciding it was time to make one. I didn't sew regularly then (although I believe this was the Christmas I cranked out the dress, a girl's tartan Christmas dress and two fleece pullovers). The interior finishing is terrible, definitely fudged, but I'm not going to show it to you!

I also have acquired two sewing students. One is my husband's niece who just turned 11. When I show up at her house, armed with pattern magazines and an idea how to proceed slowly - you know, one session to choose and copy the pattern, one to cut and prep the fabric, one or more to sew - she informs me she would like to make this (pulling out an RTW garment) in whatever fabric, today.

Thus, last session, I made my first pattern copied from a finished garment (who's the student then?), in this case a very simple shrug with long sleeves. She cut it out, sort of leaving seam allowances, sewed it together, sort of straight, hemmed it and happily wears it now. Definitely fudged, but she had fun, likes the result, and who am I to say sewing a garment should take longer than a scant day?

My other student is my age, has taken a sewing class and made a couple of garments before, and likes to quiz me on "the right way" to do the next action. Half the time I have to admit that I just sorta, kinda do it like this or like that, and yes, fudge it. She is undeterred and says that she hopes a less perfectionistic approach to sewing will mean more fun and more frequent sewing for her!

What do you think? Would you prefer a perfectionistic sewing teacher, or a more laid-back approach?

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Embroidered Advent Calendar

I was going to name this post "Festive Madness", but I've gone there before, and it's really no use complaining anymore. I'm fine, just busy, and if anyone has a recipe for making sewing time in between all the year-end festivities and preparations, please share!

Debi inspired me to put up a post on embroidery. Embroidery/cross-stitch was my sanity-to-go when spending weeks at the hospital during my pregnancy with DD, and later when she got sick a lot and I stayed home with her. During this last phase, in her first year, I made this cross-stitch advent calendar. It's a counted cross-stitch from a magazine. I framed it with red silk, and hung it up with the aid of a drumstick (DH is a drummer; clever, no?).

As you see, on the day before December 1st, the calendar has not been filled. Aaaah, madness...

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Festive Girl's Dress

Sewing therapy, anyone?

One simply can't maintain the blahs or blues when sewing yards and yards of pink duchesse satin, rose-embroidered taffeta and deliciously rustling silk organza!


I reviewed this season's "social calendar" (mostly consisting of family birthdays, holidays and, yes, my ballet recital!) and, in a spur-of-the moment sewing decision, resolved to sew DD an all-out party/"princess" dress. Here it is!


DD, if I haven't mentioned it before, is a very girly girl. No pink is too sweet, no glitter too bright, and no day too ordinary to put on a sparkly crown.

I think this hits the nail on the head!

(Note the stylish leggings and socks!)

Since my stash of satin and taffeta is rather small, I hit the nearest department store and paid double the fabric market price, boo. I also used some silk organza originally bought for the legions of Chanel-style jackets I will make someday (right). While I own some silk garments, I hadn't sewn with silk before. The incomparable sound of rustling organza made every Austen novel I've ever read come alive!

Some info:

I used Burdastyle 11/2010/151 for the bodice pattern, width graded down, length graded up, and added almost 3 inches on the bottom because the pattern has a strong empire line.
The sash is made of two bands sewn of both fashion fabrics and sandwiched between the front and back bodice pieces when sewing the side seams.
I then gathered all available width of skirt fabric (about 140 cm) and sewed that to the bodice.
I fully lined the dress, with a light blue polka dot cotton on top and twice the skirt width of organza on the bottom. I also bound the bottom of the underskirt with a pink lining fabric so it would look pretty when peeking through!

(Inside out, and from below.)

I also took some technique inspiration from the beautiful dresses seen around the internet and added a lapped, pickstitched zipper and understitched the neckline so the satin would lie as smoothly as possible.

DD reserves her right to wear things her way. In this case, bow in front ("Much prettier!").

Happy dress. Happy girl. Happy sewing!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Leggings Kwik Sew 3661

Now this was a qick project. Estimated sewing time (after having cut them out with the leotard), um, 15 minutes?

Not hemming them helped, of course. Look how short they are, unhemmed. Almost shorter than on the envelope model.

Now this can't be right, because while I'm not short, I'm most definitely short-legged. As evidenced by these pictures of the whole ensemble:

I also have a long torso and added over an inch in length to the leotard. The instructions were very helpful, giving exact crotch and back length measurements, and telling me how to lengthen it. Now this may be my first leotard I won't have to continually tug down!
I'm not sure whether I'll sew the ballet skirt or just another leotard with the remnants. The only person who ever wore a skirt when I was a kid in ballet class was the elderly teacher... Am I there yet?
What do you think? Is a ballet skirt a yea or a nay?

Friday, October 22, 2010

Ode to Liberty's

I don't normally go for "brand" names. Unless I'm truly convinced they stand for superior quality or design. Unless the brand/store embodies all I find beautiful. Unless the brand/store makes shopping a purely enjoyable experience - no ugly attacks on the eyes/ears/nose like most high street and department stores offer.
(The gallery at Liberty's with a giant flower installation/art/decor.)

Aaaah. Liberty.

The only negatives I have to offer are the ugly makeover they gave their tea room (why??) and the prices. To be honest though, their fabric goes far beyond what I can buy at fabric markets for 5-15 Euros per metre. So here's about 5-10 fabric markets metre's worth of Liberty fabric:

Dear friends, I have two questions. One, how dare I ever cut into it? Two, what pattern to use? I have 1,5 metres (it's wool and silk), and I'd like to make a blouse/tunic, as usual from Burda Style or maybe Ottobre Woman patterns.

I also bought some cotton duck at Cath Kidston with a cutesy London print I'm probably too old for but will still make into a bag or tote of some sort:

DH upon entering Cath Kidston's said "Now here's a real girl's store!". I think he's right, and too much Cath Kidston might make for a toothache. But it's still fun to see Asian tourists pile their shopping baskets full of flowery knick-knacks! And, I love that she doesn't just sell the stuff but the fabrics, too.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

We're Back!

And I've had my fill of

  • Tube hopping
  • Bus riding
  • Museum strolling
  • Cream tea
  • Fish'n chips

(Challenge: Which picture doesn't have at least two self-stitched garments in it?)

  • Bookstore browsing
  • Window shopping
  • Park ambling
  • Monument gazing
  • Squirrel watching
  • Palace stalking
  • Playground visiting.

Next up: My hideously expensive, beautiful Liberty fabric!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Sewing Ballet Clothes: Leotard Kwik Sew 3661

After a month of dressing in whatever decades-old exercisewear I could unearth from the closet, I placed my order for shiny, pink Lycra fabric, fought off DD who wanted it all for herself, and made the leotard (leggings, skirt and other things to follow - possibly).

I don't remember what possessed me to show off my bikini in person (sun induced happy hormones?), but it probably won't happen with this leotard. Can you say lumps and bumps?? (And what made me go for shiny and pink in the first place? There's a reason over 50 % in my ladies' ballet class (average age, umm, mine?) wear black from head to toe. Anyway.)

As you can see (or maybe you're kind enough to overlook it), the seam finishes kind of announce: "Homemade! And she doesn't ever own a serger, coverlock or will use twin needles!" Here's the clou: I like it, anyway. And I'll wear it. That is what Me-Made-May and Self-Stitched September will do for you. If you have unloved homesewn garments hanging in your closet, I say, join us for Me-Made March 2011, and you'll wear it all!

On another note, I'm going to my favorite city in the world next week:

London, here I come!

This will be a family holiday, so there may quite possibly be no fabric shopping but lots of sightseeing. Which is absolutely okay, since I never properly saw the sights anyway, and the children will have a blast looking at a real Queen's palace etc. (I had a bit of a hard time convincing DS that yes, the English really have a Queen. No, royalty doesn't just exist in fairy tales!)

We're leaving next week, but there's a family wedding before that, so I may not be blogging for the next couple of weeks or so. Happy sewing!

(Parting shot: A fine fitting pair of pants, with a side order of mud.)

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Boy's Pants "Pont Neuf", Ottobre 4/2010

I sew quite a bit, but I have to admit that I mostly buy the vast amounts of pattern magazines for my own entertainment; if I calculated the average number of garments sewn from one magazine that would be somewhere in the 0.1 vicinity.

The current Ottobre children's magazine, however, has already paid for itself! I made not only the girl's coat, but also these boy's pants from it:

I'd already made a pair of girl's pants from this corduroy fabric (a total fabric market steal, I think it was 5 Euros for 2.5 metres) and wasn't sure at first about the color for boy's pants. I'm very happy with the result though.

I hadn't realized from the pattern that these were - not typical for Ottobre - "skinny pants". I dared cut them really small width-wise, and they fit like a glove. I used a dark olive stretch fabric for the inserts/coin pockets and hope I now have enough left for a skirt. I also used a quilt fabric for the inner waistband and added a hook at DS's request. Details:

As you see, I even added a real zip fly! (And it didn't kill me! Dare I try a pair of grown-up pants soon?) I think I will use this pattern again; it's a really good cut for (slim, long-legged) DS.

Thank you for your encouraging comments regarding the last post! The children seem to be on the mend, and I'm just so thankful to live in this age of modern medicine...

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Self-Stitched September: This Is It

First, thank you so much for all your thoughtful comments on my last post! I'm taking away to be glad he (still) lets me sew for him, and to be receptive to whether or not he will want me to continue.

This September has been a bit rough on me. Both of my children came down with pneumonia, DS is having a tough start in first grade, my thoughts and energies were not on sewing, blogging, documenting.

(Self-stitched: skirt, blouse, lounge pants, skirt, skirt)

I stopped taking pictures halfway through the month. Above are the last ones I took; I also took one (on the far right) today for closure. When taking my picture (and choosing picture-worthy outfits; not necessarily successfully) became more of a chore than anything else I decided to drop the picture-taking. I kept my pledge of wearing at least one self-stitched garment every day, however!

I couldn't keep it up all the time, but a few weeks of getting out the Self-Stitched garments and really putting them to the test has been worth it, again. One surprising discovery: I really do love the navy polka-dot blouse! I just needed SSS to make me get out my skinny jeans (the only bottom this blouse really goes with) from the depths of the closet so I could successfully wear it.

So again, thank you Zoe for initiating this! And thank you to everyone who followed this, and thank you to all the other Self-Stitchers this September who inspired me with their wardrobes.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Sewings for Kids and Peer Pressure

(Adults', mostly...)

It was brought to my attention recently how much the style of my homesewn kids' garments differs from what children "normally" wear.

I honestly hadn't thought about this in a long time, and certainly not considered it when choosing what (style) to sew next.

Now the situation is a bit different from two years ago when I started sewing more, and started sewing for my children. DS was four then; he is now six years old and has started first grade.

He likes what I'm sewing and is, funnily, more self-conscious when he wears RTW garments which he is given sometimes which "look like adult clothes" (his words, when refusing to wear something).

I'd love to hear your thoughts on this. Am I setting DS apart through his homesewn clothes? Should I care?

I'm sure everyone has a story to share on this from their own childhood. Mine's this: My parents refused to buy me "brand name clothes". I'm not sure whether I was treated differently, but I would have loved to fit in. Now, ironically (or not), I'm glad I had this training of being different/doing my own thing.

What do you think? How have you handled this with your kids if you sewed for them?

Thanks for weighing in, and happy sewing!

(Parting shot: decidedly unfashionable appliqué for DS's new pants.)

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Girl's Coat "St-Germain" Ottobre 4/2010

The coat is finished, and if it's all I do for Kids Clothes Week I'll be quite satisfied (though I have more plans, of course).

It's supposed to be a fall jacket; while fall temperatures can vary quite widely here (right now it's like summer), I thought a corduroy jacket with rayon lining alone wouldn't cut it. So I went looking for a quilted lining in pink or purple. When I didn't find one I just bought some cotton fleece and made it myself!

(The fleece cost about as much as all the other coat materials together; these are department store prices and fabric market prices for you!) Quilting was quite fun, but also more time consuming than expected. DD was a bit disappointed the fleece side wouldn't show in the finished coat!

The sleeves are lined with regular lining fabric. I did NOT understand Ottobre's instructions for machine sewing lining and sleeve shell together ("sew sleeves hand in hand". Huh?) but figured it out by pinning them together, turning them through the gap between lining and shell, and sewing. Oh, for a three-dimensional imagination! (I'll order one next time around.)

Details: I'm quite proud of the well-rolling collar. Unfortunately the colors don't show truly; the buttons are the same color as the coat, and sewn on with the same pink embroidery floss as the "poinsettia flower".

Happy (little girl's) sewing!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Kids Clothes Week Challenge

Kids Clothes Week is upon us, and just as well, since I'm still working on the girl's coat. My mojo is low, so little girls' garments are definitely the way to go if I want to have any hope of finishing!

(I also have a navy blue suit cut out. Spend two weeks working on navy blue fabric in grown-up dimensions? Not a flower, polka dot, playful detail in sight? No-o, at least not until the endless rows of PTA meetings and the endless succession of flu in this household have subsided. Then, I might reconsider.)

Have a look what some motivated moms finish in a week's worth of sewing kid's clothes for an hour a day! Me, I hope to finish the coat. Also, I'm toying with sewing some cyclamen pink corduroy cropped pants to go with it. Not that DD needs pants!

(The coat in yesterday's state.)
Funny how I love sewing kids' pants and have put off sewing mine for about half a year by now... I just realized. Might be the lack of cyclamen pink in my wardrobe.

I'm still following Self-Stitched September, I'm just not motivated to put up the row of blurry mirror pictures right now... Or to take better pictures! (And I love taking pictures! Just not of myself, apparently.)

For lack of anything else, here's some of my coat progress so far:

In the lower right you see the dotted poplin lining peeking through the welt pocket. DD was a bit disappointed in my color choice, so I decided to try a little decorative hand embroidery on the lapel facing. It looks like a poinsettia, doesn't it? Completely unintentional.
Not pictured: Shell and lining are done, now onwards to the finishing.
Happy sewing!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Self-Stitched September 7-9

(Self-stitched: blouse, skirt, blouse.)

There is sewing going on here, really.

But first, there were some festivities to get out of the way. Dear company, fun parties, my 40th birthday. I hadn't been looking forward to it, exactly, but I had a fun time and got spoiled. And, as they say, getting to 40 sure beats the alternative!

While I'm glad I have a life, and people in it, that take up my time, I'm always happy to be through with the hoopla, clear off the dining room table, and get back to sewing. Anybody else feel this way?

I meant to get to the Trench Sew-Along, finally. Then I was struck by Trench Fear. Then I decided to cheat a little and get started on this:

Trench style girl's jacket from the current Ottobre issue.

Stay tuned!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Self-Stitched September Days 1-6

The delightful Zoe has gotten me off my behind and into self-stitched clothes again. Me-Made May was a lot of fun and gave my homesewn wardrobe a good workout, so I'm hoping for similar results this Self-Stitched September.

(Days 1-3. Recurrent theme: Skinny jeans. Self-Stitched: Top (under cardigan), blouse, blouse.)

Like last time, I feel the month could have gotten off to a better start. Sick child - check. Lots of non-sewing commitments stealing my time - check. Hardly any preparatory sewing - check.

(Days 4-6. Recurrent theme: Coral color. Self-Stitched: Blouse, jacket, blouse/skirt.)

So there. I may have no more energy than to drag out the first self-stitched thing in the morning, but at least I've done that, and it's been fun so far. And I'm proud of my handmade clothes. I'm even finding outfits in my closet with more than one self-stitched item in them!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Sewing Ballet Clothes (?)

... or: Creating a wardrobe hole, then sewing to fill it.

I'm terrible with exercise, too boring, too sweaty, too... I'd rather sew. The only exercise I ever really enjoyed were ballet classes, but I stopped 20 years ago. I'm turning 40 now, so I thought now or never and took my first class on Tuesday. I'm satisfyingly sore and think I'll stick with it.

Now what? You know the answer. Here's the pattern:

I planned to make it up in navy blue with white accents, but now I'm thinking b-o-r-i-n-g, and have been eyeing the pretty muted colors on the Sewy website.

Also, I've been surfing the dance wear manufacturers' sites, and oohing and aahing. It would be very possible to buy something pretty. And it's not like all my fall sewing will get done, take or leave a ballet outfit on top of it.

What do you think? Have you sewn exercise wear? Any feedback on the pattern? Your remedy when you think you have to make it all yourself (but know you can't)?

Happy sewing!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

A "New" Silhouette

It's August, but the weather is more like October. I'm not ready to get out the chunky cardigan just yet, but I'm not keen on being cold either.

So yesterday, I got out my trusty brown wool vest (rtw) and put it over a me-made puff sleeved blouse and skirt (and it isn't even Self-Stitched-September yet!). Viola! A whole new silhouette, a bit Dirndl (the Bavarian folk wear, not the skirt), a bit 1930's. Today's a repeat performance with another self-stitched blouse and skirt. Love. I never thought to wear this blouse with that skirt, but it works. Isn't it fun to try out new combinations from the closet? (I don't do this nearly enough.)

No sewing going on here (other than a placemat and a couple of keychains for the school cone). My oldest child starts 1st grade on Tuesday. I'm not ready for this at all. Can't they grow up a bit slower?

Wishing you all better weather and fun with your own homesewn clothes!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Blouse Burda "Frankenpattern"

Three's a charm, so here's my third, best-fitting blouse so far:

The inspiration:
Fall fashion previews made me crave a flowered blouse to wear with chunky cardigans when the time comes. As usual, I'm fastest when I begin to sew after inspiration strikes. I thought of this on Thursday, decided on a stash fabric (intended for pajamas!) and sewed the bodice on Friday and finished it up today.

How I did it:

I started with pattern Burda 8/2007/114 that I made this blouse from. Since that was a bit snug in the bust and billowy in the waist especially in back, I tried it on and decided to add a good inch in front. To take out the front width in the waist, and to further take in the back, I took the back darts of the original pattern (2 of them) and tripled them - 4 in back, 2 in front. I looked at a RTW blouse and positioned the front darts about 1/2 inch down and towards the middle from the bust darts' tip, the back darts were just spaced somewhat evenly. I lucked out, the fit is great:
(Worn with skirt Burda 4/2009/101 reviewed here.)
Other changes made to the bodice front and back:
I made the bottom curve more shallow and as usual (I have a long torso) a bit longer.
The armholes were cut a bit deeper.
The shoulder curve was straightened by about 1/3 inch. I did this by taking a bit off at the neck side of the shoulder since I have a slim neck and didn't want to tighten the armhole.
I just "re-drafted" with my shears, so I don't have a pattern of the changes I made. Hopefully I'll remember to look it up here next time!
I then took the sleeves and collar from pattern 3/2010/124 which I made here. I made the sleeve band according to my arm circumference not the pattern. I didn't redraft the sleeve after changing the armhole because this sleeve has a lot of ease which took care of any differences.
After not quite liking the collar (and doing it upside down) last time I did a lot of measuring and a bit of re-sewing this time to get it right. Sewing collars still isn't my favorite, but it worked! I also added shell pink buttonholes and button thread. Why? Because I could!
One last question:
I think this fabric is called "dotted Swiss cotton" in English (I love how light and transparent it is! See the gratuitous "lightbox" shot above.) What is it called in German? (I think I know more English sewing words than Germans by now, thanks to all the English sewing blogs!)
Here's to sewing when everything goes just right!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

I'm back!

We had the most wonderful vacation - though we didn't get to do to the Netherlands but a small German island in the North Sea. Look at this:

Don't you want to take off your shoes, dig your toes in the sand, and breathe?

The weather and all the biking we did called for rugged garments like jeans and tees, so not a lot of homesewn clothes got worn. But I made a little collage that has a me-made garment or accessory in every picture:
I missed you all, and since I haven't sewn a stitch in about four weeks, I miss sewing. Yeah, poor me, all that vacation and gorgeous summer weather!

Sunday, July 18, 2010


Lindsay tagged me, and I think it's fun to think about questions I wouldn't ask myself. Such as:
Which pattern/vintage style have you been thinking about lately?

I'm not into vintage patterns. I appreciate a certain nostalgic style of dressing, but hunting down vintage patterns is just too much of an effort for this die-hard Burda collector who can easily find ten patterns for high-waisted trousers etc. etc. in her Burda stash.

I remember thumbing through my mom's old Burdas when I was little, but those were the 70s and I'm not sad they don't exist anymore!

I tried to find out what kinds of patterns were used in Germany before Burda. I came upon a couple of pattern books but nothing else. If anyone knows more about this I'd love to hear it!

(I also asked my mom who famously together with her sisters made all their wardrobes in the late 40's/50's. Well. They didn't use patterns because none were available (to them). They just took whatever detail they liked in others' garments and copied them. Later, there was Burda.)

Because a post without pictures isn't fun, here's a real vintage garment my mother made and wore when she was pregnant with me (exactly 40 years ago):

I wore it, too when I was pregnant. Luckily we have the same figures. Detail pics:

What is the one place you want to visit you've never been before?

This may be subject to change (as a child it would have been Egypt, later Australia), but for now it's Israel/Palestine.

How do you relax?

Contrary to other sewers I don't find sewing per se relaxing. I relax by reading, eating a leisurely meal (or chocolate!), taking a walk.

What is your favorite holiday/ vacation?

I really like visiting cities. Not necessarily to see the sights but just to wander and take it all in. I loved Leningrad in 1988, Berlin in the 90s, all the long weekends in Paris before the kids, New York City in 2000, but my all time favorite city is London. Love it. Could spend weeks just walking there (and eating, and shopping...).

What is/are sewing skills you want to learn/try out?

I'm not very ambitious in my sewing, just going where my fancy takes me. Who knows where?

Can you knit? Crochet? Other crafting talents?
I knitted a few pairs of socks when I was flat out on my back during my last pregnancy. I also did a lot of cross stitch then. I know how to crochet, and there's no textile craft I wouldn't study given the time.

What garment/accessory do you wear most often?

My watch. And some sort of cardigan.

How much time do you spend reading blogs (per day/per week)?

Oh my. My only saving grace is that I don't just read sewing blogs when surfing the 'net. Unless I feel a surge of energy to sew or have a rare appointment at night, I often spend a couple of hours on the sofa with my laptop before going to bed!

Your motto/mantra?

I don't have a catch phrase per se, but I try to live by putting kindness and thankfulness first.


I'd like to tag Karin of The Mrs., because she lives where I'm going next and Wendy of West 38th because she sews beautiful vintage patterns. If anyone else wants to play, I'd love to read your musings, so consider yourself tagged as well!

I'm off on vacation in a week or so. (Yes, we like to leave our planning until the last minute!) If things go well we'll go to the Netherlands again, which means Knipmode magazines and fabric outlet shopping in Alkmaar. I may not have time to blog until then, so I'll see you nice and relaxed sometime in August. Happy sewing!


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