Monday, 28 April 2014

The Everyday Skirt

I recently found time to sneak a couple of things in for myself. I have bought a couple of the new Liesl + Co patterns and this is the first one I decided to make. Summer is approaching and I literally have nothing in my wardrobe this time around. You can't have too many skirts!

This pattern (the Everyday Skirt) is super simple to make up and depending on the fabric, this would look great in the day or in the evening. 

The pockets are fantastic!

I always feel more comfortable in blue so it should come as no surprise that I made two plain blue skirts. The first one I made was a size L (12 - 14), and while I really liked the fit and style, I felt I would wear it more if it fitted closer. So I made my second one, this darker blue, in size M (8 - 10) and felt much happier about the whole thing.

This is a twill that I have had forever. I am glad to see the last bits of it getting used up. It is a medium to heavy weight fabric so the gathers stand a bit proud at the front. In a lighter fabric, like the linen of my first version, they fall beautifully. Maybe in version 3.0 I will get the mix of size and fabric right!

Excuse the wrinkles, I was playing on the garden swing prior to the photo and ended up looking a bit crumpled. 

The length is as standard, no modifications. I may add about an inch and a half next time, purely a personal preference. If I were doing a winter version to be worn with tights, this length is just fine for me.

The lighter blue is the size L and the darker one the size M. There isn't much in it but I preferred the smaller one. See how nicely the linen gathers compared to the twill?

I played around and added five rows of topstitching onto the bottom of the skirt. It may be because this blue fabric has been in my stash for years and I am sick of seeing it, but I thought the plain blue was a bit boring. A subtle bit of topstitching gives it some texture.

I would recommend this pattern to anyone. It is a lovely thing to sew and comes together quickly. I don't feel too dressed up for the school run and it only uses 1 3/4 yards of fabric so making a few more is an easy click-and-buy away. A really good wardrobe staple.

Friday, 11 April 2014

Sew Chic Kids Dress for KCW

I finally made something from the Sew Chic Kids book! I haven't had the motivation to do it before and just kept going back to look at the beautiful photographs but I decided KCW was the push I needed.

This is pattern a, Dress with Frilled Shoulders. The fabric was bought locally and even though I grumbled about the colour, I can't deny the drape and sheen of the cloth is gorgeous. I have no idea what the content is, there was no information on the bolt. But it was on the discount rack, so it hopped into my basket!

I worried about the frills being too 'frilly' and standing to attention, but now I love them. They add something to the very simple design of the dress that makes it a bit special. I debated whether to play around with trims or piping but kept it plain in the end. I can always make another version now that I have it all traced off. Sweet and simple sometimes works.

I had to use very small buttons because the loops are tiny. This may be my interpretation of the diagrams and measurements, but they weren't long enough. I have made a mental note to adjust that next time.

The back placket binding sewed up beautifully. It was the one area I thought I was going to make a mess, but thankfully it all turned out well in the end.

While I did topstitch around the neckline, I hand stitched the yoke facings to create a cleaner line on the right side of the dress. My hand stitching is not the neatest but I quite like doing it and practice makes perfect!

She gives a little shiver every time I slip this dress over her head because the fabric is very slithery and slippy. It makes her giggle because she is only used to cottons.

I took my time over the construction of this dress and on day 5 of KCW I only have 3 projects to show. But I enjoyed the challenge of this dress (most of the challenge comes from interpreting the diagrams and measurements, the dress itself is quite simple) and I may sneak another project from this book in later on today when the little people have gone to sleep.

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Hosh Pants for KCW

I had no immediate plans for Kids Clothing Week this time around. I signed up, I always do. I like the spirit of the challenge and it always inspires me to try something new. This seasons challenge has a theme: 'Mini Me'. I shy away from the thought of dressing like my kids or thinking I can get away with star print stretch denim trousers. Who am I kidding? 
But I do have a spot of big sister adoration going on in this house so what better than to feed that while they are still at the cute and cuddly stage. 
No fighting over boys or ransacking each others make up/bags/wardrobes/shoes yet. Oh no, that is way way off in the distant future. So far we are not even thinking about what it will be like for my poor husband when we get there!

The pattern I have used is the Hosh Pants by LouBeeClothing.
I used a stretch denim from Minerva Crafts with a tiny star print design. 
The fabric is very stretchy, almost like regular stretch jersey but with a little extra rigidity from the denim.

Little sister here fell into the measurements for the size 3 but after cutting out the other pair I was a couple of inches too short to make the leg piece. I just went for it and cut out the size 2 thinking that the stretch would work in my favour.

As it happens, the fit on the size 2's is lovely. The legs are a little baggier than the ones I made for Boo, and the waist is not tight at all. A happy result.

The leg panel is cut out in one piece so if you have an interesting print it won't be ruined by a side seam on the outer leg. This also makes for a very quick construction as there are fewer pattern pieces. In total there are only 3 pattern pieces to the whole thing. The waistband is made from two different sized rectangles which you cut out twice for each one, and the leg pieces are cut out twice, you know, like you do for trousers ;-)

The hemming is done first, which gave me sheer delight when I had finished attaching the waistband because I realized that I had finished. No going back to turn things up. Yey!

The hem is completed with a little triangle that is sewn on to secure and tidy the end of the leg seam. Hems are sewn first, followed by the leg seams, then the raw edge of the leg seam is tucked back up and held down by the little triangle.

I did my overlocking first, then sewed the triangle. While I was overlocking I tucked the raw edge into the space and ran the overlocker over it. This held it in place better when I sewed the triangle. In the above photo, the bottom triangle was done without doing this and the fabric wanted to shift about and get stuck under my presser foot. I had to unpick all those loose ratty threads because they looked ugly. The top triangle was overlocked and tucked in at the same time. Much neater.

There, held down by my overlock stitching.

My big girl got a pair of size 6's which was the largest size. She has a lot of leg and the length was perfect on her. You can see the difference in fit between the two girls. L is still in nappies and even so, there was plenty of room. It may have been the fabric but I noticed that L (in her nappy filled size 2's) ended up with a baggy bum after a while. Boo's didn't go out of shape at all. But then she doesn't wriggle as much.

My eldest isn't going to be in this pattern for long but I will use it again for my youngest. They make really great play trousers and are easy to get on and off.

All in all a successful first two days KCW sewing. Next up is a dress from the Sew Chic Kids book that I have been meaning to crack open for a while now. The only downside is that my daughter has requested pink. I will grit my teeth and get on with it, then make her the blue one that I intended to make in the first place.

I hope everyone joining in with the challenge is having a productive week. If you are unfamiliar and curious as to what it is all about, have a look at the flickr pool to see the inspirational clothes others are making.