Saturday, 29 December 2012

Oliver + S: Hopscotch Top

My first tentative attempt at knits! I bought the pattern to force myself to try the top. I really need to learn how to sew with knit fabric but have always been a little scared.

It went ok. A few little hiccups but I was determined not to be put off. I used a t-shirt of mine that sat in the draw more often than it came out. Yellow is not really my colour unless I have a tan, otherwise I look jaundiced. It was also a little too tight and made me look busty so to my husbands dismay, I cut it up.

I kept the original hems intact. Sleeves and bottom hemline were both the original ones. I unpicked the neck binding and reused it because it was ribbed and I thought it would look better than cutting a fresh strip. Besides I didn't have a lot to play with and it made sense to reuse it.

There was a logo in white across the chest of the original top and some of it had to be included in the cut. As I saw this as a practice run, it didn't matter.

(the brand logo just sneaking on here as I used the pre-done hems)

So, I said there were hiccups... here is where I bodged it. One of the neck binding edges didn't make it into the stitched seamline of the yoke on my first attempt. I had to unpick. New discovery - unpicking a stretch zig-zag on knit fabric is NOT easy! So I had to tuck it back through and re-sew into place.  It looks so uneven! Grrr....

I do love the style on her though and as a bonus I now have something to match the yellow and blue leggings she got for Christmas!

Thursday, 27 December 2012

Oliver + S: Denim Hopscotch Skirt

So there I was busily sewing a Sailboat Top for my niece when the postman delivered this lovely parcel! 

Apart from when I order the PDF patterns, which come straight from the Oliver + S website, I always order my patterns from Backstitch. They send them out incredibly fast, which I feel is always important when sitting at home waiting for patterns. Plus they have a really good range so if you are based in the UK, have a look at their site.

This skirt is a birthday present for a school friend of my daughters. There have been so many parties recently. I hope it calms down soon! You can't go wrong with a denim skirt so I feel like this is a safe option and a perfect chance to test out a new pattern.

The skirt itself is easily put together, with a front placket feature held together with buttons. The pockets are interesting, they involve a few origami moves to get the folds right and they work beautifully with the simplicity of the skirt. 

All the time I was making this I kept recalling a skirt my mum used to wear back when I was little. I will have to go through the photo albums when I get time because I remember her wearing something quite similar.

The orange buttons were my daughters choice. Apparently that is the little girls favourite colour. I can honestly say from meeting her that she is completely bonkers and a big bundle of fun, so the colour is probably just right for her!

I made a size 5T here. The size is just right for my little one so I won't have to get my tracing paper out again when I make one for her. All in all, a very sweet skirt. I am finding it harder and harder to choose which O+S pattern is my favourite. Everytime I try a new one, it goes into the number one slot!

Monday, 17 December 2012

Chrismas Presents all sewn up!

I feel like I have been glued to my sewing machine over the last few days! 

I wanted to send my nieces some handmade clothes this year. I spent ages deciding on what to make and chose the Sailboat top and a Sunday Brunch Skirt for G who is the eldest. Now the skirt was one of my KCWC items but it hadn't been worn, not surprising given the amount of skirts in my daughters wardrobe. The pink corduroy was bought to go with the Japanese print anyway so it makes a cute outfit. 

I made a bit of an effort to go the extra mile on the finish of this top. I wanted it to be perfect. I finished the inside seams by tucking them over to the inside and zig-zagging to secure them.

For my youngest niece L I had a dilemma because I don't have many patterns in the size 3T bracket. I wanted to make them both Oliver + S patterns. I only had the Puppet Show pattern that would work, so I browsed their website, caved in and bought the Bubble dress PDF. I am so so glad I did. What an amazing pattern. I love it!

Now L is a cute little bundle of blond hair and blue eyes so when I rummaged through my stash and saw this cornflower blue I knew it would be perfect.

Ahh those little cap sleeves just kill me with cuteness! Sewing the curves on the bodice took some concentration but they really are beautiful.

The pattern calls for lightweight fabric like batiste or broadcloth for the lining. I used a very lightweight white cotton that used to be a mens shirt. It is extremely soft, has a peachy feel and feels heavenly next to the skin. I am happy thinking about how comfy this will feel on her.

The next items on my machine will be Bubble dresses for my own children. I think they will be perfect for our family Christmas party. I need to make a 2T and a 5T. Hopefully the 5T will fit my eldest. She is currently a 6T within the O+S ranges but the measurements are close so fingers crossed.

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

My First Tova

First of all let me say that I am slightly embarrassed by how long I have had this pattern and not done anything with it. It must be over 12 months now. I bought the downloadable version and it has sat quietly on my laptop, until now.

I made a muslin first to test the fit and all seemed good. I made up the XL size as it measured up right in the bust. The sides may need tweaking a little on my next one. It would be nice not to have so much fabric around my middle, it feels quite full. I would either need to take a larger seam allowance to just bring it in a bit (if I was using the same fabric weight again) or use a lighter fabric so it drapes better. I used a quilting weight cotton in bottle green for this one.

I wore this all day once it came off the machine. First to a children's party in the morning and all the way through to drinks with my family in the evening. It is such an easy top to wear!

The front opening does flap open quite a way so I would always wear a tank/vest underneath but that is my usual style anyway. I chose to give some structure to the plackets with lightweight interfacing. In hindsight I would only need to do that again on a lighter fabric. Quilting weight stands up quite well on its own. The plackets have softened in the wash so I like it even more. 

The sleeve length I adore, especially with the cuff which always hovers over my arm without actually touching it. I have this weird dislike of sleeves that gather around my elbow. I don't like the feeling. Even when I push my sleeves up to work better I have to pull them straight down again because I realise it is uncomfortable. Like I say, weird.

I am not going to let much time go by before I make another one of these. I would like to try the dress version as it might make winter a bit more glam. All in all a really good pattern to follow and a very useful top to have in your wardrobe!