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Monday, 20 February 2017

Sydney Frocktails

On Saturday night Sydney held its second Frocktails - a cocktail party/raucous catch-up where attendees are encouraged to wear something fancy and me-made. Frocktails happen all around Australia and are usually organised for members of the Spoolettes group by members of the Spoolettes groups - although anyone who sews can attend.

Saturday night saw 70 ladies descend on the The Edinburgh Castle Hotel in the city. It was a great night - catching up with old friends and meeting a lot of new sewing buddies. It was perfectly acceptable to go up to someone and say "I love your dress" and make a grab to fondle their fabric...often followed by "hello"! Priorities!


I still don't have any "fancy dress" sewing under my belt so I went with a Mabel Skirt made in a bonded lace ponti from the Fabric Muse. The fabric doesn't have much stretch so I added 2cm to both the front and back fold to ensure I could breath and not bust any seams. The top is just a cheapie modal jersey from Uniqlo -- I knew it was going to be hot so wanted something that I knew I'd feel cool in. To "pad out" my me-made skirt I also took my leather Essential Wristlet with me and made some VERY sparkly polymer beads for a necklace and earrings - I don't think I'll ever get all the glitter out of my house after making these!


I felt pretty good all night - comfortable and not too hot. Best of all I felt like me, not dressed up in clothes that I just wouldn't wear and would feel not myself in. And, best of all I can re-wear and re-use everything!


I think everyone had a VERY VERY good time and is eagerly awaiting our next Frocktails which I've heard may be in late October this year. I'm already thinking about what to sew for my next Frocktails outfit...I have an idea for a dress! Fancy!

A big thanks has to go to Caz from UsefulBox who arranged the entire event as well as some great door prizes too! And thanks to her hubby who took great photos of everyone on the night.

Friday, 17 February 2017

More leather and another Essential Wristlet

I was super chuffed  with my experiment in incorporating leather into my last Essential Wrislet so of course ploughed right ahead with another "Essential Wristlet" by Dog Under My Desk.


The leather for this purse is from a HUGE hide I bought awhile ago from Birdsall Leather - I have LOADS left and it will become a tote at some point in time as well as being incorporated here and there in other small projects. The fabric is some scraps of pineapple line bought from Darn Cheap Fabric about two years ago - the majority of the fabric is sitting in my UFO pile (an unfinished Ginger Skirt that will now be too small for me and stalled on the zipper insertion).


I decided to use the leather to make the strap and ring-holder...the leather is not particularly thick or sturdy so it'll probably stretch out over time (I'll make another strap out of the outer fabic so I can interchange them - I just haven't done it yet).


I also used the leather to make a bigger pocket (for my cash) and a smaller one for a card or two.  The lining fabric is pretty much the last of my Nani Iro haul from my trip to Osaka a few years ago.


Again I've sewn a front pocket as they are super useful. I didn't really follow the instructions for the top zipper - next time I'm going to sew zipper tab for both ends of the zip...


I now have three me-made clutches plus five bought ones...that's probably enough. For now!

Wednesday, 15 February 2017

Experiments in leather with the "Essential Wristlet"

Spurred on by the raging success of my first, I've made myself another "Essential Wristlet" by Dog Under My Desk - this time experimenting with some leather I had bought in a $5 scrap bag from The Fabric Store. The idea stems from this True Bias tutorial and some purses I've seen made up over on Instagram using the tutorial.

I know black leather on dark blue denim isn't "the best look" (tan leather would look better) but it's what I had on hand to play with, and I was hoping that if the purse worked out I can use it for my Sydney Frocktails clutch (which is coming up this Saturday).

The leather was very soft and didn't add much bulk to the purse, was easy to sew with and easy to turn through the lining. I curved the bottom corners (as that's what the purse in the tutorial is like) which made it easy to have nice bottom corners.


I also added in the second zipper option this time. LOVE it. I'll probably cart my phone, lip goop and train pass in here - three things I access a lot.

I found my Flamingo Purse a tad on the small side so at the advice of my sewing friend Cassiy I increased the size of the purse by printing it at 150%. I also then added a bit more depth to the bottom of the purse to account for the curved corners.


I like having a card slot in my purses so thought I'd made use of my leather and add in three! They are not particularly neat (partly due to the fact that I cut my leather out with scissors which is a bit messy {need to get myself a rotary cutter and metal ruler}), but they do the trick.


And just for a bit more *bling* I added in these cute zipper pulls to the zippers that I picked up from Spotlight in Castle Hill (which is the BEST store just FYI, unlike their Bondi Junction store which is THE WORST). If you have keen eyes you'll notice my zippers are going in two different directions here - whoops! Must pay better attention next time.


I love the way this purse turned out and am already in the process of making a second...leather included!