Monthly Archives: March 2013

The Stampede Dress

In Australia, you really have to go out of your way to find good fabric and sometimes standard fabric too. And when you find it, you pay through the nose. I was just looking for some simple cotton jersey to make some t shirts, but at Spotlight, I could only find polyester jersey or great blends, but all in weird colours. As I can buy a new t shirt from Kmart for $4, it really wasn’t worth hunting down the fabric and then making the t shirt myself. But one of the main problems with buy RTW is that is often isn’t exactly what you want. What I wanted was a boyfriend style loose t shirt, so I thought that a mens shirt would be a better option, then I could alter it to fit. I came home with this mens 4XL t shirt.

I lay the shirt down, inside out, and traced around my favourite t shirt. Then, I took to it with the overlocker. I was going to check the fit, then cut and hem the top to the desired length and shape (I was thinking a high low hem).

When I saw the top after this step, I realised it was almost a dress. A bit short, but ok with leggings or tights and changed my mind, for the moment, as to the destiny of this garment.

White is great for a t shirt, but a bit plain for a t shirt dress. So I combined this with something else I’ve wanted to try for a while, fabric paint stamping. I’ve seen quite a few projects with stamped fabric and garments using self carved stamps. As I neither had the tools required or the skill, I cheated. I raided my daughters foam sticker collection and found some pegasus stickers. With his wings removed, and a few stacked on top of one another, I had this cute horse stamp.

I gather my supplies and started stamping. I wanted the fabric paint to match my Autumn/Winter palette, so I mixed acrylic paints to the desired colour and then added equal parts of a fabric fixative. In hindsight, I should have started at the back, instead of the front, as it took me a few attempts to get the hang of stamping a clean and clear image.

After I finished stamping the dress, I left it to dry for 24 hours. The fabric fixative instructions recommend fixing the paint by ironing the fabric, but as I was feeling lazy (something new and different for me), I threw it in the tumble drying for 30 minutes instead. So, we’ll see if that fixes the paint or not.

And here’s the finished product. I had to wait for the weather to be cool enough to wear this, and we got rain! I’m not sure if this will stay a dress or not, time will tell.



Filed under Refashioning, Sewing

The Shipwreck of Calico Jack

Yesterday was the Labour Day public holiday and as you do, well as I do anyway, the day started with a quick bit of cardboard crafting in my pyjamas. After a visit to IKEA last weekend, we had an abundance of cardboard. This is a pet carrier for my daughters soft toys.

And then the afternoon turned into this.

Whilst at the shops in the morning, our daughter saw a pirate ship toy for her Octonauts, but for $80 there was no way it was coming home with us. I told her I could make her a ship out of cardboard when we got home. I was originally going to make quite a simple ship made of 3 or 4 pieces, but my husband got involved so the project, and its complexity, somewhat expanded.

First, we made the supporting structure out of strong honeycomb corrugated cardboard. And yes, in case you're wondering, that is a french curve we're using.

And glued it together using hot glue.

We cut a hole in the deck to allow the Octonauts to get below deck. Then we started attatching the “planks” to the side of the hull.

As we wanted our daughter to be able to play up on deck and below, we left one side of the ship open.

We neatened the whole thing up with a few well placed planks and wider pieces of cardboard.

We added a mast, and here it is, amongst all the flotsam and jetsam of the crafting process. Captained by Kawzii Kitten, of course.

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Autumn/Winter Wardrobe Fabric Selection

When planning my autumn/winter wardrobe, I first turned to my stash. My stash of fabric is really quiet large, too large, which is why it was one of my new years sewing resolutions to use it first. When I bought this navy chiffon a few years ago, it was on the sale table without a content label, I loved the pattern and at $3 a metre, I snatched it up. The lady behind the counter told me it was a silk chiffon, but at that price and the fact that I was at Spotlight, I had my doubts about it being silk. Now that I was a little more confident it trying to sew with difficult fabrics, I thought I would give the chiffon a go. I used this fabric as my starting point and took it from there.

The problem with shopping my stash, is I often don't have any clue as to the fibre content. I did some search on ye olde internet, and found a few pages here and here about burn testing fabric.

After smoking out my kitchen, I came up with the following conclusions about my fabrics. 1 and 3 are poly-cotton blends, 2 and 4 are polyester chiffons, 5 is silk, 6 is a polyester wool blend (when I purchase this fabric from the op-shop it had it's label on it so I already knew this, but I burnt it just for fun), and I think 7 is either a polyester or nylon taffeta. Ideally my stash would be full of fantasic natural fibers, but in the real world it's mostly polyester. If there is any season in Australia to wear polyester, winter is it, but I'm not a huge fan of wearing too much.

I'd like to add some cotton or bamboo jersey to this selection, in red and navy. I made myself a knit pencil skirt from a polyester jersey a few months ago and it barely gets put away, I'm definately making another one. And as the cool weather is coming, I think a maxi skirt is in order.


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Dollhouse Stuff Part 2

Meet Snowy Fairest, she's a doctor, and this week she required a doctors surgery. With beds, a desk and a doctors chair, all before 10am.

I used a box from Build-a-bear and make two vertical cuts down one side of the box so it could open out. Because of the closure at the top of the box, it can still be closed up and carried. The beds, desk and chair are made from foam-core board.


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