Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Oliver + S: Hide & Seek Dress

Ha! I finally took the plunge and made up this dress. This is after having pattern and fabric in a tempting bundle on the side for a few weeks.

I knew two things when I bought this Hide and Seek Dress pattern; the first is that I would love it (true love comes easily with any O+S pattern) and that I wanted to make a black version first. This is the size 7 and I am very happy with both fit and length. No need for any mods on this one.

I chose a cotton-linen blend in solid black and to jazz it up a touch, a multi-coloured raindrop print from Timeless Treasures. I wanted the front yoke panel and welt pockets to be in the contrast and the back yoke in the solid black. For some reason I am not sold on the contrast back.

The linen blend fabric does crease like a devil and these photos were taken after a car journey so not looking as pristine as off the ironing board. Still it is a comfortable and light dress to wear. The length is generous and I could get away with dressing her in an additional petticoat layer and tights when it gets cooler.

The back view looks like a little girls dress from the Victorian period. Maybe it is the sombre colour but I can visualize an apron tie creeping around the back waist here.

She was so excited to have a new dress, it has been a while since we updated her selection. I had trouble getting her changed out of this later on in the day.

The style of this dress ticks all the boxes for me. The length of the sleeves is perfect for our current August weather and it will transition well into Autumn with a long sleeved tee underneath. The sleeve cuffs are finished with the same technique as the Lisette Portfolio Top which is really impressive and professional looking.

I enjoyed the construction of the dress but have to say - phew! that side panel to middle panel seam is a long one to sew in one go!

I will have a tunic version on the go as soon as I get some other things done. The kids go back next week and I am already planning more sewing time. Maybe a bit of housework. If I must. But mostly lots of sewing!

Friday, 22 August 2014

School Cardigan: Blank Slate Pattern

I haven't done much uniform sewing over the holidays and my to-do list was actually quite small for school prep. I had this cardigan and a possible new school bag in mind. I was thinking the messenger bag from LTTS book, but I haven't got there yet. Too many days out!

Boo's school cardi managed to last her through reception and year one (making it a great buy) so I was tempted to take the easy route and just buy another one. However, I spotted this pattern the Cool Cardigan from Blank Slate Patterns which was an exact replica of the one from the shop. And us sewing mum's just can't resist the challenge of recreating something!

It doesn't have raglan sleeves but I doubt anyone will notice. I can also get the school embroidery put on at the shop so will try to get that done pre-term. No promises though.

This is the comparison with her old one. Pretty close eh? As you can see from my photo's, I made the markings for pockets, thinking I might add them on, but in the end I chose to stick to the original as much as possible.

The sweatshirt fleece is from Ebay. Most online stores that sell sweatshirt fabric stock the same range of school-type colours. This was a good price and I bought some matching ribbing as well. I thought I would use the ribbing for the button band and waistband, but in the end I only used it for the cuffs.

The fit is fantastic. I made the size 7, could probably have got away with the 6 but I like knowing I won't have to renew it come January. The sleeves sit past her wrists, just. Perfect for keeping the chilly wind out in the playground.

I did all the construction on the overlocker and the fabric was a dream to sew. The buttonholes caused me grief (as per usual) especially that bottom one. I didn't interface that section of the waistband and it made a great deal of difference. The reverse of the buttonhole is butchered. (mental note to interface next time)

This is a very speedy project and I have a size 4 cut out for L in a grey marl knit. It is seriously snuggly and so will make a good layer for the winter.

Thursday, 7 August 2014

Ottobre Knit Dress

I have decided to do a batch of knit sewing for Boo as she is quite low on t-shirts and leggings. When contemplating knits I know the best place to go for inspiration is my Ottobre Design magazines. There are always so many lovely knit projects.

I have some patterns set aside for tops - the Figgys Celestial Tee fits well and so does Rae's Flash Back Tee. For Leggings I will make a few of the Figgy's Sunki's and  some O+S Playtime as well. Both of those fit well.

When the knit needles are in you might as well get a few projects ticked off in one go!

This dress caught my eye. The Seesaw dress from the 3/2013 issue. The one on the cover which I always assumed was made from a woven is actually a nice basic shape jersey dress. The collar didn't appeal, so I left it off. 

The knit fabric is a nice stretchy cotton-elastane mix that I bought from Remnant House. The ribbing is from the only place I ever buy ribbing, the marvellous Kitschy Coo.

I have made the 128cm seeing as she is only 1cm off. It is certainly going to last the rest of the summer.

I used clear elastic tape to stablize the shoulder seams and tried using it to gather the skirt as well. The gathering didn't go as well as I had hoped. I found it a bit fiddly and to be honest would rather gather by basting stitch. I don't think the seam lies flat enough with the tape there. My method needs practice!

I could easily use the top half of this pattern to make a vest top. The length is perfect and it all comes together so quickly on the serger.

I just ordered some more knit fabric off an Ebay shop as my supply was low. It is always nerve wracking buying fabric on Ebay so here's hoping it will be good quality when it arrives.

Saturday, 2 August 2014

Figgy's Banyan Shorts

I find myself eating my words. Back in March when I made some Picnic shorts I thought that they would see us through the summer. That 3 pairs of shorts would be enough. Pffff what was I thinking?! The weather has been glorious. Even when it has rained, it is still warm. Lovely.

I wanted to make a pair of shorts that were new to me. I could have made another pair of Finch shorts seeing as I know Boo has moved up to the next size but this pattern has been neglected in my pattern baskets for too long. 

I fancied the challenge of the zip. I have never made a pair of trousers/shorts with a functioning fly and fly shield before and found that although the instructions left me baffled at certain points I muddled though. I understood what to do but would have appreciated specific placement measurements with regards to where to place the edges of the shield and how far back from the zipper teeth the stitch line should be. As a result, the zipper pull sticks out below the button more than I am happy with. I wish it tucked away nicely.

Things like that only make me more determined to do it again perfectly, so I will come back to the pattern again with those niggles in mind.

I made the size 8/9 which is the largest size. Another pattern on its last stretch for this girl.

I am a sucker for pleats and the finished effect they have on these shorts is glorious. I love how they sit on her. She has room to move (run, jump, cartwheel, twirl) and there is enough ease and flexibility to allow her to do all these things comfortably.

The darts shape the back over her bottom so when she sticks hands in pockets they don't pull tight across the back. The pocket bags are HUGE! I can get my whole hand in there. The way the opening is cut on the slant makes them blend in with the pleats.

The fabric is a stretch drill which is ever so soft. I almost wish I could wear these.
She will wear these regularly for her Scouts meetings over the summer and if they prove themselves then I shall make the longer pants version for when it gets colder.

I also paired them with another Figgy's pattern, the Celestial Tee. I only took a brief snap of this during Kids Clothes month, as yet un-blogged. It is a great pattern too. I love the dipped hem and the relaxed fit.