Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Turn a tee into a hula skirt

As a kid I had a big box of dress-ups. Once of my favourite items was a grass hula skirt that I would spend days wearing, pretending to have dance skills and swishing around in.

When my friend and I got sick of this we would put the skirt on our head, the elastic fitted perfectly around our temples. We'd flick it back and voila! We had beautiful blonde hair. 

I can't remember why we were so obsessed with having this fake long, blonde, straw-ish  hair but we loved it. That skirt was the most treasured dress-up item in our house. 

So when I was asked to be one of 10 bloggers to take a blue UNICEF T-shirt and up-cycle it into  something a child can make or use, the first thing that popped into my head was a hula skirt / fake blue hair. 

First up, apologies for the not-so-great pics. I've been contemplating a new camera but am still deciding whether to go the DSLR route or towards one of those faux DSLR that still take good pics. Any recommendations welcomed. 

Here we go!

How to make a hula skirt from a (UNICEF) t-shirt

Firstly cut off the t-shirt just under the arms. You could use the arm bits to make mini hula skirts for your teddy bears! Cute!

Fold over the top by about an inch, or measure for your elastic. Sew along to create your elastic casing. If a kid is making, they can just use needle and thread if you don't have a sewing machine.

Oh wait - now it's a cute skirt! I actually stopped at this point and thought 'Gosh this would be adorable for a little girl'. You could then use Kate's potato stamping to create a really cute pattern on it.

On with the hula skirt! Cut the skirt into strips, whatever width you'd like. Volia! One hula skirt / pretend blue hair!

This project was to support UNICEF Day for Children, which raises funds for UNICEF's Schools for Asia program, to help kids across Asia go to school. 57 million kids miss out on their right to an education each day and this program addresses the barriers and helps get kids in school. 

Friday, 12 July 2013

Friday link-love

Another week, another Friday. Some link-love to lighten up your afternoon.

MEET some crafty folks at this new weekend retreat, the Craft Sessions.

LISTEN to a 12 year old explain the Egyptian revolution in under 3 minutes.

DESIGN a rhino for Taronga Zoo. That's right, a rhino. Or baby rhino.

MAKE some polymer clay necklaces. Sew Brunswick posted this great list of 'how to' sites.

Thursday, 11 July 2013

Knitting up some vitamin d

It's been a bit rainy here lately - so when the sun finally emerged it was time to soak up some Vitamin D! I finished this one recently and wore it for the second time today. I'm slowly discovering the occasional dropped stitch as I wear it (found one in the elbow area as I took these pics!). This is the Heidi Kirrmaier Vitamin D pattern made in Madeline Tosh Merino Light, Candlewick colour.

Ok admittedly I started this last year, about mid-winter and only just finished it BUT it was my first cardigan and the wool is fairly thin. I'm chuffed how it turned out. The colour is lovely (mustard anyone?) and it fits like a glove. I should have probably done a super stretchy bind off around the neck as it does pull up a bit.

The pattern is quite easy to follow and I love the effect of the yarn-overs, it just adds that tiny detail. Can anyone spot the extra hole though where I dropped a stitch?

The front pieces also have a lovely drape to them. I'd definitely recommend this pattern if you're new to knitting larger pieces, the instructions are really clear and it's easy to google acronyms you don't understand.

Volia! One more warm, knit piece to add to the wardrobe.

Tuesday, 2 July 2013

The Fabric-a-brac Chantilly

Here's another one I finished a wee-while ago, the Colette Chantilly. The fabric I picked up at Fabric-a-Brac earlier this year, it was this gorgeous vintagey green cotton. 

It's gotten much too cold to wear this one lately, but I think it''ll come out of the closest again once the weather warms up.

I made a muslin and had to take out a fair bit of fabric at the bust area. It's pretty tricky to space out all the gathers but I'm not too fussed with how it all turned out. All in all, a nice dress but time will tell if it gets wear or not.

On the plus side, it goes well with the new(old) purple funkis clogs!

Thursday, 27 June 2013

Friday link-love

Phew! Thank goodness it's Friday. What a tumultuous week it's been.

Here's some link-love for to brighten up your day.

KNIT from your brain: That's right, turn your brainwaves into scarves and cardigans.

LISTEN to fifty shades of feminism: What does being a woman mean today?

WATCH the hero's journey - Teacher Ben showed me this one, a basic understanding of the monomyth theory.

And the weeks takeaway quote?

"Inspired people through positive messages. Martin Luther King never said 'I have a nightmare'. (listen to the podcast above for more)

Wednesday, 26 June 2013

The Elisalex curtain dress

Everybody's doing it.......

...making the Elisalex dress that is.

This one was popping up all over my blog feed but it was seeing Dixie's version and Heather's version that I finally decided to jump on the bandwagon. Earlier this year I found some old Liberty of London curtains at the local op-shop. Just $12 for both pieces! It had just the right amount of stiffness that I knew it had to be a dress with a bit of structure.

I made a muslin of just the top but didn't end up making any adjustments.Although after finishing I wish I had taken in the back a bit more, it gapes just a tiny bit and the shoulders seem to want to fall off. As it is, I haven't actually worn it out yet, I'm worried of being at work and having the shoulders continually slip off. I might try undo the lining and add some small darts at the back neckline. For adjusting the pattern I presume I need to remove width from the back shoulder area and front neckline. Has anyone done/seen something similar?

The only change I made to the pattern was at the hips. The pattern's designed for women with larger hips, which just isn't me (I tend to be straight up and down). I took about 1.5 inches off each hip side which means it doesn't stick out as much but it's also more likely to be worn this way. I also took off some of the length to have it sit just on the knees.

The back of this pattern is my favourite, I love the way it just scoops down. I might try fix up the bodice a bit and team it with a different skirt pattern, perhaps Colette Macaron as that skirt is pretty much perfect for my shape. I'm also keen to make a sleeveless one when summer finally rolls back around!

Sunday, 23 June 2013

The shift of seasons

Gosh'o'golly is it cold here at the moment. Winter's really set in and my fingers are slightly numb as I type this from the non-heated room.

The start of winter's a great time to reflect back on your wardrobe and figure out the summer clothes that could possibly translate to winter - and if you actually have any winter clothes still around!

I've actually completed a fair few garments lately but the change in seasons has meant I haven't actually worn many of them. It took a bit of time to realise I should probably start sewing for winter!

A few months back I bought this gorgeous flowery black fabric from the Fabric Cave. There wasn't heaps, about 1.3 metres I think, and I wanted to make something that kept the pattern so settled on this Burdastyle Shift dress. 

I extended the darts slightly and then removed some of the width at the back neck when inserting the zipper. I also have a bit of a confession to make - I was in such a rush to wear this dress that I didn't really finish the seams properly. Naughty, naughty and I ended up paying for it later on when the fabric started badly fraying, so the other day I went back and overlocked all the edges. A lesson for all - finish your seams!

I took these pics in the backyard with a tripod and ran in and out of the house in various new dresses to photograph! Our neighbours have quite a clear view of the yard so here's an outtake of me trying to avoid being seen. Quick, duck!

Sunday, 7 April 2013

Not so Drape Drape

Found my camera charger! So you can now finally see these pics of the Drape Drape dress. I had seen the Drape Drap books around the interwebs but hadn't thought much of it, the styles just seemed a bit out there for me. That is until I saw Dixie's version of this dress.
Pic from Dixie's blog, click the pic to go there.

SUPER CUTE. So I decided to give it a go. 

Might as well mow the lawn while I'm at it.

I ordered the book and then decided to order a bunch of knit fabrics from, for some other knit patterns I have around. Not wanting to wait until the book arrived to order fabric, I emailed Dixie to ask about sizing and how much fabric would be needed. Thanks so much Dixie!

I ordered some cheap brown double ponte knit. I'm still coming to terms with all the knit fabric names out there, but knowing this was an unusual pattern I thought I'd start with some cheap fabric, get the fit right then order something nicer if I liked the pattern.

The dress turned out really nicely. I added about 3 inches to the length (tall gal) and it still turned out pretty short! and not really dropped waist. There are just two things that have turned me off this dress:

  1. Armholes. As I've mentioned before I've discovered I have giant shoulders (by pattern standards) and given the wackiness of this pattern I need to figure out how to add some space in there. I ended up cutting the armholes down too as they literally came up to my armholes. Like right up and under. Despite this I still have a bit of difficulty lifting my arms, without the whole dress lifting up like it's about to rocket launch off me. 
  2. Fabric. Polyester stinks. Given the above armhole position it stinks even more. I've since made a top out of this pattern and added a bit more space in the sleeve caps which fixed the rocket launching issue, now I just to adjust the back space and stinky fabric.

All in all I actually really dig this pattern. It's funky, super easy ( like 2 hours max to make) and comfortable. I hope to order some nicer fabric, adjust the back, sleeves and drop waist and have another go at this. 

Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Frutti Tutti Lonsdale

This little number was actually finished up in time for Christmas but I'd since lost the photos and just managed to find them again!

This is the Sewaholic Lonsdale I was working on in the lead up to Christmas. I took the time to make a muslin, which I'm glad I did, as I ended up taking off a bit of room at the bust and centre.

In fact, it was actually very similar adjustments to what Sunni, at The Fashionable Stitch made to her muslin. On another note, I think Sunni and I might be body twins! I discovered this great post on upper should back adjustments and have finally adjusted dresses so I can lift my arms! Hooray!

The fabric was on sale at Spotlight in Nowra a while back, I just couldn't resist the retro fruit vibe. I know so many sewers out there have tried the Lonsdale, but it really is a great pattern. Relatively quick, looks stylish and oh those pockets.Only change I'd like to make next time is to add padding to the bust, I'm not one to often go without a bra. 

And of course I sing this every time I put this dress on!



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Thursday, 28 February 2013

A new crafty meetup-Make It Collective

If you're in Sydney this coming Wednesday night, come along to the inaugural Make It Collective meetup!

A new craft group for anyone who loves to craft, wants to learn or just wants to sit around and meet some new people.

Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Pear it up - the Washi Dress

To be sung to the tune of Stir it up. Or alternatively 'Hold me closer tiny pears' *. Either way, here 'tis - the pear dress! 

This dress came together so easily, I was actually surprised. I've had a few dress fails (or stumbles at least) lately so it was nice and refreshing to be able to whip this little number up. The pattern is the Made by Rae Washi dress and the fabric is actually from Spotlight, purchased with a Christmas gift voucher.

If you look closely you can see the fabric is actually made up of tiny tiny pears.

I had to do almost zero alternations. I made a quick muslin of the top section just to check the bust wouldn't massively gape. The ruched back works wonders in creating something that's incredibly comfortable yet fitted. I brought the waist in by about 1/2 inch and the hips by about an inch as the fabric kind of kicked outwards. Oh and took up the length by about 3 inches as with the sleeves I looked a bit like a giant blob of blueness!

I plan to make many more of this dress, definitely a brilliant wardrobe staple. 

* I'm not the only one who takes words and merges them into songs in her head and then walks around all say singing said songs with new lyrics? Or am I....

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

A running start

Happy new year!

I know, I know, we're almost halfway through it! Sorry I may have a been a bit distracted melting, watching new/old tv shows, and thanks to this creature:

May I introduce you to Neika. Neika, my blog readers. Neika is Ben's dog that he bought as a puppy and has been living out his folks, next door to a dairy farm where she would sneak off to and drink/eat the cream, hence the slight chubbiness.

She LOVES pats and will roll over onto her back anytime anyone comes near with a look in her eyes 'pat me pat me pat me pat me'.

I'm not one for new year resolutions but reflecting on my sewing from last year, some of my most worn pieces were the least expected. I discovered a real love of all things stretch and knit my first jumper (and discovered just how warm real wool is!). For 2013, I'd like to sew a few more plain colour pieces that I can mix and match. Perhaps some knit tops and some skirts.

On another note a small confession - I may or may not have gone on a small online shopping spree. It was 2nd Jan, I was back at work, life was tough, y'know?

So many delightful goodies. I'm currently working on 3 (!) dresses, so eventually I'll get one finished to share. I also have Lonsdale dress pics which are in Canberra and I'll try to get and post soon. Picture a tropical fruit lady.

In other quick photo updates, we had a crafternoon with a bunch of friends. Look bunting!

We also grew a bunchload a basil, made jars and jars of pesto. I fit in a quick sewing project makin a Colette Meringue out of fabric my ma got me a while back. Hope you all had a swinging start to 2013!