Thursday, 26 July 2012

After School Pants

I made the After School Shirt a few weeks ago and wanted to make a pair of the pants. Once I had found some fabric I got started. I chose a cotton drill in navy and it was so nice to work with. The right side of the cloth has a brushed peachy feel and is gorgeous. I will be going out to get some more soon. It is a med-heavy weight so will see my daughter through the autumn/winter nicely.

I thought the pattern was simple to follow and the instructions were, as ever, well written. I had to go and check on the O+S website about the very first stage as the instructions conflicted with the image as to which pattern piece you were to start with. As suspected it was just a typo that should have said' pocket lining' instead of 'front pocket'. Good that you can check on the errata updates. So once that was cleared up, I moved through the stages quickly and easily. 
 It was only when attaching the pants yoke that I had a little wobble.

I put the pieces down on the pants leg and they didn't seem to lie flush with the top edge. On the picture (the one in the middle on the instructions above) the edge is curved like my pants leg but my yoke seemed to sit in a straight line underneath. I puzzled over this for a few minutes with my head cocked to one side like I remember my Golden Retriever doing when she was considering something. Probably with the same expression on my face as well.
But I couldn't see how else to proceed so just went for it and pinned it together.

The fabric is a little puckered in my attempt to fit it to the line of the leg. I don't know if I did something wrong or if it was meant to fit like this so it would curve nicely around the waist. Once I stitched it on it seemed fine. So I (still worriedly) moved on.

Everything was fine after that and the pants looked great after stitching both the pant legs together so I knew I hadn't done anything horrendously wrong. 

The ends of the pant legs were a little uneven across the width so I tidied them up with my rotary cutter so they would hem evenly.

Ta Da!

 I made View B (sans ruffles) and used a flowery lawn fabric to line the pockets. When I was rolling the edge of the pocket lining back I decided to leave a very small edge showing on the outside so it gave the otherwise plain pants some contrast. I also chose to use the main fabric for panel piece 11 on the bottom leg instead of a contrast. Next time I will make a fancier pair but I wanted a plain pair to start.

I didn't ask her to stand like a sergeant major for the photographs but this is the pose she strikes when I say "stay still for a minute". I managed to finish these and clear the table just as dinner was being cooked and so it was a quick run around the garden in new pants for a photoshoot before going back inside to eat.

I always worry about the length of trousers, mainly them not being long enough but these were a generous length, and with the ends being slightly tapered towards the ankle, the length sits on the ankle ridge of the shoe to keep it from dragging on the floor. This means that they will last a bit longer and not look ragged as her legs grow. 

I couldn't be happier with these pants, they are a great fit and will definitely make some more perhaps in a lighter fabric for now and then in corduroy (larger size) towards the end of the year.


Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Oliver + S After School Shirt

I recently took advantage of the 25% off at Oliver + S and splurged on two new patterns for my girl. I had been itching to buy the Ice Cream Dress pattern for ages so that was a must. There are so many lovely variations of it on Flickr and the top version is equally cute. But first up on my sewing list was this After School Shirt and Trousers. No fabric to make the trousers yet, but I had this gorgeous floral print left over from the deconstruction of one of my maternity tops (why I was hanging onto it I'll never know. MUST. CLEAR. OUT. WARDBROBE!)

These trousers are from John Lewis and she has worn these so much over the past year. They are very easy to match up with almost everything in her wardrobe. I must make an effort to always have some grey/light purple trousers in the right size!

I always try to make up a pattern true to the instructions/measurements the first time I attempt it and I did so with this one. I think it runs a little short on length for Boo. She would need at least 1" if not a bit more adding on next time.

This is why she kept lifting it up for the photoshoot!

And she never fails to try grab the camera for a quick shot of mummy. She is a better photographer than me.....


Thursday, 12 July 2012

Oliver + S Puppet Show Outfit

I feel bad that all my sewing has been for my eldest daughter and so while I was fabric shopping I made a selection for little Bug who bless her, always gets the hand me downs and never gets anything new.

I chose the bright teal colour to match her eyes which are quite a vivid blue. She always looks great in anything aqua!

I actually finished these a couple of weeks ago but never got around to blogging about them.

Out of all the Oliver + S patterns I have made I can honestly say, this one, especially the top, is my absolute favourite thing to make. And that surprises me! It looks complicated, it looks like I shouldn't be able to construct that cute little peter pan collar and get all the darts nicely sewn in. But I can! And I get so absorbed into the task while I'm doing it.

 That is the beauty of the way the patterns are designed and written. They are a masterclass of sewing in each one. And before making this pattern I had never made plackets or darts and certainly had not attached a collar. 

Now, I still consider myself a beginner dressmaker and so to find that I can make up clothes that look this lovely is such a buzz.

This is only the second time I have made this top and the shorts. The first was a dry run in some scrap fabric. I didn't do anything different this time but felt relieved that I had done a practise one first. Nothing worse than the feeling of cutting into new fabric only to find you have done it wrong! 

The shorts were made of some linen which I bought a large amount of and have seen me through a pair of Sailboat trousers, a 2+2 skirt and now a pair of Puppet show shorts. I do love the look of this colour in linen. The only issue I have with it, is that it is tricky to tell the right and wrong sides apart. And it is a bit slippery to handle, I think it is a mix fabric.

I added some running stitch detail onto the pocket binding. I did have some of the blue fabric left over and have seen examples of contrasting fabric on the binding, but didn't want to tie the shorts down to only being worn with this top. There are some lovely examples of running stitch floating around flickr and pinterest, for example here, here & incase you need a tutorial here.

I really enjoyed the hand sewing. The method requires a stitch of about twice the length of the gap in between. I measured out and marked on the stitches with fabric pen before stitching over the marks. I'm lucky that I had some embroidery threads in my sewing box that I picked up for 20p in a charity shop some time ago. I don't even know why I bought them but am now glad I did! I used 3 strands for each row which I judged to be the right thickness.

I was undecided about whether I should put the stitching on the leg cuffs as well. I thought it might be too much but couldn't make my mind up. I popped the photos onto flickr and asked the oliver + s group what they thought. (they are the experts after all!)
All the responses I got back were positive on how they were now so I was happy to leave them.

I chose some Christmas fabric to line the top. The colour of the mug and the mittens jumped out at me when I was comparing to the main fabric and besides, you have to put something fun in there when it is for one of your kiddies right?

Saturday, 7 July 2012

Oliver + S Family Reunion Dress

This is Boo's favourite new dress. I have made her the blouse version of this pattern (see here) and it really suited her. The pattern is the Family Reunion Dress from oliver + s.

I haven't yet attached the buttons to the front tab, mainly because I didn't buy enough. I bought 8 and annoyingly lost one to the knot hole in our floorboards. (We have original solid oak floorboards that are fast becoming a bit gappy. Sad to say I am considering carpets. A shame to cover them up, but when you have little knees crawling over them and curious little fingers poking around down there it is a serious consideration.)

I used the sewing machine to attach the buttons for the first time. It has always been a function I shied away from and now I have done it, I feel a bit silly for being so apprehensive. It is SO much quicker than sewing them on by hand!

I always have to size up when making Boo's clothes because she is tall and here I have made the size 6. I'm glad to discover that the dress is a great fit. It is roomy enough to allow for growing room but doesn't look too big at the moment.

Also, it's quite good for running around the garden barefoot in too!.....