A bit like a japanese linen top. Except not really.

I am really busy these days, organising and attending leaving parties, baking tonnes of cake for said parties with greedy guests (you know who you are), cancelling memberships and contracts, trying to find out relevant information about national insurance, taxes,… and obviously decluttering. Decluttering is always important when you are moving. Basically this is why we are moving. There was no way we would declutter just because we do not have enough space for the amount of clutter we own.

One extremely useful way of decluttering is to use up fabric. I know technically this will only shift the fabric from the fabric pile to the wardrobe but there is more space there than on the fabric pile. So it is decluttering. Really.

I told you I meant to make a Frau Aiko. I had already cut the pattern when I realised that I didn’t have enough fabric and made a skirt instead.

So I used a piece of purple cotton. Frau Aiko is a very simple blouse with straight lines. I find it a bit Japanese style, something I really like. I know Japanese style looks best on slim and petite Japanese women which is why I never wear Japanese style stuff but I still bought the pattern, knowing it might not bring the best out of me. I thought it might actually look cool in a plain colour and with a slightly stiff woven cotton. A bit like linen. Even though that wasn’t what I had initially in mind.

Anyway. It turns out it doesn’t look cool Japanese with me in it. And not linen like.

My 6 year old said: Oh, did you make a waterproof apron ? (I assume on of those for crafts with sleeves). I personally thought rather of scrubs. I could definitely hide a stethoskope in those pockets.

IMG_5246I am not entirely sure what went wrong, well apart from fabric type choice, patternlessness (if you knew anything about fabric you’d know this means fabric without a pattern, I guess some boring people would call it plain) and possibly style choice for my personal needs.

I think on that first picture you can also see a few details (I know, once again I thought I could get away with a non ironed piece but you know, it is all done on purpose) which I actually don’t really like. I find the proportions of the sleeve really odd. The combination of over-cut shoulders with a 3/4 length sleeve is not for me. But then that is something that wouldn’t be so obvious if I had used a patterned fabric.

I also don’t like the proportions of the pockets. Although I do like the pockets as such.

Last but not least I think the facing is a bit too narrow.

After all that I would like to point out that I am blaming Frau Aiko for this non-success (calling it failure would be a bit over the top).

The whole concept of a boxy short blouse is just not making me look any better. I might give it another go in a different fabric, something with more drape. And more colour. Obviously. Although I do love the colour as such.

But enough talking, lets have a look at the result.IMG_5247

IMG_5250In case you were thinking that clearly this blouse needs to be teamed up with trousers rather than a skirt, well I did try and it did not look good at all. Maybe I was wearing the wrong trousers.

For the pictures I decided to wear my skirt (I have already altered it to take it in – it fits now almost perfectly) because Frau Aiko is in the same colour as the skirt hem:


Ok, I had been wearing the skirt all day and couldn’t be bothered to get changed.

Looking at the pictures now, I find it actually less odd than it felt. Still don’t think I will ever wear it. Might just go to the charity shop. In which case I would have successfully decluttered šŸ™‚

And now, I’ll send this over to RUMS to see what others have been creating this week.








Tutorial: Cute little girl’s handbag

A while ago, I was asked to make one of my accidental reversible bags, so it would be suitable both for mother and daughter. In the end, I made one reversible bag in grown up fabrics and a small, slightly simpler version for the little girl.


To make sure that they are a kind of matching pair, I have used the same fabric for both the lining of the small bag and the small pocket of the big bag.

IMG_3834 Restetasche23

But now, lets go back to the beginning: I have put together a little tutorial to show you how easy it is to make a cute little bag for a little lady. It is definitely also a great way of using up scrap fabrics. As I have already misplaced theĀ  measurements of the pictured bag, I will explain how to calculate your measurements plus give you those of the second bag I made, which was a bit more square than this one. In the end these numbers are only a rough guide anyway, I actually cut out how I felt before measuring the pieces)

You will need:

+ two pieces of cotton for the outer bag (width of bag + 2cmĀ  x height of bag + 6cm = 24 x 24cm)

+ two pieces of cotton for the lining (2-3cm shorter than outer fabric, alternatively you can cut them all out in one go and shorten the lining later = 24 x 22cm)

+ 2 pieces of fabric for a small pocket, one or both of them in the lining fabric (width of pocket + 2cm x height of pocket + 3cm = 12 x 12cm)

+ 2 pieces of fabric for straps (4 x width of finished strapsĀ  x desired length + 8cm = 8 x 30cm for a 2cm wide strap)

+ the usual things like sewing machine, thread, scissors,…


Preparation of the straps:

Fold the fabric lengthwise and iron, fold both edges to this middle line and iron again, fold together and iron. Top stitch close to the edge.


Preparation of the pocket:

Sew the two pieces of fabric at the top together, Iron seam flat and turn so the right sides are outside, iron again to get a neat edge and top-stitch about 1 cm from the edge. Zigzag the three open sides of the pocket together.


Fold and iron the edges to the backsideĀ  (1 cm)


Cut off corners to avoid bulky pocket corners later.


Place and pin the pocket to one of the lining fabrics where you want it to be (at least 4 or 5 cm away from the bottom) and top stitch close to the edges…. ideally leaving the top open….


… alternatively you can go creative šŸ™‚


Put the two lining fabrics right side together and stitch around sides and bottom with 1cm seam allowance and zigzag around it.


To create a fuller shape for the bag, pull the two sides apart at one corner, making sure that the side and bottom seam lie on top of each other. Draw a straight line (in a right angle to the seam), I find 2-3cm away from the corner creating a 5-6cm long line quite good for this size). Stitch on that line.


Cut the excess fabric off, zigzag and do the same on the other side of your bag.


Repeat all steps (apart from the pocket) with your outer fabric. Restetasche12

If you haven’t done it yet, it is now time to shorten the lining bag. Just cut of 2-3cm from the top (depending how wide you want your edge)


Take the outer bag and fold the open top about 1.5 – 2cm to the wrong side. Iron.


Fold it a second time 2cm to the wrong side. Iron.


Turn the whole lining bag inside out (so the outside is now showing) and put the outer bag wrong side to wrong side into the lining bag. The edge of the lining bag should reach the once folded down edge of your outer bag.


Fold now the outer bag down the second time (like you have ironed it before), the lining should now be fully covered.


Now it is time to place the straps. Slide the open ends in between the two bag fabrics, making sure the ends reach the very top of the bag. For my bag I placed them about 4.5cm from the side seams. For now the straps look downwards.


Now you can carefully fold them up again (without pulling them out of the slot) and pin them in place. Do the same with the second handle on the other side, making sure that they are in the matching position.


Top stitch close to the edge all around your bag, securing all 4 ends of the strap at the same time.


Then secure all 4 ends with a little X. I seam to have forgotten to take a picture of this step. But here is a picture of an other bag and at the bottom of my tutorial for a very similar cotton bag you will actually find a more accurate description the sewing directions.

Stofftasche 20

And we are done šŸ™‚



And another version, where I used a lovely corduroy for the outside:







a long, long time ago….


…. I knitted a cushion cover, wrote down the pattern, lost the pattern, knitted an other one, wrote down the pattern, knitted two more, lost the pattern again, bought matching fabric and zips and got the sewing machine out of its bag.

But then there was never really time to actually sew them together or more urgent things to sew. I can easily knit with children around but the sewing machine with its sharp and fast moving needle is a different matter.

But last weekend I could finally finish them and here they are…..

I have used mercerized cotton, so the knitted part has very clear lines, strong colours and is a bit shiny. Which goes extremely well with a contrasting background. I am really pleased with them. I chose burgundy as a less contrasting colour for the back this time (In the past I usually used the background fabric for the back as well – nice look too)

front and back

front and back

I have done another one as well, with Sirdar Smiley Stripes. It’s a bamboo-wool-blend and is actually very soft. As the yarn is multicoloured in itself, I chose a light blue background as a bold background is rather disturbing in my opinion.

IMG_0912It is knitted in garter stitch diagonally from corner to corner with an eyelet square to break those diagonal lines.

I really like diagonal knitting. It is perfect when you want to avoid the gauge swatching and calculating at the beginning. And I do like the look of it too.

So now that those cushion covers are knitted, I will only have to put them in my etsy-shop and also get those patterns finally typed up and on to ravelry. I guess, it won’t take me longer than a couple of weeks to get that done.




just a little something

just a little something

just a little something

Last Wednesday was the last day of the summer term in nursery and therefore my first last day as a mum and I had no idea how to thank the teachers.

Chocolate? The key worker has allergies and can’t have chocolate, a few of the others were fasting.

Flowers? It had over 30C so they would have been withered before even getting there.

So, I needed to knit something…Ā  just a little something as I didn’t want to overdo it.

The pressure was on, just a few days to go and all of a sudden I had plenty of ideas. So I made


a bookmark

a book mark for the teacher who is in charge of the library. She was really touched as it was so “thoughtful”. I found it a bit too bulky to be actually useful to be honest and would have already better ideas… I guess for next year.

a phone case

a phone case

a phone case for the one who is really strict about the no-phones-in-the-classroom-rule. She was really pleased as apparently she keeps dropping her own phone.


hairband with little arrows

a hairband for the key worker who has just really nice long hair and has often some kind of elaborate hair styling. And she was actually wearing a dress in a matching colour on that last day. And maybe I can make a matching scarf next year as it will be the final one for my daughter.

a small bag with i-cord and buttons

a small bag with i-cord and buttons

and a small bag for the head teacher as she doing her rounds with a small shoulder bag and I had already thought in the past that I should knit one for her. It is about the same size as her usual one, so it should really suit her needs.

In fact, I am really pleased how all these little somethings turned out. They are the perfect size for these kind of occasions and can be really personalized.

In fact I made a few other hairbands, both for girls and women.

I will definitely continue to experiment with hairbands, so far I did a few narrow cotton ones with a bit of lace to make them more interesting, a very simple red one with a knot and a similar but more girly one with a proper bow (I will try a flower version too), a few wide cotton ones with lace and a woolen one that should cover the ears as well. I guess that one could actually be even wider.

The other thing that keeps me busy knitwise these days is the fact that I will be giving knitting lessons for beginners starting from September. I am currently preparing samples and hand-outs. My students will be people who use the services of the Children Centers in the Borough, so I guess mainly mothers of young children like me.

Hairbands and little bags for their children will actually be the perfect projects for them. But I am still thinking of something a bit more suitable for little boys…. they all like bags but it would be nice to have something more boyish too. So any ideas of very simple and quick knits for littleĀ  boys are welcome.