Green Wool Skirt

E: Last week I went with my friend B. to check out the new fabric store Stoff & Stil in Munich. Its a big store with a large selection and we spend hours roaming through the aisles of fabric. I found this lovely green wool knit and made this very cozy warm winter-skirt.

D: Letzte Woche bin ich mit meiner Freundin B. zu dem neuen Stoff & Stil Laden in München gefahren. Es ist ein großer Laden mit einer großen Stoffauswahl und wird sind stundenlang duer die Gaenge voller Stoffballen gewandert. Dort fand ich unter anderem diesen kuscheligen grünen Wollstoff für einen warmen Winterrock.

E: Stoff & Stil also has a selection of ready to go patterns on site. Although this cut out patterns are very practical, they usually confuse me because my body covers three sizes from breast to hip and I never know which size to pick and where to alter best… nevertheless I picked up the skirt pattern No. 21031 and figured that this is simple enough to do some free-hand alterations. And after opening the side-seams twice, I have now a well fitting cozy skirt! However, I realized that I don’t have many items to combine it with….  This made me contemplate my sewing plans for this year.

D: Stoff & Stil hat auch eine Auswahl an fertig ausgeschnittenen Schnittmustern. Obwohl diese fertig vorbereiteten Schnittmuster sehr praktisch sind, tue ich mich damit etwas schwer, da mein Körper von der Brust bis zur Hüfte drei Größen umfasst und ich nie weiß, welche Größe ich kaufen und wo ich dann am besten Anpassungen vornehmen muss… Nichtsdestotrotz habe ich das Schnittmuster Nr. 21031 für einen Rock mitgenommen. Es schien mit simpel genug, um es sozusagen Freihand anpassen zu können. Nachdem ich die Seitennähte zwei mal aufgetrennt habe, habe ich nun einen gut passenden kuscheligen Rock! Allerdings musste ich feststellen, dass ich nicht viele Kleidungsstücke habe, die sich gut mit diesem Rock kombinieren lassen…. Das ließ mich über meine Nähpläne für dieses Jahr nachdenken.

E: I am very intrigued by the idea of a minimalistic capsular wardrobe. Honestly, I tend to wear always the same favorite items anyway and at the same time my closet is full with things I barely know… I found two helpful resources:  The Wardrobe Architect and The Curated Closet. I started to read through the first one and really like it. I will try to work through each step. The second one now exists as book as well. One step towards a better planned wardrobe is to find the right color scheme. Colors can be divided into three categories: basic colors, neutrals and accent colors. And this is what I came up with for myself: my basic color definitely is blue. And I realize that I really like green. So far I don’t own many green items and I am still not sure, if green is really a basic color for me or rather an accent color. My neutrals are gray, beige, black and jeans. As accent-colors I like petrol, dark orange and aubergine. I certainly have many blues on my sewing list (check), and some neutrals (that could be more) and some accent colors (check).

D: Ich bin sehr von der Idee einer minimalistischen Garderobe angetan. Ehrlicherweise muss ich zugeben, dass ich eigentlich immer die gleichen Lieblingsstücke trage und gleichzeitig in meinem Kleiderschrank viele (fast) unbekannte Stücke schlummern… Ich habe zwei hilfreiche Seiten gefunden:  The Wardrobe Architect und The Curated Closet. Ich habe angefangen, durch die erste zu lesen und finde sie wirklich hilfreich. die zweite ist inzwischen als Buch auch auf deutsch erschienen. Ein Schritt auf dem Weg zu einer besser organisierten Garderobe ist, die richtigen Farben zu finden. Die Farben kann man in drei Gruppen unterteilen: Grundfarben, neutrale Farben und Farben, die Akzente setzten. Mein Farbschema sieht erst mal so aus: meine Grundfarbe ist definitiv blau. Ist stelle fest, dass ich auch wirklich grün mag, bisher habe ich aber noch nicht viele grüne Kleidungsstücke und bin mir daher noch nicht so ganz im Klaren darüber, ob grün für mich tatsächlich eine Grundfarbe ist oder sich doch eher für Akzente eignet. Meine neutralen Farben sind grau, beige, schwarz und jeans-blau. Und Akzente setze ich gerne mit petrol, dunklem orange und aubergine.  Ich habe auf jeden Fall viel blaues auf meiner Näh-Liste (check), und ein paar wenige Dinge in neutralen Farben (da ist noch Luft nach oben) und Akzentfarben sind auch vertreten (check).

Fabric: Thick wool knit (80% wool 20% polyester) from Stoff & Stil in Munich

Pattern: Pattern No. 21031 by Stoff & Stil, altered in waist and length.

Will I do it again? Yes, a bought some other knit which I also want to turn into a skirt.

This is my contribution to RUMS.

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Salt-and-Pepper Cardigan

I started the New Year cozy and warm: I made my first cardigan! Its so toasty – I barely took it off since I finished it (way back in November… well, yes, sometimes it takes a while to write a blogpost – taking pictures is usually the bottle neck. But now, you know, New Year’s Resolutions and all…..).

I had the plan to make a cardigan for years. First I couldn’t find the right fabric for the pattern I selected (which I later rejected again) and then I couldn’t decide on the right pattern for the fabric I found. Two years ago I bought several meters of a nice wool knit and and several meters of a cheaper nit for a try out version. I spend hours searching for a suitable pattern I liked.

Finally, I came across the basic Strickmantel (“knit-coat”) by ki-ba-doo. I really liked the examples I saw. And I am very happy how mine tuned out. It is definitely one of my favorite me-made-items of the year 2017!

The sewing itself wasn’t that easy for me, though – I am not a very experienced seamstress. Therefore, I really would have appreciated a more elaborate instruction included in this e-book. The instructions were a bit short for my level of sewing and I had to improvise a bit along the way because some steps didn’t make sense to me.

I made the medium long version and cut the back in one piece (the pattern suggests a horizontal seam).  I added a belt to be able to close the cardigan somewhat, an alteration I will also include in the next version of the cardigan – the knit is sitting here waiting. Meanwhile I cuddle up in salt-and-pepper!

And while being at it: here is my latest realization of the cowl neck shirt by patty-doo using a viscose jersey from the fabric market. Other versions are here. The skirt I showed here.

Pattern: basic Strickmantel (“knit-coat”) by ki-ba-doo.

Fabric: knit with mixed content from local fabric store

Will I do it again? Yes. The next knit is waiting.

This is my contribution to me-made-Mittwoch.

Dieser Blogpost ist auf Englisch. Ich lese und beantworte Kommentare aber gerne auch auf Deutsch.

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Waterfall Shirt

(before dyeing)

So far my sewing efforts mainly concentrated on skirts because I felt that well fitting tops are so difficult to achieve. Therefore I took on the challenge to find (at least) three well fitting patterns for tops. Actually, this was part of my pledge for this year’s Me Made May Challenge (slowly but surely…)!

Top-challenge no. 1 is the waterfall shirt “Scarlett” from Patty-Doo. It took me three iterations until I felt comfortable. First, I selected the wrong size (I always tend to make things too big), and then I had to make the neckline higher (the water was falling a bit too low). But now I am really happy with it!

(after dyeing black/gray)

For practice I used a fabric I bought online, which I obviously couldn’t really touch nor properly see before it arrived at my doorstep. The fabric I finally received was something quite different from what I had expected (way too bright – see the first picture above, and heavy falling viscose instead of a light cotton jersey). I had bought 3m (well, yes) and felt that for practice this (and some other leftover fabric) was definitely good enough. So I put the tops together (four altogether) and then dyed them over with black (above, rather grayish) and blue (below).

(after dyeing blue)

One can still see the original pattern, but the colors are not as bold, and I think the flowers are even more recognizable as such. I am actually rather pleased how the tops came out in the end and really like to wear them!

Pattern: Patty-Doo Waterfall Shirt “Scarlett” (thanks for the fantastic video tutorial!). Alterations: I shortened the neckline as described in the pattern instructions.

Fabric: The fabric was marked as a cotton jersey, but I am pretty sure it is (or contains) viscose.  The rather bold pattern I dyed over using black and blue dye. The pattern is still visible but not as bright.

Will I do it again? Yes!!

This is my contribution to RUMS.

Dieser Blogpost ist auf Englisch. Ich lese und beantworte Kommentare aber gerne auch auf Deutsch.

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Foliage wrap-around skirt

Fall is here. The trees are changing into vibrant shades of yellow, orange and red. So wonderful colors and light!

(Okoř, close to Praha)

During the last month I had a major clean-out of my closet and sewing corner. I keep a stack of old clothes which I don’t wear anymore, but the material is too good to be toss out and instead can be used in some sewing project. Several years ago I received an orange corduroy skirt from a family member for exactly that purpose.

During the clean-out this wrap-around skirt resurfaced. Being infected by those wonderful autumn colors around me I wanted to wear a skirt like this!

The original skirt was too long and too tight. So I generously cut off the hem and opened the side seams. From the cut off hem I salvaged rectangular pieces which I inserted into the side seams.

The direction of the corduroy of the skirt is (as usual) vertical, but of the inserted side panels it is horizontal. This I think adds an interesting feature to the skirt! Finally I repositioned the buttons and have now a lovely new old skirt!

Pattern: Refashioning an old skirt. No pattern used.

Fabric: A used corduroy skirt

Will I do it again? Refashioning old clothes? Always!

This is my contribution to RUMS.

Dieser Blogpost ist auf Englisch. Ich lese und beantworte Kommentare aber gerne auch auf Deutsch.

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little things

I have a relatively large handbag with space enough for hats, scarfs and gloves of three kids and myself. But somehow the little things I put into my bag tend to disappear. To prevent things from constantly getting lost I made two little bags to go into my big handbag. They now hold all the little necessities like chocolate bars, hand cream, lip stick etc. ready to be found.

These where the first bags with zipper I ever made and I am quite happy! Although the beginning and end of the zipper could be cleaner – I should at least once look at a proper tutorial and learn from the experts!

One thing that seems to hide most successfully in my bag are my keys. For them I made a colorful band long enough to wear around my neck. Now the keys are easy to find. And when I have my keys with me (and not my bag) I can easily carry them around, especially if my garment doesn’t have suitable pockets (like this matching skirt).

fabric: bags: outside IKEA, inside left over scraps. Key-band: IKEA. Zippers and hook from my local haberdashery.

pattern: self drafted

Will I do it again: The necessity for making bags will always pop up!

Dieser Blogpost ist auf Englisch. Ich lese und beantworte Kommentare aber gerne auch auf Deutsch.

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Once a week we drive my oldest boy for a class to the nearby town. To my delight (and surprise) I found two little stores with a small selection of fabrics (and wool!) and a large selection of notions! Hurray! I finally can buy thread and zippers and needles and… just around the corner (I prefer buying those things in the store over having to order every little thing over the Internet).

Most of the time I have my little boys in tow and while we wait for my oldest to finish his class, we spend our time in one of those little stores. There is always something I need and from time to time my boys are allowed to select something for themselves, too.  Usually they are allowed to select a button each (a box of an assortment of buttons is the best toy ever! really!) , but recently they where allowed to select fabric for pants.


My middle child (he is 5 now) selected those hearty bears. It’s a cotton sweat by Swafing. The pattern is no. 10 from Ottobre 3/2013 in size 116. The pattern calls for poplin for a panel at the sides and a pocket on the back which I omitted. Instead I cut the back piece including the side panel. A cool feature are the welt pockets (my first!). The pocket bag has only one layer which is stitched to the front piece – this takes away some bulk and keeps the pocket nicely in place.


My youngest also selected a fabric for himself. His pants are still sitting on the cutting table. I am looking forward for my sewing group to resume, which will give me not only additional sewing time to finish this project but most importantly the joy of sewing socially!

Pattern: no. 10 from Ottobre 3/2013 in size 116. Alterations: I cut the back piece including the side panels, omitted the back pocket and adjusted the length.

Fabric: Swafing Sweat byGraziela Bären Herzen blau / hellblau

Will I do it again? Yes! The next one is already waiting!

This is my contribution to Made4Boys.

Dieser Blogpost ist auf Englisch. Ich lese und beantworte Kommentare aber gerne auch auf Deutsch.

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Sun-Print Skirt

This has been a very longterm project. Two years ago I prepared this fabric for a skirt but never got around putting it together (I was too scared to screw it up). But ow I felt confident enough to finish it and enjoy wearing my new skirt during the last warm days of summer.

Inspired by Alisa’s sun-print bag I tried this technique on a very hot sumer day. First I cut out the pieces for a skirt (my trusted burda pattern, you can see previous versions here, here, here, here and here). Then I colored the fabric with diluted fabric paint and quickly pressed on it leaves I found in the garden. The whole thing I put to dry in the hot sun.

The dried fabric now looked like this – you can see the shape of the leaves:

I am still not sure how exactly this works. Alisa believes that this happens because the leaves absorb the pigments from the wet color. This could be one possibility. An other possibility is that the fabric dries faster where it is not covered by a leave. The water, containing the paint particles, is then sucked out from underneath the leaves (through capillary effects and the moisture gradient) so that there is then less paint where the leaves have been. Or the reason cold be an entirely different one. I am a geek and I love to understand things. So, if you have knowledge (or an opinion) about this I love to hear it!

So, this is the skirt. I kept it very simple, no pockets, invisible zip at the side, no visible seams on the outside. One new thing I tried:  after closing the upper edge of the waist band, I stitched the seam allowance to the inner part of the waist band before folding it over. That way the inner part of the waistband is kept better in place and will not peak out at the upper edge.

The print is not as visible as much as I had hoped and I am still afraid that it might wash out (although I used fabric paint and ironed the thing about a hundred times). Enough reason to try again! Now our summer is almost over but next year I might turn this into an other project with my sons!

Pattern: Burda style 2 / 2010 download-pattern (BM1002 104). I made model B. Alterations: I cut the back in one piece, put the invisible zip into the side seam, omitted the pockets, adjusted the length and have no visible seams on the outside.

Fabric: an old white cotton bed sheet, dyed using  Alisa’s sun-print technique and normal fabric paint bought at the local crafts store.

Will I do it again? YES! Its a fun technique! But next time it will probably something else than a skirt.

This is my contribution to RUMS.

Dieser Blogpost ist auf Englisch. Ich lese und beantworte Kommentare aber gerne auch auf Deutsch.

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For my youngest I made Frida by Milchmonster. I actually made this already more than two years ago but never got around posting it and, unfortunately, the little one outgrew those nice pants in the meantime. But I had them lying around recently to show to a friend and the little one (he is now three) found them and put them on! They (almost) fit again without diapers! They are just a bit tight and a bit short…..

I made them according to the pattern in size 80 using a pair of old jeans from my husband. The only alteration I made was to use the largest size for the knee patches.

The back pieces I had to patch together because the original jeans had holes. I patched the back pieces and not the front pieces because I felt that might be more comfortable and I patched both sides (although it would not have been necessary) because of symmetry.

The little one was wearing those pants a lot and I am sad that they are now too small. In some blog posts I read that some are putting a rubber-band into the waistband. I didn’t do that. I felt that the pants are cut relatively snug around the hips which keeps them from falling off. But If you want to make them more roomy, a rubber band might be a good idea.

Pattern: Frida by Milchmonster, size 80. Alteration: I used the knee patches for the largest size.

Fabric: old jeans, leftover pieces of thick fabric for the knee patches, elastic jersey for the cuffs and waist-band from local fabric store.

Will I do it again? I have no plans now. But I start thinking that my oldest might like a pair!

This is my contribution to Made4Boys.

Dieser Blogpost ist auf Englisch. Ich lese und beantworte Kommentare aber gerne auch auf Deutsch.

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This was my MeMadeMay17


Today is the last day of May and the last day of Me Made May 2017. I really enjoyed this challenge! It forced me to consider my clothes more than I usually do. This May had extreme temperatures – below 10C in the beginning of the month and around 30C during the last days. So I could wear my me made warm as well as my summer cloths.









I did manage to fulfill (most of) my pledge:

  1. I did wear at least one me made item at least 5 days per week.  I wore 6 different skirts (21 days), 1 dress (once) and 3 different tops (6 days). A clear favorite for cooler days is my up-cycled jeans skirt (above left; I wore it on 9 days). For warmer weather I really liked to wear the pink flower skirt (above right; I wore it on 4 days).
  2. Par of my pledge was to make and wear me made tops. I did wear three different me made tops. Two are new and one is from last summer. I did not blog about them jet, because I am not that happy about how they turned out. I find it extremely difficult to make a pattern for a top fit properly – even if made from jersey. Thus I am still in the process to make 2-3 different well fitting tops. So this part of the pledge I did not fulfill completely but I am intensely working on it!
  3. I did start to clean out my wardrobe and rediscovered old items. I also dyed over a few items and gave them a second life. Inspired by the  Wardrobe Architect on the Colette blog I stared to analyze my preferences and I discovered that apparently I really like flowery patterns (for some it might seem obvious but to me it actually was a surprise….)!

What did I learn during this challenge:

  • I can and really like to wear my me made items.
  • I urgently need tops to wear with my skirts. Simple and nice tops. Yes, this is my “top-challenge”!
  • I do need more variety. I need a longer skirt and summer pants. A cardigan would be nice, too. (the list goes on….)

Thanks to Zoe for initiating MeMadeMay! I am feeling so proud that I actually could join this year. It is a great motivation to continue working on a me made wardrobe!

This is my contribution to MMM17.

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MeMadeMay 2017


‘I, Calina from tamtamtiger, sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May ’17. I endeavour to wear self-made items at least five days per week, for the duration of May 2017’

Yes, I am joining Zoe’s call for challenge this year! I have a few nice items which I really like to wear and do so a lot, but I want to see  them more as part of my developing core wardrobe. Therefore, beyond wearing self-made items five days per week:

        1. I want to challenge myself to consciously chose and combine my self-made items. I mostly have self-made skirts and combine them with always the same tops. I want to be more conscious how I wear my self-made items and be more experimental in combining them. I usually have about three minutes in the morning to pick out my clothes for the day and get dressed, so no wonder I am mostly falling back onto my usual uniform. Having more diverse “ready-to-grab” outfits would be helpful and fun. As a mother of three small children (they are now 9, 5 and 3) I don’t have much time to spend on my clothes and they have to be practical (suitable for biking and for spending an afternoon on the playground) and at the same time nice enough for work.
        2. I want to challenge myself to add 2-3 new tops to my wardrobe to a) have more choices for my existing skirts and to b) overcome my “Anpassungsangst” [fitting issues] for tops. I would like to “master” 2-3 different top styles which fit really well and which I can quickly sew up in different colors and patterns, just as I need them.  My newly found sewing group is such a big support for all my sewing plans!
        3. I want to challenge myself to clean out my wardrobe and rethink my style following the Wardrobe Architect on the Colette blog. Of course I will not change my entire wardrobe and style within one month, but I want to use this challenge to get started on it.

Those are big plans for the month of May and I am looking forward to play with my me-made items. I am still contemplating how I will be able to document my daily outfits, since I will not be able to take daily pictures. I probably will have to do it similarly as Zoe does it: write down my daily outfits for myself and do a summary of my challenge at the end of the month. I am looking forward to #MMM17!

This is my contribution to MMM17.

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