August 01, 2011

Feeling dotty

I've been feeling dotty lately and not only because of the heat. While digging through my fabric stash I found some left-overs of a sewing project that went horribly wrong. Last April I started on Simplicity 2403 in a navy and polka-dot version. Here is a picture of my progress.

The pattern is a Project Runway design with different options; I went for the ruffles and the puffy sleeves. After struggling quite a bit with the button holes I finally put the top and skirt together. I tried it on and... the waist was several inches to high on me. It just did not fit, the darts in the skirt were totally in the wrong place. I still don't know how it happened!

It was extremely frustrating; especially because I had spend so much time on getting the blouse portion just right. In the end I gave the dress to a friend of mine, who looks super cute in it.

The whole thing still bothers me and I'm considering making the dress again, in a different fabric. I'd really like to figure out just were I went wrong!

Anyway, back to my fabric. I have a bunch of the polka-dot and a little bit of the navy left; not enough for a skirt. It is a nice quality with a bit of stretch. What would you do with a polka-dot fabric?


After reading some reviews on Simplicity 2809 I decided to work my way up slowly by making another black apple doll. You can find a tutorial and the pattern here.

For the dolls hair I used cotton instead of felt; I thought the little white flower would look really cute. Now I just have to put the stuffing in and hand sew the last seam. Overall this project was easy and quick; now I feel a bit better prepared to tackle S2809. One reviewer mentioned that she ignored most of the pattern instructions, which is fine with me. I have a hard time following instructions anyway, just ask K.! But several of the reviewers also mentioned patience - not my strong suit. On top of that I suffer from sewing distracteritis meaning I suddenly get the urge to browse patterns, visit the fabric store or start something else before I finish my current project. :)

Hopefully I'll be able to get this dolly on her way soon. I am sure she is looking forward to the cooler weather in Germany!

July 25, 2011

Simplicity 2809

I bought this pattern over a year ago; thinking that one day I would actually make a couple of dolls. Complete with cute clothes and accoutrements. I even bought the fabric I was going to use. You can imagine how this tale ends; everything was neatly stashed away and forgotten. Although I never actually started sewing I still feel that this pattern is an UFO. And as such on my list of things to tackle.

To start off slowly I made another cat/bear for a friends little girl. They are supposed to be two different patterns but whenever I make them the cat looks like a bear and vice versa. Our little guy really likes his Max; it is made from corduroy and apparently very tasty. He especially likes chewing on the legs.

All this little guy needs is a bow and he'll be on his way to Germany. And I'm getting ready for the doll - wish me luck!

July 24, 2011

Let them eat soup!

This is our latest batch of baby food; 1.5 gallons or 6 liters of chicken soup. The whole house smelled really yummy and the soup came out great.

Hopefully Baby will like it. If not we will be more than happy to eat it ourselves.

As you can see we always make sure to have some Nutella around. Preferably in a big jar. :)

I hope you'll all have a good start into the new week. And I will let you know how L. liked the soup. 

More alterations

Not too long ago we were invited to a wedding. I did not really think about what to wear until the last minute when I discovered that I did not have ANYTHING. I'm sure everybody knows this conundrum: no matter how full your closet is there is not one thing that would work for this specific event.

In desperation I turned to K. and he spoke the magic words - "Let's buy you something."

Now trying to find a dress under pressure is no feat for the fainthearted. Especially when you're on a budget. We tried a discount store and there was exactly one dress that I could see myself wearing. A cotton with flowery print, fully lined and moderately dressy. The only problem was the bubble hem. Now it might look cute on some people but it make me feel like a balloon. So I spend the night before the wedding un-bubbling and resewing the hem. With the help of my seam ripper, Mathilde and Dr. Who (on OETA) I was able to complete my mission!


About a year ago I found this J. Crew linen dress at a Goodwill store. There was no way that the bodice would fit me but I liked the print and the price was right. I had a vague idea that one day I would turn the dress into a skirt. Turns out today was that day!

With my trusty seam ripper I carefully took apart the seams that attached the skirt part and lining to the bodice. I also removed the zipper to be used in a future project. Waste not...!

I then cut the skirt to length; cutting from the top of course. Then the lining was attached to the skirt and turned to the inside. I did stitch in the ditch (more or less) to make it easier to turn. The most time consuming part was the zipper; I really wanted it to be invisible.

The whole project did not take very long at all and voila! - my new linen skirt. :)

 By the way the color is actually navy although it looks almost black in the pictures.

Making a list

After my sewing hiatus I decided to get back in the game by working my way through my fabric stash. My goal is to turn 2 boxes into 1 box and a bunch of finished projects. Of course I will have to stop shooting myself in the foot by buying more fabric!

In my defense everything was on sale and I had a coupon - how could I possibly resist?! Anyway, I started by weeding out some of the fabrics I know will never get used and donated them. Then I made a list of projects and started looking frantically for my patterns. You see my sewing room got moved so Munchkin does not have to share his space with Mathilde, my dress form. Everything was packed in boxes, put up and now I have no idea where stuff is anymore. So much for being organized!

Eventually I got started on some gifts and UFO that have been lingering for quite some time. My list keeps growing but hopefully so will my heap of finished things. Here is a knot bag I made from this tutorial at The bag is lined; I did add some inside pockets and made the straps longer by about 1". It was a relatively quick project, came out really cute and I finally used this cotton print. My Mum said it looks a bit retro; I had not even thought of that but I guess she has a point there.

July 21, 2011

Baby eats

Before Baby L. was born I had considered using cloth diapers and making my own baby food. I never really got around to fully commit to the cloth diaper thing. But when L. was ready to start solids I decided to at least try my hand at homemade baby food.
I liked the idea of having control over what goes in it, getting Baby used to "real" tasting food and maybe even saving some money. I say maybe because we all know that organic fruits and veggies might be good for us but they are not exactly easy on the wallet.
So I started to research recipes, gadgets and the like. In the end I did not buy a food processor and fancy storage systems. Instead I got out our trusty blender and invested in some ice cube trays. And I bought a book: Baby Love by Norah O'Donnell and Geoff Tracy. So far I have tried most of the recipes for 6 months old babies; most of them are super easy and really quick. Munchkin likes almost all of them except the squash. He eats peas, carrots, sweet potato, apple, peach, pear, mango and of course banana. To make things more interesting I mix stuff together like peas and carrots. To my surprise L. really likes the carrot-zucchini-apple, which I thought came out a bit tart. I guess he takes after his Daddy, who always chooses pickles over sweets.

On the whole making baby food is not as intimidating as I feared. It does not take all that much time either. One recipe makes enough for about 2-3 weeks (depending how much LO eats) and everything is tasty. I used some organic produce but also frozen (who has the time to mess with peeling a mango) and locally bought (hmm, Porter peaches). So if you're thinking about making your own baby food take heart. If I can do it you can too! :)

July 20, 2011


You probably have been wondering what I've been up to in the last year. As you can see below we have been working on a very special project.

Our little guy was born in December 2010 and we could not be happier! He is the reason almost all of my recent sewing projects are tiny and extra cute. See for yourself!

The fabric for the curtains is from IKEA and was send to me by my good friend M. It was not quite long enough for the window so I had to add some orange fabric. Munchkin seems to like it; he tried to eat it - always a sign of approval. 


He wasn't quite as happy with the hats I made him using this pattern. It was super easy and took care of some scraps I just could not let go of. The little cover for the changing table below does not have snaps or ties so it can be whisked away quickly.

Right now I'm working my way through my fabric stash to make some room. So many pretty projects so little time!

June 07, 2010

Hello, I'm back!

My Mum's visit went great, despite the vulcano threat and the unusually wet weather we were having around here. Although my Mum and Aunt were only staying for about a week we managed to squeeze a lot into that time. A special highlight were the Mayfest and the Blue Dome Arts Festival in Downtown Tulsa. We also made a trip to one of my favorite places, Eureka Springs/Arkansas. To me the Ozarks look so much like the area around my Hometown. And Eureka Springs itself is quite charming and just a bit eclectic.
Anyway, our German visitors had a really good time; it was so nice to be able to show my Mum around our home. You can probably imagine that I did not get much sewing done. I did however get an opportunity to wear the red sundress. And I like it so much that I'm planning to sew another one in a nice cotton fabric - just as soon as I get my sewing mojo back. Maybe a trip to the fabric store will jump-start it!