Monday, 17 November 2014

The Sally Dress

It has been a bit since I last blogged - I've been feeling like rubbish and so sewing has taken a back step unfortunately, while I nap on the sofa while zbl has her daytime sleep.  We've also had some unseasonably hot weather recently which has meant the sewing and computer area are like a sauna - not the place to be when you're feeling below par!

Anywho, enough blathering on about that, I'll be fine soon enough and Christmas is coming so my list of sewing has increased and I'd better get on to it!

In the mean time, here is the lovely dress I made to go with the fabulous Anna Cape by Big Little.

This is the Sally Dress. (Please excuse the individual pictures, our computer crashed recently (all my bookmarks - gone!) and all the software hasn't yet been installed by the fixer guy - ie tl) On another note - I took these pics a while back, and I swear she's grown another 2 or 3 cm since then!

Sew details:
Pattern: The Sally Dress by Very Shannon - I got this pattern as part of my Sewing Rabbit Pattern Membership - I made up a size 3T without sleeves.
Fabric: A lovely strawberry printed cotton from (surprise, surprise) Spotlight.
Other stuff: This is a lovely pattern to make up. You make up the bodice completely and there is a bit of that fabric origami required to get the shoulder seams to sit nicely, but the instructions are very clear on how to do this.  I think the pattern calls for 1.5m of fabric, and I had 1m, so I had to do a little bit of pattern laying origami myself and also reduce some of the bulk out of the skirt, but overall I think it looks lovely and nice and twirly - when zbl works that one out!
Because the bodice is fully lined there are no scratchy bits, which is important and the dress was really very popular and I was allowed to take pictures without having to show them all to the model for approval!!
I am hoping by having made a size 3, we might be able to wear this one for a couple of years, or at least a couple of seasons with layers.
I really enjoyed sewing this up, and have since made another one for a little friend who turned 2 - who also approves!

In other sewing activities - I made up one of these for my Mum, she loves it, altho it is huge (it is a OSFA) but she thinks it is super comfy so doesn't care :-)

So next thing on the list is a pair of hudson pants for myself, that I got through the most recent Pattern Parcel (worth signing up for their emails, as they do have some really good bunches of patterns) and a Christmas dress for zbl using this fabric - yes, amazingly I bought some fabric from somewhere other than Spotlight!

UPDATED next things - I'm participating in Ros's Sweet Pouch Swap - Christmas Edition which is very exciting, and also very nerve wracking - I have so many ideas for what I would like to do, but can I get them done in time, and will my swappie like them - only time will tell!

Monday, 27 October 2014

A Big Little Anna Cape Pattern Review

I was lucky enough recently to get to pattern test the "Anna Cape" for Lisa from Big Little.

zbl has not cottoned onto Frozen yet, but my sister is an Anna by name and nature, so it was lovely to try this out.  Also, as it is coming into summer here, having something to cover her shoulders will be great.

Lisa originally made her pattern up with a woolen outer and a lovely cotton lining, but gave us free reign to make it how we wished.  Since we are moving into a warmer time of the year, I decided to make a light weight one instead and chose the green based on the fabulous coloured pompom trim I found.

Sew details:
Pattern: The Anna Cape by Big Little - I made up a size 3T.
Fabric: The outer is a lovely cotton lawn, and the lining is a cotton broderie anglaise with strawberries on it :-). The fabric, pompom trim, ribbon on the collar and button for covering came from (surprise, surprise) Spotlight.
Other stuff: This is a super easy pattern to make up.  The instructions are so spot on too - the only suggestion I had was to mention when ironing to be careful of the pompom fringe (cos I may have melted the odd bit of mine - whoops!)  Lisa recommends a frog clasp for this cape, but since I couldn't find one to match my colour scheme I used a covered button. I used this tutorial to make my covered button, although I didn't have any tools, I just used the back of  a marker pen that had a hole in the bottom, and this seemed to work ok.

zbl really enjoyed wearing this especially with her new dress - I'll blog about this soon.

Overall a very enjoyable sew, and a great pattern and it has sizes from newborn all the way to 10 (my sister has requested one, so I might have to see what I can do to make it a bit bigger :-)).  If you would like to buy this pattern - and you should! Lisa is having a discount until the 31st October 2014 to celebrate the launch.  To get this 15% off, enter the code: ANNA15 at the checkout.


Friday, 24 October 2014

I did it, fist pump! KCW Fall 2014, tick!

So there is quite a lot of self back patting going on here at recently!

I decided I would produce something for Kids Clothing Week Fall 2014, and I actually did it on time and kind of within budget! (I did have to buy some lining fabric and notions). 

Obviously in this neck of the woods we're in Spring, but it is still a transitional season, so I'm hoping what I've made thus far will be useful in Autumn too.

KCW this time round has a theme - storybook, which is very cool, but also made me feel kind of ahhhh, how do I still make what I want and have it a bit themey!

Well little did I know this theme would actually be the making of this project!  

I have finally started making a list of all the things I want to make and some kinds of deadlines, so I don't completely jump here and there, and then totally miss out on a season or a birthday or the likes.
Anywho, on this list for zbl was a vest, to wear over a couple of layers to keep warm on the way to places in the morning but not to get her all sweaty by the time we get there.

Anyway, long winded explanation for the Huntsmaidan vest. (self styled for this photo shoot with these pants, and her best yellow gummies!)

Inspired by Snow White and the Huntsman (it's a long bow I know, but...)

Sew details:
Pattern: This is a mash up of the Reversible Zippy Hoodie and a bit of self drafting (the collar and the welted pockets)
Fabric: This vest is made with corduroy - yes sis, corduroy! with a lovely cotton lining. Both are from trusty Spotlight.
Other stuff: As I said above this is a mash up - the front and back pieces come from the  Reversible Zippy Hoodie that I have made before. I drafted the stand up collar based on these pieces and I think it works quite nicely. I also made welted pockets for the first time - whoop, whoop!  And look how pretty they turned out - I should admit here that I only photographed the one that was perfect and not the dodgy one with the slightly unmatching welt.

I used this tutorial from the lovely and exceedingly talented Poppy Kettle to learn how to do it, and they seemed to work out just as she described!  To make the pockets, I cut out a couple of rectangles of each fabric with the width for the welt and the facing and the facing being a bit longer so to give a deeper pocket.  Let's just say these pockets are a hit with zbl marching around the garden with her hands stuffed in them this afternoon.  I also found this great looking collection of tutorials on 10 different kinds of pockets which I will use for future projects.

The other thing I did was to pop some buttonhole elastic in the back and make a casing for it to sit in so it gathers at the back a bit.  I decided buttonhole elastic as I made it up as a 4T length, in the hope it might last for a while, but gave it some shape so it wasn't too boxy.  I popped a couple of buttons inside it and drew it up a bit, and these can be loosened off as she gets bigger.  The armholes are probably a bit too big right now, and if I was to make this again, I would reduce these slightly, but overall I am very happy with the result and the model thinks it is ok too!

Anywho, I am so pleased that I got something up for KCW, and even more pleased when I realised this goes for 7 days and not just 5, so I can whip up some slightly speedier, less thinking about things that she also needs, like summer pj's :-) Yay!

I also just realised while editing this post, that it has been a year since I started this blog.  I have in that time written 12 posts (shocking), collected no followers or comments (also shocking), but had a lot of fun doing it - and that is the main thing!

Monday, 20 October 2014

Still further back in time - a Recess Raglan

So yes, I have been sewing some stuff recently, but some of it is pattern testing which is not quite ready for release yet, and I am actually forcing myself to do a wee bit of self back patting that I did actually do some creative stuff since March!

So we delve further back into the photo archive to the first sewing project I completed in 2014 - in July - shocking!

I eased myself back into sewing with a simple raglan t shirt for zbl.

Sew details:
Pattern: This is the Recess Raglan that I have blogged about before.
Fabric: The star fabric is a knit I got from trusty Spotlight and the white is some lycra from the stash.
Other stuff: This is a very simple sew and because I was using some firmer weight knit and lycra it behaved nicely.  The toughest thing about this was appliqueing the star on the front. I ended up popping a bit of the stuff I trace my patterns on to to stabilise it and then cut the excess off, which seemed to work well.  
I made up a 3T to give room for growth and altho it is a bit big, she quite liked it and we have worn it a few times. It needs to get back into rotation after having to get a bit of  extra washing TLC after a run in with something chocolate.

I should say this outfit is self styled, she was already wearing the pants, but added the shoes, beanie and ukulele to make a slightly grunge rocker 2 year old.

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

The (not quite) Reversible Zippy Hoodie

Oh my goodness it is cold today - after being 33°C on Sunday it is 14°C here today - but that is spring for you!

Speaking of brrrr, a while back I made my girl a hooded sweatshirt/jacket to get her through winter (and this spring!) and hopefully some of next winter, altho she is growing like a weed, so I might have been being hopeful.

Sew details:
Pattern: Reversible Zippy Hoodie that I think I got as part of a pattern bundle a million years ago (or probably last year)
Fabric: The outer fabric says its a Platinum Fleece (what I would call sweat shirting) that I got at trusty Spotlight becos I knew that zbl would love the foxes on it. The lining was an old Mr Vintage t-shirt that I got for tl, that he never wore, so it was in perfect condition, and the orange went with the outside nicely.
Other Stuff: This is a very clever pattern, you basically make up the outer and the inner hoodies and then sew them together with the cuffs and zip and turn them out through a wee hole in the side seam of your inner hoodie.  There is a little bit of sewing origami (a saying I've pinched from someone but I can't remember who!) but it makes for a very neat sew up.  The only thing I did differently - and this was largely becos I thought I knew what I was doing so didn't consult the instructions - was to attach the hood to the outer and inner pieces before joining it together, whereas the patter calls for the hood pieces to be joined together and then sewn to the rest of the body (if that makes sense).  I think this is so that the body pieces are not completely separate aside from the joins at the cuffs and zip.  I fixed this by topstitching around the neckline at the end when I topstitched along the zip, over the hood and along the other zip side.  I also didn't put pockets in it becos I am lazy, but I really must do this more becos she does love them.  Additionally this isn't reversible becos the zip is not reversible, but honestly a white outer on a 2 and a bit year old would be a nightmare for my washing lady (yes that's me), so not a big deal!
I made a 3T, so to hopefully last longer than 5 minutes (as mentioned above), but with a 2T arm as she seems to have her fathers dinosaur arms rather than my Mr Tickle ones.
I think I'll use this pattern again to make her a sleeveless version for this lovely inclement weather we're having, but maybe with a collar rather than a hood, I'd better get on to it before summer hits (which could be this weekend based on the weather forecast!)

Oh yes, and here is the model in her favourite jacket, on the train with tl to Mexfest at Fed Square.

Thursday, 9 October 2014

Going back further in time

So, I've just consulted my trusty phone pics to see what else I've made "recently" (meaning in 2014!) and found the next thing on the list is the Mara Blouse.

The weather is still getting warmer here, so zbl hasn't worn this yet, so just on the hanger photos:

Sew details:
Pattern: The Mara Blouse
Fabric: I upcycled two of tl's old business shirts to make this wee blouse.  The cutting out was great, the sewing up not so much, which I was quite surprised about.  The plain coloured fabric particularly made me think my sewing machine needed a service, which it probably does, but the next thing I sewed definitely did not create such clanking and stitch missing as this one did!
Other Stuff: I love Marte's patterns (I've made one before), they are always so beautifully put together, and packed with great instructions. They also allow for so much personalisation, be it colour, adding piping or bling, or changing things to suit your style.  For this one I used some store bought bias binding to make a faux piping around the yoke, to match the buttons which I think really makes it pop.  I used the side sections of the shirts for the front and back sections to have a seam up the middle, and this cool panel called a hem gusset (please excuse the fuzzy picture).

Because the front seams were french seams, I thought I should carry on the trend and french the side and arm seams too, and then top stitch them down to keep them flat.
For the arms I used the end of the arms of the shirt so they open with a placket.  I made some bias using the plain blue shirt and elasticated the binding slightly to gather it on cuff, and finished it with a button and loop, like on the front - I need to take a picture of this to show you.

All in all a very fulfilling sew up.  Hopefully zbl likes it!

BTW - Marte has just released a new pattern - the Charles Pants - which I am totally going to buy once I have completed a few more projects.

Monday, 6 October 2014

Selfish Sewing Week Sept 2014 - Some Shorts

So can we pretend it hasn't been 7 months since I last posted something!  Terrible, but lets just say I had writers block and move on.

I have however been making stuff, so I'll start from what I have made most recently, and work my way backwards to March :-)

Selfish Sewing Week was from Sept 22nd to 28th this time, and I actually got something made! Since it is Spring here in the southern hemisphere rather than Autumn, I decided to make a pair of shorts!
I just have to spend a wee bit of time here self-congratulating because the bottom half of my body is not my favourite part.  What with having child bearing hips and having used them to bear a child, in addition to a solid pair of understandings and a(n) (un)healthy muffin top where I once had quite a nice waist, well it all adds up to uggh/bleh/too hard!

Anyway, I was inspired by Jenny to make a pair of Maritime Shorts

Sew details:
Pattern: Maritime Shorts
Fabric: I can't remember where I got this fabric, probably Spotlight, but it is a lovely cotton drill was the perfect weight for these shorts.  The lining fabric was a cotton left over from a wee dress I made for a friend of zbl's, of which I still have lots, which is great cos I love it :-)  The zip was a 6" one I found at Darn Cheap Fabrics.
Other stuff: Well, what did I learn from these shorts. Firstly, it is really important to measure yourself correctly. I was a bit haphazard in this obviously.  I measured and cut out a size 14. Now consulting Mr Google, I find a US size 14 is an Aus size 18 - even I know I'm not that big!  I think next time (because there will be a next time), I will cut out a US 10, but with a 14 length - I am very long on the waist to crotch - hence further pants issues as mentioned above!

So aside from having to take in fabric at the side (a little), front (a bit more) and back (a lot!), these sewed up very easily and quite quickly.  One or two of the sewing steps around the zipper attachment were not 100% clear to me, so I just went with what I thought was right and they seemed to work out ok!

I have yet to wear these "out", but I did spend the afternoon in them after the photo shoot (mwahaha, if you can call it that, more like - how awkward can I look, please don't take pictures of my head, where should I put my arms etc :-)).

I have many other things to share, so I will work backwards to get them onto this site :-)


ps, I really need to learn how to put my pictures on here in a nicer way - something to learn this week.