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DIY Bat Costume

I have been very organised this year, and finished my Halloween costume! I’ve known for a while that I wanted to go as a bat and I was inspired by this bat wing costume tutorial for kids. I’ve put my own twist on the tutorial by giving the bat wings a long tail and extending the end of the wings using chopsticks. In these pictures, I’m wearing the wings over a black top, my disco pants and some super high heels I bought in sale in Topshop in my first year at York. And here’s how I made them ūüôā

Bat Costume 1Bat Cosdtume 2You will need:2 metres of thick black fabric
Glue gun and glue
Sewing machine
2 chopsticks
Measuring tape
Scissoirs
Needle and thread
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Step 1: Take your measurements and sketch out the wing shape. Okay, so this is the part that looks most complicated but it’s actually nto that difficult. First, fold your fabric widthwise. Then take your measurements and use them to draw a bat shape that fits you, using the photo above. Length 1 is half of the distance from underarm to underarm. Length 2 is half of the circumference of your shoulder. Length 3 is the distance from the top of your shoulder to your wrist. Length 4 is half the circumference of your wrist. Length 5 is the length of your chopstick and length 6 is an inch.

Once you have used those measurements to draw on the top of your costume, draw on the loops of the bat wing, until your each the bottom of the fold of your fabric. Then cut out your wings! Phew, that’s the tricky bit over.

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Step 2: Hem the whole top edge of your bat costume (lengths 1. 3, 4 and 5.)

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Step 3: To make the sleeve, fold the top of your costume and sew length 3 onto the fabric. Length A (above) should be half the circumference of your shoulder. Do this for both sleeves.

bat costume 7bat costume 8Step 4: Glue the chopsticks into the fold at the end of your wings (I used my glue gun for this.)

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Step 5: Cut two small strips of fabric from your strips and wrap them around your finger. Pin them in place, remove them from your finger and then glue them in place. Try on your wings and mark where the bottom of your index finger touches the fabric. Glue each fabric ring to your wings at this point, as above.

Ta da, finished!

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I had a lot of fun test running my Halloween costume and make up! I decided that smiley photos wouldn’t be very scary but I’m not sure about my moody face in these pictures! Have you decided what you’re going as for Halloween yet?

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Autumn Stitching Club #6

How is this my 6th autumn stitching club pattern already? Oh how time flies! I’m glad that this week’s pattern is a toffee apple because I love toffee apples. I’ve already had my second of the season. This toffee apple recipe was one of the first posts I ever did on this blog, and I’m thinking of cooking some soon. They remind me of the fair which (although it’s a little grotty) was always one of my favourite events of the year. I changed up the colours in this pattern, from gold to red, because the best toffee apples are red, am I right?

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My Sunday is full of crafting, cosy cardigans and apple crumble. I hope yours is the best ūüôā

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Autumn Stitching Club #5

I have a confession to make – I’ve never tried a pumpkin spice latte. The next time I’m in a city I’ll make sure to pick one up so I can see what all the hype’s about. For the meantime, I’ll just be sewing pumpkin spice lattes instead, since this is the most recent pattern for the Autumn Stitching Club. My favourite thing about this pattern is the little pumpkin – isn’t he cute!

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Since all of the patterns I’ve stitched so far have had faces on them, I’ve had lots of time to practice doing french knots (the eyes) and I think I’m getting better at them!

Happy monday ūüôā

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So Long, September

Okay, so September ended a while ago. I meant to write this post on the last day of September, but things got in the way. I had a last-minute interview, and a couple of rough days and I needed a little bit of time to focus on other things. And that got me thinking; obviously blogs by their nature only show selected aspects of people’s lives. I mean, no one wants to read about my slow night in when there was nothing on the telly and the biscuit cupboard was running low. But do we edit out too much of the bad stuff? Should bloggers, as far as they do talk about their lives, talk about the good as well as the bad? Let me know what you think!

Without further ado, here is my round-up of September on Jessthetics! I’ve been busy.

September’s been a month of learning new skills for me. I made a paisley shirt for James, a paisley kimono for myself, and I signed up to the Autumn Stitching Club to learn to embroider! (Here’s Autumn Stitching Week 1, Week 2, Week 3, Week 4.)

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I also shared a lot of outfits from my week in Paris! Gosh, that seems like a long time ago now… Here’s Day 1, Day 2, Day 4, Day 5 and Day 6.

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I even squeezed in some non Paris related outfit posts! I went exploring in a meadow, wore purple and pastels in my garden and showed you my new favourite jeans ūüôā

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I also started making my room nice by making a vase out of a log, and I shared the DIY here.

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I posted a carrot cake recipe, and most recently, I shared with you four of my favourite handmade bloggers!

Phew, it’s fun to be able to look over what I’ve done. At the beginning of September, I set myself four goals. I have sorted and bagged all my things, started some big projects and improved my lifestyle a little (I’ve been having granola and berries for breakfast, and only one cake a day – much improved!) I haven’t yet got a job or an internship but I’m working on it. Three goals out of four ticked off, not bad right?

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Autumn Stitching Club #4

The third pattern that I’ve stitched for the Autumn Stitching Club is this cute little flower-pot. This is my favourite pattern so far – I love the texture of the stitched flowers! This pattern has made me excited to try some bigger and more intricate embroidery patterns. I think I prefer the way they look with more stitches, although it’s satisfying being able to complete one pattern in an hour or two ūüôā

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I hope you’re having the best Friday, and you’ve got a fun weekend planned. I’m looking forward to having one of my favourite people in the world come to stay with me!

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Homemade Kimono

I love Paisley. I think I might have a paisley problem – both of my most recent sewing projects have used paisley fabric (see the first here.) I’ve been wanting a kimono jacket for ages, and I realised the most fun way to get one would be to make it! This project was pretty easy – this jacket is only made up of seven pieces of fabric so it didn’t take me too long to make.

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I used this pattern and this fabric (don’t you love the fabric?) and some tassels from my local haberdashery. I have to say, I found the instructions on this Simplicity pattern a lot harder to follow than on the Burda one I used before – things weren’t spelled out as much as I’d have liked, but I managed to work it out!

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I began by cutting out the pattern pieces I needed, pinning them onto my fabric, and cutting out my fabric pieces! This time I didn’t worry about marking the pattern markings onto my fabric. If I needed to double-check how the fabric matched up, I just referred back to the pattern pieces.

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6 steps later, it was finished! I changed two things about the pattern. First, I didn’t use the interfacing which the pattern suggested (I wanted my jacket to be flowy, not stiff) and secondly, I added some tassels! What’s a kimono without tassels, right?

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I’m so pleased with this jacket, it’s absolutely going to be an autumn staple for me. Have you done any sewing recently?

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Autumn Stitching Club #3

The third smiley faced autumnal pattern I stitched for the Autumn Stitching Club is this corn shock. I admit that at first I didn’t know what a corn shock was, but it’s just a bundle of corn… I love that all the pattern’s have faces on them, I think it’s so cute! I can’t wait until I have embroidered all my patterns and I can make them into one big autumn themed pillow.

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Are you working on any projects at the moment?

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Autumn Stitching Club #2

I’ve just finished pattern two for the Autumn Stitching Club – this cute little autumn basket! For this pattern, I learnt how to split my thread, do a back-stitch and a french knot which is really exciting, although I’m quite a slow embroiderer at the moment. I’m sure I’ll get quicker with practice.

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What do you think? I love his cute little face. I hope you’re having an awesome Thursday ūüôā

P.s. don’t forget to check out my eBay sale – I’m parting ways with a lot of clothes.

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Autumn Stitching Club #1

I’ve signed up to Wild Olive’s Autumm Stitching Club, and I’m so excited to learn how to embroider! I’ll be using her embroidery basics page to learn. Each week I get emailed a pattern, and the first week was this adorable scarecrow. He’s a little wonky, but not bad for a first attempt, what do you think?

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At the end of autum I’ll have a collection of embroidered patterns that I can sew together to make a pillow. I love the idea of filling up my room with things that I’ve made, and doing a little each week means the project isn’t too daunting. Hopefully afterwards I can use my new embroidery skills to decorate homemade clothes. Are you making anything at the moment?

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Homemade Paisley Shirt

For my boyfriend’s birthday I decided I would make him a shirt. I hadn’t made clothes from scratch in years, and this way I could pick a fabric that I knew he would love. It wasn’t until I had bought all the supplies that it was pointed out to me that sewing a shirt from scratch is not exactly beginner-friendly. This project took me a really long time, but it was worth it! I learnt a lot along the way, I feel much more confident about making more of my own clothes, and I got to give James a piece of clothing that (hopefully) will last him forever.

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I used this pattern and this fabric.

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To begin, I cut out all the pattern pieces.

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I then pinned them to the fabric, cut out my fabric pieces and used a tracing wheel to copy the pattern marks onto the wrong sides of my fabric pieces.

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I cut out the interfacing and ironed it onto the relevant fabric pieces. Then I followed the steps on the pattern instructions to sew the fabric pieces together. Each step involved pinning the fabric together, basting it together, sewing it together, removing the basting, trimming and finishing the fabric allowances and ironing the seams to one side. Phew! I had a lot of trouble attaching the collar – the instructions weren’t at all clear – but I worked it out in the end. If anyone does use this pattern and has the same problem as me, send me an email and I’ll be glad to help!

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And then it was finished! I’m so proud of this shirt, and I can’t wait to continue sewing.

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I hope you’re having a good monday! Do you ever make clothes from scratch?