Saturday, 30 November 2013

Golden Book bunting

At my son's school fair earlier this year I bought some Little Golden Books with the vague idea of making something out of them. Having successfully concealed them from the children for several months I decided it would be fun to make bunting, so I selected 'Day on the Farm' and (mercilessly!) chopped it into triangles. With the top edges sandwiched in bias tape, it made a very sweet little garland which I gave to my sister as part of her birthday present (I'm not sure if vintage children's book illustrations are really her thing, but she does have young children who will most likely appreciate them).

My daughter thought the bunting was very sweet and I rather fancied having some in our home, so I cut ten triangles out of 'The Poky Little Puppy's Naughty Day' and was very pleased with the result. A cool thing about this bunting is that every triangle has a different cute picture on the back of it, so you can hang it the other way around and have a whole new selection of images!

As we already have a copy of this book the story is familiar, so R can lie in bed, gaze at the little puppies and remember the story. Or plan her own naughty exploits...

Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Ribbon-tie pants and a ribbon-tie blouse

I recently bought a few Japanese pattern books and am now in the happy position of having loads of things I really, really want to make. For my first dip into Girly Style Wardrobe I sewed up a linen version of the pants that I'd seen on Asmita's blog, with ribbon ties (actually bias tape ties) at the ankles. My daughter is a reluctant pants-wearer, so the idea was that the ribbons would provide just enough of a girly touch to get her enthused. And while it's too early to make a call on whether she'll wear them, they really do look very sweet.

I added a little tag at the back so she can put them on the right way without help. And I really like the way the patterns in this book include a permanent opening on the front inside part of the waistband/casing so that elastic can be adjusted if and when required (well that's what I assume it's for, but since the book is in Japanese I can't be sure...).

The sweet linen pants were crying out for a sweet top, so I tried out blouse C from Happy Homemade vol. 2 using Reprodepot seersucker from Spotlight. I love the cut of this top and the slight gathering of the sleeves that gives them a bit of shape without making them too puffy. I made size 4 with size 6 length and the fit is great, although if R's head grows too much bigger we may be in trouble. I'd like to try out more versions  - perhaps with contrast binding, or a bit of piping - but there are so many other new patterns to make first, so it'll just have to wait.

With not much free time last night, but feeling the urge to make something, I sewed a headband pattern from Sewing Lesson Book in fabric left over from the blouse. The bow is a little oversized, I think. I might just remove it and leave the headband plain. Too matchy? Oh well. On to the next outfit...

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Spot the difference

One favourite spotty seersucker fabric, two colourways. You can't tell from my horrible photography (in my defence: iphone, bad lighting) but the pink is an incredibly vibrant colour and has little orange spots. I've used the green fabric before, when I made this ice-cream dress (which, sadly, R grew out of far too quickly) and couldn't resist buying the pink one when I found it on sale. The fabric is so light and breezy, just perfect for today's hot weather.

Both dresses are from Happy Homemade vol. 2. I tried using a ribbon for the neck of the green dress, as per instructions, but it didn't look great and I thought it would cut into R's shoulders and be uncomfortable. I was also concerned that putting on the dress would require readjustment of the gathered neckline every time, whereas something more elastic would mean it could be taken on and off with ease. So I replaced the ribbon with some very stretchy jersey, which looks much better, feels nice and soft and makes dressing and undressing less complicated. The dress is - as described in the book - voluminous, with a nice twirl to it. And it's very easy to make.

The pink dress, while pretty, is not such a great fit as the neck is too large. It's a lovely simple style that is totally wearable, but the constant slipping off the shoulder annoys me a bit. I like the unusual bodice shape (which is difficult to see in these photos) but wonder if I should have accentuated this in some way so it would stand out...? Still, R loves the colour, and the dress is great for wearing on a hot day. I'm sure it will be a perfectly fitting tunic in a year or two!

Friday, 1 November 2013

Our Halloween

Halloween preparations were a little last-minute this year, but I managed to outfit K and R as per their request: Kiki the witch-in-training (from the movie Kiki's Delivery Service) and her sarcastic cat Jiji. For R's dress I used the smock pattern (e) from Happy Homemade vol. 2, moving the elastic casing to the very end of the sleeves to make them look more like the dress in the movie. I also made a big red bow on a headband and bought a witchy-looking broom from an Asian grocery shop to complete the costume. She looked so sweet! I quite like the look of the smock on her, and am thinking I might sew up another one sometime in something less stiff and black.

For K I just put some fleece cat ears on a black headband, made a long black tail out of fleece and cut down a pair of women's black tracksuit pants. With a black top and some painted-on whiskers he looked very cat-like - apart from being 140cm tall and walking upright, of course. It helps that he has a good head of fur...

In the days leading up to Halloween R was in a state of great excitement. With a bit of help, she made some spooky Halloween lanterns (black paper wrapped around jars with candles inside) and did a heap of ghost/monster drawings which she delivered - anonymously - to every house in the street. And on the night, her efforts - and those of all the other children who joined us to trick-or-treat - were richly rewarded. VERY richly rewarded.

Oh, and I finally found an excellent use for the single pumpkin that grew on our vine last summer...

Hope everyone enjoyed a happy Halloween!