Smudge floral print Bettine dress

Soooo, I made yet another Bettine dress! It’s the last one for a little while, I swear. I just wanted to make one more that I could wear in the office, and I think I struck gold with this gorgeous smudgey floral print rayon!

all the little happy things - floral print Bettine dress

all the little happy things - floral print Bettine dress

all the little happy things - floral print Bettine dress

I wore this dress to work last week, with a simple black blazer. I love that this fabric makes the relaxed Bettine silhouette a little bit more professional-looking, but it’s still incredibly comfortable. The pockets are super convenient as well. The only drawback is that the skirt wrinkles a bit when I’ve been sitting at my desk for a long time, but again, the print of this dress is pretty forgiving and the wrinkles don’t crease too sharply.

all the little happy things - floral print Bettine dress

all the little happy things - floral print Bettine dress

all the little happy things - floral print Bettine dress

Something I didn’t notice about this fabric when I bought it was how well the purple in the print matched my hair! Definitely unintentional, but a nice bonus! I feel very put-together wearing this dress, haha.

all the little happy things - floral print Bettine dress

Now that the weather is cooling down, I’m going to take a break from making Bettines – though I do plan make one more office-appropriate one, maybe just in a plain black, later in the year. For now, it’s time to give this pattern a rest and find something new!

Project Life 2017 – February pages

all the little happy things - Project Life 2017 - February

Sharing my February Project Life pages today! My cover page for the month features pictures from my friends’ engagement party. Still loving my month title cards (from Studio Calico), though I noticed as I flicked through them the other day that the colours of the cards are designed to work with the northern hemisphere’s seasons – e.g. bright yellow for June (summer in the northern hemisphere, but the start of winter here in Australia) and deep plum in November (winter in the northern hemisphere, but summer here in Australia!)… but I’ll just make it work somehow!

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Print Mimi blouse

I made another Mimi blouse from Love at First Stitch a couple of months ago, but never got around to taking photos until now… so here it is, finally: my print Mimi blouse!

all the little happy things - print Mimi blouse

all the little happy things - print Mimi blouse

I made the blouse with a contrast collar in black rayon, with covered buttons, and I really like the effect!

all the little happy things - print Mimi blouse

all the little happy things - print Mimi blouse

It’s a hard to see in the photos, but the fabric I used has some sparkly gold details in the print – just darling! I really love this print, and the fabric is nice and light, which suited the fit of this pattern.

all the little happy things - print Mimi blouse

While the Mimi blouse is not my favourite pattern to make (my least favourite part of the sewing process is cutting out fabric, and there are a lot of pieces to cut for this this pattern… plus I don’t love setting in sleeves, haha!), I do really like the results! I’m glad to have another blouse that I can wear to work or for a fun weekend outing – yay for versatile handmade pieces!

all the little happy things - print Mimi blouse

Jersey Bettine dress, AKA the lazy dress

After a stressful week at work, I decided to take it easy on the weekend with a nice long sleep-in on Saturday, and some tea. I opted to make the Bettine dress from Tilly and the Buttons again, this time in a soft grey marle jersey. The result is an incredibly comfy dress, which I have dubbed ‘the lazy dress’- the type of dress I can just throw on when I’m lounging around being lazy at home, but is still appropriate for a trip to the shops or impromptu dinner with friends!

all the little happy things - jersey Bettine dress

all the little happy things - jersey Bettine dress

all the little happy things - jersey Bettine dress

This was also my first attempt at sewing with knit fabric, and I think I’ve done a pretty good job! Sewing with jersey was very different but not as hard as I thought it was going to be. I read up on Pretty Prudent’s tips for sewing jersey beforehand and made sure to use a stretch needle and my machine’s stretch stitch for the seams. As recommended by Tilly, I made the plain skirt version of the dress and finished the neckline with a neckband instead of interfacing. The neckband was pretty tricky but I just went slow and I’m happy with how it turned out. I did attempt a blind hem to finish off (my machine has a blind hem stitch for stretch fabrics) but after a couple of tries and quite a bit of time with my seam-ripper, I gave up and just zig-zagged the hem. Oh well, can’t win them all!

all the little happy things - jersey Bettine dress

all the little happy things - jersey Bettine dress

This is the most comfortable dress I’ve ever worn, and I can tell it will end up in heavy rotation in my wardrobe! I really, really love the Bettine pattern, am already dreaming up other version – a pocket skirt version in a nice drapey rayon, a jersey Bettine t-shirt… can’t wait to make more!

That time I made a Lydia Deetz (Beetlejuice) costume

Every year, my firm has a big Christmas costume party. There’s always an overarching theme, and then each workgroup in the firm chooses their own theme within that for their costumes. Last year, the theme was ‘Wanderlust’ and my group went as Disneyland – so I made my own costume and went as Princess Jasmine.

This year, the overarching theme was ‘Cult Classics’, and my workgroup decided to go as Beetlejuice, the first really Tim Burton-y Tim Burton movie and one of my childhood favourites. Naturally, I decided to make my own costume again, and the result was this: my Lydia Deetz red wedding costume!

all the little happy things - DIY Lydia Deetz Beetlejuice costume

This is the outfit that Lydia (played by Winona Ryder) wears when she’s being forced to marry Beetlejuice at the end of the film, and for a DIY job, I think mine looks pretty good!

all the little happy things - DIY Lydia Deetz Beetlejuice costume

Here’s how I put it together.

The Dress

The distinctive feature of Lydia’s dress in the movie is the sheer volume of the skirt – layers and layers of fluffy tulle. I wanted to get that kind of volume without needing to buy a hoop skirt – but how to get the skirt puffy enough? The answer was layers! My costume was made up of three layers – the basic dress, a purchased petticoat, and a layered tulle overskirt. You can see the ‘layers’ of my costume a little better in the photo below.

all the little happy things - DIY Lydia Deetz Beetlejuice costume

The basic foundation of the outfit was a cheap red chiffon dress I bought from ASOS which had a little chiffon ruffle around the V-neckline. The chiffon ruffle was nice, but definitely not over-the-top enough for my costume, so I opted to add extra tulle ruffles to the neckline.

To add the tulle ruffles to the neckline, I followed this basic method to add strips of red tulle to a red grosgrain ribbon, which I then hand-stitched along the neckline of the dress. I used two layers (one stitched just above the other) to get the fullness I wanted.

For the skirt, I bought a tiered, multi-layered red petticoat from eBay, which I slipped on over the dress. Then, to add even more fullness, I made a tulle overskirt out of three layers of red tulle – the bottom layer was the full length of the petticoat, the middle layer about 20cm shorter, and the top layer about 20cm shorter than the middle layer. I gathered the layers of tulle separately, and then sewed them all together onto a wide red satin ribbon which tied around my waist.

Put on all the layers, and you get a fabulously voluminous red wedding dress, with no need for an inconvenient hoop skirt!

all the little happy things - DIY Lydia Deetz Beetlejuice costume

The extras: wig, veil and makeup

Once the dress was done, all I really needed was the wig! I bought this black wig, and then went to town with hair-cutting scissors, hair gel and bobby pins. I cut the fringe/bangs a lot shorter, then created the ‘spiky’ effect with the help of a lot of hair gel. Then I styled the rest of the wig by pulling half of the hair up in a super-high ponytail and spiking up the ends with gel, then randomly pinning bits and pieces all over the wig to make it look even wilder. I’m really happy with how it looked!

The veil was just some of the leftover tulle from making the skirt and the neckline ruffle, which I bunched together and hand-sewed to a comb.

As for makeup, for my trial runs I just packed on very light-coloured powder and deep brown eyeshadow. On the night of the party itself, my workgroup hired a face painter, who whitened up my face and added a dramatic eyeliner effect.

all the little happy things - DIY Lydia Deetz Beetlejuice costume

(P.S. Doesn’t my friend Eva look amazing?? She did all that body painting herself!)

Overall this wasn’t a very cheap costume to make – I’d estimate something around $80-$100 including all the fabric and ribbon, the wig, the original dress and the petticoat. It was also a ltitle bit time-consuming – making the ruffles for the neckline took the longest, plus it involved hand sewing which I hate! But I think that all the hard work was worth it – I’m really proud of this costume and I think my workgroup looked amazing together!

all the little happy things - DIY Lydia Deetz Beetlejuice costume

all the little happy things - DIY Lydia Deetz Beetlejuice costume