Culture, Sewing

Froehliche Weihnachten! Merry Christmas!

I have been sewing like crazy over the last two months! Costumes, alterations, custom creations – it has been a whirlwind and lot of work but also a lot of fun.

This year I vended my wares in Harmony, PA for the first time ever. I enjoyed meeting talented creators and spending time with my mom, and of course any excuse to wear my dirndl is a good time! Here’s a pic of my table of goodies:


Some of these handmade items are still available! To purchase something for yourself or a loved one, please visit my Etsy shop 😀

From my family to yours, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!!

Clothing, Culture, Sewing

Auf Wiedersehen Oktoberfest, wir hatten Spaß /Goodbye Oktoberfest, we had fun!

Autumn is my favorite time of year for so many reasons, but most of all because I love Oktoberfest. The tradition of Oktoberfest began when a Bavarian prince and princess who were wed in some fields outside of Munich, Germany on the 12th of October in 1810. Today, it is celebrated in Munich and throughout the US in various forms. I enjoy all of it – the music, the food, the beer, the dancing, and the dress. I hope to some day attend Oktoberfest in Munich, where they have huge beer tents for the adults, and carnivals/amusements/fair grounds for families to enjoy.  For a take on what celebrating Bavarian culture means to young Germans, check out this article from the NY Times about dirndls in the disco!

This year my hubby and I were invited to attend the Oktoberfest at Pittsburgh’s Teutonia Maennerchor, a private club which celebrates German-American heritage. We had a wonderful time – the food and drink were excellent and plentiful, the company was warm and relatively well-behaved, and the entertainment was great. Everyone looked so fesch, decked out in Trachten, and it was so nice to have another occasion upon which to wear my handmade dirndl.

Something that I am especially proud of is the fact that this summer, I sewed a dirndl for my good friend, Julie. She looks so lovely in it and appreciates the beauty of a custom dirndl! Here we are together at the Hofbrauhaus in Pittsburgh 🙂

Culture, Sewing, Uncategorized

Sewickley Stammtisch

Hallo! We have been blessed with a delightfully busy summer this year, as the length between my posts demonstrates. This July my father and sister both celebrated their milestone birthdays with a huge party. Many family members and friends joined us for the BBQ themed bash – even some of our German relatives came! It was so wonderful to see family again, and meine Tante brought me Dirndl hardware that is impossible to find in the US, for which I am eternally grateful!!!
Another exciting development was the start of a local Deutsch Stammtisch group, prompted by a shared desire to practice German. We meet every fortnight to speak German/Germish and drink beer – what more could you want?! I am learning so much from my friends, old and new, and having a blast as well. If you’re local and would like to join us, find us here. If you’re not local but think this sounds like a good idea, I encourage you to reach out to your community via Facebook, etc. You might find one already operating near you, or you can start your own 😉
Plans for Oktoberfest in Pittsburgh have already begun, and as always I am excited for the cooler weather and Fall festivities to arrive once more. I’m currently sewing a dirndl for a dear friend of mine, so look for updates on that project!
Bis bald, Kirsten. Xx

Culture, Sewing

Summer Fun / Sommerspaß

Summer has officially arrived here in Pittsburgh, as most of the schools have let out.  Our boys really grew and learned so much this year at their preschool. One more year to go and then they’ll enter kindergarten. While I know I will cry like a fool when they start “real school”, I am looking forward to being able to present them with their own Schultüte. These are decorated paper cones filled with candies and small toys that German children receive when they begin school. I was lucky enough to have been given one when I was small and I can still remember the exciting sound of the paper twisting open to reveal the goodies inside!

The boys had loving, fantastic teachers this year, and so I sewed them both a little bag for an end-of-year thank you. Making handmade gifts is one of my all-time favorite things to do, because it combines the satisfaction of making something with one’s own hands with the joy of giving.

To kick off summer break, we spent the day with my mom and took a lovely walk through the Botanic Garden. What a treasure it is to be able to access nature in such a way! I hope you are enjoying the warmer weather like my little birds and I are 😉