Sunday, 30 September 2012

Fashion DIY: My first ever project, A jersey maxi skirt.

made a skirt, all by myself, my first ever proper full item of clothing I have ever made. Well not including the mini skirts we made aged 14, back when bright orange and lime satin were all the rage, and we didn't comprehend openings/ zips. The results being skirts that would not pull up past our knee's. But enough of that...

I made a skirt!!!!!!! woop.

It is a maxi skirt, made from jersey fabric which I hand sewed myself. Go me. I am really quite proud, but up close it is not perfect, and frankly there is no chance of Vivienne Westwood calling me to join her team. But I have worn it several times and it is fine.

I'd spotted a maxi skirt in a shop, but didn't want to spend the money. It was £13 from Primarni, what was I thinking? I had a little google and found this Tutorial (great blog). I decided to use jersey as I would not need to hem it. This was not out of laziness, purely as it my first project and I wanted it to be as straight forward as possible. I knew I wanted something with navy and stone and this fabric was perfect. I still scoured the shop for an hour, I LOVE haberdasheries. I bought 1metre, it was 1.7m width. I pretty much followed the tutorial, the only difference being I did not make it as wide. Instead I loosely put the fabric around me then added about a 20cm extra overlap and cut it there, I did not want it as poofy as the tutorial, I figured this would not work well with jersey. Once complete I added some belt loops as it will always be worn with a belt... (shhh: the waist stitching is D.O.D.G.Y). Two loops at the front, two crossed loops on the reverse, bish bash bosh, done. 
I used a basic stitch (note to self: go google the name of stitches) and I used embroidery thread throughout. Not sure why, would not use again, but it worked. To be honest I actually later went over the back seam with a sewing machine, it did not need it, but I had my dad's machine set up and I was wearing the skirt so thought it wouldn't hurt. When I have time in the future I will sew up the hem too, then it will be indestructible for ever I am sure.

The front:

The back:

The truth:

Featuring a cameo from the little chap who conveniently colour coordinated.
Terrible stitching isn't it. ha.

Cost: Fabric £4 per metre, elastic £1 per metre. Everything else I previously owned.
Supplies: 1metre Jersey (t-shirt type) fabric, 2cm width elastic, cotton, needles and scissors.
Time taken: 5 hours(ish). Consisting of 3 evenings, sewing whilst watching TV and sipping a fine wine. Or two. The moral of which, this did not require too much time or too much intelligence/ coherence.

So what do you think? Do you have any first DIY fashion successes and failures you would like to share with me? I would love to hear your stories/ see the results.

Royal Feast: Hwedupbap: Korean raw fish and vegetable rice bowl.

This is a very easy, very quick meal that is very healthy and very low fat. That's a lot of very's. Hwedupbap, a Korean dish translated as hwe: fish, dup: top, bap: rice, is as it says... fish on top of rice, with a few raw vegetables thrown in for good measure.

Base Ingredients: Cooked rice, small raw salmon fillet, small raw tuna fillet (both or either), red cabbage, spring onion, carrot, cucumber with skin removed, washed watercress and sesame seeds.

Wash and finely slice all vegetables, except watercress. This little gadget is excellent, it is a scallion slicer I picked it up at a Korean supermarket for about a pound:

Amazon sell similar. Chop up the fish. Pop a rice bowl full of rice in the centre of the bowl, then arrange little piles of each vegetable separately around the sides. Pile them on, no need to be sparing. The vegetables I used are typical for this meal but use any you wish, cooked spinach, sesame leaves and bean sprouts work well. Pile the fish on top in the centre and sprinkle the sesame seeds on top of that.

Now for the sauce which will be poured all over the top. The proper Korean way is to have a spicy hot sauce on top, chogochujang, which naturally is the way King Kwak prefers his.

Chogochujang sauce: Red chilli paste, honey, rice vinegar and soya sauce, all mixed together.
Cho: vinegar/ acidity, gochu: chilli, jang: paste. I used to make it, it is easy. But you can also buy it if you know a Korean/ Asian supermarket, like so:

My preference for Hwedupbap is to top it with a simple dressing of sliced chilli's, soya sauce with a drop of sesame oil. Pour this on top and it is lovely.

I had best not class this as cooking, more slicing and arranging. Hands up, I didn't even cook the rice, we have a rice cooker. When I married my Korean, he came free with a rice cooker, like a little prize. It talks and sings in Korean, amazing. I have no idea what its saying but it is excellent, my babies even sing a long too, yay!! I am talking about the rice cooker, not the husband by the way. Though on occasion that sentence could be applied to both. ha.

This might work if you were on a raw food diet. Something I am keen to look into, but as not haven't so not sure how rice works on a raw food diet. raw rice? yuk.

Saturday, 29 September 2012

DIY: Personalised nursery tote bag.

At the grand old age of 1 and 3/4, my lovely little chap has just started nursery, for which he needs a bag. I probably should have popped to the shops and bought one, but where is the fun in that. When you have lots of hooks with lots of bags, its good to have a bag that stands out so you can quickly grab it and run. Its never good having to rummage for your babies stuff surrounded by lots of screaming babies. No no no. So with this in mind, this is the bag I made my boy.

I would like to say I set myself a brief and happily skipped to the haberdashery with my shopping list. Alas I did not. I am cheap. Instead I rummaged in my big old bag of remnants and this is what I cobbled together. My sewing is not amazing, but I get by with my rough technique. I have no idea what the name of my stitching types are I'm afraid, lets just call it basic. Though on the handles I upped my game and used a looping edge type stitch (yes that's the technical term for such a stitch) which looks slightly more impressive. Go me.


Casually hanging about:
Little chap with his bag on the first day of nursery:
To determine the size, I drew around an old cotton shopping tote bag and I used the following supplies.

Cost: Not a bean.
Supplies: 50cm Camouflage cotton fabric, Faux leather in red, black and gold, Cotton in red, black and gold, Embroidery thread in green and red, Suitable needles, scissors and a pen.
Time taken: 5 hours(ish). Consisting of: 2x baby morning naps + 1 evening in front of the TV.

Have you made made a bag or had any ideas to make your belongings stand out from the crowd?

Friday, 28 September 2012

DIY: Simple log pencil holder.

This may look very simple, and it is indeed nothing original. There are several tutorials on the Internet. But the making of this little baby gave me the ambition and confidence to start my merry making ways. I made this about a year ago, with the help of my dads tool supplies... and I LOVE it. Oh yes I do. We were building our bedroom/ studio extension (generally known as a bedroom with a desk) at the time and it suits the space perfectly. 

Cost: Free.
Supplies: A piece of branch/ log: mine is 17cm diameter x 9cm height, hand saw, drill with a 1cm wood drill bit, medium grit sand paper and mineral oil (2 coats but could probably do with another).
Time Taken: 2 hours. The duration of one baby morning nap, including set up and cleaning.

Do you have a project which began a new pastime for you? Share your stories, I would love to hear.

Inspiration c/o: Strawberry Chic