Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Fabric, Ballet, Portraits and a Project Bag

When I wrote my previous blog post, I had in mind to blog at least once a week. So 9 days isn’t what I should be. I’m sorry!

It has been a strange 9 days, and I think for once I’m going backwards in time.

Today I finished the birthday gift for my oldest son, who is going to be 19 years old tomorrow.


This is just the kind of sweater he loves and wears almost all the time.


Can you see the inside of the hood? It isn’t lining, it is just the back of the fabric; so soft and warm. And to keep this softness and warmth, it didn’t seem right to make the seams the usual way, so I decided to make ‘French seams’.

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All seams are double stitched, so no I guess Mr. Sensitive won’t have itching-issues with this sweater.


Where the hood is sewn onto the sweater, I’ve used a ribbon to cover the seams, because a French seam would become to thick.

That was today, and of course I have been working on it for a couple of days; since Sunday that is. Sunday I went to a huge fabric market. Twice a year this is organized in a town nearby, and it is huge. And because fabric shops are very rare these days, a market like this the perfect place to go to.


These are the fabrics I brought home with me (plus of course the fabric for the hoodie). 3 Linen fabrics and some flowers.


This fabric especially I like a lot. It has wonderful colours and I can’t wait to make a tunica with it. Nothing complicated, a very simple dress it is going to be.

The flower-fabric is going to be the lining of my new bathrobe; the outside fabric will be purple terry.


Saturday was special too. Before we had children, we used to go to the ballet, a couple of times a year. We haven’t been ever since we got our first child; indeed far too long! Saturday though, we went again and it was wonderful.

The National Ballet danced George Balanchines “Jewels”, a ballet in three pieces, with emeralds, rubies and diamonds as inspiration. All three pieces were quite different, one very classic, the other a bit more modern. But all were real gems!


This was such a succes, that I brought home the program for next season and looking at it, I’m almost sure it won’t take another 19 years before I go back.

The days before Saturday (well, actually including Saturday), I paid a visit to Flew-ville, and I don’t think you are desperate to hear all about that…..

Wednesday was great. My husband took the day of from work, and we went to Groningen, the museum there is having a wonderful exhibition with paintings from the ‘Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister’ in Dresden.

Don’t be afraid; I won’t bore you with all the paintings, just a few.

These portrets were painted by Pietro Rotari, and August III, who founded the Gemäldegalerie, had appr. 62 of these paintings. All the same size, and all from the same distance. That seems a lot, but it happens that Catharina II from Russia, had almost 370 of these portraits. And these 16 are already so beautiful to look at.

Finally, something craftrelated.


See the knitting-project-bag in the background?


Even in the 18th century they knew, knitting, wine and pastry are a womans best friends!

Groetjes, Dorien

Monday, February 16, 2015

A New Start


For me crocuses are little messengers of new beginnings; it won’t take too long before everything starts growing again, before Spring arrives.

And that is kind of what this post is: a new beginning.

I can’t imagine why it has taken so long since my last post, almost 2 months!  The only reason I can come up with for this, is that I must have been hibernating in a way. At least it feels that way.

Not that I haven’t done anything, but just not as much and certainly not too much I could blog about.

2 Years ago, I was very happy to have gotten a kit of a Christel Seyfarth Jacket, and finally, I’ve finished the body of this wonderful jacket.


The pattern is a bit of a challenge, but not too difficult. The real challenge is of course the steek. In the center you can see the part which I have to cut open. Also for the sleeves I need to do this. And I’ve never done this before, so I’m watching quite a few youtube tutorials about this, and I think I’m going to practise before I’ll do the real job. But so far, I’m totally in love with this jacket.

Something else I’ve started is this:


After making yet another pillow for Fleur using the disappearing 9Patch as a pattern, I thought it would be possible to use this pattern for crochet. I’ve changed a little bit, otherwise there would have been 4 little squares instead of the large white square. I like it so far, and of course I’ll show more as soon as I can.

So far for now; at least it is a start!

Groetjes, Dorien

Friday, December 19, 2014

Gift for Big Boy

Every year it seems the days in December have less hours then the days in any other month. Don’t you agree? So much to do and somehow it all has to be done this month. Including special celebrations and occasions at school or work. And then there are the holidays! So not much time for needles and yarn, but I still have to show you the present I made for my husband.


He had  been asking for a bag like this for years. This kind of fabric, a sturdy bag with enough pockets and matching the size of his laptop. There were 2 problems with this list of demands. First the fabric. You can find a lot of fabric with this logo, but then the stripes are printed onto the fabric and he didn’t like that. They had to be woven into it. But finally this summer I found this fabric. Problem #1 solved. Then the sturdiness. My husband actually wanted the bag to be able to stand on its own when empty. I didn’t have a clue. Then I saw a piece of not too thick, but very sturdy felt. That was the solution. I made a bag with pockets on  both sides, a piping around and lots of zippers and clips.


Then I made a lining, also with a few pockets.

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The lining was made half an inch smaller than the outer bag. I cut pieces from the felt which fitted exactly between the piping, and hand sewed them with a few stitches to keep them in place. Then finally the lining was put in and I sewed it by hand.


What I really love about this bag is of course first of all that it matches all of my husbands wishes, but also the way it turned out. The look of the piping and the brass coloured zippers and closures, give it a robust look.


This was the last gift I made this year for the December month. And I think this is probably the last post on this little blog of mine this year. So I wish you all a very Merry Christmas, a wonderful New Year, and I hope to see you again sometime next year.

Groetjes, Dorien

Monday, December 8, 2014

Gift for Son #2

Hello! How was your weekend? We had a wonderful time. On Friday evening we celebrated ‘Sinterklaas’, with lots of laughs and a lot of presents. Everyone has been spoiled with the most wonderful gifts.

The bag for his tripod I showed last Friday, was appreciated very much by my son. For son #2 I made something completely different. He has a kind of daybed in his room, where he spends a lot of time, either gaming or reading, or just lying there, with all his pillows around him. And he doesn’t only like computer games, but also old-fashioned board games. So how about a game of Scrabble?

Lots of tiles and of course a board:

Made into a pillow!


The ‘tiles’ were stitched onto the ‘board’.

Maybe it seems odd that the letter- and word worth tiles are in Dutch, and the words put on the ‘board’ are in English, but that is how we play the game lately; for practicing English vocabulary, it is a great game to play and we both find it very hard to do.


The words used are either describing my son, or encouring words we all need to hear sometimes.

Son was very happy with his pillow, the only thing he would have liked more, was if the tiles weren’t stitched on, so that he could actually play Scrabble!

Groetjes, Dorien

Friday, December 5, 2014

For Boy #1

Tonight is the night! December 5th we always celebrate St. Nicolas’ birthday, and we exchange gifts with each other. And like every year, I’ve made at least one gift per person myself.


I used this fabric because Boy#1 is a sea scout. He loves to sail, and he also loves activities like hiking with a compass.

Recently he started a new hobby; photography. And within just a little bit of time, he collected some equipment to do this like a pro. One of the items is a tripod, and he did get a bag for it. But as usually is the case, it was made of cheap, inferior material, and was actually good for nothing. So this is what I came up with:

The bag has straps, made out of one piece of fabric which was foulded, and the double stitched with twill tape.


The strap was closed to a ring, and then stitched onto the bag making 2 shoulder straps.

As you can see the zipper is on one side, starting from the center of the top.


Hope he likes it!

Groetjes, Dorien

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

About a church, dresses, hairdo’s, veils and a bit of poison.

Thank you all so much for your kind comments on the Cowl from Scraps. It is always nice to read these kind words.

It has been busy these last few days. The last gifts for December have been made; I will show and tell next week. This weekend we have been back to the town I was born and raised because of my fathers birthday. And since we were a bit early, we had time to go into town for just an hour. Not enough to have a  long walk in this beautiful and old city, but enough to go and visit a world famous book shop.

Dominikanen Maastricht

As you can see it was quite crowded, but it still looks awesome, doesn’t it. This church, Dominikaner in Maastricht, was first build in the 13th century, and during its history it has been destroyed and build again, and around 8 years ago it has been changed into this bookshop.

View from 2nd floor

The pile of books we bought was so high, that we realized it is a good thing this shop isn’t around the corner for us.

Then today we had another outing.

The Gemeentemuseum in The Hague is hosting an exhibition of the work of Mark Rothko, and at the same time an exhibition with Fashion from the Romantic period. Rothko alone is really worth going there, and I enjoyed every minute I was in these rooms with those immensly huge and very intensive paintings. I don’t have pictures for 2 reasons. First you can find them all over the web, but secondly and for me most importantly, the impact of these paintings can’t be shown in pictures. It only shows when you stand in front of them. I did hear about this effect,but never really knew what to expect. I can’t explain, but now I understand I can’t just show you some pictures. If you ever have the opportunity to go and see some of his work, I can highly recommend it. You’ll never forget.

The second exhibition wasn’t this intense; it was fun, candy for the eye.


Entering a room like this, brings you back a few centuries. The dresses were grouped using movies and books as a guide. Wuthering Heights (Bronte sisters), Gone with the Wind, La Dame aux Camelias, Pride and Prejudice, and our Dutch protagonist, Eline Vere; they all came by and were the center of room. Because almost everyone has images of these movies and their dresses in mind, I won’t show all these dresses, but some details I was quite amazed by.




This last picture isn’t of an old dress; it is actually a detail of a dress worn by Cora in Downton Abbey!!

The dresses were a lot of fun, but what really caught my eye, were the pages from ladies magazines from the 19th century.



Beautiful dresses; but what do you think of pages about hairdo’s, or about how to wear a veil?



And there was a Horror Room! It appears that the substances used for dyeing, sometimes were toxic, sometimes even lethal. They even once used arsenic to obtain a special shade of green which was very fashionable.


On the chair you can see a dress which was actually worn by someone; now it has been decomposed quite a bit.This was one of the few rooms with a cord preventing the public from getting too close!


Groetjes, Dorien

Thursday, November 27, 2014

How to make something beautiful and warm which costs nothing but a little bit of time……

One of my favorite things to do is to think about leftovers and what to do with them. It is wonderful what you can do with all those little bits and pieces left in the kitchen, and I love the surprises coming out of the oven sometimes.

But also as a crafter; I have lots of  boxes filled with scraps of fabric, but also with tiny little balls of yarn. Especially after knitting something with lots of different colours leaves you with lots of bits and scraps. Sometimes just a few meters, sometimes almost a whole skein.


This is what was left after knitting a Kaffe Fassett cardigan (the short version). They have been waiting in a box for a long time, because the cardigan nowadays is something I only wear at home; it has so many holes in it, it is a miracle it still keeps me warm.

So, these balls of yarn; what to do with them?


First I arranged them into groups per colour. Then I started knitting with 4 strands of yarn of 1 group (sort of).


Keep on knitting, until the first strand ends. Join the next:

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This way you keep on knitting and joining new colours.  I kept choosing shades from one colour until they ran out, and then started to use the next colours.


This way the colours change very gradually.

When the smallest ball left, has just enough for one more round, it is time to finish and bind off.


And tadaaah!!


A very simple, nice cowl which didn’t cost anything except some time (not even that much since it is knitted on large needles!)

Seed Stitch:
Round 1: *k1, p1*, repeat until end, end with k1
Round 2: *p1, k1*, repeat until end, end with p1

Repeat round 1 and 2.

Cowl is knitted in the round with 199 stitches, needle 8.00 mm (US 11).
Gauge: 11 st = 10 cm (4 Inch)

Final size: appr. 180 x 18 cm (72 x 7 inch)



Groetjes, Dorien