Thursday, 30 June 2011

at the hop!

So i wanted to have a go at making a circle skirt in 50s style, but i didn't want to pay for such a simple pattern so I drafted one myself. The skirt is a 3/4 circle with a wide waistband - and that's it.
It was unbelievable simple to do. I just baby-hemmed the hemline rather than add any braiding for stiffness because the material is an upholstery weight cotton from ikea and is rigid enough without anything added.
At the side i sewed a lapped zipper for neatness and added a big button for extra 50s appeal. I call this my "at the hop" skirt....poog and gil will know what i mean!!

metal markers

So the cardboard markers i made before for my windowsill chillis aren't going to cut it in the greenhouse. The atmosphere is too humid and the glue would melt in the heat. So i was stuck for a while for an easy way to label all the greenhouse plants. But then i though of something...
I was emptying one of my store cupbaords in work when i came across a pile of floppy disks. We don't even have floppy drives in the office anymore so i was piling them into the bin when i caught sight of the little metal guard piece and thought i could recycle them. We have a metal punch set that i bought SuperD last christmas and the disk guards were the perfect thickness of metal to punch in.
The edges were a bit sharp and rather than be bothered to file them all down i just stuck them onto blue acetate pieces and glued them to kebab sticks. These are all my varieties of chilli pepper...i'm growing 7 types this year!Yay - confusion is banished from the greenhouse - "Now get growing!!"

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Autumn Acorn Shorts

So i made another version of my no zip sailor style shorts for summer...or autumn given the theme of the material.

This is the second pair of shorts that i’ve made using the Sailor Shorts pattern which is downloadable free on Burdastyle along with full instructions (587 people have downloaded it already - cool huh? Update - now at 856 people!!). The fabric is the same cream curtain lining at £1.50 per metre with stamp embellishment made with a simple hand-carved lino stamp and brown fabric paint.

I knew i wanted to try another shaped pocket that matched the fabric – and when i had made the oak leaf print fabric – an acorn was an obvious choice! I made a little mini felt oak leaf to sew on for extra cuteness.

See, it opens like this...
Do you like the gorgeous buttons?? They are vintage wood-effect resin from the stash of my German grandma!! Pure delight!!

lino leaves

So i'm trying to make some stamps that i can use to embellish material that i can then use in dressmaking - which i'm hoping is going to save me a little money! I love leaf print fabric, particularly oak leaves - they're my favourite leaves, i think.
You'll notice that the vein in the centre of the leaf is missing in the stamp - D'oh!! I cut it out by mistake so now have to do that bit separately - annoying!!!
Now, what to make...

Saturday, 18 June 2011

can't touch this!!

so i had this african material that i brought back from Zambia when i went there about 9 years ago. In a Burda magazine from 2010 (i think) there is an African style photoshoot and one of the patterns was a pair of loose cropped trousers done in African linen-type fabric. Because i didn't have enough fabric to make anything big I was thinking - "these would be perfect!!!

However...i didn't realise the crotch would be quite so...."MC hammer".
It's maybe more obvious in this second picture...see the crotch-ballooning that is going on???!! Hmm..yeah i'm not too sure about these. No doubt they will be cool and airy but hot is it going to get in ireland this year (answer: not even nearly hot...more like "rather mild")
I was considering that maybe noone would notice, when poog called round, took one look at me and said - "hammer-time!! de-de-de-de...dede..dede...can't touch this!"


Friday, 17 June 2011

anchors away

Staying on the sailor theme, i cut a little anchor stamp, this time using 3mm lino block...the process, to summarise - was awful. I'll only cut the black SOFT 5mm stuff in the future as it's a lot more fun and you can actually be a lot more accurate because you're not leaning so hard using all your strength to make the incision. I tried warming the lino which helped for about 30 seconds until it cooled down again.
I loaded the stamp a little too full of paint when doing the test stamp as you can see by the uneven colour in the "blocked" areas.
Not sure what i'll use this one for but for now i'm just going to admire my carving and nurse my strained hand and wrist back to health...thin grey lino - NEVER AGAIN!!

Thursday, 9 June 2011

i love you sailor!

So i made these no zip sailor style shorts for summer. I drafted this pattern, loosely based on a really comfortable pair of shorts i bought about a million years ago. I posted the pattern for free on the Burdastyle website along with very long-winded instructions and lots of pictures of how to make them!!

The fabric i used is actually cream curtain lining at £1.50 per metre (cheaper than the muslins!) and then i stamped on the fabric with one of my hand-carved lino stamps and red fabric paint. I’ve got fed up paying over the odds for simple patterned fabric, and so i’m trying to embellish my own and save some money!! (to be spent on more craft supplies of course!)

The luscious lips pocket just occurred to me because of the “i love you” stamp that i used on the fabric. It was so easy that i’ve now decided i must try loads of different shapes..maybe theme it in with the fabric stamp or whatever.

The project was featured on the front page of the Burdastyle website and within 2 days 192 people had downloaded the pattern!! YAY!!!

cherry "easy as" pie!

So i made these cute little earrings in all of 5 mins using the legendary bead stash of Gingerbelle Jewellery, the proprietress of which buys the most fabulous beads on the planet and then never blogs the stuff she makes!!!
Anyway they're cute, quick and so easy it's not even possible!
I craft!!

Sunday, 5 June 2011

Draping guess

So everyone seems to be doing the cool draping stuff from the japanese books and i thought i'd have a go....although not having the book, i had to kindof make it up based on a couple of those i saw on Burdastyle.

This one is based on Dress #2 from the Drape Drape 2 book. I've seen quite a few people have made it but Burdastyle member Jorth helpfully held it out flat in her blog pics of the finished dress so i could work out how it was made! So, thanks for that!
I'm loving the big pocket that results and can't help walking about with my hand in it.
It looks seriously weird when you cut out the pattern - this big poke out the side! I got this fabric on sale and so used it even though it is only 1-way stretch jersey. It means that it feels a little odd because the grain is a bit off.
I wear it with my freecycle find cowl which i think goes well!

freecycle find!

So the first i heard of the website freecycle was when my brother-in-law emailed me to say:

(him) -"hey there's someone on the internet giving away a big box of hand-dyed cotton and silk pieces, woven silk yarn and a tin of vintage buttons for free to a good want me to get it for you?"

(me)-"umm..(shaking my head in disbelief)...are you serious??? GET ME THAT BOX!!!"

Yep it was for real, on the website people give away stuff for free, you just have to go pick it up! I swung by the girl's house on the way home from work and picked up a treasure trove of hand dyed amazingness....apparently she was a professional fabric artist that was doing some spring cleaning. Some of the prices were still on the pieces...and they were expensive!! Wow, i couldn't believe that i'd just got the whole lot for nothing! Crazy!

So anyway - at the bottom of the box i found a skein of silk yarn, made from recycled indian saris. I made a simple cowl that i know i'll get a lot of wear out of! (81 stitches on 15mm needles, knit1, pearl1, then knit all the pearls and pearl all the knits. UK - moss stitch and US - seed stitch) In these pics it looks a little like something i picked up on the beach - i think it maybe does look a lot better in real life! lol!
All the little fluffy ends are so smooth and silky...i love it!