Things to do with a button-down Pt. 1


I got back from Andy's yesterday so expect a big rambling post soon. Something really really scary happened to me, actually. I feel like I've told everyone I know so it's time to tell the internet too hoho. I will write about it in my next post, but for now I have a new (kind of) tutorial.
This is awfully similar to my reconstructing dress tutorial except... well, it's using a shirt rather than a dress? haha. WELL, I realised today I have a ridiculously large amount of button-downs. I don't even know how it happened, they've just accumulated over time. I was thinking about ways I could make use of them today, and decided it would be fun to do a little series of button-down related tutorials. Just simple ways to change them up a bit. This is my first, simply because I felt like making a dress this morning.

What you need...
One large shirt, a sewing machine, scissors, tape measure, seam ripper if you have one.

What you must do...
Cut this kind of shape out of your shirt. The top should be as wide as you want the shoulders to be (plus seam allowance) and the sides of the front must go down the center of your boobs, a little narrower at the bottom. The piece should end at your waistline (or where ever you want the waist line to be). The back should go down just outside of your shoulder blades.

With the rest of the shirt, cut two of these pieces to join the front and back of the piece you cut above.  You might need to make the (front) line more curved if you have a bigger bust. Remember, it's better to make it too big than too small so you can change it later if necessary.Try to waste as little fabric as possible! Use a tape measure to check that it will be big enough sewn together. Right sides together, sew the (front) to the side of the front piece, and then the (back) to the back piece, and again on the other side. 

Try it on to check it fits, trim the bottom / armholes if necessary. Zig-zag over everything if you so desire. Hem the armholes, trim all the loose threads etc. etc. Looking at this picture, I probably should have added another button SO if it is a little gaping around the boob-area, fix this now.

Take the bottom of the shirt (easier to keep it buttoned for now) and trim to make sure both sides are the same length. Use your seam ripper / scissors to open up the sleeves for extra fabric to add to your skirt, making sure everything is the same length. Right sides together, sew all the skirt pieces together to make a loop. Hem everything. Gather your skirt at the top (I do this by sewing the longest stitch along the top and pulling one thread, but you can also get gathering foots for your sewing machine), making sure it is the same length gathered as the bottom of the bodice. Unbutton the skirt and bodice. Right sides together, matching up the edges, sew your skirt to the bodice.

You should now be finished!

Hat: vintage
Collar: vintage
Coat: vintage
Dress (underneath) H&M
Shoes: New Look

Tutorial: wrap dress


What you need...
About 3m of fabric, sewing machine, elastic (possibly a needle and thread and a hook)

What you must do...

Cut two of the first (front), one of the second (back). The orange dotted line is where you might use a princess seam (refer to my 'wrap bodice' tutorial) but I don't think it's a big deal. Up to you. I've just done one because I have limited fabric and it's a way to... make the bigger piece without it looking odd haha. I've also done the same on the back but... JUST IGNORE IT. The length of both should be from your shoulders to the waistline, plus an inch or so seam allowance. Keep in mind that for the first piece, you will cross these over so make sure you make it a few wider. You can use an existing shirt for reference if you are unsure. I have not made this to be fitted - you should be able to pull this over your head so do make it wide enough!

With the right sides inward, sew the pieces together at the shoulders and sides, along the dotted lines. Set it aside for the moment.

For your skirt, either get one long piece of fabric or lots of panels that together make up one long piece of fabric, whatever you can do. I've heard some say the skirt should be 3x you waist measurement for adequate poof, but obviously that depends on the weight and type of your fabric / your own personal taste. Sew them together so you end up with a big loop / circle, and hem.

Either pleat or gather your skirt so the skirt opening and the bottom of the bodice are the same size. This should still be quite a bit wider than your waist.

 Unfortunately I didn't photograph this part very well but it's easy to understand. Get your elastic and cut a length that is snug around your waist but not so tight you can't fit it over your hips. Sew the ends of the elastic together. Match the sewn part of the elastic to a seam on the skirt and sew it in place. When you pull the elastic taut, take hold of the loop on the opposite side to that you've just sewn down, and sew that side to the other side of the skirt (as in the diagram). Now, from one of the sewn points, sew over the elastic on to the already gathered edge of the skirt, pulling the elastic taut. As you sew, pull the elastic so it is the same length as the skirt. If you pull it too much or not enough, it will end up looking uneven. Keep doing this until the whole skirt is attached to the elastic and it fits you around the waist.

WHY are my diagrams always weird? Cut two of both shapes. This left shape is the collar, so it must match up with the neckline of the bodice as above. Wrong sides together, sew the sides of each piece together so it forms a big tubey thing, turn inside out and iron! Take the wrong side of the collar (the side which will face inward) and sew the edge to the edge of the neckline (wrong side against wrong side - any raw edges should be zig-zagged first!). Open the collar out the right way round and iron.

For the second shape, make sure the length matches up with the armholes. Sew the ends of each piece together so you end up with two circles. Hem one side, sew the other side to the armhole, matching up the seams.

This step is optional. If you have some hooks and eyes on hand (or just hooks, really), use a needle and thread to sew a little loop on one side of the collar, and a hook on the other side (you will have to do this from underneath the collar so it is hidden). This way you can make your dress a little less revealing quickly and easily if you so choose.

Anyway, sew the bodice of the dress to the skirt (right sides together) on the elastic in the same way as before i.e. pulling the elastic taut as you sew. You should now be finished.



Hi! I got back from Berlin last night. WHAT AN IMPRESSIVE CITY. I'm so sad that I was only there for a few days so only did really touristy things, especially as it turns out a couple of my old friends were staying there at the same time. I'd only reactivated my Facebook a couple of days earlier so I had no idea. But oh well, I had fun. So so impressed. I can't wait to go back, though it probably won't be for a while.
It was also fun as an opportunity to speak German to people haha. So many awkward moments e.g. trying to order icecream and having no idea how to say 'one in each'. I don't even remember how I ended up explaining what I meant but it was horribly awkward, mainly because the lady made no attempt to hide how annoying I was being haha. And also being yelled at by a security guard for some reason still unknown to me and neither of us could understand each other. I pretty much ran out of the museum haha. I still don't know what was going on.
Also, also, also, I had my first non-crap bubble tea in 2 years there. And I had WURST. YES. But anyway, here are some of my photos.

Apparently you have to book four days in advance to get in?

Tutorial: super easy tote bag


Hi everyone! Finally able to post my little bag tutorial.

A lot has happened this week, including finding out my parents are moving back to Australia. For those who were not aware, I am originally from Sydney and moved here in 2009. My parents are leafing without me this time which is kind of sad. But oh well! It will force me to be independent at least. Well, semi-independent.

I also just have to express that I am ridiculously happy that Djokovic beat Nadal. I find his brattiness strangely endearing. I don't know. I also just think he looks like a sweet dinosaur / lizard.

Anyone know what I mean? I just like him.

SO ANYWAY, on with my tutorial.

You will need...

A sewing machine, tape measure, fabric scissors,zipper, outer and lining fabric (I am using grey wool and black cotton)

What you must do...

Cut a long strip of each fabric. Folded in half, it should be a little bigger than  you want your bag to end up. Your lining fabric should be slightly shorter by 2 inches or so.

Cut a piece of lining fabric about the same width as your zipper and twice as long as the depth you want your pocket to be. About 10" should be about right. Zig-zag the edges. Fold in half and sew up the sides, leaving about 1cm at the top of the pocket.
At the open edge of the pocket, sew one side of the zipper to the inside edge of the pocket. Do the same for the other side. After doing one side, it should look like the picture above.
After doing both sides, it should look like this.

Keeping in mind it will eventually be folded in half, cut these slits in your lining fabric where you want your pocket to be. So, just in case you have no idea what this diagram means... do one cut in the middle, about the length of the zip (not including the base), another two tiny cuts across the ends of the first, and even smaller, virtually minute cuts off that. You should now have four little tabs in your lining which you will use to sew the pocket in place.

Wrong side of the fabric facing upwards, take the top tab and sew it to the top side of the front of the zipper. Hoping this makes sense to you but you should be able to work it out in practice.
Do the same to other tabs and you should end up with something which looks like this when your lining is the right way round.

This is to attach to your lining fabric at the top (the reason why it was cut slightly shorter). Using the same fabric you used for the 'outer' part, cut two strips (about 3" or so wide?) and the same length as the width of your main pieces.

Sew the ends together to make a tubey-circley thing.

Right sides together, matching up the seams, sew your tubey circley thing to the top opening of the lining.

You should now have two pieces which are about the same size. If either is longer, give it a little trim. They should be about the same size but the lining should be ever so slightly smaller.

Cut two strips of fabric, twice the width you want your straps / handles to be and however long. UP TO YOU. 

These are two ways you can sew your handles. I did mine the first way because the fabric was too heavy to turn inside out. The second way involves folding the strip in half, sewing along the length, turning it inside out and pressing it flat.

Line the two open edges of the outer and lining. They should be turned inside out and the right sides of the fabric should be pressed together. The ends of your straps should be between both, where you want them to end up. Use your tape measure to make sure they are in the right place! Sew through all the layers of fabric, leaving a small hole.

Turn it inside out and it should look something like this!

Get yourself a needle and thread, preferably in the same colour as your outer fabric if you haven't already been using some.

Starting from the inside, sew little stitches along either side of opening, pulling the thread as you go so the hole closes but the stitches are hidden. Iron the whole thing and you're finished.

You could also do this without lining, with the zipper on the outside, with normal pockets, whatever. This is just because I personally wanted a bag like this.

Here is one I made without lining. Yoop.

Also, here are a couple of recent outfits:
Scarf: made it (it's just fabric)
Brooch: Primark
Watch: Asos
Everything else: vintage

Cardigan: Uniqlo
Skirt: sister's
Dress: vintage
Watch: Asos
Bag: Primark
Sandals: not sure, ridiculously old

And and and also thankyou PerhapsDaily for making her dress using my tutorial. So exciting to see!


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