The year is over, it’s the time to look back but also forward, to pause and to think a bit. 2016 has been a crazy year, being in Budapest, arriving back in Berlin, starting my first „real“ job, searching for a flat, not finding one but another room in a shared flat instead, unraveling a home and arriving in a new one, losing friends over it but also meeting new ones. I have been to great places, Vienna, Ile d’Oleron, Estonia, hiking in the Harz mountains… I made many things that I also wrote about here! I started thinking about this blog about this time a year ago and I am quite proud that I kept doing it, more or less regularly. I am happy to have a little record of what I have been making. I would have never really thought anyone besides my girlfriend and maybe some close friends would read this and be interested! And then actually more than 1000 people read my post about the DIY period panties so far. 1000! That’s a lot!
There is a lot to write about 2016, and many people will do it better than me. I just want to close with some photos of one of my favorite moments of this past year. It included making t-shirts and banners with friends, dyke march, sunny weather, being creative together, community and amazing women.
All together, the panties are holding up nicely after about six months of use. With the special mission of testing them and writing about it, I paid extra attention when I wore them during my last periods. The lighter one I made, that just has an extra layer of jersey fabric lining the crotch is really nice to wear but – as expected – doesn’t hold up much blood. It is still way better than a normal underpants in my opinion, as it is still holding up some drops here and there.
The underpants that I lined with a layer of cotton quilt batting underwent and passed a more serious test: An entire morning went by with a cup that was not sitting right and therefore leaking quite a bit, and I wasn’t home or in reach of a toilet. When I arrived home after a few hours I had to change it immediately, but the underpants protected my jeans! Another plus: It really doesn’t feel wet or uncomfortable.
So my review is: I am quite convinced! There is still room for improvement though… I definitely need to make more period panties so I can wear them for a few days and I would like to experiment with layering materials. My version right now holds up for a day of minimal leaking or a few hours of leaking that would have caused a bloody drama otherwise.
Today I blocked the last handmade Christmas present of this year, a charcoal alpaca Flaum Cardigan for my mother. It’s the last project I will finish this year, and I am really glad I managed! This cardigan was the first top-down garment I made and it cost me some thinking… But at the end it is quite nice not having to close seams at all.
The pattern is really well thought through and easy to follow, and I did only some minor changes to it. I stopped doing short rows at the pockets to have a more straight hem and I started the decrease rows in the sleeves after the elbows to leave some extra room. The yarn I used is Drops Puna, a really nice charcoal grey natural alpaca wool. I held it double, which makes the cardigan really warm, but also a little bit heavy… The size is L, which fits quite nicely (my mom).
I will probably make one for myself at some point!
Pattern: Flaum by Justyna Lorkowska 6,50€
Wool: Drops Puna, 22 skeins (on sale for 2,20€!) 48,40€
Back in spring I made a quite successful experiment with yarn dyeing. In the second round, I made myself a grey/off-white ombré sweater set. I dyed the Garnstudio Nepal with Batik dye, which worked out super good. Strangely, the 100% natural fiber took the dye less good than my mixed sock wool… You can read all about my dyeing experiences in the post about it. Just one little remark, if you are planning to do something similar: I ended up having too little dyed yarn to finish my sweater, so I really recommend calculating your material large! Better having some yarn leftover for a little hat, then running out on the last few centimeters.
From my gradient sweater kit I made Julie Hoover’s Cline Sweater, which is a beautiful, slightly 80s style batwing sleeve sweater. I made the smallest size, and the only modification that I made is doubling the length of the neckband for a small turtleneck, as per request of the (future) owner of the sweater. This is my first handmade christmas present this year!
Just in time for winter my girlfriend and I had the crazy but genius idea to make blankets. I am not a very experienced quilter, so we started the whole project with a simple sketch on which we based the pattern. We cut the pieces without measuring much, just roughly according to our sketch, with the felted wool base as the size reference. Eve pieced the top together (very talented sewing beginner!) and I quilted the top and the felted wool together, and added the bias tape. A simple idea but less simple construction… The result is a super cozy blanket that will warm us in the next months and a well accomplished cooperation between the two of us.
The Turia Dungarees were part of my Summer Sewing Plans for 2016, that I totally failed to realize. So far the Turia Dungarees are the only part of my plans that I accomplished… I guess I am just not so good at planning and then sticking to my plans!
Sewing medium heavy denim for the first time was quite a challenge. Bulky seams, pocket placement, and installing hardware was quite a new thing to me. However, the general construction was simple enough and the instructions that come with the pattern are a bit minimalistic but still easy to follow. For a more fall appropriate piece I chose View A, but I will definitely make a summer version next year.
Early this year I finished a big and cozy royal blue mohair cardigan, but – same as my red 80s cardigan – I never came around to write about it. However, the season of cozy cardigans is back, so I decided to share this project on the blog after all.
I didn’t use a pattern for this cardigan, but used a simple improvised pattern, similar to the one I used for my alpaca bouclé cardigan. It was a super fast knit! I held two strands of royal blue mohair and one strand of navy blue alpaca together, I really like how this adds some depth to the color, and used 8mm circular needles. The wool is from Wolle Rödel.
It is probably the warmest cardigan I own! The only downside of knitting and wearing mohair is that you will find blue hairs everywhere…