May 26, 2010

1950s Cheerleading costume

That, my friends, is what happens when you try to take an action shot of yourself using the 10-second timer on a cheap camera balanced on a cereal box, on a chair, with no natural light left in the day.

Recently, a friend hosted a murder mystery party. It was good fun because I could reminisce about the ones I went to when I was at school... and because dress-ups are always fun!

I was told my character was a 1950s cheerleader. A quick google image search revealed that the 1950s cheerleading outfits were pretty chaste! Of course I left making the costume to the day of the party, so I had to work fast, with materials I already had!

I had a bunch of plain green fabric, so I whipped up a really simple skirt using Gosgrain's fabulous 20-minute skirt tutorial. It turned out too long (my fault!), but I was too lazy to hem it up as the bottom of the skirt was the selvedge... best idea ever!

I chose one of my white shirts to wear, and traced an R onto a sheet of cheap green acrylic felt. I cut it out and stuck it on with double-sided sticky tape which easily lasted the night and didn't leave any marks on my shirt!

For the pom-poms, I just tore long thin strips of green and white fabric. For each one, I took a bunch of strips, doubled them over and tied the middle off with an elastic band, leaving enough room for a finger to loop through it.

It was a fun night, though I must confess I didn't guess the murderer...

I'm looking forward to making a more flattering skirt with the tutorial soon!

May 23, 2010

How now, brown... sheet!

I had an old brown sheet to cut up, but was struggling a bit to think of ways to make the bags pretty. It needed a stencilled design on it! Since my last foray into freezer paper stencilling, I have acquired more screen-painting ink colours! I now have black, white, blue, red and yellow.

White seemed perfect... and I was totally lazy and ended up using my laptop's screen as a lightbox, zooming in on the design and placing the freezer paper directly on the screen, tracing over the picture lightly.

Stencil: "Cypress Tree" by Lynell Harlow, available from

Sometimes a Morsbag sets itself apart from the rest, and needs to be sent to someone rather than bundled off to the op-shop. This one made its way to Anna Bartlett, a blogfriend who wrote a lovely post about it.

The remaining brown bags had scraps of the blue/brown fabric attached to them.

Unfortunately, due to the length of the scraps & some interesting pinning, the result was less than picture-perfect. Adds to the charm, I'm sure... but next time I may place the stripe off-center, down one side!

May 20, 2010

Update on the Cheryl Lavon Memorial Quilt

Just a quick update on the progress of the quilt being made by swap-bot members to be donated to the American Cancer Association in memory of Cheryl Lavon. Crochet.junkie has pieced together all the blocks into a quilt top. You can see details of each block in the Cheryl Lavon Memory Group.

I'm looking forward to seeing how it turns out after quilting!

Related posts:

May 13, 2010

365 days. 365 items of clothing. 365 dollars.

{source: Marisa}

I've been following Marisa's "New dress a day" adventure for several months now, and I love the daily dose of inspiration. Her challenge is 365 days. 365 items of clothing. 365 dollars.
So here’s the deal friends, I’m going to be spending the entire year without doing an ounce of traditional clothing shopping.

Instead, the only shopping that I’ll be able to do is that of pieces that have been used and worn already. So long to mall trips and hello to sifting through piles of vintage pieces at flea markets and at neighborhood garage sales. Each day for the entire year, I’m going to introduce a new piece into my existing wardrobe that I’ve found from these places. On top of this, I’m giving myself a budget of $1 a day.

{source: Marisa}

Don't you just love the great before & after shots?

{source: Marisa}

I love that the alterations are simple. The majority of her work involves fixing holes, removing shoulder pads, bringing up hemlines, bringing down necklines, and bringing in the sides. Things that none of us should be afraid of!

{source: Marisa}

What did Marisa make of this dress? Click through to find out!

I've been meaning to interview Marisa, but it's taken me too long, and several other people have beaten me to the punch. If you're wanting to find out more about the project, such as when Marisa learned to sew, what she plans to do with the finished garments, how long the pieces take, etc., then head over to the following sites:
There was only one unanswered question left burning in my mind... What on earth was she going to do with all the left over shoulder pads?

{source: Marisa}

Marisa's reply?
Ooh, good burning question...well, when the pads fill up in that large jar, I'm going to have a little guessing contest with the readers which a few fun prizes will be given out. I've actually had people email me things that they've either done or have heard others do with old pads, so I think I'll be trying a few of those out. I've gotten everything from quilts to jackets to angels, so there will be lots of options.
I trawled the internet looking for ideas, and here's what I uncovered:
Anybody else have ideas for repurposing old shoulder pads?

May 12, 2010

Toy Society Drop: No llores, Lorretta!

I wasn't in the best frame of mind when I got home from work. So I decided to make a toy for a Toy Society Drop (#1179).

Flicking through my sketch book, I found this illustration, inspired by Llorie the bipolar cloud in the plush-o-rama book.

I didn't trace the sketch or anything, I just winged it... hence the clover-shaped hands! The cheeks & tear were an afterthought. It was therapeutic hand-stitching and stuffing the toy. And trying to do a drop-off without getting spotted is always exciting!

I left Lorretta attached to a tree outside the old bus depot markets (Canberra, Australia) around 5pm. When I passed by the tree again around 9pm she was still hanging there..!

Related post: Free toy pattern: Lorretta

May 3, 2010

Morsbag winner & discussion on plastic bags

I decided to be a little silly when it came to drawing the winner for the blue/brown Morsbag (pictured above). I felt like adding a human element!

First I chose three pink pencils and and labelled them 1-3.

Then, I randomised the entrants, thus associating each one with a pencil.

Last but not least, when my sister came around I asked her to pick a pencil (without explaining why). Then I got her to answer the same question I asked the contestants.

She picked #3, so congratulations darkpurplemoon! The parcel is on the way.

Thanks to all who entered! To finish off, I'd like to discuss the answers I received to the question
What is the single biggest obstacle to your living without plastic bags?
  • Lack of time! I confess I use disposable nappies (for my babies - it's not a weird sort of confession), and I dispose of them in plastic bags. But I always try to remember my ecobags for the shopping! (Anna Bartlett)
  • It is so hard to get things without plastic when you work full time. I am investigating getting things delivered from the local organic delivery service, but I grow a lot of my veg and I don't want to get things I already have. Our local farmers market is on a wednesday and friday. Er, yeah. Thanks for that! (darkpurplemoon)
  • I started sewing morsbags in October 2007 and since then I've drastically reduced the use of plastic bags. The main problem for me at the moment is how to dispose garbage. Depending on the garbage sometimes it might be difficult without a plastic bag... but I'm working on it! ;o) (I bag you)
  • I would miss being able to wrap dodgy containers with liquid - in case they spill/condense (My sister)

I agree with Anna & I bag you that garbage always seems to involve plastic bags... wrapping certain waste, lining bins... We always decline bags and we manage to cut down on the number of bags we use by trying to avoid excess packaging & composting vegetable scraps, but we line our bins nonetheless (our plastic bag stash will run out one day...), and some things just come packaged in certain sizes... as darkpurplemoon pointed out, farmers markets can be hard to get to on a busy schedule. I also agree with my sister. I bring my lunch in a cotton bag so condensation doesn't bother me, but spills do... I keep meaning to make some nice, plastic-lined, washable lunch bags!

Related post: 50 Morsbags = a giveaway!
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