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Image from Millas hem.

I am going to continue with the interactive Pinteresting this year.

Caroline suggested last year that she would be interested in a collection of shoes….

Mostly I have gone with vintage shoes.

You can take a look here. 

Let me know what you like… and if you would like me to put together a collection for you of anything. Just leave your ideas in the comments below.

Boxy case. Photo by three bears

Boxy case. Photo by three bears

1: The boxy case

If you are after a pencil case with some dimension, a great tutorial is available here at three bears. Its pretty simple, and the proportions could be changed to make a travel shoe bag, a make-up bag, make a few in baby fabric for the nappy bag or line it with plastic for a lunch bag.

Shoe bags

Shoe bags

2: The shoe bag

Betz White gives a tutorial on the shoe bag.

If you are out of practise sewing or you want a quick present for anyone these are great.

Make tartan ones for grandads, pink ballet slipper ones for preschool girls and use funky prints for teens. Ikea have some really reasonable, great graphic fabrics available here. The ones above are made from op shop sheets.

Those out there with a high IQ will recognise their similarity to library bags and generally useful bags to hold a change of clothes, sports extras,  food for a day out or make them in a polyester mesh for a swimming bag.

Photo from ready-made

Photo from ReadyMade

3: The Upcycled shirt bag

A super thrifty idea, especially for the men. The link seems to have gone missing during the year… but I think you can work it out. You could even tuck a new pair of socks in the pocket, or fill it with shoe cleaning stuff……does anyone do that anymore?

Combining reverse applique and pencil case techniques. Photo from Sublime Stitching

Combining reverse applique, embroidery and pencil case techniques. Photo from Sublime Stitching

4: The Sublime Stitching Pencil Case

So beautiful, but not for the beginner. I think I’d want to use it for a wallet or small make-up purse for my handbag. It’s too gorgeous for pencils and pens. Check out Sublime Stitching for the tutorial. It’s also a good resource for basic embroidery stitches.

One I made for a gift earlier this week.

One I made for a gift earlier this week.

5: the All Zipped Purse

A zippered pencil case is a bit of fun, and great for a fiddler.

I based this one loosely on this tutorial (thanks Steph)  but instead of putting the right side of the zippers together and forming a seam on the inside, I just lay the zips on top of one another and sewed through both.

I also alternated the zipper ‘heads’ and attached a monogramed zipper pull.

I found the zips at the op shop which was cool, because it becomes quite expensive at around $1 per zip in normal shops. Maybe you’ll get lucky too!

Please let me know how you are progressing with your projects. Mine is going a little slow. Maybe I should stop blogging about it and get on with it.

Rain gauge gumboots by Regina Regis via The Cool Hunter.

Gumboots have somehow made it into ‘street wear’ in Australia.

This, I think, is a new thing.

Sure, dairy farmers and ice-cream factory workers, kids and cottage gardeners have been sporting them for years, but now I see them on the streets of the suburbs and in fully enclosed shopping centres.

Is this merely a trend, or a wardrobe essential?

The Rain Gauge Boot …for those in search of hard evidence that it is raining more and more…. or just for the fun of them.

Large upcycled purple, black and navy Wheaton handbag.

Sorry everyone, but I made this one and I had to keep it for myself.

I am in a very purple mood at the moment…. it probably all began with my new purple runners Tim bought me in the UK earlier in the year.

It is my habit to try out all new bag styles I design, before I unleash them on the public, so I will use that as my excuse for nabbing it. It’s purely for testing purposes..lie lie.

If you are as wrapped in the purple idea as I am, I do have some similar purple ties and could build another! Let me know.

I wrote last Monday about the style being my favourite so far, and so far it hasn’t disappointed.

Please have a closer look!

Close Up

Inside. Two zippered pockets, and a large open pocket. side....

...and the other...

The Wheaton..... from behind.

What’s in my wardrobe?

April 14, 2010

Recently I was tagged by Ali to tell you what in my wardrobe I can’t do without.

Although I studied fashion for 3 years at the National Art School (East Sydney Tech) I don’t really enjoy shopping and lots of the other smoozy aspects of fashion. I have in the past wardrobe consulted and will probably do it again (for others outside the family). I may even write a ‘do it yourself’ tutorial later in the year. Let me know if you would like this.

I shop mostly at Op shops and other very standard places like Target and Kmart.

I try to only keep clothing I actually wear so I have a surprisingly small wardrobe, for someone with my background.

My favourite Abix Swirl T-shirt by harrysdesk

  1. Jeans: At the moment I do with two pairs. 1 black, 1 dark blue. (On the hunt for a new black pair… although not very diligently)
  2. Black T-shirts: I have about 2 weeks worth on rotation. I wear T-shirts all year round (and jeans too actually) I just put long sleeve T-shirts underneath. I do look at other coloured T-shirts when I shop, but for some reason I look like a clown in a most of them.
  3. Coloured Runners: I have red, fluorescent green and pink. This is the one area I give myself permission to spend. If they are interesting and comfortable (essential) I will find it hard to say no. Anyone seen a great purple pair anywhere? I would love some, but they are elusive.
  4. Cardigans: Presently a bit low on these at the moment (a little troubling, given the current change in weather) I have a favourite pistachio green woollen fine knit one. It has a permanent owl ‘Frita’ broach on it. The cardigans began when I moved from ‘out of the house’ work life to ‘being home with my girls’ mostly.
  5. Fabulous harrysdesk bag: Whenever I create a new style of bag I use it first. This way I can test it to see if there are any problems with it. This means that I can improve them as I go. And it means I get to use one and not just make them for others. When I am through testing and enjoying I pass them on to my girls, who lend them back to me if I need them.

My current harrysdesk handbag. I am really enjoying the shorter strap ( which I didn;t think I would.)

I also really enjoy my scarves, interesting necklaces, an few skirts with footless tights and my black docs.

I would love to live somewhere colder so that I could indulge my love of coats, or work somewhere public so that I could indulge my love of jackets. In the mean time I will indulge my love of flannelette PJ’s.

Here are the rules.

Title your post- Meme: Five things in my wardrobe that I wouldn’t be without. (Ooops!)

Tell us who linked you.

List your 5 wardrobe items.

Paste these rules at the bottom.

Tag 2 or 3 others to join in the fun!

This guy can upcycle anything! Here it’s shoes…. ah yes… you can see them now.

Grab a coffee/tea or other slowing down beverage, click on the image , and enjoy upcycling by the master. Maison Martin Margiela.

If you just want a teaser watch this.

I love making gifts for babies.

They aren’t fussy…generally.

The gifts are often a bit more risky than for an adult or older child….because we are fussy…..generally.

They are often quick to make.

They don’t use up a lot of materials.

They allow us to use our creativity and light-hearted sides. This is good for us. We all take ourselves way too seriously. Well, I do anyway.

So with no further preamble…..

Photo from stardust shoes

Photo from stardust shoes

Joanna from stardustshoes gives us the classic baby shoe. These  are such a cute shape that you could make them out of anything…. teatowels, scarves you no longer want, old cotton shirts or your children’s old baby clothes (if you want to be really thrifty) or buy a little piece of beautiful fabric and go for it.

Stardustshoes is a lovely blog, as well, and has many great ideas. Well worth a coffee and a sit.

Martha Stewart photo

Martha Stewart photo

Oh course, Martha has her own version of the baby shoe, for all the crochet queens among you. A tribute to Dorothy I think

image from artsy-crafty babe

image from artsy-crafty babe

How cute are these?! and soooo easy you probably don’t need a tutorial, but I’m giving it to you anyway.

The tutorial is for broaches, but if you leave off the back pin, and attach a hair clip or band (with a metal piece), wha la, you have hair accessories.

Martha again.... she is a tutorial whiz.

Martha again.... she is a tutorial whiz.

One for the paper people. Personally I don’t think it needs the blossoms on the twig, and it the becomes a whole lot easier.

The "hooter hider" image from made by the mama monster

The "hooter hider" image from made by the mama monster

Not exactly for baby, more because of baby.

The ‘hooter hider’ is a cover for the mother for feeding baby in public…. well not so public, which is the point. My friend Na is very keen on hers and would recommend them to feeding mummies.

The tutorial can be found here at made by the mama monster.

Image from Martha Stewart

Image from Martha Stewart

Caroline, this one is especially for you! A while ago my lovely friend Caroline went looking for this on the blog because I told her I was going to put it up… she searched and searched…. but it wasn’t there…. because it wasn’t there. But it is now.


My girls always enjoyed their quite books, and this one is made using the cut and paste technique. Everyone can do that…. right?

I think I'll make mine from this tie and denim.

Here's my tie. Now all I need is some denim.

What fun!

I think I will try them with recycled ties.

Check out how here

More Upcycling…..

June 24, 2009

Today I came across this interesting company from LA.penelope-duck

Lots of us many have heard of reverse garbage in Marrickville, but does anyone know of any similar ‘come to you’ programs in Australia?

A business opportunity begs…… I think.

I also didn’t know this existed, and Marrickville is about 3 suburbs away. Will have to investigate more.

Upcycling??? huh

June 5, 2009

Drew asked “What is upcycling?”

Photo taken from Green Upgrader

Photo taken from Green Upgrader

My definition…..a bit like recycling only better! 

Here, and here, and here, and here are some good examples from etsy.

Here, and here and here are some local examples.