Saturday, 22 August 2015

A Coat for Winter

Winter sewing plans are being put down early this year. Both girls need warm coats which are the main projects, so I thought I would tackle them first and get them out of the way.

A couple of weeks ago, we went up to Mostyn in North Wales where the HQ of Abakhan fabrics is located and I bought everything I needed for the coats.

Boo already has her school coat sorted, I managed to pick a woollen duffle up in the January sales but she needed a play coat. I had a Farbenmix pattern that was very well received when I first made it 2 years ago and pulling the pattern out, I saw that I only needed the next size up. This pattern goes a long way!

The pattern can be found here. It is a fully lined, A-line jacket that can be made to look very funky or plain depending on personal taste and the fabric used. I used baby cord on my first one and a cotton canvas on this one. 

There are three different pocket options; a large kangaroo pocket for the front, a small pleated pocket for the chest and a smaller accent pocket which could go anywhere. I was tempted to pop it on the sleeve but in the end just left it off altogether.

We spotted the rainbow appliques in a local shop and I couldn't resist, they break the coat up nicely and since I have made it up quite plain, they add some interest.

The lining is a slippery poly-satin in cream. She loves how the coat just slides on. 

The hood is lined in a cotton poplin with little russian dolls. It was a scrap piece that just happened to go nicely with the blue canvas. Although you can't see it, the kangaroo pocket is lined with some blue flannel. It feels so lovely to slip your hands into!

The little neck tab, fixed with a snap and the cuff ribbing ensures that chill winds don't find their way into the coat. I also chose to interline the entire coat, even the hood. I was worried that the canvas would be too thin if we have a cold snap. I used fusible fleece (Vilene H630) which is low volume and works beautifully on clothing.

The hood is really deep too. I forgot to ask her to slip it on but believe me, it really does come down low over her head. Great for keeping her snug.

I knew the sleeves would be long on her from holding the pattern pieces against her, but seeing as it is August and this coat is to see her through till February at least, I wasn't too worried.

She won't need to wear it for a while yet, but it is ready!

Tuesday, 11 August 2015

Getting back into the sewing thing...

I feel like my sewing mojo is back after a brief holiday. I had a few weeks where life took over and I didn't feel much like starting a new project because I would only be able to snatch a few minutes at a time. I was doing a bit of knitting, but that is a story for another day....

After the birthday and end of term activities were done and dusted I sat down and assessed my sewing basket. Dragging my feet I tackled the UFO pile first, knowing it would make me feel better in the long run.

I started a school uniform Jump Rope dress back in early June but it seemed a bit snug on Boo, so I put it to one side knowing I would have to come back and finish it off so it could be put away for L.

I have made a fair few of these dresses in gingham now and they make the perfect summer dress for school. So smart and pretty. It is hard not to love the pattern even though it takes a little while to complete.

I am trying to top up Boo's dresses as she has just outgrown most of them. I tried a Simplicity pattern aimed for Tweens as I have noticed they have quite a good selection of patterns in that age range. Her measurements are taking her beyond some of the regular patterns that go up to age 8 and she is between a 10 and a 12 in the Oliver + S ones. I am entering  bleak territory....

This is Simplicity 6360 and it is a dress with princess seams, godets in the skirt, and a zipper down the back. The pattern itself was simple to follow and I didn't have any problems with the construction.

The fabric is a medium weight denim with punched holes and as with most things, was supposed to be for me. Oh well!

It is a smidge too big. The armholes are the big give away there, far too low for her at the moment. So I will come down a size and check the circumference of the armholes with a tissue fit before cutting anything out. Those godets though... they gave the full twirl factor when she tried the dress on!

So now that I am fully back in the swing of things I dug out my Hopscotch pattern. I have had this beautiful denim sitting on my shelf for a while now and when I bought it, I had this skirt in mind.

The thing I love about this skirt is the pockets. So unique and once you get your head around the folding and pressing directions, they are easy peasy!

I also made the tee from the pattern in good old white jersey. I am disappointed in the quality of the knit fabric though. I can't remember where it came from.... ebay maybe..... it hasn't coped with the seams very well, after washing it is peppered with tiny holes around the bodice and arms. I used fresh needles so know that isn't the problem. Sigh. 

Back to the skirt and this time I actually made the buttonholes. Since you don't need to undo them to get the skirt on and off, I have always skipped that step in the past and sewn the buttons on through both plackets. This time I just fancied doing it the proper way. My machine behaved itself too! No chewing up of fabric or stubborn refusal to complete the buttonhole.

The length was perfect no alterations needed.

This is one of her favourite jobs in the garden. Picking blueberries for tomorrows breakfast! We have a very healthy plant this year and they are starting to turn dark purple.