Archive for the ‘DIY tips & tutorials’ Category

Crop top pattern alteration for Wrapped Maternity top

April 13th, 2014

You guys i’m so sorry i didn’t think to post this when i released the Wrapped top as a PDF! While i was working on this pattern with Simplicity and creating the PDF, i realised how easy it would be to adjust the pattern a little to create a cropped sweater or crop top.

If you already have the pattern, don’t worry – it’s a super easy pattern adjustment to get the same result.

I really love this little crop top because it adds so much versatility to the pattern. You could make a cropped sweater perfect for maternity or nursing, or a crop top that you can wear on it’s own or layer, adding a gathered skirt or a circle skirt immediately results in a gorgeous maternity dress or nursing dress. You could even add a little peplum.

Personally i’ve been dreaming about a Cascade skirt + Wrapped crop top mash up. How awesome would that be?!

cool fabric// double cloth

April 2nd, 2014

I love discovering new fabrics. Before last year i had never heard of double cloth, and must admit i only bought it because it was so weird and cool i just HAD TO. After working with it i was even more in love and i think it’s one of the coolest fabrics i’ve ever used.

If you’ve never come across double cloth heres the deal: It’s basically two fabrics that are joined together. Sometimes they are connected by a binding weft – but in the case of the double cloth i bought, a water soluble glue. If i pulled, i could have separated the two fabrics by hand. When purchased it was stiff, but i was assured by my supplier that i should work with it before washing. So thats what i did. Last year i sewed up a Cascade skirt sample with it (you may remember this skirt from the Breakwater lookbook), and then washed it after. It was amazing to see how the rather stiff skirt changed shape after laundering to be so soft and flowy. The photo above shows the skirt before and after washing, cool huh? The thing i really loved about this was how it worked with the Cascade, showing the inside colour in little peeks. Plus there is that added benefit of the drape of light fabric without having to add lining, since it’s basically included. So very very cool. I desperately wanted to include this fabric in kits last year, but i had dawdled so much with testing it out, that my supplier had run out before i could order. Epic bummer.

So have you used double cloth before?! Discovered any new-to-you fabrics that kind of blew your mind?

quick fix// jewelry display

February 21st, 2014

quick fix// jewelry displayYou may have noticed that i pretty much always wear a chunky dangly necklace. More often than not, by Merl. The problem with these kinds of adornments is that they’re kind of hard to store.

I have a truly amazing jewelry box (shown above) that my parents had made for me in Hong Kong for my 16th birthday, but unfortunately even though it is huge it just can’t handle all the chunk. I needed a better solution.

I’d seen a lot of cool jewelry hangers around, but they never had enough space – six hooks? Umm no. i need more. In the end i realised i needed to make something in order to get what i really needed.

This frame was originally used to display my brothers Paratrooper flag – but when he had the flag removed and restored to its original condition, the frame wasn’t needed anymore. I love it when fortune strikes! I bought a little bag of hooks from the hardware store, measured out as many spots as i thought i could squeeze on the long edge of the frame, and just spent a few minutes twisting them in by hand. Since we were renting i used the same trick as i did for my spool racks, and hung it with some 3M hooks – which made even the installation quick. Now that we’ve moved into our own home, it has a more permanent home on my wall. It was crazy easy, and it’s been so incredibly useful.

The hilarious part is that i almost need a second one, as i still have to double up a couple of hooks to get everything in! I think it makes getting dressed much easier because i can see all the options right in front of me – plus theres that important benefit of keeping my rugrats out of my necklaces hehehe

tutorial: the two seam dress

January 24th, 2014


So excited to share this tutorial with you today!! I’ve mentioned this before, but during pregnancy i have like a million more “i hate everything in my closet what am i going to wear” days. Thats what happened on the day i made this dress. I was frustrated and i wanted to wear something flowy and chic and i wanted it 5 minutes ago. So i came up with this nifty little dress. It involved 2 seams, some clever cutting and voila, chic easy going maternity wear.

I will absolutely be making more of this little number and its so easy that i feel that a tutorial is very very necessary. This is one of those pieces that works just as well for the pregnant gal and the non-pregnant gal, can be made shorter to be a top instead, and fantastically is perfect for beginners who want quick results with very little sewing knowledge or effort required.

Sometimes simple is best! Am i right?! Okay ready to learn how?

(more…)

Quick tip: gathering stretch fabrics

January 20th, 2014

So have you ever had trouble getting nice gathers on stretchy fabric?

Well here’s my little trick: put a bobbin of elastic thread in your machine instead of your regular thread, and sew two lines of stitches at the longest stitch length. I normally sew them at 3/5″ from the raw edge and just under 5/8″ from the raw edge. The fabric will gather up automatically and evenly! Perfect gathers every time. It even helps prevent those icky wavy seam joins that can happen with knits. Just make sure that that the elastic basting is hidden in the seamline, and don’t unpick your basting – it will help keep everything in place. Also – don’t forget to experiment! Heavy knits will take more rows to gather up well and lighter knits may only need one.

Fabric wrapped christmas presents: Year 3!

December 12th, 2013

Fabric wrapped Christmas presents

I’ve been getting a lot of questions recently about my fabric wrapped Christmas presents. WELL i’m really excited to say that we’re in to the third year of doing this in our family, and i love it even more! There’s something really satisfying about pulling out my little bag of wrappings and knowing that i won’t be throwing any of it in the trash, and i didn’t have to rush to the store to buy paper at the last minute. YES!

So here are the posts i’ve done about my fabric wrapped presents:

Fabric wrapped Christmas presents: year 1The original post where i first tried the idea

fabric wrapped christmas presents -  year two tips

FAQ’s and Tips for wrapping presents with fabric (This time i’ve really perfected my wrapping technique to completely remove the need for using another other securing device than just ribbons and the fabric itself).

Last year i also added reusable felt gift tags, and i’m so glad i did, this year wrapping was such a breeze

Also if you’re feeling really crafty, here are a few other ways i’ve tried to make our Christmas more handmade. I was hoping to add more to the list this year, but I guess moving house and being pregnant has turned out to be enough for me to handle this December hehe

handmade Christmas stockings[TUTORIAL: handmade Christmas stockings]

Holly christmas garland[TUTORIAL: Holly garland]

Another Holly garland[TUTORIAL: Another Holly Christmas garland]

how to felt + leather acorn[TUTORIAL: Felt & leather acorn ornaments]

[Storing handmade garlands and buntings]

[Holly tree skirt]

[Handmade ornaments]

AND Kelli over at True Bias is hosting a handmade ornament exchange again this year – and a bunch of my favourite bloggers will be sharing what they made and their tutorials for their creations very soon (heres the list of bloggers), so make sure to keep an eye out! Last years were absolutely amazing and i know this year will be too (my kids had an epic battle this year over who would hang Jen’s Narwhal ornament hehe)

Any other handmade Christmas things on your radar this year?