R2D2 in glittering gold

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No it’s not subtle, but it is awesome! And better yet I got to embarrass my children in public at the midnight Rogue One premiere late last year. This skirt required 3.2 m of specialty print from Spotlight and no pattern. Pre-washing fabric is pretty much a belief system for me, but this time I didn’t because I wanted the crispness and body of the fabric just as it comes off the roll. The gaudy gold surface print also helps its stiffness but I think it will be droopier once it’s washed. I may or may not wear it again so I didn’t want to go to too much trouble with zips or buttons and decided on a simple half elasticated waist, of the sort you often find in children’s clothes (elastic at the back, flat waistband at the front). Because it was a last minute decision to make it at all, I sewed it the evening of the event I was wearing it to, so time was of the essence. I had cut it out the previous evening but started the actual sewing about 6pm.

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Trying not to laugh at the cat antics
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Wrestling with Miles tabby cat

I had cut four panels, the full width of the fabric x 75cm long, and a waistband long enough to fit over my hips (I cut the waistband the width of some nice wide elastic I had in the drawer). The plan was to have the front of the waistband sit flat, with elastic inserted into the back, so I needed the front section to fit my waist measurement and the rest of the waistbands’s length to be in the back – after I joined the waistband into a loop, I marked the front centre, and the two side points accordingly.

I might decide to sell the skirt on Ebay later so I did make sure it was finished nicely, and sewed the four skirt panels together with French seams. I then marked the skirt into four equal sections with the marks halfway between each of the seams, so that the seams would be offset from the centre lines. I gathered the skirt to the waistband, wrong side of skirt to right side of the inside of the waistband, matching the marks. Since the back part of the waistband would get pulled in further by elastic, the back gathering didn’t have to get pulled in as tight as the front gathering.

It was all going so smoothly up to this point that I thought it was going to be over and done with in two hours flat, but of course I managed to put the waistband upside down with poor R2D2 standing on his head! There was about an hour of sulking, trying to convince myself I didn’t care, and popping out for take-away chicken and chips, but I knew it would bug me if I didn’t fix it, so after some sustaining tastiest-chicken-and-chips-in-the-world from our local shop, I unpicked and regathered the right way up. The one thing I should have done and didn’t think of, was to interface the front part of the waistband. It sits ok but would have been better interfaced.

Once the skirt was gathered onto the waistband, I ironed under the seam allowance on the other edge, and turned the waistband to the outside. I pinned it in place, then stitched just the back section  from one side point to the other, stitching over the previous seamline very close to the folded edge. I threaded a piece of elastic through the back waistband and tried the skirt on, adjusting it to a comfy fit, then sewed vertically across the waistband at the side points to anchor the elastic. Finally I stitched the front section of the waistband in place, and did a twice folded small hem on the bottom of the skirt, meaning all seams are enclosed.

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It was so much fun wearing this to the midnight screening. As I mentioned in my previous post I wore it with a black t-shirt, and a C-3PO brooch made from a lego mini-fig. There were heaps of people dressed in Star Wars cosplays – lots of Jedis and Vaders, some storm-troopers, a few Leias, plus many Star Wars t-shirts, quite a few amazing props like pilots’ helmets and cardboard ships, and a surprising number of space buns on both men and women. I wasn’t expecting to love this skirt so much, but I’m really pleased with it. So much so I think I might make another version in a more mainstream fabric. I did think I’d sell it after the one wear, but I’m finding the thought of parting with it is harder than I expected so maybe I’ll hang onto it and wear it to the next Star Wars premiere.

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Subtle Star Wars geekery

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20170111_194745Happy New Year! I can’t seem to move on from #9 on my holiday to-do list. So whaddya know, I made another bag. In truth, I have sewn some other stuff but I’m stuck in my holiday casual gear and really can’t be bothered photographing it yet.  Plus I should have been finished with the silk dress but it was a disaster – not sewing wise, that was fine, but the dress was so utterly unflattering the 17yo fashionista fell about laughing when I put it on. I think I’ll cut it up and do something else with it eventually.

But the bag… I picked up some beautiful wool suiting fabric at The Salvos for $6. I  don’t wear suits, my work office is not that formal, but I had an idea for a bag.  It was the week Carrie Fisher died so it seemed a fitting tribute to pair the conservative wool, with some lairy Star Wars fabric as the piping and lining. When my big girls were little I used to do a lot of smocked dresses, which would have mini piping along the collars and bodice, and I enjoyed doing a bit of piping again, it gives such a lovely finish. Ferreting around and using what you’ve got on hand is a bit of a motto around here, although I think it’s really code for ‘too impatient to wait’, so the back piping has a bit of string off a parcel down the middle of it, and the front piping has a bit of red twine I found in my partner-in-crime’s modelling room.

The previous bag I made is a big hit and just proved it’s usefulness on a weekend  trip to Sydney. However the one thing it doesn’t have is a proper phone pocket so I’ve remedied that this time. It’s really annoying not having somewhere in a larger bag to easily access my phone and I’ve been using the zip pocket in the other bag, which means I can’t keep it zipped up with important stuff like lipstick and train tickets! This bag has three zipped pockets and a phone pouch. Not sure why but I really love doing these little zip pockets on bags. I do them by sewing a long skinny rectangle with the outside and pocket lining fabrics right sides together, cutting up the middle of the rectangle, sniping into the corners, and turning the lining through to the inside. Then I just sew the zip into the already lined space.  They’re so neat and nifty and I’m using up some of the heaps of zips I’ve thrifted. The one thing I haven’t got right yet is the interfacing. I bought some super heavy interfacing for this bag, but when I went to use it I realised it was going to be too heavy, so since I was sewing in the middle of the night as usual and not about to wait for the next day to get more interfacing, I just used the light stuff I had on hand. It’s fine, and means it’s nice and light to carry, but the bag is floppier than a similar store bought one would probably be. The strap is off a bag of Laura’s which she was gifted and didn’t like. I feel like a bit of a fraud using ready-made straps on my bags but they do give them a professional look.

And just because, here’s a naughty cat who tipped over Laura’s paint water earlier and was discovered wearing the green paint evidence on his paw! Lucky he’s cute and we love him

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Happy Star Wars Premiere!

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Last night we went to the premiere of the new Star Wars movie Rogue One. Although technically it wasn’t last night at all, it was at 12am this morning. Strangely I’m not even that much of a Star Wars fan but it’s all about the experience – these midnight screenings are always so much fun. This was no exception, with a huge crowd and heaps of people in cosplay. An even nerdier crowd than I expected too (a colleague I said that to asked what that says about me…). I made an R2D2 skirt which I haven’t had time to take photos of yet, and wore it with a black t-shirt, accessorized with this little C-3PO brooch.  He’s just a Lego mini-fig with a brooch pin sewed on the back.  I anchored the thread with a slip knot through the hole on one of the legs then wound the thread backwards and forwards from the leg holes and around his neck (poor C-3PO!) Then once I had that thread in place creating a solid foundation up and down his back, I used a second piece of thread to sew on the brooch pin. He’s pretty cute.

We didn’t get home until 3am so I’m claiming sleep deprivation as the reason I thought it was a good idea to wear the brooch to work today with regular work clothes.  What is very weird though is that only one person seemed to notice.  Or perhaps they noticed and thought how weird and didn’t say anything!