Sunday, October 31, 2010


Halloween in Australia is basically a festival pushed by retailers to sell more stuff. The only way to retaliate is to not buy, but make stuff. And when your son wants to be one of these (a Weeping Angel from Doctor Who), you don't have a choice.

And this is how it turned out:

Whilst nowhere near as complicated as this Weeping Angel costume, it turned out pretty well. The mask is a download from the Doctor Who website, although I altered the colour to match the fabric and laminated it for durability. The wings are from the $2 shop, sprayed grey with a water soluable spray paint. Sheer luck meant they turned out the same colour as the costume.
The body of the costume was made with some fabric scrounged from The Fabric Cave, a remnant warehouse, for $6. It was some sort of polyester. I sewed it into a large tube, leaving the top and bottom open, and spaces for sleeves. I then gathered the shoulders, and made a casing for a ribbon around the neck. So the neck is big enough to step into, then tightens with the ribbon. An elastic band around the waist pulls it in for the draping effect. It was easier to do sleeves than to think about how to colour arms!

Slots were cut in the back to allow the wings to poke out. I also made a casing around the hem and inserted a wire coathanger for weight and shape.

And we painted Thomas' ears grey, and sprayed his hair grey too. Next time we'll paint the hands as well!

Gratifyingly, some people on the Trick or Treat trail recognised what he was dressed as!

More Missoni

Regular readers will now realise I am mad for Missoni. What you see on this site is only a small porportion of the yardage I have of it. I even have a skirt I made a year ago that I have no photos of.  Like the owner of Tessuti, where I buy most of my fabric, I swore "no more". But then the owner/buyer for Tessuti saw this, and like me, she couldn't resist.

I purchased the fabric about 2 weeks ago. That's about the fastest "shop to sewn" garment I've ever made.

Why a jacket/cardigan and a skirt? Because for 1.3m of fabric, you can get both, given the width of the fabric. You could make a dress instead, but I think two pieces is more versatile.

Friday, October 15, 2010

I made a movie!

Thomas came home from school in the final week of term 3 with two bean seeds, which we dutifully planted in cotton wool in a cup. They grew, and one day I noticed that the leaves had turned to face the window. We decided to do an experiment, captured with time lapse photography, to show his year 1 class as news.

Here's the movie on YouTube, made with Windows Movie Maker and some online tools for converting music to the right format.

It's to illustrate how plants turn to the light. The last two frames are the same as the first and (3rd) last frames in the movie (pictured here) to illustrate how much the plant moved - in about 30 mins.