Fit for a princess?

June 27th, 2014

Happy Friday, everyone!

Just quickly checking in to share one of this year’s mardi gras costumes. I figure it’s better late then never, I love this particular costume and I don’t want the blog to be silent for another year.

As you may or may not have guessed from the title, my 4-year-old decided she wanted to be a princess for mardi gras this year. Having seen and admired┬á Ashley’s lovely Rapunzel costume before, I knew I wanted to do something like it and set out to find some fabric. I fully intended to use some of the fabric specifically designed for costumes – some shiny or glittery, as well as usually quite cheap polyester… Then I thought why not make it from velvet? Enter a beautiful crimson cotton velvet – which I ended up liking way more than the costume selection!

Putting together the Rapunzel-inspiration, the velvet and throwing in some pieces of gold lace this is what I got:


For the top I adapted a bodice pattern from an ottobre design pattern following Ashley’s directions. I only decided to ad the lace strips after sewing the front folds and attaching the bodice to the skirt – it would of course have been much easier to do that before! The pattern also included little puff sleeves that I could use. The back features a simple zipper and the skirt is basically a big rectangle gathered at the top.


To complete my little princess I made a little crown from felt I had left over from the advent calender and added some gold embroidery and a couple of self-adhesive sequins.


Both dress and crown have gotten quite some wear for dress-up at home which I love! Nothing better than expanding that dress-up pile.

Have a great weekend!


Blogging again?

June 17th, 2014

I haven’t been on this site for quite some time now – about a year and a half, actually…

This is partly because there haven’t been many projects completed during that time and those that have I didn’t take the time to photograph and blog about. This, in turn, is because I never know whether this blog serves any purpose at all – it doesn’t have many readers and it also doesn’t offer much valuable information.

It probably won’t come as a surprise that I’ve considered shutting it down entirely quite a few times and am still on the fence about that. Since I do, however, use it as some kind of a sewing journal and to quickly look back on what projects looked like or when I completed them, I’ve decided to keep it for precisely that purpose.

As our family has grown once more, I will be staying home a while and this just might lead to some more sewing around these parts, so who knows, maybe there will be more than one post in 2014?

Should there be anyone out there reading this blog – I’ll always be happy to answer any questions! I’d love to hear from you.

This somehow turned into a second blog-opening post. Things have changed quite a bit since 2008. Zwirnstern is a sewing blog most of the time and as with crafting entirely, change is evident. Sewing has become much more popular in recent years – my town now has a number of veritable fabric stores with quite nice selections (kathi kunterbunt being my newest discovery). So by now, I’m buying fabric offline and turning to my favorite online stores but for extra special fabrics. I’m working on a combination of both of them hopeful turning out as well as planned (check the facebook page for a sneak preview!).

Here’s hoping I’ll blog the result soon!



Once more…

January 16th, 2013

… Happy New Year!

As I did quite regularily over the years, I’m using the first post of the year to show you last year’s Christmas project:

This time around, I went for scarf collars using up some of the leftover fabric I own and lining it with warm and comfortable fleece. Throw in some velcro, and you have quite a nice neckwarmer!


I made 7 of them – unfortunately though, I didn’t photograph them all. The nice thing about these is that they’re incredibly quick to make and put leftover fabrics to use quite nicely.

This year there has also been a second project – Santa hats for my children and my niece! I threw in one more for a friend’s son in bright red, while making the other ones ruby. Here’s the red one, though:


That said – consider yourself warned: There’s holiday dresses, baby bedding, a knitted bonnet and a bedside table substitute to blog. Here’s hoping I’ll get all those posts up soon!

Happy new year, everyone,





October 6th, 2012

…I am here for another post!

I made these as a present for a christening and a birthday – less than a month apart. The little bag is an adapted version of this and these (hard to believe I made these more than four years ago!):

I just love the apple fabric – I think I got it at Frau Tulpe‘s fabric store in Berlin quite some time ago. It’s nice to see it put to work finally…

If the bag was considered the birthday part of the present, the little crochet hat has to function as a christening present. I used this butterfly hat pattern and I hope it’ll fit. Isn’t that butterfly (bow?) detail just adorable? And very simple to make, too!

All in all, making these took but one day – and I even had some time left to whip up a little stuffed fish from leftover fabrics for each of my children – they really do have enough stuffed animals without these, but making them was quite a lot of fun!

It’ll probably be a while now – I need to recover from posting twice within days…


On the go

October 4th, 2012

I recently discovered a must-have accessory for any Lego-loving kid: the Lego Storage Bag/Playmat – and made one as a gift to two little boys.

If you know any children playing with Legos you have probably had the pleasure of stepping on a piece once or twice. Also, you might have dutifully (and silently cursing?) picked up what seems like a thousand pieces scattered on the floor. This storage bag /playmat solves at least the picking-up problem – provided you can convince your Lego player/builder/architect to actually keep the pieces on the mat.

Once done playing, you just draw on the bag’s drawstring and – there you have it: pieces all contained in a neet storage bag, ready to be put away with no risk of stepping on stray Legos…

This playmat is easy to make – but if you don’t have time, an old sheet works just as nicely for quickly picking up Legos, just not for taking them with you. The easiest way to make the mat would be to cut two rather large circles of fabric for the front and back, sew them together wrong side up and leaving a hole for turning. Once turned, you can add grommets for the drawstring and the drawstring itself.

I had some laminated fabric lying around and used that as the back side – thus this bag could probably double as a picknick bag/blanket. Since I didn’t have enough left of either one kind of fabric, I used both to form a circle:

On the front side, I decided to make up some streets and blue fabric that could work as the sea, and some green and grey for building on. The little landscape looks like this:

I just might have to make one for my own children – I think it’s much nicer than just an old sheet – what do you think?