Saturday, November 21, 2009
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
Monday, October 26, 2009
When we were kids more than half the fun was tearing the house apart looking for old clothes, tea towels, cardboard, tin foil, Styrofoam and poster paint to put together some monstrous outfit, some hilarious get up or some perplexing accouterments to wear on Halloween. Also part of the fun where we grew up was figuring out how to winterize the costume, since we regularly treat or treated in the snow. Just how many pairs of tights can one wear under a gypsy skirt anyway?
One year my mum helped me make a lion costume; my friends were Tin Man, Scarecrow and Dorothy. Then the next year, I found a yellow unitard, sewed fabric swatches to a belt and a hat and was a jester. Another year I wore all my red clothes, made a tail out of old red tights and horns out of paper mache. With a made up face I was a totally convincing devil, a look I still resurrect from time to time. One year I altered a pair of palazzo pants of my mother’s, added a velvet vest, cobbled together a fez type arrangement out of a yogurt tub and put bells on my ballet slippers. The resulting genie was so good that I won a bookstore gift voucher from a radio station that broadcast from my school. My mum liked it so much, she wore it to a fancy dress party later that year!
As I got older, treat or treating gave way to going to parties, then bars. Over the years I perfected the “vampire slut” look so much that it became quite legendary among my friends. Occasionally I paired up with my sister or my roommate and did a “twin vampire slut” act. I often dyed my hair black just to perfect the effect. But always the costumes were homemade. I even made vampire teeth out of a piece of white plastic.
Last year, I confess, I bought Lucy a costume. It was on sale and she loved it so much that we created a superhero theme for her birthday party in April so she could wear it again. This year, since I’m on a making kick, I could hardly buy an off the rack costume again, could I? Even though the costumes, inspired by the movie Hairspray, are readily available, I was determined to make them.
By now I shouldn’t be surprised at how rewarding this whole experience was. I took both my daughter and my niece to the fabric store to choose fabrics, finding some perfect and well priced options. I altered patterns I already had to put the dresses together, and even styled the girl’s hair myself (Although I wore a wig)! As you can see from the pictures we all looked adorable, and the girls loved them.
I was on a roll. Next my husband decided he wanted to be Captain Jack Sparrow, from Pirates of the
It’s still five days until Halloween; Lucy has four more costume wearing opportunities, in addition to Treat or Treating. Lucy will wear a semi handmade Wordgirl costume for Trick or Treating, and miscellaneous princess/fairy dresses for all the other events. Enough time has elapsed since I made the costumes that I’ve cleaned up the sewing room. It looks orderly and nice for a change.
But I’ve got an itch, an itch to stitch…Christmas here we come.
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
Tuesday, October 6, 2009
Saturday, August 1, 2009
- Take an unwanted t-shirt. Make sure it is clean. Regular cotton double knit(not ribbed) will give the best results.
- Cut BELOW the bottom stitching until you have a long thin rope. Pull it taut and it should roll up too a nice rope tie.
- Cut small 1/2 cm holes along the bottom of the t-shirt above the stitching you have left. Make the holes about 3-4 cm apart.
- Thread your tie rope through the holes and gather up the bottom of the t-shirt. Tie a tight knot and make of bow of the excess tie-rope.
- Cut the arms and collar off the t-shirt INSIDE the stitching.
- Stretch and pull the "handles" until your bag looks right.
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
Monday, July 27, 2009
So, start grinding, people.
1. Make the strongest coffee you can manage. I used an espresso maker, but a plunger or drip filter will work as long as you make it STRONG!
2. Pour half a cup of this super strength coffee straight over at least a half a cup of ice. The ice will melt and you'll have room temperature coffee.
3. Fill a tall glass halfway with ice, add the room temperature coffee.
4. Add coffee cream, whipping cream or half and half (milk is OK too, I guess, but it's not very good) and your preferred sweetener to taste.
You can blend this mix for a frappuccino - if you have a blender. If you don't, buy one.
While you're buying your blender, buy a sewing machine.
Then my mom asked me to make a quilt for her charity - Grandmothers to Grandmothers - so I invited a few women to help me; to make it a community quilt. Many of the women I asked said they would love to help out a great cause but they "don't have a sewing machine", "don't know how to sew," or were "hopeless at making things". Now this didn't really bother me - I can make the quilt by myself - I was just surprised and kind of depressed that these wonderful creative and intelligent women don't sew. How do they hem pants, I wondered, or fix a torn seam? Most of my friends love fashion and are snappy dressers, so why don’t we sew our own clothes? For all we wax poetic about the environment and sustainability, about re-use, reduce, re-purpose, re-cycle, about changing our thinking to save our planet, only about 10% of my friends own a sewing machine! This shocked me.