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.

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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!

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?

Firetruck Birthday T-Shirt

My son turned five this week and as you already know by now he is crazy about fireman and firetrucks and all that. On Sunday a local church organized a big party outdoors and they even got a firetruck for the kids (and everybody else) to check out, so we absolutely had to visit them. My son enjoyed this visit so much! He had questions and he learned a lot. Actually we did, too! The firemen were really nice and at the end of the day they even let a couple of kids try out one of the hose’ of the firetruck. And of course my son was one of the kids who had the chance! It was really cool!
This is how we started the one week long birthday celebration.

Some of you might remember that in the past years I made a few birthday T-Shirt for kids. If not, here are a couple of pictures as reminders for you:
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Well, this year I wanted to carry on this tradition and I had to make one with a firetruck. But this time instead of using applique I wanted to try out fabric paint. I printed out a firetruck and cut it out as a stencil. I used little pieces of tape, rolled each piece up and used it to fix my stencil onto the fabric.

DSC_3977Then I pulled out my fabric paint and realized that I only had pink paint instead of red. Well, I thought that this firetruck can not be pink, no way! What else can I do then? Then I remembered that a couple of weeks ago I bought textil/fabric markers, so I used those instead. Not ideal, I know, but it was a good alternative.

DSC_3980At least it was easy to use and there was no mess to clean up afterwards.

Polok-001After I finished it up, I had to iron it and then the project was done. To be honest I haven’t washed the T-Shirt yet but after ironing the ink shouldn’t fade, so I’m crossing my fingers.
My son really like the T-Shirt and he will be using it a lot, I think!
dsc_3909I liked that this project was very easy, even kids could do it and decorate their T-shirts or tote bags or whatever they’d like. No mess and it could be done in 15 minutes.
More firetruck related posts are coming next week! Stay tuned!

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!

 

 

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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Kitchen Backsplash Makeover

When we moved into our new apartment about ten months ago I was shocked when the landlord said that the backslapsh in the kitchen is in acceptable condition and it doesn’t need to be replaced. In fact I was so much shocked that no word came out of my mouth and when a couple of minutes later I tried to argue with the guy, I already lost the battle.

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So we moved in but I decided on our first day that these tiles need some kind of a repair. First I tried to cover them with white adhesive but it wasn’t sturdy enough. After much consideration and a lot of research on the internet I decided that I will try painting the backsplash. It was unfortunately not a cheap solution but we were not allowed to replace the old tiles. Even if we were, the new kitchen cabinets were installed right away as we moved in and it wasn’t possible anymore.

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I had a couple of trips to local stores and finally decided to buy the primer, the paint, the brushes etc. But I was still so scared that I will screw up the whole project that all the supplies stayed in the wardrobe for a couple of months, until I had the courage one day and I finally started to clean the backsplash and the next day I continued and tried to fill up the little screw holes. I think the repairing of the holes could’ve been done better but again, this was a DIY job, I’m not a pro. At all.

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The third day the primer was up and there was no going back. I always painted late in the evening, when the kids were already in bed, so excuse the quality of the pictures.

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The forth day I painted the first layer, and the fifth day the second coat went on.

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I think the whole kitchen looks a LOT better then before but if I am being honest the result is far from perfection. When the painting was done, we finally were able to install a lamp above the sink and the light of it is so strong that it reveals all the mistakes on the surface. Of course, one can only see those if actually standing and cooking there (who is most of the time me) which is fine by me. I call it “rustic white”.

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So this is my backsplash makeover and after all I am satisfied with the end-result. I can most definitely live with this  kitchen for a couple more years. But if you ask me if I would do it again, my answer would be: “Um, not so sure…” I think it is a great temporary fix but in a more permanent home I would rather have perfect tiles on the wall.

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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.

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!

Birthday Present for Great-Grandma

Before we visited our relatives in March again, I was thinking about getting lovely personalpresents for both great grandmother in our families since they were celebrating their birthdays in a few weeks apart. My Grandma was turning 80 and I made a cake box holder for her which I will present to you very soon in an other post but first check out what we made for my Husband’s Grandmother! She turned 86 and she is still a fit and amazing woman!

DSC_2424This is a small tray made out of bamboo and we added my son’s family drawing by burning it onto the try. My son is 4,5 years old now and he made this beautiful picture short after the carnival, this is why dad (left) is dressed as an Indian, next to him you can check out me as a princess with a crown, then he drew himself and finally the little brother in the brand new stroller. As a mother I absolutely adore this picture because this was the first time he drew all four of us! I love it!

I traced the drawing from paper onto the wood with the help of a carbon paper:

DSC_2312Then I started to burn the bamboo tray along the lines:

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Grandma loved this present and I wish her many more years to come!

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The great thing about this technique is that you can transport any kind of picture or text onto wood and the possibilities to make a personal present are this way really endless! And buying a wood burner does not cost more then a couple of bucks and it is worth it!

 

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.

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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Merry Christmas!

Hello Everyone!
I would like to wish you all a very happy Christmas and a blessed new year!
In the holiday spirit I would also like to share my last three projects with you. As you know, my sewing machine is not working right now but I still had three projects to finish before Christmas arrived.

One of them was a nativity scene picture made out of scrap book papers:

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The other one was a very simple felt ornament for my Grandma. I used a smaller version from last year as a template which I made for my son for the advent’s calendar.

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The third project was pine cone owl ornaments made from felt. I found the instructions here but instead of the feet I added a bow on top of each, so I can hang them on the Christmas tree.

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Aren’t they cute? Here is one more picture of them:

owl ornamentSee you next year!

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.

Kardigan-body

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!

Baby Co-Sleeper

As we were getting ready for the new baby in the family, we decided to get him a new bed. The first reason for that was that our three-years-old son still sleeps in his crib which we changed into a small bed. We did not want to bother him with a new bed at the same time when his little brother was arriving into the family. And also because he would love to have a bunker bed with his little brother but of course he will have to wait for that a bit longer, and then they can share the kids’ room and the bed.
Until then the baby is staying with us in the master bedroom. My oldest stayed with us for five weeks and then we moved him to his own room and I was the one of course who got up many times in the night and went out to the nursery. But this is no longer an option for us: the baby is staying in our room, so we decided to try out a co-sleeper bed with him. My hopes are quiet high: I don’t want to get out of the bed and pick him out of his crib each time but we still want him to be safe. This is why we were looking for a co-sleeper bed. In Germany those beds start around 100€ if you get it second hand but the prize for a new one is around twice as much.
What I did was go online and search for a DIY option when I came across this post. I followed the links in it and with the great help of my husband and my son we created this amazing co-sleeper for our baby:

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We attached the co-sleeper to our bed to make secure. We will also purchase this thing from IKEA, cut it to the right size and put it between the two mattress, so there is absolutely no gap between the two bed. And voila! Costs of this project: bed (IKEA-SNIGLAR) 35€, mattress (IKEA-VYSSA SNOSA) 20€, mattress divider (IKEA-SIGGERUD) 8€. TOTAL COST: 63€.
Plus this bed is 120cm long, longer then the usual co-sleepers, so it will last longer and we can put back the side if we wanted any time.

In the corner of the master bedroom there is a small chest of drawers and a changing table. It is tiny and won’t be functional longer then two-three months but for us that is fine because we plan to move to a slightly bigger apartment in a couple of months and we want to use an other (bigger) changing table in the new place anyway.

DSC_0851As I said: have big hopes for this co-sleeper but I promise to share later how did it actually work out for us.

UPDATE: Our son was born on 25th of January and ever since he has been sleeping with us in his co-sleeper. So far I can say only good things about it: it is very confortable for us, especially for me! I don’t have to get out of the bed to feed him and I don’t even have to bend over to get him out of the crib (and then put him back). And this is a big plus considering that he is a gigantic baby (only 5 weeks old and already 5,2kg)! I would just slide him close to me, then brestfeed him and finally put him back to the crib. I absolutely love this co-sleeper!

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Although there is one thing that I find a bit difficult: getting into and out of the bed. I mean for me. But it’s a small prize I have to pay for beeng ablo to be so lazy with night time feedings. Actually it is so much comfortable that sometimes I feed him and fell asleep so fast, that in the morning I can’t tell my husband how many times did I feed our baby or when was the last feeding time. This co-sleeper thing really allows you to be a lazy and a good parent at the same time! Do you need more than that?

 

Bike Wall Clock

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My brother is a huge fan of bikes: he was a bike messenger about ten years ago and ever since he only travels by bike. He lives in the capital of Hungary (Budapest) which is a big city with 2 million people living there. The Danube-river divides the city into two parts: the West side is very hilly (has an amazing royal castle on top), the East side on the other hand is quiet flat. My brother lives on that side but it doesn’t stop him from biking anywhere he wants: on the weekends he would for example ride out of town to the mountains if he is in the mood for that.

It’s something that I respect in him very much but for example my parents don’t get it. Although he should wear a helmet which he doesn’t…
Anyway, my brother had his birthday recently and I made him a “Bike Wall Clock”. The original idea came from the fair trade shop where I worked this year (Weltladen Aachen): they had a great wall clock made from a bicycle’s gear. It looks very special but was a bit too expensive for my taste (and pocket), so I was inspired and made this instead:

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First I went to the local “dollar store” and bought a wall clock that was good material for make-over. Then I covered it with a piece of paper. For that I used regular paper-glue.
Then I printed out the bicycles in two pieces (I found the print online and made some adjustments to it using picasa). I also choose and printed out the numbers.
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After that I applied those with regular paper glue and also added a little black circle in the middle to cover up the edge of the white paper below.

As the next step, I cut out a few cm bigger circle of foil to cover up the whole clock. This is why I used only regular paper glue before, because I knew that the foil will hold every piece on its place very well.

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As you can see, I cut out a little hole in the middle and cut the back side into two parts: this is necessary in order to be able to peel off the back side of the foil. But I did this step very carefully and I did not cut into the foil. So I peeled off the back side in two pieces and got rid of the bubbles from underneath with the help of a ruler.

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When the foil was finally on the clock, I cut into it all around and then turned the edges backwards.

BalioraAnd voila! The bike wall clock was done!

DSC_0840To be honest I do have one concern with this project: I wonder how well will the foil hold when it gets hot in the summer and the sun shines directly to the wall clock a lot. We’ll see…

 

After Christmas…

Well, here we go: the holidays are kind of over now and I still owe you, my dear Readers a post about the Advent Calendar and other Christmas stuff. There is no excuse, I am terribly lazy with writing these days but keep in mind: there is always a next advent and Christmas when you can actually use some of these ideas!

As I wrote it in a previous post, I decided to finish the small ornaments for the advent calendar as we go and so I did. But to be honest, I was a bit disappointed because my three-years-old son lost interest in decorating his tree after about two weeks. He might enjoy it more next year. At least I hope he does.

Here are the ornaments: all 24 of them! As you can see 22 of them is hand-stitched felt. The first one is also self-made but I used air-dry clay. The last one was a present from a friend who makes the most amazing Christmas ornaments from stuff that she finds in nature (and with the help of a hot glue gun).

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My favorites are the little house, the snowman and the holy family. The drum and the penguin was kind of made for my husband who for some reason always wanted to have a penguin ornament and plays the drum.

The base with the tree looked like this:
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I attached the curtain robe to the door with tape and added wasi tape on the edges around. It was necessary to keep it from falling off but also looked much nicer with the red frame on the white door.

And finally the tree with all the ornaments:
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Do you like the it? If you want to make something similar for next Christmas keep in mind: it takes a lot of time but looks so beautiful at the end!

 

Our other holiday project was to make a fake fireplace. I am not kidding. My husband and I both love fireplaces but unfortunately don’t have one. However we did have a pallet in the garden that we no longer used and I had the idea to make a fake fireplace out of it. My husband wasn’t a big fan of this idea but he helped me anyway because he knew it was important to me. (Best husband, ever!) We used other pieces of wood, not just the ones from the pallet and a left-over fabric for the back. Wood and lights were also already on hand in the household, so the total investment wasn’t more then 6-7€ and a couple of evenings working together.

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I’m really happy how it turned out: made our tiny living room very cozy and we also had place for those Christmas-cards. We set up our tree next to it and even my husband loved it at the end.

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And our little son was playing camp-fire in it: he was grilling toy food on the fake fire… Is it really cute or just weird?

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Anyway, it’s all packed up in our basement since yesterday and we are getting ready our apartment and ourselves for the new baby’s arrival now.

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.

 

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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Christmas tree ornament

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This tree ornament is made out of felt and is pretty easy to make and it looks very nice! Something different for sure. I would say one piece took me about 15 minutes to make. If you want to try this, use a thicker kind of felt, mine was about 3mm thick.

I cut out a 10×10 cm square and cut into it on both sides as shown on the picture below:

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Then I folded the two “wings” inside, sewed them together and added a beat.

Then I did the same thing with the other wings:

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When all the “wings” were done, I added one more bead to the bottom and a string to the top:

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And that’s it. Simple, right?

DSC_0307You can also make bigger ones and hang them on a string as room/door decoration.

 

Advent Calendar Part 1.

I will present this project in two (or maybe three) parts because it takes a long time to finish and I do hope, that someone will try to make it and finish it on time with me! I started to make an Advent calendar for my three-year-old son but my biggest concern was that he should not get chocolate every day in Advent. I hate the idea and because he does not get chocolate usually more then once a week, I had to figure out something else for him. I found many tree-decorating-kind Advent calendar on the internet but using only velcro and felt seemd a bit easy for me. Yes, for me, he might love playing with that but we will never know. So my idea was to make the 24 little pockets and fill them with even smaller tree-ornaments which he can hang on the felt-tree.

1. First I chose the basic fabric, hemed the edges and added a little loop on top for the curtain robe. The size of the finished basic is ca. 68x100cm.

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2. Then I cut out a tree form accordingly. It’s about 58cm tall and 53cm wide on the bottom. Pinned onto the baige fabric and sewed it. I also added a little pice of brown felt on the bottom for the tree trunk: I slipped it under the green felt.

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3. For the next step I hand-sewed 24 small buttons onto the tree. We will hang the ornaments on those. I think this is a great idea because the tree doesn’t look so naked at the beginning.

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4. After attaching the buttons, I also added a star to the top of the tree. For that I cut out a sample first: it was important not to cross the seam for the curtain robe. This is why the star looks a bit strange.

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First I pinned and sewed the yellow layer of felt, then the orange.

DSC_0341Then the tree was done and looked like this:

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5. Then I cut out 24 small pockets from felt again. Their size is 6,5×5,5cm. Now I am hand-stitching the numbers onto them. This step is not finished yet but take a look anyway!

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When I am finished with the pockets, I will start working on the small ornaments (to hide in the pockets and later) to hang on the tree. I will make samples for those and upload them for you! Of course, you can hide sweets in the pockets, as well. Just decide what is best for your family and get started in time!

 

Paper gift-bag tutorial

As I mentioned before, I volunteer in a local fair trade shop and it is part of my job to make paper gift-bags for jewelry when no customer is around. But at first I had no clue how to make them, until a couple of my colleagues taught me. It is actually not that difficult but as everything else, it needs a bit of practice.

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And as Christmas is getting closer and closer, you might want to learn how to make these adorable paper bags. You can even make 24 of them and use them as Advent calendar. So let me take you through the process step by step.

1. STEP: Choose a small box as a sample. I used a chalk box from IKEA but it is really up to you what size do you prefer or have on hand. Cut the wrapping paper according to the size of your box: it should be about 3cm/1 inch longer on the shorter sides of the box (they will turn into the top and bottom of your bag) and on the longer sides the paper should overlap.

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STEP 2: Decide which color would you like to use. My bag will be red on the outside and green on the inside. On one shorter side I folded into the paper twice (about 6-8mm wide), so the top of the bag will be neat at the end.

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STEP 3 and 4: Then I turned the paper: the red side was facing down. I put the box onto the paper (in the middle), folded the longer sides and taped it with a very little piece of tape.

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STEP 5: After that I taped along the edge. Make sure to turn the end of the tape inside, as well. NOTE: if you want to make the other version (with the little ear on top), leave out step 2 and now use a decorative washi tape!

 

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STEP 6: Now press the corners with your fingers all the way to both ends of the paper and of course on all four corners! This step is actually very important, don’t forget it!

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STEP 7: As the next step I made the bottom of the bag. To do that, you have to slide the box into the “paper tunnel” as much, so there is enough (but not too much) paper to fold. Now fold in the shorter sides and be very precise! Then fold in the “back side” of your future bag. If you are making a similar bag, that would be where you taped before. If you are using a decorative whasi tape for the front, then the back side will be the one without the tape. At last fold in the “front side”!

Papiertüte4STEP 8: Tape the bottom and then slide out the box. You won’t need it anymore.

Papiertüte5STEP 9: Press together the sides of the bag with your fingers as shown on the picture. Start from top to bottom, this way you can create a neat corner at the bottom. Don’t forget the other side!

Papiertüte6STEP 10: Now your bag should look like this:

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If you turn the bottom backwards, your bag is actually done. You can add a long piece of dubble sided tape to the top (see picture below) which is very practical when you close the bag because no tape will be seen from the outside. Very professional-looking! The only thing is left to decorate it, for that skip step 11 and go to step 12!

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STEP 11: If you are making the other version with the whasi tape, it is now time to create the little “ear” on top. For that you have to make small diagonal cuts on the front side, fold the “ear” and then cut off the rest.

Papiertüte7STEP 12: Decorating. There is no limit to this step. I made little bows and used the store’s sticker but you can draw, paint, glue etc. anything onto the paper bag. If you use this bag for Christmas, make something personalized or attach a small tree ornament to the gift bag.

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And don’t forget: the size is variable, it only depends on the box that you choose as template. You can make a small bag for a pair of earrings or a huge bag for large presents, as well.

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Elephant Baby Quilt

Last week I worked on an other baby quilt. I wanted to use my newest elephant-print fabric that I found in Hungary on our last trip. I find it very cute and perfect for baby/kids projects, so I decided to make an other blanket. After a long consideration I choose a geometrical quilt pattern and I am happy with the results.

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It wasn’t a difficult project but with my very simple home sewing machine I am not able to make advanced quilts. Anyway, my elephant baby blanket is soft and cozy and kids will love it. I can’t wait until my next craft fair where I will be selling this one, too.

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The binding is hand-stitched which takes a bit longer time but considering that this blanket is only 1x1m, it wasn’t that bad. I really like the fact, that even the backside looks very neat.

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Who wouldn’t want a blanket for his kid like this?

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Monthly Give Away: April-May

Our monthly give away game is finally here! You might have noticed that this game is actually for April and May and there is a reason for that. I was out of town for couple of weeks and couldn’t take care of the game (and the blog in general). Also, there was only one person who signed up last month and she can participate in the game now.

The rules didn’t change but here is reminder:

Everyone who signs up to follow this blog automatically participates in this game! You don’t have to do anything else: you don’t have to share this post (only if you would like to) or like it etc. At the end of May I will make a list of those who signed up, throw all the names into a hat (that’s right, old fashioned way!) and draw one. Then I will publish the name here and contact the lucky winner by email.

Oh, I almost forgot the most important thing: the prize!

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Yesterday I came across this great tutorial and tried it out right away: an envelope clutch! I absolutely loved this project because it is not complicated at all and the result looks awesome!

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I changed one thing though: instead of a ribbon I used a magnetic button. I also added a circle on front to make the fabric even stronger around the magnetic button but I think it makes the whole clutch look better.

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Summer and vacation time is around the corner and I would use this small clutch for the passport and other important documents while traveling.

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Or afterwards keeping the pictures in it until you have time to put them into the photo-album. Or anything else, really…

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Note: the tutorial above is in German. If you want to make a clutch like this and have difficulties with reading the tutorial, just let me know and I will try to help. So this small clutch will be the prize of the monthly give away. Fingers crossed!

Car Seat Organizer 2.0

As I mentioned in the previous post, I will work on more car seat organizer in the near future because I would like to sell them on the up-coming craft fair in Aachen. While working on the second piece, I realized that something important was missing from the first car-seat organizer: a cup-holder! I added one to the next organizer which wasn’t easy, so I will have to come up with an other design for the cup-holder. This one works perfectly but it took a bit longer time to make it and I can not afford this luxury. Check out the picture of the first and second car seat organizers!

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Which one do you like better?

And here is one picture of the second organizer with more details:

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I even added pencil-holders and made the upper hole better looking by hand-stitching it. I think it functions much better then the first one, but let the kids decide!

Craft Fair in Aachen

A couple of weeks ago I was accepted to a local craft fair which will take place in Aachen on the 14th of June. I was really happy and now that we got back home from Hungary, I can focus on the work and the products I will bring to that craft fair. In this spirit I made twelve more luggage tags and two small, but really soft and cozy baby blankets.

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Is anyone interested in a tutorial on the luggage tags? They are a little bit complicated but it’s a great project and worth making them because they are very fun gift ideas for people that love travelling.

IMGP0160Unfortunately I couldn’t take better pictures of this owl-themed blanket. Sorry. It is made using fleece and cotton fabrics. Very easy project and looks fun!

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Finally a car-themed blanket, my favorite. It is really soft and small-sized, so it fits perfectly to the trolley or into the car-seat.

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I also decided to make more car-seat organizer for the bigger kids. Especially in the summer-time, when families are traveling more, it’s a very useful thing to have in the car. So, probably you will see more of those in the near future but I have also new ideas! Let’s get back to work!

 

Easter Bunny Treat Bags

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I was thinking about the upcoming Holiday and our son as he was seeking in the church’s garden for Easter eggs last year (here in Germany): his face and eyes were so joyful! It made me come to the decision to recreate this event even though it is not a tradition in our Hungarian culture. Why not give the little ones a fun and exciting moment during this otherwise very serious Holiday? One thing led to the other and I found a great sewing project for Easter: bunny-shaped treat bags and I made a few one.

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It is really not a complicated sewing project, so if you want to give it a try, just follow the tutorial on the link above and check out the sample I created:

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You need to cut out the bag shape twice from your main fabric, and twice for the inner but for that fold it where it is indicated with dashed line because it should be a bit smaller then the actual bag. Also cut out four pieces for the ears. You might want to use some other color for the front side of the ears, it makes them more fun and better looking. The tutorial is lacking though one information: how to attach the ears to the bag. So for a little more help on this I took this photo:

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As I folded the fabric on the edge, I slipped the inner fabric and the ears under it. Careful, it was very thick (8 layers of fabric!) so use a strong needle for this stitch! But other then this little detail the above mentioned tutorial is really good, just follow all the steps! Or if you are not a very crafty person, you can order them from my new web-shop in a couple of days!

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Stuff the bags with delicious sweets and hide them in the garden for the kids! They will love it, guarantied!

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“Get Well Soon” Card

In the last three months there were two accidents in our family: my father-in-law and my husband’s grandmother broke their legs. We have been sending them “Get well soon” cards, paintings of my two-and-a-half years old son, pictures etc. Once we traced our son’s hugging arms on a huge piece of paper and sent it to Grandpa which is still his favorite thing he received from us. But I felt like I am running out of ideas and our great-grandma is still in bed, so we would like to send her more things that will hopefully keep her spirit up. And then a couple of days ago I came across this idea on Pinterest and made a similar card:

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I think it turned out very nicely and my son could help me make it because he loves stickers. Fun for him and he knows it’s gonna be great-Grandma’s, so I think he made it with love. Such a cute idea, isn’t it?

(Unfortunately the link to the original card was a dead end, so I can’t share it.)

Becoming a fan of bags

Last week I was writing about a beautiful bag that I made and as soon as I finished it, I was already thinking about the next one. So I made more bags, to be exact two of them. I used fabrics that I had on hand and tried to play with the colors a little bit, this is how a yellow bow ended up on one of the bags. Very vibrant color. What do you think?

Varras+Blog51This time I wanted to add magnetic buttons to the bag because I think it is very important to have some kind of closer on it. The only problem was that we were ill again and I just couldn’t get to the store to buy them until a couple of days ago! And finally I was able to finish the bags. Actually this time it took me about six hours to sew both bags which is way better then the very first bag (it took me five hours).

Varras+Blog50The other news is that I am currently working on a new web-shop. Yes, I left DaWanda and according to my plans next week I will be able to open my own online shop where both of these bags will be available beside many other things.

My very first bag

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It’s all started months ago when I had a thought, that I should somehow involve my Hungarian heritage into my work. I already wrote about it once and mentioned that I will buy real hand dyed Hungarian (blue and white) fabric. And I did last summer when we were visiting relatives. Since then these fabrics sit on my shelf and I was waiting for some inspiration because I didn’t want just waist them on any project. Then I remembered that I promised my friend to make her a bag, similar to what we saw together at the biggest Festival of Folk Arts in Hungary (http://mestersegekunnepe.hu/) which takes place every August in Budapest at the Palace. The best craft fair in Hungary where really everybody gets inspired, well worth a trip!

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All I remembered about the bag that it had a big bow on front and I started to search for a tutorial because I am totally new to making bags and I had almost no experience doing it. The last bag I made was about ten years ago and it wasn’t the best one… And my friend’s request was to use blue and white Hungarian fabric. This was the beginning of a beautiful friendship between bags and me because I enjoyed the bag-making so much that I might try it again.

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So I found this great and detailed tutorial and I followed every step of it. Well, I did make some adjustments to it but only in choosing different fabrics or making a different pocket inside, nothing major. You can even download and print out the pattern of the pieces that needed to be cut out.

IMGP9660The whole project took about five hours from start to finish but I think for the second time it will go faster.

I feel like combining an old fashioned, hand dyed fabric with new designs is a great way to keep our cultural heritage alive. The bag has after all a modern style, it’s very fresh, practical but also reminding me of my great grandmother’s skirt that was made from a very similar fabric. She passed away many years ago but I still remember her wearing those traditional (folk) outfits. I think we can not move forward to the future without taking some traditions with us and keeping them alive. Our roots are as much important as our plans, that’s what makes us human.

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I am really interested on your thoughts on this subject, so please, don’t hesitate to share them!

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And I already have an other idea on how to use these beautiful blue and white fabrics in our modern word. So hopefully more is coming next week!

 

TUTORIAL: Scout Binder Cover

Not many people know about me that as a teenager I was scouting in Hungary, in a great group named after St. Joseph Calasant. It was an amazing period of my life and I miss it a lot. This year my group celebrates the 25th anniversary which is something to be proud of! Unfortunately I was informed a bit too late about the ball that the group organized to celebrate this occasion and I didn’t get an airplane ticket to fly back home but I decided to send them something that I created as a thank you for those memorable years. First I wanted to send something for a ruffle game but there was none. They prepared other games, so finally I decided to make a scout themed binder cover and I checked with one of the ball-organizers and she said it would be a great present for the leader of the group. All right, then let’s get started!

My inspiration was the invitation for the ball:

412meghivoCan you see the knot on the bottom? It does appear on my binder cover as well. Here are the steps:

1. MEASURE THE BINDER YOU HAVE! Mine was: 31x27x6cm

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Cut out the fabrics accordingly: add 1cm on each side to the size of your binder. I needed these:

– 2x  33x62cm (one orange, one beige)

-2x   20x33cm (both orange)

-1x   20x62cm (green)

-2x  8x15cm (green) for the binding part

-1x  11x15cm (green) for the phone pocket

-2x  8x11cm (one beige, one green) for the phone pocket upper part

-1x  9x15cm (green) for the pen holder/pocket

-1x scout lily cut out on vliesofix (interfacing)

– 1m tvine

– a group number if you have one

– 2x   2,5cm velcro

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2. As the second step IRON every piece and fold back 1cm on the 20x62cm green fabric lengthwise and press-iron it.

IMGP92843. Put this green piece on the biggest orange fabric. Position it in the middle then sew it lengthwise on both sides. Not it should look like this:

IMGP92874. PREPARE THE SCOUT LILY! I searched one on the internet, printed it out and used it as my pattern. Iron interfacing onto a beige fabric. Then put the pattern and the fabric onto each other and hold them up to your window and trace the lines. Then cut out the lily, iron it onto the green fabric and sew it onto! Position it in the middle of the front side.

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IMGP9290First I sewed the lines/seams in the middle of the lily, then on the edges.

Also with interfacing iron and sew the group-number in the middle of the whole orange/green fabrics. It helps if you press-iron where the edges of the binder will be, see picture bellow:

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5. Make the knot and sew the twine onto the big orange fabric parallel with the edge of the green fabric.

6. SEW HEMS on both 20x33cm orange fabric on one side lengthwise:

IMGP92937. As the next step you have to make the PHONE POCKET! Sew a hem on the 11x15cm green fabric on the shorter side. Then take the 8x11cm fabrics (beige and green) and sew them tegether on three sides facing the right sides together and leaving a longer side open. Then turn it out, iron the edge and sew one side of the velcro onto it. Sew the other side of the velcro onto the the green fabric with the hem. Now it should look like the two pieces in the middle of  the picture below:

IMGP92928. HEM the shorter side of the 9x15cm green fabric. This will be the PEN POCKET!

9. Facing the right sides, sew together the two 8x15cm green fabrics on three sides leaving one short side open, turn it inside out and iron the edges. Sew one side of the other velcro onto it. See on the left side on the picture above!

10. Fold 1cm from the edges of the phone pocket and pen holder back and sew them onto the 20x33cm orange pieces. You should fold inside 1cm from the open end of the upper part of the phone pocket and then sew a seam through it. Now it is easier to sew it onto the orange fabric. Pay attention: position the upper side of the phone pocket so the velcro meets with it other side!

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Now all the parts are ready to go and the should look like this:

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11.  Here comes the trickiest but the best part: ASSEMBLING EVERYTHING together.

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a.) Put the big orange fabric (with the green fabric and the lily) down first. It should be facing up!

b.) Now put the green binder with the velcro on the right side (in the middle) facing the velcro upside!

c.) Now put the two orange pieces on the sides facing down! In my case the one with the phone pocket came to the right side, and the one with the pen holder came to the left side. The hem of the orange fabric should be facing the middle, that’s the most important thing!

d.) Finally put the big green fabric to cover all the others! Pin it all around! Sew along the sides, 1cm from the edges BUT leave about 10cm opened because that’s where you will turn the whole thing inside out!

12. Sew and then turn the whole thing inside out!

IMGP9307How about that?

IMGP930813. The final step is to iron it and hand stitch that 10 cm gap. Hopefully it fits perfectly to the binder and it is good to go!

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The greatest thing about this technique that by learning it you will be able to make any kind of notebook or book cover! There is no limit to the possibilities! I hope you enjoyed this tutorial and if you make something using this, please send me a picture and share your thoughts on it!

Betlehem applique

After the Nikolausmarkt last weekend I decided to make a present for a very nice couple who helped me a lot on the market. But they are a bit older, so giving them something from what I already made just wasn’t an option. They don’t need kids stuff. But they did appreciate my sewing skills and my fabric pictures, so the idea of making them a nativity themed applique picture seemed right.

First, I made a sketch how the thing should look like and also how big it should be, so that it will fit to the frame I had.

Top.bmpThis is an A/4 sized paper (you can download and print it, if you want to make a picture like this!)

Next step was to decide on the fabrics, colors and cut them out fitting to this sketch. For that I went to the window, held up my sketch and put the little piece of fabric on top of that (with vliesofix on the back side), and just traced the lines from the sketch to the fabric. Once all the pieces were cut out, I had to decide what pieces sew first, and what next. I planed the layers like this:

IMGP89341. First I sewed the star onto the base fabric in the middle and a few rays toward the edges. 

IMGP89352. Next came the “bodies” of Mary and Joseph, his crosier and baby Jesus’ outer halo. Oh, and of course the heads.

When I was cutting out the pieces, I cut out a bit bigger where I knew that the layers will overlap each other. This way the thread in the seams doesn’t bulk up.

IMGP89373. Third came Joseph’s vest, baby Jesus’ inner halo and Mary’s arm and hand. See, now you probably understand better what I meant on planning the layers. It is the key to this project!

IMGP89384. Then came Joseph’s arm and hand, bird, baby Jesus’ body and Mary’s veil.

IMGP89395. Next were baby Jesus’ head and Joseph’s headscarf, then finally the crib. At each step I ironed the fabric and of course all little piece had vliesofix on the back, so first I ironed those to the base fabric, sewed them, and then iron again. Repeat each step, until you are done. At the end I also ironed the edge-lines to fold them back.

6. Hand stitch the eyes, mouths and hair. I forgot to stitch the band on Joseph’s headscarf. Don’t do that. If it is necessary, make a list of all the steps before you start!

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IMGP8940Already shaping up, right?

7. Turn the whole thing over and hand-stitch the corners. First stitch two corners on one side, then slip the plastic (or glass) from the frame inside the fabric, then stitch the two other corners on the other side. First I stitched all four corners but then it was impossible to slip the plastic inside and I had to rip the seams.

IMGP89448. It’s done. Put the picture into the frame, cover up with the paper back and tadaa!

IMGP8946Put it on the mantel, in the window, or up to the wall, anywhere. I really like what I achieved in this project because I was afraid, it won’t work because of it’s small size. I am not saying it is an easy project but it can be done in 3-5 hours. Maybe a little more if you decide to do it by hand. Don’t forget to change the thread with each piece of fabric! I might make an other, bigger one for us: with shepherds, sheep, donkey, angel, camel and the three wise men etc. Probably it will take more then 3-5 hours but anyway, Rome wasn’t built in one day and it is amazing. So will be my next picture!

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Nikolausmarkt

I am getting very nervous and excited about the up-coming “Nikolausmarkt” here in Aachen, where I will be selling my little creations for the very first time! This is going to be a double test for me: test of my German knowledge and of course test of my products. As I mentioned before, from January I plan to open an online shop and this market will definately help me to decide which products are sellable and which aren’t.

Please, let me show you a couple of things that I made for this market:

1. The newest pictures sewed from fabric and felt:

Varras+Blog182. Mug and mug sleeve made from felt:

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3. Hand stitched pictures made by my Mom (framed by me):

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4. A recycled throwpillow with air plane theme:

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5. Folders with covers:

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6. And finally my monster: a cover blanket for double bed. I worked on this for weeks and learned a lot doing so.

Varras+Blog17 The Nikolausmarkt (crafters market) will take place in Aachen, Marienhospital (in Burtscheid) between the 6th and 8th of December. Friday 4:00-8:00pm, on Saturday and Sunday 10:00am-8:00pm. There will be good food, drinks, concerts and of course the crafters! Come and have a great time!

 

Elephants

IMGP8782As I promised in my previous post, I am presenting the newest babyblanket that I sewed. I used the same technique (sewing together stripes) but I also applied three elephants on the front and one more on the back. I tried to make this blanket “unisex”, so it would be good for boys and girls, as well. What do you think? I always love most the project that I just finished, so this one is my favourite right now.

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A colourful babyblanket

A tried something new again: a babyblanket made out of stipes and let me tell you, I loved this project! I loved it because it was very easy to make, quickly done and it contains so many colours! It’s like a rainbow but even better because the colorful stripes can come in any order. I can only recomand this project to beginners and for those, who need a quick present for the next babyshower.

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And I am already working on the next, similar babyblanket that I will spice up with a couple of elephants! Are you curious? Well, it’s not done yet but here is a sneak peak:

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Mill game

I have been thinking about this project for a while now and finally I was able to make one, as I imagined it. As a child I used to play Mill and card games with my Mom and I cherish these memories ever since. Now I barely get the time to play any kind of games, or I just play with my two-year-old son, but clearly it is not the same. But I do hope, he will remember me one day as a mom who sat down with him and took the time to teach him play Mill (and other games of course)!

So here is what I created using applique technique, sewing and also woodburning.

IMGP8643The most difficult part was to sew onto the board the little circles. There are 24 of them! You can guess how many hours it took me to finish it. But at the end I was very proud of what I created.

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Then I made a matching little bag to hold all the pices of the game.

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IMGP8639Once it was done, I still needed the little wooden “bottons” (18+1 extra), which I decorated with my wood burning iron while I was whatching TV.

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IMGP8664To tell the truth, I made this set to sell at the fair I am going to in a couple of weeks but I will definately make one for us, too. But because it takes so much time, I won’t make probably any more to sell, unless someone orders it and is willing to pay for it a lot. I think it would make a great present to a Mill game fan or a game collector.

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IMGP8670And because the bag is so nice, you wouldn’t even have to wrap it! Well, what do you think?

A couple little things

In the last few weeks I wasn’t able to work on my projects and write on the blog as I would usually do because my son had to stay home for two weks. He is starting at the Kindergarten which will take him a few more weeks to get use to it and of course it means that I don’t have the time to work on my projects as I would like to. But after that hopefully I will have more time then I did before, so it’ll be worth it!

In the meantime I do try to sew stuff, even when I just have a half an hour or my son is climbing up on my back while I work on the sewing machine. True story. I couldn’t have done many projects but here are the few that I actually did:

A few more Christmas ornaments for the “Nikolausmarkt” in December:

 

 

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Bookmarks made from scrapfabric.

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And finally a folder decorated with a beautiful piece of traditional Hungarian lace:

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Organizing matchboxes

I read somewhere an article about being a boy’s mother. It listed twenty things that you did not expect when your son was born. For example that toy cars, trains, boats and plains will be everywhere! It is so true…
So here is my solution to this problem: a “parking lot” for all those toy cars.

IMGP7831“Parkhaus” in German means parking lot or garage. It can store 12 cars, you can hang it in the wardrobe, and if it gets dirty, you can take out the hanger and wash it. Well, what do you think?
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This will be also soon available in my online shop.

 

Getting the car ready for a road trip (Part 1.)

Finally the summer has arrived to Aachen, too and we are planning a trip to Hungary again, to visit our relatives. We will travel by car and the last few trips to Hungary taught us a couple of lessons. Our car (Opel Astra) is not 100% comfortable for long trips as it is, although we love our Opel and otherwise we are very satisfied with it. But a 12-14 hour long trip is a lot, especially with kids.

The first problem to solve was some kind of an arm-support for the driver. Mostly my husband drives on these long trips and after a few hours he usually has pain in his right shoulder/upper back because there was nothing to support his arm. And the pain stays with him for weeks after these long trips, which is a very bad way to start any vacation. So I searched on the internet for some kind of a solution and you can buy these parts for any car (sorry, I don’t know its official name if it has one), but they start about 34-45 Euros. Hmmm… Then my husband had an idea: try to make one out of scratch. This is how I ended up with the biggest puzzle in my life (so far). Take a look:

IMGP7172I measured the place between the two car seats including the space for the seat belts and the parking break. Then I took a shoe box and lots and lots of tape. After a couple of hours of taping and trying it out in the car this box was my final result. Looks crazy, right? I also cut out a circle for a plastic cup, that used to be a salad-cup, and our mug or a small bottle of water fits into it.

IMGP7173I stuffed the whole box with wrapping paper for more stability. Then I taped some betting (which I usually use in patchwork blankets) onto the front top of the box.

IMGP7177After that I measured a good piece of fabric (inside out!) for upholstering.

IMGP7178Then I cut out a hole for the plastic cup and just slid it into the hole.

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This way I can take out the plastic cap and wash it or the cover of the box any time I need to. Tada!

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IMGP7182Take a look how it fits into the car:

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IMGP7187Ok, I must admit, that I have doubts that it will fit perfectly but I thought we give it a try and if something goes wrong, we can still buy the professional-arm-support-thing. We will see and I promise to get back to you and tell, what happened on our road trip.

The other ting that I bought for the car is an organizer on the back of the seat.

IMGP7193I truly believe this will be very helpful on the road.

In my next post I will show you some ideas on surviving a long road trip with your kid(s).

Plans

As I mentioned in my previous post, recently I sewed two baby-blankets using new techniques. I didn’t have pictures of the second blanket but I do now and I would like to share them with you. Unfortunately I did not take picture during the sewing process, therefore I can’t give you a step by step tutorial. But if you look very closely, you’ll see that this blanket is actually a visual illusion because I sewed only squares together. Each square has four little triangles on its side using the other color.

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Put two squares next to each other that are “negatives” or “opposite colors” and the pattern will turn out very neatly!

IMGP6954I feel like all the math-classes in school were after all worth it because finally I can use that knowledge! Yeay!

This blanket it approximately 70x140cm, so it would perfectly fit to a same sized baby bed to cover it when it’s play time and not sleep-time. For the back I used the darker, deep-red fabric.

And it’ll be for sale soon on a website, called dawanda. It’s very similar to etsy.com or meska.hu in Hungary. Anybody with a payPal account can use it. And yes, I am planning on starting a small business. This is the reason why I don’t have so much time now to write: I am busy planning and researching but hopefully soon I will be able to introduce my own online business. Fingers crossed!

Lately

Lately I have been working on couple of things but nothing really new.

I made an other felt-picture but this time I put it in a real frame and it looks much better this way.

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Then I sewn two new notebook covers (U-Heft Hülle). It is very amazing that on a simple product how many changes can be made! Use a different fabric, or just change one color, maybe put onto it a ribbon…really there is no limit!

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Well, there is a new thing that I created: a small apron for my son. I know it’s a very girly thing but I tried to use darker colors and I put the letter “B” on it, as well. (You know because his name starts with B.) Unfortunately I don’t have a picture of him wearing the apron but hopefully soon! What do you think?

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And finally two baby blankets. The first took me a while to finish it because the stars in it are so complicated but it’s finally done! It’s really not perfect if you look closely but for now I think I did a good job. I made mistakes and I learned a lot, so next time it will be better.

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For the other blanket I really just wanted to use my scrap-fabric because it had been piling up and we do not have a space for that. It was a simple project: I cut out the same size squares from the left over fabrics: as many as possible, then I laid them out on the floor and played with the pattern until I thought it’s gonna be nice.

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