Friday 25 March 2022

the new favourite...

I feel like whenever I make pyjamas they're declared to be the new favourites and better than any pyjamas that came before.

It's nice to be able to make something that's always appreciated and that I know will get worn to the point of being either teeny tiny or completely worn out.

It was the combination of the teeny-tiny and worn out state of the old pyjamas that necessitated these ones being sewn up for camp next week.

At his direction they were to be long, flannelette bottoms with a T-shirt top, and a veto on any character or novelty prints.

Both fabrics came from Spotlight. The grey flannelette for the pants is not the best quality fabric, but the yarn dyed knit stripe for the T-shirt is lovely. I'll have to go back and try and find another colourway of both fabrics for a second pair.

The pants are the Thread Theory Eastwood pyjamas in size XS. They were a lovely pattern to sew. I chose the mock fly option (you could have no fly, mock fly, or functioning button fly), one back pocket and no side pockets. I used a little strip of the curly edge of the t-shirt knit to make the drawstring

My only alteration was to sew two channels for 1/2" elastic with the drawstring channel between them as I didn't have any 1&1/2" elastic. The fit is perfect, but in the course of a week or two since they were finished I already feel like I should have added length!

I had planned to trace a smaller size of the Liesl + Co Men's metro t-shirt but the idea of dealing with a PDF pattern seemed like too much work. Instead I reached for the unisex teen Hayden tee from Style Arc which I'd recently bought as part of a teen paper pattern bundle.

It's a nice boxy shape with dropped shoulder and split hem. I added a pocket to make it more like a pyjama set. I really like the T-shirt on him. Straight size 14.

As I was tracing the pattern I found an error with the printed pattern neckband sizes (reversed order) and emailed Style Arc who responded promptly and beyond that, it was a nice sew. With this fabric I could have shortened the neckband a little further for a flatter finish.

Easy and super satisfying pyjama sewing.

Wednesday 23 March 2022

lil' scrappy camp shirt

Thinking it would work for something else altogether, I delved into the fabric stash and retrieved this little remnant of a "silk" digital print. 

Of course there wasn't enough for that idea, but I became obsessed with the idea of finally using it up...

The fabric came from the now-defunct Eliza's of Sunshine. I put "silk" in quotes as that's what the lady said it was, but I'm pretty convinced it's a rayon. Anyway, whatever it is, it's a nice, drapey, silky feeling fabric.

The print was divided into two halves with a central line parallel to the selvedges. That line is obvious enough that it would have to be used in such a way that it was in a seam or hidden.

I fixed on the idea of a cropped, short sleeve Camp shirt and then worked hard to make it happen.

From my 85cm length, here's my scraps. Honestly.

I almost gave up on the sleeve cuffs but then decided that for the sake of having to seam one of them, they were worth having. The craziness of the print meant that I was able to cut some pieces at right angles to the grainline.

A few little beige buttons from the stash and I was done. 

To see the same fabric, also used for a Liesl + Co pattern, here's Carita wearing it at Frocktails 2018 and getting a feature on the Oliver + S blog.

Pattern: Liesl + Co Camp Shirt
Size: 10
Mods: Cropped - please excuse wonky hemline.

Wednesday 2 March 2022

Everlasting Fairy Tale

This dress has already been on the Oliver + S blog and Instagram, but how about a bit more of the story of the pattern here?...

It all started with the fabric. 

It's a simple cotton sateen from Super Cheap Fabrics, and yep, on sale (that shop is NEVER not on sale) at about $13/m. So, for the princely sum of about $25 plus delivery I could make a party dress. Sold!

Happily, when A saw the fabric she agreed: a birdy party dress would be fun. Actually, I was kind of starting to imagine the dress for myself so I wouldn't have been too upset if she'd not liked it!

The go-to party dress pattern her whole life has been the Oliver + S fairy tale dress. Let's revisit them!

First ever in a sheer, crinkly poly chiffon all underlined with cotton voile (and then lined as usual with more cotton) - November 2013

The second one followed soon after, in January of 2014, in time to go and see Angelina Ballerina on stage...

A year later, she spied the remnant of fabric in The Fabric Store, and so her birthday dress was another Fairy Tale - February 2015

Sewing up this pattern you can see that it looks good at every stage of construction. It looks good before you add the collar, before you add the sleeves, before you add the belt or sash... So while sewing one version I would find myself dreaming of another. This fourth dress was my all time favourite and definitely made to please me, but boy did she love it too.

Later that same year (2015 was evidently my year of the Fairy Tale dress) we went to The Carnival of the Animals and needed animal themed theatre clothes. Obviously a zebra Fairy tale dress, right?!

I got lucky with her 6th Fairy Tale dress and didn't even make it. We fell in love with this gorgeous spotty ombre dress by Melanie and scored it as a hand-me-down. She really loved that one and wore it until it was far too tight!

So those birds had to be made into a Fairy Tale dress. A quick muslin of the size 12 showed it wasn't going to be. 

So I took all the Fairy Tale styling and used the bodice of the Bistro dress (size 0) as my block to build my own fairy tale.
Adjustments as follows:
- moved bust dart up and reduced size
- omitted back bodice darts
- raised neckline and redrafted collar to fit and for shape
- moved side zipper to centre back
- gathered rectangle skirt with the deep fairy tale double fold hem
- sleeveless armhole reshape and finished with facings