I feel a little uncomfortable doing this, but I’ve realized that 3 Blogs are too many, and stop me from blogging regularly. I would like to continue this blog on the MurMur Blog, as I want to write about pretty much the same things I would write about here, so there’s no point in keeping this blog, it just adds pressure.

But, because I’m really sentimental and this blog means a lot to me, I won’t delete it. I’m trying to lessen the pressure by putting this blog into an enchanted sleep, kinda like sleeping beauty, because I can’t kill things, I just can’t. So it’ll just be in a veeery deep sleep, ok? See, that doesn’t sound so bad! If I absolutely have to, I can still wake it up again!

So: all the projects and posts will still be here if anyone wants to look at them. But I will continue blogging here. In addition to sewing projects and food stuff, I will also post about DIY projects, gardening, outfits, inspiration, the development of my online shop, music and personal stuff when I feel like it. Basically anything I feel the need to share! I would love it if you would make the move with me and continue to follow me on MurMur! I’m really excited about the blog and shop (I have a blog schedule now, yay!) and look forward to growing it :)

And now I would like to officially send this blog into it’s slumber, by playing it my favorite lullaby:

good night.


Seeing as most of the things I’m working on at the moment (sewing-related at least), have something to do with the planning of my online shop, I think it makes sense to “announce” it here on my blog. I’ve already written a little about it and posted pictures of my sketchbook here, but I’ve opened a seperate blog for the online shop here.

The name of the shop (or label? can I even call it that?) is “Murmur“. I just really like the word, and that it can be pronounced in many different ways and still not sound like a real word :) Plus, it doesn’t (to me at least) suggest a particular style of clothing, which I like, because I’d like to be able to do different things, as I enjoy many different styles.

Anyway, I thought I’d let anyone who reads this blog know, since I doubt I’ll be able to post here that often, because it’s hard to find time to sew something for myself at the moment. But I want to start blogging regularly on the shop’s blog, posting a mix of DIYs, recipes, style inspiration, general inspiration, decorating, embroidery, progress on the collection, music, films etc. so if you enjoy my blog, I’d really appreciate it if you had a look at the Murmur Blog! It’s very new so things will probably keep changing, but I’m very motivated :) (Today I posted about some speaker covers I made from some mint cotton and lace!)

I feel a little shy about opening the blog to the “public”, since I’ve been working on all of this on my own until now, and have only gotten feedback from a few of my friends, but in a way that’s a good reason to open it – more feedback!
I won’t delete this blog though, don’t worry! Depending on how things develop I’ll probably keep posting about my personal sewing projects on this blog. And I managed to alter a few of those clothes I sorted out in the summer, so I have something to post about on this neglected little blog!

Color Inspiration

I made this collage last week. It’s more of a spring summer palette, but still inspiring to me :)

The images I used are from Pan Am (screenshots),, tahti, fancy fine, esme and the laneway and google.

September was really busy, soon I’ll be working less so hopefully sewing more :)
One thing I did sew was this sweater:

Well, I altered it, it’s from H&M and the exact color I’ve been looking for! Since may I’ve been looking for the perfect mint mohair fitted sweater, and this one was perfect except for the fit, it was waaay too big. And now it’s not! :)

(btw, how amazing are rotary cutters? I was so blown away when I first tried mine!! I barely had to press! AMAZING!)

Hope to be back sooner this time, finally have my camera at home again.

Sorting through clothes

I always find it hard to sort through my clothes and get rid of things. Even though I don’t wear most of the stuff I think “maybe in a few years I’ll really like it!” and I get weirdly emotionally attached to my clothes, just because they remind me of a certain time in my life or a certain event.

Well, I finally sorted through my clothes:

I’ve been a little frustrated with my wardrobe and want to build one that is relatively small but well connected (I want to have lots of outfit choices with as little as possible!), and filled with quality garments not cheap crap. Don’t get me wrong, I will most definitely be buying more cheap crap in the future, but I want those things to be fun seasonal additions to my wardrobe, not the core of it.

I sorted all of the clothes into different categories: keep (quality vintage/retro – cheap retro – dark/high fashion influenced style), give away/sell, sports stuff and pyjamas  and things that need to be altered.

I also found a way to keep things I like and value but don’t really wear: I made myself a costume box! :) that way I can use those clothes for photoshoots/special parties etc.

What I learned from sorting through my stuff and making a “to alter”-pile? I really need to get around to altering this stuff!

How perfect is this color combination? It’s like my dream color scheme has been waiting for me in a sad little pile on the floor. Seriously. Below is a moodboard I made last year for what I want my wardrobe to look like:

See the parallels? Reds, pale pinks, grey&brown tartans, animal prints, bright sweaters…

I picked out the summer clothes to make a “high-priority” pile:

My plan is to alter one of these pieces on each of my days off from work. Although I’m aware some things will take longer.

The black lace bustier in the bottom left corner has already been taken in, now I only need to change the position of the straps a little (I need wide-set straps, otherwise my shoulders look really wide). From left to right: the floral shorts need to be taken in even more, the silk shorts I got from the thrift store need to be made smaller and I want to dye them a pastel mint color, the slip I got at the H&M sale needs to be taken in, the swallow print dress (that I already altered) is really short cause I made the waist higher, so I need to make an underskirt for it (with a nice cotton lace trim!), the orange miss patina dress is a little too big for me and the last garment is a long silk skirt my boyfriends mom gave to me, it fits perfectly but I want to dye it (either pastel grey-purple, a pastel nude-rose color or pastel mint).

These is the “Low-Priority” Pile, mostly winter stuff that I don’t need right away.

This faux-fur muff has almost never been used. Why? I’m afraid the weight of my arms is too much for the flimsy little chain and the ribbon attaching it to the muff. Plus the chain is silver and I wear mostly gold accessories (it’s a detail but it kinda bothers me), so I’ve decided I’m going to buy a thicker gold chain, weave some colored ribbon through it and attach it to the muff!
I’ve also cleaned my room now (there was so much fabric lying around waiting to go to the office!) and I hung my winter clothes and things I don’t wear often in a closet I have in a seperate room. I have a lot less hanging on my clothes-rack, and alot less in my drawers, and I find it so much easier to get dressed in the morning!

What’s in your “to alter” pile? Does it have a nice little color scheme you never noticed?

Almond Tarte

I originally started this blog to write about sewing AND baking/cooking, but somehow I rarely post pictures of my baking. Well, I have a favorite recipe I’ve made a couple of time in the last few months: the Almond Tarte.

It is delicious. And I’ve gotten better at making it! The first one I made was a little too hard and crispy. Also the surface didn’t look as pretty:

Don’t get me wrong, it was still good, but not as good as the next few!

If you like almonds and caramel, go for it, make this, you will love it. It’s more candy than cake. It’s like homemade Toffifay without the chocolate (if you want the chocolate you can just melt some good quality, dark chocolate and sprinkle/pour some on top of the tarte when it’s done, I might try that some time, but it’s not like it needs it). Everyone that tried some of this liked it, I feel like this is going to become my “classic” haha :)

the lighting is a little too “cool” in these fotos, so the tarte looks a little pale but omnomnom, it is delicious! Here’s the recipe. It sounds complicated but it’s not that bad, really, and it’s sooo worth it! And here’s the post I did on my german blog when I made it the first time, WIP pictures included!

Altered Dresses (May 2012)

I have finally been able to edit the fotos I took in may of the dresses I altered. I find altering can be just as hard as sewing from scratch, or even harder, as you’re not starting with a length of fabric, so you’re limited in what you have to work with.

The first dress I altered (my first time sewing again!) was simply shortening the waist on this dress:

I got it over the internet, and now that it fits me (well, it became a little short in the process, but I always wear legging-cut-off-shorts underneath) I wear it so much! it’s very comfortable. It’s amazing how much better and more “expensive” cheap clothing looks when it fits right!

above, before altering (but with a couple of pins in it), below: after

This one I got in Paris for € 45, and I did quite some altering. It seems to me that this dress was handmade by someone! A lot of the hand stitching had come undone, and some more of it had to be opened to alter the dress. I really like how it turned out! I did make the waist a little too tight for it to be as comfortable as the polka dot one above (which has elastic shirring around the waist), but it should work fine for cooler summer days at work.


Ok, this one I got on ebay for $24(!!!) and it’s my favorite! Buuut, it’s also the hardest to work with fabric wise. I made the skirt waaay to tight the first time:

Couldn’t sit down! Second time around is better, but I’ve worn it once and I really have to put in a walking slit at the back, I had to take tiny steps! Plus, I was too scared to cut off the hem when I shortened it, I just folded it and it become quite thick, which explains the wonky hem. I’ll have to fix that. Quite a bit of altering had been done on this dress. It was originally made in Hong Kong, in the early 60ies probably. It reminds me of Joan from Mad Men! She had on this Asia-Inspired Floral Dress on in season 5 if I remember correctly… (oh btw, how dark was this past mad men season? I mean, no feet chopped off, no wild affairs for Don, and still, the season went very gradually from “hey, everything might actually work out this time!” to “everything’s so depressing and I can’t put my finger on how it happened exactly”. Very much like real life though. I really liked Megan, even though I didn’t think I would at first, and now that marriage is over, they made that pretty clear in the end… ok enough with the Mad Men talk!)

Working on a small collection

What I’ve been working on:

Following Gertie’s tutorial, I’ve been making these felt roses over the past couple of weeks (in between working on the project below, anytime I feel I need to create something tangible). I want to make my own fascinator, like the ones she’s selling, when I have enough.

These are just a couple pages from my sketchbook. I feel a bit weird sharing all these sketches and inspiration pages, since I haven’t actually made any clothes yet, but I need to get back into blogging, and I guess sharing progress is motivating. Helps me keep track of how much I’ve done so far.

I spent a few weeks sorting through all of my inspiration folders on my computer (so many! ugh). I have about 1’900 images (some are duplicates though, say I have an image of a girl wearing a blouse and pants, I’ll put a copy of the image in each folder “blouses” and “pants”, and if there’s a special design feature, another copy in say “knots & bows”).

I’ve been trying to figure out what I want the theme of this small collection to be. Sorting through inspiration images is definitely good though, I feel like it’s a slightly frustrating (I feel like I’m not actually doing anything) but important step, and I don’t want to rush. I think the central, inspiring themes for this collection are: 1950s fashion/silhouette, insects/insect anatomy and art deco. I know at first they may seem relatively unconnected, but that’s what I’m working on figuring out :)

I got and altered some vintage dresses in may, but I don’t have photoshop to edit .RAW files at the moment, so it might be a while before I can share those unfortunately… but I made something else earlier this month (not a garment though) that I want to share later this week!


Sorry for pulling a Don Draper on the sewing-blogosphere and just disappearing… A lot has happened in the past few months and I’ll do a little bit of explaining, and then hopefully I’ll be back to sewing soon!

I got a couple of very sweet comments over the last few months asking if everything is ok or if something happened. Nothing terrible happened, I’m fine now, just a bit of a “quarterly-life-crisis” and a “seamstresses-block” of sorts.

I quit studying biology, because after only a short time I realized that a job in that field is not going to make me happy, and I need to be in an environment where I feel inspired and I can create things. This wasn’t an easy step, as I always just kind of assumed I would go into science since that’s what I was good at in school, and it felt like I was letting myself down by quitting. I know I could’ve gone through with it, I know how to study and get good grades and all, but just studying for 5 years for the sake of studying would not make me happy.

Then at the same time as I was dealing with the whole “what do I want to do with my life” I also had some other personal issues (in short: someone I thought I could count on to be there for me and understand and support me just dropped me, among other things), and it took alot of time for me to learn to like spending time with myself again. Sewing felt impossible during this time and I also didn’t want to push it, I decided to wait until I felt like it again.

So after a month of just being at home, spending time with family (in Switzerland and the States), I did hair and make-up for the musical group I was in last year and the year before, did (and am still doing) the costumes for a theater piece my friend is directing (opening night is next saturday, yikes! not too much sewing involved though, mostly looking for the right clothes and buying, it’s cheaper too…), visited London for a long weekend with a friend (started collecting hats…), got a job at a jewelry store, visited my friend studying in Paris and a few other things I probably forgot (like spending a ton of money on etsy). I’ve decided to take 1.5 years “off”, to just work (feels good to be making some money!) and figure out what I want to do. I’m thinking of going into fashion design or costume design, or maybe even acting, but I’m trying to keep an open mind. And who know’s what’ll happen in the next 1.5 years? Maybe I’ll decide I don’t want to study at all?

And I’m feeling better. I still have mood swings where I suddenly feel no motivation to do anything at all, but I also have phases where I feel like being creative and doing something (like rearranging my room!), and in general I feel more stable and emotionally independent.

For now (starting after the opening night of the theater piece…) I’m going to spend my weeks like so: Monday – Wednesday I’ll have time for my own projects (and occasionally jewelry store work) like blogging, DIYing, learning to drive, taking dance classes, baking, cooking (something I really want to learn to do well!), sewing and building an online shop (something I’ve been wanting to do for ages! So much planning to do first though), Thursday and Friday I work at the jewelry store, and my weekends will be spent doing whatever needs to be done (from finishing dresses to lounging around eating chocolate).

The only thing left to tackle right now is sewing! I do feel like sewing again, but the thought is also a little scary, I haven’t done anything for almost five months! Winter is almost over, meaning there’s no point in sewing the Winterdresses I planned. I think this is a good thing, because I need a bit of a fresh start now. So I’ll keep those dresses in mind for next winter, giving me space for new summer dress ideas!

This got a lot longer than I wanted but I guess it’s ok, after all, it’s been four months, almost to the day! I’ll finish this post with sketches I got via email about a month ago, thank you Moshe Asher!

Imgaes (c) Moshe Asher, 2012

So hopefully I’ll be back to posting dress inspiration and plans, and actual home made dresses again!

Thanks for sticking with me through the past “four dead months”.

Donna Karan Dress

Woah, long time no post! I have to admit I haven’t been sewing a lot since before thanksgiving, but I did draft the collar for the Houndstooth Sheath Dress.

There are still 2 dresses (and a collar :)) on my “to sew” list, but of course I’m already going through my endless list of “dresses to sew”. This dress has been on my mind since I saw it in a magazine on the flight over to New York in August:

Donna Karan, RTW Fall 2011

There are a few reasons why I really like this design: it’s elegant, but the fabric makes it casual. It looks comfortable without looking boring. The folds around the bust are interesting, but not overpowering. I feel like the focus would be on the woman wearing the dress, not just on the dress itself (I say “would” because, obviously, this picture was taken during a fashion show, where the dress must be the center of attention, not the model).

I bought some thick knit fabric, black on one side, grey on the reverse, and I plan to recreate this! It’ll be a while before I have time for this, but it’s definitely on the list. It’ll be the project to practice draping… challenge! (maybe I should start practicing those folds with my towel when I get out of the shower?)

Blue Sheath Dress

Pattern: Butterick 2952
Year: early 60s
Fabric: ca. 1.6m blue cotton broadcloth
Notions: zipper, petersham ribbon and hook and bar for waist-stay
Time: ca 4-5h
New Techniques: Lapped zipper
Cost: about 15$

I know I know.. NOT AGAINN! But this was a quick dress I made in mid-october.

I made it sleeveless like the red one, but with a scoop neck like the pink one. There’s not much to say about this one. It’s the first time I tried a lapped zipper (so it wouldn’t break like the one on the pink sheath), and it was easy to do with this fabric. The only problem is that the tap stands up at the top. I would attach a hook and eye, but the whole point in lowering the back was that I could zip it up on my own, and hook and eyes are kinda hard to close on yourself (or well maybe that’s just me :)).

Also, the skirts angle at the hem isn’t quite right, it stands out too straight. And I’m not so sure about the color, it’s a lighter shade of blue than I expected. I guess it’s just a very “cool” blue, and I think warm blues are better for my skincolor :) (plus I don’t like the red-blue combo too much in this outfit, I just couldn’t find other accessories that would work.. which isn’t a good sign haha)

I’m happy with it, but I don’t think it’s going to be my favorite or get that much wear. Then again, it’s winter, and this is more of a spring/summer dress.