A Golden Handbag Update

I’ve been really busy lately, and thankfully some of this busy-ness is over now so I can start to relax again. I thought I would be able to finish a small project this weekend and decided to spend an hour unwinding with glue.

I recently rediscovered some gold foil I had bought during my Uni days. I’ve also been rather unimpressed with my handbag lately and have started looking in shops for a replacement. But then I thought, why not just make the uninspired inspiring again?! The three ideas met while standing in a queue one day and they have been awaiting their moment ever since.

I even have a before shot, complete with pre-cleaning handbag contents:

Handbag Contents Organised Neatly

Boring, beige, lumpy handbag.  And then…

Golden Goodness Handbag!

Good goldeness!!

See the shiny

Stylin' around

Oh yeah handbag

Inspiring again!

I didn’t take any progress photos, but essentially the process was:

  1. Wipe bag down with acetone.
  2. Spray with spray adhesive.
  3. Apply gold foil sheets with a slightly damp brush in a dabbing motion.
  4. Cover with PVA glue.
  5. Let dry overnight.
  6. Peel off PVA glue because you realised it was the wrong glue and it has stopped the gold foil being shiny.
  7. Brush off any excess and smooth it all over with a nail brush.
  8. Place gold glue peelings in a jar. They gotta be handy for something.
  9. Take pictures of pretty goldy handbag goodness!

Stay creative


Completed: Woollen Croak Cloak

More opshop fabric goodness! I couldn’t believe my luck when I found this awesome wool and a whole lot more at one the opshops I frequent. It ended up being one of my biggest spends ever in a opshop.

Completed: Woollen Croak Cloak

I believe this rectangle of wool was intended to be a blanket. It still had a loose thread and needle in one side and the hem was incomplete. I finished the hem, and in winter I needed a warm jacket to wear out and about and thought a super simple cloak design would be great for this blanket.

Completed: Woollen Croak Cloak

It’s almost a crime how easy this was. After checking the measurements against my body, all I did was cut a slit to the centre and hem it. To wear, put the end of the slit behind your neck and throw one side over your shoulder…

Completed: Woollen Croak Cloak

And/or the other side over the other shoulder!

Completed: Woollen Croak Cloak

I believe I saw something like in a Vogue once.

Hooray for thrifty warmness!

Sew 2012 #027: Purple Portrait Blouse

Here is my third but not final attempt at Gertie’s Portrait Blouse.

Sew 2012 #027: Purple Portrait Blouse

I’m not really digging this version, but I keep it as it’s wearable and would be a good layering piece under jackets and stuff.

Sew 2012 #027: Purple Portrait Blouse - Back

In all keen to get this one right!

Completed: Starry Mini Skirt

Remember the Starry Nights Dress? It didn’t survive my creative clutches. A few months back it got the chop and the bottom half went into my scrap pile, side seams in tact. The top is in my regular cycle of comfy homey tops.

Completed: Starry Mini Skirt

While sorting through my stash for good bits of fabric I thought this would be good to have as a skirt, so I made a casing for some elastic and threaded it in. In true homemade style I’ve left the bottom raw.

Completed: Starry Mini Skirt

This should add some glamour to those summer supermarket trips 😀

Look look oh my goodness I actually made something.

I made the sad realisation tonight that my last few posts have been promises and nothing more. That makes me sad. But no more! Tonight I deliver!

In all honesty while the last few months have been busy and not a lot of fun, I’ve had serious misconceptions about my crafty space. I’ve had to move my sewing room from upstairs to downstairs, and in doing so lost cupboard storage space. I have plans to fix it but as yet no time or budget. I know what I want do. So when I am away from home my crafty space looks like this:

IKEA Australia

Or sometimes this:

IKEA Australia

So I get excited about the things I want to make. Then when I get home, I’m confronted by this:

The Nightmare before the Sewing Room

Most of the time, this is where it ends. I go to bed or start another crochet thing when I really should be continuing on with one I started last week. Or the day before. Or three weeks ago.

There has however been the rare moment when something gets made and finished despite the mess. Case in point, you can see one such finished item precariously resting upon Mount Mess on the Velvet Tablelands.

I present: Things!

Things on Wall

While wandering Youtube one night I found this video and thought yeah I can do that. So I picked up an old book the next time I was in an Op Shop and went about making it over a few weeks.

Here they are on the Wall:

Things 1 & 2

My photos are appalling. Nothing was going to stop me from posting tonight, even appalling photos. I did try to make them a bit arty with some Instagramy-type filers and some creative cropping in Photoshop. Hopefully the artiness hides a bit of how appalling the photos are.

Thing 1

The book sat in the office for a few days before I started this little project. One day Sweetheart picked it up and asked me where I found the book. I said op shop and that I intend to mutilate it. He told me he had read it years ago and thought it was his. I assured him it was not his. It was decided I would proceed with my plans to quash its current form.

Thing Close-up

I do quite like them, though I’m not confident about their long-term survival. While the video touts them as Christmas decorations, I tried not to make mine too Christmas-y. I stuck hair combs on the back but I’m not sure if this takes anything away from their seasonal biases or turns the wearer into a living Christmas decoration. Time will tell I guess.

So there you have it! Something I made AND posted about! I’m looking forward to making so much more. Oh how I’ve missed this 😀

Stay focused!

Sew 2012 #014: Super Cape-let

Learning to sew has quickly become one of my most favourite things to do. I love the creativity, the satisfaction, the challenges, and the fact you can do it alone or with friends, whatever you feel like. I especially love how I can now look at a piece of clothing and work out what I’d need to do to recreate it. This is one of those pieces, and possibly my all-time favourite of things I’ve made so far:

A double breasted woolen cape-let. YES, I am that awesome.

The original cape-let was a lovely blue goat-wool with wooden buttons belonging to a woman I work with. When she walked past me in the office I practically pounced on her and said how cute it was, and immediately started petting the caplet (note this is much easier to do when everyone knows you are sanely eccentric.). Knowing that I am teaching myself to sew, she told me I could borrow it and take a pattern from it. My little eyes widened and I tried in vain to conceal a squeal.

A few days later she dropped the blue cape-let on my desk. Something this special can’t be kept away for long, so I took the pattern that night. Then, because it was Wednesday, I had to wait two whole days before I could cut into the awesome woolly-like fabric I got from an opshop a few months ago.

Because the opshop wool was a bit scratchy, I thought it better to add lining. I found this awesome sheer purple satin on a trip to Sydney and thought it would be just the ticket.

I am still pondering about the buttons. These are the same metal buttons as what I used on A New Year’s Dress, except in creamy white. They came from my Great Grandmother’s button stash so they could be very old indeed! For this reason I may replace them later to use on something else, or at the very least version two of this wonderful cape-let.

There are few wrinkles to work out. Because I didn’t have instructions, I had to make up my own construction method – and I think I did an okay job at that. Adding lining was a little difficult as the original didn’t have any at all – so I had to make that up completely. And lastly, something went seriously funny when it came to attached the neckband to the body of the cloak… I had to take the back seam in two whole inches to make it fit!! I strongly suspect this was due to adding too much seam allowance and then sewing too close to the cut line… The only way to know for sure is to make version two!

I have visions of cashmere ’40s length pencil dresses with matching cape-lets… in black and moss green so far…

Stay excited!

Shandii Crochet Scarf: How I Accidently On Purpose Finished Another One

I was just the other day I finished the Ms Rainbow Scarf and I mentioned how I’d like to finish another scarf before the winter is through but wasn’t holding high hopes for that.

Well guess what: BAM!

The Shandii Scarf.

Took all of an hour. I think I like thick yarn and 15mm crochet hooks.

I also like how my antique silver kilt pin from Grandma looks so happy to be used again (since I have moved on from Gothic/kilt inspired outfits…)

This piece introduced itself as the Shandii Scarf as I started on the second row of double crochet. Why? (I’ll bet she’s blushing).

My friend Shandii at Shandii Crafts started sharing her creative exploits online shortly after I did. It’s great fun to share our making adventures over a cup of tea, even if we are a bit far apart most of the time. Recently we weren’t far apart, and found ourselves with some spare time to check out some awesome opshops.

We both individually found this length of chunky yarn, but it was I who took it home. I wanted to make something straight away, but didn’t have any hooks the right size on hand. In the meantime, I happily hooked on the Ms Rainbow Scarf.

Now Shandii and I, we’re both still learning the crochet of the land. She took great interest in my rainbow scarf, and I liked the stitch she was using for her in-progress projects. So we swapped stitches! Yay!

I made up the Shandii Scarf with the new Shandii Stitch I just learned, which was basically a crochet stitch starting through one of the previous yarns instead of two. That way the lovely line feature appears every second row. Thanks Shandii!

Gratuitous model shot:

I’m already planning another version with this stitch 🙂

Stay inspired!

My Handmade Scarf #6: Japan Love

Happiness and love just seem to be major themes in my crafting. Everything I make  contains large chunks of it at some point of its process – something that I’ve found is a huge contribution to my overall sanity!

This scarf is no exception! This scarf is very special to me. You see, this one has been kicking around in some form since I was 15 years old, and that was quite some time ago now.

At that age, I went to Japan with my family. One day while a little bit lost in Kyoto, we decided to take a short-cut through a park. Inside the park we were lucky to find a flea market! It wasn’t in any of our guide books so it seemed to us we had stumbled onto a local event.

In one stall, a woman was selling second hand kimono and fabric scraps. We bought some obi, kimono and haori (which come to think of it I should share with you at some point!) and a bag of fabric scraps as souvenirs.

This bag kicked around in my crafty stash for more than 10 years. Then all at once, this scarf was conceived! It’s now one of my favourites, with a forest green velvet backing and long black fringe.

It makes me feel special, lucky and loved whenever I see it. ♥

Stay inspired!

Stash Doubling Magic

I’ve just had one of the most successful fabric stashing weekends. Even more exciting, most were incredible thrift finds! And, not very much of it was pink. I remember looking in my stash a few weeks ago wondering how so much pink got in there.

Anywho, from the first opshop:

4 skirts!


A knit wrap and a wrap knit dress!


A sensible shirt!


A top!


*6* Dresses!


Then from the remenants table at a designer fabrics store: half a dress, a pencil skirt and something made from this beautiful bouncy knit!


From the craft department store, some things for experiments:


And finally from another opshop, a pencil skirt!


There you have it fabric, consider yourself documented.

Naturally, this has my head in a spin with what to make with all this! I have some great ideas of course, and hope to get these onto paper soon.

Stay inspired!

Sewing Re-fashion: Cowl Scarf and Weird Mittens from Cashmere Jumper

It’s summer here in Australia, a lovely mild one but summer nonetheless. I recently uncovered some moth-eaten sweaters, so here is my first item for Morgan Sin’s Seasonally Inappropriate Knitwear Catalogue 2012!

All the way from Chicago comes this lovely cashmere sweater:

There are few moth holes at the back near the neck. The sleeve cuffs became the opening of weird mittens and I wove some hat elastic around them to keep them on. Then I cut the arms and neck off, cutting underarm to underarm so I had a nice tube. Finally I finished the cut edge with a really short zig-zag stitch that made it ruffle and curl most pleasantly.

Sewing Re-fashion: Cowl Scarf and Weird Mittens from Cashmere Sweater

Tada! Now I have lovely matching cowl scarf and mittens I’m not going to need for another 6 months.