Tuesday, 31 December 2013

2013: Sewing Review

Is it really 31st December already?! Wow this year has gone fast. When you have little ones I suppose it always does. 

I have had a bit of an up and down 2013 and won't be sorry to put this year to bed. I love the appeal of a fresh new year and we as a family are hoping for great things over the next 12 months. We have two gorgeous girls who are growing fast and developing into two of the funniest people I have ever met. I hope we get to spoil them rotten and see them flourish.

I have put together my collages of sewing projects and to be frank, it took me ages. Not that there were many more than last year, just that each finished item means a lot of personal achievement to me and I got lost in browsing my albums.

I have had so much fun sewing for my girls. New patterns and old patterns have been brought to life and I am glad to say, most of them have been worn constantly!

Seeing as I have a gorgeous girl who loves dresses I thought it only right to showcase all of them together. They have all been O+S dresses this year (with only one exception). 

My favourite, if I had to own up, would be the Jump Rope in the bottom right. I love it on her. It is my first JRD and it will take a lot of beating. The Puppet Show dress I made for World Book Day is also fondly regarded as I remember how happy it made her to wear.

It is not all dresses though! I carried on my Oliver and S love affair with some Hopscotch Skirts (maybe my favourite skirt pattern ever?) and a couple of tops and dresses from the same pattern. This year saw me sew my first Sailboat top in a knit fabric and I quickly became hooked. The striped version below was upcycled from a Boden jumper, she is actually wearing it today. 

For KCW I revisited an old skirt pattern, the Flutter Skirt by Sew Sweet Patterns and although there was a LOT of gathers to deal with I made a very cute and girly skirt. My Ottobre Design subscription was under-used by a country mile but I did manage to make the red box pleat skirt above from one of the issues, which will become a future school skirt pattern. 

I ticked off a couple of pattern busts from my list in the form of the Figgy's Sunki (green dress in the centre), and the Farbenmix Izzy Coat (bottom right corner). They both felt good to make and will be made again next year. 

Clever Charlotte Finch Shorts how I love thee! I hope I make many many more in the future. (top row second in and bottom row second in - both versions worn to death!)

Moving on to the sewing I did for my younger daughter, the selection before me seems pitiful. This is what happens when you are brought up on hand-me-downs. You don't need anything new! Saying that I did manage to produce some cute gingham Puppet Show Shorts (whether she needs shorts or not, that Puppet show pattern is going to get made while I still have a child eligible!). Also the Heidi and Finn Pocket Pinafore is one of the cutest things I have ever made and come summer I hope to see a few more of these in the wash basket.

I made up my first vintage pattern this year in the form of Simplicity 9830. The red dungarees (or overalls - depending where you are from). My version was made from red cord and the size 2 is still being worn now. If I get another chance to make this pattern again I will be happy.

The next selection is of my gifted items, those that got away. For this group of items, the Little Things to Sew book came in very handy. I made the Teddy Bear carrier for my niece, the Tea Party Dolls dress for my daughter (ok, we kept that one), the Bucket Hat for a school friend, Juggling Balls and Bag for a school friend, and the Winter Hood for a school friend to wear in the Christmas play. Phew! So glad I got that book! Enough contributions to the LTTS challenge for this year!

As for me, I made a few things for myself. Not many. My most treasured item by far is my Washi dress. I will try not to dwell on the fact it got snagged by a door handle and ripped down the side. I will make it again. I love it.


Reflections on 2013 aside, I hope to carry on into next year with the same passion, and the same lovely group of Flickr friends spurring me on and being bad influences on pattern purchases (Nicole, Justine - you know who you are!!)

Hope you all have a fabulous 2014, lots of love!

Katy xx

Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Oliver and S: Playtime Dress

It feels like forever since I sewed up a new children's pattern and despite buying this when it was released, I had a few other things to complete first before indulging myself.

This is the Playtime pattern from Oliver and S. The options are dress, tunic and leggings so all in all it is a great value pattern. There have been some lovely versions appearing in the flickr pool and so I asked Little Miss what she would like and followed her instructions.

A long sleeved dress is becoming more appropriate as the days grow colder and this can be made dressy or casual depending on the fabric. Also it can be sewn in a knit fabric or a woven. How great is that?!
My daughter chose the fabric, I don't like it but I won't dwell on it. 
She loves it and you have to pick your battles. She got a dress she wanted and I got to give the pattern a dry run. Everyone's a winner.

It does have a Christmas vibe to it with its sprinkling of gold stars. I added to the festive look by topstitching in gold thread. This was a test of endurance as it kept snapping on me unless I took it really slow. 

The gathers on this dress are beautiful and give it a lovely fullness. The pockets are in the side seam and I have to keep reminding Boo that they are there! They do hide themselves away perfectly. 

I found some white tights with little gold stars over them and snapped them up immediately. Beforehand I was puzzled as to how to style her, the green is a quite a dominating colour (partly why I am not keen) and so it needs to be offset with something subtle.

She chose to wear it today for her school Christmas party and I have to say she looked very pretty. There are a couple of versions in my head now that I need to find fabric for. It is such a versatile pattern that it will be used a lot. I just know it!