Thursday, August 14, 2008

Steampunk Gette - Top Hat

What initially started out as a Victorian Trash fashion shoot, is now inching towards the Steampunk movement. So to top it off (forgive the pun), we made a top hat.
I found pieces of cardboards that came from the packing in my quilt cover set. I had always thought that throwing away good pieces of solid cardboard boxes to be such a waste. I just hope I don't end up living amongst junk, which I think I will find some use for one day.
The tougher one (like those of carton boxes), I decided to use for the vertical bit of the hat, the flue. To enable me to bend it around easier and more evenly, I scored some lines. Once I rolled up the cardboard, Mimi (like all cats) decided to investigate the flue 'tunnel'. After removing the cat, I unrolled it and cut it down to the appropriate height. I allowed 15cm in height. And, cut.
Then, I measured out the girth of Gette's head and cut off the excess cardboard, so I can tape both ends together. After with, I placed it over the cardboard, where I traced the circumference to cover the top of the hat.
Putting it in place, I taped the top of the hat to the top of the flue. This also ensures that the hat holds it shape. To check, I placed it on Gette's head.
Here, I lightly sketched the brim on a thinner piece of cardboard. Almost a 10cm offset from the circumference of the flue. And to secure the brim to the flue, I offset an extra 3cm in the inner circumference, where I eventually cut it perpendicular to the circumference line in segmented flaps.
Putting the brim in place, I folded those flaps back against the inside of the flue and taped it together.Here is what it should look like before attaching the finishing touches in black felt.
Now, I'm preparing the respective finishing pieces by tracing the outline over black felt with my white chalk.
I attached the felt for the brim first. This piece has flaps on the inside and outside of the brim felt. This time, the segmented flaps for the inside are folded up against the flue on the outside, while the other flaps are folded over the underside of the brim.
After the upper brim felt, I glued the flue felt in place, over the flaps of the brim felt which were upturned. The extra on the top of the flue were cut into flaps as well, and folded inwards over the top of the hat. Then the top felt was glued in place, over the flaps.
Flipping it upside down, I attached the final piece of the finishing felt for the underside of the brim.
Molding it up to look the part, I rolled up the left & right side of the brim, to give it a slight curve. Here's the top hat with some 'garnish'. For the hatband, we used the tulle which was used as a wedding veil for Maggie's photo shoot. I tied the tulle into different styles to test the effect; long train, or short puffy.
Here's Gette, modelling her top hat, with the short puffy and long train combo.
Note: Yes, I have a habit of calling embellishments and stuffs that pretty-up, as 'garnish'.

This entry was featured on Threadbanger on 04 September 2008! Yippee!!!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Ottoman Makeover

Aline has another piece of furniture in her house that needs a makeover. Since we have leftover fabric from the beanbag project, we decided to use it to make a new cover for her ottoman. She gave me the dimensions of this ottoman, which was 15"(W) x 15"(L) x 14"(H)
I laid out the fabric and started marking away the dimensions with extra 1" for overlaps. And, cut.
And, hemmed.As for the bottom corners, I nipped of the corners diagonally, so I can fold them in and sew a neat corner.After hemming the edges, I sewed a niche for the cover to sit properly over the ottoman, and finished of the exposed edges by close stitches.Like every makeover projects, here's the before and after picture.

Monday, August 11, 2008


Mercedes is Flabbius Corpus' ravishing wife. Not since Paris fell for Helen of Troy has one woman made such an impact on one man. She is the driving force and inspiration behind the great poet's work. Friends call her a "daughter of Bacchus" (the god of revelry), for she loves the fast, wild life and throws lavish parties at every opportunity. She can often be seen tearing around in her four horse-powered chariot. Mercedes is a free-spirit with strong opinions and a flighty personality. She has also been gifted by all the muses - particularly the muse of interior decorating. Her home is a gallery of fabulous objects from all corners of the empire, including several priceless sculptures.
[extracted from character description in the Guest List]
Costume Suggestion: Long, glamorous black tunic accented with a lot jewelry.

Roman Ruins : Prologue

After salivating, for the longest time ever, over hosting a Murder Mystery Dinner, I finally requested my sister's help in getting one of those box sets for me. She chose How To Host A Murder® - Roman Ruins (with CD).

So I did my homework and watched 'Rome' Season 1 & 2 (the best series ever). I got my inspiration from the costumes in the movie, and thought up a simplified version of those costume and also sketched out possible dinner settings/props.Knowing that some of those people I will invite may find making the costume 'troublesome', I offered to prepare everything for them. I hope this is just my own excuse for justifying my need to sew. I will document every costume I am going to make, until we have the Dinner.

Before I got started with the costumes, I whipped up a 3D model of the scene based on the map/house plan provided in the box set.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Vintage Pin Cushion

I was bargain-hunting at a Chinese goods warehouse, when I found an old-fashioned oriental pin cushion. Reminded me so much of my childhood, when my mother sewed a lot, so I got it for nostalgic reasons.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Furniture for 'A' New House

When Aline moved into her new pad, I suggested to make her a piece of furniture ... a comfy new bean bag. So we went fabric hunting and settled on a tough and slightly stretchable jeans fabric. I thought up a pattern in my head (after checking out my own bean bag) and just marked away and snipped.
I laid out the fabric and traced a 1m diameter semi-circle, for the bottom of the bean bag.
Offset the outline by 3cm and cut.
I checked out the circumference of the 1m diameter circle and divided it by 4. works out to be about 78.8cm width for each side piece. The pattern I drew was a pointed arch, sides parallel for about 75cm and arching towards the middle. Again, I added 3cm offset on all sides. And cut 4 side pieces.With all the pieces cut out, I stitched the 2 semi-circles together along the straight side, lightly. I parted it down by ironing, and hand-sewn the zipper in place.
Inside and Outside.Here, I pinned both flaps down so I can neatly sew it through the sewing machine without worrying about accidental overlaps. Changed to a presser foot for zippers and sewed down both sides .
After that, I opened the light stitch for the zipper and picked out all the loose threads. There, we have the bottom.
I sewed the sides panels together, from the sides up to the arch, leaving the 78cm width to be attached to the bottom. I knotted the threads together, and again.
To secure it even more, I decided to hand-sew all of the points (at the arch) together.
Here I pinned the bottom (circle) piece in place to all the side panels.
Satisfied that it's all in place, I sewed along the circumference of the bottom piece, attaching the bottom with the top.
Viola! Brought it to Aline's new house and filled it with polystyrene balls she brought back from her recent trip and decided it should need more. She said she didn't imagine it to be that big, but now she has a lover's couch! Without any other couch at her house, her prospects will have to share this bean bag with her.