Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Deep Art

I love finding online programmes that can turn things into art - and are great time wasters! I've mentioned Tagxedo before; now I've found DeepArt - "Repaint your picture in the style of your favourite artist."

Here I mashed a silhouette of a Dalek with a simple floral design. "Pollinate! Pollinate" (Doctor Who in-joke.)

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Fundraising with full colour tea towels

I love tea towels - they are useful, they are not expensive, they make great souvenirs (pack small and are practical - as long as you don't keep them for "good") and I think they make a great fundraiser.

Naturally for every hole in the market there's a provider. You may have seen this sort of tea towel fundraiser from a school:

They are lovely, but they are one colour only and the middleman takes their cut, lowering your fundraising take.

In the era of online, on-demand full colour printing, povided by companies such as Spoonflower in the US and Europe (also available via Etsy and Amazon) and Next State in Australia it's now easy to create your own. With a bit of effort in uploading a design, cutting, ironing and sewing, we made almost $10 per tea towel - selling 80 tea towels, that's almost $800 raised.

It was my son's school's 95th Anniversary. We had a number of colours and design elements from the school we could work with, and this design was arrived at: (I love tea towel designs that have elements that read right-way-up when folded over.)
As I'm in Australia, I used Next State Print to print 4 tea towels per metre of fabric. This is printed on Next State's "Soho" fabric - a cotton linen mix, price at the time of writing at $34 a metre, so each tea towel was 8.50, raw (the cost of postage also has to be factored in). Next State Print staff will assist in layout if necessary. I designed the tea towel with a border to assist with cutting and sewing, and cleared the dining room table for a workspace:

The border assisted in hemming - after cutting, each tea towel had to have the hem allowance turned under, then sewn. I made lengths of tape with the offcuts of the selvedge to create hanging strips, sewn into the corners.

In this case I did the majority of the cutting, ironing and sewing, but this part of the process could be shared out amongst your fundraising committee. I also employed a local sew-er to sew the hems of some when I ran out of time - that worked out at about $1.30 per tea towel.

The best part of this fundraiser is that you can do it with little risk of left over stock - often a major issue with producing merchandise. We made a sample batch and sold them at a fete - then took orders for more, and only had printed the number that we required.

All up, the cost of printing, postage and hemming amounted to about $10 per tea towel. We sold them for $20 - not an unreasonable price for a fundraising tea towel, so made almost $10 profit per tea towel.

Friday, February 15, 2019

Sparkles on jewels

A silk / cotton voile from Potter Textiles in Perth turned into a self-drafted loose peasant top, with sequin embroidery as I didn't think it had enough bling!

Because static photos don't always show off sequins - here's a moving photo:

Tip for embellishers - a cheap way to buy a lot of different coloured sequins
is to buy it in this form. 10cm (minimum purchase) was only 50c

Sunday, August 12, 2018

Stranger Things birthday card

Image result for demogorgon popMr 14 was off to a teen birthday party and noted that he and some others were going to make handmade cards for the birthday girl ... and see whose she liked best! Challenge accepted! All I know was that she liked Stranger Things. So what else but a pop up Demogorgon card. Just what every girl wants.

I googled "pop up flower card" and followed the instructions to create 7 flowers for the most common flower pop-up card you will find on the net. I printed a A4 page of a "Stranger Things" wallpaper for most of the "flowers" but created an 8-petal flower using Photoshop and this image to create the "petals" for the demogorgon:

The pop up 7-flower cards use an 8-petalled flower from which one petal is removed, and then two petals are overlapped, resulting in a 6-petalled flower. So my demogorgon ended up with 6 "petals" (flanges?) instead of the 5 as pictured. But who's counting?

The other 6 flowers I cut from the Stranger Things wallpaper.

If you make each flower from a 3 inch square, the whole "pop up" arrangement will fit in a traditionally sized greeting card - 4 x 6 inches (A6 envelope size). BUT make your demogorgon from a 4 x 4 inch square so it standout out more.

Finally, a search for "Stranger things" font led me to the Stranger Things Type Generator from which I produced a "Happy Birthday" in the Stranger Things style. Simply download or screenshot, print, cut, paste to front of card:

And voila!

Sunday, June 24, 2018

Designer Dalek

Apologies to the dress designer (Leona Edmiston) but as a Doctor Who fan, the moment I saw this dress:

My mind went here: (It's a Dalek, one of the Doctor's
mortal enemies from the television series.)

All I needed was some styrofoam balls and some matching fabric (I found some girls' leggings in Zara which fit the bill:

Each ball was split into a semi sphere, then wrapped in a half circle of fabric - I traced around a cup for the shape. 

I attached the "bumps" with sticky velcro dots, thinking I could peel them off and use the dress in its natural state. Unsuccessfully, unfortunately.
Then it was off to our local "comic con" with a toilet plunger in hand:

There's always a Doctor Who Christmas episode. I suppose that's why this bloke is dressed as he is...

Note Dalek T Shirt

Monday, November 27, 2017

Winter sewing finished - another Missoni jacket

Years ago I made an unstructured jacked from Missoni woollen fabric from Tessuti Fabrics in Sydney Australia. And years ago I bought more fabric to make another one. Earlier this year I started sewing, and sewing, and sewing (with a bit of unpicking thrown in too!) and, just in time for the Australian summer, I finished it:

It's a self-drafted pattern, and should be easy as there's little hemming - the bottom edge f the jacket is the raw edge of the fabric, and the front edges, neckline and arms are all bound with foldover woollen binding tape, also from Tessuti Fabrics in Sydney.

I lined the jacket with a silver-grey satin:

Thank you to my friend Megan of Meggipeg who photographed it for me.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

I bought a new handbag

Yeah, so? Well, the last handbag I bought in Barcelona. I was last in Barcelona in 2006. Not that I had been using the handbag for 10+ years - I had to wear out the handbag that came before Barcelona bag. (Where exactly was Barcelona bag bought? Not sure - but somewhere on this map (we had dinner at Taller de Tapas when we bought it; if I'd known I'd want to blog about it over a decade later I would have kept better notes!):

But Barcelona Bag was becoming an embarrassment and had to go. But only when I found the right one. And it was right under my nose - in a shop in Sydney next to the suburb where I used to live. I owe Sarah for telling me to go in and have a look.

And it is my favourite colour (note matching shoe)!

And luck it was, as I was set on getting a bag that had at least 2 internal pockets (in addition to zip pockets and a phone pocket. And it didn't. But that was soon fixed. I made a handbag insert:

The fabric was purchased to mimic heavy duty canvas for an apron for my son's role as a coal carrier in the school musical (right), and has a synthetic canvas on one side and black felt on the other. It's thick enough to stand by itself.

I traced around the bottom of the bag for a pattern for the insert, then simply cut rectangles the height of the bag, and sewed them together with a zig zag stitch to create an insert with 3 compartments. I bound the top of the insert with bias binding (still using my grandmother's stash, last seen in this project. My grandmother is 100 as of a fortnight ago. The saving of these small amounts of bias speaks of the "mend and make do" era. Photos below of grandmother and the bias stash.)

The insert in the bag:

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Poppy Skirt

Visiting New York in 2013, I arranged to meet a volouteer guide through Big Apple Greeter. Amazing experience. 
I was essentially on my own during the day as my husband was at a conference, and Angelina, my Big apple Greeter, took the trouble before I arrived to engage with me by email and find out EXACTLY what my interests were. From a starting point (on the online form) or "history, culture, architecture", we ended up shopping for fabric, visiting Ralph Lauren's flagship store, visiting the Frick, thrift shopping, and having my hair cut by "Celebrity Stylist, Antonio Soddu":

But more importantly, Angelina took me to B&J Fabrics, where I found this:

I decided on a straight-ish skirt pattern, using the Easy Pleated Skirt pattern from So Sew Easy via Craftsy. The pattern is designed for softer fabrics than my cotton fabric, so I wouldn't use this pattern again unless I had a softer, more drapey fabric.  

Now, where did I stash that fabric? What?! Your stash isn't kept in window-faced A4 expandable envelopes?

How it turned out:

Pockets in red fabric for contrast:

Raw fabric edges finished with bias thanks to stash of bias from Grandmothers' sewing box:

Nice job on the invisible zip:

Funnily enough, my favourite designer also had a skirt with a poppy design fabric: