Tuesday, November 29, 2011

My new waist

Now where was I?  Oh that's right, making a skirt.  The weekend was hot, I should have finished the skirt and been wearing it, but it's still in the sewing room...

So in my last post I was encasing the raw edge of the waist of the skirt with bias binding tape.  The shirring elastic alone was not going to cut it in terms of keeping the skirt comfortably on my waist so I needed to add a bit of stronger elastic too.  Guess what?  The binding tape doubles as a casing for a piece of elastic.  Remember this lonely piece of elastic that came out of the dress when I unpicked it? 

It went straight back into the casing at the waistline and hey presto, waist band of skirt finished and very comfortable.

Now because the new waist band used to be up around the bodice part of the old dress the skirt is naturally too long!

To approximate how long a long skirt should be on myself I rather inexpertly dropped my tape measure from my waist down towards the ground and rather expertly (if I do say so myself) held it down with my toes while I documented it photographically - can you read that?  Its about 40 inches.

The skirt is currently about 42 inches long from waist to hem so it looks like I have a few inches to chop off the bottom before sewing a new hem.  I'm sure there's a way more professional method of working this out than the way I did it!

Hopefully I'll soon be able to show you some pictures of me wearing it rather than sewing it.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Little tricks

Pick, pick, pick - I unpicked the skirt from the bodice of the dress and discovered that they had been sewn together and overlocked very close to the edge of the fabric.  Also surprisingly out came a length of elastic that I didn't know was in there. Ahh, the tricks of the garment making industry.

Now I had the skirt part separated but with a raw (and fraying) edge very close to the shirring elastic. The material is a fairly light and thin cotton and the edge needed encasing somehow.  So I pulled a little trick of my own - finishing the edge with bias binding.  I went to rummage in my draw of bias tapes - I had pink, green and yellow - I chose the light yellow.

I sewed the binding on the usual way: opened up one side of the tape and sewed it to the right side (outside) of the skirt edge.  As the material was gathered from the elastic I had to pull the skirt fabric out under the binding tape as I sewed, pull and sew, pull and sew, all the way around.  Then I flipped the binding tape to the inside of the skirt and sewed it down, again pulling the fabric as I sewed.  And there you go, one encased edge.  Tricky?  No, not really.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Op shop re-fashion

So I found this long dress at the "op shop" recently (opportunity shop, or second hand shop for those readers not from Australia).  Some people I know are immediately going to wonder if I have gone mad shopping for $15 dresses from a second hand store, but I really liked the fabric, OK?

I did have another motive though because after sewing a long skirt for myself last week with four strands of elastic through the waist and nearly going cross-eyed with all the machine sewing involved in creating all the elastic channels, I immediately saw an opportunity to add another long skirt to my summer wardrobe without needing to do a repeat of all that sewing.  (What's happening to me?  Since when did I want to cheat at sewing??)  Well, as I said, I liked the fabric.

Why don't you follow along this week as I try to re-fashion this dress into a skirt.  Shouldn't be too hard.

Immediately I picked off this hideous trim at the bust line (looked like some industrial metal factory left overs had made their way to the garment factory in China).  There's actually no way I am going to use the bodice part of this dress, its a size 10 and in no way remotely fits a breastfeeding mumma! I am going to dunk the whole thing in a bucket of soaker for a few hours, just to freshen it up, don't want to soak the metal bits though so in the bin they go.

My plan is to unpick the bodice from the skirt at the line of the shirring elastic (see pic above), make some kind of a waist band there, and then adjust the hem length as neccessary.  I hope it works!

Sunday, November 20, 2011


This summer we are again experimenting with a few edibles in our garden.  This year we are wiser and have a more elaborate possum proofing enclosure over the plants they like to eat (and the ones we suspect they would enjoy a nibble at) and are elbow deep in an ongoing battle with orange stink bugs on our citrus trees.  So far we have (prepare yourselves for some scintillating pictures folks...):

Baby limes

Baby lemons

Baby avocados

And baby olives!  Aren't they cute?  We are very excited that some of the olive trees in the front garden are fruiting this year.

In the ground we have baby radishes

and baby tomatoes...

 ...and some purple beans, a blueberry plant, two passionfruit vines, a rosella plant, some sweet corn and a thriving patch of herbs.

We don't expect to get success with everything we have planted, but its lots of fun trying and learning as we go. 

Thursday, November 17, 2011

This is more like it

A little bit of beach action on the weekend - so good for recharging the batteries.  Most importantly it got us all out of the house and out of town.

We shopped at the Eumundi markets and then drove onto Noosa for a body board and a swim (and a spot of reading and lying out on the sand for me).

Thought this post was entirely devoid of anything crafty?  Well, look again.  See that skirt?  The second one made by me from this tutorial.  I made it reversible so at 2m of two different quilting cottons it was more expensive than I usually spend on fabric for garment making, but it really is two pieces in one.

I have to admit that I made this skirt some time ago, just never got around to taking any photos of it.  The wind at the beach couldn't have been more helpful in showing off both sides of my skirt.

Oh, and that's baby M too, at almost 12 weeks.  He's starting to be called Mr Porky around here, he's getting to be a solid little boy!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011


So many things to show you, so little time and energy to do so!  Well that's life with a little baby.  Its not that I have been idle, just co-ordinating the taking of photos and the typing of text and having two hands available for working the computer etc., etc. - well, I'm stretched a bit thin on the ground at the moment for all that.

We had such a lovely weekend just gone - my gorgeous other half took both the boys down to the local farmers markets on Sunday morning which meant an hour extra in bed for me in the beautiful cool silence of our bedroom - it was bliss! 

Later that afternoon this was happening in our backyard - I wonder if my boys are trying to tell me something? Maybe they need a holiday? Or they're just thinking of some peace and quiet of their own?


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