Learning from mistakes

With the end of the (school) year being so near and the associated imminent closure of our nursery, I am getting quite nostalgic. To avoid being depressed I thought I’ll turn this rummaging in the past into something positive by looking at the things that went terribly wrong (don’t get too excited, nothing to gossip, I am just talking about craft projects, the actual purpose of this blog) in order to learn something from it.

This is actually a random selection, I guess there would be many more but I haven’t always taken pictures.

What is wrong with these things? I am glad you’re asking. I was thinking hard and long about it. They haven’t been worn EVER. Or just a few times in some cases. And what they actually have in common: They were all made for the same person. Who will always try on things happily whilst I am making them but just politely says: No thank you! when they are finished. Have I learned from it? No, I haven’t.

I have just stupidly made a beautiful jacket using a klimperklein pattern. Or rather e-book with lots of step by step instructions.

You might think that this is a really nice jacket and that anybody would love to wear it. Well, you’re wrong. “No, thank you. Maybe I’ll wear it tomorrow!” Still polite but making me hope for another opportunity which won’t really happen is actually rather cruel. Do I sound bitter? No, don’t worry. I am totally over it. Really. And let’s face it, there is another very important thing that all these things have in common. It was always me choosing the particular project and even fabric. Not once I had actually been asked to make all this useless stuff. So I guess, the only person to blame is myself.

So lets quickly look at the bright sight. The e-book is amazing, it offers lots of choices, different pockets, with or without lining,….

I have in fact made already a second one, same concept but different fabric and size. And this one actually gets worn a lot (fabric chosen by the jacket owner)

We’ll see if I have learned anything, next project will be something made of a fabric bought on request. I’ll keep you posted.

PS: I just got a picture of the birthday boy. He liked the pick and mix shirt so much, he did not want to take it off at night and slept in it 🙂




Scrap Sunday: Pick and Mix Shirt

I meant to make a present for a little boy and all I could think off was that boys of a certain age don’t really need bags anymore. I was still looking through my boxes and actually found two big pieces of patterned jersey, left overs from shirts for two small boys.


As I am a big fan of the pattydoo shirt with raglan sleeves and usually make the sleeves in a plain colour, I would have had just enough for a shirt in either of the fabrics. But I was unsure which one would be acceptable for a 5 year old, so I asked the birthday boy himself…. who wanted a shirt made out of both.! An idea which hadn’t come to my mind yet. That will make it even easier to use up scraps in the future 🙂

So to make the pix and mix even more complete, I decided to use two different colours for the sleeves and the lining for the hood and whilst I would normally think that these two fabrics don’t really go together, I am really pleased with the result. Somehow children look always good in handmade stuff. Which then makes the handmade stuff look good 🙂

There is actually just one thing to remember when using this pattern: Considering that my children are rather slim, I think the pattern is on the slim and also short side. The shirt in the picture is size 122 which is usually the size that should fit the model if  not still be a bit big. And actually I wouldn’t say that the shirt is too long (maybe the sleeves, but not the body).






Scrap Sunday: Back to the roots

This used to be a blog about knitting and it really is time to go back to its origins. I haven’t given up on knitting yet, don’t worry. In fact I am mainly working on the second attempt of a baby blanket for my niece. The first one got lost in the mail…. or shipped to Australia rather than Austria. So maybe there is now a cute baby kangaroo who had lost its mum wrapped up nicely in that blanket.

36 squares out of 49 are already done so I can soonish show you a result, before investing in the extra costs for guaranteed delivery.

For now, it will be a small scrap project, a knitted phone case.

Do you remember when I made a christmas present which was roughly 3 months delayed? A rather beautiful bag with lining and lots of pockets? IMG_3263

This time I made a birthday present for the same person, two weeks early. So I thought the logic asks for something really small 🙂 Also due to the stress and lack of time of the last few months, I had cancelled all birthday presents, my own parents included. So actually getting a small phone case meant quite a lot I guess.


I had once written a pattern for very simple phone cases, a bit intended as knit and purl and joining pieces practise for my knitting students. For this phone case I used the same idea, but I made a much more advanced version with a flap and a stretchy lining. I also made it bigger as the original Balduin was done for my own phone which is – these days at last – on the small side. I wonder if I should add the big version and the flap to the original pattern. Hmm.


Colourwise I meant to keep the colour scheme of the lining of the Christmas bag which was red and orange but I do wonder now if that wasn’t a bit silly as clearly it will be hard to find in a sea of red and orange.

The lining of the phone case had to be a contrasting colour, obviously. Unfortunately I had no nice small patterned jersey in my boxes so plain blue it was.

As we are already talking about knitting, I will have to knit two other baby blankets in the next month…. 2015 will be another big baby year in our family. Then a little baptism cardigan for my niece and future goddaughter most likely using a pattern by Georgie Hallam, I just love her designs. And I was thinking of another jumper for me. I have realised that the past year I have basically been wearing two jumpers whenever a clean one was required and both were knitted. Basically, I had one for winter IMG_1739

and one for summer.IMG_1856

I have already since a while downloaded another pattern from atelier alfa, another very cool designer and I have already invested hours (well, minutes really) into choosing colour combinations however, knowing that I will be covered in baby vomit for another winter, I don’t think I will wear precious hand knitted jumpers that often, unless I used different shades of cream of course 🙂

Scrap Sunday: Keep your belongings with you

Whilst I was rather quiet online I had still been busy making rather quick birthday gifts. So here is a series of small bags, two are made out of waterproof fabric, the one in the middle is made of various cottons. I guess the waterproof ones aren’t exactly scrap fabrics as I have still so much stored of those two that we can hardly call it scrap. The pure cotton one however is cut from rather small pieces of scrap as are all the pocket and lining pieces of the other two.

All have nice patterned cotton lining and two pockets, one with a elastic band on top for more security and one with a zip, big enough for a mobile phone. And obviously another fabric behind that zip 🙂 I might be unable to use the same fabric for all the lining.

So we have red hearts on white and white hearts on red….


crazy butterflies (I love that one but think it would be too much as  a main fabric, so perfect as lining) and more subtle flowers …


and my current favourite: orange with dandelion pattern and the crazy butterflies. IMG_3512I think the orange looks particularly great with the outer pink. I had ordered a remnant for a skirt for myself and well, once it arrived, I realised that it wouldn’t really be suitable for a grown up skirt. But it is perfect for linings.

For all three bags I ironed a fleece on the lining which gives it a really nice feel and interfacing on the outer fabric. (loosely following instructions from the Bag Bible) The first two ones turned out too stiff I think. Particularly the cotton one doesn’t actually look great. The natural creases (after turning it inside out) come out much more with that interfacing (which is meant to be medium weight).


For the last one I have invested in some fancy Vilene interfacing and it is just so much nicer. I am not sure if it is because it is woven or because it is a better brand or because it is in fact lighter than the other one but the result is definitely much better.

For all three, I have used hook and loop fastening to close the main flap and I think it fits the purpose but I really need to work on my positioning as the last bag was actually not even closable 🙂