Upsized upcycling




I picked up these pants for Milly at the op shop on Saturday, but they were too small. I thought they would be, but it was half price day on blue labels, and at $4 I couldn’t pass them by. So… I unpicked a section of the back waistband and the back crotch seam part way. Then made a wedge shaped insert to widen the back. I added a section to the middle of the back waistband to fit across the new wedge bit, then sewed the belt keeper back on. The extra fabric came from the legs which I hacked off to turn the pants into shorts. Wouldn’t you know it, I was a bit enthusiastic with the wedge and they’re actually now too big, but, the handy thing is they have that hidden elastic thingy that some kid size shorts have, with holes in the elastic to pull them tighter and do up to a button on each side. Which means they can get pulled in and will probably fit until the child is a teenager!


Retro Robot shift dress


We went to Supanova today! It’s kind of the poor cousin of Oz Comic Con, and after last year’s Supanova I said it wasn’t worth it and I wouldn’t go again. But then I heard Nathan Fillion was speaking so that was that, seeing as how he starred in the best Sci-Fi TV Firefly, ie one of my all time favourite shows ever!

Normally a dress like this is the kind of thing you expect to see a 5 year old wearing, but at a con it’s positively conservative. It was made as a wearable muslin for some gorgeous corduroy I bought a while ago (of course I’ve not got around to making the proper one yet and now it’s  summer I probably won’t until mid next year). The  robots were calling to me from the specials table at Spotlight and I think I paid about $5 for the fabric. The pattern is from Ottobre 2/2009. I’ve moved the front darts in towards the centre by 3cm each and moved the pockets to suit me. I lined the pockets with some candy pink fabric out of my scrap basket. Weirdly, I don’t remember ever buying the pink stuff, or using it for anything else, so goodness knows where it came from but it was just right. I cut the pocket linings slightly too big so you can see the pink poking out from the front. The sewing is a bit rough but I was thinking of this as my practice version and you can’t tell with the busy pattern.

The zip on the back is a serendipitous op shop find with metal teeth. I never wear pink normally so I’m pleased I could use it on this dress. I’ve put it on the outside and left the bottom raw in some pretence of trendiness.

So Nathan was awesome, of course. We lined up for an hour and ended up in the third row with a great view. It was a huge audience for Adelaide and the atmosphere at these things is always amazing, plus there was some really incredible sewing on display in all the cosplay.

Vintage awesomeness!




I’ve had such brilliant op shop finds in the last couple of weeks. Firstly this vintage pattern from 1960, in my size (which is not usually 16, but sizing was different then). I’ve ordered some fabric to make it in from Spoonflower and am waiting patiently impatiently for it to arrive. Checking the post box every time I walk past!  I plan to make view B, the sleeveless, single collared version, and will shorten the skirt, which is much longer than it looks in the pattern picture. The pattern pieces have been cut before, but are in perfect condition. I love to think that I’m sewing something that a woman sewed with 60 years ago.

I also picked up this beautiful velvet piece of fabric for just $7 at the Salvos. It was really hard to get a good photograph of the rich colours, suffice to say it’s just gorgeous. On the same day Laura got a short denim pinafore in the latest fashion for $6. It fit everywhere but her tiny waist so I’ve just been supervising as she’s unpicked the waistband and back seam, taken it in to fit, topstitched (only one broken double needle…), shortened the waist band and yoke, then reattached and top stitched the yoke.


And, bargain of the year, Laura and I chanced upon a pair of sparkly, genuine, red-soled, seemingly unworn Louboutins at the same Salvos. They were a bit more expensive than the average, $50, but still a bargain. Unfortunately they are too small at size 38 for either of us, so we’ll just admire them for a while then either sell them on ebay or find a friend who wants to buy them. I just tagged this Louboutins – bet I don’t get to do that again!

Paisley and gilt

A lovely Saturday spent thrift and antique shopping in Strathalbyn with my Partner in Crime and eldest offspring. I pounced on this amazing corduroy paisley, genuine vintage 70s, a couple of metres for only $17. I can see a very groovy skirt in my future. The plates are just handy, and the lunch was delicious. We even found a cafe that knows how to serve tea, and doesn’t merely cater to the coffee fiends!

Cheap, cheap, cheap!

The $2 dress – made out of a dress I bought from an op shop, which was actually brand new with tags, but had a ripped seam. It is Ottobre 3/2008, #12, with the back changed into a yoked style, so as to let me take advantage of the skirt part of the original dress being already hemmed and attach it in one piece. The ties from the original dress make good hairbands. The plan is that it will look good with a black skivvy and leggings worn underneath in winter.

And a little striped top I made a few weeks ago out of leftovers from the surf top of a year ago. I have yet to manage a keyhole fastening that isn’t too bulky once the button is put on, so I don’t think I will try it again, my machine isn’t up to it. Much easier just to make the head opening big and stretchy enough not to need a button at the back.

I hate hats.


I really do hate making hats, yet for some reason I keep making them. As you can see this hat is made from the leftovers of the dress from a couple of posts back. The dress is a vintage pattern, an anomaly in vintage patterns in fact because they usually run small, but I made this 2 years ago and it was massively too big. I finished it off a few weeks ago by finally adding the straps and it is just right. The straps were supposed to be tie-at-the-shoulder, but wouldn’t stay up, so I have made them twice as long and ruched them over stiff elastic so as to make them stay on Milly’s shoulders.The fabric is lovely light voile and it makes a perfect summer outfit with little short leggings.

The skirt for me was a tiny size 6 ankle length denim skirt, which I picked up in an op shop for a couple of dollars. I have chopped off about half a metre from the top of it to make it knee length, and to make it fit non-size-6 me, then added a side zip and button. I didn’t have any fabric to match for the waist band but I won’t ever be wearing anything tucked into it so it doesn’t matter. I wore it to staff training today and regretted it because I had to keep my knees together all day LOL! Otherwise I am quite delighted with it.

How not to save money…

I decided that as I have spent so much money on fabric lately, I really ought to prove that sewing saves me money, by recycling some old jeans into a pair of overalls. The plan was going well – take a pair of old jeans, some paisley corduroy I bought for $2 / metre at the end of winter, use an Ottobre pattern that I already have, use old sample swatches for the applique – alas I had forgotten the pull of ‘the perfect button’… I am such a sucker for a beautiful button!! Don’t go near Lincraft anybody, they have the most gorgeous range of new buttons. So all up – overalls, about 50c, buttons $7 *blush*.