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CJoens | Posted in General Discussion on


I like to introduce myself too. My name is Christina and I come from Germany. I like to say sorry for my horrible grammar and writing before I write about me.

I’m 26 years old and sewing now for 8 years. I love sewing so much and I’m saving money now to buy a machine that is able to do some embroidery too, but they are so expensive.

I live together with my fiancé but I prefer sewing for myself. I love to sew Butterick patterns, which I order via internet.

I hope to learn a lot and to meet nice people here




  1. carolfresia | | #1

    Welcome, Christina! We're glad to have another international member of the group.

    I chuckled when you mentioned using Butterick patterns--many of us on this side of the ocean clamor for Burda patterns. I guess the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence!


    1. CJoens | | #2

      Hi Carol,

      yes burda is really easy to get here but with my shape, butterick fits a lot better!

      Thank you for your nice welcome. It's a good chance to improve my english skills! Especially because I subcribed for the Threads magazin, so I have to read about sewing in english, but there isn't any magazin like this in german! But understanding English is much easier than French or Swedish ( Both languages I don't speak really good.... no my Swedish is horrible!! )

      Have a nice day


      1. rjf | | #3

        Hi CJoens,

        Are you finding that you have to relearn how to sew when the directions are in a different language?  Do you find the techniques are the same, just different words?  It's a good thing that Threads usually has good illustrations; they help a lot.  Are you able to find the fabric you want here?  I have trouble finding really nice lightweight cottons for shirts and such and I remember the stores in Germany had great cottons.     Good luck with your sewing.  Keep us posted!.    rjf

        1. CJoens | | #4

          Hi rjf,

          I don't have to relearn sewing and the pictures are a great help but in school you usually don't learn what a bias is or what to hem means, so I keep on working with my dictionary! But I'm improving my English skills every day!

          Buying cloth here in Germany can be a challenge too! Buying cotton for patchwork etc. is quiet easy, but if it comes to evening robes, you may have difficulties or the price is extremely high.

          I bought a lot of things for sewing at my last trip to the US, because all the accessories are a lot cheaper in the US!

          Have a nice day


          1. rjf | | #5

            Hi Cjoens,

            It's been a while since I shopped in Germany and I wasn't looking for accessories but I did find mother-of-pearl shirt buttons which are impossible to find here in the States (at least where I live).  Our friends from Germany used to visit about every year and Hilda always bought bath towels here because they were cheaper.  I guess shopping is a good reason to travel.

            What did they teach about sewing in school?  Does everyone learn to sew?  At what age?  I think my daughters had a short course in sewing in school but I don't remember them being taught very much.  It's interesting to hear how people learn to sew. I think it's become pretty much a "do-it'yourself" kind of thing.   rjf

          2. CJoens | | #6

            Hi rjf,

            I hated sewing in school! We were about 13 years old and had to learn with 30 kids ( boys and girls!) and 10 sewing machines. It was horror! I didn't learn anything at all because we made a piece of cloth with different stitches. No pattern copying, basting or so. I had to sew about 6 months than we turned to knitting. We had a course in school called Textiles werken what means needlework in all kinds, embroidery, silkpainting, knitting and sewing for 2 years and everybody had to visit this course. School system is really different here in Germany.

            What I meant was that I didn't learn word like narrow hemmer or bias in my English classes, but I didn't learn most words you need to now in all-day-live there. But I have some English friends, so that's o.k. now and I read a lot in English. I've been to the States 2 times now, I loved it!

            My sister lived in El Paso for a year and while visiting her, we've been to a couple of shops buying thread and cloth and so!

            We'll be in New England in 2004 and I'm thinking of buying a new sewing-machine there. Do you know how much a good sewing machine like for example the Pfaff 7570 will be in the US?



          3. rjf | | #8

            Good Morning,

            Educators have good intentions but they find it difficult to put the ideas into practice.  Wouldn't you think they experienced the same thing you did....not enough equipment and too many students? 

            What does a German sewer call "bias"?

            My sewing machine is about 40 years old, nicely broken in, as we say.  At the time I got it, it was state of the art.  It zig-zagged and went backwards AND forward.  (I learned on a machine that only went forward) so I am not the person to ask about new sewing machines but CAROL FRESIA will be able to tell you what you need to know and the latest issue of Threads has a sewing machine review. 


          4. CJoens | | #10

            Good evening, ( it is about 12 p.m)

            bias means as much as sloping (?) grainline I think, no online-dictionary have a sewing solution.... ( SMILE )

            So you see, I need as much pictures I can get when I sew patterns from the states. Funny thing is, that you also can buy patterns from vogue or butterick here in a store, but ordering them online is much cheaper! I started a hat know made of an "old" jacket by a butterick pattern. What a challenge. Do all the american patterns use non-fusible interfacing? I normally use fusible interfacing because that is a lot easier I think! And the jacket is not really old but the people at the dry-cleaning store ( I know that there is another word for it.... SMILE ) damaged the silk! And there is a competition here for using old clothes to sew something new and useful out of it

            And thank you all for the warm welcome. Maybe I would go into a sewing-shop ( is that the right word for a shop were they sell sewing machines? ) next time I'm in Sweden and hope that they a) understand my few words I'm able to speak in Swedish ( I just started to learn Swedish as my 4 language although my French is horrible too ) or b) hope that they speak English too!

            Have a good night ( or in your case a good day! )


          5. rjf | | #12

            Hi CJoens

            I'm always amazed when I realize how many languages Europeans speak. Americans are getting better, I think, but we don't seem to have as much need or opportunity to speak another language.  When you said "sewing shop", I knew exactly what you meant but we would say "fabric store".  Some also sell sewing machines.  A dealer sells only sewing machines.  When you think about it, all the handworks and crafts have special vocabularies that aren't covered in the language texts.  And every language seems to have its own handwork vocabulary.

            I usually used non-fusible interfacing but I started sewing a looooooong time ago so it's what I'm used to.  Besides, it's possible to  move it or change it if you need to.  But I can see advantages to the iron-on kind.

            We say "dry cleaner's"......I think.  My brain is trying to come up with another name but "dry cleaner's"  is all I can think of.  Maybe someone else has a word for it.

            The "old" hat sounds interesting.  What is it going to look like?  Maybe you could post a picture?                                                rjf

          6. cottonbets | | #13

            Welcome Christina!

            Your competition to make something new from something old sounds like a lot of fun.I just saw a picture in a catalogue for a "jean jacket", ( a jacket made out of denim- blue jeans material). Instead of being all denim, this jacket had a piece of knit fabric for the back. It looked really cool, and made me think of a favorite cotton sweater that had gotten to be short and wide. I have not had the heart to throw out the sweater, and this would be a good way to use it. Thanks for the inspiration!

            I was involved in another project using old clothing. Our high school choir robes were in terrible shape, held together with duct tape (industrial or home repair tape, very wide and strong). We needed to raise money to buy new robes which are very expensive. I thought about all that yardage and the sentimental value (good memories) of the old robes... can you see where this is going? I fused light weight interfacing to the old robe fabric because it turned out to be slippery and shifty and difficult to use. I then made patchwork pillows and crazy pieced evening bags and little draw string evening bags. Did I mention that the robes were an odd dark green? Using fairly dressy looking dark green fabrics was a challenge itself!  We sold the bags and pillows to anyone who was interested; and the money was used for new robes. The effort was very successful, but also fun, because other choir supporters got involved. I have found that there are many people who would like to help, but "I can't sew" are the first words out of their mouths. I was VERY happy to have their help fusing the interfacing to the fabric, and taught several women to use the rotary cutter. Sorry this story got to be so long, several Threads messages just all came together this morning: After the "recycled robe project", I have gotten many women involved in sewing by having them come to my house to work on costumes for our high school plays. It is easy to learn a big job like sewing by doing one step at a time, and with someone right there to answer questions, it is not as frightening. We laugh a lot when we find out what each person's experience is. I asked one non-sewer to put elastic through a casing; this was something I had taught my daughter and her friends to do for costumes when they were eight years old. My friend replied that she would love to, but would I tell her what a casing was?   Time for me to go wash a quilt batting before anyone wants to use the bathtub.    Then I'll look at that sweater/ jean jacket again. Thanks for the inspiration!    Betsy

          7. CJoens | | #14


            I'm still sewing my hat, I think it will look quiet funny, because

            Grainline? what's a grainline?? I used the fabric, where it fits to the pattern....

            I think all the scrabs will be combined on a fusible-interfacing to be a top, like on the fashion challenge at the last threads magazin!

            I've already finished a corsage ( right word?? ) made out of an old skirt and the lining was once in a ball-gown that really doesn't look good on me. The rest will be sleepwear....

            I have so many unfinished things! Two of my friends and me, we formed a sewing group, which I call the ufo-group. ufo means unfinished-objects! We meet every 2 weeks to finish all the stuff from the stashes in our flats or to do the things, which have to be mended after years of sleeping next to my sewing machine! I hate mending or fitting alone. With help of some friends it is a lot more fun, don't you think?

            The idea with the choir robes sounds great! I love to do patchwork too and I already booked a course in our education-center (?????)

            Hope you have a great weekend


          8. cottonbets | | #15

            Christina, An ongoing group to finish UFOs is a good idea! Sometimes it helps to have the ideas of other people to get excited about finishing a project you may have gotten tired of seeing.  As far as your "corsage, you might be using the right word. A corsage is a flower or group of flowers worn pinned to a woman's dress (or on a band at her wrist) for a special event like a dance or a wedding. A "corset" is a woman's undergarment, tight and stiff, traditionally used to make the waist and hips look small. What did you make? I will be impressed with either one! Right now, I am piecing together the backing for a quilt for my daughter. The backing is 3" too narrow, and I am tring to decide how creative I want to get with this project, knowing that I will have to quilt through whatever seam allowances I make. I think that I will decide on the quilting design first.    Please let me know if I need to explain any words; sewing terms are almost like another language. We have a good German dictionary and can translate if necessary!       Betsy

          9. Barbaran8 | | #9

            Welcome Christina!

            I have a German pen-pal that I discuss horses with. It is nice to meet a German seamstress as well! If you get stuck on a word, let me know, mein Deutsch ist nicht so gut, aber besser als nichts!

            I believe that the Pfaff is imported to the United States, as is my Viking. Purchasing in the States would be hard, because the electrical connections are different. Perhaps you should go to Sweden to buy a machine at a cheaper price? We will envy you your ability to buy Guterman and Metrosone thread at cheaper prices, while you will envy our access to Sulky thread. And we will all covet Italian fabric together!


      2. lindamaries | | #11


        I just purchased a Pfaff sewing machine. I found out that the USA shops that sell sewing machines (called dealers) have their prices

        for each model almost the same. It doesn't matter where a person shops. The big difference in price is the tax and the maintenance

        contract/warrenty price. Also, Pfaff machines cannot be bought just anywhere. You have to buy them from an authorized dealer. I tried to purchase a Pfaff machine over the internet and found that out. I did find my Pfaff, though, over at Allbrands.com. He is not a Pfaff dealer. But he had a limited stock that he must have bought from a dealer who was going out of business. He only has a couple Pfaff machines left showing on the internet. I do not think he can find anymore machines to sell. I wanted to buy some more machines from him because I was able to save $300 US dollars on the one that I did purchase. He just doesn't have very many anymore.

        Maybe, though, you should go to a dealer and see about that electriciy difference.

  2. HappyToSew | | #7


    It is always a pleasure to meet someone who enjoys the art of sewing. Looking forward to sharing tips with you.

    Happy Sewing,


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