Wednesday, March 28, 2007

buttons, more buttons and a little rant

Before my sewing machine broke I managed to finally buy two button lots on ebay. I've bid on button lots for a month but always was outbid! It's crazy what some people are willing to pay, just crazy.
Including the buttons I already had I've got quite a lot now and need to organize them better. Up untill now they were in my sewing basket together with my other embelishing sewing stuff. That wasn't a convenient way to begin with, but is impossible now:

Yes, that's all of them! I was thinking about using jars, because it looks so pretty, but where would I put those jars? My mum suggested those diveded boxes like the small one I already use for some of my beads(which is actually too small for all of my beads), but apart from the fact that those cost money I don't know where to put it either.

a little rant:
I had to complete registration for my university courses this week and it was quite frustrating. Not because they were full, but because some of the courses I wanted to take colidated with lectures I have to take! The lectures will mostly be held for the last time and I really want to actually go to them. It's not compulsory to listen to them and mostly you get quite good lecture notes but I believe that you learn more consistently if you go to them. Plus one of the lectures I have to take doesn't exist anymore and so instead I have to listen to the second half of another lecture plus a two hour course next semester. And of course physics is parallel to one of my lectures as is the only project course(where you put what you learned to use)that interests me! It would have been the perfect project too...

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Monday, March 26, 2007

like butter

Yes, sewing with my new machine is like cutting through butter! Here she is:

And this is what I sewed, a bag. It's only half finished since I don't have anything to make a strap at the moment.


Thursday, March 22, 2007

new baby!

Yes, I did it, I brought a new sewing machine! After an extensive internet research through sewing machine company websites, online shops and sewing forums I had a list of machines that would be suitable. The "cheapest" cost 199€ and the most expensive one 499€. But of course the cheapest didn't actually have all the features I wanted to have like a one-step-buttonhole and to be honest was only on the list to make me feel like I could live with a cheaper one too(and a bit more money in my pocket).
So I went to the local sewing machine shop, which I only heard good things of. They have sewing machines from different companys and where suppose to be nice and professional...which they were!
I'm not a person who likes to be besieged by salespersons when entering a shop. And the few times I needed assistance while shopping for something I felt alienated, uncomfortable or stupid(in terms of the salesperson thinking of me as stupid-especially happens when buying computer or other technical supplies...). But not this time! The saleswoman listen to what I said, asked a few questions about what I want and my old machine and then demonstrated to me the first machine(a Bernina). She showed me almost everything one can do with it and explained what I could use this and that stitch for etc. I then asked for another machine on my list(my new baby!) and she showed me that one too. Answered all my questions and eventhough she didn't knew the machine 100% showed me everything(the memory function and alphabet!).
What can I say, after a quick walk outside(mainly to smoke a cigarette and find reasons to justify the price of the machine) I brought the second machine she showed me! It's a Smart 200c by Pfaff and I love her already!
It was most definately the right decision to buy this machine and invest the money instead of going with a cheaper one. I tested it thoroughly yesterday and I am now able to sew jersey and stretchy fabric without any kind of trouble! And I didn't even use a ballpoint needle(which if I sew a real garment I of course would) or pin things into place. I was also able to sew through 4 layers of really heavy wool fabric without using a special needle. Ok, when I tried six layers the thread got caught, but if I ever had to sew something like that I would use the right needle anyway and adjust tensions etc. And buttonholes too will never again be a problem!
Now, I would show you photos of my new baby, but first it's now stored in the big closet in my brothers room when not in use so nothing happens to it in my small room. And second my neck muscles still hurt and I am so not lifting anything heavy again today. Yes, I of course had to take the machine home on thursday when the saleswoman offered to put a rope around it to better carry it. Yes, I could have driven back with the car in the evening but with traffic and not knowing when my dad would be back from work with the car I decided that I could carry this big machine home...I learned I can, but it takes its toll especially if your as weak as I am!
Therefore you will have to wait till the next project for photos of it.
Also according to some recent money juggling I might just not be as broke as I thought I would be! I will have to calculate again to be sure, but it looks good.


Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Ok, no problem

Ok...I am ok... really!
I mean it sucks that my machine broke especially now with two swap projects that I need to finish, only 1.5 weeks untill the semester starts again and after I spend so much already this month...
But after some chocolate and half a beer(no, alcohol is of course not the solution) I felt good enough to check the prices on new sewing machines. I decided that I won't buy a cheap one again for which you can't buy nifty accessories. I had planned to buy a new one anyway, just not now. So I checked when the new study fee is due(15. June) and how much money I have now. It might be actually possible to buy a new machine! I would have to use the money originally saved for the fee and then I couldn't buy much for the next two months to actually pay those fees. Thank god I'm still living at home and my regular expenses are pretty low.
I would ask my parents to loan me the money, but they are planning a trip to Indonesia at the end of this year and might have to pay for the flight in advance. Will have to discuss that with my mum when she comes back from work.
Anyway I want a quality machine that can make pretty buttonholes(my machine sucked at that and it kept me from ever completing a jacket or blouse) preferably in one step and where you can adjust the foot pressure. Fancy stitches and everything else are extras I can also live without. I'm already planning a visit to the local sewing machine shop which has almost all kind of brands.



My sewing machine is broken!
need chocolate now...

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Saturday, March 17, 2007

Back to craf...crochet

Yes, you read right! The most I've done lately that I can actually show you is my crochet projects. The things I knit are all swap stuff so I can't post them yet. As for the perfect dress I copied the pattern unto tracing paper, but haven't had the time yet to cut the fabric.

Remember the little cupcake purse I crochet? Well the only way to go from there was to crochet a bigger cupcake purse! I increased more in the bottom part which is a lot more difficult than it sounds. I always have a hard time creating a circle and not an hexagon or octagon. The ruffles are also a bit bigger. I might even line this purse to use as a sock bag...

The other project I can show you is my ripple blanket. It has grown quite a lot and more yarn had to be brought for it, but it was all sale yarn under 2€ per ball. I love how it turned out so far! I did not think about any kind of color scheme, instead I just looked if the new color matched the previous two colors. The only problem now? I only have one ball left I haven't used yet, so if you have anything in your stash you don't need anymore(partial balls with more than half still there might be ok too) mail me and we can swap for it. The content of the yarn or color doesn't matter at all, but it should be yarn that would knit up between 20-25 stitches though.
Yans I used so far:
-Schachenmayr "Torino"; 100% superwash wool; 150m/50g; 22sts=10cm
- Debbie Bliss "wool/cotton"; 50% merino wool, 50% cotton; 115m/50g; 25 sts
-Rellana "Top Plus"; 50% cotton, 50%Polyacryl; 135m/50g; 22sts
-Schachenmayr "Merino"; 100% wool; 160m/50g; 24 sts
-Lana Grossa "Numero Uno"; 100% superwash wool; 125m/50g; 22sts
-Knitpicks "ShineSport"; 60%cotton, 40% modal; 110yards/50g; 24 sts
The colors are a bit different in the photo, unfortunately we have gone from wonderfully sunny days to rain and storm today.


Friday, March 16, 2007

looking back

Sorry about yesterdays post, I was in a pretty bad mood for no reason anyway when he turned up his music.
Today my mood is a lot better. I've been flipping through some old photo albums including the really old ones like my parents wedding album. It's hard to believe that my mum had been married for over 3 years at my age! She rented her own apartement(with her best friend+ next door to said friends parents though as she likes to point out) and had a real job at the age of 16. And from the stories she occasionally tells me has been quite the party girl including tales that make you wonder how she managed not to get into trouble or hurt. I mean do biker bar or hanging around the central train station sound safe to you? What about someone put something into my drink, but my best friend safed me?!!
I realized that I'm very different from that girl and actually my mum is now very different from that girl too. She herself can't really understand what's so cool about hanging out at the central train station and just recently said she was a lot more stupid back then.
Why was I never like that? Really, I never felt the need to go out every weekend. Or to drink much at a young age. Like I said in my 30 things about me I was probably the last in my class to have had a real drink or get wasted; I was 18 or 19 I think(within the legal drinking age!). I've never tried any drugs not even pot -which is much more common around teenagers than their parents probably realize, atleast here- though quite a number of fellow students and friends did.
Maybe it is because of the way I have been brought up cause my brother still hasn't drunk any kind of alcohol(his 18th birthday is coming up). There were never any strict rules on curfews, places we could or could not go or friends we should or shouldn't have etc. There also never really were any needs for those. I also ,despise some teenager rebellion, always talked with my mum about almost everything. She knew that some kids at school smoked pot, but was confident that I wouldn't when I told her I didn't. Maybe that is it, the trust she put in me to know better, which I didn't wanted to betray.

Ok, enough of the babble. I originally started this post to show you some photos from the old albums, but without a scanner I had to take photos of the photos and the flash messed up with it. Back to crafting in the next post!


Thursday, March 15, 2007

Argghh! Stop it!

What's up with my neighbour lately? He's playing this ridiculously annoying music really loud now and has done so a couple of days in a freaking row!!!!!!!!!
Did his girlfriend broke up with him? Did he lost his job? Frankly, I couldn't care less, just stop playing this f***ing music so f***ing loud!
Honestly it doesn't it even help to play my own music a bit louder cause his stereo seems to be a lot better than my computer speakers... shit, I should have kept my stereo...


Monday, March 12, 2007

cupcake, sheep and the magic number!

I brought a cute crochet cupcake pattern from purl on saturday and finished my first yummy cupcake yesterday evening. Ok, it took me considerably more time than the 30minutes it takes her to finish one, but then I'm a rather slow crocheter.
I love how it turned out! her instructions are pretty clear and easy to follow. I'm planning on making a bigger cupcake soon.

I also went to a "Kunsthandwerkermarkt"(craft fair) this sunday at an open-air museum(traditional houses etc. like a whole little village). I'm deliberatly not showing any pics of what I brought, but I have to say that I managed not to buy everything I liked...especially this one amazing lapis lazuli brooch...
Anyway, I'm the worst picture taker ever since I always forget to take pictures in the first place, so these are the only two I took: sheep!

And *drumroll* we've passed the magic number of 100000!

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Sunday, March 11, 2007

Swap projects

I've been in a couple of craftster swaps lately and therefore couldn't post pics of some of my finished projects. But now that they've been received, feast your eyes:
1. dyed roving

I loved how the left one came out and debated parting with it. In the end I told myself that my swap partner might just like it as much as I do and send it.

2. knitted leg warmers

These are the first leg warmers I ever knit. I was a bit anxcious if they would fit, but my partner sais they fit perfectly! You might recognize the yarn, it's the same selfdyed lamb yarn I used for one of my sweaters and I still have left-overs from it!

3. heart swap

This is by far the best bag I ever sewed, if I might say so myself. I loved it so much I wanted to keep it for myself! I already cut some pieces to reproduce it for myself, but have to change the colors since I don't have enough of all the fabrics anymore.
And just because I'm so proud of it, more pics:

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Friday, March 09, 2007

What next?

So, the kimono dress was a no-no, the vintage dress was ok, but not perfect. Which one should I try next? I've got three more patterns that I could test(click to make bigger):

1. Butterick 3076
Would prefer the A version cause I fear the back of version B would gap when I wear it. It sais it is suitable for light weight broadcloth/linen/denim, so I should have something in my stash for it.
2. Burda young fashion 8174
Here too I would sew the A version since it has straps. Can't wear anything without a bra and don't own a strapless bra anymore( or better to say the one I have is one cup size to big, the downside of loosing weight).
3. Burda 8353
I love the fabric of version A and really like the dress, but I fear I don't have fabric for this dress. I have a black fabric with a black flowery embroidered pattern on it that might work, but it also has holes(lace) in it and I would need to add lining to it.

In the mean time I finally managed to organize my postcards and put some of them up:

Darn, I just realized while looking at the pic, that some of the cards though they have been secured with double tape moved and know you can see some of the brown background!

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Monday, March 05, 2007


or March madness second try: the Kimono tunic
Two weeks ago I saw a sewing magazine that I just had to have:

I loved the tunic on the cover though back then I thought it was a dress. In case you didn't noticed yet, but the magazine is dutch! Now, I can make out some words in spoken dutch if the person speaks slowly cause it's a bit similare to german. Just a bit though. I had my mum help me read some of it. She would read it out loud and then we both tried to make sense of it. She was pretty good at it probably because she learned plattdeutsch when she was younger.

Anyway, the tunic is so simple I don't think you really need to understand it all. Surprisingly though the tunic is made out of several pieces, on the pattern sheet it was just 4 pieces, front+back plus pieces that needed to be attached to it to make it longer(wouldn't have fit on the sheet otherwise).
You're supposed to cut the several pieces from these two back and front pieces. For my test piece I decided not to cut the several pieces apart. I just wanted to get a general idea of how it would look like, especially since the smallest size is only a EU38 and I wear a EU36.
Here's the test piece:

Ok...hmm, I don't think so. The patterns asks for popelin fabric which is a bit stretchy, but not that much. I don't think that would look to good, I could however imagine it in something more flowingly. My mum already asked if I couldn't make a tunic like that for her....maybe after I find my perfect dress.

P.S.: See the counter to the left? Granted, some of these are my own visits, but still...way cool!
This graph probably shows more the true visitor number(click to make bigger):

P.P.S.: Omg, I love all of these here:

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Sunday, March 04, 2007

Flower obsessed

Since all of my WIP's are long term projects(except for socks, but I'm not in a sock mood lately), I decided to look for some little projects I can do inbetween.
I skipped through some of my knitting and craft books and saw a flower brooch in the "Crafter's Companion". I've made some flowers before out of craft felt(the thin type), but always wanted something with a bit more depth to it.
So I got out all of the fabric that hid in my wardrobe and searched through it...and then I went crazy making fabric flowers! The big black, the blue and the purple flower are based on that pattern more or less. They are nice, but didn't looked as "finished" as I wanted them to. So I did a quick google search yesterday evening for fabric flowers and stumbled across fabric yo-yo's. Something I have wanted to try for some time, but hestitated cause I would have to handstitch them. I suck at handstitching and get very impatient with that stupid needle. I had read somewhere about a yoyo-maker/template thingy(I think it's from clover) and had thought it a good idea at that time, something that would help even me sewing these.
Not anymore, because yesterday I sewed my first yo-yo in no time at all and I do ask myself why anybody would need that clover thing. I mean, if I can sew a yoyo, everybody probably can. Is there something to it that escapes me?

Today I finished a bunch of more yoyo's and then essembled three of them into this flower. It still needs to have a pin attached to its back, but then it's ready to be pinned to my blazer or bag or...

And then I colored one of the really cheap notebooks I brought at the euro store last week. They were only 50 cents and I'm definately going back to get more of them. This one has already been claimed in a swap:

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Friday, March 02, 2007

March madness

Joining Amy in a little crafting challenge, I chose my mad challenge to be: sewing the perfect dress for me!
It will be the first dress I ever sewed. I won't count the dresses for my little cousins, cause they had no shaping at all and where more than just simple.
My biggest problem will be finding a pattern that I truely like and am capable of sewing preferable without having to alter it too much and using stash fabric...

First try: Vintage Burda dress(60's ?)
This is a pretty simple dress though it looks more difficult than it is. Because I would hate to have wasted some gorgeous print fabric and there where only drawings of the dress on the pattern, I sewed a dummy dress today.
Here's the pattern and the main dummy dress parts already cut out. I'm using bomull from Ikea for almost all my test sewing pieces unless the end fabric is stretchy(which hasn't occured yet).

And here's the dummy dress:

Hmm, it actually looks a bit better than in the photos; e.g. no bump on the front. But the pattern asks for two zippers, a long zip on one side and a short zip on the neck back. Plus I think that it would flow better in a fabric with atleast a small percentage of stretchability, something that is not in my stash.
I think I will try another pattern too. I've just brought a sewing mag with a cool Kimono style tunic, shouldn't be too difficult to change it into a dress...I hope.

P.S.: Apart from sewing I started a long term project: a crocheted ripple blanket. They seem to be quite popular at the moment and I just couldn't resist! At the moment I'm using stash yarn and also brought some additional skeins in different colors from this yarn. The yarn is "Torino" from Schachenmayr; 150m/50g and I use a 4mm hook. I had thought about using a thicker yarn, but I don't want the blanket to be too warm as I would not use it then.
That's why I had to chain 274 sts!!! The first row really sucked and took me way over 1,5 hours, but the second one was alot faster already.

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Thursday, March 01, 2007

busy bee

As you probably already guessed, I was quite busy lately trying to finish all my WIPs. Not only did I finished the cotton candy, but also a scarf/shawl and the camisole.
First the scarf: The pattern is a simplification of eunny's print o'the wave stole. Fewer repeats and a simple garter stitch edge instead of the fancy one. It's knit out of Kauni yarn 100% wool, my mum thinks it's too scratchy for a scarf, I think it's perfect! It even smells a faint bit wooly plus it matches my coat!
Unfortunately the picture is not very good, but I hope you get the idea. There's also my fab shawl pin from scottsmountaincrafts, love it! (Have you seen her new bracelets? Wish my arms weren't that skinny and I could wear bracelets, see pictures below for what I mean)

The camisole has been blocked too. I blocked the hell out of it since it ended up beeing much too wide due to my gauge changing while knitting. Well, it definately isn't too wide anymore, but now it's quite lengthy flowing over my hips. I don't mind though, it's rather hip now, isn't it?

(I really, really need to get my hair cut, but I can't decide how...)

I also dyed some roving for a swap and since I couldn't decide what kind of colors I wanted to send I dyed a bunch more and decided afterwards. The rest is going into my fiber stash.

I already spun up one that isn't in the above picture and plied it with some undyed fiber

I love how it turned out! It's light blue with light blue-green. I'm thinking about knitting socks out of this though I probably have to spin the rest of it for that too.

Well, with almost all my projects finished I felt lost. What to knit next? I opted against another pair of socks(though I just brought some more sock yarn...) and tried out Domino knitting instead. I had brought this book recently and it is really nice. The instructions are pretty clear and take you every step. I'm not so fond of the patterns especially the yarn choices made. I think Domino knitting just screams for multicolored yarn.
Anyway I made this potholder for my mum within two hours.

Ok, there also was a lot of shopping lately, but I will only show you this gigantic fabric stash enhancement. These are over 18m of Ikea fabric! Ikea had a special last Tuesday: 2 for 1! Yes, you got two yards for the price of 1! I went there early in the morning to be there when they open cause I knew the chaos it would be. Of course that was the day a truck lightly hit a car and though nobody seems to have been injured the 15 minutes trip to Ikea took me 1.5 hours!!!
The fabric section had turned into hell by the time I finally arrived! Nevertheless I got everything I had wanted to buy.

You might not believe it, but I'm a pretty stubborn person. Once I set my mind on something there's not much that can distract me from it. I'm very much like my father in that characteristic, though he denies beeing stubborn ;-)
There was a contest on Dawanda , which is kind of like a german etsy. It was a valentines contest where you had to mark your favorits and then you randomly got kissed by valentin, valentina or a frog. For every valentin or valentins you got a point and the three persons with the most points would get something of their favorits list.
That's where my stubbornness set in and I kept on adding to my favorits, must have been hundreds and hundreds of things I marked( you could see the top 8 persons I think). Well, in the end I was indeed number three!
To my surprise I was allowed to make 3 suggestions for the price which I did. And then even more surprising, I did not just get one item, but two!!!
First this really cool felt pillow arrived. It matches my room and is just fab. I'm really thinking about buying a second one.

And today this amazing brooch was in the mail! I'm a sucker for pretty brooches!

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