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!

03 January, 2010

A new dress for me!

This dress is very similar to the one I posted previously. But I get to keep this one!

I have had the material in my stash for a couple of year and always intended on making a simple summer dress with it. So, when I decided to do a tutorial for Burdastyle I made this one so that I could take pictures of the process.

I will post my tutorial on here as well.

Basically it is a 6 panelled skirt sewn onto a bodice which has been gathered in with rows of Elastic.


1. Cutting the Bodice.

Fold your fabric in half across the width.  This fabric was 150cm wide.
Measure down 20 cm (you can do longer or shorter if you wish) and mark. Do this all along the width of fold fabric.

Cut along marked line.

If you are lining your dress, the lining fabric may not be as wide as the main fabric. If so, cut your main fabric in half so you have 2 lengths and measure the dimensions. Cut 2 pieces of the same dimension out of your lining fabric.

2. Cutting your skirt.

The beautiful thing about how this dress is made, is that you can have any sort of skirt that you like.

If you don’t have a lot of fabric you can do an a-line or a straight skirt.

If you want a full skirt but don’t have quite enough to do a full circle without lots of seams, you do a panelled skirt, like I have here.

You can do short, medium or long.

My skirt is a 6-panelled skirt that is fairly full. The pattern for my panels looks like a blunt nosed triangle. 
It measures 20 cm at the top and 56 at the bottom. It is 80 cm in length.

Cut the skirt whichever way you choose.

If you are lining your dress, or the skirt portion of your dress, cut that as well. This can be cut the same way as your main fabric, or differently. Just make sure that the upper circumference is the same as the main skirt. The lining does not need to be as full as the outer layer of your dress.

3. Sewing the Bodice

Roll hem, zigzag or standard overlock around all 4 edges.

I like to use a rolled hem as you don’t need to do anything else to the edges and the finish is neat.

If using a standard 4 or 3 thread overlocking stitch, turn the overlocked edge under and stitch down with a straight stitch. You don’t need to do a big hem.

If you don’t have an overlocker, a narrow zigzag on a short stitch length will do much the same thing as a rolled hem. Look in your manual and then experiment on scraps of your fabric until you are happy with your finish.

**If you are lining your dress, pin your lining and main fabric together and finish the edges the same was as above. Just make sure your main fabric is right side out. 

If you had to cut your main fabric in 2, now is the time to stitch one side seam closed. 1.5cm seam allowance is fine.

If you want to add any embellishments such as lace, ribbon or braid along the length of your bodice, do that now.

4. Gathering the Bodice

Mark where you want to put your rows of gathers. I used 5 rows.

If using gathering elastic, mark on the right side of the fabric. If using flat elastic mark on the wrong side.

If using flat elastic, cut to your desired length. Whatever your full bust measurement is would probably be a good place to start.

Quarter your elastic, and your fabric as well. I use pins.

Stitch on your rows of elastic.

If using gathering elastic, you don’t need to quarter your fabric.

5. Finishing the Bodice.

Once you have sewn on all rows of your elastic, sew your final seam.

You should have a tube that looks something like the one in the picture.

6. Sewing the skirt

Sew seams and finish the edges.

Do this for the lining as well.

Finish the top edge of main fabric and lining.

Use a zigzag or 3 or 4 thread overlock stitch. You can use a rolled hem also but this part of the dress is not going to be visible.

Hem the bottom of skirt, and skirt lining.

Again I used a rolled hem. You can hem whatever way you like.

If you are lining your skirt, sew the lining to the skirt, wrong sides together.

Sew lining to skirt, wrong sides together.

10. Attaching the skirt to the Bodice

Measure finished circumference of your bodice. Cut another piece of elastic to this measurement and quarter it with pins.

Quarter the top of your skirt and attach elastic.

11. Attaching the skirt to the Bodice part II

Fold under and stitch again.

12. Attaching the skirt to the Bodice part III

Pin the bodice onto the elastic at the top of the skirt. The bottom row of elastic on the bodice should be on top of the skirt. Stitch.

13. Straps

Cut 2 strips of fabric to your desired length and width. The width needs to be 2 as wide as your finished width. 

Fold in half and stitch. Finish edges.

Turn the right way out and press.

Attach your straps to your dress!

You can add belt loops or side ties or whatever you like.

I have cinched in the dress with a belt as I thought the pattern needed breaking up.


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