Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Dotty Birkenstocks

I've had this pair of Birkenstocks for a few years now and decided they needed a makeover. They were originally red and much as I love red shoes I've hardly worn them, I think because I didn't really like the way the black buckles and soles looked with red uppers. I saw this blog post recently about covering shoes with fabric and Mod Podge, and was inspired to give mine a similar treatment.

I didn't use Mod Podge because I'd heard it could be very hard and crack, I decided to try my old faithful Aleene's Tacky Glue instead (I think it's the same as PVA in the UK). I smothered the shoes in the glue and cut out some fabric pieces bigger than the tops of the shoes in case the glue shrunk the fabric slightly. I stuck the fabric down cutting a slit where the fabric went over the buckle and then smothered the top of the fabric with another layer of glue. Once the glue was dry I trimmed around the edges with sharp pointy scissors for the top, and a craft knife by the soles.

I'm pretty pleased with how they've turned out, they still seem to be fairly flexible and don't feel too rough. I don't know how durable they'll be but I think if anything is going to happen to them it will just be that the fabric peels off. In that case I will either glue it back down or rip it all off and start again with different fabric for another new look. It looks like we're in for nice weather this weekend so I shall try them out then.

Okay, since I wrote this post this morning I have been wearing them in the house and I think we might have a solubility problem with the glue. I've noticed it goes white again if I accidentally splash water on them. Oops! I will be checking out the glue section the next time I go shopping for something a little more waterproof, or maybe a flexible varnish....

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Playing with ruffles

I think I might be getting addicted to feet, for my sewing machine that is. My latest toy is a ruffler, a handy little thing that, as the name suggests, makes ruffles. No more gathering by hand, just lovely even ruffles done by machine. That's the theory anyway, it's a bit of monster as feet go and it has adjustable bits so it helps to know what these bits do. There's a great free guide to using a ruffler on youcanmakethis.com which is well worth a read, preferably before you start. I have to confess to not having done the calibrating my foot to my machine thing yet, although the engineer in me will probably want to do that at some point, for now I just wanted to get ruffling!
So here is a skirt made by cutting strips of fabric and ruffling one strip onto the next. When you're not using a pattern it doesn't really matter what your 'ruffle factor' is. It makes for a great twirl:

I think this is going to be fun, what shall I ruffle next?

Sunday, March 14, 2010

A rainbow unicorn peasant dress

Yet another fabric that Freja chose herself! I thought I'd better sew it up soon before she thinks she's too old for unicorns. The fabric is very thin cotton and a bit see-through so I backed it with the green cotton which I had found in Goodwill. I winged the pattern using a combination of a dress she already has and used this peasant blouse tutorial to help with cutting out the sleeves. It's a little short because originally I was going to make it a pillowcase sundress until she told me she wanted sleeves, but she usually wears shorts or leggings under dresses so I don't think that matters. She seems happy with it, now we just need it to stop raining so she can wear it.

Monday, March 8, 2010

An Alice dress

Freja and Iwent to the cinema on Saturday, it was the first time I had been since I was pregnant with her, so about 4 years. We went to see the new Tim Burton Alice in Wonderland which is probably not the most appropriate movie for a not quite 4-year-old, but she had seen the trailer and really wanted to go. We went on the condition that she told me if she wanted to leave because it was too scary, but she sat through it all and I think a lot of the scarier stuff just went over her head. I think she enjoyed it, she's been talking about it ever since. I keep catching her pretending to eat cake and then grow bigger, and diving over the back of the sofa pretending to fall down the rabbit hole.
I only decided on Thursday to make her an Alice dress so this was a very quick and slightly bodged job, but she seems happy with it. I used the bodice pattern from a pattern I've got just to get the size and the sleeves, and then winged it from there. It's supposed to look something like the dress here. I just used quilting cotton and the fabric isn't quite so bright in real life.

Here she is pretending to jump down the rabbit hole.

Monday, March 1, 2010

A colourful twirly skirt for Freja

Freja chose these fabrics when we were in the fabric shop last week, they are very bright and summery with ice cream and cupcakes and strawberries. The pattern is the Insa skirt from the Farbenmix book that I made the leggings from at the weekend. I managed to get it all done in an evening, including tracing out the pattern. Using a rotary cutter and mat to cut things out is so much speedier than scissors.

She seems to like it and insisted on wearing it today even thought there is still snow on the ground, can you tell she chose the tights herself?

And here's a blurry picture to demonstrate it has twirlability: