Things made by me. Paintings, clothes and everything in between.

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Autumn/winter sewing plans

As the first leaves start to turn yellow and the days get shorter I find myself thinking about longer sleeves and comfy woolen things to wear for autumn. So I’ve collected my autumn/winter sewing plans and made some little line drawings for your and my improved visualization and enjoyment.
As you can see, I’ve bought fabrics already for most of my planned projects and some of them are even in various stages of completion. Yeah for an early start to autumn sewing!
Let’s go through them one by one, shall we?


The Seamwork Oslo Cardigan

I’m in desperate need of a non-black cardigan. I kid you not when I tell you that I have zero cardigans that aren’t black. And some of the ones I own I’ll have to toss out anyway because they are falling apart at the seams. Plus, although I love dark muted colors a splash of yellow/mustard is a great way to go with my largely blue/black winter wardrobe. Also another box to tick on my wardrobe architect challenge.

About the pattern:
I like the pattern and bought it in the $1 ($3 for non-subscribers) sale last week. It seems to be a bit oversized and comfy and since I have enough close fitting cardis that’s a thing I’d like to try anyway. It might even be a nice thing to wear as outerwear over a long sleeved shirt as long as it is not yet super cold outside.

About the fabric:
I bought the nice dark-yellow-mustard(?) knit fabric at the fabric market at Maybachufer like all the other fabrics in this post with the exception of the navy coating fabric. That’s from All of them were pretty cheap so for once sewing comes quite a bit cheaper then buying RTW. Some of the venders at the market sadly don’t know the fiber contents of their fabrics. The woman selling me the yellow knit told me it was wool and that is certainly not the case. It didn’t feel like wool at all and I suspect a significant percentage of acrylic or something like that. But it was pretty, felt good enough to the touch and was a bargain so I went for it anyways.

Sewaholic Oakridge Blouse

I’m very much a jersey top person. I own a few tunics and such but not one single dressy blouse. That’s not because I don’t like blouses but because my arms are so damn long that as an adult I’ve never been able to find a nice looking blouse that fit me well in the sleeves. I’m very much looking forward to change that.

About the pattern:
I’m I wrong or did the Granville pattern get much more love than the Oakridge? I looked for sewn up examples before but only managed to find very few. I might give the Granville a go in the future but I’m much more in love with the Oakridge. I love the bow and general style of the neckline. I think pussy-bow blouses can look costumy and old-fashioned and I like Sewaholics more modern and relaxed take on that.

About the fabric: 2€/m nice and drapey viscose fabric that needs very little ironing. Awesome!

La Maison Victor Cheri Coat

About the pattern:
This pattern is from the latest La Maison Victor magazine. In the magazine it is made up in a light blue Jersey and looks horrible on the model. I hope I can do better witch the wool coating. I really need a coat for the colder but not yet freezing days and I really want a loose style that can be worn with or without a belt so I’ll give this a try. I’ve newer sewn a LMV pattern before so let’s see how good of an experience it will be.

About the fabric:
The fabric is good quality wool coating from with an 80% wool content for as little as 8€/m if I remember correctly. I love the dark blue and it’s also woven in diagonals although that is not visible on the picture I’m afraid. Lovely stuff.

Sewaholic Oakridge Dress

I really like flannel shirts and I like shirt dresses … you see where this is going, right? After printing, assembling and cuttingand then flat-measuring the Oakridge I’m pretty sure it’ll fit me pretty well straight out of the envelope (minor changes, like lengthening sleeves and bodice is a thing I’ll always have to do). So once I tried and adjusted the fit on the blouse I’ll just have to lengthen the pieces and voila a dress. I really like the kind of shirt dresses that have a higher curve on the side seams and go lower in the back and front seam  (not sure how that’s called). So altering this pattern seems like a good way to go.

About the fabric:
Flannel. Nice flannel. Most certainly 100% cotton flannel. When I first touched it at the marked I knew that I had to get it instantly. You just want to pet it. It is the softest. For some stupid reason flannel is usually super expensive in Germany and so for the price of 4€/m I couldn’t say no. I bought way more than needed for this project but I’m thinking pajama pants… possibly more than one pair.


Ottobre 5/2015 – 9
I need pants. I don’t only want to wear skirts in winter. But pants fitting is hard. This is a problem that has led to many failed attempts (muslins) in the past. We shall see if I can conquer this in the near future. Maybe this pattern will work well for me? Fingers crossed.

For the fabric I’m thinking some cheap wool suiting for a muslin and then possibly wool crepe for the final garment? Stay tuned for future pants-sucesses/disasters.
Oh, also this issue of Ottobre is a very strong one in my opinion, get it if you can.

Ottobre 5/2015 – 5

I have quite a few Jersey dresses but they are also the garment I wear most often. Some of my RTW jersey dresses are quite old and start to fall apart so now might be a good time to start replacing them.
About the pattern: This seems to be a fairly simple pattern with very few pieces and a simple a-line shape. If I can get a good fit I suspect I would wear a dress like that quite a lot in the winter. I like the neckline on me and as long as it’ll fit well through the hips this could be a great staple.

About the fabric: This is a thick and stable Interlock jersey, a cotton/poly blend I suspect. (Again, no knowledge about that from the seller). It feels nice to the touch but I’m not super convinced the small scale flowers will look great on me. We’ll see.

Butterick B6090

About the pattern/fabric:
I love the style of this pattern. I like shirt dresses. I’m not super convinced about the full skirt on me yet but I really want to try it. I have this nice lightweight chambray fabric and I’m thinking red buttonholes. The fabric might be to thin for winter but layering is always an option so I think I might do it anyway.

Closet Case Files Ginger Jeans

I want to make my own jeans. Desperately. Jeans usually fit me kind of well through the bum and thigh areas but are always way to short and tight at the calves. So I really want to give making my own ones a try. I hope this might be a bit easier to fit than a normal pant because of the skinny-ness/stretchiness. Plus I could compare it roughly to a RTW pair I own in an effort not to be totally off. Also, I now own a machine that is actually able to handle thick fabrics. I will give this a try sometime this winter but it might take me some months to actually attempt this.

It is quite possible that I’ll change my mind about some of those makes and add multiple others to the list. But for now I feel happy with the projects thus far and I’m sure I won’t be bored on those cold and dark winter evenings.
What are your sewing plans for the cold months?

xxx Sarah


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ALL the panties

Over the past few months I got really into sewing panties. And I can highly recommend it!
Sure, quite possibly only you and very few other people will ever see you in your beautiful handmade undergarments but for me the feeling of wearing something you know is beautiful and fits you well is far more important than other people seeing the thing you made.
The right underwear can make me feel strong and beautiful or even daring. Great underwear is just great fun!

One could buy well produced, well fitting, good quality underwear of course. But I don’t have the bankroll for that. If you want nice lace, pretty prints or god forbid something like silk you would quite possibly have to pay a lot of money. So I took it upon myself to find out if I can do it myself and it turns out that I can. I find that sewing panties is way faster, easier and cheaper than I ever imagined.
For the black pair of panties I used the most awesome lace imaginable – yes it’s pretty but more importantly it’s so soft it feels like not wearing anything at all. And although the lace was about 17€/m, it was very much worth it since I only needed a piece of roughly 20cm x 50cm for the pair you see below.

panties1Making this pair took me an estimated time of 3 to 5 hours and with less flimsy fabric I can make a pair in one and a half to two hours max and I’m no pro by any means. With the added benefit of it needing only very little fabric this is just the kind of project I love doing while catching up on the last two episodes „The Great British Bake Off“ or „Mr Robot“.

As for the patterns I used: I made the 40s-style flutter panties using this pattern from Ohhh Lulu and the floral panties are made using the Grace pattern. If you don’t already know the beautiful undergarments made and sold by Sarah Elaine you should definitely check out her blog and or etsy shops (one for the finished garments, one for the patterns).
For the black panties I partly drafted my own pattern using the lining and crotch area from the Grace pattern and partly using an old pair of high waisted panties of my own as a guide. I love the high waisted vintage style and already made two more pairs for myself, slightly modifying the pattern in places.
The floral Grace panties are also slightly modified. I made them for a friend and she prefers slightly less coverage in the back for a more brazilian-style fit.
(Oh man, this post is mostly me trying to avoid certain key phrases to not attract the wrong kind of attention from search engines).
Both patterns are well designed and easy to understand as they come with a photo-guide and everything but I have to say that from my experience the Grace pattern runs a bit on the small side. From the pattern envelope my friend should have been fine in a XS but after measuring the finished product I went with a size S and that turned out to be the right decision. I additionally used jersey instead of bias cut woven fabric for the front and back panels in both versions. Had I not done that, the fit would have been even more off.

So if you want to make that pattern I’d suggest doing a muslin first or even going up a size if you are in between sizes. It’s very much worth it though as the pattern is verrrry pretty. And a lot depends on the amount of stretch of your chosen fabric. I think Sarah recommends doing a muslin anyway and although I’m a lazy-ish sewer I would agree, especially if I’m about to cut into expensive lace.

As you probably guessed from my rambleings by now, I LOVE making my own panties and I think I will keep on doing that so that over time I can switch out all my old RTW kind-of-fitting-pairs for shiny new, fun and well fitting handmade goodies.

xxx Sarah

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My Southport dress

Hey! I’m back! I’ve been crazy busy since late May and thus neglected this poor blog. It saddens me that I didn’t have the time or energy to update it but I’ve been busy doing fun and interesting stuff, so yeah for that!

I was super exited when I first saw the Southport and wanted to make it right away. The pictures on True Bias‘ website are just geogeous. I especially fell in love with the maxi version. I was planning on doing the maxi version but the lovely fabric I got on sale only allowed for the knee lenghth option. Oh well, I might do a maxi version in the future.


I have been wearing this dress quite a lot as it is super light and comfy, just the perfect summer dress. I’m contemplating making another version with added short sleeves, just because I really like that look. If I run across the perfect fabric, I just might.

The pattern itself was pretty easy to assemble and a straight forward sew. If I remember correctly I made it up in an afternoon without any hassle. I sewed the buttons on instead of making proper buttonholes to avoid gaping and because of general lazieness. I might do them properly in possible future versions, just because I imagine it would look pretty. And also because I have a new sewing machine that does a one-step buttonhole and now I want to sew ALL the buttonholes.

How have you been and what have you been making?

xxx Sarah

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Sketches, patternmaking, measurements and cakes!

It has been quite a while since I last put something up here. I have been terribly busy with life in general but I have also been sewing things and prepping things for future sewing projects. I have finished some garments but haven’t had the time to take pictures of them yet. So beware – I will be showing you some finished garments in the weeks to come.

But for now, something different. My mind has been busy with all the things I want to sew for my summer wardrobe. I am quite pleased that I’m no longer thinking in terms of buying stuff but go straight to: can I make this myself? Since I usually rock quite a simple wardrobe of skirts and jersey dresses and easy shirts more often than not these days the answer is yes. (sadly, wether or not I have time to do it is a whole other question)

A few months back I took a course in pattern drafting that thought us how to draft our own pattern blocks. I have not yet done that, mostly because it is made for close fitting woven garments and I haven’t made any of those for quite a while. But one thing has been incredibly helpful to me: the measurements. We measured each others in pairs and took a total of over 20 measurements. Those have been so helpful to me both in adjusting patterns (for example checking if the back length is correct in the pattern stage) and in drafting my own patterns. Like I said, I didn’t draft close fitting patterns but even in my loose fitting tunic and some future projects you have yet to see I used a bunch of my measurements before cutting into the fabric. Back width, back length and shoulder width have been especially helpful to me since these are the areas in which most commercial patterns fail me.

Highly encouraged through those successes I sketched out some additions I’d like to make to my summer wardrobe.


#1 is a loose fitting batwing top that could also work in knee length as a dress. One or two of those from a thinner jersey are high up on my to-sew list. #2 is a shirred loose pant. I had a pair of those last year but they were badly manufactured and ripped halfway through the summer. Also, pants are expensive. I hope to make a pair of those for a fraction of the cost in a way better quality. If I can only get the fit right. I threw the RTW part away in pure anger and now I wish I had kept them as a pattern. Well, mistakes were made.
#3 is a floor length dress that I can just throw on and feel breezy and comfy in the heat. I always wanted one of those long dresses that has a ribbon attached under the bust that then gathers a very loose kaftan-like dress by tying it in the back. You get what I mean, right? I would love to get some thin and soft cotton in a nice color and pattern for this dress and I think it has potential to be amazing. What do you guys think?
#4 finally is a super easy summer jacket that I can just throw over anything and that’ll keep me warm in the evenings. For this purpose I usually wear cardigans and I just wanted something more structured then that for a change. I think it will be lovely and with it being fully lined I might even be able to make it reversible like the Billie Jean.

I’d like the color palette to stay in the blues and greens and just have a little less black and more white as combination colors. And of course I still like my pinks and mustardy yellows as a contrast. Read my previous ramblings about color schemes here.
Lastly I want to tell you about the amazing birthday cake one of my closest and dearest friends made for me for my birthday last week. It was all sewing themed with a fondant spool of thread and a fondant pincushion you guys! Much happiness!

x Sarah

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A nightmare in pink


Let me tell you: I’m exhausted. The tale goes like that: Sunday I decided I wanted to tackle a project that I had been planning for a few weeks. Change the sad-looking, teared and mended and teared again lining of my old winter coat into something new and shiny that I could be proud of.
I had bought 4 meters of pink polyester/nylon fabric suitable for coats and felt pretty confident about the whole project. I had never before attempted a project like this and although I’m planning on making a coat this year it will be my first. I thought: How hard can it be to draft a new lining from the old pieces and put the whole thing together? (Not very unless the person doing it f***s it up …)

The deconstruction of the lining went pretty well, it took me maybe around two hours. I then ironed all the pieces of the old lining to use them as a cutting template for my new fabric. I then cut the the new pieces out with a slightly bigger seam allowance. In this process I must have made a horrible mistake because the two middle pieces ended up not fitting perfectly together at the back vent and I ended up with a big pleat and some puckers on each side that look just plain awful.

The construction of the lining as a whole went fine and even setting in the sleeves was not horrible. Attaching it to the shell of the coat went badly on the other hand. This took me and my seam ripper about 6 hours and a lot of muffled insults towards the fabric and my own stupidity. Although this coat is interfaced the wool was way stretchier than I had thought and it took me several attempts to put the lining in exactly symmetrical. This process was made harder by the pure amount of coat I had to deal with. It just didn’t fit under my machine like I wanted it to. So there are a bunch of wonky seams all around but the most horrific thing was yet to come, the sleeves.

Shouldn’t be that hard, you say. Right. It shouldn’t. In changing the lining I also wanted to let out the sleeves a bit as they are a bit short for my long person. So I lengthened the lining of the sleeves in the pattern to then attach it further down at the cuffs. This should result in longer sleeves as the wool is just folded inwards and then attached to the lining. Well, at this point it is about 1 am and I’m trying on the coat and am findning that the lining is much longer than the sleeves and sticks out about one inch (unattached). So I go and cut off about 2 inches. What, you may say? Are you crazy Sarah? You need to account for seam allowance. Oh yeah…
Well, I realized my mistake and tried not to cry. then I reattached the pieces and sewed the whole thing to the sleeve shell. It doesn’t look good. I will redo the attatching part so that the pink lining will no longer peek out but I just wasn’t able to unpick yet another seam last night.


I wish I had been able to change that weird seam at the vent that the old lining had in the pattern cutting process because it shows much more in the pink lining fabric. Sadly I don’t have the slightest idea how to draft a lining for a vent but if I ever attempt something simmilar again I will certainly find out.

All in all I am devastated on how „almost really good“ it turned out but on the other hand I am immensely proud of myself for being able to breath a bit of life and fun back into my old, sad RTW coat.

Please let me know what you think. All comments along the lines of „not all that bad and certainly wearable“ are especially encouraged ;). But no, please be honest.

x Sarah

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The self-drafted two hour tunic top

Technically the title is a bit of a fib. It took me about two and a half hours to make this top but the additional half hour was spent turning the waist-ribbons inside out. I suspect that a more skilled person or one that owns one of these hook-thingies could do this in five minutes. So it doesn’t quite count, right?


When I thought about the new garments I wanted to create for my wardrobe when I wrote my first post on the the Wardrobe Architect Challenge it was pretty clear that I would need a lot of loose fitting tops that would go with my fitted black jersey skirts. This self-drafted tunic-style top is the first in this category. I have to admit – it doesn’t quite fit in the color scheme I settled on but when I saw this fabric in the Annaka Bazaar sale a few months back I just could not resist. It’s a thin but rather stiff good quality cotton and it basically screams summer. So I’m sure I will wear this top a lot in the warm months to come but the colors also work lovely with the black skirts and cardigans I usually wear in the colder months.
This top is a very easy make and if you want to make something similar yourself you can easily draft a pattern like I did. Like you can see in my drawings I basically used a rectangle and went from there. I used my bust measurement and added ease and SA to it. then I graded down a bit in the waist area and up a bit in the hip area. For the sleeves I went with a rather simple rectangular shape as well instead of proper set in sleeves. Then I cut out two long strips of fabric for the ribbons and put them in at the natural waist to be able to wear the top in a slightly more fitted way. Lastly I drafted a facing for the neckline from the pattern pieces for the bodice. If you don’t know how to do that there are lovely helpful tutorials out there, for example this one.
I will say: This might not work as well for bustier women. If you have a bigger bust I would suggest making a muslin and adding additional length in the front bodice maybe even thinking about bust shaping darts or stuff like that. Slightly more work I’m afraid.

I’m pretty sure that there are more tunic tops to come in my near future. I think this loose fitting top would also work in light summer jersey and might even look pretty as a dress. It’s such a quick make and now that I already have the pre-made pattern pieces it’ll be a even quicker sew. Ah, the possibilities.

Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions about this top, how to make it or just wanna say hi. Have a lovely weekend.

x Sarah

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Ottobre Review and a lovely local shop

I am currently visiting Friends in Frankfurt and yesterday they informed me about a local shop that sells all kinds of notions called „Wächtershäuser„. I wasn’t expecting a whole lot but I was happily surprised. They not only carry millions of buttons and several different brands of thread in all the colors you could ever want but even have a good selection in corset and lingerie making supplies. They even sell Vogue patterns! Good thing I don’t live here or my bankroll would suffer.

After stopping myself from buying all the things I settled upon a few spools of thread that were on sale. Basically three different shades of turquoise and teal. Did I mention I sewed up a quick teal dress for this trip the other day? It’s almost the same color as my lovely Bonnie. Let’s just say, I like my blueish-greenish color palette.
In the shop I also stumbled upon the latest issue of Ottobre pattern magazine. I flicked through the pages and loved it. I already own one of their past issues and although I liked it for its simple and basic patterns I didn’t particularly love all of their silhouettes and designs. I’m just not a pants and hoody kind of person and there seemed to be a lot of that going on. So I was surprised to see that their brand new issue had some really lovely skirts, dresses and even two perfectly wearable pants patterns. The designs are aimed towards beginners I would say and all of them could make lovely every day wardrobe staples.
Also, this back cover its just so pretty! Pay attention Burda, the people of Ottobre know a thing or two about styling. Maybe it’s just the turquoise-fan in me but I’d love the fabric in the background as a wallpaper.

Ottobre also has a pretty good size range. They don’t divide their range in petite and plus-size but rather have all their patterns go from 34 to 52. They also provide the reader with specific measurements that go with their sizes. I find that to be very helpful. I can take one look at the chart and see how much I probably need to increase the back width or bodice-length.

Look at these tops. Really simple but lovely styled and I’m almost certain that I’ll whip up one or two of those for the summer.
I also really like the pants on the left. I’m not sure at all that they would be flattering on me but maybe I’ll try anyways. (But full-length, I don’t like crop-anything). Again, style-points.
Witch pattern-magazines do you prefer? Are there any great ones out there I might not yet have discovered?

x Sarah