The Yellow Brick Road

Top: Uniqlo

Skirt: DIY

Tights: Heist

Shoes: Chie Mihara

So, it’s been a month…  I haven’t quite managed to keep up with my promise to post at least once a fortnight, but I’m afraid you’ll just have to forgive me!

It’s been a crazily busy month, but rewarding as well. I went up to Canberra to surprise my little sister for her birthday, kicked a few professional goals, caught up with some wonderful friends, and did some (a lot) of sewing.

The Mister and I are settling more and more into our wonderful little home. Suki’s beside herself with delight about the quantity of light she’s getting streaming in through the window, and I’ve been gradually adding to the bookshelves (and the picture wall) while C has been busily doing some home handyman type stuff and also creating a little inner-city oasis of plants on the balcony. I’ve been going to yoga down the road twice a week, and can touch my toes again without straining, which – let me tell you – is an achievement. The three and a half flights of stairs up to our little eyrie are still a slog – especially after a long day – but the pleasure of opening the door into my own home at the end of it never seems to get old. We’re very lucky.

I got an email from someone a couple of months ago that had me thinking about how much has changed in the past five years. It’s been a rollercoaster, huh? I kind of wish I could go back to 2013 me and just let her know it’s going to be OK. That, yeah, things are going to be pretty rough for a bit and there’s going to be a couple of hiccups, but her wonderful friends will be there every step of the way, and by 2018 she’s going to be engaged to the most lovely man, her sister will be well, she’ll be working in a job that she adores, and living in her own home. Also she’ll definitely be going grey pretty quickly, but it turns out it’s not the end of the world.

It’s a pretty low-key life, but it leaves a lot of room for reading, sewing, writing, and cooking. Spontaneous movie nights. Netflix binges. Farmer’s markets and design fairs and crafternoons. Eventually I might even start planning a wedding.

Anyhoo, that was a whole lot of a waffle and not a lot of wardrobe. Shall I tell you about my skirt now? I made it myself using the skirt part of the Fen Dress pattern from Fancy Tiger Crafts, and a fantastic Wizard of Oz themed fabric from Leah Duncan at Cloud9. I’m forty now. FOUR. OH. FORTY. And while I’m not wearing as many novelty prints and florals and bright colours as I did when I first started the blog (oh my god) ten years ago, my soul still ascends any time I see something Wizard of Oz themed.

This one’s particularly fun – a Where’s Wally-esque find-and-seek that takes its inspiration more from Baum’s book than the Hollywood film. Look closely and you can find the yellow brick road, the Cowardly Lion, Tin Man and Scarecrow, a field of enchanted poppies, and – uh – a bunch of folks who seem to be cosplaying as a tea set (residents from China Country).

In totally unrelated news, my work is hosting a free event with Taryn Brumfitt in a couple of weeks. If you haven’t heard of Taryn before, she’s the writer and filmmaker behind the wonderful Embrace documentary, and a prominent voice in the body-pos movement. She’s going to be in conversation with paralympian Jessica Smith on Monday 3 September here in Melbourne, and it should be fun. I’ll definitely be there (in a work capacity) so make sure you say hi if you come along! You can find the details here.

Remix: Set the table

  Top: Tirelli

Skirt: DIY Remix

Belt: Modcloth

Shoes: Gorman

Been a while since I did a remix, huh? This is actually a bit of a remix, and bit of a DIY: it’s an old embroidered tablecloth that I’ve re-purposed into skirt.

I found this big circular tablecloth at a trash and treasure market, and really loved the embroidery and scalloped hem. The cotton has that lovely softness that you get with fabrics that have been well-used and, the colour is a pretty apricot-tinged blush.

I thought it would be an easy project, and it really is!

To start with, you have to figure out where to cut the hole for your waist. The easiest way to do this is to measure the diameter of your waist (plus maybe an inch for seams) then divide that number by 6.28 (because, math).

Now fold the tablecloth into quarters and measure that number from the point at the top of the pie piece (I used a bit of string at that length to mark where to cut).

Once you’ve cut the hole for your waist you should cut a line up the back – this is where you’ll insert your zipper.

Next, you want to find some fabric that more or less matches the colour of the tablecloth so that you can make a waistband. Cut a long strip about three inches wide, and about an inch longer than your waist measurement.

Apply some interfacing, then fold one long edge up and stitch it into place.

Right sides together, pin the waistband to the waist of the skirt – with the raw edge matching up to the fabric of the skirt – and stitch.

Now insert the zipper, and stitch close the back seam.

I haven’t included instructions for this step, since – to be honest – every time I insert a zipper it feels a bit like I’m making it up as I go along. Are there different rules for different kinds of zippers? I’m pretty sure they are. Insert the zipper according to the instructions on the packet, I guess.

Once your zipper is in, press the raw edge of the skirt waist up into towards the waistband, and fold the finished edge of the waistband over it. Pin it in place, and give it another press, just to make sure you’ve got a nice clean edge. Does this photo show that? Who knows? It was very late by this point.

Flip the skirt right side out and sew a line just a smidge over the seam. This should capture the raw edge between the two sides of the folded waistband (I hope this makes sense!)

E voila!

One tablecloth skirt!