Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Savers restyle

 I found this black dress/shirt/coaty sort of thing at Savers in Dandenong a few months ago and decided that it was very 'me'. The only thing that I wasn't massively impressed with was the transparent lace panel around the waist. This stopped it being work-friendly as most of my colleagues probably wouldn't appreciate a belly button display...

Solution: a piece of black cotton stitched as a panel on the inside of the dress/shirt/coaty thing to prevent gratuitous belly button flashing.

Finished product.

Tie Flower

Here's one more configuration of the humble neck tie.

Basically they're made the same way as a rose ribbon with some stitches to hold it all together and a friggin' huge safety pin on the back. Those with more class may choose to use brooch pins, available to all at the sewing Mecca which is Spotlight.

Cost: $1 from Malvern op-shop. However many second hand shops are getting pretty savvy with pricing silk ties and they can set you back up to $8. I usually look for ones which are patterned, but won't teleport me back to the 1980's
Extreme close up!

Summer Skirts

The weather is heating up in Melbourne, so it's time to refine my summer skirt making skills. Usually with winter skirts, I make a half wrap on a diagonal and then sew it down (see table runner skirt for reference). But I needed a different design for a cotton skirt, so I used an op-shop skirt (bought in South Australia) which fits (but is a bit ugly) to draft the pattern.

For this trial project I used a $4 a metre material bought on sale from Spotlight in an Alice-in-Wonderland key design. It will be worn with my necklaces made from antique house keys and clock keys.

Rear view.

The pattern worked really well and I was on a roll, so I made another one using the same design with Lions! Material also on sale, but actually from the kids section. Big kids like lions too..

 But, I was also super fancy and drafted some big comfy pockets to sit just below the waistband. I had in the back of my mind a skirt I used to own from 'Quick Brown Fox' in this style before it (ahem) shrank in the wash.


Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Revamping a vintage jacket

A few months ago, a friend and I went to a vintage clothes show. I picked up this number for the gorgeous green trim and the fact that it looked like something a character in 'Jeeves and Wooster' would wear. I wanted to wear it with jodhpurs and riding boots and stride around around an estate in the 1940's...

We didn't get to the fair until late in the afternoon and I was surprised that the jacket hadn't been snapped up. I suspect that it was because of this:

Hunchback back! I'm not sure WHO looks good in back pleats...

Luckily because of my reworked black trench coat, I knew how to deal with it.

Undoing the seams

 Pinning the new seam

 Finished product which has become a favourite!

Applique Love

After years of being terrified of patterns and 'real sewing', I have finally conquered my fear. So far I am the creator of THREE dresses. However, the act of sewing with virgin fabric, rather than re cutting and altering existing clothes, comes with the realisation that it is very difficult to buy interesting fabrics in most sewing store. Instead I have been using very cheap, $4 a meter cotton and jazzing things up with the addition of appliques which can be bought for a few dollars on etsy.

Here's my attempt to 'interesting up' a black top with a purple lace applique.


Pinning down the lace


Thursday, July 14, 2011

Bird Badge and Skirt

Years ago I saw a beautiful silk skirt in an op shop which (alas) was too small. I was stoked to find this lovely thing at the Lost and Found Market on Smith St in Collingwood. It feels beautifully light, as though you could fly away...

Because it was too long, I decided to harvest a bit of the length to make a badge. Originally I had decided to make a flower, but once I'd hemmed and over-locked the skirt, there were only scraps left. So I sewed them together in a sort of patchwork with a piece of vinyl and some buttons for eyes.

The finished one has a maroon button for an eye. Y'all will have to use your imagination...

Kimono off-cut cardigan

 This cardigan was inspired by the film 'Enchanted April'. I was watching it on a horrible stormy while I was home sick with a very bad virusey flu thing. The women looked so beautiful and elegant lounging around in the Italian sun in their 1920's kimonos. So I tried to recapture a bit of that with a slightly strangled Cotton On cardigan and a kimono offcut from the Kazari Warehouse in Richmond.

Hmmm, really should have ironed it...

Simply sow kimono silk along the edges of the collar and inner swing.

It's not something that I would ever buy or make from scratch and it's not really 'my' colour. However sometimes you've just got to experiment with what you have.