venerdì 17 marzo 2017

Hand-made, low-cost, recycled Pirate's Carnival Costume.

Final decision on carnival costume for this year has been taken.   The choice was between dressing up my little man as a policeman or as a pirate and he opted for the pirate's costume.  I'm glad about it because even though the work is almost the same i.e. jacket, shirt and trousers, the policeman's costume needs to be perfect in details, whilst I can use some fantasy in creating the pirate's costume.

I decided on a white shirt, a red long jacket,  black trousers and waistcoat and then of course I have to prepare a pair of black boots and a hat or a bandana.   So I went in search the fabrics.  I found a piece of white cotton fabric and a piece of black jersey.  I thought to use the white cotton for the shirt,  but I wasn't sure about using the jersey for the trousers.  So I had a look in my wardrobe and I found a shirt of mine which I  didn't wear anymore because it was too tight for me.  It was a  red, black and silver stripped shirt, perfect for a pirate's jacket.  Whilst searching I also found a white body shirt which I could easily transform.

 Luckily it fitted my son almost perfectly and after some alterations I had it done.
I unsewed off the sleeves because there was too much gathering.  I took off all thegathering and narrowed the upper part of the sleeve to fit in the sleeve hole and sewed back the sleeve.  I cut the bottom part because it was a body shirt and did a normal hem.  I took off  the pocket and the darts to give it a masculine cut.  Being a feminine shirt, I also thought of  changing the side of buttons and buttonholes, but at the end I decided not to change sides, because the closing will be covered by a  lace jabot. I also added some  lace frill on the sleeves hem.
The shirt.

Pocket and sleeve removed

Narrowed sleeve and shortened shirt.

Pattern and cutting the front border.

Being a very tight fit model and and my son being a big boy it fitted him well as a Jacket.  So I started off by shortening the sleeves.  Then I thought to decorate it by adding a red border on the front and on the sleeves. First I made a paper patterns and used some red satin fabric which I had at home to create the borders.   After cutting out the fabric, I pinned it in place and then sewed all the borders.
I didn't like the result because the red of the fabric and the red of the stripe were a bit different.  So I gave it a try by adding some ribbons.  I sewed a silver ribbon to cover the seam which I had to gather a bit to fit exactly and then to have a contrast I sewed black ribbon on the red part of the shirt and red ribbon on the stripped part.  I did the same work on the bottom part of the sleeve.
I shortened the shirt  and attached two large buttons and prepared the buttonholes and the Jacket was ready.  To be honest I wasn't very sure on the result, but I had no more time and fabric to prepare something else.


At this point I had to buy a metre ok black satin fabric for the trousers.  
I placed another pair of trousers on the fabric to avoid taking the
pattern,  I cut the fabric and then sewed the trousers, with elastic in the waist hem.

I bought 40cm of black foamfabric (fabric with a layer of thin foam already attached). I then prepared a paper pattern for the boots by  placing a shoe on the paper and drawing the outline of the shoe.  I cut the pattern about two or three cm bigger then the outline and then tried it several times on my son's foot (wearing shoes), before I obtained the 'almost perfect' pattern.

I prepared the jabot with four layers of lace. Read how to make a Jabot.

I wanted to buy a ready made pirate's hat, but my son didn't like it, so we opted for a bandana.   Some years back my daughter has also been dressed as a pirate, so I re-used the scarf she had used as a bandana.  I shortened it a bit, becaused it was very long, and I sewed it to form a bandana.  I attached a fake knot and skeloton's badge.

Punto dopo punto by Stefy!

'gala' in pizzo / jabot

Il Jabot è un accessorio indossato dagli uomini del alta società nel 17º e 18º secolo. Le donne hanno iniziato ad indossarlo per abbellire le loro camicette nel 19º secolo.

Spesso torna di moda in diverse varianti.  La stoffa più adatta è il pizzo.

Io l'ho creato per un costume di carnevale da pirata.


  • 2 metri di nastro di pizzo alto 6cm,
  • 25cm of tessuto dello stesso colore del pizzo, 
  • 50cm elastico largo 1cm,
  • forbici, cotone per cucire, ago e spilli,
  • Un po'di carta per il modello, riga e penna,
  • macchina da cucire.

Jabot con 4 volantini di pizzo.

Fate il modello come segue:
Iniziamo con il bordo superiore di 8cm.AB
Se usate pizzo largo 6cm, calcolate 5 cm per ogni volantino, in tal modo che i volantini vengono un po' uno sopra l'altro.
Il bordo inferiore deve essere a 20cm (5cm x 4 volantini) e deve misurare 14cm. CD
Unite il bordo laterale AC e BD.
Poi aggiungiamo il bordo superiore EF, che serve per rifinire il lavoro è passare l'elastico.

Il modello è pronto.

Appoggiate il modello sulla stoffa piegate in due, diritto con diritto. Si taglia la stoffa.
Ricordate di tagliare 1cm in più tutto attorno per le cuciture.


È il momento di cucire il bordo laterale e inferiore.  Lasciamo il bordo superiore aperto per girare il lavoro.  Dato che non è un progetto grande si può anche cucire a mano.

Tagliate la stoffa in eccesso  e girate sotto sopra.


Spingete gli angoli con un attrezzo appuntito.  Sistemate i bordi belli piatti con gli spilli e impunturare.

Orlare la parte superiore del jabot, lasciando abbastanza spazio per passare l'elastico.

Ora passiamo al pizzo.
Tagliate 4 pezzi con le seguenti misure: 25cm, 35cm, 45cm e 55cm.

Orlate i bordi del pizzo per un lavoro più pulito, e arricciare il pizzo alla misura giusta.


Iniziate con il volantino più piccolo, che va cucito al bordo superiore ed a seguire gli altrimenti tre volantini.


Passate l'elastico nel orlo superiore.


Punto dopo punto! by Stefy.

How to make a Jabot.

How to make a Jabot.

A Jabot is a clothing accessory made of lace or other light fabric, used to decorate the front of shirts.
In the 17th and 18th century Jabots were used to decorate higher class man's shirts whilst in the 19th century they were attached by brooches to woman's clothing.

Over the years we have seen that they came back in fashion, but my personal need to sew a Jabot was to decorate my son's carnival pirate shirt.


  • 2 meters of ribbon lace 6cm high,
  • 25cm of fabric the same colour of the lace,
  • 50cm of elastic 1cm wide,
  • scissors, sewing thread, needle and pins,
  • a piece of paper for the pattern and a ruler,
  • sewing machine.

Jabot with 4 layers of lace.
Prepare pattern by drawing top edge 8cm wide.AB
If you use 6cm wide lace leave an allowance of 5cm for every frill, in order to slightly overlap the frills.

Bottom edge 14cm wide. CD

Join diagonal lines AC and BD.

Then draw top hem allowance 2.5cm high in order to be able to pass the elastic.  EF

Remember to leave hem allowance of 1cm on side and bottom edges.

Fold fabric right sides together, and pin paper pattern.
Cut fabric and baste sides (AC and BD) and edges (CD).
Sew with sewing machine.  As this is not a
very big project to create, you can also hand sew.
Leave the top edge open in order to enable us to turn the fabric.


Turn the fabric, by pulling the bottom edge toward the top edge.   Push the corners in place with a long pointed object, being careful not the damage the seam.

Pin edges smooth in place and sew the edges.

Hem the top edge, keeping in mind that we have to pass some elastic through the hem.


Now we have to prepare the lace.  Cut 4 pieces in the following sizes.  25cm, 35cm, 45cm and 55cm.

Hem the side edges of all four pieces of lace.
Gather to the measurement required.
Tip:   I normally use the biggest straight stitch available on the sewing machine to gather frills.  Sew a straight linea and then pull the top thread.

Pin the gathered lace in place. Of course the shortest frill goes at the top.
When you are happy with the result, baste in place to have a neater finishing and finally sew either by machine or by hand the frills in place.

Pass some elastic between the top hem.


Punto dopo punto! by Stefy.

Come fare un Jabot

giovedì 25 dicembre 2014

Tutorial: Christmas decoration in cross-stitch.


I have started to work cross stitch many years ago and surely its the manual work that I love most. Over the years I did several projects to gift to friends, but unfortunately I have no pictures of my creations.
Since I became a mum for the second time,  time is never enough to cope with all the family needs, and I gave up on cross-stitch until last month a friend told me that she was looking for a birth sampler, for the birth of her daughter. She didn’t know that cross-stitch is one of my passions, so I surprised her with a lovely present.

This was what I needed to get me started again. I took some time to organise all my cross stitch threads , needles and patterns and as it was December I decided to start with cross-stitching two Christmas decorations for my kids.

Personalised Christmas Decorations. 

  • styrofoam ball (circumference 30cm),
  • satined fabric,  
  • aida fabric, 
  • 50cm cord and some ribbon, 
  • thread and needle for cross-stitch, 
  • scissors, nailfile, cutter and sewing pins,
  • glue-gun.


Insert a sharp cutter all around the circumference of the styrofoam ball, to form a sort of gap. It should be about 3mm deep. 

I found some red satin in my work box and I decided to use it.
By the way whenever I start a new creation, I always try to use material available at home, before buying new material. So I opted on red, but you can use other Christmas colours like gold, silver, green and blue. 

Next step is to measure the circumference of the ball and cut the material you have chosen in a circle with a diameter that measures half the ball's circumference plus 1cm. In my case the ball's circumference was 30cm, so my circle in fabric measured 16cm in diameter.
Now comes the tricky part. Pin the material on the top of the ball with some sewing pins and slowly start to insert the edge of the material in the gap you have created before, with a metal nail file. I inserted the material in four cardinal points and then slowly the rest of the material, trying to smooth the pleats as much as possible. Do not worry if you have little pleats, they will be later covered. 

Next step is to cut the aida fabric to the same measurement of the previous circle. Choose your cross stitch pattern and after finding the centre of the aida fabric, cross stitch it.

When you are satisfied with your work, repeat the same procedure you have used with the coloured material i.e. tuck in the edge of aida fabric in the gap. Cut off any excess material.

At the centre top I inserted a loop which I formed from some ribbon, in able to hang the ball.  To cover the gap where the fabric has been inserted, I used a red cord which I glued using the glue gun and finally a little red bow on top.


Hope you enjoy this and thanks for following.


by stefy.

martedì 23 dicembre 2014

Tutorial: How to make a tassle.

per la versione in italiano, cliccate qui

A tassle is a decoration made from thread or wool.  Mostly tassles are used to decorate soft-furnishing like curtains, cushions etc and are also used on clothes, jewellery, hats and hoods.

We can create different sizes of tassles by using different thickness of thread or wool. 

I had to sew some degree hats with a tassle on the top (tutorial - how to sew a degree's hat),  and to save some money I decided to create my own tassles and luckily I also found in my work box, the exact colour of embroidery thread I needed.

  • embroidery thread or wool  (the thicker the thread, the thicker the tassle),
  • a piece of cardboard 6cm wide. The length has to be the same as your tassle's finished length.
  • scissors


Knot the thread around the cardboard's length.  Now you have to wrap the thread on the cardboard several times, until you reach the volume required.
My thread was not very thick and I wrapped it 50 times around the cardboard, even because I didn't desire a thick tassle.

When you reach the desired volume, cut the thread.  Leave the thread on the cardboard.

Now,  we have to form a cord from the same thread we are using. I created a plaided cord with 18 theads.  If  your thread is thicker or you are using wool,  reduce the threads to 12 or 6 (the number of threads you use, has to be divided in three parts, because we need three bunches of thread to form a plaid).

The length of the threads to form the plaid has to be 3 times the finished plaid.  For example:  if we need a plaid 6cm long, we have to cut the threads 18cm long.
Place these threads under the wrapped thread on the cardboard.  Pull until you reach two equal lengths and make a knot.

Separate the threads in three bunches and make a plaid.  When you reach the desired length, knot the thread to stop the plaid from opening.

Now you can take out the thread from the cardboard. Cut the edges at the lower part of the tassle, exactly at the centre.

The last step is to wrap the thread several times 1cm / 1,5cm under the top of the tassle.  Wrap the thread until you reach the desired thickness and length.   Knot the thread and cut the ends to the same length of the tassle.

And you tassle is ready to be hanged.

Visitate la versione in italiano: tutorial - come fare una nappa.


lunedì 22 dicembre 2014

Tutorial - how to sew a degree's hat.

In Italy, it has lately became a tradition, that when kids finish their kindergarten school, they are awarded with an end of kindergarten certificate, called 'diploma'. For this occasion they are dressed like university graduates. Last year even my son has received his 'diploma', so I prepared for him and his classmates, a degree’s hat made in fabric.

It’s not difficult to create and I also published some photos for a better explanation.



  • 30cm of foamfabric (fabric with a layer of thin foam already attached)
  • 1.5mtr bias satin ribbon 2cm wide, same colour of fabric,
  • Some cardboard same colour of fabric,
  • Scissors, sewing thread and needle, sewing pins,
  • Crochet thread to make a tassle,
  • Sewing machine,
  • Glue gun.

The measurements that I have used, are for 5 year old children with head’s circumference of about 49/51cm, but when I tried out the hat it also fitted me, cause it only has to be placed on the head.  I attached some elastic, so as not to loose the hat.


pic 1 (the circle is not in photo)

From the foamfabric (pic 1) cut:
  • two squares measuring 25cm
  • a rectangle 56x16cm. (pic 1)
  • a circle with diameter 16cm

pic 1a

From the cardboard (pic 1a) cut:
  • a square measuring 24cm
  • a circles with diameter 16cm.


On one of the squares on the wrong side of fabric, find the centre and draw a circle with diameter 13cm (pic 2).     Cut out the circle (pic 3).

pic 2

pic 3

Close the rectangle by sewing the short ends 1cm away from border, to form a ‘crown‘ roughly measuring 54cm (pic 4)

pic 4

Fold the crown lengthwise, in order to have the foamy part of the textile on the inside (pic 5)
pic 5

Next step to the attach the borders of the crown to the circular border we have prepared before.  Place the borders of the crown and insert them inside the circle’s border and pin in place.  Should the crown result a bit longer, make very little pleats to reduce the length.  Sew with sewing machine and when you’re done, snip the edges (pic 6)

pic 6

Now place the other square, on the square with the crown, wrong sides together and pin in place. Apply the bias tape all around the edges
,  taking extra care to the corners.  Sew bias type with sewing machine and then sew the corners with thread and needle, with little invisible stitches.

To obtain a rigid hat, insert the cardboard (square measuring 24cm) in the inside of the hat.  The easiest way to insert it, is by folding the corners as in pic 6 and 7.
pic 6

pic 7


Glue together the circles from foamfabric (foam on the inside) to the cardboard.  Glue to the inside of the crown, to have a neat finish.  When I prepared the hats,  I had a very tight deadline,  so I only glued the cardboard to the hat  (pic 8).
pic 8

To finish of the hat we have to attach a tassle either of the same colour or with a contrast colour.

If you wish to prepare the tassle follow my tutorial - how to make a tassle

Sew the tassle at the centre of the hat.

Thank you and see you next time!!

POTETE LEGGERE LA VERSIONE IN ITALIANO, QUI / for italian version click here..