Monday, June 11, 2012

Week 23: Ruffled Bikini

Warning! This post contains pictures of me in a bikini! If you would rather not see this, stop reading at the stars.
(Not these stars, silly.  You're safe until the next row of stars.)

So.  I decided to make my own bikini.  I had a vision while washing my face the other night, and it became an obsession.  I was sure I could do it. So instead of heading to bed, I went to Google, to see if anyone had any tutorials. There were a few recycled t-shirt bikini tutorials, boasting the possibility of a super adorable bikini out of only an old t-shirt, an old bra, and 2 hours. 

I. Was. So. Excited.

The next night I set to work, and a short 4 hours later, had a bikini top that I could only post on an x-rated website. Fail. Alan has been trying to convince me to post failed crafts so that people know that not everything is a success. This was not the failure to start with. 

The obscene bikini was thrown into time out, and a week later I was ready to tackle it from a different angle. 

Materials: Fabric from a dress (bought for a dollar at the thrift store), old bikini that has come to the can't-wear-it-in-water-because-it-sags-stage, needle, thread, and one bead.  
Fabric previously used in this headband craft.

My original plan had been to turn this bikini into a ruffly extravaganza with ruffles all over the butt and top.  I've been wishing for one like this since I grew out of mine 27 years ago. 

I started by cutting the gauzy material into 1 inch strips.  I did this by carefully folding and gathering the dress bottom into a tight little bundle, and then cutting all at once.  The fabric was super stretchy, and annoying to cut one snip at a time, so I just did it all at once.

Clearly it didn't make the neatest line, but I was gathering and ruffling, so I didn't care too much.

I took the long strips, and ran a gathering stitch through them.  By hand, because my sewing machine and I live in different countries.  A sewing machine would have been much faster. 
I churned out about a meter of ruffle in about 2 hours.  Thank God we decided to turn on a movie.  I was board out of my mind.

After all that work, I decided to only use a fraction of the ruffle I had made to do a border on the top, and the waist-line of the bottoms.  Sewing by hand is TIME-CONSUMING!
I tacked these borders down with a zig-zag stitch so that the bikini would still have stretch.

Then I used a left over ruffle to make a flower. I tacked down the center with a left over bead.
Now! Avert eyes NOW! 
Close the window! 
Or see me in a bikini!

Hip Flower...

Butt ruffle... (please ignore the waistband line from the PJs I was wearing prior to this photo shoot)
It was honestly beautiful luck that the colours of the bikini and the colours of the dress were such an exact match.  The stars aligned for this craft after all. 
Bikini top ruffle...

The bikini will remain in the category can't-wear-it-in-water-because-it-sags, because I didn't cover up the saggy parts. But that's OK.  I used to have a super sequin-y bathing suit (my Vegas Bikini) that wasn't great in the water. This will become my cruise-ship-deck-bikini.  Perfect timing since our Mediterranean Cruise starts in 2 weeks.  Woohoo!

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Week 22: Beach Dominoes

 I've been dreaming about a sweet, summery, simple, home-made game: Beach Dominoes! Thanks for the inspiration Martha!

Step 1: Collect similarly shaped flat rocks at the beach (28 rocks).
Step 2: Mix lovely beachy shades of acrylic paints. (Or you can use a paint pen like Martha).

Paint a line down the center of each rock,  and then add the dots.  I started with 0-0, and then finished the 0 set. Then 1-1, and the 1 set, and so on.

I needed something to carry my new game in, so I sewed up a drawstring bag, using some fabric from an old shirt. I embroidered some dominoes on it, and used some left over ribbon for the drawstring. 

When I get back to America, and am reunited with my sewing machine, and fabric stores, I will make a new bag out of mesh material that will allow the sand to shake right out. 

But I needed to make something for the time being so that we could enjoy the new game on the beach...

Use the bag for carrying, as well as hiding the dominoes while in play.  The rocks have slightly different, shapes, sizes and colours, and you wouldn't want anyone to memorize the details and cheat.

Use the sand to stand your dominoes up like scrabble tiles so your husband doesn't peek. 

And use a stick to draw your scores into the sand.  So easy!

Now, I have a question for you... I would call this an eco-friendly craft because I used all recycled and found items to make it.  But as I was collecting my rocks, I couldn't help but think about how we shouldn't remove anything from nature, because if we all took something nothing would be left.  If I promise to return these dominoes to the beach some day (maybe another beach), am I off the hook for stealing from nature?