Maison Victor: A little more jumping


You just need to look at the state of my garden to know that this is not a recent project. In fact, while I have been sewing a bit, the weather has been atrocious here, so no recent projects have outdoor pictures, consequently no blog posts about them.
This jumpsuit was made in May following a Maison Victor pattern.


It was very much a werable muslin kind of project. I loved the suit in the magazine but wasn’t sure if I would actually like to wear it. In fact I’m still not sure it’s all that flattering on me, but I’ve worn it a few times during the summer and into early autumn, so I guess that tells me it’s  a winner.


The bottoms are like wide leg culottes, but I fell for the interesting arm scythe of the bodice.


Objectively speaking there is something a little off about these arm scythes on me. I can’t pin point what it is, but something bothers me when I look at it on a picture. But it’s a garment that is fun to wear and apparently a little fashion forward – I got a few compliments from friends as well as strangers who asked which shop I had bought it from, so that’s all good.

This is definitely the last of my summer garments that I have pictures for. The wax print dirndl did get finished but never worn as intended as the weather turned just days before the October fest style event I wanted to wear it for. But there is always next year for that!



The Jumping out of Summer Jumpsuit

I realize I might be going on a bit about this – but I loved our recent holiday to Mallorca! Of course, I had a suitcase full of newly made clothing with me, mainly because our summer here in Germany had been quite cool and so my plans of wearing all my new clothes all summer long had been frustrated.


Case in point is this crazy patterned jumpsuit. I only wore it once before showing off in an old castle overlooking the marina of Palma de Mallorca!


But when I did take it on its first outing it was to a worthy destination: the city of Bamberg’s rose garden. I know, this blog seems to be turning into a travel blog all of a sudden. But I’m sure normal service will resume shortly, once I’ve overcome the realisation that German autumn and winter is a 5-month-long reality against which resistance is futile…


The jumpsuit is a hack of one of this summer’s little frilly tops that Burdastyle was full of and the BHL Holly bottoms.


The bathroom question was solved by adding a back split and tie. Please excuse the bra – I didn’t have a strapless bra with me on holiday…


So with this I’m jumping out of summer and hope to be able to blog about my autumn sewing soon.

Wish you were there – a throwback to summer

Goodness, where has the time gone? It only seems like yesterday that I was on holiday in Mallorca wishing it might be just a little bit cooler – now that autumn has started to bite I look back at those pictures with yearning for the heat.


We spent a thoroughly wonderful forthnight in a villa in central Mallorca – what a wonderful island! It was our first time there and already I’m hoping to be able to go back soon!


So this dress with its palm fronds and sunsets is a fitting reflection of the mood of these holidays.

img_4334And did I mention the reflections of light on water across the chest area? Perfect holiday dress, ey?

It’s a really simple shift dress with French darts from an older edition of Burdastyle. I traced the pattern before I thought of labelling the pattern parts properly so I’m unable to identify the magazine it came from.

img_4364Oh see, it works for midnight strolls across Spanish village plazas too!

Sigh – wish I were there!

Burdastyle 8/2016 #126: A Good Bye to Summer

Summer has been late around my parts, but it’s still continuing well into September. That’s why I’ve found the motivation to muslin camisole tops – I’ve some really nice silks waiting to be made into replacements for the rather ratty contents of my lingerie drawer and I really want to get this right, hence the muslin.

This is exhibit nr 1:


It’s Burdastyle 8/2016 # 126. I dug deep into my stash to find this yellow poly-something. I’d thought I’d never make something wearable out of it, both because of the colour and the sweatiness of the fabric – but in fact I now love my new top! It’s breezy enough not to stifle me and the colour goes a lot better with my (new) darker hair than with the previous lighter blonde. And the whole top is just frothy fun, imho.


The ruffle goes round all the way, but I could well image having it only at the front and catching it in the side seam, that would make it easier to layer for autumn.


And guess what: I can bend forward wearing this top! I just thought you need photographic evidence to believe something as incredible as that.

But there is something ENTIRELY incredible, and in fact shocking about this: The skirt, an RTW skirt that called me from its sale rack, has the most shocking lack of pattern matching! I didn’t realise when I bought it, because it was calling quite so loudly – but honestly, look at this:


We wouldn’t let have ourselves get away with this, would we?! Just goes to show that RTW (even nice RTW as this, the skirt wasn’t cheap at its original price!) isn’t all that perfect.

Another One for the Category “Stupidest Mistakes Ever”

Stupidest? Is that even a word? Does it have to be “most stupid”? Or can it be “stupidest”?

Grammar questions aside let me show you what I did:


There is my almost completed shirt. No, it’s not even the unbalanced button holes that I would regard as particularly stupid. But look what happened when I cut open the button holes using a brand new and unexpectedly shrap seam ripper:


Yep – I cut right trough the button hole!!! Duh – facepalm moment of the highest order. Made worse by the fact that this was the last task on this otherwise finished shirt.

So here I am, cutting another collarstand, counting my blessings that at least this happened on the collar and not on the main body of the skirt.

Sewing can be so annoying sometimes!!

Unfaithful to Sewing: Another Mosaic Table

We’ve finally started the summer holidays around my parts which finally gives me some time to potter about and concentrate on some creative pursuits. Normally, this would of course mean sewing, but right now we’re having an exchange student to stay and he feels a bit lonely if I don’t spend time with him, so hiding myself away in the sewing room is out of the question at the moment. So I decided that my patio table needed sprucing up and started making another mosaic table top (table 1 is here – I had pains in my elbow from using the tile cutter for about six months afterwards, so my turnover of mosaic tables is about 1 every three years.)

I started playing around with shapes:



I plan on having a marble border around the perimeter of the table:


The marble already comes glued to netting, so it’ll be a quick and easy job installing it. The only actual mosaic will be the inset. I’m hoping for two effects, apart from ease of installment: I think a whole table filled with a busy mosaic (which is the only kind of mosaic that seems to come from my fingers) is not going to be very restful to the eye, so I hope the border will tone this down. In addition, the ready made border is likely to be more level than my mosaic, so any plates will sit better on this border than on the inset. Plus I had the marble in my stash, back from my first mosaic phase, so that’ll finally have to go.


So the next thing is an explosion of my mosaic stash on the patio table. All meals to be taken indoors for the time being… I am fully able to chat along while working on the mosaic though.

IMG_3731For the first time I’m following the indirect method of laying a mosaic. This means (I might sound as if I know this, but in reality I read about this for the first time a few days ago) that the mosaic is first layed on paper face down, then it is installed on the final surface as the completed mosaic paperside up and then the paper removed, thus revealing a beautiful and smooth mosaic. So much for the theory – apparently, even the Romans used it.


Here you can see that the tiles are glued on face down. I’m using glass mosaic which has the advantage of being almost the same colour face up or face down. Ceramic tiles are white or brown on the bottom, so using the face down method you’d have no idea about your motive. I’m already finding it difficult with glas mosaic, because the bottom isn’t smooth and that changes the brightness of the colours and the overall effect, so I don’t know how proper mosaic artists do this working with ceramic tiles. I just hope it’s all gonna work out for the best.


I’m following the famous Said&Done No-Pattern-method. I just don’t have the skills to visualise and plan out an overall look first as a pattern, so I simply decided I would follow a loose flower meadow design and call this artistic😉

Let’s talk again when the whole thing is complete, ey?!



Tour of Ecuador: Fabrics in the Making

I recently went to Ecudador in order to visit Child 1, who spent an exchange year there. But as she decided that she didn’t really have a lot of time for mum (teenagers, ey?! Eye roll…) I went on a combined language course/trip through the Andes and I LOVED it!

I won’t bore you with my stories of the well trodden path of my journey through the Andes, but I went to a tour of a local weaving mill which might interest you.
It started off quite touristy, but when the owner realised I was really interested in their craft rather than seeing the tour as one step on the tourist trail she spent a lot of time with me explaining everything.

IMG_3211This is the llama wool fleece before it’s spun and the plants and berries they use for dying the fleece.

IMG_3212Natural dyes can be a bit gruesome I learned – one picks the fungus off the cactus in order to generate a dye, so an indigenous weaver can’t be too particular about yucky things.


The fleece has to be combed in order to clean and prepare it for spinning. It’s a process that is A LOT of work – so I completely understand why fine wool knitting yarn is so expensive.


I was particularly excited about seeing the looms in action.

This is the fabric she was producing:


The gap in the middle of the fabric between the blue and the beige part, is there on purpose: it helps the resulting ponchos to fold over on itself so it will drape around your body more easily.

IMG_3216This loom is used sitting on the floor. The lady told me that normally this job is only been done by men, but she’s a bit of a feminist, so she has learned the craft do (at least I think that what she said, my Spanish is improving, but it’s a process…)


Normally the weaver know the patterns by heart, especially as they produce traditional pattern over and over again. But this lady decided she wanted to preserve these patterns for her children and grandchildren and therefore she created these charts.


Of course I also went to the indigenous market in Otavalo, the village that is most popular for its Indian crafts


I did buy a few things there, but to be honest most of the fabrics and ponchos, sweaters and cardigans weren’t really to my taste. It’s all very traditional and really a little boring, for me at least. It’s such a shame, given that the crafts people are so talented and work so very hard.


I think if they updated their products a little they could make a fortune on the European or US market, but I also guess they don’t need to, they seem to be doing well enough as is.

This leg of the journey was really exciting: My Spanish teacher Vanessa took me to a local market. This one is not geared to tourists at all, so you really see Ecuatorian life as it is in the Andes.





If you are in the market for a llama …


or some sheep, you are in the right place.

If you don’t want to commit to buying a whole animal, you can buy fleece too:


Mind you, it still needs to be washed…


Alternatively you can buy almost anything else there. And yes, the red hair on the left hand side belongs to Child 1, there are no red haired Ecuatorians, at least not indigenous ones!

I was all excited about the food market as well:



Ecuatorians eat a lot of carbs, mainly in the form or rice, but they eat a lot of pulses as well. In the market you buy them by the pound.

Oh, and bananas! So many bananas!


In Cuenca I also went fabric shopping. I only bought a little bit, much of the fabric was a little too glitzy for my taste, or too sombre (a lot of dark wools)


Most of the prices weren’t great, I could probably get similar fabric at similar prices and Germany and of course a lot cheaper in the right places in the UK. And again, like in Barcelona there wasn’t much that struck my fancy.


Though if you like drama in a wedding dress you’ve come to the right place! Or indeed if you need golden tresses. I should have bought some in order to brighten up the Russian General Coat, but of course I only realised after I’d come back home.


All in all I can say that I loved Ecuador. It’s been my first time to South America and I was really nervous before going, but everybody was so nice and welcoming and I really hope to be back one day.


Well, I’ll leave you with the sight of my behind in the Andes – special treat, you know?!

And if you need to recover now, take heart from these wise words: “Refresh your day with a Pilsener in your hand!”



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