Wednesday, 31 October 2012


Happy Halloween 2012 folks!

Firstly, to my blogging/sewing/internet friends in New York/affected by Hurricane Sandy: I am thinking of you all <3

I hope the storm hasn't caused too much damage and that your family and friends are safe xox

Here are some photos my Halloween weekend.

I had a tonne of fun in my me-made Dorothy dress and red DIY glittered heels. 

Everyone's costumes were fantastic!

I started at a friend's house party then went to Randy Dragon's Halloween event.

Check out the Mr 305 look-alike!

Hope you all had a great Halloween and got lots of candy! Can't wait to see all the costumes on your blog!

xox Neeno

This was in a TV Guide... Hahahah...

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Monday, 29 October 2012

Finished Project: The 'Mixed Print & Feelings' Dress.

I love this dress but at the same time I don't

This is the same pattern I used for my Halloween Dorothy costume but for some reason I'm not loving this version as much as the gingham one.

It could be because of the mixed print. Or the lace. Or the 'cream' color which I am paranoid makes me look washed out.

Or maybe I picked a really shit time of the day to take photos and the lighting is crap.

When I wear this dress and look in the mirror, I'm very happy with it... but it does not photograph well - even Instagram couldn't make me happy with the photos... and Instagram always makes me happy.

I spent about 13 hours over 3 days on this dress and it was my first time sewing with lace and underlining. I got a lot of helpful tips from Gertie's blog.

The effort that went into this dress is priceless - I measured each pleat on the skirt carefully, handpicked the zip, hand sewed the lining to the shell, trimmed the skirt and lining with lace, added a waist stay, french seams.

I have mixed feelings about this dress... I made it with the intention of wearing it to a work function next week, but now I'm not so sure...

What are your thoughts?

  • 0.5m lace (bodice)
  • 0.5m satin underlining (bodice)
  • 1m cotton/lycra (skirt and midriff band)
  • 1m bemsilk (lining)
  • Whisperweft interfacing
  • 14" dress zipper
  • 2m cream lace
  • 2m black lace
  • 1m grosgrain ribbon
  • Bikini hook
  • Gutermann thread

  • French seams
  • Underlining
  • Handpicked zip
  • Waist stay
  • Sewing with lace (got tips from Gertie's blog post)
  • Pleats
  • Bodice lining
Hours:  13 hours

Total cost:  about $40

I think I'll be spending this weekend sewing up another dress!

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Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Dressmaking Class WIP: Burda 7254 & Burda Pant Patterns.


Would you believe me if I told you that I will not need to make any adjustments to this dress?
It fits perfectly, what a miracle! I am so happy with the fit. Jersey rocks!
All that's left is to insert the zipper, finish back seam, add the facing, finish the sleeve, hem.

Once this dress is finished, I will take on another Burda. Either the Burda 7371 or Burda 8341 pants.

My sewing class mate has kindly let me borrow these patterns, has anyone else sewn these up?

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Sunday, 21 October 2012

What's in the box? My beloved fabrics!

I have a very, very small fabric collection compared to other dressmakers out there.

On Saturday I spent the day out driving about, visiting my favorite fabric stores in Brunswick then drove out to Heidelberg to visit Darn Cheap. It was worth the trip!!

I'll share with you what I bought this weekend:

Darn Cheap, Heidelberg
Cotton 140cm x 2m
Darn Cheap, Heidelberg
Cotton Lycra 130cm x 1m
Darn Cheap, Heidelberg
Poly Spandex 140cm x 1m
Darn Cheap, Heidelberg
Polyester 140cm x 1m
Brunswick Fabrics, Brunswick
Lace 140cm x 1m
Brunswick Fabrics, Brunswick
Polyester 110cm x 1m
Previous project using this fabric blogged here.

I also bought 1.5m bemsilk lining (cream) from Spotlight and some unknown lining and cream satin from Brunswick Fabrics that I will use to underline the lace.

Total spend for the day was only $60!

After buying all those beautiful fabrics, I was motivated to tidy up my fabric stash and create an inventory. Might as well start now before my collection becomes enormous.

Here are my favorite fabrics from my stash:

Unknown Store, Footscray
Cotton Sateen 140cm x 1.5m
Previous project using this fabric blogged here.
Cotton Sateen 120cm x 1.5m
Brunswick Fabrics, Footscray
Lace (?) 140cm x 1m

Here are some fabric scraps that I could use to make a bodice:

Cotton Sateen 120cm x 0.5m
Previous project using this fabric blogged here and here.
The Fabric Store, Fitzroy
Polyester 140cm x 0.7m

Previous project using this fabric blogged here and here.

Here are the not-so-favourites from my stash, but had to include in this post, for inventory purposes:

Cotton Sateen 120cm x 2m
GJ's Fabrics, Brunswick East
Poly Spandex 130cm x 0.6m
Hot Pink

Previous project using this fabric blogged here and here.
GJ's Fabrics, Brunswick East
Poly Spandex 130cm x 2m

To be honest, I don't think I will ever use the 'olive' cotton sateen. It's not even a colour I like. Why the hell did I buy it?? The poly-spandex from GJ's gets very wrinkly, so it's a turn off and I probably won't use that either. Eventually these might make its way to my 'scrap fabric' pile which currently lives inside a plastic bag.

I also have lining in my stash, these notes are boring, purely blogged for my reference when I'm out fabric shopping and need to know what I have at home:
  • Sunsilky, 120cm x 1.2m (red)
  • Sunsilky, 120cm x 0.4m (blue)
  • Bemsilk, 120cm x 1.5 (cream)
  • Acetate, 120cm x 0.4m (pistachio) 
  • Unknown, 120cm x 0.5m (cream)
  • Oh, and some cotton sateen scrap 120cm x 0.6m (black)

My fabric box is neat and tidy, now what to do with my fabric scraps?

How do you organise your fabric collection? What do you do with your scraps?

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Saturday, 20 October 2012

Oppan Gingham Style Halloween Costume!

Finished Project: Halloween Dress & Sparkly Heels!
Coming soon in technicolor :D

Ehhhhhhh sexy lady! Psy is touring Australia right now and his appearances are all over TV as well his very catchy song Gangnam Style which I have to admit I really love! Hahaha. Have to learn that dance!!

From Gangnam to Gingham, here is my latest handmade dress.

It's my take on Dorothy Gale's dress from the 1939 film The Wizard of Oz.

The dress also serves as a muslin for the dress I will be making for the HIA Awards night that I will be attending in November. Muslins aren't as painful to make when I know that I get to rock the dress at least once.

The pattern I have 'hacked' to make the bodice is my trusty old V8469.

Modifications made to the V8469 bodice:

  • Lengthened the midriff band by 1" to avoid that dreaded babydoll look - I only realised yesterday that this bodice is not long enough... yes, I have made this bodice many times and didn't realise, don't even ask...
  • Used the front midriff band as the back midriff band so midriff band is same all the way round. The original pattern has the back midriff band dipping down, which I do not like!
  • After a lot of paying around, I trimmed off some of the back bodice piece to ensure the back seam does not 'dip' at the centre. Those that have made V8469 will know what I am referring to.
  • Side seam allowance - I had the fabric right next to the foot... 1cm?! Help.
  • Raised the front neck so it is more of a boat neck.
  • Scooped back :D
  • Instead of the gathering under the bust, I have 'box pleated' the excess fabric instead.

I know my dress does not look exactly like Dorothy's dress (or apron??) but neither do the sexy ones on eBay :P
Her dress has a pinafore or apron-like thing and has sleeves and certainly does not have a scooped back! 

When it comes to dressing up, I like to be subtle so I don't look too costume-y. If only gingham was in style, I would wear this dress everywhere!

I didn't use the skirt from the V8469, instead I replaced it with a short-full-pleated-gathered-skirt. 

I cut two rectangles that were 17" long (SA included in that) but instead of gathering it like I usually do, I pleated it. I eyeballed the whole thing, each pleat was about 1". No pressure for perfection cos it's only a costume after all :)

I didn't worry about matching the little squares up, but hey there's a bit of a chevron happening at the side midriff!

I used white poplin for the bodice and lining. The skirt and midriff band is cotton gingham.

I french seamed for the first time. Wow I can't believe how easy it is and the result is amazing! I french seamed the side and back seams of the skirt. Once I worked out the 'fractions' component of it (5/8" 1/8" blah blah), it was a breeze. I wish I had learned this technique earlier. 

I had some gingham cotton left over so I made ties to wear on my hair. 

Summary: Dorothy Gale inspired dress/Halloween Costume aka wearable muslin.

  • Bodice: V8469 with many, many modifications to it
  • Skirt: Self drafted
Size: 6

  • 1.2m cotton gingham (skirt and midriff band) $4/m
  • 1.5m top pop poplin cotton (bodice and lining) $3/m
Notions: 16" dress zipper, thread

Techniques: French seams :D

Hours:  6 hours on a Friday. Easy, relaxing project.

Will you make it again? Yep!!! Not the costume, but will be making this dress again. The fit is great, I am wearing it as I blog (to test fitting). I will be making one for my awards night coming up in 3 weeks.

Total cost:  $10! 

$10 for a Halloween costume is a bargain!! But it's not about saving dollars, I actually really, really enjoy making my own costume rather than ordering some lingerie outfit from eBay, plus it gives me the opportunity to try out new patterns (like I did with New Look 6723) and hack up some TNT patterns.

I have also made my own pair of sparkly red shoes to go with my dress. 

You need:
  • Shoes
  • PVA glue, that's what we use in Australia.. it's white and dries clear
  • 50grams glitter
  • Pot and brush - I used a hair dying kit

I simply mixed some glitter with PVA glue and painted it over the shoe.

If you want to be neat, you can tape off sections of the shoe you don't want spillage on. I didn't bother.

I painted two coats (letting dry in between) then left it to dry over night. 

I just applied the third coat today and have sprinkled the remaining glitter over the wet PVA glue.

Make sure you use a glue that dries CLEAR!

I'll let it dry over night and tomorrow I'll shake all the glitter off.

It better not rain next Saturday cos I think the glue is not waterproof :/

Total cost of glue and glitter: $8.

Halloween is not big in Australia, but over the last few years I have noticed more and more people embracing the day. I love to dress up so I am excited that friends hold Halloween Parties and night clubs have events to celebrate it.

I'll leave you with some photos from Halloween 2011. I dressed up as a zombie school girl - costume from eBay. I wasn't skilled enough to make something myself. I did take the side seams in on my shirt though :) 

If you haven't got your costume sorted yet, maybe you can get some inspiration from these pics.. my friends are a funny bunch.

Are you ready for Halloween? What will you be dressing up as???

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