Wedding presents

A very dear childhood friend of mine got married in September and it also happened to be our tenth wedding anniversary! It was supposed to be a lovely weekend but as life always swoops in, we were not able to go the wedding. I was pretty bumped but at least my parents and sisters were there to represent the family.
Soon after the weeding my friend sent me the link to her wedding photos and it must have been one of the best weddings: it was on the countryside in Hungary, not many people were attending but they partied hard! And the decoration was so lovely “vintagy” but really in a good, sophisticated way!
Anyway, I didn’t know for a long time what to get the happy couple but a couple of weeks before the wedding the inspiration finally came as I noticed how much I love my own, ten-years old and very much worn out kitchen mittens. I know, giving kitchen supplies is very old fashioned and could be boring but I love my mittens because an other dear friend gave us as wedding present and each time I use, I think of her. I might be sentimental but in my opinion this is what missing from most of todays wedding presents because almost every couple wants to receive money instead of presents. But you can’t remember your loved ones by money what you’ll spend! I know, you can buy what you really need from the money but it is still not the same. At least not for me.
Short story long, I decided to sew an apron, a couple of kitchen towels and a cook book cover, all using the same fabric. Check out how this little parcel turned out:

The apron has one pocket and one loop for kitchen towel. I might add one to my apron because I always miss this function!

I also included two key holders made from old and empty spools. I think the happy couple appriciated these presents as we gave them on our latest trip to Hungary. They invited us for a lovely dinner to make up for missing their wedding, isn’t that just thoughtful?

We also brought a huge “Printen” from Aachen which is Aachen’s famos gingerbread.(sorry, forgot to take a picture)


Please, let me know in a comment below if you have wedding presents that you still treasure after years! I’d love to hear their stories!

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A dream come true

One of my favorite writers is Gerald Durrell who was an amazing zoologist, founder of the word famous Jersey Zoo and he also had excellent humor. I read many of his books and I loved them all, so when I heard that a new TV-series is coming out in 2016 based on his books, I became very excited. Plus I also love historical movies and this series is kind of like those.
We watched both seasons (2016, 2017) with my husband and just loved it. I am usually sceptical to watch movies based on books that I read before and loved them because the movies are often disappointing but luckily not The Durrells. I loved every minute of the series!
And of course I fell in love with Mrs. Durrell clothes… I couldn’t help it. Does this happen to other sewists, too, that you see a dress on TV and you just have to make it? What I fell in love with this time were a pair of pants worn by Mrs. Durrell several times.
Unfortunately I wasn’t able to find a picture of these particular pants but instead check out this article on her custumes throughout the series!

First I searched for a good pattern online but I couldn’t find one, so I went to my local fabric shop and came home with the Burda style 6573 pattern and made these pants for myself:

Although I had problems with the pattern, I was so determined to make the pants that after some alteration I was finally able to finish my dream pants. From dreaming of it and actually wearing them, it took about eight months but I am so happy when I am wearing these pants that all efforts and waiting and planning was worth it! I just love these pants.

End of Summer

I had a very busy August. I know it’s already October but I am a little behind with my posts, so please excuse this little delay! You’ll soon understand why is that and hopefully it’ll be worth the waiting!
So let’s get back to my end of summer projects! One of them was to create goodbye presents to my son’s kindergarten teachers since he was going to leave and start his new adventures in school. I wasn’t going to just buy a gift card or something meaningless because first of all it’s not who we are. My sister, my in-laws work with kids, even my mom did before retirement, so I have a little understanding what it actually means. Second of all, our son was very lucky and had really amazing teaches in his group (even if he didn’t always understood that) and they truly deserved a personalized present. I don’t mean to order something off the internet and add their name to it which would be also thoughtful but still not what I had in mind.

First I came up with the idea of making similar key holders. After that I asked my son to make something out of (air dry) clay and he choose to create hearts. He even painted them! Aren’t they just lovely?

Then I got a package of Merci chocolate for each teacher and one of my friend recommended a print out template in German which we were able to cut and glue to each chocolate bar. They said like: “thanks for tying my shoes” or “thanks for all the hugs” or “thanks for encouraging me” etc.  It took a long time to glue each chocolate bar but my husband helped a lot! Then we hid a picture of our son under the chocolate.

What I also made is zipper pouches for all the teachers and two cases for glasses for the two teachers who wears them.

Unfortunately I didn’t take a picture of them but the other colleges, the cleaning lady and the directors received heart shaped ginger breads. It’s a traditional Hungarian recipe and I just love to make them because they are so delicious!
I think people will think I went way overboard and I am crazy. Maybe they are right. I might not be able to do the same for our little one or later in school but this is what I think is right and I do believe that we should care a little more for those who nurture our kids because they do a tremendous job!

Summer Projects

After a very, very long summer vacation I am finally back. The reason is why I stayed away for so long is because I am currently working on something completely new and it takes up a lot of my time. But hopefully my hard work will be worth it and I can share some good news with you guys very soon. Until then please, let me share a couple of projects I worked on during the summer.

The first of them is a sleeveless blouse with a circular collar. When I saw and bought this bright yellowish fabric, I knew right away that I will make a pretty summer top from it. A few weeks later this is what I came up with:

First it looked like this…

…but I wasn’t very pleased with it, so I ripped the side seams, added cords on both sides and finally took in on the back side.

As I am looking back on the pictures, I’m actually not convinced that it looks better this way… What do you think? Which version do you prefer? I might change it back…

The second project was a T-Shirt. I bought a bright blue T-Shirt, cut the neck line to make it larger and inserted a long piece of pink jersey.

I also made the sleeves a bit longer and I must say that I love how it turned out. It was a very easy make over and it makes a huge difference. Don’t you think? I just love it.

The third project I want to show you today has something to do with our vacation spent in Spain. My husband and I had the luxury of traveling to Sitges (which is a small town near Barcelona) and the best part is that our kids stayed with my parents during this time.
We are not the type of people who go to the beach very often (the last time we went was four years ago!), so we were not very well equipped for spending time on the sand: we didn’t bring any kind of big towel to lay on. But luckily many beautiful beach towels were sold right at the beach and I loved their mix of colors, they were just all very pretty! So I decided to buy one, use it on the beach during our vacation and then convert it to a skirt later when we get back home. This is why I ended up buying a circular towel instead of a square one. Look, how beautiful it was and it turned out after the makeover:

I adore this skirt, it brings me back to my teen years when I wore lots of long skirts.

As you can see on the left upper corner of this picture, I collected a huge pile of fabrics during our one month long vacation (not just in Spain but also in Hungary) and this was the first project made from those. A lot more to come, I hope. Stay tuned!

Green summer skirt

As real summer finally arrived in Aachen too, I went through my wardrobe to see what kind of outfits do I have to wear on those rear hot days and what I discovered is that I have only one long summer skirt. I bought that one about ten years ago in a second hand shop when I was a student and I still love it and wear it with joy. So I thought why not make an other one in a different color? I even bought the same kind of linen fabric to make the skirt and guess which color I chose? Green of course, I love green!

But this time I choose a very bright green because this is going to be a summer skirt and should be bright! Right?

I just laid out the skirt on the fabric and cut around it, I thought it should be fine but it wasn’t…

It wasn’t because I forgot toconsider the direction of the grain and the skirt turned out to be too tight. I almost gave up but then I decided to cut the back side in the middle and make it wider. I’m so glad I did! Very amateur mistake, I must admit but after all it turned out just fine.

To the waist I added an elastic band and a pull string-just like the original skirt. They make the skirt really comfortable.

And the ruffles on the bottom? Aren’t they just lovely? I think they make the skirt look rather elegant, don’t you agree?

I can’t wait to wear this summer skirt! Only the weather had turned quiet cold here since I finished the skirt but I do not worry. I hope I will be able to wear it at least ten years long, just like the original one! Lucky me, I have a second amazing long skirts for the summer and it really didn’t take much time to sew it! 🙂

A few smaller projects

In the last couple of weeks I worked on a few smaller projects and I thought I would share them with you in this post.

A grandmother who lives in Aachen and was visiting her son and his family in Hungary asked me if I could make a bed cover for his grand son. It was supposed to cover one side of the bed, hanged on the railing to protect the little one from blast while he is asleep. It was also requested that I use Hungarian hand dyed blue print fabric but other then that no more was specified in terms of pattern or colors or really anything at all. This is what I came up with:

I loved this project because I always enjoy working with blue prints and it has been a while since I last made a quilt.

My other project was to make new (and water proof) bibs for my little one because he loves to eat soup but his older (and handed down) bibs are kind of worn out and they don’t protect his cloths anymore as well as they should. I also made the bibs larger, so they will cover his lap, too and I added a plastic foil to the back side to really protect his T-Shirts from anything he will spill. We already use these and so far so good!

The third project I want to show you is a case for tampons and panty liners. I searched for a pattern or for a tutorial but haven’t found any that I could use. What I did find was a few good ideas that I combined in one. My favorite part is the loop: I can hang this case on door knobs and don’t have to worry about where will I put it down while I use it. What do you think?

This is it for today. I hope you enjoyed it! Next week I’ll be back with my fantastic new green skirt! Until then enjoy this beautiful summer weather and tell me about your latest mini-project!

Green Summer Tunic

As you may have noticed my last post came out about a month ago which does not mean that I gave up sewing! Oh, no! Only I haven’t really been in the mood for writing. I don’t know what it is with me because I love sewing so much and I am always busy working on at least a couple of projects. There are a few distractions in my life right now and they make it hard to concentrate on the this blog. Anyway, I am proud to present a beautiful green summer tunic to you that I made!

For this dress I used the pattern which came in my stitching Santa parcel: From The Craft Network (The Eva Collection) CNS03. Thanks again, Ali (blogger from the Thimberlina) for this present! (It’s the blue one in the middle:)

I chose the short sleeve version and bought a beautiful green and black jersey fabric. I was really scared because my last attempt to make a jersey dress gave me a lot of head ache but this time I bought new needles and everything went smoothly.

Except for one thing: the dress didn’t fit me even though I made some adjustments to the pattern after measuring myself. This is something that I need to practice more: adjusting a pattern because I am clearly not a confection size. Especially not after giving birth to my kids… Usually I need pants and skirts in size 38 but my upper body is only size 34/36. I wonder if there is anybody who fits perfectly to the confection sizes? Or we need to shape ourselves nowadays to the clothes we can buy? Thank God that I found sewing!
So this is how the dress hang on me after finishing it:

It was awful but I didn’t give up just yet. Instead I turned it inside out and pinned where it needed altering. I took in quiet some on the side seam and a bit under the bust.

I also added a ribbon and two loops on the sides to keep that from sliding down.

The side openings and hems looks perfect this time which makes me very happy! I made some progress in jersey sewing!

Unfortunately I deleted somehow most of the pictures that were taken of me (by a dear friend, thanks again, Gabi!) but luckily I still got the best one:

I made this dress in the hope we can make it to Barcelona with my Husband this summer. We’ll celebrate our 10th wedding anniversary and we would like to leave the kids at my Parents’ and have a short getaway on our own. Let’s cross the fingers and hope that no one will get sick and our trip will not get cancelled! Especially because this dress deserves to be worn in Barcelona! Don’t you agree?

Easter Projects 2017

I had to start the Easter projects of this year as early as February because of an Easter market where these beauties presented were. This Easter market took place three weeks ago at the Hungarian Club in Aachen and this was the first time we organized it. The four of us shared a very long table where we all presented our creations but beside that visitors had the opportunity to try various Easter egg decorating technique.

I have never had a table before at an Easter market, so I had to come up with new ideas what to create and sell. My first idea was to sew little bags with some festive applique on front because every child needs a good bag for Easter egg hunt, right?

Last year as I attended my Christmas craft fair I watched the lady at the table next to mine: she created very unique post cards and some of the cards were made to give money. She sold lots of those because novadays almost all grandparents give money as Christmas presents to the grandchildren. This gave me the idea to sew egg shaped pockets: You can just slide some money into it and it is a lovely present, way better then just handing the money over.

I also found a great idea in the sewingmagazine I received from Ali in the stitching Santa parcel: Bunny loveys! They turned out so cute! I had to give one of them to my brother’s five month old daughter! She grabbed it and hugged it right away!

The last thing I sewed especially for this occasion were a couple of notebook covers and one binder cover.

I made a few crazy patch just to have fun in the process and tried a new technique while sewing the leaf shape. I’ve never made curved seams before but this project turned out just fine and I was really proud of my work.

I also added pockets to all the notbeook covers and treid to use as much Hungarian blue print fabric as possible. Have you noticed it?

This was my craftcollection at this tiny market. We had lots of fun preparing for it and doing it. Friends came by, kids and even adults decorated eggs, it was simply joyful.

Sorry for not posting about it earlier but finally we are visitingfamily right now and after waiting for this for soo long (8months!) I had little time to post, instead I try to make the most of this short visit with the kids. I’ll be back with more next week, until then: Have a good one!

Laptop Bag

Let me start the story of this project at the very beginning: My Husband takes his laptop almost every day with him to work but unfortunately his old laptop bag was slowly giving up life, especially its zipper was in bad condition. So he asked after my successful backpack project if I could sew him a bag for his laptop. I really wasn’t sure but after some head scratching I told him: sure, no problem! To be completely honest I had no idea how am I going to solve this problem because I’ve never done anything like it before. This was sometime last year, maybe in summer? I don’t even remember when exactly. Then nothing happened for weeks because I wasn’t going to pick the fabric alone and with his long working hours there wasn’t much time for us to go fabric shopping. Until one day there happened to be a Dutch fabric market in our town. My Husband spotted the poster of this event and we went all together on the weekend and bought two fabrics for this project.
But then again, I still had no idea how to start it, so we measured his laptop and made a sketch together with all the small details my Husband requested.
Once again I tossed the whole project aside because there were so many things that seemed to be more important and I thought this could wait. I promised my Husband it’ll be done by his birthday by the end of October… then by Christmas… then I didn’t promise anything because I clearly wasn’t sure when it’ll be done. By January I was very ashamed of the whole thing and at last I started working on it! Finally! I bought a nice matching gray fabric for the inner linen, D-rings, bottom-buttons (sorry, don’t know the proper name of it, if you do, please let me know) and I ordered the moving buckle for the straps.

Once I figured out the way how this project should come to life it didn’t take more than a couple of days to finish it. This long over due present was given to my Husband sometime in February and he loves it.

He says he appreciates it every single day because this laptop bag has everything from his wish list and is working well for him. Yeay! I am so happy that it turned out so well. It did take a very long time to come to live but after all it was all worth it!

The sliding buckle makes the strap adjustable and with the shoulder pad it is also very comfortable.

There is a separate and very cozy (made with batting) pocket for the laptop itself. The pocket has a strap with velcro on the top for more security and three pen pockets. On the opposite side, there is a larger pocket for valet etc.

The outer side of that pocket is decorated with a “Rolling Goat” which was also a special request from my Husband. It has a long story and goes back to his high school years. I think this is what makes the bag so personal for him.

The top of the bag closes with velcro and is sprayed on with waterproofing spray, this way the laptop is safe even on rainy days (from which we have a lot here in Aachen).

One more small addition was a hook for the keys on the inside. It was my idea to add and it works well with the other features.

This project was very scary for me at the beginning but I am proud of myself. Yes, it took an impossibly long time to figure out a way I can constract the bag but finally I finished it!
What do you think? Do you have something that you created and is used every day?

Teaching My Kid to Sew

My five-year-old son started to learn sewing and I am very happy about it! He is always interested in his father’s job what I can understand: he works in a lab where he sometimes takes our son to and they check out cool stuff under the microscope. What little boy wouldn’t love that, right? I can totally understand his enthusiasm and this is why I was really happy when he asked if he could try out my sewing machine. I have something cool, too! But before I let him try that out I encouraged him to try sewing by hand.

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He did not love it as much because the progress is slow but he finished a few projects and I am extremely proud of him! When he finishes something by hand I let him on the sewing machine as a reward. His first project was the heart on the black paper where I punched the holes prior to his sewing: I made it very easy for him so he could have a quick successful project and would hopefully want an other one. And so he did. The next was the heart from felt: isn’t he adorable showing proudly his work?

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Then we tried some buttons: the button tree on the right bottom picture is actually our inspiration from the Internet but he made a very similar one. I shipped it to his great grandma for Christmas and forgot to take a picture but you get the idea. After that he made a “maze” with the sewing machine. He really enjoyed that particular project. I put a bucket upside down under the sewing desk and put the pedal on top of that because his legs aren’t long enough to reach the floor if he is sitting on the chair properly. It was fun for both of us. But also difficult for me because I needed to remind myself that his work doesn’t have to be perfect, he just needs to have fun right now. It was so difficult to keep my hands away and not to correct every little mistake he made. But I think he is a quick learner and he still shows interest which is great!

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Our current project is a sleeping bag for his dragon. My son sleeps with a stuffed dragon and he always tucks it into his own sleeping bag, right over his chest which is getting uncomfortable for him. Although the dragon is my son’s best buddy he certainly needs his own sleeping bag. We started the project by machine sewing and it went really well and my son enjoyed the fact that it went so quickly! But now I told him to hand stitch the sides which slowed the project down very much. When he is in the mood (not very often), he says he would do 5 stitches then he puts it away again. Progress is slow but we surely will get to the end eventually.
The funny thing is that now he thinks that I have some kind of superpower and tells me to make him a REAL astronaut suit or just simply sew him “furniture for his aircraft” what he is going to build. I told him that I’ll do that when the aircraft is ready… 😀 Sewing IS a superpower!

Do you remember what was your first sewing project or what did you teach to your little one?

Infinity Scarf and Hat

My brother celebrated his birthday about two weeks ago which is very close to Christmas and we tend to skip giving him any present because of that. I know, it’s very sad so last year I decided to surprise him a with something he would really like and I made him the “Bike Clock”. Some of you might remember it but if not check out my post about it here! My brother loves bicycles and biking so anything related to that is usually a good present for him.

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This year I had the idea to sew something for him, so I visited my favorit fabric shop but didn’t find any bicycle fabric. This made me a bit disappointed and sad because I usually find there what I need and I bearly have time to visit other fabric stores. I almost gave up but then the other day I happend to have to go to the other side of town and I was able to check out one of the other stores. Luckily I found a great bicycle fabric there! The lady in the store recommanded to sew an infinity scarf which I did not think of but I thought it was a great idea. So I looked up how could I sew one and I also made a matching hat to go with it. For the back side I used left over fleece (from this project) and voila! In a coulpe of hours my brother’s present was done and ready for shipping.

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I made several pictures of myself wearing the set since nobody else could be my model. The hat was made in a bigger size then my own head size so please, excuse that on the pics.

dsc_4490My brother received his present last week and according to my mother who was there with him, he was really happy and loved them both! And they also fit so I am happy, too!

Hair Accessories Organizer

As years go by we realize more and more that presents at Christmas aren’t as much important as we thought before. At least not among the adults in our families. We are usually just happy to see each other after spending months in a different country. But with kids it is still the same regarding presents and that is all right, they should have that magical moment when they open their presents and their eyes sparkle. I love that moment.
Unfortunately I am not a very good gift giver even though I usually put a lot of effort into finding the right present, I do not succeed many times. But I hope I will do so this year!
My Brother had two girls (7 and 5) and his third baby girl was born just about two weeks ago! I am most excited to see her and her big sisters in a couple of days! But because we are flying to Hungary this time I had to think very carefully about their presents. But thank to Pinterest (again) I came across a great idea: hair accessories organizer! I know that they own thousands of hair accessories and I saw before that they are usually stored in a bowl beside the sink in the bathroom, so this could work for them.
I made two prototype for the “Nikolausmarkt” to see what girly mothers and their daughters think of this idea and it was a big hit! Many grandmothers stepped to me and said: “Oh, what a great idea! The hair accessories of my daughter always got lost or she couldn’t find it in the box when she was a little girl!” And I sold both of the organizers. Yeah!

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So this week I made three more: one for a friend’s little girl and two for my big nieces.

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On top there are animal appliques just for decoration. Under that there is a band for all the hair clips, then come some loops for the hair bands and at the bottom a pocket for the small elastic bands.

hajcsatt-tartokI also added a little piece of wire (pipe cleaners) to the top, so the organizers will hang nicely on the wall. I think the girls will like these, especially because they are animal lovers.
If you are searching for a last minute present idea for the little girl in your family, this could be it. It doesn’t take more than an hour to sew it. Even less if you make it without an applique.
With this project I would like to wish all of you a very blessed Christmas! Thank you for reading my posts this year, too, it means a lot to me! I hope some of you may even got inspired by my creations. I will take a little break now from blogging, recharge my batteries and enjoy the Holidays with my family! See you guys again next year! Merry Christmas and happy New Year to all of you!

My First Jersey Dress

So many great things are happening right now in my life and it seems to be more difficult than before to find the time to share these things with you. But here I am now and I’ll do my best to catch up a little bit.
First of all my third nice was born last week and she is beautiful and healthy! I can’t wait to see her at Christmas!
The second best news is that this year I was able to join sewchat‘s Stitching Santa: it is a Secret Santa game for bloggers who are interested in sewing or crocheting. Sewchet created this great project a couple of years ago but this is the first time for me to be part of it. We had to sign up in October, then everybody got a blogger by email and we have to send a present for that person before Christmas. There are more details and rules, if you are interested (for next year), you can check it out here. I have been busy and my presents are almost finished but I can’t post about it until Christmas, so please, be patient and I’ll share my creations and my received presents as well after the holidays! Stay tuned!
I’m also taking German classes again which takes up almost all my weekdays (it’s from Monday to Friday) and most definitely all my energy. Not even counting the kids… Anyway, I have this time a great group of people in my class, I even made a couple of new friends and they just cheer me up all the time! One day a classmate of mine came in a wonderful dress. Do you know that feeling when you see someone on the street and you would just take their dress because it looks amazing, and you’d just run away with it? Well, this was like that. But instead that I asked her where did she buy it but of course her dress is like ten years old and she couldn’t remember. But then I asked if I could borrow the dress to trace it for a pattern and she said yes, of course!

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So this is what I did: traced the dress, made the pattern and then sewed it from jersey fabric. Luckily our sizes match, so I didn’t need to make adjustments.

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But this was the first time I made a dress from jersey and I found it very challenging. Previously I made a couple of T-Shirts for the boys from jersey but other than that I don’t have much experience with stretchy fabric. Sewchet gave me advice on this topic but somehow I couldn’t really bring my basic sewing machine to do the task. It kept skipping stitches even though (I think) I tried everything: re-threading the sewing machine, adjusting the tension, different stitches, cleaning the needle, changing the needle etc. Hemming the skirt made me crazy, I ripped my seams about five or six times, finally I gave up, cut it a bit shorter and added a bias tape to it. That finally worked.

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I don’t know what did I wrong or just my sewing machine is getting older but I’m quiet scared to make an other jersey project that requires hemming. But at last the dress is done, it fits and I am happy that I have a winter dress. As you can see I made the sleeves full length, so I can wear it without a cardigan.

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I also love its green colors. I always wanted to have a green dress (or many more) to reflect my eye color and finally this dream came true! Thank you, my dear Friend! 😉

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Nikolausmarkt

About ten days ago I heard the phone ringing when I came home and was about to open the door, so I hurried up and picked it up as quickly as I could. I am very glad that I did because that call was from a local hospital where they are organizing a huge craft fair every year. I signed up early this year but I didn’t get in. Two weeks before the craft fair begins they called to ask me if I still wanted to go because someone changed his mind and one place is available again! Oh, yes of course!
This also meant that I will have to create as many things in that two weeks of time as possible. I went down to the basement and dug up lots of left over stuff from previous markets but I needed a few more small items.
This is what I have made so far:
Tea bag wallets. Tutorial from here.

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And I also sewed four reusable and environmentally friendly bags for those precious presents.

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Some of you might remember that I made wine bottle bags in the previous years. They were selling pretty well, so I made a few more.

karacsonyi-cuccok4-001I am also working on a “nativity banner” but it is unfortunately far from being ready. I will hopefully be able to finish it until Friday though.
Finally I would like to invite all of you who happen to be near Aachen on the weekend! Please, come and visit me at the Nikolausmarkt in Aachen-Burtscheid! I would love to meet with you and get to know you! The craft fair takes place in the Marienhospital, from Friday to Sunday. If you are interested in this even, feel free to ask me or check out the official flyer below!
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Cat Skirt

My nice had recently her 5th birthday and even though they live in an other country, I thought that she would appreciate a little present from us. Sadly I don’t know her very well because they live so far but then I thought a little girl could never resist a new skirt! She also likes animals, so let’s combine this two information! This is how I came up with the idea of the “cat skirt”, as I call it.

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I found just enough blue fabric for the skirt in my stash, a deep green stretchy fabric for the waist and a matching green cotton fabric for the cat-ears and for the bottom of the skirt. I didn’t even have to get out of the house and I had everything at hand what I needed. Isn’t that just great?
macskaszoknyaFirst I sewed on the green bottom and a black rick rack which will match perfectly with the eyes and noses of the cats.

dsc_4193The next step was to make the two pockets: hand-stitching the mouth, nose and the button-eyes.

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Then I added the ears by using applique technique, and only then the cat-pockets. After that I sewed together the whole skirt and attached the waist.

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The final step was to hand stitch the whiskers which was tricky and of course I sewed the pocket to the skirt once while making the whiskers. But I kept my calm and reached for the seam rippers…

dsc_4190I cross my fingers and hope that the skirt will actually fit her and she will like it! I made this skirt with so much love and I think it turned out very cute.

Kitchen Towels

Ever since we have our own house hold, I was never satisfied with the quality of my kitchen towels because they were never enough absorbing. I actually have only one towel which I liked. I was always on a hunt for good towels but when I found a good quality towel it usually costs a lot. So instead of buying a highly priced towel, once again, I decided to make my own kitchen towels.
I kind of have a wired system for my kitchen towels: I always have three towels in use. One is for hand drying, one is for drying clean dishes (this is what I needed to sew) and one is  for everything else (wiping up stains from the kitchen counters, using them as a bib for the kids  etc.) . And the towels should match in color, too! I realize now that I might have OCD issues…

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Anyway, I went to our local fabric store and asked for help because I wasn’t able to choose a good absorbent fabric alone. The lady who works in the store always gave me good advice, so I trust her when it comes to fabric or sewing related problems. I bought the fabric she recommended, took it home, washed it, then sewed four kitchen towels from it.

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I wanted to try out a new thing, that I have never done before: it’s called “prairie points”. It’s a popular technique for finishing quilt edges and they look very lovely but since I’ve never done it before, I wanted to try it first on a smaller project. And it was a lot easier then I guessed. I just followed this great tutorial and the towel turned out very lovely, look!

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When I finished this project, I was very happy because my kitchen towel sets were finally complete but to be honest, this fabric is not at all more absorbent then the others I had. Quiet disappointing but I guess, this happens to all of us. We try our best to make our projects perfect but sometimes it doesn’t work out. Now I spent 12 € on fabric and my time on a project that looks amazing but doesn’t bring the quality I was hoping for.
Has this happened to any of you before that you only realized that your work is not good enough when you were done with it?

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Anyway, we can still use these towels in the household but I will keep hunting for the perfect kitchen towels until I find them. And I am willing to pay the pries for it…

New PJs

There were a few reasons why I decided to make new PJs for my Husband and myself. For example I just throw one of his PJ pant into the garbage because they were totally worn out and he had only one pair left. The other reason was that we celebrated our wedding anniversary this month: only the 9th but I still wanted to make something for us at last, not always for the kids. The third and last reason was that I joined The Monthly Stitch and the challenge for September was called “nighty night”. When I read this finally came to the decision to make matching PJs for us.

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When I visited our local fabric store, I found this incredible blue fabric which was perfect for this project. The bonus was when I paid, the cashier told me it was made not far from Aachen: there is a fabric manufacture called Westfalenstoffe in Münster. I heard briefly about them in the past but I only checked out their website now and they have amazing stuff!
For the pattern I just traced our existing PJs and sketched the pattern myself, it wasn’t really a complicated project.
pizsamanadragok-002My Husband requested one side pocket but I added an extra back pocket just for the splash of the color. I also ended up making the waist from the same red fabric, I think the pants look really fun and my Husband is happy with them.

pizsamanadragok-001My pants have a bit different style: shorter legs, trim abound the bottom edges from the red fabric.
pizsamanadragokI also added four pockets (2 side and 2 back pocket) and a heart shaped applique on front. My Son Nr.1. found the heart applique so nice, that now he wants to have one on his PJs. Isn’t he adorable?
Anyway, we both love our new PJs and I decided that the next time we need new ones, I will most definitely sew them as well. Not just because it was so much fun and I loved to personalize them, but also because they cost about the same as the store-bought PJs. So why not make them unique?

Cell Phone Case With Tutorial

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You guys probably remember that a couple of weeks ago we celebrated my birthday. As it happens I asked my Husband for a new cell phone as a present because I needed one and I just hate useless presents… Anyway I got one smart phone and I am still getting used to it. Unfortunately I am not very talented when it comes to gadgets but my Husband is and he usually helps me very patiently. So, thanks to him for that!
Funny thing though, when he gave me the box and I opened it, he said: “now you have to sew a nice case for it because I didn’t dare to buy one for you!” And those were my exact thoughts, too! 😀
Last weekend I searched for some inspiration and I found this iPhone case. It has everything what I desire: a button with a loop and a small pocket. But I didn’t like very much the fabric and I wanted to use some of my blue prints and perhaps to funk it up a little with a bright polka dot green fabric. It sounded crazy at first but then I found the matching fabrics in my stash and started right away!
So here are the steps:

Step nr 1: I prepared the pocket and the loops: one for the button and one for the buckle:

DSC_3897Step nr 2: I cut out the body of the phone case twice. (Since every phone varies in size, you’ll have to figure out the right size for your phone if you want to make a case like this.) Added interfacing on one. Cut the batting as well.
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Step nr 3: I folded up the bottom of the pocket and sewed onto one of the green fabrics right in the middle.

DSC_3901Step nr 4: I folded the pocket into the right position and pinned it down. I also pinned the loop for the button on and the loop with the buckle on.

Phone Case-001Step nr 5: Then I layered the other green fabric onto the whole thing (right sides facing each other!) and pinned all layers together. Pay attention when you do this, this is a little tricky!

DSC_3910Step nr 6: Sew around the edges with small seam allowance and leave a 3-4cm wide hole in your seam. This is where you’ll turn the whole thing inside out.

Phone Case-002I added an extra seam at the loops to secure them even more. Then I cut off the corners.

Step nr 7: Turn it over and with some spray fabric adhesive add the layer of batting. DSC_3916Step nr 8: Turn it inside out and very carefully poke the corners. Now press it and hand-stitch the hole.

DSC_3918It looks quiet good at this point and it’s almost done!
Step nr 9: Fold it in half and sew together the sides as close to the edge as possible. If you want you can even hand-stitch at this point. Maybe add some decorative stitching if you prefer.

Step nr 10: Add the button. I had some trouble of choosing the right button: these were my three options:

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After much consideration I choose the beige button although I was leaning towards the green button but then I didn’t like the fact that the color of the button and the fabric didn’t match perfectly. The withe one was just too big, so I landed on the beige button.

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I am pretty happy with my new cell phone and its case. I like how it turned out and I love the way I was able to use the traditional Hungarian blue print fabric again and it is not at all boring old “souveniery”. phone-case-003

I find the blue print quiet funky paired with the green polka dots. And it is also practical: there is room for the ear plugs in the pocket. What do you think?

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Pull String Backpack

My (almost) five years old son is totally crazy about firefighters. A couple of weeks ago one of his kindergarten friends invited him over for a play date but when I talked with his father, he proposed something very special for the kids: if it was ok with me, he would take the kids to a fire station on the play date. My answer was: “Can I come, too?” Of course he could take the kids and my son was really excited when he heard and was counting the days! (As it turns out the other dad used to be a paramedic at that fire station, that’s how he was able to arrange this for the kids.)
The kids went and my son is talking about it ever since. So you get the picture how crazy he is about firetrucks and all that.

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One week ago when we went to that fabric market, I also got him a great fabric with firetrucks print. And so far I made a pull string backpack for my son which was a very quick project: it only took my an hour to finish it, since I had everything at hand.

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The bag fits him perfectly and he loves it. He already tested it yesterday and no complaints.

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But I have a big piece (about 80cm) left from that fabric and don’t know yet what to do with it. If any of you have a suggestion, please let my know in a comment!

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What do think of this pull string backpack? I think it is perfect for the little one’s gym class or for swimming etc.

Jersey: an other milestone

During my sewing adventures I have tried out a couple of things but I stayed afraid of working with jersey. Until now because last weekend there was a huge fabric market in town and I was able to buy some lovely fabric including jersey with a boyish pattern.Check out what I got:DSC_3961The blue and green prints with ancores are yet a mystery because I don’t know what am I going to do with them but I just loved their color and I will let inspiration come to me whenever. The fabric with the firetruck will of course be a bag for my older son who is absolutely in love with firetrucks and firefighters. The floral prints are for me but again, I will have to wait for the inspiration. The stash on the right will eventually be a messenger bag for my Husband and the jersey in the middle was meant to be T-shirts for the boys.

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So I had to just suck it up, do the research and try it and after all, it did go better then I expected it would. I had some difficulties choosing the right stitch though but I figured it out.

DSC_3962Here are a couple of closer pictures of the sleeve and the neck line.

I know these T-shirts aren’t genial or something new on the horizon of dressmaking but it was a big step for me and I might just try an other jersey project because this one went so well!

 

Hiking Backpack

Do you remember when a couple of weeks ago I showed you my son’s new backpack which I made from an old pair of jeans and a skirt? If not, here is a picture as a reminder:

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When my brother-in-law saw this backpack he liked it so much that he asked me if I could make him a similar one. My eyes went wild open because I’ve never even considered making backpacks for adults. They are so complicated and I only have a very basic sewing machine… but he had his 40th birthday coming up and since I had no idea what to give him as a present, I said yes. I thought I would figure it out somehow and I actually did.

It took me almost two months to gather everything for this project and to make it. My seam ripper was used a lot because of my mistakes and because my brother-in-law had so specific request that I had to be very precise.

HatizsakFor me the most difficult part was that first I had to make all the details like straps, pockets etc. and only then could I start assembling the whole backpack. I prefer it when I am able to see progress from right the beginning but this project taught me to be more patient. And at the end it was all worth it!

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Let me tell you a bit more of the requests made by my brother-in-law and the details of this bag. On the sides there are huge pockets for large water bottles and the camera lenses.

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On the front there is an other pocket for the hiking maps they use and elastic on the sides for the hiking stick or tripod they sometimes use for the camera. I also had to make the strap with the rings in it for the buckle.

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I was asked to make not just the shoulder straps but also side straps. For that I got the measurements from an existing backpack.

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I added the 8mm rings on top and a string to close the backpack. There is a pocket for a tablet in the inside of the backpack with the initial of my brother-in-law’s name. It was a surprise for him and he loves it! 🙂

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The backpack was made from 100% cotton fabrics, only the shoulder and side straps contain artificial materials.
I asked my brother-in-law to send me a couple of pictures of them using the backpack and here they are:

IMG_4030He says that he uses it not just for hiking but also every day to go to work and he loves it. I am very glad for that! And not just for that but according to him many people asked him where did he get the backpack because they also want to have one! I thought if more people would be interested I might make a pattern for the backpack. Would any of you be interested? If yes, please, leave me a comment below and I consider it! 😉

Hatizsak-005As I said, I only have a basic sewing machine and I was very surprised that with the right needle I was able to complete this project without any help even though there were two spots on top where I had to sew together six layers of fabric!

IMG_4034This backpack was a real challenge for me, I learned a lot from it and I am very proud of myself for completing it! Quiet a milestone in my sewing adventures!

 

 

Bread Bag

It seems like lately I’ve been making only bags because this time I would like to share the story of our “new” bread bag.
When we moved to the US for a couple of years we were not really satisfied with the quality of bread which we could buy in an avarage store so we searched for a local bakery in Detroit, called Avalon. The good new is that they are still in business and they make amazing breads! Only back then we were tight on budget and couldn’t afford to buy their bread on a daily basis. So my Husband started to bake bread at home. He found a great recipe which we used for months but unfortunately that delicious bread didn’t stay fresh very long.

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Then we moved to Germany which is the land of bakeries: you would probably find a bakery at every corner and the variety of bread is just amazing! But Germans do prefer whole wheat bread and it is sometimes difficult to find that (unhealthy) white bread what we got used to as kids. So after a couple of years searching for our favorite bread in the ocean of German bakeries we are now back to baking our own bread but this time my Husband requested a bread baking machine. It is awesome and we both love it!

DSC_3506After we found the way to bake that perfect bread with our new gadget, I thought it was time to make a proper bread bag but then I remembered that we already have one somewhere in the closet! And not just any kind of bread bag: it was made and used by my late Grandmother who passed away fifteen years ago. Which also means that this nice white bag was a bit outdated and in need of an upgrade but there was no way I would just replace it!

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I came up with a very simple design for which I choose a lovely Hungarian (hand dyed) blue print fabric (again) and a couple ribbons. A few hours later our old/new bread bag was ready to be used. I also added a new cotton string with the same blue print fabric at the end of it.

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I like very much how this small project turned out and now we can not just use it for our delicious bread but I do have one more thing to remember my Grandmother by.

DIY Sweater to Skirt Refashion

When I was pregnant with our second son I bought myself a very lovely and comfortable knit skirt. It was my very first knit skirt and I absolutely love it! And I am still able to wear it after the pregnancy which is a great advantage! Look, here I am wearing it with my belly:

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I feel like this was ages ago…
Anyway, what I want to say is that I like to wear knit skirts nowadays very much: they are comfortable and look always good!
The other thing about me is that I try to sort out my wardrobe on a regular basis, especially when I go shopping for new clothes, I try to get rid of about as much old clothes as much new ones come in. As I was doing that a couple of weeks ago, I came across a sweater which I bought about eight years ago when I lived in the US and it has a sentimental value to me because of that. Plus I love its colors and the stripes but unfortunately it was a bit too big for me even when I bought it.

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So I wanted to keep the sweater but there was really no rational reason for that. I thought I would give it to my sister (she would’ve loved it for sure!) but then I found a great idea somewhere on Pinterest. I could convert the sweater to a skirt! Why haven’t I think of that?

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So I did. It wasn’t a complicated project, I just cut off the sleeves and the top, added an elastic band to the waist and the skirt was done.

Outfits

I also made a neck warmer out of one sleeve by adding a button to it. And voila! I have a great outfit now which I already wore twice and I love it! What do you think? Do you have clothes that you don’t want to throw away for some reason but you are unable to actually wear it? Or have you made a similar makeover? I would love to hear your stories in the comments below!

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Plus, did you notice the good quality of the pictures this time? They were made by my (almost!) five year old son! I am so proud of him, he definitely got some talent!

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Travel Bags For Your Underwear

A couple months ago we had a four-day-long trip in a national park South of Aachen. Because it was such a short trip, we only took a very large suitcase with us and I packed into that for the four of us. Besides that we took a couple of backpacks but the point is that all of our clothes were in that one suitcase. Yes, it was big enough  but the smaller items like panties and socks got lost all the time and I had to go through the whole suitcase to find a sock every single morning. It was a bit annoying and it made me thinking: how could I minimize the mess? This was when I came up with the idea of personalized bag for the underwear. Each of us should have one bag, maybe even with some kind of name tag on it and it would be a lot easier to find what we are looking for.
In a month or so we will be traveling again and I wanted to take action before that and yesterday the bags were finished! Let me show you what I came up with!

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With two boys and a Husband in the family you can probably guess which bag is mine. The largest! And not just because my name is on it but also because I’ve got bras and a few more delicate pieces to store in that travel bag.

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The name tags were made by cross stitching which is one of my favorite techniques. I learned cross stitching in elementary school and I love it ever since.

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I also added a soft cotton inner linen and a draw string to close the bags.

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We are now a little more prepared for our next trip and each time we travel we get better. It is stressful enough to travel with kids, let it be a long road trip or a flight, it doesn’t matter. Your nerves will be put to a test anyway and these little tricks might help you to survive.

Summer Outfit For The Boys

Just like last summer, we have the same problem with the boys’ wardrobe all over again: they’ve got jeans and shorts but somehow the weather is always somewhere in between… It was time for me to take action and sew at least one pair of light summer pants for them. Here are a couple of pictures of them:

DSC_3341These were the two similar fabrics that I bought for the boys months ago. I paired them up with a great brown fabric and used their existing pants as template.

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For the little one I did not add pockets but he got a cute bucket hat instead.

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On the other hand my older son got pockets but no new hat this year since the one from last year still fits his head.

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Aren’t they just cute?

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And here is one more picture. Summer, we are really ready now!

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Wool skirt

The time has come and my little one will start the kindergarten in August which also means that I have to start searching for a job. In the spirit of the new beginning I decided to update my wardrobe a little bit because in the last five years I only wore jeans and casual outfits (except for some special occasions of course). I really needed at least a couple of nicer outfits for interviews and such, so I went shopping but I returned a little disappointed. I found a few pieces that I absolutely love but I wished there was something more for my taste and budget. Isn’t this always the case: the budget and taste never fits? Anyway, I decided to start making those desired clothes, at least try because as you know I have never taken sewing lessons of any kind and I have very little idea about tailoring and sewing clothes that actually fit!
Then I found this wonderful and elegant skirt on the Vogue’s website:

Martin_Grant_06_1366You can find the original picture here.
This was my inspiration for my skirt. I choose a slightly darker gray, wool fabric, looked up a few sewing instructions for similar skirts. I even added pockets and a belt. And this was the first time I used a zipper foot on my sewing machine. It came with the sewing machine when I bought it about six years ago but I had no clue what it was for. Can you believe it? The zipper turned out much better then I expected but there is still room for some improvement. The model (me) and the quality of the picture is unfortunately not as good as it is in Vogue but the skirt is pretty close, isn’t it?

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When I started this project it was still April and I thought I must be crazy to sew a wool skirt when summer is around the corner but when the skirt was actually finished, the temperature dropped to 5 Celsius degree and I didn’t feel so bad after all. And summer is never that great in Aachen and fall will eventually come, so no more worries about that!

DSC_3127Here is a closer picture of the bow. I absolutely love it, so cute!

DSC_3125I might sew a red belt, as well because I often wear red T-shirts, shoes and tops and they would go very well with this dark grey skirt, don’t you think?

DSC_3124This is my favorite picture: details of the pocket.
Well, I am pretty satisfied with the end-result of my first serious outfit. I know it is not a complicated pattern but I had to start somewhere, right?

DSC_3122Here is one more picture with a blue belt and top. Not so elegant but still lovely in my opinion. I will definitely try the red variation!

And I have to thank to my Husband for the pictures! What are you thought on this skirt? What was your first serious outfit project?

UPDATE: I did try out the skirt with red accessories and a red jacket and I loved it! I got carried away a little and tried a yellow version, as well. Which one is your favorite? Let me know in a comment! 😉

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Pot or Casserole Carrier

This sewing project was made for my Grandma’s 80th birthday a couple of weeks ago and as I promised, here I am with the details and pictures of it. My uncle lives with my Grandma and he gave me the diameters of the plastic box which my Grandma uses to carry cakes and other sweets to parties. This box has no handles on it and this is why I thought a carrier for it should be a good present to her birthday. And with my uncle’s help it could even be a surprise for my Grandma.

But this also meant that I did not have the box while making the carrier, so I used a similar sized cardboard box in the process as my template. The inspiration was this beautiful green casserole carrier with wooden spoon handles but of course I had to make my own pattern after the measurements I received.

DSC_2116First I sprayed together the layers for quilting. I was only able to sew strait lines because my sewing machine can’t have free motion quilting foot (it’s a basic household model). Very unfortunate… Anyway, I managed to quilt it like this:

DSC_2128I left out the middle panel because after sewing together the two pieces I wanted to quilt them together. They became later the bottom of the cake box carrier. But before that I added a blue bias tape to the edges. Did you notice that the fabric patterns are the same but in two different color?

DSC_2133Then I realized that the hole thing was brighter then my wooden spoons, so I had to get the seam ripper and make some adjustments.

DSC_2136Finally it looked ok and the size was right.

DSC_2138I had to hand-stitch the loops because my poor sewing machine couldn’t handle so many layers but they look fine even from the inside:DSC_2245I finished the loops for the wooden spoons, then quilted the two pieces together as I mentioned before.

DSC_2238This is how it turned out from both sides:

DSC_2243Take a look at it from the right side:

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The finishing step was to add the velcro and voila!

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Please, note that the box on the pictures is slightly bigger that the actual plastic box and the carrier in reality fits just perfectly! (Sorry, no pictures though…)

DSC_2240What are your thoughts on this cake/pot carrier?

DSC_2239I liked this project because it wasn’t too difficult, it looks lovely with its cheerful colors and not at last, it is practical. I hate things with no purpose but this one will hopefully help my Grandma for many more years to carry her delicious cakes!

My First (Toddler) Backpack

A couple of weeks ago I was sewing something and my toddler son came to sit beside me. He found a piece of ribbon on my sewing desk: it was the Hungarian tricolor. Red, white and green. It’s like the Italian flag but the other way around. We started to chat about it and somehow we came up with the idea to make a new backpack for him and put the ribbon onto it.
A few days later I started the project and I told my son that I will use two fabric: dad’s old, worn out green jeans and my old scouting skirt. I wanted to to turn the skirt into something meaningful because I wore it for so long and it meant a lot to me but unfortunately it didn’t fit me anymore. And making a backpack for my son seemed like the right idea.

I searched on Pinterest for a tutorial because I had never made a backpack before and I found this great description. I made some adjustments to it but basically I followed her instructions. Check out how the backpack turned out:

DSC_2691I love the pockets on both sides because we always carry little bottles with us. Very practical!

DSC_2692The top is closed by a rubber band.

DSC_2696I also added some velcro and a sliding “tube” to the rubber band.

DSC_2698It turned out so well, that when my brother-in-law saw it he ordered a bigger one for himself and since his 40th birthday was coming up and I had no idea what to get him as a present, I said yes. Now I am currently working on his backpack although he had some very special requests and I am scared how it will turn out but I try to stay positive and do my best! I promise to keep you updated!

Easter Game!

My dear Readers!
I would like to invite you to a spring game! I made a small striped tablecloth and four mugrugs in very bright colors and the good new is that you can win this set by visiting my facebook page and sharing any of my posts. Just chose one that is closest to your heart, share it and you enter the game.

Here is the direct link to the FB Page.

My goal is to reach 100 page likes and as soon as I do that, I will do the drawing and one lucky person can win this set:

DSC_2321The tablecloth is ca 50x90cm and the mugrugs are about 19cm.

DSC_2323This is how they look from front:

DSC_2325And here is the back side:

DSC_2326I hope you like it!
We are going on a longer trip again, so see you back in April! Until then I wish you all a very happy Easter! 🙂

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DIY Dragon Costume

The idea, to make a dragon costume for our one year old son, came from his big brother (4,5). He was going to be a knight for carnival and I guess he needed a dragon that he could defeat. But at the same time he got a new book about a dragon who is called “Süsü” in Hungarian. He is the main character of a puppet show, very famous in Hungary and everybody loves Süsü.

His story goes like this:

He lives in dragonland with his parents who are the king and queen there. The dragons in dragonland are dangerous and mean creatures except Süsü: he is kind and loving. One time he event tries to cure the wounded enemy of his father and because of that he is forced to leave dragonland. After leaving, he is chasing butterflies and searching for his favorite food (wild pears) and meats a prince. They become very good friends and their exciting and sweet adventure goes on.

Here is the intro of the puppet show:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=07MZjctmv7A

So after all, we decided to make a costume for our son nr2. just like Süsü. Check out how I made it!

Last year I made a few very cute bonnet hats and I wanted to combine that pattern with a sweater and make a hoody. So I started this project with the hood and added the dragon-ears to the seam.

DSC_1825Cutting out the parts: I added a 3cm wide collar, so I could attach the hood later to the sweater.

DSC_1831When I turned the hood inside out, it looked like this:

DSC_1838As you can see, I sewed one more seam on the right side with a 1cm seam allowance to make the hood look even more beautiful.

Then I made the head of the dragon separately and I attached it later to the hood by hand-stitching.

DSC_1835These two green pieces were cut out for  the head and the white ones for the teeth. (For which I used felt)

DSC_1839Then I used some white cotton fabric, batting and unused bobbins to make the eyes of the dragon:

DSC_1865Finished them up with black felt and more green fleece around the eyes and finally attached them to the head like this:

DSC_1866When the eyes were done, I hand-stitched again the nose and some yellow felt to make his hear:

DSC_1867When its face was done, I pinned together the two green fleece right sides facing together with the teeth and sewed them together but not completely:

DSC_1868I left a hole on the back of the head so I could turn it inside out and to add the filling:

DSC_1874After stuffing the head with the filling, I closed the seams on the back once again by hand-stitching it. As the head of Süsü was done, I only needed to attach it to the hood! But first I made the sweater. For that I used one of his existing hoody as pattern. I added a short zipper on front and a couple of yellow and green dots on the back and sides:

DSC_2014Adding those dots was pretty time-consuming but it was worth the effort at the end! There was one more thing missing: the wings! I had beautiful dark green felt left from my advent calendar project and I was glad to use it again! I added those yellow seams to make the wings look like the original ones and they turned out to be very beautiful!

DSC_2016The hoody was done so I added the head of the dragon on top of the hood:

DSC_2194And here is the back:

DSC_2192I was already very happy with what I had done but I did not stop here because I made matching pants and even a dragon tail which had a belt with velcro on it:

DSC_2195And when this one week project was done, I realized that my son is going to wear it only for a couple of hours but if you take a look at him, you’ll most likely agree with me when I say: It was totally worth it!

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DSC_2057He was so cute in this dragon costume! When he first tried it on, he started to chase his tail like a dog, it was hilarious…

And here is one more picture with his dad, the king:

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Thanks for the picture to kissadri!

What do you think? Do you celebrate carnival in your country or do you rather dress up for Halloween? What was you favorite costume so far? Mine were definitely these!

 

DIY Knight Costume

Carnival season is already over but I promised you to show how our diy costumes turned out. Today I’m going to share pictures and a step-by-step description of my older son’s knight costume.
As some of you might remember, last year he was totally crazy about firefighters, so I had to make him a firefighter costume. This year was more about knights and his wish was of course a knight costume. But he can be quiet picky sometimes and he usually knows exactly what he wants, so I sat down with him one day at the computer to check out costumes online and to gather ideas. Finally I made a drawing of a knight looking how he imagined it and he even wanted to color the picture. While we were searching, he had the idea, that his little brother could be a dragon, my husband the king and I could be the princess. “All right then, let’s make four costume instead of just one…”-that was my first thought.

Anyway, I said yes and the next step was to buy all the fabric we needed. I think I did not spend more then 50€ for all four costumes which I consider a good price. Although I spent hours (if not days) making them all and at the end my mother sent me two old dresses of mine for my princess costume because I didn’t have the time to make a new dress.
Back to the knight costume. I started with a cotton long sleeved T-Shirt: I added some shiny fabric to the sleeves to make it look like an armor.

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I made the pattern for it using the same T-Shirt: I cut out the fabric 2cm bigger on all sides in order to have enough room for the seams. The T-Shirt looked like this:

DSC_1795For the next step I was going to make the knight’s vest or top. I was using a plain grey cotton fabric and this is how I made the armholes and the neckline:

DSC_1798I cut out the hole for the head and neck.

DSC_1801Then I cut out the armholes and a 3cm wide piece in the same shape (twice, for both sides).

DSC_1804I sewed those on, facing the right sides, turned inside out and added one more seam which is visible on the right side. Finally I made a bias for the neckline.

DSC_1807Then I made a cardboard sample for the red bottom line and cut out four pieces from a plane red cotton fabric.

DSC_1810I took two of them and sewed together along the edges. Then turned it inside out and made one more seam on the right side, as well.

DSC_1815I repeated this step with the other two pieces, then press ironed both.

As the next step, I sewed them onto the bottom of the vest, sewed together the sides and I added one more golden ribbon to it, to make it look even more beautiful. So far the T-Shirt and the vest were done.

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For the “neck-protecting piece” (does anyone know what’s it called?) I used the same silver fabric that I used for the sleeves and a white jersey for the inside. This is how I made the pattern:

DSC_1818I made two of them, then sewed them together on one side and used velcro on the other side.

DSC_1819Using one of his pants as a pattern, I made a new pair from an other shiny silver fabric:

DSC_1821I used rubber band for the waist, made the pants a bit longer and added the same golden ribbon to the bottom.

And with this, my job was actually done because I made a cool knight cape for him last year which he wanted to wear with this costume, he had a plastic helmet (his dad bought it for him last summer), and of course he already had a shield (also made by me using cardboard) and a belt.

DSC_1858I think he looks total bad-ass in his costume, very cool.

DSC_1856Here is a closer picture of the belt with the sword-holder:

DSC_1862One more thing: did you notice the castle in the background? When we moved in my son got a loft bed which he loves! The bed is quiet big and there is lot of space underneath for playing or for toy-storage. After moving in we had lots of empty boxes and I used some of them to make a castle under his bed. The walls run on two sides, I added a few windows and the gate is made out of duck-tape. If you are interested in the details how I made it, please leave a comment.

I had enough left over fabric to make a similar vest for the king (my husband) and using yellow felt and a little velcro he also got his crown! Here we are with the little dragon: me in the blond wig and my proud king! (The description of the little one’s dragon costume is coming soon!)

12628440_10153606492274039_425936819598706097_o(Thanks for the picture kissadri!)

But back to the knight costume, what do you think? Do you celebrate carnival or dress up at Halloween? And do you prefer to buy or make your own costume? I think I would always make my/our costumes because the whole process from the idea to finishing it gives me great pleasure, perhaps as much as wearing it.

My first mini-quilt

I had the idea to make a recipe book for my sister for Christmas but since my sewing machine was almost three weeks long at the repair shop, there was no chance that this project will be done in time. So I told my sister that she is not getting any present this Christmas and to be honest, she was ok with it. She didn’t mind it at all but it bothered me and I couldn’t let it go.

I got back my sewing machine in mid January and started to make our carnival costumes right away. They took me weeks to finish them all, but they were ready just in time! (A post about them is coming soon by the way!)

Today is Ash-Wednesday and guess what? My sister’s Christmas present is finally finished! I know it’s ridiculous but she isn’t expecting anything from me right now and in about two weeks we are flying back home and I can give her her present at last!

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For her recipe book I chose a small (A/5) sized binder and I made a cover for it but I also added a mini quilt on the front side.

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My inspiration for this mini quilt was one of my older baby quilts (check it out here) and I know my sister loves fabric with small floral prints, so I added this cute frame to it. I like how the light blue color appears in the dark red. I think it definitely matches the colors of the mini quilt!

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I also added a button to the side: in a shape of a flower, too.

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And finally pockets on the insides.
I don’t know if my sister will use this as a recipe book or something else but I do hope she will like it.

Binder in Frog Cover

When my sewing machine broke down before Christmas, I was working on a project for my son’s kindergarten teachers: a binder cover. It was supposed to be a Christmas present but then I wasn’t able to finish it before the holidays. I got back my sewing machine about a week ago and I had to finish this project right away, so I could give this late present to the teachers asap.

The truth is that I bought the fabric maybe a year ago: when I saw the frog themed pattern on it I thought of my son’s group right away because it’s called the frog group! I bought a smaller piece from the fabric and then waited for the inspiration which came shortly before Christmas.

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I needed:

  • a back piece: white fabric
  • the front piece: the fabric with the frogs and a blue stripe in the middle
  • two white and two blue piece for the ears of the binder cover
  • two blue and two frog patterned fabric for the pockets

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When the project was done the binder cover and the binder looked like this:

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Not a complicated project but has it’s own tricks: for example how to hide the seams. If you are interested in the step-by-step tutorial check out my previous binder cover here!

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I gave it to the kindergarten teachers last week and they liked it very much. One of them came to me today and said that they will use it in the group as a photo album for the kids. They were looking for an album with a sturdy cover so the kids can use it and hopefully it won’t be ruined as quickly.

DIY Elf Hat

At the beginning of December, when I still had my sewing machine working, I made two matching elf hats for my sons. I used a fleece blanket from Ikea and an old jersey T-Shirt for the inside of the hats. I find it very strange that you can buy 1,7m long fleece blankets for 3-4 euros but at the fabric store they cost 5-8 euros per meter.

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I already made a similar hat for my older son last year, but to refresh my memory on how to do it, I visited this tutorial. Of course I had to make my own patterns because of the size difference.

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For our (almost one year old!) baby boy I had to adjust the bottom, so we can close the hat under his chin with velcro instead of tying laces.
When the hats were finished, my older boy asked me to sew laces on because his ears were still cold in the hat. So I added those later.

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Not to forget it, I also made scarves for the boys from the same fleece blanket.
They look very sweet wearing the hats.

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Top Knot Jersey Hat

As Christmas is getting closer and closer, I had to realize that I am very much behind with presents this year. To be honest I don’t care much because I don’t want to get quickly something for my loved ones just so I can give something. No, I don’t think that would show my love and appreciation for them. Instead I will concentrate on the kids first. There are four kids in our family: we have two boys and my brother has two girls (4 and 6). All four of them have everything they need and some more. Yes, we are blessed. But still it’s Christmas and they are kids, so I made the girls matching hats and scarves. Both are made from the same jersey fabric but slightly different.

Jersey Sapkak

One is a little smaller of course, has the flower on the other side and the stripes run the other way. For the top knot hat I found the tutorial here but had to make my own pattern for the right size. I looked up how to make those adorable flowers and then twisted the petals and attached them with one more stitch, so they will look even better.

I hope the girls will like the hats and scarves and also that they will fit.

The girls also love crafting, so they will also receive snowflake ballerinas. Wait, what? Yes, I found those via Pinterest of course, and will draw one for each girl, so they can cut them out and hang them wherever they want. They will hopefully look something like this by the time I am done:

Instructions and picture in English here.

DIY Wine Tote

Last week I promised you a post about the wine bottle tote bag that I created for our little craft fair. The idea of making something like this came from a costumer last year who said that he adores my products but he is an elderly man who has also bigger grandchildren, so he just couldn’t use any of them. True. My products were made almost entirely for babies and smaller kids and of course I can not please everybody.
But I knew that this year the costumers will be at least 60% the same as last year (meaning elderly people) so I had to come up with a few ideas for them, as well. Then I came across this great idea on pinterest and when I went to Hungary in the summer I already knew that I want to use my new blue print fabrics for this bottle tote.

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For the first tote I only used a blue print fabric and nothing else.

To the second one I added a white strip of fabric and a blue zigzag ribbon.
My favorite was the third one where I used a plane blue print fabric (without any prints) and a funky yellow cotton fabric. I just loved the contrast of the colors! Finally I added the flower using applique technique (by hand). This one is the closest to my heart. And you know what? You won’t believe it: the same costumer from last year came back and bought it! I was happier to sell that one single item then all the others combined!

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But of course I made a couple more. One with beautiful leaves and one a bit more “christmasy”.

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I hope you find them nice and maybe get inspired and make one for yourself or someone for Christmas. It is really not a difficult project, it can be done under an hour. Just don’t forget to buy a good bottle of wine, too!

Once again: Hungarian Blue Print

You might remember a post that I wrote about a year ago, it was about the Hungarian blue print fabric and a couple of sewing projects made of blue print. I love this fabric. I love it because it is absolutely high quality and great to work with. I love the look of it. I love its colors: the white and blue but in many variations. I love it because it always reminds me of Hungary and my cultural background and heritage. I love it because I remember that my great-grandmother used to wear clothes made out of this fabric. Very traditional looking clothes. Actually I still have one of her outfits which is at least sixty years old if not more and for some reason I try to preserve it as long as I can. And I inherited old blue print fabric from her, as well and I used it to make a lovely skirt out of and I still wear it occasionally.
But I think sometimes this fabric is underrated. If you’ve ever been to Hungary, you might have seen this blue print in souvenirs shops. They would probably offer you some horrible looking apron, maybe a table cloth, a pillow or a girl’s skirt. I mean those are adorable but come on people, use your fantasy! We can do even better!

This is why I often wonder why don’t people use it for other, much more up-to-date projects? I have a long-term project in mind: I would like to make a huge quilt from blue print for our bed but I didn’t have the time to start yet. Hopefully I can report back on that in couple of months. Until then here are a few sewing ideas that I made for our up-coming craft fair in Aachen.
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My first project was this notebook cover. I sewed a couple of small pieces of different blue print together, then attached the white stripes, then I continued to make the cover as described in a previous post of mine. I love how it turned out.

Then I made lots of fabric angels for the craft fair just like last year. After all, it’s going to be a Christmas fair and last year people loved it.

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Here are a few with red fabric:

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A couple made with floral prints:

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A few more including my favorite with the yellow fabric:

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Aren’t they just cute?

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I saved the best for last: wine tote bags. I will post the tutorial and more in an other post but for now just enjoy how great they look in the blue print fabric!

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Using the yellow fabric and a plain blue print I created a bright, fun and modern wine tote. Even though I added a traditional flower mostly used in embroidery, it still looks very fresh and hip to me. Don’t you agree?

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DIY Firefighter Costume

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Halloween is around the corner, so I thought why not share my son’s latest costume with you. As I mentioned before we don’t celebrate Halloween but we do have carnival in the city where we live and we dress up in costumes but at the beginning of the year, not in October. This firefighter costume was made in February for my son and he wore it not just in the Kindergarten but on the city’s carnival and at home for many-many times. He still plays with it!

If you are looking for a cheep solution for your child’s costume and you are willing to work on it a little bit, then this is definitely something for you! Not to mention that I made this costume because all the new ones are made from polyester and my son is allergic to that fabric and I wanted him to wear something made from cotton.
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I bought the helmet, the mask and the ax but I made pretty much everything else.
I took one of his T-Shirts as a template and sewed a similar top in red. Then I taped the lines on the arms of the top with a yellow tape.
I used the same yellow tape to make his pants.
Then I took an old belt of mine, punched a few more holes onto it to fit his size. I sewed on a few hooks and even added a carabiner.
What you can see on his shoulder is a spare hose from our washing machine.
His fire extinguisher is actually made from a coke bottle with a spray top and covered with red and black tape. He can even use this and spray water with it.
And voila! Wasn’t that hard, was it?

Baby Boy Outfit

As I mentioned this before we are about to move. It’s a big change in our life and a lot of work. We have been packing for a couple of weeks now and at the end of this month we are definitely moving to the other side of the town. We decided to find an other apartment because we wanted to be closer to work and kindergarten and didn’t want to spend so much time anymore getting there.

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Many things are already in boxes including my sewing machine and crafting supplies. It was very hard for me to pack them but I try to keep in mind that it’s only for a short time. And of course ever since I am full with ideas that must wait…

We also try to have fun with the kids while packing.

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But before packing all my craft-supplies into boxes I had a “last project”, a very sweet little project: a cute outfit for our baby’s baptism. After moving we are going to spend about one week in the new place, then we are heading to Hungary for a long vacation with friends and mostly family. And while we are there, our little baby boy will have his baptism, just like his older brother had at this age.
I thought that I would like to him to have a special, kind of elegant but also cute outfit for this occasion. But he will be seven month old, so those typical white baby outfits were out of question. Especially because he is a gigantic baby…

So I went to Pinterest to search for ideas and I came across this cardigan-onesie which I fall in love with. I checked out a couple of tutorial and finally fallowed this one and Voila! This is how our version looks like:

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I wanted to keep it white but with a little punch of blue. The outfit is a bit too big for him right now but as quick as he grows it will definitely fit to him in a month. I also made a pair of shorts for him from the same fabric as the bow-tie.

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He discovered the bow-tie right away and of course took it off. I might have to sew that on.

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But I am pretty proud of my work and satisfied with his look: he is very handsome, isn’t he?

I wish you all a very nice summer and see you again sometimes in September!

Sailor outfit for summer

A couple of weeks ago I went trough my son’s wardrobe to see if he has enough summer outfits. Shorts: check. T-Shirts: check. Shorts for swimming: check. But then I had to realize that we live in Aachen. There is no real summer here, at least not every year and certainly not for three months… But we do have some days when the weather is nice enough to be outside, enjoy the sunshine, have an ice-cream or go hiking. But that requires a different kind of summer outfit: maybe a light but long pair of pants with long-arm T-Shirts. Pants. My son had only jeans and other warmer pants. This is how I came up with the idea of sewing him long but summery pants.

We are preparing our home for moving which means I don’t really have time to go downtown and shop for new summer outfits for the kids and myself. But luckily the fabric store is not far from our home.

When I went to buy fabric for this project I was a bit disappointed again: you can always find tons of printed fabrics for girls but for boys? There were maybe two or three to choose from. And it’s always like this, no matter where you are searching for fabric.

Anyway, I found this lovely blue cotton fabric with anchors on it and I made a bucket hat and a pair of pants out of it.

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I added pockets and ham using a green scrap-fabric and voila! I was never the kind who would sew outfits but times and needs change, I guess. My son loves both the hat and the pants. He calls it the “pirate hat”.

Of course by the time I was done sewing, the weather had changed and we were back to jackets and jeans… but today the sun is shining again and there is hope!

Baskets

Our little baby boy has turned three months old last weekend and things are finally getting normal again around the house. Also my husband spent last month at home on parental leave which was really helpful for me and great for all of us. With his help I was able to start jogging. I was never a big fan of jogging but I felt like I have to do something to keep my body in shape after the second baby and this seemed the easiest solution. So I went jogging two times a week for a month and still try to keep this new habit of mine.
Anyway, the last time I went jogging on Thursday I found great treasures thrown away on the streets. In Germany you can find amazing things on the streets. There is a garbage truck that comes every few weeks and picks up old furnishings that people don’t need anymore. So you just put your junk on the streets the night before and the next morning it’s gone. They do not have garage sales but if you go around your neighborhood or even the city, you can find great treasures. I often see students carrying couches by hand or other stuff. And it is not all junk! Really, sometimes things are in great condition!

Like those baskets that I found when I was jogging. It happened like a cartoon: I was jogging by a big pile (rattan sofa, baskets and a lot more), I noticed those baskets, was jogging backwards, picked the little basket up and continued jogging. Like nothing happened. Just kept it casual… 🙂 Except I looked ridiculous on the way home jogging with a basket. Anyway,  I told my husband about my findings and he went back later with his bike to pick up the bigger basket.

This is how we ended up with these:

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My older son helped me cleaning them both. The smaller one was a bit dirtier, so I decided to sew a linen for it. This is how I made it:
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I put the basket on my fabric and cut out a circle about the same size as the bottom.
Folded the circle in four, measured the radius and calculated the circumference (105cm) . I also measured the side of the basket and added about 10cm to it (45cm).

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With those I was able to cut the side piece: circumference for the longer side and the height of the side for the shorter side (105x45cm).

DSC_1856I made a cut in the middle (ca. 10-12cm) for the handle of the basket.
Folded it (I did the same on both sides), pinned it and stitched it.

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Then I folded the upper and longer edge of the fabric, as well and sewed it together. It was a big fold, about 2cm wide.

DSC_1859As the next step, I pinned the circle in the middle of the side fabric. Marked at one-forth and pinned together accordingly.

DSC_1862It looked like this, then sewed together:

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As the final step I sewed the side seam and it was almost done.

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With the help of a safety pin I added a nice green ribbon

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and this is how it looks now:
KosarakNot bad, right? Now we have an exceptional laundry basket for our baby boy. Yes, we decided to use it as a laundry basket. Why not? It’s beautiful and costs almost nothing!
This is one of the few things that I love about Germany: free treasures on the streets!

 

The other basket was in way better shape but the top of it was unfortunately broken. I cleaned the hole thing. My husband found an article about cleaning and updating these kind of baskets and rattan furniture. So you have to give it a good clean with a paste made of salt and warm water. Then rinse it (I did it in the shower), let it dry on the air, then rub it with oil. We used the oil what we bought from IKEA for our wooden cutting board and it worked just fine.

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First I didn’t want to, but then I did repair the top of the large basket by hand-sewing with bast (raffia) and now it stands in our living room and we keep our blankets in it. I love it because it helps us keep the living room more organized. My husband loves it because it brings him back sweet childhood memories. And it didn’t go to waste! Win-win-win!
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Bonnet hats

Do you remember when I last year participated in a local street festival in Aachen called Lothringair? Well, it’s going to be organized this year again and I applied to have a booth for the second time. To be honest, I might change my mind about it this year because I am still negotiating on the price (which is three times more that it was in the previous year!) but I am already preparing new products: summer bonnet hats for little girls!
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I am in love with these. It’s too bad that I don’t have a daughter (yet). But I will definitely make two for my brother’s daughters this summer!
Bonnet HatsWhat do you think?

Crochet bag

My Mother retired this year. My husband and I are very happy for her, she deserves it very much. In this spirit we were thinking about signing her up for a course of some kind, to help her to find a new hobby so she wouldn’t go crazy being home all the time. But of course this is something that you can not decide for an other person, it might not work or she wouldn’t like it at all. So this plan was put on hold for a while then a couple of weeks ago she mentioned me that a long-long time ago she learned how to crochet and she would like to continue. Or better to say: pick it up again and start it over. I saw the perfect opportunity when she said this: help her set up for crocheting! I asked a good friend of mine to help me with his plan because I have no idea about crocheting and she is an expert in it. So she told me where to buy the yarns and which size of needles are most commonly used. She also recommended me a great book but unfortunately I still have trouble buying it online. This is why I asked my sister to buy that book in Hungary (my Mom only speaks Hungarian) and give my mother on Christmas eve for me.

Beside the needles, yarn and book I made a crochet-bag for her just to make the set complete. Earlier,  I found  a great bag for knitters on pinterest and I figured I could make something similar for the crochet-supplies.

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The bag is quiet big, so she will be able to drag her current projects with her any time and anywhere. The bag has two handles: one short and one long: she can pull the longer one through the smaller one and wear the bag on her shoulder or hang it on a hook and get it out of the way.

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From the inside the bag has a pocket with a magnetic-button:

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I also made small pockets for the needles. I ordered two sets and still waiting for the second-one to arrive this is why half of the pockets are empty. But you can still see how great they look!

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I also added two “loops” on the side/bottom of the bag to keep the yarns even more organized if it is possible.

DSC_0735Well, this is it. I would love to hear what you think of this bag! Especially from those of you who actually crochet (or knit). I hope that my Mom will love this bag, find it useful and she will really try to pick up crocheting again.

 

I pimped my car…

It’s probably not a very “christmasy” thing to talk about but I promised in a previous post so here it is. When we were planning our big trip to France this year I was thinking about how to get our car even more comfortable for a long road-trip and I figured out a couple of things.
First I renewed the cardboard arm-support thing that I made two years ago because it was a bit worn out. Taped extra support onto the top (it was also a bit lower than the perfect size, so I definitely had to make it slightly higher) and sewed a new cover. It also has a small pocket on the side for my cell-phone because I drop it sometimes and can’t find it for hours… The old cover was actually in excellent condition but I didn’t have more of that fabric and I wanted to match it with the new add-ons. DSC_0724

Then I burned a new CD which we do every year before starting a long road trip. I know: nowadays burning a CD is very old-fashioned but this works in our ten-years old car and we are fine with it. For all the CDs we collected over the years I sewed a very practical and also great-looking CD holder. I followed this tutorial for that.  This CD holder turned out very well and we love it! Easy to reach the CDs without opening the glove compartment and putting the whole family in danger. I can only recommend it!

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My other favorite thing is the trash-bag which hangs over the transmission handle. I found somewhere a tip how to make a bag water-tight from the insidewhich makes the trashbag washable. You have to melt a few layers of plastic bags together by covering them with a thin paper and ironing them until they melt.

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Then just use this plastic-sheet as a fabric. I have used this car-trash-bag since summer almost every day when I pick up my son from the kindergarten and it is so amazing I couldn’t live without anymore!

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Beside these things I also made a bigger bag to hang over the front seat and keep food in it for the long road trip but it wasn’t as successful as I hoped. It turned out a bit too big and without a cooler system it is just not  practical enough. At least not for food. But if you have a child on board who still wears diapers, then I would recommend to make something like this to keep diapers, wipes and extra cloths in it for an easy reach. We were always looking for the diaper bag when we stopped to change the baby, somehow it always hid somewhere… Or maybe use the bag for toys, raincoats etc.

Advent Calendar Part 3.

As I mentioned in the last post, I still try to catch up with many things in my life including the advent calendar for my son. I decided to continue making the small ornaments from felt and fill the pockets up as soon as I can. I know it’s very lame but I do have an advantage this year: my son can only count up to five and so far he did not notice that a few pocket is actually empty…

When Advent started about a week ago I managed to get done 17 ornaments. I took these pictures on the first day:

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Since then I was able to make a couple more and now only four is missing. The good thing is that my days seem to be calmer and now I have a bit more time. So hopefully the whole project will be done in a few days and I can share the details with you!
Until then check out “sewchat’s” calendar on this link who was able to finish her beautiful calendar just in time for Advent and kept my spirit up by sending me supporting messages! Thanks again!

Baby car-seat blanket with tutorial

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We are expecting our next baby and he is going to be born (hopefuly not before) January. My three-year-old son was born in September which means we still have lots of warm winter-clothes for the little one but slightly in a different size, meaning bigger. So I am collecting warm babyclothing in newborn-size now. Also, our daily life-style is different now: I have to get into the car and pick up my older son from the kindergarten every single day at the same time. This got me thinking: how am I going to manage this with a newborn? It is something that many parent can manage, so I will, too. But to make it just a little bit easier, I figured out to create a couple things, like this car-seat baby blanket. It will be useful because the temperature in the house, in the car and in the kindergarten will never be really cold but on the street it might be. Yes, we used regular blankets with my first son but we also lost a couple of them. And we mostly used the stroller anyway, not the car seat…

To make this blanket, I needed a warm but not too thick fabric, so I choose the combination of fleece and cotton. I bought a 130x170cm big fleece blanket. I could have bought it as fabric, but I just didn’t have time to head to the fabric store. This way was easier for me and it only costed 3€. The other two fabric were already on hand at home.

Then I was searching online for DIY ideas but I couldn’t find anything that I liked. Or if I found something interesting, then it had no tutorial. So I came up with my own idea, made it, it turned out exactly how I wanted and now I am sharing the tutorial with you.

What you will need for one blanket:

– fleece ca. 130x150cm

– a cotton fabric of your choice for the inner side ca. 130x120cm

– an other cotton fabric for the bag-part ca. 50x50cm

I drew a “sample” or “plan” for myself and it looked something like this:

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I decided to make the rounded top but if you want to make a hoody, then make the square-kind top and at the end attache three pair of magnetic buttons.

First I took out the cover from our baby seat (maxi cosi) and layed on top of my fleece. I traced the edges and the holes with a pencil to get some idea how big this thing should be.

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In the car seat there are two sets of holes for the seat belt. Mark them both and the one down in the middle, as well!

DSC_0328Then comes the tricky part: I  just drew the whole shape following my “plan”. I folded it in half, so both sides will be the same, and then cut it out.

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Note: I could have made the bottom a bit wilder… next time.

Then I layed the leftover fabric underneath and cut around the bottom. Don’t have to cut farther then 5 cm from the corners. (Shown on the next picture)

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Then I took off the blanket and folded the leftover-halfcut fabric into half. Marked wher the top should be and then cut it.

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Now I had the two pieces I needed.

DSC_0333As the next step, I cut out the same shape from the baige cotton fabric, and the smaller fabric with the elephant pattern. I just simply layed the fleece pieces onto the cotton fabrics and cut around them.

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When I was finished with the cutting, I layed the two smaller parts onto each other, facing the right sides and then sewed just the top together. Then I turned it inside out and sewed it along the edge again.

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After that I was making a fabric-sandwich: put the cotton fabric wrong side down, then the smaller pieces facing the pattern up, then the fleece facing your markings down.

Babaules-takaro1Pin all four layers together and sew. Don’t forget to leave a gap somewhere to turn the whole thing inside out later.

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Then I made an other seam around the edge from where the bag on the bottom starts to the other end of it. I forgot to take a picture of this step but hopefuly you understand what I am trying to say. The important thing is to close the gap once the blanket is turned inside out. The good news is that your blanket is basically done. The last thing to do is to make those button-holes that you marked at the beginning. But before you do that, make sure to check if your markings are at the right place. Mine were not! I put back the car-seat together and put the blanket on top, just as we would use it. Then took a look at the seatbelt and made new markings.

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Then I rememberd, that there is somewhere a newborn addition/extension to the car seat. I was able to find it and tried the blanket out with it. I noticed that I had to make a third marking for the seatbelt-hole because it had a completely different size now. Don’t forget to do this!

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Finally I sewed the button holes for the seatbelts but only after careful measuring! And voila! The blanket was done! I am so happy with the result!

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My model was the huge teddy-bear once again. It is much bigger then a newborn (about 70-80cm) but I think you get the idea how the blanket works and looks in use.

 

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For me it was very important to have a cotton fabric inside of the blanket because my older son’s skin is sensitive to anything that is not cotton, so I had to make sure, that the little one has also cotton touching his skin, if possible. Just in case, you know.

I made some other great projects for the car that I will present in the next post. Not much baby-related but very practical things if you use your car a lot.

And at the end I still had lot of left-over fabric. My evening-project was to make a hat(again, with cotton on the inside) and a scarf for my older son. We call it the “elf-hat” and he loves it! (And as a bonus for me, I don’t have to pay an other 8-10€ for a new set of hat and scarf!)

DSC_0358What do you think of this project? I am very happy with the price. I gave only 3€ out, but with the cotton fabrics the hole blanket costs no more than 6-10€. If you buy something like this in a store or even online, you will at least have to pay 15-20€, if not more… But probably more. This sewing project took me about three hours which is not bad, I think. But my favorite  thing about this project, that I made it especialy  for our son, and that is priceless.

 

UPDATE: The blanket has been in use for six weeks now and it is really great. Here is a picture with our son (and no more teddy bear):
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Birthday Banner

I was invited to a friend’s birthday party but unfortunately I can’t make it, so I decided to make and send a present that she would appreciate. My friend also loves sewing and she is really good at it, this is why I thought a self-made birthday banner would be a good idea and she will most certainly love it.

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I sewed together two piece of fabric for each little flag, it is very durable. For the letters I wanted to sew on applique but I ran out of time… So instead I used a textil-marker: I had to iron the writing this way it’ll be washable and won’t disappear.

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She can later use it without the numbers, that’s why I made it into three pieces instead of just one. And of course it’s not written in English but in Hungarian and says: “Happy 30th Birthday”. I am confident, she will like it. Now I only have to get to the post office and mail it.

Hungarian Blue Print for Christmas

I know it’s only September and you might ask why am I writing about Christmas? I didn’t go crazy, just let me explain. I was invited to a crafters’ market at the beginning of this year’s advent (which btw. will take place in Aachen) and this invitation got me thinking: last year I participated in a similar but much bigger Advent market where I realized that I should had prepared more “christmasy stuff”. As you probably know that by now, my favorite thing to sew is baby blanket but it is such a big item and at these markets the smaller items sell better. So I decided to figure out a few new items to sew and if it is possible, use the traditional Hungarian blue print fabrics.
In my first attempt I tried to make a Christmas ornament following this video. The ball turned out very well and I think it looks awesome, but it took me a lot of time and material to make it. So I will probably not make more of these for the market, just not worth it. But as a present or just for our family I’ll make a couple more for sure because it is a fun and easy technique and the end-result is really beautiful.

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About a week ago I found an other great idea. The tutorial itself is not very well detailed but with a little bit of creativity and logic you can make the angel ornaments without a problem. First I wanted to use only blue print fabric for this project, as well but then I had so much fun with those cute angels, that I made a lot more of them. I hope they will sell on the market.

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How do you like the other colors?

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I found the tutorial video to my last project just a couple of days ago but I couldn’t wait to try it out. These ornaments are really easy to make, don’t take much time and they look very good. Would you try to make them? This tutorial video is really well detailed and easy to follow, I can only recommend it.

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Personalized wedding presents

As I promised in a previous post I finished two wedding presents and I am about to show you them. I already gave one of them to my friend but unfortunately the other one is still waiting for the chance to be delivered. Since it probably won’t happen before spring, I decided to post the pictures anyway.

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The idea was to make something very personal and also quilted if it possible. This is how I came up with the idea of a recipe book: the covers were quilted and I wrote a couple of my favorite recipes into the book for starters.

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As a personal touch I added the names of my friends on the front which I cross-stitched.

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The covers are washable: you can slip the books out of them and simply wash them. I thought this is absolutely necessary because it is a recipe book and of course it will get dirty and stains over all over the years.

IMGP0799Well, what are your thoughts on this project? Would you be happy if you received a recipe book like this?

 

Pirate bag

I don’t know how this works in other countries but when your child goes to the kindergarten in Hungary, he/she must have a bag to hang in the changing room to keep his/her extra set of clothes and other stuff in it. When I was little, all the kids in our group were provided one bag by the kindergarten: they all looked the same. Only we had our kindergarten sign on the bag. For example my sign was the “ball”, so there was a ball sewn onto my bag, and my sleeping blanket, and was drawn on my shoes, into my coat etc. It’s a good idea because we didn’t know how to read or write down our names, so we used signs instead. 800_oltozo

 

Nowadays a changing room looks something like this in Hungary. As you can see one thing has changed: the bags are all different because they aren’t provided anymore by the kindergarten, instead the parents have to buy or make them.

Our son goes to a German kindergarten and they use plastic boxes instead of the bags which also works very well. In the room they have drawers with their pictures on them and they collect their paintings and other crafty creations in those drawers.

Anyway, one of my old high school friends asked me to sew one bag for her son. They promised him that his sign can be a pirate ship but the teaches decide this and usually they use more simple signs like house, umbrella, heart, flag etc. It is clearly not the choice of the parents to make and when they realized that, they decided to get him at least a pirate themed bag. And this is where I come into the picture. My friend even sent me a picture that she found online: how the bag should look like. All right, let’s try it!

After six hours of hard work this is how the bag turned out.

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It has two big pockets on the bottom and a zipper opening on the front side. The three applique were also made by me.

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The bag has inside lining as well, and the back is simply blue.

Recently UpdatedWhen I was looking up on the internet how this bag should look like and what are its dimensions, I found out that most of these bag come as part of a set. The other part is usually a smaller “pull-string-bag”. The kids can wear those as backpacks and use it for their “gym” or “exercise” clothes. So I decided to make one of those, too. It was much easier then the big hanging bag and only take about an hour to make. (Although I still have to buy the proper string for the bag. Temporary I put shoe laces into it.)

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The “gym bag” has inner lining, as well.

IMGP0786And finally one more picture of the whole set. What do you think? I really hope that the little pirate-fan will love them!
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