Help: I just made a leopard print skirt for myself and I am planning to wear it

It looks like I am having some sort of midlife crisis. I suddenly decided that I am one of these women who can totally wear leopard skin outfits. I guess I got inspired by two very fashionable people.

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So, I took my pattydoo Carol dress pattern and used just the skirt part of it. And the left overs of the leopard jumpers. I intended to use only the navy one but I could not match the pattern. The thing with big patterns is that one should really match them at seams. When I started sewing, I just tried to cut out as economically as possible. In a first step I realised it would make sense to match stripes at side seams or to place bigger motives in a sensible, symetric, way even if it means that you are loosing a bit of fabric. This time I took it rather seriously and made sure that the front pieces were perfectly matched. (well, I did my best). On the side seams it wasn’t possible as I didn’t want to loose the A-line. Or 5kg. And unfortunately, I didn’t even try to match the waist band. I was already so pleased with my skirt that I got carried away and cut before thinking. Anyway, my perfectly wearable and age appropriate (mentally “5”) leopard (or whatever wild animal it might be, I am not a zoologist) print skirt:

Note: I had to compromise on the picture quality as otherwise this would be far too compromising 🙂

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And obviously I need to now make a top that can be worn with leopard skin skirts. Strangely I haven’t had anything matching in my wardrobe just yet.

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I wish I would have had more of the dotty fabric, I would have wanted it for one whole side panel, possibly instead of the fuchsia one.

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almost perfect match:

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This side turned out even better:

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Leopard skin aside, I would really want to use the Carol dress pattern again. After all, the trial dress fitted well, winter is kind of overish, fabric sits in the cupboard since months. I am ready to go. Just need to speak to the baby, sorry toddler, about dress preventing breastfeeding routine. Easy.

And now, I’ll join the other ladies on RUMS to see what they have been up to.

 

 

 

Classic black and white collection

I guess, I haven’t exactely been known for my sophisticated and classic taste when it comes to clothing. Or anything else. So you might wonder why my blog is suddenly featuring a black and white collection.

I guess, this is what you are expecting on this blog:

Back to black and white and a more classy approach. But lets do it in small steps, we don’t want anyone to have a heart attack from sudden and big changes.

I wouldn’t say that I have a favourite colour. Lets not get too philosophical but you always need an opposite to actually appreciate certain features. The non-colours black and white are only classic and elegant because there are people like me who think parrot style is best.

So, looking back at the colours above, the trio of pink-orange-teal seamed to be the perfect combination for quite a while. We found it in the old scarf from 2013/14ish (still wearing it by the way)

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and it came almost back in the famous Fashion Course Dress20150418_150742

but in order to get the best possible marks, I went for the more classy shiny black/dark grey instead of pink

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Slowly, slowly my hair turned a bit more silver and with the silver matured my taste for colours. I realised that silver or, as others might call it, “grey”, is actually the new black, and so I happened to purchase grey wool for this year’s baby jumper.

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But if grey is the new black, what is the new white?

Surely it must be yellow.

I was never really a fan of yellow, but now that it is officially the new white, I have realised that it had already creeped into my fabric cupboard.

One of my favourite examples for the amazingness of white yellow would be a top that I rather accidentally made a couple of weeks ago.

I meant to make a shirt for a 11 year old girl with leukaemia. But have you ever tried to choose a fabric to please an 11 year old? As I personally have the taste of a 5 year old, this seamed far too difficult… until I came across a fabric with little monsters who reminded me immediately of leukaemia cells. So I thought, if I can not match her taste anyway, I will take the fun route and make a leukaemia shirt. I chose light pink sleeves to make sure it was still girly.

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The colours in this picture are rubbish. As the shirt is with its rightful owner already, I took a daylight picture of the fabrics to give you a better idea.

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Still a bit pointless, I know. I should have kept the shirt to take a decent picture before handing it over.

Anyway, I found the idea of the leukaemia shirt so great and also the yellow version of the sleeve fabric so amazing that I made a tiny version for the girl’s 1 year old leukaemia buddy with yellow sleeves.

And there it was: my new favourite trilogy, the new black and white! What you all have been waiting for since reading the title.

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Well, with a little bit of teal. Good things always come in threes anyway. Whoever claims anything else on this blog is stupid 🙂

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I am so pleased with those two shirts, especially the yellow version. I suppose the look is more suitable for a 1 year old than for an 11 year old but she was too polite to show it 🙂

So, it looks like my love of orange-pink-teal has secretely turned into a more toned down and mature yellow-grey-teal so who knows, I might really be wearing black and white in my next post.

 

 

Good things always come in pairs

I have no clue if that sentence in the title is true but I finally got hold of the camera with quite a few pictures of things I made ages ago. And I realised that I seem to have made a few things in pairs for whatever reason. (As you clearly can see from those few lines, I am highly motivated, focused and know exactly what I am doing or talking about).

As it is rather a lot, lets just look at the pictures as a sort of resumee.

So there are the octopus trousers (klimperklein pattern). The first ones where too big, so I had to make smaller ones for the small one. But then the big one liked them and wanted to have his own pair. Rather unusual to want the same as the baby but if it happens to be a really cool baby then why not.

The original ones, with aubergine cuffs (which you clearly can’t see in this picture) are my favourite:

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They are ready for next season. Still, the aubergine is pretending to be some kind of black, a colour which I clearly don’t even own:

20161001_114035For some reason I did not actually take a picture of the one that gets worn a lot these days. (I guess another sign of overwhelming lack of motivation), so here comes the picture of the big boy version with pockets next to the baby version one (who is officially totally a toddler, sorry)

img_5608I made the big version with pockets as big boys clearly need pockets

img_5607and I thought it might be a good alternative for leggings, maybe even to be worn to nursery. At least on dress down Friday. But obvi0usly they never got worn, ever. Why “obviously”? Clearly you are new to this blog. I am talking about Mr. No Thank You. I’d like to point out that I am not embittered. Yes, I could have used this huge piece of cute fabric for some other cute baby items for any other cute baby with grateful parents and yes I could have used that time making something for people who would then have been happy about it but no, I am not embittered. Why not? Well, because I kind of knew anyway.

In any case, I found those baby trousers extremely useful so I made another pair

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for my nephew, using the fox fabric of the reversibble jacket.

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And since I still had some of this fabric left – a rather thin sweat by the way – I made another little jumper for another baby

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And I made hats for these two babies, stupidly I only took a picture of one of them:

img_5613These hats not only come in pairs here but rather in bulk. I don’t even know how many I have made over the last few months, I love the pattern (klimperklein, Wendebindemuetze) and I love the fabrics (Boo and Zoo by Hamburger Liebe)

As I realised that these hats are actually not made for Austrian winter, I quickly had to knit (yes, I am still doing that too) a hat for Mr I Am Not A Baby Anymore.

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(Ok, technically it does not fit into this post as it is not part of a pair and as it is really made of the tiniest left overs you could possibly imagine, it obviously belongs in the Sunday Scrap posts but once again, motivational issues make it unlikely that I will sit down again and write a whole post about a silly knitted hat so lets just enjoy it here.)

But enough of these old pictures, I have more recently produced proper pairs:

Two pull over scarf thingies (“neck socks”) with a soft and thick cotton fleece as a lining, much better than long knitted scarfs that might dangerously get caught somewhere.

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A set of hats for twins (klimperklein, Minutenmuetze)

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Please check out the pattern of the lining. I really love it. Tiny balls are the new stripes.

20170118_095010Technically the hats are reversible. But that makes the animals stand on their head. Clearly someone hasn’t been thinking this through.

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Phew, that was quite a lot, wasn’t it. But that happens when you do not write your blog posts on a regular basis. To be honest, we are not quite done yet but I am jsut as tired as you are so I’ll leave the cutest pair for another post, especially as the colour combination deserves your full attention. I think after years of pink-orange-teal I have finally found my new trio….

 

 

Bye Bye 2016 – the year of the most magnificent make

If you don’t fancy reading an epic and boring post please scroll to the truly amazing pictures at the end. They are worth it. Really.

As we have established in the last post, 2016 is officially a not so good year. And I guess since then there have been a few incidents that did not quite help.

Personally, I would also say, it has not been the best year of my life but certainly the one with the most challenges. And there is actually a good thing about challenges, too. They make you grow. And I am determined not to let the bad things win. Instead of moaning, being scared and living in split societies, lets pull ourselves together and think what we can do to reunite and work as a team. (I am talking to you, my friends in the land of brexit and in Trumpistan, well and in all European countries I guess) Look around you and do something to unite people instead of separating them. Founding a knitting group is definitely a good thing. I guess for the male readers of the blog I would recommend playing football or starting to talk to strangers in the pub. But I suppose you are doing that already.

I also want to use this post to show you the greatest thing I have ever made. In my whole life. I love it and I want to wrap myself into it. I am really proud of it. Since about three months I want to write an appropriate post about it. But as it deserves a hair cut, a professional fotographer and probably a studio with proper lighting (yes it does deserve all of that), I had to delay it. I still haven’t found a photographer (mainly because I wasn’t looking) but I really want to share it with you to show you that 2016 wasn’t actually just bad. So, those few pictures taken on an early September morning will do. I trust my skilled followers to imagine the thing in its whole glory.

But let me start from the beginning. Ever since I have children, I wanted one of these and moving back to Austria, into a bigger flat, I thought it would be finally time to get it: a play carpet with roads on it. A trip to a Swedish furniture shop made me realise that the ones you can purchase don’t feel nice materialwise and are certainly not as cool as the one we had as children. Which was basically a huge piece of blue fabric, possibly a thin denim, with simple stitched lines to mark the roads. In all those years I hadn’t realised that my mum had made it. So I decided to make one myself. I had seen street fabrics so I was initially thinking of buying one of these, finish the edges and voila.  Certainly I did not intend to invest hours of work to mark the roads by hand stitching them.

And that might be the moment when I got carried away a little bit. I thought I had finally found my perfect niche product where I could earn my living. Not too much material involved and certainly quick to sew. I had the vision of a take away play mat, maybe with a little holder with handles, similar to a picknick blanket. Or how about attaching the handles directly to the mat? In which case I would need a second layer of fabric to have a nice back. And as my husband pointed out, one or even two layers of fabric would not be a nice texture. So I would need to add some padding. So material costs were already on the rise, work load still under control. I guess you would still find some people who would buy it for a reasonable price (from my point of view)

Sure those fabrics with street prints on them are not the cheapest and to be honest, I liked the simplicity of our own blanket as it leaves so much room for your own imagination. I was torn. And did some research. And found some wonderful and crazy examples, like the one Schnabelina made. For very obvious reasons she calls it play mat “deluxe”. Or this one by ollewetter. I really liked the idea of adding a pocket on the outside. Obviously if you have a take away play mat then you’ll need to take a few cars with you. So fabric costs were going up again but still under control as left overs could be finished off. Time involved was on the rise as well. Still an affordable result though I thought. At this point I was already mentally designing a website for my play mat shop. Only mentally, I don’t know how to design a website.

Those two examples have impressed me a lot. Schnabelinas tunnel and also ollewetters petrol station are so cool. Again, I had to rewrite my business plan. Using up left overs would make it possibly less expensive fabricwise but time was exploding. Hmm. I guess this was the moment when my project left the “not exactly fortune generating but still reasonable business ” area and became a “slightly over the top birthday present for someone who will not actually play that much with it”.

Anyway, here it is.

From the very first draft to a full scale pattern (as a modern designer you will obviously need a computer and a cup of coffee. And a very long ruler. You guys won’t have any of these, it is just for professionals, you see)

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Checking if scale works for real life play

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I kept the original pattern and cut out shapes on transparent paper to be able to check fabric later.

Slowly things are taking shape:

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For the back I used a dotted cotton. I think it is a nice and colourful look and it also hides the cleverly placed poppers which keep the folded mat in bag size.

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The whole thing is padded with a thick layer of… well…. padding. It has a really nice and soft texture now.

For the front I used a grey cotton as background and then different fabrics, mainly greens cut out and appliqued. Depending on the used fabric, you could imagine a zoo in one corner and a, rather dangerous, seaside on the bottom edge with a little bit of sandy beach in the corner. The roundabout features a flower bed. Or a flower shop if you want. But definitely something with flowers.

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I made a variety of buildings, some have a more obvious use than others who are supposed to give the player more room for imagination.  Apparently the intended fire station at the top in the previous picture can also be used as church (by every annoying and not seeing the truth person I asked)

I just needed my own petrol station:

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img_5401-2The very attentive readers amongst you (not too many I know) may have noticed that the helicopter landing spot in the dark green has been replaced by the hospital in the second picture. How is this possible? Another, similar play mat? No. This is my favourite, incredibly clever feature: all those buildings are actually removeable. There are one type of popper sides all over the play mat and the builings have the other type. So you can clip them on wherever you want (obviously not really wherever you want, only on the poppers, silly)

And just a few more pictures, because I am so impressed and pleased with myself 🙂

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Here, you can also admire the zig zagging around all edges and for the street markings and zebra crossing. Well and some dinosaurs who invaded the mat.

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As I was not the only extremely pleased person, my daughter requested a car play mat as well. I thought it is silly to have two of them in the house and convinced her that a enchanted forest, fairytale scenery would be much better. Now I have to make one of these. Except that I don’t know how. But hey, another challenge which will make me grow (see how I cleverly came back to the start of this post?)

Have a good end of the year and I wish you all a happy and healthy 2017 with lots of new friends.