Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Anthropologie Necklace Knock Off

Look I made a necklace!

I found this really great tutorial for making a knock off Anthropologie necklace here. I followed it step by step and ta da! Surprisingly it is one of those things you can make in under 30 minutes. Hooray! Pin It

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Simple-ish Summer Skirt

So I’ve noticed I have a tendency to get a little off track when making what everyone says are very simple items (my black tshirt with the fancy neckline springs to mind). Somehow in my mind it seems that if I’m attempting a simple pattern, even if it’s the first time, it’s reason alone for trying some fancy other stuff at the same time. I find myself mid project wondering if that light at the end of the tunnel is getting closer or further away, asking myself if what I’m currently torturing may, in the end, even be wearable. I had just such a moment today while looking down at a bunch of fabric pieces wondering whether an elasticated waistband, false placket and gathered pockets was really all necessary on a pattern I hadn’t yet attempted. Luckily I had patience and chocolate on my side.
What you are about to witness is a very long-winded tutorial. You may get to the end wiser about how to make something simple so very complicated. Or perhaps you’ll get to the end and wonder ‘What was that girl thinking?’. Either way this post shall be a testament to a skirt that swallowed an entire summer afternoon.
Firstly I need to say this is my made up version of making a skirt so if it’s in an order that doesn’t work for you go right ahead and change whatever you need to!

You will need 1 metre of fabric, buttons, elastic, safety pin, thread, scissors etc.

Decide on the dimensions of your skirt. I decided on the sizes below on a whim and it worked out pretty well.
Skirt pieces (2) 70x43cms - Waistband (2) 7x43cms - Plackets (2) 5x44cms
Pockets (2) 20.5cm width - Pocket trim (2) 12x4cms
First sew the front and back skirt pieces together right sides facing. Sew the waistband front and back pieces together right sides facing. I used pinking shears to finish off the edges after taking this photo. Fold the waistband in half lengthways and pin around the whole skirt on the right side.

Mark and cut the centre front of the skirt to insert your placket. For each placket piece fold lengthways with the wrong side on the outside and sew 1cm in from the end. Turn it out to the right side, fix up the corner and fold lengthways again before pinning along the right side of the centre front cut. Sew both plackets from the hem to beneath the waistband but do not sew across the waistband. We’ll be coming back to put elastic in the waistband soon.

Pin the plackets together (like they will look once they have buttons on them), measure, pin and sew your hem. Next it’s time to put the elastic in. Put your safety pin through your elastic and feed it through the entire waistband. You may want to anchor the other end by pinning it to the outside fabric so it doesn’t slip inside too. I’ve made that mistake before!
I tried the skirt on at this point to make sure the elastic was the right length around my waist. It wasn’t. I ended up cutting off abut 15cms before the next step.

Once you have your elastic the right length you can pin it to the edge of the waistband and the placket like so. Then sew it up. I sewed across this a couple of times because it will take stress when wearing it.

Terrible photo really, if you squint and use your imagination you can almost see that the elastic is pinned neatly there ready to be sewn.

Now it’s time for the pockets! I followed this great tutorial by ikat bag I found hereSo here’s a condensed version of the same thing only done by me.

Somewhere in here I tried the skirt on again to see where I wanted the pockets to sit and pinned them on while I was wearing it. Topstitch them on.
Now this is the step for those of you who may be clever enough to actually do button holes. Go right ahead and do your magic. I’m too scared to try them yet so instead I pinned where I wanted my buttons to sit and hand sewed them right onto the placket.
And voila! One simple-ish skirt for summer!
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Sunday, December 19, 2010


Once upon a time I attempted to be one of those people that makes a 365 album - where you take a photo a day. I started with all the great intentions in the world on January the 1st and by January 12th all the novelty had worn off.

Short attention span?

I've decided that 2011 is the year where I really make this happen. Not a mere two weeks, not even a couple of months. I shall commit to making an entire album with one photo per day and I shall upload it to flickr.

So, in preparation for this task I've started taking photos here and there to remind myself that hey I actually have a camera on me at all times - an iphone! I even got fancy and downloaded the hipstamatic app so I can take some arty ones as well.

Here are some photos I prepared earlier.

Regular shot with miPhone

Hipstamatic shot

So if you want to check out the progress of this new project of mine it will be available at from January 1 2011. 

I think I can, I think I can, I think I can...

Friday, December 3, 2010

Pretty Pleats Dress

I wanted to make a black jersey dress for summer and started rifling through my wardrobe to find some inspiration. I decided it would have the neckline of one of my singlet tops and the bottom section of one of my dresses and it would incorporate one of the pretty crocheted pieces I bought online. All bases covered. So far so good.
I traced out the shape of the top of the singlet top onto some paper like so.

Then I set out to do some measurements of the dress so I could replicate the pleats in the front. Each pleat had a depth of 2.5 centimetres but since this was folded it meant I needed an extra 5 centimetres every time I put in a pleat. To give you an idea of my working out to map out the front section of the dress I needed:
35 cms (the width of the singlet top part) + 5cms (per pleat) by 8 (the amount of pleats) which equalled out to be 75 cms + 2 cms of seam allowance. 
I measured the length of the bottom section of the dress as 55cms and added my 2cms seam allowance. In the end it meant cutting a 77 x 57cm piece of fabric.

The back of the dress needed to be 35 cms wide at the top and 75cms wide at the bottom with a length of 57cms. To get this even I measured out 75cms on the bottom edge of the fabric, measured 57cms for the length and measured out 75cms at the top. From those marks at the top of the piece I could now measure 20cms in and have an even piece.
Are you sick of all the maths yet?
Now I could trace on the pattern pieces for the top section of the dress onto the fabric.

Once I cut out all the pieces I sewed the top pieces together with right sides facing. I turned them right way out, pressed them and sewed the front top piece to the back top piece. 

Now it was time for the bottom section. I started by marking out the pleats and pinning them carefully before lining up the front bottom piece with the back bottom piece right sides facing, so that I could sew them together.

Now it was time for the bottom section. I started by marking out the pleats and pinning them carefully before lining up the front bottom piece with the back bottom piece right sides facing, so that I could sew them together.

Then I turned the top piece inside out and slipped it over the bottom piece with right sides facing so that I could pin them together and sew.

Wow the lighting was exceptionally terrible on these ones, sorry.
Now the next part would be to make your straps. Because I had this pretty crocheted piece I bought off etsy here. I first handsewed it to the top back piece before making bias tape for the straps, measuring the length needed and sewing the straps to the front and the crocheted piece.

The only thing left to do is wear it!
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Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Santa came early! With a Dress Form! Ho Ho Hooray!

Merry Christmas to me! Santa was very generous this year and not only got me a dress form but let me use it before Christmas, hooray!

Deck the dress form with some fabric fa la la la la - la la la la