I almost finished my Summer of Basics Outfit in time, my summer pants and cotton scarf were done on time, but somehow I didn’t quite manage to finish my silk shirt until shortly before christmas. Now that my outfit is done, however, I am even more happy about it! The whole discussion around the Summer of Basics shifted my way of thinking about my new projects. Of course, still a lot of my projects are started for fun, but I am also thinking more and more about filling holes in my wardrobe and prioritizing projects that I need right now (for example a warm cardigan for the rest of winter).
I found this sweater some years ago at my parent’s place, when my mother was sorting through clothes to donate or throw away. It’s a nice and simple wool sweater that nobody except moths were ever interested in: It had some bad holes in the shoulder area.
The second part of my Summer of Basics outfit is done! My goal is to create an entire outfit, and now only the third and last part is missing. I am quite sure, I will manage to get the outfit done by the end of the month. My black silk shirt is cut and ready to assemble. So here is my second piece, my summer scarf! I wrote down the pattern, you can find it below or on Ravelry.
As already said in my plan for Summer of Basics, I am challenging myself to make an entire outfit. The first part is already done and ready to present! The cotton scarf is almost done, and the third piece (a refashioned blouse) is waiting to be made, but other projects came between. Now that I am D.O.N.E. with my master thesis, I feel my creative energy coming back and I plan on using this to significantly reduce my stash this summer.
But now to the pants! I used a vintage Burda pattern from a magazine from the 80s.
I am starting the Summer of Basics make-along late, but I am ready and challenging myself to make an outfit entirely out of materials that I already own. Not buying new fabrics is hard, especially with the new Atelier Brunette collection around, but I have so much fabric stashed that needs to be used. I will also finally do things that sit in my making queue for too long, so I hope this will be a success all over! Creating an entire outfit is quite the challenge for me, as I usually just make single garments without really planning a wardrobe or matching items together. I always figure, if I like it, it will fit my style… However, this time it will be different!
My plan is to make:
Summer pants with deep pockets from an 80s Burda magazine from a beautiful blue cotton fabric
A black silk shirt, for which I will recycle an old skirt from my mother with beautiful pearl buttons
A summer scarf from rust colored cotton yarn in a cross stich pattern
I already started the scarf and the pants, so I am quite confident I will finish my Summer of Basics-Outfit in time!
This weekend I got into a serious patchwork frenzy. I recently organized my fabric stash and leftovers, and this made me want to play with all these tiny pieces that are useless on their own, but that I couldn’t bare to throw away. I started out with some little patchwork pieces that later became little drawstring bags, and then went on to make a bigger piece for a pillow case. I made use of even the tiniest piece of fabric! I also used up some leftover sleeves from vintage shirts, and it is incredible how much fabric comes out of a shirt sleeve when you cut it open! Cutting and arranging the pieces, sewing everything together was a lot of fun and actually felt more like a creative practice than anything else I have made in the last months. Maybe that’s why I can’t stop!
While doing that I binge-listened to all the Have Company Podcasts, instead of watching/listening to random TV-shows as I usually do. In the podcast episodes Marlee of Have Company interviews resident artists and friends about their art, practices, how it is to be a small business owner and other things. It’s great! At the end she always asks people what they are excited about and I just wanted to write what I am excited about at the moment: A few days ago I received a little package from Little Red Tarot, including the Herbal Homestead Journal, a queer Tarot book called She Is Sitting in the Night and the beautiful Moon Angel Cards by Rebekah Erev. I am so excited about all these little things! The Herbal Homestead Journal includes simple and accessible ways of working with plants for every month and I am already looking forward of going back to this book over the course of this year.
The first card that I drew from the Moon Angel Cards is Nr. 5 Go!
I am also excited about this Coldcream from Weleda that I bought because I have these red dry spots in my face from the cold and it smells so good (and helps)!
I also made two patchwork t-shirts in my Patchwork Weekend, and reused some shirt sleeves, random leftovers from other projects and small pieces of fabric from my collection. I was inspired by this woven Geodesic Top and these Wabi Sabi tees, and again, just piecing the squares together was so satisfying. I cut 30×30 cm squares from the fabric, pieced it together and then cut out the neckline, easy! I will probably make more for summer (that will come at some point… we just have to stay optimistic).
I started making this improvised cropped sweater last April, and it was supposed to be done for last summer… I stopped at some point when I realized I wouldn’t finish it in time for summer, and there it sat in my unfinished projects box until I finished it last week! Also, I have to admit that even though I really like the linen/cotton mix, I didn’t really enjoy knitting with it as it is a bit hard on the needles and to the touch.
I initially wanted to a cabled pattern, but in the end I decided to stick to plain stockinette, as it brings out the lovely texture of the yarn beautifully. I am wearing it on the photo with a quickly refashioned linen shirt that I picked up at my parents on Christmas. It has these great side pockets but had huge sleeves that I just cut off. Bam, new shirt! Maybe this will be my next favorite summer outfit!
Last weekend I was so lucky as to spend a few days in Paris with my girlfriend and besides enjoying the time together and stuffing us with viennois chocolat and brioche I got the chance to dive in the magical world of Paris fabric shops and find some new treasures and supplies.
The first stop was La Bien Aimée, a tiny wool shop that sells hand-dyed yarn and an exquisite choice of magazines. I couldn’t resist buying the Stitching Up Paris guidebook of sewing and knitting stores in Paris, it’s a really great and updated overview and very tempting.
I got a flashy blue Field Bag at La Bien Aimée! I currently hosts my almost finished No Frills Sweater. I found some beautiful leather pieces at Sacrés Coupons, some lingerie elastic at Tissus Reine and fabric at Dreyfuss. I can’t wait to sew some mini pouches and finally make a Watson Bra. The shops are all in Montmartre, it’s really nice! You can’t miss anything…
And last but not least… The feminist bookshop! I went to the queer feminist bookshop ChickLit in Vienna and since then I am constantly on the hunt for more of these amazing places. Berlin doesn’t have a feminist or queer bookshop (shocking! I know! I should open one…), so every time I am in another city I try to find one. Violette and Co is a great little shop with an exhaustive french-international selection of books (no English books sadly…) on all things feminism. I got a great book on lesbian separatist communes in the US (so hard to find books on that in Germany!), two issues of revue WellWellWell, an excellent and entirely volunteer-run lesbian magazine and two issues of the Barbi(e)turix fanzine. On Saturday evening we went to the Wet For Me (organized by the Barbi(e)turix team), and that was hands-down the best lesbian party I have ever been to. What a successful weekend!
I already finished this cardigan early this year, but never came around to write about it (or attach buttons…). I love vintage knitting and sewing patterns and clearly have a soft spot for 80s fashion and this cardigan combines both. I found the pattern browsing in the Drops Garnstudio Pattern catalog, it is in one of the earliest collections from the late 80s. I highly recommend having a look at the patterns! They are all for free and available in many languages. There are some great 80s and Norwegian sweater designs…
Last summer I was so lucky as to travel with my Estonian friend Liis around her home island, Hiiumaa. Hiiumaa is the second largest island of Estonia and a beautiful place to visit. There is not much Tourism going on, and the general atmosphere is quiet and relaxed. Fishermen’s villages, Lighthouses, a Baltic German manor house and the yearly weekend of open cafés are the main attractions here. It is easy to visit in two days, and one of the most interesting (at least for knitters!) is the wool mill Hiiu Vill. The family run company is running since the late 19th century, and the original polish machines are still running.
The wool is from robust local sheep that are running everywhere on the island and the wool is not quite soft, but sturdy. Visitors can enter the mill and watch the process, there is a small shop where the wool and some sweaters and socks are sold. Sadly as we arrived in August, most of the hand knit sweaters and socks were already sold out to summer tourists. I bought socks and yarn to make some slippers, like the Simple House Slippers by Temple of Knit. I am happy to report, that this is the first clothing project where I will have seen the entire process, from the sheep to my feet!
Quite well fitting for Slow Fashion October and the topic for the fourth and last week: Known Origins. Most of the DIY blogs that I follow are from the US, and for this reason most of the locally produced yarn that I read about is from the US also, obviously. Even if I could afford these wonderful yarns that everyone seems to knit with, there is always shipping and taxes to add, and the whole idea of knitting your sweater with locally produced, low impact yarn is kind of lost. For this reason, I will try to round up a list of european yarn and fabric suppliers that I know of for later this week. But first: some more impressions from Hiiu Vill and Estonia!