Friday, November 29, 2013

Take a Holiday

I don't have a holiday planned anytime soon but I am now the proud owner of a holiday dress. Just as good? Maybe not. Especially not as look at the strange spots in the navy background that appeared after washing this fabric. Hopefully everyone is just going to look at the cute deck chairs and not notice...

So this is of course the By Hand London Anna Dress pattern. Size US16, Slash Neck and Midi Length and made up in "Take a Holiday" cotton poplin from Spotlight. Just to practice, I french seamed this dress and I am really taken with how neat it looks. 

I was wrangling with the neck facings on this dress when I saw Amy's latest beautiful Anna and read that she used bias binding on the neckline. I promptly ripped off the facing and used some ready made bias binding I had. So glad I did as it feels nicer and lighter than my muslin's neckline. That is important with Summer being one day away.

Not to confuse anyone, I am wearing an underskirt here. 

Also, yes, this is my backyard.

I spent ages pattern matching these chairs on each panel until I got to the last one and ran out of fabric! A bit heartbreaking. My next Anna will be in a solid colour! Well, nearly, it is black with hot pink spots! 

I just cant stop thinking about making Anna Dresses!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

The Magic of Anna

I have long admired the Anna Dress by independent pattern company, By Hand London, from afar, wondering how does one dress look so amazing and flattering on so many ladies with differing body shapes! I was hoping she could do the same for me, and you know what, I think she looks pretty good! 

I bought 3 metres of this quilting cotton years ago and blue and pink paisley print isn't normally my style so it must have been very cheap. I chose to use it for my muslin as the calico I have needed washing. This proves Anna must be a bit magic because I think I have a wearable dress here! I even wore it in public today and nobody said to go home and change into something wearable.

I cut the US Size 16 of Variation 3, slash neck with midi skirt, with no pattern alterations and it fits very well. I did not have the gaping back neckline problem as some others have mentioned but I will lower the front neckline slightly on my next version as it feels a bit constrictive. Oh, and I did have a bit of bother with the front facing being smaller than the bodice which left me with a few nasty puckers which I had to cajole out. 

With this dress, I did go up a level from previous efforts at pattern matching. I sorted out the vertical pattern but forgot about the horizontal effect. So now I have kissing paisleys in the middle there...what kind of kissing I would rather not say...

I think the magic of this dress pattern is all in these bodice pleats. When posed the question "If you were granted one magic power, what would it be?" you wouldn't think that someone would say, the power to pleat most advantageously...well I think the ladies at By Hand London did, and the wish came true! I know I am taking this all a bit too far but geez, this dress is just so great.

I followed the very clear instructions as stated except I understitched the facings to help them lie flat. I have not inserted too many zips and have shied away from fastenings in general so I was up to the zip part when I went to my weekly sewing class. My lovely teacher, Carol, babied me through the process and it ended up being different from the method outlined in the instructions. When I make my next version I will photograph the steps for this method and include instructions. 

Happy, proud me!

Monday, November 11, 2013

Follow me on Bloglovin!

<a href="">Follow my blog with Bloglovin</a>

I read my Bloglovin line up most days so it is a bit special to me that people could follow my blog there too. Just click on the Bloglovin icon down to the right there and voila! 

2 weeks and this is all I come up with?!

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Um...KCW Day 3, 4, 5, 6 & 7!

Not as I planned of course, but here are the fruits of my five-day effort.

Ok, first up, two pairs of shorts using the Kids Shorts by Made pattern.

Car Dots in Grey by Kokka

Echino Car Box in Chocolate

An Oliver + S reversible bucket hat...

and a Oliver + S Sailboat Top...

Kiyohara Cotton Linen Blend Solid in Blue
Put it all together and you have one matched kid!

The jury is still out on these outfits. I can't put my finger on it but I think it might be too much matching for me. The shirt and the shorts together are great...

and the shorts and hat together with a t-shirt is good.

All this is moot though as the hat does not fit! I measured J's head and used the Size Large pattern, sewed it up and, it is a no go. Very frustrating as I love it, it looks great and more importantly, I don't have enough fabric to make another one!
I will have to check my measurements and see what went wrong.

I also made this little lady for one of J's little friend's 3rd birthday. This is Violet and her pattern comes in the great book, Hop Skip Jump, by Fiona Dalton.  It counts for Kids Clothes Week, right?

Time to get some sleep!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

KCW: Day 1 and Day 2

As promised, here are the W-Shorts by Melly Sews with a Flashback Skinny Tee by Made by Rae to match. Well, this is what I call matching, I am a big fan of a plain top and patterned bottom (or vice versa).

This is the first time I have got the Flashback Skinny Tee pattern to work for me. Please learn from my first rookie mistake and do not use fleece or sweatshirt fabric on a stretch fabric pattern and expect it to work, or you may get sadness. The second one I tried, I used very thin, cheap jersey with the wrong needle and tension and my machine ate it...more sadness. I put this pattern to one side deemed it unusable. Since that time, I have learnt a smidgen more about sewing knits, have acquired the appropriate equipment and have made a few wearable knit tops. I thought it was high time to give this pattern a go again as I have seen many great versions of this top around.

This is made up in navy ponte knit I purchased from Potters Textiles, a local fabric shop here in Perth, with some green ribbing I had. I cut the Size 3, added 1.5 inches to the length and used the top part of the PDF sleeve piece to make a short sleeve version (the length measured 7 inches from the top of the sleeve head). Although I think the sleeve length looks good on this tee, I will shorten the sleeve on my next one. Also, the sleeve is bordering on too snug for J's arms, so I will widen them slightly. J is about average weight and height for his age (3 in 9 days!) so this is definitely a skinny pattern and you will want to keep that in mind if you are going to make it.

Now, who doesn't love a Moose print? and in corduroy at that! 

I chose the W-pants (shorts version) pattern to challenge myself in the areas of zip insertion, welt pockets and fly fronts. I ended up using none of those for these shorts and kept it simple to try out this pattern. I'm glad I did as they are bigger than I expected and I had to pull them in quite severely at the back with the elastic. It is quite bunchy back there but still very wearable and J should fit in to them for a fair while to come.

I used Moose print pinwale cord and black/grey denim for the yoke, pockets and waistband. Both I purchased at Spotlight.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Kids Clothes Week

My intention for this second post was to only tell you about my plans for Kids Clothes Week but I have been wowed today and need to share...

My daily dose of Bloglovin brought to my attention a Design Sponge post about an incredible papercut artist, Myriam Dion. Myriam cuts lace-like patterns from old newspapers to create these mind-blowing pieces.Just look at this!

Incredibubble! What I'm creating seems so insignificant...

Ok, Kids Clothes Week! I think a challenge is what this new blog needs so I am jumping in headfirst. The premise is to "Work on making clothes for kids one hour each day for a week". I would like to take the challenge up a notch by saying I will do at least that. 

Being serious now, I aim to make:
and if the week is not already up by then:
That is at least five items of clothing in a week!

Watch out fabric stack!

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Another New Sewing Blog

Until recently, like I have read many other people say, sewing knit fabric scared me. I was not scared of buying it, but definitely perplexed about how to use it. Some research, trials and many errors later, I am starting to produce wearable items of clothing! Most of these being toddler size, but that counts, right?! Here are the latest successes...

When I find something that works, I like to stick to it, so all the following t-shirts are made from the Recess Raglan pattern by See Kate Sew. I made the Size 3 for my little guy who is 3 in 2 weeks. The first three I shortened to the Size 2 length, but then J grew overnight and I decided on the Size 3 length for the forth.

Have you checked out Spoonflower yet? Sure you have. A sad lack of cool knit fabrics suitable for little hipster boys available in local fabric shops led me to try out Spoonflower's organic knit. After wading through a few thousand designs, I found many that I loved, but four I could not do without. 

First up is the Woodland print (main body), maroon knit (sleeves) and navy ribbing (neckband). If this print looks familiar, then you may recognise it from Sophie's beautiful shirt. I love this fabric! It is very soft and the perfect weight for t-shirts.

This is an awesome print and now everyone who sees it wants a Lego t-shirt too! It is the Interlocking brick wall - primary print(main body), green knit(sleeves), navy ribbing(neckband). Notice I am not that great at matching up prints at the side seams but hope to improve in the near future.

This is the Little Big Guy tee...his first black t-shirt of many, I'm sure. Medium weight black knit(main body), green ribbing (neckband). The sleeves are the Burlap Houndstooth print by Holli Zollinger. I would happily have any of her designs.

This (main body) is the very special Element Collage Knit by Japanese Designer Nani Iro (Naomi Ito). I bought half a metre from Kelani Fabric to see what it was like and it was just enough for the main body of this tee. This fabric is so soft and a bit sparkly. J is lucky as he gets to have a Nani Iro garment before I do! The sleeves are in a navy ponte knit and neckband is maroon ribbing. Also, this is the tee that I used the Size 3 length so looks a little long on him. I am hoping to get a whole years wear out of this one!

I am yet to cut into the forth knit I got from Spoonflower but have plans for it, so stay tuned for that.

I also made pants! 

These pants are made from the Basic Pant pattern by Dana from Made which she generously makes available for free. This is a one size pattern, Size 2-3, which fits J perfectly right now. I have used the flat front version here with the only modification being to add 5mm to the width of the flat front section for the corduroy pants. The Made blog was one of the first sewing blogs I started reading and inspired me take up sewing again after a long hiatus. Well, it was mainly dreaming and talking about what I wanted to do for a long while, but now I am on track!

I have never been scared of corduroy. Nobody needs to be. It is a great fabric for learning to sew and in my opinion, every child needs cord pants and overalls. This pattern suits my love of the 70's aesthetic for kids pants as they have a bit of a flare. This past winter I felt that J looked his cute best dressing just as I did in the early 90' medieval style dresses! Ha! No, the other days I loved cord jeans and fitted tees and turtlenecks. For that matter, I'm quite sure that is how I dressed as a toddler too, being a 70's child.

Here we have pants in blue pinwale cord with the addition of the small pockets on the front (seen in the Lego tee picture above). Below, pants in green pinwale cord and the final picture is pants in black/grey denim. This denim had a slight stretch to it so I omitted the extra width for the flat front and cut as pattern. Both cords and denim were purchased at Spotlight.

I made the grand sweeping statement recently "No store bought clothes shall pass this threshold!". A few disclaimers have been added since then but my quite sensible plan to build a coordinated handmade spring/summer wardrobe for J is off to a pretty good start.

Thanks for reading!