Sunday, November 27, 2011

Rain Coat

Pattern: self drafted
performance fabric (breathable, windproof and water resistant) from Shelby
Lining: antistatic polyester lining from Shelby, too, and mesh fabric for better breathability in the back and at the upper sleeves
Zipper: riri (melange tape)

The fabric looks and feels like a cotton canvas, it does not look technical at all. This makes the coat very versatile and suitable not only for rainy weather. The lining is truly antistatic, no electricity incidents so far;-)

Collar detail
Inside, back

Sunday, October 30, 2011


This pullover was inspired by a Rowans design, Cheadle. I liked the huge horizontal cable insert, but was not too fond of the idea that each of the three bands of the braid are knitted separately. Therefore, I figured out my own pattern. I started by knitting the cabled part from elbow to elbow, front and back in one piece. Then I added the ribbed waistband and cowl. The yarn is 100% merino Bernetta Davos in black.

Saturday, October 29, 2011


Peter asked me to make a cover for his custom made bag. He wants it to be protected if he needs to check it in on a plane, for example. I found the ideal canvas: sturdy but not heavy at all. I assume it´s even water resistant since it´s coated with a wax-like layer. The sack closes with a velcro strip and a clip - this construction forms the handle. I copied this system from a backpack cover that we already have and which works very well.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Introducing: The Badger

Isn´t it just cute? No dead animals however - this guy is handmade of felted wool! The artist is a veterinarian who makes the most amazing fake taxidermy. The badger is the latest addition to our bedroom and makes us smile each time we enter the room.

Friday, October 7, 2011

White Linen Men's Shirt

Another shirt for Peter, made in a crisp white linen with dark mother of pearl buttons. Given the season, I think the next shirt should be one with long sleeves.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011


If I were a knit designer, I would name this cardigan Kopenhagen. Its color and pattern remind me of the beautiful Art Deco Houses there (plus there´s at trip to Kopenhagen coming up in December - that´s probably why it´s on my mind;-)). Well, acutally, I am a knit designer: everything is designed by me including the lace pattern. It´s my first top-down project and I am a convert already! It´s so much easier to get the right shape and length. And especially for this project, where I was reusing the yarn of this bolero, I could just determine the sleeve length on the go. I used up the yarn almost entirely, only a couple of yards are left. The whole cardigan is knitted in one piece - it took me quite some time to figure out how to distribute the stitches for the collar and raglan shaping. And of course, I also wanted to make sure that the lace pattern is placed nicely and symmetrically. But once this work was done, knitting went really fast.

I am totally in love with this little cardigan, it´s so cute and the mother of pearl buttons just make it perfect.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Quilted Vest

Quilting was not really on my mind until I discovered Natalie Chanin´s Alabama Stitch Book and other modern quilters. While I´m still not ready for a wall quilt or a bed cover, I like the original idea of using up old fabrics and reinforcing them by stitching several layers together like in this sample.
For this vest, I used a grey and a black wool sweater plus the sleeve of a red sweater. The grey sweater had some holes after washing (I tried to felt the sweaters before cutting). I decided to integrate the holes into the design rather than cutting around them. I quilted the pieces with grey thread before assembling the vest together with red thread. The knots on the inside are intended to be visible, by the way... I'm just not entirely sure if it looks like a designer piece or just awkward and handmade? My really fashion savvy sister says it's design - it must be, kind of, after all these hours spent hand stitching!

update - I shortened the back peplum and I think it looks much better now:

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Hot Patterns Riviera Côte d’Azur Knit Top

This is Hot Patterns Riviera Côte d’Azur, the top version. I made the top as a kind of wearable muslin for the dress version. I only made two changes: I omitted the front seam and did some shaping at the side seams. I think it´s a great pattern for a knit dress and I will definitely make one for next summer - red would be nice...

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Welcome To The Hut

Recently, we bought a bed frame made from Swiss stone pine (Zirbe). Its classic but rather rustic design inspired us to decorate the bedroom alpine themed. I imagined that red and white gingham curtains would be a great feature and when we strolled over the local fleamarket some weeks ago, we found an old bed sheet which was just perfect for this. I ripped the seams open and cut the sheet in half. I first intended to hem it properly, but when I had finished the top hem, I decided to leave the bottom just like it was: with the button holes and buttons visible. The fabric is rather thin and there are several buttons replaced, so I assume it was already intensely used in its first life as a sheet. And I totally like the thought that even though it´s old and worn, it now gets a second spring as a curtain!The second alpiny object I made is this fake fur blanket: it´s a simple piece of fabric bound with another red and white gingham fabric, this time with really tiny squares. It almost feels like being in the Alps each time I enter the bedroom ;-)

Saturday, August 20, 2011


This is a rather belated birthday gift for my mother... I made up the pattern according to her wishes and measurements - she wanted a simple design with darts and a v-neck. The back of the collar band features short rows and the seams are held in place by a row of crocheted stitches. I tried top-down set-in sleeves for the first time and found these instructions very helpful. The yarn is an out-of-stock quality from my stash.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Pannier 2

My father loved this pannier so much that we organised one for his birthday a couple of weeks ago. Not such a big deal since it's Swiss army surplus :) But of course, because it came directly from an army shop, it didn't have hooks or straps to mount it on a bike. Not a problem for my father - he just made his own construction. So cool!

Vitu gefiel diese Radtasche aus Schweizer Armeebestand so gut, dass er diese Munitionstasche zum Geburtstag geschenkt bekam. Natürlich hatte die aber keine Befestigung fürs Fahrrad, da sie im Originalzustand belassen war - Nichts, was Vitu nicht beheben kann wie man auf den Fotos sieht. Kultig!!
Pics/Fotos: Vitu

Saturday, July 23, 2011

The Last Summer Dress (For Now)

After 3 foggy and chilly summers in San Francisco, I was actually looking forward to spending a "real" summer in Europe - but so far it's more rain than heat. Not that I'm complaining - I love the rain and the fog, but I would love to wear my summer dresses again... So, since July is almost over, I decided that this is the last summer garment that I make for this year and that I will start sewing fall and winter clothes. There's a leather jacket on my list as well as a couple of dresses from fabrics that I have in my stash. Back to this dress: I wanted to make a bustier line shirt or dress for a long time and here it is. The pattern is self drafted, I just went from my kimono sleeve shirt pattern and drafted the bustier line. Zoe has a tutorial on her blog for a similar t-shirt. The grey fabric has unfinished edges and I stitched it to the black top yoke with a twin needle. Pretty easy.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Finally: My Excalibur Dehydrator

I am beyond excited to announce that my Excalibur Dehydrater was delivered today!! It's been quite a while that I wanted one... It would have been silly to buy one in the US because I could not have taken it with me back to Europe (different voltage). And here, they are really expensive (especially compared to the US price...). But now, with the great exchange between the Swiss Franc and the Euro, I finally made the deal:-) So, no more dehydrating nuts in the oven and I can now make my own jerky, live crackers, vegetable chips, sprouted and dehydrated lentils.... I'm off in the kitchen!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011


I made my first Liberty of London garment! I'm usually not a print person, but I loved this fabric the moment I walked into the shop. I think it's is a bit Art Nouveau like whereas my cousin said that it reminded her of African prints. That's probably because I lived in Vienna for some time and she stayed in Africa for a couple of months ;-) Anyway, I wanted to keep the dress plain and simple to highlight the print. For contrast at the hem and inner front, I chose a black cotton fabric. The dress is fully lined with a cotton batiste both for comfort and opacity.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Homemaker Dress

Back when we lived in Zürich, we had this old lady in our building who would wear apron-style dresses as her daily outfit. This dress reminds me of her (and her dresses). It has this 50ies homemaker vibe, but I think in a good way;-) I found the fabric at the same thrift store as this one and they are the same quality, just with diffrent designs. The pattern is from Burda style 4/2010, Dress 116. I added darts in the front and in the back and wear it without a belt.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Little Black Wrap Dress

This is a self drafted wrap dress with some of my favorite elements: collar, kimono sleeves, A-line skirt, black knit fabric. I first made a classic wrap dress with ties around the waist. This didn't really work with my body shape since I don't have a tiny waist that needs to be highlighted :-) I ended up making a belt-like construction in the back with two mother-of-pearl buttons that leave the front uninterupted. I really love it now and it's pretty versatile: I wore it with tights/boots in San Francisco last summer (I miss the fog!!), with sandals or as shown with Jeans/Chucks. A camisole provides modesty during the day; however, I can also wear it with just a bra for a night out.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Mirror, mirror on the wall....

They had these wonderful yellow flowers at the farmer's market this morning. A great opportunity to showcase our "flower mirror":-) It's a salvaged mirror, painted in gold. The Campari Soda vases are mounted with spring clips (the ones you use to hold tools on a wall). It't always fun to decorate it according to the season, be it with candles or branches in the winter or any kind of flowers during spring and summer...

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Men's Shirt

For a long time, I thought that it was just not worth the effort to sew men's shirts - too much hassle with the collar and the cuffs and everything. And there are only so many possibilities to be creative or you have this handmade look instead of taylored perfection... Then again, my husband really looks great in fitted shirts and they can be pretty hard to find for the slim and tall. When Peter started his Men's Shirt Sew-Along and discussed fitting, I suddenly realized poorly fitted shirts everywhere. I therefore decided to join the community and embark on the journey towards the perfectly fitted shirt for my husband. This is the first attempt in the sense of a wearable muslin. It was pretty hard to find a pattern that included a small enough size, let alone that it was long enough. Burda 7767 was the closest to what I had imagined and the only adjustments I made for this first run was to add some length and darts in the back. The fabric is a thrift store find with a rather rustic look. The finished shirt has some fitting issues, but not worse than the average RTW shirt and it's perfectly wearable. It wasn't even half the pain of what I had expected and Peter loves it -there will sure be more shirts (with more alterations and hopefully less wrinkles...)!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Sewing Pattern Seat

A couple of weeks ago when we visited Hamburg, I walked into the Werkhaus store and my eyes fell on this seat immediately - I know a good sewing pattern when I see one;-) The guy at the check out however was totally surprised that I knew what I was buying - apparently, it took him several months to figure out what these lines meant....

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Asymmetric Twist Top

Butterick 5283, view D. I made two modifications: First, I used the view B sleeve pattern (and made the corresponding changes to the bodice as well) because I didn't like the wide shoulders of view D with long sleeves. And second, I followed this advice and didn't line the front piece. I used fusible stay tape and a twin needle to finish the neckline - I just omitted the stay tape at the twisted part in the front because it would have shown on the outside. The picture below is a bit overexposed but I think it shows the details pretty well.
Pics by my sister.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

The second to last bag I will ever buy

Guest post by Peter

For years, I wanted a stylish weekender bag that I could also take on board a plane. Then, a few weeks ago, I found a saddler who was really responsive to my wishes. The bag turned out fantastic - the leather is just awesome, the details were executed meticulously and accurately, and all the features I wanted are there. It makes full use of the permitted carry-on baggage measurements, which is perfect when this is the only piece of luggage that I take along, but might be a little too much if I also have a suitcase. The easy solution (since the saddler still has ample stock of the same leather): I will get a second one, at about half the size :)
It's super-sturdy and even has an extra front pouch to hold my little travel organizer.
Detail of the shoulder strap with a belt buckle to keep it in place. The red color was an idea of Marlise.
The inside: at the back wall is a pouch for my laptop, on the right an adjustable strap to hold a water bottle.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Grey Blossom

Yarn: 100% wool, Bernetta Davos, recycled from an old sweater
Pattern/flower in the back: adapted from Rebecca no. 29, sweater no. 22 (not in the preview)
Pattern/everything else: by me; knit in one piece with kimono sleeves