December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas!

Dear readers,

I'm wishing you all a joyful christmas with your loved ones and a happy new year. Thanks for sticking around, I can't believe how long it's been since my last post. Life has been treating me well but I have been crazy busy lately. Nevertheless, I promise to be back next year with new sewing adventures! 

Happy Sewing!

July 25, 2010

The truth about fashion internships

I just read this interesting article from the Guardian and wanted to share it with you and add my 2 cents. The article points out how interns in the fashion industryare exploited without pay for months while carrying out core work the company builds on. This is a far cry from the glamorous image many have of an internship in the fashion industry. 

Since I study "Textile and Clothing Management", I also had to do my fair share of internships in order to improve my CV. After doing 2 unpaid internships and only being offered unpaid future internships, I decided that I would rather carry out my paid part-time job than work for nothing again. 

My first internship was at the marketing department of a brand, known worldwide for its expensive jeans. Although the company is very successful, I was offered no pay for 3 months of work but got clothing (2 jeans + a top) of a value of 300€ for free from their store. The value was calculated using the sales price and not the purchasing price which meant that the company only expended 90€ for my work. This might not seem too bad, but it made me kind of mad when I ordered store merchandise for several thousands of euros which would only be in the windows for a couple of weeks, yet the company had "no" money to pay their interns.

The second internship was at a small start-up company, where it is understandable when one does not get paid. However, the owners went on vacation for two weeks, leaving the whole workload and all decisions to me and another intern.

Now, while applying for my first job after college, I notice that most companies are searching hordes of interns or few employees that already have years of experience. Only few companies are offering jobs for graduates fresh from college which seems to be due to the fact that companies have an endless resource of interns working for almost nothing as the article mentions. However, I think that this policy will have negative consequences for fashion companies in the long-term as interns carry out sophisticated jobs, build up relations inside and outside the company, and then leave everything behind after a short time. 

Don't get me wrong, internships can offer invaluable experience and help to choose which future career path is the right one for you. To all of those that will do an internship, paid or unpaid, in the fashion industry I can only recommend to get information about the rights one has. Additionally, it is not necessary to do as many internships as humanly possible. A few well selected internships are better than an endless number of them. And maybe you can find a part-time job that you can carry out during your semester or semester break that is in the fashion industry. Usually it is also advantageous to set yourself apart from others with a semester abroad, preferably in combination with learning a foreign language.

If you are looking for more information also read this article.

What do you think about this? Did you make any experiences like that?    

July 21, 2010

And off it goes...

A quick update, my blouse for the BurdaStyle book is finished and shipped of to New York. I'm very excited about this and can't wait until I can see the finished book.

Overall, I'm not 100% satisfied with my finished item for several reasons. BurdaStyle picked the blouse pattern I was less fond off and the fabric was not to my liking. This is funny because it was not that far off from my suggestion, but I guess we are all really picky about fabrics because I already heard from several other participants that they are also not that happy with their fabric.

Nevertheless, I'm looking forward to hold the book in my hands and see what they have made with my work.

Happy sewing!

July 07, 2010

Better late than never...

I'm sure that everybody has already read the news about the first BurdaStyle Book and I'm proud to announce that I will be contributing to this book as well as several other BurdaStyle members. I will be doing a blouse and have already received the pattern and fabric and am itching to start.

Of course, I will be pressed for time as I'm still working on my master thesis, but I just did not want to miss out on this great opportunity.

Are any of you also participating in this book?

June 27, 2010

A big thank you!!!

My survey is finally closed and can't thank enough everybody who helped! I received more than 260 complete answers within the time that the survey was running. This is certainly much more than I expected, I was hoping for 100 and even surprised my professor.

Thank you for your support! I hope to be back soon!

June 07, 2010

So much to do, so little time...

So, that's how I feel right now. I have to admit that I was "slightly" overdoing it when I tried to do everything at the same time; master thesis, working, searching for a job, sewing and keeping up a blog. Now, my priorities are set in the right order  again and I have to take a small vacation from this blog in order to finish everything else successfully. I hope to return shortly with more exciting content :)

May 30, 2010

Sunday bookmark no. 14

Today I'm presenting you the perfect project for all those little fabric bits that you have lying around :-) Trust me, I know how it is... You can find the tutorial on the blog of Juicy Bits.

As several of you are interested in the results of my survey, I will post those on here once my master thesis is complete. If you still want your opinion to be heard in relation to DIY fashion, please still answer my survey. It will only take a few minutes. Thanks a lot to everyone, who has helped so far!

May 28, 2010

Sneak peek & yesterday's outfit

Cardigan: Zara
Blouse: Made by me, Burdastyle JJ pattern
Jeans: Mossimo for Target, refashioned
Shoes: Deichmann

This is what I wore yesterday to work. A little sneak peek on my latest creation, a blouse modified from the JJ pattern over on Burdastyle. I got so excited about making something new that I still have not finished the last handstitches (boring!) on my new black skirt. Maybe I get around doing that tonight while watching TV. I will also create a tutorial on how I modified the JJ pattern. After wearing it for a whole day, I noticed that it pulls slightly over the bust. I will change that and hopefully post pictures and the tutorial by Saturday.

Have a great day!

May 23, 2010

Sunday bookmark no. 13

Oh my, another week flew by and I have made nothing new that I can show you. Plan job interview outfit is in full gear... So far, I have only sent out 1 application but they called me just a few days later and scheduled an interview. Fortunately, the interview is not until June which leaves me with enough time (fingers crossed here) to complete a whole new outfit.

This skirt made from black cotton satin is almost complete, it just needs some hand stitches and proper ironing. I hope that I can show it to you tomorrow. In addition, I also started a shirt which is a modified JJ blouse from Burdastyle. You know what that means... there is a tutorial coming up, if my modifications work out. Also in the planning is a jacket that will complete the whole outfit. It's quite difficult to find an outfit suitable for an interview in the fashion industry as most of the normal guides don't apply to this.

Now on to today's bookmark. This quick and easy nightie, top, dress or whatever you want it to be, is just perfect for the coming hot summer days. Ginger from Wiener Dog Tricks posted this great tutorial on Sew Mama Sew. Head on over to create your own version!

What have you been up to this week? I hope you have been more productive than me :)

May 16, 2010

Sunday bookmark no. 12

This week I bought recycled paper for my printer, which was packed environmentally correct in paper itself. But to carry it home I had to get a plastic bag because I forgot to pack my cotton bag. How stupid!

So when I saw the pattern and instructions for this cute little bag on Burdastyle, I thought that it would be a great idea to make several and keep each in a bag you normally use. The pattern is from kaitui_kiwi and includes an easy-peasy tutorial. 

Have fun with this great sewing project! I certainly will...

May 15, 2010

2nd week Wardrobe Refashion

Another quick and easy project...a few seams later and the top was done. The pattern is from Burda March 2009 pattern no. 138. The tops consists of only 2 pattern pieces and is gathered at one side with a brooch. A very comfortable top but I might take it in a little underneath the arms just like I did with the last top I made. What do you think?

The next sewing projects I have planned will probably be a little more work as I need something to wear for potential job interviews (for which I have not applied yet :) Preparing for my first real job after college is exciting and scary at the same time. And I want to at least look good and be comfortable with what I'm wearing. But don't worry, I plan to stick to my Wardrobe Refashion pledge and to show you something I made or at least refashioned each week.

Hope you are having a great weekend!

May 14, 2010

Thriftstore find & a forgotten designer

A big thank you to everybody who answered my survey! Wow, I did not expect to get that many answers in such a short time. This is such a big help for my master thesis :-)

If you have not answered it yet, please do so. The more answers I get, the more it helps me to paint a clear picture of DIY fashion.

Silk scarf: Torrente (Thrift Store)
Cardigan: H & M
T-Shirt: Mango
Jeans: Only
Ballet flats: Deichmann

Today's outfit features my latest favorite thrift store find, a silk scarf from the French designer Torrente for only 3 €.

The name rang a bell but it took some research to refreshen my memory. This turned out to be more difficult than imagined. In fact, I had to retreat to French Wikipedia to find something about this apparently forgotten designer. So, I thought it would be nice to share my findings with you and maybe make this a reappearing feature. Let me know what you think!

The design house of Torrente was found by Rose Mett in 1968 in Paris. Before building her own fashion empire, she had worked for her brother Ted Lapidus, who apparently was a big designer during the sixties as he was featured several times in my Burdas from that era (maybe I will do my next forgotten designer on him). In the year 1971Torrente reached the status of a "Haute Couture" house.

During its high period, Torrente was worn by celebrities such as Marlene Dietrich, Romy Schneider and Nathalie Wood and its fashion was famous for its elegance. Madame Mett remained the CEO and art director of Torrente until 2003. The last Haute Couture show of Torrente took place in 2004. After this date it has gotten quiet around this once renowned French fashion house.

All pictures are from Torrente's Haute Couture shows of 2003 and found at Elle.

May 10, 2010

Sunday/ Monday bookmark no. 11

Ain't this little letter needle book the cutest? Something each seamstress or DIYer certainly needs. You can find the detailed tutorial including a download of the PDF pattern at "em ay Kay ee". I'm off looking for a cute fabric for the inside... 

May 09, 2010

1st week Wardrobe Refashion

Yeah, I did it again...I pledged for another 2 months not to buy any new clothing over on Wardrobe Refashion. You can find my pledge here, I don't want to bore you by posting it again. Even though I have breaks in between each pledge, it has certainly changed my consumption patterns and makes me reconsider each purchase. Zoe from "So, Zo what do you know" has written a great article about her reasons to take the pledge in Mixtape zine. And it expresses exactly how I feel! The excitment of having bought something new wears of so quickly and usually makes me feel slightly guilty when bought in the usual high street chain stores. As a student I can unfortunately not afford anything more expensive. Shopping at thrift stores on the other hand only makes me feel good about my purchase. So, I'm determined to sew even more of my wardrobe and shop more at thrift stores.

This top is my project from the first week of wardrobe refashion. (Excuse the snobby look on this picture) The pattern is from Patrones 276 and I used a lightweight lilac cotton fabric with a woven-in pattern. This is certainly one of the easiest tops I've ever made as it only consists of 3 pattern pieces. Here are some more detailled pics:

I only had to take it in under the arms around 6 cm. At the following picture you can see the pattern modification. The result is a supercomfortable top perfect for summer. I would sew it again maybe in a plain fabric as it a really easy and quick project.

Please take a few minutes of your time and answer my survey about DIY fashion needed for my master thesis. Thanks a lot!

May 04, 2010


My master thesis is finally progressing. Today, the application made its way back to the examination office after being lost for several days. This was a tremendous relieve because I already saw myself having to do it all over again. Final deadline is at the beginning of September but I have not even started to write yet. Currently, I'm working my way through "mountains" of literature but I should seriously get started soon.

Also, my survey about "Do It Yourself Fashion" is finally online. You would help me tremendously, dear readers, if you could fill it out and communicate it further. The survey will only take a few minutes. 

Thank you for your support! 

May 02, 2010

Sunday bookmark no. 10

Today's bookmark is a little something to prettify your home. These adorable cherry blossom branches were created by Kristen Sutcliffe from New House Project and posted including the tutorial on Bloesem Kids.

Have fun using them in your home!

Sorry, I needed a break...

Sorry, for not posting for so long but I've been getting several bad news about people close to me that are critically ill. Of course, everything might turn out fine and I try to think as positive about it as possible. But still it is impossible not to worry. Unfortunately, this worry has eaten up all my energy but now I feel more prepared to cope with this situation and I really miss creating which can distract me from almost everything.

Today, I have been watching an extremly interesting documentation "The Corporation". You should watch it, if you get the chance. The documentation basically shows the negative sides of a corporation thereby considering its legal status as a class of person and evaluating its behaviour towards society and the world at large as a psychiatrist might evaluate an ordinary person. The result is shocking and underlines once more that we as consumers should take matters in our hands and only buy from companies that are ethical and sustainable.

This has convinced me even more that DIY is the way to go. I plan on sewing some new summer clothes for myself instead of buying them. This week I found that my go-to fabric store also has a factory outlet, so of course I had to check it out as soon as I got the chance. The result is enough fabrics to create:
  • 1 Longsleeve
  • 2 T-shirts
  • 1 Skirt
  • 1 Dress
  • 1 Top
And all that for less than 25 €. You can see the fabrics at my fabric gallery. So hopefully, I already have something new to show you next week.

The sunday bookmark will be posted later on. Happy Sunday!

April 22, 2010

Happy Earth Day!

"Forty years after the first Earth Day, the world is in greater peril than ever. While climate change is the greatest challenge of our time, it also presents the greatest opportunity – an unprecedented opportunity to build a healthy, prosperous, clean energy economy now and for the future."

Let's make a combined effort to reduce, reuse, recycle in regard to fashion!

April 20, 2010

German cooking: Part 1

During my exchange semester in France, I really missed German food. Which is funny because I usually don't even eat much German food when in Germany. As I don't know whether I will be working in Germany later on, I took the resolution to learn how to cook German food. Today's dish is called "Kartoffelpuffer" in German, I guess this can be best translated as potatoe pancakes. They are really easy to make and you only need a few ingredients.


  • 1 kilogram of potatoes

  • 2 eggs

  • 1 onion

  • salt

  • pepper

Peel the potatoes and grate them not too fine. Add the sliced onion and the 2 eggs. Flavor with pepper and salt. The dough needs actually quite a lot of salt. Heat oil in a pan and bake small pancakes until they are goldenbrown and crispy. You can eat them with sour cream and smoked salmon like on the photo. The traditional German way is with apple sauce, which is really yummy! 

Blog makeover

So, I decided to give my blog a makeover. I wanted one of those I love comments buttons because they always make my day! Happy about how this turned out, I like that is girly but at the same time more simplified. The header and button are from *Cute n Cool* Blog Stuff. They also have really cute backgrounds but I couldn't figure out how to implement them. If somebody does, please let me know!

Unfortunately, I belong to the generation that graduated from high school when computers and internet finally entered. So, everything I know about computers and stuff, I basically had to teach myself. Still working on that :-)

April 18, 2010

Sunday bookmark no. 9

I've been working all week, either at my part-time job or on my master thesis, that I did not find any time to sew something new. But I have 2 skirts, which are both half way finished, so hopefully I will have something new to show at the beginning of next week. After those two, I should definitely start making something other than skirts :-)

Love this week's bookmark! I like how different these necklaces can look depending on the ribbon, chain and beads you choose. And at the same time it is an easy and quick project that can spice up any outfit. Amy from the Style Crush blog posted this great tutorial over on "a beautiful mess".

April 12, 2010

Sunday bookmark no. 8


Oh oh, the first Sunday bookmark on a Monday. I hope this does not become a bad habit...

As I'm currently in skirt love, meaning that all I sew right now are skirts, it is not a wonder that today's bookmark follows this trend. This adorable draped pencil skirt was created by "The House of Mirth" and she delivered the corresponding tutorial on her blog as well.

Happy (Sunday) Monday!

April 11, 2010

Patrones Ferré Skirt

Cardigan: H & M

T-Shirt: Jette Joop

Scarf: Gift

Skirt: Selfmade

Shoes: Deichmann (reheeled)

Today I was meeting some of my friends in Cologne for coffee. I wanted today's outfit to be casual but dressed up as I don't get many reasons to dress up currently because I spend most of the day working on my master thesis.

The skirt is one of my favorite things I have ever sewn. It's a copy from a Ferré designer skirt from Patrones 272 and combines all things fashionable right now bows, exposed zippers and paperbag waists. Here are the original photo and the technical drawing:

Unfortunately, the skirt is not shown on a model and so you can only guess what the finished skirt will look like, while the technical drawing has not much to do with the final result. The pattern is almost straight and so the belt cinches the skirt to a paperbag waist. You can find the detailled review here on pattern review.

Happy sewing!

April 04, 2010

Sunday bookmark no. 7

Today's sewing project is quick and easy and perfect for the coming sunny days. Let's hope that they will come soon to Germany as it only rains right now. You can find the pattern with the instructions at Burdastyle. I used the picture of Burdastyle member Mordecai Logan as her picture was much more pretty than the original ones.
Happy easter!

April 02, 2010

Latest read - Freakonomics


I'm usually the type of person who only reads novels in her free time as I have to read enough non-fictional and technical books for my study course. This book is certainly an exception. I first got it from the library because I thought it might help me in understanding consumer behavior but I quickly noticed that it was not what I was looking for. Nevertheless, I read the whole book in a short time as it is as entertaining as a novel.

Ever thought about why drug dealers are still living with their moms or what teachers and sumo ringers have in common? Me neither, but this book answers these bizarre questions in a very entertaining way backed by factual numbers. The authors certainly present a different point of view on everyday life and focus on the micro- rather than the macro-economics. A very interesting book where each chapter presents a new theory and backs it up by stunning facts.

Happy reading!

March 31, 2010

Skirt with pleats and yoke tutorial

Thanks everybody for your nice comments on my new grey skirt, they made my day :-)

As promised here is a tutorial on how to create the pattern for this skirt from a basic skirt sloper.

What you will need:

  • Basic skirt sloper = straight skirt pattern with darts in the front and back
  • Large piece or roll of paper (mine is from IKEA and intended for kids to draw on)
  • Transparent paper (a small piece is sufficient)
  • Curve ruler
  • Set square
  • Large ruler
  • Pencil
  • Glue

Step 1: Copy your front piece of the sloper on the paper.

Step 2: Mark the width of your yoke. Mine has a width of 10 cm at the front centre and a width of 4 cm at the side seam. Now connect these 2 points using your curve ruler.

Step 3: Cut your yoke piece off the front skirt piece and cut away the dart. Glue the 2 resulting pieces on another piece of paper thereby closing the dart. It should look like this:

Step 4: Even out the lines of the yoke by using your curve ruler.

Step 5: Mark in the front skirt piece the pocket opening and the pleats with their length. You can use your hand as a reference for the pocket opening. Mine is 9 cm away from the side seam and has a lenght of 18 cm. The first pleat is 3.5 cm away from the pocket opening with a length of 7 cm. The second pleat is 4 cm away from the first one and has a lenght of 10 cm. I drew in the pleats slightly slanted as I did not want straight pleats but this is up to your decision.

Step 6: Draw in your pocket bag using your hand again as a reference. I also eliminated what was left of the dart. In my case, I could just neglect it as there was little left. If you have more from your dart, you could take it away at the pocket opening or at the pleats.

Step 7: Using the transparent paper copy once only the pocket bag and once the skirt piece with pocket opening and pocket bag. Don't forget to draw a parallel line to the original grain line in both copied pieces.

Step 8: Lengthen the lines of the pleats towards the hem.

Step 9: Cut your skirt pieces apart at the lines you have just created and at the pocket opening. Glue the piece containing the front center on another piece of paper.

Step 10: My pleats have a depth of 4 cm so I marked a point 4 cm away from the glued on piece at the top.

Step 11: Glue on the next piece so that it matches your 4 cm mark and the first pattern piece at the hem. Repeat this step with the last piece. Your result should look like this:

Step 12: Copy your back skirt piece on a piece of paper. And draw in a line parallel to the top at the distance of 4 cm therefore it will match your yoke piece at the side seam.

Step 13: Cut the back yoke away from your back pattern piece. And just as you did with the front yoke piece, glue it on a new piece of paper with the dart closed.

Step 14: Also for the back yoke piece you will have to even out the pattern lines using your curve ruler.

Tada, you're finished! You should now have the following pattern pieces.

Please let me know, what you think about this tutorial and if you use it to create a skirt, please let me know! If you have questions or did not understand something, don't hesitate to ask!