Happy to be home


About six weeks ago I turned my life upside down & set it down again. But in a different country. Reader: I moved house and country – from Brexit-Britain back to Germany, which I’ve learnt to call home again. Indeed, I moved back into the house I grew up in, so it was a home-coming in many senses.

So, how to mark this auspicious event? I didn’t have to think very hard: I wanted to make a shirt to mark the occasion. But, unfortunately, I’d packed my patterns very securely. So securely that I couldn’t find them. For various reasons I can’t unpack the majority of my removals boxes yet, and so my patterns are destined to remain lost for the time being.

But luckily the ever-wonderful Pattydoo brought out a nice, comfy, slightly sporty-looking t-shirt pattern called ‘Ava’ just when I needed it. It was clearly fate (click here to get to the [German-language] pattern). The other thing I wanted to do was play around with appliqué – both the usual and negative appliqué. And maybe a spot of sew-drawing.

I found a lovely green slub jersey fabric and set to work.

First of all, I drew some letters on a couple of pieces of paper and cut them out. I’m showing off my paper scissors here…  The letters spell out ‘Hurra, Wieder da’ (Hurrah, back again), which just about sums it up. I decided to highlight the letters ‘Wi’ by trying out negative application, because they are short for ‘Wiesbaden’, the town that I now call my home town again.

I then traced the letters on some iron-on interfacing (back-to-front obvs.), ironed them on to some bright and cheery fabric scraps, and cut them out.


Then I fixed all the ingredients on the shirt to see what it would look like.

And after removing my ever-helpful kitty Mia from the sewing table, I could finally begin appliquéing the bits and pieces.


This is the finished front bodice. It’s not my best effort. In a way it looks too busy to be effective. But it was fun to make, and the shirt will lose its novelty factor anyway in a couple of weeks.

I enjoyed making it, nevertheless, and I learnt a few things about appliqué. It’s definitely a good idea to use interfacing or tear-away interfacing before attempting it. I also enjoyed the drawn element (the blue ‘eder’ in ‘Wieder’, where I drew the letters by sewing them rather than cut them out).


Now I’ve been back for 6 weeks, I’m still sorting things out, while simultaneously having the feeling of having arrived. Lots of things are still familiar, and I’m (re-)discovering other things. It’s great coming home after a long absence – in my case 17 years abroad. Yes, I’m still celebrating.


About alycevr

Academic, translator & maker of things
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