Saturday, 30 June 2012

Let's sew again: Leggings + The best milkshake ever!

One day late, but I certainly underestimated the time the whole graduation ceremony would steal from my day so I could not finish off my post. Still, today I do not only have one of my most favorite sewing projects for you, but also a little web tip where you can find amazing recipes especially the one I will suggest making.

Enough of the talk, let's get sewing!
Jersey is one of my absolute favorite materials since I got sewing machine with the possibility to use a stretch-stich. Since then I went along (especially Turkish) markets to find cool afforadable one turning them into shirts aaaand even better the leggings I will sew with you. That may sound like I have done heaps of jersey projects since then, but unfortunately the best market for jerseys is in Berlin... with me being in Cologne this fact sucks. Last week I was happy enough to get two nice pieces of jersey on a market in Cologne-Nippes and since the pattern I would use is a online one it was time for another let's sew...

Firstly there is the pattern I used, it was published on the website of CUT Magazine, a German aboslutly amazing magazine. Therefore all the instructions are German, but I do believe this one should be pretty easy to sew... In addition to that I used one of my new beloved jerseys. I bought this because it reminded me of the whole floral/ ombre trend and so I fell in love with the pattern...^^ You need about 1,2m x 1,5m strechable material. I used less since my legs are not the longest since I'm only 1,52 m tall

The whole sewing process 

The probably hardest part about making my pair of leggings was probably my attempt to have to colour change from blue to grey on the same height of each leg. Therefore I marked it on the paper template and it worked out just fine.
In order of sewing it all gets really easy, obviously you should be able to imagine the finished result but sewing the legs and the upper part should be no problem. On the top you sew one larger tunnel where a elastic band is inserted, which should fitting around your waist. Lastly you sew along your leg openings on the bottom... and you are done.

And since this whole thing would be just too easy I decided to quickly introduce the blog Green Kitchen Stories to you since I have been constantly making one of their milkshakes the past weeks. The site is a cooking blog where the authors Luise and David + their adorable daughter Elsa publish vegetarian recipes and anecdotes from there kitchen. I love this page since I am a veggie and hate reading awesome recipes with meat in them... in addition to that they have all these healthy, but yummy looking foods all being presented in nice design and photography.
Coming to my favorite: The Strawberry Peanut Butter Milkshake. 
It is ahhhh-mazing! I am a absolute peanut butter addict and therefore I instantly loved the idea. The shake is great instead of breakfast and after sport, quickly made and absolutely awesome... but the authors are right: You have to respect the layers.

Soo this is all from me, I gotta go and drink another shake since it's strawberry time!

Friday, 22 June 2012

Let's sew: Getting cute shorts by reusing a thrifted shirt

I've to admit this week's post isn't the most creative one from my side. But since the past weeks all my sewing evolved around getting my prom dress finished (got it done. Wohoo!) I was really looking forward to do something easy I did not have to think too much about.
Normally I would not show you the process of me sewing something by following a pattern since I'm in Germany mainly relying on German magazines. Good for you that there is something called the internet where patterns can be easily downloaded nowadays. And the one I used is a free one, so all you need is a printer and there you go.

By the way, I stole the title from the gaming scene on youtube, where people comment there gaming process in videos and I thought... why not. In addition to that you get kind of a review on the pattern and on download patterns in general.
But enough of the rambling: Let's sew!!!

I used the Colette Madeleine mini bloomer pattern...

 1. Printing out and creating the pattern.
Everytime I copy a pattern out of a magazine I use tracing paper, because when you copy it on the fabric you can normally see if there are any wrinkles in the underground. In order to keep up this "tradition" I decided to cut out DinA-4 sized pieces out of the paper to print on it. Baaaad idea. My printer totally wrecked up and some papers came out really wrinkled and messed up. Soo when you want to use tracing paper you should copy it from the printed out pattern, otherwise your printer could die.
Bildunterschrift hinzufügen
Talking about the whole printing process, this is actually one big downside about downloading patterns. You have to think about it, you pay some money for the thing normally (which is often similar to buying at least a have magazine) and you still need to print, cut and glue it. Extra work you would not have with a magazine version.
Another negative aspect about this certain pattern was that when I was cutting out the pieces for my size I had problems trying to find the right lines because they printed the sizing only twice per part not considering that every part consisted from about pieces where loosing the orientation was quite easy.

2. Cutting out the fabric
Now here comes the special thing about the whole project. The people from Colette advice you to use light fabrics as silk or cotton. I did so by finding a shirt on one of my beloved flea markets. Normally I look at the people to find out where searching for something in my size is logic but by seeing the pattern of my chosen shirt I HAD to buy it. And since it did contain of quite an amount of fabric I could just fit the pattern on it. Lucky me. In addition to that the seam allowance was already added making it easy to calculate the needed amount of fabric. My only problem about this was only that they used inches and yards the whole time... so my calculator was just laying next to me.

3. Sewing.
Sewing the parts together was quite easy since the instruction do include even pictures so following it should be even easy for a total beginner. Unfortunatly my sewing machine decided to die (but luckily not during the prom dress project) when I was about to sew the waistband so I had to move to my mum's sewing machine and rethinking everything is harder than one would think. So yeah... my tunnels are quite messed up but after inserting the elastic it looks quite fine when it creases.

So the last part is about working on the leg openings. I have to admit: I did not do them yet. The reasons are simple: Firstly I did not buy the needed ribbon yet and in addition to that I want to use the whole thing as sleeping shorts. So adding the ribbon they would not stay as comfortable as they are now. So I will probably just hem the leg openings and leave them like this even though I destroy the whole bloomer look. But phewww... who sees me anyway while I'm sleeping?

The instructions were easy to follow so sewing the whole thing should be quite easy. My big problem you probably already spotted was the fact that I had to prepare my pattern before I printed it so I have to admit that I prefer spending money on a magazine to printing out download patterns, but as long they are free I will happily sew with them....

And that's it... hope you still liked the whole thing and you could help me out with my leg opening question...

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

XL Pouch DIY

Women cannot have enough bags, everyone of us knows that. Yet the budget to buy a bag for every occasion, weekday, outfit (the list is endless…) is very rarely available. I must declare that I belong to that sort of woman, constantly seeing cute saddle bags, clutches, shoppers…but given the fact that I’m a student my possibilities are quite limited.
How beneficial it is to have a working sewing machine and several fabric remnants waiting for me at home and so much inspiration in my head. This one came from American Apparel, however I do not accept to pay that much for something that is made so easily. So I made my own version:

 You need:

 fabric in a colour of your choice


 a zipper

 needle and yarn (or a sewing machine)

1. Take the fabric and place a DinA 4 page on it, securing it with fixing pins. Trace the outline 
    with a pen, repeating it four times (so in the end you have four identical pieces). Cut them 
    out, leaving some space at the borders.
2. Sew the lace on two of the four pieces, covering approximately one third of the fabric. Take
    into consideration the lace's hem!
3. Place one piece with lace on a piece without lace and sew them together on the longer side
   (remember placing the right sides onto another), preparing it for the zipper. Repeat this   
   procedure with the other two pieces.
4. Now lay the two remaining parts onto another, right side on right side. Sew about two
   centimetres along the already sewed part on each side.
5. Open the two parts like a book so you face the wrong side. Fold the seams outwards (see picture)
   and iron it.
6. Fix the zipper to the ironed part and stitch it down.
7. Now sew the rest of the pouch, right side on right side. In the end open the zipper and turn the

Now you`re ready to hit the streets:

Instead of normal fabric you can use leather or other materials (of course you can replace the lace as well) or you embroider your fabric or... You see, there's a lot you can do with this kind of pouch.

Friday, 15 June 2012

DIY Chain Collar Necklace

I am totally not the girl for wearing pearl necklaces around my neck. So when I saw this tutorial at Cut Out + Keep (great DIY community), I knew I had to find another way, since the simple idea was too great: Picking up the whole collar trend but being summer compatible since I am not keen on wearing extra fabric around my neck with temperatures high (even though the thought of summer is quite illusory with rain pouring down outside). And voila here is my version completely fitting my style and quite easy to recreate.

What we need:
80 cm of chain
3 ring (see on picture)
necklace clasp

1. Divide your chain in four parts.
2. Bring one end from each of your chains together and link them with one if the rings
3. Open the chain link of two chain parts on the other end.
4. Fix your necklace clasp to them and close the chain links. Close them to get the chain going around your neck

5. Measure from the middle along the chain around your neck, divide it after 13 cm on each side.
6. Add your remaining rings to the gap attaching also every time one of the loosly hanging chains.

And just after a few minutes you can go on the streets wearing your very own chain collar necklace...^^

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Short(s) Time

As the title reveals, it is indeed time for a short(s) tutorial. And this one I actually owe to a good friend who asked me to do one of those shorts she discovered here and I thought "Why not doing them for myself as well?" In the end I went a bit further and reinvented a pair of my old jeans, which was very easy and quick indeed.

You need:

a pair of old white jeans (or shorts)

patterned fabric

needle and yarn

textile colour

1. Cut your jeans at the desired length (maybe take different shorts as a model).
2. Dye your jeans! I used a mandarine tone and left it about five minutes in the bowl.
3. Now the best part: destroy your shorts. I used sandpaper to get a bleach effect and a carpet
   cutter to frazzle the hem and make holes into the fabric.
4. Take the patterned fabric and fix it with fixing pins onto your shorts (on one side). Sew the
   fabric on the jeans, cutting it near the seams in the end.

I'm pretty thrilled by the result, I like the colour and the patterned fabric is matching just fine. I can see myself wearing them with a white shirt and sandals (if only it would be summer here in Germany). I hope you are inspired!

Thursday, 7 June 2012

Mix 'n' Match Turban Headband DIY

I now I am quite late and I am really sorry for that. But I prepared everything for my Friday post last week since I was supposed to be at a festival (Rock am Ring seeing Tenacious D and Metallica... *__*) during my normal posting time. Just about a hour before heading off I wanted to upload my pictures and add them to the post and there was the problem: My SD card is probably broken, luckily it is not my camera as I thought in the first moment, but on there are all my London pictures plus some from China... AND my last weeks post. Therefore I just can say "Sorry" once more and present a new project to you.

I love wearing hats and right now I have some really nice ones I wear on a general basis even though summer months ad wool hats are not the best friends. In addition to that there is a little pile of beanies/ similar things on my pile. But lately and inspired by the whole turban/ head wrap trend I started using scarves as head bands as you might remember from this post. The annoying thing about the latter was always the fact that those bands tended to move upwards due to the sleek surface so when I saw a quite similar tutorial to the following in a Burda (an amazing sewing magazine being published in several countries and languages) it clicked and I came up with these "Mix 'n' Match Turban Headbands".
The great thing about them (self-praise much?) is the various combination possibilities they offer when you start turning old fabric pieces in one of the two loops you need for one headband...

What we need:
Sewing stuff

sewing machine with a stretch stitch

stretchable fabric pieces at least 30 x 60 cm each (you need twice the amount when you want a headband with only one sort of fabric)
1. You need to cut out at least two pieces off your fabric, each 30 x 60 cm.
2. Fold your pieces so the long sides lay on each other and fix it along them with sewing pins. Sew along the long sides so you get a long tunnel.
3. Use a stretch stitch!!!

4. Now it comes to closing the tunnel, this part is quite hard to explain but easy when you do it. You practically line up the ends of the seam on each end of the tunnel so the outer sides are laying on each other and then you start going around the two open ends...
5. Just another hopefully useful picture

6. Then you sew around it... you will realize going all the way around is not possible and should also not be your aim since you are turning your piece over through this hole...

7. This great pictures shows you the little whole you still ave after flipping it over (*cough*)...
8. After closing it by simply hand stitching (ewww!) your first loop is ready.... do at least another one...

Great, now you got two loops... but how do they make a turban head band.... as easy as the following pictures do show to you:

Sooo, that's your tutorial for this week. From now on you should remember this everytime you see some nice stretch fabric so you can build up a whole collection out of loops for your different mix 'n' match turban...
By the way... my jersey was just a leftover piece from a leggins I sewed once... so now I can run around all matching and stuff....

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

Fake Hermès Clutch DIY

I've been wanting to do this for a long time now, but somehow something always came between me and this project. Actually I discovered the idea in this blog, presenting a funny tutorial on how to make your own paper Hermès Clutch (very easy indeed), and I thought "why not changing paper into fake leather?" So I bought fake leather and started the whole thing, realizing it is not as easy to fold leather (especially the fake version) as folding paper. But you will see that somehow it came out pleasing enough.

You need:

fabric (with or without pattern)

fake leather (two different colours)


needle and yarn (or a sewing machine)

textile glue (or different strong glue)

magnet closure

1. + 2. Print out the tutorial and cut out the pieces. I transformed the H at the front into an M (indicating my first name).
3. Lay the stencils onto the leather and cut them out accordingly. The long piece needs to be cut out twice!
4. Place the biggest stencil and the two trangles onto the patterned fabric and cut this out as well. Sew leather and fabric together, leaving space at the edges (the parts where you sew them together).
5. + 6. Sew the two triangles to the main part, you now have the basic shape of the clutch.
7. Take the two long pieces an one part of the magnet closure.
8. Attach the magnet closure to one piece.
9. Sew the two pieces together, you now have the strap.
10. Glue or sew the strap to the main part.
11. Glue the M together (or the H), the stencil is pretty self-explaining.
12. Finally attach the M and the other part of the magnet closure to the main part.

That's it:

It actually took me a bit longer than I thought, but I quite like the outcome. Although you cannot take that much stuff with you when hitting the city. Additionally you can attach a chain and wear it over your shoulder.