Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Hip To Be Square

Apologies for the rather embarrassing title. I've been in a cushion-making mood recently. They don't take much time to sew, and they always help me feel like I've done a whole lot of work when in fact all I've done is to join up a bunch of straight lines. 
These two crazy patterned ones above were a housewarming gift for a friend. If you were thinking 'Wow, she's joined those fabrics really well!' I'm sorry, but I didn't . The fabric came with this pattern - or rather, 4 strips of insane patterns, running side by side down the whole length of the fabric. Because whoever designed it felt that having just one wasn't enough. 
This rather Christmassy creation was the result of a hideous acrylic poncho that a friend insisted on giving to me. So I cut it up and used the material for cushions! I made two of these - one is available on Etsy (along with a slightly different design, and the other is available at the stall. Send me a message if you want both of them.
The cushions in these last two photos are also currently available at the Tea Rooms stall. The fabrics for these came from a  some op-shops in Poland, and were originally a child's tunic and a massive kaftan, respectively. In the bottom photo, you can see both the front (left) and back (right) of the kaftan cushions. the fronts were cut from the kaftan, while the envelope backs make use of some fabric from my mother-in-law. 

Making cushions always help me feel very accomplished and efficient, so don't be surprised to see more of these here in the near future!

Monday, 12 November 2012

Dog In Boot


Thursday, 8 November 2012

Damnoensaduak Floating Market

Little old Thai ladies may look cute and frail, but they're way tougher than your favourite MMA fighter. Seriously, don't ever mess with them. 
I don't think I could ever have too much mango and sticky rice. Anyone know a good recipe to make this yourself at home? 
Damnoensaduak Floating Market, just outside Bangkok, January 2012. 

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Recent Refashions

Alright, let's move on from those rather hideous Halloween photos onto something more pleasant, shall we? I think it's been a while since I've done a sewing-related post. It's not that I haven't done any sewing, it's just that most of the finished products have been for work, which mean the pieces usually come straight off the sewing machine and into the stall, with time only for a couple of quick snaps. 

First up, this khaki blouse. I forgot to do a 'before' shot, but it was just a standard fitted men's shirt originally from Joseph Conran (but which I probably purchased in an op-shop). As you can see, I cut the back off at waist height, then cut and sewed the front at an angle. The front of the shirt ended in points at the middle, so the middle can be tied up once the last two buttons are undone. I also unpicked the sleeves, cut it off about halfway down, then gathered and sewed the sleeves back to the top halves of the armscyes. 
I bought the next shirt because I couldn't tear my eyes away from that crazy pattern. It's a huge men's shirt, made with wool. There were some tears and holes just above the bottom hem of the shirt, so that had to be cut off. The collar went as well. 
I also unpicked the sleeves, and tried a similar trick to the khaki shirt above, except I cut them slightly shorter this time. To make the shirt narrower, I sewed some darts to the front and back of the bodice. The shirt was still much too wide, so I decided to add some elastic around the waist. I swear the elastic has been sewn on straight in real-life, even though it looks crazy cooked in the photo below. I also shirred the shoulders a little so they weren't droopy-looking. Lastly, some remnants were used to make a removable bow, which you can just barely see in the picture below, pinned to the top of the button placket. 
Finally, this rather florid men's shirt, foisted onto me by a very persistent friend who clearly didn't understand the phrase 'no-i-don't-want-it-take-it-away'. Faced with yet another oversized men's shirt, I decided to do what I usually do with them, and cut it up.
The shirt was made of a very soft viscose, and looked much livelier once it was given a wash and iron. I removed the sleeves, and finished off the edges with some bias binding folder under. The top collar was next to go, while the collar stand was left on for a Mandarin collar look. I then cut a two strips of fabric from the unpicked sleeves, and attached them to the sides to form a couple of ties. The refashion was nearly complete, but I felt it needed something more. MOAR! It was then I remembered some soft vintage lace I had in my stash. I cut off a long length of it (about twice as long as the hem of the shirt) and gathered it to the bottom hem, which resulted in a new, asymmetric hemline. The lace also helped add some much needed length to the shirt, transforming it from tunic-length to proper dress-length. 
I've just finished a few more refashions, which will be featured in another upcoming post. Stay tuned!