Fabric Shopping · Vacation

Europe 2016: Travel Wardrobe, Sights, and Sewing

DD and I have been quite the jet-setters this year (thanks, buttloads of overtime!). We went on a 2-week vacation to Germany, Switzerland, and France the last half of September.

I’ll go over the me-made items I packed, a quick tour of all the cities we visited, then talk about some sewing stuff from my trip. Be warned as this post is super picture-heavy!

What I Packed


DD and I find that packing as minimally as possible works the best for us since it’s difficult to drag lots of luggage around busy pedestrian cities! I only photographed my handmade pieces. I am proud of how many me-mades I snuck into this trip!

Starting from the top left is my Noelle Halter Bra. I wore this on my flight days and it was a GREAT idea to not have underwires poking into me for 12-24 hours.

Going clockwise, next are my Ginger Jeans! These babies got a ton of wear and they held up really well with all of the European beatings I put them through.

My stretch vegan leather leggings are next. I fell in love with them all over again on this trip as they made the perfect bottoms for those travel days (planes, trains, and automobiles!).

I realized after my last Euro trip, the Europeans dress a little smarter than us ‘Muricans. So I packed my Mesa Sweater Dress for both warmth and those nights where we wanted to go out to a nicer restaurant.

In the bottom center on top is my Chicken Mama Renfrew. It’s a lighter weight jersey, so it’s comfortable and perfect for those warmer days.

Below my Renfrew is a soon-to-be-blogged Grainline Hemlock sweater. It’s loose and cozy and was great at hiding my schnitzel-induced gut!

And finally, there are my Hemlock Tunics. These were worn on all travel days with the leggings and provided crazy amounts of comfort!

Of course I packed some RTW pieces, like another pair of jeans (but I wore my Gingers more), a light military-inspired jacket, and a few graphic T-shirts. I wore brown ankle booties on the plane (and for most of the trip) and packed my tennis shoes so I could switch up the pressure points on my feet and stay comfy. Everything fit into a carry-on bag and I still had room to squeeze in a few souvenirs!

OK, let’s move onto the cities I visited!

Sippersfeld, Germany

DD’s father lived in Sippersfeld, Germany about 50 years ago when he was in the Air Force. At the time, Dale’s second-oldest sister was born at the base near there. We traveled with DD’s parents along with his 2 oldest sisters and their husbands so they can see where they lived as infants. Our hotel lady even helped DD’s father find the son of his old landlord! It was really neat to see how excited everyone was and to see the beautiful countryside they got to experience while living there.


Their old house!
View down the street – I love the buildings
Great view from the backyard

While we were walking around, we came across Sippersfeld’s own Oktoberfest! The locals were a little confused as to why there were random Americans there, but everyone was kind and the food was awesome! I even tried a Radler (half beer, half lemon cola) for the first time and liked it!



Heidelberg, Germany

Ohhhh Heidelberg, how beautiful you are! We spent a couple of days here and got to experience the castle, great food, and DD and I bought out trachten here! (That’s German traditional garb, FYI).




Bridge Monkey pose
This is one serious pretzel (or should I say brezel?)

Munich, Germany

After Heidelberg, everyone went their own separate ways to finish up their vacations. DD and I took a train to Munich so we could experience the real Oktoberfest!

The only photo we got of both of us in our trachten. Check out DD’s calf warmers! XD
We got to the Oschenbraterei tent right when the festival opened.
“Werner” the ox being roasted. Nom nom.
Bill from Orlando, Florida was good company!
Werner’s cheeks. Delicious.
The awesome band!
The only other full picture I have in my dirndl. Those are beer barrels!
Horse-drawn beer carts. It’s like the fairy tale of my dreams.
Second tent, super crowded!
These lovely German businessmen let us crash their reserved table. Thanks for the good memories!
3rd tent…Things start to get a little blurry from here
Our new friends from Singapore! ❤
These women were cutting a rug. I think they had as much to drink as me… maybe more…
Pretty pretzel break
I can’t even remember if we stayed in this tent or not. I was just running around taking pictures by now.
We sat with a super nice family in our last tent. We should not have had those last drinks, though.
I left with these souvenirs from that super nice family. We got hugs and kisses when they left, too. I guess we’re official Germans now!

Needless to say, the next day was pretty rough. After getting some bread in my tummy and resting, DD and I walked around the city center and I ate a huge lunch, which helped a lot!


Zurich, Switzerland

I wanted to go to Switzerland as part of my bucket list of visiting all of the countries from my heritage. That includes France, Germany, Switzerland, the Netherlands, and Scotland. All are currently checked off except Scotland. I’m coming for you soon, Scotland!!

Anyway, Switzerland had the most beautiful countryside I have ever seen in my life. I didn’t get any pictures from the train, but trust me, it was breathtaking.

Zurich was your typical big European city and I was super excited about the chocolate and fondue. We got fondue the first night and it was an insane amount of cheese. Now, I eat cheese and am usually OK, but I do have an allergy to cow’s milk so unfortunately I woke up the next morning with a sore throat and terrible allergies. I also blame having a fan on me all night to drown out the city noise and the feather pillows in the hotel room. Soooo this started The Great Illness While Vacationing. I did manage to keep up with DD and do everything we wanted to do, but it was rough!



Lucerne, Switzerland

I liked Lucerne a lot better than Zurich. This place is GORGEOUS!!

The famous bridge in Lucerne (Kapellbrücke). It burned down in 1993 but they did a good job of rebuilding it!
As you walk through, there are still some original paintings dating back to the 17th century. Not all were saved, though. 😦
View from the bridge.
I fell in love with this building. Why can’t the US have beautiful art everywhere you turn? Sigh


St. Peter’s Chapel
I love how Mary looks so disappointed that Jesus let go of that balloon.


The Lion Monument was amazing!
A store had a WALL OF CHOCOLATE. I died a little inside of excitement.
Our chocolate praline choices. OM NOM NOM.

Strasbourg, France

This was probably my favorite city on this trip. Strasbourg is SO ADORABLE and the food is SO DELICIOUS. I also know more French than German, so it was easier reading menus and saying the usual stuff like hello, thank you, I don’t speak French, etc.

Tarte Flambee is the most delicious thing in the world


We hit up a random flea market. I didn’t buy anything, but it was definitely interesting to browse.


Strasbourg’s Notre Dame Cathedral


Astronomic Clock inside the Notre Dame – we waited until the clock struck 3 to see it chime and move. It ended up being a letdown as only one figure moved. Womp womp. I heard other times have more movement.
Wine cellar under a hospital! It houses a barrel of the world’s oldest wine, which dates back to the 15th century.
This dude was walking down the street with his horse and he ran into this girl that he either knew or who just really wanted to ride his horse…
I couldn’t resist the sweets….


Sewing-Related Fun

On my international travels, I try to bring back something for my sewing stash. I did a lot of damage in Japan, so I didn’t feel the need to stock up on loads of fabric on this trip. DD and I had a day to ourselves in Heidelberg while the rest of the family drove to another city where his brother-in-law lived years ago. There were a couple of fabric shops within walking distance from our hotel, so I dragged DD to them.

I only took pictures of the one I bought my fabric from. When the girl was cutting out my fabric, I asked if I could take a few pictures. She said it was OK, and when I started taking pictures, an older lady working there started saying something to me and it didn’t sound like she was happy. The younger girl said something to her and then she was like “OK.” Soooo I didn’t take many pictures because I didn’t want to get scolded again.



I bought 2 meters of this super cute cat fabric. It’s a medium-weight knit and I still have yet to decide what I want to do with it. The only thing that comes to mind is pajamas (the Cat’s Pajamas!), but I feel like there is a worthier project for this.


I asked the store clerk if the fabric came from Germany, and she said the design is German, but the fabric is produced elsewhere. That’s authentically German enough for me!

On a travel day, we had a lot of time to kill in the Heidelberg train station, so I wandered around the bookstore until I found the sewing section. And oh, what a selection they had!


I flipped through all of the sewing pattern magazines, trying to figure out if I should get one or not.

Blurry pic but these are pretty instructions!

A lot of the magazines had word-heavy instructions and I can’t read a lick of German. I hemmed and hawed for a while and finally decided to pass on a magazine. I already had My Image waiting for me at home (with instructions in English!), so I felt my Euro sewing pattern needs were met for the time being.

Switching over to Switzerland – I came across a fabric store in Lucerne, but since it was Sunday, they were closed. I managed to get a few creeper pictures in, though.img_9780img_9781img_9782

Aaaand now to France – I didn’t find a fabric store in Strasbourg, but there was a button/ribbon/notions store.


I also took a random picture of the window display for an alterations store, mostly because I thought the teeny tiny sewing machine was so cute:


That’s all I have! Thanks for sticking around until the end of this monster post! I always love looking at other people’s vacation photos (especially if there’s some sewing shopping thrown in), so I hope you enjoyed mine!

I don’t have any other international trips planned yet, but DD and I are hankering to hit up the UK maybe late next year. Fingers crossed!!





6 thoughts on “Europe 2016: Travel Wardrobe, Sights, and Sewing

  1. Ah, Germany. Some day. Well, 2020–it’ll be Beethoven’s 250th bday, and I missed the fun several years ago when it was Mozart’s 250th. Not this next time! The cat fabric is so cute! Cat’s pajamas sound like an excellent plan!

    Liked by 1 person

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