Friday, 26 April 2013

KCW Days 3 & 4: Ruffles Ruffles Ruffles!

Don't let it be said that I don't do girly. This is as good as it gets! Ruffles ruffles everywhere!

The pattern is the Flutter Skirt by Sew Sweet Patterns. I have only made this once before but it has such a girly summery vibe about it that I just had to try it again.

Three tiers of ruffles with a flat front waistband and elasticated back. I made a couple of modifications to the pattern. I didn't make the bow ties at the back. The main reason being that I wanted it to be simple enough for her to get on and off herself, and felt that the long ties would just get in the way.

The bow ties should get inserted into this part of the waistband seam and cover the elasticated part at the back

The second thing I did differently was to line the skirt.

I don't have a serger and although all my seams were pinked to finish them off (I thought zig zag stitching would make it itchy) I wanted it to be as soft as possible against her skin. So I self drafted a skirt lining.

The difference it makes to the skirt is well worth the extra effort. It adds a bit of volume and weight to the whole thing. And, well, it just makes it feel of a better quality.

I didn't intend on using this fabric. I originally had a floral one set out for it, but as it happens I didn't have enough fabric to do the whole thing. I would have liked the whole skirt made out of the same fabric but when tried to fit all the pieces onto this (my second choice) I couldn't quite fit the third ruffle on. So I went with white. 

The fabric is Storyboek Two - Pebble Stripe Multi. It is the second print I have purchased from this line which I love. The cotton is so soft, it was a real pleasure to sew with.

I also like the fact that when it comes to choosing a top to wear with this skirt, I could choose any one of the fabrics colours and it would have a completely different feel about it. Better get cracking on a blue or yellow tshirt as her draw is looking a bit empty


Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Kids Clothes Week Day One & Two: Hopscotch Skirt

First up from my list is the Oliver + S Hopscotch Skirt. I haven't made one for a while and really enjoy the construction of this skirt so it was a good one to start with.

I had to stretch this project over two days because of work. Below is where I got up to last night before I called it quits and headed off to bed with my laptop to see what everybody else taking part in KCW had got up to.

If you are familiar with the paper version of this pattern, you will know that this is the end of the first page of instructions. Front waistbands on, pockets attached, side seams sewn. A good place to stop for the night.

I had to wait until naptime to complete the skirt, but it was a good long nap and so my first item is done! 

I chose to sew triangles onto the pocket corners like on the Puppet Show shorts as pockets get a lot of use around here and there have been some repairs done on that area in the past. This should hopefully prevent that. Thinking about it, I have never had to repair a pair of PS Shorts, so this obviously works!

The fabric is a lightweight cotton poplin and folded beautifully when I was constructing the pockets. I have given myself a hard time in the past when making this skirt by choosing heavier fabric (denim, twill) so this was a lot easier to make this time round.

My model was very pleased with it when she came home from school.

I didn't do any buttonholes, just sewed them straight on. I also used buttonhole elastic in the waistband so it will last through the summer. The skirt is nice and light so will be great when the weather warms up.

Next up on my KCW list is a layered ruffle skirt in a pretty floral cream and pink. This challenge is destined to be girly!

Thursday, 18 April 2013

Kids Clothes Week Decisions and Prep

KCW is nearly upon us and I have decided to have some structure around what I make this time. I wanted to get as much done as possible on the last one, but then, I always have a list as long as my arm, so nothing new there.

I am narrowing it down to three patterns and these are the ones I am making.

The Flutter Skirt by Sew Sweet Patterns - I have made this before in a smaller size but this one will be a size 6T, minus the bow ties at the back.

The Family Reunion Dress by Oliver and S - surprisingly I have only made the dress version once before and seeing as it is her favourite (and most worn) piece of clothing I thought another one should be made soon. Plus I am earning brownie points by doing it in pink (she has been pestering for ages).

The Hopscotch Skirt by Oliver and S - an instant favourite and a very quick sew. 

These are my fabric choices for each pattern. If I get through these three I will make a few Hopscotch tops to go with everything.

So these are my plans, how about you?

Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Tablet Pouch

I recently came across a pattern shop for all sorts of cute and clever bags, pouches, clutches and things. As luck would have it they were having a pattern sale so I snapped up a couple of different ones. 

Each member of my family seems to have a different type of laptop / netbook / tablet / kindle or whatever so I bought the Idea pouch (a play on words for an ipad case) which is this one and also a laptop sleeve for myself. 

I love this pattern! It is so clever and makes good space for all the bits you generally carry around with you when taking the tablet out for a walk.

A tad on the plain side? Well yes but there is a reason. I have made this for my dad and he would look a bit silly carrying anything more flamboyant.

The main fabric is black denim and I chose this to be hardwearing.

Inside it does get a bit girly, but he is okay with that. The lining fabric is a lightweight poplin. The two fabrics sewed up really well together. Everything is either interfaced or has fusible fleece attached which provides a little security for your device which snuggles nicely inside.

The inside pocket is just nice and roomy, clear of any additional pockets, but you could add some if you wanted. 

The exterior pocket is pleated adding extra room inside for bulky items. There is a pen pocket with slots for six pens on the original pattern brief. This can be easily tweaked if you wanted to change one to fit a charger or a perhaps a glasses case. 

My mum requested a couple of loops on the inside flap so she could attach a strap for carrying it around. They often go for long walks (as most retired folks have the time to do) mostly along the beach and would want to take their things with them easily. 


Thursday, 11 April 2013

Sailboat in Knit - why did I wait so long?!

I have made a fair few of these tops in woven fabric but never in knit before. Oh. My. Goodness. They are SO great in knit!

This fabric is beautifully soft and it has been languishing at the bottom of my 'to recycle' pile for months. To tell you the truth it is one of my favourite jumpers that met it's demise in our old evil washing machine. In its last days before it went bang, our machine decided to destroy random washes. My precious jumper came out covered in black stains. Impossible to shift. I shed tears, many many tears. It is cashmere for goodness sake! Why?

This brings me on to my heart embellishments. Not just pretty. Functional. They cover up the black bits and add some interest at the same time. Boo loves them.

Their placement is completely random and I like the look.

I used plain white knit from an old t-shirt for the facings. So this project really cost me nothing. (casting aside the price of Boden jumper)

It is an exquisitely soft, thin knit. Really warm yet not bulky. Great for layering.

I made her usual size 6 for this. I was a bit worried about it being too big in knit fabric. I wasn't sure how it would fit her. As it happens it is perfect. I will need to layer underneath anyway but that doesn't mean the outfit is too bulky for a coat afterwards. She always shies away from putting a jumper/cardigan over her pretty dress or top. But this time the pretty is on the warm layer. Mummy wins!

I didn't think I was going to have much success putting buttonholes through this fabric so the buttons are sewn on through the layers of the shoulder openings. The neckline is nice and accommodating so there is no need to have functioning buttonholes anyway.

Nanny and Papa bought her a new umbrella. All ready for those April showers!

Saturday, 6 April 2013

Sew Liberated Esme Top

This pattern was an instant purchase for me. As soon as I had seen the new pattern releases from Sew Liberated, which by the way, I would happily make all of them, I ordered this straight away. I liked the yoke detail and the sleeve length and could imagine this fitting in to my everyday wardrobe.

The patterns have a format I haven't seen before. The instructions are intentionally basic and within them you are given a code to enter in on the Sew Liberated website to watch a step by step video tutorial. This is helpful, but personally I would liked to have had everything I needed inside my pattern envelope. I entered my code and watched along in the background, some steps needed this video, others I found easy enough to do on my own. Personal preference there I suppose. Some people like video tutorials, some prefer written ones.

The first stage of the construction is to finish all your raw edges with a tricot stitch. I was unfamiliar with the tricot stitch, but familiar with Meg's method of finishing edges prior to sewing. I have used her patterns before from her Growing up Sew Liberated book.

Back to the tricot stitch. I didn't know my sewing machine did one. After looking in my manual I found out it did. Hurrah! You have got to love a sewing pattern that teaches you something about your machine.

Here it is.... stitch number 5 on my machine.

The video explains the need for the tricot stitch over a regular zig zag. It is made up of 3 stitches per zig and per zag and this stops the stitches from bunching up the edges of the fabric as you stitch.

Here it is on the raw edge of my work. It irons nice and flat and doesn't steal any of the seam allowance. I had to do a comparison to confirm this (naturally) and they were right, the stitch below is the regular zig zag. See how the fabric is puckered?

In the process of attaching the bib, you have to do a bit of folding fabric out of the way to get a finished appearance with the facings. It all looks nice and neat from the inside once you are done. I took a photo of each step as I went along.

The photos show the back panel right side up with the front panel right side down on top.

Photo 1: Sew bib nearly up to the shoulder edge, leaving 2" free at the top. Fold that flap of facing fabric back out of the way. Go back and sew only the exterior fabric to the front panel.

Photo 2: Attach the back facing and after pressing the neckline, unfold it and match up the raw edges of the front and back facings.

3. Pin 

4. Sew in place and press the seam allowances open.

5. Fold all the facings back into place on the wrong side. The last 2 photos show the finished top from the inside and the outside.

The rest of the top was nice and simple to construct.

I chose five small pale blue buttons to finish off the bib opening and I sewed them straight through all the layers without doing buttonholes.

The top has pretty gathers to the front yoke.

The sleeves aren't gathered at the top of the shoulder but at the cuff instead. This creates a puffed sleeve at the bottom with a nice deep cuff that rests over the elbow.

This top has a nice summery feel to it especially with the floral print I chose. The fabric is a cotton poplin. The suggested fabrics for this top are cotton, voile, double gauze or flannel. I want to try a voile as I think the drape would be lovely.

I made the size 14 and despite falling bang on the measurements for bust and hip, the top is 
too big for me. The main body is too wide and I will have to go back and take it in. In the photo above I am keeping the sides from looking huge. It is obvious I will have to go down a size next time.

 Despite this version being too big, I think it is a beautiful top and a really great pattern. I would highly recommend trying it out, especially if you are a Tova fan and fancy making something slightly different. The shape of the bib is feminine and delicate and I really like it.

Wednesday, 3 April 2013

Set Sail for Summer

Taking inspiration from Cherie's recent Japanese Sewing Book Series I traced out a pattern from one of my books. I chose pattern A from Girls Lovely Clothes. A short sleeved t-shirt style top with a bow tied neckline. 

I used a lightweight knit fabric. Very lightweight in fact. I had some trouble with the edges curling as I was trying to sew. I had to apply some interfacing to the neck binding as a result of this because the folds weren't staying as crisp as I needed them to be.

The pattern pieces are the same for two other patterns in the book so I traced out the biggest variation of the pieces and folded the lines back to cut out the pattern I wanted. I guess I will have to go back and make the others now I have done all the prep work! 

This is the 120cm size and the fit is nice and roomy. I think on my other Japanese pattern attempt, I screwed up the seam allowance because it came up small. This time I made sure I was doing it right and I had no problems.

The little anchors made me feel all summery and happy and so staying with the nautical theme I pulled out a pair of Oliver and S Sailboat Pants and I think they make an outfit fit for seaside walks in the sunshine. 

I really like the keyhole fastening at the back. It turns a normal looking top into something fancier.