Friday, 28 March 2014

Again Pyjama trousers

This week I made two more pyjama trousers for me. I ordered some jersey fabrics to try out different qualities and thicknesses. I used the pattern that I made for the first pair of trousers (look) and tried it out with a heavy interlock jersey in a very nice gray-blue, as I wanted to have a pant for hanging around on cold evenings on the sofa. 
What should I say: I doesn't fit correctly! When I wear it, it forms a flap above the crotch (is that a good word to use? I found it in the dictionary, but I am not sure it is a "clean" word) and is sags. Directly all the old thoughts about sewing clothes were back: "doesn't work out as I want it", "no fun", "lot of work for doubtful results", .... 
And no, I won't show you a photo of the trousers! I will rip of the waistband and ad a new one from more stretchable jersey. Maybe the flap goes away, if the trouser stays on my hips.
After that I need a break of a day and then I tried again with a much lighter fabric. And have a look, it worked quite well:
I know the photos are not good, but I am in a great hurry, as I have to pack for a journey and prepare lots of things for my family who stays at home. Yeah, after 7 and 1/2 years, I left for the first time all alone! It doesn't feel right, but I will probably enjoy it anyway. It is only six days and after me and my beloveds will have a week of vacation together. This means, it will be quiet here for two weeks, except that I might find the time to prepare a post with some photos of the present I made for my moms birthday
Hope you will visit my blog again in middle of April!

A bientôt,

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Spring houses

I redecorated my living room houses. I am not completely satisfied, but I will leave soon for two weeks and then Easter is coming, so the style might be okay for Easter season. Have a look:
I already have those felt chicken for a long time. The post-card has been made in water color by a former college of mine. It has been me who painted the egg, also at least 10 years ago.
The next house didn't change a lot since winter decoration. I only glued green paper leaves to the twig and added a little garland with fabric pennons. 
When trying making nests out of twigs (see here), I made also some little crowns that didn't turn into nests. One of them is now inhabited by the last felt chicken and the left overs of a broken, hand painted by me :-(, eggshell. I let it drop while handling with the decoration of that house.
The next house has a nest on the roof, where is a fabric bird in, that I made a few years ago following this tutorial. Inside the house is for now just a little flower vase and an allover painted egg-shaped stone.
And in the last house there are some origami-tulips I made with my kids, together with the second half of the fabric garland from house two and an other little twig crown.
I just see that the photos are not the best quality, but we had very little sunshine the last three days and flash-light photos are not nice either.

And now I got finally a delivery of jersey fabrics and need to make some more pyjama pants ...

A bientôt,

Saturday, 22 March 2014

mending jeans

There is so little to show here in the moment. One half of what I am doing is kind of secret (it's the birthday-present for my mom - you will see it in April) and the spring decoration is very incomplete. And then of course I am doing boring things, normally not worth showing. 
Yesterday for example I repaired 5 trousers! Mending jeans I can do all the time, but normally I am waiting until it is really necessary: then there is a pile waiting and the drawers of my kids are empty. 
As I know quite a lot moms with the same problem, I will show you a bit, how I am solving this problem.

Iron on patches are not holding very well or they are very expensive and often they are not pretty. So I recycle the good parts of old trousers for patches. Then you can be as creative as you like to plug the holes. 
This is a pair of my jeans that I decorated with a bunch of flowers from jeans scraps in different colors. Most of the patches are deco, to distract from the necessary ones on the knees:
Sometimes it is possible to stay discrete with the patches. I am often replacing the whole knee area. 
In this case the patches are visible, but as they are on both sides it looks like it should be like that. The patch on the photo below is nearly not visible, it could be a part of the jeans style. There has been some red seams on the rest of the jeans anyway and I made some visible red seams on the patch as well to match. 
I like the style of cargo-trousers with all this pockets everywhere on the legs. You can re-use old jeans pockets and put them over the holes, no matter where they are. The best it is looking if they are a little out of the middle and over the side seam, but even over the knees it's not looking like an ordinary patch.
If it is not possible to cover the hole nicely, I like to make the patch a point of interest. This is my masterpiece:
The town was growing slowly. I started with the two high towers and the dark blue house on the right knee. Then a new hole afforded the house on the left knee and later I had to add the house with the green roof to the right knee. This are only the holes my elder son made, the trouser is now waiting for the younger one. I wonder what I have to add then ...
As I am mostly repairing boys trousers I can only go for flower patches at my garden jeans. I already applicated cars, blood drops, exclamation points, interrogation marks, stars, circles and crosses:
Most of the problems are caused by the position of the patches. In 90% the knees are broken and it is no fun at all, to squeeze a trouser leg under the machine food, having very little space to maneuver. Very often I am sewing the front and the back of the leg together and have to rip everything up again. Or the patch is moving, pleading and crumpling, even if you fix them with needles that are picking constantly in your fingers while moving the fabric under the machine. For those problems I am having two solutions:
  1. Glue the patch with fabric glue in place, let it dry and then you can sew around. You can also let the patch without seam, but from my experience even the permanent glue is coming off after a while, especially on highly charged parts like the knee. Also the jeans is fraying out and that is not in all cases wanted.
  2. I am opening the outer seam on a length of about 20cm. The most trousers have one leg seam that is covered with two parallel visible seams and one "normal" seam. Open the normal one, because that one you can close later from the inside with whatever threat you have and from the outside no one will see it. With the seam open you have nearly a flat surface to sew on easily. It takes a while to pick up the seam, but fixing the patch is much quicker and stress less.
Still mending is not a preferred task of mine, but it feels good to finish a pile of work in one afternoon. It's like making your tax-declaration. You are pushing it aside a long time, but when you are finally out of excuses and attack it, you feel very satisfied after.

ahh ... I forgot the easiest, easiest way: Make a short out of the trouser :-)
A bientôt,

Tuesday, 18 March 2014

nesting birds

I made an other nest and squeezed it between the branches I have in a vase to see the green coming. And today actually a couple of birds arrived and put eggs in it! Two other birds are looking a bit grumpy. Probably they are jealous of the nice nest the two earlier ones found.
(The instructions for the birds I found here)

A bientôt,

Monday, 17 March 2014

First Aid pack

The last two weeks I did no sewing, except from repairing two children jeans. This is highly unusual! But today, as the school holidays are over, I rushed back to my machine directly after the kids entered the school door.
Last year I made a case for my first-aid stuff, that I thought was clever and tidy. 
It isn't! Each time I open it, something falls out of the little pockets. With this very nice weather the need returned of taking a first-aid-kit to all our trips in the forest or elsewhere. So today I made a very simple little bag, with a zipper only on the top and two inside pockets for separating a little the content. I liked the color combination of the old one, so I took the same fabrics again. It measures about 15x15x4cm, and everything fits in. 

Easy job and I finished it before I had to cook lunch. Good restart!

Otherwise I am still carving stamps!

A bientôt,

Thursday, 13 March 2014

Stamping II

This week I carved my first stamps in rubber. I finally found a set of linoleum cutters (did I already mentioned, that I am living in a crafting-material-dessert?) and started directly on some eraser gums (available in every supermarket).
The first one is the clover (2x2cm) and then I made the chicken (1,5x1,5cm). So much fun! But I guess I need an even more smaller cutter for the insides. 
I used the stamps to decorate a post-it-block. On every page a little picture makes a normal post-it much more fun. Incredible what for storys you can make with just two chicken, they are so funny. Sometimes I added some words too. Have a look at some of the pages...
I will make some more stamps (maybe a rabbit or a butterfly) and produce an Easter collection of note pads.

A bientôt,

Monday, 10 March 2014

building nests

With this absolutely gorgeous weather outside and the kids home for winter (20°degrees outside) vacation, I can't and don't want to stay inside. The garden is calling and we enjoy so much the sunshine and having the first meals outside.
A very small deco project I did anyway. I collected all the little twigs, that have been blown to our garden during the winter storms from our neighbors birch tree and tried to make little nests from it. Not so easy. I don't know how birds are doing it without 10 fingers to hold all the little pieces from snapping back.
I did one really good one that is for now housing my painted pebbles.
A bientôt,

Thursday, 6 March 2014

Happy parrots

At the last flea-market I have been, I bought this glass full of parrots for 1,50€. The poor ones were not looking happily! 
Who is treating a little bird like this: poking a toothpick into its belly to stick it on a sandwich? 
After a little operation by Dr.Jane they now have little feet and the whole gang is sitting on some branches in my room, chatting with each other and waiting for the spring to come.

Who knows how many there are? 
The first one who counts (or guesses) correctly and leaves a comment with the number, will get 10 of them to give them a new home!
1, 2, 3, ..... many!

A bientôt,

Tuesday, 4 March 2014


This weekend I found a blog that fascinated me immediately! Geninne Zlatkis - have a look at it! I really like the style of her work. The birds have been somewhat familiar to me, I might have seen them somewhere before ... 
Anyway, I have been reading in her blog for an hour saturday night and had to go out with a pocket lamp to find some pebbles in our front yard to paint on. Not at all like Geninne's, but fun. I need to find darker stones or a more contrasting pen. While having already the white pen out, I used a scrap of black photo carton to make a little bookmark, with all the flower motifs I am using when making doodles - I love floral motifs!
A bientôt,