Refashioning a silk shift dress to a silk tee

I recently decluttered my closet and pulled out all of the clothes that I can no longer fit into. One of those items was a lovely black silk shift dress which I got on sale from Jeanswest a couple of years ago – a lovely simple dress that was now too tight across my hips. The top of the dress still fit me very well, though – so I decided, instead of getting rid of the dress, I would refashion it into a basic black silk tee!

Here’s what the original dress looked like:

all the little happy things - Refashioning a silk shift dress to a silk tee

And here’s what it looks like after the refashion!

all the little happy things - Refashioning a silk shift dress to a silk tee

It was a very simple hack-and-hem job. I used another woven tee as the guide for the length of my tee, and cut with a long ruler and my rotary cutter to get a straight cut. I then followed these instructions for sewing a rolled hem on my machine without a rolled hem foot. It was the first time I’ve ever tried a rolled hem or sewn with silk, and I’m pretty happy with how it worked out!

all the little happy things - Refashioning a silk shift dress to a silk tee

I’d actually been looking for a nice basic black blouse to add to my work wardrobe, and now I don’t have to buy anything new! Now all I need to do is think of something to make with the leftover silk scraps… perhaps a cropped square-neck camisole for summer…? I’m glad to have given my old dress some new life in my wardrobe!

all the little happy things - Refashioning a silk shift dress to a silk tee

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Good times: Crafternoon Tea #3

Yesterday I hosted another Crafternoon Tea! As with the previous Crafternoon Teas, the purpose is to set aside some time to catch up with friends over tea, snacks and a fun creative project. This time, we made polymer clay jewellery! I’ve seen a lot of polymer clay jewellery at various handmade and indie design markets for the last couple of years, and have always wanted to make some of my own. Hosting a Crafternoon Tea was the perfect excuse to finally just do it!

all the little happy things - Crafternoon Tee #3

The little ‘kits’ I set up contained baking paper (as a work surface), a small handful of skewers, and polymer clay in some basic colours: black, white, red, yellow, green, blue, gold and silver. On the table I also had a few makeshift tools to help with sculpting the clay, including metal rulers (to use as long blades), glass bottles and jars (for rolling/flattening clay), and an exacto knife. I also provided leather thonging in black and tan for stringing our finished clay beads

all the little happy things - Crafternoon Tee #3

We all had a lovely time making clay beads, eating delicious snacks and drinking tea. One of my favourite things about Crafternoon Teas is seeing how creative my friends are. Everyone made something a little different, but everything looked great! Here are a few examples.

all the little happy things - Crafternoon Tee #3

all the little happy things - Crafternoon Tee #3

all the little happy things - Crafternoon Tee #3

Bec made a couple of pairs of earrings! She took the baked clay home and glued her own jewellery findings on.

all the little happy things - Crafternoon Tee #3

The two necklaces below are the ones I made!

all the little happy things - Crafternoon Tee #3

all the little happy things - Crafternoon Tee #3

I’m really enjoying these Crafternoon Teas! It’s such a fun way to spend time with friends. I’ve already started dreaming up ideas for the next few – can’t wait!

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!