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1  PURSES, BAGS, WALLETS / Purses, Bags, Wallets: Completed Projects: General / Owl Messenger Bag on: July 17, 2009 03:50:15 AM
So a new semester of uni is rolling around and I've done nothing with my holiday.  I have 5 days left to go so I figure I may as well head on down to my local fabric store, bust out the sewing machine, and attempt to make one of the numerous beauties I've bookmarked over the past 4 months (because I have very little creativity of my own and rely upon replicating things to fill my wardrobe/crafting desires).

So thanks to mehran over at etsy for inspiration and heart of mary from the blogger scene for the tute, I've turned out my new laptop/school book/spare change of clothes bag.

hmm looks a little floppy in this pic, which is odd since it's got half a dozen layers of medium-heavy interfacing in there...

you can't see the strap at all but one end's connected directly to the bag while the other is on a clippy thingy.  the strap has super heavy weight interfacing in it and is adjustable.  I like my straps mega long and this one is longer than even I require, would give you numbers but I don't have them Tongue

The top zipper came out perfectly.  I actually lined the inside of it cos I didn't like the unfinished feel of the raw zipper edge.  I didn't include the inside zip pocket that was in the tutorial cos I never end up using them regardless (just lose my stuff in them somehow) but there's 3 open pockets on the outside of the bag: 2 under the flap and 1 big one on the back.

the AMAZING fabric I found to line the bag which cinched the deal on me making it owl themed.  If I ever work up the energy to make another one I'll do it panda style or something.

The bag ended up being close to 40cm x 25cm x 8cm and it holds exactly what I need for uni without extra space that tempts me to overfill it and break my back/shoulder. 

Comments/criticisms/questions welcomed
2  PURSES, BAGS, WALLETS / Purses, Bags, Wallets: Completed Projects: General / The Awesomely Cute, Reversable and Double Function Laptop Sleeve on: December 11, 2008 06:36:25 AM
It's a friend's 18th birthday next week and the poor thing has just broken up with her boyfriend so she's a little down.  I was originally planning to simply buy her some alcohol as per the Australian tradition of booze for the 18th but I figured she needed a little extra love.

To this end I present the quintessential university student accessory: "the awesomely cute, reversable and double function laptop sleeve".

For the basic pattern and reversability I borrowed directions from http://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-Make-a-Reversible-Laptop-Sleeve/ ... which I promptly misread and subsequently spent a while unpicking stitches.  Since the two fabrics I wanted to use were just thin cotton prints I added padding between the layers at the end. Tip: if you want to do the same, make the last seam you close the top of the flap.  You'll thank me.

Now without further ado!

modelled by my lovely physics text book, isn't she just looking stunning today?

mildly paranoid that the straps won't be long enough to fit the laptop itself... it's borderline according to the dimensions of her laptop supplied by laptop reviews (my physics book is the same height, slightly less wide and thicker than the laptop so I'm hoping the reason for strain in this is the overly detailed magnetics chapter)

view of the back as well as the sparkly butterfly fabric I found

The bonus of this sleeve is the padding makes it a perfect pillow for those boring 8am maths lectures!  Cheesy
3  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: General / Skirtses on: September 18, 2008 05:08:11 AM
i've been feeling the need to stand out from the crowd lately as well as the need to stop wearing jeans all the time.  i had some material scraps lying around and so i created

friends have started calling me a gypsy over this skirt in an attempt to rile me but so far it's water off a caravan cos i <3 this skirt so much.
the actual colours are fluro orange and aqua with bluey/greeny hearts. it's made of 4 pannels, each a vaguely pentagonal shape. 

i also made....

neither of these took more than half an hour to make and were very very cheap

P.S. no idea what's with the photo distortion... but you get the idea
4  CLOTHING / Shoes: Completed Projects / Commie shoes <3 the irony on: September 18, 2008 04:58:30 AM
So i'm a poor student. very poor in fact. and i may have skipped eating for a while in order to afford materials for these.

I've spent the past few days (week off from uni) partying with some lefty friends who are encouraging my bolshy ways. This conjoined with my need for new shoes (my old favourites have 2 holes in each sole and let in a lot of water) and produced....

Commie shoes!

the hammer and sickle

the star

the back!

Originally plain white canvas shoes, coloured with Artline permanent markers and one black sharpie
Apologies for the photo quality... my phone is a bit sucky like most
5  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: General / i made a dress i'm actually not ashamed to wear in public! on: July 17, 2008 08:24:43 AM
ok so I'm teaching myself to sew. slowly. and badly.  so far I've followed tutorials to make stuff and for the most part I've failed horribly.  very little i make - particularly clothes - end up wearable, let alone not embarrassing.

So you can understand the absolute pride i feel tonight having finished a dress that a) fits and b) actually looks fairly decent.  All from my own little head!  mostly this is a trial, cos i wanna make the next one just a tad sluttier by putting a big chunky zipper down the front (for easy access right boys?  Wink)

without further ado:

intense look of concentration here as i try to get a semi-decent phone photo

meet my friend, posey mcpose-pose

ahh slimming black, how i love thee

modeled by the floor

actual colour of the fabric, cept the grey bit has a tinge of brown to it

Ok so here's where i need some help/tips. 

I'm really struggling again and again to draft for my boobs. they're not exactly on the small side and i just can't get it right. either i make things too small or plan for too much fabric and end up with exposure.  with this one i had to wreck the side black bits of the cups by folding and sewing a few times to pull them around and in. it's not all that visible from afar but it looks scrappy close up. 

I'm also not quite used to working with stretch fabric. things are getting better but i struggled with the ruffling at the bottom where i was trying to sew through lots of jersey fabric.  eventually i stole an idea from my store-bought tote bag and encased the seam in heavy cotton i had lying around so i could sew it.... if that makes sense.  anyway, it ends up bulky and lumpy and doesn't hang right. 

even with the little problems I'm so happy with this. I'll be wearing it out tomorrow night and showing the ex just what he's missing out on  Grin
6  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: General / My very first corset on: June 11, 2008 05:57:42 AM
So exams are coming up, so of course I needed something to distract me from the horrible reality of studying.  So I decided to rock out with my hot socks out and make myself a corset. 

I only took up sewing fairly recently and up til now I've only done mild repairs and tshirt recons so I was destined to learn a lot with this project.  There are a lot of things with this that I'm not happy with but it was a trial run for a reason - I plan to make another one soon now that I know what I'm doing a little bit more.

If anyone has any tips for drafting an over bust corset I'd be grateful for them.  The first round at this I had cups to attach but I didn't measure it too well and ended up just snipping below the bust and hemming to fix it.

so without further ado:

Excuse my skuzzy camera and bathroom mirror

Sadly it loosened a lot between putting it on and photographing

Haven't quite figured out how to put this on by myself, next one i make is going to have a big chunky zip up the front so I can lace it up and then get in and out of it on my own (and look like a skank in the process lol)

Fabric sample, dug out from my stash.

I used this tutorial for drafting then figured it out from there: http://samleather.tripod.com/corsetmaking.htm

7  COOKING / Recipes and Cooking Tips / Really easy poached eggs! on: June 27, 2007 02:24:54 PM
OK so if you're anything like me, you've tried time and time again to poach eggs with your only success being that the eggs at least cooked.

But no longer must we eat vinegary, wet, thready eggs!

This isn't a method I made up myself, but it works brilliantly:


Cling wrap
Hungry tummies


1. Fill your saucepan with about 3 inches (or 7.5cm) of water and set it boiling on the stove.

2. While waiting for the water to boil, tear off a rectangle of cling wrap - enough to wrap around an uncut sandwich a couple of times is perfect - and line your cup with it.

3. Break you egg with gay abandon (well, not too enthusiastically) into your cling wrap lined cup.

4. Carefully lift out the cling wrap with egg inside and tie it so the egg is fully encased, try to get most of the air out.

5. Repeat egg balloons for all eggs.

6. Plop into boiling water and simmer for 2-3 minutes.

7. Fish your balloons out with a spoon and set them on a plate.

8. Carefully snip the balloons open with scissors at the knot (be careful not to burn yourself) and peel away the cling wrap.

9. Incorporate into a meal and satisfy your eggy hunger!

Note: The result of these eggs is a slight point where the knot was in the cling wrap, but that can be cut away very easily and is a lot less offending than my other results in poaching.
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