Archive for the ‘Me-Made Monday’ Category

Me-Made: the most beautiful summer dress

May 23, 2011

Being German, I have been raised to believe that modesty is a virtue and that you’re not supposed to praise yourself. However, today I have to say: I am proud of myself. Isn’t this the most beautiful dress?

The fabric is a wool/cotton mix I only bough last week.

Somtimes, when I love a fabric very much I shy away from making something from it because I panic that I’ll ruin the fabric and I fret endlessly about what would be the perfect thing to make. So I am very very happy that this dress turned out so well,  it fit perfectly straigh away and it is really slimming. Alright, I lost a few pounds as well, but the dress IS a flattering cut.

I used this pattern:

I was sceptical how it would turn out with a patterned fabric, but all my fretting was for nothing in the end, everything is just perfect.


My first go at vintage knitting

April 27, 2011

Ok, it’s time to jump in at the deep end: I want to knit a sweater from a vintage pattern. A few weeks ago I discovered the wonderful blog by gum, by golly!” by Tasha  who has called for a vintage knitalong. She’s written very detailed instructions on how to convert the vintage pattern to your size and yarn and this inspired me to give it a try.

I am not really a knitting beginner – I think every woman who went to school in the eighties carried around some knitting project in a jute bag, (with the slogan “jute instead of plastic” printed on) at least in Germany.Mostly, these were formless objects made from bulky wool died in natural and drab hues of brown and grey. The resulting sweaters sometimes smelled a beet “sheepy” when they got wet, but it was all so very natural and organic and alternative 😉 .

But vintage knitting is totally different, isn’t it?

1. In the eighties fit didn’t matter, hey, it even was undesirable. The bigger and the baggier the better and we always cast on some extra 10 or 15 stitches to be on the safe side. Vintage sweaters are designed to be closely fitting so they will require a lot more planning and calculating.

2. In the eighties, we only ever knitted with really bulky wool and large needles, preferably homespun wool from sheep you knew personally. Dear god, I can’t believe I really wore something like that. Vintage sweaters are mostly knit with small needle sizes and it will probably take longer to make them. On the other hand, they are a lot shorter and tighter than everything I made in the 80ies, so it may even out in the end.

3. I am not a patient person. I mean, really not at all. And this is not helpful for knitting sweaters. I DID knit socks and scarves in the last years but to make a whole sweater sort of feels like crossing a dessert by foot. But it is feasible in the same way: One step after the other and if other people can do it, why shouldn’t I?

So why do I want to do this?

1. Sadly, in addition to my Mount Fabric I also own a … ahem … little wool stash. It’s not close to being as large as my fabric stash, mind you, but it is there and the poor yarns have been waiting to be made into something useful for a while now, so it’s about time.

2. It’s hard to find vintage knit pieces. In Germany anyway. And in my size. And for a reasonable price.

3. I have the coolest and most beautiful vintage knitting patterns, it would be a shame to let them go to waste.

4. It is a good thing to keep my hands occupied while watching TV. Keeps them from grabbing for a bag of crisps. Or a bar of chocolate 😉 .

so, to cut a long story short: I’ll tackle the challenge and join Tashas knitalong – I’ll be behind everybody else, since the official start was in January, but hey, better late than never. And this is the knitalong sweater:

Ok, not too fancy, just your basic stockinette sweater. But I think it is a good choice for a first project as I can concentrate on getting the fit right. The pocket, sleeve caps and buttoned neckline are nice details, so the sweater will not be too drab and if I am really daring, I could even risk something other than stockinette on the front piece or sleeves, we’ll see.

In line with my new project I will post a few of my vntage German knitting magazines on Fashion Fridays in the next weeks, complete with instructions. If I inspired somebody to unexpected knitting hankerings with this post, you will also find nice vintage patterns in English here at Free Knitting Patterns and at A Rarer Borealis (where also the above pattern is posted).

Me-Made Easter Monday

April 26, 2011

Over the long and wonderfully sunny easter weekend I finally found some time to take up sewing again. About time, since I started to develop withdrawal symptoms already. Last week I had fantasies about a poison-green outfit (does the expression “poison-green” even exist? That’s how we call the colour in German). And I finally created an outfit to go with my green/white Miss L.Fire-Shoes. I’ve been dying to wear them for some time but just hadn’t anything in my closet to match.

The blouse is (again) Smooth Sailing by Wearing History. After my initial fitting issues are resolved I am totally in love with this pattern, it’s so versatile and results in nice little blouses.

The skirt is Burda pattern No. 105 from the mag  10/2010, and it is made of an old curtain. As if I hadn’t enough of a fabric stash lying around! This curtain has originally been bought from IKEA some 20 years ago and has ever since been hiding the chaotic contents of a large glass cabinet from curious eyes. A few weeks ago I replaced it with a new lace curtain because I wanted something more vintage looking. I thought I’d discard the old curtain, since it became rather yellow over time, however, since I had to decolour a few pieces of laundry anyway, I just threw it in the washing machine together with the rest and it came out a brilliant white. Since I did not have any other firm but not too thick white fabric it got upgraded to a new summer skirt. Woah, how green I am! I will not tell you how long it took me to figure out how to cut out the pieces to get the stripes to join chevron-style on the center front and back. Sometimes I’m really just going blank, duh.

I really like this outfit and it’s comfortable to wear. To make it 100% perfect, it needs a green belt which I will be making pretty soon as I still have 4 m of nice poison-green flanell wool which are destined for a sporty suit and there will surely be a scrap left for a belt.

Me-Made-Monday No. 11

March 21, 2011

My latest work: Wrap cardigan from pink knit.

And “Funny Hair Day”, teehee: In Thailand I had my hair cut to chin length. Normally I roll it on foam curlers overnight and brush it out in the morning. Today, before brushing I pinned up the front part with 2 combs and just brushed the back part – just to try it. It looked kind of funny and I left it that way. I have a nest of curls on top of my head – sort of Lucille Ball-ish. For everday it is a bit too much I think – my colleagues are giving me strange looks, but they are used to my odd vintage looks, so who cares.

The cardigan I made this weekend from this wrap blouse pattern from Evadress.

Very cozy, but not too flattering as I now can see looking at the picture. Maybe I should make the bows from thinner fabric? Or maybe add more lace trim at the waist?

The cardigan doesn’t look too complex from the outside, but it has a secret life: I added a satin band to the waistline, to stabilize the seam which also serves to tie the underlying front piece in place. An the front seams got stretched a little bit when I did the hems and the lace trim, so I added a slightly stretched elastic band on the inside, to get them to lie close again.

The skirt is from my Me-Made Lanvin suit – a very versatile garment, everybody should have a great skirt.

Me-Made-Monday No. 10

March 14, 2011

Top: New Look6808 made from rayon jersey

Skirtk: Vintage 50ies pattern, my TNT skirt pattern, made from lightweight wool crepe.

Shoes: Miss L. Fire

Hair: misbehaving

Expression: sceptical

Me-Made-Monday No. 8

February 28, 2011

… OK, I’m cheating a bit here. I pre-produced this post because while you are reading this I am sitting in a plane to Thailand for a few days of well deserved vacation. The temperatures in Bangkok are tropical so this outfit will be worn one of those days. I am looking a bit grumpy on the picture as I’ve just finished packing and this always stresses me out.

The pants are made from my TNT pants pattern from a lightweight crepe. The blouse I made after I found those cute gingham wedgies – they were practically screaming for a matching piece of clothing. The shoes and blouse will also look good with a white skirt (if I had one).

Blouse: Modell 117 from  Burdastyle 02/2010

Pants: Modell 11 from Sabrina Woman S 1536 (German pattern magazine). I love this pattern and made quite a few pants from it. On the back it has 3 darts and a pleat in the front. The technical drawing from the mag looks awful, they really should hire a pro for that, but the patterns are quite good.

Me-Made-Monday No. 7

February 21, 2011

We had snow today. SNOW. Please!

Anyhow, the good thing is that I get to wear my lovely wool things a bit longer.

Jacket is a vintage pattern in the style of the Pendletons 49er-Jackets, fabric is vintage wool.

The pants are from my TNT pants pattern from a German pattern magazine. Wide pants with a pleat in the front, 3 darts in the back and a fitted waistband. Fabric is green wool flanell, very soft and cozy.

And here’s the promised picture of me wearing the fluffy 50ies suit I made last week. And brand new shoes from Modcloth. Love them. They’re really high but comfortable.

Me-Made Monday No. 5

February 7, 2011

This morning, I have an appointment in Stuttgart with people from Daimler AG whom I want to win as customers. To give due respect to the occasion I dug out the very best from my closet.

My Me-Made “Lanvin” suit with pink accessories and cute grey-violet shoes.

And the picture is blurry, can you believe it? I am looking good ONCE and this had to happen. And no time for new pictures, I have to run.

Let’s see if I’ll be allowed to enter their grounds with my old Skoda car. ;-).

Me-Made Monday No.4

January 31, 2011

Corduroy Blouse and Skirt Combination

A mix of decades: 30ies bluse (Smooth Sailing by Wearing History,with alterations)5oies Skirt (my current favourite skirt pattern, a vintage 50ies from Butterick).

I changed the back darts of the blouse to a pleat in the center back, covered by a buckle. I repeated the buckle motif on the front and extended the sleeves to 3/4 lenght.

Now that I look at the picture, it sort of makes me look boring (and fat, alas!). You cannot really see the details, it is not THAT drab in reality. I am wearing it with green accessories: a scarf and earrings, but was to lazy to take another picture ;-).

The corduroy is very soft and warm and the outfit feels good when worn. About the fat part … well, everybody can see that I am not skinny anyway, so what the heck?


Blouse: Smooth Sailing by Wearing History

Skirt: my TNT 50ies skirt pattern


soft cotton corduroy from e-bay stoffgrosshandel-holland


approx. 25 Euro

Time for Sewing:

approx. 5 Stunden

On days like this …

January 24, 2011

… nothing get’s finished.

I really don’t know where the weekend has gone. I was busy all the time, sewing, cooking, doing the laundry, doing … well … stuff. And the result? Zilch.

Ok, clean laundry and tasty dinners. But nothing on the sewing front. I must have been hit by a bout of ADS, I was working on several projects simultaneously and finished none. And this is why Me-Made-Monday has been cancelled for this week, sorry folks. 😦

But stay tuned, there’s a little surprise coming on Friday 😉 .