Dress upcycle

I was going through my wardrobe and found a long dress which I’ve had for a couple of years. I bought it because of the lovely fabric. It is a really big, bold African print. However, the dress itself was slightly too short on me to be maxi, and I didn’t really wear it much.African print fabricSo I had a go at shortening it and making it into a skirt, which’ll get much more wear. I’m a big wearer of skirts and dresses at work, as I have major problems finding trousers to fit me. The only trousers which reliably fit me are jeans! One day I will psych myself to make my own trousers ūüôāskirt diyTo make my skirt, I cut off the bottom of the dress to make the skirt, added a zip, gathered the top edge of the skirt and fitted it into a waistband with scraps. For the waistband, I used this excellent tutorial from Ditto Fabrics as inspiration. I didn’t follow it to the letter, as I’m hopeless at following directions but it did gave me a good steer.

The top of the dress was all shirred, and I cut it so it is long enough for a separate top, but I haven’t had a chance to hem it yet. I’ll post a picture when it’s done. It’ll make a great sun top though for when it is warmer than zero degrees outside…

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My winter sparkle ATC

I received my ATC on Christmas Eve, and then promptly went on holiday, so I haven’t yet had chance to post it yet. Here it is though, isn’t it cute?¬†winter sparkle atcIt came all the way from a very hot Brazil, and from Bea at Juntando Arte. It’s always nice to have post from far away, so much more exciting than bills. As I display all my ATCs throughout the year, Bea made it wintery but not too Christmasy, so it won’t look out of place when it finally gets warm here. Apparently, Bea used to live in the UK for three years and really loved it here. I must be honest, I love it here too (especially Brighton) but I do wish it was a bit warmer and drier…

There are a few more pictures on Flickr of some of the other swaps. I really like this robin one and this star one.

 

Beautiful vintage sewing goodies

I hope everyone had a lovely Christmas and wishing you a Happy New Year. I just wanted to share with you my Christmas present from my in-laws – a biscuit tin of sewing goodies. Random possibly to the uninitiated, but to me it is absolutely brilliant!
vintage sewing itemsMy favourite bits are the wonderful clock buttons – how cute are they? And it is a full set, so I’m thinking what outfit I can add them to. I also love lovely colours and names of the Sylko threads. The colours are so vibrant, I’m sure modern threads are not so exciting.

I didn’t get chance to make many presents this year, but I did make some calendars for my grandparents, using these blank calendars. I printed off copies of my family and the pets, and used some craft paper, punches and my letter stamps to decorate them. It took ages, as I had to wait for each page to dry, but both sets of grandparents were thrilled, which is all that matters.

DIY Kimono top

My friend and I timetabled in a crafting day to make Christmas presents, and I sent her a link to my Pinterest page. I¬†had linked up some ideas based on the original conversations we’d had about what she wanted to make. In the meantime, I’d pinned a Kimono pattern, and she decided she wanted to have a go (I will point out she went on to say she had not sewn since school)!

We¬†used this pattern from By Hand London as a guide – it is very good but we made a couple of minor alterations. We used some peacock chiffon fabric from Fabricland. This terrified me, as I have never sewn such slippy fabric. But this whole experience has weirdly made me less afraid of taking sewing risks. Normally I over-analyse myself out of doing things, as I worry they will not be perfect or too difficult, but my friend just jumped straight in, and had no worries about the potentially nightmare fabric. I really enjoyed showing her how to use the machine and learn to sew. She was also far less critical about my sewing abilities than I am about myself, which boosted my confidence!diy kimonoAnyway, these are the amends we made to the original tutorial.¬†I apologise for the shocking photos, but it has been dark and rainy all day…

  1. We drew the pattern on pattern paper first, and cut out as suggested in the original tutorial (two sides at once). We used a combination of pins and masking tape to stop the fabric slipping. Once the T shape was cut out, we then unfolded it, and cut out the front neck v, as shown in the picture. cutting out front of kimono
  2. We used the measurements suggested, but instead of making the bottom part triangular as in the original, we just made it straight.
  3. We zig zagged all the raw edges, as the fabric was very frayable.
  4. Because the fabric was so floaty, I made the executive decision to edge the neckline and armholes with bias tape. I thought that would be more stable than normal hemming. Fortunately, I had meters of the stuff in a nice purple colour which matched the fabric really well. We hemmed the bottom normally, as my friend has got some black fringing to finish it off by hand, and I felt really vindicated by my decision as it was a bit of a wibbly hem! The bias armholes have also made everything look a bit more structured.

I have kept the pattern and want to make one of my own now. I have some nice satiny navy and white fabric I got ages ago, which I think will work really well. I would also use either satin or velvet bias tape too (MacCulloch and Wallis have some lovely bias tape to choose from).

Christmas craft link up continued

As promised, these are the rest of the wonderful crafts which have been compiled by Bugs and Fishes. I like the penguin!

Christmas craft link up

As you may have seen the other week, I did a Christmas-y sewing project which I linked to the Bugs and Fishes Christmas craft link up. My project was a shabby denim Christmas heart decoration, which you can find here. I took part last year, and was really pleased to take part again.

Anyway, here is the first of three links to some of the other projects. I hope you like them! I will be posting the other projects over the next few days, so keep an eye out.¬†christmas craft link up 1Mini Teddy Bed – Grace’s Favours

Shiny Reindeer Embroidered Hoop Art – Candyfloss Ramparts

Teeny Tiny Snowman Pendant – i ManuFatti

Nativity Bunting Tutorial – Hoogally

Floating Pompom Garland – RetroDelicious

Printable Colouring-In Snowflake Labels – It’s Organised

Blackwork Pleated Heart – Carina’s Craftblog

Shabby Christmas denim heart tutorial

I’m taking part in the second Bugs and Fishes Crafty Tutorial Link-up!¬†I took part last year, making a little embroidered felt stocking. This year, I decided on sewing again, but this time using the sewing machine.¬†shabby denim christmas heartI chose to use some denim, as I had leftover scraps from some old jeans, and it looks nice and rustic. I was lucky enough to be sent some lovely Christmas ribbons to sample by Fantastic Ribbons, as I am one of their blogging team. The ribbons are lovely twill-style, rustic ribbons which work great with the denim. I have grand Christmas present wrapping plans for the ribbon I have left!

Ingredients

  • denim scraps
  • Twill-style Christmas ribbon (mine is from the great selection at Fantastic Ribbons)
  • stuffing
  • sewing machine

Recipe

  1. Draw or print out a heart template, and cut out two denim heart.two denim hearts
  2. Have a play with your sewing machine settings to find a couple of decorative stitches.stitch test
  3. Pin two strips of ribbon across one of your hearts. Using the decorative stitches you chose, stitch decorative rows parallel to the ribbon.
  4. heart with ribbon and stitches Fill in the gaps between the ribbon with different types of stitches.shabby stitched heart
  5. Sew along the top and bottom edge of each strip of ribbon. ribbon stitched into place
  6. Pin the two hearts wrong sides together, and sandwich in a loop of ribbon at the top. Sew around, fairly close to the edge. Leave the triangle at the bottom open.denim heart stitched with gap to stuff
  7. Stuff your stuffing into the heart, and pin closed. Sew the bottom triangle closed. Trim the edges if needed. finished denim heart

You can find all of the tutorials here at bugs and fishes. There is some lovely, inspiring stuff!