Oktoberfest 2010 – It’s Wiesn Woche

wiesnbanner

I already teased on Friday that I’m going to have a special week here on the blog. It’s Oktoberfest Week and that is worth mentioning.

Here’s the story: this year it’s the first time I’m going to the Oktoberfest and since March I really dug into the topic due to a sewing order that I received. More on that on Wednesday. So this week I’m going to talk about this big ass German event that takes place in Munich, Bavaria, south of Germany. It’s a fest that lasts 2 weeks (this year it’s September 18th – October 3rd) and everyone shows up in traditional Bavarian costume and they drink LOTS OF BEER. Ask anyone who’s been there 3 things that come to his mind when they hear Oktoberfest. It’ll be „Beer“, „Munich“, „Dirndl“.

The Oktoberfest (also called Wiesn) is one big event. Millions of people from all over the world go there to squeeze themselves into a tent together with 3,000 others to drink beer and have a good time. Yes! In one tent there are up to 3,000 people, in some tents even 8,000. I still can’t believe that until I saw it. There are 15 tents on the Wiesn. Some are bigger and some are smaller. Here are some impressions of the inside of some tents.

Hacker Pschorr Tent at the Oktoberfest, Munchen

Oktoberfest

So basically people go there in traditional Bavarian costume and eat and drink and dance.

The beer…. in Bavaria people drink beer as if it was water. You can order a beer for lunch and no one would ever look at you strange considering this time of day too early. Now on the Wiesn you don’t get a glass of beer. It’s a bucket! A bucket that contains 1 liter of beer. That’s 33.8140 fl.oz. And I tell you – German beer is strong. Last year on my first visit to Bavaria (Martin is from there) I’ve tried to drink one of those. Look at the dimension of the glass alone….

lou'sbucket

After one of those beers you can imagine how I felt. Some days I can’t manage to drink a liter of water, let alone beer. Anyway. That’s the way it is and either you follow the rules or you don’t.

And now imagine a tent with 3,000 people. Thirsty people. Somehow the beer needs to come to their tables, right? I don’t know how those ladies are capable of handling so many full glasses. I’ve seen it. They carry 10 – 15 glasses of beer, with a whistle in their mouth. Incredible.

What’s typical as well are the nice decorated gingerbread hearts. They come in all sizes with different texts. Sweet.

Gell du mogst mi

The area from above.

That was part one of my Wiesn Woche (Week). In the course of the week I’ll be showing you my drama of finding the right Dirndl Dress, what I did to it to make it more unique, I’m having a Wiesn Sale of things that I’ve been sewing and some other nice facts about his German event. I hope you enjoy it.

Sewing ruffle pants for my baby niece

Here’s my second sewing project I did for my little precious niece. It’s a ruffled pant from a pattern I bought on Etsy. Thought the description said it’s for beginners I found it a bit tricky. There were many terms I didn’t know and I had to look many things up but it turned out fine.

I only had one piece for the pant and 3 pieces for the ruffles, a thin and a thick piece of elastic band.

what you need

As mentioned in my previous post I had no clue how to make ruffles. The tutorial of this pattern described it but still I couldn’t imagine it. Therefore I checked YouTube and found a pretty good video on how to make fabric ruffles. The secret behind it is you have to chose the longest stitch so that the stitch isn’t so tight because you have to pull the bobbin thread after sewing so the fabric ruffles.

Before ruffling I sewed a very small hem on each stripe.

hem

Then came the ruffles.

preparing the ruffle

ruffled fabric

I did this with all the 3 different fabric stripes which I sewed on the pantie one after the other. I found that difficult since the fabric was crumpled and I lost some of the ruffles by pulling the stripe.

attaching the ruffle

Here you can see that the ruffles are not as wavy as the stripe was before I sewed them on. But still you can say it’s a ruffle.

3 ruffles

Now I could close the sides of the pantie…

sew the sides together

…and insert the elastic band. Tricky again. As shown in the YouTube ruffle video I had to pull the elastic as it was shorter than the leg opening. Hassle! And my machine didn’t always hit the elastic. My patience faded. When the elastic was finally sewn on I turned it inside and had to sew over it again to have a nice cuff.

legs

I had to do this 3 times. 2 legs and around the belly.

tunnel

And all of a sudden the pantie was done. This took about an hour and some minutes. Not as easy as I thought but still the result is pretty lovely.

finished front

finished ruffled back

And it fit!! YAY. Now that my niece starts to walk the ruffles will always happily bounce around. I really enjoyed this!

baby niece with ruffle panties

That was sewing with a pattern number 2. Tricky but I realize as more as I practice the better it gets. I really fail better every time I sew. Have no fear! I can’t tell you often enough.

And another tip: I get asked many times whether I attended a sewing class or in general how I learned to sew. I made one class where every student could sew whatever he wanted and the teacher would tell you what to do. I decided to learn things I would frequently do as shorten the legs of a pair of jeans (I always have to) and I sewed a Gumdrop Pillow. That class taught me nothing about what needle to use, how I have to set my machine, what threads I would need etc. Basically I have no clue on sewing techniques. I just sew and when I face a problem there is still Google and even better YouTube. You can really type in anything you want and watch a video about it. That is my class. I learn from just doing it and YouTube. :-) So don’t be afraid and think you need a class. As long as you have the internet available you have the class right there. And each project will teach you a lesson.

Have a fabulous Saturday!

Sewing an Elsie Baby Dress for my niece

Last week for my baby niece’s first birthday I thought of sewing her a beautiful little dress. Of course! I found this beautiful Elsie Dress Pattern on Etsy. It was delivered as a PDF file and that’s actually the very first time I used a pattern to sew something. Go figure! It’s so darn easy it only took 45 minutes to complete.

I printed out the pattern, cut it out and placed it on the fabric as described in the pictures that came with the pattern. The dress is made of 3 big pieces and 2 pieces for the ruffled arms.

5 pieces of fabric make a little dress

Now it’s only 3 steps: sew the 2 small pieces for the back onto the front part.

sew 3 pieces together

The ruffle had to be folded in half and sewed together.

ruffle arm

The round edge had to be sewn into the round part of the arm (as shown here). Actually it was supposed to be ruffled but the pattern didn’t explain how to make ruffles in a way I would understand so I left it straight. The ruffled part I learned in the other sewing project I made for my niece (will post it on Saturday).

sew ruffle arm

After the arms were done the rest was easy and quick. 3 straight seams – 2 sides and one in the back.

sew side

sew back

FERTIG! Yes it was THAT easy! I tell you: don’t be afraid of using patterns. Just follow the instructions and even when you stumble over a part you don’t really get you can figure it out. I think the dress looks gorgeous with straight arm wings, don’t you think?

completed dress

The two pieces of the back are not sewn together completely. I left a bit of 10 cm open so Tiny could put her head through the whole and added a small fabric button made of the same fabric.

button detail

Ah ok… AND I added some white binding around neck and the bottom that I had leftover from the baby kimono I did some months ago.

That is just lovely. A perfect little project I enjoyed much because it didn’t drive me nuts and everything was nice and easy to understand and it didn’t take ages. The other present I sewed was different. Let me tell you more on Saturday :-)

Baking a Rainbow Cake

Last week my little niece celebrated her first birthday and that screamed for a special cake. Since I baked Martin’s birthday cake last year and another one for his dad I’m kinda addicted to bigger, better and more creative cakes. It’s so much fun and sooooo relaxing.

Looking for an inspiration I stumbled over Martha’s site and found a recipe for a rainbow cake and loved it instantly. Though I never managed to bake biscuit cake I thought I’d give it a try.

Actually I followed Martha’s recipe. Pretty easy.

ingredients

You mingle everything together until you have a big bowl of dough.

dough

Divide into 6 equal parts and add food colors. On Martha’s site they used a kind of gel. It is available here in Germany but you have to order it so I used normal food colors from the supermarket and hoped it would lead to the same result. It didn’t. The colors turned out very light but actually I really liked the pastel result. I had red, orange, yellow, green, blue and purple (mixed with red and blue).

6 colors

Since I only have ONE pan I had to bake them separately which took quite a while.

6 bisquits

Before stacking the biscuits I prepared the cream cheese frosting. 4 packs of cream cheese, a part of confectioner’s sugar, butter and some vanilla. Beat until smooth.

cream cheese frosting

I began with the purple biscuit, poured some of the frosting and covered it with blue and so on and so on until it looked like this.

stapled

Covered with the rest of the frosting it looked like this. Very innocent!

covered

Yes and this is one slice that I managed to photograph. It tasted great and the cake was finished within minutes.

result

That was fun and easy to bake. Maybe I should get at least one more pan for such occasions. This won’t be the last time I baked this fantastic cake.

Some fun sewing tutorials

This week I ran out of crafty projects. I have weeks where I do one project after the other, this week isn’t one of those. :-) It’s very hot outside and I’m glad when I come home and don’t have to do anything. Though I’m still browsing my favorite sites and blogs everyday and came across some very great tutorials that I want to share today.

My latest favorite discovery when it comes to crafty blogs is Noodleheads. Anna is one talented mom that sews the prettiest things for her kids and is so generous to share them. The other day she posted this super cute car pillow tutorial which isn’t that hard to make. Her instructions are very easy to follow and this little pillow makes a wonderful baby-shower gift.

Another tutorial I liked very much is by Martha Stewart. A tooth fairy pillow for little ones.  Perfect for my step-kiddo who’s loosing teeth every week at the moment :-)

I recently found Amy Bindel’s Early Bird Special Blog where she shows her beautiful embroidery projects. The cool thing about this blog is that Amy teaches her readers how to embroider with detailed step-by-step instructions and even a little video. How cool is that? See Lesson 4: The split stitch for example. I love to embroider but yet only know how to back stitch. She opened my horizons and I can’t wait to practice my skills as soon as the fall comes.

Anna Maria Horner posted this beautiful and ass simple to sew Museum Tunic Dress. Doesn’t it look fabulous? I must definitely try this as long as the weather allows me to wear it.

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