Monday, July 25, 2011

Baby, it's cold outside!

I woke up this morning to a thick blanket of snow. This may not seem that exciting for some of you, but we rarely get snow like this. When we do the whole city grinds to a standstill. Only the foolhardy (and those with important jobs, I guess) try and get to work and all the schools are closed. Luckily, uni is closed, because I don't fancy getting the snow off my car.

I'm going to make the most of the extra day off and work on McCalls 3776 in a blue merino wool knit. Something to keep me warm, I hope.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Back to School Skirt

I started back at uni last week. I did all my classes from home last semester because of the earthquake, which I actually quite enjoyed. Before I started back, I realised that there was a gap in my, admittedly rather substantial, wardrobe. I didn't have a plaid circle skirt. While, I pretty much only wear prints I seem to have overlooked the amazingness of a good plaid. In order to rectify this oversight, I quickly whipped up a skirt.

Plaid circle skirt

The fabric is some unknown fibre I got on trademe for cheap. It's probably a synthetic blend but it drapes really well. I used the circle skirt pattern that I drafted ages ago.

I'm holding my new hatbox. I bought a set of three of them on trademe the other day. They fit inside one another, which I love. I have an obsession with hat boxes but they are usually hard to find and expensive in NZ. Of course, I don't actually keep hats in them (that would be crazy right?), I use them for sewing patterns and notions.

The gloves are also new (to me). The lovely Helga von Trollop sent them to me to keep my mitts warm. I always have cold hands and feet in the winter, but they keep my fingers nice and toasty.

I have some more plaid sewing projects in the works, including a dress. I went slightly crazy buying plaid fabric to make up for lost time.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Tutorial: Basic Fabric Bow

I was asked a while ago to do a tutorial on making a bow. Sorry it's taken me so long Selina. Bows are pretty easy and they're great for beginner sewers.

This is how I make fabric bows but there may be other, better ways out there.

You will need:

Needle and Thread
Sewing Machine (you could do this by hand but it's much easier with a sewing machine)

1. Cut two rectangles of fabric the same size. The size depends on how big you want your bow to be. My rectangles were about 20cm x 12cm. Also cut a smaller rectangle. This is for the tab in the middle of the bow. Mine measured about 9cm x 5cm. At this point you can finish the raw edges by zigzagging or overlocking them. I didn't because I am lazy.

2. Pin the two large rectangles right sides together. Leave a small section at one of the bottom corners free so you can turn the fabric right side out when you've sewn it. You can see the section I haven't pinned along the bottom left. Fold the small rectangle in half, right sides together, along the longest side.

3. Sew together the two rectangles where you have pinned, making sure to leave a small section free in the big rectangle. Use a relatively small seam allowance, about half a centimetre.

4. Trim the corners of three sides of the large rectangle, not trimming the corner which you have left open. Turn the rectangle to the right side. Use something, like the end of a crochet hook or a knitting needle to poke out the corners but be careful not to poke a hole in the material (sometimes I use my scissors which I don't think you're supposed to do but oh well). Push the edges you left open inside the rectangle so they cannot be seen from the outside. Turn the small rectangle to the right side. Don't worry about the raw edges because they'll get tucked in.

5. Iron both rectangles so they are nice and flat. Iron the small rectangle so the seam is in the middle of one side. This will be the back. Handstitch the opening in the big rectangle closed making the stitches as invisible as possible.

6. Hold the large rectangle between thumb and forefinger, like below, and wrap the small rectangle around the middle. At the back tuck the ends of the small rectangle in to make it neater and stitch closed. It doesn't matter if it's not really neat though, because this is the back.

You've finished. Now you can stick bows on everything. If you want to stick a bow on clothing it's best to add a safety pin to the back and attach it that way, because then you can remove it when you want to wash the item of clothing.

My bow isn't particularly even because I was in a hurry, but hopefully this gives some idea of how to make one.

If you have any questions or something isn't clear, just ask in the comments.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

June Challenge Dress Three: The Wanda Dress

Image found here

"I wouldn't be caught dead in a full skirt." Well, okay, I would. I love a full skirt but my favourite wing tipped eyeliner sporting, wiggle skirt wearing drape, Wanda Woodward, wouldn't. My third dress is in honour of her. Wanda is a character in the John Water's movie, Cry Baby, played by Traci Lords. She's a total badass and has a killer wardrobe to match.

Simplicity 1411

I used Simplicity 1411 and some cotton sateen. Admittedly, I kind of cheated with this dress. It was a UFO for ages because I wasn't happy with the fit and I thought the June Challenge would be a good opportunity to finally finish it.

June Challenge Dress Three
Glaring a la Wanda

The darts sat weirdly so I had to change their positioning and take them in, as well as take in the side seams, and finish the seams and the facings. The fit isn't perfect but I have made peace with it.

Wanda Woodward Dress
Smile? Drapes don't smile

I'm actually pretty happy with how this turned out and I totally think Wanda would have worn it.

Wanda Dress
Okay, maybe I wouldn't be the best drape

For those who haven't seen Cry Baby (you should definitely watch it), a drape is like a greaser. Drapes are the opposite of squares. You dig?

Friday, July 1, 2011

Op-Shopping and a sneak peek

Today, I went op shopping with the lovely Helga von Trollop. This time I remembered my camera but forgot to take any pictures. I'm useless.

I managed to score some stockings in their original packets. I love the cute packaging. One of them has a price sticker for 55 cents on it. I wish they were that cheap now.

I got (another) waspie. I also got a hat and some spoons. My mother promptly stole the hat but it's alright because it looks better on her than it would have on me.

I have finished my final two June Challenge dresses. It got a little Project Runway with me hemming the last dress at 11.30 last night. I always leave things until the last minute. It always seems to work out though. Here's a sneak peek of the two dresses. I haven't had a chance to take some pictures with me wearing them but I will do a post about them when I do.