Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Kids Clothing Week - First finished project!

One of my sewing pledges this year is to try some of the other 'views' on the patterns I already own. I already sewed up another version of this dress for school uniform and it was in heavy rotation.

I wanted something for fun this time so spurred on by KCW I made the uber-girly version.

I was up a bit later than usual last night completing the bodice on this dress, leaving only the skirt and gathers to do today. Those gathers! You think I would have learnt my lesson from this skirt, but here I go again with the ruffles.

I only managed to get a couple of photos, my girl was not feeling well today and so I didn't want to push my luck.

Those of you who have read this blog before will recognize the fabric as that from my Washi dress. It was torn (breaking my heart) but I managed to salvage as much fabric as possible in the hope I would be able to make something from it. I may not have been able to cut everything in one piece as a result, but I think I get away with it because of the gathers.

I also sized up for this dress, the school dress was a size 6 and it didn't seem long before it grew too small. It was especially short towards the end. I would add about 3-4" onto that view if I were to make her another for school so it lasts longer. This is the 7T and it has enough growing room to keep me happy. 

Monday, 27 January 2014

Pattern Testing the Mortmain Dress

The beginning of last year saw me do my first bit of pattern testing. The dress is The Mortmain dress by newly launched Gather patterns. They are London based and they have recently launched their first two patterns, a cute peter pan collar and this lovely dress.

I like the formal fitted style of the dress as it creates a really nice silhouette around the waist. The bodice and skirt are separated by a band creating a definite distinction between the shaped waist darts and the box pleats of the skirt.

The back is highlighted by an exposed zipper. It its the first time I have tried a dress with one of those, and while it wasn't the sort of finish I prefer (don't hate me, but I am an invisible zipper kind of girl) it was fun to experiment with the different look.

(I took a photo of the back of the dress but it has gone missing off my computer so you will just have to use your imagination!)

This was the first draft of the pattern and there have been a few tweaks made by Caroline and Sandra along the way, but I can't imagine there were many major issues as the fit was great and the length was just right for me. It got me working hard on my bust darts and fitting to my shape but the end result was lovely.

I like the idea of doing the waist band in a contrasting fabric to break up the run of the dress a bit. I may try it again with that in mind.

The box pleats are a lovely touch to the skirt and are nice and deep, giving the skirt some body.

I made mine out of a poplin weight cotton and it felt just right. The bodice is finished off with facings which can be fixed down if desired. I found the ones around my armholes needed tacking down to stop them moving about.

All in all a great pattern to have in your sewing arsenal. 

Saturday, 18 January 2014

Oliver + S: Seashore Dress

This was one of the first sewing patterns for children that I coveted but the last one I got around to making up. I got distracted by a few other patterns along the way!

It is part of my 'prep for summer' regime that both girls have had new sundresses and it is still only January. Boo is out of the size range for the Teaparty dress that I made for L so I purchased the Seashore dress pattern at the same time.

This is made up from quite a stiff cotton. Whether the stiffness will disappear after a few washes I don't know. I will keep my fingers crossed it does. It is 100% cotton but it holds creases like linen. 

She is over the moon with the dress, no exaggeration! It hasn't come back off again after these photos were taken and seeing as it is only 5 degrees outside, I have had to convince her to put on a cardigan.

The gathers are so sweet on the skirt panel and I especially like how the gathers incorporate the pockets too, so you really don't see them right away. If I had to have a negative about the pockets, it would be that they are quite small. I would prefer to make a deeper pocket bag next time as I can't see more than a couple of seashells fitting in these ones!

One bonus about photographing items afterwards is that you see things you missed. I was looking at this thinking ' have I taken out the gathering stitches?' Nope, I haven't. Must do better.
The fit of this dress is perfect for my girl as she is quite tall and slender. The princess seams and dropped waist make her look very long in the body. I love this pattern and am only sorry I waited so long to try it. 

Saturday, 11 January 2014

Lisette Portfolio

I bought this pattern 15 months ago. Sssh don't tell anyone it was languishing in my stash for that long!

A while back I had the motivation to cut out the pieces for view C, the top version. Then I put it to one side and forgot about only to pull it out again last week. When I looked at the pattern again I worried it was going to be too short. I am about 5 7" and the top is more cropped than where the hemline of my tshirts usually fall. I asked the advice of the the lovely Nicole and she said to add a few inches on the bottom. Seeing as I had already cut out the pieces, I improvised and added a band to the bottom.

I cut a strip 8" deep by the length of the front and back pieces (the front is ever so slightly wider than the back) and folded it in half lengthwise to make a nice neat band to the bottom. It worked a treat. I will remember to add the extra length on next time but I also quite like the look of the band.

The detail of the front yoke is pretty and feminine. I didn't add any extra width to the gathers as my bust measurement left enough ease anyway. I fell into the 14, the 16 and rather alarmingly the 20 for my waist. I have a thick waist and am obviously an odd shape. I made the 16 which turned out fine across my bust and under my arms, but feels too roomy around the neck and hips. I will have to blend sizes next time for a closer fit. 

There is no setting in of sleeves on this top which was wonderful. the kimono style sleeves are finished with lovely deep cuffs that were really satisfying to attach. The finish is very neat!

And finally, I had to wait for the weekend for my photographer but you just cant rely on your husband not to put you off when you are trying to pose. I won't tell you what he said!

Oliver + S: Tea Party

I am quite excited by this dress! 

It isn't that the pattern is super cute and I enjoyed making it. That is a given. But that I have only ever made this little girl one dress before. Can you believe it?! 

It is mainly because this time last year she was still struggling to walk. She is double-jointed and  it really held her back. Her ligaments were too bendy and she needed to build up her muscles to support her weight. Not the case now! You should see her on the walk to school, she is like a rocket!

So now that I can safely put her in skirts and dresses more without them hindering her, I knew that this pattern could be given a whirl.

I was a good girl and used up some spare fabric from earlier projects. This is the size 2T and so I easily fit it onto what I had left. The Red Riding Hood print is a Japanese linen (Kokka?). When I showed it to L she was quite animated about the pictures.

The flare of the skirt on this dress is absolutely gorgeous. When she sits down I adore how it falls into a perfect little semi-circle. Very lady-like!

Now roll on the summer so I can make some more.