Posted in Sewing

Alice and The Bird Dresses

And now we have arrived at the first dress I made for Sweetie. I wanted something quite simple, so this meant no sleeves. So I picked a simple strappy dress, zip and straps that tie at the back. Not wanting to pass up an opportunity the fabric was picked to match an Alice style dress of an Alice in Wonderland Day at 2015’s 3 Wishes Faery Fest.

Being my first dress I chose to use some affordable polycotton, which isn’t the greatest but still looks quite nice. I also chose to have a play with making the colour fade through different shades, by bleaching the top of the dress and not the bottom. As it turned out it makes the dress look permanently wet, it definitely makes people take a second look.

Alice Dress

And as you can see it floats out in a lovely way too! I used a lace panel for the bottom to make it just that little extra pretty.

Alice Dress sitting

I have also made one of these dresses for my niece, in a smaller size, in some lovely Cotton – that I took so long picking. Here they are together:

Alice dress and bird dress

I love how different thy look until you really start analysing them and see that they really are the same. Here are a few extra pictures that really show it off:

bird dress bird dress

I bought quite a bit of these two fabrics and have made one other thing that I’ll post soon, but expect to see more using these in the future.

Posted in Sewing

Spotty Gypsy Skirt

Another one of my goals when I started sewing was to make a gypsy skirt for The Bendy Knitter. We decided a new skirt for 2015’s Faery Fest would be ideal, one of the themes was polka dots so we went shopping to for suitably spotty fabrics. She ended up choosing these bold Makower 100% cottons from one of our local fabric shops (Haberdashery Fabrics & More).

Spotty Gypsy Skirt Fabric Samples

We decided that I would lengthen the skirt from the pattern also, as although she isn’t tall she spends a lot of time sitting in her wheelchair which means a longer length can be more comfortable. Each layer is full of gathers and it moves wonderfully.

Spotty Gypsy Skirt


Unfortunately I don’t seem to have many pictures but she still wears it regularly so I will try to get a few more to add.

TBK Spotty Gypsy Skirt

Apart from the last picture all the pictures above were taken today, hopefully they show how well it has kept it’s colour, and if it’s not too bold how well it was made.

Posted in Sewing

First Trousers & Bleach Dying

When I decided I was going to start sewing seriously the first aim I set myself was to make some nice comfy casual trousers for myself. I had bought three such pairs in recent years and over time they were giving up. So once I had a few small projects under my belt I made my first attempt on some cheap cotton we had laying about from The Bendy Knitter‘s more artsie days. Well you’re not seeing those they were awful but I learnt a lot.

I decided I should head out and find something cheap to make my second attempt out of, I found this denim print polycotton. It’s very light weight as you make expect for a cheap polycotton.

Denim Polycotton

I finished them and fitted, I was very happy with that. But they looked awful, like drab blue scrubs, not what I expected at all, the denim detail was far too small to see without getting REALLY close up. So there aren’t any pictures at this stage.

I stewed on it for a bit and as 2015’s 3 Wishes Faery Fest  approached my thoughts were turning to costumes. One of which was a nautical type theme, I started thinking along the lines of well I have blue trousers, lets get more blue things and be a water fae. But these trousers won’t do, what can I do with them. Bleach Dye them of course.

So after buying elastic bands, rubber gloves and some cheap thin bleach I was ready. Giving the trousers a good soaking first and with the help of several elastic bands the trousers were twisted and balled up nice and tight. It’s really important to get them nice and tightly wound otherwise you’ll end up with too much colour gone. Now I filled the sink with bleach and water. I don’t remember the exact quantity, but almost anything looks like it will work, lots of things I’ve read suggest anything from equal quantities to 4 parts bleach to 1 part water, however that seems excessive to me, I’m more likely to have held back and used 1 part bleach and 2 parts water. The trousers were then left in for 5 – 10 minutes, the time really depends on the colour of the garment and the dyes used, which of course you’ll never know before hand. Also I should note here that 100% cotton is best used for this , using polycotton was a risk but one I was willing to take, it could have fallen apart. When the time is up give them a really good rinse and a turn in the washing machine on their own, maybe even two, until the smell of bleach has gone. and viola…

frozen trousers

Now is the time to talk colours, you may or may not know that, dark fabrics are made by dying with various other colours. When you bleach dye you wash out some of those so your end item will be made of the colours that were used but separated, in a tie-dye style. It’s quite exciting waiting to see what you’re going to get.

As you can see I think I pretty much hit the water fae colours maybe a little lighter than I had planned, a minute less in the bleach might have been a good idea. It’s been commented they look a bit more frozen than water, with The Bendy Knitter calling them my Elsa trousers more than once! Personally I’ve never seen Elsa wearing trousers! (That’s Elsa from Disney’s Frozen, if you didn’t know!)

Posted in Sewing

Small Day Bag for Pretzel Boy

Summer  last year Pretzel Boy went on a school trip to London, for which he needed a small day bag. Well I decided I wouldn’t buy one, I’d make him one, something just the right size for a day of walking around London.

small bag

My idea was to create a bag suitable for an explorer / adventurer, which I believe he was quite happy with. It is a small shoulder bag with a zip close main section and small front pocket, with a top flap to cover both. This was created with no pattern just an idea of what I wanted to achieve.

small bag open

The outer of the bag is a poly suede, which feels really great. The inside is from the left overs of the Jedi Cloak, giving it a look of being much bigger than it is. Oh and I up-cycled a nice chunky zip from an old jacket of his.

Posted in Sewing

The force is Strong with this Jedi Cloak

Here is the the “epic” Jedi cloak that I made for Pretzel Boy in early 2015, when he was just 9.
Jedi Cloak

It’s made from a lovely strong cotton, not too heavy that it’s uncomfortable but it hangs very nicely.

Although you’d never see him do it, the cloak swishes out massively when spinning etc. it makes it wonderful for wrapping up in, either for keeping warm on summer nights or just being mysterious.

Look out for another slightly smaller version of this in crushed velvet that I made for Sweetie in December