I’ve been itching to get back to my sewing machine. Sewing seems to come in phases for me, sometimes I can’t get enough and have a hundred ideas playing ping pong in my head and sometimes I’m just frustrated with whatever I come up with.
This Scout tee was actually made months ago, but with a little collar that looked very cute in my head and decidedly less cute on the actual shirt.
So it sat there, unloved, unworn for a while until I finally worked up the motivation to rip the collar out and finish it with bias tape. The fabric is a red voile, soft and nearly sheer.
A simple but versatile little tee that will hopefully see lots of wear this summer.
Tag Archives: handmade
baby gift – star pillow tutorial
It seems at a certain age all your girlfriends start getting pregnant. Which in turn gives me an opportunity to think up handmade gifts for them and their babies! Cue this little star pillow I made for a friend’s baby boy:
Inspired by star pillows on Etsy I decided to make my own. It’s a nice little evening project.
Draw a star form on paper in the size you want your pillow to be, add seam allowances and cut your template. Cut two pieces from contrasting fabric. I chose some green fabric I had in my stash which also makes it gender neutral.
I also added a stitched face to make it look friendlier. The lines are drawn on with a pencil and then stitched with embroidery floss.
Sew with right sides together, leaving an opening in one of the star legs. Ahem, yes my stars were cut pretty roughly and don’t fit together perfectly. Just cut away any excess fabric once you’re done sewing. I chose to handsew because a. I love me a little handsewing on the couch and b. I couldn’t be bothered to get the sewing machine up for just a few seams.
Clip the corners and curves and turn the pillow inside out. Stuff with polyfill and handsew the opening shut. Et voilà! A sweet, handmade baby gift made in one evening.
why buy when you can make? shapely boyfriend cardigan
Done, my first knitted cardigan is officially finished!
Can you tell I’m excited? I absolutely loved knitting this, it was a great evening project to have on hand while watching a series (soo hooked on Game of Thrones).
Started in late December it took just two months to complete. I’d been meaning to knit a cardigan for years but considered it beyond my skills. Why do we always let fear keep us from just jumping in? The Shapely Boyfriend cardigan turned out to be a very easy, straighforward pattern and an enjoyable knit. Not to mention I love the result!
My Ravelry Project page.
I knit the size 34 on Drops Nepal yarn in this lovely butterscotch yellow colorway. My knitting got looser after starting on the body and I worried the cardigan would turn out to be too big. My stokinette back and forth knitting is also much more uneven than when I knit on DPNs. Thankfully both issues were improved by washing and blocking and while it is a tiny bit big I’m completely in love with it!
I’m now a sweater knitting convert, I had so much fun making this that I can’t wait to start my next cardigan or sweater. I’ve been browsing patterns on Ravelry for days, trying to decide on my next project.
Buying natural clothing has been my goal for years. Cotton, silk or viscose shirts are not hard to find, but real wool sweaters is another matter. Wool is not only a natural fiber it also keeps warmer than synthetic fibers, important for me as I get cold so easily in winter. Finding that I can just knit my own is such a revelation!
The only changes I made to the pattern was to shorten it by about 10 rounds and to space the buttonholes more evenly between the ribbing (as a result it has only 6 buttons instead of 7)
Worn with my handmade half-circle skirt. The necklace is by Native Clutter on Etsy.
One of the things I love about having an Etsy shop is connecting with other artists and makers. The sense of community at Etsy is wonderful!
Having an online shop and working away for it at home can be a bit isolated and I find some of the teams incredibly helpful.
Up to now I’ve only been part in online teams and respective Facebook pages, but recently a team has formed in my hometown. It’s so nice to be able to meet in person and connect to people who know the unique challenges of selling in Germany.
Last december I had a photoshoot with two of the team members in a lovely studio space.
Manja from kandatsu sells beautiful handmade baby clothing. See her full photoshoot *here*.
Christiane from Nanoe’s Welt makes personalized stationary and candle covers. See her full photoshoot *here*.
I buy handmade whenever possible and documenting the process of things made by hand has been a real joy. Seeing and capturing all the little steps until a product is complete has really made me realize their value once again.
handmade advent wreath
Advent wreaths are tradition here in Germany and are usually very colorful and most of all green. I posted a glimpse of the one my mom gave us last year here. The idea is to light a candle each sunday before christmas for 4 weeks, so when the fourth candle is lit it will be christmas.
This year I wanted to make our own advent wreath and make it very simple and elegant and scandinavian inspired. I put a lot of thought into it (my work colleagues will tell you I spent all lunch breaks for weeks pondering on the colors and decorations of this wreath) and in the end nearly everything about it is DIY.
I first thought of buying a wooden ring, but couldn’t find one I liked, so I made my own using willow twigs collected in the woods.
It’s easier than it looks and secured with wire holds up really well.
Next were the ornaments. I knew I wanted beeswax candles, so stitched red felt ornaments sounded right and I was itching to do a bit of handstitching anyway.
The candle holders were only available in silver and gold, so we (meaning the boyfriend) simply spraypainted them white.
It turned out just the way I hoped and I love our handmade wreath which we will be using for years!
half circle skirt for fall
Skirts are such a wonderful wardrobe addition, they immediately dress up an outfit. I’d been thinking about adding a half circle skirt to my fall wardrobe for a while and when I found this navy blue fabric I knew it would work great. Everyone knows full circle skirts but for a similar look with less fullness, half and quarter circle skirts are just as easy to make and more suited for everday wear (in my opinion at least).
I hadn’t sewn without a pattern for a while and shied away from the required maths, but after searching for tutorials online I settled on these instructions (One | Two ) and in the end it was way easier than it seemed at first.
The fabric is a lovely cotton that is at the same time heavy weight (drapes beautifully) and almost see-through light. Odd, but perfect for this skirt.
The zipper at the back is handpicked and the waistband closes with snaps. The waistband itself is blindstitched to the inside by hand.
I had originally planned to finish the hem with hem tape, which I didn’t have so I tried bias tape. Bad idea. Had to rip all that out again and settled for a very simple double folded hem in the end which works much better.
All in all a quick project for a versatile wardrobe item that can be dressed up or down easily. It actually came out fuller than I had imagined so next time I’ll try a quarter circle skirt!
a tova for fall
Back at the sewing machine after a too long break. I made a skirt during my days off which I’ve yet to blog but I couldn’t resist sharing this Wiksten Tova blouse first. I won’t go into how much I love these patterns (again)…
I am consciously trying to slow down, in keeping with the season but also with what I know is good for me. Due to an annoying old horseriding injury I move slower as well and I try to enjoy being in the moment more.
What’s this got to do with sewing? I hadn’t stopped to actually enjoy sewing, the motions of making something wearable out of a piece of cloth, for a while and I did that with this blouse.
I took my time, savouring each step of the process. The fabric is a lovely, buttery cotton batiste which was a joy to handle.
I even handbasted the seams that the pattern called for and yes, it does save time in the end and makes the seam finishes so much prettier.
As always there was a bit of a hiccup with the front inset corners but apart from that, sewing up this pattern was smooth sailing and pure joy.
I think it shows in the result too. It’s well made and I even like my topstitching. There are imperfections and parts I’d like to redo (as always) but on the whole I’m really happy with it.
1950’s toy horse
I can finally share this now, because this gift was delivered to its one-day-old recipient yesterday!
My best friend
is very pregnant with her first baby right now had her first baby early this week and I wanted to sew her a gift for her baby girl. Since we met at our local horseriding stable and still go riding there every week (well, she’s been on foot for the last few months obviously) what better gift than a toy horse!
Since seeing Casey’s adorable vintage plush elephant I’ve been scouring Etsy for similar patterns and came across this little horse. I love the fabric choice on the cover so even though I had lots of different fabrics to choose from I went with something almost identical in the end!
I’ve never made something quite this tiny before but it came together surprisingly easily. The construction is very well thought out and I loved all the little handstitching and finishing details.
The little guy is seriously the cutest thing I’ve ever made.
the drop-drapey dress
Interrupting the Norway series for a big announcement: I sewed a dress. No, really. Sat down, got out my pattern box and paper, drafted, cut and sewed all in one weekend. This hasn’t happened for about…6 months? Way too long a time to be away from the sewing machine!
(Here’s a tip:don’t bend one knee while being photographed straight on. It’ll make it look as if you had two different length legs…)
I’m still hopelessly into 1920’s drop-waist fashion. The Great Gatsby hasn’t helped in getting me out of it. Also I’ve been admiring the lovely shift dresses from Ruche but then the real inspiration for this dress came from Zara’s red drape dress. So beautiful (if only it weren’t in polyester!).
Then Lauren posted a series of gorgeous Scout Tee’s and that got me going. I pulled out the Scout pattern and got to work making it into a dress and adding some drape detail.
My cat helped with the cutting (not). Um, yes, I use CD’s as pattern weights. Beatles and Gianna Nannini rock.
The fabric is a lovely flowy rayon. I had two rayons in my stash and I love how fluid and silky they are. And such a pleasure to sew. While my last sewing attempts in winter had me frustrated, this little dress came together so effortlessly and easily.
I’ll be the first to admit it doesn’t look like much on a hanger. You can’t really see the shape and the drape detail.
I love how it looks worn though! It’s just what I envisioned, though the drapey part is a lot less pronounced than in the original.
I have very few florals but this versatile little dress will be a great addition to my wardrobe. It will be perfect both for cooler summer days as well as spring and fall with tights and a cardi.
tablet sleeve tutorial
I had been thinking about getting a tablet for some time. Seeing as I still don’t have a smartphone I though it would be a nice on-the-go addition to my heavy laptop. So when Lauren got one and made a lovely case for hers and gave me a ton of great advice I just had to get one too! And the first thing I did was make a sleeve cover for it of course 🙂
I got some inspiration online and wanted to make something easy but functional.
Here’s what you need:
– felt in two colors
– needle and thread
– a big button
– some elastic
– fabric paint (optional)
First, measure your tablet and determine the size of your sleeve (I recommend adding 1/4″ seam allowance at each side as well as 1/4″ at the bottom). Cut all felt pieces to the correct size and lay on top of each other in the color combination you like and sew on three sides.
I initially wanted to sew it together by machine but the felt shifts a lot and in the end it was easier to just stitch it together by hand.
If you sew by hand make sure you double your thread for more stability. Make sure the layers stay precisely on top of each other and do not shift.
Sew a button on the front and determine the length of your elastic (it will be sewn to the back side on the inside of the sleeve). If you want the elastic to be a coordinating color you can paint it with fabric paint.
Sew on the elastic and admire your pretty new tablet sleeve!
Now for the tablet: I love it! I got the Google Nexus 7 (like Lauren, but I really did read some tests and comparisons online and it was the best by far). It has email, facebook, pinterest and google reader and I just love coming home late in the evening and not having to get out the big laptop but instead going straight to bed and just doing some blog reading and looking at pretty pictures on the tablet.
I also got an app for taking notes and using MS Office, so I can work with it as well. I have small hands so the 7″ size is perfect for me.
I guess I just got cool again 😉