DIY: Life Savers

Dress: Virtu

Shoes: Wittner

Necklace: DIY

I’m madly trying to pack for The Sophisticate and my departure to Japan tomorrow morning. I’m a terrible packer – trying to put together good-looking outfits WITH my entire wardrobe is hard enough, trying to put together good-looking outfits in ADVANCE with only a select amount of my wardrobe is even harder. Throw one of the classiest cities in the world into the mix, and I’m in a complete flap.

It doesn’t help that the bloody dress that I ordered in August for the wedding STILL HASN’T ARRIVED, which means I’ve had to figure out something to wear appropriate for a traditional Japanese winter wedding WHILST IN AUSTRALIA IN THE MIDDLE OF SUMMER.

Not.

Happy.

Sigh, anyway, I promised you all a tutorial on how to make the bead necklace from yesterday, so here we go! (Good thing it’s an easy one!)

Step 1: Buy some modelling clay (I like FIMO best) in an assortment of shades. You can mush them together to make new colours – like mixing paint – so in the future I’d go with the primary colours: Red, Blue, Yellow, and some White, and take it from there. You’ll also need some leather thong, a thick needle or thin screwdriver, and – if you want – a clasp.

Step 2: Cut some equal cubes of the modelling clay – this will ensure your beads are all roughly the same size. Remember when you’re mushing two cubes together to make a new colour that you will end up with two beads, and so on.

Step 3: Trying to keep your hands clean, and your surface grit free; start rolling the cubes between your palms until you’ve got a little sphere. If your hands start getting warm, and the clay starts to get sticky pop the bead in the freezer for a moment while you go wash your hands under cold water.

Step 4: Pinch the sphere between your thumb and your finger and gently squeeze it into a lozenge shape, then pierce through with your needle or screwdriver (or nail, or toothpick, or other pointy instrument)

Step 4. cont: I would push the screwdriver through until I felt a little bump on the other side, the I’d flip the bed around and push the screwdriver through to complete the hole. That way it was nice and rounded on both sides.

Step 5: Reshape the bead as needed, then put it on a tray to be baked. Rinse & repeat. I think every modelling clay has it’s own baking instructions, so follow that!

Step 6: Sit down with all your colours and choose a selection that you think works well together.

Step 7: Thread them on to the leather thong

Step 8: Finally either tie off the thong, or attach your clasp, and voila!

Quick and easy! And cheap: FIMO costs about $5 a packet in Australia, and the leather an clasps shouldn’t be more than a dollar or so either.

DIY: Out of the Box (Pleat)

Blouse: Dorothy Perkins

Cardigan: Glassons

Skirt: DIY

Belt: Dangerfield

Shoes: Chie Mihara

Spotlight KILLS me. Seriously, every time I go in there I see at least seventeen fabrics that I fall head-over-heels in love with. This retro seventies-style floral print caught my eye the moment I walked in the door. It’s a heavy cotton fabric, and only $15 a metre so I snapped up a few metres straight away thinking I could decide what to make with it later.

Later, I decided it needed to be a skirt.

I went patternless again, and just made a basic box-pleat skirt with a zip fastening and a waistband.

1. Cut your fabric into two identical rectangles with the short side indicating how long you want the skirt, and the long side long enough to wrap around your body, plus extra for the pleats. You’ll also need a waistband; a long strip of fabric twice the width you want the waistband to be, and long enough to fit around your waist.

2. Fold each piece of fabric in half and mark the half way point with a pin. This is the centre front and centre back of your skirt.

3. Take the measurement of your waist and halve it. That’s how long each skirt piece should be once you’ve inserted your pleats (less seam allowance). Take the length of your fabric, subtract the length of your half-waist. The number that’s left over is how much fabric you have to put into the pleats. Divide up that measurement according to the number of pleats you want. Pinch up that quantity of fabric at equal intervals on either side of the centre pin. (Sorry – I know that step seems really confusing and mathsy but it’s pretty self explanatory when you start making it)

4. Baste the pleats closed on the sewing machine

5. To make the pleats a box pleat you have to bring the centre of each pleat to meet the seam (so you have equal amount of fabric on each side of the pleat), then pin press and baste in place.

6. Rinse and repeat for the other piece of skirt; then right sides facing, sew one of the side seams together.

7. Waistband time! Take your strip of fabric and apply interfacing. to the wrong side of the fabric. Then fold on half lengthways and iron a crease.

8. Finish the edges then pin the waistband to the skirt; right sides together, and stitch.

9. Fold the waistband over, and with the top of the skirt (where it’s been sewn to the waistband) sandwiched between the two layers of waistband pin and stitch into place.

10. At this point I’d apparently lost the plot, and stopped taking photos. I think there was wine. Let’s blame the wine. Basically you’re done though, all you have left to do is to insert the zipper and finish the second side seam, remove the basting on the pleats, then hem your new skirt!

navabi Curvy Blog Award 2012