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Thanks Mum!

On Sunday afternoon Pham's mum was clearing out her wardrobe which consisted of nearly 40 years of clothing. I was invited over to have a look at her little collection while Pham was laughing at his mother's hoarding behaviour. It made me think, why have I never raided my Mum's wardrobe before? There was a whole treasure chest of free clothes I've never claimed! Back in my teenage years Mum used to always offer me her and my sisters vintage clothes, but I always thought of them as daggy hand me downs. Instead I liked to rush out to nearest Supre and buy the tightest shortest skirts possible... oh I am so mature now. 

So on Monday night, after our weekly family dinner, I made Mum clear out her wardrobe for me. Now to clear things up, my mother is quite the hoarder herself, so it wasn't like I was forcing her to part with her beloved clothes. Surprised and delighted she pulled out a stack of old clothing from the back of her walk-in. I ended up with a blazer, a top, a pair of shorts, 7 skirts, 2 pieces of very interesting fabric and a poncho - which was actually mine from when I was 10! As you can see my Mum's colour palette is pretty neutral, which works well for me as I like mixing classic pieces in muted tones with on trend pieces in bright splashes of colour.

hmmm... What am I going to make with this?

So happy about this!

I was a pretty chic 10 year old I think...

Luckily for me, my mum and my sister were pretty close to my size when they were younger. I only need to take in a few items, but most of the skirts are at a very modest knee length which makes me look frumpy so I will definately be cutting them shorter. 

This has gotten me thinking, the way that fashion reinvents itself is a beautiful thing. If looked after properly, good quality clothes can last a long, long time. With just a little tweaking it can be made to suit the silhouettes 20 years later. Tear it apart and mix it with other fabrics and it can be a totally new creation. Being fashionable never has to be expensive.

Mum said she wasn't going to give me everything at once because I get bored with my clothes so easily. She'd rather I come back and shop for free in her wardrobe than go out and spend money in the stores. Thanks mum!

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Flared Skirt Tutorial - Sewing

This is part 2 of my Flared Skirt Tutorial. If you've missed out on the pattern tutorial, make sure you check it out before reading this. I chose to make my flared maxi in leopard print 100% silk chiffon. I bought this fabric from ebay so I don't know how real the silk is, but I still took all the precautions and pre-washed the fabric so that it wouldn't shrink after the skirt was sewn together. I suggest that you pre-wash your fabric if it has natural fibres in it too. I did notice is that the fabric liked to stick to itself after I wet it which reminds me of my mothers old silk shirts, so I guess I can say that atleast some of the fabric is real silk.

Sewing this skirt is actually very easy, especially if you have an overlocker. If you don't, I suggest that you zigzag the seams.

Step 1 - Start by overlocking or zigzagging the side seams on the skirt, the lining and all around the waistband. Put the right sides of the skirt fabric together and stitch together one side seam. Repeat on the lining and press all seams open.

Step 2 - Lay the lining on top of the fabric. Make sure both seams are facing up and matched together. Stitch together 1 cm from the edge. Overlock or zizag the seam.

Step 3 - Attach the waistband to the skirt with a 1.5 cm seam. Make sure you place the fabric right sides together and match up the centre waistband notch with the skirt side seam.

Step 4 - Using a cool iron, press the zipper coil open. Use an invisible zipper foot to attach the zip to the open skirt seams, stitching from the top. Remember to cut the excess tape off the zip and place at the half way notch of the waistband. Also, make sure the coil is facing the inside and the tape is inline with the seam. When attaching the other side, make sure the zip isn't twisted or else you will want to rip your hair out! This is a great article on attaching zippers.

Step 5 - To sew together the rest of the side seam, fold the zipper together and pin to the right side, leaving the fabric for the seam on the left. Sew the lining first, making sure you move the skirt fabric aside. Using a left zipper foot, sew next to the zip for 1cm then sew down the seam. When sewing the fabric you will need to pin the fabric togther and sew from the bottom up to 1cm past the zip. When you've finished the step try the skirt on. You can make any adjustments using the side seam.

Step 6 - Press all the seams open and the waist seam up.

Step 7 - Fold the waistband in over, right sides together. Using the correct zipper foot, sew the seam/zipper tape and waistband together, down against the outside of the zip. Repeat on the other side.

Step 8 - Turn out the waistband. Having sewn the edges down, the waistband will want to fold itself in half. Follow this and pin down the waistband so it is even - it should be 2cm wide. Have the right side of the skirt facing up and sew right next to the waist seam. Press the waistband.

Step 9 - You can adjust your hem length at the stage. Because it is a circle skirt, the skirt hem will dip down at the front. I like to slightly straighten out the front and leave the back to create a slight tail shape, which will also prevent you from tripping. The shape of it is a visual thing, stand infront of the mirror and pin it to get the desired shape. Lay it out on a flat surface and carefully cut off the excess fabric. I used my overlocker to create a rolled hem which creates a nice wavy edge, but you could finish it in a number of ways. I'd suggest a zigzag stitch on the edge alone, or turn it over and stitch a small hem or for the more advanced sewers you could use your narrow hemming foot.

 Hope you guys enjoyed this tutorial. I tried to be as clear and concise as possible, but if you have any questions or suggestions just leave a comment below. Also, if you would like to see more tutorials just let me know! :)

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Flared Skirt Tutorial - The Pattern

I'm not sure if I've mentioned this, but I love maxi skirts. They're incredibly easy to style, comfortable and they look amazing on. I'm going to show you guys how I made my favourite black maxi skirt that I posted about on my Back to 7AM post.

It is essentially a circle skirt, but it only has the area of half a circle in the entire skirt. Therefore the silhouette is not as flouncy and full, but more flared and A-line. I find this is a more suitable style for day to day wear. Plus, it is easier to fit this smaller pattern piece on the fabric without trying to disguise seam lines.

First we start with a bit of high school mathematics. The circumference of a circle is equal to π multiplied by the diameter. The circumference is the measurement of your waist (or where ever you would like your skirt to sit) and lets just shorten π to 3.14. So take your waist measurement and divide it by 3.14 and then you have your diameter.

Now the next part is a little bit hard to wrap your mind around, but you don't need to understand it to follow the instructions. So we know that to draw a circle you need to use the radius (diameter ÷ 2). If we were to divide our diameter by 2 and draw half a circle we would be losing half of our waist measurement. Therefore, we need to use the diameter as the radius when we are drawing the half circle... Makes sense? Maybe not, but I promise it works!

So next, you will use these measurements to make your own paper compass! Firstly, add together the radius (remember we are using  the diameter as the radius), 1.5cm seam allowance and your total skirt length. My skirt does not need a hem allowance as I overlock the edges, but you may add on a hem allowance if you need it. Cut out a strip of paper about 3cm wide and just a little bit longer than your total measurement.

Draw a very straight line through the middle of the paper and make a mark about 2cm from the left edge. This is your axis. From there, mark your waistline by using the radius measurement and then mark the seam allowance 1.5cm to the left. From the waistline, mark the skirt length then mark the lining length 15cm to the left. If you wish to add hem allowances, mark them to the right. Wrap some clear tape around the markings to keep them strong and then pierce a small hole where the markings meet the horizontal line.

Find (or tape together) a large piece of paper, just bigger than the length of your compass on all sides. Rule a straight line across the bottom leaving about 2cm from the edge. Also rule a straight line at 90 degrees to the bottom line, also leaving 2cm from the edge. It doesn't matter which side you choose to draw the vertical line, but it is very important it is at a 90 degree angle. Someone will need to help you with the next part. Using a sharp pen hold down the axis to the point where the lines meet on the large paper. Ask your helper use a pen and draw out the arcs at each marking, making sure they cross the 90 degree lines. Hold the paper compass firmly to ensure you draw a perfect smooth arc. When finished, add on a 1.5cm seam allowance to the straight lines.

Your paper should look pretty close to this.

Now you can cut the pattern piece out. Depending on the length of your zipper, mark the length on one side seam measured down from the waistline. Your pattern should look like this...

The waistband is pretty simple. On a long piece of paper, draw a rectangle that is 4cm wide and the length is equal to your waist measurement. Draw 1.5cm seam alowances all the way around. Cut the pattern out and fold it in half. On the crease, mark your side seam.

Now your pattern is made! You are ready to cut out your fabric. I recommend using something very light and floaty like a chiffon and a polyester blend lining. Measure the length of your compass from the axis to the hem. When you buy your fabric, make sure the width of the roll isn't shorter than this measurement or you'll be kicking yourself when the pattern doesn't fit. To cut out the lining, just cut at the lining hem mark on the pattern piece. Also, make sure to iron on some interfacing on the waistband to give it some stiffness. Stay tuned for the next chapter - how to sew it all together.

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Finally... The Bodice and Sleeve Block

This morning I finally got off my lazy butt and finished the bodice block that I've been talking about for some time. It required quite a bit of effort and very precise measuring. I followed the instructions in Pattern Drafting by Margaret Melliar. It was reasonably easy to understand and when I finally made it up in some leftover cotton, the fit was surprisingly accurate. The dorky little top hugged my body quite tightly, but gave me enough room to breathe and move around.

Hahaha, aren't these pretty fabrics... not!
The only part I had to readjust was the armhole. As I was drafting the pattern I already had a sneaking suspicion that the armhole wasn't going to work. Indeed, when I tried it on it fit too snuggly around my arm and there just wasn't enough ease for me to be able to move around. So I extended the armhole down about 2 cm on the bodice pattern and then I drafted the sleeve. I want to emphasise on how important it is to try on the bodice before drafting the sleeve. Because we all most likely need someone else to help with the measurements where we can't reach, you never know if it is measured 100% correctly. Also, the instructions may not give you enough ease for the armhole to fit you comfortably. Taking these precautions and working on it carefully will ensure you get a perfect pattern.

Sleeve block
Back Bodice Block

I'm pretty happy with how this has turned out. I can definately see how I can use this block pattern to create lots of different styles. I'm especially excited about all my sleeve options! As I flick through magazines, I know this is going to help give me endless design possibilities. Next up will be the skirt block :) Stay tuned! 

P.S If anyone is interested in the instructions I have followed to create this, just leave a comment below with your email address.

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I've been totally in love with all the lemon coloured clothing that's been around lately. There's something about the zingy, bright hue that brings freshness and youthfulness to an outfit. It has been unbelievably cold in Brisbane over the last two weeks, so it's all about dressing for comfort for me right now. It's hard to put together an interesting yet stylish outfit in the morning when your scrambling around trying to find something to cover up your limbs before they go numb. As soon as I'm a little bit more inspired in the mornings, I will be mixing some sweet candy lemon pieces with my dark winter uniform to spice things up a little.

Photo from A Pair and A Spare

Photo from Atlantic-Pacific
Oh, imagine all the things I could do with that wooly maxi skirt! The air is icy outside right now, brrr... Luckily for me, my buddy's just taken my baked potato out of the fireplace and slathered it with butter. Apparently our body needs heaps more food during winter to keep it warm and that is totally fine with me :)

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Hairy Business

The Australia Hair Expo was on during the Queens Birthday long weekend. Just flicking through all the finalist's pictures, I feel a sudden sense of motivation. There's so much undone texture, large proportions and braiding around at the moment, I absolutely love it. Here are some of the spectacular photos, hope you guys find something new and fresh to try :) Have a happy hair day!



I am just in love with this...
P.S. I just recently hit 1000+ views. Thank you everyone for visiting my blog and supporting my wonderful new hobby. Please follow me on Bloglovin or 'Like' on Facebook to keep updated on my newest posts. Much love!

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Baked Eggs and Honey Baked Bacon

I've been away for Australia's Queen's Birthday long weekend. Three of our friends had their 25th birthday parties together and we all got stayed at an awesome penthouse at the Gold Coast. Beers, hot tub and non stop eating is the ultimate way to reward yourselves! Now I feel like I should start planning my birthday, which isn't too far away.

It is a little bit sad that tomorrow I have to go back to reality. To cheer ourselves up, Pham and I made a yummy lunch to make our troubles go away. All weekend, our friends and I indulged in bacon that was baked to crispy chips, so we decided we'd treat ourselves to this devilish fattyness once more. I was also very keen on trying out my shiny new portable convection oven that I bought for $35 from Aldi - why have I never shopped there before? Now that I've used it, I want to cook everything in there. It is sooo easy to use, cooks food pretty quickly, super easy to clean and doesn't use a tonne of electricity. Love it!

Baked Eggs and Honey Baked Bacon
Serves 4

You will need -
- 100g leg ham
- 150g baby spinach
- 2 tbs grated Parmesan
- 8 eggs
- Turkish bread
- Butter
- 2 tbs minced garlic
- 250g streaky bacon
- Honey
- 50g Feta cheese (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees.
2. Line an oven-proof tray with baking paper and place bacon on top. Lightly drizzle honey on bacon and bake for 20 minutes or until crispy.
3. Lightly grease four 3/4 cup-capacity ovenproof dishes. Line base and sides of each dish with slices of ham.
4. Place spinach in a microwave-safe bowl, microwave on high for 1 minute or until just wilted. Using the back of a spoon, press down on spinach and drain excess liquid.
5. Divide spinach between prepared dishes. Sprinkle each with 2 teaspoons of parmesan.
6. Gently crack 2 eggs into each dish, lightly season with salt and pepper. Crumble feta cheese on top if you like.
7. Slice turkish bread into 8 2cm thick strips, spread with butter and minced garlic.
8. Remove bacon from oven and transfer onto a plate lined with paper towels. 
9. Place turkish bread onto lower oven tray.
10. Place egg dishes onto upper oven tray and bake for 16 to 18 minutes or until eggwhite is just set.
11. Remove eggs and bread from oven and let the eggs stand for 2 minutes. Serve!

Shiny new oven!

mmm... I love feta cheese, I used Danish Feta here

This oven makes cooking quick and easy and a lot more oil free.
The yolk should still be runny so you can dip your bread into it, that's my favourite part about eating eggs. So good!
Enjoy guys! 

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