Wednesday 17 January 2018

2 + 2 and a winner makes ...?!

Rather than just announce the winner of the Seashore Sundress pattern giveaway (and I will, but you have to be patient) I thought I'd share another Oliver + S make with you.

If you haven't noticed already I'm quite a fan of their patterns, which I guess is what lead to me buying the Seashore Sundress pattern twice by mistake! I'm on a mission to use up all the odd sized bits of fabric I have and I thought there might be enough of the chambray I'd made my Soho Shorts from to make a skirt for A.

I pretty much let her pick the pattern from my Oliver + S shelf but I confess to having guided her towards the 2+2 skirt. I hadn't made it for such a long time.

In fact here's the last time... You ready for a pretty funny flashback?....

She'll kill me when she sees that photo, but it cracks me up. So the last time I made the skirt was the size 18-24m for my 20 month old. And here I was tracing off a size 6 with 8 length. Wow, time flies.

I suddenly had the urge to make the top again too, so I traced off both, then went hunting for some fabric remnants that would fit the top pattern. Now, it's confession time... In three goes at making this top I haven't once done it "right". Every time I've used a knit, and cut the back pattern piece on the fold (omitting the inch and a half that is the button placket and overlap). It makes it more of a t-shirt than a blouse. But it's a pretty T-shirt alright.

I only had enough of the chambray to do the patch and not the bias neck ties or the bias sleeve facings, so they were cut from the fabulous Zonen09 beetle knit remnant (previously used here). And in doing that I perfectly finished off that remnant with nothing to spare either. So satisfying.

I stitched the inside of the pleats down to about halfway so that there's a guide there for ironing them, but to be honest she has been grabbing this skirt straight off the clothesline and putting it back on immediately each time it's been washed. It's yet to even make it to the ironing pile (where things are known to dwell for a long, long time)

She was very keen to show you the side placket of the skirt. There are two hand sewn snaps and then the button to close. But to be honest, there's enough give in the elastic waist and I think the plackets could easily be omitted and the side seams sewn straight through if you were feeling like a quicker sew.

There's plenty of growing room in this outfit and I like it enough that I could jump straight back in and make another, but next up was lots of swimwear for our upcoming summer holiday.

Meanwhile, let's see who gets the Seashore Sundress pattern: Flipper helped out by plugging the numbered comments into a random number generator and it came up with comment number 4, which fits very nicely with the 2+2 theme of the blog post!

Congratulations Jessica. I'll email you directly for your address then post it off.

Pattern: Oliver + S 2+2 blouse and skirt
Size: 6 with length of 8
Modifications: I cut the blouse back on the fold (remove 1&1/2" for the 1" placket and 1/2" overlap)
Fabrics: Cotton chambray remnant and Zonen09 Beetle knit originally from Maaidesign

Saturday 13 January 2018

All Day (Christmas) Shirt: Vlisco / TRON version

Long before the All Day Shirt was released I was dreaming of making my husband a non conventional "Hawaiian" shirt and I was hunting for the perfect fabric. Eventually I found this amazing Vlisco Java wax print at Brave Fabrics and then the pattern came out and it was all just meant to be.

To read more about the fabric, click the image below to check out the Brave Fabrics blog post that Erin invited me to write, and then have a look at the other gorgeous fabrics she stocks. How loud could your next garment be in Vlisco wax print?!

Here I thought I would just make my usual notes about pattern adjustment so that I can keep my ledger in order.

As for his Atelier Brunette double gauze shirt I shortened the sleeves by cutting them at the lengthen/shorten line, then sewing a 1" deep double fold hem with total hem allowance of 1&1/2".

Of course I had a bit of fun pattern matching and had to get the ruler out to make sure that where my orange stripes crossed the front placket they would end up the same length as any other orange stripes elsewhere on the shirt!

Can you spot the chest pocket in that photo above? I thought not ;) I wondered if it might not be a bit invisible when worn too, so I actually unpicked a bit and slipped a ribbon tag under one edge then restitched it. But then I decided that was "too much" - like this shirt hadn't gone way over the top already, and took it out again.

The electric blue is ever so slightly teal and I knew a button match would require the expert assistance of Buttonmania, so I went down and blinded the poor things with my shirt. But of course the perfect button was found. It was surprisingly quite teal in colour and in the box didn't look like it would be the one to pick, but worked perfectly when placed on the shirt.

My aim had been a Hawaiian style shirt but just avoiding any obvious floral or islander style prints. To make it even more of a casual shirt I squared off the hem. Flipper thought the hem should be slightly shorter than the side height of his other All Day Shirt, so I cut straight across the front and back pattern pieces about 3/4" above the highest point of the original hem line. Then still finished it with a 3/4" hem.

At each side seam I left just over an inch of the side seam unstitched and created a small side vent. I didn't get close up photos but I'm sure you can imagine a narrow 1/2" hem on each side of the vent that is topstitched and then a bartack at the end of the side seam. It look great and allows that little bit of extra movement at the hip.

And then it got a little label (cool labels from Kylie and the Machine) and was wrapped up as part of his Christmas present.

The fabric is great and a delight to sew with. Imagine the weight of a traditional quilting cotton type fabric but with the fineness and weave of a Liberty lawn. It was like stitching crisp butter!

I have a feeling he'll be happy to receive more shirts like this one, so I still have my eye out for any dark, non floral, quirky prints that would make great party shirts., Then we'll just need to get invited to more parties!

Size: L
Modifications: Short sleeve and straight hem with side vents
Notions: buttons, thread, interfacing and label - but no Swear Words, the pattern is too good for that!

I'll be back in a day or two with some Oliver + S sewing and then we can pick a winner of the Seashore Sundress giveaway...

Wednesday 3 January 2018

Photo collage time! - 2017 in review

Even though it takes me forever, I like organising all my year long makes and sticking them together in giant collages.

As always the first collage I make is the Oliver + S patterns:

In previous years I've had three of even four collages just of Oliver + S. I suppose now that both kids spend 5 out of 7 days in school uniform I've slowed down a little on sewing them clothes. However, with the exception of some emergency shopping when my son forgot to take his packed bag on holiday, I don't think I've bought them anything this year either.

There was a lot of lycra purchased and scrounged (thanks to my local sewing machine repair guy's scraps stash) and so swimwear, leotards and cycle bits all needed a collage of their own:

I made lots of things that can't be classified in just one craft category, so from tiny macrame earrings to giant ears for a Renault; here's all the "other stuff" of 2017

And then it looks like 2017 was the year of sewing for me. Move aside kids, yes, you kids, the ones dressed in last years too short, worn out clothes, I'm making something more for MYSELF!

But first: The reason I ended up sewing even more for myself was that I finally got around to making that wholesale change in the way I was eating. We've all heard it, right? You can't eat in your 40's like you did in your 20's without getting steadily bigger and bigger. I was proving that point, and while I was exercising and staying strong I was on a steady, couple of kilos every year, upward flab trend. So In March I did that predictably dull thing and stopped eating breakfast cereals, bread and pasta.

Here's a collage of various photos of breakfasts and lunches taken over the last 10 months...

Of course the real joy in saying goodbye to 10kg of fat was saying hello again to all the ready-to-wear clothes I'd stashed away post kids and lamented ever wearing again. I've always been one for buying only a few items of clothing, spending big and avoiding trends. So I'm happy to be rediscovering things I hadn't worn for 10 years and finding they fit right back in to my wardrobe.

Not that that stopped me from sewing for myself. Here's mostly me, but also my mum and Flipper, in everything made using Lisette for Butterick or Liesl + Co patterns:

And finally, when I'm not sewing under Liesl Gibson's guidance I make a few other things for the kids and myself. Here's the final collage of mixed "other" garment sewing.

I'm too lazy to caption all the images, but if you see a garment and want to know what the pattern is, or would like a recipe for a lunch idea then just ask away in the comments section below.

What next?
My wardrobe is fairly full now, not that I'll be stopped from cramming more in. First project for myself will be some more swimwear. The pattern is looking at me from the other room right now..... Gotta go!

Happy new year everybody, may you have a wonderful, healthy and productive 2018

Don't forget to check out the Seashore Sundress post, which is one post behind this one, 
for the chance to win a paper pattern. I'll pick a winner next week.