Monday, 29 June 2015

I Made It Monday - Simple Skirt Tutorial - Perfect for Beginners!

Top: New Look Pattern 6194, neckband omitted & made longer /
Fabric: Gifted, purchased in 1970's.  100% genuine 70's Polyester!

I often make a skirt & top in the same fabric so I have the versatility of wearing it as a dress or separates.

Photos c/o my wonderful Husband

This skirt is really easy to make and perfect for beginners as it is hard to mess up!  It is basically a rectangle with elastic in one end.  I suggest you use a soft fabric so it has nice drape.  Here I've used a fabulous 1970's polyester which was given to me.  I love it! 

Here is how to make it:

1. Measure your waist, and multiply that number by 1.5. This will be your skirt width measurement. Measure from your waist to your knee; this is your length measurement.
Cut two rectangles of fabric using these measurements. Then cut two waistband rectangles using the same width measurement, and making it 10cm in height.
2. Sew the sides of the skirt up with right sides together, then sew the sides of the waistband up with right sides together.  Finish seams on skirt (you don't have to finish waistband seams). 

3. Fold the waistband in half (5 cm tall) and has a folded edge on one side and two raw edges on the other side. 

4. Pin the waistband around the top of the skirt. Make sure the raw edges of skirt & waistband are together. Sew around the entire waistband with a straight stitch and a 1.5cm seam allowance, but leave 5cm open so you have a spot to slide your elastic inside.
5. Measure your waist where you want your skirt to sit and cut a piece of elastic to this size. Attach a pin to one end and use it to feed the elastic through the waistband casing you just created. To ensure the other end of the elastic doesn't slide into your casing -- secure it with a safety pin at the opening. Once the elastic is completely fed through, sew the ends of the elastic together really well. 

6. Sew the opening in the waistband closed.  Finish your seams with an overlocker (serger) or zig zag stitch. 
7.  Hem your skirt to your desired length.  You can hand sew or machine sew the hem.

8. Press your seams, hem and skirt well, it helps the stitches set and gives a professional finish.  Do not skip this step! 

Ta da!  You have made a skirt!  Put in on and feel fabulous and proud every time you get a compliment on it! 

Friday, 26 June 2015

Mabel Midi Skirt


Shirt: Lee Cooper / Skirt: Made By Me / Shoes: Target

I just love the detail of this vintage floral fabric!
Photos c/o my wonderful Husband

I cannot get enough of my "Mabel Midi" I've worn it 3 times this week! 

If you missed last Monday's post on how this skirt came to be - check it out here.

Today I've styled it with some casual flats and my favourite Chambray shirt (more about the shirt here).  I think the belt ties the outfit together well while keeping it casual.

I am so in love with this skirt!  I'm sure I'll be sharing many more "Mabel Midi" looks!

Do you have an item of clothing you love to style in different ways?

Tuesday, 23 June 2015

Winter Casual

Jumper: H&M (old) / Jeans: Wrangler / Shoes: Ziera / Bag: Colorado
Earrings: Made By Me


Rocking the messy bun look. 
If you missed my Instagram confession; this is how I put my hair up for a shower then don't bother to do it
Photos c/o my wonderful Husband

As much I LOVE my midi skirts, I wear jeans a lot.  I love them and they are practical for running around after 2 small girls.

There are so many different styles and cuts of jeans out there I simply can't keep up with what's "in".  I saw a fabulous and stylish London blogger rocking flares, saying they were back in a big way.  Really?  Others are getting back into their boot cuts; lots are still in their skinnies and I'm still seeing lots of distressed denim (which makes me happy, more on why here).  So what's the look in jeans??

I have no idea.  I say wear what you like and feel comfortable in. Unless you're a guy and wearing those jeans that hang below your underwear, that just looks silly.  Why even bother with pants?!

The jeans I'm wearing here I've had for a number of years.  I bought them from Tractor Supply (seriously!) whilst in Upstate New York.  They are Wrangler "Q Baby" jeans with a 36" (92cm) inseam - yay!  I like the dark colour and as they are riding jeans they don't gap in the back. 

On a side note: can I just say how much I love American sizing... these jeans are a 7/8.  Ha!  Love it!  The Australian ladies know what I'm talking about!!

This jumper (sweater for those who don't speak Australian) I bought from H & M (in USA) more than 10 years ago and I still love it.  I remember buying it purely because I was excited that the sleeves were long enough #tallgirlproblems! 

I'd love to know what your favourite style / cut of jeans is??

Monday, 22 June 2015

I Made It Monday - Faux Fur Vest

Wow, this Monday has come around fast!!

Vest: Made By Me / Jeans: Refashioned by Me; Gap / Top: Long Tall Sally
Earrings: Made By Me

Booties: BCBG (old) / Jeans: Refashioned by Me / Top: Country Road
Vest: Made By Me / Earrings: Made By Me / Sunglasses: Kenneth Cole

Photos c/o my wonderful Husband
Who secretly thinks the vest makes me look like a caveman but is too nice to say so.

I love fur vests on other people, I just wasn't sure about the look on me.  So rather than investing a lot of money in something I wasn't sure about, I decided to make one.

Let me start of by saying the fact that this stuff is called "fun fur" suggests the manufacturer had a wicked sense of humour.  It was not fun to sew with.  It was messy and fluffy and stiff and messy... oh and did I mention the mess?! 

To make a pattern I simply traced around an existing vest.  I added pockets to my vest, because I love pockets in everything!  It is fully lined and after scouring the internet I came across this really helpful tutorial for construction.

I am happy with the end result.  I like wearing it with a belt to give some waist definition and it keeps me warmer than wearing it open. 

Despite the massive amount of mess - this stuff flies everywhere while cutting & sewing! - it was a quick and fairly simple project which only cost me $23 as I already had the lining.

Have you sewn with faux fur?

Thursday, 18 June 2015

Black & Blue

 Boots: Sergio Rossi (old) / Skirt: Made By Me / Top: Country Road
Scarf: Sportsgirl / Sunglasses: Kenneth Cole (old)

Photos c/o my wonderful Husband

I've styled my navy midi (made by me) for winter with a black wool turtleneck and black boots. 

I think it was way back in high school when someone told me you shouldn't wear black and blue together because you look like a bruise.  That has always stuck in my mind but never stopped me from wearing it!  I most often wear a black top with my blue jeans!

What do you think?  Does black & blue make you look like a bruise?!!

Monday, 15 June 2015

I Made It Monday - "Mabel Midi"

Welcome back to "I Made It Monday!"

Today I'm wearing something which was half made by me, half made by my Great Grandmother 50 - 60 years ago!


I was recently given sewing patterns and fabric which had belonged to my Great Grandmother Mabel.  The oldest of the patterns is for a Nightgown from 1923!  She would have brought this pattern with her when she migrated from Scotland to Australia.

Great Grandma Mabel made everything herself using her peddle powered sewing machine; all of her clothes and even underwear! 

Amongst the fabric remnants was a skirt, with only the side seams sewn.  I was told that she always wore dresses, so this would have been the bottom of the dress but sadly the top was nowhere to be found.  As Mabel was a "sturdy" woman there was enough fabric to make a pleated midi skirt and cut some off the bottom to make into a waist band. 

It is so special to me to work on a piece started by my Great Grandmother.  To think she had lovingly selected this fabric, washed and ironed it, then started to turn it into a garment long before I was born is remarkable. 

Skirt: Vintage collaboration between myself & Great Grandma Mabel / Top: Saba (old)
Shoes: Jane Debster / Purse: Thrifted / Necklace: Refashioned Thrifted

I used lots of hand sewing to be in keeping with how Mabel would have sewn.  I did use my overlocker on one seam, telling myself that if Mabel had an overlocker she would have used it, but then I felt guilty as I wasn't preserving the vintage integrity of the piece so I finished the other side seam using just the sewing machine.  Talk about over thinking a seam!

I used a similar method to this to construct the skirt, but just made 2 box pleats in both the front and back.

As it was a cold day I needed my fav jacket
Jacket: Laura Ashley (old) / Scarf: Seed (old)

No, I'm not striking a fancy pose... I'm falling off my own feet!
Photos c/o my wonderful Husband who catches me at my most awkward moments!

Needless to say this skirt has become an instant favourite which I've dubbed the "Mabel Midi"!  So brace yourselves, you'll be seeing a lot of it! 

I can't wait to style it for summer!

Thursday, 11 June 2015

A Wardrobe Classic

Do you have timeless pieces in your wardrobe that you feel good wearing year after year?

For me one of those pieces is this camel coat I bought from Laura Ashley at least 6 years ago.  It's a timeless colour and style which looks good dressed up for a night out or with jeans. 

The great thing about a nice coat or jacket is that it hides the fact that you're wearing a faded old top underneath which may or may not have toothpaste on it from brushing your children's teeth*

Most importantly it works with my favourite scarf which is almost 15 years old - but quality lasts!  Gee, I didn't realise how long I'd had it until just now!

What is your favourite timeless piece?

* Yes, I had toothpaste on my top.  Hey, that's Mama real life!

Monday, 8 June 2015

I Made It Monday - Cape

Welcome back to I Made It Monday!

I'm wearing a Cape I made using New Look 6227 pattern.  I've seen a lot of capes about and really love the look.

I used a fabulous (albeit hard to sew) wool blend plaid I picked up at The Remnant Warehouse which is MY happiest place on earth (sadly it's almost 2 hours away, but worth the drive!).

I found the fabric hard to sew as it has a loose weave which stretched slightly while cutting and sewing.  Now I know there are lots of professional type methods to prevent these issues... however I frantically do my cutting and sewing during nap time so I don't have little "helpers".  Mama problems.

Matching the plaid (or trying to) made me break out in a cold sweat, but that said I'm happy with how it turned out.  It's a great piece as it keeps you warm, but is not as heavy as a jacket.  And it just feels fancier! 

Cape: Made By Me / Top: Long Tall Sally / Pants: Made By Me
Earrings: Made By Me / Sunglasses: Collette Dinnigan

Look! No arms!
Photos c/o my wonderful Husband

Have you tried the cape trend yet??

Thursday, 4 June 2015

Winterize A Summer Favourite

Now that winter is upon us in the southern hemisphere it's time to pack up the summer clothes.  I do rotate my wardrobe, but there are some pieces I just can't bring myself to put away.

This stretch floral denim pencil skirt is one of them (made by me). 

Here is how I take it from a summer staple to a piece that works in my winter wardrobe.

My apologies for the iPhone images but life got in the way of taking proper photos!

This is how I usually wear the skirt in summer.  Casual and perfect for running after toddlers.  I do sometimes dress it up with a nice top and dress shoes, but more often than not I'm wearing it as a casual piece.
Skirt: Made By Me / T-shirt: Target / Sneaks: Target /
Earrings: Made By Me / Necklace: Made By Me / Bracelets: Eastern Living

To make it work for winter I add black tights, boots and a black top.  I added a scarf which picks up one of the colours in the skirt and breaks up all that black! 

Boots: Diana Ferrari (old) / Skirt: Made By Me / Top: Long Tall Sally
Scarf: RM Williams / Earrings: Made By Me

For an extra layer of warmth, or to dress it up a bit more I'll add a blazer.  Black of course...I love it and just can't help myself!

Blazer: Cue (old) / Leather Earrings: Made By Me

Ta da!  From summer to winter!

Which pieces do you wear all year round?

Monday, 1 June 2015

I Made It Monday - Making Pants Longer

Welcome back to I Made It Monday! 

We tall girls run into this problem all the time.  All.  The.  Time.  Pants which are not long enough.

I was given these pants by a well meaning loved one who said "they're really long"!.  But they weren't.  They are really comfortable with fabric that has great drape but they were too short.  I wore them around the house for a while - waiting for a flood - and decided to make them wearable outside the house!

Top: Long Tall Sally / Pants: Refashioned by Me / Necklace: Made By Me / Shoes: Old

This is a really easy way to make pants longer.  In fact, if you don't sew you can use iron on hemming tape to attach some feature fabric (just make sure you fold in the raw edges).  That's right - no sew! 

I sewed fabric to the hems of these pants.  Because blacks are impossible to match I went with a great floral print.  On a side note: this fabulous fabric was given to me by a dear friend who purchased it sometime in the 1970's!  I love it!  I've also made a skirt and top from it which will be featured in an upcoming post. 

To add length simply determine how much longer you want your pants and cut 2 rectangles that length plus seam allowances.  I let down the hems on the pants for maximum length.
Make sure the rectangle is as wide as your pant leg opening. 
Sew up the short side to make a tube.
Match right sides together on tube and pants, sew.
Finish raw edges and you're done!  Long pants!

Okay, so no more stick figures in the diagrams.

Photos c/o my wonderful Husband