Monday 26 March 2018

Sunshine Finch Shorts

I was rummaging around in my daughter's drawers the other day and discovered that her wool Finch shorts (from back here) had resized themselves to about right for an 18" doll.

I'm sure it has nothing to do with our laundry systems, but there you go. Weird how wool garments sometimes shrink so dramatically when no one is looking. ;)

I had the pattern traced off in her size, so why not make another pair?

Have I mentioned already how I'm on a kick to use up small bits of fabric and leave nothing behind? Yes, I know I have, but I'm serious about it and so I set to, trying to get the shorts to fit on the remnants of this retro floral fabric (used here).

I barely made it. The cuff facings on the insides of the legs is a spotted cotton but since it never shows that was an ok cheat.

Thankfully I'd kept the placket that I'd cut for the dress then not liked the print placement. It turned out to be exactly the right length and width for the front belt tab. Without having kept that scrap I would have fallen short. - on my shorts :)

I'm yet to make the little top that goes with these shorts but I know A would love it. The shorts are a great pattern, such a cute shape and a delight to sew.

Today had a distinct chill in the air and I'm starting to get excited about Autumn sewing. Yet we're off to the beach after Easter so I've been plunging back into the second chapter of the Summer Swimwear Sewathon. I love winter dressing but I'm enjoying the summer sewing too much to stop. I even busted out that Badminton top pattern and ticked it off my list from the last blog post.

Pattern: Clever Charlotte Finch Shorts
Size: 6 - no modifications
Fabric: Vintage cotton from my friend's mum's cleanout.
Notions: buttons from Buttonmania back room sale

Wednesday 21 March 2018

Lisette B6169 Of Sorts...

I had it in my head that I would get to Bendigo to see the Marimekko exhibition and photograph this dress with that awesome gallery backdrop, but I'm not that good a blogger, so you get my dirty, marked wall instead.

Where do we start? With the flower-tits issue? the pattern? the modifications? the fabric?....

Pattern placement issues first, yeah? This super vintage fabric which came in the big haul from my friend's mum was narrow, and was only just enough for the dress so long as I did not consider the print. So I didn't :)

Given that my boobs are not quite so widely placed or lopsided as those flower centres I'm calling the flower-tits issue a non event. It could be better, but it's not as disastrous as it could have been either. (wait 'til you see the back though, I got a bullseye there!)
Moving on....

The pattern: It's the Lisette for Butterick B6169. The one where everybody has made the Moto Jacket and very few have made the dress.

I liked the idea of the longer length although I was unsure about the high/low hemline. I cut a size 14 adding 1" in length at the waistline. The pattern has full length princess style seam lines front and back and the extra length gave me the perfect butt seam lines but the point where the ties attached had to be moved back up by an inch as they were too low to be comfortable.

So what happened to that long skirt and strongly shaped hemline? It got lopped!
Here's the phone photo of the dress when I first made it and just wasn't feeling the love:

My grumpy feelings towards the dress at that point may also have been to do with the neck binding. The pattern had me cut a wide bias strip, fold it in half lengthwise, attach the raw edges to the neckline then turn the folded edge to the inside to make a facing.

For some reason this fabric has NO stretch on the bias. It just warped and twisted but gave nothing in terms of smooth length. The fabric has a strange, almost seersucker kind of texture. I guess there is something about the weave that renders it completely immune to bias stretch. Of course I had trimmed my neckline seam allowance to almost nothing before I discovered that. I took the bias facing off and tried the same technique with a navy cotton bias facing. I still couldn't get enough stretch for a smooth, unpuckered neckline. To avoid another unpicking session I simply cut that bias down to half the width and managed to get a narrow bias facing to work adequately.

Interestingly, I saw a version of this pattern made up in a lovely linen at The Cloth Shop and it looked fantastic - but I did note that the neckline had been finished with the bias wrapping around the neck as a bias edge finish rather than a turned under facing. Do your own thing may be the final advice on that point.

It's barely noticeable but my lopped hemline does still have a very slight curve across the front and a fractionally lower back hem. It's a subtle nod to the original pattern, but as much as I could handle when it came to an uneven hem. I guess it's not my thing after all.

Those nice seam lines on the front neatly hide some inseam pockets. Go to love pockets!

The yoke and the gathers remind me of the Chai Tee and I think this dress made up in a knit and fitted would be awesome. I imagine it could be cut as is and then just pin those back seam lines to get a nice, snug fit through the back.

As it is, there is lots of room in the back and so the ties are a necessity to stop it billowing out behind. But in a woven fabric (with no give at all remember!) that's essential to allow ease of movement.

The only other modification I made was due to fabric limitations, and a tip from Sewing Pattern Review: The ties are meant to be double layered, sewn right sides together then turned out. The reviews suggested that in any fabric other than a very light weight one, the ties would end up a bit stiff and unwieldy. I had limited fabric anyway, and with that warning in mind I made them single layer and just did a narrow hem all around the edges.

While I usually shy away from prints I really like the Marimekko vibe of these big flowers and the simple colour scheme. The dress has turned out to be perfectly comfortable and I'm certainly planning on packing it for our end of summer beach holiday in April.

I just have to remember to never wear it to a deer or rabbit farm lest I startle all the animals with my turned up white tail!

Pattern: Lisette B6169
Size: 14
Fabric: Vintage mystery stuff from @topbikephysio's mum
Modifications: 1" torso length, single thickness ties, lopped about 8-10 inches off the hem, narrower neck facing

Sunday 18 March 2018

Happy Birthday Oliver + S

Oliver + S are celebrating 10 years and the release of their 50th sewing pattern!

I own every paper pattern (except the latest release which is yet to make it's way into my collection) and I did a round up of every pattern and found one picture to represent each unique view. Of course there have been many multiples sewn of quite a number of these patterns and lots of mashing and variations which aren't included here. Get your scrolling finger ready...

2+2 Blouse and Skirt
After School Shirt
After School Pants
Apple Picking Dress
Art Museum Trousers
Art Museum Vest
Badminton Skort
Bedtime Story Pajamas
Birthday Party Dress
Book Report Dress
Bubble Dress
Butterfly Blouse
Butterfly Skirt
Buttoned-Up Button-Down Shirt
Class Picnic Blouse and Shorts
Croquet Dress
Fairy Tale Dress
Family Reunion Dress
Field Trip Cargopants
Field Trip Raglan Tee
Garden Party Dress
Hide and Seek Dress
Hopscotch Skirt
Hopscotch Top and Dress
Ice Cream Dress
Jump Rope Dress - View B
Jump Rope Dress - View A
Library Dress
Lullaby Layette Set
Lunch Box Tee and Culottes
Music Box Jumper - View A
Music Box Jumper - View B
Music Class Blouse - View B
Music Class Blouse - View A
Music Class Skirt (with Family Reunion Tunic)
Nature Walk Knit Pants
Nature Walk Pullover
Parachute Polo
Parachute Sweatpants
Pinwheel Tunic and Slip Dress
Play Date Dress
Playtime Dress and Tunic
Playtime leggings
Puppet Show Shorts
Puppet Show Tunic
Roller Skate Dress
Sailboat Pants
Sailboat Skirt
Sailboat Top
Sandbox Pants
School Days Coat and Jacket
School Photo Dress
Seashore Sundress
Secret Agent Trench Coat
Sketchbook Shirt
Sketchbook Shorts
Sleepover Pajamas
Sunday Brunch Jacket and Skirt
Swingset Tunic and Skirt
Teaparty Playsuit
Teaparty Sundress
Teaparty Bloomers
 Did you spot the missing patterns/views?

The only ones I haven't made are the Carousel Dress and the Top/Dress view of the Badminton pattern as well as the new Girl on the Go Dress

Then there are the digital only patterns (not counting the singles which were originally released as paper pattern)
Forest Path Cape
Hula Hoop Skirt
School Bus T-Shirt
And the one that I'm yet to sew out of that little group is the Firefly Jacket
There are also a great collection of free patterns available as downloads. Like these:

Sunny Day Shorts
Lazy Days Skirt
On Stage Tutu
Reversible Bucket Hat
Felt Bow and Bias Covered Headband
I still haven't made either the Ruffled Halter or the Popover Sundress from that collection of freebies.

Finally, there are two Oliver + S books. The book Little Things To Sew has 20 projects for toys and accessories, and in October of 2013 I set up the challenge to sew every project in the book : Cover to Cover Challenge

By August of 2014 I made it and was interviewed by a Bear bath mitt on the finish line.

The newer Oliver + S book is the Building Block Dress Book which is an absolute gem of a resource for altering patterns to create whatever you want.

Here are two of the dresses I've made using the book so far...

Over at Oliver + S, Todd crunched the numbers and worked out there are 60,481 different permutations on the basic building block dress. So, no, I won't be going all the way on that one.

But maybe this year I should finally make the Firefly Jacket, Carousel Dress and Badminton Dress and break out those as yet untouched patterns. But then I look at some of those old photos and just want to revisit the old favourites as well. Sigh.

Do you have an Oliver + S pattern you own but haven't yet made?