Things I love (And a diy fishtail skirt)

I have been trying to get rid of things I don’t really love. Goodwill will receive a mighty haul from me soon. To replace them,  I’ve been making things I can style a number of different ways. For example, this gathered fishtail skirt inspired by A Pair & A Spare.

Six half-inch tucks in front, four in back.

While I still love plaid, I no longer have reason to wear my collection of short plaid skirts that serve to make me look about 10. Instead I have this, which I would wear every day if I could. It’s a simple gathered skirt, with the elastic sewn directly onto the self fabric instead of into a casing  and cut about six inches longer in back. I love my legs, but I don’t like showing off my unders. This skirt is a nice compromise.

I have a plumbing clamp on my head as a headband. Shiny.

Tights and sweater: Target (On sale), Shoes: unknown, Skirt: DIY, Headband: Home Depot, Mug: New Garden Friends basement sale.

Lesson learned: Making things you really enjoy puts into perspective the things you don’t.

One more.

Also, I’ll get my 1,000th view today! Happy dance.

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Fabric scrap earrings: For when feathers are too mainstream.

I'm wearing a shirt with the sleeves pushed down. It didn't match.

I made these using scraps from a ribbed, tie dye t-shirt, and a broken necklace. For earrings like these, get some ear wires, 18-gauge wire, any long, jagged fabric strips, and two pieces of chain. Stack the fabric scraps in a manner you like and poke your 18-gauge wire  through the top of each strip. Make a short loop for hanging, and wrap the wire a few times around the fabric, tucking the loose end of the wire underneath. String the chain onto another piece of wire, and add your fabric tassel onto that. Stick the whole thing on the end of an ear wire, and repeat.

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If liking it means you should put a ring on it…

… I must really like my right hand. Heh.

jewelry

I have been playing with wire and hot glue quite a bit lately, and thought the results were worth sharing.

I found a ring base design on one of many, many fashion blogs, and will link to it  when I find it. It used a flat wire spiral and a loop of doubled-over wire. I will link to it when I find it. I would suggest using a marker or other round object the width of your finger for sizing.

For the bell ring:

  • Get a bell ball. There should be plenty around at the end of December in craft shops. If necessary, rip one off a cheap drugstore toy your dog ripped apart.
  • Before finishing the ring base, string the loop at the top of the bell onto the wire. Adjust the bell to the front of the ring.
  • Close it up, and add a bead of hot glue to the bell loop where it meets the ring base.

For the spike ring:

  • Make a loop at the end of some unbent wire. After bending the wire into a ring the right size for your finger,  bend the loop outward. Wrap the remaining wire around the loop in a flat spiral.
  • Get a two-pronged hollow cone stud ready.
  • Cover the spiral part of the ring base in hot glue, and quickly stick it into the cone. Add more hot glue if necessary, and bend the prongs around the ring base.

For the dolphin ring:

  • Get a charm from a store, or harvest one off a broken necklace. Remove any loops or jump rings.
  • Using very thin wire, connect the ring to the base.  Try to show as little wire on the outside as possible.
  • Shock of shocks, the next step is to add hot glue.

For all rings, metallic paint is useful if your metals don’t match. It can also disguise visible glue. Let dry (I mean it) and spray with clear coat. I would avoid putting on your rings before the glue is cooled, regardless of how excited you are about them.

Enjoy!

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Caveman Cookery

I have done the impossible. I have cooked snacks to be eaten by a roomful of strangers, with no gluten, no dairy, no meat and no garlic. I am princess of the ethically picky eaters.

I am a so-so cook. When you live with your family’s equivalents of Betty Crocker, Julia Child and Alton Brown, you don’t cook much. I’m not a bad cook by any means, but my skills are best applied to simple smashing, shaking and chopping. It’s caveman-level cookery.

Cucumber and Tomato Salad vinaigrette

Thai basil infused white vinegar (Or anything fancy)

Apple cider vinegar

Balsamic vinegar

Good, local honey (Mine was blackberry blossom honey, via the local mill)

Brown mustard (or any mustard, really)

Spanish paprika

Olive oil

Salt

Pepper

Mix these in by this order, to taste. Shake hard.  Put them in a container with the tomatoes and a cucumber, all sliced.  Eat.

Hummus

Take 1 can of chickpeas, and de-shell them somehow. I squished them slightly with a pastry mixer, and the shells popped right off. When all the shells are gone, mash with a potato masher or run through a food processor. Add lemon juice, salt, pepper, sriracha, paprika, soy sauce and whatever else you like in hummus. Transfer to dip bowl. Garnish poorly and spend 20 minutes sculpting the surface.

Slice up some celery as well, and some pita for the non-gluten folks. Adjust these recipes as you see fit.

All in all, you could probably do this in two hours in good conditions if you had to. I took more time than that, because I could and I like the smashing part.

Stay tuned for a post about the wonders of chickpeas.

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Men’s button down to ruffly dress (And crochet flower hairclip)

Hi everyone! Hope you’re having a good summer.

My dress, made entirely out of one of my dad's shirts.

I’ve had some free time. Badly-illustrated tutorial to come!

Also, in that picture up there I’m wearing this thing on my head:

This.

The flower is the rose in the middle of the Anticraft‘s Asphyxiation choker, which I then stitched onto a scrap of blue fabric, beaded in the middle and tacked onto a large barrette. I have thick, unruly hair, which easily explodes or covers any smaller, wimpier scalp-jewelry.

See you guys soon!

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Things I made when you weren’t looking

Hello earthlings! I’m back, and I’ll hopefully be updating more regularly. I have stuff to share.

I found all my stuff for this (including notions) at my Quaker meeting’s semiannual basement sale, which is possibly the best place to thrift I have ever encountered. Seriously, pay close attention to your local small places of worship. Everything there is previously owned, meaning you’re reusing instead of buying new wares and contributing to the world’s waste. If you look, you can find some absolute gems for dirt cheap. I’ll ramble more on this in a future post.

First off on the Things I Made list: A pillowcase nightie, from instructions found HERE. I added pockets and crossed straps with extra pillowcase bits, and trimmed it with simple white ribbon.

This picture is modeled by Coco the Bear, photographed by me.

Pockets!

Up next is a super-comfy robe, made from a vintage bed sheet using my Aikido gi top as a pattern. The basic shape is a wide T.

If you don’t have a gi that fits the way you want, get assistance in measuring your wingspan from thumb to thumb Divide that in half (Red). Then, measure down from the top of your shoulder across the widest part of your body to get the hem length you want (Green). It’s not as complicated as it sounds. I would suggest using an extra-baggy men’s t-shirt for the sleeves (Blue) and torso width (Aqua). Draw all of this out using taped-together sales papers or magazine ad pages to save paper. For the front, measure the width of your neck across your collar bones, mark a vertical line in the middle of your robe pattern, and draw a long, symmetrical V (Orange) from the top of the pattern that is as wide as your neck measurement.

Cut out the pattern and trace it onto fabric with whatever seam allowance is comfortable. Be sure to finish the seams, as these sheets fray. I rounded the corners as I sewed the bottom hem, and added slits to each side to suit my preferences. The belt is just a 4″ wide strip two and a half times my waist, folded into a tube and hemmed.

Detail shot showing slit and rounded corners.

To go with all this, I added pajama bloomers using Collette’s fabulous pattern.

I go to bed feeling pretty.

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Monday Spike #1

And on my continent, it’s the first day of Spring. Huh. Click to biggify.

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