The polka-dots remind me of sunshine.

I made another hairpin skirt.
This time with a sewing machine and with more material.

I adore it!

I used more material than last time to make it really gathered. I also made it even longer as I’m sick and tired of skirts that I can’t bend over in. This skirt design is so super easy it took me less than an hour. Three seams, some elastic and you’re done.
And top tip, the polka dots mean that it’s really easy to see where you’re cutting. I measured everything in polka-dots!

I want to twirl around and sing songs to woodland creatures.
(Maybe it’s because of my new The Little Mermaid iphone case that I’m thinking disney. I’m so supercool.)

I may even attempt to take some decent outfit photos for this one (instead of hiding out in the work bathrooms). Now that’s me stepping outside of my comfort zone.

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Guest Post – Her Name Was Greta

I am so happy today, to bring you a guest post by the lovely Miss Stina.

It’s inspired me to get out my crochet hooks and learn a new skill. Thanks so much!

~~~~~
Hi!
My name is Stina and I have a blog called Her Name Was Greta. Beks made a great guest post at my blog during the xmas craze, which was a total blessing, and now I got the chance to give back a little. I’m very excited to be sharing my wrist warmer pattern with you, the readers of Polka-dots & Sparkles. The pattern is pretty basic and can easily be adapted to your personal taste. It’s not too hard to figure out if you’re a beginner and only uses two different stitches. I hope you’ll like the pattern and if you make a pair, or 20, please share links or photos! I’d love to see your take on it!

Materials needed:
1-2 skeins of DK yarn
a thin yarn in your colour of choice
4 mm hook
needle

If you are new to crochet, here are some videos to get you started:
how to start
how to chain
how to single crochet

Wrist Warmers Pattern


Chain 35


Join to a ring, be careful not to twist!


Single crochet around and around and around, until the tube is long enough to reach to your thumb.

To make sure your tube is wide enough to fit your wrist comfortably, test is after a few rows. If it’s too tight, start over and chain a few more stitches, if it’s too loose, chain a few less.


Chain 7, skip 7 stitches and continue single crochet for 6 rows.


Cut the yarn and fasten.
Single crochet 1 row with the scrap yarn.
Chain 3, skip 1 stitch, sc 1. repeat all the way around.
Cut the yarn and fasten.

Crochet another one!



This is what mine look like in this fake action shot. Yes, that is water in my teacup.

a bow headband

There are so many cute headbands around at the moment.

inspired by a bow headband that I found in one of those ‘oh so trendy’ shops which keep popping up around where I live, I took the design and went “I can totally recreate that!”

The original design looked something like bow headband

So I took my Moda Vera Marvel in black and a set of 4.5mm needles.

Cast On 25 stiches.

Knit in sockinette stitch (knit all rows) until headband is the desired length. I knit mine to be 45 cms. Don’t forget it will stretch a bit.

Bind Off and then use the tail to mattress stich the two ends together in a loop.

To make the bow shape

Cast On 10 stiches

Knit in garter stitch (alternate knit and purl rows) until the piece measures 10 cms.

Bind Off and mattress stich the two ends of that piece together, around the join of the first loop. This creates the bow.

It’s a subtle headband, but very effective at keeping the ears warm.

Have fun!

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inspiration from around the web this week

<a href="http://wildolive.blogspot.com/2011/11/story-of-making-your-story-book.html”>this DIY for making a story book, brought back memories of a pen-pal book my primary school best friend and I wrote with each other. Each letter was in an envelope which was then bound together to make a book.
If I recall correctly we had both read Anne of Green Gables, and so naturally it had a tragic ending, like so many writers club stories had.

it’s such a pretty watch – and a really easy DIY

this tutorial also posted at the hairpin has got me really excited for sewing again.
I have a car back and the first place I’m going is my local fabric store.
I need to find that perfect pattern for a dress that I can just make in so many fabrics it’s not funny. Maybe this modcloth pattern

This really cute thread holder cosy from Scathingly Brilliant.
Although first I need someone handy in my life (wouldn’t it be useful if I lived with someone who enjoyed carpentry – oh wait! I do!) who could build me a thread holder.

A Sparkley Silver Lining finally inspired me to design buttons for all my alter-egos (look to the right! woo – look at that. And whilst you’re looking right, why not check out my google+ profile – it contains the highlights of my daily google reader addiction)

And finally from etsy this gadget wallet. I’m pretty sure I can reverse engineer it and make it myself, but I need this in my life.
For those iPad owners around the place with iOs5 installed, the newsstand feature has free issues of magazines available. The
Mollie Makes
magazine has an awesome tutorial on making a wallet. Maybe it could be adapted.
<46

Sunglasses and bows

This is probably my favourite DIY.

Super easy. All you need is a wire coathanger and voila! Instant storage for sunglasses and hair bows.

It doesn’t work so well for bows on bobby pins, but anything with a clip works well.

It’s currently holds my trio of modcloth sunnies. I love floral sunglasses.
A collection of hair bows from around the place, but the big striped one I found in a boutique in Mandurah. It’s from the Davie Bow-ie collection. I just couldn’t resist.

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It’s a good thing I love a green thumb

I don’t have a green thumb, but my significant other does.

As we were on the go on Saturday we stopped at a garden store.

Picked up a couple of bags of potting mix to fill some Tuscan style pots that my mum had given us a while back and were unused.
We also picked up some veggies and some flowers (because all my flowers I had previously planted had been destroyed by the storm which always follows me planting anything).

We (I say we, but I was more of a supervisor), planted some roma tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, celery, carrots, and begonias.

We get so little sun it’s really hit and miss as to whether they’ll flower or grow or die. But I have a reminder in my phone for the 10th December. If everything goes all right we’ll have some home grown carrots for dinner.

And my boy being the handy man he is, is building me a little fence for our garden.
It’s going to be our home sweet home.

I love domestic life sometimes.

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there’s a pattern here somewhere…

Turns out even sewing patterns think I’m a strange size!
I bought my first sewing pattern yesterday and have dedicated a bit of time figuring it out.
The biggest challenge will be figuring out my size. My measurements fall either side of 14 and 16, of course the pattern I bought is sold in either 8 – 14 or 16 – 22. I went with the smaller one and I hope that I can adjust it somehow. It just seems a little ironic that I wanted to sew so that I could make clothes that fit me properly. It’ll all work out I’m sure.

I can’t wait to get started, but I know I need to take my time and read everything I can before leaping in and making a mess. I really just want to make a mess though.

I had some wonderful service from Textile Traders in Morley. The lady (Kate) helped me when I didn’t know how the patterns worked (you pick them from the book and they’re filed away). It sounds logical but it took me a while of staring at a tiny rack of boring patterns to ask.
She then showed me how to read the back of a pattern and find everything I needed, including some cheap fabric to begin with. Its a really
sweet, lemon yellow cotton with white butterflies on it. Textile Traders has now got a repeat customer.
And the added bonus, I won’t get distracted by knitting supplies because they don’t sell them.

I love the excitement and anticipation.

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weekends pass too quickly

Another weekend has ended but no photographs to show for it!

But I made a beautiful polka dot skirt, put together a flat pack desk, spent some quality time with my best friend and her new squeeze, had a father day lunch with the in-laws, watched my football team avoid last place, and went and saw Wicked! the musical.

I think I’m back at work for a break.

Wicked! was absolutely fantastic (or wonderful!). I know i’m a bit late to the game but I have always loved musical theatre. I was always involved in musical theatre in High School and it brought back a whole heap of memories.

I would have loved to have been at Port Adelaide’s first game at Adelaide Oval, but tickets were too expensive ($700+ from Perth to Adelaide return!), but we scraped our third win for the season and avoided last place.

And I’ll do a full post on my new skirt this week. I can’t believe I wore it non-stop all weekend and not one single photo.

So overall a very good weekend, and I can now start looking forward to this weekend (..And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead… excitement!!!)

beks xx