Friday, 17 May 2013

Parsley Pants Pattern Review

Note: If the sight of an unkempt garden gives you the jitters, look away from this post now before you start twitching. After one glorious weekend of sunshine it has rained and rained and rained... my garden has turned feral. Don't say you weren't warned.

The pattern is the newly released Parsley Pants PDF by Made by Rae. It comes in a size range of ages 2 -10 which by my standards is a pretty fantastic range for one pattern purchase. 

I made these for my eldest who is nearly 5, she measured in the size 6. 
The joy of a PDF is that you only print out what you need and in this case all the pages you need are grouped together and you are told which ones to print out for the size and style you want to make.

I used a floral linen, nice and lightweight.

The unique thing about this pattern is the way each leg is cut out as a whole piece. This saves joining two panels together and creates a seam free outer leg. There is also no waistband piece to cut out, as the top edge of the pants is folded back down to create the casing for the elastic.

You can make each pair of pants different by mixing up the different options.
For the waistband you choose from Flat-Front or Elasticated. You can then leave the pockets off entirely or choose from a pouch-style patch pocket or a box pleat pouch.

Then the fun bits; add leg knee patches or a outer leg tuxedo stripe, or a front leg pintuck.

I had a hard time choosing but in the end went with the version that had tempted me to buy the pattern in the first place. Flat-Front and Pouch Pockets.

Boo fit in the size 6 and the fit is long and loose with great ease for movement and play. The legs flare out gently towards the bottoms creating a casual look. Looking at the fit on her I could totally afford to do the pintuck version, which narrows the finished hip measurement by 1". The fit would still be great.

I am playing around with the idea of making a pair of size 5's with added length for a slimmer looking fit. She wouldn't be in them for long though. However with it being such a quick pattern and having a younger sister to pass everything down to, it wouldn't be time wasted.

The cutting out directions and sewing instructions were a breeze. If you sew regularly, you may find you only need one read through before cracking on with the pattern. They are very quick to make.

There are some good helpful hints along the way in the instructions and where one of the construction stages for the various options comes into play, the page numbers are given so you can flick through and find your place easily.

Although I didn't need a replacement pyjama pant pattern I can easily use a combination of this and a flashback tee to create a comfortable and quick pair of pj's. Leave off the pockets and extras, do an elasticated waistband and you are good to go!

Thursday, 16 May 2013

Washi Dress by Made by Rae

I finally got around to making this dress. I bought the Washi Dress PDF when it first came out and kept putting it off out of sheer fright at making a hash of it. My fears as it turns out were all a bit silly as it is reassuringly easy to make.

This is a seconds fabric and has got a couple of quirky marks on it, like the line across the pleats. Damn. Luckily not so noticeable in the flesh.

I made up a muslin for the bodice to see if the darts fitted correctly and to my joy, they did! I was able to jump straight into the construction without any need for fiddly dart adjustments. 

 I chose to finish the facings by folding them to the inside and zigzagging over the edges. The finish on them is actually really nice and they sit smoothly inside the bodice. I made the scoop neckline instead of the 'u' so the sewing was nice and simple at this step.

I even did the shirring! Ha! This is new territory for me, I have never shirred anything before. Rae's guide was nice and clear but I did reference one of my books to see if I was doing it all right. I kept the stitch length at 5.0 while shirring and the dress gathered beautifully. One thing to note however (and bear with me I am a newbie) is that I did the first two rows on a half full bobbin of elastic and they didn't gather well. So I rewound the bobbin full and tried again. This time was perfect, instant gathers. I just went back over the first two rows again and they caught up with the rest. Weird, but this seemed to make all the difference.

Rae's instructions didn't say to knot the ends of the elastic but my book did, so I tied the ends of each two rows together at the side seams and this held the elastic in place.

I took my time with this dress but still got it completed in two days. The fact that the pockets are cut out within the main skirt piece made the side seams quick to sew.

The pleating is enough to give the front of the dress some volume, but not too much that it feels matronly. I can't tell you how much I love the pockets!

The bodice fits beautifully and feels comfortable. The combination of the darts fitting in all the right places and the shirred back, makes you forget about what you are wearing and there is no need to be constantly fiddling or adjusting the dress anywhere. Also as an added bonus, it completely covers your bra straps - always be thankful for clothes that manage that!

The fit is perfect. This Washi Dress is definitely one of those patterns to make a few staple versions of. I really like the lightweight denim ones I have seen. I must try the tunic version as well for colder days when I want a bit of Washi but with the warmth of my jeans.

 As well as making my dress, I have been a busy bee and made a pair of Parsley Pants also by Made by Rae. It seems to be 'Made by Rae May' in my house at the moment. I wonder if I could fit in a Flashback tee before the month is out just to keep that going?!

I will blog about these pants later, but for now here is a sneaky peek.....


Saturday, 11 May 2013

Puppet Show Shorts + Bucket Hat Gift Set

One of my daughters friends has a birthday coming up. This little girl is one of my favourite children from the morning trip to the playground. She is an absolute darling. She always comes and says hello to my other daughter and makes her giggle in her pushchair, so I wanted to make something really nice for her.

I had a meter of this fun and summery print which was enough to make a pair of size 5T Puppet Show Shorts and a Bucket Hat from the Little Things to Sew book (also a free pattern here).

Because I don't have an overlocker I lined the shorts with some soft white cotton so they wouldn't appear obviously homemade. It was as simple as cutting another set of main leg pieces and making up another pair of shorts to slip inside before the leg bindings and waist band went on. I wouldn't make them without a lining now as I think the overall effect is just perfect. No itchy seams and everything is smooth and neat.

The hat is made to be reversible so I just kept it simple with a pinstripe fabric in pink and white. This fabric is slightly brushed, it will feel soft against her skin.

I want to keep the shorts! I love the Puppet Show pattern but my big girl is out of them now *sigh*. The set is wrapped up and ready to go to prevent any further temptation to put it in my younger daughter's wardrobe!

Sunday, 5 May 2013

Family Reunion Dress - a bit later than planned

Why is this late? It was one of my Kids Clothes Week projects.

I started this on Day 5 and then life happened and I had to leave it. I finally finished it yesterday morning.

I have only made the dress version once before here. It is one of her go-to dresses so I wanted to ease my laundry turnaround and make her another.

I modified this one by changing the pleats to gathers. I have seen a top version on Flickr that used this modification and it was so lovely I have always wanted to try it.

I fear that my gathers turned out less than perfect. I didn't spend enough time spacing them out so I'm not over the moon with the result.

I have always loved the details of this pattern. The topstitching around the bottom hem adds a small amount of weight to the bottom of the dress as well being a delicate feature.

The scoop of the neckline is just beautiful.

I made the size 6T just like the last time because it still fits perfectly after so many months of wear. It's really only the hemline that has got a bit further up her leg!

I have one more item of children sewing left to do before I spend some time on my own wardrobe. The weather is warming up and I feel sadly lacking in anything suitable. So next up a pair of Parsley pants then onto a Washi dress for me. I have owned that pattern for so long I feel shamed into doing something with it!