Wednesday 28 August 2013

This one has a little car....

One of the books that I'm reading over and over again at the moment is Dr Seuss' One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish.

I'm pretty certain that I could recite it in my sleep. I've been hanging out for a rainy day at work when someone might bring in a particularly wet dog and I can turn to the nurse and say "Say, look at this wet pet. You never yet met a pet, I bet, as wet as they let this wet pet get"

Anyway, back to sewing.... When A gets dressed (amidst the screaming) she's been asking for her "car top". I hadn't had a clue what she meant as she doesn't have a car top. There's a top with vespa scooters on it, but no that wasn't it. Finally,  we happened upon a photo of her from summer wearing a T-shirt with a car appliqued on it. So that was the car top.

OK, handy mummy to the rescue. I can do a long sleeve version of that. She chose the fabric, she chose the car picture. So now, this one has a little car.....

But do you think she'll wear it?....

Sorry folks, more pegged up clothes photos coming up:

Pattern: Oliver + S Field Trip. Size 2 straight up. Cotton/lycra

And a close up of my car. I used fusible web to attach the car bits then handstitched the edges with a blanket stitch

 I've been a bit bothered by my necklines on knit sewing as the seam allowances don't stay down and the neck tends to roll in, so this time I tried sewing it down using the double needle. Have to say I love the look of it.

Next I need to try a little bit of bias binding to cover the seam allowances and give the insides a really clean finish. Then I think I'll feel like the master of T-shirt sewing.

There are so many wonderful illustrations in the Dr Seuss books I can see myself doing lots of T-shirts with images on them. I should try Transfer Artist Paper and save myself some sewing time, especially if it's to be consigned to the won't wear it drawer. Sigh.

From there to here and here to there, funny things are everywhere......

Wednesday 21 August 2013

I've got another one of those ideas...

... that just has to be made.

It all started with an awful bit of purple fleece fabric that was gifted to me, along with some off white fleece knit that I used in my Roller Skate Flip.

As an aside I salvaged the too small sleeves from that dress and cut the rest of the Sailboat top to match. I let A choose the buttons in the hope that she'd like the top if she'd chosen the buttons. I made the top, she screamed at it, I got cross enough that I just shoved her into it and we went out for the day, with her plucking at it and carrying on as if it were made of burning hot prickles for the first 10 mins. After that she wore it happily and it's now a favourite and in high rotation. Maybe I should dress her more forcefully more often. :)

I decided the purple fleece would be perfect for a jumper (you might say sweater, sweatshirt or something else altogether) for A with a particular print on the front. She declared the print "too scary" and said she'd rather an aeroplane.

The whole point of the exercise was this particular design, so the purple aeroplane jumper will be for another day. Not to be thwarted, I ran the idea past P who said it would be cool, but not in that icky purple colour. It would have to be green. OK, but that meant buying more fabric. oh well, I can manage that...

So now I just needed to create the perfect jumper to paint my design on.

The style I want is a round neck, loose-ish fit with ribbed cuffs and waistband, a bit like this lovely example circa 1980-something.

I can't bring myself to pay for a pattern on Ebay that I feel I should be able to find in garage sale. Or better, I'll happily pay for one that could be adapted and is from a modern, independent designer and I can download it.

The two patterns that I already have that are somewhat similar are the Flashback Skinny T and the Oliver + S Field Trip. Both of them are really far too slim fitting for what I want but since I had the Field trip pattern out after making A's pants I thought I'd try upsizing that.

I cut a size 7 width to make up for the fleece having almost no stretch, and kept the length at size 5. My plan had been to cut the neck band almost twice as wide as the pattern suggests to try and get more of a ribbed cuff neck look. Then I was gong to add ribbing at the cuffs and the bottom hem. However my perfectly colour matched leftover ribbing from Spotlight is awful. It stretches, a lot, but has no real memory and just looks awful as trim.

I should have taken a photo of the neckband as it was when I first attached it as it was truly disastrous. My salvage was to fold it in half (back to the original pattern's width) and then stitch it down using the double needle. that actually worked quite well. But it wasn't looking at all like the sweater I wanted, so I just finished the sleeves and hem with the double needle.

So here's another fleece top I hadn't planned to make, that I'm not going to paint a design on, but which P wanted to wear immediately and has hardly taken off since. Score I guess.

Now, if anyone can recommend a good pattern that is either what I'm looking for or could be adapted somewhat (eg a hoodie without the hood) and please, do you know where the good quality, thicker ribbing for cuffs can be found?....

Sunday 18 August 2013

Can I buy a model please?

I've been sewing what I think is just about THE cutest outfit.....

....And I do have a pretty cute daughter. But do you think she'd team up with the outfit for the sake of some blogging pictures? Definitely NOT!!!! I'm starting to wonder if I should raffle off one garment a month on the blog as I can't stop making things and she can't stop saying no to me (sigh).

 First up was a wee pair of Size 2 Field Trip Cargo pants. I've made two pairs of these for P and when Oliver + S had a recent half price pattern sale of course I just had to have the smaller size for A.

The fabric is a designer stretch, cut corduroy that I found on sale at The Fabric Store. I bought a metre and a half each of this pale aqua and some pale pink.

It seemed a bit stiff at first and I almost got a great photo of the pants, during construction, standing up entirely by themselves waiting for the waistband to be ironed. As I sewed it softened a bit with handling and I think they'll be superb after a wash or two.

This time around I did all the topstitching with just a single thread of co-ordinating cotton so I saved myself all that re-threading.

The feel as you run your hand along them is divine, and while my daughter agrees they're lovely to pat she still wasn't putting them on for a photo.

So, here are some more pegged-up pants pictures...


And then, to go with my Cargo pants I had just enough Miller Miller flannel leftover from these pyjamas to make a little Music Class blouse. Bless the fabric stash fairy as those aqua dots perfectly match the pants.

This is definitely a multi-night garment for me. There's one evening's work just in those little pintucks and assembling the front and back panels. Another in the collar and preparing the sleeve plackets, and then 1 or 2 more, depending on how late I'm prepared to go, in setting the sleeves in, sewing the cuffs and then seven little buttonholes and buttons.

One thing I do save a bit of time with, is in not hand sewing the collar down before edgestitching it. I use 1/4" Heat'n'Bond quilters fusible web and just iron it together. Then there's no pins to sew over and everything remains nicely where it should be so the inner collar looks (almost) as neat as the outer.

The same trick works well on cuffs. I made this shirt once before in a flannel and I just love it. This time I remembered to sew the buttons on vertically. How professional of me that I know that kind of stuff now. :)

So there's my lovely outfit for A. hopefully I'll get some modelled photos another day.....

Here's teddy, putting in a cameo as Iron Man and photo-bombing the blog shoot (at P's insistence)!

Friday 16 August 2013

Tuesday 13 August 2013

Guest posting at Oliver + S (Eeek!)

Hello little blog audience, today's a BIG day as I've been invited to guest post on the Oliver + S blog.

As you can imagine, I'm more than a bit excited,... totally stoked in fact!* Come and have a look:

I'm blathering on about haute couture for kids, topstitching, trompe l'oeil and pattern mashing.

Thanks Liesl. Having a little spot on your blog is a real treat for me!

* Sure sign of extreme excited-ness or slight drunken-ness (or both) is when I go a bit 'Aussie'

Wednesday 7 August 2013

For my intrepid nephew!

My gorgeous little nephew is turning three. You'll have to take my word for it that he's cute cause he lives too far away to be photographed and blogged about.

I hear that he goes out into "the woods" every Friday with his kindergarten, and in winter he travels the streets by snow sled! What could such an intrepid little kid need for his birthday?...

How about the Explorer Vest from the Little Things To Sew book from Oliver + S!

This was project some-very-large-number from a book that I thought I would only make one or two things from, and I'm planning a blog post for another day to rave about the book and summarise my endeavour to sew it all.

The vest is very simple, unless like me you choose the bellows options for the pockets. Then it gets a bit more time consuming but, as always, the instructions are superb.

All of the fabrics and trims were from my stash (or if my brother's reading this: they were carefully selected just for this project, with much thought and at great expense) and I happened to have some blue snaps to match. I'd bought some lovely wooden buttons but my kids overruled me saying that snaps were much better. I even had A volunteering to do an instructional video to teach her cousin how to "do up, undo snaps like me"

 A bit of hand sewing just cause I can now.

I was inspired by this great little vest in the Oliver +S Flickr group and so I added some straps for some explorer accessories!
The kids have, unknowingly, sacrificed a couple of lanyards from their "great tangle of lanyards" courtesy of our zoo, gallery and museum memberships. From those lanyards I stole the detachable snaps and metal clips, then used my own cotton tape  to add some knick-knack straps.

We tripped around the toy and hardware stores today for a compass, mini torch and a pair of binoculars....

All ready to be mailed off to our little explorer friend for his birthday.
Happy birthday Little Adventure Dude!

Look up there, I made buttons!

Not the crafty type, although the idea of carving my own wooden buttons or making nice baked clay or resin ones does appeal....

Nope, I made techy, internet linky buttons and I made them with chain rings around the outside. Yay for The Flipper is in bed and I'm dreading him pointing out, in the cold light of morning,  that my chainring image courtesy of google images is of some nasty cheap chainring and I should have googled an XTR image.

With thanks to this blog post: My Favourite Things: How To Add Buttons for the computer help.

There's lots of pictures in my Flickr pool that you're welcome to browse, but I don't really use my Facebook profile (except to get discount sale vouchers) and the Pinterest account is brand new for the sake of the button. However, I'm feeling very much the grown up, crafty sewing blogger all of a sudden so just don't go clicking and expecting much.... Yet...

Thursday 1 August 2013

Book Report: Wonky lines but still an A-

When the Oliver + S Book Report pattern was launched I instantly loved it. I bought the pattern but then didn't sew it straight away as I was probably sidetracked by some silly project sewing.
Then a really curious, and quite unprecedented thing happened.... I saw versions of the dress popping up in the Oliver + S Flickr group and I actually became less enthusiastic about the dress.
Then I saw some solid colour versions like this one and then a brilliant colour blocked knit version and loved them
So, like a primary school love affair, the Book report and I were back on again.

So in my effort to sew all my patterns at least once it was Book Report overdue time.

Now, before you spot the glaring fault with this dress I'm going to point it out and have it out in the open so we can get on with loving the pattern.....

That front bodice panel is cut wonky. This is the second time I've used this great, self striped, heavy knit fabric and the second time I've failed at cutting it straight. I made this dress for myself and managed to cut one sleeve wonky. That's only noticeable at the cuff whereas this dress has a distinct lean to the right (if only it had leant to the left. I could have lived with a socialist dress much more comfortably than a conservative one!)
I'd already sewn all the neckline which is the only really fiddly part of the whole dress before I noticed so I just couldn't be bothered recutting the bodice and starting over. There's enough of the fabric left for another garment (or maybe two) and I will get it right one day. I guess my stripe/pattern matching luck had to run out sometime, and here is proof of my occasional ordinariness in this regard :)

As I sewed the pattern I grew more and more fond of it. The details of the neck closure and the pleats are lovely and no buttonholes is always a recipe for quick, fun sewing. The sleeve cuffs are nice and simple with no plackets, yet the sleeve folds nicely to come together with the button and fabric loop.

And those pockets , love 'em.  (Do you think I remembered that she'd put that little fluffy, prickly, fall apart in the wash, plant thing in there?)
I sewed a straight size 2 with the only alteration being cutting the hem straight instead of the curved shirt tail hem.

I'm happy to say that this dress was very well received and A really seemed very happy, snug and comfy in it. Whether for book reports or seed pod studies it gets an A+ from us, with just a little bit taken off the final grade for my crappy stripe matching.