Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Slender Man

Have you ever played Slender?
Hands down.  Scariest.  Game.  Ever!
Our family has been playing this free-downloadable a bit...  and if you can first-time play this in a darkened room without emitting even one girly scream....? well actually I do not believe anyone can!
When I was a kiddie growing up Halloween was completely unknown in Australia.  When I had my own children we'd heard of it by then but it was not observed at all.  Nowadays it is creeping in! stalking up on us like Slender Man upon its prey....  ;)
And Tim wanted to be the Slender Man.
Of course one is interested in what one's children are interested in, right? and the funny thing is that my adult children and their friends have Halloween parties and love to dress up, any excuse for a party....!  So yeah.  
I even went out today and bought some mini Mars bars too, in case we got some trick-or-treaters.... hoo boy, I am mellowing out; hehe!
I made a Slender Man mask.  It is as close a copy as I could get to a morph mask.  I made it using a white poly/lycra from Fabulous Fabrics; very light and thin and stretchy stooff.  The front has a "chin" and I put in a short zip at the back to help put it on over his head.  The zip I had leftover from when I was making these little jeans purses.

The verdict: True story...
I looked up and he was suddenly there, in the room, and I admit to a small double take.  
I'm like, "ooh that's spooky, Tim."
More silence.  Brief moment of freaked out hesitation... 
Finally he says, "yeah, so whaddya think?"
I'm like, " Whoar, don't scare me like that!!"
Later edit: don't worry, Tim did not go door-knocking... this outfit was worn to a private party only  :)

A petticoat and an ISTJ

OK, so I have posted about this new... er, thing before; and in a comment janesewandtell expressed surprise that a petticoat should have a zip ... the answer of course is that even though I did describe it as a "petticoat" of course it really was only masquerading as a petticoat.  Actually it is a bonafide dress, and can very well be worn as one!
So I thought it really deserves its very own post to show what it looks like on!  Since it has a fitted bodice it does need a zip so that I can actually get it on and off.  I supposed I described it as a petticoat since it is made of a lusciously soft silk that is kinda flimsy.  Meaning it can be worn underneath a loose lightweight thing like my tunic top and function quite well as a slip.  But the fact is that as the weather warms up this is the kind of light and airy sundress I will love to pop on and wear on its own too!
So here 'tis!
And sorry to mess with your heads, but I've accordingly copied the petticoat/dress's info from the original post it shared with the tunic top to here  :)
I used Burda 8071, a terrific basic pattern I have used ten times before; for ten different dresses and petticoats.  This is the eleventh!  To see a gallery of my previous versions of this pattern, go here  :)  The bodice is lined with ivory silk charmeuse, leftover fabric from this top.
All the seams are French seams and all other raw edges are finished with HongKong seaming, in a lightweight ice-blue cotton leftover from this shirt.

Dress/petticoat; Burda 8071, powder blue silk
Sorry, you can't see them very well in the picture above but I am wearing these sandals; a gift from Misano. 

I loved reading about sewbusylizzy's Myers-Briggs personality! and no one is going to be surprised to find out that I am a ISTJ; the Examiner, or the Duty Fulfiller.  The type of person who sees out to the bitter end what she has started even if she is hating it. This explains why I am dutifully continuing with the year of self-auditing my sewing habit, which I am heartily wishing I had not started... is everyone bored stiff with my meticulously accurate but excruciatingly dull accounting??  That's OK.  I wouldn't blame you one little bit  :)

OK, the Organisational Odds n' sods for October...

Fabric; a re-fashioned ball gown
Patterns; Vogue 1170, used previously
Zip; recycled from the same dress
Hook & eye; from stash
Total cost: free
Fabric; leftovers
Pattern; used previously
Dye; (first time used, bought at a 30%off everything sale at Spotlight) $7.77
Bra cups; $12.95
Hook and eye closure; $2.49
Underwires; $2.49
Elastic; 2x $3.49= $6.98
Ribbon; $0.10
Total cost: $32.78
Fabric; $28.00
Pattern; McCalls 2772, used previously
Swimwear elastic; $4.99
Thread; had already
Total cost: $32.99
Fabric; gift from Craig
Pattern; Vogue 1309, $8.75 on special
Zip; $2.50
Thread; had already
Total cost: $11.25
Fabric, zip and thread; gift from Cassie
Patterns; all used previously
Buttons; gift from ElleC
Total cost: free
Fabric; from my friend C
Pattern; self drafted
Buttons and thread; had already
Total cost: free
Slender Man mask
Fabric; $13.19
Zip; $0.65
Total cost: $13.84
No miscellaneous purchases this month

Total costs for October, not including Tim's mask:  $77.02

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Perchance to dream

I have made some rather daggy baggy shorts, but don’t worry.  Style has not flown out the window.  After today, these are my new summer PJ bottoms!

I used a too-small-for-anything-else piece of polycotton, crazily colourful and wildly patterned; given to me by my friend C from her late mother’s stash.  It is very nice for summer PJ’s really; light and flowy yet closely woven and sturdy.  One just has to be careful about looking at that rather garish floral print.  Which I think I can manage, since I will be tucked up in bed with my eyes shut for most of the time I’ll be wearing it.
kidding! it's actually rather luscious, don't you think?

I made these using my usual pattern, adapted from off an old pair cut up yonks ago for this very purpose and from which I have made all my PJ bottoms for the past few years.
With added pockets naturally…. because; well, when it comes to the question of pockets in a garment, if one can then one does, amiright?
I gave them a decorative fly front, and found three purple buttons in my stash that are a pretty good match!
With regards to my white shirt here: no, that is not sleepwear; but more a lame attempt to disguise the fact that I am, tut tut, actually wearing my pyjama bottoms out in public; shock, horror.  Really for the top half of my PJ’s I’ll be downgrading one of these little tees.   I opted not to wear said little tee out today because together they really do unmistakably scream "PJ’s!!"  It’s the elastic waistband I think  (shudder)  Even for Australia, even for the beach….. yeah, no.
Actually I had almost forgotten I even had this lovely white shirt… which is pretty dumb of me since it is kinda perfect for the delightful spring weather we are having.  It’s not too hot for it yet, and it gives really good coverage from the sun. I have rediscovered my love for this shirt since seeing Merche’s truly fabulous version of this pattern.  Isn’t it great that we can simultaneously wear our shirts on opposite sides of the world, despite having opposite seasons?
a moment of reflection...  

Shorts; self drafted with the help of an old pair of PJ’s, polycotton
Shirt; Burdastyle magazine 10/2010, shirt 102, lightweight ivory cotton, details and my review of this pattern here
Hat; pilfered from my husband

Sienna; is wearing her own PJ’s as well…

Friday, October 26, 2012

HongKong seams and the hemline

Hong Kong seams are a tidy and very handsome way to finish raw edges... but what happens at the hemline?  The seam gets folded up on itself twice, and if you are working with a flimsy fabric and especially if you are planning a narrow hem you will end up with a hem that is thick and blobby with extra fabric; not very attractive.
The solution is to cease the HongKong seaming inside the hem, at a spot before the fabric is folded up into the hem.
With this dress, I had such minimal fabric I couldn't have a deep hem and needed to sew as narrow a hem as pssible.  The side seams are French seams which go fine into a narrow hem, but the centre back seam with the zip in it cannot be sewn with French seams obviously, so I opted to finish the raw edges with HongKong seaming...  and I took a few photos to show how I dealt with the HongKong seaming into the hem...
The bias strip for the HongKong seaming is sewn to the raw fabric edge, down to roughly 15cm from the lower edge.  Then fold the edge of the bias strip over the raw edge, press and stitch in the ditch from the right side to about 10cm short of the first stitching, allowing plenty of tail.  I've left the thread ends long and un-snipped to show where I've finished the stitching.
Now insert the zip.
Complete sewing the centre back seam down to the bottom edge.
At this stage, measure and pin the hem, and press it in place.  Unpin and unfold the lower hem at the seam.
Trim the bias strip to be just short of the hem fold.
Finish stitching the HongKong binding in place.
Fold up the hem, pin and finish stitching the hem in place.
Voila!  The raw edges are all neatly finished, and the hem looks nice and flat with no added bulk too!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Khaki military shirt; 6 different ways

Oooh, it's been a while since I did one of these posts... which is silly since I do get a big kick out of these myself.  Playing in one's wardrobe, the bestest play a grown-up girl can have, no?
Sometimes I like to play with new garments, to see how they are going to work out with things I already have; sometimes with an old garment to revisit it, and see how it's holding up.  
This shirt falls into the latter category.  I made it using a men's shirt pattern Burda 7767, of deep olive linen and with carved brass buttons, and first posted it here.  I really loved the slouchy easy vibe of the military trend and added lots of little details like arrow-head tabs, flaps and pin-tucked pockets to make my shirt look as much like an army shirt as possible.  Is the military trend on the way out?  Oh well.  I still absolutely love my shirt.  It helps that casual and grunge-y is my all-time thang, and that khaki is one of my best colours  :))
This is such an easy garment to have and to wear.  It is linen, and I don't even iron it.  Ever.  Yes I'm serious!!  It's supposed to look crinkly!
I've worn it several times here on my blog already, and for today tried to mix it up in a few new ways....  and yes, the fact that I have worn it loads of different ways already and can easily come up with a whole host of completely new ensembles incorporating this shirt... oh, did somebody say "way too many clothes"...?    ;)
Ahem, without further ado.
Below left; the casualness of the design combined with the airiness of linen makes the shirt a perfect pairing for shorts on a hot summer's day.  At right; I really love the look of a slouchy man-style shirt blousing out over the top of a high-waisted pencil skirt.  I wore this  outfit last week sometime.  Hmmm, looking at this I've realised it is pretty rare for me to actually show any of my handbags in my photos, would you prefer to see the whole ensemble including the handbag in future daily outfit photos?  Please let me know....
Below at left: yes it does go nicely with my new capris as well...  this is another outfit I wore last week.  I adore this safari colour mix of khaki, beige and black too.  At right; worn as a "jacket" to grunge down a slightly dressy, more winter-y ensemble.  I wore this exact outfit once or twice over the winter just gone.
Below left; it looks a touch smarter when belted, over a little skirt and with my slouchy boots.  Seriously, the colour khaki goes with all the colours in my wardrobe... I had trouble picking out just one of my skirts for this look.  Middle; another winter-y but casual ensemble, with jeans and boots.  I really did enjoy wearing the shirt as a sorta jacket like this during the cooler months.  Truth be told; being linen it didn't add much warmth but I just liked the look of it!  At right; a sludgy and neutral foil to bright bright bright blue.  Incidentally, this last outfit is the one I am wearing today... 

I'm sure you can count, and have probably noticed that there are seven different ways here, not six.  Sorry, I just got carried away and then I couldn't narrow it down!!  So yah, seriously.  I sure hope the military trend sticks around for just a bit longer!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Of the palest blue

I still have one or two really lovely pieces of fabric given to me for pressies last Christmas, as well as from my birthday last year (blush) Beautiful fabrics that I have been too chicken to take the scissors to.  I know, ridiculous, right?!
Including a length of luscious powder-blue silk from Fabulous Fabrics, given to me by Cassie. 
This is a pure silk, but an unusual silk like none I have ever come across before.  The texture is very slightly rough and "grab-y", almost suede-like; but somehow it still manages to be ripply and totally divinely soft against the skin.
No kidding, it's like wearing a pale blue whisper.  
I've given staaaacks of thought as to what to make with it... and eveeeeentually made a decision.  Hey, I'm a Libra yo.
I really love my billowy black shirt, made last year.  It is so easy to wear and I feel so so good in it.  I feel like it is really flattering.  I love the shawl collar, the elegantly draped and gathered sleeves.  It is close to being perfect, and I wanted to make another one sorta similar, with a few modifications.

When I laid my pieces out on the fabric and realised I was going to end up with an unacceptably large piece of leftover fabric... aaagh!  More scissor-phobia and had to immediately pack it all up for a bit more thought.  And finally came up with a plan; yes, I still wanted my shirt, but I thought I might be able to squeeze a little petticoat from the leftovers... and I did!  Just!!!  And I have absolutely NO leftovers! Whooeee!
I had to cut the two back bodice pieces of the petticoat on the cross, and piece together one of the shoulder straps, but whoa!  Self high-five!  The high that comes with achieving zero waste in a project is pretty darn extra euphoric, yes?  No??
Maybe I need to get out more  :D

The nitty-gritty:
For my shirt/tunic: I used the same basic shirt pattern as for my billow-y black shirt, with some minor fitting modifications too; the bodice is based on Burdastyle 10/2010, shirt 102 (my review of this pattern is here), the shawl collar is adapted from Burda 8218, and the sleeves were partially based on those of my black blouse for which I used Burdastyle 5/2010 dress 101.  But I have to confess I didn't use the pattern piece this time but drew a different one.  The sleeves have a shallower sleeve cap, are shorter, slightly more slim-line and not quite as bell-shaped; as the sleeves on my billow-y black shirt.
Another modification was to make it a tunic top rather than a shirt, with the front cut in one piece and with a half opening.
below; insides-ies...

The beautiful pearlescent marquise-diamond shaped buttons were a gift from the lovely ElleC, thank you ElleC!  Snipping these buttons off of their card was another little hurdle that made me hesitate for a day or two, gathering strength; but eventually I forced myself to acknowledge that my new silk tunic was deserving of the very best buttons too  :)  Initially I sewed them on vertically but they popped open like nobodies' business, so I re-sewed them on the horizontal which helps them stay buttoned up.

For my petticoat: I used Burda 8071, a terrific basic pattern I have used ten times before; for ten different dresses and petticoats.  This is the eleventh!  To see a gallery of my previous versions of this pattern, go here  :)  The bodice is lined with ivory silk charmeuse, leftover fabric from this top.

All the seams in both garments are French seams and all other raw edges are finished with HongKong seaming, in a lightweight ice-blue cotton leftover from this shirt.  The one exception to this is the armscye seams in the tunic; I initially finished them with HongKong seaming but decided they were too bulky and made a bit of a hideously unacceptable lumpy-bump on my shoulder  :((  so I unpicked it all, trimmed the heck out of them and finished them on the overlocker instead.  
Sometimes, one's quest for perfect inner appearances must be ditched in favour of perfect outer appearances after all... hehe.

Tunic; my own design, adapted from several patterns, powder blue silk
Petticoat; Burda 8071, powder blue silk and lined with ivory silk charmeuse
Belt; of emu leather, from luxe boutique (sadly no longer open)
Sandals; Pedro Miralles, from Soletta shoes

Just some housekeeping: I have no idea why, but I have been unable to comment on Wordpress blogs lately.  I type in a comment but it totally disappears... what is with that? So, to my Wordpress blogging friends, sorry!  I am reading, and trying to comment  :(
this blouse has received a dye bath and now looks like this: