Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Tablecloth skirt

 One of the UFOs hiding in my cupboard was this pink tablecloth that I bought from the Hospice Shop (for about $4 from memory).  I had always intended to make a circle skirt from it, but I just hadn't gotten around to it.  So this week I got stuck in.

As with my previous skirt I used this tutorial.  I would really recommend ironing your tablecloth when you're folding it if it is synthetic, because it can be seriously slippery.  And as you can see when the tutorial says to pin like crazy, I did.
Check out my awesome ruler.

And the finished skirt (sorry I don't have any full length photos since my tripod was the arm of my couch).

And the back.  You can just see one of the pleats that I put into the back of the skirt here (I'm hiding the other one with my hand).  There is a reason that I needed the pleats.  I measured my natural waist, and did all the maths correctly when I cut out the skirt.  And then I put in the zip and bound the top with my bias binding, and tried it on.  It was way too big.  Like slipping down my hips and if I wiggled it would fall off too big.  I can't figure out where I keep going wrong - this is the same problem I had last time.  So I put a couple of pleats into the back and now it fits fine.  I'm hoping that the fullness of the skirt will help to hide them.

I didn't put the zipper in all that well.

But check out my cool bias binding at the waist line.

And you can't have a full circle skirt without a sitting down, spread out shot.

Plus outtake.

Monday, February 25, 2013


My project this week is to tidy up those Unfinished Objects that I have lying around (like, say, an advent calendar).  Fortunately I have plenty of those in my cupboard, so my week should be pretty busy.

I also have a tablecloth in my cupboard that I bought intending to make into a full circle skirt.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Mermaid tails

Obviously this is not an Advent Calendar.  I'm beginning to think that there is some kind of Advent Calendar jinx at work here.  Last week P had a dress up day at kindy, and she wanted to be a mermaid.  So I drafted up a mermaid tail shape, and overlocked the two sides together.  I added a couple of straps with velcro to attach to the waist, and I had two mermaid tails (because I wasn't silly enough to make one for P and not J)

The tail in action.

I actually went to the Hospice shop and found some shiny fabric to use for the tails.  But I washed it and hung it on the line, and realised it was way too beautiful for mermaid tails and I squirreled it away before the girls saw it.  As it turned out I had the perfect fabric in my stash, the ripples in the fabric really brought the tails to life.  

Hopefully I can squeeze the advent calendar into my projects in the next few weeks, although usually when I squeeze things in it ends up with frustration and head banging and lying on the floor crying, but you know, this time will be alright.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Advent Calendar

That's my project this week.  I know, I know, its February, why am I doing my Advent Calendar this week? Because every year I think, I must do an Advent Calendar, and every year it gets abandoned in favour of other Christmasy related things.  So I'm doing it now to make sure it gets done.

I think I'll do a variation on this tutorial from Nest Full of Eggs

Tuesday, February 5, 2013


My project this week is to dig out all my half finished nappies and get them done.  Because if I don't do it now, C will have outgrown them and it will all be in vain.  Mostly they just need re elasticating, which is a really easy job, although I do still have some half made ones to do as well.

Sunday, February 3, 2013


I've decided to make P the playmat for her birthday, even though she doesn't really need more toys.  Five is a bit of a milestone birthday, and I think she'll have plenty of opportunity to add to it.

So far I've felted the jerseys.  As with my previous experiences of felting, I struggled to felt them in the machine.  I think it would definitely be easier if I had a dryer.  As it was I had to wash them twice, and they are still not quite as well felted as I would like.  I also remembered a green jersey that I got for DH from the Hospice Shop some time ago so I hand felted that, it'll be interesting to see if that works better than using my washing machine (I added heaps of soap and some very hot water to my laundry tub, and then bashed the jersey with my rolling pin).  DH has never worn the jersey, and I'm hoping he doesn't notice that its missing at all.

I also drew up a plan to give myself a rough idea of how I want the playmat to look.

So far, the list of presents is
Felt playmat
Peg Dolls
Wooden animals
Hair accessories

Friday, February 1, 2013

Sewing for myself

I made myself another top using Simplicity 9502, and I am really pleased with how it came out.  I cut the pattern to the smallest size, and added a seam to the centre front so that I could insert a zip.  But when I tried it on, it was still too big, so I added some waist shaping to the sides to bring it in a bit.

You can't see from the pictures but there is also too much fabric in the top of the bodice.  Clearly even though I cut out the smallest size it was still made for someone with more bust than I have.  So I will have to do some kind of small bust adjustment to get the top part to sit properly on me.

That's a baby in background in case you're wondering
The photo shoot was hilarious fun since P and J took the photos for me.  Having a 3 and 4 year old give you photo directions was certainly interesting.  P told me that she could see my top, but not my eyes or mouth, and J wanted me to lie on the ground on my stomach.  All in all, they came out pretty good.

My favourite part of the top is the bias binding that I used on the neckline and hems.  I used this tutorial from Colette patterns, and it is awesome!

Don't worry if you don't have a bias binding making thing (gosh I'm articulate tonight), I use a needle stuck in my ironing board - stick one end through, and then measure the width of the binding you want (I went with 2cm) and then push the needle back through the board.  Feed the binding under the needle, and iron away.

I did manage to get the neckline misaligned, but the idiosyncrasies are what set a handmade piece apart right?

In case you're wondering, I deliberately mismatched the pattern, rather than trying to match it - in fact, its not as aggressively mismatching as I would like, but I didn't have enough fabric to really play around with the pattern and fabric.  Over all I am really pleased with the top, I feel like I've gotten closer to getting a great fitting top, and hopefully once I've adjusted the bodice, it'll be perfect.
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