Tag Archives: australia

sewing basics – wiggle skirt

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Wouldn’t it be lovely to have a 100% handmade wardrobe? Or as close to 100% as you can get! I am a long way away from this dream, and while we all need exciting things to wear (and sew), like party dresses, loud shirts, and coats, we also need basics. I decided to start building my “basics” collection with a plain, unoffensive, goes-with-everything skirt.

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There was a decent amount of Ponti left over from my sleeveless jacket, so I decided to make a wiggle skirt from it. I drafted a pattern from my skirt block, keeping the single darts in the front, and the four in the back. I’ve used a straight waistband that sits on my natural waistline. I find this type of waistband really comfortable, and it nips me in nicely.

Even though this fabric has a decent amount of give, I added a vent in the back, just to make walking a little easier.

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For a really clean hemline, I whipped out a hand needle and thread. This is a great technique to use on Ponti, as you don’t have to finish the raw edged first, there is no way it will fray!

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The skirt is great, it’s very comfortable, and the Ponti is so soft and smooth. However, it is a little boring on it’s own, so we found this amazing rainbow-painted monster roller door backdrop for our photoshoot. Isn’t it great?!

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There are many more basics that I need to sew, but I need to quench my thirst for something fun and patterned first!

Until next time,

Mitty x

A big thanks to hubby, for the impromptu video!

box pleat skirt with netting

Here’s a project that was finished months ago, has been worn several times, but hasn’t made it onto the blog. I have no idea why it’s taken me so long, but here it is!

This skirt started, as many do, while browsing Pinterest. I love a high waisted silhouette, and my “SKIRT” board can vouch for me when I said I’d pinned several versions. I’d noticed that I’d actually pinned a few that had sheer or lacy panels, and so this skirt went from being a vague idea, to “This needs to be in my wardrobe NOW”.

I wanted my skirt to have a lot of volume without the need of a tulle layer or padding underneath. I decided to make a box pleat skirt from a thick Ponti di Roma, which would hold its shape well, and be strong enough to support the sheer panel.

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I bought a swatch of a Ponti that I thought would do the job from Knitwit. I must say, I was super impressed with what turned up. It had a decent amount of body, it was really smooth, and I could just feel that it was a high quality fabric. I bought a meter of it as soon as I could.

Then the hunt began for something sheer to use, and honestly it wasn’t as hard as I thought it was going to be. I found this beautiful netting fabric with ribbon detail at The Remnant Warehouse. They must be sold out of it now because I can’t find it on the website, but I remember the tag saying that it was a Nicola Finetti remnant.

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 I drafted a quick box pleat pattern that would sit right on my natural waist. The top portion using the Ponti ends just above my knee, with the netting flowing down to a “midi” length. I think this is a really versatile length, as it looks great with flats, or really classy with heels.

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I used a 20cm invisible zipper down one side seam, so the box pleat pattern wasn’t interrupted.

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The only part of this skirt that was a bit of a struggle, was hemming the netting. I had to hand sew it,  the ribbon sections were too thick for my sewing machine, so pushing a needle through it for 2 hours was a little painful in the end, but well worth it.

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I absolutely love it! It looks great with a casual tee for a dressed-down look, I’ve worn it with a close fitting jumper and tights when the weather was cooler, and I can dress it up with a silk cami and heels. It’s become a real workhorse in my wardrobe!

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 I think I got pretty close to my “pin-spiration”, don’t you?

Mitty x

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fabric haul

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Do you have a predictable style when fabric shopping? I do. I walk around the entire store first, patting fabrics, reading the tags, making a mental note of patterns and colours that interest me. On my second lap, I return to the things that really stick in my memory. Sometimes I walk away with nothing, other times, I strike gold!

All of the following fabrics come from a favourite haunt of mine, The Remnant Warehouse in Alexandria.

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First up, I bought 2 meters of this “Amalfi Coast” Poly/Spandex jersey. It’s 150cm wide, medium weight, opaque, matte finish with a 1 way stretch. At $6.95 p/m, it was a bargain. The fabric is very soft, with a beautiful drape. This needs to be made into something comfy!

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I recently purchased the ebook “My Capsule Wardrobe – City Break” from Sew Over It, and I was specifically on the hunt for a striped jersey so I could make my very own Molly Top. I wasn’t disappointed! I found this cotton spandex with a 5mm x 10mm stripe for $9.95 p/m. It’s 150cm wide, medium weight, opaque, matte finish with a 2 way stretch. As you can see in the pictures, it’s a little stiff, I’m hoping it will soften up after a few washes.

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As soon as I ran my hand over this beautiful 100% silk crepe de chine, I knew I had to have it. It’s a Bec & Bridge remnant, 135cm wide, very light weight, semi opaque with a delustered finish. The best thing about this silk? It was only $14.95 p/m! I can see it sewn up into a lovely, airy blouse, maybe with a neck tie, maybe with long sleeves, I’m not too sure just yet.

What do you think of my haul? I think I came away with some really lovely fabric, and I’m excited to start sewing!

Mitty x

sleeveless jacket

What are your thoughts on the sleeveless jacket trend? Sure it looks stylish, but if it’s freezing outside, wouldn’t your arms get cold? I’m not convinced that it’s a sensible option for the middle of winter, but I’m all for the sleeveless jacket in-between seasons!

My friend Nicole came over for dinner a few months ago, wearing her new sleeveless jacket. I (rather unceremoniously) stripped it off her, and got to copying the pattern. The original was made from 100% wool, but I wanted to try it out on something a little lighter.

I bought some really beautiful Ponti from Knitwit Australia and got to making. This Ponti is an absolute dream to work with! Cuts beautifully and sews up really well. I used a stretch needle and didn’t get any of those annoying skipped stitches.

I made my jacket using 2 colours, light grey on the front (which is no longer being stocked), and charcoal for the back.

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This was actually in my line up of items to make during MMMay2016, but I’m pretty sure I finished it in June.

I really love my new sleeveless jacket! It’s perfect to throw on if it’s a little chilly outside. I also love the fact that I didn’t have to do any hemming, as the cut edge won’t fray!

And.. is it a jacket, or a vest? My husband calls it a Mu-Mu, which it 100% is not!

Mitty x

cult hit: white russian

Whoa. Where did the time go? Is it really June already? It’s safe to say that I failed MeMadeMay2016 in regards to blogging about it, and sewing a new item each week (what was I thinking?!), however, I did manage to wear 2 me-made items for the weeks of May. Let’s chalk MMMay2016 up as 45/100, so much room for improvement!

I did actually get one “make” finished during May, and have finally taken a few photos of it. I made the Capital Chic White Russian! The weather in May was actually too warm to wear it (Global warming, I’m telling you!), but now that it’s finally started to cool down, I’ve been able to throw it on a few times.

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First, the fabric. I went to The Remnant Warehouse in Alexandria searching for a lovely fleece-backed fabric. They have a few styles of fleece, but I was really drawn to this beautiful navy. Another plus, is that it is 100% organic cotton! YES! I love fabric that can breath during the winter, but also keep you toasty warm! Be on notice, however, like all other fleece fabrics, navy blue fuzz was everywhere after cutting. I used a sticky roller to pick most of it up, but I’m still finding small pockets of fuzz in my sewing room…

The pattern is simple and easy to follow, however I did grade the seam allowances from 1.5cm down to 1cm. Everything else was put together as instructed. I spent a few hours sewing a subtle diamond pattern onto the front and back pieces. It doesn’t stand out as much as I thought it would, but I like the slight change in texture.

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I’m very happy with my new jumper, it will certainly get a lot of wear over winter. The fabric washes really well (no extra shedding after it’s initial wash), but it does need a quick press with a warm iron before wearing.

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Have you made the White Russian, or any other Capital Chic patterns? I’d love to hear your success stories!

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

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

all the other bits

I’ve gone through the majority of decor items I (and a team of people) made for my wedding in previous posts. Today, I wanted to go through the other little bits and pieces that made the day warm and fuzzy.

I have to say a massive thank you to my green-thumbed mother, who cultivated and grew 120 tiny succulents to serve as place markers, and gifts for our guests. A week before the wedding, we wrapped each little pot in some hessian. I also tied them up with scraps of silk, left over from my dress.

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Once on the tables, we stuck small paper flags on toothpicks into the pots. They looked so adorable, and were a real hit with our guests.

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Another big thank you to mum, who cooked and assembled our wonderful wedding cake! I love “naked cakes”, and I think mum’s version was simply perfect! You’ll also notice a little BB-8 perched on top of the cake.. Mum made that as a surprise for Reags, who is completely obsessed with Star Wars.

Photo by James Day

Photo by James Day

I made the “How Sweet It Is” cake topper from some paper, stamps, twine and skewers. Who doesn’t love bunting?!

I wanted to give my bridesmaids a gift that they would be able to use all the time. I decided on personalized leather make-up bags from Mon Purse. I was really impressed with the quality of the leather and zippers used, I’m going to have to get one for myself at some stage.

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If you know of our photographer, James Day, you’ll know that he has an obsessions with bow ties. I’m talking, a real, full on collecting obsession. Plenty of his clients have given him bow ties as a gift, but I decided to go a step further, and knit him a one. I knew I’d done the right thing when he opened the box and stammered “…whaaaat? What!?” and gestured me for to put it on him.

Photo by James Day

Photo by James Day

From James Day's Instagram

From James Day’s Instagram

Yeah, I think he was pleased.

To go with the gifts we gave out on the day, I made some really basic cards from grey cardboard from the newsagents. To pretty them up, I cut rectangles out of the left over lace from my dress, and attached it using gold brads.

Photo by James Day

Photo by James Day

Going back to the flower topic, the girls and I had so much fun sitting around making the boutonnieres for the boys. One or two of them may have been a tad too big, but it didn’t matter that much.

Photo by James Day

Photo by James Day

I tried so hard to make my flower crown the day before the wedding, but my mind was on so many other things, I just didn’t have the time to sit down and concentrate on something so delicate. So, I made it the morning of the wedding, after the arch was decorated!

Photo by James Day

Photo by James Day

The final bit of decoration I’d like to show you, is how we presented the seating plan. Each table arrangement was printed on brown paper (with a little bit of gold foiling, which we added later), and stuck onto a huge gold framed mirror. We propped it up on an easel, and sat it on a sturdy table. Nicole then attacked it decorated with greenery.

Photo by James Day

Photo by James Day

I’ll leave you with some pictures of the inside of the marquee.

Photo by James Day

Photo by James Day

Photo by James Day

Photo by James Day

Photo by James Day

Photo by James Day

Mitty x

frames, and a gold back drop

Photo booths seem to go hand in hand with weddings these days, and although we didn’t have one, I still wanted a few simple props that people could pick up and pose with. Picture frames were the obvious choice, they are light, and didn’t take up too much room.

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We picked up these second hand frames from a shop in Alexandria. I think we got the lot for $40. Even though the majority of them aren’t the right colours, there were quite a few gold ones that we didn’t have to touch.

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A drop sheet and a bit of paint had the frames looking like they were supposed to be at our wedding.

We strung a few up between two trees, had some beside the lounge, and the rest went in the marquee.

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For the back drop, I looked a a few different ideas, but settled on this design quite quickly.

I painted a stick white, then tied on about 20 lengths of fishing line. Using a large hole punch, I punched out close to 900 gold circles from cardboard. I then strung these onto the fishing line, and secured with double sided tape. I stuck another gold dot to the back, so that when they moved around, you mostly saw gold. I did leave some white, to add a bit of a difference.

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Time consuming? Yes. Involved climbing on a ladder? Yes. Difficult to store? Yes. All those bits of backing tape annoying to remove? Yes.

Pay off? Totally worth it!

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Photo by James Day

Photo by James Day

Photo by James Day

The back drop sparkled and twinkled all night! It looked so beautiful! Our photographer, James Day, fell in love with it the moment he saw it. He wanted to take it down and use it was a prop. In doing so, we got some of the most amazing pictures I’ve ever seen!

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Photo by James Day

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Photo by James Day

And here’s how he did it, with help from two of my cousins (who were obviously loving the experience!)

I have one more post on our DIY decorations (I know, there were heaps!), then we move onto the fun stuff, AKA shoes and dresses!

Mitty x