Monday 29 April 2019

Jump Rope for winter

Back when I made A her birthday Jump Rope dress I was immediately reminded of what a delightful pattern it is, and since I'd traced off the view B as well, I jumped (get it) straight back in for another round.

The View B is the same gorgeous placket and collar, but this time with an A line dress, long sleeves and sweet little gathered pockets.

I'd previously made it way back when she was just learning to stand up, let alone jump rope, and used a corduroy for winter. I think it's a lovely winter dress. Ready for a flashback?....

How does that happen? …. I swear I haven't changed a jot, or aged a day.... :)

I think this fabric purchase might have dated way back to 2012 as well. I'd originally bought it intending to make her a trench coat, but then decided it would look a bit more patchwork dressing gown and less haute couture than I was imagining. 

It sat in the stash for ages and then eventually I made myself an Everyday Skirt with it. Blog post confirms that skirt was 2014.... I worse that skirt A LOT. All through winter I'd wear it with tights, boots and a long sleeved plain t-shirt. It was quite surprising how many different tops it actually went well with. Eventually it was too big and so I sent it off to the charity shop. Hopefully somebody else is enjoying it.

So, with no fear of matchy-matchy, the fabric could be revisited.

It's a poly-suiting with a slight velvet/flocked feel. Weird, but nice. I'd love to say I used it all up but there's probably enough for a little tote bag or similar. Which reminds me: I do have a clutch bag that I made for Frocktails 2017 to go with my red dress. I guess she could borrow my Ida Clutch for the whole ensemble look :)

We were snapping photos of this dress on a cold, rainy day back in March. Every now and then the rain would stop and we'd take a few picks. Then the rain would start again, but the sun was still shining and the rain blowing sideways. It was a modelling challenge alright. She's tough.

Of course I hope to see it worn as it looks lovely on, but mostly I just made it because I wanted to. That pattern, that fabric and the moment came over me. 

Pattern: Oliver + S Jump Rope Dress, View B
Size: 8, no modifications
Fabric: Poly suiting from GJ's way, way back.
Notions: Buttons from the stash.

Friday 19 April 2019

New Oliver + S pattern: Double Dutch

The other pattern test I did late last year was the new Oliver + S pattern: The Double Dutch Jacket and Skirt.

The jacket is a cute kids take on the ever popular dropped sleeve kimono style jackets that lots of grown ups are sewing for themselves. But with kid concessions like sleeves that aren't so wide you can't keep them out of your dinner.

And it's completely reversible! So you get two little jackets in one. Cool, huh. 

Totally unnecessarily, I actually used a double sided fabric anyway. I bought this fabric back in 2016 from Phillips Shirts when they were still in the city. It's a hefty cotton, almost like a light denim and worked perfectly for the jacket. Of course using a double sided fabric just made things confusing for myself. The instructions are perfectly clear assuming you're using fabrics A and B, rather than one fabric with A and B sides. 

The kimono style sleeve makes it a nice, easy sew, and being fully lined means no seam finishing either, so it's a delight to make.

The buttonhole as a little slit in the front seam is really neat too and caters to those with a pathological fear of sewing buttonholes.

The second part of the pattern is the skirt. It's a simple knit skirt with elastic waist, but with a super cute tulip flare shape.

I made it in a navy ponte and it's already been in heavy rotation as part of her school uniform. 

Back in December it was made to her measurements in size 7. The only alteration I wished I'd made was to add some sleeve length. The jacket was only just long enough in the sleeves when these pictures were taken and is already a little short now. But to be honest, in another year or two, worn open with "bracelet" length sleeves I think it will look really cool.

The jacket will end up being a great pattern for using up oddly shaped bits of nice fabrics and with the potential for four different fabrics in the mix it could be a really unusual garment!

The pattern goes from 6-12months up to size 12. How cute would that jacket be on a little baby!

I had a bit of luck with the button as I had two, lonely single buttons of the same shape and style. One was navy and the other kind of red. Perfect!

All the new Liesl + Co patterns and this new Oliver + S pattern will be available on the Oliver + S website next week. 

I was talking to Liesl via email about Australian stockists for the paper patterns and the whole weird-ass Australian retail distributor system. If you prefer paper (like me) but don't want to pay US shipping on just one pattern, then ask, and ask again, for your local favourite bricks and mortar store to stock the Oliver + S / Liesl + Co pattern range. 

Or just buy lots of them at once and save on shipping that way! :)

Thursday 18 April 2019

Liesl + Co Breezy Blouse

I have this weird psychic thing going on with Liesl Gibson.... I have a desire for a particular pattern and while I'm working away adapting what I have and trying to make a mish-mash of patterns to suit my needs, on the other side of the world, Liesl is busy designing exactly what I want.

I've lost count of the number of times I've shown her how I've mashed this with that to make the other, and would she like a tutorial for the Oliver + S blog?.... Only to have her say, no, that's almost exactly the pattern I've been working on. It's freaky.

Let's go back to the start of summer, when my friend Sal asked me about making the sleeveless Gorman-esque dress. All I needed was a sleeveless bodice with a bust dart and nice armhole binding or facing that I could add a skirt to. I didn't have one so I tried the Tessuti Felicia Pinafore.

I'm wearing that dress as I type and it has become a useful housedress for a warm evening, but it doesn't go outside much, it's just too icky a shape.

This blouse with a skirt added would have been exactly what I was after. Of course it was one week after I'd made the Tessuti dresses that the email request for pattern testers for the Breezy Blouse came through. She'd done it again, and designed exactly what I'd wanted while I was mucking around with another pattern.

The blouse has these nice shaped side panels and a little bust dart. I made no modifications and made it exactly as per my measurements, size 10, A/B cup size. Yep, the pattern has different cup sizes so unless you're beyond a D cup you won't need to do an FBA. and the less generously endowed amongst us don't end up with too much fabric pooling where it shouldn't!

Excuse the ordinary modelling, these were my fit photos for the pattern test, but you can see the nice, curved hem and the slit opening at the back neck:

The armholes and neck are finished with a bias binding facing, with a thread loop at button. I used a KATM label cause I do love linen and both fabrics were linen from deep in the stash.

The stripe was last seen back here (cue cute P modelling a girl's blouse! Aw, bless him)

It's easy to make the top using just little bits of special leftover fabric. It works really well as a loose tank in linen for summer, but could easily be made more fitted in a heavier brocade, or maybe fancier in a lace with underlining.

And, of course, if you like stripes but don't like matching them at side seams, throwing a solid fabric in those side panels solves all your woes! (but please, check out the stripe matching in that 2013 blog post where I used this fabric, it was insanely good and almost entirely lucky! :) )

I've been wearing this top a lot over summer. Here it is just last week paired with a Liesl + Co Everyday Skirt in crinkle linen on a bushwalk in Queensland.

The new Liesl + Co patterns will be available next week. I've got my eye on all of them!

Thursday 4 April 2019

Jalie 3247 - Circus Style

I don't mind a last minute Jalie sew, really I don't. So, when A told me at the end of last week that her end of term gymnastics classes on Tuesday/Wednesday were Circus theme I kicked into gear.

The pattern is Jalie 3247, View A crop top and View C shorts. The fabric was something that a friend at school had given her when her mum had heard that A's mum (me) sewed.

The top is a racer back, which I forgot to photograph from behind in the rush to get to gymnastics, and is finished with fold over elastic. I had a bit of pink from a trip to Eliza's but not enough, and some multicoloured that was a free gift included with an order from Sew Active Fabrics. Mismatched elastic bindings is perfectly legit for last minute costumes.

The crop top was lengthened to be a short singlet. Apparently crop tops are not allowed at gymnastics but ludicrously short singlets are. Seems like semantics to me, but hey. The shorts in this view have a self fabric waistband with no elastic and they're great. This would make a really good swimwear pattern.

The tulle skirt is from book week a few years ago and then I made the hat with a cone of cardboard, a head band, leftover tulle and a glue gun. Fun times!

Pattern: Jalie 3247 Views A and C
Size: L
Modifications: about 15cm added to length of top and hemmed with no elastic.
Fabrics: Stashed lycra and fold over elastic

Tuesday 2 April 2019

Sandbox Shorts

The other Oliver + S pattern that stops at size 8 that I didn't think would be high on my to-sew list was the Sandbox pants.

Yet suddenly I was itching to make a pair of shorts using the pattern. These preceded the Bedtime Story pyjamas in the sewing queue but appear here a bit later as I wrote a tutorial for the modifications for the Oliver + S blog. Click on the image below to go to the blog post:

I've only made the pants once before when I made two pairs in navy French terry for P to wear to school. They didn't prove to be his favourite pants and I don't think I kept them for A to wear, or maybe I did and she never chose to wear them anyway...

But these shorts? She adores them.

She saw an old photo of a Sunday Brunch Skirt in this same bubble gum pink fabric and said she'd like that, only shorts this time. Well I happened to have more of the same pink drill that had been gifted to me and was leftover in the stash,. Easy way to revisit another soon to be outgrown pattern.

I've made a straight size 8 and the few modifications are thus: Shortened to shorts length, curved the front pocket pattern pieces and added waistband elastic as well as the adjustable drawstring. The drawstring is just a supermarket shoelace but looks kind of cool even when it's not entirely necessary. The idea of having the pants only held up by a tied drawstring is a bit optimistic when it comes to kids pants, hence the elastic added to the ribbing waistband.

They're kind of perfect shorts and I'm glad I gave the pattern another outing. I know these will get heaps of wear and hopefully might still fit next summer.

Sometimes the best clothes and the best sewing experience are those that are quick, simple and thrown together from the stash and an old pattern. Very satisfying.