31 December, 2010

Burdastyle Handmade Contest

I'm pretty excited!

My crochet headband was selected as a 'finalist' in this competition over at Burdastyle. I know that it won't win, but it is still nice to have the editors from Modcloth choose my design part of their top 25.

Happy New Year everyone, don't get too silly!

08 December, 2010

Dance concert 2010.

I have had a flat out year sewing costumes for work and haven't really had time - or the inclination - to blog. Now to end the drought are some pics from our end of year concert.


I made these for the junior half of our concert. We presented "Babes in Toyland" and these girls did a cute little number to the lemonade song - if anyone knows the movie.

10 half tutus
10 leotards with arm frills
10 caps
Lots and lots of yellow!

Swan Lake, Act II

Our senior vocational ballet students presented Act II of Swan Lake, as this year we were lucky enough to have a very talented boy studying with us. It was a big challenge for them, and I think they learnt a lot.
I did the design for 31 lovely swans. Which included designing the tutu overlays and the bodice pieces as well. I was lucky enough not the have to make 31 sets of tutu plates though. And I only had to sew half of the bodice pieces which then had to be attached to the tutus. As we used both full tutus and leotards with half tutus more leotards had to be made as well. 
The tutu overlays were made of a layer of opalescent organza sewn onto a layer of tulle with silver ribbon around the edge. A layer of white lycra was sewn onto the organza layer and was painted with feather details and embellished with sequins. 
The bodices consisted of 2 lycra oval shapes with 4 painted turkey feathers sewn onto each. These were sewn onto the fronts of the leotards and tutus after a length of opalescent braid had been attached to the flesh insert. A feather was then sewn down the centre front of the tutus and leotards. 

The gorgeous headpieces were designed and made by another lady so I can't take credit for them. They are basically hackle pads glued onto headbands with some beading in the centre. Odette has a small tiara as well.

Our lovely Odette, Ayesha.

28 July, 2010

Crazy Crochet Wednesday

Since my last post things in the land of chrochet have gone a little, well insane.

My long standing crochet project has progressed significantly and I have now run out of wool. Which has of course stalled my enthusiasm somewhat. Not to worry, I have another side project going and I have plenty of wool for that one - no pictures of that yet though.

I have finally taken a picture of a scarf that I crocheted about 6 months ago (very oddly during my summer holiday period) It is the first thing that I have crochet that isn't some form of granny square. Not sure if I got the tension 100% spot on, but I like it. I wore it the other day and got multiple compliments for it. Props for me! Yay! 

I used used 3 balls of wool (but you can make it whatever length you like) and the pattern came from Ravelry. It was a free pattern and really easy to crochet. It is called Queen Anne's Lace. If you are wanting something easy to make that isn't a granny square give this one a go. 

There are just so many lovely projects on Ravelry. These are a couple that are on my list for next time I catch the 'crochet-bug'

This gorgeously delicious clutch. Very similar to a Chanel one that I saw in April 2010 of Australian Vogue... knock-off anyone?

Here is Chanel's.
It really is quite sweet.

This sweet little cuff. 

Even these rings are quite darling, but I'm not sure if my skills are up to them yet...

And a sweet headband.

All of the patterns that I have featured and linked to are free from the Ravelry website. You just need to join up! Ravelry also has alot of knitting patterns and resources as well. I am just more interested in crochet - it is easier to fix if you stuff it up!

So, sorry for all the pictures. Well, I'm not actually. They are all pretty, with the possible exception of my home photography attempts ;)

I hope you enjoyed my Crazy Crochet Wednesday!

21 July, 2010

What do you do on a rainy day?

Today has been pretty miserable. It started out ok and then just got worse. Rain has now set in and it is cold. Oh well, that is winter for you. So yes, slight case of cabin fever today. This is what I did to occupy myself.

1. Gave one of my fingers a slight case of wool-burn from doing a tad too much work on my 'on-going crochet project' .

2. Watched an episode of Babylon 5.

3. Made a cake. Which as I type is still in the oven. An oven that I am still not used to cooking things in. I think it cooks hot... Anyway it is a mocha cake and the batter tasted pretty damn good, so here's hoping that the cake doesn't get burnt.

I had every intention of going for a run today. I am, however, a fair weather runner at the best of times so once the rain had set in for the day that put an end to any thoughts of running. If my cake turns out to be nice I may perhaps have to suck up the discomfort of the rain and go for one tomorrow anyway... I have no self control when it comes to sweets.

* If you do not want your image on my blog, let me know and I will remove it. I'm not sure who this image belongs to, sorry!

20 July, 2010

Yeah, Nanna-style...

This little sweat shirt is made from a terry-fleece that I picked up at an op-shop, so it is possibly quite old. The lace I have had in my stash for at least 5 years and I think it is this lace that gives the top that lovely 'nanna' feel. With a wide neck, this can be worn boat style or slouched of one shoulder.

Made from Kwik-Sew pattern 2874 with the neck cut out a lot more. I actually cut out a large size as I wanted it to have that slouchy feel - I actually thought that the large would be a bit bigger, but it wasn't.

This design was a trial run for sweats I am thinking of selling.

18 July, 2010


I still haven't sewn anything for myself yet. (insert big frowny face) I am just about to start on the next lot of costume sewing. (insert sort of frowny face, but not so much of one as I do get financial results from my costuming exploits) My sewing room still looks like a bomb has been detonated in it. I really need a more effective way of storing all of my sewing stuff - what do you guys do with all of your crafting parafernalia?

So, while I don't have anything really on the sewing-front to write about, I really wanted to blog something as I haven't posted up anything for an age. I do have a sewing experiment on the goodness of the skill of tailoring in the pipeline (this means I'm thinking about it a lot but nothing further has happened) so when I get that up and running you can be sure that I will be posting some more then.

Just so that this post isn't just text heavy, here are some pics of my long-on-going crochet project!

I think some of them are quite pretty. Although at the rate I am going, it will be another 5 years before I finish the rug!

13 May, 2010

Lime Green Lycra Overdose.

Have to sew anymore lime green cotton lycra in the next few months, I think I will go crazy!

During Sunday and Monday I made a total of 16 lime green crop tops, with lycra straps. UGH! Man, it was such a mission. I was on a deadline to get them done you see. That is why I overdosed on them. I sewed a hell of a lot of elastic on Monday as well. It took me an hour to attatch all of the straps to just the front of the tops. I was so over it...

Here is a list of all of the costumes I have made since February.

16 lilac half tutus
17 black lace one shoulder leotards
17 lime green crop tops
5 Modern Expressive Costumes
2 Contemporary Costumes
4 Jazz  Costumes
1 Variety Costume
1 Tutu
1 Half Tutu
1 re-tulle of a tutu made by someone else.
1 Tap Costume
Modifications on 4 previously made costumes. (made bigger. damn kids and their growing...)

The above is why I have not been on here AT ALL in the last couple of months. Oh, and I had a 3 week trip to the United States in there as well.

I think I need a cup of tea and a good lie down...

I am sooo looking forward to Sunday. I get to put away all of the costume related sewing stuff and think of what I want to sew next. For myself!

16 February, 2010

...and then the tulle monster laid some eggs...

16 to be exact. 16 little bundles of scratchy fluff.

Yes! I have finally finished sewing all layers on these little tutus. I now have the fun tasks of sewing the crutch, and tacking all of the layers on all 16 of these little buggers.

I have invested in a tagging gun to assist with the tacking down of the many layers...

Will keep you updated.

Oh, and as a treat to myself for slogging my way through all of that fun-ness up there, I am planning on sewing something for myself! Shock, Horror! Can it be????

29 January, 2010

Pictures of my lovely glass!

As promised from yesterday's blog, here are the pictures of the lovely bowls I got at an Op-Shop. :)

I think they are probably vintage to some degree, lets say 70s, but I'm not 100% sure.

I still like them.

All of the above for $4.50! Woo Hoo!

Here is an example of the only other 2 types of bowls we have in our house. 

Good for everyday use, but well you know, just a bit boring. When we moved into our current house my boyfriend decided that we needed new plates and stuff. We already had the white. I came home to find these blargh looking beige things. See, he picked them to 'go with our kitchen' which has lovely cream tiles and stuff, but well I think they are just a bit boring. He liked them so I didn't say anything. I just like to have pretty bowls! So when I came across some that were cheap as chips, I couldn't resist!!

Here is a further breakdown. 

These lovely larger size bowls were $0.50 each. I ate my salad in one yesterday for lunch, and folks it was a decent sized salad at that so I'm pretty well pleased with them.

These ones were $2.00 for the 'set'. They are more your dessert sized bowls. Yet to use them, but I think they are quite lovely.

This one was $1.00. There was only one of them unfortunately. It is the same size as the 3 above. It has found a new home in my bathroom holding some of my more often used makeup.


Oh, and here is a picture to demonstrate how bored I was yesterday...

I was so bored I cleaned out and organised my bathroom cupboard.

28 January, 2010

Still slow on the sewing front. Bored!

It seems that I gave myself a tiny bit of burn-out. Either that or I just really need to go back to work. See when I get too bored I just seem to not want to really do anything and I get really negative. Bored. Boredy, bored, bored. I need to get back to work so the creative juices can start flowing. One more day to go and then hopefully I will feel better. 7 weeks of no working while not actually doing anything much on your holiday is really a bit too long. I'm even too bored to get over-involved-all-consumed in a book.

Still sewing my way through tutus. Layer 2 has now been sewn on all 16 and all 16 have had the waist finished off waiting for elastic to be threaded through upon total completion. So, if you include all of the initial cutting out of lycra and tulle and sewing of lycra I am probably about half way through.

On a side note, I went op-shopping yesterday. (Thrifting for non-Aussies) I had every intention of finding clothing. I did not find any clothing. I think the absolute sweltering hotness of the tiny little building had something to do with my not looking very hard though. Anyway I came away with some lovely 'glass.' I found 7 lovely glass bowls. 3 bigger than 4. 2 matching sets of 3 and one odd ball. All together they totalled $4.50. Lovely.

There were also several scarfs there, but I was hanging onto 7 glass bowls when I spotted them so I didn't get a real good look. I will post pictures of my lovely (vintage?) glass finds tomorrow. Hell, I haven't got anything else to post about right now have I??

23 January, 2010

A first attempt at 'feathering the nest'

I'm not nesting for any particular reason. I had this fabric left over from a dance costume and a lounge that was very plain.

So I made these 2 cushions a few days ago. They are pretty plain, I didn't have anything in my stash to put on them so they stayed plain. But I do live with a boy, and I accept that I can't have really girly stuff all over the house. Not that I am the girly decorator type anyway... they are backed with a light khaki cotton that was also in my stash. Also a left over. I need to get some new cushions though - the actual bit that goes in the cover. I stole these ones off our other lounge and they are about 7 years old, so they are very squashed and loved... just a bit sad looking. Oh well!

But yeah, made some cushions.

I felt proud.  :)

What has your sewing machine been up to lately?

Bargain Dress Form

My boyfriend (who is meant to be working) is currently off  'doing garage sales'. Don't ask...  Bloody paramedics...

Anyway I get a phone call it went something like this:

"You know that red dummy thing you have in your sewing room?"

"My dress form?"

"Yeah, that thing... do you need a new one?"

"Yes, and I know what sort I want to buy when I go back to work and start getting money again."

"Oh. I just bought you one."

"From where?"

"Oh, a garage sale. It was thirty bucks"

"Well I only want it if it works. The one I have is second hand and not all the dials work..."

"They guy said it has only been used once and is virtually brand new."

"Ok then, thanks sweetie."

"I bought you a present!"

Cut to 5 minutes later and he has shown up at the house with this.

I just pulled it out of the box and had a quick inspection and it does indeed appear to be brand new.

When I told Mr the he would have to get rid of the old one he replied with "Nah you can keep it and race them!"

A bargain at $30.00!!!

22 January, 2010

Uh Oh. I've added to my stash...

Sorry for the hiatus of non-sewing stuff, but I really didn't think you guys wanted a daily update of the sewing of 16 tutus for under 8 year olds...

This is where the problems began...

I went onto ebay a few weeks ago.

Big mistake.

Spent money I shouldn't have spent.

Got some pretty things though!

I got this lycra.

Although as a person who works with a lot of lycra, I wouldn't really call this lycra. It is, but ehhhhh it isn't thick enough and the stretch is way more one way than the other for me to consider it 'lycra'. Is it a fabric that has lycra in it. Yes. But is it 'lycra' lycra. No. Still pretty though. I was going to make some swimwear out of it for a design comp later in the year, but with the lack of 2 way stretch I'm unsure now...

I got this lovely knit.

I'm going to probably make a sweater dress out of it for winter. Can't wait. I'm excited about it.

And I got this beautiful silk.

There is about 2 metres of it and I love it. Problem is, as the fabric is so nice I have this feeling that it will sit in my stash for ages through fear of ruining it in a dodgy sewing project.

So, does anyone have any suggestions on what I could do with it? I was leaning towards this top from over at Burdastyle but I have a fair bit of fabric so it seems silly to just make a little top. But if I make a pretty dress chances are I won't wear it much (as stated in my previous entry).

21 January, 2010

Your clothing upbringing?

I follow a couple of blogs that are primarily based around the personal style of the blogee. What I Wore, Cupcakes and Cashmere, Lady Melbourne... and I enjoy what these ladies come up with on a daily, weekly or whenever basis.

See, I would love to do that sort of thing. Post pictures of what I wear everyday on my blog. But that is just me living in a fantasy world. See the real me, well I don't really have any call to get myself all dressed up and accessorised everyday. And thus I come to the title of today's blog.

What was your clothing upbringing?

Mine was a little something like this.

If you were at home, whether you were inside reading a book, inside playing, outside playing or just hanging around you didn't wear your 'good clothes.'

If you were going somewhere, like to the movies, out shopping (unless you were coming straight from school and then you would be in your uniform - ick) or generally going out of the house then you wore your 'good clothes'. That is just how things were and I guess stuff like that sticks. Kind of like when you _have_ to make sure you go to the toilet before leaving the house. Stuff like that is ingrained, and I guess clothing upbrining is the same.

I sort of don't really see the point of getting all dressed up if all I am going to do is sew, do laundry, watch tv, read, or clean the house. You know what I mean? So quite possibly I live in the same few items of clothing - especially for the bottom half cause it is kind of difficult to work with and when I find something that works it tends to stick.

My chances to get dressed up are kind of pretty limited. You see, I live in a little country town that would probably have a population of about 3000 people. You feel overdressed when you go 'down the street' (we only have one street for our cbd) wearing your nice jeans, a nice top, heels and accessories. Tis a bit sad. Even if you wear a pretty dress you sometimes feel a bit silly. I tend to get my fixes from the odd excursion out to lunch with my boyfriend, shopping trips to Newcastle (our closes big city - an hour and a half away) and the very occassional trip to Sydney to go to the theatre or see the ballet. Sigh.

I work in a town about 70km away - which is about a 1 hr drive - and even then I am limited to what I wear. You can't really bust a move as a dance teacher while you are wearing your new favourite pair of street shoes. So it is always pretty amusing when I do get to 'dress up' (ie dress like a normal person) around dance-school people. It comes out as something like "Oh, Miss Jenni, you look really nice today"  I usually reply, "Thanks! Yeah, you don't really get to see me in my civies very much!" I love lycra, but when you wear it for work the whole leggins craze kind of loses it's appeal...

That was a really long post. Sorry for the rant!

Thoughts anyone? Am I alone in this seemingly narcisistic, fashion obsessed culture we exist in at the moment?

- just as a side note, does anyone know how to remove the boarder from around a picture?

19 January, 2010

Shameless self-promotion...

Today I put a couple of new items up in my etsy shop.

Pajama Pants


Floral Blouse

Both are now available for sale at my shop.

18 January, 2010

Summer is over... or on the way out at least

We are just past halfway through summer and today I felt and saw the first evidence of Autumn, which I love so much.

There was that smell in the air this morning before 9am, the grass was still wet and cool in the shade before lunch and early this evening I went for a walk and saw the first leaf turning it beautiful shade of autumn on the crepe myrtle trees that are still busily in bloom...

16 January, 2010

Granny yourself to pieces.

Over at Meet Me At Mikes is a new craft challenge.

A Granny a Day and Crochet school. I had started making granny squares last year after being inspired by this lovely image:

The whole look of the room I just found adorable. I found this image at Home Sweet Home ages ago and at that time I was able to download the image onto my computer. They have since disabled that function though.

But anyway, I love, love, loved this granny quilt and was inspired. Until life got in the way. Now after visiting Meet Me At Mikes I have become inspired again. And as the challenge states, you crochet one granny square a day. So I joined up, and will be grannying myself to pieces very soon - ie today!

15 January, 2010

A special "Thank You!"

A special thanks goes out the Sunni of The Cupcake Goddess, for giving me a link to download a program that allowed me to make the fantastic banner you now see above.

I'm pretty excited. :)  I don't know about you all, but I like it alot!

Thanks Sunni!

alotta mauve and some brown!

Today I made these

They are no where near finished. This is only half of the - 8 - and only the top layer. I just figured out I am one tenth of the way through sewing on tulle. 16 tutus with 5 layers of tulle.

Yay, fun times. It is quite boring really. Major production line stuff here.

And then as a treat to myself and so I don't go crazy...

I made this...

I know the fabric is pretty ug-ly, but that is why it got selected for this project. There were actually 2 pieces of this fabric, both were remnants. I don't know why I bought them. It was ages ago and they have been taking up space in my stash ever since.

See, I have this very big problem when I sew. Mess. I have threads and crap that goes everywhere. So I decided I needed a scrap bag. It is a lot too long - it is folded down in half - and probably not wide enough, but it will do it's job of collecting the detritus of my sewing. I also found a use for the bits of nylon net (tulle) that I have around. I used 2 layers of tulle to help reinforce because I had no interfacing!

Okay so I guess the fabric isn't that hideous. I have one piece left measuring 140cm x 56cm, pluse a rectangular scrap. Any thoughts of what I should do with it??

14 January, 2010

A source of inspiration for Balenciaga?

I was bored, so I decided to have a look at style.com on my iphone. More specifically the latest collection from Balenciaga. I think because I had been reading Vogue Australia earlier and they mentioned Balenciaga, and it was first on the list on style.com. So yes, please peruse the following pictures.



Can you see what I see?

Captain Hammer's outfit is pretty cool, but I never guessed that it would be a source of inspiration for a major design house.

Balenciaga featured these gloves in many hues and patterns and the first thing I thought when I saw them was "Captain Hammer!" and I nearly laughed out loud, as it was I had a big grin on my face. Nothing has amused me this much in a while.

Thanks for making my evening, Balenciaga! I agree, Captain Hammer is pretty cool, but I think I'm more of a Dr Horrible fan.

I don't suppose anyone has seen these googles pop up on the runway?? Actually Dr Horrible wears gloves too...

*On a side note, the review on style.com on iphone mentions everything except for the gloves...

Passing along the good word...

The Selfish Seamstress has asked her fellow bloggers to help her spread awareness for fundraising for Haiti.

See what you can do to help here.


My sewing wish-list.

You know how there are always those little things that you forget you want/need until you could use them? Well this list has some of those items on it, and then some bigger items that aren't really necessary, but I would like all the same.

1. Rotary cutter and mat

2. A nice cream coloured dress form. (I have a dress form, but it is 2nd hand and broken. And red.)I don't really need a new one, but I would like one anyway.

3. A new pair of scissors. I think my current ones are dying. Perhaps they have cut too much tulle.

4. Electric scissors for cutting tulle.

5. A good supply of different coloured undie elastic.

6. An endless supply of thread and needles of all kinds (I know, I know, I will never get this because it doesn't exist. Does anyone know magic? Can you hook me up with Harry Potter?? I like Gutermann, Harry...)

7. A new cutting mat. Mine is dying.

8. A new chair. Mine is an ex-computer chair and is not conducive to sewing. And my cats always steal it.

Apparently they think it is quite lovely.

9. A whole range of sewing-related books. Too many to post really.

10. Some new dressmakers chalk.

11. One of those wax things that you put thread through to stop it tangling when you are doing hand sewing.

12. Some dressmakers rulers. I shall be more specific, Metric Dressmakers Rulers. Do they exist??

I can't really think of anything else at the moment. If I do later, I'm sure I will post them up.

What is on your sewing wish-list?

13 January, 2010

Now open for business!

Am I crazy?

I just put something up for sale on Etsy.

Come and check it out.

More items for sale soon!

12 January, 2010

The party is over...

Well for a while anyway.

And what party am I talking about? I'm talking about the "sew-stuff-for-me-only"party. It was fun while it lasted and I'm sure that now I have been biten by the self-sewing bug again (I'm wearing one of my own creations as I sit here typing this entry) I will surely make time for more self-sewing in the not too distant future.

See the thing is I kind of have this little side gig of sewing costumes. I get paid for it - otherwise there is no way in hell that I would be doing what I'm doing - and a little extra money does go a long way doesn't it?

Anyway, my boss who is a lovely soul, asked me if I wanted to sew some tutu over the holidays. They will be needed for May so I have a while to do them, but May will be upon us in no time at all really...

So I said yes. I said yes to making 16 little mauve tutus.

I know, I know. You are thinking "Is this woman nuts?"

Sometimes, yes I think I am nuts.

Anyway, I have only just now decided to start the project.

16 pairs of pants have been cut out in 2 different sizes. Size 6 and size 8.

The top layer of tulle (net) has been cut.

Thread has been purchased today. Elastic for gathering tulle has been purchased today.

3rd and 5th layers of tulle will hopefully be cut today.

2nd and 4th layers of tulle are on their way as I had to order another colour to get the tone right to match the leotards the skirts are going with. Does that make sense??

So anyway, good news is that they are for little people and won't be nearly as difficult to get through as bigger ones.

They are only having 5 layers in the skirt and each layer is only have 3 widths of tulle to the skirt.

I'm hoping to have the pants sewn and marked up by tomorrow.

So yes. The party is over. For a while at least.

Maybe I can motivate myself to get through the tutus quicker by making a deal with myself. Such as "When you have sewn the top 2 layers of skirts on you can make that blouse/skirt/dress that you want to make."

Hmmmm, that could indeed work very well.

10 January, 2010

What did today's adventures yield?

This Metalicus-Inspired cream knit dress!

I would have liked to make the skirt out of some sort of circle - half circle, 3/4 circle, full circle would have probably been too full - but I didn't have the fabric to allow for it. So I got the a-line skirt that was slightly gathered at the top. The hem is finished with a narrow overlock stitch.

I didn't have the wonder fabric that Metalicus use for their clothing so I had to make do with this knit that I found in my stash. As I wasn't sure if this dress was going to be wearable, I didn't want to expend money on buying fabric.

The bodice has princess seams, and a seam down the centre front - again cause I didn't have enough fabric to cut that centre panel out on the fold. As it is the top is lined with white cotton lycra instead of a double layer of the knit fabric. There is also a gentle gather in the front.

So yeah, not the most in-your-face of fancy-type dresses, but I already have a few of those in the old cupboard that only get trotted out every now and then. This dress, well it's a bash around the house and then dress it up to go out dress! Perfect!

This is the 'before styling' photo.

As you can see, quite the blank canvas.

All in all, while it's not the prettiest of dresses, it is functional, cool to wear (temperature wise) and comfortable. Dressed up, it is moderate on the stylish meter I guess. For no money expended (Fabric that has been in my stash for so long I can't remember when I bought it is considered free) it is a pretty good result.

09 January, 2010

Tiny Flowers Cami

I made this sweet little cami yesterday and I am really quite taken with it...

It is based off New Look Pattern 6164, however I have had the pattern for quite a few years so I doubt that you can get it anymore. It comes with a skirt as well.

Now, according to the pattern and my bust measurment of yesterday I was supposedly a size 16. I don't think my boobs are anywhere near size 16 size, so I cut out a size 12. And thank whatever you call holy for that decision!

It is cut on the bias but you can cut it on the grain as well.

I kept the side darts in. This was a good move.

I decided I could do without the 2 funny little tiny pleats they had happening on the front and the back at the bottom.

Chose my own length of band. I was meant to leave and opening in one of the side seams (a bit hard when you are doing french seams - or I just don't know how to do it) and buttons on the band but I decided to option out of those items.

Decided that their idea of putting a 3cm or so facing on the inside was a dud option, so I made my own bias tape and away I went. I sewed the front section first and then made the second lot of tape a lot longer and it continued up into the straps.

After trying it on I decided it was a bit boxy and if I held it in at the back a little it looked nicer.

So I made 2 little ties and sewed them on.

I was happy to find out that I had made them long enough so that I could go all the way around my waist with a comfortable amount to tie with.

And, voila! I have a gorgeous little summer cami that can be dressed up or down!

Quite pleased really. And incidently, I really like how the top photo came out. Love that backyard fence!


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