Sunday, 5 July 2009

A green waistcoat called Corduroy:

In the picture I'm wearing my Charlie Chaplin coat and trousers. But the green waistcoat is one I made recently. -I like to think it's missing a button on purpose, gives it a little more character.
It's got two little fake pockets on either side and is made of second hand green corduroy and lined with calico.

About a 1940s jacket and it's pointy hood.

Here I am wearing the jacket made from the above pattern. It's got a nice pointy hood. The fabric and buttons I used were second hand.

(Better not try and guess what's happening in the photograph. -Although the chickens in the background seem to be feathery accomplices of some sort.)

I made those pants and lederhosen recently out of an old blanket and dented silver buttons.

Putting together a Charlie Chaplin costume

The only thing I acually made were the pants, which I made oversized and baggy.
I got a coat second hand and made it into a small tailcoat, and cut the front back into that rounded shape. And used a grater to age it and make it look rag-tag, also rubbed cornstarch into it to make it loook faded. -Which was fun because I had never done that before.
For the hat what I did was colour it black, it used to be light blue.

Wednesday, 1 July 2009

My grandparents peeking out of a frame.

A rather odd wedding photograph of them. I glued it and some card onto back, and if that wasn't enough, on top of all those layers I glued a brooch pin.
Now I can wear my grandparents on my sleeve.

Saturday, 14 February 2009


Hello there.
You can see that there is quite a gap between this post and my last, this is because I've begun studying costume construction at university. This means I've had to adjust to the necessity of being someplace by 9:00 every morning.
This experience is made all the more unusual since in all my life I've never attended any kind of learning institution. School was charts on the wall and the dining room table for my siblings and I.
What I miss most about being home are the movies I'd stay up watching most weeknights, having time to read, and my pet duck Pegasus.

In picture time today, here is the most recent pattern I've bought. I've just cut out the pieces and am about to start making the jacket.

Friday, 30 January 2009

Still an interesting costume.

A little bit of Photoshop in honour of my brother Johnny's birthday.
Hurriedly, and partly for my own amusement, I stuck his and his wife's head on top of a photograph of my great grandparents. I think the hat and suit suit him just fine! -Don't you?

And here is a nice old film clip to go along with it: Ain't She Sweet -Lillian Roth 1933

Tuesday, 23 December 2008

Magnet making. And two little clown statues.

Each real estate agent in our area issues a calender magnet every year without fail. Inevitably there will be a photo of the agent, each with the same smile, big and fake. Thanks to Mum's newspaper round I can have as many of these magnets as I want.
I ripped off their faces and their advertising (with pleasure) and instead glued on these old photographs. The top one is of my great grandparents on my Mum's side -I'm pretty sure the picture was taken at my grandparent's wedding. I'll have to ask Nanny who the people in the other photo are, I'm guessing they are relatives from England.
I added photo corners to make the pictures look just like they did in Nanny's photo album.

Nothing to do with magnets, but I found these little guys today for a dollar each. The one on the left is missing an arm. They blend right in.

Tuesday, 16 December 2008

I'm a busy little bee.

Once again Mum has got us, but mainly me, busy.
She's very clever this way, I only just realised how clever, she's got me making things and wrapping stuff up for her. She has even got me using my prized brown paper.
I thought that I didn't have to worry about this Christmas stuff till I had 10 children and hundreds of inlaws to appease.

Sister Lisa and I spent last night in the living room factory churning out the Christmas cards, haunched over like factory workers. At least we were allowed to view a film while we worked.

A shirt for my brother from Mum, somehow without asking me to do anything she got me to do this.

Well, this was my own initiative -though how can I be sure, really.
Pop (Mum's Dad) took a little box camera to New Guinea when he was stationed there during World War 2. He took a lot of pictures and developed them all himself while there.
There's even one he took of a Japanese general surrendering.
I'm transferring them to a new album, and loving every minute of it, these pictures are so interesting.

Another labor for Mum, she's putting these soaps into little hampers for our relatives.
I got out the typewriter and made little labels for them.They remind me of the song from The Sound of Music.

Monday, 15 December 2008

A product of my ironing: the clown with the impossible long arm.

I like this iron on transfer paper! I'm going to make some t-shirts for my brother with all his favourite sayings on them, a good Christmas present I think. It looks so nice and clean and unexpectedly professional, and most important it's cheap -even for little paupers like me.
I would have done something like this ages ago, but it took a fair bit of searching to find a blank white t-shirt cheap enough for me.
I have an ought against the second hand stores especially the Salvation Army shops. When I get angry and poor enough I may take drastic action and write a letter to the local newspaper.
There will be fear and trembling then.

Saturday, 13 December 2008

Some old pictures.

I have a plan to print some of these out and iron them onto a t-shirt.

Pop and Nanny
1930 something: Probably just before Pop went off to war.

1960 something: Suddenly they have 4 children, my Mum on the top right.

1970 something: my Mum and her sister on the right.
I'm told the hair was the Jimi Hendrix influence.

Thursday, 4 December 2008

More decoration.

I've counted 20 frames in my room, with old photos, new photos, old pictures etc.
And now heres another one I've just put together, there will always be wall space in my room for another frame.
The frame is one my Dad made, I painted it and used some secondhand fabric for the back just because it was pretty. The old advertisement is one I scanned from a 1920s West Australian newspaper.

Just so I don't feel it's gone to waste.

Well, I got my call yesterday, telling me I'd been accepted to study costume at this place.

At my interview (is that what it's called?) 2 weeks ago there wasn't time to show the portfolio which I labored over for two weeks prior. The time was taken up looking at my education portfolio (I was home schooled) and the big bag of stuff I've made and clothes I've sewn -all of which are scattered about on this blog.
For a portfolio I used a big book with blank black pages because I want to continue adding to it.
So I'm posting some of it here, I hope you find it amusing. :)
Merry Christmas everyone.

Despite the lack of recent sewing projects being posted here, I have been sewing but I've been sewing Christmas presents for my family so I'll be keeping them secret for now. I made two oddball t shirts for my sister's birthday, I'll put pictures of those up later because they were cute and fun to make.

Saturday, 29 November 2008

Mighty glorious these.

Ah, there is something wrong with a man if he does not want to wear these.
How about those breeches? You know those over-worn 3/4 length pants that every man feels compelled to wear nowadays? -All they are is a modern (uglier, boringer) version of the above breeches.

The ugliest things in modern mens wear:

Saturday, 22 November 2008

Felt spats.

I got those shoes for $2 and covered them with felt and fabric glue.
They're meant to look like they've got spats on. I quite like them and do plan to wear them the first chance I get. Due to short sightedness I had to make a total of 3 trips to the shop for more felt.

Friday, 14 November 2008

A felt cameo brooch.

Not being able to sew lately must be the reason for the churning out of all these non sewing projects.
First the clay, then the clay painting, gluing a hat together and now this.
Felt, scissors, glue and a bit of stiff card. So simple but quite gratifying.

More than just a mime-head.

Monday, 10 November 2008

The mime-head and other stories.

I don't know what kind of clay this is but it is wonderful stuff.
It's easy to mold, it isn't messy, and when it is dry you can still shape it with your choice of some sharp object.
I had made this head intending to attach it to a headless clown that I'd been saving for this very thing. But it turned out the head wasn't suited to the clown body. I cannot bear seeing my failed projects so it was put away.
Today I suddenly decided I wanted to paint it and now here he is with an ink painted face.
I like how the black ink makes his head shiny.
It is, of course, in keeping with my mime/clown fixation as well as plenty of doubt as to it's gender.

I had so much fun painting the mime that I got out the clay again and am eager for this next one to dry.

A hat with no uses.

Pretty much the most useless thing I've made. It is, I think because of the shape, called a pillbox hat. I had the shell lying around which I put together quite a while ago, so I decided today I'd force myself to finish it.
If you notice that the lace I used is discoloured in parts this is due to age. The white or slightly yellowed lace is probably 50 years old -having been rescued by me from being buried in a second hand shop.
As with everything I make, all materials have been rescued. -And lots of fabric glue.
I wish I had made it smaller.

A view of the inside. I've put a thick piece of cardboard in the top to make it solid. The button in the center is attached though a hole to the lace on the top, and helps hold it in place.

Sunday, 2 November 2008

What would you do with 130 old sewing patterns.

Aha, it finally arrived, a big box of 130 sewing patterns.
I paid AU$100 including postage, which works out to about AU$o.80 a pattern.

I was very glad to find that they were all mostly 1970s but also 50s and 60s patterns. I am also glad I don't like the clothing much from any of those eras, else I'd be wanting to keep them all.
I used to sew 70s clothes for myself from patterns I found from the second hand shops.
Until one day (I don't get out much) I saw copies of 1970s styles being sold in the real shops.
I suppose it all must be popular now, inevitably I no longer think they're unique.
Now I just make whatever I feel like at the time.

I've put up a collage of some of the patterns to give you an idea of the lucky deal I got.
If you want a look I'll be selling them on eBay, look for the seller tommyseye.

Friday, 31 October 2008

The oaf-ish tangled mess.

Of course I didn't mean it to turn out oaf-ish, but staring at the picture just now it seems the only word to describe it.
I probably spent something over 15 hours knitting this tangled mess.
This sweater was the first big thing I've knitted, and I was quite proud of it until I ruined it.

At least I got the wool for free. It is very heavy, (my mannequin is now suffering from multiple sclerosis) and I think the wool must be untreated. I know this because it is coarse and white and still smells exactly like a sheep -I have smelt a sheep before.
Because of these two things i like the wool very much.
However, I think it was a mistake to try and dye the thing scarlet, I used too much water in the dye bath and so it turned quite pink. Also it became bigger somewhere along the way, obviously because now it looks like a bit of a monster.

Unless I'm very angry I usually wait a few weeks before throwing failed projects away, just enough time to forget all the hours of effort that went into it.

Does anyone know how to shrink wool?