Monthly Archives: May 2016

a russian blue called leia

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This is what has been distracting me during the MMMay16 challenge, our new little Russian Blue kitten! She is my birthday present, and I just love her! She is 10 weeks old and was a bit shy at first, but now she is very playful!

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To try and direct her playfulness away from our hands (and the lounge), I decided to make her a few little toys.

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I drew out a very simply pattern in the shape of a mouse, and gathered my materials.

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I gave my mouse a furry tummy for a different texture. Then, I picked out two buttons for the eyes.

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I added a bit of calico behind the eyes for stabilization, then firmly hand stitched the buttons on.

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Next, I took some kitchen twine and made a platted tail.

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I made sure to place the knotted end of the tail outside the stitching line, so if Leia gives the tail a good tug, it won’t slip out.

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I’m anticipating lots of play time with this mouse, so I chose a small zigzag stitch (number 5) instead of a regular straight stitch. The zigzag will be much stronger, meaning less chance of a blow-out.

Once stitched and turned the right way out, I moved onto the stuffing.

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I added a wad of dried catnip inside the mouse. To me, it smells like a herbal tea, but I’m hoping that Leia finds it irresistible!

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I filled the rest of the mouse with stuffing pulled from a cushion, hand sewed the opening up, and added the ears.

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For something different, I put a bell-ball in the pink spotted mouse so it jingles when she plays with it.

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And here she is, killing it! Sorry for the blurry pictures, she just moves so fast! I love having her around the house, she is a never ending source of entertainment and joy! She’ll be making the odd appearance on the blog, so keep an eye out!

Mitty x

mmmay 16 week two

Week two of Me Made May has come and gone, that means we’re at the half way point! So far, I’m keeping up with the wearing side of my pledge, but not so much on the making side.

On Monday, I wore my mobius-style cowl that I made in 2014. It’s so soft and lovely, just perfect to keep my neck warm on a day that was a little cooler than normal.

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Sticking with the handmade pink item, on Thursday I wore my first ever me-made bra!

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I’ve finished my sewing item for week one, I just need to get some good pictures of it before I can write about it. I had plans for my week two sew, but I’ve been very distracted this weekend, and you’ll see why on Wednesday! Stay tuned!

Mitty x

my wedding dress

Before I was even engaged, I knew that I’d be making my own wedding dress. It wouldn’t really feel like my wedding if I didn’t. I have a lot of pictures to share, and a fair bit of explaining, so lets get to it!

I started as most brides do, by trawling through the Wedding category on Pinterest. This is a deep, dark, rabbit hole, and if you’re not careful, you will fall down it and never come out! I quickly found elements that I loved, a soft, layered skirt; tiny cap sleeves; lace!

Then, I saw this dress… SWOON! That soft blush-pink colour was so lovely and feminine, I knew I needed it.

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I also tried on a few RTW dresses, just to get a feel of how big I wanted the skirt. I knew there wasn’t any danger of falling in love with a RTW dress and wanting to buy it. By this stage I was 80% sure of what I wanted, and knew I’d never find it in a shop.

I sketched out a few different styles, playing with the bodice and shoulder strap design. The skirt stayed the same with each new sketch.

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Finally, I came to a decision. I would be making a boned, strapless under-bodice, a lace-bodice overlay with small cap-sleeves, and an open keyhole back. The bottom of the dress would consist of an underskirt with a small sweep, and a layered, full circle over-skirt.

With my design nutted out, I called on the help of the most talented pattern maker I know. Monica is an absolute magic-making master, and I honestly could not have created such an amazing dress without her help and guidance. Thank you, Mon, for everything you’ve taught me!

Photo by James Day

Photo by James Day – Thanks Monie!

We started with the simple bits, the under-bodice, lace bodice, and underskirt. Then, we tackled the over-skirt. I really wanted something where the layers weren’t too structured, I wanted them to flow and move in unexpected ways. We worked all day on the pattern, and basically came out with something that looked like this:

I know this looks a bit like an egg, but stick with me...

I know this looks a bit like an egg, but stick with me…

We started with a basic, full length circle skirt pattern (which ended up being layer four). The next three layers were created in the same way, where layer three dipped down, I made the same point of layer two higher. A high point on layer two, made the same point on layer one lower. This would give the hem lines of each layer a really lovely flow.

With the pattern (and a series of toiles) made, it was time to go shopping for the final fabric! I bought some beautiful white, corded lace from the same shop I got the bridesmaids dress fabric from. The beautiful ivory silk (for the under-bodice and underskirt), and the white silk organza came from Elsegood Fabrics in Alexandria. The final stop was Tesutti Fabrics in Surry Hills for the dusty, blush silk organza.

With everything purchased, it was time to start cutting! I have never felt more nervous about the first snip! I cut layer one and three from the dusty pink organza, and layer two and four from the ivory organza. I also cut organza bodice pieces to layer over the ivory silk, so the overall look of the dress had a consistent colour.

I managed to sew the entire dress in seven days. I took everything to my parents house over the Christmas break and worked on the dress from 8.30am until 5.00pm, every day. I kept track of what I did each day:

Day One – Cut out base cloth for under-skirt and bodice Apply fusing to bodice Cut out tear-a-way for bodice necklines

Day Two – Sew under-skirt using French Seams Run overlocker around unfinished edges of under-skirt Sew lining bodice (including channelling) Insert boning Pin outer-skirt (pink & ivory) patterns to fabric

Day Three – Cut out all pieces of over-skirt Test French Seams on the organza Cut out organza for bodice Sew all seams of the over-skirt layers

Day Four – Sew the horsehair braid on all layers of the over-skirt

Day Five – Sew over-skirt layers together at the waistline Seam outer bodice Cut out lace bodice

Day Six – Sew underbodice, outer bodice and lace bodice together on front panel Construct the rest of the lace bodice using French seams

Day Seven – Sew all layers of skirt to bodice, leaving the lace and under-bodice free Insert zipper Hand stitch underbodice to waistline

All I had left to do now, was hem the under-skirt (I forgot to take my shoes!) and bead the lace bodice. I spent the nights on the lounge, slowly adding Swarovski beads, tiny seed beads, and chalk white sequins to the lace. It took me a few weeks, but was well worth the effort; it looked spectacular!

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Photo by James Day

Photo by James Day

Photo by James Day

Photo by James Day

Photo by James Day

Photo by James Day

Photo by James Day

Photo by James Day

Photo by James Day

Photo by James Day

Photo by James Day

Photo by James Day

Photo by James Day

Photo by James Day

Photo by James Day

Photo by James Day

Photo by James Day

Photo by James Day

I couldn’t be happier with my dress, it was so comfortable, and I just loved how the sun light picked up the subtle colour differences in the skirt.

I’d also like to say a massive thank you to our photographer, James Day. He was just wonderful on the day, melting into the background to get some of these beautiful shots, but was also very personable and entertaining with our guests. I’m so glad we asked him to shoot our day, I’ll be looking back on these gorgeous pictures for the rest of my life, with a smile on my face.

Well, that’s the last of my wedding-related posts, I hope you’ve enjoyed them as much as I have!

Mitty x

mmmay16 week one

Whoops.. I was supposed to post this last night.. Blame it on sewing all day, then celebrating Mothers Day!

My pledge for MMMay16 is pretty tame, it’s my first time participating and I just wanted to take it easy.

I, Samantha of Made By Mitty, sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May ’16. I endeavour to wear at least two Me Made items each week for the duration of May 2016

On Tuesday, I wore my retro print shift dress, with tights. Adding layers is a great way to get more wear out of you summer closet.

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 A few years ago, I got into silk painting, and I made a few silk scarves. I really love this green one, and I wore it to a friends place for dinner on Saturday night.

In addition to wearing two Me Made items, I really want to sew something new each week. I didn’t quite meet Sundays deadline this week, as the fabric I bought took a little longer to dry after washing than I thought it would. However, I don’t have far to go, so I’ll be sharing that new make very soon.

Mitty x

my wedding shoes

Love shoes? Find yourself searching for a specific style/height/colour, and thinking how much easier it would be if you could design your own? Let me introduce you to Shoes Of Prey.

I can’t tell you how many hours I’ve lost, playing around on this website. You can basically, build your perfect shoe. From flats, to heels, to wedges, to strappy, to oxfords, with bows or without, in pink leather or blue snakeskin, or red fur or gold glitter. You can pick your heel height, your heel style, round toe or pointy toe, with a toe cap, or an ankle strap. You get the picture.

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I had a few different versions floating around for a while, but I eventually decided on a 5.5cm heel in white patent leather, a pointed toe with a white snakeskin cap, and an ankle strap. The majority of the shoe was made from a printed, floral satin.

Within about 4 weeks, I had these gorgeous shoes in my hot little hands! I wore them around the house for a while to break them in, but looking back, I don’t think they really needed it.

Photo by James Day

Photo by James Day

I wore them for a solid 8 hours on the wedding day, and I must say, I have never been more comfortable in a pair of shoes. I was incredibly happy with the heel height, enough so I was a similar height to Reags, but not so much that I towered over him. The ankle strap was also a brilliant addition, it made the shoes feel so secure that I didn’t even think about them all day!

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Photo by James Day

Photo by James Day

Just looking at these shoes makes me happy, and I’m so glad that I had the opportunity to create them. I highly recommend that you take yourself over to the SOP website and have a look around, even if it’s just to play with all the different styles and colours!

Mitty x

PS: This post has not been sponsored by Shoes Of Prey. All views expressed are my own, honest opinions. If you had a pair of these shoes, I’m sure you’d feel the same as me!

bridesmaids dresses

I asked my two very best friends to be my Bridesmaids. These girls mean so much to me, they’ve stuck by my side through the good times and the bad. All I wanted for them, was to be comfortable, but also look fabulous on my wedding day.

I decided to create different dresses for each of them, and aim for a style that I’ve seen them wear before.

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I worked through a few different variations, but I knew that Nicole would suit a two-piece, and Nyome would be best in a full dress.

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Nicole’s top would be a crop style, strapless under bodice, with a lace overlay, 3/4 sleeves, and a boat neckline. It would have an invisible zip closure at the back going through all layers, and the lace would join at the nape of the neck using a cut-out keyhole design. The skirt would be slightly gathered on a straight waistband. I was going to put pockets in the skirt, but it just wasn’t sitting right, so I tool them out.

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Nyomes dress was similar to Nicoles, as she had an under bodice with a lace overlay, except her’s didn’t have sleeves, and the neckline was a little higher. The back would be the same as the other dress, and this skirt was more of an A line. The skirt length of both dresses hit just under the knee.

Once the girls we happy with their designs, I went shopping! I found the most gorgeous burgundy lace at Van Hung Fabrics in Cabramatta. This shop is well worth the trip, the staff were very helpful, and they had some really beautiful fabrics.

Sewing the dresses was pretty straight forward, though the lace didn’t always play fair. I broke at least one needle on the corded detail, and a seam or two needed extra reinforcement. When the dresses were completed, I added a few small burgundy Swarovskii beads.

Photo by James Day

Photo by James Day

Photo by James Day

Photo by James Day

Photo by James Day

Photo by James Day

Photo by James Day

Photo by James Day

I think the dresses turned out wonderfully! Nicole and Nyome looked stunning, and I love knowing that they were both thrilled with their outfits.

Photo by James Day

Photo by James Day

Mitty x

me-made-may 2016

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If you’re an avid follower of sewing/knitting/creative blogs/instagram/flickr, you’ll know about Me-Made-May. It’s a self-appointed, month long challenge, run by Zoe over at So, Zo… What Do You Know?

She has a great post all about the 2016 version of MMM which you can read here. I especially love that she has reinforced that the challenge isn’t supposed to stress you out into “panic sewing”, it’s supposed to push you to include more of your Me-Made items into your regular wardrobe lineup.

So, I’ve signed up to participate for the first time! I’m so excited! Here is my pledge:

I, Samantha of Made By Mitty, sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May ’16. I endeavour to wear at least two Me Made items each week for the duration of May 2016

In addition to this, I’m aiming to sew a new garment each week, to further expand my Me-Made wardrobe.

I’ll be posting my wears and creations each Sunday, so stay tuned!

If you’d like to participate, head over to So Zo and submit your pledge.

Mitty x