Swoosh and It’s a Year Later

Hello! Much has happened.

The turtle just turned 13 months old and has started walking today. Of course all the necessary steps before that have also happened. Like rolling, scooting, crawling etc. He’s eating and sleeping through some nights.

The bean is now talking in sentences. This happens in (mostly) Italian, (some) Swiss German, and (we’re told good) Finnish. He also expresses his opinions freely and loudly. Just like a typical almost 3-year-old.

The PhD (perfect husband and dad) obtained a high-profile research grant from the European Union. He’s now plagued with a lot of bureaucracy.

That was for the family, the rest of this probably rambling post will be about me. Me, me, me! 😛

After 15 years, I finally graduated with an MA in English. Yayyyy!

I also started psychotherapy  for my post partum depression. Which began around 4 months after the bean’s birth. It seamlessly became an antenatal depression when I was expecting the turtle. To then stick around for round two of post partum depression with added anxiety. Since January I’m on SSRI (a type of antidepressant). Thanks to these measures, plus a lot of support from basically everybody (but especially PhD), I am now coping again.

Other stuff has also happened. Of course we were traveling. Of course I cooked. And of course I crafted.

But the intention of this post was about something that didn’t happen. Namely I didn’t get back into shape. I had given my jeans one year to fit me again. They decided they’d rather look for a new home. Their loss! 😀

But within the last month five or six people congratulated me for being pregnant again. I am not. After what happened last year, I’m done!

But they do have a point:


Belly 1 year after giving birth – not 3 months pregnant

Ergo, I have to become ActiveAline.

After some research I came across the MuTu system (not an affiliate link). I did the test and found out that I have a 3 finger wide diastasis recti. So starting from today, I am doing the 12 week program. I intend to document my progress here. As one does. So the warning:


Or not. Who knows if I can stick to documenting. I will stick to doing it, though!



I Made It! 

First, I made it through giving birth, with subsequent post-dural-puncture headache, followed by a sinus thrombosis caused by said birth. (Let’s just say I’m grateful for living in a country with excellent medical care) But what I really want to talk about in this post: I also made the deadline of this year’s outfit along by Andi Satterlund and Lladybird. Therefore I obviously made some clothes. Here’s the outfit:


Trying out a slightly fashiony pose 😀

The outfit consists of a boxy lace top (the free Cancùn pattern) and the official outfit along pattern, Sewaholic’s Hollyburn. I made both patterns with only minor modifications.
The reason I didn’t use the official knitting pattern: a top in fingering weight yarn was just not going to happen with a newborn.

I knit the top longer than the pattern by knitting two more lace panels and two more rows each garter stitch panel. During blocking it stretched out a lot and it’s almost tunic length instead of waist length as planned. It’s also way to wide. So if I ever make this again, I’d  cast on less stitches, knit pattern as is and maybe knit it in the round. It was a quick and easy top to make, so that might actually happen.

I made the Hollyburn in a size 10. The only modification I made: I swapped the (too wide) waistband with the (just right width) one of the Cambie dress. The skirt wants to ride up a bit at the moment, thanks to the little belly I still have. Construction wise I have nothing to say that hasn’t been said in the Hollyburn sewalong.

But I do want to say how much I love the fabric of this skirt! It doesn’t look so extraordinary from afar, but look how awesome it is close up:


Tiny skulls!

A little nod to my teenage goth self. 🙂

Ha! And finally I also made it to write a blog post.


It’s been quiet here for a long time. Naturally a lot has happened.

First you might be happy to know that we returned safely and uneventfully to Europe.

Then, we started the bean in daycare, so I could finish writing my master thesis. (that’s done and over with)

The reason to do it this academic year instead of the next is this:


(but if you follow me on Instagram you knew already)

Right now I’m one week past due date. The waiting and not being able to plan drives me nuts, so I could as well write a blog post. 😀

Other than that I have made some things, mostly knits. Continued cooking every day, baking occasionally and became a Konmari convert. This last bit to the dismay of phd, who loves to hang on to everything.

I might resume blogging at some point, like when the turtle (the 2nds belly name) starts daycare. Right now I have to prioritise my time and blogging has (sadly?) not become one of the most important things in life.

I still enjoy bragging about my life and stuff that I make, but I do it on the much faster Instagram, so feel free to follow me there. (I’m lazylinchen on there).

Bye! :*

We Are Going To Sydney!

Just a quick post to announce that I’m going to be visiting Australia from October 1st to November 30th! I’m really excited and have already booked a sewing class in the Bronte Sewing Room. (Yep my sewing addiction strikes again!)
It would be great to meet (sewing) people! So if you would like to meet up, comment here or send me an email at lazylinchen@gmail.com.
I hope to see you!

Getting Comfortably Out of my Comfort Zone

Ok, so I was at this meetup in Paris, and this being a sewing meetup, I was ogling everybody’s clothes to see which ones were self-made. (I only wore my Cordova jacket, all the rest was bought. For shame!) One garment that caught my eye immediately was this fabulous mustard yellow skirt:


In the course of the day I found out that it was indeed self-made and that its name is Jade. Lisa (to whom these gorgeously long legs belong) had designed the skirt and was offering it for sale. I did not, however, rush home and buy it immediately, as fabulous as it is. This hip-hugging design was just way out of my comfort zone. I was afraid this eyecatching design would make my saddlebags glaringly obvious. Nevertheless, I couldn’t get the design out of my head.

Therefore, when Lisa looked for reviewers for the improved pattern, I jumped at the opportunity! So there you have it, I got the pattern for free and boy am I happy I did!

Saddlebags? – Nope, not here!

Looking at the finished garment on me, I think either pregnancy has smoothed out the kinks a bit, or it’s just a good design. I would guess the latter. 😀 Every time I wear it I get at least one compliment, so that also helps! It’s also like wearing pyjamas, thanks to the ponte di roma I used.

The (pdf) pattern, which I think is correctly labelled intermediate, prints on 28 pages (there is also a copy shop version). At first I thought this was quite a lot, but you know, it’s an asymmetric pattern, so of course the pattern pieces aren’t mirrored.

Big Butt? – Yep, but you know… I like big butts…!

The pattern seemed quite straight forward to put together, so I was tempted not to follow the instructions. But this being a review, I did things properly and I’m glad I did. I learned a new and quite ingenious way of attaching the lining and sewing the side seams all in one go! Thanks to the lining, there is also no hemming involved. Double plus!

I initially had some troubles folding the folds (horrible sentence, but, erm, folds are folded… 😛 ). For that Lisa has helpfully included a folding practice piece that you can print seperately. (Which I didn’t use. I’m stubborn that way.)

Oh, Hi There Stray Thread!

I would usually make a knit garments with my serger/overlock, but because the folds are stitched down, used my regular machine. Too lazy to switch back and forth…

I had never been happy with the zigzag stitch for knits, as it always, always broke after a few wears. So finally I dug out the manual to my 1977 Bernina 831 and found that it has a stretch stitch. IT distorts the fabric just slightly, so I will have to experiment with it further, but it did the job wonderfully insofar as none of the seams has broken so far (that’s 2 weeks of excessive wear).

All in all it was a fairly quick make. I needed a bit of a breather after making about 10’000 muslins for a special dress and the coat you see a bit of in these pictures. While it wasn’t technically a project you can just sew mindlessly, I managed to power through it in 1 evening (cutting) and the next day (sewing), while still caring for the bean.

Final verdict: I am exceedingly happy with this skirt! I think it looks flattering even on a pear shaped figure. Plus, it’s a very eye catching design that’s gotten me tons of compliments already!

A Long Cropped Sweater

Oh hello there! Long time no see! And to top it off, a make that has been finished since the beginning of November (as you can easily tell from the location of these photos). Usually I wouldn’t bother to write a post about something that “old” and “long ago”, but this one is special. How so? Well, may I introduce you to the sweater that has helped me deal with labour?

Pleased To Meet You! – Being silly in the Jardin des Plantes

But how can a sweater help someone through labour? Well, I had cast it on two days before giving birth and was knitting quite ferouciously up until leaving for the hospital. I was still so focused on it that whenever I needed to take my mind off the pain during labour (that is right before epidural and top ups kicked in) I was picturing this sweater and coming up with outfits. That’s how it got it’s ravelry name (Labour Celtic Hill).

Have Some Side View – To break up the text 🙂

It’s “Celtic Hill” a design from knitwear designer (and IRL friend) Kessa Tay Anlin. When she published the pattern I knew immediately that I wanted to make it (so bought it within two minutes of seeing it). What can I say, I love cables (both the look and knitting them).

However, I was 3 months pregnant at that time and knew that I wouldn’t be able to wear anything this body conscious in quite some time. So I postponed. When the bean took his time and I got more and more anxious, I needed something to calm my nerves. Knitting cables was exactly what I needed!

Back View – Just because

After coming back home I wasn’t really able to work on it for a few weeks. By the time we went to Paris, though, I started having little pockets of time to myself. Add to this the lack of a sewing machine and it took me almost no time to finish! It is not a difficult knit if you know how to do cabling, and the one fiddly part (grafting the cables) is explained very well in the pattern.

However, from purchasing the pattern, to starting the project, to actually finishing it, it took me a very long time, hence the title of this post.

Cable Detail – try to spot the graft (I can’t)

The yarn (Drops Merino Extrafine) was acquired at the epic closing sale of my favourite LYS. It can therefore be considered as using up stash yarn, even if it was in there for less than half a year. 🙂

Also, because of the sale, I only got the last 7 skeins of this dyelot. I knew it was not going to be enough for the full length, but was hoping I could get it to at least waist length. As you can see, I suceeded in that, though I used up every last bit of what I had. I love the look of cropped sweaters on me, so I am really, really happy with the outcome!

The above outfit is how I wore it a lot since completion. For the other outfit ideas, I have to get cracking with the sewing machine, as all the high waist pants I own don’t fit me right now. My “to sew list” is very long, though, so who knows if they ever get done! (Keep reading to find out! :P)

What is the longest you worked on an item? (UFOs don’t count) How do you take your mind off unpleasant situations?


Obviously my pregnancy was me-made, but in this case I refer to the me-made clothes I wore… 😛

After my last post it took the little one another 9 days to make an appearance. Which means he was born 10 days after his due date on September 6 at 8:54 in the morning. I won’t bore you with my birth-story (which has no gory details in it anyway, it was rather smooth). It’s the outcome that counts. In this case a healthy and quite lively boy, who will henceforth be called the bean.

We are slowly adapting to the new life. Sleep is less than before, of course, but not too bad. What surprises me is that, while it is exhausting, as I had anticipated, it is also quite fun. Which I didn’t expect for at least 3 months after birth… So good on me for having honest and straightforward momma-friends! Don’t get me wrong, it is a lot of work and I don’t get anything done (thank goodness my mother-in-law is here to take care of everyday things such as laundry and cooking!). But it’s also quite nice to be a mum.

Anyway, emotional ramblings are done now. This post is going to be about what handmade clothes I wore during my last trimester. If you came here for cute baby pictures, sorry! PHD (Perfect Husband and Daddy, who more than deserves that title) and I decided not to post pictures of out child on the internet. At least not those that show his face. There are too many creeps out there.

Anyway, the clothes! Just a quick rundown, as some of them I have blogged about before, some are described on Burdastyle, and some are just very easy and I will link to the tutorial. First up, a dress that I especially made for pregnancy, using this tutorial on Do It Yourself Divas:

Maternity Maxi

I didn’t have an old t-shirt to use as the top part, so just made a cropped version of the Plantain shirt and followed the tutorial from there. Very comfy to wear on days where it wasn’t too hot.

The same can be said about the following (non-maternity) maxi dress, Sewaholic’s Saltspring:

Sewaholic Saltspring

I blogged about this dress here. While it fit ok, it got a bit snug around the bust towards the end.

Another dress that I made especially for pregnancy is this BurdaStyle maternity dress 132 from the June 2010 issue:

BurdaStyle 06/2010 #132

Sorry for the wrinkles. This one was quite the disappointment. I went with my pre-pregnancy measurements, which were considerably smaller, and still it came out way too large! I took the back in by about 6 cm in total and added elastic to the empire line to keep things secure in the front. As you can see it was still too big in my last trimester. However, I wore it anyway, as it was perfect for the heat wave we had going on here this summer.

Other than the above dress, my Colette Crepe was my saving grace in the heat:

Colette Crepe

I wrote about this dress on Burdastyle here. I was quite surprised to find it was working as a maternity dress, but I guess that is thanks to my long torso. Apparently Colette patterns tend to be short in the torso, so on me this workes as a kind of empire waist dress, which is quite ok for maternity wear.

The last dress (I didn’t wear pants much, as it was just too hot) is the Tiramisu by Cake Patterns:

Cake Patterns Tiramisu

Again, I blogged about it here. It was one of the most comfy ones, as it’s a knit. Now I’m wondering if it would also work as a nursing dress/top. Will have to test and report back on that.

Other than that, nothing much happened sewing wise, the move and giving birth kind of interfered with that. So that’s it for now! (Whew, managed to write this post all in one go during one of the bean’s naps!) Have a good one you all! Hopefully ’till soon!