Sewing


We had everything done on the 23rd of December, so I thought I’d pull out my leather pressure foot and needles to make some leather slippers for the kids. Here are Alida’s I made out of an old black skirt. I made the red hearts out of the leather Ohelene sent me. Thank you so much, Ohelene!!!
leather shoes

She was so amazingly generous to send me enough leather to make a mountain of slippers. Now I need to get to work on Alexander’s. Ohelene makes and sells her slippers, so go ahead and check them out.

The tension on my sewing machine has been giving me trouble since I bought it a year ago, which means I’ve been to the store where I bought it at least a dozen times since then. Last week when it started acting up again, the owner of the store told me to come in and sew which would enable him to see exactly what the machine was doing.
What do you think I did when I heard that? Without any further hesitation, I had Martin take the kids and I trotted, with my serger and supplies tucked safely in my bike trailer, down to my sewing store where I sat from 10 am to 4 pm and sewed. As you can imagine, I was in sewer-geek heaven. The owner of the store, and a woman who works there, were both around to help me and give me lots and lots of tips. I also learned a lot from just listening to how they dealt with customers and the tips they gave them. Does it get any better than that??
My machine acted just like a little kid-perfect in front of strangers. “Oh what an angel she is” and then when you get home they start throwing a huge tantrum. I went home with a very well-behaved machine, and I hope she keeps acting so well-behaved otherwise she’s getting another time-out!!
I’m planning on making some leather slippers after Christmas, so we’ll see how well my machine works with me on this.
These are the Baby Born clothes I finished while I was there. This doll has better clothes than I do!
dress
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I would like to show you one more fun little gadget I finally finished last night. This is a row counter which you can use when increasing rows. I got the idea from String or nothing and also found one at Knit Picks here. You start at the green end which means go, in my case the leaf. Then every two rows, or every knit row, it is moved to the next ring in the direction of red, which means stop, in my case the flower. Here is my version of the row counter.
chain
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I don’t really like how the flower turned out but it’s a good start. I’m trying to figure out what I could use other than a chain because the chain links don’t fit on my bigger needles and I would like to use these for everything I knit. Any ideas?? Of course, one of these went into my mom’s package this morning which was then sent off. It should get there in time for your birthday, mom!!
Mom, here are the ornaments the kids picked out this year. You see, every year we go to the Christmas Market with the kids and they each pick out their own ornament for the tree, I kind of guide them to the good ones, and then we write their name and date on them. When they are older and have families they can take their ornaments for their own trees. These are little wooden ornaments from Käthe Wohlfahrt and I love them. Last year my parents came to visit and I think my mom and I went to the Market every day at least once, which was so much fun! Next year my parents are coming again and we are going to do those markets again, you can count on it!
ornaments
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Alexander picked out the airplane and Alida the teddies on the sled.
Olive
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This is the book that Chris, my sister-in-law, sent in her package that we all just love. It is so funny!! Thank you again, Chris, for being so very thoughtful-thank you from all of us! Tomorrow we are making Santa pancakes.
I wish we could have been there for Conrad’s birthday party yesterday. I heard the sailboat cupcakes were soooo cute. Also in Conrad’s face. You need a blog, babe.

I apologize to all of you who have written comments in the last few days. I have not been able to find the time to answer right now, I’ve been quite busy, as you can imagine. Thank you all for writing!!!

Nina from Zig Zag and Purl knit my Cabled Fingerless and I love how they turned out. Go see for yourself here and here. She’s shortened them which meant she only used 50 grams of yarn. Now that’s a great thing. 50 grams won’t break anyone’s budget, so now get knitting, ladies. I’ve also started a page in my sidebar with pictures of finished gloves. If you have some finished, send a picture and I’ll post it!!
I’ve been busy sewing lately, so my knitting needles have been idle and aren’t too happy about it. Don’t worry, needles, I’m almost done and I’ll be back to knitting my secret sweater. I really want to wear it but Christmas is coming which means there are other things that need to be done first.
baby born clothesembroidery
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Here are the first of the Baby Born clothes I’ve made. These will be a present to Alida for Christmas. The bathrobe has BB, a tulip and KG (for Baby Born and my name) embroidered on it just like a hotel bathrobe would. I used a small towel I bought at IKEA for next to nothing to make the robe and some scraps from my favorite pink and red gingham. I think that’s why I love to make doll clothes, you can use very little fabric and create anything you want. The jeans are from an old pair of Martin’s with which I use to repair clothes. Of course the two pockets are on the back of the jeans. I’ve pretty much made up these patterns because it’s quite hard finding Baby Born patterns that I could use. I’ve got more to come.
I also made myself a new purse.
toile bag
This one is a bit bigger than my other Toile bag but I wanted to get one complete scene on one side. I had bought red canvas when I was in the States in the hopes that I could use the two fabrics together but they looked horrible, so I decided black was the best I could do. I also used stabilizer and lined the bag with an inside lipstick pocket. I even put a pull tab at the end of the zipper.

toile bag inside
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I love it and the color is perfect for this time of the year. I really miss the summer sun, it’s getting really hard to take pictures. Does anyone have any tips??

Don’t forget my Frappr, please.
Check out our Frappr!

Thanks to everyone who voted which book would be better to order. I’ve ordered Last Minute Knitted Gifts, we’ll see if it gets here by Christmas.

Sick update: Those mean bacteria have settled nicely in my lungs not allowing me to breath and leaving me to cough uncontrollably for literally hours at a time. I went to the doctor on Monday and he gave me a killer spray with quite a bit more asthma medicine as my normal spray and cortisone to get rid of those mean monsters that have taken up residency in my lungs.
It’s now Wednesday and I’m not coughing as much which translates to: I’ve started knitting and crafting again. It’s so strange, the whole time I was sick I couldn’t lift a needle to knit. I could only read, which is good because I’ve finished Harry Potter, The Da Vinci Code and almost done with Annie Modesitt’s Cheaper than Therapy, but also bad because my knitting and sewing has been neglected for over two weeks. We are talking serious withdrawal symptoms! I knew I was feeling better as soon as the urge hit me to start knitting and crafting again, and although I started two days ago, I haven’t much to show for it. My next post should have some goodies to show, I hope.
If anyone can tell me how to make a darn French knot, I would be most appreciative. For some reason every time I pull the thread through the fabric after twisting it on itself, it pulls right out and I’m left without any kind of knot, just a stitch. Hmmm
Speaking of embroidery and because I haven’t shown anything really crafty in the past month, I thought I’d post a picture of two dolls I made for Alida last year.
dolls
The girl in the blue dress is a free pattern from Dolly Hugs which is a really cute pattern. I made the dress myself but never got around to making the pattern for it. I wasn’t quite sure about embroidering the face, but I think she turned out really well. The second doll is from the book Kuschelpüppchen für die Kleinen which is in German but I’m sure you can get it in English, too.
One last thing: I’m trying to put together a list for Santa. Alexander recently asked me what I wanted for Christmas, and after saying I just got my new washing machine, which is essentially my present, he wasn’t too pleased with my answer. Now I’m writing my list and I need your help. I’d like a new knitting book but I don’t know which one to get. I can’t get my hands on any of the good English ones in any stores here, so I’m going through amazon.de. This is where you come in; could you please tell me which knitting book is your favorite of all times or if you could only buy one book, which would it be. Seeing that money is tight, I’m allowing myself only one book and I would love a really good one. Thanks for your help!!! While you’re at it could you sign my Frappr map, too? Check out our Frappr!

Update: I forgot to wish all you Americans a Happy Thanksgiving tomorrow!!! I bought our frozen turkey today so it can dethaw by Saturday. Obviously, it’s not a holiday here, so I have to wait until Saturday to cook and eat our Thanksgiving turkey. Have a great Thanksgiving!!!

Let me introduce a few people that have moved in for the night. It’s going to be a long one so get cosy and read on. First we have Mrs. Ingalls from The Little House on the Prairie. This was my favorite show when I was little; I remember watching it with my mother while she knit on the couch. When I moved to Germany 11 years ago and couldn’t speak a word of German I watched the reruns which were shown here. I knew every episode which enabled me to train my ear to get used to the language. I’m still trying to find the show on DVD so I can watch all the episodes one more time, well, maybe two or three.
LauraLaura back
Mrs Ingalls is quite shy and has been working in the fields all day only to come home and make bread and meatloaf. Here she’s wearing her good Sunday dress with her apron over it, she’s been cooking remember? Alexander took these pictures, do you believe it? He only took three pictures and this is what came out. I think he’s doing quite well with a camera. I can’t wait until they come out with the first Fisher Price digital camera. You know, one that can fall on the ground and keep on ticking. I’m buying it!
Dracula was also in attendance but was not impressed with the flash on my camera. He said the light was painful, I don’t know why.dracula
This was all that was left this morning when I woke at the crack of dawn.

Next we have the devil himself trying to ward off the beautiful princess Alida. The next minute he’s the kissing devil!
kidskissing devil
The devil was a dog in a former life so if you look closely you may see the tail still wagging in the back.
devilprincess and devil

There were no growling stomachs at our house last night. We had lots of goodies to go around. Just a warning some things are not for weak stomachs. First, just a bit to get you in the Halloween mood.
boo flagboo flag back
I made these flags with the intention of making a Happy Halloween banner, but after sewing my dress, the apron, Alida’s dress and Alexander’s cape and hat I decided embroidering boo on both sides was enough. I hung it in the doorway so you could see it from both sides.
pumpkinspider web
Just a bit of deco we made.
pumpkin cake
I always make my carrot cake with cream cheese frosting but this time I decided to try this pumpkin cake recipe I found at Thimble. Of course, I had cream cheese frosting which was supposed to be orange but came out a tad pink-yummy nonetheless.
spider pumpkin pie
This is your good old pumkin pie which they don’t have here so for Claudia it was a first and she thought it was delicious.
hot dog fingers
Ok, these aren’t real but they sure look it, don’t they?
graveyard
This was a spinach and sour cream dip with olive oil toast as gravestones.
ghost cake
Here we have an amazingly yummy nut cake Claudia brought with her.

We went trick or treating in our apartment building which has 8 apartments so it was just enough for us to get some good grub. For the past 4 years we’ve been trick or treating here in the building. The first few years I printed out the whole Halloween story so the neighbors knew what was going to happen and why. This year I just hung up a sign on the door warning them that we were on the attack.
It’s not really custom here to celebrate Halloween but for my good friends it is and they’ve come to enjoy learning and celebrating something different. Nine kids were invited of which only 4 actually came. You know how it is, moms it’s the cold season and you’re lucky to get 6 healthy kids together in one room at any one time. In this picture Buzz Lightyear wasn’t feeling photogenic, here we have the rest of the gang.
trick or treaters
After we came back Alida immediately sat down to check out the goods. Believe me she wasn’t dissapointed.
Alida eating candy
Eventhough it’s not tradition the Halloween spirit is slowly taking over Germany. When I moved here I couldn’t find a single set of false teeth now you can find pretty much everything you need with the exception of candy corn. Thanks to my sister Judy, I had a whole bowl full and my German friends liked it. Can you imagine a world without candy corn??
emily witch
Of course Emily, here she’s dressed up as a witch, helped out with the party but she wasn’t too keen on those spider webs hanging from the ceiling or the spiders crawling along them. Oh how I love Halloween.

I brought the Halloween box up from the basement and the kids have successfully taken everything out of it to decorate the hallway. Once they had covered the floor with bats and bugs they promptly began taking the costumes out to try on and wear today. This made me want to take pictures to show a few of the costumes I’ve made for years past.
Blue and pigblue and pig
These were the costumes Martin and I wore last year. He was Blue from Blue’s Clues and I was a pig (how fitting!). Of course we each wore sweat suits in the appropriate color and our faces were painted.
cow and Clifford
Here we have a cow and Clifford. As you can see the cow outfit doesn’t fit anymore but that was the only costume I didn’t make so it’s acceptable. I try to make things that will be able to be used for a while; the kids are really beginning to enjoy dressing up. We have several more costumes but at this point the kids are very content playing cow and Clifford, so maybe that’ll be another day. There is plenty of barking going on in the hallway.
Well, I’m off to find some grass for the cow and some dog food for Clifford. Do you think he’ll eat cat food seeing that this is a two-cat household and dog food is hard to come by?

Look what came yesterday!!!
pile o' leather
My awesome blog buddy Ohelene from Ohelene sewing sent me this amazing mountain of leather to start making some leather slippers for the kids. she even included elastic so I’m ready to make my first shoes. I was knocked off my socks by this. She is fabulous for doing it and I’m a bit choked up, I have to admit. Do you see those sweet Baby Born leather slippers she made as well? Please go visit her blog and see some of the fun stuff she’s been sewing up lately, I know you’ll love it. She even sells her shoes so go check them out. Thank you, Ohelene from Norway!!
Onto some fit sewknitters news. I’ve been reading that you girls have been not only moving those needles but your legs as well. Keep it up. Here is our current stand of fit bloggers:
Amanda from Gigi Bear is eating better, running, walking, doing the elliptical, and lifting weights.
Amy from Neglecting my Kids is walking and doing Pilates.
Anmiryam from Gromit Knits is jogging and lifting weights.
Jackie from My Escape from the Boys is ???
Jojo from The Crafty Sisters is running and lifting weights.
Linda from The Crafty Sisters is walking and lifting weights.
Nina from Zigzag and Purl is walking in the evening and doing Pilates.
oddrun fromOhelene sewing is walking.
Sarah from Stitch-n-Knit is running three times a week and tap dancing one night a week.
Teresa from Wild Geese cutting her sugar intake and not eating after 7 pm.
As for me I’ve been jogging every other morning at 6:00 and my legs are loving me for it. I feel great again and I was quite surprised to find that it hasn’t cut into my knitting or sewing time either. I thought I would be tired to do anything after putting the kids to bed, but I feel I have more energy now. I may blog a bit less but I’ve also been trying to get a lot done lately and haven’t had too much to blog about. I did spend Thursday night at the hospital because Alida and Alexander fell out of the stroller causing Alida to land on her chin which got scraped up pretty well. She also bit the inside of her lip which bled all down her shirt. Her chin puffed up and I was worried that she might have done more damage, but fortunately she was fine and she was laughing about it later. What a scare, I’m telling you being a mom really makes you hysterical.
My Halloween sewing has been put on hold the last two day because I finally decided to sell the millions of baby clothes that have taken up all the room in my drawers and on the shelves. This morning I went to a baby bazaar which is just a huge yard sale here and I managed to sell quite a considerable amount of stuff. Thanks soooo much to Christina who helped me out and made it a lot of fun. I do have to admit, it was sure a lot of work getting everything together, washing and sorting things, but it was worth it in the end and I’m going to sign up for next month and see if we can sell more. I’m trying to put all the money we make towards shelving for the kids’ room to organize the immense amount of toys we own. We’re getting pretty close to our goal.
I’m off to sew some more of our costumes and maybe get this other sock finished. I really want to sew a pair of leather shoes but they are going to have to wait until the rest of my sewing is done. One more week until Halloween and our party which I have to start planning.

I don’t have much to show right now because my knitting has been put on hold to make room for the sewing that’s been taking over my living room. An extra machine in there really does make a big difference space wise. I can’t show anything that I’ve been sewing because it’s all for Halloween and should be kept a secret until then. For now a small dark sneak preview, just to get your interest perked. Halloween
Remember this is Halloween, no bright cheery pictures… yet.
Until I have more to show, I thought I’d share some things I made in my pre-blog era. Gosh, it’s hard to believe there was a pre-blog era.
Last year at this time Alexander was totally enthralled with Clifford the Big Red dog and even dressed as him for Halloween. I’ll have to find those costume pieces and take pictures of them. The Great Kimberly Computer Crash of ’04 took all of the existing pictures with it. NO, back then Kim was not smart enough to make a back-up which she now does daily. What do they say, you learn from your mistakes? Dumb rule, why can’t it be you learn before you make the mistake?? Anyway, we had some Clifford fabric which I didn’t know what to do with, so one day it hit me that he needed a Clifford pyjama bag. Well, that’s what he got. I designed it myself for lack of a good pattern and he and I are so very happy with the result. The bag underneath Clifford has a big slit where he can slip in his pyjamas. The good thing is, he has the responsibility every morning to put his pyjamas in Clifford which is so good for him. I fish them out every other day to wash them but at least he’s done his part. Pretty useful is Clifford at our house. Click for big.
cliffordclifford
Back to sewing!

Up until now I have had a free web host and it’s been great. When I started my blog I wasn’t ready to spend money on a typepad account because I didn’t know if it would be worth it, so I went with a free host. Well, they’ve had so many people use them that they’ve had to start putting advertising on their sites, which includes mine. I really apologize and want you to know that I’m looking into my own domain, so I don’t have these disturbances. Please bear with me until I’ve figure this whole thing out. Just click those bad pop-up windows away, it shouldn’t take long and they’ll be out of here!!
Until then, let me show you what I’ve been doing this weekend. Just a hint of our Halloween goodies. More on this later.
Halloween
It’s a bad dark picture but then so is Halloween.

Do you believe it? After months of hiding under fat he’s finally coming out to show himself. My hip bone does exist and I can see him again, thanks to the 2 pounds I’ve lost in the past week and a half. There’s even one on the other side, too!! And this is not going to be all, I’m determined to get rid of all of that excess baggage. This will happen, at least I hope so. Jogging started officially this morning and after just 15 minutes I feel great. This week it’s going to stay at 15 minutes a jogging session and may go up to 20 next week, we’ll see how my legs are getting along with the strain. Oh it’s so refreshing to be back in action.
One more thing that showed his face yesterday is this little placemat bag I managed to get finished. It’s more of a summer bag, of course I’m always a season off, but I still like him.
bagzipper
I’m not at all happy with how the zipper gusset turned out but I wasn’t in a rip-out mood yesterday, so it stayed. Now I have to get in gear and work on some Halloween goodies.

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