Saturday, 16 February 2013

Project: Pimp Your Folders

Hello hello! February is halfway through and already I am impossibly busy, there are just too many things I want to do! 

January's Dress on Katherine
Anyway, the mandatory school starting pimp your folder has taken an African theme this year, completely unintentionally of course. I started off with this awesome zip up folder my mum bought from the warehouse.

The lighting is awful, but all in the spirit of last minute.
A pretty good steal for 3 dollars! Unfortunately, skulls aren't really my thing. I used this pretty embellished ribbon to cover it up.

In case you're wondering what it looks like  inside...

Weekly organiser from
Yes I print one every week!
 Also, I'm working on a 'snakeskin' type textured folder. I'm painting it with this fantastic caramel (and sparkly!) nailpolish I have 10 bottles of...

FInally, here's the tribal print folder I did at te beginning of the year.

Still 4 more folders to go! I'll probably give them away as presents (friends, this is a cue to start hinting.)

Monday, 11 February 2013

Tutorial: Removable/ReusableTextbook Cover

Happy Lunar New year everyone!
(Apologising for the lack of posts, school has sucked the life out of me and clawing it back takes time.)

In the spirit of 'Back to school' for us here in Australasia, I decided to share this text book cover  made a while ago. It was awesome because my textbook always screamed 'HEY I BELONG TO ALETHEA AND I'M BRIGHT BLUUUUUUUUE!!!!!!!' whenever the maths cupboard was open.

 Hooray! It's removable because textbooks are only on loan for each year (we don't write in them, in fact, I barely opened mine...). Now your textbook can feel brand new again!
(Hopefully, you also feel motivated to open it in times of need...)


You'll need:

- The textbook you wish to make a cover for
- A large sheet of paper, or several. I used a coffee club newspaper that I nabbed from one of the 29392873 overpriced Remuera cafes, and a blank piece of A4 printer paper.
- A Plastic pocket, or a similar, flat plastic bag (mine is scavenged from a new folder which conveniently came with plastic wrap)
- Some form of decoration - I used a magazine to do a snazzy collage, but it's free choice here.
-  Duraseal (Adhesive Plastic stuff.)
- The basics, Scissors, Glue, Tape, A pen etc.

Start by wrapping your textbook with the large piece of paper, folding the edges over the cover like so.

My piece of paper wasn't quite large enough to cover the whole textbook, so if you're in the same situation, fear not! After wrapping my book as efficiently as possible, I just glued a piece of blank white paper suitably to cover the rest of the book (later, this functioned as an ideal place to write the subject and level of the book you've covered in permanent marker.) You want to leave about 5mm at each end of the cover so that the textbook can comfortably close.

Decorate. With the help of siblings I cut a bunch of blue and yellow (oh the joys of school patriotism) squares from magazines and proceeded to arrange them in a psychedelic checker board array.

Once your cover is done, grab that plastic sheet and cut it in half. You should have enough plastic pocket to cover 2 thirds of the cover. Less is fine, but no more than 2 thirds (if you have too little you can always use blue tack). Tape it to the cover, allowing a couple of millimetres extra, it's transparent so accuracy isn't too important. (Those purple streaks are glue, the cool coloured kind!)

Now, duraseal the cover as if covering a normal exercise book.

Done! I stuck blue tack on the spine of my textbook so the cover wouldn't bubble up when I opened it.

This year, my maths book is again cuddled up and cosy in it's shiny cover, hiding a much more daunting year of maths...I'll post again if I survive the dreaded surds.

Friday, 1 February 2013

Tutorial: Crocheted Headphone Covers

School started today, but we didn't do much seeing as:
A) I'm in the same form class as last year.
B) It's the first day of school.

I've mixed emotions about being in the same form class, I really wanted change, but at least more of the first day was be uncluttered with silly 'get to know your form class' games. Having expert foresight, I predicted we'd have to have enough to keep ourselves occupied, and so I brought my crochet gear, and various sewing things. Having excellent foresight I also predicted that people would gawk and ask "What are you knitting?" to which I would respond,


No really...

Anyway, Jessica tried to teach me to crochet a flower, but I got bored and went my own way, ending up making these gorgeous headphone covers.

It makes them so much comfier, prettier, and of course did I mention the greatness felt when you tell people you made them yourself?

If you're new to crochet, like I am new to making crochet patterns, I haven't listed any abbreviations (I just feel they make life so much more difficult...) A helpful site to consult if you're new and have no idea how to crochet can be found here.


You will need:

- A crochet hook
- Wool
- Your headphones

I don't think gauge is important for this, I basically crocheted until I felt my covers were big enough. You will have to adjust the pattern to fit your headphones. Mine are perfectly circular, and about 3 inches in diameter, about 2cm deep. I used a 4.5mm crochet hook, and some random yarn Jessica gave me (helpful, I know.)

Chain 6 and join (slip stitch) to make the first round.

Chain 2, and then double crochet into the round 10 times, making 11 stitches in total. (11 you ask? Well, I stuffed up the flower pattern which was supposed to be 12, but I can't count that high apparently). Join the round.

Chain 2 (counts in the first double crochet). Continue to double crochet in every stitch. The round might bunch up now, but fear not, it will soon be resolved.

Chain 2. Double crochet in THE SAME STITCH. Chain one, and then 2 double crochet in the next stitch. Continue until the end of the round. Join the round.

From here on, adjust to fit your headphones. I repeated round 3 twice, so I had 4 rounds.

Chain one. Single crochet in every stitch. If your headphone covers aren't staying on, you can do another row of single crochet.

(Something good came out of that first, meaningless day of school after all!)

Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Inspiration: Sweater Sleeved Jackets

Oh I must have one! Since seeing this tutorial on Studs and Pearls (check it out!) I've fallen in love and I must have one! (Did I mention it?)


Monday, 28 January 2013

Tutorial: Bow ties, Glorious Bow ties

I have to say, I love bow ties. It's all Matt Smith's fault really, for exploding bow ties into the world of Doctor Who fans. Aside from that, bows are practically every where nowadays, headbands, necklaces, shoes, you name it.


I decided to sew my own bow tie, the REAL kind you tie on and not the futile clip on. (Although after a couple of failed attempts to tie my bow tie I did CONSIDER making a clip on...) It was a super simple project, and you can use whatever scraps of fabric you have lying around.


Gather your materials. You'll need a pre-existing bow tie that fits you or the person you intend to make the bow tie for (pictured is said bow tie I made a few days ago), OR a template for your bow tie.
(I can't remember where I got my pattern from, but here is a similar one.)

Source some fabric - I'm using this ridiculous Mr. Bean Fabric, which I think is cotton, but any vaguely stiff material should be suitable to make your bow tie (note- chiffon is not your friend when making a bow tie). Grab your sewing machine/needle, and away we go!

Cut out your pieces. If you are using a template for your bow tie, make sure your measure the neck that plans to become the bow tie's resting place, and correspond this to the neck strap of your bow tie. If you're using another bow tie, be sure to consider the seam allowance (in other words, trace a couple of millimetres extra so you can sew the bow tie into the appropriate shape.)

I cut my bow tie in 4 pieces as my fabric wasn't long enough, but if you have a great deal of fabric you can probably just cut a single strip for each side (2 pieces). If you don't have enough fabric, simply cut the bow tie template out a couple of inches above the 'fish'. You can use ribbon or an odd fabric as the neck strap. I also cut out another 2 pieces of the fabric as interfacing to make the bow tie stiffer and hold it's shape.

If you end up making the bow tie in several pieces, you'll need to sew the ends together to make a continuous strip like so.

Pin together and sew your bow tie! Make sure your interfacing is not sandwiched in between the main pieces or else your bow tie will look very odd when you turn it inside out. Instead, lay it on top of the main pieces.

 Leave about 2 inches (5cm) of space unstitched somewhere along the neck strap (I suggest the middle!) to turn your bow tie inside out.

Turn your bow tie inside out. This is definitely easier said than done. Use a chopstick, or if you aren't as Asian as me, a crochet hook or knitting needle to push the material into shape. Patience is key! The first time I tried this it took well over an hour...mind you I tried to use my own fingers and it DID NOT WORK.

Iron your bow tie and sew up the neck strap.


Despite my time at Christchurch Girls' and other occasions where normal ties were standard for performance, I never really got the hang of tying a tie (try say that 5 times fast). After making my first bow tie, I had to of course, learn to tie it.

Don't fret! I failed for about 2 hours watching useless Youtube videos, but I can finally say that with the help of this extremely long video, I finally realised what I was doing wrong.


Good luck with your bow tie tying! Don't be afraid to show of your snazzy bow, I wore my floral one to Remuera Library and it is my pleasure to report everyone looked at me like I was insane. Heh. Well that isn't new.

Sunday, 27 January 2013

Project: 12 Dresses

With the school term looming just as I've decided to finally put my DIY plans in place, I thought I'd set a goal to complete one dress a month, or 12 dresses this year. I think it should be reasonable, unless I find the workload sucks the creativity out of my brain (calculus does that to EVERYONE'S brain!)

Additionally, I've set a goal to at least do a small project, or inspiration post a week. I have a feeling it will escalate...

The first dress I've created this year is for my friend Kat (who has kindly offered to model the majority of garments in the coming future). The quality of my camera is terrible, and that of my webcam is even worse, so I fiddled with the pictures on word (yes, because I have no photoshop) to make them more bearable.

Hooray for my apocalypse like room! And photo quality worthy of the last century.
I used some floral heavy weight cotton I hijacked from my mother's work and the sleeves of a large white cotton shirt I found at the market for $2. When it comes so sewing I have absolutely no clue what I'm doing (heck, no I mean when it comes to ANYTHING), all I know is that I should try avoid getting stabbed and to press the pedal to get things moving.
For the skirt, I pleated the front with the help of an iron and 20 pins. The front of the dress is constructed out of the sleeves of an XXL shirt that I unpicked from the shirt itself (the torso is being used for another project). The dress fastens in the back/side, I extended the band that goes across the waist and added velcro (this is my newest obsession) so that it cinches in at the waist.

It is an open backed dress, with a giant bow to hide the elastic fastening.

I'd say I'm happy with this dress and though I'ma little reluctant to consider it one of my 12 dresses, January is nearly over! So I haven't got much choice. If I were to make this dress again, I'd simply extend the front part so that the dress sits over the neck.

My next project will have to be super economical because there is absolutely nothing in my wallet at the moment. OH a scraps project! And who doesn't love those?

Saturday, 26 January 2013

I could totally make that!

Hi there!

This blog is for everyone who's fascinated at how I somehow have the magical ability to do 83947398741 different things in my 'spare time'. I always made sure I plan to create something for myself with my time since it's so intensely satisfying.

(That, and the fact that my priorities seriously need a raincheck.)

I'll be posting whatever DIY I come up with, whether it's food (highly unlikely, the food will be gone before I have time to take a photo and also I DO NOT want to fall into that cliche of Asians taking photos of food...), fashuuuuuuun, sewing, crocheting, knitting, home making...the works.

Also! Jessica (kumarachip) will be accompanying me to fill in the days I can't blog. Be nice to her, she's crazier than myself...(if it starts with 'pimp', it's from Jess).