Monday, 20 May 2019

Shark attack pyjamas

Time for some winter pyjamas for the boy!


The last time I made him pyjamas in a woven fabric he hardly wore them and has declared he "prefers stretch fabric for sleepwear" (seriously, I've created a monster alright).

Well he's eaten his words 'cause he LOVES these pyjamas. Now, he has qualified his demands as stretch all over, or a stretch top with woven pants is also acceptable.


The shark flannelette came from Spotlight ages ago when they were having a sale. Either I stashed it for a very long time and there might once have been enough for top and bottoms, or it postdates the pyjama edict and I only bought enough for bottoms.

He tried A's Bedtime Story size 8 pyjamas on and they were too small, so that pattern's finished for him. I went back to the Sleepover Pyjamas which go up to size 12. I thought I could simplify them by leaving off the bottom cuffs. I cut a size 10 with size 12 length, but that wasn't long enough. The cuffs really do add considerable length and without them the pants were ankle grazers.

From the tiny bits of leftovers I could cut a pair of arbitrarily sized cuffs and threw a bit of navy flat piping in the seam to break up the print mismatch.


The top is fun, and also uses up the last of some thick, navy cotton lycra knit I've had for ages. It's the Jalie Nico raglan in size O which I already had traced from his recent T-shirts.

I didn't have enough fabric for any kind of acceptable sleeve length, but could cut some cuffs from the odd shaped scraps and I think cuffs always look more pyjama-y anyway, right?

The shark scrap is stitched to the back side of the T-shirt with a close zig zag stitch and then the T-shirt knit cut away leaving a small raw edge.


He hasn't not worn these to bed since I finished them. Enough to almost tempt me to restock the stash with more flannelette on sale...

But that's not the point. I'm endeavouring to use stuff up and add less. 

And so, after I cut the pants and there was about half a metre of fabric left I thought of how I could use it...


And I ended up making the cutest thing ever! 

Using the Oliver + S Teaparty Playsuit as the base, I overlapped the bodice and body sections to cut a one piece. I omitted the shoulder button closures and just closed the shoulder seams. The seam allowances were cut off the neckline and armholes so they could be finished with bias binding. As the Teaparty playsuit already has a centre front seam allowance (on the body part at least) it was no biggy to put a zipper down the middle.

The leg length came from the Oliver + S Lullaby Layette pants, and the whole thing should be a reasonable approximation of a size 12-18month.


The shark flannelette was quilted onto some bamboo quilt wadding (again using some last remnants - yay!) before cutting out the pattern pieces. 

I used the freemotion quilting foot that I'd bought ages ago for my machine (don't ask why). That was wild and a bit of fun. It took some getting used to the complete loss of control but I ended up going with the flow and I think my watery ripples around the sharks look great.

The lining is a cool striped knit that has also been in the stash forever. I found the zipper in the zipper box and some small remnants of blue knit that were just enough for making binding. Except for the striped knit there was nothing left to put away again by the end.

Frighteningly, I'd already quilted and cut this before I realised his pyjama pants were too short. So those cuffs really were a miraculous scrap buster.


Befitting a one year old's playsuit, the legs close with snaps. Yep, my snap stash had exactly the right shade of blue. :)

A friend's baby has just turned one and I was delighted to deliver this to him. I hope it fits and keeps him snug and warm during winter. 

While P was revelling in his pyjamas, A was watching me sew this and declared she wanted a pair of quilted overalls! :) Um, no, but I do have some awesome silver/black stretch denim to make her some overalls.


I can't wait to see this worn, and if it works well, then I'll keep the pattern for some of my other small, leftovers of flannelette. There's nothing more satisfying than using stuff up!

Details:
Size: Pants: 10 , T-shirt: O, playsuit: 12-18m
Fabric: Spotlight novelty flannelette, stashed striped knit and navy knit.
Notions: Quilt batting, knit binding, snaps, zipper all from stash









Tuesday, 14 May 2019

Playdate Dress and a pocket tutorial

It's starting to get cold here, and I really need to consign myself to the fact that our house renovation is not just-about-to-start. I need to get my winter clothes out rather than think I'll be packing them to move any minute. And I need to just turn the heating on.

But instead let's look back at our April holidays at the coast shall we, and a sweet little Oliver + S Playdate dress that I made for A.


I'd only made this dress pattern once before and I was so delighted with the shape and the fit. Here's the first version. I was keen to give it another run as it's one of the patterns that stops at size 8 which is her current size.

I think I'd bought this quilting cotton with the Library dress in mind but it looked like it would suit this pattern quite nicely too.


The pattern usually has ruffles or buttons on the yoke, but I thought it would be a bit more grown up to have the yoke plain. Then it looked too plain, so I thought to add a simple bow. When A saw my bow placed low and centrally she said it would look much better if the bird was wearing it. So there it is, a bow tie bird dress!

The terracotta coloured binding was already cut from some other project and I used the Fairy Tale Dress patterns instructions for the little bow. It's a miniature version of the belt bow from that pattern.


The pattern is a delight. It's a sweet bell shaped dress with in seam pockets, a lovely yoke with flat piping and nicely puffy sleeves.

As I was making it I thought to use the pocket instructions from a Japanese Sewing Book which allows you to have the side seam allowances pressed open and no snipping into and weakening the pocket seam allowances.

It's quite genius, so I photographed a little tutorial:

Side Seam Pocket Tutorial

1: Finish the seam allowances of the front pocket pieces and the sides of the front skirt panel.

2:Stitch the front pocket to the skirt (right sides facing) leaving a 1.5cm unsewn section at the top and bottom of the pocket. 



Stitch the back pockets to back skirt leaving a 1cm section unsewn at the top and bottom of each pocket piece


3: Press the pockets away from the skirts and seam allowances



4: Stitch the side seams above and below the pocket openings. Stitch with the front skirt uppermost and stop your stitching at the front pocket attachment stitching point, (or a stitch or two deeper into the pocket opening). 

Open the pockets away from each other and press again



5: Edgestitch the front pocket about 1/16" from the pressed edge (stitched front pocket opening is shown on right hand side of the image below)



6: Sew the pocket curved edges together folding the skirt pieces out of the way (with 1cm seam allowance in this instance). The photos below show the upper and then lower edges of the pocket and how the seam allowances are folded back when the pocket is stitched together.







7: Finish the pocket seam allowances together. Press the pocket towards the front skirt again and then finish the back seam allowances in one go.



Finally, you can add a bartack at the top and bottom of the pocket opening for extra reinforcemnt.

I love this pocket technique as it's neat, allows the seam to be finished neatly and stops the pocket from flopping down or towards the back when worn.

This little bow-tie bird dress might be hibernating for a few months now, but hopefully it will come out again in the spring. Maybe for a spot of tennis?






Details:
Pattern: Oliver + S Playdate Dress
Size: 8, no mods
Fabric: some designer quilting cotton, long stashed so I forget the name.

Friday, 3 May 2019

Secret Valentine Exchange part III - crafty interlude

I made the decision to run with the Secret Valentine Exchange all year round and try and create a small gift for somebody, somewhere, every month until the real SVE event returns on Valentine's day proper.

The April gift was posted off and arrived just before the end of April and also, perhaps, as an early birthday present for my sewing pal, Nicole. - currently known as the queen of overalls!


When I put out the call for ideas (which is still open, by the way, hit me up), Nicole suggested a macramé key chain thingy.

I was putting in an order with String Harvest for some thicker cord for another project when I saw that Cass sells little cards of co-ordinating 0.5mm Hemp cord. Perfect for some macramé key chain thingies, right?


For those who know their knots, this piece is done with a series of square knot sennits and the cords swapping over from one chain to the next to give the interlocking weave.


Monkey fist balls are a fun little puzzle, but I do NOT recommend trying to make them with 0.5mm cord. A bit fiddly and frustrating and I hop they don't simply unravel....

And a finally, a little autumn leaf:


Instructions for all of these, along with really good demonstrations of knots and techniques can be found in the Macramé Pattern Book. It has the added bonus of making macramé look quite tasteful and I'm especially fond of the samplers, made in neutral cord and pinned to feedsack floral fabric. Pointless, but pretty.

And we all need a bit of that sometimes.
Cheers.