Friday, 31 October 2014

My Kids Clothes Week Round Up

I started KCW with a very rough plan of what I wanted to achieve. My big girl needs more trousers. Jeans, joggers, leggings are all outgrown. 

So this was my list at the start:

  • Clever Charlotte Raven Pants (size 8) Beige Corduroy - for Boo
  • Figgys Banyan Pants (size 4) Grey moleskin - for L
  • Titchy Threads Small Fry Skinny Jeans (size 7) Grey moleskin - for Boo
  • O+S Class Picnic Top (size 7) Seersucker - for Boo

I also have an ongoing knitting project that I am dipping in and out of (but not getting much done). My knitting speed is quite relaxed and I am at a step that I need to concentrate on, so no distractions.

Also my Mum was visiting this week so we had a few days out and things to do in the midst of everything. As a result, I only got 2 out of the 4 items on my list ticked off. I just caught up with the third and am starting on the fourth now.

I made up the Raven pants first and they are fitting in well with our cooler weather. 

I made up the size 8 as that is where her measurements fall but could go down a size to make them fit better. Her waist measurement always puts her in a bigger size, which means I have to size up through the hip and leg. I think if I could adapt these to a fly opening, then she could go down to the size 7 and they would sit better around her middle.

Saying that, these are good play trousers and the colour goes with everything. 

Next up (and still within the time limit) I made up this Picnic Top. I got this fabric free within an order when I couldn't get the print I wanted, and it was originally set aside for pj's. On a whim I decided to make it up into a top to pretty up jeans and a cardi over the winter. This is only my second version of the Picnic top, but it is so satisfying to sew up that I want to make a few more in some solids. 

The bonus is that my daughter doesn't have to worry about which is the front or back with this one, they fit the same!

Just out of time for the weeks challenge was a pair of Small Fry Skinny Jeans. I did cut them out in the challenge week though, so they count right? 

The fabric is a grey moleskin that I bought for a song on Ebay. I truly wish there was enough to make myself something with it but I unselfishly cut out both girls a pair of trousers and am very happy about it. They will both have something soft and smart to wear.

This is my first time with the pattern and I am thrilled with it. The sizing is spot on and the instructions are so thorough it puts other patterns to shame. There are clear directions on every stage and different options to use. I used a full fly on these jeans as Boo is old enough to get herself dressed, but the half fly option will be perfect for L. Can't wait to get started on a pair for her!

The soft grey picks up the grey leaves in the Picnic Top too!

I found a jeans pocket design on Pinterest that I really liked so I copied it and it turned out great!

I have already started on the Banyans for L which I also cut out last week. Having made that pattern once before I am hoping it will be plain sailing. 

I need to make a strict list of items that need making up because we now have the fabric to replace the lounge curtains and I want to get those done before Christmas. Also I have a request from my SIL for some Christmas presents. Once I start on those, clothes will have to wait!

Tuesday, 7 October 2014

The one that nearly ended my love of sewing

The title says it all, I had such a hard time sewing this coat that it nearly broke me! 

Living in the UK a good waterproof is essential and I wore my beloved Regatta wind/rain/bomb proof coat every day last year until it eventually started to fall apart. Don't worry, I got my money's worth!

I wanted to make my own this time round and saw this fishtail parka in an Ottobre Design Women's magazine that was perfect. Long enough to keep my upper legs warm and dry on the rainy walk to school, lots of pockets, a high collar and a deep hood. Just what I would look for in a shop bought version.

I wanted something lightweight and breathable so bought a polyester microfibre from Pennine Outdoor (thanks Lightning for the shop recommendation). The great thing about buying it from an outdoor specialist is that I could get all the hardware for it in the same basket. The only thing I bought separately was the lining fabric but that could have been sourced from there too if I was feeling lazy.

The Ottobre instructions left me so exasperated at times that I nearly gave up. I never knew how much I took Oliver and S instructions for granted until I started this project. I would have given anything for a diagram at various stages. 

The very first step was to install the welt pockets onto the front panels. I haven't attempted them before but usually get a grasp of construction techniques fairly easily, but without pictures?! No way was this going to be easy. I looked at the O+S blog post which was super helpful and covered the basics, but the pocket pieces on this coat were a bit different and so I was still puzzled. Ottobre says there is a guide on their blog, if you can find it let me know, because I searched and came up with nothing. There is a visual step-by-step for these particular welt pockets in the preceding children's issue 4/2013 so if you have it great, this is what I used to make sense of them. 

The hood is fantastically roomy and pulls tighter with a drawstring and toggle if you need it to stay put. Nothing worse than having to hang onto your hood in a rainy gale whilst pushing a pram and looking after an older child. Whilst carrying school bags. Are you with me?!

There is also an elasticated section around the brim which makes it a bit snugger.

I made the size 44cm and was very pleased with the fit. The length is just right and the drawstring waist means that I can cinch it in so it doesn't look too boxy.

Those welt pockets on the chest area take some getting used to. It is actually really comfy to have my hands at that level and because of natural body heat, it is a warm place to keep your hands. But does it look like I am fondling my chest? I don't know. I can see my husband finding those pockets too appealing to ignore!

I did nearly give up several times and because of a stubborn refusal to admit defeat, I have been a misery to live with over the past two weeks. My apologies have already been uttered and sentiments discussed between myself, husband and children. This was not a happy project and although I am feeling some warmth now that it is all over, for me sewing is part of what I do because I love it. I didn't love this. 

I was empowered to write a proper review of the pattern over at Sewing Pattern Review. I could only find one person who had made this before so thought my two-pennies worth might help someone who was struggling with it too.

I need a comfort blanket and so am having a day off before diving back into some Oliver and S patterns to nurse my wounds with.