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Angels from the Christmas collection. Upcycled from men’s neckties.

As no-one was forthcoming with another Pinteresting idea, I decided to make a board of the items available via my etsy shop this Christmas.

If you have been following along, you will know it has been a very slow year for harrysdesk. Although all the girls are now in school, I have missed my studio greatly. Unfortunately, I haven’t designed a decoration for Christmas this year, but still have some of the past years designs available.

I have a few more items to upload over the coming weeks, so pop back, if you like, and see whats new. I hope to add more owls, hair-ties and t-shirts…… so watch this space.

Now it’s your turn!

What should my next Pinteresting idea be?

You can choose by commenting below.

It can be as quirky or conservative as you like!

 

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Two shirts become one skirt.

November 21, 2012

An adults tunic dress and peasant shirt into a skirt for 6 year old.

Some of you may have already seen her in this.

A super comfy fun favourite.

….and so super easy …..

Sorry it’s been so long since an upcycle!

Monsters Upcycled.

September 5, 2012

Monster Madness at my house.

If my mild case of madness wasn’t evidenced before now…. I think this weekends making will confirm it solidly.

A large A4 size green monster and a pencil case size white one.

I had so much fun making monsters from upcycled chenille bedspreads that a friend gave me, months ago. Thanks Belinda.

Large monsters big enough for pyjama bags or music bags…. or just monster pencil cases.

They are mostly for the upcoming school fete, and are quite addictive to make. I’m hoping some more chenille bedspreads will be donated (yes that’s a hint if you have any kicking around).

Ipod size and DS size monster bags.

The girls gave suggestions like…. try making them just with a zipper mouth, and how about DS size or as a handbag.

Originally I was trying to come up with things boys might like, as there is always more craft items on the stall for girls and very few for boys.

Pencil case size monsters.

I’m also trying to only use what I have in my cupboard, or donations from others.

They are dead easy to make.

Mini Monster….

Would you like a tutorial?

Watch this space……

Monsters have taken over the cubby!

 

Hatshesup costume  from last year.

It is my habit to only make one costume a year for book week and for all the rest to come from our dress-up box…. or someone else’s.

This keeps the cost and stress down, and helps the kids get creative about which character they want to be.

Last year it was the  11 year old (now 12) who got a special costume made.

I though, just in time for this year I would share a tutorial of how I made the bib.

If you want to create one and don’t sew, you can follow the along, but just use cardboard as the base and instead of stitching the finishes on, use glue. If you do it this way there is no need for lining or binding and would be much less time consuming.

So with no further chatter……..

The Pharaoh Bib Tutorial

What you will need

  • Cardboard or paper to make pattern
  • base fabric ( I used blue velvet) a rich colour is best
  • lining fabric (I used gold satin)
  • bias binding (again gold)
  • Iron-on stiff interfacing
  • Large gold sequins
  • Gold wool
  • Gold thread
  • Gold fabric paint tube
  • Contrasting fabric to reverse applique (I used a gold silk)
  • pencil, scissors, sewing machine and thread.

How to do it.

The pattern 

1. Start with a rectangle approx 42cm x 18cm

2. Using the measurements given create this shape (It is half of the bib…. doing it this way means you get a symmetrical result) Click on the image to enlarge.

3. Folding your base fabric in half and placing the fold on the edge marked “place on the fold” cut the basic shape.

4. Cut another of these pattern pieces in the same way for both your lining and interfacing. You should now have 3 different coloured fabrics (base, lining and interfacing) all the same shape.

5. Back on your pattern piece sketch out an idea of how you will lay on your ‘design’. Egyptian patterns are very repetitive and tend to follow the shape of the item. Start about 1.5cm in from the edge (this is where your bias will be sewn) and create a design that works towards the centre. Make sure you leave some of your background fabric to show through.

6. Put your lining to one side and just work with your base cloth (blue) and your interfacing now.

Iron the interfacing to your base cloth (wrong side of base fabric to shiny side of interfacing) using a dry iron.

 

7. Transfer your design onto the interfacing.

8. Sew your sequins and stitching on in the design you have chosen. (glue if you like it will be much quicker)

9. Place your other gold fabric behind the area you want to reverse applique ( have it show through) Sew, with a machine, the shape you have designed from the right side of your bib. Do this to both sides of your bib to keep it symmetrical.

10. On the decorated side of your bib lift the base fabric away from the gold fabric you have just sewn on. Carefully cut away the base fabric very close to your machine stitching.

It should look like this…..
Now do the other side.

11. Paint your reverse appliqued sections and allow to dry.

12. With right sides together lay your lining onto your bib. Stitch the straight edge with 1cm seam allowance.

13. Turn bib so that the wrong sides are together. Give it a really good press with the iron. Be careful of the sequins as they can melt! Best to iron from the lining side.

Pin lining and base bib together at neck edge and outside edge.

14. Machine your bias binding around the outside edge. Do the same with the neck edge leaving 15-20cm at the beginning and end of the neck edge. This will be your tie to secure it around the neck. Fold over to encase the cut edges (trim if you need to)  and pin.

15. Using slip stitch, hand sew the bias binding down on the lining side. Tie a knot in the neck edge bias strings to secure.

16. Now, if my directions are clear, you will have your own unique version of this.

To complete the costume use the fabric and decorations you have left over to make a headband and armbands. Strips which velcro together. Wear over a long thin white dress (or a white sheet worn in a cylinder shape) with a straight black wig and go nuts with the eye make-up.

Time to “Walk like an Egyptian”

Let me know how you go. I’d love to see your creations.

 

Commission for Winton

June 18, 2012

Winton's Bag.

Winton’s bag.

I haven’t shown you anything I have made in a while.

This neat little tie bag was made using all those ‘novelty’ ties most men who grew up in the 80’s have in their cupboards.

My little friend Winton helped me select the ties to make his ‘go everywhere’ bag. As you can see he chose cyclists, lions, sun and moons, dogs, hot air balloons….. Lots of inspiration for any 8 year old boy.

He told me about his love of photography, so I lined the bag with velvet to protect the lenses and gave it a little extra padding for general protection. Unfortunately the bag was delivered before I realised I only had one good shot!

I’m told he is rarely seen without his bag.

 

A simple tutorial of a beautifully simple and stylish wok of musical art. Image from Secret Pie Shoppe.

Last ‘How Pinteresting’ Laura said…..

I have been trying to look for interesting ways to decorate with a music theme. We have these dinners with musicians and I thought it might be nice to add something like to the table or on the serving area etc.. Just something a little special and not complicated.

So I pinned a wall full of musical Interiors…. I slipped a few non interior things in there as well if you would like to have a look.

As this is an interactive series, you get to choose the next board I put together.

Just leave a general or specific comment below, and I will find some lovely images to share.

Easter hat inspiration.

April 1, 2012

  

Image from Chanel Couture spring show 2009.

As I said last year….Easter hat parades have nothing to do with Jesus.…. So stop beating yourselves up about the bunnies and the eggs.  Easter hats are all about spring, fashion and celebration.

“Easter was once known as the “Sunday of Joy.” After the Civil War, mothers and daughters who had donned the dark colors of mourning for such a long time began wearing colorful flowered hats and elaborate corsages as part of the Easter celebration. Their hats were adorned with blooming and fresh flowers. If the flowers were not blooming they would make them from paper, ribbon, feathers or sea shells.” quote from dgreetings  

Unfortunately, it’s autumn here and there aren’t any rabbits (or bilbys) or chickens roaming the streets of the inner city… anywhere for that matter.There aren’t any new flowers in bloom and things are much more in the dying phase than the regenerating one.  So  I have decided to just go with the whole feel of it and enjoy the spectacle.

I recently calculated that I have made or co-made more than 15 Easter hats so far…Yes that’s a lot of visits to $2 shops! Our school also has a rule that you are not allowed to put any chocolate eggs on your hat! You can see some easy hats you are welcome to copy here and here.

Beautiful soft flowers and feathers by Loboheme via chic bridal hairstyles.

I was a little  low on inspiration this year and we had only a small window of opportunity in which they could be completed….this week being pretty full.

So I thought where better to get my inspirations than from the catwalks of Europe. After all, who does fashion, spectacle, spring and extravagance more indulgently than them.

I was keen to focus on the flower….. which would have to be fake, so as to keep the cost down, and allow us to make them earlier in the week.

I started having a look around and this is what I found.

Fabric flowers. Image from Martha Stewart.

So fabulous !

Fortunately, there are lots and lots of how to videos and web sites out there on how to make all sorts of flowers.

I have listed them below in case you are in need of some inspiration….

Martha’s paper and fabric flower tutorials.

How to make Crepe paper flowers.

Thai paper flowers 

Tissue Paper Flowers.

Roses from Coffee Filter Papers.

Giant Tissue Paper Flowers 

Origami Flowers 

Image from tiskin.com. Ascot style millinery from the Paris Catwalks.

I wanted to keep it inexpensive, so decided on paper.

After sitting through some of the videos with my 8year old and a little sharing of ideas we put together something pretty special…… Which of course you will have to wait until thursday to see.

Happy Easter hat making…..

Yes, heavy enclosed shoes and protective eye wear needs to be worn at all times!

Ok, so the still life really didn’t give a lot away.

The flowers and bottle of ‘joker’ wine and an apple for the teacher were all waiting for me when I arrived home from my first day of work.

The story is…. I have a part-time sessional lecturing job at the Australian Catholic University.

This session I will be teaching first year students a subject called “Designing with Textiles”. So far, it is really a glorified sewing class, but will move more into the areas of design as the weeks progress.

Every student who wants to be a TAS (technology and applied science) teacher in the high school system has to cover textiles, so I have mostly non- textiles students in my classes (or labs as they are known). Yes, woodwork and metalwork boys as well as the food tech students.

It’s pretty scary as I am not a trained teacher and I haven’t worked for someone else for about 13 years….. and as you can see from the photos from the lab, it’s super dangerous!*

So far it has been really enjoyable and exhausting.

So, because all the readers who commented got part of it right, but no-one picked it, (I know it was quite obscure) I will be sending you all a little harrysdesk love.

Thanks for commenting, or thinking if you didn’t get to commenting.

Dyeing and printing is even more dangerous.... mask and gloves get added to the apparel.

* I don’t think the job is dangerous at all. I think the stay at home mothering was much more hazardous! Let’s hope OH&S doesn’t come and access our homes.

Day 1: Big smile in her skirt into dress....oh and a sneaky owl!

Day 2: A Mary Poppins impersonation before leaving home. Another skirt made into a dress.... yes and am "Over it" Brooch to finish it off.

Day 3: Orientation done! I think a song is in order. Men's shirt into a skirt and top.

Leading up to orientating 5 year olds to school, she began getting very excited about upcycling skirts into dresses.

We had made one in the past, and she really enjoyed wearing it….bit small now…

On a recent trip to the Op Shop, 5 year old bought me the two ladies skirts and suggested we make dresses for her ‘try out days’. She called them this because  she was under the impression that she would try it…ask the teachers a few questions (Like what is 2+2… because if they didn’t know, then she thought they wouldn’t make very good teachers)…..

Anyway we thought we would turn it into a fun activity together. She would pick some pieces from the Op Shop and I would make her some things to wear. While I sewed she sat on the floor and floated around watching and learning what Mummy does.

These are what we ended up with!

The first one is simply made by attaching ribbons to the top of the skirt and tying them together at the shoulder.

With dress two, I made fixed straps with ribbon and attached the ties. I also added a little ribbon on the skirt yoke to draw the ribbon print into the overall dress.

The skirt and top is a little complex to explain in a sentence, but I hope to share a tutorial of how to do it soon. It’s a great (cheap) way to introduce children to sewing…..

Myself and Bec at the opening.

Last Thursday was the official opening of my friend Bec’s store in Newtown, Little Big Tween. Or LBT for short.

You may recognise the name from a post I did a month or so back about a new wholesaler.

Yes, harrysdesk accessories are available at LBT.

In the comments of the post I said I had more exciting news associated with this venture…. and now all can be revealed.

LBT looking all gorgeous for the opening.

Yes! ......it's red carpet

A couple of months ago Bec asked me if I could help out with her clothing design drawings and fabric specs. Yes! what I trained to do all those years ago.

I gingerly agreed.

….and I have enjoyed it a lot.

The excited supporters.

The sketching, dreaming and designing, to Bec’s specifications, has been nothing short of a pleasure.

Fitting it in around an already packed to the brim family life was tricky and some mornings I could be found up before the sun (quite an achievement for a non-morning person like myself) busily sketching and colouring and sticking. Tim and the girls have been fantastic, making all the extra hours possible. We had a few hairy moments…

I will let you know once the winter collection arrives…. as that is the season I have been working on!

At this point I am hoping I can continue to help Bec out as I can….learn lots from her ‘make it happen, with a smile on your face’ attitude…. and keep harrysdesk rolling along and growing into the new year.

This may explain why the blog has been a little removed lately. Sorry…. and thanks for sticking around.

Therese (who works in the shop) and Bec before the crowd arrives.

The clothing in the store now, is wonderful and seriously worth a look.

If you cannot get to Newtown you can see it here. Or become a friend of LBT on facebook here.

 

 

For any reader in Canberra ... you will find LBT at Matilda's Markets this Sunday.