Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Two very different bags...

Bag #1: inspired by necessity, due to the old but actual excuse of 'my dog ate it....'

I had the need to replace our laundry bag, originally bought at Ikea and made of white plastic. The new dog decided not only to sleep in it, but then completely destroy it.

So: out came two lots of op shop fabric, one an original 70's curtain fabric that's been lying around for years, and the other a floral cotton from a garage sale. Voila!

This was a bit of an experiment, as I had to measure the old bag and try and figure out how it went together. I normally make lots of mathematical errors during this process, but it worked first time, which was nice! Here's the inside:

For the tops, which were sewn on to the frame in the original, I used mass amounts of velcro so that I could wash it occasionally.

And here's a shot of it in use! Just to show that yes, it can hold laundry. I would have made it all from the 70's fabric but I didn't have enough. Then afterwards I remembered that I had another two metres of it that was on the back seat of the car to catch food from the kids! Oh well. My friend Ankemaria eyed off that bit the other day so it has found a new home. I hope to see something cool made out of it by her. 

And bag #2: needed a birthday gift for a friend of Ellie's in a hurry. Aki had recently visited and spied this small piece of secondhand obi silk fabric in the sewing room. I bought it in Japan at a shop selling millions of rolls of preloved obi widths. She loved the fabric so much, and since I had not got around to using it in five years, I thought, why not.   

Here's a close-up: I think it's hand-painted. 

I made a very simple drawstring bag and plonked a bit of purple ribbon in to draw it up. Here's side 1: 

And side 2: 

And just for fun, and 'arty' shot of it drawn up and hanging on my chest of drawers. I love this bit of furniture, it belonged to my Nana, and I'd had my eye on it since I was about 7 years old. The other little baggie is one my Mum made me many years ago.

Monday, May 19, 2014

From kimono to skirt

On a holiday to Japan with my mum five years ago, I discovered that second-hand goods seem to have very little value there. Much to my advantage, when I found a rack groaning with second-hand kimonos at the Yokohama quilt show. All the fabric for sale was crazy expensive, but silk kimonos were calling out to me at a  measly $15! If I'd thought at all about it, I would have picked several, but I didn't.

Here's a closeup of the fabric - it's such a gorgeous design, and has lots of subtle colours in it. 

After four years hanging in my wardrobe, I realised I was never going to actually wear it as a kimono. It was far too long, and I just didn't ever feel like taking the hem up. One day, inspiration struck in the form of an A-line skirt by a great Aussie designer, Nicole Mallalieu

Here's a picture of her version:

I didn't add the contrast panel, and made the shorter version, but otherwise I followed the pattern, which is a good one. Here's mine in the kimono fabric:

For something fun I used some left over red satin lining for the facing.
This is the second skirt of this pattern I've made, and the first one was a bit too big. So I made the next size down, but unfortunately there is no give in the yoke of this one at all, and as a result it is a bit too small! Next time I'll go in between....

Monday, May 5, 2014

New tops from old clothes

Found an A-line skirt (no photo) with a very funky print in the Yass Salvo's a while ago. Although it fitted fine as a skirt it didn't thrill me. I liked the previous Washi top that I've blogged about a while ago. But, it is a bit on the small side, and the fabric turned out to not breathe too well. It might get re-remade into something else yet! 

Anyway, I thought I'd make the next size up of the Washi using the skirt. I broke every rule about placing the pattern on the grainline to get it out of the fabric - pieces went every which way and a lot were on the bias. But t is fairly sturdy fabric so it didn't warp at all. I also decided to take out two of the front pleats from the original as they made me think maternity, and I am past that stage of my life! I like this version a lot better than the first one, and it's a lot more comfy. 

This second top below is only partly reusing an opshop Tshirt. The contrasting purple is the last piece of new fabric I bought at Spotlight about six months ago, and I've bought no other new fabric since. Since keeping an eye out for stretch knit fabric in the opshops I've amassed quite a stash!

The opshop shirt (no photo again, but you know what a tshirt looks like!) was a Maggie T brand plain tshirt in about a size 20 so plenty of fabric in it, but not quite enough for this. It's a Penny Pinafore pattern, from another independent designer. Fairly simple to make up, with princess seams, and comes as a tshirt, tunic and a dress.
 I made it shorter than the shortest tshirt as I didn't have enough fabric, but's plenty long enough. I'd never done princess/curved seams on stretch fabric before but it was a lot easier than I thought it would be.

Oh that's funny, I've just noticed that the version I made looks like I copied the colour scheme from the middle pattern picture! So didn't. This photo also makes it look almost asymmetric at the hem but it's really not, the hanger must have slipped in the breeze that always seems to spring up whenever I take pictures of clothes!

I was very lazy and only overlocked the neck edge, didn't finish the other seams at all, but hey, that's one of the benefits of sewing with knits. This turned out to be a really nice comfy tshirt and more flattering than the usual plain tshirt shape. Certainly figure hugging...

Before I made this top, I had made the dress-length version using the same purple. I planned to make it all purple, but ran out of length, so used a bit of red from an opshop buy years ago. I don't have a photo of it at the moment. A friend's partner refers to it as my 'tennis dress', which I take as a backhanded compliment (get it, backhanded....oh, I am so hilarious when I am tired. Goodnight!)

Thursday, May 1, 2014

New pants from old pants

I spied some red floral cotton pyjama pants in the Holbrook op shop (the BEST op shop, for those who are into that sort of thing) a few months ago. They were ladies' size 14 and super comfy, but they also super ripped the first time I wore them - fabric had worn out around the crotch. So out with the scissors to produce a pair of Explorer shorts for Ellie. The pockets are actually new fabric, I will admit. I have to use up my stash of quilting fabrics somehow, now that I seem to not be making quilts any more. 

This is a great easy-to-make pattern recommended by Michelle, a fellow sewer in Gunning. I made lots of kids shorts from this pattern last summer. The pockets are a big bag that hang down inside, giving lots of room for all that crap that kids like to put in their pockets. 

At the same time I also picked up a pair of men's satin boxer shorts in a cool spider print, thinking that they could be cut down to make..another pair of boxer shorts (what else)? for Kai.  

This is just a standard shorts pattern, a Kwiksew kids' pattern that I have used for many and varied tracksuits, pyjamas, shorts, dressups and jackets for various nieces, nephews and my kids for the last 18 years at least. Unfortunately, Kai usually refuses to wear them, as he 'hates the spiders'! 

This last picture is not a pair of pants, obviously, but thought I would chuck it in to round up an old project. I made this tiered skirt for Ellie a couple of years ago from a hideously ugly dress (no photo) I found in the free bin at Revolve. I didn't think it would really be her cup of tea, but it's actually been one of her favourite things I've made and has been worn more than any other thing I've made her!

From memory the dress had the tiers as the bodice, so all I did was cut off the skirt section, cut off the straps, fold over the top of the bodice and then stick in some elastic. The rosette was part of the original dress so I just cut it off and added back to the top tier. Very simple. I think the reason Ellie likes to wear it is because of the feel of the fabric, which has a slippery satiny boxer-short feeling (I've no idea what it actually is). 

I was in Holbrook again a couple of days ago but didn't get to the op shop this time. Did manage a visit to the Vinnies in Albury though - that is another good one, you can find it near the Centrepoint arcade off the main street. I scored several metres of unused both white and black stretch fabric for a few dollars that I plan to make something from for my next project. Stay tuned!