26 December, 2008


I got my pjs finished with plenty of time left before Christmas and I was very pleased with how they turned out! My brother and new sister-in-law liked them too!

These ones were for my sister-in-law.

These ones were for my brother!

15 December, 2008

Pre-Xmas "Do-Stuff" mode...

Okay, well yesterday started the pre-xmas clean the house thing. I did the lounge-room, office nook (which took ages it was an absolute mess) and some of the verandah. It was a long day.

Then I went out for our end of year staff dinner and had a lovely time! I don't get much of a chance to go out so when I do I like to dress up and look pretty! Yay!

Today, I put the xmas tree up and the other few decorations that we have. So that was the morning job. Then I continued on with my sewing projects I have underway. I cut out my boyfriend shirt that I am making him for Christmas and for once put all the little marks on it - usually I couldn't be bothered but since I want this shirt to turn out really nice I am putting more effort in than usual. I also cut out the other half of my sister-in-law's pj pant and as we speak I am nearly finished my brother's pj pants. I just have the button fly and the waistband/draw string to do. I will post some pics up when I am done!

I hope that everyone else pre-Christmas plans are going well!

02 December, 2008

A full on crazy week!

What a week! Ballet concert rehearsal and a wedding! phew!

Wednesday and Thursday saw the beginning of 3 days of rehearsal for our annual concert. Friday was another rehearsal day but I wasn't there for that one as I was on my way to Sydney for my brother's wedding which was on Saturday and in which I was a bridesmaid.

Anyway, the wedding went off well despite the fact that my dress was too big and I spent the night before taking the zipper out and moving it. And this was after we had paid a supposed professional to take in my dress. Ha! what a joke that was. I'm sorry but when you are wearing a strapless dress, your boobs in their bra should not be visable when your arms are put up in the air... anyway it was a good thing that I could fix it. The rain held off until all the important bits were over and everyone looked great.

Here is the lovely Bride and Groom.

Wow, my brother is now married. That is so weird!

Now onto the concert which from the reports that I have heard went well. I got all my costumes finished! Yay! and I am pretty sure they look good. Here are some pics so you can see for yourself.

First we have the lovely Tinker Bell. A stretch glitter velvet dress with mesh insert and sequin detail over the top of a nylon lycra leotard. And of course some wings. The wings were made from nylon net and pipecleaners pretty much.

Very cute and it came out quite well I thought. I did have to modify the wings slightly as the nylon net scratched the dancer, so I just glued some gold ribbon around the edges and that seemed to do the trick.

Next we have Peter Pan. This started life as a plain white unitard. It then got dyed, and attacked with scissors, had mesh insert added in a few places and lots of things sewn on. I also added fabric paint in a few places for added depth to the costume.

Here is a closer shot of the sleeve.

I was really very happy with how this came out as I didn't want it to look anything 'Disney'.

And last of all if Captain Hook. This one took a bit more fiddling to get right, but in the end I was quite happy. The jacket ended up with brocade godets, gold braid and gold buttons and looked great after a little bit of tweaking to the original pattern. This was only in the width of the sleeve near the cuff and the amount of fabric at the front of the jacket. As it was a men's pattern and the dancer is 14 understandably the type of body in it was very different to the type of body it was designed for. The base unitard came up really well and I was pleased that I decided to go that way with it. I ended up using a shirt from our 'costume cupboard' at work and pretty much just cut the whole front off and stitched it to the front section of the unitard. I made gauntlet type glove that came up the the elbow and had lots of lace on the end so it looked like there were actually sleeves on the top - you have no idea how much I hate putting sleeves in - and it would have been too hot for her in a long sleeve unitard under that big jacket that was made out of a heavy cotton drill. Unfortunately you can't see these in the picture! The boots were made out of 4-way stretch black vinyl and were like socks with a fold down bit that she wore under her jazz shoes. The wig, hat, belt and hook all came form the local fancy dress shop and the sword was made by the dancer's dad!

So after weeks of hard work the above is the end result!

24 November, 2008

Vintage Patterns for 10c! Yay!

Today I walked into the town centre – such as it is – to get some bleach from the supermarket as I needed to turn something that was cream in colour to something that was white in colour. Anyway, I decided that I would drop into our local op shop (thrift shop) just to have a look around and see if they had anything interesting. Low and behold right near the door a stack of old patterns selling for 10c each! Bargain! I had a look through and in amongst a lot of crappy eighties dresses I did find 3 little gems that I thought were quite cute and liked the look of, and at 10c a pop, well the price is hardly going to break the bank is it?  So I fished out my selected patterns had a quick wiz around the rest of the shop and not really seeing anything that caught my eye I made my extravagant purchase of 30c!

This one is from 1973 but I don’t think I will be making the short version somehow…

This one is from1975. I thought this was quite classic really. Simple lines and a nice drape to it.

This on is also from 1975. I wasn’t too sure I would use this, but once again at 10c I’m not going to be bothered if I don’t make it. I thought the pockets were quite cute. Notice the nice wedge heels that are back in fashion this summer??

18 November, 2008

me and my vmo...

No sewing news on the blog today. 

Today I went to see the physio.

I have been experiencing knee discomfort on and off for a few months and have been finding it a bit disturbing that my knee cap seemed to be moving around in ways it is not meant to. So, finally biting the bullet before I did something really silly to it - as could be likely by being a ballet teacher - off to the physio I went.

Apparently my VMO muscle is weak. I thought it would be something like that, but am not a physio so don't exactly know these things. 

I am currently sitting here with some lovely strapping tape on my knee. I am hoping that I am not allergic to it as I am meant to keep it on for 3 days.

A little bit of homework (ie exercises) on my part everyday and it should be right. So hopefully that should be my only trip to the physio!

That is all for now. Very enthralling all that wasn't it??

16 November, 2008

Costume Update

Here is my Tinker Bell costume on our very cute student who is dancing that particular part. The dress part of this costume is finished, yay! The wings she is wearing are a prototype so all that is left to do is to finish them off properly as my boss was really happy with them! Hopefully next week I will have some more detailed photos!
I am pretty happy with how it has turned out, but if I have time I might re-do the front where the insert is to get it to sit a bit better. 

Oh, and my new dress that I made from burdastyle pattern 6000, which is shown in my first post, got its first public wearing last night to a show that I went to see! Hooray for new clothes!

10 November, 2008

Distractions of a cosmopolitan kind...

I thought I would have posted a bit earlier than this, but I must admit that I have been a bit distracted of late. You see, I bought myself the "Sex and the City" box set and movie with money I got for my birthday so I have been kind of sex-and-the-city-ing-myself-to-pieces.... I have finished all 6 seasons and am waiting for a good time to watch the movie - ie when the significant other isn't here to make boy comments about it.

But! I am making progress on my costumes for our end of year concert and after 2 fittings of drafts I have finished my Tinker Bell costume (apart from attatching the elastic straps) and am now working on the wings! The costume is very cute and hopefully I haven't made it too short. The wings I think will be okay, but I won't completely finish them as I need to get an okay from the studio principal (otherwise known as my boss). We are having some issues with getting the costumes to show up under a blue light so I have done 2 different things on 2 different wings to see which she likes best. I am still not 100% sure how I will attach them either. I am sure I will think of something.

Also, 2 fittings later and I am now up to sewing the seams on the Pan costume fully - so far they have only been tacked together - and decorating. Lots and lots and lots of fabric leave later and several 'slashes' and patches later. Still have to find a decent belt so I may take a little trip to the op shop tomorrow to see what they have. So far I am really quite happy with how it is turning out. Will be doing all the seams, elastic and filler mesh on this tomorrow. Possibly more leaves as well - I have to machine sew the leaf veins on the make them look good. I also have an issue with blue light on the this costume as well so I will need to incorporate some white on it somewhere... this needs more thought.

Hook on the other hand has proved to be a little more difficult. The unitard is really no problem and I am hoping to tackle that tomorrow. The coat? Ahhh yes the coat. I did a dummy out of a sheet and decided to alter the pattern. I cut the fabric and sewed it roughly with only one sleeve in and it was just wrong. Needless to say I was a little disappointed in myself. So I went back to the fabric store bought more fabric and I am going to make another jacket with no changes to the pattern. Hopefully it will be okay and will only need some shoulder pads in it to make it sit right. The original fabric I bought was a stretch sateen and was no longer on special so I got a different fabric as I figured the amoung to stretch that it had wasn't really going to do much anyway. On the positive side though, I put in a contrasting godet out of a gold and cream brocade and my boss thought that looked great so I will do that on the new coat. I am also thinking of making the cuffs not quite as big as they are in the pattern. I ordered some stretch vinyl today as the boot tops we got from the fancy dress shop would have required a lot of altering and it would be just as easy to make a new pair. I need to investigate this as well and will probably end up asking a fellow sewer at the ballet school.

Photos to come when I take some, and have some bodies to put in the costumes!!!

28 October, 2008

It's a Tuesday night and I'm bored...

As you can probably see from my title today, it's Tuesday night and I'm bored. 

I spent the majority of today finishing off a sewing project for a sew-along on www.burdastyle.com and I have to say that it did turn out quite well despite the fact that my procrastination and distraction of said task lead me to nearly stuff it up on a couple of occassions! I then tackled the computer trying to upload pics onto the above website.

Here is my dress!!!

After that, I have started doing dummies for costumes that I am making for the end of year ballet concert for work. We are doing "Peter Pan" as one of 3 items this year and I am making the costumes for Tinker Bell, Peter Pan and Capt. Hook! I have 3 weeks to get them finished. 

Tinker Bell: Is a dress over a leotard. The dress is stretch so I am hoping that just extending the line of the leotard past the hip/leg line and making it into a dress will work. I have done the dummy dress for this and it seems like it will work, I just have to try it on. This dress with have a flesh insert in the front. Not sure how I am doing the wings yet.... 
Estimated time to complete dress:  1/2 a day, as she is tiny and the pattern is not complicated.

Pan: Completely un-Disney. Thank God! I am dying white cotton lycra in an attempt to get a mottled look to the fabric. It will basically be a unitard that is slashed in various places, (filled with flesh stretch mesh) lots of leaves (fabric and fake? not sure yet) and a few fabric patches. The base should not take long to make, but the dressing will take a few days. Fitting shouldn't be too hard either. Estimated time to completion: 2 weeks.

Hook: Red coat, brown pants, boots, frilly shirt. BUT... as it is for dance, all this needs to be taken into consideration. The coat is going to be made out of stretch sateen. I have to cut and sew the dummy for this tomorrow. The pattern seems easy enough. I anticipate a fair bit of adjustment in the shoulder area as it is a mens pattern and the girl being hook is quite small in the shoulders. The pants are going to be knee length tights made out of a brown stretch fabric - isn't lycra but will do the job. The boots are getting ordered from the local fancy dress shop so hopefully they will be okay. The shirt... now here is where I'm going to be creative. The shirt will be a basic leotard top attatched to the pants - so it will be like a short unitard. I will then attatched a non stretch fabric to the front only. The top half of the 'leotard' will be high necked so that I can attatch the frills. There is no 'non stretch shirt' at the back as the coat will not be taken off - the same goes with the sleeves. I will just attatch frills to the cuffs of the coat. Then I have to trim in gold braid and buttons. the hat with feather is also coming from the fancy dress shop. Estimated time to completion: 2 weeks. (3 at the most.) Then again it might not be as hard as I imagine!

Keeping in mind that I only have 4 sewing days to my week... I'm hoping that the end of this week when I am teaching will be the try-on week and then I can get stuck into it!

So that is a very long winded post!!! 


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