A question for my readers who are bloggers: Do you ever sew but not blog?
Up until now I would have said I blog everything… but then sometimes it’s just not possible. Here’s a little bit of catch-up.
Last week Miss A came home from school with some sparkly fabric, a halter-neck top and a note for the drama teacher explaining that they were one top short for the end of year production and asking if I could copy the enclosed top. I’ve never copied an finished item before, although I’ve read lots about it online, but I was up for the challenge.
It was a simple top, but without instructions, I did make some errors and gave my quick unpick a bit of a workout. Miss A tried the top on for size (a perfect fit) but blankly REFUSED to let me take a photo of her in it. The new top has gone to school un-photographed and will next be seen at the performance next Tuesday evening. Miss A has been singing and dancing snippets of their show so I can tell we’re in for another amazing production this year.
Then there was a birthday parcel sent to Miss M a little friend of ours that lives in Germany. Her lovely Mum reads my blog so I couldn’t post about the parcel before it arrived or I would have ruined the surprise. But now that the birthday present has safely made it way to the other side of the world, I can spill the beans…
Enter Oliver + S’s Pinwheel Tunic.
This was a lovely pattern to sew up. There was lots of bias binding on this project (neckline, sleeves and flounce edge) which I opted to make in self fabric rather than a contrast.
My favourite things about this make are the ribbon tie at the back and the fabric. This Japanese seersucker cotton was purchased from Tessuti two years ago. It was always earmarked to make a dress/top for Miss M, and I’m pleased I’ve found the perfect pattern to match it with. I wish I’d brought some more of this fabric for me!
I also made Miss M a long sleeved Oliver + S Hopscotch Dress. This was the third of these dresses that I’ve made and definitely won’t be the last. The fabric was the same as this one but in a dusky pink colourway.
Lastly, the countdown to when we move is on – it’s three weeks away. Yesterday morning Lara, Leith and Rachel came and helped my downsize my stash by taking some home with them. I thought I’d show you what’s left… 13 x 28 litre plastic tubs.
Yes, it’s a large stash, but I not making any apologies about it or am I going to put myself on a fabric diet. In fact, yesterday afternoon I popped into Tessuti on the way home from the weekly food shop at the Queen Victoria Market and purchased a hardcopy Eva Dress pattern and this linen to make it up in… swoon.
But Eva will have to wait, as this weekend is all about making presents for my girls teachers. I best get dressed and go and make a start…
Rachel and I went on a road trip to Geelong on Saturday afternoon for a spot of fabric shopping and to hand out with the lovely Renay and her friend Rachel (yes, another Rachel). We visited Joys Fabrics Warehouse and then headed down to the waterfront for an early dinner.
At Joys Fabrics Warehouse I brought some lovely spotty linen (as modeled below) with a unlined Japanese Jacket (Design F from The Stylish Dress Book) in mind. It’s the jacket that Louise has recently made from a faded curtain from her Nan’s stash! Now I suppose I should confess that I brought both colourways as I couldn’t decide. A girl can’t have too much spotty linen can she?
From spots to stripes! I’ve earmakred this stripey linen (in the blue colourway) for a Ribbon Shoulder Shift from Feminine Wardrobe by Jinko Matsumoto.
Although don’t be surprised if I change my mind and make a dress like Madalyne’s instead!
Lastly, I couldn’t go home without some lovely light weight dark blue chambray. Rachel and I shared the end of the roll, but I tell you readers, if a whole roll was on offer, I would have been tempted to buy it all!
Did you notice my new orange lace up shoes in the first photo? BTW I’m wearing a Gabby Dress from pre-blogging days. The shoes look like woven baskets, but they are oh so comfortable and I’ve already had lots of wear – a cocktail function at school, dinner with some girlfriends, my niece’s christening and then on Saturday. The shoe were purchased from Scarlett Jones in Hawthorn (suburb of Melbourne). If I do buy myself clothes & accessories these days, this is my first port of call.
Rachel was the other orange shoe wearer in the above photo and she paired them with a fabulous new Camber Dress. I was trying to tell myself that I didn’t need this pattern, but after seeing both Rachel’s and Roobeedoo’s I don’t think my resolve will last very long.
How was your weekend? Did you do a spot of fabric shopping or talk sewing with friends in person or online? Is your shoe collection on the rise? Is the Camber Dress on your ‘to buy’ list?
At the beginning of the school year Miss A’s lovely teacher asked if I could make some bunting in school colours to decorate Miss A’s classroom. I said ‘yes’ but then procrastinated for a VERY long time.
The week before last, with the end of our school year only a eight weeks away, I decided that I must take action now. My brief was to involve the girls, but ensure that their involvement didn’t detract from the finished project. I therefore decided to do the sewing, but I involved Miss A’s classmates in the sequencing of the bunting flags.
I’m no expert at bunting, and there are heaps of online tutorials with detailed instructions, but I will give you my essential tips:
- Ensure you have access to a rotary cutter, cutting mat and an object you can use as a point turner (for me, a knitting needle!)
- Make a flag template (I used a cardboard box) and remember to include seam allowances
- Trim the seam allowances at the ‘tip’ of each flag as close to the stitching as possible
- Iron open the seam allowances (my sleeve board was invaluable) before pressing each flag on the right side
Over the course of last week I sewed up 66 flags! The sewing was surprisingly enjoyable and therapeutic. There might be a quilt in me yet!
I divided the flags into three piles with a variety of the eight different fabric in each one. I then spent some time with Miss A and her classmates. Firstly the girls selected a flag from one of the piles and then arranged themselves in height order, with the added difficultly that they couldn’t talk. They then did a similar thing (with words!) and arranged themselves in alphabetical order by first name and then in birthday order. The outcome was a random arrangement of bunting flags that tells the a story of a classroom at a snapshot in time.
I then went home and spent a few hours attaching the flags to metres and metres of bias binding before returning to the classroom after lunch for the big reveal. The girls and the teacher were delighted with the bunting, and so was I, and it now hangs at both ends of the classroom. I might add, a very light filled classroom that makes taking photographs very difficult.
And in other news… we have been given a date to move into our soon to be finished renovated/rebuilt family home. I have lots of non-sewing things to do in the next five weeks…
Our big girl is seven today. How did that happen?
A two wheeled scooter with an adjustable handle was on Miss A’s birthday wish list and my Dad came through with the goods.
Miss A recently asked me if I could make her the Hawaii Flowers Dress from Ottobre Design 3/2012.
Although this dress wouldn’t have been on my list of ‘must makes’, I decided to go along with the request and sew it up for her birthday. I bravely asked Miss A to select some fabric from my precious Liberty stash. I say bravely as I hoped that she’d choose a piece of tana lawn purchased with a little girls dress in mind and not one that I had selfish plans for! Her choice was perfect.
The dress has lots of shirring and rolled hems and came together surprisingly quickly. I believe that shirring is one of those things that had a huge impact with very little effort… just my type of thing!
The only minor change I made was during construction. The top of the skirt looked huge compared to the bottom of the stretched out bodice (it had been shirred at this stage) so I added a single row of gathering to the skirt where it was to join the bodice. A simple but effective solution.
The purple Go To Leggings were a last minute make. With only one pattern piece they are super quick to print, stick together, trace, cut out and sew up. I skimmed the instructions and then pretty much did my own thing. Although, as suggested, I did hem the leggings before sewing up the side seams. This was a so much less fiddlier than my usual hemming, which I do as the final step, and something I will definitely do again.
Both my girls hate ‘harry high pants’ and prefer to wear their leggings at a more hipster location. Mid construction I reduced the rise by 1 inch by double folding the waistband when enclosing the elastic. This alternation made the waistband slightly chunky (because of the extra layer of fabric) but they are still very wearable. I will fold out an inch from the rise for next time.
Pattern: Hawaii Flower Dress (No. 28) from Ottobre Design 3/2012
Fabric: Liberty Tana Lawn purchased from Duckcloth during their closing down sale
Alterations: I added a single row of gathering to the skirt where it joined the bodice
Pattern: Go To Leggings
Fabric: A very soft knit purchased as a remnant from The Fabric Store.
Alterations: I reduced the rise by 1 inch (from mid rise to a hispter). The leggings length is approximately halfway between bike shorts and 3/4 cropped lengths and was determined by available fabric.
Until next time…
It’s my niece’s 3rd birthday today and I’ve made her another pair of Bubble Pockets Shorts and a Hoops T-shirt. Miss F has just grown out of the first two Hoops T-shirts which were originally Miss B’s. Hand-me-downs are alive and well in our family!
Miss A has been modelling her cousins Bubble Pockets Shorts again… I still think these pockets are awesome!
Pattern: Bubble Pocket Shorts from Elegance and Elephants – Classic Version
Fabric: Light weight denim, red & white spot poplin (from Spotlight) and a cherry print quilting cotton (remnant from Amitie).
Alterations: I eliminated the front tie. I also altered the waistband facing (removed 3 cms) and cuffs (removed 2 cms) as they were too long.
The Hoops T-shirt is from Ottobre 3/2012. Everytime I make this t-shirt I do something slightly different with the sleeves. This version has a gather at the at top of the sleeve head and a matching gather at the sleeve hem.
My stripe matching was good, but not perfect, which is because I used my overlocker to do the side seams rather than my sewing machine’s walking foot. In my opinion, walking foots are the bees knees when it comes to stripe matching (as previously raved about here).
Pattern: Hoops T-shirt is from Ottobre 3/2012
Size: 116cm with the length of 122cm
Fabric: Hilco Campan Knit (97% cotton and 3% elastane) from Earthgirl Fabrics (sold out).
Alterations: This version has a gather at the at top of the sleeve head and a matching gather at the sleeve hem.
And a final word… I’m still not done with either of these patterns yet!
As you’ll all probably aware by now, I do love an accessory, and particularly a scarf. Are you surprised to hear that the focus of my sewing this weekend was linen scarves?
Scarf 1: A olively/brown Italian linen remnant from Cutting Edge, that had been lurking in the stash for a while, is now the perfect spring scarf.
The linen had been washed, and I quite liked the look of the raw edges, so I trimmed the tangled bits and sewed two lines of stitching 1/8″ and then 1/4″ from each raw edge. I used a narrow stitch length to hopefully stop further unravelling. The result… a quick and satisfying project.
Fabric: Linen remnant from Cutting Edge
Fabric Size: 24″ x 58″ (60cm x 145cm)
Photographs: My dear friend Sharon
Scarf 2: On Saturday morning I spent a blissful hour in Tessuti checking out (read here drooling over) all their new stock. I came home with (amongst other things!) some gauze like linen in an eye-catching blue/green colour. A simple double-fold narrow hem on each of the raw edges and now it’s now being called a scarf! Simple pleasures readers.
And Miss B came to the rescue with an umbrella when it started to rain!
Miss B, the lover of all things with pockets, has a new dress which she adores.
Miss B is going through a defiant stage at the moment (big sigh) and getting reasonable photos of her wearing the said dress was quite a challenge. So, please excuse the grubby food face, swimming pool hair and her insistence on wearing a t-shirt and skirt (which you can’t see) underneath the dress.
I’ve been wearing my ‘pattern testing’ hat again and I had great fun making this dress. There were a couple of ‘firsts’ for me on this make. My first fully lined bodice (I’m astounded I haven’t done this before!). My first peter pan collar…
and my first back bodice button closure.
When constructing the peter pan collar…
- I wanted to ensure that the seam was on the under-side of the collar (rather than on the edge) so I allowed for the turn of cloth. What is the turn of cloth? Andrea from Four Square Walls explains it in step 3 of this post, or you can read an article on this topic by Threads Magazine. I’ve used ‘turn of cloth’ in my bag making before (think patch pockets and pocket flaps) and I’m a big fan!
- I utilised Megan Nielsen’s great tip about trimming the seam allowances of curved collars with pinking shears. I love this shortcut!
I’ll definitely be making more of these dresses. I think they are perfect for parties, plays in the park and lounging on the couch. What more could you want in little girls dress?
Please note, that since I made this version the ‘skirt’ part of the dress has been lengthened on all sizes by 2 inches.
Pattern: Madeline Dress by Wink Designs available as a pdf download in sizes 1 – 8
Fabric Main: Daisy Tango from Kelani Fabric Obsession. The blue colourway is still available.
Fabric Contrast: Spotlight (I think!)
Fabric Lining: Kaffe Fassett Shot Cotton from Kelani Fabric Obsession
Buttons: Purchased from The Button Shop
Alterations: I made the pockets out of the contrast fabric. The pattern suggests that only the pocket flaps be made out of the contrast fabric.