27 May, 2014

Me Made May - Week 4

 May is almost over. This time of year always leaves me feeling a little anxious. Partly because it's exam season, and partly because I never feel as though I've made the most of the last beautiful weeks of Autumn.

I'll admit, it's going to be a relief not having to hassle my dear photographer quite so many times a week. How do all those stylish fashion bloggers do it?!

Day 11
Shirt: My first Archer! Unblogged as it's currently button-less. Expect a more detailed post soon.
Grey top: Cotton On
Jeans: Cotton On

Day 12
Sorry for the blurry camera-phone photo.
Top: Mint striped Coco. First repeat of the month. Not doing too badly so far.
Jacket: Thrifted. Love this jacket - it goes with literally everything!
Jeans: Old, Just Jeans

Day 13
Top: Me made, unblogged. Just a simple kimono sleeved crop-top. Made from a super soft, possibly wool-blend, thrifted scarf. Miss P has a great tutorial for drafting your own :)
Beanie: Me made, buy here.
Jeans: Cotton On
Necklace: Zose Designs

Day 14
Oops. No photo, but I have been wearing an old pair of me made pajama pants! Comfy, low-rise, made from checked flannelette with ribbing for the waistband. Nothing groundbreaking.

One week left to go :)

But first, assignments! And cuddles...

20 May, 2014

Pretty DIY Envelopes!

Lately I have been working on improving the outer packaging for different items in my store. These DIY envelopes are a fun and quick project, and perfect for shipping out small items like my little knitted bows.

Normally I hate the idea of cutting up books! However, I recently found a huge stack of fairly tacky 80s craft magazines in Lifeline for next to nothing and decided that they deserved new life!

Read on for instructions to make your own!

19 May, 2014

Me Made May - Week 3

Halfway there!

Day 7
Black coat: Thrifted
Necklace: Fawn & Rose
Dress: An old refashion, unblogged. The original dress was a too-tight, button-down maxi dress with frayed button holes. Now it's very comfortable, although the neckline is a little too loose. It looks like a mess in the above photo, but the front section of the hem is actually a ruffle:

Day 8
Had to resort to phone camera selfies.
Top: Vintage
Skirt: Self-drafted. Just a gathered rectangle with an invisible side zipper. This skirt fits comfortably, but I'm still not sure whether the colours or the strange satin fabric is really my style. Maybe it just needs pockets.

Day 9
Navy cardigan: Target
Earrings: Vintage
Dress: Another refashion - such a basic one that it really wasn't worth a blog post. I love the loose fit and the off-center print, but I think I still need to shorten the hem by a few inches.

Day 10
Beanie: Me-made [buy here]
Top: My Simplicity Kimono Tee. Still super comfortable; perfect for hermit days. Must remember to make more of these!

In other news, my African Violets are flowering for the first time, and Miss Beanie is growing fluffy Winter fur!

18 May, 2014

Linen Birthday Dress

Here it is, the belated birthday dress post!

Before I get into details, I want to pose a little scenario for you:

You have three days left until the event when you realise that the fabric for your original dress plan isn't going to arrive on time. You are left with three options:
1. Give up and wear an older self-made dress that's nice enough but doesn't fit quite the way you'd like it to.
2. Give up even further, wear an RTW dress and quietly feel like a failure all evening as people ask "Ooh, is this the dress you made??" and you reply "Nope."
3. PANIC and make a completely different dress with the three remaining evenings you have left! Screw the dishes!

 As you can probably guess, I picked option 3, and will be using your responses to determine my own level of sanity.

So, the dress.
This thing was made entirely from my fabric stash, and I actually like it far more than my original plan.

I cobbled together my own pattern, half copying the bodice from a RTW dress that I love. The skirt is pleated in front, and gathered around the back and sides. The black sash was added last-minute for a bit more waist definition. I promise it's not covering anything wonky!

The skirt is this amazing cream linen I bought for no reason from the remnant warehouse. It's now my favourite thing in the world. Super durable and so opaque that you can't even see black tights through one layer, but still so soft and buttery that it almost feels edible...

The bodice is made from a single upholstery sample square. It was literally the only thing in my stash that complemented the linen. The edges frayed pretty fast, and there was terrifyingly little to work with, let alone pattern-match. In the back of my mind, my 8th grade Home Ec. teacher was folding her arms and frowning. You can't make a dress out of upholstery fabric! Go to the principals office!

But you know what, Miss? You can, and it's awesome.
In fact, my favourite thing about this dress is knowing that, somewhere in the world, there's probably a couch made from this fabric.

 Each bodice seam is top-stitched open using cream thread. I put an exposed metal zipper in the back (the longest jeans zipper I could find), and used a little coordinating necklace clasp to hold the top closed.

The bodice is lined using the same cream linen. Nothing could be more luxurious! I closed the lining by hand-stitching around the zipper and at the waistline. The skirt hem is also hand-stitched. It sounds like an insane decision, considering how little time I had to make this dress, but it meant that all the finishing touches could be done in the living room when the family was arriving. It was actually pretty relaxing.

I don't have any pictures of the dress in action on the night, but I can assure you, it was comfy, and the dishes didn't even notice their neglect!

I'd love to hear what you think. Even if it's just how badly you now want some linen :P
Hope everyone has had a great week!

15 May, 2014

Beautiful Finds - Etsy Eyecandy

Some bright, colourful finds this week!

LUNAR- Ballet Flats - Suede Shoes - 38 - Lemon Zest.

Amazing yellow suede flats, handmade by Lolliette. NSW, Australia.

Valentines Day Gift Idea - Necklace with Heart Charm - Variety of colours

Adorable polymer clay heart pendants from the quirky Yellow Tree Store. Perth, WA.


Miniature felted dress brooch. Each little dress has it's own name and personality - such a cute idea!
Handmade by Candykins Crafts. Brisbane, QLD.

Roman Gold - Czech Glass Saucer Beads (3111-6)

Gorgeous Roman-yellow Czech glass beads from Mac Beads. Brisbane, QLD.

12 May, 2014

Me Made May - Week 2

Last week was a little crazy, but so far I have just managed to stick to my pledge of 4 handmade items a week. The main problem I'm facing is the cold weather; I have plenty of short floral skirts and summery tops, but a severe lack of anything warm and cosy!

I'm planning on sewing up a few Archers for the coming weeks, but right now I'm seriously pining for a bomber jacket!

Day 3

My trusty grey handwarmers  - me made [buy here].
Green skirt - me made, unblogged.
This skirt is one of the first pieces of clothing I ever made, but I still wear it quite a lot. The waistband is just a really wide strip of elastic, so the join is pretty messy. The fabric is warm and kind of spongy - perfect for Autumn.

Day 4

Blue Coco dress - me made 
Red beanie - me made [buy here]
Knit scarf - Modcloth.

Day 5

Darling Ranges dress - me made
Black coat - thrifted
Boots - Route 66.

Day 6

The birthday dress! This is just a teaser photo - I'll do a full post about it soon. You can probably see that it's nothing like my original plan, but I love what I ended up with in the end :)

Hope everyone's second me-made week went well!

03 May, 2014

My Core Style - Wardrobe Architect

Over the past few weeks, I have been following along with Sarai's Wardrobe Architect Series over at Coletterie. The aim of the series is to help each person develop a totally functional wardrobe that reflects their own personal style. By defining which colours, patterns and shapes make us feel certain things, we should be able to create a wardrobe filled with functional quality pieces, and prevent all of those future dollars and hours wasted making or buying items that are never worn.

I have enjoyed reading about everyone's different styles and colour palettes, so I thought I'd share a little of where I'm at so far. Putting together a style board was very helpful. You can see the full board on my Pinterest, here. There should really be a third collage that covers Summer/festivals, as that's a huge part of how my love of colour and fashion really developed. Right now, though, it's way too cold to be thinking of such things.

So far, I would describe my style as: warm, saturated, cute (but not cutesie) and, most importantly, comfortable.

My colour palette came as no real surprise: mostly saturated, warm-spectrum colours. Dark neutrals with lots of grey, very few pastels, and none of this coral, camel or beige stuff that everyone else seems to love so much :P

If you're interested in refining your own wardrobe, and don't have the time or effort for style boards, a simple colour scheme really is worthwhile. Already it has prevented me from several bad fabric purchases! 

Has anyone else been following this series, or going through a similar process on their own? I'd love to hear about your discoveries!


02 May, 2014

Surviving the cold with Coco!

I think that was my first blog title pun! The first two days of Me Made May have been a success - all thanks to Tilly's Coco pattern. I have used this pattern three times so far: first this dress, and now two super comfy tops. I actually don't think I'll get through the rest of this month without wearing them again (or making more). It has been so cold that snow is predicted for this weekend. Proper snow!

Seriously, it may look like a nice sunny day in this photo but the air was so freezing that I've been wrapped in a blanket ever since!

Check out that awesomely smooth neckline!

The neckline on my Coco dress was a little gapey, despite stabilising it with a woven selvedge strip. This time I used a strip of very thin fusible interfacing and it worked like a charm. The little grey gloves I'm wearing are from my shop. Nice and warm, but not really the best match for this outfit. I'll definitely be making some black ones!

After all these years of pulling on freezing cold jeans in the morning and longing for my pajama pants, I have finally discovered that it's way warmer just wearing a maxi skirt with tights underneath! Completely irrelevant information right now for any northern hemisphere folk. Maybe you'll remember it next Winter and thank me :P

The second top is made from a slightly thicker (and less iron-friendly) knit. The big plaid pocket is some flannelette from my stash, cut on the bias so that it stretches with the knit. I kind of love the combination.

Both tops are made from the thrifted fabric I found the other week. I cut a size 2 this time, to accommodate the extra stretch in the fabric, but I probably could have graded up across the chest as it does pull quite a bit across that area.

Pattern adjustments: Shortening at the waist plus a small sway back adjustment.

When I first started sewing, I just couldn't get excited about the idea of making basics like these. Now that I do, it feels like my sewing has reached a whole new level. Neither of these tops are a completely perfect fit, but they are still ridiculously more flattering than generic store-bought sizes. This has a surprisingly large impact on my self confidence - something I might go into in more depth at a later date.

01 May, 2014

Beautiful Finds - Etsy Eyecandy

Wood, Pearls, Leather Necklace. Sterling Silver Natural Wood, Pearls and Brown Leather Short Necklace with a Toggle Clasp. Statement OOAK

Gorgeous wooden statement necklace by Petals Design AU. Sydney, NSW.

hand dyed sock yarn, 4ply, bfl wool, navy blue, black, grey ..  400 m or 437 y, 110 gr or 3.8 oz .. storm birds

Beautiful hand-dyed wool sock yarn by Miss Knit Yarns. Newcastle, AU.
This cold weather has me really longing to make some cozy handknit socks :)

Upcycled leaves pendant necklace. Hand made with fused plastic bags

This amazing necklace was handmade using recycled plastic bags. So cool! Birthday present to myself, perhaps? By Kabusha, Mexico.

Hand Made Ceramic Eco-Friendly Tea Cup Hand Carved

The perfect tea cup, handmade and hand-carved from red clay. By Warm Ceramics, Russia.