Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Travel Sewing and Berlin Recap


I thought that since I made such a big deal about posting my travel sewing plans, I ought to do a recap post about what I actually got done and what just didn't happen. And then I'll share some of my pictures from Berlin [and a lil video]!



STRATHCONA HENLEY: I got the motorcycle henley done in time, and it fit my brother. Hooray! I blogged it here.

COOPER BAG: The Cooper Bag [pictured in action above!] was a bit stressful because I didn't have a bag that was appropriate to take, so I actually needed to get it done. It's blogged here. After using it every day for 10 days, I might install the straps closer together at the top, as they're rather wide and made my shoulders sore after multiple days of wearing it filled with heavy things. I also might make it not as deep. But the backpack/messenger combo was exactly what I needed!

ACID WASH OOH LA LEGGINGS: I love these things! Blogged here. I wore them with a Victory Patterns Lola dress [unblogged] and felt snazzy.

2 KWIK SEW SWEATSHIRTS: I'm so glad I made these and brought them, because it was colder than I thought. The first one is blogged with the leggings here and the second one here.


ALBION COAT: HAAAA! I made a muslin, ordered some Thinsulate and then I was out of time. Definitely didn't even get close on that one.

CLOVER PANTS: I made like five muslins and just was not ready to commit to real pants. There are currently Clover muslins strewn amongst my belongings - in my sewing bookshelf, my bathroom, my laundry hamper. It is not a pretty sight. 


BLACK PLANTAIN TEE: Remember how I said I wanted a few Plantains? Well, I made a long sleeved black one as planned - in fact it was the first travel sewing project I did - packed it up in my suitcase, and then FORGOT TO WEAR IT. I found it wadded up in the bottom when I was unpacking and didn't even know what it was at first. So it's a success in that I made it, but a fail in that I acted like I didn't.

SHEER CLOVER TOP: This is half finished, sitting in a heap on my sewing table. It was getting late and I had one day left and I had to choose between finishing this and making the motorcycle henley for my brother. And since I'm such a good sister, I abandoned the Clover. But to be honest I wasn't very into finishing it anyway. I will...soon.

And now, some Berlin photos.

There is graffiti everywhere. EH. VER. EE. WHERE.

One of my days there I took an E-Bike tour with Fat Tire Bike tours, and it was awesome! We rode all around the city [my bike clocked like 25 km] and had lunch at a biergarten. The people in my group were so fun and my tour guide Walid was awesome. An E-Bike feels like a regular bike, except that when you pedal fast there is a computer that accelerates. This picture is from Tempelhof, an airport originally built by the Nazis that was used for the Berlin Airlift during the Cold War. It's now a massive park. We rode around on the runways.

I was crushing hard on the mailboxes in my brother's apartment building.

This is Maybachufer, near the Turkish Market. There were a ton of stalls selling really cheap fabric of drastically varying quality. It was fun but also crowded and overwhelming and I didn't get anything. I did, however, run into someone that was on my bike tour, which was a really weird small-world moment [you don't expect to hear your name called in a foreign city halfway around the world].

This is in Nordbahnhof, one of the stations for Berlin's S-Bahn train system. It was one of the stations know as a Ghost Station during the Cold War. When the wall went up, there were still West Berlin trains that ran through East Berlin, and to prevent people from escaping along the tracks the entrances of multiple train stations were bricked over and guarded until the wall came down in 1989. As a result these stations are like time capsules - all the tiles and signs are original to the time the stations were built in the 20's and 30's. There is a small exhibit in Nordbahnhof with some really interesting escape stories - one man snuck his family into an underground train tunnel in the middle of the night, somehow managed to stop one of the West Berlin trains, and convinced the conductor to take them with him.

This is another train station, Spandau.

This is at the Berlin Wall Memorial. There are photos of the 138 people who were killed trying to escape over the wall [that's part of the wall in the background]. There was one story of a man who use a grappling hook to zip line his family over the wall in the middle of the night from the top of a tall building, and it actually worked.

Nazi sewing patterns anyone? Now I know what a jodhpur pattern looks like.

This is a fabric catalogue from 1807! It was in the German History Museum.

Berlin is a vibrant, amazing city, and my list of things I want to do and see is far from complete. I know most of my pictures are about history, but there is so much more to it than that. I had great food, lots of beer [beer everywhere!], and saw some ridiculously good jazz musicians. I had one successful interaction in German where the person did not automatically switch to English when they heard me speak, and IT WAS A TRIUMPH. [All I did was order a small coffee, BUT STILL.]

Lastly, here's a video of a street violinist that my brother and I saw in Neuk├Âlln, right before a fiery shot of ratzeputz that helped sentence me to the couch for most of the next day.

Thanks so much to everyone that commented/emailed me suggestions on things to do, I really appreciate it and your advice was so valuable!

Tomorrow I'll be back with a rather somber post about my side trip to Sachsenhausen. Then there will be a little post about Prague, and after that back to sewing stuff, I promise!


  1. Zomg, that Spandau train station! I'd love to see more of those ghost stations - that's my favorite time period for architecture!

  2. What an amazing looking trip. My eyes locked onto those mailboxes too.

  3. I really really enjoyed this post! Germany is on my "to go" list, so I'm going to have to talk to you when I'm ready :)

  4. Looks like you had a great time and looked great while at it! Love your brother's tee!

  5. Great post, now I want to go :)

  6. Thank you for sharing! I adore Berlin, all of Germany in fact, and I'm so happy to hear you had a great time! Also that mailbox, daaaayum.

  7. Those shots from Ratzeputz are lethal! Worst hangover ever. Glad to see you had a good time, it looks like you packed a lot into your holiday



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