Handmade Tuesday #7 - Grace Knickers

March 24, 2015

No dodgy mirror selfie today :)  Instead there is actually no photo of me wearing my handmade creation today.  That's for one simple reason, what I made isn't really meant to be seen by the general population, at least not on my body anyway!

That's because I made some knickers!  I wanted to sew something a bit different and when I came across Ohhh Lulu the other week I knew what it was.  Sarah not only sells her creations through her Etsy store, she also sells patterns on Etsy and Craftsy!  I purchased her Grace Knickers pattern and found them fantastic for someone who has never sewn lingerie before.  To start with there were only 4 pattern pieces and 5 pieces of fabric to cut and I was able to whip up my first pair in no time at all (I didn't time it but I'd say somewhere between 1-2.5hrs from pulling fabric to wearable).

Ohhh Lulu Grace Knickers
The Grace Knickers have a bias cut woven front and back and stretch sides.  In this pair I used a dot poplin from Spotlight and some stretch lace. They finish with a double needle around the legs and elastic on the waist.  I've cut out about another 5 pairs or so and just need to finish them off before I have enough handmade undies to last the week.
Have you ever made any lingerie before?

How to get the most for your money at Spotlight

March 22, 2015

As I've said before I spent the first four and a half years of my working life at Spotlight.  If I had stayed another six months I would have had a five year service badge at 20.  I've learnt a few things during my time there and learnt how to get the most for my money and so I thought I would share some of my tips with you.

Check out the remnants
                   My local store seems to go through stages with the quality of their remnants.  Sometimes they are awesome, other times they are awful.  Go for a dig, some good stuff can end up pushed right to the bottom of the container.  I ended up with 1m of fleece for jumpers reduced to $4.  It had a mark on the inside but I managed to cut around it and I ask myself if it would have really mattered anyway.  From that 1m I got jumpers for two of my nephews and they turned out to be the cheapest jumpers I've ever made.  I also recently got some lycra down to $2/m, talk about bargin!  When I was last at Spotlight I was talking to one of the team members and she mentioned that (in my local store anyway) remnant piece size to up to 2m!  That's a totally usable piece!

Dig through the clearance table
                  Just like the remnant bin good stuff at the clearance table can end up at the bottom or the back.  Go digging.  I have often ended up kneeling on the floor digging through the bottom shelf to find the good stuff.  I'd probably just recommend not wearing a skirt for this activity!

Check the tags
                 So you've found the fabric you want, and it's had a price increase?  It's always the way right?  Check the tags.  The price tags have to be changed by hand it one may have been missed.  Grab that one and take it to the counter.  They have to give it to you for that price.  I did this recently with some netting, the normal price is now $12.95, I found a roll still marked at $7.95.  I combined this with their 30% off storewide sale and got it for the bargin price of  $5.67/m!  That was less than half the normal price.  Worth checking a few rolls if its going to save you $$$.

Check the shelves
                 I went in the other day looking for stretch lace.  I wasn't fussy about colour or design I was really only concerned about price.  I began my search a little disheartened when most of the lace was $25/m or more!  However I persisted and checked the prices on all the rolls and found 2 rolls at $6/m and another at $4.  Now by rights these should have probably been on the clearance table but they were just in the shelves.  It is worth checking in the place where the fabric you want normally lives and seeing if someone hasn't been paying attention when they were putting fabric away you might just find a bargin.

Anyway, I hope that helps you on you're next shopping trip to Spotlight :)


Some recent Fabric Scores

March 18, 2015

I like fabric shopping.  That's no lie.  I have enough quilting fabric to sink a battle ship but dressmaking fabric not so much.  In fact up until about 12 months ago I had no interest in sewing clothes.  They scared me.  They had curves and zips and scary terms like notches and you had to cut out patterns and actually use scissors to cut the fabric.  Being a quilter all those things scared me.  But somehow I got over it.  Something made me want to sew clothes.  And wearable ones at that. So that was what I did.

I started with a few simple things, a skirt or two, and then a top.  Then I found those indie pattern designers we all love Colette, April Rhodes, Sew Over It, By Hand London, and spent hours trawling through patterns finding ones I loved and wanted to make and buying the ones I could afford.  I'd also hit up Spotlights pattern sales when they were 3 for $10 and make the most of it.

Now I do profess to being a dedicated Spotlight shopper (I blame the nearly 5 years of working there.  I'm thinking of ideas for a post for my hints and tips for finding bargins at Spotlight. Let me know).  However I was down near Lincraft and thought I would go in and see what they had.  I was impressed.  Bargins garlore on their clearance table!  Some lycra type lining at $5/m and some navy ribbed knit down to $1.25.  Now I didn't take photos of these two partly because they are pretty boring, partly because they are in a box somewhere :).

The rest were a bit prettier.

There was this maroon knitted fabric with a metallic gold thread at $8/m.  I got 2m to turn into a knitwear jumper for those cooler Autumn days around the corner.  Just to decide on a pattern.  I'm leaning towards using the free Easy Tee pattern by It's Always Autumn.  It's a good pattern, pretty much my size plus its free!  Nothing to complain about there.

Knitwear Fabric
I also fell in love with this other fabric and plan on using the same pattern with it.  I'm just too scared to sew it because it is so open with the weave.  Any hints or tips would be appreciated.  It's really a black/brown colour and the sequins just make it in real life. 
Sequin Knitwear Fabric
I've also purchased this tribal like rayon from Spotlight with unknown plans at the moment, maybe a simple shift dress.
Tribal print rayon

I also grabbed this pirouette dot tulle during the recent 30% off sale.  I have plans for a cocktail dress using this to make a Carrie Bradshaw (Sex and the City) style skirt and a black satin bodice.

Pirouette Dot Tulle

I also discovered Ohhh Lulu the other day and fell in love. Romantic, Feminine, Stylish.  I plan on making up a few of their patterns (funds permitting).

I grabbed this combination of stretch lace and cotton below for the Ohhh Lulu Grace Knickers and the lyrca (2 remanent pieces at $2/m) for the Abigail Swimsuit.  One day anyway :).

Lace and Cotton
Abigail Swimsuit Fabric
Anyway I hope to get some more sewing done over the weekend.  Or at least finish off some other things to show you.  Things should settle down after I actually move in after Easter and that should mean more sewing time :)
Until then,

Drape Drape 2 No. 4

March 13, 2015

I was reading some blogs a while ago and stumbled upon the Drape Drape books.  I fell in love.  Sadly being Japanese pattern books they are a bit small for my sizing (about a Australian 12-14 ).  Anyway I'm pretty happy with this first run though.

I went into Lincraft the other day and scored on their clearance table, though that is for another post.  This gray kind of see through knit caught my eye and I decided to make Drape Drape 2 Number 4.

Drape Drape 2 No 4
As I said I'm pretty happy with it for a first try, I plan on modifying the pattern when I make it again.  It was very quick and easy to sew, in a few hours and then I wore it to a party that night.
There is more Drape Drape in my future for sure.  Maybe after I move anyway :)

Handmade Tuesday #6 - Sateen Pencil Skirt

March 3, 2015

So, I made another skirt, a pencil skirt using the pattern from this skirt.  I fell in love with this Sateen (names Ink Spot) the other weekend at Spotlight.  But as it wasn't on sale I thought I could do without.  However when my catalogue arrived early the following week and it was on sale I knew I had to have it.

I wore it to work today and my boss told me I should beware of bees.  I countered with at least I didn't have to worry about wearing high vis when I went outside  :)