Sunday, 15 September 2013

Bleach Boys- Jeans Update

Here's an actual progress update on how my jeans are going!

They were sad, lonely, jeans hanging on the line, pathetically getting cobwebs. Although that's kind of cool I thought I'd put them out of their misery and got crafting.

What you'll need:

Bleach - I used the cheapest one I could find at the store. Homebrand lemon scented!
Sink, bath or bucket
Something to measure the bleach/water with I used the bucket
Old spatula that you can turf afterwards


What I did:

I soaked the jeans in the sink to make sure that I got an even coverage with the bleach later.

Then I prepared my bleach and water solution. I used 5 litres o water and about 2 litres o bleach. I used an old spatula to push them down into the bleach until they were completely submerged. I also used the spatula to push the jeans around a bit, every 15ish minutes, so they got an even dose of bleachy goodness.

NB: So the disposable gloves I used were ones for dying my hair and were pretty much useless. Note to self: buy thicker gloves.

I bleached them for an hour, drained the excess bleach off and then put the jeans in the washing machine. After a quick wash I could see they were nowhere near light enough. Back into the bleach solution they went for a further hour. This time they looked much much lighter. Perfect!

Now remember my jeans were very dark when I started so if you're using lighter jeans or a stronger bleach mix I would keep checking their progress.
I stuck them back in the machine for a huge wash and put them out to dry on the line overnight.

Here's my jeans up until now. I thought I'd better take a few photos before I get much further. Oh no, we're not done yet... Not by a loooong shot!

I'm also wearing my husband's band shirt (they've since disbanded) To The Teeth. I think they still have a myspace somewhere. Anyway to grunge this shirt up a bit I diyed the back. It's a very simple no-sew technique that you can find all over the internet. It took me about 4.8 seconds and I even went so far as to use a safety pin to secure the top instead of stitching. My sis showed me how to do it many moons ago... On a bus... That was moving... That's how easy it is!

Also check out the foxy leopard print maternity bra my mother-in-law bought me. OOOOoo yeah!

Monday, 9 September 2013

Don't worry, be happy ^_^

Here's a little poster I made to remind myself to stay positive. Sometimes we all need a pick-me-up.

I used the iPhone app made by the beautiful girls at A Beautiful Mess. Go check out their blog you won't regret it.

Wednesday, 4 September 2013

Nesting Projects - Little Geranium

If pregnancy was a long distance race I totally nailed it. I had my due date changed to a week later and then still almost made it to 42 weeks (groan). I finished work at 36 weeks and it was a hot hot summer, I was massive and daytime telly just ain't what it used to be. So I spent A LOT of time doing crafty projects and surfing blogs.

My sister pointed me in the direction of Made by Rae's Little Geranium Dress. There's a free pattern for 0-3 months and then you can also purchase the pattern from her blog for $10.

One look at the dress and I fell in love. This crazy montage flashed through my head of my baby girl in the dress, us frolicking around in the fields. Holding her in my arms. Sunshine. Flowers. Kittens... Yep.

So I printed out the pattern, hefted myself down to my local spotlight and found some super kawaii fabric and some little red buttons.

My sewing skills would definitely fit in the "beginner" region. I can nut out a pattern and knock something together but it generally takes me a while so I found Rae's tutorial really helpful. Especially those little progress shots, always in the nick of time.

Sewing montage ^_^

4 day old Ruby (Still in hospital)

It's such a great basic dress pattern and you can add little details like trims, contrast fabric or  my favourite, heart-shaped pockets to really make it unique. If you need some inspiration hop on Pinterest, this is such a popular little pattern that there's A LOT of different versions available for your viewing pleasure.

The dress still fits Ruby at 5 months - winner winner chicken dinner!

Thursday, 29 August 2013

The Ruby Romper

My mum was always a magical seamstress. I have fond memories of choosing beautiful fabrics from her towering piles, peering at retro patterns sporting gangly, teen models and digging through boxes and boxes of mismatched buttons. She would somehow spin it all into glorious outfits for my sister and I, just like magic.

It's an amazing feeling to create for your kids and I've been itching to make terribly girly things for my baby. So this weekend I raided mum's collection and found Kwik Sew's Sewing for Baby book.

It has a stack of different items to make for your little one and includes all the master patterns for babies 0-18 months. Hells Yeah!! The book is easy to follow and has plenty of pictures as you go. The language is a little dated and kind of hilarious but the book is totally worthwhile. If you happen upon one, snap it up, you won't regret it.

Spring has sprung early in Australia so I thought I would choose some light, fresh and airy fabrics and make Ruby a pair of little romper overalls.

I drafted the pattern from the master using size large (6-12 months) but I didn't like that the pattern had a centre front seam down the bib of the overalls. My sister, Max of Max California, made quick work of that and drafted me a new bib.

I used a gorgeous lilac broadcloth, twas leftover bridesmaid dress material from my wedding (I will definitely blog about that later), and a matching floral print cotton as lining.

Then I traced a heart pocket for the front of the bib and embellished the bottom with white ric rac.

The overalls went together without too much fuss and I finished them in about 3-4 hours all up. I used elastic to cinch in the romper at the legs and across the back for a snug fit.

Then came the buttons. There were no nice plain buttons so Max showed me how to make some using Kat from Sew Chibi's polymer clay button tutorial you can find it here.

The clay colour was the exact match to my fabric (WINNING) and I made some gorgeous buttons. But then the sewing machine packed it in and neither the automatic nor manual buttonhole would work. And stuff zigzagging your own buttonhole. Ain't noBetty got time for that! So I used some lilac snaps instead, which I think will be far more user-friendly anyway.

Max used the same pattern and made her little girl a pair of overalls. Jump on over to her blog here ^_^ to read about how she gave this pattern an entirely different look.

We had so much fun making different versions of this pattern that we thought we'd make it a regular thing. So stay tuned for future installments of SEW and TELL by Max and Betty. Catchy isn't it, the title was very nearly PIMP THIS PATTERN. Oh gosh!

And now the BABY SPAM!!

Project Distressing Jeans - Update

So far I've hung the jeans on the line for 3 weeks straight. Rain, hail and shine. Washed them 8 times with various other denim things. Left them on the floor where my cat made a nest of them and my results are....


Bring on the bleach I say!

Saturday, 27 July 2013

Organic Sugar-free Oat and Molasses Biscuits

Me and baldie stayed a few days at my mum and dad's place this week. It was nice to get away and see my folks. My mum is a total health nut (she eats weeds from the garden, but that's another story). Plus she's a raw foodie so the pantry is always full of amazing ingredients. 

I was in the mood for something yummy and the weather was wild and wooly so I thought I'd do a little baking. I decided to make a variation on the good old Anzac biscuit. They turned out freaking delicious. Recipe below:

1 cup organic wholemeal spelt flour
1 cup organic rolled oats
1 cup desiccated coconut
Pinch sea salt
3 medjool dates for sweetening
1 handful sultanas

2 tbsp organic molasses
100g butter
1/2 tsp bi-carb soda

2 organic eggs

Set oven at 180

Combine flour, oats and coconut in a large bowl and add salt. Pit dates and chop roughly then add with sultanas to dry ingredients (be creative, add walnuts or cranberries if you like).

Melt butter and molasses together in the microwave and add bi-carb soda. Stir until frothy, then add your mixture to the ingredients in the bowl.

Add eggs and fold until its a nice thick consistency.

Grease two baking trays (I used spray on olive oil) then ball and evenly space your mixture onto the trays.

Pop in the oven for 20 minutes.

Then enjoy with a nice cup of tea

Monday, 22 July 2013

Project Distressing Jeans

I really wanted a pair of comfy, faded jeans with a good fit that maybe had a bit of something something to make them a little interesting.
These babies would be my
                                          holy grail
                                                     my go-to pair
                                                                     the Adonis of jeans!
                                                                                              Cue angelic choir

You could definitely try the local op shop but the ones near where I live charge quite a bit and generally don’t have anything I’m interested in. But I ended up finding a pair of quite dark, plain jeans at Kmart for 7 clams. What a bargain. They were a pretty darn good fit too. Plus $7.oo that’s kind of insane. Generally it would be preferable to start with a lighter pair of jeans but use what works for you.

My next port of call was to hit up a couple o Pinterest boards to find some inspiration. I was flooded with ideas for embellishments and bleaching. The more I looked the more I found. Holy overwhelming Batman. You know how it is with pinterest and all, you can get very very distracted.

Then I did some general searches on the net for distressing techniques and checked out a few tutorials on ehow which turned out to be very informative with some just plain hilarious bits:

I should have realised that one would be humorous since the theme photo was some random guy on the floor, in the kitchen, next to the garbage disposal. He was wearing torn jeans though ^_^

With so many ways to destroy jeans I thought I would try them all and document them here. For an easy reference guide with some real world results.

Here are the different techniques I’m going to try:

·         Repetitive washing of the jeans with warm/hot water
·         Leaving on the line for a week (sun bleaching/weathering)
·         Tumble dry on high heat (expect some shrinkage)
·         Tumble dry with a tennis shoe (care of ehow)
·         Bleach wash
·         Bleach sections with sponge
·         Sandpaper
·         Cheese grater
·         Brick
·         Razor
·         Knife
·         Rolling down large grassy hills (just kidding, I don’t want grass stained jeans)

So there you have it folks, let’s see how this all pans out!

Sunday, 21 July 2013

A bit about me


 Hi I’m Betty and welcome to my Betty Blog. I’m 27 and live in a little old house in Brisbane with my husband, baby and cat.


I’m really into DIY and crafting at the moment so that’s what I think this blog is going to be mostly (Yeah like we haven’t seen one of those before Betty). Well it could be that I’m going through a quarter life crisis (yes I plan to live to the ripe old age of 108) or I could blame it on the maternity leave from work, but I feel a lot more inspired to create lately.

Also I live in black jeans and my favourite colour is red.