30 December, 2009

The Quest of the "Comfy Undies"

I know, I know, undies aren't really that interesting a project - but please bare with me on this one.

Below is the result pair from undie pattern attempt number 1.

That is actually a couple of strips of stretch lace on the side there, but the, um, weave (I guess that is the right word - correct me if I'm wrong) of the lace is very tight so it just looks like 2 blue strips. Anyway...

I am on a quest.

A quest to draft myself a great fitting pattern for a pair of comfy undies.

The above pair is the result of attempt number one. They fit, ok. Not great. Just ok. Too high on hips, leg holes too low at front, not enough bum in the necessary areas, and perhaps too long in the crutch. The above pattern was a direct draft from a leotard pattern I have. It was a good place to start from, but I have thrown that pattern out and am now considering getting it out of the recycling bin as a reference to make the next pair better.

I am thinking that I may have to sacrifice a pair of existing undies in this pursuit. I have a few pairs that I can probably let go of...

A Summer/Maternity Dress

Now don't go getting all excited - I'm not pregnant. This dress was made for my Sister-In-Law who is expecting her first (and my brother's first) baby in early May.

Just before Christmas she was looking for a Summer maternity dress and couldn't find anything. I had told her that if she'd let me know earlier I could have made one for her for Christmas. So, I decided to make her one after Christmas. 

This is what I ended up with. 

This dress is actually based off 2 different dresses that I have myself. One I made, the other I bought just before Christmas. Years ago I made myself a summer sun dress that had a shirred bodice and an a-line skirt, with simple tie straps. The one I bought has a similar top, but only shirred at the back but had 8 triangular panels so it was really full in the skirt. This 2nd dress was also strapless.
So I decided to mix the 2 together, and add wide straps. As the shirring elastic I have at the moment is pretty crap I just used regular 6mm flat elastic to gather the top. The top is lined and there is 5 rows of elastic in it. The dress is lined with a full circle skirt and the outer layer is made up of nine panels. This is going to allow lots of room for a growing baby belly. I used black eyelet lace to embellish the top of the dress. I also finished the edges with a rolled hem. 

This dress would be easy to dress up or down, and can be worn when she is in need of maternity clothes, and when she is back to her normal size after having the baby. 

I have a tutorial in the works for this dress, so hopefully it will be up soon. 

27 December, 2009

Some boardshorts for me!

These started life as a present for my boyfriend.

I had no pattern so I traced a pattern off a pair of his boardshorts.

I obviously didn't do a very good job of tracing because once I had sewn the seams I tried them on myself to see if they were as big on me as his normal pair, they fit me quite well and thus would have been too small for James.

So, instead of throwing them in the corner as a failed project, I decided to finish them off for myself.

I cut about 4cm off the top of the shorts and put in a couple of darts at the back which I wouldn't have put in if I'd been making them for a boy.

The facing for the top of the shorts wasn't quite right in shape (cause of the darts) so it ended up being half as wide so that I could sew it in without the actual shorts bubbling.

I figured out how to do the fly with a lycra backing instead of velcro - I hate velcro with a passion. Again I studied his pair for this. After finishing this I tried them on and the fly didn't sit right. I decided that I would just do a button fly instead. Easy!

They don't fit really well, but hey it's beachwear!! Who really cares?

They are reasonably comfy and I love the print.

09 December, 2009

Blog directional.

I have decided that my blogger blog will be my 'sewing' blog and my tumblr blog will be for 'other crap'.

Just a heads up. So my few a far between followers, that is where the story is at!

Hoping to start the sewing stuff shortly. It might actually make me do things for myself!!

07 December, 2009

come and visit me over here...

I have decided to try something new.

Come and visit me at http://kiraph.tumblr.com

There may still be posts on here, but for the time being I will be at my new home.

30 November, 2009

Hmmmm, what next?

It has been ages since I have posted anything on my blog - but I don't have a lot of followers so to the very few of you who do follow, I hope you can forgive me.

I have been doing the usual costume sewing lately and have not sewn anything for myself for months! It is a very sad state of affairs, and my stash has gotten fat as a result. More fabrics are bought, but no new clothes are made...

My latest costumes have been once again for our Annual Concert. We are doing The Wizard of Oz, and I had the job of Making the Mayor of Munchinkin Land and the Wizard. I'm hoping to get photos this coming week at either dress rehearsal or the actual concert, so there may be pics of them on here soon.

My next projects I think are going to be:

* Some loose, knit tops - I seem to have a lot of tees that are slim fit and I feel the need for something more relaxed.

*Perhaps try my hand at making some shorts - this may be a holiday job as I can envision a lot of tailoring may be required...

*Desperately need some new swimmers

*Might try making some casual summer dresses.

20 October, 2009

80s flashback

I went into General Pants today looking for clothing to buy and I swear that the fashion god had thrown up the 1980s in there. It was terrible...

01 October, 2009


Man I am tired. :( Late night, disrupted sleep and for me an early morning.

I have just finished my morning cup of tea and now have to get busy packing my bags for 5 days away from home. It is time for the annual Port Macquarie Eisteddfod and I have to go an watch as I have groups dancing. Not looking forward to it. It is being help in "The Glasshouse" and there are that many rules and regs which is going to make the whole thing just ridiculous!

So I hae to go to work today and tomorrow then tomorrow night I drive up and will actually be staying at the in-laws house as mum has no room for me. :(

Leaving early today as well as the car needs to get serviced!


Hopefully in the next couple of weeks I will be able to sew something for my self which I can post up! I have 1/4 of a costume to go!!!

26 August, 2009

Disappointing, but that's life.

Well the Flair website finally put up the list of 'finalists' whose work gets shown on the runway.

My name wasn't on it. Disappointing.

Oh well, can't give up on the first try really, can you? I will be thinking of what to do for next year, but I don't think I will go in the same section again. It is a bit too limiting with what you can actually do.

Unfortuantely that means that I won't be able to get any shots of it from when it goes down the runway. I will have to stick it back on my manequin or get one of my students to model it cause it sure as hell won't fit on me!!!

23 August, 2009

Now onto the next thing.

Well, I got my garment (and cocktail hat) finished to my satisfaction and dropped off in time. I hand delivered on Friday. Fittings were yesterday and I am hoping that it fit on one of the models ok. Judging was today and so now I am just waiting for the finalists to be posted on the Flair website.

They seem to be a little bit slow with their updating sometimes, but the Premiere Evening is less than a week - next Saturday - so they can't really take that long to post. I am guessing that finalists are the ones that get onto the runway and that is all that I am hoping to acheive. It is so hard to tell though, I have no idea what the other garments in my category were like. I am not expecting to be a finalist but it would be very nice if I was. :)

I have a very bad picture of my finished dress but I took it on my boyfriends 'point and shoot' and not my dslr and it was a low light situation so it is very grainy.

As you can see, it is very short. Originally the ruffles were not going to be on the bottom but I added them for length and in the end I think the garment is the better for it.

Here are some shots of my 'fabulous' cocktail hat. :)

I had absolutely NO idea of how to go about millinery so I just made it up as I went along. :) I really had a lot of fun making this little hat. In the end I think it is quite cute.

If it gets on the runway I am hoping to get some pics of it all on a model!

Stay tuned.

12 August, 2009

Nearly on the home stretch!!

I haven't updated in a while as I have been a bit busy getting my garment ready for entry into The Flair Awards!

The 'garment' consists of 2 pieces. A dress and a little cape/cloak to go over the top. I am also going to being adding a millinery piece - but I am going to do that last. :) So far I have nearly completed my cape. It just need to have fasteners attached and the final little finishing groom for threads.

I have just put my invisible zipper in my dress am now up to finishing that seam. Then I have to attach my boned lining to the main garment and finish with hooks and eyes and once agin a final groom! I will post pics when it is all done.

Even if it doesn't make it to the catwalk (not all garments are good enough) I have still learnt a lot about construction and even cohesiveness of a design. :) It has been a great experience.

27 July, 2009

Freshly squeezed orange juice and $14 worth of bargains!

Sometimes I love going into op shops.

This morning I had to go down town to organise a repair for our dishwasher - fun times - and thought that while I was down there I may as well go into the local op shop and see what was to be found. Now, I understand that a small rural op shop is not going to have a well stocked inventory of those lucky to find one-off clothing pieces that you sometimes come across in a bigger town or in a city, but I went in specifically to have a look at their haberdashery stuff.

On a previous jaunt in the op shop I came away with 3 vintage patterns for the absurd price of 10c each. For more info go here So I was hopeful that I might come away with something.

This is what I picked up.

This batch of bargains includes:

A few metres of elastic trim with gathered ribbon attached

A couple of bits of ribbon, one purple and one a beautiful gold brocade type - they came together but I was really only interested in the brocade type.

A bit of royal blue felt that I think is a pretty good quality - planning to use for a millinery project.

A couple of metres of stretch black lace fabric - I was very excited by this as I think I was $4 dollars and is great quality.

Half of an old skirt in a cream poly fabric with lovely gold stripes through it - a bit of damage where something was removed - possibly a pocket - and where the seams were seperated. I think it is fairly old. I bought it as I am working on a project where you are only allowed to used recycled materials and I thought I could possibly use it.

A lovely piece of embroidered mesh fabric. I think about 4.5m but it is fairly narrow. Navy blue mesh with a white diamond pattern.

A fairly large piece of a floral fabric. Main fabric is white and it have purple flowers printed on. Very polyester but also very
pretty. It might have even been a bit of curtain material in a previous existence...

A very, very nice piece of floral georgette/chiffon type fabric. A couple of metres. This fabric drapes beautifully and I think would make something very special

And lastly a couple of metres of a green knit with a gold stripe running through it. Very 70s. Love it.

So after I toddled home in the beautiful sunshine of a very warm mid-winter day feeling very stoked with my bargain purchasing and wondering how much the same haul would have cost if the fabric and bits'n'pieces were brand new. Then I squeezed myself some orange juice and took a picture of all the fabric and sat typing this while enjoying previously mentioned orange juice.

Squeezed orange juice always reminds me of my Mama. Whenever we would go and visit she would squeeze orange juice for breakfast every single day. :) Good memories in fresh squeezed orange juice.

20 July, 2009

JJ Blouse

Well, I finished it!!

I actually really surprised myself. Instead of flinging it into a corner in disgust I pushed on and finished the whole thing. And with a good finish to everything as well.

It is still too big - as I thought it was going to be. Adjustments to the side seam and some ties so I can bring the back in are in order...

19 July, 2009

A bit of a disappointing sewing day...

I spent a lot of time sewing up my JJ blouse today. It is nearly finished, I just have to put the sleeves in, hem and do the button holes.

Number 1: I didn't like how the sleeves were done so I kind of got a bit stuck on those and then I changed how I was going to do them. I'm still not happy with them.

Number 2: It is too big. Now I'm not sure if this is because I used a fabric that had too much body so it is not draping correctly, or if I just should have made a smaller size...

So those are the 2 issues I have with the pattern and one may be my fault. The sleeves I just don't like at all and I am considering doing a sleeveless version, or just putting a little flounce instead of a sleeve.

I will admit that it was a trial run for this pattern, but I just don't like it when I put effort into sewing something well and it just doesn't work out how I want it to. Maybe a new day will shed a better light on the project.

Tomorrow I have to start work on Flair - no matter what the outcome of the JJ...

09 July, 2009

Pretty earrings and Procrastination...

The black skirt I mention in my previous post has now been cut out and sewn apart from the hem. It took me a long time to level a 2 circle skirt, but well worth the effort as it will look much better. I wasn't looking forward to sewing it so I have kind of been putting it off a bit... and below is a picture of one of the things I did to procrastinate.

I got a whole stack of these beautiful swarovski crystals 20% off at Spotlight and I just loved the colour so much I had to buy. :) I added the little cubes - also bought for 20% off - because they had so much bling! The picture hasn't done the green justice though. I made these a little over a week ago and have nearly been living in them since then. They add a lot of fun to an outfit. I haven't made earrings for ages and I need to practice my wire work more. Damn! I guess I will have more earrings to wear in the not to distant future!!! ;)

23 June, 2009

A new skirt! Wheeeeee!

I finally made something for myself! Hooray!

I did my usual thing of making it slightly too big... so I had to take some width off the sides. After sewing the waist facing on I thought it was still too big so spent a lovely hour or so sitting in front of the tv whilst unpicking. Took in front darts a further 1 cm each.

Waist (hip) now sat at a more comfortable level. So I then took in my facing and attatched to the skirt. If I had probably only just increased the length of the original pattern it probably would have taken a lot less time... oh well. Next skirt I make I will try to remember...

This afternoon I started to cut out the JJ blouse from Burdastyle. Cut out 3/4 of the main body and realised that I don't have enough fabric. UGH. Just as well it was from my stash and something that had been there for years so I am not likely to miss it. Still, it was pretty disappointing. I was thinking, "how much fabric does this bloody shirt need????" Far out.... So I have gone through my stash and found a couple of other bits of fabric. I am thinking I might have to do a bit of a mixed up thing with the fabric. Could turn out ok. We shall see!!!

I have to make a 2 and a 1/2 circle skirt for a student tomorrow. Out of black chiffon. That hem is going to be fun. NOT! I don't even want to think about the total length of it...

Til next time!

08 June, 2009

Happiness is...

I recently discovered that one kind of happiness is rediscovering something from your childhood. While I was getting petrol on Friday, I went in to pay and noticed that the service station was carrying Darrell Lea products. I was initially drawn to the really yummy licorice, but then I saw these little lovelies.

They are called 'Little Bo Peeps' and they are are something that I would get every now and then when I was little. I had to get a bottle and as I was walking out of the servo I was nearly skipping I was that happy.

So yes, happiness is little bo peeps. :)

03 June, 2009

Where mind is wandering lately...

1. We are getting our ceiling painted. I am looking forward to having it finished. Hopefully when I get home from work on Saturday afternoon it will be all done!

2. I had a lovely weekend just gone. Helped a friend celebrate her 25th birthday. Was nice to spend some girly time with no boys around. :)

3. I am hoping that my sewing machine and overlocker are ready for me to pickup on Friday. They are having a service after their intense session of eisteddfod sewing.

4. My new pattern making book "Pattern Making for Fashion Design" is very good, very detailed, and very very daunting!!! eep.

5. Am getting a bit itchy to do some sewing. Can't til my machines come back. Flair deadline is coming up, need to get designing.

19 May, 2009

No more costumes...for a while anyway.

12 tutus, 11 boyleg unitards and several one-off costumes and one eisteddfod of 2 weeks duration and it is all over and done!! For now! Can't tell you how much I am enjoying not having to sit at the sewing machine. While I was 'working' cause it was work I just kept thinking of all these things I wanted to make for myself and now that I have the time to do it I don't have the urge. I'm sure it will come back.

Here are several pictures that show the state of my sewing room post-eisteddfod sewing. My next job will be to sort out the chaos. I pretty much finished sewing and then de-camped from my house for 2 weeks, the other half just shoved stuff in there that was living elsewhere in the house...

This is the view from the door.

And here is one corner of the room - as you can see I am not a very neat person.

And my sewing table, I don't work with this much crap on it but when not in use it tends to accumulate, well crap! This table is also complete with 'cat-observation' station (ie the orange fluffy cushion)

10 April, 2009

A birthday, flowers, a mocha birthday cake and more.

Today is my boyfriend's birthday. I feel the need to point out that I think we have been together too long to call each other 'boyfriend' and 'girlfriend' though. 9 years is a fair hike of a distance - well to a spring chicken like me.

So yes, it is his birthday and I have just put his birthday cake into the oven. It is a mocha cake that I got from a recipe book that came with our coffee machine. I have made this cake once before, and it was quite nice so I am hoping that the 2nd attempt will taste even better!

In my last blogging effort I declared that my daliahs were starting to bloom and as I sit here on my couch I am looking at 6 beautiful blooms cheerily sitting in a make-do vase. One has already lived to decorate my house and gone the way of the garbage bin...

On another note I am a bit besotted with this website at the moment. Ahhhhhh such lovely pretty stuff! Me likey!

Have a safe and Happy Easter to those of you that celebrate it!

19 March, 2009

Goodbye Summer...

Even though it has 'officially' been Autumn for 19 days, I feel that this lovely season - probably my favourite - has only been asserting itself in the last few days.

We are now in need of the doona on the bed for most of the night, if I am up early enough in the morning (ie before 8.30 am) I need long sleeves on and it is 12.30 pm (daylight saving time) and there is still dew on the grass outside where it is shady. And finally a dahlia plant that I happily discovered growing last year - our first Autumn in this house - has it's first little flower buds on it.

So yes, goodbye Summer. Even though I enjoy what you bring to the year sometimes I do find you a little bit too full-on to handle!

17 March, 2009

2 down, many to go.

Well I have just finished my 2nd costume.

Many, many to go. Some are in various stages of construction some I haven't even started yet. Eep!

My usual online source of fabric sent me the wrong thing in my recent order, which has delayed my starting that particular project, but the replacement material should be here at the end of the week.

I am just enjoying a cup of coffee before I go and get back into it all.

Please enjoy the pics of this tutu I made last April/May. I finally got the dancer it was made for to model her costumes for me. This tutu is fitted especially to her and took quite a while to finalise the fit.

It was my first attempt at a fully fitted tutu made on a basque and I sort of improvised how to do it as I went along. Its not perfect but I was pretty pleased with the end result!

13 March, 2009

Just another Friday Morning.

And so begins another day.

Contemplating how my morning will take form.

I have already slept for a chunk of it. Ahhh sleep.

Work starts a 1pm. Really need to do some choreography for a routine, but I just can't get my head in the right space. But I seriously need to do it.

It appears I am having difficulty spelling today...

I also need to cut some music for another routine.

And amplify music as my new 'stereo' doesn't have very loud speakers and when you are teaching tap that isn't a good thing.

Sigh. Everything seems a little bit monotonous today.


18 February, 2009

What's the buzz? Stuff I've been up to and a great t-shirt.

Well, it has been quite a while since I have blogged anything but that is mainly because I haven't had anything to blog about!

I have had a very extended break from sewing over our Christmas break and am now getting back into it. Once again, I am doing costume sewing for students for one of the eisteddfods that is coming up in May. Yes, I know that seems a long way off, but when you have nearly 20 individual costumes to make, and 2 groups to do (one of 11, one of 10) the time just goes so quickly. I have finished one already and just have to do some minor sequining, so already I feel as if I am off to a better start than last year. Three skirt have been cut out and are now hanging so they drop before I have to hem them. I have a lot of fabric waiting to be attacked, and learnt from last year that I needed to get deposits from 'clients' before ordering fabric!

I have also decided to enter a local Fashion award later in the year. The Flair Fashion Awards. I know I am not a fashion designer, but it is open to anyone and I really do enjoy the creative process when I make costumes so I thought why not try my hand at non-costumes? There are several different categories and I have already started on a few designs. I am actually pretty excited and can't wait for the entries to open later this month! It will be good to try to create something of a high calibre. Very fortunately I found a photography site that has images up from the past 3 years of Flair, so I was able to get some sort of idea of the types of things that actually get included in the runway show. This is it here. Some of the clothes are absolutely gorgeous and some well, maybe I don't know enough about fashion, but some don't seem so gorgeous to me... So I will be updating pretty frequently on that project I'd say.

One of the categories is "Rags to Riches" which is basically recycling from a 2nd hand garment and I found a lovely coloured dress on ebay which I was lucky enough to win. I only bought it for the colour... I will post a picture of it once I have taken one!

Also noticed the other day that I have 2 new followers, so welcome and I hope my blogs are at least mildly interesting!

Oh! I also found the funniest shirt the other day when I was visiting Jinx. Now I did enjoy the books (not so much the 3rd one - that one annoyed me) but when I saw this I just cracked up laughing. I think it is great.

I am seriously thinking of indulging my inner geek and purchasing one - blow the currency exchange rate!

The Twilight books were on the whole very enjoyable but I reckon if I had stumbled across this tee while I was reading the 3rd book I probably would have bought it on the spot!


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