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Posts Tagged ‘diy’

I recently went through my fabric stash and found some gorgeous floral fabric I had completely forgotten about. There was enough there for a top and a skirt.. or so I thought. When it came time to making the skirt, there simply wasn’t going to be enough fabric to make a waistband. I did my best to Tetris the pattern pieces around but it was no use. Determined to make it work somehow, I decided to use some of the remaining off-cuts appliqué-style on a neutral fabric base.

So here are the steps:

Firstly, I cut out the waistband piece out of plain fabric and interfaced it. I cut it longer than necessary, adding about 3 or 4 extra inches. This was a precautionary step and you may not need to do this if you’re really careful with measuring. Fold it in half lengthwise and press.

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Next, I folded the waistband in half and marked the side seam, and in half again to get the centre front. If you are using commercial pattern pieces, the centre front may already be marked which is handy. You can also double check where the side seams will be (and therefore where to make the CF point) by carefully laying the waistband piece over the garment’s waist and marking the side seam points.

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I fiddled around with the off cuts and chose the best ones. I actually only did this for the front of the waistband but obviously there’s no reason you couldn’t do the back as well. They fit quite well within the front section of the waistband when I lay the pieces on top.

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Time to prep the scrap pieces. Mine were already the same shape which made things easy. If you are going to for symmetry, pay close attention to getting the shape identical for both pieces. I stay-stitched the diagonal edges to make sure they didn’t warp or move around. I then chopped off the excess fabric at the corners, and then folded those diagonal edges under and pressed carefully. Pressing the corners can be a bit fiddly so just take care to make sure they don’t move around too much. You want the corners to be neat so the raw edge doesn’t poke through. Then I stitched the two scrap pieces together at the centre and pressed that seam open.

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Next, I aligned the appliqué pieces (which are looking rather pretty at this point) with the centre front marking on the waistband and pinned them in place. Make sure you open out the waistband before pinning the appliqué on and sewing, or you will sew through two layers of waistband to the inside (like I did!)

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A final test to see how it looks against the skirt before sewing. I then sewed the appliqué pieces on, stitching close to the edge. Slow and steady here, especially when you get to the centre and need to pivot. You want the stitching to look neat because it’s visible.

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I cut off any excess, overhanging bits after that.

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From here onwards, it was waistband-business-as-usual. I stay stitched about 1.2cm from the top and bottom of the waistband, making sure that the stay stitching was the same length from the fold on each side. I then folded the waistband in half again, with the appliqué side facing down. From here, I folded the raw edge (of the inside of the waistband) under so that the fold line matched up with the stay line of the outer part. I pinned this fold and pressed.

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I pinned the waistband to the skirt and marked where to cut the excess on the overlapping waistband ends. I then folded the ends with right sides together (and the pressed edge still folded over) and carefully sewed each one closed. I then snipped off the excess at the corner and turned the ends out, pressing again.

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Ok now the final pinning of everything together. I sewed the waistband to the skirt on the stay stitching line and then pressed the seam up (into the waistband section). I used my tailors ham for this to help with all the bulk and dealing with the curve of the skirt pieces (especially around the waist pleats).

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Once the waistband was pressed, it was easy to top stitch for a lovely neat finish.

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And finally, I tried on the skirt, overlapping the waistbands ends, and marking where the hook and eye closures would be sewn. I sewed those on by hand and that was it!

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I must say I’m quite pleased with the result. It was a bit of an experiment but it worked well. Next time I will also play around with different waistband colours for a different effect, as well as incorporating some appliqué to the back of the waistband.

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Dear Cyberverse,

It’s been a long time since we’ve hung out. But like any old friend, why don’t we just take it from where we left off? Like I saw you just yesterday… Done.

My brain has been swimming in hats! I’ve started designing like crazy and finding inspiration everywhere. I’ve been experimenting with pattern based and free-form draped hats and have been finding it a fun and wonderful experience!

The draping process is like careful, meticulous sculpture work: folding and refolding every pleat until it frames the face perfectly. Not easy to do with my rudimentary supplies blockwise (I own one veeeeeerrry old hat block; tiny tiny headsize; which was covered in plaster and netting, and which I re-covered in foil to keep it from literally falling to pieces). But with lots of trying on and re-pinning I’m getting there.

I started the draping work as an answer to my gigantic piles of fabric off-cuts from years of sewing garments. Although not all fabrics work equally as well (for example, they may need a lot of steaming after getting squashed from flat storage), I do feel that I’ve finally stumbled on a creative “green” solution to my fabric-off-cut-hoarding-problem. And no toiling is needed because the draped hat is both the experiment and the final output. It’s much more time consuming but also more satisfying creatively.
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The pattern-based hats are quite straight forward in terms of process because I can follow a series of obvious steps to get to the finished hat. Changing the structure of the hat is also more systematic (though no less fiddly at times). I must say, though it helps to have studied millinery to have the right techniques on hand in order to deal with curves and pressing and easing and linings… The most time consuming part is toiling with these hats. Especially because I’m only using reclaimed materials, so each hat has the very real potential to be different from its sister. Today’s toile had a Hellraiser vibe about it:

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I shall dutifully post pictures of the completed creations once they are complete!

Good night, old friend. Nice to be back.

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Gardening is a wonderful activity. Aah the smell of earth and mulch, the feel of soil under the finger nails… I’ve been working quite a bit on my garden recently. One thing that I’ve found quite frustrating is planting seeds and then marking where they have been planted, so that they don’t get lost when mulched and watered. Argh! So I came up with a very simple and environmentally friendly solution – re-using cardboard coffee cups, paper towel and toilet paper rolls, and milk cartons. Enjoy!

Materials:

– used cardboard cups, rolls, cartons

– knife or scissors

– garden patch, plant pot or styrofoam box with soil or manure

– seeds

Step 1:

Cut the bottoms off the cardboard cups or cardboard milk cartons. Cut the paper towel rolls into 3 or 4 sections, and toilet paper rolls can be left as is or cut in half.


Step 2:

Prepare your planting area – I am reusing a styrofoam box, filling it with horse manure, approximately 2/3 of the way up.

Place your open-ended cups or rolls upright in the box, pot or patch. Make sure you allow for some room between plants, as they don’t like to be crowded!

Step 3:

Top up with some more soil or manure, so the cups or rolls become well buried but are still visible.  Make sure they are sitting firmly in the soil or manure.

Step 4:

Grab your seeds and pop them into the soil. Today, I’m planting red capsicum.

Step 5:

Cover them with a bit more soil and water them in.

Now when you mulch, you will have a clearly visible area, where your seedlings will grow. Not only that, but by using cardboard, you can rest assured that the roots of the plants won’t have a hard time breaking through the degradable material.

Here are some silverbeet and red chard seedlings. I planted the seeds using the same method a few weeks earlier. I used cardboard coffee cups, toilet paper rolls and cardboard milk cartons.

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So, I went to check Burdastyle today and what do I see right there on the front page? The refashioned 50’s top I posted yesterday is one of the featured projects! 🙂

 

Coming up on Burdastyle:

Here’s a sneak peak of projects I will be adding soon to Burdastyle. I don’t want to give too much away, so these photos show only the fabric with a couple of extra hints…

One of these babies is going straight to Etsy! Stay tuned 😉

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Catchy title, isn’t it? 😉 I don’t know about you craft lovers out there, but I try to be as green a seamstress as I can. The whole point of this blog for me was to share my experiences and pass on useful knowledge or skills I have learned along the way.

So, here’s one for you: SAVING THREAD.

When sewing, I save all the “off-cut” pieces of thread that are 15cm or longer. I also save thread when unpicking seams. When unpicking, I always try to do it as carefully as possible so that the thread does not break.

I wind each thread piece around empty thread spools (we all have plenty of these left over after sewing projects), ready to be used any time I need to do any hand sewing – and trust, me, these times are aplenty!

I hand sew in just about every craft project – blindstitch all facings and hems, sewing on buttons, mending holes, reinforcing corners, embroidering, beading… the list goes on! As you can see, I wind a few colours onto each spool. These recycled thread spools always come in handy!

Hope that was a helpful tip! 🙂

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The quest is underway! I have made 2 jumpers and 2 turbans so far. The jumpers were inspired by 1930’s/1940’s style jumpers – the iconic snug fits, short sleeves and puffy shoulders (see previous post for reference images). I’m very pleased with how well they turned out! I also finished the 1938 matching purse and beret (see here for pattern images). The green of the yarn matches the green of the sweater knit so well – this was entirely a coincidence, but such an awesome one!

1930’srefashioned jumper, crocheted purse and crocheted beret:

Before the refashion!

More info on the making of here!

1940’s refashioned jumper!

Before the refashion...

More info on the making of can be found here!

1940’s turban!


A bit more info on the making of is here!

Refashioned flower brooches!

I made these bad boys aaages ago, but they fit nicely with the refashion theme, so I decided to post them here. I made these flowers by sewing together different fake flower combinations, and then sewing safety pins to the back, so they can be attached to clothing. These were quite fiddly to make but turned out really beautifully. A adorned each one with a lovely vintage button. All of the flowers were found, and all other materials were either vintage or second hand. Woot! I’ve just listed them all on Etsy 🙂

I really love these types of projects not only because craft is fun, but because they involve so much recycling!!! I get to collect second hand materials and tear things apart in order to put them back together in new and interesting ways. It’s also great to be able to work with finite fabric dimensions (e.g. when refashioning old pants, coats, t-shirts etc.) to create new pieces. Although it may seem like a limitation, it really is something that allows you to consider alternative ideas…

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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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