Oversized Parka or putting together a coat with 100 pieces

Last spring I decided to enrol for a sewing class. Not an easy endeavour as sewing classes are very popular and usually have long waiting lists and also because I needed to find one which starts after 7pm because of the 1.5 hour commute from work back home. Luckily I got a space on the Wednesday evening class from 7 pm to 9.15 pm starting August 2015. That's when I started to think about my first project. I know how to sew and I'm able to finish shirts and dresses on my own without attending a class. So it needed to be something more complex, something I could learn from, something I wouldn't feel 100% comfortable sewing on my own.

After some research I decided to sew an oversized Parka for autumn and/or spring. Having a very clear vision of the end result, I struggled a bit to find a suitable pattern - as always - but finally ordered the Parka pattern from stoffe.de (German only). It comes in two variations and they also sell whole sewing packages which include pattern, fabric, thread and other materials. Nevertheless, I decided to buy these things at a local shop. I prefer to touch and feel the fabric before buying it.

Surprise, surprise - I bought a blue, jeans-like fabric, it's unfortunately not coated, hence I usually don't wear the parka in heavy rain. I also got lining fabric even though the pattern doesn't foresee lining, but I counted on my class teacher to help me with that.

In regards to sewing the parka I was very happy to have chosen this project for the sewing class. I learned quite a lot about technique and some tipps and tricks in general. Also, the pattern consist of an uncountable number of little bits and pieces with nice, but rather short, instructions. Then, I also had a few wishes on how to adapt the pattern for which I was glad of some help. Here is what I adapted:

  • Lining to make the inside of the jacket nicer and more comfortable
  • I adjusted the collar and combined it with the hood
  • Instead of snaps I used real buttons for the button facing
  • Some other minor changes at shoulders, sleeves and side pockets

I'm very happy with he result and quite proud of it and I love going to the sewing class. I already registered again for the next 6 months. Btw. after my Parka I did the Blue Dress and now I'm working on another jacket.

Oversized Parka - Front

Oversized Parka - Front

Oversized Parka - Back

Oversized Parka - Back

Oversized Parka - Side

Oversized Parka - Side

Oversized Parka - Pocket Detail

Oversized Parka - Pocket Detail

 

 

 

Lady in Red Blue

One year ago today, marks the day my good (and very talented - check out her blog Hotels, Heels and Halibut) friend informed me about her engagement. One year ago today, marks the day I started to think about what to wear to the wedding. One year ago today, marks the day I decided to sew my own dress for this event - a first as I have never trusted in my sewing skills for any special occasion. One year ago today, marks the day I started to frantically google dresses and collect inspiration*. Not an easy process mainly for two reasons:

  • First of all, I'm not one to dress up often. I like jeans, I like shirts, I love oversized sweaters and cardigans, sneakers and my backpack. My fashion style is anything but "fancy" involving dresses, clutches and high-heels. Then again, I was looking forward to dress-up for this wedding - who wouldn't?!
  • Second, I already had a pretty clear idea in my head of what the dress should look like. As I'm not able (yet-hopefully one day) to draw own sewing patterns, I had to find examples of my imaginary dress and most of all a sewing pattern for it.

After several frustrating evenings with my friend Google, I found a picture of a Vogue Vintage Sewing Pattern which looked perfect but was already sold out on Etsy. After another few searches, I found it on eBay in the wrong size, but I figured that I'll be able to adapt it accordingly. 

Lovely vintage envelope for my Vogue Vintage Dress Pattern 7225

Lovely vintage envelope for my Vogue Vintage Dress Pattern 7225

A few facts about the dress and my experiences: I finished it successfully and most importantly in time. Lucky me - for the worst case scenario I tried to shop an alternative dress but couldn't find any! The amount of fabric needed according to the pattern is very confusing. I ended up buying 5.2 meters of Crêpe de chine silk, much more than suggested in the instructions (imagine a "money-flying-away" emoticon here). Vogue patterns come including seam allowance and for once I was happy about that as the size was a bit too small for me. To get the correct size I counted the Vogue seem allowance to the dress size and added my own seam allowance to it. I left out the pockets as well as the cut down cleavage and accordingly also the bow holding that together. For the length I chose the long version of the dress, but it was still too short and I had to lengthen it about 10cm. The top is made out of two layers of fabric, but the bottom part of the dress isn't. As Crêpe de chine silk is very thin and potentially transparent, I added lining to the bottom part of dress**.

All in all I'm very happy with the result. The dress was perfect for the wedding and I felt very comfortable throughout the whole evening. Would I need to sew it again, there are a few things I would change, however. I would definitely add the pockets, adapt the front of the top and use thin cords for the straps.

Vogue Vintage Dress - Getting started (i accidentally ripped the very thin (and old) pattern paper countless times)

Vogue Vintage Dress - Getting started (i accidentally ripped the very thin (and old) pattern paper countless times)

VOGUE VINTAGE DRESS - temporary stitched and ready for fitting

VOGUE VINTAGE DRESS - temporary stitched and ready for fitting

Final dress - focus on dress, not my face, hence it's cut out ;)

Final dress - focus on dress, not my face, hence it's cut out ;)

Example for how I would adapt the Cleavage of the dress top next time

Example for how I would adapt the Cleavage of the dress top next time

*Side Note 1: what would I do without my smart phone which remembers these dates for me?! 
**Side Note 2: I sewed the dress in the sewing class I attend once a week, hence I had quite some help from my teacher for which I'm very thankful

Baby Knits

A couple of years ago I have started with something that has in the meantime become a tradition. I knitted a jacket for a baby. Since then, as soon as I hear that someone is pregnant, I run to the next wool store and start knitting something for the little one. I usually buy a matching outfit and bring everything as a gift to the parents of the newborn.

baby-jacket

I love knitting for babies. The wool is extremely soft and easy to knit. The pieces are so adorable and small! Most of all, the parents’ joy of receiving something self-made with love for their little one makes me happy. I usually knit small jackets or sweaters for the babies - I will write posts of the individual projects and details about patterns separately.

I usually knit for 3-6 months old. Knitting a newborn size is very cute, but babies grow so fast and I like them to wear my piece for a bit longer than only a couple of weeks. Depending on the due date I decide on the size and type of project. If a baby is due in March, I don’t knit a thick wool sweater for a 3-6 month old baby. As it is summer, I rather go with something light, maybe a yarn jacket or vest.

I always use “baby wool” or extra soft merino to make sure the wool is soft and doesn’t itch. You might think that knitting for babies is cheap because of the small size of the piece, but due to the high-quality wool I find it rather expensive. I usually pay around CHF 40.00-60.00 just for the wool. 

It often surprises me how long it takes to finish a piece even though it’s so small. Usually the needle size is very small, so it just takes more time to make progress. I have knitted several pieces with hoods and was surprised to find that the hood itself is quite big and uses a lot of wool (and time).

Last but not least, I usually start to knit when I don’t know the gender of the baby yet. Hence I try to choose neutral colours for my knitting project. Depending no the gender I then buy a girly or boyish outfit with it.

baby-outfit

I will soon post details on the different baby knit projects I have already completed.

baby-hoodie

Grainline Studio Alder Shirtdress and/or Welcome Back!

Sadly I published my last blog post over a month ago! You might think I prepared lots of posts and started to plan ahead - no I didn't. I actually plan to be more organised and have my blog posts ready 2-3 weeks in advance. However, this new organised-me starts today (so I hope) and has definitely not been around in the past few weeks. I could come up with several excuses such as how busy I was at work, how I had plans for every weekend, etc. But the truth is: I spent lots of time sewing but also lots of time with Netflix. I just couldn't get myself motivated enough to write a blog post - even though I have several topics to write about...

So thanks for sticking around and welcome back! 

Now let's get started with the real topic of this blog post:

Grainline Studio Alder Shirtdress

While I was too lazy to write blog posts, I definitely wasn't too lazy to get some sewing done. Thanks to some fellow bloggers I met at the #BerninaBloggerDays, I learned about Grainline patterns and I must say, I love them all! Shortly after our weekend end of March I bought some patterns in the Grainline online shop (they also offer PDFs to print). Amongst others, I ordered the Alder Shirtdress. A shirtless dress which comes in two variations. I decided to start with "View B" which features a shirt collar, breast pockets and a  gathered skirt on the side and the back of the dress. As Grainline is US based, all sizes and measurements in the pattern are made in inches.

I expected to struggle most with the measurements and the shirt collar. However, I was wrong. The measurements were no problem at all after I had calculated inch to cm. The shirt collar was tricky, but surprisingly I managed it, which makes me quite proud to be honest!

I still can't believe I managed this collar!

I still can't believe I managed this collar!

I struggled a lot with the binding for the button holes, I still don't really understand why. I used jeans fabric with stretch and somehow I seem to have pulled the binding too much while sewing. It looked horrible. After 3 attempts I finally made it. I then struggled even more with inserting the gathered skirt. Honestly I almost gave up. As my last hope I googled it, hoping to find instructions online. And guess what!? Grainline Studio published several sew along blog posts for the Alder Shirtdress (and several variations). Thanks to these (perfect) instructions with images, I managed to insert the dress easily. 

After a lot of frustration i finally managed it. Thanks Grainline Studios for the sew along!!

After a lot of frustration i finally managed it. Thanks Grainline Studios for the sew along!!

before all the trouble started

before all the trouble started

I love the dress and have already started with a variation "Alder as a Shirt" and definitely plan to sew more.

finished! Honestly I just love it

finished! Honestly I just love it

#BerninaBloggerDays

Shortly after I posted my first blog post I applied for the BERNINA Blogger Days. An event organised by BERNINA International AG during which 20 selected bloggers are invited to spend a weekend at the company’s headquarters in Steckborn, Switzerland. To this date I marvel (gawk) at the fact that I was one of the selected bloggers out of 250 applicants, considering the few posts I have written and the great potential for improvement in my sewing skills. The latter became obvious on Saturday afternoon while (trying to) accomplish the task of sewing a basic kitchen apron within three hours. The time has come to acknowledge that, despite my secret dreams of being a seamstress, sewing under time pressure doesn’t seem to be a strength of mine. 

Even with this eye-opening and, let’s be honest, a little dream-shattering experience, it was a perfect weekend. It started with a very warm welcome at the BERNINA Creative Center where I met a part of the BERNINA family and the 19 fellow bloggers. We spent the evening eating dinner at Burg Hohenklingen in Stein am Rhein and the “Turmbar” in our hotel, See & Park Hotel Feldbach. Basically we were spoilt with good food and drinks throughout the weekend. Great food, nice people and sewing machines, needless to say that I was in sewing- (and food-) heaven.

At home I have a BERNINA 380, which I love dearly and have always considered quite fancy compared to other sewing machines I know. An opinion I quickly revised after having had the opportunity to sew on a BERNINA 790 and 580. Both great, (truly) fancy machines with digital displays and a vast number of options and settings. 

BERNINA 580

BERNINA 580

Bernina 790

Bernina 790

The machines come with many different accessories and presser feet of which I particularly loved the Button-sew-on foot #18  and the Binder attachment #88 for unfolded bias tape. Luckily both can also be used on my baby-sewing-machine and will shortly be part of my supplies.

Binder Attachment

Binder Attachment

I also tried the Buttonhole foot with slide # 3A, the Ruffler #86 and the Circular embroidery attachment # 83. Soon, sewing on the new machines started to feel comfortable and I felt confident to master the afternoon’s task with flying (red, black, white) colours. Little did I know my later struggle. Nevertheless, in the end also I managed to sew my apron for which the pattern is based on that in the latest Handmade Kultur magazine

by Matthias FlurI (btw. the first picture of me on this blog)

by Matthias FlurI (btw. the first picture of me on this blog)

My apron with a cute button from Ute (schneiderherz.blogspot.ch)

My apron with a cute button from Ute (schneiderherz.blogspot.ch)

One of the highlights was the meet & greet with the company owner Hans-Peter Ueltschi, fondly referred to as Patron (French pronunciation: \pa.tʁɔ̃\), whose passion and delight about his company couldn’t be more evident. He greeted us with open arms and even joined us for dinner.

The blogger weekend was concluded with a tour through the BERNINA production sheds. Surprisingly and to my great interest, high-end sewing machines are still produced at the headquarter in Switzerland. Having seen how sewing machines are produced, I have to add another item onto my education wish list. Next to becoming a professional seamstress and completing an apprenticeship as a carpenter, I would also be interested in being trained to be a polytechnician.

Production shed many years ago

Production shed many years ago

production shed now

production shed now

The weekend at BERNINA was truly a great experience during which I have learned a lot and met many wonderful people!

BERNINA Blogger Days website

Read more about the BERNINA Blogger Days and get all impressions on one page: www.bernina.com/bloggerdays

BERNINA Blogger Days participants

 

 

Pattern: Bobble Stitch

It's #knitsamplesunday again! For the third Sunday in a row I'm posting a pattern for a knit sample on my blog.

Bobble Stitch

Today's pattern is for the Bobble Stitch. The Bobble Stitch is one of my favourite knitting patterns. I discovered it not too long ago and it took a while for me to figure out how to knit it. I found a few YouTube videos showing how it's done, but I could not find any written pattern. While I like to watch short videos from time to time to learn something new, I still prefer to have a written pattern to read. Anyway, I finally figured out how to do it and documented it. It's a bit tricky, but not difficult once you know how it's done. Have fun!

Tipp

  • Use two colours to knit this pattern. While it's possible to knit it in one colour as well, I personally prefer two colours. Using two colours definitely has an advantage: The pattern requires to drop a stitch 4 rows down. If you use two colours (and follow my pattern) you don't really have to count the rows. Just drop the stitch until you reach colour A (in my case blue) again and continue. It's much easier than using just one colour where you have to count the rows and make sure not to drop the stitch too far down.
Bobble Stitch

Bobble Stitch

I knit the sample casting on 33 stitches. The pattern is for this size as well. You can knit the Bobble Stitch in any size, just make sure that the total number of stitches can be divided by 4+1.

  • Material: You can use any kind of wool to knit the sample, I suggest to use a non-fuzzy but elastic wool such as merino wool. For my sample I used 100% pure merino wool (extra fine) and 3mm needles.
  • How To: Knit sample according to pattern. Constantly repeat rows 2-13
Bobble Stitch Pattern

Bobble Stitch Pattern

Bobble Stitch

Bobble Stitch

Bobble Stitch

Bobble Stitch

bobble Stitch side View

bobble Stitch side View

Pattern: Criss-Cross Stitch

For the next few weeks I will post the patterns for various knit samples on my blog. On Instagram all my posts can be found with the hashtag #knitsamplesunday.

Criss-Cross Stitch

The second pattern on #knitsamplesunday is the Criss-Cross Stitch. Note that I haven't found an official naming for this stitch that's why I'm calling it the Criss-Cross Stitch. It is an easy stitch, however it's a bit tedious because of the repeating cross stitches. I'm planning to knit a hat / beanie using this stitch.

I casted on 32 stitches for my sample, you can cast on less or more, just make sure that the number of stitches can be divided by four.

Criss-Cross Stitch Sample

Criss-Cross Stitch Sample

  • Material: You can use any kind of wool to knit the sample, I suggest to use a non-fuzzy but elastic wool such as merino wool. For my sample I used 100% pure merino wool (extra fine) and 3mm needles.
  • How To: Knit sample according to pattern. Constantly repeat rows 3-6

DIY: Scented Sachets

I love placing scented sachets in my wardrobe and drawers. They freshen up the space and just smell so lovely. When self-made, they are also a perfect gift. 

scented-saachets-stacked

It's very easy and fast to sew scented sachets. You can create many different variations in terms of size, fabric and filling. I always take some leftover cotton or linen fabric for my sachets. I prefer to use a colourful fabric for the top and a neutral (white, grey, beige) colour for the bottom. For the filling I like to use dried lavender or dried rose leaves. This is personal taste, but to me these scents are the most refreshing and I don't get tired of them.

I usually sew several (10-20) scented sachets at once and keep them on the side to have them ready as gifts. 

Find below the step-by-step instructions for how to create scented sachets yourself. Have fun!

  • Difficulty: very easy
  • Material: Fabric, matching thread, filling (i.e. dried lavender or rose leaves)

Step by Step: Sewing Scented Sachets

Note: The instructions are for one sachet only, I highly recommend to sew more than one :)

1. Cut out two pieces of fabric measuring 10cm x 10cm


2. Put the pieces together, right side facing

3. Sew along the sides of the square. Make sure to leave an opening of approximately 3cm on one side

4. Cut back the seam allowance and the edges

5. Flip the sachet through the opening. I use a knitting needle to push out the corners
6. Iron the sachet
7. Sew along the sides of the square again, leaving the opening the same

8. Use a funnel to fill the sachet with filling

scented-sachets-filling

9. Sew up the opening

scented-sachets-final


    Pattern: Fishbone Braid

    For the next few weeks I will post the pattern for various knit samples on my blog. On Instagram all my posts can be found with the hashtag #knitsamplesunday.

    Fishbone Braid

    The first pattern I would like to introduce is the Fishbone Braid cable knit. A relatively easy and very nice cable. It looks beautiful on all knitting pieces such as hats, scarfs, sweaters and many more. 

    Fishbone braid detail

    Fishbone braid detail

    The cable itself is knitted with 13 stitches. The pattern for the sample includes 10 additional stitches on each side.

    Fishbone Braid

    Fishbone Braid

    • Material: You can use any kind of wool to knit the sample, I suggest to use a non-fuzzy but elastic wool such as merino wool. For my sample I used 100% pure merino wool (extra fine) and 3mm needles.
    • How To: Knit sample according to pattern. Constantly repeat rows 4-9
    fishbone-braid-cable-pattern

    Hood or Scarf or both?

    Issue Nr. 4/2015 of the Handmade Kultur Magazine includes instructions and a pattern for a "hoodie-scarf". As they say in the magazine: it doesn't matter whether it is a hoodie or a scarf as long as we look good wearing it and as long as it keeps us warm. I totally agree and decided to sew one myself.

    Handmade Kultur DIY-MAgazin 04/2015

    Handmade Kultur DIY-MAgazin 04/2015

    The pattern is very easy and the instructions in the magazine very detailed (German only). In terms of fabric you can basically choose whatever you want. I recommend to use thick/warm fabric however. Depending on what fabric and color(s) you choose the "hoodie-scarf" looks quite different.

    HANDMADE KULTUR DIY-MAGAZIN 04/2015 (p. 42, 43)

    HANDMADE KULTUR DIY-MAGAZIN 04/2015 (p. 42, 43)

    I decided to use wool fabric (merino) which is very soft and warm. I can't stand itchy wool/fabric particularly for a hat or scarf. Furthermore, I used the same fabric and color for both "sides" of the "hoodie-scarf". I would have preferred to use two different colours or fabric, but couldn't find anything that matched. Nevertheless I am very happy with the result. The "hoodie-scarf" is very soft, warm and looks great!

    The "hoodie-scarf" is also a great gift. I sewed two more as a gift for my mom and sister. 

    hoodie-scarf-front
    hoodie-scarf-side

    Making Use of Wool Leftovers - Part II

    I have several boxes of wool leftovers. With every piece I knit, I get more. I organised the leftovers according to colours in different boxes, thinking that I will use them again. Once I even tried to make myself use all my leftovers before buying new wool. Yeah right... never did that. So here I sit with lots of leftover wool, thinking of what I can do with it. I have several ideas which I plan to implement within the next couple of weeks.

    Idea No. 2 - Sample Knits

    If I only have a small amount of wool leftovers I like to knit small samples of new patterns. I love trying new patterns, learning new techniques or just getting an idea of how a pattern actually looks in real compared to an image. Usually I’m very caught up in my knitting project(s) and rarely find the time to sit down and knit a sample. Also, most of my knitting is done in the train where I prefer to knit a known pattern for which I don’t have to read instructions and re-count stitches all the time. However, I have started to take the time - mostly during quiet evenings - to flip through my books, magazines and of course social media (mostly instagram and pinterest) to find patterns I like. I then google for instructions and just give it a try.

    bubble-stitch

    I use the newly learned patterns for future projects. For the moment these are mostly blankets or hats as I have not yet designed bigger items myself. I might give it a try in the future and I guess the more patterns I know, the better!

    reverse-cable

    I plan to write a short blog post for each sample, including the pattern, instructions, tipps and (in the future) a video. Stay tuned! 

    Some tipps for knitting samples:

    • For a pattern which is “in the middle” of the piece, such as a cable, start and end the sample using garter stitch. For example: knit 10 stitches - knit cable according to pattern - knit 10 stitches. For the back row repeat, knit 10 stitches - knit cable according to pattern - knit 10 stitches. The advantage of using garter stitch is that the edges don't roll up and you’ll have a nice, flat, sample of your pattern. As you can see, I didn't use garter stitch for the below sample that's why it rolled-up at the edges...
    • Whenever you see a new pattern you like, be that in books or online, make a note so that you can look it up again when you find time to knit your sample. I see lots of patterns I like, mostly when browsing through social media with my mobile. I have started to take screenshots of everything I like. I save the images to my “Inspiration” album so that I can always go back to it. 


    Box-pleated Skirt

    One of my 2016 New Year's resolutions is to make use of the wool and fabric I already have. I guess - or rather hope - that everyone who likes to knit and sew knows what I'm talking about. I have lots of wool and fabric at home due to various reasons. Either I bought it at one point in time and never used it or I finished a project and have leftovers. I have already started a series on how to make use of wool leftovers (read part 1 here) and last weekend I decided to start using some of my fabric for a new sewing project.

    This is how I usually go about a new sewing project: In a first step I find a pattern that I want to implement. The second step is then to go to fabric stores and find the suitable fabric and material for the chosen pattern. This weekend I didn't follow these steps. Instead I took my fabric box out of the cupboard and sorted through it. It surprised me to find fabric I had totally forgotten about. Among others I found a very nice wool fabric suited ideally for a winter dress/skirt. I remember that I received it from my grandmother (she was a professional dressmaker) when she was no longer able to sew herself. I decided to use this fabric for my next project.

    Once the fabric was chosen, I measured it. I would have loved to sew a dress with long sleeves, but unfortunately I didn't have enough fabric. I guessed that it is enough, however, for a skirt. I then flipped through my sewing books and magazines, searching for a suitable skirt pattern. I soon found it in one of my new books "Geschickt eingefädelt - Das grosse Nähbuch". The book was released based on a new TV show created in Germany. 

    So finally I had my fabric, the pattern for a nice box-pleated skirt and luckily also a matching thread and some soft interlining needed for the waistband. Everything ready to start sewing and I didn't even spend any money!

    geschickt-eingefädelt-2.jpg

    The pattern is quite easy, the most difficult part is to sew in the hidden zipper. Other than that it is very straight forward and the book even provides detailed tipps with images for certain parts if needed (e.g. the zipper or folding the box bleats). 

    I really like the outcome and will definitely wear this skirt soon. Also, I'm already looking forward to searching through my fabric box(es) to find more treasures to use for new projects.


    Cotton Tulips

    I love DIY home decor. Be that knitting, crocheting or sewing something. I'd also like to do more with wood but at the moment I don't have the necessary materials, tools or space to do this. Therefore I currently concentrate on sewing for home decor. For this purpose I mainly sew things like placemats, tablecloths or pillowcases.

    A couple of days ago, when browsing through Instagram, I found this very cute post showing a bouquet of fabric tulips. According to the caption, the instructions to sew these tulips is available online for free. I immediately checked the website and went to the fabric store on the very same day to buy suitable fabric and other necessary materials.

    Sewing the tulips is quite easy but requires some patience depending on how many tulips you plan to make. I made 10 and it took me about 3 hours to finish them all. I spent most of the time preparing the flower stalk. In the instructions they suggest to use double-sided tape to stick the fabric to the wooden sticks that will be the stalks. I didn't have double-sided tape and decided to use glue instead. It was rather difficult to glue the fabric nicely to the sticks without creating too much mess. I found that the easiest way was to do it in two steps. In a first step, I glued only the first part of the fabric to the stick and waited for it to dry. I then put some glue on the other end of the fabric strip and rolled the wooden stick in.

    thumb_IMG_6706_1024.jpg

    Other than that, creating the tulips is very easy and fun to do. The instructions are very good and easy to understand. Just make sure to have all necessary material at hand (e.g. the wooden sticks, filling material or - I highly recommend - double-sided tape). 

    I'm very happy with the result and love that the tulips bring a little spring into our home. I put them into a cute vase and find they light up the room. I also love that it's possible to vary with the colours and I'm already thinking of creating more. They are also a great gift for family and friends. 



    Pillowcase with hidden Zipper - Step by Step

    I love to make home decor myself. Among others I sew lots of pillowcases. I like to change the colour of the pillowcases depending on the season. In summer I like to have bright colourful pillowcases while in winter I prefer them in light, grey colours. As I change (and wash) them once in a while, I sew in a (hidden) zipper. Would you like to sew pillowcases as well? Find below step by step instructions on how to do so. Have fun!!

    • Difficulty: easy
    • Material: Fabric (I prefer cotton or upholstery fabric), zipper, matching thread, iron and sewing machine

     

    Step by Step to a new Pillowcase

    1. Measure the size of your pillow (e.g. 45cm x 45cm)
    2. Add 3cm to each side and multiply one side by two (e.g. 48cm x 96cm)
    3. Cut out a piece of fabric as calculated in step 2
    4. Fold the fabric in half (right sides facing) and iron it 
    5. Measure 3cm from the top and fold it (IMG 1)
    6. Sew the zipper onto the folded part, make sure the slider faces downwards (IMG 2)
    7. Sew the second half of the zipper onto the other end
    8. Close each side, make sure the slider is inside the seam (IMG 3)
    9. Turn the case and iron it

    Making Use of Wool Leftovers - Part I

    I have several boxes of wool leftovers. With every piece I knit, I get more. I organised the leftovers according to colours in different boxes, thinking that I will use them again. Once I even tried to make myself use all my leftovers before buying new wool. Yeah right... never did that. So here I sit with lots of leftover wool, thinking of what I can do with it. I have several ideas which I plan to implement within the next couple of weeks.

    Idea No. 1 - the Big Knit

    Use the leftovers for a good cause, namely the Big Knit (in German: Das Grosse Stricken). The Big Knit is a project initiated by Innocent Drinks a couple of years ago. Its objective is to support elderly people. In Switzerland, the project is executed in collaboration with Pro Senectute and works as follows: Innocent collects 1 million little woolly hats and then puts them on their innocent smoothie drinks. For each smoothie sold, 30 cents (CHF) are donated to Pro Senectute. The donations are then used to help Swiss senior citizens!

    Get your leftover wool out of the box and start knitting (or crocheting) little wooly hats. You can find ideas, instructions and much more information on the Big Knit website

    Note: The Big Knit exists in many countries, such as the UK, Germany, Netherlands, Sweden, etc. Make sure to check out the respective websites. There are different terms, i.e. last date to send in your hats, in each country.

    Difficulty: easy to advanced depending on the method and pattern chosen. If you use a set of 5 needles, it gets a bit more difficult because the hat is so small.

    Related Links


    Free Pattern: Pom Pom Hat

    pom-pom-hats.jpg

    One of my goals is to provide sewing and knitting patterns for download on my blog. I mostly knit and sew according to patterns I buy, hence I haven't written lots of patterns myself (yet). However, I am happy to post my first pattern today! It's a knitting pattern for a bobble hat with a (fake) fur pom pom. It's knitted with a set of 5 knitting needles size 4mm and 100% virgin wool. Hence it is very warm, soft and doesn't itch at all.

    The pattern is available in English and German!

    Difficulty: advanced because of cable pattern and knitting in rounds with a set of 5 needles.

    Material: 100% Virgin Wool, set of five double-pointed knitting needles 4mm, 1 cable knit needle, 1 darning needle, (fake) fur Pom Pom ideally with press fastening

    Download Pattern (PDF):

    I hope you like it, please don't hesitate to comment your feedback

    Last Minute Christmas Decoration - Chrochet Stars

    On December 24 I was looking for some last minute christmas decoration. As a crafter I obviously wanted to create it myself and needed to find something for which I had all necessary material at home. I don't have any christmas-like fabric at home so sewing something was not an option. Finally I decided to try crocheting some stars. Crocheting is not my speciality and I haven't done it often. However, I have a few crochet needles at home and I also have enough yarn. Finally I found the perfect instructions on YouTube. I don't know the crochet-specific terms so having someone showing what to do is a big advantage!

    If you are looking for some last minute decoration, I highly recommend the crochet stars. Instructions by HäkelMaus on Youtube (German only).

    • Difficulty: easy - definitely something for crochet beginners.
    • Material: I used a 50g Cotton Mix by Lana Grossa (white) and a 4.5mm Crochet Needle.

    Merry Christmas!


    Fancy West


    Recently I was looking for a new knitting project. Something for me to wear in winter; a sweater or vest to spend warmth during the cold winter days. Also, it shouldn't take too long to knit. In the end I decided to order the knitting kit "Fancy West" from WeAreKnitters (WAK): A simple vest with a cable pattern, knitted with 100% Peruvian wool yarn and 15mm knitting needles. Respectively, the vest is very chunky (thick) and keeps you warm for sure.

    I ordered the knitting kit with wool in black without the knitting needles. I already have 15mm needles at home and don't need to order them every time. I was wondering if the kit includes an extra needle for the cable, but this was not the case. Hence, if you would like to knit the "Fancy West" you need to have an extra needle at home. This can be a special cable knit needle of a normal knitting needle to put the stitches on the side while knitting the cable.

    It took me one afternoon to knit the vest. Thanks to the thick wool and the 15mm needles it doesn't take long at all. In the end I sewed in the "proudly knitted by myself" embroidered WAK label. 

    I really like the final result of this knitting project. The vest is very comfortable to wear and keeps me very warm. The cable adds the special touch and I have received many compliments while wearing it. However, I have a couple meters of wool left. Therefore, if I would knit it again, I would add a some extra rows to make it a bit longer. 

    • Difficulty: medium because of the cable pattern. 
    • Material: 100% Peruvian wool yarn, 15mm knitting needles, a cable knit needle, sewing needle, WAK label (all included in the WeAreKnitters Knitting Kit)

    Tipp

    Use circular needles instead of the WeAreKnitters needles. Read more in Tipps & Tricks.

    Circular Needles

    My tipp for almost all knitting projects is using circular knitting needles. Mainly for big and heavy pieces of knitting, circular needles are an advantage. You can buy them in all sizes with different lengths of cable. Using circular knitting needles doesn't necessarily imply to knit in a circle. The advantage is that the weight of the project is on the cable and not on the needle itself. This makes it much more comfortable to knit.

    I use circular knitting needles for all of my knitting projects - except for hats/beanies (knitted with a set of 5 knitting needles). 

    With time I have collected a lot of different circular needles in all sizes. I therefore bought a circular needle set with exchangeable cables. I will provide more information and my experience with this set in a separate blog post.

    various circular needles: