Wednesday 28 September 2016

School Concert Part 1: It's A Hard Knock Life

Catching up on some recent makes now that I've managed to get some more pictures.

The kids had their school concert performances recently and  both had outfit requirements. Luckily we had almost everything that was needed for A's costume. Her class were performing songs from the musical Annie, and the kids were to dress like school children (or possibly institutionalised orphans, I'm not sure exactly what they were told).

Anyway, the piece of paper with costume requirements was lost and not brought home, so I got the verbal, somewhat vague version, which was: A white top, navy shorts and long socks of an uncertain colour.

The navy shorts were easy, as navy bottoms is the school uniform, and A already had this pair of Class Picnic shorts (School sewathon post). I thought it would be fun to sew the Class Picnic blouse as well since I hadn't yet sewn that part of the pattern. - I later got a copy of the costume request which said white t-shirt or polo top, but heck, we were going with this cute little blouse. (and we hit up the local market for long white socks now that the colour was determined)

That little 'label' is a bit of self adhesive cotton tape that I picked up at Daiso. Hopefully the glue won't turn black or anything when it's washed as it's such an easy way to add a label - fold the ends under, stick it down then stitch around it.

The fabric was a remnant from this Japanese blouse that I made myself. It's a beautiful, soft cotton with a little geometric pattern in it. It originally came from The Fabric Store and is really, indescribably nice - I know it just looks like white quilting cotton in most of these pictures. Trust me. It's better than that :)

The blouse is a size 5 with 1" extra length at the hem and the sleeves. The pattern is gorgeous. It's so cleanly finished and delightful to sew, I can see why it's a favourite woven top for many who've sewn it.

It will be such a cute little blouse to wear in summer. I do hope it gets a look in, as she's on a bit of a knit dress only binge at the moment.

The concert itself was equal parts endearing, excruciating and hilarious as only kid's concerts can be.

Then the real hard work began when P put in his request for a costume for the night.
To be continued.....

Pattern: Oliver + S Class Picnic Blouse and Shorts
Size: 5 with 1" sleeve and hem length added
Fabric: Embossed white cotton from The Fabric Store

Monday 19 September 2016

Grey Gallery Dress

It seems like ages ago now. It was before the madness of Book Week, before I sewed for myself for the See You At Six tour and before the craziness of school concert sewing (yet to be documented)...

I made myself a simple dress. The weather was wintery (and still is) and I wore it with tights and a top underneath. Took some photos, baulked at the visible 'spencer' line across my chest and moved on thinking I'll take more pictures another day. Well I haven't taken more pictures and since I like to document everything I've made here, I'm posting it anyway. 

It's the dress view of the Gallery Tunic & Dress pattern by Liesl + Co. From memory I made a straight size 12 with no alterations other than adding about about 3cm in length. In hindsight I should have let it be a bit shorter as it's bordering on the length of the garments that some men wear over trousers. Maybe it's the shirt tail hem, maybe it's the grey colour, but if I ever need to dress as an elderly Afghani man then I'm thinking I've got half the outfit already!

What I didn't add any length to was the sleeves. Man I'm loving the Liesl & Co patterns block for sleeve length. Raising one monkey arm to high five Liesl on that sleeve length!

The fabric is a stretch wool shirting that I picked up on sale at The Fabric Store. It's lovely to wear, surprisingly warm and not (quite) as wrinkly as a cotton or linen. And that suits me as I hate ironing.

The only thing I do need to rectify is the pockets tendency to flop down and backwards. I'm hoping if I was to bother understitching the back opening and topstitching the front opening that would do it. Otherwise I'd need to try and invisible hand stitch them to the dress front.

A while ago my mum spotted a french linen shirt dress that had a simple mandarin collar, a short placket and lots of pintucks at the top. It didn't fit her all that well and was expensive for what it was. I immediately saw this pattern when I looked at it, and figured I'd make one up with no alterations to test the shape/size, then do the maths to convert that one centre pleat into a half dozen pintucks on each side. She might just have to wait a while, but I can see it working...

Meanwhile, so long as Melbourne refuses to fully embrace spring and insists on staying grey, I'm dressing warm and staying grey too!

Monday 12 September 2016

See You At Six - Maaidesign Blog Tour

Hello! I'm delighted to be kicking off the Maaidesign blog tour, introducing a fantastic new line of fabrics: See You At Six.

For the next ten days a great group of sewing folk will showcase the new rayon fabric line that Maaike is stocking at MaaiDesign. The blogtour disclaimer, of course, is that the fabric was sold to me at a discounted price. But you can try it at a discounted price too, and be just as objective, or not (*cough* Australian political reference) by using a discount code at the end of my post.

I suspect everyone for the next ten days is going to say this one same thing: The hardest part of all was choosing which fabric to have.

But it's true. Well, that and having to be photographed at the end, but the sewing? Well the sewing with rayon is nice. Seriously nice.

I could say I chose this fabric: Lines in Black & White, but actually I gave Maaike a list of three different fabrics as I simply couldn't decide and let her choose for me. I think it was my first choice. At least I hope it was, as I love it.

A soft, drapey fabric like rayon is begging to be sewn into a spring dress and I had an image in mind. A lengthened version of Lisette for Butterick B6168 with altered sleeves. I'll talk more about the pattern and the changes I made (and see if I dare show you my trial run!) in another post.

Once my fabric arrived, it occurred to me I had already sewn with what would appear to be a similar fabric, in that it's a black and white rayon (blog post here). I had a little comparative feel, then closed my eyes, moved the fabrics around and felt again... The See You At Six rayon has a much flatter, tighter weave feeling than the Spotlight rayon I'd used previously. It's like the Liberty lawn of rayons!

When sewing, the rayon holds an ironed crease beautifully. So much so that it wasn't necessary to use pins at all for hemming the skirt. Evidence that it holds a crease well is in the photos: I'd driven all over the place looking for a photo location that wasn't my neighbour's shed, but sorry, you're getting the neighbour's shed anyway and car seat skirt creases for good measure.

Given that it's light, non see through, drapey, swishy and easy to work with, it could very easily become a favourite summer dress fabric. For those reasons, and of course because there's those other couple of prints that I didn't end up getting this time around...

From today until the 30th of September you can use the discount code: seeyouatsix to get 10% off all fabrics in the See You At Six collection from Maaidesign

Stay tuned to the blog tour via the links below, or by following Maaidesign on social media.

12th of September: Shelley from Bartacks and Singletrack
13th of September: Kate from Sewing With Kate
14th of September: Nicola from Create.nic
15th of September: Anna from Blogless Anna
16th of September: Caroline from Usefulbox
17th of September: Suz from Sewpony
18th of September: Allison from The Tall Mama
19th of September: Toni from Make It Perfect
20th of September: Suzanne from Dressed in Pretty Little Things
21st of September: Natalie from Sew Outnumbered
22nd of September: Jenya from While She Was Sleeping
23rd of September: Maaike from MaaiDesign