Saturday, 3 October 2015

Sew Lisette B6182

More sewing for me! Another Lisette pattern but one of the newer ones this time. 

This is Lisette B6182 a top, dress and skirt pattern.

I like the style of this top very much. No fastenings so it slips on over your head and there is no extra sewing work with an opening. The front is detailed with a dart which runs across the middle of the chest. A detail which is a bit difficult to see with this patterned fabric but would look great in a solid fabric.

The sleeve cuffs are nice and deep and sit at just the right length.

I made alterations to the overall length though. Here I have added 2" extra to the body pieces. I feel that it is still too short for me. I know the style is meant to be cropped and boxy but I find that when it hits my waistband I am constantly smoothing it back down and trying to cover up my back. Plus as you can see from the photo above, when you have a larger bust, the front hemline sits away from your stomach. 

I had lots of encouragement and advice on Instagram regarding the length when I made a muslin, thanks everyone! In the end I wanted to use this fabric and couldn't lengthen it any more than I had previously. I like it very much, but wish it were a touch longer.

As you can see below, when I bend my body (here I was looking at the blueberries...) it rides up at the back.

I am glad I made this one. It fills me full of confidence for making the dress version which I think will fit into my wardrobe perfectly.

Sunday, 27 September 2015

Sew Lisette Portfolio Tunic

Even though my sewing list for the children is pretty full, I wanted to sneak a little something for myself in there as well. I recently ditched a lot of my clothes using the KonMari method and whilst I now have a very streamline wardrobe, it has some huge gaps. Namely something tunic length to wear with jeans. 

The seasons are turning now. Glimpses of red leaves and a bite in the morning air means that autumn is on its way. My criteria was simple. Tunic length, with sleeves and pockets. Cue the Lisette Portfolio!

Apologies if you don't have this pattern. You won't be able to get hold of it now unless you are willing to part with good money. I don't mean to taunt. Liesl & Co came up with the Cappuccino Dress and Tunic pattern to fill the gap left by the Portfolio so go take a look...

I made View B with no alterations. This is the first time I have made the longer view and I really regret not making it before. It is perfect! I am already planning another because this will fit right in to my everyday wardrobe. Over the next few months those pockets will hold a lot of tissues, club monies, keys, hair bobbles etc. The perfect mum uniform!

I wanted something that could blend in with other items so I chose this speckled fabric from my stash. The fibres are unknown but if I had to guess, it is suiting weight with a possible linen/poly mix. It certainly frayed a lot when I was making it so all those edges are overlocked. 
It has a really lovely slub linen effect with the black flecks and I am glad I found a use for it.

When using button loops, I prefer to choose shank buttons because they are already raised off the fabric and it is easier to fix the loops over properly. These are a misty grey-black colour and the perfect size. Thank you Nan for the big box of mystery buttons!

This is quite a quick sew because you don't have to set in any sleeves. The kimono style sleeve drops nicely over the shoulder and is finished off with either cuffs or a longer sleeve piece. I was tempted to add the longer sleeves and think I will on my next one.

The cuffs add a great finish though and are roomy enough for layering underneath with a long sleeved tee if desired.

One thing I did on this tunic that I should have done when I made the top version is to sew down on the top of the cuff. I stitched in the ditch of the under arm cuff seam to secure it down but because my stitches sank down into the fabric and were near invisible, I did the same on the top at the centre. The cuffs on my other one always flip open when I am wearing it even though the top of the cuff is tacked down. Stitching it down should make that more permanent and less likely to flip.

Tuesday, 15 September 2015

School Sewing Round Up

My bi-annual sewing of grey and white has been completed! 
The school uniforms are all done until a growth spurt hits next year. Hopefully.

My youngest started school this time around and has benefited from all the hand-me downs so nothing new for her but Boo required quite a bit. I cheated and bought the PE kit for them both this time. Although it seems I forgot to buy a jumper for Boo so need to fix that.

I used these patterns for her:

Vintage Simplicity Blouse 9564
Simplicity 4264 Skirt
Oliver + S Music Class Blouse
Oliver + S Hula Hoop Skirt
Oliver + S Lunchbox Culottes
Make It Perfect Big Uptown Girl Jacket

This is the vintage blouse pattern. A bit of a wildcard as I haven't made it before, but I did a muslin and the fit was spot on. I have made the size 10. 

I already adore the Music Class blouse but when I saw this pattern I couldn't resist those tucks!

The only thing I would change is the sleeve length. My pattern was missing the sleeve piece when I came to make it. When I bought it, it was there, so I can only assume it has found its way into another pattern envelope. So I used another pattern piece that was a close fit. The actual sleeve looks shorter on the picture so need to adjust that if I make another.

The skirt above is the 4264 in a grey ponte knit which is divine quality. Also out of stock where I ordered it from which speaks volumes! Why didn't I buy more! The fabric requirements are actually a woven but I wanted to make her a knit version for comfort.

The waistband is concealed inside the yoke. Great for a streamline look but if you want to get back in to adjust the elastic, better get that stitch picker ready!

On to the Lunchbox Culottes and Music Class Blouse. Solid favourites to sew and wear.

The culottes have about 4" taken off the length to be more practical for school. These are very appreciated in winter because of the added warmth. Last year she wore her 2 pairs in near constant rotation.

Throwing in a cute photo of the girls in their Oliver + S skirts. L is wearing her Music Class skirt which is hands down my favourite school skirt pattern. Those pleats! That hidden pocket!

I know I will make one for Boo with the fabric I have left over. Just not right now. I am done with the greys!

I love the curve of the collar on the Music Class blouse. Isn't it sweet and girly?

I also made the Hula Hoop skirt, however, despite adding 2" of length it is still too short. She wore it once with some shorts underneath (O+S Playtime shorts actually), but I couldn't stop checking her hemline. This one is for 'oops I forgot to wash the uniform' emergencies only!

See? Too much leg. Daddy wouldn't be happy.

Another 4624 skirt but in woven this time.

Lastly a new jacket. This is not strictly just for school. So I made it a bit special.
We feel a bit in-between the seasons at the moment. Her winter coat is done, here, but it is more heavily insulated and it just isn't that cold yet.

With the wool left over from cutting out L's School Days coat (still to be sewn up) I managed to fit this Uptown Jacket + 1" in length onto the scraps. 

I prefer it with the sleeves rolled up at the cuffs but Boo wanted them down. I just like seeing the Liberty fabric peeking out, it makes me smile!

I used my best wool and Liberty lawn on this baby so I was damned if I was going to make it big enough to fit only a couple of months. I sized up so it will last and also go over layers.

There is something that reminds me of Harry Potter about the whole thing. Maybe it is the longer sleeves and deep hood, teamed with tousled hair and school uniform, but she looks like a little Hermione Granger! I think she is adorable!

Inside is mostly lawn with the exception of the top back yoke. I wanted a bit of extra warmth there so used the wool.

I don't trust my machine to sew buttonholes through wool. I tested on a scrap and true to form, it screwed it up. So I chose sew in snaps and buttons just for detail on the front.

The hood is impressively deep!

The lining feels butter soft against her skin. She is a big fan. The pattern is meant to be reversible and if I hadn't have switched the inside yoke fabric around, she could flip it inside out. But that wool would feel scratchy.

Phew! After all that, you would think I needed a sewing break. 
Thread Theory are having a Strathcona T-shirt sew-along on at the moment which I am intending to follow. I am looking forward to stocking up the male section of our wardrobe a bit.

Saturday, 22 August 2015

A Coat for Winter

Winter sewing plans are being put down early this year. Both girls need warm coats which are the main projects, so I thought I would tackle them first and get them out of the way.

A couple of weeks ago, we went up to Mostyn in North Wales where the HQ of Abakhan fabrics is located and I bought everything I needed for the coats.

Boo already has her school coat sorted, I managed to pick a woollen duffle up in the January sales but she needed a play coat. I had a Farbenmix pattern that was very well received when I first made it 2 years ago and pulling the pattern out, I saw that I only needed the next size up. This pattern goes a long way!

The pattern can be found here. It is a fully lined, A-line jacket that can be made to look very funky or plain depending on personal taste and the fabric used. I used baby cord on my first one and a cotton canvas on this one. 

There are three different pocket options; a large kangaroo pocket for the front, a small pleated pocket for the chest and a smaller accent pocket which could go anywhere. I was tempted to pop it on the sleeve but in the end just left it off altogether.

We spotted the rainbow appliques in a local shop and I couldn't resist, they break the coat up nicely and since I have made it up quite plain, they add some interest.

The lining is a slippery poly-satin in cream. She loves how the coat just slides on. 

The hood is lined in a cotton poplin with little russian dolls. It was a scrap piece that just happened to go nicely with the blue canvas. Although you can't see it, the kangaroo pocket is lined with some blue flannel. It feels so lovely to slip your hands into!

The little neck tab, fixed with a snap and the cuff ribbing ensures that chill winds don't find their way into the coat. I also chose to interline the entire coat, even the hood. I was worried that the canvas would be too thin if we have a cold snap. I used fusible fleece (Vilene H630) which is low volume and works beautifully on clothing.

The hood is really deep too. I forgot to ask her to slip it on but believe me, it really does come down low over her head. Great for keeping her snug.

I knew the sleeves would be long on her from holding the pattern pieces against her, but seeing as it is August and this coat is to see her through till February at least, I wasn't too worried.

She won't need to wear it for a while yet, but it is ready!

Tuesday, 11 August 2015

Getting back into the sewing thing...

I feel like my sewing mojo is back after a brief holiday. I had a few weeks where life took over and I didn't feel much like starting a new project because I would only be able to snatch a few minutes at a time. I was doing a bit of knitting, but that is a story for another day....

After the birthday and end of term activities were done and dusted I sat down and assessed my sewing basket. Dragging my feet I tackled the UFO pile first, knowing it would make me feel better in the long run.

I started a school uniform Jump Rope dress back in early June but it seemed a bit snug on Boo, so I put it to one side knowing I would have to come back and finish it off so it could be put away for L.

I have made a fair few of these dresses in gingham now and they make the perfect summer dress for school. So smart and pretty. It is hard not to love the pattern even though it takes a little while to complete.

I am trying to top up Boo's dresses as she has just outgrown most of them. I tried a Simplicity pattern aimed for Tweens as I have noticed they have quite a good selection of patterns in that age range. Her measurements are taking her beyond some of the regular patterns that go up to age 8 and she is between a 10 and a 12 in the Oliver + S ones. I am entering  bleak territory....

This is Simplicity 6360 and it is a dress with princess seams, godets in the skirt, and a zipper down the back. The pattern itself was simple to follow and I didn't have any problems with the construction.

The fabric is a medium weight denim with punched holes and as with most things, was supposed to be for me. Oh well!

It is a smidge too big. The armholes are the big give away there, far too low for her at the moment. So I will come down a size and check the circumference of the armholes with a tissue fit before cutting anything out. Those godets though... they gave the full twirl factor when she tried the dress on!

So now that I am fully back in the swing of things I dug out my Hopscotch pattern. I have had this beautiful denim sitting on my shelf for a while now and when I bought it, I had this skirt in mind.

The thing I love about this skirt is the pockets. So unique and once you get your head around the folding and pressing directions, they are easy peasy!

I also made the tee from the pattern in good old white jersey. I am disappointed in the quality of the knit fabric though. I can't remember where it came from.... ebay maybe..... it hasn't coped with the seams very well, after washing it is peppered with tiny holes around the bodice and arms. I used fresh needles so know that isn't the problem. Sigh. 

Back to the skirt and this time I actually made the buttonholes. Since you don't need to undo them to get the skirt on and off, I have always skipped that step in the past and sewn the buttons on through both plackets. This time I just fancied doing it the proper way. My machine behaved itself too! No chewing up of fabric or stubborn refusal to complete the buttonhole.

The length was perfect no alterations needed.

This is one of her favourite jobs in the garden. Picking blueberries for tomorrows breakfast! We have a very healthy plant this year and they are starting to turn dark purple.

Sunday, 26 July 2015

A Birthday Dress

I couldn't let July run out without sharing this dress with you. Things are always busy round here this month what with school drawing to a close, end of year assemblies or plays, birthdays and our anniversary thrown in for good measure. 

I managed to get Boo's birthday dress completed ahead of time and she was hopping mad to wear it before her big day.

I chose the pattern, the Hanami Dress by Straightgrain. There are so many pretty versions of this on the web and despite owning the pattern for a while, I had never got round to sewing it up. So it felt a bit special to choose it for a party dress, and that meant making it as posh as possible.

Together we decided on this floral lawn. Ever since Queen Elsa, she has been all about the blue dresses, but I rather like the colour red on her. It suits her. So I was happy when she spotted this on my shelf. There was just enough left over from a previous project to cut out this Hanami with a full circle skirt.

Beautiful details like the flutter sleeves make this dress uber girly. I was a tad worried they would be too flouncy for me but she loves them and so I am happy.

I wanted to break up the mid-section and ummed & ahhed about using piping, but in the end discovered the perfect ribbon in my stash. Knowing it would end up a tangled and threaded mess in the washing machine, I sewed on thread chains around the waist to hold the ribbon in place, and make it removable for washing.

I sealed the ends of the ribbon with a match flame so they wouldn't unravel.

I liked the look of the crossover back version of the bodice. It adds an interesting twist to the dress. I won't lie, the buttons are a bit fiddly and so she has to ask for help in getting them done up and I also had to add a couple of snaps along the edge to stop the opening from gaping. 

If I made this again, I would have to add another inch to the outward edge of the bodice piece to get the edge to line up with the side seam. I had to bring it back a touch from where it was supposed to sit. But that is purely because I am squeezing her into the largest size her and it would have been too restrictive otherwise.

The circle skirt was a massive hit!

Girls love to twirl don't they?!

She wore this on her birthday and I am happy to report that it survived a trip to the zoo!

There may be a few more little girl dresses coming up soon. Little sister has just inherited all the hand-me-downs in the next size up and there are rather a lot of dresses in the wardrobe on her side now. Boo stood in front of them yesterday and (hands on hips) remarked how many dresses L had while she only had about 4. Then looked at me. Pouting.

I actually haven't sewn anything for a couple of weeks. My machine has been gathering dust. So I fired it up last night and got started on a new dress for little madam. I have my orders......