Archive for July, 2010

Goals allow me to achieve the things I want to achieve. I find it helps to jot them down, because somehow when something is in print, it feels final. I’m going to set some ambitious goals for this week to challenge myself. Time will not hold me back!

  • daily music practice
  • finish 30’s dress
  • make 60’s dress
  • make astronaut costume
  • re-fashion beige jumper
  • re-fashion green jumper
  • start hoodie
  • finish hems on 2 60’s dresses
  • make big jar of hummus
  • make planting diary
  • play an amazing gig
  • start song composition
  • follow-up on promises
  • schedule in some time for next shoot


[Image source: Social Science Lite blog]

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The last couple of days have been great for inspiration. Because it’s been such a chilly winter season, I just can’t keep my mind off knits (the fabric kind)! And I really haven’t indulged enough in the making of early 20th century winter fashion. Oh, I’ve sewn plenty of dresses, skirts, blouses and jackets… but crochet and knitting takes so long! And though I do like to try my hand at crocheting 30’s and 40’s hats and bags, anything larger (e.g. tops) usually ends up in the bottom of a bag, and quite (intentionally?) forgotten. Ah time, why isn’t there more of you?! Anyway, being a proud greenie also means I am constantly on the hunt for interesting ways to turn old things into new. So all of this has culminated in my personal WINTER REFASHION QUEST!

Step1: Gather inspiration!

Well, there’s plenty of that to be had, persusing the images available online and in my little collection of 30’s, 40’s and 50’s crochet magazines. I decided to focus on four major areas:

1) blouses and jumpers:

2) coats and capes:

3) hats and headwear:

4) ascots and neckwear:

Step 2: Collect materials.

I decided to go the re-fashion route rather than the make-from-scratch. Having op shops (aka ‘thift stores’) near work helps! For a total of $10 I purchased the following materials:

  • oversized khaki felt ladies jacket (lined) – probably 90’s era, rather unattractive; contains 2 large fabric covered buttons;
  • woolen brown tartan dressing gown (unlined) – comes with lovely twisted braid belt with tassels at each end;
  • large size mauve ribbed long sleeved jumper with boat neckline – fairly lightweight; probably also 90’s era;
  • cream knitted turtleneck jumper – heavy knit; long sleeved;
  • 2 x thick knit green sleeveless turtlenecks – hideous cuts, stretched out of shape; one bright green, the other more khaki green;
  • boys’ hawaiian print shirt – will make a fabulous 40’s/ 50’s bikini.

Step 3: Start the re-fashion!

This is where the fun really begins… Watch this space! 3 refashioned knit-based items now completed!!!

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Turquoise. Beautiful, vibrant turquoise. I am about half way through making a wonderful 1930’s turquoise coat. I’ve been working on it here and there, and it’s taking a very long time.. in fact, I fear that winter will be over by the time I’ve finished making it!

I gathered the inspiration from images of 1930’s coats:

The thing I love about 30’s coats, is the form-fitting shape, elongating the body; as well as the dramatic collar shapes. The coat I’ve been working on definitely captures these elements, with the addition of large dramatic cuffs. My vision was a coat that was classic in shape combined with the comfort of a dressing gown. Luckily, I managed to find the right sort of second hand materials to make this:

  • thin turquoise fleece fabric (more like lightweight modern hoodie fabric) from an op shop,
  • second hand flannel bed sheets (white with green polka dots!) to act as interlining and lining, from an op shop,
  • light turquoise polyester (for facing), from an op shop,
  • heavy upholstery material (such as is used for car seat upholstery) to stiffen collar and cuffs, from Reverse Garbage,
  • large grey marbled look vintage buttons, from friend.

I loosely followed a 1930’s pattern to make the coat, altering the bodice for a more “standard” shoulder and sleeve design (as per most of the above coats). I adjusted the coat proportions to fit my body measurements, which was a bit of a fiddly task, considering the number of paramters I had to change. But it seems to have worked rather well! Thank goodness I did a mock-up of the coat in cotton first! That would definitely be my advice to anyone undertaking a challenging sewing activity, where proper garment fit may be an issue.

Here is the pattern I altered:

In other news, this week I will be setting out to get through my 1960’s costume pieces (for film)! And hopefully at the end of all of this, my coat will receive a little bit more attention.

The four dresses I’ve been working on are nearly finished! Just the hand sewing to go (aargh hems will be the death of me). Here are my inspiration images for the set:

Go, motivation, go!

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The 30’s purse is nearly finished!! Woohoo! Just five and a half rows until the end. Then sewing in the lining and attaching to the beautiful 1930’s celluloid purse handles (ivory colour, which goes wonderfully with the dark jungle green of the yarn). Getting flustered just thinking about it! Next will be the hat, and I was also thinking that a matching jabot/ ascot would be a tasteful addition to complete the set (although perhaps also in an ivory/ creamy colour rather than dark green). Here are some pictures I’ve found for inspiration:

I’ve been perusing op shops/ market stall over the last year or so, specifically on the hunt for fabric that could be used for lovely 30’s, 40’s and 50’s numbers. It’s proved to be a fairly successful venture so far, which I am more than just chuffed about. Anyway, I’ve discovered that I’ve collected two types of fabric of similar colouring, which match the dark green of the crochet yarn rather well. Joy!

One is a crepe-like fabric (probably polyester), which is fairly lightweight. I’ve used this sort of fabric before, and it was quite a challenging, mobile weave. I found that a nicely draping style works best, so I will be making a dress that drapes, something along the lines of this:

The second piece of fabric is a lightweight knit, which will be a 1930’s jumper. I was really happy to have found this because crocheting a whole jumper takes so long! Sewing one is a nice prospect, especially since I’ve recently been honing my skills in sewing stretch fabrics and knits. So here are some images for jumper inspiration from the 1930’s (the pattern on the fabric is similar to the second image):

And now all I need is TIME! I’m grateful for the daily morning and afternoon train journeys because it means the crochet gets completed. But the sewing… alas. There are so many sewing projects on my sewing agenda, I don’t know how I’ll get through them all! But one must persevere…

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I love recycling. I adore finding things that nobody else wants anymore and putting them to good use. Most of the time, I apply this to making things in the form of wearables. However, this time it was all about the cookins.

Step 1: Collect a bucket of lemons from a lady on freecycle (so plump and fragrant! – the lemons, not the lady).

Step 2: Make lemon cake using this vegan lemon cake recipe.

I followed the cake recipe to a tee and it came out beautifully! The cake was moist, fluffy and just perfect. I definitely recommend this to all cake lovers.

Step 3: Make lemon curd using this eggless lemon curd recipe.

The making of the lemon “curd” wasn’t as successful in terms of its final consistency. I found it too runny when heating. Eventually when I turned the heat off and the mixture began to cool, the cornstarch became lumpy and hard to break. I ended up manually removing the lumps, resulting in a liquidy consistency. It did taste quite lovely despite that.

And the result:

This was a delicious lemon cake, especially after sitting in the fridge for a day! And the perfect thing to enjoy with a cup of cawfee.

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It’s winter here. It’s so cold.. and to top it off, my body decided to give in about a week ago, and allow the flu to enter its nervous system. How inconvenient! But instead of turning this into¬†complainy-ville, I’d like to share some of the lovely things that have come out of a boring week at home.

The method: Crochet.

The materials: Either things I had lying around at home, or second hand bits and pieces (such as buttons).¬† For more detailed descriptions, please have a little looksie at my burdastyle sitezzzz…

1) 1960’s inspired driving gloves:

2) 1930’s Robin Hood hat:

3) Winter neck warmie:

4) Nana square booties:

Coming up next:

Next on the crochet agenda are a 1930’s hat and matching purse:

These lovelies are supposed to be made out of gimp cord, however, since second hand gimp cord is difficult to source (and I only really work with second hand materials), I’m going to be using strong cotton crochet yarn instead, which I have plenty of already (incidentally, I received this as part of a freecycle offer). In dark green. I have already purchased antique purse handles (via etsy) in an ivory colour (which look to be made out of bakelite or some such)… And I can hardly contain my excitement! Aah the life of a craftster…

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