Bye 2016…

Allgemein, feminism, inspiration

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.

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creative chaos

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dyke march Berlin, 2016

DIY Period Panties: The Review

Allgemein, feminism, sewing

A nice commenter reminded me the other day, that I promised a review of my homemade period panties, so here it is!

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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.

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underpants with cotton batting layer, inside out

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.

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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.

Charcoal Flaum Cardigan: A Late Christmas Present

Allgemein, knitting

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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.

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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).

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modeled by me as mothers tend to be camera-shy…

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I am just not so good with the timer…

I will probably make one for myself at some point!

Project summary:

Pattern: Flaum by Justyna Lorkowska 6,50€
Wool: Drops Puna, 22 skeins (on sale for 2,20€!) 48,40€

Total: 55€

Marbled Cline Sweater

Allgemein, knitting

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.

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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!

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A Quilting Experiment

Allgemein, sewing
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first quilted blanket!

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.

Here are some photos of the process:

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me, pinning the improvised quilt top to the wool

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Eve, preparing the whole thing for quilting. I can just recommend using masking tape as an orientation!

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quilting in process…

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adding bias tape with the help of metal clips

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view from the back

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Turia Dungarees

Allgemein, sewing

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!

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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.

Another Fuzzy Cardigan

Allgemein, knitting

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.

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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…

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You can see the age of the photos in how short my hair is! And the Budapest apartment in the background…

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Project summary:

Pattern: improvised
Yarn: 5 skeins of Wolle Rödel Baby Alpaka, 5 skeins of Wolle Rödel Kid Mohair
44€
Buttons: 6€
Needles: 8€

Total: 58€

 

DIY Christmas Wish List: Butchcraft

Allgemein, feminism, sewing

This year I have two books on my wish list for christmas and they seem to follow a topic: Butchcraft. They feature practical outdoorsy projects, lots of (handmade!) tools and beautiful photographs. They are a nice surprise in a sector that is mostly considered feminine, and a great addition to The Manly Art of Knitting. There are many exciting patterns out there with an androgynous, menswear-inspired or outdoor feel, like the new Kelly Anorak pattern, the Cooper Backpack or the classic Archer Button Up. It is nice to have some more butch patterns in book form now!

Here we go!

Molla Mills: Crochetterie – Cool Contemporary Crochet for the Creatively-Minded

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Molla Mills, the reigning queen of crochet, has outdone herself again in her latest book. Her designs feature lots of typography, geometric patterns and great colors. What I am very excited about is, that Crochetterie features the instructions on how to carve your own crochet hook! This is right up my ally – making literally everything, even the tool you use! She also writes about how to stretch your hands and body after crocheting, a great addition for this risk group for carpal-tunnel syndrome… I cross my fingers that this book will make it under the tree this year, maybe I will be able to show you some crochet projects in 2017 (I think the last crochet project I finished was a yellow mouse in primary school…)!

Anton Sandqvist: Heavy Duty Sewing

heavy-duty_sewing

One of the founders of the Swedish backpack company Sandqvist seems to be a passionate maker, as a side project he has published a book on how to make functional and beautiful accessories yourself and sells the fabric you will need in a small online shop. The style is similar to the ready-made bags and backpacks they sell, colorful, with leather details and a simple, timeless design. Sadly this book exists only in Swedish so far, but I have asked, and apparently an English publisher is interested in translating it. But to be honest, the book looks so great, I would be totally ready to google translate my way through it (and focus on the photos…)! If non-Japanese people are buying Japanese knitting patterns, then Swedish should be doable, no?

 

Maybe you are inspired to gift one of these to yourself or your favorite crafty butch?! I am just ignoring, by the way, that Molla Mills‘ book is dedicated to the crafty men in her life and doing a queer reading of Sandqvist’s work. Admit it, both books have a very dykey feel to it 😉 I am very convinced the outdoors, practical crafts and crafty adventures are not just for guys and women in general are very underrepresented in this field, just like the creators of Misadventures Magazine (another great gift idea by the way!). I get, that it’s interesting for (small) creative businesses to open up and directly speak to another demographic, but wouldn’t it be even greater to smash these stereotypes?

Anyway, for now I will keep my fingers crossed that both books will find their way in my christmas present corner, so I can hopefully present you some good Butchcraft in the new year! Maybe I will collect my thoughts on arts, crafts and gender for another time…

 

A Cherry Fuzzy 80s Sweater

Allgemein, knitting, vintage

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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…

How to Make Longer Jeans Pockets

Allgemein, feminism, how to..., recycling, sewing

We all probably know these nice women’s jeans, well fitting, nice color… But then the usual disappointment: A move with the hands to the pockets – they’re tiny (or even worse: fake)! So tiny that your hands don’t even fit as fist, not even considering keys, phone or a wallet.

So I have these jeans, and the pockets don’t even fit the first half of my fingers. To make them more wearable I decided to give them an easy and invisible makeover (This also works for pockets that are ripped, have holes or a re worn out!):

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This is how far my hand enters! Ridiculous!

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Tiny pockets from the inside.

Step 1

Cut off the bottom seam of your pocket in a straight line, the pocket is now open.

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Cut along the bottom of the pocket.

Step 2

Chose a nice non-stretchy fabric you have leftover from another project, you don’t need much. Measure the width of the pocket opening, and how much length you want to add to your pockets. You can do this by measuring your hands, your phone or the pockets of another pair of jeans that are big enough.

Step 3

Cut your new pocket rectangles from the fabric (add seam allowances!) and start by sewing the rectangles to the bottom of the original pockets. It doesn’t have to be especially beautiful, you won’t see the pockets from the outside of your pants.

Step 4

Close the side and bottom seams of your new pocket and finish the edges as desired.

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New pockets!

Step 5

Try on and enjoy! Bury your hands in your new pockets! Stuff everything you need inside! No more annoying handbags at parties!

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This is how far my hand fits now! Success!