Category Archives: everything else

This was 2013

Another year is already over. So, let’s have a look how it has been to me:

2013 surely has been one of the most exhausting years of my life, but it also changed a lot.
The first half of the year I wrote my MA-thesis, finished it in summer and finally got my degree in early autumn.

This was undoubtedly the most profund change in my life. As long as I can remember I have either been a pupil or a student, now I am done, I can work, I finished what I wanted to! Stunning, I am not sure if I already understood it completely.

And we moved, another major step this year. From our 2-room flat right under the roof into a spacious 4-room apartment. And though we have some issues with this flat as well, it is certainly an improvement and a good starting point to see, what to do next and how to structure our life for the forthcoming years.

Now, let’s talk about this blog. In the past 12 months I wrote 37 blogposts. 2013’s projects were my first steps in tatting, my fake-fur collar, a tablecloth-circleskirt, my 1946-handkerchief-bra,  the pencilskirt to match my polkadot-blouse, 1942-culottes, the corduroy-pinafore for my niece, my candycane-bow neck blouse and the Marlene Esser-shift dress.

Not much, but more than I guessed, I have the feeling I have done nothing this year, it flew so quickly.

So, what about the projects still lying around?

The Fall-for-Cotton-dress

Technically it is finished, but because I didn’t manage to complete the matching bolero, I want to wait until the whole ensemble is ready to be presented.
Left to do: Attach one last (!) ribbon to the bolero and gather the lower edge.

My 1940ies coat

The most recent picture, this was in march. Meanwhile it is completely assembled and lined. Unfortunately the fit is far from good and the sleeve-lining is too short.
Left to do: undo the seam on the sleeves’ hems, insert a line of bias-binding to gain at least some centimetres, hope that it will be enough; hem it; stitch the front-facing in place; attach buttons and press fasteners.

My Chiné-à-la-branche-dress

I attached it to the pink dress and handstitched the lining of the dress (it was visible on the neckline).  Unfortunately, a chemical cleaning wasn’t able to remove the stains from the skirt (but hopefully the smell from the dress), now it is hanging in my closet, but I still do not dare to wash it, fearing that the colours will bleed.
Left to do: wash, hope, maybe attach tulle to form a built-in petticoat (or simply wear a seperate one)

My English-Quilt

I am close to finishing the 3rd part out of five, but have to say that I wasn’t very ambitious to make a progress this year.
Left to do: well, assembling hexagons, and quilting in the far, far future.

The flowered-silk-dress

That’s really long ago. I bought this silk in march 2012 and promised to turn it into a dress. Left to do: Well, the pattern pieces for the lining are drawn onto the fabric, but not yet cut. Yes, that’s all 🙂

Other project not yet mentioned here:
There are still some other projects I am working on. One is a dress around 1800, made from a printed cotton fabric I bought in Lyon in 2012. As a pattern I am using an original one published in Janet Arnolds “Patterns of fashion 1”. I have come so far to construct a lining in a very stiff upholstery fabric, planning to subtitute the short stay worn under it with this. Still to be done has: completing this lining, meaning finishing the edges, adding a closure and some boning and then to cut and assemble the upper fabric.

And a cover for my mandolin, but I fear I will never finish it, so it doesn’t have to be discussed here in detail. 😉

At the moment I am experimenting with a pre-historical pattern, made from modern fabrics to test, how wearable it still is.

Mh, and there is this hilarious crocheted pullover, I am not sure I even want to complete.

Now, I won’t start to enlist all the ideas running in my mind that only wait to get started (oh, this would really put me under pressure^^)

Depending on how busy the next few days will be, maybe I will be writing another post before the year is over, but I really can’t tell.

So much for today, see you soon,



Merry Christmas

I wish you, your families, friends and beloved one, a very merry Christmas. I hope you have a wonderful time of joy, being together, visiting those who are dear to you, have something nice to eat and maybe something you wished for under the christmas tree.

Christmas card by Ilse Schütze

…It can be realized as a pen drawing on cardboard in black ink or sepia brown or subltly coloured: the sky cobaltblue, the fir tree green with a mixture of grey and yellow-ultramarine; the candles’ flames are yellow, the faces and hands a pale flesh colour and the hair is painted blond with a light shade of ochre. The drawing of the angels’ and clouds’ outllines is to be done in dark grey. …

In: Kunstgewerbe für’s Haus, Issue Decembre 1905

see you soon, love


What inspires me… Giveaway at Dividing Vintage Moments

Joanna of Dividing Vintage Moments hosts a lovely giveaway with really beautiful things to win.
All she asks for is writing a post about my 10 personal vintage inspirations. Where do I draw my inspiration for vintage clothing or living from.

So, dear Joanna, this is my list (and in case you wonder: I have none of the accounts asked to comment on your posts, so I can’t write into the comment form, but be sure, I love reading your blog!)

1. magazines

I love flipping through magazines of the time. Not especially fashion magazines, what I love is to capture the feeling of a certain period, so I love to read good old gossip or an article on education or budgeting as well.

(clockwise from top left: Formes et Couleurs 1944, Almanach du Foyer 1924, Der Silberstreifen 1948, Die Frau 1956, Life international 1961, Paris Match 1963, Marie Claire 1941, Ciné-Miroir 1938+1939)

2 films

First of all, I love, I adore Bette Davis, don’t ask why. It’s like falling in love with someone, I can’t give you a reason. So she is a constant inspiration for me. But I love films from the 1920ies to 1960ies in general and watch them whenever I happen to catch one on television. Besides this and a growing DVD collection, Youtube is my best friend, happily so many films are free to watch today.

3 books on fashion history

Though they often use materials I can’t afford and are made with a level of perfection I will never manage to achieve, I love looking at preserved designer’s dresses from earlier decades. It doesn’t make me want to recreate the actual dresses, but they give me inspiration, on what to draw attention to, on what to concentrate, how to treat a special cut or fabric. And of course, it is a glamorous world I have never been part of, it’s simply lovely to see.

(clockwise from top left: Fashion. Eine Modegeschichte vom 18. bis zum 20. Jahrhundert, Kyoto Costume Institute (pub.), Köln 2006; O. Saillard and A. Zazzo: Paris Haute Couture: Paris 2012; C. Fiell and E. Dirix: La mode des Années 1930 en images, Paris 2012; Kleider machen Leute, Bürgerliche Moden des 19. Jahrhunderts, Rheinisches Industriemuseum (pub., exhibition catalogue); H. Worsley: Très tendance. La mode de 1900 à nos jours, Potsdam 2011; J. Stockar: Zürich. Mode durch die Jahrhunderte, Zürich 1974; T. Tolkien: Schick & Schrill. Klassiker der Designermode, Hamburg 2002; Anziehungspunkt. 125 Jahre Deutsches Textilmuseum (exhibition Catalogue), Krefeld 2005; E. Thiel: Geschichte des Kostüms. Die europäische Mode von den Anfängen bis zur Gegenwart, Berlin 2004; Hommage aux donateurs. Modes françaises du XVIIIe siècle à nos jours; Ville de Paris Musée de la mode et du costume (pub., exhibition catalogue), Paris 1980; L. Johnston: Nineteenth-century fashion in detail, London 2009)

4 actual originals

Here again, as with the magazines: These don’t need to be actual garments. A beautiful embroidery on a handkerchief bought at a flea market, a pair of gloves with a lovely detail, a brooch, an embroidered box, everything that somehow catches the spirit of a certain epoche or makes this very object something special and unique (though of course it often isn’t, but please, let me stay in this world of make-believe).

(My vanity table: 1950ies vanity set with rococo-scenes printed on silk in its original box, handkerchiefs from 50ies to 70ies, 30ies lace collar, 30ies silk-covered box with embroidery, 40ies tin can, 50ies glove box, art deco-brooch, 30ies (?maybe earlier) spectacle case, 70ies make-up neccessaire)

5 books

Knowing the cut and shapes that were fashionable in a certain decade, I love reading books that were written some decades ago. Mostly, the description of garments is not very detailed, but, knowing when a book was first published, I love to “dress” the charakters in my imagination, make them fit into their time, have them wear something scandalous or rather old fashioned. So I draw the inspiration from a book, but imagine the actual design myself.

6 advertisements

This seems to be kind of a trend at the moment. Last week I even found a Mid-Century-Ad-Calendar for 2014. But knowing how shiny and glamorous, sometimes really ridiculous advertising is today, one can easily imagine that this didn’t change much the last 100 years. And still I love being seduced by those full-bodied promises and imagine what I would have chosen to buy.

(same as in 1)

7 postcards

I would like to include three types of postcards in here: First, antique ones. A lovely source not only for images. I love reading words of love or of friendship that have been written decades ago.
The second type are reproduction postcards. They are cheap, easy to find and show lovely images of whatever period you want.
And last, museum postcards, showing certain dresses, details or fabrics of the museum’s collection. As with the reprinted cards, they are comparably cheap, easy to store and give you the possibility to have a closer look at rare originals without buying loads of books or ruining yourself buying antique dresses in great numbers (ha, as if I could afford that, really, who could?).

(some antique postcards I own)

8 music

Most of the decades of the first half of the 20th century are connected to a special kind of music or dancing. Thinking of the 20ies, many people tend to think of dancing flappers, same applies to the 50ies, where images of whirling petticoats on the dancefloor begin to come to one’s mind. At the same time, music can make us feel as if we were in another place, can make us forget our environment. I have a modern record player in the living room but, more beloved than this, a 1950ies gramophone right next to my sewing machine. I love listening to my 78RPM-records while sewing something historical on my 1948 Singer machine and the images that come to my mind at those times may form the basement of a future project of mine.

(from fore- to background: Early 20th century pin-cushion table, 1950ies Thorens gramophone , 1948 Singer Featherweight on a mid-century Gritzner with table, my current sewing-project, mid-century sewing-table, 1960ies desk lamp)

9 photos

Same as with postcards, photos are easy to find on flea markets and the like and are comparably cheap, especially when they are in a bad condition. But stains or a tear don’t ruin the photo, as long as I can see what is pictured, it is fine to me. And additionally, I love to see that those things had a live much more than finding them in mint condition.

(clockwise from top left: 1930ies photo album, mid-century photos, early 20th century photos, 1960ies photos of my relatives)

10 my job

Being an art historian with special qualification in the history of textiles, I come in contact with antique costume and fabrics quite often. There is little more inspiring than touching a hand-sewn 18th-century robe, standing speechless in front of a 16th century embroidery, looking at a silk-brocade through a magnifying glass, catching a glimpse at the inside of a mid-century tailor-made jacket. Discovering technical finesses a tailor used 200 years ago is so special. Examining how a garment or a decoration was actually constructed gives me so many ideas on how to make my own historical or vintage garments.
I admit this is quite difficult to do when working in another kind of business.  20th century clothing can be found in some charity and antique shops. For earlier pieces try to find an antique shop who is specialized in clothing or see if a local auction house will have a textiles auction soon, sometimes they offer to see the objects some days previous to the auction. Visit museums, if you really want to research something ask if you will be allowed to see a certain object in detail, some museums (for example the V&A, but I am sure the MET and many more do have, too) have study collections for those purposes.

(detail of an early 20th century women’s blouse, Gemeindemuseum Krauchthal)

So, I would divide two main areas of inspiration for myself. First, the actual object: it gives you hints on techniques, on the impression of special materials and embellishments, actual visual starting points to create a dress, an outfit, a style. And second: catching the spirit, be it through music, through a film, long gone news or a trip to the mountains 80 years ago, captured in photos. A note on a postcard or the rusty coffee advertisement on the inside of a tin. I love to be surrounded by those things, love to dive into this feeling, imagine what I would do actually living in this certain period.

Where do you draw your inspiration from?



I won I won I won

Back in July, Goldkind made a little Giveaway to celebrate the 100.000th click on her blog (she blogs on german, but she makes so beautiful outfits and gorgeous quilts, she is a gifted crafster and scrapbooker, I always love to see what she has been doing and she is surely amongst my favourite bloggers).

And what a Giveaway. She made a stunningly beautiful handbag, all patchworked and with a silver-coloured closure. Amongst the fabrics are leftovers of some of her projects, so it is not only a bag, but it is strongly connected to her blog and herself.

I fell in love with this bag as soon as I saw it and of course I entered. Never could I have imagined that I would really win this.


I was so stunned when I saw the picture of her drawing my name from the pot.
After a short time of waiting (not because the delivery was slow, but because I had to pick it up in Germany and I didn’t have time to go there sooner) I am now finally able to see the bag in real life.

I was already squeling as I saw the parcel, she used a lace-printed-tape so I immediately knew it was from her, because she had shown this very tape a few weeks earlier in one of her posts.

(sorry, I had to open it immediately and my camera was at home, so you only get to see already ripped off paper)

And there it was:

Isn’t it adorable? It is so much bigger than it looked on the photos and so perfect!
Now, should I tell you a secret? I told you that I had imagined it smaller. You see it on the picture? You see the postcard and the chocolate beside it?
Now I will show you why it is the absolute handbag:

Both chocolate boxes! Next to each other. It is a black hole, as a handbag should be.
It’s bigger on the inside, my very own TARDIS. 😀

So, und nun nochmal auf Deutsch:

Liebes Goldkind, vielen Dank. Für das Giveaway, für dieses wundervolle Geschenk.
Ich liebe sie, ehrlich. Sie hat die perfekte Grösse für all meinen Alltagskrempel, so dass sie sicher oft getragen werden wird. Und da du fragtest: Ja, sie passt ganz sicher farblich. Erst heute Morgen dachte ich noch darüber nach, dass ich sehr zufrieden mit der wachsenden Anzahl von creme/braun/grau-Tönen in meiner Garderobe bin, da man diese so schön kombinieren kann und nicht wie ein Luchs darauf achten muss, dass der Rotton auch stimmt 🙂 Da fügt sich die Tasche also super ein.
Diese Woche ist noch etwas eng und ich komm kaum vor die Tür, da ich Montag mündliche Abschlussprüfung habe, aber danach werde ich ganz schnell Tragefotos mit ihr machen und sie ein bisschen was von der grossen weiten Welt sehen lassen.

see you soon, love


What I wore…Strawberry Picking

I’m sorry for the lack of posts these days.

It is so darn hot at the moment, I do not feel any urge to go outside. I am a spring and autumn lover, I hate hot weather, burning sun or getting a tan,  I don’t even like to swim. But I am not in the mood of working at the sewing machine or the computer, either. Don’t ask me what I do the whole day, it is more existing than living.

I am especially sorry, because I do have some finished projects to show you, I just have to manage to take some photos of them to present them here.

In the meantime I will leave you with some photos my boyfriend made a few weeks ago, while we were picking strawberries. I wore my table-cloth-skirt and some new acquisitions I made at the Blutsgeschwister-Outlet in Weil am Rhein.

(shirt and petticoat: Blutsgeschwister, skirt: ette, shoes: Dosenbach (Deichmann), handbag: flea market, silk scarf and belt: second hand shop, fragrance: Nina Ricci – L’air du temps)

And because my boyfriend loved the first photo so much, he toyed around with it a little:

See you soon, love