Blog along

me-made-may'13

Not for me, because I really don’t have enough to show. And with two small kids, visitors to come and unpredictable workload, I don’t feel confident to make a pledge of any kind that would promise any number of newly sewed garments. Maybe next year?

Thinking about this challenge I came to realize how amazingly vibrant and busy the blogging world is. Here in Germany, where most of the sewing blogs I read are located, there are so many “blog-alongs” that the week can become quite busy by just participating in some of them.  Just for fun, here is a list of some “blog-alongs”:

Those are all I know of, but I will add “blog-alongs” as I encounter them.

Of course there are a gazillion more ad-hoc “blog-alongs”, like the seasonal sew-alongs: Wintermantel-sew-along (winter coat), Weihnachtskleid-sew-along (holiday dress), Heidi-Project, Himmelfahrtskommando,……

It is really very busy out there!

Great British Sewing Bee

bee-2993094

(from http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p0165nj8)

The Great British Sewing Bee is a fun to watch talent show on BBC-2. It is a sewing show following the usual talent show format (the contestants have to perform challenges, they are judged by some experts and someone is send home every week). Aside from the format, I really enjoyed the show. I think it is well done, providing lots of extra information about sewing and fabrics. Each challenge is accompanied with some explanations of the technique, its difficulties and possible solutions. And each show also has short episodes of historical trivia and a simple DIY instruction. I watches the first tree episodes on YouTube (Episode 1, Episode 2, Episode 3) and I am looking forward to the final which airs tonight – and will be online hopefully soon, too. Update: here is Episode 4.

I find the show very inspiring and it makes me want to go and get sewing right away! Unfortunately, I am in the process of cleaning up my workspace, need to buy fabric and prepare for visitors to come…. so no sewing for me for a bit.

Juist

IMG_9146a

Hurray! Its done! The pants are Juist Cargohose from Schnittreif at farbenmix. The pants are fairly strait and I liked the fact that one has several options for the knee parts. I opted for an extra layer of thick cotton for the knees – my boy jumps through his pants in no time. The fabric is an easy cotton from hilco, and some bits for the pockets and ribbons from the local store.

juist

This was quite a challenging project for me, because it had several first times (complicated pockets, zipper with flap, snap fastener). Of course it didn’t help, that I decided to use contrasting thread and a to me unknown sewing machine…. I think I opened and redid every second seam.

What I will do better next time:

  • Buy enough thread first time around.
  • Put zipper in correctly right away…..
  • Add loops for belt – it just looks better.
  • Making the rubber band adjustable.
  • Making pants longer! I either screwed up the seam allowance or my boy has really long legs.
  • Probably using bullet prove fabric for the knee pads (just kidding on the bullet prove thing, but something really durable).

If the pants withstand the practical test in kindergarten, then I will sew many more for spring and summer……

Games?

Our older son will enter school in the fall and we enrolled him in our local Waldorf School. One of the guidelines of the Waldorf education entails the exclusion of any screen time for children. That means, no TV, no computers, no games, no smart phones and such. The idea behind this is that (in general) media kills creativity and overwrites the emotional experiences of the real life with those experienced in front of the TV. Although I do enjoy a good movie once in a while (we don’t have a TV, though) and spend way too much time in front of the computer,  I do feel that our children can only benefit from a very limited exposure to media. Especially video games, I thought are outright evil. I still don’t think that playing video games is good, but here is a very interesting TED talk by Jane McGonigal about what makes gaming so attractive and how can we use the potential of Gamers, their optimism and enthusiasm, for the real world.

Well, thinking of it, I am a scientist and I “play games” everyday in the lab. Or, in the evenings, I “play games” in the kitchen trying our new recipes,  or at the sewing machine trying to sew a new garment.  Maybe we should all make a greater effort to teach our children to enjoy the sweet fruits of success when experiments give good results or sewing projects fit, and that we can get so much better at it if we’d only spend so many hours?

Little couturier

2013.04.08.Easter.123a

We spent the Easter holidays at my mom’s. I used the time for some sewing and my mom gave her old doll-sewing machine to my big boy. Although the machine does not properly sew anymore, he spend hours sitting next to me “sewing”. Working side by side with my son warmed my heart.