Yesterday afternoon/evening, I was on a Nessie Top roll. I made not one, not two but three of them in total!
Nessie Top 1: A present for Miss A’s friend who’s celebrating her 7th birthday this weekend (sorry no pics).
Nessie Top 2: Miss B selected fabric from my knit remnants tub and I sewed up a the colour-blocked version in a size 5 with 3/4 sleeves. It’s a good fit with some room for growing.
It’s hard to tell from the photos below, but it’s an a-line top with a high-low hem. Speaking of photos, I took 156 shots to get the following three. Miss B is not a cooperative model at the moment!
Nessie Top 3: Miss A insisted that I use two striped fabrics for her Nessie Top. I had my doubts. Actually, I was fretting about stripe matching the colour-blocked seam. Then after a short discussion we decided to change the direction of the red and white striped knit. I have to report, I love the result and Miss A does too. Miss A’s version is a size 5 with an inch added to the length and 3/4 sleeves.
The Nessie Top by Craftiness Is Not Optional comes with lots of variations. There is the basic pattern, a colour-blocked bodice version (like above) and a cute peter pan collar that can be added to any Nessie Top. In addition, you can choose from three different sleeve lengths – short, 3/4 and full length. I love a pattern with options!
I made some changes to the neckband after my first version. Specifically, I reduced the width of the neckband by 1/8 inch and shortened the neckband by 1 inch. I like my neckbands to sit flat against the body rather than upright like a mini skivvy. In this case, a shorter neckband that was stretched a little when sewn onto the neckline, helped me achieve my desired result. By the way, it’s hard to draft neckband lengths on knit patterns as the length required really does depend on the amount of stretch in the fabric being used.
The tops were constructed on the overlocker and I used a twin needle to top-stitch the neckband, along colour-blocking seam and for all the hems.
In a daring move I decided for the first time in my life to use a toning rather than a perfectly matching bobbin. You know… the old near enough is good enough (which is so not me)… and it was very liberating! In truth, this move to use a toning bobbin was driven by the fact that I’m all out of space for new bobbins on my thread board!
Pattern: Nessie Top by Craftiness Is Not Optional
Size: Miss B = size 5 & Miss A = size 5 with 1 inch added to the length
Fabric: Red & White Stripe – Hilco Knit from Earthgirl Fabrics, Strawberries – 100% cotton from Spotlight, and Red & Pink – Lillestoff Knit from The Drapery
Alterations: Removed 1 inch from the length of the neckband and 1/8 inch from the neckband width
I don’t usually encourage matchy matchy when it comes to my girls, but I couldn’t resist making them these similar dresses.
The Melanie Knit Dress by Modkid is a pdf pattern which comes in sizes 2T-10. I made Miss A a size 5 with the length of a 7 and a straight size 5 for Miss B. The fit is spot on!
The first time I saw this pattern (thanks for the inspiration Lara) I knew it would be a perfect pattern for my girls. What’s not to love about a knit dress with feature pockets?
The side panels in this pattern allows for – okay, they actually screams – pattern matching. For these dresses I specifically brought lovely Lillestoff knits (95% organic cotton & 5% elastane) from The Drapery and I’m super pleased with how they turned out.
In my opinion, the fun designs and quality of European knits are worth the price tag they come with. It’s also good to remember that these knits come in really wide widths, so you don’t need very much to whip up a kids t-shirt or dress.
The neckline is drafted to be turned under 1/2 inch and secured with a twin needle. I much prefer adding a neckband, so I cut down both the front and back neckline by 1/4 inch, added a neckband in the contrasting fabric and top stitched the neckline with a twin needle. As one needle sews on the neckband and the other on the dress, I used different coloured threads to match each fabric, which made me feel rather fancy!
Pattern: Melanie Knit Dress by Modkid
Size: Miss A = size 5 with the length of a 7 & Miss B = size 5
Fabric: Lillestoff Knits from The Drapery
Alterations: Removed 1/4 inch from the front and back necklines and added a neckband
Will I make more Melanie Knit Dresses? Yes, yes and yes! With our weather getting cooler (Hello Autumn) I expect it won’t be too long until I sew some long sleeved versions.
And if you’re thinking you’d like a dress like this yourself… check out the Lola Dress by Victory Patterns.
One quirky liberty Gabby Dress (and I’m saying that fondly) just wasn’t enough…
For this version, I used the same liberty tana lawn print (Mitsi in green from Liberty’s classic range) for the front, back and one sleeve, the second sleeve is a contrasting print, and the neck binding another again. Are you still following me?
The Gabby Dress pattern instructs you to use bias binding as a facing for the neckline, but as I was after another pop of red to compliment the poppies sleeve, I bound the neckline so the bias was a feature.
And that yellow bar that
I’m draping myself over using as a prop in these photos… it’s one of three in our backyard for our budding gymnasts and their friends to enjoy. Although, I have been known to have a go myself and the girls also recently coerced their babysitter to show them a few tricks!
Pattern: Tessuti’s Gabby Dress
Fabric: Liberty Tana Lawn (3 different patterns) from Tessuti
Alterations: The bias neckline has been sewn on as a feature rather than a facing.
Accessories: Necklaces from Elk , bangle by Sonia Rykel (brought here) & shoes purchased at Siricco.
Dresses in these parts seem to be getting shorter and shorter!
Exhibit A (above) is Dress K…
from a Japanese pattern book titled Daily Wardrobe.
And the reason my version is so short, is that I lopped a whopping 5 inches off the hem! Sometimes I get a little carried away…
I have a growing collection of Japanese pattern books. Daily Wardrobe (above) and Everyday Pretty Wardrobe recently joined my bookshelves when I spied them in the remnants section of Tessuti’s online store at 50% off. I was attracted to Dress K, as I have a lovely boarder print that I thought would work wonderfully with this pattern. Before cutting my precious boarder print, I decided to make a wearable muslin out of some linen and double gauze from the stash. I’m really glad I did!
I have to admit, I’m not in love with this make. I’ve come to the conclusion that gathers on the front neckline aren’t flattering on my generous bust. Also, the neck facing doesn’t sit flat (which I find super annoying) even after a wash and a good press.
The neck facing sat perfectly before being attached to the dress (I tried it on to assess the depth of the scoop!) so I must have ‘done something’ when joining the two.
On a positive note, I’m really happy with the position of the bust darts.
I’ve finally come to the realisation that I’m ‘long’ in the area between the base of my neck and my bust. For this dress, I decided to try slashing the pattern and adding an inch (my usual bust lowering amount) just below the armholes on both the front and back pieces (see below). I’m pleased to report I had success. I think this will become a standard alteration for me.
Will I make this dress again? Probably not. So, my hunt for the perfect boarder print dress continues. Do you have any suggestions?
Pattern: Dress K from Daily Wardrobe (Japanese pattern book)
Size: LL (the largest size!)
Fabric: Linen from Tessuti & snails double gauze (which is part of Heather Ross’ Far Far Away Collection) from deep in my stash!
Alterations: Slashed the pattern (back and front) just under the armholes and added an inch. Shortened at the hem by 5 inches.
Accessories: Bracelet from Christine’s & shoes recently purchased here.
I love a play on words (see title) and much as I love my new dress…
Earlier this week I saw a photo on Instagram that inspired me to make a dress from three different liberty fabrics in my stash. Am I taking colour blocking to the next level?
This dress is very quirky and it feels so me!
I have numerous liberty pieces in my stash that are my colours but they feel a little ‘too pretty’ or ‘dainty’ for my current style. Combining them has allowed me to create a very unique garment, use my stash, and sew and wear one of the nicest fabrics around. This dress has a lot of things going for it and it’s definitely in the running for my… drum-roll… all-time favourite me-made dress. Yes, I’m on a post sewing garment high…
The pattern is Tessuti’s Gabby Dress without alteration. It’s my second time making this pattern (the first was pre-blogging) and I imagine it won’t be the last! The pattern is well drafted, comes in two lengths (I opted for the longer one) and is a quick and satisfying sew.
Now for some twirling to showcase the fabric…
Pattern: Tessuti’s Gabby Dress
Fabric: Liberty Tana Lawn from Tessuti (front & back) and eBay (navy sleeve with red flowers)
Accessories: Necklace from Elk & shoes purchased at Miss Lousie.
During these summer holidays (which are nearly over!) I’ve been interested to see what clothes Miss A and Miss B have been selecting from their wardrobe each day. I’ve made the following observations:
- Dresses are worn more than skirts and tops (shorts don’t even rate a mention)
- Cardigans and leggings are used for warmth on cooler days
- Items preferred by the girls usually have no zips or button closures – easy on and easy off!
- Miss A may have worn her birthday dress seven days straight… not that anyone is counting – right?
Miss A’s has been asking for another version of her birthday dress, but I’m not keen. I’m afraid that if I sew another one she won’t love it as much as the first and it won’t get worn. Sequels rarely are better than the original are they? Should I get over myself and just make it?
So, instead of making a dress with lots of shirring for Miss A, I decided to take the best from all the shirring pattern and tutorials I’ve used in the past (see here, here & here) and test out my perceived ‘holy grail’ of shirred sundresses.
Miss B was the lucky recipient of my prototype.
My holy grail dress uses Jorth’s Shirred Sundress Tutorial for sizing and fabric information. The rolled hems on the top of the bodice and hem are super fast to sew and look effective in a contrasting or highlighting thread. Each strap also has rolled hems (all four edges) and three rows of shirring the length of the strap. And just for the record… when positioning the straps, I’ve found that going with your gut instinct yields the same results as lots of measuring, basting and trying on!
Miss B has been wearing her dress non-stop since finished it yesterday morning. Happy days…
No summary project details as there isn’t really a pattern or size and the fabric has been used before. So instead, I’ll leave you with this little shirring gem… hold your iron above the shirring, give it a good burst of steam and watch it contract/shrink!
Once upon a time Rachel and Anna went on a big areoplane adventure in search of treasure… I mean fabric.
The Drapery Co-owners Fiona and Jane were on hand to show their wares, talk shop and all things fabric and sewing. Look at those beaming smiles… they love what they do!
Rachel and Anna spent a very pleasant three hours chatting with Jane and Fiona, talking to other customers, trying on shop samples (well actually that was just Anna!) admiring all the lovely fabrics & making their selections.
Speaking of selections, look what came home with Anna!
Four linen scarf kits, some colourful linens, two pieces of Nani Iro double gauze and a cotton voile remnant. What do you think about an orange The Shirt Dress, a teal and blue V8805 and a green (third from the top of the tallest pile) Camber? Anna had her nose is a Japanese pattern book when buying the double gauze…
So why leave lovely Melbourne, that has wonderful fabric options, for a day trip to Adelaide? Well firstly Anna had some flight credits that needed using, and secondly there was the lure of the Lithuanian linens that we’d seen online. The variety of colours and different weights and textures (some of the softess fabric Anna’s ever touched) of the linen was amazing. If you are a lover of linen, this is the shop for you!
So if you’re in Adelaide pop in and see Jane and Fiona, you won’t be disappointed.