Our fifteenth castaway, Alessa, from Farbenfreud

It’s Friday, Fridays & I’ve spied a splash of colour climbing up one of the palm trees on the adjacent island.  Why it’s none other than Alessa from Farbenfreud!  I have severe wardrobe yearning over Alessa’s makes as she has a definite self sewn (& knitted) style: intense colour, polka dots & plentiful use of knit fabric.  She usually takes parts in the Me Made Months and I love to catch her cheery outfits & location shots (she lives in Germany).  But apart from being an inspiring creative, did you know she has recently qualified as a doctor?  Of the medical variety?  Talk about years of study &  dedication.  Huge congrats again Alessa.  Now over to you ….

“You are stranded on a desert island, surrounded by beautiful crystal blue water populated by turtles & tropical fish (no sharks!). You have a comfy cosy shelter, an abundance of food & drinking water & a solar generator. Upon exploring the island you find a container that has fallen off a cargo ship & guess what? It is filled with what seems to be a never ending supply of fabrics of all descriptions, threads & notions!! What chance!

You are allowed to take your sewing machine & sewing box but which would be your 8 desert island patterns? (Note I will leave it up to my interviewees to imagine that their desert island’s climate & their adventures did not only require bikinis & sarongs but maybe more of a variety of clothing- but up to them! This is about designing their dream but limited wardrobe.  The patterns might be practical choices, or maybe they have more sentimental meaning).  So what will it be?”


Oh, my very own desert island, wouldn’t that be nice! I’ve always wanted to live close to the water. Although I can’t quite decide if I’d rather have a temperate island with ragged cliffs and blustery winds, or a balmy tropical island with sandy beaches, colourful fish in the torquoise waters, and an abundance of yummy fruit. Hmm. But maybe, if the island has seasons, I can have both? So there can be leisurely knitting on the beach, and balmy evenings spent sewing silks on the porch and sipping exotic cocktails, as well as warming up from windy walks by knitting and having a spot of tea on the couch overlooking the cliffs, and fingering my warm, wooly fabrics thinking about what to sew next. Ah, my wonderful, trusty box of endless fabric!

1. So. Patterns. Let’s see. One pattern that I definitely don’t want to miss is my self-drafted knit top/dress block. The first time I used it, I made a navy striped top from it, but I can think of five tops of varying sleeve lengths, including the flowery one with the Macaron-like yoke, as well as the same number of dresses, with different sleeves and skirts, that I made from it. It’s my go-to pattern whenever I want a quick jersey top or dress, and it’s great fun to alter little details, like the neckline, or the sleeves, and to imagine it in all kinds of different fabric combinations.

I actually have a boat-necked version all planned out, to be sewn soon, and I imagine that the different skirt parts I’ve come up with would also work great on their own, with a simple elastic waistband.

2. So I now have a motley band of knit tops to get me through the seasons, but what bottoms to pair with them? My current favorite skirt pattern (apart from the simple jersey half-circle skirt) is Simplicity 2451 (blogged here )

Image source

which has several options for gored or pleated skirts. I made one up in green corduroy, but have also planned a red version, and probably one in denim. I love the subtle a-line shaping from the pleats, and it’s got pockets!


3. I don’t often wear trousers, but in summer, shorts and a pair of linen trousers are essential for me. Although I haven’t tried any pattern, yet, I’ve heard great things about Sewaholic’s Thurlow Trousers  and I’ve seen quite a few cute versions out there!

I’m sure they’d look great in all sorts of colours of flowy linen (I’ve been thinking about turquoise, or grass green). Or maybe a pair of jeans?

4. So. What else do I want to wear on my beautiful island? I’m thinking that Victory Patterns’ Lola would be perfect. Totally comfy and it’s got big pockets for all the little treasures I’m bound to find on my island walks. Seashells, interestingly shaped pebbles… Not to mention a bottle of water and an apple. 😉

My Coral Lola blogged here  and my summer lola blogged here.

My summer version has shorter sleeves and a wider neckline, and I’m thinking that a winter version made from fleece and featuring longsleeves and a hood might be fun.


5. I also definitely want to take the Colette Macaron pattern. I’ve made it three times to date and I love the sweetheart shaped yoke and the endless possibility of fabric combinations! Plus, it’s got pockets. And I still need to make one with a circle skirt. 🙂

Blogged by Alessa here

 6. I’m tempted to take another dress pattern, but thinking about it, what I’d really like is a pattern for a bias slip dress. While I usually line my woven dresses, sometimes I’m too lazy, and there’s also the jersey dresses, which need a slip when I start layering them with leggings or tights in colder weather. And wouldn’t it be wonderful to have an assortment of luscious silk slips in all kinds of colours? They could double as night gowns, too, and made of cotton, they’d probably make cute sundresses.

Source: The Wardrobe Reimagined

Like Ali’s version of the vintage Simplicity 1144. Isn’t it pretty?

7. For a little challenge, and since it’s sure going to be windy some days on my beautiful island, I’d like to take a jacket pattern. I’ve never made outerwear, and I think it would be a nice challenge for the slow days on a desert island! As for which pattern to take, I’m leaning towards Sewaholic’s Minoru.

It’s practical, feminine and cute! Although I recently saw a very cute rendition of Colette’s Anise jacket over at The Handstitched Files

and now I’m in two minds!


8. Last but not least, I’d take my self-drafted (well, copied from my favorite pair) knickers pattern, which is very similar to the free Rosy Ladyshorts pattern from Clothabit. Why? Well, one can never have too many cute knickers, and they’re my favorite method of jersey scrapbusting. And since I have a neverending suppy of beautiful jersey scraps and lace… 😀

You are also allowed to take two books, firstly which sewing related book would you take & why?

Good question. Since I probably won’t have the Internet for troubleshooting and looking up techniques, I’d best take a book like the Reader’s Digest Complete Guide to Sewing.

Secondly, which non-sewing related book would you take & why?

With this one, I’ll cheat slightly and take Diana Gabaldon‘s (entire) Jamie&Claire series. For reasons I’m not quite sure about, myself, I’ve read all seven (for now) books multiple times, and between them, they’ve got about a million pages, so that should keep even a voracious reader like myself occupied for a while.

Next your one luxury.  What would you choose (doesn’t have to be sewing related this time!)

Does my boyfriend count? If not, I’d take my ebook reader. 😉

And finally if you could only take one disc of music what album would you choose & why?

A very good question, and not so easy to answer. I think I may take my good friend Lili Sommerfeld’s album “Opposites Attract”, although I wish she’d already have out an album with her newest songs, which are even more amazing.

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Wow! and aaah!  for your non sewing choices!!  And some more new experiences to discover.  Thank you Alessa for your desert island choices.  Your patterns did not disappoint & as always refreshed me with (yet) more inspiration & revisited some of the things you have made that I thought at the time were top makes – & if they score as your favorites after many wearings, then that’s always interesting too.  Thank you for taking the time to pull this together.

5 thoughts on “Our fifteenth castaway, Alessa, from Farbenfreud

  1. Kelly

    These are great choices! I would have a hard time choosing between a temperate or tropical island as well. Aleesa’s blog is new to me, but I’m a follower now!

  2. Joelle

    I enjoy this feature so much! Great way to get to know fellow bloggers and to discover or rediscover new patterns and reads. Alessa did not disappoint! And thanks Alessa for the shout out on my anise!


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