Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Challenge Completed!: Shirred Top

After being majorly distracted from the 'I Will Wear it in Public!' challenge, I knuckled down yesterday and churned out my submission!

I'd been a bit stuck on what exactly to make, and only knew that I wanted to try out some shirring. Then Pam from Threading My Way suggested shirring on sleeves! It reminded me of this gorgeous velvet top I've owned for years, but never wear:

The reason I don't wear it is because it's dry clean only! Also the shirring at the waist has worn so it doesn't stretch properly anymore. Boo.

So I decided to make a more casual, washing machine-friendly version!


It can be worn on or off the shoulders.

Here's how I put it together:

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Bluewater Shopping!

Yesterday I went to Bluewater with my Mum and middle sister. It's probably the biggest shopping centre I've ever been to!
It wasn't my first trip there (I went there when it first opened) but I hadn't been there for years.

Despite all the shops there, I barely did any shopping! Here is my swag:

I saw this collar in the Brighton branch of H&M a few weeks ago, so when I found them again at the Bluewater shop I snatched one up!
I have plans for this one. It won't stay plain for long :)

In River Island, I found these fantastic headphones. The bumps on the skull are little rhinestones. I'm not always one for bling but couldn't pass up on these. For the record, the sound quality is great and they block out external noise pretty well too!

...and that's it. Amazing, right? All those shops and only two purchases. I tried on seven pairs of shoes, all of which were too big (unusual for me with my size 9 feet!), I saw some gorgeous shirts (none of them in my size) and some lust-worthy handbags (Vivienne Westwood and sadly way out of my price range).

But I did eat :)

We ended up going to Ed's Easy Diner--Mum didn't care where we ate, and the place I most wanted to go (Wagamama) was the only place my sister didn't want to go! Ed's was the place we could agree on. I hadn't been there before but love the retro American diner style. I half expected Sandra Dee to skip in and ask for a milkshake.

I chose a classic dog, which came with griddled onions aplenty:

There is a sausage under there, I swear!
Of course, I put mustard and tomato sauce in there too :)

Since you have to order things such as chips separately, and I was feeling like a pig, I also ordered the 'Atomic American Onion Rings'...

These came with sour cream, guacamole, jalapeno jelly, cheddar cheese sauce and chilli on the side. Delicious!

And to drink? Root beer, of course. :)
I think my waistline expanded an inch or two over the course of this meal :)

Asides the shops and restaurants Bluewater also has some pretty cool sculptures and facades. Here's a dragon, clambering up a column between the ground and first floor of shops!

I think he's looking for the sales ;)

Today I finally got cracking on sewing for the I Will Wear It in Public challenge. Hopefully I'll be able to post about it tomorrow!

Thursday, 17 May 2012

I Will Wear It In Public (once I decide what 'it' will be)

As the title suggests, I've yet to decide upon what to make for the 'I Will Wear It In Public' challenge.

I previously wrote that I was leaning towards shirring, but to be honest I'm not all that crazy about the look. Or perhaps that's down to how high street fashion shops are currently using shirring--along the bottom of a loose-fitting top. Really not my kind of thing!

But I digress. Here are a couple of pieces of fabric I've been thinking of using for sewing projects:

This is just regular printed cotton; I have around 3 metres of it but it isn't very wide (I'd guess around 45-65cm) Originally bought it with the intention of making a dress, then decided that the flowers were too small. I'm still considering using it to make a dress, with shirring at the waist, though I'm not sure of the design.

This fabric is (according to the print on the selvedge) 100% silk. It measures approx 1m x 1m 60cm. I would love to make some super-wide-legged trousers from this vibrant fabric! My misgivings are that I'd have to make them with the print going horizontally, as above (not that flattering) and that silk trousers aren't all that practical, especially when you have five cats!
Still, isn't the print gorgeous?

I'm actually really stuck on this challenge! The 'try something new' part of it is what is troubling me most, I think...Also I'm still distracted with making costumes for later in the year, which I wrote about previously!

If anybody has suggestions, I'm all ears!

Higgledy-Piggledy Bracelets

Do you ever have days when you want to make something, but don't want to put in hours of time and effort to do it?

I had one of those days, and put together a few of these easy 'higgledy-piggledy' bead bracelets. (Called so because I threaded beads on at random!)

This is a great little stash-busting project, but also a child-friendly craft project!

Here is a bracelet I made when I was around 7 years old. In this how-to, I explain an alternative way of making a closure to finish off the bracelets!

It is so simple to make these bracelets that it barely needs explaining, but here's a quick tutorial.

Thursday, 10 May 2012

I haven't abandoned this blog, honest!

Somehow, two weeks passed since I last posted here. Oops.

Unfortunately I can't say that I've been super-busy, as that would be a massive fib.

I've been distracted, and a result I haven't been doing any bloggy things.
Until this evening, I hadn't checked my reader for three days...and I found almost 400 posts waiting for me. Eep.

But I have been crafting.

It was my birthday on the 29th April, and these beauties were a present. I've been lusting after a rotary cutter for ages, but of course needed the cutting mat and quilting ruler to go with it. :)

This lovely tool cuts like a dream and I don't know what took me so long to get one! I am able to cut things out faster and far more accurately than I can with scissors.

Despite signing up for the "I Will Wear It In Public" sewing challenge, I haven't done a thing for it yet.
Instead I've been making a cosplay (fancy dress costume) for an anime convention I'll be attending in August.

...yes, I am a Japan nerd. :)

However, I will get something done for the challenge soon! I just want to finish off this costume first. Although the event isn't until August, I've learnt to get my costumes sorted out early to avoid rushing and stressing over all the minor details at the last minute. :)

Challenge-wise, at present I am still leaning more towards something with shirring. I have seen some gorgeous dresses that use it!
On the other hand, I realised I have never completely successfully made a pair of trousers, so am considering it an option!

Will be sharing another tutorial soon--it will involve beads and will be fun for children and adults alike!
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