Der erste selbstgestrickte Pulli – endlich!

von Anna
Erinnert ihr euch an die Three things on sunday von letztem Jahr? Ich habe eine Bluse geändert, ein Kleid in einem wunderschönen Missoniartigen Stoff genäht (und schon zweimal getragen nur noch nicht gebloggt) und einen Pullover gestrickt. Heute ist es soweit: der Pulli ist fertig! Aber in echter Anna-Manier ist dabei natürlich einiges anders gekommen als geplant…

Zur Auffrischung: Ich habe einen alten, ziemlich langen Zara-Pullover mit einem sehr weiten Halsausschnitt (ok, einem ausgewachsenen Dekolleté) aufgeribbelt um daraus diesen Pullover zu stricken. Das Muster ist ein einfaches Anfängermodell, das überhaupt keine Probleme machte. Bis zum Halsausschnitt. Der ist zu eng und ich kann den Pulli nicht anziehen, obwohl er sonst komplett passen müsste, wenn er auch eng ist. Bislang kriege ich nur meine Arme hinein…
halsausschnitt pullover
Was ist passiert? Seitdem Sam bei mir wohnt ist es etwas turbulenter geworden, statt der Krauleinlagen gibt es zusätzliche Waschmaschineneinsätze, denn der junge Herr ist weniger als Hauskatze geeignet, als das Tierheim mich glauben ließ. So hab ich dann einen Karton mit den Ärmeln des alten Zara-Pullover ausgelegt als zusätzliches Körbchen für den Kater, als ich gemerkt habe, dass ich doch neue Ärmel stricken muss. Schlechte Idee. Er hat es als Klo benutzt. Ich konnte nicht einmal mehr die Wolle nutzen. Was tun? Wollmeise Sockenwolle doppeln und für den restlichen Ärmel und den Halsauschnitt verstricken. Das klappte soweit gut bis ich zum Hals kam. Der ist jetzt zu eng.

Fazit: Strickmuster top, Durchführung spaßig, Resultat suboptimal. Bis zum nächsten Winter werde ich das mit dem Hals dann aber auch geregelt haben…

Schönen Sonntag!

closet, Studio

Turnbeutel crazy

by Anna
turnbeutel selbstmachen
A couple of weeks ago, two friends and I went to the Netherlands to visit friends of us. While I did not take a single picture (my phone battery died and I could not be bothered to take the big camera), some pretty interesting things happened. First, we welcomed a hitchhiker on board: Roar, Danish, like the Katy Perry Song. Then we did what I absolutely did not want to do, we spent Saturday at the designer’s outlet. No need to say it was super crowded. Sunday was wonderfully relaxed. And I finally noticed my friend Hülyas turnbeutel. So fun, so easy to wear and so simple to make!
turnbeutel drawstring bag
I think, she preferred to call hers a sportbeutel, but this kind of drawstring bag just makes me think of elementary school physical education class. When it always was a turnbeutel for me. Anyhow, this one’s too cute for smelly shoes, so today I am carrying my purse, sunglasses and tissues in my new bag.
drawstring bag diy
There are lots of tutorials on the internet for this kind of backpack, but alas I decided to go my own way. I will be sharing what I learned when I started just making it without a big plan. There are some minor changes I would make for the next one, yet I am happy I took the most important step: The first step. Sometimes starting is the hardest, no?

How would you call a bag like this? Happy weekend! ~Anna~

Living room, Studio

Birch disk candlestick DIY

by Anna
rustic candle holders
I was the happiest girl in the world when my dad got a cut down birch tree to use as firewood. Birch trees are hardly ever taken down (in our area?) and I so love the look of the white bark. There was no question that I would incorporate them in a DIY and I instantly knew how. Candleholders they would become. Slices of birch as rustic prickets. Rustic and rough and yet somewhat elegant via thin long candles. A dream! A dream turned reality.
modewaerts table set up
Supplies birch logs (one thin, one medium), saw, drill, thin candles, regular candles
outdoor candle scene
The actual making of these candlesticks is very straight-forward. Get yourself someone to help. If that someone happens to own an electric saw, it’s a plus. Pick the pieces of birch that you want to use and with a saw cut them in disks. One person should hold the log on a device that holds it tightly, the other person cuts. My birch disks are about 3 to 4 centimeters (1 to 1 1/2 inches) thick.
three candles birch
Get the drill out and choose a drill bit that is a bit smaller than the diameter of your thin long candles. Decide on how you want the design to look. I particularly like the disk that is a little triangular. To compliment its form I chose to drill three holes for thin candles and on for a “regular” chandelier candle. Drill the holes about half an inch or one centimeter deep, think length of a trimmed fingernail. I eyeballed which worked fine.
birkenholz scheibe kerzenständer
To make holes for the normal candles, drill three holes close to another using the drill bit you used for the thin candle holes. Using a hammer and a thin gouge, empty the holes of the leftover wood. You will have to sort of cut the wood with gouge and hammer and then scrape it out. Be sure to work a roundish shape.
wood log candle holders
I love the rough surface of the birch disks, but I guess you could sand the surface if you really wanted to. Place the candles in the holes. Melting some wax and dripping it into the holes helps against wobbling. Light the candles and do not leave them unattendend. And that’s it: my first wood project. Pretty easy, huh? Enjoy!
birch single candle stick
By the way: I played forever with the photo set up, with a feeling like I was preparing a pretty little place for a date. Ha!

Balcony, Garden, Living room

My succulent nursery

by Anna
mini succulent nursery
I have had a particular succulent since my teenage years. It has moved with me at least three times. It grew, it outgrew its planter, it thrived. All this even though I did not have a green thumb. My thumb slowly got greener and yet my plant started to dry out, did not shed their dry parts and looked unhappy (and unlucky?). When I recently read this post I decided to take the succulent carefully apart.
succulent in glasses
My succulent had a big bulk of roots. So even though I ended up with the itsy bitsiest succulent parts, most of them still had a root. I planted them in tea tins, jars, mini liqueur glasses and when I run out of planters I stuck the tiniest bits into an egg carton.
succulents in tins
Last year Hetty propagated her jade plant aka friendship tree (gotta love that name) and gave me one of the healthy young offsrping. He has tripled in size since then. It’s him there in the teddy tin.
friendship plant in a tin
With my plant I also plan on giving its babies away, they are hard to kill so they can travel and make good hostess gifts. Not that I am saying my friends most people would kill any plants…
macramee hanging planter succulent spider plant
I made tiny hanging macrame planters inspired by this tutorial on Vintage Revivals and repurposed some hanging (or bottle top) tealight holders as planters. They get so much more attention now and show off really well the pretty spider plants (I much prefer the German term Grünlilie) that Hettys parents gave me. Those are beginners plants and I must say: they are thriving!
hanging planters spider plants
The succulent I took apart was bought at Ikea. I have two other plants from them, both evergreens, both alive, both happy. What are your experiences with Ikea plants?

Artwork in the last picture by Emmanuelle Brett

Lounge, Studio

Wanderlust album scrapbooking

made by Hetty, written by Anna
wanderlust album
Some people get pangs of wanderlust every now and then. I AM a pang of wanderlust. Constantly. I am dreaming of all the cities that I want to visit, all the countries I want to explore and all the cultures I want to get to know. So many adventures, so little time!
scrapbook wanderlust
My favorite way to travel is to actually live and work in a place for a longer period of time and explore its nearer and further surroundings in my own time. This really makes me feel the vibe of the place where I am staying. And – while mingling with the people – also get to know a bit of its culture.
birthday album
This is how both Hetty and I explored France and also how we met: We each lived with a French family soaking up the savoir vivre, discovering near and far on field trips and our amazing road trip along Côte d’Azur
black white photos washi tape album
Also the people I met this way are especially dear to me. In a short time so many unforgettable memories are made, which just keeps me close to the people I shared them with wherever we are. I like to kid and say: “If I ever had to leave the country, there would be sooo many places to go to and people to stay with.” And it’s true! Isn’t that the best thing in the world?
wanderlust travel
Now Hetty made me the most precious thing: an album to soothe (or spark?) my wanderlust!

*wanderlust: a great desire to travel the world… Are you feeling it too? ~Anna~

closet, Studio

Customizing jeans shorts with lace

by Anna
lace trimmed shorts
The thing from my tag line that I post least about is customizing fashion. Gotta work on that today with todays post which is also number 300 on this site, yay!

I love to customize and these shorts are a project that is particularly dear to me. I think I must have owned these jeans for about ten years. I wore them as long pants until they got all ripped, then cut them off and wore them as just plain cut-off shorts. For a couple of years again. Then I found the cutest little triangle pattern lace ribbon – reminds me of picot edges – at the fabric market around this time last year and started to trim the legs. Well, I misjudged the amount of lace it would take to go around (I know, there are measuring tapes in this world but I wasn’t planning on this). Half a year later on the next fabric market in my area I got the lace…
diy lace jeans shorts
With spring having sprung I finally proudly present: the lace trimmed shorts! They had been spruced up before – see those sparkly embellishments? For the longest time I wore them rather punk despite the glitter heart: a safety pin worked as a button. Since they do not really need to have a zipper and button (they are a bit big anyway), I put on a little folded lace trim as a permanent closure. Pretty punk, as well…
customized jeans shorts
So lace ribbon all around the legs, and on each pocket it was. For the legs I simply pinned the lace underneath the fabric starting at the inner leg seam and stitched all the way around on top of the pants. For the pockets I stuffed as much of the ribbon underneath the pocket fabric while I cut into the fabric part of the ribbon and folded it under lace at the sides. I stitched over the pocket – I do not use those either – and it was done. This is a fast, cute and easy way to spruce up some shorts. Also, there is the hipster called lace involved…

Considering these were my around the house shorts, I think I will get a lot of wear out of these in the great outdoors this coming summer. What do you think?

closet, Studio

My first peplum top

by Anna
floral peplum top
Can you believe we are already through the first quarter of 2014? Now I really, really want warmer temperatures! And it looks like we will get them in my part of the world: Yay, for spring!

The sunshine inspired me to give peplum top making a try. It is the first top of that kind that I own, is that strange? It is because I love this look, it’s feminine without being too girly but still has a sassy edge. It looks dressed and grown-up and fun all in one. There is not much more that I need from a garment.
gathered strap detail peplum top
Oh, wait. Comfort is a big plus. Having somewhat followed this tutorial below my top could not turn out as comfy as the knit version. My cotton (blend) does not contain any elasticity so it is a little on the tight side. Which will help me improve my posture, right?

Besides not choosing a knit, I omitted the sleeves and instead gathered the shoulder part. Tiny detail, big effect, do you agree?

Even though I have not really worn it yet, I love this little top already. It was so easy to see – just doing the shoulder seams, one side, putting in the zipper, adding the peplum and hemming everything with selffabric – just like making a quick (and cute) dress. Taking the pattern from a T-Shirt was easy peasy, so that anyone, even without practice – can do it.
blumentop mit schößchen
Altogether this did not even take two hours to make. It actually took longest to get my eyes off of the splendor of Downton Abbey and onto the fabric. Which, by the way, is from my stash, bought at last years spring tour of the dutch fabric market.

I bet I am not the only dressmaker that has ever chosen a zipper that was only a close match not a perfect one. But why waste those long, invisible zippers when the a short, regular one will do the trick?
birds eye view peplum top
The mannequin is slimmer than myself, so the pemplum sticks out more, when I wear it. Possibly you will get to see that, too…

Overall a fun and quick little top. Easily dressed down with dark blue skinny jeans (or simple denim shorts) and dressed up with a black pencil skirt. Any suggestions how to go really quirky with it? I am thinking a pattern clash like in Hettys third outfit in our 3 ways to wear it…