Monday, April 4, 2016

Hats for Autumn

 This week has already been pretty busy. I have all of a sudden erupted with so many new ideas for sewing, personal projects and baking fun! With only 26 days to go until our big overseas trip, I think I might be crafting to put off thinking about travelling across the world with a toddler.

So these hats are new! Something I've been playing around with for a while, but this morning I decided to jump in and made two. This cutey cactus and flower pots one and the meerkat one below.

Both of these hats are made using the Spoonflower printed jersey fabric, both my hand drawn design. I really love using my own fabric, it makes these projects special. Plus I know I can always get more if I need it!

Of course these hats are available for purchase from my online store, so click the "Driessababy" link on the side panel to buy. Only kids sizes right now, but I can make to order for the big kids too. 

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Vintage Dresses Colouring Book

I am so excited about this most recent finished project!
Check out the pics from my finished colouring book, just back from the printers yesterday! I drew these black and white vintage style dresses for my niece's birthday, she's turning five at the end of April. She's really trendy and loves dresses and princesses, she actually asked for a new dress for her birthday! Instead I gave her twenty! And the best part is, she gets to colour in the clothes herself. Design the fabric, coordinate the accessories and shoes too! I'm really hoping she's going to love it, and if she doesn't, I want to keep it for myself!
When I was a little girl, I used to spend hours making paper dolls with this stencil kit that we had, we all used to fight over it! Having three younger sisters to share it with meant I was a bit naughty and used to hide it... luckily Amelie gets this book all to herself.
If you would like your own vintage colouring book, I did get some extras printed! Just click here to go to my felt shop and order.
Let me know what you think! I'm having so many ideas for more colouring books!

Friday, March 25, 2016

Project Review: fizzing eggs!

For Easter weekend this year, we thought we would focus on something a bit different, so instead of chocolate and hot cross buns our house was full of SCIENCE!

I am a long time fan of the blog Fun at Home with Kids! This has been a great tool for a new mum like me with a little man who is very inquisitive and full of beans. I have tried a few of her tips and tricks before and thought we'd give the Hatching Dinosaur Eggs a try.

So instead of dinosaurs we used animals, my son loves wildlife and we spend at least two days a week at Wellington Zoo. I went to Iko Iko and bought some of their tiny animals and we were ready.

I won't go through all the steps. But I will say: if you want to make the eggs with your child, be prepared for mess! Toby had so much fun but I did have to vacuum for about 15 minutes to get all of the crystals out of the carpet afterwards. And I may have left Toby help with putting in the food colouring which resulted in a blue hand for two days. That one's on me!

The photo really doesn't do it justice, the fizzing was amazing and we had so much fun! I totally recommend this fun activity as an alternative to chocolate for Easter. 

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

The Dress Reconstruction Project

This was quite a massive undertaking, of course I didn't realise at the start!

I came across this dress on the sale rack at Recycle Boutique in Wellington, it had clearly lived a long life and had had several alterations made to it. Only $7 for this designer frock that was one size too big! I loved the fabric but was so disappointed by the condition it was in...
- All of the seams were still intact but the fabric was so fragile and had not been properly cared for and was pulling away around the seams.
- There was once a row of buttons down the center back that had all fallen off and was safety pinned together.
- The finishing around the neckline was coming away resulting in major fraying and a massive hole.
- The dress had some nice bead detail that for once wasn't tacky or over the top, unfortunately these were coming away. And I think i left a trail of beads behind me as I walked around the store.
I decided to try and restore it to its proper beauty. I would be this dresses last owner and I wanted to show it a great retirement. I could see me wearing this dress with leggings and a nice pair of boots so I adopted it and took it home.
My first step of the reconstruction was to cut out all of the unusable areas of the dress. I wasn't that scared to do this as the dress was one size too big for me so I had a bit of room. I stuck close to the original seams but as I started cutting I noticed how bad a shape this dress was in. I realised that it was no longer just a quick doer upper, this needed major structural renewal. I double sewed the side seams and the waist seam which is wear it had the most trouble with the fabric being so delicate. I then reinforced the darts on the front for shaping and the shoulder seams.
After every alteration I tried the dress on to make sure I wasn't going too far with the size reduction. But after all the work on the boddess I got stuck on the neckline. It was ruined beyond repair and gaped badly where the holes had originally tore away from the seam. I got pretty sad because I thought I might not be able to salvage this dress.
As a last ditch attempt, I used some black binding around the gaping neckline and converted the front of the dress to a v - neck structure to take away some of the extra fabric. It was a miracle that it worked and actually made the dress wearable. It did change the look of the dress but at least now I could wear it.
A success! I only pull out the dress to wear with my nice boots because I'm not sure how much longer it will last, but every time I wear it I feel happy I was able to give the dress a second go.

A new dress for me

Long time, no type!

But that doesn't mean I haven't been busy. My latest project is something I have been thinking about for a while, a new dress for work that I made right down to designing the fabric.

The attached picture is the finished product! I worked for about one and a half months on this dress - designing and proofing the fabric using and drafting the pattern, and the construction that followed. I made a last minute change to the sleeves, I wanted something a little different for his dress and I've always been a fan of the exposed shoulder look.

Let me know what you think!
SJ x