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…)!

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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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Bears!

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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Frida

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.

The post Frida first appeared on tamtamtiger.wordpress.com.

This was my MeMadeMay17

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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

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‘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.

The post MeMadeMay 2017 first appeared on tamtamtiger.wordpress.com.

The Social Skirt

Aren’t they cuddly? This are Sunny and Charlie our cute and furry family members. They live outside and luckily they still have their warm winter coats. It is end of April and minus 6 degrees Celsius at night! And the last two days we had snow! And it was freezing cold! Time to finish my woolen skirt!

Like many things, sewing is best done socially! Thus, I am very happy to tell you, that as of recently I am part of a small group of fabulous women coming together for our own little sewing bee. During our first two gatherings we all worked on our own realizations of the same skirt patter: my trusted Burda skirt (you can see previous versions here, here, here and here).

I still had this lovely wool-cotton blend from the Bogner fabric outlet in Munich lying around. I bought it with the intension of making a cardigan, but I never could bring myself to actually do it – mostly because I couldn’t figure out which pattern would be suitable. So, in time for a snowy spring I turned it into a skirt. It is nicely warm and cozy and I love to wear it on those cold April days. It is fully lined and I obviously love the pockets.

But. Ugh – I still have so much to learn! This skirt pattern was just not the right one for this thick fabric. I should have used a pattern without a waistband. The turned over seams are very bulky which made in particular the waistband very bulky. This also made the insertion of the invisible zip quite challenging. I did manage to get it in, but not as invisible as I would have wished.

I also underestimated the elasticity of the fabric. It does not feel that stretchy, but somehow this skirt became wider and wider and wider…. I did take out quite a bit of width at the back seam but I still can get in and out of the skirt without having to open the zipper…….

No, I will not show you the inner workings of this skirt (or the bulky waistband). The not-so-nice finishes on the inside show the traces of my struggles. But, what shall I say, I love that skirt! I love its coziness. And I love it because there are so many nice moments of sewing together with my friends stitched into it!

Pattern: Burda style 2 / 2010 download-pattern (BM1002 104). I made model B, but I adjusted the length.

Fabric: Wool-cotton blend from the Bogner StoffShop in Munich.

Will I do it again? Not again in this combination!

Update: To keep the skirt from falling off, I pulled an elastic band through the waistband. The elastic band is holding in the waistband only a tiny bit, but enough to greatly improve the skirt’s wearability.

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

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Autumn leaves

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We made some nice fall decoration. Unfortunately I did not take pictures of the process, so I’ll try to explain in words:

First we selected nice leaves from the nearby forest and pressed them (that takes a few days!). Then we places a pressed leave under a sheet of colored paper (in Germany it is called “Tonpapier”, I think it is equivalent to construction paper of thin cardboard) and painted lightly(!) over the paper above the leaves with wax crayons –  suitable are wax crayon-blocks (we use the wax blocks from Stockmar). When painting over the leave underneath the paper the color of the crayon will highlight the coutures of the leave. When the leave is nicely outlined, it can be easily cut out. We attached to a string to hang the leaves into the window.

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The leaves are nicely moving when there is a draft in the room (e.g. because of an open window or door).

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This is my contribution to creadienstag.

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