March 31, 2016

DIY leggings into leg warmers / knee socks

Another very old item I bought many years ago and never wore it. These leggings are from H&M bought at that time when leggings got popular again.

But as you can see here a little bit, they are too tight at the hips for me. And please notice that I already opened the seam at the back but it still almost hurts wearing them.
I thought of different options like just making it wider at the hips or making gloves out of it. Then I chose making leg warmers as I needed thin ones.

You'll need a sewing machine for this (or do it by hand if you like) and some studs if you want to embellish them like I did.

You can either part the two legs by cutting along the middle seam or let them together for the first step. Which is cutting the length you need.
I measured my thigh high which is about 35cm from ankle to bottom of knee cap. Then I added a few cm to that to let it sit loose if I want. I didn't care about the exact length. If you do, be sure to add 0,5cm for seam allowance on the open side.

Then put them on inside out and upside down. If it fits, use the original bottom hem as your upper hem at your knees. That way you can spare one hem.

Now adjust them to your leg while wearing them. Use safety pins for this as regular pins will hurt you or come off when you pull the fabric out. If it fits at the top part, you don't need to pin anything.
For my opinion 3-4cm distance between the pins is not too short and not too far. But I highly recommend using one pin at the very bottom, because you'll need to know exactly how wide that part is.
It should look like the image above when you're finished.
Then you can put it off. Be careful doing this!

Put it down flat and make sure the pins are going in and out at the same place. This is very important or otherwise you'll cut of more or less than you want.
Take some tailor's chalk and mark the position of the pins like I did above.

When you marked everything you can take the pins out. Now it should look like this.
Yes that is my chalk lying next to it.

Connect the spots. It's better to do it free-handed because, well, your leg is certainly not a straight line.
One thing is important here: Try to get a smooth blending from the last (highest) pin to the original hem. Let it fade out. Otherwise you risk getting an ugly fold here.

Then it is time to sew. Sew along the line with a zigzag-stitch to keep it stretchable.
DON'T CUT NOW. First try it on and see if it fits as you want it to. If it does, now you can cut off the unneeded rest. If it happens to not fit you can undo the seam and try again.
You'll need only a very small seam allowance, I'd say 0,5cm is surely enough. Don't forget to trim the hem.

Last thing you need to do is hem the bottom line. To do so turn about 1-2 cm over and sew it on with a small zigzag-stitch (for stretching). You can do this with a twin-needle if you like.

Aaand basically it's finished. If you want you can embellish it now as you like. Put on a bow, decorative buttons or studs as I did.

As examples you could wear them like this:

Knee high with a cute skirt and ankle boots.


Casual below your knees combined with sneakers and shorts.
I love knee-free in spring.

What would you use to embellish them, or would you leave them bare?
Which style do you like better?

March 28, 2016

Photography: Flower walk

Anemone hepatica

Last week I took a walk through woods and meadows and found some beautiful things to photograph. All except one are flowers I have to admit. Spring flowers are just so beautiful!

Which flowers are your favourites?

Anemone hepatica
With a bit of imagination, you think this could be near the Pantone colour this year?

Scilla bifolia

Primula elatior
I was hoping to find Primula veris, as it is the flower of the year in austria due to it getting rare.

Anemone nemorosa

Gagea lutea

Pulmonaria officinalis

Corydalis cava in white and purple

The hole.
Would you go in there?
Just kidding, this is for water passage and too small for an adult to fit through.

I wouldn't anyways.

March 26, 2016

Refashioning a boring shirt

Many years ago I bought this shirt at a Weltladen shop. It is certified as fairtrade and organic (GOTS). I don't remember it exactly, but I think it cost me about €25. The vibrant colour immediately catched my eye.
Unfortunately I didn't like wearing neckholders so guess it - I almost never wore it.

Now comes the time I am more into neckholders but also more into darker colours. So I decided to give it a go and do a refashioning.

What I needed:

  • A black lace ribbon (like this one
  • Black fabric paint 
  • Edding textile marker in Black
  • Brush, iron and sewing machine

Here I already started with the first pattern. Just painted over it with a black textile marker. I did so with all the lines. 

Then I measured the bottom scale and cut off the according lenght of lace. Attached the lace at the bottom with pins. 

Sewed it on twice - once at each end to have it fixed properly. Don't forget to attach the ends of the ribbon to each other! And of course, use thread in the same colour as the lace is. 

At this point it looked like this. The lace is completely attached. 

I didn't want to have more lace at the neckline. So I took fabric paint and painted the whole hem at the neckline and upper back black. 

When finished, it is important to set the colour to prevent bleeding and bleaching. I did this as said in the instructions of marker and paint by ironing. 

And it's finished! 

The shirt is now way more like my style and I am sure I will wear it a lot, especially in summer. 

Which version do you like better, original or refashioned? 
Is fairtrade and/or organic important for you? 

March 21, 2016

#25 Guide - 5 Reasons why you should go outside as often as you can!

Sure you all know that you should rather go outside then stay inside all the time. But sometimes we forget and need a little reminder, so here are five reasons to find the motivation to do something not in your four walls.

We need sunlight. Vitamin D is needed for many processes in the human body and lack of it can make you feel tired, vulnerable for infections and many worse. You can't get an overdose on vitamin D just by being in the sun.
We also need fresh air. Who changes the air in their rooms correctly and regularly? As people stay in a room, the oxygen is consumed and nitrogen is produced. Yes, you could quite some time in a room without air exchange, but the increasing amount of nitrogen makes you feel exhausted and destroys any concentration.
Best thing to do is do your workout outside. Use water bottles as weight, integrate benches, trees or whatever you can find into your training. Take a look if there are parks with training tools near you. Or is there an outside aerobic class?
In Austria many towns take part in the "Healthy town" program (Gesunde Gemeinde). Some of them have special "health paths" marked, often with training tools and tips. You can get the maps at the town hall and sometimes also online on their website.
Just one thing to think of here: Don't overexpose yourself to the sun. Wear sunscreen, appropriate clothes and stay in the shadows around midday.

Anemone hepatica

Yes of course, sunlight gives you that natural tan which most people find extremely beautiful.
But also the fresh air gives your skin a special glow, much better than the glow you can achieve with makeup and cheaper too!

Leucojum vernum

Again, the sunlight. It's known that during darker seasons, especially in north countries, many people get depressive or at least not as happy as they could be. So it's even more important to be outside as much as you can to get the most amount of the little bit of available light.
You can also do something good for your mind. Try this: Instead of walking around with your eyes shut, take a good look at those things around you. Find beautiful flowers, paths, buildings, animals, landscapes, cars, people or whatever you like. Just think of something that makes you happy and try to find it. Sit down in a wood or meadow and watch nature around you. Listen to the wind, bird songs, rustling in the bushes. Watch plants move or little bugs crawling over a flower. Taste yummy wild plants like Rumex acetosa leaves, Bellis perennis heads or wild Rubus berries.
Have a go!

Anemone hepatica

There is so much outside showing a lot of creativity.
Find inspiration for geometric clothes in cities, ideas for your next eye make up in a beautiful cottage garden or actually do something creative like rock piles. There is no end to this list.

Is this tree spying on us?

When hiking in Austria you can start talking with almost anybody and they all are very friendly. Why not do the next tour together? This also works in a lot of other activities, you just need the courage to actually approach people.
And instead of meeting your BFF at the cafe again, fill thermal jugs with your coffee, get some fresh strawberries and a blanket and spend some amazing time outside.

Maybe you'll see something very funny...

What should that look like?

Or beautiful...

Do you need motivation to go outside or are you that kind of person who just can't stay inside?
What activities are you up to?