Friday, 26 June 2015

A Pineapple full of Tea!

Ok, so this post isn't actually anywhere near as exciting as the title suggests...

But I did make a Pineapple Tea cozy, that I'm pretty proud of. Not bad for my first attempt at a crocheted tea cozy I think.

For the basic Tea Cozy pattern I used this tutorial (with a few changes) hoping the groupings of 3 double crochets would give a slight pineapple skin texture. There are many better patterns out there for novelty pineapple tea cozies, but I wanted to start simple.

The only yellow yarn I could find at home was some old Checkheaton 5 ply wool. I have no idea if wool is a good idea for tea cozies, it probably isn't, as wool can shrink when it gets wet and/or hot. Oh well.

So I began. just like the pattern says to, by making 72 chain stitches, then single crocheting back along that entire chain.

Then there is some drastic decreasing to shape it over the top, as per the pattern instructions. I stopped when I reached the lid handle.

For the leaves at the top, I started out following this pattern, but made it bigger by going around the outer edge again, as well as making one end flat instead of pointed.

I made 6 leaves and joined them to the top, overlapping each leaf at the edges.

Then I used the same pattern to make an apple tea cozy. I followed the base pattern the same way, but instead of finishing when I reached the teapot lid handle, I changed to a dark brown yarn and continued to decrease as I went up, created a stalk for the apple. I then made another leaf the same as the pineapple ones and gathered the flat edge into itself and attached to the base of the stalk.

I have been working on quite a few more Novelty Tea Cozies, which will be for sale Tomorrow (Saturday) at our CWA Winter Tea Rooms event. If your a local to the Hunter Valley, come along to our CWA rooms on Vincent St Cessnock, between 10am and 3pm to enjoy some delicious cakes and a pot of tea, and to peruse all the lovely handmade goodies that will be for sale. All money raised goes towards the many charitable organisations that CWA Supports (such as draught/flood relief funds,  Doctors without Borders, Lyme disease awareness)

I also made a rainbow one

with a coordinating rainbow button

I attempted a cake one as well....
Plus there a a few more....


Monday, 22 June 2015

Sewing a bullet bra

I have wanted to try my hand at sewing my own lingerie for some time now, but haven't quite gotten around to it. I did muddle my way through a self drafted bullet bra when I was competing in Miss Pinup Australia, and while it looked ok for the stage, I didn't have a very good understanding of bullet bra construction, and it ended up being more like a modern bra with a pointy cover.

So I thought I'd have another go using the free pattern from Va-Voom Vintage using some scrap red and white polka dot cotton leftover from when I made a Minnie mouse blanket for my cousin's daughter almost 2 years ago. First of all I cut out all the pieces I needed. I was a bit short on fabric so one of the back pieces is a different red and white polka dot cotton, which has much larger polka dots, but close enough for my first go.

The cut out pieces
I then overlocked around the edges of the pieces and sewed the upper cup to the lower cup for both cups.

Overlocking around the edges
Then I did the spiral stitching which is supposed to help give the cups their bullet-like shape. starting the spiral stitching is probably the hardest part.

Starting the spiral stitching

Spiral Stitching, this got easier as I got further out

Almost finished the spiral stitching on the first cup

I then repeated the spiral stitching on the second cup. Once that was done, I joined the 2 cups together using a french seam. At this point I tried it on for size and decided to trim a little bit from the bottom edge of the cups as they were fractionally too big for me. The 2 pieces of the front band were then sewn together along the long straight bottom edge, then one edge was sewn along the bottom of the cups and the other edge was handstitched along the same seam, completely encasing the bottom edge of the cups.

The back band pieces were then sewn on with french seams and the raw top edge was folded down and stitched. For the closure in the back I cheated by buying a bra extender and unpicking the stitching between the section with the hooks and the section with the eyes. Then I simply sewed the pre-made sections to the ends of the back pieces. I didn't use any elastic on the band as it was a good fit for me, but it would probably fit better with the addition of some elastic. At this point it sat on my sewing table getting covered in other projects (and a few cats) as I needed to buy a set of straps to finish it off.

I finally got myself some bra straps from Spotlight (and I may have bought a few extra sets) and attached them to the bra. I wore it for the rest of the day, and while very pointy, it was super comfortable. It is a very supportive bra, and will be especially great in summer to avoid boob sweat!
Rather than taking topless selfies, here's a few photos of the bra on my mannequin. Sorry that they look a little deflated, she isn't as well endowed as me, hehe.

I really love how it has turned out, despite the stitching being a little messy in places, and the mismatched panel. I can't wait to make more of these in cute fabrics!

Anyone else tried this pattern? Or tried sewing a bullet bra from any other pattern?


Thursday, 18 June 2015

Finally a little bit sewing for myself....

It's been a little while since my last post, sorry! I try to post at least once a week, but sometimes my time just doesn't allow it! I have been very busy sewing for Elsie George as well as a few alterations for my boss at my day job, but I finally managed to squeeze in a quick sew for myself!

This dress was completely unplanned, and came about after I was invited to dinner and drinks for my little brother's fiancée's 21st birthday. She recently bought herself a sewing machine and a lovely horn sewing cabinet, but hadn't had the motivation to use it yet. As I was too broke to buy her a present, I just went into my sewing room and filled a gift bag with fabric, zips, patterns, thread and needles/pins. I was a bit worried she wouldn't like it, but she loved it! 

Birthday Cake!!

And Birthday Smooches

I hijacked someone else's flash.....

My Husband and I stayed over at there house after dinner (we were up til nearly 3 am drinking and watching netflicks) As there house is so near to Spotlight, I mentioned I was going to go for a bit of a shop, and my little brother's fiancée decided to come with, and spend a bit of her birthday money.

Spotlight had some pretty decent sale prices, so I may have spent more than I should have......

I Bought 2 Butterick Patterns as they were on Special for $7 each. I got B6167 a lovely gathered shelf bust sundress by Gertie and B6067 which is another Gertie pattern, but for a retro style 1 piece swimsuit. I really, really wanted B5895 (Summer top and Capris) But they only had the smaller size pattern in stock, and I couldn't justify buying it when I would have to redraft the whole thing anyway.

Yarns were 40% off, so I got myself a few balls of cotton blend for more snoods. I purchased a few printed cottons, Including a cute Paddington Bear quilting cotton for $6 per meter, which I decided was totally not too over the top for me to make and wear a dress out of. Then, as we were trying to leave, we spotted a table of $2 a meter quilting cottons, the catch being you had to purchase the rest of the bolt (most didn't have a lot left) So I bought a few meters each of a sunflower print cotton, a scotty dog print cotton, some purple starburst-like print cotton and this lovely orange and pink floral. There was also some zebra print cotton, which I told my brother's fiance I would buy if she didn't. She said she didn't need it, then we got all the way to the counter and the lady measured it out before she changed her mind and took it from me. That was kinda my plan all along.....

Pattern and Fabric

Anyway, we got back to my Brother's place to find him and my husband playing with a welder in the kitchen (That's totally normal right?) So we disappeared into the sewing room. I began cutting out the above pattern and my Brother's Fiancée decided to make herself a tote bag out of a fairly heavy weight piece of Zebra print cotton she got from the remnant bin at Spotlight, lining it with some purple floral that I had given her in her birthday goodie bag. My Husband and I went home a little after sunset after I had finished cutting out all the pieces for my dress, and not long after we got home, I got a message showing me a beautiful new fully lined Zebra Print Tote Bag!

Well Naturally that made me want to work on my own project (not my work sewing which I really should have been working on) So I began construction of the bodice. So that I was at least getting a little bit of work done, every time I had to press seams for the dress bodice, I also made myself measure and press the hem on a skirt for Elsie George. By the Time I went to bed I had the bodice outer together, the bodice lining together and 2 straps, which I pinned to my mannequin. I also had all the skirt hems pressed, pinned and ready to sew.

After work the next day, I sewed the lining to the bodice outer, attaching the straps as I went (which I had to shorten a bit) Then I sewed together the skirt pieces (with in seam pockets at the sides) gathered them at the top and sewed them to the bodice. Then it was simply a matter of putting in a zip and sewing up the back seam and hem and it was done!

While it has turned out to be a very cute dress, the fit is a bit off. The gathered bust section is too small, even though I used the D cup pattern pieces. It just seems to be not wide enough and not deep enough at the edges. It was impossible to find a bra that I could wear with it that didn't show at the sides. Yet despite the front being too small, the bodice itself was too big around, which is weird, as I usually find if I make 2 sizes smaller than the pattern says to, the fit is pretty much perfect. This one just have way too much ease under the arms. I took some in from the back when I put the zip in, But I think I'm going to have to dodgily add darts to the side seams to make the fit better. Even with these fit issues, I still wore the dress to work the next day, and received many compliments on it. Hopefully I will get some better photos of the dress soon, it has been quite miserable and raining here lately.

I have also been working on making a few dog coats for my mum's Maltese Terrier, Mango. Part way through making the first one I decided to try it on Mabel. It was a bit long on her, but she didn't actually mind having it on, as long as I was giving her attention.

Another thing I have purchased lately were some lovely plastic bangles. While I can't afford Bakelite or even Fakelite for that matter, I can afford 20c plastic bangles from my local op-shop! Check out these beauties I scored, with colours for nearly every outfit, and a cute little wicker one to wear in summer with my straw hat!

So what are some other good projects to get back into the swing of sewing things? Also, has anyone else been making dog (or cat) clothing lately?


Tuesday, 9 June 2015

Me-Made-May Conclusions

So Me-Made-May is over (well over, This post is about a week late, Sorry!)

After setting myself the very ambitious challenge/goal of wearing only me-made clothing, I attempted the best I could. I knew there would be gaps that needed to be filled, so some days I didn't have much choice but to cheat and wear store bought items. Those few times have pointed out to me a few things I need to put on my "To Sew" list to have a completely me-made wardrobe. Those things are:

# Warm Pyjamas and maybe a dressing gown
I love how the woman has cinched in her
pyjamas at the waist

# 1 or 2 Cardigans

Maybe a floral one like these from Ebay?

# 1 or 2 Slips
Which I already have this pattern for

# More Pants/Trousers
Perhaps a pair of Overalls?

I'd love to make Gertie's Capris from Butterick B5895

# A Pencil skirt or 2
Maybe one with braces like this collectif one?

Or a few lovely simple ones in many colours

# More plain blouses
Like these

And these....

# Vintage Suit (ok, this is a want, not a need)
Maybe I'll make this one for myself

# A light 50's style bomber jacket

# A Large Overcoat, for the really cold days

Like this Collectif Jacket from Elsie George

I would love to get rid of even more of my store bought clothes (I've already donated 3 large bags full) But obviously there are certain items I would keep, like my coat that I bought in York while on my Honeymoon, as well as most of my 50's reproduction clothes. But the cheapo mass produced shirts and jeans can go, and any clothes that I just don't love to wear, as they aren't worth keeping. I think Clothes should make you feel Fabulous! Even if you are just doing house or yard work. Why wear a baggy shirt and leggings when I could wear a swirl dress or a 40's style cotton blouse with matching dusting cap, and feel so much more glamorous?

I also realised, that what seems like a majority of me me-made wardrobe is Pink. While that is all well and good, I think I need more Red, Black and Leopard print in my wardrobe. 50's bad girl colours maybe? I just felt like I was always wearing pink, and didn't wear my Red lipstick any where near as much as I normally would, as I like wearing Pink Lipstick to match my Pink dresses. This probably comes down to the fact that when I fabric shop, I'm drawn to the pretty floral prints and such, so I will be making more of an effort to get more colours into my me-made wardrobe as well.

Is there anything anyone thinks I may have missed?


Saturday, 6 June 2015

Bad, Naughty Zoot!

 And so we have arrived at the day after another cult classic Friday at the Regal cinema. Originally last month they announced it would be a film called Withnail and I, but recently they changed it (perhaps due to low interest) to Monty Python and the holy grail. So last minute, I decided to make a new costume.

There isn't a great deal of female characters in the film, at least not ones with speaking parts who aren't played by men. so I chose Zoot, or was it Dingo? I guess that depends on how naughty I've been.

I cut the dress pieces out of a piece of fabric that was a little over 2m long (but luckily quite wide) before work on Thursday

Only just fit the sleeves in there.

Then began sewing it up after work. As usual I started with the shoulder seams, then I sewed a long thing rectangle, folded in half, along the neckline for the collar.

I then eased in the sleeves, and sewed up the sleeve and side seams. Here is how it looked pinned at the back, worn over a slip for modesty, as the fabric was a tiny bit sheer

Excuse the mess on the bed, I had just torn
apart the house looking for my Columbia
jacket for Sunday

I then sewed up the back seam, leaving about 5 inches at the top open, I then attached a button and button loop at the collar to close the opening. I overlocked around the bottom edge and hemmed the sleeves. I then gave it a good press. On Friday morning I made the sleeveless lace overlay, using the same pattern pieces as the base dress, omitting the sleeves and collar, and cutting out the back piece on the fold to eliminate that seam. As I used a stretch lace, the overlay was easy to throw on over the top without the need for any closures. Unfortunately my lace has a much smaller pattern than the lace used in the movie, but as I was just using stash fabric, and put this together in less than 2 days, I'm not concerned.

Then I needed to make the hat. The base was a VERY simple little pillbox hat, which I just constructed out of cardboard. Normally I would have covered the cardboard with fabric for a nicer finish, but I was being lazy. For the crown part, I traced the top of my top hat (worn previously for my Rocky Horror Costume) adding roughly 5mm all around. I then cut a long strip of 4 inch wide cardboard to fit around the crown, with a bit of overlap. I folded down 1 inch along this strip, then cut into the folded over section every 1cm or so, to allow it to curve around the crown, which was glued together. I then folded approximately 1.5cm up into the band to make it a bit narrower, and to give me something to pin the veil to.

The veil part was a large circle of sheer white fabric (I used some old curtains I had in my sewing stash) which I overlocked around the edge of, stretching the bias as much as I could while I did it, to give the fluted effect to the edge. This was then folded in half, slightly unevenly, and pinned to the inside of the hat band, to fit around my face, with about 7-8 inches extra either side. I found this gave a pretty close look to the costume used in the movie. I then added a small piece of chain, which was black as that was all I could find, and used a cute faux pearl heart shaped earring on the front. And that was the Costume done, with several hours to spare!

Quick selfie before we headed out the door

I got my husband to take a few quick photos of me at the cinema. We were quite early, so there was only about 5 people in the cinema at the time. I wish I had been able to find my contact lenses, as the glasses kind of spoiled the look. Oh well.

Hopefully there will be a few better photos taken on the night posted to the Regal Cinema's Facebook page soon that I can steal.

I didn't win best dressed this time, that honour went to a very dedicated black knight with no arms, but I did get a free ticket for the Regal for my troubles, so it was well worth it.