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!