The “6 feet tall is dainty”-Coat

Name & Location: Djamila, Berlin (Germany)


Blog: I don’t blog. I have good intentions but simply never find the time to start.


How long have you been sewing: I started sewing for myself when I was 15 (that was 18 years ago). Before that, I made dresses for my barbie dolls – considering that this meant that I cut holes into circle shaped fabric scraps I won’t count this as “sewing”. My mother sews and taught me the basics and I got the rest from books and the internet. When I was little I used to play with the buttons in a button box – I played buttong family or button kindergarten…my son starts doing the same now and I am hoping he will turn into a little sewing nerd. It looks quite promising – last week, he cut a hole into some 25-Dollar-yard-fabric of mine because he wanted to cut fabric just like mommy. He can barely handle his scissors yet but THIS he managed to do. And he wasn’t willing to settle for the fabric scraps I wanted to give to him – it had to be the big piece of fabric.


Why did you want to commit to The Sew Weekly Challenge: I am a translator and translators don’t work unless they have deadlines looming. If I want to sew more I need some peer pressure. I am lazy by nature and if I am not careful I spend most of my time with “imaginary sewing” instead of just doing it.

What do you love most about sewing garments: I love to pick fabrics, I love to browse sewing patterns and have all those great ideas going around in my head. I love it when I can’t fall asleep at night because I am so excited about a new sewing idea. I love it how no one can tell me “But red is not the trend this season – this season, we love grey and black”. I can just make whatever I want.


What do you hate most about sewing garments: Nothing really. Ok, I am no big fan of marking fabric, tracing patterns etc. but I wouldn’t say that I hate doing it. It’s such mundane work that it’s almost relaxing and I have time to think about the garment I am going to sew.


What do you want to accomplish this year with regard to the challenge: I want to sew a lot more regularly again. I used to sew a lot before my son was born in July 2008. I even took pattern drafting classes and started to make my own patterns. I used to have quite an extravagant wardrobe when I was at college and I hardly ever wore anything that I had bought at a store. My son turned out to be quite a high-maintenance kid and I didn’t get anything done when he was a baby. When he was a year old I got back to working as a freelance translator which made it even harder to set some time away for sewing. Last July when my son turned 3 I finally decided to get a bit of my old life back – and my life has always included sewing and wearing clothes that are not sandbox-compatible. After the long sewing pause, the first things I made were pants (because my old ones had fallen apart) but the garment I like most is a dark blue coat made of wonderfully warm Polartec fleece. Dark blue isn’t exactly my color – I love bright striking colors such as red, pink, orange – but I liked the fabric so much because it’s light, warm and windproof. It’s not that easy to get Polartec fleece in Germany so I had to work with what I could get. To brighten up the dark blue coat I put a pink trim along the princess lines, sleeve hems and the collar. It is really quite a nice effect and the photo doesn’t do it justice. My mother who can be quite harsh with her judgements actually said that the coat makes me look extremely slim and dainty (not easy when you’re 6 feet tall).


Your biggest non-sewing goal of 2012: Work less. Have more fun. Make hubby learn how to use a camera properly. Go to California with my family – my husband comes from the Bay Area and we weren’t able to afford flight tickets last year. I think this year, we’re going to make it.


What are your favorite sewing/fashion blogs: Sew Weekly, Oona Balloona (discovered her through Sew Weekly)



Djamila is a German translator living in Berlin, Germany. She is married to an American and has a 4-year-old son who never sleeps. She used to sew A LOT before her son was born. After 4 years of wearing practical sandbox-clothes she finally wants to get her original fashion style back and sew a lot more again.


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  1. Djamila, my little daughter was very good with the scissors too. Her favorite was cutting up library books.

    Love your coat!

  2. Vicky, thank God, my son hasn’t discovered yet that books can be cut…and I hope he will stick to fabric – but scraps, please. ;)

  3. maybe hit the op-shops and buy some old sheets and have a special pile of material for your son to cut up and maybe (maybe!) he’ll leave Mum’s pile alone. I like the pink detailing on your jacket.