All posts filed under: Crafty stuff

Recovering a step-stool, thedreamstress.com

A spotty-dotty step-stool refurbishment

I haven’t had a lot of time for ‘me’ projects lately: everything has been focused on pattern samples and pattern testing.  While I’m really enjoying having so many Henrietta Marias and Miramars and…(oops, can’t tell you those ones yet!) in my wardrobe, I find myself itching to just make something that isn’t technically work. At the end of a long week of pattern development and teaching, I decided I was going to go absolutely crazy if I didn’t manage to do something for me. Enter the Stepstool of Shame: I bought this stool at an op-shop because I liked the industrial design , and because we really needed a stepstool for the kitchen.  Our kitchen is basically original to the 1920s house (kitchens are not an original feature you want!), including weird narrow cabinets that go all the way up to the 3m/9ft high ceiling.*  As they are so weird and narrow, they don’t store a lot, so we actually have to use the ones located 8ft above the ground in order to fit everything in.** …

A circular cardigan with a geek twist

In my last post I showed off my 1950s inspired circular cardigan, which manages to look far more glam than a cardigan ought to. When I was finishing the cardigan I discovered that it isn’t just limited to looking glam.  It’s also great for… …pretending to be a Jedi knight! While I’m only showing you the cardigan now, I actually finished it back in December, just when A New Hope was in the theatres.  I tried on the mostly-finished cardigan for a friend, and she ‘ooohed’ over the flipped down collar and the swishy hem, and then I flipped up the collar to show it could also be a hood, and she practically fell over laughing, saying I looked like I should be in Star Wars. Obviously, with a comment like that, I had to do a Star Wars photoshoot.  I put out a call for a lightsaber, and the amazing Nina came through with not only a lightsaber, but also a half-scale Stormtrooper and a Darth Vader for me to have an epic battle with. I seriously …

Four Fabulous Sewing Tools thedreamstress.com

Sewing favourites: four awesome tools

I definitely believe that you don’t need all the bells and whistles and fancy ‘toys’ to be an amazing sewer.  Beautiful results can be had with the a very simple sewing kit: a (good quality) pair of scissors, some reasonable pins, a measuring tape, tailors chalk, an unpicker, hand sewing needles, and a basic sewing machine.  And that last one is optional, even if you aren’t interested in historical sewing – when travelling, I’ve made modern frocks without the machine. With that said, there is no denying that there are some extras that will make your sewing much easier and stress free, and if you have the space and money, investing in them is well worth it. As a sewing teacher, I like to try all the fancy new gadgets, but I have also consciously decided NOT to get every spiffy whiz-banger sewing invention, because I don’t want my sewing process to be too drastically different from that of my students, or of those of you who are buying my patterns.  It’s not helpful if I find a …