Sunday 25 October 2015

KCW: P's turn and the final day

I did manage to limit myself to slowly sewing on some buttons and tacking up some sleeve hems today, so my Kid's Clothes Week is officially over.

Let's let P close the show:

His T-shirt is the Figgy's Banyan T in the boy's T-shirt style. I picked up the Lisette knit at Spotlight in the discount rack, and I've just today spotted the pink colourway marked down. I might have to go back for that.

A T-shirt is a t-shirt when it comes to construction, but I always like to give a pattern it's fair chance to influence how I sew, so I followed the instructions. The pattern has you attach the neckband and then close the second shoulder. That's not my favourite way of doing things as I find it hard to get that narrow neckband to match perfectly - probably cause I'm using the overlocker to sew.

The neckband is cut on the bias which I don't think makes any real difference to how it stretches and fits, but is perhaps designed for using stripes? Mine wasn't behaving all that nicely until I topstitched it down with the double needle. Now it's lovely. As an aside, if you're ever struggling with knit neckbands I would NOT recommend using the self fabric with a stable interlock like this. Reach for a good quality ribbing and you'll get a better result more easily. My other advice is usually to iron the beejezus out of it, but you saw where that got me yesterday!

The T-shirt is size 8/9 which is the largest size this pattern goes to. I thought it was looking short and boxy wile I was making it, but I'm happy with how it looks on.

I'm in a happy, happy place when it comes to pants sewing this week. I'm as delighted with these shorts as I have been with A's two pair of pants. The pattern is "shorts with rolled cuff" from Happy Homemade Vol II (also now known as Sew Chic Kids)

I was worried he'd complain they were scratchy as the fabric is a fairly lightweight linen which I picked up as a remnant from The Fabric Store. It's got that 100% linen feel which can be a bit harsh, but it also has the most lovely olive colour and a slight sheen - almost a metallic surface look. I suspect I'd bought it for me but these shorts had to be made in a khaki type colour and in linen. Natch.

Normally I'd back my sewing machine in any buttonhole challenge. Knit fabrics, thick fabrics, close to the edge of the fabric, bring it on! But the thick end of these narrow tabs that are only 1cm wide proved to be an impossible place to create a buttonhole. Fair enough, I can't fault her for finding that a bit too much of an ask. So the buttons are just stitched on.

The faux fly construction was a new technique for me and I loved the way it came together. A few more steps than when the faux fly is incorporated into the front pants piece, but the finish is great. With all the edge and topstitching this was the slowest garment of the week, but I'd make another pair straight away I'm so happy with how they look on him.

And apparently they feel great too. So good in fact, P wanted to close out the photo shoot with a few push ups (?!)

As at the end of every other KCW I'm now ready for bed and then to spend a few evenings just browsing the Project Pool and looking at everyone's wonderful creations. 'Til next time!

Saturday 24 October 2015

KCW continues...

I've had far too many late nights this week, but when you only get to sew after dark and when there are just too many things to sew, that's how it goes. Right?!

More for A. First up the Figgy's Banyan tunic and a tale of woe and caution with regards to ironing synthetic knits...

I was planning on keeping this top simple and making it all in the flower print. I added the tiny chest pocket, which was barely visible, stitching it on with purple thread.

But then, after attaching the sleeves and neck band I must have accidentally turned up the iron settings 'cause I burnt the heck out of one shoulder.

The colour ran, the fabric lost it's elasticity and it became somewhat see through. This was not the kind of ironing mistake that would disappear with a wash. This top was toasted. :(

All was not lost, as I recalled a gorgeous tunic that Shino made (Flickr link) which I'd been meaning to copy for so long. Now was my moment!

I gathered up a couple of long strips of raw edged fabric and created a kind of rosette over the singed area. It continues across the front neckline, and so I removed the tiny pocket as it looked a bit weird.

Shino's tunic is perfection with it's solid fabric. My ruffle-y rosette is a bit lost in the print and very hard to photograph, but in real life it's lovely. I'm kind of glad I burnt the fabric as I can't imagine the top without this shoulder detail now!

The tunic would definitely look better in a double sided knit as the handkerchief corners don't look so great when the un-printed underside of the fabric shows. I made the size 4/5 and it's a touch too small around the chest. Given that the cooked fabric may fall apart over the period of one summer I'm not sweating on the lack of growing room. :)

Next up, another pair of pedal pushers from a Japanese sewing book. I was nervous about the length of these. I mean, if the shorts were calf length, where would the calf length pants end up? Well, just right is the answer and in hindsight I'm pretty certain I traced the wrong length line for my previous "shorts"

The pattern is "g" from Girl's Sweet Clothes. I made the 120cm size and this book has pattern sizes  from 100-140cm.

They're a quick, easy sew with front pockets and a simple elastic waist. The cute detail is the ribbon bows around the lower cuffs.

The ribbon is a France Duval-Stalla ribbon which I was sent as part of a lovely package from Helena (Dubhels2003) after I'd posted an outgrown dress to her. It's just what these grey pants needed to get them over the line and girl approved! Thanks Helena.

The fabric, from memory, is a shot weave quilting cotton from Spotlight. For simple pants I love the fit of these. The front rise might be a bit generous and roomy but how cute is the back?!

I need to buy some buttons tomorrow and then all that's left of my Kid's Clothes Week sewing is to sew on four buttons. I'll need to go slowly so I can take my one hour of sewing to do just that. I really can't, for the love of sleep, start something else tomorrow.


Thursday 22 October 2015

Monochrome Roundup & Swingset Skirt and Blouse

I'm here with the last of my Black and White sewing, and over on the Oliver + S blog rounding up everyone else's monochrome projects too.
Go take a look, there was some great colour-less sewing!

From the remnants of my Lisette Butterick outfit I squeezed out an outfit for A:

This is the Oliver + S Swingset blouse and skirt. I've made the skirt once before and even though it's only a size 2 she still wears it sometimes. (eep)

It's the first time I've made the blouse and since the pattern stops at size 5, which is the size I made, I was pulling the pattern out for a now or never sewing experience!

It's hard to see the details of the blouse in my version using all the same fabric, but it has a lovely curved yoke and then full skirt portion to the top. It's a great little top and even thought this is the biggest size it will fit next summer and then probably the one after that if I just add length to this same size 5 top.

The skirt, on the other hand, has just been re-released in a greatly expanded size range. It looks simple but it's a really sweet skirt pattern. Just the right amount of twirl, a neat casing and lining and the option for a little side ribbon tie. Add in that it's super quick to sew and I'm saying it's a winner!

I lined the skirt in an off white voile as I was trying to avoid using any coloured fabric for the sake of the monochrome challenge. I have lots of half and one metre cuts of cottons that will be perfect for more of these skirts.

The ribbon has already been accidentally pulled out, so I'll need to re-thread it and then secure it at the opposite side seam. I suspect the instructions suggest you do just that. Clever, huh.

So there we are. The monchrome challenge was fun and I jumped in up to my neck. Three dresses, two skirts and two blouses and I was ready for some colour. 

Pattern: Oliver + S Swingset 
Fabrics: Lightweight drill from Rathdown Fabrics (skirt) and Rayon from Spotlight (blouse)
Size: 5, no modifications

Back soon with a Kid's Clothes Week update - I'm sewing like crazy. How are you travelling?

Monday 19 October 2015

Kid's Clothes Week: Off and Running!

I honestly had no plans to join Kid's Clothes Week this time around, and then, like some mad contagion the Sunday-before-KCW fever hit me.

A few quiet hours in the afternoon and evening on Sunday and suddenly I had half a dozen patterns traced off and three complete outfits cut out. We're off and running!

Today was a rostered day off and since it's already Monday downunder I hit the machines. First up was this little blouse slash T-shirt.

It was eked out of a tiny remnant of a Stenzo knit, and since I was barely able to cut what I needed I relaxed completely about any attempts to keep the lines of spots horizontal or matched in any way.

This little piece of fabric has been in the stash for so long. It was originally purchased from Earth Girl Fabrics and used to line this coat

Apart from the wonky lines I made one other cock up. I folded the fabric and didn't think about the uneven selvedge widths. The top selvedge was about half the width of the bottom one. Consequently one sleeve was cut with a fair chunk of all white selvedge. No fabric left for a re-cut, so I just consoled myself it would only be visible when she raised her arms. Which she does a lot, it now appears...

I was a bit worried the blouse might run a bit short, as I made it once before (here) and I remember it seeming quite cropped. This is the size 120cm and while she probably only stands at 115cm tall it's perfect.

How cute is the back?!

The blouse is pattern "a" from Let's Go Out Girl's Clothes by Yuki Araki. This book has a size range of 90cm to 130cm. I was worried I wouldn't have much longer to sew from these books, but I think there's a second summer in this 120cm sized pattern easily. Phew. I just adore Yuki Araki's patterns and will be sad when they no longer fit.

I had a different pair of pants cut out to go with this top, but since the overlocker was threaded with white I thought I should sew these up first.

The pants are shorts "e" from the same book and again, size 120cm. Did I just say shorts?  More like knickerbockers, right?!

The picture in the book shows these shorts as knee length on the model. Perhaps I do need to measure my daughter cause they are much longer on her. But how cute is the corduroy pedal pusher look?! She reminds me of Tintin! If only we'd found a little white dog to borrow for the impromptu photo shoot this afternoon.

The shorts really want to be sewn in a stripe, as the bias placed pockets and the cross grain cuffs would be really cute in a striped fabric. This corduroy was also a remnant (from The Fabric Store) and again I didn't quite have enough, so one leg cuff is pieced in the inside back leg. Making do and busting through the fabric stash. Yay!

I'll need to make some lighter weight, shorter shorts for the hot summer days, but how cute will these look next Autumn with tights underneath and boots. For now they're perfect for bike riding, or just running about like a mad thing.

 Have you gone mad for Kid's Clothes Week? The challenge is to commit at least one hour a day for seven days to make the clothes your kids need, or just the things that are in your head and won't let you be until they're made.

kid's clothes week

I'm ignoring the theme, as I've only just recovered from disguising myself and the kids as animals! However, I've gone a bit off piste (for me) and picked a bunch of patterns which does not include a single Oliver + S pattern. There's more Japanese sewing coming up and I'll crack open an as yet unused T-shirt pattern.

Better dash! See you mid week....

Thursday 15 October 2015

Strathcona Henley - after the sewalong

Back in late September when I was on an absolute sewing high and making all. the. things. there was a sewalong for the Thread Theory Strathcona Henley. I just had to join in.

Well, I say I joined in, but really I just made my own Strathcona Henley with no real reference to the sew along and then never got around to sharing it until now.

Anyway, I knew this pattern would likely run a bit hipster narrow for my bloke, so rather than measure him I got him to nominate a favourite long sleeved tee and I worked off the finished garment measurements.

That saw me making the largest size, XL. Even then it's about an inch around smaller than his preferred size. Still, at least it didn't end up muscle man tight. That would never get worn. The body length I didn't change at all and I'm pleasantly surprised it is such a good length. This man has a particularly long torso. One of those tall blokes that are even taller sitting down! :)

The sleeve length I kind of made up as I didn't want to use the cuffs included with the long sleeved version of the pattern. I think I worked out the cuff width minus seam allowances and added that, so the sleeves are probably the intended length. But I could be wrong on that.... Really need to blog straight away or make notes. Anyway, they're perhaps a tad too long, but that's always better than too short.

Then I really strayed into "choose your own adventure" territory with the placket. I've sewn similar plackets before and was being a bit careless. I'd already sewn and attached the placket and cut the fabric before I realised it was attached to the opposite face of the fabric than intended. That wasn't a problem, but it means the little square at the bottom of the placket is on the inside of my version rather than the outside. Minus one point for failing to straighten his top button before photographing too, hey.

I guess the whole point of a sewalong is to get the tips to get it right! Ah well. I felt like I was part of something bigger while sewing.

And now that summer seems to have hit with an early ferocity, Flipper has a long sleeved tee that probably won't get worn beyond these pictures for some months. :)

Thursday 8 October 2015

Lisette B6182 - Monochrome for me

Suddenly, I was seeing black and white fabrics everywhere and I found myself fondling a patterned rayon challis at Spotlight. It needed to come home with me and be turned into a summer top to wear.


This is my first ever me-made woven tee. The pattern is Lisette for Butterick B6182. A lovely simple tee with a kimono sleeve with a cuff and a neckband facing. No fastenings or closures of any kind, so it's a quick and easy sew.

I made a size 16 and added just one inch to the length. I knew it was intended to be fairly short and I liked the idea of a top that I could wear with a high-ish waisted skirt or my still unblogged Girl Friday Culottes.

The top has a bit of an A line flare. At this size, on me it's a good fit in the shoulders and doesn't look oversized or sloppy. Then it kicks out to be quite a swingy little top. I love it!

It also has a centre seam at the front with a bust dart which brings the centre front in close to my chest. This is novel for me and I really appreciate how it gives the appearance of two separate boobs, rather than one "frontage" from which the fabric falls. Maybe that doesn't work if you have an ample bosom, or less space between your boobs. but I'm liking it a lot.

The fabric, which feels slinky and light was really easy to work with and I'm a complete convert to rayon challis now. I'm sure I'll have another one of these before the summer is out.

Now, out into the full sun to see a bit more of the skirt:

The skirt is from the same pattern. It's got a bit of a safari skirt vibe with the deep inverted front pleat and the patch pockets. I threw caution to the wind and just picked a size 16 and went with it.

I'm more than happy with the fit, but if I was to make another I would split the waistband into front and back waistbands so that I could taper it slightly and have the top of the waistband a bit narrower. It tends to stick straight up and away from my waist a bit at the top.

While I didn't change the shape of the waistband, I did deviate from how the pattern suggested to sew it. The patterns says to slipstitch the waistband facing to the invisible zipper and then slipstitch the whole inner waistband at the waist seam. Blow that. I turned the waistband inside out and machine stitched it at the zipper, then smoothed and pinned to edgestitch the outer waistband and catch the waistband facing in that seam. Quick and effective.

This outfit worked perfectly for a warm and dusty day sightseeing at Sovereign Hill. That was enough posing and we're off to pan for gold or shoe a horse or some such thing.

Pattern: Lisette B6182 blouse and skirt
Size: 16 (1 inch length added to blouse)
Fabrics: Blouse - Rayon challis from Spotlight. Skirt: Lightweight drill from Rathdowne Fabrics

Tuesday 6 October 2015

Juggling Jott Jump Rope Dress

"And, now, come to this spot
Where the spotlight is hot
And you'll see in the spotlight
A Juggling Jott
Who can juggle some stuff
You might think he could not...

Such as twenty-two question marks,
Which is a lot.
Also forty-four commas
And, also, one dot!
That's the kind of Circus McGurkus I've got!"

Dr Seuss - If I Ran the Circus

This dress certainly has more than forty-four commas, and many more dots! 

I first saw this fabric about three years ago and loved the idea of a punctuation dress. I bought the fabric an embarrassingly long time ago (from Urban Sew) and stashed it away. With the Oliver + S monochrome challenge underway it seemed the perfect time to finally sew it up.

I didn't get a lot of enthusiasm from A when she first saw it, but once I got "If I Ran the Circus" off the bookshelf and read her the passage about the Juggling Jott, and pointed out all her commas and dots, she was all over it. 

Personally, I love it. The pattern is the Oliver + S Jump Rope dress and it never fails to please. This is my third version of View A (here's the first and second) and I've made view B three times before as well (one, two and three). I've also used the pattern to make a girl's polo shirt and borrowed the placket instructions for a boy's polo shirt. If you want to feel like a sewing rock star then sew this placket. You are guaranteed to be doing the happy dance around your sewing table and feeling very smug.

The details of the dress pattern are a bit lost in the print from a distance, so let's have some close ups shots:

The very first dress I made for A was this pattern. I made a size 2, simply because I could not see myself dressing a non ambulatory baby in such a detailed dress. When I'd finished, it looked enormous and I could barely imagine her ever growing into it.

But she did eventually grow (oh those first 20 months seemed to go on for ever) and she wore it until she was almost 4 years old. It's a fairly generously sized pattern, but at the same time it's one of those dresses that is best put on by putting the kids hands in first then arms above their head to bring it down and get the shoulders in.

Anyway, without measuring her, I randomly nominated a size 4 with the skirt length extended to the size 5 line. And it's a perfect fit.

While I'm prone to turning my nose up at quilting cottons, whenever I do sew one I find it refreshingly easy to work with. This Moda fabric behaved very nicely and while it's a coarser fabric to the Art Gallery quilting cottons that I last used, it drapes nicely and still feels soft.

I'm kind of hoping that she'll choose to wear this dress to one of her school orientation mornings next month. If she's anything like her brother she won't be able to stop herself from pointing out which are the commas, and which are the full stops.  And that's the kind of nerdy grammar stuff that makes my heart sing. :)

Summer has come early, and somewhat ferociously, so we headed down to the beach to play and take some pictures. At first she wanted to hold my hand to get from one rock to another, but within a few minutes she was leaping and following P as best she could. It's amazing to watch those physical skills get practiced and the confidence that comes with it. Of course they both ended up with wet shoes, but hey, it was warm.

If I had my choice between sitting and watching organised sport on a Saturday morning, or watching rock hopping I know which I'd choose. If only the dead sea birds didn't smell so bad.