Odds and Ends


Why keeping tiny scrabs of fabric prooves valuable

It’s not any easier to find an appropriate first birthday present for a third child than it is for a second. Fabric dolls however where ruled out because that has already been the Christmas present:

Fabric doll

But we still had a wooden toddle wagon around which both our older children used when making their first steps. So how about turning that into a little stroller for dolls?

toddle wagon

All it needed was some bedding and that’s where the fabric scraps came in handy that I tend to hoard from previous projects. I simply cut squares 10 x 10 cm, arranged them in a 4 x 5 rectangle and made a little quilt top.


For the backing I used the village fabric from my last baby blanket and after quilting some quite crooked diagonals used up my polka dot binding strips left over from that same blanket.


Finally, I made a little two sided pillow to go with it – simply stuffed with some polyester filling – a jam funnel comes in quite handy!


Such a fun, fulfilling and quick little project – it took all but one afternon!

Happy birthday to the smallest member of the family!


It takes a village…

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… to raise a child, they say. Which is why I was utterly happy to find the above fabric to use as the “star” of my latest baby blanket. It’s been quite a while since I last made one – this one’s for my little great-nephew who was born just a month after my own little one.

Even though these blankets all follow roughly the same design, it’s always great fun to pick out fabrics for a new one. This time especially so, as I got to visit Kathi Kunterbunt for the 4 fabrics featured in the squares. Then it was off to cutting, more cutting, piecing and sewing (most rewarding). After finishing the top, finding some backing fabric proved unusually tough. I had pictured some grey vichy (checkered) fabric but couldn’t find anything like it.

However – polca dots to the rescue!


I guess noting can ever go wrong with polcadots. Only after buying the brown fabric I realised that my village fabric also features some polcadot details, which prompted me to also use the backing for the binding. This is the first time I sewed the binding with just one loooong strip of fabric – making for such clean corners. I followed this tutorial (in German) and it made everything so much easier!

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So here it is, Zwirnstern’s latest baby blanket, modeled by its new owner. Thanks to mea photography for both model and lovely pictures!



– Katrin


Fit for a princess?

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  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?

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…

… 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,