Occasionally it seems that world is in pure chaos with nothing making sense, but that doesn't matter as long as I can sew. Sewing is a form of art, or at the very least creativity, and a form of expression. A great outlet for the tension of everyday life. Also you can make cute things. The craft revolution is truly taking place, old skills are being revived by a new generation, but with a seriously modern twist.

I've made Mario pillow cases, a giraffe print background, and turned duvet covers into summer dresses. I enjoy making something unique, special, and me- then I like wearing it and watching it fall to pieces or not fit properly. Then I enjoy (slightly less) fixing it.

One day I shall have a room filled with glorious fabrics and boxes of notions, and on that day I will have found my nirvana. But until then this blog will exist as my virtual haberdashery and sewing room. Hopefully you'll enjoy looking at my creations as much as I enjoy looking at other blogs, and you'll be inspire to make something of your own.

Monday, 26 March 2012

Barcelona Bag

I'm going to Barcelona soon with boyfriend and decided I needed a new bag to carry day stuff around in, a cross body bag seemed the best thing to keeps things secure. I have my little cow print bag, and made another one in the same style but bigger.  I'm very happy with it (despite doing the same wrong thing twice whilst making it), and think it will work out pretty well. :)

Saturday, 24 March 2012

Customised T-shirt to Tank

I only have two outfits for the gym and in weeks where I have several days off in a row I have to rush to laundry if I want to gym each day.  I found a couple of t-shirts that I had received for free for an event at last year's International Women's Day and I decided to experiment with customising the t-shirts into tanks for the gym.


First I removed the sleeves, collar, bottom edge using a seam ripper but I then trimmed some more off with some scissors anyway to make it nice and loose around the neck and sleeves.  I also trimmed the bottom so that all the edges matched. 

But I decided to jazz the tank up and bit and I've had an idea for a while about lacing up a top with a shoe lace (I actually bought some dark orange cord- 2m for 80p).  So I cut away from the sides of the T-shirt (first I flattened it, and folded it over so everything would be even and match up).  Then I used the seam ripper to cut small holes along the new cut edge.  And lace the cord through. 

I'm pretty pleased with the effect, but it would have worked out better if I'd used a slightly bigger T-shirt (this one says L in it, but that's some kind of tiny alien large I presume), I think I'll try it again to make a tank for summer.

Wednesday, 21 March 2012


Well I got some pinking shears for Christmas from mother to cut a nice crinkling edge, and I'm finally getting round to using them.. As far as I know the only thing you need them for is bunting which, coincidentally, I love so Bunting it had to be.

Very simple to make it requires pinking shears*, fabric, a triangular template**, ribbon or string, and a sewing machine***.  I held the triangular template onto the fabric and used the pinking shears to cut them out, they may not be perfect but that's part of the home made charm.  For a more polish look you would draw around the template onto the fabric before cutting.  I used four different fabrics and cut four bunts of each one- although I used a random pattern so I didn't use all my pieces.

Then arrange the bunts in the order you want, and pin them on the ribbon/string.  I used a nice red ribbon I picked up for £1, and I pinned the triangles to the back of it, then I sewed them.  And that was that.

Festive :)

*They're expensive as scissors go, I think mine came in at £10 but that's a cheapish pair.  You could just cut straight using regular scissors but that would be sad.
**A triangle cut out of cardboard, my advice is to start with a rectangle, fold in half then cut off the corners to make it even.
***Hand sewing is for suckers...suckers with lots of time on their hands...

Sunday, 18 March 2012

T-shirt Bleaching

Let us learn together children.  For I have been in a customising mood, and have read things on the great interwebs about using bleach to alter clothes.  I had ordered a cheap t-shirt from Amazon for a few £s which I altered slightly to improve the fit.  I had read a lot of blogs and whatnot about using bleach pans (stain remover pens containing bleach) to draw designs onto clothes.  So I bought myself a little bleach pen and...??

Yes there's not a lot to see in those pics actually because it didn't really do anything.  I reread the blogs and saw they were all American and using the same brand of bleach that doesn't seem to be available over here.  I decided to switch to using a bottle of bleach, which can be bought cheaply and easily.  I wanted to make a nice ombre effect.

I read as much as I could find online, then set to work.  I tried to experiment in a systematic way soaking bits of fabric for varying amounts of time to see how long it needed to be left in- these experiments did not work. 

And then they did.
Left overnight
At the end of the second day
So the bleach did work on my t-shirt when left to its own devices, but these experiments were not super helpful as I knew the bleach would totally remove the colour if left over night but this was not the effect I wanted.  But I had run out of fabric scraps and was low on bleach, so I poured the rest of the bleach in my bowl and draped the bottom of my t-shirt in there.  I decided to leave it in there for 30mins, then drape more of the shirt in for another 30mins, then the last section for 30mins (you see the pattern there).
One third submerged

Interesting bleach pattern emerging

Two thirds submerged
Fully Submerged

Rinsed Out

Hung to Dry

Well the effect is clearly not ombre- closer to tie-dye by accident.  I like the result but am not sure how I came by it, so it'll be interesting to see if I can recreate this, or actually produce the desired ombre look (cos maybe I don't want all my shirts to look the same?).  It's odd that the bottom third is the darkest and least bleached when it was submerged for the most time, but I had run low on bleach and submerged may not be the correct term.  Boyfriend suggested that the bleach may need to react with oxygen, to explain why there are strongly bleached lines at the level where the bleach met the air when the shirt was half in half out of the bleach.

I don't think I have the finished product though, I'm not happy with the t-shirt shape and will probably cut it into a tank before I wear it.

*Wear rubber gloves and old clothes.
*Remember bleach wont turn your clothes white unless you soak it for hours (and if you wanted a white shirt you should have bought one silly)- as you can see the bleach turned bits of my brown shirt slightly peachy, and gave the shirt a green colour overall.
*Use a big enough bowl- although I guess the pattern on mine was probably caused by the squat bowl I used.

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

All That Glitters Look Book

Here is my All That Glitters Look Book- I had a personal theme of glitter for my Christmas outfits so to me this feels unseasonal but, I realise, glitter is rather timeless and fun.  There are a few of my photos in this one- of me at Christmas, wearing a gold skirt I made ages ago, and some I took at the V and A when I went to London (five hours on the coach totally worth it!)

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Customised Blue Top

I bought this blue top for £2 at a vintage fair a few weeks ago, the pretty pattern on the fabric caught my eye, and the crinkliness of the fabric gave it some unusual texture.  Unfortunately the blouse also had a tie around the neck, a tie around the waist, a ruffled collar (that stood upwards), and wide 3/4 length sleeves elasticated at the end with little bows.  Way too much going on.

I wasn't exactly sure what to do with it but I decided to give it a go and see what I could make.  I took off the tie around the waist and the belt loops as I knew I hated that.  I also lost the tie around the neck which looked ridiculous open or done up, and I hate things around my neck anyway.

 I didn't want to lose the collar completely, like the sleeves it looked funny without.  I wanted to keep some of the ruffles but I didn't like the way the collar stood up.  I removed it and re-sewed it so it lay flat, using the tie from the waist as bias binding around the neckline.

The sleeves were a problem, I took away the bows and the elastic at the end but they were quite wide and a very odd length (not a fan of 3/4 length).  I wanted to keep the sleeves long though, as I liked the effect of seeing my arms through the sheer fabric, and the sleeves looked odd shortened on a blouse/shirt.  So I kept them long but took them in to make them narrower.

I sewed the little bows from the sleeves onto the bottom of the blouse, at the seam line, for cuteness. :)

N.B yes I am aware that it doesn't look that much different in the before and after shots but actually it is a lot more wearable now so I'm quite please :)

Friday, 2 March 2012

Look Book- Sci-tastic

This one was quite fun; looking up clothes and accessories that are sci-fi inspired.  Obviously, as you can see, silver was a big colour this week- the colour of robots and jet packs.  Silver never goes out of style and it's inevitable abundance in the future is proof that the people of the future are much smarter than we.  Probably because they evolved from sneaky cockroaches after the first human race went extinct due to deforestation or nuclear winter, all we all just got a bit bored and started shooting each other or whatever.  Anyway...the sci-fi/fantasy genre has great scope for fashion ideas and groovy footwear, and I share this with you.