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DIY

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I have been ‘out-of-action’ sewing-wise recently (several cut out projects remain stitch-less so far), which explains my blog negelect but what really upsets me is all these amazing looking blog posts I haven’t read yet! I have a lot of sewing blogs to catch up on and I can’t wait for the inspiration hit.

This weekend involved shopping, Korean BBQ and hanging out with my boyfriend/all-time favorite person, so even without being at the machine I was happy. Recently I have also become more interested in cooking and baking. I’m starting to change my diet and eat tons of healthy food… My cheeks are filling out, my skins clearing up and I feel much better! 😀

Last week I drove to Chatswood. This was a huge deal for me because driving in the city terrifies me (I usually walk or take public transport). The reward for making it to Chatswood alive was a trip to Daiso and a lovely late lunch at Mamak. Daiso was epic this time! They had a huge selection of polyester felt. Happily I bought some felt squares in different colours as I knew exactly what I wanted to do them…

My plans for said felt was a jumper featuring one of my favorite things: A chilli! How fun would it be to have a jumper with one of my favorite foods?!

But before I attempted a more detailed design I wanted to test out how this felt would work/look sewn to a jumper, so this ice cream/Popsicle design was my test run. I’m wearing it right now! I love how bright and cheerful and non-winter it is! You can tell I prefer warm weather!

Despite owning/sewing a lot of dresses one of my favorite things to wear are graphic printed tees but in the winter It’s too cold to wear/showcase a printed tee so this is a good alternative. I just love the dorky yet cute vibe of embellished sweaters (provided they aren’t too ’80s Kath day knight’  Yikes!! No sequins or shoulder pads for me thanks!) Anyway the stitching is pretty ‘blah’ but you know what? you get the idea/vibe I was going for so I still like it!

Anyway here’s what I did….

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I just picked two colours of the polyester felt that I liked and tried to think of a design that would be cute, but was only made out of simple shapes…

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Then I drew some rough shapes. I ended up ‘refining’ it a bit with the scissors (making the pole narrower etc). It was rather stupid to use a dark blue marker to make these shapes, because it does show through slightly on the other side.

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The felt kind of sticks to the jumper temporarily so you can play with the positioning and decide what looks best, while you are wearing it. Next time I would have probably used an iron on adhesive called visoflex to adhere the felt to the jumper (before sewing around the design) but I did not want to make the trek to a fabric store just to get it so I just held it in place with pins while I sewed it.

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Then I googled “how to blanket stitch” and used polester sewing thread (doubled over) to stitch around the design. My hand sewing is terrible but ‘eh’ good enough…it’s just a bit of fun!

No news yet on how well this felt design holds up in the wash. But when I find out I will update this blog post with my findings!

Anyway…Yay! Summery fun in winter. Also speaking of icy poles or “pops” a lovely site called ‘Henry happened’ has some lovely looking DIY popsicle recipies. I guess for now I’ll stick to veggies and comfort food!

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I love orange, cute animals and reading so this dress is probably perfect for me…

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The dress is made from a lightweight cotton I bought at The Remnant Warehouse. It’s a lot like a tana lawn, it’s lightweight and breathable. There is a trade-off as the fabric is a little delicate. The pattern is my own design (I have made countless dresses with this pattern).

I had this dress lying around half-finished for god knows how long (I’m sure you know the story). The bodice is lined and there is an invisible zip in the side seam. I took it in 6mm on the zipper side before I installed the zipper.

As you can see I didn’t match my print very well on the front of the bodice, but I am not really fussed , but next time I will be more careful (at least on the front).

I didn’t line the skirt, because I always wear denim shorts underneath sun-dresses and skirts.

I do wish the straps were a little shorter and the waist is pretty roomy.

I must like the dress because I have worn it 3 times already. I would say it suits my personality well.

The more serious people of the world probably wonder why a grown up lady walks around in a penguin dress, but thats OK. I never want to grow up or be too serious…

BTW: Does my dress may remind you of this?:

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Above:  The movie is as good as the book. How often does that happen? My copy of this is in storage since I switched to kindle. The penguins on the dress are obviously not the same as the logo, but my boyfriend calls it the book dress.

Also…

Just in case you are wondering my favorite books of all time are: The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde and Frankenstein by Mary Shelley! You must read them. 🙂

Living in a small apartment storage is very important! I keep my makeup in some plastic drawers but they were not pretty, so I gave them a new look…
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I don’t care if I am juvenile! I reserve the right to bring color and crazy pattern into my life wherever I go!

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I just used wrapping paper to cover the front of the drawers. The wrapping paper is from cotton on. I made a template by tracing around the front of the drawer with paper then I refined the shape with my gridded pattern-making ruler.

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Then I stuck double sided sticky tape on the drawer, peeled it of and put the wrapping paper on the front. Ah double sided tape, reminds me of design school…

Before…

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This is how they looked before. ugly see-though plastic drawers aw :(….

After:

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Horray! happy colourful fun drawers! (I’m a weird one aren’t i?)!

Want to see whats in my drawers? probably not but i’ll show you anyway!

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My makeup brushes! They would get way too dusty if I just kept them on my table.

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While we are on the subject of makeup… I don’t wear a lot, but my favorite kind is eyeliner!

I love all kinds if eyeliner: pencil, gel, liquid felt tips but at the moment I am loving mechanical liner. It givers a softer look than liquid.

I love this tip: When doing a winged eyeliner look and you are doing the flick, use small brush with a power eyeshadow to map out the line, then if you get it wrong just dust it of to redo it. When you are happy then go over the eyeshadow with your gel or pencil. Brilliant!

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In Australia makeup is REALLY expensive.It’s tricky to find matte eye shadow that is affordable, but rimmel have a black and a brown eyeshadow with no glitter or sparkle in it. :). I use it all time!

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I keep my lipstick in a lower drawer because I don’t use it much. I am not good at wearing it! I can’t keep it on and I don’t suit many shades.
Does anyone have any advice? I have small lips, I prefer matte lipsticks (I don’t like lipsticks with frost or glitter) I snack a lot and lipstick stays on for about 15 minutes max.

My boyfriend and I are renting a small apartment in the city. We love it here and I feel like it’s cozy BUT the one thing that has always bothered me: the vertical blinds on the main window. Not my style at all!

They were already installed before we got here.

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Luckily my darling Mum came over and helped me make them so I could remove those blinds (in a way that would not damage anything)!

I prefer curtains and I am not a fan the color of the blinds were. They actually look better in this photograph! In real life they were more of a mix of gray and green I call the colour ‘greyige’ I also disliked how when you opened them. they would open like this…

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I was brought up in a house with big windows and lots of natural light. That is how I like to live,windows open in the daytime to let the light in and see the trees outside!

Here’s how it looks now…

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It was a challenge because I could not take off the rod/track or replace it with a new one.

I attached the new curtains by putting them AROUND the original track/thing that the blinds were on. Boy was it hard to get the little straps of fabric up and around the rod like so…

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I sewed the straps of fabric to the curtains, then I sewed pieces of Velcro to the straps and the other side of the curtain.

Despite the fact that they stay up with just the Velcro, I put safety pins in near the straps for extra assurance!

I was so lucky that my Mum did all the calculations for the window and hemmed them. Best mum in the world! It took my mum and I many hours to cut, press and hem them.

Then I spent many additional hours with loud music on, sewing straps and attaching Velcro.

We get so much natural light in during the day now, even when they are closed. I bought the fabric from ikea. It’s cotton sort of medium weight.

Next post will be back to the regular scheduled program. That is: Dresses I make. The mod dress just needs facing and zipper attached. I also have new short do. Cant wait to show you!

Come to think of it…

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Feel free to have LOL at my initial muslin for the Mod dress. The fit is good now and I drafted a collar, which is sort of bigger than intended. Anyway finished dress will be posted soon!

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Just thought I would mention: I will be posting more sewing ‘makes’ soon(ish): Unfortunately I have issues with my leg/s when I sew too much. I don’t know how to correct this, but if I sew to much I get pain in my legs that can often last for months :(. So annoying!  I have had this problem in the past and its best to avoid sewing for a while. 

One thing I love to do is hold onto necklaces that break or that I feel are not quite my style for whatever reason and shop for craft pieces and trinkets in dollar stores (jump rings, beads etc)  because…

If you have some chain, jump rings and a set of those jewelery making pliers (I don’t even know the technical term for these) you can combine all these things to make jewellery that is more your style, and that no one else will be wearing. I love that!

I tend to love bold colours and the 60s so that influenced how I remixed the beads and materials. I know they are a little kooky and not everyones taste but here you go…

You have been warned- I love brooches! hehe

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Above: My favorite. A brooch from leather scraps. More on this later.

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This necklace was a mish-mash of beads I took from 3 other necklaces I owned (but didn’t like) so I dismantled them.

I like this piece with my orange top. But then orange is my favorite colour (has been since I was a teenager) so I feel like everything goes better orange. Orange makes me happy!

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I like the mix of wood, colour and plastic! I don’t know why I had to use duct tape in this one but bah who cares.

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Above is another one made from parts of the same necklaces.

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Fun fact: Pill boxes are a great way to store jump rings and small jewellery supplies.

Anyway my point is making something new that is ‘your style’ out of things you already have. That is what I’m about!

As a renter obviously drilling holes in the wall is out of the question, even stick on hooks and blu-tak are out of bounds for me. Luckily I had 3 hooks that were already in the wall, before we moved in. So I had to make the most of them/utilize them straight away!

This may seem a bit silly but it works for me, anything to add colour to the less than desirable cream and beige walls.

It’s basically just a piece of IKEA home dec fabric. I sewed another fabric to the back of it (right side against right side), left an opening at the bottom, turned it the right way and sewed up the bottom. I did this to close off the edges. It doesn’t really bother me that you can see the repeat in the pattern. It is attached to the hooks with some bulldog clips. Nice, simple and easy!

I don’t even want to show you this next one completely in context next to the window, because the blinds are a revolting green/grey colour.

Anyway here is my awesome fabric covered canvas.

The print reminds me of the iconic 60’s marimekko flower print (my favorite!). I also made a sun dress out of this fabric a while back :)!

Covering a canvas is  pretty easy. I just bought an art canvas and used a staple gun to attach the fabric to the back. A good tip I discovered when doing some of these fabric covered canvases is to use double sided sticky tape between the canvas and fabric when deciding on the positioning (before you staple it on). That way you can re-position if necessary or ensure that it temporarily holds in place before using the staple gun.

I liked the silly collar I posted yesterday so much, that I decided make a pattern from it and sew the new one up in a medium weight cotton.

Edit: Wow now I realize how ridiculous this red collar looks (especially with my bad hair etc) .

I am kind of embarrassed. But fashion is like that… I mean I can barely comprehend it but once people thought mullets looked good. So tastes change, perceptions are distorted etc.

I was just making use of a fabric scrap and testing out the pattern so I wasn’t too fussed about the end result.

Here is how I made a copy of the pattern from the collar…

Also here is the sewing tip…. Actually its more of a pattern tracing tip.

Last year bought the Patternreview.com book “1,000 Clever Sewing Shortcuts & Tips”.

In the book it mentions a tip about using clear cellophane to trace with when copying a ready to wear garment.

I thought that sounded like a great idea because it would make it so easy to see the seams and design details on the garment, so I bought loads of clear cellophane in anticipation of trying it.

I tested it out and for the purposes of this collar and it worked AWESOMELY :)!

Please excuse my excitement over such a trivial matter thats just what I am like…

Here we see the cellophanes awesomeness in action: Look how easy it was for me to see what I was doing! I used a permanent marker/sharpie and it did not slide or rub off once I marked the clean cellophane (you beauty!)

That stripey thing on top of the collar is a self-made pattern weight. I use them all the time when I trace patterns (particularly burdastyle magazine patterns).  It its a small area I am tracing I do this: Before I put the weight on I mark any line then place the heavy sewing weight over the line I drew. That holds in in place and makes it easy to trace the rest without anything shifting.

I made it the weight(s) by buying what are called “mending plates” from the hardware store, taping two together (one on top of each other for extra weight) and the making a little pocket of fabric and sewing it closed both ends.

Would anyone want a pattern weights tutorial?

These weights are super heavy 100 times heavier than those fussy light little washers and I find them lot more effective.

The real commercial pattern weights ones are just too expensive for me but these ones are equally as effective :)!

This is what it looks like traced onto the cellophane with texta/marker. That upper line on the collar piece needs to be corrected but we will just ignore that. See how easy it is to trace with?

You could just add your seam allowance directly to the cellopane but I retraced them onto a thin tissue paper. Pictured above is the one I always use (its quite thin and slightly translucent). I also use this for tracing Burda Style magazine patterns. The only place in Australia you can buy this tracing tissue is Lincraft I think its around $5 for 5 sheets of 150×110.

The “finished” pattern pieces with seam allowance added and a center front fold. They are a bit sloppy but they did the job. I am a little messy/gung-ho sometimes.