A short break in Hamburg

My husband and I spend the last few days in the beautiful city of Hamburg. It was my friend Eva's 21st (plus some ;-)) birthday and she thought it would be fun for a group of friends to get away and spend a fun weekend somewhere else. Since everyone apart from us is living somewhere in Germany, it made sense to pick a place there. Hamburg is a perfect location to do some sightseeing, relaxing and some serious partying. If you haven't been, I suggest you add it to you list of places to visit.
We stayed in a hotel just across the road from the main train station and had a great view of the impressive construction that it is.
We got to Hamburg first, on Thursday afternoon. The others didn't get there until midnight. So we went out for some beer sampling ourselves.
Dave and I went out for some exploring on Friday morning. We went down to the harbour.
checked out a WW2 Russian submarine
not very spacious
Walked around the Alster, which is a huge lake in the middle of the city.
Small Alster (this little bit is split off the main lake. The grand old town houses lining it, are absolutely gorgeous.
So is the cake.
Caught up with my friend Eva, her boyfriend Thomas and friend Harry
at the Hard Rock Cafe
In the evening Dave and I met up with my friend Ivonne and her boyfriend, who live just on the outskirts of Hamburg. Ivonne and I went to school together and had not seen each other for 11 years. It was amazing to see her. We immediately clicked again and had the best time catching up. I am sure the next time seeing each other, will be much sooner that in 11 years.
Saturday morning was spend with more sightseeing/city walking
city hall
Hafen city with all the beautiful old brick warehouses
Otto von Bismarck memorial. This is enormous.
We went to the Hamburg Dungeon in the afternoon (no pictures) It was good despite the fact that I am not a fan of ghost rides and such. And then we went back to the harbour areas for dinner followed by a good night out on the Reeperbahn/St Pauli, Hamburgs crazy Party district, for which Hamburg is very much known for.
Sunday was spend with recovering ;-) packing and saying our goodbyes. It's always sad to leave again but I'll be back in Germany for some Christmas market action in December.
Love you Eva, happy birthday and see you soon!!


I ran a Marathon.....

Yes I did! I ran my very first marathon yesterday and haven't stopped grinning since that. I am either smiling because I am so chuffed and proud or I am pulling a grimace due to the pain I am in.

before the race: super sexy bin liner outfit

My husband and I ran the Abingdon Marathon, which is a relatively small marathon. About 1000 spaces but it looked like less participants to me. I guess this is due to some getting injured in training and then have to drop out. That must be heartbreaking.
This race was one of the best organised races I have ever ran. It didn't have a great crowd of spectators but the ones that came out were awesome at cheering us on. The scenery along a lot of the track is beautiful and makes up for the lack of people. It certainly took my mind of the task ahead. There were also a lot of marshalls all along the course and plenty of water stations, jelly babies and Lucozade.

after the race

I didn't have a time goal for this one. I only wanted to finish. Since I never ran a full marathon before I didn't know what to expect so I didn't try to put even more pressure on by setting a time goal. This strategy paid off big time as I was cheerful all the way through. I didn't hit "the wall" once and enjoyed the experience. It was hard, don't get me wrong but I usually get frustrated and "stuck" at some point when I am chasing a time goal. It did get tough after mile 19 (this is the furthest I ran in training) but I then started to take one mile at a time and made it to the finish line.

My blingy proof of achievement

my personal trainer superstar

Once we had made it (my husband ran with me, I am so lucky I have him, I don't think I would be the runner that I am without his support) it got REALLY bad. My legs just stiffened up and walking back to the car was a struggle. The only reason I got out of the car again was this:

and then this a little later:

I could barely get into bed last night but once I made it I was sleeping like a stone. My legs are a little better today but I still have to lift them in and out of bed. I am also wobbling instead of walking and look like an old lady or a penguin. I hope I'll be fine again by Thursday. I am off to Hamburg for a few days to celebrate my friend's birthday. In case she is reading this HAPPY BIRTHDAY EVA!!!!

My time: 4:46 and for some reason they had my husband down as Chris? We finished holding hands....we are so cheesy ;-) that's why our times are the same

Anyways, end of story....would I do this again? Oh yes, despite all the pain, stiffness and soreness this is one of the best experiences ever. I have the Brighton Marathon booked in April. This is long enough to forget how crippled I am today and to get ready to do it all over again. I also have another half marathon booked in about 2 weeks time. I am hoping that after running the full marathon I will finally be able to get that sub 2 hour half marathon time. It should feel relatively "easy".
If you have toyed with the idea of running a race, any distance. Do it!!!  Get a good training plan and go for it. It's the best feeling when you make it over that finish line and get that medal.

I am still wearing mine today....don't judge
This made me laugh. Apart from the bloody shirt, this is me today, and probably tomorrow, too.


Vintage sewing patterns for sale........

Hi everyone, I am having a clear out and sorted out some sewing patterns. I have listed them on Ebay.

I am running my first marathon tomorrow and plan to transition to triathlon during Autumn and Winter. I therefore try to scrape together some cash to raise funds for a road bike. I think my Schwinn cruiser won't be getting me very far in a race.

So please check out my Ebay listing and hopefully you will find a pattern for you.


These trousers make me feel like Buster Keaton...

I made a long leg version of my wool-y shorts to see how this pattern turns out. I loved the shorts so much and wide legged trousers are my favourite trouser style, so I went ahead and made them up in a salt and pepper suiting material and I must say I am in love. They were straight forward to make. Well, just like the shorts just longer.....and no cuffs.
I added buttons to the waistband again so I can wear them with my vintage braces and must say I feel a little Buster Keaton, wearing them. To me, that's a good thing. I can see more versions in the future.
There was a little bit of fabric left over from the trousers which I turned into a matching beret. I am getting prepared to brave the colder temperatures coming.
And a picture with kitty for good measure.
She hates being picked up, can you tell?
Anyone else sewing for the colder days in the near future? If yes, what are you making?


Autumn shorts, a modern vintage girl mash up through the decades...

I have changed the look of the blog a bit. After years of brown I felt it was time for a change. I am not sure if I will keep it this way but for now I am happy with it. I just wanted it to look a little fresh. Like the Autumn air I suppose.

I guess it's time to pack up the Summer dresses and get the warmer items of clothing out. Or how about taking some Summer staples such as shorts and make them suitable for colder temperatures.
I did just that and made myself some wool shorts yesterday. I am very pleased with how they turned out. They look quite 1960s, I think.


I used New Look 6873 view E and must say I love this pattern. I just remember that I haven't added the little detail on the cuffs but they don't really seem to need it. The only thing I added, that isn't part of the pattern, are the buttons to hold the braces. I got them on Etsy a couple of weeks or so ago and plan to add the buttons to a few more trousers and shorts to wear them with the braces.
I think I will be making the long trousers next.


I made the blouse, too. I tried making them with pre WW2 fashion in mind. I frankensteined the blouse together, added a Peter Pan collar and extra long cuffs for detail. I am very much into making blouses at the moment or separates in general. I usually sew a lot of dresses but with the temperatures dropping and layering becoming more necessary, separates make sense.

I hope you likey?


Anyone going to Octoberfest? This might be the outfit to wear....

I recently made this little outfit for a customer up on her request. It is a 1960s inspired top made from eyelet cotton with little drawstring neckline detail and puffy sleeves. The skirt is inspired by a late sixties style. Its a gathered dirndl style skirt with scalloped hem and optional suspenders.
Once I finished it, I thought it reminds me a lot of the outfits worn to Oktoberfest in Munich. Perfect timing.....