The sweetest bonnet EVER!

Seriously, this has to be the sweetest bonnet I’ve ever made!

I just love this fabric, which is by Zoe Pearn, it’s so sweet and fresh and modern.

My model was so cooperative yesterday, I actually got some shots of her face, instead of avoiding capturing her face due to ugly protesting.

Twinklle twinkle little star…

I’ve sewn up such a bonnet storm this week, as I needed to get a bunch of winter bonnets to Shorties, but I still needed to make Adele a new bonnet for our holiday.

Done now!

I’ll be listing this design in my shop when I return from our holiday. 

Tutorial: Vintage Style Tie Belt

Quite a while back, I promised a tutorial for this awesome, vintage style tie belt, which I made for my BurdaStyle: 02/2011 101 scoop necked dress.

I love wearing belts with the dresses I make. I love a little bit of contrast at the waist to break up a design, and I love giving a little more definition to my almost non-existent waist. Now, as you can use almost any fabric type for this belt, you should be able to perfectly match any dress. Just what you need right?

Look at the difference – from simple to smashing! All from one simple belt – awesome!
My inspiration for this belt came from this vintage pattern, Vogue 6661. My tie belt is a simplified version of the one in this pattern. It should only take a minutes to whip up and certainly adds a pretty touch to an outfit without any girly girl bows.
To create your own belt, you will require:
  •  a strip of fabric, just over 6 inches by the full width of fabric.
  •  a strip of interfacing (optional)
  • 2 or 4  hook and eye closures (or a couple of biggish safety pins – if you’re feeling lazy or rushed)
  • coordinating thread, sewing machine, 1/4 inch foot, rotary cutter or scissors and hand sewing needle
To make the belt:
Cut two 3 inch strips of fabric the full width of your fabric. This measurement will create a belt and bow with a finished width of 1 and a quarter inches. Cut a 1 inch strip of interfacing.
Fuse interfacting to the wrong side of one of your strips of fabric. You should align the long edge of the interfacing with the centre of your belt, so that the long edge of the interfacing runs along the centre of your belt or 1.5 inches in. The interfacing helps prevent your belt from stretching. If you are confident that your fabric is stable or that the belt won’t experience too much stress, then you can leave the interfacing off. The fabric I used for my belt was stretch sateen, so I needed to interface it.
Fold both strips of fabric right sides together and sew a 1/4 inch seam along the long end. Your quilters foot makes it easy to do this straight.
Turn both fabric tubes right side out. This is easier if you use a bodkin or safety pin. As you can see below, I’ve pulled one end of the tube though with a safety pin.
Carefully press your strips,  making sure the seam and belt is straight. You should now have two tubes of fabric, one with interfacing, one without.
To make the bow.
Take your strip that has no interfacing and tie in a slip knot.
 To do this, wrap the strip around your hand as shown.
 Pull the top end through the loop.
 Then pull tight.
Trim the ends of your bow to your desired length, turn under the raw edges, press and slip stitch in place.
To attach the bow.
Take your interfaced belt, turn under one raw end and press. Align your bow with the end of your belt as shown and hand stitch in place. As you can see, I’ve pulled my two bow ends out a little, to create a more triangular knot look, but you can style the bow as you like.
 Here’s a picture of the front.
Now all you need to do is trim your belt to your desired length. I left about 3 inches for overlap and sew a couple of hook and eye closures to the reverse of the belt to hold it in place.
Alternatively, you can just fix your belt with a few safety pins. I’m going to be honest here. I finished my belt just prior to running out of the house the first time I wore this dress, and I still haven’t sewn any fixings to the belt. Lazy? Yes, but safety pins work, you can’t see them and they are adjustable, so if you eat a large meal, you can loosen the belt for comfort. Classy? Meh, maybe not, but still it looks sooooo cool!

Now you should be finished. You now own a super cool, not-too-girly, handmade, vintage styled bow belt. I’m certain this belt would go with almost any dress. Just imagine the possibilities!!
PS – Don’t forget I’m holding a giveaway here.

O & S GIVEAWAY and a new dress

My machine has been getting a bit of a workout since uni finished. Mostly I’ve  been sewing bonnets, but I’ve also finished this cute dress for Adele.

It’s based on the Oliver & S Playdate dress (size 6M – 3T), which I believe is out of print. I slightly modified the pattern, which you can probably tell by the ruffle sleeves, which I did to break up the Heather Ross from her West Hill line. I also fully lined the dress in the fabric from the yoke, just to add an extra fabric layer for warmth and to accommodate the sleeve change.

The fabric is very olive and probably a little too murky to make an entire dress out of. I was hoping the ruffle sleeves would break it up a bit. I also hoped the gold yoke fabric, vintage trim and buttons would lighten the dress, but it does seem a little brown and yellow to me.

Oh well, I think it’s cute all the same, even if the drool shows after just a few minutes wear….

Now a GIVEAWAY. I’ve actually owned this pattern (which is size 6m to 3T) for a while, but mum recently returned from a short holiday and had purchased the same pattern for me. So now I have two, and clearly I don’t need two, so I’d like to give my second copy to one of my followers – yay! So, to get your hands on this super cute pattern, simply follow my blog and leave a comment below. Easy peasy!

Photographic proof that I own two of these patterns and you aren’t getting my used copy,
which you would totally be able to identify, as I’m particularly crappy at maintaining factory folds!

I’ll draw a winner, by random number when I return from my upcoming holiday – say 1 June or something. Don’t forget you need to Follow me to win.

The competition is open to everyone, including those not in Australia. Please make sure I can reply to your comment or leave your email address so that I can contact you if you win.

Good luck!

The postman delivers

Sometimes, a little money in PlayPal can disappear very quickly. But these fabrics are so adorable, I just had to have them.

I just adore the two Sherbet Pips pieces on the bottom left. Hopefully I’ll have time before we head off on holidays, to make Adele a dress with them. The colours on the fabric on the top right by Zoe Pearn are so awesome. Perfect in fact! I think I’ll make a few bonnets with them, but will definitely make something special for Adele too.

Today, I also handed in my final assessment for the semester. Woot woo! I celebrated by going to work… blah! Tomorrow, me thinks there will be a little champers to celebrate.