Thursday, 21 May 2015

My Favorite Oliver + S Pattern

I am over at the Oliver and S blog today talking about my favorite pattern. 

When Rachel asked me to contribute I jumped with joy at the chance to talk about my chosen pattern, the After School Pants. They have been a staple in my daughter's wardrobe for the last few years and are such a fun item to sew.


Head over to the blog to see what I had to say about this fabulous pattern....!



Tuesday, 19 May 2015

A Vintage School Summer Dress


So there I was in the middle of having a meltdown when the most ideal girls dress pattern landed on my doorstep. The reason for my distress was this. I have always used the Oliver and S Jump Rope dress for my girls school summer dresses but upon measuring her this year, I discovered that she was in the last size and knowing how the pattern fits on her it didn't look as if I could use it again *sob*. I was hoping for more time to use it!

I made up a bodice in the size 8 and tried it on her but it didn't have a lot of wiggle room and she looked uncomfortable. Her waist measurement made it too snug. 

So I was delighted when this vintage pattern arrived. It was perfect for school. 



It was sent to me by the lovely and very generous Nicole. Thank you so much Nicole!! At first I thought she might squeeze into the size but upon rechecking the size chart, my hopes were dashed. Ebay to the rescue! I had been looking for a replacement pattern but nothing was in Boo's range. Why did it never occur to me to check vintage patterns?! After all, the style of summer dresses hasn't changed since I was at school.

After seeing this perfect pattern I tracked a larger size down and bought it immediately.


The pattern has three variations. A pleated skirt with long sleeves and buttoned cuffs. Short sleeves with a gathered skirt and self fabric belt. Or a gored skirt with side zipper closing.

I went for version 2. Self fabric belt, gathered skirt and short sleeves. Oh did I mention the inseam pocket? We are beyond thrilled about that!


The fit is nearly spot on. She will need more room in the waist as the buttons and snaps are a little strained, but it is easier to get in and out of than her old Jump Ropes because of the way the placket is extended into the dress skirt.

 I should have got a picture. The skirt is slashed at the top for about 3", bias bound along the raw edges and folded into the gathers so the opening is concealed. This is all secured by snaps. (look carefully into the gathers on the photo above and you can just see a bit of the contrast binding). It all means that the bodice placket opens up enough for the wearer to ease into.



I like the look of the belt too. It brings it all together. 
I have left it off today because she has PE and I think it will be fiddly for her.

I fully intend to make another version because it is a brilliant pattern. Now at least she can get out of her grey skirts and wear a dress (which she loves doing). 

It is also great to know that when I have L at school that I will be able to make this pattern for her in the smaller size and of course my beloved Jump Rope pattern will become useful once more.

Monday, 11 May 2015

Time for some pretty sewing


I really needed to let off some girly sewing steam after a batch of sewing some much needed basics. So I chose the girls a pretty floral print each and selected an Oliver and S pattern.


I bought this gorgeous Liberty print when we visited London in January, Boo chose it herself so it was the perfect fabric to make her something with. It has been a while since I made the Ice Cream top and it is such a great summer staple.


This is my first project with Liberty lawn and it is as divine to sew as everybody says. I really want to make myself something now! When she tried it on she told me how nice it felt against her skin.


The purples and pinks bring a couple of cardigans out of retirement from the drawer too. It is not warm enough yet for summer tops without the extra layer on top and these will do nicely. The one above is an In Three's Cardigan knitted by me and the one below is knitted by my mum. She wears the long sleeved one a lot anyway but it looks so pretty paired with the Liberty print.



On to some sewing for the recent birthday girl. The Tea Party Sundress in a size 4. Her last version was a 2T. I don't know how we managed to skip an entire dress size.

I adore this pattern, it is everything you want in a little girls dress.


I chose this beautiful fabric for L because they are her colours. It is from the Fly Away collection by Phyllida Coroneo and I used another of the prints from that collection for my Carousel Dress here. I just love the blues and greys!


I have to say, she is very fond of this dress. It went on without a fuss and she is old enough to actually realize that I have made something just for her. And that makes her feel special. I get a coy smile and a cuddle. My heart is happy just to have that moment.


This time I made the dress without any flat piping, I wanted it to be quite simple. The bodice curve isn't lying as flat as it should and I am stumped as to why. I hope a trip through the wash and a good press will help sort that out, if not I will try to redo my topstitching.


The skirt has a gorgeous flared shape. Very sweet and girly.


A special dress for a special girl.


Thursday, 7 May 2015

Colette Patterns: Negroni Shirt


I am delighted to have finished up my first Negroni Shirt. Now, the pattern has been with me for a while, lying on my shelf, silently accusing me of neglect. I made up a muslin before Christmas last year and everything was pretty good, it needed a few tweaks to the sizing and some length taken off the arms, otherwise my test sew eased my worry about this being in some way difficult.

I own the PDF version but would suggest, if possible, go and get the paper pattern. The printing and taping together took a long time. Lets put it this way, I always trace off my patterns as standard but sometimes with adult ones I cut them to my size knowing (unlike childs patterns) that the size I need will stay fairly constant. This one I traced. No way was I going through having to put another print-off together again! The printed Colette patterns are beautiful anyway so if you are considering it, go for paper. #teampaper


I had to blend sizes on my final shirt. I used the xxl for the shoulders (because my man has shoulders like Superman) and graded back down to the xl from the bottom of the armscye and beyond. This made the shirt less billowy as the muslin had proved to be.

I used a French Navy linen from Minerva Crafts which I bought about 5m of last year. We like navy a lot in this house and linen will never go to waste. I have used this fabric to make myself some short culottes and a Firefly Jacket for Boo.

Navy isn't the best for photographing though. I used wooden buttons which were a specific request from hubby. It was a good choice, they suit the casual nature of the linen. 


I kept the shirt length the same as the pattern dictated but took 4.5" off the sleeves. They are still a bit too long. He doesn't like short sleeved shirts but will always roll his sleeves up to mid-forearm. Lucky for me really as I stuffed up the buttonhole on one of the cuffs and did it on the wrong end. If he were to wear it down, the placket would look twisted but seeing as he never will it is concealed. The cuffs are a bit tight to button up so I would add an extra 1/2" to the sleeve ends and cuffs on the next one. 


He is chuffed to bits with it and I feel like a good wife. I should put him on the sewing list a bit more often. I do have a growing collection of Thread Theory patterns to try out.


(I already have been told under no circumstances will he be modelling the Comox Trunks on the blog..... spoilsport!)