Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Me Made Monat Februar and: Entschuldigung

(Scroll down for English...)


Wie Ihr wisst, bin ich ein großer Fan der Me-Made Monate und habe schon zwei Mal bei Zoe mitgemacht. Jetzt hat die wunderbare deutsche Bloggerin Catherine einen Me Made Monat Februar angeregt, an dem ich teilnehmen werde - wie immer in der Hoffnung, mal was Neues genäht zu haben/mich originell zu stylen/gute Fotos zu machen. Ähem. Oder einfach nur dabei zu sein.

Aus diesem Anlass und an dieser Stelle jetzt die längst fällige Entschuldigung, dass ich nicht (auch) auf Deutsch blogge. Was kann ich sagen? Ich bin einfach zu faul dafür und schon froh, wenn ich irgendeinen Post (geschweige denn zweisprachig... gut gestylt... ordentlich fotografiert...) fertig bekomme. Und insgesamt nehme ich an, dass von denen, die hier lesen, mehr (auch) Englisch als (auch) Deutsch sprechen.

Falls Euch das sehr stört, hinterlasst mir bitte einen Kommentar - vielleicht bin ich nicht mehr zu faul wenn ich weiß, dass jemanden meine Ergüsse auf Deutsch wirklich interessieren!

(Erster Tag des letztjährigen Me-Made May.)

(First day of last year's Me-Made May.)


As you know, I loved participating in Zoe's Me-Made May/Self-Stitched September. So imagine my happy dance when reading that lovely German blogger Catherine has initiated a Me-Made February of her own. I'm in!

And here's my overdue apology to any German-speaking readers who find it less comfortable to read English than German. I'm afraid I'm just too lazy to write my posts in both languages, and I assume there are more English-speaking readers than German-speaking ones.

Does anybody out there really, truly care? Leave me a comment, I might just change my lazy ways!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Boy's Romper Ottobre 4-2010-4

I never made baby clothes for my children. When I decided to sew more, very consciously, to offset some stressors in my life, DD was almost two, and DS four years old.
So, when some friends and their 6-week-old baby boy announced their visit recently, I decided to right this situation and make something for baby. I loved dressing my babies in footless rompers/overalls, so when I saw a pattern for one in last year's Ottobre I decided to make it up.
The fabric is a very soft small wale corduroy, lined in cotton lawn, with contrast piping and an elephant appliqué. The piping was a first for me, and while I really like the effect, my suspicions were confirmed that piping only works when sewing quite exactly. Which I usually don't.
The elephant appliqué was inspired by a girl's tunic I saw on the Boden website. Ottobre has a pattern for a bunny appliqué which is also very cute.
I have one gripe with the Ottobre instructions: They tell you to close the front leg seams, which to me means left and right. The left seam needs to be left open though for the closure, which I overlooked while sewing in a hurry. Seaming plus piping plus two rows of topstitching equals quite a bit of cussing when unpicking.
Other than that, it's a very cute, nicely drafted pattern. Knowing that Ottobre runs wide I made up a 62 in width, 68 in length. Sigh. Now for more babies to sew for!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Sentimental (Quilt) Sewing

Our son is moving out.
That didn't come out right. DS is seven years old, and he is moving out of the bedroom he has shared with his sister for the last five years.

His new room will be upstairs. Up until now we have pretty much lived in each other's pockets. The shared bedroom was so small the living room had to double as a play room. The dining table did triple duty as a sewing table and desk for homework as well as having to be cleared off every few hours for a meal.

I probably complained a fair bit, but to be honest I also enjoyed our close quarters. Now DS and DD will have their own rooms, and I will even get a new office/sewing room right under the eaves. There will be days we will be on three different floors. I will get used to it.

Anyway, DS getting his own room called for some sewing. And what embodies sentimental sewing better than a quilt?

I have no patience for small scale patchwork. The whole quilt is about 2 meters by 1.3 meters, the pieces roughly 25 cm (10 in) square. It is still a scrap quilt, though, including fabrics from the last fifteen years.

The print I used on a pair of his sister's pants. The diaper bag fabric from when DS's cousin was born.

The curtain fabric from DH's and my first shared apartment. The small scale print I used for his uncle's napkin-and-tablecloth set.
The set of prints bought for his aunt's beach bag.
The seaside fabric bought on the island we spent so many vacations on. The striped ticking I made a beach bag for DS's godmother from.

Interlined with an old flannel sheet of his Grandmother's. Quilted in the ditch (sort of), hoping it will hold up!

We tried out the quilt on his "new" bed (that served me well during my student years at university, ah memories...), and the room started looking like home.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

My Grandmother's Needlebook/Resolutions

My grandmother was born in 1899, in a different century and a different world; Germany still had a Kaiser.

She started working as a child, had her first real job at age 14, and did not have much in the way of wordly goods. But she had five daughters and a treadle sewing machine. When my mom sees me sewing before a holiday she remarks how her mother would try to make all her girls new (or re-made) dresses and used to sew into the night before Christmas and Easter.

My grandmother was 71 when I was born; I never saw her sew, but she always had to do something, be productive with her hands, and she showed her love with one handknit sweater... and socks... and mittens after the other. I still have the last sweater she knit me; she died in 1986.

My mom who hoards everything found and gave me this needlebook. She thinks it must have been made by one of my older cousins as a school project-cum-present for my grandmother. A special little thing.

I've been thinking about resolutions for the coming year. While I'm impressed by other sewers' technique and ambition, my reasons for sewing are a bit different, so this year I'll try to resolve accordingly.

This is why I sew:
  • I'm a very intellectual person; I could spend days immersed in books, and my job aside from the kids is purely brain work. I need to balance myself with a craft I do with my hands, and a tangible outcome.

  • I enjoy the creative process, choosing fabric and pattern, and making something beautiful.

  • I choose to busy my hands and occupy my mind with tasks that are doable instead of worrying about things I can't influence.

So my resolutions for 2011 are:

  • Balance. I have many people, interests and obligations in my life. Sewing isn't no.1, but I'd like for it not to take a back seat either.

  • Spending my sewing time wisely for the maximum of enjoyment (whether that is practival or not).

  • Keeping at about the same level of output and wearability; I'd say the kids and I like and wear about 80 % of what I make a lot, so I'd like to keep it there (and in the process wear more and more made-by-me stuff!).


Here's a little recap of last year's resolutions:

1. Keep at about the same level of productivity. Done.

2. Limit sewing children's stuff, ideally to one outfit per kid per season, or special occasion wear. I sewed comparatively less for them, more for me, so I consider this done as well.

3. 30 minutes of sewing a day, on most days. Not really. I hope this improves when I get my own sewing room.

4. Sew more mix-and-match garments, either by sewing neutral colors, and/or simpler patterns, and/or several garments planned as a wardrobe. Hm. Not sure about that, but I'll keep it for 2011!


I hope your sewing year is off to a good start. Happy sewing!


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