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1  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: Reconstructed / Daggy to diva in one hour on: June 26, 2009 12:42:55 AM
Its winter here in Oz and my almost 7 yr old daughter recently pointed out that I didn't have any party dresses.

So I reconstructed this XL men's jumper:

To this:

Whole thing took only an hour and now my daughter and I can party!  Tongue  Cheesy
2  HOME SWEET HOME / Interior Decorating: Completed Projects / Wall decals and a painted mirror on: May 17, 2009 06:03:36 AM
I've been furnishing and decorating my home recently and thought I'd share some of the more crafty things I've been doing.

First up, fabric wall decal of a cherry tree in my bedroom.  I used dark denim for the the tree (found the denim fabric at an op shop) and some leftover japanese fabric scraps for the cherry flower.  I stuck the fabric on the wall using homemade starch (my recipe is 1/4 cornflour for every 1 cup of water).  The denim was really heavy and required a good thorough soaking in the starch solution before putting it up on the wall.

I had a lot of fun too using contact paper for this wall decal in my dining room.  The contact paper was really ugly on the roll but looks fab on my wall (I think so anyway).  My daughter and I had fun cutting out the different shapes and putting them on.

And finally I painted a mirror in my hallway.  This way I still get the reflected light in the hallway but I don't need to look at myself everytime I walk by.  (Oh and the hallway table is a reno job from me too - I got the table second hand and I just sanded it, painted/stained it).

And the best thing about the above decor crafts?  They're all removable!  Fabric decals can just be peeled off and the starch wiped off the walls.  Contact paper just peels off the walls.  The paint that I used for the mirror is Arti-stick currently aimed at kids and can be peeled right off the mirror (though I've found it does require a bit of patience to slowly remove the paint to ensure it doesn't damage mirror/glass).

Thanks for looking!
3  CLOTHING / Clothing for Kids: Completed Projects / Wiggles top and art work on: August 20, 2008 06:37:53 PM
My son turned 4 last week and when I asked him what he wanted for his birthday, he said he wanted to "be a Wiggle".  So I sewed up a simple skivvy for him and added a Wiggles badge on.  Then at my daughter's suggestion, I drew him up a Wiggle on canvas for him as well.  It was the first time I've drawn anything before.  We ended up using the canvas to play "Pin the Microphone on the Wiggle" during his birthday party.  My daughter made the microphone.  Smiley

4  PURSES, BAGS, WALLETS / Purses, Bags, Wallets: Discussion and Questions / Made a laptop bag! But oops, no room for cord! on: July 18, 2008 02:35:17 AM
Augh!  I made this laptop bag but I made a mistake!  By the time I had put in the padding there's not room for the cord!  Any ideas on how to make room for the cord? 

A matching smaller bag?  Somehow attach an outer pocket? If I do attach an outer pocket, how would I go about doing that?

FYI, this is the bag.  Now, its the first time I made a bag like this (before, they were just simple totes).  Do you think the handles are strong enough? 

5  CLOTHING / Clothing for Kids: Completed Projects / Button Queen Shirt for my little Queen on: July 07, 2008 06:10:07 PM
That's what my daughter calls this shirt anyway.  She loves this shirt but it was horribly stained.  They were little spot stains everywhere too so hard to cover up.  I couldn't get the stains out - no amount of washing, bleaching or soaking was getting them out.  I honestly don't know how kids can get such tough stains on their clothes...

BUT anyway, she refused to let the shirt go in the bin and I was refusing for her to go out with it ('cause she looked so grotty  Wink )

So finally, I came upon this solution:

I basically hid all the stains behind a whole heap of buttons.  The very worst stains I covered by appliquéing over the top of it.  I also cut off the bottom part of the arms (which were also horribly stained) and gave her new "flippy floppy arms".

My daughter loves the new look shirt (especially now that she can wear it out again).  My son likes it too:

(p.s. I have a pic of the shirt in its original stained condition in my blog for those interested.  I didn't want to put it here in case I broke this forum 'cause it was so badly stained)
6  COOKING / Recipes and Cooking Tips / Wanted: Recipes using preserved lemons and oranges. on: June 29, 2008 08:53:18 PM
I recently decided to preserve some lemons and sour oranges.  The recipe is really easy. Basically:

1. Cut lemons and oranges as you were going to cut them in half lengthwise, starting from the tip, but do not cut all the way. Keep the pieces attached at the base. Make another cut in a similar manner, so now the lemon/orange is quartered, but again, attached at the base.
2. Apply a lot of salt on the inside and outside of the lemon/orange (make sure you get salt on all the pieces).
3. Squish the lemons and oranges inside a sterilised jar.
4. I topped each jar with a little bit of lemon juice and a bit more salt to make sure the pieces are covered.

This is how mine turned out:

Now that I've made it, I was after some recipes so I can use them.  Anyone have any recipes?
7  HOME SWEET HOME / Interior Decorating: Completed Projects / My first re-upholstering project on: June 28, 2008 04:41:27 AM
This chair was given to me by a friend - it was a Freecycle find.

The chair frame is just gorgeous - its solid wood. My friend told me what type of chair it was but I've forgotten it now. Anyway, I wanted to re-upholster it and luckily found the exact colour that I wanted to get from Ebay (fabric off cut- 2.5 X 1.5 metres so not much to spare had I made a mistake!).

So for the total cost of $18 (including fabric postage), I ended up with this chair:

it used to look like this:

The little cushion I made using little fabric pieces given to me by various people (my 2nd patchwork project!). In looking for fabric pieces for the patchwork, I just went with the colours I love - reds and browns. I love that I used recycled fabric for everything.

I'm happy with the way its turned out and I'm really really loving the chair!
8  CLOTHING / Clothing for Kids: Completed Projects / Reconstructed Ball Gown for My Princess on: June 13, 2008 11:54:43 PM
My daughter has been wanting me to make a ball gown for her for ages (yep we're at the dreaded PFP - Princess, Fairies and Pink - stage).

So I finally decided to cut up her old flower girl dress (she wore it when she was 3 yrs old - she's now 5) to make this dress.

Basically I ripped apart the bodice and skirt.  Added a whole heap of tulle for the skirt to make it look fuller.  I unpicked the zipper at the back and added chiffon ribbons to tie on instead.  Then I added chiffon at the front of the bodice.

And here are the results:

Ooops, I can see now I should've ironed it before taking pics.... oh well.  Smiley
9  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: General / Zoe Dress from Burda Style on: June 12, 2008 06:27:20 AM
This dress was really hard for me to make. 

It was the first time I used a pattern with more than 3 pieces, the first time I sewed a zipper and the first time I tried different ways to finish seams. 

The pattern is the Zoe from Burda Style.  I bought this fabric about a month after I had finished my no-buying-brand-new year but had been too scared to use it because a) its so pretty and I'm a newbie sewer; and b) because its a satin-brocade and I had no idea how to sew with this kind of fabric.

Some other firsts for me:
    * different ways to finish the seams
    * finally did a zipper!
    * use iron-on webbing

Anyway, here is the dress!

I made lots and lots of mistakes with this dress (I wrote about the whole saga in my blog) so it feels really good to finally finish it and it actually is wearable.
10  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: Reconstructed / First sewing project using a pattern... and an old tablecloth on: April 26, 2008 04:02:43 AM
I am a self-taught sewer. Started off reconstructing clothes by hand-sewing, then "graduating" on to reconstructing clothes using a machine. Since then I've just kinda winged things but I've always always wanted to learn how to sew from a pattern. Unfortunately the very first pattern I bought (a supposed "easy to sew one"), I opened it and couldn't understand a lot of the terms!! So I got scared and have not really tried another one since.

Then last month, I found this pattern at the op shop for 50c:

I've always admired vintage styles like this and this one looked fairly easy, so I thought I'd give it a shot. At the same op shop, I also found this vintage tablecloth ($5) that I thought would do as the fabric.

So with the help of a sewing encyclopaedia (also bought at another Op shop - $2), I managed to decipher all of the terms and worked out what to do!! And here's the result:

(Sorry for the blurry photo, I had to get my 5 yr old daughter to take it for me).

Some other firsts with this project:

1. Darts! Never realised how easy they were.
2. Tailor's Tacks! Basically they're like very very loose running stitches (that you do by hand). You use them instead of pins. Now bear in mind that this is an old pattern and so they told me to use tailor's tacks for everything (and my encyclopaedia of course showed me how to do it). It wasn't until I was halfway through the garment (so made the front and was starting on the back) when I realised that I could use pins instead of tailor's tacks! (D'er me). Still I have to say, I found it easier to do the darts using tailor's tacks than using pins. Namely 'cause I could line it up so much more accurately. Pins are a lot easier (and not to mention, faster) though.
3. Working with 'inches'! The pattern used the empirical system rather than metric. Lucky for me, a friend had given me a tape measure with inches in it so it wasn't too hard.

Anyway, I love love this pattern and no doubt I'll be making another one soon (just have to find more vintage fabric).
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